Category Archives: ~ Column ~

These people tell it like it is


Grinder Pumps Opposition Gets Hearing

by Rick Boettger The organization Dump the Pumps finally got a court hearing in its suit to halt the installation of grinder pumps up the Keys. Judge Wayne Miller heard arguments from Dump the Pumps on one side and the Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority, in charge of installing the pumps, and the Department of Environmental Protection on the other. Judge Miller explained the long delay Dump the Pumps had in getting a hearing as due in part to three of…


Cannabis Freedom Riders Arrive in Key West

by JD Adler Cannabis Freedom Riders, USA On a cool, cloudy, January 16, I caught up with the Cannabis Freedom Riders, USA as they pulled into Boyd’s Camp Ground on Stock Island. This was not their first ride across Florida, or even America for that matter. They’ve crossed 24 states since 2006 promoting their mission, some multiple times; including Florida in support of the referendum on Amendment 2 in 2014. After the long bicycle ride from Tallahassee; Kenneth and Shirley Locke,…


Action Jammie

by Ronnnie Sands They stole my Action Jammie (my state-of-the-art yellow Diamondback mountain bike) from my porch during the night. I had christened it Action Jammie on the day I purchased it two years ago from Island Bicycles. I wept openly in my wife’s Cheryl’s arms. She began to cry also when I told her I would have to use her bike (a relic from the Wizard of Oz; the only things missing were Margaret Hamilton, a picnic basket, and…

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FIRM Expresses Support for Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty

In response to recent word that Gov. Rick Scott may be making a move to oust Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty, Fair Insurance Rates in Monroe [FIRM] made this statement: “Key West, Florida – January 21, 2015 – Fair Insurance Rates in Monroe (FIRM) has expressed its strong support for Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin M. McCarty. In a January 16, 2015 letter to Governor Rick Scott, FIRM President Mel Montagne said that Commissioner McCarty has been instrumental in beginning the…



by Dennis Reeves Cooper This is a followup to my letter to the editor that was published last week. It was in reference to the massacre of eight employees at a small newspaper in Paris by Islamic terrorists. The newspaper, Charlie Hebdo, which specializes in satire, had published cartoons that made fun of the Prophet Muhammad. Reportedly, however, the newspaper’s editors are equal opportunity satirists, routinely ridiculing powerful people in government and business as well as political, corporate, social– and…

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The New Illuminati

by Rick Boettger The original Illuminati was a Bavarian secret society, kind of like Yale’s Skull and Bones, created to spread the enlightenment in Bavaria in 1776. It lasted only ten years, but in that short time got people to believe it had such power it survived to mastermind the French Revolution, the Battle of Waterloo, the French Revolution and President John F. Kennedy’s assassination –as well as encouraging a communist plot to hasten the New World Order by infiltrating…



by Ronnie Sands Friday finally came, not just any Friday, but one of the so too few twice-a-month payday Fridays. So begins the ritual in my home. I hand over my paycheck to my wife Cheryl, who also doubles as the family accountant. Thank God for her gifted talents of paying the bills and going to the market. If not for this bi‑weekly ritual, my wife and I would probably be living under one of the already too crowded bridges of…

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Key West Literary Seminar 2015: How The Light Get’s In

by Alex Symington Our little island city has many charms to crow about; gentle warm weather in January, an exciting swashbuckling and idiosyncratic history, New-England-meets-the-South architectural style, great theater and music venues, but the crown jewel, I submit, is the Key West Literary Seminar. Our near century long history as a refuge for artists and writers is well documented, making Key West the most natural place on the planet for literary greats to gather once a year, (this being the…

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“World Worshippers” Proffer Dissociative Paradigms…Promulgating Despondency & Angst…

by John Donnelly Good and bad, corrupted or “effective crisis management”, terrorist or freedom fighter; choose your flavor, they’re all expressions of a ‘relativism’ that’s an intricate mixture of culture, conditioning, economics and evolutionary stature. One’s ‘conscience, instincts and intuition’ are integral attributes enabling us to establish a foothold, as we gradually progress towards a state of Self-Realization. As these characteristics stir and awaken, they can form a foundation upon which the hard wiring for self-fulfillment can be actualized. They…

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What The Fest?

by JD Adler Fantasy Fest Since 1979, Key West has hosted an annual bacchanal called Fantasy Fest.  Initiated as an attempt to draw tourists, it has by that measure been wildly successful. Tourists and locals alike revel in the opportunity for open celebration every year. Vendors and the marketers rake in significant stacks of cash.  It also has its detractors, and every few years the calls for reform rise to a crescendo. Another tide of reform appears to be rising…

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Good Morning Florida Keys with Jenna Stauffer Featuring Michael Halpern

Key West attorney and philanthropist Michael Halpern talks with Good Morning Florida Keys about his newest project, the Michelle Keevan Halpern Center for Learning. The Center will offer free academic tutoring and counseling to students who are at a risk of dropping out of school. It will also provide academic support services to both middle and high school students. For more great interviews from Good Morning Florida Keys with Jenna Stauffer click here.

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Florida Senate Examines Police Brutality & Excessive Use of Force…

by John Donnelly How many times have FDLE Investigators discovered evidence that indicated a law-enforcement officer had committed a crime? On how many occasions were ‘criminally deficient cops’ brought to trial and found guilty? The following excerpts (In bold black print) were taken from a brilliantly authored document that was prepared by Chairman Allison DeFoor’s “Project on Accountable Justice”. It was examined on Monday (1-5-15) by the Florida Senate. This manuscript identifies in part, a disturbing ‘investigative relationship’ that exists…

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This Cannot Be Happening

by Alex Symington I cannot be alone in my shock and disbelief at the US Supreme Court’s recent eight to one ruling that severely weakens our fourth amendment rights. I’ve taken the liberty to refresh your memory …, “the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the…

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Open The Driver’s Side Door, Skippy

by Michael Alan I think it all started when we took Skippy to the car dealer in Miami for a minor recall. It was just a quick airbag-bolt torque but, in retrospect, it marked a turning point in our relationship. Now I can see the signs that I failed to notice at the time. Skippy is of South Korean extraction and named after a town in Arizona (Tuscon, not Skippy). So it is natural that Skippy has issues. The trip…

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Israelis & Palestinians: A Solution?

by Jerome Grapel President Obama’s bold initiative with regard to the Cuban situation could be seen as a way to attack an even more problematic global problem, that referred to in the title of this essay. In other words, just as he did with Cuba, it’s time to cut the crap.

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A Keys Christmas Tree Story

by Michael Alan I am sure you have noticed them lying there, alone and forlorn at the side of the road. I don’t know about you, but I feel a twinge of guilt as I pass by and wonder if it could have worked out differently somehow. Was there something I could have done to help, some Good Samaritan-like act that would spare the carnage and shame?

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What is Normal Anyway?

by JD Adler Recently I was sitting in a local restaurant, with the editorial board of KWTN, when one of our breakfast neighbors suggested an article about how Key West culture has gone so far afield there is no sense of “normal” anymore. Then he went on to list a series of anecdotes that he found upsetting primarily because they were dismissed by people as, “that’s just Key West,” without consequence for their actions.

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by Alex Symington Wow. In just a few days since my essay on Dick Cheney, sociopaths and torture in last Friday’s Blue Paper, a segment of the American people has been polled and the polls have indicated torture to be an acceptable practice.

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Police Endangering Police

by Rick Boettger The recent assassination of two innocent New York cops by a crazy man who wanted revenge for the killing of Eric Garner by other New York officers has appropriately outraged the nation. No one defends the revenge killing. I hope and pray nothing like it happens again.

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My Christmas Wishes For Cuba

by Ray Jason AVENTURA was lunging over the crests of fourteen-foot waves and then plunging down their backs with rollicking gusto.   My enthusiasm was considerably more tempered.


Guest Column: Charting the Course to Excellence – With Gratitude

By Mark T. Porter, Superintendent As we approach the heart of the Holiday Season there is a great deal to be thankful and grateful for in our communities and in our schools.


Entertainment Television Announces North Korean Coup

by Michael Alan Entertainment Television’s splash headline announcement has both the entertainment and the diplomatic worlds buzzing with excitement.

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Man is not free to watch impassively the enslavement and dishonor of men, nor their struggles for liberty and honor. Jose Marti, Cuban Independence Revolutionary and Key West Poet by JD Adler The Pope, Obama and Castro are on the phone… In a surprise announcement Wednesday, December 17, 2014, President Barack Obama informed the world that at the urging of Pope Francis who “pursues the world as it should be, not as it is…” the US and Cuba have been negotiating directly for…



  by Alex Symington… Sociopath is a word I have been employing frequently in chronicling current events. The dictionary defines the sociopath as, “a person whose behavior is antisocial and who lacks a sense of moral responsibility or social conscience.” There is no shortage of this psychological characteristic in people in positions of power. In fact being sociopathic can play an essential role in attaining that power. Be it in law enforcement, politics, Fortune 500 corporations or the humble run-of-the-mill…


Dismantling A Nation–To Protect Rogue Agencies & Individuals…

by John Donnelly… In accordance with my scientific training and the evidence that I’ve been able to review, as it relates to the ‘in-custody death’ of Charles John Eimers, along with my personal experience investigating and remedying a law-enforcement cover-up, as well as my conversations with an insider from the State Attorney’s Office; it is my opinion that the KWPD, FDLE and State Attorney’s Office may have collaboratively aided and abetted in selectively processing evidence, which may have prejudiced information…