Archive for the Key West News Category

Off the Grid – Illegal in the United States of America?

Posted in Fishing Reports, Key West News, Pirates | Comments Off on Off the Grid – Illegal in the United States of America?


Think you are still free to make choices in your life?  Do you think the government will allow you to live independent of their utility monopolies?  If you think so, try opting for renewable non-grid tied power and utilize environmentally friendly composting toilets and your own self-sufficient water supply.  Today, those life choices could land you in jail if you live in South Florida.  Take the case of Robin Speronis.

Robin Speronis has lived off the grid, independent of the city’s water and electric system.  A Florida court ruled this off-the-grid living illegal last week and has given Robin until March to connect her home to a municipal water line or face possible eviction.  Further, officials in the city of Cape Coral have justified this by deeming Robin’s home “unsanitary,” citing the International Property Maintenance Code.  First of all, since when did we begin to locally recognize “international codes?”  Where in the US Constitution does it provide for international jurisdiction over local codes?  Ironically, this “international” code mandates that homes be connected to an electricity grid and a running water source, even though most of the world lives without reliable electricity and municipal water and sewer.  Further, the code is outdated and obsolete because it was written without consideration to both old and new technologies that relegate the need for grid tied power and municipal water as unnecessary and expensive; especially, in locations where it simply isn’t feasible to have grid tied utilities. Nonetheless, Speronis’ home does in fact have power and water through far cheaper and more environmentally friendly means — solar panels and rainwater, but that reality is ignored by the local government.

All too often now it has become blatantly clear that our governments will stop at nothing to control every aspect of your life and demand by force of law that you are dependent upon the system.  Why dependent?  Simple, because dependent people can be controlled.  Nothing screams of totalitarism more than irrational government demands to conform to nonsensical and inefficient systems when better options that may suit an individual are available.  Today, living off the grid allows one to become in a large part independent of the government and as such, has now been targeted as criminal behavior.  Of course governments are not going to directly say this.  Instead, you see governments using the tact such as Cape Coral citing “sanitary” reasons even though they presented no conclusive evidence that Robin’s lifestyle presented any type of public health threat.  Sure, it was not the typical urban setup for a dwelling, but then, when was it demanded by law that everyone conformed to outdated modes of existence?  In fact, how is locally sourcing water from renewable sources and incinerating or biodegrading human waste “more” unsanitary than the city’s own activities?  Let’s be honest, providing filtered sewage mixed with a cocktail of harmful chemicals through debris and corrosion filled pipes as “clean” drinking water isn’t my idea of sanitary.  Further, pumping raw sewage into open bodies of water and burning millions of tons of fossil fuels isn’t exactly sanitary either.

When viewed in its entirety, it appears that the government is simply mad because someone found a way to do things better and without the need of their “services.”  Instead of adapting and reforming their code to catch up with technology, the uber bureaucrats with clearly limited mental faculties and stunted emotional development decided it was easier and or better to just prosecute Robin as a criminal.  How scary is it that in today’s society common sense, logic, and reason are excommunicated by bureaucrats in favor of mindless adherence to ineffective, dated, and or obsolete codes and regulations that were allegedly designed to help not hurt the public?  Instead of good judgment and rational logic, the go-to tools of bureaucrats are brutal police enforcement and prosecution of anyone that dares to try and live independent of their noxious edicts.  As you have witnessed and will witness going forward, this is a recipe for a national collapse.  No person, business, or state can function under such bureaucratic idiocy and harassment.  The freedom of people and the ability of businesses to operate productively are inversely proportional to the size of the bureaucracy.  The United States has hit the point where intrepid trend setters, inventors, pioneers, industrialists, and builders are no longer able to lead this nation forward, but instead, unaccomplished and dimwitted individuals with titles such as inspector, social worker, tax agent, appointee, consultant, and compliance officer are leading this nation into ruin.  I don’t know how much longer the US can continue the allusion of a functional nation, but as sure as the sun will rise tomorrow, this system and nation will collapse under its own bureaucratic weight and feel good hubris.  I hope you are prepared.

By Guiles Hendrik

January 4, 2015

[Original Source]

Best Beach Destinations in the Florida Keys

Posted in Boat Drinks, Island Enthusiasts, Key West News | Comments Off on Best Beach Destinations in the Florida Keys


While residents of cold-weather climates are shivering indoors by the fire, the lucky folks who visit the Florida Keys are snorkeling, splashing, and fishing in still-temperate waters. The shores of this island chain—with dazzling coral reefs and an abundance of wildlife—are recognized as excellent spots for water play. Blissfully removed from any signs of winter, these eight beach destinations showcase the best of what the Keys have to offer, from diving to kayaking to just plain sunbathing.


(Photo: Stephen Frink/Florida Keys News Bureau)

John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, Key Largo
Best Beach For: Diving

In John Pennekamp, endless protected miles of the Atlantic Ocean are host to stunning coral reefs and enchanting mangrove swamps. The undersea state park, the first of its kind in the U.S., offers a variety of guided diving options, from certification courses to clinics for underwater photography and fish identification. Divers shouldn’t miss the SS Benwood, a World War II shipwreck that sits at a depth of 50 feet, and theChrist of the Abyss statue, in almost 25 feet of water near the Dry Rocks reef.


(Photo via Leigh Anne Ference-Kaemmer/

Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park, Key West
Best Beach For: Snorkeling

The waters that surround this Civil War-era fort, located on the very tip of Key West, reflect its location: where the calm ripples of the Gulf of Mexico meet Atlantic Ocean waves. This convergence creates rocky offshore formations that are home to a spectacular variety of tropical fish, hard and soft corals, lobsters, and crystal-clear turquoise waters through which snorkelers can view all the underwater activity. Best of all, snorkeling-gear rentals are available right in the park.


(Photo via Natalia Bratslavsky/

Calusa Beach, Bahia Honda State Park, Big Pine Key
Best Beach For: Family Fun

Located on the Gulf side of Big Pine Key, Calusa Beach is protected from Atlantic Ocean winds, making it a great swimming beach for children. Calusa’s shallow blue-green waters and close-by facilities—showers with restrooms, a covered picnic area with grills, and parking—also help boost its popularity. And if the little ones need to get out of the sun for a bit, the park’s Sand and Sea Nature Center is within walking distance and offers exhibits on native creatures and habitats.


(Photo via Chuck Wagner/

Smathers Beach, Key West
Best Beach For: People-Watching

Key West’s manmade strand, built with sand brought in from the Bahamas in 1961, offers a rare stretch of white sand among the Keys’ otherwise-rocky shores. The convivial vibe of downtown Duval Street extends to this beach, where the people-watching and socializing are just as important as the sun and waves. Beach volleyball and parasailing are also popular activities on Smathers, where the water has a year-round average temperature of 79 degrees.


(Photo: TripAdvisor LLC)

Key Colony Beach
Best Beach For: Fishing

Expect to catch snapper, cobia, wahoo, and much more when you cast a line at Key Colony Beach. Hop on one of the many charter boats that dock in the Key Colony Beach Marina, including Cara Mia Fishing Charters, Best Bet Sportfishing, and The Main Attraction, which offers a no-fish, no-pay guarantee for full-day trips. The islands are known as superb destinations for saltwater angling, so you’re almost certain to land something for dinner.


(Photo via Daniel Korzeniewski/

Curry Hammock State Park, Marathon
Best Beach For: Kayaking

There’s nothing quite like gliding over glassy water with visibility that extends all the way to the ocean floor, where fish weave in and out of sea-grass beds and stingrays skim the sandy bottom. Curry Hammock State Park is a great place to start a Keys kayak tour, as the park offers rentals, a sandy launch area, and a spectacular trail that rings the island and takes paddlers through a mangrove creek. Make your way to the sandbar just off the shoreline, where the snorkeling is excellent and the shallow water is great for a refreshing mid-tour swim.


(Photo: Joy via flickr/CC Attribution/Share Alike)

Bahia Honda State Park, Big Pine Key
Best Beach For: Sunbathing

The beaches of Bahia Honda State Park were named the best in America in 1992 by Dr. Beach—and with more than 2.5 miles of white-sand shores and glistening turquoise waters, it’s easy to see why. Bahia Honda’s quiet, palm-tree-lined strands are havens for travelers seeking pure relaxation. Plop down a beach lounger, pull out a good book, and soak it all in.


(Photo: Susan Hardin via flickr/CC Attribution/Share Alike)

Long Key State Park, Long Key
Best Beach For: Camping

With campsites that are located literally steps from the Atlantic, Long Key State Park is a beach camper’s dream, offering 60 tent and RV sites and full-service facilities that include hot showers, electric hookups, and kayak rentals. Each camping spot overlooks the ocean, which, at high tide, might meander mere feet away from your tent. Wake up with the wildlife—the park is home to egrets, herons, and ibis; loggerhead and green sea turtles; and starfish, to name a few—and take in a private viewing of a vibrant sunrise over the water.

Read the original story: Best Beach Destinations in the Florida Keys by Julianne Lowell, who is a regular contributor to SmarterTravel.

This Key West Bar Is an Ex-Morgue With Bodies Still Buried in It

Posted in Island Enthusiasts, Jimmy Buffett News, Key West News, Restaurant Reviews, Trop Rock Artists | Comments Off on This Key West Bar Is an Ex-Morgue With Bodies Still Buried in It


Ernest Hemingway, Truman Capote, Shel Silverstein, Tennessee Williams and the Mayor of Margaritaville himself, Jimmy Buffet, have all enjoyed a drink (or 8) at Captain Tony’s Saloon in Key West, Fla. What the tourist guide books often fail to note when promoting the saloon is the fact that it was established in 1851 as an icehouse and morgue.

Not only was the building used as Key West’s first morgue, it was also the location of the infamous “Hanging Tree,” which was responsible for hanging 16 pirates and one woman who had stabbed her husband and two children to death. Ghost hunters claim she haunts the bar to this day. She’s known as the “Lady in Blue” (named after both the blue dress she wore when she chopped up her family, and the color her skin turned as she died).


In 1865 a massive hurricane hit Key West, and corpses were sent sprawling:

“All of the bodies were missing after the hurricane hit, except one,” said Joe Faber, the current owner of Captain Tony’s Saloon. “According to some old Conchs that I spoke with when researching the history, they found one body that was near the outside of the building, which is now the inside of the building where the pool room is. They never found the others, so what the Bahamian people did is decide to make that an unofficial grave site. They buried the body they found, built a wall around the area, and put bottles full of holy water in the wall.” —  Jeff Belanger


At the turn of the century, the building was used as a cigar factory and then as a speakeasy, where men and women gambled and cavorted, fast and loose. Of course it was also a bootleg distributor of rum. Sloppy Joe’s opened in 1933 and became a favorite eatery of Ernest Hemingway.

In 1938, Josie Russell, in a dispute with the landlord of 428 Greene Street over a $1 rent increase and a clause in the lease stating that all fixtures must stay if he ended the lease, decided to move the entire bar in the middle of the night (including the fixtures) a half block away to the corner of Duval and Greene Street.  During the move,  Hemingway insisted on possession of the urinal.  He said, “His hard earned money paid for it.” The urinal can still be viewed at the Hemingway House where it remains as a cat trough.

In 1940, the building was leased to Morgan Bird, who opened a gay saloon, called the Duval Club. The Navy prohibited sailors from frequenting the club. Unfortunately, without the revenue of sailors on leave the club shut down. Then, in 1958 Captain Tony bought the bar.

Born Anthony Tarracino in Elizabeth, N.J., “Captain Tony’s” father was a bootlegger who had dropped out of ninth grade to sell booze during Prohibition. Sadly, Captain Tony’s dad was a degenerate gambler who ultimate got involved with the New Jersey Mafia. In 1947, Tony was “beaten and left for dead at the Newark city dump,” after which he moved to Key West, in 1948.

Captain Tony’s pub expanded throughout the twentieth century. Besides building around the hanging tree, owners expanded the saloon to include a billiards room, building over and around the wall containing holy water. In the 1980s, while taking up the old plywood flooring, the bones from between eight and fifteen bodies were discovered. A skeletal reminder of the find hangs behind the bar today. Also unearthed was the grave marker of a young woman named Elvira, which is now exposed in the cement next to a pool table. — Jeff Belanger

Captain Tony’s is an iconic divey beach bar named after a modern maritime icon who was once a fishing boat captain gunrunner, gambler, and Mayor of Key West. The late, great, captain Tony. Father to 13 children by five wives, Captain Tony served the U.S. government as a gunrunner during the Bay of Pigs.

“All you need in this life is a tremendous sex drive and a great ego, brains don’t mean a shit.” — Captain Tony.

2014-04-04-ObitTarracino.jpg 2014-04-04-uzon8l13k9unpjbh8th8.jpg

And for good measure, here’s the Jimmy Buffett song, “The Last Mango in Paris” about our American hero, Captain Tony:

Original Story

Don Middlebrook – Featured Artist of the Month

Posted in Featured Artist of the Week, Key West News, Trop Rock Artists | Comments Off on Don Middlebrook – Featured Artist of the Month

Starting in 1991, Don Middlebrook and Living Soul began a musical quest up and down the west coast of Michigan with little idea of where it might lead. Always directed by a new song, a new adventure, and an occasional cold beer, what began as fun and frolic has turned into thirteen years of travel and musical bliss. Looking back over those last thirteen years, eight CDs have been recorded and over 150 dates played each year. Airplay has becomecommonplace, like that found at WCSX FM in Detroit, and internet web play has had international activity. Don and the band have performed on national radio with Mitch Albom and G. Gordon Liddy, and the last three years, they have toured and recorded with Greg “Fingers” Taylor, Jimmy Buffett’s harmonica player for twenty-six years. In 2004, Don had two compositions in a Showtime original movie.

Don button2

2 Don Middlebrook CDs for $25.00 (free shipping)

Have you heard the legend of how Don stole Jimmy Buffett’s TV Guide?

While performing at Sloppy Joe’s in Key West, Florida, Saugatuck’s local musician, Don Middlebrook and a friend thought that they would take a moped ride around the island. What started out as an innocent joy ride soon became a hunt to find Jimmy Buffett’s house. Based on local information they had gathered, they thought they were close, but were not convinced. That’s when Don peeked into the mailbox and spotted Jimmy Buffett’s TV Guide. Contradictory stories exist as to what happened next. Don wrote a song to apologize, claiming he found the TV Guide on the ground. Witnesses say that he stole it out of the mailbox.

Years later Don recorded and toured with the most famous Coral Reefer of all, Greg “Fingers” Taylor. Greg claimed that Jimmy was aware of the theft and wanted his TV Guide back. Don’s song of apology claimed that he did not have it. Friends say it is in his house. No charges against Don were ever filed and the existence and/or the whereabouts of the TV Guide that inspired this song have never been validated. Jimmy Buffett has since moved from that home in Key West and now has a P.O. Box. As the song goes, you can always steal from a pirate. Don website is


Mishka The Journey Tour 2014

Posted in Key West News, Radio shows, Reggae Roots Music, Trop Rock Artists, Trop Rock Happenings | Comments Off on Mishka The Journey Tour 2014
Mishka’s New Album, The Journey, Now Available!

The Journey Continues

“Unplugged and Fully Connected”

Mishka is bringing his Journey back to the US. Join him for a very special night of music.

Tour Dates
March 27:      The Knitting Factory, Brooklyn, NY TICKETS

March 28:      FTC StageOne, Fairfield, CT  TICKETS

March 29:      Milly’s Tavern, Manchester, NH  TICKETS

March 30:      The Middle East, Cambridge, MA  TICKETS

March 31:      The Wonder Bar, Asbury Park, NJ  TICKETS

April 2:           Montego’s, Virginia Beach, VA  TICKETS

April 3:           Jammin’ Javas, Vienna, VA  TICKETS

April 4:           World Cafe Live, Philadelphia, PA  TICKETS

April 5:           The Abbey Bar, Harrisburg, PA  TICKETS

April 6:           Pour House Music Hall, Raleigh, NC  TICKETS

April 8:           The Grey Eagle, Asheville, NC  TICKETS

April 9:           Ziggy’s By The Sea, Wilmington, NC  TICKETS

April 14:         The Pour House, Charleston, SC  TICKETS

April 16:         Work Play Theatre, Birmingham, AL  TICKETS

April 19:         Smith’s Olde Bar, Atlanta, GA  TICKETS

April 20:         Jack Rabbits Live, Jacksonville, FL  TICKETS

Visit for more information and additional dates as they are added.  Mishka’s Journey will take him all over the World this year.  Come and join The Journey. #MishkaLive

Mishka’s first full length studio album in over 3 years is now available.  This new collection of songs is a travel log of roots, soul, and enduring love.

The Journey – Mishka on iTunes

The Journey – Mishka on Amazon



“Worth The Wait”



Stolen Jimmy Buffett Signed Guitar

Posted in Boat Drinks, Destin Florida, Island Enthusiasts, Jimmy Buffett News, Key West News, Meeting of the Minds, Radio shows, Trop Rock Artists | 2 Comments »


My Father’s house was recently burglarized. Among the nearly $20,000 worth of items that were stolen, one of these items cannot be replaced easily. I am reaching out to the Trop Rock Community, especially the Southeast. His Signed Jimmy Buffett Guitar was stolen.

photo buffett-signed-guitar

This is certificate is all that remains. The thief is believed to be in Coastal Alabama or in the Florida Panhandle areas. If you have any information regarding this, please contact us.




19th Annual Key West Songwriters Festival presented by BMI

Posted in Key West News, Trop Rock Artists, Trop Rock Happenings | Comments Off on 19th Annual Key West Songwriters Festival presented by BMI
Announcing the Lineup for the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association’s 19th Annual Key West Songwriters Festival
Presented by BMI, Benefitting The Shepherd Center SHARE Military Initiative
in association with Visit Florida, Comcast, Jagermeister and
the Key West & Florida Keys Tourist Development Council
NASHVILLE, February 18, 2014 – Broadcast Music, Inc.®, (BMI®), global leader in music rights management, announces the lineup for the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association’s 19th Annual Key West Songwriters Festival presented by BMI, benefitting the Shepherd Center SHARE Military Initiative, set for May 7-11, 2014. The Key West Songwriters Festival will again feature many of music’s most beloved songwriters heading to the southernmost point for five days of one-of-a-kind showcases and concert events dotting venues across the island.

“Our involvement with the Key West Songwriters Festival is just another way we at BMI demonstrate our full commitment to our songwriters, getting their music exposed in meaningful, unique settings,” said BMI’s Executive Director of Writer/Publisher Relations Mark Mason. “We are honored to have the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association on board to make this year’s festival the biggest and best yet.”
The impressive 2014 list of performers includes headliners Sara Evans, Anders Osborne, 2014 GRAMMY Award winner Kacey Musgraves, Robert Earl Keen, Kree Harrison, DJ DU, Matraca Berg, Tony Joe White, and 2013 BMI Country Icon Dean Dillon.
Additional performers include The World Famous Headliners, Natalie Hemby, Wendell Mobley, Chuck Cannon, Colin Lake, Jeff Hanna, Even Stevens, Hugh Prestwood, James Slater, Steve Bogard, Doug Johnson, Love and Theft, Gary Chapman, Pete Abbot, Dean Alexander, Seth Alley, Dylan Altman, Marshall Altman, Al Anderson, Kelly Archer, Misa Arriaga, Sammy Arriaga, Sherrie Austin, Matt Backer, Phil Barton, Ty Bates, Jabe Beyer, Brinn Black, Blackwater Bride, Callaghan, Shawn Camp, Jessica Campbell, Mark Case, Tommy Cecil, Wiley Chandler, Jeff Cohen, Adam Craig, Rob Crosby, Jalan Crossland, Colby Dee, Josh Dorr, Mason Douglas, Erik Dylan, Brooke Eden, Amanda Flynn, Marti Frederiksen, John Frinzi, Ashley Gearing, Lacy Green, Sam Grow, Haley & Michaels, Michael Hardy, Sara Haze, Kat Higgins, Elisha Hoffman, Rebecca Lynn Howard, Courtney Jaye, Paul Jenkins, Bryson Jennings, Kimberly June, Kristen Kelly, Kingston, Shannon Labrie, Jesse Lee, Lindsey Lee, Marjory Lee, Sonia Leigh, Toby Lightman, Megan Linville, Little Feather, Misty Loggins, Loving Mary, Cheryl LuQuire, Phil Madeira, Josh Matheny, Erin McCarley, Clay McClinton, Pat McLaughlin, Suzie McNeil, Phoenix Mendoza, Mike Mentz, Jake Mitchell, Heather Morgan, Liz Moriondo, Maren Morris, Greg Morrow, Danny Myrick, Kallie North, Shane Piasecki, Patrice Pike, Danika Portz, Jacob Powell, Michael Ray, Tyler Reeve, Michael Rhodes, Jesse Rice, Jon Roniger, Ben Rue, Kylie Sackley, Aaron Scherz, Emily Shackelton, Lucie Silvas, Haley Steele, Adley Stump, Sundy Best, Bridgette Tatum, The Massacoustics, Michael Tolcher, Guthrie Trapp, Brianna Tyson, Walker McGuire, Bruce Wallace, Taylor Watson, Jason White, Channing Wilson, Jessy Wilson, Billy Yates, Kate York, and many more.
“The Key West Songwriters Festival blends the best in the music business with a lively city that encompasses the Florida experience, and we are thrilled to sponsor the event,” said Carol Dover, President and CEO of the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association. “This year, we feel the diverse talent lineup will encourage people to take a trip to the state’s southernmost point to hear the stories behind the big hits and go on an adventure to a unique destination.”
After 2013’s record-breaking year, the 2014 edition of the festival promises to deliver even more finely-crafted music and stories behind the hits. Anders Osborne is set to headline the festival’s kickoff concert on Wednesday, May 7 on the Sunset Pier at the Ocean Key Resort. Over the course of five days, more than 50 free shows and in-the-round showcases featuring some of the nation’s finest songwriters will follow, including a free concert on Duval Street with Sara Evans, co-presented by RCA Records Nashville. Last year’s Duval St. concert saw a record audience of over 5,000 people.
Six ticketed shows will pack the historic San Carlos Theatre, Tropic Cinema, and The Studios of Key West. 2014 GRAMMY Award winner Kacey Musgraves will close out the festival with a must-see performance on the Casa Marina Resort beach. Tickets will go on sale mid-March and can be purchased at Specific lineups and venue information will be announced soon.
For updates, follow @BMI on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook, and use hashtag #BMIKeyWest.
Proceeds from the Key West Songwriters Festival will benefit SHARE Military Initiative at Shepherd Center, a comprehensive rehabilitation program that focuses on assessment and treatment for service men and women who have sustained a mild to moderate traumatic brain injury and PTSD from the Afghanistan and Iraqi conflicts.
For a complete listing of sponsoring hotels, local businesses, participating songwriters and more, visit
About the Key West Songwriters Festival
The Key West Songwriters Festival is the largest festival of its kind in the world. The event’s 1995 debut was small but memorable, featuring Mickey Newbury and Shel Silverstein. BMI stepped in as a partner and sponsor in 1996 and has helped it grow into both a tourist attraction and favorite of island locals. The festival revolves around five days and nights of more than 30 free shows, staged at an array of the island’s most popular drinking holes and hot spots, where live music introduces crowds to the faces, voices and stories behind the songs. Diverse lineups featuring more than 100 top songwriters deliver rare, “Key West-only” moments. More info available at
About BMI
Broadcast Music Inc. (BMI) is a global leader in music rights management, serving as an advocate for the value of music. BMI represents the public performance rights in more than 8.5 million musical works created and owned by more than 600,000 songwriters, composers, and music publishers. The Company negotiates music license agreements and distributes the fees it generates as royalties to its affiliated writers and publishers when their songs are performed in public. In 1939, BMI created a groundbreaking open-door policy becoming the only performing rights organization to welcome and represent the creators of blues, jazz, country, and American roots music. Today, the musical compositions in BMI’s repertoire, from chart toppers to perennial favorites span all genres of music and are consistently among the most-performed hits of the year. For additional information and the latest BMI news, visit, follow us on Twitter @BMI or stay connected through Broadcast Music Inc.’s Facebook page.
Press Contact:
Drew Maynard, BMI

Key West tables noise law for more tweaking

Posted in Key West News | Comments Off on Key West tables noise law for more tweaking


Faced with stiff opposition, the Key West City Commission on Tuesday postponed adopting more-restrictive changes to the local noise-control law.

Public vetting of new rules proposed by District 1 Commissioner Jimmy Weekley pit regularly at-odds interest groups in the Old Town business community against residents looking to turn down the volume to increase their quality of life.

“It’s not trying to unplug the music we have in this city,” Weekley said in the lead-up to two-hours of public comment. “There’s a lot of people that come here to listen” to live music. “But by the same token, we also have residents that are impacted. We have to pull the rein; we have to pull it in a little bit to find that balance.”

Senior Code Compliance Manager Jim Young, who oversees enforcement of the rules, echoed Weekley: “This ordinance isn’t trying to put anyone out of business.”

As it stands, for bars, restaurants and other venues that feature live music in the downtown mix of residential and commercial spaces, the rule is no amplified music louder than 75 decibels as measured from the property line.

Proposed technical modifications to the law would make it easier for the city’s Code Compliance officers to issue citations, which could result in a $500 fine. They would take into account the impact of amplified bass, which isn’t measured now.

Maureen Johnson, owner of Willie T’s open-air bar and restaurant at 525 Duval St., said
music and nightlife are a driver of Key West’s tourism economy and the proposed new ordinance is “too restrictive.”

She cited Monroe County Tourist Development Council research that says, “The top recreational activity is dining out and the No. 2 reason tourists come here is the nightlife. Duval Street is clearly Key West’s epicenter. It is imperative to our entire island economy and tax base to continue to treat it as such.”

Before the postponement on a vote, Weekley asked for approval but was met with no votes from Mayor Craig Cates and commissioners Mark Rossi and Tony Yaniz; Commissioner Clayton Lopez was absent.

The matter is scheduled to come up again on March 18, beginning at 6 p.m., in Old City Hall on Greene Street.

Original Story –


Meet Me In The Keys 2014

Posted in Artists Schedules, Key West News, Meeting of the Minds, Pirates, Radio shows, Trop Rock Artists, Trop Rock Happenings | Comments Off on Meet Me In The Keys 2014


Meet me in the Keys 2014 registration is now open!  Read registration instructions first, then Click here to register.

Here is the preliminary daily schedule for the event. Remember that you must be a member of one of the Castaways clubs in order to register and attend.


Wednesday, June 4
Goodie bag stuffing
Pre-event outing at Smokin’ Tuna Saloon
Thursday, June 5
Check in/credential pick up
“P-Jammin’ Pajama Party” at Doubletree Ballroom – music by the John Patti Project, with opening act Roger Jokela
Friday, June 6
Pool party all afternoon – music by John Patti, Jimi Pappas and John Frinzi
Fun, relay-type pool games
You can sign up for Kokomo Joe’s Off Duval Bar Crawl, which involves stops at 5 bars where you will receive a free drink at each. A portion of the proceeds from this outing will be donated to Care Camp. For more details and to sign up for that, please go to It’s a fun night!

Saturday, June 7
Annual Hangover Classic Walk to Hurricane Hole – music by Frankendread, followed by Dennis McCaughey of Tropical Soul
While there, attendees can rent jet skis, paddle boards, kayaks, speed boats and more
Snorkel trips, trips around the reef and other fun available
Food and drink specials
Private, attendees-only concert at the historic San Carlos Theater by Howard Livingston and the Mile Marker 24 Band!

Sunday, June 8
All-day outing to Snipe Point – includes lunch, free beer, wine and rum punch – concert by Howard Livingston’s trio.
The San Carlos and Snipe Point outings are limited seating so register early to assure your spot! Registration is now open.


10 Delicious Reasons You Should Be In Key West Right Now

Posted in Key West News, Trop Rock Artists | Comments Off on 10 Delicious Reasons You Should Be In Key West Right Now


If you live anywhere in the country that’snot the South, you’re freezing your butt off right now. This winter has been particularly long, and brutally arctic. We’re not sure about the rest of you, but here at HuffPost Taste HQ we’ve been wondering why we voluntarily moved into this insanely bitter climate (some of us are transplants from South Florida, others from New Mexico).

It’s right about now — when we’re a little more than halfway through the roughest month of the season — that we begin to think it’s time to take a vacation to somewhere sunnier, somewhere beachier. You know, somewhere where the drinks are strong and tropical, and the food is stellar (this is the most important criteria, of course). Naturally, we’re thinking Key West.

Key West is a part of Florida, which we all know is a state with an frightening amount of outlandish criminal activity. But that’s no reason to dismiss it; this sunny and safe island haven will welcome you with crispy conch fritters that rival the ones in the Bahamas, a wonderfully strong cocktail named after our favorite lush of a writer — Hemingway — and so much key lime pie you won’t even know what to do with yourself.

If you were thinking that you’d rather save your money and hunker down until the first signs of spring shine through those winter clouds, you might want to reconsider and take a trip to the Florida Keys. If for nothing than for the famous Hogfish sandwich (and the maybe the sunshine, too). If that’s not an option — because most of us can’t just jump on a plane for an impromptu vacation — let us take you to sunny, warm Key West with a culinary tour of the best food and drink this island has to offer.


  • 1
    Rum Runners
    Averie Cooks
    In any other part of the country, we would not advise drinking rum runners. But when in Key West, it’s a must. A rum runner is a Isla Morada cocktail creation. It’s a dubious blend of dark and light rum (though all recipes vary) on top of lots of fruit flavors. And if you want to really do it right, you order it with a floater shot of Bacardi 151 on top. One cocktail, and you’re good for the night. (It’s great.)
  • 2
    Conch Fritters
    Flickr: Bob B. Brown
    Conch fritters are hands-down the greatest thing to come out of a deep fryer. While we will always think of the Bahamas as the masters of these fritters, the ones that come out of Key West will show you that there’s really no reason to leave the country.
  • 3
    Key Lime Pie
    Flickr: openprivacy
    Clearly, there’s no better place to get Key lime pie than in the Florida Keys. And we happen to think that Key West is the key that does it best. With more than a handful of famous places to try it from, like Kermit’s.
  • 4
    Stone Crabs
    Flickr: Elin B
    Stone crabs are one of the few things that make Florida look good — besides all the beaches. And Key West makes up 40 percent of Florida’s overall stone crab harvest. Just think about that for a minute.
  • 5
    Hogfish Sandwich
    Flickr: Key West Wedding Photography
    Hogfish is a delicate fish with a scallop-like flavor. It works beautifully in this local classic sandwich topped with swiss cheese, onions and mushrooms served on Cuban bread made at Hogfish Bar and Grill.
  • 6
    Hemingway Daiquiris
    Flickr: goodiesfirst
    Ernest Hemingway spent almost 10 years in Key West. You can visit his home (and his six-toed cats) which is now a museum if you’d like, but we recommend honoring this great writer with his namesake daiquiri. It is the best kind of daiquiri you can get — it’s got none of that overly sweet and fruity flavor we’ve come to expect from daiquiris.
  • 7
    Surf And Surf
    Flickr: CLender
    Alright, this isn’t really a thing. But there’s so much fresh seafood in Key West that if you can’t decide between the snapper or the lobster, you can just get both. It’s grand.
  • 8
    Cuban Coffee
    Flickr: dcwriterdawn
    Cuban coffee is clearly not an original part of the Key West culinary scene, but it is a staple now. And a damn fine one too. Considering the fact that Key West is only 90 miles to Cuba, you know you can trust that Key West can do it right.
  • 9
    All The Shrimp
    Flickr: Elin B
    Key West is known for their shrimp. It’s caught locally and served up fresh. Pink shrimp is the most popular, and considered a delicacy, for its slightly sweet flavor. But that’s just one of the many kinds you can enjoy. Bottom line, if you’re in Key West, you have to eat shrimp.
  • 10
    Meringue Key Lime Pie
    Flickr: Lee Edwin Coursey
    Yes, we know. We already mentioned key lime pie. But this is sky-high meringue key lime pie from Blue Heaven deserves its own mention.
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