May 202016
 
Peary Court: Affordable Housing Deal Goes Through / 92% of Units Can Legally Rent For $2709/Month

by Arnaud and Naja Girard…… This must be an all time record for how fast a small City like Key West can vet, vote, and authorize payment on a 12.5 million dollar deal. In just 2 weeks time the City dispatched 12.5 million dollars to a private company that will provide affordable housing [for up to $2709/month] for rent-burdened Key West workers. The last leg of this race to closing played out this week: the County’s Land Authority pledged the entire City reserve plus $300,000 [continue reading…]

May 202016
 
Cream Rises To The Top...

by John Donnelly……. Dare say, the rants denigrating law-enforcement officers, along with the chants calling for their murder, are difficult for me to reconcile with; while watching and listening to accounts of their extraordinary bravery and steadfast courage under fire, as President Obama decorates them with the ‘Medal of Valor’ at the White House. Just today, these ‘officers of the law’ appeared on TV as our president reverently draped this distinguished award around each of their necks. One mother was presented her son’s medal posthumously, [continue reading…]

 May 20, 2016  Posted by at 1:00 am Issue #167, John Donnelly No Responses »
May 202016
 
I'd Rather Not Have One

by Kim Pederson……. Everyone needs help sometimes, especially with regard to putting the spark back into relationships teetering on the edge of gutteringdom. Guttering is a great word, isn’t it? It acts as a gerund for the verb “gutter” that denotes the melted wax that runs down a candle. The intransitive verb “gutter” means, in turn, to flow in rivulets as in wax down a candle, to incline downward in a draft or wind as candle flames do, or to burn feebly as again in [continue reading…]

 May 20, 2016  Posted by at 12:56 am Issue #167, Kim Pederson No Responses »
May 202016
 
Poetry and Verse

by Kirby Congdon……. An important book on nursery rhymes, Iona and Peter Opie’s Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes (1952), pointed out that those light-hearted poems from Mother Goose were, in fact, documentaries, not just making things up. In those days an execution could be your punishment for embarrassing any political figure accused of mishandling civil rights — as if there were any! A few years ago, a local poet prefaced a reading of a poem by saying, “This really happened.” I asked myself, Does that mean [continue reading…]

 May 20, 2016  Posted by at 12:52 am Issue #167, Kirby Congdon No Responses »
May 132016
 
Medical Examiner Buys Himself Video Games, Gun Supplies and a Truck With County Money

by Arnaud and Naja Girard……. It all started with a dead body being hauled down US 1 on the back of an open-bed pickup truck. That was the unceremonious business practice of the new Monroe County Medical Examiner, Dr. Thomas Beaver. Families complained. Then employees at the Medical Examiner’s office began leaving. The first one to leave, Ryan Moe, claimed he was subjected to abusive treatment. He told the Keynoter last May that Beaver would leave him alone to conduct critical autopsy procedures, “He’d have [continue reading…]

May 132016
 
AL GORE SAYS THAT THE SEA LEVEL MAY RISE BY 20 FEET WORLDWIDE IN THE NEAR FUTURE. WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT HOW CLIMATE CHANGE AND GLOBAL WARMING MAY AFFECT KEY WEST AND THE KEYS

Commentary by Dennis Reeves Cooper……. Have you been keeping up with the climate change/global warming controversy? Well, if you live in the Florida Keys– and especially if you own property here, where most of the land area is only about five feet or less above sea level– you might want to at least try to stay current on this topic. After all, former vice president and almost-president of the United States of America Al Gore has said that “sea level could be rising as much [continue reading…]

May 132016
 
Open Letter to the School Board: Cash Settlements and School Discipline

Gentlemen: According to news reports, MCSD is considering a lump sum $550,000 payout to the family of a profoundly autistic elementary school student. Purportedly, the child was molested by a substitute teacher who is now in federal prison. Again, according to news reports, the suit in federal court was brought not entirely because of the molestation, but because of the allegations that the child’s mother reported the incident(s) to officials at Sugarloaf School and was ignored. One expects that there is a foundation, a truthfulness, [continue reading…]

May 132016
 
Thoughts on Hillary Clinton

by Alex Symington……. Because I express my views, I must expect opposing views. That is only natural. For most ideas and thoughts, there are counter ideas and thoughts, however, when I express my thoughts on Hillary Clinton I am confronted with a whole array of copy and paste presumptive reactions. “You are a sexist!” “You are in a boys club!”“Why don’t you just say it, you hate Hillary Clinton.” How to respond to that? First of all, I reserve “hate” for the deserving, not someone [continue reading…]

 May 13, 2016  Posted by at 12:42 am Alex Symington, Issue #166 8 Responses »
May 132016
 
Where the Blue Meets the Blue

by Ray Jason……. Never before and never since – had I felt such an elemental connection to our wet and wondrous planet. I was clinging to the top of AVENTURA’s mast, gazing at a panorama saturated in “blueness.” The dark blue of the Sea undulated to the horizon where it mated with the delicate blue of the Sky. It was like a “white-out” in a blizzard – but here in the Far Pacific it was a “blue-out.” I had climbed the 18 steps up my [continue reading…]

 May 13, 2016  Posted by at 12:40 am Island Voices, Issue #166 No Responses »
May 132016
 
Creations of a Lesser God...

by John Donnelly……. ‘Kitten Cuddlers’ are needed. Our more advanced, enlightened and humane neighbor to the North, Miami-Dade County, is seeking ‘Kitten Cuddlers‘. Although Miami-Dade Animal Services receives approximately 30,000 discarded animals a year, rather than preemptively killing these abandoned creatures, they’ve networked with citizens in the Greater Miami Area to provide 24 hour a day care, for the most defenseless of these animals. During their twice a month workshop for the public, Miami-Dade Animal Services teaches the proper handling and treatment of discarded kittens. [continue reading…]

 May 13, 2016  Posted by at 12:38 am Issue #166, John Donnelly No Responses »
May 132016
 
In Favor of the Mutually Assured Smack Down

So who is Edith Garrud and where does she tend bar? If you had asked me this yesterday, I would have first given you a blank look. (I’m very good at this, believe me.) Then after the requisite ten-second minimum it takes for my mental gears to turn, I would have shrugged and said something like “Search me.” Thanks to the May/June 2016 issue of Mental Floss, however, I now know who Garrud is along with the fact that she does not tend bar. What [continue reading…]

 May 13, 2016  Posted by at 12:36 am Issue #166, Kim Pederson No Responses »
May 132016
 
On Some Categories of Poems

by Kirby Congdon……. The Curator and Librarian of the Kenneth Spencer Research Library, Elspeth Healey, at the University of Kansas asked me, after I had sent her an early manuscript that had gotten misplaced among my own papers, how do I approach old work like that? Do I have difficulty making editorial changes or is the text considered, preferably, as a final one? The passage of time does give one a fresh view of old work. One’s ideas change. My reply to Ms. Healey is [continue reading…]

 May 13, 2016  Posted by at 12:30 am Issue #166, Kirby Congdon No Responses »
May 062016
 
Open Letter: Contretemps Over Drug Testing of Student Athletes

Gentlemen: I think we all know that there has been a major brouhaha over the proposed return of random drug testing for high school athletes. The proposal was brought to you at your recent workshop/meeting with very little, if any, explanation as to why the program was being revised. There was some mumbling to the effect that the principals and athletic directors wanted the random testing. This morning in his interview with Bill Becker on “Morning Magazine”, Superintendent Porter repeated that he and his staff [continue reading…]

 May 6, 2016  Posted by at 12:58 am Dr. Larry Murray, Issue #165 No Responses »
May 062016
 
Key West: An Art Colony

by Kirby Congdon……. The town of Key West makes you step back and look at it. This writer spent a summer in an art colony in Maine as a pot-and-pan boy in the kitchen to be able to stay there. I didn’t assimilate the need or the drive to be a creative person for decades. But I see it all around me now. This past season Auwina Weed and Joseph Lowe provided us with a keyboard concert for organ and piano very recently (April 28) [continue reading…]

 May 6, 2016  Posted by at 12:46 am Issue #165, Kirby Congdon No Responses »
Apr 292016
 
Peary Court: Plan B

by Naja and Arnaud Girard……. After 58% of voters rejected the purchase of Peary Court six weeks ago, some City Commissioners have a new plan: give the City’s affordable housing funds to a private company that wants to buy the entire former Navy housing complex on White Street for 60 million dollars. The City would pay the buyer 12.5 million. In exchange, the buyer would deed restrict the 157 existing units and any other units constructed on the 24 plus acre property for use as [continue reading…]

Apr 292016
 
LIKE KEY WESTERS OVER THE YEARS, THE ISLAND'S GYPSY CHICKENS HAVE BEEN SUCCESSFUL IN DEFYING AUTHORITY

by Dennis Reeves Cooper……. Why does a chicken cross the road? No matter what the answer might be, one thing is certain in Key West– the chickens are always crossing the road. And in most instances, those of us who are driving cars or riding mopeds give them the right-of-way. Key West’s chickens are part of the color and history of the island. After all, they’ve been here for at least 200 years– or even longer. Some say that chickens came with the pirates who [continue reading…]

 April 29, 2016  Posted by at 12:50 am Issue #164, Journalism as a Contact Sport No Responses »
Apr 292016
 
President Dilma Rousseff and Male Politicos’ Gender Crisis

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

 April 29, 2016  Posted by at 12:48 am Issue #164, Martha Huggins No Responses »
Apr 292016
 
Sea Gypsy Nocturne #1

by Ray Jason……. In a far anchorage of the Archipelago of Bliss, the thick tropical night heat had glistened my little ship. As I came on deck, I was delighted to find her shimmering with moon glow. A single night bird was calling for a mate – or perhaps it was just saluting the almost unbearable beauty. I was carrying a pitcher of water to pour over myself with the hope of cooling down enough to go back to sleep. After dousing myself, I stood [continue reading…]

 April 29, 2016  Posted by at 12:40 am Island Voices, Issue #164 No Responses »
Apr 292016
 
Eric Greinke

by Kirby Congdon……. Pulling a new collection of poetry out of its envelope, I flipped through the pages and two poems caught my eye. These were intimate poems, an obituary of a dog emphasizing our need for a pet rather than the other way around, and a meditation on a public institution for those on disability. In this second one the narrator describes his attempt to handle the situation, closing his poem with “I finally fell away, imaginary wings broken.” Both poems were in a [continue reading…]

 April 29, 2016  Posted by at 12:38 am Issue #164, Kirby Congdon No Responses »
Apr 292016
 
The Coming Desperatora

by Kim Pederson……. So what to do if Donald Trump wins the Republican nomination and becomes the next POTUS. (He would no doubt change the acronym to TRUMPUS with his first executive order and the White House to Casa Trump with his second.) Fortunately, for all of us who soon may be adopting the expatriate lifestyle, Business Insider has just published an article titled “14 of the most affordable places for Americans to retire [feel free to substitute “flee” here] outside the United States.” We [continue reading…]

 April 29, 2016  Posted by at 12:36 am Issue #164, Kim Pederson No Responses »
Apr 222016
 
Guest Editorial: The Don Quixote of Mosquito Control

  by Ralph De Palma……. During 2009-2010 mosquito seasons over 100 cases of Dengue Fever were confirmed in mostly Old Town Key West, more cases probably went unconfirmed. The previous Florida Keys Mosquito Control (FKMCD) director Ed Fussell had managed mosquito control for the US Navy for decades. He later managed mosquito control for the entire State of Florida before coming to FKMCD. He has been the past President of the Florida Mosquito Control Association as well as the nationwide American Mosquito Control Association. He reviewed [continue reading…]

 April 22, 2016  Posted by at 1:22 am * Featured Story *, Editorial, Island Voices, Issue #163, News 1 Response »
Apr 222016
 
On Bach

by Kirby Congdon……. The harsh clatter of a bell tells us time’s up, attention! stop thinking, get out of the way. Or it can toll — letting us reflect, relieving us of distractions to iterate success or failure, celebration or commiseration. All these interpretations take only one note. In the first Prelude of The Well-tempered Clavichord, BWV 846 so familiar to every piano student, Bach uses one note in the bass, like a bell, fourteen times consecutively in one great sweep while the right hand chords [continue reading…]

 April 22, 2016  Posted by at 12:30 am Issue #163, Kirby Congdon 1 Response »
Apr 152016
 
Bouncers Out of Control?

by Arnaud and Naja Girard……. From power trip to assault of patrons, some Duval Street bouncers seem poorly trained or out of control. The Blue Paper sampled this week’s bar brawls to report on the issue. Robert Lee Klieves can’t remember why he was put into a helicopter with a brain bleed and flown to Kendall Regional Trauma Center in Miami last Saturday night. He is 60 years old, from Hudson, Florida. He came to Key West for his “first real vacation in 20 years” to [continue reading…]

 April 15, 2016  Posted by at 8:59 am Issue #162, Naja and Arnaud Girard, News 13 Responses »
Apr 152016
 
Let's Get Sidereal

by Kim Pederson……. More often than not my word for the day email from Merriam-Webster chooses mundane terms known even to me (or maybe I should say “ultramundane” for those instances). And sometimes not. One of the latter was “sidereal.” When I saw it, I wondered what the heck “side real” had to do with the sinoprice of tea. That was my first mistake. It’s not pronounced “side real”; it’s pronounced “sigh DEER ree al” and it means “of or relating to the stars or [continue reading…]

 April 15, 2016  Posted by at 12:46 am Kim Pederson No Responses »
Apr 152016
 
A Little Hope for the Young and the Lost

by Ray Jason…….      Perhaps you awaken in the midnight stillness and find yourself lost in the labyrinth of an elusive but disturbing dream. As consciousness returns, you realize that it is not a dream that is troubling you – it is the reality of your life.   You suddenly realize that the modern world is not providing you with joyous possibilities. Instead, it is ensnaring you in a digital desert. You recognize that your 1,243 Facebook friends are actually 1,243 Falsebook strangers. And you [continue reading…]

 April 15, 2016  Posted by at 12:45 am ~ Column ~, Island Voices No Responses »
Apr 152016
 
Deceit

by Kirby Congdon……. A close friend asked me why I don’t provide some remarks for this column on the subject of depression? Where would I begin? My first contact with it was Rachel, an overseer at a state orphan asylum. Rachel’s mother lived on a bankrupt farm, familiar to most of us. It consisted of about two hundred acres in rural Connecticut with a huge mansion built in the eighteen-hundreds that still had neither water nor electricity nor, in the ongoing mass-production age, an income. [continue reading…]

 April 15, 2016  Posted by at 12:44 am Issue #162, Kirby Congdon No Responses »
Apr 082016
 
Key West’s Black Community Fighting for Survival

by Arnaud and Naja Girard……. Even though the debate at City Hall this week was not officially about race, it shed an unflattering light on Key West’s cultural divide in ways that no journalist could express better than the passionate speakers did on Tuesday night. You’re just going to have to listen for yourself and be amazed. But before you click on the video, we need to make you privy to a few basic facts and to the one little secret that no one “in the know” that night had [continue reading…]

Apr 082016
 
A LOT OF STUFF YOU DIDN'T KNOW ABOUT THE HISTORY OF THE NAVY IN KEY WEST

by Dennis Reeves Cooper……. The presence of the US Navy in Key West dates back to 1822, when Lt. Commander Matthew C. Perry sailed the Navy schooner Shark into Key West Harbor and claimed the island for the United States. Only about 100 people lived here at that time. Although Florida had become a US territory a year earlier, there were still some questions about the ownership of the Keys. Keep in mind that even after the 13 American colonies had declared independence from British [continue reading…]

Apr 082016
 
Affordable Rental Nightmare

by Cindy Cody……. I have just realized that I never need to go to Disneyland ever again. If you want the wildest ride in your life do what I just did. I listed a nice clean 2-bedroom mobile home with a big yard cheap on Craig’s List. That’s when it started. I am looking for a long-term renter that takes care of the yard and let’s me know if something needs fixing. It’s 24 hours later and I am tearing out my hair on the [continue reading…]

Apr 082016
 
An Important Note Re: Fantasy Fest 2016

Mr. Robbins, Mayor and Commissioners, My name is Brian Kelly. I have lived in Key West full-time since late 2003. I would like to throw my two cents in on this subject. Every few years, I attend the Fantasy Fest parade, culminating the end of the largest invasion of my town. I am not offended by the raucous parties nor the varying degrees of dress, or more appropriately, undress. I am grossed out, however, by the grandmas and grandpas that manage to lose their inhibitions, [continue reading…]

 April 8, 2016  Posted by at 8:12 am Island Voices, Issue #161, Letter to the Editor 4 Responses »
Apr 082016
 
As You Kill Me, So It Is Done Unto Thyself...

  by John Donnelly……. Recent cries by some to expedite the killing of cats, illustrates a callousness and depravity not often found in a civilized society. The justification proffered for slaughtering these sentimental creatures is riddled with flaws  and inaccuracies. These animals are not responsible for any of the complications attributed to their species. They are not, nor have they ever been ‘the problem’. Citizens abandoning and discarding their pets as garbage into the wild are the problem. Rather than emphasizing an ‘accelerated killing program’ [continue reading…]

 April 8, 2016  Posted by at 7:56 am ~ Column ~, John Donnelly 7 Responses »
Apr 082016
 
Gullible's Travels

by Kim Pederson……. So remember back in 2000 when we were all freaked out about the flesh-eating bananas? If you picked the wrong bunch of imported fruit, necrotizing fasciitis (NF) would leap onto your skin and turn it into livid purple boils before it all slid off into a steaming pile of derma, etc., at your feet. The nice folks who sent out the mass email about this were also good enough to inform us of the FDA’s shocking NF cover-up. People were understandably upset. [continue reading…]

 April 8, 2016  Posted by at 7:54 am Issue #161, Kim Pederson No Responses »
Apr 082016
 
Small Talk

Small Talk When an admirer told the soprano,”I loved your aria,” she replied, “It’s written for a falsetto you know.” Her acquaintance answered, “Well, I’ve cheated in my time, too..” “No,” the singer explained, “I don’t mean false. I mean like a coloratura!” The man nodded tactfully. “Oh yeah? Who would know? You could always pass for a white person.” The lady was more explicit. I’m referring to the range of the aria.” “You sing on a ranch. What area is that in?” Finally the [continue reading…]

 April 8, 2016  Posted by at 7:52 am Issue #161, Kirby Congdon No Responses »
Apr 012016
 
Bernstein Loses Wisteria Island on a Technicality

by Naja and Arnaud Girard……. This week FEB Corporation and Roger Bernstein, the wannabe owners/developers of Wisteria Island, have lost their case before the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals. When most local politicians seemed all too ready to allow real estate moguls to build their posh hotel resort, who would have thought that an old Navy letter penned almost a century ago was going to place the federal government in front of the bulldozer and save the last desert island in Key West harbor? The [continue reading…]

Apr 012016
 
Key West and Brazil: Democracy and Police Accountability

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

 April 1, 2016  Posted by at 12:48 am Martha Huggins 12 Responses »
Apr 012016
 
Key West’s 1985 “Bubba Bust” / The Back Story: So Much Worse Than You Think

by Frank Brownell……. Every time I read a story that references the “Bubba Bust” trial of Deputy Police Chief Raymond Casamayor and his fellow defendants, I boil over with outrage. I was the reporter for the Key West Citizen who covered both of the trials in U.S. District Court in 1985 that resulted from the federal indictment handed down in 1984. The reason why I get so worked up about this is because I sat through four months of testimony listening to how the federal [continue reading…]

 April 1, 2016  Posted by at 12:46 am ~ Column ~, Island Voices, Issue #160 2 Responses »
Apr 012016
 
GUEST EDITORIAL: Let’s Keep the Park a Park and Not Build a Big Development Project

by Ben Volpian……. As an Advisory Board member of the Truman Waterfront Park, but commenting here strictly as a private citizen, I would like to make a comparison between my Park Plan and two other plans – the Truman Waterfront Master Plan and a Conceptual Plan that was recently released to the public. First, my Park Plan: I have preserved a great deal of open space while still taking under consideration the need and/or the stated REQUIREMENT of having revenue producing features. Two open spaces [continue reading…]

Apr 012016
 
The Voting Delusion

  by Ray Jason……. This November, I heartily encourage all Americans to exercise their civic duty by going to the polls and voting for one of the dignified Presidential candidates that have amazed us this election cycle with their wisdom and compassion. Got ya! APRIL FOOLS DAY!!! Unfortunately, this is not a laughing matter. A large segment of the U.S. population is now very aware of the fact that our political and economic systems have become totally corrupt. And yet these knowledgeable people still cling [continue reading…]

 April 1, 2016  Posted by at 12:32 am ~ Column ~, ~ Opinion ~, Issue #160 No Responses »
Apr 012016
 
Homeless Medical Log Date, 1 April 2016 (I wish This Were an April Fools Joke, But it’s Not)

FIRST DO NO HARM by Sloan Bashinsky……. Sitting in the waiting room shortly before my homeless lady Kari’s surgery yesterday morning, at Lower Keys Medical Center on Stock Island, I closed my eyes like I might journey in other realms, and immediately was overwhelmed with huge emotion, love and silent love tears, filling the entire hospital, it felt like to me – how I feel about Kari. Then, she was wheeled out of the surgery prep room on a gurney. I leaned down and kissed [continue reading…]

 April 1, 2016  Posted by at 12:32 am ~ Column ~, Island Voices 1 Response »