Immigration — a tough issue for state Republican leaders to navigate — is surging to the forefront in Florida again. The latest triggers for turmoil are U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio’s efforts to push an immigration overhaul bill through the Senate in the next few weeks and Gov. Rick Scott’s recent veto of a bill that would have allowed children of illegal immigrants to obtain a driver’s license. [Source: Sarasota Herald-Tribune]
UM President Donna Shalala
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In pursuit of a world-class reputation under President Donna Shalala, the University of Miami in the last decade joined other Florida universities — and indeed, the state itself — in betting big on the life sciences. UM had to restructure its huge investment in health care and life sciences but makes no apologies for its ambitions. Full story...
n the second half of 2013, the rich will rein in their spending on material things and seek out experiences that may garner more satisfaction, according to a Luxury Institute survey. “People are less interested in watches and more interested in building lasting memories,” said Milton Pedraza, chief executive of the Luxury Institute. “Even among the wealthiest customers, luxury goods and services are considered less important in today’s economy.” [Source: LA Times]
The American dream of owning a home is slowly fading across the country, as a growing demographic of young families opts to rent either out of necessity or by choice to avoid the headache of a mortgage. [Source: Sarasota Herald-Tribune]
Two of Florida's established universities are being officially designated as the state's preeminent research universities. The decision not only brings a bit of extra prestige, but it also means millions in additional money from the Florida Legislature. [Source: AP]
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› Hollywood, Florida: A global tourist destination? [Miami Herald]
“Tule Hollywood!” “Pøijïte do Hollywoodu!” Hollywood’a gel! From Finland to the Czech Republic to Turkey, that’s the message — “Come to Hollywood!” — being promoted on in-flight videos and hotel TV programming. Music Voyager spent six days filming Hollywood’s — our Hollywood — hotspots.
› St. Petersburg Pier items — both fab and drab — go on auction block [Tampa Bay Times]
The items range from artistic (blown glass fish) to kitschy (the dolphin boat tiki hut) to garage-sale- quality items (crusty pots and pans from the Columbia Restaurant). For those wanting to buy a slice of St. Petersburg's iconic Pier, this is your chance.
› Hertz hunting: Guessing game for headquarters a hot topic in real estate [Fort Myers News-Press]
It’s the guessing game of the moment in commercial real estate circles in Southwest Florida: Where will Hertz set up shop in temporary quarters while it builds its new corporate headquarters in Estero? Hertz isn’t saying just yet.
› Garda to further expand in Boca Raton [South Florida Sun-Sentinel]
Garda, a Canadian company that moved its U.S. headquarters to Boca Raton, expects to employ 200 at its Boca Raton office by year-end and in two years will look for space to expand and create an educational campus for its workers.
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› Board of Governors re-appoint five Florida Polytechnic University trustees [WTSP]
The Florida Board of Governors (BOG) approved a recommendation by its Nominating and Development Committee to reappoint five members of Florida Polytechnic University's charter Board of Trustees.
› Hire only licensed workers for repairs after storm [South Florida Sun-Sentinel]
As clean-up after Tropical Storm Andrea begins, the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation reminds consumers to hire only licensed professionals for repairs.
› Building SeaWorld's souvenir empire, one plush penguin at a time [Orlando Sentinel]
Jane Tebbe-Shemelya is vice president of merchandise for SeaWorld Entertainment Inc., in charge of strategic direction, planning and merchandise operations for 11 theme parks and more than 200 retail locations. She led the development of new product lines for sale inside SeaWorld Orlando's new Antarctica land.
› Miami area ranks low for share of STEM jobs [Miami Herald]
South Florida — with a higher unemployment rate, lower median household income and far fewer patents per capita than the nation as a whole — also trails in the share of STEM jobs.
» Related: Orlando ranks low in science, tech, engineering, math jobs