Aug 192016
 
Developers to Build on Imaginary Land at Sunset Marina

by Arnaud and Naja Girard…….. To allow an additional 60 plus apartments on his property, a Key West developer nearly doubled the size of his parcel – on paper.  And some of the City Commissioners, who last month signed off on the development agreement, knew all about it. Under Key West zoning density ratios, developer/lawyer Barton Smith needed a minimum of 4.5 acres to build 62 new housing units on his property at Sunset Marina.

Aug 192016
 
The Old Hippie and the Banana Birds

by Ray Jason……. The old hippie has found his bliss. He runs a ten table restaurant down here south of many borders. If it wasn’t for the sign out front, you would never even realize that his business exists. It looks more like a garden with a roof on top. Besides serving food for the body, it also features food for the mind and the spirit. That’s because even though it doesn’t have walls, it has shelves filled with thousands of books. It is the [continue reading…]

 August 19, 2016  Posted by at 12:40 am Island Voices, Issue #180 No Responses »
Aug 192016
 
Hi, Anxiety

by Kim Pederson……. Apparently if you were to ask most Americans today “What, You Worry?” the answer would be yes. In his New York Times article “Fifty States of Anxiety,” economist Seth Stephens-Davidowitz (SD) tells us that, based on the Internet search count for various types of anxiety, Americans are 150 percent more worried today than they were in 2004. Some of the subjects of these anxieties are what you would expect: travel, separation, work, school, home, driving to name more than several. Some are [continue reading…]

 August 19, 2016  Posted by at 12:38 am Issue #180, Kim Pederson No Responses »
Aug 192016
 
Good Boy!

by Richard Boettger……. “What do you want to be when you grow up?” When asked this as kids, we understood that what we would “be” is actually what we would do to earn money. That is, what earns money is what defines who we are as human beings. Well, all of us are grown up now, and in fact the majority of my crowd have long ago quit doing what we used to do to earn money. So what are we now? What, or who, are [continue reading…]

 August 19, 2016  Posted by at 12:36 am Issue #180, Rick Boettger 3 Responses »
Aug 122016
 
New Development at Sunset Marina: Commercial Slip Owners Cry Foul

by Arnaud and Naja Girard……. Liveaboards and low-income renters may not be the only victims of the Sunset Marina development agreement approved last month by the City Commission. Sunset Marina’s $2700/month “affordable housing” project appears to have also cheated small commercial boat owners out of over 100 legally required parking spaces. By the look of things, developers may also be lining things up to cheat the building department on permit fees by an estimated $125,000 [by misrepresenting construction costs by nearly 7 million dollars.]

Aug 122016
 
Florida Ethics Commission: A Sham Regulator

by Rick Boettger……. You would think I would be a big fan of the Ethics Commission.  After all, I filed three complaints, and two were upheld for a total of three violations. Many people are amazed and impressed that I got any favorable holdings at all, given their own experiences. They told me the Ethics Commission is just like the FDLE and police internal reviews, just white-washing for the guilty. After seeing the details of how my case was handled, I now agree, with a [continue reading…]

 August 12, 2016  Posted by at 12:40 am * Featured Story *, Rick Boettger 5 Responses »
Aug 122016
 
What the Dickens?

by Kim Pederson……. My new word for today is “corpus” (plural: corpora). According to my good friend Merriam-Webster (or is it my good friends Merriam and Webster?), a corpus is the whole body or total amount of writings of a particular kind or on a particular subject, such as the total production of a writer, e.g., the Dickens corpus. Seeing this reminded me of a Roger Rosenblatt essay in The New York Times called “To a Writer, a Body of Work Is a Taunt.” Roger [continue reading…]

 August 12, 2016  Posted by at 12:31 am Issue #179, Kim Pederson No Responses »
Aug 122016
 
For Every Action There Is A Reaction...

by John Donnelly……. Conditioned into believing that this delusive creation (material world) is solid and real; continues to cause many civilizations confusion, suffering and pain. Throughout the ages enlightened individuals have attained a state of awareness and consciousness, whereby they were able to pierce through the veils of indoctrinated ignorance, which had determined that this transitory creation has an objective existence. Many scientists, logicians and metaphysicians serving as pioneers and trailblazer in the field of quantum physics were persecuted and labeled as heretics. Some were [continue reading…]

 August 12, 2016  Posted by at 12:16 am Issue #179, John Donnelly 9 Responses »
Aug 052016
 
The Othello Method of Energy Conservation

by Kim Pederson……. The concept of scale–the proportion of one thing compared to another–is a tricky thing. Take, for example, our solar system’s largest planet, Jupiter. If you put a solo NASA picture of Jupiter along side one of the Earth, your eyes would tell you that these two worlds appear to be about the same size. And then you, or me to be exact, would engage in a little research and the ridiculousness of that interpretation would become readily apparent, as the image below [continue reading…]

 August 5, 2016  Posted by at 12:48 am Issue #178, Kim Pederson No Responses »
Aug 052016
 
On Voting

by Kirby Congdon……. A study in 1951, The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes by Iona and Peter Opie, revealed how the characters of our childhood originally mocked political figures when censorship was rampant. With free speech, current news and people’s names were abandoned as too plebeian as references in poetry since those references soon became dated. Otherwise this writer would write a deathless poem honoring our presidential choices, inviting everyone to an enormous three-day block party in my backyard, there between the chicken coop and the [continue reading…]

 August 5, 2016  Posted by at 12:46 am Issue #178, Kirby Congdon No Responses »
Jul 292016
 
County Mayor Pro Tem George Neugent Found in Violation and Facing Sanctions on Three Ethics Charges

  by Rick Boettger……. On Friday the Florida Ethics Commission meeting in Tallahassee concluded a 21-month investigation of long-serving George Neugent by finding “probable cause” he violated two ethical laws a total of three times. He got off, as expected, on the charge that initiated my investigation of his affairs: the destruction of SUFA, Stand Up For Animals, and its director, Linda Gottwald, in 2010. My second charge was clear. I saw his financial disclosure forms for two recent years and they were so poorly [continue reading…]

 July 29, 2016  Posted by at 9:27 pm * Featured Story *, Issue #177, News, Rick Boettger 14 Responses »
Jul 292016
 
Voters Have the Opportunity to Remove State Attorney Catherine Vogel From Office in November

*****JOURNALISM AS A CONTACT SPORT***** Commentary by Dennis Reeves Cooper……. Election Day this year is November 8. That may seem like a long time away, but it’s not too early to remind you that State Attorney Catherine Vogel– in my opinion the most corrupt state attorney in recent memory– is up for reelection. It’s not too early to remind voters of her on-purpose incompetence in “prosecuting” the Key West police officers who allegedly murdered 62-year-old Charles Eimers on the beach here on Thanksgiving Day 2013. [continue reading…]

Jul 292016
 
Why Have One Face When You Can Have Two?

by Kim Pederson…….. People face choices every day. Each time they likely weigh the pros and cons and come to a decision about which choice wins out over the others. Sometimes, though, they are not able to choose, hence the expression “being of two minds” about something or someone. There’s nothing out of the ordinary about these occurrences. Being of two minds becomes more of a challenge, though, when someone really is of two (or more) minds. Such individuals suffer from dissociative identity disorder (DID), [continue reading…]

 July 29, 2016  Posted by at 12:32 am Issue #177, Kim Pederson No Responses »
Jul 292016
 
Finding Joy in the Abyss

by Ray Jason……. Why do I linger here in the Archipelago of Bliss? After all, my stalwart little ship could carry me away to any of the exotic lands that have whispered to wanderers down the centuries. We could drop anchor amidst the palm-fringed isles of the South Pacific. We could explore the mist- shrouded coast of Japan. Or we could visit Easter Island – with its gigantic stone heads that endlessly stare at the Wide Waters. And yet I remain entranced by this little [continue reading…]

 July 29, 2016  Posted by at 12:30 am Island Voices, Issue #177 2 Responses »
Jul 292016
 
Forsaken, Not Forgotten

by John Donnelly……. Perhaps if I patronize those that find fault with me, their aggressive attitudes and actions towards me will decrease. It may disarm them. They’ll cease directing their menacing and threatening behavior in my direction; for the animus behind their deeds will be without a target. Pondering another accommodating remedy, if I enroll in some speech classes and improved the manner in which I pronounce and enunciate my words, while learning how to charm those in my company with a sweet and pleasant [continue reading…]

 July 29, 2016  Posted by at 12:28 am Issue #177, John Donnelly No Responses »
Jul 292016
 
On Formats

by Kirby Congdon……. In my early thirties an acquaintance who had seen my poetry for the first time remarked that “shredded verse” was unusual to him. That nomenclature has put me on the defensive ever since. Why is poetry presented like ties on a railroad track or broken slats on a Venetian blind? I saw a poem of mine printed recently as prose. It made me think of a hard-packed snowball, half-frozen, ready to throw through a window or at the back of someone’s head. [continue reading…]

 July 29, 2016  Posted by at 12:26 am Issue #177, Kirby Congdon No Responses »
Jul 222016
 
"Devious" Developers Score on 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 »