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Who says Key West is not a place for kids?

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We attended a great event in Bayview park last night! The Key West Outdoor Movies has begun and the kick off was so much fun. Our girls enjoyed the bounce houses, face painting, and seeing all their friends.  The first movie Frozen was a perfect choice and the event had a great turn out. We are looking forward to the first and third Friday of every month and taking the girls! Thank you for a great event and to all the wonderful sponsors! #Keywest is a great place to grow up.

The 5 B’s to a successful bedtime routine for your baby!

I’m often asked, “How do you do it?” I don’t know if they mean survive single mom hood or ever have a moment to myself. The answer is clear; a good bedtime routine. I like to call it my 5 B’s. It works like a charm and I never have to worry about my daughter, Kianna going right to sleep. We’ve all heard the horror stories and seen the Super Nanny episodes where the kids get out of bed, slam doors, whine and cry and refuse to go to sleep. I did NOT want that to be me! Here are my 5 B’s.

1.  Bath (every other night is just fine)

2. Bottle (we call it “Bobby” but it’s a sippy cup of warm milk now)

3. Brush (been brushing her teeth since I saw the first one come in)

4. Book (2 books)

5. Bed (done, works like a charm. I sing and hum her favorite melody as I leave)

Kianna peacefully asleep after reading to herself.

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Where Do The Candidates Stand on GMO Mosquitoes?

Never Again

No issue is more important than GMO mosquitoes in the upcoming elections for the Florida Keys Mosquito Control District. Yet candidates in every district have skirted the issue for months, failing to address GMO mosquitoes in their advertising or public speaking unless prompted by journalists or citizen input.

Our Mosquito Board Election Guide

These unclear positions make it hard for the public, which is overwhelmingly against GMO mosquitoes being released in the Florida Keys, to choose how to vote. We oppose GMO mosquitoes anywhere in the Florida Keys. We’ve tracked all the candidates’ positions since the beginning. Here are our findings and recommendations.

How Mosquito Board Voting Works

In Monroe county, mosquito board positions are county-wide votes, meaning every registered voter gets to vote for every seat regardless of the district in which you live. Some of the candidates were eliminated in the primaries and other board seats, such as Chairman Phil Goodman, are…

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It’s time to Prevent Mosquitoes, not Swat them!

My opponent in the Florida Keys Mosquito Control Board District 1 has realized her need to PREVENT MOSQUITOES and not just rely so much on swatting them. She has changed her mind yet again!
In her recent mailing, she abandoned her campaign slogan, “SWAT TEAM.” It’s nice to see that she has realized that we need to PREVENT mosquitoes and not focus so much on swatting them away. If you’re swatting mosquitoes that means we have failed.
Our current representative in the FKMC District 1 has a history of “flip flopping” with her fiscal spend, cut and crash history. After voting 8 times in favor of the new building construction in Big Coppitt at several board meetings, she decided at the last hour to put our safety at risk by placing the operations in a trailer. This costed the taxpayer’s over a million dollars of their hard earned tax money to be “thrown down the drain” on the architectural and engineer fees that were previously approved and paid for. The Florida Keys is a hurricane zone, therefore it is important that we diversify our resources. We must have a hard structure in the lower keys to operate for the prevention of mosquito borne illnesses. Sometimes when one is too focused on keeping their job, they forget to do it. That job is to keep our community from swatting away mosquitoes that carry diseases. We must prevent, not swat.
This may be a small step but we must help her understand that this financial negligence must come to an end. Putting our health and safety at risk all because you’re afraid of losing your job is unacceptable. Spending down more than half our reserves all while knowing and voting in favor of the building is the worst kind of “sweeping under the carpet” mistake and it puts everyone’s safety at risk.
I believe that the future of our Florida Keys Mosquito Control can be stable and safe once again. Therefore, I ask for your support, I ask for your trust, and I ask for your VOTE on November 8th. Remember, “Prevent them, don’t swat them!” Elect Kathryn Watkins, FKMC Board, District 1. 
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Watkins breaks her Silence

My opponent led the charge to lower this year’s mosquito control tax increase to about 25% from 46% by pushing expenses to after the election. The tax payers will have to pay later with interest, fees etc. and Board members Smith and Shaw argued back. Other mosquito control personnel have called Commissioner Cranney­-Gage, Goodman and McDonald the gang of three due to their voting record. She with these other two members of the fiscally irresponsible gang managed to push the Florida Keys Mosquito Control District Key West facility into a trailer that the builder of the project stated might not be permitted by the County. It will likely cost another $500,000 dollars in fees and new expenses. They voted to waste the $1,000,000 (their estimate) spent already on architects, fees, etc. When the builder asked what would the commissioners do if the County refused the permits? Commissioner Cranney­-Gage proposed spending more money to rent even more space. The only way my opponent could make this tax decrease cost more is to put everything on a credit card and pay minimums for the next few years. Do not be fooled. Mosquito Control is as important to public health as the Heath department! The Gang of three’s voting record shows they care nothing about making the tough choices that protect our citizens. Their mismanagement theme has them claiming victory because the nearly 50% tax increase that they created has half its’ expenses pushed to after the election. How much did this shell game cost us? Millions of added expense in interest and wasted money. They have the nerve to call this fiscal responsibility. Jill Cranney­Gage we cannot afford what your management style calls success. Check my facts and decide for yourselves, their wasteful policies will have you outraged. The consequences of what was done at the September 14th FKMC Board meeting are likely to worsen future services and add a lot of expense. It is not the mosquito control personnel to blame, it is some of the elected leadership that is responsible.

Kid Friendly Food Truck Festival

People often wonder if Key West is a place to raise children. I used to wonder the same until I had one. When I first lived here in 1994 I would have never considered having a family here.  Now that I’ve returned and have a child it’s a whole new vision that I have of my new hometown.

Today is the first Food Trucks in Paradise Festival and we hope this becomes an annual event.  I’m so excited about this event because from 11-5 today there will be multiple food trucks, other great vendors, great music, and to make it even greater benefit to the community, a percentage of all sales goes to local charities. Hope to see you all there!

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Where have you been?

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Kathryn, Jack, Kianna, and Katelynn

I know, I know, I got engaged and then poof I was gone! I moved in with my fiancé, then we bought a new home and now it’s under construction. We traveled to Atlanta during the Summer and during Christmas to visit family. The girls started school full time and we started planning the big day. It may not sound like much but it is. Many of life changes can be difficult to adjust to and believe me, never did I think I would be where I am today and being grateful everyday doesn’t seem like enough. I feel like I’ve been given a great big blessed ball and I’m trying to figure out how to play it.  I sit back now and say, what’s next?  The world of social media is evolving and many of my local friends are also finding out they too can make a living creating content for businesses. I sit back now and think what is my next big move? How will I evolve and create the life I want? Taking care of our girls is wonderful and I love being home with them after school to do homework and extra curricular activities. But what is it that is going to make me fill fulfilled and be more of a contributor to our family?

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30 Life Lessons I’m Going To Teach My Children

Great advice for all!

JamesMSama.com

I’m not quite sure how to begin describe how I see the idea of having kids. If I said it is ‘one of life’s most important events,’ I feel like I would be doing it an injustice. You are literally bringing another living, breathing, human being into the world – and subsequently doing your best over the next 18 years or so to help that individual be able to effectively navigate the society he or she is being brought into.

You are literally creating the next generation of decision makers, world leaders, and hopefully – world changers.

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‘Important’ doesn’t even begin to cover it.

Fortunately, I was born into an amazing family who has been a source of learning and support for me through all of my decisions and life experiences – good and bad.

So, I have thought to myself: What lessons taught to me both by family…

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