Wednesday's Daily Pulse
What You Need to Know About Florida Today
Americans' confidence in the economy in November rose to its highest level since July, but Florida did not share in the rebound. The Conference Board, a private research firm, said Tuesday that its Consumer Confidence Index rose 15 points to 56. That is up from a revised 40.9 in October -- the lowest level since the recession -- and the biggest jump since the 59.2 reading in July. Meanwhile, the Sunshine State's confidence index remained stuck at 65 this month, unchanged from the revised mark for October, a University of Florida phone survey showed. Read more from the Sarasota Herald-Tribune and read the University of Florida report.
Once again, "60 Minutes" has shone a harsh spotlight on Central Florida's ugly secret: that Orlando isn't the place where every child's dream comes true. It's hard to dream, after all, when you're sleeping in your car. Or in a shelter. Or in a cheap motel room that your parents might not be able to afford another night. Yes, in the shadows of Cinderella Castle lurks the ugly reality of an economy built on low-paying jobs and now-stalled growth: widespread poverty. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]
One of the questions I most often hear from readers seeking work/life balance is "How do I get my manager to give me flexibility?" Sometimes it comes from a mother who is struggling to take care of an infant and keep her job. Other times, the question comes from a male boomer who can't stand the commute and wants to work from home a few mornings. Surprisingly, it even may come from someone whose company has a policy that embraces flexible work arrangements. Typically, it's a middle manager who stands in the way. Read more of Cindy Krischer Goodman's Work/Life Balance column.
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For 25 years, beginning under Editor and CEO Gene Patterson, the St. Petersburg Times has operated under the strategy that an emerging regional marketplace would eventually support one newspaper. In November, the paper announced that it was formally embracing a regional identity and will rename itself the Tampa Bay Times as of Jan. 1. Times Chairman and CEO Paul Tash points out that 75% of the newspaper's circulation is outside St. Petersburg and says the name change was meant to "send a welcoming signal to readers and advertisers throughout the region." The Times, a for-profit paper owned by a non-profit journalism school, the Poynter Institute for Media Studies, is the largest newspaper in Florida and among the 20 largest in the country. More...
Times Chairman and CEO Paul Tash announces the newspaper's name change, which takes effect Jan. 1. [Photo: Scott Keeler/ St. Petersburg Times]
For the first time ever, the Jaguars will have a new owner. One day before the 18-year anniversary of the Jaguars being named an expansion franchise, the team told its employees Wayne Weaver sold the organization to Shahid Khan, a Pakistani-born businessman who tried to buy the St. Louis Rams last season. Khan will be the first minority to be a controlling owner of an NFL team. Read more from the Florida Times-Union and Forbes.
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› South Florida home prices down, but worst appears to be over
Home prices in South Florida and across the nation fell in September, though the precipitous declines of the past few years appear to be over. Prices in Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties fell 0.7 in September from August and 4 percent compared to a year ago, according to the Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller Home Price Index released Tuesday. The index nationally dropped 3.9 percent on an annual basis, a slight improvement over the 5.8 percent decline in the second quarter. Prices nationwide are where they were in the first quarter of 2003.
› Brevard loses member of Congress under redistricting plan
Brevard County would lose a member of Congress under a proposed redistricting map released by the Florida Senate. The Senate's proposal is just the first step in a long once-a-decade process of redrawing political lines to account for population shifts documented by the U.S. Census. Because of population growth, Florida will have 27 congressional districts, up from 25.
› Idled mattress factory in Tampa springs back into production
The shuttered Spring Air Mattress factory in Tampa is bouncing back into production. Solstice Sleep Products, which began leasing 90,000 square feet of industrial space at the sprawling South Falkenburg Road location this fall, has already hired 25 employees and plans to hire up to 60 more within eight months.
› SeaWorld to sell DVDs through major retailers
SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment is getting into the consumer-products business. The Orlando-based theme-park operator said Tuesday it will begin selling DVDs and Blu-rays of the nature documentary "Turtle: The Incredible Journey" through major retail outlets, including stores operated by Wal-Mart and Koger and websites run by Amazon, Best Buy, Netflix and Blockbuster.
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