Jun 172016
Oxitec: Lord of the Mosquitoes

by Alexis d’Albissin and Arnaud Girard……. “We’re guinea pigs in their science experiment,“ said Dick Nalley. Like many of his neighbors in Key Haven, he has dotted his front yard with angry placards. The government, you see, together with a British biotech company called Oxitec, plans to release three million genetically modified mosquitoes into their small island neighborhood, 5 miles northeast of Key West. The ultimate goal is to test this new tool for stopping the propagation of the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which carries dengue, chikungunya, and [continue reading…]

Jun 172016
Guest Commentary on Florida Keys Mosquito Control

by Stephen K. Murray-Smith……. There has been much conversation and angst about genetically modified Aedes Aegypti being tested in the lower Keys. The Key West City Commission passed a resolution against a trial release in the city until further studies are conducted. Now Key Haven residents will have an opportunity to vote on a trial release in their community. While not a binding vote, the FKMCD commission agreed to respect the outcome of the vote. With Zika virus at our doorstep, we are looking at [continue reading…]

 June 17, 2016  Posted by at 4:13 am Editorial, Issue #171 2 Responses »
Jun 172016

  by Dennis Reeves Cooper……. I WAS JUST WONDERING. I have been writing columns for The Blue Paper since 1994. And many, if not most of the concepts for those columns started with “just wondering” about how something works or the truth about a particular topic. Maybe because I’m getting older, I have recently been wondering about what happens– or what HAS to happen– when a person dies in Key West. As with many stories, this one turned out to be more complex (and maybe [continue reading…]

Jun 172016
A Glimmer of Hope in a Crises of Success

Dear Editor, This week the TDC passed a $55,000,000 budget to advertise Key West and The Florida Keys. And The Key West Bight Management Board unanimously and resoundingly voted NO parking garage on the already congested Greene St. that the City of Key West proposed. The neighbors applauded, the tenants of the Bight were elated, Reef Relief which would have lost its space was relieved. A show of hands at City Hall showed that every individual and group in the room was sending a message [continue reading…]

 June 17, 2016  Posted by at 1:03 am Issue #171, Letter to the Editor 3 Responses »
Jun 172016
BOCC Deals with Airbnb Rentals, Granny Flats and an Historic School

KEY LARGO – The Monroe County Board of County Commissioners, at its Wednesday meeting at the Murray E. Nelson Government and Cultural Center in Key Largo, dealt with items regarding Airbnb vacation rentals, “Granny Flats” and the historic Tavernier Hurricane/Refuge School, which was constructed as part of Pres. Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal during the Great Depression. Here’s the issues and what happened: AIRBNB VACATION RENTALS: In February, Airbnb presented the Monroe County Tax Collector with a proposed voluntary collection agreement regarding the collection of [continue reading…]

 June 17, 2016  Posted by at 1:02 am Issue #171, News, Public Notice No Responses »
Jun 172016
Keys Boards Endorse Florida's Amendment 4

Two Keys boards endorse Amendment Four In a unanimous vote, the Marathon City Council and the Monroe County Board of County Commissioners endorsed the passage of Amendment 4, scheduled to be voted on when voters go to the polls for the August 30 primary. Amendment 4 will amend Florida’s Constitution to exempt the value of solar panels and other renewable energy equipment from both the tangible personal property tax and the real property tax for a period of 20 years. To become law, it must [continue reading…]

 June 17, 2016  Posted by at 1:01 am Issue #171, News, Public Notice No Responses »
Jun 172016
The Orlando Slayings: Ask the Wrong Questions, Get the Wrong—Or Is It The “Right”?-- Answers?

by Martha K. Huggins, Ph.D…….. For 21 years I have been an ‘expert witness’ for lawyers representing LGBT clients from Brazil petitioning for asylum in the United States.  Seeking to avoid violent persecution in Brazil, as my asylum reports clearly demonstrate, LGBT Brazilians seeking US asylum believe that they are safer in the US than in Brazil. But considering the widespread US homophobia I often wonder, ‘Are LGBT Brazilians really safer in the U.S.?’  Certainly, the Pulse Club slaying in Orlando, Florida calls the safety [continue reading…]

 June 17, 2016  Posted by at 1:00 am Issue #171, Martha Huggins 23 Responses »
Jun 172016
Lawyers’ Committee Statement on Mass Shooting in Orlando, Florida

Statement from Kristen Clarke, President and Executive Director, in Response to Tragedy Washington, D.C., June 13, 2016 – “We stand together with the LGBTQ community, Latino community, young people, and all of those impacted by [Sunday’s] mass shooting in Florida. Attacking any individual because of their sexual orientation, race or ethnic background is an assault on our collective humanity. And the ease with which the perpetrator of this crime was able to obtain assault weapons, is once again, a dark reminder of the urgent and [continue reading…]

 June 17, 2016  Posted by at 12:58 am Issue #171, News, Special Event 1 Response »
Jun 172016
It's New! UUs Chart Sail Through Summer Sundays

  One Island Family/The Southernmost Unitarian Universalist Congregation is sailing into summer with a series of relaxed roundtable discussions and presentations on a wide variety of topics each Sunday at 11 a.m. into September. Anyone interested in liberal — both humanistic and theistic — religion is warmly invited to attend. “The focus is relaxation, fun, socializing, getting to know each other better,” said congregation President Jim Smith. A recent discussion looked at geneology and the June 19 topic is to be Chinese gardens, both ordinary [continue reading…]

 June 17, 2016  Posted by at 12:57 am Issue #171, Special Events, What To Do No Responses »
Jun 172016
Roseburg Redux

by Alex Symington……. Back in October 2015 there was, yet again, another shooting spree in Roseburg, Oregon. In exasperation I wrote this: Now we can add Roseburg, Oregon to the infamous list of communities traumatized by mass murder. Another mentally ill (this one obsessed with religion) young man, with “small arms” (innocent sounding name of things so deadly) killed nine people in his community college English class then killed himself. You and I knew it was only a matter of time. It was inevitable. In [continue reading…]

 June 17, 2016  Posted by at 12:57 am Alex Symington, Issue #171 4 Responses »
Jun 172016

by Thomas L. Knapp……. The “no fly, no buy” idea — a proposal to ban people whose names appear on the Terrorist Screening Center’s “no fly list” from purchasing firearms — has been around since at least 2009 when an act of that name failed in Congress. It was an evil idea then and it’s an evil idea now. But it’s once again an evil idea on the march, backed by demagogues of both parties in Congress and by Republican and Democratic presidential nominees-apparent Donald [continue reading…]

 June 17, 2016  Posted by at 12:55 am ~ Opinion ~, Editorial, Issue #171, Thomas L. Knapp No Responses »
Jun 172016
The Backside Story of Art History

by Kim Pederson……. Sadly, The Toast will itself soon be toast. If you’re not familiar with this “American anthology, humor, and feminist writing website,” you still have time to check it out (start here perhaps) before they fold their digital tent on July 1. I went to the site today after one of my Facebook friends posted a link for this article: “The Toast Looks Back: The Best of Western Art History.” While providing a number of intriguing story links there, writer Mallory Ortberg starts [continue reading…]

 June 17, 2016  Posted by at 12:54 am Issue #171, Kim Pederson No Responses »
Jun 172016
Four Cited for Selling Alcohol to Minor

The Key West Police Special Investigations Unit cited four local bar employees for selling alcohol to minors during a two-day alcohol compliance check operation conducted this week. Notices to appear were issued to Keegan Hungerford at Don’s Place Liquor Store, Anthony Niles at Old Town Wine and Spirits (Bare Assets), Michelle Park at Conch Town Liquor, and Renae Francis at Shorty’s Market. Eleven other businesses were found to be in compliance. Detectives conduct these undercover checks periodically to ensure that purveyors of alcohol comply with [continue reading…]

 June 17, 2016  Posted by at 12:53 am Issue #171, News, Public Notice 1 Response »
Jun 172016
MCSO Crime Report

Big Pine man stabbed by man burglarizing his house. A Big Pine man was treated for stab wounds to his leg after he interrupted a burglary of his home Friday night. The 61 year old victim said he went to bed at 9 p.m. Friday at his home on Harbor Lights Road. He said he woke up around 11 p.m. to find a man in his bedroom, near his dresser. He said he jumped on the man’s back and the man fled. Afterward, the victim [continue reading…]

 June 17, 2016  Posted by at 12:52 am Issue #171, News, Public Notice No Responses »
Jun 172016
About Language

by Kirby Congdon……. A Scotsman and I talk about English there in his native country and here in the colonies. We have some pet peeves by which we alienate people and send them to hell and damnation. We decided a major annoyance was hearing “I seen” instead of the past perfect. Journalists on television often swallow the verb “have” and perhaps we just don’t hear it. But in daily spontaneous speech this isn’t always so. An error of my own was brought up. “Personally, I [continue reading…]

 June 17, 2016  Posted by at 12:50 am Issue #171, Kirby Congdon No Responses »
Jun 172016
An Open Letter to Monroe County

Dear Editor, The Taxpayers and Voters would have you explain how $2.7 million dollars were taken from the Monroe County Infrastructure Tax Fund intended for complete and fully funded Sewers System, which the voters approved to be extended to 2033, and Given to the State of Florida to repair their Infrastructure. How does the State of Florida’s Infrastructure become a tax burden of Monroe Counties taxpayers?? The CRWS is NOT complete and must not be fully funded as the BOCC and their “Partner” FKAA are [continue reading…]

 June 17, 2016  Posted by at 12:46 am ~ Opinion ~, Issue #171, Letter to the Editor No Responses »
Jun 172016

Dear Editor, When will we have enough distractions to start paying attention to things that nationally have meaning. We’ve been bombarded by nonsencia by mainstream media till our heads are spinning. Their Big Guns-POLITICAL CORRECTNESS. Political Correctness thrust into daily life brings an individual’s Feelings as a controlling factor. I(an individual) feel Uncomfortable seeing George Washington’s statue on top of the Capital Dome because he was a Slave owner, I don’t feel comfortable when the salesperson won’t speak my native language, I don’t feel comfortable [continue reading…]

 June 17, 2016  Posted by at 12:44 am ~ Opinion ~, Issue #171, Letter to the Editor No Responses »
Jun 172016
Relay For Life Team on Their Way! Track Their Progress...

#1 Relay for Life Team Castaways Against Cancer Set Off on 17th Annual Kayaking Trip with the Support of U.S. Century The Castaways Against Cancer, a Relay for Life team ranked 1st in Florida, launched on their 17h Annual kayaking journey, dubbed the “Proof of Life” tour from Virginia Key in Miami, FL on Saturday, June 11. Paddling the equivalent of a marathon a day, the Castaways will paddle a total of 160 miles as a fundraiser supporting the American Cancer Society (ASC) and are [continue reading…]

 June 17, 2016  Posted by at 12:42 am Issue #171, Special Event No Responses »
Jun 172016
BOCC Approves $2.5 Million To Purchase Helicopter for Trauma Star

KEY LARGO – The Monroe County Board of County Commissioners, at its Wednesday meeting in Key Largo, unanimously approved spending $2.5 million from the voter-supported infrastructure sales tax fund to purchase a 2002 Sikorsky helicopter for its life-saving, Trauma Star air ambulance program. The helicopter is needed to replace the aging 1981 Sikorsky helicopter, which has flown 2,445 people from the Florida Keys to trauma centers and hospitals on the mainland since beginning operations in 2006. The County will keep the 1981 Sikorsky – which [continue reading…]

 June 17, 2016  Posted by at 12:40 am Issue #171, News, Public Notice 1 Response »
Jun 172016
Plans Unveiled for New Marathon Library and Adult Education Center

KEY LARGO – Plans for the new energy efficient Marathon Library and Adult Education Center were unveiled Wednesday at the Monroe County Board of County Commissioners meeting in Key Largo. “We are trying to build a facility that meets the community’s needs,” Monroe County Projects Management and Facilities Director Doug Sposito said. Artist renditions and floor plans of the 14,861 square-foot facility were shown. They include 12,322 square feet of dedicated library space (about double the space of the existing library), 2,539 square feet for [continue reading…]

 June 17, 2016  Posted by at 12:38 am Issue #171, News, Public Notice No Responses »
Jun 172016
Monroe and Miami-Dade Athletes to Participate in Special Olympics Florida Area 11 Games

Hosted by Special Olympics Florida-Monroe County Fifty athletes from Monroe and Miami-Dade counties will compete in the Special Olympics Florida Area 11 SUP (Stand Up Paddle) Games on June 25 at Paddle the Florida Keys, Marker 88, Islamorada. The athletes will compete in four levels on various water courses officiated by Scott Baste of Paddle the Florida Keys. The opening ceremony is at 9:30 a.m. with races beginning at 10 a.m. The contests will determine the qualifiers from each team for the Special Olympics Florida [continue reading…]

 June 17, 2016  Posted by at 12:36 am Issue #171, News, Special Event No Responses »
Jun 172016
"The Unseen" to play at Custom House Museum

Cool Down with a Cool Film at the Custom House Museum—”The Unseen” is an intimate portrait of students at a school for the blind who explore talents as musicians, radio announcers, daredevil bicyclists, and photographers. The nearly hour-long documentary by Czech filmmaker Miroslav Janek will be presented at at 6:00 pm on Thursday, June 23 in the Helmerich Research & Learning Center at the Custom House Museum, 281 Front Street, as part of Key West Art & Historical Society’s “Art As History, History As Art” [continue reading…]

 June 17, 2016  Posted by at 12:34 am Issue #171, Theater, What To Do No Responses »
Jun 172016
United Way of the Florida Keys Delivers Over 400 Free Books to Students in “Day of Action”

Tuesday, June 14th, UWFK joined with volunteers from the Key West Sunset Rotary to package over 400 books in Summer Literacy Kits for distribution to students throughout Monroe County. Children who are reading below grade level at the end of third grade are four times less likely to graduate high school on time than their reading proficient peers. For children living in poverty, this statistic is almost tripled. Additionally, more than 80 percent of children from economically disadvantaged communities lose reading skills over the summer [continue reading…]

 June 17, 2016  Posted by at 12:30 am Issue #171, News, Special Event No Responses »
Jun 172016
Rollercoaster ArtCamp! at Fort East Martello

Up, Down, and All Around—Alexandria Leon discovers a gap in a marble maze and begins to problem-solve while Kevin Kenny and Jefferney Pierre look on with interest. The children are part of this week’s Roller Coaster ArtCamp! led by instructor Seana Cameron, who has been teaching for more than 29 years. “I enjoy encouraging discovery and exploration,” she says, “and support activities that are not about “success” or an initial desired result because they mean that we can try something new and revise our practice [continue reading…]

 June 17, 2016  Posted by at 12:22 am Art, Issue #171, Special Events, What To Do No Responses »
Jun 172016
Youth Ambassadors Program

The City of Key West is looking for future community leaders to participate in the upcoming Key West Youth Ambassadors Program. Students entering grades 9 through 12 are encouraged to apply. Applicants must have at least a 3.0 grade point average. Seven students will be selected for the Academy, which will be held on Thursdays from 3:30 until 5 p.m. for eight weeks beginning Sept. 15th. Deadline to apply is August 1st. Applications are available on the City’s web site at www.cityofkeywest-fl.gov. For more information, [continue reading…]

 June 17, 2016  Posted by at 12:20 am Issue #171, News, Public Notice No Responses »
Jun 172016
June Green eNews #2: Green Businesses

Green eNewsletter: June #2 Did you know that in a recent survey of 400 locals, 56% reported that they had rewarded companies that were taking steps to reduce global warming by buying their products (10% above the national average!)? What’s also interesting is that of those locals who had not rewarded green companies, 81% had said they didn’t know which companies to reward. June is Green Business Month and we want to make sure you knew what businesses in town are walking the walk! There [continue reading…]

 June 17, 2016  Posted by at 12:18 am Issue #171, News, Special Event No Responses »
Jun 172016
Famed Nature Photographers Visit KW Tropical Forest & Botanical Garden

June 4, 2016 was a Great Day to see the Garden! EXAMPLE: Renowned Southwest Florida Art Photographer Clyde Butcher and his wife Niki stopped by the Key West Tropical Forest & Botanical Garden for a visit and photo op with Executive Director Misha McRAE. Very interested in the specimen Lignum Vitae tree the Garden has on display, they were quickly immersed in the Historical Garden’s photo op charms the Tropical Forest shares including Champion, historical and native trees. Being the expert in black & white [continue reading…]

 June 17, 2016  Posted by at 12:16 am Issue #171, Special Events, What To Do No Responses »
Jun 172016
The Southernmost Car Club Saturday Ice Cream Social

This Saturday, June 18th, 2016 at 4pm to 7pm This is our summertime event to enjoy beautiful cars and trucks, customs and classics. The event is at The Sugarloaf Lodge, mm17. This is a free event for all. We will have ice cream for all visitors. The Tiki Bar is open as well. Pizza is here too. Kids are welcome. Club hats and shirts can be purchased.

 June 17, 2016  Posted by at 12:14 am Issue #171, Special Events, What To Do No Responses »
Jun 172016
Monroe County Completes Dock at Harry Harris Park

TAVERNIER – On Thursday, Monroe County completed a $33,828 project to repair the dock next to the boat ramp at Harry Harris Park, 107 E. Beach Road, in Tavernier. The dock was stripped down to the pylons. The old decking was removed and the support structure was repaired. A new structural plastic decking, which is slip resistant and low maintenance, was installed. “It’s a cedar color and looks beautiful,” Monroe County project manager Cary Knight said. The project went quicker than expected, lasting just two [continue reading…]

 June 17, 2016  Posted by at 12:12 am Issue #171, News, Public Notice No Responses »
Jun 172016
Florida Keys Council of the Arts Cultural Calendar

Thursday, June 16 thru Wednesday, June 22 Visit keysarts.com, Cultural Calendar for more listings and events throughout the Keys. Key West Happenings ARTISTS RECEPTIONS/EXHIBITIONS Friday Pencil Me In: The Sketches of Mario Sanchez – Opening Reception, 5:30 PM On exhibit more than 70 bag sketches, a process Sanchez used to guide the layout of his famed bas-relief woodcarvings. The Custom House Museum, 281 Front St. 305-295-6616. kwahs.org Saturday Sip and Shop with ZEN Jewelry, 6 PM Karen will be sharing her latest summer designs from [continue reading…]

 June 17, 2016  Posted by at 12:08 am Art, Issue #171, Literature, Music, Special Events, Theater, What To Do No Responses »
Jun 172016
The Other Band at Schooner Wharf on 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…]

 June 17, 2016  Posted by at 12:06 am Issue #171, Music, What To Do No Responses »
Jun 172016
Household Hazardous Waste Cleanout in Time for Hurricane Season

MONROE COUNTY CLEANS OUT STORAGE SHED OF HOUSEHOLD HAZARDOUS WASTE; SENDING IT TO GAINESVILLE FOR PROPER DISPOSAL – JUST IN TIME FOR HURRICANE SEASON LONG KEY – In preparation for hurricane season, Monroe County just completed an annual cleanout of its household hazardous waste storage shed. All the corrosive, flammable, reactive and toxic household waste that was collected throughout the year at the County’s transfer stations were put into 103 55-gallon drums, weighing 25,900 pounds. These drums were transported to the Perma-Fix of Florida Environmental [continue reading…]

 June 17, 2016  Posted by at 12:04 am Issue #171, News, Public Notice No Responses »
Jun 172016
Vazquez Honored for 25 Years of Service

Key West Police Chief Donie Lee recently presented Lt. Alfredo Vazquez a plaque in recognition of his 25 years of service to the Key West Police Department. Lt. Vazquez oversees the Criminal Investigations Unit. During his 25 years of service, Lt Vazquez has served with professionalism dedication and commitment.

 June 17, 2016  Posted by at 12:02 am Issue #171, News, Public Notice No Responses »
Jun 172016
Bulnes Honored for Service

Key West Police Chief Donie Lee today presented Officer Robert “Bull” Bulnes a plaque in recognition of his 22 years of service to the Key West Police Department. Officer Bulnes is a patrol officer and has served as a school resource officer. Chief Lee thanked him for his dedication to the community.

 June 17, 2016  Posted by at 12:00 am Issue #171, News, Public Notice No Responses »