Mar 242017
Hometown! Call for Candidates

Hometown! Key West, formerly known as Hometown PAC, is calling all members, future members, candidates, incumbents, prospective candidates and those merely testing the waters to a CALL for CANDIDATES on Monday, April 3, 2017, 5 pm at Salute Restaurant, Higgs Beach, Key West. Attendance is free. THE 2018 local elections in Monroe County include State and U.S. Representatives, two County Commission seats, City of Key West Mayor and three Key West City Commission seats, three Monroe County School Board and two Florida Keys Mosquito Control [continue reading…]

 March 24, 2017  Posted by at 12:56 am Issue #211, News, Public Notice No Responses »
Mar 242017
Papio Who? Key West Art & Historical Society Prepares to Kick off Parade and Honor Pioneering Florida Keys Folk Artist

The Papio Kinetic Sculpture Parade— a family-friendly, art-inspired, human-powered, mobile sculpture and art-bike parade that celebrates creativity and innovation—is just around the bend, set to roll through downtown Key West on Saturday, May 6th, along with a bevy of special accompanying events on Friday the 5th and Sunday the 7th. While many are “gearing up” their kinetic creations, some might be wondering, just who exactly is Papio, and why a parade named after him? “Barefoot” Stanley Papio was a man whose ingenuity and spirit sparked [continue reading…]

 March 24, 2017  Posted by at 12:44 am Issue #211, News, Special Event No Responses »
Mar 242017
Spring Break Coral Camp

25 youths that participated in the first annual Spring Break Coral Camp last week. Although our days snorkeling in Key West Marine Park, in the back country with Danger Charters and two days at the Reef with Fury and Sebago were chilly, the campers had blast and learned a lot about local Coral Reef Ecosystem. Photo courtesy Reef Relief staff.

 March 24, 2017  Posted by at 12:42 am Issue #211, News, Special Event No Responses »
Mar 242017
ESL Students Build New Bridges with Key West Art & Historical Society’s Overseas Railway Workshop

Key West Art & Historical Society took Horace O’Bryant Elementary and Middle School ESL students on a history and engineering journey as they delved into the ‘Overseas Railroad’ STEM-based (science, technology, engineering and math) workshop on Wednesday, March 22 at Fort East Martello Museum. The hands-on workshop, which ordinarily travels to schools throughout South Florida and is funded by a William R. Kenan Jr. Charitable Trust grant, helps students study the engineering practices of Henry Flager’s principle engineer and seasoned bridge builder Joseph Caroll Meredith [continue reading…]

 March 24, 2017  Posted by at 12:38 am Issue #211, News, Special Event No Responses »
Mar 242017
Conch Republic Seeks Candidates for Royal Family Investiture!

In a benefit for the Conch Republic Foster Children’s Fund administered by Wesley House Family Services, Rick’s/Durty Harry’s, 202 Duval St, past queen, Leigha Fox and current queen Julie Waters will host the Royal Investiture Party to elect a Royal Family for the Conch Republic on Saturday, April 22nd starting at 6 p.m. Funds raised each year to pay for special items for foster children in Monroe County like, prom dresses, class rings, sports uniforms and equipment, and other items not covered by state dollars. [continue reading…]

 March 24, 2017  Posted by at 12:26 am Issue #211, News, Special Event No Responses »
Mar 242017
Mangrove Cleanup Saturday

By Land or By Sea, let’s clean up our mangroves and seawall! Commissioner Sam Kaufman invites the public to join him in a kayak cleanup along North Roosevelt from 9 a.m. until noon, on Saturday, March 25th. The cleanup crew will be leaving from Ibis Bay at Sigsbee Road. Parking is limited, so participants are urged to park at either Searstown or Key Plaza and use the crosswalk at Kennedy. Pickers, gloves and trash bags will be provided. Lazy Dog Outfitters and Ibis Bay Paddlesports [continue reading…]

 March 24, 2017  Posted by at 12:22 am Issue #211, News, Special Event No Responses »
Mar 242017
Green Commute Challenge

During the week of Monday March 27th to Sunday April 2nd, employees from ten of the largest employers in the city of Key West will be earning points for reporting their green methods for travelling to and from work. The 3rd Annual Green Commute Challenge sets a rivalry between the city’s largest employers because those employers can make the most difference in going green. This year’s challengers include: the City of Key West, the Florida Department of Health in Monroe County, Southernmost Beach Resort, Florida [continue reading…]

 March 24, 2017  Posted by at 12:21 am Issue #211, News, Public Notice No Responses »
Mar 242017
Wheels to Work

On March 14th Mayor Craig Cates partnered with Bethel AME Church, the Department of Juvenile Justice, Island Bicycles, Publix grocery stores and other community partners to bring to fruition the Wheels to Work program. Wheels to Work is a local effort made possible through partnerships by which deserving youth are matched with employment opportunities in Key West and coupled with a means of transportation in order to get to work. Mayor Cates and Dave Harris, owner of Island Bicycles were able to provide six Electra [continue reading…]

 March 24, 2017  Posted by at 12:08 am Issue #211, News, Public Notice No Responses »
Mar 242017
Transit Director Whitaker Retire

City Manager Jim Scholl, during last night’s City Commission meeting, thanked retiring Transit Director Norman Whitaker for his service to the City. “He brought with him 35 years of experience,” Scholl said, commending him on his accomplishments during his three years with the City: upgrading an aging fleet of buses, bringing a hybrid bus into the fleet, transitioning to a new transit facility. He also commended Whitaker for introducing new rates for seniors, including one day a month when anyone over 60 rides free anywhere. [continue reading…]

 March 24, 2017  Posted by at 12:06 am Issue #211, News, Special Event No Responses »
Mar 242017
Building Inspector Richardson Retires

City Manager Jim Scholl, the City Commission and the City’s Building Official Ron Wampler last night wished Building Inspector Terrence Richardson a good retirement. Richardson has been with the City for 13 years. The Key West Chamber of Commerce named him Employee of the Year for 2016. Wampler noted that Richardson has four state licenses, and that it will take two people to fill his shoes. Scholl complemented Richardson on his dedication, and added that Richardson has maintained to good working relationship with the contractors [continue reading…]

 March 24, 2017  Posted by at 12:04 am Issue #211, News, Special Event No Responses »
Mar 172017
Chief Donie Lee Releases Review of Arrest of Homeless Man that Led to Officer Reprimand

This week the Blue Paper received a copy of KWPD’s investigation of the controversial arrest of a homeless man in front of the Key Plaza Publix grocery store on February 4th. The review by the Professional Standards Division resulted in a reprimand of Michael Chaustit, one of the officers involved. At the time, a legitimate story about use of force turned into an intense argument between Trump supporters and liberals on our Facebook page with the ‘blind yelling at the deaf’, about what the police should [continue reading…]

 March 17, 2017  Posted by at 1:00 am Issue #210, News 14 Responses »
Mar 172017
Monroe County BOCC Approves Policy Changes to the Tourist Development Council

After a lively two-hour discussion, the Monroe County Board of County Commissioners approved three policy changes to the Tourist Development Council at its Wednesday monthly meeting at the Murray Nelson Government and Cultural Center. 1. The Commission voted 4-1 to increase the municipalities’ eligibility for reimbursement to up to 100 percent for brick and mortar capital projects using tourist development (bed tax) funds. Previously, the municipalities had been eligible for up to 50 percent reimbursement. (The County, the governing board of the Tourist Development Council, [continue reading…]

 March 17, 2017  Posted by at 12:58 am Issue #210, News, Public Notice No Responses »
Mar 172017
Georgia Fugitive Arrested in Key West / Tracked Via CVS Rewards Card

Key West Police Detectives arrested a man wanted in Cobb County Georgia for an assortment of violent crimes. On March 15th, the KPWD Criminal Investigations Unit was informed by the Cobb County Sheriff’s Office that Jamaal Seymour, 37, was possibly in Key West. Seymour was wanted on a number of counts, including aggravated assault with a weapon, false imprisonment, felony strangulation and possession of a firearm by a felon. A “be on the lookout” noted that Seymour should be considered armed and dangerous. Intelligence showed [continue reading…]

 March 17, 2017  Posted by at 12:56 am Issue #210, News, Public Notice 1 Response »
Mar 172017
Detective Needs Help Identifying Suspect in Wallet Theft, Credit Card Fraud

Sheriff’s detectives are investigating the theft of a wallet and subsequent use of credit cards in the wallet by a woman captured on surveillance video using the cards. The victim reported the theft of his wallet on March 13th from the Marathon City Marina. He said he left the wallet in one of the shower stalls. And by the time he realized it, the wallet was gone. He had a total of 11 fraudulent charges on the card, all in the Marathon area.

 March 17, 2017  Posted by at 12:54 am News No Responses »
Mar 172017
FKMCD to Test Wolbachia Mosquitoes in Mid-April

The Florida Keys Mosquito Control District (FKMCD), in conjunction with MosquitoMate (, will be evaluating a new control method in the reduction and/or elimination of the Aedes aegypti mosquito. Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, which are very difficult to control, can carry many diseases such as Zika, dengue and chikungunya. FKMCD is constantly looking for new ways to eliminate this mosquito and prevent these diseases from entering our island communities. The field trial of this new method will begin in mid-April and will involve the release of [continue reading…]

 March 17, 2017  Posted by at 12:53 am Issue #210, News, Public Notice No Responses »
Mar 172017
Sheriff's Crime Report

Pompano Beach man charged with burglary A Pompano Beach man is under arrest, charged with burglary. The victim, a Marathon woman, got a call from her alarm company just after 1 p.m. Tuesday that someone had opened the door to the tool room at her home on 51st Street. She drove home to see what was happening and found 57 year old Donald Ahee standing in her yard. He was putting something inside his bag. As he was leaving her property on his bike, she [continue reading…]

 March 17, 2017  Posted by at 12:52 am Issue #210, News, Public Notice No Responses »
Mar 172017
New Community Mental Health Agency Opens in Key West

A new non-profit community substance abuse and mental health treatment agency is opening in Key West. Key Bridge, Inc. will be providing individual and group treatment for clients of all ages and their families. Organized in 2016, they opened their doors to the public this month and offer a complement of services. The staff at Key Bridge offers, substance abuse and mental health counseling, case management, and community resource information all through a generous sliding scale fee with fees starting at $15 for a one-hour [continue reading…]

 March 17, 2017  Posted by at 12:47 am Issue #210, News, Special Event No Responses »
Mar 172017
Monroe County Repays Second $1 Million Installment to Key Largo Wastewater Treatment District

MONROE COUNTY REPAYS KEY LARGO WASTEWATER TREATMENT DISTRICT SECOND $1 MILLION INSTALLMENT FROM MAYFIELD GRANT AGREEMENT KEY LARGO, FL – At the Monroe County Board of County Commissioners meeting Wednesday, Mayor George Neugent presented the Key Largo Wastewater Treatment District with a $1 million check, the second installment in a 10-year Interlocal Agreement regarding the distribution of $17 million in Mayfield Grant Funds for wastewater projects in the Keys. Monroe County and the Key Largo Wastewater Treatment District entered into the Interlocal Agreement on May [continue reading…]

 March 17, 2017  Posted by at 12:46 am Issue #210, News, Public Notice 3 Responses »
Mar 172017
Ace the Traffic at the Miami Open with Florida 511

Download the free mobile app, visit or follow #FL511 on Twitter TALLAHASSEE – Make it to the courts on time for every serve at the 2017 Miami Open with the Florida Department of Transportation’s (FDOT) Florida 511 Traveler Information System. More than 300,000 tennis fans from around the world will attend the 14-day tournament at Crandon Park on Key Biscayne, beginning Monday, March 20 and ending Sunday, April 2. With only a single causeway leading to and from the island, drivers may find the [continue reading…]

 March 17, 2017  Posted by at 12:22 am Issue #210, News, Public Notice No Responses »
Mar 172017
Free Bus for St. Patrick's Day

Key West Transit encourage everyone to go green and ride the bus this St. Patrick’s Day. Public transit is free all day on March 17th, the greenest day of the year. Citywide bus routes and the Lower Keys Shuttle are free all day on March 17th to promote environmental awareness and to make St. Patrick’s Day a safe one for everyone!

 March 17, 2017  Posted by at 12:08 am Issue #210, News, Public Notice No Responses »
Mar 172017
February 2017 SHAL News

SHAL Outreach Director, Elicia Pintabona, arranged to expand our case management offerings with a parttime space at a new counseling agency, Key Bridge, which recently opened a beautiful office in the Professional Building. SHAL Case Managers will be seeing homeless clients at that office two days per week, and will be working with some Key Bridge clients who need our services…

 March 17, 2017  Posted by at 12:06 am Issue #210, News No Responses »
Mar 172017
Health Department Recognizes the City of Marathon as a Healthy Weight Community Champion

The Florida Department of Health in Monroe County (DOH-Monroe) presented the Healthy Weight Community Champion Award to the City of Marathon at Tuesday’s City Commission Meeting at Marathon City Hall. The City of Marathon was recognized as one of three local governments in Monroe County that has implemented a variety of best practice policies that have been shown to increase physical activity and improve nutrition. The other municipalities, Key West was recognized last Tuesday and the Village of Islamorada will be awarded later this month. One [continue reading…]

 March 17, 2017  Posted by at 12:04 am Issue #210, News, Public Notice No Responses »
Mar 172017
Free Certification Course for Bike Helmet Fitting

Bicycle safety is an important public health issue in the Florida Keys. A larger proportion of Monroe County’s population bikes to work than any other county in the state of Florida, and research shows that Monroe County has the highest fatality rate, the highest ER visit rate, and the 3rd highest hospitalization rate in the state for bicycle accidents with motor vehicles.* The Florida Keys Healthy Start Coalition (FKHSC), in partnership with the Florida Department of Health in Monroe County, is hosting two bike helmet [continue reading…]

 March 17, 2017  Posted by at 12:02 am Issue #210, News, Public Notice No Responses »
Mar 102017
5 Fun Facts About the Florida Keys National Wildlife Refuges: Learn More at the Outdoor Fest March 11th - 18th

The second annual Outdoor Fest—a full week of action-packed days filled with family-friendly, mostly free outdoor adventures and hands-on activities—has arrived.  There’s no better time than now to get outside for a close-up take on the great outdoors as US Fish and Wildlife Service’s Florida Keys National Wildlife Refuges Complex and their Friends group FAVOR provide us with many ways to help celebrate the beautiful Florida Keys National Wildlife Refuges.

 March 10, 2017  Posted by at 1:22 am News No Responses »
Mar 102017
Helping a Needy Elderly Man in Key Largo

Officers go all out for elderly man Officers responding to a call Monday found an elderly man in a wheel chair, confused and unable to care for himself. In subsequent days, they made sure he was cared for and spent a day cleaning his house and making sure it was habitable for him when he returns home. The 77 year old man lives in a home on Rock Harbor Drive in Key Largo. On Monday, Sgt. Jason Madnick responded to a call from someone in [continue reading…]

 March 10, 2017  Posted by at 1:19 am Issue #209, News, Special Event 1 Response »
Mar 102017
Key West Pilot Marks Volunteer Milestone

Sam Samaha to be honored for transporting Angel Flight Southeast patients to far-from-home medical appointments. Patients with rare or complicated medical conditions may have to travel hundreds of miles to reach lifesaving treatment. Fouad “Sam” Samaha of Key West, is one of 650 volunteers who donate planes, fuel and time to make sure those Angel Flight Southeast passengers get the care they need while alleviating travel hardships. On Friday, April 7, Samaha will be honored for surpassing 100 missions, at the Dr. Franklin G. Norris [continue reading…]

 March 10, 2017  Posted by at 1:18 am Issue #209, News, Special Event 1 Response »
Mar 102017
Firm Appeals Office of Insurance Regulation Denial of Administrative Hearing

Fair Insurance Rates in Monroe (FIRM) is filing an appeal with the First District Court of Appeals to overturn the Office of Insurance Regulation’s (OIR) rejection of FIRM’s petition for an Administrative Hearing on excessive and unaffordable commercial and residential windstorm insurance rates in the Keys. FIRM takes the position that FIRM and the Citizens Property Insurance policy holders that it represents are entitled by state law to an administrative hearing on recent Monroe County windstorm insurance rate increases approved by the OIR. FIRM also [continue reading…]

 March 10, 2017  Posted by at 1:18 am Issue #209, News, Public Notice No Responses »
Mar 102017
Sheriff's Crime Report

Four arrested on multiple drug warrants Detectives with the Sheriff’s Special Investigations Unit arrested four people on multiple drug related warrants Wednesday afternoon. Detectives using an undercover operative purchased cocaine and ecstasy Tuesday afternoon from three of the wanted suspects; arrested them for the drug sales and then additionally charged them all with the outstanding drug related warrants . The warrants are the result of undercover drug operations in January of this year in Key West and on Stock Island. 30 year old Robert Dunn [continue reading…]

 March 10, 2017  Posted by at 1:17 am Issue #209, News, Public Notice 3 Responses »
Mar 102017
Good Government starts NOW

HOMETOWN! IS YOUR SOURCE FOR LOCAL CANDIDATE AND ELECTION INFORMATION. “Call for Candidates” April 3, 2017 Join us as we celebrate our new 501(c)3 non-profit status with a new logo, revised news bulletin, a fresh Facebook page and kick-off to the 2017 campaign year of Good Government. Election year 2018 is on everyone’s minds and with only 470 days until the books close on running for office, state, county and local campaigns are already underway. Incumbents, candidates, or those just testing the water for a [continue reading…]

 March 10, 2017  Posted by at 1:15 am Issue #209, News, Public Notice No Responses »
Mar 102017
Key West Art & Historical Society Film Series Continues at Custom House Museum with “I am Cuba”

Key West Art & Historical Society’s film series continues on Thursday, March 16 at 6:00 p.m. in the Helmerich Research & Learning Center at the Custom House Museum, 281 Front Street with “Soy Cuba” (I am Cuba) a Cuban-Soviet co-production filmed following the Cuban missile crisis as an anti-American propaganda film, which has been described as “a visual masterpiece.” With actors Luz Maria Collazo, Jose Gallardo, Sergio Corrieri, Mario Gonzalez Broche, Jean Bouise, Raul Garcia and Celia Rodriguez, “I am Cuba” consists of four vignettes, [continue reading…]

 March 10, 2017  Posted by at 1:07 am News No Responses »
Mar 102017
Boaters Moored in Restricted Waters Near Fleming Key Must Move

Naval Air Station Key West, with support of Coast Guard Sector Key West and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, is reminding boaters that mooring is illegal in the restricted waters west of Fleming Key. Safety perimeters for weapons/ammunition storage facilities are published in the Federal Register and went into effect on Sept. 10, 2007. In 2009, the City of Key West placed a series of buoys to designate the safety zone made possible through a $150,000 grant from the Governor’s Florida Defense Alliance [continue reading…]

 March 10, 2017  Posted by at 12:58 am Issue #209, News, Public Notice No Responses »
Mar 102017
Key West Art & Historical Society Offers Stipends for Kinetic Coaches in Schools

The Second Annual Papio Kinetic Sculpture and Art Bike Parade is set for May 5-7, and the Key West Art & Historical Society seeks artists to help students in schools prepare and create dynamic moving artworks using STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) principals. Selected artists will receive a $1200 stipend to conduct a brainstorming session and two three-hour workshops with students at two different schools, presenting information on kinetic art principles and application, and team mobile sculpture idea development and production. “Artists will [continue reading…]

 March 10, 2017  Posted by at 12:57 am News No Responses »