May 272016
Memorial Day Message From Sheriff Rick Ramsey

  Heavy traffic expected Memorial Day Weekend Memorial Day weekend is one of the busiest weekends of the year for traffic in the Florida Keys and this year will be no exception. That is the assessment of the Sheriff’s Office Traffic Enforcement Unit, which will be out in force this holiday weekend to make sure people are driving safely. All Sheriff’s Office Traffic Enforcement Officers will be assigned to work the entire holiday weekend and will work county-wide to help supplement road patrol, particularly on [continue reading…]

 May 27, 2016  Posted by at 12:20 am Issue #167, Public Notice No Responses »
May 202016
Tribute to a Dying Breed: Key West’s Vicious Van Dweller Criminals

by Sloan Bashinsky……. Something happened yesterday, May 19, 2016, which caused me to go to my website,, and find the February 16, 2015 post: “Michelangelo Giuseppe Peluso, a Key West living treasure, did it his way”. I felt moved to pull excerpts from that post into an article for the blue paper. So here goes, ~~~~~~~~~~~~ What a sense of humor the angels have. A while back, I gave my Toyota Highlander to the mechanic who took care of it, for him to sell [continue reading…]

 May 20, 2016  Posted by at 1:07 am ~ Opinion ~, Editorial, Issue #167 No Responses »
May 202016
Truman Waterfront Advisory Board Member, Ben Volpian, Wants Fresh Talks About Park Plans

Truman Waterfront Advisory Board Member, Ben Volpian, has asked for the group’s May 23, 2016 board meeting to include a frank discussion on future park plans. Volpian says there are three Plans: 1. The Truman Waterfront Park Master Plan, 2. Conceptual Plan as presented by Planning Director, Thaddeus Cohen, and 3. Truman Waterfront Plan as presented by Ben Volpian. His aim is to begin a group discussion that would compare the 3 Plans using the City of Key West’s Mission’s and Duties of the Truman [continue reading…]

 May 20, 2016  Posted by at 1:05 am Issue #167, Public Notice 8 Responses »
May 202016
"All Thoughts of GMO Mosquito Release Should Be Abandoned."

Dear Editor: Following my past Letter to Editor, I authored a 2,000+ word article in outlining additional research and questioning why GMO mosquitoes are even considered. I continued my research, wondering why Zika suddenly became serious enough to spark recent media hysteria and predictions of epidemics. I found some disturbing correlations that suggest all thoughts of GMO mosquito release should be abandoned. Consider the cause of the Zika epidemic a mystery to be solved. Here are some clues: The Zika virus was isolated by [continue reading…]

 May 20, 2016  Posted by at 1:05 am Issue #167, Letter to the Editor 3 Responses »
May 202016
Response to County Mayor Carruthers

Dear Editor, In a recent letter to the editor, Monroe County Mayor, Heather Carruthers, discussed her opposition to single-member districts. The letter glosses over very real and very significant problems with the current system. Carruthers claims that the at-large system allows voters to influence county commissioners from other districts. With SMD elections, you vote for one Commissioner every four years. In our current at-large elections, you get to vote for all five Commissioners every four years, and for at least 40% of the Commission every [continue reading…]

 May 20, 2016  Posted by at 1:04 am Issue #167, Letter to the Editor 13 Responses »
May 202016
Response to County Mayor Carruthers

Dear Editor, Mayor Caruthers comments in her letter: “Being a County Commissioner requires many practical things, including a flexible schedule, accessibility and travel. It is difficult to manage a normal 40-hour work week and effectively serve, and more difficult to support a family solely on a Commissioner’s salary.” This validates citizen’s concerns that new entrants must be wealthy or beholden to special interests for funding a Keys wide campaign. Ask yourself: “Who would possibly be against letting citizens decide how they elect their local representatives?” [continue reading…]

 May 20, 2016  Posted by at 1:04 am Issue #167, Letter to the Editor 1 Response »
May 202016

by Thomas L. Knapp……. Philip Rucker and Robert Costa of the Washington Post report that Mitt Romney and other establishment Republicans are unsheathing their threatened final sword: Attempting to put together an “independent” Republican presidential campaign versus GOP nominee-apparent Donald Trump. The draft effort’s reputed short list includes Ohio governor John Kasich and US Senator Ben Sasse (R-NE). Good idea or bad idea? Depends on how one looks at it. If the goal is partisan Republican victory this November, two Republican candidates — one chosen [continue reading…]

May 202016
Cream Rises To The Top...

by John Donnelly……. Dare say, the rants denigrating law-enforcement officers, along with the chants calling for their murder, are difficult for me to reconcile with; while watching and listening to accounts of their extraordinary bravery and steadfast courage under fire, as President Obama decorates them with the ‘Medal of Valor’ at the White House. Just today, these ‘officers of the law’ appeared on TV as our president reverently draped this distinguished award around each of their necks. One mother was presented her son’s medal posthumously, [continue reading…]

 May 20, 2016  Posted by at 1:00 am Issue #167, John Donnelly No Responses »
May 202016
I'd Rather Not Have One

by Kim Pederson……. Everyone needs help sometimes, especially with regard to putting the spark back into relationships teetering on the edge of gutteringdom. Guttering is a great word, isn’t it? It acts as a gerund for the verb “gutter” that denotes the melted wax that runs down a candle. The intransitive verb “gutter” means, in turn, to flow in rivulets as in wax down a candle, to incline downward in a draft or wind as candle flames do, or to burn feebly as again in [continue reading…]

 May 20, 2016  Posted by at 12:56 am Issue #167, Kim Pederson No Responses »
May 202016
Older Adults: Include Connectedness in your Hurricane Plan

By Dr. Dan Dodgen, Director of the Division for At-Risk Individuals, Behavioral Health, and Community Resilience, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Hurricane season is fast approaching and disaster preparedness should be something that everybody, including older Americans, is thinking about. It only takes one hurricane to change your life and your community. But that one hurricane can do some serious damage, especially if you aren’t ready for it. Bouncing back after a storm isn’t [continue reading…]

 May 20, 2016  Posted by at 12:54 am ~ Opinion ~, Editorial, Issue #167 No Responses »
May 202016
Poetry and Verse

by Kirby Congdon……. An important book on nursery rhymes, Iona and Peter Opie’s Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes (1952), pointed out that those light-hearted poems from Mother Goose were, in fact, documentaries, not just making things up. In those days an execution could be your punishment for embarrassing any political figure accused of mishandling civil rights — as if there were any! A few years ago, a local poet prefaced a reading of a poem by saying, “This really happened.” I asked myself, Does that mean [continue reading…]

 May 20, 2016  Posted by at 12:52 am Issue #167, Kirby Congdon No Responses »
May 202016
Stanley Papio Permanent Exhibit Now Open

Key West Art & Historical Society board member and historian Sharon Wells and Curator Cori Convertito, PhD get friendly with “The Water Skiier” while “Dough Boy World War I” looks on. The sculptures are just two of more than 100 of the artist’s sculptural objects and three-dimensional constructions featured in the new permanent exhibit— “Stanley Papio: Junkyard Rebel”— which is now open to the public at Fort East Martello. For more information, visit KWAHS.ORG.

 May 20, 2016  Posted by at 12:50 am Art, Issue #167, What To Do 1 Response »
May 202016
School District Survey

Monroe County School District invites you to participate in its 2016 Survey regarding the School District Strategic Plan that was developed by Hanover Research. This is the third year of deployment of the Strategic Plan and it is important to get feedback regarding its implementation, not only from the focus groups that meet every November, but from the broader community. The Survey will be available until May 27th. Click on this link for the survey.

 May 20, 2016  Posted by at 12:46 am Issue #167, Public Notice No Responses »
May 202016
Sugarloaf Elementary School Receives Visit From Motivational Speaker/Author, Haley Marguerite

Haley Marguerite, a 24-year old published children’s book author, spent time with Sugarloaf Elementary School students this week. Growing up as a young girl Haley was driven to be successful “no matter what that meant.”  She was hungry to be the best that she possibly could be.  “As an entrepreneur,” Marguerite says, “seeking new opportunities to take her company to the next level is a main priority.” Haley’s book, Charlie Takes an Adventure, is rather unique as it was written when she was only eleven [continue reading…]

 May 20, 2016  Posted by at 12:44 am ~ Artists ~, Issue #167 No Responses »
May 202016
Anne McKee Artist's Fund Announces 2016 Grant Winners

The Board of Directors of the Anne McKee Artists Fund recently awarded 12 project-based grants to Florida Keys visual, performing and literary artists. The awards support specific creative projects proposed by each recipient. Established by Anne McKee, a longtime Key West resident and supporter of the arts, the Fund assists talented individuals with qualified creative endeavors. Since its inception, the Fund has awarded over $234,000 to visual artists, writers and performing artists who live in the Florida Keys. The Fund’s 2016 grant recipients are: Visual [continue reading…]

 May 20, 2016  Posted by at 12:42 am Issue #167, News, Special Event No Responses »
May 202016
Retiring Fire Chief Fraga Commended

The Key West City Commission last night honored Fire Chief David Fraga with the following proclamation. Chief Fraga is stepping down at the end of the month after 42 years of service, ten of those as Chief. “Key West Fire Chief David began his career in 1973 as a firefighter, working his way up through the ranks: Captain, Fire Marshal, Division Chief, and in 2006, Fire Chief. When he first made the commitment in November of 1973, Chief Fraga could not have imagined the legacy [continue reading…]

 May 20, 2016  Posted by at 12:40 am Issue #167, News, Public Notice No Responses »
May 202016
Special Needs Coordinator Honored As County's Employee of the Year

ANNA HASKINS HONORED AS MONROE COUNTY 2015 EMPLOYEE OF THE YEAR The Monroe County Board of County Commissioners honored Special Needs Coordinator Anna Haskins as the County’s 2015 Employee of the Year. As tears trickled down Haskins’ face as she stood next to the Commissioners and Social Services Senior Director Sheryl Graham, a letter by her supervisor was read during the BOCC meeting at the Harvey Government Center in Key West. “Anna Haskins’ generosity of spirit at work and away from work with regard to [continue reading…]

 May 20, 2016  Posted by at 12:38 am Issue #167, News, Public Notice No Responses »
May 202016
Maritime Day

In recognition of the vital role that our merchants and seamen play in Key West’s history, culture and economy, Mayor Craig Cates proclaimed May 22nd Maritime Day during this week’s City Commission meeting. In times of war and peace, the American Merchant Marine has been dedicated to the orderly flow of goods and materials to and from the shores of our nation. May 22nd marks the anniversary of the day the SS Savannah sailed from U.S. shores in 1819 to Liverpool on the first successful [continue reading…]

 May 20, 2016  Posted by at 12:36 am Issue #167, News, Public Notice No Responses »
May 202016
Division of Historical Resources Requests Recommendations for National Statuary Hall Replacement

TALLAHASSEE— The Florida Department of State’s Division of Historical Resources requests interested members of the public submit recommendations of candidates for the replacement of the statue of General Edmund Kirby Smith in the National Statuary Hall Collection at the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C. “In an effort to ensure that the voices of all Floridians are heard, the Florida Division of Historical Resources is providing an online survey for the public to recommend candidates that may be considered to represent Florida in National Statuary [continue reading…]

 May 20, 2016  Posted by at 12:34 am Issue #167, News, Public Notice No Responses »
May 202016
Florida Keys Council of the Arts Cultural Calendar

Thursday, May 19 thru Wednesday, May 25 Visit, Cultural Calendar for more listings and events throughout the Keys. Key West Happenings ARTISTS RECEPTIONS/EXHIBITIONS Thursday Walk on White Gallery Walk, 6 PM Exhibitions and receptions at galleries and shops along White Street including Artists at the Armory, Harrison Gallery and Stone Soup Gallery. FESTIVALS and FUNDRAISERS Wednesday Benefit concert for Habitat for Humanity with Bill Blue and Melody Cooper, 6 PM Pier House, 1 Duval St. 305-295-3201. FILM Friday Bayview Park Movie Series: The Lego [continue reading…]

May 202016
Key West Pride Features Newlywed, Tutu, Cocktail Challenges June 8-12

Fun and exciting games and challenges are in store for visitors to Key West Pride 2016. Set Wednesday through Sunday, June 8-12, the annual festival salutes diversity in one of America’s hottest gay and lesbian vacation spots. The celebration on this island paradise features daytime pool parties; late-night drag shows; on-the-water adventures, including snorkeling, kayaking, paddleboarding and a VFW fishing tournament; glass-bottom boat tours; a rainbow bike parade; a street fair along world-famous Duval Street; a unique burlesque experience tailored to the LGBT audience; a [continue reading…]

 May 20, 2016  Posted by at 12:28 am Issue #167, Special Events, What To Do 1 Response »
May 202016
Animal Farm Open Sunday

The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office Animal Farm is open to the public this Sunday, May 22nd from 1 – 3 p.m. Please join us and visit with the animals. The farm is free of charge; donations are welcome. The Sheriff’s Office Animal Farm has over 150 animals, most of which were abandoned, abused or otherwise surrendered by their owners. The animals at the farm include farm animals like pigs, goats, a steer, horses, a donkey, turkeys and rabbits. The farm also has a number of [continue reading…]

 May 20, 2016  Posted by at 12:26 am Issue #167, News, Public Notice No Responses »
May 202016
Mystery Fest Guests May Haunt with Heather

Lovers of mystery and mysterious hauntings take note: New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Heather Graham is slated to co-host a Saturday evening ramble with Sloan’s Haunted Key West during the upcoming Mystery Writers Key West Fest, set for June 10-12. All Fest registrants, participating authors and their guests will have first-come, first serve opportunity to explore infamous Old Town hauntings on Saturday, June 11, with Michael Jensen – also known as the Principal of Paranormal Paradigms for the popular supernatural stroll, and Graham, [continue reading…]

 May 20, 2016  Posted by at 12:22 am Issue #167, Special Events, What To Do No Responses »
May 202016
Reef Relief Coral Camp

Dive into Coral Camp, exploring coral reefs & our amazing marine environment Attention Ocean Explorers! Slots still open for Coral Camp 2016. This summer 6-12 year old youths explore and learn about our surrounding marine environment through exciting education activities at the Reef Relief Environmental Center in Key West. Each fun-packed day, campers experience hands-on-learning, interactive games and outdoor activities. Activities include science and art projects in addition to exciting field trips around Key West. Campers also experience four days of snorkeling: one day practicing [continue reading…]

 May 20, 2016  Posted by at 12:20 am Issue #167, Special Events, What To Do No Responses »
May 202016
Safe Boating Week Starts Saturday

Key West Mayor Craig Cates on Tuesday proclaimed the coming week Safe Boating Week. The Key West Sail and Power Squadron is kicking off Safe Boating Week on Saturday, May 21st at 10 a.m. with a free seminar on The Partner in Command that teaches the essential skills you need to help the skipper safely operate a recreational boat including understanding anchoring, docking, and navigation, preparing for bad weather, first aid and on-board emergencies. The public is invited to attend this two hour seminar at [continue reading…]

 May 20, 2016  Posted by at 12:18 am Issue #167, News, Public Notice No Responses »
May 202016
ArtCamp! Registration Still Open

Looking for a great summer camp for your youngsters? Registration is still open for Key West Art & Historical Society’s ArtCamp! at Fort East Martello’s Imagination Institute, a camp for children aged 5-12. The program celebrates Key West’s rich artistic history and natural landscape over a series of nine weeks beginning June 13 and running through August 12. Each themed week features auxiliary activities and excursions, including field trips to local museums, nearby beaches and gardens—all highlighting the abundant history and cultural assets of our [continue reading…]

 May 20, 2016  Posted by at 12:18 am Art, Issue #167, What To Do No Responses »
May 202016
Motorcycle Safety Awareness

Key West Mayor Craig Cates on Tuesday declared May as Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. The proclamation was accepted by Byron Agababian, a member of the Southernmost Chapter of ABATE — American Bikers Aiming Towards Education. The organization promotes safety through rider and motorist education programs and works to education the non-riding public how to safety share the road with motorcycles. Statewide, the organization boasts more than 7,000 members. Motorcycles are an energy efficient vehicle that reduces traffic and parking congestion, but they can be vulnerable [continue reading…]

 May 20, 2016  Posted by at 12:16 am Issue #167, News, Public Notice 1 Response »
May 202016
Electro Swing Friday/Saturday

Rock Solomon Virgilio’s Bar 524 Duval St. Friday, May 27th & Saturday, May 28th 10pm-1:30am Rock Solomon’s Electro-Swing band (featuring bassist Tim McAlpine & newcomer pianist James King) performs at Virgillo’s Friday & Saturday May 27th & 28th at 10pm. While staying true to the standards, Rock Solomon’s band appeals to a multi generational audience. Combining classic jazz-age music and modern swing beats, Solomon reflects what great composers like Duke Ellington, Cole Porter, Irving Berlin and others may have sounded like; had they the music [continue reading…]

 May 20, 2016  Posted by at 12:15 am Issue #167, Music, What To Do No Responses »
May 202016
United Way of the Florida Keys Announces 2016-17 Grant Recipients

United Way of the Florida Keys has announced that it will distribute a total of $155,000 in grants to 15 nonprofit agencies in 2016-17. The 15 programs were among 18 that applied for funding in one of three United Way focus areas: access to nutritious food for people in critical need; early childhood or after-school care with an educational or positive behavioral component; or safety net services, including information and referral or short-term emergency response. Thank you to all the agencies that applied for United [continue reading…]

 May 20, 2016  Posted by at 12:14 am Issue #167, News, Public Notice No Responses »
May 202016
The Other Band at Schooner Wharf Monday Nights

The Other Band is the latest outgrowth of the vast talent pool here in The Keys. It features Steve Gibson on mandolin and vocals, Michelle Dravis on guitar and lead vocals, and Bubba Lownotes on bass and vocals. They provide a different approach to roots and Americana for music lovers, with a unique blend of talents like no other. Their sound incorporates elements of the blues, country, folk, rock, and ragtime, with some hints of bluegrass and reggae. The result is fresh yet familiar, new [continue reading…]

 May 20, 2016  Posted by at 12:14 am Issue #167, Music, What To Do No Responses »
May 202016
Redevelopment Groundbreaking at Bernstein Park

STOCK ISLAND – The Monroe County Commissioners spent the lunch break of their monthly Board of County Commissioners meeting to put on hard hats and pick up gold painted shovels to celebrate the upcoming redevelopment of Bernstein Park on Stock Island. “A great day, an absolute great day,” said Commissioner Danny Kolhage, who represents District 1 that includes the park. “We all know that Stock Island has been overlooked for a long time. I’m from here, born and raised a half mile from here. And [continue reading…]

 May 20, 2016  Posted by at 12:08 am Issue #167, News, Public Notice No Responses »
May 202016
Global Cleanup Day

In coordination with “Global Cleanup Day”, there will be a cleanup of Card Sound Road, between the county line and the toll booth. The date of the cleanup is this Sunday, May 22nd at 10 a.m. We welcome members of the public who would like to help out! Meet at Alabama Jack’s just prior to starting time.

 May 20, 2016  Posted by at 12:04 am Issue #167, Special Events, What To Do No Responses »
May 202016
June is Green Business Month

Now that season is winding down and the weather is heating up, it’s time to focus on greening our economy! The City of Key West supports businesses that want to conserve resources and save money, and is unveiling the Florida Keys Green Business Certification Program for any size business that wants to participate. “What I love about this certification is that the entire platform is online and provides a ton of resources on the exact steps to go green,” said the City’s Sustainability Coordinator Alison [continue reading…]

 May 20, 2016  Posted by at 12:02 am Issue #167, News, Public Notice No Responses »
May 202016
Rowell's Waterfront Park in Key Largo To Open Memorial Day Weekend

KEY LARGO – Just in time for Memorial Day Weekend, Monroe County is pleased to open Rowell’s Waterfront Park in Key Largo to the public for limited uses. The kid- and dog-friendly park along Florida Bay will open May 27, featuring picnic tables, benches, a place to swim (at your own risk) and a launch for kayaks, canoes and standup paddleboards. The park, located at Mile Marker 104.5 on the Overseas Highway, will be open seven days a week, from 7:30 a.m. to sunset. And, [continue reading…]

 May 20, 2016  Posted by at 12:00 am Issue #167, News, Public Notice No Responses »