Sea level rise could have catastrophic effect on Florida’s economy, housing
As if increased demand and low supply for housing weren’t driving up housing costs enough, a new study finds the effects of rising sea levels could soon push low-income and working-class Floridians out of their current neighborhoods. The LeRoy Collins Institute, a nonpartisan, statewide policy organization based at Florida State University, is sounding the alarm about “climate gentrification” in a report released Monday. More from Florida Politics and the Tampa Bay Business Journal.
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Are you back in the supermarket? Here’s how shopping changed in Florida during COVID
Are you still relying on Instacart and Amazon for groceries? Or are you back at Publix, Aldi, Winn-Dixie and all the others, shopping list in hand? At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, with concern over supermarket safety, many shoppers turned to delivery. While some have grown to like the digital ordering and the door-to-door service, many consider in-person shopping a pleasure, and have returned to the supermarket aisles. Guess we like to squeeze the Charmin and eyeball the steak. [Source: Miami Herald]
Florida Trend Exclusive
Florida Power & Light and GE Digital open Microgrid Control Laboratory at UCF
Florida Power & Light and GE Digital opened the Microgrid Control Laboratory at the University of Central Florida, which will serve as a research facility for engineering faculty and students to simulate and test real-life grid control operations. GE Digital also launched an internship program that will offer UCF students experience in the utilities and power sectors and help students develop analytical and software development skills using artificial intelligence and machine learning. [Source: Florida Trend]
According to officials, Florida’s lettuce test project has fed 25 tons of lettuce to manatees
The unprecedented human effort to save starving Florida manatees has so far provided the adorable marine mammals with over 25 tons of lettuce, officials said Wednesday. The round-tailed, snout-nosed animals that are popular with tourists and locals have suffered a major die-off. Their preferred seagrass food source is diminishing because of water pollution from urban, agriculture, septic tanks, and other sources. [Source: Florida Insider]
Astra Space details steps toward return to flight after rocket failure
Nearly two weeks since Astra Space’s first launch from Florida ended with the rocket spinning out of control in space, the company detailed the steps it’s taking to investigate the failure. The Alameda, California-based company was able to send its Rocket 3.3 in what looked like a good liftoff into space from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station on Feb. 10, and all looked well until the first-stage separation, according to Andrew Griggs, Astra’s senior director for mission management and assurance. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› State launches donation portal supporting those impacted in southwest Florida tornadoes
A new donation portal opened Tuesday for those impacted by tornadoes that touched down in southwest Florida last month. Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Florida Division of Emergency Management announced the launch of the new website for those affected by the tornadoes that touched down in Charlotte and Lee counties on Jan. 16. This comes after the Federal Emergency Management Agency denying the state’s request for individual assistance in southwest Florida areas.
› FPL supports customers paying subsidies but not when it comes to rooftop solar
In a new television ad, Florida Power & Light argues that “outdated Florida laws are forcing FPL customers who don’t have rooftop solar to pay extra every month for the few who do.” The argument — that some customers subsidize other customers — is at the heart of the utility industry’s push to change the “net metering” financial terms that have helped expand the solar power industry.
› Zillow layoffs grow in Tampa
An additional 19 people are being laid off at Zillow in Tampa as the company continues to wind down its home buying program, Zillow Offers. The new layoffs will bring to 37 the total number of people working at the company’s downtown office on Ashley Drive losing their jobs. In November, Zillow announced that 17 Tampa employees were being eliminated because of the company’s decision to do away with the offer program. In all, about 25% of the company’s workforce was laid off because of the decision.
› A look at the 1st cruise liner to operate out of JaxPort since the start of the pandemic
The cruise line industry is working to rebuild its strength after two years of lockdown and struggle due to the COVID-19 pandemic. On Monday, the newest cruise ship operating out of JaxPort was set to launch another voyage — the ship’s second since the start of cruise season earlier this month.
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