The Beach Boys at The Tennessee Williams Theatre November 7th

Photo Credit: David McClister

Photo Credit: David McClister

As The Beach Boys mark more than a half century of making music, the group continues to ride the crest of a wave unequalled in America’s musical history.  The Beach Boys have become synonymous with the California lifestyle and have become an American icon to fans around the world. The Beach Boys will pull into town to perform on November 7 at The Tennessee Williams Theatre in Key West, FL.  Continue reading

Dance Key West Returns to the Waterfront Playhouse

Dance+Key+West_0854_X5-3212458563-O

‘After These Messages’ November 7-8th

‘After these Messages’ will take you on an uplifting journey with two dancers as they deal with the pressures of conformity, pop culture and media while searching for a sense of connection in this age of technology. This full length, original Dance Key West (formerly KW Contemporary Dance Company) production features Kyla Piscopink, DKW Artistic Director, and Jordan Fife Hunt, ‘1969’, ‘Train in the Distance’.

Don’t miss this 3 performance production! Friday, November 7th, 8pm (opening reception party, 7pm). Saturday, November 8th, 8pm and Saturday matinee, 2pm.

As a local non-profit, DKW is committed to giving back to the community. A limited number of matinee tickets, free of charge, are available for community members who otherwise could not afford to attend. If you or your agency is interested, please email kwcontemporarydance@gmail.org to make a request.

Get your tickets now!!…and look forward to enjoying a night of beautiful, professional dance while supporting the local arts.

Tickets $ 20-25, at www.waterfrontplayhouse.org.

Love Lane Gang! They’re Just Plain Fun!

Love Lane Gang 20140713-01

Love Lane Gang 20140713-01

The Love Lane Gang is a homegrown band that charms both locals and visitors with their rollicking raucous ruckus. With an age range among the members of over thirty years, they bring a wide variety of experience and musical tastes to bear and appeal to music lovers of all ages. They’ve brought back skiffle and updated it for the present. It’s impossible to keep from smiling amidst their mirthful musical mayhem.

The emphasis is on ragtime and swing from the 1930s and 1940s, done in a refreshing new style that melds Hot Club gypsy jazz with island flourishes. Also, Dust Bowl ballads, old school country from Hank Williams and Dolly Parton, rockabilly and surf music classics and rarer gems, tunes from Sixties stars like The Beatles, The Kinks, and The Rolling Stones, and carefully chosen songs from current artists like Andrew Bird, Mason Jennings, and The White Stripes all fit in alongside original songs that sound like they could have come from any of those eras.

Offbeat instrumentation, including mandolin, fiddle, accordion, ukulele, washboard, and a kazoo horn section, added to familiar guitar, bass, and harmonica, creates a broad musical palette which they use to color their performances.

But you needn’t pay too much mind to all that serious musical analysis – they’re just plain fun!

They will be playing regular gigs at Saluté On The Beach Sundays at 5:30 PM and Sunset Pier Wednesdays at 5:30 PM.

Scheduled appearances:

Continue reading

Ebola: Are We Ready?

“What do you think? Of course we are preparing for the possibility of the Ebola virus.” That was Randy Detrick last Tuesday.

Detrick is the PR Director for Lower Keys Medical Center.  What The Blue Paper wanted to know was whether our local hospital has the necessary isolation units and whether it is stocked with the full protective gear which could have saved Dallas hospital nurses Nina Pham and Amber Vinson from contracting the Ebola virus.

Detrick promised a written statement but has yet to answer our questions [aside from the usual ‘fear not good people, we are totally in control’ response cited above.]

What are the chances?

We were surprised to learn that Key West, by some strange twist of fate, has historically been a chosen point of entry for African-based disease.   Continue reading

New Modern Dance Classes at CoffeeMill Dance Studio Led By Cricket Desmarais

Cricket DeMarias
Cricket DeMarias

Cricket Desmarais

Starting November 4th on Tuesdays and Thursdays, CoffeeMill Dance Studio will offer Modern Dance for adults from 10:30am-12pm.

The six week program will be led by Cricket Desmarais, who also teaches yoga and is keenly interested in helping students experience movement in a way that aligns with their own particular bodies and impulses.

“While I think it’s important for students to learn technique, I think it’s equally important that they feel good while doing so,” says Desmarais. “We all have our own ways of experiencing time and space through movement.  I hope this class will be a way for students to explore that.” Continue reading

Love Lane Gang! They’re Just Plain Fun!

Love Lane Gang 20140713-01

Love Lane Gang 20140713-01

The Love Lane Gang is a locals band that knocks the socks off tourists and locals alike. With an age range among the members of over thirty years, they bring a wide variety of experience and musical tastes to bear and appeal to music lovers of all ages. They’ve brought back skiffle and updated it for the present.

The emphasis is on ragtime and swing: classics from the 1930s and 1940s, done in a refreshing new style that incorporates the Hot Club approach with island flourishes. Dust Bowl ballads, old school country from Hank Williams and Dolly Parton, rockabilly and surf music classics and little-known gems, tunes from Sixties stars like The Beatles, The Kinks, and The Rolling Stones, and carefully chosen songs from current artists like Andrew Bird, Mason Jennings, and The White Stripes all fit in alongside original songs that sound like they could have come from any of those eras.

Offbeat instrumentation, including mandolin, ukulele, accordion, fiddle, washboard, and a kazoo horn section, added to familiar guitar, bass, and harmonica, creates a broad musical palette which they use to color their performances.

But you needn’t pay too much mind to all that serious musical analysis – they’re just plain fun!

They will be playing their regular gigs at Saluté On The Beach Sunday at 5:30 PM and Sunset Pier Wednesdays at 5:30 PM.

Scheduled Appearances:

Continue reading

Call to Artists for the 3rd Annual Key West Chalk Festival

Sarasota based artist Stig Lindow is shown putting finishing touches on his 2013 Key West Chalk Festival creation, a larger-than-life rendering of Key West Art & Historical Society mascot, Robert the Haunted Doll.  Photo by Carol Tedesco

Sarasota based artist Stig Lindow is shown putting finishing touches on his 2013 Key West Chalk Festival creation, a larger-than-life rendering of Key West Art & Historical Society mascot, Robert the Haunted Doll. Photo by Carol Tedesco

The Key West Art in Public Places Board announces a call to artists for the 3rd Annual Key West Chalk Festival.  November 19-23, local and visiting artists—from novices to world-class artists—will use the promenade alongside the seawall at the Truman Waterfront as their canvas for elaborate and colorful chalk art creations, with prizes awarded in student and adult categories. The AIPP Board is happy to announce that Denise Kowal, Founder and Chair of the Sarasota Chalk Festival is working with AIPP to help make this year’s Festival the best yet. Artists may register using the event submission form available online at artinpublicplaceskw.com. Ongoing information and updates are available on the Key West Chalk Festival Facebook page.

New Portrait Painting Class by Janis Stevens

janice class

Key West artist Janis Stevens is now teaching portrait painting classes at FKCC every Tuesday at 6PM. The cost is $ 25 per class.
Take your oil, acrylic or pastel painting to a higher plane! We will explore the techniques and principles used by masters like Sargent, Zorn, and Fechin as we work from both photos and live models. Traditional techniques will be emphasized and individualized instruction provided. Beginners are welcome. Bring you own supplies. Canvas and pastel paper will be available at cost.

Janis Jo Stevens has been doing portraits for over 30 years and holds a Master’s degree in Art Education. www.artbyjanis.com for more information email: janisjoy@live.com or call Cathy Torres at FKCC Continuing Education to register. (305) 809-3250.

The Beach Boys at The Tennessee Williams Theatre November 7th

Photo Credit: David McClister

Photo Credit: David McClister

As The Beach Boys mark more than a half century of making music, the group continues to ride the crest of a wave unequalled in America’s musical history.  The Beach Boys have become synonymous with the California lifestyle and have become an American icon to fans around the world. The Beach Boys will pull into town to perform on November 7 at The Tennessee Williams Theatre in Key West, FL.  Continue reading

Reflections on Columbus or Happy Genocide Day

christopher columbus

Here we are, another celebration of Columbus Day has passed, and every year it gets just a little bit more embarrassing, bordering on surreal. We citizens of the United States are slowly waking up to the reality that the Americas were heavily populated by natives and doing just fine without European “civilization”. The fact that the Europeans were greeted for the most part by friendly folks willing to share what they had, was taken as a sign of weakness by our “hero”, Columbus. Instead of honoring the people that invited him into their home, he enslaved and murdered them, of course, baptizing them before they were put to the sword. Not the best way to start a new relationship.

Continue reading

Love Lane Gang Is Back For More Fun!!

Love Lane Gang 20140713-01

Love Lane Gang 20140713-01

The Love Lane Gang is a locals band that knocks the socks off tourists and locals alike. With an age range among the members of over thirty years, they bring a wide variety of experience and musical tastes to bear and appeal to music lovers of all ages. They’ve brought back skiffle and updated it for the present.

The emphasis is on ragtime and swing: classics from the 1930s and 1940s, done in a refreshing new style that incorporates the Hot Club approach with island flourishes. Dust Bowl ballads, old school country from Hank Williams and Dolly Parton, rockabilly and surf music classics and little-known gems, tunes from Sixties stars like The Beatles, The Kinks, and The Rolling Stones, and carefully chosen songs from current artists like Andrew Bird, Mason Jennings, and The White Stripes all fit in alongside original songs that sound like they could have come from any of those eras.

Offbeat instrumentation, including mandolin, ukulele, accordion, fiddle, washboard, and a kazoo horn section, added to familiar guitar, bass, and harmonica, creates a broad musical palette which they use to color their performances.

But you needn’t pay too much mind to all that serious musical analysis – they’re just plain fun!

They will be playing their regular gigs at Saluté On The Beach Sunday at 5:30 PM and Sunset Pier Wednesdays at 5:30 PM.

Scheduled Appearances:

Continue reading

SOUTH FLORIDA SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA PRESENTS MOONLIGHT TREASURES


The South Florida Symphony Orchestra opens its season with the Tropical Beats Series Moonlight Treasures on Sunday, October 12, 2014 at 6:30 pm. The show will feature members of the Blue Door String Quartet and music by Dohnányi and Beethoven. Guests will be serenaded at the stunning La Te Da Restaurant located at 1125 Duval Street in Key West, FL.

“The South Florida Symphony Orchestra looks forward to treating our audience with a special evening of diverse music,” said Jacqueline Lorber, President and CEO of the South Florida Symphony Orchestra. Continue reading

Florida Keys Council of the Arts Cultural Calendar

arts council

Thursday, October 9 thru Wednesday, October 15

Visit keysarts.com, Cultural Calendar for more listings & events throughout the Keys.

Key West Happenings

ARTIST RECEPTIONS / EXHIBITIONS

Friday, October 10

Ronny Bailey, Visions of Key West Opening Reception, 6 PM. The Custom House Museum, 281 Front St. 295-6616. kwahs.org Bailey recreates city landmarks from locally salvaged materials to bring Old Key West to life.

Call to Artists – Craft vendors needed: Grace Lutheran Arts & Crafts Festival: November 15. Applications available at gracelutherankw@att.net or call 296-5161.

CLASSES & WORKSHOPS

Continue reading

Conch Poet J.M. Varela Featured Oct. 5 at Blue Heaven

The wit and wisdom of popular Conch poet J.M. Varela takes the stage upstairs at Blue Heaven during the first Sunday monthly meeting of the Key West Poetry Guild on Oct. 5, beginning at 7 p.m. There is no admission fee and all are welcome.

Varela, author of the eclectic collection “Inside the Head of a Conch Women,” turns her sometimes jaundiced and often hilarious eye toward Key West history, customs and characters. The Guild looks forward to premiering some of her more recent work, written, she said, “as a wrap up of four days of Conch Reunions in August and a backlash for so many negative comments about raising children in Key West.” Continue reading

MONROE COUNTY’S SECRET ROADMAP TO RESEGREGATION

busses resized

It’s 7:30 am at the bus stop on Truman and Emma.  Eleven-year old Dimitri is about to climb into the morning school bus.  Like him, most of the kids sitting on the bus are African American.  Like them, he has a mere 40% probability of graduating from high school with his classmates; a stark difference from his white brothers, who have an 83% graduation rate [2013 data].

When we interviewed parents in Bahama Village about this disparity their responses raised an unexpected red flag.

“I didn’t want my son to go to HOB,” says the mother of a fifth grader, “He’s going to the white school.”

BP:  “The white school?  What do you mean?  What white school?” Continue reading

Conch Poet J.M. Varela Featured Oct. 5 at Blue Heaven

The wit and wisdom of popular Conch poet J.M. Varela takes the stage upstairs at Blue Heaven during the first Sunday monthly meeting of the Key West Poetry Guild on Oct. 5, beginning at 7 p.m. There is no admission fee and all are welcome.

Varela, author of the eclectic collection “Inside the Head of a Conch Women,” turns her sometimes jaundiced and often hilarious eye toward Key West history, customs and characters. The Guild looks forward to premiering some of her more recent work, written, she said, “as a wrap up of four days of Conch Reunions in August and a backlash for so many negative comments about raising children in Key West.” Continue reading

TAKE STOCK IN CHILDREN IN MONROE COUNTY EARNS PROGRAM EXCELLENCE AWARD

Monroe Excellence Award TSIC Conference 2014For the second year in a row, the Take Stock in Children program of Monroe County has earned a program excellence award for its outstanding mentor and college success coach services. “This would not have been possible without the dedication of our devoted volunteer mentors and our wonderful college success coaches who go above and beyond.” said program coordinator Chuck Licis.

Take Stock in Children is the flagship program of the Monroe County Education Foundation (MCEF). “Obviously, I’m thrilled and the board is delighted that we’ve been able to continue to win this award,” said Steve Pribramsky, president of the MCEF. “We don’t actually put a lot of emphasis on winning the award. Instead, we try to spend as much time as possible focusing on creating a better program year after year.”

Twenty-one Take Stock programs in Florida were recognized for their achievements last year. “We are proud to be in the top third of successful programs in the state. We are looking to build on our successes and continue to work with our college bound students to earn a degree, certificate, or other credentials.” Licis reiterated.

“This year, we hope to offer a TSIC college scholarship opportunity to at least forty new students in the county,” Licis continued, “but we need mentors. We must have a mentor for each student we enroll.” The MCEF encourages community members throughout the Keys to consider becoming a mentor for a Take Stock in Children scholar.

For more information about mentoring or the TSIC program, call 305-293-1546 or send an email to chuck.licis@keysschools.com.

Key West Resident Running for Cancer Care and Research / Running as Member of the Dana-Farber Team in the 14th Annual B.A.A. Half Marathon®

Katherine Gilmore

Katherine Gilmour from Key West, will be running in the 14th annual [Boston Athletic Association] B.A.A. Half Marathon® presented by Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Jimmy Fund, as a member of the official Dana-Farber team.

More than 570 Dana-Farber team members will raise awareness and at least $ 750 to support adult and pediatric patient care and cancer research at Dana-Farber. Dana-Farber and the Jimmy Fund have partnered with the B.A.A. in the Half Marathon for twelve years. During this time, runners on the Dana-Farber team have raised more than $ 4 million to fuel lifesaving discoveries. To support a runner in the B.A.A. Half Marathon, go to www.RunDanaFarber.org. Continue reading

Join Reef Relief for the September 21st Shoreline Clean-up

reef relief clean up

Past Clean-Up: Reef Relief, The Lost bus, and a group of local students teamed up and collected 600 lbs of marine debris from the mangroves off Key West

LOCAL ACTION TO CREATE GLOBAL CHANGE

Reef Relief will be celebrating International Coastal Cleanup with a community shoreline cleanup on Sunday, September 21, 2014. We invite locals and visitors interested in protecting our ocean and wildlife to this weekend event.

Meet us at the Lazy Dog kayak stand located at Hurricane Hole Marina, look for the Reef Relief sign. The event will start at 10:00 am and finish up at 1:00pm. Thanks to Lazy Dog for generously providing kayaks.

To attend or for directions contact Reef Relief at (305) 294-3100, reefrelief@gmail.com

Reef Relief is a nonprofit membership organization dedicated to improving and protecting our coral reef ecosystems. Find out more at http://reefrelief.org Continue reading

In Monroe County, Change Is A Dirty Word

Change Blvd

canstockphoto11259727

[Note from the editor:  In case you missed Dr. Murray's article last week [which was inadvertently posted late last Friday - my bad] … here it is again… No one pays attention to School District affairs like Dr. Murray…]

Change is a dirty word in Monroe County.  In last week’s election, every incumbent save one was returned to office.  And the incumbent turned out was a judge in the midst of a tawdry personal scandal who still managed to appeal to nearly 4,000 voters or 23% of the electorate.  The only new face to win was in the District 1 School Board race where Bobby “King Conch” Highsmith bested outspoken reformer Stu Kessler and incipient change agent Warren Leamard in a battle for an open seat. Continue reading

TAKE STOCK IN CHILDREN NOW ACCEPTING SCHOLARSHIP APPLICATIONS [Deadline: Fri Sept 12th]

Monroe County Take Stock In Children Class of 2014

Monroe County Take Stock In Children Class of 2014

Take Stock in Children, a college scholarship program for high-performing, low-income students, is now accepting applications for the 2014-15 school year. Motivated students, grades 7 – 10, with the desire and potential to attend college or learn a trade should apply.

“This is an outstanding program that offers more than a college scholarship to qualified candidates. Our students are matched with a volunteer mentor while in middle and high school, attend college readiness workshops and college campus tours, and learn how to be successful in college,” explains TSIC program coordinator Chuck Licis. Continue reading

TAKE STOCK IN CHILDREN NOW ACCEPTING SCHOLARSHIP APPLICATIONS

Monroe County Take Stock In Children Class of 2014

Monroe County Take Stock In Children Class of 2014

Take Stock in Children, a college scholarship program for high-performing, low-income students, is now accepting applications for the 2014-15 school year. Motivated students, grades 7 – 10, with the desire and potential to attend college or learn a trade should apply.

“This is an outstanding program that offers more than a college scholarship to qualified candidates. Our students are matched with a volunteer mentor while in middle and high school, attend college readiness workshops and college campus tours, and learn how to be successful in college,” explains TSIC program coordinator Chuck Licis. Continue reading

FANTASY FEST 2014 KING AND QUEEN CANDIDATE EVENT SCHEDULE Sep 1-7

2013 King & QueenKing Stephen "Sunshine" Sunday & Queen Diane May

2013 King & Queen
King Stephen “Sunshine” Sunday & Queen Diane May

 TROPICAL ESCAPADES AND TRANCES

www.aidshelp.cc

Ongoing Events:

Aqua Idol every Tuesday beginning August 26 – October 14, 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM – come support the candidates’ singers at Aqua Nightclub, 711 Duval Street. 75% of the monies collected will be split among the candidates and 25% would go to the campaign for which the winner is representing. All monies will be donated to AIDS Help. Free to attend! All Candidates

Drag Queen Bingo at 801 Caberet every Sunday from August 24 – October 12, 5:00 PM – Bingo at 801 Bourbon will divide all proceeds equally among the candidates. All Candidates

All Candidate Events:

Continue reading

FANTASY FEST 2014 KING AND QUEEN CANDIDATE EVENT SCHEDULE

2013 King & QueenKing Stephen "Sunshine" Sunday & Queen Diane May

2013 King & Queen
King Stephen “Sunshine” Sunday & Queen Diane May

 TROPICAL ESCAPADES AND TRANCES

 

WWW.AIDSHELP.CC

 

Ongoing Events:

Aqua Idol every Tuesday beginning August 26 – October 14, 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM – come support the candidates’ singers at Aqua Nightclub, 711 Duval Street. 75% of the monies collected will be split among the candidates and 25% would go to the campaign for which the winner is representing. All monies will be donated to AIDS Help. Free to attend! All Candidates

Drag Queen Bingo at 801 Caberet every Sunday from August 24 – October 12, 5:00 PM – Bingo at 801 Bourbon will divide all proceeds equally among the candidates. All Candidates

All Candidate Events:

Continue reading

Florida Keys Council of the Arts Cultural Calendar THURSDAY, AUGUST 14 thru WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 20

arts council

Visit keysarts.com, Cultural Calendar for more listings & events throughout the Keys. All phone numbers are area code 305 unless noted otherwise.

Key West Happenings

ARTISTS EXHIBITS & RECEPTIONS

DAILY

Art Camp 2014 Exhibit, 10:30 AM

Tropic Cinema, 416 Eaton St. 295-6616. kwahs.org

Showcasing the students’ art through August 22.

 

DANCE

FRIDAYS & WEDNESDAYS

Continue reading

PRIMARY ELECTIONS IN KEY WEST: Three Different Ballots

canstockphoto18778006I need to start this column with a lecture. If you want to consider yourself a good citizen, you should be registered to vote and you should vote in every election. If you are a non-voter and this statement offends you, so be it. Voting is important because elections have consequences. And this is especially true in Key West and the Keys where elections are often won or lost by just a few votes. Our state lawmakers have made it so easy to vote, as well as to register to vote, that there is almost no reasonable excuse not to vote. A few years ago, the State Legislature introduced Early Voting, which makes it possible to vote during a two-week period (including Saturdays!) before the official election day. In addition, you can avoid going to the polls altogether by using an absentee ballot. Early Voting is already underway for the Primary Election scheduled for August 26. The date of the General Election this year is November 4. Continue reading

Good Morning Florida Keys With Jenna Stauffer / Interview With Ms. Grace McKinnon

Grace Mckinnon

Grace McKinnon is interning with the Florida Keys Outreach Coaliton [FKOC] this summer as an AmeriCorps/VISTA volunteer through the National Coalition for the Homeless.  Formerly homeless herself, Grace is from Maryland and now a college student with double majors in social work and psychology.  She is serving at Peacock Supportive Living, an FKOC program providing housing and supportive services to 38-individuals living with serious mental illness. We’re sure you will enjoy meeting this remarkable young woman! Enjoy!

Click here for more WEYW 19′s Good Morning Florida Keys With Jenna Stauffer Continue reading

Last Day At Chapman’s House

chap tricycle

chap tricycle

Whether ‘Old Man Chapman’ will finally be swindled out of his house is no longer up for debate.  Last Monday a red 8” X 6” legal notice was taped to his door at 221 Petronia Street.  It read:  “Final Notice of Eviction” and directed the Monroe County Sheriff to remove any person from the premises on Tuesday.

“It’s tomorrow. Tuesday is tomorrow,” said Chapman on the phone,  “Where am I going to put my things?  My clothes?  My wife’s clothes?  Our grandson’s clothes?  What am I going to do?”  It was 9:30 am.  The beginning of a long day – which was going to involve Sheriff’s deputies, pro bono attorneys, a Judge, New York bankers, someone known as “Coconut Man,” and Mr. James Matthew Chapman.  Mr. Chapman, the one-man-lighted-parade, who has been photographed thousands of times by tourists as he rides his Christmas-tree-like tricycle, blasting soul music, up and down Duval Street. Continue reading

LOVE LANE GANG! THEY’RE JUST PLAIN FUN!

Photo: Sheelman Photography

Photo: Sheelman Photography

The Love Lane Gang will be taking a summer break after this weekend, so come out and see them while you have the chance! In case you didn’t know, they are a locals band that knocks the socks off tourists and locals alike. With an age range among the members of over thirty years, they bring a wide variety of experience and musical tastes to bear and appeal to music lovers of all ages. They’ve brought back skiffle and updated it for the present.

The emphasis is on ragtime and swing: classics from the 1930s and 1940s, done in a refreshing new style that incorporates the Hot Club approach with island flourishes. Dust Bowl ballads, old school country from Hank Williams and Dolly Parton, rockabilly and surf music classics and little-known gems, tunes from Sixties stars like The Beatles, The Kinks, and The Rolling Stones, and carefully chosen songs from current artists like Andrew Bird, Mason Jennings, and The White Stripes all fit in alongside original songs that sound like they could have come from any of those eras.

Offbeat instrumentation, including mandolin, ukulele, accordion, fiddle, washboard, and a kazoo horn section, added to familiar guitar, bass, and harmonica, creates a broad musical palette which they use to color their performances.

But you needn’t pay too much mind to all that serious musical analysis – they’re just plain fun!

They will be plating their regular gigs at McConnell’s Irish Pub And Grill on Friday at 8 PM and Saluté On The Beach on Sunday at 5:30 PM. They will also play at Blue Heaven on Saturday for brunch and dinner, 10:30 AM and 6:30 PM.

Scheduled Appearances: Continue reading

Peter Pan

canstockphoto19842166

canstockphoto19842166

I have a personal policy of avoiding main stream corporate news outlets like I avoid The Weather Channel. I don’t need to know about hurricane Gertrude from the minute it forms off the coast of Africa. It might be weeks before it crosses the Atlantic and actually becomes a problem. When it gets close, IF it gets close, then I will hear about it at Five Brothers over café con leche. That way I avoid those weeks of needless anxiety and nail biting. The same goes for watching, listening and/or reading corporate sponsored propaganda, aka the news. Continue reading

Who Owns Wisteria Island? Hearing Held On Fate Of Last Desert Island In Key West Harbor

Issue 4 Wisteria Cartoon cropped

Roger Bernstein had his chance last Tuesday to convince a federal judge that his company, FEB Corporation, not the US Government, owns Wisteria Island.

“Well, I remember when, as a young man in the Navy stationed in Key West,” said Judge Jose Martinez, “our guys used to go swim out by Wisteria Island. I thought it was ours.” That remark probably caused some serious stomach rumbling in Bernstein’s group of white-haired lawyers.

At stake is the fate of the last desert island in Key West harbor.  For more than 40 years Bernstein’s family has claimed to be the owner, even paying County property taxes. But three years ago, when they tried to develop it into a luxury resort, the Federal Government threw a wrench into those plans by claiming the United States owned the island, not the Bernsteins.

Bernstein hired well-known attorney Barry Richard [George Bush’s attorney in the tussle with Al Gore over the Presidency] and filed suit in federal court under the Quiet Title Act [QTA]. Continue reading

LOVE LANE GANG! THEY’RE JUST PLAIN FUN!

Photo: Sheelman Photography

Photo: Sheelman Photography

The Love Lane Gang is a locals band that knocks the socks off tourists and locals alike. With an age range among the members of over thirty years, they bring a wide variety of experience and musical tastes to bear and appeal to music lovers of all ages. They’ve brought back skiffle and updated it for the present. They will be taking a summer break in mid-July, so come out and see them while you have the chance!
The emphasis is on ragtime and swing: classics from the 1930s and 1940s, done in a refreshing new style that incorporates the Hot Club approach with island flourishes. Dust Bowl ballads, old school country from Hank Williams and Dolly Parton, rockabilly and surf music classics and little-known gems, tunes from Sixties stars like The Beatles, The Kinks, and The Rolling Stones, and carefully chosen songs from current artists like Andrew Bird, Mason Jennings, and The White Stripes all fit in alongside original songs that sound like they could have come from any of those eras.
Offbeat instrumentation, including mandolin, ukulele, accordion, fiddle, washboard, and a kazoo horn section, added to familiar guitar, bass, and harmonica, creates a broad musical palette which they use to color their performances.
But you needn’t pay too much mind to all that serious musical analysis – they’re just plain fun!
Their regular gigs are at McConnell’s Irish Pub And Grill on Fridays at 8 PM and Saluté On The Beach on Sundays at 5:30 PM.
Scheduled Appearances: Continue reading

TRUMAN WATERFRONT: Commission Approves Five-Year Lease For Superboat Championship Races

Park boat parking plan

Last Tuesday evening the Key West City Commission approved a five-year lease on a significant portion of the Truman Waterfront to Super Boat International Productions (SBI).  SBI is a privately-owned, for-profit corporation based in Key West.

Lease terms were negotiated between former City Manager Bob Vitas and Charles Carbonell, president of SBI.  The lease allows SBI to make use of a portion of the Truman Waterfront property for up to three weeks each year.  A race village will occupy that land for about week, with a week on ether side for preparation and clean-up.  Continue reading

Murder-for-hire Perpetrator Gets Maximum Allowable Sentence

Pistol

Pistol“I am the victim. My life has changed dramatically.”

So said an emotional Bruce Schmitt at a court session for the man who tried to have him killed.

At the session, a clearly frustrated U.S. federal judge, Jose E. Martinez, imposed the maximum allowable ten-year sentence on admitted murder-for-hire perpetrator Dennis Zecca in a sentencing hearing at the Federal Court Building in Key West on Wednesday. Zecca has been convicted of hiring someone – who turned out to be an FBI informant – to kill Schmitt, a Marathon realtor, for reasons still unknown.

Martinez wondered aloud what everyone else familiar with the case has been wondering since late 2012: why. Continue reading

Florida Couples and Equality Florida Institute Urge Court to Strike Down State’s Ban on Marriage Equality

Last Wednesday, a state trial court in Miami heard oral argument on a motion filed in May by six same-sex couples and Equality Florida Institute challenging Florida laws barring same-sex couples from marriage. The couples asked the court to strike down Florida’s marriage ban and order the state to allow same-sex couples to marry.

The couples argue that Florida’s ban on marriage equality cannot stand in light of the United States Supreme Court’s ruling in June 2013 that the federal “Defense of Marriage Act” violates the federal constitutional guarantees of equal protection and due process. Continue reading

Капитализм (Capitalism)

canstockphoto8613371

canstockphoto8613371

Somewhere Karl Marx is shaking his shaggy head and smiling. When a bastion of the capitalist right, Time Magazine, publishes an article validating ANYTHING Karl Marx said can Armageddon be far behind? I am most definitely not an economist. Show me a budget report or some financial spread sheet and my eyes glaze over in stupor, but lately I have been reading with some fascination many unflattering reports on the sacred free market. The imaginary capitalist guiding hand of self-regulation and its sister, the imaginary self-leveling playing field are, all of a sudden, being called into question. What is going on?! Continue reading

KEY WEST ARTIST IN SOLO ABSTRACT EXPRESSIONIST SHOW / Rosanne Potter Shares New Works With Hometown

Textures,blendedfaces

“Textures, Blended Faces”, showing at the Armory, June 19-July 11, 2014

The recent work of well-known Key West artist, Rosanne Potter, will be on display in Westfield, New Jersey, through the end of July. The one-woman show in the Internet Lounge of the Westfield Memorial Library includes new works (acrylics, oils, and pastels on canvas and oil pastels on paper) created in the past winter season in Key West, as well as two of the artist’s paintings familiar to Keys collectors.

Ms. Potter grew up in Westfield and attended Rosemont College.  During the spring of 1962, she participated in a semester abroad at the Institute of European Studies in Vienna, Austria. This formative experience brought her in contact with the great art museums across Europe and, significantly, with the director of the Vienna program, American Abstract Expressionist painter, Clarence Giese. Continue reading

STONE SOUP PARTY AND BIKE PARADE, Sunday August 17th

chapman

A Stone Soup party and bike parade to support our friend and neighbor, Mr. Chapman will be held on Sunday, August 17th.

The event will begin with a bike parade starting at Eaton Bikes on Simonton St. and ending at Cowboy Bills and Seadog Tavern. The Bike Parade will be open to anyone who wishes to participate and decorations are encouraged. Entry fee for the parade is $ 10 and all proceeds go to Mr. Chapman.

The Stone Soup Party will start at 3:00 and run until 8:30 at both Cowboy Bill’s and Seadog Tavern on Duval and Angela Streets. The event will include concerts on two stages, a pool tournament, bull riding, a giant  silent auction; raffles, and much more. To top off the day an incredible  “Stone Soup” dish prepared by Jenny Robinson of Seadog Tavern and consisting of delectable ingredients donated by our favorite restaurants will be served to all.

For more information or to donate silent auction items call Jeff Salzman at 305-896-0961 or Stacy Thomason at 305-433-1283.

If you can’t make it you can still help out by donating to ‘Light the Way for Mr. Chapman’:  GoFundMe

STONE SOUP PARTY AND BIKE PARADE, Sunday August 17th

chapman

A Stone Soup party and bike parade to support our friend and neighbor, Mr. Chapman will be held on Sunday, August 17th.

The event will begin with a bike parade starting at Eaton Bikes on Simonton St. and ending at Cowboy Bills and Seadog Tavern. The Bike Parade will be open to anyone who wishes to participate and decorations are encouraged. Entry fee for the parade is $ 10 and all proceeds go to Mr. Chapman.

The Stone Soup Party will start at 3:00 and run until 8:30 at both Cowboy Bill’s and Seadog Tavern on Duval and Angela Streets. The event will include concerts on two stages, a pool tournament, bull riding, a giant  silent auction; raffles, and much more. To top off the day an incredible  “Stone Soup” dish prepared by Jenny Robinson of Seadog Tavern and consisting of delectable ingredients donated by our favorite restaurants will be served to all.

For more information or to donate silent auction items call Jeff Salzman at 305-896-0961 or Stacy Thomason at 305-433-1283.

If you can’t make it you can still help out by donating to ‘Light the Way for Mr. Chapman’:  GoFundMe

Ten Questions About The Charles Eimers Autopsy Report

Charles Eimers Photo provided by Treavor Eimers

Charles Eimers Photo provided by Treavor Eimers

Wouldn’t it be great if we could all believe that Charles Eimers’ death was just an accident – somehow the 61-year-old tourist was simply a ‘walking heart attack’ and when police tried to arrest him he stressed out and his heart gave up.

We have a few questions about the final autopsy report:

1.  What About The Civilian Witnesses?

Eimers’ “face was not forced into the sand,” wrote former Monroe County Medical Examiner, E. Hunt Sheuerman, “but, rather, as he struggled, his face moved back and forth across the sand.”

We know the Medical Examiners’ Report was signed on April 26th.  Of the many civilian witnesses we spoke to, only two were ever interviewed by FDLE and those two interviews took place in mid May, several weeks after the Medical Examiner had already signed his report. Continue reading

LOVE LANE GANG! THEY’RE JUST PLAIN FUN!

Photo: Sheelman Photography

Photo: Sheelman Photography

The Love Lane Gang is a locals band that knocks the socks off tourists and locals alike.They play music that spans generations as well as embodies them. With an age range among the members of over thirty years, they bring a wide variety of experience and musical tastes to bear. They’ve brought back skiffle and updated it for the present.

The emphasis is on ragtime and swing: classics from the 1930s and 1940s, done in a refreshing new style that incorporates the Hot Club approach with island flourishes. Dust Bowl ballads, old school country from Hank Williams and Dolly Parton, rockabilly and surf music classics and little-known gems, tunes from Sixties stars like The Beatles, The Kinks, and The Rolling Stones, and carefully chosen songs from current artists like Andrew Bird, Mason Jennings, and The White Stripes all fit in alongside original songs that sound like they could have come from any of those eras.

Offbeat instrumentation, including mandolin, ukulele, accordion, fiddle, washboard, and a kazoo horn section, added to familiar guitar, bass, and harmonica, creates a broad musical palette which they use to color their performances.

But you needn’t pay too much mind to all that serious musical analysis – they’re just plain fun!

Their regular gigs are at McConnell’s Irish Pub And Grill on Fridays at 8 PM and Saluté On The Beach on Sundays at 5:30 PM. They will also be playing at Blue Heaven this Saturday during brunch and dinner.Come out and see them before they take a summer break in mid-July!

Scheduled Appearances: Continue reading

DO YOU THINK WE MIGHT HAVE A HOUSING CRISIS?

Affordable Housing Crises

942765_444707312315462_900435827_nIt is becoming very alarming how few rental properties there are, and how high priced they are. Landlords are becoming very unreliable, houses are going into foreclosure in high amounts. I know my landlord defaulted on 10 in the last two months. I know of at least 3-4 more that friends live in houses facing foreclosure. Now banks own a ton of properties. Then banks sell them to people, and those people tend to turn them into vacation rentals. Florida Keys have a housing CRISIS on their hands. What is going to happen when more Key West residents move out for lack of housing? Or way to expensive housing? People can barely live down here unless they have many roommates. I’m a mother, so I really can’t have roommates. Who can really afford to live here without roomates? People who own their house, military workers, those in low income housing where the state pays their bills and rent, people on vacation, and people who really don’t need to work. Key west needs people to work, not moving out because they can’t afford the first, last, and security totaling $ 6,000 -$ 10,000 just to move in and rent a place. At least most tourist destinations have worker housing that is truly affordable. Without workers, you have no tourist destination … Also speaking of tourist destinations, I’m sure I’m not the only one to notice, the economy is not the same as it was in 2005-2007. The money is slowing down quite a bit. Tourists are spending a lot more for rooms in hotels, and vacation houses like Truman Annex and such. They’re  staying and relaxing in their hotels more, spending less money on Duval St. and other fun activities. People are starting to take their vacations to other cheaper places. I hear it all the time. Last year’s Fantasy Fest had to be the worst ever. Just like Bike Week and this year’s St. Patrick’s Day. Key west is not getting what it used to in tourism. So if our wages are not as good as they used to be, and rent is getting higher, what is next? Exactly, people are leaving… What is Key West going to do?? Huge Crisis. I have put this on Facebook and have had a huge amount of responses.

Do you think Monica hit a chord?  Well, she sure did.  Have a look at the flood of Facebook responses (get comfy): Continue reading

THIS SUMMER’S UNSUNG HEROES

Mary Parmley, "Just 4 Kids" Bahama Village Art Program  and Jeff Drechsler, Key West Sailing Center

Mary Parmley, “Just 4 Kids” Bahama Village Art Program
and Jeff Drechsler, Key West Community Sailing Center

 

“I know,” she says, “air conditioning would be nice.”  We have a moment of hesitation at the door, the heat inside the warehouse feels like an oven.

We are talking with Mary Parmley, who runs the Bahama Village art program, “Just 4 Kids,” on Forte Street. Continue reading

New Mel Fisher Days Events Offer Fun, Romance and Adventure for a Great Cause

The Spam Allstars will headline a free concert July 12 at the Mel Fisher Days Sizzlin’ Street Fair on Duval

The Spam Allstars will headline a free concert July 12 at the Mel Fisher Days Sizzlin’ Street Fair on Duval

Every summer a multi-day celebration is held in honor of Mel Fisher, a man who pursued his dreams and discovered a fortune in treasure in the seas off Key West, inspiring millions to follow their own dreams and earning him the title of The World’s Greatest Treasure Hunter. This summer’s Mel Fisher Days are set for July 10-13 and will feature a treasure-trove of events ranging from the educational to the adventurous.

Festivities kick off Thursday, July 10, 11-1 pm, with a “meet the crew” Diver Reunion dock party and book signing. For the first time since the 1980’s the 100’ salvage vessel JB Magruder will dock at the Historic Seaport, just behind Schooner Wharf Bar, 202 William Street. Visitors are invited to meet current crew and alumni divers. Evening brings a swashbuckling great time with a PirateCon Pub Crawl and Pirate Ball. Continue reading

MEDICAL EXAMINER RULES DEATH OF CHARLES EIMERS ACCIDENTAL [In Case You Missed The Breaking News Release]]

“Mr. Eimers was at risk of a sudden death, at any time, due to either a chaotic cardiac rhythm or worsening of his congestive heart failure,” wrote the E. Hunt Scheuerman, M.D., the Monroe County Medical Examiner.

Charles Eimers, 61, a Michigan native, died after losing consciousness while being restrained face down in the sand by Key West police officers last Thanksgiving Day. Numerous eyewitnesses came forward accusing the police of excessive force, of holding Eimers head down in the sand, putting the weight of up to four officers on his back, and shocking him with a Taser stungun.

The Medical Examiner, however, in his final autopsy report, states that “the FDLE investigation concluded that his face Continue reading

MEDICAL EXAMINER RULES DEATH OF CHARLES EIMERS ACCIDENTAL

BREAKING NEWS CHARLES EIMERS

BREAKING NEWS CHARLES EIMERS

“Mr. Eimers was at risk of a sudden death, at any time, due to either a chaotic cardiac rhythm or worsening of his congestive heart failure,” wrote the E. Hunt Scheuerman, M.D., the Monroe County Medical Examiner.

Charles Eimers, 61, a Michigan native, died after losing consciousness while being restrained face down in the sand by Key West police officers last Thanksgiving Day. Numerous eyewitnesses came forward accusing the police of excessive force, of holding Eimers head down in the sand, putting the weight of up to four officers on his back, and shocking him with a Taser stungun.

The Medical Examiner, however, in his final autopsy report, states that “the FDLE investigation concluded that his face was not forced into the sand, but rather, as he struggled, his face moved back and forth across the sand. Audio recordings from the event revealed that Eimers repeatedly said “No.”  Such verbalization would not have been possible if he had been smothering in the sand.”  The Medical Examiner acknowledged, however, that his face appeared coated in sand in photographs taken at the hospital, but that “No sand was found in his airways.” Continue reading

Go Native In Your Garden: Learn How With Susie Reutling at Key West Tropical Forest & Botanical Garden

Lucy Carleton lends her support to the Botanical Garden by learning the importance of native before purchasing under the direction of Susie Reutling, Nursery Team Leader at the Native Plant Sale.
Lucy Carleton lends her support to the Botanical Garden by learning the importance of native before purchasing under the direction of Susie Reutling, Nursery Team Leader at the Native Plant Sale.

Lucy Carleton lends her support to the Botanical Garden by learning the importance of native before purchasing under the direction of Susie Reutling, Nursery Team Leader at the Native Plant Sale.

“GO NATIVE IN YOUR GARDEN” – Having problems gardening our thin, alkaline, rocky soil?  Feel guilty about wasting water on irrigation?  Are your plants attracting more pests than butterflies and birds?  Find out how to select & grow attractive and healthy native plants.  Saturday, June 21st, 1:00-3:00 pm at Key West Tropical Forest & Botanical Garden Nature Chapel, Susie Reutling, Nursery Coordinator, Master Gardener will share her practical experience in landscaping with native plants and cultivating rare specimens. Members & students FREE; others $ 5.00.

Earlier that day, from 9-noon, the nursery at the KWTF&BG will be open for a plant sale. For more, visit www.KWBGS.org or call 305-296-1504.

Love Lane Gang! They’re Just Plain Fun!

Photo by Sheelman Photography

Photo by Sheelman Photography

The Love Lane Gang is a locals band that knocks the socks off tourists and locals alike.They play music that spans generations as well as embodies them. With an age range among the members of over thirty years, they bring a wide variety of experience and musical tastes to bear. They’ve brought back skiffle and updated it for the present.

The emphasis is on ragtime and swing: classics from the 1930s and 1940s, done in a refreshing new style that incorporates the Hot Club approach with island flourishes. Dust Bowl ballads, old school country from Hank Williams and Dolly Parton, rockabilly and surf music classics and little-known gems, tunes from Sixties stars like The Beatles, The Kinks, and The Rolling Stones, and carefully chosen songs from current artists like Andrew Bird, Mason Jennings, and The White Stripes all fit in alongside original songs that sound like they could have come from any of those eras.

Offbeat instrumentation, including mandolin, ukulele, accordion, fiddle, washboard, and a kazoo horn section, added to familiar guitar, bass, and harmonica, creates a broad musical palette which they use to color their performances.

But you needn’t pay too much mind to all that serious musical analysis – they’re just plain fun!

Their regular gigs are at McConnell’s Irish Pub And Grill on Fridays at 8 PM and Saluté On The Beach on Sundays at 5:30 PM. They will also be playing at Ocean Key House Saturday at 6 PM

Scheduled Appearances: Continue reading

New Witness Comes Forward: “The Police Just Killed A Man”

ISSUE 67 CBS EIMERS for web
Photo provided by Treavor Eimers

Charles Eimers
Photo provided by Treavor Eimers

“I saw an officer kneeling in front of the man with a knee on his back and he was holding the man’s head down in the sand. The man had a reflex lift of legs once head pushed down.  One of the officers had placed a small black device on the man’s back after the lift of legs […] The female officer then started walking away from the scene, shaking her head.”  [See bystander video here.]

This statement was given this week by a tourist from Maryland [We’ll call her “M”] who was having breakfast at the Southernmost Beach Café last Thanksgiving Day.  The man she describes was Charles Eimers, who would soon die in police custody.  Continue reading

Monroe County Top School District for Studying Abroad

Student Travelers

Twenty-one students from Monroe County High Schools (Key West, Key West Collegiate, Marathon and Coral Shores high schools) are preparing to participate in The Experiment in International Living’s cross cultural programs within 14 different countries. The Experiment in International Living offers immersive summer programs for high school students in Europe, the Americas, Africa, and Asia and the Pacific.

“Monroe County, Florida, sends more participants every summer to The Experiment than any other school district in America outside of New York City,” according to Executive Director Dr. Aaron Morehouse.  “Since 2006, 125 Monroe County students have participated in The Experiment’s innovative cross cultural programs.”

All Monroe students will leave the U.S. in small groups at the end of June, Continue reading

Mike DADDY BONES Tolbert’s Has A Great Idea! [Oh boy!]

How many think this is great IDEA! Gov’t thinks tasers are an awesome tool! Commissioner Yaniz thinks we need more fields for kids soccer. Everybody agrees boys and girls club needs new building! SO I suggest we auction off a chance to TASE Mayor Cates and Tony Yaniz! With all money going to project for the Kids! Daddy Bones will donate pork sandwiches.  Sure music will not  be  a  problem!   Hell,  I  will  personally  bid    $ 100 right now! Write the mayor and fats if you agree this is great idea.  We can sell tickets for people to watch. Kids make out big time!

Mike DADDY BONES Tolbert

Carol Munder Retrospective at Studios of Key West Through June 13

Carol Munder's photogravure "Beaumont Still Life."

Carol Munder’s photogravure
“Beaumont Still Life.”

Carol Munder’s photogravure retrospective is upstairs at The Studios of Key West through June 13.

Photogravure, an intaglio printmaking process in which a copper plate is coated with light-sensitive tissue and then etched, has been described as the most beautiful, challenging and labor-intensive of traditional photographic processes.

Evocative, haunting and masterful scarcely describe the exhibits depth, which might be compared to catching glimpses “through a glass darkly” into stories that have just begun to be imagined or perhaps were imagined long ago and now only shadowy vapors remain. Munder exhibits widely, both nationally and internationally, and is the 2013 recipient of the prestigious South Florida Cultural Consortium prize. For more information, visit tskw.org.

PROTECTING THE COMMUNITY FROM NATURAL DISASTERS A Guide to Flood Insurance, Flood Mitigation and Wind Mitigation Programs

firm logo

Monroe County and the Florida Association of Counties are offering a FREE Wind and Flood Mitigation Workshop on Thursday, June 12th in Key West and Friday, June 13th in Key Largo. The workshops have been designed for homeowners, utilities, governments, developers and contractors, realtors, insurance agents, businesses, and homeowner & condo associations.

The workshop includes how recent changes to the National Flood Insurance Program will affect flood insurance rates in our cities and County, steps to lower flood insurance rates as well as wind and flood grant programs for residents, governments, commercial properties and homeowner developments. Continue reading

Artists Call for Midsummer’s Night Dream & Spectacle

Michele Meck and Lydia Firefly dance with fire at a previous Midsummer’s Night Dream & Spectacle.

Michele Meck and Lydia Firefly dance with fire at a previous Midsummer’s Night Dream & Spectacle.

Calling musicians, actors, painters, card-readers, filmmakers, poets, dancers, storytellers, jugglers, fire-breathers, clowns and fairies, nymphs and satyrs to take the stage and celebrate the arts in our community, Saturday, June 21, at the 8th Annual Midsummer’s Night Dream & Spectacle at the Key West Tropical Forest and Botanical Garden.

Co-produced by Michael Shields’ Java Studios to benefit The Key West Tropical Forest and Botanical Garden, Midsummer’s Night Dream & Spectacle celebrates the creative Keys community, and gives artists a voice and platform to share the power of their dreams. To participate as an artist or an event sponsor contact Michael Shields at 305-394-3804 / javastudios@gmail.com. More information at keywestupdates.com.

Love Lane Gang! They’re Just Plain Fun!

Photo by Sheelman Photography

Photo by Sheelman Photography

The Love Lane Gang is a locals band that knocks the socks off tourists and locals alike.They play music that spans generations as well as embodies them. With an age range among the members of over thirty years, they bring a wide variety of experience and musical tastes to bear. They’ve brought back skiffle and updated it for the present.

The emphasis is on ragtime and swing: classics from the 1930s and 1940s, done in a refreshing new style that incorporates the Hot Club approach with island flourishes. Dust Bowl ballads, old school country from Hank Williams and Dolly Parton, rockabilly and surf music classics and little-known gems, tunes from Sixties stars like The Beatles, The Kinks, and The Rolling Stones, and carefully chosen songs from current artists like Andrew Bird, Mason Jennings, and The White Stripes all fit in alongside original songs that sound like they could have come from any of those eras.

Offbeat instrumentation, including mandolin, ukulele, accordion, fiddle, washboard, and a kazoo horn section, added to familiar guitar, bass, and harmonica, creates a broad musical palette which they use to color their performances.

But you needn’t pay too much mind to all that serious musical analysis – they’re just plain fun!

Their regular gigs are at McConnell’s Irish Pub And Grill on Fridays at 8 PM and Saluté On The Beach on Sundays at 5:30 PM. They will also be playing at Blue Heaven for brunch on Saturday,at 10:30 AM. And they will be at The Pier House Saturday evening for the Womankind Benefit from 7 – 10 PM.

Scheduled Appearances:

Continue reading

Ambush Poetry: Conduct Unbecoming

Sloan and balloons

Sunday before last, I wondered off and on during the day if a new poem would come to me for the Key West Poetry Guild’s first Sunday meeting in the upstairs room of Blue Heaven Restaurant in Bahama Village?

As the day passed, nothing seemed to come, and around 5 p.m. I pedaled my bicycle to Jack Flats on Duval Street to watch the end of that week’s professional golf tournament, which was played at Jack Nicklaus’ Memorial County Club in Ohio. En route to Jack Flats, “conduct unbecoming” came to me, and I felt that might be the poem’s theme, if not also its title. I had my writing notebook with me, just in case. Continue reading

PROTECTING THE COMMUNITY FROM NATURAL DISASTERS A Guide to Flood Insurance, Flood Mitigation and Wind Mitigation Programs

firm logo

Monroe County and the Florida Association of Counties are offering a FREE Wind and Flood Mitigation Workshop on Thursday, June 12th in Key West and Friday, June 13th in Key Largo. The workshops have been designed for homeowners, utilities, governments, developers and contractors, realtors, insurance agents, businesses, and homeowner & condo associations.

The workshop includes how recent changes to the National Flood Insurance Program will affect flood insurance rates in our cities and County, steps to lower flood insurance rates as well as wind and flood grant programs for residents, governments, commercial properties and homeowner developments. Continue reading

Monroe County Top School District for Studying Abroad

Student Travelers


Twenty-one students from Monroe County High Schools (Key West, Key West Collegiate, Marathon and Coral Shores high schools) are preparing to participate in The Experiment in International Living’s cross cultural programs within 14 different countries. The Experiment in International Living offers immersive summer programs for high school students in Europe, the Americas, Africa, and Asia and the Pacific.

“Monroe County, Florida, sends more participants every summer to The Experiment than any other school district in America outside of New York City,” according to Executive Director Dr. Aaron Morehouse.  “Since 2006, 125 Monroe County students have participated in The Experiment’s innovative cross cultural programs.”  Continue reading

Love Lane Gang! They’re Just Plain Fun!

Photo by Sheelman Photography

Photo by Sheelman Photography

The Love Lane Gang is a locals band that knocks the socks off tourists and locals alike.They play music that spans generations as well as embodies them. With an age range among the members of over thirty years, they bring a wide variety of experience and musical tastes to bear. They’ve brought back skiffle and updated it for the present.

The emphasis is on ragtime and swing: classics from the 1930s and 1940s, done in a refreshing new style that incorporates the Hot Club approach with island flourishes. Dust Bowl ballads, old school country from Hank Williams and Dolly Parton, rockabilly and surf music classics and little-known gems, tunes from Sixties stars like The Beatles, The Kinks, and The Rolling Stones, and carefully chosen songs from current artists like Andrew Bird, Mason Jennings, and The White Stripes all fit in alongside original songs that sound like they could have come from any of those eras.

Offbeat instrumentation, including mandolin, ukulele, accordion, fiddle, washboard, and a kazoo horn section, added to familiar guitar, bass, and harmonica, creates a broad musical palette which they use to color their performances.

But you needn’t pay too much mind to all that serious musical analysis – they’re just plain fun!

Their regular gigs are at McConnell’s Irish Pub And Grill on Fridays at 8 PM and Saluté On The Beach on Sundays at 5:30 PM. They will also be playing at Duval Street Pub on Saturday,at 8 PM.

Scheduled Appearances: Continue reading

Artists Call for Midsummer’s Night Dream & Spectacle

Michele Meck and Lydia Firefly dance with fire at a previous Midsummer’s Night Dream & Spectacle.

Michele Meck and Lydia Firefly dance with fire at a previous Midsummer’s Night Dream & Spectacle.

Calling musicians, actors, painters, card-readers, filmmakers, poets, dancers, storytellers, jugglers, fire-breathers, clowns and fairies, nymphs and satyrs to take the stage and celebrate the arts in our community, Saturday, June 21, at the 8th Annual Midsummer’s Night Dream & Spectacle at the Key West Tropical Forest and Botanical Garden.

Co-produced by Michael Shields’ Java Studios to benefit The Key West Tropical Forest and Botanical Garden, Midsummer’s Night Dream & Spectacle celebrates the creative Keys community, and gives artists a voice and platform to share the power of their dreams. To participate as an artist or an event sponsor contact Michael Shields at 305-394-3804 / javastudios@gmail.com. More information at keywestupdates.com.

Carol Munder Retrospective at Studios of Key West Through June 13

Carol Munder's photogravure "Beaumont Still Life."

Carol Munder’s photogravure
“Beaumont Still Life.”

Carol Munder’s photogravure retrospective is upstairs at The Studios of Key West through June 13.

Photogravure, an intaglio printmaking process in which a copper plate is coated with light-sensitive tissue and then etched, has been described as the most beautiful, challenging and labor-intensive of traditional photographic processes.

Evocative, haunting and masterful scarcely describe the exhibits depth, which might be compared to catching glimpses “through a glass darkly” into stories that have just begun to be imagined or perhaps were imagined long ago and now only shadowy vapors remain. Munder exhibits widely, both nationally and internationally, and is the 2013 recipient of the prestigious South Florida Cultural Consortium prize. For more information, visit tskw.org.

Citizen Review Board May Investigate Use of Police Taser on Matthew Shaun Murphy Three Years Ago

It was early morning July 6, 2000.  In a dark alley in Key West, Officer Michael Beerbower had Daniel Holte Stambaugh, 22, handcuffed in the back of his police cruiser. Beerbower was on top of Stambaugh’s co-defendant Jessie Gene Gregory, 19, also handcuffed.  Other officers were standing watch.  When they yelled, “Clear!” (it meant that there were no witnesses) Beerbower would allegedly then go on, alternately punching Gregory and then Stambaugh in the face.

But that “private” police matter would come out in The Blue Paper and later in the New York Times. In spite of public indignation, the police department appeared unwilling to fire or even discipline any of the officers involved.   Public discontent grew into a grass roots movement to create an independent board overseeing the Key West Police Department.  A referendum passed with 60% in favor on November 2, 2002.   The CRB (Citizen Review Board) was born.

Today, over 10 years later, in the midst of another KWPD scandal (again getting national attention) some CRB members have begun to question whether the Board should wait any longer to start tackling the issues. Continue reading

TAKE STOCK IN CHILDREN GRADUATION CEREMONY / Award-winning columnist Eugene Robinson dazzles 37 Take Stock in Children Graduates

take stock

Thirty-seven Monroe County high school graduates received their commemorative medallions at the Take Stock in Children (TSiC) graduation, Marathon High School this past Saturday, May 31st.

The Monroe County Education Foundation (MCEF) welcomed Eugene Robinson, columnist for The Washington Post, honored guest and commencement speaker, at the 14th annual TSiC graduation ceremony. Robinson emphasized the responsibility the grads have to their Monroe County TSiC donors and mentors, as well as to the state of Florida,” noting, Success stories like these are a credit not only to the students and their families, but to the wonderful mentors who guided them during these past few years.”  Continue reading

‘It Started With a Drill’

 canstockphoto8781035

I learned early on what little is accomplished waiting for someone to do something for you, or even to help you. Consider this one of the gleaming pros to not having your parents around, and I do stress one. Now that I’m a mother myself, I can’t imagine my children grocery shopping for the family or taking taxis by themselves when they were nine years old. Not only did I do these things, but I also created my own income because my mother’s money never seemed to make it down to me.

This lifestyle brought forth my signature feistiness which kept me afloat throughout my youth. Even heavy decisions, such as taking a Greyhound bus from Florida to Indiana to attend college, weren’t an issue for me. Although my best childhood friend and I planned on attending the same school, she decided that she wanted to move to Florida at the last minute. I still went because, like her, I needed a change. Continue reading

THE VA HOSPITAL SCANDAL

canstockphoto8698787

canstockphoto8698787

The developing scandal at the Veterans Affairs (VA) Hospitals makes another strong statement about the sustainability of government-run health care. The problem here–the scandal– is not the quality of health care provided to our vets at the VA hospitals; the problem is access. And the problem of access is the result of sheer government incompetence. Here is a summary of the situation.

For the men and women who commit to serve our country in the military services, one of the commitments our government makes to them in return is to provide health care for life. This commitment is especially critical for veterans of this country’s various wars. That is one hell of a commitment– a commitment that requires professional and creative management to achieve. The problem is that, apparently, professional and creative management seem to be foreign concepts in government.

Recently, we have been hearing a lot about veterans having to wait months to get care at some VA Hospitals. By law, veterans should be able to see a doctor within 30 days after making an appointment. But at some hospitals, veterans have been forced to wait months for care– and some have died while waiting. This alone is scandalous enough. But to hide the fact that these hospitals have not been meeting the 30-day standard required by law, hospital staff has been falsifying appointment records. Now we are moving out of the realm of simple incompetence into the realm of criminal activity. Continue reading

2014 High School Graduation Ceremonies for the Monroe County Schools

mc-school-logo

The Monroe County School District is proud to announce the schedule for the 2014 High School Graduation Ceremonies for the Monroe County Schools and Key West Collegiate Charter School.

Key West High School

Date and Time: Friday, June 6, 2014; 8:00 pm

Location: Tommy Roberts Memorial Stadium on Kennedy Drive, Key West.

Commencement Address: Christine Dennison

Expected graduating class: 258

Key West Collegiate Academy

Date and Time: Tuesday, June 3, 2014; 5:30 pm

Location: Tennessee Williams Theater (next to Florida Keys Community College)

Commencement Address: Dr. W. Ann Reynolds

Expected graduating class: 9 Continue reading

Congressman Garcia on Sec. Johnson Testifying before Judiciary Committee

Congressman Garcia press release

Earlier today [May 29, 2014], Homeland Security Secretary, Jeh Johnson, appeared before the House Judiciary Committee. At the hearing, Congressman Garcia questioned Secretary Johnson regarding the implementation of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and his ongoing review of immigration policies, specifically with regards to the controversial Secure Communities program. Following the hearing, Garcia released this statement –

“With the second anniversary of DACA approaching, we are reminded, yet again, of the grave need to pass comprehensive immigration reform. As the Secretary stated, the program is working smoothly and has provided relief for hundreds of thousands of young people.  I also noted, and he agreed, that there remain those who fall short of qualifying for DACA but clearly fit the spirit of the program.  It simply shouldn’t be our country’s policy to abandon those people who have worked hard, served their communities, and are American in every way but on paper. This administration has chosen to allow more time before presenting their review of our nation’s deportation policies.  It is my sincere hope that come August, we are not met with yet another set of excuses and empty promises from Republican leadership in the House.  I was encouraged by Secretary Johnson’s candor and commitment to addressing the challenges facing our immigration system, but there is still much left to do.”

Welber on Welber: Special Interest Trumps Climate Action

welber interviews welber

welber interviews welber

“I’m very proud of that,” Monroe County Commissioner George Neugent said after looking through the climate assessment last week. “I’m very proud to be part of an initiation in a region that contains millions of people.”

– Neugent commenting on praise for four-county compact that produced the Southeast Regional Action Plan

Blue Paper

We want to welcome back environmentalist Michael Welber for another in-depth interview.

Welber

More like survivalist.

Blue Paper

Oh? And why is that?

Welber

You’ve probably been snoozing this month, which would actually be a good thing given the continuing inexplicable actions of some of our fine county commissioners.

Blue Paper

What is it this time? Did they buy another restaurant? Continue reading

Love Lane Gang Playing All Sides of Town

Love Lane Gang Shoot 02+

Photo by Sheelman Photography

The Love Lane Gang is a locals band that knocks the socks off tourists and locals alike. They play music that spans generations as well as embodies them. With an age range among the members of over thirty years, they bring a wide variety of experience and musical tastes to bear. They’ve brought back skiffle and updated it for the present.

The emphasis is on ragtime and swing: classics from the 1930s and 1940s, done in a refreshing new style that incorporates the Hot Club approach with island flourishes. Dust Bowl ballads, old school country from Hank Williams and Dolly Parton, rockabilly and surf music classics and little-known gems, tunes from Sixties stars like The Beatles, The Kinks, and The Rolling Stones, and carefully chosen songs from current artists like Andrew Bird, Mason Jennings, and The White Stripes all fit in alongside original songs that sound like they could have come from any of those eras.

Offbeat instrumentation, including mandolin, ukulele, accordion, fiddle, washboard, and a kazoo horn section, added to familiar guitar, bass, and harmonica, creates a broad musical palette which they use to color their performances.

But you needn’t pay too much mind to all that serious musical analysis – they’re just plain fun!

Their regular gigs are at McConnell’s Irish Pub And Grill on Fridays at 8 PM and Saluté On The Beach on Sundays at 5:30 PM. They will also be playing at Blue Heaven on Saturday, for brunch and dinner.

Scheduled Appearances:

Continue reading

Mystery Writers Key West Fest Announces Novel Walk-On Role Winner

Rebecca Swope of Boca Raton has won a cameo walk-on appearance in award-winning author Sandra Balzo’s next Maggy Thorsen coffeehouse novel.

Rebecca Swope of Boca Raton has won a cameo walk-on appearance in award-winning author Sandra Balzo’s next Maggy Thorsen coffeehouse novel.

Rebecca Swope of Boca Raton, Florida, has won a walk-on cameo appearance in award-winning author Sandra Balzo’s next Maggy Thorsen coffeehouse novel, ninth in the mystery series that has just been optioned for possible development as a television series.

The walk-on prize contest was an early registration promotion for the Mystery Writers Key West Fest, which is launching its inaugural event June 13-15. A writer herself, who specializes in romantic suspense, sci-fi/fantasy and Southern memoir stories, Swope commented that she is “looking forward to causing mayhem in Sandra Balzo’s fictional world,” and would prefer the role of a criminal.

Balzo is one of nearly two-dozen premier South Florida based crime-fiction and true crime authors who will appear at the inaugural Mystery Writers Key West Fest. Open to authors, aspiring authors, and non-writing mystery-buffs alike, Fest registration is open until June 6. For further information, visit www.mysterywriterskeywestfest.com.

Another Founding Member of Sustainability Advisory Board Calls it Quits / Letter of Resignation to Mayor Cates

Exit

Dear Mayor Cates,

Please accept my letter of resignation from the Key West Sustainability Advisory Board, effective immediately.

I originally wrote this letter the night the commission voted to return us to twice-weekly trash pickup (2-1-1), but then decided to give myself a cooling-off period to see if it would change my mind. It has not.

Having served Key West as chairman to the Sustainability Advisory Board since its inception in 2009 and as vice chair since 2013, I am proud of the many accomplishments we have achieved. Key West has changed quite a bit during this time.  “Going Green” is now considered a normal part of doing business in most city decision making. I am sorry to be leaving under such circumstances, but feel compelled to do so.

It is hard to convey to you how dispiriting it is that four commissions could so easily overturn the many years of hard work by so many people, and to do so with not one comment from the public requesting a return to 2-1-1 during the discussion period of the meeting. Continue reading

Artists Call for Midsummer’s Night Dream & Spectacle

Michele Meck and Lydia Firefly dance with fire at a previous Midsummer’s Night Dream & Spectacle.

Michele Meck and Lydia Firefly dance with fire at a previous Midsummer’s Night Dream & Spectacle.

Calling musicians, actors, painters, card-readers, filmmakers, poets, dancers, storytellers, jugglers, fire-breathers, clowns and fairies, nymphs and satyrs to take the stage and celebrate the arts in our community, Saturday, June 21, at the 8th Annual Midsummer’s Night Dream & Spectacle at the Key West Tropical Forest and Botanical Garden.

Co-produced by Michael Shields’ Java Studios to benefit The Key West Tropical Forest and Botanical Garden, Midsummer’s Night Dream & Spectacle celebrates the creative Keys community, and gives artists a voice and platform to share the power of their dreams. To participate as an artist or an event sponsor contact Michael Shields at 305-394-3804 / javastudios@gmail.com. More information at keywestupdates.com.

Love Lane Gang Playing All Sides of Town

Love Lane Gang Shoot 02+

Photo by Sheelman Photography

The Love Lane Gang is a locals band that knocks the socks off tourists and locals alike.They play music that spans generations as well as embodies them. With an age range among the members of over thirty years, they bring a wide variety of experience and musical tastes to bear. They’ve brought back skiffle and updated it for the present.

The emphasis is on ragtime and swing: classics from the 1930s and 1940s, done in a refreshing new style that incorporates the Hot Club approach with island flourishes. Dust Bowl ballads, old school country from Hank Williams and Dolly Parton, rockabilly and surf music classics and little-known gems, tunes from Sixties stars like The Beatles, The Kinks, and The Rolling Stones, and carefully chosen songs from current artists like Andrew Bird, Mason Jennings, and The White Stripes all fit in alongside original songs that sound like they could have come from any of those eras.

Offbeat instrumentation, including mandolin, ukulele, accordion, fiddle, washboard, and a kazoo horn section, added to familiar guitar, bass, and harmonica, creates a broad musical palette which they use to color their performances.

But you needn’t pay too much mind to all that serious musical analysis – they’re just plain fun!

Their regular gigs are at McConnell’s Irish Pub And Grill on Fridays at 8 PM and Saluté On The Beach on Sundays at 5:30 PM. They will also be playing at The Green Parrot tonight at 9 PM.

Scheduled Appearances: Continue reading

NAS Key West to Participate in Local Memorial Day Ceremonies

Naval Air Station Key West and area veterans will mark the nation’s Memorial Day at two ceremonies Monday morning.

At 9 a.m., the Navy League Key West Council will hold their annual ceremony at the Maine Memorial in the Key West City Cemetery.  NAS Key West Commanding Officer Capt. Steve McAlearney will be the guest speaker and the air station Honor Guard will render a 21-gun rifle salute.

At 11 a.m., American Legion Post 28 will host their annual Memorial Day service at the Southern Keys Cemetery on Big Coppitt Key.  McAlearney will be the featured speaker and the NAS Key West Honor Guard will also participate in a traditional ceremony.

Memorial Day observances are free and open to the public.

Well Done, David Lybrand.

Dear Editor,

We were in attendance at the Key West City Commission meeting at Old City Hall on 5/20, for reasons unrelated to this letter.

We listened as the Commission read a proclamation honoring and celebrating David Lybrand for his dedicatedvolunteer service on the City’s Sustainability Advisory Board.  We all know why Mr. Lybrand resigned recently, after the vote to return to twice a week trash pickup with a new WM contract.  Mr. Lybrand thanked the Commission for it’s commendation by very succinctly saying that reverting to twice a week haulage was a step backwards and wrong headed (or words to that effect) in terms of sustainability of our environment.  Mr. Lybrand deserves our compliments and earned our respect in the way he exited the Council chambers: with integrity and dignity.  The Commission’s hypocrisy was made all more evident on this occasion. Well done, David.

Karl and Susie Reutling

Key West

Coffee Shops

Coffee Plantation

Why are some coffee shops so successful? Yes, good coffee makes a difference, but there is another element that is often overlooked – they provide an atmosphere that is conducive to reading and comfortable conversation. This concept is particularly notable in Europe where coffee shops are sprinkled throughout cities and villages.

Italy is a notable exception where the coffee “bars” are set up to deliver the quick caffeine pop to be inhaled on one’s way to and from somewhere. In fact, since this ritual is accomplished while standing, there is little emphasis on comfort – the kind that is needed if one were to settle in for an hour or two.

In the USA, much of the success of various franchises is due to their ability to lure people in with comfy chairs and clever allotment of space which is friendly to casual discourse, and other stores, especially independent shops, have followed suit in even comfier fashion. Quite simply, this atmosphere can be an important catalyst for productive thought, friendship and, on occasion, mental therapy. Continue reading