Tuesday's Daily Pulse
What you need to know about Florida today
Breaking bad habits: What we learned from Ian and Nicole as we head into the 2023 hurricane season
The 2022 hurricane season was a harsh teacher. Not because of the number of storms — it was a fairly average year — but because of the tricky nature of the two storms, Hurricanes Ian and Nicole, that hit Florida. The big lesson to learn from 2022? Experts say it’s to break out of the habit of obsession over the cone, spaghetti models and the storm’s category, and start focusing on hazards such as storm surge warnings, rainfall flooding and even tornadoes. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]
5 bills that could reshape criminal justice in Florida
This year, Florida legislators dramatically reshaped the state’s death penalty and quickly passed a bill allowing people to carry firearms without training. Those bills garnered statewide and national headlines, hourslong debates and broad public interest. Less noticed, though, was a slew of other consequential criminal justice bills. Here are five bills poised to reshape Florida’s criminal justice system in the coming years. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]
Florida business leaders are trying to counter any negative effects amid recent travel advisories
Tourism officials say Florida broke a record last year with nearly 138 million visitors to the state. According to Visit Florida, tourists generated a $96 billion dollar economic impact in 2019—the year before the pandemic. Of that, more than half went towards small business owners. While the travel warnings are not a boycott of Florida, they are a call to action, says state Sen. Shevrin Jones (D-Miami-Dade). [Source: WUSF]
The overseas highway: Florida's' 'floating' highway
Travelling from Miami to the island of Key West, Florida, hasn't always been the carefree drive it is today. In the early part of the 20th Century, the only way to make the journey to the southernmost point in the continental US was a day-long boat ride, and that was dependent on weather and tides. But thanks to a stunning engineering marvel known as the Overseas Highway that stretches 113 miles from the mainland's southern tip across 44 tropical islands on 42 bridges, travelers seemingly floating across a necklace of mangrove forests and cays as they drive to a place where North America and the Caribbean meet. [Source: BBC]
Report takes NASA to task over multibillion-dollar SLS and Artemis cost increases
A new report released by NASA's independent inspector general took the agency to task this week, challenging the need to overspend – to the tune of billions of dollars – for Artemis program engines and boosters. In the 56-page analysis released Thursday, auditors said NASA continues to see cost increases and delays related to the two main components of the Space Launch System rocket's propulsion: four RS-25 main engines and two solid rocket boosters [Source: Florida Today]
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› Zephyrhills to halt new development as water availability evaporates
Only recently, Zephyrhills became Pasco County’s largest city. Now leaders there have decided that in order to protect the city’s future they are going to have to put on the brakes for a while. This week, the City Council tentatively agreed to a moratorium that could stop new development and annexation applications by late June. While there are several reasons the city wants to slow growth, it is the element that made them famous — Zephyrhills water — that brought them to this challenging decision.
› Ta-boo restaurant on Palm Beach closes its doors after 82 years in business
One of Palm Beach’s most famous and iconic restaurants, Ta-boo, has closed its doors for good, though the owner says he could open a new location on another part of Palm Beach down the road. After more than 80 years on Worth Avenue, Sunday evening was Ta-boo's last night in business and the restaurant hosted its regulars and longtime customers to honor its last night in business.
› Port Canaveral targets marina for future cruise terminal site
Port Canaveral earned the title of world’s busiest cruise port besting Miami for the first time in 2022, but with only six terminals available, the port’s potential for growth is limited. Plans to build a seventh have been in discussion for a while, and this week Port Canaveral CEO Capt. John Murray revealed just where they plan to stick it, focusing on space currently occupied by Bluepoints Marina on the south side of the port west of Cruise Terminal 1.
› Tampa developer has new weapon in community amenity battle: A farm
Tampa-based Metro Development Group is confident it’s on the verge of harvesting a sweet advantage in the ongoing battle of amenities in master-planned communities. The edge stems from a farm. At 2.5 acres, this working farm is small compared to many other steadings in Florida. But for Metro, it’s plenty big.
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