May 22, 2024

Wednesday's Daily Pulse

What you need to know about Florida today

| 4/24/2024

Lights, camera… action? The decline of Florida's film industry and the effect on job market

For over 100 years, the film industry in Florida has thrived, bringing business to local towns and residents. The state, which once held the third-place spot in the nation for production work, now doesn’t even reach top 20 lists. For the last 20 years, such industry has faced setbacks such as high costs, changing weather patterns and political factors that have driven the industry elsewhere. [Source: Central Florida Public Media]

Florida Trend Exclusive
Peering into space

With $2.5 million from a strategic funding initiative, the University of Florida is venturing further into space, so to speak, with its UF Space Mission Institute. The institute is designed to bring together researchers and scientists from around the school for space-related collaboration. Although the university is not new to space research, the institute brings together more than 100 faculty members who do space-related research in a range of fields, from agriculture to astronomy to physics and more. [Source: Florida Trend]

Low- and moderate-income Florida homes could get solar from federal funding

Thousands of Floridians living in low- to-moderate-income and disadvantaged neighborhoods will receive rooftop solar power over the next five years. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Monday announced the $156,120,000 for solar panels on Florida roofs. It’s from a $7 billion pot of the Solar for All program, in which 60 applicants were selected: 49 state-level awards, six awards to tribes and five multistate awards. [Source: WUSF]

Group backing recreational pot amendment touts support from veterans coalition

The main group looking to pass a ballot measure legalizing marijuana for recreational use is gathering a coalition of veterans to support the amendment. Smart & Safe Florida, whose political committee is backed mostly by Trulieve, a Tallahassee-based medical marijuana company, backed the effort to put the measure on the ballot as Amendment 3. Now, the organization is trying to shore up support among voters to get over the 60% threshold needed in November to legalize recreational pot. [Source: Florida Politics]

Yes, Florida law bans credit card 'swipe fees' but it can’t be enforced

Credit cards have become a convenient – and common – way for many to pay for goods and services. But did you know that every time you swipe or tap your card at a business they are then charged a fee by the credit card company to process the payment? This is called an “interchange fee.” Some businesses then opt to pass that fee onto you in the form of a surcharge. [Source: WTSP]


› Brightline sees rise in Orlando ridership, with more train cars on way
Brightline has seen its daily bookings rise for its Orlando expansion since it debuted in 2023. The Miami-based intercity rail service to Orlando has grown from 2,800 daily bookings in October 2023 to approximately 4,600 in March 2024. The route between South Florida and Orlando International Airport had 133,928 customers in March, up from 113,874 in February.

› USF develops long-term plans to combat greenhouse gases in Tampa Bay area
Hillsborough County recently approved a proposal to begin a pilot program using carbon capture technology on its waste-to-energy plant in Brandon. The move authorizes a South Korean company called Low Carbon to build to a facility that captures carbon dioxide emissions at the plant.

› Frenchtown fights to survive, preserve history amid growing student housing projects
In Frenchtown, no matter the street, no matter the corner, every day is a reminder of what's happened and what's coming. Tallahassee celebrates its 200-year anniversary this year. Yet, the face of Frenchtown, which has long been the state's oldest primarily Black neighborhood, is fading and changing a block from the governor's mansion -- and with barely a mention amid the pomp of the bicentennial milestone.

› Miami-Dade County’s urban tree project unable to shade residents from record heat
A thriving urban tree canopy can mitigate rising temperatures and other effects of climate change. Trees offer a natural cooling effect by providing shade and releasing moisture into the air. They can also help with water filtration and flood prevention. But the canopy in the Miami area is far below the county’s 30% target level, set more than a decade ago to help combat South Florida’s blistering conditions.

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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.


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