Feb 102017
An Opinion

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…]

 February 10, 2017  Posted by at 12:54 am Issue #205, Kirby Congdon, News No Responses »
Feb 102017
"Marine Zoning Works for Me" Offers Presentations on the Benefits of Marine Zoning in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary

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…]

 February 10, 2017  Posted by at 12:50 am Issue #205, Water World No Responses »
Jan 132017
Hospital Management Company [CHS] Won't Break Contract Early or Share Control...(Not Yet)...

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.

 January 13, 2017  Posted by at 12:56 am News 2 Responses »
Dec 232016
Lighting of the Menorah

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…]

 December 23, 2016  Posted by at 12:28 am Issue #198, News, Special Events No Responses »
Dec 162016
Bernie Supporter Threatened with Socialism...

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…]

 December 16, 2016  Posted by at 12:47 am News 1 Response »
Dec 092016
Fight at Key West High / Student Arrested

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…]

Dec 092016

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

 December 9, 2016  Posted by at 1:15 am Issue #196, Kirby Congdon No Responses »
Nov 252016
Thanksgiving Celebrated at Homeless Shelter in Shadow of Terrible News

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.

Nov 042016
Is Local Politics Getting in the Way of Public Safety?

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.

Oct 282016

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…]

 October 28, 2016  Posted by at 12:59 am News 2 Responses »
Oct 212016
Book Review: The Contemporary Art Gallery, Display, Power and Privilege

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…]

 October 21, 2016  Posted by at 12:36 am ~ Artists ~, Issue #189, Kirby Congdon No Responses »
Oct 142016

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…]

 October 14, 2016  Posted by at 12:34 am ~ Artists ~, Issue #188, Kirby Congdon No Responses »
Oct 142016
Zombie Bike Ride and Family-Friendly Celebration at Fort East Martello Creeping Up

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…]

 October 14, 2016  Posted by at 12:19 am Issue #188, Special Events No Responses »
Sep 302016
Woman Charged with Stealing $29,000 Worth of Her Roommates Stuff and Her Debit Card While Roommate in Hospital

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…]

 September 30, 2016  Posted by at 1:00 am crime No Responses »
Sep 162016
Mayday!! Fishing Boat Lands on Top of Rock Jetty [video]

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.

Sep 162016
New Tool for Battling Zika-Carrying Mosquitoes Approved

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…]

 September 16, 2016  Posted by at 12:54 am Issue #184, News 1 Response »
Sep 162016
Thumbs Up on the Ditching of the Skeeter Taj Mahal

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…]

 September 16, 2016  Posted by at 12:48 am Issue #184, Letter to the Editor No Responses »
Sep 162016
On Conformity

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…]

 September 16, 2016  Posted by at 12:36 am Art, Issue #184, Kirby Congdon No Responses »
Sep 162016
Bestselling Author Shares Key West Adventures  & Writing Secrets to Students

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…]

 September 16, 2016  Posted by at 12:14 am Issue #184, News No Responses »
Sep 162016
United Way of the Florida Keys Welcomes New AmeriCorps VISTA Member

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…]

 September 16, 2016  Posted by at 12:10 am Issue #184, News, Public Notice No Responses »
Sep 162016
6th Annual Key West Musician's Festival to Benefit Sister Season Fund

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…]

 September 16, 2016  Posted by at 12:04 am Issue #184, Music, Special Event, Special Events No Responses »
Sep 092016
Oh, Connie!

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…]

Sep 022016
City Manager Defends Amnesty Program for Hundreds of Illegal Transient Rentals by Claiming it's Not Happening

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…]

Sep 022016
Mr. Cady

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…]

 September 2, 2016  Posted by at 12:49 am Issue #182, Kirby Congdon No Responses »
Sep 022016
Monroe County Partners Go Door-to-Door to Zap Zika

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…]

 September 2, 2016  Posted by at 12:48 am Issue #182, News, Public Notice No Responses »
Sep 022016
Senior Associate Attorney Joins Law Offices of Samuel J. Kaufman, P.A.

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…]

 September 2, 2016  Posted by at 12:27 am Issue #182, Public Notice No Responses »
Aug 122016
Annual Tot Swap Consignment Sale

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…]

 August 12, 2016  Posted by at 12:13 am Issue #179, Special Event No Responses »
Aug 052016
"C’mon FKMCB….get to work.  Use all the weapons that you have to protect us from ZIKA."

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…]

 August 5, 2016  Posted by at 12:38 am Issue #178, Letter to the Editor 1 Response »
Jul 222016
"Devious" Developers Score on Offshore Island Development, 2016

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…]