Friday, February 1, 2013
Mile Markers

KEY WEST

Author Corcoran speaks Monday

Tom Corcoran, novelist, photographer, publisher and former journalist, will present the fourth lecture in this season's Friends of the Key West Library lecture series at 6 p.m. Monday at the Studios of Key West, 600 White St. Doors open at 5:30 p.m.

Corcoran has set his 2012 novel, The Quick Adiós (Times Six), in Key West. It is the sixth installment in his "Alex Rutledge" crime novel series. He has also focused on the Keys in much of his recent photography, including the two photo collections, Jimmy Buffett, the Key West Years, and Key West in Black and White. He is also the publisher of numerous other books about the Keys (The Ketch and Yawl Press).

The Friends of the Key West Library weekly lecture series is free and open to the public. Seating is available on a first- come, first-served basis. This year's series runs consecutive Mondays until March 18. The next lecturer is Frank Deford on Feb. 11. For information and a lecture schedule, visit www.friendsofthekeywestlibrary.org.

UPPER KEYS

Sheriff's office and schools team up

The Monroe County Sheriff's Office has joined an effort at Coral Shores High School to make sure all students have enough to eat. Trish Biondoletti at Coral Shores has helped the school start its own food bank to make sure no students go hungry no matter what may be happening at home.

"The registered nurse at the school, Ann Perry, brought to my attention that we may have children who are going hungry right under our roof," Biondoletti said. The two staff members at the school sent out a call to friends and family to assist. "We want to make it easy for students to pick up a few meals to carry them through the weekend or evenings, along with some personal hygiene items that may be difficult for their family to afford."

When members of the Sheriff's Office Special Investigations Division heard about the effort, they were ready and willing to help. Lieutenant Lee Ann Holroyd made it a challenge within her division.

The school also encouraged the Florida Keys Community College Basic Law Enforcement Recruit class to take part in the food drive.

To make a donation, contact Biondoletti or Ann Perry at 305-853-3222.

KEY WEST

Pucker up for conch contest

Dozens of contestants will blow their own horns at noon March 2 during the 51st annual Conch Shell Blowing Contest in the garden of the Oldest House Museum, 322 Duval St.

Natives from the Calusa Indian tribe blew conch shells to communicate over distance, early sailors are said to have used them as foghorns and 19th-century shipwreck salvagers blew blasts to signal a shipwreck.

Today, the chewy meat of the conch appears in chowder and fritters, but the shell has become a symbol of the Florida Keys. In the quirky "conch honk" contest, winners are chosen in multiple age groups for the quality, duration, loudness and novelty of the sounds they make. Musical ability is not required (or often displayed).

Sponsored by the Old Island Restoration Foundation, the competition is free to enter and watch. Contestants can register at the Oldest House from 10:30 a.m. to noon March 2 or at the event if space is available. Those lacking their own "instruments" can purchase conch shells on site. For more information, visit www.oirf.org or call 305-294-9501.