October 5, 2022

Monday's Daily Pulse

What you need to know about Florida today

| 8/15/2022

If more than two big storms hit Florida this year, insurers could be in trouble

So here we go, Florida. Peak hurricane season is bearing down on us like that flying saucer in the movie Nope. Insurance insiders say we’re covered — as long as we don’t get more than two major storms. Typically, mid-August through mid-October is when Florida and the southeastern United States face the biggest risk of destructive tropical cyclones. All of those major storms left billions of dollars in damages and a weakened insurance industry that has required two rounds of legislative reforms, infusions of private capital investment and commitments of public funding to guarantee claims payment if catastrophe strikes. More from the  South Florida Sun-Sentineland the Tampa Bay Times.

Many sea turtle hatchlings on Florida beaches are not making it to the ocean

Many sea turtle hatchlings on Florida beaches are not making it to the ocean due to disorientation caused by artificial lights. According to a WBBH report, disorientation has affected roughly 20% of all nests on Fort Myers Beach this season. In an August 5 incident at a beach resort, only 10 hatchlings made it to the ocean out of the 80-120 eggs laid in an average sea turtle nest. More from WBBH and WFLA.

COVID-19 cases down, deaths top 78,500

The numbers of Florida residents testing positive for COVID-19 have decreased the past two weeks, but the coronavirus has killed more than 78,500 residents since the pandemic started in 2020, according to data released Friday. The state had a reported 54,353 new cases during the week that started Aug. 5, the first time in at least 10 weeks that it had fewer than 65,000 new cases, according to the data from the Florida Department of Health. [Source: News Service of Florida]

Two stunning lizards are gaining ground in South Florida: One runs on water, the other is a flamboyant redhead

You might have noticed a few new reptiles on the block. One’s a flamboyant redhead who very well may have hitchhiked its way into town, the other can walk on water. And though they’re not total newcomers, they’re on the rise in South Florida and popping their scaly heads up in areas where they’ve never been seen before. As evidenced by Burmese pythons and ubiquitous iguanas, there’s a motley roster of nonnative reptile species surviving in Florida — three times the amount of indigenous species — but there are two in particular that are on the rise. [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]

Meet the teenager who helped push Florida toward cleaner energy

For most of his 15 years, Levi Draheim led a beachy life on a barrier island on Florida's east coast, swimming, surfing and sailing in the nearshore waves. He dreamed of someday becoming a marine biologist. But Levi's world is changing. Earlier this year, Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried announced a plan to put the state on a path toward cleaner energy, cutting the emissions Florida contributes to the climate disruptions that are already battering it. Behind the plan was a focused campaign by some 200 young Floridians all under the age of 25. Levi was the youngest. [Source: NPR]


› Farewell, Manhattan. Artisans who refurbish high-end handbags move to South Florida
The New York Times headline sounded like a plaintive plea, “Who Will Repair Their Birkins Now?” The answer: It’s still Artbag, the venerable Manhattan re-furbisher of women’s high fashion handbags since the early 1930s. But as of last week, the father-son team of Donald and Chris Moore are now plying their highly skilled trade at 927 University Drive in Coral Springs, their company’s new home. The 90-year-old institution has become the latest of New York-area businesses to relocate to South Florida.

› Dry county: St. Johns River below normal, triggering algae bloom worries.
Lake Poinsett is parched beyond what Doug Sphar ever recalls seeing or believing could happen in more than six decades living along the Cocoa lake. "This is all the talk of the people out here," Sphar said. "The consensus is that none of us remembers it this low this time of the year." The lake, a favorite local spot to launch airboats, is an outflow of the St. Johns River, one of the few surface water supplies of drinking water in Florida. The fact that it is so low is raising concerns that more trouble is coming.

› Norwegian Cruise Line’s Florida-bound ship Prima nears debut, sister ship Viva on tap
Norwegian Cruise Line has six planned sister ships in its new Prima class, the first of which will begin sailing with passengers in just a couple of weeks and is headed to Florida later this year. The cruise line took delivery of Norwegian Prima at a ceremony at the Fincantieri shipyards in Marghera, Italy on July 28, and it’s set for a series of European sailings before a mini-tour of New York, Galveston and Miami before it calls Port Canaveral home for the winter sailing season.

› Southwest Florida plumbing program aims to bring more into the industry 
If you can’t find it, why not build it? That's the motto Best Home Services, based in Fort Myers, is following. When the number of plumbers in the area went down the toilet, the company, which also has sister companies Tampa-based Integrity Home Solutions and Frank Gay Services in Orlando, created a Plumbing University program.

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