Aug 262016
 
Travel Advice for the Islamo-FraidyCat Set

by Thomas L. Knapp……. On August 18, three siblings boarded an EasyJet flight at London’s Stansted airport. Maryam, Sakina and Ali Dharas were en route to Italy for a holiday. But before the flight could take off, they were asked to debark for questioning by police. Another passenger, apparently an amateur detective, deduced that because they are brown people and the two sisters wear hijabs — Muslim head scarves — they must be Islamic State terrorists. Which, of course, they weren’t. The plane eventually took [continue reading…]

 August 26, 2016  Posted by at 12:28 am ~ Opinion ~, Editorial, Issue #181 No Responses »
Aug 262016
 
War: The Islamic State and Western Politicians Against the Rest of Us

by Thomas L. Knapp……. On July 28, London’s Central Criminal Court of England and Wales, aka “the Old Bailey,” announced the conviction of Islamist preacher Anjem Choudary on charges of “inviting support for a proscribed organization” (the Islamic State). He’ll be sentenced, likely to a long stint in prison, in September. On August 18, social networking service Twitter announced that it has suspended 360,000 user accounts since mid-2015 — 235,000 of them just since February — for “promoting extremism.” While Twitter is theoretically a private [continue reading…]

 August 26, 2016  Posted by at 12:26 am ~ Opinion ~, Editorial, Issue #181 No Responses »
Aug 262016
 
Veterans for Joe Garcia

Dear Editor, I am a Vietnam veteran supporting Joe Garcia for Congress. Joe was there for us in some hard times for us Veterans. There was one Doctor in the Key West VA clinic, the next was a hundred miles away and 10 thousand Veterans in between. Miami VA said to bad no more Doctors. I called Congressman Joe Garcia, he said I’m on it. Joe went personally to the Miami VA Headquarters. It was hair teeth and eyeballs but he got us our Doctor [continue reading…]

 August 26, 2016  Posted by at 12:22 am Issue #181, Letter to the Editor No Responses »
Aug 262016
 
Winner(s) in the Hospital Fight

Dear Editor, It is still too early to tell who the ultimate winner will be, the public or Lower Keys Medical Center, in the current fight over services and billing. However, there are indications of short term winners, specifically the local print newspapers. Both sides in the battle have taken out numerous, a dozen or more, full page ads in the Key West Citizen to promote their positions. Mariners Hospital has joined the battle, touting its four star rating as opposed to the single star [continue reading…]

 August 26, 2016  Posted by at 12:20 am Issue #181, Letter to the Editor No Responses »
Aug 192016
 
Write-in Mayoral Candidate Sloan Bashinsky's Hilarious Responses to PBA Candidate Questionaire

DADE COUNTY POLICE BENEVOLENT ASSOCIATION KEY WEST POLITICAL SCREENING Candidate Questionnaire August 12, 2016 Candidate: Sloan Bashinsky Position: Mayor Address: Contact Number (s): __________________ Date of Birth: 10/7/42 E-mail Address: sloanbashinsky@outlook.com Signature: _________________________ Background: The PBA places great value in the relationships it builds with elected officials. Therefore maintaining open lines of communication is of the utmost importance. Question (s): (a) Would you contact the PBA before speaking publicly for or against any issue of importance to the Association and/or law enforcement? Please explain your [continue reading…]

 August 19, 2016  Posted by at 12:56 am ~ Opinion ~, Editorial, Issue #180 4 Responses »
Aug 192016
 
Guest Commentary: Mosquito Control / Big Coppitt

by Stephen Murray-Smith……. When I was elected to mosquito control nineteen years ago, our program consisted of aerial spraying with a 1940’s aircraft, a few spray trucks, no entomologist or biologists, and a $500,000 budget shortfall. Fast forward to today – our county has one of the best mosquito control programs in the nation. Late 2007, FKMCD began talks with the City of Key West to purchase property in order to build a new structure then vacating the existing building. Appraisals secured at our expense [continue reading…]

 August 19, 2016  Posted by at 12:48 am Issue #180, Letter to the Editor No Responses »
Aug 192016
 
Guest Column: FKMCD Board Meeting - November Can't Get Here Too Soon

by Ralph De Palma……. At the recent Florida Keys Mosquito Control District meeting (FKMCD), Commissioner up for re-election, Jill Cranney-Gage, flip flopped and changed her vote on the construction project that has been planned for the past two years, to be more in line with her mentor the Chairman and “Chief Budget Cutter” on the Board, Phil Goodman. The timing of this change appears to coincide with the pending potential 45% millage increase and the effect on her re-election campaign. That was bluntly pointed out by [continue reading…]

 August 19, 2016  Posted by at 12:46 am ~ Opinion ~, Editorial, Issue #180 1 Response »
Aug 192016
 
Mosquito Control: Forget "Taj Mahal" and Do Something about ZIKA!

Dear Editor, Steve Smith is a 20 year incumbent on the Florida Keys Mosquito Control Board. He is once again running for another 4 year ride. Mr. Smith tells us that he has been your good and faithful servant for lo these many, many, years and that he has tried his damndest to wisely spend your tax dollars. But he complains that all too often a majority of the board has overridden him and forced the board to cut taxes, cut expenses, and otherwise minimize [continue reading…]

 August 19, 2016  Posted by at 12:44 am Issue #180, Letter to the Editor No Responses »
Aug 192016
 
Fear Not My Fellow Conchs

Dear Editor, They say that a wasted vote is voting for someone who doesn’t represent you, and I agree, and I believe the people of the Florida Keys, in our lofty island paradise, also would agree with the sentiment. Out of the 319 million Americans, we’re taught that we must pick one of two to take the position of the most powerful leader of the free world, the Presidency of the United States of America. It’s easy to sit back in between media attack ads, [continue reading…]

 August 19, 2016  Posted by at 12:42 am Issue #180, Letter to the Editor 2 Responses »
Aug 192016
 
Clinton: Unhinged?

by Thomas L. Knapp……. Following multiple damning email leaks and disclosures, Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign decided, in the weirdest attempt at damage control I’ve ever seen, to invoke the late Allen Ginsberg’s “America”: “America it’s them bad Russians. Them Russians them Russians and them Chinamen. And them Russians.” Forget the content of the leaks. Just focus on their alleged (not proven, alleged) source. IT’S THEM RUSSIANS! Never mind that one of the leaks uncovered the Democratic National Committee’s secret program to deliver its party’s presidential [continue reading…]

 August 19, 2016  Posted by at 12:41 am ~ Opinion ~, Editorial, Issue #180 3 Responses »
Aug 122016
 
Part Two of an Evaluation of the Risks vs. Benefits of the Proposed Release of GMO Mosquitoes in Florida

by By David McKalip, M.D…… Risk: The OX513A bugs could establish a new subspecies and actually survive in nature. Implications: The FDA thinks the risk of this is low, but bases their conclusions on some assumptions that are not entirely accurate. However if the survival rate, percentage of females released or genetic assumptions are wrong, then the GMO mosquito could establish itself permanently. Introduction to Part II. The FDA has approved a genetic experiment on humanity and the ecosystem in Key West Florida. They propose to [continue reading…]

 August 12, 2016  Posted by at 12:38 am ~ Opinion ~, Editorial, Issue #179 3 Responses »
Aug 122016
 
ZIKA Index Case Monroe County

Dear Editor, Monroe County now has its index ZIKA case. ZIKA in Monroe County is no longer a hypothetical. It is here. It is a real, not a theoretical, threat to our health. Especially the unborn. Enough is enough. It is time to use all the safe, proven, and effective weapons we have at our disposal to fight ZIKA. It is time for The Florida Keys Mosquito Control Board to ignore the threats and posturing of the special interests of big real estate, and to [continue reading…]

 August 12, 2016  Posted by at 12:26 am Issue #179, Letter to the Editor No Responses »
Aug 122016
 
Bread & Circuses

Dear Editor, Let’s look at the Olympic Games for what they are. A Gigantic Money Making Machine. Once upon a time the Olympics was about Amateurs competing in the Classic field events and they were interesting But boring, and boring means No Money. So then a group of Big Money people got together and said, hay-if we get this Un-Boring We can make Lots of money so let’s create new games that more people will spend lots of money supporting their game, and another Big [continue reading…]

 August 12, 2016  Posted by at 12:24 am Issue #179, Letter to the Editor 1 Response »
Aug 122016
 
Florida’s State Teachers Union Pays 43 Employees at Least $100K

By William Patrick – From Watchdog.org……. Next week, students and teachers will meet in classrooms across the state to begin a new public school year. A new year also means another round of dues for the state teachers union. The Florida Education Association is the largest labor union in Florida. It’s an affiliate of national powerhouses American Federation of Teachers and National Education Association, and it has dozens of local affiliates under its statewide banner. The FEA promises to provide its 128,264 members “a voice on [continue reading…]

 August 12, 2016  Posted by at 12:18 am ~ Opinion ~, Editorial, Issue #179 No Responses »
Aug 052016
 
$400 Million: The Partial Price of Peace?

by Thomas L. Knapp……. When the US government sends $400 million in cash, stacked on pallets, to Iran on the same day the Iranian government releases four imprisoned Americans, it looks an awful lot like ransom. On the other hand, when the US government decides to keep $400 million sent to it by the Iranian government pursuant to an arms deal for 35 years without ever shipping the arms, it looks an awful lot like stealing. And when the US government reaches a settlement to [continue reading…]

 August 5, 2016  Posted by at 12:45 am ~ Opinion ~, Editorial, Issue #178 No Responses »
Aug 052016
 
Snowden and Media Friends: L'etat, C'est Nous

by Thomas L. Knapp……. “[T]he return of this information to the public marks my end,” Edward Snowden told the Washington Post’s Barton Gellman prior to telling that public — under the auspices of several journalists and publications — about the NSA’s PRISM program and other horrors of the modern American surveillance state. Snowden did indeed suffer for his good deeds: These days he lives in exile in Russia, awaiting a day when he might return home to some fate other than life in a prison [continue reading…]

 August 5, 2016  Posted by at 12:45 am ~ Opinion ~, Editorial, Issue #178 No Responses »
Aug 052016
 
FKMCD Director Doyle's Resignation - Set the Record Straight

by Ralph De Palma……. Michael Doyle’s resignation is not very surprising. The proverbial handwriting has been on the wall since the Board of Commissioners rescinded his raise last year. He’s going back to the lab. It’s where he’s most comfortable. Managing a sophisticated operation like FKMCD was overwhelming and he performed mediocre at best. Managing people and processes can be tedious and boring at times not sexy like releasing GMOs. He’d never managed any organization of this size and was immediately in trouble at FKMCD. He never [continue reading…]

 August 5, 2016  Posted by at 12:39 am ~ Opinion ~, Editorial, Issue #178 No Responses »
Aug 052016
 
"C’mon FKMCB….get to work.  Use all the weapons that you have to protect us from ZIKA."

4:30 PM Monday, August 1: 10 NEW ZIKA CASES IN MIAMI. Miami-Dade asks for help from Monroe County in combating the ZIKA mosquitos. The Bloomberg News headline is “ZIKA NIGHTMARE HITS MIAMI.” The article chronicles the arrival of Florida’s first home grown cases of ZIKA. The YAHOO NEWS head line is “MIAMI BLOOD DONATIONS HALTED OVER ZIKA FEARS.” The article chronicles the fact that Federal authorities have called for a halt to blood donations in Miami as a result of local cases of ZIKA. The [continue reading…]

 August 5, 2016  Posted by at 12:38 am Issue #178, Letter to the Editor 1 Response »
Aug 052016
 
America is Dead, Obituary to Follow

Dear Editor, The eulogy was given by the current director of the FBI. Who are these people who are Too Important to Prosecute? Why is the American Injustice system failing in dealing Management Crime? Management crimes are such that a person of responsibility who is or should be aware of a situation, has the ability to influence and choose to do nothing or cover it up. A simplistic-example; a worker bee observers a manager perform an act that is a threat to national security. The worker bee [continue reading…]

 August 5, 2016  Posted by at 12:37 am Issue #178, Letter to the Editor No Responses »
Aug 052016
 
A Special Thanks For Decision on Quay Walkway

Dear Editor, As a member of the Truman Waterfront Advisory Board but commenting here as a private citizen, I would like to take this opportunity to commend and applaud the Mayor and Key West City Commission, acting as the Local Redevelopment Authority, for their wisdom in voting “YES” to accept the recommendation of the Truman Waterfront Advisory Board’s decision to keep the Truman Waterfront Park’s Quay Walkway at its present 70 feet width. As sometimes happens in life and also in government, a slight compromise [continue reading…]

 August 5, 2016  Posted by at 12:36 am Issue #178, Letter to the Editor No Responses »
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
 
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 222016
 
9/11: 28 Pages Later

by Thomas L. Knapp……. In December of 2002, Congress released its report on the “Joint Inquiry into Intelligence Community Activities Before and After the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001.” Part of that report, anyway: 28 pages remained classified until July 15, 2016, when they were finally presented to the public with significant redactions. Why the long wait, and what do the 28 pages reveal? If we’re to believe the headlines in Saudi media (e.g. Al Arabiya) and mainstream American media (e.g. Time and the [continue reading…]

 July 22, 2016  Posted by at 12:31 am ~ Opinion ~, Editorial, Issue #176 3 Responses »
Jul 222016
 
Keep Mosquitios Away!

Dear Editor, Worried about Zika Virus? Place a dab of Vick’s Vapor rub behind each ear and on ankles! The strong odor will keep mosquitio’s at bay! The cedar leaf oil is a natural insect repellant. The odor of menthol and camphor in Vicks also acts as a repellant. Bob Holzhei/St. Johns, Michigan

 July 22, 2016  Posted by at 12:25 am Issue #176, Letter to the Editor 1 Response »
Jul 222016
 
Mosquito Control: Friends, It Jest Ain't So!

Dear Editor, Recently we’ve read some pretty wild claims about Mosquito Control Board commissioners. We’ve read that they earn outrageous amounts of money and that they do little or nothing. Friends, it jest ain’t so! Here’s the facts: Mosquito Control Board members are elected officials. They meet between 14-16 times per year. The meetings are held in various places up and down the Keys. Usually, on their meeting days, they hold a public meeting, when that meeting is concluded, then other work shop meetings are [continue reading…]

 July 22, 2016  Posted by at 12:24 am Issue #176, Letter to the Editor No Responses »
Jul 222016
 
Rude, Ignorant, Inconsiderate? Human Beings?

Dear Editor, This is not an unusual sight in the Big Pine Key WinnDixie. I’m an 80% wounded warrior and when I pulled into the parking lot it was pouring rain. So some Moron thought that it would be Kool to watch the cripple get out of the vehicle and stumble around and take care of your stupidity. I’m putting the Gypsies Curse on you so that your children treat you with the same Disrespect that you treat cripple people From: Dr. Geno

 July 22, 2016  Posted by at 12:22 am Issue #176, Letter to the Editor No Responses »
Jul 152016
 
Eight Days in Cuba June 2016 - The Good the Bad and the Future!

  by Dottie Harden, City Ambassador Key West……. We took Havana Air from Key West so much better than driving to Miami and what a great fight it was. Thank you Havana Air. Our trip to Cuba is one we will never forget, it was full of surprises! The enthusiasm and excitement of the Cuban people made us excited. What we were told was nothing of what we would experience. This is only my perspective and our trip was only eight days long but we did try to [continue reading…]

 July 15, 2016  Posted by at 12:38 am Issue #175, Letter to the Editor No Responses »
Jul 152016
 
Blue/Green Algae

Dear Editor: This is in regards to the toxic sludge that’s heading our way. Many on the west coast are determined to send it south but that’s not the answer. The Everglades is choked out due to development and can’t handle it and the way they rerouted the flow of water doesn’t allow it like it did in the past. So what to do? After contacting the Corps of Engineers at each lock thru the water ways that come from Lake O to Ft Myers I learned [continue reading…]

 July 15, 2016  Posted by at 12:36 am Issue #175, Letter to the Editor No Responses »
Jul 082016
 
Kevin Diaz Response to Mayor Heather Carruthers

I write today in order to respond to Mayor Heather Carruthers response piece, which was published in The Blue Paper and the Monroe County official webpage last week. The spirited response by our Mayor paints my opinion piece as misinformed and misguided as to the issues our community faces. The truth is that the Mayor, on behalf of our state representative, attempts to frame the Florida Keys Stewardship Act as legislative perfection; a level of perfection never seen before in American politics. The Mayor puts [continue reading…]

 July 8, 2016  Posted by at 12:44 am Issue #174, Letter to the Editor 3 Responses »
Jul 082016
 
An Open Letter to the School Board: Computer Literacy in Monroe County Schools

Chairman Griffiths: I listened with great interest to your comments last week on “Morning Magazine” regarding “Monroe Compute$”. I share your enthusiasm and praise for John Padget and Jacob Dekker for creating the program which enables students to earn industry certificates in computing and computer science programs such as Microsoft Office and Adobe. Of course, the success of this program is directly related to the financial incentives provided by Padget and Dekker, more than $75,000 for the 256 students who have successfully completed their course [continue reading…]