Aug 222014

Issue #76 — Friday, August 22, 2014

Grand Jury Clears All Officers in the Death of Charles Eimers / Vogel Brings In Expert Police Officer Defense Witness


“This allows the prosecutor to say I didn’t take the decision.  The Grand Jury did it.  The people did it.  But of course, how vigorously the prosecutor presents the case is everything.  It’s just the prosecutor presenting a case to these Grand Jurors.  If the DA doesn’t want an indictment or has questions it could be a very different thing.”

–       Dan Abrams, “Nightline” anchor and Chief Legal Affairs anchor for ABC News, when speaking about the Grand Jury proceedings in the Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson, MO.

The Grand Jury’s Final Report was released this afternoon.  All Key West police officers involved in the death of Charles Eimers were cleared of any wrongdoing.

So, how “vigorously” did our State Attorney present the case for excessive force?


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Ferguson Flashpoint?

Issue 76 Comic hood kkk for web

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Could Key West Reach the Ferguson Flashpoint?

“Cartwright began yelling as loud as he could, and almost immediately a large crowd began forming around us […] Within minutes a crowd of at least 50 bystanders surrounded us and Det. Wormington called for additional Officers while I held down Cartwright.”

Police officers were arresting bad boy Ricky Cartwright who had ridden his bicycle through a stop sign while texting, allegedly with a beer in his hand.  They tased him in the back.  He was now screaming in pain in the middle of the road, attracting an angry crowd which, according to Detective Siracuse’s police report, kept “drawing closer and closer… despite numerous commands to stay back.”

No, this is not Ferguson, Missouri.  This is Bahama Village, Key West, May 9, 2014.  Detective Siracuse had just tased a black man on Emma Street and yes this is the same Siracuse who three years ago tased Matthew Murphy into a coma. (more…)

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It’s Hot! It’s Exciting!! Nobody’s heard of it!!!


What is it? GreenKeys! Yes, exclamation point. That’s how terrific it is. Terrific!

So what is GreenKeys!? It’s hard to say precisely. It seems to partially be an outreach effort by the expensive consultant hired by the county whose task it is to design how the Keys will implement its climate action plan and update sea level rise modeling (SLR).

Problem is, GreenKeys! didn’t do a particularly effective job at reaching out. It appears that only 23 or, to be generous, 27 people in the entire county responded to a survey distributed via Constant Contact. But the consultant only sent it to 89 people. (more…)

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If you are a regular reader of Key West The Newspaper (The Blue Paper), I hope you read John Donnelly’s thoughtful commentary on the “Blue Wall of Silence,” published here two weeks ago. If you missed it, click on “back issues” on this website’s home page and call up the August 8 issue and scroll down to “Police Investigating Police Will Not Expose Criminal Cops– nor Protect Citizens.” Donnelly quotes police officers (anonymously, of course) explaining their “rationale” for failing to speak out or downright lying about other officers who may have broken the rules (at best) or who have maybe even committed a crime (at worst). (more…)

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Kessler and Jones, Yes; Neugent, No

Rick BoettgerIt’s political season, and I’m limiting my picks to the three I feel most strongly and knowledgeable about. I understand the financial accounting in the School District for their board race, the law for Mark Jones’ re-election, and George Neugent’s numerous ethical flaws.

Stu Kessler is probably the most expert candidate for his position we have had run for anything in the 18 years I have been in Key West. His qualifications are both general and specific. He has degrees in law, accounting, and business, and a long background of not only being on a school board, but of being so respected he was their president for 11 years.

Locally, he has been on our district’s Audit and Finance Committee, and is currently their chair. Stu is one of the two AFC members who actually used their position to audit the district’s finances. He has had in particular a good effect on correcting the errors in the HOB project. (more…)

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Grinder Pumps, Will They Mean the End of Key Deer?

key deer

Commisioner George Neugent states that a pressure sewage system, with grinder pumps, is the optimum sewage collection system for Big Pine Key.  He says grinder pumps require less excavation and have a smaller footprint.  While these may or may not be immediate benefits of a pressure sewage system, we need to consider the impact of alternative systems, long term environmental issues and the unintended consequences of this political decision.  You may or may not agree with my hypothesis, but it needs serious analysis, debate and input from independent professionals before long term, permanent and potentially disastrous decisions are made. (more…)

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GUEST EDITORIAL: A Recipe for Corruption


How do you create a delicious dish, served to special interests?   Start with a rich donor who approaches a county commissioner and asks for a contract.  Next, preheat the oven with a bogus audit of the current contractor.  Make sure their director or bookkeeper is never interviewed so as not to alter the taste.  Release the preliminary audit illegally so as to avoid overcooking.  Next, freeze the main ingredients, in this case, the funds of a private organization.  This is a bit tricky, and will require kneading a judge.  Work the dough up with plenty of mainstream media play and let it rise. (more…)

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Did You Miss The Hometown PAC Candidate Forum on August 18th?

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GUEST EDITORIAL: Residents Should Be Told The Truth


When I first saw the acronym S.I.T. used for mosquito control I thought that had potential. Sterilizing males and females certainly works with cats and dogs although I must say the idea of having ‘spay day’ at mosquito control was hard to fathom.

Then I read that they haven’t yet figured out how to sterilize a mosquito by irradiation without killing it so they moved on to ‘messing with genetics.’

The purpose of sterilizing the Aedes aegypti mosquito is the prevention of Dengue, the mosquito driven virus that reared its ugly head after being absent in the Keys for 75 years. From 2009 to 2011 mosquito control went to war with the Aedes aegypti through door to door public outreach, increasing the number of inspectors and field employees, actively searching out breeding ground, using liquid larvicide to kill them before adulthood and educating the public about how not to breed mosquitos in their own back yard. (more…)

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Rick-Boettger thumb

Rick Boettger









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Back in 1521 , Juan Ponce de Leon discovered the Island of Key West.  The island had been used as a communal graveyard by the Calusa Indians. So he named the island, Cayo Hueso (Island of Bones). Since that time this tiny island has produced so many interesting and crazy stories. This story is about Key West back in the 1970’s and 80’s, when smuggling was at it’s peak. The characters in (Island of Bones) are strictly fictional and do not represent any citizens of Key West !

                      Enjoy!   — Big Tuna


PART FOUR of Island of Bones Series…  Miss Murray and The Bulldog (more…)

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FLORIDA: Extending Marriage To Same-Sex Couples Could Add $182 Million To State Economy

Extending marriage to same-sex couples in Florida would generate over $ 182 million in spending to the state economy, according to a new study authored by Williams Distinguished Scholar, M.V. Lee Badgett; Williams Public Policy Fellow, E.G. Fitzgerald; and Williams Senior Counsel, Christy Mallory.

“This study confirms that all Floridians benefit from marriage for same-sex couples, not just the LGBT community,” said Badgett.

According to the 2010 U.S. Census, the most recent data available, 48,496 same-sex couples live in Florida. Of those couples, the Williams Institute estimates that 50 percent (24,248 couples) would choose to marry in the first three years, a pattern that has been observed in Massachusetts and elsewhere. Over 15,000 marriages would occur in the first year alone, and bring over $116 million in revenue to the state of Florida that year.

Key Findings include:


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 Learn Here / Work Anywhere

John Padget and Jacob Dekker today pledged financial support of $ 100,000 for <Monroe/> COMPUTE$, a $ 400,000 initiative to create a “computing platform” of courses and certificates in Monroe County. Grants are available immediately—but must be claimed before June 30, 2015—from the Kura Hulanda Foundation, a private foundation supported by Padget and Dekker.

Grants will be made directly to all Monroe County students who successfully earn credentials in computer science during the 2014-15 school year. “We expect at least 350 middle, high-school, and college students to qualify,” according to Padget, Vice-Chair of Florida’s State Board of Education, and former Monroe County Superintendent of Schools. “The schools and the college will benefit, with matching performance-based funding of over $ 300,000 from the State of Florida.”

“There are about 25,000 open computing jobs in Florida right now,” according to Padget.  “Experts expect 1,000,000 more jobs than graduates in America by 2020, and that’s just six years away.  Kids in middle and high school have to get into the computer science pipeline to be ready.”

According to only 1,521 students in Florida took AP Computer Science in 2013, and only 44% passed with a 3 or better.  And, only 125 Florida K-12 schools teach computer science!

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Libertarian Party of the Florida Keys Endorses No Candidates for August’s Elections

Ahead of August 26th’s local elections for many non-partisan offices in Key West and Monroe County, Libertarian Party of the Florida Keys Chairman Mike Kane released the following statement:

After much discussion and review, the Libertarian Party of the Florida Keys has decided not to endorse any candidates for Augusts’ elections. It was a consensus among all members that no candidate took the Libertarian approach to solving today’s societal woes: reducing the size and scope of government.

Rather than addressing important Libertarian issues, such as ending the failed war on drugs, reducing property and sales taxes, marriage equality until government is out of marriage licensing altogether, advocating for jury nullification, and the eventual privatizing of schools, most candidates are incredibly vague with their campaign slogans such as “increasing transparency in government”, “restoring trust in city hall”, and “setting high standards”. (more…)

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VNA/HOSPICE Receives $ 6,000 From Lisa Taylor COURAGE Fund

Photo: VNA/Hospice COO, Kathleen Ryzoc (center) and clinical team accepts $ 6,000 check from the Lisa Taylor COURAGE Fund

On behalf of the Lisa Taylor COURAGE Fund for Hospice, the Ocean Reef Community Foundation recently presented another $ 6,000 gift to Visiting Nurse Association and Hospice of the Florida Keys (VNA/Hospice) for their compassionate work in home health and hospice care.

Lisa Taylor, daughter of Connie and John Taylor of Ocean Reef, died in 2007 after a four-year cancer battle.  She was 47-years-old.  An inspiration to all, Taylor believed that life is a celebration to be cherished even in its darkest hours. (more…)

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On Monday, August 25th, from 10:00-2:00 pm, the latest Sentinel Class Fast Response Cutter (FRC) WPC-1110 RAYMOND EVANS will dock at Mallory Square during training.  While docked, they will offer tours to the public.  The fast response cutter WPC-1110 RAYMOND EVANS is soon to be the fourth cutter to be commissioned in Key West, FL and is the namesake of the late Commander Raymond J. Evans.

Commander Raymond J. Evans, USCG (Ret.) enlisted in the Coast Guard on 18 September 1939 in Seattle and immediately volunteered for sea duty when offered the chance.  In the years prior to World War II new recruits were sometimes sent immediately to sea without attending boot camp if a local cutter needed crewmen.  Such was the case when CGC Spencer tied up in Seattle while en route from Valdez, Alaska, to Staten Island, New York.  Along with Evans, another local recruit named Douglas Munro also joined the Spencer.  They both struck for signalman and both later transferred to the Coast Guard-manned assault transport USS Hunter Liggett (APA-14). (more…)

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bvrac flyer

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bvrac flyer

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

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





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:


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Florida Keys Council of the Arts Cultural Calendar THURSDAY, AUGUST 21 thru WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 27

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

Key West Happenings


REGISTER NOW! Inaugural Culture Crawl! Hosted by the Florida Keys Council of the Arts

Saturday, August 23 – Meet at The Porch Key West, 429 Caroline St., 5 PM

Register online at or For details, 295-4369.



Salsa & Salsa Rueda Too, 7 PM

Paradise Health & Fitness Dance Studio, 1706 N. Roosevelt Blvd. 294-6348.

All levels. Visitors are welcome to join.


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Fantasy Fest Street Fair Food Vendor Lottery Coming up / Food Vendors to meet at Grand Key August 26

Photo: Official Fantasy Fest website

The lottery at which food vendors select booth spaces for the Fantasy Fest 2014 Street Fair will be held at the DoubleTree Grand Key Resort on August 26 starting at 10 am.  The lottery consists of each vendor drawing a number which will determine the order they will follow in choosing their space(s).

Food Vendors wanting booth spaces in the Friday October 24th Street Fair on Duval St. and/or for the Saturday October 25 th Promenade on the side streets up to and including Southard must be present in person on Tuesday, August 26, promptly at 10 AM in the Mangrove Room at the DoubleTree Grand Key.  Representatives of State licensing agencies and local safety and security agencies will be present to give setup information.  Important sign-up information is available on the festival website, Vendors must be prepared to pay for their booths at the lottery.

For additional information please call the Fantasy Fest office at 296-1817 or email

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The expressed opinions, informational content and links displayed on pages do not necessarily reflect a position or policy of Blue Pimpernel LLC, Key West The Newspaper [The Blue Paper], its affiliates, or advertisers. No official endorsement by Blue Pimpernel LLC, Key West The Newspaper [The Blue Paper], its affiliates, or advertisers of the viewpoints expressed on pages should be inferred.

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The expressed opinions, informational content and links displayed on pages do not necessarily reflect a position or policy of Blue Pimpernel LLC, Key West The Newspaper [The Blue Paper] or its affiliates. No official endorsement by Blue Pimpernel LLC, Key West The Newspaper [The Blue Paper] or its affiliates of the viewpoints expressed on pages should be inferred.

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 The Blue Paper #76  August 22, 2014  Posted by at 12:00 am # Full Issues #

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