December 7, 2022

Thursday's Daily Pulse

What you need to know about Florida today

| 7/28/2022

DeSantis wants to ban state pension investments based on political factors

During a news conference Gov. DeSantis singled out the “ESG” investment movement, which stands for environment, social, and governance (meaning the way companies are structured). The movement is also known as “sustainable” investing. DeSantis said it amounts to “the politization of the economy,” and added, “It benefits the largest, most powerful corporations and it disadvantages the small and medium-sized businesses. And so, this is not something that is empowering, kinda, the little guy. You know, this is something that is, in many respects, crushing the little guy.” [Source: Florida Phoenix]

Construction starts soar 31% in South Florida in first half 2022

Dodge Construction Network, the Hamilton, New Jersey-based company said the tri-county region had the fourth-most commercial and multifamily construction starts, after New York; Dallas; and Washington, D.C. In fact, the amount of construction in South Florida even exceeded the first half of 2019, ahead of the Covid-19 pandemic. [Source: South Florida Business Journal]

Florida among states with most monkeypox cases, health officials say

Health officials are closely monitoring the monkeypox outbreak. Florida is among the states with the most cases as the Florida Department of Health works to get the vaccine to the people who need it most. Experts said the virus itself is now spreading faster than the details and data about the most recent cases. It's making it difficult for doctors to keep up. Dr. Thomas Unnasch, a distinguished professor with USF's College of Public Health, said whether the vaccine will be able to slow the spread fast enough will come down to how the population responds. [Source: WFTS]

Two University of Florida startups are joining forces to boost Florida’s struggling citrus industry

The US Department of Agriculture released a report last month that estimates this years growing season was the lowest for citrus since 1940. This is attributed to diseases, specifically the citrus greening disease, and hurricanes. “The citrus industry has been on some tough times in recent years” said the CEO of Agriculture Intelligence, Matthew Donovan. [Source: WCJB]

Florida, textbook company spar in pricing probe

Attorney General Ashley Moody's office last month issued a subpoena to Savvas Learning Company, LLC, seeking information about discounts on instructional materials offered to Florida school districts. But the New Jersey-based company on Thursday filed a motion in Leon County circuit court asking Judge J. Lee Marsh to "modify or set aside" the subpoena and issue a protective order blocking some of the documents from public scrutiny. [Source: CBS Miami]

ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:

› Rat lungworm detected in Pasco’s giant African land snails
Scientists have detected rat lungworm, a parasite known to cause meningitis in humans, in giant African land snails captured in New Port Richey.

› Universal Parks patents ‘false floor’ tech to improve theme park ride immersion
Theme park rides are all about immersion and helping riders escape from reality — and a new patent from a major Orlando theme park operator could help improve that. Universal Parks & Resorts, the parent entity of Universal Orlando Resort, filed a patent for "False Surface for Amusement Ride Special Effect," to resolve a "common difficulty ... to provide the best illusion of realism to guest riders with the scenery or special effects," said the patent

› Veterans gain cybersecurity skills through FIU program
The Veterans and First Responders Training Initiative, supported by a grant from the National Security Agency, is a year-long cybersecurity curriculum taught by the Jack D. Gordon Institute for Public Policy, the College of Engineering and Computing (CEC)and the Global Forensic and Justice Center (GFJC) at FIU. Any veterans and first responders, even those with no technical experience, are welcome to apply.

› Straz Center names theater world veteran Greg Holland next CEO, president
Tampa’s David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts has picked its next leader. Greg Holland, a theater-world veteran who’s held leadership roles with venues, production companies and Tony-winning plays in San Francisco, Dallas and New York, will replace the Straz’s outgoing CEO and president of 30 years, Judy Lisi, who announced her retirement last fall.

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In case you missed it:

Florida Trend Video Pick

In the parking lot of an abandoned grocery store, a food drive meets needs
In the parking lot of an abandoned grocery store, a food drive meets needs

Over the course of the morning, volunteers will hand out boxes full of produce and pantry items. More than 300 people will walk — or drive — away with cartons of eggs and gallons of milk, bread and pastries and cereal. They’ll leave with bags of bananas, and apples and meats that they’ll feed to their families.

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