KATHY SMITH, FDLE’S LEAD INVESTIGATOR IN CHARLES EIMERS CASE, PUT ON ADMINISTRATIVE LEAVE

Issue-58-Mr-and-Mrs-Smith-for-web-800x586FDLE Special Agent Kathy Smith was escorted out of her Marathon office on Wednesday.  She has reportedly been put on administrative leave pending investigation of mortgage fraud.

The Blue Paper reported last week that Agent Kathy Smith and her ex-husband Scott Smith [at the time a Police Captain employed by KWPD] appeared to have signed a false affidavit associated with an advantageous mortgage.  They borrowed $ 461,500 on a house they had purchased in 2004 for $ 132,500.  The home is now in foreclosure.  In the affidavit the Smiths swore to the lender that they had been “continuously married” even though they had divorced four months previous.

Special Agent Kathy Smith was the lead investigator in the death of Charles Eimers.  FDLE’s failure to secure Eimers’ body for autopsy, to return calls to witnesses volunteering information and to collect and protect crucial evidence, made the investigation ever more controversial. Continue reading

Key Largo Residents Claim Disproportionate Distribution of Tax Dollars / Request Fair Funding For Wastewater Systems

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During the month of November the Tavernir Community Association, the Key Largo Chamber of Commerce, and the Key Largo Federation of Homeowners, representing a broad cross section of Key Largo taxpayers, passed resolutions respectfully urging the Monroe County Board of County Commissioners and the Key Largo Wastewater District to come to equitable terms to resolve “the disproportionate distribution of tax dollars specifically with respect to the funding of the Key Largo area wastewater system.”  [click on highlighted above to view the resolutions]

According to a joint press release sent out by the organizations listed above, Upper Key’s  taxpayers  in  the  Key  Largo  Wastewater  District  are  paying,   on average,  $ 1,200 more per EDU (Equivalent Dwelling Unit), and $ 4,500 more for grinder pumps than their neighbors in the Lower Key’s. Additionally they state that Monroe County has allocated 20 million dollars to the Key Largo Area while the remainder of unincorporated Monroe County has received 120 million dollars (six time as much), for the equivalent number of constituents. The organizations represent hundreds of residents who believe it is not fair that the taxpayers of Key Largo “should have to pay the costs of their own waste water systems and subsidize the wastewater systems of other taxpayers.”

More than 800,000 Americans, Hundreds of Businesses Support Clean Water

St. Petersburg, FL – More than 800,000 Americans and 250 small businesses support restoring Clean Water Act protections to all of the nation’s rivers and streams, Environment Florida said as a key deadline to submit comments comes to a close.

“Our waters are where we fish, boat, and swim,” said Ally Fields, Clean Water Advocate for Environment America. “This show of public support is just one more reason we should be doing everything we can to protect our rivers and streams.”

“The last election clearly shows Floridians overwhelmingly support protecting our environment,” said Jennifer Rubiello, field organizer with Environment Florida. “What could be more important than keeping Florida’s waters clean?”

Outdoor outfitters, river guides, brewers, and restaurants from Oregon to Florida were among the hundreds of businesses who voiced their support for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed rule, which will protect drinking water supplies for more than 117 million Americans. Continue reading

Equality Florida to Honor Aaron Huntsman and William “Lee” Jones at 2015 Equality Florida Key West Gala

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Equality Florida, the largest civil rights organization dedicated to securing full equality for Florida’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, will present the Voice for Equality award to Aaron Huntsman and William “Lee” Jones at the 2015 Equality Florida Key West Gala.

The gala takes place on Saturday, March 28 at The Gardens Hotel.

Past recipients include Constance Gilbert, Jon Allen, Jimmy Weekley, Rudy Molinet, Judge David Audlin, Heather Carruthers, Wayne LaRue Smith and Daniel Skahen.

Aaron and Lee are plaintiffs in a lawsuit seeking to overturn Florida’s ban on same-sex marriage.  They made history on July 17, 2014 when Judge Luis Garcia ruled in their favor; the first judge to declare Florida’s ban on marriage equality unconstitutional.  Their case has been consolidated with one in Miami-Dade County, where Equality Florida Institute and six plaintiff couples are plaintiffs in a similar lawsuit to overturn the discriminatory ban.  The consolidated case is now pending in the Third District Court of Appeals in Miami. Continue reading

Candlelight Memorial For Charles Eimers: A Message From Son, Joshua Eimers

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Gweko Phlocker has organized a Candlelight Memorial to honor Charles Eimers and his family on the one year anniversary of his death [Thanksgiving Day].  The event will begin at 6:00 pm at South Beach [at the foot of Duval Street] where Mr. Eimers died.  Here is a link to the facebook event.

On Tue, Nov 18, 2014 at 9:02 AM, Joshua Eimers wrote to Gwecko Phlocker:

“I’m the youngest son of Charles Eimers. I wanted to reach out to you to say thank you for organizing this. Although my family and I won’t be there in person we’ll be there in spirit. As will Charles John. I myself am just not ready emotionally to attend. I’m welling up as I type this to you. My father was a great man who impacted countless lives. One of the most selfless and caring people that I had the pleasure of calling dad. He’s dearly missed by many. Thanks again for doing this it means a lot to us that our father’s death hasn’t been simply forgotten. Our wounds are still fresh. Thanks and God Bless.”  ~ Joshua Eimers [from Facebook Event page]  ……………….  click ‘full article’ to comment [or view comments] Continue reading

Key West Chalk Festival Amps up for 3rd Annual Event

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Renowned Italy-based artist Cuboliquido is one of several high-profile street artists signed on to participate in the 3rd Annual Key West Chalk Festival, set for November 19-23 along the promenade at the Truman Waterfront. Pictured here is Cuboliquido’s 2012 Sarasota Chalk Festival creation.
Photo by David Taylor

Registration is now open for Chalk artists and artisan vendors for the 3rd Annual Key West Chalk Festival, presented by the Key West Art in Public Places Board and set for November 19-23 along the Truman Waterfront promenade, adjacent to the USCGC Ingham Museum.

Chalk artists may download a registration form from the AIPP website at artinpublicplaceskw.com. Artists of all mediums interested in participating in a limited Chalk Festival artisan market may email sean@dailyplan-it.com.

Chalkers of all ages and calibers are invited to participate. Registration is free and prizes will be awarded in student and adult categories. Continue reading

Key West Film Festival Gives Back To The Community With Free Film At The Tropic Cinema

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“No Impact Man” Is Open To The Public Through Partnership With
Green Living & Energy Education’s “Got Your Bags? Florida Keys” Program

For a second year, Key West Film Festival (KWFF) partners with Green Living & Energy Education (GLEE), utilizing the nonprofit’s event greening guidelines and inviting the public to enjoy a slice of the festival with a film that can help them “go greener” too. “No Impact Man” – free and open to the public – will be shown Sunday, November 16, 2014 at noon, at the Tropic Cinema, 416 Eaton Street in Key West. Continue reading

5K to Benefit For Montessori Children’s School, Supports Family Fun

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Emma Bradshaw high-fives pal Alice O’Connor after the Montessori Children’s School 5K Fun Run.

The 5K season is upon us, with The Montessori Children’s School of Key West’s annual 5K set for Sunday, November 16 at 8am. The scenic, measured course begins and finishes at Higgs Beach and trails fast and flat along the Atlantic Ocean on Atlantic and South Roosevelt Boulevards.

The fundraiser event, organized by Amy Bradshaw of TRIKW, is particularly family-friendly, with additional races for children that include walk options during the 5K and a half mile and mile “Fun Runs” that follow the 5K at 9am.  The stroller division of the race begins at 8:10 am, allowing for greater safety and comfort of participants.

Bradshaw has also organized volunteers from the Montessori Children’s School to assist with childcare to help support participants who want to run the 5K.  Interested participants can make arrangements for the $ 10 childcare at Higgs Beach Park during check-in or at the 6:30 am registration.  Continue reading

Survey Shows Younger Americans Not as “Green” as Older Generations

canstockphoto0146130As America Recycles Day approaches, Harris Poll shows young people are less likely to recycle, understand benefits.

While conventional wisdom dictates millennials are more environmentally-conscious than older generations, their attitudes toward recycling begs to differ and suggest they may not be as “green” as we thought. According to a recent survey conducted online in November among over 2,000 U.S. adults by Harris Poll on behalf of the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI), younger American adults ages 18-34 are significantly less likely to say they always recycle (33% vs. 48% of those ages 35+).  In addition, younger Americans ages 18-34 are less likely to say that recycling is the socially responsible thing to do (61% vs. 53% of those ages 65+), and that it is critical to reducing energy consumption (36% vs. 46% of those ages 55-64) and will help reduce landfill space (45% vs. 60% of those ages 45+). Younger adults ages 18-34 are also more likely to say they wish they recycled more than any other age group (37% vs. 22% of those age 35+). These are some of the key findings in a national survey released yesterday by the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) in conjunction with America Recycles Day taking place on Saturday, November 15. Continue reading