Feb 262016

The video above shows footage from the 2014 summer youth sailing program at the Key West Community Sailing Center. The Key West Community Sailing Center and The Blue Paper are coordinating a special 7-week after-school “Learn to Sail” program, beginning March 3rd, for 11 students from low-income families who live at the Key West Housing Authority’s “Porter Place” on Palm Avenue. The kids, ages 8-13, are signed up and ready to go. Update: Thanks to the two Blue Paper readers that have already pledged to sponsor one child each!! [continue reading…]

 February 26, 2016  Posted by at 12:40 am Issue #154 2 Responses »
Feb 192016

by Naja and Arnaud Girard……. Buying the old Navy housing project at Peary Court might be the City’s last opportunity to preserve some semblance of a working class community. However, most residents interviewed appear unable to move past a sense of indignation over the proposed sale price for Peary Court (which has nearly doubled in just two years) or their suspicion that officials did not fight hard enough to get a better deal, if they fought at all. Background:  On August 30, 2013 Peary Court was sold to White Street [continue reading…]

Feb 192016
Senate Bill 686 and the Cost of Corruption

by Margaret Blank*……. I saw this news item while browsing the web: Almost every top official in Texas city arrested in federal corruption case. It really got me thinking. Here’s a terrific editorial on Florida’s “Corruption Tax”. Monroe County taxpayers have most definitely fallen victim to this. The Acevedo scandal cost us over $400,000 – and that only came to light because of a courageous whistle-blower, who paid a steep price for doing the right thing. Now another $20,000 has gone missing and the school board [continue reading…]

 February 19, 2016  Posted by at 1:08 am Island Voices, Issue #154 5 Responses »
Feb 192016

by John Walsh……. City Commissioners talked a lot about nudity at their workshop on Fantasy Fest, but are afraid to define it or take any action to control it.  Rather they leave it to the Police to make up and enforce their own rules.  The Nudity statute ought to be repealed and here’s why: The City of Key West’s Nudity -Body Painting Statute [Section 42‐9] states that: “Nude or nudity means the exposure of the human male or female genitals, pubic area, or buttocks with less than [continue reading…]

 February 19, 2016  Posted by at 1:06 am ~ Column ~, ~ Opinion ~, Island Voices, Issue #154 1 Response »
Feb 192016
Goombay & Fantasy Fest: Don't Throw The Baby Out With The Bathwater

by Ken Sullivan……. As the lead organizer of the family friendly opening event of this two weeks of fun, frolic and fundraising, I have something to add to the debate about Fantasy Fest. We have endured insults and accusations that questioned the integrity and motives of our worldwide charitable organization that gives tirelessly to the members and community we serve. If you live in Bahama Village, the neighborhood that surrounds the graveyard, low income areas of Stock Island and other depressed regions in lower Monroe [continue reading…]

Feb 192016
Continuing the Theme of Being Homeless in Key West ...

by Sloan Bashinsky……. I don’t suppose I’m a typical homeless person, if such even exists … How did I become homeless? I’m sometimes asked. I ran out of money, I say. Oh. Well, why don’t you work and make money and get yourself a place to live? I do work, very hard, but the job doesn’t pay money, and the kind of job you are talking about would not pay the rent in Key West, I say. Nor could I stand up to such a [continue reading…]

 February 19, 2016  Posted by at 1:02 am Island Voices, Issue #154 5 Responses »
Feb 192016
"Brain Training Indoctrination"--Replicates Disquietude--Promotes Continued Conflict & Unrest...

  by John Donnelly……. Brain power commensurate with changing the world’s civilizations into a set  of enlightened societies is an inherited birthright. We’re not the perpetual angst and aggression manifested in our endless cycles of “violence and war”. This addiction and compulsivity to wage war is symptomatic of a diseased mind, poor judgment and virulent emotions. Embracing stress and ignorance as an integral requirement  of reality, provides many with the means to fit in with fellow sufferers and secure some semblance of protection and comfort from [continue reading…]

 February 19, 2016  Posted by at 1:01 am ~ Column ~, Issue #154, John Donnelly No Responses »
Feb 192016
An Open Letter To The School Board

Gentlemen: I gather from recent newspaper reports that you are once again turning your attention to affordable housing for teachers. Those reports also include some scary data about the overwhelming number of first year teachers who say that they are leaving because they cannot afford housing. It would be interesting to examine the veracity of those statements, but for now, let us take them at face value. As you attack the situation, it will be interesting to see what options you believe are viable by [continue reading…]

 February 19, 2016  Posted by at 1:00 am Dr. Larry Murray, Issue #154 2 Responses »
Feb 192016
Kill All The Cats

Dear Editor, I’ve been taken aback by some heartless and uninformed comments appearing in some of our local newspapers. An individual is calling for all cats that are living in cat colonies, to be forcibly taken from their caregivers and killed. Many citizens deem this recommendation as cruel, inhumane and merciless. A person is entitled to their opinion, however, they’re not entitled to make up facts and spew misinformation, in support of such bloodshed. It’s alarming that someone who appears to be an intelligent individual [continue reading…]

 February 19, 2016  Posted by at 12:58 am Issue #154, Letter to the Editor 4 Responses »
Feb 192016
New Federal Artificial Turf Study will Lead to More Questions

One-Year Window Focused on Defining “Knowledge Gaps” on Exposure and Effects Washington, DC — A new multi-agency federal study into the human health and eco-impacts of widespread use of shredded tires in playgrounds and sports fields will raise more questions than it answers, according to Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). While researchers begin to grapple with an array of unknowns, children will remain in direct contact with shredded tire pellets containing lead, arsenic, cadmium, chromium, mercury and a number of dangerous hydrocarbons. Announced last [continue reading…]

 February 19, 2016  Posted by at 12:57 am Issue #154, News, Public Notice No Responses »
Feb 192016
KWPD Seeking Reaccreditation

ACCREDITATION TEAM INVITES PUBLIC COMMENTS ABOUT THE KEY WEST POLICE DEPARTMENT A team of assessors from the Commission for Florida Law Enforcement Accreditation (CFA) will arrive on April 5, 2016 to examine all aspects of the Key West Police Department’s policies and procedures, management, operations, and support services, Police Chief Donie Lee announced today. The Key West Police Department has to comply with approximately 260 standards in order to receive accredited status. Many of the standards are critical to life, health and safety issues. As [continue reading…]

 February 19, 2016  Posted by at 12:55 am Issue #154, News, Public Notice 4 Responses »
Feb 192016
Six of Nine Businesses Checked Were Caught Selling Alcohol to a Minor

On February 17, 2016, the Sheriff’s Special Investigations Division conducted an operation checking businesses that sell alcohol in the Lower Keys. Nine businesses were checked including restaurants, convenience stores and bars. Six of the businesses served alcohol to a minor during the course of the investigation. The clerks who sold the alcohol were issued a notice to appear in court before a Monroe County Judge. The following Businesses and attendants were charged with the sale of alcohol to a minor: Murray’s Market, 24550 Overseas Highway, [continue reading…]

 February 19, 2016  Posted by at 12:55 am Issue #154, News, Public Notice No Responses »
Feb 192016
Just Say No to Draft Registration for Women -- and Men

by Thomas L. Knapp……. Testifying before the US Senate’s Armed Services Committee in early February, Generals Mark A. Milley (the US Army’s chief of staff) and Robert B. Neller (commandant of the US Marine Corps) endorsed extending mandatory Selective Service registration to women. Because, you know, equality. I have a better idea. It’s time to end draft registration for everyone. Because, you know, freedom. The US hasn’t involuntarily inducted men into military service since 1973, but reinstated mandatory registration in 1980. Ever since, the shadow [continue reading…]

 February 19, 2016  Posted by at 12:54 am ~ Opinion ~, Editorial, Issue #154 1 Response »
Feb 192016
Election 2016: The Courtpocalypse and How to Delay It

by Thomas L. Knapp……. Presidential election campaigns tend to follow a predictable issues timetable, but certain events can upset that timetable in a big way. The death of US Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia is precisely such an event, and its consequences will be felt in November. By the time Scalia’s body reached the funeral home, US Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) had already handed Democrats a great talking point and turnout motivator with his announcement that he intends to put off Senate confirmation [continue reading…]

 February 19, 2016  Posted by at 12:52 am ~ Opinion ~, Editorial, Issue #154 No Responses »
Feb 192016
Key West’s ‘Sacred Cloth’ to be Carried by United States Embassy Delegation in Sydney Australia

On Feb 29th 2016 Key West’s 25 ft section #93 of the historic Gilbert Baker Rainbow25 Sea to Sea flag (‘The Sacred Cloth’) will be departing Key West FL destined to Sydney Australia for its participation in the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade March 5, 2016. The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras is one of the largest LGBT celebrations in the world. Section #93, affectionately referred to as the ‘Sacred Cloth’ by the SCOTUS Obergefell Plaintiffs, will be carried the entire route [continue reading…]

 February 19, 2016  Posted by at 12:50 am Issue #154, News, Special Event No Responses »
Feb 192016
The Sea Gypsy Concept

by Ray Jason……. A wise ocean sailor “hopes for the best but prepares for the worst.” When far offshore – in what we call the Blue Water – there is no swift assistance readily available. You have to be able to solve your own problems. Spare parts, proper tools and practical skills will either save the day or sink the ship. Weather awareness is also a critical component of success or failure when out on the Wide Waters. In the olden days, a master mariner [continue reading…]

 February 19, 2016  Posted by at 12:49 am Island Voices, Issue #154 No Responses »
Feb 192016
Living in the Moments

by Kim Pederson……. It’s a saying we hear often: the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. These words came to us from the ancient Greek philosopher and scientist Aristotle. His statement might have been the starting point for holism, which tenets that the only way to understand any system (physical, social, economic, us, etc.) is to study it as a whole rather than examining the components individually. It also might have been the prompt for gestalt psychology. This field believes “conscious experience [continue reading…]

 February 19, 2016  Posted by at 12:48 am Issue #154, Kim Pederson No Responses »
Feb 192016
Blue Collar Review

by Kirby Congdon……. It is risky to orient a poem or its publication toward current news because the subject tends to become dated rather quickly. As a reviewer my prejudices came forward when I first saw issues of Blue Collar Review. Journal of Progressive Working Class Literature. The contributions leaned too readily on pat confirmations of unimaginative assertions of middle class cliches mostly on the idea that nice people do not misbehave. The text was often hasty if not careless. However, the editors, Al Markowitz [continue reading…]

 February 19, 2016  Posted by at 12:47 am Issue #154, Kirby Congdon 1 Response »
Feb 192016
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 Pod of Souls*** (Click here for previous chapter) After losing Beth in Pinhole, Blu stole a 3.5-cylinder Chinese motorcycle with a detachable sidecar. He packed bread, bologna, blankets and cheese into the sidecar and made the two thousand mile trip to Key West at thirty-five miles per hour. Blu was only a hundred miles from Key West when the sidecar broke loose. It careened wildly across [continue reading…]

 February 19, 2016  Posted by at 12:46 am ~ Artists ~, Featured Artist, Issue #154, Literature No Responses »
Feb 192016
Wiring National Parks Creates Conflicts

Commercial Cell Service Clashes with National Park Policies and Values Washington, DC — Calls to increase cellular and broadband coverage inside national parks are running up against policies to protect natural soundscapes, pristine vistas and serenity, according to Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). This month, these conflicts are reflected in plans to install a new 4-G capable cell tower right next to the largest tract of designated wilderness in North Dakota’s sole national park. In a January 27, 2016 letter, five U.S. representatives asked [continue reading…]

 February 19, 2016  Posted by at 12:43 am Issue #154, News, Public Notice No Responses »
Feb 192016
SAVE THE DATE: Save Our Pines Welcomes All to Annual Picnic Fundraiser at Fort Zachary Taylor on March 20th

Save Our Pines, the 501 (c)(3) not-for-profit organization that saved the Australian Pines at Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park from eradication, will host their 8th Annual Save Our Pines Picnic Fundraiser at Fort Zachary Taylor Beach on Sunday, March 20th from 1:00pm – 5:00pm. The potluck-style picnic fundraiser celebrates the anniversary of the Save Our Pines organization and their successful campaign to stop the removal of the Australian Pines at Fort Zachary Taylor. Participants are asked to bring a dish to share as well [continue reading…]

 February 19, 2016  Posted by at 12:42 am Issue #154, Special Events, What To Do No Responses »