Aug 262016
Crime Pays in Key West, Especially When you Get Caught

by Arnaud and Naja Girard……. Prominent businessman Ed Swift got caught again illegally renting to tourists. The Conch Train owner and, ironically, advocate for affordable housing, was reported this week by The Keynoter as having been set up, again, by code enforcement officials who went undercover and rented two of his condo units at Key Cove Landing for 6 nights for roughly $600 a night. That was, apparently, the third time in a little over a year.  Swift certainly made a mistake. Or did he? [continue reading…]

Aug 262016
Tropical Disturbance Expected to Remain Weak When Reaches the Florida Keys

MARATHON – The tropical disturbance that is now 520 miles east-southeast of Key West remains weak and disorganized. It is not expected to develop into a tropical cyclone by the time it reaches the Keys, according to the National Weather Service in Key West. “This is very good news,” Monroe County Emergency Management Director Martin Senterfitt said. Impacts of the tropical disturbance will be felt in the Keys on Sunday and Monday. It is expected to bring periods of heavy rainfall, with the possibility of [continue reading…]

 August 26, 2016  Posted by at 12:34 am Issue #180 No Responses »
Aug 262016
An Austrian Startup Is Mapping the Ocean

Ocean Maps is making an app out of Florida’s best dive sites Ocean Maps, an Austrian startup, is the world’s first company to create 3D underwater maps and turn them into an interactive application that can be used by divers and businesses alike. This month, Ocean Maps undertook the venture of mapping the dive sites in Florida, all the way from the Keys through Miami and aims to have the maps in app format by the fall of this year. Ocean Maps originated from the [continue reading…]

 August 26, 2016  Posted by at 12:32 am Issue #181, News, Public Notice No Responses »
Aug 262016
The Ten Commandments of the Lords of War

by Ray Jason……. 1. Thou shalt not notice that those of us who start the wars never fight and die in the wars – and neither do our families and our friends. 2. Thou shalt never describe War with words like “despicable,” “sick” and “repellant,” but shall instead use only approved words such as “heroic,” “glorious” and “necessary.” 3. Thou shalt overlook the core Truth that War is the deliberate murder of innocent people with whom you have no grievance and who have done you [continue reading…]

 August 26, 2016  Posted by at 12:30 am Island Voices, Issue #181 No Responses »
Aug 262016
The Indestructibility of Art

by Kim Pederson……. Confluence is an interesting word. In strict terms, it means a place of coming together (which reflects, confluentially, on the blog I posted yesterday). The word appears most often in “confluence” with references to rivers and streams but it can apply to other things as well (meaning us). Yesterday, I experienced a strange confluence. I saw the video clip of the former ISIS member confessing at his trial at The Hague to destroying historical buildings in Timbuktu in Mali. Also yesterday, I [continue reading…]

 August 26, 2016  Posted by at 12:29 am Issue #181, Kim Pederson No Responses »
Aug 262016
Travel Advice for the Islamo-FraidyCat Set

by Thomas L. Knapp……. On August 18, three siblings boarded an EasyJet flight at London’s Stansted airport. Maryam, Sakina and Ali Dharas were en route to Italy for a holiday. But before the flight could take off, they were asked to debark for questioning by police. Another passenger, apparently an amateur detective, deduced that because they are brown people and the two sisters wear hijabs — Muslim head scarves — they must be Islamic State terrorists. Which, of course, they weren’t. The plane eventually took [continue reading…]

 August 26, 2016  Posted by at 12:28 am ~ Opinion ~, Editorial, Issue #181 No Responses »
Aug 262016
War: The Islamic State and Western Politicians Against the Rest of Us

by Thomas L. Knapp……. On July 28, London’s Central Criminal Court of England and Wales, aka “the Old Bailey,” announced the conviction of Islamist preacher Anjem Choudary on charges of “inviting support for a proscribed organization” (the Islamic State). He’ll be sentenced, likely to a long stint in prison, in September. On August 18, social networking service Twitter announced that it has suspended 360,000 user accounts since mid-2015 — 235,000 of them just since February — for “promoting extremism.” While Twitter is theoretically a private [continue reading…]

 August 26, 2016  Posted by at 12:26 am ~ Opinion ~, Editorial, Issue #181 No Responses »
Aug 262016
Art and Politics

by Kirby Congdon……. This writer believes in keeping up with his own times. When the poet, Quincy Troupe was showing his remembrance of the trumpeter, Miles Davis (1926 – 1991), in a publication tour in Key West back in 2000, this correspondent hastened to buy a copy and read it right away, like this summer. Well, it’s only 16 years later. The milieu of Miles Davis was not one this listener had ever sought out, but after reading Quincy Troupe’s book I felt close to both [continue reading…]

 August 26, 2016  Posted by at 12:25 am Issue #181, Kirby Congdon No Responses »
Aug 262016
Statement of Support for Renewable Energy Tax Abatement, Amendment 4 Ballot Initiative

To run a successful business, you must be able to control your costs. However, rising energy costs and increasing energy demands threaten a diverse array of Florida businesses and strain existing capacities to access affordable energy throughout the state. We deserve to control our energy costs and opt for plentiful, clean, renewable energy. That’s why we, the undersigned businesses, urge fellow business owners as well as all Floridians to vote yes on Amendment 4, The Florida Tax Exemptions for Renewable Energy Measure, which will appear [continue reading…]

 August 26, 2016  Posted by at 12:24 am Issue #181, Public Notice No Responses »
Aug 262016
Veterans for Joe Garcia

Dear Editor, I am a Vietnam veteran supporting Joe Garcia for Congress. Joe was there for us in some hard times for us Veterans. There was one Doctor in the Key West VA clinic, the next was a hundred miles away and 10 thousand Veterans in between. Miami VA said to bad no more Doctors. I called Congressman Joe Garcia, he said I’m on it. Joe went personally to the Miami VA Headquarters. It was hair teeth and eyeballs but he got us our Doctor [continue reading…]

 August 26, 2016  Posted by at 12:22 am Issue #181, Letter to the Editor No Responses »
Aug 262016
Winner(s) in the Hospital Fight

Dear Editor, It is still too early to tell who the ultimate winner will be, the public or Lower Keys Medical Center, in the current fight over services and billing. However, there are indications of short term winners, specifically the local print newspapers. Both sides in the battle have taken out numerous, a dozen or more, full page ads in the Key West Citizen to promote their positions. Mariners Hospital has joined the battle, touting its four star rating as opposed to the single star [continue reading…]

 August 26, 2016  Posted by at 12:20 am Issue #181, Letter to the Editor No Responses »
Aug 262016
Open Letter to City Commisioners: Second Solar Carport is Now Being Constructed?!

Dear Commissioners, Many of you have voiced interest about how HARC approved the carport solar arrays at Glynn Archer. The video of the meeting is “not available” on the City’s website. I have been given a copy of the HARC meeting on April 24, 2014 when the project was presented and approved, and have uploaded the latter portion of the video where the solar panel carports are mentioned. The cascade of mistakes made by staff and commission that resulted from the architects misunderstanding of the [continue reading…]

 August 26, 2016  Posted by at 12:18 am Issue #181, Public Notice 9 Responses »
Aug 262016
Department of Health Daily Zika Update - Monroe Case

Tallahassee, Fla.—In an effort to keep Florida residents and visitors safe and aware about the status of the Zika virus, the department will issue a Zika virus update each week day. Updates will include a Zika case count by county and information to keep Floridians informed and prepared. There are 11 new travel related cases today, three in Miami-Dade, two in Alachua, two in Orange, one in Duval, one in Monroe, one in Osceola and one in Polk. Please visit our website to see the [continue reading…]

 August 26, 2016  Posted by at 12:16 am Issue #181, News, Public Notice No Responses »
Aug 262016
Six Officers Receive Valor Award

Chief Donie Lee last night presented six law enforcement officers with the highest honor bestowed by the Key West Police Department: the Valor Award. Key West Police Officers Alex Gaufillet, Frank Betz, Brian Leahy, Curtiss Richardson and Jessie Hammers and Monroe County Sheriff’s Deputy David Lariz all put their lives at risk in order to protect the community during a shooting on Duval Street. A call came in on March 21st that an armed suspect had shot three people on the street. Within minutes, officers [continue reading…]

 August 26, 2016  Posted by at 12:12 am Issue #181, News 1 Response »
Aug 262016
Chief Presents Lifesaving Awards

This week Key West Police Chief Donie Lee presented Sgt. Jeff Williamson, Detective Stephen Mitchell, and Officers Jesse Young and Michael Chaustit the Lifesaving Award for reviving a man overcome with fumes aboard a stranded boat last week. While conducting training on August 17th, the Key West Police Underwater Search and Recovery Team (USRT) heard a call come over VHF channel 16 advising there was a vessel with a male having a medical emergency. The U.S. Coast Guard was receiving limited information, but the USRT [continue reading…]

 August 26, 2016  Posted by at 12:12 am Issue #181, News No Responses »
Aug 262016
Civil and Human Rights Coalition Calls for More International Election Monitors in U.S. Presidential Election

WASHINGTON – In advance of the first presidential election in 50 years without a fully operable Voting Rights Act (VRA), an American civil rights group is urging the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to expand its election monitoring mission in the United States and to target resources to states where voter discrimination and intimidation is most likely. In a letter sent to the OSCE from The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, the group explains that, “A confluence of factors has [continue reading…]

 August 26, 2016  Posted by at 12:10 am Issue #181, News, Public Notice No Responses »
Aug 262016
National Park Service Left With Centennial Hangover

Parks Stumbles into Second Century with Growing Gaps and No Coherent Game-Plan Washington, DC — When the hoopla from this week’s centennial fades, the National Park Service will find itself an institution in deepening trouble. Record visitation not only masks but also aggravates a spiral sucking our system of nation parks downward, according to indicators highlighted by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). Much attention is paid to the National Park Service’s (NPS) mounting maintenance backlog, now nearing $12 billion, or four times its annual [continue reading…]

 August 26, 2016  Posted by at 12:08 am Issue #181, News, Public Notice No Responses »
Aug 262016
Custom Made Exhibit Celebrates Architectural Crown Jewel of Key West

Key West Art & Historical Society invites the community to join in celebrating the 125th anniversary of the Custom House as it presents Custom Made, an exhibition focused on the building’s structure and the federal offices that occupied the space for decades. Custom Made opens at 281 Front Street with a special reception from 5:30pm-7:30pm on Friday, August 26, and will run through December 6. One of the finest examples of Richardsonian Romanesque architecture in the United States, the Custom House Museum stands sentinel over [continue reading…]

 August 26, 2016  Posted by at 12:07 am Art, Issue #181, What To Do No Responses »
Aug 262016
Preserving Edible History with the Queen of All Pudding and the Conch Heritage Picnic at Fort East Martello

Say the word “conch” to most people around the world and they immediately picture a tuneful curvaceous mollusk. In the Florida Keys however, it also describes a unique and vibrant culture and an island cuisine that has emerged from a literal melting pot of tastes and legacies. The Conch culture and its flavors will be celebrated on Saturday, August 27 from 6:30-9:30 pm at Fort East Martello in Key West, at the Conch Revival Picnic presented by The Key West Art & Historical Society and [continue reading…]

 August 26, 2016  Posted by at 12:06 am Issue #181, Special Events, What To Do No Responses »
Aug 262016
Florida Keys Council of the Arts Cultural Calendar

Thursday, August 25 thru Wednesday, August 31 Visit, Cultural Calendar for more listings and events throughout the Keys. Key West Happenings ARTIST RECEPTIONS/EXHIBITIONS Friday Custom Made Opening Reception, 5:30 PM Key West Art and Historical Society celebrating the 125th anniversary of the Custom House as it presents Custom Made, an exhibition focused on the building’s structure and the federal offices that occupied the space for decades. The Custom House, 281 Front St. 305-295-6616. Saturday Sip and Shop Saturday with ZEN Jewelry, 6 PM [continue reading…]

 August 26, 2016  Posted by at 12:06 am Art, Issue #181, Literature, Music, Special Events, Theater, What To Do No Responses »
Aug 262016
This Friday: The Kickoff To The 2016 FANTASY FEST King And Queen Competition

Every vote counts. But only in Key West does that mean going to the polls again and again…and again…where stuffing the ballot box is encouraged and a little HOCUS POTUS will work its magic for a Queen and a King. While the platforms will stress unity and education, expect a fair amount of political clowning for 8 weeks after the Kick-Off for the 2016 FANTASY FEST King and Queen this Friday, August 26th. Beginning at 6 p.m. at The Southernmost House, 1400 Duval, the evening’s [continue reading…]

 August 26, 2016  Posted by at 12:05 am Issue #181, Special Events, What To Do No Responses »
Aug 262016
Event Change of Venue - Conch Revival Picnic Update

1st Annual Conch Revival Picnic Saturday, August 27 from 6:30PM-9:30PM Key West Armory $35/children under 12 free With Mother Nature stirring up tropical disturbance Invest 99-L and unpredictable weather ahead, the first annual Conch Revival Picnic, set for 6:30 – 9:30 pm this Saturday, August 27, is being relocated from Fort East Martello to a spacious indoor venue, at the historic Key West Armory building, 600 White Street. Hours and classic conch menu will remain exactly the same and all ticket holders will receive one [continue reading…]

 August 26, 2016  Posted by at 12:04 am Issue #181, Special Events, What To Do No Responses »
Aug 262016
Wesley House Family Services Events

Key Largo Lighted Bike Ride – December 10, 2016 The Lighted Bike Ride helps to gather the needed toys for the struggling, working families of Key Largo for the holidays. At the Holiday Helpers Store, eligible parents walk through the store, empowered by the ability to pick free, new toys their children will want instead of just allocating non-specific toys to parents. The ride is a family event beginning with a registration at 5:30 with the Lighted Bike Ride beginning at 6:30pm. Families and individuals [continue reading…]

 August 26, 2016  Posted by at 12:02 am Issue #181, News, Special Event No Responses »
Aug 262016
March2Success: Army Program Offers Free Standardized Test Prep, Online Study Programs

  Students seeking help with preparing for college entrance exams or looking to improve math, English and science skills can do so for free with the online study program. In addition to test preparation materials and self-paced study programs, the site offers seven full-length free practice tests for both the SAT and ACT as well as an entire section dedicated to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) coursework. March2Success, a public service provided by the U.S. Army, offers guides to walk users through the [continue reading…]

 August 26, 2016  Posted by at 12:00 am Issue #181, News, Public Notice No Responses »
Aug 192016
Sting Operation: Corrections Deputy Arrested in $150,000 Deal to Help Inmate Escape

A Corrections deputy assigned to the Stock Island detention center was arrested yesterday charged with making a deal with an inmate: cash in exchange for helping him to escape. He was also charged with providing the inmate with contraband in the jail. 50 year old Elizardo Ortueta was reportedly acquainted with the inmate he allegedly made a deal with, 35 year old Albert Vizcaino Gonzalez, prior to his employment with the Sheriff’s Office; Vizcaino is in jail, convicted on drug trafficking charges. He faces a lengthy [continue reading…]

 August 19, 2016  Posted by at 1:00 am * Featured Story *, Issue #180 3 Responses »
Aug 192016
Write-in Mayoral Candidate Sloan Bashinsky's Hilarious Responses to PBA Candidate Questionaire

DADE COUNTY POLICE BENEVOLENT ASSOCIATION KEY WEST POLITICAL SCREENING Candidate Questionnaire August 12, 2016 Candidate: Sloan Bashinsky Position: Mayor Address: Contact Number (s): __________________ Date of Birth: 10/7/42 E-mail Address: Signature: _________________________ Background: The PBA places great value in the relationships it builds with elected officials. Therefore maintaining open lines of communication is of the utmost importance. Question (s): (a) Would you contact the PBA before speaking publicly for or against any issue of importance to the Association and/or law enforcement? Please explain your [continue reading…]

 August 19, 2016  Posted by at 12:56 am ~ Opinion ~, Editorial, Issue #180 4 Responses »
Aug 192016
KWPD Underwater Search and Recovery Team Saves Man's Life

While conducting training yesterday, the Key West Police Underwater Search and Recovery Team (USRT) heard a call come over VHF channel 16 advising there was a vessel near Fort Zachary Taylor with a male having a medical emergency. The emergency was described as either a heart attack or seizure. The Coast Guard was receiving limited information as the woman on board did not know how to use a VHF and her cellphone had sporadic service. They were able to ascertain she was somewhere off the [continue reading…]

 August 19, 2016  Posted by at 12:55 am Issue #180, News, Special Event 2 Responses »
Aug 192016
Crime Report

Miami man charged with stolen truck, boat and trailer A Miami man was arrested Thursday charged with stealing a truck then using the truck to steal a boat and trailer. The truck, a gold colored Ford F250, was stolen from Sands of the Keys, a business in Islamorada. The boat, a 2014 Sportsman with a Yamaha 150 horsepower engine on it, and the and trailer, a 2014 Venture, were stolen from a residence in the San Pedro Trailer Park in Islamorada. At 1:20 a.m., Deputy [continue reading…]

 August 19, 2016  Posted by at 12:54 am Issue #180, News, Public Notice 1 Response »
Aug 192016
Monroe County Launches New Website

At its Wednesday meeting, the Monroe County Board of County Commissioners approved an interlocal agreement with the Monroe County Mosquito Control District to provide County employees to supplement the District’s workforce on a temporary, as needed basis, in the event that the Zika virus becomes a problem in the county. Presently, the Florida Keys continues to have no confirmed cases of locally acquired Zika and only one confirmed travel-related case, in which the person contracted it outside of Florida. But to help keep Zika from [continue reading…]

 August 19, 2016  Posted by at 12:52 am Issue #180, News, Public Notice No Responses »
Aug 192016
Zika Testing for Pregnant Women

The Florida Department of Health in Monroe County is pleased to announce an additional service that is now offered in partnership with Womankind in Key West – Zika Virus Risk Assessment and Testing for Pregnant Women. This testing is offered in response to Governor Rick Scott’s direction that all county health departments offer testing at no cost to any pregnant woman interested in getting tested for Zika. Executive Director Kim Romano, second from left, and local Health Department Administrator Bob Eadie, far right, are flanked [continue reading…]

 August 19, 2016  Posted by at 12:50 am Issue #180, News, Public Notice No Responses »
Aug 192016
Guest Commentary: Mosquito Control / Big Coppitt

by Stephen Murray-Smith……. When I was elected to mosquito control nineteen years ago, our program consisted of aerial spraying with a 1940’s aircraft, a few spray trucks, no entomologist or biologists, and a $500,000 budget shortfall. Fast forward to today – our county has one of the best mosquito control programs in the nation. Late 2007, FKMCD began talks with the City of Key West to purchase property in order to build a new structure then vacating the existing building. Appraisals secured at our expense [continue reading…]

 August 19, 2016  Posted by at 12:48 am Issue #180, Letter to the Editor No Responses »
Aug 192016
Guest Column: FKMCD Board Meeting - November Can't Get Here Too Soon

by Ralph De Palma……. At the recent Florida Keys Mosquito Control District meeting (FKMCD), Commissioner up for re-election, Jill Cranney-Gage, flip flopped and changed her vote on the construction project that has been planned for the past two years, to be more in line with her mentor the Chairman and “Chief Budget Cutter” on the Board, Phil Goodman. The timing of this change appears to coincide with the pending potential 45% millage increase and the effect on her re-election campaign. That was bluntly pointed out by [continue reading…]

 August 19, 2016  Posted by at 12:46 am ~ Opinion ~, Editorial, Issue #180 1 Response »
Aug 192016
Mosquito Control: Forget "Taj Mahal" and Do Something about ZIKA!

Dear Editor, Steve Smith is a 20 year incumbent on the Florida Keys Mosquito Control Board. He is once again running for another 4 year ride. Mr. Smith tells us that he has been your good and faithful servant for lo these many, many, years and that he has tried his damndest to wisely spend your tax dollars. But he complains that all too often a majority of the board has overridden him and forced the board to cut taxes, cut expenses, and otherwise minimize [continue reading…]

 August 19, 2016  Posted by at 12:44 am Issue #180, Letter to the Editor No Responses »