Oct 212016
Keys Firm Working with FKCC Acquires National Diving Program Certification

  SWC, a local engineering, planning and environmental science firm, has created an official dive program that has received certification by the American Association of Underwater Scientists (AAUS). “This has been a long-term commitment of SWC, to develop a program that addresses diver safety during work activities that meets federal OSHA standards and addresses requirements of many federal and State agencies,” said Sandy Walters, SWC president. “We worked together with Florida Keys Community College to certify our Dive Safety Officer Shawn Martin as an AAUS [continue reading…]

 October 21, 2016  Posted by at 12:37 am Issue #189, News, Public Notice, Water World No Responses »
Oct 212016
FIRM to Debut New Website at FIRMKeys.org

Fair Insurance Rates in Monroe (FIRM) is pleased to announce its completely updated website (FIRMKeys.org). With a fresh look and feel, new interactive content, and enhanced navigation, the site is designed to work equally well on smartphones, tablets, and traditional computers. FIRMKey.org will be live on Monday, October 24, 2016. Users of the site’s Ask FIRM forum are able to submit questions and get answers from FIRM’s experts on windstorm and flood insurance coverage in Monroe County, and under Call to Action, track FIRM’s efforts [continue reading…]

 October 21, 2016  Posted by at 12:33 am Issue #189, News No Responses »
Oct 142016
National Key Deer Refuge Responds to Screw Worm Infestation / Eighty Key Deer Have Died To Date

The National Key Deer Refuge (NKDR) is currently working with international, federal, state and local authorities to eradicate the New World screwworm from the lower Florida Keys.  Eighty Key Deer have died as a result of the infestation thus far. Screwworms are fly larvae (maggots) that can infest warm-blooded animals. They enter an animal’s skin, usually through an open wound and feed on living tissue. Screwworms were eradicated from the U.S. in the 1960’s, but their presence on the refuge was confirmed on September 30th [continue reading…]

 October 14, 2016  Posted by at 4:10 pm * Featured Story *, Environment, Issue #188 No Responses »
Oct 142016
King Tides Causing Nuisance Flooding in Low-Lying Areas of Monroe County

Monroe County, FL – For the next week, nuisance coastal flooding will occur in parts of Monroe County due to “King Tides.” These tides occur each spring and fall when the locations of the Earth, moon and sun combine to produce the highest tidal effects of the year. This year, the tides are compounded by a full moon (Hunter’s Moon or Super Moon) on Sunday as well as winds, Gulf Stream current and atmospheric pressure. The tides are expected to reach their maximum predicted levels [continue reading…]

 October 14, 2016  Posted by at 12:31 am Issue #188, News, Public Notice No Responses »
Oct 082016
New World Screwworm Information for Boaters

The U.S. Department of Agriculture confirmed the presence of New World screwworms in Monroe County on October 3, 2016.  Florida’s endangered Key deer population on Big Pine and No Name keys have already suffered losses due to this infestation. A few pets in the local area exhibited potentially similar infestations over the past two months, though no larvae were collected and tested in those cases.  Rapid and thorough response efforts are imperative to save this endangered species and prevent the spread to people and other [continue reading…]

 October 8, 2016  Posted by at 12:55 am Issue #187 No Responses »
Oct 072016
Last Stand opposes Florida Amendment One and is recommending a NO vote on November 8th.

  This Amendment, titled the “Rights of Electricity Consumers Regarding Solar Energy Choice,” was drafted by statewide utilities in order to control how Floridians can install and use solar panels on their own properties.  The campaign to pass the Amendment is funded by Florida Power and Light, Duke Energy and Tampa Electric and is designed to protect their monopoly markets and profits. Florida is one of only five states that specifically prohibit companies from installing solar panels on homes or businesses and then selling the [continue reading…]

 October 7, 2016  Posted by at 12:41 am Issue #187 No Responses »
Oct 052016
Some Monroe County Schools Will be Closed on Thursday

Monroe County School District announces closing of some Florida Keys schools. Based on the latest weather briefing from the National Weather Service for Hurricane Matthew, due to the forecasted Tropical Storm force winds in the middle and upper keys the following schools will be closed on Thursday, October 6th.  Staff at these schools will not be required to report.  All schools will reopen on Friday October 7th unless there are significant changes in the weather conditions as forecast.

 October 5, 2016  Posted by at 12:42 pm News No Responses »
Oct 052016

MONROE COUNTY — A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for the Upper and Middle Keys, with impact from Hurricane Matthew expected to hit Monroe County a little later than originally forecasted. Impacts now are expected to begin in the Keys just before sunrise Thursday and continue through Thursday night. The highest winds are expected between noon and 6 p.m. Thursday, said Florida Keys National Weather Service meteorologist Jon Rizzo.

 October 5, 2016  Posted by at 12:33 pm News No Responses »
Sep 302016
Part I: Shady Management; Shady Dealings—For-Profit Health Care in Key West

Martha K. Huggins, Ph.D……. The Physicians’ Hippocratic Oath includes the sacred pledge to serve “according to my ability and judgment, prescribe a regimen for the health of the sick; …[and] utterly reject harm and mischief.”  Just in case such a pledge becomes unimportant with health care’s profitability,  “hospital districts” and their boards of directors sometimes become a community’s watch dog over healthcare operations.  For its part, the Board of the ‘Lower Keys Hospital District’ oversees “hospitals, medical facilities, and other health care related facilities and [continue reading…]

 September 30, 2016  Posted by at 1:10 am * Featured Story *, Issue #186, Martha Huggins 7 Responses »
Sep 302016
Woman Charged with Stealing $29,000 Worth of Her Roommates Stuff and Her Debit Card While Roommate in Hospital

A Big Pine Key woman was charged with stealing a large amount of jewelry and other property from her roommate and using her debit card without her permission while the roommate was in the hospital. The crimes took place in September of 2015. The victim had been in the hospital for a period of time. While she was there, her roommate 31 year old, Belen Araque, allegedly took a total of $29,000 worth of items from her home including jewelry, rods and reels, clothing, custom made [continue reading…]

 September 30, 2016  Posted by at 1:00 am * Featured Story * No Responses »
Sep 302016
US Military Aid: Thai-ed to Torture

by Thomas L. Knapp……. Amnesty International’s mission is “to conduct research and generate action to prevent and end grave abuses of human rights, and to demand justice for those whose rights have been violated.” Unsurprisingly, the organization’s latest report collects “first-hand testimony of survivors, court documents, medical records and various other forms of evidence relating to 74 cases of torture” in Thailand and urges that country’s legislature and military government to follow through on their claimed commitments to bring an end to the practice. After [continue reading…]

 September 30, 2016  Posted by at 12:56 am ~ Column ~, ~ Opinion ~, Editorial, Issue #186, Thomas L. Knapp 5 Responses »
Sep 302016
Official Fantasy Fest® 2016 Artwork Announced

Poster Signing Party is Tuesday, October 25, at 5 PM Fantasy Fest is pleased to release the artwork chosen for the Official Fantasy Fest 2016 posters and T-shirts. This year’s theme of  “Political Voodoo and Ballot Box Barbarians ” conjured up some zany ideas, but only one devilish design won the election. We are thrilled to announce the official poster and T-shirts will feature artwork designed by Jane Rohrschneider. Rohrschneider, better know as “Key West Jane” is primarily a mosaic artist. You can see Rohrschneider’s [continue reading…]

 September 30, 2016  Posted by at 12:45 am ~ Artists ~, Issue #186 No Responses »
Sep 162016
Saying No to Amendment 1 Says Yes to Solar

by Michael Welber……. “Masquerading as a pro-solar energy initiative, this proposed constitutional amendment, supported by some of Florida’s major investor-owned electric utility companies, actually seeks to constitutionalize the status quo.” Those are the words of Florida Supreme Court Justice Barbara Pariente who wrote a strongly worded dissent back in March when Amendment 1 came up for approval by the court. She went on to call the proposal “a masquerade and a wolf in sheep’s clothing.”

 September 16, 2016  Posted by at 1:00 am * Featured Story *, ~ Column ~, Issue #184, Michael Welber 4 Responses »
Sep 162016
Mayday!! Fishing Boat Lands on Top of Rock Jetty [video]

The U.S. Coast Guard responded early Tuesday morning to a Mayday call on vhf radio sent by fishing vessel “Little Angenette.” About an hour before sunrise the “Little Angenette” missed the entrance to Key West harbor. The captain initially reported that he’d hit a channel marker and was sinking fast.

Sep 162016
New Tool for Battling Zika-Carrying Mosquitoes Approved

The EPA has just released a permit for a cutting-edge technology designed to control the disease carrying Aedes aegypti mosquito. The technique, pioneered out of the University of Kentucky, under the leadership of Dr. Scott Dobson and his team, is based on an all-natural solution to mosquito control. Male mosquito eggs are infected/injected, using microscopic needles, with the Wolbachia bacterium. This cutting edge technology, is harmless to humans. When Wolbachia infected male mosquitoes mate with female that are not infected, none of the offspring hatch. [continue reading…]

 September 16, 2016  Posted by at 12:54 am Issue #184, News 1 Response »
Sep 162016
Start the GMO Test

To the Editors, The Mosquito Control Board is “fiddling while Rome burns.”  They should authorize the GMO test immediately. I just returned from Europe where all my friends asked if it was still safe to come to the Keys.  [This week], the Miami Herald documents the economic impact already felt in Miami in just a few weeks. A word about regulators:  In Europe, Naled–used here in Monroe–is banned as too risky.  Monroe’s beekeeper’s would agree.  The impact on humans?  Probably unknowable right now.  Are America’s or Europe’s regulators smarter?  [continue reading…]

 September 16, 2016  Posted by at 12:50 am Environment, Issue #184, Letter to the Editor No Responses »
Sep 162016
Thumbs Up on the Ditching of the Skeeter Taj Mahal

It appears that the Florida Keys Mosquito Control Board is in the process of regaining it’s sanity In its most recent meeting they ditched the Big Coppit Skeeter Taj Mahal.  The vote was 3-2.  Only two very old line commissioners voted for the Taj Mahal.  Commissioners Shaw and Smith.  Shaw is not seeking reelection.  Smith is!  Remember that he wanted to raise your skeeter taxes by 45%,  that’s what it would have cost to build the Taj Mahal that he and Shaw wanted.  Commissioner Craney-Gage [continue reading…]

 September 16, 2016  Posted by at 12:48 am Issue #184, Letter to the Editor No Responses »
Sep 162016
On Conformity

by Kirby Congdon……. My lover and partner of forty-three  years was different than any of my other friends. I was asked, “How did you handle it between yourselves? What kind of discussions did you have to resolve this distinction that was so public?” My partner and I replied with words to the effect that if your lover had been born with an excess of psoriasis that gave his face a visible proof of acne, was that something we had to resolve to make ourselves, as [continue reading…]

 September 16, 2016  Posted by at 12:36 am Art, Issue #184, Kirby Congdon No Responses »
Sep 162016
Bestselling Author Shares Key West Adventures  & Writing Secrets to Students

Three-Time Newberry Honor-winning and New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Holm takes a question from Key West Montessori Charter School student Zoe Barras after a presentation that blended her personal family lore with the rich history of our island.  Holm’s latest novel “Full of Beans” and her multi-award-winning “Turtle in Paradise”  take place during the Great Depression in Key West, making them great educational tools as well as wonderful adventure reads for elementary students. The special event was organized by Books & Books and the charter school’s book fair committee [continue reading…]

 September 16, 2016  Posted by at 12:14 am Issue #184, News No Responses »
Sep 162016
United Way of the Florida Keys Welcomes New AmeriCorps VISTA Member

United Way of the Florida Keys is proud to announce and welcome new AmeriCorps VISTA Rebecca Medicine Eagle. Rebecca joins UWFK with five years of experience working with AmeriCorps, through both their State and National and their “Volunteers In Service To America” (VISTA) programs. She has a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Nevada, Reno and is a Certified Tribal Emergency Manager as well as a Certified Conflict Resolution Manager. She has volunteered with the American Red Cross for 26 years, is a [continue reading…]

 September 16, 2016  Posted by at 12:10 am Issue #184, News, Public Notice No Responses »
Sep 162016
6th Annual Key West Musician's Festival to Benefit Sister Season Fund

Many of the Keys best and best loved musicians will let it rip at the 6th Annual Key West Musician’s Festival, which takes the stage Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 17 and 18, at the Smokin’ Tuna Saloon, 2 p.m. till 9 p.m. each day. Singing Iguana Productions are presenters of the free music fest and the event is critical annual fundraiser for the local charity, Sister Season Fund, which assists locals in the entertainment and hospitality industries with rent and utilities when they are out [continue reading…]

 September 16, 2016  Posted by at 12:04 am Issue #184, Music, Special Event, Special Events No Responses »
Sep 162016
VFW Honors Officer Clark

The Veterans of Veterans of Foreign Wars yesterday bestowed a certificate of appreciation on Officer Tom Clark in grateful recognition of his maintaining the highest standards of law enforcement to protect and maintain the lawful rights of all citizens. Officer Clark started with the Key West Police Department in April of 2012. He serves as one of four quality of life officers, addressing vagrancy in the city. He was named Officer of the Year of 2015 and received the Gallantry Award for the bravely he [continue reading…]

 September 16, 2016  Posted by at 12:00 am Issue #184, News No Responses »
Sep 092016
Oh, Connie!

by Malcolm Willison….. Oh, Connie!  Can you be gone?  Can you really have taken away your impish face, those penetrating eyes, wry smile, the devastating remark? You would throw out an article or craft a poem that captured us—you could revel in a phrase or reveal a deepest longing.  We so counted on you–your quick wit, your sly remark, your careful edit of your own and others’ exposition and choice of words, your trenchant critique.   Now who will offer us that same left-handed support, the [continue reading…]