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14 posts from March 7, 2014

March 07, 2014

Look out Bloomberg! Scott shows off his language skills


Gov. Rick Scott tweeted a greeting to Pres. Barack Obama, who is visiting Miami today.

"It's time to support those who fight for liberty in Venezuela," Scott tweeted to @barackobama in Spanish.

It contains a fun Vine of Scott trying real hard to speak Spanish. Played on a loop all day, it's mesmerizing.


Scott's False claim about "record funding for environment


So we know Gov. Rick Scott likes to portray himself as the jobs-promoter-in-chief but what about tree-hugger-in-chief?

During his fourth State of the state speechMarch 4, Scott began by reeling off a list of recent accomplishments.

"A lot has happened since I spoke to you last year. I can talk about how our unemployment rate is now down to 6.3 percent. How our crime rate is at a 42-year low. How we have invested record funding in protecting our environment....."

Some of those numbers sounded familiar to us. But we hadn’t heard Scott’s claim that during his tenure we have invested record funding to protect the environment, so we decided to fact-check that claim. Read PolitiFact to see what we found.

A video tour of PortMiami's soccer-free development plan



UPDATED at 10:42 a.m. with a response from PortMiami. 

PortMiami's own development plan for the southwest corner hasn't been easy to see.

The port and World Trade Center Miami, a non-profit that port director Bill Johnson chairs, hired Miami architect Chad Oppenheim last year to create a master plan for the same land that David Beckham wants for a soccer stadium.

The growth strategy calls for a 7-million-square-foot World Trade Center Miami complex, with enough office space to fill about six commercial high-rises downtown.

Downtown Miami's commercial real estate industry, already complaining about the port's development designs creating competition in a glutted office market, howled at the proposal once word of it began making the rounds. 

Port executives cautioned against putting too much stock in the Oppenheim study, saying it was just to show the site's potential as PortMiami launched a global search for developers to make their own proposals. 

That search apparently began in January, when port director Bill Johnson toured Asia with a presentation based on Oppenheim's soccer-free plan.  You can see the PowerPoint touting Oppenheim's vision by clicking here.

Continue reading "A video tour of PortMiami's soccer-free development plan" »

Today in Tallahassee: Five Things To Know

 The first Friday of the 2014 legislative session will be very quiet at the Capitol as Fridays usually are in early March. Here are five things to watch:

Gov. Rick Scott visits Miami for a morning event to promote money in his budget for PACE Centers for Girls, an education and counseling program. Also in Miami on Friday morning: President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama visit a local school to talk about how the country’s future economic success hinges on the quality of its education.

* The Commission on Ethics meets in Tallahassee and will take action on several pending cases and advisory legal opinions.

* An Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) committee will discuss ways to increase the use of electronic medical records in Florida.

* State economists meet to fine-tune the projected property tax collections this year from all 67 counties.

* Candidates for statewide office and the Legislature will likely be compiling contribution and expenditure reports that are due Monday, March 10.

Contact Steve Bousquet at bousquet@tampabay.com or (850) 224-7263.