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From a Spanish-speaking reader yesterday, re the Spanish woman’s words in the video of the apprehension by KWPD officers of soon to be dead Charles Eimers on South Beach last Thanksgiving Day:
It sounds like the woman in the video is saying: ” Oh God, look at all the police, look at all the patrol units; they won’t let him….”. It ends right there.
Here is Key West the Newspaper – www.thebluepaper.com – link to the video:
Today’s Citizen’s Voice – www.goodmorningkeywest.com:
“On Monday, the Key West Chamber of Commerce and Community Foundation of the Florida Keys is holding a public forum at the Westin. I would like to see them to address ‘real’ affordable housing for hospitality workers. It has reached a crisis point. I urge all concerned to show up and make our concerns known.”
How about affordable housing for anyone? According to the notice I received from the Chamber for this event, it is a lecture by an expert on non-profits raising money for their endeavors. Excerpted from what the Chamber emailed to many recipients, I imagine:
The Key West Chamber of Commerce and the Community Foundation of the Florida Keys, has a history of partnering together for greater community impact. In 2005, the Community Foundation of the Florida Keys and the Key West Chamber of Commerce formed a strategic alliance to spearhead the largest local community-driven disaster relief initiative to date. Over $1.3 million was raised and re-granted back to the community within 90 days of Hurricane Wilma, through the My Key West Emergency Relief Fund.
We would like to encourage others to form similar strategic alliances to benefit our community.
Facilitating the discussion will be Mark Brewer, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Central Florida Foundation. He has earned respect for his ability to build community partnerships that meet issues head-on and produce measureable results. He has worked with hundreds of individuals, families, and corporations to establish philanthropy plans, endowments, funding strategies, and planned gifts. More than 100 regional nonprofit boards have enlisted Mark’s assistance with strategic and scenario planning initiatives that included the use of endowed investments to sustain their organizations. He is a well-known national speaker on nonprofit sector management and strategy, philanthropy’s role in America, venture philanthropy strategies, and the role of the nonprofit sector in public policy. Mark frequently advises private and corporate foundation grant makers across the Central Florida region.
Perhaps there will be time for citizen input on affordable housing and other burning issues. I’d like to ask what the Chamber is going to do about getting truly affordable RENTAL housing for ALL residents in Key West, and what the Chamber is going to do about THE DIRTIEST WORST POSSIBLE CRUISE SHIPS calling on Key West going back to the first cruise ship calling on Key West decades ago?
Also In today’s Citizen Voice – www.keysnews.com:
“As a 10-year homeowner on Petronia Street, I can tell you that the Goombay Festival has never run as well as it has in the past two years. The opposition group had a chance and blew it.”
Over breakfast at Harpoon Harry’s yesterday, I told Tom Milone
that Goombay was blown in a far more serious way: it strayed from its Bahamian/Caribbean African roots. Tom said Goombay lets in food vendors having nothing to do with Bahamian/Caribbean African roots. Food vendors from the mainland. Same food vendors, who come down from the mainland for other Key West street events. I agreed, said Goombay means nothing to them, other than a chance to make money selling their own food.
Tom said, white Bahamian-descent Conchs also claimed their right to celebrate Goombay. I said, white Conchs should have held their peace. Goombay is not about them. It’s about Bahamian/Caribbean African roots.
Tom was out of town last week and missed the Goombay war at the City Commission meeting, during which a citizen speaker for the side which did not get the bid said Goombay had drifted away from being an Bahamian/Caribbean African event, by playing Spanish music all one afternoon down at the end of Petronia Street, where a big bandstand historically is set up.
I told Tom, during my citizen comments, I asked the mayor and commissioners to mandate Goombay is strictly Bahamian/Caribbean African roots. During their ensuing discussion, the mayor and city commissioners, including Commissioner Lopez, who has African ancestry, in whose voting district is Bahama Village where Goombay is held is situated, did not address my request.
Tom said, money was involved. Someone wanted to make money off of Goombay. I said money was what the war was about. The churches and Mason lodges wanted to make money for their organizations and projects. The promoters who got the bid wanted to make money for themselves and for their projects. People who operate charitable organizations usually get paid to do it. Employees in charitable organizations usually get paid for their work. What money is left over goes to what the charities are trying to help.
Tom described a long-standing annual art festival held each year where he came from in western New York, which is all volunteer; nobody makes money except for artists who sell their work. The local government funds it. I said Key West should fund Goombay. The city subsidizes the power boat races. The city subsidizes Historic Tours of America bringing cruise ship passengers in from the outer mole. The city should subsidize Goombay, which, at the level of soul, is far more important to the city than power boat races and cruise ship passengers.
I said, at the level of soul, the Goombay war last week was more important than the war over firing City Manager Bob Vitas and getting rid of Assistant City Manager David Fernandez, which war made next-day front page in the Citizen after each skirmish. I said, it took the Citizen six days to report the Goombay war. By then, I had reported it twice in posts at goodmorningkeywest.com, stating my distress that the Citizen had yet to report it.
Tom and I agreed: the mayor and city commissioners lost either way they voted on Goombay; there was no safe way out for them. Only City Commissioner Tony Yaniz, who was out of town, dodged that bullet. Margaret Romero dodged it, by saying nothing about Goombay during citizen comments. I took it head on, by speaking to the real issue: Goombay is suppose to be a Bahamian/Caribbean African roots festival. Period, the end. And the City Commission should have made it so, period, the end, regardless of who was awarded the bid. The City Commission did not do that. Why?
Tom reminisced back to when he was passionate to try to make a difference in Key West, but after two unsuccessful runs for the city commission seat held by Mark Rossi, and getting less than 30 percent of the vote in the second race, Tom said he had lost his zeal. He said he still remains interested, he still comes to city government meetings, and sometimes he speaks during citizen comments. (He also is on the Citizen Police Review Board.) But he doesn’t see real change happening.
Tom said a few citizens, himself, Christine Russell, Margaret Romero and me, show up regularly at city government meetings and speak to issues, and the mayor and city commissioners look like they are paying attention to us, but the decisions are made privately over meals in various local restaurants, involving local people who never show up and speak at city commission meetings. I agreed, said, if I was attached to causing change in Key West, I would go insane. I have to be able to play with it; there has to be fun in it, even though nothing changes.
I keep finding myself wondering where were my opponents in the mayor’s race, incumbent Craig Cates and Margaret Romero,
back when I was attending city commission meetings and speaking to various issues during citizen comments? Back before I ever heard of Margaret Romero or Craig Cates. Back in 2002, and later.
The first I ever heard of Craig was when he announced in late 2008 that he was going to run for mayor in 2009. At least Margaret put in time attending city government meetings before she ran for mayor the first time, 3 years ago. As far as I know, Craig never attended a city government meeting before he decided to run for mayor. Now he is running for his 4th term, the last term, he says. He said that when he ran in 2009.
Well, I can’t complain. After each of the 8 times I ran for public office in the Keys, 3 times for KW mayor, 3 times for county commission, 1 time for school board, I said that was my last race. I hoped it was. The angels had other plans. As usual.
I reported in yesterday’s ship of fools, so many opportunities in Key West and beyond post at goodmorningkeywest.com that, among other fun things, angels also arranged for me to be invited into the Assemblies of God discussion group at Linkedin. Below is one of the discussions I entered. If it doesn’t interest you, skip down to my comments about why I included that discussion today, and the tie back in to the Goombay war at the most recent city commission meeting.
AGREE or DISAGREE? “If this is going to be a Christian nation ….. admit that we just don’t want to do it.”http://wp.me/p4kz4H-l3
AGREE or DISAGREE? “If this is going to be a Christian nation that doesn’t help the poor, either we have to pretend that Jesus was just as selfish as we are, or we’ve got to acknowledge that He commanded us to love the poor and serve the needy…
Just my personal opinion … What American Christians, and all Christians, need to be doing is living as Jesus lived and taught in the Gospels that people should live. This ongoing familiar discussion I often see online about America being a Christian nation looks like a diversion to me; a diversion away from actually living the Christ way, as Jesus modeled and taught in the Gospels. I realize I’m a heretic in many Christian circles for saying, to the extent Christians live Jesus’ model and sayings in the Gospels, they demonstrate their belief in him and the degree to which they are saved by him. I simply do not buy the standard salvation formula, which denies how Christians live has anything to do with salvation. By grace, works cannot save you, I hear over and over. Tell that to Jesus, who harped and harped and harped on works in the Gospels. Tell that to Jesus’ brother James, who said, ask him not about his faith, but look to his works, and in his works his faith is seen. This view was given to me by Jesus, Archangel Michael and Melchizedek. I did not invent that view myself. I was raised on the traditional salvation formula. Yet, as I matured, I wondered how could Christians claim salvation through Jesus, yet do things which ravaged his teachings and model? That just didn’t work for me. Perhaps it works for Jesus; I never was schooled about that. However, I was told many times, that Jesus looks at a person totally; at how that person lives, at how that person thinks, at how that person speaks. That is how Jesus sizes up a person. Not at what the person personally professes about him/herself. Action speaks louder than words, is how it came across to me. I was taught to worry about my own standing with God, and to do my best to develop toward God, which has not been easy. The training and trials are ongoing. The instruction and corrections are ongoing. America no more looks to me like one nation, under God, than does Saudi Arabia. In spirit, God is over all nations on this world. The way nations behave is an entirely different matter. I imagine for America to become a Christian nation, it would have to start behaving as Jesus behaved and taught in the Gospels. Me, I have all I can say grace over being a Jesus nation in myself.
So, what could all of that have to do with my running for mayor of Key West?
Well, isn’t a candidate for office’s spiritual perspective relevant to his qualifications and to the voters? Oh, my pardon. A candidate’s spiritual perspective is not relevant because we have separation of church and state in America.
Well, God is God, and church is church, and I seriously doubt the Founding Fathers intended to separate God from state. Just church, which historically was known in Europe to commit all sorts of atrocities in God and Jesus’ name, which had a great deal do with many early British and Eurppean settlers fleeing to America.
We did not have separation of church and state during the Goombay war at the most recent city commission meeting. From the side that would lose the bid for Goombay, one church pastor and member after another, and one Mason lodge member after another, got up during citizen comments and held forth on their church and lodge’s longstanding good doings in Key West, avoiding entirely the fact that back when they had Goombay, it nearly folded, and they did not paid all the bills. So, the other side ended up being awarded Goombay two years ago, last year, and again this year.
It was a power struggle between the churches and lodges, on one side, and between the side which had paid the bills on the other side. Lost in the shuffle was the reason for Goombay in the first place. A Bahamian/Caribbean African festival/celebration. Not Christian church or Mason lodge celebration. Not a white Bahamian Conch celebration. Not a mainland food vendors’ economic opportunity. But an African roots celebration, with economic opportunity for people sharing that passion.
What I witnessed during that civil war in Old City Hall made me sick to my stomach. It made the city commissioners and mayor sick to their stomachs. It was a travesty. Hopefully, Goombay will move forward into what it is supposed to be.
I told Tom Milone yesterday that I’m pissing off as many people as possible; a great campaign strategy.
Political advertisement paid for and approved by Sloan Bashinsky, for Mayor of Key West, aka “southernmost the nut house”