I could hardly believe what I was looking at. There it was, staring right at me. I could no longer ignore, deny, or post-rationalize what I already knew as the digital evidence stared me down and waved its merciless accusatory finger at me. This marked the end of the line for me, three months ago to the day.
When the Old Seven Mile Bridge was built, it was an engineering wonder of the early 1900s. Part of Henry Flagler’s famous railway to Key West, it ran across nearly seven miles of open water to connect Marathon to the Lower Keys.
Today, the bridge is still a popular spot with both locals and tourists, but it’s slowly falling apart. Salt water and storms are eroding the bridge faster than the state can afford to repair it. Much of it is now closed. Historians and activists are desperately searching for a way to preserve what's left: a 2.2 mile section of the Old Seven Bridge that is still open to pedestrians and cyclists.
Robert Kerstein is a government professor at the University of Tampa. But when he's not teaching on the other coast, he likes hanging out in Key West. His frequent trips there have translated into a new book about how the little city at the bottom of the peninsula has managed to maintain its unique character while becoming a major tourist town. The book is called KeyWest: On The Edge, Inventing the Conch Republic. And this weekend, Kerstein will be appearing at the Miami Book Fair International.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has agreed to work with a British company looking to test out genetically-modified mosquitoes in the U.S.
British biotechnology company Oxitec Ltd has been waiting for a U.S. federal agency to sign on as a partner so they could test out these altered mosquitoes in Key West.
In the past few years, Key West has had a problem with mosquitoes in the area spreading Dengue-- but Oxitec thinks they can kill off a large part of this mosquito population with their altered mosquitoes.
Mark Hedden lives in Key West and writes narrative nonfiction, primarily ornithology-oriented natural history, which most people refer to as “stuff about birds.” Along with the strange business of bank robbery in Key West, he has written about necrovoyeurism, his love of the Tour de France, his aversion to pirates, his hatred of clowns, the inappropriate use of firearms during photo shoots, and music.