Don’t Drink and Drive
As the three-day holiday weekend approaches, the Key West Police Department wants to remind the community to drive safely. Most importantly, don’t drink and drive.

This weekend, as in holidays past, AAA is offering its Tow 2 Go program. If you find you’ve overdone it, AAA and Alex’s Auto Wrecking and Towing are offering free and confidential rides home for you and your car. Simply call 1-800-AAA-HELP. Or you can call Alex’s direct at (305) 296-4910 or (305) 872-4910.

“Make the right plans before celebrating and designate a sober driver,” said Christine Rodriguez, owner of Alex’s. “Or simply plan ahead for a safe ride home by utilizing our services. We provide the Tow 2 Go program to ensure that everyone will arrive home safely. A life lost to drunk driving is preventable. Just call us.”

City Government Lowers Emissions
City government is getting greener; reaching goals set in 2005 to reduce our carbon footprint and help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The city of Key West was highlighted in the ICLEI (International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives) website for the strides made toward green government. Pointing to the city’s annual sustainability report, the article notes that greenhouse gas emissions were 5.6 percent lower in 2009 than in the 2005 base year.

“The reduction shows significant progress toward the city’s goal of 15 percent fewer emissions by 2015,” wrote ICLEI reporter Eli Yewdall.

The report notes that the city is using nearly 19 percent less electricity for buildings, streetlights, and traffic signals during that same time period. The wastewater treatment plant reduced its electricity use by 6.1 percent. In addition, the switch to bio-diesel and ethanol decreased overall emission by 622 tons of carbon dioxide.

“Our next immediate step is to achieve Green Business Certification for our new city hall,” Key West Environmental Projects Manager Annalise Mannix wrote in an email to fellow city staffers. “So keep in mind green issues as you set up your new offices. Use recycled materials, reduce lighting when possible, bring your recycle bins, and remember that every degree a thermostat goes up saves 3 percent of the air conditioning electric bill!”

The lower emissions also translate to thousands of taxpayer dollars saved, says Mannix.

ICLEI is an international membership association of local governments dedicated to climate protection and sustainable development. Key West is a member. The article can be viewed by clicking

City Helps Close Permits
The real estate market may have slowed down, but Key West property owners are fortunate because many homes are continuing to sell.

It’s important to know that if a property has an open permit; the sale cannot be finalized until the permit is closed. Real estate agents are requesting permit information on a daily basis from the City of Key West. The Key West Building Department has found several open permits that may have been overlooked, making it difficult for the homeowner to complete a sale.
Unfortunately, a permit cannot simply be closed, as there may be life-safety issues that must be addressed during an inspection.

If you are unsure of the status of your property, or would like help verifying whether there are open permits on your property, feel free to contact the Key West Building Department and a staff member will be more than happy to assist you. Just call 809-3956.

The City of Key West strongly urges our community to take part in this necessary matter and appreciates your cooperation.

Be Part of the Future
What do you love most about Key West? What could be done better? Where would you like to see the community in five years…  or in ten?

A committee appointed by the Key West City Commission is working on a 5-year plan for the city, and they’re looking for insight from the community. The Strategic Planning Committee is meeting weekly to gather the information so they can formulate a road map of the future. They are looking for ideas from others in the community to integrate a plan that truly serves our future.

There are several ways to become involved and share your best ideas with the committee:
• Attend the next meeting, Wednesday, Sept. 8th at 2 p.m. at Old City Hall
• Email your ideas to the committee facilitator at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
• Call your City Commissioner and share your input for the city’s future

For more information regarding the Strategic Planning Committee, call Sue Harrison at 809-3834.

Photo: Officers
Key West Natives Join the Force

Key West Police Chief Donie Lee swore in two new officers Wednesday in front of the Key West Police Department.

“This brings me particular joy, because both of these officers grew up here,” said Lee, himself a native “Conch.”

Both Jeffrey Dean and Tiffany Beeman graduated from Key West High School. Dean went on to earn a Bachelor of Science in Criminology at Florida State University. Beeman attended the Law Enforcement Academy at the Florida Keys Community College.




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