» First in a series on higher ed: Are Florida's universities overadministered? [Photo: UF]
Today we begin our examination of higher education in Florida with a look at education costs, the new influence of community colleges and a by-the-numbers look at teacher vs. administrator ratios.
Home sales are hot. Prices are climbing. Supplies are increasingly tight. All these positive signs for the housing market are nice, but many wonder the same thing: Is this a new bubble, or what? More from the Tampa Bay Times and the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.
Maybe it was more confidence that the economy is improving or the record-setting growth in the stock market, but gold started taking it on the chin several weeks ago, with some questioning if the love affair with the metal is starting to cool. More from Florida Today and the Miami Herald.
With the official start to summer just two weeks away, retailers that cater to the boating, fishing and watersports lifestyle are starting to see increased foot traffic as South Floridians gear up for fun time outdoors. Many stores are also offering deals and discounts on watersports and beach-related merchandise to entice shoppers through their doors early. [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]
Gov. Rick Scott's latest tactic to attract jobs is to brag about Florida as much as possible while criticizing other states — whose governors don't appreciate it one bit. What Scott considers savvy salesmanship, other governors see as a crass publicity stunt with partisan overtones. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› No more summertime blues for First Coast tourism [Florida Times-Union]
Summer isn’t a lazy, slow time for touting tourism in Northeast Florida: Tourism experts say they can’t ignore the economic impact that can be reaped from visitors during the hottest time of year and are increasing their marketing efforts to draw more visitors during the summer than ever before.
› Port Canaveral kicks up effort to lure cargo biz [Florida Today]
While Port Canaveral is the world’s second-busiest cruise port behind the Port of Miami, it is under the radar as far as cargo ports go. The port’s interim chief executive officer, John Walsh, and his cargo team are trying to change that.
› NBA Finals more global than ever this year [South Florida Sun-Sentinel]
It's not just Miami Heat fans in South Florida fans who are wild about this year's National Basketball Association Finals. The 2013 championship games are the most global ever, thanks to a record number of players from outside the U.S. and unprecedented media reach to 215 countries and territories in 47 languages, NBA officials say.
› Florida Grapefruit Exports to Japan Shrinking [Lakeland Ledger]
Florida growers have faced declining U.S. sales of fresh grapefruit for the past two decades, but they usually found solace and profits in a healthy export market, particularly to Japan. No longer.
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› Miami-Dade’s gifted student population is booming [Miami Herald]
In the last decade, Miami-Dade has experienced a remarkable boom in its gifted population, much of it by design. The number of such kids has increased by more than 50 percent since 2003, to the point where more than 10 percent are now labeled gifted.
› Hidden 'resort fee' pops up on ever more hotel bills [Orlando Sentinel]
So you finally grasp the fees many airlines charge for things such as extra suitcases and added legroom? Well, before you fly off on vacation this summer, be aware there's at least one more surcharge many travelers face once they reach their destination: the hotel "resort fee."
› UCF fundraiser rakes in record during 50th anniversary bash [Orlando Sentinel]
The University of Central Florida's CFE arena was transformed into a glittery, gold-and-black venue Saturday night for the university's 50th birthday bash. The event raised about $350,000, which the state's first-generation grant program matched to make a total of roughly $700,000 for first-generation student scholarships.
› Peoples' perception of cruise vacations lowered after recent incidents [Miami Herald]
The cruise industry, which took a blow earlier this year after fire knocked out power to the Carnival Triumph for several days in February, is still taking a hit to its reputation.
» Cruise ship crime stats aren't smooth sailing
» Who's working on the ships you're sailing aboard?