Monday's Daily Pulse
What you need to know about Florida today
With gentle pushback, businesses want Florida to let them choose their vaccine rules
As Gov. Ron DeSantis calls legislators into special session next month, the quiet pushback of the powerful business industry is already being felt. Although the governor may have declared war on employer vaccine mandates, he has also carefully steered clear of any talk that he will ask legislators to outlaw the practice by private employers, as Texas lawmakers tried and failed to do this month when faced with business opposition in that state. More from the Miami Herald and the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
Florida is ditching palm trees to fight the climate crisis
When you think of Florida, beaches and palm trees come to mind. But what if those palm trees were slowly replaced with other trees? That could happen over time because of climate change, and communities in South Florida are trying to save the world from the climate crisis, one tree at a time. "Palm trees do not sequester carbon at the same rate as our native canopy trees and do not provide shade, cool down streets and sidewalks to help counter the urban heat island effect that canopy trees do," said Penni Redford, the Resilience and Climate Change Manager for West Palm Beach. [Source: CNN]
Feds step up prosecutions of money laundering cases in South Florida
After a slowdown during the coronavirus pandemic, federal authorities in South Florida are accelerating their crackdown on foreign corruption in Venezuela’s government and the diversion of hundreds of millions of dollars into the U.S. banking system. The latest target: Colombian businessman Alvaro Pulido Vargas, who has been charged in two massive money-laundering conspiracy cases accusing him of bribing high-ranking Venezuelan officials in exchange for billions of dollars in food-, medicine- and housing-supply contracts that were supposed to help the country’s poor, according to federal prosecutors in Miami. [Source: Tribune News Service]
Editorial: On insurance, it’s time for Florida to try something new
Florida’s state-run property insurer of last resort faces a crisis. What else is new? Florida has no helpful ideas for this crisis. What else is new? In fact, Florida has no helpful ideas for the wider crisis of rising property insurance rates by all companies. What else is new? Florida’s property insurance market has not been normal since 1992, when Hurricane Andrew tore through southern Miami-Dade County. Companies such as Allstate and State Farm, which had competed for business by cutting premiums, shed hundreds of thousands of policies. Since then, governors of both parties and state legislators have done favors for the insurance industry. [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]
Can Florida quit OSHA over vaccines?
Hours after Thursday’s unexpected request by Gov. Ron DeSantis for lawmakers to return to Tallahassee and pass laws against vaccine mandates, Florida’s top GOP legislators had a surprise of their own. Florida should remove itself from the direct federal oversight of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, they said. Instead of submitting directly to federal regulations, Florida would create its own workforce safety program — an idea that could cost millions and make the state the first to withdraw from direct Occupational Safety and Health Administration oversight in nearly 40 years. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]
A new era in education | Changing times call for flexibility, new priorities
Forces within and outside higher education are converging to create a consensus that is long overdue: four-year degree programs are just one of many viable educational pathways for postsecondary students. We are experiencing a shift toward “micro-credentials,” a recognition that the traditional degree —which front-loads education into a single years-long block that we expect to last a lifetime — may not work for everyone. At the same time, vital industries from manufacturing to healthcare are experiencing remarkable shortages of trained labor. [Sponsored report]
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› Raymond James Financial acquiring TriState Capital in $1.1 billion deal
Raymond James Financial has announced plans to acquire Pittsburgh holding bank TriState Capital Holdings in a deal worth $1.1 billion. The St. Petersburg wealth management firm announced late Wednesday that it will pay TriState common stock shareholders the equivalent of $31.09 per share in cash and Raymond James stock.
› Central Florida distillers struggle to get glass bottles for their spirits
Halloween spirits aren’t the only thing haunting distillers this October. For several weeks, many of them have been dealing with how to get their spirits out to customers with another challenge of the pandemic: glass bottles. The COVID-related difficulties forced some, like Ron Folino, the owner of Cape Canaveral-based Oceanside Distillery, to get creative in order to keep things going.
› New airline to offer discount flights from Fort Lauderdale to Paris, London and Oslo
From Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, is anyone up for a trip to London, Paris or Oslo? Norse Atlantic Airways, a newly formed discount airline from Norway, says it will take you to any of those three European capitals starting next year. The airline also announced Thursday at the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance’s annual dinner that it will set up its U.S. headquarters at Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport, in the city’s uptown district.
› Actually, the Cuban sandwich was not ‘invented’ in Tampa, says historian
For a while, historian Andy Huse was the go-to guy for reporters looking for a quote about Tampa’s Cuban sandwiches. He fielded calls from The Wall Street Journal, Saveur and others. The resulting articles often repeated a tale you’ve likely heard, that the Cuban sandwich sprang forth from Tampa’s Ybor City before the turn of the 20th century. That it was popularized as a cheap, portable snack for immigrant laborers.
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