July 15, 2019

Tuesday's Afternoon Update

What You Need to Know About Florida Today

Will Short Gorham | 4/19/2011

Florida won't join oil spill lawsuit against Transocean

Florida will not join the federal lawsuit against Transocean, the operator of the Deepwater Horizon rig that exploded a year ago, and will instead file a claim against BP, Gov. Rick Scott said Tuesday. "It doesn't make sense for the state to join that lawsuit," Scott said after touring a shipyard in Panama City Tuesday morning. "We have a plan to make sure our state is treated fairly with regard to getting reimbursed by British Petroleum for the damages to our state." Scott said that he would prefer to reach a settlement agreement with BP and that avoiding litigation "would be utopia." He is spending Tuesday and Wednesday in the Panhandle touring the oil-damaged region on the anniversary of the oil spill. Carlos Muñiz, deputy attorney general, told reporters in a briefing Tuesday that the goal of the governor and Attorney General Pam Bondi is to use the Oil Pollution Act to obtain damages from BP and its partners, Transocean and Halliburton, but will not join the multidistrict lawsuit against Transocean in a New Orleans federal court, which has a filing deadline of Wednesday. "The litigation that's the subject of a deadline tomorrow has absolutely nothing to do with compensating Florida and its taxpayers for the economic harm that they have suffered as a result of the oil spill,'' Muñiz said. After the deadline, "we will still have every legal right that's relevant to compensating the taxpayers that we have today.' [Source: Times/Herald]



Meet Deborah Linton, Executive Director, The Arc of Florida. With chapters from the Panhandle to South Florida and on the west and east coasts, The Arc of Florida advocates for people with disabilities across the state.

» The Arc of Florida

Florida Grand Opera billboard uses QR code

Is it a printing error? A pixilated maze? One of those puzzles where you have to cross your eyes to see the hidden image? Two-dimensional matrix bar codes are expanding into the mainstream. You can find them in magazine and newspaper ads and in stores including Best Buy, Lowe's, Gap and Macy's. They're even showing up on television: Jimmy Fallon recently flashed a black and white code on his Late Night show to plug a featured band. The codes are designed to tell smartphones to do something: open a website, play a video, show a map, add a contact, text a friend. But in order to make them work, you need the right code-scanning app. These codes have been widely used in Japan for several years, but U.S. companies are just beginning to test them. Today, the Miami area gets its first billboard featuring a QR code. The Florida Grand Opera's code takes smartphone users to a website for buying tickets to the show. Read more from the Miami Herald and the Digital Dish blog.

President of CompUSA, TigerDirect fired

The chief executive of Miami's CompUSA and TigerDirect is being fired following an investigation of an anonymous whistleblower complaint. The news of Gilbert Fiorentino's departure was announced Monday by Systemax, the parent company of both CompUSA and TigerDirect. Fiorentino, who also served as chief executive of Systemax's Technology Products Group and a director of the publicly traded parent company, was placed immediately on administrative leave as the company began steps to terminate his employment. The actions came after the conclusion of an independent investigation of the unspecified whistleblower allegations focusing on the company's Miami operations. Fiorentino, founded TigerDirect in 1987 in Miami with his brother and a partner as a catalog company that later morphed into one of the early internet retailers. [Source: Miami Herald]

COLUMN: Love can lift a city's fortunes

What if economic development groups spent as much time and energy recruiting creative and committed individuals — people who love cities, people who make things happen — as they do trying to relocate corporations? This may sound like heresy to business traditionalists, but it is the crux of a new book by St. Petersburg creative activist Peter Kageyama. Cities that can lure or nurture more super-committed people will prosper more than those just wooing new business, argues Kageyama, 46, in his self-published For the Love of Cities: The Love Affair Between People and Their Places. "Incredible things ... can happen when more of us fall in love with our cities," writes Kageyama, who, by the definitions in his own book, clearly loves St. Petersburg. Now "love" and "economic development" are words not found often in the same sentence. That's a mistake, this author suggests. Emotional engagement can be a powerful tool for cities. [Source: St. Petersburg Times]

Earbud innovator starts over in Apopka

In 1995, sound engineer Jerry Harvey started his first tour with the rock band Van Halen. He had been mixing sound for St. Louis rock bands playing small gigs in that city's bars since he was 16, but his big break had come in 1986, after a chance meeting with David Lee Roth led to his first big-arena tour. But the 1995 Van Halen tour was different for Harvey, for that's when he made his first set of earbuds — the first in-ear monitors with both high and low outputs in each ear — in the back of a tour bus, using parts intended for hearing aids and pacemakers. Those earbuds, first made for drummer Alex Van Halen, spawned Ultimate Ears, still the industry leader in customized earbuds for performing artists and audiophiles. But now Ultimate Ears has a competitor: Apopka-based JH Audio, which manufactured and sold about 3,000 customized earbuds last year to customers that include recording and performing artists such as T-Pain, Lady Gaga and Alicia Keys. One catch: JH Audio's full company name is Jerry Harvey Audio LLC. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]

Moving On
liberty tax Liberty dancers now off the clock
Starting today, those dancing Statues of Liberty you see as part of a tax-service chain's publicity campaign will be taking off their green smocks and foam crowns and calling it a season. It hasn't been bad work, several of them said, with pay of up to $10 an hour for dressing up like Lady Liberty and waving and dancing to get customers to consider having their taxes prepared at Liberty Tax Service. But after midnight Monday, the demand evaporated, so the supply will follow suit. Read more from Florida Today.

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Florida Trend Video Pick

16-Foot Python Caught in the Florida Everglades
16-Foot Python Caught in the Florida Everglades

A near-record 16-foot Burmese python, along with more than 50 eggs, were removed from under a house in the Florida Everglades earlier this month. 

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