Fourteen Key West High School students this week graduated the Key West Fire Department’s Firefighters Academy. Proud families, members of the Key West Fire Department, and City officials were on hand during the ceremony to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of these students who have invested two years of training for their future careers as first responders.
These students earned certifications in Firefighter I, Emergency Medical Responder, and Hazmat Awareness.
Lt Tim Anson, who leads the academy, praised the group for the tenacity it requires to finish the academy, noting that they would do their grueling physical training in the early hours before heading off to a full day of high school.
City Manager Patti McLauchlin thanked the students for their community spirit and presented each graduate with a City challenge coin.
The two-year fire academy trains future firefighters while they’re attending their final two years of high school and provides them, upon completion, the equivalent training of a Certified Firefighter I, which puts them halfway through the training required to become a Key West Firefighter.
The Tennessee Williams Museum, located at 513 Truman Avenue, joins the island of Key West in celebrating its 200th Anniversary. The museum has expanded two of its historical exhibits that provide detailed material about two major gifts given by Tennessee Williams to the City of Key West.
The expanded exhibits showcase information about Williams’ writing, filming, and premiering “The Rose Tattoo” in Key West during the 1950s. Also, in 1981 Williams gifted the use of his name to the Tennessee Williams Fine Arts Center, now called the Tennessee Williams Theatre. These are two of the many cultural and philanthropic contributions made by the playwright during his thirty-four-year residency that helped place Key West on the cultural and literary map.
Both of the museum’s exhibits have been repositioned and enhanced to provide new information about these gifts through the use of original photos by Don Pinder, playbills signed by the playwright, artifacts and stimulating details about the development and dedication of the Tennessee Williams Theatre.
The Museum is open for self-guided tours from Thursday through Sunday from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30. p.m. An information sheet is available for guests that provides more in-depth details about the exhibits. For those seeking additional knowledge about the filming of “The Rose Tattoo” in Key West and the inclusion of local citizens and island locations in the film, or fascinating details about the dedication of the Tennessee Williams Theatre, Dennis Beaver, the Museum curator offers private day-time tours for four or more guests. Prior arrangements must be made by visiting the museum’s website https://www.kwahs.org/museums/tennessee-williams/visit
The City of Key West’s website is full of fabulous maps that let the community do everything from track transient rental units to see what roadwork is in the pipeline. There is even a map that allows you to research who is buried in a particular plot at the Key West Cemetery.
Just go to www.cityofkeywest-fl.gov and click on the drop down menu of City Departments. There you’ll see a link for the Geographic Information (GIS) Systems.
The latest addition to this valuable site are maps showing the location of legal transient rentals and a map of rental units.
Transient rentals are defined as any unit group of units, dwelling, building, or group of buildings within a single complex of buildings rented for a period or periods of less than 30 days or one calendar month, or is advertised as a place rented to transients, regardless of the occurrence of an actual rental. Currently there are 850 of these licenses.
Non-transient rentals are defined as any unit, group of units, dwelling, building, or group of buildings within a single complex of buildings that are rented for a period of more than 30 days or one calendar month or is advertised as a place rented for more than 30 days or one calendar month, regardless of the occurrence of an actual rental. There are currently 2,508 of these licenses.
The transient rental map is a good tool for resident who wonder whether a house that seems to be renting for less than a month is a legally licensed transient rental.
If you find that the location is not legal, you are urged to call Code Compliance at 305-809-3737.
Mayor Teri Johnston and the City Commission have proclaimed May as Haitian Heritage Month.
“Haitian Heritage Month salutes Haitian and Haitian-American contributions,” reads the proclamation, “which have immeasurably enriched the lives of the people of this city and the United States.”
Haitian Americans have made their mark as educators, authors, community leaders, activists, athletes, artists, musicians, and politicians, in our society and have contributed to the of this city. They are an important part of Key West’s culturally diverse community.
Pastor Jean of Key West Church of God of Prophecy thanked the commission for the recognition and reminded them that the Haitian community relies on their continued attention to affordable workforce housing.
Got a question or suggestion for the Mayor? Join Mayor Teri Johnston on Tuesday, May 17th at the Green Pineapple, 1130 Duval Street from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. for a conversation about our community.
Mayor Johnston looks forward to seeing you there!
Lower Keys Medical Center has earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® for Advanced Primary Stroke Center Certification.
Lower Keys Medical Center underwent a rigorous, unannounced onsite review on March 25, 2022. During the visit, a team of Joint Commission reviewers evaluated compliance with related certification standards including program management, supporting self-management, and delivering and facilitating clinical care. Joint Commission standards are developed in consultation with health care experts and providers, measurement experts and patients. The reviewers also conducted onsite observations and interviews.
“Advanced Primary Stroke Certification recognizes health care organizations committed to fostering continuous quality improvement in patient safety and quality of care,” said Mark Pelletier, RN, MS, chief operating officer, Accreditation and Certification Operations, and chief nursing executive, The Joint Commission. “We commend Lower Keys Medical Center for using certification to reduce variation in its clinical processes and to strengthen its program structure and management framework for stroke patients.”
“We congratulate Lower Keys Medical Center for this outstanding achievement,” said Nancy Brown, chief executive officer, the American Stroke Association. “This certification reflects its commitment to providing the highest quality of care for stroke patients.”
Lower Keys Medical Center CEO, David Clay, said, “Accreditation as a Primary Stroke Center acknowledges the commitment our team has made to employing best practices and providing the best care possible for our patients. I thank all of our employees for their dedication to continuous quality improvement.”
For more information, please visit The Joint Commission website.
Mayor Teri Johnston and the City Commission have named “Tortuga” Jack Hackett the 2022 Poet Laureate of Key West.
Hackett, a well-known poet and storyteller, has been in Key West for over 30 years, spinning yarns at poetry slams, story slams, and during guided tours. He earned the nickname Tortuga Jack through years of guided tours he gave aboard the Yankee Freedom trips to the Dry Tortugas. He is a poet, a storyteller, a sailor and a naturalist.
A fervent advocate of public poetry and storytelling, he organized programs like the Song and Story Festival, the Poem-A-Day at the Green Parrot and Blue Heaven, and the Poems for Public Project. He has won the Hemingway Storytelling Contest several times and has published his work in a local anthology.
Key West has been home to some of the most important poets of the past century including Robert Frost, Elizabeth Bishop, and Richard Wilbur.
Hackett follows in the footsteps of several other well-known poets who have served as the city’s official poet including Kirby Congdon, Flower Conroy, and Arlo Haskell.
“I am honored, humbled and joyous to receive this,” said Hackett. Then he treated the audience by reciting one of his poems.
The Key West Ambassadors Academy graduated its 36th class during last week’s City Commission meeting. Seventeen enthusiastic citizens participated in the class. They join more than 600 citizens who now have a better insight to the workings of City government. Each class of the Key West Ambassadors Academy has been a special blend of dedicated, involved citizens.
During the City Commission meeting, City Manager Patti McLauchlin congratulated Class 36, noting the dedication it takes to volunteer their time for 12 weeks of delving into the inner workings of city government.
“The Ambassadors play an important role in helping us better understand and serve the community,” she told them. “I look forward to seeing you as you stay involved in your City government. Thank you, again, for your dedication.”
Two current city leaders -- Commissioners Clayton Lopez and Sam Kauffman – were elected after finishing this program. Other alumni have served as commissioners as well as sitting on a variety of other City boards.
The Key West Ambassadors Academy was established in 2003 by then City Manager Julio Avael. Class 37 is slated to begin in mid-July. Applications will be available the first week in June.
Mayor Teri Johnston and the City Commission, during a recent commission meeting, proclaimed the week of May 16th through the 22nd as National Emergency Medical Services Week.
The official theme for the 2022 National Emergency Medical Services Week is EMS Strong: Beyond the Call.
“Emergency medical services provide vital lifesaving care to those in need 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” reads the proclamation, “dramatically improving the survival and recovery rate of those who experience sudden illness or injury.”
The designation is a way of reaching out and thanking all of those first responders who ensure that the community has the best and fastest medical emergency response possible each and every day.
Lower Keys Medical Center plays an integral role in the Lower Keys and Key West thanks to the knowledgeable and compassionate people who work inside. During Hospital Week, May 8 – 14, 2022, we recognize and celebrate our caregivers for the difference they make each day. We are health care and our team members are energized by their work to fight illness and promote wellness for patients and our community.
Around the clock every day of the year, the hospital offers a safe environment for care thanks to our physical plant and environmental services staff who work to keep the building clean and comfortable.
To help you live healthier, our primary care physicians, imaging and lab workers deliver screening and diagnostics to keep your health on track.
When you are ill, our nurses, physicians and other providers work to help you get better with the treatment you need, whether surgery, physical therapy or inpatient care.
As your family is growing, our labor and delivery team helps you welcome new members with childbirth services.
In a medical emergency, our emergency room physicians, nurses and other team members address your injuries or intervene with timely treatment of heart attack and stroke.
In times of pandemic, natural disaster or major accidents, we coordinate with first responders, the health department and other area providers to protect our community and support recovery.
Helping people get well and live healthier is our purpose at Lower Keys Medical Center. I am proud to recognize all of our team members who are here for you and look forward to serving you.
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