Thursday's Daily Pulse
DeSantis wants to ban state pension investments based on political factors
During a news conference Gov. DeSantis singled out the “ESG” investment movement, which stands for environment, social, and governance (meaning the way companies are structured). The movement is also known as “sustainable” investing. DeSantis said it amounts to “the politization of the economy,” and added, “It benefits the largest, most powerful corporations and it disadvantages the small and medium-sized businesses. And so, this is not something that is empowering, kinda, the little guy. You know, this is something that is, in many respects, crushing the little guy.” [Source: Florida Phoenix]
Construction starts soar 31% in South Florida in first half 2022
Dodge Construction Network, the Hamilton, New Jersey-based company said the tri-county region had the fourth-most commercial and multifamily construction starts, after New York; Dallas; and Washington, D.C. In fact, the amount of construction in South Florida even exceeded the first half of 2019, ahead of the Covid-19 pandemic. [Source: South Florida Business Journal]
Florida among states with most monkeypox cases, health officials say
Health officials are closely monitoring the monkeypox outbreak. Florida is among the states with the most cases as the Florida Department of Health works to get the vaccine to the people who need it most. Experts said the virus itself is now spreading faster than the details and data about the most recent cases. It's making it difficult for doctors to keep up. Dr. Thomas Unnasch, a distinguished professor with USF's College of Public Health, said whether the vaccine will be able to slow the spread fast enough will come down to how the population responds. [Source: WFTS]
Two University of Florida startups are joining forces to boost Florida’s struggling citrus industry
The US Department of Agriculture released a report last month that estimates this years growing season was the lowest for citrus since 1940. This is attributed to diseases, specifically the citrus greening disease, and hurricanes. “The citrus industry has been on some tough times in recent years” said the CEO of Agriculture Intelligence, Matthew Donovan. [Source: WCJB]
Florida, textbook company spar in pricing probe
Attorney General Ashley Moody's office last month issued a subpoena to Savvas Learning Company, LLC, seeking information about discounts on instructional materials offered to Florida school districts. But the New Jersey-based company on Thursday filed a motion in Leon County circuit court asking Judge J. Lee Marsh to "modify or set aside" the subpoena and issue a protective order blocking some of the documents from public scrutiny. [Source: CBS Miami]
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› Rat lungworm detected in Pasco’s giant African land snails [Tampa Bay Times]
Scientists have detected rat lungworm, a parasite known to cause meningitis in humans, in giant African land snails captured in New Port Richey.
› Universal Parks patents ‘false floor’ tech to improve theme park ride immersion [Orlando Business Journal]
Theme park rides are all about immersion and helping riders escape from reality — and a new patent from a major Orlando theme park operator could help improve that. Universal Parks & Resorts, the parent entity of Universal Orlando Resort, filed a patent for "False Surface for Amusement Ride Special Effect," to resolve a "common difficulty ... to provide the best illusion of realism to guest riders with the scenery or special effects," said the patent
› Veterans gain cybersecurity skills through FIU program [Miami's Community News]
The Veterans and First Responders Training Initiative, supported by a grant from the National Security Agency, is a year-long cybersecurity curriculum taught by the Jack D. Gordon Institute for Public Policy, the College of Engineering and Computing (CEC)and the Global Forensic and Justice Center (GFJC) at FIU. Any veterans and first responders, even those with no technical experience, are welcome to apply.
› Straz Center names theater world veteran Greg Holland next CEO, president [Tampa Bay Times]
Tampa’s David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts has picked its next leader. Greg Holland, a theater-world veteran who’s held leadership roles with venues, production companies and Tony-winning plays in San Francisco, Dallas and New York, will replace the Straz’s outgoing CEO and president of 30 years, Judy Lisi, who announced her retirement last fall.
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›Torchy’s Tacos opening in Florida is delayed. [WKMG]
Texas-based taco chain Torchy’s Tacos had planned to open its first Florida locations this summer, but those plans are getting pushed back.
› Coral Gables, Florida, deploys drones designed to respond to emergencies sooner than police [SmartCities Dive]
During an emergency call, security services company Bond deploys a drone to the scene to quickly assess the situation — be it a fire or potential criminal activity, for example — and help intervene or identify suspects if needed, Bond Founder and CEO Doron Kempel told Smart Cities Dive.
› Brian Breslin: At UM, serial entrepreneur is mentoring others to succeed [Miami Today]
Brian Breslin, director of The Launch Pad at the University of Miami, began his entrepreneurial career at 15. Over two decades later, he has helped shape the tech ecosystem in South Florida. In 2006 he founded non-profit Refresh Miami, the largest networking and educational organization in Florida focused on technology and entrepreneurship, and he continues to be involved as chairman.