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Florida Keys Free Press

Social services center gets boot from neighborhood

ISLAMORADA — A Monroe County social services center found no sanctuary at a former church on Plantation Key. Islamorada Village Council members told county officials March 14 that a Pearl Avenue building surrounded by residences was not a suitable location for a temporary Upper Keys Community Support Office. “None of us are opposed to what[…]

Café Moka opens satellite bistro in Islamorada

ISLAMORADA — Café Moka now has an Upper Matecumbe Key location, an extension of its flagship Tavernier bistro that first opened in 2011. The original location next to the historic Tavernier Hotel will remain in operation. “We love our Tavernier location,” said Pierre-Marc Bellion, who owns both cafés with wife Alexandra. “The Islamorada Café Moka[…]

Atomic board grants hearing on cooling canals

SOUTH FLORIDA — An independent panel of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has granted environmental groups a hearing on Florida Power & Light’s subsequent license renewal request to extend the work life of Turkey Point Reactors 3 & 4 until 2053. The Atomic Safety and Licensing Board ruled last Thursday that the Southern Alliance for[…]

Library volunteer group pioneers passing the torch

KEY LARGO — Fred and Frieda “Fritz” Feldman, who have spent the last 40 years as pivotal members of the Key Largo community, are known for their volunteerism at the Key Largo Library, their love of sailing and their passion for the written word. Frieda, who Monroe County recognized several years ago as Poet Laureate[…]

Chief files safety compliance plans

KEY LARGO — The Key Largo Volunteer Fire Department has filed required compliance paperwork with the Division of State Fire Marshal addressing safety deficiencies. The safety lapses were identified last June as part of the state’s follow up to a Key Largo firefighter falling unconscious and being hospitalized in early 2017 after entering an enclosed[…]

Painting earns permanent place among Coast Guard art

UPPER KEYS — For members of the U.S. Coast Guard, a day at sea off Islamorada last summer to replace a channel marker damaged by Hurricane Irma probably seemed routine. Now their efforts will become part of Coast Guard history, thanks to the skill of Tavernier artist Kathleen Denis. Her oil painting of “Setting Markers”[…]

Double trouble with sewer line snarls traffic

UPPER KEYS — Back-to-back breaks in a wastewater pipe running through Tavernier clogged northbound U.S. 1 traffic for about 30 straight hours last week. Contractors working with the village of Islamorada spent about 12 hours on March 5 to unearth and replace one 20-foot section of the “force main,” a pressurized PVC pipe about 18[…]

Keys to have say on Lake O levels

MARATHON — More water from Lake Okeechobee will reach Florida Bay and the Florida Keys, eventually. Work to improve freshwater flow through the Everglades ecosystem, including construction of the Everglades Agricultural Area Reservoir and the new bridges on Tamiami Trail, will change the way that federal and state agencies can manage that water. On Wednesday,[…]

Keys leaders to send message to Tallahassee

TALLAHASSEE— Tallahassee gets a taste of the islands Tuesday, March 19, as a sizable Monroe County crew heads to Florida Keys Day at the Florida capital. “We’ve got a fantastic story to tell,” state Rep. Holly Raschein, R-Key Largo, said last week. “Last year, we were still pretty much in recovery mode from Hurricane Irma.[…]

Council to deal with local road concerns

ISLAMORADA — Road issues in local neighborhoods and potential changes to land-development regulations fill the March 14 meeting agenda of the Islamorada Village Council. Village Manager Seth Lawless will brief council members on current status of Carroll Street on Upper Matecumbe Key. Residents of Carroll Street previously voiced concern that a temporary access gate permitted[…]