Last Call — A prime-time read of what’s going down in Florida politics.
Let’s start the last “Last Call” of the week with some good news: The Never Forgotten Coast campaign and the Mexico Beach Artificial Reef Association announced nine “micro-grants” to “immediately help businesses in the community hardest hit by Hurricane Michael last year.”
“Every day, we see improvements in Mexico Beach,” said Alex Workman, Never Forgotten Coast co-founder. “We know the community is strong and resilient, and we hope these grants will provide a little bit more help to this town that we love.”
The following businesses will get $1,000 each, according to a news release:
— Forgotten Coast Realty lost everything inside the business, including office furniture, computers and other supplies. The funds will go to replace those supplies.
— Splendiferous MB is a woman’s clothing store that sustained damage to the building and parking area. The funds will help cover the cost of new gravel for the parking lot.
— Killer Seafood suffered a total loss of building and all equipment. The funds will help get a temporary trailer to reopen the restaurant as soon as possible.
— Pristine Properties Vacation Rentals lost its entire office and work vehicles. The funds will also go to replace office supplies.
— Lookout Lounge’s building was completely destroyed. The funds will help get new cooking equipment.
— Mexico Beach Marina sustained devastating damage to ships and docks. The funds will go for marketing to help revive the boating economy in the city.
— The Sharon’s Café building was a total loss. The funds will also go to purchase new cooking equipment.
— Mexico Beach Development Council’s building has been torn down because of significant damage. The funds will help purchase new signage for a new welcome center.
— KC Sportfishing is a charter fishing company that sustained physical damage to the vessel and loss of business. The funds will be for marketing to communicate when the business is able to reopen.
For more info, go to NeverForgottenCoast.com.
“Ron DeSantis asks Legislature to end marijuana smoking ban” via Zac Anderson of the Herald-Tribune
“Oops! DeSantis’ holy water from Sea of Galilee goes down the drain in Tallahassee” via Jim Turner of the News Service of Florida
“Messing with Amendment 4 — automatic voting rights for felons — is a ‘political minefield’” via Bob Rackleff for the Florida Phoenix
“Law enforcement agencies withhold victim information as confusion swirls around new Marsy’s Law” via Tony Marrero of the Tampa Bay Times
“Two North Florida Republicans poised for hotly-contested House race” via James Call of the Tallahassee Democrat
“Legislator wants to allow students to carry firearms on Florida college campuses” via James Call of the Tallahassee Democrat
“Pot czar Christian Bax teams up with John Lockwood” via Dara Kam of the News Service of Florida
“School districts struggle with medical marijuana” via Dan Krauth and Connie Fossi of NBC6
“Florida ranks as the most dangerous state for senior citizens” via Gabrielle Calise of the Tampa Bay Times
“US foreclosures drop to lowest level since 2005, but in Florida they are rising” via Alex Nitkin of The Real Deal
Quote of the Day
“Whether they have to smoke it or not, who am I to judge that? I want people to be able to have their suffering relieved.” — Gov. Ron DeSantis in a news conference, saying that if lawmakers don’t repeal the state’s ban on smoking medical marijuana, he will end the state’s appeal of a court ruling that allows it.
Bill Day’s Latest
Wake Up Early?
Legislative delegations continue to meet in advance of the 2019 Legislative Session:
— The Okeechobee County legislative delegation will meet at 9 a.m., Okeechobee County Government Center, 304 N.W. Second St., Okeechobee.
— The Highlands County legislative delegation will meet at noon, Highlands County Government Center, 600 South Commerce Ave., Sebring.
The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity will release December unemployment figures at 10 a.m.
The Tiger Bay Club of Central Florida will host a discussion about the “Groveland Four” case of four African-American men accused in 1949 of raping a white woman in Lake County. Scheduled speakers include author Gilbert King, who won a Pulitzer Prize for his book about the case, “Devil in the Grove.” That’s at noon, Dubsdread, 549 West Par St., Orlando.
The Florida Dental Association Governmental Affairs Office holds an open house for the public to learn more about the “Florida Mission of Mercy” event. That’s next Tuesday, 5:30-7:30 p.m., 118 E. Jefferson St., Tallahassee.