Jan 202018
 
City's Deregulation of Transient Licenses Will Reduce Residential Housing

OP/ED by Arnaud and Naja Girard…….. Hurricane Irma has left hundreds of people homeless in the Florida Keys. We wanted to know how the local government was handling the housing crisis. Officials seem genuinely concerned. They hold meetings and workshops on workforce housing issues. But clearly the problem predates the storm. Locals believe that, in recent years, too many residential units have been allowed to be transformed into vacation rentals. In this context we were surprised to learn that this week the City Commission voted [continue reading…]

Dec 292017
 
The Children of Hurricanes

by Arnaud and Naja Girard……. According to a recent report by FEMA, nearly a thousand residents impacted by Hurricane Irma are still homeless and living in hotels in the Keys at the edge of this new year. Others are staying in tents in yards or at a friend’s home. Many of them lived in trailer homes now blown away or condemned. Others were liveaboard boaters whose homes were sunk or destroyed by the storm. Their fate is uncertain. This is the inspirational story of a [continue reading…]

Sep 012017
 
Survey: Military Families Report Alarming Health Issues in "Sick Houses" on Sigsbee Island

by Arnaud and Naja Girard……. Constant allergies requiring weekly injections, repeated pneumonia, bloody noses, frequent severe headaches, skin rashes, swollen eyes and breathing issues are a few of the symptoms described by Sigsbee residents who responded to a survey conducted by The Blue Paper. Following reports of “sick house” symptoms on Sigsbee island, we asked military families to describe any health-related issues they’ve experienced while living on the island. Over 66% of those who responded reported having developed some form of allergy. Almost all say [continue reading…]

Aug 252017
 
DO ALL GRAVES MATTER?

See comments from Monroe County Commissioner Heather Carruthers about the issues brought up in this documentary by clicking here. [Commissioner Carruthers was traveling and unable to participate in a video interview.] See the acceptance letter and application for the inclusion of the African Cemetery at Higgs Beach [including the area of the Little Dog Park] in the National Register of Historic Places by clicking here. See the Higgs Beach Park Master Redevelopment Plan by clicking here.     Below is a follow-up comment from Corey [continue reading…]

Jul 282017
 
Immigrant's Unlawful Detention: Who's at Fault?

by Arnaud and Naja Girard……. What everyone knew was that Osman Torres Huete was going to be deported. His family had posted the $1000 cash bail for his release, but at any time during the next two days Border Patrol was going to pluck Osman out of the county jail on Stock Island and send him back to Honduras. However, when, against all odds, Mr. Torres Huete’s immigration lawyer, Reggie Smith, arrived at the jail on July 8th to challenge her client’s “unlawful detention” an embarrassing situation [continue reading…]

Jul 212017
 
The Wedding Boom: County Sees No Evil

by Arnaud and Naja Girard……. She’s an amazing photographer: photos of endangered birds standing on the flats, manatees drifting over the seagrass beds. I point to an extraordinary shot of the sunset. “Well, the place is called Sunset Cove,” observes Louise with a smile. Along with her husband, Louise Lindsay has lived within that secret corner of Key Largo for the past 30 years. But like many others in the Keys, she now fears that the quiet peaceful days are over. Business, you see, has discovered their [continue reading…]