January 24, 2011
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Remembering Fallen Florida Police Officers
I would like to take a moment today to recognize the tragic deaths
of some of our police colleagues in St. Petersburg and Miami. Today, two
officers were killed in the line of duty in St. Petersburg and last week,
two officers were killed in Miami while doing their job.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to these officers’ families, friends
and co-workers during this difficult time.
We should also always remember the brave men and women in the
Orlando Police Department who risk their lives every day to keep our
Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Re-cap
Special thanks to the members of my Mayor’s Dr.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Commission for their dedication and
hard work in planning, marketing and producing several successful
events during the MLK Holiday weekend. I appreciate our City Council
members participating with us and showing their support.
2011 MLK events included:
Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity’s 25th annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Luncheon - where Dr. John Hitt, President of UCF, was the keynote
MLK Parade - featured Chief Judge Belvin Perry as the Parade Grand
Marshall. I’m told it was the largest MLK parade crowd in history.
Candlelight Vigil - residents from different faiths gathered at City
Hall and marched to Shiloh Baptist Church where faith leaders
conducted a moving service.
20th Annual Arthur “Pappy” Kennedy Prayer Breakfast - which was sold
out for the first time. The keynote speaker, Dr. Benjamin Carson,
Sr., Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Children’s
Center and Professor of Neurosurgery, Oncology, Plastic Surgery and
Pediatrics at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, received a standing
ovation for his exceptional personal story of overcoming obstacles
to achieve success.
of Service - which typically takes place after the Prayer Breakfast
was cancelled due to bad weather. We had more than 300 volunteers
signed up to participate. We hope for better weather next year.
Last Friday night (1/21/11), the Orlando Magic honored the 61
student Humanitarian Award Winners, chosen by their schools for
exemplifying Dr. King’s ideals, with a half-time ceremony at center
Again, special thanks to my Mayor’s MLK Commission which worked
tirelessly, with the support of City staff to plan, fund and
implement our City’s celebration of Dr. King’s legacy.
Black History Month
am pleased to announce that for the first time this year, the
Orlando City Council, the Orlando Magic and the City's Celebrate
Black History Committee will be awarding a $1000 scholarship to a
City of Orlando high school senior. The award is based on written
essays, up to 1200 words, submitted on the topic: "Coming Home - The
Importance of Giving Back to Community."
Essays are due no later than 5 p.m. on January 31 and the winner will
be honored at a City Council meeting in February. We encourage all
City of Orlando high school seniors to apply.
For more information on this scholarship and other Black History
Month events, please visit
U.S. Conference of Mayors
Mayor Buddy Dyer updated City Commissioners on the
City's work with the United States Conference of Mayors.
Last week, Mayor Dyer traveled to Washington, DC to participate in
the organization’s Winter Meeting.
Largely because of the work our community has done to secure both
commuter rail and high speed rail, Mayor Dyer has been asked to lead
an effort by the Conference aimed at advocating for our nation’s
first high speed rail network.
The focus of this high speed rail task force will be creating a
unified platform for America’s cities to support the creation of a
nationwide high speed rail network, in much the same way America’s
cities helped create the interstate highway system more than a half
While in D.C., I also had the unique opportunity to participate in a
discussion with members of the delegation from the Chinese State
Along with my fellow Mayors from Chicago, Los Angeles, Denver and
Phoenix, the forum was an opportunity to talk with Chinese leaders
about potential areas of investment in our local economies that
could create jobs for our residents and help jump start our economy.
While there are certainly many challenges ahead in forging a deeper
relationship with China, this was an important step toward what
could be a mutually beneficial relationship between China and
Items of Note
Mountain Bike Trail at Area C
bike enthusiasts will soon have a new place to enjoy their hobbies
in the City of Orlando. Today, the Orlando City Council approved
efforts to use grant money to develop and maintain a mountain bike
park that will feature a pump track and trails through the woods.
The park is located in the Coytown neighborhood in District 4, at
the former Orlando Naval Training Center property, now owned by the
City and known as "Area C."
These improvements will be created by the Orlando Community & Youth
Trust, using a grant awarded by the Winter Park Health Foundation,
as well as volunteer labor coordinated by the City's Parks’ Division
and an experienced mountain biking organization, the Ocala Mountain
Bike Association, Inc. (OMBA), which has an active membership group
The park is tentatively scheduled to open in the late Summer/early
Fall of 2011.
Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant
Also on today’s agenda, the City continues to move forward with
improving energy efficiencies at our facilities.
Thanks to federal stimulus funds (energy efficiency and conservation
block grant) the City will invest in energy improvements like higher
efficiency air conditioners, lighting, control systems and more
efficient hot water systems at our City facilities.
Overall the projects will reduce the City's estimated energy
consumption by $140,000 per year.
Making these types of investments are important because they allow
the City to spend money on other critical services that would
otherwise go towards utility bills.