Island Currents October 23, 2010

Island Currents October 23, 2010

Barktoberfest Beach Party
The Friends of the Marathon Dog Park, the grassroots group who lobbied for, designed and raised money for the Middle Keys’ first official four-legged friendly venue, hosted a Barktoberfest bash at Sombrero Beach last Saturday.

Eighteen dogs and their people participated in the pet masquerade parade that raised more that $1,400 for improvements at the park.

Spokeswoman Mary Stella said in the park’s first year, the group has received wonderful feedback from residents as well as visitors.

“We know that the black dirt is an issue on everyone’s mind, so that’s the first priority,” Stella said, adding they hope to install a sign on the highway and possibly enhance the access to fresh water.

To join the Friends or find out more information on the park’s future, email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Morgan and Kimber Van Kirk stole the show as “Hooters Pooches”!


Make Your Friends and Family Jealous
Warm sun, sparkling oceans and stately palm trees might not have the Florida Keys in the holiday spirit yet, but Dolphin Research Center (DRC) is giving guests a head start on their holiday photos.  From October 25th until December 22nd, visitors who participate in DRC’s Meet the Dolphin program can also pose with the dolphins for a holiday photo.  Visitors will be offered a number of props such as Santa hats, reindeer antlers, and holiday wreaths to use while posing.  DRC’s experienced photographers will shoot the pictures using high-resolution digital cameras.  Meet the Dolphin gives guests the opportunity to go onto the floating dock to give backrubs and share a “flippershake” with a dolphin.  The program is offered several times each day on a walk-in basis and costs $25 per person in addition to general admission prices.  The photos can be supplied on CD for $30 (including all members of the family), or as prints.  Print prices vary depending on number ordered.

Founded more than 25 years ago, Dolphin Research Center is a nonprofit education and research facility, located at mile marker 59 on Grassy Key in Marathon, FL.  Open daily from 9 am to 4:30 pm, DRC is home to a family of Atlantic bottlenose dolphins and California sea lions.  The center features narrated behavior sessions and educational presentations throughout the day, as well as a variety of interactive programs and other educational programs.  For more information, visit or call 305-289-1121.



Proud of that Permit
We have another teenager on the road ladies and gentlemen. 15-year old Hanna Condon just secured the privilege this week. She’s in the ninth grade at KWHS and plays the saxophone in the marching band. We asked her if driving in Old Town is a challenge with the narrow streets and one-lane roads and she said, “No! Not at all! I have to have a grown-up in the car with me before I’m off on my own.”



Full Moon Kayak
Join Friends And Volunteers of Refuges (FAVOR) on the only charity kayak event on the islands. Capt. Bill Keogh, a noted local guide and photographer, and his crew at Big Pine Kayak Adventures have donated a sunset/moonrise scenic paddle through the sponge flats, grass beds and mangrove forests of the Great White Heron National Wildlife Refuge. The two-hour trip will cost $25 per person and all proceeds will be used for outreach, education, and volunteer projects on behalf of the four Florida Keys National Wildlife Refuges. This recreation is the perfect way to explore and enjoy nature while directly benefiting it.

The full moon trip is only offered once a month, so sign up now. To reserve your seat for this wonderful sunset, moonrise excursion, call 872-7474. The trip will depart from the Old Wooden Bridge Fishing Camp near the No Name Key Bridge at 6pm on Saturday, Oct 23rd. Bring your own flashlight. For more info visit



Grace Jones Students Learn About Stranger Danger
MCSO Deputy Emil LaVache recently visited Grace Jones Community Daycare Center in Marathon to speak to preschool children about “Stranger Danger.” Students were engaged, asked lots of entertaining and interesting questions and had a great time.

Most importantly, Grace Jones preschoolers were taught a wonderful lesson on how to avoid strangers. The teachers and staff at Grace Jones are eagerly anticipating Deputy LaVache’s return within a few months.




Golembeski Joins First State Bank
Karen Golembeski has joined First State Bank of the Florida Keys as Senior Credit Analyst in the Credit Department.

Golembeski brings 13 years banking experience to First State Bank, she also holds a Certificate in Labor Liberal Arts/Industrial Labor Relations from Cornell and is a Florida State Certified General Real Estate Appraiser, a Licensed Florida Mortgage Broker and a Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker.

“We are very pleased to have someone with Karen’s experience join our lending team,” said Gary Carney, Executive Vice President and Senior Loan Administration Office.

“We’re confident her extensive background will be beneficial to our customers as well as our team.”

Golembeski has an Associates Degree in Science from the State University of New York (SUNY) at Farmingdale.  She currently resides in Key West.




Silva Named September Zontian
Sharon Silva was selected Zontian of the Month for September. Sharon has been a member of the Zonta Club of Marathon since August of 2007. She has been an active participant in all the Club activities including finding a new source for the food distributed by Zonta once a month. Her most recent accomplishment was spending countless hours putting together a new membership directory with pictures and mini-biographies. Sharon is Co-Owner of The UPS Store with her husband Arno and works for Yellow Book USA as a Media Consultant. Pictured with Sharon, is Carmen Cordova-Carricaburu, Zonta Club President. Zonta is an International service organization whose mission is to encourage, foster and improve the lives of women and children in our community and worldwide. Look for more information on our newest project, the Inaugural Festival of Trees coming November 26-28.



Quinn, Miner Join Toastmasters
This week’s Middle Keys Toastmasters morning meeting was filled with excitement and connection. 

Charlotte Quinn won a Ribbon for Best Speech: We’re Not In Kansas Anymore. Mayor Ginger Snead won a ribbon for Best Table Topic. Quinn and Bridgett Miner were installed as new members of Toastmasters.

Local businesses and professionals are encouraged to take advantage of this worldwide resource to build better communication and leadership skills.  “There are only two types of speakers.  Trained and Untrained.” Learn the tricks that make your message attention getting and convincing.

1st Tuesday: Marathon Evening at Sombrero Resort 5:30 pm social; 6-7pm meeting

2nd Tuesday:  Upper Keys Evening at Tasters Grille, Tavernier; 5:30 pm social; 6-7pm meeting

3rd Tuesday: Marathon Morning Meeting at Schmidt Real Estate; 8-9 am.

4th Tuesday: Upper Keys Morning Meeting at Tasters Grille, Tavernier; 8-9 am.

For additional information contact Denise Nedimyer at (305) 923-6546.




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