May 272016
 
School Board's Discussion on Henriquez Rehiring: "[silence]"

FRONT PAGE COMMENTARY by Arnaud and Naja Girard……. NOT TO SPEAK IS TO SPEAK, NOT TO ACT IS TO ACT We wondered this week just how the Monroe County School Board was going to justify the rehiring of a disgraced employee, twice embroiled in school district financial scandals. While the board did approve the $105,000 a year salary for Mike Henriquez in his new, specially tailored, Director’s job, they simply made sure, during the public meeting, to never once utter his name. This is how the board, in [continue reading…]

May 202016
 
Tribute to a Dying Breed: Key West’s Vicious Van Dweller Criminals

by Sloan Bashinsky……. Something happened yesterday, May 19, 2016, which caused me to go to my website, goodmorningkeywest.com, and find the February 16, 2015 post: “Michelangelo Giuseppe Peluso, a Key West living treasure, did it his way”. I felt moved to pull excerpts from that post into an article for the blue paper. So here goes, ~~~~~~~~~~~~ What a sense of humor the angels have. A while back, I gave my Toyota Highlander to the mechanic who took care of it, for him to sell [continue reading…]

 May 20, 2016  Posted by at 1:07 am ~ Opinion ~, Editorial, Issue #167 No Responses »
May 202016
 
"All Thoughts of GMO Mosquito Release Should Be Abandoned."

Dear Editor: Following my past Letter to Editor, I authored a 2,000+ word article in TheBluePaper.com outlining additional research and questioning why GMO mosquitoes are even considered. I continued my research, wondering why Zika suddenly became serious enough to spark recent media hysteria and predictions of epidemics. I found some disturbing correlations that suggest all thoughts of GMO mosquito release should be abandoned. Consider the cause of the Zika epidemic a mystery to be solved. Here are some clues: The Zika virus was isolated by [continue reading…]

 May 20, 2016  Posted by at 1:05 am Issue #167, Letter to the Editor 3 Responses »
May 202016
 
Response to County Mayor Carruthers

Dear Editor, In a recent letter to the editor, Monroe County Mayor, Heather Carruthers, discussed her opposition to single-member districts. The letter glosses over very real and very significant problems with the current system. Carruthers claims that the at-large system allows voters to influence county commissioners from other districts. With SMD elections, you vote for one Commissioner every four years. In our current at-large elections, you get to vote for all five Commissioners every four years, and for at least 40% of the Commission every [continue reading…]

 May 20, 2016  Posted by at 1:04 am Issue #167, Letter to the Editor 13 Responses »
May 202016
 
Response to County Mayor Carruthers

Dear Editor, Mayor Caruthers comments in her letter: “Being a County Commissioner requires many practical things, including a flexible schedule, accessibility and travel. It is difficult to manage a normal 40-hour work week and effectively serve, and more difficult to support a family solely on a Commissioner’s salary.” This validates citizen’s concerns that new entrants must be wealthy or beholden to special interests for funding a Keys wide campaign. Ask yourself: “Who would possibly be against letting citizens decide how they elect their local representatives?” [continue reading…]

 May 20, 2016  Posted by at 1:04 am Issue #167, Letter to the Editor 1 Response »
May 202016
 
I Don't Know's On Third

by Thomas L. Knapp……. Philip Rucker and Robert Costa of the Washington Post report that Mitt Romney and other establishment Republicans are unsheathing their threatened final sword: Attempting to put together an “independent” Republican presidential campaign versus GOP nominee-apparent Donald Trump. The draft effort’s reputed short list includes Ohio governor John Kasich and US Senator Ben Sasse (R-NE). Good idea or bad idea? Depends on how one looks at it. If the goal is partisan Republican victory this November, two Republican candidates — one chosen [continue reading…]

 May 20, 2016  Posted by at 1:02 am ~ Opinion ~, Editorial, Issue #167 No Responses »
May 202016
 
Older Adults: Include Connectedness in your Hurricane Plan

By Dr. Dan Dodgen, Director of the Division for At-Risk Individuals, Behavioral Health, and Community Resilience, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Hurricane season is fast approaching and disaster preparedness should be something that everybody, including older Americans, is thinking about. It only takes one hurricane to change your life and your community. But that one hurricane can do some serious damage, especially if you aren’t ready for it. Bouncing back after a storm isn’t [continue reading…]

 May 20, 2016  Posted by at 12:54 am ~ Opinion ~, Editorial, Issue #167 No Responses »
May 132016
 
County Mayor Heather Carruthers: On Single Member Districts

The Mayor’s Letter to the Editor: There’s some talk right now about changing to single-member district (SMD) voting for Monroe County Commission seats. From my perspective, SMD elections would diminish voter representation and lead to legislative gridlock. With SMD elections, you vote for one Commissioner every four years. In our current at-large elections, you get to vote for all five Commissioners every four years, and for at least 40% of the Commission every two years. Suppose your SMD-elected Commissioner disagrees with you on a particular [continue reading…]

May 132016
 
Open Letter to the School Board: Cash Settlements and School Discipline

Gentlemen: According to news reports, MCSD is considering a lump sum $550,000 payout to the family of a profoundly autistic elementary school student. Purportedly, the child was molested by a substitute teacher who is now in federal prison. Again, according to news reports, the suit in federal court was brought not entirely because of the molestation, but because of the allegations that the child’s mother reported the incident(s) to officials at Sugarloaf School and was ignored. One expects that there is a foundation, a truthfulness, [continue reading…]

May 132016
 
Stock Island's Taj Mahal

Dear Editor, At last month’s BOCC meeting, the commission approved funding renovations for Bernstein Park in Stock Island. It is a small park which kids and adults use who live in Stock Island as well as other groups in the keys. The cost will be 8 million dollars. In 2013, when the project first came up, the cost to lift the field for flood, build new bathrooms and a storage space for equipment to maintain the park, was estimated at 3 million. Why now should [continue reading…]

 May 13, 2016  Posted by at 12:44 am Issue #166, Letter to the Editor 2 Responses »
May 132016
 
Government & Technology: A Modest Proposal

by Thomas L. Knapp……. Twitter’s making it just a little bit harder for the US intelligence community to surveil your online activity. As Kevin McCoy of USA Today reports, the company “told Dataminr, the business partner that sifts through and provides access to the full output of Twitter’s social media postings known as tweets, that it didn’t want the service provided to government investigators …” I’m sure the National Security Agency and other organizations will come up with their own tools to monitor your 140-character [continue reading…]

 May 13, 2016  Posted by at 12:34 am ~ Opinion ~, Editorial, Issue #166 No Responses »
May 062016
 
Peary Court Purchase Plan B and the Cornfeld Group

by Martha K. Huggins, Ph.D…….. Commissioner Jimmy Weekly has announced a “Plan B” for the City’s involvement in Peary Court: A “family business” is interested in purchasing Peary Court with Key West City government kicking in 12.5 million in Land Authority money to sweeten the deal. For its $12.5 million portion of the Peary Court purchase, Key West government would lock the Robert Cornfeld “family business’” into a deed-restriction requiring that existing Peary Court properties be dedicated in perpetuity to ‘affordable’ rentals—that is, “affordable” for [continue reading…]

 May 6, 2016  Posted by at 1:04 am ~ Opinion ~, Editorial, Issue #165 6 Responses »
May 062016
 
GMO Mosquitoes: Why Are They Even Considered?

by John Prosser……. While the mainstream media successfully whipped most of the country into a Zika-fearing panic, I smelled a rat and started researching. “Always follow the money.” Pesticide peddlers and Oxitec all stand to make a fortune from fear of mosquitoes that have not been found responsible for a single Zika infection in the continental U.S. It is my opinion that release of Oxitec’s genetically modified mosquitoes in Key Haven may be a very grave mistake. The proponents of GMO anything are quick to call [continue reading…]

 May 6, 2016  Posted by at 1:02 am ~ Opinion ~, Editorial, Issue #165 3 Responses »
May 062016
 
Election 2016: Wherever You Go, There You Are

by Thomas L. Knapp……. Six months ago, who would have bet on Donald Trump as the presumptive GOP presidential nominee, even given juicy odds? But here we are. Who would have predicted the last two Republican presidents, the immediate past GOP presidential nominee, and the Republican Speaker of the House declining even lukewarm endorsements for their party’s horse? Yet that’s what’s happening. Over on the Democratic side, who expected Bernie Sanders to erase Hillary Clinton’s 50-point leads and go toe to toe with her — [continue reading…]

 May 6, 2016  Posted by at 12:51 am ~ Opinion ~, Editorial, Issue #165 1 Response »
May 062016
 
The End of the Bill of Rights is at Our Fingertips

by Thomas L. Knapp……. I recently got my first “smart phone” (I’ve been a late adopter in that particular area of technology). One of the first things I noticed about it was that I could use my fingerprint, rather than a pesky pass code, to unlock it. Much more convenient, isn’t it? A password can be forgotten, but it takes pretty severe physical trauma to lose one’s fingerprint. If your hand gets cut off, your phone is the least of your worries, right? Unfortunately, the [continue reading…]

 May 6, 2016  Posted by at 12:51 am ~ Opinion ~, Editorial, Issue #165 1 Response »
Apr 292016
 
“The Voice From the Other Side of the Band Room Controversy”   

Dear Editor: On January 20, 2016, the six (6) members of the City Commissioners voted to approve funding for the “White Boxing” of the Douglass School Band Room & Shop Building and held their vote on whether the building should house the Roosevelt Sands Health Clinic.  The members of the Frederick Douglass School Black Educators Memorial Project (FDSBEMP) had asked for consideration to be given to the fact that Commissioner Clayton Lopez had met with and promised their group over a 5 year period that [continue reading…]

Apr 292016
 
Peary Court:  The People Said No

Dear Editor, So now we know what PLAN B was for Peary Court, should the March referendum fail as it did. We had been told there were other buyers waiting in the wings…. but they weren’t interested in the deal the city was offered for $55 Million – they wanted MORE for LESS! And it looks like they may get it, despite the voters’ wishes. With a great NEED for ACTUAL affordable housing we need to look at the pros and cons of this latest [continue reading…]

 April 29, 2016  Posted by at 12:46 am Issue #164, Letter to the Editor 4 Responses »
Apr 222016
 
Guest Editorial: The Don Quixote of Mosquito Control

  by Ralph De Palma……. During 2009-2010 mosquito seasons over 100 cases of Dengue Fever were confirmed in mostly Old Town Key West, more cases probably went unconfirmed. The previous Florida Keys Mosquito Control (FKMCD) director Ed Fussell had managed mosquito control for the US Navy for decades. He later managed mosquito control for the entire State of Florida before coming to FKMCD. He has been the past President of the Florida Mosquito Control Association as well as the nationwide American Mosquito Control Association. He reviewed [continue reading…]

 April 22, 2016  Posted by at 1:22 am * Featured Story *, Editorial, Island Voices, Issue #163, News 1 Response »
Apr 222016
 
The Best Thing the Governor Can Do For the Keys

by Margaret Blank……. Good news! Gov. Scott signs Florida Keys Stewardship Act into Law The Florida Keys Stewardship Act is now officially law. It’s a blessing but a mixed one. As always, it is subject to interference and manipulation by the usual suspects. The Keys didn’t get everything they asked for but that’s not necessarily a bad thing – the situation being what it is. As beneficial as the Florida Keys Stewardship Act may be, there is one thing the Governor could do that would have [continue reading…]

 April 22, 2016  Posted by at 12:42 am ~ Opinion ~, Editorial, Issue #163 2 Responses »
Apr 152016
 
We Don’t Have a Parking Problem - We Have a VEHICLE Problem

by Christine Russell……. Uncontrolled numbers of cars has lead to increased parking demand and building more garages and surface lots. When will this short-sighted thinking end?! Instead of building 1 or even 2 parking garages – total $11 MILLION – in Old Town, let’s be a little more forward thinking. Maybe take some of that money and create Park and Rides on some unbuildable lots in the lower Keys, Stock island, and entry to KW for tourists, and workers commuting to KW. Maybe spend some [continue reading…]

 April 15, 2016  Posted by at 12:48 am Issue #162, Letter to the Editor 5 Responses »
Apr 082016
 
Key West’s Black Community Fighting for Survival

by Arnaud and Naja Girard……. Even though the debate at City Hall this week was not officially about race, it shed an unflattering light on Key West’s cultural divide in ways that no journalist could express better than the passionate speakers did on Tuesday night. You’re just going to have to listen for yourself and be amazed. But before you click on the video, we need to make you privy to a few basic facts and to the one little secret that no one “in the know” that night had [continue reading…]

Apr 082016
 
Affordable Rental Nightmare

by Cindy Cody……. I have just realized that I never need to go to Disneyland ever again. If you want the wildest ride in your life do what I just did. I listed a nice clean 2-bedroom mobile home with a big yard cheap on Craig’s List. That’s when it started. I am looking for a long-term renter that takes care of the yard and let’s me know if something needs fixing. It’s 24 hours later and I am tearing out my hair on the [continue reading…]

Apr 082016
 
An Important Note Re: Fantasy Fest 2016

Mr. Robbins, Mayor and Commissioners, My name is Brian Kelly. I have lived in Key West full-time since late 2003. I would like to throw my two cents in on this subject. Every few years, I attend the Fantasy Fest parade, culminating the end of the largest invasion of my town. I am not offended by the raucous parties nor the varying degrees of dress, or more appropriately, undress. I am grossed out, however, by the grandmas and grandpas that manage to lose their inhibitions, [continue reading…]

 April 8, 2016  Posted by at 8:12 am Island Voices, Issue #161, Letter to the Editor 4 Responses »
Apr 082016
 
Government Should Give Us All a Break. A Bathroom Break, That Is.

by Thomas L. Knapp……. Apparently government solved all of society’s real problems while I wasn’t looking. Woo hoo! Violent crime has been eradicated. The Islamist terror threat is no more. Poverty? Everyone’s a millionaire with a Rolls in the driveway. Heck, the Cubs may even win the pennant this year. At least I have to assume all that’s been taken care of. Otherwise the politicians wouldn’t have time to argue over who gets to use which bathroom. And that’s what they’re doing, soooo … Charlotte, [continue reading…]

 April 8, 2016  Posted by at 8:00 am ~ Opinion ~, Editorial, Issue #161 No Responses »
Apr 082016
 
Charting the Course to Excellence: Thank You for Your Support

Twice in the past 18 months the electorate of Monroe County has approved the renewal of financial resources for the Monroe County Schools. In November, 2014, 64% of the voters approved a ten year extension of a ½ cent sales tax for capital projects, technology and school security, and more recently on March 15th nearly 72% of the voters approved a four year renewal of a ½ mill to be used for operating expenses. Both of these initiatives provide essential resources for the Monroe County [continue reading…]

 April 8, 2016  Posted by at 7:06 am ~ Opinion ~, Editorial, Issue #161 No Responses »
Apr 012016
 
GUEST EDITORIAL: Let’s Keep the Park a Park and Not Build a Big Development Project

by Ben Volpian……. As an Advisory Board member of the Truman Waterfront Park, but commenting here strictly as a private citizen, I would like to make a comparison between my Park Plan and two other plans – the Truman Waterfront Master Plan and a Conceptual Plan that was recently released to the public. First, my Park Plan: I have preserved a great deal of open space while still taking under consideration the need and/or the stated REQUIREMENT of having revenue producing features. Two open spaces [continue reading…]

Apr 012016
 
The Voting Delusion

  by Ray Jason……. This November, I heartily encourage all Americans to exercise their civic duty by going to the polls and voting for one of the dignified Presidential candidates that have amazed us this election cycle with their wisdom and compassion. Got ya! APRIL FOOLS DAY!!! Unfortunately, this is not a laughing matter. A large segment of the U.S. population is now very aware of the fact that our political and economic systems have become totally corrupt. And yet these knowledgeable people still cling [continue reading…]

 April 1, 2016  Posted by at 12:32 am ~ Column ~, ~ Opinion ~, Issue #160 No Responses »
Mar 252016
 
Harry Bethel's Open Letter to Governor Scott

Editor’s Note:  After receiving former City Commissioner Harry Bethel’s open letter to Governor Scott [below] we reached out to the Lower Keys Medical Center for comment.  The following is the statement we subsequently received from LKMC spokesperson Randy Detrick: “Lower Keys Medical Center is committed to providing our patients with the medical services and care they need. We encourage any patient who has concerns to contact us directly so that we can investigate and take action as needed for resolution. Any identified issues in Mr. [continue reading…]

 March 25, 2016  Posted by at 1:04 am * Featured Story *, Issue #159, Letter to the Editor 1 Response »
Mar 252016
 
Hospital - Lower Keys Medical Center

Letter to Editor: Physicians and staff at Lower Keys Medical Center did not contact my primary care physician after I requested so three times during my more than two days in the intensive care unit following an emergency admission on August 18, 2014. On August 20, after not having heard from my primary care physician, my partner, Rick Boettger, reached him, Dr. Jack Norris, and Dr. Norris called me on my hospital room telephone. He had no idea until then that I had been hospitalized [continue reading…]

 March 25, 2016  Posted by at 1:00 am Issue #159, Letter to the Editor 1 Response »
Mar 252016
 
56 Years After

To the Readers of the Blue Paper: A poem that celebrates a piece of current news becomes chronologically irrelevant in, like, five minutes. This writer has nothing in his files to commemorate President Obama stepping onto Cuban soil 56 years after I fled Castro’s invasion of Havana on the last plane to Miami and, so, spent the rest of my vacation in my first visit to Key West, changing my life along with how many others then and how many more now? Kirby Congdon

 March 25, 2016  Posted by at 12:58 am Issue #159, Kirby Congdon, Letter to the Editor No Responses »
Mar 252016
 
Taxing the Citizens for Nothing

Dear Editor, I contacted the sewer adviser at FKAA and asked about my new impending utility bill. How is the Sewage portion of my bill calculated? He answered Everything that goes through the water meter is billed as Sewage. I asked what about the 7000 gallons used to top off my pool-Sewage. What about the water I use to irrigate my fruit crops-Sewage. What about the water I use to water my grass-Sewage. How can this be?? Why is FKAA taxing me for something that [continue reading…]

 March 25, 2016  Posted by at 12:56 am Issue #159, Letter to the Editor 3 Responses »