Blue Paper Editor

Naja Girard

Jun 162017
 
Key West Police Capture Man with AR-style rifle ... Again

A 35-year old Key West man previously convicted for shooting an AR-style rifle on Truman Avenue in 2011 was arrested Monday morning. A tip from a concerned citizen led Key West police to the man, who was riding a scooter with an assault rifle, a pistol and two hundred rounds of ammo hidden in a guitar case and a military styled backpack.

 June 16, 2017  Posted by at 12:54 am Issue #223 No Responses »
Jun 162017
 
Families and Detectives Seek Help in Search for Missing Persons

Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes detectives are looking for several people who went missing over the past year in the Florida Keys. Families continue to hope and pray for information about Paul Murray, Albert Bosco, Robin Ford and Mike Wegrzyn. If you have any information regarding Paul Murray, Albert Bosco, or Robin Ford please contact Major Crimes Detective Bob Dosh at 305-289-2351 or 2410.  If you have information regarding Mike Wegrzyn please call Marathon Detective Barios at 305-289-2430. Detectives Still Trying To Find Missing Man One Year [continue reading…]

 June 16, 2017  Posted by at 12:52 am Issue #223, News, Public Notice No Responses »
Jun 162017
 
Affordable Housing: Navy Announces Movement Towards Reopening of Sigsbee Park Townhomes

On the affordable housing front: Some news came from the US Navy this week regarding the 166 units of vacant housing located on Sigsbee Island. A Request for Interest (RFI) was issued this week by Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southeast to seek information on “how developers could open the 166 vacant townhomes located on the Sigsbee Park Annex at Naval Air Station (NAS) Key West.”

 June 16, 2017  Posted by at 12:51 am Issue #223, News, Public Notice No Responses »
Jun 092017
 
June 15th Proclaimed 'Gilbert Baker Day'!

Key West City Commission Chambers were filled Tuesday as the community kicked off Pride Fest. And part of the celebration of this city’s solidarity against intolerance, Mayor Craig Cates proclaimed June 15th Gilbert Baker Day in honor of the creator of the rainbow flag. Baker created the flag in 1978 in honor of his friend Harvey Milk, the first openly gay man to be elected to public office in California. Milk, who was serving on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, was assassinated in 1978. [continue reading…]

 June 9, 2017  Posted by at 12:46 am Issue #222 No Responses »
Jun 052017
 
Fire in Marathon Engulfs Home, Boats, Lobster Traps

Traffic on US 1 was stopped for several hours in both directions early Monday as fire raged, engulfing a home, several boats and a large collection of lobster traps in a Marathon marina located between Porky’s Restaurant and the Seven Mile Grill, bayside near the Seven Mile Bridge. Sheriff’s deputies on patrol were the first to notice and respond to a fire.

 June 5, 2017  Posted by at 11:52 am News No Responses »
May 192017
 
Tattoo and a T-Shirt Lead Detectives to Suspect in Video Voyeurism [Coat Hook] Case

Warrant Issued For Video Voyeur Who Put Coat Hook Cameras In Women’s Bathrooms UPDATE: On May 18th, the man wanted on multiple counts of video voyeurism for putting coat hook cameras in women’s restrooms in the Florida Keys was arrested. Charles Michael Schmidt was arrested in Washington State on a traffic stop. He was booked into the Stevens County Jail and is being held on our charges of video voyeurism. He will be returned to Monroe County to face the charges. Original report: In a [continue reading…]

 May 19, 2017  Posted by at 12:58 am News 1 Response »
Apr 142017
 
Navy: Leases Require Balfour Beatty and Military Families to Work Together to Minimize Mold Growth in Sigsbee Housing

  Two weeks ago we featured a story, Is Key West Military Housing Making People Sick? [March 31, 2017] This week we share information provided by Trice Denny, Public Affairs Officer, Naval Air Station Key West, in response to our questions about whether Sigsbee housing is causing health issues for local military families.

Apr 142017
 
KWPD: Driver in Crash that Killed Delray Beach Officer Possibly DUI

Sadly, automobile accidents are a common occurrence these days in the Southernmost City. Last Saturday’s car/scooter accident on Truman and White was tragic, leaving a Delray Beach police officer dead and a second officer seriously injured, and according to the initial police report, released on Thursday, the driver of the car may have been under the influence of alcohol and marijuana.

 April 14, 2017  Posted by at 1:04 am Issue #214, News 2 Responses »
Mar 312017
 
Suspect in Birthday Stabbing Charged with Murder

This story was first published on March 28, 2017… At 4:20 p.m. today, 26 year old Heather Evans was charged with second degree murder and commission of a first degree felony offense with a weapon. Evans is accused of stabbing her fiancé, 33 year old Clifford Cease, at their home on Key Deer Boulevard, Big Pine Key on Sunday night. Cease died of his injuries on Monday at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami.

 March 31, 2017  Posted by at 12:48 am News No Responses »
Mar 242017
 
Message to the Future: Remember Cudjoe Regional Shallow Wells May Only Be Used for Back-up

by Naja Girard…. Dear Future Florida Keys Residents, In 2015, a small group of caring community members made a big difference. They fought to protect the beautiful Florida Keys offshore environment.  They were able to convince Monroe County to install and use a deep injection well instead of the shallow wells already approved for the disposal of wastewater effluent at the Cudjoe Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant.  This was no easy task, it took strong voices, thick skin, hours upon hours of research, not to mention some of their hard-earned [continue reading…]

 March 24, 2017  Posted by at 1:02 am Environment, Issue #211 1 Response »
Mar 172017
 
Chief Donie Lee Releases Review of Arrest of Homeless Man that Led to Officer Reprimand

This week the Blue Paper received a copy of KWPD’s investigation of the controversial arrest of a homeless man in front of the Key Plaza Publix grocery store on February 4th. The review by the Professional Standards Division resulted in a reprimand of Michael Chaustit, one of the officers involved. At the time, a legitimate story about use of force turned into an intense argument between Trump supporters and liberals on our Facebook page with the ‘blind yelling at the deaf’, about what the police should [continue reading…]

 March 17, 2017  Posted by at 1:00 am Issue #210, News 14 Responses »
Mar 032017
 
Bathroom-less Vacation Villas? The Hawk's Cay Inquiry Continues...

by Naja Girard……. Did a county planning manager, developer Pritam Singh, and a Hawk’s Cay HOA manager lie under oath to the Monroe County Planning Commissioners in 2014? They all swore that county records showed there were 12 unbuilt “leftover” hotel units at the Hawks Cay resort on Duck Key. “They are vested rights,” claimed Mr. Singh, who convinced the board to approve a transfer of those 12 hotel units to his new project at Oceanside marina. However, when The Blue Paper discovered that there were over 60 [continue reading…]

Mar 032017
 
M Ensemble Explores Family Dysfunction in ‘Brothers of the Dust’

Please join me in celebrating the second show of our inaugural season, at our new and magnificently constructed “Theatrical Complex” in Miami. If you can make it up to Key Largo, I’ll see to it that you’re taken to the show and returned back to Key Largo. Our “Opening Night” will include the performance, along with an after show cast party and buffet style dinner. As our guest, there will be no charge.  The date of this show is March 9, 2017, at 8PM. Our [continue reading…]

 March 3, 2017  Posted by at 12:21 am News No Responses »
Jan 272017
 
Oceanside Marina Update 

by Naja Girard……. Oceanside Marina has now officially opened its 175-room “Ocean’s Edge” resort to tourists from all over the world. But there’s still no satisfactory determination as to the legal status of the operation. Is it a “175-room hotel” created without the 175 transient building allocations (ROGOS) required by law or is it a collection of “attached” condos prohibited from engaging in vacation rentals in that particular zoning district (Mixed Use – MU)?

 January 27, 2017  Posted by at 12:54 am News 3 Responses »
Jan 272017
 
Deputies Need Help Locating Suspect Who Fled Hospital Before Deputies Were Able to Arrest Him

Sheriff’s deputies say they need help locating a suspect in a drug related incident that took place on Stock Island Saturday morning. Deputies Joshua Gordon, Jon Riggs and Sgt. Linda Mixon responded to 2nd Street and Maloney Avenue at 9:30 a.m. Saturday to reports of an unconscious man behind the wheel of a running vehicle. When they arrived, they found 40 year old William Stokes of Big Coppitt Key, passed out behind the wheel of a silver colored Toyota. The car was in gear and [continue reading…]

 January 27, 2017  Posted by at 12:42 am News 1 Response »
Jan 272017
 
UPDATE on Stolen Motorcycle Case...

UPDATE: Jan 24, 2017 After publication of photos and video clip on social media and in area publications, Detective Leon Bourcier received  five separate Crime Stoppers tips identifying the suspect in the photos and video as 28 year old Jesse Barnett of Marathon. Investigations and interviews with friends of Barnett put him in the vicinity of Grassy Key, where the motorcycle had been recovered, on the approximate date the motorcycle was stolen. Numerous people identified the person shown in the photos and video stealing the motorcycle as [continue reading…]

 January 27, 2017  Posted by at 12:40 am Issue #195, News No Responses »
Jan 272017
 
Friends of the library Book Sale Sat., Feb. 4, 2017  

Friends of the Key West Library will sponsor their February book sale on Saturday, Feb. 4, from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 in the Palm Garden next to the library, 700 Fleming Street. Many sale tables, with discards of Library books, CDs, and DVDs, all 4 for $1.00. You’ll find art, biography, cookbooks, history, hobbies, pet care, nature, geography, novels and non-fiction by your favorite authors, and many other categories. Children’s and coffee-table books are at low prices. Baked goods supplied by the Bahama Village Music [continue reading…]

 January 27, 2017  Posted by at 12:35 am Issue #203, Special Events No Responses »
Jan 202017
 
Oceanside Marina: It's Getting Worse...

by Naja Girard……. The cloud over the new Oceanside Marina hotel is getting darker. For months questions have been lingering about the appearance of a luxury 175-room hotel on Stock Island when only 17 hotel building rights (called “transient ROGO’s”) were on file for the project (instead of 175). Well, things just got worse. There is good reason, this week, to question whether 12 of those lone 17 transient (hotel) ROGO’s even existed or whether they were created out of thin air using false documents. It [continue reading…]

Jan 202017
 
Detective Looks for Help Identifying Suspects in Credit Card Fraud

 Sheriff’s Detective Rosa DiGiovanni is looking for help from the public to identify two female suspects in a credit card fraud case she is investigating. The victim reported the theft of her credit card on December 22nd. It had been taken from her purse, where she kept it behind the counter at the store where she works in Marathon. The card was subsequently used to make six different purchases for a total of $2,055 before the fraud was spotted and the card was cancelled.

 January 20, 2017  Posted by at 12:55 am News 1 Response »
Jan 202017
 
Feeding the Cats

Feeding the Cats by Malcolm Robert Willison –again!  I fed them an hour ago at 3 a.m.  And why not now? They like to think they’re special and that we love them. They complain to us midnight and midday just I suppose to have something to say: the little one at 5 a.m. twittering in his throat or running across our sleeping faces. Then the big one comes and chews on my poems –flung pillows make not much difference to him or the poems. But [continue reading…]

 January 20, 2017  Posted by at 12:46 am News 2 Responses »
Jan 162017
 
Men Working Underground in Key Largo Dead for Unknown Reasons

Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes Detectives are investigating the circumstances surrounding the deaths of three men underground in a neighborhood of Key Largo. The three men worked for Douglas N. Higgins, a construction company contracted to do the work by Monroe County. They were in an underground drainage pipe this morning when they collapsed.

 January 16, 2017  Posted by at 11:39 am ** BREAKING NEWS ** No Responses »
Jan 132017
 
Oceanside Marina / Time for an Independent Opinion?

This article was updated on Feb 5, 2017 Editorial by Naja Girard……. For the past several weeks The Blue Paper has been reporting on the controversial new hotel that just opened at Oceanside Marina on Stock Island. “Have you seen this article?” asked Commissioner Heather Carruthers in an email to the Planning Director, Mayte Santamaria, “Are the premises correct? Have we been hoodwinked? Or do they not have all the information? I think this warrants a response.” This week Ms. Santamaria, produced a 22-page document. [continue reading…]

Jan 132017
 
Hospital Management Company [CHS] Won't Break Contract Early or Share Control...(Not Yet)...

Lower Florida Keys Hospital District Board Chairman, James Padget, has shared the response to his December 15th letter to Community Health Systems Chief Executive Officer Wayne Smith. In his letter, Padget asked whether CHS would consider amending its agreement to allow the District more control over operations or possibly breaking its 30-year lease early. Extending the contract period was also mentioned in the Chairman’s letter.

 January 13, 2017  Posted by at 12:56 am News 2 Responses »
Dec 312016
 
Sheriff's Deputy Involved in Head-On Collision / Second in Two Days Near MM 16 on US 1

The second major head-on collision in two days at the 16 mile mark on Highway U.S. One involved a Monroe County Sheriff’s deputy who, after crawling out of his overturned patrol car, without missing a beat, ran over to assist passengers in the two other vehicles involved. Deputy Daniel Hill reported that he was northbound at 12:30 a.m., returning to his Marathon duty post after transporting a prisoner from Marathon to the Stock Island Detention Center. He said he saw an oncoming vehicle pull into his [continue reading…]

 December 31, 2016  Posted by at 9:32 am News 7 Responses »
Dec 162016
 
Judge Disqualifies Herself From Grinder Pump Case After Entering Order of Dismissal

by Naja Girard……. Circuit Judge Bonnie Helms disqualified herself last Friday, without explanation, from a case she had ordered dismissed just 2 days earlier. The case, a petition for declaratory judgment, was brought by Louise Delaney and Gail Kulikowsky, two Big Pine Key area property owners who are challenging Monroe County and FKAA over the agencies’ insistence that they sign over an easement for a portion of their yards and provide an expensive high-powered electrical connection so an onsite grinder sewage pump system can be installed [continue reading…]

 December 16, 2016  Posted by at 12:52 am Naja and Arnaud Girard, News 8 Responses »
Dec 162016
 
Everglades Restoration: Enough Reports / We Need Storage

CISRERP Releases Biennial Review on Progress of Everglades Restoration Palmetto Bay, Fla. – The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Committee on Independent Scientific Review of Everglades Restoration Progress (CISRERP), a non-governmental body charged with providing Congress with independent and objective scientific information, this week released its sixth biennial review on the progress of Everglades restoration. The 2016 findings underscored declarations by more than 200 scientists that critical water storage outlined in the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) is falling far behind what is [continue reading…]

 December 16, 2016  Posted by at 12:30 am Environment, Issue #197, Water World 1 Response »