DEATH IN PARADISE: ONE YEAR AGO

CANDLELIGHT VIGIL ON SOUTH BEACH FOR CHARLES EIMERS

A hundred or so Key Westers gathered on Thanksgiving night on South Beach for the anniversary of Charles Eimers’ death. Tourist for a day, Mr. Eimers met with a controversial death on November 28th of last year within 24 hours of his arrival in Key West.

“I myself am just not ready emotionally to attend,” wrote Joshua Eimers, Charles’ youngest son.   Instead, the family sent a wooden cross and a heartfelt message which was read aloud by Rick Boettger. Continue reading

An Open letter and Prayer for Charles Eimers and His Family

Dear Charles,

A year ago today you came to our little island city. I did not know you personally, but like many of us, you dreamed of living in a tropical paradise…To wear flip-flops and T-shirts in January, soak up the sun on a beach and maybe even make friends back home in the north a little bit jealous. Many of us happy, long time citizens of Key West got here just like you; alone, with not much money, but a dream that we could carve out a little piece of paradise for ourselves and live among Key West’s “One Human Family”.

We are here tonight trying to make sense of your tragic passing on this beach where you might have wiggled your toes in the sand instead of losing your life in it. Many of us are confused and angered by this senseless loss of life, but we didn’t gather here tonight to express anger. We are called here by the much stronger principle of love. Love is the common thread that weaves through us all. Without love; family, friends and community could not exist. Every spiritual leader and prophet throughout history has love at the center of their tenets. Martin Luther King tells us, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. (and) Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” So tonight we are driving out the darkness with the light of candles and driving out the hate with our love for you and your family. Continue reading

DEATH IN PARADISE: ONE YEAR AGO

CANDLELIGHT VIGIL ON SOUTH BEACH FOR CHARLES EIMERS

A hundred or so Key Westers gathered on Thanksgiving night on South Beach for the anniversary of Charles Eimers’ death. Tourist for a day, Mr. Eimers met with a controversial death on November 28th of last year within 24 hours of his arrival in Key West.

“I myself am just not ready emotionally to attend,” wrote Joshua Eimers, Charles’ youngest son.   Instead, the family sent a wooden cross and a heartfelt message which was read aloud by Rick Boettger. Continue reading

THE LOVE LANE GANG! They’re Just Plain Fun!

Love Lane Gang 20141105-03

Photo credit: Carol Tedesco

The Love Lane Gang is a homegrown band that charms and thrills both locals and visitors with their rollicking raucous ruckus. With an age range among the members of over thirty years, they bring a wide variety of experience and musical tastes to bear and appeal to music lovers of all ages. They’ve brought back skiffle and updated it for the present. It’s impossible to keep from smiling amidst their mirthful musical mayhem!

The emphasis is on ragtime and swing from the 1930s and 1940s, done in a refreshing new style that melds Hot Club gypsy jazz with island flourishes. Also, Dust Bowl ballads, old school country from Hank Williams and Dolly Parton, rockabilly and surf music classics and rarer 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. Continue reading

Cost of Living in Key West vs. Salary

Dear Editor,

The Department of Children and Families (DCF) is currently advertising for a “Child Protective Investigator” in Key West. The salary range is $ 39,600.00 under the “Other Personnel Services” (OPS) status of no benefits except health insurance. All non-Key West applicants should be aware of the October 31, 2014 Key West Citizen newspaper report that stated Nicole Mayo a planner with the City of Key West resigned declaring, “I can’t afford to live here anymore on my salary.” Mayo’s resigning salary was $ 44,402 after six years of employment.

How can the DCF “leadership” attempt to hire a qualified person knowing the high economic requirements of Key West? Why burden a CPI with the stress of “just getting by” when doing one of the most important jobs in Key West?

Ironically, it was last year that a Miami-Dade DCF CPI supervisor was caught substitute teaching 50 days within eight months during his paid DCF 50 work days.

Unlike most Key West jobs the CPI can’t receive tips.

Mike Sawyer

Denver, CO

Poetry Guild Spotlights Malcolm Willison, Sunday December 7th

Malcolm Willison

Key West Poetry Guild will, on Sunday, Dec. 7, spotlight the much published international traveler and snowbird Malcolm Willison. The meeting will be held at Andy’s Cabana, a new outdoor venue at 308 Petronia St., beginning at 7 p.m.

As featured poet, Willison will read a selection of work that ranges, in his words, “from the personal to the political, across time, place, community, and family, people and relationships, myth, history and events, hours, seasons, and weather, skies and clouds, cities and countrysides, mountains and waters, geology and evolution, and voyages by road, rail, water, and air, with the arts and dreams, and some songs in various styles.” Continue reading

Key Changes at the Chorale

Rick-Boettger smallThe Keys Chorale has gone through a major organizational change this year. It has gone from an independent chorale using the college, to being a part of the college, its “Mixed Community Chorus” offering for-credit units to its regular students as well as continuing education to retirees like me. It also changed its leadership.

While change and leadership succession is a way of life for all organizations, rarely does it happen so quickly, and with results so vividly on display for all to see. At its “Holiday Harmonies” concert on the patio at FKCC next Friday, December 5 at 7 PM, everyone can come and judge for themselves how we’ve done. Continue reading

KATHY SMITH, FDLE’S LEAD INVESTIGATOR IN CHARLES EIMERS CASE, PUT ON ADMINISTRATIVE LEAVE

Issue-58-Mr-and-Mrs-Smith-for-web-800x586FDLE Special Agent Kathy Smith was escorted out of her Marathon office on Wednesday.  She has reportedly been put on administrative leave pending investigation of mortgage fraud.

The Blue Paper reported last week that Agent Kathy Smith and her ex-husband Scott Smith [at the time a Police Captain employed by KWPD] appeared to have signed a false affidavit associated with an advantageous mortgage.  They borrowed $ 461,500 on a house they had purchased in 2004 for $ 132,500.  The home is now in foreclosure.  In the affidavit the Smiths swore to the lender that they had been “continuously married” even though they had divorced four months previous.

Special Agent Kathy Smith was the lead investigator in the death of Charles Eimers.  FDLE’s failure to secure Eimers’ body for autopsy, to return calls to witnesses volunteering information and to collect and protect crucial evidence, made the investigation ever more controversial. Continue reading

EIMERS DEATH-IN-CUSTODY UPDATE: Missing Video Surfaces

~CAUTION! VIDEO SHOWS DISTURBING IMAGES~

Colombia!  The missing iphone video of Charles Eimers’ death was in Colombia!

“Once we had the phone number,” says Darren Horan, it took less than 48 hours to get a copy.”  He is one of the five lawyers representing Charles Eimers’ family in a suit against the City of Key West and 13 police officers who were involved in the fatal arrest of the 61-year-old tourist, Charles Eimers, last Thanksgiving.

On November 28, 2013, while KWPD officers were busy arresting Eimers on South Beach, a couple from Colombia was filming the incident with their iphones.  Nearly a year ago the first bystander video went viral and shattered the initial official police version of events describing an old man running away from police on the beach and collapsing due to a sudden heart attack.  But in that video, aside from the controversy it raised about police action, there was one nagging detail:  an unknown man was shown also filming the incident.  But no one could ID that second tourist. Continue reading

Key West Chalk Festival 2014 Sidewalk Celebration Moved to Sunday

Chalk Festival Update_LowRes

Kansas City based artist Joan Finn works on a Carmen Miranda inspired piece at the 2014 Key West Chalk Festival, taking place now along the promenade at Key West’s Truman Waterfront. Artists will continue chalking until Sunday afternoon, when judging and awards will take place. Sunday’s events also include a Sidewalk Celebration, with artisans, entertainment and a children’s chalking area.

Organizers of the 3rd Annual Key West Chalk Festival, a performance art event where artists use chalk as their medium and the pavement surface as their canvas, have announced that due to persistent rain, the festive Sidewalk Celebration featuring artisans and entertainment, originally scheduled for 10am to 5pm, Saturday, November 22 has been moved to Sunday, November 23.

Likewise, artwork judging and awards, originally set for Saturday have been rescheduled for Sunday, to allow the artists more time in which to complete their works. The public is welcome to come watch the artists create on Saturday as well as Sunday. All events take place on the promenade adjacent to the USCGC Ingham Museum at the Truman Waterfront.

Presented by the Key West Art in Public Places Board. For more information contact Michael Shields at 305-394-3804.