Aug 112017
Back to School Tips

More than 3,000 students will be returning to schools in the Key West area next Wednesday. Amid the adjustments of the community’s schedule, it is important to always remember the number one back-to-school priority:  keeping kids safe. As we start a new school year, patience is the most important thing that every motorist can bring to the table. It’s worth allowing a little more time to get around to be sure that all Key West kids are safe on their way to and from school. Here [continue reading…]

 August 11, 2017  Posted by at 12:14 am Issue #231, News, Public Notice No Responses »
Aug 112017
Former State Representative Joe Saunders Named Equality Florida Senior Political Director

  On Wednesday, Equality Florida announced that Former State Representative Joe Saunders is rejoining the organization’s staff as the new Senior Political Director. In this role Saunders will be charged with leading the organization’s civic engagement programs, pro-LGBTQ mobilization efforts, and electoral programs. After nearly a ten year tenure serving as Equality Florida’s Field Director, Saunders ran for and won an east Orlando seat in the Florida House of Representatives, making history in 2012 when he along with David Richardson of Miami Beach, became the first openly [continue reading…]

 August 11, 2017  Posted by at 12:12 am Issue #231, News, Special Event No Responses »
Aug 112017
NOW Meeting

Key West National Organization for Women will meet at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, August 23, in the back dining room of Shanna Key Irish Pub, 1900 Flagler Ave., Key West.    This meeting is open to anyone interested in supporting gender equality issues.  A social hour follows the meeting.  For more information or to join, email:

 August 11, 2017  Posted by at 12:10 am Issue #231, News, Public Notice No Responses »
Aug 112017
School District to Hold Stanley Switlik Elementary Construction Community Meeting

WHO:   Harvard Jolly Architect Team, Ajax Building Corporation, Executive Director of Operations and Planning Patrick Lefere, Public WHAT: Monroe County School District officials would like to meet with the public to begin to receive feedback on design plans for Stanley Switlik Elementary School. WHEN: August 17th, 2017 at 5:00 p.m. WHERE: Stanley Switlik Elementary School                 3400 Overseas Highway                 Marathon, FL 33050                 Media Center WHY:    Officials plan to give the public an overview of the process, costs, and will take questions and feedback, to ensure the community has [continue reading…]

 August 11, 2017  Posted by at 12:04 am Issue #231, News, Public Notice No Responses »
Aug 112017
Monroe County School Board and United Teachers of Monroe Reach Tentative Agreement

The Monroe County School Board (MCSB) and the United Teachers of Monroe (UTM) are pleased to announce a tentative agreement regarding the negotiations reopener topics of compensation, benefits and evaluation for the 2017-2018 school year for Teachers and School Related Personnel (SRP). After nine interest-based bargaining sessions, representatives for MCSB and UTM reached agreement on the issues of compensation, benefits and evaluation for teachers and school related personnel for the 2017-2018 school year.  For teachers compensation adjustments are the same as those received for 2016-2017 [continue reading…]

 August 11, 2017  Posted by at 12:02 am Issue #231, News, Public Notice No Responses »
Aug 112017
Special Olympics Florida- Monroe County School Programs for 2017-18

Who: Athletes- youth ages 8 an above diagnosed with an intellectual disability or related disorder. Unified Partner- youth ages 8 and above without a disability who desires to be on a team. Coach/Volunteer- any school staff member, parent or volunteer who has a desire to coach Unified Flag Football, Unified Soccer, Unified Track What: Unified Champion Schools —registration required via a letter of intent signed by school administration Where: Any school within Monroe County School District When: Programs can begin as soon as August 16, [continue reading…]

 August 11, 2017  Posted by at 12:00 am Issue #231, News, Special Event No Responses »
Aug 042017
Spiny Lobster Regular Recreational and Commercial Season Starts August 6

The two-day sport season last week successfully wrapped up, and lobster lovers everywhere are now getting ready for the regular recreational and commercial season, which starts Aug. 6 and runs through March 31, 2018. This economically important season generates more than $1 million through the sales of more than 200,000 spiny lobster permits annually. “Based on what we saw during the two-day mini-season last month, we look forward to successful recreational harvests as well as ample opportunities for Florida’s robust commercial fishing industry,” said FWC Chairman Brian Yablonski. [continue reading…]

 August 4, 2017  Posted by at 12:40 am Issue #230, News, Public Notice No Responses »
Aug 042017
Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center Seeks Volunteers

The Florida Keys Eco-Discover Center, operated by Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, seeks volunteers to provide information to visitors and assist with interactive displays. Applicants must be at least 18, have an outgoing personality, ability to pass a background check and be willing to work one or more weekly shifts of 3.5 hours. Training is provided. The application is available at the center and at _opportunities/. Volunteer Opportunity Tuesday-Saturday 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center 35 E. Quay Rd. Key West, FL 33040 Any interested [continue reading…]

 August 4, 2017  Posted by at 12:37 am Issue #230, News, Public Notice No Responses »
Aug 042017
Police Explorer Sabrina Islam Awarded Scholarship

Key West Police Chief Donie Lee congratulates Explorer Sabina Islam, who has been recognized by the Florida Police Chiefs Education and Research Foundation with a $1000 college scholarship. In a letter announcing the awarding of the scholarship the foundation’s Executive Director Amy Mercer said that the selection process including an in-depth assessment of Islam’s overall commitment to the community, the Key West Police Department and her Explorer post. Key West Police Explorer Post #2011 is a Key West Police Department sponsored youth organization affiliated with [continue reading…]

 August 4, 2017  Posted by at 12:27 am News No Responses »
Aug 042017
Sheriff's Crime Report

Couple arrested for stalking A Big Pine Key couple was arrested on Wednesday for stalking another couple and sending them threatening text and voice mail messages. The male victim called the Sheriff’s Office on July 26th. He told Deputy Alexandra Davis he used to rent a room from 42 year old Enrique Valdes, Jr. and 35 year old Omitsu Cervantes.  He said the harassment from the couple started after he moved out at the beginning of June. He said they began asking him for more [continue reading…]

 August 4, 2017  Posted by at 12:26 am Issue #230, News, Public Notice No Responses »
Aug 042017
Pita Retires from City After 29 Years

Today marks the last day in a 29 year career with the City of Key West for Kim Pita. She is retiring after serving as the Building Department’s Licensing Administrator since 1988. City Manager Jim Scholl presented her with a plaque in honor of her years of dedicated service to the community.

 August 4, 2017  Posted by at 12:22 am Issue #230, News, Special Event No Responses »
Aug 042017
Back to School Immunizations

The Florida Department of Health in Monroe encourages parents to have their children immunized as the new school year approaches. Local county health departments statewide are providing free immunization services for eligible children who are entering school for the first time and those who are returning to class in the upcoming school year. Parents of kindergartners and 7th graders are encouraged to review their children’s immunization record to ensure they are ready for the upcoming school year. Students entering college are also encouraged to ensure [continue reading…]

 August 4, 2017  Posted by at 12:18 am Issue #230, News, Public Notice No Responses »
Aug 042017
Horace O'Bryant to Transition to One School Start Time for the New School Year

All Horace O’Bryant School students, kindergarten through eighth grade, will begin classes at 8:40 a.m., beginning the first day of the 2017-2018 school year. School ends at 3:45 p.m. Horace O’Bryant School joins Sugarloaf, Key Largo, and Plantation Key schools, as a kindergarten through eighth grade school with a single student start time. According to HOB Principal Christina McPherson, kindergarten students may be dropped off in the cafeteria at 8:15.  First through fifth grade students may report directly to their classrooms at 8:15 and middle school students may arrive on [continue reading…]

 August 4, 2017  Posted by at 12:14 am Issue #230, News, Public Notice No Responses »
Aug 042017
Key West Zonta Club Announces Breast Cancer Screening Event

The Zonta Club of Key West in partnership with Womankind and Department of Health in Monroe County will be offering breast cancer screenings, vouchers and breast exams for women without health insurance or who are underinsured.  The Screening Event will be held at Womankind located at 1511 Truman Avenue, Key West on Saturday, August 19th from 9am-2pm. FREE continental breakfast and door prizes will be provided.  Screenings are by appointment only Call Mechelle at 305-304-9117.   This event is one of several Community Service Projects sponsored by Zonta Club [continue reading…]

 August 4, 2017  Posted by at 12:12 am Issue #230, News, Special Event No Responses »
Aug 042017
Zion Explores Cap On Number Of Visitors As Other Parks Fiddle

Curbs On Park Overcrowding Mandatory But  Are A Politically Perillous Third Rail     Washington, DC — Zion National Park, one of the country’s most popular, is considering a cap on visitation in order to remedy crippling overcrowding. It is one of the very few major national parks to directly address site-specific carrying capacities, despite a nearly 40-year statutory mandate that all parks have them, according to Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). National parks report record numbers of visitors for the third year in [continue reading…]

 August 4, 2017  Posted by at 12:10 am Issue #230, News, Public Notice No Responses »
Aug 042017
PMAD Support Groups for Mothers Offered in 3 Locations

The Florida Keys Healthy Start Coalition is pleased to announce the formation of Mothers Together, a support group for mothers of young children, particularly for mothers facing challenges during their pregnancy or after the birth of their baby. PMAD stands for Perinatal Mood Anxiety Disorders, encompassing a wider variety of diagnoses formerly known as postpartum depression.  Florida Keys Healthy Start Coalition is passionate about having resources to address PMAD in the Keys, as it comes to the forefront of maternal and child health in our community. Thanks [continue reading…]

 August 4, 2017  Posted by at 12:06 am Issue #230, News, Special Event No Responses »
Aug 042017
Shutterbugs Capture Key West and Dry Tortugas Starry Night Skies

Thursday, July 27 through Sunday, July 30, a party of night photography enthusiasts from around the country explored Fort East Martello in Key West and Fort Jefferson at Dry Tortugas National Park via a “Dry Tortugas by Boat and Night Photography” workshop presented by Key West Art & Historical Society in partnership with Dry Tortugas National Park and led by visiting “National Parks at Night” expert photographers and educators Gabriel Biderman and Tim Cooper. Under a waxing crescent moon and a brilliant Milky Way, the [continue reading…]

 August 4, 2017  Posted by at 12:04 am Issue #230, News, Special Event No Responses »
Aug 042017
BRACE for the Storm Workshops

The 2017 Hurricane Season has begun and the Florida Department of Health in Monroe County is inviting residents to learn more about how to prepare for a hurricane by signing up for a free internet-based BRACE for the Storm Workshop scheduled for August 24.  This workshop is designed to provide information to homeowners on disaster preparedness techniques that may reduce damage to their homes from hurricanes and other disasters that threaten Floridians.  In addition, homeowners will learn how to save money on the windstorm portion of [continue reading…]

 August 4, 2017  Posted by at 12:02 am Issue #230, News, Public Notice No Responses »
Jul 292017
Deputy's Keen Instinct Leads to Arrest of Suspected Car Thief

“There is no substitute for the gut instinct of a skilled police officer.” Deputy Lazaro Valdes showed us just what that means last Friday as he was gassing up his patrol car. Deputy Valdes saw a blue Oldsmobile Cutlass with an Ohio tag on it nearby. A man was sitting behind the wheel. The man started to get out of the car, made eye contact with Deputy Valdes, hesitated and then got out, walking into the store.

 July 29, 2017  Posted by at 4:17 pm crime, News 1 Response »
Jul 282017
Pritam Singh's 175-Room "Ocean's Edge Hotel" Sells For $175 Million

by Naja Girard……. Sunstone Hotel Investors, Inc. announced this Wednesday that it has purchased “the 175-room Oceans Edge Hotel & Marina on Stock Island for $175 million.” Ocean’s Edge Hotel has been an object of controversy in the Keys from the onset. It was pushed through as an upscale community consisting of “79 single family homes” and a small 17 room hotel. “It’s what we all want,” said developer Pritam Singh to the County’s Planning Commission, “to put our house by the water.” Each homeowner [continue reading…]

 July 28, 2017  Posted by at 12:56 am * Featured Story *, News 9 Responses »
Jul 282017
Immigrant's Unlawful Detention: Who's at Fault?

by Arnaud and Naja Girard……. What everyone knew was that Osman Torres Huete was going to be deported. His family had posted the $1000 cash bail for his release, but at any time during the next two days Border Patrol was going to pluck Osman out of the county jail on Stock Island and send him back to Honduras. However, when, against all odds, Mr. Torres Huete’s immigration lawyer, Reggie Smith, arrived at the jail on July 8th to challenge her client’s “unlawful detention” an embarrassing situation [continue reading…]

Jul 282017
Monroe County Pushes for Resolution Supporting Responsible National Flood Insurance Program

Monroe County Commissioner Heather Carruthers and Monroe County Legislative Affairs Director Lisa Tennyson are attending the 2017 National Association of Counties (NACo) Annual Conference with a mission to get the organization to adopt a resolution that supports responsible reauthorization of the National Flood Insurance Program. The resolution, drafted by Monroe County, calls for reauthorization that prioritizes affordability, accessibility and sustainability as part of the national platform of NACo. The organization represents more than 3,000 counties across the United States.

 July 28, 2017  Posted by at 12:48 am Issue #229, News, Public Notice No Responses »
Jul 282017
On Sex Harassment National Park Service Still Doesn't Get It

Groping Superintendent Gets Bonus and Lateral Transfer despite Raft of Violations     Washington, DC — A national park superintendent repeatedly touched a female employee against her wishes, routinely made inappropriate comments, violated a number of rules relating to safety, alcohol, and gratuities, and failed a polygraph, according to an Interior Office of Inspector General (IG) Report of Investigation posted today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). Despite these multiple violations and a referral for criminal prosecution, the superintendent received a cash bonus and was transferred [continue reading…]

 July 28, 2017  Posted by at 12:44 am Issue #229, News, Public Notice 1 Response »
Jul 282017
Interior Not Top-Heavy Enough To Relieve Field

National Park and Refuge HQ and Regional Offices Smaller Than Under Bush Washington, DC — Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has repeatedly said he wants to fill growing staff shortfalls in national parks and refuges by moving employees from headquarters and regional offices to “front line” field positions. But figures obtained by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) indicate that there are not enough bodies in these agencies’ rear echelons to fill the gaps. PEER looked at staffing in the National Park Service (NPS) and U.S. [continue reading…]

 July 28, 2017  Posted by at 12:42 am Issue #229, News, Public Notice 1 Response »
Jul 282017
Pruitt's Massive Wetlands Shell Game

WOTUS Repeal Cost-Benefit Study Premised on Wetlands Having Zero Value Washington, DC — U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt has rigged the cost-benefit study justifying the repeal of an Obama clean water protection in order to reverse the overwhelming weight of evidence that the benefits outweighed its costs, according to Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). Pruitt and his political team decided not merely to lower the value of wetlands; they decided that wetlands have no quantifiable value at all and thus there is [continue reading…]

 July 28, 2017  Posted by at 12:40 am Issue #229, News, Public Notice No Responses »