December 8, 2023

Wednesday's Daily Pulse

What you need to know about Florida today

| 10/4/2023

Florida hit by Canadian smoke from historic wildfire season

A cloud of Canadian wildfire smoke smothered most of the Sunshine State in haze Tuesday, adding Florida to a list of U.S. states affected by a historic season of flames up north. Air quality in some parts of the state hit “unhealthy” levels and the air carried a mild scent, Ulrich said. Visibility was also diminished. The smoke originated in British Columbia and Alberta, Ulrich said, citing satellite imagery. It traveled thousands of miles to Eastern Canada by circulating winds and then was dragged southward by the remnants of Ophelia, as the storm petered out in the Atlantic Ocean. More from NBC News, the Tampa Bay Times, and the New York Times]

Florida Trend Exclusive
Driving climate conversations

Miami is considered especially vulnerable to sea level rise fueled by climate change. It’s also becoming an epicenter for resiliency initiatives to mitigate impact on the city and its residents. But that doesn’t mean the community fully understands what future adaptations it will require. To increase awareness and drive community engagement on the topic, the Knight Foundation has made $8 million in grants to two local organizations. [Source: Florida Trend]

Florida Supreme Court to hear arguments on recreational marijuana initiative

An initiative that aims to put recreational marijuana on the 2024 ballot still has a massive hurdle to clear in the Florida Supreme Court. On Tuesday, the state’s top court ordered oral arguments on Nov. 8 as part of the judicial review process for the Adult Personal Use of Marijuana ballot measure. Recreational marijuana initiatives made it onto the statewide ballot in 2014 and 2016, but neither surpassed the 60% threshold required to become law. More from WFLA and the News Service of Florida.

A new era for Cuban migrants: Some can’t get green cards despite decades-old law

For nearly six decades, Cuban migrants have enjoyed a fast track to permanent residence in the United States through the Cuban Adjustment Act. Now, the federal government has released thousands of recently arrived Cubans from the U.S.-Mexico border with paperwork that an immigration appeals board ruled makes them ineligible to get green cards under the Act. It’s a disruption in the longstanding preferential treatment that Cubans have historically received. [Source: Miami Herald]

Florida announces more locations, dates for Hurricane victims to receive federal benefits

More than a month after Hurricane Idalia peaked as a Category 4 and made landfall at Florida’s Gulf Coast as a Category 3 storm, wreaking havoc with strong winds and flooding across more than a dozen counties, many victims of the storm are still dealing with material and economic insecurity. [Source: Florida Phoenix]


› DeBary officials worry big industrial project may be a casualty of Florida's new Live Local Act
Implications from Florida's still-new Live Local Act have jeopardized an already-approved industrial project in DeBary, city officials say — one they had hoped would be a boon to the local economy, creating jobs and millions in tax revenue. The still-unfolding situation in the suburb north of Orlando reflects both the potential effectiveness of the Live Local Act in incentivizing the development of new housing as well as the possibility for unintended consequences.

› Miami-Dade’s pit bull ban is over after three decades. Why it ended and what it means
Miami-Dade’s decades-long pit bull ban ended Sunday. In June, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a law that bars local governments and public housing authorities from banning dogs of a specific breed, weight or size. Under the new law, local governments can still adopt policies to prevent attacks as long as they don’t single out a breed.

› Jaguars owner maintains ranking on list of richest Americans
Shad Khan maintained his ranking on Forbes magazine’s annual list of the 400 richest Americans as his wealth grew. The Jacksonville Jaguars owner ranked 55th in the Forbes 400 for the second year in a row with an estimated net worth of $12.2 billion, up from an estimated $11.2 billion a year ago, the magazine said in a story published online Oct. 3.

› Tampa has 25 remaining cigar factories, 23 are being used. Here’s how.
Tampa is still known as “Cigar City” for a reason. In the 1920s, there were more than 200 cigar factories, mostly in Ybor City and West Tampa, making Tampa the global hub of the industry. Due to a mix of urban renewal, interstate construction and fires, only 25 of the factories remain and just one is still used as a cigar factory. But today, only two are vacant, a dramatic improvement.

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