Feb 10, 2017 Commentary by Arnaud and Naja Girard……. Contrary to popular belief, adding one or two “lock-outs” to your home and renting them to tourists without getting any separate building allocations was legal after all! Developer, Pritam Singh, bless his soul, has shown us the way: He took 79 “permanent residential” building rights [called ROGOs] and transferred them to Oceanside Marina and, after adding 79 “lock-outs” and 17 hotel rooms, he’s now renting all 175 “units” to tourists. It could appear unlawful and it has upset a [continue reading…]
Sheriff’s detectives are looking for help to identify a man they want to talk to in connection with a vehicle theft at the Key West airport. The vehicle, a blue 2016 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, was parked at the airport the morning of January 27th. The owner / driver of the vehicle parked in the one hour parking lot and left the keys inside. The driver arranged for the jeep to be picked up later in the morning. When two men showed up at 9:15 a.m. [continue reading…]
UPDATE Feb 13, 2017 A 16 year old Marathon youth was arrested last Wednesday charged in connection with multiple vehicle burglaries which took place in the Marathon area at the beginning of the month. The 16 year old faces three counts of felony burglary and one count of theft. An expensive pair of Costa sunglasses, stolen from one of the vehicles, was recovered from the suspect and will be returned to the owner. More charges are pending against him and more arrests of additional suspects are [continue reading…]
A man wearing a court-ordered GPS tracking device and his brother were arrested yesterday and charged with home invasion robbery. Deputies Matt Dowling, Freddy Rodriguez and Lazaro Valdes responded to a trailer at 6500 Maloney Avenue, #28 at 11:30 a.m. and met with the 23 year old victim who was bleeding from injuries to his head. He told them two men had just robbed him and pistol whipped him with a black semi-automatic handgun. He was able to identify his attackers as 32 year old [continue reading…]
Sheriff’s deputies say they need help locating a suspect in a drug related incident that took place on Stock Island Saturday morning. Deputies Joshua Gordon, Jon Riggs and Sgt. Linda Mixon responded to 2nd Street and Maloney Avenue at 9:30 a.m. Saturday to reports of an unconscious man behind the wheel of a running vehicle. When they arrived, they found 40 year old William Stokes of Big Coppitt Key, passed out behind the wheel of a silver colored Toyota. The car was in gear and [continue reading…]
LOCALS TALK ABOUT NEW PRESIDENT FEATURING ED RUSSO, AUTHOR OF “DONALD J. TRUMP: AN ENVIRONMENTAL HERO” by Arnaud Girard……. Donald Trump is now our President. What might be the effect, good or bad, of the new presidency on our lives, the local environment, businesses, our local school system, our relations with Cuba and more? Where local economy and new immigration policy collide Key West’s is booming. Old fish houses and RV parks with handfuls of employees have been replaced by sprawling restaurants and high class hotels. [continue reading…]
Lower Florida Keys Hospital District Board Chairman, James Padget, has shared the response to his December 15th letter to Community Health Systems Chief Executive Officer Wayne Smith. In his letter, Padget asked whether CHS would consider amending its agreement to allow the District more control over operations or possibly breaking its 30-year lease early. Extending the contract period was also mentioned in the Chairman’s letter.
Just as we were wondering whether Pritam Singh’s soon to open “175-room Hotel” on Stock Island was legal, The Blue Paper received an interesting tip. Pritam Singh is suing 7 of his neighbors for alleged unlawful vacation rental use of their condos at Oceanside Marina. He wants them to rent long-term. The $100 million question is whether there is in fact any difference between those old condos (2003) and the new ones recently built by Mr. Singh at that very same marina. They look like [continue reading…]
The second major head-on collision in two days at the 16 mile mark on Highway U.S. One involved a Monroe County Sheriff’s deputy who, after crawling out of his overturned patrol car, without missing a beat, ran over to assist passengers in the two other vehicles involved. Deputy Daniel Hill reported that he was northbound at 12:30 a.m., returning to his Marathon duty post after transporting a prisoner from Marathon to the Stock Island Detention Center. He said he saw an oncoming vehicle pull into his [continue reading…]
by Naja Girard……. Circuit Judge Bonnie Helms disqualified herself last Friday, without explanation, from a case she had ordered dismissed just 2 days earlier. The case, a petition for declaratory judgment, was brought by Louise Delaney and Gail Kulikowsky, two Big Pine Key area property owners who are challenging Monroe County and FKAA over the agencies’ insistence that they sign over an easement for a portion of their yards and provide an expensive high-powered electrical connection so an onsite grinder sewage pump system can be installed [continue reading…]
by Arnaud and Naja Girard……. You know things are bad when an attorney says to you, “I hate lawyers!” “I do! I truly do!” repeats Michael Halpern who is pacing in his law office above The Lazy Gecko Bar on Key West’s famous Duval Street. What is one of the most feared attorneys in Key West losing sleep over? Being hunted by a billion-dollar corporation that he believes wants his hotel: the iconic Southernmost House. The “corporation” is Remington Lodging & Hospitality. What we wanted to know [continue reading…]
Sheriff’s detectives are investigating residential break-ins which have taken place in the areas of Sugarloaf Key and Bay Point recently. Two attempted burglaries and four actual burglaries have taken place in that area since November 30th. On the 30th, in the early morning hours, residents of a home on Starfish Lane on Lower Sugarloaf Key called to report an attempted break in. They said they were sleeping when they heard a bang and their alarm went off. Investigations showed pry marks on several doors and [continue reading…]
The controversy over Key West’s charter schools rocked the school board during last week’s meeting. “How do we know this is not going to be another white-flight school?” asked longtime school board member Andy Griffiths about a new charter middle school. Some fear an exodus of white students toward charter schools will leave the district run public schools with insufficient resources and failing grades. For others, the specter of re-segregation is simply intolerable. The numbers are telling: Key West’s Horace O’Bryant [HOB], the district run public [continue reading…]
By Arnaud Girard……. If you are like us you’ve probably always wanted to take a tour of the iconic Southernmost House. Well yesterday we were called on a tip to go there and report on a mysterious “big story.” Police cars were already parked at the gate but surprisingly we were allowed inside. Ah! Amazing sculptures and paintings, trompe l’oeil ceilings painted like the sky, infinity swimming pool suspended over the turquoise ocean view. Priceless. But what was going on?
Thursday, December 1, from 5:30-7:30 p.m., Jane Gardner of Jane Gardner Interiors at 328 Simonton Street invites the public to a Season Opening Cocktail Party to celebrate a plentitude of events: the holidays; the debut of her latest design project – a Key West inspired, whimsical new fabric called ‘Paradise’; a name change for her retail showroom from Jane Gardner Interiors to ‘jane’ and a new fundraising campaign that she has launched for the benefit of the KWPD Mounted Police unit horses. Guests attending the [continue reading…]
Sheriff’s detectives are asking for help identifying possible suspects in the vandalism of several Historic Tours of America vehicles. The four trolleys were parked on a vacant lot at the entrance to the Key Haven neighborhood on Stock Island. The vandalism took place sometime between October 14th and the 17th. Someone used a concrete block to smash windows and headlights on the vehicles and used red spray paint on them as well. Total damage was estimated to be $10,000.00. Deputy Lazaro Valdes took the initial [continue reading…]
A Broward County man is being sought for the attempted murder of a New York man Sunday at a concert in Islamorada. 26 year old Kemar Ricardo Dennis of Plantation, Florida allegedly stabbed the victim, 33 year old Rodger Harrison in the abdomen Sunday at 9:45 p.m. Harrison was airlifted to the Ryder Trauma Center in Miami for treatment of his life threatening injuries, including lacerations to his liver.
by Rick Roberts……. Who has noticed how whiny the press is that Trump won? At least give him a shot at it? $10,000,000,000,000 in expenditure and the guy before him was still the worst president EVER! He f-ing blew that much money and still sucked more than any president ever has. Trump can’t be worse, only equal, it just can’t be any worse. You will all get this email in a few years with your biting replies and realize he did what you thought he [continue reading…]
by John Norris, MD……. Dear Editor: Vote NO to the GM mosquito. Three dozen Key Haven, Florida area physicians have petitioned for the adult-to-be-released genetically modified (GM) mosquitoes to be cultured for resistant bacteria before any release. The issue of unintended promotion of bacteria resistance through the GM creation process has sparked at least one political campaign to demand more information related to 3rd party safety data. The World Health Organization points out that 700000 men women and children will die each year from resistant [continue reading…]
by Rick Boettger……. I flew again to Tallahassee to attend the sentencing hearing for George Neugent’s three violations of our state’s ethics laws. I went to object to their absurdly light penalties—in particular, only a single $500 fine for not reporting his golf membership for years, missing dozens of quarterly reports of the $1,500 quarterly gift, 15 times the reporting requirement of over $100. The Ethics Commission had given George a separate violation and $500 fine for each of the two years he had filed [continue reading…]
MARATHON – Monroe County’s newly acquired Trauma Star helicopter, a 2002 Sikorsky S-76 C+, received its final approval from the Federal Aviation Administration and went into service Monday morning, Monroe County Fire Rescue Chief James Callahan said. “Fire Rescue and the Sheriff’s Office have been working together for more than a month to get through the FAA inspections and make sure the helicopter is up and ready to fly,” Callahan said. “Our flight crews and medical personnel are all trained and we are excited about [continue reading…]
SWC, a local engineering, planning and environmental science firm, has created an official dive program that has received certification by the American Association of Underwater Scientists (AAUS). “This has been a long-term commitment of SWC, to develop a program that addresses diver safety during work activities that meets federal OSHA standards and addresses requirements of many federal and State agencies,” said Sandy Walters, SWC president. “We worked together with Florida Keys Community College to certify our Dive Safety Officer Shawn Martin as an AAUS [continue reading…]
Fair Insurance Rates in Monroe (FIRM) is pleased to announce its completely updated website (FIRMKeys.org). With a fresh look and feel, new interactive content, and enhanced navigation, the site is designed to work equally well on smartphones, tablets, and traditional computers. FIRMKey.org will be live on Monday, October 24, 2016. Users of the site’s Ask FIRM forum are able to submit questions and get answers from FIRM’s experts on windstorm and flood insurance coverage in Monroe County, and under Call to Action, track FIRM’s efforts [continue reading…]