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Monday's Daily Pulse

Like the Cubans before them, Venezuelan exiles are transforming Florida politics

Tens of thousands of Venezuelans, pushed by a failed economy and repression back home, are finding their way to South Florida. Their growing numbers and Venezuela’s dramatic implosion could tip the political balance in this crucial swing state, where presidential elections are decided by the thinnest of margins. [Source: Wall Street Journal]

FEMA hiring Florida residents for Hurricane Irma disaster recovery effort

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is hiring local residents to assist in the disaster recovery effort in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma. Jobs are located in Fort Myers, Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando and Tallahassee. [Source: Space Coast Daily]

Gov. Scott heads to Israel for trade mission

Scott left Saturday on a trip that will take him to both Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. He will be joined by nearly 70 business and education leaders, including the president and CEO of Florida Power & Light. This is Scott's 15th trip abroad since he became governor in 2011. [Source: AP]

Patterns in the sand: Sea level rise forced earlier migrations

Ancient Floridians had to change their lives because of sea level rise — they moved inland, but not much. Predictions on the modern displacement forced by sea level rise vary from a trickle to a full-on exodus. Other experts say it’s far too early to tell. [Source: Daytona Beach News-Journal]

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Florida Trend Exclusive
Cruise revenue pushes Port Canaveral toward $100 million

A new generation of leviathan-like cruise ships and a small but fast-growing cargo business has put Port Canaveral on the cusp of a significant milestone: $100 million in revenue. [Source: Florida Trend]


› Bonefish Grill ranks No. 1 for national favorite casual restaurant
Following flat sales and an adversarial investor, Tampa-based Bloomin’ Brands finally has a bit of good news: Americans love its Bonefish Grill restaurant chain. The company, one of four chain restaurants owned by Bloomin’, was ranked the top overall favorite casual dining restaurant.

› Publix gets brownfield tax aid for Oviedo, Orlando sites
As mega-grocer Publix continues expanding, it is decontaminating property in east Seminole County for a shopping center — all with the help of government tax incentives.

› It’s not only rich people who should care about Art Basel. Here’s why.
When flocks of serious — and seriously loaded — art gatherers descend on South Florida for the annual Art Basel in Miami Beach pageant, they’re coming to snag some of the best contemporary work money can buy. But that’s not the sole reason they make their way to Miami Beach and Miami.

› How steak is a signal that the snowbirds are back
There’s never been a substantial method for tracking the homecoming or the true size of Southwest Florida’s snowbird flock. Many of them own homes here, and most of them are U.S. citizens. But some businesses use unscientific measures to track the start of the season.

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› FPL spent $2.78B on grid upgrades, but customers doubt they got their money's worth
The hurricane season is over, but FPL customers, consumer advocates and state legislators are still simmering over the effectiveness of the company’s electric grid upgrades, and whether the utility can do more to prevent storm-driven power outages.

› Disney employees mulling over company's latest offer in union negotiations
Disney unions are divided over whether to approve a new contract that would give workers at least a 50-cent hourly wage increase for each of the next two years.

› Audit of Tampa airport raises questions about spending and salaries
A much-anticipated audit of Tampa International Airport unearthed misuse of a state grant and raised questions about the awarding and oversight of contracts related to the airport’s $2.3 billion expansion, the largest public works project in Tampa history.

› Nearly 1,200 buildings in the Keys were destroyed by Hurricane Irma
Nearly three months after Hurricane Irma pounded the Keys, new destruction numbers are in and they’re big. Nearly 1,200 residential and commercial structures in Monroe County were destroyed by the Sept. 10 Category 4 hurricane.