December 8, 2023

Monday's Daily Pulse

What you need to know about Florida today

| 12/6/2021

Is that really the price? Why costs are up in Florida and what you can do about it  

Your wallet isn’t lying. Prices are up in Florida for just about everything: housing, gas, groceries, home repairs. And we’re especially feeling the pinch during the holiday season. It’s tough to splurge on gifts when your gas tank is draining your budget. Why have costs soared?  Too much money is being pumped into the economy, and suppliers can’t keep up with demand. [Source: Miami Herald]

Florida conservation movement takes flight, boosting support for panthers, wild places

Florida’s nature has been ailing since its old-growth forests were cut down a century ago. Not all is lost. The past half-century has seen scores of victories in the 800 miles between Key West and Pensacola. Among them, Picayune Strand State Forest, a cypress wonderland near Naples, rose from herculean assembly of land-scam lots. Allen David Broussard Catfish Creek Preserve State Park in Polk County saved ancient, exquisite, desert-like terrain. Wekiwa Springs State Park, in Orlando’s shadow, supports a high density of bears. The Panhandle’s Topsail Hill Preserve State Park features towering beach dunes and virgin forest. By the end of the 1990s, the formal framework for connecting those jewels and many others, known as the Florida Ecological Greenways Network, quietly had been written into law. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]

Seminole Tribe suspends sports betting app after losing bid for court stay

The Seminole Tribe’s Hard Rock Sportsbook on Saturday announced an immediate suspension of its Florida operation as a result of an appellate court ruling that rejected a request to continue online sports betting as it tries to overturn a lower court decision. “Due to yesterday’s appellate court decision, the Hard Rock Sportsbook mobile app will temporarily suspend accepting new bets and deposits,’’ the Hard Rock Sportsbook stated on Twitter. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

Insurance will get more expensive as risks increase in Florida, experts say

Insurance experts presented a gloomy forecast for anyone hoping that the cost to insure homes and businesses in Florida might stabilize or even fall anytime soon. Already reeling from skyrocketing rate increases, nonrenewals and withdrawals by insurers from high-risk markets like South Florida, homeowners can expect to pay even more in premiums over the next decade if losses cannot be significantly reduced, several speakers said at the Florida Chamber’s annual insurance summit in Tampa on Thursday. [Source: Orlanndo Sentinel]

Musk says SpaceX to bring Starship launches to Kennedy Space Center

SpaceX has begun construction on an orbital launch pad for its next-generation Starship at Kennedy Space Center, bringing to the Space Coast the world’s most powerful spacecraft that CEO Elon Musk hopes will eventually take people to Mars. Musk made the announcement Friday on his Twitter account and confirmed the company will still be using Launch Complex 39A at KSC, where it currently launches Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy rockets. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]


› They came, they saw, they bought: Art Basel, Miami Art Week returned with ‘a great show’  
The moment it became clear that Art Basel and Miami Art Week were back for real might have come when pop-music star Adam Levine and his supermodel wife, Behati Prinsloo, bagged a big James Turrell light installation, asking price $950,000, at the Pace Gallery booth during a VIP preview at the Beach convention center. Or it may have come when Levine debuted a new rose face tattoo — which turned out to be fake — at some fancy luxury-brand party.

› Sarasota brewery quenches thirst for growth, buys spot for new taproom
In 2020, Sarasota-based Calusa Brewing had to make pandemic pivots —like just about everyone else in hospitality and restaurants. “We stopped placing as much product into kegs and started placing more into cans and bottles,” says Vic Falck, co-owner of Calusa Brewing, to cite one example. “We were selling in more of a to-go model, which was a significant change from what were used to doing.”

› Late musician Tom Petty receives posthumous Ph.D. for music from UF 
Nearly two decades after earning a place in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and more than four years after his death, rock icon Tom Petty has been awarded an honorary Ph.D. from the University of Florida. The school’s board of trustees unanimously voted to award Thomas Earl Petty a posthumous doctoral degree in music during a Friday meeting. Born and raised in Gainesville, Petty once worked as a groundskeeper at UF as he tried to make it in the music industry, but he was never enrolled.

› Get 'em while they last because fewer Christmas trees are for sale in Jacksonville and beyond
The sign in front of Mandarin United Methodist Church, where congregation volunteers have sold Christmas trees for years in Jacksonville, says it all — "2021 tree shortage see you Christmas 2022." It means the San Jose Boulevard church won't be able to do its annual sales again until next holiday season. Officials said their broker was unable to fill its small tree order for this Christmas.

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