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Friday's Daily Pulse

20 years after Hurricane Andrew, storm costs and ideology loom over Florida

On the 20th anniversary of what was the costliest hurricane ever, Floridians are watching another cyclone bear down on them while problems from the era of Andrew linger. Insurance premiums and other policies have left a lot of recession-racked Floridians wondering if they can afford to stay on the peninsula. [Source: TIME]

» Andrew’s unfinished business
» Scott, RNC working together as Isaac approaches
» As Isaac trends west, RNC plans proceed
» Southwest Florida officials, business owners prepare for Isaac
» Water District lowers canal levels for Tropical Storm Isaac
» Theme parks remain open but monitoring Tropical Storm Isaac
» Faces of Andrew: Where are they now?

Loss of economic momentum lingers in Florida

Florida’s tourism and financial sectors were bright spots among an otherwise disappointing unemployment report for July. The Florida economy lost some steam earlier in the year, a phenomena that was widespread across most regions. [Source: Tampa Bay Business Journal]

Medicare truths elude both sides

The barrage of negative Medicare ads and claims — known as Mediscare — is cranking up this presidential campaign. And yet Florida seniors trying to choose a candidate based on them will be lucky to hear a mostly true word. Both sides are distorting their opponent’s position, making it difficult for voters to make an informed choice. [Source: Palm Beach Post]

Florida Trend Exclusive
Florida Trend is at the GOP Convention

Florida Trend will be at the 2012 Republican National Convention next week. Check this webpage as well as our Facebook and Twitter feeds for news and coverage of the GOP's big event. Today's installment:Fundraising will be in full swing at the Republican National Convention in Tampa next week.
» Here’s a look at some events slated for prominent Florida politicos

Hurricane preparation key for Florida businesses

Hurricane preparation has become an essential part of doing business in South Florida, as companies search for high — and low-tech — solutions. Low-tech precautions are critical to business continuity, too. Even the simplest errors in hurricane preparation can undo sophisticated efforts to minimize physical, digital and financial damage to a business. [Source: Miami Herald]


› G.WIZ to close for renovations
With its money problems apparently a thing of the past, Sarasota’s popular children’s museum has launched an ambitious rebranding effort and renovation that will bring new high-tech exhibits to teach science and technology to local youth.

› Manatee County avoids patent lawsuit with $5,000 payment
An attempt by county workers to make some fire hydrant attachments on their own will cost the county $5,000 to avoid a patent lawsuit with a private firm that makes the same devices.

› NASA clears SpaceX to begin cargo deliveries to ISS
NASA has officially cleared SpaceX to begin cargo deliveries to the International Space Station under a $1.6 billion contract, Administrator Charles Bolden announced. The milestone officially marks SpaceX's graduation from the Commercial Orbital Transportation Services development program the company began in 2006.

› FPL pays above-average salaries for region
Florida Power & Light Co, said it pays above-average salaries, but those that are on par or even lower than those at comparable utilities, said FPL director of compensation Kathleen Slattery at Thursday's rate hike hearing. FPL's pay increases are "reasonable, prudent and necessary" to employ the caliber of worker to deliver top performance, Slattery said.

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› Opera Tampa converts upcoming season into Florida Opera Festival
See an opera, have some cake! That's just one of the enticements Opera Tampa has in store for its inaugural Florida Opera Festival, scheduled for January through March. For its 18th season, the opera will expand its range of events with open rehearsals, a holiday concert, opera-themed movies, a comic opera about TV chef Julia Child and more.

› Comcast moving Florida headquarters to West Palm Beach, hiring dispatchers
Cable operator Comcast Corp. will move its Florida headquarters to West Palm Beach from Sunrise as it ramps up employment. While Comcast is moving 89 sales positions to Miramar from West Palm Beach, it’s hiring 161 dispatchers in West Palm. Meanwhile, Comcast will move its Florida headquarters north as it broadens its reach in Florida.

› Microsoft donates $1.5 million to Orlando youth groups
The software giant made a $1 million software donation last week to the Junior Achievement of Central Florida at the grand opening of the Microsoft Store at The Florida Mall. The YMCA of Central Florida and Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida each received a $250,000 grant.

› South Florida hotels post better July than last year
More good news for South Florida tourism: Hotels in the area hosted more guests paying higher rates in July than a year ago, according to Smith Travel Research. Florida also expects record tourist arrivals in 2012, according to state tourism marketing agency Visit Florida.