Demystifying the Florida education finance program

Demystifying the Florida education finance program

BY JOHN ANDOLA

NEWS WRITER

If you are lucky enough to be retired and on Medicare, each month you receive a summary of medical billing related to your doctor and hospital visits, charges for medical tests and procedures, etc. It reads something like this: your doctor charged $489 for an office visit, Medicare approved $176, Medicare actually paid your doctor $114 and you may be billed $72 (for which you never receive a bill). Then you get another similar financial summary from you secondary medical provider. All of which you probably understand almost nothing. Continue reading

The Big Story, Rick Boettger, Bayview Park tennis pro commits unforced errors

The Big Story

Bayview Park tennis pro commits unforced errors

BY RICK BOETTGER

     The taxpayer-paid tennis pro at Bayview Park, Paul Findlay, recently ignited a firestorm with his unilateral decision to ban plastic chairs there. Tennis players and fans used them in late afternoon to avoid the sun blasting the only other seating, the aptly-named “bleachers,” moving the chairs to find pockets of shade.

      Numerous players sent emails complaining to city staff and commissioners; dozens more signed petitions demanding the chairs be returned, vowing not to support tournaments until they were. Findlay responded with a written charge that people wanting the chairs were just a few troublemakers who never supported his tournaments — a bald-faced lie. Continue reading

Make sure you lock up your fishing equipment

Make sure you lock up your fishing equipment

Every year, as spring and summer approach, the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office begins to see more crimes related to boats, boating and fishing. Recently, detective units county-wide have seen an uptick in the theft of various types of fishing equipment – particularly rods and reels, according to spokesperson Becky Herrin.

Since February, she said, there have been approximately 30 reports county-wide of fishing equipment stolen. Most of the stolen equipment has been rods and reels, with some dive equipment and one small outboard motor. Continue reading

New Sunset Celebration guidelines OK’d

New Sunset Celebration guidelines OK’d

BY PRU SOWERS

NEWS WRITER

Fighting to maintain its 10-year hold on managing the famous nightly Sunset Celebration in Mallory Square, the Key West Cultural Preservation Society (CPS) approved a draft set of management guidelines last week that it hopes will satisfy city officials and allow the non-profit to continue supervising one of the city’s top tourist events

CPS had a 10-year lease to manage Sunset Celebration that expired last month, forcing the city, which owns Mallory Square, to put the non-profit Society on a month to month agreement while a new contract is hammered out. But lease negotiations have faltered while CPS attempted to find internal consensus on how the popular event is managed. Continue reading

Key West resident Jean Carper honored by Ohio Foundation of Independent Colleges

Key West resident Jean Carper honored by Ohio Foundation of Independent Colleges

Ohio Wesleyan University alumna Jean Carper, Class of 1953, and a Key West resident, will be inducted in April into the Ohio Foundation of Independent Colleges Hall of Excellence.

Already in the Hall is another Key West resident and Ohio Wesleyan graduate (Class of 1959), Evan Corns, co-founder and retired CEO of America’s Body Co., inducted in 2010. Continue reading

Larry Murray’s unending search for financial misbehavior

Larry Murray’s unending search for financial misbehavior

BY JOHN L. GUERRA

NEWS WRITER

Larry Murray, the self-described “Fiscal Watchdog and Citizen Activist” from the Middle Keys, won’t stop asking the Monroe County School District for more documents.

The former member of the district’s independent audit and finance committee has made dozens of requests for documentsnot just a single page at a time; a handful of which were for batches of documents. He has sued the School District for not responding to two document requests and unsuccessfully sued the district in court to recover the costs of suing the district. Continue reading

Tropic Sprockets: Ian Brockway, Hotel Budapest 0417

TROPIC SPROCKETS

BY IAN BROCKWAY

The Grand Budapest Hotel

Indie charmer Wes Anderson delivers the expected quirky goods with “The Grand Budapest Hotel”, a picaresque adventure loosely based on the writings of beloved Austrian  author Stefan Zweig, who entertained in abundance with his novels, and yet, sadly, committed suicide in 1942, due largely to the rise of intolerance and Nazism.

Everything about this madcap yarn with dark chocolate around the edges is rendered with a miniaturist’s detail and spun in confectioners’ sugar. A Zweig-ish author (Jude Law) is fascinated by a twinkly-eyed solitary man (F. Murray Abraham). The writer has the chance to interview him and the mysterious man tells his story. The man is in actuality, the older version of a bellhop named Zero. (played by a jumpy Tony Revolori) Continue reading

Sheriff’s deputy nearly blew man away

Sheriff’s deputy nearly blew man away

BY JOHN L. GUERRA

NEWS WRITER

Police departments around the country have for years been warning the public that certain toy guns can get them killed.

A Monroe County Sheriff’s sergeant was an eyelash pull away from shooting a man in the street in Marathon because his target had an Airsoft gun in his hand. Airsoft guns are replicas of the real thing and shoot 6 mm pellets, also known as BBs. They also cost as much as real guns; some go for as much as $300, according to Airsoft Corp. Continue reading

Martin’s is ultimate in European fine dining

RESTAURANT REVIEW

Martin’s is ultimate in European fine dining

BY DIANE JOHNSON

Martin’s is the ultimate restaurant in Key West for classic European fine dining. Located right on Duval, leave the madness behind and enjoy sophistication combined with the playfulness of the tropics, just like the menu.

The food is lovingly prepared and tasted incredible! The lobster was a healthy portion and cooked perfectly, making it the most tender I have ever eaten. The grouper special with its layers of crab, spinach and a delicious homemade béarnaise was amazing. The house-made bread was hearty and combined with the garlic butter simply melted in my mouth. The lobster bisque was chock full of lobster and a delightful combination of both creamy and light. The seafood chowder was filled with tender fresh fish and vegetables, and the German potato and leek soup put a giant grin on my husband’s face. We had Martin’s signature dessert, a warm homemade apple strudel with Flamingo’s vanilla ice cream. The Belgian chocolate mousse with cherry sauce and mango was a unique and delicious way to end a wonderful meal.

Martin’s receives their fresh local seafood daily. Their meats are prime and sauces are made from scratch. Even their sides are unique creations.  The baked potato had a topping that reminded me of a cupcake. It was whipped potatoes with Parmesan cheese and carrots swirled to look like frosting. Martin is an innovative and creative chef who can transform the mundane into tasty eye candy.

Martin came to Key West 27 years ago to open up a bakery; after all he was a pastry chef. One of his favorite sayings is “Every pastry chef can be a cook, but not every cook can be a pastry chef”.

The inside restaurant is classic and refined with a black and white color scheme. Sprinkled around the dining room are fresh orchids and giant vases of fresh roses. The ambient lighting, unique feather light fixtures and lite jazz emanating from invisible speakers play music from Ibiza, Spain. The outdoor lounge and garden are inviting for casual dining and celebrating with friends and family. My husband and I have eaten in some of the best restaurants, from San Francisco to New York, and we were impressed. Martin’s is the perfect spot for a delicious dinner or brunch when friends and family visit.

Martins offer locals a half off lunch (except beverages) every Thursday!  For those who do not partake of alcohol or soda, try Martin’s tropical juice made with fresh mango, pineapple, peach, orange and cranberry. The wine list is extensive with 160 bottles from all over the world. They also have fine single malts and one of the best martinis in town.

Martin’s is located at 917 Duval St. in the heart of Key West. They are open for lunch Monday – Saturday (11-2), dinner daily 3 – close, Sunday brunch from 10-3 and the bar Lounge is open from 11 a.m. to close. Reservations can be made by phone at 305-295-0111, on Open Table or on their website at http://www.martinskeywest.com