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.
Symbolic of the City of Key West’s ‘One Human Family’ motto, a Menorah and a Christmas tree illuminate Bayview park Thursday evening, following the City’s Menorah lighting ceremony. Conducted just before sunset, the lighting typically signals the beginning of Hanukkah, the eight-day Jewish Festival of Lights. However, since the beginning of Hanukkah falls on Saturday this year, which is also Christmas Eve, the Menorah lighting was held two days early to accommodate City workers, said Rabbi Jacob Zucker from Chabad of the Florida Keys, who, [continue reading…]
Last Tuesday [December 13, 2016,] at around 10:30am, James Thompson of Key West parked his Model A Ford in the 500 block of Margaret St. When he returned at around 4:30 pm he noticed a piece of yellow legal pad paper sitting in the passenger seat of the car. James read the note which alluded to his bumper sticker (“Bernie”) and “forewarned” him about some upcoming custom-designed “socialism.” James didn’t think anything of it at first but when he talked with his father later in the evening, [continue reading…]
IF PUBLIC SCHOOLS ARE TO SURVIVE… Commentary by Arnaud and Naja Girard……. Last week’s Blue Paper report on the re-segregation of Key West’s public schools has generated a lot of comments and questions. What makes the new charter schools so appealing to mostly white parents? The video of a recent fight at Key West High speaks for itself. Academics are a great concern for parents and so is safety. We had previously received similar reports of kids ganging up on a lone student: Four kids [continue reading…]
by Kirby Congdon……. Soliloquy Each branch was poised on the silent air. No leaf stirred and no bird sang but one crow called and then was still. The sky was dull but light seeped through. The ocean’s line, drawn, was far and long as the sad surf’s sound still drew the earth’s edge as firm where oceans end out there under another world that only sound’s silence can comprehend. – Kirby Congdon
The homeless man was found face down on Smather’s Beach with his throat cut. Detectives are investigating. SHAL Raising Funds for Homeless Bus Tickets From SHAL’s Press Release: The Southernmost Homeless Assistance League (SHAL) is asking for community support for its popular reunification program this holiday season.
by Arnaud and Naja Girard……. It’s 4:45 p.m. in New Town, Key West. A silver Honda has just crashed into the car of two rangers from Dry Tortugas National Park. The Honda driver, reeking of alcohol, is stumbling away from the scene toward Duck Avenue. He is Robert Bethel, the 34-year-old son of Harry Bethel, a former City Commissioner.
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…]
Book Review by Kirby Congdon……. An advance copy of Darren Jones’ compendium, The Contemporary Art Gallery, Display, Power and Privilege, arrived here at Baker’s Lane a few days ago. This is a reference book instigated about five years ago as a project by David Carrier, an authority in the art world. It will appear in publishing circles on November 1st, 2016. The information took several years to compile with verbal descriptions enhanced with 32 photographs. Cambridge Publishing Company specializes in art books and asked to [continue reading…]
Perspectives We know the room where we live and the window’s familiar view. Here is where a space, confirmed, is the place a mind can feel at home as its body speeds with each day’s turn on the very edge of this earth’s rim. A spider also spins and, suspended, hangs its weight before my face. With studied care it takes me in as some distant kin that floats like him as we stare immersed at our busy worlds of boundless air where even silence [continue reading…]
Calling all zombies: brush off the graveyard dust and break out your wheels— it’s time for the world-famous Zombie Bike Ride. WeCycle’s 6th Annual Zombie Bike Ride is ready to roll on Sunday, October 23, beginning at 2pm with a family-friendly, pre-event celebration at Fort East Martello, a civil war-era fort home to Robert the Doll and stewarded by Key West Art & Historical Society. Origniated by WeCycle owner Evan Haskell and WonderDog Studios Director Marky Pierson, the famed, four-mile, pedaling parade of ghouls on [continue reading…]
A Big Pine Key woman was charged with stealing a large amount of jewelry and other property from her roommate and using her debit card without her permission while the roommate was in the hospital. The crimes took place in September of 2015. The victim had been in the hospital for a period of time. While she was there, her roommate 31 year old, Belen Araque, allegedly took a total of $29,000 worth of items from her home including jewelry, rods and reels, clothing, custom made [continue reading…]
The U.S. Coast Guard responded early Tuesday morning to a Mayday call on vhf radio sent by fishing vessel “Little Angenette.” About an hour before sunrise the “Little Angenette” missed the entrance to Key West harbor. The captain initially reported that he’d hit a channel marker and was sinking fast.
The EPA has just released a permit for a cutting-edge technology designed to control the disease carrying Aedes aegypti mosquito. The technique, pioneered out of the University of Kentucky, under the leadership of Dr. Scott Dobson and his team, is based on an all-natural solution to mosquito control. Male mosquito eggs are infected/injected, using microscopic needles, with the Wolbachia bacterium. This cutting edge technology, is harmless to humans. When Wolbachia infected male mosquitoes mate with female that are not infected, none of the offspring hatch. [continue reading…]
It appears that the Florida Keys Mosquito Control Board is in the process of regaining it’s sanity In its most recent meeting they ditched the Big Coppit Skeeter Taj Mahal. The vote was 3-2. Only two very old line commissioners voted for the Taj Mahal. Commissioners Shaw and Smith. Shaw is not seeking reelection. Smith is! Remember that he wanted to raise your skeeter taxes by 45%, that’s what it would have cost to build the Taj Mahal that he and Shaw wanted. Commissioner Craney-Gage [continue reading…]
by Kirby Congdon……. My lover and partner of forty-three years was different than any of my other friends. I was asked, “How did you handle it between yourselves? What kind of discussions did you have to resolve this distinction that was so public?” My partner and I replied with words to the effect that if your lover had been born with an excess of psoriasis that gave his face a visible proof of acne, was that something we had to resolve to make ourselves, as [continue reading…]
Three-Time Newberry Honor-winning and New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Holm takes a question from Key West Montessori Charter School student Zoe Barras after a presentation that blended her personal family lore with the rich history of our island. Holm’s latest novel “Full of Beans” and her multi-award-winning “Turtle in Paradise” take place during the Great Depression in Key West, making them great educational tools as well as wonderful adventure reads for elementary students. The special event was organized by Books & Books and the charter school’s book fair committee [continue reading…]
United Way of the Florida Keys is proud to announce and welcome new AmeriCorps VISTA Rebecca Medicine Eagle. Rebecca joins UWFK with five years of experience working with AmeriCorps, through both their State and National and their “Volunteers In Service To America” (VISTA) programs. She has a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Nevada, Reno and is a Certified Tribal Emergency Manager as well as a Certified Conflict Resolution Manager. She has volunteered with the American Red Cross for 26 years, is a [continue reading…]
Many of the Keys best and best loved musicians will let it rip at the 6th Annual Key West Musician’s Festival, which takes the stage Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 17 and 18, at the Smokin’ Tuna Saloon, 2 p.m. till 9 p.m. each day. Singing Iguana Productions are presenters of the free music fest and the event is critical annual fundraiser for the local charity, Sister Season Fund, which assists locals in the entertainment and hospitality industries with rent and utilities when they are out [continue reading…]
by Malcolm Willison….. Oh, Connie! Can you be gone? Can you really have taken away your impish face, those penetrating eyes, wry smile, the devastating remark? You would throw out an article or craft a poem that captured us—you could revel in a phrase or reveal a deepest longing. We so counted on you–your quick wit, your sly remark, your careful edit of your own and others’ exposition and choice of words, your trenchant critique. Now who will offer us that same left-handed support, the [continue reading…]
Commentary by Arnaud and Naja Girard…….. Four thousand dollars a week is not unusual for the rental of a house in Old Town – as long as you can rent to tourists – that is. Last Wednesday on US 1 Radio’s Morning Magazine, City Manager Jim Scholl went on the defensive amidst accusations that the City has been rewarding illegal transient rental operators. In a story published last week in The Blue Paper we revealed that in 2013 the City had changed the grandfathered-in date in its [continue reading…]
by Kirby Congdon…….. We had a splendid upright piano at home. In the Great Depression I got my first lessons for free by taking a trip with my older sister on the trolley out of town to a teacher working under the Works Progress Administration in West Chester, Pennsylvania. When we moved to Old Mystic, Connecticut, my teacher, Miss DeeWilliams, came to the house every Saturday and gave me lessons for fifty cents. Mr. Cady tuned the piano for twenty dollars. He pointed out to [continue reading…]
MONROE COUNTY – The Florida Department of Health in Monroe County and Florida Keys Mosquito Control District (FKMCD) hosted five door-to-door outreaches on mosquito bite prevention from Key West to Key Largo, including all military bases and housing in Key West. With the direction of Mosquito Control, nearly 150 volunteers went door-to-door, covering most of the Keys’ hotspots for the Aedes aegypti mosquito – the species found around homes and businesses that can carry the Zika virus and other mosquito-borne diseases. Volunteers spoke face-to-face with [continue reading…]
The Law Offices of Samuel J. Kaufman, PA is very pleased to announce the addition of Attorney Suzette M. Alfonso. “I take the time to listen and explain your options. Planning becomes a relaxed, informative experience.” Suzette has been practicing law for over 21 years. The focus of her experience includes Estate Planning, Family Law, Corporate & Business Law as well as Probate and Insurance Defense. Additionally, she brings many high demand and valuable areas of law to our practice: Medicaid Planning and Elder Law, [continue reading…]
Are your closets overflowing with unused children’s clothes and other items? Now is the time to clean out your closets and make some extra cash, or donate your items to support a local non-profit! The Florida Keys Healthy Start Coalition is holding their annual Tot Swap Consignment Sale, to be held in Key West September 13-18. The sale will be held next to the Key West K-mart and is open to the public. Everyone is welcome to shop. Accepted consignment sale items include new or [continue reading…]
4:30 PM Monday, August 1: 10 NEW ZIKA CASES IN MIAMI. Miami-Dade asks for help from Monroe County in combating the ZIKA mosquitos. The Bloomberg News headline is “ZIKA NIGHTMARE HITS MIAMI.” The article chronicles the arrival of Florida’s first home grown cases of ZIKA. The YAHOO NEWS head line is “MIAMI BLOOD DONATIONS HALTED OVER ZIKA FEARS.” The article chronicles the fact that Federal authorities have called for a halt to blood donations in Miami as a result of local cases of ZIKA. The [continue reading…]
by Arnaud and Naja Girard……. Remember, the first time you drove down US 1 all the way to Key West? We would like to take you from that glittering vision of hundreds of little green islands suspended over endless turquoise waters and sit you down in the boardroom of the County Commissioners who are in charge of protecting that whole magical expanse called the Florida Keys. Few issues in Monroe County have stirred as much passion and cloak and dagger plots as the development of those [continue reading…]
by Kirby Congdon…… Having been brought up in a rural, one-horse farm, I was used to being alone and doing without group approval. Unconsciously my stance was that I would be compromising my integrity if I were to accept the standards of a world that had always found me lacking in regard sports and the obligatory skills that went with them, or in regard to school with its competitive approach toward any accomplishment. I was only comfortable when I could be myself without being compared [continue reading…]
Dear Editor: This is in regards to the toxic sludge that’s heading our way. Many on the west coast are determined to send it south but that’s not the answer. The Everglades is choked out due to development and can’t handle it and the way they rerouted the flow of water doesn’t allow it like it did in the past. So what to do? After contacting the Corps of Engineers at each lock thru the water ways that come from Lake O to Ft Myers I learned [continue reading…]
The Monroe County Marathon Courthouse is a little more colorful with the recent installation of an eye-catching turquoise bench and sky blue loveseat created by California artist Colin Selig. He makes them from an unlikely source: salvage propane tanks once used to heat homes. His functional sculptures are part of the County’s 1% Art in Public Places program. “These benches create a lovely, quiet space for people who visit and work at the Courthouse,” said Elizabeth Young, Executive Director of the Florida Keys Council [continue reading…]
by Sloan Bashinsky……. My random thoughts on Amendment 4 and related “growing greener every day” Key West, based on what I’ve seen, heard and read. Amendment 4 is a pro-solar energy Amendment to the state Constitution, on the August 4 ballot. Amendment 4 would offer a tax exemption to commercial property owners who install renewable energy devices in a state that already allows the tax break for residential solar power systems. Since it’s a proposed amendment to Florida’s Constitution, Amendment 4 requires 60 percent of [continue reading…]
by Dennis Reeves Cooper… The Southernmost Point. That big red buoy at the southern end of Whitehead Street. One of the top tourist attractions on the island. But most Key Westers know that the big red buoy does not really mark the actual geographic Southernmost Point. The actual Southernmost Point is supposedly a few blocks on the other side of that fence on Navy property, right? But if the buoy were placed over there, very few tourists would be able to go there and get [continue reading…]
#1 Relay for Life Team Castaways Against Cancer Set Off on 17th Annual Kayaking Trip with the Support of U.S. Century The Castaways Against Cancer, a Relay for Life team ranked 1st in Florida, launched on their 17h Annual kayaking journey, dubbed the “Proof of Life” tour from Virginia Key in Miami, FL on Saturday, June 11. Paddling the equivalent of a marathon a day, the Castaways will paddle a total of 160 miles as a fundraiser supporting the American Cancer Society (ASC) and are [continue reading…]