Mar 032017
 
The Last Open Lot

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…]

 March 3, 2017  Posted by at 1:09 am ~ Opinion ~, Editorial, Issue #208 1 Response »
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 4 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 »
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 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 »
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
 
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 »
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 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
 
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 »
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
 
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 072016
 
School District Declares "Gorilla" War on Employee Speech

by Thomas L. Knapp……. Teachers’ aide Jane Wood Allen “has been relieved from duty and is no longer an employee of Forsyth County Schools,” the Georgia district announced on October 3. “Racism and discrimination are not tolerated in our school district.” The district’s announcement omits specifics (“[a]s this is a personnel matter, the district will provide not further comment”), leaving the casual observer to assume that she must have tried to force a Muslim or Jewish student to eat pork, or perhaps to segregate student [continue reading…]

 October 7, 2016  Posted by at 12:54 am ~ Opinion ~, Editorial, Issue #187, Thomas L. Knapp 2 Responses »
Oct 072016
 
Papers, Please: Polling Place Edition

by Thomas L. Knapp……. On September 30, a federal judge threw a new wrench into Wisconsin’s voter ID law, ordering an investigation into whether the state’s Division of Motor Vehicles employees properly implemented measures to ensure availability of identity documents to prospective voters. Those employees seem to caught in the middle, torn between assisting the disproportionately African-American poor in getting “documented” on one hand, and fulfilling Republican politicians’ aims of suppressing black voter turnout on the other. Cue world’s smallest violin. At one time — [continue reading…]

 October 7, 2016  Posted by at 12:52 am ~ Opinion ~, Editorial, Issue #187, Thomas L. Knapp 1 Response »
Sep 302016
 
Guest Commentary Regarding the Key West Mosquito Operations Center

Smoke, Mirrors, and Kick the Can … by Steve K. Smith……. ‘We saved the taxpayers $2 Million!’ said the FKMCD chair recently on US1 radio. Chairman Goodman, the majority did NOT save the taxpayers any money. Our taxes will go up this year and for the next two years. What the majority did was delay the inevitable and wasted an additional million or so of our taxpayer dollars. I do not support their decision. The City of Key West decided we had to move, we [continue reading…]

 September 30, 2016  Posted by at 1:08 am ~ Opinion ~, Editorial, Issue #186 13 Responses »
Sep 302016
 
US Military Aid: Thai-ed to Torture

by Thomas L. Knapp……. Amnesty International’s mission is “to conduct research and generate action to prevent and end grave abuses of human rights, and to demand justice for those whose rights have been violated.” Unsurprisingly, the organization’s latest report collects “first-hand testimony of survivors, court documents, medical records and various other forms of evidence relating to 74 cases of torture” in Thailand and urges that country’s legislature and military government to follow through on their claimed commitments to bring an end to the practice. After [continue reading…]

 September 30, 2016  Posted by at 12:56 am ~ Column ~, ~ Opinion ~, Editorial, Issue #186, Thomas L. Knapp 5 Responses »
Sep 232016
 
@Snowden: Give That Man a Medal, Not a "Pardon"

by Thomas L. Knapp……. In the days leading up to the official premiere of Snowden, Oliver Stone’s eponymous biopic of America’s exiled whistleblower, an international movement came together to pressure US president Barack Obama for a pardon. Executive absolution would make it possible for Edward Snowden to return from Russia without facing a show trial and a life (or even death) sentence for his heroism. It’s a fine idea. I support it. But I think it does get things backward and sends the wrong message [continue reading…]

 September 23, 2016  Posted by at 12:54 am ~ Opinion ~, Editorial, Issue #185, Thomas L. Knapp 4 Responses »
Sep 232016
 
Lies, Damned Lies, and Hewlett-Packard Printers

by Thomas L. Knapp……. September 13 was an unlucky day for an unknown number of Hewlett-Packard printer owners. Instead of going dutifully to work, their printers displayed the error message “One or more cartridges appear to be damaged. Remove them and replace them with new cartridges.” The cartridges weren’t damaged, though. The printers had been sabotaged with, for all intents and purposes, malware. And the saboteur was Hewlett-Packard itself. The company built a digital time bomb into its firmware to stop owners of HP printers [continue reading…]

 September 23, 2016  Posted by at 12:52 am ~ Opinion ~, Editorial, Issue #185, Thomas L. Knapp No Responses »
Sep 162016
 
9/12: The Appeal to National Narcissism is Alive and Well

by Thomas L. Knapp……. “The narcissist,” someone once wrote on an Internet discussion forum devoted to the topic, “learns nothing, forgets nothing, and forgives nothing.” In conscious appeal to this tendency, the American political class flocks to shrines in New York, DC and Pennsylvania each year to once again cynically wring as much narcissistic flag-waving hoopla as possible from the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. I generally avoid watching these observances. This year my sole exposure to them was video of Democratic presidential nominee Hillary [continue reading…]

 September 16, 2016  Posted by at 12:44 am ~ Opinion ~, Editorial, Issue #184, Thomas L. Knapp 4 Responses »
Sep 092016
 
DEA Declares (Kr)atomic War on Americans

by Thomas L. Knapp……. In early August, the US Drug Enforcement Administration announced that, contrary to expectations, it wouldn’t remove marijuana from “Schedule 1” (“no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse”). At the end of the month, DEA made another announcement: It intends to add another herbal substance, kratom, to Schedule 1. Why is the DEA picking on kratom? The agency offers numerous excuses — insufficient testing for the plant to have an approved medical use, its historical use as an [continue reading…]

 September 9, 2016  Posted by at 12:42 am ~ Opinion ~, Editorial, Issue #183, Thomas L. Knapp 3 Responses »
Sep 022016
 
Farm Follies: The Cheese Stands Alone (With Its Hand Out)

by Thomas L. Knapp……. On August 23, the US Department of Agriculture announced its plan to purchase 11 million pounds of cheese, at a cost of $20 million. The cheese will be “provided to families in need through USDA nutrition assistance programs,” but the real purpose of the purchase is to reduce excess cheese inventories, “assisting the stalled marketplace for dairy producers whose revenues have dropped 35 percent over the past two years.” Economics 101: When so many people produce so much of the same [continue reading…]

 September 2, 2016  Posted by at 12:36 am ~ Opinion ~, Editorial, Issue #182, Thomas L. Knapp No Responses »
Sep 022016
 
Marijuana Legalization: Give Peace a Chance

by Thomas L. Knapp……. On November 8, voters in eight states will decide whether or not to legalize, to one degree or another, the possession, use and sale of marijuana. If all of the measures pass, more than 86 million Americans will enjoy increased legal access to the plant: For medical use in Arkansas, Florida and Missouri, for recreational use in Arizona, California, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada. Earlier this month, the US Drug Enforcement Administration announced it wouldn’t reconsider marijuana’s ridiculous Schedule 1 status (“no [continue reading…]

 September 2, 2016  Posted by at 12:34 am ~ Opinion ~, Editorial, Issue #182, Thomas L. Knapp No Responses »
Sep 022016
 
Building 103

by Ben Volpian……. Why is Building 103 on the Truman Waterfront Park Quay important? Well, 2 major reasons: 1) The city, hopefully with help from the Tourist Development Council, is prepared to spend $5 million on the design and renovation project with preparations to begin in October. 2) If designed and renovated correctly, this building can be a great addition to not only the park, but also for the entire city. Why do I say designed and renovated correctly? The way I see it, the [continue reading…]

 September 2, 2016  Posted by at 12:28 am ~ Opinion ~, Editorial, Issue #182 4 Responses »
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, Thomas L. Knapp 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, Thomas L. Knapp 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 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
 
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, Thomas L. Knapp 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
 
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, Thomas L. Knapp 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, Thomas L. Knapp No Responses »