The contest for Florida’s 26th congressional district is close, and the race is getting national attention. But when Democratic incumbent Congressman Joe Garcia debated Republican challenger Carlos Curbelo Monday, it was a small town affair.
U.S. Rep. Joe Garcia and Miami-Dade County School Board member Carlos Curbelo disagree on a lot of issues. And they fundamentally disagree on whether the public should invest in government – or cut it back. But their sharpest words at Monday’s debate were over character.
The Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum is already hugely popular with visitors -- but soon they'll be able to stroll through the writer's Key West home in more comfort, especially during the sweltering subtropical summer.
The house, built in 1851, is now set to have air conditioning installed for the first time. At the moment, stand-up fans offer the only relief.
In 1961, two New Yorkers who had worked in the theater moved to Key West and opened a screenprint fabric shop.
In short order they met two women who assured their success. One was Lilly Pulitzer, the Palm Beach socialite who had started selling brightly colored garments a few years before. The other was a Key West resident named Agnez Zuzek dePoo, better known as Suzie.
Key West Mayor Craig Cates won a fourth and final term as mayor of the southernmost city Tuesday, defeating Margaret Romero for a third time and taking 53 percent of the votes in the three-person race. Romero won 44 percent while perennial candidate Sloan Bashinsky took just over 2 percent.
"I'm just a happy camper right now," Cates said. "Everybody that came out and supported me, four elections in a row -- it's an overwhelming feeling."
Monroe Circuit Judge Luis Garcia declared Florida's ban on gay marriage unconstitutional Thursday afternoon. He ruled in favor of Aaron Huntsman and William Lee Jones, a same-sex couple seeking to marry -- but they will only be allowed to do so after Tuesday, July 22.
Later on Thursday afternoon, the office of Attorney General Pam Bondi filed a notice of appeal against Judge Garcia's decision.
The judge compared the gay-marriage ban to earlier laws that prevented women from voting, banned interracial marriages and imprisoned Japanese Americans during World War II.
You can’t just tear down a house in Key West’s Historic District. Even if it’s in pretty bad shape. That’s why people were so surprised when the city -- which normally enforces the preservation rules -- came up with a list of five houses in Old Town that could be torn down.
One of those houses “looks like it’s sitting on limestone piers which are not anchored on anything , so the building’s sitting here unsecured,” says Ron Wampler, the city’s chief building official.
In 2008, Florida voters approved a constitutional amendment that defined marriage as being between one man and one woman. In recent months, gay couples wishing to marry have challenged that provision in Miami-Dade and Monroe counties.
Today on Plantation Key, a Monroe Circuit judge heard arguments in a case brought by two Key West men. Aaron Huntsman and William Jones have been together for 11 years and had a commitment ceremony 10 years ago. But Huntsman said they want to make it official.
(Note: Mark Hedden's wife is on the board of the Key West Literary Seminar.)
David Kaufelt died Saturday at home in Key West.
He and his wife Lynn arrived from New York four decades ago. David was a writer and wanted to be surrounded by more writers. Several others already made the island their home, but Kaufelt had an idea to make Key West into a true literary destination, not just for people interested in the legacies of Ernest Hemingway and Tennessee Williams, but for living, breathing writers too.
Sandra Ramos has never wanted to emigrate from Cuba, but in her more than four decades on the island, she has seen many people leave.
Their absence resonates throughout her work. The image of her as a 10-year-old is plastered behind a wall of palm trees, trapped on the island. In another piece, her school girl's body lies across a gaping space in the middle of a bridge, trying to connect two separate lands.
"It's a perspective on immigration from those who stay," Ramos said.
Over the last year, the small, two-house compound in Old Town Key West where John Martini lives has been robbed at least four times.
“We've kind of lost count, as a matter of fact,” he said. “The first time or two, maybe he hit us and we didn't even know ... because he only stole cash, and he stole it out of our wallets and put our wallets back in the same place.”
Once Martini realized they were being robbed, he installed locks on his doors, something he hadn't done since he moved in in 1978. When the compound was robbed again, they installed a security-camera system.