In an astoundingly rare feat on social media these days, Marathon Facebook pages were buzzing with positivity this week from a photo released by the city’s Parks and Recreation department showing its newest installation at Sombrero Beach. Conceptualized by several employees including Jennifer Ward, and built by Alex Gross, the new station offers four trash grabbers and collection pails with bilingual instructions to allow locals and visitors alike to do their part in keeping Sombrero Beach clean. Parks and Rec specialist Sam Blyer confirmed the pails have already been put to good use, and department director Paul Davis said future installations are in the works for Coco Plum Beach, Marathon Community Park and Oceanfront Park following the overwhelmingly positive community response. Pictured, from left, are Davis, Ward and Blyer. ALEX RICKERT/Keys Weekly

Alex Rickert made the perfectly natural career progression from dolphin trainer to newspaper editor in 2021 after freelancing for Keys Weekly while working full time at Dolphin Research Center. A resident of Marathon since 2015, he fell in love with the Florida Keys community by helping multiple organizations and friends rebuild in the wake of Hurricane Irma. An avid runner, actor, and spearfisherman, he spends as much of his time outside of work on or under the sea having civil disagreements with sharks.