January 27, 2023

Tuesday's Daily Pulse

What you need to know about Florida today

| 1/24/2023

Growing frustration in film, TV: Movies 'set' in Florida filmed elsewhere

It's a growing frustration for Floridians in the movie, television and commercial industries, who want to film in Florida, but can't persuade the Florida Legislature to reinstitute production financial incentives that have become a necessary lure. Without those, states like Florida get skipped. Florida was once the No. 3 destination in the United States for film and television production, said John Lux, executive director of Film Florida, a not-for-profit entertainment production trade association. "Today, Florida is not in the top 20," he said. [Source: Florida Today]

Florida gas prices go up 15 cents in a week

The price of gasoline across the Sunshine State is going up again. The average cost of a gallon of regular unleaded fuel in Florida went up 15 cents last week reaching $3.41, a new high for 2023, according to a statement from AAA The Auto Group. The price around the Tampa Bay metropolitan area hit $3.39 on Monday. Gas prices across the country and the state were trending downward in the last half of 2022. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

Just what improvements qualify for Florida’s $10,000 home-hardening grant? Answers aren’t always easy to find

As early applicants to a state-funded home improvement program analyze their wind-mitigation inspection reports, some say they are confused about what home-hardening improvements will be eligible for up to $10,000 in $2-to-$1 matching grant funds. Under the My Safe Florida Home program, will an entire roof replacement be eligible for reimbursement if their inspection report says that their roof covering complies with current wind codes but there’s no evidence that they have a Secondary Water Resistance barrier — which would require installing a new roof to obtain? [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]

How two islands could shape Florida’s post-Ian recovery

In the wake of Hurricane Ian, a decades-old question is emerging with new urgency: What will happen to the islander way of life? As other Florida communities deal with the physical and economic toll of the hurricane, the question of whether to leave or start over is less clear. For decades, Pine Island has embodied Florida’s can-do spirit. “Florida is built on confidence,” says historian Gary Mormino, author of “Paradise Lost? The Environmental History of Florida.” “But a cumulation of challenges” is testing that way of life. [Source: Christian Science Monitor]

Supreme Court delays considering Florida and Texas laws that force social media platforms to host content

A high-stakes legal battle over social media moderation remains in limbo after the Supreme Court on Monday delayed saying whether it will hear three cases that could decide the constitutionality of Texas and Florida laws letting users sue online platforms for alleged political censorship. The cases – viewed as a bellwether for internet speech and private rights in the face of government power – may now not be heard until the next term and closer to the heat of the 2024 US presidential election. Both laws remain blocked in the meantime. [Source: CNN]


› Where do travelers want to go in 2023? Study says Miami Beach, Key West — and Cuba?
It comes as no surprise that travelers still want to visit to Miami Beach and Key West in 2023 — both cities have long lured fans of sunshine, beaches and nightlife. But apparently, many tourists are also longing to travel to Cuba. In its annual Travelers’ Choice Destinations Awards for 2023, online travel company Tripadvisor reports that Miami Beach (No. 5) and Key West (No. 7) are among the top 10 most popular destinations in the United States for travelers.

› Tropicana Field bidder pledges to give back to the community. Can they deliver?
Coral Gables-based real estate firm 50 Plus 1 Sports was founded on a commitment to have at least 50% participation from minority, women and veteran owned businesses on all its projects. To some, this may seem like a lofty goal. But the head of the minority-owned company, Monti Valrie, said it’s part of what sets his team apart from the three other bidders vying to redevelop Tropicana Field.

› Memorial pet reef dedicated off of Sarasota believed to be first in the world
Cindy TenHagen and her son Dylan, 9, drove more than four hours from Jacksonville recently so they could say farewell to Bella, a beloved Chow-Hound mix who loved fireworks. Cindy’s husband, Richard TenHagen, would have been there, too, had he not been overseas, serving in the Navy. The TenHagens were the first customers who signed up to have a pet’s ashes incorporated into a reef ball and placed offshore as part of what Memorial Reef International said is the first memorial reef for pets, at the M2 artificial reef site off of Sarasota's New Pass in the Gulf of Mexico.

› Flamingo Crossings: The latest on Disney’s mixed-use project
The Walt Disney Co.'s Flamingo Crossings mixed-use center in Orlando is staying busy entering the new year after several years of ongoing construction. The theme park giant's latest work at the retail, dining and lodging complex includes preparing stores for future shoppers. Construction on the center started nearly a decade ago with hotel properties on the northern side of the project at the northwest corner of Western Way and State Road 429 on Sugar Belle Drive.

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