Environment

Storm-proofing: Sales-tax break starts July 1, but what about the $10,000 grants?

BY: - June 7, 2022

Update: Late Tuesday, a webpage of FAQs about yet-to-be-implemented “My Safe Florida Home” grants was rolled out by the Florida Department of Financial Services. It is at https://myfloridacfo.com/mysafeflhome.  Florida residents wanting to fortify their homes against storm damage this hurricane season are entitled to sales-tax exemptions starting July 1 on purchases of impact-resistant windows, doors […]

Amid turbulence in FL property insurance market, homeowners still have options — but not many

BY: - June 7, 2022

With the first named storm of the 2022 hurricane season — Alex — already leaving its mark on South Florida, the turmoil in the state’s property-insurance market continues to worsen. Tens of thousands of Florida homeowners are scrambling to find coverage, as the insurance industry grapples with “an existential challenge,” as described by a leading […]

Sierra Club of FL endorses Crist for governor in 2022

BY: - June 6, 2022

Sierra Club of Florida endorsed U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist Monday in the race to represent Florida Democrats in this fall’s gubernatorial race against incumbent Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis. Sierra, claiming 32,000 members and roughly 240,000 supporters in its environmental advocacy and legal-defense organization, praised Crist’s overall environmental record as governor 2007-2011 and in Congress since […]

Passenger and freight rail projects in 32 states, including FL, get millions from U.S. DOT

BY: - June 2, 2022

WASHINGTON — The U.S. government is doling out millions of dollars to railroad projects throughout the country in hopes of improving supply chains and passenger rail service. The announcement by the Biden administration of $368 million in Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements will go to more than 46 projects designed to improve safety and […]

COMMENTARY

By focusing only on ‘resilience,’ Florida’s governor ignores climate change’s deadly heat

BY: - June 2, 2022

Florida tends to be a pretty lively place. Just look at all our crowded beaches, highways, stadia, hockey rinks, racetracks, bars, restaurants, casinos, and, sometimes, hospital ERs. You may be surprised to hear that we’ve also got lots of amazing dead spots too — in other words, graves. The most famous one is the Key […]

Names from A to Z: 2022 Atlantic hurricane season begins June 1

BY: - May 31, 2022

The 2022 Atlantic hurricane begins June 1 and extends to Nov. 30, with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicting up to 21 named storms. The NOAA describes the storms as an “above-normal season.” NOAA references a “climate change connection” related to hurricane seasons. It says, in part: “NOAA tracks how changes in our atmosphere, […]

Amid property-insurance crisis, mobile-home owners and hurricane shelters get some attention

BY: - May 27, 2022

Overshadowed by the statewide crisis in Florida’s property-insurance market, legislation to make mobile homes and manufactured homes safer during strong storms was signed into law Wednesday. The new law also lets state funding be used not only for retrofitting of hurricane shelters but also for construction of new ones. Sponsored by Palm Beach County Democrat […]

Research group ranks sunscreens for safety to humans and FL coral reefs

BY: - May 27, 2022

The safest sunscreens for humans and for Florida’s deteriorating coral reefs are listed in a new guide based on research by the Environmental Working Group, a national nonprofit organization that studies chemicals in sunscreens, cosmetics, food, and tap water. EWG’s 2022 “Guide to Sunscreens” cites scores of mineral-based lotions, sticks and butters with top safety […]

Gov signs property-insurance overhaul; market is still in freefall as hurricane season opens next week

BY: - May 26, 2022

A package of property-insurance measures adopted in special session this week by the Florida Legislature are now in effect, signed into law Thursday by Gov. Ron DeSantis amid projections that still more insurance companies will fail in coming weeks. That would leave tens of thousands more homeowners scrambling to find insurance coverage in the opening […]

COMMENTARY

This Florida poaching problem seems almost un-bear-able

BY: - May 26, 2022

June 1 marks the official start of hurricane season, or as I like to call it, “Mother Nature’s annual reminder that Florida is trying to kill us.” Hurricanes making landfall, shark bites, sinkholes, lightning strikes — we lead the nation in all of these deadly categories. Yet people keep flocking here like lemmings, trying to […]

hurricane cleanup

GOP-controlled FL Legislature OKs property-insurance overhaul; some Dems call it a bailout

BY: and - May 25, 2022

Legislation intended to shore up Florida’s crumbling insurance industry is ready to send to Gov. Ron DeSantis to sign following a three-day special session of the Florida Legislature to address the deteriorating marketplace, skyrocketing premiums, and widespread policy cancellations on the eve of hurricane season. The state Senate adopted the package on Tuesday and the […]

Summer hurricanes, wildfires and storms loom as FEMA faces pressure to step up

BY: - May 25, 2022

WASHINGTON — Another grueling summer disaster season is arriving, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency is under intense pressure even as its portfolio balloons, it pleads for more money from Congress and criticism comes on several fronts. The agency manages more than 300 disaster declarations a year, a dramatic increase from the average of 108 […]