Nov 212014

Issue #89 — Friday, November 21, 2014


by Arnaud and Naja Girard

A wrecking ball crashed through the City’s defense to the Eimers police brutality case on Friday.  At a scheduled deposition Chief Lee was expected to provide bureaucratic information about the City’s procedures and policies in the wrongful death case filed by the Eimers family against the City of Key West and 13 police officers.

But instead he spent over two hours freefalling into a seemingly endless pit opened by allegations of  “perjury” committed by his officers.  At issue was the surprise new bystander video that showed up this week from Colombia.   Unlike the first video, it shows Eimers arrest all the way to the point of his death.  A fact that turns out to be devastating to the somewhat creative and more favorable stories cooked up by some of the officers.

“Sir, we’ve gone to the trouble, in preparation for various motion practice,” said attorney Robert McKee, “of taking every question and answer of your officers who were under oath and every time their answers were not what the video showed. There are pages and pages of it”…. and down we went. (more…)

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Colombia!  The missing iphone video of Charles Eimers’ death was in Colombia!

“Once we had the phone number,” says Darren Horan, it took less than 48 hours to get a copy.”  He is one of the five lawyers representing Charles Eimers’ family in a suit against the City of Key West and 13 police officers who were involved in the fatal arrest of the 61-year-old tourist, Charles Eimers, last Thanksgiving.

On November 28, 2013, while KWPD officers were busy arresting Eimers on South Beach, a couple from Colombia was filming the incident with their iphones.  Nearly a year ago the first bystander video went viral and shattered the initial official police version of events describing an old man running away from police on the beach and collapsing due to a sudden heart attack.  But in that video, aside from the controversy it raised about police action, there was one nagging detail:  an unknown man was shown also filming the incident.  But no one could ID that second tourist. (more…)

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Issue-58-Mr-and-Mrs-Smith-for-web-800x586by Naja and Arnaud Girard…………

FDLE Special Agent Kathy Smith was escorted out of her Marathon office on Wednesday.  She has reportedly been put on administrative leave pending investigation of mortgage fraud.

The Blue Paper reported last week that Agent Kathy Smith and her ex-husband Scott Smith [at the time a Police Captain employed by KWPD] appear to have signed a false affidavit associated with an advantageous mortgage.  They borrowed $ 461,500 on a house they had purchased in 2004 for $ 132,500.  The home is now in foreclosure.  In the affidavit the Smiths swore to the lender that they had been “continuously married” even though they had divorced four months previous.

Special Agent Kathy Smith was the lead investigator in the death of Charles Eimers.  FDLE’s failure to secure Eimers’ body for autopsy, to return calls to witnesses volunteering information and to collect and protect crucial evidence, made the investigation ever more controversial. (more…)

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An End to Fantasy Fest?

Old City Hall, Key West

The Bethel Commission

Harry Bethel as commissionerGathered in the Commissioners’ Chamber of the Old City Hall, on November 17, 2014, former City Commissioner Harry Bethel brought together State Attorney Catherine Vogel, Police Chief Donie Lee, and approximately 50 concerned citizens of Key West to discuss the future of Fantasy Fest at a meeting labeled “Key West, Our Island Life”. Sitting behind the polished wood banister alongside S.A. Vogel, beneath a neon 3 minute speaker’s timer that was occasionally enforced, Bethel promptly began the meeting at 6 PM with a short speech that left no doubt as to his agenda.

He began by describing his impetus for this round of discussions on the subject being a massive influx of emails and personal comments objecting to Fantasy Fest becoming increasing lewd. He read into the record four suggestions offered to, not by, him (paraphrased here for brevity):

1.  Outlaw genital painting

2.  Clearly define and publish nudity laws

3.  New marketing ideas (more…)

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Key Largo Residents Claim Disproportionate Distribution of Tax Dollars / Request Fair Funding For Wastewater Systems


During the month of November the Tavernir Community Association, the Key Largo Chamber of Commerce, and the Key Largo Federation of Homeowners, representing a broad cross section of Key Largo taxpayers, passed resolutions respectfully urging the Monroe County Board of County Commissioners and the Key Largo Wastewater District to come to equitable terms to resolve “the disproportionate distribution of tax dollars specifically with respect to the funding of the Key Largo area wastewater system.”  [click on highlighted above to view the resolutions]

According to a joint press release sent out by the organizations listed above, Upper Key’s  taxpayers  in  the  Key  Largo  Wastewater  District  are  paying,   on average,  $ 1,200 more per EDU (Equivalent Dwelling Unit), and $ 4,500 more for grinder pumps than their neighbors in the Lower Key’s. Additionally they state that Monroe County has allocated 20 million dollars to the Key Largo Area while the remainder of unincorporated Monroe County has received 120 million dollars (six time as much), for the equivalent number of constituents. The organizations represent hundreds of residents who believe it is not fair that the taxpayers of Key Largo “should have to pay the costs of their own waste water systems and subsidize the wastewater systems of other taxpayers.”

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Why We Write

3d gavel man reduced

A reader posted a poignant comment in response to my depressing litany of horrors arising from our genesis as ruthlessly competitive spermatozoa: torture, drone attacks, police violence, government abuse, etc.  All related to our irrefutable DNA heritage of selfish unconcern for others. He wrote:

It is difficult not to lose hope. 

I try to remind myself of the long moral arc of the universe, and how there are a few bad apples, and that we are many and they are few…but it is difficult, and requires concentration on my part to watch my attitude and remember to also allow myself input that is positive.

I answered, (more…)

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Hold Your Head Up! Hold Your Head Up!

(Human Spine, US-PD)

In 1972, the British progressive rock group Argent released a single called “Hold Your Head Up.” If you look up the lyrics, that line is basically the entire song, repeated over and over. (For trivia buffs, Argent was founded by Rod Argent, who was with The Zombies before that.) I thought of this song not because I was having a moment of nostalgia for the 1970s, but because I just read an article from The Atlantic titled “What Texting Does to the Spine.”

Please, Don’t Text and…Well, Anything (more…)

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The normal randomness and chaos of everyday life sometimes catches me off guard. To even attempt to make sense of tragedy feels like a form of arrogance. Acceptance is the desired goal when facing the unimaginable, but it’s the process that is hellish. Having children opens up new worlds of bitter-sweet life experience and a portion of our little universe was cracked open and its axis made wobbly by the death of a beautiful young man from our community. His spirit of joie de vivre and sense of humor were his trade marks and death could not have been further from the mind.

His parents are two of the most loving and intelligent people I know and their love for their son and his sister is boundless. They have built a life full of solid friendships and sense of community and are now surrounded by the love they have generated. Their strength astounds me. (more…)

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Candlelight Memorial For Charles Eimers: A Message From Son, Joshua Eimers

charles eimers memoriam

Gweko Phlocker has organized a Candlelight Memorial to honor Charles Eimers and his family on the one year anniversary of his death [Thanksgiving Day].  The event will begin at 6:00 pm at South Beach [at the foot of Duval Street] where Mr. Eimers died.  Here is a link to the facebook event.

On Tue, Nov 18, 2014 at 9:02 AM, Joshua Eimers wrote to Gwecko Phlocker:

“I’m the youngest son of Charles Eimers. I wanted to reach out to you to say thank you for organizing this. Although my family and I won’t be there in person we’ll be there in spirit. As will Charles John. I myself am just not ready emotionally to attend. I’m welling up as I type this to you. My father was a great man who impacted countless lives. One of the most selfless and caring people that I had the pleasure of calling dad. He’s dearly missed by many. Thanks again for doing this it means a lot to us that our father’s death hasn’t been simply forgotten. Our wounds are still fresh. Thanks and God Bless.”  ~ Joshua Eimers [from Facebook Event page]  ……………….  click ‘full article’ to comment [or view comments] (more…)

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Key West Chalk Festival 2014 Sidewalk Celebration Moved to Sunday
Chalk Festival Update_LowRes

Kansas City based artist Joan Finn works on a Carmen Miranda inspired piece at the 2014 Key West Chalk Festival, taking place now along the promenade at Key West’s Truman Waterfront. Artists will continue chalking until Sunday afternoon, when judging and awards will take place. Sunday’s events also include a Sidewalk Celebration, with artisans, entertainment and a children’s chalking area.

Organizers of the 3rd Annual Key West Chalk Festival, a performance art event where artists use chalk as their medium and the pavement surface as their canvas, have announced that due to persistent rain, the festive Sidewalk Celebration featuring artisans and entertainment, originally scheduled for 10am to 5pm, Saturday, November 22 has been moved to Sunday, November 23.

Likewise, artwork judging and awards, originally set for Saturday have been rescheduled for Sunday, to allow the artists more time in which to complete their works. The public is welcome to come watch the artists create on Saturday as well as Sunday. All events take place on the promenade adjacent to the USCGC Ingham Museum at the Truman Waterfront.

Presented by the Key West Art in Public Places Board. For more information contact Michael Shields at 305-394-3804.

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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 Blue Paper #89  November 21, 2014  Posted by at 12:00 am # Full Issues #

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