Monday's Daily Pulse
What you need to know about Florida today
Call them New Year's resolutions if you like. As 2014 approached, Florida Trend asked dozens of Floridians — businesspeople, politicians, academics and citizens of all political stripes and persuasions — this question: What's something Florida could do — in 2014 — to make the state a better place to live? Read more here and see the first installments in this week-long series:
» Take the $50 billion
Florida’s public universities are producing a little more than half as many engineers, mathematicians, scientists and technicians than they need to in order to meet the demand of job growth in the next decade, according to a study presented to the Florida Board of Governors. [Source: Ocala Star-Banner]
Many perceive Florida companies to be highly dependent upon spending habits of individuals, snowbirds and tourists. While true in some sectors, the business-to-business companies are an often-ignored arena, and many are doing just fine. [Source: Fort Myers News-Press]
Despite a stream of angry complaints from Floridians and coastal residents across the country, steep rate hikes for flood insurance are likely to continue at least into next year. Attempts to delay or roll back the increases, which amount to thousands of dollars a year for many residents and businesses in low-lying areas, have run into stiff resistance in Congress. [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]
In 2014-15, the pay of many teachers will be tied to their scores, although exactly how merit pay will be carried out must be negotiated between school districts and the unions. With test scores playing a major role in whether they get a raise, teachers still do not know what standardized test will replace the FCAT in 2014-15. [Source: Sarasota Herald-Tribune]
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› Homeowners fight Citizens over sinkhole repairs, compensation
An estimated 1,800 homeowners have filed lawsuits against Citizens challenging their sinkhole claims. Citizens acknowledges that most of the disputes involve disagreements over the method of repair.
› Art Basel opens this week in an increasingly cultured city
On a recent night in the Design District, lately littered with heavy equipment and engulfed in construction dust even as it grows more and more posh, a crowd celebrated the opening of Maman Fine Art, the first outpost of Buenos Aires’ largest modern/contemporary gallery. It’s one more sign of a Miami art scene gaining muscle.
› Goodwill project is built almost entirely of domestic materials
A 23,000-square-foot Goodwill Industries store and job center, under construction in West Melbourne, is laying a patriotic claim that nearly all of its components are made in the United States.
› Director sees Miami’s new art museum as ‘town center’
For Thom Collins, director of the striking new Perez Art Museum Miami, the past couple of years have rushed by like the time lapse video of the construction project posted on the museum’s website, all at dizzying speed.
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