Dennis Reeves Cooper

IN THE PHOTO: DENNIS REEVES COOPER PH.D AND BILL O'REILLY. Dr. Cooper founded Key West The Newspaper in 1994 and published the paper for 18 years, until he retired in 2012. In 2001, Key West Police Chief Buz Dillon had Cooper arrested and jailed, alleging that Cooper had violated an obscure state gag law when writing about a police investigation. The journalist-arrested story hit the national news and Bill O'reilly called and invited Cooper to appear on his show on Fox News. Dillon was also invited to appear, but refused the invitation. O'Reilly suggested that Dillon was "hiding under his desk." The ACLU also called and offered to sue the City of Key West on Cooper's behalf. Subsequently, the gag law was declared unconstitutional and the City settled out of court for $240,000. Also, the arrest was a factor in the creation of an independent police oversight board-- the Citizen Review Board (CRB)-- by Key West voters in November 2002. By that time, Buz Dillon had been unceremoniously fired. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------More Articles By Dennis Reeves Cooper prior to November, 2014.

Feb 262016
 
About 100 Years Ago, It Was Being Said that Florida was Uninhabitable. Then Somebody Invented Mosquito Control

by Dennis Reeves Cooper……. Before the Florida Keys meant sun, sea and Jimmy Buffet, they were famous for mosquitoes– dense, black clouds of them that hummed and bit without pause, spread malaria, dengue and yellow fever, and drove visitors temporarily insane with irritation. At the beginning of the 20th Century, many thought that Florida was virtually uninhabitable and could never be developed. By 1922, however, Dr. J.Y. Porter was on the job as the Florida’s first health officer and was proposing procedures to help control [continue reading…]

 February 26, 2016  Posted by at 12:56 am Island Voices, Issue #155 No Responses »
Feb 122016
 
The Missing $22,000 at Horace O'Bryant School: Why Potential Whistleblowers are Hesitating to Come Forward

Commentary by Dennis Reeves Cooper……. How smart do you have to be to serve on the Monroe County School Board? This would seem to be a logical question considering the Board members’ history of dealing with internal theft of taxpayer money– as well as their treatment of whistleblowers. Surely you remember the infamous Acevedo scandal. It was former School District Financial Director Kathy Reitzel who uncovered and reported Monique Acevedo’s theft of $413,000 of School District funds. And she was also the State Attorney’s star [continue reading…]

 February 12, 2016  Posted by at 1:08 am Issue #153, Journalism as a Contact Sport 6 Responses »
Feb 052016
 
Update: Convicted Felons and Civil Rights

by Dennis Reeves Cooper……. Several weeks ago, we published a story about Key West Assistant City Manager Greg Veliz’ criminal record. He is a convicted felon, having spent three years in the penitentiary back in the early 1990s on major drug charges. He and his partner in crime were caught bringing in cocaine by the boatload. As a result, he cannot vote, serve on a jury, hold public office or possess a firearm– for the rest of his life– unless he goes through the clemency [continue reading…]

 February 5, 2016  Posted by at 1:26 am Issue #152 No Responses »
Jan 292016
 
Me and Mel

by Dennis Reeves Cooper……. Anyone who might want to make a list of the most famous people who have ever lived in Key West would have to include treasure salvor Mel Fisher fairly high on the list. Even I had heard of him when I sailed into Key West on my sailboat for the first time in 1979. Although he had not yet found the mother lode of the treasure known to be aboard the Spanish galleon Nuestra Senora de Atocha which sank off the [continue reading…]

 January 29, 2016  Posted by at 1:16 am Issue #151 No Responses »
Jan 152016
 
YES, IT IS A LITTLE EASIER NOW FOR KEY WESTERS TO TRAVEL TO CUBA. BUT CUBA AIN'T "OPEN" YET-- NOT BY A LONG SHOT!

Music Video by local artist Miguel Perez, “90 Miles”, miguelperezmusic.com by Dennis Reeves Cooper……. Last week, I was doing some research, looking through some of the early issues of The Blue Paper when I ran across a little article headlined “U.S. Could Authorize Travel to Cuba.” According to that article, which was published in our April 15, 1994, issue, then-Senator John Kerry was seeking “to pry open the Clinton administration’s hardline Cuban policy by pushing for an amendment to the Foreign Relations Authorization Act (FRAA).” The [continue reading…]

Jan 012016
 
AN ASSISTANT CITY MANAGER WHO CAN'T VOTE -- or Serve on a Jury, or Hold Public Office or Possess a Firearm. So What's the Big Deal? This is Key West, After All

Journalism as a Contact Sport Commentary by Dennis Reeves Cooper……. If you are convicted of a felony in Florida, you lose more than your freedom for a few years (or more than a few years)– you lose a number of civil rights– like voting, serving on a jury, holding public office and possessing a firearm. And you lose those rights forever– although there is a clemency process through which convicted felons may seek restoration of their rights. Key West Assistant City Manager Greg Veliz is [continue reading…]

 January 1, 2016  Posted by at 12:38 am Issue #147, Journalism as a Contact Sport 1 Response »
Dec 252015
 
CELEBRATING A MERRY CHRISTMAS-- IN SHORTS

by Dennis Reeves Cooper……. The Christmas holidays. A wonderful time of the year, wherever you are. But celebrating Christmas in Key West is, well, sort of surreal– even for those who were born here and those of us who have lived here for years. And for those who are visiting here for the holidays, it has to be really strange to be walking around among all the Christmas decorations in the bars and stores and seeing those big candy canes hanging on the lamp posts [continue reading…]

 December 25, 2015  Posted by at 1:07 am Issue #146, Journalism as a Contact Sport No Responses »
Dec 252015
 
YES VIRGINIA

In September 1897, one of the most famous exchanges of letters between a newspaper reader and a newspaper editor in the history of journalism was published in the New York Sun. For years, it has been traditional here at The Blue Paper to re-publish this exchange every Christmas. Here it is again. Dear Editor– I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says, “If you see it in The Sun, it’s so.” Please tell me the [continue reading…]

 December 25, 2015  Posted by at 12:52 am ~ Column ~ No Responses »
Dec 182015
 
UPDATE: KATHY REITZEL HAS APPEALED JUDGE JONES' RULING IN HER UNLAWFUL FIRING CASE. IF SHE WERE STILL ON THE JOB, WOULD SHE HAVE UNCOVERED AND QUICKLY DOCUMENTED ACCOUNTABILITY IN THE HOB FINANCIAL SCANDAL?

Commentary by Dennis Reeves Cooper……. Well, there’s another financial scandal at the Monroe County School District. More than $20,000 has gone missing from the daycare program at Horace O’Bryant School. And apparently, School District officials have absolutely no clue as to what may have happened to the money. No clue at all. None. Was the money stolen or is this latest financial scandal just the result of sloppy bookkeeping? Nobody seems to know. The money is just missing. But based on the recent history of [continue reading…]

Dec 112015
 
JIM SCHOLL: THE ONLY KEY WEST CITY MANAGER WHO HASN'T BEEN FIRED OVER THE PAST 25 YEARS

by Dennis Reeves Cooper……. I sat down this week with City Manager Jim Scholl to talk about the state of the city, problems, accomplishments, politics and a variety of other topics. To say the least, Scholl is “special” in terms of city history. Over the past 25 years, he is the only city manager who wasn’t fired. And he is the only two-term city manager. Assuming that many, if not most, of those reading this story have not been here for 25 years, maybe some [continue reading…]

Nov 272015
 
An Eclectic Potpourri of History at the Little Library on Fleming Street

by Dennis Reeves Cooper……. Back in another life, one of the things I did to make a couple of bucks was to write history books for companies and organizations. All that was required was that they actually had histories (usually a couple of file drawers of old photos and documents)– and money to pay me and the printer. Clients included a symphony orchestra, a regional telephone company and a Bahamian resort. During a visit to Washington DC a couple of years ago, it was a [continue reading…]

 November 27, 2015  Posted by at 12:48 am * Featured Story *, Issue #142 No Responses »