Sep 292017
After Irma, Florida Keys to Officially Reopen to Visitors Oct. 1

After the Florida Keys were impacted by Hurricane Irma Sept. 10, local government officials announced Monday that the island chain would reopen to visitors Sunday, Oct. 1. While Key Largo and Key West were least impacted by the Category 4 storm, not all lodging, including RV resorts and other tourism facilities throughout the Keys, are operating on a normal basis. Potential visitors should call ahead to ensure hotels and their favorite attractions are open. Some hotels are accommodating displaced residents under a Federal Emergency Management Agency [continue reading…]

 September 29, 2017  Posted by at 6:20 am Issue #236, News, Public Notice 1 Response »
Sep 292017
Monroe County Emergency Management Hurricane Irma Recovery Update

  MONROE COUNTY EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT HURRICANE IRMA RECOVERY UPDATE DOG PARK The dog park is now open at Monroe County’s Higgs Beach in Key West. For now, the entrance is through the gated antenna site off of White Street. Visitors will need to stay within the barricaded areas. The Atlantic Boulevard entrance and the rest of Higgs Beach remain closed at this time. DISASTER RECOVERY CENTER A new FEMA Disaster Recovery Center will open Sunday at Fire Station #20 in Islamorada, next to Founders Park. The hours [continue reading…]

 September 29, 2017  Posted by at 6:09 am Issue #236, News, Public Notice No Responses »
Sep 292017
First FEMA Trailers Delivered to Keys for Displaced Residents of Hurricane Irma

The first FEMA travel trailers were delivered on Wednesday to Naval Air Station Key West. They are for eligible residents approved by FEMA through individual assistance. To date, FEMA has approved 84 travel trailers for Monroe County survivors who have lost their homes or their homes are too damaged to live in.

 September 29, 2017  Posted by at 5:51 am Issue #236, News, Public Notice No Responses »
Sep 292017
Hurricane Irma Local Assessment and Concerns

by Joseph Hopp, Big Pine Key resident……. HOTELS, HOTELS, HOTELS For years the hospitality industry has been lobbying against any vacation rentals but their own; the very people who invited the hotels into the Keys; hotels that, from mile marker to mile marker charge $200 to $1,200 a night year round. They lobbied against one of the first B & B’s on the islands, I know personally because my parents had one of the very early Bed & Breakfasts in the Florida Keys. The properties [continue reading…]

 September 29, 2017  Posted by at 5:47 am Issue #236, Letter to the Editor 1 Response »
Sep 292017
Coast Guard Offloads Approximately $15 Million Worth of Cocaine

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Coast Guard Cutter Valiant crewmembers offloaded approximately 490 kilograms of cocaine worth an estimated wholesale value of approximately $15 million in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Wednesday. The offload is a result of interdictions from three separate cases in the Eastern Pacific in September. “The Coast Guard is committed to combatting transnational criminal organizations at sea and each of these interdictions will lead to federal prosecutions, that in turn provide intelligence we can use to interdict more illicit shipments of drugs, people and weapons at sea,” [continue reading…]

 September 29, 2017  Posted by at 5:40 am Issue #236, News, Public Notice No Responses »
Sep 292017
The Russia-Blamers Think You're Stupid

by Thomas L. Knapp……. “Russian operatives used Facebook ads to exploit America’s racial and religious divisions,” the Washington Post claims in a September 25 headline. Over at The Daily Beast, Dean Obeidallah explains “How Russian Hackers Used My Face to Sabotage Our Politics and Elect Trump.” And US Senator James Lankford (R-OK) thinks that “the Russians and their troll farms” (as opposed to Donald Trump and professional football players) are behind the current “take a knee” kerfuffle between Donald Trump and professional football players. Because, [continue reading…]

 September 29, 2017  Posted by at 5:37 am ~ Opinion ~, Issue #236, Thomas L. Knapp 4 Responses »
Sep 292017
Privacy and Politics: The Hypocrisy of the Surveillance Statists

by Thomas L. Knapp……. The New York Times reports that at least six members of the Trump administration used personal email accounts to discuss White House matters. Given president Donald Trump’s campaign and post-campaign harping (as the Times puts it) on former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s illegal use of a private server and mishandling of classified information, it’s unsurprising to hear charges of hypocrisy from Democratic quarters. But the hypocrisy here  a matter of  political class elitism, not partisan politics. Those in power, regardless [continue reading…]

 September 29, 2017  Posted by at 5:37 am ~ Opinion ~, Issue #236, Thomas L. Knapp No Responses »
Sep 292017
Social Media: When Does "Actively Working With the Government" Become Censorship?

by Thomas L. Knapp……. In a September 21 post, Mark Zuckerberg shared nine steps the  site he started is taking “to protect election integrity and make sure that Facebook is a force for good in democracy,” by “actively working with the government” and “partnering with public authorities.” The day before that, the United Kingdom’s prime minister, Theresa May, used the United Nations General Assembly as a forum to demand that social media networks “ensure terrorist material [read: content that May disapproves of] is detected and [continue reading…]

 September 29, 2017  Posted by at 5:37 am ~ Opinion ~, Issue #236, Thomas L. Knapp 2 Responses »
Sep 292017
Hurricane Grants for Artists + Small Works Call

Good news! Our friends at the Florida Keys Council of the Arts have opened their Hurricane Emergency Relief Fund for Monroe County Artists and Arts Organizations directly affected by Hurricane Irma. Please click HERE to complete their simple application. CALLING ALL ARTISTS: Deadline extended to October 6 to enter Lemonade Stand Gallery’s Annual Juried Small Works Exhibit. The rules are simple – nothing more than 10” in any direction – but the possibilities are endless. Lemonade Stand Gallery has attracted artists from around the world for this juried [continue reading…]

 September 29, 2017  Posted by at 5:36 am Issue #236, News, Special Event No Responses »
Sep 292017
Radical Rollback of Clean Water Protections

Repeal And Replace Waters of U.S. Safeguards Rooted In ‘Alternative Facts’ Washington, DC — The Trump effort to slash the scope of Clean Water Act protections is unprecedented, underhanded, and unsupported by a factual record, according to public comments filed Wednesday by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). The net result of his plan would jeopardize the drinking water sources for one in three American, weaken flood control, and degrade aquatic habitats. Wednesday was the public comment deadline for Step 1 of a two-step plan [continue reading…]

 September 29, 2017  Posted by at 5:21 am Issue #236, News, Public Notice No Responses »
Sep 292017

by Kirby Congdon……. Cricket Carried in the spin of earth’s dogged days, allowed to see the space of time in an eon’s length, I heard a cricket sing to entice a mate. That brave thread like the spread of a spider’s web, made the starlight ring as even silence sang among neurons engaged in errands quickly sent to the inside depths of my singing head. Kirby Congdon

 September 29, 2017  Posted by at 5:21 am Issue #236, Kirby Congdon No Responses »
Sep 292017
Injured Cyclist Dies

A Key West bicyclist who was critically injured on North Roosevelt Blvd Sunday morning has died. John C. Potter, 81, was pedaling across the crosswalk at Key Plaza when the crash occurred. He was flown to Ryder Trauma Center in critical condition. Potter crossed from the Home Depot side of North Roosevelt. As he came through the center island of the crosswalk, a Chevy pickup in the outbound lane slowed and crossed into the crosswalk. Potter’s bicycle struck the truck, driven by Modesto Mendoza Lopez, 52, also [continue reading…]

 September 29, 2017  Posted by at 5:07 am Issue #236, News, Public Notice No Responses »
Sep 292017
Marathon Community Theatre Auditions for the New Season

Marathon, FL – Marathon Community Theatre, like nearly every other business and resident in the Florida Keys, took a major hit from Hurricane Irma. The 2017-2018 season will be modified until repairs can be made to the building. At this time, MCT plans to present a Christmas Variety Show in December which will serve not only as a welcome relief from the devastation but also as a fundraiser to help MCT make necessary repairs to the building. In addition, a spring musical, title yet to [continue reading…]

 September 29, 2017  Posted by at 5:03 am Issue #236, News, Special Event No Responses »
Sep 292017
Best Practices for Removal of Vessels

MIAMI — The Emergency Support Function 10 (ESF 10) Florida, consisting of multiple state and federal agencies, is continuing efforts to assess and remove hazards in the wake of Hurricane Irma. Coast Guard and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission members are conducting assessments of damaged and sunken vessels in the areas most affected by Hurricane Irma. These assessments assist in providing an overarching image to the unified command of the effects of the storm, allowing for the effective placement of assets, expediting the response [continue reading…]

 September 29, 2017  Posted by at 5:00 am Issue #236, News, Public Notice No Responses »
Sep 292017
Monroe County Students to Receive Free Meals in School After Hurricane Irma

MONROE COUNTY, Fla. – Students in Monroe County Schools will return to schools after Hurricane Irma able to receive free breakfast and free lunch. All of traditional schools and some charter schools will be able to receive meals through October 20th. Students at the following schools who already offer reduced or free meal plans will be able to receive breakfast and lunch for free, regardless of eligibility: Key Largo School Coral Shores High School Plantation Key School Treasure Village Montessori School Marathon Middle High School Stanley [continue reading…]

 September 29, 2017  Posted by at 4:42 am Issue #236, News, Public Notice No Responses »
Sep 292017
Monroe County Substantial Damage Assessment and Floodplain Regulations

MONROE COUNTY, FL – As Hurricane Irma survivors in Monroe County continue rebuilding their lives, property owners will face many challenges. The County is focused on public safety as its foremost mission. Recovery and rebuilding the community will focus on making homes and businesses more resilient. Newer Structures built to current code and elevated were far less damaged by Hurricane IRMA. County Inspection teams are currently accessing properties that have “substantial damage,” as defined by the National Flood Insurance Program. It’s common to think substantial damage [continue reading…]

 September 29, 2017  Posted by at 4:37 am Issue #236, News, Public Notice No Responses »
Sep 292017
Sheriff's Crime Report

Update 9/30/17: Man arrested for stabbing another man on Stock Island A 77 year old Stock Island man went to jail Friday for stabbing another man at a trailer on 5th Avenue, Stock Island. When Lt. Donnie Catala and Deputies John Allen and Wendy Negron arrived at 3:30 p.m. the suspect and victim were still on the scene. The 66 year old male victim was bleeding from cuts to his hand and chest. The suspect, Manuel Garcia, was sitting at a table at the front [continue reading…]

 September 29, 2017  Posted by at 4:28 am Issue #236, News, Public Notice No Responses »
Sep 292017
Naples Soap Company Closes Store in Key West

NAPLES, Fla. – Upon further assessment of the damage caused by Hurricane Irma, Naples Soap Company has announced that it will permanently close its store in Key West, Florida. Naples Soap Company’s Key West location was opened in 2012, located at 128 Duval St. in the heart of downtown Key West. “We have been a member of our beloved Key West community for five years, and it is with a heavy heart that we close our Key West location,” said Deanna Wallin, founder and chief innovation officer [continue reading…]

 September 29, 2017  Posted by at 4:21 am Issue #236, News, Special Event No Responses »
Sep 292017
Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary Seeks Lost Buoys After Hurricane

Hurricane Irma’s churning seas damaged and displaced buoys that mark areas with specific regulations, assist with navigation, and provide information. Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary asks boaters to report damaged or missing line, missing buoys and found buoys to 305-852-7717 from Key Largo to Marathon and 305-809-4727 for Marathon through Key West and the Dry Tortugas. Yellow, 30-inch diameter buoys mark zones such as Sanctuary Preservation Areas, Ecological Reserves and Special-use Research Only areas. Spar buoys are cylindrical, tall and white with orange markings for Wildlife Management Areas and [continue reading…]

 September 29, 2017  Posted by at 4:11 am Issue #236, News, Public Notice No Responses »
Sep 292017
Federal Disaster Assistance Information for Monroe County Survivors of Hurricane Irma

Disaster Recovery Center This week, FEMA opened a Disaster Recovery Center at Monroe County’s Big Pine Community Park, 31009 Atlantis Drive. The hours are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily until further notice. Disaster Recovery Centers offer in-person support to individuals and small businesses. Recovery specialists from FEMA, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), and the State are available to provide assistance to anyone with filling out applications or updating their status. The registration process is the first step in recovery and requires information such as insurance policies, [continue reading…]

 September 29, 2017  Posted by at 4:01 am Issue #236, News, Public Notice No Responses »
Sep 292017
Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center Reopens Following Hurricane Irma

The Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center reopened on Wednesday, Sept. 27, for regular hours. Like the Key West and Key Largo offices of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, the Eco-Discovery Center closed on Sept. 5 in preparation for Hurricane Irma. The center, located on the Truman waterfront in Key West, suffered minor water damage and will resume regular hours, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Tuesday-Saturday. The Eco-Discovery Center features interactive and dynamic exhibits depicting the terrestrial habitats and the marine ecosystem of the Florida Keys. Admission is free. [continue reading…]

 September 29, 2017  Posted by at 4:00 am Issue #236, News, Public Notice No Responses »
Sep 292017
Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary Assesses Impact of Hurricane Irma

Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary staff is assessing the impact of Hurricane Irma to our underwater environment. The Category 4 storm caused serious damage on land and, undoubtedly, created changes in the waters surrounding the Florida Keys. Assessments of the impacts to sanctuary resources are being coordinated with local and state governments, nongovernmental organizations, and academic research and monitoring partners. We are also working with Monroe County, the State of Florida, the US Coast Guard, and other agencies involved in recovery and cleanup efforts in the [continue reading…]

 September 29, 2017  Posted by at 3:42 am Issue #236, News, Public Notice No Responses »
Sep 292017
Katie Holtkamp Held Over @ SALT

SALT Gallery, located at 830 Fleming St., will hold over local artist Katie Holtkamp’s newest offerings for the entire month of October. The show, entitled “The Little Things,” features Katie’s mixed media paintings, which exalt the simple things that continue to make her fall in love with Key West. To celebrate the extension of the show, SALT will be hosting an opening reception at the gallery from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 6. Katie was born in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and grew up in [continue reading…]

 September 29, 2017  Posted by at 3:12 am Art, Issue #236, What To Do No Responses »
Sep 292017
First School Open in Keys

Parents, volunteers, and staff pulled together over the weekend at The Children’s School to open on Monday, September 25.  Board President, Evan Haskell, coordinated the event.  He said “providing families with a safe and secure educational environment was paramount to the stability and sense of community that families need right now”.

 September 29, 2017  Posted by at 3:02 am Issue #236, News, Special Event No Responses »
Sep 292017
Post-Irma Gratitude + Resources for Artists

Dear Friends of The Studios, I’m sure we’ll be sorting out the lessons of Irma for years, but the first thing on our mind today is gratitude – for this beautiful island of ours, the people who live here, and our capacity for regeneration.   At The Studios, our first concern is for the artists who are the lifeblood of our creative community. If you’re an artist, let us know what you need. If you know artists in need, please encourage them to contact us; simply navigating [continue reading…]

 September 29, 2017  Posted by at 2:18 am Issue #236, News, Public Notice No Responses »