Commentary by Naja and Arnaud Girard……. The School Board is still scrambling to unravel the mystery of $20,000 in day-care funds that went missing over a year ago. Let’s put this amount into perspective. The annual 2015/2016 budget for the Monroe County School District is $163.7 Million. This amount includes 95.1 Million for operations and 26.8 Million for capital improvements. How seriously is the School District guarding that money? Meet Joseph Clements.
by Dennis Reeves Cooper……. Anyone who might want to make a list of the most famous people who have ever lived in Key West would have to include treasure salvor Mel Fisher fairly high on the list. Even I had heard of him when I sailed into Key West on my sailboat for the first time in 1979. Although he had not yet found the mother lode of the treasure known to be aboard the Spanish galleon Nuestra Senora de Atocha which sank off the [continue reading…]
UPDATE January 29 4:56 pm: Two more counterfeit bills reported Two more Key Largo salons have reported receiving counterfeit $100 bills under similar circumstances, bringing the total so far to four of the fake bills passed in the Key Largo area this week. In all four cases a man fitting a similar description has entered hair or nail salons and has purchased gift certificates for $40 – $50 using a fake $100 bill and receiving cash for the balance. The most recent two cases to [continue reading…]
by Martha K. Huggins……. Set-Up: Results of Interactive Journalism This play about Stock Island’s landfill and its chemicals springs from last week’s contributions to my, “Let’s Write a Play: Scripting the Economics, Science, and Politics of Death: “Fifteen Shameful Lethal Acts,” in the Blue Paper (1/22/2016). Jerome Grapel, Alex Symington, and John Donnelly pointed out that any discussion of dangerous and polluting chemicals, and how these are handled by government, had to include: (1) The role of capitalism in the economic and political system in [continue reading…]
by Thomas L. Knapp……. “They shot him right there, he was just walking — I saw it,” says Victoria Sharp . “I swear to God, he was just walking with his hands in the air.” She’s describing the January 26 killing of LaVoy Finicum by FBI agents and an Oregon State Police SWAT team. Sharp’s account doesn’t go uncontested. Mark McConnell, described as a “witness” even though he was a mile away at the time of the shooting and was just “told” what happened, describes [continue reading…]
District V Commissioner Margaret Romero is convening a community meeting at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, February 3rd. The meeting will be held at the Casa Marina Resort on Reynolds St. Topics on the agenda include an update on the new City Hall, as well as a discussion of the upcoming referendum on the Peary Court and the Truman Waterfront. “Bring your suggestions, ideas, comments and questions,” said Romero. “I encourage you to be involved in making our City better. Persons of all Key West districts [continue reading…]
Elizabeth Campbell, Mangrove Classroom Toddler Montessori Guide, has been nominated by her peers as teacher of the year. Elizabeth is originally from New Jersey but has called Key West her second home her whole life as a grandchild to Edward and Shirley Block. Elizabeth received her B.S. in Early Childhood Education from Boston University and her AMS Infant and Toddler Montessori teaching credentials from Village Training Center in Miami. Ms. Liz, as she is referred to at school, prides herself in providing a welcoming and [continue reading…]
On January 21, 2016, the Sheriff’s Special Investigations Unit conducted an operation checking businesses that sell alcohol in the Lower Keys. Eight businesses were checked including restaurants, convenience stores and bars. Five of the businesses served alcohol to a minor during our investigation. The clerks who sold the alcohol were issued a Notice to Appear in Court. The following Businesses and attendant’s sold the alcohol: 1. Tom Thumb, 5690 Maloney Avenue, Stock Island, FL. Attendant: Angie Matril, 26 years of age. Notice to appear issued [continue reading…]
Two new trees now grace Bayview Park in honor of Sgt. Eric Biskup, who succumbed to cancer this month at the age of 49. In an effort spearheaded by City Commissioner Sam Kaufman, the City’s Community Services Department planted a rare cinnamon bark tree and a jatropha tree. A new bench was installed between the trees. Rob Crider, owner of Just Keys Trees, Inc. generously donated the cinnamon bark tree. “It’s appropriate that it’s right across from the police department,” said Chief Donie Lee. “It’s [continue reading…]
by John Donnelly……. Dr. Kelly McGonigal is an award-winning health psychologist teaching at Stanford University. Dr. McGonigal states: “It took evolution millions of years to deliver a prefrontal cortex capable of everything we humans need.” However, once born, is our value, worth and promise enduringly set in stone; before we even get out the gate and have a chance to live our lives? Is the ‘biological brain organ’ a fixed innate structure, rigidly wired and immutably developed into its full potential at birth? Are we [continue reading…]
by Kirby Congdon……. After the natives had built the stone walls for us to designate the legalities of the disorganized map of nature, the gravel tills, the knolls, and the ledges that the glacier had left in the debris of the land with its hills and gullies which the melt-down of centuries had left, we ignored any stone interruptions in the pastures and the farmland we needed. Those were only fun for children to climb or for hanging a swing or on a walk to [continue reading…]
by Kim Pederson……. Many Americans may still operate under the mistaken impression that we elect our presidents. We do not. The US Electoral College does. I was reminded of this while reading Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution of the United States, which describes how our president and vice president are to be elected. According to our Constitution, Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives [continue reading…]
FLORIDA KEYS ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP BILL MOVES ONE STEP CLOSER TO PASSAGE IN STATE LEGISLATURE The Florida Keys Environmental Stewardship Bill – designed to protect and preserve the island chain and ensure it continues to be an economic driver for the state – is one step closer to passage. The Florida House budget subcommittee this week included $25 million to fully fund the bill in its budget recommendations. “The funding is not included on the Senate side, but this is an expected part of the rough-and-tumble, [continue reading…]
Dear Friends of Hometown, Hometown! received this email from the Supervisor of Elections–we trust that it will be helpful to all Monroe County voters: County Early Voting sites will be open 8:30 am to 5:00 pm Early voting will begin Monday February 29th and ends Saturday March 12th Early Voting Sites for County Elections: Supervisor of Elections Offices: 530 Whitehead St #101, Key West 10015 Overseas Hwy, Marathon 102050 Overseas Hwy #137, Key Largo Other Locations: Big Pine Key Community Park, End of Sands Road, [continue reading…]
Cadets and Explorers throughout the county learned the ins and outs of traffic stops during their weekly training last week. The Sheriff’s Office Explorer program teaches kids about various aspects of law enforcement under the watchful and helpful eyes of Sheriff’s Office School Resource Officers, who act as advisors for the Lower, Middle and Upper Keys Explorer posts.
Force Protection Exercise Solid Curtain/Citadel Shield 2016 The force protection and anti-terrorism exercise Solid Curtain-Citadel Shield 2016 (SC-CS 16) will begin Feb. 1 and last through Feb. 12. Personnel can expect an increased security posture at Naval Air Station Key West for the duration of the exercise. SC-CS 16 is a force protection exercise conducted by Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command (USFF) and Commander, Navy Installations Command (CNIC) on all Navy installations in the continental U.S. to allow Navy security personnel to hone skills and [continue reading…]
Commissioners Billy Wardlow named former City Commissioner Tony Yaniz as an ambassador to Cuba during last week’s City Commission meeting. “For over 40 years I’ve had a dream of rebuilding the cultural and historical ties between these islands,” Yaniz said. “I am honored and humbled and also proud. This is the culmination of 45 years of work.” He told the commission that he plans on putting together a committee of residents and business owners to work toward opening the ties between Key West and Cuba.
February 11, 2016; 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Murray Nelson Government Center 102050 Overseas Highway Key Largo, FL KEY LARGO — Monroe County and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection are partnering to host a workshop on Brownfield Redevelopment. A brownfield is the expansion, redevelopment or reuse of property, which may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant or contaminant. Developers, investors, realtors, governments and other interested members of the community are invited to learn about brownfields, hear success [continue reading…]
Long time Reserve Lieutenant Bob Smith was recognized for his thousands of hours of volunteer service as he retires from the ranks of Sheriff’s Office reserve force. Lt. Smith began working as a Sheriff’s Office reserve in January of 1989 and has worked continuously since then. Reserves donate their time to the office, and Bob was very active in many areas, particularly as part of the Sheriff’s Office Dive Team. His dedicated and selfless service will certainly be missed.
The Tennessee Williams Key West Exhibit is celebrating the playwright’s March birthday by providing a series of cultural events to be held throughout the month. Artist and writers are invited to participate in three contests being offered as part of the celebration: Short Story Writing, Poetry and Plein Air Painting. Registration and submission deadline for the writing contest is March 5. Professor Susanne Woods is coordinating the contest and will join other published writers in selecting the winners. Registration and submission for the poetry contest [continue reading…]
THURSDAY, JANUARY 28 thru WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 3 Visit keysarts.com, Cultural Calendar for more listings and events throughout the Keys. Key West Happenings ARTISTS RECEPTIONS/EXHIBITIONS Sunday Anne McKee Fine Art Gala and Auction, 7 PM The work of 60 Florida Keys artists ranging from renowned masters to emerging talents. Attendees can bid on original paintings, sculptures photography, fiber art, ceramics, mixed media, jewelry and more. Doors open at 6 p.m. Fort East Martello, 3501 S. Roosevelt Blvd. mckeefund.org FESTIVALS and FUNDRAISERS Thru Sunday, January 31 Key [continue reading…]