Wednesday's Afternoon Update
What you need to know about Florida today
Consumer confidence rebounds in Florida and nationwide
Consumer confidence rallied in Florida this month, but it remains well below pre-coronavirus levels. Consumers, whose spending drives the state economy, showed more optimism about future economic conditions and whether now is a good time to buy a big-ticket item, according to the University of Florida’s Consumer Sentiment Index for September. The index had declined the previous two months, with consumers in August expressing a level of pessimism about their financial situations that hit a 6½-year low. More from the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.
Poll: Florida minimum wage constitutional amendment poised to pass
Six proposed state constitutional amendments are on Florida’s Nov. 3 ballot, including four placed before voters through the citizen-petition process. According to a St. Pete Polls’ Sept. 21-22 statewide survey of 2,906 registered Florida voters, at least two of those four citizen initiated measures may not secure the 60% majority necessary to pass. According to St Pete Polls' survey, Amendment 2, which proposes Florida increases its minimum wage to $15 by 2026, would pass with nearly 65% of respondents agreeing to it. More from the Center Square.
28,000 Disney workers will be laid off as its theme parks struggle amid coronavirus
The Walt Disney Company announced Tuesday it would lay off about 28,000 employees in a division that includes the Florida and California theme parks, due to the impact from the novel coronavirus. Disney Parks Chairman Josh D’Amaro said the government of California is partly to blame for one of Disney’s largest layoffs in years. The impacted employees work in the Disney Parks, Experiences and Products division. More from the Miami Herald.
Residents in rural Seminole oppose plan for man-made lake for water skiing
A residential development proposed within Seminole County’s rural boundary is drawing fierce opposition from residents, not for the number of homes planned, rather because the developer wants to carve out a pit nearly 40 feet deep, fill it with water and create a water skiing attraction. East Seminole residents are calling the so-called Geneva Ski Lake project hogwash and suggested the motive behind the man-made lake is to reap fill dirt that can be sold to developers who need the dirt to stabilize foundations or change a plot’s elevation before they build. More from the Orlando Sentinel.
Famed Ocean Drive might become Ocean Walk
Pedestrians first, bicyclists and transit second, personal vehicles last is the mantra for officials looking to revamp transportation in Miami Beach’s Entertainment District. A permanently pedestrianized Ocean Drive was featured in a game plan that transportation staff presented at a city committee workshop last week. The goal of such a makeover, Transportation Director Jose Gonzalez said, is to “activate the area in a positive way to promote economic development, while maintaining the essential functions of existing businesses as well as emergency vehicle access.” More from Miami Today.
At age 79, Jensen Beach hair stylist opens Palm Beach Gardens salon
Gaetano “Guy” Izzo worked as a licensed hair stylist for 60 years and owned five salons in New Jersey for 50 years. Now at 79, when most people are well into retirement, he has opened and is operating a second Florida salon this month in Palm Beach Gardens. Getting the salon’s interior built, equipped and ready took 13 months, and the COVID-19 pandemic wasn’t going to stop him. Of course, now all the precautions against the virus are being taken, including mask-wearing, temperature-taking and sanitizing.
» More from the Palm Beach Post.
Out of the Box
There’s a giant ‘Green Banana’ off Florida’s coast, and researchers have finally gotten to the bottom of it
If you haven’t heard of the “Green Banana blue hole" you might imagine a tropical cocktail you can order in Key West, or a dessert you ordered after a night on Bourbon Street. Forget that. This Green Banana is actually a mysterious sink hole. More specifically, it’s a huge, underwater cavern off the coast of Florida that humans had never fully explored — until last month. Scientists say the Green Banana could hold clues to the formation of toxic red tides, algae blooms that are devastating to Florida’s shoreline, and the extent of the aquifer that supplies the state with most of its drinking water. Maybe even the origins of life.
» Read more from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
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