FloridaTrend.com, the Website for Florida Business

Friday's Afternoon Update

Florida among the national leaders in the home re-fi boom

Florida is among the nation's leaders in the refinancing boom. The number of Floridians applying to snag a lower interest rate on their home jumped 152 percent in July, compared to the same period last year, a national survey found. Only Nevada and Michigan had a higher rate of increase of homeowners trying to refinance homes while interest rates are at historic lows, according to the survey by the Mortgage Bankers Association. [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]

Purple State: Florida's Significance in the 2012 Presidential Election


USF Political Science Professor Dr. Susan MacManus took your questions on Florida's role in the 2012 political cycle, what the RNC Convention in Tampa means for the state and more.

» Read transcript

Cities avoid the pension obligation bet

Many of America's states, cities and counties may have massively under-funded public pension funds - but they are avoiding piling on risk by shunning bonds that could finance such shortfalls. The drop in pension bond deals shows fewer municipal governments are being reckless by mortgaging their employee pension funds and opening their finances to additional risk. [Source: Economic Times]

Star Wars fans gather in force for Celebration VI in Orlando

The biggest “Star Wars” party this side of the galaxy continues this weekend in a city not far, far away. “Star Wars” fans young and old are in for a real treat as Star Wars Celebration VI returns to the Orlando Convention Center. Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Seth Green, Dave Filoni and Kevin Smith are among the guests, along with the many fans emulating C-3PO, storm troopers, Darth Vader, Princess Leia and Han Solo. Read more from Florida Today and see the Star Wars Celebration VI official site.

» FRIDAY PREVIEW: Coming next week to FloridaTrend.com:

  • The Amendments: Florida's Legislature has packed the November ballot with 11 proposed amendments dealing with everything from taxes to abortion.
  • Safety Net: Jacksonville's Mayport Naval Station has seen its ups and downs over the past 25 years but the future is starting to brighten for the station and surrounding businesses.
  • Business Profile: Making the Olympic Games coverage run on time proved fruitful for Hollywood-based ScheduALL.

» You'll find all these stories first on the Daily and Afternoon Pulse e-mails.

Convention Coverage

Florida Trend is at the Republican National Convention. Official events begin Monday but this parties and events have already begun. 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.

» To keep track of these and other events slated for next week’s Republican National Convention in Tampa, go to politicalpartytime.org, a project of the non-partisan Sunlight Foundation.