Wednesday May 4, 2016: Commercial vessel allegedly discharging gunfire at another vessel 40 miles west of Key West, Florida. Reporting vessel is running for safety at top speed. Coast Guard orders all unnecessary personnel on reporting vessel below deck… The incident reportedly began when a recreational dive boat drove through a commercial fisherman’s chum slick while southwest of the Marquesas Keys. Update [from U.S. Coast Guard Miami]: The Coast Guard responded to a report of the discharge of a firearm southwest of Marquesas Key, Florida, on [continue reading…]
by Naja and Arnaud Girard……. After 58% of voters rejected the purchase of Peary Court six weeks ago, some City Commissioners have a new plan: give the City’s affordable housing funds to a private company that wants to buy the entire former Navy housing complex on White Street for 60 million dollars. The City would pay the buyer 12.5 million. In exchange, the buyer would deed restrict the 157 existing units and any other units constructed on the 24 plus acre property for use as [continue reading…]
A Key Largo man was scammed out of $2,500 because he believed his wife was kidnapped. The 30 year old man told Deputy Gil Gonzalez he received a call Friday at 10 a.m. from a man – “Mike” – who claimed to have his wife; Mike said the victim’s wife was involved in a car crash and had killed Mike’s son in the crash. Mike said after the crash he kidnapped her. He claimed to be a drug dealer and said he did not want [continue reading…]
by Dennis Reeves Cooper……. Why does a chicken cross the road? No matter what the answer might be, one thing is certain in Key West– the chickens are always crossing the road. And in most instances, those of us who are driving cars or riding mopeds give them the right-of-way. Key West’s chickens are part of the color and history of the island. After all, they’ve been here for at least 200 years– or even longer. Some say that chickens came with the pirates who [continue reading…]
by Martha K. Huggins, PhD……. As votes accumulated for President Dilma’s lower-house impeachment, “Good Bye, Dear” (Tchau Querida!) spread across the placards gripped by political opposition’s men and some women. Brazil’s Senate may soon try the country’s first woman president for “corruption” and if impeached Dilma Rousseff will be stripped of presidential powers for some of the alleged crimes committed by lower-house and senate legislators. The chutzpah of federal legislators should not surprise me, having done research in Brazil for 40 years on police, crime, and [continue reading…]
Dear Editor: On January 20, 2016, the six (6) members of the City Commissioners voted to approve funding for the “White Boxing” of the Douglass School Band Room & Shop Building and held their vote on whether the building should house the Roosevelt Sands Health Clinic. The members of the Frederick Douglass School Black Educators Memorial Project (FDSBEMP) had asked for consideration to be given to the fact that Commissioner Clayton Lopez had met with and promised their group over a 5 year period that [continue reading…]
Dear Editor, So now we know what PLAN B was for Peary Court, should the March referendum fail as it did. We had been told there were other buyers waiting in the wings…. but they weren’t interested in the deal the city was offered for $55 Million – they wanted MORE for LESS! And it looks like they may get it, despite the voters’ wishes. With a great NEED for ACTUAL affordable housing we need to look at the pros and cons of this latest [continue reading…]
The City of Key West now has a code compliance officer dedicated to the City’s vacation rental ordinance. According to the City’s code of ordinances, all short term rentals of 30 days or less must be licensed. Illegal rentals often disrupt residential neighborhoods. Illegal vacation rentals have been on the rise, and the City Commission recently authorized the dedication of a full time code compliance officer to address the problem. Anyone who suspects illegal vacation rentals can call Code Compliance at 305-809-3731 or 305-809-3740. Or [continue reading…]
After nearly 43 years with the Key West Fire Department and a decade at its helm, Fire Chief David Fraga has announced his retirement. In a letter to City Manager Jim Scholl, Chief Fraga wrote, “On November 7, 2015, I completed my 42nd year of service with the fire department, and May will mark my 10th year as Chief. I have been blessed to have had the honor, privilege, and the opportunity to serve in that capacity for all those years.” Chief Fraga has dedicated [continue reading…]
by Ray Jason……. In a far anchorage of the Archipelago of Bliss, the thick tropical night heat had glistened my little ship. As I came on deck, I was delighted to find her shimmering with moon glow. A single night bird was calling for a mate – or perhaps it was just saluting the almost unbearable beauty. I was carrying a pitcher of water to pour over myself with the hope of cooling down enough to go back to sleep. After dousing myself, I stood [continue reading…]
by Kirby Congdon……. Pulling a new collection of poetry out of its envelope, I flipped through the pages and two poems caught my eye. These were intimate poems, an obituary of a dog emphasizing our need for a pet rather than the other way around, and a meditation on a public institution for those on disability. In this second one the narrator describes his attempt to handle the situation, closing his poem with “I finally fell away, imaginary wings broken.” Both poems were in a [continue reading…]
by Kim Pederson……. So what to do if Donald Trump wins the Republican nomination and becomes the next POTUS. (He would no doubt change the acronym to TRUMPUS with his first executive order and the White House to Casa Trump with his second.) Fortunately, for all of us who soon may be adopting the expatriate lifestyle, Business Insider has just published an article titled “14 of the most affordable places for Americans to retire [feel free to substitute “flee” here] outside the United States.” We [continue reading…]
by Thomas L. Knapp……. In March, an open letter from 121 Republican “national security leaders” characterized GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump’s foreign policy vision as “wildly inconsistent and unmoored in principle,” swinging “from isolationism to military adventurism within the space of one sentence.” While it’s always wise to take proclamations from the people who brought us the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq with a grain of salt, in this case they were right — and Trump himself proved it with his speech before the Center [continue reading…]
“Plastic Man: The Artful Life of Jerry Ross Barrish” is a documentary of the life of Mr. Barrish, a well-known artist from Pacifica, California. It has been shown at numerous Jewish film festivals throughout the country. Here is an article about its showing at the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival– Plastic Man: The Artful Life of Jerry Ross Barrish The film will be shown at the Tropic Cinema in Key West on Sunday, May 15, at 4 pm in the Peggy Dow theater. There will [continue reading…]
New report shows visitor spending supports nearly 10,000 jobs in Florida. ATLANTA – A new National Park Service (NPS) report shows that 10,639,979 visitors to national parks in Florida spent $643 million in the state in 2015. That spending resulted in 9,922 jobs and had a cumulative benefit to the state economy of $934.9 million. “The national parks of Florida attract visitors from across the country and around the world,” said Stan Austin, Southeast Regional Director. “Whether they are out for an afternoon, a school [continue reading…]
SAILING INTO SALT—“AD Tinkham is a born old master that lives quietly among us in the purity of his artistic integrity,” says writer and painter Annie Dillard, friend and collector of the acclaimed painter’s work. “Running Home” (30”X40,” oil on canvas) is one of several paintings to be revealed in a special preview on Saturday, May 7th from 6pm-8pm at SALT Gallery at SALT Island Provisions on 830 Fleming Street. The exhibit— “A Sailing Life”— will feature new paintings showcasing the fluency of his marine [continue reading…]
Local photographer Larry Blackburn will again show his photographic works on Friday, May 6th in conjunction with the First Friday Upper Duval Art Stroll. The showing, entitled “Scene in Key West” will continue to feature recent additions to his collection of many familiar sights around Key West that Larry feels fortunate to experience on a daily basis, along with many of your favorites from previous exhibits. The photographs will be printed on several media types including canvas, metal and metallic paper along with new acrylic [continue reading…]
Key West Police Chief Donie Lee and School Resource Officer Deglys Chavarria presented Key West High School teacher Monica Fletchall a check for $2500 for Operation Graduation yesterday. This outstanding program provides an all-night get together of fun. It keeps our grads safe and drug and alcohol free while they dance, eat, watch movies and win great prizes.
Stanley Papio saw art where others saw junk. The rebellious welder-turned-metal-artist transformed the metal collection piled high in his yard into extraordinary works of art, many of them comical and caustic commentary on neighbors and naysayers who wanted him to conform to their imposed zoning laws. 34 years after his death, Key West Art & Historical Society is proud to present the permanent exhibit of the pioneering Florida Keys folk artist. Stanley Papio: Junkyard Rebel opens Saturday, May 14th with a special reception from 5:30pm-7:00pm [continue reading…]
Annual Event Supports Zonta Club’s Community Programs for Women and Girls The Zonta Club of Key West will hold its 34th Annual Radio Day on Friday, April 29th from 5-8 pm, at the BottleCap Lounge, 1128 Simonton Street. A live remote broadcast on WEOW 92.7 with Rude Girl will showcase pre-recorded radio spots by local businesses that support the Club’s mission. The event includes music by Total Recall; an outdoor block party with grilled hamburgers and hotdogs and games; a fabulous silent auction; celebrity bartenders; [continue reading…]
Key West Art & Historical Society brings the island’s creativity to a new level of celebration with its inaugural Papio Kinetic Sculpture Parade on Saturday, May 14th, with additional festivities on Friday and Sunday as well. Here’s the low-down if you’re just now tuning in: 1. LET’S GET KINETIC! It’s a family-friendly, art-inspired, human-powered, mobile sculpture and art-bike parade! Think art with parts that move. Watch the one-hour cavalcade on May 14th wind down Duval Street, or BE in the parade (register first at papioskineticparade.com) [continue reading…]
Thursday, April 28 thru Wednesday, May 4 Visit keysarts.com, Cultural Calendar for more listings and events throughout the Keys. Key West Happenings ARTISTS RECEPTIONS/EXHIBITIONS Friday The Connections Project: A Mosaic of the Keys 2016 – Closing Reception, 5:30 PM Last chance! Come see 400 original 6×6 canvases. Hors d’oeuvres and libations, free parking. Make a permanent Connection by making a Donation and Collecting a canvas. Historic Gato Building, 1100 Simonton St. 305-295-4369. keysarts.com In Focus: Photographs from the Permanent Collection – Opening Reception, 5:30 PM [continue reading…]
American Legion Post 145 in Islamorada will be recognizing a sworn officer monthly from both Key Largo and Islamorada. This month, Sheriff’s Office Sergeants Gregg Johnson and Tom Kiffney were recognized “for their commitment to the citizens of Monroe County.” Johnson has worked for the Sheriff’s Office since 2003 and was promoted to sergeant in 2010; Kiffney has been with the Sheriff’s Office in 1992 and was promoted in 1996. First Vice Commander Angela Glover ( also pictured) presented them with certificates, “Thank you” challenge [continue reading…]
33rd Annual Queen Mother Pageant is a “Dragorama” Evening Gowns, Stilettos and Jeweled Crowns, it must be time for The 33rd Annual Queen Mother Pageant, presented by John “Ma” Evans Productions and La Te Da will be on Monday, May 9, 2016 This must see Key West tradition benefits Visiting Nurse Association & Hospice of the Florida Keys and One Human Family. Taking over Duval Street in front of La Te Da (1125 Duval), contestants compete in categories such as “evening gown,” “talent” and of [continue reading…]
The folks at Seacamp on Big Pine Key were very grateful that Sgt. David Smith thought of them when he heard about all this fishing equipment from Director Diane O’Dell in our Property Division. Also among the items donated from our property division was a telescope found abandoned on the side of the road. All the items will be used for their various educational programs for kids.
Students invited to enjoy special perks from May 1-31 WHAT: School’s (almost) out for the summer! Local and visiting students are invited to Florida Keys Outlet Center from May 1-31 to take advantage of Student Appreciation Month, which is sponsored by Betolli Vending. Throughout the event, students are invited to stop by Simon Guest Services booth or the Management Office, located in the food court, to pick up Florida Keys Outlet Center swag bags filled with a coupon book, a discount sheet, extra coupons and [continue reading…]
Southernmost Magnolia play good time music sure to get your head boppin’, your toes tappin’, and your feet movin’. They will be playing this Saturday from 7-10 PM at The Salty Angler 1114 Duval St. This new addition to the restaurant scene has some of the best barbecue on the island, as well as an excellent beer selection. Laissez les bon temps rouler!
Fundraiser for the Florida Keys Healthy Start Coalition The BottleCap Blue Room will host an Over the Moon benefit for the Florida Keys Healthy Start Coalition on Friday, May 6 from 5 to 8 pm. The winners of the Over the Moon Challenge will be announced and their prizes presented. In addition, the evening will feature a pop-up boutique for shopping, celebrity bartenders, “Wheel of Fortune” prizes, face painting, games for kids, a 50/50 drawing, silent auction, appetizers….AND…a chance to purchase tickets for a [continue reading…]
by Arnaud and Naja Girard……. Taking a look behind the scenes at the ill-fated 55 million dollar Peary Court purchase proposal has opened a door into the shadowy marshland of Key West politics. An investigation by The Blue Paper reveals possible Sunshine Law violations, officials concealing information from the public, and a blurry line between public office and the interests of private organizations.
by Ralph De Palma……. During 2009-2010 mosquito seasons over 100 cases of Dengue Fever were confirmed in mostly Old Town Key West, more cases probably went unconfirmed. The previous Florida Keys Mosquito Control (FKMCD) director Ed Fussell had managed mosquito control for the US Navy for decades. He later managed mosquito control for the entire State of Florida before coming to FKMCD. He has been the past President of the Florida Mosquito Control Association as well as the nationwide American Mosquito Control Association. He reviewed [continue reading…]
by Margaret Blank……. Good news! Gov. Scott signs Florida Keys Stewardship Act into Law The Florida Keys Stewardship Act is now officially law. It’s a blessing but a mixed one. As always, it is subject to interference and manipulation by the usual suspects. The Keys didn’t get everything they asked for but that’s not necessarily a bad thing – the situation being what it is. As beneficial as the Florida Keys Stewardship Act may be, there is one thing the Governor could do that would have [continue reading…]