Thursday's Daily Pulse
What you need to know about Florida today
The Apollo 11 story told through the eyes of the Florida men and women who made it happen
Apollo 11’s launch was Florida’s moment in mankind’s greatest adventure. Astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin Jr. became the first men to walk on the moon. Five decades later, it remains a defining event for those who played a part in the mission or witnessed history unfold. An estimated 1 million people flocked to Cape Canaveral to see the launch. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]
Florida Trend Related Content:
Morgan told Florida Trend in 2018: "The Apollo 11 launch was the first launch that I stayed in the firing room all the way through liftoff. I had moments when I felt like a goldfish in a bowl, even though I was surrounded by people. It was 500 men and me."
As seas rise, Florida will likely lose more coastal property value than any other state
Long before rising seas permanently swamp homes, millions of Americans living in coastal communities will likely face more frequent and disruptive high-tide flooding — and the effects will ripple through the local economy. Florida municipalities could take a large hit to their property tax revenue as soon as 2045, the report says. By that year, about 64,000 of today’s Florida houses — currently home to more than 100,000 people — are at risk of chronic inundation. [Source: WUFT]
‘Hell, now the stuff is almost legal.’ Florida’s pot smugglers profit from weed — again
Florida's drug runners from the 1970s and 1980s have hit on one last way to make money from pot — and that’s by talking about it. They can do that now, with time served or statutes of limitations run out, and there’s an audience out there who will pay to hear them. They’ve become TV consultants, authors, documentary film subjects and sought-after speakers. In places like the Florida Keys, the once-untold stories of mother ships, midnight beach landings and radar sabotage are now the subject of sold-out historical talks over dinner. [Source: Miami Herald]
Commentary: Florida leads next generation of transportation technology
Makers of autonomous and connected vehicles are building and testing the next generation of cars that will transform transportation here in America — and around the world. Gov. Ron DeSantis’ recent signing of HB 311 will help elevate Florida’s prominence as a leader in this technology, encouraging multi-national companies to test their products here in the Sunshine State. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]
Florida continues fight with environmentalists over conservation spending
Florida lawmakers defied a voter-approved constitutional amendment by improperly diverting money intended for land buying and maintenance to cover agency expenses and salaries, attorneys for environmentalists told a three-judge panel at the 1st District Court of Appeal Tuesday. But lawyers representing the state argued that the environmental groups are trying to impose restrictions on spending that doesn’t exist in the constitutional amendment voters overwhelmingly approved in 2014. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› Lakeland Electric to consider rate hike
Lakeland Electric’s yearly revenue is up, but unfortunately the utility’s power costs are increasing faster. The utility is projecting that its revenue will increase next fiscal year by approximately 1%, or $2.2 million. However, its operation and maintenance costs, not including fuel, are anticipated to rise by $4.6 million in 2020 — more than double its projected revenue growth.
› In the flow: Florida co-working firm aims high with new concept
Lack of new office space plus a booming economy has added up to a co-working craze in the Tampa Bay area. Station House, The Ring, WeWork and Industrious are just some of the co-work entities that have jumped into the race to provide space to both businesses flocking to the region and firms already here who have outgrown abodes. Pipeline, based in Miami, is one of the region's newest entries.
› Orlando's economy is expected to keep growing in 2019 — but some areas will see a slowdown
Bolstered by population growth at a rate that far outpaces most cities in the nation, Orlando’s economy is expected to forge ahead in 2019 with continued diversification. Make no mistake, tourism has and will continue to be a central driving force behind Orlando’s growth, but economists predict the new year will also likely bring further growth in other sectors, too.
› Scientists release small insects to rid South Florida of Brazilian peppertree
The Brazilian peppertree is a non-native plant now found in Florida that's already invaded some 75,000 acres of land across the Everglades. But rather than using pesticides to eradicate them, scientists are now relying on tiny bugs that could have a huge impact.
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