Apr 292016
Peary Court: Plan B

by Naja and Arnaud Girard……. After 58% of voters rejected the purchase of Peary Court six weeks ago, some City Commissioners have a new plan: give the City’s affordable housing funds to a private company that wants to buy the entire former Navy housing complex on White Street for 60 million dollars. The City would pay the buyer 12.5 million. In exchange, the buyer would deed restrict the 157 existing units and any other units constructed on the 24 plus acre property for use as [continue reading…]

Apr 292016

by Dennis Reeves Cooper……. Why does a chicken cross the road? No matter what the answer might be, one thing is certain in Key West– the chickens are always crossing the road. And in most instances, those of us who are driving cars or riding mopeds give them the right-of-way. Key West’s chickens are part of the color and history of the island. After all, they’ve been here for at least 200 years– or even longer. Some say that chickens came with the pirates who [continue reading…]

 April 29, 2016  Posted by at 12:50 am Issue #164, Journalism as a Contact Sport No Responses »
Apr 292016
President Dilma Rousseff and Male Politicos’ Gender Crisis

by Martha K. Huggins, PhD……. As votes accumulated for President Dilma’s lower-house impeachment, “Good Bye, Dear” (Tchau Querida!) spread across the placards gripped by political opposition’s men and some women. Brazil’s Senate may soon try the country’s first woman president for “corruption” and if impeached Dilma Rousseff will be stripped of presidential powers for some of the alleged crimes committed by lower-house and senate legislators. The chutzpah of federal legislators should not surprise me, having done research in Brazil for 40 years on police, crime, and [continue reading…]

 April 29, 2016  Posted by at 12:48 am Issue #164, Martha Huggins No Responses »
Apr 292016
Sea Gypsy Nocturne #1

by Ray Jason……. In a far anchorage of the Archipelago of Bliss, the thick tropical night heat had glistened my little ship. As I came on deck, I was delighted to find her shimmering with moon glow. A single night bird was calling for a mate – or perhaps it was just saluting the almost unbearable beauty. I was carrying a pitcher of water to pour over myself with the hope of cooling down enough to go back to sleep. After dousing myself, I stood [continue reading…]

 April 29, 2016  Posted by at 12:40 am Island Voices, Issue #164 No Responses »
Apr 292016
Eric Greinke

by Kirby Congdon……. Pulling a new collection of poetry out of its envelope, I flipped through the pages and two poems caught my eye. These were intimate poems, an obituary of a dog emphasizing our need for a pet rather than the other way around, and a meditation on a public institution for those on disability. In this second one the narrator describes his attempt to handle the situation, closing his poem with “I finally fell away, imaginary wings broken.” Both poems were in a [continue reading…]

 April 29, 2016  Posted by at 12:38 am Issue #164, Kirby Congdon No Responses »
Apr 292016
The Coming Desperatora

by Kim Pederson……. So what to do if Donald Trump wins the Republican nomination and becomes the next POTUS. (He would no doubt change the acronym to TRUMPUS with his first executive order and the White House to Casa Trump with his second.) Fortunately, for all of us who soon may be adopting the expatriate lifestyle, Business Insider has just published an article titled “14 of the most affordable places for Americans to retire [feel free to substitute “flee” here] outside the United States.” We [continue reading…]

 April 29, 2016  Posted by at 12:36 am Issue #164, Kim Pederson No Responses »
Apr 222016
Guest Editorial: The Don Quixote of Mosquito Control

  by Ralph De Palma……. During 2009-2010 mosquito seasons over 100 cases of Dengue Fever were confirmed in mostly Old Town Key West, more cases probably went unconfirmed. The previous Florida Keys Mosquito Control (FKMCD) director Ed Fussell had managed mosquito control for the US Navy for decades. He later managed mosquito control for the entire State of Florida before coming to FKMCD. He has been the past President of the Florida Mosquito Control Association as well as the nationwide American Mosquito Control Association. He reviewed [continue reading…]

 April 22, 2016  Posted by at 1:22 am * Featured Story *, Editorial, Island Voices, Issue #163, News 1 Response »
Apr 222016
On Bach

by Kirby Congdon……. The harsh clatter of a bell tells us time’s up, attention! stop thinking, get out of the way. Or it can toll — letting us reflect, relieving us of distractions to iterate success or failure, celebration or commiseration. All these interpretations take only one note. In the first Prelude of The Well-tempered Clavichord, BWV 846 so familiar to every piano student, Bach uses one note in the bass, like a bell, fourteen times consecutively in one great sweep while the right hand chords [continue reading…]

 April 22, 2016  Posted by at 12:30 am Issue #163, Kirby Congdon 1 Response »
Apr 152016
Bouncers Out of Control?

by Arnaud and Naja Girard……. From power trip to assault of patrons, some Duval Street bouncers seem poorly trained or out of control. The Blue Paper sampled this week’s bar brawls to report on the issue. Robert Lee Klieves can’t remember why he was put into a helicopter with a brain bleed and flown to Kendall Regional Trauma Center in Miami last Saturday night. He is 60 years old, from Hudson, Florida. He came to Key West for his “first real vacation in 20 years” to [continue reading…]

 April 15, 2016  Posted by at 8:59 am Issue #162, Naja and Arnaud Girard, News 13 Responses »
Apr 152016
Let's Get Sidereal

by Kim Pederson……. More often than not my word for the day email from Merriam-Webster chooses mundane terms known even to me (or maybe I should say “ultramundane” for those instances). And sometimes not. One of the latter was “sidereal.” When I saw it, I wondered what the heck “side real” had to do with the sinoprice of tea. That was my first mistake. It’s not pronounced “side real”; it’s pronounced “sigh DEER ree al” and it means “of or relating to the stars or [continue reading…]

 April 15, 2016  Posted by at 12:46 am Kim Pederson No Responses »
Apr 152016
A Little Hope for the Young and the Lost

by Ray Jason…….      Perhaps you awaken in the midnight stillness and find yourself lost in the labyrinth of an elusive but disturbing dream. As consciousness returns, you realize that it is not a dream that is troubling you – it is the reality of your life.   You suddenly realize that the modern world is not providing you with joyous possibilities. Instead, it is ensnaring you in a digital desert. You recognize that your 1,243 Facebook friends are actually 1,243 Falsebook strangers. And you [continue reading…]

 April 15, 2016  Posted by at 12:45 am ~ Column ~, Island Voices No Responses »
Apr 152016

by Kirby Congdon……. A close friend asked me why I don’t provide some remarks for this column on the subject of depression? Where would I begin? My first contact with it was Rachel, an overseer at a state orphan asylum. Rachel’s mother lived on a bankrupt farm, familiar to most of us. It consisted of about two hundred acres in rural Connecticut with a huge mansion built in the eighteen-hundreds that still had neither water nor electricity nor, in the ongoing mass-production age, an income. [continue reading…]

 April 15, 2016  Posted by at 12:44 am Issue #162, Kirby Congdon No Responses »
Apr 082016
Key West’s Black Community Fighting for Survival

by Naja and Arnaud Girard……. Even though the debate at City Hall this week was not officially about race, it shed an unflattering light on Key West’s cultural divide in ways that no journalist could express better than the passionate speakers did on Tuesday night. You’re just going to have to listen for yourself and be amazed. But before you click on the video, we need to make you privy to a few basic facts and to the one little secret that no one “in the know” that night [continue reading…]

Apr 082016

by Dennis Reeves Cooper……. The presence of the US Navy in Key West dates back to 1822, when Lt. Commander Matthew C. Perry sailed the Navy schooner Shark into Key West Harbor and claimed the island for the United States. Only about 100 people lived here at that time. Although Florida had become a US territory a year earlier, there were still some questions about the ownership of the Keys. Keep in mind that even after the 13 American colonies had declared independence from British [continue reading…]

Apr 082016
Affordable Rental Nightmare

by Cindy Cody……. I have just realized that I never need to go to Disneyland ever again. If you want the wildest ride in your life do what I just did. I listed a nice clean 2-bedroom mobile home with a big yard cheap on Craig’s List. That’s when it started. I am looking for a long-term renter that takes care of the yard and let’s me know if something needs fixing. It’s 24 hours later and I am tearing out my hair on the [continue reading…]

Apr 082016
An Important Note Re: Fantasy Fest 2016

Mr. Robbins, Mayor and Commissioners, My name is Brian Kelly. I have lived in Key West full-time since late 2003. I would like to throw my two cents in on this subject. Every few years, I attend the Fantasy Fest parade, culminating the end of the largest invasion of my town. I am not offended by the raucous parties nor the varying degrees of dress, or more appropriately, undress. I am grossed out, however, by the grandmas and grandpas that manage to lose their inhibitions, [continue reading…]

 April 8, 2016  Posted by at 8:12 am Island Voices, Issue #161, Letter to the Editor 4 Responses »
Apr 082016
As You Kill Me, So It Is Done Unto Thyself...

  by John Donnelly……. Recent cries by some to expedite the killing of cats, illustrates a callousness and depravity not often found in a civilized society. The justification proffered for slaughtering these sentimental creatures is riddled with flaws  and inaccuracies. These animals are not responsible for any of the complications attributed to their species. They are not, nor have they ever been ‘the problem’. Citizens abandoning and discarding their pets as garbage into the wild are the problem. Rather than emphasizing an ‘accelerated killing program’ [continue reading…]

 April 8, 2016  Posted by at 7:56 am ~ Column ~, John Donnelly 7 Responses »
Apr 082016
Gullible's Travels

by Kim Pederson……. So remember back in 2000 when we were all freaked out about the flesh-eating bananas? If you picked the wrong bunch of imported fruit, necrotizing fasciitis (NF) would leap onto your skin and turn it into livid purple boils before it all slid off into a steaming pile of derma, etc., at your feet. The nice folks who sent out the mass email about this were also good enough to inform us of the FDA’s shocking NF cover-up. People were understandably upset. [continue reading…]

 April 8, 2016  Posted by at 7:54 am Issue #161, Kim Pederson No Responses »
Apr 082016
Small Talk

Small Talk When an admirer told the soprano,”I loved your aria,” she replied, “It’s written for a falsetto you know.” Her acquaintance answered, “Well, I’ve cheated in my time, too..” “No,” the singer explained, “I don’t mean false. I mean like a coloratura!” The man nodded tactfully. “Oh yeah? Who would know? You could always pass for a white person.” The lady was more explicit. I’m referring to the range of the aria.” “You sing on a ranch. What area is that in?” Finally the [continue reading…]

 April 8, 2016  Posted by at 7:52 am Issue #161, Kirby Congdon No Responses »
Apr 012016
Bernstein Loses Wisteria Island on a Technicality

by Naja and Arnaud Girard……. This week FEB Corporation and Roger Bernstein, the wannabe owners/developers of Wisteria Island, have lost their case before the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals. When most local politicians seemed all too ready to allow real estate moguls to build their posh hotel resort, who would have thought that an old Navy letter penned almost a century ago was going to place the federal government in front of the bulldozer and save the last desert island in Key West harbor? The [continue reading…]

Apr 012016
Key West and Brazil: Democracy and Police Accountability

by Martha K. Huggins, Ph.D……… Living and conducting research in Brazil over a number of years during its 21-year military dictatorship taught me the importance of police accountability. Sometimes when police showed up at a residence they were following government orders; sometimes they were acting alone. In either case their objective was to scare people into submission, by merely paying an unannounced visit, or by trashing a family’s possessions, or through violence against them. The victims of such police over-reach had absolutely no recourse: very [continue reading…]

 April 1, 2016  Posted by at 12:48 am Martha Huggins 12 Responses »
Apr 012016
Key West’s 1985 “Bubba Bust” / The Back Story: So Much Worse Than You Think

by Frank Brownell……. Every time I read a story that references the “Bubba Bust” trial of Deputy Police Chief Raymond Casamayor and his fellow defendants, I boil over with outrage. I was the reporter for the Key West Citizen who covered both of the trials in U.S. District Court in 1985 that resulted from the federal indictment handed down in 1984. The reason why I get so worked up about this is because I sat through four months of testimony listening to how the federal [continue reading…]

 April 1, 2016  Posted by at 12:46 am ~ Column ~, Island Voices, Issue #160 2 Responses »
Apr 012016
GUEST EDITORIAL: Let’s Keep the Park a Park and Not Build a Big Development Project

by Ben Volpian……. As an Advisory Board member of the Truman Waterfront Park, but commenting here strictly as a private citizen, I would like to make a comparison between my Park Plan and two other plans – the Truman Waterfront Master Plan and a Conceptual Plan that was recently released to the public. First, my Park Plan: I have preserved a great deal of open space while still taking under consideration the need and/or the stated REQUIREMENT of having revenue producing features. Two open spaces [continue reading…]

Apr 012016
The Voting Delusion

  by Ray Jason……. This November, I heartily encourage all Americans to exercise their civic duty by going to the polls and voting for one of the dignified Presidential candidates that have amazed us this election cycle with their wisdom and compassion. Got ya! APRIL FOOLS DAY!!! Unfortunately, this is not a laughing matter. A large segment of the U.S. population is now very aware of the fact that our political and economic systems have become totally corrupt. And yet these knowledgeable people still cling [continue reading…]

 April 1, 2016  Posted by at 12:32 am ~ Column ~, ~ Opinion ~, Issue #160 No Responses »
Apr 012016
Homeless Medical Log Date, 1 April 2016 (I wish This Were an April Fools Joke, But it’s Not)

FIRST DO NO HARM by Sloan Bashinsky……. Sitting in the waiting room shortly before my homeless lady Kari’s surgery yesterday morning, at Lower Keys Medical Center on Stock Island, I closed my eyes like I might journey in other realms, and immediately was overwhelmed with huge emotion, love and silent love tears, filling the entire hospital, it felt like to me – how I feel about Kari. Then, she was wheeled out of the surgery prep room on a gurney. I leaned down and kissed [continue reading…]

 April 1, 2016  Posted by at 12:32 am ~ Column ~, Island Voices 1 Response »
Apr 012016
The Case for Defuzzification

by Kim Pederson……. I stumbled across and over an odd phrase in a work assignment a few days ago: Basic Defuzzification Distribution Method. What the…? I knew it was a statistical things from the context but beyond that I had no clue. To make things more clear, or to defuzzify if you will, defuzzification refers to “the process of producing a quantifiable result in fuzzy logic.” Hmm. What we have here is a failure to defuzzify. Forging ahead stoically, however, fuzzy logic is, well, you [continue reading…]

 April 1, 2016  Posted by at 12:30 am Issue #160, Kim Pederson No Responses »
Apr 012016

Portents When the sun fell down its light, having failed, went out. The sullen moon, unstable, mourned a sky gone black. With all that, can this world’s end find some way back? Even dawn is late when night is done and the sun, cautious, arrives delayed. Our last lost hope for a final truth is gone. Those who are patient hang along for the ride to learn, soon enough. Their end of time, being timeless, is forever, as it procrastinates in designing fate, making us [continue reading…]

 April 1, 2016  Posted by at 12:28 am Issue #160, Kirby Congdon No Responses »
Mar 282016

Wisteria, the last desert island in Key West harbor, will not be developed any time soon. A three judge panel of the Eleventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that a 1951 letter from the U.S. Navy to the State of Florida was more than enough to meet the requirements to establish the U.S. claim of ownership and to start the twelve-year statute of limitation running under the Quiet Title Act. F.E.B. Corporation’s owner, Roger Bernstein, has recently spent considerable time and money lobbying the County [continue reading…]

Mar 252016
Key West's Historic Seaport Welcomes "El Galeon" and "Hōkūle'a"

El Galeon will be at the Historic Seaport through Sunday March 27, tours are from noon to 8:00 pm, tickets: $15.00 Hōkūle’a will be here through noon Friday March 25 [or longer depending on weather] For more information about the El Galeon and the Hōkūle’a visit their websites linked below: Website for El Galeon:  http://www.elgaleon.org/ Website for Hōkūle’a:  http://www.hokulea.com/ DID YOU LIKE THIS STORY?  SUPPORT THE BLUE PAPER Help us continue to bring you local investigative journalism…  Click on the image to make a donation [NOT tax deductible].

Mar 252016

by Dennis Reeves Cooper……. Has it really been 34 years since the US Border Patrol set up a roadblock on US 1, right in front of the Last Chance Saloon in Florida City, effectively blocking the only road out of the Keys? Although that is not a national border and never has been, Border Patrol agents started stopping every vehicle coming out of the Keys on April 18, 1982, and requiring every occupant of every vehicle to show proof of citizenship– presumably looking for Cubans [continue reading…]

Mar 252016
The Ignominious Obscurity of Quondamnastic Vernacularisms

by Kim Pederson……. I need to write a historical novel (an historical? — I can never decide which). Where else can you have great fun (and get away with) using archaic words that left the glossarial building (mostly) a long time agone. Upon running into such words in print somewhere, most people just “walk on by.” A few reading their Kindles might fingerpop the dictionary to learn what it means, but in general the term remains lost and lonely somewhere in the obfuscatory clouds, the [continue reading…]

 March 25, 2016  Posted by at 1:06 am Issue #159, Kim Pederson 1 Response »