Arnaud and Naja Girard

Arnaud and Naja Girard, owners and editors of the new, digital, Key West the Newspaper (The Blue Paper) previously reported for the former Key West The Newspaper, Key West’s longest running independent weekly, published by Dennis Reeves Cooper, Ph.D., from January 1994 until November 2012. The Girards are perhaps best known for their discovery of and extensive research surrounding the US Navy’s 1951 claim of ownership of Wisteria Island but are also responsible for top investigative stories including breaking news coverage of the highly controversial in-custody-death of Charles Eimers on Thanksgiving Day 2013, the catastrophic police tasing of Matthew Shawn Murphy, and the property tax scandal involving Balfour Beatty to name a few. Arnaud and Naja have lived in Key West since 1986.

Feb 122016
 

Big Coppitt toppino reduce to 800 w

by Naja and Arnaud Girard…….

A one-room efficiency for $1,836/month, a one-bedroom for $2,097, a two-bedroom for $2,358. Those are the “affordable” rates that will prevail for the rental of 70% of the 213 affordable residential units the County Commission has approved for a Big Coppitt Key waterfront development project. Those rents are defined in the code as “moderate-income affordable.” Continue reading »

Feb 052016
 
Key West: Your Landlord May Owe You For Overcharging For Rent

by Naja and Arnaud Girard……. Donald Roberts lives in Peary Court with his mom Ruby.   They rent one of the 48 deed restricted “affordable” units. Their situation is puzzling. With a combined annual income of under $55,850, they qualify for “low-income affordable workforce housing.” Their rent should be $1,571/month, yet they pay around $2,400/month. At […]

Jan 292016
 
The Bookie, The School District, and The Green Parrot

Commentary by Naja and Arnaud Girard……. The School Board is still scrambling to unravel the mystery of $20,000 in day-care funds that went missing over a year ago. Let’s put this amount into perspective. The annual 2015/2016 budget for the Monroe County School District is $163.7 Million.   This amount includes 95.1 Million for operations and […]

Jan 152016
 
AFFORDABLE HOUSING: One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

Commentary by Naja and Arnaud Girard……. Key West’s City Commissioners are considering the purchase of the old Navy housing at Peary Court. According to Commissioner Weekley, the real estate deal will relieve some of the effects of the dire housing crisis that bleeds the island of its workforce. Yet The Blue Paper discovered this week, […]

Jan 082016
 
PEARY COURT / What to do?

City Manager Weighing Options on Building Inspections 2013 Inspection Report Made Available by Naja and Arnaud Girard……. Some recent independent home inspection testing at Peary Court has brought a worrisome result. “My mold assessment led me to advise the tenants to vacate the apartment,” says Hugh Johnson. Johnson is the owner of “Inspect Key West.” He’s […]

Jan 032016
 
Peary Court Deal Already Raising Eyebrows...

  Commentary by Naja and Arnaud Girard……. **UPDATE Jan 5, 2015 6:15 pm**  City Manager pulled the item from the agenda… ~~~~~~~ Surveyors hired by the City want $29,116 for travel, meals, and hotel expenses to inspect the housing units at Peary Court.  The survey is part of the due diligence process associated with the […]

Dec 112015
 
Starving Dog Eats Dead Owner

Medical Examiner: Human Tissue Found in Dog Feces by Naja and Arnaud Girard……. It was 6 months ago.   A local liveaboard boater had made an emergency call to the U.S. Coast Guard in Key West, reporting the gruesome discovery of a man dead inside his sailboat. The scene was not for the faint of heart. The […]

Dec 042015
 
Housing Hocus-Pocus? Is the City Losing the Workforce Housing Battle One House at a Time?

by Naja and Arnaud Girard……. It was not the Sistine Chapel, but the ceilings were painted with beautiful scenes of Florida Keys’ waters, with schooners and fishermen. The artists had been Cuban refugees who long ago paid for their stay at “The Kerr House” by redecorating the inside of the old conch house. When we […]

Dec 042015
 
Eimers Death In Custody. Could It Happen Again?

Commentary by Naja and Arnaud Girard……. Two years ago, on Thanksgiving morning, paramedics were called to assist an old man on South Beach. KWPD officers on scene told them that the man had been running away from police on the beach and had suddenly collapsed in the sand and when they got to him he […]

Nov 202015
 
State:  What the Hell is Going on in the Keys? Must be "Other Forces at Work"

  by Naja and Arnaud Girard……. The State’s Variance Review Committee blasted the local Health Department, questioning officals’ apathy in letting the Boondocks Grill, Draft House and Miniature Golf on Ramrod Key expand and operate, for years, without requiring a proper sewage disposal system. The landmark restaurant had a septic tank/leach field system permitted for 65 […]

Nov 132015
 
Stock Island Shootout Revisited:  A Closer Look at Felony Traffic Stops

by Naja and Arnaud Girard……. Following the shootout that nearly killed a Monroe County Sheriff’s deputy on Stock Island on October 24, 2015, Sheriff Rick Ramsey issued an order making it mandatory for all officers to wear their bullet proof vests when in the field.  [Deputy Josh Gordon who had been shot in the chest by a […]

Nov 072015
 
SHOOTOUT VIDEO RELEASED: Heroic Deputy Shot in Chest / Suspect Shot First

by Naja and Arnaud Girard……. The Monroe County Sheriff released video of a gun battle that took place weeks ago on Stock Island. [See video below] Dashcam from two deputies’ cruisers show the October 24th high speed chase of Timothy Thomas, who was wanted in connection with an armed robbery in Key West. In the […]

Nov 062015
 
Timothy Thomas Claims 'Deputies Shot First' [Police Shootout Rained Bullets on Stock Island Family]

by Naja and Arnaud Girard……. [Note:  This article was written and published prior to the Sheriff’s release of the dashcam video.  You will find an update at the end of the article including both Deputy Gordon and Deputy Lariz’ dashcam video excerpts as posted by the MCSO on youtube this morning.] It was about 9:45 pm […]

Oct 092015
 
FKAA Chairman Dean Plays Cat and Mouse

by Naja and Arnaud Girard……. The documents often begin with: “I, J. Robert Dean do solemnly swear” and thereafter the facts seem to change and contradict each other depending on what Dean needs to do to stay in power. On Wednesday Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority [FKAA] Board Chairman Bob Dean provided Supervisor of Elections, Joyce […]

Sep 252015
 
Tour Companies and City Spar Over Sightseeing Franchise Agreements

Naja and Arnaud Girard……. As the “Conch Train” slows down at the corner of Eaton and Elizabeth, the conductor blows the whistle. The train’s blaring PA system floods the street: “That’s right folks, you just made it to the top. Key West’s highest point, Solaris Hill! 18 Feet above sea level! That’s where you would […]

Sep 182015
 
State Attorney Challenges FKAA Chairman's Right To Vote In Key West Elections

by Naja and Arnaud Girard……. Is the Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority taking on water? Two weeks ago an FKAA board member, Melva Wagner, was forced to resign. She had continued receiving benefits and payments as a board member even though she had moved away from her district almost a year ago. This week it’s FKAA’s […]

 September 18, 2015  Posted by at 12:54 am * Featured Story *, Naja and Arnaud Girard 26 Responses »
Sep 112015
 
FKAA Board Chairman Under Criminal Investigation

by Naja and Arnaud Girard**……. UPDATE:  9/18/2015 Click here for updated article: State Attorney Challenges FKAA Chairman’s Right To Vote In Key West Elections As of Thursday afternoon, the office of the Monroe County State Attorney has begun investigating the Chairman of the Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority [FKAA] Board of Directors. J Robert Dean (aka Bob Dean), […]

Aug 282015
 
FDLE AGENT KATHY SMITH GETS AWAY WITH IT!

by Naja and Arnaud Girard……. FDLE reprimanded Special Agent Kathy Smith with a 5-day suspension. Agent Smith was accused of having intentionally signed a false affidavit in order to secure a $461,000 bank loan. Agent Smith became engulfed in controversy in 2014 while leading the investigation of the in-custody-death of 61-year old tourist, Charles Eimers. […]

Aug 212015
 
Ex-FBI Agent Says: Audit FKAA Billing Practices

by Naja and Arnaud Girard……. The Blue Paper received a report, claiming “manipulation and interference with data” at FKAA, that raises legitimate questions about millions of dollars worth of water bills sent to FKAA customers throughout the Keys. Jon Lipsky wrote: “Because the database is used to generate bills for consumers and because the Aqueduct Authority is […]

Aug 142015
 
Key West Homes: "Caucasian Only"

by Naja and Arnaud Girard……. For years they’ve lived with this embarrassing secret, which they feel has tainted their home from the moment they moved in. Even today they wouldn’t give their names for this story. The secret, though, is out. “It floored me when I saw it,” said Commissioner Tony Yaniz this week to […]

 August 14, 2015  Posted by at 12:48 am * Featured Story * 12 Responses »
Aug 142015
 
DOH Orders Boondocks Restaurant to Reduce Seating by Two-Thirds Due to Environmental Violations

by Naja and Arnaud Girard….. “I am sitting under the huge tiki hut roof and all I can think of is: Am I going to do it or not?” All around him people, hundreds of them, are having dinner, drinking, listening to the band of young local musicians, having a great time. Only the owners […]

Jul 312015
 
Water Quality Disaster: Whistleblower Accuses Department of Health

by Bud Meaker and Arnaud Girard……. A whistleblower claims the Department of Health (DOH) has turned a blind eye for years on thousands of gallons of sewage that has been seeping into Florida Keys waters. “It’s their duty, their legal obligation under Florida Statutes to monitor the performance of all on-site sewer systems in the Keys, […]

Jul 102015
 
Goombay Controversy Exposes Key West's Racial Tensions

by Naja and Arnaud Girard……. Do you think White business owners should take over the management of a Black heritage festival? That’s the tricky question that City Commissioners were set to resolve last Tuesday when once again they were faced with having to choose between two groups that wished to run the coveted Goombay Festival. […]

Jul 032015
 
Hostage Standoff on Duval Street: “In typical Key West fashion: 'Nothing' happens in the most spectacular way.” ~ Mike Mongo

  UPDATE Thursday July 2, 3:35 pm by Naja and Arnaud Girard……. The 911 call went something like this: ‘I stabbed my wife. I stabbed her in the chest and the abdomen, both. I have a shotgun. I’m in my room at Duval House and I’m holding my 13-year old niece hostage.’ KWPD went running, […]

Jul 022015
 
Mysterious Hostage Standoff on Duval:  A Hoax

[responsive_youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fZLSsXn8FzE] by Naja and Arnaud Girard……. Developing story… A hoax… Key West police shut down the 800 block of Duval Street at about 7 p.m. last night amid reports of a “possibly armed person” having barricaded himself inside a bed and breakfast. According to police spokesperson, Alyson Crean, a man had called police claiming he had knifed a woman […]

Jun 262015
 
To Tase or Not To Tase:  CRB Exonerates Officer Responsible For Catastrophic Tasing of Matthew Murphy

by Naja and Arnaud Girard…. The controversy over police use of tasers in Key West and Monroe County has recently received a lot of attention. The results of separate investigations in two high-profile taser cases in the Keys have just been announced. Four months ago we published cellphone video showing an unidentified man who’d been tased […]

Jun 262015
 
Trooper Out of Control

by Naja and Arnaud Girard… OIG Investigation Report just in… In February we reported on the shocking tasing of an older gentleman by a state trooper on US 1 near the 18-mile stretch. Before a bystander’s cell phone video was made public, the trooper, Eloy Arias, had written in his incident report that he had […]

Jun 192015
 
Protecting Sexual Predators

She’s a ten-year old Key West girl. He, her stepfather, crawls into her bed, “grabs her hand and puts it on his penis.” He touches her breasts and at times he tries to touch her “private parts” but she fights him off when he does that. Sometimes she “gets sticky stuff on her hand.” The […]

Jun 122015
 
FDLE Special Agent and Ex-Husband former KWPD Captain Saved By Statute of Limitations

by Naja and Arnaud Girard…… A long awaited investigative report on a scandal that greatly tarnished both FDLE’s and KWPD’s image in the community is finally complete. FDLE Special Agent Kathy Smith and her ex-husband, former KWPD Captain Scott Smith, could have been prosecuted for the criminal acts of perjury and mortgage fraud in connection […]

May 292015
 
The White, the Black, the Blue ... and His Dog [Video]

by Naja and Arnaud Girard…………….. This week Blue Paper reporters stumbled across a very secretive drug interdiction operation in the Florida Keys. And what we discovered is a trove of information that brings us closer to understanding the issue of racial profiling in the Keys. The operation was called, “Blue Lightening Strike Force.” It took […]

May 012015
 
THE KEYS AND THE 'RIGHT TO POLLUTE'

by Naja and Arnaud Girard… “The water would turn green,” says Dr. James Fourqurean. “The effluent coming out of the sewer plant will basically be fertilizer.” Dr. Fourqurean, a marine biology expert, testified last Tuesday about the effects of injecting approximately 1 Million gallons of treated sewage into a shallow well in Safe Harbor on […]

May 012015
 
Who Owns Wisteria Island, Episode 52

by Naja and Arnaud Girard… Roger Bernstein, the man who claims to own Wisteria Island, decided last week to appeal a Federal Judge’s decision that, if allowed to stand, could very well cost Mr. Bernstein the island. It’s been a bumpy ride for the want-to-be developers of Wisteria, the last desert island in Key West […]

Apr 242015
 
Selective Enforcement:  Blacks 6X's More Likely To Be Arrested On Drug Charges

by Naja and Arnaud Girard… The issue of racially selective law enforcement has finally erupted at the highest levels of Monroe County’s criminal justice system. Sheriff Rick Ramsay is “outraged” at the words of Chief Assistant Public Defender Trish Gibson. Data and statistics are flying around. This is a taste of the problem: A female […]