Jul 222016
 
Offshore Island Development, 2016

by Arnaud and Naja Girard……. Remember, the first time you drove down US 1 all the way to Key West? We would like to take you from that glittering vision of hundreds of little green islands suspended over endless turquoise waters and sit you down in the boardroom of the County Commissioners who are in charge of protecting that whole magical expanse called the Florida Keys. Few issues in Monroe County have stirred as much passion and cloak and dagger plots as the development of those [continue reading…]

Jul 222016
 
Please Bear With Me---Just Wanted To Describe A Simple Telecast...

by John Donnelly……. Former President of the United States, GW Bush, sometimes referred to as ‘baby bush’; made a disturbing spectacle of himself during the funeral service for those Dallas Police Officers recently murdered. Having dyed what’s left of his hair with a brownish feculent colored substance; the visual impression formed in the minds of my assembled guests, viewing this tribute, was one of shock and distress. The application of some type of liquid or paste on his head, exacted an unwelcomed reaction. It accentuated [continue reading…]

 July 22, 2016  Posted by at 12:30 am Issue #176, John Donnelly No Responses »
Jul 222016
 
Just Messiahing with You

by Kim Pederson……. We attended the staged reading of a new play the other night called The Return. In it, a world famous newscaster announces he is Jesus Christ and has returned out of concern for the sorry state of, well, everything. Thinking about the idea of a second coming took me to a memory of a Roy Buchanan song entitled “The Messiah Will Come Again.” Buchanan is an amazing guitarist who, sad to say, should have all microphones immediately cut off at the slightest [continue reading…]

 July 22, 2016  Posted by at 12:28 am Issue #176, Kim Pederson No Responses »
Jul 222016
 
Fraternities

by Kirby Congdon…… Having been brought up in a rural, one-horse farm, I was used to being alone and doing without group approval. Unconsciously my stance was that I would be compromising my integrity if I were to accept the standards of a world that had always found me lacking in regard sports and the obligatory skills that went with them, or in regard to school with its competitive approach toward any accomplishment. I was only comfortable when I could be myself without being compared [continue reading…]

 July 22, 2016  Posted by at 12:26 am Issue #176, Kirby Congdon No Responses »
Jul 152016
 
THE BEST ARGUMENT AGAINST DEMOCRACY IS A FIVE-MINUTE CONVERSATION WITH THE AVERAGE VOTER. MAYBE NOT SO TRUE IN KEY WEST-- BECAUSE OF THE HOMETOWN! POLITICAL FORUMS

by Dennis Reeves Cooper……. I typically resist starting anything I write with a quote from somebody famous. But I’m going to break my rule this time. In fact, I’m going to quote Winston Churchill twice, starting with: “Democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.” Most Americans agree that democracy is a superior form of government. But we have a problem. To make our democratic system work best, an informed electorate is essential. [continue reading…]

Jul 152016
 
Wake Up and Smell the Sugar Browning

by Kim Pederson……. Just a few blogs ago, I wrote about how complexitional coffee is, that is, about the intricacy of its potpourri of elements. I left out the aroma side of the story, however, for which I now make amends with this blog. In having a wee look at this topic, I discovered, with the help of the Serious Eats website, that “once you start to equate flavors in coffee with other things you taste all the time, unlocking the brew’s mysteries becomes a [continue reading…]

 July 15, 2016  Posted by at 12:42 am Issue #175, Kim Pederson No Responses »
Jul 152016
 
On Simplicity

by Kirby Congdon……. The division between the races in this country began in first grade. But even Miss Brode, who taught it, did nothing about it. I told her that the problem was the Great Depression, but she didn’t listen. Well, it took me a couple of decades to verablize my advice. However, my third-grade teacher did speak up. She said that kids who could not come to school because they had no shoes were welcome anyway. I have gone without shoes so often at the [continue reading…]

 July 15, 2016  Posted by at 12:40 am Issue #175, Kirby Congdon 1 Response »
Jul 082016
 
Sunset Marina: Liveaboards in Jeopardy and More Afforable Housing Hocus-Pocus

by Arnaud and Naja Girard……. “I love the place,” says Bryan, a taxi driver, who lives on a boat at Sunset Marina on Stock Island, “I can’t believe we’re going to have to move.” Living aboard — this Key West style solution to affordable housing — is in jeopardy at the marina.  While discussing the approval of expanded development during the City Commission meeting last Wednesday, Barton Smith, the developer, revealed that liveaboards would no longer be tolerated at the docks. Smith, an attorney, is [continue reading…]

Jul 082016
 
An Open Letter to the School Board: Computer Literacy in Monroe County Schools

Chairman Griffiths: I listened with great interest to your comments last week on “Morning Magazine” regarding “Monroe Compute$”. I share your enthusiasm and praise for John Padget and Jacob Dekker for creating the program which enables students to earn industry certificates in computing and computer science programs such as Microsoft Office and Adobe. Of course, the success of this program is directly related to the financial incentives provided by Padget and Dekker, more than $75,000 for the 256 students who have successfully completed their course [continue reading…]

Jul 082016
 
Sea Gypsy Nocturne #2

by Ray Jason……. Something startled me from sleep. Because solo sailors need to be extremely alert in order to avoid catastrophes, my finely-tuned emergency reflexes immediately kicked in. I lay on my bunk in the darkness listening for unusual sounds and monitoring abnormal movement. But I detected neither. Suddenly, I realized what had unsettled me, and I laughed quietly. I had been awoken by the intense stillness and silence. In a modern world drowning in frenzy and noise, such profound peace and quiet was … [continue reading…]

 July 8, 2016  Posted by at 12:30 am Island Voices, Issue #174 No Responses »
Jul 082016
 
Who Knows What Shadows Lurk?

by Kim Pederson……. On the PBS NewsHour recently, they were discussing the difficult housing situation in San Francisco, difficult as in no one without an insanely large income can afford to live there. In 2014, the US median income was $53,657. If you lived somewhere else in the United States, say Miami, and earned $100,000 per year, well above the median, you would have to increase your earnings nearly 50% to $147,818 to live at the same level in SF. The average rent for a [continue reading…]

 July 8, 2016  Posted by at 12:28 am Issue #174, Kim Pederson No Responses »
Jul 012016
 
FBI Releases Investigative Report on Eimers Death-in-Custody Case

by Arnaud and Naja Girard……. This week The Blue Paper received a copy of the FBI’s investigative report on the in-custody-death of Charles Eimers. About a year and a half ago Key West’s Citizen Review Board (CRB) wrote to the Department of Justice asking for an independent review of a drama that shook the town.  On the morning of his first day on our island paradise, 61-year-old tourist/homeless person, Charles Eimers, died in police custody. Initially it was reported by KWPD that on Thanksgiving morning an [continue reading…]

Jul 012016
 
Aw Gee Whiz, Growing Greener Every Day?

by Sloan Bashinsky……. My random thoughts on Amendment 4 and related “growing greener every day” Key West, based on what I’ve seen, heard and read. Amendment 4 is a pro-solar energy Amendment to the state Constitution, on the August 4 ballot. Amendment 4 would offer a tax exemption to commercial property owners who install renewable energy devices in a state that already allows the tax break for residential solar power systems. Since it’s a proposed amendment to Florida’s Constitution, Amendment 4 requires 60 percent of [continue reading…]

 July 1, 2016  Posted by at 12:38 am Island Voices, Issue #173 No Responses »
Jul 012016
 
White Street Pier Asphalting

The asphalted White Street Pier editorial I would have written: As a fairly frequent user of White Street Pier, I can say the surface of the pier did not need redoing. It never occurred to the city that resurfacing with black asphalt would make the pier a day time furnace during the hot months? Who, in the city government, made the decision to repave with asphalt? Who above that person approved using asphalt? The citizens are entitled to know. Why change the pier’s name? City [continue reading…]

 July 1, 2016  Posted by at 12:32 am Island Voices, Issue #173 No Responses »
Jul 012016
 
Time for a Steaming Cup of What???

by Kim Pederson……. Joe, dirt, mud, java, brew, cuppa, go juice, jitter juice, bean juice, brain juice. By whatever name, much of the world runs on coffee and not all of it Dunkin Donuts. But how many of us have ever paused, difficult when caffeinated I know, to wonder what the heck is in it. Not me certainly. Not until this moment, that is. Thanks primarily to the caffeine it contains, coffee is a psychoactive drug, which means it alters brain function and causes changes [continue reading…]

 July 1, 2016  Posted by at 12:28 am Issue #173, Kim Pederson 2 Responses »
Jul 012016
 
Fable

A starling noticed how hungry the cat was. “Eat that one,” the starling said, motioning toward a caged canary, thereby hoping to keep attention away from himself. “But would that be a nice thing to do?” asked the cat. “Since when has protocol filled an empty stomach!” the starling countered. “Yes, that’s life,” the cat agreed, and ate both birds up at once. Kirby Congdon

 July 1, 2016  Posted by at 12:26 am Issue #173, Kirby Congdon No Responses »
Jun 242016
 
WHERE THE HECK IS THE SOUTHERNMOST POINT?

by Dennis Reeves Cooper… The Southernmost Point. That big red buoy at the southern end of Whitehead Street. One of the top tourist attractions on the island. But most Key Westers know that the big red buoy does not really mark the actual geographic Southernmost Point. The actual Southernmost Point is supposedly a few blocks on the other side of that fence on Navy property, right? But if the buoy were placed over there, very few tourists would be able to go there and get [continue reading…]

Jun 242016
 
In Praise of Lower Education

by Ray Jason……. One of the great joys of my sea gypsy life is the wonderful sense of camaraderie that exists amongst the ocean sailing community. Because we have voluntarily embraced dangers that land-dwellers vigorously avoid, we have a deep sense of kinship. And when we gather together in foreign ports, we are extremely helpful to each other because we are essentially a wandering, water-winged tribe. This is a far cry from the isolation and suffocation of the modern suburbs. A common fixture of our [continue reading…]

 June 24, 2016  Posted by at 1:02 am Island Voices, Issue #172 2 Responses »
Jun 242016
 
The Eyes (and Ears) in the Machines

by Kim Pederson……. Across the pond in England starting in 1811 and and ending roughly in 1816, a group of textile weavers, employed by others or self-employed, rebelled against the machines. The particular devices were stocking looms, spinning frames, and power looms developed as part of the Industrial Revolution. The weavers feared they would lose their jobs to lower-paid, less-skilled workers because of the new technologies and went on a region-wide machine-breaking rampage in the northwestern part of the country, one that had to be [continue reading…]

 June 24, 2016  Posted by at 1:00 am Issue #172, Kim Pederson No Responses »
Jun 242016
 
Thousand Cats Hill

Thousand Cats Hill The Watrous boy said he saw a million cats on the hill in back of the house. His father admonished him that one should alway speak the truth. The boy reduced the number to a thousand. To a hundred. Ten. Well, there was a stray gone wild up on the hill. And it moved so fast it looked like there were two of them. At least two. Maybe more.

 June 24, 2016  Posted by at 12:58 am ~ Artists ~, Kirby Congdon No Responses »
Jun 172016
 
Oxitec: Lord of the Mosquitoes

by Alexis d’Albissin and Arnaud Girard……. “We’re guinea pigs in their science experiment,“ said Dick Nalley. Like many of his neighbors in Key Haven, he has dotted his front yard with angry placards. The government, you see, together with a British biotech company called Oxitec, plans to release three million genetically modified mosquitoes into their small island neighborhood, 5 miles northeast of Key West. The ultimate goal is to test this new tool for stopping the propagation of the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which carries dengue, chikungunya, and [continue reading…]

Jun 172016
 
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU DIE IN KEY WEST?

  by Dennis Reeves Cooper……. I WAS JUST WONDERING. I have been writing columns for The Blue Paper since 1994. And many, if not most of the concepts for those columns started with “just wondering” about how something works or the truth about a particular topic. Maybe because I’m getting older, I have recently been wondering about what happens– or what HAS to happen– when a person dies in Key West. As with many stories, this one turned out to be more complex (and maybe [continue reading…]

Jun 172016
 
The Orlando Slayings: Ask the Wrong Questions, Get the Wrong—Or Is It The “Right”?-- Answers?

by Martha K. Huggins, Ph.D…….. For 21 years I have been an ‘expert witness’ for lawyers representing LGBT clients from Brazil petitioning for asylum in the United States.  Seeking to avoid violent persecution in Brazil, as my asylum reports clearly demonstrate, LGBT Brazilians seeking US asylum believe that they are safer in the US than in Brazil. But considering the widespread US homophobia I often wonder, ‘Are LGBT Brazilians really safer in the U.S.?’  Certainly, the Pulse Club slaying in Orlando, Florida calls the safety [continue reading…]

 June 17, 2016  Posted by at 1:00 am Issue #171, Martha Huggins 23 Responses »
Jun 172016
 
Roseburg Redux

by Alex Symington……. Back in October 2015 there was, yet again, another shooting spree in Roseburg, Oregon. In exasperation I wrote this: Now we can add Roseburg, Oregon to the infamous list of communities traumatized by mass murder. Another mentally ill (this one obsessed with religion) young man, with “small arms” (innocent sounding name of things so deadly) killed nine people in his community college English class then killed himself. You and I knew it was only a matter of time. It was inevitable. In [continue reading…]

 June 17, 2016  Posted by at 12:57 am Alex Symington, Issue #171 4 Responses »
Jun 172016
 
The Backside Story of Art History

by Kim Pederson……. Sadly, The Toast will itself soon be toast. If you’re not familiar with this “American anthology, humor, and feminist writing website,” you still have time to check it out (start here perhaps) before they fold their digital tent on July 1. I went to the site today after one of my Facebook friends posted a link for this article: “The Toast Looks Back: The Best of Western Art History.” While providing a number of intriguing story links there, writer Mallory Ortberg starts [continue reading…]

 June 17, 2016  Posted by at 12:54 am Issue #171, Kim Pederson No Responses »
Jun 172016
 
About Language

by Kirby Congdon……. A Scotsman and I talk about English there in his native country and here in the colonies. We have some pet peeves by which we alienate people and send them to hell and damnation. We decided a major annoyance was hearing “I seen” instead of the past perfect. Journalists on television often swallow the verb “have” and perhaps we just don’t hear it. But in daily spontaneous speech this isn’t always so. An error of my own was brought up. “Personally, I [continue reading…]

 June 17, 2016  Posted by at 12:50 am Issue #171, Kirby Congdon No Responses »
Jun 102016
 
Big Coppitt – More Missing Documents?

by Margaret Blank……. Update: The FKAA responded right quick this time. I sent an email Sunday, got a response on Monday. This is new and different. Here’s a link to the agenda back up for the approval of award to Gianetti. A couple of things prompted me to take a look back at the Big Coppitt project. The Big Coppitt wastewater treatment facility experienced difficulties meeting effluent quality requirements for about a year. I discovered this completely by accident. It’s never been reported in the [continue reading…]

 June 10, 2016  Posted by at 12:54 am Island Voices, Issue #170 4 Responses »
Jun 102016
 
WHO DO YOU CALL IF YOU SEE A PELICAN ENTANGLED IN FISHING LINE SO THAT HE CAN'T EAT OR FLY?

by Dennis Reeves Cooper……. I hope you saw my story about the Key West chickens that appeared here in The Blue Paper April 29. In that story, I reported that, for several years, the Key West Wildlife Center (KWWC) has been contracted by the City of Key West to manage a program to rescue injured chickens, provide medical care, and arrange relocation to selected farms and orchards on the mainland where the chickens can retire in peace. As part of my research for that story, [continue reading…]