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.
Dear Connor: Nine promises that we will be OK
Being OK doesn't mean the next several years will be moonbeams and unicorns. The next decade will be harsh, unsteady, inexplicable and frightening. We will, as a country, walk with that awesome shadow of the valley of death. History tells us that we must face our worst selves before we can create our best.
Dear Connor | The day the young ones took charge
History will remember the march as the coming-to-power of Xers and Millennials. Though there were aging baby boomers aplenty in the crowd and at the microphones, the marches around the world saw these elders step aside to open the way for younger women.
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 | One year ago, we awaited the storm
Why did so many decide to stay on the island, defying the mandatory Hurricane Irma evacuation orders and flirting with destruction? The answers are as complicated as the Keys. Re-reading my 2017 columns reminded me just how powerful we were as an online community. To each of you who followed along, who shared your stories and your tears, I say "thank you." It was a tough time. It's been a tough year.
Hurricane Irma | How did news coverage get so confused?
By Sept, 5, 2017, five days before Hurricane Irma battered Key West and the Florida Keys, I was swearing -- or at least muttering unpleasant comments under my breath. I was, as some will remember, visiting my mother in the Shenandoah Valley and...