Up Front - The Publisher's Column
It’s time for New Year’s resolutions. So Florida Trend offers a dozen ideas to make Florida a better place — almost immediately.
In putting together the feature, the editorial team talked to wise people all over Florida looking for ideas that could be implemented expeditiously for very little money. These are not pie-in-the-sky dreams or far-fetched visions like cutting crime in half or stopping the oceans from rising. These are actionable ideas that require little more than some votes, some signatures — and some gumption. No doubt that each of these ideas will have opponents. Yet, the 12 ideas would really move Florida forward. We invite your thoughts.
There’s lots more in this year-end issue. For example, we examine the state of Florida hospitals, highlighting consolidations, expansions and partnerships.
We spotlight advances in hospital design — embellished lobbies, bigger private rooms, fancy video systems and enhanced creature comforts, all aimed at providing a better healing environment.
One example is the new All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg, a 1-million-sq.-ft. facility that’s now a division of famed Johns Hopkins Medicine. National brands like Johns Hopkins are joining venerable Florida names such as Moffitt, UF Health, Mayo Clinic and the University of Miami’s UHealth, pushing into academic medicine with an emphasis on research that attracts the best and the brightest physicians and researchers.
This month we also include the annual Golden Spoon restaurant awards. We welcome two new Hall of Fame restaurants — Michy’s in Miami and Ortanique in Coral Gables — plus 11 new Golden Spoon winners from Key West to Jacksonville. Restaurant editor Chris Sherman also identifies 21 newcomers to the fine dining scene that are worth your attention.
Florida Trend is celebrating its 55th anniversary. The magazine has published monthly since 1958 — and in looking back I’m extremely proud that the coverage has been as forward-looking as our name implies. In fact, the very first issue depicted a rocket taking off from Florida’s east coast. In other early issues, Trend took on topics such as “Water: Key to Florida’s Economic Future,” partisanship in Tallahassee and the need for economics education in our public schools.
In 55 years, Florida’s population has grown seven-fold, from less than 3 million to nearly 20 million. Tourism has skyrocketed. We have theme parks, Indian casinos, fancy shopping malls, more deepwater ports, new industries such as training/simulation and a more diverse population. But many of the big issues haven’t changed in 55 years.
Finally, turn your attention to the editor’s column to see thoughtful commentary on the Common Core controversy that has taken hold in education circles. Leaders starting with former Gov. Jeb Bush had set Florida on a well-defined path to improved school performance, but now the path has turned into a political minefield.
When I travel around Florida, executives unanimously praise Trend for its forward-looking articles and comprehensive wrap-ups. Credit should be directed to Executive Editor Mark Howard and his team of writers, editors and designers. His Common Core commentary is right on target and is just one example of Trend’s pages that will be widely copied and discussed. Hopefully, Florida leaders will approve both the standards and the testing that will make Common Core a comprehensive educational tool.
— Andy Corty