March 24, 2023

Wednesday's Afternoon Update

What you need to know about Florida today

| 3/15/2023

Lawmakers seek to curb China land purchases

The Florida Senate has started fast-tracking a proposal that would bar the sale of agricultural land and property within 20 miles of military bases to interests tied to the Chinese government or other nations on a list of “countries of concern.” The bill (SB 264), which passed the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, also would prevent Florida government agencies from entering contracts involving access to personal information with entities tied to countries of concern. Also, it would require health-care providers to ensure electronic technology keeps patient information within the continental U.S. More from the News Service of Florida.

How climate change will impact the kinds of trees that can survive in your Florida yard

A new interactive map shows how climate change will affect plant hardiness zones in Florida, as people will soon have to plant different tree species in their yards and parks. The U.S Department of Agriculture already puts out what's called a plant hardiness zone map to help people understand which trees and plants are best suited for the region in which they live. More from WLRN.

Space Florida President and CEO Frank DiBello announces retirement after 14 years leading the organization

Today, Space Florida’s President and CEO Frank DiBello notified the Board of Directors of his decision to retire, effective June 30, 2023. In the coming months, the Space Florida Board of Directors will launch a nationwide search for the next president and CEO of the organization, with Mr. DiBello assisting with the process for his successor. DiBello has served as the leader of Space Florida since May 2009 and has been a key part of Florida’s exponential growth in the commercial space industry following the end of the Space Shuttle program in 2011. More from Space Florida.

PortMiami builds team for billions in new projects

A total of $17.6 million was divided equally among four contractors by county commissioners last week, a step forward in Miami-Dade County’s masterplan for Port Miami. “The current magnitude of the Seaport’s Capital Improvements Program (its 2035 master plan) and its complexity,” Mayor Daniella Levine Cava explained in a report to the commission, “requires teams of qualified architects, engineers, construction managers, inspectors, and other professionals with a wide range of expertise and experience to augment professional staff at the Seaport Department." More from Miami Today.

Facing land shortage in Osceola County, nonprofits struggle to build affordable housing

Lake, Orange, Osceola, Seminole and Sumter counties are running a deficit of 41,140 units for those who are looking to buy affordable units, according to data from the Shimberg Center for Housing Studies at the University of Florida. Habitat is facing a shortage of land that could derail the nonprofit’s ability to build affordable homes, said Lucie Ahioto, vice president of planning and construction at Habitat for Humanity of Greater Orlando and Osceola County. Habitat relies on land donations from private firms and local governments and purchasing available land. More from the Orlando Sentinel.

Florida History
100 years ago, this Tampa church was built with stones from the river

In a city known for century-old buildings made of brick, the St. James House of Prayer Episcopal Church at 2708 N Central Ave. is distinct for being made of rocks. It stands out today. And it stood out when completed 100 years ago last month. “The new rock church ... is perhaps the most unusual and attractive structure of its kind in the South,” wrote the Tampa Tribune in February 1923.

» More from the Tampa Bay Times.


Sports Business
Grapefruit dreams

In baseball, spring training is the most optimistic time of the year, when even the unlikely seems likely. It’s when bad teams think they’re good, and good teams think they’re great. It’s when fans, warmed by the Florida sun and drowsed by $8 beers, dream that this could be the year their team finally wins a championship. Fifteen of the 30 Major League Baseball teams train in Florida, including both Florida teams — the Miami Marlins in Jupiter and the Tampa Bay Rays in Port Charlotte — and both of 2022’s World Series teams: The champion Houston Astros in West Palm Beach and the Philadelphia Phillies in Clearwater.

» Read more from Florida Trend.

Tags: Daily Pulse, Afternoon Pulse

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Florida Trend Video Pick

Clearwater Beach restaurant serves up free food to people with autism and Down's Syndrome
Clearwater Beach restaurant serves up free food to people with autism and Down's Syndrome

At Chihuas Tacos in Clearwater, the sound of food cooking, a spatula scraping the grill and Mexican music will greet you at the door.

Video Picks | Viewpoints@FloridaTrend

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