Florida Trend | Florida's Business Authority

Tuesday's Daily Pulse

‘Sand is like gold.’ The pricey cost of restoring Florida’s beaches before the next Hurricane hits

The Sunshine State’s beautiful sandy beaches aren’t just one of the biggest money-makers in the state’s tourism industry, they’re also the first line of defense against storm surges and flooding caused by tropical storms and hurricanes. Now, after both coasts were hit during the 2022 hurricane season that ended on Wednesday, those specific beaches are in dire need of repair. Even prior to the start of hurricane season on June 1, 426 of the Sunshine State’s 825 miles of coastline were labeled as “critically eroded” in a June report posted by Florida’s Department of Environmental Protection. [Source: Florida Insider]

Florida’s required school immunizations fell to 10-year low

Last school year marked a more than 10-year low for Florida’s kindergarten and seventh-grade students completing all doses of required immunizations, according to a recent report from the state Department of Health. About 91.7% of kindergarten students in public and private schools statewide completed the immunizations required to enter school during the 2021-2022 year, the September report showed. That rate of completion is the lowest since the 2010-2011 school year, when 91.3% of students completed all doses of the required vaccines. [Source: News Service of Florida]

EPA: Florida must change water quality standards to protect citizens' health

The United States Environmental Protection Agency has determined that Florida’s antiquated water quality standards do not go far enough in protecting its citizens — particularly those who consume fish — from pollutants and adverse health effects. Florida’s current criteria for 40 toxic pollutants runs afoul of the Clean Water Act, does not reflect the latest science and must be changed to safeguard a state that has a vibrant seafood industry, the agency said in a letter released Thursday by the federal agency. [Source: Tallahassee Democrat]

After hurricane season’s official end, forecasters eye tropical disturbance

Less than a week after the official end to the hurricane season, a rare December tropical disturbance popped in the Central Atlantic. The National Hurricane Center released a special tropical weather outlook on a large, low-pressure system over the central subtropical Atlantic on Monday that is producing disorganized showers and thunderstorms. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

Hertz to pay $168 million in bogus theft settlement

Hertz says it will pay approximately $168 million by the end of the year to settle the majority of the lawsuits brought against the rental car company by some of its customers who were wrongly accused of stealing cars they had rented. In April Hertz CEO Stephen Scherr, who took over the role in February, said that he was working to fix a glitch in the company's systems that led to the incidents. Hertz Global Holdings Inc. said Monday that the settlement of 364 pending claims related to vehicle theft reporting would bring resolution to more than 95% of the pending theft reporting claims. [Source: AP]

Why and how to claim residency in Florida

If you’re one of the more than 800 people who have moved your family or business to Florida every day since before the pandemic, you’ve come to know the benefits of life in the sunshine. With no state income tax and relatively low taxes at the local levels, Florida is an ideal place to claim residency. From homestead exemption for your primary residence, to asset protection, even in-state tuition at one of the nation’s highest-ranked state university systems for quality education and return on investment, there’s a reason millions call Florida home.[Sponsored report]


› Pickleball explosion in Florida creating new hits and misses for insurers, agents
If the insurance industry hasn’t noticed, the sport known as pickleball is exploding across the country, especially in Florida, where more than 15 indoor clubs, replete with air conditioning, cafes, locker rooms, video training and other amenities are planned or are under construction. The growth has brought new opportunities but some tricky challenges for carriers, insurance agents and property developers in Florida’s expensive and distressed insurance market.

› SpaceX set for Falcon 9 launch and landing doubleheader this week 
SpaceX is set for a Falcon 9 launch and landing doubleheader from Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida this week. Shortly after liftoff spectators can expect window-rattling sonic booms as both launches will feature first-stage landing attempts at the Cape's two Landing Zones. The launches will mark the 53rd and 54th of the year from Florida's Space Coast.

› The latest victims of the party crackdown in Miami Beach? Sidewalk hookah bars
Claudia Herman has owned D’Vine Hookah Lounge in Miami Beach for almost two decades. Her business depends on a steady stream of tourists and locals who want to indulge in flavored tobacco smoked from a water pipe and watch shoppers stroll along Lincoln Road. But Herman’s business is in peril. In October, Miami Beach implemented a new system to regulate sidewalk cafes that bans hookah on public property, meaning shops like D’Vine can no longer serve it outdoors.

› Space Force launches new regional headquarters in Tampa
America’s newest military branch is broadening its footprint in the Sunshine State. On Friday, Space Force opened its second regional headquarters in Tampa under U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM). The broadened operations at MacDill Air Force Base “will play a significant role in supporting CENTCOM’s growing need for space-based capabilities such as satellite navigation, communications and missile warnings,” a press note from the command said.

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› Lee Technical Colleges rank second in Florida for post-secondary industry certifications earned by school district
The School District of Lee County is proud to announce that once again the Lee Technical Colleges rank second in Florida for post-secondary industry certifications earned annually by a school district. Fort Myers Technical College, Cape Coral Technical College and the Southwest Florida Public Service Academy awarded 685 Industry Certifications in the 2021-2022 school year and earned $562,326 in performance funds toward program improvement.

› St. Johns River Water Management District reviewing Boeing permit
The St. Johns River Water Management District is reviewing an environmental resource permit application for The Boeing Co.’s proposed component repair, maintenance and warehouse facility at Cecil Airport. The Jacksonville Aviation Authority board voted 7-0 on Sept. 26 to lease property to Scannell Properties to build the $26 million project.

› Florida Christmas tree farm closing after 38 years in business
For more than a generation, the Unicorn Hill Christmas Tree Farm has played host to countless holiday memories. Families select their tree from six different varieties of pine, cut it down and have it strapped to their car’s roof for a ride to its new home. But for those who are accustomed to making that annual stop at any point since 1984, this year will be the last.

› Amid external investigation, HART CEO will stay put
The chief executive of Hillsborough County’s transit agency will continue at the helm while the agency faces an external investigation into allegations of a hostile work environment and the double-dipping of a top staffer who was simultaneously working for a public agency in another state. Chair of the Board of Directors and County Commissioner Pat Kemp introduced a motion to place Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority CEO Adelee Le Grand on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation at a board meeting Monday morning.