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Florida Keys Free Press

Fouled shores: Village seeks sargassum solution

ISLAMORADA — Sargassum washing up on Florida Keys shorelines shows no signs of abating, say exasperated residents and officials in Islamorada. “We need to try to get something done locally,” Mayor Deb Gillis said at the Islamorada Village Council meeting Aug. 8. “Those are turtle beaches and we have to[…]

Residents: Heavens no to 7-Eleven

KEY LARGO — Residents voiced strong concerns about traffic congestion, accidents and noise to the developers of a proposed 7-Eleven gas station and workforce housing project at the former Largo Honda property during a community meeting last Friday. James Saunders spoke on behalf of Bravo & Partners and Harold Kessler,[…]

Boat towing business enlists ‘Sober Skippers’

KEY LARGO — Keeping boaters safe at sea might start with putting a name on a dotted line, says Cheryl Powers of Sea Tow Key Largo. “Any time we do a show or community event, we always work to sign up boat owners to either be a ‘Sober Skipper’ or[…]

Thriller taps into parent’s worst nightmare

“Do Not Become Alarmed” is Maile Meloy’s fifth novel. While this book can be easily read as a thriller or a narration of a nightmare vacation, it is more than that. It is an exploration of the dilemmas of modern parenting, marriage, blame, guilt, innocence, jealousy, race, gender, the gap[…]

Meters discussed for Fills, Anne’s Beach

ISLAMORADA — Day-trippers may one day be greeted by parking meters at the sharply reduced parking spots at the Indian Key Fill area and at Anne’s Beach park when it reopens. Money raised by meters could go toward permanent improvements and paying staff to maintain and oversee the popular spots,[…]

Program creates ocean scientists, coral ambassadors

BIG TORCH KEY — DiveN2Life is an extracurricular scuba dive research program for highly motivated students looking to immerse themselves in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) learning. The hands-on, place-based program is designed to encourage students to think critically and creatively solve problems facing the Florida Keys’ sensitive ecology.[…]

Marine science outing caps summer camps

KEY LARGO — A touring team of marine science professionals based in the Florida Keys winds down the summer youth-camp season with an Aug. 31 session at Baker’s Cay Resort. “We’re all locals living here in the Keys, so we’re excited about being able to work with local families along[…]

County applies for housing funds

KEY LARGO — Monroe County has submitted a Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery request for up to $8 million for new construction funding and up to $2.1 million for land acquisition funding for the redevelopment of Howard’s Haven and Conch Key trailer park sites and the development of the Port[…]

Shelter razed to clear way for rebuild

MARATHON — Demolition of the Domestic Abuse Shelter of the Florida Keys began last week as the first phase in rebuilding the emergency housing facility. The razing of the 25-bed shelter was prompted by widespread damage from Hurricane Irma in September 2017 that left the Middle Keys building dormant. Since[…]

Property tax hike looking more likely in Islamorada

ISLAMORADA — To pay off a chunk of Hurricane Irma debt and put away money for a potential future storm, the village of Islamorada may keep a proposed property tax rate of $320 per $100,000 of assessed taxable value for the next fiscal year. Four council members at an Aug.[…]