Feb 242017
 
EMERGENCY SERVICES UP IN THE AIR

Why LifeNet’s Proposal Must Be Addressed Guest Editorial by Mike Allen…….. It affects every resident of the Keys and everyone who visits. It has a direct impact on your personal safety, your family’s safety, and it could even affect the region’s tourism industry. It is the situation that has left the Keys’ air ambulance services in limbo. As you may have heard or read, the Monroe County Board of County Commissioners recently voted to purchase an additional helicopter for Trauma Star, the county-run emergency air ambulance [continue reading…]

 February 24, 2017  Posted by at 1:06 am Editorial, Issue #207 3 Responses »
Feb 172017
 
Jeff Speck: 4 ways to Make a City More Walkable

Freedom from cars, freedom from sprawl, freedom to walk your city! City planner Jeff Speck shares his “general theory of walkability” — four planning principles to transform sprawling cities of six-lane highways and 600-foot blocks into safe, walkable oases full of bike lanes and tree-lined streets.

 February 17, 2017  Posted by at 12:30 am Editorial, Issue #206 No Responses »
Feb 102017
 
Public Records Law: What About Those School District Text Messages?

Superintendent Porter and School Board: I have expressed to you before my concerns about texting in the conduct of School District business. To my knowledge, only Superintendent Porter has a smart phone provided by the District. Board members provide and maintain their own private phones. Similarly, virtually all District employees have their own phones, not one provided by the District. As a result, there is no District maintained mechanism for storing text messages that might be involved with District operations. Consequently, Public Records Requests for [continue reading…]

 February 10, 2017  Posted by at 1:16 am ~ Opinion ~, Editorial, Issue #205 3 Responses »
Feb 102017
 
Open Letter to KW Mayor and Commissioners

Mayor and Commissioners: Tuesday night’s was the most EMBARRASSING meeting I have ever witnessed. When someone signs up to speak 3-minutes on an agenda item, that is what it is but when that man got up to speak, he looked like a WACKO to begin with but when he started immediately to attack, embarrass and humiliate Commissioner Romero was wrong. It is very sad that the Mayor allowed this man to go on and on and basically he spoke more about Commissioner Romero than the [continue reading…]

 February 10, 2017  Posted by at 1:14 am ~ Opinion ~, Editorial, Issue #205 3 Responses »
Feb 102017
 
Guest Column: Black Patients Matter Too

Racial Bias Puts Patients at Risk by Brookshield Laurent, D.O. Do blacks have less sensitive nerve endings than whites? It’s an outrageously racist question. Yet in a recent survey, 14 percent of white second-year medical students answered yes. In that same survey, about 40 percent of white first- and second-year medical students expressed the belief that black patients have thicker skin than their white counterparts. These findings point to an awful reality: Racial biases and misconceptions remain rampant in our health care system — and [continue reading…]

 February 10, 2017  Posted by at 1:08 am ~ Opinion ~, Editorial, Issue #205 1 Response »
Feb 032017
 
Beautiful New Homes

by Bill Hunter……. Dear Editor, The jury’s out on adequate parking but the developer certainly gets ‘Landscaper of the Year Award.’ A gravel parking lot is now beautiful residences. The occupants are not our children or workforce. These residences house tourists. A consequence of redevelopment is the loss of the working part of a waterfront marina leaving a 175 room tourist hotel and the condominium slips created long ago.

 February 3, 2017  Posted by at 1:04 am Issue #204, Letter to the Editor 1 Response »
Feb 032017
 
Voter Fraud

by Walter Lagraves……. Dear Editor, Mr Knapp’s recent comments denigrating the necessity of a comprehensive investigation into the issue of voter fraud are simply wrong and wrong headed. Contrary to Mr. Knapp’s claim that voter fraud is “rare”, it is not. The reality is that there is sufficient anecdotal and real evidence that voter fraud is a mechanism often used by political operatives that rises to the level of requiring investigation. It is the quality and quantity of that evidence that gives rise to sufficient [continue reading…]

 February 3, 2017  Posted by at 1:00 am Issue #204, Letter to the Editor 2 Responses »
Jan 272017
 
Harry Bethel: Put the Amphitheater Question to Voter REFERENDUM

Mayor & Commissioners, The Truman Waterfront Park is a very sensitive issue with the residents of this community. We don’t need all these controversy’s about the Amphitheater. It is very simple when the property was turned over to the City of Key West it was for the enjoyment of our residents. I know in your hearts that you know that an Amphitheater is NOT NEEDED, nor wanted. Please one of you that voted in the affirmative can bring this back before the City Commission, please [continue reading…]

 January 27, 2017  Posted by at 12:50 am Issue #203, Letter to the Editor 3 Responses »
Jan 202017
 
Key West and President Trump

LOCALS TALK ABOUT NEW PRESIDENT FEATURING ED RUSSO, AUTHOR OF “DONALD J. TRUMP: AN ENVIRONMENTAL HERO” 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. [continue reading…]

Jan 202017
 
About that "Passive Park" at Truman Waterfront: Harry Bethel's Open Letter to the Mayor and City Commissioners

Mayor and Commissioners, I just want to say that I was on the Commission when we acquired the Navy property at the Truman Waterfront and I believe Commissioner Weekley was also on the Commission at that specific time. When we obtained the property there was no doubt it was very clear to the entire Commission that this was the last piece of waterfront property on the island for the residents of our Community. The intent was to turn this property into a VERY NICE passive [continue reading…]

 January 20, 2017  Posted by at 12:57 am ~ Opinion ~, Issue #202, Letter to the Editor 3 Responses »
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?

This article was updated on Feb 5, 2017 Editorial by Naja Girard……. For the past several 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. [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 6 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 »