Here’s Brunch, a pop-up, weekend email during the 2022 Special Session — 5.29.22

Your pre-Memorial Day buffet of Florida politics, food, culture & more.

Good Sunday morning, and welcome back to “Brunch,” a pop-up email about Florida politics.

I hope you are enjoying this extended weekend. As much as you’re probably enjoying BBQ, boating, and baseball, please don’t forget the true meaning of Memorial Day.

As a reminder, just read this tweet from veteran Mac Stipanovich:

Remember them. Now, let’s have Brunch.

Supreme Court: Now hiring

Applications roll in: The Supreme Court Judicial Nominating Commission has received 17 applications from individuals hoping to become a Justice on the Florida Supreme Court.

The pool: The applicants include Palm Beach County Circuit Judge Renatha Francis, who Gov. Ron DeSantis tried to appoint to the Supreme Court in 2020. There’s also 1st District Court of Appeal judges Adam Tanenbaum and Thomas Winokur, and 4th District Court of Appeal Judges Jeffrey Kuntz and Edward Artau. Two more Appeals Court judges also applied, including Eric Eisnaugle II and Meredith Sasso. A slew of Circuit Court judges also sent in applications, including Robert Long, Stephen Everett, Steve Berlin, Tarlika Nunez Navarro, Hunter Carroll, Anne-Leigh Gaylord Moe and Cymonie Rowe. The remaining three applicants include former Circuit Judge Ariana Fajardo Orshan, Golden Scaz Gagain firm lawyer Jeffrey Albinson and Alliance Defending Freedom lawyer Denise Harle.

Help wanted. Apply within.

Vacancy: The applicants are seeking to fill a vacancy on the court created by the retirement of Justice Alan Lawson, who announced his decision in April. Former Gov. Rick Scott appointed Lawson, and his retirement is effective Aug. 31.

Getting to know you: The Judicial Nominating Commission will provide a list of nominees to DeSantis, who is expected to interview candidates on June 11 in Tampa.

Selection: This new appointment will give DeSantis four appointees on the Florida Supreme Court.

— Read on redistricting —

Time’s running out on any glimmer of hope plaintiffs have of tossing Florida’s congressional map ahead of 2022.

Shot down: The 1st District Court of Appeal made clear a lower court should not have replaced the cartography with a new map entirely. Judge A.C. Tanenbaum said that didn’t just undo DeSantisdecision to sign a favored plan, but introduced a remedy from left field

What then? That begs the question, however, of what should have taken place after Leon Circuit Judge Layne Smith found the map unconstitutional. One intriguing suggestion: Hold the new map and run on Florida’s old 27-district map, then hold a statewide election to fill Florida’s new 28th Congressional District.

Ticktock time for redistricting in Florida.

But really: Tanenbaum makes abundantly clear, though, that making such a determination before a full trial marked the true lapse. Throwing a map out after a three-hour hearing seemed a step too far.

Now what? There are still five days for more to be presented to the appellate court to sway minds. But now the question is whether the Florida Supreme Court will respond to a request from plaintiffs to step in. So far, there’s only silence.

Condo associations gotta step up

Industry insiders are praising the Legislature for their work on the condominium inspection bill (SB 4D) last week.

Margaret “Peggy” Rolando is a real estate attorney at the Miami office of Shutts & Bowen LLP and a member of Florida Bar leadership when it comes to condos. She has over 40 years of experience in condo law and policy, meaning some condos that came up under her watch will be subject to the legislation’s inspection requirements.

Margaret “Peggy” Rolando lays out the law for condos.

“Milestone” inspections: With the new “milestone” requirements, older condos will have to start lining up structural health checks, or else they’ll have to warn buyers that they haven’t completed the inspections. Rolando says that that’s a good thing, but condo associations will have to be on the ball.

Free your calendars: “It’s really important for associations to understand they need to take care of this immediately and get busy, because there’s a limited number of architects and engineers in their state,” Rolando said. “With the construction boom that’s going on. Most of them are pretty busy.”

Sticker shock: Condo associations will also have to keep certain levels of reserves to address structural maintenance. It will be easier for newer buildings to raise the cash because they’ll have more time to do it. But residents of older condos might face a bit of sticker shock.

What the Legislature did is the right thing to do. It’s the right policy,” Rolando said. “The only difficulty is it has a disproportionate impact on basically the working-class condo.”

— Renner endorses Leek —

Now for an item you’ll see first in Brunch: Speaker-designate Paul Renner is officially backing Republican Rep. Tom Leek in his re-election bid.

Facing a Primary: Leek is running in the newly remapped House District 28 for his fourth and final term before facing term limits. He’s facing a GOP Primary challenge from Liberty Caucus member Alex Newman, endorsed by former U.S. Rep. Ron Paul. Leek, however, has courted support already from DeSantis. Democrat John Navarra has also filed to run in HD 28.

Tom Leek gets a big boost for re-election.

“Principled conservative”: “We need principled conservatives like Tom Leek in Tallahassee. I am proud to serve with Tom and honored to call him a friend and ally in the fight for making Florida the best state for children, families, and workers to succeed,” Renner said. “I stand with Gov. DeSantis in endorsing Tom Leek. Tom is the leader we need in the Florida House to fight alongside the Governor and advance our conservative agenda.”

“Parents and students first”: “I look forward to standing beside my friend, Speaker-designate Paul Renner, and am honored to receive his endorsement,” Leek added. “Together, we will continue to put parents and students first, protect small businesses, strengthen our elections, stand up for the unborn, back the blue, and take on the out-of-touch special interests to keep Florida open and free.”

The new HD 28 covers parts of Volusia County. Leek served as Chair of the House Redistricting Committee during this year’s Regular Session.

Memorial Day roundup: Part 1

Memorial Day isn’t just a time for barbecue, but a moment to honor the sacrifice of America’s fallen soldiers. Here are events throughout Florida on Monday honoring these men and women.

Boca Raton Memorial Day Concert: Music will be performed by the Fort Lauderdale Highlanders, Coastmen Chorus and Krescendo Brass. Doors open at Mizner Park Auditorium at 6 p.m., with the concert at 7 p.m.

Bushnell National Cemetery Memorial Service: The Veterans Affairs Department will host an event at 11 a.m., including wreath-laying, speeches and a rifle salute.

Clearwater Memorial Day Ceremony: The Tampa Bay Veterans Alliance will host its annual Memorial Day Ceremony from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Florida Veterans Memorial Plaza at Crest Lake Park. Author Gary King will speak.

Thank you for the ultimate sacrifice — for the good of us all.

Coconut Creek Memorial Day Ceremony: The American Legion Post 170 and the city host this event, which features the Coconut Creek Police Department Honor Guard and Monarch High School Junior ROTC, among dignitaries and other speakers. It starts at Veterans Park at 9 a.m.

Davie Memorial Day Parade and Ceremony: A parade featuring Boy Scout troops starts at the Davie Fire Station at 10 a.m.

Fort Lauderdale Memorial Day Ceremony: Held at the Lauderdale Memorial Ceremony, the event begins at 9 a.m. and features a laying of flowers on graves and a dove release.

Gotha Memorial Day Service: Woodlawn Memorial Park and Funeral Home will host a 72nd annual ceremony with veteran groups, Boy Scout troops and civic organizations. The event begins at 10 a.m.

Jacksonville Memorial Day Ceremony: An event at the landmark Veterans Memorial Wall will begin at 8 a.m. with performances by the Navy Band Southeast and Jacksonville Children’s Choir. The observance should conclude at 10 a.m.

Sarasota Memorial Day Parade: A parade will start at Main Street and Osprey Avenue and conclude at Chaplain J.D. Hamel Park, located at Main Street and Gulfstream Avenue, where the ceremony will begin at approximately 11 a.m.

Tallahassee Memorial Day Celebration: The Centre of Tallahassee will host a free celebration, with music provided by Brown Goose. It kicks off at the Pavilion at 5 p.m.

Tampa Memorial Day Service: Mayor Jane Castor and Central Command Vice Admiral James Malloy will speak at an event at 11 a.m. at MacDill Park downtown.

— Orlando travel torrent —

Orlando International Airport (MCO) expects nearly 800,000 passengers to fly within the six-day travel window for the Memorial Day holiday.

Plan accordingly: “Traditionally, Memorial Day has not been the busiest travel period at Orlando International; however, we are staffing up and are prepared for more passengers this year than usual,” said Kevin Thibault, CEO of the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority, in a statement. “If you are planning to travel, please give yourself plenty of extra time to navigate through the parking, check-in and security processes.”

Orlando welcomes Memorial Day with open arms.

Projections: MCO expects this year’s Memorial Day figures to be only 10,000 departures less than 2019 pre-pandemic numbers for the holiday. The numbers are also up 11% from 2021’s Memorial Day weekend. The busiest travel day will be Friday, May 27, with 68,200 people departing, the airport said. Both Saturday, May 28, and Monday, May 30, more than 67,000 people are expected to depart the airport daily. “Travelers should arrive inside the airport terminal at least two hours prior to flight departure time,” according to an airport news release.

Still growing: With more than 40 million passengers in 2021, Orlando’s airport was ranked one of the busiest in the country and No. 1 in the state. Capacity at the airport is only growing too. Orlando International Airport plans to open its new $2.75 billion Terminal C in September. International flights are scheduled to begin Sept. 19, with domestic operations starting Sept. 26, the airport announced last month.

— World Cup coming? —

Orlando and South Florida are among 17 locations still in the running to host games in 2026 when soccer’s biggest show, the World Cup, comes to the United States, Canada and Mexico.

Announcement soon: Soccer’s governing body, the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA), is expected to announce the winning cities on June 16. If chosen, games would be played at Camping World Stadium in Orlando and Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens. Sixty games are to be played in the U.S., including all after the quarterfinals. Canada and Mexico are to host 10 games each. It’s the first time three nations will serve as co-hosts for the event.

Will the World Cup head to the City Beautiful?

Orlando’s pitch: “Orlando has already established itself as one of the premier sports destinations in North America and enhancing Camping World Stadium only adds to our ability to host premier events,” Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer said. “I am proud that we’ve achieved exceptional value throughout the entire reconstruction. Our strategy continues to be validated by the lineup of marquee sporting events that are being scheduled for the months and years ahead as Orlando thrives as the Soccer Capital of the South.”

Fútbol en Miami? The Palm Beach Post reported that Miami Dolphins CEO Tom Garfinkel is pushing to host the World Cup championship game at Hard Rock Stadium. Garfinkel was instrumental in bringing the recent, widely successful Formula 1 race to Miami. “I’ve had a couple of meetings in the last week or so on World Cup 2026 with high-ranking officials from FIFA, and we certainly want the World Cup here in ’26,” Garfinkel told the Post. “We told them we want the final here in ’26. So that’s what we’re trying to shoot for.”

Can it happen? “Probably everybody else wants it, too,” Garfinkel said. “But I think they’re impressed with the venue. They understand the importance of Miami as a global city and as a great soccer city and as a dynamic city.”

— Brunching out —

Mass-produced bread lacks the aroma and homey goodness of fresh bread. That’s why it’s a treat to have breakfast or lunch, now available daily, at The Hawthorn Bistro & Bakery. The restaurant turns fresh brioche, sourdough, ciabatta, herb focaccia, and croissants. These delectable choices are a slice of home.

Brunch on a slice of home. Image via Facebook.

Backstory: The restaurant is owned by the Seven Hills Hospitality Group, founded by chef Jesse Edmunds, which also operates the local restaurants El Cocinero, Bar 1903, and the new Black Radish.

Setting: It’s casual and contemporary, a good pick for an early morning meeting, lunch date, or a solo excursion. You order at the counter, and your food is brought to your table. Takeout and outdoor dining are available.

The menu: One of my favorite dishes is the French toast, which features two thick slices of brioche, nicely done and served with a scoop of honey mascarpone, syrup, fresh berries and either turkey sausage or bacon. Another hit was the Eggs in a Basket (there are dozens of names for this creation), which involves cracking the eggs into a circle carved in the bread. You can pick your choice of bread for this hearty dish plated with confit fingerling potatoes, fresh fruit and bacon or turkey sausage. Among other breakfast selections: steak and eggs, a breakfast burrito, tofu grill and avocado toast. Pair with a hearty brew from Grassroots Coffee Roasters located in Thomasville. If you want to grab a loaf of bread right from the oven, stop by daily after 4 p.m.

Details: The Hawthorn Bistro & Bakery, 1307 N. Monroe St., Unit 1; 850-354-8275. Breakfast is served from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Lunch is served from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and bakery counter service is available from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.

What else is going on?

Give a little, get a little: The Revenue Estimating Conference is set to hold an “impact” conference to provide estimates on potential costs of legislation. The docket includes specialty license plates, title fees and abatement measures for disaster victims. The meeting starts at 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday in Room 117 of the Knott Building.

Naranja Townhall: Homestead Democratic Rep. Kevin Chambliss will host a town hall meeting Tuesday in Naranja. Chambliss is running for a second term to represent House District 117. The town hall begins at 6 p.m. at Naranja Park, 14150 S.W. 264th St.

A day of gratitude. Thanks again for your sacrifice.

Raising funds: Sen. Jason Brodeur, a Sanford Republican, is hosting a fundraising reception this Wednesday in Heathrow to support his re-election campaign for Senate District 10. The event starts at 5:30 p.m. at Heathrow Country Club, 1200 Bridgewater Dr.

More raising funds: Fellow state Sen. Ray Rodrigues is also hosting a fundraiser this Wednesday at The Sidney and Davis Berne Art Center starting at 5:30 p.m. Rodrigues is running for Senate District 33. His host committee includes Senate President Wilton Simpson and Senate President-Designate Kathleen Passidomo.

Calm before the storm: The 2022 Atlantic hurricane season is set to start this Wednesday. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicts an “above-normal” season this year, with 14-21 named storms expected. The season will run through Nov. 30.

Staff Reports


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