October 24, 2020

Thursday's Daily Pulse

What you need to know about Florida today

| 10/1/2020

Without state coronavirus rules, businesses left to decide what is safe

Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a sweeping order that lifted all state restrictions on businesses, including provisions that let some restaurants have full dining rooms again. It also gutted the ability of municipalities to penalize people who violate social-distancing guidelines. Now, DeSantis' order appears to be creating a rift through Florida’s hospitality industry, which is one of the state’s biggest economic engines. Some restaurant and bar owners are eager to press forward, while others remain more cautious about operating at full capacity amid a pandemic. More from the Tampa Bay Times and the Miami Herald.

Thousands of Florida ballots may not be counted until after election night (and that’s okay)

A mail voting surge in Florida — a must-win battleground state for President Donald Trump — could lead to tense days after the Nov. 3 election, during which thousands of ballots may remain uncounted and the outcome of the presidential race unknown. And that’s okay. While Election Day is often treated like the Super Bowl, as if the winner will certainly emerge before bedtime, Florida law gives local elections officials several days to submit unofficial results. More from the Tampa Bay Times and the Miami Herald.

Hertz CFO resigns six weeks after getting the job, loses bonus

Eric Esper has resigned as CFO of Hertz Global Holdings — six weeks after being promoted to the position at the car rental giant, working its way through bankruptcy. He will be replaced by Hertz financial executive Kenny Cheung, according to a statement. Both Cheung and Esper joined the firm in 2018 and both were promoted Aug. 16, after CFO Jamere Jackson resigned. Esper will remain with the firm until Nov. 1, the release states, to assist Cheung with the transition. [Source: Business Observer]

When cruises resume, here's how it will be a very different experience for passengers

Cruise ship passengers will see a host of changes to their vacation experience when cruising resumes — from boarding to departure and everything in between, including on shore excursions. The cruise experience is "going to be much more structured and regimented" after cruise lines get the go-ahead to resume operations, Port Canaveral Chief Executive Officer John Murray said. But, he added, a cruise still can be enjoyable for passengers. [Source: Florida Today]

Florida hotels look to Congress amid job losses

Nearly 40 percent of hotel workers in Florida have lost their jobs because of the coronavirus pandemic, and industry lobbyists warn that could reach 70 percent this winter without further assistance from Congress. State and national hotel industry representatives said in a conference call Tuesday that a second round of federal assistance is needed, even if it’s just freeing up unused money from what are known as the Paycheck Protection Program and the Main Street Lending Program. [Source: CBS 12]


› Tampa Bay co-working spaces rebound as many tire of the home office
It might not look the same as pre-pandemic days: There are no groups cluttered together, anyone walking about is in a mask, the hand sanitizer is plentiful, and the air smells of Lysol. But in 2020, these co-working spaces might be the closest to the pre-pandemic work life anyone can get.

› Group targets Darden for paying tipped minimum wage, alleging it causes discrimination
An activist organization has filed an EEOC complaint against Orlando-based Darden Restaurants that argues the federally permitted minimum wage for tipped employees leads to discrimination against people of color and women. A statement from Darden — which has more than 1,800 restaurants including Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse and other chains — said the company believes the allegations are “baseless.”

› Florida prisons, among nation’s deadliest, didn’t like ‘demanding’ watchdog. He’s gone
The inspector general for Florida’s Department of Corrections, the official in charge of rooting out brutality and corruption in one of the nation’s deadliest prison systems, has been replaced. Inspector General Lester Fernandez, on the job since June 6, 2016, had rubbed people in high-ranking positions the wrong way.

› Restaurants can open at full capacity in Fort Lauderdale; masks still required
Restaurants in Fort Lauderdale will now be allowed to fill all of their tables, as long as they keep them 6 feet apart and people wear masks. Those are the rules Mayor Dean Trantalis put into effect Wednesday, after the governor ordered counties to open restaurants to 100% capacity unless they can document a good reason not to.

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Florida Trend Video Pick

Rare, two-headed snake found in Palm Harbor home
Rare, two-headed snake found in Palm Harbor home

A family in Palm Harbor recently found a rare creature in their home – a two-headed snake. FWC researchers said the phenomenon is named bicephaly – an uncommon occurrence that happens during snake embryo development. When two monozygotic twins fail to separate, it leaves the heads conjoined onto a single body.

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