The Key West MystiqueKey West Island News
Key West Island News connects Key West residents and friends of the island, fosters our One Human Family culture and advances understanding of shared goals for our island community
Linda Grist Cunningham | Columns and news analysis
Key West Island News editor Linda Grist Cunningham has written more than 4,000 columns — in print and on the web — since 1968. She hates writing and is compelled to do it anyway.
Keeping it Key West mellow | Secrets of an information junkie
My name is Linda and I am an information junkie. This is how I keep it Key West mellow. I'm one of those folks who, in the olden days, read newspapers and magazines, listened to radio broadcasts and watched television news. All on multiple platforms, papers and...
Dry Tortugas camping | 10 lessons for sissies
In the beginning... Ranger Ed and I started camping at Fort Jefferson in April 2017, to celebrate our 40th anniversary. From gale force winds and rain to those wonderful sunsets, we decided we'd keep the old gear. https://animoto.com/play/akaEqg8vQ1h5WrCaOgHTfw Fast...
What were we doing three years ago? Thinking about raising taxes
Ranger Ed and I headed to Fort Jefferson for our annual four days of pack-in-pack-out camping. There's no cell service, no wifi. And, because I packed and cooked and juggled stuff instead of writing a column, well, you get this one from May 2020. You know what's...
Is it time to leave Key West? 5 ways to (sorta) know
Twice in the past week someone asked me if it's time to leave Key West. That's not a wholly unusual question. Folks leave Key West for careers on the mainland, for school, for family opportunities, for affordable cost of living, for health care, for plain old variety....
Florida Legislature continues relentless assault on home rule
On Friday, May 5, the Florida Legislature dropped its white hanky, declared sine die and partied in Tallahassee like sixth graders on the last day of school. Shenanigans abounded as these good, back-slapping folks congratulated themselves on a most successful assault...
Can Key West Pride and Fantasy Fest survive Florida’s stab at “Protection of Children”
Fusty folks who've whined about Fantasy Fest slithering into public debauchery might be about to get some help from the State of Florida. Ditto those who've silently or otherwise sniffed self-righteously over minimally clothed visitors lining Duval Street during the...
Dear Connor is a collection of columns Linda writes for her grandson, Connor. Though he may never read them, they help her make sense of the world.
Dismantling the 14th Amendment: Keeping it upbeat in Key West when the world isn’t
I love my Key West Bubble, but national dissonance is dribbling through today. I am unsettled at the prospect of living through the dismantling of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The 14th Amendment, ratified by the states in 1868, can be boiled down to this: Oops, when we wrote the Constitution and the Bill of Rights (the first 10 amendments), we were thinking only of straight white men with money. Perhaps we need to fix that?
Dear Connor | As the American democracy unravels, can there be hope for your future?
American history is filled with "times like these." Three times we have been here. I believe we will be OK. Though my rage boils over too often, I believe in Americans-in-the-middle. I believe there are extremists on the right and the left -- and I believe they do not, do not, represent who we are as a people. They get the attention and the headlines today; spoiled children clamoring for their own ice cream cone, unwilling to share and willing to fight to the death to keep what they believe is theirs and theirs alone. Getting through this transition will not be for the faint of heart. But get through we will.
Hurricane Irma | In September 2017, Linda Grist Cunningham created and launched a Facebook Page that aggregated news coverage during Hurricane Irma. She was off-island at the time visiting her mother in Virginia. Her husband remained in Key West. Over the three weeks that she and her partner journalists John Teets maintained around-the-clock coverage, they reached almost a million people around the world. These are the columns she wrote each day. Hurricane Season is always June 1 – Nov. 30.
Hurricane Irma | 5 years that changed Key West and the Keys
Once a month I drive to Marathon and back for a board meeting. I've done that since before Hurricane Irma clobbered Key West and the Florida Keys on Sept. 10, 2017. For five years that 100 mile round trip has been my gauge for our recovery from...
Hurricane Irma: 9-23-17: Closing up shop. Saying Godspeed. Going home to the Cat 5s
When we launched Key West Hurricane Irma, our online news coverage, we weren’t sure when “quit” would happen. We were confident we'd know. Today is the anniversary of knowing. It was time to wish our house guests farewell and Godspeed.