December 4, 2020

Tuesday's Daily Pulse

What you need to know about Florida today

| 10/27/2020

As South Florida’s housing market booms, signs of a slowdown have agents worried about a bursting bubble

The housing market in South Florida has been booming for much of 2020 — sparked by low interest rates, high demand and low inventory — but real estate experts say they consider the trend a bubble that probably won’t last. Single-family homes have been spinning on and off the market at a fast pace, with many sellers getting offers above asking price from buyers who are taking advantage of historically low interest rates, real estate agents say. [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]

Zeta becomes a hurricane as it nears Yucatan, heading for U.S.

Zeta intensified into a Category 1 hurricane Monday afternoon in the Caribbean while drumming closer to the Yucatán Peninsula where the storm is forecast to make landfall later Monday. The National Hurricane Center reported the change in storm status in a special 3:10 p.m. update. Zeta’s projections show a possible path toward the southern part of the United States later this week as a tropical storm. There’s also a chance it could impact Florida’s panhandle More from the Orlando Sentinel and the Tampa Bay Times.

Independent restaurants go dark to keep the lights on

Never before have the lights gone out at so many independent restaurants in such a short amount of time. But there may be opportunity for some to bring their kitchens back to life — in the dark. There's no question that more restaurants big and small are embracing dark kitchens amid the pandemic. The number of eateries using these concepts grew from 15% pre-pandemic to 51% in May, according to Technomic data. But while major chains are entering the space to open up another revenue stream or expand into new markets at a reduced cost, plenty of small operators are turning to ghost kitchens just to survive. [Source: Restaurant Dive]

Central Florida immigrant workers in tourism industry grapple with TPS loss, expected layoffs

For tens of thousands of immigrants who live in Florida under a special status that President Donald Trump’s administration is trying to revoke, the high-stakes election is coinciding with a pandemic that has already threatened life as they know it. More than 400,000 immigrants across the U.S. are enrolled in the TPS program, including 45,000 in Florida. Thousands of TPS holders like Osorio Hanzman work for hotels and theme parks and it’s unclear how many have already lost their jobs in the mass layoffs that have rippled through the tourism industry. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]

Florida cattle ranchers face competition from foreign beef sources

According to state of Florida archives, the state has the longest history of ranching in the United States. Florida’s first cows were brought by Spanish explorers Juan Ponce de Leon in 1521 and Don Diego de Maldonado in 1540. Long after Ponce de Leon left, the cows remained, growing wild in the Florida scrub. Today, Florida has 15,000 working ranches, according to the Florida Beef Council. The USDA shows the number of ranches increasing from 15,717 in 2002 to almost 18,500 today. [Source: Lakeland Ledger]

ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:

› Tupperware shoots for the stars with a device meant to grow vegetables in space
Tupperware Brands is looking beyond the kitchen by going to space. The Osceola County-based company known for its plastic containers has been awarded a patent for a device intended to grow vegetables in low Earth orbit. A partnership with NASA and research and manufacturing company Techshot, the device is called the Passive Orbital Nutrient Delivery System, or PONDS.

› Former Citigroup, IBM execs join Naples software firm’s board
Digital software firm ACI Worldwide ha named a pair of new independent directors: Charles “Charlie” Bobrinskoy and Didier Lamouche. Bobrinskoy is vice chairman and the head of investment group/portfolio manager of Ariel Investments LLC, an investment firm with over $13 billion in assets under management, according to a statement.

› After emails are lost, U.S. Army Corps extends public comment on fish farm off Sarasota
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced that it will extend its public notice and comment period on a construction permit for the first finfish farm ever authorized in federal waters. The comment deadline, originally set for Nov. 4, was extended because the agency's email was not working, and comments previously submitted were not received. The new deadline is Nov. 19.

› Tampa Bay Water board places leader on administrative leave
The Tampa Bay Water board has placed the organization’s general manager on administrative leave and ordered an investigation into his performance as it decides whether to fire him. General Manager Matt Jordan was the subject of an anonymous letter from “proud supporters of Tampa Bay Water and its mission” this summer that alleged poor leadership, sexism and low morale in the region’s main drinking water supplier.

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