Sunburn – The morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics.
By Peter Schorsch, Phil Ammann, Mitch Perry and Jim Rosica.
The Associated Press’ annual pre-Legislative Session planning meeting and preview kick off today at 9 a.m.
Gov. Rick Scott again is the lead speaker; he’ll likely use the meeting to release his proposed state budget as he has in past years.
In the audience will be members of the Capitol Press Corps, and reporters, editors and editorial writers from newspapers and other outlets from around the state.
Speakers besides Scott who confirmed their attendance are:
— Senate President Joe Negron, a Stuart Republican.
— Agriculture Commissioner and Republican candidate for Governor Adam Putnam of Bartow.
— Winter Park businessman and Democratic candidate for Governor Chris King.
— House Democratic Leader Janet Cruz of Tampa.
— Republican House Speaker Richard Corcoran of Land O’ Lakes.
— Senate Appropriations Chairman and Republican candidate for governor Jack Latvala of Clearwater.
— Former Tallahassee congresswoman and Democratic candidate for governor Gwen Graham.
— Tallahassee Mayor and Democratic candidate for governor Andrew Gillum.
— Senate Democratic Leader Oscar Braynon II of Miami Gardens.
The meeting will be held on the 22nd floor of the Capitol.
Also today, the Florida Chamber’s Annual Insurance Summit begins in Orlando. This year’s theme: “Weathering the Storms: Irma, AOB, Workers’ Comp and What Lies Ahead.”
Scheduled speakers include CFO Jimmy Patronis and Florida Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier, as well as:
— Ash Williams, Executive Director and CIO, State Board of Administration.
— Barry Gilway, President, CEO & Executive Director, Citizens Property Insurance Corp.
— Bryan Koon, former Director of the Division of Emergency Management.
Key topics will be “Protecting Consumers in the Claims Process,” “AOB: The Problem – And the Solutions – Are Clear,” and “Managing an Epic Storm: Florida’s Response to Hurricane Irma,” among others.
The summit, which goes through Friday, is at The Ritz-Carlton Orlando–Grande Lakes, 4012 Central Florida Parkway, Orlando.
A livestream will be available for those unable to attend in person. Contact Greg Blose for details: firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Mike Pence to talk tax reform in Orlando” via Alex Leary of the Tampa Bay Times – He’ll be joined by Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and Gov. Scott, according to a news release and “will meet with local businesses, community leaders, and Florida families to discuss the need for taxreform.” Pence will then deliver remarks at Correct Craft, an American manufacturer with facilities across the U.S. building products used around the globe, the release said.
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— SITUATIONAL AWARENESS —
— @ChaseMitchell: Congratulations to the LA Dodgers for successfully avoiding having to meet the president
— @CespedesBBQ: Dude was a damn janitor down on his luck and now he’s a World Series champ. Hats off to you Evan Gattis.
— @BuzzFeedNews: Puerto Rico admits 911 people died since Maria after funeral directors told BuzzFeed News they had bodies not counted in official death toll
— @LedgeKing: .@gives blistering opening statement at Senate confirmation hearing for @ nominee @ , calls his record & behavior “as divisive and extreme as any in Washington.”
— @TroyKinsey: You won’t hear this at a @rally: ‘Mambo Number Five’ plays while crowd awaits @ ‘s announcement.
— @Fineout: .@fundraising off Baez resignation – sends out email that says “Democrat corruption has seeped its way into Florida.”
— @JimmyPatronis: I’m proud to announce today that I have decided to run for another term as CFO!
— @LobbyTools: Rep. Daisy Baez has officially resigned from the FL House. Her 12 bills will require new sponsors to move forward
— @JimRosicaFL: Hmmm. Twitter handle @has now locked up its tweets, account was “public” earlier today.
— @Scott_Maxwell: Big PAC funded by sugar, lawyers, Disney, more attacks former @star in tiny Longwood race Hope he bodyslams back
— CAPITOL INSIGHT —
“Proposal seeks to clear the way for public funding of private schools” via Jeffrey Solochek of the Tampa Bay Times – The chairwoman of the State Board of Education, charged with supervising Florida’s system of free public education, has proposed amending the state constitution to permit funding of some private schooling. Marva Johnson, a Gov. Scott appointee to the state board and the Florida Constitution Revision Commission, filed a proposal Tuesday to exempt education from the state’s constitutional ban on using public funds for religious organizations. She further recommended that state money go to private schools, including religious ones, to support students whose individual learning needs are not “completely met and accommodated” at their zoned public schools. The proposal is a long way from becoming reality. The commission would have to approve it, as would 60 percent of Florida voters.
“Constitutional amendment on privacy piques abortion-rights advocates” via Ana Ceballos of Florida Politics – A proposed amendment to the state constitution tweaking the right to privacy sparked a debate over abortion when pro-choice advocates argued the new language would weaken access to the procedure. The issue came up Wednesday during a committee meeting of the Constitution Revision Commission, which is reviewing and considering changes to the state’s governing document. The proposed amendment would clarify that the right to privacy in the state applies to “privacy of information and the disclosure thereof.” But the current privacy provision is also the basis for a landmark 1989 Florida Supreme Court decision that said it’s unconstitutional to require parental consent before a minor can get an abortion.
“Tom Lee files dog racing ban” via Jim Rosica of Florida Politics – As expected, Constitution Revision Commissioner Tom Lee filed a constitutional amendment to ban greyhound racing in Florida. Lee, a state senator from Thonotosassa and a previous Senate President, filed the 2-page proposal late Tuesday, the deadline for commissioners to submit proposed amendments for the state’s governing document. Lee last month said he had been considering filing such a measure … “There is growing recognition that many of these animals live in inhumane conditions, a reality that is out of line with the moral standard of Floridians,” Lee said in a statement. The amendment as filed would phase out live racing over three years, mandating a one-third reduction in race days in 2019-20 and a two-thirds reduction in 2020-21.
Spotted – Attorney and activist Emma Collum in Glamour magazine’s “How the Women’s March Organizers sparked a movement — and they’re still fighting for you” article profiling some of the women worldwide who staged the single biggest protest in modern history. Collum, who serves as Executive Director of Women’s March FL and was National Head of Field Operations for the National Committee of Women’s March, is a Democratic candidate for Florida House District 93.
“David Richardson seeks to delete gay marriage ban” via Drew Wilson of Florida Politics – Same-sex marriage has been legally recognized in Florida since the beginning of 2015, but lawmakers have kept language banning gay nuptials on the books. Now, a pair of Democratic state lawmakers are looking to change that in the 2018 Legislative Session, which starts Jan. 9. Democratic Rep. Richardson of Miami Beach, an openly gay man first elected to the Florida Legislature in 2012, filed a bill this week that would take the ban off the books. Fort Lauderdale Sen. Gary Farmer, another Democrat, has filed similar legislation in the Senate.
“Byron Donalds files legislation for ‘The Hope Scholarship’ program” via Legislative IQ powered by Lobby Tools – The Hope Scholarship Program, a priority for House Speaker Corcoran, would be a voucher-like program to help bullied and abused students change schools. Victimized students would have the opportunity to move to a private school that would be paid for from the scholarship. HB 1 has been referred to three committees, and is now in the PreK-12 Innovation Subcommittee. A date for the bill to be heard has not yet been set.
“House panel refiles lobbying and ethics bills” via Legislative IQ powered by Lobby Tools – The House Public Integrity & Ethics Committee will again push lobbying and ethics legislation in 2018. The committee refiled three proposed committee bills from last session and is expected to pass them at its Nov. 7 meeting. PCB PIE 1 is the last version of HB 7083 from last session, aimed at preventing public officials from seeking employment from entities they regulate. PCB PIE 2 is the latest version of HB 7021 from 2017, which would have strengthened the financial disclosure requirements of local government officials and would have required local government lobbying registration. PCB PIE 3 is the most recent version of HB 7023 from last session, to create a trust fund to pay for the local lobbying registration system.
In the House, 79 Republicans does not make a supermajority, Nancy Watkins says – And she’s an accountant, so we believe her. She writes in an email Wednesday, that according to Mason’s Manual of Legislative Procedure, “a two-thirds vote means ‘that the affirmative vote must be equal to twice the negative vote. It is not necessary that it exceed a ratio of two to one’ … If the Dems have 40 members and every one of them vote one way, then twice 40 would have to vote the other way to be a supermajority of (two-thirds). In other words, 80 votes the other way. (And) 79 is not twice 40.” In other words, it’s not enough for Democrats to lose a seat; Republicans have to gain in.
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— NOTES FROM THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL —
Assignment editors – Putnam will be in Pinellas County for an “Up & Adam” grassroots breakfast Thursday, Nov. 9, beginning 9 a.m. at the Louis Pappas Market Café, Northwood Plaza, 2560 McMullen Booth Road in Clearwater.
“Miami Beach mayor enters governor’s race: ‘I call ‘em like I see ‘em’” via Patricia Mazzei and Joey Flechas of the Miami Herald – Philip Levine officially began his Democratic campaign for Florida governor with the lack of subtlety that has characterized him over two terms as mayor of Miami Beach. He pointed to his political heroes, Cesar Chavez, Dwight Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr., Harriet Tubman. Literally pointed: He had them freshly painted in murals inside his cavernous Wynwood campaign headquarters, a building that last year housed Hillary Clinton’s Miami campaign for president. “Like America’s greatest generation, those heroes devoted their lives — even sacrificed their lives — to help all who would follow,” Levine said before sketching out a campaign platform around fighting climate change, raising the minimum wage and investing in public transportation and education to attract more employers. “It’s long past time to say we’ve had enough of the political bickering and posturing, enough of the calculated words of hate — enough of those who would tear us down and tear us apart just to score a political point,” Levine said. “They’ve had their turn. Today belongs to us.”
>>>This note goes out to Hizzoner, from our “Department of Rookie Mistakes,” about his sending out an advisory he’s running for governor under the cover of the “Office of Miami Beach Mayor”: Yeah, don’t do that again. It had nothing to do with the city of Miami Beach. Campaign-related notices and announcements are their own beast, and should be treated like advertisements, clearly labeled as such. Good advice—and we’re not even to charge you for it.
“CD 6 candidate says Ron DeSantis will run for Governor” via Matt Dixon of POLITICO – Although DeSantis has not decided about running for governor, a GOP candidate willing to, at least in part, self-finance his own congressional campaign is deciding to run for the lawmaker’s House seat. “I respect Ron, and I think he has been the guy he said he would be,” John Ward told POLITICO on Wednesday. “As one of his constituents for the past few years, I felt well represented, and I think he would be a good candidate for governor.”
Jimmy Patronis will seek four-year term in 2018” via Steve Bousquet of the Tampa Bay Times – Patronis, 45, of Panama City, is a former Public Service Commission member and Republican House member whose family name has long been synonymous with Captain Anderson’s, an iconic seafood restaurant. “Governor Scott appointed me to this post in June and I continue to work closely with him to guard your state tax dollars from fraud and abuse, and make sure government regulations are fair and predictable for Florida job creators,” Patronis wrote in a letter to friends and supporters under a letterhead that said “Join Jimmy”. “I get up every day excited to do this job. I love what I do.”
“Florida Dems: Patronis is Rick Scott’s lap dog” via Florida Democratic Party – “Now more than ever, Floridians need a competent, experienced Chief Financial Officer to tackle the economic challenges created by years of disastrous Republican policies. Patronis—Rick Scott‘s handpicked yes-man—has no applicable qualifications to be CFO. In fact, Patronis is best known for serving the special interests that fund Republican candidates. The consensus around the state since his appointment is that he is a terrible choice for CFO, and Scott is doing everything in his power to get him elected. In typical Rick Scott fashion, he has put his own interests over Florida families, and has set-up an unqualified crony to run for one of the most important positions in the state.”
“ ’Strong conservative’ Frank White talks guns, cannabis, Attorney General race” via AG Gancarski of Florida Politics – Earlier this month, Republican State Rep. White, lead attorney for an auto dealership group, jumped into the race to be Fttorney General … “I’m in the race to make a difference. I think there’s room in the race for a proven conservative,” White said, “and my track record in 15 years of studying and practicing law and business and private practice, and my year in the Legislature shows I’m a proven conservative, someone who is ready Day One to manage the largest law firm in the state.” … “To me,” White said, “the rule of law and our Constitution are the obvious foundational principles of our society. Society is a fragile construct … and it needs to be fought for and defended when forces that might undermine it appear.” Activist judges “who view their role as super-legislators, who choose to make law from the bench” nettle White, specifically on Second Amendment issues such as the Stand Your Ground law. “The Second Amendment is nonnegotiable,” White said, adding that restraint of its rights must be “narrowly tailored to achieve the compelling interest” of government.
“Voting restoration amendment has 750,000 signatures” via Jim Rosica of Florida Politics – The main backer of a proposed constitutional amendment that would automatically restore some felons’ voting rights after they complete their sentences says his group now has collected over 750,000 signatures. Desmond Meade, president of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, also said on Wednesday that he’s confident the amendment will have a million signatures by year’s end. “The needle is moving,” he said in a phone interview. The Florida Division of Elections website showed as of the end of Wednesday that the citizen ballot initiative, known as “The Voting Restoration Amendment,” has 301,064 verified signatures. Initiatives need 766,200 valid signatures for ballot placement.
“Republicans float another possible contender for Ileana Ros-Lehtinen’s seat” via Alex Daugherty and Patricia Mazzei of the Miami Herald – National Republicans appear unhappy with their choices in the race to replace Ros-Lehtinen next year. And so they’ve floated the name of a potential fourth candidate: Alex Burgos, a former top aide to Sen. Marco Rubio. Burgos left his job as Rubio’s deputy chief of staff and communications director in April to become vice president of federal policy, government relations and communications for TechNet, which represents the technology industry. Until then, he had been Rubio’s longest-paid adviser and the bedrock of the Miami Republican’s Capitol Hill office. Burgos still lives in Washington, where he and his wife are raising three young daughters – all potentially complicating factors for a congressional bid. But he’s a Miami native who still has family ties to Florida’s 27th District.
“Tom Steyer to recruit immigrant candidates for 2018” via Mitch Perry of Florida Politics – Liberal philanthropist and potential political candidate Tom Steyer announced Wednesday the creation of a nationwide program to identify, train and recruit naturalized immigrants, DREAMers and newly arrived Puerto Ricans to run for political office in 2018. Steyer’s NextGen America will team up with Latino Victory Fund on what is being called “The American Dream Project.” It will initially train 200 potential political candidates for Congress and statewide offices, ultimately recruiting 25 of those 200 to run for political office … “Republicans want to tell us it’s about legality or borders, but for us, it’s about something far more basic,” Steyer said. “That we’re all American and human beings, deserving dignity and respect. Period.”
— STATEWIDE —
“Bill Nelson savages Jim Bridenstine at NASA hearing, cites Marco Rubio attacks” via Marc Caputo of POLITICO Florida – Nelson savaged Trump’s pick to lead NASA, Oklahoma Rep. Bridenstine, by characterizing him as an unqualified climate-change denier who is so divisive that he even attacked the Florida Democrat’s counterpart, Republican Sen. Rubio. “You made television commercials attacking my friend and fellow Senator from Florida, Marco Rubio, deriding his work to find common ground on immigration and claiming he was working to make America less safe,” Nelson said, after listing a litany of reasons the House member doesn’t have the right stuff for the space agency. He delivered the critique in his opening remarks at Bridenstine’s confirmation hearing before the Senate Commerce Committee. Rubio hasn’t officially taken a position against Bridenstine — who campaigned against him in the 2016 GOP presidential primary on behalf of Texas Sen. Ted Cruz — but his office has expressed misgivings about Bridenstine’s qualifications.
“Lawsuit alleges another death from conditions at Hollywood nursing home after Irma” via Elizabeth Koh of the Miami Herald – Two men said their 86-year-old aunt should be counted as a new casualty of the conditions at the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills. They filed a wrongful death lawsuit in Broward County that accuses the center of negligence in preparing for and responding to Hurricane Irma, resulting in her death. Melek Said Elezaby, who died Oct. 5, is the 15th resident of the nursing home known to have died after the storm, said lawyer Albert Levin, who helped file the suit. The Hollywood Police Department has identified 13 residents whose deaths are part of a criminal investigation into the center, and named a 14th whose death was later determined by the Broward medical examiner as not linked to the investigation.
“Irma-damaged boats pulled out of state waters” via the News Service of Florida – Nearly 1,500 vessels impacted by Hurricane Irma have been removed from state waters over the past month and a half, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Almost three-fourths were in the Florida Keys, where 1,101 vessels have been taken out of the water. The updated numbers came as additional removal barges are arriving this week to support the work in the Keys. Many of the vessels have been removed by the boat owners themselves, while state and federal agencies also have been involved in removals. “Responders are actively removing displaced vessels that pose a potential environmental threat,” U.S. Coast Guard Cmdr. JoAnne Hanson said in a prepared statement. “Vessels that are actively leaking are our top priority, and we are working with the vessel and property owners, using Florida state laws, to determine the best method to mitigate the impacts of Irma on a vessel-by-vessel basis.”
“Orange, Osceola, Seminole leaders urge Florida, FEMA to plan better for Puerto Rican refugees” via Scott Powers of Florida Politics – In a letter to Florida Division of Emergency Management Interim Director Wesley Maul and copied to FEMA Administrator William Long and Gov. Scott, Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs, Osceola County Chairman Brandon Arrington, and Seminole County Chairman John Horan expressed urgency that state and federal agencies should come up with and share short-term and long-term plans for serving hundreds of thousands of Hurricane Maria evacuees. “Emergency management staff and several of us personally haves been asking for both the short and long-term housing plan to no avail. In the absence of a plan, there is the strong potential for chaos and United States citizens from Puerto Rico deserve better,” Jacobs, Arrington and Horan wrote.
“Who gets to appoint 3 new Florida justices, Rick Scott or the next governor?” via Mary Ellen Klas of the Miami Herald – The issue before the [Florida Supreme] Court was whether Gov. Scott has the authority to appoint three new justices to replace three current justices whose terms expire on the same day he leaves office in January 2019. Those appointments could tip the 4-3 balance of the court from progressive to conservative. The Florida League of Women Voters and Common Cause Florida urged the court to avoid a “constitutional crisis” that could emerge if Scott replaces Justices R. Fred Lewis, Barbara Pariente and Peggy Quince before his successor takes the oath of office. They argued that if Scott attempts a “midnight appointment” and chooses the successors before the deadline, it will draw lawsuits and send the court system into chaos … justices must decide whether to clarify a law that has traditionally been murky — and potentially influence who may be their replacements and new colleagues in the next term — or leave the issue unresolved to potentially face another lawsuit to be decided by justices whose appointments could be questioned, thereby disrupting the normal functioning of the court. Pariente hinted that political and ideological issues were overshadowing the case.
“State may sue drug company over money lost in trading” via Ana Ceballos of Florida Politics – The state will again consider whether it should pursue action against Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, a drug company accused of running a scheme that shielded it from competition and artificially boosted drug prices and sales. The matter was discussed Wednesday at a Cabinet aides meeting before Gov. Rick Scott and the Florida Cabinet meet next Tuesday. According to a staff analysis, the State Board of Administration (SBA) – which oversees the state’s investments – lost over $62 million in its purchases of Valeant shares in the midst of the alleged scheme. If Scott and the Cabinet approve a resolution to file direct action against the company, the SBA could recover millions of dollars.
“Man who killed abortion doctor told no parole until 2043” via Joe Reedy of The Associated Press – The state’s Commission on Offender Review set a March 9, 2043, release date for Michael Griffin, who was convicted of shooting Dr. David Gunn three times in the back March 10, 1993, as Gunn arrived to work at an abortion clinic in Pensacola. Griffin, who turned 56 on Sept. 11, is serving a life sentence at Blackwater River Correctional Facility in Milton. He was convicted of first-degree murder in 1994. The commission was required to consider Griffin’s release date because of the state’s mandatory minimum sentencing of 25 years, but was not meeting to decide whether he should be paroled now. The commission also voted not to consider Griffin’s case again until July 2024, the maximum time it can set. A state investigator had recommended a presumptive release date of April 9, 2018.
“Nursery challenges pot license ‘preference’ for citrus industry” via Jim Saunders of the News Service of Florida – A Sarasota nursery has filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of part of a new law that includes a preference for the citrus industry in the state’s awarding of potentially lucrative medical-marijuana licenses. The lawsuit, filed last week by TropiFlora, LLC in Leon County circuit court, is similar to a case filed in September that challenges another provision in the law directing a license to be awarded to a member of a black farmers’ group. In both cases, plaintiffs are seeking injunctions to block the Florida Department of Health from moving forward with awarding licenses while the lawsuits are pending. TropiFlora, which was denied a medical-marijuana license in 2015 under an earlier law, contends that the preference for the citrus industry violates the Florida Constitution. In part, it argues that the preference is what is known as a “special law” that improperly “grants a privilege to private persons and/or private corporations that own facilities” involved in the citrus industry.
“Black bear shot and killed near Blackwater River State Park” via Jake Newby of the Pensacola News Journal – FWC Public Information Director Bekah Nelson said the body of the bear was recovered off Bob Pitts Road. The FWC received an initial call about the dead bear around 6:30 a.m. Thursday … “Right now, details are still scarce,” Nelson said. “We’re trying to gather more details, and we hope if more and more people become aware of this situation we’ll learn more about what happened. That’s what we’re hoping for.” The bear was the second bear found dead of gunshot wounds in as many weeks in Santa Rosa County. A horse was also shot and killed in Pace last week. Nelson said a biologist from the Blackwater Fisheries Research is studying the bear’s body at the fish hatchery in Holt.
— FOR YOUR RADAR —
“Unlocked and loaded” via Laura Morel of the Tampa Bay Times – More than 80,000 guns have gone missing in Florida over the last decade. Most will never be recovered. The Tampa Bay Times and Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting spent 10 months examining thousands of law enforcement records to chronicle the extent of the stolen gun problem in the state. Those guns turn up in the hands of drug dealers and felons. Some wind up killing people. Since 2007, at least 82,000 guns have been reported stolen and never found. In Tampa Bay alone, at least 9,000 stolen guns are missing. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement, a public safety agency with statewide jurisdiction, doesn’t keep track of how many stolen guns are recovered … between 2014 and 2016, they documented nearly 11,000 stolen guns. Only about one in five has been recovered.
— OPINION —
“Editorial: Juvenile diversion programs work, so make them Florida-wide” via the Tampa Bay Times –Juvenile diversion programs are a proven way to help kids who commit minor offenses get steered back on the right path. Yet low participation in many Florida counties — Hillsborough, in particular — means thousands of teens are being denied the chance to avoid a criminal record over a youthful mistake. The Legislature, which has so far failed to pass a bill creating a statewide system, should not let another year go by without correcting this injustice … Civil diversion saves taxpayer money because it requires fewer law enforcement resources and cuts down on recidivism. According to an annual study by the Caruthers Institute think tank, the state saved between $56 million and $176 million over three years by diverting young offenders into civil citation programs … The kids are better off too. Diversion programs allow them to avoid a permanent mark on their record that can be an obstacle to employment, education and housing, and the programs have been shown to deter youth from getting in trouble again. The problem is that not enough jurisdictions in Florida have bought in. Locking up kids for minor crimes is a failed formula whose time has long passed.
— MOVEMENTS —
“Mitch Needelman found guilty of all charges” via John McCarthy of FLORIDA TODAY – A Seminole County jury found former Brevard County Clerk of Courts Needelman guilty of all charges in his public corruption trial. Needelman was convicted of bribery, conspiracy to commit bribery, bid tampering and official misconduct. His 12-day trial was Brevard County’s biggest public corruption trial in a generation. Needelman faces up to 45 years in prison. Judge Marlene Alva set sentencing for Dec. 4. Needelman was handcuffed and taken into custody immediately following the verdicts being read. At the heart of the state’s case were allegations that Needelman in 2012 awarded contracts to BlueWare Inc. in exchange for campaign contributions, most notably an $8.52 million contract to scan old court documents stored in a converted junior high school gym.
New and renewed lobbying registrations
Bryan Cherry, PinPoint Results: Progressive Pediatric Foundation
Jon Bloomfield: Adapt Pharma
Dean Cannon, Kim McDougal, GrayRobinson: Cornerstone Hospice & Palliative Care
Candice Ericks, Lauren Jackson, TSE Consulting: Broward Metropolitan Planning Organization
Nicole Fried, Colodny Fass: School Board of Broward County
Jason Lichtstein, Akerman: Abacus Energy Services
Lee Marks: Orexo US
Evan Power, Ramba Consulting Group: Florida State Association of Supervisors of Elections
John Smith, Peebles & Smith: City of Haines City
Michelle Strenth, West Orange Health Care District dba Health Central
Jason Unger, GrayRobinson: Florida Surety Association, Star Insurance Company
Ronald Watson, Watson Strategies: CALM Holdings
— ALOE —
“Smokey Robinson, Jimmy Fallon set for Thanksgiving Parade” via The Associated Press – Robinson, Fallon, The Roots, Common and Andra Day will be among the stars celebrating at Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City. Macy’s said that Tony winner Leslie Odom Jr., 98 Degrees, Flo Rida, Wyclef Jean and Miss America Cara Mundalso will participate in the 91st annual parade Nov. 23. The special will air at 9 a.m. EST on NBC’s “Today” show.
“DIY holiday: Starbucks releases a color-it-in-yourself cup” via Joseph Pisani of The Associated Press – The coffee chain’s latest holiday design lets customers color it in themselves. The cups — which are typically red-themed — were available Wednesday. Cup sleeves to go with them are red. A plainer red cup from 2015 spurred an outcry from critics upset that it lacked snowflakes, reindeer or specific symbols of Christmas. This year the cups feature splashes of red and green amid illustrations of presents, snowflakes and a Christmas tree with star on top. But the black-and white illustration is mainly blank for customers to personalize. “We hope they’ll color it in to represent what the holidays means to them,” said Leanne Fremar, a creative director at the company. Reaction was predictably mixed, with some people tweeting that they loved it, some saying they were disappointed and wanted red ones, and others just joking about what this year’s controversy would be.