Mar 242017
 
Is Monroe a “Sanctuary County”?

by Arnaud and Naja Girard……. If you’re like us, you probably think, what in the world is a Sanctuary City or County? Some sort of governmental civil disobedience? This week we followed the case of an immigration “hold” detainee at the county jail where we learned of the Monroe County Sheriff’s position on the subject. In the following order: Monroe County is not a sanctuary county, then it is, and then it is not.

Mar 242017
 
It's Time to End America's Longest War

by Thomas L. Knapp……. In the latest round of saber-rattling between the US and North Korean governments, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson laid down the well-worn line. “All options,” he said during a visit to South Korea, “are on the table.” If he’s serious, here’s an option that never seems to get much discussion lately: US president Donald Trump should send Tillerson to tell Yun Byung-se, his counterpart in Seoul, that the US is withdrawing its troops from the Korean peninsula by a specific [continue reading…]

 March 24, 2017  Posted by at 12:54 am Issue #211, Thomas L. Knapp No Responses »
Mar 242017
 
Kattatonic

by Kim Pederson……. I’ve broken a solemn vow. When Survivor debuted about a hundred years ago or so, I said I would never watch a “reality” show. I managed to keep my self-promise until now. What happened? Hekla, Katla, Vigdis, Bubbi, and Por — that’s what happened. You might think these are Norse gods of some ilk or perhaps the participants in a Norwegian version of Big Brother, which would be Storebror if you want to get picky. However, these five individuals are neither superhuman [continue reading…]

 March 24, 2017  Posted by at 12:52 am Issue #211, Kim Pederson No Responses »
Mar 242017
 
Archives

by Kirby Congdon……. Does the reader of these words have a box of photographs he can’t get rid of? Aunt Mildred’s graduation, from whatever it was, can however be more than just a document. You can’t clean house and throw her out. It’s a part of your life, too. And what about your brother’s stamp collection that he took years to assemble? That is part of his life as well. As a friend reminded me, even a family full of human beings is a collection [continue reading…]

 March 24, 2017  Posted by at 12:50 am Issue #211, Kirby Congdon No Responses »
Mar 172017
 
Deportation of Two Legal Restaurant Workers: The Beginning of the End?

Commentary by Naja and Arnaud Girard……. The plane that carried Jean Dervil back to Haiti landed late Thursday in Port-au-Prince. With him were 250 more deportees from the United States. To put it mildly, it has been puzzling for our readers to watch our documentary about a beloved, hard-working Haitian man, married to an American citizen, and to come to the realization that it may now be the policy of the federal government to deport people with valid work permits. 

Mar 172017
 
Two Minutes Inside the Minds of “Anti-Immigrant Racists”

[Note from the editor: Our documentary last week about the unannounced detention, by ICE agents, of two Key West restaurant workers created quite a fire storm on our Facebook page.  The comment below from one viewer, Bill Carson, was so well written, helpful, and enlightening [in terms of understanding what’s fueling the sometimes harsh and critical reactions of our more conservative readers] that I asked if I could share it. Thank you, Mr. Carson, for taking the time to comment and for being willing to share it [continue reading…]

 March 17, 2017  Posted by at 1:04 am * Featured Story *, ~ Column ~, Issue #210 8 Responses »
Mar 172017
 
What Do Westport, Ct., Illegal Immigration & ‘3.5 Percenters’ Share in Common?  Read Below and Solve the Puzzle

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

Mar 172017
 
The Moon and the Proverb

by Ray Jason……. It was the last full moon of winter. My little ship, which was facing north, gently veered around to the east – as though she too wanted to admire the luminous moon as it rose above this jungle lagoon. Some unknown instinct had prompted me to write this essay not in the daylight or not by lamplight, but under the spell of moonlight. I abide by such mysterious murmurings. So I sat on deck with my back leaning against the mast. In [continue reading…]

 March 17, 2017  Posted by at 12:42 am Island Voices, Issue #210 No Responses »
Mar 172017
 
Stranger Fruit Meets Rotten Fruit: Robert McCulloch and the Michael Brown Shooting

by Thomas L. Knapp……. As the 2014 shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson was litigated in the court of public opinion, Ferguson’s police department released video which appeared to show Brown robbing a local store a few minutes before his fatal encounter with Wilson. A new documentary, Stranger Fruit, includes additional, mostly previously unnoticed, footage which seems to call that interpretation (and the attendant perception of Brown’s character) into question. Filmmaker Jason Pollock believes it shows that what happened [continue reading…]

 March 17, 2017  Posted by at 12:40 am Issue #210, Thomas L. Knapp No Responses »
Mar 172017
 
Sorry, Non-Interventionists: Donald Trump is a War President

by Thomas L. Knapp……. During the 2016 presidential campaign, Donald Trump claimed to have opposed the Iraq war, wanted better relations with Russia, and even briefly put his hand on the hot stove of the Arab-Israeli conflict, calling himself “neutral” on Palestine. On the other hand, he called for “rebuilding” the US armed forces, which hardly need it (they’re already the most expensive and bloated war machine on the planet). And he yanked his hand off the stove when he got his fingers burnt, turning [continue reading…]

 March 17, 2017  Posted by at 12:38 am Issue #210, Thomas L. Knapp No Responses »
Mar 172017
 
Time to Be Anti-Social?

by Kim Pederson……. “The vaunted human capacity for reason may have more to do with winning arguments than with thinking straight.” So goes the picture caption to a New Yorker article by Elizabeth Kolbert titled “Why Facts Don’t Change Our Minds.” She begins her piece by describing a 1970s Stanford University research project that asked some undergraduates to distinguish between real and fake suicide notes. Some were told they did really well and some were told they did really poorly. In reality, they all did [continue reading…]

 March 17, 2017  Posted by at 12:36 am Issue #210, Kim Pederson No Responses »
Mar 172017
 
The Beer Wars: Delaware Brewery Forces Small Islamorada Brewery to Rename Their Beer

HOGFISH AMBER BECOMES SPEARFISH AMBER Florida Keys Brewing Company, the local brewery owned and operated by Craig and Cheryl McBay announced this week that their very popular American Amber Ale named Hogfish will be changing its name to Spearfish. The reason for the change came as quite a shock to the local brewers. Dogfish Head Brewery, Milton, DE threatened the small brewery with legal action if they did not change the name of their beer fearing that consumers would not be able to differentiate when [continue reading…]

 March 17, 2017  Posted by at 12:32 am Island Voices, Issue #210 No Responses »
Mar 102017
 
Key West: Legal Restaurant Workers Being Deported

We are so sorry if you are not seeing the video above.  Some readers have mentioned that they are not able to see the video on certain devices.  If you are having this issue would you please send us a note letting us know what device you were using.  Please email:  editor@thebluepaper.com.  Thank you!

Mar 102017
 
Vault 7: What it Means for You

by Thomas L. Knapp……. On March 7, the transparency/disclosure activists at Wikileaks began releasing a series of documents titled “Vault 7.” According to the New York Times, Vault 7 consists of “thousands of pages describing sophisticated software tools and techniques used by the [US Central Intelligence Agency] to break into smartphones, computers and even Internet-connected televisions.” If the documents are authentic — and WikiLeaks has a sterling reputation when it comes to document authenticity — every paranoid thriller you’ve ever watched or read was too [continue reading…]

 March 10, 2017  Posted by at 1:16 am Issue #209, Thomas L. Knapp 1 Response »
Mar 102017
 
Buffaloed Beyond Belief

by Kim Pederson……. In a recent blog post, Grammar Girl Mignon Fogarty asked me (well, everyone) a question I never expected to be asked: “Have you ever struggled to figure out the ‘buffalo buffalo buffalo’ sentence and given up?” This is one query I can answer unequivocally: no. In fact, I was not aware that a “buffalo buffalo buffalo” dilemma existed. The sentence GG references is (not simply) eight “buffalos” in a row: “Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo.” Yes, this is a [continue reading…]

 March 10, 2017  Posted by at 1:14 am Issue #209, Kim Pederson No Responses »
Mar 102017
 
Seventh Annual Key West Authors’ Book Fair

by Kirby Congdon……. Stopping by this nationally known festival on the lawn in back of the Oldest House on Duval Street, I noticed Rosalind Brackenbury’s recent novel, The Third Swimmer. On display with it was her humorous treatment with its political subtext of “chicken liberation,” using a satiric approach that suspends reality as in Cervants, Jonathan Swift, possibly Mark Twain, or the Fantocinni of our generation, or even our own Trinidad Joe’s work here in Key West as a comic interpreation of reality. Brackenbury shared a [continue reading…]

 March 10, 2017  Posted by at 1:10 am Issue #209, Kirby Congdon No Responses »
Mar 032017
 
Bathroom-less Vacation Villas? The Hawk's Cay Inquiry Continues...

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

Mar 032017
 
Officer Reprimanded for "Attitude Arrest " of Homeless Man

by Arnaud and Naja Girard……. A Blue Paper report about the rough arrest of Kristopher Knight in front of Key West’s Publix grocery store last month created quite a stir among our readers. The initial bystander video showed Mr. Knight screaming in pain while Key West police officers were handling him. His hands were already cuffed and his legs had been tied with some sort of leash [a hobble strap]. It was not clear what kind of resistance the short 25-year-old would still have been able to [continue reading…]

Mar 032017
 
Guest Column: Key Haven Failures and New Development

by Margaret Blank……. Update: I emailed county staff asking about this one. I copied members of the Keys media, too. That’s my new thing. If I hear anything (doubtful!) I’ll let you know. I was perusing Monroe County’s Comprehensive Plan Update the other day and I saw something very interesting. Objective 901.1 Monroe County shall ensure that, at the time a certificate of occupancy, or its functional equivalent is issued, adequate sanitary wastewater treatment and disposal facilities, including wastewater treatment facilities and onsite sewage treatment [continue reading…]

 March 3, 2017  Posted by at 1:10 am Issue #208, Margaret Blank 5 Responses »
Mar 032017
 
The War on Marijuana is Ending. Disarm Jeff Sessions.

by Thomas L. Knapp……. Jeff Sessions doesn’t “think America is going to be a better place when more people of all ages and particularly young people start smoking pot.” He’s worried about the possibility of “marijuana being sold at every corner grocery store.” Because, you see, “good people don’t smoke marijuana.” America disagrees. A majority of US states (28) have modified their laws to recognize the medical benefits of cannabis over the last two decades. More recently voters in eight of those states, representing 25% [continue reading…]

 March 3, 2017  Posted by at 1:00 am Issue #208, Thomas L. Knapp No Responses »
Mar 032017
 
The Immigration Enforcement Police State is Here

by Thomas L. Knapp……. February 7: Muhammad Ali, Jr., returning to the US from a speaking engagement in Jamaica, is detained for two hours at Florida’s Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport and questioned about his name and religious beliefs. February 22: Passengers disembarking from a domestic (San Francisco to New York) flight at JFK airport are held up by US Customs and Border Protection agents demanding their IDs. February 24: Jeffrey Tucker of the Foundation for Economic Education clears the usual security checks at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta [continue reading…]

 March 3, 2017  Posted by at 12:59 am Issue #208, Thomas L. Knapp No Responses »
Mar 032017
 
A Pantheist Makes a Pilgrimage

by Ray Jason……. My heroes do not score touchdowns or lead armies or star in movies. Instead, those in my Pantheon think deeply and dream elegantly and write poetically. They are secular saints, who tried to decipher the mysteries of the human condition and who shared their discoveries with all of us. Out of reverence for their quests, I have tried to visit some of the places that were crucial to their personal and artistic development. I sat on the stone foundation of Thoreau’s tiny [continue reading…]

 March 3, 2017  Posted by at 12:52 am Island Voices, Issue #208 1 Response »
Mar 032017
 
Deepity Doodoo

by Kim Pederson……. The day after President Trump’s first state of the union address that for some reason they don’t call the SUA for a first timer, it seems appropriate to bring up the concept of deepity (thanks, Randy!). Deepity is a word not coined but adopted by philosopher Daniel Dennett. According to Wikipedia, Dennett used “deepity” for a statement that is apparently profound, but is actually trivial on one level and meaningless on another. Generally, a deepity has two (or more) meanings: one that [continue reading…]

 March 3, 2017  Posted by at 12:50 am Issue #208, Kim Pederson 1 Response »
Mar 032017
 
Swarm

What features are there to see when a creature’s size is beyond recall and the smallest measuring stick ignores the larger need for human sight to detect details as a face with eyes if that body’s head can only be defined as a period’s pin prick dropped from some forgotten page? Should we revere a nonentity with neither name nor thought or ever envy those who fly when we see how bugs, given wings, identify their annoying lives with the gift of flight by flying [continue reading…]

 March 3, 2017  Posted by at 12:49 am Issue #208, Kirby Congdon No Responses »
Mar 032017
 
Open Letter To The School Board

by Dr. Larry Murray……. I have repeatedly raised the issue of MCSD having appropriate policies for the processing of Public Records Requests. After several conversations, it occurs to me that I may have been using the wrong term and thus confusing matters. Yes, MCSD does have very general policies regarding Public Records. What it does not have are WRITTEN PROCEDURES for processing Public Records Requests. There is nothing that identifies to whom a request should be sent and who is responsible for both the processing [continue reading…]

Feb 242017
 
Policing the Homeless:  Following and Ignoring “Threat Matrix” Guidelines

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

Feb 242017
 
Public Censure Makes George the Mayor, as Rest of Commission Is Worse Than George on Financial Reporting

by Rick Boettger……. I went to the County Commission meeting when it came to my neighborhood on Feb 15th in order to object to George Neugent, as the Commission’s honorary Mayor, giving ceremonial recognition to a local nonprofit that teaches leadership. My objection was threefold: First, they voted George in as Mayor within a month of his getting public censure and reprimand by the Florida Commission on Ethics. Second, the Commission sued the innocent members of a nonprofit board for two years, until it was [continue reading…]

 February 24, 2017  Posted by at 1:08 am * Featured Story *, ~ Column ~, Issue #207, Rick Boettger 6 Responses »
Feb 242017
 
Florida's Shenanigans Make a Great Case for (Re-)Separation of Ballot and State

by Thomas L. Knapp……. In mid-February, Florida’s Division of Elections stripped the state’s third largest political party of its official recognition. Tallahassee’s excuse for ending the Independent Party’s ability to put candidates on the ballot and disenfranchising its 260,000-plus registered voters? The party organization’s 2014 financial audit wasn’t conducted by a Certified Public Accountant. Florida law doesn’t specify any such CPA requirement, and even if it did this dirty trick would exemplify the real purpose of so-called “ballot access laws”: To safeguard the Republican and [continue reading…]

 February 24, 2017  Posted by at 1:02 am Issue #207, Thomas L. Knapp No Responses »
Feb 242017
 
Secondhand Store

Who were you, out there, furnishing our home, composing our music, writing our books, or you, strangers, anonymous, who first wore my clothes, broke in my boots, provided my bibelots? And who are you, now, fingering my poems, reading my letters, discarding the irrelevant, putting aside the dispensable, dismissing what’s unessential, burning up the obsolete, rejecting the weak, the decrepit, the lame, or on top of your deep heaps of debris in their garbage pits, throwing away my name? Kirby Congdon  

 February 24, 2017  Posted by at 12:58 am Issue #207, Kirby Congdon No Responses »
Feb 242017
 
An Exercise in Portendity

by Kim Pederson……. On April 20, 2016, Merriam-Webster posted this article in its A Thing about Words blog: “2,000 New Words and Senses Added to Merriam-Webster Unabridged.” Thankfully, it didn’t list all 2,000 words and senses, just a few to give you a taste of what’s new and now “official” in our language. These are words like “waggle dance” (what bees do), “dipsogenic” (producing thirst), “ICYMI” (in case you missed this it stands for “in case you missed it”),”hella” (extremely or much of), and “dox” [continue reading…]

 February 24, 2017  Posted by at 12:56 am Issue #207, Kim Pederson No Responses »
Feb 172017
 
Ocean's Edge: A Play in Four Acts

by Conch S. Fritter …….. County Commissioners appeared lost this Wednesday in the intricacies of their own laws. But for those who had followed the growing controversy over Pritam Singh’s Ocean’s Edge (175-room) Hotel the meeting looked like the last of the county’s many renditions of The Emperor’s New Clothes. The actors are real pros and they’ve played the part many times.

 February 17, 2017  Posted by at 12:54 am Island Voices, Issue #206, News 4 Responses »
Feb 172017
 
Trump: Triumph of the Permanent Campaign

by Thomas L. Knapp……. Less than a month into the first term of his presidency, Politico reports, Donald Trump appears to be back on the campaign trail, heading for Melbourne, Florida and one of his signature airport hangar rallies. The Washington Post’s Philip Bump speculates that Trump’s outing is motivated by the simple need for an ego boost. It’s been a rough month. Heck, it’s been a rough week, marked by the resignation of National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, and the withdrawal of Labor Secretary [continue reading…]

 February 17, 2017  Posted by at 12:46 am Issue #206, Thomas L. Knapp 8 Responses »
Feb 172017
 
War Letters

From a collection of war-time letters. Germany. Nurnberg, 1945 Dear Mother: What a day! I got up early and got some stuff ready to send home, which I hope to do tomorrow, after it has been censored. Later on in the morning I was put on a detail to help evacuate a four-story apartment house.  The tenants seemed to accept it quite calmly. Within five minutes dozens of go-carts and wagons appeared from nowhere, like a too-realistic play. Some filled up one little wagon load [continue reading…]

 February 17, 2017  Posted by at 12:45 am Issue #206, Kirby Congdon, News No Responses »
Feb 172017
 
All Out of Whack

by Kim Pederson……. So, balance. It’s a complicated thing. Our bodies achieve it (or try to) every day. mostly unbeknownst to us. They keep (or try to keep) our core body temperature, our blood glucose, our plasma ionized calcium, our blood O2/CO2 pressure, our blood oxygen, our arterial blood pressure, our extracellular sodium and potassium content, our water volume, and our extracellular fluid pH, among many other things, on an even keel. I have no idea what most of these are but thank you, body, [continue reading…]

 February 17, 2017  Posted by at 12:44 am Issue #206, Kim Pederson No Responses »