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Tag: Key West News

KEY WEST CONDO GETS REPRIEVE — FOR NOW

A Key West condominium building received a temporary reprieve Monday morning. Raj Ramsingh, the city’s chief building official, did not condemn Santa Clara Condominiums, 3312 Northside Dr., during a 10 a.m. hearing at city hall. “I will not condemn the building, but this is still not off the table,” Ramsingh told the condo association board, unit owners and some of their tenants who were present. “I don’t want these necessary repairs to fall by the wayside as has occurred in the past,” Ramsingh said after hearing testimony from two engineers and condo association board president Oliver Kofoid. Key...

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BREAKING NEWS: FORMER PROPERTY MANAGERS SAY CONDO BOARD REPEATEDLY FAILED TO ACT ON REPAIRS

The word “dire” has been used in recent weeks to describe the condition of the Santa Clara Condominium building at 3312 Northside Dr., Key West. As the Keys Weekly reported on Sept. 2, Key West’s chief building official Raj Ramsingh has scheduled a Sept. 13 condemnation hearing for Santa Clara Condominiums. Ramsingh’s petition to declare the building unsafe and unfit for human habitation outlines serious concerns about the roof, an unsafe stairwell, uneven weight loads on floors and ceilings, significant spalling, concrete cracks and a laundry room ceiling upheld by steel...

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Key West building official wants proof that condo is ‘safe for habitation’

A New Town condo association has until Friday, Sept. 3 to prove its building is “safe for habitation.”  The city of Key West’s chief building official, Raj Ramsingh, sent a letter to Santa Clara Condominium Association on Friday, Aug. 27, demanding confirmation from the association’s engineer “that all or part of the building is safe for habitation.” The 111-unit Santa Clara complex at 3312 Northside Dr. “is obviously in serious need of repairs, to the extent that I don’t think the repairs can be completed safely while the building is occupied,” Ramsingh...

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SALARIES & SPECIAL EVENTS: KEY WEST OFFICIALS FACE BIG DECISIONS

The Key West city commission will be making some tough — and potentially costly — decisions in the coming weeks. First up is the city commission meeting on Sept. 1, when officials will discuss the upcoming special events calendar in light of the alarming COVID uptick. Mayor Teri Johnston urged event organizers to come to the meeting armed with recommendations to keep their events as safe as possible. City Manager Patti McLauchlin held a Zoom call on Aug. 25 with about 20 event organizers — from Fantasy Fest and boat races, to the Zombie Bike Ride and Key West Brewfest. McLauchlin asked each...

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SPORTS & MORE: KWHS athletic director also hopes to coach soccer

Justin Martin was born and grew up in Key West, graduated from Key West High, then Flagler College in St. Augustine.  After college, he spent three  years tending to the family  business — commercial  fishing  — before he took on coaching  the Conchs’ girls soccer team. Now, since June, and at the age  of 27, he has become the  school’s athletic director, succeeding Sarah Eckert, who  has become the Key West volleyball coach. Several balls had to fall in the  right place for Martin to become AD: Kim Butler decided she didn’t want to continue as head coach of the school’s volleyball team. Eckert,...

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BREAKING NEWS: KEY WEST’S ROYAL KING & QUEEN CAMPAIGN CANCELED

There will be no king and queen fundraising campaign for Key West’s Fantasy Fest this year. The Royal Campaign, an annual eight-week fundraising campaign for A.H. Monroe leading up to the island’s Fantasy Fest celebration in October, has been canceled, the nonprofit’s board of directors announced Friday afternoon. “In an abundance of caution and recognizing its health services mission, the board of directors of A.H. of Monroe County, effective immediately, has canceled The Royal Campaign of Fantasy Fest 2021,” states a press release. “Our King and Queen candidates...

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MEET THE NEW KEY WEST HIGH SCHOOL PRINCIPAL LARRY SCHMIEGE

This isn’t Larry Schmiegel’s first rodeo.  The new Key West High School principal may have come most recently from Poinciana Elementary School, but he’s no stranger to the “big kids” — nor the often bigger issues that often face high school students and staff. Schmiegel came to the Florida Keys in 2016 from New York state, where he earned two master’s degrees, a doctorate, and state certifications to be both principal and superintendent. “But I started as a high school teacher in New York and I loved it,” he said. “I left the classroom in 2006 to become a principal and administrator in...

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KEY WEST CITY COMMISSION TALKS TRASH, CRUISE SHIPS, HOUSING & MORE

The Aug. 17 city commission meeting had it all: cruise ship angst, Fantasy Fest in the face of COVID, affordable housing at Truman Waterfront (yet again) and plenty of trash talk (mostly about the city’s garbage collection contract with Waste Management). Commissioners chastised residents. Residents reprimanded the politicians (and the city attorney), and officials disagreed with each other about how quickly to proceed on projects that have been in the works for decades.  So let’s dive right into the nearly five-hour meeting. It started benignly enough, with a presentation by Rams Head...

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What About Fantasy Fest? Decision Coming Sept 1

The topic of Fantasy Fest didn’t appear anywhere on the city commission agenda, but it dominated a discussion at Tuesday’s meeting about the safety of city-approved special events in light of increasingly dire COVID statistics. To be clear, the city commission did NOT cancel Fantasy Fest or any other events during their meeting Tuesday evening. But the topic will be discussed and likely decided when the commission meets again on Sept. 1.  Mayor Teri Johnston directed business owners and event organizers to “come on Sept. 1 with solutions and suggestions about how to protect our residents,...

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HOUSING CRISIS: FKOC HOPES TO HOUSE 140 MORE PEOPLE

Two local nonprofits are working together, hoping to construct 235 new apartments for the Florida Keys Outreach Coalition for the Homeless. The units would replace FKOC’s existing 95 apartments located at the former Navy property on Duck Avenue known as Poinciana Plaza.  FKOC is working with AH Monroe, which has significant experience — and success — in building affordable housing in Key West.  The new units will be a combination of transitional and permanent housing, said Scott Pridgen, executive director of AH Monroe, formerly AIDS Help. The AH now also stands for “affordable housing”...

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