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Tag: Marathon News

LOCAL POLITICS: 4 CANDIDATES DECLARED FOR MARATHON CITY COUNCIL ELECTION

Up until last week, it didn’t look like it was going to be much of a horse race. Only incumbent Mayor Luis Gonzalez and newcomer Lynny Del Gazio (nee Thompson)  had declared their candidacy for a seat on the Marathon City Council for the November election. Then, late last week, Trevor Wofsey and Greg Coldiron filed papers with the Monroe County Supervisor of Elections, too.  Marathon Council elections are at-large, meaning that regardless of the number of candidates, the top vote getters are elected to two open seats in November.   Coldiron said he’s running because he...

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MARATHON: NO PARKING AT HARBOR DRIVE BOAT RAMP

On July 14, Marathon City Council met at 8:30 a.m. to ratify an amendment to an ordinance it heard only the night before, at the regularly scheduled meeting. The fast action was to have the law in place before the start of Lobster Mini Season, which is July 28-29.  In 2020, the City of Marathon passed a law stating that the boat ramp at Aviation Boulevard and Harbor Drive would be open only for launches of a boat 26 feet long or less. That proved problematic — lacking a measuring tape, it’s often difficult to determine the length of a boat. So on July 14, the city amended the law...

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THIS WEEKEND: LOCAL ‘GODS OF THE GRILL’ TO COMPETE AT BREWBQ

The real heroes of this weekend’s Florida Keys Brew BQ, July 17-18, are the amateur chefs. They are setting up on Friday at the park for a sleepless night of tending the grill. Ten teams have signed up for bragging rights, a little cash, and a very cool trophy for the best pulled pork, the best brisket or the best overall. The competition is serious; the competitors, not so much.  “I recommend lots of lighter fluid,” said Matt Pitcher, tongue in cheek.  “I’m just trying not to make anybody sick,” said Spook Roussin. “That’s an awful lofty goal,” replied Pitcher.  The conversation...

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MARATHON TIGHTENS PUBLIC BOAT RAMP REGULATIONS IN TIME FOR SUMMER

Just in time for summer boating season in Marathon, the city is tightening up one of its ordinances that relates to the ramp in the neighborhood behind the airport. The ramp at the corner of Aviation Boulevard and Harbor Drive is frequently congested with trucks towing boat trailers, lined up to use the ramp, and often block neighborhood traffic.  On Tuesday, July 13, the City of Marathon is going to add a few words to an ordinance it passed last year prohibiting the launch of boats that are 26 feet or longer. Specifically, the ramp cannot be used to launch any vessel transported on a...

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NEW SOFTWARE WOES PLAGUE MARATHON’S BUILDING

On May 11, there was a surprise on the Marathon City Council agenda. All of the department reports — such as the building and wastewater — were marked with an asterisk, which indicates consent, or no discussion. This is an abrupt turnaround from the council’s most recent decision to hear from every department, every month. (Prior to that, departments only prepared reports every other month on a rotating basis.) When the Building Department’s Noe Martinez was called to the podium, he opened with the standard statement about the report and then started speaking spontaneously about the city’s...

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NEW MARATHON BOUTIQUE: SHE’S GOT YOUR CURVES COVERED

A cute, swingy red and blue patterned skirt paired with a blue halter top tank. A tea length dress in a modern batik print. Those are just two of the options at the newly opened Curvy Conch boutique next to Publix in Marathon on 53rd Street.  Open one month, owner Melissa Reed said the store is doing better than her wildest expectations.  The shop carries a selection of casual wear — dresses, coverups, shorts, T-shirts, skirts as well as accessories like bags and jewelry and sunglasses. (She’s currently unpacking a line of cosmetology products called The Naked Bee.) “I’ve had people...

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An anchor for the heart of the Keys

On Monday, June 7, the brand new Fishermen’s Community Hospital will open to the public. The 37,000-square-foot, $43.7 million facility is nearing completion and the Keys Weekly recently received an exclusive, first look. “I am unbelievably grateful to the Marathon community for supporting the hospital and raising the funds needed to get this hospital built,” said Jay Hershoff. Hershoff is chairman of the Fishermen’s Community Hospital and Mariners Hospital boards and vice chairman of Baptist Health South Florida, the parent company.  Drew Grossman, who was hired in February to replace outgoing...

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Marathon man catches 488-pound swordfish on May 2

Okay, it was a swordfish, but “Holy Mackerel!” is the edited version of what angler Rob Helzer and his crew were screaming when the 488-pound swordfish jumped for the first time. He and friends Rob Warburton, Jim and Kathy Carter and John Rooks landed the fish on May 2. “We were straight out of Marathon, about 42 miles, fishing in 1,800 feet of water,” Helzer said. It was their third swordfishing trip and while they had hooked some big ones before, this was the first one they got all the way to the boat. “We had hooked into a few others, but what a dandy this was!” he said. “It was a team effort.” ...

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City of Marathon hosts housing forum

It all started with a Facebook post by local Marathon business owner Larry Smorgala. He wrote, “Just this month alone, two hard working, great families, are moving out of the Keys because they can’t afford to live here and get ahead in life. How does our elected government sit back and watch this happen? … I would love for just ONE elected official to explain the plan that they are working on to help this situation.” Not long after, Marathon Councilman John Bartus called for a roundtable discussion that took place on May 3 with about 30 people in the main chambers of City Hall. Also in...

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ARMY CORPS: HOME ELEVATIONS AND FLOODPROOFING WILL COST $2.6 BILLION

A study by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) nears completion as various governments confront coastal storm and flood vulnerability in the Florida Keys. With recommendations for shoreline stabilization along U.S. 1, voluntary home raising and  structure floodproofing, fortifying the Keys from future storms and flooding is estimated to cost $2.6 billion.  Monroe County Board of County Commissioners recently gave the go-ahead to sign a letter of support to accept the $3 million, federally-funded feasibility study, which started in 2018. A final version of the study was presented...

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