August 20, 2022

Thursday's Daily Pulse

What you need to know about Florida today

| 6/2/2022

U.S. agrees to update critical habitat for Florida manatees

Environmental groups and federal wildlife officials have reached a deal to upgrade habitat protections for manatees, which suffered a record number of deaths last year in Florida waters. The agreement, announced Wednesday, requires the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to undertake long-discussed revisions of “critical habitat” for Florida manatees by Sept. 12, 2024. The agreement came after the Center for Biological Diversity, Defenders of Wildlife and the Save the Manatee Club filed a lawsuit in February in federal court in Washington, D.C. More from the  News Service of Florida and the AP.

The ‘cone of uncertainty’ is getting smaller — but it still matters if you’re outside it

When a potential new storm hits the headlines, it’s the first question most people ask: “Are we inside the cone?” The National Hurricane Center’s iconic “cone of uncertainty” turns 20 this year, and thanks to better forecasting, it’s once again shrinking. But hurricane experts say that most people still don’t understand what the cone means, and why they should still pay attention even if their city isn’t within the shaded white area on the map. [Source: Miami Herald]

With housing overvalued, a reckoning in the market could be on the way, analyst warns

With housing prices rising exorbitantly during the pandemic and homebuying becoming more unaffordable for many people, a reckoning in the housing market could soon occur, according to analysis from Florida Atlantic University real estate economist Ken H. Johnson. Housing prices and rents have risen so far above their long term trends, or the measurement of where pricing should be for housing, that most housing markets will face some sort of repercussions, his analysis indicates. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]

Florida Trend Exclusive

Editor's Page: Florida ever after

When you move to a state with a fairy tale castle at its center, a certain amount of magical thinking comes with the territory. Fresh out of journalism school in Arizona, I came to Florida because I wanted to be a storyteller, and no place had — and still has — better stories to be told. I had no illusions about what I was getting into. The breathtaking natural beauty of Florida, the vibrant blend of people and cultures, and the seemingly endless possibilities can be offset by deeply rooted challenges and the staggeringly destructive power of wind and water. If you want drama, it’s here in abundance. [Source: Florida Trend]

Florida’s 15-week abortion ban faces challenge with lawsuit

With a month until Florida’s 15-week ban on abortion takes effect, women’s health centers across the state have filed a legal challenge to the new state law. The challenge centers on the argument that the law that bans most abortions after 15 weeks violates a privacy clause in Florida’s Constitution that includes the right to terminate a pregnancy. “By banning the provision of abortion care after fifteen weeks (from the first day of a woman’s last menstrual period), the Act will unlawfully intrude upon the fundamental privacy rights of Florida women,” the lawsuit says.  [Source: Orlando Sentinel]

ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:

› SunRail, Brightline, Central Florida get key federal rail grant
SunRail, Brightline and Central Florida have landed a small but vital federal grant for early environmental, construction and cost studies needed to install rail service from east of Orlando’s airport to the International Drive and theme park district and on to Tampa. Receiving bipartisan congressional support, the grant of up to $15,875,000 will be matched with an equal amount by Brightline to evolve a concrete plan for Orlando-to-Tampa rail. That plan will be the basis for seeking grants for hundreds of millions of dollars in additional federal money.

› Who will be watching over Jacksonville beachgoers this summer as volunteer lifeguard tradition ends?
The Volunteer Life Saving Corps at Jacksonville Beach is older than the beach city itself, and its guards — in their distinctive one-piece blue suits — have been a familiar sight on the sand since 1912 when the city still went by the name Pablo Beach. You won't see them guarding the beach this summer though. And in the future? That seems highly in doubt.

› Finnair planes will fly to Tampa this summer ... for Lufthansa
Finnair is coming to Tampa, temporarily. Starting Tuesday, Finland’s national airline will fly on behalf of Lufthansa’s Eurowings Discover route between Tampa and Frankfurt over the summer, Tampa International Airport announced. Eurowings Discover and Finnair are in a wet-lease agreement that allows the newer Lufthansa brand to use Finnair’s aircraft and crew. Lufthansa’s younger and more leisure-focused brand will lean on Finnair to help with its smaller fleet and staff numbers as Tampa International Airport expects its busiest summer yet.

› Supply chain struggle costs South Dade Transitway year’s delay
The South Dade Transitway, one of the six corridors of the Strategic Miami Area Rapid Transit (SMART) Plan, is now expecting a one-year delay to begin operations as the Miami-Dade Department of Transportation and Public Works is having severe supply chain difficulties in finding fiber strands necessary for the communications and technology systems along the 20-mile corridor.

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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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