Oct 282016
Giant Property Tax Breaks For Some: But What About Long-Term Rental Owners?

by Arnaud and Naja Girard……. A few months back The Blue Paper discovered an infamous loophole by which the City of Key West rewards illegal vacation rental owners with transient rental licenses. This week a closer look at Monroe County’s property taxes revealed another troubling disparity: Some property owners have maneuvered to pay up to nearly 10 times less in property taxes than other owners of comparable properties.

Oct 282016
Ethics Commission on Neugent: It's Final—A Light Slap on the Wrists

by Rick Boettger……. I flew again to Tallahassee to attend the sentencing hearing for George Neugent’s three violations of our state’s ethics laws. I went to object to their absurdly light penalties—in particular, only a single $500 fine for not reporting his golf membership for years, missing dozens of quarterly reports of the $1,500 quarterly gift, 15 times the reporting requirement of over $100. The Ethics Commission had given George a separate violation and $500 fine for each of the two years he had filed [continue reading…]

 October 28, 2016  Posted by at 1:10 am * Featured Story *, Issue #190, Rick Boettger 8 Responses »
Oct 282016
Bank Robber Leaves with Cash, Buys a Drink Next Door and Returns to Bank When He Hears Cop's Sirens

A homeless man was taken into custody shortly after robbing the Whitehead branch of Centennial Bank on Tuesday. Stephen Daniel, 36, is being charged with robbery and falsely reporting an explosive device. Key West Police received a report of the robbery at 12:32 on Tuesday afternoon. According to witnesses, Daniel walked into the bank, demanded money and told the teller he had a bomb in his backpack. Witness say after the robbery Daniel left the bank and went over to a nearby bar for a drink. He paid [continue reading…]

 October 28, 2016  Posted by at 1:08 am Issue #190, News, Public Notice 3 Responses »
Oct 282016
Sheriff's Crime Report

  Sheriff’s deputy, FWC officers recover stolen boat A boat, stolen from a storage area at Coconut Cay Resort in Marathon, was recovered during a cooperative effort by the Sheriff’s Office and Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officers. The boat – a 25 foot 1997 Sea Cat catamaran named Kon Tiki – was stolen between the evening of October 7th and the morning of October 8th. It has been stored on a trailer at the storage area prior to the arrival of Hurricane Matthew. The [continue reading…]

 October 28, 2016  Posted by at 1:04 am Issue #190, News, Public Notice No Responses »
Oct 282016
Video Visitation Coming to Monroe County Jails

Detention Centers in the Florida Keys will be offering video visitation beginning next week. Families and friends of inmates in the county jail facilities will be able to visit via video by coming into any of the three detention centers in the Keys. Even better, they will be able to visit with an inmate from home for a fee of $9.95 per 25 minute call. Beginning November 1st, the video equipment will be available and people can begin visiting via computer. The visits must be [continue reading…]

 October 28, 2016  Posted by at 1:02 am Issue #190, News, Public Notice No Responses »
Oct 282016
Vogel's Legacy

by Walter Lagraves……. Dear Editor, One of the most important local races to be decided In the upcoming election is that of State Attorney. The State Attorney is responsible for protecting you, the public, by vigorously ferreting out and prosecuting crime and corruption wherever it may be found in our community. You must decide which of the candidates is the most competent. The safety and integrity of our community rides on your decision. Fortunately, in this race, we have the incumbent’s track record to examine. The [continue reading…]

 October 28, 2016  Posted by at 1:00 am Issue #190, Letter to the Editor 2 Responses »
Oct 282016
Guest Commentary: "New" Can Be Disastrous

by Ralph De Palma……. The Florida Keys Mosquito Control District (FKMCD) was the “Gold Standard” for mosquito control operations throughout the world through our successful defeat of the first outbreak of Dengue Fever in 2010. We had agencies visit from Brazil, the Caymans, Australia, Italy, and inquiries from almost every state in the union. They studied our procedures and techniques, reviewed our data and GIS mapping capabilities. We signed the first ever agreement with US Fish and Wildlife in 2004 to larvicide off-shore wilderness islands [continue reading…]

 October 28, 2016  Posted by at 12:58 am ~ Opinion ~, Editorial, Issue #190 No Responses »
Oct 282016
White Privilege

by Alex Symington……. I was checking out my Facebook feed and came across a photo/meme of a young white woman holding a sign that read, “Even White People Are Sick of Other White People’s Racist Bullsh*t”. I immediately concurred. Many voiced their feelings on the subject, both white and black. One response from a white woman in particular caught my attention. She agreed that she was over white folk’s racism, but added another complaint. “Seriously am, and further more….I sure would like to know what [continue reading…]

 October 28, 2016  Posted by at 12:56 am Alex Symington, Issue #190 2 Responses »
Oct 282016
'Old Man and the Grove' - Grimal Grove Documentary

Documentary producer Diomedes Bermudez will present a short film trailer at 6pm, Sunday, November 6, at the Tropic Cinema, 416 Eaton Street, Key West, about Patrick B. Garvey’s work to rescue the tropical paradise on Big Pine Key called Grimal Grove. When Adolf Grimal travelled to Big Pine Key in the late 1950’s he stumbled upon his life’s purest mission. This hermit, engineer, adventurer and genius spent the next 40 years of his life tirelessly building his own Garden of Eden. The wiry inventor who [continue reading…]

 October 28, 2016  Posted by at 12:54 am Issue #190, Special Events, What To Do 2 Responses »
Oct 282016
ObamaCare: Things Fall Apart

by Thomas L. Knapp……. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, aka “ObamaCare,” was intended to dramatically increase the number of Americans with health coverage while “bending the cost curve” (that is, reducing the expected increases in price over time). The plan managed the first goal, at least in the short term. Unsurprising, isn’t it, that more people get coverage when the law requires them to buy it, penalizes those who won’t, and subsidizes those who can’t afford to? But the progress on that metric [continue reading…]

 October 28, 2016  Posted by at 12:52 am Issue #190, Thomas L. Knapp 3 Responses »
Oct 282016
Corruption & Lawlessness Normalized...Double-Standard of Justice & Ineptitude Uncovered At State Attorney's Office--Misery Index Rising In Monroe County...

by John Donnelly……. Credible sources of information have devolved into putrefactive purveyor’s of decadence. Institutions of government, education, propagandized media and the judicial system; in too many cases have shamelessly prided themselves in distorting and manipulating data to suit their needs and ideologies. Carrion connoisseurs versed in amalgamating “empires of wasteland”; these paradigms of deception specialize in broken dreams and destroyed lives, as they arrange the place mats and set the banquet table for their “Malignant Overlords”. Conditioned as we are to accept the abuses [continue reading…]

 October 28, 2016  Posted by at 12:50 am Issue #190, John Donnelly 2 Responses »
Oct 282016
Fantasy Fest Safe Ride Shuttle

Why stress about parking and traffic to see this year’s Fantasy Fest parade when you can ride the shuttle? Let Key West Transit’s Safe Ride do the driving! The shuttle begins at 5 p.m. Saturday and runs continuously until 2 a.m. Fare is just $2 per trip on the local route and $4 per trip for the Lower Keys Shuttle. The shuttles cover Key West and Stock Island, as well as the Lower Keys Shuttle between Marathon and Key West. The downtown drop off point [continue reading…]

 October 28, 2016  Posted by at 12:48 am Issue #190, News, Public Notice No Responses »
Oct 282016
Monroe County BOCC: Vote No to Utilities-Backed Amendment 1

For many years, the Monroe County Board of County Commissioners has strongly supported pro-solar energy policies and legislation at the state and federal levels. This pro-solar position is why the Commission unanimously passed a resolution at its last meeting that opposes Amendment 1, which is on the Florida Nov. 8 general election ballot. Amendment 1 – with the title “Rights of Electricity Consumers Regarding State Energy Choice” – deceptively has been touted as pro solar. In reality, the amendment was conceived and is backed by [continue reading…]

 October 28, 2016  Posted by at 12:46 am Issue #190, News, Public Notice No Responses »
Oct 282016
The Power of Positive Drink...er..Thinking

by Kim Pederson……. I came across an interesting term recently: Pygmalion effect. Of course today I cannot remember the context of our chance meeting but, what the heck, I recalled the phrase itself and will cling to that as some small evidence that my mental capacity has not deserted me altogether (yet). The PE, also known as the Rosenthal effect, is a phenomenon in which higher expectations lead to an increase in performance. To put it in Rosenthal’s words, “what one person expects of another [continue reading…]

 October 28, 2016  Posted by at 12:44 am Issue #190, Kim Pederson No Responses »
Oct 282016
Magazine Review

by Kirby Congdon……. Al Markovitz and Mary Franke have produced the Summer 2016 issue of their Blue Collar Review Journal of Progressive Working Class Literature with a drawing on its cover. Two men on their knees are giving attention to a third lying on his back. The suggestion of the front grill of a car is indicated but no other explanations are given beyond the drama itself. Like the poems inside we see into the lives of some four dozen poets that provide a cimate for [continue reading…]

 October 28, 2016  Posted by at 12:42 am Issue #190, Kirby Congdon No Responses »
Oct 282016
The Key West Poetry Guild/ Kirby Congdon Art Exhibit Sunday November 6th 7pm

The Key West Poetry Guild meets Sunday November 6th 7pm at The Key West Public Library, the guild’s new home.The featured Poet is Kirby Congdon Poet Laurette Emeritus. In conjunction with the meeting/ reading there will be an exhibit and reception for Mr. Congdon’s brilliant watercolors painted in the 1950″s and 1960’s while traveling the Caribbean. Light refreshments will be served, the reception is at 6pm, poetry to follow at 7pm. All those in attendance are welcome to join in during the” lightening rounds” to [continue reading…]

 October 28, 2016  Posted by at 12:40 am Issue #190, Special Events, What To Do No Responses »
Oct 282016
Lighting the Way: Florida Straits Lighthouses to be Discussed in Key West Art & Historical Society Distinguished Speaker Series

Who doesn’t love a lighthouse? They are beacons of hope and a symbol of security and safety, offering a glimpse to the past when they were a necessary navigational aid to mariners. On Thursday, November 3rd, from 6:00pm-7:00pm, Key West Art & Historical Society welcomes the public for an evening presentation on Florida Straits Lighthouses by historian Eric Martin in the Helmerich Learning Center at the Custom House Museum as part of their Distinguished Speaker Series. With more than 1,350 miles of coastline, Florida lists [continue reading…]

 October 28, 2016  Posted by at 12:38 am Issue #190, Special Events, What To Do No Responses »
Oct 282016
Mayor Carruthers Reads To Kids As Part of National Campaign

Wearing bear ears and a bear nose, Monroe County Mayor Heather Carruthers read to children this week at the Key West Preschool Cooperative’s Read for the Record event. Read for the Record is an annual national campaign in which the same book is read at the same time across the country. It’s an effort that began more than a decade ago to get families, early education centers and children excited about reading – and to address the educational inequities that leave too many children unprepared for [continue reading…]

 October 28, 2016  Posted by at 12:34 am Issue #190, News, Special Event No Responses »
Oct 282016
​Volunteers Sought / National Key Deer Refuge Has Initiated Treatment of Screw Worm Infested Key Deer

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has been working with wildlife veterinarians to evaluate and select treatments to prevent healthy Key deer from becoming infested by screwworm, and to treat deer in the early stages of infestation. Treatments administered to Key deer by Refuge staff and partners on Cudjoe and Sugarloaf Keys began on October 19th, and continued on Big Pine and No Name Keys as of October 20th. Doramectin, an antiparasitic in the avermectin drug family, will be administered periodically via oral dose and subcutaneous injection. This drug will [continue reading…]

 October 28, 2016  Posted by at 12:32 am Issue #189, Issue #190, News, Public Notice 1 Response »
Oct 282016
This Week in the Arts Oct. 27- Nov. 2

Florida Keys Council of the Arts Cultural Calendar Thursday, October 27- Wednesday, November 2 Visit keysarts.com, Cultural Calendar for more listings and events throughout the Keys. KEY WEST ARTIST EXHIBITS Thursday-Saturday Dual Exhibition: Bill Mack & Gary M. Welton Key West Gallery, 601 Duval St. keywestgallery.com Thursday 3 PM Felix the Cat and His Pal Zazoo Fine Art Gallery, 622 Duval St., Key West 305-407-7307 FESTIVAL & FUNDRAISERS Thursday 5 PM Smallest Parade in the Universe Waterfront Brewery, Corner of Caroline and William Streets Benefit [continue reading…]

Oct 282016
Blackburn Photographic Showing

Local photographer Larry Blackburn will again show his photographic works on Friday, November 4th as part of the First Friday Upper Duval Art Stroll. The exhibit, entitled “Absence or Presence of Color”, will feature new photographs of familiar sights around Key West as well as images captured in the South American country of Ecuador. The photographs are printed on different media types including canvas, metal, metallic paper and acrylic. The exhibit will take place inside of Duval Square at 1075 Duval Street in Key West [continue reading…]

 October 28, 2016  Posted by at 12:26 am Art, Issue #190, What To Do No Responses »
Oct 282016
Hog's Breath Enertainment

Jimmy Parrish & the Waves at The Hog’s Breath Saloon Jimmy Parrish and the Waves will be at the Hog’s Breath Saloon, 400 Front St., Oct. 31 – Nov. 6, 10:30 pm – 2 a.m. A native Floridian, Jimmy has been singing and playing for twenty-seven years and performing actively along the east coast since 1990. After forming The Ocean Waves Band in 2000, his goal was to entertain the Parrot Heads and audiences throughout the region with an island style tropical flavor. Jimmy’s music [continue reading…]

 October 28, 2016  Posted by at 12:24 am Issue #190, Music, What To Do No Responses »
Oct 282016
Reef Relief Concert at Pier House Resort & Spa

Pier House Resort & Spa has partnered with Reef Relief for a fundraising concert on Thursday, Nov. 10 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The event features live music by the Philadelphia based Juliano Brothers, a silent auction and raffle. The cost is $10, paid at the door, with 100% of the money raised going to Reef Relief to continue efforts of improving and protecting Florida’s coral reef ecosystem.

 October 28, 2016  Posted by at 12:22 am Issue #190, Music, What To Do No Responses »
Oct 282016
Last Call for Photo Contest

LAST CALL FOR PHOTO CONTEST– Shutter-bugs have until November 9th to submit entries into Key West Art & Historical Society’s Custom House photo contest. Go to KWAHSPhotoContest.com and upload one or more photos you have taken of the Custom House – inside or out. One winner from each of three separate categories—Color, Black & White, and Nighttime—will be determined by the amount of “likes” uploaded images receive. Winners will receive a $250 cash prize and tickets for two to the November 30 “Back In Time” [continue reading…]

 October 28, 2016  Posted by at 12:20 am Issue #190, News, Special Event No Responses »
Oct 282016
United Way of the Florida Keys to Launch “Imagination Library”

  United Way of the Florida Keys is excited to announce the launch of a new “Imagination Library” project in Monroe County. Thanks to the generous support of Wells Fargo, UWFK will work in partnership with Florida Keys Healthy Start Coalition to provide children from birth to age five in low-income households with an age appropriate book each month for the first five years of the child’s life. One in five children in the Florida Keys live in poverty, with little access to quality early [continue reading…]

 October 28, 2016  Posted by at 12:18 am Issue #190, News, Public Notice No Responses »
Oct 282016
The Anne McKee Artist’s Fund Board of Directors Welcomed Two New Board Members

The Anne McKee Artist’s Fund Board of Directors welcomed two new Board members at their recent annual meeting. The new members are: Lucky Street Gallery owner, Betty Gay and IT consultant and amateur photographer, Marsha Williams. President Stephanie Hellstrom said “We have two new members this year and each brings unique perspectives and strengths to the Board.” The Anne McKee Artist’s Fund fine art auction will be held on Friday, February 10, 2017. More details to come at a later date. The annual auction raises [continue reading…]

 October 28, 2016  Posted by at 12:16 am Issue #190, News, Public Notice No Responses »
Oct 282016
Fantasy Fest / Halloween

Be careful: Fantasy Fest and Halloween coming up With Fantasy Fest this week and Halloween coming up next week, the Sheriff’s Office would like to remind people to be extra careful while driving in heavy event traffic. Also, if you plan to attend any parties or other activities, make sure you plan ahead to have a sober driver available if you plan to drink alcohol. Although most Fantasy Fest activities take place in the city of Key West, the Sheriff’s Office will be helping out [continue reading…]

 October 28, 2016  Posted by at 12:14 am Issue #190, News, Public Notice No Responses »
Oct 282016
Children's Halloween Party - Key West Tropical Forest

Screaming Green Halloween Saturday, October 29, 2016 10 – 2 PM, the Historic Key West Tropical Forest & Botanical Garden invites the children of our community (and visitors) to enjoy games, crafts, costume contests, search for treats and a bounce house in a safe, green environment. This is the eight year the Stock Island nature center has hosted this fun and learning party for those 12 and younger. Event is free for KWBGS members; $5 for child or $10 per family. More at kwbgs.org or [continue reading…]

 October 28, 2016  Posted by at 12:12 am Issue #190, Special Events, What To Do No Responses »
Oct 282016
Join Us for America Recycles Day

On November 19th the City of Key West invites you to celebrate America Recycles Day at the Key West Recycles Day Fair and Art Contest at the Key West Tropical Forest and Botanical Gardens from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Come out and enjoy this free event and visit booths with local environmental groups, reused and recycled art displays, recycle booths and concessions. Items for reuse and recycling will also be collected, such as: Blankets, towels, canned goods, books, art supplies, travel toiletries, old medications, [continue reading…]

 October 28, 2016  Posted by at 12:10 am Issue #190, News, Special Event No Responses »
Oct 282016
Major Appointed to National Accreditation Commission

Major Tim Age, Commander of the Sheriff’s Bureau of Corrections, has been appointed to sit on the American Correctional Association’s Commission on Accreditation for Corrections. He will serve a four year term on the commission, from 2017 until 2021. The Sheriff’s Office achieved prestigious ACA national accreditation status in 2014. The agency currently holds five professional accreditations in law enforcement, corrections and for corrections health care. “We are extremely proud of our agency for these accreditation accomplishments,” said Sheriff Rick Ramsay. “Achieving and then maintaining [continue reading…]

 October 28, 2016  Posted by at 12:08 am Issue #190, News, Public Notice No Responses »
Oct 282016
Monroe County Fire Rescue Train on Live Aircraft Fires

MONROE COUNTY FIRE RESCUE AND NAS KEY WEST EMERGENCY SERVICES TRAINED TOGETHER ON SIX SCENARIOS OF AIRCRAFT FIRES BOCA CHICA KEY – Monroe County Fire Rescue participated in three days of Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting (ARFF) live fire training this week at Naval Air Station Key West’s Boca Chica Airfield. NAS Key West Emergency Services hosted the joint training, which provided an opportunity for their units to train side-by-side with their mutual aid partners at Monroe County Fire Rescue. Sixteen MCFR ARFF Firefighters, most [continue reading…]

 October 28, 2016  Posted by at 12:06 am Issue #190, News, Public Notice No Responses »
Oct 282016
Sheriff Rick Ramsay and State Representative Holly Raschein Selected to Receive "Distinguished Citizen Medal"

Sheriff Rick Ramsay and State Representative Holly Raschein have been selected to receive the “Distinguished Citizen Medal”. This award will be presented to them by the Marine Corps League, on behalf of the Commandant of the United States Marine Corps. This prestigious distinction recognizes their commitment and devotion to the needs of “Veterans & Community”. It will be presented to them at the 241st Birthday Celebration of the USMC, on November 10th, 2016, at the American Legion Post 333 in Key Largo. The ceremony will [continue reading…]

 October 28, 2016  Posted by at 12:04 am Issue #190, News, Special Event No Responses »
Oct 282016
Public Workshop for Key West Airport's Master Plan Update

FIRST PUBLIC WORKSHOP FOR KEY WEST INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT’S MASTER PLAN UPDATE Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2016, 3:00 PM Harvey Government Center, 1200 Truman Ave., Key West The Monroe County Department of Airports is currently undergoing an Airport Master Plan Update for Key West International Airport. Three public workshops will be held to provide the public with the opportunity to learn about the process, contribute to the study and review its findings. The first workshop will provide information on the Master Planning process and present current Aviation [continue reading…]

 October 28, 2016  Posted by at 12:02 am Issue #190, News, Public Notice No Responses »
Oct 282016
Bayview Playground Refreshed

The City of Key West reopened the Bayview Park playground just in time for Children’s Day this weekend! City Commissioner Sam Kaufman cut the ribbon, and Commissioners Richard Payne and Billy Wardlow were on hand for the honors, along with kids who were anxious to try out the beautiful new equipment. Community Services’ John Zeoli and Tariem Eleby held the ribbon. The bright blue and green play equipment sits atop a fresh blue coat of Flexipave. The surface is made of recycled tires and its [continue reading…]

 October 28, 2016  Posted by at 12:00 am Issue #190, News, Public Notice No Responses »