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

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

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

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

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

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

 May 27, 2016  Posted by at 12:48 am Issue #168, News, Public Notice No Responses »
May 272016

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

 May 27, 2016  Posted by at 12:47 am Issue #168, Public Notice, Special Event No Responses »
May 272016
Commissioner Kaufman Convenes Community Meeting

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

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

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

 May 27, 2016  Posted by at 12:40 am Issue #168, News, Public Notice No Responses »
May 272016
June 1-TIES Program Community Partner Appreciation Event

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

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

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

 May 27, 2016  Posted by at 12:28 am Issue #168, News, Special Event 1 Response »
May 272016
MCSD Public Meeting Notice

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 May 27, 2016  Posted by at 12:16 am Issue #168, News, Public Notice No Responses »
May 272016
BOCC Special Budget Hearing

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 May 23, 2016  Posted by at 10:01 pm News 5 Responses »
May 202016
Peary Court: Affordable Housing Deal Goes Through / 92% of Units Can Legally Rent For $2709/Month

by Arnaud and Naja Girard…… This must be an all time record for how fast a small City like Key West can vet, vote, and authorize payment on a 12.5 million dollar deal. In just 2 weeks time the City dispatched 12.5 million dollars to a private company that will provide affordable housing [for up to $2709/month] for rent-burdened Key West workers. The last leg of this race to closing played out this week: the County’s Land Authority pledged the entire City reserve plus $300,000 [continue reading…]

May 202016
Key West Man Charged with Painting Graffiti

A Key West man was arrested Thursday, charged with painting large amounts of graffiti on the Loop Road Bridge on Sugarloaf Key. On May 3rd just before 5 p.m., Deputy Richard Wang responded to Sugarloaf Boulevard to a report of a group of men spray painting graffiti on the Loop Road Bridge. The caller said she saw a white male with long blonde hair painting the bridge with green spray paint. She said another white male was watching as he did it. When Deputy Wang [continue reading…]

 May 20, 2016  Posted by at 1:08 am News, Public Notice No Responses »
May 202016
Truman Waterfront Advisory Board Member, Ben Volpian, Wants Fresh Talks About Park Plans

Truman Waterfront Advisory Board Member, Ben Volpian, has asked for the group’s May 23, 2016 board meeting to include a frank discussion on future park plans. Volpian says there are three Plans: 1. The Truman Waterfront Park Master Plan, 2. Conceptual Plan as presented by Planning Director, Thaddeus Cohen, and 3. Truman Waterfront Plan as presented by Ben Volpian. His aim is to begin a group discussion that would compare the 3 Plans using the City of Key West’s Mission’s and Duties of the Truman [continue reading…]

 May 20, 2016  Posted by at 1:05 am Issue #167, Public Notice 8 Responses »
May 202016
School District Survey

Monroe County School District invites you to participate in its 2016 Survey regarding the School District Strategic Plan that was developed by Hanover Research. This is the third year of deployment of the Strategic Plan and it is important to get feedback regarding its implementation, not only from the focus groups that meet every November, but from the broader community. The Survey will be available until May 27th. Click on this link for the survey.

 May 20, 2016  Posted by at 12:46 am Issue #167, Public Notice No Responses »
May 202016
Anne McKee Artist's Fund Announces 2016 Grant Winners

The Board of Directors of the Anne McKee Artists Fund recently awarded 12 project-based grants to Florida Keys visual, performing and literary artists. The awards support specific creative projects proposed by each recipient. Established by Anne McKee, a longtime Key West resident and supporter of the arts, the Fund assists talented individuals with qualified creative endeavors. Since its inception, the Fund has awarded over $234,000 to visual artists, writers and performing artists who live in the Florida Keys. The Fund’s 2016 grant recipients are: Visual [continue reading…]

 May 20, 2016  Posted by at 12:42 am Issue #167, News, Special Event No Responses »
May 202016
Retiring Fire Chief Fraga Commended

The Key West City Commission last night honored Fire Chief David Fraga with the following proclamation. Chief Fraga is stepping down at the end of the month after 42 years of service, ten of those as Chief. “Key West Fire Chief David began his career in 1973 as a firefighter, working his way up through the ranks: Captain, Fire Marshal, Division Chief, and in 2006, Fire Chief. When he first made the commitment in November of 1973, Chief Fraga could not have imagined the legacy [continue reading…]

 May 20, 2016  Posted by at 12:40 am Issue #167, News, Public Notice No Responses »
May 202016
Special Needs Coordinator Honored As County's Employee of the Year

ANNA HASKINS HONORED AS MONROE COUNTY 2015 EMPLOYEE OF THE YEAR The Monroe County Board of County Commissioners honored Special Needs Coordinator Anna Haskins as the County’s 2015 Employee of the Year. As tears trickled down Haskins’ face as she stood next to the Commissioners and Social Services Senior Director Sheryl Graham, a letter by her supervisor was read during the BOCC meeting at the Harvey Government Center in Key West. “Anna Haskins’ generosity of spirit at work and away from work with regard to [continue reading…]

 May 20, 2016  Posted by at 12:38 am Issue #167, News, Public Notice No Responses »
May 202016
Maritime Day

In recognition of the vital role that our merchants and seamen play in Key West’s history, culture and economy, Mayor Craig Cates proclaimed May 22nd Maritime Day during this week’s City Commission meeting. In times of war and peace, the American Merchant Marine has been dedicated to the orderly flow of goods and materials to and from the shores of our nation. May 22nd marks the anniversary of the day the SS Savannah sailed from U.S. shores in 1819 to Liverpool on the first successful [continue reading…]

 May 20, 2016  Posted by at 12:36 am Issue #167, News, Public Notice No Responses »
May 202016
Division of Historical Resources Requests Recommendations for National Statuary Hall Replacement

TALLAHASSEE— The Florida Department of State’s Division of Historical Resources requests interested members of the public submit recommendations of candidates for the replacement of the statue of General Edmund Kirby Smith in the National Statuary Hall Collection at the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C. “In an effort to ensure that the voices of all Floridians are heard, the Florida Division of Historical Resources is providing an online survey for the public to recommend candidates that may be considered to represent Florida in National Statuary [continue reading…]

 May 20, 2016  Posted by at 12:34 am Issue #167, News, Public Notice No Responses »
May 202016
Animal Farm Open Sunday

The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office Animal Farm is open to the public this Sunday, May 22nd from 1 – 3 p.m. Please join us and visit with the animals. The farm is free of charge; donations are welcome. The Sheriff’s Office Animal Farm has over 150 animals, most of which were abandoned, abused or otherwise surrendered by their owners. The animals at the farm include farm animals like pigs, goats, a steer, horses, a donkey, turkeys and rabbits. The farm also has a number of [continue reading…]

 May 20, 2016  Posted by at 12:26 am Issue #167, News, Public Notice No Responses »