Dec 112015
Guest Column: Richard Toppino for FKAA Board, "An Interesting Choice"

by Margaret Blank……. Richard Toppino of Charley Toppino & Sons has recently been appointed to the Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority (FKAA) board. He will replace Melva Wagner who resigned in September after it became publicly known that she no longer lived in the Keys and was attending meetings by phone. Mr. Toppino was chosen from among eleven applicants for the position. It was a very interesting choice for two reasons: On his application Mr. Toppino names himself as an officer for Charley Toppino & Sons, a [continue reading…]

 December 11, 2015  Posted by at 1:16 am * Featured Story *, Island Voices, Issue #144 11 Responses »
Dec 112015
Key West Clergy Adopt Resolution on Religious Inclusion

At their Tuesday, December 8, 2015, monthly meeting, the Interfaith Ministerial Alliance of Key West and the Lower Keys adopted the following resolution: RESOLUTION Because religious freedom of all is a cornerstone of the great American experiment, enshrined in our Constitution and embodied in the diverse religious and spiritual communities of our citizens, We, the members of the Interfaith Ministerial Alliance of Key West and the Lower Keys renounce any and all rhetoric of exclusion and limitation based on religious beliefs and especially denounce any [continue reading…]

 December 11, 2015  Posted by at 1:13 am Issue #144, Public Notice No Responses »
Dec 112015
Open Letter to School Board Member John Dick

John: According to a report in this week’s Keynoter, you are not supportive of hiring Latour “LT” Lafferty to investigate the financial fiasco in the HOB daycare program. If not Lafferty, who would you recommend and support the investigation? The School District clearly is unable to resolve what became of the missing $20,000 and who is responsible. The District has taken two shots at the problem, one by the Finance Department and one by the King & Walker auditing firm. Neither effort was successful and the [continue reading…]

 December 11, 2015  Posted by at 1:12 am Dr. Larry Murray, Issue #144, Letter to the Editor 1 Response »
Dec 112015
City Should Hire Expert Accountant and Attorney in Field of Large Scale Real Estate Transactions

​Dear Editor, ​As a retired real estate developer,​ I find there are many outstanding questions about the Peary Court purchase​.​ If the average rent, as mentioned in the Citizen, is approximately $2400 (which is not affordable housing rent), how does the purchaser (city) know whether if the rents ​w​ere lowered to make them conform to what might be defined as truly affordable housing rent ($1200.00) ​that the income from the project would support the mortgage, taxes, expenses etc? ​ In addition,​ will city have a committed mortgage [continue reading…]

 December 11, 2015  Posted by at 1:10 am Issue #144, Letter to the Editor 1 Response »
Dec 112015
Millennials: Let's YOU and THEM Fight

by Thomas L. Knapp……. An October/November survey covering the midsection (adults between 18 and 29) of the “millennial” demographic finds that after the November terror attacks in France (but before the December 2 attack in San Bernardino), that demographic’s support for deployment of US ground troops against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria jumped from 47% to 60%. But when asked a followup question — “[i]f the United States needed additional troops to combat the Islamic State, how likely would you be to serve?” [continue reading…]

 December 11, 2015  Posted by at 1:06 am Issue #144 1 Response »
Dec 112015
Fascism or Populism?

by Alex Symington……. Last week I voiced my suspicions that deceitful and misleading pronouncements are being passed off as gospel by the right wing POTUS candidates and the political right wing in general. The reason being is they can, because the corporate sponsored press will not confront these shameless fabulists, they simply repeat all of the unexamined absurdities in their entirety. As in the old joke about lawyers, when Donald Trump’s lips are moving… you know the rest. Ben Carson takes the Rod Serling/Twilight Zone [continue reading…]

 December 11, 2015  Posted by at 1:04 am ~ Column ~, Alex Symington, Issue #144 2 Responses »
Dec 112015
Twisted Logic & Demagoguery Kills People

  by John Donnelly……. I Am The NRA….My life membership in this esteemed and enlightening association, has provided me with the means to advance my commitment towards peace and non-violence. Having witnessed barbarity and slaughter during war; an awakened acknowledgement and realization ignited my determination to seek a better way at resolving differences, while developing effective strategies to relate with my fellow man. Motivated by anguishing recollections and spiritual discontent, I set out to understand the internal and external causes that precede the killing of [continue reading…]

 December 11, 2015  Posted by at 1:02 am Issue #144, John Donnelly 25 Responses »
Dec 112015
Homeless Person's Memorial Day

Key West Mayor Craig Cates and City Commissioners Jimmy Weekley and Sam Kaufman proclaimed Dec. 21st National Homeless Persons Memorial Day during last week’s meeting at Old City Hall. For the past 16 years, the community has gathered to remember those men, women and children who have died homeless in Monroe County with this proclamation designating the longer night of the year in their honor. More than 70 homeless people have died in our community over the past year. At 3 p.m. on December 18th, [continue reading…]

 December 11, 2015  Posted by at 1:00 am Issue #144, Public Notice No Responses »
Dec 112015
It's Not Just a Movie

by Ray Jason……. Sometimes, when I am anchored alone in the far reaches of the Archipelago of Bliss, I will see a group of Indios gathered around a camp fire sharing stories as the twilight deepens into darkness. Everything in such a scene is primal and elemental and authentic. If there are children in the circle, I suspect that the adults are probably passing along their tribal story. They are teaching the young their shared history and their common values. Because language was invented long [continue reading…]

 December 11, 2015  Posted by at 12:58 am Island Voices, Issue #144 2 Responses »
Dec 112015
Bring on the Dome!

by Kim Pederson……. The November 15 issue of The New York Times Magazine carries the title “The Future Is…” and the subtitle “Making Sense of What We Cannot Know.” One of the many interesting and mostly scary takes on the future, written by Jon Gertner, promises to tell us “The Secrets in the Ice.” Gertner begins by observing that the earth’s largest island, Greenland, is now losing more of the gigantic ice sheet (650,000 square miles and 10,000 feet thick in places) than it gains [continue reading…]

 December 11, 2015  Posted by at 12:52 am Issue #144, Kim Pederson 1 Response »
Dec 112015
On Pyrrhic Victories

Note from the Editor: The Blue Paper is honored to share with you the next essay in a series of  excerpts from the autobiographical works of Key West’s first Poet Laureate, Kirby Congdon… ~~~~~~~~~  On Pyrrhic Victories by Kirby Congdon……. The population growth has put many people close together, diluting their need to find themselves beyond the need to get along. This has encouraged similarity, the need to be on a team, or even with a gang, to adhere to standards and squelch individual differences. Being brought up [continue reading…]

 December 11, 2015  Posted by at 12:50 am Issue #144, Kirby Congdon 1 Response »
Dec 112015
Music Revisited

by Jerome Grapel……. (One of the great thinkers of the 20th century is the immortal Czech writer Milan Kundera. I was recently thumbing through his signature novel, a masterpiece called “The Unbearable Lightness of Being”, when I came upon a few passages I had underlined when reading it for the first time. I suppose I had done so because they so validated my own world view. When a consecrated genius like Kundera explains himself in a mirror-like fashion to oneself, it becomes an uplifting experience. [continue reading…]

 December 11, 2015  Posted by at 12:49 am Essays from Post Consumer Man, Issue #144 No Responses »
Dec 112015
Screwed, Blu’d and Tattooed by Reef Perkins…continues…

Key West author Reef Perkins shares more of his hilarious book, Screwed, Blu’d and Tattooed by Reef Perkins ***A Short Legend*** (Click here for previous chapter) For a few days Blu Yunger became a short-lived legend in Coconut Grove. At first, folks stood in line for hours to see his “Additional Member” and be regaled with a romantic story that always began, “Fakyah folks… she’s real, I was there long enough to know.” But the days passed and Blu, shrunken by loneliness, couldn’t keep the [continue reading…]

Dec 112015
Common Cause, Allies File Complaints Against 18 TV Stations

Common Cause, Allies Charge TV Stations With Ignoring Political Ad Disclosure Rule Complaint to FCC Seeks Enforcement Actions Against 18 Outlets in 4 States Common Cause and two other advocacy organizations filed formal complaints against 18 television outlets in four states today, asking the Federal Communications Commission to order the broadcasters to disclose on air the “true identity” of the sponsors of political advertising appearing on their stations. The complaints charge that the stations have been running political ads identified on air as paid for [continue reading…]

 December 11, 2015  Posted by at 12:45 am Issue #144, Public Notice No Responses »
Dec 112015
Veterans For Peace Calls on the President

Military Veterans Applaud President’s Appeal to Stop the Hate and Call on President to Strike Out in a New Direction of Diplomacy and Peace Making St. Louis, MO. Sunday night President Obama outlined his plan to deal with ISIL and called for an end to fear mongering and cultivating hate here in the U.S. He called on us to reject discrimination and proposals that Muslim Americans should be treated differently. Veterans For Peace applauds the President’s appeal to the better nature of our humanity and [continue reading…]

 December 11, 2015  Posted by at 12:44 am Issue #144, Public Notice No Responses »
Dec 112015
Same-Sex Couples Not Treated Equally

Same-Sex Couples Ask Federal Court to Order Florida State Officials to Treat Them Equally and List Both Parents on their Children’s Birth Certificates. ​ (Tallahassee, FL, December 9, 2015)—Today, the married same-sex couples suing the State of Florida asked a federal court to order state officials to list both parents on their children’s birth certificates as Florida already does for children born to married different-sex couples. On August 13, 2015, the couples, along with Equality Florida Institute, the largest organization representing lesbian, gay, bisexual, and [continue reading…]

 December 11, 2015  Posted by at 12:42 am Issue #144, Public Notice No Responses »
Dec 112015
Records Requests Online

The City of Key West has just added a new tool to help the community better connect to City government. Now, you can make a Public Records request right through the City’s web site. We’ve upgraded the Action Line to ensure quick, thorough responses to request documents. On the City’s home page:, just click on the drop-down link from the “How Do I?” navigation tab. Hover the mouse over the tab and you’ll see the title “Submit a Public Records Request.” From there you [continue reading…]

 December 11, 2015  Posted by at 12:39 am Issue #144, Public Notice No Responses »
Dec 112015
Cabaleiro Honored for 33 Years of Service

After having served the citizens of Key West for nearly 33 years, Marta Cabaleiro has retired. She spent her entire career with the City in the Building Department. Chief Building Official Ron Wampler this week presented Marta with a plaque commending her dedicated years of service. [optin-cat id=”26188″]

 December 11, 2015  Posted by at 12:39 am Issue #144, Public Notice No Responses »
Dec 112015
Local Child Safety Program Saves Baby’s Life and Continues to Help 4 Years Later

  This holiday season, Tatiana Johnson has 4 years’ worth of reasons to be grateful. In December 2011, through her perseverance, she was able to avoid one of life’s worst tragedies—the death of her child. Ms. Johnson knew that properly installing her son’s car seat was critical and her dedication paid off on when the vehicle her son was riding in was involved in a high speed collision and veered off US 1, overturning. By all accounts, including Florida Highway Patrol officers at the scene, [continue reading…]

 December 11, 2015  Posted by at 12:38 am Issue #144, Public Notice No Responses »
Dec 112015
Holiday Fire Safety

We’ve had a fairly warm December, but Key West Fire Marshal Danny Blanco wants to remind residents that, even in the Keys, winter brings fire hazards that must be avoided. Space heaters, candles and dry Christmas trees top that list. Each year, lives are lost and homes destroyed because of unsafe use of heaters. The following are some tips to ensure you don’t become a statistic: Never use ovens, ranges or grills as heating devices Install carbon monoxide detectors Keep all heating devices at least [continue reading…]

 December 11, 2015  Posted by at 12:37 am Issue #144, Public Notice No Responses »
Dec 112015
PAL Holiday Camp

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and the Key West Police Athletics/Activities League (PAL) is offering a fun and reliable place to bring your kids during the holiday break. The PAL holiday camp runs from December 21st to the 31st and costs $120 per child per week. The kids will participate in games, crafts, fun activities and field trips. Camp runs daily from 8 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. There will be no camp on Christmas and New Year’s Days. For more information, or [continue reading…]

 December 11, 2015  Posted by at 12:36 am Issue #144, Public Notice No Responses »
Dec 112015
Officer Medina Receives Lifesaving Award

Key West Police Chief Donie Lee presented Officer Gus Medina the department’s Lifesaving Award. In October, Officer Medina responded to a possible drowning call. The caller was in the pool with her unconscious father, holding his head up, but unable to lift him from the water. Upon arrival Officer Medina proceeded through the open doors to the pool, leaped into the water and immediately began lifesaving techniques on the elderly man. While Officer Medina administered CPR, rescue arrived and helped pull the victim from the [continue reading…]

 December 11, 2015  Posted by at 12:35 am Issue #144, Public Notice No Responses »
Dec 112015
Officers Commended for Saving a Life

Key West Police Chief Donie Lee today presented Officers Curtiss Richardson and Alex Rodriguez with the department’s Lifesaving Award. On September 10th, Officer Richardson responded to a call to find an unconscious woman who was not breathing and had no pulse. Officer Richardson immediately began CPR. Officer Rodriguez arrived on the scene just seconds later and assisted in the live saving measures until rescue arrived and transported the woman to the hospital, where she was stabilized and is recovering. “The quick response of these officers [continue reading…]

 December 11, 2015  Posted by at 12:34 am Issue #144, Public Notice No Responses »
Dec 112015
Shields Commended for Voluntary Efforts

Six-year Art in Public Places Advisory Board member Michael Shields was commended this week for his outstanding service to the city of Key West. District V Commissioner Margaret Romero presented the commendation, thanking him for his service. “Membership on this volunteer committee involved familiarity across multiple fields in the world of art,” she said in the commendation. “Thank you for your commitment to advancing more works of art in public spaces and bringing attention to the cultural aspects of our city’s strategic plan by your [continue reading…]

 December 11, 2015  Posted by at 12:33 am Issue #144, Public Notice No Responses »
Dec 112015
Remembering Fallen Officer

Sheriff’s Office remembers Deputy Robin Tanner, killed December 13, 2007 This week, the Sheriff’s Office is remembering Deputy Robin Tanner who was killed in the line of duty on December 13th, 2007. Deputy Tanner was killed at 7 a.m. in a single vehicle automobile accident as she was on her way to a medical call. She was responding to a report of a woman not breathing in the vicinity of 119th Street in Marathon. The accident took place near 90th Street. Deputy Tanner was assigned [continue reading…]

 December 11, 2015  Posted by at 12:32 am Issue #144, Public Notice No Responses »