August 20, 2022

Monday's Afternoon Update

What you need to know about Florida today

| 3/21/2022

Planned spending approved by Florida lawmakers ranges from airplanes to zoos

A $112.1 billion budget that lawmakers passed last week covers more than the state’s basics for education, health care and law enforcement. The budget and a series of accompanying bills include spending on everything from new state planes to zoos. Gov. Ron DeSantis has line-item veto power, so it’s too early to know everything that will be in the budget when the fiscal year starts July 1. More from the News Service of Florida.

L3Harris highlights gains in environmental sustainability in latest annual report

Company officials saw the recent ribbon-cutting ceremony outside the L3Harris Technology Center in Palm Bay for a solar energy "tree" as symbolic of the commitment of the aerospace and defense technology company to environmental sustainability. The event coincided with Melbourne-based L3Harris Technologies Inc.'s release of its latest annual corporate "sustainability report." More from Florida Today.

Starving manatees will face another rough winter next season

When manatees on Florida’s east coast gather next winter, they’re likely to face another season of starvation. Despite efforts to reduce pollution in the Indian River Lagoon, where record numbers of manatees died in the past two years, the sea cows are unlikely to find enough seagrass to get through next winter without help. Proposals to improve water quality and protect seagrass died in the Republican-dominated state Legislature, although lawmakers did budget more money for manatee habitat restoration and rescues. More from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

Central Florida Y struggles to recover from COVID’s financial blow

The COVID-19 pandemic cost the YMCA of Central Florida over half its $70 million annual revenue and the loss of nearly 94,000 members, its CEO reports — a blow that led the nonprofit to permanently shutter two of its Ys and lay off more than half its staff. Despite that, Kevin Bolding, hired last fall to lead the six-county organization, said he’s optimistic about the Y’s capacity to recover and reposition itself. More from the Orlando Sentinel.

New Amazon ‘foothold’ in Coral Gables signals area’s tech future: Less office space needed

If you missed the news last week that Amazon had finally planted its flag in Miami with a new office, you’re probably not alone. Four years after the great race to attract Amazon’s ‘HQ2’ — and with it, 25,000 jobs and as much as a $1 billion investment, what Miami has gotten instead is emblematic of the new era of tech in which the area finds itself. More from the Miami Herald.

Profile
John Hirabayashi: Proud of helping the community grow

 John Hirabayashi is president and CEO of Community First Credit Union of Florida, taking the position in 1996. He has spent his career in the credit union industry after graduating from the University of Colorado in Boulder with a finance degree and an MBA from Virginia Polytechnic Institute. Hirabayashi built the Jacksonville-based credit union to assets, as of March, of a record $2.5 billion, 19 branch offices and expanded headquarters presence Downtown at 701 W. Adams St.

» More from the Jacksonville Daily Record.

 

In Memoriam
Lighthouse preservationist and Egmont Key champion was a ‘fierce defender of history’

floridaRichard Johnson wasn’t a lighthouse keeper — that job got automated — but he was a keeper of lighthouses and the history they hold. “Lighthouses often are the oldest buildings in a community,” said Ken Smith, a board member and former president of the Florida Lighthouse Association. And the people who work to preserve them are passionate, he said. In Johnson’s case, passionate enough to spend 30 years working with the Egmont Key Alliance, battling government agencies and, yes, dressing up and telling stories.

» Read more from the Tampa Bay Times.

Tags: Daily Pulse, Afternoon Pulse

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Florida Trend Video Pick

Video of large waterspout off northwest Florida
Video of large waterspout off northwest Florida

A large waterspout formed this week off Destin in Northwest Florida.

Video Picks | Viewpoints@FloridaTrend

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