December 4, 2020

Friday's Daily Pulse

What you need to know about Florida today

| 11/20/2020

Hurricane season 2020 has nothing on Florida’s deadliest, costliest landfalls

The 2020 hurricane season is surging through records at a pace storm meteorologists have never seen before, but with 30 named storms Florida has managed stay mostly out of hurricane mayhem. Tropical Storm Eta made landfall twice in Florida in less than a week and brought severe flooding to South Florida and the Tampa area. But outside of that, Florida has skirted by any other direct landfalls. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]

Waiting game continues for Florida ports

Long-sought federal assistance for the state’s seaports might have to wait until next year as Congress remains unable to reach a deal on COVID-19 aid, a top lobbyist for the industry said this week. Florida Ports Council President and CEO Doug Wheeler, who has been working with the state’s congressional delegation since spring on including ports in federal economic-stimulus efforts, said Tuesday he doesn’t anticipate any new relief until the installation of the next Congress in January. [Source: News Service of Florida]

Florida looks at a winter without Canadians

In Florida, this is the time of year for "snowbirds," people who flock south when the weather turns cold up north. Many own homes or condos. Others rent or come with their own RV's. But with COVID-19, this year, some of Florida's most faithful seasonal visitors — Canadians — are staying home. Land crossings at the border between the U.S. and Canada have been prohibited since March to contain spread of the coronavirus. The closure means that tens of thousands of Canadians who usually drive south this time of year, can't. [Source: NPR]

State won’t talk about the investigation DeSantis ordered 6 months ago into woeful unemployment system

In May, Gov. Ron DeSantis ordered a state investigation into what went wrong with Florida’s $77 million unemployment compensation system. The following month, two top U.S. senators called for a federal probe into Florida’s “uniquely poor” handling of the millions of workers who lost their jobs because of the pandemic. Six months later, the state’s Chief Inspector General Melinda Miguel said an investigation is “open and active,” but she would not give any details about it. And it’s unclear if a federal probe has begun. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]

If you’re a millennial in South Florida, you’re probably not making much money

A recent study found that Florida is the worst-paying state for millennials in the country. The study by HireAHelper used Census and Bureau of Economic Analysis data to rank states based on median income for millennials working full time. Incomes were adjusted based on the cost-of-living at each location. While Florida’s cost-of-living is about the same as the national average, millennials in the state earned an adjusted median income of $34,990 – the lowest in the country. [Source: Miami Herald]


› Duval County hotels continue to recover from pandemic
The hotel business in Duval County continues to recover from the effects of COVID-19 on business, group and leisure travel. The Westside hotels reported the best performance in October for occupancy, followed by the Beach hotels. The Westside properties also have seen the lowest percentage of revenue per room loss, followed by the Beaches hotels.

› Tampa General one of Florida’s first hospitals to receive coronavirus vaccine
Tampa General will be one of the first hospitals in Florida to receive the coronavirus vaccine, a spokesman confirmed Thursday. The hospital did not immediately release any additional information, but news reports suggest it will be one of five hospitals throughout the state to begin receiving shipments next month.

› Sea turtles see robust nesting season with surprises
While the official sea turtle nesting season is over for 2020, the work that scientists and volunteers do to protect these endangered creatures doesn’t stop just because the mother turtles aren’t currently coming ashore. Statistics from the season continue to be tabulated while analysis takes place to make sense of the data.

› PortMiami cargo keeps head above water in downturn
Sea cargo to and from Miami-Dade has dipped only slightly despite the coronavirus, according to PortMiami Director Juan Kuryla, who said he expects improvement through year’s end. “Year over year and year-end fiscal 2020 … we were only 4.8% down,” he said. “That is a significant achievement considering the economic condition worldwide and considering some countries have not yet totally opened.”

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