May 26, 2023

Monday's Afternoon Update

What you need to know about Florida today

| 6/6/2022

Majority of Floridians feel inflation is impacting their finances

Most Floridians are concerned with the state of our national economy and it could impact summer travel, according to a recent poll done by FAU researchers. Monica Escaleras is the chair of the economics department at FAU. She says a recent poll she conducted indicates that 80% of Floridians feel inflation is impacting their personal finances. “Individuals are cutting back in goods and services and food, but it was interesting to see that close to 80% say that they are going to cut back on travel,” she said. More from WPBF.

NOAA seeks input on Gulf of Mexico aquaculture sites, including 3 off Florida

When a Hawaii-based aquaculture business proposed a demonstration fish farm project in federal waters off of Sarasota County in 2019, residents along the Gulf Coast voiced concerns about potential environmental impacts — including its potential to exacerbate red tide blooms. Now, the federal government is considering allowing commercial aquaculture in the Gulf of Mexico — including areas offshore of Collier, Sarasota and Pinellas counties — and is seeking public input as it crafts an assessment of impacts from the sites. More from the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.

Gas prices across Florida set another record high, with $5 a gallon a real possibility

Gas prices across Florida have set another record high, and could eventually climb to $5 by the summer. According to a AAA press release, the average price of a gallon of gas climbed to $4.76 on Sunday. That's an increase of 18 cents from the previous week, and 66% higher than at this point last year. Mark Jenkins, a spokesman for AAA, said in the release that oil and gas made strong gains in the futures market last week, largely due to supply concerns over the European Union's ban of Russian oil as well as increased demand expected this summer. More from WUSF.

Sebastian Inlet sprouts hope for Florida manatees and other Indian River Lagoon life

Researchers estimate more than 2.5 million acres of seagrass remains in Florida's nearshore waters, which provide so-called "ecological services" worth more than $20 billion a year. Some economists think those dollars might be much higher. Just 2½ acres of seagrass supports up to 100,000 fish, 100 million invertebrates like worms, clams and snails, and up to $10,000 in economic activity, according to the St. Johns River Water Management District. More from Florida Today.

The Columbia Restaurant’s Richard Gonzmart, retiring? Can it be?

Richard Gonzmart, 69, fourth generation co-owner of the historic Columbia Restaurant and the company’s other 13 restaurants, is handing over more of the daily tasks to his daughter. Andrea Gonzmart Williams, 43, is increasingly becoming the face of the family’s famous restaurant. Richard Gonzmart has said he plans to retire at age 72, the age of his father, Cesar Gonzmart, when he died. ”But nobody believes him,’’ says Andrea Gonzmart Williams. More from the Tampa Bay Times.

Space Business
NASA Artemis I moon rocket rolls back to Kennedy Space Center launch pad

NASA has sent the Artemis I rocket back to the launch pad at Kennedy Space Center for testing later this month looking to get back on track for a potential moon launch as early as August. The rocket still needs to completely run through a wet dress rehearsal during which NASA will fill and drain the core and upper stage with 730,000 gallons of super-cooled liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen while also simulating a countdown but without lighting the engines.

» More from the Orlando Sentinel.


Out of the Box
Two St. Petersburg moms are taking sleepovers to a new level

Kristin Cummings and Erika Johnson met several years ago, when their kids took lessons at the same swim club. The two young mothers quickly became fast friends, their families partying together, vacationing together. And now they’re in business together. Last year, Cummings and Johnson started St. Pete Slumber Company, which arranges themed slumber parties complete with colorful tents, decorative pillows, cascading balloons and other accoutrements. Business has been so good they’ve started offering photo sessions and celebratory yard cards.

» Read more from the Tampa Bay Times.

Tags: Daily Pulse, Afternoon Pulse

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Answering the call as a community's workforce
Answering the call as a community's workforce

Tonjua Williams, president of St. Petersburg College, describes SPC's mission and goals, discusses the evolution of the education landscape, and details SPC's adaptation to changing needs in labor force preparation.

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