Key West Mayor Teri Johnston joined Good Morning Keys on KeysTalk 96.9/102.5FM this morning to talk about what’s happening in the city.
A tribute to Diane Eliopoulos was held last week.
Johnston said, “It was so good. The community really came out. It started at the steps of the Custom House and went all the way to the Woman’s Club, which Diane was very instrumental in. She worked on the Fantasy Fest dinner seating. She was also very involved in the construction and rehabilitation of the Woman’s Club, but was also a member of Rotary and so many different organizations in town, and she was really a contributing member to Key West, even though she had just been here since 2009. But boy, she made an impact in those years.”
There was more than $587,000 raised for the SPCA this year.
Johnston said, “They did just an incredible job of raising a record amount of money. And hats off to the entire group at the SPCA because they ran an amazing campaign where people just couldn’t wait to donate. The show on Friday night was one of the best that I have seen in 24 years. It was just unbelievable entertainment. It just reminds you of what a talented, talented community we have in Key West.”
Fantasy Fest is going strong.
Johnston said, “It kicked off Friday night with the kickoff. Lots of people, lots of food. In fact, our city manager and special events coordinator were down there selling beers this past weekend, so a lot of involvement by the city. It’s a great family event for the city of Key West to kick off our 10 days of celebration and congratulations to everyone involved there for a real successful event. Even though we’re in fantasy fest, we were able also to honor Diana Nyad who was celebrating her 10 year anniversary of her historic swim. On Saturday we were at Smathers Beach. We had her entire team of about 40 members were out there. We had members of the community and they talked about what it was like for their five tries to get from Cuba to Key West. So we spent Saturday afternoon out on Smathers Beach and then Saturday night, we held a reception here in the chambers at City Hall to recognize Diana and her coach Bonnie Scholes and the entire team. Then on Sunday at noon, we had a premiere at the Tropic Cinema put on by Netflix. We got to view the film which is called Nyad, which is just an inspirational wonderful film. If you’ve got sons and daughters please get them out to see it because the Tropic Cinema is going to be showing the film Nyad for the next two weeks and it’s a very limited showing. I think it’s in New York City and a couple other spots, but they made sure that we have it here at Key West, since this is the sand that she landed on.”
Fantasy Fest will continue through October 29 with Uniforms and Unicorns, 200 years of sailing into fantasy, which highlights the strong partnership between the city of Key West and our military partners.
Johnston said, “It’s a wonderful relationship. Any military personnel that come into Key West are just amazed at what love this community has for our men and women in uniform. It’s a lifelong love affair that we should all be very proud of.”
There is other business going on at city hall, too.
Johnston said, “We have started construction, and I know these both have been long awaited projects, but we started construction on the Lofts at Bahama Village, just a reminder that’s our 98 rental and 28 homeownership opportunities. So we are rerouting roads, we’re doing some construction down there to get ready. We are also demoing the extension on the Douglas gym to create the new Douglas Community Center. So that construction is underway. We are also really focusing this year on our residents and our community. We are bringing forth several ordinances that we have been working on for a number of weeks to address t-shirt shops, the types of obscenities that we have in t-shirt shops that are on Duvall Street. We’re also taking a look at dumpsters out in the right aways, things that are an eyesore for the community, shopping carts that are left in our right aways. We are taking a look at all of those things and we will be bringing forth ordinances in order to make our community look better, particularly for our residents, but also for the people that visit here. It’s longtime coming. For years, we’ve been told that, that these t-shirts are a first amendment right. But when our city manager did some research around the state of Florida, there are several communities that have ordinances that regulate those. You can have those materials, just move them back in your store. Don’t have them in the storefront where children are walking past.”