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 182018
 
Is The Blue Paper Shutting Down?

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 February 18, 2018  Posted by at 1:00 am * Featured Story * 16 Responses »
Feb 182018
 
UPDATE: Cover-up of Gun Threat at HOB Middle School?

(c) Can Stock Photo / Stevemc by Arnaud and Naja Girard……. First Published on Feb 16, 2018 Following our coverage last week of alleged repeated gun threats by an HOB Middle School student, more questions have surfaced this week concerning a possible school cover-up of multiple gun related incidents at HOB. After our story was published, HOB Principal Christina McPherson sent a note home to parents assuring them that all gun threat incidents had been thoroughly investigated, all protocols had been followed and that no [continue reading…]

 February 18, 2018  Posted by at 12:58 am * Featured Story *, Naja and Arnaud Girard 5 Responses »
Feb 112018
 
Gun at HOB / Who's in Charge?

by Arnaud and Naja Girard……. “No, I don’t believe it was a toy,“ says our source [Let’s call her “B”], “It was the real thing and when the other kids reported that this student had brought a gun to HOB middle school, the student responded by sending a Snapchat photo to one of them: him with a gun and the message, ‘[I’m] gonna bust a cap in yah head.’” More recently he reportedly said (paraphrasing): ‘This ain’t over. I’m gonna shoot yah.’ Did this really [continue reading…]

Feb 112018
 
"Affordable Housing": Are the Wolves at the Gate?

by Arnaud and Naja Girard……. On January 30, 2018 the Monroe County School Board voted to vacate the parcels of land it owns on Trumbo Road. Their goal is to assist with the workforce housing crisis. One of the most valuable pieces of real estate in the Keys, the 6 acres of waterfront property in downtown Key West, could be transferred, for free, to developers. Under a proposal put forward by Key West’s multi-millionaire, John Padget, developers would then build 480 “affordable” studios and one-bedroom [continue reading…]

Jan 272018
 
What is Eating up Key West’s Residential Housing Stock?

by Arnaud and Naja Girard……. Key West suffers from an unprecedented housing crisis yet transient rental units seem to metastasize through Key West’s residential neighborhoods at an ever-accelerating rate. Last year we uncovered a disturbing legal process: The City of Key West had discreetly passed a law creating amnesty for people who illegally rent long-term residences to tourists. Instead of the 60 days in jail plus fines contemplated by the city code, property owners who can show they’ve broken the law since April 1, 2010 [continue reading…]

Jan 202018
 
City's Deregulation of Transient Licenses Will Reduce Residential Housing

OP/ED by Arnaud and Naja Girard…….. Hurricane Irma has left hundreds of people homeless in the Florida Keys. We wanted to know how the local government was handling the housing crisis. Officials seem genuinely concerned. They hold meetings and workshops on workforce housing issues. But clearly the problem predates the storm. Locals believe that, in recent years, too many residential units have been allowed to be transformed into vacation rentals. In this context we were surprised to learn that this week the City Commission voted [continue reading…]

Dec 292017
 
The Children of Hurricanes

by Arnaud and Naja Girard……. According to a recent report by FEMA, nearly a thousand residents impacted by Hurricane Irma are still homeless and living in hotels in the Keys at the edge of this new year. Others are staying in tents in yards or at a friend’s home. Many of them lived in trailer homes now blown away or condemned. Others were liveaboard boaters whose homes were sunk or destroyed by the storm. Their fate is uncertain. This is the inspirational story of a [continue reading…]

Sep 012017
 
Survey: Military Families Report Alarming Health Issues in "Sick Houses" on Sigsbee Island

by Arnaud and Naja Girard……. Constant allergies requiring weekly injections, repeated pneumonia, bloody noses, frequent severe headaches, skin rashes, swollen eyes and breathing issues are a few of the symptoms described by Sigsbee residents who responded to a survey conducted by The Blue Paper. Following reports of “sick house” symptoms on Sigsbee island, we asked military families to describe any health-related issues they’ve experienced while living on the island. Over 66% of those who responded reported having developed some form of allergy. Almost all say [continue reading…]

Jul 282017
 
Pritam Singh's 175-Room "Ocean's Edge Hotel" Sells For $175 Million

by Naja Girard……. Sunstone Hotel Investors, Inc. announced this Wednesday that it has purchased “the 175-room Oceans Edge Hotel & Marina on Stock Island for $175 million.” Ocean’s Edge Hotel has been an object of controversy in the Keys from the onset. It was pushed through as an upscale community consisting of “79 single family homes” and a small 17 room hotel. “It’s what we all want,” said developer Pritam Singh to the County’s Planning Commission, “to put our house by the water.” Each homeowner [continue reading…]

 July 28, 2017  Posted by at 12:56 am * Featured Story *, News 9 Responses »
Jul 282017
 
Immigrant's Unlawful Detention: Who's at Fault?

by Arnaud and Naja Girard……. What everyone knew was that Osman Torres Huete was going to be deported. His family had posted the $1000 cash bail for his release, but at any time during the next two days Border Patrol was going to pluck Osman out of the county jail on Stock Island and send him back to Honduras. However, when, against all odds, Mr. Torres Huete’s immigration lawyer, Reggie Smith, arrived at the jail on July 8th to challenge her client’s “unlawful detention” an embarrassing situation [continue reading…]

Jun 022017
 
"ARE YOU ILLEGAL?" SHERIFF'S DEPUTY STRIKES AGAIN: TURNS LONGTIME CHEF OF EL SIBONEY OVER TO BORDER PATROL

Of interest from other sources: Below are some FAQ’s from the Immigration Resource Center on the legality of local law enforcement involvement in enforcement of immigration laws. [Slightly outdated in terms of the detainer holds – guidance and form was recently updated – however, there is no substantial material change to the analysis as a result of the new detainer hold policy guidelines.

May 192017
 
'ARE YOU ILLEGAL?" Immigrant Bicyclist HIT BY CAR and Handed Over to Border Patrol on the Spot

First published on May 19, 2017 CORRECTION: The original headline for this article stated, “Immigrant Bicyclist Hit by Car and Handed Over to ICE on the Spot”. That was incorrect. The immigrant was arrested by Border Patrol, a division of Customs and Border Protection. Of interest from other sources: Click here to see the incident report.

May 122017
 

Dear Readers: We must apologize.  None of the many investigations The Blue Paper is currently pursuing are ready for publication this week.  However, we invite you to visit the link below which will take you to a gallery of our past featured documentaries.  Enjoy!

May 052017
 
Wisteria Island: Nature's Champions or Schemers?

by Naja and Arnaud Girard……. Get out of the tent! Joe Sanders had just woken up to deputies yelling orders. As he peers through the slit in his tent his eye suddenly focuses on the barrel of a deputy’s gun 6 inches away and pointed straight at him. Now, according to the federal government, Joe had pitched his tent on public land.

Apr 282017
 
Key West: PATIENT COMMITS SUICIDE ON CAMERA

by Naja and Arnaud Girard……. By the time tragedy struck last year Depoo Hospital’s mental health staff had sent many distress signals. The Blue Paper has collected reports about staff being attacked by patients, disagreements with the police about carrying guns, understaffing, a security guard having a heart attack trying to protect staff. Finally, a patient committed suicide on camera. 

Mar 312017
 
Is Key West Military Housing Making People Sick?

March 31, 2017 by Arnaud and Naja Girard……. [Story summary below, please see video above] For over a month we’ve been following the stories of military families who claim that living on base on Sigsbee Island is making them sick. They say something in those houses is causing an alarming number of health issues and their children are the main victims.

Mar 242017
 
Is Monroe a “Sanctuary County”?

by Arnaud and Naja Girard……. If you’re like us, you probably think, what in the world is a Sanctuary City or County? Some sort of governmental civil disobedience? This week we followed the case of an immigration “hold” detainee at the county jail where we learned of the Monroe County Sheriff’s position on the subject. In the following order: Monroe County is not a sanctuary county, then it is, and then it is not.

Mar 172017
 
Deportation of Two Legal Restaurant Workers: The Beginning of the End?

Commentary by Naja and Arnaud Girard……. The plane that carried Jean Dervil back to Haiti landed late Thursday in Port-au-Prince. With him were 250 more deportees from the United States. To put it mildly, it has been puzzling for our readers to watch our documentary about a beloved, hard-working Haitian man, married to an American citizen, and to come to the realization that it may now be the policy of the federal government to deport people with valid work permits. 

Mar 032017
 
Planning Director Out at End of March

by Arnaud and Naja Girard……. Key West Planning Director, Thaddeus Cohen, “came to a mutual agreement” [with the City Manager] “to end Mr. Cohen’s tenure with the City.” The official explanation is quite diplomatic: “The transition will better serve the City’s needs.” “Planning is a complex and challenging department…” reads the official PR statement that the City sent to The Blue Paper.

 March 3, 2017  Posted by at 1:04 am News 4 Responses »