May 22, 2024

Wednesday's Afternoon Update

What you need to know about Florida today

| 4/17/2024

The obscure but powerful politicians who control Florida’s energy

You probably rarely think about the company that provides your electricity, unless there’s an outage or you receive a steep bill. You likely think even less about the politicians who oversee those utility companies. But this obscure group of public officials, called the Florida Public Service Commission, has more power over your life — and the state’s contributions to climate change — than you may realize. More from the Tampa Bay Times.

Orlando-based Red Lobster considers filing for bankruptcy, report says

Orlando-based Red Lobster is considering whether to file for bankruptcy, according to Bloomberg, quoting unidentified sources familiar with the matter. Red Lobster has been struggling financially for years. The company’s main investor, Thai Union, cut ties with the seafood chain earlier this year and said it would be looking for a buyer. More from the Orlando Sentinel.

Spaceport status OK’d for Homestead Air Reserve Base

Cape Canaveral is losing Florida’s corner on space exploration with the designation of Miami-Dade’s Homestead Air Force Base as an official spaceport. After both houses of the state legislature unanimously passed a bill in March expanding Florida’s spaceport territory to include Homestead Air Reserve Base, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the bill into law this month. It takes effect July 1. More from Miami Today.

With CEO Stowe out, JEA in no hurry to fill top spot

In the wake of JEA CEO Jay Stowe resigning from the utility's top job, the municipal-owned organization is in no hurry to fill the position. JEA is in the process of hiring a consultant to evaluate the utility's capital structure and organization — a process that could take until the end of 2024. Until that is done, Board Chair Joe DiSalvo said, JEA will not begin the process of finding Stowe's replacement. More from the Jacksonville Business Journal.

‘Double or triple water rates’: Broward warns of increased fees to comply with new testing rules

Water could become a whole lot more expensive — but safer — to drink for many residents. Last fall, Broward County hired a consultant to see what changes it can make to the water-treatment process to cut down on the volume of toxic chemicals known as PFAS in the drinking water. Toxic PFAS, or perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, can be widespread and long lasting in the environment. More from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

Found only in Tampa Bay, a rare flower is no longer endangered. Is that good?

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service placed the golden aster, with its daisylike face and fuzzy green leaves, on the federal endangered species list in 1986. At the time, the flower, with just nine known clusters, was only found in Hillsborough County. Nearly four decades later, golden aster populations have spread to four other counties: Pinellas, Manatee, Highlands and Hardee. It is — by all population estimates — Tampa Bay’s flower.

» More from the Tampa Bay Times.


Arts Business
Frame of reference

As the Orlando Museum of Art tries to restore its reputation and financial stability, its recent past keeps getting in the way. The American Alliance of Museums, which first accredited OMA in 1971, placed the museum on probation, describing it as “a museum still in turmoil ... putting the museum’s operations, funding, and overall viability at great risk.” It is the only American museum in accreditation purgatory.

» Read more from Florida Trend.

Tags: Daily Pulse, Afternoon Pulse

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Florida Trend Video Pick

Marion County leaders celebrate big boost in tourist revenue
Marion County leaders celebrate big boost in tourist revenue

Tourism leaders are celebrating a big win as Marion County has seen a record-breaking couple of months when it comes to tourist development tax revenue.


Video Picks | Viewpoints@FloridaTrend

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