“Trick or Treat?” – Saturday, October 25, from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM at Key West Tropical Forest & Botanical Garden

Children under 12 can celebrate a safe and fun Halloween far (enough) from the maddening crowd at the Key West Tropical Forest & Botanical Garden on College Road.  The 6th Annual ‘Screaming Green Halloween’  features separate costume competitions for ages 6-12 and those under 6, bounce house, games, candy, crafts, food and more  – spiced with a “green” theme.  Admission $ 5 a Child or $ 10 a Family; $ 5 for KWBGS member family. More at www.kwbgs.org; call (305) 296-1504 or email kwbgs@kwbgs.org.

Participants Sought For Key West Veteran’s Day Parade

Key West’s Veterans Day Parade organizers are looking for military units, veterans’ groups and all other units to march through the streets of Old Town Key West Tuesday, Nov. 11, at 4 p.m. to pay tribute to America’s veterans, past and present, during the city’s annual Veterans Day Parade.

The Veterans Day Parade will travel down Duval Street and everyone is welcome to come cheer on the marching units and pay tribute to service members past and present.

Organizations wishing to participate may register or get more information by contacting Sgt. 1st Class Adam Van Natta, (305) 293-5782, or email adam.n.vannatta.mil@mail.mil.

City of Key West Sightseeing Franchise Input

The Key West City Commission wants to hear your views and ideas regarding the franchise agreements between the city and sightseeing enterprises. These agreements will be reviewed by all commissioners from now until February. The commissioners want to hear from the community. Please click the following link for the online form. Or you can send your comments to 3132 Flagler Ave, Key West, Florida 33040

https://www.keywestcity.com/egov/apps/action/center.egov?view=form;page=1;id=3

 

Emergency Helo Fare to Miami: $66,000 or Free…

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“First I said I didn’t want to take the helo,” says Ellen Engleson, who had arrived at Lower Keys Medical Center with a broken femur, “I was concerned about the cost.”   She was right.  After being heliported to Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, Ellen received a bill for $ 59,000 from LifeNet, a for-profit medical emergency helicopter service.

She has since learned that the hospital in Key West could have made the choice to send her for free, in the County’s Trauma Star medical transport helicopter. Continue reading

BOYS AND GIRLS CLUB EVENT: Celebrate the 15th Annual Lights On Afterschool

Once again, The Southernmost & Big Pine Boys & Girls Clubs will celebrate Lights On Afterschool. On the afternoon of October 23rd from 4-7 PM in Bayview Park, children and their families will join in the carnival-like atmosphere of the 15th annual celebration. Face-painting, a giant bounce house with slides, cookie-decorating, games and prizes, popcorn, Centennial Bank’s hamburgers and hot dogs, with sodas and water, the Fire Department, the Wildlife Center, Bahama Village Music Program, US 1 radio with Steve Miller and much more. Continue reading

Vending Booths Available for Fantasy Fest Street Fair

Booth Spaces for Food Vendors and Artists & Craftspeople: Fantasy Fest has a few select Food Vendor booth spaces available at the festival’s spectacular Animated Dreams and Adventures Street Fair to be held Friday, October 24th, set-up at 10 am and running to 10 pm and Saturday, October 25th from 10 until Midnight.

Several excellent vending spaces are also available to artists and craftspeople for the Street Fair on Friday, October 24th.

Applications are available at the Fantasy Fest website, www.fantsyfest.com or by calling the Fantasy Fest office, 296-1817.

TAKE STOCK IN CHILDREN READY TO WELCOME 60 NEW SCHOLARS, BUT NEEDS MENTORS

Additional mentors are needed to match with incoming Take Stock in Children students prior to the contract signing ceremonies scheduled for the week of October 27th.

Take Stock in Children, the flagship college scholarship program of the Monroe County Education Foundation, is ready to accept nearly 60 new students into the program during the last week of October. “We have a fantastic group of qualified candidates who are ready to join Take Stock in Children and work towards achieving their goal of a college education. However, if we do not have a volunteer mentor to match with the student, we cannot accept the student into our program,” said Monroe County Education Foundation president Steve Pribramsky. Continue reading

ZOMBIE BIKE RIDE 2014

Sunday, October 19th, the Zombie Ride.  This year the event will begin at East Martello Tower, 3501 S Roosevelt Blvd.  Gathering will be from 2-4 p.m. at East Martello with face painting, etc. prior to the ride.
The ride will depart East Martello Tower at 6:00 p.m. going west on S Roosevelt Blvd to Bertha Street, north on Bertha Street to Atlantic Blvd.  west on Atlantic Blvd to Reynolds Street, north on Reynolds Street to South Street, west on South Street to Duval Street, north on Duval Street toward Front Street.  The 100, 200, and 300 blocks of Duval Street will be closed from 7:00 – 11:00 p.m. for these revelers.
There will still be access to the airport, if necessary, from Flagler Avenue onto S Roosevelt Blvd.
There will be running street closures during this event, but keep in mind that there will be stragglers along this route.

Monthly SHOW & SHINE This Saturday October 19th

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The Florida Keys Southernmost Car Club (FKSCC) holds its monthly SHOW & SHINE- CAR SHOW this Saturday, October, 19th. Noon to 4pm in the evening when its cool. This event is for the lovers of classic, custom, and street rod automobiles of all years and makes. Fords, Chevys, trucks, sports cars, and chrome loaded motorcycles. If it cool and on wheels it will be here.

This fun evening event  at  at our great location at the Sugarloaf Lodge, MM17, on Sugarloaf Key. Prizes, 50/50 Free Ice Cream and cold beverages are available for purchase at the Tiki Bar. Bring the kids to enjoy these beautiful relics of the auto world. Vote for the Peoples Choice and that classic will take home a beautiful Plaque! This is a FREE event.

Club members are seeking new members for a full schedule of Club events. For more information contact Dick Moody 305- 942-1758.

MARRIED: FLORIDA RECOGNIZES FIRST SAME-SEX COUPLE

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Arlene Goldberg officially listed as wife of Carol Goldwasser on death certificate.

On the heels of a groundbreaking decision by the Supreme Court Monday that brought the freedom to marry to a majority of Americans, Florida also made history today as Arlene Goldberg and her late wife, Carol Goldwasser, officially became the first same-sex couple whose marriage is respected by the state. Continue reading

Conch Poet J.M. Varela Featured Oct. 5 at Blue Heaven

The wit and wisdom of popular Conch poet J.M. Varela takes the stage upstairs at Blue Heaven during the first Sunday monthly meeting of the Key West Poetry Guild on Oct. 5, beginning at 7 p.m. There is no admission fee and all are welcome.

Varela, author of the eclectic collection “Inside the Head of a Conch Women,” turns her sometimes jaundiced and often hilarious eye toward Key West history, customs and characters. The Guild looks forward to premiering some of her more recent work, written, she said, “as a wrap up of four days of Conch Reunions in August and a backlash for so many negative comments about raising children in Key West.” Continue reading

United Way President Margie Smith Resigns To Join Family Investment Firm

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MARGIE SMITH, UNITED WAY PRESIDENT

Margie Smith, President of United Way of the Florida Keys since January 2010, will leave the agency at the end of this year to join her husband’s investment management firm in Islamorada.

Smith said she is excited about her new position but sad to leave a job that has been so much a part of her for almost five years. “As President of United Way I’ve had the unique opportunity to see a detailed picture of who we are as a county, and to interact with so many public service-minded individuals,” she said. “What we have here is special.  I’ve never felt so profoundly connected to a community as I have here in the Keys.” Continue reading

Reef Relief Hires New Education Coordinator

Reef Relief Education Coordinator Carly Shabo

Reef Relief recently hired a new Education Coordinator, Carly Shabo. She is a graduate of the College of Charelston with a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Marine Biology. As Reef Relief’s Education Coordinator, she will be organizing and presenting Reef Relief’s Discover Coral Reefs School Program to the Monroe County School District, also coordinating activities with the Key West High School Reef Relief Club and the summer’s Coral Camp for Kids Program.  She can also be seen staffing booths for Reef Relief at the many community events in the Lower Keys.

For more information about scheduling classroom visits or details about Coral Camp, contact Reef Relief at (305) 294-3100 or by email at reefrelief@gmail.com

Reef Relief is a nonprofit membership organization dedicated to improving and protecting our coral reef ecosystem. www.reefrelief.org

 

Did You Miss Hometown PAC’s Final Candidate Forum? Watch it Now…

JOIN HOMETOWN PAC

Hometown! Mission Statement,

Policy and Goals

The mission of Hometown PAC is to promote free expression and exchange of political viewpoints and ideas. To accomplish these goals, Hometown will provide opportunities to educate its members and the voters in Key West and the surrounding environs through candidate lectures, forums, debates and other political discourse. These enabling actions will allow the voters to more fully consider the merits of the candidates and their proposals (i) to unite and give voice to residents, and (ii) to provide leadership and balance for economic growth while preserving the character of Key West. Continue reading

Sgt. Pablo Rodriguez Recognized for 15 years of service to KWPD

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Key West Police Chief Donie Lee recently recognized Sgt. Pablo Rodriguez for 15 years of service to the Department.

Rodriguez was hired in 1999 and started out patrolling the downtown and Bahama Village area. As a patrol officer, he made numerous drug arrests that led to convictions as well as the seizure of drugs and money. In 2002 Sgt. Rodriguez was transferred to the Special Operation Unit where he has been involved in the successful investigation of numerous covert and overt operations, making arrests of drug dealers and users. He was promoted to Sergeant in 2006.

Crown Jules, This is Your Life; ‘Criss Cross’ Screens Oct. 8

Jules

In this year’s heating up and always hilarious race for the honor of being Fantasy Fest’s top royalty is a woman who first came to Key West in 1976 and had a brush, of sorts, with Hollywood (the one in California), the motion picture industry and Goldie Hawn.

Julie Hanson, born in Montgomery, Alabama, has worked mostly in restaurant management or hairdressing; in the late 1970s, after a stint at the Esquire Lounge, she “worked parttime at the Eden House, at Rich’s Cafe in the back,” she said. During this time a “writer, Scott Somer, was a guest at the Eden House for a few months. He became a friend to all of us” staffers, she remembered. Somer, it turned out, wrote a book based on Julie as the main character which eventually became a screenplay and finally the motion picture “Criss Cross.” Continue reading

4th Annual Habitat for Humanity’s Votes for Notes Musical Competition!

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Mark your calendar for Habitat for Humanity’s 4th Annual Votes for Notes fundraiser! Local musician Ray West is lining up musical talent for yet another season of this ever-growing, three-night event. New musical talent and popular pros are invited to compete in order to win $ 250 cash and other prizes at the Grand Finale.  At three competitions audience members “vote” for their favorite performers by dropping cash donations in the Habitat vote bucket. Habitat tracks each performer’s total with the winner being announced at the Grand Finale.  Performers are invited to play any or all three nights. Past performers and winners include Phoenix, Moondogs, Billy Brown, The Doerfels, Paul “Shanty” Elliot, Shastina Chiles and so many more! Continue reading

HOMETOWN! PAC Final Forum is September 29th at 5:00 pm. Don’t Miss it!

hometown pac

A QUESTION AND ANSWER FORUM FOR

JUDICIAL CANDIDATES, GROUP 4; MONROE COUNTY COMMISSIONER, DISTRICT 2; MOSQUITO CONTROL BOARD, DISTRICTS 2 AND 5; AND CANDIDATES  FOR U.S. REPRESENTATIVE

WHERE:  LOBBY, TENNESSEE WILLIAMS FINE ARTS CENTER ON THE LEFT OF THE FLORIDA KEYS COMMUNITY COLLEGE CAMPUS STOCK ISLAND/KEY WEST

WHEN:  MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, FROM 5:00 – 7:30 PM

Continue reading

LIGHTS! ACTION! CAMERA! FORT LAUDERDALE GAY AND LESBIAN FILM FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES UNPRECEDENTED WHIRLWIND OF FILMS AND EVENTS

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FLGLFF 2014 has expanded to seven days, includes more award-winning and diverse films, and features special events and parties that elevate this Festival to a new level, making it one of the most highly regarded LGBT film festivals in the nation.

FLGLFF takes place Friday, October 10 through Sunday, October 12 and resumes Thursday, October 16 through Sunday, October 19. Continue reading

United Way ‘Stuffs the Bus’ with School Supplies

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KEY LARGO SCHOOL RECEIVES A LOAD OF SCHOOL SUPPLIES FROM UNITED WAY VOLUNTEERS

United Way of the Florida Keys and its community partners want to make sure that Monroe County students have the supplies they need to succeed at their studies. That’s why they launched “Stuff the Bus,” an effort that produced truckloads of school supplies distributed last week to all 16 Monroe County public schools from Key Largo to Key West.

United Way volunteers showed up early at the Florida Keys Electric Cooperative facility in Marathon and loaded their vehicles with pens, pencils, paper, backpacks, binders, notebooks and other school supplies that had been collected in the “Stuff the Bus” drive. They were welcomed with open arms by the schools who received the items. The items were collected in “Stuff the Bus” boxes at businesses throughout the Keys and at several “Stuff the Bus” events, such as a party at the Hard Rock Café in Key West. About $ 15,000 worth of school supplies were distributed—almost double the amount that were distributed last year. Continue reading

Official Fantasy Fest® 2014 Artwork Announced

Poster Signing Party is Tuesday, October 21, at 5 pm

Fantasy Fest is pleased to announce the artwork chosen for the Official Fantasy Fest 2014 posters and t-shirts. Dozens of fantastic designs were submitted for the poster contest, and with an unrivaled selection of quality work, we are thrilled to announce two separate designs. The official poster will feature artwork submitted by Petar Stracenski and the t-shirt is designed by Rey Flores.

Stracenski is a Key West based artist who wanted to evoke the playfulness and mystery of Fantasy Fest while capturing elements characteristic of Key West. His minimalist design features an anime beauty with a few of Key West’s best known creatures. This poster is sure to look great in any home. Flores’s festive T-shirt design brings a cast of Key West flavored anime characters to the Southernmost Point and will make for a fantastic token of your Fantasy Fest adventure.

Congratulations to Petar and Rey, and a big thank you goes out to everyone who participated in this year’s Poster Contest.  To purchase your very own piece of Fantasy Fest history, or for additional information regarding the t-shirt and poster, contact Tom Sawyer’s Keyboard Advertising at 305-292-9315 or visit KeyBoardAdvertising.com.

OIRF Supports Take Stock In Children

OIRF Take Stock

Kelly Friend, Old Island Restoration Foundation president, presents a $ 2500.00 check to Chuck Licis, program coordinator and Steve Pribramsky,  MCEF President of Take Stock in Children.

Since 1995, non-profit Take Stock in Children has provided a unique opportunity for deserving low-income students to escape the cycle of poverty through education.

OIRF grant funds are earned through the “Key West House Tours”, as well as memberships, donations and rental of the Oldest House gardens.  More information at www.oirf.org or call 305-294-9501.

Take Stock in Children Graduate Story: Paulina Rippere

Paula Rippere

Paula Rippere

The Monroe County Education Foundation (MCEF) is looking for volunteers to mentor students in its flagship program, Take Stock in Children. The MCEF has been helping Monroe County students achieve their goal of earning a degree, certificate, or credential since 1995. Here is an example of how mentoring a student for just 30 to 45 minutes a week can change a student’s life.

Paulina Rippere, Take Stock In Children Graduate, Monroe County 2003

My Take Stock in Children mentor at Key West High School was Helen Rowe. She was wonderful. She worked at the high school, so whenever I wanted to say hello or needed advice I could stop by her office and bounce ideas off of her. She was a great mentor and really helped me through the last couple of years of high school, making plans for college and the future. Continue reading

Key West Tropical Forest and Botanical Garden on Agenda for the 16th Annual Florida Keys Birding & Wildlife Festival

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Every year, the natural habitats of the KWTF&BG serve as a rest and refuel stop on the Autumnal migration route of birds returning from their summer roosts to the warmth of southern latitudes.   The Stock Island site and its staff also host birders and butterfly enthusiasts participating in the annual Birding and Wildlife Festival.  Scheduled are:

  • Friday, 26th, 10 – noon:  “Birds in the Forest” – a guided tour lead by Phillip Hughes of U.S. Fish and Wildlife.
  • Saturday, 27th, 1 – 3pm: “Butterflies in the Forest” – guided by Leigh Williams and Amy Grimm, butterfly enthusiasts and photographers.  Don’t forget your camera!
  • Saturday, 27th, 4:30 – 6pm:  “Birds in the Forest” – lead by Dr. Mark Whiteside, our renown Key West bird expert.
  • Saturday, 27th, 5:30 – 8pm: “Garden Evening Extravaganza”.  Reception at the Nature Chapel sponsored by Florida Keys Audubon Society and Key West Wildlife Center, featuring a special presentation by Peggy Coontz and feathered friends.

Visit www.kwbgs.org or keysbirdingfest.org for details; reservations required.

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Conch Poet J.M. Varela Featured Oct. 5 at Blue Heaven

The wit and wisdom of popular Conch poet J.M. Varela takes the stage upstairs at Blue Heaven during the first Sunday monthly meeting of the Key West Poetry Guild on Oct. 5, beginning at 7 p.m. There is no admission fee and all are welcome.

Varela, author of the eclectic collection “Inside the Head of a Conch Women,” turns her sometimes jaundiced and often hilarious eye toward Key West history, customs and characters. The Guild looks forward to premiering some of her more recent work, written, she said, “as a wrap up of four days of Conch Reunions in August and a backlash for so many negative comments about raising children in Key West.” Continue reading

TAKE STOCK IN CHILDREN IN MONROE COUNTY EARNS PROGRAM EXCELLENCE AWARD

Monroe Excellence Award TSIC Conference 2014For the second year in a row, the Take Stock in Children program of Monroe County has earned a program excellence award for its outstanding mentor and college success coach services. “This would not have been possible without the dedication of our devoted volunteer mentors and our wonderful college success coaches who go above and beyond.” said program coordinator Chuck Licis.

Take Stock in Children is the flagship program of the Monroe County Education Foundation (MCEF). “Obviously, I’m thrilled and the board is delighted that we’ve been able to continue to win this award,” said Steve Pribramsky, president of the MCEF. “We don’t actually put a lot of emphasis on winning the award. Instead, we try to spend as much time as possible focusing on creating a better program year after year.”

Twenty-one Take Stock programs in Florida were recognized for their achievements last year. “We are proud to be in the top third of successful programs in the state. We are looking to build on our successes and continue to work with our college bound students to earn a degree, certificate, or other credentials.” Licis reiterated.

“This year, we hope to offer a TSIC college scholarship opportunity to at least forty new students in the county,” Licis continued, “but we need mentors. We must have a mentor for each student we enroll.” The MCEF encourages community members throughout the Keys to consider becoming a mentor for a Take Stock in Children scholar.

For more information about mentoring or the TSIC program, call 305-293-1546 or send an email to chuck.licis@keysschools.com.

Womankind Staff Honors Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month By Wearing Teal

Photo contributed by Nick Ruby  Womankind staff members dressed in teal in honor of Ovarian Cancer Awareness this month.  Gynecologist Dr. David Forest, PA-C Jennifer Whaley and NP Carolyn Daly provide patients with information about symptoms and treatment for this disease. L-r, back row: Sal Zappulla, Anisleidy Caridad, Cali Roberts, Kim Romano, Chase Hurst, Ginny Barr. L-r, front row: Anissah Tomas, Dianelis Borges, Jennifer Whaley, and Judith Cisneros.

Photo contributed by Nick Ruby
Womankind staff members dressed in teal in honor of Ovarian Cancer Awareness this month.
Gynecologist Dr. David Forest, PA-C Jennifer Whaley and NP Carolyn Daly provide patients with information about symptoms and treatment for this disease. L-r, back row: Sal Zappulla, Anisleidy Caridad, Cali Roberts, Kim Romano, Chase Hurst, Ginny Barr. L-r, front row: Anissah Tomas, Dianelis Borges, Jennifer Whaley, and Judith Cisneros.

Congressman Joe Garcia Introduces Student Loan Bill To Help College Affordability

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WASHINGTON, DC – Yesterday [September 18, 2014], Congressman Joe Garcia introduced the Fairness in Student Loan Repayment Act to provide assistance to students repaying their federal student loans. Congressman Garcia, a strong proponent of college affordability, introduced this legislation as a way of helping students repay their debt with minimal struggle.  Students around the country take on thousands of dollars of student debt in an effort to acquire a quality higher education, spending decades paying off those loans. Last year, 71%  of college students who graduated had student loan debt, with an average of $ 29,400 per borrower. Continue reading

Science Friday’s Ira Flatow, NMSI’s Rene McCormick, and Former NASA Astronaut Sandy Magnus among Judges for Sally Ride-Deloitte Award for Teaching Innovation in STEM

Today, Sally Ride Science announced the list of judges that will evaluate submissions and select the winners for the Sally Ride-Deloitte Award for Teaching Innovation in STEM, a program open to all K-12 educators in the U.S. that recognizes innovations in instruction related to science, technology, engineering or math (STEM), as well as STEM careers.

Judges also Include Educators; Will Select Top Finishers in National Award Program that Recognizes Innovations in STEM Education; First Prize of More than $ 5,000. Continue reading

The Florida Keys Southernmost Car Club (FKSCC) Holds its Monthly Ice Cream Social and Car Show

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ICE CREAM SOCIAL AND CAR SHOW this Saturday, September 20th, 5 to 8pm in the evening when its cool. This event is for the lovers of classic, custom, and street rod automobiles of all years and makes, Fords, Chevys, trucks, sports cars, and chrome loaded motorcycles. If it’s cool and on wheels it will be here.

This fun evening event  at  at our great location at the Sugarloaf Lodge, MM17, on Sugarloaf Key. Prizes, 50/50 Free Ice Cream and cold beverages are available for purchase at the Tiki Bar. Bring the kids to enjoy these beautiful relics of the auto world. Vote for the Peoples Choice and that classic will take home a beautiful Plaque! This is a FREE event.

Club members are seeking new members for a full schedule of Club events. For more information contact Dick Moody 942-1758.

Don’t Get Your Criss Crossed: Save the Date, Oct. 8

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Star power comes to the quest for election as Fantasy Fest royalty, even if once removed. Jules for Queen was in fact the person upon whom the Goldie Hawn character in “Criss Cross” was based. Share a look at Key West in the 70s at a screening of the near-iconic film on Wednesday, October 8 at the Eaton Street Theater (behind St. Paul’s).

VIP tickets are $ 50 and include hors d’ourves and cocktails at 6 p.m. and  advance viewing of memoribilia and documents, some of which are for sale. General admission is $25 and doors open at 7 p.m. There will also be a Q&A after the show with Jules and Bud Brewer, who was the owner of the Esquire Lounge, where part of the movie was filmed.

For additional details, please phone Campaign Manager and former FF Queen Ginger King at            (305) 849-0991.

Key West Resident Running for Cancer Care and Research / Running as Member of the Dana-Farber Team in the 14th Annual B.A.A. Half Marathon®

Katherine Gilmore

Katherine Gilmour from Key West, will be running in the 14th annual [Boston Athletic Association] B.A.A. Half Marathon® presented by Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Jimmy Fund, as a member of the official Dana-Farber team.

More than 570 Dana-Farber team members will raise awareness and at least $ 750 to support adult and pediatric patient care and cancer research at Dana-Farber. Dana-Farber and the Jimmy Fund have partnered with the B.A.A. in the Half Marathon for twelve years. During this time, runners on the Dana-Farber team have raised more than $ 4 million to fuel lifesaving discoveries. To support a runner in the B.A.A. Half Marathon, go to www.RunDanaFarber.org. Continue reading

New Chief Petty Officers at NAS Key West

Four chief petty officer selectees receive their combination covers from sponsors during a chief pinning ceremony at Boca Chica Field Tuesday. The time-honored Navy tradition celebrates a Sailor's transition from bluejacket to chief petty officer as they advance in rank. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Brian Morales/ Released

Four chief petty officer selectees receive their combination covers from sponsors during a chief pinning ceremony at Boca Chica Field Tuesday. The time-honored Navy tradition celebrates a Sailor’s transition from bluejacket to chief petty officer as they advance in rank. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Brian Morales/ Released

Mangia Mangia Hosts Key West Botanical Garden Fundraiser

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Key West Botanical Garden is excited for the 2014-2015 school year and needs your help to make it a success and continue to offer our programs to as many students as possible.  Mangia Mangia Restaurant is generously hosting a fundraiser for us in which they will donate 25% of food sales to the KWBG Education Department. Please come out and enjoy your favorite homemade pasta dishes and support our program. Take-out orders are also included in the donation!

Mangia Mangia pasta cafe

Mangia Mangia

900 Southard St * Key West, FL * 294-2469

Wednesday, October 1, 2014 5:30pm-9:00pm

The KWBG Education Department provides unique, hands–on, environmental education experiences for students pre-kindergarten through high school.  Our program makes learning come alive! Please help us continue to offer these educational opportunities to the youth of our community.

To learn more about the KWBG Education Department or for additional information visit us at

www.kwbgs.org or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/kwbgseducation

HOMETOWN! PAC Announces Fifth and Final Event for the 2014 Political Season

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A QUESTION AND ANSWER FORUM FOR:

JUDICIAL CANDIDATES, GROUP 4; MONROE COUNTY COMMISSIONER, DISTRICT 2; MOSQUITO CONTROL BOARD, DISTRICTS 2 AND 5; AND CANDIDATES  FOR U.S. REPRESENTATIVE

LOBBY, TENNESSEE WILLIAMS FINE ARTS CENTER ON THE LEFT OF THE FLORIDA KEYS COMMUNITY COLLEGE CAMPUS STOCK ISLAND/KEY WEST

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, FROM 5:00 – 7:30 PM

Hometown’s FIFTH AND FINAL forum is September 29, about three (3) weeks before early voting begins. Monroe County and Key West voters will have to make important judgments regarding the election of a judicial candidate for a six year term, a County Commissioner for the next four years. two Mosquito Control Board members for a four year term and this District’s Congressional candidate for the next two years. Continue reading

Florida Keys Healthy Start Coalition Holds Quarterly Meeting

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The Florida Keys Healthy Start Coalition (FKHSC) will hold a quarterly board meeting on Wednesday, September 24 from 10:00 am until 12:00 pm at the Marathon Shores IberiaBank, 12640 Overseas Hwy, Marathon, FL.

Baby_in_Hands_245_177_s_c1Our mission is to unite people and resources to improve the health and well-being of pregnant women, children, and their families in Monroe County.  As the only non-profit in Monroe County, Florida, serving pregnant women and the unborn, we are dedicated to uniting people and resources to improve the health and well-being of our clients.  We believe every baby deserves a Healthy Start in life and a safe, productive, and happy future.  More information is available at KeysHealthyStart.org.

The meeting is open to the public and free of charge.  If you are a person with a disability who needs special accommodations in order to participate in this proceeding, including requesting materials in an accessible format, information, or other assistance, please contact fkhsc@yahoo.com or 305-293-8424 (5 days advance notice requested). Please RSVP to the Florida Keys Healthy Start Coalition at (305)293-8424.

Join Reef Relief for the September 21st Shoreline Clean-up

reef relief clean up

Past Clean-Up: Reef Relief, The Lost bus, and a group of local students teamed up and collected 600 lbs of marine debris from the mangroves off Key West

LOCAL ACTION TO CREATE GLOBAL CHANGE

Reef Relief will be celebrating International Coastal Cleanup with a community shoreline cleanup on Sunday, September 21, 2014. We invite locals and visitors interested in protecting our ocean and wildlife to this weekend event.

Meet us at the Lazy Dog kayak stand located at Hurricane Hole Marina, look for the Reef Relief sign. The event will start at 10:00 am and finish up at 1:00pm. Thanks to Lazy Dog for generously providing kayaks.

To attend or for directions contact Reef Relief at (305) 294-3100, reefrelief@gmail.com

Reef Relief is a nonprofit membership organization dedicated to improving and protecting our coral reef ecosystems. Find out more at http://reefrelief.org Continue reading

Mangia Mangia To Donate 25% Of Total Sales To Habitat For Humanity

Habitat Key West Amelia Gonzales

WHAT:             Mangia Mangia donates 25% of total sales (food, alcohol, and take-    out orders) to Habitat for Humanity of Key West & Lower Florida Keys 

WHEN:            Wednesday, September 17, 2014 from 5:30 pm – 10:00 pm,

WHERE:          Mangia Mangia 900 Southard Street in Key West

Mangia Mangia and Habitat for Humanity – food and shelter – two necessities of life!  Mark your calendar and make your reservations! In honor of their 25th Anniversary Mangia Mangia, 900 Southard St. in Key West, is donating 25% of total sales (food, alcohol, and take-out orders) to Habitat for Humanity of Key West & Lower Florida Keys on Wednesday, September 17th from 5:30 pm -10:00 pm.

Habitat staff and board members will be present to answer any questions you might have about our mission and programs.

This will also be the first opportunity to donate for a chance to win a newly painted bike by local renowned artist Rick Worth!

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Mangia Mangia pasta cafeFor more information, make reservations or call in your take-out order contact

Mangia Mangia (305) 294-2469

www.mangia-mangia.com

 

HFHKW logo horizontal color

Habitat for Humanity of Key West & Lower FL Keys 

(305) 294-9006

www.habitatlowerkeys.org

 

facebook.com/habitatkeywest

OIRF Contributes To Commemorative Statue

oirf Bishop donation

Kelly Friend, board president of Old Island Restoration Fondation presented $ 500 to the Bishop Kee statue fund. Bruce Neff of Historic Markers Inc., accepted the donation. The statue, created by local artist Tom Joris, is scheduled to be unveiled in March of 2015 at the Southernmost Point.

OIRF grant monies for preserving Key West history are generated by the organization’s “House Tours”, an annual fund-raiser since 1960.  For more information, visit oirf.org.

Monroe County Same Sex Couple Requests Case to be Moved to Florida Supreme Court

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SAVE (Safeguarding American Values for Everyone, formerly SAVE Dade) and State Representative David Richardson will help host Upper Keys MEET & GREET Fundraiser Announced In ISLAMORADA Florida

This Meet & Greet fundraising event will be held from 5:30pm to 7:30pm Monday September 15th 2014.

SAVE and Representative David Richardson invite you and the Upper Keys and South Florida public to join Aaron Huntsman and William ‘Lee’ Jones and the Legal team of Restivo, Reilly & Vigil-Farinas in attending the SAVE & LoveisloveKW Upper Keys Meet & Greet fundraiser at the S.A.L.T. Fusion Cuisine & Cana Lounge, 82779 Overseas Hwy, Islamorada Fl. 33036.

“I’m proud to lend SAVE’s support to Aaron and Lee’s fight for their marriage,” said SAVE Executive Director Tony Lima. “By standing together with them, I am confident we can help notch yet another win in court for marriage equality in Florida.”

Funds are needed to defray legal costs. The attorneys filed a Motion in the Third District Court of appeal to move the case directly to the Florida State Supreme Court on behalf of Aaron Huntsman and William ‘Lee’ Jones.  This motion, if granted, will move the case quickly to the Florida Supreme Court, and will decide this issue of marriage equality for all Floridians, not just those in Monroe County.

Fundraisers are being planned countywide in anticipation of a vigorous appeal and challenges from the State and other anti-LGBT groups.

Phil Goodman named to Top Environmental Post in the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary, D7

Phil Goodman Pic_media Release

Phil Goodman of Cudjoe Key, a member of the United States Coast Guard (USCG) Auxiliary in Key West, was recently appointed Staff Officer responsible for all Marine Safety and Environmental Protection Activities in District 7 (D7).  Headquartered in Miami, D7 encompasses The Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, and most of Georgia and Florida, including the Florida Keys.  Environmental Protection of our waterways is a rapidly expanding mission of the USCG and Auxiliary. Continue reading

Key West Breast Cancer Prevention Advocate Named to National Cancer Summit

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Susan Wadia-Ells, breast cancer prevention educator and Key West resident will speak at the 2nd Annual Cure to Cancer Summit next week.

The September 3-19 on-line, international conference headlines: Bernie Siegel, M.D., The Art of Healing;  Kelly Turner,  Radical Remission: Surviving Cancer Against All Odds; Thomas Seyfried, The Metabolic Theory of Cancer; Bill Henderson, Cancer Free: Your Guide to Gentle non Toxic Healing; Dr Francisco Contreras; Oasis of Hope; Dr Brian Clement, Hippocrates Institute; Wadia-Ells, Busting Breast Cancer: 7 Simple Steps to Stop Breast Cancer before it Starts and 20 other leaders  in alternative or natural cancer prevention and treatment, along with  cancer survivors who chose natural protocols over mainstream treatments.

Considered a pioneering leader in teaching women how to stop breast cancer before it starts, Wadia-Ells is founding director of the National Breast Cancer Prevention Project/Busting Breast Cancer.

“The Summit offers everyone a chance to learn cutting edge information on how nutrition, detoxification, vitamin D3, low-hormone lifestyles, and mind/body practices, are preventing cancer  and successfully treating people who have developed all types of cancers.” said Wadia-Ells.

“It is a great honor to be included in this group of leading clinicians, researchers, and educators.”

To obtain free tickets to this week’s on-line event visit:  www.bustingbreastcancer.org

Help Yourself Adopts “Got Your Bags? Florida Keys” Program

Help Yourself

Help Yourself, the natural and organic market and restaurant became the first Key West retailer to “Take The Pledge” and promote the use of reusable shopping bags as part of nonprofit Green Living and Energy Education’s “Got Your Bags? Florida Keys” program (GYB). That pledge takes a big step toward reducing single use plastic bag litter on streets and highways, along with the harm that plastic bags produce for the wild birds and marine animals in our precious Keys waters. Continue reading

TAKE STOCK IN CHILDREN NOW ACCEPTING SCHOLARSHIP APPLICATIONS [Deadline: Fri Sept 12th]

Monroe County Take Stock In Children Class of 2014

Monroe County Take Stock In Children Class of 2014

Take Stock in Children, a college scholarship program for high-performing, low-income students, is now accepting applications for the 2014-15 school year. Motivated students, grades 7 – 10, with the desire and potential to attend college or learn a trade should apply.

“This is an outstanding program that offers more than a college scholarship to qualified candidates. Our students are matched with a volunteer mentor while in middle and high school, attend college readiness workshops and college campus tours, and learn how to be successful in college,” explains TSIC program coordinator Chuck Licis. Continue reading

JIATF PAO joins Key West Sunrise Rotary

Jody Draves

Key West Sunrise Rotary installed Jody Draves as its newest member on Aug. 29. Draves serves as the Public Affairs Officer for Joint Interagency Task Force South. The ceremony included Membership Committee Chair Sue Fowler, President Ron Demes and Draves’ sponsor Jim Smith.

The Key West Sunrise Rotary Club in the Conch Republic meets on Fridays at 7 a.m. at Trumbo Palms on Trumbo Point.

TAKE STOCK IN CHILDREN NOW ACCEPTING SCHOLARSHIP APPLICATIONS

Monroe County Take Stock In Children Class of 2014

Monroe County Take Stock In Children Class of 2014

Take Stock in Children, a college scholarship program for high-performing, low-income students, is now accepting applications for the 2014-15 school year. Motivated students, grades 7 – 10, with the desire and potential to attend college or learn a trade should apply.

“This is an outstanding program that offers more than a college scholarship to qualified candidates. Our students are matched with a volunteer mentor while in middle and high school, attend college readiness workshops and college campus tours, and learn how to be successful in college,” explains TSIC program coordinator Chuck Licis. Continue reading

Request to Take Up Marriage Case Sent to FL Supreme Court!

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Last Wednesday, the state’s 2nd District Court of Appeal sent a request to the Florida Supreme Court asking them to take on a Hillsborough County marriage case and rule on the constitutionally of Florida’s ban. If the Florida Supreme Court decides to take on the case, it will be a huge step forward in the fight for marriage in Florida.

“Today, the 2nd District Court of Appeal (DCA) in Tampa, Florida has requested that the Florida Supreme Court take up the issue of marriage equality right away,” said Stratton Pollitzer, Deputy Director of Equality Florida. “This is what we’ve been asking for all along. We’re thrilled that the 2nd DCA agrees that marriage equality is an issue of such urgency and importance that it should be elevated directly to the Florida Supreme Court. We hope that the 3rd DCA in Miami will follow suit and request that the marriage cases pending before them also be moved directly to the Florida Supreme Court. We need a final resolution, not another appeal, because every day this discriminatory ban remains in place causes significant and irreparable harm to our families.”

Read more here: http://eqfl.org/flsupreme

Key West Breast Cancer Prevention Advocate Named to National Cancer Summit

susiecrop1

Susan Wadia-Ells, breast cancer prevention educator and Key West resident will speak at the 2nd Annual Cure to Cancer Summit next week.

The September 3-19 on-line, international conference headlines: Bernie Siegel, M.D., The Art of Healing;  Kelly Turner,  Radical Remission: Surviving Cancer Against All Odds; Thomas Seyfried, The Metabolic Theory of Cancer; Bill Henderson, Cancer Free: Your Guide to Gentle non Toxic Healing; Dr Francisco Contreras; Oasis of Hope; Dr Brian Clement, Hippocrates Institute; Wadia-Ells, Busting Breast Cancer: 7 Simple Steps to Stop Breast Cancer before it Starts and 20 other leaders  in alternative or natural cancer prevention and treatment, along with  cancer survivors who chose natural protocols over mainstream treatments.

Considered a pioneering leader in teaching women how to stop breast cancer before it starts, Wadia-Ells is founding director of the National Breast Cancer Prevention Project/Busting Breast Cancer.

“The Summit offers everyone a chance to learn cutting edge information on how nutrition, detoxification, vitamin D3, low-hormone lifestyles, and mind/body practices, are preventing cancer  and successfully treating people who have developed all types of cancers.” said Wadia-Ells.

“It is a great honor to be included in this group of leading clinicians, researchers, and educators.”

To obtain free tickets to next week’s on-line event visit:  www.bustingbreastcancer.org

Fantasy Fest Entry Deadline Approaching

Lay off the snooze button; it’s time to turn your dreams into reality!

The 3Wishes.com Fantasy Fest parade application deadline is quickly approaching and there is no time to waste.

Entry applications must be received by the Fantasy Fest office by 5pm, Friday September 5th. Don’t let your anime-zing parade dreams end in a nightmare, turn in your application today!

Applications are available online at Fantasy Fest.com.

Attention Non-Profits: Fantasy Fest Street Fair Liquor Lottery, Sept 11th

Attention Not-for-Profits: Fantasy Fest offers an excellent source of revenue available through alcohol sales booths at the Street Fair and Promenade, October 24 & 25.  Ten alcohol sales opportunities are offered to Monroe County not-for-profits only. Booth selection via the lottery system will be held on Thursday, September 11 beginning at 5pm at Dante’s, 951 Caroline St. For details and application information, call 296-1817.

Monroe County School District 2013-2014 Advanced Placement & ACT Scores Released

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The Monroe County School District is pleased to announce the release of the 2013-2014 Advanced Placement Scores. The Advanced Placement program provides students with rigorous coursework which aligns with college-level standards. Students participate in an international assessment to determine mastery of college-level course work. Students achieving a score of three or higher are eligible to receive college credit for the course.

Monroe County High Schools increased the level of participation in 2013-2014 with an impressive 740 students participating in the advanced course work; this is a 13 percent increase from 2013 and a 43 percent increase from 2010. 1377 tests were administered district wide. This is an increase of 17 percent from 2013 and 48 percent from 2010. Continue reading

FUNDING ANNOUNCED FOR COMPUTER SCIENCE EDUCATION

 Learn Here / Work Anywhere

John Padget and Jacob Dekker today pledged financial support of $ 100,000 for <Monroe/> COMPUTE$, a $ 400,000 initiative to create a “computing platform” of courses and certificates in Monroe County. Grants are available immediately—but must be claimed before June 30, 2015—from the Kura Hulanda Foundation, a private foundation supported by Padget and Dekker.

Grants will be made directly to all Monroe County students who successfully earn credentials in computer science during the 2014-15 school year. “We expect at least 350 middle, high-school, and college students to qualify,” according to Padget, Vice-Chair of Florida’s State Board of Education, and former Monroe County Superintendent of Schools. “The schools and the college will benefit, with matching performance-based funding of over $ 300,000 from the State of Florida.”

“There are about 25,000 open computing jobs in Florida right now,” according to Padget.  “Experts expect 1,000,000 more jobs than graduates in America by 2020, and that’s just six years away.  Kids in middle and high school have to get into the computer science pipeline to be ready.”

According to www.Code.org only 1,521 students in Florida took AP Computer Science in 2013, and only 44% passed with a 3 or better.  And, only 125 Florida K-12 schools teach computer science!

VNA/HOSPICE Receives $ 6,000 From Lisa Taylor COURAGE Fund

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Photo: VNA/Hospice COO, Kathleen Ryzoc (center) and clinical team accepts $ 6,000 check from the Lisa Taylor COURAGE Fund

On behalf of the Lisa Taylor COURAGE Fund for Hospice, the Ocean Reef Community Foundation recently presented another $ 6,000 gift to Visiting Nurse Association and Hospice of the Florida Keys (VNA/Hospice) for their compassionate work in home health and hospice care.

Lisa Taylor, daughter of Connie and John Taylor of Ocean Reef, died in 2007 after a four-year cancer battle.  She was 47-years-old.  An inspiration to all, Taylor believed that life is a celebration to be cherished even in its darkest hours. Continue reading

FLORIDA: Extending Marriage To Same-Sex Couples Could Add $182 Million To State Economy

Extending marriage to same-sex couples in Florida would generate over $ 182 million in spending to the state economy, according to a new study authored by Williams Distinguished Scholar, M.V. Lee Badgett; Williams Public Policy Fellow, E.G. Fitzgerald; and Williams Senior Counsel, Christy Mallory.

“This study confirms that all Floridians benefit from marriage for same-sex couples, not just the LGBT community,” said Badgett.

According to the 2010 U.S. Census, the most recent data available, 48,496 same-sex couples live in Florida. Of those couples, the Williams Institute estimates that 50 percent (24,248 couples) would choose to marry in the first three years, a pattern that has been observed in Massachusetts and elsewhere. Over 15,000 marriages would occur in the first year alone, and bring over $116 million in revenue to the state of Florida that year.

Key Findings include:

Continue reading

Fantasy Fest Street Fair Food Vendor Lottery Coming up / Food Vendors to meet at Grand Key August 26

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Photo: Official Fantasy Fest website

The lottery at which food vendors select booth spaces for the Fantasy Fest 2014 Street Fair will be held at the DoubleTree Grand Key Resort on August 26 starting at 10 am.  The lottery consists of each vendor drawing a number which will determine the order they will follow in choosing their space(s).

Food Vendors wanting booth spaces in the Friday October 24th Street Fair on Duval St. and/or for the Saturday October 25 th Promenade on the side streets up to and including Southard must be present in person on Tuesday, August 26, promptly at 10 AM in the Mangrove Room at the DoubleTree Grand Key.  Representatives of State licensing agencies and local safety and security agencies will be present to give setup information.  Important sign-up information is available on the festival website, www.fantasyfest.com. Vendors must be prepared to pay for their booths at the lottery.

For additional information please call the Fantasy Fest office at 296-1817 or email streetfair@marketsharecompany.com

RAYMOND EVANS (WPC-1110) SCHEDULED TO DOCK AT MALLORY SQUARE

On Monday, August 25th, from 10:00-2:00 pm, the latest Sentinel Class Fast Response Cutter (FRC) WPC-1110 RAYMOND EVANS will dock at Mallory Square during training.  While docked, they will offer tours to the public.  The fast response cutter WPC-1110 RAYMOND EVANS is soon to be the fourth cutter to be commissioned in Key West, FL and is the namesake of the late Commander Raymond J. Evans.

Commander Raymond J. Evans, USCG (Ret.) enlisted in the Coast Guard on 18 September 1939 in Seattle and immediately volunteered for sea duty when offered the chance.  In the years prior to World War II new recruits were sometimes sent immediately to sea without attending boot camp if a local cutter needed crewmen.  Such was the case when CGC Spencer tied up in Seattle while en route from Valdez, Alaska, to Staten Island, New York.  Along with Evans, another local recruit named Douglas Munro also joined the Spencer.  They both struck for signalman and both later transferred to the Coast Guard-manned assault transport USS Hunter Liggett (APA-14). Continue reading

3Wishes.com Fantasy Fest Parade Design Workshop Scheduled for August 18, 2014

Photo Fantasyfest.com

Photo Fantasyfest.com

Don’t let a lack of inspiration rain on your parade! Come to the design workshop, and get some great advice on how to create a fabulously over-the-top entry for this year’s 3Wishes.com Fantasy Fest Parade featuring “Animeted Dreams & Adventures”.This workshop is a chance for interested entrants, new and experienced, to make their dreams a reality. Come and get resourceful tips from seasoned pros on designing and building a creative entry that is both safe and dazzling!

Presenters will include legendary local float designer Rick Worth who continuously creates awe-inspiring works of parade art. Perennial award winner Sue D’Antonio, who has mastered the small-scale float design, will also be presenting. This is your chance to learn from the experts and get their advice on how to make your entry memorable and cash in on some of those fabulous Fantasy Fest Parade prizes!

The annual Design Workshop is scheduled for Monday, August 18, 5:30p.m., at the Pier House Resort and Caribbean Spa’s Grand Cayman Room.

Visit FantasyFest.com for additional information or to download a parade application. This year’s parade will be held on Saturday, October 25, at 7 p.m.

For more information about the free workshop, call the Fantasy Fest office at 305.296.1817 or email parade@marketsharecompany.com.

Getting Help with Your Medicare Costs When Money Is Tight

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Medicare provides vital health insurance for 50 million seniors and people with disabilities. But even when you have Medicare, health care is not free. People with Medicare pay premiums and have other costs that they pay out of pocket, like deductibles and co-insurance. For lower-income people, these costs can be overwhelming.

There are several programs that help low-income people with Medicare pay their health care costs—but many Medicare beneficiaries don’t know about these programs. Let’s see if we can shed some light on them.

Why might I need help?

Continue reading

Rep. Joe Garcia Accepts Ice Bucket Challenge To Raise ALS Awareness

Early yesterday morning [August 14, 2014], Congressman Joe Garcia accepted the “Ice Bucket Challenge” to raise awareness for ALS, more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. He dedicates the challenge to Deb Gaudet, a South Florida resident who wrote a personal letter to the Congressman describing her current battle with the disease. The degenerative disease which causes progressive deterioration of the nervous system, affects more than 30,000 Americans at any one given time.  The disease typically strikes people between the ages of 40 and 70, and does not currently have a cure.  Continue reading

UN Climate Summit: What To Expect and Why it Matters

On September 23, world leaders from government, business, finance and civil society will gather in New York City—at the invitation of the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon—to attend the UN Climate Summit 2014.

The aim of the Summit is to secure widespread commitment to increasing action on climate change and to build ambition among key country leadership ahead of pivotal negotiations at the 21st Conference of Parties (COP 21) in Paris, in December 2015. In Paris, countries are widely expected to build upon their respective domestic climate plans and activities with the aim of developing a new international deal to address climate change from the year 2020 forward. The litmus test for this agreement will be whether the world changes paths to keep the goal—avoiding catastrophic climate change by limiting warming to below 2°C—within reach.  The Climate Summit will preview political appetite for such a course correction. Continue reading

LEGAL HANDBOOK FOR LGBT FLORIDIANS AND THEIR FAMILIES:

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Valuable Resource Offered Free of Charge from

Equality Florida Institute and Carlton Fields Jorden Burt

Equality Florida Institute is providing an electronic version of the Legal Handbook for LGBT Floridians and Their Families free of charge on their website.  Recently updated, the 76-page resource was a pro bono project of the law firm Carlton Fields Jorden Burt, in cooperation with Equality Florida Institute. Continue reading

‘Sunshine State’ Lags Behind Leading Solar States, Ranking 19th in Solar Per Capita


Florida lags behind other leading solar states, according to a new report released today by Environment Florida Research & Policy Center and its national federation.  The report, Lighting the Way: The Top Ten States that Helped Drive America’s Solar Energy Boom in 2013, shows strong solar growth across the nation and ranks the states on the amount of solar per capita through 2013. While solar in Florida grew from 186 megawatts in 2012 to 213 megawatts in 2013 – a 7 percent increase, it lags substantially behind other states, ranking 19th in the nation for the amount of solar per capita in 2013. Nationwide, solar capacity tripled in the last two years to more than 12,000 megawatts.

Continue reading

Fantasy Fest Recruiting Parade Ambassadors

fantasy festFantasy Fest is accepting applications for Parade Ambassadors for the 2014 3Wishes.com Fantasy Fest Parade. Volunteers will have a front-row view of the fun and chaos during one of the most incredible spectacles in the nation!

Parade Ambassadors are a group of nearly 150 anime-zing volunteers who are stationed along the parade route. These very important people help keep the parade moving and make sure partygoers are safe and out of harm’s way. Volunteers are entrusted with great responsibility and must remain sober during the parade.

These trustworthy-yet-fun-loving people will receive an exclusive, specially-designed 2014 Fantasy Fest t-shirt and the honor of wearing an Ambassador emblem. They will also be invited to attend social events with other entrants, team members, and parade staff.

To join the Parade Ambassadors and earn your official “Animeted Dreams & Adventures” swag, call the Fantasy Fest office at 305-296-1817, email the team at parade@marketsharecompany.com, or apply online at FantasyFest.com.

Parade entrants and partygoers will be forever grateful for your service and you’ll create memories that will last a lifetime!

Key Largo to Key West Motorcade This Sunday / Meet Candidate for Re-election Circuit Judge Mark Jones

judge jones headshot

Circuit Judge Mark Jones is working hard on the bench and on the campaign trail and wants to meet you.  This Sunday, August 10, 2014 Judge Jones will be in Key Largo in the morning walking and working his way down the Keys with stops that include Islamorada, Plantation, Marathon, Big Pine Key, Summerland Key, Sugarloaf, and Key West.  There will be a motorcade with RV’s, trucks and motorcycles.  Come on out to meet the Judge and enjoy a lemonade, water, tea or other cold beverage.

Find us on facebook.  Search for:   The Committee to Re-Elect Judge Mark Jones, or join the campaign at www.reelectmarkjones.com.

Florida Court Orders Immediate Redrawing of Unconstitutional Congressional Districts

A state judge’s order that Florida must redraw its congressional districts and propose a special election schedule for affected districts is good news for state voters, Common Cause said today.

“[On August 1st] Judge Terry Lewis again protected the rights of Floridians and rejected the legislature’s attempt to have one more election with congressional districts drawn for partisan advantage rather than fair representation,” said Peter Butzin, chair of Common Cause Florida. “Although holding an election based on fair and constitutional districts may create some logistical challenges, protecting Floridians’ right to select the representatives of their choice is a fundamental value that cannot be put off until next election.”

Lewis had ruled on July 10 that the districts violated the Florida Constitution’s prohibition against redistricting “with the intent to favor or disfavor a political party or an incumbent.” Common Cause is a plaintiff in the successful challenge to the districts along with the League of Women Voters and several voters.

Lewis agreed with the plaintiffs that holding an election using unconstitutional congressional districts is unacceptable. He ordered the legislature to immediately begin redrawing district lines and submit a new map by noon on August 15, 2014. Lewis also ordered the Secretary of State and Supervisors of Election to submit a proposed special election schedule for affected districts. A hearing will take place on August 20, 2014 on objections to the map and the proposed special election schedule.

For more information on redistricting developments in Florida, go to www.fairdistrictsnow.org.

Restoration Advisory Board to Hold Meeting July 30

Representatives from Naval Air Station Key West will meet with community members Wednesday, July 30, to discuss sites on the air station and former Navy properties in the Lower Keys that require environmental cleanup or monitoring.

The annual Restoration Advisory Board (RAB) meeting takes place in the meeting room of the Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center at 35 East Quay Road, Key West, at 6 p.m. and is open to the public.

The air station’s RAB mission is to establish a forum with the community, regulators and NAS Key West for the input and exchange of information in an open and interactive dialogue concerning the installation’s environmental program. Continue reading

THE EIMERS CASE: Witness Claims Police Intimidation Tactics Will Not Deter Him

Intimidation2

toy cop

“To be honest with you, I am really nervous about the whole thing.  I think they’re going to bother him or something,” says L, whose friend P was subpoenaed to testify before the Grand Jury in the Charles Eimers case last Wednesday.

While P was testifying, two squad cars were parked in front of his house, one blocking his driveway.  His friend, concerned about the strange coincidence, texted him a photo of the police cars.

On a recent occasion, officer Gary Lee Lovette, who was one of the officers who arrested Eimers last Thanksgiving, reportedly pushed P’s shopping cart violently out of his way at a Publix grocery store.

P had spoken with the Blue Paper after Eimers’ death revealing certain behavior and incriminating admissions by Key West police officer Lovette.  After P was finally interviewed by FDLE, he says Lovette’s attitude became threatening. Continue reading

Senator Bullard Guest of Honor at LWV Social July 29th

State Senator Dwight Bullard

State Senator Dwight Bullard

State Senator Dwight Bullard will be guest of honor at the Lower Keys League of Women Voters‘ Fifth Tuesday social on July 29, 5 till 7 p.m. at the New York Pasta Garden in Duval Square.

Senator Bullard is a professional educator and serves as the ranking Democrat on the Senate Education Committee. In his tenure in the legislature, he has also been very active on issues of health care and justice.

LKLWV’s Fifth Tuesdays are an informal opportunity for league members and other interested constituents to get to know an elected official or community leader. “These gatherings have generated quite a bit of local interest and we know the Senator’s constituents down here in the Lower Keys will be thrilled to have the chance to hear his thoughts on the many issues affecting us, especially in this informal setting,“ said Joy Brown Taylor, the chapter’s founding vice president and current Voter Services Committee chair.

Duval Square is located at the corner of Duval and Virginia streets; there is customer parking off Simonton. The event will be held in the patio restaurant’s air conditioned party room. Appetizers will be served and a cash bar will be available throughout, Brown Taylor said, noting that Bullard would speak informally at about 5:30 p.m. and a question and answer session would follow.

For additional details, please phone her at (305) 587-7833.

Key West Mayoral Candidates Q&A Forum Scheduled for July 29th

The Key West Golf Course Homeowners Association will be hosting a Mayoral Candidates Question and Answer Forum on Tuesday, July 29th at 6:30 pm.  This event is open to all citizens of Key West.

The Forum will be held at the Key West Golf Course’s clubhouse.  There will be a cash bar available and the event is anticipated to last approximately 90 minutes.

Jenna Stauffer of WEYW-TV, the co-host and co-producer of “Good Morning Florida Keys with Rick and Jenna”, will act as moderator for the Forum.  She will field questions from the floor. All the Candidates will answer each question.  This will be a great way for the people of Key West to learn where each candidate stands on a particular issue and their views for the future of Key West.

All three candidates had been invited to participate.   Candidates Sloan Bashinsky and Margaret Romero have accepted the invitation to participate. The Homeowners Association was disappointed to learn that Mayor Cates declined the invitation, citing a conflict with “previous engagements”.

For further information please contact the Key West Golf Club HOA at info@kwgchoa.com.

Light The Way For Mr. Chapman At The Gecko! July 31st 5-8 pm

chap tricycle

Thursday, July 31st during happy hour 5-8p, the Lazy Gecko will be hosting a fundraiser for Key West’s Mr. Chapman.

Mr. Chapman has had some housing issues arise and he and his family need Key West’s support!

We will have a fundraising raffle & many places around town have donated silent auction items. Items include gift certificates from Hot Tin Roof – Key West, Blackfin Bistro, Antonia’s Restaurant, Vinos on Duval, Santiago’s Bodega Key West, Michael’s, Paradise Tattoo, a private chef dinner for up to 8 guests from Great Events, 2 night stay at Gateway Canyons in Colorado, wine from Flora Springs Winery in Napa, artwork & more is coming every day!

There will also be a Lighted bike parade at sundown with Mr. Chapman himself! 20 lighted fat-tire bikes will be raffled for use during the parade, donated by KeyWestBicycles.com. Anyone & everyone is welcome to bring their lights & join the parade!

For those that can’t make it, we have a GoFundMe set up.

3Wishes.com Fantasy Fest Parade Design Workshop Scheduled for August 18, 2014

Photo Fantasyfest.com

Photo Fantasyfest.com

Don’t have your dream bubble burst!  Come to the design workshop and get some good advice on how to create a fabulously over-the-top entry for this year’s 3Wishes.com Fantasy Fest Parade featuring “Animeted Dreams & Adventures”

The annual Design Workshop is scheduled for Monday, August 18, 5:30p.m., at the Pier House Resort and Caribbean Spa’s Grand Cayman Room.

This workshop is a chance for interested entrants, new and experienced, to make their dreams a reality, by getting resourceful tips from previous award winners on designing and building a creative entry that is both safe and dazzling.

Presenters will include legendary local float designer Rick Worth who continues to create awe-inspiring works of parade art. Multiple-award winner Sue D’Antonio who designed and mastered walking groups which will give any large float a run for it’s money. This is your chance to learn from the experts and get their advice on how to make your entry memorable and potentially award winning!

Download a parade application at FantasyFest.com. It includes the basic rules, regulations and the fees. This year’s parade will be Saturday, October 25, at 7 p.m. For more information about the free workshop, call the Fantasy Fest office at 305.296.1817 or email parade@marketsharecompany.com.

Important Fantasy Fest® Street Fair Vendor Information

The organizers of  Fantasy Fest have announced that Early Selection of vendor spots as well as discounted fees are being offered to Key West restaurants and related businesses and festival Sponsors.  Applications for vendor space are available on the festival website, www.fantasyfest.com. Applications for early sign-up must indicate this preference and should be received by the festival office by August 1.

All other vendors wishing to participate should note the following: the Food Vendor Lottery will be held Tuesday, August 26, at the DoubleTree by Hilton Grand Key Resort. Arts & Crafts booths are available through the festival office. The selection process for the not-for-profit Liquor Booths will be announced in August..

For information and guidelines, please contact the Street Fair Coordinator Betsy Dietz at 296-1817 streetfair@marketsharecompany.com.

Greer Cornell Newest Member of Sunrise Rotary

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Key West Sunrise Rotary welcomed Greer Cornell, Casa Marina Resort human resources assistant director, as its 79th member on July 18. Membership committee chair Sue Fowler installed Cornell as her sponsor and spouse Charlie Mench presented her Rotary pin.

The Sunrise Rotary Club in the Conch Republic was founded in 1988 to become the first Rotary Club in the Lower Keys to allow women members. Sunrise Rotary meets on Fridays at 7 a.m. at Trumbo Palms on Trumbo Point.

VNA/Hospice Announces New Board Members

Richard Grusin, Board Chairman for Visiting Nurse Association and Hospice of the Florida Keys (VNA/Hospice), is proud to announce the appointment of Dr. Perry Arnold, Rick Freeburg and Stuart Kaufman to their Board of Directors.

“We are extremely energized by the leadership and commitment to serve that our new directors have made in support of this agency and its mission of care,” said Grusin.

Dr. Perry Arnold

ArnoldDr. Perry Arnold, who received his Bachelor of Arts from Baylor University and his Medical Doctorate from the University of Texas, served in the United States Public Health Service (USPHS) and the Department of Indian Health prior to completing his USPHS residency in Radiology.

Dr. Arnold practiced general and Interventional Radiology at Good Samaritan Hospital in Baltimore for 27 years before developing and operating the first free-standing interventional access center for dialysis patients in the United States.  The center focused on dialysis access care as well as training other physicians on how to successfully treat dialysis dysfunction.

Prior to retiring in Key West in 2005, Dr. Arnold was a part-time member of the Johns Hopkins Medical Institution faculty for 29 years and then worked part-time in New York for six years.  Dr. Arnold was a volunteer physician for VNA/Hospice in 2005 and 2006 and serves on the City of Key West’s Board of Art in Public Places. Continue reading

Air Traffic Control Squadron Visits NAS Key West

Mobile ATC Training

Air National Guardsmen with the 245th and 259th Air Traffic Control Squadrons set up a mobile air traffic control tower and antennae Tuesday as part of their mobilization training exercises at Naval Air Station Key West’s Boca Chica Field. Ten air traffic control squadrons across the U.S. deploy and provide air traffic services for worldwide contingencies, such as wartime support and disaster recovery.               U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Brian Morales.