Feb 182018
 
UPDATE: Cover-up of Gun Threat at HOB Middle School?

(c) Can Stock Photo / Stevemc by Arnaud and Naja Girard……. First Published on Feb 16, 2018 Following our coverage last week of alleged repeated gun threats by an HOB Middle School student, more questions have surfaced this week concerning a possible school cover-up of multiple gun related incidents at HOB. After our story was published, HOB Principal Christina McPherson sent a note home to parents assuring them that all gun threat incidents had been thoroughly investigated, all protocols had been followed and that no [continue reading…]

 February 18, 2018  Posted by at 12:58 am * Featured Story *, Naja and Arnaud Girard 5 Responses »
Feb 112018
 
Gun at HOB / Who's in Charge?

by Arnaud and Naja Girard……. “No, I don’t believe it was a toy,“ says our source [Let’s call her “B”], “It was the real thing and when the other kids reported that this student had brought a gun to HOB middle school, the student responded by sending a Snapchat photo to one of them: him with a gun and the message, ‘[I’m] gonna bust a cap in yah head.’” More recently he reportedly said (paraphrasing): ‘This ain’t over. I’m gonna shoot yah.’ Did this really [continue reading…]

Feb 112018
 
"Affordable Housing": Are the Wolves at the Gate?

by Arnaud and Naja Girard……. On January 30, 2018 the Monroe County School Board voted to vacate the parcels of land it owns on Trumbo Road. Their goal is to assist with the workforce housing crisis. One of the most valuable pieces of real estate in the Keys, the 6 acres of waterfront property in downtown Key West, could be transferred, for free, to developers. Under a proposal put forward by Key West’s multi-millionaire, John Padget, developers would then build 480 “affordable” studios and one-bedroom [continue reading…]

Jan 272018
 
What is Eating up Key West’s Residential Housing Stock?

by Arnaud and Naja Girard……. Key West suffers from an unprecedented housing crisis yet transient rental units seem to metastasize through Key West’s residential neighborhoods at an ever-accelerating rate. Last year we uncovered a disturbing legal process: The City of Key West had discreetly passed a law creating amnesty for people who illegally rent long-term residences to tourists. Instead of the 60 days in jail plus fines contemplated by the city code, property owners who can show they’ve broken the law since April 1, 2010 [continue reading…]

Jan 272018
 
"The Uniqueness Is Gone"

Dear Editor: My name is Brian Smith and I just wanted to say that I really respect your relentless pursuit of the truth. I too believe that the rules should apply to everybody. I recently moved back to Key West after 20 years up north, and I’m very surprised at the dramatic change Key West has taken. It’s nothing like what I remember. It used to be such a magical place, completely different from another city in America. Now the uniqueness is gone, and we have CVS and Starbucks on every corner. The city government has clearly helped a handful of people take complete control [continue reading…]

 January 27, 2018  Posted by at 12:55 am Issue #253, Letter to the Editor 1 Response »
Jan 272018
 
"UNDYING LOVE, A KEY WEST MUSICAL" PREMIERES AT THE STUDIOS OF KEY WEST

Undying Love | A Key West Musical from Wonderdog Studios on Vimeo. BUY TICKETS: tskw.org Writer Ben Harrison tells the true story of Count von Cosel and Elena Hoyos, and a passion that defied death. Coming Valentine’s Day 2018: the richly reimagined, darkly humorous, true tale of the extreme lengths one man was willing to go for love. “Undying Love: A Key West Musical,” written by Ben Harrison, premieres February 14 at The Studios of Key West, and runs for a limited engagement of ten shows [continue reading…]

 January 27, 2018  Posted by at 12:51 am ~ Artists ~, Issue #251, Music, What To Do No Responses »
Jan 122018
 
Raise a Glass to Jazz Age Luminaries Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald with Key West Art & Historical Society and Distinguished Speaker Series guest Philip Greene

Key West Art & Historical Society welcomes Distinguished Speaker Series guest Philip Greene for an evening dedicated to the lore and favorite cocktails of jazz-age darlings Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald. Starting at 6pm, Thursday, January 26, at the Tropic Cinema, 416 Eaton Street, fans of history and historic tippling can enjoy the noted author, mixologist, and cocktail historian’s stories, anecdotes and drink recipes while savoring tastings of delicious drinks. Greene will also be signing copies of his book, “The Manhattan: The Story of the First Modern [continue reading…]

 January 12, 2018  Posted by at 12:10 am Issue #251, Special Events No Responses »
Jan 052018
 
Free Legal Help for Low-Income Individuals Denied by FEMA and/or Insurers

The non-profit organization, Legal Services of Greater Miami, Inc., is reaching out to low-income Florida Keys Hurricane Irma survivors with an offer of free legal services. Eligible Florida Keys residents who were denied benefits from FEMA will be helped with preparing and processing appeals and those not satisfied with how their property insurance company has met its obligations may be helped with those issues. The deadline to appeal a FEMA decision is 60 days from the date of the letter. Therefore, if residents were wholesale [continue reading…]

 January 5, 2018  Posted by at 12:14 am Issue #250 1 Response »
Jan 052018
 
Marathon Man Arrested for Sexual Battery

The victim told detectives from the Sheriff’s Major Crimes Unit she was sitting in front of K-Mart in Marathon at 2 p.m. on January 3rd when the suspect, 53 year old Julio Melendez, pulled up in his gold colored GMC pickup truck. She said she decided to go for a ride with him and that after they got cigarettes and alcohol they went back to his travel trailer where they had consensual sex. During their encounter, she states, she became unwilling to continue having sex with him and [continue reading…]

 January 5, 2018  Posted by at 12:10 am Issue #250, News 1 Response »
Jan 052018
 
Historic Key West Cemetery Stroll, January 27, 2018

The first Cemetery Stroll to be offered at the Historic Key West Cemetery this season will take place on January 27, 2018. During the stroll, small groups of visitors will be escorted to gravesites where interpreters will tell the stories of the deceased in brief monologues. The groups are scheduled for departures at 9:30, 9:50, and 10:10 Reservations are necessary, and can be made by calling 305-304-1453. Among the gravesites to be visited are those of the Los Martires de Cuba, the Figueredo plot, the Benjamin Albury family restoration, the Otto [continue reading…]

 January 5, 2018  Posted by at 12:00 am Issue #250, Special Events No Responses »
Dec 082017
 
"Tax Reform": Dump the Home Mortgage Interest Deduction

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.

 December 8, 2017  Posted by at 12:38 am News 6 Responses »
Nov 242017
 
No, the End of "Net Neutrality" is Not the End of the World (Wide Web)

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…]

 November 24, 2017  Posted by at 12:37 am ~ Column ~, Issue #244, Thomas L. Knapp No Responses »
Nov 182017
 
Man Dead, Woman Injured in Possible Robbery on Stock Island

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…]

 November 18, 2017  Posted by at 12:44 pm ** BREAKING NEWS ** No Responses »
Nov 102017
 
Chickenhawk Donald: A Complete and Total Disgrace

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…]

 November 10, 2017  Posted by at 12:57 am ~ Column ~, ~ Opinion ~, Editorial, Issue #241, Thomas L. Knapp 9 Responses »
Nov 032017
 
Don’t Miss Out on Important Disaster Recovery Assistance Deadlines

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

 November 3, 2017  Posted by at 1:44 am Issue #241, News No Responses »
Nov 032017
 
Sorry, Republicans: If You're Not Cutting Spending, You're Not Cutting Taxes

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…]

 November 3, 2017  Posted by at 1:42 am ~ Column ~, ~ Opinion ~, Issue #241, Thomas L. Knapp 4 Responses »
Sep 202017
 
Community Assistance Opportunity to Help Florida Keys Wildlife

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…]

 September 20, 2017  Posted by at 4:36 pm News No Responses »
Sep 012017
 
Survey: Military Families Report Alarming Health Issues in "Sick Houses" on Sigsbee Island

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…]

Sep 012017
 
Small Dog Park at Higgs Beach to Be Moved Outside the Area of Nationally Recognized Historic African Cemetery

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…]

 September 1, 2017  Posted by at 12:42 am * Featured Story *, News 6 Responses »
Aug 252017
 
DO ALL GRAVES MATTER?

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…]

Jul 282017
 
Immigrant's Unlawful Detention: Who's at Fault?

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…]

Jul 212017
 
The Wedding Boom: County Sees No Evil

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…]

Jul 072017
 
Key West Neighborhood Boy Makes Good -- Real Good!

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.”

Jul 072017
 
Who's That You Called Dangerous, President Trump?

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.

 July 7, 2017  Posted by at 12:42 am Thomas L. Knapp 4 Responses »