31 October 2023

KWV returns from hiatus - Touching the Third Rail - Weekly briefing - 31 October 2023

Human-curated Florida Keys news, all in one place. 

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(Beloved beta editions readers of  Key West Voices: We are most grateful for your candid feedback as we continue to shape and tune the KWV concept of 'human-curated Florida Keys News, all in one place.With this issue, we return from our hiatus that began in September. This issue includes some notable items that appeared during the hiatus, and we expect to be back to a full issue on 6 November. We plan to soon begin promoting free subscriptions, and aim to have hundreds of readers before year end. Thanks, again.)     

Our Community

Fantasy Fest happened, and the Citizen and Keys Weekly and the promoters covered it well. 
Hambright remembered. Renowned and respected Florida Keys historian Tom Hambright died 14 October in Miami. Mandy Miles shared her appreciation for Tom. 

Lopez heart scare. Longtime Key West City Commissioner Clayton Lopez disclosed that he had a health emergency on 12 October that required him to go to the mainland for treatment. 
  • But a life flight aboard one of the county’s Trauma Star helicopters wasn’t possible. The hours-long cell service outage that stymied text messages and cell phone calls for much of the Florida Keys on Oct. 12 had bigger implications for Lopez — and anyone else who may have needed an emergency medical helicopter flight. "Air transport doesn’t fly when cellular communication is out, so I was transported by ambulance to Mt. Sinai,” wrote Lopez.
  • Meanwhile, Monroe County Sheriff Rick Ramsay signed the agreement to acquire three new Trauma Star helicopters for free medical transport to the mainland for citizens and residents (not free for tourists). 
  • Isn't anyone saying why a cell phone outage grounded the fleet?
Strand (Walgreens) sold. A buyer with local ties bought the historic Strand Theater on Duval Street, currently occupied by Walgreens. 

Rebranding. Local watchdog group Last Stand launched a membership drive and rebranding effort. Formed in 1987, Keys Last Stand is responding to recent unprecedented environmental crises in the Florida Keys, which included severe coral bleaching, decrease in water quality and an increase in algal booms and fish and sponge die-offs because of this summer’s unprecedented heat wave.

Not a Fantasy Fest story: Mark Hedden wrote about boobies, and flamingos.

Daylight saving time ends at 2:00 a.m. on Sunday 5 November, when you should set your clocks back one hour. Most phones and computers will do that automatically. 

Our Eyes

Flamingo on Ohio Key - Mark Hedden