Florida Keys Weekly

March 21st, 2009
Island Currents 09-0321

Hernan Marin (left) talks with two Explorers from Osceola County as they all get ready for the Bike Race.

Eugene Rihl jumps out of his canoe and pulls it to the finish line as he takes first place in the Canoe Race competition. The other Explorer in the race with him was from Osceola County.
MCSO Explorers Attend Competition, Take Home Trophies
Five Monroe County Sheriff’s Office Explorers recently attended an Explorer Round Up sponsored by the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office.
Approximately 90 Explorers from seven counties attended the two day Roundup. The kids competed in several areas, including Officer Recovery, Canoeing, Bicycle Obstacle Course, Paint Ball and Traffic Stops.  The Monroe County team of Explorers took first place in Officer Recovery; Explorer Eugene Rihl, paired with another Explorer from Osceola County took first place in the Canoe Race; Explorer Jack Gruba took second place in the Bicycle Obstacle Course, followed in third place by Hernan Marin.



Crime Watch Chairperson of the Year
Louie Collazo, Crime Watch Chairperson at Meridian West Apartments on Stock Island for the past four years was recently chosen as the Sheriff’s Office Crime Watch Chairperson of the year for 2008.
Collazo shows great dedication to this purely volunteer position. In the four years he has served, he has personally chaired every monthly meeting. He also expends great effort setting up frequent events and outings for the children of the neighborhood, including visits to the Sheriff’s Office Animal Farm.
Thanks in part to the very active Crime Watch, the Meridian West Apartment complex enjoys a very low rate of crime.
Caption: Undersheriff Rick Ramsay and Crime Watch Chairperson Louie Collazo.



San Carlos Recognizes Firefighters
Key West firefighters were in the limelight Thursday during Howard Livingston’s performance at the San Carlos Institute. That’s because, says Alejandro Pascual, the Institute’s volunteer administrator, without their swift and professional actions quelling the fire Sunday at 512 Duval Street, the historic building might have been lost.
Instead, the scheduled performance was able to go ahead as planned.
The blaze, reported just after 10 pm on Sunday, destroyed the building between the San Carlos and Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville, affecting three businesses. The Key West Fire Marshal – along with state fire marshals – are still investigating the cause of the fire.
Pasqual and Dr. Rafael A. Penaver, president of the San Carlos Institute Board of Directors, presented the Key West Fire Department a plaque that will hang permanently in the lobby of the San Carlos – a lasting tribute, says Pascual, to the Department.
Pascual and Penaver were joined by a number of representatives of the Fire Department at the presentation. They are pictured (l-r): Alex Vega, Alejandro Pascual, Arnold Caballero, Fire Chief David Fraga, Michael Budde, Manny Pichardo (holding plaque), David Zarate, Dr. Rafael A. Penaver, Carlos Garcia, Tattoo Del Valle, Robert Malone.



(U.S.Navy Photo by MC2 Rachel McMarr)
NAS Key West Sigsbee Marina Receives State of Florida’s Clean Marina Designation
NAS Key West Commanding Officer Capt. Steve Holmes is presented the “Clean Marina” designation by Florida Department of Environmental Protection Clean Marina Program Director Ed Russell at Sigsbee Marina last Friday. Also pictured are (l-r): Billy Adkins, Sigsbee Marina Manager; Lt. Cmdr. Ana Franco, Naval Facilities Command South East Key West Detachment; Ed Barham, NAS Key West Environmental Officer; Doug Gregory, University of Florida, Monroe County Extension; Ron Demes, NAS Key West Executive Director; and Tim Campbell, NAS Key West Morale Welfare and Recreation Director.
“This designation, which singles out marina facilities for sound environmental stewardship, marks the first for the Sigsbee Park facility. The air station’s other marina, Boca Chica Marina, was the first federal marina to receive this designation in 2002 and it earned the designation every year since,” according to Tim Campbell, NAS Key West Morale, Welfare and Recreation director.
The designation recognizes the marina’s commitment toward protecting and preserving the valuable ecosystems of the Florida Keys by operating the facility in an environmentally conscious manner, according to DEP officials. To achieve this designation, marinas must not only comply with state and federal regulations, they must go beyond compliance to protect Florida’s waterways.
“Sigsbee Marina employees had to be trained to understand the environmental impacts associated with marina operations, how to reduce these impacts and ways to educate the public in protecting the environment,” said NAS Key West Environmental Director Ed Barham. “Their voluntary commitment to the Clean Marina Program is a perfect example of how NAS Key West is implementing the Navy’s Environmental Management System (EMS). NAS Key West strives to ensure that the impacts of our activities are limited, beneficial, and not detrimental to the environment.”
Sigsbee Marina staff was working toward the “Clean Marina” designation in 2005 when Hurricane Wilma’s six-foot storm surge damaged docks, the fuel area and a sea wall. Repairs were completed last fall.



Chavarria Named VP KW Police Athletic League
Degyls Chavarria is expanding his dedication to Key West kids by serving as vice president of the Key West Police Athletic League. Chavarria has served on the board since he started working for the Key West Police Department in 2005. He was elected to the role of vice president this week.
“I want to continue working to achieve our goals and provide a future for the kids,” said Chavarria.
PAL provides numerous programs that give kids a focus, teach them team ethics, build self- esteem and discipline. Those programs include boxing, martial arts, wrestling, soccer and basketball. In addition, the program provides computer training and tutoring. Its aim is to give kids a solid, drug free environment to help them grow into successful members of the community.
Chavarria, a Key West native, became familiar with the program as a kid, having spent five years as an Explorer. He is an example of just how effective PAL is at guiding kids toward community involvement. Chavarria went to work for the Police Department in 2005, starting as a parking enforcement officer. In 2007 he moved into the communications department.
In October Chavarria became a Cadet in the Police Academy and expects to graduate in April.
Key West Police Chief Donie Lee (left) and PAL Executive Director Frank Lalama (right) congratulate the newly elected PAL Vice President Degyls Chavarria (center).



Krause Wins MKCA Drawing
The Middle Keys Concert Association’s winner of the art raffle on March 9 was Lois Krause from Key Colony Beach (pictured left). Krause was pleased to accept her winning watercolor “My Treasure” from Marathon artist Betty Rondeau. The raffle associated with the concerts this season has been well received by concert goers and has helped the MKCA bring in some much needed funds to help keep the costs of season tickets down, as prices of airfare, lodging, meals etc continue to increase.



First State Bank Launches Gato Project
First State Bank of the Florida Keys helped raise over $50,000 for the historical replica façade of the Gato family home with a donation to the newest “Art in Public Places” project at the Gato Village Pocket Park.
First State Bank Directors and Senior Management joined local business owners and community members at the dedication of the local project in the newly landscaped Gato Village Pocket Park located behind First State Bank’s Main office on Simonton Street.
As the first donor to this local community project, First State Bank’s Executive Vice President Doria Goodrich was a featured speaker at the grand opening ceremony.
“First State Bank’s help and support was most instrumental in bringing ‘the Cigar Maker’s Cottage Art Piece’ from an idea to reality,” said Bruce Neff.  “The Bank’s support was an integral part of a truly wonderful community backed project.”
Pictured (l-r) are: Art in Public Places’ Frank Garner, Neff, Goodrich, Pat Madiedo and First State Bank President and CEO, Karen Sharp.




First State Bank Announces Promotions
First State Bank of the Florida Keys is pleased to announce the promotions of Bill Estenoz and Maria Garcia to Vice President.
Estenoz joined First State Bank in 1983 and has held many positions including: Commercial, Residential and Consumer Loan Officer; Loan Administration Manager; Credit Analyst; Compliance Officer; Internal Control Officer and his current title as Portfolio Analyst/System Administrator. In late 2008, Estenoz took on additional responsibilities as the Bank’s CRA Officer and Quality Control Specialist. 
“For over 25 years Bill’s dedication, experience and commitment to First State Bank and our community have been unsurpassed,” said First State Bank of the Florida Keys Executive Vice President and Senior Loan Administration Officer Gary Carney. “The level of experience and expertise Bill provides make him an invaluable part of our team.”
Estenoz is a graduate of Key West High School and holds a degree in Management from the University of South Florida. He currently lives in Key West with his wife.
First State Bank of the Florida Keys is also pleased to announce the promotion of Maria Garcia, Main Office Branch Manager to Vice President.
Garcia was hired in 1988 as a Teller at the Bank’s Main office. She was promoted to Customer Service Representative in 1990 and then to Assistant Branch Manager at the Bank’s Boulevard Office in 1994. Two years later, Garcia was promoted to Customer Service Officer. She opened the Bank’s Stock Island Office in 2002 as Branch Manager and in 2004, was promoted to Assistant Vice President. In 2008, she assumed her current position as Main Office Branch Manager.
“Maria’s exceptional service to our customers, along with her dedication to her work, staff and our Bank, make her an integral part of the First State Bank family,” said First State Bank Executive Vice President and Retail Market Executive Tony Romano. “She is a great example of an employee who has been successful in every task or project she undertakes.”
An active member of the community, Garcia is a member of the Key West Business Guild, the Key West Chamber of Commerce, the Key West Lodging Association, Key West Attraction Association and Key West Restaurant and Bar Association.  Additionally she is serving her third year as a mentor in the Take Stock in Children program.
Garcia is a graduate of Key West High School.  She resides in Key West with her husband and three children.



Reps in Berlin for Travel Show
Selling the Florida Keys & Key West at the recent ITB travel show in Berlin (l-r) are: Nicole Morris, Cheeca Lodge; Karen Smith, Holiday Isle; Albert Jennings, TDC German sales representative; Katja Driess, TDC German PR representative; Stacey Mitchell, TDC director of sales;  Marcel Sprenger, TDC sales representative; Yves Vrielynck, TDC international sales manager and Chesapeake Resort’s Lynn and Dave Dicken. One of the large travel trade shows in the world, ITB attracted more than 177,000 trade and consumer visitors. Currently, Germany is the top international source for visitors to the Keys. (TDC Photo)


Law Enforcement Torch Run April 16
Representatives from various local law enforcement agencies will be taking part April 16 in the 2009 Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics.
The run will carry the torch from the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office Headquarters building on Stock Island all the way through town finally ending at Mallory Square. This is an annual event to show law enforcement’s support of, and to raise awareness for, the Special Olympics. The Key West leg will begin at the Sheriff’s Office complex on Stock Island at 8:30 am and make a brief first stop at Hurricane Hole Restaurant on Stock Island (a run sponsor). Then, runners will be off to Publix on N. Roosevelt Boulevard – Publix is a major contributor to the Special Olympics, raising millions of dollars each year. Runners will leave Publix and head to Poinciana School, Key West High School, HOB Middle School and Glenn Archer School where they will visit with Special Olympics kids at each school, letting them take a short run with the torch. At the Southernmost Point, the torch will be handed off from Sheriff Bob Peryam to Key West Police Chief Donnie Lee. The runners will then trek the final 1.2 miles to Mallory Square. There will be water stops at all the schools and the run pace will be slow (no faster than 10 minute miles).
Runners can run any leg they choose. Support vehicles will accompany the runners. Event T-shirts and tank tops will be available for $12. Those who wish to participate can contact either Jim Painter at (305) 292-7027 / email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or Special Agent Jeff Hutcheon at (305) 292-7022 / email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). The torch will travel across the state, carried by Law Enforcement personnel. For more information on the representing agencies go to: www.specialolympicsflorida.org/content/view/20/58/
Please come join us in this special event. If you can’t join the run, please come out and cheer the runners on for a good cause.


 

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John Bartus

John Bartus is a singer/songwriter and former Mayor of the City of Marathon. John plays with Storm Watch this Friday at Looe Key Tiki, and this Saturday at the Key Colony Inn. This Thursday, John plays at Sparky’s Landing. Don’t forget to catch Storm Watch at the Seafood Festival Saturday March 8 at 5 PM! www.johnbartus.com

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