GUEST EDITORIAL: The Key West Height Referendum

Teri-Johnston

This legislation is a proactive measure to protect our homes against flood waters.  Today, 85% of the City of Key West is in the regulated floodplain.  The majority of New Town and Mid Town homes are 2-3’ below floodplain.  Although a section of Old Town is in the  X- zone, over 50% of all Old Town properties lie 1-3’ below flood.  We collectively pay over $ 11,800,000 in annual flood premiums paid by 7,792 Key West flood policy holders.

Passage of this referendum provides an opportunity for a homeowner currently at or below flood to raise their home a maximum of 4’ out of the floodplain.  This will not create “high rises” in Key West and is certainly not a “developers dream”.  This is not an opportunity to build more floors on current homes; it is an opportunity to raise your current floor joist system out of flood waters.  The 40’ cap was instituted to assure that we maintain our height characteristics.   Homes in the HARC district must obtain HARC approval to raise their “below base flood elevation” homes.  This adds another level of scrutiny assuring that the historic district will maintain our unique and historic character and property values.

I will tell you what changes the character of a Community however!  It is losing over 500 Key West families during the 2 years post-Wilma.  It is families who no longer qualify for mortgages. Continue reading

A Note from Roger Cousineau, Candidate for Mosquito Control Board District 2

Roger CoisineauI am Roger Cousineau, and I am running to be your Mosquito Control District Commissioner in District 2. I’m a 20 year resident of the Keys. I have a BA in English, served in the US Army, am a former school teacher, an active real estate agent for the past 18 years, and a volunteer with Hospice/VNA of the Florida Keys. As a hobby I manage several honeybee hives. I’m proud and happy to call the Florida Keys my home!

The Florida Keys Mosquito Control District (FKMCD) has a rich and checkered history. In a period of 15 years Mosquito Control (MC) moved from a reactionary force simply dumping toxins of unknown utility into the environment to a 21st Century science- / evidence-based operation that we rely on today. MC has become a model for mosquito control districts in the US and beyond. We should all be proud. Continue reading

NEW MEMBERS JOIN ANNE MCKEE ARTIST’S FUND BOARD OF DIRECTORS

The Anne McKee Artist’s Fund Board of Directors welcomed four new Board members at their September meeting.  The new members are:  Sculptor Craig Berube-Grey; artist and owner of Dog Tired Studio, Sean P. Callahan; Mark Gambuzza, owner of Uva Gourmet Shoppe; and Interior Designer Stephanie Hellstrom, ASID.

President Joe Jackson said “We have four new members for this year, each bringing unique perspectives and strengths to the Board.  I already see strong  synergies with returning members and working together I believe that we can expect a great year!”

The Anne McKee Artist’s Fund art auction will be held on Sunday, February 8, 2015.  The art auction has become known for auctioning the works of artists ranging from renowned masters to emerging talents.  The annual auction raises money for project-based grants to Keys visual, literary and performing artists.  Founded by longtime Key West resident Anne McKee, the not-for-profit fund has awarded more than $196,000 since 1994.  For more information go to www.mckeefund.org.

Participants Sought For Key West Veteran’s Day Parade

Key West’s Veterans Day Parade organizers are looking for military units, veterans’ groups and all other units to march through the streets of Old Town Key West Tuesday, Nov. 11, at 4 p.m. to pay tribute to America’s veterans, past and present, during the city’s annual Veterans Day Parade.

The Veterans Day Parade will travel down Duval Street and everyone is welcome to come cheer on the marching units and pay tribute to service members past and present.

Organizations wishing to participate may register or get more information by contacting Sgt. 1st Class Adam Van Natta, (305) 293-5782, or email adam.n.vannatta.mil@mail.mil.

The Beach Boys at The Tennessee Williams Theatre November 7th

Photo Credit: David McClister

Photo Credit: David McClister

As The Beach Boys mark more than a half century of making music, the group continues to ride the crest of a wave unequalled in America’s musical history.  The Beach Boys have become synonymous with the California lifestyle and have become an American icon to fans around the world. The Beach Boys will pull into town to perform on November 7 at The Tennessee Williams Theatre in Key West, FL.  Continue reading

Monthly Artisan Market Kicks Off New Season

Nov 2 flyer

The much anticipated Key West Artisan Market will kick off a new season on Sunday, November 2nd from 10 am to 2 pm at the Restaurant Store parking lot.

The event gives residents and visitors alike a chance to shop fresh and local. The parking lot at 1111 Eaton is transformed into a showcase of art, photography and unique local handicrafts made exclusively in the Keys in one convenient location. There will be entertainment, demonstrations and sampling. Continue reading

The Importance of Background and Experience on the Mosquito Control Board

Phil-Goodman-headshotThe Mosquito Control Board (MCB) has a very important mission that affects many aspects of our lives in the Florida Keys. The life experiences of each board member are very important to our success.  Mosquito Control involves a broad range of disciplines from business, finance, accounting, administration, biology, entomology, chemistry, chemical engineering, diseases, flying, law, economy, environment, parliamentary procedures and more.  The MCB is not an advisory board but makes the final decisions that determine our success or failure.  The collective knowledge, vision and experience of that board guide the district in hopefully the right direction.  So we better know what we are doing.

The Board gives final approval of a $ 15,000,000 annual budget, offers guidance to the director, who is a scientist, and has total oversight of what is a highly technical organization.  Not everyone on the board needs, nor should they have, the same background.  To optimally function, their collective experiences should span a wide range of important and relevant disciplines and complement each other.  One of our current members is an attorney and one is a pilot.  Both of these backgrounds increase our scope.  My background as a businessman, developing and managing many budgets much larger than Mosquito Control, my knowledge of the chemistries and technologies we use combined with my knowledge of our local environmental needs also broaden our scope as a board. Continue reading

CONGRESSMAN GARCIA ANNOUNCES HURRICANE BILL COMPETITION WINNER

press release garcia

In honor of the anniversary of Superstorm Sandy, voting for Congressman Garcia’s Hurricane Bill competition has been closed and a winner has been named. The contest was launched in August, with the beginning of Hurricane Season, and encouraged constituents to submit ideas for hurricane related legislation, the best of which would be introduced in the 113th Congress by Representative Garcia.

“Evident through our history, hurricanes and other natural disasters have a significant impact on the lives of South Floridians” said Garcia. “It is critical that we remain proactive by implementing commonsense, meaningful policies that ensures all Americans are kept as aware, prepared, and protected as possible.” Continue reading

Dance Key West Returns to the Waterfront Playhouse

Dance+Key+West_0854_X5-3212458563-O

‘After These Messages’ November 7-8th

‘After these Messages’ will take you on an uplifting journey with two dancers as they deal with the pressures of conformity, pop culture and media while searching for a sense of connection in this age of technology. This full length, original Dance Key West (formerly KW Contemporary Dance Company) production features Kyla Piscopink, DKW Artistic Director, and Jordan Fife Hunt, ‘1969’, ‘Train in the Distance’.

Don’t miss this 3 performance production! Friday, November 7th, 8pm (opening reception party, 7pm). Saturday, November 8th, 8pm and Saturday matinee, 2pm.

As a local non-profit, DKW is committed to giving back to the community. A limited number of matinee tickets, free of charge, are available for community members who otherwise could not afford to attend. If you or your agency is interested, please email kwcontemporarydance@gmail.org to make a request.

Get your tickets now!!…and look forward to enjoying a night of beautiful, professional dance while supporting the local arts.

Tickets $ 20-25, at www.waterfrontplayhouse.org.

FLORIDA MAKING PROGRESS IN FIXING PROBLEMS THAT LED TO 2012 VOTING EXPERIENCE WOES

State improving accessibility at polling places, training of poll workers; should adopt online voter registration, expand opportunities to vote before Election Day

Common Cause report looks at 10 swing states’ records implementing recommendations of Presidential Commission on Election Administration

WASHINGTON, DC— As the 2014 election enters its final days, Florida is making progress in addressing the problems behind the long lines, clerical errors and misallocated resources that bedeviled the 2012 election, according to a new report from Common Cause. Continue reading

Love Lane Gang! They’re Just Plain Fun!

Love Lane Gang 20140713-01

Love Lane Gang 20140713-01

The Love Lane Gang is a homegrown band that charms both locals and visitors with their rollicking raucous ruckus. With an age range among the members of over thirty years, they bring a wide variety of experience and musical tastes to bear and appeal to music lovers of all ages. They’ve brought back skiffle and updated it for the present. It’s impossible to keep from smiling amidst their mirthful musical mayhem.

The emphasis is on ragtime and swing from the 1930s and 1940s, done in a refreshing new style that melds Hot Club gypsy jazz with island flourishes. Also, Dust Bowl ballads, old school country from Hank Williams and Dolly Parton, rockabilly and surf music classics and rarer gems, tunes from Sixties stars like The Beatles, The Kinks, and The Rolling Stones, and carefully chosen songs from current artists like Andrew Bird, Mason Jennings, and The White Stripes all fit in alongside original songs that sound like they could have come from any of those eras.

Offbeat instrumentation, including mandolin, fiddle, accordion, ukulele, washboard, and a kazoo horn section, added to familiar guitar, bass, and harmonica, creates a broad musical palette which they use to color their performances.

But you needn’t pay too much mind to all that serious musical analysis – they’re just plain fun!

They will be playing regular gigs at Saluté On The Beach Sundays at 5:30 PM and Sunset Pier Wednesdays at 5:30 PM.

Scheduled appearances:

Continue reading

Key West Art & Historical Society Museums Free for Monroe County Students

Low_Res_Custom_House_KWAHS-1

Seward Johnson’s larger-than-life rendition of Pierre Auguste Renoir’s Dance in the Country flanks the historic Custom House Museum. Photo: Todd Feit

When most people think of history, they don’t often look to the future. But that’s exactly what Key West Art & Historical Society, one of the Florida Keys’ oldest not-for-profits and steward to The Lighthouse Museum, Fort East Martello and Custom House Museum, has in mind.

With a mission to promote and preserve the island’s arts and historical and cultural heritage, they are turning their sights towards the students of Monroe County. By supporting children in grades K-12, they hope to empower these students to take ownership of their island community’s history to inspire the next generation of Hemingway’s, Mario Sanchez’s and Suzie dePoo’s.

One simple way they currently do this is by allowing all Monroe County students free admission to their Custom House,  Lighthouse Keepers and Quarters, and Fort East Martello museums.  Continue reading

Money is Available for a Top Notch Sewer System / Enough is Enough…

We are Monroe County. We are the people. Many of us have served the visitors, tourists and winter residents one way or another over the years. Without us there is nothing. We pay the taxes, we bring in the money. We are the reason the money is available for a top notch Central Sewer System. The money is not for other projects. How dare these arrogant people assume that a dozen or so should benefit and the rest of us pay the price as they break the law, break peoples spirits and destroy the environment and everything we have worked so hard for. It is time to get the people who don’t care about what we want out of here. It is time to get the people working on their own agenda out of here. Those of you who have payed attention have a good idea what is going on. Remember this when you vote. Enough is enough…………………….

Susan Marburger,

Summerland Key

New Modern Dance Classes at CoffeeMill Dance Studio Led By Cricket Desmarais

Cricket DeMarias
Cricket DeMarias

Cricket Desmarais

Starting November 4th on Tuesdays and Thursdays, CoffeeMill Dance Studio will offer Modern Dance for adults from 10:30am-12pm.

The six week program will be led by Cricket Desmarais, who also teaches yoga and is keenly interested in helping students experience movement in a way that aligns with their own particular bodies and impulses.

“While I think it’s important for students to learn technique, I think it’s equally important that they feel good while doing so,” says Desmarais. “We all have our own ways of experiencing time and space through movement.  I hope this class will be a way for students to explore that.” Continue reading

TUNATOONS: ISLAND OF BONES – PART THIRTEEN

Back in 1521 , Juan Ponce de Leon discovered the Island of Key West.  The island had been used as a communal graveyard by the Calusa Indians so he named the island Cayo Hueso (Island of Bones). Since that time this tiny island has produced so many interesting and crazy stories. This story is about Key West back in the 1970′s and 80′s, when smuggling was at it’s peak. The characters in (Island of Bones) are strictly fictional and do not represent any citizens of Key West !

                      Enjoy!   — Big Tuna

010-1

PART THIRTEEN of Island of Bones Series…  Continue reading

Text Campaign Supports Arts and History Education Programs For Key West

little girl painting

The Key West Art and Historical Society is asking the community to take a minute to text VOTE4 to 22333 and help promote and preserve our rich arts, historical and cultural heritage. Voting will remain open through 11:59 p.m. Monday Nov. 17. Winners will be announced December 2.

Ongoing since Monday [October 20], those with a cell phone can help bolster the future of arts and history for children of Key West– by submitting a single text. Continue reading

TUNATOONS: ISLAND OF BONES – PART TWELVE: A MISSION OF LOVE

Back in 1521 , Juan Ponce de Leon discovered the Island of Key West.  The island had been used as a communal graveyard by the Calusa Indians so he named the island Cayo Hueso (Island of Bones). Since that time this tiny island has produced so many interesting and crazy stories. This story is about Key West back in the 1970′s and 80′s, when smuggling was at it’s peak. The characters in (Island of Bones) are strictly fictional and do not represent any citizens of Key West !

                      Enjoy!   — Big Tuna

010-1

PART TWELVE of Island of Bones Series…  Continue reading

Googol Announces Latest Addition to Wearables, Googol Guns

Now that Googol has mastered hands-free driving they have announced their latest project, Googol Guns. As we drive, hands free, along the Googol Express Lane of the Los Angeles Freeway, Googol project manager Arney Eckley gesticulates with both hands as he explains the latest addition to Googol Wearables, Googol Guns. “Driverless cars have become so ubiquitous that we see the potential in many other areas where people habitually kill each other. Driverless cars may prevent up to 34,000 needless automobile-related deaths a year,” stated Eckley. After a brief interruption while the car ticketed itself for speeding, pled guilty and paid the fine using Googol Wallet, Eckley continued, “The only device besides the car that kills nearly as many people annually in the U.S. is the gun. Once these technologies are adopted the only challenge left for us will be to cure cancer and heart disease.” Eckely is particularly optimistic about the Googol Gun. “With guns, it is a lot more straightforward than cars,” asserts Eckely. “We simply program the Second Amendment, all pertinent Federal, State, and local laws, including “Stand Your Ground” laws into the cloud-based software and the gun knows what it can do. Updates will be available for free download as Appeals Court rulings and statutory and Constitutional changes naturally occur. Each software version will be named after a historic figure. Version 1.01.03 is tentatively designated as “Colt”. With existing face, voice and other recognition techniques as well as highly sophisticated threat-evaluation algorithms, the gun will know who to shoot and who not to shoot with much greater reliability than even the most highly trained gun owners. It will make a huge difference immediately. After all, most gun injuries and deaths are either self-inflicted or to immediate family members and friends. That’s where we have the greatest potential,” said Eckley. Continue reading

GUEST EDITORIAL: KEY WEST’S HEIGHT REFERENDUM; A FEW THINGS TO PONDER

heather carruthersThis month, I attended the Gulf Coast Caucus meeting of the National Association of Counties where we discussed how to grapple with the consequences of revisions to the National Flood Insurance Program. I also attended a regional climate change meeting and learned more about the impacts we are likely to see from rising sea levels.  My long-time involvement with the County and FIRM on these issues leads me to support the City’s referendum on making a limited exception to the height limit to allow homeowners to protect themselves from flood damage and exorbitant  flood insurance costs. It’s an important and prudent approach to flood plain management.

I’ve been disappointed to hear and read speculative and uninformed remarks in opposition to the referendum and would like to address some specific issues.

  1. There has been no substantiation of the cost of elevating a structure other than some speculation at an August City Commission meeting. In fact, I personally know of one property owner who has received a quote of approximately $ 50,000 to elevate a large home in the Meadows, and have heard of another who paid around $ 30,000 to elevate a small home in Bahama Village. (City staff is investigating prices.) Further, it is likely that these costs will come down as technology improves and there is demand for the service. Continue reading

“Trick or Treat?” – Saturday, October 25, from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM at Key West Tropical Forest & Botanical Garden

Children under 12 can celebrate a safe and fun Halloween far (enough) from the maddening crowd at the Key West Tropical Forest & Botanical Garden on College Road.  The 6th Annual ‘Screaming Green Halloween’  features separate costume competitions for ages 6-12 and those under 6, bounce house, games, candy, crafts, food and more  – spiced with a “green” theme.  Admission $ 5 a Child or $ 10 a Family; $ 5 for KWBGS member family. More at www.kwbgs.org; call (305) 296-1504 or email kwbgs@kwbgs.org.

Love Lane Gang! They’re Just Plain Fun!

Love Lane Gang 20140713-01

Love Lane Gang 20140713-01

The Love Lane Gang is a locals band that knocks the socks off tourists and locals alike. With an age range among the members of over thirty years, they bring a wide variety of experience and musical tastes to bear and appeal to music lovers of all ages. They’ve brought back skiffle and updated it for the present.

The emphasis is on ragtime and swing: classics from the 1930s and 1940s, done in a refreshing new style that incorporates the Hot Club approach with island flourishes. Dust Bowl ballads, old school country from Hank Williams and Dolly Parton, rockabilly and surf music classics and little-known gems, tunes from Sixties stars like The Beatles, The Kinks, and The Rolling Stones, and carefully chosen songs from current artists like Andrew Bird, Mason Jennings, and The White Stripes all fit in alongside original songs that sound like they could have come from any of those eras.

Offbeat instrumentation, including mandolin, ukulele, accordion, fiddle, washboard, and a kazoo horn section, added to familiar guitar, bass, and harmonica, creates a broad musical palette which they use to color their performances.

But you needn’t pay too much mind to all that serious musical analysis – they’re just plain fun!

They will be playing their regular gigs at Saluté On The Beach Sunday at 5:30 PM and Sunset Pier Wednesdays at 5:30 PM.

Scheduled Appearances:

Continue reading

Florida Keys Council of the Arts Cultural Calendar Thursday, October 30 thru Wednesday, November 5

arts council

 Visit keysarts.com, Cultural Calendar for more listings and events throughout the Keys.

Key West Happenings

CALL TO ARTISTS

Key West 3rd Annual Chalk Fest

November 19-23. Local and visiting artists will use the promenade alongside the seawall at the Truman Waterfront as their canvas for intricate and colorful chalk art creations. Adult and student categories. Submission form available online at artinpublicplaceskw.com.

 

FESTIVALS and FUNDRAISERS

Thursday

Haunted Fort 5K, 5:30 PM

Ft. Zachary Taylor State Park. Register online hauntedfort5k.com

Benefiting KWHS Class of 2015. Continue reading

A Note From Phil Goodman, Incumbent Candidate for District 2 Commissioner Florida Keys Mosquito Control

Phil-Goodman-headshot

I am Phil Goodman, the current District 2 Commissioner on The Florida Keys Mosquito Control District Board.  I am running on my record as a fiscal conservative and placing the needs of the taxpayers of Monroe County as a top priority.  I am a 15 year resident of Cudjoe Key and live there with my wife of 43 years, Debby, and our daughter Carey.  I am a graduate chemist from North Carolina State University with an MBA degree from the University of North Carolina.  I am a Registered Parliamentarian with the National Association of Parliamentarians, a member of the Sanctuary Advisory Council, the USCG Auxiliary, the Advisory Board of Mote Marine Laboratory, and the Key West Military Affairs Committee.  During my three years on the Mosquito Control Board I have been pro-active in informing Monroe County citizens about the role of mosquito control in the Keys by giving presentations to various organizations throughout our County.  Continue reading

Participants Sought For Key West Veteran’s Day Parade

Key West’s Veterans Day Parade organizers are looking for military units, veterans’ groups and all other units to march through the streets of Old Town Key West Tuesday, Nov. 11, at 4 p.m. to pay tribute to America’s veterans, past and present, during the city’s annual Veterans Day Parade.

The Veterans Day Parade will travel down Duval Street and everyone is welcome to come cheer on the marching units and pay tribute to service members past and present.

Organizations wishing to participate may register or get more information by contacting Sgt. 1st Class Adam Van Natta, (305) 293-5782, or email adam.n.vannatta.mil@mail.mil.

Call to Artists for the 3rd Annual Key West Chalk Festival

Sarasota based artist Stig Lindow is shown putting finishing touches on his 2013 Key West Chalk Festival creation, a larger-than-life rendering of Key West Art & Historical Society mascot, Robert the Haunted Doll.  Photo by Carol Tedesco

Sarasota based artist Stig Lindow is shown putting finishing touches on his 2013 Key West Chalk Festival creation, a larger-than-life rendering of Key West Art & Historical Society mascot, Robert the Haunted Doll. Photo by Carol Tedesco

The Key West Art in Public Places Board announces a call to artists for the 3rd Annual Key West Chalk Festival.  November 19-23, local and visiting artists—from novices to world-class artists—will use the promenade alongside the seawall at the Truman Waterfront as their canvas for elaborate and colorful chalk art creations, with prizes awarded in student and adult categories. The AIPP Board is happy to announce that Denise Kowal, Founder and Chair of the Sarasota Chalk Festival is working with AIPP to help make this year’s Festival the best yet. Artists may register using the event submission form available online at artinpublicplaceskw.com. Ongoing information and updates are available on the Key West Chalk Festival Facebook page.

City of Key West Sightseeing Franchise Input

The Key West City Commission wants to hear your views and ideas regarding the franchise agreements between the city and sightseeing enterprises. These agreements will be reviewed by all commissioners from now until February. The commissioners want to hear from the community. Please click the following link for the online form. Or you can send your comments to 3132 Flagler Ave, Key West, Florida 33040

https://www.keywestcity.com/egov/apps/action/center.egov?view=form;page=1;id=3

 

Drone Technology as Tool of Terror at the Heart of Thriller From Florida Author

drone games

Drone technology is making its presence known and is the focus of Joel Narlock’s “Drone Games,” which will be released on Oct. 14 and will be available in bookstores and from online retailers.

The benefits are evident, but what if drones were used for evil?

In “Drone Games,” it’s domestic terrorism as you’ve never seen it before. An al-Qaeda terror ​cell uses cutting-edge drone technology to circumvent post-9/11 airport security measures. Within hours, two commercial planes crash. The President faces an unthinkable decision: ground US aviation—and the economy—or keep flying and risk more deaths. Based on real-life technology, “Drone Games” is a fascinating fictional account of terrorism’s future. Continue reading

Vending Booths Available for Fantasy Fest Street Fair

Booth Spaces for Food Vendors and Artists & Craftspeople: Fantasy Fest has a few select Food Vendor booth spaces available at the festival’s spectacular Animated Dreams and Adventures Street Fair to be held Friday, October 24th, set-up at 10 am and running to 10 pm and Saturday, October 25th from 10 until Midnight.

Several excellent vending spaces are also available to artists and craftspeople for the Street Fair on Friday, October 24th.

Applications are available at the Fantasy Fest website, www.fantsyfest.com or by calling the Fantasy Fest office, 296-1817.

BOYS AND GIRLS CLUB EVENT: Celebrate the 15th Annual Lights On Afterschool

Once again, The Southernmost & Big Pine Boys & Girls Clubs will celebrate Lights On Afterschool. On the afternoon of October 23rd from 4-7 PM in Bayview Park, children and their families will join in the carnival-like atmosphere of the 15th annual celebration. Face-painting, a giant bounce house with slides, cookie-decorating, games and prizes, popcorn, Centennial Bank’s hamburgers and hot dogs, with sodas and water, the Fire Department, the Wildlife Center, Bahama Village Music Program, US 1 radio with Steve Miller and much more. Continue reading

TAKE STOCK IN CHILDREN READY TO WELCOME 60 NEW SCHOLARS, BUT NEEDS MENTORS

Additional mentors are needed to match with incoming Take Stock in Children students prior to the contract signing ceremonies scheduled for the week of October 27th.

Take Stock in Children, the flagship college scholarship program of the Monroe County Education Foundation, is ready to accept nearly 60 new students into the program during the last week of October. “We have a fantastic group of qualified candidates who are ready to join Take Stock in Children and work towards achieving their goal of a college education. However, if we do not have a volunteer mentor to match with the student, we cannot accept the student into our program,” said Monroe County Education Foundation president Steve Pribramsky. Continue reading

New Portrait Painting Class by Janis Stevens

janice class

Key West artist Janis Stevens is now teaching portrait painting classes at FKCC every Tuesday at 6PM. The cost is $ 25 per class.
Take your oil, acrylic or pastel painting to a higher plane! We will explore the techniques and principles used by masters like Sargent, Zorn, and Fechin as we work from both photos and live models. Traditional techniques will be emphasized and individualized instruction provided. Beginners are welcome. Bring you own supplies. Canvas and pastel paper will be available at cost.

Janis Jo Stevens has been doing portraits for over 30 years and holds a Master’s degree in Art Education. www.artbyjanis.com for more information email: janisjoy@live.com or call Cathy Torres at FKCC Continuing Education to register. (305) 809-3250.

Monthly Artisan Market Kicks Off New Season

Nov 2 flyer

The much anticipated Key West Artisan Market will kick off a new season on Sunday, November 2nd from 10 am to 2 pm at the Restaurant Store parking lot.

The event gives residents and visitors alike a chance to shop fresh and local. The parking lot at 1111 Eaton is transformed into a showcase of art, photography and unique local handicrafts made exclusively in the Keys in one convenient location. There will be entertainment, demonstrations and sampling. Continue reading

ZOMBIE BIKE RIDE 2014

Sunday, October 19th, the Zombie Ride.  This year the event will begin at East Martello Tower, 3501 S Roosevelt Blvd.  Gathering will be from 2-4 p.m. at East Martello with face painting, etc. prior to the ride.
The ride will depart East Martello Tower at 6:00 p.m. going west on S Roosevelt Blvd to Bertha Street, north on Bertha Street to Atlantic Blvd.  west on Atlantic Blvd to Reynolds Street, north on Reynolds Street to South Street, west on South Street to Duval Street, north on Duval Street toward Front Street.  The 100, 200, and 300 blocks of Duval Street will be closed from 7:00 – 11:00 p.m. for these revelers.
There will still be access to the airport, if necessary, from Flagler Avenue onto S Roosevelt Blvd.
There will be running street closures during this event, but keep in mind that there will be stragglers along this route.

Keys Council of the Arts, Calendar October 16 – 22

goombay painting

Florida Keys Council of the Arts Cultural Calendar

Key West Happenings

Visit keysarts.com, Cultural Calendar for more listings & events throughout the Keys.

ARTIST RECEPTIONS / EXHIBITIONS

Thursday, October 16

Walk on White Gallery Walk, 6 PM

Exhibitions & receptions at galleries & shops along White St including Cindy Kulp New Works & Sally Binard at Harrison Gallery, Jack Houston, Island Inspirations at Stone Soup Gallery & hIPSO facto at the Coffee Mill Dance Studio on Pohalski Lane. Continue reading

The Beach Boys at The Tennessee Williams Theatre November 7th

Photo Credit: David McClister

Photo Credit: David McClister

As The Beach Boys mark more than a half century of making music, the group continues to ride the crest of a wave unequalled in America’s musical history.  The Beach Boys have become synonymous with the California lifestyle and have become an American icon to fans around the world. The Beach Boys will pull into town to perform on November 7 at The Tennessee Williams Theatre in Key West, FL.  Continue reading

Monthly SHOW & SHINE This Saturday October 19th

IMG_0729

The Florida Keys Southernmost Car Club (FKSCC) holds its monthly SHOW & SHINE- CAR SHOW this Saturday, October, 19th. Noon to 4pm in the evening when its cool. This event is for the lovers of classic, custom, and street rod automobiles of all years and makes. Fords, Chevys, trucks, sports cars, and chrome loaded motorcycles. If it cool and on wheels it will be here.

This fun evening event  at  at our great location at the Sugarloaf Lodge, MM17, on Sugarloaf Key. Prizes, 50/50 Free Ice Cream and cold beverages are available for purchase at the Tiki Bar. Bring the kids to enjoy these beautiful relics of the auto world. Vote for the Peoples Choice and that classic will take home a beautiful Plaque! This is a FREE event.

Club members are seeking new members for a full schedule of Club events. For more information contact Dick Moody 305- 942-1758.

Love Lane Gang Is Back For More Fun!!

Love Lane Gang 20140713-01

Love Lane Gang 20140713-01

The Love Lane Gang is a locals band that knocks the socks off tourists and locals alike. With an age range among the members of over thirty years, they bring a wide variety of experience and musical tastes to bear and appeal to music lovers of all ages. They’ve brought back skiffle and updated it for the present.

The emphasis is on ragtime and swing: classics from the 1930s and 1940s, done in a refreshing new style that incorporates the Hot Club approach with island flourishes. Dust Bowl ballads, old school country from Hank Williams and Dolly Parton, rockabilly and surf music classics and little-known gems, tunes from Sixties stars like The Beatles, The Kinks, and The Rolling Stones, and carefully chosen songs from current artists like Andrew Bird, Mason Jennings, and The White Stripes all fit in alongside original songs that sound like they could have come from any of those eras.

Offbeat instrumentation, including mandolin, ukulele, accordion, fiddle, washboard, and a kazoo horn section, added to familiar guitar, bass, and harmonica, creates a broad musical palette which they use to color their performances.

But you needn’t pay too much mind to all that serious musical analysis – they’re just plain fun!

They will be playing their regular gigs at Saluté On The Beach Sunday at 5:30 PM and Sunset Pier Wednesdays at 5:30 PM.

Scheduled Appearances:

Continue reading

The Eyes Have It

480px-Rubik's_cube.svg

What my mind sees when someone tries to explain quantum physics.
(Rubik’s Cube, CC BY-SA 3.0)

Remember the Rubik’s Cube? I have a theory that one of the reasons for the world’s ills today was the appearance of this nightmarish puzzle game in 1980. By 2009, over 350 million of these mental torture devices had been sold worldwide, which means that at least five percent of the global population has suffered serious psychological damage trying to match up the colors on the six sides of this “toy.” No doubt some buyers took a hammer to the thing in exasperation after failing to stumble on which of the 43 quintillion possible permutations “solved” the puzzle. Those who somehow restrained themselves from going Rubik in this manner passed the cubes on to others and others and so on ad infinitum. (Forgive them. They knew not what they did.) So theoretically, everyone on this planet could have come in contact with the RC at some point in their lives. I’m thinking the guys who started ISIS must have been among that cohort. Had they not, they would likely have maintained their sanity and the world would be a more tranquil, less deadly habitation. If this is what happened, we should definitely go all Fahrenheit 451 on these things to protect future generations. Continue reading

MARRIED: FLORIDA RECOGNIZES FIRST SAME-SEX COUPLE

rainbow knot marriage equality

Arlene Goldberg officially listed as wife of Carol Goldwasser on death certificate.

On the heels of a groundbreaking decision by the Supreme Court Monday that brought the freedom to marry to a majority of Americans, Florida also made history today as Arlene Goldberg and her late wife, Carol Goldwasser, officially became the first same-sex couple whose marriage is respected by the state. Continue reading

MOSQUITO CONTROL IS OUT OF CONTROL

Mosquito thumbnail

How do you know if you are getting value from a public utility or taxing district that is not regulated by a Public Service Commission?  Over the last few years that question has been asked by many regarding the Florida Keys Mosquito Control District (FKMCD).  The answer has always been that the FKMCD is the most advanced, effective and admired agency of its kind in the US!  The Management and some Board members have worked hard to convince us that they are both operationally and cost effective in performing their function.  It is generally difficult to prove that this is not the case; however, recently the free market has demonstrated just how expensive our service in the Florida Keys really is.  Continue reading

TUNATOONS: ISLAND OF BONES – PART ELEVEN: THE RESCUE

Back in 1521 , Juan Ponce de Leon discovered the Island of Key West.  The island had been used as a communal graveyard by the Calusa Indians so he named the island Cayo Hueso (Island of Bones). Since that time this tiny island has produced so many interesting and crazy stories. This story is about Key West back in the 1970′s and 80′s, when smuggling was at it’s peak. The characters in (Island of Bones) are strictly fictional and do not represent any citizens of Key West !

                      Enjoy!   — Big Tuna

010-1

PART ELEVEN of Island of Bones Series…  Continue reading

KEY WEST’S HEIGHT REFERENDUM: What’s It All About?

ref one

Youtube video above by Marc Averette, actual footage during Hurricane Wilma, October 24, 2005

On November 4th we will be voting on a referendum to allow homeowners to voluntarily raise the elevation of their homes above flood level in order to protect themselves and their property. We saw thousands of our homes flooded during Hurricane Wilma. One way to protect them and to lower our flood insurance premiums is to raise them above flood level. Our current height restriction of 35 feet (25 feet in some neighborhoods) would prohibit many of those homes from being raised. One example would be a two-story home in New Town. Continue reading

SOUTH FLORIDA SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA PRESENTS MOONLIGHT TREASURES


The South Florida Symphony Orchestra opens its season with the Tropical Beats Series Moonlight Treasures on Sunday, October 12, 2014 at 6:30 pm. The show will feature members of the Blue Door String Quartet and music by Dohnányi and Beethoven. Guests will be serenaded at the stunning La Te Da Restaurant located at 1125 Duval Street in Key West, FL.

“The South Florida Symphony Orchestra looks forward to treating our audience with a special evening of diverse music,” said Jacqueline Lorber, President and CEO of the South Florida Symphony Orchestra. Continue reading

Florida Keys Council of the Arts Cultural Calendar

arts council

Thursday, October 9 thru Wednesday, October 15

Visit keysarts.com, Cultural Calendar for more listings & events throughout the Keys.

Key West Happenings

ARTIST RECEPTIONS / EXHIBITIONS

Friday, October 10

Ronny Bailey, Visions of Key West Opening Reception, 6 PM. The Custom House Museum, 281 Front St. 295-6616. kwahs.org Bailey recreates city landmarks from locally salvaged materials to bring Old Key West to life.

Call to Artists – Craft vendors needed: Grace Lutheran Arts & Crafts Festival: November 15. Applications available at gracelutherankw@att.net or call 296-5161.

CLASSES & WORKSHOPS

Continue reading

FANTASY FEST 2014 KING AND QUEEN CANDIDATE EVENT SCHEDULE

2013 King & Queen King Stephen "Sunshine" Sunday & Queen Diane May

2013 King & Queen
King Stephen “Sunshine” Sunday & Queen Diane Ma

TROPICAL ESCAPADES AND TRANCES

WWW.AIDSHELP.CC

Ongoing Events:

Aqua Idol every Tuesday beginning August 26 – October 14, 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM – come support the candidates’ singers at Aqua Nightclub, 711 Duval Street.  75% of the monies collected will be split among the candidates and 25% would go to the campaign for which the winner is representing.  All monies will be donated to AIDS Help.  Free to attend!  All Candidates

Drag Queen Bingo at 801 Cabaret every Sunday from August 24 – October 12, 5:00 PM – Bingo at 801 Bourbon will divide all proceeds equally among the candidates.  All Candidates

All Candidate Events:

Continue reading

Conch Poet J.M. Varela Featured Oct. 5 at Blue Heaven

The wit and wisdom of popular Conch poet J.M. Varela takes the stage upstairs at Blue Heaven during the first Sunday monthly meeting of the Key West Poetry Guild on Oct. 5, beginning at 7 p.m. There is no admission fee and all are welcome.

Varela, author of the eclectic collection “Inside the Head of a Conch Women,” turns her sometimes jaundiced and often hilarious eye toward Key West history, customs and characters. The Guild looks forward to premiering some of her more recent work, written, she said, “as a wrap up of four days of Conch Reunions in August and a backlash for so many negative comments about raising children in Key West.” Continue reading

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troy thumbTHE BURGLAR, THE VIGILANTE, AND THE AXE OF JUSTICE

HELO THUMBEMERGENCY HELO FARE TO MIAMI:  $ 66,000 OR FREE?

 

wolkowski thumbOFFSHORE ISLAND MISH MASH: DAVID WOLKOWSKI:  ”GOD WASN’T ON DUTY ONE DAY”

 

busses-thumbMONROE COUNTY’S SECRET ROADMAP TO RESEGREGATION

 

Charles-Eimers-thumbOFFICER GARY LEE LOVETTE: “ME, I DROPPED LIKE A F***ING BOMB ON HIS HEAD… WE KILLED HIM”

Issue 76 Comic hood kkk thumbCOULD KEY WEST REACH THE FERGUSON FLASHPOINT?

Murphy thumnailTHE CASE OF MATTHEW MURPHY:  ANOTHER COVER-UP?

ZantaveousPOLICE POINT GUN AT SIX-YEAR-OLD BOY… AND MORE

 

tilly sunk thumbSUNKEN TUG TILLY COULD COST HALF-MILLION DOLLARS WHY WAS NOTHING DONE?

 

Peter-Pan thumbHOMELESS IN KEY WEST:  OLD MAN CHAPMAN, CAPTAIN TILLY, AND PETER PAN

TUNATOONS: ISLAND OF BONES – PART TEN: THE WITCH, THE DEVIL, AND THE DEEP BLUE SEA

Back in 1521 , Juan Ponce de Leon discovered the Island of Key West.  The island had been used as a communal graveyard by the Calusa Indians so he named the island Cayo Hueso (Island of Bones). Since that time this tiny island has produced so many interesting and crazy stories. This story is about Key West back in the 1970′s and 80′s, when smuggling was at it’s peak. The characters in (Island of Bones) are strictly fictional and do not represent any citizens of Key West !

                      Enjoy!   — Big Tuna

010-1

PART TEN of Island of Bones Series…  Continue reading

United Way President Margie Smith Resigns To Join Family Investment Firm

Untitled2

MARGIE SMITH, UNITED WAY PRESIDENT

Margie Smith, President of United Way of the Florida Keys since January 2010, will leave the agency at the end of this year to join her husband’s investment management firm in Islamorada.

Smith said she is excited about her new position but sad to leave a job that has been so much a part of her for almost five years. “As President of United Way I’ve had the unique opportunity to see a detailed picture of who we are as a county, and to interact with so many public service-minded individuals,” she said. “What we have here is special.  I’ve never felt so profoundly connected to a community as I have here in the Keys.” Continue reading

Reef Relief Hires New Education Coordinator

Reef Relief Education Coordinator Carly Shabo

Reef Relief recently hired a new Education Coordinator, Carly Shabo. She is a graduate of the College of Charelston with a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Marine Biology. As Reef Relief’s Education Coordinator, she will be organizing and presenting Reef Relief’s Discover Coral Reefs School Program to the Monroe County School District, also coordinating activities with the Key West High School Reef Relief Club and the summer’s Coral Camp for Kids Program.  She can also be seen staffing booths for Reef Relief at the many community events in the Lower Keys.

For more information about scheduling classroom visits or details about Coral Camp, contact Reef Relief at (305) 294-3100 or by email at reefrelief@gmail.com

Reef Relief is a nonprofit membership organization dedicated to improving and protecting our coral reef ecosystem. www.reefrelief.org

 

The Blue Paper #82

Issue #82 — Friday, October 3, 2014

AUDIT: County Administrator and Three County Commissioners / Misuse of County Purchasing Cards

canstockphoto18569341

Sometimes top County officials buy stolen County iphones.  And sometimes, after they get caught with the iphones and the scapegoat has gone off to jail, they take County issued credit cards and pay for personal items and entertainment and … well, they get caught again.

Let us explain.

Monroe County issues Purchasing Cards [P-Cards] to its top officials.  County Commissioners have them. County Administrator, Roman Gastesi has had 6 of them, sometimes three at a time with a total of $ 75,000 in credit capacity per month.  He also has a tendency to lose them. (more…)

Did You Miss Hometown PAC’s Final Candidate Forum? Watch it Now…

JOIN HOMETOWN PAC

Hometown! Mission Statement,

Policy and Goals

The mission of Hometown PAC is to promote free expression and exchange of political viewpoints and ideas. To accomplish these goals, Hometown will provide opportunities to educate its members and the voters in Key West and the surrounding environs through candidate lectures, forums, debates and other political discourse. These enabling actions will allow the voters to more fully consider the merits of the candidates and their proposals (i) to unite and give voice to residents, and (ii) to provide leadership and balance for economic growth while preserving the character of Key West. (more…)

The Shade of Ignorance

Shade of Ignorance

Remarkable laws exist so ‘We The People’ can detect and avoid abuse from our government officials. Unfortunately, too many media and political action groups have abdicated their watchdog roles, keeping themselves and the public in the shade of ignorance.

Florida’s 1967 Sunshine Law was a remarkable accomplishment, influencing the rest of the states and even the Federal government to follow our lead. Basically it requires government officials to open their meetings to the public and maintain open records. There is no common law or First Amendment guarantee of such rights—our Founding Fathers met in secret. It takes legislation like Florida’s to give us citizens the right to monitor how our politicians are deciding our fates. (more…)

GUEST COMMENTARY: Grinder Pump Attacks Get Personal

canstockphoto13821765

In a recent posting to the BigPineKey.com “Coconut Telegraph” an anonymous writer, using a fake e-mail, initiated a personal attack against a number of the activists opposed to the extensive use of grinder pumps in the Cudjoe Regional System.  The posting was lifted from a five page diatribe that Randy Bell, the Grinder Pump salesman, wrote earlier this year and sent to the FKAA.  The posting claimed Dump the Pumps was wasting money, that Walt Drabinski, who initiated the original lawsuits and has been very vocal had no engineering degree, was incompetent and that his economic and engineering analysis were lies. The writer also initiated a really low personal attack against a select few members of Dump the Pumps.  Walt Drabinski responds as follows: (more…)

NO AMERICAN BOOTS ON THE GROUND

canstockphoto3180227

With the advances of the Islamic State (ISIS) terrorist army in Iraq and Syria, America is once again reacting to the argument that we have to confront the bad guys over there or we will have to fight them over here. So our anti-war president has reluctantly authorized the use of American air strikes on ISIS positions. The new war is being supported by a few allies– including even a few Muslim nations. But the President has solemnly promised that there will be no American boots on the ground. Critics, including a number of military experts, quickly came out of the woodwork to point out that, while even “pinprick” air strikes might slow down the ISIS terrorists, somebody’s boots on the ground will be required to defeat them. I want to suggest here that, under the immediate circumstances, the “slow-down-ISIS” strategy may be the right strategy. (more…)

There Is Hope

canstockphoto3298958

When I read a report on Jefferson County Colorado high school students walking out in protest over proposed changes to the school’s history curriculum, I rejoiced. Anyone that pays attention to current events knows there is a concerted attack on common sense being administered by conservative ideologues and their corporate sponsors. The kids in Colorado have decided enough is enough. Their misguided school board members are proposing a flag waving revisionist history curriculum that emphasizes obedience to law, extolls the virtues of individual freedom and free enterprise, and at the same time dismisses social consciousness, past struggles and victories for civil rights as mere footnotes. Hardly worth mentioning…, and PLEASE disregard the fact that our nation was actually forged in the fires of revolution caused by lack of representation in our government. Yeah…that’d be great. (more…)

In Case You Have Nothing Better to Do
Are wedding-chests having fusion yet?(Raymond Queneau, Oulipo co-founder)

Are wedding-chests having fusion yet?
(Raymond Queneau, Oulipo co-founder)

While watching Vi Hart’s short film “Twelve Tones” (I recommend it if you have 30 minutes to spare), I was introduced to the word “Oulipo.” It denotes a group of French-speaking writers and mathematicians who thought it would be fun to create works using “constrained writing.” (All of my writing seems constrained. I’ve convinced myself, as they did apparently, that it is enjoyable in spite of this.) Although Oulipo sounds like something started by artistic types high on green fairy juice in the 1800s, it was actually founded in 1960 by Raymond Queneau and Francois Le Lionnais.

Constrained writing simply means there are certain arbitrary rules you must follow. If you want to “snowball,” for example, you have to write a poem where each line is one word and each successive word is one letter longer than the previous word. If you take the N+7 route, you replace every noun in your text with the seventh noun that comes after it in the dictionary (see caption above). Here are two examples of Oulipian creations: (more…)

WHY I BELIEVE IN CLIMATE CHANGE

because you never asked adThe fact that something so having to do with science has become such a political issue is not only surprising but significant. We live in a world where the issues proven or debunked by scientific investigation — rationally and patiently proven through an objective set of criteria and methodology — are generally accepted with some degree of Gospel-like adherence. The debate as to right and wrong, true or false, yes or no and what we should finally believe, is generally confined to the realm of professional science. If and when an issue is resolved within this community is almost always what the rest of us take our cues from. This does not mean science is always correct, but what makes professional science the most reliable oracle of truth is its ability to admit its mistakes. It understands the road to truth is pot holed with mistakes and is constantly trying to not just break new ground but to rectify and renew old “truths” that could be leading us astray. Like any other human endeavor, some element of ego might cloud an investigator’s assumptions, but ego gratification in professional science overwhelmingly rests on getting it right. That is why we laymen almost always trust it. (more…)

~~~~~~~~~~
MOST POPULAR

 

troy thumbTHE BURGLAR, THE VIGILANTE, AND THE AXE OF JUSTICE

HELO THUMBEMERGENCY HELO FARE TO MIAMI:  $ 66,000 OR FREE?

 

wolkowski thumbOFFSHORE ISLAND MISH MASH: DAVID WOLKOWSKI:  ”GOD WASN’T ON DUTY ONE DAY”

 

busses-thumbMONROE COUNTY’S SECRET ROADMAP TO RESEGREGATION

 

Charles-Eimers-thumbOFFICER GARY LEE LOVETTE: “ME, I DROPPED LIKE A F***ING BOMB ON HIS HEAD… WE KILLED HIM”

Issue 76 Comic hood kkk thumbCOULD KEY WEST REACH THE FERGUSON FLASHPOINT?

Murphy thumnailTHE CASE OF MATTHEW MURPHY:  ANOTHER COVER-UP?

ZantaveousPOLICE POINT GUN AT SIX-YEAR-OLD BOY… AND MORE

 

tilly sunk thumbSUNKEN TUG TILLY COULD COST HALF-MILLION DOLLARS WHY WAS NOTHING DONE?

 

Peter-Pan thumbHOMELESS IN KEY WEST:  OLD MAN CHAPMAN, CAPTAIN TILLY, AND PETER PAN

MOSQUITO CONTROL: In Response to FKMC Chairman Stephen Smith’s Editorial

The editorial by Stephen Smith, Commissioner, Chairman, Florida Keys Mosquito Control, was a fascinating read, and it was a perfect example of why we so desperately need term limits for all elected officials.   Mr. Smith, who has been a FKMC board member for 18 years missed the mark. He seems to forget that FKMCB has not only a duty to protect us from mosquitos, but it also is a steward of our tax dollars.

First, his mention of his 18 years on the Board was intended to lend gravitas to his opinion. Apparently Mr. Smith wants you to forget the corruption and the waste that plagued the Board during the first 15 years of his tenure. He would have you forget the egregious salaries and benefits collected by the Board during his tenure.  He would have you forget or ignore the criminality of certain staff members during his tenure and his full throated defense of at least one of those staff members. (more…)

Speaking For Monroe County’s Most Vulnerable Kids

Dear Editor,

The Key West Golf Course community of 350 members is screaming to the City of KW that they will do whatever it takes to stop the possible construction of a nearby homeless shelter. In a published letter the KWGC expressed that it would be reckless and dangerous to create the shelter near their KWGC residential community, a grade school, a college, hospital, senior residential home, and businesses. (An open letter to Mayor Cates and City of KW Commissioners—The Blue Paper  http://thebluepaper.com/article/an-open-letter-to-mayor-cates-and-city-of-key-west-commissioners/ )

Now, I want to speak for those in KW without voices that have been placed in a “reckless and dangerous” place for years. From 2008 to 2013, my wife and I were house parents for the two Department of Children and Families’ licensed foster homes in the Poinciana apartments of Key West that are sandwiched directly between two institutions for homeless adults. (See children shelters address @ 1621 Spalding Court, Key West, FL http://www.monroecounty-fl.gov/DocumentCenter/Home/View/1965 ) (more…)

A Challenge to Both Mr. Garcia and Mr. Curbelo…

To the Editor,

[Response to "Garcia, Curbelo Trade Insults Again" Key West Citizen, September 30, 2014 p1a]

Conspiracy of silence

At Monday’s Hometown pac political forum at FKCC Key West Citizen publisher and panelist Mr. Paul Clarin made the statement about halfway through the rehashed candidate questions that: “This is like Groundhog Day” (the movie). Ironically, Phil (the protagonist in the movie) was a weatherman caught in a time loop who gets to keep repeating the same sequence of events on Groundhog Day over and over – known only to him. Phil may represent the new American Dream – becoming an “insider.” (more…)

MISSING! PLEASE SHARE…

missing

TUNATOONS: ISLAND OF BONES – PART TEN: THE WITCH, THE DEVIL, AND THE DEEP BLUE SEA

Back in 1521 , Juan Ponce de Leon discovered the Island of Key West.  The island had been used as a communal graveyard by the Calusa Indians so he named the island Cayo Hueso (Island of Bones). Since that time this tiny island has produced so many interesting and crazy stories. This story is about Key West back in the 1970′s and 80′s, when smuggling was at it’s peak. The characters in (Island of Bones) are strictly fictional and do not represent any citizens of Key West !

                      Enjoy!   — Big Tuna

010-1

PART TEN of Island of Bones Series…  (more…)

Apply to be a Studio Artist!

2625

Jackhammers, saws, and drills: now that’s the sound of progress! We’re thrilled to (loudly) report, that we’ve secured our final contract with D.L. Porter Construction, and work is speeding along at 533 Eaton.

Back at the office, we’re cooking up all sorts of plans for the 2015 season, including Studio Artists to fill the nine work spaces on the building’s third floor. Most of the gang from the Armory will follow us to our new home, but we’ve held two studios open for new applications.

Intrigued? Click here for details! Our Studio Artists breathe life into The Studios 24/7, participate in monthly First Thursday Open Studios, and find themselves at the epicenter of Key West’s vibrant art scene.

Reef Relief Hires New Education Coordinator

Reef Relief Education Coordinator Carly Shabo

Reef Relief recently hired a new Education Coordinator, Carly Shabo. She is a graduate of the College of Charelston with a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Marine Biology. As Reef Relief’s Education Coordinator, she will be organizing and presenting Reef Relief’s Discover Coral Reefs School Program to the Monroe County School District, also coordinating activities with the Key West High School Reef Relief Club and the summer’s Coral Camp for Kids Program.  She can also be seen staffing booths for Reef Relief at the many community events in the Lower Keys.

For more information about scheduling classroom visits or details about Coral Camp, contact Reef Relief at (305) 294-3100 or by email at reefrelief@gmail.com

Reef Relief is a nonprofit membership organization dedicated to improving and protecting our coral reef ecosystem. www.reefrelief.org

 

Florida Keys Council of the Arts Cultural Calendar Thursday, October 30 thru Wednesday, November 5

arts council

 Visit keysarts.com, Cultural Calendar for more listings and events throughout the Keys.

Key West Happenings

CALL TO ARTISTS

Key West 3rd Annual Chalk Fest

November 19-23. Local and visiting artists will use the promenade alongside the seawall at the Truman Waterfront as their canvas for intricate and colorful chalk art creations. Adult and student categories. Submission form available online at artinpublicplaceskw.com.

 

FESTIVALS and FUNDRAISERS

Thursday

Haunted Fort 5K, 5:30 PM

Ft. Zachary Taylor State Park. Register online hauntedfort5k.com

Benefiting KWHS Class of 2015. (more…)

United Way President Margie Smith Resigns To Join Family Investment Firm
Untitled2

MARGIE SMITH, UNITED WAY PRESIDENT

Margie Smith, President of United Way of the Florida Keys since January 2010, will leave the agency at the end of this year to join her husband’s investment management firm in Islamorada.

Smith said she is excited about her new position but sad to leave a job that has been so much a part of her for almost five years. “As President of United Way I’ve had the unique opportunity to see a detailed picture of who we are as a county, and to interact with so many public service-minded individuals,” she said. “What we have here is special.  I’ve never felt so profoundly connected to a community as I have here in the Keys.” (more…)

Sgt. Pablo Rodriguez Recognized for 15 years of service to KWPD

pablo 15 yrs-1

Key West Police Chief Donie Lee recently recognized Sgt. Pablo Rodriguez for 15 years of service to the Department.

Rodriguez was hired in 1999 and started out patrolling the downtown and Bahama Village area. As a patrol officer, he made numerous drug arrests that led to convictions as well as the seizure of drugs and money. In 2002 Sgt. Rodriguez was transferred to the Special Operation Unit where he has been involved in the successful investigation of numerous covert and overt operations, making arrests of drug dealers and users. He was promoted to Sergeant in 2006.

FANTASY FEST 2014 KING AND QUEEN CANDIDATE EVENT SCHEDULE

TROPICAL ESCAPADES AND TRANCES

WWW.AIDSHELP.CC

Ongoing Events:

Aqua Idol every Tuesday beginning August 26 – October 14, 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM – come support the candidates’ singers at Aqua Nightclub, 711 Duval Street.  75% of the monies collected will be split among the candidates and 25% would go to the campaign for which the winner is representing.  All monies will be donated to AIDS Help.  Free to attend!  All Candidates

Drag Queen Bingo at 801 Cabaret every Sunday from August 24 – October 12, 5:00 PM – Bingo at 801 Bourbon will divide all proceeds equally among the candidates.  All Candidates

View Fantasy Fest King and Queen Candidates page

All Candidate Events:

(more…)

Conch Poet J.M. Varela Featured Oct. 5 at Blue Heaven

The wit and wisdom of popular Conch poet J.M. Varela takes the stage upstairs at Blue Heaven during the first Sunday monthly meeting of the Key West Poetry Guild on Oct. 5, beginning at 7 p.m. There is no admission fee and all are welcome.

Varela, author of the eclectic collection “Inside the Head of a Conch Women,” turns her sometimes jaundiced and often hilarious eye toward Key West history, customs and characters. The Guild looks forward to premiering some of her more recent work, written, she said, “as a wrap up of four days of Conch Reunions in August and a backlash for so many negative comments about raising children in Key West.” (more…)

ZONTA ABC 5K WALK KICK-OFF PARTY, OCTOBER 9

Pier House ABC Flyer 2014 FINAL

Help Support the CoffeeMill Dance Studio! / Third Annual Benefit Sunday October 12th

facbookcover2014

CONTENT DISCLAIMER

The expressed opinions, informational content and links displayed on http://thebluepaper.com pages do not necessarily reflect a position or policy of Blue Pimpernel LLC, Key West The Newspaper [The Blue Paper], its affiliates, or advertisers. No official endorsement by Blue Pimpernel LLC, Key West The Newspaper [The Blue Paper], its affiliates, or advertisers of the viewpoints expressed on http://thebluepaper.com pages should be inferred.

In Case You Have Nothing Better to Do

Raymond Queneau in his later years
Are wedding-chests having fusion yet?(Raymond Queneau, Oulipo co-founder)

Are wedding-chests having fusion yet?
(Raymond Queneau, Oulipo co-founder)

While watching Vi Hart’s short film “Twelve Tones” (I recommend it if you have 30 minutes to spare), I was introduced to the word “Oulipo.” It denotes a group of French-speaking writers and mathematicians who thought it would be fun to create works using “constrained writing.” (All of my writing seems constrained. I’ve convinced myself, as they did apparently, that it is enjoyable in spite of this.) Although Oulipo sounds like something started by artistic types high on green fairy juice in the 1800s, it was actually founded in 1960 by Raymond Queneau and Francois Le Lionnais.

Constrained writing simply means there are certain arbitrary rules you must follow. If you want to “snowball,” for example, you have to write a poem where each line is one word and each successive word is one letter longer than the previous word. If you take the N+7 route, you replace every noun in your text with the seventh noun that comes after it in the dictionary (see caption above). Here are two examples of Oulipian creations: Continue reading

Did You Miss Hometown PAC’s Final Candidate Forum? Watch it Now…

JOIN HOMETOWN PAC

Hometown! Mission Statement,

Policy and Goals

The mission of Hometown PAC is to promote free expression and exchange of political viewpoints and ideas. To accomplish these goals, Hometown will provide opportunities to educate its members and the voters in Key West and the surrounding environs through candidate lectures, forums, debates and other political discourse. These enabling actions will allow the voters to more fully consider the merits of the candidates and their proposals (i) to unite and give voice to residents, and (ii) to provide leadership and balance for economic growth while preserving the character of Key West. Continue reading

Speaking For Monroe County’s Most Vulnerable Kids

Dear Editor,

The Key West Golf Course community of 350 members is screaming to the City of KW that they will do whatever it takes to stop the possible construction of a nearby homeless shelter. In a published letter the KWGC expressed that it would be reckless and dangerous to create the shelter near their KWGC residential community, a grade school, a college, hospital, senior residential home, and businesses. (An open letter to Mayor Cates and City of KW Commissioners—The Blue Paper  http://thebluepaper.com/article/an-open-letter-to-mayor-cates-and-city-of-key-west-commissioners/ )

Now, I want to speak for those in KW without voices that have been placed in a “reckless and dangerous” place for years. From 2008 to 2013, my wife and I were house parents for the two Department of Children and Families’ licensed foster homes in the Poinciana apartments of Key West that are sandwiched directly between two institutions for homeless adults. (See children shelters address @ 1621 Spalding Court, Key West, FL http://www.monroecounty-fl.gov/DocumentCenter/Home/View/1965 ) Continue reading

FANTASY FEST 2014 KING AND QUEEN CANDIDATE EVENT SCHEDULE

TROPICAL ESCAPADES AND TRANCES

WWW.AIDSHELP.CC

Ongoing Events:

Aqua Idol every Tuesday beginning August 26 – October 14, 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM – come support the candidates’ singers at Aqua Nightclub, 711 Duval Street.  75% of the monies collected will be split among the candidates and 25% would go to the campaign for which the winner is representing.  All monies will be donated to AIDS Help.  Free to attend!  All Candidates

Drag Queen Bingo at 801 Cabaret every Sunday from August 24 – October 12, 5:00 PM – Bingo at 801 Bourbon will divide all proceeds equally among the candidates.  All Candidates

View Fantasy Fest King and Queen Candidates page

All Candidate Events:

Continue reading

A Challenge to Both Mr. Garcia and Mr. Curbelo…

To the Editor,

[Response to "Garcia, Curbelo Trade Insults Again" Key West Citizen, September 30, 2014 p1a]

Conspiracy of silence

At Monday’s Hometown pac political forum at FKCC Key West Citizen publisher and panelist Mr. Paul Clarin made the statement about halfway through the rehashed candidate questions that: “This is like Groundhog Day” (the movie). Ironically, Phil (the protagonist in the movie) was a weatherman caught in a time loop who gets to keep repeating the same sequence of events on Groundhog Day over and over – known only to him. Phil may represent the new American Dream – becoming an “insider.” Continue reading

MOSQUITO CONTROL: In Response to FKMC Chairman Stephen Smith’s Editorial

The editorial by Stephen Smith, Commissioner, Chairman, Florida Keys Mosquito Control, was a fascinating read, and it was a perfect example of why we so desperately need term limits for all elected officials.   Mr. Smith, who has been a FKMC board member for 18 years missed the mark. He seems to forget that FKMCB has not only a duty to protect us from mosquitos, but it also is a steward of our tax dollars.

First, his mention of his 18 years on the Board was intended to lend gravitas to his opinion. Apparently Mr. Smith wants you to forget the corruption and the waste that plagued the Board during the first 15 years of his tenure. He would have you forget the egregious salaries and benefits collected by the Board during his tenure.  He would have you forget or ignore the criminality of certain staff members during his tenure and his full throated defense of at least one of those staff members. Continue reading

Sgt. Pablo Rodriguez Recognized for 15 years of service to KWPD

pablo 15 yrs-1

Key West Police Chief Donie Lee recently recognized Sgt. Pablo Rodriguez for 15 years of service to the Department.

Rodriguez was hired in 1999 and started out patrolling the downtown and Bahama Village area. As a patrol officer, he made numerous drug arrests that led to convictions as well as the seizure of drugs and money. In 2002 Sgt. Rodriguez was transferred to the Special Operation Unit where he has been involved in the successful investigation of numerous covert and overt operations, making arrests of drug dealers and users. He was promoted to Sergeant in 2006.

TUNATOONS: ISLAND OF BONES – PART NINE: THE SHRIMP BOAT

002-5

Back in 1521 , Juan Ponce de Leon discovered the Island of Key West.  The island had been used as a communal graveyard by the Calusa Indians so he named the island Cayo Hueso (Island of Bones). Since that time this tiny island has produced so many interesting and crazy stories. This story is about Key West back in the 1970′s and 80′s, when smuggling was at it’s peak. The characters in (Island of Bones) are strictly fictional and do not represent any citizens of Key West !

                      Enjoy!   — Big Tuna

010-1

PART NINE of Island of Bones Series…  Continue reading

Crown Jules, This is Your Life; ‘Criss Cross’ Screens Oct. 8

Jules

In this year’s heating up and always hilarious race for the honor of being Fantasy Fest’s top royalty is a woman who first came to Key West in 1976 and had a brush, of sorts, with Hollywood (the one in California), the motion picture industry and Goldie Hawn.

Julie Hanson, born in Montgomery, Alabama, has worked mostly in restaurant management or hairdressing; in the late 1970s, after a stint at the Esquire Lounge, she “worked parttime at the Eden House, at Rich’s Cafe in the back,” she said. During this time a “writer, Scott Somer, was a guest at the Eden House for a few months. He became a friend to all of us” staffers, she remembered. Somer, it turned out, wrote a book based on Julie as the main character which eventually became a screenplay and finally the motion picture “Criss Cross.” Continue reading

4th Annual Habitat for Humanity’s Votes for Notes Musical Competition!

2014 Votes for notes web-banner

Mark your calendar for Habitat for Humanity’s 4th Annual Votes for Notes fundraiser! Local musician Ray West is lining up musical talent for yet another season of this ever-growing, three-night event. New musical talent and popular pros are invited to compete in order to win $ 250 cash and other prizes at the Grand Finale.  At three competitions audience members “vote” for their favorite performers by dropping cash donations in the Habitat vote bucket. Habitat tracks each performer’s total with the winner being announced at the Grand Finale.  Performers are invited to play any or all three nights. Past performers and winners include Phoenix, Moondogs, Billy Brown, The Doerfels, Paul “Shanty” Elliot, Shastina Chiles and so many more! Continue reading

HOMETOWN! PAC Final Forum is September 29th at 5:00 pm. Don’t Miss it!

hometown pac

A QUESTION AND ANSWER FORUM FOR

JUDICIAL CANDIDATES, GROUP 4; MONROE COUNTY COMMISSIONER, DISTRICT 2; MOSQUITO CONTROL BOARD, DISTRICTS 2 AND 5; AND CANDIDATES  FOR U.S. REPRESENTATIVE

WHERE:  LOBBY, TENNESSEE WILLIAMS FINE ARTS CENTER ON THE LEFT OF THE FLORIDA KEYS COMMUNITY COLLEGE CAMPUS STOCK ISLAND/KEY WEST

WHEN:  MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, FROM 5:00 – 7:30 PM

Continue reading

United Way ‘Stuffs the Bus’ with School Supplies

stuff the bus one

KEY LARGO SCHOOL RECEIVES A LOAD OF SCHOOL SUPPLIES FROM UNITED WAY VOLUNTEERS

United Way of the Florida Keys and its community partners want to make sure that Monroe County students have the supplies they need to succeed at their studies. That’s why they launched “Stuff the Bus,” an effort that produced truckloads of school supplies distributed last week to all 16 Monroe County public schools from Key Largo to Key West.

United Way volunteers showed up early at the Florida Keys Electric Cooperative facility in Marathon and loaded their vehicles with pens, pencils, paper, backpacks, binders, notebooks and other school supplies that had been collected in the “Stuff the Bus” drive. They were welcomed with open arms by the schools who received the items. The items were collected in “Stuff the Bus” boxes at businesses throughout the Keys and at several “Stuff the Bus” events, such as a party at the Hard Rock Café in Key West. About $ 15,000 worth of school supplies were distributed—almost double the amount that were distributed last year. Continue reading

LIGHTS! ACTION! CAMERA! FORT LAUDERDALE GAY AND LESBIAN FILM FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES UNPRECEDENTED WHIRLWIND OF FILMS AND EVENTS

fort lauderdale film festival

FLGLFF 2014 has expanded to seven days, includes more award-winning and diverse films, and features special events and parties that elevate this Festival to a new level, making it one of the most highly regarded LGBT film festivals in the nation.

FLGLFF takes place Friday, October 10 through Sunday, October 12 and resumes Thursday, October 16 through Sunday, October 19. Continue reading

Official Fantasy Fest® 2014 Artwork Announced

Poster Signing Party is Tuesday, October 21, at 5 pm

Fantasy Fest is pleased to announce the artwork chosen for the Official Fantasy Fest 2014 posters and t-shirts. Dozens of fantastic designs were submitted for the poster contest, and with an unrivaled selection of quality work, we are thrilled to announce two separate designs. The official poster will feature artwork submitted by Petar Stracenski and the t-shirt is designed by Rey Flores.

Stracenski is a Key West based artist who wanted to evoke the playfulness and mystery of Fantasy Fest while capturing elements characteristic of Key West. His minimalist design features an anime beauty with a few of Key West’s best known creatures. This poster is sure to look great in any home. Flores’s festive T-shirt design brings a cast of Key West flavored anime characters to the Southernmost Point and will make for a fantastic token of your Fantasy Fest adventure.

Congratulations to Petar and Rey, and a big thank you goes out to everyone who participated in this year’s Poster Contest.  To purchase your very own piece of Fantasy Fest history, or for additional information regarding the t-shirt and poster, contact Tom Sawyer’s Keyboard Advertising at 305-292-9315 or visit KeyBoardAdvertising.com.

EQUALITY FLORIDA ACTION PAC ENDORSES GEORGE SHELDON FOR ATTORNEY GENERAL

rainbow knot marriage equality

A Sharp contrast to Pam Bondi

Equality Florida Action PAC, the largest organization dedicated to electing pro-equality candidates in Florida, has endorsed George Sheldon for Attorney General.

“As Florida moves forward towards full equality, the next Attorney General will have a tremendous impact on the everyday lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in our state,” said Stratton Pollitzer, chair of the PAC. “Time and again, George Sheldon has proven that he is an advocate for basic human rights.” Continue reading

OIRF Supports Take Stock In Children

OIRF Take Stock

Kelly Friend, Old Island Restoration Foundation president, presents a $ 2500.00 check to Chuck Licis, program coordinator and Steve Pribramsky,  MCEF President of Take Stock in Children.

Since 1995, non-profit Take Stock in Children has provided a unique opportunity for deserving low-income students to escape the cycle of poverty through education.

OIRF grant funds are earned through the “Key West House Tours”, as well as memberships, donations and rental of the Oldest House gardens.  More information at www.oirf.org or call 305-294-9501.

Take Stock in Children Graduate Story: Paulina Rippere

Paula Rippere

Paula Rippere

The Monroe County Education Foundation (MCEF) is looking for volunteers to mentor students in its flagship program, Take Stock in Children. The MCEF has been helping Monroe County students achieve their goal of earning a degree, certificate, or credential since 1995. Here is an example of how mentoring a student for just 30 to 45 minutes a week can change a student’s life.

Paulina Rippere, Take Stock In Children Graduate, Monroe County 2003

My Take Stock in Children mentor at Key West High School was Helen Rowe. She was wonderful. She worked at the high school, so whenever I wanted to say hello or needed advice I could stop by her office and bounce ideas off of her. She was a great mentor and really helped me through the last couple of years of high school, making plans for college and the future. Continue reading

Key West Tropical Forest and Botanical Garden on Agenda for the 16th Annual Florida Keys Birding & Wildlife Festival

securedownload

Every year, the natural habitats of the KWTF&BG serve as a rest and refuel stop on the Autumnal migration route of birds returning from their summer roosts to the warmth of southern latitudes.   The Stock Island site and its staff also host birders and butterfly enthusiasts participating in the annual Birding and Wildlife Festival.  Scheduled are:

  • Friday, 26th, 10 – noon:  “Birds in the Forest” – a guided tour lead by Phillip Hughes of U.S. Fish and Wildlife.
  • Saturday, 27th, 1 – 3pm: “Butterflies in the Forest” – guided by Leigh Williams and Amy Grimm, butterfly enthusiasts and photographers.  Don’t forget your camera!
  • Saturday, 27th, 4:30 – 6pm:  “Birds in the Forest” – lead by Dr. Mark Whiteside, our renown Key West bird expert.
  • Saturday, 27th, 5:30 – 8pm: “Garden Evening Extravaganza”.  Reception at the Nature Chapel sponsored by Florida Keys Audubon Society and Key West Wildlife Center, featuring a special presentation by Peggy Coontz and feathered friends.

Visit www.kwbgs.org or keysbirdingfest.org for details; reservations required.

osprey

Anti-Smoking Campaign Doesn’t Make Sense

Dear Editor,

There seems to be something funny going on. The BOCC’s latest anti-smoking campaign doesn’t make sense to me. They claim that smoking causes 700+ sick days taken by county employees. How does smoking cause one to take a sick day? Also, although they keep ignoring this point, I’d bet that HANGOVERS take FAR more sick days than smoking cigarettes. Even the daily paper has edited that part of my citizen’s voice comment. This seems like a real legal quagmire that a few (or one) fanatic is really pushing this hard! Meanwhile, many very old issues are being ignored or back-shelved yet again. What is your take on this? Could it be a mere distraction while something else is going on?

John K Thomas

Key West, Florida

GUEST EDITORIAL: Mosquito Control Is An Intensive Battle

Mosquito

Let us be clear that Mosquito Control’s focus is to keep the mosquito population at a minimum which is labor intensive and necessary to protect the health of both our residents and our visitors.  Election season is upon us, and as Chairman and an 18 year elected commissioner at Florida keys Mosquito Control I would like to address some statements being made during this election season.

When I was elected to the FKMCD board there was a management change and a change of practices.  These changes we put into place to control larvae (as opposed to blanket spraying insecticide for adult mosquitos) thus dramatically reducing biting adult mosquito numbers.  In addition to the immediate health advantages, these changes resulted in saving County residents millions of tax dollars and reduced the use of adulticides (pesticides) by approximately 80%. Continue reading

The Blue Paper #81

Issue #81 — Friday, September 26, 2014

MONROE COUNTY’S SECRET ROADMAP TO RESEGREGATION

busses resized

It’s 7:30 am at the bus stop on Truman and Emma.  Eleven-year old Dimitri is about to climb into the morning school bus.  Like him, most of the kids sitting on the bus are African American.  Like them, he has a mere 40% probability of graduating from high school with his classmates; a stark difference from his white brothers, who have an 83% graduation rate [2013 data].

When we interviewed parents in Bahama Village about this disparity their responses raised an unexpected red flag.

“I didn’t want my son to go to HOB,” says the mother of a fifth grader, “He’s going to the white school.”

BP:  “The white school?  What do you mean?  What white school?” (more…)

GUEST EDITORIAL: Mosquito Control Is An Intensive Battle

Let us be clear that Mosquito Control’s focus is to keep the mosquito population at a minimum which is labor intensive and necessary to protect the health of both our residents and our visitors.  Election season is upon us, and as Chairman and an 18 year elected commissioner at Florida keys Mosquito Control I would like to address some statements being made during this election season.

When I was elected to the FKMCD board there was a management change and a change of practices.  These changes we put into place to control larvae (as opposed to blanket spraying insecticide for adult mosquitos) thus dramatically reducing biting adult mosquito numbers.  In addition to the immediate health advantages, these changes resulted in saving County residents millions of tax dollars and reduced the use of adulticides (pesticides) by approximately 80%. (more…)

AIN’T NO SUNSHINE…

canstockphoto10357042

Is George Neugent on the take?

First, George. Second, are the Keys corporate media in full defend-the-powerful mode? Third, are the 60% of voters for George in full denial?  Numbers two and three, I’m sure of. About George, what do you think?

George is certainly doing his best to make me believe he has used his votes on grinder pumps and the waste contract to feather his own nest.  I  reported  two  weeks  ago  about  the  mysterious  $ 150,000 increase in his bank account from $ 50,000 in August 2013 to $ 200,000 in June 2014.  In print, I asked anyone to explain how it happened.  I also sent respectful letters to George’s 16 biggest donors begging them to defend George.

I have not heard a word of defense or explanation from George or his supporters. Realize that public documents like the Financial Disclosure Form exist in order to expose suspicious irregularities like this to us, the public. This is exactly how we would find out about a financial kickback: a public servant who reports only his $ 40,000 government salary, and no gifts, somehow adds $ 150,000 to his bank account at a time when mega-million-dollar contracts have gotten his votes. (more…)

Records Management: The Black Hole in the School District

black hole canstockphotoI am sure that you all have read the press release from Coral Shores High School touting student accomplishments on the various Advance Placement (AP) tests.  Kudos to the Hurricanes for a job well done.

I noticed that neither Key West High School nor Marathon High School published or otherwise broadcast their AP results.  Curious, I requested the AP scores from each of the principals and they promptly replied.

As you might expect from the absence of public commentary, the results in Key West and Marathon were mixed and by no means a cluster of high achievement.  To the contrary, there were instances of certain classes where the results can only be described as poor, if not downright abysmal.  As often as not, fewer than 50% achieved the coveted “3”, which the principals refer to as “passing”.  To be fair, I did not read any class by class results for CSHS and it may be that they had their deficiencies as well. (more…)

IT’S ONLY ROCK ‘N ROLL

vintage radio canstockphoto

My daughter the lawyer calls me an “accidental academic.” After high school, there was no way that I could afford to go to college. So I joined the army and learned how to jump out of airplanes. After the army, I used the GI Bill to finance a degree in journalism and landed a job in public relations with a large corporation based in New York City. It wasn’t long, however, that I realized that an advanced degree would be helpful if I wanted to progress in my career. Also, in the field of public relations, mass persuasion is the name if the game– and I learned that there were entire programs of study being offered by some universities dealing with persuasion and mass communication. Social psychologists had been studying the effects of mass communication for years, but it was just then becoming an independent field of study. So I returned to graduate school to get a masters degree and, a few years later, I went back again and got a Ph.D in mass communication.

One of the ways I paid my tuition in graduate school was to teach one course every quarter– usually journalism 101. But one quarter, journalism school management asked me to teach a course called Mass Communication in Society. Okay, something different. As I reviewed the textbook, I saw that the content of the course was basically what I expected– the effects of various mass communication media. Newspapers, magazines, radio, television, etcetera, etcetera. And music. Music? Yep, music as a mass communication medium. (more…)

GREATNESS

THE ROOSEVELTS corrected

My wife and I just finished watching all seven, two-hour installments of Ken Burns’, documentary on Theodore, Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt. It left me feeling a bit melancholy, for watching any birth-to- death encapsulated in a few short hours will depress, but such Olympian greatness ending like ordinary mortals is an especially bitter pill to swallow. Ken Burns’ reputation for skillful use of black and white stills melded with music, sound effect and professional actors reciting the written word of the protagonists is mesmerizing and “The Roosevelts, An Intimate History” did not disappoint. (more…)

I DON’T LIKE AMERICAN FOOTBALL

because you never asked ad

 As I sit down to write this essay, we are one day out from Super Bowl XLVIII. To sit down and write about the Super Bowl has become much more an exercise in socio-cultural behavior than athletic endeavor. If my memory serves me, this would be the 5th time I’ve written about an event that has become perhaps the most galvanizing moment on the American calendar. With the exception of the essay “Super Bowl XLIII”, where I consciously decided to play the role of a sports writer, every other foray into the subject matter has been made with broader, more universal intentions. An event of this magnitude has philosophical meaning beyond The Game and sport itself. (more…)

Sheriff Rick Ramsay—Detectives, Deputies & Staff Under His Command—Deliver Commendable Result…

evidence cropped

Words are insufficient in describing the extraordinary brilliance demonstrated by Sheriff Rick Ramsay and his magnificent team of officers, when it comes to their apprehending the individual, who allegedly tortured and killed an innocent dog, because it snored.

Monroe County Sheriff’s detectives and investigators did not have much to go on in capturing their suspect. An exemplary effort, with an inordinate amount of work was necessary to gather the intelligence required to get their man. (more…)

FROM THE BACK ISSUES: MOST POPULAR

Charles-Eimers-thumbOFFICER GARY LEE LOVETTE: “ME, I DROPPED LIKE A F***ING BOMB ON HIS HEAD… WE KILLED HIM”

Issue 76 Comic hood kkk thumbCOULD KEY WEST REACH THE FERGUSON FLASHPOINT?

Murphy thumnailTHE CASE OF MATTHEW MURPHY:  ANOTHER COVER-UP?

ZantaveousPOLICE POINT GUN AT SIX-YEAR-OLD BOY… AND MORE

 

shh thumbTHE KEYS’ DIRTY LITTLE SECRET

tilly sunk thumbSUNKEN TUG TILLY COULD COST HALF-MILLION DOLLARS WHY WAS NOTHING DONE?

wisteria fire back thumbWISTERIA ISLAND FIRE: THE BACK STORY

Peter-Pan thumbHOMELESS IN KEY WEST:  OLD MAN CHAPMAN, CAPTAIN TILLY, AND PETER PAN

~~~~~~~~~~
An Open Letter to Mayor Cates and City of Key West Commissioners

Mayor Cates and Commissioners:

As members of the Key West Golf Course community, we want to express our extreme displeasure with the recent news that the City of Key West may proceed forward with construction of a homeless shelter at the Easter Seals location on College Road.

On August 17, 2014, on behalf of our more than 350 homeowners, the Key West Golf Club Homeowners Association (KWGC HOA) Board of Directors has passed a resolution to oppose the placement of a homeless facility at the Easter Seals location and to pursue litigation options in this matter. (more…)

Anti-Smoking Campaign Doesn’t Make Sense

Dear Editor,

There seems to be something funny going on. The BOCC’s latest anti-smoking campaign doesn’t make sense to me. They claim that smoking causes 700+ sick days taken by county employees. How does smoking cause one to take a sick day? Also, although they keep ignoring this point, I’d bet that HANGOVERS take FAR more sick days than smoking cigarettes. Even the daily paper has edited that part of my citizen’s voice comment. This seems like a real legal quagmire that a few (or one) fanatic is really pushing this hard! Meanwhile, many very old issues are being ignored or back-shelved yet again. What is your take on this? Could it be a mere distraction while something else is going on?

John K Thomas

Key West, Florida

TUNATOONS: ISLAND OF BONES – PART NINE: THE SHRIMP BOAT

Back in 1521 , Juan Ponce de Leon discovered the Island of Key West.  The island had been used as a communal graveyard by the Calusa Indians so he named the island Cayo Hueso (Island of Bones). Since that time this tiny island has produced so many interesting and crazy stories. This story is about Key West back in the 1970′s and 80′s, when smuggling was at it’s peak. The characters in (Island of Bones) are strictly fictional and do not represent any citizens of Key West !

                      Enjoy!   — Big Tuna

010-1

PART NINE of Island of Bones Series…  (more…)

HOMETOWN! PAC Final Forum is September 29th at 5:00 pm. Don’t Miss it!

hometown pac

A QUESTION AND ANSWER FORUM FOR

JUDICIAL CANDIDATES, GROUP 4; MONROE COUNTY COMMISSIONER, DISTRICT 2; MOSQUITO CONTROL BOARD, DISTRICTS 2 AND 5; AND CANDIDATES  FOR U.S. REPRESENTATIVE

WHERE:  LOBBY, TENNESSEE WILLIAMS FINE ARTS CENTER ON THE LEFT OF THE FLORIDA KEYS COMMUNITY COLLEGE CAMPUS STOCK ISLAND/KEY WEST

WHEN:  MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, FROM 5:00 – 7:30 PM

(more…)

EQUALITY FLORIDA ACTION PAC ENDORSES GEORGE SHELDON FOR ATTORNEY GENERAL

rainbow knot marriage equality

A Sharp contrast to Pam Bondi

Equality Florida Action PAC, the largest organization dedicated to electing pro-equality candidates in Florida, has endorsed George Sheldon for Attorney General.

“As Florida moves forward towards full equality, the next Attorney General will have a tremendous impact on the everyday lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in our state,” said Stratton Pollitzer, chair of the PAC. “Time and again, George Sheldon has proven that he is an advocate for basic human rights.” (more…)

OIRF Supports Take Stock In Children

OIRF Take Stock

Kelly Friend, Old Island Restoration Foundation president, presents a $ 2500.00 check to Chuck Licis, program coordinator and Steve Pribramsky,  MCEF President of Take Stock in Children.

Since 1995, non-profit Take Stock in Children has provided a unique opportunity for deserving low-income students to escape the cycle of poverty through education.

OIRF grant funds are earned through the “Key West House Tours”, as well as memberships, donations and rental of the Oldest House gardens.  More information at www.oirf.org or call 305-294-9501.

Take Stock in Children Graduate Story: Paulina Rippere
Paula Rippere

Paula Rippere

The Monroe County Education Foundation (MCEF) is looking for volunteers to mentor students in its flagship program, Take Stock in Children. The MCEF has been helping Monroe County students achieve their goal of earning a degree, certificate, or credential since 1995. Here is an example of how mentoring a student for just 30 to 45 minutes a week can change a student’s life.

Paulina Rippere, Take Stock In Children Graduate, Monroe County 2003

My Take Stock in Children mentor at Key West High School was Helen Rowe. She was wonderful. She worked at the high school, so whenever I wanted to say hello or needed advice I could stop by her office and bounce ideas off of her. She was a great mentor and really helped me through the last couple of years of high school, making plans for college and the future. (more…)

Conch Poet J.M. Varela Featured Oct. 5 at Blue Heaven

The wit and wisdom of popular Conch poet J.M. Varela takes the stage upstairs at Blue Heaven during the first Sunday monthly meeting of the Key West Poetry Guild on Oct. 5, beginning at 7 p.m. There is no admission fee and all are welcome.

Varela, author of the eclectic collection “Inside the Head of a Conch Women,” turns her sometimes jaundiced and often hilarious eye toward Key West history, customs and characters. The Guild looks forward to premiering some of her more recent work, written, she said, “as a wrap up of four days of Conch Reunions in August and a backlash for so many negative comments about raising children in Key West.” (more…)

Key West Tropical Forest and Botanical Garden on Agenda for the 16th Annual Florida Keys Birding & Wildlife Festival

securedownload

Every year, the natural habitats of the KWTF&BG serve as a rest and refuel stop on the Autumnal migration route of birds returning from their summer roosts to the warmth of southern latitudes.   The Stock Island site and its staff also host birders and butterfly enthusiasts participating in the annual Birding and Wildlife Festival.  Scheduled are:

  • Friday, 26th, 10 – noon:  “Birds in the Forest” – a guided tour lead by Phillip Hughes of U.S. Fish and Wildlife.
  • Saturday, 27th, 1 – 3pm: “Butterflies in the Forest” – guided by Leigh Williams and Amy Grimm, butterfly enthusiasts and photographers.  Don’t forget your camera!
  • Saturday, 27th, 4:30 – 6pm:  “Birds in the Forest” – lead by Dr. Mark Whiteside, our renown Key West bird expert.
  • Saturday, 27th, 5:30 – 8pm: “Garden Evening Extravaganza”.  Reception at the Nature Chapel sponsored by Florida Keys Audubon Society and Key West Wildlife Center, featuring a special presentation by Peggy Coontz and feathered friends.

Visit www.kwbgs.org or keysbirdingfest.org for details; reservations required.

osprey

Support Environmental Education For Monroe County Students: Have Dinner at Mangia Mangia

mangia mangia botanical gardenSupport Environmental Education F

4th Annual Habitat for Humanity’s Votes for Notes Musical Competition!

2014 Votes for notes web-banner

Mark your calendar for Habitat for Humanity’s 4th Annual Votes for Notes fundraiser! Local musician Ray West is lining up musical talent for yet another season of this ever-growing, three-night event. New musical talent and popular pros are invited to compete in order to win $ 250 cash and other prizes at the Grand Finale.  At three competitions audience members “vote” for their favorite performers by dropping cash donations in the Habitat vote bucket. Habitat tracks each performer’s total with the winner being announced at the Grand Finale.  Performers are invited to play any or all three nights. Past performers and winners include Phoenix, Moondogs, Billy Brown, The Doerfels, Paul “Shanty” Elliot, Shastina Chiles and so many more! (more…)

United Way ‘Stuffs the Bus’ with School Supplies
stuff the bus one

KEY LARGO SCHOOL RECEIVES A LOAD OF SCHOOL SUPPLIES FROM UNITED WAY VOLUNTEERS

United Way of the Florida Keys and its community partners want to make sure that Monroe County students have the supplies they need to succeed at their studies. That’s why they launched “Stuff the Bus,” an effort that produced truckloads of school supplies distributed last week to all 16 Monroe County public schools from Key Largo to Key West.

United Way volunteers showed up early at the Florida Keys Electric Cooperative facility in Marathon and loaded their vehicles with pens, pencils, paper, backpacks, binders, notebooks and other school supplies that had been collected in the “Stuff the Bus” drive. They were welcomed with open arms by the schools who received the items. The items were collected in “Stuff the Bus” boxes at businesses throughout the Keys and at several “Stuff the Bus” events, such as a party at the Hard Rock Café in Key West. About $ 15,000 worth of school supplies were distributed—almost double the amount that were distributed last year. (more…)

Florida Keys Council of the Arts Cultural Calendar Thursday, October 30 thru Wednesday, November 5

arts council

 Visit keysarts.com, Cultural Calendar for more listings and events throughout the Keys.

Key West Happenings

CALL TO ARTISTS

Key West 3rd Annual Chalk Fest

November 19-23. Local and visiting artists will use the promenade alongside the seawall at the Truman Waterfront as their canvas for intricate and colorful chalk art creations. Adult and student categories. Submission form available online at artinpublicplaceskw.com.

 

FESTIVALS and FUNDRAISERS

Thursday

Haunted Fort 5K, 5:30 PM

Ft. Zachary Taylor State Park. Register online hauntedfort5k.com

Benefiting KWHS Class of 2015. (more…)

Crown Jules, This is Your Life; ‘Criss Cross’ Screens Oct. 8

Jules

In this year’s heating up and always hilarious race for the honor of being Fantasy Fest’s top royalty is a woman who first came to Key West in 1976 and had a brush, of sorts, with Hollywood (the one in California), the motion picture industry and Goldie Hawn.

Julie Hanson, born in Montgomery, Alabama, has worked mostly in restaurant management or hairdressing; in the late 1970s, after a stint at the Esquire Lounge, she “worked parttime at the Eden House, at Rich’s Cafe in the back,” she said. During this time a “writer, Scott Somer, was a guest at the Eden House for a few months. He became a friend to all of us” staffers, she remembered. Somer, it turned out, wrote a book based on Julie as the main character which eventually became a screenplay and finally the motion picture “Criss Cross.” (more…)

Official Fantasy Fest® 2014 Artwork Announced

Poster Signing Party is Tuesday, October 21, at 5 pm

Fantasy Fest is pleased to announce the artwork chosen for the Official Fantasy Fest 2014 posters and t-shirts. Dozens of fantastic designs were submitted for the poster contest, and with an unrivaled selection of quality work, we are thrilled to announce two separate designs. The official poster will feature artwork submitted by Petar Stracenski and the t-shirt is designed by Rey Flores.

Stracenski is a Key West based artist who wanted to evoke the playfulness and mystery of Fantasy Fest while capturing elements characteristic of Key West. His minimalist design features an anime beauty with a few of Key West’s best known creatures. This poster is sure to look great in any home. Flores’s festive T-shirt design brings a cast of Key West flavored anime characters to the Southernmost Point and will make for a fantastic token of your Fantasy Fest adventure.

Congratulations to Petar and Rey, and a big thank you goes out to everyone who participated in this year’s Poster Contest.  To purchase your very own piece of Fantasy Fest history, or for additional information regarding the t-shirt and poster, contact Tom Sawyer’s Keyboard Advertising at 305-292-9315 or visit KeyBoardAdvertising.com.

LIGHTS! ACTION! CAMERA! FORT LAUDERDALE GAY AND LESBIAN FILM FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES UNPRECEDENTED WHIRLWIND OF FILMS AND EVENTS

fort lauderdale film festival

FLGLFF 2014 has expanded to seven days, includes more award-winning and diverse films, and features special events and parties that elevate this Festival to a new level, making it one of the most highly regarded LGBT film festivals in the nation.

FLGLFF takes place Friday, October 10 through Sunday, October 12 and resumes Thursday, October 16 through Sunday, October 19. (more…)

LEARN ABOUT THE BUTTERFLIES, SEPTEMBER 26th

learn about the butterflies

CONTENT DISCLAIMER

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An Open Letter to Mayor Cates and City of Key West Commissioners

Mayor Cates and Commissioners:

As members of the Key West Golf Course community, we want to express our extreme displeasure with the recent news that the City of Key West may proceed forward with construction of a homeless shelter at the Easter Seals location on College Road.

On August 17, 2014, on behalf of our more than 350 homeowners, the Key West Golf Club Homeowners Association (KWGC HOA) Board of Directors has passed a resolution to oppose the placement of a homeless facility at the Easter Seals location and to pursue litigation options in this matter. Continue reading

Conch Poet J.M. Varela Featured Oct. 5 at Blue Heaven

The wit and wisdom of popular Conch poet J.M. Varela takes the stage upstairs at Blue Heaven during the first Sunday monthly meeting of the Key West Poetry Guild on Oct. 5, beginning at 7 p.m. There is no admission fee and all are welcome.

Varela, author of the eclectic collection “Inside the Head of a Conch Women,” turns her sometimes jaundiced and often hilarious eye toward Key West history, customs and characters. The Guild looks forward to premiering some of her more recent work, written, she said, “as a wrap up of four days of Conch Reunions in August and a backlash for so many negative comments about raising children in Key West.” Continue reading

TAKE STOCK IN CHILDREN IN MONROE COUNTY EARNS PROGRAM EXCELLENCE AWARD

Monroe Excellence Award TSIC Conference 2014For the second year in a row, the Take Stock in Children program of Monroe County has earned a program excellence award for its outstanding mentor and college success coach services. “This would not have been possible without the dedication of our devoted volunteer mentors and our wonderful college success coaches who go above and beyond.” said program coordinator Chuck Licis.

Take Stock in Children is the flagship program of the Monroe County Education Foundation (MCEF). “Obviously, I’m thrilled and the board is delighted that we’ve been able to continue to win this award,” said Steve Pribramsky, president of the MCEF. “We don’t actually put a lot of emphasis on winning the award. Instead, we try to spend as much time as possible focusing on creating a better program year after year.”

Twenty-one Take Stock programs in Florida were recognized for their achievements last year. “We are proud to be in the top third of successful programs in the state. We are looking to build on our successes and continue to work with our college bound students to earn a degree, certificate, or other credentials.” Licis reiterated.

“This year, we hope to offer a TSIC college scholarship opportunity to at least forty new students in the county,” Licis continued, “but we need mentors. We must have a mentor for each student we enroll.” The MCEF encourages community members throughout the Keys to consider becoming a mentor for a Take Stock in Children scholar.

For more information about mentoring or the TSIC program, call 305-293-1546 or send an email to chuck.licis@keysschools.com.

Womankind Staff Honors Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month By Wearing Teal

Photo contributed by Nick Ruby  Womankind staff members dressed in teal in honor of Ovarian Cancer Awareness this month.  Gynecologist Dr. David Forest, PA-C Jennifer Whaley and NP Carolyn Daly provide patients with information about symptoms and treatment for this disease. L-r, back row: Sal Zappulla, Anisleidy Caridad, Cali Roberts, Kim Romano, Chase Hurst, Ginny Barr. L-r, front row: Anissah Tomas, Dianelis Borges, Jennifer Whaley, and Judith Cisneros.

Photo contributed by Nick Ruby
Womankind staff members dressed in teal in honor of Ovarian Cancer Awareness this month.
Gynecologist Dr. David Forest, PA-C Jennifer Whaley and NP Carolyn Daly provide patients with information about symptoms and treatment for this disease. L-r, back row: Sal Zappulla, Anisleidy Caridad, Cali Roberts, Kim Romano, Chase Hurst, Ginny Barr. L-r, front row: Anissah Tomas, Dianelis Borges, Jennifer Whaley, and Judith Cisneros.

Making Smart Medicare Choices for 2015

Ron Pollack

Ron Pollack

As we head into autumn, people with Medicare once again need to consider their options for next year. Even if you like the coverage you have now, you should spend at least a few minutes making sure it will still meet your needs next year. Here are some key questions that people with Medicare should ask.

When is the enrollment period?

Medicare’s open enrollment period runs, as usual, from October 15 to December 7. During this time, you can make changes in your Part D prescription drug plan or Medicare Advantage plan, or, if you don’t have one, you can select one for the first time. Continue reading

Where Are the Vampire Linguists?

640px-Burne-Jones-le-Vampire

Ha! You Vill Never Split an Infinitive Again!
(The Vampire, Philip Burne-Jones, 1897, US-PD)

If this is a question that’s never crossed your mind, don’t feel alone. It did come up, however, in a recently published Speculative Grammarian, “the premier scholarly journal featuring research in the neglected field [?] of satirical linguistics.” The current issue, for example, has articles on “Linguimericks, Etc.,” “Profuse Things You Didn’t Know You Didn’t Know” (this will go on my reading list obviously), and “It Was a Dark and Stormy Noun.”

But I digress. The article in question, written by F. Ang Bangah (oh the pun of it!), presents musings such as this one: Continue reading

Congressman Joe Garcia Introduces Student Loan Bill To Help College Affordability

press release garcia

WASHINGTON, DC – Yesterday [September 18, 2014], Congressman Joe Garcia introduced the Fairness in Student Loan Repayment Act to provide assistance to students repaying their federal student loans. Congressman Garcia, a strong proponent of college affordability, introduced this legislation as a way of helping students repay their debt with minimal struggle.  Students around the country take on thousands of dollars of student debt in an effort to acquire a quality higher education, spending decades paying off those loans. Last year, 71%  of college students who graduated had student loan debt, with an average of $ 29,400 per borrower. Continue reading

Science Friday’s Ira Flatow, NMSI’s Rene McCormick, and Former NASA Astronaut Sandy Magnus among Judges for Sally Ride-Deloitte Award for Teaching Innovation in STEM

Today, Sally Ride Science announced the list of judges that will evaluate submissions and select the winners for the Sally Ride-Deloitte Award for Teaching Innovation in STEM, a program open to all K-12 educators in the U.S. that recognizes innovations in instruction related to science, technology, engineering or math (STEM), as well as STEM careers.

Judges also Include Educators; Will Select Top Finishers in National Award Program that Recognizes Innovations in STEM Education; First Prize of More than $ 5,000. Continue reading

FANTASY FEST 2014 KING AND QUEEN CANDIDATE EVENT SCHEDULE

 

TROPICAL ESCAPADES AND TRANCES

WWW.AIDSHELP.CC

Ongoing Events:

Aqua Idol every Tuesday beginning August 26 – October 14, 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM – come support the candidates’ singers at Aqua Nightclub, 711 Duval Street.  75% of the monies collected will be split among the candidates and 25% would go to the campaign for which the winner is representing.  All monies will be donated to AIDS Help.  Free to attend!  All Candidates

Drag Queen Bingo at 801 Cabaret every Sunday from August 24 – October 12, 5:00 PM – Bingo at 801 Bourbon will divide all proceeds equally among the candidates.  All Candidates

All Candidate Events:

Continue reading

Questions About Recent Arrest of Florida Keys Children’s Shelter Employee

Dear Editor,

Why is it that the chief operating officer for  Florida Keys Children’s Shelter (FKCS) had to defer to their lawyer to answer important media questions regarding the recent story of one of their former employees arrested for “interference and custody” of two foster teens in protective shelter of FKCS, while he was employed with FKCS?  (“Report: Runaways used as prostitutes- Mentor at Florida Keys Children’s Shelter Arrest,” Sept. 11, 2014).

Couldn’t this attorney fee be used to sponsor back-to-school clothes, special event trips, and summer science camps?

Would Monroe County Sheriff Rick Ramsay who serves on the FKCS Board of Directors as Vice-Chairman and Board Development Chair be in conflict with this investigation?

Mike Sawyer

(Substitute teacher for a metro-Denver turn-around school district with 13% Caucasians. Over 1k published newspaper letters promoting health and humanity. Most recently the New York Daily News “Counting Sheep,” http://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/sept-7-pre-k-washington-football-team-fracking-article-1.1929802 )

Master of Divinity

B.S., Social Science

Denver, Colorado

TUNATOONS: ISLAND OF BONES – PART EIGHT: Bales and the Musician Go Fishin’

lawrence the lobster one

Back in 1521 , Juan Ponce de Leon discovered the Island of Key West.  The island had been used as a communal graveyard by the Calusa Indians so he named the island Cayo Hueso (Island of Bones). Since that time this tiny island has produced so many interesting and crazy stories. This story is about Key West back in the 1970′s and 80′s, when smuggling was at it’s peak. The characters in (Island of Bones) are strictly fictional and do not represent any citizens of Key West !

                      Enjoy!   — Big Tuna

010-1

PART EIGHT of Island of Bones Series…  Continue reading