hazards of running for mayor of Key West and related disturbances

Devil or Angel

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work mule

I was taken to task several times in dreams last night over various things I wrote and and/or said lately, some of which I published at www.goodmorningkeywest.com, some of which were published in reader comments under the featured story in the current edition of Key West the Newspaper – www.thebluepaper.com.

The Case of Matthew Murphy / Another Cover-Up?

Kaeden Murphy, 3 yrs old; Photo by Richard Watherwax

8:30 on a Saturday morning.  It’s already hot and with no AC in the car it’s going to get a whole lot hotter by the time we get into Miami.

At her mother’s tiny apartment on Olivia Street, Mary Annuylsse is getting 3-year old Kaeden Murphy ready to go see his dad, Matthew, at Jackson Memorial Hospital.  As we reported in previous articles, Matthew Murphy has been stuck in a hospital bed ever since he was tased by a Key West police officer on April 16, 2011.  We’d been told he was unable to walk, speak, or eat on his own, but that he could communicate by blinking his eyes.  We are in for the ride. […full article]

After reflecting on what I said and/or wrote, I still feel okay with it from the standpoint of it’s how I felt and saw it , and it’s still how I feel and see it. This morning, I submitted a new comment into the blue paper article discussion; that comment is still in moderation at this point in time.

Key West The Newspaper [The Blue Paper] encourages spirited, open debate in comments on our stories. We do ask that you refrain from profanity, personal attacks and remarks that are off point. Please join the conversation!


SKD AUGUST 15, 2014 AT 7:40 AM
“FDLE was supposed to investigate but did not.” So, wonder who at FDLE dropped the ball on this one? Carol Fredericks? Captain Scott Smith’s ex-wife Kathy Smith? Who? Who could it be? Is there a way of finding out who received the report or request?

The person in charge at FDLE at the time was Vince Weiner. The SAO in its “investigation” [called “a whitewash” by CRB member Tom Milone – one might add to that that bleach was used…] claims none of the agency members who had signed the Memorandum of Understanding in 2003 knew that the document called for an investigation of not only a death-in-custody but also of a serious injury [until The Blue Paper pointed in out in a previous article]. Police Chief Donie Lee at the most recent CRB hearing announced that he has spoken with FDLE representatives about rewriting their agreement with an eye toward removing any requirment for an FDLE investigation in cases like the tasing of Matthew Murphy where a suspect is seriously injured during an arrest. FDLE was alerted that Matthew had been injured by KWPD, FDLE verified that Murphy was in critical condition on a ventillator at Jackson Memorial Hospital and then closed their file. There is no indicaton that they followed up to be sure he had not died thereafter. One wonders what FDLE would have done in the Eimers case had there not been any media atttention… he too was in a hospital bed in critical condition on a ventillator when they were alerted to his serious injury last Thanksgiving.

People are dying because of unchecked police violence and the police keep getting a pass. What happened to serve and protect? The vetting of potential police officers needs to be improved. Most police officers are good people, but the psychopaths need to be weeded out.

This awful case is a good opportunity for the CRB to start regaining the public’s respect in Key West. I hope Tom Milone leads that charge.
For me, the key issue in the case is: Did Officer Siracuse shoot Murphy in the back without warning?
Tasers a used by law enforcement all over America.
Maybe tasers should not be used by police
Instead of shooting people with tasers, police shoot people with pistols, shotguns and assault rifles.
I still don’t get why Murphy went after the racist woman’s boyfriend, who, according to earlier blue paper reporting, told Murphy she was drunk and tried to talk Murphy down, persuade him to shrug it off and move on,

ZOBOP AUGUST 16, 2014 AT 12:28 PM
“”Police Chief Donie Lee at the most recent CRB hearing announced that he has spoken with FDLE representatives about rewriting their agreement with an eye toward removing any requirment for an FDLE investigation in cases like the tasing of Matthew Murphy where a suspect is seriously injured during an arrest.””
Oh yeah… That sounds like a real good idea! Wonder if the City Manager and Commissioners will go for that?

The Charles Eimers case proved an FDLE examination is a joke. The same case hopefully will not prove the State Attorney is a joke. Time will tell. The City Manager, Mayor and City Commissioners have yet to express any indication they see there is a problem in their police department. No candidate forum asked the mayor candidates anything about KWPD. Arnaud Girard told me about two weeks ago now, that’s because their going after KWPD would be bad for business. That’s true. But it’s deeper than that. Or worse than that might be more apt. City Hall views its police as off limits. It’s been that way since I arrived here in late 2000. I hear it’s been that way much longer. Mayor Cates hasn’t addressed it, nor will he. Nor has, nor will, Margaret Romero. The CRB can address it, but has no power. The mayor is the best person to address it, because the mayor has the press and other news media reporting his words and actions. The mayor could make a huge stink, and keep making a huge stink, and it just might go viral. Would anything change? Who can say? It would change the atmosphere in Key Westm though. No longer would the KWPD be off limits in, hmmm, city commission meetings; newspaper and radio interviews, speeches before community organizations, CRB meetings attended by the mayor, who speaks during citizen comments, and when else is allowed or invited. The mayor could call the FBI, the US Department of Justice. The KWPD would be center stage in bright sunlight ongoing. Until, yeah, the mayor was shot and killed. Or just disappeared like Bum Farto.

Intelligence Quotient Exam + Medical Appraisal + Physical Fitness Evaluation + Police Psychological Assessment Test + Interview By A Licensed Psychologist or Psychiatrist + Graduation From Recruit Training—Is Required By Most Police Departments Before A Candidate Is Given Their Badge & Gun…

The following are some traits that ordinarily disqualify an individual from becoming a police officer:

1) Below average problem-solving and social judgment suggests a lack of experience in making decisions while under pressure, particularly when being pulled in several different directions by people or issues that might influence you. In short, it comes down to a lack of life experience.

2) Difficulty presenting information in a straight forward manner suggests you may have difficulty analyzing facts and relating them to others in a brief, concise and accurate manner. Instead, it suggests you may include too much information, unnecessarily injecting other factors that have no relevance and complicating resolution of the matter. Again, this suggests a lack of life experience.

3) Aggressive behavior – Prospect that displays an unwillingness to listen to authority or is in a constant state of aggression will raise a red flag to the examiner, and as a result will issue the department a “not suitable to be a police officer” recommendation.

Can this data be secured from the KWPD, as it relates to personnel involved with Mr. Murphy’s injuries and Mr. Eimers’ death?

AUGUST 17, 2014 AT 10:29 AM
Maybe that info can be obtained, but I think it begs the question, John. Perhaps if you lived in Key West, you will see this situation differently. Although I imagine most people living here don’t want to see it for what it is, given the Citizen does not break these awful cases. Given police problems are not asked of candidates at candidate forums. Given the way Police Chief Donnie Lee has responded to the Murphy case and the Eimers case. Given how the mayor and city commissioners have responded – silence. Given what I perceive as a lot of apathy, but perhaps I’m mistaken; I hope I am mistaken.

I found myself thinking off and on yesterday, in the way last year’s referendum produced a statement how 74 percent of Key West people feel about cruise ships, not good, the mayor’s race outcome this year will produce a statement how Key West people feel about their police department. If I don’t survive the August 26 mayoral primary, you will know how the people of Key West feel about their police department.


A letter to the editor in the Citizen (www.keysnews.com) today raises important issues:

Sunday, August 17, 2014
Jack Anderson (Aug. 3 Letter to the Editor) is right! Where is our city going? Seems like one step forward, two steps back.

Why does the city hire staff to study proposals just to soundly dismiss all of their recommendations? Why hire reputable, highly paid consultants and not follow any of their recommendations?

Sure looks like the good old boys network to me.

Time after time Mark Rossi has voted his personal will in spite of the public’s preference and interest. Example — the channel referendum. He was the only commissioner to vote against putting teeth into the channel referendum (requiring a super majority vs. a simple majority to prevent the channel-widening issue from coming back up again) even though 74 percent of the voters supported it. His vote for the cruise line industry showed a total lack of respect for the voters.

Another example — the trash contract. Rossi led the move to continue with Waste Management even though it cost taxpayers more money. Is this what he and Greg Sullivan of Waste Management were discussing at the Yacht Club just days before the vote?

And now we get the bill — $37.23/household increase for trash. Approximately a 12 percent increase! Another unnecessary fee to be paid by taxpayers.

Shame on all the commissioners who voted for Waste Management. All of the Waste Management supporters were wrong.

It’s time for our elected officials at all levels to start working for and be accountable to the people who elected them, or “we the people” need to vote them out. In the meantime, please send your trash bills to Mark Rossi.

Stuart Strickland

Key West

I attended the city commission meeting where Waste Management got the bid over Advanced Disposal. I felt the bid was designed poorly: there were lots of moving parts, and it was put out to the lowest bidder, instead of RFP. It looked and sounded to me during the handwringing and lamenting on the dais, that the mayor and most of the city commissioners were wishing they had put the bid out RFP, instead of for the lowest bid. Perhaps I was mistaken, but it looked to me the buck for the bid’s design stopped with the mayor and the city commissioners; I figured had approved that design, in essence, before the request for low bid was put out. It looked to me the bid’s design opened the door to what followed.

nope, not doing it

the blue paper’s statement of the cruise ship referendum outcome

As for the cruise ship referendum and its smashing defeat and the aftermath from that, it has been my position all along that anyone on the City Commission who does substantial business with cruise ship passengers who visit Key West, has a conflict of interest and should not participate in any discussion concerning cruise ships calling on Key West, nor vote on any cruise ship items before the City Commission. City Commissioner Mark Rossi’s Duval Street businesses cater to many cruise ship passengers. City Commissioner Jimmy Weekley’s family business Faustos, a grocery/delicatessen just a block off of Duval Street, caters to many cruise ship passengers). Therefore, Mark and Jimmy should recuse themselves from all cruise ship items on City Commission meeting agendas.

I never felt the “channel-widening” study should have been put out to referendum in the first place. I felt the city commissoners and mayor should have made the call among themselves. However, the ones who voted to put it out to referendum thereby told me they wanted more and bigger cruise ships calling on Key West, regardless of how 74 percent of the voters later said no way. Did any elected official vote no on putting it out to referendum? I know Mayor Cates voted to put it out to referendum.

I also know it was an off voting year, and people in tune with the backstage dynamics told me the promoters of bringing in more and bigger cruise ships wanted the referendum on the ballot last year, because they figured there would be a low voter turn out and they would have all their voters at the polls and that was their best chance of pulling it off. They figured wrong; grassroots opposition exploded in the social media and in the blue paper and at my website, www.goodmorningkeywest.com. All along, I viewed the referendum as a referendum on how Key West people felt about cruise ships generally. I still have that view – 74 percent of people on Key West don’t want cruise ships calling on Key West.

Which brings me to something related, which I mentioned above. I keep hearing city commissioners and the mayor say they represent and do the will of the people. Well, putting receiving more and bigger cruise ships out to referendum didn’t represent and do the will of the people. It represented doing the will of special interest groups, which wanted more and bigger cruise ships calling on Key West. The Duval Street and other merchants who do business with cruise ship passengers. The Chamber of Commerce. A few bar pilots.

There is yet another important issue here, which I also raised above. The way I see it, elected officials are elected to do what they feel is best, not only for their own voting district’s constituents, but for the entire city. Life is fluid, situations change. The majority of an elected official’s consitutents might be mistaken about what is best for the city and even for them. A majority of citizens can be as biased as Stuart Strickland says Mark Rossi is.

For example, the new city park going in on Truman Waterfront.

Truman Waterfront phase 1

I imagine a great majority of Key West people want that to happen. But I personally think it’s not the thing do to, because the park was supposed to pay for itself, and it’s not going pay for itself; and it’s going to need ongoing maintenance. Furthermore, there already is a beautiful state park right next door to where the new city park is going in.

Fort Zach 2

Far more than a second public park on Truman Waterfront, the city needs truly affordable rental housing. I’d put as much of that on Truman Waterfront as possible. Let the Housing Authority have the land for $1 a year, for 99 years. Or find someone else to do it under that arrangement. Free land will result in lower rents such as a waitress can afford on her wages. Of course, the owners market rate rental units will object that a lot of new actually affordable rental housing will compete with their market rate rental units and drive rents down.

Some of the Truman Waterfront land has chemical waste buried in it. That would need to be cleaned up, before residential housing could be built on that land.

I know from Ron Demes, the Navy Base’s liaison with Key West, that the Navy would be okay with what I suggested above.

cruise ship butt

blue paper statement on cruise ships leading up to the bring in more and bigger cruise ships referendum last year

For another example, thanks to Key West Chamber of Commerce President Robin Lockwood, M.D. last year during a bring in more and bigger cruise ships referendum forum, we know the dirtiest worst possible cruise ships are calling on Key West, and have been for decades. I say that needs to be stopped pronto, regardless of what the voters or Duval Street and other merchants who do business with cruise ships think.

The ocean and the reef should get top priority, since the ocean and the reef are what draw the hordes of tourists on which Key West economy mostly depends.


For another example, every diver and physician in Key West knows the ocean down here is infested with MRSA, a flesh-eating mutated staphyloccocus bacteria, which is lethal if not treated, and is very difficult to treat medically and sometimes is lethal despite medical treatment. Every diver and physican in Key West know, if you go into the ocean with a cut or nick on your skin, you have a good chance of contracting MRSA. I say Key West should warn its visitors and residences of this dangerous situation. It’s the right thing to do.

I could give other examples of when elected officials should go against the will of their consituents and the people.

Meanwhile, some comic relief showed up in my Facebook account this morning, from Gary Ek, aka Reverent Gweko Phlocker, aka Soundman From Hell

8 hrs · 

Lou Gehrig was a great guy and all, I only assume what ALS is about…..

– BUT This insanity must stop, Key West’s very own beloved “Mayoral Hopefull Sloan Bashinsky took the ALS ice bucket challenge,
….and he paid $100″

I volunteer for charities, do community service events, and help friends all the time.
I refuse to accept any challenge that requires Ice unless it’s in a COCKTAIL.
So Dont ask.

Click on the pic to start the video.

Sloan Bashinsky took the ALS ice bucket challenge, and he paid $100.

LikeLike ·  · 
  • 3 people like this.
  • Sue Huffaker This campaign has raised more money for ALS than any other effort. A lot of people like to have a giggle along with their charitable donations!
    2 hrs · Like
  • Sloan Bashinsky I did this one for two reasons. My second wife’s father died of ALS. The angels told me to participate. They also told me to modify the design, by donating $100 and challenging all of Key West to follow suit, on ability to pay, and every one poured a bucket of ice water on top; of his/her own head. It was fun, would have been even more exciting if Island 107 had ok’d my doing it naked,, which, hmmm, perhaps would have become a part of the challenge to everyone else? Only just now thought of that.
    1 hr · Like
    • Tina Conti I read that so far 5.5 million have been raised for this awful disease.

I don’t imagine your average devil wants to dump a bucket of ice water on top of his own head.

Sloan angel

Sloan Bashinsky

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

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; spoken for; accused of all sorts of imaginable and unimaginable things, perhaps some true. Live on Key West of Weird asteroid. Publish something most days at goodmorningkeywest.com, been at that since July 2007. That's heaps of catch-up reading, probably not recommended.
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