Key West crown jewels hidden in plain view, including the road to hell is paved with good intentions, but there are far worse things than being homeless

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Charles Eimers

Charles Eimers, who died after being suspected by the KWPD of being homeless

First today, another kick-ass www.thebluepaper.com report on a so-called investigation into the death Charles Eimers. Here’s the link to that blue article:

The Eimers Investigation: Shocking Link Between FDLE and KWPD

Here’s my submitted reader comment to that article:

SLOAN BASHINSKY YOUR COMMENT IS AWAITING MODERATION.
APRIL 18, 2014 AT 6:04 AM
Another terrific article on this grave matter, grave in the serious and in the cemetery sense. Your link to the other articles isn’t showing. Hope you do similarly exhaustive reporting on what I was furnished and sent to you re Judge Wayne Miller signing the arrest warrant for Dennis Reeves Cooper in 2001, which then Police Chief Gordon “Buz” Dillon had had presented to Judge Miller. As you recall, Dennis had reported in Key West the Newspaper on an Internal Affairs investigation he had initiated with a complaint filed by him on a matter involving Police Officer Al Flowers, Hatman told me, re something Flowers had done, allegedly, in a matter involving Hatman. Dennis raked Dillon over the coals for violating his 1st Amendment and journalist rights to free speech and press, it made the other local newspapers and the national news, but not a peep about Judge Miller, who approved the warrant, which explained in considerable detail the alleged wrongs committed by Dennis Reeves Cooper, Publisher of Key West the Newspaper. A little anonymous email birdie tipped me off about all of that last week, and sent me to look at that file in the Clerk of Court’s criminal file room – it’s all there in plain view, never reported, except for why Judge Miller never got raked over the coals and maybe lost his job over it like what happened to Chief Dillon. The little birdie said Cooper got to talking about [it] in [a] bar that Judge Miller had come to him asking to be left out of it and Cooper left Judge Miller out of it. Stranger it got. Judge Miller presided over the case [later] made against Cooper for hitting a city palm tree on the bridle path with his vehicle and fleeing the scene, on [in] contravention of state law; then, Judge Miller presided over the D.U.I. came [case] made against Cooper, whom the jury convicted and Miller put Cooper on 1 year probation with proviso the probation could be lifted after 3 months, if all conditions of probation were met. In that court file is a letter from Cooper to Judge Miller shortly after the 3 months had run, saying his probation officer said he had met all conditions of his probation, thus could his probation be terminated? Next in the file is Judge Miller’s order teminating Cooper’s probation because conditions of his probation had been met, but no indication that Cooper’s probation [officer] had appeared before Judge Miller and told him that, nor any letter to that effect from the probation officer in the court file. I’ve been reporting on this lately at http://www.goodmorningkeywest.com, and will have something new there today, same day as this blue paper issue came out – 4/18/04. Judge Miller should have declined to sign the warrant, of course. Cooper should have torn Judge Miller up for signing the warrant, of course. As should have the other local rags and the national news services.

Yesterday from me to the anonymous little email birdie:

fraud investigation

I got call earlier today from the criminal file clerk that she had found the leaving the scene file and had it and the D.U.I. file redacted and ready for me to see, so I called Marathon and canceled that and headed over to the Clerk of Courts. I simply did not want to sit with this rumbling around in me until Monday, wondering what was in the two files?

Subject to my “editorial board” disagreeing with me, I feel trying to make something out of those two later cases will seriously dilute and distract from what I published today and recently on the case in chief, as I see it.

It is interesting that Judge Miller ended up with the leaving the scene and the D.U.I. cases, but Cooper pleaded no contest in the leaving the scene and was convicted by a jury in the D.U.I. He was sentenced to a year’s probation on the D.U.I., with Judge Miller’s stipulation that the probation could be early terminated after 3 months, if Dennis had satisfied all terms of conditions of the probation. There is a letter in the file from Dennis to Judge Miller saying his probation officer said he had completed the terms of the probation and after that is an order by Judge Miller saying the terms had been completed and the probation was terminated. No indication of the probation officer being questions by or presenting information to Judge Miller. Apparently Judge Miller was the judge from the get go in both cases. In the leaving the scene case, on the citation is printed diagonally on the left side, “Judge Miller”. It does not appear to be the arresting officer’s handwriting. None of the 4 citations in the D.U.I. case (3 other citations for running stop sign, crossing double line, expired tag) had Judge Miller’s name printed on them.

Besides my concern about dilution and distraction, the angels told me Sanchez did indeed stalk Cooper; it was a hit, so to speak; Cooper was targeted for the very reason he said: retaliation for his articles about the KWPD. I do not doubt Cooper was over the limit that night, but that could be said of lots of luminaries in Key West most evenings and even afternoons.

I slightly revised the Dillon/Cooper/Miller part of today’s post and submitted it to Key West the Newspaper, for its issue tomorrow. They have published a number of my articles in the past, even when I had covered most of it at my websites. I publish their stuff on my websites. Unlike them, I don’t have children in Key West schools, a large house renovation under city permits, a boat salving business running out of one of Key West’s harbors, and I am not President of Last Stand, which Naja is, and I don’t have Dennis Cooper writing articles for my newspaper, which Arnaud and Naja do – and he is the founder of the newspaper. I don’t have to juggle those interests against what I publish. I have no business interests in Key West. I belong to no clubs. No organizations. Probably I will be surprised if they publish what I submitted, but perhaps they will. It’s certainly news, and it does need airing out in a bigger forum that I can provide with my website and bulk email list.

A pretty fair law enforcement officer, before he was my friend, lost his cool, made a mistake, which should have been headed off at the pass by a judge, but it was not headed off at the pass. As a result, the pretty fair law enforcement officer was tarred and feathered by the local and national press, and ultimately lost his job, and his career. While the judge skated.

And, I believed Buz Dillon when later he told me he and Dennis Cooper were buddies, Buz was feeding Dennis cop shop news, to make Dennis look good and the Citizen and the Keynoter look scooped. I believe Buz felt betrayed by Dennis reporting on the IA investigation Dennis had initiated, and I am not convinced Dennis did not know he had crossed a line with his friend, Buz. Dennis reported only what he wanted the public to see. He left his and Buz’s conspiracy out of it, and he left Judge Miller out of it.

Bad karma for Dennis. Bad karma for Judge Miller. Bad karma for Buz, which Judge Miller should have nipped in the bud.

I’ll let you know if the angels have a different view.

Little Birdie replied:

Feather Talk

Glad to see you found the file and got to review both files. You work fast. Yes, Miller got to skate because Cooper covered up for him. Then Cooper got into trouble twice with Miller conveniently presiding over his cases. Since Cooper had joined the conspiracy of silence about Miller’s role in the arrest, Miller “owed” Cooper. What kind of penalty did Cooper get from Miller for leaving the scene? A jury convicted Cooper of the DUI despite any stalking done by the KWPD. I’m sure that Cooper and Mike Barnes played the police stalking card ad nauseum to the jury throughout the DUI trial. Cooper always liked the role of victim. But the jury didn’t buy it as an excuse for Cooper’s own behavior. Once convicted, Miller gave Cooper probation for a year (to make it look good) but with a means of an early escape after only 3 months. It looks very bad. It’s my understanding that a judge can step down from a case without providing any explanation. An ethical or “innocent” judge would have taken himself off the Cooper cases and suffered the PR consequences for signing the warrant. But Miller decided he could not because of needing to protect himself at all costs. He decided to deliver the “quo” in the quid pro quo. What a mounting dilemma it must have become for Miller. The fact that Miller stayed on the Cooper cases proves that Miller was owned. Knowing Cooper’s “instability,” can’t you imagine the night sweats Miller must have had worrying about whether Cooper might have become, at any time, the proverbial loose cannon on a pitching deck? Miller’s conduct is the very thing people fear most about judges who already are unaccountable with their enormous discretionary power. Miller compromised himself by running to Cooper for a favor. Cooper was diabolical enough to realize that if he granted the favor he would then “own” a judge. When Cooper published his own diatribes about the arrest (which went on forever) or spoke to the national media, he kept Miller’s name out of it. Now the favor granted by Cooper had grown even larger because Miller was being protected from the national media. The hook had been set so deep into the fish that it could never be extracted. It’s the kind of story that Bill Shakespeare would’ve loved but on a grander scale.

I replied:

I tend to deal with what is on my plate when it’s there, because if I put if off for convenience then it starts backing up in me and I start feeling rougher inside of me than if I had simply gone forward with it.

I meant before I left the Clerk of Court’s place to try to find out how the three Cooper cases ended up with Judge Miller, then I spaced that out. It was my understanding that a computer selected which next case filed went to which judge, and judges had no control over which cases were assigned to them.

I also was thinking this afternoon that Judge Miller needed to recuse himself whenever Cooper came before him after they made that deal, but how would Judge Miller explain the recusal? He may not have had to give details for recusing, but it sure would have caused people to wonder and perhaps would have caused someone with curiosity to dig into the case in chief a little deeper. I’ll find out tomorrow morning if Key West the Newspaper accepted what I sent to them. The local lawyers back then probably wondered about a warrant, but they had to deal with there own cases going before local judges. The other judges probably wondered about a warrant, wonder why one of them didn’t say something? And, I wonder why Buz Dillon didn’t say something? Hell, from his perspective, he did it by the book, a judge signed off on it, and then Dillon took the full rap.

My sense is this matter might be more up Faust’s alley, sulfur smell, selling soul to the devil, et. al.

Not sure yet if I will publish more on this tomorrow at www.goodmorningkeywest.com.

Little Birdie wrote about Little Wayne:

Judge MillerMiller Dennis CooperCooper

Exactly. Buzz should’ve deferred to Miller in explaining the arrest. He had the good housekeeping seal of approval from a judge. I am told that judges will sometimes recuse themselves with no explanation. Miller should’ve done that but he was owned.

I replied this morning:

The angels cleared my covering yesterday’s Cooper-Miller festivities in today’s post at www.goodmorningkeywest.com. The blue paper declined my submission without comment. I submitted a kudo to their newest Charles Eimers kick-ass article, boy is that getting even more raunchy, and then said I hope they cover the Cooper-Miller-Dillon matter as exhaustively, and I gave them a summary of that. If my comment is taken out of moderation and cleared for blue paper readers to see, that will air the Cooper-Miller blue tango somewhat.

Little Birdie replied:

Last Tango In Paris: I’m sure the Blue Paper nixed it because of the tie to Cooper. The new owners may also be in financial debt to Cooper? No doubt they’ll show it to Cooper who may get a wild hair and write something about it. What about Buzz? Where is he — GA? Maybe he would like to tell “the rest of the story” now that he’s safe? He was definitely the sacrificial lamb in all of it. The fact that Miller was so sneaky about it allowing others to take the hit means that Karma should be comin’ ’round in his direction. I suspect the other judges put Miller out in the public display window so that everyone would see his miserable “bench-side” manner and incompetence. I’m told that he is lost — having been hiding in county court for all these years — in the new regions of circuit civil court which requires lots of knowledge of different rules, procedures and law. County court is a snap, like Judge Wopner on TV. Many people come in with small claims or landlord tenant disputes or petty crimes. Many of them represent themselves. Miller doesn’t have to be on his toes in that kind of setting. And he can badger the poor “civilians” (who have no lawyer) to his heart’s content knowing they’re defenseless and intimidated. It’s an ideal situation if you’re a pathological bully in need of your daily bully fix. Going directly from the state attorney’s job to a judgeship without any background or experience in anything other than misdemeanors and felonies left him woefully unprepared for adult court. Over all these years he hasn’t done anything to make up for his knowledge deficit. He’s been what the military calls a “lifer,” someone who is able to remain in obscurity while accumulating pension years. There’s more to his past behavior than just throwing Buzz overboard.

I replied:

I just now checked, Naja Girard cleared my comment from moderation, it’s the second comment under the lead Eimers article today. So maybe Dennis Cooper will see it. It ain’t all that I wanted to public to see, but it covered the basics. I see a few flubs in my comment, I do that more when I comment into other blogs. I ain’t a world-class typist, and a bit of dyslexia don’t help either. Mine at www.goodmorningkeywest.com should be up by 9 a.m. today. I’m using some of your recent comments to me. I don’t see any other way to do it justice, and it doesn’t compromise you – hell, I have no clue who you are, but I’m glad you sent it my way.

Last I heard, Buz was living in south Florida, maybe near West Palm Beach. He moved there from Key West.

Moving laterally to something that caught me sleeping at the switch, in today’s CITIZEN:

Pearl Harbor lookoutPearl Harbor lookout, moi

Friday, April 18, 2014 Decrease text size Increase text size Add to Facebook Add to Twitter
City eyes bed tax funds for shelter
Using Land Authority money would eliminate property tax levy
BY TIMOTHY O’HARA Citizen Staff
tohara@keysnews.com

Attorneys for Monroe County and the city of Key West are researching the issue of whether Land Authority funds can be used for the development of a homeless shelter on Stock Island.

Land Authority money is generated through a half-cent tax placed on hotels, bed and breakfasts, and transient rentals. The funds generated are used to help purchase property for affordable housing and land conservation purposes. The bed tax money collected stays in each of the municipalities or unincorporated areas of the Keys in which it is generated.

The city of Key West generates the most bed tax of all areas of the Keys. The Land Authority collects roughly $1.5 million a year through the levying of the half a penny sales tax in Key West, and has roughly $7 million set aside for land purchases in the Southernmost City, according to Land Authority records.

The city wants to use of a portion of that $7 million to build a homeless shelter on land on College Road that currently houses the county animal control services and animal shelter, and the Florida Keys Mosquito Control District offices.

To date, the city has not identified any other source of funding to build the shelter, Mayor Craig Cates said.

Craig CatesCates

Monroe County commissioners, acting as the governing board of the Land Authority, discussed the city’s plan when they met Wednesday in Key West.

Complicating the city’s request is the fact the Land Authority money can only be used for the purchase of land. However, the proposed site of the homeless shelter is located on land already jointly owned by the city and the county.

County commissioners discussed the possibility of the city and county selling the property to the Land Authority, which in turn would use the revenue to finance the construction of the homeless shelter. The commission also discussed having the city or county housing authorities operate the shelter.

Key West Housing Authority representative Manny Castillo did not appear to be too enthusiastic about the idea when asked.

“I thought you were my friend Commissioner (David) Rice,” Castillo said jokingly to Rice, who called him to the podium. “We mainly deal with permanent housing.”

Commissioner George Neugent was not opposed to the idea of using the Land Authority money.

“If that’s what the city wants to do with their money, I am not opposed to it,” Neugent said. “The city has a homeless issue they are trying to resolve. This gets them [homeless] off the streets of Key West.”

Funding the shelter with Land Authority money would eliminate the possibility of levying a property tax to pay for building the shelter, Mayor Cates said.

The Land Authority would have to have the land appraised before it would purchase it, said county officials. Current county estimates put the value of the land at less than $1 million.

Since 2004, the city has covered the roughly $440,000 a year it costs to operate the Keys Overnight Temporary Shelter (KOTS) on Stock Island, where up to 140 men and women can rely on a daily shower and a vinyl mattress to sleep on at night. The sheriff’s office has provided the space for the shelter, and it is managed by the nonprofit Southernmost Homeless Assistance League.

The city has agreed to move KOTS in order to settle a lawsuit from the neighboring Sunset Marina condominium owners, who asked the courts to force the shelter to be moved away from the upscale gated community.

tohara@keysnews.com

Me culpa, for not being at the county commission meeting to speak to that item, which I did not know was on the agenda.

Well, I suppose providing a homeless shelter for homeless people is affordable housing for homeless people. FREE affordable housing for them, which is the problem here. Since the term “affordable housing” hatched in Key West and in the Florida Keys, it was either rental housing for lower income residents, or it was new housing for sale to lower income residents. Affordable housing was not FREE housing.

Has that bed tax money ever before been used to fund KOTS, the city’s homeless shelter? If not, what makes it legal to use that bed tax money to fund the city’s new homeless shelter? Oh, a creative purchase of land by the Housing Authority, which lthe city already owns. I kinda doubt Manny Castillo was joking when he told County Commissioner Rice:

“I thought you were my friend Commissioner (David) Rice. We mainly deal with permanent housing.”

I think permanent housing might be all the Housing Authority deals with, and by no stretch of any imagination has the city ever viewed its homeless shelter (Keys Overnight Temporary Shelter) as permanent housing. To the contrary, the city often has lamented that homeless people stay in KOTS too long, when they should only use it to help them get back on their feet, having paying work, prelude to moving back into living in their own place.

Well, that’s not entirely true, either. The fact is, the city has a homeless shelter because it does not want homeless people sleeping outside at night. The city wants homeless people out of sight at night, when they are hardest to see. During the day, homeless people wander wherever they want to wander, in plain view, if they want to be in plain view.

I found myself thinking the other day about what I was moved to write on the soul drawing Erika Biddle inspired me to do for her landmark smash hit “Hidden In Plain View” homeless art, photography, poetry and music exhibition at Studio’s of Key West in the fall of 2011.

It was a very large soul drawing, by far the largest I had ever done, and I never got a good photo of it, which I could reproduce in a post at www.goodmorningkeywest.com. It was a drawing of a man with a stick over his shoulder, with a big cloth bag tied to the end of the stick containing his possessions, walking toward a city in the distance; the man’s face is the likeness of a circus clown, his smile is wry, and he says, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions, but there are far worse things than being homeless.”

What needs to happen with that bed tax money is it needs to be used by the Housing Authority to provide more affordable rental housing for lower income residents. Lots of residents are on the brink of going homeless, because they cannot afford their mortgage payments, or they cannot afford their current rent. Or, they already are homeless by living in friends or families’ homes, in their vehicles, at the city’s homeless shelter, in Samuel’s House and Florida Keys Outreach Coalition turn around shelter programs, or outside. These are the people for whom that bed tax money needs to be spent, so they won’t end up being lifers at KOTS, so to speak.

Each day at goodmorningkeywest.com, far worse things than being homeless are presented in plain view. And sometimes beautiful things are presented, too. For example, last night I saw “The Grand Budapest Hotel” at Tropic Cinema. A beautiful movie. Alas, it was probably all made up; and, alas, there were plenty of things in it, which were far worse than being homeless.

cracked egg

The other day, as I pedaled my bicycle through Bayview Park on the sidewalk beside the tennis courts, a great row was in progress. Tennis players were hollering and raging at each other. It sounded like war. It sounded like a great fight was imminent. Finally, one of the men doing the hollering and raging stormed out of there and left, hollering and raging back at the men doing the other hollering and raging, who hollered and raged back at the man leaving.

The tennis pro I see there a lot was standing there shaking his head, and getting hollered at. I introduced myself, he introduced himself: Paul Findley, I think he said was his name. He said he has been the pro there for other 30 years, he has taught three generations of tennis players there. Rows like that happen a lot.

In this case, he said, they were fighting over whether a shot had hit the sideline or was out. Underneath that, they were fighting because he had make them take their chairs off the tennis courts, where there should be no chairs. And they were fighting because there were no seats on the other side of the courts next to the fence, in the shade from the hot afternoon sun. And they were fighting because the covered seating on the east side of the courts was not built to suit them and they wanted the city to take the seating out and build it again to their specifications.

They were always fighting about something, Paul said. They were always having outbursts, and it was making his life miserable. Yes, he had talked to the city about it. He had met with Mayor Cates, who had said something needed to be done. Paul said he and city staff are working on it.

Yes, he had called the police many times, and they never came, even though the police station is only a couple of blocks away. He said, to the police, he is, “Oh, that man at the tennis courts complained again.” The police were useless for his problem, Paul said.

I said, the police don’t have any trouble responding to phone calls about homeless people. But that’s beside the point. These tennis players, I said, who are repeatedly causing trouble, there is nothing the city can do, which will stop them from causing trouble. They are the problem, not the tennis courts. They will continue to cause trouble there. It’s who they are. Paul nodded.

I said I am the other mayor candidate, so far, and I will write about his problem at my website. If I see him today, when I bike by there, I will tell him to check out www.goodmorningkeywest.com today.

Leaving Tropic Cinema last night, after watching “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” I saw Richard Talmadge,

Richard Talmadge

who owns the Restaurant Store in Key West. He asked what movie I had seen? I told him. Did I like it? Yes, very good. I said I had seen several other movies now showing t here, all very good. Richard said he was glad to see I am using the Tropic, it is Key West’s crown jewel. I said, I’d used the Tropic for years, and I think I recalled Mayor Morgan McPherson saying that about Higgs Beach, it was the city’s crown jewel. Or, was it Truman Waterfront Morgan said that about? Richard winced. He asked if I will be at Hometown! PAC’s Call to Candidates at Salute Monday evening? I said, yes, I’m a candidate. Of course, Richard said.

Hometown! PAC

Hometown!’s 2009 All to Candidates, not long, or after, topless Aphrodite had crashed the party, shouting, “Nude Beaches for Key West! Sloan for Mayor!” Hometown! PAC sent out that photo yesterday, to remind of its event Monday evening, starting 5:30, at Salute Ristorante on the Higgs Beach crown jewel. The fellow with his head turned to the right appears to be new to politics Craig Cates, maybe looking out at the horde swarming around Aphrodite after she came back around with he halter top back where it was manufactured to be worn.

Richard asked if I thought Tony Yaniz will enter the mayor’s race?

Tony Yaniz

Tony at Hometown! PAC’s Call to Candidates, I think in 2011

I said, if Tony files to run, he will have to give up his seat on the City Commission, which has two more years left in it. He will be risking a lot, if he files. Maybe he will. If he does, it will be a gonad move. I grabbed my gonads. Richard laughed, argreed. I said, in two more years Tony might be ready to run for Mayor. Richard agreed.

ta ta

Sloan at HH 2

Sloan Bashinsky
kemsyhome@hotmail.com

Political advertisement paid for and approved by Sloan Bashinsky, for Mayor of Key West

There is a different post today at www.goodmorningkeywest.com, which you should be able to reach by clicking on this link: Dump the Pumps gears up to dump you know what on the Monroe County Commission and Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority, et. al.

About Sloan

Darn, that would take a while. Try the autobiographical pages in the header. Ditto for header menu pages at www.goodmorningbirmingham.com. Hatched and raised there, eventually I ran away from home. Here's a short list: Born 1942; male; single; accused of all sorts of imaginable and unimaginable things, perhaps some true. Live on Key West of Weird asteroid. Publish something most days on this website, been at that since July 2007. That's heaps of catch-up reading, probably not recommended.
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