Southeast Florida Roundup
Cleveland Clinic Florida branches out
Cleveland Clinic Branches Out
Cleveland Clinic Florida opened its Florida Research & Innovation Center in a building once occupied by the failed state and local life-sciences investment, Vaccine and Gene Therapy Institute of Florida. The new Florida center, leased from Port St. Lucie, will focus on the prevention of infectious diseases. It will be led by scientific director and virologist Michaela Gack, who joined Cleveland Clinic Florida in July from the University of Chicago. She has researched dengue, influenza and zika viruses and twice has been on Germany’s list of the “top 40 under 40” scientists.
- Sunny Isles real estate developer Gustavo Lumer applied to change the agriculture zoning on 834 acres at Indrio Road and I-95 in St. Lucie County to allow construction of 2,683 houses, retail and a hotel, with land set aside for a fire station and public school.
- Google and the American Library Association granted the Broward County Library $123,000 to teach tech skills to small-business owners from low-income and under-represented groups.
- Coral Springs became the first city nationally to receive New York-based IntraLogic Solutions’ system that connects school security systems to city police. Funded by a school safety organization founded by the parent of a Parkland school shooting victim, the system initially will connect Coral Springs police with Coral Springs Charter School and Chabad of Coral Springs.
- Fort Lauderdale will spend $600,000 on flood mitigation in lieu of paying a $19,100 fine the state imposed after one of the city’s infrastructure failures in July led to 250,000 area businesses and residences losing water for days.
- Delray Beach suspended City Manager George Gretsas, who then wrote a lengthy letter to commissioners saying he was moved aside because he uncovered gross mismanagement and violations of law in the management of its water utility. The city says Gretsas, hired in January and the fourth city manager since 2013, was suspended for harassment and bullying.
- Sandra and Malcolm Berman donated an unspecified seven-figure gift to Baptist Health South Florida’s Boca Raton Regional Hospital. The hospital is raising money for campus redevelopment that includes a new facility with surgical suites, all single-patient rooms and a patient lobby.
- The Boys & Girls Clubs of Broward County appointed Matt Organ and Chris Gentile as co-CEOs. Organ has been with the organization for nearly 40 years. Gentile, who joined in 2015, was chief development officer.
- The South Florida Water Management District and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission announced the elimination of the 5,000th Burmese python in the Everglades since the state started paying hunters to kill the snakes in 2017.
- Spirit Airlines scaled back plans to lay off 2,500 around the country, including 1,000 at its Miramar headquarters and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.
- Boca Raton Airport and Okeechobee County Airport received $694,444 and $643,500, respectively, from federal airport improvement and coronavirus relief funding.
- Floridians who focused this year on the daily positive test rate for COVID-19 were watching the wrong thing, says Florida Atlantic University finance professor Rebel Cole. The daily rate misleads not only because it’s volatile but also because it reflects tests done from one day earlier to two weeks earlier, not the previous 24 hours as people assume. Also, the state focuses testing on virus hot spots, and the results don’t reflect a random sampling from around the state. Cole’s views are questioned by some FAU alumni and scientists who say he lacks expertise in public health, criticizes reporters, repeats claims of Trump supporters and shares social media postings that some see as inappropriate.Cole suggests Florida monitor the moving average rate for the previous seven days to establish a smoother trendline. He says the state should wait until a single day’s tests are mostly in before figuring out that day’s positive rate. He also suggests that Florida randomly sample people in each county to show the true prevalence of infection by county. Cole says local and state authorities are using the flawed daily positive rate to make decisions about what to open and what to keep closed. He and Jon Taylor, an FAU doctoral student, created an online COVID-19 tracker using state data. “County commissioners and mayors cannot make the right decisions if they don’t have the best possible data,” he says.
Read more in Florida Trend's October issue.
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