August 2009

August 2009 News Wire Archive

August 28, 2009

Judge OKs Florida's Financing Plan for Everglades Restoration Land Purchase
The financing plan for Florida's land deal with U.S. Sugar was approved by a circuit court judge on Wednesday, but only for a portion of the land the state wishes to acquire.

Palm Beach County Circuit Judge Donald Hafele ruled that water managers can use bonds to finance the $536 million purchase of 73,000 acres of land now planted with sugar cane and citrus orchards that will be used for Everglades water restoration projects.  Read more of this story here

August 27, 2009

Palm Beach County backs down from affordable housing rules
WEST PALM BEACH - Large swaths of Palm Beach County agricultural land still open to development no longer have to abide by affordable-housing requirements, county commissioners decided Tuesday.

Read more of this story here

August 27, 2009

 Unexpected commission defeat for 'Miami 21' zoning plan

MIAMI - Miami commissioners late Thursday killed Miami 21, the sweeping zoning overhaul that promised to be one of outgoing Mayor Manny Diaz's signature reforms.

After almost eight hours of public input and discussion, the comprehensive zoning plan died with an unexpected no vote from Commission Chairman Joe Sanchez -- the last vote on the dais.

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August 26, 2009

Palm Beach County gives new sugar industry a boost
WEST PALM BEACH - By opening more former Everglades land to new industry, Palm Beach County commissioners Tuesday decided the lure of jobs was worth a likely legal fight with environmentalists.
Read more of this story here

August 25, 2009

BB&T faces marketing challenges in Florida

BB&T vaulted from No. 17 in deposits market share in Florida to No. 5 through acquiring Colonial through its brokered agreement with the Federal Deposit Insurance

Read more of this story here

August 23, 2009

St. Joe Company's Big Plans and Drastic Impacts 

The construction of a new airport and industrial district on Florida's panhandle characterizes the impact of the St. Joe Company, the state's biggest landowner and one in the midst of drastically changing the area's landscape.

 Read more of this story here

August 22, 2009

The Perils of interview attire  

My last major job search took place in 1999, when I was looking to interview for accounting opportunities at large corporations. The only clothing decision I made at the time was whether the stripes on my tie would be red or blue. That is to say that interviewing attire in that situation was unquestionably suit-and-tie.

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August 21, 2009

The Panhandle Paradox

Are The St. Joe Company's development plans for huge swaths of timberland in northwest Florida an environmentally sensitive 'New Ruralism' or a serious threat to irreplaceable ecosystems? 

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August 19, 2009

Florida Population Drops For First Time Since 1946

Florida’s population declined last year for the first time since 1946 as the steep national recession put the brakes on in-state migration and also sent many residents packing, University of Florida researchers reported Monday.

Read more of this story here

August 18, 2009

Can Critically Endangered Panther be saved?        

One of more than 20 subspecies of cougar and native to the southeastern United States, the Florida Panther is most certainly still highly endangered. Biologists estimate that less than 100 of the animals are alive in the wild today, hanging on in the southern tip of Florida below the Caloosahatchee River. Their current range represents less than five percent of where they originally roamed across Florida, Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and parts of Tennessee and South Carolina.

Read more of this story here

August 17, 2009

Florida Cabinet OK's first new nuclear plant in 33 yrs         

TALLAHASSEE — The Florida Cabinet on Tuesday approved Progress Energy's controversial proposal to build a nuclear plant in Levy County, the first such plant approved in Florida in 33 years. The vote by Gov. Charlie Crist, Attorney General Bill McCollum and Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink comes as Progress seeks to raise its base rates by 30 percent to pay for the nuclear plant, which would not be up and running until at least 2018.

Read more of this story here   

August 15, 2009

What does LEED stand for? Retailers like Sweetbay learn as they build green

TARPON SPRINGS ­— Think your place is an energy hog? Consider the $26,000 monthly electric bill to run a supermarket.

To corral energy costs in a new Sweetbay Supermarket rising at Alt. U.S. 19 and Meres Boulevard, the Tampa-based chain is installing glass doors over the usually open dairy, beer and deli meat coolers. They're wiring motion sensors that turn on low-power LED lights when a freezer door opens. In the ceiling, 11 air conditioning units gobble a third less juice.

Read more of this story here    

Next commercial hot spot: SR64  

 EAST MANATEE — The stretch of State Road 64 East between Rye and Lorraine roads is emerging as one of Manatee County’s future commercial hot spots.

Developers recently have built or are hoping to construct at least four commercial projects along the mile-long section of road, ranging from medical offices to a neighborhood shopping center, public records show.
Read more of this story here

U.S., Florida reach Everglades restoration deal 

The agreement ends years of dispute over splitting up a ballooning restoration bill, which is expected to top $22 billion, and clears the way to quickly -- and finally -- begin long-stalled construction work.

Read more of this story here   

August 13, 2009

County to fight to restore powers to manage growth

Broward County will join a fight by local governments to regain power to manage growth and pay for needed road work.

A divided County Commission agreed Tuesday to join Weston in suing the state over controversial legislation that exempts developers from paying for roads needed to support new homes and businesses. The Legislature passed the law this spring amid Weston’s fight against the Davie Commons development.

Read more of this story here

August 12, 2009


August 11, 2009

Developer to create Florida's first solar powered city

A real-estate developer announced Thursday it is teaming with Florida Power & Light to create what the company says will be the first city powered by solar energy.

Read more of this article here

August 8, 2009

Anti-Growth Amendment Pressed in Florida

Anti-growth advocates have received permission to place on the 2010 Florida ballot a proposed constitutional amendment to strip local planning boards, supervisors, and commissioners of their right to approve changes in comprehensive local development plans.

If the amendment passes, every proposed change in a local development plan anywhere in Florida will have to be approved by voters in a formal election.

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August 7, 2009

Colonial bank confirms raid of Fla. branch

Financially troubled Colonial BancGroup confirmed federal agents raided its Orlando branch Monday with a search warrant.

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August 6, 2009

Florida must do 360 

LAKEWOOD RANCH — The Florida of 1946, known for its pristine beaches, East Coast tourist traps, cheap, plentiful real estate and magic carpet-like roads, is a model that won’t work in the future.

In a word, Florida must do a 360-degree “pivot,” said state Rep. Keith Fitzgerald, D-Sarasota, who spoke before about 50 who attended the Tampa Bay Partnership’s Chair’s Leadership Breakfast at Northern Trust Bank Tuesday. Read more of this story here

August 5, 2009

New Red Sox stadium would be built where man-made lake now stands 

LEE COUNTY — In 2012, the Red Sox will be playing where the birds are now wading.

The world got its first look at the proposed site plan for the new Boston Red Sox spring training stadium Tuesday afternoon.

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August 4, 2009

Hearing on Changes To I-4 Development Plan

The Polk County Growth Management Department will seek public comment Thursday evening on changes to the Polk Commerce Centre Development of Regional Impact and the Interstate 4 NE Selected Area Plan.

The area plan is a land use plan that establishes the location of the development in the DRI and how it would look when built. Read more of this story here


August 3, 2009

Why Jacksonville's economic indicators lead most of Florida 

Which of these Florida cities - Orlando, Tampa, Miami or Jacksonville - would you suppose has the highest per capita income?

Which of the three would you guess has the least unemployment? How about the least drop in home prices in the last couple of years?

Finally, which of the three do you suppose is predicted to enjoy the greatest rate of job growth in the coming three years?

If you answered Jacksonville, correctly, to all of those questions, you may be among those who appreciate just how much this area has going for it.

Read more of this story here

August 2, 2009

Palm Beach County backs down from affordable housing rules
WEST PALM BEACH - Large swaths of Palm Beach County agricultural land still open to development no longer have to abide by affordable-housing requirements, county commissioners decided Tuesday.

Read more of this story here