Oct 272017
County Commissioners' Ethical Problems Get Worse

Taxpayers to Pay Up to $50k to Help Them Fill Out Simple Form by Rick Boettger……. News break—I just received a copy of Mark Herron’s contract from an attorney in County Attorney Bob Schillinger’s office.  Herron will get $300/hour plus expenses to vet not only the Commissioners’ but their “employees,” whoever that includes, but “. . .do not exceed $49,999.99.”  They say this is authorized by Section 2-58(b)(3) of the county code.  I, and if necessary my Harvard lawyer, will take a close look at [continue reading…]

Oct 272017
FEMA Rental Assistance Information for Irma Survivors and for Homeowners Who Want to Rent to Survivors

Hurricane Irma left many people without homes in the Florida Keys. Some of the displaced people have received or have been approved for FEMA rental assistance grants, which cover the first two months. Monroe County’s Irma housing task force worked with FEMA to increase the “continued” rental assistance provided to disaster survivors. FEMA recently approved rental assistance of a cap up to 300 percent the FY 2018 Fair Market Rent Figures, beginning in the third month – and provided the disaster survivor continues to meet FEMA [continue reading…]

 October 27, 2017  Posted by at 1:02 am Issue #240, News, Public Notice No Responses »
Oct 272017
The Disaster Recovery Center in Big Pine Key has Relocated with New Hours

  The Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) in Big Pine Key at the Big Pine Key Community Park has reopened at a new location, 30572 Overseas Highway. Beginning Sunday, Oct. 29, these are the new hours, Monday through Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. and Sunday 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. WHAT: Disaster Recovery Centers offer in-person support to individuals and small business owners.              Recovery specialists from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the U.S Small Business Administration (SBA), and the State of Florida, are available to provide assistance to anyone needing help completing [continue reading…]

 October 27, 2017  Posted by at 12:58 am Issue #240, News, Public Notice No Responses »
Oct 272017
Flood Insurance Policyholders: Understand Your Claims Options

In an effort to quickly get recovery funds into the hands of survivors, FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) has enhanced the flood insurance claims process with changes to how you file your claim. If you’re a policyholder, understand the process and options to speed your recovery from Hurricane Irma. Advance Payments May be Available: Advance payments may be available to eligible policyholders. After filing your claim, discuss an advance payment with your insurer. You may receive a check for up to $5,000 as an [continue reading…]

 October 27, 2017  Posted by at 12:57 am Issue #240, News, Public Notice No Responses »
Oct 272017
Evacuation vs. Debris Removal

by Dr. Larry Murray……. When the new county Emergency Management Director took office last year, I called to tell him that the county spent way too much time and energy planning hurricane evacuation and not enough was spent on post-hurricane problems, most prominently debris removal.  Looks like my “prediction” has come true. Monroe County should long ago have designated sites for storing mountains of hurricane debris.  Using the School District property at Marathon Manor is a disaster.  The soil will be contaminated with who knows what [continue reading…]

 October 27, 2017  Posted by at 12:56 am Dr. Larry Murray, Issue #240, Letter to the Editor 2 Responses »
Oct 272017
GM Antibiotic-Dependent Mosquitoes: "Are we pouring gasoline on one public health crisis hoping to treat another?"

by Dr. John W Norris……. Are we pouring gasoline on one public health crisis hoping to treat another? Voters said no in Key Haven, Florida, to a trial release of genetically modified antibiotic-dependent mosquitoes in 2016. The analysis of FDA public comment by Bloss et al was a start to look at why. One significant factor was the impact of community physicians on the delay of the field trial. Shortly after the close of the FDA public comment period, practicing physicians in the Key Haven, Florida area [continue reading…]

 October 27, 2017  Posted by at 12:56 am Issue #240, News, Public Notice No Responses »
Oct 272017

Storm The cast iron statue of an athlete stood firm against any reckless lack of care. Its heavy weight assured us nothing sturdy fails. Beauty glows whenever even strangers’ eyes or a sculptor’s hand prove it’s there under the shallow surface of distress. Our lives still remain beyond catastrophies when, anonymous, all we knew lay aimless, beyond repair, across the floor. Identity, for the two of us, even now, with only ruins to clarify the world that was, has no need for names. Mind and [continue reading…]

 October 27, 2017  Posted by at 12:54 am Issue #240, Kirby Congdon No Responses »
Oct 272017
Twitter versus RT: Which One is State Media Again?

by Thomas L. Knapp……. America’s New Red Scare escalated in mid-October as the US Department of Justice demanded that the US division of television network RT (formerly known as Russia Today) register as a “foreign agent” under the aptly named Foreign Agents Registration Act. The obvious purpose of DoJ’s demand is to keep the guttering flame of panic over “Russian election meddling” from going completely out. It’s a publicity stunt and that’s pretty much all it is  (no word of similar registration demands to personnel [continue reading…]

 October 27, 2017  Posted by at 12:50 am Issue #240, Thomas L. Knapp No Responses »
Oct 272017
The Cure for Weinstein is a Cultural Change

by Thomas L. Knapp……. How many women did Harvey Weinstein victimize?  When did he  start down the continuum leading from Hollywood’s shamefully tolerated “casting couch”  overtures to  increasingly flagrant sexual harassment, and finally (if we believe his accusers, as I think we should) open sexual assault? We’ll probably never know. But one thing we do know: There was a first time, a Victim Zero. While neither that victim nor the others should be blamed for what happened to them, it’s worth asking why there followed [continue reading…]

 October 27, 2017  Posted by at 12:48 am Issue #240, Thomas L. Knapp No Responses »
Oct 272017
First District Court of Appeals Hears FIRM’s Oral Arguments

On October 10, 2017 the First District Court of Appeals heard FIRM’S arguments that the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR) acted contrary to Florida law in denying FIRM’s request for an Administrative Hearing concerning the wind insurance rate setting process for Monroe County. FIRM has long believed that the rate setting method used by Citizens Property Insurance (CPIC) and approved by OIR is flawed in many respects and particularly as it is applied to Monroe County. The proceedings can be viewed on the FIRM [continue reading…]

 October 27, 2017  Posted by at 12:46 am Issue #240, News, Special Event No Responses »
Oct 272017
FEMA Encourages Survivors to Be Aware Of And Report Fraudulent Activities

WASHINGTON – The Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recently became aware of potentially suspicious activity related to the recovery from hurricanes and the wildfires including fraudulent registrations.  Extensive review of FEMA system security logs found no indications of compromise to the system; however, FEMA and its partners are taking necessary steps to determine impacts of the fraudulent activities and to implement long-term solutions.  To address these instances, FEMA is notifying survivors, by phone or mail and is instituting additional verification [continue reading…]

 October 27, 2017  Posted by at 12:44 am Issue #240, News, Public Notice No Responses »
Oct 272017
Final Sweep of Hurricane Debris Begins Oct. 29 for Some Parts of Monroe County

MONROE COUNTY, FL – If you live in Key Largo, Tavernier, Conch Key, Duck Key, Layton or between Mile Marker 5 on Stock Island and Mile Marker 15 on Baypoint, you must put your hurricane debris on the County right of way (curbside) by the evening of Saturday, Oct. 28, 2017 to be guaranteed free pickup. Final sweeps of those areas begin Sunday, Oct. 29. After the completion of the final sweeps, which will take a few days, residents in these service areas will need to make individual arrangements [continue reading…]

 October 27, 2017  Posted by at 12:42 am Issue #240, News, Public Notice No Responses »
Oct 272017
Fear the Reaper?

by Kim Pederson……. At the end of my annual physical exam last week, my doctor congratulated me on my good health report and told me, with a smile, that with such good numbers I would likely live forever. My response? You’re kidding, right? While eternal longevity is appealing in some respects, for many adults, especially in first-world countries with decent, or at least adequate, and somewhat affordable or, if you’re lucky, free health care, this is a scary fiscal prospect and prompts them (well, me [continue reading…]

 October 27, 2017  Posted by at 12:41 am Issue #240, Kim Pederson 1 Response »
Oct 272017
Book Review:

by Kirby Congdon……. Blue Collar Review Vol. 20, Issue 4 (Summer 2017) Several names are familiar. This means, for them, writing poetry is an addiction. That’s my kind of poet. The definition of it all gas to go back to Lucretius. We’re not sure why it works, but we know when it does. Mary Franke tries some experimental phrasing with contemporary references. “I’m letting it ride. My life I mean.” Don Narkevic’s “Elegy for a Seamstress” ends with “After a prayer they …. decide whose [continue reading…]

 October 27, 2017  Posted by at 12:40 am Issue #240, Kirby Congdon No Responses »
Oct 272017
Fantasy Fest Safe Ride Shuttle

Why stress about parking and traffic to see this year’s Fantasy Fest parade when you can ride the shuttle? Let Key West Transit’s Safe Ride do the driving!  The shuttle begins at 5 p.m. Saturday and runs continuously until 2 a.m. Fare is just $2 per trip on the local route and $4 per trip for the Lower Keys Shuttle. The shuttles cover Key West and Stock Island, as well as the Lower Keys Shuttle between Marathon and Key West. The downtown drop off point is Fausto’s on Fleming Street, [continue reading…]

 October 27, 2017  Posted by at 12:38 am Issue #240, News, Public Notice No Responses »
Oct 272017
Sheriff's Crime Report

Death in fire suspicious in nature Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes detectives say a woman found dead in a house fire in Key Largo had wounds on her body that appear suspicious in nature. Deputies and firefighters responded to a house fire at 720 Ponce De Leon Boulevard at 9:40 p.m. Saturday. Deputy Jason Farr and Sgt. Scott Ward were first on the scene. They walked the perimeter of the house trying to determine if anyone was inside and found the back doors of the house wide open. [continue reading…]

 October 27, 2017  Posted by at 12:36 am Issue #240, News, Public Notice No Responses »
Oct 272017
<Monroe /> COMPUTE$ Commits Thousands of Dollars to Increase Certifications

Monroe County School District officials have accepted the challenge to increase the amount of IT industry certifications throughout the district. Monroe Computes benefactors in return have committed $100,000 in rewards for students. The goal is to increase the number of certifications from 300 the year before to 1,000 in the 2017-2018 school year. Key West philanthropists John Padget and Jacob Dekker have agreed to donate enough cash for students to be able to continue to receive awards for completing the certification. “We are thrilled that increasing [continue reading…]

 October 27, 2017  Posted by at 12:34 am Issue #240, News, Public Notice No Responses »
Oct 272017
SALT Gallery Presents “Sunny Side of the Street”: Opening Reception Nov. 3

For the month of November, SALT Gallery (830 Fleming St., www.saltislandprovisions.com) will feature “Sunny Side of the Street”, a new collection of light and loose ink drawings by local artist Judi Bradford. To celebrate the opening of the show, SALT will be hosting an opening reception at the gallery from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 3rd. Judi’s lively and playful ink drawings capture the characters, nature, and street corners of Key West. She brings a history of graphic arts and comic drawing to these new views of her [continue reading…]

 October 27, 2017  Posted by at 12:32 am Art, Issue #240, What To Do No Responses »
Oct 272017
Fantasy Fest Façade Contest Winners Announced

Each year Key West guesthouses, businesses and private homes compete for cash prizes in the Reddy Ice Fantasy Façade ™ Competition. 2017 winners are: tying for 1st Prize in the Private Residence category: Teri Johnston, 1503 Washington Street, with “Key West Cemetery,” and Dawson Whitehurst, 918 Fleming Street, with “Demise of Hurricane Irma.” Winning Guesthouse is Atlantis House, 1401 Atlantic Blvd., with “Halloween Town.” Small Business winner is Banana Café, 1215 Duval Street, with “Ooh La La” and Big Business winner is Sloppy Joe’s, 210 Duval Street, with “Back to Our Beginning.” Honorable mentions for [continue reading…]

 October 27, 2017  Posted by at 12:28 am Issue #240, News, Special Event No Responses »
Oct 272017
South Florida Theater Company Gives Back to the Community After Irma

Free Theatre Performance for Children and Families at Monroe County Library Saturday, November 4, 2018 at 11:00 AM Key Largo Branch Library, 101485 Overseas Highway, Key Largo, FL 33037-4553 Upper Florida Keys and surrounding communities FREE MIAMI, FL – Fantasy Theatre Factory (FTF) will be providing a FREE public performance of its spooky, Halloween-themed program Little Monster Tales to residents of the Upper Florida Keys on November 4, 2017 at 11:00 am in an effort to give back to the community and to further assist with a return of the arts [continue reading…]

 October 27, 2017  Posted by at 12:26 am Issue #240, Theater, What To Do No Responses »
Oct 272017
Fantasy Fest Wanderings I - "Time Travel Unravels End"

LET THE FANTASIES & WILD TIMES BEGIN…………. Join me as we “Wander” through 10 days of Fantasy Fest 2017 as “Time Travel Unravels” This is our 18th year celebrating Fantasy Fest so “Wander” with us as we navigate our way each day through the dozens of Wild and Crazy times of Fantasy Fest 2017. Visit this year’s blog and my Fantasy Fest website Click Link to visit my Day by Day “Fantasy Fest Wanderings” blog: http://billklipp.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/10/Fantasy-Fest-wanderings-I-oct-2017—–Time-Travel-Unravels For 18 years of my Fantasy Fest photos visit:  http://www.FantasyFest.me  PS: If [continue reading…]

 October 27, 2017  Posted by at 12:24 am Issue #240, Special Events, What To Do No Responses »
Oct 272017
Legos Go to Needy Kids

Monroe County Sheriff’s School Resource Deputy Derick Velez worked with Stanley Switlik School Counselor Chris Willis and Dean of Students Christina Rodriguez to match these LEGO sets, donated by LEGOLAND Discovery Center in Atlanta, with the children who needed them most at the school. Switlik School is located in one of areas of the county that sustained damage from Hurricane Irma these children come from families most affected by Hurricane Irma.

 October 27, 2017  Posted by at 12:22 am Issue #240, News, Special Event No Responses »
Oct 272017
Florida Keys National Wildlife Refuges Complex Phased Re-Opening

At 0800 on September 5, 2017, The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service closed all facilities and trails and cancelled all planned programs in the Crocodile Lake National Wildlife Refuge on Key Largo, the National Key Deer Refuge on Big Pine Key and the Key West and Great White Heron National Wildlife Refuges in the lower Keys as a result of Hurricane Irma. Like our neighbors, the Refuges and Refuge infrastructure sustained the whole spectrum of hurricane damage ranging from cosmetic to total destruction. As Refuge [continue reading…]

 October 27, 2017  Posted by at 12:20 am Issue #240, News, Public Notice No Responses »
Oct 272017
Key West National Wildlife Refuge Temporary Closures – November 7th-14th, 2017

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will be closing Boca Grande Key, Woman Key, and the Marquesas Keys in Key West National Wildlife Refuge from November 7-14, 2017.  All beach access will be closed to the public to protect wildlife and critical habitat from disturbance.   These islands are all part of the Federal Wilderness System.  Historically there has been extreme disturbance from boaters at this time of year in these areas and these closures aim to eliminate such impacts.  The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service along [continue reading…]

 October 27, 2017  Posted by at 12:20 am Issue #240, News, Public Notice No Responses »
Oct 272017
South Florida Symphony Debuts 20th Key West Season with ‘Great American Songbook’

Audiences are to be transported back to a golden era featuring the music of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein, George and Ira Gershwin, Hoagy Carmichael, Johnny Mercer, Cole Porter, Irving Berlin and more when the South Florida Symphony presents “Celebrating the Great American Songbook.” The salute to these 20th-century songwriting legends is the opening concert of the symphony’s 20th anniversary season. It will be performed Wednesday, Nov. 15, at 7:30 p.m. at the Glynn Archer Performing Arts Center at 2100 Flagler Ave. on the campus of Key West [continue reading…]

 October 27, 2017  Posted by at 12:18 am Issue #240, Special Events, What To Do No Responses »