Martha K. Huggins

Tulane Professor Emerita and scholar of Brazil, Huggins has researched police violations of human rights in Brazil for 40 years. Huggins is now transforming that work to the US, where she is studying municipal government and the insurance industries' direct complicity in promoting, covering up, and hence rewarding police violence.

Mar 172017
 
What Do Westport, Ct., Illegal Immigration & ‘3.5 Percenters’ Share in Common?  Read Below and Solve the Puzzle

by Martha K. Huggins, Ph.D…… Westport, Connecticut.  My husband’s Democratic brother-in-law was the press secretary to New York City Republican Mayor John Lindsay (1966-1973).  When he, a White US citizen, moved his family to Westport, Connecticut, the first thing he did was to join the city’s “no-population growth” movement. Illegal Immigrants: A  February 2017 Fox News [i] headline read:  “WEST FRANKFORT, Ill. –  A southern Illinois community that solidly backed President Donald Trump has rallied behind a Mexican restaurant manager who doesn’t have legal permission to [continue reading…]

Mar 032017
 
Gay Bashing in Key West’s ‘One Human Family’: A United States Problem Likely to Increase

Martha K. Huggins, Ph.D…… I was deeply moved and angered by the violence against two gay men in Key West in the early hours of Wednesday, February 23, 2017. Biking home after dinner, an unknown man on a moped verbally threatened Key West’s Kevin Seymour and Kevin Paul Taylor and then physically assaulted Mr. Seymour by using his motor scooter as a lethal weapon.  The incident report taken at the scene by KWPD officer, Brett T. Dehanas,  at 12:58 am states that the offense perpetrated against [continue reading…]

 March 3, 2017  Posted by at 1:16 am * Featured Story * 21 Responses »
Feb 242017
 
Policing the Homeless:  Following and Ignoring “Threat Matrix” Guidelines

Martha K. Huggins, Ph.D…….. Policing democracy is tough. Tasked to ‘protect and serve,’ police carry out their work within a political system that often makes them an instrument of competing political and economic interests. Far too commonly, police take the fall for the irregular, shifting, and highly political expectations of government officials.  Case in point  ‘management’ of  the homeless.  “Economic development,” which of course includes building and protecting tourism, has a very specific aesthetic:  There should be no visibly homeless people in Key West’s “One [continue reading…]

Jan 272017
 
Community Health Systems and Anti-Trust Law:  Some monopolies are more legal than others

Martha K. Huggins, Ph.D…… I grew up hearing my grandfather and his son, my maternal uncle, rail against  the Sherman Anti-Trust Act.[i]  I had no idea what they were talking about, but I knew I should believe that ‘Anti-Trust” actions by government were bad.  My grandfather, an independent prospector for metal ores, between 1886 and the early 1900s—broken only by his Spanish-American War (1898) service—increasingly sold his paltry take of gold, silver, or copper ingots to mining syndicate representatives, among them the Anaconda Copper Company. [continue reading…]

 January 27, 2017  Posted by at 12:58 am * Featured Story *, ~ Column ~, Martha Huggins 6 Responses »
Jan 202017
 
Health Care in Key West:  Knowing the Unknowable

by Martha K. Huggins, Ph.D…….. I never thought that I would quote former United States Secretary of Defense, Donald “Rummy” Rumsfeld.  But I have been driven to his epistemology of  “know-ability” by my frustrating search for the “Primary Care Clinic” funded to the tune of a half-million dollars annually by the Lower Florida Keys Hospital District (LFKHD).  Donald Rumsfeld, the master of using power to deliver ‘strategized confusion,’ explained on February 12, 2002, that US government’s knowledge about Iraq’s passing of ‘weapons of mass destruction’ [continue reading…]

 January 20, 2017  Posted by at 1:00 am * Featured Story *, Issue #202, Martha Huggins 4 Responses »
Dec 232016
 
In Search of the Hospital District Subsidized "Primary Care Clinic"

by Martha K. Huggins, Ph.D……. Be Compassionate and Giving; Welcome the Stranger.  The sacred texts of major world religions—Buddhism, Christianity, Catholicism, Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism—talk of the inherent goodness of the poor and extol followers to welcome the stranger and assist the needy.  Capitalism– in most of the modern world–elevated to that of a religion, considers poor people risky, a nuisance, and fiscally dangerous: Mere ‘things’ requiring “risk management.” Contracts are written and legal opinions delivered, to protect corporate wealth and its very well-paid executives [continue reading…]

 December 23, 2016  Posted by at 1:12 am * Featured Story *, Issue #198, Martha Huggins 45 Responses »
Oct 082016
 
Part II: Shady Management; Shady Dealings:  Who Runs the Lower Keys Hospital System --  Unpacking the Nesting Dolls

by Martha K. Huggins, Ph.D……. Like a set of increasingly small wooden Russian nesting dolls placed one inside the other, Key West’s hospital cannot be understood by unpacking it.  Reputed as community and tourist-unfriendly, our hospital system consists[i] of two for-profit hospitals—dePoo Hospital on Kennedy Drive [ii] — and Stock Island’s, Lower Keys Medical Center. These two privately nested hospitals are part of a corporate superstructure dubbed, ‘Key West HMA LLC.’ But the Alpha corporation within our hospital system’s nesting set is the Delaware/Tennessee for-profit corporation, [continue reading…]

 October 8, 2016  Posted by at 4:23 am * Featured Story *, Martha Huggins 11 Responses »
Sep 302016
 
Part I: Shady Management; Shady Dealings—For-Profit Health Care in Key West

Martha K. Huggins, Ph.D……. The Physicians’ Hippocratic Oath includes the sacred pledge to serve “according to my ability and judgment, prescribe a regimen for the health of the sick; …[and] utterly reject harm and mischief.”  Just in case such a pledge becomes unimportant with health care’s profitability,  “hospital districts” and their boards of directors sometimes become a community’s watch dog over healthcare operations.  For its part, the Board of the ‘Lower Keys Hospital District’ oversees “hospitals, medical facilities, and other health care related facilities and [continue reading…]

 September 30, 2016  Posted by at 1:10 am * Featured Story *, Issue #186, Martha Huggins 7 Responses »
Jun 172016
 
The Orlando Slayings: Ask the Wrong Questions, Get the Wrong—Or Is It The “Right”?-- Answers?

by Martha K. Huggins, Ph.D…….. For 21 years I have been an ‘expert witness’ for lawyers representing LGBT clients from Brazil petitioning for asylum in the United States.  Seeking to avoid violent persecution in Brazil, as my asylum reports clearly demonstrate, LGBT Brazilians seeking US asylum believe that they are safer in the US than in Brazil. But considering the widespread US homophobia I often wonder, ‘Are LGBT Brazilians really safer in the U.S.?’  Certainly, the Pulse Club slaying in Orlando, Florida calls the safety [continue reading…]

 June 17, 2016  Posted by at 1:00 am Issue #171, Martha Huggins 23 Responses »
May 132016
 
The Sunshine Grill on White Street Has it All--for Me and I Hope You Too

by Martha K. Huggins……. Chris and Noelle Itrato met in an employee training class at Disney World–He was learning to be “Goofy” and she to be “Mickey Mouse.” Living in Orlando for many years, they came often to Key West because it “felt like home.” His wife, Noelle, a writer and artist, was especially interested in making a home in Key West. And having owned a restaurant in Tuscaloosa, Alabama–“Moe’s Southwest Grill—Chris could easily imagine himself having an eatery in our little slice of Paradise. [continue reading…]

 May 13, 2016  Posted by at 12:28 am Dining, Issue #166, What To Do 1 Response »
May 062016
 
Peary Court Purchase Plan B and the Cornfeld Group

by Martha K. Huggins, Ph.D…….. Commissioner Jimmy Weekly has announced a “Plan B” for the City’s involvement in Peary Court: A “family business” is interested in purchasing Peary Court with Key West City government kicking in 12.5 million in Land Authority money to sweeten the deal. For its $12.5 million portion of the Peary Court purchase, Key West government would lock the Robert Cornfeld “family business’” into a deed-restriction requiring that existing Peary Court properties be dedicated in perpetuity to ‘affordable’ rentals—that is, “affordable” for [continue reading…]

 May 6, 2016  Posted by at 1:04 am ~ Opinion ~, Editorial, Issue #165 6 Responses »
Apr 292016
 
President Dilma Rousseff and Male Politicos’ Gender Crisis

by Martha K. Huggins, PhD……. As votes accumulated for President Dilma’s lower-house impeachment, “Good Bye, Dear” (Tchau Querida!) spread across the placards gripped by political opposition’s men and some women. Brazil’s Senate may soon try the country’s first woman president for “corruption” and if impeached Dilma Rousseff will be stripped of presidential powers for some of the alleged crimes committed by lower-house and senate legislators. The chutzpah of federal legislators should not surprise me, having done research in Brazil for 40 years on police, crime, and [continue reading…]

 April 29, 2016  Posted by at 12:48 am Issue #164, Martha Huggins No Responses »
Apr 012016
 
Key West and Brazil: Democracy and Police Accountability

by Martha K. Huggins, Ph.D……… Living and conducting research in Brazil over a number of years during its 21-year military dictatorship taught me the importance of police accountability. Sometimes when police showed up at a residence they were following government orders; sometimes they were acting alone. In either case their objective was to scare people into submission, by merely paying an unannounced visit, or by trashing a family’s possessions, or through violence against them. The victims of such police over-reach had absolutely no recourse: very [continue reading…]

 April 1, 2016  Posted by at 12:48 am Martha Huggins 12 Responses »
Mar 112016
 
Peary Court Purchase:  Speculators Win; Key West Loses

Commentary by Dr. Martha K. Huggins……. Key West, an island seven miles long with 7.4 square miles of land mass, is saddled with almost $107 million dollars of long-term debt.   City Commissioners have asked voters to approve yet another $55 million dollars in debt. Their appeal is couched in humanitarian concern for low-paid workers who need “affordable” housing, Ironically, such workers are often employees of the very City Commissioners who want KW government to subsidize housing for their exploited employees. Key West needs affordable housing, [continue reading…]

 March 11, 2016  Posted by at 12:39 am News 14 Responses »
Feb 122016
 
The Peary Court PAC:  Who Is "Housing First"?

Martha K. Huggins, Ph.D……. I am about to tackle the most onerous task of all: Preparing my family’s income tax. But before I take this unwanted leave from Key West’s Blue Paper for a few weeks, I want to address, “Who is Key West’s ‘Housing First’?” The Needle In a Haystack. It took longer to get the answer that question than to earlier find out “Who is White St Partners?” It just should not be that difficult, I thought beginning research on the “Housing First [continue reading…]

 February 12, 2016  Posted by at 1:08 am ~ Opinion ~, Issue #153, Martha Huggins 19 Responses »
Feb 052016
 
Who Owns Peary Court?

by Martha K. Huggins, Ph.D…….. A burning question was finally asked on Wednesday (2/3/2016) in a Key West Citizen Editorial—“Who is White Street Partners?” Well, that’s the wrong question if you’re after Peary Court’s current owners. Peary Court Holdings, LP (a Delaware limited partnership)– registered in Florida as a “foreign partnership”– is Peary Court’s owner of record. However, in fact, the current partners with financial interests in Key West’s Peary Court–who together constitute its owners, include: Peary Court Holdings, LP; White St Partners; and the [continue reading…]

 February 5, 2016  Posted by at 1:28 am ~ Opinion ~, Issue #152, Martha Huggins 49 Responses »
Jan 292016
 
“Capitalist Animal Farm: Beware, Technocrats!”

by Martha K. Huggins……. Set-Up: Results of Interactive Journalism This play about Stock Island’s landfill and its chemicals springs from last week’s contributions to my, “Let’s Write a Play: Scripting the Economics, Science, and Politics of Death: “Fifteen Shameful Lethal Acts,” in the Blue Paper (1/22/2016). Jerome Grapel, Alex Symington, and John Donnelly pointed out that any discussion of dangerous and polluting chemicals, and how these are handled by government, had to include: (1) The role of capitalism in the economic and political system in [continue reading…]

 January 29, 2016  Posted by at 1:15 am Island Voices, Issue #151, Martha Huggins 17 Responses »
Jan 222016
 
Let’s Write a Play:  Scripting the Economics, Science, and Politics of Death: “Fifteen Shameful Lethal Acts”

by Martha K. Huggins, Ph.D…….. In 1940, my father-in-law, George Findlay Willison, created and edited, Let’s Write a Play (Harper), a compendium of plays written by children attending the Hessian Hills School that he Co-Directed (1929-1935). A private progressive school located in New York State’s Croton-on-Hudson, designed in the spirit of John Dewey and other progressive educators, was fertile soil for eliciting the best from youthful minds. In 2016, I am transforming George’s work and his collaborative spirit into a project of ‘interactive journalism’: Will [continue reading…]

 January 22, 2016  Posted by at 1:08 am * Featured Story *, Issue #150, Martha Huggins 13 Responses »
Jan 082016
 
Let’s Write a Mystery Novel: “The Turkey Hawk Brief—A Key West Mystery”

by Martha K Huggins, Ph.D……. The Pitch: Everyone’s Good Ole Boy meets a softball champ at work. When the “Softball Queen” gets buried in debt from wagering in Good Ole Boy’s personally lucrative sports betting operation, she turns to pilfering money from her employer, just a little at a time over four years. Fortunately her colleague, “Turkey Hawk Stan”–as Good Ole Boy is called–is their employer’s computer programming expert. He can help hide “Softball Queen’s” monthly revenue shortfalls. But her alleged thefts are very belatedly [continue reading…]

 January 8, 2016  Posted by at 1:18 am * Featured Story *, Issue #148, Martha Huggins 7 Responses »
Jan 012016
 
To Monroe County Taxpayers and School Board: How the Early Learning Center’s Shortfall Gets ‘Disappeared’

by Martha K. Huggins, Ph.D……. Today’s Citizen (1/1/2016) reports that a Monroe County School System computer technician, Joseph Patrick Clements—nicknamed, “Joe Weed”—has been running a sports betting operation with “over $10,000 a week in wagers.” This was big enough to bring in the FDLE, FBI, DEA, and Homeland Security. “Joe Weed’s” alleged gambling operation was–guess what?: discovered in December 2014, the same month that the ELC’s ‘disappeared’ shortfall was revealed by a Horace O’Bryant Principal. Criminology 101: Illegal gambling schemes often lead losers’ with debts [continue reading…]

 January 1, 2016  Posted by at 12:36 am Editorial, Issue #147 6 Responses »
Dec 112015
 
Immigrants, Crime, Terrorists, and Humpty-Dumpty

by Martha K. Huggins, Ph.D……. I’m still stunned by a letter to the Key West Citizen’s editor last April (4/22/15), stating that, “Black people are born three times more likely to commit crime than white people.”   Cringing at this historically racist and supremely incendiary statement, I was reminded of criminology’s long history of explaining crime as caused by genetic, physiological, psychological, and religious factors. Nineteenth-century physician Cesare Lombroso measured the skulls, arms, and heads of imprisoned poor Italian inmates and concluded that one very dangerous [continue reading…]

 December 11, 2015  Posted by at 1:08 am * Featured Story *, Martha Huggins 5 Responses »
Aug 282015
 
Mystery Writers, Street Crime, and Mosquitos: Framing Crime--A Three-Part Series

by Martha K. Huggins, Ph.D. ……. Some Mysteries of Murder Mysteries Now that Key West’s “Mystery Writers Fest” has ended I want to talk about mystery novels, “street” crime, and its oft-ignored cousin, ‘white-collar’ corporate and government crime. As a mystery novel junkie, I was shaped in my teens by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s, Sherlock Holmes, an emotionless scientific positivist crime solver. As an adult, I shifted seamlessly to Patricia Cornwell’s central character, Dr. Kay Scarpetta–a modern Forensist who appealed to my academic scientific bent. [continue reading…]

 August 28, 2015  Posted by at 2:00 am * Featured Story *, Issue #129, Martha Huggins 20 Responses »
Apr 202015
 
Sheriff Ramsay’s Remarks Political / Rate of Arrest of Blacks Three Times Greater...

by Dr. Martha K. Huggins, Ph.D…. Assistant Public Defender Trish Gibson, a 20-year veteran of Key West’s Public Defender’s office, is running for Public Defender. This makes Sheriff Ramsay’s attempt at discrediting her in The Citizen (4/19/2015)–Political. Gibson had the honesty to state cautiously on the ACLU’s “Policing in Paradise” panel (4/13/15) that, in her experience, ‘selective enforcement can be seen by where we are getting our arrests for drugs–Bahama Village.’ Attorney Gibson went on to say, ‘I have never heard someone say [to a [continue reading…]

 April 20, 2015  Posted by at 7:26 pm * Featured Story *, Issue #110 18 Responses »
Apr 032015
 
Racial Profiling in Paradise

by Martha K. Huggins, Ph.D…. What Traffic Tickets and “Disorderly Conduct” Reveal… What would you think if you were stopped by Key West police, on average, three times a year over 5 years—5 times in 2011 alone? To your credit, you had no stops for DWI. Your traffic infractions were for such things as not wearing your seat belt—a violation discovered after you’d been stopped for loud music; how about ‘failure to stop’ and ‘to yield,’ ‘driving at an ‘unlawful speed,’ and going the wrong [continue reading…]

Mar 202015
 
US Law Enforcement Kills with Impunity-- Especially When the Victim is Black,  Part 1:

Genocide of African-Americans by Martha K. Huggins, Ph.D., Tulane University Emerita… The respected investigative journalism organization, ProPublica,[i] recently concluded, using the FBI’s woefully incomplete statistics on “justifiable” civilian killings by law enforcement (see Huggins, The Blue Paper #102), that between 2010 and 2012, “young black males…were at a far greater risk of being shot dead by police than their white counterparts—[in fact] 21 times greater….” While I would confidently agree that Blacks stand a far greater chance than Whites of being killed by law enforcement, [continue reading…]

 March 20, 2015  Posted by at 3:55 am Editorial, Issue #106, Martha Huggins 9 Responses »
Feb 192015
 
The FBI Will Record Charles Eimers’ Killing as “Justifiable” Because….

by Martha K. Huggins, Ph.D.* Tulane University Emerita…………. In just the first six weeks of 2015 US law enforcement has killed on average one civilian every eight hours, resulting in at least three deaths every day. These figures do not come from a US government data base because there is none, nor has there ever been one on these deaths. Vigilant citizen groups (killedbypolice.net) obtain statistics on law enforcement killings by tabulating national news and newspaper reports. Ironically, this is exactly how non-governmental organizations in [continue reading…]

 February 19, 2015  Posted by at 11:30 pm * Featured Story *, Issue #102 14 Responses »
Feb 062015
 
Underwriting Key West’s Police Brutality

by Martha K. Huggins, Ph.D.* Tulane University Emerita…………. The Key West Citizen wrote on January 30—after The Blue Paper had broken this news many hours before—that a $900,000 settlement had been “hammered out” in the Charles Eimers’ wrongful death suit against the City of Key West. Key West’s Police Chief Donie Lee finds the payout a “difficult decision to accept” but understands that the city’s insurer made a “business decision.” Spokeswoman Allison Crean claims that, “No taxpayer dollars are involved in the settlement.” She adds [continue reading…]

 February 6, 2015  Posted by at 1:05 am * Featured Story *, Issue #100, MOST POPULAR ONE 22 Responses »