Jul 292016
County Mayor Pro Tem George Neugent Found in Violation and Facing Sanctions on Three Ethics Charges

  by Rick Boettger……. On Friday the Florida Ethics Commission meeting in Tallahassee concluded a 21-month investigation of long-serving George Neugent by finding “probable cause” he violated two ethical laws a total of three times. He got off, as expected, on the charge that initiated my investigation of his affairs: the destruction of SUFA, Stand Up For Animals, and its director, Linda Gottwald, in 2010. My second charge was clear. I saw his financial disclosure forms for two recent years and they were so poorly [continue reading…]

 July 29, 2016  Posted by at 9:27 pm * Featured Story *, Issue #177, News, Rick Boettger 14 Responses »
Jul 292016
Voters Have the Opportunity to Remove State Attorney Catherine Vogel From Office in November

*****JOURNALISM AS A CONTACT SPORT***** Commentary by Dennis Reeves Cooper……. Election Day this year is November 8. That may seem like a long time away, but it’s not too early to remind you that State Attorney Catherine Vogel– in my opinion the most corrupt state attorney in recent memory– is up for reelection. It’s not too early to remind voters of her on-purpose incompetence in “prosecuting” the Key West police officers who allegedly murdered 62-year-old Charles Eimers on the beach here on Thanksgiving Day 2013. [continue reading…]

Jul 292016
CONFLICT OF INTEREST: FKAA $3 Million Contract for Toppino

by Margaret Blank……. Posted this week on www.bigpinekey.com: The Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority (FKAA) board is getting ready to award a $3 million contract to one of their own, Richard Toppino. Toppino is a FKAA board member with a high potential for conflicts of interest. His family business, Charley Toppino & Sons, has done millions of dollars worth of business with the FKAA over the years – a fact that the FKAA has repeatedly tried to hide. Toppino was appointed to the FKAA board in December 2015. [continue reading…]

 July 29, 2016  Posted by at 12:54 am ~ Opinion ~, Editorial, Issue #177 7 Responses »
Jul 292016
Hometowns! First Primary Q. and A. Forum Event at TSKW

“Every election is determined by the people who show up.” ― Larry J. Sabato, Pendulum Swing JOIN HOMETOWN There was no charge for the July 25, 2016, event. We would appreciate, however, your consideration about becoming a 2016 member, if you have not already done so. You can join this year by using your credit card through PayPal: Just Click on the “JOIN HOMETOWN” icon on the Home Page at www.hometownkeywest.com Or, simply send Hometown! your name, address, telephone number and email address with your [continue reading…]

 July 29, 2016  Posted by at 12:52 am Issue #177, News, Public Notice No Responses »
Jul 292016
Crime Report

Marathon man arrested Saturday for stealing truck A Marathon man was arrested Saturday after he stole his girlfriend’s truck. The owner of the 2006 GMC truck called the Sheriff’s Office on Saturday to report her truck stolen. She said she knew her boyfriend, 46 year old Roger Green, stole the truck because she saw him driving it. She said she and her sister went out on Saturday evening; she said Green found her in a local bar and asked to borrow the truck. She said [continue reading…]

 July 29, 2016  Posted by at 12:51 am Issue #177, News, Public Notice No Responses »
Jul 292016
Crime Drops in Key West

Crime in Key West dropped by almost 23 percent for the first six months of the year when compared to the first half of 2015. Burglaries dropped a significant 49 percent. Non-violent crime is down by 23 percent compared to the first six months of 2016, and aggravated assaults decreased by 20 percent. Each year the Key West Police Department reports its crime statistics to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. These numbers are compiled for the first six months of the year, and then [continue reading…]

 July 29, 2016  Posted by at 12:50 am Issue #177, News, Public Notice 1 Response »
Jul 292016
Monroe County BOCC Becomes First County Commission in State to Receive Gold Standard Of Florida Tobacco Cessation Alliance

MARATHON – The Monroe County Board of County Commissioners is the first employer or business in the Florida Keys – and the first County Commission in the state – to receive the Florida Tobacco Cessation Alliance’s Gold Standard Worksite Wellness Award. The County has had a “No Tobacco Use” policy for employees since Jan. 1, 2015. But for this award, the County met the gold standard by providing its employees with benefits that include a prescription plan that covers all seven of the FDA-approved tobacco [continue reading…]

 July 29, 2016  Posted by at 12:49 am Issue #177, News, Public Notice 1 Response »
Jul 292016
HSAB Makes Recommendations: 26 Nonprofits to Split Proposed $2 million in County Funding

Monroe County’s Human Services Advisory Board has issued its Fiscal Year 2017 recommendations on how to distribute $2 million that is earmarked in the proposed County budget for nonprofits that provide health and human services for citizens of the Keys. HSAB funding was budgeted for $1.92 million, same as FY 2016. But Commissioner Sylvia Murphy requested that the amount be increased to $2 million, a 3.75 percent increase. Murphy, the BOCC liaison to the HSAB, said she knows the importance of the work done by [continue reading…]

 July 29, 2016  Posted by at 12:46 am Issue #177, News, Public Notice No Responses »
Jul 292016
Watercraft, Algae are Double Whammy for Manatees in 2016

Op Ed by Katie Tripp, Ph.D. Director of Science & Conservation Save the Manatee Club The number of watercraft-related manatee deaths has been ticking steadily upward since the start of the year. Cheaper gas, a recovering economy, a mild winter, and a HOT summer have meant lots of boating in Florida. The current record for manatee watercraft deaths was set in 2009. That year, through mid-July, there were 58 manatees killed by boats in Florida waters. This year, through that same time period, 67 manatees [continue reading…]

 July 29, 2016  Posted by at 12:44 am ~ Opinion ~, Editorial, Issue #177 No Responses »
Jul 292016
Family Planning Funds Cut as Zika Spreads

Dear Editors: You shouldn’t have to be a rich adult in order to avoid pregnancy. Now that we’re finally making progress toward reducing the rate of unintended pregnancy and reducing the number of abortions, why is it that some in Congress want to go back in time, especially as the Zika virus looms? Teen and unplanned pregnancy and birth rates have reached an historic 40-year low, thanks, in part, to increased access to contraception and other family planning services, much of which is supported by [continue reading…]

 July 29, 2016  Posted by at 12:40 am Issue #177, Letter to the Editor No Responses »
Jul 292016
Zika Is Not Going Away

Dear Editor, ZIKA is not going away. The big real estate money moguls are pushing hard to make you forget that it is a real and present danger to our community. It is my opinion that they fear for their profits. They push back against high profile efforts to use every safe and effective weapon in the battle against ZIKA. The weapon they oppose is the use of genetic engineering/genetic modification in killing the mosquitoes that spread ZIKA. On Wednesday, it was revealed that Florida [continue reading…]

 July 29, 2016  Posted by at 12:38 am Issue #177, Letter to the Editor 3 Responses »
Jul 292016
BOCC to Discuss How to Spend Monroe County's $20 Million Share of RESTORE Act Funds

The Monroe County Board of County Commissioners soon will begin discussing the types of water quality projects to fund with the County’s $20 million share of Restore Act Funds that stem from the BP oil spill settlement. Monroe County will receive $7.5 million from a local pot and $12.5 million from the pot for the “Gulf Consortium,” which consists of Florida’s 23 counties that border the Gulf of Mexico. The County’s proposed plans for its $12.5 million from the consortium pot will be shared with [continue reading…]

 July 29, 2016  Posted by at 12:36 am Issue #177, News, Public Notice No Responses »
Jul 292016
Hometown Announces Agenda for the SECOND PRIMARY Question and Answer Forum--August 8 at TSKW

HOMETOWN! is pleased to announce its fourth event of the 2016 political season The SECOND PRIMARY QUESTION AND ANSWER FORUM FOR CERTAIN CANDIDATES ON THE AUGUST 30 BALLOT The Studios of Key West, Second Floor 533 Eaton Street, Key West, Florida MONDAY, August 8,2016, FROM 5:00 – 7:30 PM Hometown’s Second Primary Question and Answer forum is three weeks before the August 30, Election and Key West and Monroe County voters will be ready to mark their absentee ballots for the candidates of their choice. [continue reading…]

 July 29, 2016  Posted by at 12:34 am Issue #177, News, Public Notice No Responses »
Jul 292016
Why Have One Face When You Can Have Two?

by Kim Pederson…….. People face choices every day. Each time they likely weigh the pros and cons and come to a decision about which choice wins out over the others. Sometimes, though, they are not able to choose, hence the expression “being of two minds” about something or someone. There’s nothing out of the ordinary about these occurrences. Being of two minds becomes more of a challenge, though, when someone really is of two (or more) minds. Such individuals suffer from dissociative identity disorder (DID), [continue reading…]

 July 29, 2016  Posted by at 12:32 am Issue #177, Kim Pederson No Responses »
Jul 292016
Finding Joy in the Abyss

by Ray Jason……. Why do I linger here in the Archipelago of Bliss? After all, my stalwart little ship could carry me away to any of the exotic lands that have whispered to wanderers down the centuries. We could drop anchor amidst the palm-fringed isles of the South Pacific. We could explore the mist- shrouded coast of Japan. Or we could visit Easter Island – with its gigantic stone heads that endlessly stare at the Wide Waters. And yet I remain entranced by this little [continue reading…]

 July 29, 2016  Posted by at 12:30 am Island Voices, Issue #177 2 Responses »
Jul 292016
Forsaken, Not Forgotten

by John Donnelly……. Perhaps if I patronize those that find fault with me, their aggressive attitudes and actions towards me will decrease. It may disarm them. They’ll cease directing their menacing and threatening behavior in my direction; for the animus behind their deeds will be without a target. Pondering another accommodating remedy, if I enroll in some speech classes and improved the manner in which I pronounce and enunciate my words, while learning how to charm those in my company with a sweet and pleasant [continue reading…]

 July 29, 2016  Posted by at 12:28 am Issue #177, John Donnelly No Responses »
Jul 292016
On Formats

by Kirby Congdon……. In my early thirties an acquaintance who had seen my poetry for the first time remarked that “shredded verse” was unusual to him. That nomenclature has put me on the defensive ever since. Why is poetry presented like ties on a railroad track or broken slats on a Venetian blind? I saw a poem of mine printed recently as prose. It made me think of a hard-packed snowball, half-frozen, ready to throw through a window or at the back of someone’s head. [continue reading…]

 July 29, 2016  Posted by at 12:26 am Issue #177, Kirby Congdon No Responses »
Jul 292016
Ultra-High Radiation Coming To Your Drinking Water

EPA Hiding True Impacts and Limiting Public Comment on Radioactive Water Plan Washington, DC — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is in the final stage of implementing a controversial plan to allow vastly greater radioactive contamination in drinking water than permitted by the Safe Drinking Water Act for long periods following release of nuclear materials, according to Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) and a coalition of public health and environmental organizations. Compounding concerns are the unusual tactics EPA used to mask the plan’s effects, [continue reading…]

 July 29, 2016  Posted by at 12:25 am Issue #177, News, Public Notice 1 Response »
Jul 292016
Ms. Wheelchair Florida 2016 Visits Key West

Heather Taylor — Ms. Wheelchair Florida 2016 — arrived in Key West this week as part of her statewide trip to highlight the myriad of thing accessible to people with wheelchairs. Community Services Administrative Assistant Stephanie Johnson and Recreational Facilities Manager Randy Sterling took her on a tour of the recently remodeled center. They were joined by City Commissioners Margaret Romero and Clayton Lopez. Taylor, her husband Randal and their daughter Grace went swimming at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Pool and enjoyed some [continue reading…]

 July 29, 2016  Posted by at 12:24 am Issue #177, News, Special Event No Responses »
Jul 292016
Two Monster Beams Put into Place For New Pedestrian Bridge Over Adams Cut in Key Largo

KEY LARGO – About 4 a.m. Friday, after hours of work by nearly 30 people, Parsons Brinckerhoff Senior Project Engineer Pom Chakkaphak declared with a thumbs up: “We are done.” Two large cranes had just lifted the second 120-foot-long, 108,000-pound concrete beam onto concrete slabs previously constructed at each end of Marvin D. Adams Waterway in Key Largo. Putting the two monster-sized beams successfully into place was the biggest challenge of building Monroe County’s new pedestrian bridge, said Jim Hennigar, Project Manager with Douglas N. [continue reading…]

 July 29, 2016  Posted by at 12:22 am Issue #177, News, Public Notice No Responses »
Jul 292016
David Wolkowsky - Short Film Production Examines Mario Sanchez Artworks

During a short-film production shoot at the Custom House Museum on Tuesday, Florida Keys philanthropist David Wolkowsky describes the experience of acquiring a collection of Mario Sanchez sketches from a woman who had them hidden under her bed. Sanchez, a self-taught artist born in 1908 in Key West’s Gatoville cigar-making neighborhood, used the sketches, rendered on brown paper bags, to guide the layout of his famed bas-relief woodcarvings. In 1985, the late artist was presented with the Florida Folk Heritage Award by the Florida Secretary [continue reading…]

 July 29, 2016  Posted by at 12:20 am Issue #177, Special Events, What To Do 1 Response »
Jul 292016
Susan Gray receives NASW National Lifetime Achievement Award

Florida social work leader, mentor, author advocated for people living with a mental illness WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Association of Social Workers has announced social work professor and author Susan Gray as recipient of its Lifetime Achievement Award for her decades of work improving the treatment of people living with mental illness and educating future generations of social workers. “Dr. Gray has worked relentlessly to ensure people who experience a mental illness have the help they need to build on their strengths and thrive,” [continue reading…]

 July 29, 2016  Posted by at 12:18 am Issue #177, News, Public Notice No Responses »
Jul 292016
FIRM Announces New Board Members

  The Board of Directors of Fair Insurance Rates in Monroe, FIRM, would like to take this opportunity to recognize and welcome the following individuals who have joined the fight against unfair insurance rates as new Directors. Teri Johnston, of Affiliated Design and Construction Managers, former Key West city commissioner and past FIRM president; Bryan Hawks, real estate attorney and partner with Smith Oropeza Hawks, PL; Darrin Knowles, property insurance claims re-inspector with Zurich North America Insurance Company; and Lisa Tennyson, current Director of Legislative [continue reading…]

 July 29, 2016  Posted by at 12:17 am Issue #177, News, Public Notice No Responses »
Jul 292016
Driver of the Quarter

Key West Transit Director Norman Whitaker today named Gary Rutan Driver of the Quarter for the second quarter. Rutan began working part time for the City in June of 2015, then became a full time driver of the Lower Keys Shuttle. “Gary loves driving the bus and is very dedicated to his new career with the City of Key West,” said Whitaker.

 July 29, 2016  Posted by at 12:16 am Issue #177, News, Public Notice No Responses »
Jul 292016
Police Lieutenants Graduate Management Program

Lieutenants Areaka Jewell and Joe Tripp completed the Southern Police Institute’s Command Officer Development course in Ft. Lauderdale. This challenging ten week course better prepares upper level managers for practical law enforcement management. The Key West Police Department is continuously improving through training and seeking improved ways to protect and serve. This course provides improved skills for enhanced communication within the Department. It hones the officers’ skills for better management practices, enabling them to make the Department more efficient and effective. Capt. Sean Brandenburg and [continue reading…]

 July 29, 2016  Posted by at 12:13 am Issue #177, News, Special Event No Responses »
Jul 292016
Pirates Rick Wheeler (Deadeye) and Kevin Lisinski Invaded ArtCamp!

During this week’s camp children made pirate pouches to collect treasure, created personalized pirate flags, learned authentic pirate knots and lashings, participated in a treasure hunt and competed in a day long water battle for ‘the booty’. Camp also included a trip to Fort Zachary Taylor to learn how to defend the fort. Learn more about our annual summer ArtCamp! program Support the Society’s educational programs

 July 29, 2016  Posted by at 12:12 am Issue #177, Special Events, What To Do No Responses »
Jul 292016
Noted Authors Celebrate Hemingway on the 117th Anniversary of his Birth

Authors Nancy Sindelar, PhD. (left), and Denyse Woods (right) share a celebratory moment and slices of birthday cake in honor of literary legend Ernest Hemingway at the Custom House Museum Thursday evening. The sweet dessert was dished up by Key West Art & Historical Society staff and volunteers following an insightful presentation by Sindelar, an internationally acclaimed Hemingway scholar. Woods is an Inniscarra, County Cork, Ireland-based author whose 500-word story won her the Florida Keys Flash Fiction contest and a stint of writing in Hemingway’s [continue reading…]

 July 29, 2016  Posted by at 12:10 am Issue #177, News, Special Event No Responses »