Takeaways from Tallahassee — Starting a voting movement

Blue Tally Takeaways (4)
The capital city and county want to be an example for Florida and the nation.

Voting holiday

For many Floridians, Tuesday — Election Day — will be another day at work.

But not for those employees who work for Leon County or the city of Tallahassee. The two local governments in the state capital have designated Election Day as an official holiday. That means their offices will be closed, as will the county library and city community centers.

John Dailey proposed the day off for city employees. Now, they’ll get to use it to vote for his re-election, if they choose. Image via John Dailey/Facebook.

In 2021, Tallahassee Mayor John Dailey pushed to have Election Day as a paid holiday for city workers. Dailey said at the time that he backed the idea in response to a wave of voting legislation across the nation that he described as “voter suppression” efforts.

“We have a unique opportunity to be a shining example,” Dailey said during the City Commission meeting in which the holiday was approved.

Leon County Commissioners voted to make Election Day a holiday a little over a month after the City Commission approved the idea.

“Election Day should be a celebration in this country,” County Commissioner Brian Welch said at the time.

Several states — including Delaware, Hawaii, Louisiana, New Jersey and New York — have Election Day as a public holiday. Other states require that workers be given time off with pay if they want to go vote.

Neither the federal government nor the state of Florida recognize Election Day as an official holiday. Many Democratic politicians, including President Joe Biden, have called for making it a national holiday.

“If I had my way, and I think it is really important, every Election Day would be a day off,” Biden said last year.

County Commissioner Kristin Dozier is a current candidate locked in a tight campaign with Dailey as he seeks re-election. Right before voting in favor of making Election Day a holiday in May 2021, she said it should be a “national issue” but “we don’t see the movement.” To her, that’s why state and local governments needed to move ahead.


Coming up, the usual assortment of news, intel and observations from the week that was in Florida’s capital city by Peter Schorsch, Drew Wilson, Renzo Downey, Christine Jordan Sexton and the staff of Florida Politics.

But first …

Take 5

The “Takeaway 5” — the Top 5 stories from the week that was:

Biden calls Ron DeSantis ‘Donald Trump incarnate’ — Biden and Gov. DeSantis worked “hand in glove” after Hurricane Ian, but it’s clear there’s no love lost between the pair, as Biden made clear during a campaign stop for Charlie Crist. “Charlie is running against Donald Trump incarnate. This guy doesn’t fit any of the categories I talked about. The way he deals, the way he denies,” Biden said, according to a pool report. The remarks made at the home of Scott and Annie Schlesinger while campaigning for Crist and U.S. Rep. Val Demings were delivered to roughly 70 guests, but they carried far beyond those 70 individuals.

Medical boards split on trans care — Members of the state’s two medical boards don’t agree on what the standards of care should be when it comes to providing gender-affirming care for patients under the age of 18. The Board of Medicine, which regulates medical doctors, agreed to amend the existing standard of care rules to ban doctors from performing gender-confirming surgeries on anyone under the age of 18 and from providing puberty blockers and hormones to anyone under the age of 18. Meanwhile, members of the Board of Osteopathic Medicine agreed with the ban on gender-confirms surgery for minors but voted to allow osteopathic physicians to treat minors with puberty blockers and hormones so long as the patients agreed to participate in Institutional Review Board-approved, investigator-initiated clinical trials at one of Florida’s medical schools. It’s the first time, according to board legal counsel, the medical boards have disagreed on standard-of-care rules.

UF Board selects Ben Sasse as president — The University of Florida Board of Trustees has unanimously selected Nebraska U.S. Sen. Sasse as its next president despite protests from students and faculty. Sasse pledged not to be involved in partisan political activities as university President and said he would urge Florida’s ruling Republicans to not micromanage the school. He called it “political celibacy,” after a similar pledge by Purdue University President and former Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels. One trustee said Sasse calmed his concerns about hiring a politician. “I was very hesitant to think it was appropriate for us to bring in a politician,” Richard Cole said. “You’ve overcome that for me.”

DeSantis appeals migrant flight log ruling — DeSantis will fight a ruling that he must turn over communications about flying migrants to Martha’s Vineyard. Leon Circuit Judge Lee Marsh last week ordered the DeSantis administration to provide all records to the Florida Center for Government Accountability. But filing a notice of appeal with the 1st District Court of Appeal delays the need to comply with a Nov. 14 deadline — after Election Day. Documents the administration has released show the state has paid $1.56 million to Destin-based Vertol Systems for that flight and possibly a second one to Biden’s home state of Delaware.

Parkland killer sentenced for life — Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz formally received a sentence of life without parole Wednesday. The sentence came after the victims’ families and some of the wounded spent two days berating him in court, many lamenting he couldn’t be sentenced to death. Cruz received 34 life sentences — 17 for those he killed and 17 for attempted murders. While Cruz won’t go on death row, many sought relief in the fact that he would be held in a maximum-security prison.

Bang for your buck

DeSantis is celebrating Florida’s recent recognition as the cheapest place for in-state tuition.

Last month, the College Board released its 2022-23 iteration of the “Annual Trends in College Pricing” report. The report listed the four-year in-state tuition for Florida public universities as $6,370 per year.

This year, U.S. News & World Report also ranked Florida as No. 1 for tuition and fees and the No. 1 state for higher education overall since its rankings inception in 2017.

Florida’s public universities are the least expensive in the nation. Image via Colin Hackley.

“A college degree should not put our students into a lifetime of debt,” DeSantis said in a news release. “Florida’s public college and university system is number one in the country because we put students first and this achievement proves we are on the right track. We will continue to prioritize offering a world-class education at an affordable price, providing the greatest value for our students.”

The average State University System student pays less than $3,400 for a bachelor’s degree after factoring in Florida’s Bright Futures program and other financial aid, showing a decrease five years in a row. Despite inflation, Florida has held tuition and fees flat since 2014-15, compared to a 17% percent increase nationally.

“The significant investments Governor DeSantis and legislative leaders have made in higher education are pivotal to holding down the tuition and fee costs for Florida’s students, even as they rise across the country,” said Brian Lamb, Chair of the State University System Board of Governors. “This success reflects the emphasis our Board and university leadership have placed on accountability, performance, and cost, all of which attract the best and brightest students who seek the exceptional educational experience Florida’s institutions offer.”

Movin’ out

The U.S. Department of Transportation recognized Attorney General Ashley Moody’s Consumer Protection Division with an award for its work to crack down on moving scams.

The 2022 Inspector General Partnership Award was awarded after the division’s participation in Operation Moving Target led to approximately $27 million in fines and restitution against phony or fraudulent moving firms.

Even the Biden administration is recognizing Ashley Moody’s work on consumer protection.

The DOT’s award specifically recognizes Consumer Protection Division Deputy Director Sasha Funk Granai, Special Counsel Ellen Lyons, Assistant Chief Assistant Attorney General for Tampa Jennifer Pinder, Chief Assistant Attorney General for Jacksonville Carol DeGraffenreidt, as well as financial Investigators Nakia Gouldbourne and Candace Martinez.

“Attorneys and investigators in my Consumer Protection Division work hard to stop scams and protect Floridians. I am proud of the results they achieve and honored that these hard-working public servants are being recognized for their dogged efforts to shut down 19 fraudulent moving firms and recover millions in fines and restitution,” Moody said.

The biggest fish was All USA Van Lines. At trial, Moody’s office secured $21.7 million in monetary relief and the owner was permanently banned from offering moving-related services in Florida.

Fall back, check up

Daylight Saving Time ends Sunday at 2 a.m., and when you go to move your clock back an hour, Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis says it’s also a good time to check your smoke alarm.

Floridians should test their smoke alarms monthly to check batteries and ensure they’re working as intended. According to the National Fire Protection Association, roughly three out of five fire deaths happen in homes with no smoke alarms or non-working smoke alarms.

Take the extra minute to check your fire alarms after setting your clock, says Jimmy Patronis. Image via CFO’s Office.

“Daylight Saving Time ends this Sunday, and as you change the clocks around your home, it’s a perfect opportunity to change the batteries in your smoke alarms and to test the alarms to make sure they are working properly,” Patronis said in a news release.

Beyond the monthly tests, the NFPA has a few tips. Replace smoke alarms after about 10 years, consider installing additional smoke alarms and use interconnected alarms that trigger the whole system to sound off when just one detects smoke. And, of course, if a smoke alarm sounds, get out.

“The end of Daylight Saving Time is also a great time to review your emergency plans with your family to ensure your loved ones are prepared in the event of a house fire or other emergency,” Patronis added. “Also, remember to check with senior family members and neighbors to ensure their alarms are in working order as well. Following these simple steps will help Floridians stay fire safe.”


John T. Woeste and Donald J. Quincey are the Florida Agriculture Hall of Fame 2023 inductees, Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried announced Tuesday.

The induction ceremony will be held at the Florida State Fair’s Agricultural Hall of Fame Banquet on Feb. 14, 2023.

John Woeste and Don Quincey will be immortalized for their service to ag.

“Florida agriculture has always played a key role in our state’s development and economy, providing over $150 billion in economic output while feeding families across the state, nation, and world,” Fried said in a prepared statement. “The industry’s success and resilience in the face of disease, unfair trade practices, and extreme weather comes from individuals who wake up every day ready to tackle new challenges and work for a better future.”

“I am honored to recognize two such individuals whose contributions have strengthened Florida agriculture for generations to come,” she continued. “Both Mr. Quincey and Mr. Woeste stand apart for their leadership, dedication, and innovative practices, expanding our agricultural industry and creating new opportunities for both our state and the farmers of tomorrow.”

Woeste is a longtime champion and tireless supporter of Florida agriculture, now a retired dean and professor emeritus of the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS).

Quincey is a fifth-generation Florida cattleman. Following a two year law enforcement stint after graduating high school, Quincey returned to his family’s feed store and cow-calf operation where he worked for 26 years until it was sold. In 1992, he founded Quincey Cattle Company, a diversified cattle feeding operation in Chiefland. He also served on the Suwannee River Water Management District for 12 years, nine of those as its chairman.

Instagram of the Week

T-3 days

As the nation enters the final weekend before Election Day, Secretary of State Cord Byrd says Florida is ready to start counting ballots.

Polls will be open Tuesday from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. local time, but voters still have options to cast their votes early. Early voting is available statewide on Saturday, and some counties offer an additional early voting day on Sunday. And this year, because of Hurricane Ian, voters in Charlotte, Lee and Sarasota counties may also be able to early vote on Monday.

“The Department has prepared for this election by strengthening election integrity so Florida voters can remain confident that their ballots will be counted accurately and on time,” Byrd said in a news release. “I have also visited with all 67 of Florida’s Supervisors of Elections and can confidently say that each Supervisor is ready to support their voters and administer a successful election.”

It’s almost time for Cord Byrd’s big day. Image via Colin Hackley.

The Secretary made additional visits and conducted extensive outreach to counties struck by Hurricane Ian. His findings and recommendations made it into DeSantis’ executive order providing flexibility to the three counties hit the hardest by Ian.

The Department of State made additional news Friday when the agency and the Department of Law Enforcement, which partner together on the state’s new election police, announced the arrest of a woman investigators say has consistently voted in both Florida and Alaska.

Cheryl Ann Leslie, a physician assistant in Loxahatchee, double voted in the 2014, 2016, 2018 and 2020 elections. During the 2020 federal and state primary elections, Leslie submitted an absentee ballot in Alaska and voted early and in person in Palm Beach County.

Officials charged her with two counts of double voting, a third-degree felony.

“The Florida Department of State, Office of Election Crimes and Security is grateful for our partnership with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement,” Byrd said in a statement. “This arrest is yet another confirmation to every eligible Florida voter that the Department of State and FDLE are working together to ensure the integrity of their vote and Florida’s elections process.”

Native heritage

The Department of Education and Volunteer Florida are teaming up with the Seminole Tribe of Florida to launch Native American Heritage Month student contests.

“Native Americans in Florida have made incredible contributions to our state and nation,” Education Commissioner Manny Díaz Jr. said. “We are proud of our rich Native American history and look forward to celebrating their many achievements.”

Native American history is especially important this month, says Manny Díaz. Image via Colin Hackley.

Seminole Tribe Chairman Marcellus Osceola Jr. added, “The Seminole Tribe plays an important part in Florida’s history and culture, and we sincerely appreciate being included in this meaningful educational outreach program that reaches students across our state. We want to thank Governor Ron DeSantis and First Lady Casey DeSantis, as well as Education Commissioner Manny Diaz Jr., for their continuing commitment to the Seminole Tribe and the native people of Florida.”

The contest theme is “Celebrating the Achievements of Native American Floridians,” and there are two branches to the program — an art contest and an essay contest.

The art contest is open to all K-3 students in Florida. Submissions should be two-dimensional and tie into the theme. Four statewide winners will be selected, and each winner will receive a $100 art supplies gift card and a 1-year pass to Florida state parks.

The essay contest is open to all fourth- through 12th-grade students in Florida. Submissions should be no longer than 500 words and must be related to the theme — students are encouraged to consider writing about a Native American who has had an impactful and inspiring effect on their community.

Some examples suggested by DOE include Betty Mae Tiger Jumper, the first female chairwoman of the Seminole Tribe of Florida and Osceola, an outspoken advocate for Seminole rights in the 1800s.

Six winners will be selected: two elementary school students, two middle school students, and two high school students. Each winner will receive a 2–Year Florida College Plan scholarship and a $100 gift card for school supplies.

All contest entries must be received by 5 p.m. on Nov. 17.

Snap SNAP event

Collier County residents will be able to get food assistance Sunday, Monday and Wednesday through the Department of Children and Families.

DCF Secretary Shevaun Harris announced Friday that the department will allow applicants to complete interviews for the Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (D-SNAP). D-SNAP provides food assistance to individuals and families impacted by Hurricane Ian and who are not receiving food assistance benefits through the regular SNAP program.

Shevaun Harris and DCF are bringing their services to Collier County.

Of note, DCF won’t be holding interviews on Tuesday, Election Day.

Residents of Collier County who pre-registered online but did not have a chance to complete their D-SNAP phone interview can visit the D-SNAP location for an on-site interview. On-site interviews are not required if a phone interview was completed.

DCF will reopen pre-registration for individuals who reside in this county and did not previously pre-register online before Oct. 23. Residents are encouraged to pre-register online before coming on-site to complete their interview.

On-site interviews will happen at the Paradise Coast Sports Complex in Naples from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. To lend a hand, the Collier Area Transit (CAT) has partnered with DCF to provide a free shuttle between the transfer station at 8300 Radio Road and the D-SNAP event site.

Applicants who were approved in a telephone interview will receive their EBT card by mail and should not come in for an on-site D-SNAP interview.

Look out below

November is Manatee Awareness Month, and Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) law enforcement officers are patrolling state waters to remind boaters to take abide by seasonal speed zones and, if necessary, take appropriate action to protect them.

The reminder comes as the FWC and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service investigate and respond to an elevated number of manatee deaths along the Atlantic coast of Florida.

FWC says no speeding in manatee zones, especially this time of year. Image via AP.

Because manatees depend on warmer water to survive the winter they travel to Florida springs, power plant discharges and other warm water sites.

Large and slow moving manatees have been mistaken for mermaids. The Orlando Sentinel notes that the written record of manatees in North America dates back to 1492, when Christopher Columbus recorded mermaid sightings of his own.

While mermaids are mythical, manatees are real. And they are endangered.

To help protect the species, the FWC seasonally restricts the speed and operation of vessels where necessary to protect manatees from harmful collisions with vessels. The FWC also limits access to some areas that are especially important to manatees, or manatee protection zones. The areas are off limits because, when boaters disturb or startle the manatees, they can swim out of protected areas and into life threatening colder water.

Resources for boaters, educators and other interested members of the public are available at MyFWC.com/Manatee. The agency also has posted guidelines to follow for boaters who see manatees.

Silver for Seniors

Sen. Ileana Garcia celebrated a pair of financial disbursements to Miami-area projects this week, including $1.75 million toward the Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust’s efforts.

The money will support Project Silver for Seniors & Others Experiencing Homelessness, thanks to budget efforts by Garcia.

Ileana Garcia is touting even more money secured for her district. Image via Colin Hackley.

The Homeless Trust has been leasing a property in North Miami as an assisted living facility that it will now be able to purchase and continue to divert seniors from the streets or other homeless shelters into a single reliable venue. Titled Mia Casa, this subsidization establishes a safety net of security for a particularly vulnerable demographic that may already be experiencing severe hardship which can range from physical, behavioral, financial, or a combination of the three.

As of August 2021, a census verified that senior citizens are among the fastest increasing homeless sub-population in Miami-Dade County since the beginning of the pandemic. Statistics relay that an estimated 1 in 4 people facing displacement are those from the ages of 60 years old and up.

Ron Book, Chairman of the Miami-Dade Homeless County Trust, commended Garcia for securing the funds.

“Week 2 of the session I had a meeting on some human trafficking and homeless issues with the state attorney,” Book said. “Three homeless individuals were shot in the (Tallahassee) Midtown area, one of whom died. (The state attorney) was asking me about a potential funding item and I said: ‘If you want anything done, pick up the phone and call Senator Garcia.’ Folks, the legislative session had begun, we were in Week 2, and she wrestled that money out of the process for the state attorney’s office which also meant significant changes.”

Reps help out

This week, Rep. Yvonne Hayes Hinson partnered with Two Men and a Truck of Gainesville to deliver relief supplies to Fort Myers residents affected by Hurricane Ian.

The team picked up the supplies from Gainesville on Monday and delivered them to the Quality Life Center of Southwest Florida on Tuesday.

“I am so grateful for the success of my October supply drive for Hurricane Ian relief. With the help of my constituents, we were able to send a truck of supplies down to Fort Myers to assist survivors,” Hinson said in a news release. “It has also been a tremendous blessing to receive help from Two Men and a Truck of Gainesville for the delivery. When good people come together, great work can be done.”

Yvonne Hinson led a convoy of supplies from Gainesville to Fort Myers.

Rep. Dianne Hart is also lining up her own community service event for Florida’s west coast.

Hart is partnering with East Tampa Business and Civic Association and other community organizations to host their annual Thanksgiving Drive-Thru Food Giveaway. The event will take place at the Cyrus Greene Center in Tampa from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

“We will provide families with meals for the Thanksgiving holiday,” Hart said in a news release. “Each family will receive a box containing a turkey, mashed potatoes, elbow pasta, cake mix, dressing, cranberry sauce and other goods. We will also provide the families with socks, underwear, shoes and other clothing items.”

Hospitality Hall

The Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association announced its Stars of the Industry Hall of Fame Winners at an evening gala at the Caribe Royale Resort and Conference Center this week.

“The Hall of Fame recognition is one of FRLA’s highest honors, recognizing industry leaders for their exceptional service and outstanding hospitality that spans decades,” said FRLA President and CEO Carol Dover. “These awards honor proven leaders who have left a lasting impact on Florida’s hospitality industry, and we are incredibly proud of this year’s honorees.”

The 2022 FRLA Hall of Fame inductees are …

Kevin Johnson, Frank Eucalitto and Sheldon Suga are new FRLA honorees.

Supplier of the Year: Kevin Johnson is a founding shareholder of Johnson Jackson PLLC, a top firm for employment law, and has been working with the hospitality industry for nearly three decades. He earned his law degree from UF in 1994 and was board certified in Labor and Employment Law by The Florida Bar in 2007. He currently serves as the chair of the Bar’s Standing Committee on Technology. Johnson, a Gainesville native, has been recognized by Best Lawyers in America, has been named in Florida Trend’s Legal Elite, and has been listed by SuperLawyers on their list of the Top 100 attorneys in Florida for ten of the past eleven years.

Restaurateur of the Year: Café Chardonnay President Frank Eucalitto has been a staple of the Palm Beach County community offering the best in food for locals since 1982. Chef Eucalitto and his wife Gigi have successfully launched seven restaurants and an off-premises catering company. During the pandemic, he also created “No Anchovies!” as a successful take-out concept. He graduated from Johnston and Wales with degrees in culinary arts and hotel/restaurant management. He has also been named Businessman of the Year by the local Chamber of Commerce, was a past president and current board member and treasurer of the FRLA Palm Beach Chapter, and has been involved in numerous charitable events.

Hotelier of the Year: Hawks Cay Resort Managing Director Sheldon Suga has worked in the hospitality industry for more than 50 years and is known for his integrity, passion, and commitment to excellence, as well as his outstanding leadership of teams. He graduated from Ryerson University in Toronto with a degree in hospitality management and has worked all over the globe at ITT Sheraton, managing properties in West Hartford, New York City, Halifax, La Jolla, Los Angeles and Tokyo. Suga has also worked as an area director for Wyndham, as the VP hotel manager for Gaylord Palms and as the opening SVP and general manager of the Gaylord National Resort.

Tracking number

As mail ballots continue pouring into Supervisor of Elections offices, Common Cause Florida is urging voters to double-check that theirs is counted.

The nonpartisan organization noted that as of Thursday, 15,714 ballots — or 0.7% of all mail ballots cast — have been flagged and will not be counted if problems aren’t corrected.

Signature mismatches on the return envelope dinged 9,090 of those ballots. Another 5,167 have been set aside for missing signatures, and the remaining 1,457 had other “voter caused errors.”

While mail ballots are paper documents, voters are able to check the status of their ballots online. Image via AP.

The errors are far more common among ballots sent in by younger voters, according to an analysis by Dan Smith, chair of the University of Florida’s political science department and a member of Common Cause Florida’s advisory board.

Overall, about 3% of ballots filled out by 18- to 24-year-olds have been flagged, and 24- to 29-year-olds have an error rate of 2.3%. For voters over age 65, the error rate was 0.5%.

“We need every Floridian to have their voices heard in this election, which is why those who voted by mail should check with their county Supervisor of Elections office to ensure their ballot was received without issue,” said Amy Keith, Common Cause Florida’s program director.

Voters can track their mail ballot themselves by calling their county Supervisor of Elections office or using the online trackers available in most counties.

Study abroad returns

November marks International Education Month, and this year, Florida State University is recognizing the return of its international exchanges.

The university launched International Education Month on Tuesday at The Globe Auditorium, with opening remarks from FSU President Richard McCullough.

“As a Top 20 public university, we believe that providing opportunities for global engagement and nurturing a rich multicultural environment are fundamental to student and faculty success,” McCullough said.

The students FSU sends abroad and what international visitors witness boost the school’s global reputation. Image via FSU News.

FSU boasts study centers in London; Florence, Italy; and Valencia, Spain; and a campus in Panama City, Panama (not to be confused with its Panama City, Florida, campus). Last summer, the university offered study abroad opportunities in Paris; Prague; Dresden, Germany; Oxford, England; Dubrovnik, Croatia; and Cetamura del Chianti, Italy.

FSU’s number of international students and those applying to study-abroad programs is exceeding pre-pandemic levels. Thirty-three students participated in 2021-2022, with 48 scheduled to participate in 2022-2023, according to Cindy Green, director of FSU’s Center for Global Engagement.

“Increasing international engagement and cultural competencies are key components of our strategic plan as we look ahead to the next five years,” McCullough said. “Specifically, we are looking at enhancing international research collaborations, strengthening reciprocal academic exchanges and creating and implementing a communication strategy to highlight our internationalization efforts and increase the recognition of FSU nationally and internationally.”

Affordable Big Bend

They won’t be done in time for the holiday, but two new Big Bend Habitat for Humanity single family homes will be completed in early 2023, providing an affordable place to live for Leon County families.

The city of Tallahassee earmarked $195,000 form the city’s Affordable Housing Trust Fund and donated three city-owned vacant lots in the Griffin Heights neighborhood.

Tallahassee will build three homes with Habitat this fiscal year. Image via TalGov.com.

The city also committed to providing 600 hours of its employees’ time to the efforts.

The two homes are being built on Volusia Street and are the 17th and 18th Habitat homes sponsored by the city since 2014.

“The City’s partnership with Habitat for Humanity is one of the many ways we are taking action to ensure local families have access to affordable housing,” Dailey said. “There are currently more than 1,900 affordable housing units in our community’s pipeline. A result of our strategic policies and programs, this number is greater than the last 25 years combined.”

The city will build three homes with Habitat this fiscal year. Big Bend Habitat for Humanity provides affordable homeownership to eligible residents in Leon and Gadsden County.

Beary crucial notice

Whether it’s a trick-or-treater in a really convincing costume or the real deal, a big mammal is roaming Tallahassee, possibly hunting for some candy scraps.

The Leon County Sheriff’s Office (LCSO) posted a notice Thursday that a black bear has been spotted in Northeast Tallahassee. The message originated from FWC.

“While rare, bears do pass through Tallahassee from time to time,” LCSO posted on Facebook. “Give the bear some space and it will leave the area on its own.”

A kid could fit in that body, right? Image via FWC.

The sightings have occurred near the Miccosukee Canopy Road Greenway in recent weeks.

Black bears are shy and generally not aggressive, LCSO notes.

“During this time of year, bears are trying to eat 20,000 calories a day to prepare for winter,” the office said. “In neighborhoods, they may seek out unsecured garbage, bird seed, and pet food to get those calories.”

FWC has a tip sheet on “living with bears, including ways to secure household garbage. FWC notes it is illegal to feed bears. Once a bear loses its fear of people, it may no longer be suited for the wild.

“If you are not careful, you could break the law and risk both your own safety and the bear’s,” FWC says.

Residents can report sightings through the Florida Black Bear Sightings application.

Campaign Directions

Florida GOP — Red arrow — Red is the new purple.

Ron DeSantis — Up arrow — It’s no longer a matter of if, but rather how much.

Vanity Fair — Down arrow — DeSantis 2028, brought to you by wishful thinking.

Ashley Moody — Down arrow — We ate all the Skittles. When do they kick in?

Wilton Simpson — Up arrow — Just four more days and he can start measuring the curtains at the Mayo building. Does it have curtains?

Paul RennerDanny Perez — Up arrow — They’re spending this weekend reading up on Robert’s Rules on how to govern a supermajority.

Kathleen Passidomo — Up arrow — She is, too.

Joe Gruters — Crossways — Don’t know if it’s a good look to avoid a DeSantis rally in Sarasota to rush at Trump’s beck and call.

Annette Taddeo — Up arrow — Is she running for an open seat, or did Maria Salazar just skip another forum?

Dep’t of Health — Down arrow — They wanted to stick to the facts for their abortion pamphlet factual, but it looked really bad in 50 pt. font.

Florida seniors — Down arrow — Nobody told the funeral home that the pandemic is over.

State coffers — Up arrow — Inflation makes some numbers look better, at least.

Citizens’ rates — Up arrow — Pay the extra 6% and smile, because it could have been double.

Gas prices — Double up arrow — Wait, there was a holiday?

Chip LaMarca — Down arrow — Did someone hit his head with a hammer, too?

Disney — Up arrow — Controversy has a cash value.

Florida Realtors — Up arrow — No, the rent is not too damn high.

UF — Crossways arrow — Ask any Gator, UF and Nebraska don’t mix.

Tenure — Down arrow — Seems tenuous.

Mary Ellen Klas — Up arrow — She found Air DeSantis’ black box.

Corcoran Partners — Up arrow — They made a splash hire with Samantha Greer.

Tallahassee bear — Up arrow — He stepped up with the scares when rainbow fentanyl no-showed.

Staff Reports


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