Apr 292016
 
Peary Court: Plan B

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…]

Apr 292016
 
Warning! Kidnapping Scam

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…]

 April 29, 2016  Posted by at 1:30 am Issue #164, News No Responses »
Apr 292016
 
“The Voice From the Other Side of the Band Room Controversy”   

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…]

Apr 292016
 
The Problem with Donald Trump's Version of "America First"

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…]

 April 29, 2016  Posted by at 12:35 am News No Responses »
Apr 292016
 
Blues Hall of Famer Australian artist Michael Charles to Appear for 2 weeks in Key West!

On June 17th – June 29th eight times Grammy elected and recent Blues Hall of Fame inductee, Australian blues artist Michael Charles will claim the stage at Chicagos and embrace you with an elevated level of energy and a guitar driven journey through thirty one years and thirty two releases of his original music. Leading off with an explosive blues number, the audience is soon captivated by well-rehearsed precision experiencing MC’s original blues, blues based rock, inspiring ballads, as well as some well-known covers.   As [continue reading…]

 April 29, 2016  Posted by at 12:16 am ~ Artists ~, Issue #164, Music No Responses »
Apr 292016
 
FIRM Charity Golf Tournament, Save the Date

The Marathon and Lower Keys Association of Realtors will be hosting the 2016 FIRM Charity Golf Tournament. Isaksen Insurance is continuing their tradition as the lead sponsor for this event. The tournament will be held at the Key West Golf Club on June 19, (Father’s Day). Sign in and registration begins at 7:00am and tee off will be at 7:30am. The $100.00, registration for this fun filled golf tournament includes a cart, mulligan, red tees, Bloody Marys, beer, a continental breakfast and lunch. Raffle prizes [continue reading…]

 April 29, 2016  Posted by at 12:09 am News No Responses »
Apr 222016
 
Peary Court Sunshine Law Violations?

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.

 April 22, 2016  Posted by at 1:23 am * Featured Story *, Issue #163 11 Responses »
Apr 222016
 
Guest Editorial: The Don Quixote of Mosquito Control

  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…]

 April 22, 2016  Posted by at 1:22 am * Featured Story *, Editorial, Island Voices, Issue #163, News 1 Response »
Apr 152016
 
Bouncers Out of Control?

by Arnaud and Naja Girard……. From power trip to assault of patrons, some Duval Street bouncers seem poorly trained or out of control. The Blue Paper sampled this week’s bar brawls to report on the issue. Robert Lee Klieves can’t remember why he was put into a helicopter with a brain bleed and flown to Kendall Regional Trauma Center in Miami last Saturday night. He is 60 years old, from Hudson, Florida. He came to Key West for his “first real vacation in 20 years” to [continue reading…]

 April 15, 2016  Posted by at 8:59 am Issue #162, Naja and Arnaud Girard, News 13 Responses »
Apr 152016
 
A Little Hope for the Young and the Lost

by Ray Jason…….      Perhaps you awaken in the midnight stillness and find yourself lost in the labyrinth of an elusive but disturbing dream. As consciousness returns, you realize that it is not a dream that is troubling you – it is the reality of your life.   You suddenly realize that the modern world is not providing you with joyous possibilities. Instead, it is ensnaring you in a digital desert. You recognize that your 1,243 Facebook friends are actually 1,243 Falsebook strangers. And you [continue reading…]

 April 15, 2016  Posted by at 12:45 am ~ Column ~, Island Voices No Responses »
Apr 102016
 

KEY WEST – American Airlines flight 4680 returned safely to Key West International Airport on Sunday afternoon after a bird strike led to a problem with the left engine. The Embraer 175 jet, which was operated by Republic Airways and destined for Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, was carrying 67 people. All were uninjured. “The flight crew did a great job of flying the aircraft safely back to the airport,” said Donald DeGraw, Director of Key West International Airport. “The airport’s fire department and mutual [continue reading…]

 April 10, 2016  Posted by at 5:29 pm News No Responses »
Apr 082016
 
Key West’s Black Community Fighting for Survival

by Naja and Arnaud Girard……. Even though the debate at City Hall this week was not officially about race, it shed an unflattering light on Key West’s cultural divide in ways that no journalist could express better than the passionate speakers did on Tuesday night. You’re just going to have to listen for yourself and be amazed. But before you click on the video, we need to make you privy to a few basic facts and to the one little secret that no one “in the know” that night [continue reading…]

Apr 082016
 
Affordable Rental Nightmare

by Cindy Cody……. I have just realized that I never need to go to Disneyland ever again. If you want the wildest ride in your life do what I just did. I listed a nice clean 2-bedroom mobile home with a big yard cheap on Craig’s List. That’s when it started. I am looking for a long-term renter that takes care of the yard and let’s me know if something needs fixing. It’s 24 hours later and I am tearing out my hair on the [continue reading…]

Apr 082016
 
With a Rebel Yell: Remembering Artist Stanley Papio

There’s a kinetic parade coming to town on May 14th that celebrates creativity, innovation, and a Florida Keys man well ahead of his time: Stanley Papio, a folk artist with a clever sense of satire and a tenacity that continues to reverberate 34 years after his passing. “Barefoot” Stanley Papio arrived in Key Largo in 1949, when the upper Keys were little more than an isolated stretch of highway on U.S. 1. He contentedly lived at Mile Marker 101 for many years, using his welding [continue reading…]

 April 8, 2016  Posted by at 7:48 am Art, Issue #161, What To Do No Responses »
Apr 062016
 
KEY WEST INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT REOPENS AFTER MINOR CRASH

ALL 11 ABOARD SEAPLANE WERE UNINJURED Key West International Airport reopened at 7:33 p.m. Wednesday after temporarily being closed for about 90 minutes due to a seaplane that became disabled on runway 9 after its right float broke apart during landing. All 11 people on board (a pilot and 10 passengers) walked away, all declining medical treatment. “It’s the best thing we could hope for, no injuries,” said T.J. Henderson, Assistant Director of Airports.

 April 6, 2016  Posted by at 7:37 pm News 3 Responses »
Apr 012016
 
Detective Seeks Identity of Burglary Suspects

  Sheriff’s Detective David Brummer needs help identifying two suspects captured on video committing a business burglary on Big Pine Key Tuesday evening. Surveillance cameras at M & M Automotive on Avenue A, Big Pine Key shows the two men just after 7 p.m. walking around outside the business near vending machines and near some tires stored outside. They removed a key from a scooter stored at the business. They appear to be looking at tires perhaps to find a specific size. The business reported [continue reading…]

 April 1, 2016  Posted by at 12:49 pm News 1 Response »
Apr 012016
 
Bernstein Loses Wisteria Island on a Technicality

by Naja and Arnaud Girard……. This week FEB Corporation and Roger Bernstein, the wannabe owners/developers of Wisteria Island, have lost their case before the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals. When most local politicians seemed all too ready to allow real estate moguls to build their posh hotel resort, who would have thought that an old Navy letter penned almost a century ago was going to place the federal government in front of the bulldozer and save the last desert island in Key West harbor? The [continue reading…]

Apr 012016
 
Key West and Brazil: Democracy and Police Accountability

by Martha K. Huggins, Ph.D……… Living and conducting research in Brazil over a number of years during its 21-year military dictatorship taught me the importance of police accountability. Sometimes when police showed up at a residence they were following government orders; sometimes they were acting alone. In either case their objective was to scare people into submission, by merely paying an unannounced visit, or by trashing a family’s possessions, or through violence against them. The victims of such police over-reach had absolutely no recourse: very [continue reading…]

 April 1, 2016  Posted by at 12:48 am Martha Huggins 12 Responses »
Apr 012016
 
Key West’s 1985 “Bubba Bust” / The Back Story: So Much Worse Than You Think

by Frank Brownell……. Every time I read a story that references the “Bubba Bust” trial of Deputy Police Chief Raymond Casamayor and his fellow defendants, I boil over with outrage. I was the reporter for the Key West Citizen who covered both of the trials in U.S. District Court in 1985 that resulted from the federal indictment handed down in 1984. The reason why I get so worked up about this is because I sat through four months of testimony listening to how the federal [continue reading…]

 April 1, 2016  Posted by at 12:46 am ~ Column ~, Island Voices, Issue #160 2 Responses »
Apr 012016
 
Pawn Shops in Compliance, Lower Keys

Lower Keys sheriff’s detectives and the KWPD Criminal investigative unit work together to conduct quarterly pawn shop inspections to ensure compliance with state laws. The most recent inspection took place on March 30, 2016.  There were no violations found. Detectives inspected each business for the following: Current emergency contact information, scale inspection sticker (precious metal weighing), business license. Each pawn shop was audited on three Regional Automated Property Information Database (RAPID) transaction forms to verify all information was correctly filled out, including the name of [continue reading…]

 April 1, 2016  Posted by at 12:34 am Issue #160, News 1 Response »
Apr 012016
 
The Voting Delusion

  by Ray Jason……. This November, I heartily encourage all Americans to exercise their civic duty by going to the polls and voting for one of the dignified Presidential candidates that have amazed us this election cycle with their wisdom and compassion. Got ya! APRIL FOOLS DAY!!! Unfortunately, this is not a laughing matter. A large segment of the U.S. population is now very aware of the fact that our political and economic systems have become totally corrupt. And yet these knowledgeable people still cling [continue reading…]

 April 1, 2016  Posted by at 12:32 am ~ Column ~, ~ Opinion ~, Issue #160 No Responses »
Apr 012016
 
Homeless Medical Log Date, 1 April 2016 (I wish This Were an April Fools Joke, But it’s Not)

FIRST DO NO HARM by Sloan Bashinsky……. Sitting in the waiting room shortly before my homeless lady Kari’s surgery yesterday morning, at Lower Keys Medical Center on Stock Island, I closed my eyes like I might journey in other realms, and immediately was overwhelmed with huge emotion, love and silent love tears, filling the entire hospital, it felt like to me – how I feel about Kari. Then, she was wheeled out of the surgery prep room on a gurney. I leaned down and kissed [continue reading…]

 April 1, 2016  Posted by at 12:32 am ~ Column ~, Island Voices 1 Response »
Mar 252016
 
Road Rage With Gun: 75-year Old Sugarloaf Key Man Arrested

A Sugarloaf man was arrested Wednesday evening after he pointed a gun at a Big Pine couple on a motorcycle. The incident began at about 6:15 p.m. when 75 year old Matthew Ferro, in his cream colored Cadillac pickup truck, reportedly passed Christy and Robert Velasquez who were traveling southbound on a motorcycle on the Seven Mile Bridge. When the two vehicles reached the Bahia Honda Bridge, the motorcycle reportedly passed the truck followed by the truck passing the motorcycle. Rude gestures were exchanged. The [continue reading…]

 March 25, 2016  Posted by at 1:10 am News 1 Response »
Mar 222016
 
Scooter Crash on Flagler / 36 Year Old Key West Man Found Dead

A Key West man died this morning in a single scooter crash on Flagler Avenue. Nestor J. Solórzano, 36, was found dead at about 7:30 this morning reports KWPD spokesperson, Alyson Crean. He had apparently been traveling inbound on Flagler when he struck the back of a parked vehicle at the side of the road. Police believe the crash occurred some time before dawn. Inbound lanes of Flagler Avenue, between 11th and 12th Ave were closed for over two hours while police investigated the crash. The [continue reading…]

 March 22, 2016  Posted by at 1:24 pm ** BREAKING NEWS **, News No Responses »