Restoration Advisory Board to Hold Meeting July 30

Representatives from Naval Air Station Key West will meet with community members Wednesday, July 30, to discuss sites on the air station and former Navy properties in the Lower Keys that require environmental cleanup or monitoring.

The annual Restoration Advisory Board (RAB) meeting takes place in the meeting room of the Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center at 35 East Quay Road, Key West, at 6 p.m. and is open to the public.

The air station’s RAB mission is to establish a forum with the community, regulators and NAS Key West for the input and exchange of information in an open and interactive dialogue concerning the installation’s environmental program. Continue reading

Hot Fun in the Summertime – Florida Keys Become Certified in Permaculture Design!

hot fun flyer PI 2014Aug 30th – September 20th (weekends only, Wednesday evenings possible)

Want to learn more about Permaculture and how you can utilize Permaculture design ethics and principles in your life and community?

Permadigm Initiative will be teaching a 72 hour Permaculture Design Course with Keys Native, Ashley Moore and invited speakers – hosted by Earth & Sea Farm on Upper Sugarloaf Key. Through hands on and classroom experiences, students will gain knowledge and skills in a broad array of subjects such as organic gardening, integrated pest management, natural building, sustainable technology, traditional ecological knowledge, mycology, bee keeping, water harvesting and conservation, design processes, social resiliency and more. This extended course is for aspiring or experienced gardeners, farmers, community organizers, land planners, builders and any active, engaged citizen seeking positive change.

Permaculture is the design and creation of ecological human habitats and food production systems based on the successful patterns exhibited in nature. It is a design method that has been applied worldwide at every level, from homesteading and agriculture to community planning and national policy. Permaculture offers tangible solutions to the many pressing ecological issues of our time, such as how to sustainably meet the basic needs of food, energy and shelter, how to revitalize our communities and restore our watersheds. Permaculture explores both land use ethics and community building movements, merging for the harmonious integration of human dwellings, energy systems, microclimates, annual and perennial plants, animals, soils, and water into stable, productive and resilient communities.

The course price is $ 599 including a PDC Certificate. We hope you will join us to learn about how Permaculture can change your life and offer hope for our future.

For more information contact Ashley Moore at Permadigm@gmail.com or (504)699-5244 or visit www.permadigm.wordpress.com

Today’s World

canstockphoto9492686

There is so much darkness in my mind,

one never knows what one will find.

There is so much trouble in our life,

we live in a world so much strife.

*

Senseless wars for money to be made,

all at the expense of the lower pay grade.

Chemical weapons and IED’s,

soldiers returning with “soul disease” Continue reading

Senator Bullard Guest of Honor at LWV Social July 29th

State Senator Dwight Bullard

State Senator Dwight Bullard

State Senator Dwight Bullard will be guest of honor at the Lower Keys League of Women Voters‘ Fifth Tuesday social on July 29, 5 till 7 p.m. at the New York Pasta Garden in Duval Square.

Senator Bullard is a professional educator and serves as the ranking Democrat on the Senate Education Committee. In his tenure in the legislature, he has also been very active on issues of health care and justice.

LKLWV’s Fifth Tuesdays are an informal opportunity for league members and other interested constituents to get to know an elected official or community leader. “These gatherings have generated quite a bit of local interest and we know the Senator’s constituents down here in the Lower Keys will be thrilled to have the chance to hear his thoughts on the many issues affecting us, especially in this informal setting,“ said Joy Brown Taylor, the chapter’s founding vice president and current Voter Services Committee chair.

Duval Square is located at the corner of Duval and Virginia streets; there is customer parking off Simonton. The event will be held in the patio restaurant’s air conditioned party room. Appetizers will be served and a cash bar will be available throughout, Brown Taylor said, noting that Bullard would speak informally at about 5:30 p.m. and a question and answer session would follow.

For additional details, please phone her at (305) 587-7833.

Key West Mayoral Candidates Q&A Forum Scheduled for July 29th

The Key West Golf Course Homeowners Association will be hosting a Mayoral Candidates Question and Answer Forum on Tuesday, July 29th at 6:30 pm.  This event is open to all citizens of Key West.

The Forum will be held at the Key West Golf Course’s clubhouse.  There will be a cash bar available and the event is anticipated to last approximately 90 minutes.

Jenna Stauffer of WEYW-TV, the co-host and co-producer of “Good Morning Florida Keys with Rick and Jenna”, will act as moderator for the Forum.  She will field questions from the floor. All the Candidates will answer each question.  This will be a great way for the people of Key West to learn where each candidate stands on a particular issue and their views for the future of Key West.

All three candidates had been invited to participate.   Candidates Sloan Bashinsky and Margaret Romero have accepted the invitation to participate. The Homeowners Association was disappointed to learn that Mayor Cates declined the invitation, citing a conflict with “previous engagements”.

For further information please contact the Key West Golf Club HOA at info@kwgchoa.com.

Light The Way For Mr. Chapman At The Gecko! July 31st 5-8 pm

chap tricycle

Thursday, July 31st during happy hour 5-8p, the Lazy Gecko will be hosting a fundraiser for Key West’s Mr. Chapman.

Mr. Chapman has had some housing issues arise and he and his family need Key West’s support!

We will have a fundraising raffle & many places around town have donated silent auction items. Items include gift certificates from Hot Tin Roof – Key West, Blackfin Bistro, Antonia’s Restaurant, Vinos on Duval, Santiago’s Bodega Key West, Michael’s, Paradise Tattoo, a private chef dinner for up to 8 guests from Great Events, 2 night stay at Gateway Canyons in Colorado, wine from Flora Springs Winery in Napa, artwork & more is coming every day!

There will also be a Lighted bike parade at sundown with Mr. Chapman himself! 20 lighted fat-tire bikes will be raffled for use during the parade, donated by KeyWestBicycles.com. Anyone & everyone is welcome to bring their lights & join the parade!

For those that can’t make it, we have a GoFundMe set up.

3Wishes.com Fantasy Fest Parade Design Workshop Scheduled for August 18, 2014

Photo Fantasyfest.com

Photo Fantasyfest.com

Don’t have your dream bubble burst!  Come to the design workshop and get some good advice on how to create a fabulously over-the-top entry for this year’s 3Wishes.com Fantasy Fest Parade featuring “Animeted Dreams & Adventures”

The annual Design Workshop is scheduled for Monday, August 18, 5:30p.m., at the Pier House Resort and Caribbean Spa’s Grand Cayman Room.

This workshop is a chance for interested entrants, new and experienced, to make their dreams a reality, by getting resourceful tips from previous award winners on designing and building a creative entry that is both safe and dazzling.

Presenters will include legendary local float designer Rick Worth who continues to create awe-inspiring works of parade art. Multiple-award winner Sue D’Antonio who designed and mastered walking groups which will give any large float a run for it’s money. This is your chance to learn from the experts and get their advice on how to make your entry memorable and potentially award winning!

Download a parade application at FantasyFest.com. It includes the basic rules, regulations and the fees. This year’s parade will be Saturday, October 25, at 7 p.m. For more information about the free workshop, call the Fantasy Fest office at 305.296.1817 or email parade@marketsharecompany.com.

TUNATOONS: ISLAND OF BONES

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 ONE OF ISLAND OF BONES SERIES… Continue reading

Important Fantasy Fest® Street Fair Vendor Information

The organizers of  Fantasy Fest have announced that Early Selection of vendor spots as well as discounted fees are being offered to Key West restaurants and related businesses and festival Sponsors.  Applications for vendor space are available on the festival website, www.fantasyfest.com. Applications for early sign-up must indicate this preference and should be received by the festival office by August 1.

All other vendors wishing to participate should note the following: the Food Vendor Lottery will be held Tuesday, August 26, at the DoubleTree by Hilton Grand Key Resort. Arts & Crafts booths are available through the festival office. The selection process for the not-for-profit Liquor Booths will be announced in August..

For information and guidelines, please contact the Street Fair Coordinator Betsy Dietz at 296-1817 streetfair@marketsharecompany.com.

Greer Cornell Newest Member of Sunrise Rotary

DSCF1067

Key West Sunrise Rotary welcomed Greer Cornell, Casa Marina Resort human resources assistant director, as its 79th member on July 18. Membership committee chair Sue Fowler installed Cornell as her sponsor and spouse Charlie Mench presented her Rotary pin.

The Sunrise Rotary Club in the Conch Republic was founded in 1988 to become the first Rotary Club in the Lower Keys to allow women members. Sunrise Rotary meets on Fridays at 7 a.m. at Trumbo Palms on Trumbo Point.

VNA/Hospice Announces New Board Members

Richard Grusin, Board Chairman for Visiting Nurse Association and Hospice of the Florida Keys (VNA/Hospice), is proud to announce the appointment of Dr. Perry Arnold, Rick Freeburg and Stuart Kaufman to their Board of Directors.

“We are extremely energized by the leadership and commitment to serve that our new directors have made in support of this agency and its mission of care,” said Grusin.

Dr. Perry Arnold

ArnoldDr. Perry Arnold, who received his Bachelor of Arts from Baylor University and his Medical Doctorate from the University of Texas, served in the United States Public Health Service (USPHS) and the Department of Indian Health prior to completing his USPHS residency in Radiology.

Dr. Arnold practiced general and Interventional Radiology at Good Samaritan Hospital in Baltimore for 27 years before developing and operating the first free-standing interventional access center for dialysis patients in the United States.  The center focused on dialysis access care as well as training other physicians on how to successfully treat dialysis dysfunction.

Prior to retiring in Key West in 2005, Dr. Arnold was a part-time member of the Johns Hopkins Medical Institution faculty for 29 years and then worked part-time in New York for six years.  Dr. Arnold was a volunteer physician for VNA/Hospice in 2005 and 2006 and serves on the City of Key West’s Board of Art in Public Places. Continue reading

GUEST COLUMN: Mosquito Control in the Florida Keys

Mosquito

CaptainLyndaHeadSelfieI would be remiss as a candidate for the mosquito control board if I did not address the potential threat of the fresh water mosquito borne Chikungunya virus which has made its way to Florida. The Florida Health Dept. has reported that the two South Florida residents who had contracted the virus in-State, have recovered, and that there was “no broad risk” to the health of the general public. There have been no reported deaths from the illness despite the thousands who have contracted it in the Caribbean.

My understanding of this illness is that it is somewhat like Dengue but attacks the joints with inflammation and may be more painful but of shorter duration, recovery being about one week but possibly more. Once a person has Chikungunya they become immune to having it again.

Monroe County residents certainly remember Dengue and West Nile and several of my friends are affected with Malaria, gotten elsewhere, all illnesses from the fresh water mosquito.  I am making this distinction from the salt marsh mosquito because Key West, as an urban island, has a predominance of the fresh water type and mosquito control may at some point be spraying pesticides (adulticides) in addition to stepping up their use of larvicides to combat this new and potential threat from Chikungunya. Continue reading

Air Traffic Control Squadron Visits NAS Key West

Mobile ATC Training

Air National Guardsmen with the 245th and 259th Air Traffic Control Squadrons set up a mobile air traffic control tower and antennae Tuesday as part of their mobilization training exercises at Naval Air Station Key West’s Boca Chica Field. Ten air traffic control squadrons across the U.S. deploy and provide air traffic services for worldwide contingencies, such as wartime support and disaster recovery.               U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Brian Morales.

FIRM Announces 2014/2015 Board of Directors and Officers

image001

At their June 16, 2014 Board of Directors meeting, Fair Insurance Rates in Monroe (FIRM) announced their 2014/2015 Board of Directors and Board Officers.   Front Row Left : Theresa Faber,  Michele White, Mel Montagne (President),  Michael Kiraly; Second Row Left : Laura Burchard (Admin. Aide), Heather Carruthers (Vice President), Steve Russ and Third Row Left : Phil Wilson (Treasurer),  Lee Cummings,  Carol Schreck (Secretary).  Not shown:  John Barrett, Ava Bianchino, Kate DeLoach, Robert Gold, John Littriello and Joe Walsh.

FIRM is a county-wide grassroots organization whose mission it is to achieve residential, condominium and commercial property insurance rates in Monroe County that are neither excessive, discriminatory, nor unaffordable and ensure appropriate physical and financial protection for Keys property in order to sustain and support our communities.

The Blue Paper #72

Issue #72 — Friday, July 25, 2014

Reenactment Points To Asphyxiation

“Your safe word is “no” and if you can’t talk, move your arms.” The woman lies down on the beach resting on her stomach, hands behind her back.  To be clear, we’re not shooting a bondage movie.  This is South Beach, at the end of Duval Street, where 61-year-old Charles Eimers died last Thanksgiving Day while being arrested by Key West police officers. The woman on the sand is Naja Girard of The Blue Paper.  We were trying to understand, through a reenactment, the most troubling part of the tragedy:  the cause of death itself.

Medical Examiner E. Hunt Scheuerman’s autopsy report shows no physical evidence that can directly establish the cause of Eimers’ death. However, circumstantial evidence led him to rule out asphyxiation.

This is what he wrote:

“FDLE’s investigation concluded that his face was not forced into the sand, but rather, as he struggled, his face moved back and forth across the sand. Audio recordings from the event revealed that Mr. Eimers repeatedly said “No.” Such verbalization would not have been possible if he had been smothering in the sand.” (more…)

THE EIMERS CASE: Witness Claims Police Intimidation Tactics Will Not Deter Him

toy cop

“To be honest with you, I am really nervous about the whole thing.  I think they’re going to bother him or something,” says L, whose friend P was subpoenaed to testify before the Grand Jury in the Charles Eimers case last Wednesday.

While P was testifying, two squad cars were parked in front of his house, one blocking his driveway.  His friend, concerned about the strange coincidence, texted him a photo of the police cars.

On a recent occasion, officer Gary Lee Lovette, who was one of the officers who arrested Eimers last Thanksgiving, reportedly pushed P’s shopping cart violently out of his way at a Publix grocery store.

P had spoken with the Blue Paper after Eimers’ death revealing certain behavior and incriminating admissions by Key West police officer Lovette.  After P was finally interviewed by FDLE, he says Lovette’s attitude became threatening. (more…)

Amazing Showing of Support For Old Man Chapman!

chapman

“He had gray shoes.  That’s the only thing I could tell about him because he had a hood on his head and a noose around his neck.  When I saw what was going to happen, I almost fell off the tree.  I jumped, sorry I had even wanted to know what was happening on the other side of that wall, and I ran.  I ran home as fast as I could.”

For years now, sitting in his yard at the corner of Petronia and Chapman Lane, ‘Old Man Chapman’ has been telling the stories of a far side of Key West that few can remember.

“It was right over there, where the post office is,” says Chapman,  “There were no police or justice of the peace. They were lynching a negro. That’s the way it was in those days.”

Now that Chapman’s funky world of lighted tricycle, banana bunches and crowing chickens is being squeezed out by bank foreclosure, his stories seem more precious than ever. (more…)

Fouling Our Nest Part II: Let Us Spray
Workers digging trench for sewer line in front of the author’s house stand in chest-high salt water.

Workers digging trench for sewer line in front of the author’s house stand in chest-high salt water.

Anyone who has lived in the Keys for any length of time knows that the ground we live on is very porous. Made up of either coral or limestone rock, the surface of these islands resembles flat colanders, allowing everything that falls on it to eventually pass directly through the ground to the salt water below, a mere few feet.

When the contractors dug trenches for the sewers in Marathon, those cavities immediately filled with salt water that rose and fell with the tide. As a result, anything that is sprayed or poured onto the thin skin that separates us from the ocean below finds its way into that ocean.

So, for example, herbicides that anyone sprays throughout the Keys would not only kill weeds and other plants but also would eventually become part of the ecosystems in our oceans.

Who sprays in the Keys?

(more…)

GUEST COLUMN: Mosquito Control in the Florida Keys

CaptainLyndaHeadSelfieI would be remiss as a candidate for the mosquito control board if I did not address the potential threat of the fresh water mosquito borne Chikungunya virus which has made its way to Florida. The Florida Health Dept. has reported that the two South Florida residents who had contracted the virus in-State, have recovered, and that there was “no broad risk” to the health of the general public. There have been no reported deaths from the illness despite the thousands who have contracted it in the Caribbean.

My understanding of this illness is that it is somewhat like Dengue but attacks the joints with inflammation and may be more painful but of shorter duration, recovery being about one week but possibly more. Once a person has Chikungunya they become immune to having it again.

Monroe County residents certainly remember Dengue and West Nile and several of my friends are affected with Malaria, gotten elsewhere, all illnesses from the fresh water mosquito.  I am making this distinction from the salt marsh mosquito because Key West, as an urban island, has a predominance of the fresh water type and mosquito control may at some point be spraying pesticides (adulticides) in addition to stepping up their use of larvicides to combat this new and potential threat from Chikungunya. (more…)

THE BLUE PAPER AND BILL O’REILLY
Dennis Reeves Cooper with Bill O'Reilly in 2001

Dennis Reeves Cooper with Bill O’Reilly in 2001

Since I have been writing a weekly column for the new Blue Paper online, the editors have periodically accompanied my column with a photo of me appearing with Bill O’Reilly on his show on the Fox News Channel. A number of readers have asked me when and why I was invited to appear on the O’Reilly Factor– the highest rated cable news program. Longtime readers know the story, but new readers may not. So here it is again. Longtime readers please pardon– but we have a lot of new readers.

When I ran Key West The Newspaper, I often pushed the envelope when it came to controversy– as the new editors still do. Back in 2001, one of our prime targets was an out-of-control police department. Needless to say, this pissed off then-Police Chief Buz Dillon. And on June 22 of that year, he used an obscure state law to have me arrested and jailed for writing about an on-going internal investigation. Now while I was confident that those charges would never stand up, the immediate fact was that I was facing criminal charges and that I was going to have to find the money to hire a lawyer and defend myself in court. Beyond that, I was concerned about my reputation and the reputation of my newspaper. Rightly or wrongly, many people assume that anybody arrested and charged is probably guilty. (more…)

Electing Devious & Inept Bumblers–Destabilizes The World–As Children Die & Humanity Suffers…

leadership

Individual excellence and personal achievement does not require the endorsement or approval of others. It rises up deep within an individual and manifests itself in their ideas and behavior; stimulating, attracting and motivating others to live exceptional lives.

Authentic leadership is a quality that cannot be purchased nor  acquired at a college or university. It cannot be learned from a book nor bestowed upon an unworthy candidate. Its characteristics are not  clearly delineated nor readily defined. However, most of us are keenly aware when we are in the presence of an extraordinary individual. Their  tangential energy has been changing the course of human events since the inception of ‘Man’. (more…)

TUNATOONS: ISLAND OF BONES

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 ONE OF ISLAND OF BONES SERIES… (more…)

RECENT TOP STORIES

goombay-2010 THUMB

 

GOOMBAY:  ANOTHER BETRAYAL?

 

chap-tricycle1 thumbLAST DAY AT MR. CHAPMAN’S HOUSE

Issue 70 bahama village for top stories

 

 

NOT ALL FESTIVALS ARE CREATED EQUAL

 

Mosquito thumbnailFOULING OUR NEST PART I:  Mosquito Control and the Ecology of the Keys

 

 

 

~~~~~~~~~~
Ode to Sir Peter Anderson, Secretary General of the Conch Republic

joe allen

Peter came to Key West

On a full moon night,

His sole purpose

Was fun and delight

*

He led a group

Called the Conch Republic,

And I’m sure everyone

Is better for it

*

Our passports were as real

As Monopoly money,

Some folks traveled using them

And that’s pretty funny (more…)

Today’s World

canstockphoto9492686

There is so much darkness in my mind,

one never knows what one will find.

There is so much trouble in our life,

we live in a world so much strife.

*

Senseless wars for money to be made,

all at the expense of the lower pay grade.

Chemical weapons and IED’s,

soldiers returning with “soul disease” (more…)

Air Traffic Control Squadron Visits NAS Key West
Mobile ATC Training

Air National Guardsmen with the 245th and 259th Air Traffic Control Squadrons set up a mobile air traffic control tower and antennae Tuesday as part of their mobilization training exercises at Naval Air Station Key West’s Boca Chica Field. Ten air traffic control squadrons across the U.S. deploy and provide air traffic services for worldwide contingencies, such as wartime support and disaster recovery.               U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Brian Morales.

VNA/Hospice Announces New Board Members

Richard Grusin, Board Chairman for Visiting Nurse Association and Hospice of the Florida Keys (VNA/Hospice), is proud to announce the appointment of Dr. Perry Arnold, Rick Freeburg and Stuart Kaufman to their Board of Directors.

“We are extremely energized by the leadership and commitment to serve that our new directors have made in support of this agency and its mission of care,” said Grusin.

Dr. Perry Arnold

ArnoldDr. Perry Arnold, who received his Bachelor of Arts from Baylor University and his Medical Doctorate from the University of Texas, served in the United States Public Health Service (USPHS) and the Department of Indian Health prior to completing his USPHS residency in Radiology.

Dr. Arnold practiced general and Interventional Radiology at Good Samaritan Hospital in Baltimore for 27 years before developing and operating the first free-standing interventional access center for dialysis patients in the United States.  The center focused on dialysis access care as well as training other physicians on how to successfully treat dialysis dysfunction.

Prior to retiring in Key West in 2005, Dr. Arnold was a part-time member of the Johns Hopkins Medical Institution faculty for 29 years and then worked part-time in New York for six years.  Dr. Arnold was a volunteer physician for VNA/Hospice in 2005 and 2006 and serves on the City of Key West’s Board of Art in Public Places. (more…)

Greer Cornell Newest Member of Sunrise Rotary

DSCF1067

Key West Sunrise Rotary welcomed Greer Cornell, Casa Marina Resort human resources assistant director, as its 79th member on July 18. Membership committee chair Sue Fowler installed Cornell as her sponsor and spouse Charlie Mench presented her Rotary pin.

The Sunrise Rotary Club in the Conch Republic was founded in 1988 to become the first Rotary Club in the Lower Keys to allow women members. Sunrise Rotary meets on Fridays at 7 a.m. at Trumbo Palms on Trumbo Point.

FIRM Announces 2014/2015 Board of Directors and Officers

image001

At their June 16, 2014 Board of Directors meeting, Fair Insurance Rates in Monroe (FIRM) announced their 2014/2015 Board of Directors and Board Officers.   Front Row Left : Theresa Faber,  Michele White, Mel Montagne (President),  Michael Kiraly; Second Row Left : Laura Burchard (Admin. Aide), Heather Carruthers (Vice President), Steve Russ and Third Row Left : Phil Wilson (Treasurer),  Lee Cummings,  Carol Schreck (Secretary).  Not shown:  John Barrett, Ava Bianchino, Kate DeLoach, Robert Gold, John Littriello and Joe Walsh.

FIRM is a county-wide grassroots organization whose mission it is to achieve residential, condominium and commercial property insurance rates in Monroe County that are neither excessive, discriminatory, nor unaffordable and ensure appropriate physical and financial protection for Keys property in order to sustain and support our communities.

Key West Mayoral Candidates Q&A Forum Scheduled for July 29th

The Key West Golf Course Homeowners Association will be hosting a Mayoral Candidates Question and Answer Forum on Tuesday, July 29th at 6:30 pm.  This event is open to all citizens of Key West.

The Forum will be held at the Key West Golf Course’s clubhouse.  There will be a cash bar available and the event is anticipated to last approximately 90 minutes.

Jenna Stauffer of WEYW-TV, the co-host and co-producer of “Good Morning Florida Keys with Rick and Jenna”, will act as moderator for the Forum.  She will field questions from the floor. All the Candidates will answer each question.  This will be a great way for the people of Key West to learn where each candidate stands on a particular issue and their views for the future of Key West.

All three candidates had been invited to participate.   Candidates Sloan Bashinsky and Margaret Romero have accepted the invitation to participate. The Homeowners Association was disappointed to learn that Mayor Cates declined the invitation, citing a conflict with “previous engagements”.

For further information please contact the Key West Golf Club HOA at info@kwgchoa.com.

Senator Bullard Guest of Honor at LWV Social July 29th
State Senator Dwight Bullard

State Senator Dwight Bullard

State Senator Dwight Bullard will be guest of honor at the Lower Keys League of Women Voters‘ Fifth Tuesday social on July 29, 5 till 7 p.m. at the New York Pasta Garden in Duval Square.

Senator Bullard is a professional educator and serves as the ranking Democrat on the Senate Education Committee. In his tenure in the legislature, he has also been very active on issues of health care and justice.

LKLWV’s Fifth Tuesdays are an informal opportunity for league members and other interested constituents to get to know an elected official or community leader. “These gatherings have generated quite a bit of local interest and we know the Senator’s constituents down here in the Lower Keys will be thrilled to have the chance to hear his thoughts on the many issues affecting us, especially in this informal setting,“ said Joy Brown Taylor, the chapter’s founding vice president and current Voter Services Committee chair.

Duval Square is located at the corner of Duval and Virginia streets; there is customer parking off Simonton. The event will be held in the patio restaurant’s air conditioned party room. Appetizers will be served and a cash bar will be available throughout, Brown Taylor said, noting that Bullard would speak informally at about 5:30 p.m. and a question and answer session would follow.

For additional details, please phone her at (305) 587-7833.

Restoration Advisory Board to Hold Meeting July 30

Representatives from Naval Air Station Key West will meet with community members Wednesday, July 30, to discuss sites on the air station and former Navy properties in the Lower Keys that require environmental cleanup or monitoring.

The annual Restoration Advisory Board (RAB) meeting takes place in the meeting room of the Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center at 35 East Quay Road, Key West, at 6 p.m. and is open to the public.

The air station’s RAB mission is to establish a forum with the community, regulators and NAS Key West for the input and exchange of information in an open and interactive dialogue concerning the installation’s environmental program. (more…)

Light The Way For Mr. Chapman At The Gecko! July 31st 5-8 pm

chap tricycle

Thursday, July 31st during happy hour 5-8p, the Lazy Gecko will be hosting a fundraiser for Key West’s Mr. Chapman.

Mr. Chapman has had some housing issues arise and he and his family need Key West’s support!

We will have a fundraising raffle & many places around town have donated silent auction items. Items include gift certificates from Hot Tin Roof – Key West, Blackfin Bistro, Antonia’s Restaurant, Vinos on Duval, Santiago’s Bodega Key West, Michael’s, Paradise Tattoo, a private chef dinner for up to 8 guests from Great Events, 2 night stay at Gateway Canyons in Colorado, wine from Flora Springs Winery in Napa, artwork & more is coming every day!

There will also be a Lighted bike parade at sundown with Mr. Chapman himself! 20 lighted fat-tire bikes will be raffled for use during the parade, donated by KeyWestBicycles.com. Anyone & everyone is welcome to bring their lights & join the parade!

For those that can’t make it, we have a GoFundMe set up.

Important Fantasy Fest® Street Fair Vendor Information

The organizers of  Fantasy Fest have announced that Early Selection of vendor spots as well as discounted fees are being offered to Key West restaurants and related businesses and festival Sponsors.  Applications for vendor space are available on the festival website, www.fantasyfest.com. Applications for early sign-up must indicate this preference and should be received by the festival office by August 1.

All other vendors wishing to participate should note the following: the Food Vendor Lottery will be held Tuesday, August 26, at the DoubleTree by Hilton Grand Key Resort. Arts & Crafts booths are available through the festival office. The selection process for the not-for-profit Liquor Booths will be announced in August..

For information and guidelines, please contact the Street Fair Coordinator Betsy Dietz at 296-1817 streetfair@marketsharecompany.com.

STONE SOUP PARTY AND BIKE PARADE, Sunday August 17th

chapman

A Stone Soup party and bike parade to support our friend and neighbor, Mr. Chapman will be held on Sunday, August 17th.

The event will begin with a bike parade starting at Eaton Bikes on Simonton St. and ending at Cowboy Bills and Seadog Tavern. The Bike Parade will be open to anyone who wishes to participate and decorations are encouraged. Entry fee for the parade is $ 10 and all proceeds go to Mr. Chapman.

The Stone Soup Party will start at 3:00 and run until 8:30 at both Cowboy Bill’s and Seadog Tavern on Duval and Angela Streets. The event will include concerts on two stages, a pool tournament, bull riding, a giant  silent auction; raffles, and much more. To top off the day an incredible  “Stone Soup” dish prepared by Jenny Robinson of Seadog Tavern and consisting of delectable ingredients donated by our favorite restaurants will be served to all.

For more information or to donate silent auction items call Jeff Salzman at 305-896-0961 or Stacy Thomason at 305-433-1283.

If you can’t make it you can still help out by donating to ‘Light the Way for Mr. Chapman’:  GoFundMe

3Wishes.com Fantasy Fest Parade Design Workshop Scheduled for August 18, 2014
Photo Fantasyfest.com

Photo Fantasyfest.com

Don’t have your dream bubble burst!  Come to the design workshop and get some good advice on how to create a fabulously over-the-top entry for this year’s 3Wishes.com Fantasy Fest Parade featuring “Animeted Dreams & Adventures”

The annual Design Workshop is scheduled for Monday, August 18, 5:30p.m., at the Pier House Resort and Caribbean Spa’s Grand Cayman Room.

This workshop is a chance for interested entrants, new and experienced, to make their dreams a reality, by getting resourceful tips from previous award winners on designing and building a creative entry that is both safe and dazzling.

Presenters will include legendary local float designer Rick Worth who continues to create awe-inspiring works of parade art. Multiple-award winner Sue D’Antonio who designed and mastered walking groups which will give any large float a run for it’s money. This is your chance to learn from the experts and get their advice on how to make your entry memorable and potentially award winning!

Download a parade application at FantasyFest.com. It includes the basic rules, regulations and the fees. This year’s parade will be Saturday, October 25, at 7 p.m. For more information about the free workshop, call the Fantasy Fest office at 305.296.1817 or email parade@marketsharecompany.com.

Hot Fun in the Summertime – Florida Keys Become Certified in Permaculture Design!

hot fun flyer PI 2014Aug 30th – September 20th (weekends only, Wednesday evenings possible)

Want to learn more about Permaculture and how you can utilize Permaculture design ethics and principles in your life and community?

Permadigm Initiative will be teaching a 72 hour Permaculture Design Course with Keys Native, Ashley Moore and invited speakers – hosted by Earth & Sea Farm on Upper Sugarloaf Key. Through hands on and classroom experiences, students will gain knowledge and skills in a broad array of subjects such as organic gardening, integrated pest management, natural building, sustainable technology, traditional ecological knowledge, mycology, bee keeping, water harvesting and conservation, design processes, social resiliency and more. This extended course is for aspiring or experienced gardeners, farmers, community organizers, land planners, builders and any active, engaged citizen seeking positive change.

Permaculture is the design and creation of ecological human habitats and food production systems based on the successful patterns exhibited in nature. It is a design method that has been applied worldwide at every level, from homesteading and agriculture to community planning and national policy. Permaculture offers tangible solutions to the many pressing ecological issues of our time, such as how to sustainably meet the basic needs of food, energy and shelter, how to revitalize our communities and restore our watersheds. Permaculture explores both land use ethics and community building movements, merging for the harmonious integration of human dwellings, energy systems, microclimates, annual and perennial plants, animals, soils, and water into stable, productive and resilient communities.

The course price is $ 599 including a PDC Certificate. We hope you will join us to learn about how Permaculture can change your life and offer hope for our future.

For more information contact Ashley Moore at Permadigm@gmail.com or (504)699-5244 or visit www.permadigm.wordpress.com

Islamorada Author, PJ Royal, Celebrates New Book Release: Roostica Restaurant, Tuesday July 22, 2014

killing the bee

Join Author P.J. Royal in celebrating the release of her new novel, “Killing the Bee King” at Roostica Restuarant on Tuesday July 22, 2014 from 5-8 PM.

The new novel is a wonderful piece of historical fiction:

Against a backdrop of escalating tension, in an England mismanaged by inept leadership, Napoleon Bonaparte is silently massing battle-hardened troops along the French coast in anticipation of a cross-Channel invasion. While Ireland violently protests English oppression, an unlikely hero emerges in the form of an Irish bare-knuckle boxer by the name of Wolfe Trant. Recruited from the depths of Newgate Prison by William Pitt, an ex-prime minister who now operates a covert spy ring, Wolfe’s agenda is to infiltrate Napoleon’s inner circle to determine the intended point of invasion. Wolfe is forced to partner with the enigmatic leader of the French Resistance, a woman known only as Primrose, as the two are pursued through the streets of Paris by the sinister minister of police. Hounded by larger political and economic forces that have a vested interest in their failure, Wolfe and Primrose are forced to redefine their ideas of trust and loyalty as they race against time to defeat the strategically brilliant plans of Bonaparte.

Please join us for a brief reading and celebration of the release of this novel. If you are unable to make it, the book is available via Barnes & Noble and Amazon.com, but why not come out, meet the author and get your copy signed.

Key West Mayoral Candidates Q&A Forum Scheduled for July 29th

The Key West Golf Course Homeowners Association will be hosting a Mayoral Candidates Question and Answer Forum on Tuesday, July 29th at 6:30 pm.  This event is open to all citizens of Key West.

The Forum will be held at the Key West Golf Course’s clubhouse.  There will be a cash bar available and the event is anticipated to last approximately 90 minutes.

Jenna Stauffer of WEYW-TV, the co-host and co-producer of “Good Morning Florida Keys with Rick and Jenna”, will act as moderator for the Forum.  She will field questions from the floor. All the Candidates will answer each question.  This will be a great way for the people of Key West to learn where each candidate stands on a particular issue and their views for the future of Key West.

All three candidates have been invited to participate.   Candidates Sloan Bashinsky and Margaret Romero have accepted the invitation to participate. The Homeowners Association was disappointed to learn today that Mayor Cates declined the invitation, citing a conflict with “previous engagements”.

For further information please contact the Key West Golf Club HOA at info@kwgchoa.com.

Southernmost Car Club Holds Monthly Ice-Cream Social and Car Show, July 19th

IMG_0276

The Florida Keys Southernmost Car Club (FKSCC) holds its monthly ICE CREAM SOCIAL AND CAR SHOW this Saturday, July 19th. 5 to 8pm 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 People’s Choice and that classic will take home a beautiful Plaque! This is a FREE event. NEW Tshirt design is here.

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

Senator Bullard Guest of Honor at LWV Social July 29th

State Senator Dwight Bullard will be guest of honor at the Lower Keys League of Women Voters‘ Fifth Tuesday social on July 29, 5 till 7 p.m. at the New York Pasta Garden in Duval Square.

Senator Bullard is a professional educator and serves as the ranking Democrat on the Senate Education Committee. In his tenure in the legislature, he has also been very active on issues of health care and justice.

LKLWV’s Fifth Tuesdays are an informal opportunity for league members and other interested constituents to get to know an elected official or community leader. “These gatherings have generated quite a bit of local interest and we know the Senator’s constituents down here in the Lower Keys will be thrilled to have the chance to hear his thoughts on the many issues affecting us, especially in this informal setting,“ said Joy Brown Taylor, the chapter’s founding vice president and current Voter Services Committee chair.

Duval Square is located at the corner of Duval and Virginia streets; there is customer parking off Simonton. The event will be held in the patio restaurant’s air conditioned party room. Appetizers will be served and a cash bar will be available throughout, Brown Taylor said, noting that Bullard would speak informally at about 5:30 p.m. and a question and answer session would follow.

For additional details, please phone her at (305) 587-7833.

COMMUNITY SUPPORT NEEDED FOR FLORIDA FOOD BANKS

Public Service Announcements 2

Winn-Dixie launches donation program to help hungry children thrive in school

Local food banks, including Feeding South Florida, are preparing for the upcoming school year and the fight against childhood hunger. Winn-Dixie has launched the Summer Backpack Hunger Relief Program in all stores to help the one out of five children in Florida who don’t know from where their next meal will come. Customers are encouraged to donate at any store register July 16 through August 19 to help provide meals for healthy minds and bodies to thrive in the classroom. Every dollar donated will go directly to regional food banks to help fill backpacks with nutritious, fresh foods. Give a dollar. Help fill a backpack.

“As a community food provider, no issue touches the heart of our customers and associates more than childhood hunger,” said Rondel Hartwell, Winn-Dixie’s director of community involvement and charitable giving. “It’s our belief that no child should ever go hungry and that every child deserves nutritious meals and a healthy start to life.”

Added Hartwell, “the Winn-Dixie Summer Backpack Hunger Relief Program provides a quick and easy way for our communities to help give hungry children a nutritious meal.” Continue reading

Important Fantasy Fest® Street Fair Dates and Discount for Locals

The organizers of Fantasy Fest have announced the important dates for food and arts and crafts vendor booth sign-up for the 2014 Street Fair and Promenade, to be held on Friday, October 24 and Saturday, October 25.  Early selection of vendor spots as well as discounted fees are being offered to Key West restaurants and related businesses and festival Sponsors.  Applications for vendor space are available on the festival website, www.fantasyfest.com. Applications for early sign-up must indicate this preference and should be received by the festival office by August 1. Booth space will be assigned in early August according to the product the booth will be selling and availability of space.  Continue reading

Does Climate Make A Difference?

canstockphoto9051745

Over the past weekend, I binge-watched a TV drama series on Netflix. The story took place in Seattle. It was not about Seattle; it was about a murder mystery. But the outdoor scenes showed the city of Seattle and its climate. Now, I have never been to Seattle but I have always heard that it is cloudy and rainy there almost all the time. And sure enough, the TV presentation showed that. With few exceptions, it was raining or black-cloudy in every outdoor scene. I feel sure that it was not the intent of the producers to present the city in an unfavorable way and, as part of the plot, the actors were not particularly preoccupied with the weather. That is just the way it was. They were almost always walking or running or driving in the rain. Jeez, I kept thinking, how could anybody live in a place like that?! Indeed, when I Googled Seattle and weather, I learned that it does indeed rain a lot there and that the sun rarely shines– and that many residents suffer from depression and that there is a high suicide rate. Go figure. Continue reading

Leadership Monroe County Class XXIII Recruitment and Reception July 24 at the New Islamorada Resort

Leadership Monroe County invites the public to the next and last of three social receptions to introduce the program for the upcoming Class XXIII which begins in October and meet alumni and Board, Thursday, July 24, at The Islamorada Resort, 80001 Overseas Hwy, Islamorada, at 5:30-7:30. 

Applying Class members will learn about the 2014-15 sessions, and the scope, mission and benefits of becoming part of this county-wide program which seeks to build relationships for constructive alliances among Florida Keys leaders in the public and private sectors. Continue reading

Good Morning Florida Keys With Jenna Stauffer / Interview With Ms. Grace McKinnon

Grace Mckinnon

Grace McKinnon is interning with the Florida Keys Outreach Coaliton [FKOC] this summer as an AmeriCorps/VISTA volunteer through the National Coalition for the Homeless.  Formerly homeless herself, Grace is from Maryland and now a college student with double majors in social work and psychology.  She is serving at Peacock Supportive Living, an FKOC program providing housing and supportive services to 38-individuals living with serious mental illness. We’re sure you will enjoy meeting this remarkable young woman! Enjoy!

Click here for more WEYW 19′s Good Morning Florida Keys With Jenna Stauffer Continue reading

The Blue Paper #71

Issue #71 — Friday, July 18, 2014

Last Day At Chapman’s House

chap tricycle

Whether ‘Old Man Chapman’ will finally be swindled out of his house is no longer up for debate.  Last Monday a red 8” X 6” legal notice was taped to his door at 221 Petronia Street.  It read:  “Final Notice of Eviction” and directed the Monroe County Sheriff to remove any person from the premises on Tuesday.

“It’s tomorrow. Tuesday is tomorrow,” said Chapman on the phone,  “Where am I going to put my things?  My clothes?  My wife’s clothes?  Our grandson’s clothes?  What am I going to do?”  It was 9:30 am.  The beginning of a long day – which was going to involve Sheriff’s deputies, pro bono attorneys, a Judge, New York bankers, someone known as “Coconut Man,” and Mr. James Matthew Chapman.  Mr. Chapman, the one-man-lighted-parade, who has been photographed thousands of times by tourists as he rides his Christmas-tree-like tricycle, blasting soul music, up and down Duval Street. (more…)

Goombay: Another Betrayal?
Goombay Festival 2010, click for video

Bahama Village Goombay Festival 2010, click for youtube video

Conspiracy theories are running wild over the City Commission’s decision to give control of the African-Caribbean Goombay Festival to a group dominated by white businessmen.  “This decision was a slap in the face,” says Glenwood Lopez. He is Chairman of a group supported by eleven Bahama Village non-profit organizations that came together to reclaim the event.

“They took away the 6.6 acres and now it’s Goombay,” says David, a resident of Bahama Village.

Wardlow ballotOne belief is that the decision was somehow usurped during the Commission meeting and that the vote was actually a tie. In fact, the ballot does show that Commissioner Billy Wardlow actually cast his vote for the “Bahama Village Coalition.”  The only group referred to as a “Bahama Village coalition” during the July 1st Commission meeting was the group led by Mr. Glenwood Lopez. (more…)

Ruling Allows Same-Sex Marriage In The Keys!

canstockphoto17005598

Monroe County Circuit Judge Luis Garcia overturned the state’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage on Thursday after hearing a legal challenge in the lawsuit Huntsman v Heavilin on July 7th in Plantation Key. Garcia ruled in favor of the plaintiff couple, Aaron Huntsman and William Lee Jones of Key West. The ruling applies only to Monroe County.

Garcia’s order would allow same-sex couples from around the state to flock to the Keys to get married. However, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, quickly filed a notice of appeal Thursday, putting Garcia’s ruling on hold.

(more…)

Does Climate Make A Difference?

canstockphoto9051745

Over the past weekend, I binge-watched a TV drama series on Netflix. The story took place in Seattle. It was not about Seattle; it was about a murder mystery. But the outdoor scenes showed the city of Seattle and its climate. Now, I have never been to Seattle but I have always heard that it is cloudy and rainy there almost all the time. And sure enough, the TV presentation showed that. With few exceptions, it was raining or black-cloudy in every outdoor scene. I feel sure that it was not the intent of the producers to present the city in an unfavorable way and, as part of the plot, the actors were not particularly preoccupied with the weather. That is just the way it was. They were almost always walking or running or driving in the rain. Jeez, I kept thinking, how could anybody live in a place like that?! Indeed, when I Googled Seattle and weather, I learned that it does indeed rain a lot there and that the sun rarely shines– and that many residents suffer from depression and that there is a high suicide rate. Go figure. (more…)

Good Morning Florida Keys With Jenna Stauffer / Interview With Ms. Grace McKinnon

Grace McKinnon is interning with the Florida Keys Outreach Coaliton [FKOC] this summer as an AmeriCorps/VISTA volunteer through the National Coalition for the Homeless.  Formerly homeless herself, Grace is from Maryland and now a college student with double majors in social work and psychology.  She is serving at Peacock Supportive Living, an FKOC program providing housing and supportive services to 38-individuals living with serious mental illness. We’re sure you will enjoy meeting this remarkable young woman! Enjoy!

Click here for more WEYW 19′s Good Morning Florida Keys With Jenna Stauffer (more…)

Rose Garden Betrayal…Odious Symbolism…

canstockphoto14376156

Since commenting on an article published in ‘The Blue Paper’ by Dennis Reeves Cooper entitled: “The Prisoner Exchange: He Did What?!” on June 8, 2014;  I’ve closely monitored events surrounding the issues I addressed. I was determined to modify or correct my statements if necessary. As the Bowe Bergdahl saga unfolds, it appears the accuracy of my remarks have remained ‘spot on’.

Some have critiqued my interpretation of events as being lackluster and juvenile. They suggest that I’m unable to appreciate the grander scheme of our involvement in conflicts around the world. Although I challenge that notion, I respect their divergent perspectives and remain open to new ideas. (more…)

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Mosquito thumbnailFOULING OUR NEST PART I:  Mosquito Control and the Ecology of the Keys

 

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2014 Amazing Mel Fisher Treasure Hunt Winners / Anthony and Kiana Porcelli
The Amazing Mel Fisher Treasure Hunt organized by Southernmost Scavenger Hunt presented Anthony Porcelli of the US Navy and wife Kiana Porcelli tonight with a treasure chest filled with ,000 in US one dollar coins on behalf of their 4 person team "Monsteras Deliciosas", which included team members Margot Koch and Shaun Griffin. Pat Croce Restaurant Group sponsored the prize and Mel Fisher's Treasures hosted the event. Congratulations, Today's the Day! Keep an eye out for next year's Amazing Mel Fisher Treasure hunt in Key West at www.melfisherdays.com

The Amazing Mel Fisher Treasure Hunt organized by Southernmost Scavenger Hunt presented Anthony Porcelli of the US Navy and wife Kiana Porcelli with a treasure chest filled with $ 5,000 in US one dollar coins on behalf of their 4 person team “Monsteras Deliciosas”, which included team members Margot Koch and Shaun Griffin. Pat Croce Restaurant Group sponsored the prize and Mel Fisher’s Treasures hosted the event. Congratulations, Today’s the Day! Keep an eye out for next year’s Amazing Mel Fisher Treasure hunt in Key West at www.melfisherdays.com

Important Fantasy Fest® Street Fair Dates and Discount for Locals

The organizers of Fantasy Fest have announced the important dates for food and arts and crafts vendor booth sign-up for the 2014 Street Fair and Promenade, to be held on Friday, October 24 and Saturday, October 25.  Early selection of vendor spots as well as discounted fees are being offered to Key West restaurants and related businesses and festival Sponsors.  Applications for vendor space are available on the festival website, www.fantasyfest.com. Applications for early sign-up must indicate this preference and should be received by the festival office by August 1. Booth space will be assigned in early August according to the product the booth will be selling and availability of space.  (more…)

State Recognizes Green Parrot and Blue Heaven For Outstanding Recycling Rates

Two local businesses are showing up the state when it comes to recycle rates. On Tuesday, Florida Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Herschel T. Vinyard, Jr. will be presenting awards to The Green Parrot and to Blue Heaven for their outstanding efforts at recycling. Secretary Vinyard will present the awards on Tuesday, July 22 at 1 p.m. at Old City Hall, 510 Greene Street, during the City Commission budget workshop.

FDEP has a program that recognizes businesses whose recycle rate tops 40 percent. The Green Parrot is the first bar in the state to achieve that goal with a rate of 59 percent. Blue Heaven is the first restaurant in the state to achieve that goal with a rate of 61 percent.

The state program is aimed at encouraging private businesses, institutions, schools, public organizations and citizens to increase recycling in order to reach Florida’s recycling goal of 75 percent by 2020.

Bravo Green Parrot and Blue Heaven!!

Southernmost Car Club Holds Monthly Ice-Cream Social and Car Show, July 19th

IMG_0276

The Florida Keys Southernmost Car Club (FKSCC) holds its monthly ICE CREAM SOCIAL AND CAR SHOW this Saturday, July 19th. 5 to 8pm 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 People’s Choice and that classic will take home a beautiful Plaque! This is a FREE event. NEW Tshirt design is here.

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

Islamorada Author, PJ Royal, Celebrates New Book Release: Roostica Restaurant, Tuesday July 22, 2014

killing the bee

Join Author P.J. Royal in celebrating the release of her new novel, “Killing the Bee King” at Roostica Restuarant on Tuesday July 22, 2014 from 5-8 PM.

The new novel is a wonderful piece of historical fiction:

Against a backdrop of escalating tension, in an England mismanaged by inept leadership, Napoleon Bonaparte is silently massing battle-hardened troops along the French coast in anticipation of a cross-Channel invasion. While Ireland violently protests English oppression, an unlikely hero emerges in the form of an Irish bare-knuckle boxer by the name of Wolfe Trant. Recruited from the depths of Newgate Prison by William Pitt, an ex-prime minister who now operates a covert spy ring, Wolfe’s agenda is to infiltrate Napoleon’s inner circle to determine the intended point of invasion. Wolfe is forced to partner with the enigmatic leader of the French Resistance, a woman known only as Primrose, as the two are pursued through the streets of Paris by the sinister minister of police. Hounded by larger political and economic forces that have a vested interest in their failure, Wolfe and Primrose are forced to redefine their ideas of trust and loyalty as they race against time to defeat the strategically brilliant plans of Bonaparte.

Please join us for a brief reading and celebration of the release of this novel. If you are unable to make it, the book is available via Barnes & Noble and Amazon.com, but why not come out, meet the author and get your copy signed.

Leadership Monroe County Class XXIII Recruitment and Reception July 24 at the New Islamorada Resort

Leadership Monroe County invites the public to the next and last of three social receptions to introduce the program for the upcoming Class XXIII which begins in October and meet alumni and Board, Thursday, July 24, at The Islamorada Resort, 80001 Overseas Hwy, Islamorada, at 5:30-7:30. 

Applying Class members will learn about the 2014-15 sessions, and the scope, mission and benefits of becoming part of this county-wide program which seeks to build relationships for constructive alliances among Florida Keys leaders in the public and private sectors. (more…)

Key West Mayoral Candidates Q&A Forum Scheduled for July 29th

The Key West Golf Course Homeowners Association will be hosting a Mayoral Candidates Question and Answer Forum on Tuesday, July 29th at 6:30 pm.  This event is open to all citizens of Key West.

The Forum will be held at the Key West Golf Course’s clubhouse.  There will be a cash bar available and the event is anticipated to last approximately 90 minutes.

Jenna Stauffer of WEYW-TV, the co-host and co-producer of “Good Morning Florida Keys with Rick and Jenna”, will act as moderator for the Forum.  She will field questions from the floor. All the Candidates will answer each question.  This will be a great way for the people of Key West to learn where each candidate stands on a particular issue and their views for the future of Key West.

All three candidates have been invited to participate.   Candidates Sloan Bashinsky and Margaret Romero have accepted the invitation to participate. The Homeowners Association was disappointed to learn today that Mayor Cates declined the invitation, citing a conflict with “previous engagements”.

For further information please contact the Key West Golf Club HOA at info@kwgchoa.com.

Senator Bullard Guest of Honor at LWV Social July 29th

State Senator Dwight Bullard will be guest of honor at the Lower Keys League of Women Voters‘ Fifth Tuesday social on July 29, 5 till 7 p.m. at the New York Pasta Garden in Duval Square.

Senator Bullard is a professional educator and serves as the ranking Democrat on the Senate Education Committee. In his tenure in the legislature, he has also been very active on issues of health care and justice.

LKLWV’s Fifth Tuesdays are an informal opportunity for league members and other interested constituents to get to know an elected official or community leader. “These gatherings have generated quite a bit of local interest and we know the Senator’s constituents down here in the Lower Keys will be thrilled to have the chance to hear his thoughts on the many issues affecting us, especially in this informal setting,“ said Joy Brown Taylor, the chapter’s founding vice president and current Voter Services Committee chair.

Duval Square is located at the corner of Duval and Virginia streets; there is customer parking off Simonton. The event will be held in the patio restaurant’s air conditioned party room. Appetizers will be served and a cash bar will be available throughout, Brown Taylor said, noting that Bullard would speak informally at about 5:30 p.m. and a question and answer session would follow.

For additional details, please phone her at (305) 587-7833.

COMMUNITY SUPPORT NEEDED FOR FLORIDA FOOD BANKS

Winn-Dixie launches donation program to help hungry children thrive in school

Local food banks, including Feeding South Florida, are preparing for the upcoming school year and the fight against childhood hunger. Winn-Dixie has launched the Summer Backpack Hunger Relief Program in all stores to help the one out of five children in Florida who don’t know from where their next meal will come. Customers are encouraged to donate at any store register July 16 through August 19 to help provide meals for healthy minds and bodies to thrive in the classroom. Every dollar donated will go directly to regional food banks to help fill backpacks with nutritious, fresh foods. Give a dollar. Help fill a backpack.

“As a community food provider, no issue touches the heart of our customers and associates more than childhood hunger,” said Rondel Hartwell, Winn-Dixie’s director of community involvement and charitable giving. “It’s our belief that no child should ever go hungry and that every child deserves nutritious meals and a healthy start to life.”

Added Hartwell, “the Winn-Dixie Summer Backpack Hunger Relief Program provides a quick and easy way for our communities to help give hungry children a nutritious meal.” (more…)

Rose Garden Betrayal…Odious Symbolism…

canstockphoto14376156

Since commenting on an article published in ‘The Blue Paper’ by Dennis Reeves Cooper entitled: “The Prisoner Exchange: He Did What?!” on June 8, 2014;  I’ve closely monitored events surrounding the issues I addressed. I was determined to modify or correct my statements if necessary. As the Bowe Bergdahl saga unfolds, it appears the accuracy of my remarks have remained ‘spot on’.

Some have critiqued my interpretation of events as being lackluster and juvenile. They suggest that I’m unable to appreciate the grander scheme of our involvement in conflicts around the world. Although I challenge that notion, I respect their divergent perspectives and remain open to new ideas. Continue reading

Ruling Allows Same-Sex Marriage In The Keys!

canstockphoto17005598

Monroe County Circuit Judge Luis Garcia overturned the state’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage on Thursday after hearing a legal challenge in the lawsuit Huntsman v Heavilin on July 7th in Plantation Key. Garcia ruled in favor of the plaintiff couple, Aaron Huntsman and William Lee Jones of Key West. The ruling applies only to Monroe County.

Garcia’s order would allow same-sex couples from around the state to flock to the Keys to get married. However, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, quickly filed a notice of appeal Thursday, putting Garcia’s ruling on hold.

Continue reading

2014 Amazing Mel Fisher Treasure Hunt Winners / Anthony and Kiana Porcelli

The Amazing Mel Fisher Treasure Hunt organized by Southernmost Scavenger Hunt presented Anthony Porcelli of the US Navy and wife Kiana Porcelli tonight with a treasure chest filled with $5,000 in US one dollar coins on behalf of their 4 person team "Monsteras Deliciosas", which included team members Margot Koch and Shaun Griffin. Pat Croce Restaurant Group sponsored the prize and Mel Fisher's Treasures hosted the event. Congratulations, Today's the Day! Keep an eye out for next year's Amazing Mel Fisher Treasure hunt in Key West at www.melfisherdays.com

The Amazing Mel Fisher Treasure Hunt organized by Southernmost Scavenger Hunt presented Anthony Porcelli of the US Navy and wife Kiana Porcelli with a treasure chest filled with $ 5,000 in US one dollar coins on behalf of their 4 person team “Monsteras Deliciosas”, which included team members Margot Koch and Shaun Griffin. Pat Croce Restaurant Group sponsored the prize and Mel Fisher’s Treasures hosted the event. Congratulations, Today’s the Day! Keep an eye out for next year’s Amazing Mel Fisher Treasure hunt in Key West at www.melfisherdays.com

State Recognizes Green Parrot and Blue Heaven For Outstanding Recycling Rates

Two local businesses are showing up the state when it comes to recycle rates. On Tuesday, Florida Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Herschel T. Vinyard, Jr. will be presenting awards to The Green Parrot and to Blue Heaven for their outstanding efforts at recycling. Secretary Vinyard will present the awards on Tuesday, July 22 at 1 p.m. at Old City Hall, 510 Greene Street, during the City Commission budget workshop.

FDEP has a program that recognizes businesses whose recycle rate tops 40 percent. The Green Parrot is the first bar in the state to achieve that goal with a rate of 59 percent. Blue Heaven is the first restaurant in the state to achieve that goal with a rate of 61 percent.

The state program is aimed at encouraging private businesses, institutions, schools, public organizations and citizens to increase recycling in order to reach Florida’s recycling goal of 75 percent by 2020.

Bravo Green Parrot and Blue Heaven!!

Ron Demes Named President of Key West Sunrise Rotary Club

Sunrise Rotary President

Key West Sunrise Rotary Club in the Conch Republic named its new President Ron Demes, left, during a ceremony June 27. 2013-14 Sunrise Rotary President Scott Duszynski and District Governor Ellen Blasi presented the gavel to Demes signifying his year as president. It was also announced that day that the club is the first 100 percent Paul Harris Fellow Club in the Florida Keys. Rotarians who contribute $ 1,000 or more or donations made for others to Rotary’s annual programs fund may become a Paul Harris Fellow, which is named after Paul P. Harris, founder of Rotary in 1905. As of June 30, all Key West Sunrise Rotarians were Paul Harris Fellows. The donations contribute to Rotary International’s effort to eradicate polio worldwide.

The Sunrise Rotary Club in the Conch Republic was founded in 1988 to become the first Rotary Club in the Lower Keys to allow women members. It meets every Friday at 7 a.m. at Trumbo Palms on Trumbo Point in Key West.

La Concha Key West Presents Wine-O / New Wine Shop, Tasting Room and Lounge Opens on Duval Street

key-west-florida-premier-wine-retail-outlet-sm

CROWNE PLAZA KEY WEST LA CONCHA 430 Duval Street, Key West, Florida 33040

The chic and lively La Concha Key West, situated directly in the heart of bustling Duval Street, announces a bold addition to the Key West market with Wine-O. Ideal for wine enthusiasts, local residents and island visitors, Wine-O offers a unique experience presenting a wine shop, tasting room and lively lounge. A refreshing escape with contemporary décor and sophisticated service, Wine-O stands out as an original destination in the nightlife scene.

Presenting an energetic and approachable environment, Wine-O encourages social interaction with circular bars, high top tables and sleek gathering spaces providing front row seats to all the action on Duval Street. Guests are invited to discover the wonderful world of wine with a premier selection of more than 200 bottles from all around the globe. Served by the glass, in two-ounce teaser pours or sold by the bottle, guests can purchase and uncork in the contemporary lounge or grab their favorite to go. The state-of-the-art flash chiller allows for immediate consumption, allowing guests to imbibe in their preferred selection any time of day. For perfect pairings, wine flights are complemented with fine chocolates or flavorful cheese boards. The wide assortment of Godiva chocolate available provides a sweet indulgence that will please the palate of any gift recipient. Continue reading

LOVE LANE GANG! THEY’RE JUST PLAIN FUN!

Photo: Sheelman Photography

Photo: Sheelman Photography

The Love Lane Gang will be taking a summer break after this weekend, so come out and see them while you have the chance! In case you didn’t know, they are 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 plating their regular gigs at McConnell’s Irish Pub And Grill on Friday at 8 PM and Saluté On The Beach on Sunday at 5:30 PM. They will also play at Blue Heaven on Saturday for brunch and dinner, 10:30 AM and 6:30 PM.

Scheduled Appearances: Continue reading

Compost Available Saturday

two trotting

Composted horse manure is available this Saturday, July 12th from 10 a.m. until noon at the PAL gym near the entrance to Fort Zachary Taylor State Park.

The horses have been busy filling the City’s manure composting bins, and we have a load that’s garden ready.  Bring a container and a donation and leave with locally produced compost.

Key West Mayoral Candidates Q&A Forum Scheduled for July 29th

The Key West Golf Course Homeowners Association will be hosting a Mayoral Candidates Question and Answer Forum on Tuesday, July 29th at 6:30pm.  This event is open to all citizens of Key West.

The Forum will be held at the Key West Golf Course’s clubhouse.  There will be a cash bar available and the event is anticipated to last approximately 90 minutes.

Jenna Stauffer of WEYW-TV, the co-host and co-producer of “Good Morning Florida Keys with Rick and Jenna”, will act as moderator for the Forum.  She will field questions from the floor. All the Candidates will answer each question.  This will be a great way for the people of Key West to learn where each candidate stands on a particular issue and their views for the future of Key West.

All three candidates have been invited to participate.   Candidates Sloan Bashinsky and Margaret Romero have accepted the invitation to participate. The Homeowners Association was disappointed to learn today that Mayor Cates declined the invitation, citing a conflict with “previous engagements”.

For further information please contact the Key West Golf Club HOA at info@kwgchoa.com.

Peter Pan

canstockphoto19842166

canstockphoto19842166

I have a personal policy of avoiding main stream corporate news outlets like I avoid The Weather Channel. I don’t need to know about hurricane Gertrude from the minute it forms off the coast of Africa. It might be weeks before it crosses the Atlantic and actually becomes a problem. When it gets close, IF it gets close, then I will hear about it at Five Brothers over café con leche. That way I avoid those weeks of needless anxiety and nail biting. The same goes for watching, listening and/or reading corporate sponsored propaganda, aka the news. Continue reading

REPRESENTATIVE JOE GARCIA STATEMENT ON HOUSE REPUBLICAN’S REFUSAL TO ACT ON IMMIGRATION REFORM

 

Congressman Garcia press release

Following a new report from USA Today that the House Republican Leadership stated “the last remaining hope for an immigration bill” is over. Representative Joe Garcia issued the following statement in response:

“Speaker John Boehner and the leaders of the Republican Congress have delivered a slap in the face to the Hispanic community, to South Florida families and to thousands of Americans across our country who are demanding action on comprehensive immigration reform now. They have stood in the way of comprehensive immigration reform for far too long. Enough is enough. We must continue to push forward and refuse to allow the dysfunctional, partisan politics of a few in Washington to stand in the way of what the American people have asked for and deserve – comprehensive immigration reform that reflects our nation’s diverse and vast human landscape.”

BACKGROUND: Continue reading

The Blue Paper #70

Issue #70 — Friday, July 11, 2014

“Oh Lord!”

Issue 70 bahama village for web

Not All Festivals Are Created Equal

Last Tuesday, in an apparent disparate treatment of its constituency, the City Commission decided to allot Super Boat International race organizers approximately $ 25,000/year in free services (in addition to nominal rent and    $ 100,000 in Tourist Development Council [TDC] tax funding it receives) but refused to restore the Goombay Festival to a coalition of Bahama Village non-profit organizations because three years ago some festival organizers from the Village had been short by $ 2,500 on a payment for police protection. (more…)

Fouling Our Nest Part 1: Mosquito Control and the Ecology of the Keys

Screen Shot 2014-07-10 at 3.32.57 PM I woke up this afternoon

I saw both cars were gone

I felt so low down deep inside

I threw my drink across the lawn

 – Martin Mull, Shaker Heights Blues

I read in the Keynoter that the president of the gated and very wealthy Ocean Reef Club in North Key Largo pleaded for an aerial spraying before last Friday because of an invasion of salt marsh mosquitoes.

“Most of our nearly 2,000 or so members and guests will have had their Fourth of July ruined,” Ocean Reef President Paul Astbury wrote to Mosquito Control.

Tragic.
(more…)

Good Morning Florida Keys With Jenna Stauffer / Interview With Key West Author Bud Navero

Click here to get a copy of Key West Confidential by Bud Navero.

GUEST COLUMN: Grinder Pumps For Dummies – Or Why I Don’t Want To Be A Loser

 canstockphoto15251218

If you live in the Cudjoe Regional Wastewater System area, you need to read the “Dummies Guide To Grinder Pumps”.  If you are a “loser” as our County Commisioner has called all who are getting grinder pumps, you should read it very slowly.

DESCRIPTION OF A GRINDER PUMP

Dummy Version – The greatest invention since ice cream.  To quote our Mayor, “when you flush it goes away”, what else can you ask for?

Real Version – A system in which sewage flows from gravity into a heavy duty plastic tank.  The tank is about 180 gallons just over one day of waste for a typical family.  It has a one horsepower motor that turns grinder blades similar to a garbage disposal in your sink.  A progressive cavity pump then forces the sewage into a 1 1/4” pipe which leads to master stations or the treatment plant on Cudjoe Key. (more…)

Invalid Investigation–Derides & Mocks The Death Of An Innocent Man…

Issue 48 investigation for web

An innocent man was killed while in the custody of the Key West Police Department. This disabled 61 year-old met his fate at the hands of police officers, as he laid down on the ground before them. This defenseless and helpless citizen  appeared compliant to all commands that were directed at him.

An onslaught of aggression was executed upon Mr. Eimers. He was face down in a prone position, with his arms extended above his head. He did not pose a threat to anyone. (more…)

CLIMATE CHANGE: How Do You Sell Florida Keys Real Estate That May Soon Be Underwater?

canstockphoto12801437

Back in the summer of 2009, there was a big meeting up in Marathon about climate change and its implications for the Florida Keys. Officials of the Nature Conservancy and others, quoting reports from international panels of scientists, predicted that by 2100, the Keys will have lost about 59,000 acres of real estate valued at $ 11 billion to rising sea levels. And that, they said, was the best case scenario. The worst case scenario would be that sea level could rise by more than 28 inches, submerging 154,000 acres valued at $ 43 billion.

The spin, in case you haven’t heard, is that the climate is warming and that the polar ice cap is melting, which is causing sea levels to rise. Indeed, sea level here in the Keys has already risen by 9 inches over the last 100 years, according to an Associated Press article published in July of last year– that rise reportedly documented by a tidal gauge operating in the Keys since before the Civil War. Also, perhaps coincidentally, tidal flooding here, once a periodic inconvenience, has become almost routine. Just ask the owners of businesses on the northern end of Duval Street. But having said that, it is also important to report that a large number or scientists and weather experts believe that the Keys-going-underwater scenario is being overstated. (more…)

Peter Pan

canstockphoto19842166

I have a personal policy of avoiding main stream corporate news outlets like I avoid The Weather Channel. I don’t need to know about hurricane Gertrude from the minute it forms off the coast of Africa. It might be weeks before it crosses the Atlantic and actually becomes a problem. When it gets close, IF it gets close, then I will hear about it at Five Brothers over café con leche. That way I avoid those weeks of needless anxiety and nail biting. The same goes for watching, listening and/or reading corporate sponsored propaganda, aka the news. (more…)

~~~~~~~~~~
RECENT TOP STORIES

Issue-4-Wisteria-Cartoon-tinyjpgWho Owns Wisteria Island? Hearing Held On Fate Of Last Desert Island In Key West Harbor

 

PistolMURDER-FOR-HIRE PERPETRATOR GETS MAXIMUM ALLOWABLE SENTENCE

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALET ‘EM FRY!

 

 

Malibu Rum Hemingway 5K Sunset Run/Walk & Paddleboard Race / Set for this July 19th

Hemingway Start

Runners and paddleboard enthusiasts can test their skills and celebrate Ernest Hemingway’s sporting lifestyle during the Malibu Rum Hemingway 5K Sunset Run/Walk and Paddleboard Race set for Saturday evening, July 19. Come and participate in what Competitor Magazine called “One of the Must-Do Races” in their February 2014 issue!

This popular 5K Run/Walk & Paddleboard Race is the oldest ongoing race in Key West! It’s also a part of the annual Hemingway Days celebration commemorating the author, who lived in Key West during the 1930s.

Key Largo Bike & Adventure Tours is also organizing the 3rd Annual Hemingway Century Tour — a 100-mile bike ride to Key West on Saturday morning at 7:30. The ride begins at Key Largo Bike Shop, 91946 Overseas Highway, in Tavernier. Call 305-395-1551 for more information, or entrants can register at KeyLargoBike.com/Hemingway-Century-Ride.  (more…)

La Concha Key West Presents Wine-O / New Wine Shop, Tasting Room and Lounge Opens on Duval Street
key-west-florida-premier-wine-retail-outlet-sm

CROWNE PLAZA KEY WEST LA CONCHA 430 Duval Street, Key West, Florida 33040

The chic and lively La Concha Key West, situated directly in the heart of bustling Duval Street, announces a bold addition to the Key West market with Wine-O. Ideal for wine enthusiasts, local residents and island visitors, Wine-O offers a unique experience presenting a wine shop, tasting room and lively lounge. A refreshing escape with contemporary décor and sophisticated service, Wine-O stands out as an original destination in the nightlife scene.

Presenting an energetic and approachable environment, Wine-O encourages social interaction with circular bars, high top tables and sleek gathering spaces providing front row seats to all the action on Duval Street. Guests are invited to discover the wonderful world of wine with a premier selection of more than 200 bottles from all around the globe. Served by the glass, in two-ounce teaser pours or sold by the bottle, guests can purchase and uncork in the contemporary lounge or grab their favorite to go. The state-of-the-art flash chiller allows for immediate consumption, allowing guests to imbibe in their preferred selection any time of day. For perfect pairings, wine flights are complemented with fine chocolates or flavorful cheese boards. The wide assortment of Godiva chocolate available provides a sweet indulgence that will please the palate of any gift recipient. (more…)

REPRESENTATIVE JOE GARCIA STATEMENT ON HOUSE REPUBLICAN’S REFUSAL TO ACT ON IMMIGRATION REFORM

 

Congressman Garcia press release

Following a new report from USA Today that the House Republican Leadership stated “the last remaining hope for an immigration bill” is over. Representative Joe Garcia issued the following statement in response:

“Speaker John Boehner and the leaders of the Republican Congress have delivered a slap in the face to the Hispanic community, to South Florida families and to thousands of Americans across our country who are demanding action on comprehensive immigration reform now. They have stood in the way of comprehensive immigration reform for far too long. Enough is enough. We must continue to push forward and refuse to allow the dysfunctional, partisan politics of a few in Washington to stand in the way of what the American people have asked for and deserve – comprehensive immigration reform that reflects our nation’s diverse and vast human landscape.”

BACKGROUND: (more…)

Thousands Demand U.S. Keep FL Manatees on Endangered Species List

>64,000 Demand U.S. Government

Keep Manatees on Endangered Species List

ManateesThe U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is being forced to revisit manatees’ status as endangered.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will review the status of manatees, potentially downgrading their status from “endangered” to “threatened.” A Care2 petition demanding manatees be kept on the endangered species list has gathered more than 64,000 signatures.

VIEW THE PETITION HERE

The review was forced upon the Fish and Wildlife Service following a lawsuit (more…)

Ron Demes Named President of Key West Sunrise Rotary Club

Sunrise Rotary President

Key West Sunrise Rotary Club in the Conch Republic named its new President Ron Demes, left, during a ceremony June 27. 2013-14 Sunrise Rotary President Scott Duszynski and District Governor Ellen Blasi presented the gavel to Demes signifying his year as president. It was also announced that day that the club is the first 100 percent Paul Harris Fellow Club in the Florida Keys. Rotarians who contribute $ 1,000 or more or donations made for others to Rotary’s annual programs fund may become a Paul Harris Fellow, which is named after Paul P. Harris, founder of Rotary in 1905. As of June 30, all Key West Sunrise Rotarians were Paul Harris Fellows. The donations contribute to Rotary International’s effort to eradicate polio worldwide.

The Sunrise Rotary Club in the Conch Republic was founded in 1988 to become the first Rotary Club in the Lower Keys to allow women members. It meets every Friday at 7 a.m. at Trumbo Palms on Trumbo Point in Key West.

Key West Mayoral Candidates Q&A Forum Scheduled for July 29th

The Key West Golf Course Homeowners Association will be hosting a Mayoral Candidates Question and Answer Forum on Tuesday, July 29th at 6:30pm.  This event is open to all citizens of Key West.

The Forum will be held at the Key West Golf Course’s clubhouse.  There will be a cash bar available and the event is anticipated to last approximately 90 minutes.

Jenna Stauffer of WEYW-TV, the co-host and co-producer of “Good Morning Florida Keys with Rick and Jenna”, will act as moderator for the Forum.  She will field questions from the floor. All the Candidates will answer each question.  This will be a great way for the people of Key West to learn where each candidate stands on a particular issue and their views for the future of Key West.

All three candidates have been invited to participate.   Candidates Sloan Bashinsky and Margaret Romero have accepted the invitation to participate. The Homeowners Association was disappointed to learn today that Mayor Cates declined the invitation, citing a conflict with “previous engagements”.

For further information please contact the Key West Golf Club HOA at info@kwgchoa.com.

Compost Available Saturday

two trotting

Composted horse manure is available this Saturday, July 12th from 10 a.m. until noon at the PAL gym near the entrance to Fort Zachary Taylor State Park.

The horses have been busy filling the City’s manure composting bins, and we have a load that’s garden ready.  Bring a container and a donation and leave with locally produced compost.

LOVE LANE GANG! THEY’RE JUST PLAIN FUN!
Photo: Sheelman Photography

Photo: Sheelman Photography

The Love Lane Gang will be taking a summer break after this weekend, so come out and see them while you have the chance! In case you didn’t know, they are 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 plating their regular gigs at McConnell’s Irish Pub And Grill on Friday at 8 PM and Saluté On The Beach on Sunday at 5:30 PM. They will also play at Blue Heaven on Saturday for brunch and dinner, 10:30 AM and 6:30 PM.

Scheduled Appearances: (more…)

Thousands Demand U.S. Keep FL Manatees on Endangered Species List

Manatees

>64,000 Demand U.S. Government

Keep Manatees on Endangered Species List

ManateesThe U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is being forced to revisit manatees’ status as endangered.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will review the status of manatees, potentially downgrading their status from “endangered” to “threatened.” A Care2 petition demanding manatees be kept on the endangered species list has gathered more than 64,000 signatures.

VIEW THE PETITION HERE

The review was forced upon the Fish and Wildlife Service following a lawsuit Continue reading

Malibu Rum Hemingway 5K Sunset Run/Walk & Paddleboard Race / Set for this July 19th

Hemingway Start

Runners and paddleboard enthusiasts can test their skills and celebrate Ernest Hemingway’s sporting lifestyle during the Malibu Rum Hemingway 5K Sunset Run/Walk and Paddleboard Race set for Saturday evening, July 19. Come and participate in what Competitor Magazine called “One of the Must-Do Races” in their February 2014 issue!

This popular 5K Run/Walk & Paddleboard Race is the oldest ongoing race in Key West! It’s also a part of the annual Hemingway Days celebration commemorating the author, who lived in Key West during the 1930s.

Key Largo Bike & Adventure Tours is also organizing the 3rd Annual Hemingway Century Tour — a 100-mile bike ride to Key West on Saturday morning at 7:30. The ride begins at Key Largo Bike Shop, 91946 Overseas Highway, in Tavernier. Call 305-395-1551 for more information, or entrants can register at KeyLargoBike.com/Hemingway-Century-Ride.  Continue reading

38 Journalism Groups Urge President to Stop Excessive Controls on Public Information

Thirty-eight journalism and open government groups today called on President Obama to stop practices in federal agencies that prevent important information from getting to the public.

The national organizations sent a letter to Obama today urging changes to policies that constrict information flow to the public, including prohibiting journalists from communicating with staff without going through public information offices, requiring government PIOs to vet interview questions and monitoring interviews between journalists and sources. Continue reading

LOVE LANE GANG! THEY’RE JUST PLAIN FUN!

Photo: Sheelman Photography

Photo: Sheelman Photography

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. They will be taking a summer break in mid-July, so come out and see them while you have the chance!
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!
Their regular gigs are at McConnell’s Irish Pub And Grill on Fridays at 8 PM and Saluté On The Beach on Sundays at 5:30 PM.
Scheduled Appearances: Continue reading

The Blue Paper #69

Issue #69 — Friday, July 4, 2014

Who Owns Wisteria Island? Hearing Held On Fate Of Last Desert Island In Key West Harbor

Issue 4 Wisteria Cartoon cropped

Roger Bernstein had his chance last Tuesday to convince a federal judge that his company, FEB Corporation, not the US Government, owns Wisteria Island.

“Well, I remember when, as a young man in the Navy stationed in Key West,” said Judge Jose Martinez, “our guys used to go swim out by Wisteria Island. I thought it was ours.” That remark probably caused some serious stomach rumbling in Bernstein’s group of white-haired lawyers.

At stake is the fate of the last desert island in Key West harbor.  For more than 40 years Bernstein’s family has claimed to be the owner, even paying County property taxes. But three years ago, when they tried to develop it into a luxury resort, the Federal Government threw a wrench into those plans by claiming the United States owned the island, not the Bernsteins.

Bernstein hired well-known attorney Barry Richard [George Bush’s attorney in the tussle with Al Gore over the Presidency] and filed suit in federal court under the Quiet Title Act [QTA]. (more…)

Let ‘em fry!

 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Money has become the grand test of virtue. By this test, [the poor] fail, and for this they are despised.

– George Orwell, Down and Out in Paris and London, 1933

Apparently it never rains in the Keys. And the hot sun doesn’t beat down mercilessly.

That must be the thinking of the local gendarmerie and town fathers in Marathon. While moving a commuter bus stop from a site in front of a local liquor store and bar might make sense, designing a new stop with no benches and no cover certainly doesn’t. But that’s what is going to happen in the Middle Keys as a result of a June 24 city council decision.

The bus stop in question serves two round-trip routes. One provides transportation to Key West while the other does the same between the Keys and Florida City. The people who use the latter are primarily service workers who travel two hours to slightly better paying low-end jobs at places such as Kmart, Winn-Dixie and Publix. (more…)

Murder-for-hire Perpetrator Gets Maximum Allowable Sentence

Pistol“I am the victim. My life has changed dramatically.”

So said an emotional Bruce Schmitt at a court session for the man who tried to have him killed.

At the session, a clearly frustrated U.S. federal judge, Jose E. Martinez, imposed the maximum allowable ten-year sentence on admitted murder-for-hire perpetrator Dennis Zecca in a sentencing hearing at the Federal Court Building in Key West on Wednesday. Zecca has been convicted of hiring someone – who turned out to be an FBI informant – to kill Schmitt, a Marathon realtor, for reasons still unknown.

Martinez wondered aloud what everyone else familiar with the case has been wondering since late 2012: why. (more…)

TRUMAN WATERFRONT: Commission Approves Five-Year Lease For Superboat Championship Races

Park boat parking plan

Last Tuesday evening the Key West City Commission approved a five-year lease on a significant portion of the Truman Waterfront to Super Boat International Productions (SBI).  SBI is a privately-owned, for-profit corporation based in Key West.

Lease terms were negotiated between former City Manager Bob Vitas and Charles Carbonell, president of SBI.  The lease allows SBI to make use of a portion of the Truman Waterfront property for up to three weeks each year.  A race village will occupy that land for about week, with a week on ether side for preparation and clean-up.  (more…)

~~~~~~~~~~
Some Things Your High School History Teacher May Not Have Told You About The Fourth Of July

20071018_declaration-1

Make no mistake about it. The Declaration of Independence is one of the most significant documents in the history of the world. It introduced the idea that government derives its power from the governed–the people– not the other way around. What a concept. Nothing like that had ever been done before. We all studied the Declaration of Independence in our high school history classes. But some teachers may not have pointed out the level of abject courage that was required on the part of the men who signed it. Keep in mind that, in putting their names on that document, these guys were dissing the King of England. By signing the Declaration of Independence, they were, in essence, signing their death warrants. They and their families could have lost everything. But they had simply had enough of British domination, taxation without representatio, and existing at the pleasure of an arrogant king an ocean away.  (more…)

We All Want A Good System and Good Water Quality, As Promised…

canstockphoto14408775

Some may try painting Dump The Pumps, Inc as being “against sewers”; that the group is simply trying to be disruptive and aims to bring all sewer construction to a stop.

Wrong!  We all want a good system and good water quality, as promised when we passed the one cent infrastructure sales tax.

Anyone that has attended the various meetings, followed the chatter, asked questions, donated money, signed the petitions knows that the fight is simple.  A substandard sewer system, mandated by politicians rather than engineers, putting grinder pumps in our yards, threatening our nearshore waters, is the fight.  Do not forget the original system, designed by engineers, was a gravity system.  It was not until the politicians got involved that we saw sewer money diverted to pet projects and a cheapened system thrust upon us. (more…)

Капитализм (Capitalism)

canstockphoto8613371

Somewhere Karl Marx is shaking his shaggy head and smiling. When a bastion of the capitalist right, Time Magazine, publishes an article validating ANYTHING Karl Marx said can Armageddon be far behind? I am most definitely not an economist. Show me a budget report or some financial spread sheet and my eyes glaze over in stupor, but lately I have been reading with some fascination many unflattering reports on the sacred free market. The imaginary capitalist guiding hand of self-regulation and its sister, the imaginary self-leveling playing field are, all of a sudden, being called into question. What is going on?! (more…)

RECENT TOP STORIES

mary parley

THIS SUMMER’S UNSUNG HEROES: KEY WEST KIDS’ CAMPS

 

Issue 43 Charles Eimers for web

TEN QUESTIONS ABOUT THE CHARLES EIMERS AUTOPSY REPORT

 

 

grab eimers video

CHARLES EIMERS ARREST VIDEO: EXTENDED VERSION 

 

 

LAST STAND CALLS FOR DEEP INJECTION WELL AT CUDJOE WASTEWATER TREATMENT PLANT

 

Last stand logo cropped

Last Stand announced on Wednesday that it is strongly opposed to disposal of treated sewage into shallow wells at the as yet unfinished Cudjoe Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant.

In letters to DEP, FKAA and each Monroe County Commissioner, the Keyswide environmental group cited state regulations, insufficient treatment and danger to sealife as reasons why the plant should be required to pump its waste 2,500-3,000 feet below the surface into the Boulder Zone.

“DEP requires sewage plants that have the potential to treat one million gallons a day to use deep well disposal,” said Naja Girard, president of Last Stand, a watch-dog group which has operated in the Keys for over 25 years.  “Deep wells receive the partially treated waste water and retain it below solid barriers, while shallow wells allow the fresh water to rise to the surface and move into the nearshore waters,” she added. (more…)

Reef Relief Urges Keys-Wide Wastewater Reuse Plan / Adamant That Laws Be Obeyed During Planning, Permitting, and Construction

rrhome

Reef Relief continues our work of using the best available science to educate the public and policymakers to achieve conservation, protection, and restoration of coral reef ecosystems.

The most critical issue facing all of us today is water quality. We fight to combat pollution in our oceans and negative effects of climate change, but without clean water, all of our work with regard to restoration and conservation are only delaying the loss of our coral reef ecosystems.

This is why Reef Relief, along with many other local, state, federal and private entities, have worked so hard toward creating a Keys-wide sewer system. We should all be proud of the work we have accomplished in this matter. Reef Relief would like to thank everyone involved in the implementation of the Keys-wide sewer system. It is imperative that our inefficient septic tanks are no longer allowed to leach human waste into our near shore waters. We would also like to thank all homeowners for cooperating with this process, as we are well aware of the financial burden. (more…)

Conditioned Minds–Attract Duplicitous Ideologies… Continued

canstockphoto13786988

As an inner city high school student in an economics’ class, we were required to pick ten stocks traded on the New York Stock Exchange, which we believed showed signs of growth and profitability. Our assignment was to trade these stocks as we saw fit, keeping the class abreast of our progress throughout  the year. The goal was to see who could accrue the most profit from their initial investment. With guidance and direction from our teacher, along with my summer job experience on Wall Street, I secured the highest profits ever recorded by any student taking that class. As I remember, one of the stocks I really liked back then was Disney. As an adult investor,  Telefones de Mexico has served me well.

I’ve had opportunities to acquire all the affluence and abundance that this world could offer. These riches were mine. I just had to work within a group, which was conducting the same business being performed by our government. (more…)

Florida Couples and Equality Florida Institute Urge Court to Strike Down State’s Ban on Marriage Equality

Last Wednesday, a state trial court in Miami heard oral argument on a motion filed in May by six same-sex couples and Equality Florida Institute challenging Florida laws barring same-sex couples from marriage. The couples asked the court to strike down Florida’s marriage ban and order the state to allow same-sex couples to marry.

The couples argue that Florida’s ban on marriage equality cannot stand in light of the United States Supreme Court’s ruling in June 2013 that the federal “Defense of Marriage Act” violates the federal constitutional guarantees of equal protection and due process. (more…)

KEY WEST ARTIST IN SOLO ABSTRACT EXPRESSIONIST SHOW / Rosanne Potter Shares New Works With Hometown
Textures,blendedfaces

“Textures, Blended Faces”, showing at the Armory, June 19-July 11, 2014

The recent work of well-known Key West artist, Rosanne Potter, will be on display in Westfield, New Jersey, through the end of July. The one-woman show in the Internet Lounge of the Westfield Memorial Library includes new works (acrylics, oils, and pastels on canvas and oil pastels on paper) created in the past winter season in Key West, as well as two of the artist’s paintings familiar to Keys collectors.

Ms. Potter grew up in Westfield and attended Rosemont College.  During the spring of 1962, she participated in a semester abroad at the Institute of European Studies in Vienna, Austria. This formative experience brought her in contact with the great art museums across Europe and, significantly, with the director of the Vienna program, American Abstract Expressionist painter, Clarence Giese. (more…)

Key West High School Graduate Anika Yasmin Takes Top Honors
Chatman Yasmin DePiero

[L-R] Cyndi Chatman, Anika Yasmin, Roberta DePiero

The Zonta Club of Key West announces an annual scholarship award first. Anika Yasmin, 2014 Key West High School graduate captured the Young Women in Public Affairs award at the local level. Her accomplishments then captured both District and now International Level scholarship awards, chosen out of recipients from 17 different countries.

Born in Bangladesh, Yasmin came to Key West at age two. Beginning her education in specialized classes for non-English speakers, she worked her way into the gifted program in third grade and excelled at school becoming high school Valedictorian. She also became active in the community while juggling the responsibilities and expectations of being a domesticated Muslim woman, holding a job, and being a full-time caretaker for her mother after she had a debilitating stroke. Yasmin was the first Bengali girl in town to travel abroad by herself, and taking notice of her accomplishments the Bengali community also began encouraging their daughters to follow in her footsteps. (more…)

Civil and Human Rights Coalition Urges Passage of Voting Rights Act Update

WASHINGTON – Wade Henderson, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, issued the following statement on Wednesday, the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Civil Rights Act, passage of which the broad Leadership Conference coalition spearheaded:

“The passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which was signed into law 50 years ago today, was a milestone in our nation’s long journey to create a more perfect union. The CRA addressed the corrosive effect that discrimination in employment, public accommodations, education, and voting has on our democracy. As A. Philip Randolph, one of the founders of The Leadership Conference, rightly said, the CRA is the ‘Magna Carta for civil rights.’ (more…)

27th Annual Reef Relief Membership Meeting: A Coral Reef celebration

Reef Relief’s 27th Annual membership Meeting is July 15th,  from 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm, at the Casa Marina Resort located at 1500 Reynolds Street in Key West. This year, we highlight water quality in the Florida Keys. Join us as we celebrate our marine environment together!

This year’s speakers include Dr. David Vaughan, Executive Director of M.O.T.E.’s Tropical Research Lab; Chris Costello, with the Floridians’ Clean Water Declaration and the Sierra Club. Representative Holly Raschein will be speaking about water quality and the Florida legislature. Please join us this evening as we recognize Reef Relief’s accomplishments over the past year. Enjoy free food and a cash bar.

Join or renew at the door for a 15-dollar minimum tax-deductible donation. This meeting is open to Reef Relief members. Join or renew today by visiting reefrelief.org/act/donate. Come show your support for the Florida Keys National Barrier Reef and help Reef Relief in our mission to preserve our beautiful coral reef ecosystem.

For more information: email: reefrelief@gmail.com, call (305) 294-3100 or visit reefrelief.org/act/events.

Reef Relief is a nonprofit membership organization dedicated to improving and protecting our coral reef ecosystem. Check us out at reefrelief.org 

RECYCLING RATES IN FLORIDA CONTINUE TO CLIMB ~State recycling rate takes modest steps toward the 75 percent goal by 2020~

MONROE COUNTY MAKES THE LIST OF TOP 10 COUNTIES FOR BEST RECYCLING RATES

[10TH OUT OF 10 WITH 55% RECYCLING RATE]

TALLAHASSEE – New 2013 recycling data released by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection shows Florida’s official recycling rate is now 49 percent, up one percent from last year. This represents a substantial increase in the amount of solid waste recycled — from 9.7 million tons in 2012 to 11.8 million tons in 2013.

The total recycling rate represents a combination of traditional recycling practices and renewable energy credits, which are calculated based on the amount of renewable energy produced using solid waste as a fuel. Per Florida Statutes, each megawatt-hour of electricity produced by waste equals one ton of recycling. For 2013, there were 3.4 million megawatt-hours of electricity produced from both waste-to-energy facilities and the use of landfill gas. Florida law pertaining to the recycling rate was amended by the legislature in 2012 to promote the production of renewable energy from solid waste. (more…)

TROPICAL PERMACULTURE DESIGN COURSE OFFERED

pdc flyer flkeys06_26

WINN DIXIE TO HOLD JOB FAIR – July 10th and 11th

WD - Keys Job Fairs Flyer 7.10.14 7.11.14

LOVE LANE GANG! THEY’RE JUST PLAIN FUN!
Photo: Sheelman Photography

Photo: Sheelman Photography

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. They will be taking a summer break in mid-July, so come out and see them while you have the chance!
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!
Their regular gigs are at McConnell’s Irish Pub And Grill on Fridays at 8 PM and Saluté On The Beach on Sundays at 5:30 PM.
Scheduled Appearances: (more…)

We All Want A Good System and Good Water Quality, As Promised…

canstockphoto14408775

Some may try painting Dump The Pumps, Inc as being “against sewers”; that the group is simply trying to be disruptive and aims to bring all sewer construction to a stop.

Wrong!  We all want a good system and good water quality, as promised when we passed the one cent infrastructure sales tax.

Anyone that has attended the various meetings, followed the chatter, asked questions, donated money, signed the petitions knows that the fight is simple.  A substandard sewer system, mandated by politicians rather than engineers, putting grinder pumps in our yards, threatening our nearshore waters, is the fight.  Do not forget the original system, designed by engineers, was a gravity system.  It was not until the politicians got involved that we saw sewer money diverted to pet projects and a cheapened system thrust upon us. Continue reading

TRUMAN WATERFRONT: Commission Approves Five-Year Lease For Superboat Championship Races

Park boat parking plan

Last Tuesday evening the Key West City Commission approved a five-year lease on a significant portion of the Truman Waterfront to Super Boat International Productions (SBI).  SBI is a privately-owned, for-profit corporation based in Key West.

Lease terms were negotiated between former City Manager Bob Vitas and Charles Carbonell, president of SBI.  The lease allows SBI to make use of a portion of the Truman Waterfront property for up to three weeks each year.  A race village will occupy that land for about week, with a week on ether side for preparation and clean-up.  Continue reading

Civil and Human Rights Coalition Urges Passage of Voting Rights Act Update

WASHINGTON – Wade Henderson, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, issued the following statement on Wednesday, the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Civil Rights Act, passage of which the broad Leadership Conference coalition spearheaded:

“The passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which was signed into law 50 years ago today, was a milestone in our nation’s long journey to create a more perfect union. The CRA addressed the corrosive effect that discrimination in employment, public accommodations, education, and voting has on our democracy. As A. Philip Randolph, one of the founders of The Leadership Conference, rightly said, the CRA is the ‘Magna Carta for civil rights.’ Continue reading

27th Annual Reef Relief Membership Meeting: A Coral Reef celebration

Reef Relief’s 27th Annual membership Meeting is July 15th,  from 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm, at the Casa Marina Resort located at 1500 Reynolds Street in Key West. This year, we highlight water quality in the Florida Keys. Join us as we celebrate our marine environment together!

This year’s speakers include Dr. David Vaughan, Executive Director of M.O.T.E.’s Tropical Research Lab; Chris Costello, with the Floridians’ Clean Water Declaration and the Sierra Club. Representative Holly Raschein will be speaking about water quality and the Florida legislature. Please join us this evening as we recognize Reef Relief’s accomplishments over the past year. Enjoy free food and a cash bar.

Join or renew at the door for a 15-dollar minimum tax-deductible donation. This meeting is open to Reef Relief members. Join or renew today by visiting reefrelief.org/act/donate. Come show your support for the Florida Keys National Barrier Reef and help Reef Relief in our mission to preserve our beautiful coral reef ecosystem.

For more information: email: reefrelief@gmail.com, call (305) 294-3100 or visit reefrelief.org/act/events.

Reef Relief is a nonprofit membership organization dedicated to improving and protecting our coral reef ecosystem. Check us out at reefrelief.org 

Florida Couples and Equality Florida Institute Urge Court to Strike Down State’s Ban on Marriage Equality

Last Wednesday, a state trial court in Miami heard oral argument on a motion filed in May by six same-sex couples and Equality Florida Institute challenging Florida laws barring same-sex couples from marriage. The couples asked the court to strike down Florida’s marriage ban and order the state to allow same-sex couples to marry.

The couples argue that Florida’s ban on marriage equality cannot stand in light of the United States Supreme Court’s ruling in June 2013 that the federal “Defense of Marriage Act” violates the federal constitutional guarantees of equal protection and due process. Continue reading

RECYCLING RATES IN FLORIDA CONTINUE TO CLIMB ~State recycling rate takes modest steps toward the 75 percent goal by 2020~

MONROE COUNTY MAKES THE LIST OF TOP 10 COUNTIES FOR BEST RECYCLING RATES

[10TH OUT OF 10 WITH 55% RECYCLING RATE]

TALLAHASSEE – New 2013 recycling data released by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection shows Florida’s official recycling rate is now 49 percent, up one percent from last year. This represents a substantial increase in the amount of solid waste recycled — from 9.7 million tons in 2012 to 11.8 million tons in 2013.

The total recycling rate represents a combination of traditional recycling practices and renewable energy credits, which are calculated based on the amount of renewable energy produced using solid waste as a fuel. Per Florida Statutes, each megawatt-hour of electricity produced by waste equals one ton of recycling. For 2013, there were 3.4 million megawatt-hours of electricity produced from both waste-to-energy facilities and the use of landfill gas. Florida law pertaining to the recycling rate was amended by the legislature in 2012 to promote the production of renewable energy from solid waste. Continue reading

Reef Relief Urges Keys-Wide Wastewater Reuse Plan / Adamant That Laws Be Obeyed During Planning, Permitting, and Construction

rrhome

Reef Relief continues our work of using the best available science to educate the public and policymakers to achieve conservation, protection, and restoration of coral reef ecosystems.

The most critical issue facing all of us today is water quality. We fight to combat pollution in our oceans and negative effects of climate change, but without clean water, all of our work with regard to restoration and conservation are only delaying the loss of our coral reef ecosystems.

This is why Reef Relief, along with many other local, state, federal and private entities, have worked so hard toward creating a Keys-wide sewer system. We should all be proud of the work we have accomplished in this matter. Reef Relief would like to thank everyone involved in the implementation of the Keys-wide sewer system. It is imperative that our inefficient septic tanks are no longer allowed to leach human waste into our near shore waters. We would also like to thank all homeowners for cooperating with this process, as we are well aware of the financial burden. Continue reading

Key West High School Graduate Anika Yasmin Takes Top Honors

Chatman Yasmin DePiero

[L-R] Cyndi Chatman, Anika Yasmin, Roberta DePiero

The Zonta Club of Key West announces an annual scholarship award first. Anika Yasmin, 2014 Key West High School graduate captured the Young Women in Public Affairs award at the local level. Her accomplishments then captured both District and now International Level scholarship awards, chosen out of recipients from 17 different countries.

Born in Bangladesh, Yasmin came to Key West at age two. Beginning her education in specialized classes for non-English speakers, she worked her way into the gifted program in third grade and excelled at school becoming high school Valedictorian. She also became active in the community while juggling the responsibilities and expectations of being a domesticated Muslim woman, holding a job, and being a full-time caretaker for her mother after she had a debilitating stroke. Yasmin was the first Bengali girl in town to travel abroad by herself, and taking notice of her accomplishments the Bengali community also began encouraging their daughters to follow in her footsteps. Continue reading

LAST STAND CALLS FOR DEEP INJECTION WELL AT CUDJOE WASTEWATER TREATMENT PLANT

 

Last stand logo cropped

Last Stand announced on Wednesday that it is strongly opposed to disposal of treated sewage into shallow wells at the as yet unfinished Cudjoe Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant.

In letters to DEP, FKAA and each Monroe County Commissioner, the Keyswide environmental group cited state regulations, insufficient treatment and danger to sealife as reasons why the plant should be required to pump its waste 2,500-3,000 feet below the surface into the Boulder Zone.

“DEP requires sewage plants that have the potential to treat one million gallons a day to use deep well disposal,” said Naja Girard, president of Last Stand, a watch-dog group which has operated in the Keys for over 25 years.  “Deep wells receive the partially treated waste water and retain it below solid barriers, while shallow wells allow the fresh water to rise to the surface and move into the nearshore waters,” she added. Continue reading

STONE SOUP PARTY AND BIKE PARADE, Sunday August 17th

chapman

A Stone Soup party and bike parade to support our friend and neighbor, Mr. Chapman will be held on Sunday, August 17th.

The event will begin with a bike parade starting at Eaton Bikes on Simonton St. and ending at Cowboy Bills and Seadog Tavern. The Bike Parade will be open to anyone who wishes to participate and decorations are encouraged. Entry fee for the parade is $ 10 and all proceeds go to Mr. Chapman.

The Stone Soup Party will start at 3:00 and run until 8:30 at both Cowboy Bill’s and Seadog Tavern on Duval and Angela Streets. The event will include concerts on two stages, a pool tournament, bull riding, a giant  silent auction; raffles, and much more. To top off the day an incredible  “Stone Soup” dish prepared by Jenny Robinson of Seadog Tavern and consisting of delectable ingredients donated by our favorite restaurants will be served to all.

For more information or to donate silent auction items call Jeff Salzman at 305-896-0961 or Stacy Thomason at 305-433-1283.

If you can’t make it you can still help out by donating to ‘Light the Way for Mr. Chapman’:  GoFundMe

Relocation Should Be a Part of DCF Reunification Plans For Struggling Families

Dear Editor,

The Key West Citizen newspaper front page headline on July 25, 2014, “Shelter No Longer A Crash Pad,” reported Randi Cohen Brown, executive director of the homeless nonprofit, stating, “This is Key West: Jobs are not plentiful. Housing is very expensive. This is not going to work for you.”

As house parents for the only children’s shelter and group home in Key West, Monroe County with a humble stipend like salary and subsidized living expenses from 2008-2013, my wife and I were constantly frustrated that child welfare was such a big business for the supporting non-profits family service agencies that they would never mix relocation with reunification.  All the case plans were about parent(s) having a job(s) and housing that would pass a required “home study.”  Homes and hope for these children and parents in the Department of Children and Families (DCF) were built in the beach sand.

Regretfully, the need for a “job” for many professional wraparounds will continue to anchor DCF kids and struggling parents in Monroe County enduring the “perfect storm” of failure.

For many “Another day in Paradise,” but for some it’s “Another day in Poverty.”

Mike Sawyer
Master of Divinity
B.S., Social Science
Denver, CO

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

About Mike Sawyer:  summer camp leader for kids ages 6-11 with a Denver inner city non-profit, a substitute teacher, grades K-12, for a Metro-Denver turn-around school district with 13% Caucasians, over 1K published letters promoting health and humanity. Most recent — “Let Love Rule,” http://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/july-10-teacher-tenure-hunting-horses-article-1.1860993 )

Important Fantasy Fest® Street Fair Vendor Information

The organizers of  Fantasy Fest have announced that Early Selection of vendor spots as well as discounted fees are being offered to Key West restaurants and related businesses and festival Sponsors.  Applications for vendor space are available on the festival website, www.fantasyfest.com. Applications for early sign-up must indicate this preference and should be received by the festival office by August 1.

All other vendors wishing to participate should note the following: the Food Vendor Lottery will be held Tuesday, August 26, at the DoubleTree by Hilton Grand Key Resort. Arts & Crafts booths are available through the festival office. The selection process for the not-for-profit Liquor Booths will be announced in August..

For information and guidelines, please contact the Street Fair Coordinator Betsy Dietz at 296-1817 streetfair@marketsharecompany.com.

United Way Wants to ‘Stuff the Bus’ with School Supplies

stuff the bus one

The Key Largo Chamber of Commerce collected these “Stuff the Bus” supplies.

Keys kids need school supplies like paper, pencils, notebooks and highlighters in order to succeed at their studies. But some kids can’t afford even these basic supplies. That’s why United Way of the Florida Keys and its community partners have launched “Stuff the Bus,” an effort that will hopefully produce truckloads of school supplies to be distributed to all Monroe County public schools from Key Largo to Key West.

Local companies can become sponsors of “Stuff the Bus” by pledging to provide a minimum amount of $ 250 worth of school supplies through a supply drive with their employees or customers, or by making a contribution of $ 250 or more, or a combination of both. Supplies can be collected until August 25th. Continue reading

Equality Florida Applauds Charlie Crist for Commitment to Signing an Executive Order for LGBT Equality if Elected Governor

charlie crist


Equality Florida, the state’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) advocacy organization, applauds Democratic gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist for his announcement today regarding LGBT employees.

At a press conference today in St. Petersburg, Crist announced that if elected Governor, he will make January 6, 2015 a “First Day of Fairness” by signing five Executive Orders, including an Executive Order to “prohibit any form of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity within the state agencies or its contractors — because all Floridians should be equal in the eyes of the law.”

“We applaud Charlie Crist for taking a stand for equality and fairness in the workplace,” said Nadine Smith, CEO of Equality Florida. “Florida is at a critical moment in our struggle to end discrimination, and the next Governor can make a tremendous impact on the everyday lives of thousands of LGBT people in our state.  It is also clear that policies of nondiscrimination will make Florida more economically competitive in the global marketplace.”

The Executive Order announced by Crist mirrors the Executive Order recently signed by President Obama. In it, the President prohibited discrimination against LGBT workers in all federal agencies or its contractors.

In June, the Equality Florida Action PAC, the state’s largest PAC dedicated to electing pro-LGBT candidates, endorsed Charlie Crist in the race for Governor.

View details of “First Day of Fairness” here: http://www.charliecrist.com/updates/january-6th-2015

Join In With GreenKeys! Help Create A More Sustainable Florida Keys

GreenKeys! is using Mindmixer as an outreach and engagement tool. Feedback from the community is critical to the success of the effort.  Their website will include survey questions and other information allowing you to provide your opinions on how GreenKeys! should prioritize strategies and recommendations in the planning process.  Help spread the word about GreenKeys! and the importance of participating in the process of creating a sustainable future for the Florida Keys. Continue reading

SUFA Vindication! The Community Should Applaud and The County Should Apologize

The community should applaud and Monroe County apologize to Dr. Linda Gottwald now that she has been vindicated from the inaccurate press coverage brought on by the politically driven vendetta against her. Why? Because Stand Up for Animals, Inc. [SUFA] was awarded the contract, which the Florida Keys SPCA [FKSPCA] controlled for many years, and the “Bubba System” [that had been in place taking most of Middle Keys quarter million dollar budget to the Key West shelter] then stopped.

Accurate History: SUFA is a 501c3 federally regulated non-profit organization. It has its own board of directors, including locals from Monroe County despite the claims of a certain County Commissioner. SUFA was contracted by the County to provide animal control services from Marathon through Big Pine ending at MM 17 (Gottwald re-opened Big Pine). Per contract, the County cut monthly checks to SUFA. Anyone with a business understanding knows that monthly bills vary [pet food bills, repairs to the dilapidated building, etc.] Gottwald would not only use all of the “County” check to pay these bills, but had to supplement the County check with donations and grants annually from her 501c3 and even loans from her personal bank account to cover payroll. SUFA maintained separate accounts. FKSPCA totally co-mingled its funds for years (County checks and 501c3 donations in one account) and yet the County did not say a word. [“Bubba System”]. Continue reading

‘BRING BACK THE GULF’: New Book Slams Policies that Allow Oil Industry to Dump Old Rigs at Taxpayer Expense

get-book-3-versions

Anyone who thinks co-founder of Reef Relief, DeeVon Quirolo, may have toned down her efforts to protect our oceans since leaving the Keys and Reef Relief behind back in 2009 – well – think again.

Bring Back the Gulf  is a timely analysis of the scientific, environmental, legal, social and political aspects of the U.S. Interior Department’s “Rigs-to-Reefs” program and is now available as an e-Book at www.bringbackthegulf.org, the story of how Big Oil decided to fool the American taxpayer, and why their complicated scheme is not in the public interest.

Current policy allows the oil industry to send its trash to the ocean bottom and call it a reef. Continue reading

STONE SOUP PARTY AND BIKE PARADE, Sunday August 17th

chapman

A Stone Soup party and bike parade to support our friend and neighbor, Mr. Chapman will be held on Sunday, August 17th.

The event will begin with a bike parade starting at Eaton Bikes on Simonton St. and ending at Cowboy Bills and Seadog Tavern. The Bike Parade will be open to anyone who wishes to participate and decorations are encouraged. Entry fee for the parade is $ 10 and all proceeds go to Mr. Chapman.

The Stone Soup Party will start at 3:00 and run until 8:30 at both Cowboy Bill’s and Seadog Tavern on Duval and Angela Streets. The event will include concerts on two stages, a pool tournament, bull riding, a giant  silent auction; raffles, and much more. To top off the day an incredible  “Stone Soup” dish prepared by Jenny Robinson of Seadog Tavern and consisting of delectable ingredients donated by our favorite restaurants will be served to all.

For more information or to donate silent auction items call Jeff Salzman at 305-896-0961 or Stacy Thomason at 305-433-1283.

If you can’t make it you can still help out by donating to ‘Light the Way for Mr. Chapman’:  GoFundMe

TELE-TOWN HALL MEETING: NEXT STEPS FOR MARRIAGE EQUALITY IN FLORIDA / MONDAY, AUGUST 4 @ 6 PM

Equality Florida Institute is hosting a Tele-Town Hall Meeting on Monday, August 4 at 6 PM to address the status of the fight for marriage equality in Florida.  Equality Florida Institute is a plaintiff, along with six same-six couples, in one of the lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of Florida’s ban on same-sex marriage.

In the past two weeks, two Monroe County Florida judges have ruled that Florida’s ban is unconstitutional.

In both cases, Attorney General Pam Bondi appealed the decision, preventing same-sex couples from obtaining marriage licenses.

Where do we go from here?  What do the rulings mean, and what are the next steps for gay and lesbian Floridians to achieve marriage equality? Continue reading

HOMETOWN! PAC’s A QUESTION AND ANSWER FORUM

unnamed

Who: Mayoral Candidates, and Primary Candidates for Monroe County commissioner, district 2 and keys mosquito control board, district 5

Where: Tropic Cinema, Carper Theater, 416 Eaton Street

When: Monday, August 4, from 5:00 – 7:30 pm

What: A great political evening is in store for Key West voters when candidates for Mayor, and primary candidates for Monroe County Commissioner, District 2, and Keys Mosquito Control Board, District 5 are questioned by four top political observers.

The political mavens for this event and the next forum, scheduled for August 18, will be representatives of local newspapers and radio and television stations, business people, attorneys and others – a diverse and knowledgeable cross-section of the political spectrum of our community. Continue reading

TUNATOONS: ISLAND OF BONES

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 TWO of Island of Bones Series… Continue reading

Announcing Fantasy Fest Meeting for Non-Profits, August 14th, 5 pm

Fantasy Fest will again offer 10 vendor booth spaces to local non-profits for the lucrative sale of alcoholic beverages during the Street Fair and Promenade on October 24 and 25.  Festival organizers will hold a short meeting on Thursday, August 14, to review policy and procedures for obtaining a booth and for required licensing and insurance for liquor sales.

This informational meeting will take place at 5pm in the Market Share Company offices, Suite 211, at 1111 Twelfth St. (behind Kmart).  Space is limited, so please send only one representative. The lottery for liquor booth space selection with be held at Dante’s, on Thursday, September 11 at 5pm.

For additional information and guidelines, please contact the Street Fair Coordinator Betsy Dietz at 305-296-1817 or streetfair@marketsharecompany.com.

3Wishes.com Fantasy Fest Parade Design Workshop Scheduled for August 18, 2014

Photo:  www.fantasyfest.com

Photo: www.fantasyfest.com

Don’t have your dream bubble burst!  Come to the design workshop and get some good advice on how to create a fabulously over-the-top entry for this year’s 3Wishes.com Fantasy Fest Parade featuring “Animeted Dreams & Adventures”

The annual Design Workshop is scheduled for Monday, August 18, 5:30p.m., at the Pier House Resort and Caribbean Spa’s Grand Cayman Room.

This workshop is a chance for interested entrants, new and experienced, to make their dreams a reality, by getting resourceful tips from previous award winners on designing and building a creative entry that is both safe and dazzling.

Presenters will include legendary local float designer Rick Worth who continues to create awe-inspiring works of parade art. Multiple-award winner Sue D’Antonio who designed and mastered walking groups which will give any large float a run for it’s money. This is your chance to learn from the experts and get their advice on how to make your entry memorable and potentially award winning!

Download a parade application at FantasyFest.com. It includes the basic rules, regulations and the fees. This year’s parade will be Saturday, October 25, at 7 p.m. For more information about the free workshop, call the Fantasy Fest office at 305.296.1817 or email parade@marketsharecompany.com.

BOOK REVIEW: Heavy Wait, A Strange Tale by Sloan Bashinksy

Heavy Weight Cover

PublishAmerica (2006)

www.amazon.com, paper and kindle, [also available in Spanish]

Mostly I read for entertainment—lightweight stories soon forgotten. Occasionally I stumble on a heavyweight—my first novel was “Hatter’s Castle” by A. J. Cronin. Read at aged twelve when I was still reading the “Famous Five” and “In the Fourth at Mallory Towers”—it was an epiphany in that, for the first time, I was introduced to realistic fiction and imperfect families. Last night I finished reading another literary heavyweight: “Heavy Wait” by Sloan Bashinsky. Continue reading

Risky Business Report Finds Businesses and Infrastructure in U.S. and Florida Face Significant Economic Risks From Climate Change

canstockphoto11068613

First-Ever Risk Analysis Quantifies Potential for Widespread Economic Disruptions

The American economy will face significant and widespread disruptions from climate change unless U.S. businesses and policymakers take immediate action to reduce climate risk, according to a new report released today. The report, “Risky Business: The Economic Risks of Climate Change in the United States,” analyzes economic and climate impact data at the county, state, and regional level, and finds that communities, industries, and properties across the U.S. face profound risks from climate change.

The report, a product of the Risky Business Project, emphasizes that climate impacts differ by scale and type across the country. Focusing on higher temps and sea level rise, the report finds that Florida faces significant climate-related risks in the coming decades.

The report identifies these specific impacts as likely to hit the Sunshine State in the next five to 25 years: Continue reading

LOVE LANE GANG! THEY’RE JUST PLAIN FUN!

Photo: Sheelman Photography

Photo: Sheelman Photography

The Love Lane Gang is a locals band that knocks the socks off tourists and locals alike.They play music that spans generations as well as embodies them. With an age range among the members of over thirty years, they bring a wide variety of experience and musical tastes to bear. 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!

Their regular gigs are at McConnell’s Irish Pub And Grill on Fridays at 8 PM and Saluté On The Beach on Sundays at 5:30 PM. They will also be playing at Blue Heaven this Saturday during brunch and dinner.Come out and see them before they take a summer break in mid-July!

Scheduled Appearances: Continue reading

DO YOU THINK WE MIGHT HAVE A HOUSING CRISIS?

Affordable Housing Crises

942765_444707312315462_900435827_nIt is becoming very alarming how few rental properties there are, and how high priced they are. Landlords are becoming very unreliable, houses are going into foreclosure in high amounts. I know my landlord defaulted on 10 in the last two months. I know of at least 3-4 more that friends live in houses facing foreclosure. Now banks own a ton of properties. Then banks sell them to people, and those people tend to turn them into vacation rentals. Florida Keys have a housing CRISIS on their hands. What is going to happen when more Key West residents move out for lack of housing? Or way to expensive housing? People can barely live down here unless they have many roommates. I’m a mother, so I really can’t have roommates. Who can really afford to live here without roomates? People who own their house, military workers, those in low income housing where the state pays their bills and rent, people on vacation, and people who really don’t need to work. Key west needs people to work, not moving out because they can’t afford the first, last, and security totaling $ 6,000 -$ 10,000 just to move in and rent a place. At least most tourist destinations have worker housing that is truly affordable. Without workers, you have no tourist destination … Also speaking of tourist destinations, I’m sure I’m not the only one to notice, the economy is not the same as it was in 2005-2007. The money is slowing down quite a bit. Tourists are spending a lot more for rooms in hotels, and vacation houses like Truman Annex and such. They’re  staying and relaxing in their hotels more, spending less money on Duval St. and other fun activities. People are starting to take their vacations to other cheaper places. I hear it all the time. Last year’s Fantasy Fest had to be the worst ever. Just like Bike Week and this year’s St. Patrick’s Day. Key west is not getting what it used to in tourism. So if our wages are not as good as they used to be, and rent is getting higher, what is next? Exactly, people are leaving… What is Key West going to do?? Huge Crisis. I have put this on Facebook and have had a huge amount of responses.

Do you think Monica hit a chord?  Well, she sure did.  Have a look at the flood of Facebook responses (get comfy): Continue reading

New Mel Fisher Days Events Offer Fun, Romance and Adventure for a Great Cause

The Spam Allstars will headline a free concert July 12 at the Mel Fisher Days Sizzlin’ Street Fair on Duval

The Spam Allstars will headline a free concert July 12 at the Mel Fisher Days Sizzlin’ Street Fair on Duval

Every summer a multi-day celebration is held in honor of Mel Fisher, a man who pursued his dreams and discovered a fortune in treasure in the seas off Key West, inspiring millions to follow their own dreams and earning him the title of The World’s Greatest Treasure Hunter. This summer’s Mel Fisher Days are set for July 10-13 and will feature a treasure-trove of events ranging from the educational to the adventurous.

Festivities kick off Thursday, July 10, 11-1 pm, with a “meet the crew” Diver Reunion dock party and book signing. For the first time since the 1980’s the 100’ salvage vessel JB Magruder will dock at the Historic Seaport, just behind Schooner Wharf Bar, 202 William Street. Visitors are invited to meet current crew and alumni divers. Evening brings a swashbuckling great time with a PirateCon Pub Crawl and Pirate Ball. Continue reading

The Blue Paper #68

Issue #68 — Friday, June 27, 2014

Zecca Sentenced to Ten Years in Federal Prison

BREAKING NEWS LOGO

A clearly frustrated U.S. federal Judge Jose E. Martinez imposed the maximum allowable ten-year sentence on admitted murder-for-hire perpetrator Dennis Zecca in a sentencing hearing at the Federal Court Building in Key West today. Zecca has been convicted of hiring someone to kill Marathon realtor Bruce Schmitt for reasons still unknown. Martinez wondered aloud what everyone else has been wondering, why. His sentence came after an emotional 15-minute statement by Schmitt to the court.

Check out Friday’s Blue Paper for the full story about what happened inside the courtroom.

Ten Questions About The Charles Eimers Autopsy Report
Charles Eimers Photo provided by Treavor Eimers

Charles Eimers Photo provided by Treavor Eimers

Wouldn’t it be great if we could all believe that Charles Eimers’ death was just an accident – somehow the 61-year-old tourist was simply a ‘walking heart attack’ and when police tried to arrest him he stressed out and his heart gave up.

We have a few questions about the final autopsy report:

1.  What About The Civilian Witnesses?

Eimers’ “face was not forced into the sand,” wrote former Monroe County Medical Examiner, E. Hunt Sheuerman, “but, rather, as he struggled, his face moved back and forth across the sand.”

We know the Medical Examiners’ Report was signed on April 26th.  Of the many civilian witnesses we spoke to, only two were ever interviewed by FDLE and those two interviews took place in mid May, several weeks after the Medical Examiner had already signed his report. (more…)

CHARLES EIMERS ARREST VIDEO: The Extended Version (26 More Seconds)

This is an extended version of the video published last December of Charles Eimers’ arrest on South Beach on Thanksgiving Day 2013. There are an additional 26 seconds at the end of this video.  We had initially received the bystander video in two parts.  The two files were sent to us under the same file name and it was originally thought that they were identical.  In fact they overlapped and the second video included an additional 26 seconds showing more of what happened to Charles Eimers that day. Those two overlapping videos have been pieced together into the extended video above.

NOTE: At the very end of the extended video it appears that one officer has placed both of his knees, and thus nearly all of his weight, on Charles Eimers’ back.

MEDICAL EXAMINER RULES DEATH OF CHARLES EIMERS ACCIDENTAL [In Case You Missed The Breaking News Release]]

“Mr. Eimers was at risk of a sudden death, at any time, due to either a chaotic cardiac rhythm or worsening of his congestive heart failure,” wrote the E. Hunt Scheuerman, M.D., the Monroe County Medical Examiner.

Charles Eimers, 61, a Michigan native, died after losing consciousness while being restrained face down in the sand by Key West police officers last Thanksgiving Day. Numerous eyewitnesses came forward accusing the police of excessive force, of holding Eimers head down in the sand, putting the weight of up to four officers on his back, and shocking him with a Taser stungun.

The Medical Examiner, however, in his final autopsy report, states that “the FDLE investigation concluded that his face (more…)

THIS SUMMER’S UNSUNG HEROES
Mary Parmley, "Just 4 Kids" Bahama Village Art Program  and Jeff Drechsler, Key West Sailing Center

Mary Parmley, “Just 4 Kids” Bahama Village Art Program
and Jeff Drechsler, Key West Community Sailing Center

 

“I know,” she says, “air conditioning would be nice.”  We have a moment of hesitation at the door, the heat inside the warehouse feels like an oven.

We are talking with Mary Parmley, who runs the Bahama Village art program, “Just 4 Kids,” on Forte Street. (more…)

Guest Column: Cudjoe Sewer System / What Is Everyone Complaining About and How Did We Get Here?

canstockphoto10414528

Why have so many groups been complaining about the Cudjoe sewer system? They insist they don’t want their concerns to slow down the project and they agree that a well designed sewer system will improve water quality in canals and near shore waters. It seems the “well designed” is what they question.  We will get to that but let’s take a moment to remember how we got here.

Back in 2008, the new county administrator looked at the county sewer fund that had been depleted by infrastructure projects like the Hickory House and the Vandenberg. He realized no state or federal funding was in sight and the county was facing a 2010 state mandate to sewer the remaining Keys. The county and FKAA started looking at ways to trim the cost of the estimated $ 200M Cudjoe project in case the county had to fund the whole thing.  A consultant created a decision tree that favored low pressure grinder pumps, and in 2009 the treatment plant capacity was “averaged down” to allow shallow disposal wells. With no money in sight, everyone waited. (more…)

DO YOU THINK WE MIGHT HAVE A HOUSING CRISIS?

942765_444707312315462_900435827_nIt is becoming very alarming how few rental properties there are, and how high priced they are. Landlords are becoming very unreliable, houses are going into foreclosure in high amounts. I know my landlord defaulted on 10 in the last two months. I know of at least 3-4 more that friends live in houses facing foreclosure. Now banks own a ton of properties. Then banks sell them to people, and those people tend to turn them into vacation rentals. Florida Keys have a housing CRISIS on their hands. What is going to happen when more Key West residents move out for lack of housing? Or way to expensive housing? People can barely live down here unless they have many roommates. I’m a mother, so I really can’t have roommates. Who can really afford to live here without roomates? People who own their house, military workers, those in low income housing where the state pays their bills and rent, people on vacation, and people who really don’t need to work. Key west needs people to work, not moving out because they can’t afford the first, last, and security totaling $ 6,000 -$ 10,000 just to move in and rent a place. At least most tourist destinations have worker housing that is truly affordable. Without workers, you have no tourist destination … Also speaking of tourist destinations, I’m sure I’m not the only one to notice, the economy is not the same as it was in 2005-2007. The money is slowing down quite a bit. Tourists are spending a lot more for rooms in hotels, and vacation houses like Truman Annex and such. They’re  staying and relaxing in their hotels more, spending less money on Duval St. and other fun activities. People are starting to take their vacations to other cheaper places. I hear it all the time. Last year’s Fantasy Fest had to be the worst ever. Just like Bike Week and this year’s St. Patrick’s Day. Key west is not getting what it used to in tourism. So if our wages are not as good as they used to be, and rent is getting higher, what is next? Exactly, people are leaving… What is Key West going to do?? Huge Crisis. I have put this on Facebook and have had a huge amount of responses.

Do you think Monica hit a chord?  Well, she sure did.  Have a look at the flood of Facebook responses (get comfy): (more…)

Recovery

canstockphoto14059400

I just finished reading an enlightening article on “Reparations” in the June 2014 issue of, The Atlantic. The piece was titled “The Case For Reparations” written by Ta-Nehisi Coates, a senior editor at The Atlantic. Reparations, in this context, is referring to amends for past treatment of African slaves and their descendants. The reaction to the word reparations has a predictable knee-jerk effect on most Americans of European descent. “Who is going to pay and who is going to be paid and how much are WE expected to come up with”, are the usual defensive and dismissive questions.

This article attempts to address those questions, but is more focused on the necessity for an open rational dialogue on the subject. As the copy on the cover of the magazine states in bold print: “250 years of slavery. 90 years of Jim Crow. 60 years of separate but equal. 35 years of state-sanctioned redlining. Until we reckon with the compounding moral debts of our ancestors, America will never be whole.” Recovery begins with an admission that there is a problem. (more…)

A POTPOURRI OF UNSOLICITED OPINION AND COMMENT
Dennis Reeves Cooper, Ph.D

Dennis Reeves Cooper, Ph.D

Here is a compilation of opinions and comments that either do not lend themselves to complete columns or which are left over from some of my previously-published columns. Some are tongue-in-cheek and some are reasonably serious. I will leave it up to you to tell the difference.

IRS SCANDAL. For months and months, congressional investigators have been trying the get the IRS to release emails of several high-level IRS employees to see if they were involved in an orchestrated effort to gag political speech of conservative groups before the last presidential election. Finally, in recent days, IRS officials, have reported, with straight faces, that thousands of the requested emails have simply been “lost.” Geez! The dog-ate-my-homework scam didn’t even work in the third grade. (more…)

Conditioned Minds–Attract Duplicitous Ideologies…
Money-is-the-Root-of-All-Evil_2577-l

You can purchase a T-Shirt with this design at: http://www.neatoshop.com/product/Money-is-the-Root-of-All-Evil

Since man’s inception, the drive for wealth and power has been intrinsically woven into the species.

Many of the world’s movers and shakers are possessed with an inflamed primordial drive, requiring expression via “whatever means necessary”.  The weak and feeble are often recruited to serve as mouthpieces for those ‘calling the shots’.

Some government policy makers care little of the strategies and tactics employed to realize their power and monetary objectives. Wars, famines, ethnic cleansings and genocides have been honed into the crafts of their trade. (more…)

Did You Miss Hometown PAC’s Candidate Forum Last Week? Here’s The Video…

~~~~~~~~~~
RECENT TOP STORIES

 

Photo provided by Treavor EimersSTATE ATTORNEY SENDS EIMERS CASE TO GRAND JURY

FDLE’s investigative report in the Eimers case is finally in. No word yet on what the recommendations of the investigators are.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Issue 43 Charles Eimers for webNEW WITNESS COMES FORWARD: “THE POLICE JUST KILLED A MAN”

“I saw an officer kneeling in front of the man with a knee on his back and he was holding the man’s head down in the sand. The man had a reflex lift of legs once head pushed down.  One of the officers had placed a small black device on …

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Peter PanHOMELESS IN KEY WEST:  Old Man Chapman, Captain Tilly, and Peter Pan

This is the first in a series of articles on affordable housing and homelessness in Key West and the Florida Keys.

 

 

Upcoming Hometown PAC Events

On Monday evening, August 4 and on Monday evening, August 18, great political events are in store for Key West/Monroe County voters when political pundits question primary candidates (the Primary Election is August 26, 2014) for the following offices:

·      Mayor of Key West

·      School Board, Districts 1,4 and 5

·      Monroe County Commissioner, District 2 (2 Republicans are in a primary race, the winner of which will oppose a Democrat in the November General Election)

·      United State Representative (5 Republicans are in a primary contest to determine who will run against Incumbent Joe Garcia)

·      Mosquito Control Board, District 5 (2 Republicans are in a primary fight—the winner to face a Democrat in the November General election)

·      Circuit Judges, Group 1 and 4 (more…)

BOOK REVIEW: Heavy Wait, A Strange Tale by Sloan Bashinksy

Heavy Weight Cover

PublishAmerica (2006)

www.amazon.com, paper and kindle, [also available in Spanish]

Mostly I read for entertainment—lightweight stories soon forgotten. Occasionally I stumble on a heavyweight—my first novel was “Hatter’s Castle” by A. J. Cronin. Read at aged twelve when I was still reading the “Famous Five” and “In the Fourth at Mallory Towers”—it was an epiphany in that, for the first time, I was introduced to realistic fiction and imperfect families. Last night I finished reading another literary heavyweight: “Heavy Wait” by Sloan Bashinsky. (more…)

BOOK REVIEW: Salvation Jane [Author: Jane Massey]

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Salvation Jane, by Ann Massey, Perth, Australia

Reviewed by a former practicing lawyer and published author who became homeless in Key West and other places.

Set in Perth, Australia, inspired by the massive tasering for sport of a schizophrenic homeless Aborigine by Aussie police officers, and by a brave and outraged Aussie lassie jumping whole hog into her ’tis of thee’s national politics over that, and over the general plight of homeless men and women down under, and by the author’s own personal experiences, which she asked me to keep between her and me, which inspired her to novelize all of the aforementioned: Salvation Jane is a topsy-turvy twisting-and-turning emotional tilt-a-whirl volcanic tsunami. Maddening, uplifting, maddening, uplifting. Featuring two saints, one dearly-departed, the other his left-behind common law, but for whom the silver linings would have been harder to swallow. (more…)

Garcia Recognizes One Year Since Passage of Senate Version of Comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill

Congressman Garcia press release

A year ago today, the Senate passed a comprehensive immigration reform bill with broad bipartisan support. In honor of that date, yesterday [June 26, 2014], Rep. Garcia, along with several colleagues, held a press conference to highlight the House’s long inaction and discuss the need for a vote.

“It is disappointing that in 365 days, this body has done nothing but find excuses” said Garcia. “We need to stop with the finger-pointing and start governing. (more…)

Risky Business Report Finds Businesses and Infrastructure in U.S. and Florida Face Significant Economic Risks From Climate Change

canstockphoto11068613

First-Ever Risk Analysis Quantifies Potential for Widespread Economic Disruptions

The American economy will face significant and widespread disruptions from climate change unless U.S. businesses and policymakers take immediate action to reduce climate risk, according to a new report released today. The report, “Risky Business: The Economic Risks of Climate Change in the United States,” analyzes economic and climate impact data at the county, state, and regional level, and finds that communities, industries, and properties across the U.S. face profound risks from climate change.

The report, a product of the Risky Business Project, emphasizes that climate impacts differ by scale and type across the country. Focusing on higher temps and sea level rise, the report finds that Florida faces significant climate-related risks in the coming decades.

The report identifies these specific impacts as likely to hit the Sunshine State in the next five to 25 years: (more…)

O.K. Half-way There… Help Send Melson & Rodney to Berklee!

1383885_1403542389.9365_multi

Melson & Rodney Maxine have the amazing opportunity to attend the Berklee 5-week Summer Program for high school musicians. Melson & Rodney have been students at the Bahama Village Music Program since they were 6 and 8 years old and now they are giving back to the next generation through teaching Steel Pan and Drums to the students of BVMP.  They have been awarded a full tuition scholarship to the Berklee 5-week Summer Program through the Berklee City Music Network.  Please help them raise money for travel expenses and housing so they can take advantage of this amazing opportunity!

IF YOU CAN’T MAKE THE EVENT YOU CAN STILL HELP OUT: http://www.gofundme.com/98v890

New Mel Fisher Days Events Offer Fun, Romance and Adventure for a Great Cause
The Spam Allstars will headline a free concert July 12 at the Mel Fisher Days Sizzlin’ Street Fair on Duval

The Spam Allstars will headline a free concert July 12 at the Mel Fisher Days Sizzlin’ Street Fair on Duval

Every summer a multi-day celebration is held in honor of Mel Fisher, a man who pursued his dreams and discovered a fortune in treasure in the seas off Key West, inspiring millions to follow their own dreams and earning him the title of The World’s Greatest Treasure Hunter. This summer’s Mel Fisher Days are set for July 10-13 and will feature a treasure-trove of events ranging from the educational to the adventurous.

Festivities kick off Thursday, July 10, 11-1 pm, with a “meet the crew” Diver Reunion dock party and book signing. For the first time since the 1980’s the 100’ salvage vessel JB Magruder will dock at the Historic Seaport, just behind Schooner Wharf Bar, 202 William Street. Visitors are invited to meet current crew and alumni divers. Evening brings a swashbuckling great time with a PirateCon Pub Crawl and Pirate Ball. (more…)

Eimers Family Seeks Information

Eimers Request For Information

27TH ANNUAL REEF RELIEF MEMBERSHIP MEETING: A CORAL REEF CELEBRATION

rrhome

 Tuesday, July 15, 2014 from 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Reef Relief’s 27th Annual membership Meeting is July 15th at the Casa Marina Resort located at 1500 Reynolds Street in Key West. This year, we highlight water quality in the Florida Keys. Join us as we celebrate our marine environment together!

This year’s speakers include Dr. David Vaughan, Executive Director of M.O.T.E.’s Tropical Research Lab; Chris Costello, with the Floridians’ Clean Water Declaration and the Sierra Club. Representative Holly Raschein will be speaking about water quality and the Florida legislature. Please join us this evening as we recognize Reef Relief’s accomplishments over the past year. Enjoy free food and a cash bar.

Join or renew at the door for a 15-dollar minimum tax-deductible donation. This meeting is open to Reef Relief members. Join or renew today by visiting reefrelief.org/act/donate. Come show your support for the Florida Keys National Barrier Reef and help Reef Relief in our mission to preserve our beautiful coral reef ecosystem.

For more information: email: reefrelief@gmail.com, call (305) 294-3100 or visit reefrelief.org/act/events.

Reef Relief is a nonprofit membership organization dedicated to improving and protecting our coral reef ecosystem. Check us out at reefrelief.org

 

LOVE LANE GANG! THEY’RE JUST PLAIN FUN!
Photo: Sheelman Photography

Photo: Sheelman Photography

The Love Lane Gang is a locals band that knocks the socks off tourists and locals alike.They play music that spans generations as well as embodies them. With an age range among the members of over thirty years, they bring a wide variety of experience and musical tastes to bear. 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!

Their regular gigs are at McConnell’s Irish Pub And Grill on Fridays at 8 PM and Saluté On The Beach on Sundays at 5:30 PM. They will also be playing at Blue Heaven this Saturday during brunch and dinner.Come out and see them before they take a summer break in mid-July!

Scheduled Appearances: (more…)

Garcia Recognizes One Year Since Passage of Senate Version of Comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill

Congressman Garcia press release

A year ago today, the Senate passed a comprehensive immigration reform bill with broad bipartisan support. In honor of that date, yesterday [June 26, 2014], Rep. Garcia, along with several colleagues, held a press conference to highlight the House’s long inaction and discuss the need for a vote.

“It is disappointing that in 365 days, this body has done nothing but find excuses” said Garcia. “We need to stop with the finger-pointing and start governing. Continue reading

MEDICAL EXAMINER RULES DEATH OF CHARLES EIMERS ACCIDENTAL [In Case You Missed The Breaking News Release]]

“Mr. Eimers was at risk of a sudden death, at any time, due to either a chaotic cardiac rhythm or worsening of his congestive heart failure,” wrote the E. Hunt Scheuerman, M.D., the Monroe County Medical Examiner.

Charles Eimers, 61, a Michigan native, died after losing consciousness while being restrained face down in the sand by Key West police officers last Thanksgiving Day. Numerous eyewitnesses came forward accusing the police of excessive force, of holding Eimers head down in the sand, putting the weight of up to four officers on his back, and shocking him with a Taser stungun.

The Medical Examiner, however, in his final autopsy report, states that “the FDLE investigation concluded that his face Continue reading

Upcoming Hometown PAC Events

On Monday evening, August 4 and on Monday evening, August 18, great political events are in store for Key West/Monroe County voters when political pundits question primary candidates (the Primary Election is August 26, 2014) for the following offices:

·      Mayor of Key West

·      School Board, Districts 1,4 and 5

·      Monroe County Commissioner, District 2 (2 Republicans are in a primary race, the winner of which will oppose a Democrat in the November General Election)

·      United State Representative (5 Republicans are in a primary contest to determine who will run against Incumbent Joe Garcia)

·      Mosquito Control Board, District 5 (2 Republicans are in a primary fight—the winner to face a Democrat in the November General election)

·      Circuit Judges, Group 1 and 4 Continue reading

Recovery

Recovery

canstockphoto14059400

I just finished reading an enlightening article on “Reparations” in the June 2014 issue of, The Atlantic. The piece was titled “The Case For Reparations” written by Ta-Nehisi Coates, a senior editor at The Atlantic. Reparations, in this context, is referring to amends for past treatment of African slaves and their descendants. The reaction to the word reparations has a predictable knee-jerk effect on most Americans of European descent. “Who is going to pay and who is going to be paid and how much are WE expected to come up with”, are the usual defensive and dismissive questions.

This article attempts to address those questions, but is more focused on the necessity for an open rational dialogue on the subject. As the copy on the cover of the magazine states in bold print: “250 years of slavery. 90 years of Jim Crow. 60 years of separate but equal. 35 years of state-sanctioned redlining. Until we reckon with the compounding moral debts of our ancestors, America will never be whole.” Recovery begins with an admission that there is a problem. Continue reading

Guest Column: Cudjoe Sewer System / What Is Everyone Complaining About and How Did We Get Here?

canstockphoto10414528

Why have so many groups been complaining about the Cudjoe sewer system? They insist they don’t want their concerns to slow down the project and they agree that a well designed sewer system will improve water quality in canals and near shore waters. It seems the “well designed” is what they question.  We will get to that but let’s take a moment to remember how we got here.

Back in 2008, the new county administrator looked at the county sewer fund that had been depleted by infrastructure projects like the Hickory House and the Vandenberg. He realized no state or federal funding was in sight and the county was facing a 2010 state mandate to sewer the remaining Keys. The county and FKAA started looking at ways to trim the cost of the estimated $ 200M Cudjoe project in case the county had to fund the whole thing.  A consultant created a decision tree that favored low pressure grinder pumps, and in 2009 the treatment plant capacity was “averaged down” to allow shallow disposal wells. With no money in sight, everyone waited. Continue reading

Did You Miss Our Top Stories Last Week?

Peter Pan

HOMELESS IN KEY WEST:  Old Man Chapman, Captain Tilly, and Peter Pan

This is the first in a series of articles on affordable housing and homelessness in Key West and the Florida Keys.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

pipesBETRAYED! [SEWER LIES!]  At any other time, it would probably have slipped quietly past us all.  But timing and circumstances were such that members and sympathizers of the grassroots organization Dump the Pumps, Inc. (DTPI) were on high alert…

Hometown! PAC’s MEET THE CANDIDATES RALLY [TONIGHT JUNE 20TH]

38
Date and Time:  Friday, June 20, 2014 from 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Place: The Studios of Key West (TSKW)
Dear Voters and Declared Candidates:
Please join us on Friday, June 20, 2014, when Hometown! presents its second event of the 2014 election cycle: the Meet the Candidates Rally!
This will be a timely event, since all candidates must qualify not later than noon June 20th.  Hometown! will present declared candidates for the upcoming primary and general elections.  The event will be held at The Studios of Key West, located at the corner of White Street and Southard. The social portion of the event begins at 5:30 pm.  Voters will have time to meet and greet declared candidates. Continue reading

Hepatitis C: Older Americans Are At Risk

HepC-Infographic2013FullRes

Hepatitis C is a disease that is caused by a virus that affects the liver. Even though the disease often doesn’t produce symptoms, it can seriously damage the liver and can be fatal. An estimated 3.2 million Americans have Hepatitis C.

Older people are more likely to have been exposed to Hepatitis C, but many older Americans are not aware that they need to be tested for it. A December 2013 report found that Hepatitis C infections are concentrated in the Baby Boomers generation. In one major study of people with the virus, 75 percent of the patients were born between 1945 and 1964. Continue reading

The Blue Paper #67

Issue #67 — Friday, June 20, 2014

MEDICAL EXAMINER RULES DEATH OF CHARLES EIMERS ACCIDENTAL

BREAKING NEWS CHARLES EIMERS

“Mr. Eimers was at risk of a sudden death, at any time, due to either a chaotic cardiac rhythm or worsening of his congestive heart failure,” wrote the E. Hunt Scheuerman, M.D., the Monroe County Medical Examiner.

Charles Eimers, 61, a Michigan native, died after losing consciousness while being restrained face down in the sand by Key West police officers last Thanksgiving Day. Numerous eyewitnesses came forward accusing the police of excessive force, of holding Eimers head down in the sand, putting the weight of up to four officers on his back, and shocking him with a Taser stungun.

The Medical Examiner, however, in his final autopsy report, states that “the FDLE investigation concluded that his face was not forced into the sand, but rather, as he struggled, his face moved back and forth across the sand. Audio recordings from the event revealed that Eimers repeatedly said “No.”  Such verbalization would not have been possible if he had been smothering in the sand.”  The Medical Examiner acknowledged, however, that his face appeared coated in sand in photographs taken at the hospital, but that “No sand was found in his airways.” (more…)

State Attorney Sends Eimers Case to Grand Jury

FDLE’s investigative report in the Eimers case is finally in. No word yet on what the recommendations of the investigators are.

The office of State Attorney Catherine Vogel announced today that the matter of the Charles Eimers in-custody death will be presented for review to the Monroe County Grand Jury on July 21, 22, and 23rd. (more…)

So, What’s In The Closet?

ISSUE 67 CBS EIMERS for web

New Witness Comes Forward: “The Police Just Killed A Man”
Photo provided by Treavor Eimers

Charles Eimers
Photo provided by Treavor Eimers

“I saw an officer kneeling in front of the man with a knee on his back and he was holding the man’s head down in the sand. The man had a reflex lift of legs once head pushed down.  One of the officers had placed a small black device on the man’s back after the lift of legs […] The female officer then started walking away from the scene, shaking her head.”  [See bystander video here.]

This statement was given this week by a tourist from Maryland [We’ll call her “M”] who was having breakfast at the Southernmost Beach Café last Thanksgiving Day.  The man she describes was Charles Eimers, who would soon die in police custody.  (more…)

Prank Of The Week

Did You Miss Our Top Stories Last Week?

Peter Pan

HOMELESS IN KEY WEST:  Old Man Chapman, Captain Tilly, and Peter Pan

This is the first in a series of articles on affordable housing and homelessness in Key West and the Florida Keys.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

pipesBETRAYED! [SEWER LIES!]  At any other time, it would probably have slipped quietly past us all.  But timing and circumstances were such that members and sympathizers of the grassroots organization Dump the Pumps, Inc. (DTPI) were on high alert…

More Bull from Marathon City Council

 Lego Lighthouse

The Marathon City Council on Tuesday agreed to spend as much as $ 9,250 to investigate the true cost associated with moving a historic Fresnel lighthouse lens back to Marathon.

Florida Keys Keynoter

This is not a joke. Well, not an actual meant-to-be-funny-joke anyway. It might be Vice Mayor Chris Bull’s idea of a joke, but it’s hard to imagine that most of the taxpayers in Marathon would get the punch line.

That’s $ 9,250 in taxpayer’s money. That’s $ 9,250 that could have been spent on making the new city hall more energy efficient. Or the city itself. It might even pay for making a replica of the lens out Legos.

A little background. Sombrero Reef lies about eight miles off Marathon’s shores and is a much sought after spot for divers and snorkelers. The lighthouse on the reef was put in service in 1858, automated in 1960, and is still in operation. The upper platform, 40 feet above the water, held staff quarters but now the light is automated. The original lens, what’s known as a first order Fresnel lens, is on display in the Key West Lighthouse Museum. (more…)

SAVING THE WORLD: Where Do We Draw The Line?

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Should Americans continue to try to save the world? If so, it seems pretty obvious that we can’t save it all. And if that is true, how do we pick and choose? Where do we draw the line? And the big question: Is the life of one American soldier worth the lives of the entire population of any Stone Age country? In the wake of the apparent meltdown of government military forces in Iraq, these questions seem appropriate and timely. Since we invaded that country in 2003 to save the people from an evil regime (and to search for non-existent weapons of mass destruction), more than 4000 American soldiers have been killed and thousands more injured, many with pieces of their bodies blown off. The financial investment so far has been estimated at more than $ 1 trillion. (more…)

Disposable People

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Apropos of last week’s heartbreaking article in The Blue Paper by Naja and Arnaud Girard on the personal stories of three local homeless, two families and one single person, I came across a story making its way around the web. It’s the miraculous human-interest/feel-good story of Rashema Melson, an eighteen year old homeless young African-American woman who graduated with a 4.0 GPA and valedictorian of her class at Anacostia High School in Washington DC. Ms. Melson will be attending Georgetown University in the fall with a full scholarship. She accomplished this miracle in spite of living in a homeless shelter with her mother and siblings for the last two years after a tumultuous existence of moving from place to place previous to landing in the shelter. She is an attractive and poised young woman and will no doubt go on to greatness and I salute her.

(more…)

Water Water Neverywhere
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Miss Me Yet?
(Image CC-by-NC-3.0, GFDL-1.2)

You don’t often see an online headline like “Thirsty West: Why Californians Will Soon Be Drinking Their Own Pee.” Okay, you probably would never have seen it had Slate not explored the topic a couple of day’s ago. The article focuses on the California drought and how the state is attempting to cope with it. In San Diego, for example, which gets almost all of its water from snow melt and the much-contended-for Colorado River, they are now building a billion dollar desal plant. If and when finished, it will supply just seven percent of the area’s water needs. That seems ridiculous, opines author Eric Holthaus. He goes on to note that recycling wastewater is a much more efficient way of increasing available potable water. (more…)

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NEW!! CLASSIFIEDS FOR CONCHS! [CLICK ON THE IMAGE]

greenboatbungalow

Monroe County School Board member Andy Griffiths Elected to Florida School Board Association Board of Directors District 6 seat

ANDY GRIFFITHS PHOTO HEADSHOT

Monroe County School Board member Andy Griffiths has been elected to the Florida School Board Association Board of Directors District 6 seat representing Collier, Glades, Hendry, and Monroe Counties. Griffiths joins 25 Florida School Board members on the FSBA Board of Directors. He has served in every executive office of the Association and his colleagues in District 6 unanimously elected him to the post at the FSBA June 2014 conference.

“We are excited to have Andy back with us in a leadership role.” said Dr. Wayne Blanton, FSBA Executive Director. “His board experience is rare in this day and age.” (more…)

Monroe County Top School District for Studying Abroad

Twenty-one students from Monroe County High Schools (Key West, Key West Collegiate, Marathon and Coral Shores high schools) are preparing to participate in The Experiment in International Living’s cross cultural programs within 14 different countries. The Experiment in International Living offers immersive summer programs for high school students in Europe, the Americas, Africa, and Asia and the Pacific.

“Monroe County, Florida, sends more participants every summer to The Experiment than any other school district in America outside of New York City,” according to Executive Director Dr. Aaron Morehouse.  “Since 2006, 125 Monroe County students have participated in The Experiment’s innovative cross cultural programs.”

All Monroe students will leave the U.S. in small groups at the end of June, (more…)

Hepatitis C: Older Americans Are At Risk

HepC-Infographic2013FullRes

Hepatitis C is a disease that is caused by a virus that affects the liver. Even though the disease often doesn’t produce symptoms, it can seriously damage the liver and can be fatal. An estimated 3.2 million Americans have Hepatitis C.

Older people are more likely to have been exposed to Hepatitis C, but many older Americans are not aware that they need to be tested for it. A December 2013 report found that Hepatitis C infections are concentrated in the Baby Boomers generation. In one major study of people with the virus, 75 percent of the patients were born between 1945 and 1964. (more…)

Hometown! PAC’s MEET THE CANDIDATES RALLY [TONIGHT JUNE 20TH]
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Date and Time:  Friday, June 20, 2014 from 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Place: The Studios of Key West (TSKW)
Dear Voters and Declared Candidates:
Please join us on Friday, June 20, 2014, when Hometown! presents its second event of the 2014 election cycle: the Meet the Candidates Rally!
This will be a timely event, since all candidates must qualify not later than noon June 20th.  Hometown! will present declared candidates for the upcoming primary and general elections.  The event will be held at The Studios of Key West, located at the corner of White Street and Southard. The social portion of the event begins at 5:30 pm.  Voters will have time to meet and greet declared candidates. (more…)
Eimers Family Seeks Information

Eimers Request For Information

Go Native In Your Garden: Learn How With Susie Reutling at Key West Tropical Forest & Botanical Garden
Lucy Carleton lends her support to the Botanical Garden by learning the importance of native before purchasing under the direction of Susie Reutling, Nursery Team Leader at the Native Plant Sale.

Lucy Carleton lends her support to the Botanical Garden by learning the importance of native before purchasing under the direction of Susie Reutling, Nursery Team Leader at the Native Plant Sale.

“GO NATIVE IN YOUR GARDEN” – Having problems gardening our thin, alkaline, rocky soil?  Feel guilty about wasting water on irrigation?  Are your plants attracting more pests than butterflies and birds?  Find out how to select & grow attractive and healthy native plants.  Saturday, June 21st, 1:00-3:00 pm at Key West Tropical Forest & Botanical Garden Nature Chapel, Susie Reutling, Nursery Coordinator, Master Gardener will share her practical experience in landscaping with native plants and cultivating rare specimens. Members & students FREE; others $ 5.00.

Earlier that day, from 9-noon, the nursery at the KWTF&BG will be open for a plant sale. For more, visit www.KWBGS.org or call 305-296-1504.

8th Annual Midsummer’s Night Dream

midsummer (more…)

LET’S HAVE LAUNCH!

Key West Confidential CoverInmates, Orderlies and Disorderlies are invited to “THE BOOK” Bash.

Where? Blue Heaven

Upstairs in the Bordello

When? 8PM

Thursday 6/26

KEY WEST CONFIDENTIAL

No names have been changed

No one’s innocent!

Love Lane Gang! They’re Just Plain Fun!
Photo by Sheelman Photography

Photo by Sheelman Photography

The Love Lane Gang is a locals band that knocks the socks off tourists and locals alike.They play music that spans generations as well as embodies them. With an age range among the members of over thirty years, they bring a wide variety of experience and musical tastes to bear. 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!

Their regular gigs are at McConnell’s Irish Pub And Grill on Fridays at 8 PM and Saluté On The Beach on Sundays at 5:30 PM. They will also be playing at Ocean Key House Saturday at 6 PM

Scheduled Appearances: (more…)

Water Water Neverywhere

1280px-Water_droplet_blue_bg05
1280px-Water_droplet_blue_bg05

Miss Me Yet?
(Image CC-by-NC-3.0, GFDL-1.2)

You don’t often see an online headline like “Thirsty West: Why Californians Will Soon Be Drinking Their Own Pee.” Okay, you probably would never have seen it had Slate not explored the topic a couple of day’s ago. The article focuses on the California drought and how the state is attempting to cope with it. In San Diego, for example, which gets almost all of its water from snow melt and the much-contended-for Colorado River, they are now building a $1 billion dollar desal plant. If and when finished, it will supply just seven percent of the area’s water needs. That seems ridiculous, opines author Eric Holthaus. He goes on to note that recycling wastewater is a much more efficient way of increasing available potable water. Continue reading

Love Lane Gang! They’re Just Plain Fun!

Photo by Sheelman Photography

Photo by Sheelman Photography

The Love Lane Gang is a locals band that knocks the socks off tourists and locals alike.They play music that spans generations as well as embodies them. With an age range among the members of over thirty years, they bring a wide variety of experience and musical tastes to bear. 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!

Their regular gigs are at McConnell’s Irish Pub And Grill on Fridays at 8 PM and Saluté On The Beach on Sundays at 5:30 PM. They will also be playing at Ocean Key House Saturday at 6 PM

Scheduled Appearances: Continue reading