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Capture and remove an invasive species underneath the Florida Keys waters for the chance to win prize money. Reef Environmental Education Foundation’s 12th annual Florida Keys Lionfish Derby & Festival, set for Sept. 9-12, is bringing lionfish hunting, dissection demonstrations, tastings, entertainment and more.  Competitive divers will hunt for lionfish within the Apex Predators division, while causal divers will be in the Reef Defenders division. Division winners will receive prize money.  Teams of two to four people can sign up before Sept. 9 at 5 p.m. Registration is $100...

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Back-to-back movie nights highlight museum’s Vintage Diving Days celebration

The History of Diving Museum is celebrating Vintage Diving Days with back-to-back movie nights.  A screening of select “Sea Hunt” episodes will take place during the Morada Way Art Walk on Thursday, Aug. 19, along with a specially curated pop-up exhibit about this show and its impact on diving history. On Friday, Aug. 20, there will be a special screening of a vintage, classic underwater movie at the Florida Keys Brewing Co.  “Sea Hunt” was a 1950s TV show about the underwater adventures of an ex-Navy frogman, played by Lloyd Bridges. The show revolutionized public perceptions about diving and...

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Caretakers, boaters, fishers and superheroes

Moms wear many hats. They’re more than caretakers who try to get us out of bed, keep us clean and fed, and teach us right from wrong. Moms are superheroes who inspire us to go out and be great. And they’re there to pick us up and put us back together when those attempts fall flat.  Novelist Jill Churchill said it well when she wrote, “There is no way to be a perfect mother and a million ways to be a good one.”  The Florida Keys are filled with amazing moms and with memories of the ones who shaped our lives and now live forever in our hearts. Take some time to cherish the women who...

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The piano: inspiring great music since 1700

The piano was invented by Bartolomeo Cristofori sometime around 1700, and it has inspired centuries of musicians and composers ever since. It was originally called the pianoforte, because it could play soft (piano) or loud (forte). Keys activate hammers, which strike strings stretched in tune on a massive metal frame atop a soundboard and enclosed in a wooden case. The harder you strike a key, the louder the note sounds. Most modern pianos have 88 keys, and it’s really easy to get a note to sound good by just touching a key. But this is where the simplicity of the instrument ends. My mother...

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I was three syllables away from victory. G-50 was all I needed.  My knees bounced up and down, my ankles wound around the rungs of my stool. I was in the zone. Singularly focused. OK, fixated. I was a yellow lab, and G-50 was the tennis ball in my master’s upraised hand. It was drag queen bingo this past Sunday at Marylin’s Restaurant & Pub, 320 Grinnell St. (Yes, fine, it’s the old Finnegan’s Wake, but come on, it’s been a half-dozen other things since then. Let’s start calling it Marylin’s.)  Their drag queen bingo on Sundays is one of my new favorite Key West pastimes. And for the next...

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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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