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 062016
 
Two More Scams Reported

The Sheriff’s Office had two more different types of scams reported Tuesday and would like to make everyone aware so they do not fall victim to these fraudsters. An Islamorada woman called the Sheriff’s Office Tuesday night to report being scammed by someone she believed worked for a legitimate loan company. The 60 year old victim said she was trying to obtain a loan from a company called “Easy Loans”. She said a representative called and agreed to give her a $3,000 loan. He told [continue reading…]

 May 6, 2016  Posted by at 12:54 am Issue #165, News No Responses »
Apr 082016
 
As You Kill Me, So It Is Done Unto Thyself...

  by John Donnelly……. Recent cries by some to expedite the killing of cats, illustrates a callousness and depravity not often found in a civilized society. The justification proffered for slaughtering these sentimental creatures is riddled with flaws  and inaccuracies. These animals are not responsible for any of the complications attributed to their species. They are not, nor have they ever been ‘the problem’. Citizens abandoning and discarding their pets as garbage into the wild are the problem. Rather than emphasizing an ‘accelerated killing program’ [continue reading…]

 April 8, 2016  Posted by at 7:56 am ~ Column ~, John Donnelly 7 Responses »
Apr 012016
 
Detective Seeks Identity of Burglary Suspects

  Sheriff’s Detective David Brummer needs help identifying two suspects captured on video committing a business burglary on Big Pine Key Tuesday evening. Surveillance cameras at M & M Automotive on Avenue A, Big Pine Key shows the two men just after 7 p.m. walking around outside the business near vending machines and near some tires stored outside. They removed a key from a scooter stored at the business. They appear to be looking at tires perhaps to find a specific size. The business reported [continue reading…]

 April 1, 2016  Posted by at 12:49 pm News 1 Response »
Mar 252016
 
Road Rage With Gun: 75-year Old Sugarloaf Key Man Arrested

A Sugarloaf man was arrested Wednesday evening after he pointed a gun at a Big Pine couple on a motorcycle. The incident began at about 6:15 p.m. when 75 year old Matthew Ferro, in his cream colored Cadillac pickup truck, reportedly passed Christy and Robert Velasquez who were traveling southbound on a motorcycle on the Seven Mile Bridge. When the two vehicles reached the Bahia Honda Bridge, the motorcycle reportedly passed the truck followed by the truck passing the motorcycle. Rude gestures were exchanged. The [continue reading…]

 March 25, 2016  Posted by at 1:10 am News 1 Response »
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
 
Commissioners Honor Victims of Slavery

  Mayor Craig Cates and Commissioners Clayton Lopez and Sam Kaufman joined the national day of remembrance for victims of the slave trade by proclaiming March 25th International Day for the Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade. Corey Malcolm, the Director of Archaeology and the Mel Fisher Maritime Museum, accepted the proclamation. “We  here in Key west are fortunate to have with us today — from shipwrecks to cemeteries — a remarkable array of historical reminders from the transatlantic slave [continue reading…]

 March 4, 2016  Posted by at 12:46 am Issue #156, News, Special Events No Responses »
Feb 262016
 
Couple Charged With Fake $100 Bills

A sharp cashier at a Key Largo business helped the Sheriff’s Office catch a couple passing fake $100 bills Thursday. At 3 p.m., Detective Barney Sajdak heard over his police radio a notice to be on the lookout for a vehicle occupied by a couple involved in attempting to pass a fake $100 bill at Mother Ocean Consignment at the 99 mile marker of the highway. The clerk called the Sheriff’s Office after a woman gave her a $100 bill to pay for a purchase; [continue reading…]

 February 26, 2016  Posted by at 12:59 am News No Responses »
Feb 262016
 
Skeletal Remains Identified

Skeletal remains found on Summerland Key in December have been identified as a missing man from Norway. Major Crimes Detective Manny Cuervo says dental records were instrumental in making the positive identification. He says the body of the man found on Summerland Key is that if 56 year old Guiseppe Codiglia. Codiglia was reported missing by his son, Mats Codiglia Weberg in June of 2015. Weberg said his father traveled to the United States in February of 2015 and spent time visiting a friend in [continue reading…]

 February 26, 2016  Posted by at 12:57 am News No Responses »
Feb 262016
 
About 100 Years Ago, It Was Being Said that Florida was Uninhabitable. Then Somebody Invented Mosquito Control

by Dennis Reeves Cooper……. Before the Florida Keys meant sun, sea and Jimmy Buffet, they were famous for mosquitoes– dense, black clouds of them that hummed and bit without pause, spread malaria, dengue and yellow fever, and drove visitors temporarily insane with irritation. At the beginning of the 20th Century, many thought that Florida was virtually uninhabitable and could never be developed. By 1922, however, Dr. J.Y. Porter was on the job as the Florida’s first health officer and was proposing procedures to help control [continue reading…]

 February 26, 2016  Posted by at 12:56 am Island Voices, Issue #155 No Responses »
Feb 222016
 
'Sorry officer, I didn't really mean to point a gun atcha...'

Sheriff’s deputies took a Marathon man into custody peacefully Friday after he reportedly pulled a gun on them as they tried to serve an active warrant. Deputies Danielle Malone, William Daniels and Key Colony Beach Officer John Smith went to a home on 4th Avenue Ocean in Marathon just before 10 p.m. Friday. They were there to serve an arrest warrant on 43 year old David Williams.

 February 22, 2016  Posted by at 11:10 pm News 1 Response »
Feb 202016
 
Florida Keys Mourn a True Community Advocate

Kay Thacker:   “The Blond Bombshell” – An Inspiration To Us All by Christine Russell……. I will never forget the day I met Kay Thacker. As a Key West activist, many years ago I felt the need to pay more attention to county politics when the “Gang of Three” (long ago former county Commissioners) were at the helm and Tom Willi was County Administrator. I knew only what I read in the papers about how the county was running amuck, spending wildly and foolishly (remember [continue reading…]

 February 20, 2016  Posted by at 2:40 pm * Featured Story *, Island Voices 5 Responses »
Feb 182016
 
Small Plane Crash in Florida Keys

A small plane crashed upon trying to land at Tavenero Airport, a small private airport in Tavernier. One person – the pilot – was on board and was not injured. Florida Highway Patrol will be investigating the case. The Federal Aviation Administration has also been notified. When the plane crashed, it hit some phone lines in the area of Plantation Avenue. People who live in that area may experience problems with their service. The phone company has been notified.

 February 18, 2016  Posted by at 8:41 pm ** BREAKING NEWS ** 1 Response »
Feb 122016
 
Monroe County: "Affordable" Housing for the Rich

by Naja and Arnaud Girard……. A one-room efficiency for $1,836/month, a one-bedroom for $2,097, a two-bedroom for $2,358. Those are the “affordable” rates that will prevail for the rental of 70% of the 213 affordable residential units the County Commission has approved for a Big Coppitt Key waterfront development project. Those rents are defined in the code as “moderate-income affordable.”

Jan 152016
 
Last Stand Annual Meeting Features Photographer Mac Stone

Last Stand will hold its annual meeting on Thursday, January 21st, at 6:00 pm, at The Studios of Key West, 533 Eaton Street in Key West. This year’s program features the award-winning photography of Mac Stone. Now based in Gainesville, Stone grew up in Central Florida and shares his adventures in springs and swamps, glaciers and mountain streams through his photography. His work explores the relationship between mankind and the natural world, and Stone’s talk will feature stunning photos of Everglades landscapes and wildlife. Everglades: [continue reading…]

 January 15, 2016  Posted by at 1:16 am Issue #149, Special Event No Responses »
Dec 252015
 
CELEBRATING A MERRY CHRISTMAS-- IN SHORTS

by Dennis Reeves Cooper……. The Christmas holidays. A wonderful time of the year, wherever you are. But celebrating Christmas in Key West is, well, sort of surreal– even for those who were born here and those of us who have lived here for years. And for those who are visiting here for the holidays, it has to be really strange to be walking around among all the Christmas decorations in the bars and stores and seeing those big candy canes hanging on the lamp posts [continue reading…]

 December 25, 2015  Posted by at 1:07 am Issue #146, Journalism as a Contact Sport No Responses »
Nov 202015
 
State:  What the Hell is Going on in the Keys? Must be "Other Forces at Work"

by Naja and Arnaud Girard……. The State’s Variance Review Committee blasted the local Health Department, questioning officals’ apathy in letting the Boondocks Grill, Draft House and Miniature Golf on Ramrod Key expand and operate, for years, without requiring a proper sewage disposal system. The landmark restaurant had a septic tank/leach field system permitted for 65 seats, but along the years they expanded the restaurant, increasing to 210 seats and paved over the leach field in the process. The Blue Paper obtained the audio recording of the [continue reading…]

Nov 132015
 
Stock Island Shootout Revisited:  A Closer Look at Felony Traffic Stops

by Naja and Arnaud Girard……. Following the shootout that nearly killed a Monroe County Sheriff’s deputy on Stock Island on October 24, 2015, Sheriff Rick Ramsey issued an order making it mandatory for all officers to wear their bullet proof vests when in the field.  [Deputy Josh Gordon who had been shot in the chest by a suspect had been saved by his bulletproof vest that night.] The documentary above takes a closer look at safety concerns for deputies and innocent bystanders during Felony Traffic Stops involving armed and [continue reading…]

Oct 022015
 
SCHOOL DAZE

by Bud Navero……. Imagine retiring after thirty years of teaching and deciding to keep your hand in and pick up a modest income by subbing in the local schools. Anyone who’s been to school knows the travail that can accompany being a substitute teacher. Nevertheless, the idea that someone with outstanding professional credentials would be willing to do such a thing, would seem to be a rare outsized blessing for any school system – they get a seasoned professional working for peanuts in an often [continue reading…]

 October 2, 2015  Posted by at 12:54 am Island Voices, Issue #134 4 Responses »
Sep 182015
 
State Attorney Challenges FKAA Chairman's Right To Vote In Key West Elections

by Naja and Arnaud Girard……. Is the Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority taking on water? Two weeks ago an FKAA board member, Melva Wagner, was forced to resign. She had continued receiving benefits and payments as a board member even though she had moved away from her district almost a year ago. This week it’s FKAA’s Chairman, J Robert Dean, who seems to be walking the plank. “I have reason to believe,” wrote State Attorney Catherine Vogel, after concluding her criminal investigation, “that James Robert Dean is attempting [continue reading…]

 September 18, 2015  Posted by at 12:54 am * Featured Story *, Naja and Arnaud Girard 26 Responses »
Sep 112015
 
Public Records Lawsuit Against FKAA: Settled Yes, But Still Plenty To Be Concerned About

Dear Editor: The spin artists at FKAA have convinced some of the public media that because the lawsuit was settled over unresponsive and apparently falsified data provided in answer to public records requests, that “there’s nothing to see here, folks.” That is not the case. There is plenty to see and plenty to be concerned about. The suit was not settled because everything was okay. It settled because a lawyer became ill and the data requested (but never delivered) would have arrived too late for [continue reading…]

 September 11, 2015  Posted by at 12:46 am Letter to the Editor 1 Response »
Jul 312015
 
Water Quality Disaster: Whistleblower Accuses Department of Health

by Bud Meaker and Arnaud Girard……. A whistleblower claims the Department of Health (DOH) has turned a blind eye for years on thousands of gallons of sewage that has been seeping into Florida Keys waters. “It’s their duty, their legal obligation under Florida Statutes to monitor the performance of all on-site sewer systems in the Keys, but they don’t do it,” said the insider to The Blue Paper, “It makes me sick.” The source asked to remain anonymous, but this is what we have been able [continue reading…]

Jun 262015
 
Trooper Out of Control

by Naja and Arnaud Girard… OIG Investigation Report just in… In February we reported on the shocking tasing of an older gentleman by a state trooper on US 1 near the 18-mile stretch. Before a bystander’s cell phone video was made public, the trooper, Eloy Arias, had written in his incident report that he had tased the man because he “attempted to run into the oncoming southbound traffic.” The video footage previously published by The Blue Paper [above], however, clearly shows the man,  Mr. Marc [continue reading…]

Jun 052015
 
Jenna Stauffer and Good Morning Florida Keys Featuring Kids Wish Network

Cameron Bonney was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a cancer of the white blood cells. She immediately started chemotherapy treatment. After seven rounds of the harrowing treatment and two bone marrow transplants, Cameron still faced more issues. In June 2010, Cameron’s body rejected her second bone marrow transplant, and she was diagnosed with chronic scleradormatous. This disorder causes a buildup of collagen between the muscle and skin which restricts movement. New treatment for both her cancer and scleradormatous caused a reduction in blood flow to her [continue reading…]

 June 5, 2015  Posted by at 12:30 am Island Voices, Issue #117 No Responses »
May 222015
 
Florida Keys Cultural Arts Calendar, May 21- 27

Florida Keys Council of the Arts Cultural Calendar Thursday, May 21 thru Wednesday, May 27   Key West Happenings ARTISTS RECEPTIONS / EXHIBITIONS Thursday Martha Hubbard, White Street Pier Photos Opening Reception, 6 PM Harrison Gallery, 825 White St. 305-294-0609. harrison-gallery.com Works by other artists on exhibit   Artists @ the Armory Second Floor Studios Walk on White, 6 PM Historic Armory, 600 White St. Artists Christie Sauer Fifer, Lauren P. McAloon, Gretchen Mills, Claire Perrault, Michael J. Phillips, Marky Pierson, Sherry Sweet Tewell, Andy [continue reading…]

 May 22, 2015  Posted by at 12:05 am Art, Issue #115, Music, Special Events, Theater, What To Do No Responses »
May 082015
 
LAST STAND: "SAFETY TESTING REQUIRED FOR CUDJOE WASTEWATER PLANT BEFORE START UP"

by Mark Songer on behalf of the Board of Directors of LAST STAND …………………………………………………………………………………… Last Stand commends FKAA Executive Director Kirk Zuelch for agreeing to urge funding for the study to confirm or to rule-out the hydraulic connection between the shallow injection wells discharge at the Cudjoe Regional Wastewater Plant and surface waters. We also commend the FKAA Board of Directors and the Monroe County Commissioners for recognizing the need and funding deep well disposal. Dr. Henry Briceno’s April 2015 report clearly states there is convincing evidence [continue reading…]

 May 8, 2015  Posted by at 3:01 am Issue #113, Water World 1 Response »
May 012015
 
They Paved Paradise And Put Up A Parking Lot....

by John Donnelly… They paved paradise and put up a parking lot -Joni Mitchell, 1970… The filth and debris strewn along US 1 and in the neighboring communities bordering the highway in Key Largo has reached epidemic proportions. Accompanied with traffic congestion and exacerbated decibel levels from illegally rigged motorcycle tail pipes, the quality of life that we once valued and enjoyed, has been dangerously eroded. Of particular concern are the startling number of vehicular burglaries committed in areas that were once devoid of such activity. [continue reading…]

 May 1, 2015  Posted by at 12:55 am Issue #112, John Donnelly 2 Responses »
May 012015
 
Jefferson Starship Plays Little Palm

by Bill Klipp… Our visit to Little Palm this time was to partake in Sandbar Sessions for a step back in time to see Jefferson Starship in an intimate setting. With a stage set up on a small spit of sand the outdoor sandy dining area was transformed into a living room like setting with couches and comfortable arm chairs. What could be better than lounging in an overstuffed chair with your feet in the sand as you sip fine wine while listening to some [continue reading…]

 May 1, 2015  Posted by at 12:25 am Issue #112, Music No Responses »
Apr 172015
 
3 out of 4 Key Haven Residents Oppose Release of Genetically Modified Mosquitoes

by Michael Welber… By a wide margin, Key Haven residents oppose the release of genetically modified mosquitoes in their neighborhood. At its next board meeting, the Florida Keys Mosquito Control District, is likely to approve a contract with British company Oxitec, which breeds the mosquitoes. Mosquito Control plans to release the insects this spring if the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves. Over the past three months, a team of volunteers personally surveyed 283 households on the peninsula in the lower Keys and found a [continue reading…]

 April 17, 2015  Posted by at 2:45 am Issue #110, Michael Welber 2 Responses »
Mar 062015
 
Make 7-Mile Bridge Safety A Priority

Dear Blue Paper – It’s time to make some serious changes regarding the 7 Mile bridge. I never cross the bridge that I don’t worry about making it safely to the other side. I have seen too many absolutely crazy, insane drivers on the bridge over 30 or more years. As a law abiding driver, it is frightening to be on that bridge. There is NOWHERE to go if suddenly some lunatic in a hurry, or some tanked up drunk who has been partying in [continue reading…]

 March 6, 2015  Posted by at 1:16 am Issue #104, Letter to the Editor No Responses »