Sep 232016
 
“In other words, this was all a setup to give the contract to somebody else.”

by Rick Boettger……. County Attorney Bob Shillinger on Destroying SUFA: “In other words, this was all a setup to give the contract to somebody else.” That was his response in an attorney-client closed session to Commissioner George Neugent’s question, “Where do we stand right now?” This was in April of 2012. The County had destroyed Stand Up For Animals, which had an outstanding record of animal control in the Middle Keys for 7 years, by freezing their funds. The Third District Court of Appeals had ruled [continue reading…]

 September 23, 2016  Posted by at 1:06 am Issue #185, Rick Boettger 11 Responses »
Sep 232016
 
Beware the Croc in Beach Clothing

by Kim Pederson……. There are times when I don’t believe the old saying “there’s a word for everything.” That’s usually when I make up a word to fill the gap, a process I call “partermition.” There are other times when I’m not so sure there’s not a word for everything. I had this thought the other day when Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day popped up as “eclogue.” An eclogue is a poem in which shepherds converse. That’s right. There’s a word made up just to [continue reading…]

 September 23, 2016  Posted by at 12:50 am Issue #185, Kim Pederson No Responses »
Sep 232016
 
Simple Consolations

by Ray Jason……. It was the silhouette hour. A cayuco came paddling towards me in the deep dusk as I sat with my back against AVENTURA’s mast. The oarsman’s stroke was smooth and strong. There was a child in the back tending the fishing line as her dad rowed. When they were 20 yards away I realized that it was not a father – it was a grandmother. Even though she was as ancient and weathered as her hand-carved cayuco, she propelled it like a [continue reading…]

 September 23, 2016  Posted by at 12:48 am Island Voices, Issue #185 No Responses »
Sep 232016
 
Dancing Through The Betrayal...

by John Donnelly……. Some journalists and authors from established media outlets, to include “The New York Times”, have devolved into proliferating merchants of misery for anyone thinking differently than they. If a real or imagined challenge threatens the sanctity of their beliefs, a reflexive conditioned response will provoke them to unleash an iron-fisted attack upon the perceived menace; collateral damage be dammed. Although such conduct has become all too familiar and accepted, it’s not the mark of an accomplished publication that has boasted of only [continue reading…]

 September 23, 2016  Posted by at 12:46 am Issue #185, John Donnelly 5 Responses »
Sep 162016
 
Saying No to Amendment 1 Says Yes to Solar

by Michael Welber……. “Masquerading as a pro-solar energy initiative, this proposed constitutional amendment, supported by some of Florida’s major investor-owned electric utility companies, actually seeks to constitutionalize the status quo.” Those are the words of Florida Supreme Court Justice Barbara Pariente who wrote a strongly worded dissent back in March when Amendment 1 came up for approval by the court. She went on to call the proposal “a masquerade and a wolf in sheep’s clothing.”

 September 16, 2016  Posted by at 1:00 am * Featured Story *, ~ Column ~, Issue #184, Michael Welber 4 Responses »
Sep 162016
 
Mayday!! Fishing Boat Lands on Top of Rock Jetty [video]

The U.S. Coast Guard responded early Tuesday morning to a Mayday call on vhf radio sent by fishing vessel “Little Angenette.” About an hour before sunrise the “Little Angenette” missed the entrance to Key West harbor. The captain initially reported that he’d hit a channel marker and was sinking fast.

Sep 162016
 
Time for a Galactic 911 Call

by Kim Pederson…… Reading another SF story the other day (“The Thing on the Shelf” by David Gerrold), I was introduced (or reintroduced perhaps given my usual memory issues) to the concept of “chronosynclastic infundibulum” (CI). Gerrold refers to the CI in his tale, noting that it comes from Kurt Vonnegut’s novel The Sirens of Titan. A CI, as defined by the website Verbotomy, is “a place, or a moment, where all the different kinds of truths fit together, and where there are many different [continue reading…]

 September 16, 2016  Posted by at 12:38 am Issue #184, Kim Pederson No Responses »
Sep 162016
 
On Conformity

by Kirby Congdon……. My lover and partner of forty-three  years was different than any of my other friends. I was asked, “How did you handle it between yourselves? What kind of discussions did you have to resolve this distinction that was so public?” My partner and I replied with words to the effect that if your lover had been born with an excess of psoriasis that gave his face a visible proof of acne, was that something we had to resolve to make ourselves, as [continue reading…]

 September 16, 2016  Posted by at 12:36 am Art, Issue #184, Kirby Congdon No Responses »
Sep 092016
 
Oh, Connie!

by Malcolm Willison….. Oh, Connie!  Can you be gone?  Can you really have taken away your impish face, those penetrating eyes, wry smile, the devastating remark? You would throw out an article or craft a poem that captured us—you could revel in a phrase or reveal a deepest longing.  We so counted on you–your quick wit, your sly remark, your careful edit of your own and others’ exposition and choice of words, your trenchant critique.   Now who will offer us that same left-handed support, the [continue reading…]

Sep 092016
 
Sunshine and Sadness

by Ray Jason……. I walked into the little Panamanian drug store feeling sorry for myself because I had a nasty cold. Two minutes later I walked out feeling humbled … and desolate. Inside there was a mom and her young teenage daughter consulting with the female pharmacist. My arrival instantly turned the scene tense. I could sense it – but not understand it. Then I realized that the druggist was showing them how to use a pregnancy testing kit. Suddenly, the insignificance of my runny [continue reading…]

 September 9, 2016  Posted by at 12:50 am Island Voices, Issue #183 1 Response »

OIL

Sep 092016
 
OIL

by Alex Symington……. The ongoing protest of the Bakken Oilfield pipeline by Native Americans in North Dakota is especially significant and highlights much of what is wrong with our fossil fuel dominated energy policy; wrong as in the House and Senate’s unwavering servitude to the interests of Big Fossil Fuel to the detriment of the people and the environment. The Standing Rock Sioux Indians are rightly concerned with this pipeline so close to their land rupturing and poisoning their water supply. Oil pipelines have a [continue reading…]

 September 9, 2016  Posted by at 12:48 am Alex Symington, Issue #183 7 Responses »
Sep 092016
 
There's a Light, Over at the Chicken-Legged Place

by Kim Pederson……. One of the characters in Egg & Spoon by Gregory Maguire (of Wicked fame) is Baba Yaga, the supernatural being (a.k.a. witch) from eastern Slavic folklore. (She’s in Russia in the novel.) Baba flies around in a mortar carrying the attendant pestle and lives in a house (called “Dumb Doma” in Maguire’s book) that stands on chicken legs (sometimes a chicken leg). In Egg & Spoon, Baba invites, or rather has a large cat chase, a young girl named Cat into her [continue reading…]

 September 9, 2016  Posted by at 12:47 am Issue #183, Kim Pederson No Responses »
Sep 092016
 
On a Bird Feeder

by Kirby Congdon……. My wireless printer along with prosthetic limbs controlled by the brain lets me consider how living creatures evolve. No bird has the intelligence to have known its bones need to be hollow to facilitate flight. This development of a species can be applied over and over where protective advantages are taken on. Darwin’s trial and error does not resolve an animal’s survival. By the time all the attempts at an advantageous change have been tested, the species is exhausted beyond existence. Is [continue reading…]

 September 9, 2016  Posted by at 12:46 am Issue #183, Kirby Congdon 1 Response »
Sep 022016
 
A FEW GOOD LIES

by Arnaud and Naja Girard…….. The U.S. Navy is considering moving some 400 military families to Key West.  They would be supporting the Navy’s new Triton surveillance drone program. According to the Navy, the deployment shouldn’t be a problem, in terms of housing for new personnel, since the preliminary impact study drafted by the US Fleet Force Command shows that the Lower Keys area has a 43% housing vacancy rate. Key West, they claim, is a little bit tighter with only a 34% vacancy rate. The draft [continue reading…]

Sep 022016
 
City Manager Defends Amnesty Program for Hundreds of Illegal Transient Rentals by Claiming it's Not Happening

  Commentary by Arnaud and Naja Girard…….. Four thousand dollars a week is not unusual for the rental of a house in Old Town – as long as you can rent to tourists – that is. Last Wednesday on US 1 Radio’s Morning Magazine, City Manager Jim Scholl went on the defensive amidst accusations that the City has been rewarding illegal transient rental operators. In a story published last week in The Blue Paper we revealed that in 2013 the City had changed the grandfathered-in date in [continue reading…]

Sep 022016
 
Post Primary Blues

by Alex Symington……. I made a pact with my self that I would reserve judgement on the POTUS candidates until after the primary. The primary is long over, but confusion still reigns. Questionable behavior by the DNC and it’s now-disgraced leadership by Debbie-Wasserman Schultz has left a stink on Hillary Clinton’s legitimacy. Bernie Sanders graciously acquiesced to the supremacy of the Clinton machine and urged his supporters to throw in with his, here-to-fore, political nemesis. It made me think back to when Al Gore acquiesced to [continue reading…]

 September 2, 2016  Posted by at 12:49 am Alex Symington, Issue #182 1 Response »
Sep 022016
 
Mr. Cady

by Kirby Congdon…….. We had a splendid upright piano at home. In the Great Depression I got my first lessons for free by taking a trip with my older sister on the trolley out of town to a teacher working under the Works Progress Administration in West Chester, Pennsylvania. When we moved to Old Mystic, Connecticut, my teacher, Miss  DeeWilliams, came to the house every Saturday and gave me lessons for fifty cents. Mr. Cady tuned the piano for twenty dollars. He pointed out to [continue reading…]

 September 2, 2016  Posted by at 12:49 am Issue #182, Kirby Congdon No Responses »
Sep 022016
 
We're Off to See...

by Kim Pederson……. August 25 marked the 77th anniversary of the 1939 film Wizard of Oz opening in theaters. August 25 wasn’t the world premiere, however. That happened fourteen days earlier in, of all places, Kenosha, Wisconsin, and Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Why bring this up now? Because, in an online note about the anniversary, NBC’s Today show reminds us there are still seven lessons to be learned from the film today: Dream big The right shoes can pull a look together Don’t be afraid to ask [continue reading…]

 September 2, 2016  Posted by at 12:42 am Issue #182, Kim Pederson No Responses »
Sep 022016
 
American Indian Movement--Black Panther Party-- Black Lives Matter--Irish Republican Army (IRA)....

by John Donnelly……. The United States of America was founded upon an individual’s right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. These unalienable rights identified in our Declaration of Independence and Constitution do not come from government; we’ve been endowed with them by our Creator. Once becoming acquainted with the ‘Law of our Land’, citizens are required to acknowledge and abide by these founding principles. If they’re unable to subscribe to the premise upon which this republic was founded, perhaps it’s time for them [continue reading…]

 September 2, 2016  Posted by at 12:38 am Issue #182, John Donnelly 3 Responses »
Aug 262016
 
Crime Pays in Key West, Especially When you Get Caught

by Arnaud and Naja Girard……. Prominent businessman Ed Swift got caught again illegally renting to tourists. The Conch Train owner and, ironically, advocate for affordable housing, was reported this week by The Keynoter as having been set up, again, by code enforcement officials who went undercover and rented two of his condo units at Key Cove Landing for 6 nights for roughly $600 a night. That was, apparently, the third time in a little over a year.  Swift certainly made a mistake. Or did he? [continue reading…]

Aug 262016
 
The Ten Commandments of the Lords of War

by Ray Jason……. 1. Thou shalt not notice that those of us who start the wars never fight and die in the wars – and neither do our families and our friends. 2. Thou shalt never describe War with words like “despicable,” “sick” and “repellant,” but shall instead use only approved words such as “heroic,” “glorious” and “necessary.” 3. Thou shalt overlook the core Truth that War is the deliberate murder of innocent people with whom you have no grievance and who have done you [continue reading…]

 August 26, 2016  Posted by at 12:30 am Island Voices, Issue #181 1 Response »
Aug 262016
 
The Indestructibility of Art

by Kim Pederson……. Confluence is an interesting word. In strict terms, it means a place of coming together (which reflects, confluentially, on the blog I posted yesterday). The word appears most often in “confluence” with references to rivers and streams but it can apply to other things as well (meaning us). Yesterday, I experienced a strange confluence. I saw the video clip of the former ISIS member confessing at his trial at The Hague to destroying historical buildings in Timbuktu in Mali. Also yesterday, I [continue reading…]

 August 26, 2016  Posted by at 12:29 am Issue #181, Kim Pederson No Responses »
Aug 262016
 
Art and Politics

by Kirby Congdon……. This writer believes in keeping up with his own times. When the poet, Quincy Troupe was showing his remembrance of the trumpeter, Miles Davis (1926 – 1991), in a publication tour in Key West back in 2000, this correspondent hastened to buy a copy and read it right away, like this summer. Well, it’s only 16 years later. The milieu of Miles Davis was not one this listener had ever sought out, but after reading Quincy Troupe’s book I felt close to both [continue reading…]

 August 26, 2016  Posted by at 12:25 am Issue #181, Kirby Congdon No Responses »
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…]