Mile Markers

Tuesday, June 30, 2015
Miss Firecracker Pageant welcomes women contestants

The 2015 Miss Firecracker Pageant welcomes women contestants Wednesday to the lineup in the spirit of inclusiveness.

“It was time to color the horizon with some different shades. So many women in this community give in volunteerism, dollars and support, that it was only right to celebrate independence from gender rules,” said Terry Paulson (aka Smyrna Emphezema, the pageant’s producer). “The pageant has generated over $110,000 to date for local non-profits, including AIDS Help.”

This year, the beneficiary will be The SMART Ride, in support of the local The Mile Markers teams, who will make the 165-mile fundraising journey from Miami to Key West in mid-November.

The competition begins at 8 p.m., at AQUA nightclub, 711 Duval St. The evening will include appearances by former Miss Firecrackers, the reigning 2014 Miss Firecracker Beatrix Trixie Dixie — also this year’s reigning Queen Mother — and the presentation of the Ronda Riviera Humanitarian award, named after the late Ron Wright, the 2001 Miss Firecracker.

General standing-room admission tickets will go on sale for $20, starting at 7.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015
16 become certified car-seat techs

Sixteen community members recently became volunteer car-seat technicians in Monroe County after completing classes sponsored by the Florida Keys Healthy Start Coalition.

The coalition offers classes for community members to become certified car-seat technicians. The addition of the new technicians doubles the number of volunteers available to assist families through the coalition’s Keys to Kids’ Safety program. 

The three-day certification class included classroom and hands-on training. Certification is valid for two years to install and inspect children’s car seats and provide community education on proper car-seat use. 

The Florida Keys Healthy Start Coalition helps families before, during and after pregnancy. The Keys to Kids’ Safety Program holds periodic child-safety events rotating throughout the Keys, as well as providing assistance to families on an individual basis.

For information on the certification training, car-seat inspections or other free programs, call program coordinator Leah Stockton at 305-293-8424 or email

Tuesday, June 30, 2015
Annual hurricane preparation seminar set

The 16th annual “Hurricane Preparation for Boaters” seminar is scheduled July 12, from 10 a.m. to noon at the Marathon City Marina, 800 35th St.

The seminar is free and open to the public.

The hurricane seminar will feature presentations by Chip Kasper, a senior meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Key West, Marathon City Marina staff and Capt. Marti Brown, a local Keys author and family nurse practitioner.

Topics of the seminar include: understanding our vulnerabilities In the Florida Keys; learning where to find official hurricane forecast information and how to interpret it in order to prepare and stay safe; and boat preparation tactics.

For information call Capt. Brown at 305-731-7315.