Fight over Florida's new tech law headed to US Supreme Court
Attorneys for the state and online-industry groups plan to go to the U.S. Supreme Court in a battle about a 2021 Florida law that would crack down on social-media giants such as Facebook and Twitter, according to new court filings. The filings effectively seek to put proceedings on hold in a federal district court and the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals while the case goes to the Supreme Court. [Source: News Service of Florida]
Offshore drilling concerns increase in Florida as gas prices spike
While Florida lawmakers from both sides of the aisle are on the record as supporting a ban on offshore drilling for at least another decade, if not permanently, there are concerns that could change if gasoline prices continue to escalate over the next year. A ban on offshore drilling in Florida was extended to 2032 by former President Donald Trump in 2020. A bipartisan bill in the U.S. House of Representatives calls for a permanent ban on drilling off Florida’s coastlines, while U.S. Sens. Marco Rubio and Rick Scott have co-sponsored legislation that would codify Trump’s executive order to keep the current moratorium in place until 2032. [Source: Spectrum News 9]
From Apollo to Artemis, Kennedy Space Center celebrates 60 years of history and looks again toward the moon
Sixty years after the purchase of a 200-square-mile section of Florida swamp, John F. Kennedy Space Center remains a hub of launch activity and America's only portal for launching humans into orbit around the Earth. It is also prominently adorned with mementos of a time long since passed. That contrast — a facility aimed at the future while steeped in its own storied history — is visible everywhere from the building where astronauts suit up to the control room where teams give the rocket a final "Go" for launch. [Source: Florida Today]
DeSantis ready to act on final stack of bills
Gov. Ron DeSantis said Monday he expects to act quickly on the remaining bills from the 2022 regular legislative session. With the state’s new fiscal year ready to start July 1, DeSantis had 52 bills remaining on his desk from 280 that were approved by lawmakers during the regular session and two subsequent special sessions. The Legislature sent the final batch of bills to DeSantis on Friday. DeSantis can sign, veto or allow bills to become law without his signature. [Source: News Service of Florida]
Florida's airboat companies feeling the impact of high gas prices
With gas prices remaining high across the board, local businesses, including Central Florida airboat tours, are changing some of their usual way of business. Joel Martin has owned Black Hammock Adventures in Seminole County for 25 years and says his location is feeling the affects of inflation. “We’re closed Monday now,” explained Martin. “The first time in 25 years. Before, we were open seven days a week.” [Source: Spectrum News 13]
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› Red tide shows up at low levels in the Indian River Lagoon, causing concern for manatees [Florida Today]
In the wake of the worst year for manatee deaths on record, Florida wildlife officials last week found yet another potential killer of the threatened species in the Indian River Lagoon — red tide. While only at background levels now, the toxic algae's presence in the sea cow's most important habitat in Florida portends a tough summer ahead for the threatened species.
› Sarasota harp concert to benefit Ukrainian refugees [Sarasota Herald-Tribune]
Temple Sinai in Sarasota will host a special concert featuring Giuseppina Ciarla, principal harpist of the Sarasota Opera, to benefit Ukrainian refugees at 5 p.m. June 26. In “Hope from the Harp,” Ciarla will perform an eclectic range of songs from her recently released album “A Ticket Home,” in which she sings and plays the harp. The album includes such standards as “Que Sera Sera,” “Nature Boy” and Michael Jackson’s hit “Billie Jean.”
› New cruise ship Disney Wish arrives to cheers at Port Canaveral [Orlando Sentinel]
Disney Cruise Line’s new ship Disney Wish sailed into Florida for the first time Monday morning to the delight of fans let into Jetty Park to witness its arrival. The first new ship in the Disney fleet in more than 10 years sailed into its new home port at about 5 a.m. greeted by hundreds of fans who either woke up early, or didn’t sleep at all waiting for the ship’s arrival.
› At John’s Pass, where sand buildup poses danger, a dredging project is near [Tampa Bay Times]
Over the decades, strong currents have changed the contours of John’s Pass, creating a stretch of unwanted beach that balloons into a white semicircle near John’s Pass Village & Boardwalk. The accumulated sand has blocked storm drains, disrupted businesses that require water to dock their boats and lured unsuspecting tourists into a lethal, fast-moving current, making life difficult at one of Pinellas County’s most historic and popular tourist destinations.
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› After Florida fed court bans Brazilian plywood certifier, another appears [Insurance Journal]
Less than a month after a federal judge barred a Brazilian firm from certifying any more plywood, due to questions about the material meeting U.S. standards, a new certification organization has popped up. And a U.S. plywood coalition is crying foul. The U.S. Structural Plywood Integrity Coalition last week asked a federal court in South Florida for an injunction, blocking Forestwood Industries from certifying that Brazilian plywood meets what’s known as the PS1 standard required by most U.S. building codes, the coalition said in a statement.
› More than 8,000 jobs up for grabs at South Florida job fair [WPLG]
The Mega Job Fair is being held this week in Broward County and there are more than 8,000 jobs available from 100 different employers. The job fair will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday at FLA Live Arena at One Panther Parkway in Sunrise. The event is free and so is parking, but attendees are asked to pre-register for the event online. Some of the companies attending the job fair include the Florida Panthers/FLA Live Arena, the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Hollywood and American Express.
› Direct flights from Fort Lauderdale to Europe resume as new airline, Norse Atlantic, begins service [South Florida Sun-Sentinel]
Direct air service from Fort Lauderdale to Europe was resurrected on Monday as the startup discount carrier Norse Atlantic Airways readied its first flight to Oslo, Norway. The new airline, whose U.S. headquarters is in Fort Lauderdale, reportedly will start flights to Paris and other European cities from the Broward County airport later this year. Norse launched its service last week out of JFK International Airport in New York and plans to start flights from Orlando International Airport on July 5.
› Garden Theatre interim artistic director quits after 1 week [Orlando Sentinel]
Just a week after stepping in for departing Garden Theatre artistic director Joseph Walsh, Rob Winn Anderson has resigned. That leaves the Winter Garden theater without anyone in the top creative position while it also continues to look for a full-time manager of the organization’s business affairs.