May 132016
Medical Examiner Buys Himself Video Games, Gun Supplies and a Truck With County Money

by Arnaud and Naja Girard……. It all started with a dead body being hauled down US 1 on the back of an open-bed pickup truck. That was the unceremonious business practice of the new Monroe County Medical Examiner, Dr. Thomas Beaver. Families complained. Then employees at the Medical Examiner’s office began leaving. The first one to leave, Ryan Moe, claimed he was subjected to abusive treatment. He told the Keynoter last May that Beaver would leave him alone to conduct critical autopsy procedures, “He’d have [continue reading…]

May 132016
County Mayor Heather Carruthers: On Single Member Districts

The Mayor’s Letter to the Editor: There’s some talk right now about changing to single-member district (SMD) voting for Monroe County Commission seats. From my perspective, SMD elections would diminish voter representation and lead to legislative gridlock. With SMD elections, you vote for one Commissioner every four years. In our current at-large elections, you get to vote for all five Commissioners every four years, and for at least 40% of the Commission every two years. Suppose your SMD-elected Commissioner disagrees with you on a particular [continue reading…]

May 132016
Overview of Commissioner Margaret Romero's May 4th Community Meeting

[NOTE:  Commissioner Margaret Romero holds quarterly community meetings that have brought between 100 and 160 citizens together to talk about community issues.  Here is Commissioner Romero’s overview of her May 4th meeting.] by Commissioner Margaret Romero……. PEARY COURT There was much frustration expressed that the City Commission had approved the resolution to nominate over $12 million of Land Authority funds to deed restrict that property pertaining to the proposed purchase by a private investor. Many felt there was not enough information to justify such, that “Plan B” seemed [continue reading…]

 May 13, 2016  Posted by at 12:50 am Issue #166, News, Public Notice 3 Responses »
May 132016

Commentary by Dennis Reeves Cooper……. Have you been keeping up with the climate change/global warming controversy? Well, if you live in the Florida Keys– and especially if you own property here, where most of the land area is only about five feet or less above sea level– you might want to at least try to stay current on this topic. After all, former vice president and almost-president of the United States of America Al Gore has said that “sea level could be rising as much [continue reading…]

May 132016
MCSO Crime Report

Key Largo man charged with business burglary A Key Largo man was arrested Saturday, charged with attempting to pry a change machine off the wall in the laundry room at Largo RV Park Friday night. 28 year old Scott Prior rode a bike to the RV Park from a nearby wooded area where he was staying. He was caught on surveillance video using some type of pry bar to pry the change machine in the laundry room off of the wall. During the process, he [continue reading…]

 May 13, 2016  Posted by at 12:47 am Issue #166, News, Public Notice No Responses »
May 132016
Open Letter to the School Board: Cash Settlements and School Discipline

Gentlemen: According to news reports, MCSD is considering a lump sum $550,000 payout to the family of a profoundly autistic elementary school student. Purportedly, the child was molested by a substitute teacher who is now in federal prison. Again, according to news reports, the suit in federal court was brought not entirely because of the molestation, but because of the allegations that the child’s mother reported the incident(s) to officials at Sugarloaf School and was ignored. One expects that there is a foundation, a truthfulness, [continue reading…]

May 132016
Stock Island's Taj Mahal

Dear Editor, At last month’s BOCC meeting, the commission approved funding renovations for Bernstein Park in Stock Island. It is a small park which kids and adults use who live in Stock Island as well as other groups in the keys. The cost will be 8 million dollars. In 2013, when the project first came up, the cost to lift the field for flood, build new bathrooms and a storage space for equipment to maintain the park, was estimated at 3 million. Why now should [continue reading…]

 May 13, 2016  Posted by at 12:44 am Issue #166, Letter to the Editor 2 Responses »
May 132016

by Douglas Hattendorf……. I started mamaOcean after a life of working in and on these waters. I dove for universities, public aquariums, pet shops, created a reef for live rock and coral growth and gathered food for people’s dinner plates. I fished any species from bait to spearing dorado, wahoo, big grouper, snapper etc. I’m still a commercial lobster diver but I left for 4 plus years to see America and came back and its loaded with garbage here! Everywhere! What happened? So now I mainly hunt garbage. Plastic is [continue reading…]

 May 13, 2016  Posted by at 12:43 am Issue #166 No Responses »
May 132016
Thoughts on Hillary Clinton

by Alex Symington……. Because I express my views, I must expect opposing views. That is only natural. For most ideas and thoughts, there are counter ideas and thoughts, however, when I express my thoughts on Hillary Clinton I am confronted with a whole array of copy and paste presumptive reactions. “You are a sexist!” “You are in a boys club!”“Why don’t you just say it, you hate Hillary Clinton.” How to respond to that? First of all, I reserve “hate” for the deserving, not someone [continue reading…]

 May 13, 2016  Posted by at 12:42 am Alex Symington, Issue #166 8 Responses »
May 132016
Where the Blue Meets the Blue

by Ray Jason……. Never before and never since – had I felt such an elemental connection to our wet and wondrous planet. I was clinging to the top of AVENTURA’s mast, gazing at a panorama saturated in “blueness.” The dark blue of the Sea undulated to the horizon where it mated with the delicate blue of the Sky. It was like a “white-out” in a blizzard – but here in the Far Pacific it was a “blue-out.” I had climbed the 18 steps up my [continue reading…]

 May 13, 2016  Posted by at 12:40 am Island Voices, Issue #166 No Responses »
May 132016
Creations of a Lesser God...

by John Donnelly……. ‘Kitten Cuddlers’ are needed. Our more advanced, enlightened and humane neighbor to the North, Miami-Dade County, is seeking ‘Kitten Cuddlers‘. Although Miami-Dade Animal Services receives approximately 30,000 discarded animals a year, rather than preemptively killing these abandoned creatures, they’ve networked with citizens in the Greater Miami Area to provide 24 hour a day care, for the most defenseless of these animals. During their twice a month workshop for the public, Miami-Dade Animal Services teaches the proper handling and treatment of discarded kittens. [continue reading…]

 May 13, 2016  Posted by at 12:38 am Issue #166, John Donnelly No Responses »
May 132016
In Favor of the Mutually Assured Smack Down

So who is Edith Garrud and where does she tend bar? If you had asked me this yesterday, I would have first given you a blank look. (I’m very good at this, believe me.) Then after the requisite ten-second minimum it takes for my mental gears to turn, I would have shrugged and said something like “Search me.” Thanks to the May/June 2016 issue of Mental Floss, however, I now know who Garrud is along with the fact that she does not tend bar. What [continue reading…]

 May 13, 2016  Posted by at 12:36 am Issue #166, Kim Pederson No Responses »
May 132016

by Thomas L. Knapp……. Twitter’s making it just a little bit harder for the US intelligence community to surveil your online activity. As Kevin McCoy of USA Today reports, the company “told Dataminr, the business partner that sifts through and provides access to the full output of Twitter’s social media postings known as tweets, that it didn’t want the service provided to government investigators …” I’m sure the National Security Agency and other organizations will come up with their own tools to monitor your 140-character [continue reading…]

 May 13, 2016  Posted by at 12:34 am ~ Opinion ~, Editorial, Issue #166, Thomas L. Knapp No Responses »
May 132016
Review of “The Cripple of Inishmaan”

by Malcolm Willison……. Hurry, hurry, it’s your last chance. Yes, to see the Red Barn production of the London and Broadway success, “The Cripple of Inishmaan”, which ends its well-received run this very Saturday, May 14. The vibrant, even over-the-top play is by “Anglo-Irish” Martin McDonagh, most widely known for his recent film “In Bruges.” The current play is about the intense interactions of the fictional Irish living on a real island, Inishmaan, out in Galway Bay, especially the excitement that courses through the community [continue reading…]

 May 13, 2016  Posted by at 12:32 am Issue #166, Theater, What To Do No Responses »
May 132016
On Some Categories of Poems

by Kirby Congdon……. The Curator and Librarian of the Kenneth Spencer Research Library, Elspeth Healey, at the University of Kansas asked me, after I had sent her an early manuscript that had gotten misplaced among my own papers, how do I approach old work like that? Do I have difficulty making editorial changes or is the text considered, preferably, as a final one? The passage of time does give one a fresh view of old work. One’s ideas change. My reply to Ms. Healey is [continue reading…]

 May 13, 2016  Posted by at 12:30 am Issue #166, Kirby Congdon No Responses »
May 132016
The Sunshine Grill on White Street Has it All--for Me and I Hope You Too

by Martha K. Huggins……. Chris and Noelle Itrato met in an employee training class at Disney World–He was learning to be “Goofy” and she to be “Mickey Mouse.” Living in Orlando for many years, they came often to Key West because it “felt like home.” His wife, Noelle, a writer and artist, was especially interested in making a home in Key West. And having owned a restaurant in Tuscaloosa, Alabama–“Moe’s Southwest Grill—Chris could easily imagine himself having an eatery in our little slice of Paradise. [continue reading…]

 May 13, 2016  Posted by at 12:28 am Dining, Issue #166, What To Do 1 Response »
May 132016
Foster Care Month

Mayor Craig Cates, at the recent City Commission meeting, proclaimed the month of May as Foster Care Month. At any given time, there are between 90 and 100 children in Monroe County in need of foster care, according to Jeremy Wilkerson, Director of Community Development for Wesley House Family Services. As a large group of foster parents and some of the children in their charge came to the front of the room, Wilkerson noted that foster families “are the ones that open up their hearts [continue reading…]

 May 13, 2016  Posted by at 12:26 am Issue #166, News, Public Notice No Responses »
May 132016
Getting Ready for the Parade: Virginia Wark's Artbike

Virginia Wark glues cd’s to “Whirly-Giggles,” her art-bike entry for this Saturday’s Key West Art & Historical Society Papio Kinetic Sculpture Parade. “It was a last minute inspiration,” said Wark, whose seemingly endless well of inventiveness has enlivened many a Key West happening. “A friend gave me the cd’s and I thought, ‘what have I got and what can I do with it…’ I love that in Key West the kind of thinking that turns trash into art is celebrated and encouraged.” Registration to participate [continue reading…]

 May 13, 2016  Posted by at 12:22 am Art, Issue #166, What To Do No Responses »
May 132016
Marathon Resident Lori Russo Lands Walk-On Role in New York Times Bestselling Author Lisa Black’s Next Novel

Lori Russo, of Marathon, Florida, has won a walk-on cameo appearance in New York Times bestselling author Lisa Black’s next novel. The “character placement” contest was an early registration promotion for the Mystery Writers Key West Fest, set to take place June 10-12 at the DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Grand Key. While the namesake character’s internal character remains to be determined by the author, “I’m most comfortable being a positive role model, so I’m hoping it’s a heroic character with my name, not a villain,” [continue reading…]

 May 13, 2016  Posted by at 12:20 am Issue #166, News, Special Event No Responses »
May 132016

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 13, 2016  Posted by at 12:18 am Issue #166, Music, What To Do No Responses »
May 132016
Sheriff Honors Employees of the Quarter

At a ceremony held Friday, the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office honored its employees of the first quarter of 2016. In the photo, left to right: Sheriff Rick Ramsay, Explorer Yanelys Vergara, Detective Barney Sajdak, Records Assistant Rita Hinerman, Detention Deputy Kendrick Wooding and Reserve Deputy Jennifer Ettish.

 May 13, 2016  Posted by at 12:14 am Issue #166, News, Public Notice No Responses »
May 132016
Alcohol Compliance Checks

Between April 27th and May 5th, the Sheriff’s Special Investigations Unit conducted operations checking businesses that sell alcohol in the Middle and Upper Keys. A total of 43 businesses were checked including restaurants, convenience stores and bars. Five businesses served alcohol to a minor during our investigation. The clerks who sold the alcohol were issued notices to appear before a Monroe County judge. The following are the businesses, and attendants who sold the alcohol: Tom Thumb- 2565 Overseas Highway, Marathon. Attendant: Guillermo S. Acuna, 61 [continue reading…]

 May 13, 2016  Posted by at 12:10 am Issue #166, News, Public Notice No Responses »
May 132016
Emergency Management Director Irene Toner Receives Lifetime Achievement Award

Monroe County’s Emergency Management Director Irene Toner received the Lifetime Achievement Award Thursday during the 30th Annual Governor’s Hurricane Conference. Toner was one of 14 recipients to receive various award from the Governor’s Hurricane Conference Board of Directors. She was recognized for her outstanding contributions and accomplishments in the field of hurricane preparedness, response, recovery and mitigation at the local, state and national level. Toner retires on June 30th, after nearly two decades of service to Monroe County and 35 years working in emergency management. [continue reading…]

 May 13, 2016  Posted by at 12:08 am Issue #166, News, Special Event No Responses »
May 132016
Kamp Fest - Flag Football, Saturday, May 14th

Kamp Fest introduces a new sport in it’s week of athletic events this year. Flag Football will be played Saturday, May 14th at Wicker Field beginning at 10AM All are welcome to join. The event is free to watch and free to play Sponsored by the Key West Business Guild, & International Women’s Flag Football Association Women, Girls, Boys and Men are invited to sign up to play by Friday 10AM Contact Diane (305) 896 – 8678 or email: IWFFA@IWFFA.COM We will have practice Thur [continue reading…]

 May 13, 2016  Posted by at 12:06 am Issue #166, Special Events, What To Do No Responses »
May 132016
Registration is Still Open for the Key West Art & Historical Society’s ArtCamp!

Registration is still open for this summer’s ArtCamp! at Fort East Martello’s Imagination Institute, a camp for children aged 5-12. The program celebrates Key West’s rich artistic history and natural landscape over a series of nine weeks beginning June 13 and running through August 12. The camp, in operation for over thirty years, marks Key West Art & Historical Society’s commitment to the youth programming and educational initiatives that aim to inspire a greater sense of place and historical understanding about our island home. “Engaging [continue reading…]

 May 13, 2016  Posted by at 12:04 am Art, Issue #166, Special Events, What To Do No Responses »
May 132016
Green Commute Winners

Mayor Craig Cates recently commended the dedicated people who competed in the March Green Commute Challenge, to find more efficient means of commuting to work. The Challenged pitted the community’s largest employers against each other. Employees logged points depending on their means of transportation. The more environmentally sound the commute, the higher the points. The City of Key West had the most self-powered employees commuting five days in a row. First State Bank took 3rd place in employers with 100-399 employees and 4th place in [continue reading…]

 May 13, 2016  Posted by at 12:02 am Issue #166, News, Public Notice No Responses »
May 132016
Learn About Green Landscaping

For the next eight weeks, the community is invited to enjoy Florida-friendly landscaping classes. Learn about environmentally friendly landscaping practices that you can implement in your own yard. Classes are held every Thursday from 1 until 4 p.m. at the Gato Building, 1100 Simonton, from May 5th until June 23rd. Topics are: May 5: Sense of place, learn about Keys soil and climate May 12: Water Quality, conservation and efficiency May 19: Fertilize appropriately, and how to compost May 26: Right plant, right place June [continue reading…]

 May 13, 2016  Posted by at 12:00 am Issue #166, Special Events, What To Do No Responses »