Florida Keys and Monroe County Arts-
The Keys are made up of small towns and communities. However, due to the strong economy from our tourist base, the Arts are a primary part of our culture. Most weekends bring festivals and street parties throughout the Keys and especially in Key West. Photography of wildlife here is also great.
The Florida Keys Council of the Arts does a great job in supporting Art in the Keys.
Also see the Key West Arts and historical society.
• The Keys Community Concert Band. Susan Bazin 451-4530.
• Keys Chamber Orchestra. Call Inga-Lisa Wright, 305-744-0508
• The Key West Pops, Inc. - 305 293-7658,
• Note to musicians-There are about a zillion Tiki bars etc, that have live music. The times range from the afternoon through the evening. The pay is generally better than you'll find working in a regular club in the rest of the country. In addition to that, most outdoor venues shut their music down about 11-so the hours are shorter.
Museums and Culture:
• Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum - 305 294-1136.
• Flagler's Station Historeum®--305-295-3562.
• Key West East Martello Museum - 305 296-3913,
• Key West Lighthouse Museum - 305 294-0012,
• Key West Museum of Art & History - 305 295-6616
• Key West Shipwreck Historeum - 305 292-8990.
• Little White House Museum - 305 294-9911.
• Lofton B. Sands African Bahamian Museum - 305 293-9692.
• Wrecker's Museum - 322 Duval St., 294-9502.
• Middle Florida Keys
• Marathon Community Theatre, 5101 O/S Hwy.....305 743-0994
• Key West Theatre
• Island Opera Theatre.....305 296-1520
• Red Barn Theatre, 319 Duval St (Rear).....305 296-9911
• Waterfront Playhouse, Mallory Square.....305 294-5015
Art Galleries/ Visual Arts:
• Over 90 galleries throughout the Keys
• Note to Artists: Regardless of the medium, there is a place for you in the Keys. The Keys strongly support resident artists.
Key West Art Galleries
Alan S. Maltz Gallery
Black Pearl Fine Art
Cuba Cuba Gallery
Gallery Key West
Gingerbread Square Gallery
Island Arts Co-Op
Key West Folk Art
Lucky Street Gallery
Monkey Apple Art Factory
South Pointe Gallery
Wild Side Gallery
Art @ 830
Audubon House Gallery
Boy & His Dog Gallery
The Gallery on Greene
Guild Hall Gallery
Hatian Art Company
Island Style Gallery
Key West Art Center & Gallery
Kennedy Studios Gallery
KW Light Gallery
90 Miles to Cuba
Mary O'Shea's Glass Garden
Red Door Gallery
Roy John-Karl Gallery
Sign of Sandford Gallery
Stone Soup Gallery
Writers groups in all genres (from screenwriting to novels) are spread throughout the Keys. There is definitely a reason so many world class writers and Play-rights have made and do make the Keys their home. Especially Key West.(“Ernest Hemingway” ) The musician and actor community here is strong.
In conclusion, the arts community in the Keys is strong and will even grow stronger. If you like the arts and a small community with lots of outdoor opportunities, The Florida Keys could be just your place.
The cost of living index is based on the composite price of groceries, housing, utilities, transportation, health care, clothing and entertainment.
Cost of living indexes will generally be higher in areas that offer access to beaches, culture, arts and recreation. In addition areas, that offer a wider variety of services such as health and education will run higher due to higher wages, and increased quality of living.
Cost of living indexing explanation
A figure of 100 points is used as an average both for the USA and Florida. For example:
Boise Idaho is ranked at a 94.0
Boston Mass is rated at 127.60
San Francisco at 187.23
• Statewide, Florida cities come in from a low of 90 and up.
• One way to compare Florida areas to salary requirements
For example-If you were relocating from Portland Oregon (whose rate is 110.0) to Orlando, and you currently make $50,000 per year, the formula is as follows
• Take the destination index, in this case Orlando-94.2 and divide by Portland’s index-110, then multiply by a salary of $50,000. This will give you a figure of $42,818, which you would be required to make in Orlando and have the same quality of life.
*The Keys and Monroe county top out the state at an average Cost of Living at 160 plus. (this is due to the home prices in the Keys). We only have so much land and the area is heavily regulated as to building permits....A tropical paradise is in the same venue as any resort destination area, be it Martha's Vineyard or Sun Valley.
However compared to other areas nationally and given the amenities of the Keys, it is a great place to live, work and play.
(Population Weighted-State Average=100
2008-09 stats Source C2ER formerly accra-col index and http://www.bestplaces.net/
Cape Coral-Ft Myers-99.6
Big Pine Key fl-132.46
Vero-Beach Indian River-122.87
West Palm Beach metro-112.05
(Population Weighted-State Average=100
See national comparisons
Cost of living (100 = nationwide average)
* New York, NY -164.50
* Long Beach, CA -135.71
* Palo Alto, CA -234.42
* Boston, MA -127.60
* Malibu, CA -492.80
* San Francisco, -187.23
* Greenwich, CT 215
* Chicago, IL -126.45
* Dallas Tx -92,94
* Atlanta Ga -112.21
For Utility charges
• The Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority provides water for the entire Keys:
• Tavernier.....305 852-8068
• Marathon.....305 743-5409
• Lower Keys.....305 296-2454
• The Florida Keys Electric Cooperative
• provides power for the upper Keys:
• Tavernier.....305 852-2431
• Marathon, 3421 O/S Hwy.....305 743-5344
• Key West City Electric
• provides power for the Lower Keys
• 1001 James St, Key West.....305 294-5272
Propane is available from local dealers
• Bell South
• Residential Services.....305 780-2500
• Business Services.....305 780-2800
Most homes in the Keys are on septic tanks with a few exceptions-Key West-Marathon. Garbage pickup is included in your taxes
See article at the bottom showing Monroe was at the top of the list with a 3.92 GPA; the second-highest, Brevard County, had a 3.87 GPA.
Monroe County is totally dedicated to good education. The school district offers a first class educational system to all its residents. With over 1500 employees
To see the Monroe County mission statement and for more particulars go to http://www.monroe.k12.fl.us/
• ASD 275828-Public Big Pine Key Neighborhood School Big Pine Key Monroe 33043
• ASD 9902- Public Coral Shores High School Tavernier Monroe 3307o
• ASD 144250 Public Gerald Adams Elementary School Key West Monroe 33040
• ASD 144249 Public Glynn Archer Elementary School Key West Monroe 33040
• ASD 123786 Private Grace Lutheran School Key West Monroe 33040
• ASD 39184 Public Horace O'Bryant Middle School Key West Monroe 33040
• ASD 123787 Private Island Christian School Islamorada Monroe 33036
• ASD 9972 Public Key Largo School Key Largo Monroe 33037
• ASD 9981 Public Key West High School Key West Monroe 33040
• ASD 123788 Private Little Lambs Preschool & Childcare Key West Monroe 33040
• ASD 44232 Public Marathon Junior Senior High School Marathon Monroe 33050
• ASD 9983 Catholic Mary Immaculate Star Of The Sea School Key West Monroe 33040
• ASD 144254 Public Plantation Key School Tavernier Monroe 33070
• ASD 9982 Public Poinciana Elementary School Key West Monroe 33040
• ASD 140995 Public Sigsbee Elementary School Key West Monroe
• 33040 144253 Public Stanley Switlick Elementary School Marathon Monroe 33050
• ASD 144251 Public Sugarloaf Elementary Middle School Summerland Key Monroe 33042
• ACADEMY AT OCEAN REEF, 2 Dockside Lane N, Key Largo, 305-367-2409
• ISLAND CHRISTIAN SCHOOL, MM 83.2, Islamorada, 305-664-2781
• ISLAND CHRISTIAN SCHOOL-SOUTH, 14 125th St., Gulf, Marathon, 305-743-2200
• MARATHON LUTHERAN SCHOOL, 325 122nd St., Gulf, Marathon, 305-289-0700
• MARY IMMACULATE STAR OF THE SEA SCHOOL, 700 Truman, Key West, 305-294-1031 Pre schools and kindergarten
• ABC DAY SCHOOL, 6630 65th St. Ocean, Marathon, 305-743-3521
• COMMUNITY COOPERATIVE PRESCHOOL, 550 122nd St., Marathon, 303-743-3517
• EASTER SEALS FLORIDA, 5220 W. Junior College Rd., Key West, 305-294-1089
• FREDERICK DOUGLASS CHILD CARE CENTER, 103 Olivia, Key West, 305-294-3934
• GRACE LUTHERAN SCHOOL, 2713 Flagler Ave., Key West, 305-296-6262
• GROUPER LANE PRESCHOOL, 735 Grouper Lane, Key Largo, 305-852-9520
• HAPPY APPLE PRESCHOOL, 12350 O/S Hwy., Marathon, 305-743-9020
• ISLAND CHRISTIAN SCHOOL-SOUTH, 14 125th St., Gulf, Marathon, 305-743-2200
• ISLAND PRE-SCHOOL, 5 Transylvania Ave., Key Largo, 305-451-1181
• KEYS ACADEMY AT ST. JUSTIN, MM 105.5, Key Largo, 305-451-6415
• KEY WEST PRESCHOOL CO-OP, 2610 Flagler Ave., Key West, 305-296-4749
• KREATIVE KIDS CHRISTIAN ACADEMY, 4711 O/S Hwy., Marathon, 305-743-7165
• LIGHTHOUSE CHRISTIAN ACADEMY, 5580 MacDonald Ave., Key West, 305-292-5582
• LITTLE BEARS PRE-SCHOOL & DAYCARE, MM.100.4, Key Largo, 305-451-0755
• LITTLE SEAHORSE ACADEMY, MM.104.9, Key Largo, 305-451-6045
• MONROE COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT, 241 Trumbo Rd., Key West, 305-293-1400
• MONTESSORI IN KEY LARGO, MM. 99.5, Key Largo, 305-453-3939
• MONTESSORI ISLAND SCHOOL, MM 92.3 Oceanside, Tavernier, 305-852-3438
• ST JAMES CHILDREN'S CENTER, MM 87.5, Plantation Key, 305-852-2161
• TEMPLE CHRISTIAN PRE-SCHOOL, 5727 2nd Ave., Stock Island, Key West, 305-294-2775
• VINEYARD EARLY CHILDHOOD LEARNING CENTER, County Rd., Big Pine Key, 305-872-3404
• WESLEY HOUSE CHILD CARE CENTER, 1100 Varela, Key West, 305-296-5231 Universities and colleges
• FLORIDA KEYS COMMUNITY COLLEGE, Upper Keys, Tavernier, 305-852-8007
• FLORIDA KEYS COMMUNITY COLLEGE, Middle Keys, Marathon, 305-743-2133
• FLORIDA KEYS COMMUNITY COLLEGE, Main Office, Key West, 305-296-9081
• GOSHEN COLLEGE MARINE BIOLOGY LABORATORY, Layton Dr, Layton, 305-664-5454
• NATIONAL UNDERSEA RESEARCH CENTER, 515 Caribbean Dr, Key Largo, 305-451-0233
• SAINT LEO UNIVERSITY, 718 Boca Chica Naval Air Station, Key West, 305-293-284 Junior/Community Colleges:
• Florida Keys community College and Adult education
Monroe tops in its class
Board: Schools should exceed state standards
BY JOHN L. GUERRA Citizen Staff
Monroe County schools this year collectively earned the highest grade point average in the state, besting more than 65 other school districts, Schools Superintendent Randy Acevedo said. Educators, however, think it's time to compare county student achievement with other scores nationally.
Monroe was at the top of the list with a 3.92 GPA; the second-highest, Brevard County, had a 3.87 GPA.
Monroe's score shows that of the 13 schools rated, 12 received an "A" rating. Key West High School received a "B." Three schools — Coral Shores High School, Horace O'Bryant Middle School and Marathon High School — improved one letter grade.
"When you look at the grades in a GPA format, we had the best performance statewide this past year," Acevedo said. "I am very proud of our staff, students, parents and community — it takes a team and a village."
It's the latest indication that county schoolchildren are performing well on standardized tests and improving scores; recent Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT) results reflected higher scores in reading, writing, math and science. Third-graders, for instance, showed increases as high as 32 points at some schools in reading and math; 81 percent of the county's third-graders were reading at or above grade level. Upper grades also showed increases in test scores, with some schools showing more improvement than others.
The high scores have renewed calls by School Board members to take students to the next step by comparing Monroe County scores nationally, not just in-state.
"We have had discussions at the board table that these Florida standards are not stringent enough," member Debra Walker said, "and that we should compare our progress to national and international standards. Now we are free to set new goals based on even tougher criteria."
The scores in the Florida school report card program and FCAT results often clash with the federal government's annual yearly progress measurement under No Child Left Behind. That is the level of improvement each schoolchild is expected to reach year to year in reading, math and other subjects.
Though Florida may rate schools as "A" performers, the federal Education Department designates those same schools as "F" performers for failing to reach annual yearly progress under No Child Left Behind. In 2006, 712 schools that Florida considered "A" performers were listed as "F" schools.
Though Standard & Poor's education analysts rate Monroe students' reading proficiency in 2008 at 62.5 percent and writing proficiency at 67.7 percent, the county still isn't meeting annual yearly progress targets under federal No Child Left Behind requirements, S&P reports.
As in other states, Florida has a student testing regime — FCAT — that's similar to the one mandated by No Child Left Behind. Under the federal program, "F"-rated schools that don't improve over several years can be closed or turned into charter schools or put under a state's direct control.
The FCAT testing regime launched under former Gov. Jeb Bush in 2002 in effect puts Florida schools out of the federal government's reach. FCAT also is a better measure of Florida student success, the former governor has said.
Still, Monroe's "A" school ratings are nothing to sneeze at, said School Board member John Dick.
"It is great news for our schools and district," Dick said. "It is a job well-done by all the personnel involved, and of course, our students."
Being at the top of the state school GPA scorecard gives the county some financial rewards, Dick said.
"The state has what is called school recognition funds, and "A"-rated schools receive $85 per student as a bonus," he said. "Schools have discretion with how they use the money, but [most schools] use it to give staff members a bonus."
Flordia Keys Health
The Florida Keys demand good healthcare facilities. Although the total population is less than 90,000, due to the influx of tourists,
good healthcare has to be available. In addition Miami and its world class Baptist hospital and all the other facilities, is just hours away.
Healthcare Facilities in the Keys:
* Hospitals, 3
* Assisted living, 3
* Health Care clinics, 8
* Skilled Nursing facility, 3
For more information (other facilities and their address) see http://facilitylocator.floridahealthstat.com/
See the health department Web site http://www.doh.state.fl.us/chdcollier/services/services.html
Another great site that has all the local resources for Monroe Colunty is at
* FISHERMEN'S HOSPITAL
* 3301 OVERSEAS HIGHWAY
* MARATHON, FL 33050
* TELEPHONE#:305 743-5533
* LOWER KEYS MEDICAL CENTER
* 5900 COLLEGE ROAD
* KEY WEST , FL 33041-9107
Owned by Health Management Assoicates www.HMA.com
* MARINERS HOSPITAL
* 91500 OVERSEAS HWY
* TAVERNIER, FL 33070 TELEPHONE#:305 434-1582
* OWNER: BAPTIST HEALTH SOUTH FLORIDA
A list of Services for people with disabilities
For names and numbers of physicians in the Keys go to http://www.mcms.org/contents/refserv/referralservice.htm
In addition to local facilities, the world class health facilities of Miami are 3 hours away from Key West.
Miles of oceanfront and Gulf front access await you in the Keys.
Recreational opportunities in the outdoors are the most important assets of the Keys.
The fishing and boating here is incredible-both in the Ocean and the back-country (the Gulf). There is something
to catch year round and our weather lets you do it. If you like the water, this is the place
• 47 Marinas
• 13 Parks,
• 3 Golf Courses
• 10 Campgrounds and recreational vehicle parks
• 13 public Tennis Courts
• 18 Boat Ramps
• To see a complete list of parks and recreational opportunities see
• the sites below
- Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary
- Crocodile Lake National Wildlife Refuge
- Great White Heron National Wildlife Refuge
- Key Deer National Wildlife Refuge
- Key West National Wildlife Refuge
- Everglades National Park
- Dry Tortugas National Park
- John C. Pennekamp State Park
- Bahia Honda State Park
- Reef Relief
- Clean Florida Keys
- Dolphin Research Center
- Florida Audubon Society
- Center for Coastal Ecosystem Health
- Florida State University: Center for Ocean-Atmospheric Prediction Studies
- University of Miami: Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences
- Mote Marine Laboratory (Sarasota, Summerland Key)
Things to do outdoors:
• Fishing-saltwater, freshwater-Ocean, lakes and the Everglades
• Boating-Ocean, Gulf or Bay
• Bike riding
• Photography and Wildlife watching
• Kayaking—canoes-there are good rental locations and lots of places to launch.
• Air boating into the Everglades
• Windsurfing the flats
Other places to visit.
• Audubon House- original Audubon engravings (not Audubon's residence)
• Conch Tour Train-
• Curry Mansion Inn - 305 294-5349 511 Caroline Street, Key West FL 33040
• Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum - 305 294-1136, 907 Whitehead St., Key West FL
• Flagler's Station Historeum®-901 Caroline St., 1-305-295-3562.
• Haitian Art Co. - 305 296-8932, 600 Francis St., Key West FL 33040
• Heritage House Museum - 305 296-3573, 410 Caroline Street, Key West FL 33040
• Historic Seaport at Key West Bight.
• Key West Aquarium - 1 Whitehead St., Mallory Market
• Key West East Martello Museum - 305 296-3913, 3501 S. Roosevelt Blvd.
• Key West Lighthouse Museum - 305 294-0012, 938 Whitehead Street
• Key West Museum of Art & History - 305 295-6616
• Custom House - 281 Front Street, Key West FL 33040
• Key West Shipwreck Historeum - 305 292-8990, 1 Whitehead Street
• Little White House Museum - 305 294-9911
• Wrecker's Museum - 322 Duval St., 294-9502. Built in 1829. This is Key West's oldest house.
• A 2-3 hour drive to Miami:
• Florida Marlins
• 2269 Dan Marino Blvd, Pro Player Stadium, Miami Gardens, FL 33056 · 305-626-7400
• Miami Dolphins
• 2269 Dan Marino Blvd, Pro Player Stadium, Miami Gardens, FL 33056 · 305-620-2578
• Miami Heat
• 601 Biscayne Blvd, American Airlines Arena, Miami, FL 33132-1801 · 786-777-432
The Keys sub-tropical climate offers year-round sports and recreational opportunities. Winter, spring and fall are filled with lots of sunshine.
The hottest month is August with an average high of 89 F and an average low of 78 F. In January the average high temperature is 74 F and the average low is 65 F.
There has never been frost or freezing conditions in Key West.
Normal annual precipitation is 39 plus inches, with the largest monthly totals accumulating from July through September.
Subtropics marked by two distinct seasons
Weather is what brings a lot of people to Southern Florida - particularly during the dry, mild winter.
It's also what drives a lot of people away - particularly during the hot, rainy, sweaty, sticky summer.
Welcome to the subtropics, an area just outside the tropics, which lie between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn.
GENERAL WEATHER SAFETY
When lightning flashes, count the number of seconds before thunder is heard. Divide the number by five. The answer is the approximate distance in miles from the lightning.
Never seek refuge from a storm under a tree
Make sure you are not the highest object around you
Avoid open fields, open water, beaches
If you are on the road, stay in your car
Avoid heavy exertion during the hottest part of the day - noon to 3 p.m.
Drink plenty of fluids, especially water. Remember, alcohol and caffeine increase dehydration. Wear a hat and sunscreen
Our subtropical weather is marked by two distinct seasons - the rainy season, part of which is hurricane season, and the dry season, part of which is windsurfing season.
During rainy season, May 15 to Oct. 15, Southern Florida receives 42 of its annual 53 inches of rain.
Rainy season temperatures average highs in the high 80s and low 90s and lows in the 70s.
A typical rainy-season day in Southern Florida starts with a hot, humid morning, followed by a hotter afternoon, clouds moving in from the east, and sometimes violent thunderstorms.
The frequency of summer thunderstorms has made Southern Florida the lightning capital of the world, so it's a good idea to seek shelter as the clouds roll in.
Hurricane season runs from June 1 to Nov. 30
Emergency managers suggest that residents educate themselves about hurricanes and be prepared, just in case.
In contrast to Southern Florida's rainy season, dry season is, well, dry.
Eleven inches of rain spread over six months doesn't exactly put us in the same arid league with the Sahara, but the countryside can get pretty parched.
In one of those curious hydrological coincidences, the dry season also happens to be tourist season, so we have all those extra people using up the available water that isn't replenished because it's the dry season.
So water levels in aquifers can drop, and the South Florida Water Management District can impose water-use restrictions.
All this dryness can lead to serious wildfires, and residents are urged to clear vegetation around their homes.
People should never throw cigarette butts from car windows - that practice is bad for the environment at any time - but during dry season, it can easily and quickly spark a major fire.
Dry season temperatures average highs in the 70s and lows in the 50s.
But things can get chilly around here.
The big factors are cold fronts that occasionally blast through Southern Florida, bringing nasty cold rain and leaving behind unsubtropical, cold air.
You can usually tell when a cold front is coming without even looking at a weather map.
Southern Florida's prevailing winter winds are light and easterly, but a couple of days before a front hits, winds pick up and clock around to the south - the winds are warm and the days sunny.
This is when area wind surfers load up their gear and head to their favorite sailing sites.
As the front approaches, winds shift to the Southern, then west - winds still warm, days still sunny.
Eventually, the front appears on the horizon like a long, gray wall; when it hits, the wind jerks abruptly around to the north, and the air behind the front feels as if somebody up north left the door open on a giant freezer.
Fortunately, cold temperatures following a front usually don't last long.
Within a few days, skies clear, temperatures warm, and once again, Southern Florida shows off the weather that attracts all those winter visitors.
Then, within a few weeks, the overall dry, mild dry season gives way to the rainy, sweaty rainy season that drives them all away.
The above article was written by By KEVIN LOLLAR, email@example.com Published by news-press.com on November 3, 2003.
His emphasis was on the southwest area of Florida just above the everglades, however the article primarily relates to the Keys as well.
The Keys Temperature Annual high average
January 7 4
Water temperatures go from 69 in January to 87 in July and August.
Other Keys Weather Indicators
Average Wind Speed 10.9
Clear Days 104
Partly Cloudy Days 155
Cloudy Days 107
Avg. Relative Humidity 74.5. To see stats by the month, go to
Although it looks like we have lots of cloudy days, the sun is out almost year rou.
Also, although we do get rain here-it is a tropical rain and comes and goes quickly, generally acts as a refresher to the hot days..
To see average January temperatures across the United States go to http://www.mapsofworld.com/usa/thematic-maps/usa-temprature-january.html
Compare where you live or want to live in Florida. For more specific info, look at the area you are interested in and go to the weather page.
So what about Hurricanes, the rainy season and humidity?
We are a tropical climate, so our rainy season comes in the summer. Generally it will rain hard for a half hour then subside. It does get humid then. Although not as bad as you would think. Our water breezes really help cool us off.
Despite four devastating hurricanes in 2004, the number of Florida visitors rose 7% to an all-time high of 79.8 million last year and is on target to hit 80 million this year.
To think on:
If you live on the coast you stand the greatest chance of having one affect you. Some areas of Florida have gone fifty years plus without one but you never know.
In my opinion, the best thing you can do is buy a home that was built after Andrew-August 92 that was built to stricter building codes. Have window protection and a backup generator and make sure your insurance is up to date. If they ask you to leave, do it!
Realize-If you live in an older home that was not built up to the stricter building codes (After Hurricane Andrew-August 1992) or you live in a mobile home you stand the best chance of having major structural damage.
Living on the beach in a mobile home is asking for it. Although, you may never have a problem, you are still definitely taking your chances. Barrier islands and open-water Ocean or Gulf front are the most prone to damage.
For current information about hurricanes go to http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/
For current weather forecasts by cities go to http://iwin.nws.noaa.gov/iwin/fl/fl.htmlLiving in a waterfront home typically means that you will pay a higher Insurance premium. The insurance is higher due to flood and wind concerns.
Part of this is also because the pricing on these homes is higher so there is more value to insure against.
Having said all this, I can’t imagine living elsewhere. It is really great to wake up and it’s sunny out.
We spend over half our lives indoors…so when you do go outside, it would be nice if it was warm
From St Petersburg Russia to Washington DC & Now serving your needs in the Florida Keys
Richard Medlin REALTOR®
ReMax Keys Connection
410 Caroline St.
Key West, FL 33040
Nicole's phone-(305) 923-6674