by Arida Wright……. A few months ago I attended a Black Poetry Celebration hosted by the Key West Poetry Guild and after reading an original piece, they invited me to come to their monthly gathering* at the library and I finally did. Walking through the door I was pleasantly surprised to see my poetry teacher Ms. Flower Conroy who motioned me to sit by her.
A ‘Know your Rights’ informational gathering to provide information on the recent policy changes in the Temporary Protective Status (TPS) for Haitians, including the six month extension will take place on Friday, June 23rd at 5:30 pm at The Basilica of St. Mary Star of the Sea in the Klaus Murphy Center, 724 Truman Ave.. In order to provide accurate information from a trusted source, Mr. Peterson St. Philippe, Esq., Managing Attorney from Catholic Legal Services of the Archdiocese of Miami will provide updated information [continue reading…]
by Ray Jason……. The waters of the Archipelago of Bliss have been a wondrous reservoir of inspiration for me as I meander through my Middle Years. My secluded life amidst these tranquil islands has blessed me with a perspective and clarity that is difficult to attain by those chained to the cacophony of the Real World.
by Kirby Congdon……. Raking up the past in dead piles of withered leaves, we dance around the little things we missed as that song of grief we sing becomes a pagan howl of rectitude to redeem whatever victories we did not win. So losers begin their lives again and watch the trash bags almost burst their straining seams as perfection’s world unfolds in listless imitations of those dust-laden dreams that younger men in their routine on garbage trucks lift on up with weightless ease.
by Martha K. Huggins, Ph.D…….. Abba: “Money, Money, Money–M-O-N-E-Y”[i] “Money, money, money Must be funny In the rich man’s world” A private prison corporation, The GEO Group,[ii] located in Boca Raton, Florida, was recently awarded a contract[iii] by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to develop and operate a $110 million dollar 1,000-bed Detention Facility. The private prison facility, to be located in Conroe, Texas, is expected to generate “approximately $44 million” for the Geo Group “in annualized revenues and returns on investment.” [iv]
“Who’s that Key West character?” That’s the question that will be buzzing among those who attend next Tuesday’s Key West Fringe Theater performances of six short plays. They were written by participants in the Fringe playwriting workshop these past three months. Led by Toby Armour, playwright and actor, the six play writers have honed each of their plays written for the seminar into a ten-minute exploration of the life and character of particularly interesting Key Westers. The audience will not be told who they are, [continue reading…]
Two weeks ago we featured a story, Is Key West Military Housing Making People Sick? [March 31, 2017] This week we share information provided by Trice Denny, Public Affairs Officer, Naval Air Station Key West, in response to our questions about whether Sigsbee housing is causing health issues for local military families.
Efforts to protect Key deer from a recent New World screwworm outbreak reached an important milestone this week, surpassing 90 days without a confirmed screwworm-infested animal. The milestone represents a significant reduction in the risk of additional reinfestation of the screwworm, which threatened not just Key deer, listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), but people, wildlife, domesticated animals and livestock. The administration of oral doses to Key deer of anti-parasitic medicine has been stopped following this week’s milestone.
Florida Keys Healthy Start Coalition is working hard to make child safety education and supplies available to all Keys parents, and to ensure that Keys children are all riding in appropriate car seats when passengers in a vehicle. All parents and caregivers are invited to attend the Child Safety Event on Saturday, April 29, 2017, 9 am – 1 pm, at Peace Covenant Presbyterian Church (2610 Flagler Ave, Key West). Certified car seat technicians will be available to check installation on car seats already installed, [continue reading…]
Commentary by Naja and Arnaud Girard……. The plane that carried Jean Dervil back to Haiti landed late Thursday in Port-au-Prince. With him were 250 more deportees from the United States. To put it mildly, it has been puzzling for our readers to watch our documentary about a beloved, hard-working Haitian man, married to an American citizen, and to come to the realization that it may now be the policy of the federal government to deport people with valid work permits.
March 21, 2017 by Katherine Norris……. Dear Editor: The Republican healthcare repeal bill is exactly the kind of typical Reverse-Robin-Hood giveaway to the rich that we have come to expect from GOP lawmakers. The bill shifts nearly a trillion dollars in federal funding from the middle class and working families to wealthy people and health care corporations through tax breaks.
Key West Art & Historical Society’s film series continues on Thursday, March 16 at 6:00 p.m. in the Helmerich Research & Learning Center at the Custom House Museum, 281 Front Street with “Soy Cuba” (I am Cuba) a Cuban-Soviet co-production filmed following the Cuban missile crisis as an anti-American propaganda film, which has been described as “a visual masterpiece.” With actors Luz Maria Collazo, Jose Gallardo, Sergio Corrieri, Mario Gonzalez Broche, Jean Bouise, Raul Garcia and Celia Rodriguez, “I am Cuba” consists of four vignettes, [continue reading…]
The Second Annual Papio Kinetic Sculpture and Art Bike Parade is set for May 5-7, and the Key West Art & Historical Society seeks artists to help students in schools prepare and create dynamic moving artworks using STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) principals. Selected artists will receive a $1200 stipend to conduct a brainstorming session and two three-hour workshops with students at two different schools, presenting information on kinetic art principles and application, and team mobile sculpture idea development and production. “Artists will [continue reading…]
The Key West Art & Historical Society invites artists, builders and assemblers to put their creative and engineering genius to play and on display for the Second Annual Papio Kinetic Sculpture and Art Bike Parade, set for May 5-7. Small and simple or elegantly engineered, teams of any number and age are welcome to enter this pedaled or pushed sculpture parade. Registration is $25 for kinetic sculpture floats and $15 for art bikes, with registration fees waived for Society members. Cash prizes will be awarded [continue reading…]
by Arnaud and Naja Girard……. Key West Planning Director, Thaddeus Cohen, “came to a mutual agreement” [with the City Manager] “to end Mr. Cohen’s tenure with the City.” The official explanation is quite diplomatic: “The transition will better serve the City’s needs.” “Planning is a complex and challenging department…” reads the official PR statement that the City sent to The Blue Paper.
by Kirby Congdon……. What motivates people to deliberately abuse another person, as in gang rape, or group denial of a victim’s identity, or for a president to enjoy, as he does, a bullying personality? We cannot understand such negativity because we don’t want to. It comes too close to our own need to dominate and to be superior. It originates in the thrill of being powerful, to control by diminishing a victim’s ability to retaliate. It is the foundation and the purpose of our society’s [continue reading…]
The Future of the Florida Keys is in your hands and we want to show you how to make a difference! The health of our marine resources has been in decline for years. The Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, responsible for balancing the protection of these natural resources with sustainable use by the public, is currently in the process of deciding how to manage the Sanctuary in the future. We invite you to attend a presentation by Marine Zoning Works for Me to learn more [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.
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…]