Greater Key West Chamber asks for community feedback in economic development survey
The Greater Key West Chamber of Commerce is asking the community for feedback as they work on economic development for our community. The Chamber is specifically looking at what types of businesses are needed within our community and that our residents want.
Citizens are invited to give feedback on a short five question survey to help the Chamber better understand what our community needs and would support. The information we receive along with information we have received from other research we have conducted will assist us in getting an idea of where we should focus our efforts.
The survey can be accessed at www.keywestchamber.org and takes about 5-10 minutes to complete. This is a new initiative of the Greater Key West Chamber of Commerce, and we are looking forward to seeing what the community wants in Key West.
About The Greater Key West Chamber of Commerce:
Founded in 1922, the Greater Key West Chamber of Commerce works as a catalyst for business success, a convener of leaders, and a champion for a sustainable thriving community. The Chamber represents businesses of all sizes from small family businesses to large corporations serving Key West and the surrounding communities. For more information on the Greater Key West Chamber of Commerce visit www.KeyWestChamber.org.
The Monroe County Board of County Commissioners unanimously approved plans for the Concourse A Terminal Expansion Program at Key West International Airport at Wednesday’s regularly scheduled meeting.
The 48,000 square feet second-level Concourse A project will have several elements to improve the level of service for passengers and tenants.
Following a public hearing for the project, Commissioners approved a resolution to use the Airport Revenue Bonds to finance various costs of capital improvements in the project. Revenues derived from the airport operations and certain eligible Passenger Facility Charge revenues will be used to secure payment of the principal and interest on said bonds. No tax dollars are being used for the project.
“This is a culmination of a lot of hard work, and we are very pleased that these items were unanimously approved by the BOCC,” said Richard Strickland, Director of Airports for Monroe County.
The construction of this project will tentatively start in early September 2022.
Women's Equality Day
Mayor Teri Johnston and the City Commission, during this week’s meeting, proclaimed August 26th as Women’s Equality Day.
That day marks the 102nd anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote.
A who’s who of active women in the community accepted the proclamation.
The proclamation notes that Native American women did not gain the right to vote until 1924, Asian Pacific Islander American women in 1952, and Black and Latin American women suffered suppression until the passage of the Voting Rights Acts of 1965 and 1975.
“The fact that today women are active in local, state and national government and are running for office in unprecedented numbers reminds us that we all follow in the footsteps of these resolute American suffragists,” reads the proclamation.
The Key West City Commission, during Tuesday's meeting set aside September 6th to honor the 400th anniversary of the sinking of the Nuestra Senora de Atocha and the Santa Margarita along with the rest of the 1622 Spanish Fleet. The ships were torn apart on the reef in the waters off Key West, and all but 5 souls were lost.
Also lost were 40 tons of gold, silver, and copper artifacts – until the persevering Mel Fisher located wreck in 1985.
Prior to the discovery, the treasure hunter had secured ownership of the wreck through the courts. He and his wife founded the Mel Fisher Maritime Heritage Society, a non-profit organization to support a collection of artifacts from the Nuestra Senora de Atocha and its sister ship, the Santa Margarita in perpetuity.
Fisher has been memorialized annually since 1997 by the Mel Fisher Days celebration.
The proclamation was accepted by Kim Fisher and his wife Marylynn.
“260 people lost their lives on the Atocha,” said Kim Fisher. “That ship was 90 feet at the waterline. If you’ve seen a ship that size you know it’s hard to fit 265 people.”
He went on to share the accounts of the five survivors and the horror of battling the raging sea.
“I’m glad to be part of the team, headed by my father Mel Fisher,” he said, “who got to bring some of that history back to life. Its going to be on exhibit here in Key West forever, I hope.”
In the photo: Commissioners Gregory Davila and Mary Lou Hoover, Mayor Teri Johnston, Commissioner Jimmy Weekley, Kim and Marylynn Fisher, Vice Mayor Sam Kaufman, and Commissioners Clayton Lopez and Billy Wardlow.
PARKS AND BEACHES TEAM LEADER TONY ROBERTS RECOGNIZED WITH 10 YEARS OF SERVICE AWARD
Monroe County Parks and Beaches Team Leader Tony Roberts was presented his 10 years of service award and recognized for his dedication to Florida Keys residents and significant contributions to the Higgs Beach area in Key West.
“Tony has made a huge impact in our community,” said Monroe County Parks and Beaches Director John Allen. “He has done a terrific job on all the projects he works on and plans to make significant improvements that the community will enjoy.”
Farmer Jeanne Selander Receives Honorary Conch Certificate at Today's BOCC Meeting
Today, Farmer Jeanne Selander received her Honorary Conch Certificate after 24 years in the Florida Keys from Mayor David Rice and the Monroe County Board of County Commissioners. Selander has overseen the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office Animal Farm at the Stock Island Detention Center for the past 17 years. The jailhouse farm is believed to be the only facility of its kind in the United States.
“I couldn’t think of someone more deserving of this award,” said Rice. Farmer Jeanne, working with inmates at the Stock Island facility, cares for more than 150 animals at the farm.
Susy Dehorta suggested Farmer Jeanne be honored with the award.
Referenda on Primary Ballot
Every ten years, after a new census is completed, the City of Key West convenes a Charter Review Committee to ensure the City’s charter is still the will of the people. That committee then makes recommendations, which the citizens must vote on. No changes can be made to the City Charter without the approval of the electorate.
The primary ballot contains five of the committee’s recommendations for the public to vote on.
FREE: 2022 Fantasy Fest Parade Float Entry
You bring the ART to the Party in the Bud Light Fantasy Fest Parade! Enter a float, walking group, or Art bike brigade! Monroe County Residence – your entry is FREE before August 15th or discounted through September 23rd !
Cult Classics and Cartoon Chaos is this year's theme and $15,000 in CASH prizes are awarded to those who stand out!
Applications are available at fantasyfest.com/parade
Parade applications must be turned in by October 14th - so get your group together and get animated!
2022 Fantasy Fest Parade Ambassador - now Recruiting
Fantasy Fest is seeking responsible and fun-loving volunteers to help make sure everyone has an exciting and safe time at this year's Bud Light Fantasy Fest Parade. Sign up to be a Parade Ambassador and you get to step behind the scenes and help us escort and pace the Fantasy Fest Parade as it makes its way down Duval Street! Ambassador Applications and details are available at fantasyfest.com/parade
As tens of thousands of visitors and locals descend on downtown Key West for one of the largest, most-spectacular parties in the nation, our amazing volunteers help control the chaos and make sure everyone has a safe, fun time.
When you volunteer with Fantasy Fest, you'll get a front-row view of all the action plus exclusive t-shirts and gear that set you apart from everyone else. You'll also create memories that will last a lifetime!
More than 150 Parade Ambassadors are stationed along the nearly-two-mile parade route. They help keep the parade moving and keep revelers out of harm's way.
You'll receive a specially-designed Ambassador t-shirt and one-of-a-kind souvenir. Because they're entrusted with great responsibility, Ambassadors must remain sober during the parade (but you can celebrate like a rock-star afterward). Ambassadors must attend a pre-parade safety meeting.
You'll also get to party with the Fantasy Fest team at Dante's for the annual Ambassadors' social mixer!
2022 Fantasy Fest Call to Artists – Deadline MONDAY August 15th
Fantasy Fest is Calling all Artists for our annual poster & T-shirt artwork Contest!
Cult Classica & Cartoon chaos is our theme, and your artistic vision could become our official t-shirt or poster for Fantasy Fest 2022!
The artwork must reflect the theme, characteristic and whimsy of Key West! $750 Cash Price, official signing party & recognition!
Deadline for submissions is Monday August 15th – Winners will be announced Friday August 19th
Visit Fantasyfest.com/call-to-artists for more information https://fantasyfest.com/call-to-artists/
This contest is presented by the Florida Keys Council of the Arts!
The Florida Keys Council of the Arts and Fantasy Fest requests artists to submit their vision of this year’s theme: “Cult Classics & Cartoon Chaos”. The winning selections that best represent the 2022 theme will become the official Fantasy Fest poster AND/OR the official T-shirt. Artwork that creatively and graphically reflects the theme, characteristics, flavor and the whimsy of Key West will be reviewed by a selection committee and selected artists will each receive $750, a signing party and recognition as the official Poster/T-shirt for Fantasy Fest 2022! Artists may submit up to three (3) different images for consideration. Posters may be horizontal or vertical, with a preferred finished size of 18" x 24". Artists are asked to include the words “Fantasy Fest” and the 2022 theme words “Cult Classics & Cartoon Chaos”.
Fantasy Fest is October 21-30, 2022, just 2 months away!
Monroe County Fleet Management found a time capsule in the recently demolished maintenance building on South Roosevelt Drive in Key West. Earlier this year, Fleet Management moved to its new Rockland Key location to prepare for the Key West International Airport remodeling. While removing the original dedication plaque from the 1984 building, the crew found a PVC time capsule in the wall. Monroe County Mayor David Rice said the time capsule is anything but historic given its 40-year milestone next year but said opening it at the ribbon cutting of the new building on Rockland Key in the next year or so would be interesting. No one currently on the commission or staff knew the time capsule existed in the walls of the building or what the contents may contain.
“After opening it, a good plan would be to add a few things to it and place it in the wall at the new building, similar to how this was found, to be forgotten once again for decades to come,” said Rice. In the meantime, Monroe County will keep the unopened capsule in safekeeping.
The dedication plaque lists the 1984 County Commissioners as Ed Swift, Jerry Hernandez, Ken Sorensen, Wilhelmina Harvey, and Alison Ferar. After speaking with Ed Swift, he doesn’t recall placing the time capsule in the wall or what the contents might be but said he looks forward to seeing what is inside.
The new location of the Monroe County Fleet Maintenance facility is 111 Overseas Highway, MM 9, behind Mama’s Garden Center, Rockland Key.
EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT’S JEFF MANNING GRADUATES PRESTIGIOUS FEMA ADVANCED ACADEMY
Monroe County Emergency Management Senior Planner Jeff Manning graduated from FEMA’s National Emergency Management Advanced Academy at the Emergency Management Institute in Emmitsburg, MD. The full curriculum provided strategic training and education in essential skills and tools for emergency management professionals to lead dynamic and resilient programs.
The program included four resident courses with multiple long-distance learning sessions in the Advanced Academy, including Application of Advanced Individual Concepts in Emergency Management, Assessment of Teams in Professional Emergency Management, Contemporary Issues in the Emergency Management Organization, and Advanced Concepts and Policy in the Emergency Management Profession.
“This is an incredible achievement,” said Monroe County Emergency Management Director Shannon Weiner. “Monroe County will benefit greatly from the knowledge Jeff gained from his experience at the academy.”
Submit Your Stories
Chamber members send us your press releases on your organizations accomplishments, staff awards and/or major happenings. We will post them for free.