by Thomas L. Knapp……. The US Senate’s version of “tax reform” reduces the amount of mortgage interest that home buyers can deduct from their taxable incomes. Currently, the maximum deduction is for interest paid on mortgages of up to $1 million on two homes or on home equity loans of up to $100,000. The new bill would cap that at $500,000 on one home. The House version doesn’t reduce the mortgage cap, but does away with the home equity deduction.
by Thomas L. Knapp…….. I get lots of email, including email from political advocacy groups trumpeting the Impending Doom of the Month. This month, that doom is the coming end of “Net Neutrality” at the hands of the Federal Communications Commission. “Donald Trump and his corporate cronies are about to destroy the Internet,” writes Eden James of Democracy for America. “[FCC chairman Ajit] Pai is paving the way for monopolistic ISPs to block and censor what we see online, and push anyone who can’t pay [continue reading…]
From Monroe County Sheriff’s Office: UPDATE: Tuesday November 21, 2017 Detectives release homicide victim’s identity Sheriff’s Major Crimes detectives say they have notified the next of kin for the man who was stabbed to death on Stock Island Friday night. The victim is identified as 59 year old Mathew Bonnett of 5650 Laurel Avenue on Stock Island. Bonnett was a neighbor of the robbery victims and was on the scene apparently attempting to help his neighbors when he was stabbed to death just after 8 p.m. at 5700 Laurel Avenue on Stock Island. [continue reading…]
by Thomas L. Knapp……. On November 3, US Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who spent five years as a prisoner of the Taliban in Afghanistan, was sentenced to dishonorable discharge, reduction in rank to private, and a $10,000 fine after pleading guilty to charges of desertion and misbehavior before the enemy. Without hesitation and displaying reckless disregard for his own reputation, US president Donald Trump courageously mounted his keyboard and charged Twitter to pronounce the sentence “a complete and total disgrace to our Country and to [continue reading…]
The Federal Emergency Management Agency is reaching out to remind you of important dates and deadlines as you proceed with your recovery from Hurricane Irma. Do not miss out on assistance that may be available to you because of a missed deadline. Some deadlines may be extended, but do not wait. The following information is current as of Nov. 2. Request for Public Assistance (RPA): Sunday, Nov. 5
by Thomas L. Knapp…….. President Donald Trump and Republican congressional leaders rolled out their new tax plan on November 2. Since all bills must have titles, they’re calling this one “The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.” Republican “tax reform” theatrics have worn thin over many months of waiting, but I still prefer a more theatrical title. “A tale Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, Signifying nothing” rings true. Four centuries later, Shakespeare’s MacBeth is a better description of the matter than any [continue reading…]
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) completed surveys of areas known to provide fresh water to wildlife in the National Key Deer Refuge (No Name and Big Pine Keys west to Sugarloaf Key) following Hurricane Irma. Due to the storm surge from Hurricane Irma, salinity levels in fresh water wetlands are on average higher than acceptable levels for most wildlife species, including the endangered Key deer, resident and migratory birds, rabbits, butterflies, and other species. There are areas on Cudjoe Key that have fresher [continue reading…]
by Arnaud and Naja Girard……. Constant allergies requiring weekly injections, repeated pneumonia, bloody noses, frequent severe headaches, skin rashes, swollen eyes and breathing issues are a few of the symptoms described by Sigsbee residents who responded to a survey conducted by The Blue Paper. Following reports of “sick house” symptoms on Sigsbee island, we asked military families to describe any health-related issues they’ve experienced while living on the island. Over 66% of those who responded reported having developed some form of allergy. Almost all say [continue reading…]
by Naja Girard……. The “small dog park” at Monroe County’s Higgs Beach is being relocated into a fenced-off section of the “big dog” park after The Blue Paper published a documentary last Friday entitled, “Do All Graves Matter?“ In 2010, during the master planning process to redevelop Higgs Beach, the County had ground-penetrating radar mapping conducted to search for the graves of Cuba-bound African captives that had been rescued from three slave ships by the US Navy. Records show that in 1860, 1432 African refugees [continue reading…]
See comments from Monroe County Commissioner Heather Carruthers about the issues brought up in this documentary by clicking here. [Commissioner Carruthers was traveling and unable to participate in a video interview.] See the acceptance letter and application for the inclusion of the African Cemetery at Higgs Beach [including the area of the Little Dog Park] in the National Register of Historic Places by clicking here. See the Higgs Beach Park Master Redevelopment Plan by clicking here. Below is a follow-up comment from Corey [continue reading…]
by Arnaud and Naja Girard……. What everyone knew was that Osman Torres Huete was going to be deported. His family had posted the $1000 cash bail for his release, but at any time during the next two days Border Patrol was going to pluck Osman out of the county jail on Stock Island and send him back to Honduras. However, when, against all odds, Mr. Torres Huete’s immigration lawyer, Reggie Smith, arrived at the jail on July 8th to challenge her client’s “unlawful detention” an embarrassing situation [continue reading…]
by Arnaud and Naja Girard……. She’s an amazing photographer: photos of endangered birds standing on the flats, manatees drifting over the seagrass beds. I point to an extraordinary shot of the sunset. “Well, the place is called Sunset Cove,” observes Louise with a smile. Along with her husband, Louise Lindsay has lived within that secret corner of Key Largo for the past 30 years. But like many others in the Keys, she now fears that the quiet peaceful days are over. Business, you see, has discovered their [continue reading…]
by Arida Wright……. The intro on Corneil McIntosh’s Facebook page reads: “creator.innovator.believer.” His Facebook followers total 2,758. He has 12.1k followers on his personal Instagram page. An article written by “Bruce A.” of richcelebs.com describes him as, “an American entrepreneur, actor, director, producer, film maker and the founder of one of the most popular urban musical companies in the world.”
by Thomas L. Knapp……. On July 6, CNN reports, “President Donald Trump chided North Korea for its recent missile tests, saying it is ‘behaving in a very very dangerous manner.’” Particularly motivating Trump’s expression of angst was this week’s test of the Hwasong-14, which the North claims (and the US seems to believe) is “capable of hitting any part of the world, along with nuclear weapons.” But since Trump wants to talk about dangerous behavior, let’s.
A routine traffic stop for a broken tail light turned into an unusual Key Deer rescue operation early Sunday morning. The stop occurred in the southbound lane on US 1 and Barry Ave on Little Torch Key. When Monroe County Sheriff’s Deputy Austin Hopp approached the Black Hyundai Sonata at about 1:20 a.m. he noticed two Key Deer bound in the back seat. The two deer were reportedly “hog tied” with twine. Each had wounds all over its body and head and was struggling to [continue reading…]
A Stock Island man is under arrest after he attacked a woman in her home, hitting her in the back of the head with a hammer. Just before 1 a.m. Deputy Jenna Moeller responded to a trailer at Roy’s Trailer Park on Stock Island. She found the 38 year old victim, Jennifer Marie Taylor, bleeding from an injury on the back of her head. The victim told Deputy Moeller a man she identified as “Ralph Quintana” had knocked on her door a short time before. [continue reading…]