CUBA’S SECRET SANTA

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Obama talks to raul castro

President Barack Obama talks with President Raúl Castro of Cuba from the Oval Office, Dec. 16, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Man is not free to watch impassively the enslavement and dishonor of men, nor their struggles for liberty and honor.

  • Jose Marti, Cuban Independence Revolutionary and Key West Poet

The Pope, Obama and Castro are on the phone…

In a surprise announcement Wednesday, December 17, 2014, President Barack Obama informed the world that at the urging of Pope Francis who “pursues the world as it should be, not as it is…” the US and Cuba have been negotiating directly for the first time in 5 decades. As a result, Cuba released Alan Gross (imprisoned 5 years for giving out smart phones without a permit as evidence he was a spy), and an unnamed US intelligence operative. In exchange, the US released 3 Cuban operatives held in America; Ramón Labanino, Antonio Guerrero and Gerardo Hernandez. The Presidents, Barack Obama and Raul Castro, spoke personally Tuesday to finalize this deal.  However, the exchange was only the tip of this Caribbean iceberg. Continue reading

CITIZEN REVIEW BOARD SHOWS ITS TEETH!

512px-US-DeptOfJustice-Seal.svg

512px-US-DeptOfJustice-Seal.svg

UNANIMOUS!  REQUEST FOR DOJ TO STEP IN ON EIMERS CASE / BOARD WILL PROBE DEEPER INTO TASING OF MATTHEW SHAUN MURPHY

“Garbage in. Garbage out.” That’s how Tom Milone, Vice-Chairman of the Citizen Review Board [CRB], described the concept of the Board relying on  investigative reports furnished by KWPD, FDLE, and SAO [State Attorney’s Office] when it comes to local police brutality cases.

The CRB voted unanimously on Wednesday night to make a formal request to the US Department of Justice to investigate not only the in-custody-death of Charles Eimers, but also the agencies that produced what he called, “tainted, compromised, and unreliable” investigations. Continue reading

Clarification: The Challenge to Cudjoe Regional Shallow Injection Well Permit

Concerning your Guest Editorial by Harry Powell:

Thank you very much for your guest editorial in The Blue Paper about the problems with shallow sewage wells at Cudjoe Regional. I think it’s really important to make these issues public, so I appreciate very much the time you’ve spent to do that.

But you’ve overlooked a very important fact.

The two property owners groups you mentioned are not the only challengers to the shallow wells at Cudjoe Regional, so the fact that they are now working with DigDeepCudjoe to try to convince FKAA to settle the legal challenge in exchange for some water quality studies – which are already required by FDEP anyway – instead of the deep well required by Florida law, does not mean that settlement is going to happen. Continue reading

Florida Keys Council of the Arts Cultural Calendar

arts council

arts council

Florida Keys Council of the Arts Cultural Calendar
Friday, December 19 thru Wednesday, December 24
Visit keysarts.com, Cultural Calendar for more listings and events throughout the Keys.

Key West Happenings
ARTISTS RECEPTIONS / EXHIBITIONS

DANCE

THURSDAY thru SUNDAY
Nutcracker Key West 2014, 7:30 PM and 2 PM (SUNDAY)
Tennessee Williams Theatre, 5901 College Rd. 295-7676. keystix.com Continue reading

Purple Heart Trail Designation Ceremony Held December 15, 2014

GE DIGITAL CAMERA

GE DIGITAL CAMERA

The following tribute was read aloud by John Donnelly during the Purple Heart Trail Dedication Ceremoney on December 15, 2014 at MM 106:

We thank each of you for making time to attend this ceremony. We are honored by your presence…

Sheriff Rick Ramsay and Capt. Don Fannelli have done a spectacular job in providing us with security, on such short notice. We are appreciative for all of the deputies assigned to this detail.

Our State Representative Holly Raschien and her superb team of Kate DeLoach and Erin Muir have done extraordinary work for their constituents. It took 10 years of battling the State of Florida, before they decided to create a Purple Heart License plate. A tag that funded domiciliary and nursing home care for veterans. Veterans helping veterans at no cost to the taxpayer. It should not have been so difficult. Continue reading

8th Annual Gingerbread Making Party at The Oldest House, December 20th

gingerbread event

gingerbread event
On Saturday, December 20, 2014, from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., the Old Island Restoration Foundation and Key West Collegiate Academy will host the eighth annual community gingerbread house making party in the garden of The Oldest House at 322 Duval Street in Key West. Kids of all ages are invited to attend this fun and free event. Each person attending is encouraged to bring edible items for house building and decorations, like gumdrops, candy canes or cookies to share. There will be tables full of house building and decorating supplies to create any gingerbread house that can be imagined. Every one attending will take home their gingerbread creations for a festive addition to holiday celebrations. Continue reading

Pet Pictures with Santa this Friday

Oakleigh Waits, son Cormac and dog Lennon enjoy quality time with Father Christmas at last year’s annual Pet Pictures with Santa.
Oakleigh Waits, son Cormac and dog Lennon enjoy quality time with Father Christmas at last year’s annual Pet Pictures with Santa.

Oakleigh Waits, son Cormac and dog Lennon enjoy quality time with Father Christmas at last year’s annual Pet Pictures with Santa.

This Friday, December 19, 5:30-8 pm, bring the critters and the kids for Pet Pictures with Santa, at the Historic Seaport Christmas tree at the foot of William Street. Sponsored by All Animal Clinic, a $20 (cash only) donation gets a professional high-resolution photo with Santa, plus goodies and treats including pet bandanas, dog treats, gift cards for free nail trims and candy for the kids. Proceeds benefit the Boys & Girls Club of the Keys. Island 107 FM will broadcast live onsite. For more information, visit KeyWestChristmas.org.

Internal Affairs: Officer Gets 5 Day Suspension For “Lying” About Killing Charles Eimers

Issue 92 KWPD Whitewash for web

Issue 92 KWPD Whitewash for web

KWPD Chief Donie Lee published the department’s Internal Affairs review of Charles Eimers’ in-custody death on Monday.

Officers were found to have acted professionally while using techniques that are proper for “actively resisting subjects.”

“I thought denial was a river in Egypt. Now we learn it is an island at the end of U.S. 1.” [Citizen’s Voice, Key West Citizen, 12/10/2014]

An unarmed man kneeling on the sand with his hands up, lays on his stomach as ordered by police. He lets them handcuff him until he is heard yelling loudly, “Ow! You’re hurting me!” He then appears to become agitated.  [warning disturbing photo in body of article] Continue reading

Officer Lovette’s Taser Recording Undergoes Enhanced Forensic Scrutiny / New Admissions Detected Regarding the Alleged Tasing of Charles Eimers

Issue 43 Charles Eimers for FB

According to KWPD there was no Taser fired during the fatal arrest of Charles Eimers on Thanksgiving Day of last year. But after a few months of forensic clean-up and enhancement by the Eimers family’s legal team, Officer Lovette’s infamous taser recording speaks again and it’s not pretty:

Officer Lovette:  “Listen. I tased a motherf***er in custody today. I don’t care. I already called my PBA rep.”

Unknown person: “For what?”

Officer Lovette:  [unintelligible] when you kill someone PB is first. I already called.”

So, was Charles Eimers tased or not? Continue reading

Inside Sector Key West

USCG, Key West

USCG Sector Key West

On a 70 degree, blue sky, December day in Key West, I found myself on the west end of the island, outside the guarded, metal gates of the United States Coast Guard Group, Sector Key West. A young, round male in wrinkled blues, held the gate house secure against the food delivery guy and me.

On the nose of 1 PM, my escort arrived. Lt. j.g. Peter Bermont, the USCG’s spokesperson in Key West, and my affable government handler for this interview. He provided me with a tour of the Station and the Cutters, while keeping me out of the secured areas I most wanted to see with a smile and joke. We briefly discussed the mission and activities of the USCG in the Key West Sector, while meandering about the base, getting a view of the ships and buildings. A majority of their focus appears to be on life saving activities, either of Cuban refugees on makeshift rafts, or Search and Rescue in local waters. Enforcement of environmental laws regarding fishing and polluting being the next most significant consumer of time and effort.

Continue reading

Guest Editorial: Cudjoe Regional Sewer Design / A Look Behind The Curtain

whistleblower

whistleblower

CUDJOE REGIONAL WASTEWATER SYSTEM, WHAT’S REALLY GOING ON?

Here is another piece of the puzzle on how the Cudjoe Regional Wastewater System (CRWS) came to be so very badly designed that those of us who are paying attention actually consider it to be an endangerment to our National Marine Sanctuary, and far from an improvement to existing treatment and disposal. The information herein was not easily obtained. Continue reading

“Corruption Never Has Been Compulsory”

Robinson Jeffers’ short, prophetic poem, “Shine, Perishing Republic” is especially poignant if not palpable today. Readers can experience the unraveling of our 238-year old republic on TV, which didn’t exist 89 years ago when he published it. Talk about vision.

Gonzo Journalist and activist Chris Hedges, America’s moral conscience today, recently chronicled the demolishment of our democracy: “Corporations have captured every major institution, including the judicial, legislative and executive branches of government, and deformed them to exclusively serve the demands of the market. They have, in the process, demolished civil society.” (Truthdig Report: 12/7/14)

Nevertheless, nothing is final yet in this fluidity we call time. Continue reading

WILLIAM WELCH RECEIVES HONOR

Photo credit:  Carol Tedesco
Tedesco_2014_252

Photo Credit: Carol Tedesco

Earlier this year, the Board of Directors of the Anne McKee Artists Fund honored artist William Welch for his exceptional, continuing contribution to the arts community in the Florida Keys and presented William with the Miriam B. Good Award and a special palette to commemorate the occasion. Mr. Welch is a gifted water colorist and oil painter with international recognition. From miniature watercolor scenes of extreme fine detail to large and expressive oil murals and screens, his style evokes the romance of color and light in the true impressionist’s spirit. Continue reading

Author David Sloan reads “Robert The Doll” to … Robert The Doll

Author and Key West Ghost Hunt proprietor David L. Sloan reads a passage from his latest work, "Robert the Doll," to its namesake, Robert, an antique doll and ward of the Key West Art & Historical Society, whom many believe to be haunted. Robert and his own stuffed pet, a lion named "Leo," reside at Fort East Martello Museum in Key West, where they receive visitors daily. Sloan's tribute to Robert is available in the Museum Store.

PHOTO: CAROL TEDESCO
Author and Key West Ghost Hunt proprietor David L. Sloan reads a passage from his latest work, "Robert the Doll," to its namesake, Robert, an antique doll and ward of the Key West Art & Historical Society, whom many believe to be haunted. Robert and his own stuffed pet, a lion named "Leo," reside at Fort East Martello Museum in Key West, where they receive visitors daily. Sloan's tribute to Robert is available in the Museum Store. PHOTO: CAROL TEDESCO

Author and Key West Ghost Hunt proprietor David L. Sloan reads a passage from his latest work, “Robert the Doll,” to its namesake, Robert, an antique doll and ward of the Key West Art & Historical Society, whom many believe to be haunted. Robert and his own stuffed pet, a lion named “Leo,” reside at Fort East Martello Museum in Key West, where they receive visitors daily. Sloan’s tribute to Robert is available in the Museum Store.
PHOTO: CAROL TEDESCO

Miami VA Leadership hosting Veteran Town Hall in Key West

Veterans and their family members are invited to a Miami VA Healthcare System Veteran Town Hall meeting designed to answer questions about VA services and solicit suggestions from Veterans.

The Veteran Town Hall is scheduled for Dec. 17 at 10 a.m. at The Harvey Government Center, BOCC Meeting Room, at 1200 Truman Avenue in Key West. This meeting is open to the public. Congressional staffs, Veteran Service Organizations, Non-Governmental Organizations and other community partners are encouraged to attend as well. Miami VA Leadership will be hosting the listening session. Continue reading

OIRF Supports Maintaining Historic Sites

Roberta Spencer, President of the Key West Woman's Club, receives a check from John Johnson and
Kelly Friend of the OIRF.  Funds were needed to improve storm protection for the Hellings House, home
of the KWWC since 1940.
Roberta Spencer, President of the Key West Woman's Club, receives a check from John Johnson and Kelly Friend of the OIRF.  Funds were needed to improve storm protection for the Hellings House, home of the KWWC since 1940.

Roberta Spencer, President of the Key West Woman’s Club, receives a check from John Johnson and
Kelly Friend of the OIRF. Funds were needed to improve storm protection for the Hellings House, home
of the KWWC since 1940.

Old Island earns funds for grants to support preservation of Key West cultural history and maintain the Oldest House through their annual series of House Tours; the first of four monthly tours is scheduled for December 27th and 28th.

The deadline for the next round of grants will be announced shortly. Information on the House Tours and the grant program will be found on www.oirf.org.