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Category: Travel


By Mandy Miles and Sara Matthis A recent federal investigation and indictment of contractors who hire foreign workers and get them jobs in American hotels and restaurants has led to crippling shortages at Florida Keys hotels and restaurants that rely on these workers. A press release from the U.S. Department of Justice last week announced the federal indictment of “three men who operated labor-staffing companies in Florida with conspiracy to harbor non-resident aliens and induce them to remain in the country and with conspiracy to commit money laundering. “According to the indictment, Mykhaylo...

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Covid Aftermath: Key West Airport Delays & Complaints Due to Labor Shortages

The skies have been less friendly than usual for air travelers nationwide and at Key West International Airport, where COVID-related staffing shortages have caused significant delays in recent months. Monroe County commissioners and Key West city commissioners have been hearing complaints from travelers about fully loaded planes sitting on the tarmac and an overcrowded departure lounge. County Commissioner David Rice asked the county’s airports director Richard Strickland for an update and explanation. At the July 21 county commission meeting, Strickland acknowledged the issues and explained...

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After the financial crisis of 2008, Stacy James found herself at a crossroads. She had lost her music agent job while she was living in Las Vegas, so she left her resume with the elementary school up the street for a shot at employment. Luckily she got the job. But in 2011, she needed to press “restart” on her life. And she kept thinking, “elephants.” “??I wasn’t expecting to start anything,” said James, a part-time Upper Keys resident. “But my heart has always been with animals, particularly elephants. I feel like the elephants are what called me over to Africa. It stemmed from my mother...

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Travel is always a fast-fading dream in hindsight. A week after returning home, all abstract curiosities have been solved and we’re left with a full camera roll, an inflated credit card balance and some stellar memories. For over a year, I’ve dreamed about venturing beyond the bounds of the United States, getting a new stamp in my passport and hearing other languages. In late June, I got my wish with a quick trip to Costa Rica to celebrate my 10th anniversary. I curated each step, designing a proper treat for my wife and I. Being our first big post-COVID trip, the planning process included...

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History of Diving Museum celebrates military

This May, the History of Diving Museum celebrates past and active military service members through special programming and visiting opportunities. Since opening in 2005, the History of Diving Museum’s founders, Joe and Sally Bauer, instituted a program to extend free admission to active duty military service members. The museum’s military outreach expanded when they joined the Blue Star Museums program at its inception in 2010. Thanks to the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), Blue Star Families and the Defense Department, over 2,000 museums participate annually with a goal to help service...

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Despite the beloved island charm of Key West International Airport, the days of passengers walking across the tarmac when arriving and departing soon will be gone. Richard Strickland, Monroe County airports director, presented plans at a meeting on April 27 for a new concourse at the Key West airport that will include a new security checkpoint, new gates, a new “hold room” for departing passengers, new concessions, a new baggage claim area and glass-enclosed jet bridges, or jetways, to connect the planes with the building.  The targeted completion date is October 2024. “There will be much more...

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Guests create island Easter-themed painting

A group of Keys visitors took paint brush to canvas as they readied themselves for an Easter masterpiece of epic proportions. A special holiday-themed “paint and sip” at Key Largo’s Baker’s Cay on March 25 saw roughly 20 people painting and an island Easter-themed painting with palm trees, the true blue and some bunny tracks with a bag of eggs. Leading the painting event was local artist Brittany Parker. Bowen takes a break from painting a tree to pose for the camera. JIM McCARTHY/Keys Weekly Derek Papp paints some bunny tracks in the sand during the Easter paint and sip. JIM McCARTHY/Keys...

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