August 12, 2022

Wednesday's Daily Pulse

What you need to know about Florida today

| 8/3/2022

July consumer sentiment continues to rise despite high inflation

Consumer confidence among Floridians increased in July four-tenths of a point to 61.4 from June’s revised figure of 61. Similarly, consumer sentiment at the national level increased in July. Among the five components that make up the index, two increased, two remained unchanged, and one decreased. Floridians’ opinions about current economic conditions were mixed. [Source: UF News]

Florida Trend Exclusive
St. Petersburg Regional Economic Profile

In the roaring 1920s, St. Petersburg was the place to be, the playground for characters like F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig, among others. Now, 100 years later, it's still the place to be, but sunshine and parties aren't the sole draws. [Source: Florida Trend]

Feds target US companies caught in lucrative shark fin trade

It’s one of the seafood industry’s most gruesome hunts. Every year, the fins of as many as 73 million sharks are sliced from the backs of the majestic sea predators, their bleeding bodies sometimes dumped back into the ocean where they are left to suffocate or die of blood loss. But while the barbaric practice is driven by China, where shark fin soup is a symbol of status for the rich and powerful, America’s -- and Florida's -- seafood industry isn’t immune from the trade. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

Three more property insurers downgraded

In another sign of problems in Florida’s property-insurance market, a financial-ratings agency has withdrawn ratings for two insurance companies and downgraded another company. The Demotech agency on Monday withdrew financial-stability ratings for Weston Property & Casualty Insurance Co. and FedNat Insurance Co., according to Demotech’s website. It also changed United Property & Casualty Insurance Co.’s rating from “A Exceptional” to “M Moderate.” The Insurance Journal reported the ratings changes Tuesday morning. [Source: News Service of Florida]

Florida Power & Light operates an exclusive, invite-only lounge for lawmakers and lobbyists

Consider it Tallahassee’s version of the fabled smoke-filled backroom. Florida Power & Light, one of the state’s most politically powerful companies, operates an event space located on the third floor of the company’s $2 million, 13,000 square foot downtown Tallahassee offices. The building is nondescript and includes no signs that would indicate it’s owned by one of the largest power companies in the country. More from Politico and the Orlando Sentinel.


› Despite Surfside settlement, legal battles may not be over. Who could face lawsuits?
Although a $1 billion class-action settlement resolving the Surfside condominium tower’s collapse was approved with much fanfare in June, the legal battles may not be over. There are potentially dozens of other individual lawsuits that might still be pursued more than a year after the tragedy — with some former condo owners the potential targets.  

› AdventHealth Orlando one of 7 sites worldwide to participate in Alzheimer’s study
AdventHealth Orlando is one of seven sites worldwide chosen by the Davos Alzheimer’s Collaborative to pilot a study that aims to make early detection of Alzheimer’s disease more accessible. Alzheimer’s is a growing concern in Central Florida, said Dr. Steven R. Smith, chief scientific officer of AdventHealth. Brevard, Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties had 52,857 probable Alzheimer’s patients in 2018, according to data cited by the local nonprofit Senior Resource Alliance.

› Downtown Tampa has e-scooters, bikes and streetcars. Ready for golf carts?
These days there are lots of ways to get around downtown Tampa: walk the Riverwalk, zip around on bikes and e-scooters, ride the water taxi, catch a free streetcar or drive an old-school automobile. So is the city’s center ready for golf carts?  

› First unionized Starbucks in Jacksonville goes on strike, demanding $15 an hour minimum wage
The first unionized Starbucks store in Jacksonville went on strike Monday, delaying the store’s usual open time. Mason Boykin, Starbucks shift supervisor and union organizer at the Ricky Drive store, said employees showed up at 4:30 a.m., their usual time to open the store by 5 a.m., and immediately began the strike.

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Rays pitcher JP Feyereisen encourages Tampa Bay area kids to read
Rays pitcher JP Feyereisen encourages Tampa Bay area kids to read

Rays pitcher JP Feyereisen reads with kids at the Largo Public Library as part of the "Reading with the Rays" program. The event hits close to home for Feyereisen, who went to school to be a teacher and plans to become a teacher and coach once his baseball career is over.

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