May 272016
 

firefighting steamer horses

by Dennis Reeves Cooper…….

Today, if you dial 911 to report a fire, the Key West Fire Department will typically be at the scene of the fire within five minutes. When I was researching this story and former Fire Chief Eddie Castro gave me that information, I asked the question again. “Come on, Chief, five minutes from the time the call comes into the fire station to fighting the fire does not seem credible.” “Well, actually,” he said– lecturing me like one of my old professors– “the response time is more like three minutes. With three fire stations on the island, we are close to most potential fire sites. And when a call comes into one or more of those stations, we can usually be out the door within a minute and, then, at the fire scene within a couple more minutes.” This gives a whole new meaning to the term ever-ready. And combine response time with state-of-the-art “apparatus”– the millions of dollars worth of fire engines and other equipment– as well as 88 highly-trained firefighters– and you have a situation where most fires in Key West don’t have much of a chance to cause catastrophic damage. But it wasn’t always this way. Continue reading »

May 272016
 
School Board's Discussion on Henriquez Rehiring: "[silence]"

FRONT PAGE COMMENTARY by Arnaud and Naja Girard……. NOT TO SPEAK IS TO SPEAK, NOT TO ACT IS TO ACT We wondered this week just how the Monroe County School Board was going to justify the rehiring of a disgraced employee, twice embroiled in school district financial scandals. While the board did approve the $105,000 a year salary for Mike Henriquez in his new, specially tailored, Director’s job, they simply made sure, during the public meeting, to never once utter his name. This is how the board, in [continue reading…]

May 272016
 
Groups Slam Feds for Weak Review of GMO Mosquito Risks

FDA assessment of plan to release genetically engineered mosquitoes in Florida Keys inadequate WASHINGTON—Public health, food safety and environmental groups including Center for Food Safety, Food & Water Watch, Friends of the Earth and the Florida Keys Environmental Coalition are calling on the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to conduct a new and more thorough review of the risks associated with releasing genetically engineered (GE) mosquitoes. Biotech and pest control company Oxitec is urging the FDA to speed approval of a trial involving widespread release [continue reading…]

 May 27, 2016  Posted by at 12:52 am Issue #168, News, Public Notice No Responses »
May 272016
 
Hialeah Man Faces Lengthy Prison Time for Marine Thefts

In September of 2015, Hialeah resident Roberto Morales Diaz was confronted by sheriff’s deputies as he burglarized multiple boats at Unique Marine in Tavernier. An accomplice acting as a lookout was apprehended at the scene. Diaz fled but was caught a short time later in Florida City and was taken into custody. This case wrapped up a lengthy multi-agency investigation of marine thefts and burglaries which had been plaguing the Florida Keys for months. Due to the large number of thefts county-wide, a task force [continue reading…]

 May 27, 2016  Posted by at 12:50 am Issue #168, News, Public Notice No Responses »
May 272016
 
MCSO Crime Report

Woman Charged with Cruelty to a Child A Big Coppitt Key woman has been charged with cruelty toward a child. She is accused of hitting and stomping an 8 year old boy because he put dirty laundry in the dryer. The Sheriff’s Office was notified of the case by the Department of Children and Families on April 21st. The boy told Major Crimes detectives 27 year old Marina Vega hit him in the face and on the side. He said he laid on the floor [continue reading…]

 May 27, 2016  Posted by at 12:48 am Issue #168, News, Public Notice No Responses »
May 272016
 
ROWELL’S WATERFRONT PARK IN KEY LARGO OPENS SATURDAY

KEY LARGO – Rowell’s Waterfront Park – at mile marker 104.5 on the Overseas Highway in Key Largo – opens Saturday morning, becoming the County’s 20th park. The 8-acre, kid- and dog-friendly park along Florida Bay has picnic tables, benches, a place to swim (at your own risk) and a launch for kayaks, canoes and standup paddleboards. It will be open seven days a week, from 7:30 a.m. to sunset. Admission is free. The property was purchased in December 2013 for $5 million. Since then, [continue reading…]

 May 27, 2016  Posted by at 12:47 am Issue #168, Public Notice, Special Event 1 Response »
May 272016
 
A Monk Without a God

by Ray Jason……. A black-crowned night heron was clinging to my anchor chain, searching the quiet sea for a fish. As the sun eased its orange rim just above the horizon, the little bird looked up, and so did I. This sunrise held exceptional promise because of the cloud formations scattered about. There were immense walls of dense cumulus flanking a high ceiling of delicate cirrus. When the sun fully emerged from the sea, it transformed the sky into a magnificent, amber cathedral. Here was [continue reading…]

 May 27, 2016  Posted by at 12:46 am Island Voices, Issue #168 No Responses »
May 272016
 
As the World Turns (or Not)

by Kim Pederson……. “We did not notice right away. We couldn’t feel it. We did not sense at first the extra time, bulging from the smooth edge of each day like a tumor blooming beneath skin.” So opens Karen Thompson Walker’s novel The Age of Miracles. The major characters in this fictionocalpyse, Julia and her family, wake up one day and discover the earth has begun to spin a little bit slower and is slowing down more every day. Although it’s described in the book, [continue reading…]

 May 27, 2016  Posted by at 12:44 am Issue #168, Kim Pederson No Responses »
May 272016
 
Commissioner Kaufman Convenes Community Meeting, Wednesday, June 1

District II Commissioner Sam Kaufman has scheduled a community meeting for 6 p.m. on Wednesday, June 1st at the Poinciana School cafeteria, 1407 Kennedy Drive. One of the topics up for discussion is single member districting, an exploration of how the community feels about moving to a system in which city commissioners would be elected by the entire city electorate rather than by the residents within each district. Also on the agenda: affordable housing, assisted living at Poinciana Gardens, Uber and improvements at Cozumel Park. [continue reading…]

 May 27, 2016  Posted by at 12:42 am Issue #168, News, Public Notice No Responses »
May 272016
 
Deputy Clerk Elected to Represent District

Key West Deputy City Clerk Angela Budde has been elected to serve on the Board of Directors for the Florida Association of City Clerks (FACC) as South District Director. She was elected on May 5th, and City Clerk Cheri Smith announced the honor at last week’s City Commission meeting. The newly formed District 1, to which Budde was elected, represents 70 municipalities in Broward, Miami Dade and Broward counties. Budde is the second Deputy City Clerk to serve as a District Director and also is [continue reading…]

 May 27, 2016  Posted by at 12:40 am Issue #168, News, Public Notice No Responses »
May 272016
 
Jill Caldwell Exhibit at SALT Gallery/ Special Preview June 4

“Immersion” (acrylic on canvas, 24” x 24”) is one of Jill Caldwell’s exuberant abstract paintings to be revealed in a special preview on Saturday, June 4th from 6pm-8pm at SALT Gallery, 830 Fleming Street in Key West. The exhibit— “Displacement”— will feature new acrylic paintings showcasing the artist’s tropical palette and energetic brush strokes that Caldwell organically expresses to elude to the passage of time and the layering of experiences. Caldwell will be SALT Gallery’s featured artist for the month; the exhibit will run until [continue reading…]

 May 27, 2016  Posted by at 12:38 am Art, Issue #168, What To Do No Responses »
May 272016
 
Florida Keys Council of the Arts Cultural Calendar

Thursday, June 2 thru Wednesday, June 8 Visit keysarts.com, Cultural Calendar for more listings and events throughout the Keys. Key West Happenings ARTISTS RECEPTIONS/EXHIBITIONS Thursday Mango Madness and Member Salon, 6 PM The Studios of Key West, 533 Eaton St. 305-296-0458. tskw.org Jewelry IS Art Trunk Show – Opening Reception, 6 PM Key West Local Luxe, 515 Fleming St. 305-304-9001. keywestlocalluxe.com Friday Innocent Souls: Vietnam 1968 and Yesterday’s Kids: Reflection, 5 PM The exhibition of images, both black and white and in color, captured by [continue reading…]

May 272016
 
Reef Perkins Debuts his Third Book - “Deep Air”

The Florida Keys have long been known as a safe harbor for nonconformists, adventurers and ne’er-do-wells. On Saturday, June 18, from 6 to 8pm, one local character who embodies all of these traits and more, author Reef Perkins, will debut his latest book, “Deep Air” at Grand Vin, 1107 Duval Street. In “Deep Air,” Perkins’ third book, a blow-up sex doll, gems and beer are catalysts for an outlandish misadventure rolled out in the author’s signature style. Michael Haskins, author of the Mick Murphy Key [continue reading…]

 May 27, 2016  Posted by at 12:34 am Issue #168, Literature, What To Do No Responses »
May 272016
 
New York Times Bestselling Author Robert K. Tanenbaum to Share Insights on Crime and Justice at Mystery Writers Key West Fest

New York Times bestselling author Robert K. Tanenbaum is to headline the upcoming Mystery Writers Key West Fest, June 10-12. Three true-crime books and twenty-seven novels bear his byline – including the celebrated Butch Karp and Marlene Ciampi crime/legal thriller series. His twenty-eighth novel, “Infamy,” is due out in September and number twenty-nine is currently in the works. An attorney, legal expert and true-life legal eagle, Tanenbaum has never lost a felony trial and is recognized as one of the nations most respected trial lawyers. [continue reading…]

 May 27, 2016  Posted by at 12:32 am Issue #168, Literature, What To Do No Responses »
May 272016
 
June 1-TIES Program Community Partner Appreciation Event

TIES program honors community partners at annual event. A highly successful program for young adults with intellectual challenges will mark its eleventh year with a June 1 luncheon honoring the critical role played by its community partners. The TIES (Transition to Independence, Employment and Success) program provides a teacher, job coach and facilities for students, ages 18-22, to learn, practice and network within real life settings to achieve their goals of independence. At the 11:30 a.m. luncheon at the Sigsbee Base Community Center, TIES students [continue reading…]

 May 27, 2016  Posted by at 12:30 am Issue #168, News, Special Event No Responses »
May 272016
 
Key West NOW Holds Historic Elections

Longtime Officers Retire NOW installs O’Grady, Warner and Desbiens The Key West chapter of the National Organization for Women recently elected and installed three new executive officers: President Robin L. O’Grady, Vice President and Treasurer Elizabeth Warner and Secretary Betty Desbiens. This election was historic, as it was the first major change of leadership since the local chapter was founded 20 years ago. Constance Gilbert, one of the chapter’s founding officers, was honored at the meeting for her years of leadership and service. Similarly honored [continue reading…]

 May 27, 2016  Posted by at 12:28 am Issue #168, News, Special Event 1 Response »
May 272016
 
The Other Band at Schooner Wharf Bar on Monday Nights

The Other Band is the latest outgrowth of the vast talent pool here in The Keys. It features Steve Gibson on mandolin and vocals, Michelle Dravis on guitar and lead vocals, and Bubba Lownotes on bass and vocals. They provide a different approach to roots and Americana for music lovers, with a unique blend of talents like no other. Their sound incorporates elements of the blues, country, folk, rock, and ragtime, with some hints of bluegrass and reggae. The result is fresh yet familiar, new [continue reading…]

 May 27, 2016  Posted by at 12:26 am Issue #168, Music, What To Do No Responses »
May 272016
 
The Heavy Pets Live at The Green Parrot

The Heavy Pets at Green Parrot Key West, FL Friday, June 3 and Saturday June 4 5:30pm and 10:00pm (six sets throughout the evening) Ages: 21+ The Heavy Pets are an American rock band that blends rhythm & blues, jazz, funk, disco and reggae with rock & roll. Called “a living, breathing force of nature” by Relix Magazine, The Pets are known for their soulful songcraft and powerhouse live performances. Continuing the momentum of their EP series, The Heavy Pets recorded and released Stolen Smile [continue reading…]

 May 27, 2016  Posted by at 12:24 am Issue #168, Music, What To Do No Responses »
May 272016
 
MCSD Public Meeting Notice

Monroe County School District Public Meeting Notice Community Meeting Gerald Adams Elementary School Construction Project Monroe County School District will hold its first community meeting for the Gerald Adams Elementary School construction project on Monday, June 6th from 6:00 to 8:00 pm. The meeting will be held at Gerald Adams, Cafeteria, 5855 College Road, Stock Island. The intent of the meeting is to seek public input on the design of the new facility, specifically how 21st century educational principles will be incorporated into the new [continue reading…]

 May 27, 2016  Posted by at 12:22 am Issue #168, News, Public Notice No Responses »
May 272016
 
Memorial Day Message From Sheriff Rick Ramsey

  Heavy traffic expected Memorial Day Weekend Memorial Day weekend is one of the busiest weekends of the year for traffic in the Florida Keys and this year will be no exception. That is the assessment of the Sheriff’s Office Traffic Enforcement Unit, which will be out in force this holiday weekend to make sure people are driving safely. All Sheriff’s Office Traffic Enforcement Officers will be assigned to work the entire holiday weekend and will work county-wide to help supplement road patrol, particularly on [continue reading…]

 May 27, 2016  Posted by at 12:20 am Issue #167, Public Notice No Responses »
May 272016
 
NAS Key West to Participate in Memorial Day Ceremonies

NAS Key West and the community will mark the Memorial Day holiday at two ceremonies Monday morning. At 9 a.m., the Navy League Key West Council will hold their annual ceremony at the Maine Memorial Plot in the Key West City Cemetery. NAS Key West Commanding Officer Capt. Steve McAlearney will be the guest speaker and the air station Honor Guard will render a 21-gun rifle salute. At 11 a.m., American Legion Post 28 will host their annual Memorial Day Service at the Southern Keys [continue reading…]

 May 27, 2016  Posted by at 12:18 am Issue #168, News, Special Event No Responses »
May 272016
 
Share the Beach: Help Coastal Birds This Summer​

Beachgoers Asked to “Fish, Swim, and Play from 50 Yards Away” (Washington, D.C.,) Memorial Day marks the start of summer, when millions of Americans head to beaches to enjoy time in the sun. It’s not just people who flock to the shore this time of year. Many birds have already staked out their own space on the beach, choosing nesting sites on the sand and raising their young along the shoreline, in the dunes, and in nearby marshy areas. American Bird Conservancy (ABC) is urging [continue reading…]

 May 27, 2016  Posted by at 12:16 am Issue #168, News, Public Notice No Responses »
May 272016
 
Family Fun at 39th Annual Memorial Day Survivors Party

  It’s a Family Fun Street Fair this Memorial Day – an all-welcome Survivors Party, on Monday, May 30 during the family-friendly hours of 4 p.m. till 8 p.m. The fun fair will be held in and around the BottleCap, located at the corner of Catherine and Simonton streets. There will be games of chance and skill such as bean toss and duck soup, with prizes for children and adults, plus the popular Pickle Wheel, cool karaoke in the a/c, sno cones, popcorn, cotton candy [continue reading…]

 May 27, 2016  Posted by at 12:14 am Issue #168, Special Events, What To Do No Responses »
May 272016
 
BOCC Special Budget Hearing

MONROE COUNTY’S PROPOSED FY17 BUDGET TO KEEP PROPERTY TAXES & SERVICES STABLE MARATHON – At Monroe County’s first public budget meeting for Fiscal Year 2017, the Board of County Commissioners was presented with a proposed budget that decreases the millage rate for property taxes while keeping the General Operating Fund’s contingency fund at a healthy six months of operating costs. This proposed budget, presented Tuesday at the Marathon Government Center, includes a $576,000 reduction in solid waste collection fees for its 32,000 residential households. The [continue reading…]

 May 27, 2016  Posted by at 12:10 am Issue #168, News, Public Notice 1 Response »
May 272016
 
Key West Sunrise Rotary Honors Gahan as Rotarian of the Year

Key West Sunrise Rotary President Jim Scholl named outgoing member Steve Gahan as Rotarian of the Year for his eleven years of service including two years heading international service programs and grants as a member of the Board of Directors. After retiring from the U.S. Navy, Gahan came to Key West in 2001 as a contractor in downrange logistic support for the Joint Interagency Task Force South. Although his JIATF-S duties often took him out of the country, Gahan made Rotary a priority, playing important [continue reading…]

 May 27, 2016  Posted by at 12:08 am Issue #168, News, Special Event No Responses »
May 272016
 
University of Florida Recognizes Outstanding Student Leader

Bobby Finigan is an outstanding student leader at the University of Florida who is a local from Key West. His parents, Dale & Lesley (Director of Engineering at Keys Energy & Poinciana School Academic Coach, respectively) currently reside in Key West. Bobby is a member of Theta Chi Fraternity, has recently been inducted into Florida Blue Key, the oldest and most prestigious leadership honorary in the state of Florida. Additionally, Finigan just finished his term as Chairman of Student Government Productions where he oversaw an $830,000 budget [continue reading…]

 May 27, 2016  Posted by at 12:06 am Issue #168, News, Public Notice No Responses »
May 272016
 
FKHSC's Safety Program Assists Keys Parents

Florida Keys Healthy Start Coalition is working hard to make child safety education and supplies available to all Keys parents. All parents and caregivers are invited to attend the Child Safety Event on Saturday, June 4, 2016, 9 am – 1 pm, at Horace O’Bryant School (1105 Leon St, Key West). Certified car seat technicians will be available to check installation on car seats already installed, as well as provide new car seats for Monroe County children who need one. Each new car seat fitting [continue reading…]

 May 27, 2016  Posted by at 12:04 am Issue #168, News, Public Notice No Responses »
May 272016
 
Monroe County Emergency Management Holds Hurricane Exercise

MARATHON – With hurricane season’s official start just around the corner on June 1, now is a good time to start your personal, family and business preparations. You can rest assured, however, that your County government already has been working hard behind the scenes to be ready for any storms that may come our way this year. On Thursday, Monroe County Emergency Management hosted a hurricane exercise for all Keys’ responders and entities involved in storm preparations and evacuations at the Emergency Operations Center in [continue reading…]

 May 27, 2016  Posted by at 12:02 am Issue #168, News, Special Event No Responses »
May 272016
 
Red Cross Home Fire Campaign Coming to Key West

Efforts will include installing smoke alarms and urging people to practice fire escape plans The American Red Cross Home Fire Campaign will visit Key West on June 11, 2016 starting at 10:00 a.m. at the Stadium Mobile Home Park, located at 1213 Glynn Archer Jr. Drive in Key West. Volunteers will install smoke alarms in homes that need them and teach people about what they can do now to be prepared should a fire break out in their home. Seven times a day someone in [continue reading…]

 May 27, 2016  Posted by at 12:00 am Issue #168, News, Public Notice No Responses »
May 242016
 
Man Arrested for Violent Upper Keys Rape

  A local man, 53-year old Johnny Hayes was arrested for violently raping and beating a Tavernier woman on March 13th. He is accused of grabbing her as she walked on a street near her home, dragging her into the bushes, beating her with some type of blunt object, threatening to kill her and then raping her. The attack allegedly took place just after 9 p.m. on the southbound side of highway U.S. One, east of the Tavernier Creek Bridge. The victim stated she was [continue reading…]

 May 24, 2016  Posted by at 7:08 pm News 1 Response »
May 232016
 
"Job Fix" at the School District?

After having personally signed off on Monique Acevedo’s purchasing card expenditures [which led to the $413,000 School District embezzlement case in 2009] Mike Henriquez was again at the center of a “where has the money gone” scandal last year for setting up an accounting system for the HOB day care program that was so loose that nearly $22,000 couldn’t be accounted for. SEE RELATED: HOB DAY CARE SCANDAL:  The Making of a Thief? A first year employee was fired. But Mike Henriquez was merely reprimanded. His [continue reading…]

 May 23, 2016  Posted by at 10:01 pm News 5 Responses »