“….a hundred thousand dollars does sound like a lot of money to a lot of people . . .” by Rick Boettger……. County Commissioner Heather Carruthers had the grossest amount of financial misreporting, at $7,427,421, and an additional 138 errors of form between 2012—2015. But before we get into the continuing grim recitation of the details of our county commissioners’ 700+ form errors plus over $15 million dollars in misreported financials, something was brought to my attention that offers a rare splash of humor.
by Thomas L. Knapp……. On November 3, US Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who spent five years as a prisoner of the Taliban in Afghanistan, was sentenced to dishonorable discharge, reduction in rank to private, and a $10,000 fine after pleading guilty to charges of desertion and misbehavior before the enemy. Without hesitation and displaying reckless disregard for his own reputation, US president Donald Trump courageously mounted his keyboard and charged Twitter to pronounce the sentence “a complete and total disgrace to our Country and to [continue reading…]
by Rebecca Rankin….. All right, I admit it. Jennifer Appel and Natasha “Tasha” Fuiava pushed all my buttons. I’m a little pissed. I’ve been fascinated by their story, I’ve read every article I could get my eyes on and listened to all the interviews and press conferences I could get my ears on. This article is my opportunity to stand in front of these women and, in a voice low enough not to be perceived as threatening yet firm enough to be clearly and definitively [continue reading…]
Taxpayers to Pay Up to $50k to Help Them Fill Out Simple Form by Rick Boettger……. News break—I just received a copy of Mark Herron’s contract from an attorney in County Attorney Bob Schillinger’s office. Herron will get $300/hour plus expenses to vet not only the Commissioners’ but their “employees,” whoever that includes, but “. . .do not exceed $49,999.99.” They say this is authorized by Section 2-58(b)(3) of the county code. I, and if necessary my Harvard lawyer, will take a close look at [continue reading…]
by Rick Boettger……. It’s official: the Florida Commission on Ethics affirmed the 16 ethics violations committed by Commissioners Sylvia Murphy, Danny Kolhage, David Rice, and Heather Carruthers at their meeting in Tallahassee today [Friday morning, Oct. 20]. The total fines were even higher than I reported last week, because they imposed a violation for a year for which I did not even file a complaint—in all, it came to $20,000 for the four. The amount of their errors was astounding, far more than I estimated [continue reading…]
by Rick Boettger……. All four admitted violating their sworn financial reporting requirements for the years 2012-2015. David Rice was fined $1,500 for each year; Heather Carruthers and Danny Kolhage, $1,250; and Sylvia Murphy, $1,000 for a total of $19,000 in fines, levied by the Florida Commission on Ethics. In addition, all hired lawyers to meet with the Commission’s investigator and, as I will discuss next week, help them prepare their amended Form 6X’s for all four years, 2012—2015. That was likely more expensive than the [continue reading…]
St. Louis, MO. – With the conclusion of the Burns/Novick “The Vietnam War” series, veterans express dismay over the lack of attention paid to civilian deaths and the legacy of the war on Vietnam. Veterans For Peace, (VFP) founded after the prominent days of Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW), featured in the series, has actively opposed every U.S. military adventure since its founding in 1984. Starting with the Reagan administration’s “contra war” against Nicaragua, to Bush, Obama and now Trump’s wars in Iraq and [continue reading…]
by Art Winstanley……. “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” – (A. Lincoln) I want to make a pivotal distinction here. . . The “United States” and “America” are not necessarily the same thing. 240 years ago, the British Empire waged war against the America because America was hell-bent and determined to be free and independent of an oppressive government. “WE THE PEOPLE” are America.
St. Louis, MO. – Monday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the Trump administration will lift limits on the 1033 program to once again allow local police departments access to surplus military equipment such as grenade launchers, high caliber weapons, tracked vehicles that look like tanks and bayonets. Veterans For Peace condemns the Trump administration’s choice to allow more combat equipment to be transferred from the Pentagon to domestic police forces. As veterans who have used military equipment to train for war and in combat, [continue reading…]
Corals in the Pacific Ocean have been dying at an alarming rate, particularly from bleaching brought on by increased water temperatures. But it’s not too late to act, says TED Fellow Kristen Marhaver. She points to the Caribbean — given time, stable temperatures and strong protection, corals there have shown the ability to survive and recover from trauma. Marhaver reminds us why we need to keep working to protect the precious corals we have left. “Corals have always been playing the long game,” she says, [continue reading…]
Guest Editorial William Deans, flight nurse and long-time Key West resident……. Call it six degrees of separation, or maybe just how a tight-knit community works: with LifeNet operating in the Florida Keys for ten years, it’s hard to find a resident who doesn’t know someone whose life has been touched by air ambulance service.
by Maritza Rodriguez……. SAFETY Activities, meal times, and lessons should always be planned taking safety in consideration to avoid injury, illness or harm to any child in your care. Safety extends into nearly all aspects of a registered home daycare, or a facility. FIRST AID All childhood educators should have up to date First Aid and C.P.R. qualifications in order to provide the best possible care. The emergency kit should always be accessible, it should be checked on a regular basis and restocked if needed. [continue reading…]
by Ben Volpian……. It appears that in the near future there will be a combined meeting of the Key West City Commission, the Bahama Village Redevelopment Advisory Committee (BVRAC) and the Truman Waterfront Advisory Board (TWAB), of which I am a member, but writing here as a private citizen. I’m not sure if this meeting will be a tug-of-war or a food fight (build vs. don’t build – build vs. don’t build), because I’m guessing that the main topic to be discussed will be – to [continue reading…]
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…]
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.
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…]
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…]
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…]
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…]
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…]