Jan 202017
 
Key West and President Trump

by Arnaud Girard……. Donald Trump is now our President. What might be the effect, good or bad, of the new presidency on our lives, the local environment, businesses, our local school system, our relations with Cuba and more? Where local economy and new immigration policy collide Key West’s is booming.  Old fish houses and RV parks with handfuls of employees have been replaced by sprawling restaurants and high class hotels. But this tourist based economy is showing signs of overheating: the value of real estate keeps [continue reading…]

Jan 202017
 
Another Welch by Zuelch, Claims New Shallow Sewage Well Lawsuit

by Dump The Pumps……. The Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority is in violation of a settlement agreement it signed last year to end litigation requiring a deep well for Cudjoe Regional and restricting use of the shallow wells only for backup, according to new litigation filed last Monday. Don DeMaria and Mike Laudicina, the two commercial fishermen who sued FKAA in 2015 to require the deep well, now allege that FKAA and the Department of Environmental Protection are intentionally violating the settlement agreement. “It’s another welch by Zeulch,” said DeMaria. [continue reading…]

 January 20, 2017  Posted by at 12:56 am Issue #202, Letter to the Editor No Responses »
Jan 132017
 
Oceanside Marina / Time for an Independent Opinion?

Editorial by Naja Girard……. For the past 2 weeks The Blue Paper has been reporting on the controversial new hotel that just opened at Oceanside Marina on Stock Island. “Have you seen this article?” asked Commissioner Heather Carruthers in an email to the Planning Director, Mayte Santamaria, “Are the premises correct? Have we been hoodwinked? Or do they not have all the information? I think this warrants a response.” This week Ms. Santamaria, produced a 22-page document. It provides little direct analysis but is, rather, [continue reading…]

Jan 132017
 
Trump Inauguration

Dear Editor, As a yearly visitor to Key West, I understand the Conch Republic’s distance from worries of the Mainland. Still, I am shocked by the absence of any evidence of protest of the tainted election of an incoming bigot, homophobic, misogynist as President of the US (including all of Florida). What gives, Key West? Mindy Brown

 January 13, 2017  Posted by at 12:52 am Issue #201, Letter to the Editor 10 Responses »
Jan 062017
 
Guest Column: On Sanctuary Cities

by Sheldon Davidson……. Key West email and letter writers, hostile to the proposal of Commissioner Jimmy Weekley to have our city become a sanctuary city, have accused major American cities, such as, New York, Chicago, and San Francisco, of breaking federal law for protecting and failing to pursue undocumented immigrants. The principal argument advanced has been that sanctuary cities, a term undefined in law, are required by federal law to actively assist federal agents in arresting and deporting such aliens.

 January 6, 2017  Posted by at 1:00 am Issue #200, Letter to the Editor 5 Responses »
Jan 062017
 
Are You a Giver or a Taker?

In every workplace, there are three basic kinds of people: givers, takers and matchers. Organizational psychologist Adam Grant breaks down these workplace personalities and offers simple strategies to promote a culture of generosity and keep self-serving employees from taking more than their share.

 January 6, 2017  Posted by at 12:58 am ~ Opinion ~, Editorial, Issue #200 No Responses »
Jan 062017
 
Vacation Rentals for Dummies – Part II

by B. Vigilant……. Dear Editor, How to build a brand new hotel while there is a County moratorium on new hotel rooms: Start with one of the oldest working marinas, one with a public boat ramp and ample off street trailer parking, a tackle shop and ships store, rental slips and racks, storage units for marina occupants, inboard and outboard repair businesses, work racks, boat and yacht rental businesses. Add 79 Affordable Housing ROGOs, the ones that are supposed to build new workforce housing throughout [continue reading…]

 January 6, 2017  Posted by at 12:56 am Issue #200, Letter to the Editor 4 Responses »
Jan 062017
 
About the County Administrator's Letter to Editor

by Margaret Blank……. Dear Editor, Monroe County Administrator, Roman Gastesi, wrote a letter to the editor touting all the county’s accomplishments this past year. Unfortunately, Gastesi steadfastly refuses to address – or even acknowledge – the county’s many troubling, and very serious ongoing failures. This fundamental dishonesty undermines what is supposed to be a positive message and continues to erode trust in county government. Since Danny Kolhage joined the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) in 2012, long-term debt has sky-rocketed. Despite his posturing as “fiscally [continue reading…]

 January 6, 2017  Posted by at 12:54 am Issue #200, Letter to the Editor 6 Responses »
Dec 302016
 
Monroe County Administrator Roman Gastesi's Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor, As we are about to ring in the New Year, Monroe County’s Board of County Commissioners and our County government staff are proud of what was done to enhance the lives of our citizens and visitors this past year. Below are the some of our top accomplishments for 2016. 1. Passage of the 2016 Florida Keys Stewardship Act: The County’s legislative team worked together with State Rep. Holly Raschein, Sen. Anitere Flores and the Key’s municipalities to pass this new state legislation. It [continue reading…]

 December 30, 2016  Posted by at 12:55 am Issue #199, Letter to the Editor 6 Responses »
Dec 232016
 
Florida a Leader in Suspending Drivers’ Licenses for Non-Driving-Related Drug Offenses

By William Patrick/From Watchdog.org……. Florida suspends more drivers’ licenses as a result of drug convictions than almost any other state in the country, but the punishment creates more problems than it actually solves, according to a criminal justice reform group. New research by the Prison Policy Institute, a national nonprofit dedicated to reducing mass incarceration, shows Florida suspends on average about 24,430 drivers’ licenses a year due to non-driving-related drug offenses. Only Michigan and Virginia suspend more. In a report called “Reinstating Common Sense,” author [continue reading…]

 December 23, 2016  Posted by at 12:50 am ~ Opinion ~, Editorial, Issue #198 No Responses »
Dec 232016
 
Norm Higgins Remembered

Dear Editor: Mere words are unable to describe the brilliance, magnitude and unyielding compassion possessed within the personhood of Norman Higgins. His uncompromising love and ability to forgive, under all circumstances, were qualities he was never without. Mr. Higgins is a far better man than I. To a certain extent we were cut from the same cloth. Born and raised in big cities, he from Chicago, myself from New York City; we both enlisted in the United States Marine Corps and served combat tours in [continue reading…]

 December 23, 2016  Posted by at 12:49 am Issue #198, Letter to the Editor 2 Responses »
Dec 232016
 
A Ted Talk: Why Are There Still So Many Jobs?

Here’s a paradox you don’t hear much about: despite a century of creating machines to do our work for us, the proportion of adults in the US with a job has consistently gone up for the past 125 years. Why hasn’t human labor become redundant and our skills obsolete? In this talk about the future of work, economist David Autor addresses the question of why there are still so many jobs and comes up with a surprising, hopeful answer.

 December 23, 2016  Posted by at 12:42 am ~ Opinion ~, Editorial, Issue #198 No Responses »
Dec 162016
 
Grinder Pumps: An Open Letter to Roman Gastesi, Monroe County Administrator

To: Roman Gastesi, Monroe County Administrator Dear Sir: The other day I received a letter from your general contractor for The CRWS , Mr. Kurt Zuelch, informing me that per Monroe County ordinance number 01–72002, it was mandated that I connect to your public sewer system by December 12, 2016 (enclosed).  The letter goes on to explain the financial aspects of this mandate.

 December 16, 2016  Posted by at 12:50 am Letter to the Editor No Responses »
Dec 162016
 
It's Time for Term Limits - They Work

by Walter LaGraves……. Dear Editor: Thank God and Greyhound it’s gone…the election season is gone. Nonetheless we should give much thought to the wind that is sweeping our nation. It heralds a fundamental sea change in American governance. It’s clear that America is fed up with politics as usual, recently the Democrats have suffered crushing defeat after crushing defeat. The tsunami of change has impacted local, county, state, and federal governance. Recent national polling reveals that nearly 75% of likely voters support term limits for [continue reading…]

 December 16, 2016  Posted by at 12:35 am Issue #197, Letter to the Editor No Responses »
Dec 092016
 
Fight at Key West High / Student Arrested

IF PUBLIC SCHOOLS ARE TO SURVIVE… Commentary by Arnaud and Naja Girard……. Last week’s Blue Paper report on the re-segregation of Key West’s public schools has generated a lot of comments and questions.  What makes the new charter schools so appealing to mostly white parents? The video of a recent fight at Key West High speaks for itself. Academics are a great concern for parents and so is safety. We had previously received similar reports of kids ganging up on a lone student: Four kids [continue reading…]

Dec 022016
 
Open Letter: White Flight?

by Larry Murray……. Andy: In today’s Keynoter, you are quoted with regard to the proposed Collegiate Middle School: “How can we be sure that this will not result in one more white-flight school?” Very interesting comment that is likely to have the community talking and then some. When you say “ONE MORE white-flight school” (emphasis added), I assume you are referencing Poinciana School, Montessori Charter School and Sigsbee Charter School as existing “white-flight” schools. Correct? Or, are you referencing other schools? You cannot be identifying [continue reading…]

 December 2, 2016  Posted by at 12:46 am Dr. Larry Murray, Issue #195, Letter to the Editor No Responses »
Nov 252016
 
Profitability of Advanced Placement Courses

by Larry Murray……. We are all familiar with the profitability of Advanced Placement courses for students. That is their main purpose. First of all, students receive a higher level of instruction in AP classes than is ordinarily the case. Because of the additional training given to TEACHERS, the quality of instruction is much higher. Equally important is the fact that students who score a 3 or higher on a 5 point scale are usually given college credit for the class. The net is that they [continue reading…]

 November 25, 2016  Posted by at 1:04 am Dr. Larry Murray, Issue #194, Letter to the Editor 4 Responses »
Nov 252016
 
Healthcare: Can it Survive the New Administration?

by John Hobbins, MD……. The mushroom cloud has cleared enough to see behind it. The exit polls have shown that the most common reason for voting for Trump was “the economy”, a euphemism for “what’s in it for me”. So a business man has been chosen to provide more for the “me’s” in our country. Never mind that this political neophyte’s rhetoric reeks of misogyny, racism, religious bigotry, and, ironically, a lack of respect for the very people this billionaire professes to represent – the middle [continue reading…]

 November 25, 2016  Posted by at 1:02 am ~ Opinion ~, Editorial, Issue #194 2 Responses »
Nov 252016
 
Smith is Not a Scientist But He Did Try to Play One on TV

by Walter Lagraves……. Dear Editor: A recent Facebook video put up by NEVER AGAIN FOUNDATION LLC (slick name isn’t it!) featured a Mr. Smith damning the use of GMM to protect the public against Zika is worth checking out. Just for the record, Never Again Foundation LLC is a brand new group dedicated to halting the use of GMM in protecting you and I from Zika and other diseases. Smith immediately began misleading the viewer by stating that he was “down here testifying.” I don’t think [continue reading…]

 November 25, 2016  Posted by at 12:50 am Issue #194, Letter to the Editor No Responses »
Nov 252016
 
Raining on the Sunshine

Public Comment by Captain Ed Davidson, Monroe County School Board, District 3……. Board comments at last evening’s school board meeting raise some serious, cautionary concerns about impending potential violations of Florida’s Government in the Sunshine law. When the issue of extending Superintendent Porter’s contract was raised, Andy Griffith stated that he wanted to vote on it at the very next meeting, though Chairman John Dick responded that the board had not yet publicly discussed the issues involved. This pressure to immediately extend the existing superintendent [continue reading…]

 November 25, 2016  Posted by at 12:48 am Issue #194, Letter to the Editor No Responses »
Nov 252016
 
Just Another Bull Shit Artist?

by Eugene E. Nanay Jr…….. An Open Letter to President Elect Trump: Sir, you ran on a platform of LAW and Order. It was the people’s hope that elected you, myself included, that you were the New Hope. You would stop Americas slide down the drain, you would begin the repairs to the Constitution that eight years of attacks and the prospect of four more of the same might bring. Now it appears that you’re just another sleazy politician. Here’s a person in the most sensitive [continue reading…]

 November 25, 2016  Posted by at 12:46 am Issue #194, Letter to the Editor 8 Responses »
Nov 182016
 
State Attorney Catherine Vogel Asks for Community's Kindness after Tragic Death of Beloved Assistant State Attorney Manny Madruga

Dear Editor, On behalf of the Office of the State Attorney I wish to thank everyone who has expressed their condolences on the unexpected passing of Chief Assistant State Attorney Manny Madruga.  Our wish is that we honor his memory by acknowledging his great accomplishments.  Manny was a graduate of the University of Miami School of Law.  He was first hired by State Attorney Kirk Zuelch in 1990 straight out of Law School.  While at the State Attorney Office Manny distinguished himself by prosecuting some [continue reading…]

 November 18, 2016  Posted by at 1:08 am Letter to the Editor 1 Response »
Nov 182016
 
We Train Soldiers for War. Let's Train Them to Come Home, Too

Before soldiers are sent into combat, they’re trained on how to function in an immensely dangerous environment. But they also need training on how to return from the battlefield to civilian life, says psychologist Hector Garcia. Applying the same principles used to prepare soldiers for war, Garcia is helping veterans suffering from PTSD get their lives back.

 November 18, 2016  Posted by at 1:02 am ~ Opinion ~, Editorial, Issue #193 1 Response »
Nov 182016
 
Big Pine Key Florida.circa..........2066

Dear Editor, by John Gerace……. An Excerpt from an upcoming true to life novel……… Oliver found himself riding on the 200 Mile per hour electro-magnetic monorail that went from Atlanta down to Key West………. As the 200 m.p.h. train crossed the East coast of Big Pine he heard a voice come over the intercom……. ‘ Ladys and Gentlemen………out your right window is the Island of Big Pine’ Once upon a time it was home to the now extinct Key Deer… and yes there used to [continue reading…]

 November 18, 2016  Posted by at 12:53 am Issue #193, Letter to the Editor No Responses »
Nov 182016
 
Anti GMO FaceBook Groups Serve Up Lie Pie

by Walter Lagraves……. Dear Editor, As of today there are more than 1177 reported cases of Zika in Florida. There are no 8 known cases n our Keys community. The other day “Never Again”, probably the loudest anti-GMM voice on Facebook, served up yet another lie pie. It was a noxious pastry chock full of falsehoods and seasoned with mendacity. Never Again has no respect for your intelligence. They believe you to be sufficiently inane to not check them for truth. They claimed that Oxitec was [continue reading…]

 November 18, 2016  Posted by at 12:52 am Issue #193, Letter to the Editor No Responses »
Nov 182016
 
Building 103 as the Boxing Gym

by Paul Williams……. Dear Editors, There is, perhaps, a readily available solution to the cultural threat posed by locating a citywide, multi – ethnic boxing gym 50 feet from Shine Forbes’s old house… uh, even though Kermit, himself, might have been fine with precisely that picture. Other people are not. They wish something else could be arranged. Well, it could; but Islanders, Both white and black, would, first, actually have to Stop for a moment and Think …. about what a suitable PAL alternative might [continue reading…]

 November 18, 2016  Posted by at 12:48 am Issue #193, Letter to the Editor 1 Response »
Nov 182016
 
Are We Being Fooled Again?

by Eugene E Nanay Jr. ……. Dear Editor, Climate Change, it’s been going on for Billions of years without Man’s help. Don’t believe me, ask the Rocks. Lately there is a growing movement that is claiming that man and his machines Are what’s causing this phenomenon. A study in 2010 showed that Human activity was Estimated to be in 35Billion MetricTones of CO2 thrown into the atmosphere annually. Now the Industrial Revolution started Approximately 270 years ago. You figure the math. Now let’s look at [continue reading…]

 November 18, 2016  Posted by at 12:46 am Issue #193, Letter to the Editor No Responses »
Nov 182016
 
The JFK Assassination: A Summary of Key Points and Theories

by Ben Volpian……. In remembrance of the anniversary of the JFK assassination [November 22, 1963], I present a summary of key points and theories, of which some findings are new and brought to light after decades of research and the use of state-of-the-art technology: 1) The Magic Bullet Theory that a single bullet hit both JFK and Gov. Connally has been proven to be entirely possible. The jump seat that Gov. Connally was sitting in was actually to the left of JFK and lower and [continue reading…]

 November 18, 2016  Posted by at 12:43 am Editorial, Issue #193 5 Responses »
Nov 112016
 
A US Attorney that followed THE LAW!

by Eugene E. Nanay Jr…….. Dear Editor, Just read this week that Janet Reno just passed away. Janet was a Florida girl who is remembered as being the 1st Female US Attorney. However, Janet’s most important action taken on her watch was to send the “Illegal Alien” back where he came from. There was extreme pressure from the Government and the Cuban population of Miami to let Elian Gonzolez stay in Miami with his grandparents. Elian’s Father and Elian himself wanted him to be back in Cuba. [continue reading…]

 November 11, 2016  Posted by at 12:58 am Issue #192, Letter to the Editor 2 Responses »
Nov 112016
 
Whiny Liberal Cry Babies!

by Rick Roberts……. Who has noticed how whiny the press is that Trump won? At least give him a shot at it? $10,000,000,000,000 in expenditure and the guy before him was still the worst president EVER! He f-ing blew that much money and still sucked more than any president ever has. Trump can’t be worse, only equal, it just can’t be any worse. You will all get this email in a few years with your biting replies and realize he did what you thought he [continue reading…]

 November 11, 2016  Posted by at 12:57 am Issue #192, Letter to the Editor 2 Responses »
Nov 112016
 
Poker Run: Careful What You Wish For...

by Eugene Nanay….. It’s NOT about the Noise, it’s NOT about the Law, it’s about THE MONEY 💰. Heard this famous quote on US1 radio from Mayor Weekly In response to the winers and crybabies complaining about the noise the motorcycles make when Peterson’s Porker Run/Key West Bike Week comes to town. Well, it appears that you are getting what you wished for. Just heard that the Key West Rotary club is pulling the plug on the sponsorship. When the folks at Peterson’s Harley Davidson [continue reading…]

 November 11, 2016  Posted by at 12:56 am ~ Opinion ~, Issue #192, Letter to the Editor No Responses »
Nov 112016
 
Right to Representation

by Greg Daniels, KES Advisory Committee Representative District 2……. Dear Editor, The Keys Energy Services board voted in 2002 to change the name of “City Electric System” to “Keys Energy Services”. One of the reasons for this change was electric system no longer just served the citizens of Key West, but the entire Lower Keys. The new name, Keys Energy Services better reflected the utility and their customers and services. The inclusive attitude of the Keys Energy Board is continuing today with a move to [continue reading…]

 November 11, 2016  Posted by at 12:56 am Issue #192, Letter to the Editor No Responses »
Nov 042016
 
Local Physicians: "Vote NO on GM Mosquitoes"

by John Norris, MD……. Dear Editor: Vote NO to the GM mosquito. Three dozen Key Haven, Florida area physicians have petitioned for the adult-to-be-released genetically modified (GM) mosquitoes to be cultured for resistant bacteria before any release. The issue of unintended promotion of bacteria resistance through the GM creation process has sparked at least one political campaign to demand more information related to 3rd party safety data. The World Health Organization points out that 700000 men women and children will die each year from resistant [continue reading…]

 November 4, 2016  Posted by at 1:09 am Letter to the Editor No Responses »
Nov 042016
 
Mosquito Control: Rebuttal

by Walter Lagraves……. Dear Editor: Last Friday Ralph DePalma wrote a letter to the editor slamming certain members of the current Florida Keys Mosquito Control Board and promoting the candidacy of certain persons now competing for a seat on that Board. He wrote in support of incumbent candidate Commissioner Steve Smith and others. Mr. DePalma’s letter made good reading if you are a fan of fiction. But it is redolent with the aroma of sour grapes and mendacity. While you’re reading what follows please consider that [continue reading…]

 November 4, 2016  Posted by at 1:08 am Issue #191, Letter to the Editor 1 Response »
Nov 042016
 
Some Mosquito Control Candidates Funded by Anti-GMO PAC

by Walter Lagraves……. Dear Editor: When I first heard the wailing and rage that a large American operation with ties to Britain had been spending money on a local PAC to influence the vote on the Key Haven Oxitec field trial….I yawned and said “so what”…this is America, free speech rules. There is much more to the story. An examination of public records reveals that a current Florida Keys Mosquito Control Board member and two candidates for the board have taken substantial sums of money from [continue reading…]

 November 4, 2016  Posted by at 1:07 am Issue #191, Letter to the Editor 1 Response »
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 212016
 
Last Stand: Vote NO on GM Mosquito Trial

Dear Editor, Last Stand recommends citizens vote NO on the non-binding polls about using genetically modified mosquitoes in an effectiveness trial in Monroe County that appear at the end of the November 8th ballot. Three prior trials have shown significant reduction in Ae.aegypti mosquitoes that can transmit disease to humans. But that is all those trials measured. The introduction of these mosquitoes into the United States will not allow Monroe County or the FDA to learn anything from the Oxitec experiment about the impacts to [continue reading…]

 October 21, 2016  Posted by at 12:46 am Issue #189, Letter to the Editor No Responses »
Oct 212016
 
Guest Column: Truman Waterfront Update

by Ben Volpian……. Occasionally when I run into someone I know, instead of commenting on the weather or other small talk, they will ask me how are things going at the Truman Waterfront Park. My reply varies, but sometimes I will say something like, “Well, that’s a good question, and if you have a couple of hours I’ll go over it with you.” I’m just kidding around with them and they know it because we both know that the question, “how are things going,” is just [continue reading…]

 October 21, 2016  Posted by at 12:42 am ~ Opinion ~, Editorial, Issue #189 No Responses »
Oct 212016
 
Mosquitoes / Zika: Not Amused

by Walter Lagraves……. Dear Editor: Yesterday, for the first time, the Feds urged that every pregnant woman who has spent time in Miami Dade be tested for Zika. 30 new known cases of Zika per week are being reported by the Florida Department of Health. On 10/19 there were 1044 known cases. 1044. On 10/12 there were 1014 known cases. It’s estimated that 80% of Zika victims are asymptomatic. You decide how many cases go unreported. Here in Monroe County the annual birth rate is about [continue reading…]

 October 21, 2016  Posted by at 12:40 am Issue #189, Letter to the Editor No Responses »
Oct 142016
 
Falsehood

by John Prosser……. In the last few weeks, I have read several newspaper articles that included quotes, and heard a radio interview with FKAA’s Executive Director that were fraught with misinformation. FKAA appears to be intentionally misleading public opinion concerning the recent lawsuit against coerced placement of sewage pump stations on private property. Zuelch claimed that the DOAH already heard a similar complaint: “we have been here before.” He claimed the grinders were judged fine. That is untrue. The Dump the Pumps complaint protested construction permits [continue reading…]

 October 14, 2016  Posted by at 12:52 am Issue #188, Letter to the Editor 4 Responses »