Feb 062015
Affordable Housing Crisis:  Key West's Most Colorful Abandon Ship While Developers Take City For a Ride...

An investigation into Key West’s affordable housing crisis shows the City’s been taken for a ride by some unscrupulous developers. DID YOU LIKE THIS STORY?  SUPPORT THE BLUE PAPER Help us continue to bring you local investigative journalism…  Click on the image to make a donation [NOT tax deductible].

Feb 062015
Underwriting Key West’s Police Brutality

by Martha K. Huggins, Ph.D.* Tulane University Emerita…………. The Key West Citizen wrote on January 30—after The Blue Paper had broken this news many hours before—that a $900,000 settlement had been “hammered out” in the Charles Eimers’ wrongful death suit against the City of Key West. Key West’s Police Chief Donie Lee finds the payout a “difficult decision to accept” but understands that the city’s insurer made a “business decision.” Spokeswoman Allison Crean claims that, “No taxpayer dollars are involved in the settlement.” She adds [continue reading…]

 February 6, 2015  Posted by at 1:05 am * Featured Story *, Issue #100, MOST POPULAR ONE 22 Responses »
Dec 262014
What is Normal Anyway?

by JD Adler Recently I was sitting in a local restaurant, with the editorial board of KWTN, when one of our breakfast neighbors suggested an article about how Key West culture has gone so far afield there is no sense of “normal” anymore. Then he went on to list a series of anecdotes that he found upsetting primarily because they were dismissed by people as, “that’s just Key West,” without consequence for their actions.

 December 26, 2014  Posted by at 1:15 am ~ Opinion ~, Editorial, Issue #94, JD Adler, MOST POPULAR ONE 3 Responses »
Sep 262014
Monroe County's Secret Roadmap To Resegregation

by Naja and Arnaud Girard…… It’s 7:30 am at the bus stop on Truman and Emma.  Eleven-year old Dimitri is about to climb into the morning school bus.  Like him, most of the kids sitting on the bus are African American.  Like them, he has a mere 40% probability of graduating from high school with his classmates; a stark difference from his white brothers, who have an 83% graduation rate [2013 data]. When we interviewed parents in Bahama Village about this disparity their responses raised [continue reading…]

Aug 222014
Could Key West Reach The Ferguson Flashpoint?

by Arnaud and Girard……. “Cartwright began yelling as loud as he could, and almost immediately a large crowd began forming around us […] Within minutes a crowd of at least 50 bystanders surrounded us and Det. Wormington called for additional Officers while I held down Cartwright.” Police officers were arresting bad boy Ricky Cartwright who had ridden his bicycle through a stop sign while texting, allegedly with a beer in his hand.  They tased him in the back.  He was now screaming in pain in the [continue reading…]

Jun 132014
Homeless in Key West: Old Man Chapman, Captain Tilly, and Peter Pan

by Arnaud and Naja Girard This is the first in a series of articles on affordable housing and homelessness in Key West and the Florida Keys.  We will try to look past the anti-homeless rhetoric burning through local media and show you what is really happening on the Keys housing front. In future articles we will bring you points of view and solutions proposed by some of the most knowledgeable people on the Island. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ‘Old Man Chapman’ ”If the bank has repossessed the house, [continue reading…]

Mar 212014
BOCC: We Have No Legal Obligation To Take Care of Derelict Vessels

Naja and Arnaud Girard There’s finally an explanation as to why nothing was done to keep the Tug Tilly from sinking.  A lot has been said and written about the Tug Tilly:  the controversial sale of a 150-ton scrapyard-ready tugboat to a homeless man, its subsequent floundering while abandoned two miles south of Key West about a month ago, the hundreds of gallons of engine oil spilled into the ocean and the enormous looming wreck removal costs.  And with that, the half- million dollar question:  [continue reading…]

Feb 282014
Is Bahama Village Being Dispossessed of It's 6.6 Acres At Truman Waterfront?

by Naja and Arnaud Girard “The City is derailing a plan which would be good, not just for Bahama Village, but for all of Key West,” says Bob Kelly, a longtime advocate for Bahama Village, Key West’s predominantly black neighborhood, “A vibrant Bahamian community in the Village would be an extraordinary asset to the Key West tourism economy.” A plan had been designed by local architect Bert Bender for the extension of the Village into the Truman Waterfront, the 33-acre parcel donated to the City by [continue reading…]

Feb 142014
Blue Lagoon Children:  A Hard Landing Into Key West's Racial Divide

February 14, 2014 by Naja and Arnaud Girard……. Naomi and Bhajan grew up on boats anchored behind Wisteria Island.  Like many other kids living on the anchorage, they explored the island, sang for tips at Mallory Square, and rowed back and forth on kayaks to boat sleepovers.   When Hurricane Wilma sunk most boats, the families moved onto Wisteria Island for a time.  With no TV or computer, Bhajan and Naomi became avid readers and, of course, in keeping with the tradition of their bohemian lifestyle [continue reading…]