Hurricane season: Fatigue, not amnesia, a concern as 2019 storm season approaches
Florida’s emergency managers grappled with hurricane amnesia for the quiet decade following the hyperactive 2004 and 2005 storm seasons, but now there’s another concern — hurricane fatigue. Instead of tropical cyclones being a distant memory, three consecutive years of devastation may have left people numb to the upcoming season that begins June 1. [Source: Sarasota Herald-Tribune]
Tough season ends for stone crabbers
Southwest Florida endured the worst of the red tide outbreak, blamed for killing untold numbers of stone crabs and driving surviving crustaceans north. Increased harvests in some Gulf of Mexico waters near Florida’s Big Bend “broke all kinds of records,” said Bill Kelly, executive director of the Florida Keys Commercial Fishermen’s Association, but Hurricane Michael’s damage to the sea floor off the Panhandle limited production. More from Keys News and the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.
Florida Cabinet meeting in Israel raises questions about public access
Visitors to Florida’s capital who come to address their government often complain that it is out of the way and hard to reach, a long drive or an expensive plane ride away from most major cities. Anyone planning on attending the next Florida Cabinet meeting faces a much longer trek. It’s being held May 29 in Israel, more than 6,500 miles away from Miami, or a 12-hour one-way nonstop plane trip. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]
Despite missteps, high-speed rail lines in three states point to progress
By the end of this year, the country may have as many as three new passenger railroad systems under construction, each promising fast service between cities in just a few years. The projects in California, Florida and Texas differ quite a bit from one another in size, scope and funding sources. But each one of those projects seems to be moving forward despite significant obstacles, something many rail proponents see as as a promising sign. [Source: Governing]
With hemp now legal in Florida, many look to cash in on CBD oil
Chances are you have heard about CBD oil. You will find it in stores, on reality TV, and lately even restaurants. Many people claim it offers relief for everything from anxiety to pain. Up until recently, CBD was illegal in Florida but that’s changing as legislators change the law to help Florida cash in on the CBD craze. Whether you are buying cosmetics, supplements, or just looking for tea, CBD oil is showing up just about everywhere. [Source: CBS Miami]
Reaching new heights: New MRO hangar at Treasure Coast International Airport
In addition to having an Instrument Landing System runway measuring more than 6,490 feet, a recently renovated passenger terminal and U.S. Customs facility, Foreign Trade Zone #218 and no landing fees, Treasure Coast International Airport (FPR) is constructing a 31,000-sq.-ft. hangar for aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul. The new hangar will complement the airport’s thriving cluster of nearly 50 aviation and aerospace tenants, large and small. [Sponsored report]
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› Alyce Robertson steps down as executive director of Miami Downtown Development Authority [Miami Herald]
Miami Downtown Development Authority (DDA) executive director Alyce M. Robertson, who led the agency over 11 years of explosive growth along the city’s central business district, is stepping down from the post. The move was announced by City of Miami Commissioner Ken Russell during a meeting of DDA board members on April 26. Robertson will continue in the post during a transition period to find her replacement.
› Gov. DeSantis: Russians hacked voting databases in two Florida counties [AP News]
Russian hackers gained access to voter databases in two Florida counties ahead of the 2016 presidential election, Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis said at a news conference Tuesday. The governor said he signed an agreement with the FBI not to disclose the names of the counties, but elections officials in those counties are aware of the intrusions.
› Satellite Beach movie theater closes after 52 years [Florida Today]
Who would have thought the blockbuster movie "Endgame" would spell an ironic end for one of Brevard County's oldest theaters? The Satellite Beach Cinemas in Atlantic Plaza has closed its doors after some 52 years, leaving the county without a public theater east of the Indian and Banana rivers, except for the IMAX theater at the Kennedy Space Center Visitors Complex.
› Osceola County landfill takes in coal ash from Puerto Rico, triggering public backlash [Orlando Sentinel]
Osceola County leaders sought to ease public outcry over landfill disposal of thousands of tons of ash from a Puerto Rican power plant that burns coal. The county approved a contract earlier this year, charging the privately owned JED Landfill $2 for each ton of ash it receives. A unit of Waste Connections, the landfill is southeast of St. Cloud in rural area.
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› Florida may create prostitution registry for pimps and johns [Tampa Bay Times]
Gov. Ron DeSantis could soon sign legislation that creates a statewide registry for pimps and johns in an effort to crack down on human trafficking. But Florida officials are not stopping there. With their eyes on the Super Bowl and WrestleMania, both of which the state will host in 2020, officials are looking for new ways to ensure victims are not trafficked for sex or labor.
› Florida’s best beach bar wins honor for second year in a row [Daytona Beach News-Journal]
After being crowned the best beach bar in Florida last year, Sharky’s on the Pier in Venice came out on top once again. The restaurant and bar, on Brohard Beach, next to Venice Fishing Pier, won the floridabeachbar.com competition for the second year in a row and the third time overall.
› Winter Park rejects hitting ‘pause button’ on $40.5M library and events center [Orlando Sentinel]
Winter Park commissioners voted Monday to move forward with construction drawings for the Canopy, a massive $40.5 million campus with a library and events center, despite newly-elected Todd Weaver’s attempt to delay the project. Commissioners voted 3-1 to authorize the design team to create the plans by October.
› A group of scientists just presented updated sea level rise projections to Tampa Bay politicians. Here's what they say. [Tampa Bay Times]
A group of local scientists has been working on and off for months to come up with Tampa Bay-area projections for sea level rise. Their verdict: the problem is getting worse. The Tampa Bay Climate Science Advisory Panel, a group of climate scientists that formed in 2014, presented its findings to a Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council committee Monday.