April 24, 2014

Thursday's Daily Pulse

What you need to know about Florida today.

Will Short Gorham | 3/22/2012

Housing shows signs of life

Real-estate agents and home builders from Florida to the Midwest and California are reporting more activity as buyers take advantage of prices that are down by one-third from their peak as well as low interest rates that have made housing more affordable than at any time in the last decade. Read more from the Wall Street Journal and see also:

» South Florida home prices rise as inventory falls
» Gainesville home sales improve in February
» Broward County home prices rise in February
» Palm Beach County home sales advanced in February
» Existing home sales: Foreigners are buying. What's their impact?
» Home buying much cheaper than renting


Florida Trend Exclusive
The Florida Bar steps up its diversity efforts

When Florida Bar President-elect Gwynne A. Young looks at the board of directors of the Bar's young lawyers division, she sees a group that's "extremely diverse" and "very reflective of the Bar as a whole." But when Young, who becomes the Bar's president in June, looks at other leadership committees, she doesn't see the same level of diversity. "We need to figure out how to encourage and get more diverse members to be involved and to apply for important roles in the Bar," she says. It'll be up to Arnell Bryant-Willis to help make that happen. More...


[Photo: Colin Hackley]

Arnell Bryant-Willis, 61
Diversity initiatives manager, Florida Bar

Background: Former diversity trainer and consultant at EW Bryant and Associates in Tallahassee

Bar Leadership: Served two terms on the Bar's board of governors as a non-lawyer member

Education: Master's degree in education from Florida A&M University.


UF researchers look for ways to make an emerging technology safe for environment

The percentage of electronic waste occupying our landfills has grown at an alarming rate over the last decade, giving rise to concerns about the toxicity of components used in consumer electronics. Researchers at the University of Florida are looking for ways to minimize environmental hazards associated with a material likely to play an increasingly important role in the manufacture of these goods in the future. The results of their most recent studies are published in the March 2012 issue of Nanotoxicology. [Source: UF News]


The Wall Street gold rush in foreclosed homes

Dan Magder recently gave up a top job with private equity firm Lone Star Funds to strike out on his own and become a landlord. He's joining a growing list of big and small investors who see fat profits to be made in renting out foreclosed homes, especially now the U.S. government is moving ahead with a trial project to sell big pools of single-family homes that Fannie Mae currently owns in some of the hardest-hit housing markets. [Source: Reuters]


Businesses on wheels feeling the pain of high gas prices

It’s hard to have a taco without a tortilla. But high gas prices are squeezing margins for Jefe’s Original Fish Taco and Burgers — and not only because it’s a food truck that must move to meet up with its customers. Businesses across the nation are feeling the strain, with gas prices rising to an average of $3.86 for a gallon of regular nationwide and $3.92 locally — in both cases, 32 cents from a year ago. Small, mobile businesses like dog groomers and food trucks are feeling increased pressure at the pump. [Source: Miami Herald]


ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:

› Squaremouth puts hip workplace in downtown St. Petersburg
It's like preschool, but with beer. It's like Survivor, but in an office. It's like Expedia, but for travel insurance. It's hard to describe St. Petersburg-based Squaremouth Inc. succinctly because it's different from most businesses in so many ways.

› Port Everglades starting $54 million revamp of four terminals
Port Everglades - the gateway to Florida for many cruise ship passengers- is giving four existing terminals a $54 million facelift to modernize them to better handle arrivals and departures. Terminals 2, 19, 21 and 26 -- used mainly by Carnival Corp., cruise ships -- will be gutted and upgraded with additional loading bridges, separate and larger baggage halls, revamped ground transportation areas and new or restored Florida-inspired artwork, port officials said.

› Margaritaville construction, opening dates may be revised
Site clearance for the Jimmy Buffett-themed Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort may be nudged back from March to June. The cause for delays, developer Lon Tabatchnik said, are permitting and financing hurdles.

› Workshop helps you start your own business
Want to learn how to become an entrepreneur? The Palm Beach State College Center for Business and Entrepreneurship is hosting Friday a summit for women entrepreneurs in Palm Beach County Friday, March 23, from 8 to 11:30 a.m.


Go to page 2 for more stories ...

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Water is the instrument at Florida Orchestra concerts
Water is the instrument at Florida Orchestra concerts

Florida Orchestra Percussionist John Shaw and his water basin will be center stage for the Tan Dun Water Concerto, a unique production of light and sound being performed by the Florida Orchestra.

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