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Category: In Their Own Words


Move over, toilet paper and make room for pepper. Really. Pepper. The pandemic just keeps giving … or in this case, taking away. In the spring of 2020 we collectively lost our minds about toilet paper and hand sanitizer and bought everything on the shelf. Well, the global crisis is winding down, only to pour salt in our wounds with continued shortages. And we’re not talking about employees or the gas crisis caused by hackers of the Colonial pipeline. (Seriously, that’s not a thing for Florida; our gas comes on shipping tankers. Please, stop panic-buying.)  The list is funny, but the real-world...

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I don’t know where you are, but it is a great day here on the island. It is partly cloudy, the wind chill is 84° F, and beautiful people fill my view from the tiki bar. Paradise is not constant even in paradise though. On the horizon a bank of huge thunder heads is building and it appears to be meandering this way. As they get closer a few people start to take notice. The harbor is packed with boats and I’m betting that most of them left some or all of their hatches open. I fall into that category. I’m notorious for leaving my hatches open if I’m not absolutely convinced that it will rain while...

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It is astonishing how average people could subject others to risky experiments not of their choice, under the false pretense of “science.”  Oxitec/Mosquito Control are doing just that. Their op-ed from Thursday, April 22, is an example of their half-truths and outright lies, persuasion by deception hoping that most of us in the Florida Keys are fishing or on our second margarita. In order of items in their op-ed: QUOTE: “…preparing to release Oxitec’s safe and environmentally sustainable biting male mosquitos in a field project approved by the EPA and State of Florida...

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I dare to say we are all afraid of something at some point or another. The tired saying goes, “Fear keeps us safe.” Yes, I think the expression is tired. Maybe it’s new to you, but I hear that saying a lot, and I find it tiring. How is fear keeping us safe? Is avoiding something new or uncomfortable safe? I feel not trying something new leaves people stuck. Fear leaves us stuck in the same pattern, routine, relationships, etc. And stuck doesn’t feel good. I don’t know about you, but I like to feel good. Now, please don’t misunderstand and run out into traffic or swim amidst a school of sharks....

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What effect do artificial sweeteners have on our weight? Since the mid-’70s, artificial sweetener consumption in the U.S. has doubled. Since the 1990s, new products have exploded, leading to more than 6,000 products being introduced from just 1999 to 2004!  Guess what else happened? We have gone from an obesity rate of 8% in the mid-1970s to over 42% by 2017. That is not a typo: forty-two percent.  Who or what is to blame? Unfortunately, it’s not likely we can blame our ‘diet’ sugars, but they may have some effect. Artificial sweeteners include sucralose, aspartame, advantame, saccharin, neotame,...

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If you find yourself daydreaming about the city of lights, pick up one of these fabuleux novels to take you away for the day. Armchair traveling at its best with historical fiction, mystery, romance and always a bit of bubbly — you don’t need to speak French to enjoy the language of love. The Paris Apartment By Kelly Bowen When Aurelia Leclaire walks through the door of a lavish apartment she recently inherited, she is both shocked and astounded. Her grandmother not only left Lia an apartment that no one knew of — but it has also been deserted since 1943. The apartment is overflowing with magnificent...

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In recent years, the world of photography has seen a bit of a renaissance. The age of camera phones and digital photography sprouted a significant uptick in images posted on countless platforms and apps. Few of us can say we do not like to share our photos – maybe even oversharing on occasion, or so we’re told. Being a 24/7 digital clicker, a social-media addicted selfie-master, or filtering one’s face into a younger, sexier image with the aid of a phone or pad, hardly makes a photographer. Even with all the nifty tricks and treats the digital world has bestowed upon modern society, most of...

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A tribute to tribute bands

The current situation surrounding the pandemic has caused many folks to get creative in how they go about their business. Conch Records founder and TV88 Executive Producer Cliff Rydell is no different.  “I have a need to keep putting on events,” said Rydell. “I just had to find a way to put on something unique involving my passion for documenting great music.” Due to safety and restrictions, it had become difficult to pull off the typical large-scale live music events that Conch Records is known for hosting. Cliff reached out to his friend Ray West, a talented local musician, to help him brainstorm...

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It seems so small and so selfish to say in the midst of a much needed economic boom in the Middle Keys, but here it is. Business owners and employees are exhausted. Thank goodness so many local entrepreneurs weathered the economic storm caused by the pandemic. On the other hand, we’re really at a breaking point in terms of our ability to serve. I’ve been thinking about this column for a long time, talking to my friends, family and business partners in the community. It’s an important thing that needs to be said, although many don’t want their name attached to this column for good reason — it...

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I’m not a dedicated fisherman. Yes, I always keep a few fishing poles onboard and I have a small collection of lures. All of it is “simple school.” I thoroughly enjoy using a cast net for shrimp and bait fish. And, I’m seriously impressed with how much money some folks invest in fishing equipment and rigging for the boat. I’m more impressed with the items they overlook. A few weeks back a fellow in the marina was staring up at his new outriggers as I was walking by. I stopped and joined him in his admiration. This, of course, led to cold beer and some fish stories.  A week later I saw his boat...

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