Reflections on Columbus or Happy Genocide Day

christopher columbus

Here we are, another celebration of Columbus Day has passed, and every year it gets just a little bit more embarrassing, bordering on surreal. We citizens of the United States are slowly waking up to the reality that the Americas were heavily populated by natives and doing just fine without European “civilization”. The fact that the Europeans were greeted for the most part by friendly folks willing to share what they had, was taken as a sign of weakness by our “hero”, Columbus. Instead of honoring the people that invited him into their home, he enslaved and murdered them, of course, baptizing them before they were put to the sword. Not the best way to start a new relationship.

Continue reading

Zecca Sentenced to Ten Years in Federal Prison

BREAKING NEWS LOGO

A clearly frustrated U.S. federal Judge Jose E. Martinez imposed the maximum allowable ten-year sentence on admitted murder-for-hire perpetrator Dennis Zecca in a sentencing hearing at the Federal Court Building in Key West today. Zecca has been convicted of hiring someone to kill Marathon realtor Bruce Schmitt for reasons still unknown. Martinez wondered aloud what everyone else has been wondering, why. His sentence came after an emotional 15-minute statement by Schmitt to the court.

Check out Friday’s Blue Paper for the full story about what happened inside the courtroom.

DO YOU THINK WE MIGHT HAVE A HOUSING CRISIS?

Affordable Housing Crises

942765_444707312315462_900435827_nIt is becoming very alarming how few rental properties there are, and how high priced they are. Landlords are becoming very unreliable, houses are going into foreclosure in high amounts. I know my landlord defaulted on 10 in the last two months. I know of at least 3-4 more that friends live in houses facing foreclosure. Now banks own a ton of properties. Then banks sell them to people, and those people tend to turn them into vacation rentals. Florida Keys have a housing CRISIS on their hands. What is going to happen when more Key West residents move out for lack of housing? Or way to expensive housing? People can barely live down here unless they have many roommates. I’m a mother, so I really can’t have roommates. Who can really afford to live here without roomates? People who own their house, military workers, those in low income housing where the state pays their bills and rent, people on vacation, and people who really don’t need to work. Key west needs people to work, not moving out because they can’t afford the first, last, and security totaling $ 6,000 -$ 10,000 just to move in and rent a place. At least most tourist destinations have worker housing that is truly affordable. Without workers, you have no tourist destination … Also speaking of tourist destinations, I’m sure I’m not the only one to notice, the economy is not the same as it was in 2005-2007. The money is slowing down quite a bit. Tourists are spending a lot more for rooms in hotels, and vacation houses like Truman Annex and such. They’re  staying and relaxing in their hotels more, spending less money on Duval St. and other fun activities. People are starting to take their vacations to other cheaper places. I hear it all the time. Last year’s Fantasy Fest had to be the worst ever. Just like Bike Week and this year’s St. Patrick’s Day. Key west is not getting what it used to in tourism. So if our wages are not as good as they used to be, and rent is getting higher, what is next? Exactly, people are leaving… What is Key West going to do?? Huge Crisis. I have put this on Facebook and have had a huge amount of responses.

Do you think Monica hit a chord?  Well, she sure did.  Have a look at the flood of Facebook responses (get comfy): Continue reading

MEDICAL EXAMINER RULES DEATH OF CHARLES EIMERS ACCIDENTAL [In Case You Missed The Breaking News Release]]

“Mr. Eimers was at risk of a sudden death, at any time, due to either a chaotic cardiac rhythm or worsening of his congestive heart failure,” wrote the E. Hunt Scheuerman, M.D., the Monroe County Medical Examiner.

Charles Eimers, 61, a Michigan native, died after losing consciousness while being restrained face down in the sand by Key West police officers last Thanksgiving Day. Numerous eyewitnesses came forward accusing the police of excessive force, of holding Eimers head down in the sand, putting the weight of up to four officers on his back, and shocking him with a Taser stungun.

The Medical Examiner, however, in his final autopsy report, states that “the FDLE investigation concluded that his face Continue reading

MEDICAL EXAMINER RULES DEATH OF CHARLES EIMERS ACCIDENTAL

BREAKING NEWS CHARLES EIMERS

BREAKING NEWS CHARLES EIMERS

“Mr. Eimers was at risk of a sudden death, at any time, due to either a chaotic cardiac rhythm or worsening of his congestive heart failure,” wrote the E. Hunt Scheuerman, M.D., the Monroe County Medical Examiner.

Charles Eimers, 61, a Michigan native, died after losing consciousness while being restrained face down in the sand by Key West police officers last Thanksgiving Day. Numerous eyewitnesses came forward accusing the police of excessive force, of holding Eimers head down in the sand, putting the weight of up to four officers on his back, and shocking him with a Taser stungun.

The Medical Examiner, however, in his final autopsy report, states that “the FDLE investigation concluded that his face was not forced into the sand, but rather, as he struggled, his face moved back and forth across the sand. Audio recordings from the event revealed that Eimers repeatedly said “No.”  Such verbalization would not have been possible if he had been smothering in the sand.”  The Medical Examiner acknowledged, however, that his face appeared coated in sand in photographs taken at the hospital, but that “No sand was found in his airways.” Continue reading

New Witness Comes Forward: “The Police Just Killed A Man”

ISSUE 67 CBS EIMERS for web
Photo provided by Treavor Eimers

Charles Eimers
Photo provided by Treavor Eimers

“I saw an officer kneeling in front of the man with a knee on his back and he was holding the man’s head down in the sand. The man had a reflex lift of legs once head pushed down.  One of the officers had placed a small black device on the man’s back after the lift of legs […] The female officer then started walking away from the scene, shaking her head.”  [See bystander video here.]

This statement was given this week by a tourist from Maryland [We’ll call her “M”] who was having breakfast at the Southernmost Beach Café last Thanksgiving Day.  The man she describes was Charles Eimers, who would soon die in police custody.  Continue reading

Homeless in Key West: Old Man Chapman, Captain Tilly, and Peter Pan

Peter Pan

Peter Pan

This is the first in a series of articles on affordable housing and homelessness in Key West and the Florida Keys.  We will try to look past the anti-homeless rhetoric burning through local media and show you what is really happening on the Keys housing front.

In future articles we will bring you points of view and solutions proposed by some of the most knowledgeable people on the Island. Continue reading

PROTECTING THE COMMUNITY FROM NATURAL DISASTERS A Guide to Flood Insurance, Flood Mitigation and Wind Mitigation Programs

firm logo

Monroe County and the Florida Association of Counties are offering a FREE Wind and Flood Mitigation Workshop on Thursday, June 12th in Key West and Friday, June 13th in Key Largo. The workshops have been designed for homeowners, utilities, governments, developers and contractors, realtors, insurance agents, businesses, and homeowner & condo associations.

The workshop includes how recent changes to the National Flood Insurance Program will affect flood insurance rates in our cities and County, steps to lower flood insurance rates as well as wind and flood grant programs for residents, governments, commercial properties and homeowner developments. Continue reading

PROTECTING THE COMMUNITY FROM NATURAL DISASTERS A Guide to Flood Insurance, Flood Mitigation and Wind Mitigation Programs

firm logo

Monroe County and the Florida Association of Counties are offering a FREE Wind and Flood Mitigation Workshop on Thursday, June 12th in Key West and Friday, June 13th in Key Largo. The workshops have been designed for homeowners, utilities, governments, developers and contractors, realtors, insurance agents, businesses, and homeowner & condo associations.

The workshop includes how recent changes to the National Flood Insurance Program will affect flood insurance rates in our cities and County, steps to lower flood insurance rates as well as wind and flood grant programs for residents, governments, commercial properties and homeowner developments. Continue reading

Citizen Review Board May Investigate Use of Police Taser on Matthew Shaun Murphy Three Years Ago

It was early morning July 6, 2000.  In a dark alley in Key West, Officer Michael Beerbower had Daniel Holte Stambaugh, 22, handcuffed in the back of his police cruiser. Beerbower was on top of Stambaugh’s co-defendant Jessie Gene Gregory, 19, also handcuffed.  Other officers were standing watch.  When they yelled, “Clear!” (it meant that there were no witnesses) Beerbower would allegedly then go on, alternately punching Gregory and then Stambaugh in the face.

But that “private” police matter would come out in The Blue Paper and later in the New York Times. In spite of public indignation, the police department appeared unwilling to fire or even discipline any of the officers involved.   Public discontent grew into a grass roots movement to create an independent board overseeing the Key West Police Department.  A referendum passed with 60% in favor on November 2, 2002.   The CRB (Citizen Review Board) was born.

Today, over 10 years later, in the midst of another KWPD scandal (again getting national attention) some CRB members have begun to question whether the Board should wait any longer to start tackling the issues. Continue reading

‘It Started With a Drill’

 canstockphoto8781035

I learned early on what little is accomplished waiting for someone to do something for you, or even to help you. Consider this one of the gleaming pros to not having your parents around, and I do stress one. Now that I’m a mother myself, I can’t imagine my children grocery shopping for the family or taking taxis by themselves when they were nine years old. Not only did I do these things, but I also created my own income because my mother’s money never seemed to make it down to me.

This lifestyle brought forth my signature feistiness which kept me afloat throughout my youth. Even heavy decisions, such as taking a Greyhound bus from Florida to Indiana to attend college, weren’t an issue for me. Although my best childhood friend and I planned on attending the same school, she decided that she wanted to move to Florida at the last minute. I still went because, like her, I needed a change. Continue reading

THE VA HOSPITAL SCANDAL

canstockphoto8698787

canstockphoto8698787

The developing scandal at the Veterans Affairs (VA) Hospitals makes another strong statement about the sustainability of government-run health care. The problem here–the scandal– is not the quality of health care provided to our vets at the VA hospitals; the problem is access. And the problem of access is the result of sheer government incompetence. Here is a summary of the situation.

For the men and women who commit to serve our country in the military services, one of the commitments our government makes to them in return is to provide health care for life. This commitment is especially critical for veterans of this country’s various wars. That is one hell of a commitment– a commitment that requires professional and creative management to achieve. The problem is that, apparently, professional and creative management seem to be foreign concepts in government.

Recently, we have been hearing a lot about veterans having to wait months to get care at some VA Hospitals. By law, veterans should be able to see a doctor within 30 days after making an appointment. But at some hospitals, veterans have been forced to wait months for care– and some have died while waiting. This alone is scandalous enough. But to hide the fact that these hospitals have not been meeting the 30-day standard required by law, hospital staff has been falsifying appointment records. Now we are moving out of the realm of simple incompetence into the realm of criminal activity. Continue reading

Welber on Welber: Special Interest Trumps Climate Action

welber interviews welber

welber interviews welber

“I’m very proud of that,” Monroe County Commissioner George Neugent said after looking through the climate assessment last week. “I’m very proud to be part of an initiation in a region that contains millions of people.”

– Neugent commenting on praise for four-county compact that produced the Southeast Regional Action Plan

Blue Paper

We want to welcome back environmentalist Michael Welber for another in-depth interview.

Welber

More like survivalist.

Blue Paper

Oh? And why is that?

Welber

You’ve probably been snoozing this month, which would actually be a good thing given the continuing inexplicable actions of some of our fine county commissioners.

Blue Paper

What is it this time? Did they buy another restaurant? Continue reading

Love Lane Gang Playing All Sides of Town

Love Lane Gang Shoot 02+

Photo by Sheelman Photography

The Love Lane Gang is a locals band that knocks the socks off tourists and locals alike. They play music that spans generations as well as embodies them. With an age range among the members of over thirty years, they bring a wide variety of experience and musical tastes to bear. They’ve brought back skiffle and updated it for the present.

The emphasis is on ragtime and swing: classics from the 1930s and 1940s, done in a refreshing new style that incorporates the Hot Club approach with island flourishes. Dust Bowl ballads, old school country from Hank Williams and Dolly Parton, rockabilly and surf music classics and little-known gems, tunes from Sixties stars like The Beatles, The Kinks, and The Rolling Stones, and carefully chosen songs from current artists like Andrew Bird, Mason Jennings, and The White Stripes all fit in alongside original songs that sound like they could have come from any of those eras.

Offbeat instrumentation, including mandolin, ukulele, accordion, fiddle, washboard, and a kazoo horn section, added to familiar guitar, bass, and harmonica, creates a broad musical palette which they use to color their performances.

But you needn’t pay too much mind to all that serious musical analysis – they’re just plain fun!

Their regular gigs are at McConnell’s Irish Pub And Grill on Fridays at 8 PM and Saluté On The Beach on Sundays at 5:30 PM. They will also be playing at Blue Heaven on Saturday, for brunch and dinner.

Scheduled Appearances:

Continue reading

A Response to The CBS Report On The In-Custody Death of Charles Eimers

Photo provided by Treavor Eimers

I watched the CBS report from beginning to end. It never made clear what was done to Mr. Eimers. The video which has always been very clear in The Blue Paper was too dark on the CBS report to see Mr. Eimers getting out of his car and getting on his knees with his hands up in surrender.

Photo provided by Treavor Eimers

Photo provided by Treavor Eimers

The report never showed that at that point, he should have been cuffed and placed into the police car, since he was not resisting arrest. The report never clearly showed all the police officers on top of him or told about the sand in his nose and mouth which asphyxiated him. The report was not clear that paramedics were told by police that they, the police, found the patient on the ground in cardiac arrest and gave him CPR, instead of being told the truth that multiple police officers were on top of him grinding him into the sand, causing the cardiac arrest from his being asphyxiated, because he first suffered respiratory arrest from having his two airways, his nose and his mouth blocked with sand from being pounded into the sand by the enormous weight from those multiple officers. If one can’t breathe, one goes into respiratory arrest and if this continues, one’s blood will stop circulating and then one goes into cardiac arrest. The CBS report never interviewed eye witnesses. They never mentioned the female officer yelling to the other officers that they were murdering Mr. Eimers. They never interviewed the medical examiner who performed the autopsy that almost didn’t happen because of the lies told to medical personnel. They only showed the interview with Mr. Eimers’ son and Chief Donie Lee, which would have been fine had they also interviewed eye witnesses and not darkened the video which clearly told the real truth.

When any officer of the law or multiple officers of the law throw a suspect, who has his hands up in surrender, to the ground and jump on him and start beating him and using the taser on him, that should no longer be considered police work; it should be considered assault and battery and assault with a deadly weapon. One does not have to be an attorney of law to know this, yet police officers are getting away with doing it all over the country, with few exceptions. Surrender is surrender and clearly, the video shows Charles Eimers on his knees with his hands up in surrender mode. What happened next should never have happened in the United States of America, and no one, officer of the law or layman, has to wait until the end of an “investigation” to know that.

Peggy Butler

West Palm Beach, FL

Love Lane Gang Playing All Sides of Town

Love Lane Gang Shoot 02+

Photo by Sheelman Photography

The Love Lane Gang is a locals band that knocks the socks off tourists and locals alike.They play music that spans generations as well as embodies them. With an age range among the members of over thirty years, they bring a wide variety of experience and musical tastes to bear. They’ve brought back skiffle and updated it for the present.

The emphasis is on ragtime and swing: classics from the 1930s and 1940s, done in a refreshing new style that incorporates the Hot Club approach with island flourishes. Dust Bowl ballads, old school country from Hank Williams and Dolly Parton, rockabilly and surf music classics and little-known gems, tunes from Sixties stars like The Beatles, The Kinks, and The Rolling Stones, and carefully chosen songs from current artists like Andrew Bird, Mason Jennings, and The White Stripes all fit in alongside original songs that sound like they could have come from any of those eras.

Offbeat instrumentation, including mandolin, ukulele, accordion, fiddle, washboard, and a kazoo horn section, added to familiar guitar, bass, and harmonica, creates a broad musical palette which they use to color their performances.

But you needn’t pay too much mind to all that serious musical analysis – they’re just plain fun!

Their regular gigs are at McConnell’s Irish Pub And Grill on Fridays at 8 PM and Saluté On The Beach on Sundays at 5:30 PM. They will also be playing at The Green Parrot tonight at 9 PM.

Scheduled Appearances: Continue reading

CBS: “DEATH IN PARADISE”

death in paradise one
death in paradise one

CLICK ON IMAGE FOR LINK TO CBS VIDEO AND ARTICLE

The CBS News report on the death of Charles Eimers on Thanksgiving Day finally aired last Wednesday morning.  CBS News filmed a portion of their ‘CBS This Morning’ show on South Beach, where the arrest of Eimers by multiple Key West police officers occurred.

But the television report focused less on the arrest itself and the possible use of excessive force leading to Eimers’ death than on what happened after the arrest. They showed excerpts from medical records that show that police apparently claimed Eimers ran away, resisted arrest, and did not have a pulse by the time the police got to him.  An account which was then flatly contradicted by a video shot by a tourist, which shows a radically different version of the facts. Continue reading

Young Father Tased By Key West Police Officer Remains Hospitalized Three Years Later

Matthew and Kaeden Murphy in 2011
IMG_9607

Photo provided by Meghan Murphy

The only image Kaeden can remember of his Dad is that of a comatose man connected to tubes and wires lying on a hospital bed.  In fact Kaeden was only a few months old when, three years ago, his father, Matthew Shaun Murphy was ‘tased’ by a Key West police officer on Duval Street and fell into a coma.

“That was the last time we talked; the last words we said to each other were said that night before he fell,” says Marie Annulysse, Murphys fiancé and Kaeden’s mother. Continue reading

LAW FOR SALE

canstockphoto19097073

Issue 62 Rohe Cartoon Wolf Dreding

There it was, a 100’ long wooden dock, all ready for the sport fishing boats belonging to the owners of the eight new mansions nestled between the palm trees and the tropical flowers. The only problem was, no boats could get to the dock!  There was simply not enough water covering the seagrass bed surrounding Walker’s Island and the necessary dredging operation was strictly prohibited by the Monroe County code.

So, was that the end of it?  Well, not quite.  Beginning in 2010 savvy developers and their lawyers discovered a little-known loophole; a way around Monroe County’s tight environmental regulations. For a $ 5,000 application fee, a developer can write his own version of the law and, after proper lobbying, force the County Commission to vote on whether to reject or adopt his “Comprehensive Plan Text Amendment.”

Several County Commission members, including Commissioner Danny Kolhage and Mayor Sylvia Murphy, have expressed concern over the process and the amount of time expended by County staff on these private legislation projects. Continue reading

Love Lane Gang Playing All Sides of Town

Love Lane Gang Shoot 02+

Photo by Sheelman Photography

The Love Lane Gang is a locals band that knocks the socks off tourists and locals alike.They play music that spans generations as well as embodies them. With an age range among the members of over thirty years, they bring a wide variety of experience and musical tastes to bear. They’ve brought back skiffle and updated it for the present.

The emphasis is on ragtime and swing: classics from the 1930s and 1940s, done in a refreshing new style that incorporates the Hot Club approach with island flourishes. Dust Bowl ballads, old school country from Hank Williams and Dolly Parton, rockabilly and surf music classics and little-known gems, tunes from Sixties stars like The Beatles, The Kinks, and The Rolling Stones, and carefully chosen songs from current artists like Andrew Bird, Mason Jennings, and The White Stripes all fit in alongside original songs that sound like they could have come from any of those eras.

Offbeat instrumentation, including mandolin, ukulele, accordion, fiddle, washboard, and a kazoo horn section, added to familiar guitar, bass, and harmonica, creates a broad musical palette which they use to color their performances.

But you needn’t pay too much mind to all that serious musical analysis – they’re just plain fun!

Their regular gigs are at McConnell’s Irish Pub And Grill on Fridays at 8 PM and Saluté On The Beach on Sundays at 5:30 PM. They will also be playing at Blue Heaven Satuday at 10:30 AM.

Scheduled Appearances: Continue reading

Lower Keys LWV Wins State Recognition

LWVBoard toast

Lower Keys LWV board members toast the chapter’s approval by the Florida state organization. From left they are Secretary Diane Johnson, President Joan Wallin, Vice President Linda Grist Cunningham, Voter Services Chair Joy Brown Taylor, Membership Chair Jane Newhagen and Treasurer Sandy Bergin.
Credit/ Constance Gilbert

The Lower Keys League of Women voters has been approved by the Florida League for promotion to full chapter status, President Joan Wallin announced at their Fifth Tuesday social recently. The news vied with but did not overshadow the guest of honor, Monroe County Mayor Sylvia Murphy.

The chapter’s application will now be forwarded to the national organization for formal ratification.

Florida LWV President Deirdre Macnab posted that she was “proud of all of you for starting a new league, building it up and on to full ‘league-dom’ at the national convention!”

“I gathered from Deirdre’s comment on our FB page that our approval at the convention is virtually a foregone conclusion. Cool,” wrote Jane Newhagen, founding board member and membership committee chair. She credited Secretary Diane Johnson as instrumental in compiling the application.

Anyone interested in membership is invited to phone Newhagen at (305) 294-6073.

Ronnie Johnson & Dale Baker at Hogs Breath Saloon!

rjdale promo-300

Ronnie Johnson & Dale Baker, two of “the locals” (Key West Mafia) favorites will be performing at The Hogs Breath Saloon from 5:30-9:30 beginning Monday, May 12 through Sunday, May 18. Out of Charleston, SC, Ronnie has opened for Tom Jones and performed in NYC for People Magazine alongside Chuck Berry. Dale is a “super picker” and has shared the stage with many national acts. On their last visit here, Jeff Cook, founding member of the legendary group “Alabama” showed up to play with them. These are 2 talented and all-encompassing performers you won’t want to miss..

Wisteria Island: The King of Spain and Roger Bernstein

Wisteria Island

Finally, some movement in the Wisteria Island lawsuit.  It’s a hundred thousand dollar legal adaptation of

I own it

No, I own it

No, I own it

The controversy turns around what has become known as the “Navy’s claim.”  A 2010 attempt to build a large hotel complex, with private homes and a marina on Wisteria Island was shut down after The Blue Paper published a story revealing that Roger Bernstein might not be the true owner of the island.  The trouble began when we discovered a 1951 letter written by the US Navy claiming ownership of the island pursuant to an executive order of the President of the United States. Continue reading

TONIGHT! Key West Zonta Club’s 22nd Radio Day Event

radiodayslogo-300x300

The Zonta Club of Key West will hold its 22nd Annual Radio Day on Friday, May 9th, 2014, from 5-8 p.m., at the BottleCap Lounge, 1128 Simonton Street. A live Remote Broadcast on WEOW 92.7 with Bill Bravo will showcase pre-recorded radio spots by local businesses that support the Club’s mission. The event includes Live Music, Celebrity Bartenders, an Outdoor Block Party with grilled hamburgers and hotdogs, Carnival Games, a Silent Auction, a Chance Drawing with a $ 4,500 Grand Prize, and more. Need not be present to win! Proceeds from the event support the Zonta KWHS Scholarships, Heart Health Initiative,  Annual Skin Cancer Screenings and Keys Center Academy Mentoring and Speaker Programs.

At 5:30 pm on Radio Day, Singer-Songwriter Liz Sharpe and her band Little Feather will perform. Celebrity Bartenders and Game Hosts for the event include Fantasy Fest Reigning Queen Diane May, King Stephen “Sunshine” Sunday, Rick Lopez, Headlines Flower and Nancy Campbell, Steve “Odie” McAlearney, Heather Caruthers, Kimberly Denny, Dr. Mark Whiteside, Dan Courtney, Dr. Jerome Covington, and Inga from Aqua.

Only 250 of the $ 50 Chance Drawing tickets will be sold, awarding $ 100 prizes for the 1st, 100th, 150th, 200th and 249th tickets drawn, $ 4,500 to the final ticket drawn, or a chance to win a two night stay in Key West, generously contributed by the Southernmost Point Guest House. Continue reading

Love Lane Gang Playing All Sides of Town

Love Lane Gang Shoot 02+

Photo by Sheelman Photography

The Love Lane Gang is a locals band that knocks the socks off tourists and locals alike.They play music that spans generations as well as embodies them. With an age range among the members of over thirty years, they bring a wide variety of experience and musical tastes to bear.  They’ve brought back skiffle and updated it for the present.

The emphasis is on ragtime and swing: classics from the 1930s and 1940s, done in a refreshing new style that incorporates the Hot Club approach with island flourishes. Dust Bowl ballads, old school country from Hank Williams and Dolly Parton, rockabilly and surf music classics and little-known gems, tunes from Sixties stars like The Beatles, The Kinks, and The Rolling Stones, and carefully chosen songs from current artists like Andrew Bird, Mason Jennings, and The White Stripes all fit in alongside original songs that sound like they could have come from any of those eras.

Offbeat instrumentation, including mandolin, ukulele, accordion, fiddle, washboard, and a kazoo horn section, added to familiar guitar, bass, and harmonica, creates a broad musical palette which they use to color their performances.

But you needn’t pay too much mind to all that serious musical analysis – they’re just plain fun!

Their regular gigs are at McConnell’s Irish Pub And Grill on Fridays at 8 PM and Saluté On The Beach on Sundays at 5:30 PM. They will also be playing at Blue Heaven Tuesday at 6:30 PM.

Scheduled Appearances: Continue reading

Immediate Fallout Due To Controversial Vote On New Waste Management Contract

David Lybrand, a founding member of the City of Key West’s five-year old Sustainability Advisory Board steps down in reaction to the City Commission’s controversial decision to disregard City staff’s and the advisory board’s recommendations when awarding a new solid waste contract.  Below is his resignation letter tendered to Commissioner Teri Johnston and the City Commission yesterday.

May 8, 2014

Key West Commissioner Teri Johnston and the Key West City Commission
Key West, Florida
Teri:

Tonight’s Sustainability Advisory Board meeting completes 5 years since you appointed me as a founding member of the board.  I have participated in more SAB meetings than anyone and feel good about what the board has accomplished toward improving many aspects of our City’s sustainability, as well as its GREEN influencing on other actions the City has taken.  I was looking forward to continuing to do what I can to help the City progress from its unsustainable ways. Continue reading

Ronnie Johnson & Dale Baker at Hogs Breath Saloon!

rjdale promo-300

Ronnie Johnson & Dale Baker, two of “the locals” (Key West Mafia) favorites will be performing at The Hogs Breath Saloon from 5:30-9:30 beginning Monday, May 12 through Sunday, May 18. Out of Charleston, SC, Ronnie has opened for Tom Jones and performed in NYC for People Magazine alongside Chuck Berry. Dale is a “super picker” and has shared the stage with many national acts. On their last visit here, Jeff Cook, founding member of the legendary group “Alabama” showed up to play with them. These are 2 talented and all-encompassing performers you won’t want to miss..

Key West Zonta Club’s 22nd Radio Day Event / Annual Event Supports Zonta Club’s Community Programs for Women and Girls

radiodayslogo-300x300

The Zonta Club of Key West will hold its 22nd Annual Radio Day on Friday, May 9th, 2014, from 5-8 p.m., at the BottleCap Lounge, 1128 Simonton Street. A live Remote Broadcast on WEOW 92.7 with Bill Bravo will showcase pre-recorded radio spots by local businesses that support the Club’s mission. The event includes Live Music, Celebrity Bartenders, an Outdoor Block Party with grilled hamburgers and hotdogs, Carnival Games, a Silent Auction, a Chance Drawing with a $ 4,500 Grand Prize, and more. Need not be present to win! Proceeds from the event support the Zonta KWHS Scholarships, Heart Health Initiative,  Annual Skin Cancer Screenings and Keys Center Academy Mentoring and Speaker Programs.

At 5:30 pm on Radio Day, Singer-Songwriter Liz Sharpe and her band Little Feather will perform. Celebrity Bartenders and Game Hosts for the event include Fantasy Fest Reigning Queen Diane May, King Stephen “Sunshine” Sunday, Rick Lopez, Headlines Flower and Nancy Campbell, Steve “Odie” McAlearney, Heather Caruthers, Kimberly Denny, Dr. Mark Whiteside, Dan Courtney, Dr. Jerome Covington, and Inga from Aqua.

Only 250 of the $ 50 Chance Drawing tickets will be sold, awarding $ 100 prizes for the 1st, 100th, 150th, 200th and 249th tickets drawn, $ 4,500 to the final ticket drawn, or a chance to win a two night stay in Key West, generously contributed by the Southernmost Point Guest House. Continue reading

Love Lane Gang Playing All Sides of Town

Love Lane Gang Shoot 02+

Photo by Sheelman Photography

The Love Lane Gang is a locals band that knocks the socks off tourists and locals alike. They play music that spans generations as well as embodies them. With an age range among the members of over thirty years, they bring a wide variety of experience and musical tastes to bear. They’ve brought back skiffle and updated it for the present.

The emphasis is on ragtime and swing: classics from the 1930s and 1940s, done in a refreshing new style that incorporates the Hot Club approach with island flourishes. Dust Bowl ballads, old school country from Hank Williams and Dolly Parton, rockabilly and surf music classics and little-known gems, tunes from Sixties stars like The Beatles, The Kinks, and The Rolling Stones, and carefully chosen songs from current artists like Andrew Bird, Mason Jennings, and The White Stripes all fit in alongside original songs that sound like they could have come from any of those eras.
Offbeat instrumentation, including mandolin, ukulele, accordion, fiddle, washboard, and a kazoo horn section, added to familiar guitar, bass, and harmonica, creates a broad musical palette which they use to color their performances.
But you needn’t pay too much mind to all that serious musical analysis – they’re just plain fun!
Their regular gigs are at McConnell’s Irish Pub And Grill on Fridays at 8 PM, and Saluté On The Beach on Sundays at 5:30 PM. They will also be playing up The Keys this week. On Saturday May 3 they will be at oo-tray Restaurant in Islamorada, MM 81, for a post-Kentucky Derby party, 6:45 – 10:30. Last but not least, they will play a sound check at The Green Parrot Monday 5/5 at 5:30 - yes, it’s Cinco de Mayo. ¡Olé!
Scheduled Appearances: Continue reading

Congressman Garcia Celebrates the Army Corps’ Decision to Move Forward on Canal C-111 South Dade

press release garcia

Washington, DC – The Army Corps of Engineers announced today that they have reached an agreement allowing Everglades Restoration to resume in South Dade after nearly two years of project delay.

Over the past several months, Congressman Garcia has personally relayed the importance of completing Canal C-111 South Dade – an element of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan – to Department of Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, Assistant Secretary Jo Ellen Darcy of the Army Corps, and other agency and administration officials.

“I am thrilled by the joint decision of the Army Corps and South Florida Water Management District, and look forward to swift movement on C-111 Canal construction. This canal will prove critical to the health of the Southern Everglades and Florida Bay, and provide much needed protection to the agricultural fields that drive our regional economy,” said Garcia. Continue reading

Ronnie Johnson & Dale Baker at Hogs Breath Saloon!

rjdale promo-300

Ronnie Johnson & Dale Baker, two of “the locals” (Key West Mafia) favorites will be performing at The Hogs Breath Saloon from 5:30-9:30 beginning Monday, May 12 through Sunday, May 18. Out of Charleston, SC, Ronnie has opened for Tom Jones and performed in NYC for People Magazine alongside Chuck Berry. Dale is a “super picker” and has shared the stage with many national acts. On their last visit here, Jeff Cook, founding member of the legendary group “Alabama” showed up to play with them. These are 2 talented and all-encompassing performers you won’t want to miss..

ART GARDEN ’14 at the KEY WEST TROPICAL FOREST & BOTANICAL GARDEN / Opening May 3rd

Botanical Art
"Guardian" by Sally Wernicoff

“Guardian” by Sally Wernicoff

Sculptures are popping up again this Spring on Stock Island.   More than a dozen local artists are installing their works among the native flora and fauna at the Key West Tropical Forest and Botanical Garden located on College Road.  A huge grasshopper lurks in a butterfly meadow; a bonefish eludes anglers near the pond; a bird-goddess is the newest garden guardian.  Other forms, both abstract and representational, peek through the foliage along the boardwalks and pathways.  All works are earth-friendly and many are fashioned from recycled materials, adding to the “all natural” pleasures of the site. Continue reading

Key West’s Poet Laureate and Artist KIRBY CONGDON Opening Reception and Poetry Reading This Weekend

Kirby Congdon [Photo by Richard Watherwax]

Kirby Congdon at home [Photo by Richard Watherwax]

The multi-talented Kirby Congdon was given his first solo art show in Greenwich Village in 1961; at that time he specialized on constructions he called “found objects.” Congdon has countless publication credits and was the premier winner of the Key West Art in Public Places sidewalk poetry competition to have his poem stamped in concrete, on the sidewalk outside Captain Tony’s Saloon. The unveiling took place last Friday, April 25.

This week, beginning Friday, May 2nd, Congdon will be exposing a collection of his artwork. He will also be featured at the Key West Poetry Guild’s “Lightening Round” event on Sunday May 4th.

The opening reception for Kirby Congdon’s “Collages” is this Friday, May 2nd from 6-8 pm at Blue Heaven, 729 Thomas Street, Key West.  The show will run through Sunday, May 4th. Continue reading

Key West Navy League Commissioning Committee Celebrates “Women of the Lighthouses” at the Key West Lighthouse Museum

navy league flyer

 

The Key West Navy League Commissioning Committee invites you to celebrate “The Women of the Lighthouses” on Friday, 2 May, 5:30-8PM at the Key West Lighthouse Museum, 938 Whitehead Street.  Join us as we honor Ms. Kathleen Moore, the namesake of the next Coast Guard Fast Response Cutter being commissioned on 10 May in Key West, and all the Women of the Key West Lighthouse.   Continue reading

CBS Morning Show Probes Key West In-Custody Death

Issue 60 CBS photo
Issue 60 CBS photo

Treavor Eimers with CBS Correspondent Elaine Quijano and camera crew on South Beach [photo by Arnaud Girard]

The death of Charles Eimers while in the hands of Key West police officers is now getting national attention.   CBS investigators were in town this week researching the circumstances surrounding the death of Eimers, the apparent cover-up involving near cremation of the body before autopsy, destruction of evidence, lying to emergency medical personnel, and finally the shocking conflict of interest that is tainting FDLE’s investigation of the case:  FDLE’s top investigator in the Eimers case, Kathy Smith, is the ex-wife of KWPD Captain Scott Smith.

CBS flew in on Wednesday with Treavor Eimers, the victim’s son, and a full camera crew.  We sat with CBS Investigative Producer, the very charming, Megan Towey, for a two-hour lunch, and in the words of Mel Brooks, it must be ‘good to be the King!’  Apparently when these guys have an issue with obtaining records from FDLE they have the office of Pam Bondi, the Florida Attorney General, on speed dial and a lot of weight to throw around.  Not quite the same as being a Blue Paper reporter. Continue reading

TWAB, NOAA, Navy, Not Happy With Powerboat Race Contract / Could Cost Taxpayers Twenty Thousand a Year

SBI Parking Plan (Construction)

The Truman Waterfront Advisory Board (TWAB) may have stirred a hornets’ nest at its meeting on April 21st at at Old City Hall.

The seven-member board met solely to consider an agreement between the City of Key West and Super Boat International Productions, Inc.  a Florida for-profit corporation.   SBI produces and runs the City of Key West World Championship Race for powerboats held each year in November, just after Fantasy Fest.

TWAB was created by the City Commission/Naval Properties Local Redevelopment Authority in 2007. It was charged with making recommendations to the LRA on all matters relating to the Truman Waterfront.  TWAB is made up of seven citizens, each one appointed by one member of the City Commission.  All matters relating to the still largely vacant 33 acre parcel are, by City Commission direction, to be reviewed first by TWAB.  In some cases, when the matter being reviewed affects the portion of the land that is in the Bahama Village Redevelopment Area, or TIF District, those plans plans are also supposed to pass review by another Advisory Board, the Bahama Village Redevelopment Advisory Committee. Continue reading

Should Judges be Elected Or Appointed?

Justice Not Blind

In Florida, appeals judges and state Supreme Court judges are appointed by the governor from lists provided by a nominating committee. Circuit and County Court Judges are elected by the people. All you need to run for judge is a law degree. Some say that a judge is simply an attorney who has gotten a promotion– or, in some cases, a demotion if you consider income. But if you have ever appeared before a judge at any level, you know how powerful these people are. Thus the continuing debate over whether judges should be appointed by the governor or elected by the people. The question is timely since the seats of three of the four Circuit Court Judges here are up for grabs in the upcoming elections– Judges Mark Jones, Tegan Slaton and Luis Garcia.

Jones and Slaton have announced challengers. So far, Garcia does not, but candidates have until May 2 to qualify. Circuit Court Judge David Audlin is not up for reelection this year– but he has just announced that he is stepping down from the bench May 9 with four years left on his term. He has not said why. According to Supervisor of Elections Joyce Griffin, Audlin’s replacement will be selected by the governor, since his resignation date is too late for candidates to qualify for the July 26 primary election. None of the four County Court Judges here are up for reelection. Both District and County Judges serve six-year terms. Continue reading

The video of the April 21, “Call for Candidates’ is now available for viewing on YOU TUBE

Dear Members and Supporters of Hometown,

Whether you attended the April 21, Forum or just want to hear the candidates again, please see and hear what went on by watching the video on You Tube. If you subscribe to the Hometown KeyWest Channel, You Tube will send you an e-mail each time there is something new posted.

To view the April 21, video, please go to www.hometownkeywest.com and you will be on the Home Page. On the right side of the computer screen as you are viewing that page, you will see the icon “You Tube” just below the words “Join Hometown.” Click on that You Tube icon and you will be taken to the Hometown Key West channel on You Tube. Continue reading

THE EIMERS CASE: WITNESS INTIMIDATION?

There is now reason to believe that two plainclothes officers:  KWPD Detective Todd Stevens and another unknown officer, posing as FDLE investigators, deliberately intimidated eyewitnesses who were present during the violent arrest last November of 61-year-old Charles Eimers.

Anyone who has paid the slightest bit of attention to the story of the tragically fatal Thanksgiving Day arrest on South Beach has heard the Chief of Police deflect questions over and over by saying that FDLE is conducting an independent investigation into the death of Eimers and will decide whether or not there was any wrongdoing,

“We’re waiting and we want answers just as bad as everyone else does.  As in any situation like this, once FDLE completes their investigation, we will do an internal affairs investigation to look into what happened,” says the Chief.

Last week, some four and a half months later, this ‘independent investigation’ by FDLE was called into question.  We published that, on the day of the altercation with police, KWPD Captain Scott Smith had called FDLE’s Kathy Smith, his ex-wife, about the mandatory FDLE investigation of Charles Eimers’ anticipated “in-custody-death”. Continue reading

Florida Keys Poets’ Work to be Immortalized in Concrete This Friday

Key West Poet Laureate Kirby Congdon will read his award-winning poem as it is unveiled on Friday, permanently stamped into the sidewalk in front of Captain Tony’s Saloon. (Photo by Richard Watherwax)

Key West Poet Laureate Kirby Congdon will read his award-winning poem as it is unveiled on Friday, permanently stamped into the sidewalk in front of Captain Tony’s Saloon. (Photo by Richard Watherwax)

This Friday, April 25, at 4:00 p.m., an unveiling ceremony will take place in front of Captain Tony’s Saloon, 428 Greene Street, presenting the very first in an ongoing series of poems and verse by Florida Keys writers to be permanently etched into Key West sidewalks.

The result of a Keys-wide contest launched last year by the Key West Art in Public Places Board, more than 200 writers submitted poetry, prose, lyrics and haiku in competition for a cash award and the opportunity to stop residents and visitors in their tracks with their words.

Key West Poet Laureate Kirby Congdon, honored by the competition’s judges for the historic first stamping, will read his selected verse in the company of fellow contest winners, AIPP board members, donors and City dignitaries on Friday. Continue reading

Key West Navy League Commissioning Committee Celebrates “Women of the Lighthouses” at the Key West Lighthouse Museum

navy league flyer

 

The Key West Navy League Commissioning Committee invites you to celebrate “The Women of the Lighthouses” on Friday, 2 May, 5:30-8PM at the Key West Lighthouse Museum, 938 Whitehead Street.  Join us as we honor Ms. Kathleen Moore, the namesake of the next Coast Guard Fast Response Cutter being commissioned on 10 May in Key West, and all the Women of the Key West Lighthouse.   Continue reading

Meet Mayor Murphy at LWV Fifth Tuesday Social, April 29th

Monroe County Mayor Sylvia Murphy

Monroe County Mayor Sylvia Murphy

Monroe County Mayor Sylvia Murphy will be guest of honor at the April 29 Fifth Tuesday social hosted by the Lower Keys League of Women Voters at the Pasta Garden in Duval Square from 5 until 7 p.m.

The meet and greet event continues the League’s practice of holding  an informal gathering in any month that contains a fifth Tuesday. Previous guests of honor have included Lower Keys liaison to Congressman Joe Garcia, Jennifer George-Nichol (now assigned to Washington) and Florida State Representitive Holly Raschein.

Fifth Tuesday socials are open to the community and anyone interested in meeting the plain-spoken and sometimes controversial Mayor Murphy and/or learning about the activities of the local LWV chapter is warmly invited to attend. There will be hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar. Looking ahead, State Senator Dwight Bullard has confirmed his attendance on July 29. Subsequent Fifth Tuesday socials are scheduled for September 30 and December 30.

Details are available at lowerkeyslwv.org or by phoning LWV President Joan Wallin at (305) 304-9530.

GUEST COMMENTARY: Obese Children Grow To Be Obese Adults

Obese children grow to be obese adults. According to recent studies this is a serious concern.  In fact, the Florida State Surgeon General last year, launched an initiative targeting this issue.  Through the Healthiest Weight initiative, the Department of Health is partnering with community groups and other partners including early education providers to implement programs that focus on:

  • Increasing the initiation, duration and exclusivity of breastfeeding.
  • Promoting improved nutrition and physical activity in early care and education.
  • Encouraging improved nutrition in schools.
  • Increasing the physical activity for students during the school day and after school programs.
  • Increasing access to high-quality, affordable foods in communities.
  • Increasing physical activity by improving the built environment in communities.
  • Promoting health professional awareness and counseling of patient body mass index

Children who are overweight or obese at two to five years old are five times more likely to become obese adults.  Many factors contribute to childhood obesity.  To solve this problem, we must first identify it.  Lack of physical exercise, snack time all the time, etc.  The increasing popularity of fast foods is a problem.  Water consumption as a basic need rather than merely an alternative to sugar-sweetened drinks is another. Continue reading

IS THE USE OF EXCESSIVE FORCE A PATTERN WITHIN THE KWPD?

Alleged use of excessive force by Key West cops has been the talk of the island since retired General Motors worker Charles Eimers, 61, died after a rough arrest last Thanksgiving Day on South Beach. But its not like this is the first time that “excessive force” and other police wrong-doing has been the topic of conversation here. For example, I went back and flipped through the headlines of just one year of back issues of Key West The Newspaper (the Blue Paper). Here are just a few of the stories we covered back in 2002.

First of all, it may come as a surprise to you that then-State Attorney Mark Kohl was in the midst of a sweeping investigation of the KWPD. Four officers had been arrested or forced to resign and another officer was trying to cut a probation deal to avoid charges. During a street brawl in front of Sloppy Joe’s in July 2000, witnesses said that several tourists were allegedly beaten up by police officers, but none of the cops on the scene could remember anything about any brawl. So Kohl, fed up with “blue amnesia,” charged a number of officers with knowingly falsifying arrest affidavits. Lying on official police documents. Sound familiar? Continue reading

Dive Into Coral Camp, Exploring Coral Reefs & Our Amazing Marine Environment

Coral Camp 2014 Registration is Open!  When school lets out, Coral Camp begins.  6-12 year old youths explore and learn about our surrounding marine environment through exciting education activities at the Reef Relief Environmental Center in Key West.  Each fun-packed day, campers experience hands-on-learning, interactive games and outdoor activities.  Activities include science and art projects in addition to exciting field trips around Key West.  Campers also experience three days of snorkeling. One day practicing their snorkeling skills and two days snorkeling at the reef.

Weekly sessions begin June 9th and go through August 15th.  Sessions are limited to 25 campers per session.  A limited number of scholarships are available to those whom qualify.  Coral Camp runs Monday through Friday from 8:30am- 4:30pm.  Camp fees are $ 215 for one week or $ 185 per week for multiple week sign ups.  Space is limited! Reserve a slot today!

Continue reading

Presenting Featured Artist: Sahara Graft

sahara

Sahara Graft, a diligent student and avid runner, spends the majority of her off time in the nature of Big Pine. Sahara finds greatest joy in observing the interactions between wildlife and in the way we, as people of the earth, interact with nature. Graft finds inspiration in her loving grandfather who has painted a path for Sahara’s artistic ability through his beautiful works of art and constant support. Her pictures depict a world where humans can live in nature without damaging its pristine beauty. Sahara is a senior in Ms. Shannon’s Advanced Placement Photography class at Key West High School.  Shannon will be attending the U.S. Naval Academy where she will study Chemistry.  Sahara intends to become a doctor.  Go to the full article to see more of Sahara’s beautiful work.

CLICK ON PHOTOS FOR ENLARGEMENTS

Ants Continue reading

TALKIN’ BASEBALL

canstockphoto3603897

“I’m talkin’ baseball
Kluzewski, Campanella
The Man and Bobby Feller
The Scooter, the Barber, and the Newk
They knew ‘em all from Boston to Dubuque
Especially Willie, Mickey and the Duke”

“Talkin’ Baseball”
Terry Cashman, 1981

Major league baseball opened a new season a few weeks ago and opening day always takes my memory back to when I was a kid growing up in Oklahoma– when baseball was my life. I was the catcher on my neighborhood team and, on the weekends and all summer, all we did is play baseball. Most of us were 12 years old or thereabouts. I don’t recall that there was any announced schedule or even a regular location.

All I remember is that we played baseball every day that we didn’t have to go to school and, sometimes, we played into the evening until we couldn’t see the ball anymore. Sometimes we played as part of a youth league, but mostly not. When we were part of a league, we got a little coaching and maybe some matching t-shirts. And we didn’t have to supply our own equipment. But mostly we played “independent,” challenging other neighborhood teams. A problem with that was finding a place to play.

Florida Keys Southernmost Car Club holds its monthly SHOW & SHINE, Saturday

Photo courtesy of Dick Moody

Photo courtesy of Dick Moody

The Florida Keys Southernmost Car Club (FKSCC) holds its monthly SHOW & SHINE this Saturday, April 19th, 5 pm till 8 pm. This event is for the lovers of classic, custom, and street rod automobiles and trucks of all years and makes. If it’s cool and on wheels it will be here.

The fun early evening event as always is at the Sugarloaf Lodge, on Sugarloaf Key. MM17. Prizes, 50/50 and cold beverages at the Tiki Bar are available. The Club’s sound system will provide 50′s and 60′s music. Bring the kids to enjoy these beautiful relics of the auto world. This is a FREE event.

Club members are seeking new members for a full schedule shows events. Join Saturday and get the new Club HAT! For more information contact Dick Moody at 305-942-1758.

The Eimers Investigation: Shocking Link Between FDLE and KWPD

Charles Eimers Photo provided by Treavor Eimers

Charles Eimers Photo provided by Treavor Eimers

When Charles Eimers turned blue and lost consciousness while in the hands of Key West police officers on Thanksgiving morning, KWPD was informed immediately by Lower Keys Medical Center staff that Eimers would never leave the hospital.  Chief Lee decided to treat the case as a ‘death-in-custody situation’, which meant FDLE had to be called in to investigate.

Lee didn’t make the call himself, though; he asked one of his officers, Captain Scott Smith to do it.  Captain Smith did make the call and FDLE’s Chief investigator Kathy Smith took on the case. You might notice they have the same last name and think there’s some connection there, and well, you would be right.  On Thanksgiving morning after Charles Eimers virtually died on the beach, Captain Smith called his wife, his ex-wife, in fact, at FDLE.  Kathy Smith is now investigating the father of her child[ren].

What did he say?  How did KWPD report the circumstances of the arrest of Charles Eimers to FDLE?  This is something FDLE has obstinately refused to reveal, but we can make an educated guess.  They said:  ‘Charles Eimers got out of his car and proceeded to flee from the police while running on the beach away from law enforcement and Eimers collapsed.  Eimers was found without a pulse by police.  He was given CPR.  EMS was called.’ Continue reading

Dive Into Coral Camp, Exploring Coral Reefs & Our Amazing Marine Environment

Coral Camp 2014 Registration is Open!  When school lets out, Coral Camp begins.  6-12 year old youths explore and learn about our surrounding marine environment through exciting education activities at the Reef Relief Environmental Center in Key West.  Each fun-packed day, campers experience hands-on-learning, interactive games and outdoor activities.  Activities include science and art projects in addition to exciting field trips around Key West.  Campers also experience three days of snorkeling. One day practicing their snorkeling skills and two days snorkeling at the reef.

Weekly sessions begin June 9th and go through August 15th.  Sessions are limited to 25 campers per session.  A limited number of scholarships are available to those whom qualify.  Coral Camp runs Monday through Friday from 8:30am- 4:30pm.  Camp fees are $ 215 for one week or $ 185 per week for multiple week sign ups.  Space is limited! Reserve a slot today!

Sponsors for Coral Camp 2014 include:  Sebago Water Sports, Key West Aquarium, Eaton Bikes, Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center, Key West Wildlife Center, Fury Water Adventures, Fort Zachary Taylor State Park, Zenscapes, Pirate Scooter, Salute on the Beach, Tom Sawyer’s Keyboard Advertising Specialties, Reef Safe Sunscreen, Island Bicycles, Blue Heaven, Holtkamp Construction, Key West Trim Works, Olsen Drafting Services, Seaport Realtors, Fausto’s Food Palace, Danger Charters, Vino’s on Duval, Key West Cakes, Tattoo’s and Scars, Pilates Studio, Isle Style, Firefly.

For more information about sponsoring a scholarship or to register call Reef Relief at 305-294-3100 or email reefrelief@gmail.com.  Download registration forms at http://reefrelief.org/coral-camp-2014/

Reef Relief is a nonprofit membership organization dedicated to improving and protecting our coral reef ecosystem.

Hometown! PAC Announces Call for Candidates Event

Salute Forum 2009

Salute Forum 2009

Key West, 21 April 2014:  Hometown! ‘s “Call for Candidates” Event at Salute Restaurant, Higgs Beach at 5 p.m.

Dear Members, Prospective Members of Hometown PAC, and all Candidates, Prospective Candidates and Those Merely Testing the Waters:

Please join us on Monday, April 21, 2014, when Key West’s Hometown! will present declared and potential candidates for the upcoming elections. The event will be held at Salute Restaurant, Higgs Beach, starting with a social portion at 5:00 p.m. Candidates, declared or potential, will introduce themselves and make short presentations, beginning at 5:30 pm. All candidates are encouraged to come early and bring with them petitions for voters to sign, campaign literature, buttons, T-shirts and other items relating to their campaign. Please bring your own tables for your campaign items.

For those who cannot attend the Call for Candidates, FloridaKeys.com will be streaming the event live as well as recording the event for later viewing.   You can watch the live event by going to www.hometownkeywest.com.  After the event, the recorded video will be posted to the Hometown Key West YouTube channel and will remain available on the same YouTube channel throughout the campaign” season. Continue reading

The Dumbshine State

Solar panels being installed on house in Marathon

A rally last week in Tallahassee was staged to encourage solar energy development in Florida. Fortunately it became political because otherwise the mainstream media might not have covered it. Organizers used the event to accuse Gov. Rick Scott of blocking solar energy initiatives in the state at the behest of the big power companies.

Because Scott’s election-year rival, former Gov. Charlie Crist, attended the rally, the media paid some attention.

What should have made bigger news is how the state has placed its legislative thumb firmly on the development of renewable power. Florida has the third-largest potential for rooftop solar generation in the nation but ranks 18th in solar installations.

KEYS, which delivers power west of the Seven Mile Bridge, illustrates what is typical for the rest of the state. Look at information provided by KEYS spokesperson Lynne Tejeda about the sources of the utilities power. Continue reading

LOVE LANE GANG! They’re Just Plain Fun!

Love Lane Gang 2014020901

The Love Lane Gang is a locals band that knocks the socks off tourists and locals alike.They play music that spans generations as well as embodies them. With an age range among the members of over thirty years, they bring a wide variety of experience and musical tastes to bear..They’ve brought back skiffle and updated it for the present.

The emphasis is on ragtime and swing: classics from the 1930s and 1940s, done in a refreshing new style that incorporates the Hot Club approach with island flourishes. Dust Bowl ballads, old school country from Hank Williams and Dolly Parton, rockabilly and surf music classics and little-known gems, tunes from Sixties stars like The Beatles, The Kinks, and The Rolling Stones, and carefully chosen songs from current artists like Andrew Bird, Mason Jennings, and The White Stripes all fit in alongside original songs that sound like they could have come from any of those eras.

Offbeat instrumentation, including mandolin, ukulele, accordion, banjo, washboard, and a kazoo horn section, added to familiar guitar, bass, and harmonica, creates a broad musical palette which they use to color their performances.

But you needn’t pay too much mind to all that serious musical analysis – they’re just plain fun!

Their regular gigs are at McConnell’s Irish Pub And Grill on Fridays at 8 PM, and Saluté On The Beach on Sundays at 5:30 PM. And there is a rumor they will be at the pro-legalization rally at Mallory Square Sunday 4/20.

Scheduled Appearances for the rest of April [NOTE:  Salute now Sundays 5:30 to 8:30]: Continue reading

IN CASE YOU MISSED THIS BREAKING NEWS STORY PUBLISHED LATE ON APRIL 11th: CHARLES EIMERS FAMILY FILES SUIT IN FEDERAL COURT

Charles Eimers’ children have grown tired of waiting for answers from FDLE.

They asked their lawyers David Paul Horan and Darren Horan to file a suit for wrongful death against the City of Key West and 12 police officers involved in the arrest of Charles Eimers on Thanksgiving morning.  The arrest resulted in a coma and death a week later when Charles Eimers was removed from life support at Lower Keys Medical Center.

The lawsuit, filed this morning in U.S. District Court, alleges that officers Gabriel Humberto Garrido, Gustavo Adolpho Medina, Kathyann Wanciak, Gary Lee Lovette, Mathew Johnson, Francisco Zamora, Thaddeus Calvert, Derek Wallis, Nicholas Galbo, Janeth Calvert, Pablo Rodriguez, and Todd Stevens used excessive force in arresting Charles Eimers.  They have also sued the City of Key West for having a custom or policy that allows police officers to use the prone restraint technique on the beach. Continue reading

What Part of “No” Does Crane Point Not Get?

No zipline

Last week’s announcement that the Crane Point Nature Center would back away from a $ 727,000 federal grant via the city of Marathon and also give up a height variance allowing towers higher than what Marathon normally allows had opponents of the proposed zip-line attraction cheering.

Lost in the celebration, however, was Crane Point board member Norval Smith’s announcement that the board would pursue building a zip line on their own. The initial more limited plan includes eight towers, three zip lines and sky walks. It’s difficult to fathom the depth of the organization’s obtuseness and inability to look reality in the face. Continue reading

CHARLES EIMERS FAMILY FILES SUIT IN FEDERAL COURT

Charles Eimers Photo provided by Treavor Eimers

Charles Eimers Photo provided by Treavor Eimers

Charles Eimers’ children have grown tired of waiting for answers from FDLE.

They asked their lawyers David Paul Horan and Darren Horan to file a suit for wrongful death against the City of Key West and 12 police officers involved in the arrest of Charles Eimers on Thanksgiving morning.  The arrest resulted in a coma and death a week later when Charles Eimers was removed from life support at Lower Keys Medical Center.

The lawsuit, filed this morning in U.S. District Court, alleges that officers Gabriel Humberto Garrido, Gustavo Adolpho Medina, Kathyann Wanciak, Gary Lee Lovette, Mathew Johnson, Francisco Zamora, Thaddeus Calvert, Derek Wallis, Nicholas Galbo, Janeth Calvert, Pablo Rodriguez, and Todd Stevens used excessive force in arresting Charles Eimers.  They have also sued the City of Key West for having a custom or policy that allows police officers to use the prone restraint technique on the beach. Continue reading

Congressman Garcia’s Statement On Paul Ryan’s Budget Plan

image001

Today [April 10, 2014], the House of Representatives voted on the budget introduced by Republican Paul Ryan last week. The budget makes drastic and unreasonable cuts to education, Medicare, and many other critical programs so many of our nation’s citizens depend on.

“Paul Ryan’s budget proposal is a reckless and irresponsible vision that fails our citizens. It places priorities in all the wrong places, making cuts to programs like Medicare, for example, completely disregarding the needs of our nation. The proposed budget would cut billions out of Medicare, re-open the prescription drug donut hole and turn Medicare into a voucher program. Instead of supporting and protecting our nation’s elders, the Ryan budget chooses to implement policies that place severe financial burdens on seniors by shifting costs onto them, eliminating critical care programs, and making affordable health care a thing of the past. I oppose this budget and will continue to fight its irresponsible cuts to Medicare. ”

During today’s vote, Congressman Garcia voted against the Ryan budget plan.

LOVE LANE GANG! They’re Just Plain Fun!

Love Lane Gang 2014020901

The Love Lane Gang is a locals band that knocks the socks off tourists and locals alike.They play music that spans generations as well as embodies them. With an age range among the members of over thirty years, they bring a wide variety of experience and musical tastes to bear..They’ve brought back skiffle and updated it for the present.

The emphasis is on ragtime and swing: classics from the 1930s and 1940s, done in a refreshing new style that incorporates the Hot Club approach with island flourishes. Dust Bowl ballads, old school country from Hank Williams and Dolly Parton, rockabilly and surf music classics and little-known gems, tunes from Sixties stars like The Beatles, The Kinks, and The Rolling Stones, and carefully chosen songs from current artists like Andrew Bird, Mason Jennings, and The White Stripes all fit in alongside original songs that sound like they could have come from any of those eras.

Offbeat instrumentation, including mandolin, ukulele, accordion, banjo, washboard, and a kazoo horn section, added to familiar guitar, bass, and harmonica, creates a broad musical palette which they use to color their performances.

But you needn’t pay too much mind to all that serious musical analysis – they’re just plain fun!

Their regular gigs are at McConnell’s Irish Pub And Grill on Fridays at 8 PM, and Saluté On The Beach on Sundays at 6:30 PM. And tonight they’re at The Green Parrot!

Scheduled Appearances:

Continue reading

Community Craft & Yard Sale on Saturday, April 12 at Montessori Children’s School

MCS

Montessori Children’s School of Key West will host a Community Craft and Yard Sale on Saturday, April 12 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at its campus located at 1221 Varela St. in Key West.

Local vendors will be set up to sell beautiful art, handmade crafts and yard sale items. Fun activities on our playground such as face painting, games and crafts will be available to keep the children busy while you shop. Bring the whole family!

Booth space to sell your own items is available for $ 30. For more information, call 305-294-5302.

Proceeds benefit Montessori Children’s School of Key West, a local non-profit school serving children from 18 months through kindergarten.

About Montessori Children’s School of Key West

Montessori Children’s School of Key West, founded in 1972, is a non-profit, parent-based corporation serving children ages 18 months through kindergarten located at 1221 Varela Street in Key West. LIC# C16MO0028

Hometown! PAC Announces Call for Candidates Event

Salute Forum 2009

Salute Forum 2009

Key West, 21 April 2014:  Hometown! ‘s “Call for Candidates” Event at Salute Restaurant, Higgs Beach at 5 p.m.

Dear Members, Prospective Members of Hometown PAC, and all Candidates, Prospective Candidates and Those Merely Testing the Waters:

Please join us on Monday, April 21, 2014, when Key West’s Hometown! will present declared and potential candidates for the upcoming elections. The event will be held at Salute Restaurant, Higgs Beach, starting with a social portion at 5:00 p.m. Candidates, declared or potential, will introduce themselves and make short presentations, beginning at 5:30 pm. All candidates are encouraged to come early and bring with them petitions for voters to sign, campaign literature, buttons, T-shirts and other items relating to their campaign. Please bring your own tables for your campaign items.

For those who cannot attend the Call for Candidates, FloridaKeys.com will be streaming the event live as well as recording the event for later viewing.   You can watch the live event by going to www.hometownkeywest.com.  After the event, the recorded video will be posted to the Hometown Key West YouTube channel and will remain available on the same YouTube channel throughout the campaign” season. Continue reading

HAVE YOU EVER THOUGHT ABOUT JOINING THE PEACE CORPS?

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Have you ever thought about joining the Peace Corps– not only to experience a once-in-a-lifetime adventure, but also to help others in need in less-developed countries? Well, if you have, you have a unique opportunity to get inside information about service in the Peace Corps at a special event scheduled here next Thursday afternoon, April 17, 1-2pm, at the Key West Public Library at 700 Fleming Street. Steve Hunsicker, the Peace Corps recruiter for South Florida, will host the event. Steve served as a Peace Corp volunteer in the Kingdom of Tonga for two years 2007-09. He will talk about some of his experiences as a volunteer in Tonga, as well as answer questions about serving in the Peace Corps and the application process.

Since the Peace Corps was created, more than 215,000 Americans of all ages have served in 139 countries worldwide. Thirty-six of those volunteers have been from Key West, including Richard Hatch, owner of the popular Blue Heaven Restaurant here. He served in Gabon, in central Africa, 1983-85, teaching math and English– in French. Key Wester Kate Ahern is a brand new Peace Corps volunteer. Within a few months, she will be leaving to serve in Panama.

Actually, I can tell you something about the application process. I have applied to serve and I am well into the year-long application process. Yeah, yeah, if you know me, I know what you must be thinking. Continue reading

Compartmentalization

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The human brain is infinitely intriguing and as complex as the cosmos. The question of what makes us tick is in good company along with “what is the meaning of life?” Psychologists, Psychiatrists and Neurosurgeons are making headway (apologies) into the mysterious realm of the mind, but are far from unlocking and fully understanding that odd three pounds of gray matter floating around in our skulls. I am humbly awed at how I can simply type these letters without any real intentional exertion beyond gently willing my fingers to hit the proper key in the proper order to create each word and sentence. Miraculous, really!

Our brains cooked up writing itself 5000 years ago and before that, speech and we haven’t looked back! Those are the two main ingredients of the recipe that allowed us to develop agricultural settlements and form organized cooperative civilizations that, in turn, allowed some in that society to pursue the less physical, more intellectual avenues of governance and organized religion, leaving the hunter/gatherer life to those “less fortunate” living in regions and climes not conducive to the farming culture. This agri-society also gave rise to the warrior class to protect the food producers and said governance.

But that isn’t what I want to write about today. I want to write about another amazing talent the human brain possesses. Continue reading

BENJAMIN FRANKLIN PRACTICED ADVOCACY JOURNALISM

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Benjamin Franklin has got to be a role model for anyone who makes or has made his or her living as a publisher. We all learned about Benjamin Franklin in school– the statesman, diplomat, scientist, inventor and a signer of both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. But he started as a printer and a publisher.

At the age of 12, Ben became an apprentice to his brother James, a Boston printer, and learned the printing trade. Three years later, in 1721, James Franklin founded the New England Courant, the first truly independent newspaper in the colonies. Back then, logically, printers also often became publishers. They had the presses, paper and ink. But newspaper publishing was a risky business for printers. Printers had to be licensed by the British government– and printer/publishers who dared to offend the government could quickly find themselves not only de-licensed, but also jailed. And that is exactly what happened to James Franklin. Keep in mind that, before the creation of the United States of America, there was no freedom of the press. Continue reading

BOATER SEWAGE PUMPOUT: Audit Shows Monroe County Spent 85% More Than Bargained For Last Year

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Cartoon by Richard [Tuna] Rohe

Boaters in Monroe County pay 50% more to register their boats than boaters in most other Florida counties. Almost all of this extra 50% coming from the more than 22,000 registered boaters in Monroe County is currently spent to provide free pump-out service to at most 500 boaters.

Fishing, diving, cruising the waters of the Florida Keys is what it’s all about.  Those turquoise waters are our only true luxury.  But owning a boat in the Keys is not cheap. Marina dockage can cost as much as an apartment and then there is the registration tax.  In Monroe County an average 26’ runabout costs about $ 125 to register per year and it can cost as much as $ 350 a year to register a 110 foot commercial boat. The extra 50% collected from Monroe County boaters creates revenue of about $ 400,000/year. Almost all of it, $ 340,000, is currently being used to pay a private company to provide free sewage pump-out  to offshore boaters – with a price tag of nearly $ 64.00 per pump out. Continue reading

Legal Struggles For ‘Captain Tilly’ and His Sunken Tug Boat


“This is a Franz Kafka movie here,” says Stephen Freer.  Navigating the legal system may have turned as treacherous for Freer as the seas he was rescued from when he was abandoned miles offshore on a sinking tugboat named “Tilly”.

Freer stands accused by FWC of having, on February 21st, “caused” Tug Tilly to be towed to sea where he abandoned it and where it sank about a week later during a storm.

When The Blue Paper caught up with him for his big “trial” at a Monroe County courthouse on Wednesday morning, we found him at the end of a lonely corridor talking into the wall through an interphone.  There was no window or glass, just a silver phone with a wire coming out of the concrete wall and a short list of phone numbers.

Freer one Continue reading

Open letter to the County Commissioners

Dear Commissioners,

Thank you very much for your service to the residents of Monroe County.  We have been full-time residents for over 30 years, and have enjoyed it.  In all those years, we never had a complaint.

There is, however, an issue that we feel should be addressed.  It affects us, and it affects many other constituents.  In brief, we have a small mobile home that we put on the market. Upon receipt of an offer to buy it, it was discovered that there was an open permit from back in 1988.  That is 26 years ago, well before we purchased that property in 2001!   We had no idea there was an issue until we’re close to closing our sale.   When our realtor called the Building Department to investigate, they changed it to “expired” the permit.

There is also a possibility that a clerical error was made.  We own Unit #3 in Venture Out, on Cudjoe Key. Our property records show a permit that is linked to a different unit.  The permit # 04100197 is for unit #501. The permit that is apparently linked to our unit, Unit #3 is #881000344.

The burden of closing or re-opening those old permits is being put on the current owners.  We are only a couple of weeks from our closing date, and this very unpleasant surprise causes us undue grief.  If something was not done correctly 26 years ago, the problem should have been uncovered well before now, and the burden should either be put on the owners at that time, or grandfathered.

We urge you to take action on behalf of all the homeowners of Monroe County.  We respectfully request that permits older than a certain time (10 years?) be closed and forgiven when the original permittee is no longer the property owner.

Best regards,

Dr. and Mrs. William M. Smith

Community Craft & Yard Sale on Saturday, April 12 at Montessori Children’s School

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Montessori Children’s School of Key West will host a Community Craft and Yard Sale on Saturday, April 12 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at its campus located at 1221 Varela St. in Key West.

Local vendors will be set up to sell beautiful art, handmade crafts and yard sale items. Fun activities on our playground such as face painting, games and crafts will be available to keep the children busy while you shop. Bring the whole family!

Booth space to sell your own items is available for $ 30. For more information, call 305-294-5302.

Proceeds benefit Montessori Children’s School of Key West, a local non-profit school serving children from 18 months through kindergarten.

About Montessori Children’s School of Key West

Montessori Children’s School of Key West, founded in 1972, is a non-profit, parent-based corporation serving children ages 18 months through kindergarten located at 1221 Varela Street in Key West. LIC# C16MO0028

SAVE THE DATE! APRIL 21, 2014: Hometown!’s “Call for Candidates” Event at Salute Restaurant, Higgs Beach at 5 p.m.

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Photo: Hometown PAC event Salute 2010

Hometown! PAC Announces Call for Candidates Event

Dear Members, Prospective Members of Hometown PAC, and all Candidates, Prospective Candidates and Those Merely Testing the Waters:

Please join us on Monday, April 21, 2014, when Key West’s Hometown! will present declared and potential candidates for the upcoming elections. The event will be held at Salute Restaurant, Higgs Beach, starting with a social portion at 5:00 p.m. Candidates, declared or potential, will introduce themselves and make short presentations, beginning at 5:30 pm. All candidates are encouraged to come early and bring with them petitions for voters to sign, campaign literature, buttons, T-shirts and other items relating to their campaign. Please bring your own tables for your campaign items. Continue reading

Presenting Featured Artist Fran Decker

Fran at KWAC with Roof Top Cafe painting

Fran at Key West Art Center with Roof Top Cafe painting

Fran Decker’s colorful acrylic paintings capture the flavor of the Florida Keys.  Fran is a Plein Air painter, meaning she likes to paint on site, sitting in front of her subject matter.  Fran feels this helps her incorporate something special and indefineable, the essence of the scene, into her painting.  Fran paints a variety of subjects, from conch houses and Key West scenes to land and seascapes, flora and fauna and anything else that catches her eye.  Fran’s paintings reflect her favorite things about the Keys.

Fran painted her first ‘good” painting at age 12 Continue reading

Anatomy of a Cover-Up

According to new information obtained by The Blue Paper, KWPD officers covered up the true circumstances surrounding Charles Eimers’ death. This could have sent paramedics on the wrong path and might even have jeoparidized Eimers’ chances of survival.

For Charles Eimers, it was the first day of a new life.  He had finally retired after 30 + years working in an auto manufacturing plant in Michigan.  With a full pension and medical he was going to spend a winter in sunny Key West.

“He wanted to take it easy, maybe volunteer for some charities.  That’s the kind of guy he was, he would have given the shirt off his back,” says Eimers’ daughter Erica Garcia.

But none of that was going to happen; no visits from the grandkids or relaxing days at the beach.   By the end of his first day – Thanksgiving Day – 61 year old Charles Eimers, mistaken for a homeless man, would mysteriously fall into a coma while in the hands of Key West’s finest.  He would die a week later after being taken off life support at Lower Keys Medical Center (LKMC). Continue reading

Habitat for Humanity of Key West & Lower Florida Keys Loves Alternative Spring Break Volunteers!

Students from Yale, March 20, 2014

Students from Yale, March 20, 2014

Habitat for Humanity of Key West & Lower Florida Keys is hosting volunteer teams from colleges all over the United States during their spring and winter breaks: Austin Peay State University (TN ), University Minnesota, Regis University (CO) University North Carolina, Avon Old Farms (CT), University of South Florida, Yale and University of Illinois.  Through Habitat’s A Brush with Kindness Program, these motivated volunteers make repairs on homes of elder, income- qualified homeowners who struggle with exterior maintenance, allowing the homeowners to reclaim and remain in their homes with pride and dignity. Some of the teams have worked on the continuing renovations of Habitat’s affordable rental apartments located on Eisenhower Drive in Key West.  The volunteers also work a day during their week’s visit at Habitat’s ReStore in Big Pine Key sorting through merchandise, re-arranging the sales floor and sorting through tools to be sold at an upcoming sale. Over 70 students are participating in this year’s alternative break program, Habitat for Humanity’s Collegiate Challenge. Continue reading

$11.3 Million in Property Taxes? Not Yet!

moneyThe long awaited ruling on Balfour Beatty’s $ 11.3 Million property tax suit is finally in.  Judge Audlin ruled in favor of the giant British conglomerate’s subsidiary, Southeast Housing LLC.  The company has not paid any property taxes on hundreds of units of privatized military housing it has owned in Key West since 2007. The ruling grants the company a full and retroactive property tax exemption.  The Order was immediately appealed by Monroe County’s property appraiser Scott Russel.

In sum, Audlin’s ruling states that:

  1. Back taxes are not permitted where the property appraiser had changed his mind after informally granting an opinion on future exemption status in 2007.
  2. Federal and State law prohibit taxation of US government owned property.
  3. Even if Southeast Housing LLC is the titled owner of some 890 units of housing in Key West, the true owner for tax purposes is the US government, which is tax exempt.

The Judge concludes that the county and city must reimburse Southeast Housing for taxes previously paid “under protest” for the Peary Court property last year just prior to its sale and that the company should enjoy a full tax exemption going forward. Continue reading

Congressman Joe Garcia Joins Fellow House Members Urging Administration to Protect Medicare Advantage for Seniors

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Washington, DC – As part of his efforts to protect Medicare, Congressman Joe Garcia spoke on the House floor yesterday afternoon in strong opposition to the administration’s proposed cuts to Medicare. On April 7th, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is scheduled to release their final rule on payment rates for Medicare Advantage. Over the past few weeks Rep. Garcia has spoken with the President personally to communicate his strong support for the program, as well as his strong opposition to any proposed cuts by CMS.  Earlier in the week, Congressman Garcia also met with top level officials expressing his concerns over the cuts to these vital services, urging them to find alternative solutions in an effort to protect our seniors.

Additionally, Garcia has worked with Colleagues on both sides of the aisle, issuing a letter (text below) to the administration, urging the same.

“For half a century, Medicare has lifted millions of seniors out of poverty and provided them with the health care they need and deserve,” expressed Garcia. “It is our responsibility to strengthen and modernize Medicare to ensure that it continues to provide our nation’s seniors – who have rightfully earned their benefits – the high quality care they depend on.” Continue reading

CLYBOURNE PARK –POLITICALLY INCORRECT

Dave Bootle and Matt Hollis Hulsey  Photo by Roberta DePiero

Dave Bootle and Matt Hollis Hulsey Photo by Roberta DePiero

CLYBOURNE PARK, written by Bruce Norris and directed by Carole MacCartee at Red Barn Theatre, raises the bar on politically incorrect wit.

The Pulitzer Prize-winning dialogue wades deeply into the morass of race, mental challenges, handicapped issues and family and community dynamics, trading each groan for a laugh.  Audiences gasp before bursting in laughter at the rapid fire references.

The format of the show has each actor playing two roles – one in each scene set 50 years apart (1959 and the present).  The action follows two separate sales of the same house that trigger different perspectives on white flight and gentrification.

J. Kelly Nestruck called it “A nasty and brilliant comedy” in the Globe and Mail.

The squabbles and attempts to backpeddle from gaffs have the cast delivering lines like a song sung in rounds.

The Tony Award winning play resonates and also leaves the audience wondering “What the devil is the capitol of Morroco.”

Director Carole MacCartee deftly molds the actors — Dave Bootle, Nicole Nurenberg, Amber McDonald Good, Chris Tittel, Tish Williams, Mook J and Matt Hollis Hulsey.

Tickets are selling fast. Call Red Barn Box Office at 305-296-9911 or go to www.redbarntheatre.com for tickets.

Talk to the box office about group prices and the very special “Dinner and a Show” with special menus at the Pier House and The Hard Rock Cafe.

Caribbean Country Blues Master C W Colt and Honky Tonk Queen of Louisiana Kim Carson In Key West April 10th – 14th

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C W Colt known as The Caribbean Country Blues Master is teaming up with The Honky Tonk Queen  of Louisiana Kim Carson to do several shows in Key West and one show at the Looe Key Tiki Bar .  The shows will start April 10 at The Hogfish Bar and Grill on Stock Island and an afternoon show will be April 11th at The Two Friends Bar on Front St starting at 11:30 am followed by another show at The Hogfish Friday at 7pm. On Monday the 14th they will perform at The Ocean Key Resort on the Sunset Pier 1 to 4 pm and then Looe Key Tiki bar at 6 to 10 pm.

Kim has just finished her 10th CD to be released in Europe at the end of June and in the United States in October. Her forthcoming album “Enough Heart Left to Break” is good ol’ honky-tonk music with a dance hall sound that is chock full of fiddles and steel guitars.

Growing up in rural Texas and Oklahoma and now based out of New Orleans, LA, Kim’s sound is a gumbo of original high energy roots rock and renegade honky tonk music. Kim Carson has been named “Best Country Artist” by readers of OffBeat magazine eight times. Carson has made a name for herself as the undisputed “Queen of Louisiana Honky Tonk Music” and distinguished herself as a formidable Country songwriter. After Hurricane Katrina, Carson moved to Texas to form “Buffalo Speedway”, a Renegade Honky Tonk band in 2005. Kim moved back to rebuild her house in New Orleans in 2008. Continue reading

Southernmost Magnolia: Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler!

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Southernmost Magnolia, the Key West version of the renowned New England band Magnolia, plays a unique blend of Cajun, country, and bluegrass music. Led by singer and guitarist Maggie Moniz, with local fixtures Steve Gibson on mandolin and Chief Billy or Cindy Jefferson on bass, world-famous Chuck Sherman on pedal steel, and special guest Joe LePage playing fiddle, squeezebox, and harmonicas all month long, they play good time music sure to get your head boppin’, your toes tappin’, and your feet movin’. They will be making sure everyone can let the good times roll at B.O.’s Fish Wagon every Thursday 6 – 9 PM. Also, with the currently relaxed security status, you can see them (and a great view of the sunset over the water) every Wednesday 6 – 9 PM at Sunset Lounge on Sigsbee Navy Base.

Laissez les bon temps rouler!

Scheduled Appearances:

Continue reading

Breast Cancer Rates Increasing Among Younger Women In Florida; National Breast Cancer Prevention Project Relocates to Key West

More Florida women, under 50 years old, are being diagnosed with invasive breast cancer each year.  In 1984 only 53 out of 100,000 women in the state were diagnosed; by 2008 that number had jumped to 74 out of 100,000; a 1.7 percent annual increase, according to the Florida Statewide Cancer Registry.

Florida women are not alone. In 2007, 83 out of 100,000 Massachusetts women under 50 were diagnosed with the invasive disease, while in Colorado in 2007, that number was 70/100,000.   Since the mid 80’s, younger women under 50, in all three states, have faced annual increases of 0.9 to 2.3 percent.

In contrast, British women under 50 are at 1970 U.S. levels with only 42/100,000 women under 50 being diagnosed with invasive breast cancer in 2010.  Why this great disparity between the two countries? Continue reading

Key West High School Live Reporting Team Placed First In Nation!

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L-R: Riley Schill, Morgan Denhart, Austin Svedjan and KWHS teacher Ed Smith

Last week in Orlando, three Key West High School students from the Conch 5 Studios National Team placed first in the nation in the Team Live Reporting category at the Student Television Network Convention.

Morgan Denhart, Austin Svedjan, and Riley Schill collaborated on the winning effort. All three are students in Ed Smith’s television production class. [See their winning video below] Continue reading

CAUGHT!?

Looks like Balfour Beatty may be at it again!  Have privatized military housing contractors been ratted out while trying to sneak a new tax exemption bill into the Florida Legislature?

Balfour Beatty’s local military housing affiliate, Southeast Housing LLC, owns all of the Navy family housing units in the Key West area.  Over a year ago The Blue Paper blew the whistle on the fact that the British conglomerate had failed to pay property taxes on its Key West properties [over 890 units] since 2007.  Balfour is still suing over the issue and hopes Circuit Court Judge David Audlin will soon render a decision that will get them off the hook for what is now well over $ 11 Million in back taxes not to mention a free ride on property taxes on into the future.  Continue reading

EPA Proposes Biggest Step for Clean Water in a Decade

Today, in the biggest step forward for clean water in more than a decade, the Environmental Protection Agency proposed a rule to close loopholes in the Clean Water Act that leave nearly 30% of Florida’s streams and millions of acres of wetlands at risk of unchecked pollution and development.

“With the drinking water for close to 2 million Floridians at risk, we’re thrilled to see the EPA moving forward to protect our waterways,” said Jennifer Rubiello, field associate with Environment Florida, which has worked for more than a decade to restore Clean Water Act protections. “Today’s action is about securing that all our water is safe and healthy. Whether we’re kayaking on the Hillsborough River, fishing in our favorite stream, or just drinking the water that comes from our tap, we need Florida’s waterways to be clean and protected.” Continue reading

Monthly Artisan Market Celebrates Ocean Awareness

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The Key West Artisan Market: Ocean Awareness Edition will be held Sunday, March 30 from 10 am to 2 pm at the Restaurant Store parking lot in support the Mote Marine’s Oceanfest Key West on Saturday. The Market is a new monthly attraction with only one more date set for April 27 in conjunction with Conch Republic Days.

The event gives residents and visitors alike a chance to shop fresh and local. The parking lot at 1111 Eaton is transformed into a showcase of art, photography and unique local handicrafts made exclusively in the Keys in one convenient location. There will be entertainment, chef demonstrations, and kid’s activities. Marianne van den Broek from Sandisle will be demonstrating sand carving and Durf Durffee will be using various magnifying glasses to burn images on to wood. Continue reading

I Am Playing Badminton In My Soul

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When I was a kid, my mom and I used to play badminton in the yard. Badminton, as it turns out, is not only a terrifically fun word to spell and say, but it is also a hilarious sport, especially when you are completely lacking many things that “other” people may consider crucial to the “sport” of badminton like a net, badminton skills of any kind, and a flat surface upon which to play. We had some tennis rackets, a birdie and a portion of the yard that wasn’t quite flat, nor really very large, but that would do for what we reckoned as our Olympic version of the sport. And, if you consider peals of laughter as points, we were, like, really, really, really good at badminton. Also my friends and I were quite excellent at tennis, s’long as there weren’t any other people on any of the three courts and we could have free reign of the entire arena. Continue reading

LOVE LANE GANG! They’re Just Plain Fun!

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The Love Lane Gang is a locals band that knocks the socks off tourists and locals alike.They play music that spans generations as well as embodies them. With an age range among the members of over thirty years, they bring a wide variety of experience and musical tastes to bear..They’ve brought back skiffle and updated it for the present.

The emphasis is on ragtime and swing: classics from the 1930s and 1940s, done in a refreshing new style that incorporates the Hot Club approach with island flourishes. Dust Bowl ballads, old school country from Hank Williams and Dolly Parton, rockabilly and surf music classics and little-known gems, tunes from Sixties stars like The Beatles, The Kinks, and The Rolling Stones, and carefully chosen songs from current artists like Andrew Bird, Mason Jennings, and The White Stripes all fit in alongside original songs that sound like they could have come from any of those eras.

Offbeat instrumentation, including mandolin, ukulele, accordion, banjo, washboard, and a kazoo horn section, added to familiar guitar, bass, and harmonica, creates a broad musical palette which they use to color their performances.

But you needn’t pay too much mind to all that serious musical analysis – they’re just plain fun!

Their regular gigs are at McConnell’s Irish Pub And Grill on Fridays at 8 PM, and Saluté On The Beach on Sundays at 6:30 PM. And this Sunday at Saluté the band will be celebrating its 200th show. Come on out to the big party!

Scheduled Appearances: Continue reading

The Battle of the Bulge

I’m going back a bit in time here to revisit the first episode of Cosmos from a couple of weeks ago. At one point in that show, host Neil deGrasse Tyson mentioned that the earth and moon were much closer to each other when they were cutting their planetary baby teeth. Then he said something about the moon being pushed away from the earth by tidal friction and LEFT IT AT THAT! No explanation. No computer animation. Nothing. The thought must not have crossed his mind that millions of viewers out there in TV land would be left tossing and turning through sleepless nights wondering, What the heck is tidal friction? (Okay, that may be a bit of an exaggeration. Maybe it was just me tossing and turning and maybe it was only seven minutes before I fell asleep.)

A diagram of the Earth–Moon system showing how the tidal bulge
is pushed ahead by Earth’s rotation. This offset bulge exerts a net torque
on the Moon, boosting it while slowing Earth’s rotation.
(And if you can decipher any of this for me, please do. Gnu 1.2, CC 2.5)
Here’s how Encyclopedia Britannica explains tidal friction (or tidal acceleration): Continue reading

SOME BURNING QUESTIONS ABOUT OFFSHORE ISLANDS

Sore throats, red eyes, Old Town storeowners worried about the smell of smoke on their garments, sailboats evacuated… One way or another a lot of people were affected last week by the fire raging on Wisteria Island.  The Key West Fire Department had given up the fight on Monday and the fire continued on, burning through trees for six days.  In the end the flames were extinguished only after a group of volunteers took the matter into their own hands last Saturday.

“We traded buckets all day, from the beach all the way into the center of the forest,” says Jeff Sundwall one of the volunteers.  We had teenage kids, young mothers, boaters, people from Key West came with their boats. We worked from morning to sunset.”

By then, the team of about 8 people, organized by local activist Mike Mongo, covered in soot and exhausted, equipped only with buckets and 500 feet of garden hose connected to a small 12-volt pump, had managed to extinguish the flames down to the last cluster of burning trees. Continue reading