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I learned years ago, when I am given something to engage on this world with other people, it goes one way if we all do our respective parts, and it goes another way if someone, or someones, do not do their respective parts. Some people might call that synergy, or lack thereof.
Naja and hubby Arnaud are doing their part, and then some, in the Charles Eimers case.
But for Arnaud and Naja, and their newspaper, there would be no Charles Eimers case; it would have gone silently into the night.
Here’s the lead Arnaud and Naja’s www.thebluepaper.com ‘s Eimer’s article in today’s (Friday) edition, followed by two comments I submitted.
* FEATURED STORY *
There is now reason to believe that two plainclothes officers: KWPD Detective Todd Stevens and another unknown officer, posing as FDLE investigators, deliberately intimidated eyewitnesses who were present during the violent arrest last November of 61-year-old Charles Eimers.
Anyone who has paid the slightest bit of attention to the story of the tragically fatal Thanksgiving Day arrest on South Beach has heard the Chief of Police deflect questions over and over by saying that FDLE is conducting an independent investigation into the death of Eimers and will decide whether or not there was any wrongdoing,
“We’re waiting and we want answers just as bad as everyone else does. As in any situation like this, once FDLE completes their investigation, we will do an internal affairs investigation to look into what happened,” says the Chief.
Last week, some four and a half months later, this ‘independent investigation’ by FDLE was called into question. We published that, on the day of the altercation with police, KWPD Captain Scott Smith had called FDLE’s Kathy Smith, his ex-wife, about the mandatory FDLE investigation of Charles Eimers’ anticipated “in-custody-death”. [...full article]
Here also is the lead into former blue paper Publisher Dennis Reeves Cooper’s article in today’s blue paper, on KWPD unnecessary roughness of civilians, followed by a comment I submitted:
JOURNALISM AS A CONTACT SPORT
Alleged use of excessive force by Key West cops has been the talk of the island since retired General Motors worker Charles Eimers, 61, died after a rough arrest last Thanksgiving Day on South Beach. But its not like this is the first time that “excessive force” and other police wrong-doing has been the topic of conversation here. For example, I went back and flipped through the headlines of just one year of back issues of Key West The Newspaper (the Blue Paper). Here are just a few of the stories we covered back in 2002.
First of all, it may come as a surprise to you that then-State Attorney Mark Kohl was in the midst of a sweeping investigation of the KWPD. Four officers had been arrested or forced to resign and another officer was trying to cut a probation deal to avoid charges. During a street brawl in front of Sloppy Joe’s in July 2000, witnesses said that several tourists were allegedly beaten up by police officers, but none of the cops on the scene could remember anything about any brawl. So Kohl, fed up with “blue amnesia,” charged a number of officers with knowingly falsifying arrest affidavits. Lying on official police documents. Sound familiar? [...full article]
On the wee bit lesser new homeless shelter matter, in today’s Citizen, www.keysnews.com, my interspersed and trailing thoughts in italics; I added the pics.
evening check-in at KOTS, Key West overnight homeless shelter
Friday, April 25, 2014 Add to Facebook Add to Twitter
Overnight facility a ‘priority’ in 2015
City staff tags new homeless shelter at $1.5M
BY GWEN FILOSA Citizen Staff
For the first time since the city agreed to relocate its overnight homeless shelter to settle a lawsuit, an estimated price tag of $1.5 million has arisen in a staff report.
A new homeless shelter is among the city’s priorities for 2015, one proposed project among 80 pages that city commissioners painstakingly sifted through during a four-hour meeting Wednesday at Old City Hall.
While the report, the 2015 Management Work Plan, is merely a list of proposals, the planning department listed $1.5 million under the category of “funding required,” and listed grants and general fund as possible sources.
“I think it’s a placeholder,” City Commissioner Teri Johnston said Thursday. “I think it’s an exercise in caution, instead of leaving ourselves open with a hold in the budget. Our first step really is to get a location. You don’t design a house and then buy a lot.”
Commissioners have yet to settle on a new location for the bunkhouse that has been planted off College Road next-door to the Sheriff’s Office, but they have already agreed to find a new spot to end a lawsuit by Sunset Marina condo owners.
The report’s brief description of the shelter — “Plan and create a homeless shelter offering 24/7 rehabilitation services” — took Mayor Craig Cates by surprise, given the fact that the panel all year has showed support only for an overnight shelter.
“We’re going for a minimum,” Cates said. “An open-air shelter just like the one we talked about all along.”
Cates said he called City Manager Bob Vitas the morning after the workshop meeting to point out the language error.
Say, what! Has Mayor Cates forgotten that he spearheaded the drive for a 24-hour full-service rehabilitation homeless shelter, which the County Commission approved? Has Cates forgotten that, at his behest, the City Commission paid Dr. Robert Marbut $20,000 to consult with the city on a 24-hour full-service rehabilitation homeless shelter?
During the meeting, City Commissioner Tony Yaniz took issue with the “24/7 rehabilitation services” being on the report.
Since 2004, the city has had an overnight shelter on Stock Island dubbed Keys Overnight Temporary Shelter (KOTS).
The nonprofit Southernmost Homeless Assistance League (SHAL) manages the bunkhouse, which costs the city about $440,000 a year to run.
A total of 243 people slept at the shelter in March 2014, 54 of which were first-time users, according to SHAL’s monthly report to the city.
The shelter reached its capacity of 140 three times before 9 p.m. in March. The February rate was 15 out of 28 nights, while in January it reached capacity before 9 p.m. 24 nights out of 31.
So, any new shelter has to be larger, have more beds, because, when the shelter is full, KW police cannot, under the Pottinger federal case decision, decided against the City of Miami, arrest homeless people for sleeping outside.
That’s theoretical. KW police harass and even arrest homeless people sleeping outside when the shelter is full. I dicsussed that with Mayor Cates maybe 3 years ago. He said the police were not doing that. I said don’t insult himself, everyone knows his police are doing that. He said, only when homeless people sleep where they are not supposed to sleep. I said, tell me, then, where they can sleep with the shelter is full, so I can tell them where that is. No answer.
A year ago, Cates was speaking in favor of a 24-hour shelter but dropped it after commissioners began to withdraw support for it and in light of last fall’s election results that provided victory albeit with a closer margin.
Cates put together that committee in 2011 and its recommendations included a 24-hour shelter to provide homeless men and woman a place during the daytime.
Thanks, Gwen, for reminding Mayor Cates of what really happened.
“I’m just trying to solve a problem we have,” Cates said Thursday. “That came from the homeless committee.”
I was the first person Mayor Cates asked to be on his Mayor’s Homeless Advisory Committee; then, I never heard another word from him about it.
Father Stephen Braddock, who heads up Florida Keys Outreach Coalition,
which gives homeless people, former addicts and other down and out people a chance to come inside and turn their lives around and move back into mainstream work and living, told me that he also tried to be on Mayor Cates’ Homeless Advisory Committee and Mayor Cates did not respond to Steve’s efforts to be included.
Mayor Cates put on that committee people who would tell him what he wanted to hear. He knew Steve and I would not do that.
Steve and I could have steered Mayor Cates and the city commissioners straight to where they needed to go, and away from where they didn’t need to go. Instead, they relied on people who told them what they wanted to hear, and they wasted $20,000 of taxpayer money, and they wasted a lot of city staff time, which is money.
Last night, I pedaled my bicycle out to Higgs Beach and then I stopped by the bocce ball courts in Indigenous Park next door.
It was bocce ball night. The place was packed. Trash cans were full of empty beer cans and bottles. Coolers were full of beer. I think it’s against the law to have alcoholic beverages in that park, same as it’s against the law to have alcoholic beverages at Higgs Beach Park next door. But what the heck, bocce ball players have always drunk beer during bocce ball games at Indigenous Park! Just don’t let homeless people get caught drinking beer there, though. Straight to jail they will be taken, as repeat offenders of the city’s open container ordinance.
Yesterday was a hard day for me.
My spirits improving, after a revelation came to me from out of the blue (see Post-Script at the bottom of this post), I pedaled my bicycle to Duval Street, deciding en route that it was time for an ice cream cone, a rare treat for me.
After getting a double dip at the ice cream parlor near Jack Flats, butter pecan on bottom, Georgia peach on top, I strolled down Duval to La Concha Hotel, to visit with the street artist vendors who set up there. Crossing Duval Street and Fleming Street, a young black couple headed up the sidewalk looked at me. The woman smiled, gave me the V sign, said, “Sloan for Mayor!” I said, “Really? Thanks.” They turned and kept walking the other way. I didn’t recall having met them before.
I talked with the wire sculptor, Patrick, who also is a street musician. I asked how the noise ordinance just passed by the city commission had gone for him. He said kinda okay, the city attorney had some good ideas, he thought, but the mayor and commissioners had not used them. He said Commissioner Jimmy Weekley was not happy with the new ordinance, which he had sponsored initially, Mayor Cates had co-sponsored it, then had pulled out. The ordinance then went through a lot of changes. Weekley said when it was passed, that if it doesn’t get quieter, he will being a new noise ordinance.
Time will tell. I told them how to get it quieter, pronto, and they didn’t use my idea, either. Just have code enforcement officers and police shut down any bar or joint making too much noise, for the rest of that day and night. Let the establishment open again the next day. Redneck justice. No fuss, no muss, no citation, no fine, no lawyers, no courts. Just loss revenues by the establishment – a spanking. If the establishment doesn’t straighten out its act, show respect, spank it again. And again, until it shows respect.
That off the wall idea will work; I don’t expect the spaghetti the City Commission threw against the wall will work nearly as well. Right Curtis and Leroy?
Political advertisement paid for and approved by Sloan Bashinsky, for Mayor of Key West
Post-Script to the recent 2014 Last Stand and Everglades Law Center water quality symposium in Key West report post at www.goodmorningkeywest.com:
When I left Last Stand and Everglades Law Center’s water quality symposium Tuesday night, I felt a huge disturbance in the Force. I was really upset, too. As time passed, the unrest continued to torment me, and I continued to feel a great disturbance in the Force.
Yesterday afternoon, out of the blue, something came to me. I didn’t like seeing it, but it created a shift inside of me and I felt myself moving through the torment, into a really sober state of being.
Perhaps some history is needed, before I get down to the bones.
When I first learned of the water quality symposium from Last Stand’s President Naja Girard, to be held at Eco Discovery Center on Truman Waterfront last Tuesday night, I wrote to Naja asking if Dr. Brian LaPointe, a Big Pine Key part-time resident,
would be one of the presenters? Naja replied that he would not be there, his views were widely known and he had recently presented them at a KW city commission meeting. I wrote back that I was not happy to hear that, please invite Dr. LaPointe to also present at the water quality symposium. He was not invited.
As I wrote in the recent 2014 Last Stand and Everglades Law Center water quality symposium in Key West report post at www.goodmorningfloridakeys.com, Billy Causey, of the Marine Sanctuary, a Big Pine Key resident,
without naming LaPointe, told the water quality symposium audience that there is no evidence phosphates and nitrates ever reached our reef. LaPoint’s view is that is exactly what happened, and that was the heart of his compelling slide show presentation to the KW City Commission. Had LaPointe been at the water quality symposium, he would have disputed Causey’s remark. Had LaPointe been at the water quality symposium, the audience would have gotten a far different perspective.
As I wrote in the 2014 Last Stand and Everglades Law Center water quality symposium in Key West report post at www.goodmorningfloridakeys.com, I felt Causey made a couple misstatements of fact during the symposium.
La Pointe would have disagreed with Causey saying diry water could be released into the Everglades and it would be cleaned up by the time it reached Florida Bay. LaPointe would have explained the havoc that dirty water would wreak in the Everglades en route to Florida Bay.
Causey doesn’t agree with LaPointe. Causey told me that himself after the symposium ended. Causey told me that’s where I went wrong, listening to LaPointe. Maybe Causey would not have participated in the water quality symposium, if LaPointe had been there. Maybe the scientists would not have been there, if LaPointe had been there.
My take was, at the symposium, without saying he was doing it, Causey attacked La Pointe, by saying there was no evidence of nitrates and phosphates having reached our reef, which Causey did not tell the audience was LaPointe’s position. Yet the a chart Causey put up on the screen showed nitrates and phosphates on the reef. One of the scientists said that coral reefs grow where there are no nutrients.
LaPointe told me about a year a go that the chemicals reached our reef years ago; killed about 90 percent of the reef. He showed the City Commission that the chemicals are still being dumped into Florida Bay, mostly on its west side, and those chemicals are making their way down to us and our reef.
Now for the woo woo part of this report.
During the symposium, the Everglades Law Center’s lawyer informed the scientists and the audience, perhaps Causey already knew of it, that the Army Corps of Engineers earlier that same day had announced they would not go along with bringing more water into the Everglades, which was the entire thrust of the Marine Sanctuary, Causey and the scientists’ presentation, and the only possible cure for what ails the Everglades, high salinity in Florida Bay, and the downstream effect of that on our reef. The scientists were visibly and audibly distressed to to hear that awful news at the symposium.
Years ago I also learned about timing, which some people call synchronicity. The timing of the Corps’ decision not to participate on the same day as the water quality control symposium put on by Last Stand and the Everglades Law Center, without LaPointe being there, is all one bundle; all one downstream event, dating back to my attempt to get Naja to include LaPointe in the symposium, and she declined.
Perhaps if a second water quality symposium is held in Key West and on Key Largo, which includes LaPointe, that will take care of the disturbance in the Force and help get the Army Corps of Engineers involved. The scientists will have to convince the Corps, though, that their filter system will clean up the dirty water before it is released into the Everglades.
Before thinking to yourself that Sloan finally went over the edge and around the bend, consider that some years ago now, Naja told me that she felt she had exhausted all avenues re proving the Navy, not the Bernsteins, owned Wisteria Island, which lies a few hundred yards to the west of Key West’s Old Town section.
I then dreamed that Naja needed to keep digging, there was something she had not found. I told her about the dream, said it was the angels’ way of telling me to tell her to keep digging. She kept digging and found something, which she presented it to the Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management and US Fish and Wildlife, and the Feds, after some initial balking, agreed with Naja that the US Government owned Wisteria Island. The Bureau publicly stated their claim, and then the Bernsteins filed suit in a federal court on the mainland to try to get that undone. That lawsuit was tried quite a while ago and as of yet the federal judge has not rendered an opinion.
How the lawsuit turns out is not the point. The point is, Wisteria Island was given to me by the angels who run me, for me to engage with other people. Naja was one of those other people. She did her part, and then some, which now has the title question before a federal judge, as per Arnaud’s editorial cartoon in one of last year’s blue paper issues. Can you pick out Naja and Arnaud in the cartoon? Hint – look for a seaman with a patch over one eye. That’s Roger Bernsteain, a Miami tax lawyer, on the left, his lawyer beside him, glaring over at the good guys.
Naja told me the judge and Bernstein’s lawyer are old friends. The judge must be a bit strained – hope he let’s it get to him on the side of the good guys.
In today’s Citizen – www.keysnews.com – is a report of the Monroe County Commission resisting yet another attempt by the Bernsteins to get Wisteria Island specially designated so they can put hotels and condos on it like what happened on its gauche neighbor, Tank Island, now called Sunset Key.
What was Monroe County thinking, even considering the Bernsteins’ recent attempt, when title to Wisteria Island is tied up in a U.S. District Court on the mainland? How much county staff time, which translates to dollar$, was wasted by the county government even spending one second on the Bernsteins’ latest attempt, when the Bernsteins do not know who owns the island? Or do they? Has the federal judge told his lawyer friend how he will rule on the title?
By the way, all along, the Bernsteins’ field general for turning Wisteria into Sunset Key Deux was Jim Hendrick, who is the Peary Court developer’s field general, and Pritam Singh’s field general. The same Jim Hendrick who used to be the Monroe County Attorney, who eventually was charged, tried and convicted in federal court for conspiracy and witness tampering stemming from allegations he had, when he was County Attorney, facilitated a bribe of a county commissioner by a developer. By the time the US Attorney got involved, the statute of limitations had run on the bribery charge, but not on the conspiracy and witness tampering charges. Hendrick was disbarred and put on a strict probation for quite a while. During which time he did everything he did when he was a lawyer, but go to court. I know that, because I heard him tell someone that.