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

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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 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

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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

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“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

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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.

FIRM Announces 2014/2015 Board of Directors and Officers

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At their June 16, 2014 Board of Directors meeting, Fair Insurance Rates in Monroe (FIRM) announced their 2014/2015 Board of Directors and Board Officers.   Front Row Left : Theresa Faber,  Michele White, Mel Montagne (President),  Michael Kiraly; Second Row Left : Laura Burchard (Admin. Aide), Heather Carruthers (Vice President), Steve Russ and Third Row Left : Phil Wilson (Treasurer),  Lee Cummings,  Carol Schreck (Secretary).  Not shown:  John Barrett, Ava Bianchino, Kate DeLoach, Robert Gold, John Littriello and Joe Walsh.

FIRM is a county-wide grassroots organization whose mission it is to achieve residential, condominium and commercial property insurance rates in Monroe County that are neither excessive, discriminatory, nor unaffordable and ensure appropriate physical and financial protection for Keys property in order to sustain and support our communities.

Islamorada Author, PJ Royal, Celebrates New Book Release: Roostica Restaurant, Tuesday July 22, 2014

killing the bee

Join Author P.J. Royal in celebrating the release of her new novel, “Killing the Bee King” at Roostica Restuarant on Tuesday July 22, 2014 from 5-8 PM.

The new novel is a wonderful piece of historical fiction:

Against a backdrop of escalating tension, in an England mismanaged by inept leadership, Napoleon Bonaparte is silently massing battle-hardened troops along the French coast in anticipation of a cross-Channel invasion. While Ireland violently protests English oppression, an unlikely hero emerges in the form of an Irish bare-knuckle boxer by the name of Wolfe Trant. Recruited from the depths of Newgate Prison by William Pitt, an ex-prime minister who now operates a covert spy ring, Wolfe’s agenda is to infiltrate Napoleon’s inner circle to determine the intended point of invasion. Wolfe is forced to partner with the enigmatic leader of the French Resistance, a woman known only as Primrose, as the two are pursued through the streets of Paris by the sinister minister of police. Hounded by larger political and economic forces that have a vested interest in their failure, Wolfe and Primrose are forced to redefine their ideas of trust and loyalty as they race against time to defeat the strategically brilliant plans of Bonaparte.

Please join us for a brief reading and celebration of the release of this novel. If you are unable to make it, the book is available via Barnes & Noble and Amazon.com, but why not come out, meet the author and get your copy signed.

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 have been invited to participate.   Candidates Sloan Bashinsky and Margaret Romero have accepted the invitation to participate. The Homeowners Association was disappointed to learn today 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.

Senator Bullard Guest of Honor at LWV Social July 29th

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.

Southernmost Car Club Holds Monthly Ice-Cream Social and Car Show, July 19th

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The Florida Keys Southernmost Car Club (FKSCC) holds its monthly ICE CREAM SOCIAL AND CAR SHOW this Saturday, July 19th. 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 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 People’s Choice and that classic will take home a beautiful Plaque! This is a FREE event. NEW Tshirt design is here.

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

COMMUNITY SUPPORT NEEDED FOR FLORIDA FOOD BANKS

Public Service Announcements 2

Winn-Dixie launches donation program to help hungry children thrive in school

Local food banks, including Feeding South Florida, are preparing for the upcoming school year and the fight against childhood hunger. Winn-Dixie has launched the Summer Backpack Hunger Relief Program in all stores to help the one out of five children in Florida who don’t know from where their next meal will come. Customers are encouraged to donate at any store register July 16 through August 19 to help provide meals for healthy minds and bodies to thrive in the classroom. Every dollar donated will go directly to regional food banks to help fill backpacks with nutritious, fresh foods. Give a dollar. Help fill a backpack.

“As a community food provider, no issue touches the heart of our customers and associates more than childhood hunger,” said Rondel Hartwell, Winn-Dixie’s director of community involvement and charitable giving. “It’s our belief that no child should ever go hungry and that every child deserves nutritious meals and a healthy start to life.”

Added Hartwell, “the Winn-Dixie Summer Backpack Hunger Relief Program provides a quick and easy way for our communities to help give hungry children a nutritious meal.” Continue reading

Important Fantasy Fest® Street Fair Dates and Discount for Locals

The organizers of Fantasy Fest have announced the important dates for food and arts and crafts vendor booth sign-up for the 2014 Street Fair and Promenade, to be held on Friday, October 24 and Saturday, October 25.  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. Booth space will be assigned in early August according to the product the booth will be selling and availability of space.  Continue reading

Leadership Monroe County Class XXIII Recruitment and Reception July 24 at the New Islamorada Resort

Leadership Monroe County invites the public to the next and last of three social receptions to introduce the program for the upcoming Class XXIII which begins in October and meet alumni and Board, Thursday, July 24, at The Islamorada Resort, 80001 Overseas Hwy, Islamorada, at 5:30-7:30. 

Applying Class members will learn about the 2014-15 sessions, and the scope, mission and benefits of becoming part of this county-wide program which seeks to build relationships for constructive alliances among Florida Keys leaders in the public and private sectors. Continue reading

Ruling Allows Same-Sex Marriage In The Keys!

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Monroe County Circuit Judge Luis Garcia overturned the state’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage on Thursday after hearing a legal challenge in the lawsuit Huntsman v Heavilin on July 7th in Plantation Key. Garcia ruled in favor of the plaintiff couple, Aaron Huntsman and William Lee Jones of Key West. The ruling applies only to Monroe County.

Garcia’s order would allow same-sex couples from around the state to flock to the Keys to get married. However, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, quickly filed a notice of appeal Thursday, putting Garcia’s ruling on hold.

Continue reading

2014 Amazing Mel Fisher Treasure Hunt Winners / Anthony and Kiana Porcelli

The Amazing Mel Fisher Treasure Hunt organized by Southernmost Scavenger Hunt presented Anthony Porcelli of the US Navy and wife Kiana Porcelli tonight with a treasure chest filled with $5,000 in US one dollar coins on behalf of their 4 person team "Monsteras Deliciosas", which included team members Margot Koch and Shaun Griffin. Pat Croce Restaurant Group sponsored the prize and Mel Fisher's Treasures hosted the event. Congratulations, Today's the Day! Keep an eye out for next year's Amazing Mel Fisher Treasure hunt in Key West at www.melfisherdays.com

The Amazing Mel Fisher Treasure Hunt organized by Southernmost Scavenger Hunt presented Anthony Porcelli of the US Navy and wife Kiana Porcelli with a treasure chest filled with $ 5,000 in US one dollar coins on behalf of their 4 person team “Monsteras Deliciosas”, which included team members Margot Koch and Shaun Griffin. Pat Croce Restaurant Group sponsored the prize and Mel Fisher’s Treasures hosted the event. Congratulations, Today’s the Day! Keep an eye out for next year’s Amazing Mel Fisher Treasure hunt in Key West at www.melfisherdays.com

State Recognizes Green Parrot and Blue Heaven For Outstanding Recycling Rates

Two local businesses are showing up the state when it comes to recycle rates. On Tuesday, Florida Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Herschel T. Vinyard, Jr. will be presenting awards to The Green Parrot and to Blue Heaven for their outstanding efforts at recycling. Secretary Vinyard will present the awards on Tuesday, July 22 at 1 p.m. at Old City Hall, 510 Greene Street, during the City Commission budget workshop.

FDEP has a program that recognizes businesses whose recycle rate tops 40 percent. The Green Parrot is the first bar in the state to achieve that goal with a rate of 59 percent. Blue Heaven is the first restaurant in the state to achieve that goal with a rate of 61 percent.

The state program is aimed at encouraging private businesses, institutions, schools, public organizations and citizens to increase recycling in order to reach Florida’s recycling goal of 75 percent by 2020.

Bravo Green Parrot and Blue Heaven!!

Ron Demes Named President of Key West Sunrise Rotary Club

Sunrise Rotary President

Key West Sunrise Rotary Club in the Conch Republic named its new President Ron Demes, left, during a ceremony June 27. 2013-14 Sunrise Rotary President Scott Duszynski and District Governor Ellen Blasi presented the gavel to Demes signifying his year as president. It was also announced that day that the club is the first 100 percent Paul Harris Fellow Club in the Florida Keys. Rotarians who contribute $ 1,000 or more or donations made for others to Rotary’s annual programs fund may become a Paul Harris Fellow, which is named after Paul P. Harris, founder of Rotary in 1905. As of June 30, all Key West Sunrise Rotarians were Paul Harris Fellows. The donations contribute to Rotary International’s effort to eradicate polio worldwide.

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. It meets every Friday at 7 a.m. at Trumbo Palms on Trumbo Point in Key West.

Compost Available Saturday

two trotting

Composted horse manure is available this Saturday, July 12th from 10 a.m. until noon at the PAL gym near the entrance to Fort Zachary Taylor State Park.

The horses have been busy filling the City’s manure composting bins, and we have a load that’s garden ready.  Bring a container and a donation and leave with locally produced compost.

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 6:30pm.  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 have been invited to participate.   Candidates Sloan Bashinsky and Margaret Romero have accepted the invitation to participate. The Homeowners Association was disappointed to learn today 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.

REPRESENTATIVE JOE GARCIA STATEMENT ON HOUSE REPUBLICAN’S REFUSAL TO ACT ON IMMIGRATION REFORM

 

Congressman Garcia press release

Following a new report from USA Today that the House Republican Leadership stated “the last remaining hope for an immigration bill” is over. Representative Joe Garcia issued the following statement in response:

“Speaker John Boehner and the leaders of the Republican Congress have delivered a slap in the face to the Hispanic community, to South Florida families and to thousands of Americans across our country who are demanding action on comprehensive immigration reform now. They have stood in the way of comprehensive immigration reform for far too long. Enough is enough. We must continue to push forward and refuse to allow the dysfunctional, partisan politics of a few in Washington to stand in the way of what the American people have asked for and deserve – comprehensive immigration reform that reflects our nation’s diverse and vast human landscape.”

BACKGROUND: Continue reading

Malibu Rum Hemingway 5K Sunset Run/Walk & Paddleboard Race / Set for this July 19th

Hemingway Start

Runners and paddleboard enthusiasts can test their skills and celebrate Ernest Hemingway’s sporting lifestyle during the Malibu Rum Hemingway 5K Sunset Run/Walk and Paddleboard Race set for Saturday evening, July 19. Come and participate in what Competitor Magazine called “One of the Must-Do Races” in their February 2014 issue!

This popular 5K Run/Walk & Paddleboard Race is the oldest ongoing race in Key West! It’s also a part of the annual Hemingway Days celebration commemorating the author, who lived in Key West during the 1930s.

Key Largo Bike & Adventure Tours is also organizing the 3rd Annual Hemingway Century Tour — a 100-mile bike ride to Key West on Saturday morning at 7:30. The ride begins at Key Largo Bike Shop, 91946 Overseas Highway, in Tavernier. Call 305-395-1551 for more information, or entrants can register at KeyLargoBike.com/Hemingway-Century-Ride.  Continue reading

38 Journalism Groups Urge President to Stop Excessive Controls on Public Information

Thirty-eight journalism and open government groups today called on President Obama to stop practices in federal agencies that prevent important information from getting to the public.

The national organizations sent a letter to Obama today urging changes to policies that constrict information flow to the public, including prohibiting journalists from communicating with staff without going through public information offices, requiring government PIOs to vet interview questions and monitoring interviews between journalists and sources. Continue reading

TRUMAN WATERFRONT: Commission Approves Five-Year Lease For Superboat Championship Races

Park boat parking plan

Last Tuesday evening the Key West City Commission approved a five-year lease on a significant portion of the Truman Waterfront to Super Boat International Productions (SBI).  SBI is a privately-owned, for-profit corporation based in Key West.

Lease terms were negotiated between former City Manager Bob Vitas and Charles Carbonell, president of SBI.  The lease allows SBI to make use of a portion of the Truman Waterfront property for up to three weeks each year.  A race village will occupy that land for about week, with a week on ether side for preparation and clean-up.  Continue reading

Civil and Human Rights Coalition Urges Passage of Voting Rights Act Update

WASHINGTON – Wade Henderson, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, issued the following statement on Wednesday, the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Civil Rights Act, passage of which the broad Leadership Conference coalition spearheaded:

“The passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which was signed into law 50 years ago today, was a milestone in our nation’s long journey to create a more perfect union. The CRA addressed the corrosive effect that discrimination in employment, public accommodations, education, and voting has on our democracy. As A. Philip Randolph, one of the founders of The Leadership Conference, rightly said, the CRA is the ‘Magna Carta for civil rights.’ Continue reading

27th Annual Reef Relief Membership Meeting: A Coral Reef celebration

Reef Relief’s 27th Annual membership Meeting is July 15th,  from 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm, at the Casa Marina Resort located at 1500 Reynolds Street in Key West. This year, we highlight water quality in the Florida Keys. Join us as we celebrate our marine environment together!

This year’s speakers include Dr. David Vaughan, Executive Director of M.O.T.E.’s Tropical Research Lab; Chris Costello, with the Floridians’ Clean Water Declaration and the Sierra Club. Representative Holly Raschein will be speaking about water quality and the Florida legislature. Please join us this evening as we recognize Reef Relief’s accomplishments over the past year. Enjoy free food and a cash bar.

Join or renew at the door for a 15-dollar minimum tax-deductible donation. This meeting is open to Reef Relief members. Join or renew today by visiting reefrelief.org/act/donate. Come show your support for the Florida Keys National Barrier Reef and help Reef Relief in our mission to preserve our beautiful coral reef ecosystem.

For more information: email: reefrelief@gmail.com, call (305) 294-3100 or visit reefrelief.org/act/events.

Reef Relief is a nonprofit membership organization dedicated to improving and protecting our coral reef ecosystem. Check us out at reefrelief.org 

Florida Couples and Equality Florida Institute Urge Court to Strike Down State’s Ban on Marriage Equality

Last Wednesday, a state trial court in Miami heard oral argument on a motion filed in May by six same-sex couples and Equality Florida Institute challenging Florida laws barring same-sex couples from marriage. The couples asked the court to strike down Florida’s marriage ban and order the state to allow same-sex couples to marry.

The couples argue that Florida’s ban on marriage equality cannot stand in light of the United States Supreme Court’s ruling in June 2013 that the federal “Defense of Marriage Act” violates the federal constitutional guarantees of equal protection and due process. Continue reading

RECYCLING RATES IN FLORIDA CONTINUE TO CLIMB ~State recycling rate takes modest steps toward the 75 percent goal by 2020~

MONROE COUNTY MAKES THE LIST OF TOP 10 COUNTIES FOR BEST RECYCLING RATES

[10TH OUT OF 10 WITH 55% RECYCLING RATE]

TALLAHASSEE – New 2013 recycling data released by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection shows Florida’s official recycling rate is now 49 percent, up one percent from last year. This represents a substantial increase in the amount of solid waste recycled — from 9.7 million tons in 2012 to 11.8 million tons in 2013.

The total recycling rate represents a combination of traditional recycling practices and renewable energy credits, which are calculated based on the amount of renewable energy produced using solid waste as a fuel. Per Florida Statutes, each megawatt-hour of electricity produced by waste equals one ton of recycling. For 2013, there were 3.4 million megawatt-hours of electricity produced from both waste-to-energy facilities and the use of landfill gas. Florida law pertaining to the recycling rate was amended by the legislature in 2012 to promote the production of renewable energy from solid waste. Continue reading

Key West High School Graduate Anika Yasmin Takes Top Honors

Chatman Yasmin DePiero

[L-R] Cyndi Chatman, Anika Yasmin, Roberta DePiero

The Zonta Club of Key West announces an annual scholarship award first. Anika Yasmin, 2014 Key West High School graduate captured the Young Women in Public Affairs award at the local level. Her accomplishments then captured both District and now International Level scholarship awards, chosen out of recipients from 17 different countries.

Born in Bangladesh, Yasmin came to Key West at age two. Beginning her education in specialized classes for non-English speakers, she worked her way into the gifted program in third grade and excelled at school becoming high school Valedictorian. She also became active in the community while juggling the responsibilities and expectations of being a domesticated Muslim woman, holding a job, and being a full-time caretaker for her mother after she had a debilitating stroke. Yasmin was the first Bengali girl in town to travel abroad by herself, and taking notice of her accomplishments the Bengali community also began encouraging their daughters to follow in her footsteps. Continue reading

STONE SOUP PARTY AND BIKE PARADE, Sunday August 17th

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A Stone Soup party and bike parade to support our friend and neighbor, Mr. Chapman will be held on Sunday, August 17th.

The event will begin with a bike parade starting at Eaton Bikes on Simonton St. and ending at Cowboy Bills and Seadog Tavern. The Bike Parade will be open to anyone who wishes to participate and decorations are encouraged. Entry fee for the parade is $ 10 and all proceeds go to Mr. Chapman.

The Stone Soup Party will start at 3:00 and run until 8:30 at both Cowboy Bill’s and Seadog Tavern on Duval and Angela Streets. The event will include concerts on two stages, a pool tournament, bull riding, a giant  silent auction; raffles, and much more. To top off the day an incredible  “Stone Soup” dish prepared by Jenny Robinson of Seadog Tavern and consisting of delectable ingredients donated by our favorite restaurants will be served to all.

For more information or to donate silent auction items call Jeff Salzman at 305-896-0961 or Stacy Thomason at 305-433-1283.

If you can’t make it you can still help out by donating to ‘Light the Way for Mr. Chapman’:  GoFundMe

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.

United Way Wants to ‘Stuff the Bus’ with School Supplies

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The Key Largo Chamber of Commerce collected these “Stuff the Bus” supplies.

Keys kids need school supplies like paper, pencils, notebooks and highlighters in order to succeed at their studies. But some kids can’t afford even these basic supplies. That’s why United Way of the Florida Keys and its community partners have launched “Stuff the Bus,” an effort that will hopefully produce truckloads of school supplies to be distributed to all Monroe County public schools from Key Largo to Key West.

Local companies can become sponsors of “Stuff the Bus” by pledging to provide a minimum amount of $ 250 worth of school supplies through a supply drive with their employees or customers, or by making a contribution of $ 250 or more, or a combination of both. Supplies can be collected until August 25th.

Continue reading

Equality Florida Applauds Charlie Crist for Commitment to Signing an Executive Order for LGBT Equality if Elected Governor

charlie crist


Equality Florida, the state’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) advocacy organization, applauds Democratic gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist for his announcement today regarding LGBT employees.

At a press conference today in St. Petersburg, Crist announced that if elected Governor, he will make January 6, 2015 a “First Day of Fairness” by signing five Executive Orders, including an Executive Order to “prohibit any form of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity within the state agencies or its contractors — because all Floridians should be equal in the eyes of the law.”

“We applaud Charlie Crist for taking a stand for equality and fairness in the workplace,” said Nadine Smith, CEO of Equality Florida. “Florida is at a critical moment in our struggle to end discrimination, and the next Governor can make a tremendous impact on the everyday lives of thousands of LGBT people in our state.  It is also clear that policies of nondiscrimination will make Florida more economically competitive in the global marketplace.”

The Executive Order announced by Crist mirrors the Executive Order recently signed by President Obama. In it, the President prohibited discrimination against LGBT workers in all federal agencies or its contractors.

In June, the Equality Florida Action PAC, the state’s largest PAC dedicated to electing pro-LGBT candidates, endorsed Charlie Crist in the race for Governor.

View details of “First Day of Fairness” here: http://www.charliecrist.com/updates/january-6th-2015

‘BRING BACK THE GULF’: New Book Slams Policies that Allow Oil Industry to Dump Old Rigs at Taxpayer Expense

Bring Back The Gulf

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Anyone who thinks co-founder of Reef Relief, DeeVon Quirolo, may have toned down her efforts to protect our oceans since leaving the Keys and Reef Relief behind back in 2009 – well – think again.

Bring Back the Gulf  is a timely analysis of the scientific, environmental, legal, social and political aspects of the U.S. Interior Department’s “Rigs-to-Reefs” program and is now available as an e-Book at www.bringbackthegulf.org, the story of how Big Oil decided to fool the American taxpayer, and why their complicated scheme is not in the public interest.

Current policy allows the oil industry to send its trash to the ocean bottom and call it a reef. Continue reading

STONE SOUP PARTY AND BIKE PARADE, Sunday August 17th

chapman

A Stone Soup party and bike parade to support our friend and neighbor, Mr. Chapman will be held on Sunday, August 17th.

The event will begin with a bike parade starting at Eaton Bikes on Simonton St. and ending at Cowboy Bills and Seadog Tavern. The Bike Parade will be open to anyone who wishes to participate and decorations are encouraged. Entry fee for the parade is $ 10 and all proceeds go to Mr. Chapman.

The Stone Soup Party will start at 3:00 and run until 8:30 at both Cowboy Bill’s and Seadog Tavern on Duval and Angela Streets. The event will include concerts on two stages, a pool tournament, bull riding, a giant  silent auction; raffles, and much more. To top off the day an incredible  “Stone Soup” dish prepared by Jenny Robinson of Seadog Tavern and consisting of delectable ingredients donated by our favorite restaurants will be served to all.

For more information or to donate silent auction items call Jeff Salzman at 305-896-0961 or Stacy Thomason at 305-433-1283.

If you can’t make it you can still help out by donating to ‘Light the Way for Mr. Chapman’:  GoFundMe

TELE-TOWN HALL MEETING: NEXT STEPS FOR MARRIAGE EQUALITY IN FLORIDA / MONDAY, AUGUST 4 @ 6 PM

Equality Florida Institute is hosting a Tele-Town Hall Meeting on Monday, August 4 at 6 PM to address the status of the fight for marriage equality in Florida.  Equality Florida Institute is a plaintiff, along with six same-six couples, in one of the lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of Florida’s ban on same-sex marriage.

In the past two weeks, two Monroe County Florida judges have ruled that Florida’s ban is unconstitutional.

In both cases, Attorney General Pam Bondi appealed the decision, preventing same-sex couples from obtaining marriage licenses.

Where do we go from here?  What do the rulings mean, and what are the next steps for gay and lesbian Floridians to achieve marriage equality? Continue reading

HOMETOWN! PAC’s A QUESTION AND ANSWER FORUM

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Who: Mayoral Candidates, and Primary Candidates for Monroe County commissioner, district 2 and keys mosquito control board, district 5

Where: Tropic Cinema, Carper Theater, 416 Eaton Street

When: Monday, August 4, from 5:00 – 7:30 pm

What: A great political evening is in store for Key West voters when candidates for Mayor, and primary candidates for Monroe County Commissioner, District 2, and Keys Mosquito Control Board, District 5 are questioned by four top political observers.

The political mavens for this event and the next forum, scheduled for August 18, will be representatives of local newspapers and radio and television stations, business people, attorneys and others – a diverse and knowledgeable cross-section of the political spectrum of our community. Continue reading

Announcing Fantasy Fest Meeting for Non-Profits, August 14th, 5 pm

Fantasy Fest will again offer 10 vendor booth spaces to local non-profits for the lucrative sale of alcoholic beverages during the Street Fair and Promenade on October 24 and 25.  Festival organizers will hold a short meeting on Thursday, August 14, to review policy and procedures for obtaining a booth and for required licensing and insurance for liquor sales.

This informational meeting will take place at 5pm in the Market Share Company offices, Suite 211, at 1111 Twelfth St. (behind Kmart).  Space is limited, so please send only one representative. The lottery for liquor booth space selection with be held at Dante’s, on Thursday, September 11 at 5pm.

For additional information and guidelines, please contact the Street Fair Coordinator Betsy Dietz at 305-296-1817 or streetfair@marketsharecompany.com.

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

Photo:  www.fantasyfest.com

Photo: www.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.

Risky Business Report Finds Businesses and Infrastructure in U.S. and Florida Face Significant Economic Risks From Climate Change

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First-Ever Risk Analysis Quantifies Potential for Widespread Economic Disruptions

The American economy will face significant and widespread disruptions from climate change unless U.S. businesses and policymakers take immediate action to reduce climate risk, according to a new report released today. The report, “Risky Business: The Economic Risks of Climate Change in the United States,” analyzes economic and climate impact data at the county, state, and regional level, and finds that communities, industries, and properties across the U.S. face profound risks from climate change.

The report, a product of the Risky Business Project, emphasizes that climate impacts differ by scale and type across the country. Focusing on higher temps and sea level rise, the report finds that Florida faces significant climate-related risks in the coming decades.

The report identifies these specific impacts as likely to hit the Sunshine State in the next five to 25 years: Continue reading

Garcia Recognizes One Year Since Passage of Senate Version of Comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill

Congressman Garcia press release

A year ago today, the Senate passed a comprehensive immigration reform bill with broad bipartisan support. In honor of that date, yesterday [June 26, 2014], Rep. Garcia, along with several colleagues, held a press conference to highlight the House’s long inaction and discuss the need for a vote.

“It is disappointing that in 365 days, this body has done nothing but find excuses” said Garcia. “We need to stop with the finger-pointing and start governing. Continue reading

MEDICAL EXAMINER RULES DEATH OF CHARLES EIMERS ACCIDENTAL [In Case You Missed The Breaking News Release]]

“Mr. Eimers was at risk of a sudden death, at any time, due to either a chaotic cardiac rhythm or worsening of his congestive heart failure,” wrote the E. Hunt Scheuerman, M.D., the Monroe County Medical Examiner.

Charles Eimers, 61, a Michigan native, died after losing consciousness while being restrained face down in the sand by Key West police officers last Thanksgiving Day. Numerous eyewitnesses came forward accusing the police of excessive force, of holding Eimers head down in the sand, putting the weight of up to four officers on his back, and shocking him with a Taser stungun.

The Medical Examiner, however, in his final autopsy report, states that “the FDLE investigation concluded that his face Continue reading

CHARLES EIMERS ARREST VIDEO: The Extended Version (26 More Seconds)

This is an extended version of the video published last December of Charles Eimers’ arrest on South Beach on Thanksgiving Day 2013. There are an additional 26 seconds at the end of this video.  We had initially received the bystander video in two parts.  The two files were sent to us under the same file name and it was originally thought that they were identical.  In fact they overlapped and the second video included an additional 26 seconds showing more of what happened to Charles Eimers that day. Those two overlapping videos have been pieced together into the extended video above.

NOTE: At the very end of the extended video it appears that one officer has placed both of his knees, and thus nearly all of his weight, on Charles Eimers’ back.

Hometown! PAC’s MEET THE CANDIDATES RALLY [TONIGHT JUNE 20TH]

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Date and Time:  Friday, June 20, 2014 from 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Place: The Studios of Key West (TSKW)
Dear Voters and Declared Candidates:
Please join us on Friday, June 20, 2014, when Hometown! presents its second event of the 2014 election cycle: the Meet the Candidates Rally!
This will be a timely event, since all candidates must qualify not later than noon June 20th.  Hometown! will present declared candidates for the upcoming primary and general elections.  The event will be held at The Studios of Key West, located at the corner of White Street and Southard. The social portion of the event begins at 5:30 pm.  Voters will have time to meet and greet declared candidates. Continue reading

Hepatitis C: Older Americans Are At Risk

HepC-Infographic2013FullRes

Hepatitis C is a disease that is caused by a virus that affects the liver. Even though the disease often doesn’t produce symptoms, it can seriously damage the liver and can be fatal. An estimated 3.2 million Americans have Hepatitis C.

Older people are more likely to have been exposed to Hepatitis C, but many older Americans are not aware that they need to be tested for it. A December 2013 report found that Hepatitis C infections are concentrated in the Baby Boomers generation. In one major study of people with the virus, 75 percent of the patients were born between 1945 and 1964. Continue reading

Monroe County School Board member Andy Griffiths Elected to Florida School Board Association Board of Directors District 6 seat

ANDY GRIFFITHS PHOTO HEADSHOT

Monroe County School Board member Andy Griffiths has been elected to the Florida School Board Association Board of Directors District 6 seat representing Collier, Glades, Hendry, and Monroe Counties. Griffiths joins 25 Florida School Board members on the FSBA Board of Directors. He has served in every executive office of the Association and his colleagues in District 6 unanimously elected him to the post at the FSBA June 2014 conference.

“We are excited to have Andy back with us in a leadership role.” said Dr. Wayne Blanton, FSBA Executive Director. “His board experience is rare in this day and age.” Continue reading

Monroe County Top School District for Studying Abroad

Student Travelers

Twenty-one students from Monroe County High Schools (Key West, Key West Collegiate, Marathon and Coral Shores high schools) are preparing to participate in The Experiment in International Living’s cross cultural programs within 14 different countries. The Experiment in International Living offers immersive summer programs for high school students in Europe, the Americas, Africa, and Asia and the Pacific.

“Monroe County, Florida, sends more participants every summer to The Experiment than any other school district in America outside of New York City,” according to Executive Director Dr. Aaron Morehouse.  “Since 2006, 125 Monroe County students have participated in The Experiment’s innovative cross cultural programs.”

All Monroe students will leave the U.S. in small groups at the end of June, Continue reading

Hometown! PAC’s MEET THE CANDIDATES RALLY

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Date and Time:  Friday, June 20, 2014 from 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Place: The Studios of Key West (TSKW)
Dear Voters and Declared Candidates:
Please join us on Friday, June 20, 2014, when Hometown! presents its second event of the 2014 election cycle: the Meet the Candidates Rally!
This will be a timely event, since all candidates must qualify not later than noon June 20th.  Hometown! will present declared candidates for the upcoming primary and general elections.  The event will be held at The Studios of Key West, located at the corner of White Street and Southard. The social portion of the event begins at 5:30 pm.  Voters will have time to meet and greet declared candidates. Continue reading

Hometown! PAC’s MEET THE CANDIDATES RALLY [June 20, 2014]

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Date and Time:  Friday, June 20, 2014 from 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Place: The Studios of Key West (TSKW)
Dear Voters and Declared Candidates:
Please join us on Friday, June 20, 2014, when Hometown! presents its second event of the 2014 election cycle: the Meet the Candidates Rally!
This will be a timely event, since all candidates must qualify not later than noon June 20th.  Hometown! will present declared candidates for the upcoming primary and general elections.  The event will be held at The Studios of Key West, located at the corner of White Street and Southard. The social portion of the event begins at 5:30 pm.  Voters will have time to meet and greet declared candidates. Continue reading

PROTECTING THE COMMUNITY FROM NATURAL DISASTERS A Guide to Flood Insurance, Flood Mitigation and Wind Mitigation Programs

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Monroe County and the Florida Association of Counties are offering a FREE Wind and Flood Mitigation Workshop on Thursday, June 12th in Key West and Friday, June 13th in Key Largo. The workshops have been designed for homeowners, utilities, governments, developers and contractors, realtors, insurance agents, businesses, and homeowner & condo associations.

The workshop includes how recent changes to the National Flood Insurance Program will affect flood insurance rates in our cities and County, steps to lower flood insurance rates as well as wind and flood grant programs for residents, governments, commercial properties and homeowner developments. Continue reading

One Will Nab Cameo Role in New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Heather Graham’s Next Book

One mystery fiction fan will win a walk-on cameo appearance in New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Heather Graham’s next novel.

One mystery fiction fan will win a walk-on cameo appearance in New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Heather Graham’s next novel.

Organizers of the upcoming Mystery Writers Key West Fest have announced that one Fest guest will walk into the pages of New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Heather Graham’s next story.

All fans of mystery fiction who have registered for the inaugural Mystery Writers Key West by midnight June 6 are eligible to win a walk-on role in the prolific author’s next work. Graham, who has more than seventy-five million books in print, is slated to be a panelist at the upcoming “Murder & Mayhem in Paradise” themed Fest, a gathering of premier South Florida based true crime, mystery and suspense writers, to be held in Key West June 13-15.

Her most recent book, The Cursed, released in late May, is set in Key West and involves a haunted B&B, a murder, salvagers, a sunken ship and a curse.

For registration, hotel room booking link and a full event schedule, visit www.mysterywriterskeywestfest.com.

Climate Action Transparency Key To Trustworthiness

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New carbonn Cities Climate Registry (cCCR) report reveals that global voluntary reporting of local climate action triggers trustworthiness, access to finance and citizen engagement.

Four hundred twenty-two [422] local and subnational governments from 44 countries serving 12% of the world’s urban population are on track to trustworthiness, according to the carbonn Cities Climate Registry (cCCR) 2013 Annual Report released today at the ongoing UN Bonn Climate Change conference in Bonn, Germany.

The cCCR is the world’s largest public database of local climate action. It contains 3870 mitigation and adaptation actions, 870 climate and energy commitments, and 771 inventories covering around 2.25 Gigatons Co2e of annual GHG emissions. The cCCR catalyzes the trustworthiness of local and subnational governments by improving transparency, accountability and comparability of local climate actions. Continue reading

Southernmost Car Club Holds Monthly Ice Cream Social and Car Show This Saturday, June 14th

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The Florida Keys Southernmost Car Club (FKSCC) holds its monthly ICE CREAM SOCIAL AND CAR SHOW this Saturday, June 14th. 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 cool and on wheels it will be here.

This fun evening event is 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.

PROTECTING THE COMMUNITY FROM NATURAL DISASTERS A Guide to Flood Insurance, Flood Mitigation and Wind Mitigation Programs

firm logo

Monroe County and the Florida Association of Counties are offering a FREE Wind and Flood Mitigation Workshop on Thursday, June 12th in Key West and Friday, June 13th in Key Largo. The workshops have been designed for homeowners, utilities, governments, developers and contractors, realtors, insurance agents, businesses, and homeowner & condo associations.

The workshop includes how recent changes to the National Flood Insurance Program will affect flood insurance rates in our cities and County, steps to lower flood insurance rates as well as wind and flood grant programs for residents, governments, commercial properties and homeowner developments. Continue reading

Monroe County Top School District for Studying Abroad

Student Travelers


Twenty-one students from Monroe County High Schools (Key West, Key West Collegiate, Marathon and Coral Shores high schools) are preparing to participate in The Experiment in International Living’s cross cultural programs within 14 different countries. The Experiment in International Living offers immersive summer programs for high school students in Europe, the Americas, Africa, and Asia and the Pacific.

“Monroe County, Florida, sends more participants every summer to The Experiment than any other school district in America outside of New York City,” according to Executive Director Dr. Aaron Morehouse.  “Since 2006, 125 Monroe County students have participated in The Experiment’s innovative cross cultural programs.”  Continue reading

One Will Nab Cameo Role in New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Heather Graham’s Next Book

One mystery fiction fan will win a walk-on cameo appearance in New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Heather Graham’s next novel.

One mystery fiction fan will win a walk-on cameo appearance in New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Heather Graham’s next novel.

Organizers of the upcoming Mystery Writers Key West Fest have announced that one Fest guest will walk into the pages of New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Heather Graham’s next story.

All fans of mystery fiction who have registered for the inaugural Mystery Writers Key West by midnight June 6 are eligible to win a walk-on role in the prolific author’s next work. Graham, who has more than seventy-five million books in print, is slated to be a panelist at the upcoming “Murder & Mayhem in Paradise” themed Fest, a gathering of premier South Florida based true crime, mystery and suspense writers, to be held in Key West June 13-15.

Her most recent book, The Cursed, released in late May, is set in Key West and involves a haunted B&B, a murder, salvagers, a sunken ship and a curse.

For registration, hotel room booking link and a full event schedule, visit www.mysterywriterskeywestfest.com.

WORKING CLASS APPRECIATION DAY! Sunday 2:00 pm

Daddy Bones BBQ is hosting a Working Class Appreciation Day. They are providing FREE food to thank all the blue collar workers of Key West! Starts this Sunday June 8th at 2 p.m. and ends when the food runs out!

Ok, if you work three jobs, you live on a boat, your van, hell even KOTS, as long as you work and put into this little island home of ours. If you’re just a little tired of everything city government does hurting us the ones that feed the city, turn on the lights, make the beds! WELL DADDY BONES WANTS TO SAY THANK YOU! COME EAT SOME LOCAL BBQ, LISTEN TO LOCAL MUSIC, and blow off some steam!