Jan 292016

cyber crime canstockphoto2393555

Commentary by Naja and Arnaud Girard…….

The School Board is still scrambling to unravel the mystery of $20,000 in day-care funds that went missing over a year ago. Let’s put this amount into perspective. The annual 2015/2016 budget for the Monroe County School District is $163.7 Million.   This amount includes 95.1 Million for operations and 26.8 Million for capital improvements.

How seriously is the School District guarding that money? Meet Joseph Clements. Continue reading »

Jan 292016
Florida Keys Council of the Arts Cultural Calendar

THURSDAY, JANUARY 28 thru WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 3 Visit keysarts.com, Cultural Calendar for more listings and events throughout the Keys. Key West Happenings ARTISTS RECEPTIONS/EXHIBITIONS Sunday Anne McKee Fine Art Gala and Auction, 7 PM The work of 60 Florida Keys artists ranging from renowned masters to emerging talents. Attendees can bid on original paintings, sculptures […]

 January 29, 2016  Posted by at 12:48 am Art, Issue #151, Literature, Music, Special Events, Theater, What To Do No Responses »
Jan 152016
Last Stand Annual Meeting Features Photographer Mac Stone

Last Stand will hold its annual meeting on Thursday, January 21st, at 6:00 pm, at The Studios of Key West, 533 Eaton Street in Key West. This year’s program features the award-winning photography of Mac Stone. Now based in Gainesville, Stone grew up in Central Florida and shares his adventures in springs and swamps, glaciers […]

 January 15, 2016  Posted by at 1:16 am Issue #149, Special Event No Responses »
Jan 082016
PEARY COURT / What to do?

City Manager Weighing Options on Building Inspections 2013 Inspection Report Made Available by Naja and Arnaud Girard……. Some recent independent home inspection testing at Peary Court has brought a worrisome result. “My mold assessment led me to advise the tenants to vacate the apartment,” says Hugh Johnson. Johnson is the owner of “Inspect Key West.” He’s […]

Jan 082016

Randolph “Randy” Becker, minister to ONE ISLAND FAMILY and involved community activist, has filed as a candidate for Mayor of Key West. Randy Becker, a resident in Bahama Village for the past nine years, has served Key West as one of the original appointees on the Bahama Village Redevelopment Advisory Committee and now is a […]

 January 8, 2016  Posted by at 1:16 am ** BREAKING NEWS **, News 1 Response »
Jan 012016
Impromptu Classical Concerts 44th Season Opens with Pianist Thomas Pandolfi

  “There are many humorous things which tend to happen while one is on the road”, asserts Pianist Thomas Pandolfi who opens Impromptu Classical Concerts 44th season on Sunday January 10th at St. Pauls Church at 4:00 pm. Pandolfi continues: “One that springs to mind is coming out on stage to perform the Liszt Piano […]

 January 1, 2016  Posted by at 12:21 am ~ Artists ~, Issue #147, Music No Responses »
Dec 182015
Open Letter to the Monroe County School Board

Gentlemen: With the singular and notable exception of Board Chairman Griffiths, you set a new high (or is it low?) for posturing at [Tuesday’s] Board meeting regarding the HOB daycare financial fiasco. One definition of posturing is “to pretend to have or affect a particular attitude” and I thought that you did that exceptionally well. […]

 December 18, 2015  Posted by at 12:50 am Dr. Larry Murray, Issue #145 1 Response »
Nov 272015
Superintendent Porter Explains His Handling of Unaccounted for $20,000 in HOB Daycare Program Funds

Mark Porter’s Public Statement, in full: November 27, 2015 “Recently there have been several news stories regarding the HOB daycare program that was initiated in 2014-2015. I would like to offer the following points of factual clarification and personal responsibility for this unfortunate situation. This is intended as a public communication and can/should be used […]

 November 27, 2015  Posted by at 5:02 pm * Featured Story * 9 Responses »
Nov 272015
How Influential Was the City Attorney in Canvassing Board's Bob Dean Decision?

HERE’S WHAT THE BLUE PAPER ASKED THE CITY ATTORNEY ABOUT THE CANVASSING BOARD’S DECISION SHAWN: I am drafting a potential opinion piece concerning the concept that the City Attorney is the most powerful person in city government. Before you read the rest of this email, know that I consider you one of the best city attorneys […]

 November 27, 2015  Posted by at 12:46 am * Featured Story *, Issue #142 14 Responses »
Nov 202015
State:  What the Hell is Going on in the Keys? Must be "Other Forces at Work"

  by Naja and Arnaud Girard……. The State’s Variance Review Committee blasted the local Health Department, questioning officals’ apathy in letting the Boondocks Grill, Draft House and Miniature Golf on Ramrod Key expand and operate, for years, without requiring a proper sewage disposal system. The landmark restaurant had a septic tank/leach field system permitted for 65 […]

Nov 202015

by Dennis Reeves Cooper……. Last July, the City Commission amended Chap. 42 of the City’s Code of Ordinances to give police officers more discretion when busting people caught with very small quantities of marijuana. Rather than arresting and hauling off to jail people found with less than 20 grams (less than an ounce), officers now […]

Nov 132015
Kirby Congdon: A Look Back

by Kirby Congdon……. This writer remarked once to a professional writer that his novels were the easy way to toss off a poem. He never forgave me for my presumption! I mention these references to suggest the thoughtful depths that poetry may reach in describing one of a poet’s concerns: people and lives. While the […]

 November 13, 2015  Posted by at 12:38 am ~ Artists ~, Issue #140, Kirby Congdon No Responses »
Nov 072015
SHOOTOUT VIDEO RELEASED: Heroic Deputy Shot in Chest / Suspect Shot First

by Naja and Arnaud Girard……. The Monroe County Sheriff released video of a gun battle that took place weeks ago on Stock Island. [See video below] Dashcam from two deputies’ cruisers show the October 24th high speed chase of Timothy Thomas, who was wanted in connection with an armed robbery in Key West. In the […]

Nov 062015
Timothy Thomas Claims 'Deputies Shot First' [Police Shootout Rained Bullets on Stock Island Family]

by Naja and Arnaud Girard……. [Note:  This article was written and published prior to the Sheriff’s release of the dashcam video.  You will find an update at the end of the article including both Deputy Gordon and Deputy Lariz’ dashcam video excerpts as posted by the MCSO on youtube this morning.] It was about 9:45 pm […]

Oct 302015

  by Ray Jason……. As the years thunder by, I pleasantly discover that my needs and desires keep decreasing. Health, Happiness, Friendship and Freedom are now the cardinal points on the compass of my life’s voyage.   Because today is my birthday, it is natural to ponder whether my Ship of Self is sailing smoothly; or […]

 October 30, 2015  Posted by at 12:25 am Island Voices 2 Responses »
Oct 092015

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2-BxnL_COmE&feature=youtu.be Video by Naja and Arnaud Girard……. Commentary by Dennis Reeves Cooper……. Suppose that you are inclined to tell people that you own the Cow Key Channel Bridge and, furthermore, that you are willing to sell it for a reasonable price. And suppose that you hear that there are three Key West residents who might […]

Oct 092015
FKAA Chairman Dean Plays Cat and Mouse

by Naja and Arnaud Girard……. The documents often begin with: “I, J. Robert Dean do solemnly swear” and thereafter the facts seem to change and contradict each other depending on what Dean needs to do to stay in power. On Wednesday Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority [FKAA] Board Chairman Bob Dean provided Supervisor of Elections, Joyce […]

Oct 092015

by Dennis Reeves Cooper……. If you are a longtime Key Wester and a longtime reader of The Blue Paper, you know that when I ran the paper from 1994 until 2012, Code Enforcement (or Code Compliance, as the department is now known) was in the news a lot. And why not. Allegations of corruption were […]

Oct 092015
Screwed, Blu'd and Tattooed by Reef Perkins...continues...

Screwed, Blu’d and Tattooed by Reef Perkins ***Ingrown Heirs*** A Compact History Blu’s Yunger’s far-flung uncle, Ferling Bagwidth, once described as a “hermit crab without the personality,” owned a home and clock repair shop half way down Dung Beetle Lane in Old Town, Key West. Ferling was a Conch. A Conch (pronounced Konk) is someone […]

 October 9, 2015  Posted by at 12:35 am ~ Artists ~, Island Voices, Issue #135, Literature No Responses »
Oct 022015

by Bud Navero……. Imagine retiring after thirty years of teaching and deciding to keep your hand in and pick up a modest income by subbing in the local schools. Anyone who’s been to school knows the travail that can accompany being a substitute teacher. Nevertheless, the idea that someone with outstanding professional credentials would be […]

 October 2, 2015  Posted by at 12:54 am Island Voices, Issue #134 4 Responses »
Sep 252015
Tour Companies and City Spar Over Sightseeing Franchise Agreements

Naja and Arnaud Girard……. As the “Conch Train” slows down at the corner of Eaton and Elizabeth, the conductor blows the whistle. The train’s blaring PA system floods the street: “That’s right folks, you just made it to the top. Key West’s highest point, Solaris Hill! 18 Feet above sea level! That’s where you would […]

Sep 252015
Screwed, Blu'd and Tattooed by Reef Perkins... continued

Screwed, Blu’d and Tattooed by Reef Perkins ***Previous Deeds*** Blu Yunger grew up in Hinckley, Ohio, seasonal home of the Hinckley buzzard. The Hinckley is a cosmopolitan scavenger that every year, for reasons unknown, migrates to Key West to shit upon the tropical paradise at will. Some Hincklanders called the turkey buzzards, “turd smugglers.” Blu […]

 September 25, 2015  Posted by at 12:26 am ~ Artists ~, Featured Artist, Issue #133 No Responses »
Sep 182015
You're Invited to Take a Peak at Reef Perkins' Hilarious Collection, "SCREWED, BLU'D AND TATTOOED (and other stories)"

Alright guys.  Ready to LYAO?  Here’s a sneak peak just for you BP readers:  Reef Perkins’ hilarious collection of short stories… “Screwed, Blu’d and Tattooed.”    Join us!! Screwed, Blu’d and Tattooed by Reef Perkins “Two roads forked in a wood.   I don’t care what roads do in private.   I turned and headed back. It was cold. […]

 September 18, 2015  Posted by at 12:40 am ~ Artists ~, Featured Artist, Island Voices, Issue #132, Literature No Responses »
Aug 142015
Key West Homes: "Caucasian Only"

by Naja and Arnaud Girard……. For years they’ve lived with this embarrassing secret, which they feel has tainted their home from the moment they moved in. Even today they wouldn’t give their names for this story. The secret, though, is out. “It floored me when I saw it,” said Commissioner Tony Yaniz this week to […]

 August 14, 2015  Posted by at 12:48 am * Featured Story * 12 Responses »
Jul 312015
Water Quality Disaster: Whistleblower Accuses Department of Health

by Bud Meaker and Arnaud Girard……. A whistleblower claims the Department of Health (DOH) has turned a blind eye for years on thousands of gallons of sewage that has been seeping into Florida Keys waters. “It’s their duty, their legal obligation under Florida Statutes to monitor the performance of all on-site sewer systems in the Keys, […]

Jul 102015
Goombay Controversy Exposes Key West's Racial Tensions

by Naja and Arnaud Girard……. Do you think White business owners should take over the management of a Black heritage festival? That’s the tricky question that City Commissioners were set to resolve last Tuesday when once again they were faced with having to choose between two groups that wished to run the coveted Goombay Festival. […]

Jul 102015
WWD (World Water Dilemma): Part 2

by Kim Pederson……. Gizmodo recently posted an article by Annalee Newitz titled “NASA: We Are Going to Europa.” The piece features a short video from the agency called “Alien Ocean: NASA’s Mission to Europa.” Ostensibly, the goal is to gather information on the liquid ocean beneath the moon’s frozen exterior and determine, if possible, if […]

 July 10, 2015  Posted by at 12:25 am Environment, Island Voices, Issue #122 1 Response »
Jul 102015

“My vote is my voice…and the voice of all who struggled, so that I may have my voice.” (Lyida C. Obasi) REMEMBER: AN ELECTION IS DETERMINED BY PEOPLE WHO VOTE Hometown!’s Call for Candidates Event Key West , 15 July 2015: Hometown! ‘s “Call for Candidates” Event at Salute Restaurant, Higgs Beach at 5 p.m. […]

 July 10, 2015  Posted by at 12:21 am Issue #122 No Responses »
Jul 032015
Uncle Bobby's Magic Sofa

[responsive_youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ch7dFluXOns] Thanks to MC COUSCOUS and BRIA ANSARA for allowing us to share their incredible music video:  ‘SLOW DOWN’ [IF YOU’RE STILL ON THE HOMEPAGE: Click on the headline above and the following links will ‘come to life’. FACEBOOK   YOUTUBE    WEBSITE

 July 3, 2015  Posted by at 12:46 am Island Voices, Issue #121 1 Response »
Jul 022015
Mysterious Hostage Standoff on Duval:  A Hoax

[responsive_youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fZLSsXn8FzE] by Naja and Arnaud Girard……. Developing story… A hoax… Key West police shut down the 800 block of Duval Street at about 7 p.m. last night amid reports of a “possibly armed person” having barricaded himself inside a bed and breakfast. According to police spokesperson, Alyson Crean, a man had called police claiming he had knifed a woman […]

Jun 302015
Uber Fires Back...

This just in from spokesperson, Bill Gibbons, on behalf of Uber in response to KWPD’s announcement today that Uber drivers in Key West that don’t possess a vehicle-for-hire license will be arrested beginning tomorrow, July 1, 2015: “It is unconscionable that the city would seek to limit safe, reliable transportation ahead of one of the deadliest weekends […]

 June 30, 2015  Posted by at 5:43 pm Issue #120 1 Response »
Jun 302015
A Message From KWPD to Uber Drivers

“Key West has an ordinance that prohibits independent Uber drivers. Beginning July 1, drivers for Uber/Lyft may find themselves under arrest if they continue to drive passengers without a City vehicle-for-hire license. For several months, the City has attempted to inform the community that it provides only 56 such licenses, all of which have been […]

 June 30, 2015  Posted by at 1:57 pm Issue #120 9 Responses »
Jun 262015
Trooper Out of Control

by Naja and Arnaud Girard… OIG Investigation Report just in… In February we reported on the shocking tasing of an older gentleman by a state trooper on US 1 near the 18-mile stretch. Before a bystander’s cell phone video was made public, the trooper, Eloy Arias, had written in his incident report that he had […]

Jun 262015
The Long Poem

by Kirby Congdon…. We have a tradition of the long poem as an historical account in ancient history on through to the contemporary meditative reflection. A cousin of mine, around 1944, could recite Hiawatha (1855) by Longfellow. Few people outside of the schools have even read any long poem today. As a nation we tend […]

 June 26, 2015  Posted by at 12:43 am Issue #120, Kirby Congdon No Responses »
Jun 192015
Protecting Sexual Predators

She’s a ten-year old Key West girl. He, her stepfather, crawls into her bed, “grabs her hand and puts it on his penis.” He touches her breasts and at times he tries to touch her “private parts” but she fights him off when he does that. Sometimes she “gets sticky stuff on her hand.” The […]

Jun 122015
FDLE Special Agent and Ex-Husband former KWPD Captain Saved By Statute of Limitations

by Naja and Arnaud Girard…… A long awaited investigative report on a scandal that greatly tarnished both FDLE’s and KWPD’s image in the community is finally complete. FDLE Special Agent Kathy Smith and her ex-husband, former KWPD Captain Scott Smith, could have been prosecuted for the criminal acts of perjury and mortgage fraud in connection […]

Jun 122015
Goal Posts

by Alex Symington……. An informal tally of pro and con responses to my essay in last weeks Blue Paper on Bernie Sanders was about 50/50, but the content of the pro and con responses was telling in and of itself. The pro Bernie responses were well written expressions of varying concurrences with the essay and […]

 June 12, 2015  Posted by at 12:41 am Alex Symington, Issue #118 3 Responses »
Jun 122015
Good Morning Florida Keys With Jenna Stauffer Featuring Mystery Writers Key West Fest

World-class mystery writers and acclaimed storytellers will be gathering in Key West to reveal their sleuthing savvy and whodunit know-how during the 2nd Annual Mystery Writers Key West Fest, set for August 14-16, 2015 Mystery Writers Key West Fest stars international bestselling suspense-thriller writer Jeffery Deaver, author of the wildly popular”Lincoln Rhyme” book series, the […]

 June 12, 2015  Posted by at 12:30 am ~ Artists ~, Issue #118 No Responses »
Jun 052015
Apartment Hunting in Key West Can Be Full of Surprises...

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..   Nina and Naomi Newton go apartment hunting with mom in Old Town Key West. What they find keeps them laughing for days….    

 June 5, 2015  Posted by at 12:40 am Island Voices, Issue #117 No Responses »
Jun 052015
Environmental Groups Send Reps to Washington to Probe FDA About GM Mosquito Release

A representative from the Florida Keys Environmental Coalition traveled to Washington D.C. last week to meet with the FDA to convey local concerns about the Florida Keys Mosquito Control District’s plans to release genetically modified (GM) mosquitoes in the Keys. The mosquitoes are being bred by British company Oxitec. Barry Wray, executive director of FKEC, […]

 June 5, 2015  Posted by at 12:38 am Issue #117, News No Responses »
Jun 052015
Jenna Stauffer and Good Morning Florida Keys Featuring Kids Wish Network

Cameron Bonney was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a cancer of the white blood cells. She immediately started chemotherapy treatment. After seven rounds of the harrowing treatment and two bone marrow transplants, Cameron still faced more issues. In June 2010, Cameron’s body rejected her second bone marrow transplant, and she was diagnosed with chronic scleradormatous. This […]

 June 5, 2015  Posted by at 12:30 am Island Voices, Issue #117 No Responses »
May 292015
Photo Documentary: Key West Marches Against Monsanto

by Terri Brentnall………………. Terri Brentnall came to Key West from Germany with her husband George in mid-2004 and opened her freelance photography business. Over the intervening years, she refined her unique perspective of island life and developed her photojournalism skills. Terri, who is a member of Professional Photographers of America, has been the recipient of the […]

 May 29, 2015  Posted by at 3:04 am ~ Artists ~, Issue #116 2 Responses »
May 292015
Fear and Loathing

by Alex Symington…………… Last week in Key West the Newspaper [The Blue Paper], I wrote about the quiet coup of corporate co-option of our government and listed the glaring evidence to that truth. Towards the conclusion of the essay I had used the word “revolt” in, what I thought, was contextually appropriate. I submitted the […]

 May 29, 2015  Posted by at 3:02 am Alex Symington, Issue #116 11 Responses »