25 July 2023

This little piggy went to market - Weekly briefing - 25 July 2023

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Hog's Breath sold. Keys Weekly confirmed the rumor that Hog's Breath Saloon was sold to giant timeshare operator Westgate Resorts, According to a press release, “Westgate Resorts recognizes the unique cultural significance of the venue and is committed to preserving its authentic spirit while enhancing the overall guest experience.” 

Cruise ships Amerster-damned. The European capital will stop cruise ships from docking in the city center as part of a campaign to curb pollution and reduce the flow of tourists, according to the New York Times and the Washington Post. Apparently, Tallahassee's preemption reach isn't global. 

Still hot. Keys Weekly also confirmed that it's never before been this hot in July. The New York Times reported on our hot water

Hunting for a parking space. Chris Hamilton advocated for fewer free downtown parking spaces.  

Tallahassee went a-courtin'. Mandy Miles fretted in Keys Weekly that Monroe County could lose its local court system.    

Likely unconstitutional. The Citizen reported that a federal judge said that his order blocking a Florida law targeting drag shows doesn’t just apply to the restaurant that brought the lawsuit challenging it but to other venues in the state.

Campaign troubles? The two GOP presidential candidates from Florida each had a bad week. 
Tour de France. Mark Hedden wrote about birds, but mostly the riders at the Tour de France

No August meeting. The next Key West City Commission meeting won't be until 14 September. 

Our Eyes

Phil Dodderidge caught two greats on the same day. 

Great White Heron - Phil Dodderidge

Great Egret. Phil Dodderidge

Previously in Key West Voices

Hottest week ever. The Guardian reported the World Meteorological Organization's assertion that Earth has not experienced anything like this heat since instrumental measures of air temperatures began in the 1850s, and that there is a good chance that the month of July will see the highest global temperatures for 120,000 years. And there's more to come. 
Personal militia. A Florida state guard established by Ron DeSantis under the guise of a civilian disaster relief force is instead being trained as an armed, combat-ready militia under his personal command, according The Guardian.

TDC budget up 60%. In his letter to the Board of Monroe County Commissioners, County Administrator Roman Gastesi highlighted the 60% increase in the Tourist Development Council (TDC) budget to 125.6M because it includes a new $25M allocation for public facilities, which it may not be permitted to use in that way. 

Under (no) pressure. Greg Velez, Executive Director of the Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority (and former Key West City Manager) gave a brief and arid presentation to the City Commission on 14 July in which he summarized FKAA's capital projects underway and planned (video, agenda item #6). There were no questions from the dais. Perhaps members of the Commission could have asked:
  • When, if ever, will water pressure be restored to the level it was before multiple water main breaks in March? 
  • Were the breaks in March the result of demand during peak tourist season?
  • What sections of the main are most susceptible to future breaks? 
  • Will the system be able to sustain pressure under projected growth in residential population and peak season tourism?
Loft troubles. How is a $700,000 townhome “affordable” for working families of Key West? It’s not. Keys Weekly said that city officials were deeply troubled by a July 13 update on The Lofts affordable housing development, long planned for the last 3.2 acres of Truman Waterfront. 

Giant Voice alert tower. NAS Key West posted notice on Facebook that its new "giant voice mass notification system" will be used to amplify morning and evening colors, as well as provide alerts during training and emergency situations.

Our year of Judy continues. Judy Blume congratulated the producers of the documentary Judy Blume Forever on their two Emmy nominations which is available for streaming on Prime

Cute birds. Mark Hedden told us about 'odd' Pelagic birding, which basically consists of driving around in a boat on the ocean, looking for birds. 

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