Mandy Miles

Mandy Miles drops stuff, breaks things and falls down more than any adult should. An award-winning writer, reporter and columnist, she's been stringing words together in Key West since 1998. "Local news is crucial," she says. "It informs and connects a community. It prompts conversation. It gets people involved, holds people accountable. The Keys Weekly takes its responsibility seriously. Our owners are raising families in Key West & Marathon. Our writers live in the communities we cover - Key West, Marathon & the Upper Keys. We respect our readers. We question our leaders. We believe in the Florida Keys community. And we like to have a good time." Mandy's married to a saintly — and handy — fishing captain, and can't imagine living anywhere else.

Key Westers explore Bermuda Triangle tales

A one-legged boat captain, firearms instructor, author, motivational speaker and former Iraq security contractor boards a boat with three other Key Westers and heads for the Bermuda Triangle. It sounds like either the opening of a Clive Cussler novel, or the start of a joke, and Capt. Chuck Meier...

Schools ask voters to renew tax shift

Voters from all parties — and those with no party affiliation at all — will have one question to answer on the March 17 ballot for Keys schools. This year is the fifth time the school district is asking voters to approve a Flexible Funding tax initiative that increases by...

Words don’t always work

I love words. Love them. Since I was about 5 years old and discovered I was no good at math, I’ve relished any chance to move words around; to make them sound good together and ensure they convey the precise tone and sentiment I’m seeking. That said, there are some serious...

Podcasting finds its place in Paradise

Everyone’s doing it.  From Dr. Phil and Bill Burr to Shaquille O’Neal and Alec Baldwin. So what’s all the fuss, and what the hell is a podcast, anyway? The term comes from a combination of the words iPod (remember those digital music players that preceded everyone’s smartphones and Spotify accounts?) and the...

DeSantis announces millions for Keys projects

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis spent the morning of Jan. 30 in Key West — or technically, on Stock Island — where he announced a $36 million grant for the Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority to overhaul its water desalination plant on Stock Island. Fifty or so city and county officials and...

Congresswoman honors Florida’s oldest black church

U.S. Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, whose district includes the Florida Keys, recently honored Key West’s Cornish Memorial AME Zion Church on Whitehead Street with a Congressional Recognition for the church’s 155th anniversary. Named for and founded by freed slave Sandy Cornish, the church’s wooden rafters are said to have been built...

4 locals launch Key West record label

Sometime each night, between the requisite “Sweet Caroline” and “Wagon Wheel,” a quiet offer comes from musicians on local stages.  “Here’s a little something I wrote. I hope you like it.” That’s when the magic happens. And four local pros recently created a new venture to help those musicians sell themselves...

Gov. Ron DeSantis visits Key West

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis spent Thursday morning in Key West, or technically, on Stock Island, where he announced a $36 million grant for the Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority to overhaul its water desalination plant on Stock Island. Fifty or so city and county officials and administrators, utility executives and media...

School board may change school start times

Even under ideal circumstances, school bus stops and schedules are complicated equations of cause and effect. With buses and drivers serving multiple schools, every action in one area produces an equal and opposite reaction elsewhere. A later start time at one school requires an earlier start elsewhere. Monroe County School District...

Picketers get pushback

Key West Weekly draws your attention this week to a Facebook post and subsequent comment thread that got people’s attention and started conversations, online and in real life. For those who missed the original post or decided to add their two cents without knowing the impetus, here’s what happened: The Key...

things I remember

City Commissioner Clayton Lopez was in middle school when Monroe County schools integrated. He finished sixth grade at the all-black Frederick Douglass School and then started seventh grade at a newly integrated Horace O’Bryant School. “There’s a big difference between sixth and seventh grade anyway, and then add the cultural...

Clayton Lopez recalls segregation in Key West

City Commissioner Clayton Lopez was in middle school when Monroe County schools integrated. He finished sixth grade at the all-black Frederick Douglass School and then started seventh grade at a newly integrated Horace O’Bryant School. “There’s a big difference between sixth and seventh grade anyway, and then add the cultural...