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 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
 
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 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…]

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 »
Mar 182016
 
Harry Bethel Puts Local Hospital on the Hot Seat...

An Open Letter to the Lower Keys Hospital District Board and To all Elected State, County, City and Public Agency Officials. Dear Mr. Levin and District Board Members, I am a Conch and a resident of Key West. I have served on the boards of many Keys Institutions and have served as a Key West City Commissioner. There are 4 generations of Bethels living in Key West as I write this letter. By virtue of my standing in the community I come into contact with [continue reading…]

Mar 182016
 
When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get Going / Go Bernie!

2016 is not a time for politics as usual, especially for a progressive person who is forced to watch the deterioration of his nation and its founders’ dreams of freedom and justice for all. Our government has been virtually high-jacked by corporations, which have always been the bane of the 13- states that ratified the Declaration of Independence and the Constitutions — with its attendant Bill of Rights. Corporations not “We the People” are now in political control with their astronomical wealth. The American middle-class [continue reading…]

 March 18, 2016  Posted by at 12:41 am Issue #158, Letter to the Editor No Responses »
Mar 182016
 
Animal Control

Letter to the Editor: The Upper Keys animal shelter still has the highest kill rate of all the animal shelters in the Keys. By far. According to numbers submitted to Monroe County, the Upper Keys took in 736 cats and dogs in 2015. They euthanized 468 or 64%. Compare that to the Middle Keys shelter which euthanized only 19% percent of370 cats and dogs received or to the Lower Keys shelter which euthanized only 22% of 1025 cats and dogs received. Why is there such [continue reading…]

 March 18, 2016  Posted by at 12:40 am Issue #158, Letter to the Editor 6 Responses »
Mar 132016
 
LETTER TO THE EDITOR: FANTASY FEST / JUST SAY "NO" TO BUSINESS AS USUAL

It is past time for the other City Commissioners to join Margaret Romero and just say “NO” to “business as usual” in Key West. Buried near the bottom of the upcoming City Commission Meeting on March 16, 2016, is the innocuous sounding agenda Item #14, which calls for a one year extension of the agreement between the City and the TDA (Tourist Development Association). If adopted this would extend the Fantasy Fest contract for another year, putting the taxpayers on the hook for another subsidy [continue reading…]

 March 13, 2016  Posted by at 1:09 pm Letter to the Editor 1 Response »
Mar 112016
 
PEARY COURT: It's Just Another Development

by Harry Powell, It’s just another development for Pete’s sake, so nothing special or what we really need. It’s not a “good deal. ” Commissioner Romero is correct. The resolution earmarking “profits to an affordable housing trust fund” is clearly a marketing ploy to convince the voters that “this is a good deal.” Some City officials are asking us to worship this sacred cow of Peary Court “in the name of affordable housing.” It’s not what we need to buy. There is likely going to [continue reading…]

Mar 112016
 
Voting Really Matters

To the Editor: Here we are a week away from election day, and I’m wondering: is anyone else out there feeling as conflicted and fearful as I am? I know, though, that the foundation of our democracy (democratic republic, actually, but same difference) is the true and collective will of the people, and the only was to determine that is at the ballot box. I know this election season is crazy-making. I know I’d often like to toss the TV out a window. I know [continue reading…]

 March 11, 2016  Posted by at 12:36 am Issue #157, Letter to the Editor No Responses »
Mar 052016
 
School Board Member Davidson: Vote Yes  / Don't Punish Striving Students and Dedicated Teachers

by Captain Ed Davidson……. There are a number of highly significant, precedent-setting, and historically impactful policy-level issues arising from the HOB daycare mis-funding/cover-up scandal that the School Board should discuss forthrightly after having had the time to carefully review the results of the thorough composite investigations that have now occurred — discussions that were not possible at the last meeting when the ink was still wet on investigative reports that had been delivered to the Board (and the public) at literally the last minute.

 March 5, 2016  Posted by at 9:56 pm ~ Opinion ~, Letter to the Editor 4 Responses »
Mar 042016
 
The Devil is in the Details

Dear Editor, They say, “The Devil is in the details.” So true when it comes to the March 15 referendums on Peary Court. We citizens of Key West are offered what appear to be two similar referendums. But, read more carefully. One is titled: “Authorization to purchase Peary Court to use as workforce housing.” Nothing in this referendum mentions “affordable” housing! It seeks to purchase, use, and hold the property for workforce housing. “Workforce housing” requires 70% or more of residents’ household income be from [continue reading…]

 March 4, 2016  Posted by at 12:52 am Issue #156, Letter to the Editor 2 Responses »
Mar 042016
 
Will Space Become Heaven? Not likely

by Paul Williams……. The first thing Bernie Sanders has to do as Ringmaster, after he puts down the Bat phone with Putin, is to wrangle the new herd of privatizing Space Monkeys back into line where they belong. It seems the modern replacement units for Morgan, Rockefeller and Ford have decided that, for them, the sky should not be the limit. Teslas are all right on Broadway or the Champs Elysee, but – why just go global when your kids could inherit the whole Universe? [continue reading…]

 March 4, 2016  Posted by at 12:38 am Issue #156, Letter to the Editor No Responses »
Feb 262016
 
Big Thanks to the Mom & Pops

Dear Editor, The 25th Kelly McGillis Classic Women’s & Girls Flag Football Championship Tournament was last month, in Key West. For the past 25 years. We have brought national and international teams to this city to play some great flag football, be the pro or the beginner. All different types of female flag football players have come to this great city for the event. The tournament has been filmed by NFL Films, Inc. and ‘Football America’ which show cases women’s flag football, Key West and [continue reading…]

 February 26, 2016  Posted by at 12:51 am Issue #155, Letter to the Editor No Responses »
Feb 262016
 
Open Letter to the Monroe County School Board

Demise of the Audit & Finance Committee Gentlemen: Be generous; be merciful. Put the Audit and Finance Committee out of its misery. Send its members off gently into the good night. You never much cared for the AFC. It was veritably forced upon you in the wake of the Acevedo scandal and you have never looked to it as a significant asset. There were members of the AFC that you so disliked that you deposed them, witness Stuart Kessler and myself. There were members of [continue reading…]

 February 26, 2016  Posted by at 12:50 am Dr. Larry Murray, Issue #155, Letter to the Editor No Responses »
Feb 262016
 
Open Letter to Mayor Cates

Dear Mayor, I am asking you please! Do not rush into any plans for the new dock master building at Key West, Garrison Bight Marina at Roosevelt Blvd and Palm Ave. We have not had a public meeting about this important building! I feel it must be a building that the community and visitors see and say, “Yes! This is the entrance into the famous historic waterfront distinct – What a great building!” I have tried to follow the plans for the new dock master [continue reading…]

 February 26, 2016  Posted by at 12:48 am Issue #155, Letter to the Editor 1 Response »
Feb 262016
 
Down On the Border…

Dear Editor, Watching the Republicans in debate has been painful for many voters in recent weeks. There has been a lot of heat, mostly from Mr. Trump, but not much useful light. For instance: Immigration is a top issue, and if you’re satisfied with semi-plausible, boilerplate rhetoric, all of the candidates have tried hard to oblige. Although Mr. Trump has had at least the loudest Republican voice, it may not count. Now the Pope has magically appeared on the exact spot where the Donald wants [continue reading…]

 February 26, 2016  Posted by at 12:44 am Issue #155, Letter to the Editor No Responses »
Feb 192016
 
Goombay & Fantasy Fest: Don't Throw The Baby Out With The Bathwater

by Ken Sullivan……. As the lead organizer of the family friendly opening event of this two weeks of fun, frolic and fundraising, I have something to add to the debate about Fantasy Fest. We have endured insults and accusations that questioned the integrity and motives of our worldwide charitable organization that gives tirelessly to the members and community we serve. If you live in Bahama Village, the neighborhood that surrounds the graveyard, low income areas of Stock Island and other depressed regions in lower Monroe [continue reading…]

Feb 192016
 
Kill All The Cats

Dear Editor, I’ve been taken aback by some heartless and uninformed comments appearing in some of our local newspapers. An individual is calling for all cats that are living in cat colonies, to be forcibly taken from their caregivers and killed. Many citizens deem this recommendation as cruel, inhumane and merciless. A person is entitled to their opinion, however, they’re not entitled to make up facts and spew misinformation, in support of such bloodshed. It’s alarming that someone who appears to be an intelligent individual [continue reading…]

 February 19, 2016  Posted by at 12:58 am Issue #154, Letter to the Editor 4 Responses »
Feb 122016
 
Open Letter to Commissioner Jimmy Weekley

Commissioner Weekley, I am a Peary Court resident and attended your Housing First PAC meeting on Feb 4th. After hearing you speak, there is no doubt that you care passionately for city workers. The following are just a few of my thoughts as the meeting progressed. There are often unintended consequences of any project. I know that you personally did not intend to scare and/or alienate families in Peary Court; unfortunately you did. (1) If the referendum passes and the city purchases Peary Court – [continue reading…]

 February 12, 2016  Posted by at 1:06 am Issue #153, Letter to the Editor 6 Responses »
Feb 122016
 
Many Thanks

Dear Editor, I expect this will be an unusual email for you to receive as it’s from an ‘older’ person in England who can’t wait to open and read the Blue Paper every week! Colin (my husband) first visited Key West in 2006 and because we instantly fell in love with the Island we’ve returned three times since. Once for two weeks and twice for three weeks in late May/early June, and each time it felt harder to leave. However, since I retired we haven’t been able to afford the [continue reading…]

 February 12, 2016  Posted by at 1:04 am Issue #153, Letter to the Editor No Responses »
Feb 122016
 
An Attack on the Constitution

Freedom, the reason for America. People came here to escape. To be free from something. A document was created to insure that there was freedom. That document is under attack by individuals who want everyone to conform to their demands. Political Correctness, the evil that is castrating America. I, as in me, an individual, feel uncomfortable with the term “Founding Fathers”, as it is Gender Biased. The statue of a Confederate General in the town square makes me, as an individual, uncomfortable because it reminds [continue reading…]

 February 12, 2016  Posted by at 1:02 am Issue #153, Letter to the Editor 3 Responses »
Feb 052016
 
Who Knew What and When Did They Know It?

An Open Letter To The School Board Gentlemen: We are all anxiously looking forward to Superintendent Mark Porter’s report at next Tuesday’s Board meeting regarding the missing $20,000 in the daycare operation at HOB School. This is Superintendent Porter’s third try at determining what went wrong and who was responsible. They say that three times is a charm and we all expect a thorough, detailed and comprehensive exposition, the final word on the subject. I am particularly interested in the first paragraph of the report [continue reading…]

 February 5, 2016  Posted by at 1:22 am Dr. Larry Murray, Issue #152, Letter to the Editor 1 Response »
Jan 222016
 
Enjoy it While it Lasts!

Dear Editor, You’d better enjoy these low gas prices while you can. Just read that the head of British Petroleum (BP) said OIL Prices Will Rise. How many of you remember back in ’72-’73 when the government created Oil Shortage, which was another big LIE perpetuated by them claiming we were running out of oil. I had talked to some employees of Badger Pipeline and was advised of the lie. I was told of the oil tankers anchored offshore waiting to unload because there was NO [continue reading…]

 January 22, 2016  Posted by at 12:56 am Issue #150, Letter to the Editor No Responses »
Jan 152016
 
Wounded Warrior Cyclists

To The Editor: Being a non-veteran bicyclist, I was still overcome with gratitude and compassion, as I viewed the Wounded Warrior Cyclists begin their journey South to Key West. The heartfelt and respectful greeting given by those assembled at VFW Post 10211 in Key Largo, to these severely disabled veterans, brought tears to my eyes. Dennis Ward and John Donnelly were honored with plaques, for their commitment to this rehabilitative project. Sheriff Ramsay’s deputies safely guided, protected and encouraged these riders throughout the day. State [continue reading…]

 January 15, 2016  Posted by at 1:10 am Issue #149, Letter to the Editor No Responses »
Jan 082016
 
No National Merit Scholarship Program?  If Not, Why Not?

Editor: Some time before Christmas when the School District comes to a grinding, two week halt, I sent a simple and direct email to Superintendent Porter requesting information about academic activity. The question was: “Can you tell me if the Monroe County School District participates in the National Merit Scholarship Program and, if so, how well have we done?” Because of the academic nature, I copied Theresa Axford, Executive Director of Teaching and Learning. Neither has deigned to respond to my query. I am not [continue reading…]