August 20, 2014

Monday's Afternoon Update

What You Need to Know About Florida Today

Joyce Edmondson | 3/26/2012

Rubio keeping VP option open

Sen. Marco Rubio, 40, repeatedly dismisses the vice presidency chatter and insists he is not quietly angling for the spot or seeking publicity. "My No. 1 job is not to be some media personality," he said in a recent interview from his office in Washington. "It's to be one of the two senators who represent Florida." Still, Rubio and his advisers have been nurturing his national image as a Republican superstar. Earlier this month took he asked the Florida Ethics Commission to close out a complaint that he misused Republican Party and campaign money "to subsidize his lifestyle" while in the Legislature. Rubio's political committee has spent more than $40,000 for investigators to research for negative attacks that could surface against him. "If he does get asked, it will be very hard to say no," said Ana Navarro, a Republican fundraiser and Rubio friend in Miami. More analysis from the Tampa Bay Times.


Port St. Joe commissioners call water treatment plant a 'monumentally colossal failure'

Though less than three years in operation a list of deficiencies at a new water treatment plant have Port St. Joe commissioners discussing potential litigation. “I think somebody saw us coming,” said Mayor Mel Magidson of problems at the water treatment plant. “This is a failure from day one. This is a two-and-a-half year old, 21 million dollar plant and it is going to go bust one day.” Read more at the Star.


?Ron Stein Column ?

The secret to growing your revenue

We all know that in business, to grow your company and its sales you have to take risks. Right? Well, yes, but only if you take steps to minimize those risks, strategically and on a daily basis. Andrew Carnegie, arguably one of the most successful entrepreneurs of American businesses, is viewed by many as a great risk-taker. Yet, in his autobiography he said... continued.
Ron Stein
Florida Trend's business
coach Ron Stein

First Banks selling 19 Florida branches

First Banks Inc. is getting out of Florida. First Banks has a deal to sell its Florida operations to an unidentified, unaffiliated financial institution, a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said. First Banks has offices in Hillsborough, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas and Sarasota counties. More from the Tampa Bay Business Journal.

» Map of First Banks Florida locations


Small Biz Advice
Customer service: A study in contrasts

Some businesses really get the importance of customer service and others just do not. In many cases, those that do not get it compete on price alone, knowing that price is all their customers really want. However, this type of business strategy does nothing to ensure loyalty or repeat business. In my opinion, business owners who do not provide great customer service either do not see its value, do not have the funds to support it or are simply missing its profit potential. ... Continued.


Legislation looks to curb stolen metal trade

Metal thieves in Florida have hit homes, businesses, churches, construction sites, utilities, telephone companies and storage lots. They've ripped out copper wiring, dismantled air conditioning units and illegally scrapped manhole covers, stop signs, interstate guardrails, park benches, railroad ties and chain-link fences. Now there may soon be a new weapon in the battle against the surging metal thefts: Legislation. Two bills awaiting Gov. Rick Scott's signature would make it harder for people to sell stolen metals to recyclers, stopping a crime that can mean huge losses for property owners, advocates say. More at the Tampa Bay Times.

Read the bills:
» HB 885: Transactions by Secondhand Dealers and Secondary Metals Recyclers

» SB 540: Secondhand Dealers and Secondary Metals Recyclers


Environmental Trend

Fire ant colonies seem to be down dramatically

Here's some good news to close out today's update:
Fire antThe red imported ant, one of the most horrifying of the foreign species that have established themselves in the United States, appears to be in retreat. Pest control companies in South Florida report fewer calls and scientists say the number of colonies has dropped sharply. It's a rare piece of good news for a region of Florida that has seen infestations of Burmese pythons, Muscovy ducks and feral hogs. Scientists say the evidence so far is compelling but anecdotal, so over the next two months, U.S. Department of Agriculture scientists will be crisscrossing the state to inspect the number and size of mounds. Read more at the South Florida Sun Sentinel.

» Related, from UF news: UF studies show promise for biological control methods against insects

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Florida Trend Video Pick

Balloon sculpture at Museum of Fine Arts will blow you away
Balloon sculpture at Museum of Fine Arts will blow you away

If you've ever been impressed by a balloon animal, prepare to be blown away by a new art exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg made up entirely of balloons.

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