SEPTEMBER island life

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2 island life 2 SEPTEMBER 2011 HOT TOPICS Widening the shipping lane to accommodate mega cruise ships Gambling in the Florida Keys to offset tax obligations Permits for shark fishing Big box stores in the Florida Keys Honey badgers Pay for electric company employees Time to actualize road repair of North Roosevelt Boulevard vs. the miraculously quick paving of Eaton Street First adt rights of street performers Yappy dogs Tennis at Bayview Parks White fly epidemic (serious) and dengue epidemic (not so) Real estate prices Mosquitoes Living in paradise is not without its complications. Perhaps the best way to describe living on this chain of gorgeous islands is to measure one s distance from the mainland. Example: Key West residents live 126 miles out to sea. Sure, we re connected by bridges but the logistics of importing goods and some services is much the same. Our water and gas arrive on a southern route. About the only thing headed north (or east, if you want to get technical) are departing tourists and seafood. The county s geography long and narrow makes for many differences in our way of life. The schools are small and dispersed. Many governt agencies have three offices to serve the upper, middle and lower portions of the geographic population. The county s chief attraction is natural: crystal clear blue water and coral reefs Small Incision - Big Results Key West Orthopedics Board Certified Orthopedic Surgeons AN INTRODUCTION teeming with life. The economy is built around those who come to enjoy. Locals paychecks depend on tourism, no matter whether you re a lawyer or a convenience store clerk. There are very few violent crimes in the Keys, but we have a disproportionate amount of boating accidents compared to other counties in the state. We have a very low unemployt rate, but jobs are still scarce and housing is expensive. Still, most locals will tell you the same thing: I came for the water and stayed for the people. Conchs, misfits, wacky geniuses and regular folks with a high tolerance for others eccentricities have made a home in the Florida Keys and populated it with a hodgepodge assembly of friends they call their Keys family. Locals are undoubtedly the strangest group of friends you ve yet to meet. Sara Matthis, Special Sections Editor St. Paul s Episcopal Church Father Larry D. Hooper 401 Duval Street Contributed Fisher s Hospital in Marathon is now managed by a local board of trustees and administered by Quorum Intensive Resources. Recent changes make for better health Monroe County has approximately 200 practicing physicians and three major hospitals Lower Keys Medical Center in Key West, Fisher s Hospital in Marathon and Mariner s Hospital in Tavernier. The most recent data puts the number of hospital beds at about 300. The biggest news in 2011, however, is that one of the hospitals has changed managet. Fisher s Hospital in the Middle Keys is now a community-owned and operated, not-for-profit organization, ending its 25-year association with Health Managet Associates (HMA), which leased the hospital as a forprofit organization. The hospital is now be run by the Board of Trustees with Quorum Intensive Resources (QIR) contracted as administrative support. Going from a for-profit See HEALTH, page 7 Whether You Live Here All Year Long or Visiting for a Short Time, You Can Trust The Professionals At WHEATON S WHEATON S WHEATON S SERVICE CENTER MV10170 Quality Service Since 1972 AMERICAN & FOREIGN CARS, TRUCKS, SUV S, VANS, TRAILERS & RV S Dr. Robert Catana, D.O. Dr. David C. Perry, MD Advanced Sports Medicine & Joint Replacet Latest Techniques in Arthroscopic & Reconstructive Surgery. On Site MRI & Physical Therapy N. Roosevelt Boulevard IL Sunday Holy Eucharist 7:30 a.m. Sung Eucharist 9:00 a.m. Sunday School Holy Eucharist 11:00 a.m. Monday- Friday Daily Morning Prayer in the Military Chapel 7:30 a.m. Tuesday Holy Eucharist 5:30 p.m. Wednesday Eucharist & Healing 9:00 a.m. Phone: (305) IL OIL CHANGES FULL SERVICE CAR CARE CERTIFIED MECHANICS TIRE SALES AND REPAIRS 24 HOUR TOWING Overseas Highway Key Largo MM101.5 AIR CONDITIONING SPECIALIST (305)

3 SEPTEMBER s Born in 1460, Juan Ponce de Léon ( ) is credited with discovering Florida and the Keys and exploring much of its coastline. By 1500 he was governor of Hispanola, then governor of Puerto Rico. Ponce de Léon left Puerto Rico in 1513, sailing northwesterly, searching for the island of Bimini and purported Fountain of Youth. Instead, he found what was to become St. Augustine, Florida. Then he headed south, rounded thekeys and explored the state s west coast. a publication of Cooke Communications offering island life Florida Keys have six charter schools The Monroe County school system has 20 schools spread out from Key Largo to Key West for children in pre-k to college. Some of the schools are big, like Key West High School with about 1,400 students; and some are small like the Ocean Studies Charter school with about three dozen students. In all, there are about 8,000 students enrolled in the district. Monroe County is seeing an increasing number of charter schools opening its doors on the island chain. Just this year, two were added to the ranks: Ocean Studies Charter in the Upper Keys for young children and Key West Collegiate School in the Lower Keys for high school students. Both are starting out small with about 40 students each. Our students will be college-bound, said Principal Debra Remsen Tripp of Key West Collegiate. Their island life september 2011 Paul Clarin Publisher Tom Tuell Editor Sara Matthis Special Sections Editor Toni Cicalese Creative Manager David Singleton Director of Marketing Randy Erickson V.P. of Operations choice of colleges and universities should expand because of the rigorous academic work they will do during their high school careers at KWCS. At Ocean Studies Charter school, the youngsters are focusing on marine science. The school is stocked with numerous fish tanks and the species inside change according to the curriculum. Recently, one of our students was explaining the reason for lobstering limits to his parents, while they were lobstering. It s fantastic, said Principal Jennifer Flores. Beyond curriculum, Flores said charter schools are increasing in popularity because the schools can embrace different teaching and learning philosophies. It also allows for greater flexibility than traditional schools. For example, Flores is a lead teacher and the head administrator. For another, teachers can choose SWIMLINEPOOL PRODUCTS Accessories Spa Equipt & Parts Major Credit Cards Accepted Parts s A Kennedy Drive Mon - Fri 9am - 5pmm Sat 10am - 1pm POOL AND SPA SUPPLIES IL which textbooks will work best with the current student population. All educators put children first, we just have more options, she said. There are four other charter schools in the Florida Keys Montessori Eletary of Key West, Sigsbee Charter School, Big Pine Academy and Treasure Village Montessori. Almost 1,000 students are enrolled in charter schools in the Florida Keys, accounting for about 12 percent of the entire student population. 3 Charter schools receive the same per-student allocations from the state as regular public schools; about $6 million for this academic year. That means changes are being made on the district administrative level. Elected school board member John Dick has said that fewer students enrolled in traditional schools will have to coincide with a reduction in administrators and other district headquarters staff. About 84 percent of the entire school budget $79 million pays See SCHOOLS, page 6 Sizzling Summer Special Two Months Free Boat or Trailer Storage with One year Paid in Advance New customers only - offer expires September 30 Lowest Prices in the Lower Keys IL

4 island life 4 SEPTEMBER 2011 Get your storm updates on Facebook By Many local residents learned about the recent earthquake off Cuba by reading about it on Facebook. Yes, the National Weather Service has embraced social media. Both the Key West office of the National Weather Service and the National Hurricane Center both have pages, said Jon Rizzo, warning coordination meteorologist the National Weather Service office in Key West. Our followers are privy to updates in their news feed that provide links to other information on our home web page. To get onto the information highway, Florida Keys residents are encouraged to friend either the National Hurricane Center or the U.S. National Weather Service Key West Florida. Of course, the National Weather Service also coordinates with the local cable company, radio stations and also broadcasts on marine radio weather stations. However, communication will almost certainly be disrupted by a major storm. Beyond that, it s all good it has never, ever snowed in the Florida Keys. Not once. Locals will tell visitors that blood thins and what were acceptable temperatures in Maryland shorts and T-shirt weather will now make transplants tremble in their cutoffs. Everyone must judge for themselves. (See sidebar.) During August and September, the Keys register about 5.5 inches of rainfall. In February, it s usually only 1.5 inches. We re not exactly a desert here, but compared to other cities in Florida we are the driest one, said an official from the National Weather Service, in terms of annual rain fall. Beyond hurricanes, the Keys also have water spouts and tornadoes and occasional hail. The only other temperature Keys residents take into account is water temperature. The coldest month to take a swim is in February. KEYS TEMPERATURES Avg High Avg Low January 75 F 65 F February 76 F 66 F March 79 F 69 F April 82 F 72 F May 85 F 76 F June 88 F 79 F July 89 F 80 F August 90 F 79 F September 88 F 79 F October 85 F 76 F November 81 F 72 F December 77 F 67 F 1970s James William Jimmy Buffett (1946-) is a singer, songwriter, author, businessman, and film producer. He is best known for his music, which often portrays an island escapism lifestyle. Together with his Coral Reefer Band, Buffett s musical hits include Margaritaville released in 1977 and Come Monday released in Both came after a two-year sojourn in Key West during the early 70s. In 1985, Buffett opened a Margaritaville retail store in Key West and then in 1987, the Margaritaville Cafe was opened. Buffett has a devoted base of fans called Parrotheads who descend on Key West once a year for an annual convention. Aside from his career in music, Buffett is also a best-selling writer. And Berkshire Hathaway chief executive Warren Buffett is a friend, not a close relative. EMPLOYMENT STATISTICS It s estimated that there are about 43,000 eligible workers in the Florida Keys. Currently, the unemployt rate in the Keys currently stands at 6.6 percent, far below the 11 percent average statewide. It is also lower than the last year s rate of 7.9 percent. The top two employers in the Keys are governt and hospitality establishts. Others find jobs in retail shops or real estate sales and managet. Most businesses in the Keys are mom and pop organizations with fewer than five employees, about 90 percent. About 20 percent of businesses have five to nine employees. Most new arrivals to the Florida Keys resort to taking two or more part time jobs to be able to afford the rent. While the wages are relatively high, so is the cost of living. The Keys consistently rank as one of the most expensive counties in Florida. statistics gathered from U.S. Census Bureau, Bureau of Economic and Business Research, Labor Market Statistics and America s Career InfoNet IL I Do Weddings Jill M. Atkinson Notary/Reverend for Wedding Ceremony and Customized Vows Chairs Wedding Arches Aisle Runners Tents Dance Floors Tables We Deliver! KEY WEST TO KEY LARGO 7601 Overseas Hwy MARATHON, FLORIDA tel ~fax China Glassware Flatware Linens Keepsakes Monogrammed or Personalized Napkins

5 SEPTEMBER 2011 island life 5 Keys are a safe place to live Last year, Monroe County had the fewest number of violent crimes including forcible sex offenses, robbery and aggravated assault reported in the last 15 years. The number of property crimes also fell. Unfortunately, it also had the highest number of murders six. Yet all in all, Monroe County is a very safe place to live. On average, the Keys have half the crime of similarly populated Florida counties. Most crimes are property crimes. There were about 2,500 larceny crimes reported last year and 900 burglary crimes. There were only 82 robberies reported a crime that includes both property and person. Monroe County Sheriff s Office spokesperson Becky Herrin said the majority of crime is easily prevented. Lock your doors. Put your valuables away. Reinforce the locks on windows and doors. Probably 90 percent of the crime that we see can be easily prevented don t leave a bike in the front yard, don t leave an ipod on the front seat of an unlocked car, Herrin said. One of the best lines of defense is communication between the Sheriff s Office and the affected neighborhoods or just neighbor to neighbor. At the mot there are probably 50 active crime watch areas in the Keys. Some of the groups are new, responding to a rash of boat burglaries throughout the Keys. Thieves have been making off with complete outboard motors or just the lower unit. The Sheriff s Office recomds marking the engines with something more permanent than the serial number on a sticker that s provided by the manufacturer. Better yet, is to prevent the theft all together. The Sheriff s Office put out a list of recomdations that include disconnecting the battery from the trim and tilt function of the motor; keeping the trailer and boat in a welllighted place; destroying the threads on one of the bolts for each engine; and parking the boat very close to the house so thieves can t get access. Statistics from Florida Departt of Law Enforcet 1950s Theodore Samuel Ted Williams ( ), was an American professional baseball player and manager. He played his entire 21- year Major League Baseball career as the left fielder for the Boston Red Sox. In the 1950s, he helped make the Keys for its sport fishing. He is one of few to be recognized for achievets in two sports: he was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1966 and the Fishing Hall of Fame (IGFA) in MAJOR EVENTS Jellyfish parade around the stage at Pretenders in Paradise, one of the biggest events during Fantasy Fest. ROB O NEAL/ The Citizen Sculpture Key West, January to April, Key West Key West Literary Seminar, January, Key West Upper Keys Gigantic Nautical Flea Market, February, Upper Keys Pigeon Key Art Festival, February, Marathon Marathon Seafood Festival, March, Marathon 7 Mile Bridge Run, April, Marathon Annual Bay Jam, April, Islamorada Key West Songwriters Festival, April, Key West Conch Republic Independence Celebration, April, Key West Hemingway Days, July, Key West Lobster Mini-Season, July, Keyswide WoFest, September, Key West Florida Keys Birding & Wildlife Festival, September, Keyswide Fantasy Fest, October, Key West Key West World Championship Powerboat Races, November, Key West Rare Species of the Florida Keys... Key Deer Sea Turtle Manatee First State Bank of the Florida Keys was founded 56 years ago by locals for locals. Back then there were a few other local banks, but over the years they have been taken over by banks headquartered outside of the Keys. Now there s only one bank left that remains dedicated exclusively to the people who live and work in the Keys. Only one bank whose home and headquarters remain here in the Keys... First State Bank of the Florida Keys! Bank Locally - Open Your Account Today! We re Locals Like You! A Local Keys Bank Member FDIC Equal Housing Lender

6 island life 6 SEPTEMBER s By 1905, Henry Morrison Flagler ( ) was on his third marriage and had used his Standard CREATIVE Floors & Surfaces Oil fortune to capitalize hotel and railroad ventures in Florida. Flagler originally intended West Palm Beach to be the terminus of his railroad system, but in 1894 and 1895, severe freezes hit the area, causing Flagler to rethink his original decision. Sixty miles south, the town today known as Miami was reportedly unharmed by the freeze. He then decided that his Florida East Coast Railway should be extended from Biscayne Bay to Key West. At the time, the Southernmost City was Florida s most populous, and it was also the United States closest deep water port to the canal that the U.S. governt proposed to build in Panama. The Florida Overseas Railroad was completed in The track was eventually converted into the roadbed for the Florida Keys Overseas Highway. Of Summerland Key CARPET TILE GRANITE Your local flooring store Overseas Hwy The Hottest Dancers in the Keys Total Nudity... Distinctive and Tasteful Florida s Most Beautiful Wo Private Table Dances Available Full Liquor and Food Served til Close MM 82 Open til 4am Couples Welcome KEYS HOTTEST HAPPY HOUR DANCES / DRINKS 1/2 PRICE APPETIZERS 4-8PM NO COVER IL 23,000 KEY WEST FLORIDA KEYS SCHOOLS Community Colleges Florida Keys Community College 5901 College Rd, Key West High Schools Academic Connections For Excellence 1400 United St Bldg 2, Key West Coral Shores High School Old Hwy, Tavernier Key West Collegiate School 5901 College Rd, Key West Key West High School 2100 Flagler Ave, Key West Keys Center 5901 College Rd, Key West Marathon High School 350 Sombrero Beach Rd, Marathon THE PORTER-ALLEN COMPANY INSURANCE Auto Commercial Residential Elizabeth M. Freeman President Serving the Keys since Southard Street KEYS POPULATION COUNTS MONROE COUNTY 73, ISLAMORADA 6,500 10,000 MARATHON Middle Schools Horace O Bryant Middle School 1105 Leon St, Key West Combination Schools Key Largo School (K through 8) Overseas Hwy, Key Largo Plantation Key School (K through 8) 100 Lake Rd, Tavernier Sugarloaf School (K through 8) 255 Crane Blvd, Summerland Key Treasure Village Montessori Charter School (K through 8) Overseas Hwy, Islamorada Schools Continued from page 3 for school personnel salaries and benefits. On a positive note, Monroe County taxpayers get good return on this investt. The state Departt of Education has consistently awarded the students of Monroe County with good marks. Keys students test above the state average. While some high school graduates attend institutions for higher learning on the mainland, others choose to continue their education in the Keys. The Florida Keys Community College serves about 1,500 students every semester. The college has KCB 760 Eletary Schools Big Pine Academy Overseas Hwy, Big Pine Key Gerald Adams Eletary School 5855 W Junior College Rd, Key West Glynn Archer Eletary School 1302 White St, Key West Key West Montessori Charter School, Inc 1400 United St, Key West Ocean Studies Charter Old Rd, Tavernier Poinciana Eletary School 1407 Kennedy Dr, Key West Sigsbee Charter School 939 Felton Rd, Key West Stanley Switlik Eletary School 3400 Overseas Hwy, Marathon three campuses in the Upper, Middle and Lower Keys, although the main campus is just outside Key West. Many students take courses online. We offer about 20 distant learning classes every semester, said an FKCC spokesperson. Students find it much easier to fit their schedule around online classes. The FKCC has just opened its first dorm. Named Lagoon Landing it is a 100- bed facility with a water view. For more information about Monroe County Schools visit For more information about Florida Keys Community College, visit

7 SEPTEMBER s Ernest Miller Hemingway ( ) was an American author and journalist. His distinctive writing style, characterized by economy and understatet, influenced 20th-century fiction, as did his life of adventure and his public image. He also helped put the Florida Keys on the map. Hemingway had permanent residences in Key West and Cuba during the 1930s and 1940s, and penned most of To Have and Have Not in Key West. He lived in a house bought by his wife Pauline s uncle. The second floor of the carriage house was converted to a writing den. Besides writing, he also spent his time fishing, drinking and carousing in fine Key West style. Health Continued from page 2 organization to a community operated, not-for-profit status is big plus for everyone, said Board Chairman Michael Cunningham. Now all the revenues, after expenses, will be reinvested in the hospital. Another developt in Florida Keys health care, is the arrival of two new oncologists. Now more patients in need of radiation, chemotherapy or biological therapies can be served locally and avoid a long trip to the mainland. Dr. Robert Oldham is operating a full-time practice called the Cancer Center next door to Lower Keys Medical Center on Stock Island, where he specializes in chemotherapy and the emerging field of biological therapy. And Dr. Anesa Ahamad has joined 21st Century Oncology as the city s only full-time radiation oncologist. island life Between Oldham s full-time presence and practice of medical oncology and Ahamad s radiation oncology, the vast majority of cancer treatts are available in Key West from full-time doctors. We ll still have to send patients to the mainland for things like bone marrow transplants or experital drug trials, Oldham said. But there is no need to go to Miami for radiation or chemotherapy. Like the rest of the nation, the Keys biggest health care concerns are the aforetioned cancer and heart disease. However, we also have a high incident of dangerous accidents in the Keys. According to the Agency for Health Care Administration, the leading cause of the fatalities were falls, drowning and pedestrian traffic accidents. Less fatal, but just as problematic for a person s health, is the heat. About 700 people visit the emergency room annually because of the physical stress of too much work (or fun) in too much sun. It s most common among the elderly. They are out in the heat, not drinking enough fluids and then they pass out or almost pass out, said a Lower Keys Medical Center spokesperson. The patient is treated by administering fluids and checking for an electrolyte imbalance. Besides getting care at a doctor s office or hospital, Keys residents also have other alternatives. Free-standing surgical centers, diagnostic centers and urgent care centers are located up and down the Keys. Locals also receive care from the Rural Health Network, hospice organizations, Middle Keys Guidance Clinic, AIDS Help and Womankind. Also, the Monroe County Health Departt operates four clinics, two of which offer primary care services. HEALTH SERVICES Health Care Center 1200 Kennedy Dr., Key West, FL Roosevelt Sands Clinic 105 Olivia St., Key West, FL Ruth Ivins Center 3333 Overseas Highway, Marathon, FL Tavernier Public Health Unit 50 Highpoint Road, Tavernier, FL Lower Keys Medical Center 5900 College Road, Key West, FL Fisher s Hospital 3301 Overseas Highway, Marathon, FL Mariners Hospital Mile Marker 91.5, Tavernier, FL New Local Educational Opportunity For Families with College-Bound High School-Aged Children Monroe County s First Charter High School Be a part of it! AP Classes * Small Class Sizes Embracing Florida Common Core State Standards School will be located within the FKCC Campus Visit our website Key West Collegiate School Offices, M-F - 8am to 4pm on FKCC Campus in the Administration Building, Suite A130, 5901 College Rd., Key West, FL For more information: Or call KWCS (5927) IL Our 40th Year ~ Florida Keys Premier Dive Center Trips Reef Wreck Night Vandenberg Instruction All Levels Beginner thru Advanced Sales Best Selection of Dive Gear & Accessories Air & Repair Curbside Air & Nitrox Fills Factory Authorized Repair Center Local & Military Discount N. Roosevelt Blvd IL

8 8 island life SEPTEMBER ways to enjoy the Keys waters 1940s Harry S. Truman ( ) was the 33rd President of the United States. As President Franklin D. Roosevelt s third vice president and the 34th Vice President of the United States (1945), he succeeded to the presidency on April 12, 1945, when President Roosevelt died. In November 1946, he had finished 19 months in office, but was physically exhausted. His doctor ordered a warm vacation. Truman arrived in Key West in November, 1946 and took up residence at what is now known as the Harry S. Truman Little White House. While in office, he spent 175 days there on 11 separate trips. 1980s Mel Fisher ( ) was an American treasure hunter best known for finding the 1622 wreck of the Spanish galleon Nuestra Señora de Atocha in Florida Keys waters in The estimated $450 million cache was known as The Atocha Motherlode. In addition to the Atocha, Fisher s company, Salvors Inc., found remains of several other shipwrecks in Florida waters. The water. It s why locals live here and why visitors visit. It shapes the Keys culture, traditions, customs and schedule. The islands are all about the beautiful water that surrounds them, not the miniscule spit of land humans exist on. Our responsibility is the same to leave things as we found them, to respect the unique environt, to keep it safe from harm because it offers us so much: 1. GLASS-BOTTOM BOAT TRIPS. This is the best way to see the reef without getting your hair wet. Trips typically last two hours and are accessible for everyone from a 2-yearold to a 90-yearold. Most boats have a galley with snacks and drinks for sale. Expect to pay about $30 for adults and half that for children. 2. SNORKELING/DIVING. The costs for a trip to the reef on a professional dive boat varies depending on how much equipt the diver owns. Forty dollars is the bare minimum for a snorkeling trip and $100 will cover someone who needs a complete scuba kit. Most often, snorkelers are welcome aboard. 3. KITEBOARDING. A great way to get into this sport is by taking a lesson. Instructors provide the experience, equipt and boat support. Expect to pay about $300 for a two- to three-hour lesson. ROB O NEAL /The Citizen Two kayakers enjoy a challenging paddle at Bahia Honda State Park in the Lower Keys. Getting out on the water can be as simple as buying a $5 raft or as elaborate as a full-day fishing charter. 4. PADDLEBOARDING. Paddleboarding is an excellent introduction to Keys watersports. It has an easy learning curve and gives participants a great vantage of marine life. You can rent one for about $50 for a half-day. 5. FISHING CHARTERS. Most professional guides charge between $450 for a If you have information about a crime, call The Crime Stoppers Hot Line TIPS If your information leads to an arrest, you ll be eligible for a cash reward. Paid for by the Florida Attorney Gerneral s Crime Stoppers Trust Fund half-day of flats fishing to $850 for a full day offshore. 6. SAILING CRUISES. Take your pick from a historic schooner to a modern-day ferry for a tour around the island. Day cruises are slightly less expensive than the sunset cruise. Expect to pay at least $40. Ask if adult beverages are included in the price. 7. BOAT RENTALS. Expect to pay $150 to $250 for a half day on the water, depending on the size of the boat. Renters pay to top off the boat s gas tanks at the end of the day. 8. PWC RENTALS. Join a group of Jet Skiers for a twohour tour for about $125. (Prices depend on one- and two-person PWCs.) Riders must be 18 years old to rent a water bike. Operators under the age of 21 must pass a proficiency test that is conducted on-site. 9. KAYAKING. Kayaks can cost as little as $20 for a half day. However, joining a tour could be more fun and entertaining. In that case, the price goes up to $35 for a two-hour trip and $60 for a four-hour trip. Property Managet Real Estate Sales Vacation Rentals IL