Good Tuesday morning.
First and foremost — Let me wish each reader a very happy Thanksgiving. All of us who work to produce Sunburn are enormously grateful for your readership.
If ever a year could make a difference, it was this year. I think back to last year, with Michelle still healing from her health ordeal and I am so incredibly grateful for her recovery. I look back at pictures of myself at Thanksgiving and I am grateful for the inspiration, opportunity, and strength required to embark on a journey to better health.
Of course, Michelle’s recovery and my better health led us to what we are both most grateful for: the strong probability that we are adding more time to our lives which we will be able to spend with Ella Joyce.
Programming note — Sunburn will be off Wednesday, Thursday and Friday to celebrate the holiday with our families. We’ll see you bright and early next Monday.
Here are some other Thanksgiving items on my radar:
— Canned or fresh? How each state prefers their cranberry sauce: Floridians are four times more likely to buy canned cranberry sauce than to make their own from fresh cranberries, according to Instacart data compiled by Axios. The Sunshine State is one of about half in the nation to prefer canned sauce to fresh. Most of the Southeastern U.S. prefers canned, along with most of the Northeastern U.S., Arizona, Nevada and Alaska. Mississippi is the state with the most canned cranberry lovers — More than 22% used the canned Thanksgiving fixin. Nearly 71% of Iowans, conversely, prefer fresh-made cranberry sauce and states where fresh is preferred to so more extensively than in states with a canned preference, with most surpassing 21% who make their own cranberry sauce or relish.
— Wet vs. dry brine, the great debate: Wet brining a turkey involves submerging the bird in a bath of water, salt and aromatics, such as bay leaves and garlic, and refrigerating for 4-6 hours. The result is juicier, more tender meat. But drawbacks include a possible mess — without proper caution, the water can spill all over — and the added moisture is mostly just water, meaning the meat’s natural flavor can be dulled. A dry brine includes salting the outside of the turkey. The process draws the turkey’s natural juices to the surface, mixes with the salt, and then reabsorbs the juices back into the meat, thus brining it in its own juices. Dry brine fans argue the method allows for a juicier bird, without the flavor loss, and avoids the possible mess associated with wet brine. Still, others argue neither are necessary, and a non-brined turkey allows the natural flavors to shine. But brining gives the amateur cook a buffer if they leave the turkey in the oven a touch too long. Read more about the pros and cons in this Washington Post explainer from last year.
— Spice up your Thanksgiving spread: People call it turkey day for a reason — Thanksgiving menus tend to have a lot of repetition, from the main protein to staples like mashed potatoes and stuffing. But The New York Times notes there are ways to liven up the table for a crunchier, brighter, fresher spread. The piece includes five suggestions, including adding a sweet and sour profile, a bit of crunch with fresh veggies, getting herbaceous with a bright turkey salsa verde drizzle, adding spice with things like a cilantro-date chutney, and adding some crunch with a fried shallot topping. The additions can transform even the most ordinary Thanksgiving menu from blah to wow, and most can be offered as optional add-ons while still adding a burst of color and excitement to the table without bombarding the Thanksgiving purist with flavors they don’t think belong.
— Do your relish tray like a pro: If you’re like any number of Thanksgiving hosts running behind to meet that dinner deadline, a good relish tray can save the day, satiating hungry guests while you get those last-minute details into the main course (and make sure they’re hot). But why throw some veggies, crackers, cheese and olives onto a plate willy-nilly when you can get some easy tips from five-star chefs, as compiled by The Wall Street Journal? Try combining both marinated and raw fermented elements, recommends Santa Monica chef Matthew Schaler. That can be as simple as a briny pickle. Amped up deviled eggs highlight upper Midwest chef Shaina Robbins Papach and husband Joe Papach’s Harvey House relish tray, including a trout roe topping. The duo also prepares a whipped ranch mousse in lieu of supermarket dressing. New York chef Nate Adler suggests mixing and matching, including turmeric-pickled cauliflower, pickled onions, fried cumin-pickled beets, and a smoked whitefish salad.
— Wine pair like a boss: We’re all a little rusty from last year’s lonely COVID-19 Thanksgiving, and let’s face it, sometimes family dynamics call for booze. So, make sure your adult beverage offerings play up the menu while still making sure wine choices are versatile. The New York Times has plenty of tips for choosing the best crowd-pleasers, as well as some pitfalls to avoid. Don’t, the piece notes, go for overly tannic wines. That means avoiding young reds that still need to age. Too many tannins aren’t overtly bad, but they can have a fatiguing effect. Also, avoid oaky flavor profiles. As popular as oaky wines are, they can clash with many Thanksgiving foods. Also, avoid high-alcohol wines (nothing gets your crazy uncle even more vocal at the dinner table than a solid buzz) and transgressive wines that might confuse non-connoisseur guests. Do choose lively wines, those with a lot of names — such as “fresh,” “lithe,” and “energetic” — to describe them.
🏈 — Turkey Day gridiron: The six teams playing on Thanksgiving (Bills, Lions, Patriots, Vikings, Giants and Cowboys) went 4-2 on Sunday, with Vikings and Giants losses. Here’s the slate so you can start planning your escape from the dining room: Buffalo Bills at Detroit Lions (12:30); New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys (4:30), and New England Patriots at Minnesota Vikings (8:20).
👗 — Green tops Christmas party dress trends: Green is the most popular Christmas party dress color this year, according to an analysis by fashion designed Karen Millen that found it was the most searched color in 13 states. Classic red comes in second, with 10 states searching for that color most frequently. Gold is the most searched color in seven states. Florida is among states going green this holiday season, joining Alabama, Alaska, Colorado, Louisiana, Montana, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Tennessee, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin. Floridians specifically favor emerald.
— DAYS UNTIL —
Florida TaxWatch’s Annual Meeting begins — 8; ‘Willow’ premieres on Disney+ — 8; 2022 Florida Chamber Annual Insurance Summit — 13; Georgia U.S. Senate runoff — 14; Cormac McCarthy’s ‘Stella Maris’ releases — 14; ‘Avatar 2’ premieres — 24; final Broadway performance of ‘The Music Man’ with Hugh Jackman — 40; College Football Playoff National Championship — 48; The James Madison Institute’s Annual Dinner — 64; Bruce Springsteen launches his 2023 tour in Tampa — 71; Super Bowl LVII — 82; ‘Ant Man and the Wasp: Quantumania’ premieres — 87; final performance of ‘Phantom of the Opera’ on Broadway — 88; 2023 Legislative Session convenes — 105; ‘John Wick: Chapter 4′ premieres — 122; Taylor Swift ‘Eras’ Tour in Tampa — 142; American Association of Political Consultants Pollies ’23 conference begins — 157; 2023 Session Sine Die — 164; ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3’ premieres — 164; ‘Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse’ premieres — 192; Christopher Nolan’s ‘Oppenheimer’ premieres — 241; ‘‘Captain Marvel 2′ premieres — 248; Dune: Part Two’ premieres — 346; ‘Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse’ Part 2 premieres — 493; ‘Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes’ premieres — 549; Opening Ceremony of the 2024 Olympic Games — 612; ‘Thunderbolts’ premieres — 612; ‘Blade’ reboot premieres — 654; ‘Deadpool 3’ premieres — 717; ‘Fantastic Four’ reboot premieres — 815; ‘Avengers: The Kang Dynasty’ premieres — 892. ‘Avengers: Secret Wars’ premieres — 1,081.
— THANKFUL —
Sunburn readers share what they are grateful for this year:
Gov. Ron DeSantis — The First Lady and I have much to be thankful for: our health; our three wonderful children, Madison, Mason, and Mamie; and the people of the great state of Florida.
To watch a video message, please click on the image below:
U.S. Sen. Rick Scott — As we gather with family and friends, let’s remember all the things we have to be grateful for. Today and every day, I’m thankful for my beautiful wife, Ann, our daughters and our seven wonderful grandchildren. I’m grateful to live in the greatest nation in the world, where everyone has the freedom and opportunity to achieve the American dream. I’m also thankful to Florida’s families, who have trusted me to represent and fight for them every day in the United States Senate. I’d like to wish all Floridians a blessed day and a very happy Thanksgiving!
U.S. Rep.-elect Aaron Bean — I have written over 800 thank you notes over the last six months, and I will be writing many more to thank so many who have given me a chance of a lifetime to serve next year in the 118th Congress. Family, friends and health are always on my grateful list, too. As we prepare for our son Bradley’s wedding to his love Alexia next month, we are reminded every day of how our blessings grow and are so deeply appreciated. Happy Thanksgiving to all.
U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis — I have so many blessings for which to be grateful including my health, an abundance of loving family and friends, and the privilege of continuing to represent my constituents and our community in the United States Congress for another term.
U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan — This year, I am thankful to live in a state that promotes freedom and opportunity for all its citizens. I am grateful to once again represent the people of Southwest Florida as we debate the issues that matter most to our nation. And, above all, I am thankful for my wife of 46 years, our two sons and nine grandchildren who never make life boring.
U.S. Rep. Kat Cammack — This year, I’m grateful for our military, law enforcement, and first responders who work so hard to keep all of us safe. While we enjoy this holiday season with our friends and families, they’re away from theirs, protecting our communities and answering the call when we need them. Please pray for their safety this Thanksgiving and join me in thanking them for all they do. From all of us at Team Kat, we wish everyone in FL-03 and the Sunshine State a very happy, healthy Thanksgiving.
U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor — I am grateful for our generous, hardworking and patriotic Tampa Bay community. From the first responders and hometown heroes who supported our neighbors impacted by Hurricane Ian to those who’ve worked tirelessly to help Floridians keep food on the table, our community knows that we are stronger together. Supported by historic investments in our economy to lower costs and fuel the clean energy future in the Inflation Reduction Act, which was signed into law by President (Joe) Biden, I am certain that the best days are ahead for Tampa Bay and the State of Florida. From my family to yours, we hope you have a safe and happy Thanksgiving.
U.S. Rep. Byron Donalds — As we enter the Holiday Season, I want to express my most profound appreciation to everyone around the State and Nation who helped Southwest Florida in our time of need. Hurricane Ian devastated our region, but the resolve of our people and the kindness of others were truly amazing to witness. My family and I thank you.
U.S. Rep. Scott Franklin — Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to acknowledge all our many blessings. My wife, Amy, and I celebrate our 32nd wedding anniversary on Thanksgiving Day this year, so it’s a particularly special holiday. I’m grateful for my faith, family and friends, my health, our freedom and the troops who protect us, and the privilege to serve our great nation in Congress. And I’m thankful election season is over!
U.S. Rep.-elect Maxwell Alejandro Frost — I’m thankful for all the volunteers, supporters, and contributors who believed in our campaign and helped fuel our victory. I’m thankful to my grandma who passed away days before the election. Her story is what keeps me grounded.
U.S. Rep.-elect Laurel Lee — This Thanksgiving I am grateful for the love of my family and their support of my commitment to public service; I am grateful for our men and women in the military and law enforcement for the safety and security they provide us, and I am grateful to the voters of CD 15 for entrusting me to represent our communities in Congress.”
U.S. Rep.-elect Cory Mills — I’m thankful for my wonderful family, our faith, our brave men & women in uniform who fight to keep us safe each day, and the trust the people of Florida’s 7th District have in me as their representative. God bless our great nation.
U.S. Rep.-elect Jared Moskowitz — I’m grateful for my dad, as this is my first Thanksgiving without him. Happy Thanksgiving to all the families that have an empty chair around the Thanksgiving table.
U.S. Rep. John Rutherford — I am thankful every day to live in and serve Northeast Florida and am especially grateful today for our nation’s service members, first responders, and many others who are away from their loved ones this Thanksgiving to keep us safe. On behalf of my wife, Pat, and the entire Rutherford family, I wish you a safe and blessed Thanksgiving!
U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz — I am so thankful for my wonderful family, husband, and children. I am immensely grateful for the calm, steady, caring leader in the White House and the amazing, compassionate people in my South Florida community who look after one another, especially those less fortunate. But across this great nation, I’m also grateful we recommitted on Election Day to protecting our rights, democracy, and this wonderful experiment we call America. While pain and injustice still haunt too many, we can also be thankful that true progress is being made, and our drive to advance and improve upon that will not flag.
Agricultural Commissioner Nikki Fried — This Thanksgiving, I am grateful for the abundance in my life, especially the love of my family. I am thankful to have led the best team in public service in Florida at FDACS these last four years. And I am grateful for the opportunity to have met and heard the stories of so many of my fellow Floridians. I am looking forward to continuing to fight for them.
Attorney General Ashley Moody — This year, I am thankful for all the law enforcement officers and first responders who will be on duty through the holidays to keep us safe, and for those still working on the recovery efforts following Hurricane Ian and Hurricane Nicole. I am also grateful to live in the most pro-law enforcement state in the nation where we always back the blue.
Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis — I’m thankful that my wife Katie has been cancer free for over four years now. I’m also thankful that my knucklehead sons, Johnny and Theo are healthy and growing up so fast. I’m thankful for our first responders that work around the clock, even during Thanksgiving, to protect our communities and keep us safe. May God bless them and all Floridians this holiday season.
Agriculture Commissioner-elect Wilton Simpson — I am a blessed man! Kathy and I couldn’t be more grateful for our loving family, incredible community and the opportunity to serve the good people of Florida.
Secretary of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity Dane Eagle — I am thankful for my family – my beautiful wife, amazing son, and future son on the way – and for the Free State of Florida!
Secretary of State Cord Byrd — I am thankful for the love of my family and for God’s bounty and blessings far beyond what I deserve.
Senate President Kathleen Passidomo — Each and every day throughout the year there is something to be thankful for — The glory of the Gulf at sunset or the mists rising over the Everglades at sunrise, for the blessings of good health, for my clients and my constituents who give me the opportunity to serve this incredible state, for my Senate family who are like brothers and sisters to me, and most of all for my wonderful husband of 43 years, my three bright and amazing daughters, my two inquisitive and engaging grandsons and being able to celebrate Thanksgiving this year with my 99-year-old dad.
House Speaker Paul Renner — Adriana and I are thankful for our two beautiful children who bring joy to us each day, serving as a constant reminder of why we were elected to serve the great state of Florida; to build a future full of promise and opportunities for their generation and beyond. And I am thankful for Adriana, my best friend, the mother of my children, and my amazing wife of almost 10 years.
Sen. Ben Albritton — I’m thankful that I live in a country that allows me, without the fear of persecution, to exercise my principles of faith, family, freedom, opportunity and life.
Chair Danny Perez — As we gather this week for Thanksgiving, I am grateful as always for my family first and foremost, and for the freedoms we enjoy in this nation and the great state of Florida. Wishing everyone across the Sunshine State a Happy Thanksgiving.
Sen. Lori Berman — I am thankful to have my family together to celebrate this holiday and for the blessing of good health for my friends and family. I am thankful to be re-elected to represent the citizens of Palm Beach County and feel very humbled and honored to live up to this responsibility. I am grateful that democracy prevailed and am hopeful that we can work together to help all Floridians succeed.
Sen. Lauren Book — I am always, always most thankful for my family … but this year, after supporting my father as he battled and beat an aggressive cancer, putting a viscous digital criminal behind bars, and having spent a great deal of time away from my five-year-olds on the campaign trail — I am filled with more gratitude for my sweet family than I have ever known to be possible. This holiday season, I hope and wish for everyone’s life to be filled with love and support from their own families or their families of choice.
Sen. Jennifer Bradley — I am thankful to spend Thanksgiving with my husband and greatest friend, Rob, my wonderful children who give me hope for the future and my loving family. I’m especially thankful for our first responders and servicemen and women who selflessly serve and don’t hear “thank you” nearly enough. Wishing everyone across our great State a holiday filled with love and special memories, and thank you for the privilege to represent you in the Florida Senate.
Sen. Alexis Calatayud — I am thankful for the opportunity to serve my community, to give voice to the needs of my neighbors, to fight for the future of Miami-Dade. I am grateful for the leaders that have lifted me up, for my family and for my team. In every circumstance, I am thankful for the unconditional love and provision of God.
Sen. Travis Hutson — I am thankful for my wonderful family and beautiful wife, my colleagues in the Senate as well as our staff, and everyone throughout this process that I have had the pleasure of working with both inside and outside of my office.
Sen. Shevrin Jones — I am thankful for the opportunity to serve and do the Lord’s work. I am eternally grateful this year for my dad beating bladder cancer. It will literally be the highlight of my Thanksgiving, the day we amplify what we’re thankful for.
Sen. Jonathan Martin — Unfortunately, it is after times of our greatest loss that we are most thankful. After my home district was devastated by Hurricane Ian, I am even more thankful for the love and safety of my family, the resiliency of my community, and those around this great state who have promised their support to help rebuild SWFL!
Sen. Jason Pizzo — So very thankful for our Senate staff, on both sides of the aisle, from aides in our offices to staff on committees, for those who throw out our trash, and all those who put up with it. Our long days and hours, whims, wishes and egos are all masterfully balanced by those who have so much responsibility, yet so little recognition.
Sen. Tina Polsky — I am grateful for my family, my health and my small but mighty Senate Democratic Caucus. It hasn’t been easy on my family over the past as a candidate, a Rep. and a Senator. They are always supportive even when I miss way more than I should. A cancer diagnosis certainly puts life in perspective, and I am so grateful for modern medicine and early treatment. Please get your yearly mammogram! And as I am about to be sworn in again, I am forever grateful for my caucus who stand together and continue to fight for our principles despite the odds.
Sen. Ana Maria Rodriguez — This year, I would like to give thanks to those who have allowed me to serve District 40, my constituents. More importantly, I am grateful to my family, friends, staff, and countless supporters who have helped me along the way.
Sen. Geraldine Thompson — I am thankful for life experiences that have taught me that major challenges can be overcome with commitment and determination. The support of a loving family and consistent friends are blessings I will always cherish and remain forever thankful.
Sen. Clay Yarborough — Above all else, I am most thankful for the sacrifice Jesus Christ made when He willingly gave His Life for all of us on the cross and then rose from the grave three days later. Because of His death, burial, and resurrection, the Good News is that whoever believes in Him will have eternal life. As we soon enter the season during which we celebrate Jesus’ birth, we need this Truth and hope now more than ever.
Rep. Alex Andrade — I’m thankful for the lessons I’ve learned, for the friends I’ve made, and for the circumstances and people that allowed me to have those experiences: my wife, my family, the voters in my district and my co-workers.
Rep. Bruce Antone — Every day, I’m thankful that God continues to bless me, wakes me up and breathes life into me. I’m also thankful for the love and support that my family, my parents and my siblings have provided to me each and every day.
Rep. Melony Bell — This Thanksgiving season, I have so much to be thankful for. First and foremost, I am so grateful for my family, friends, and to be a citizen of this great country. There is nowhere I’d rather live than Polk County, Florida and I am blessed each day to be able to serve my constituents. As I enter my third term in the Florida House of Representatives, I am grateful for the opportunity to represent the honest, hardworking residents of my district.
Rep. Mike Beltran — I am thankful for the continuously increasing support of voters in the Eastern Tampa Bay Area, particularly Southshore. Grateful to represent the best part of the best state in the best country in the world. Grateful for our Constitution and a Governor who follows it closely. Grateful to my clients and donors for another great year of litigating and fundraising. Grateful to Hope, Michael, and Ross for joining me on this journey. And grateful to God for all of the foregoing.
Rep. Christopher Benjamin — As always, I am thankful for my family. My kids continue to be such a great source of joy and pride because they are good people, and they have hearts of compassion. I have a wonderful collection of friends and family that come when I say I need. However, Allah has been most kind and most merciful this year as he has also given me the blessing of a beautiful wife, Zakiyyah Shakir, whose heart is as big as the world. Her kindness and love has been a blessing beyond measure. For all that she is, and all that she gives, I am so very thankful. Because of God’s grace, I remain thankful this year and every year.
Rep. James Buchanan — Family, Friends, and for the opportunity to live and serve our amazing community in the Great State of Florida.
Rep. Dan Daley — This year I’m thankful for the love and support of my family and friends, neighbors and voters, for the opportunity to continue representing Northwest Broward County, the good fortune to have been able to do so for the past 10 years of my life, and the chance to stand up for all Floridians, regardless of race, religion, sexual preference, income, party affiliation, or otherwise. We’re in this together, whether that means a vote to cast, a shoulder to lean on, or a kitchen table to help set. Y’all continue to show me that every day. Thank you.
Rep. Anna Eskamani — I am grateful for my incredible district that trusts me to do the important work of public service, my team that gives it their all, my family and friends who cheer me on, my cats for the early morning meows and late night purrs, and my UCF Professors for supporting me as I work to finish my Ph.D. by the summer. Go, Knights!
Rep. Tiffany Esposito — I am most thankful for my family and grateful for their support throughout this campaign cycle. I am also thankful that I have been given the opportunity to serve the community where I was born and raised in the Florida House.
Rep. Sam Garrison — Our family is blessed beyond anything we deserve. I’m thankful for God’s grace and unfailing love, even in the hard times.
Rep. Mike Giallombardo — I am most thankful for my family. My wife and kids are the absolute center of my life and the reason I serve in the military and ran for the Legislature.
Rep. Peggy Gossett-Seidman — The gratitude I extend is to all hardworking Floridians — first responders, truck drivers, farmers, industrialists, roadway, airport and port workers, U.S. military, educators, retailers, businesspeople, IT, government officials, students, and many more. They awake to hard work and firm dedication in their fields, to propel the state toward another safe and successful day. This includes my three wonderful children, my husband, longtime friends and newly met Legislators. God Bless everyone in Florida.
Rep. Rita Harris — Of course, I am thankful for my amazing husband and daughter, who support me every step of the way. I am also grateful to represent District 44. As a resident of this community for almost 20 years, it is an honor to work and fight for the wonderful people who live here. I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to do so!
Rep. Fred Hawkins — I am thankful for my faith and the love and support from my wife, family and friends. To live in the greatest country and state in this world. Thankful to be part of a select few that have the honor to participate in guiding the State of Florida as it continues on the path as the greatest State in the nation.
Rep. Patricia Hawkins-Williams — Thanksgiving marks an important season for all of us to take a moment and remember the little things in life. I am thankful for family, good health, friends, a place to call home, and a career that provides me with the opportunity to serve the people. As we go about our lives, we often get caught up in the things we want and forget about all of the little things we already have. Thanksgiving is a remarkable time to sit down and think about everything we have in life to be grateful for. What are you thankful for?
Rep. Christine Hunschofsky — I am grateful for my family and friends who I can always rely on for support and encouragement. I am also grateful for all the helpers in our communities who quietly volunteer, help people in need, or just brighten someone’s day. They inspire me and remind me of all the good there is in this world.
Rep. Chip LaMarca — I am thankful for an amazing team that focuses on my core mission as an elected official: representing the people and always being available and accessible for them. I could not do what I do without the selfless support of my wife and family, as well as the group of friends and supporters who show up to make sure our district has someone who is in step with our district. I am most thankful though for the trust that our community invests in me personally and the work that we must do to accomplish our goals. Happy Thanksgiving!
Rep. Vicki Lopez — I am so thankful for the blessings that God has bestowed upon me. I am eternally grateful for my son, Donald Wolfe, and his wife, Bianca, and all of my family and friends who love and support me. I am blessed to live in Miami in a beautiful condo on Brickell Avenue. In addition, I have abundance, good health, purpose, and endless opportunities to make a difference in the world. I am especially thankful this year for having been elected to the Florida House and for the honor and privilege of serving my constituents in District 113. Who could ask for anything more?
Rep. Fiona McFarland — I’m thankful for how Sarasota and friends from around state came together in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian, and for all those who run toward danger to keep us safe. I’m thankful for my community for allowing me to serve another term as their voice in Tallahassee, and for my team and my growing family for making it possible.
Rep. Jim Mooney — As we approach the Thanksgiving holidays, I’m really looking forward to some quiet family time after this busy campaign cycle. My family stood by me and has encouraged me since my first days in the public arena, and I am beyond grateful for them. I’m especially thankful for my granddaughters. There’s something about being a grandpa that just always brings a smile to my face. May all have a blessed and safe holiday.
Rep. Angie Nixon — I’m thankful for my family, friends and community. In a time when politics and public service has gotten so polarizing and downright ugly, these people keep me grounded and uplifted. They remind me that my strength comes from within and comes from them and that in the end, we will win and build a Florida For All.
Rep. Jenna Persons-Mulicka — I’m thankful to God for his unfailing love, a love that we see in our family, a love that we see in our friendships, and a love that we see in our community every day as neighbor shows up to help neighbor. As a community, we have been through the most difficult of times this year, but we have also seen the most incredible acts of love and service. I’m thankful for our strong Southwest Florida community and I’m thankful for the blessing of today so that we can all work together to rebuild for a better tomorrow.
Rep. Rachel Plakon — As a new Mother and a new Representative this year, I am thankful that the state our daughter Gracie will grow up in will be a place where individual freedom is respected, parental rights are abundant and opportunities to live out the American Dream are plentiful. As we celebrate this Thanksgiving Holiday, I pray God’s best and His favor over all Floridians as they celebrate His goodness together with family and friends.
Rep. Susan Plasencia — While celebrated once a year, I give thanks every day for the confidence the voters have in me, for the opportunities God has bestowed upon me, for the freedom and richness of the United States, for the love that our family shares and for the fleeting moments when Mom remembers who I am and chats with me as if she had all the time in the world.
Rep. Michele Rayner-Goolsby — I’m grateful for: My wife and complete recovery from heart failure. I’m grateful that everything works out as it should.
Rep. Spencer Roach — Time — the only real commodity that we have. Two years of COVID, civil unrest at home, war abroad, the tragedy of Hurricane Ian — all serve as a forceful reminder of the uncertainty inherent in this life. The sand is always running out of the hourglass. Let us be grateful for the time we still have left and let us resolve to spend it doing things we love with people that we care about.
Rep. Katherine Waldron — I am thankful to be spending time with my family. Four generations will be gathering around our Thanksgiving table. I am thankful for the wonderful and diverse community we live in! And I am thankful for Arlo — my adopted, window blind-chewing, treat-obsessed, escape artist dog with loads of abandonment issues.
Sarasota City Commissioner Jennifer Ahearn-Koch — When asked “for what I am thankful this year” my response has to be first and foremost how utterly thrilled and relieved that a family member, who was legally blind for two years, can now see again! I am also thankful every day for my supportive, patient, and loving family and friends. And, I am also thankful I can have pizza again! (I am allergic to wheat and after almost three years of searching, my brother-in-law found a new cauliflower pizza crust that makes the very best “at home” pizza I have ever had).
Palm Beach State Attorney Dave Aronberg — I am thankful for family, friends and a career that I love. I am thankful for the survival of our resilient democracy, as imperfect as it is. And as a Florida Democrat, I am thankful I was not on the ballot last month.
Miami-Dade County Commissioner-elect Marleine Bastien — Growing up as a young girl in my native Haiti, I learned from my parents the importance of service. During vacation time, I had to volunteer at the school and infirmary that my parents built before I could play or swim in the river. After I arrived in the U.S. 41 years ago, I naturally started to volunteer and serve in many capacities which led me to where I am today. I am the first-ever woman elected to serve as Miami-Dade Commissioner-elect for District 2. So, I am grateful for my family, the source of my strength and my compass. They support and give me unconditional love, which keeps me strong and grounded to help others as they navigate life challenges.
Fernandina Beach Mayor-elect Bradley Bean — This year I’m thankful for two things. I’m thankful this month the people of Fernandina Beach have put their faith in me as their next Mayor. I’m also very thankful that in a few short weeks I’m getting married to the love of my life, Alexia Dawes. It’s a big season here in Fernandina.
Hialeah Mayor Steve Bovo — As I reflect on what to be thankful for this Thanksgiving season, the three pillars that guide me in my daily life come to the forefront of my mind: God, family, and country. I am thankful to God my creator for giving me breath, which I in turn strive to return to Him through the calling to public service He has given me. I am thankful for my wife, Viviana, and our five children who support me every day. I am thankful to live in a country that allows me to worship, speak, and think freely, rights that many have lost their lives defending. Lastly, I am thankful to the residents of the city of Hialeah who have given me the honor and privilege of choosing me to serve as their Mayor. May you all have a blessed Thanksgiving!
Miami-Dade County Commissioner-elect Kevin Marino Cabrera — As the son and grandson of Cuban exiles, I am forever grateful to this exceptional country and the freedom and opportunities that it has provided to my family. It’s been the honor of a lifetime to have earned the trust of my neighbors to serve as their next County Commissioner, and I’m blessed to have an incredible partner in my wife, Demi, my better half. I’m thankful for my community, and I’m looking forward to being their champion on the County Commission.
Jacksonville City Council member Matt Carlucci — Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday. No gifts to worry about, just enjoying family and dear friends. My favorite tradition is coming home the Wednesday before Thanksgiving at lunch to smell the wonderful aroma of the pies that my wife makes the day before. That is a 44-year tradition. Others involve watching those poor Detroit Lions, crushing cylinders of Saltine crackers for the dressing, playing with the grandkids, and trying not to eat up Karen’s incredible pies too soon. Most of all, I am grateful for that “coming home” to family that inspires the kind of heartfelt reflection that we could all use more of. My prayer for all Jacksonville families this holiday season is for joy, laughter, a full table, humble hearts, and doubts that wing away. Many blessings from us to you.
Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava — This year, I’m thankful for Miami-Dade County’s thriving economy and the incredible support from our community to pass our annual budget, which includes the Building Blocks Fund and the HOMES Plan, critical investments to address the housing affordability crisis affecting so many of our residents. We’ve also made great strides in preventing crime and gun violence and leading the nation in climate change and resiliency innovation. We could not have achieved these milestones without the engagement of our entire county, and I am excited to continue building the foundation of a county where everyone can afford to work and live. As I finish my first two years in office, I am thankful and honored to lead this great county into the future.
Jacksonville City Council member Leanna Cumber — I am incredibly thankful for my family and the constant support they give me. I’m especially thankful for those moments I’m able to slow down and spend time with my husband and my kids playing cards or cuddled on the couch watching a movie. And I’m thankful that we live in a free society that values education and hard work and provides opportunity to everyone to succeed through hard work and perseverance.
Palmetto Bay Mayor Karyn Cunningham — Thanksgiving is a time for reflection and this year, especially post-election, I have been reflecting on how grateful I am to have the support of my family, my friends and our village of Palmetto Bay community who overwhelmingly supported my re-election. I love our village and I look forward to being able to serve alongside our residents to secure the future of Palmetto Bay.
Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry — This year, like years past, I remain eternally grateful for my loving wife and children, for my family, my friends, my community, and for this country. I am thankful for the gift of service and the lessons I have learned along the way. I am thankful for being a part of Jacksonville’s growth, and the investment into the greatness of the River City. The last few years have been trying, but our community, my family, and the City of Jacksonville pulled through and are thriving. That’s why “thankful” does not begin to cover the overwhelming pride and gratitude I feel toward the people of Jacksonville, and I am proud to have had the chance to represent them throughout my time in office. I am also thankful for football.
Jacksonville City Council member Rory Diamond — I am grateful for my incredible family and my brothers and sisters-in-arms fighting for American values and American freedom. Likewise, I’m grateful for our first responders fighting for our safety at home. God Bless America!
Nassau County Commissioner Klynt Farmer — This Thanksgiving I’m mostly thankful for my friends, family, my health, my home and the opportunity to have been chosen in 2020 to serve my great community here in Nassau County. I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday and thank Nassau County’s residents for the opportunity to serve them as the District 5 County Commissioner. Never forget to thank God for your salvation and a soldier for the freedoms we all get to enjoy.
Jacksonville City Councilman Al Ferraro — I’m thankful for another wonderful year with my lovely wife Amy. I’m thankful that my daughter Amanda continues to grow as a young woman. Lastly, I’m thankful to be an American where we can all be free and make a difference in our communities.
Miami-Dade County Commissioner Eileen Higgins — This Thanksgiving, we have many reasons to be thankful. I’m incredibly thankful for my loving and supportive parents, good friends who keep me grounded and make me laugh, and a fulfilling job that comes with hardworking and dedicated staff and colleagues. I am grateful for the unique opportunity to serve my community and make a difference in people’s lives whether it be by improving transit, facilitating affordable housing, or supporting small businesses. Wishing all a blessed Thanksgiving! May your home be filled with delicious food, good times, and loved ones.
Nassau County School Board Member Shannon Hogue — First and foremost, I am thankful for God and my family. I am thankful to the people of Nassau County who voted for me so that I can serve our students, staff, families and community on the Nassau County School Board. I am also thankful to work with our Superintendent and the other Board members to do what is best for our school district.
Coral Gables Mayor Vince Lago — I am truly blessed and grateful to have the privilege of serving my community. I have served on the Coral Gables Commission for almost 10 years as a Commissioner, Vice Mayor and now Mayor, and every day that I can assist my neighbors is an incredible day. I am also beyond grateful to have colleagues on the City Commission who are aligned with my vision for the ‘City Beautiful’ and are unwavering in their respect for our historic integrity.
Miami-Dade County Commissioner Raquel Regalado — Besides family and friends, I’m grateful to have made an impact on Miami-Dade’s conversations about infrastructure and the economy. From the turnaround of Tri-Rail to tackling septic to sewer projects, to creating disability employment opportunities, to setting the table for the huge impact new constitutional officers will have on county governance. Oh, and my new favorite sport — pickleball!
Monroe County Commissioner Holly Raschein — First and foremost, I’m thankful for the adventurous, handsome, and endearing 10-year-old boy that I like to call Stinker but the rest of the world knows as Drake Thomas. I thank God for him every day. Secondly, I’m grateful for the family and friends that keep me glued together; so much love there. Now, onto the fabulous Florida Keys. We are rocking it down here and I’m so proud to call our little island chain home. The weather is spectacular, stone crab season is in full swing, and tourists are pouring in by the thousands. And lastly, I’m extremely grateful that the voters of House District 120 are sending a fantastic public servant back to Tallahassee. So long 2022; cheers to 2023!
Miami-Dade County Clerk of Courts Harvey Ruvin — I am thankful for my family, my good health, the voters who re-elected me and the continuing opportunities to serve the public. I am also thankful that the world is finally waking up to the urgency of climate change.
Plantation Mayor-elect Nick Sortal — I’m thankful for staff. Parks Director Phil Goodrich and Special Events Coordinator Shannon Ryan give our residents a sense of community. Public Works Director Steve Rodgers makes sure our roads are clear and our trees are trimmed. Howard Harrison (police) and Don Todd (fire) keep our city safe. Danny Polio (utilities) keeps the water drinkable and disposes of the poop, William Gale ensures building safety and April Beggerow runs the City Clerk’s Office. Most importantly, Anna Otiniano (finance) makes sure we don’t spend too much money. I often say: the city is not just those of us on the dais.
Jacksonville Sheriff T.K. Waters — I am extremely thankful for the brave men and women of the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office. These fine officers work tirelessly every day to keep our city safe. They are the very best Jacksonville has to offer and I am grateful to lead our JSO family.
St. Petersburg Mayor Ken Welch — I am most thankful for my wonderful family, but this holiday season, our blessings are overflowing with extended family members — those talented men and women working to give their all every day to ensure St. Petersburg is a diverse, vibrant city guided by principled progress and intentional inclusivity where innovation, partnerships and ingenuity create opportunity for all. I’m so grateful for the City’s committed and resilient team and staff that are in touch with our community and focused on building strategic partnerships to best serve the residents of St. Petersburg. Wishing everyone a wonderful and Happy Thanksgiving! We Are St. Pete!
Sarasota County School Board member Bridget Ziegler: I have so much to be grateful for, and thank the Lord each day for all of His blessings. This year, I am especially thankful to live in the free state of Florida and for our Governor, for the amazing parents and engaged citizens who worked hard everyday to reclaim our school board, for the opportunity to continue to serve, for my loving parents, for my
three beautiful and healthy daughters, and for my extraordinary, loving and supportive husband.
Former Rep. Vance Aloupis — This Thanksgiving, I’m thankful for every moment with my wife and my three daughters. And I’m thankful that they still seem to be happy that I’m home more often.
Former Rep. Bob Cortes — Many things to be grateful for, but most important is life. Life free of prostate cancer. Grateful for my wife Virginia who like our vows said, “through sickness & health, till death do us part.” She has been by my side 24/7 throughout this ordeal and without her, I don’t think I could make it. Grateful for family and friends and the support they give. Just grateful; thank you, Lord.
Former Sen. Janet Cruz — I’m thankful for America. A place where we enjoy democracy at its best, a place where we protect freedom of speech, fair elections, and an individual right to privacy. Also, I’m thankful for the privilege of serving in the House and Senate for 12 years. Thankful that through the sacrifices of serving I’m a better person. Happy Turkey Day!
Former Rep. Andrew Learned — I’m thankful for not having to miss hockey games due to Tallahassee anymore.
Former Miami Commissioner Ken Russell — As I finish my second term as Miami Commissioner, I’m thankful that normal residents like me can take time from our lives to serve our communities. Being an elected official has been the honor of my life and I’m thankful for the chance to make a difference — thankful for the residents’ trust in me.
Former Sen. Annette Taddeo — I’m thankful for Gen Z. Our leaders have failed Gen Z miserably, and yet this generation is the one saving our democracy and showing us the way forward. They have grown up in the midst of school shootings, a pandemic, feeling the effects of climate change and seeing the rights of women and LGBTQ+ disappear before their eyes. The most diverse generation in American history (48% of Gen Zers are people of color) has decided to show us how they feel about these failures at the ballot box in record-breaking numbers. My own daughter, Sofia, will join the growing number of Gen Z voters next cycle. Her generation gives me hope. To them, I’m grateful. Our future depends on it!
Former Palm Beach County Mayor Robert Weinroth — I am thankful that we had an election that everybody was able to accept the results and ultimately democracy won.
Outgoing Sarasota County Commissioner Christian Ziegler — I am thankful for my wife and 3 girls — Reagan, Sloane & Fallon. They give me purpose and motivate me to keep up the fight to protect the country they will inherit. I am also thankful to the 4,613,783 Floridians who showed up to protect Florida Freedom. The Turkey will taste extra special this year knowing that our state is officially a Conservative State.
Brian Ballard, founder and CEO of Ballard Partners — Wiley (Lil P) Kardell — The good Lord’s perfect angel.
Erin Daly Ballas, Public Affairs Consultants — This year I am so thankful for my husband, James and my kids (the hardest working interns Public Affairs Consultants has ever had!) Dayton and Jett. I’m thankful for Jack and Keyna Cory for the love they show me and my family. I’m thankful for the memories we have made this year and for my parents, Sean and Janie. And I am thankful for our clients- who have become like family!
Robert S. Beck, partner at PinPoint Results — I’m thankful for the gift of growing older, and with aging, realizing how important kind words and encouragement are to making every day just a little bit better for someone, including me. I’m also thankful for 33 years in this “process” to have clients, colleagues, members and staff who unselfishly give of their time and are helpful each and every day.
Matthew Blair, Corcoran Partners — Tracey and I are grateful for a work family that is encouraging and uplifting, for clients who have become personal friends and mentors, and for the blessing of living in the best state in the country.
Dominic Calabro, president and CEO of Florida TaxWatch — I am incredibly grateful for my wonderful wife, Debbie, and dear family, for my co-workers, Officers, Board and Members and Founders of Florida TaxWatch, for my faith and good health, for my genuine friends and good neighbors and for the blessings of living in the USA and Florida — each the greatest nation and state on earth.
Sara Clements, McGuireWoods Consulting — My smart, funny, beautiful daughter, a kick-ass job with the best colleagues, and amazing friends and family who are always there to support me.
Alecia Collins, Director of Communications at the Florida Division of Emergency Management — I am thankful for the many first responders, linemen, and Florida Division of Emergency Management team members that worked around-the-clock in response to Hurricanes Ian and Nicole. Florida is stronger because of the hard work and dedication displayed by each of you! #FloridaStrong
Gus Corbella, senior director of Government Law and Policy for Greenberg Traurig — Today is my favorite holiday. This Thanksgiving especially, I am so incredibly grateful for the love of my amazing wife, Amanda, whom I had the privilege to marry in New York City this past Spring. I am grateful that I still get to celebrate this holiday with my mom and dad, who are 86 and 90 respectively. I am grateful for my incredible son, Miles, who is thriving as a sophomore at FSU (and whose football team is outperforming mine). And I am grateful that we celebrated our wine shop’s (Poco Vino) first anniversary last month. From there, we raise a glass of cold Champagne to you all, wishing you a healthy and happy holiday season. Happy Thanksgiving!
Michael and Jessica Corcoran, Corcoran Partners — Our faith, family, friends and the ability to wake up every morning healthy and able to work with and for people we respect and admire.
Keyna Cory, Public Affairs Consultants — You know how I say, I love my job! Well, I love my life and that is what I am thankful for this season. I have a wonderful husband, Jack, who supports me in every endeavor I enter; the best business partner and friend, Erin Ballas, and her family, James; and the two interns, Dayton & Jett. So blessed to have my father, Kenny, and my little brother, Chris (who by the way is about 6’5” but I still call him my little brother) still in my life. And we are so fortunate to have wonderful clients as we continue to grow our business. Happy Thanksgiving to all!
Mark Delegal, partner at Delegal | Aubuchon Consulting — I’m thankful to live in the greatest state in the greatest country, working for the best clients and with the best people. I’m most grateful for the love of Ginger, Liz, Mary Katherine, Cookie and my mom.
Samantha Greer, director of Government Relations at UF — I am and will be forever grateful for my inner circle’s encouragement during this season of personal and professional change. The road ahead is burning with opportunities to grow and experience new things (hello, motherhood), and support the people and entities positively shaping Florida’s future.
Dr. Stephanie Haridopolis, Florida Healthy Kids Corp. Board Chair — This year I’m grateful for the gift of time with my dad. He’s currently fighting kidney cancer, and I’m grateful for every day that I have to make new memories with him. I’m hosting our whole family for Thanksgiving, and I’ll never forget these special times together. Professionally, I’m grateful for the millions of families who trust Florida KidCare to help keep their kids healthy and strong.
Joe Anne Hart, the chief legislative officer of the Florida Dental Association — I am grateful and thankful for every morning I get to open my eyes and experience a new day. We wait for the big things to celebrate when it’s the little things that truly count. Appreciate every moment and don’t take our time on this earth for granted. Live — Laugh — Love❤️!
Tanya C. Jackson, partner at PinPoint — Results I’m grateful for my parents and siblings who instilled in me a sense of responsibility; for my smart and loving spouse and partner Robert and our children (Andrea, Erin, Amanda) and their partners (Isabella, Philipp, Bryan) — two of whom work with us! I’m grateful for my work family and our wonderful clients who are truly family; and for members and staff who put up with me!
James Jacobs — This year I’m most thankful for the birth of my baby boy James Junior “JJ” and his clean bill of health after 40 days in NICU.
Marian Johnson, executive director of the Florida Chamber Political Institute — I must put my faith and walk with God at the top because I have learned without them, I am lost. I am thankful for the husband God gave me who is truly my greatest blessing. And next, of course, is my family. Even when they drive me crazy, I have learned to thank God for them and to smile. I have learned that many times, those friends who have no shared DNA can be the best family one can have and I am so grateful I have learned to appreciate and show more love to them. I am thankful I can laugh and cry with them.
I am thankful for a career that brought me joy every day. And I am so grateful to have worked in this profession for over 50 years. It was like birthing a baby and watching it grow to see all the changes that have happened in this era. I am thankful to still work in my career and make a difference for the future while it continues to bring me happiness.
I am thankful for those people in my path that even though we disagree for they have taught me tolerance and understanding and to look at all sides. They taught me that I could be wrong. And they taught me that it is OK to be wrong.
I am so thankful that in the worst of things, we live in a country where we enjoy freedom, even though I feel freedom diminishing. I am so grateful we live in the beautiful state of Florida where legislators and leaders want to continue to improve.
There is so much for which I am thankful because at age 75, you really see things at a different, deeper level. I am thankful for the friends and family that I have known who have already passed, because even though the world continues without them here, I am a better person for having known and shared life with them.
I am thankful for my grandbabies and great-grandbabies for they keep my heart happy and help me see the simple things in life are awesome. I am so very thankful for the knowledge that love and peace are the spheres to rotate on … that it is OK to love … that it is OK to say you love someone ….it is OK to show you love. Love makes you a warrior and warrior help bring you peace.
Natalie Kato, attorney — This year, Tim and I are not only thankful for the birth of our daughter Evangeline but for the amazing team at UF Shands NICU and for our amazing community of friends who looked out for us during our stay in Gainesville.
Natalie Kelly, CEO of the Florida Association of Managing Entities — I’m grateful for Florida’s seven Managing Entities, whose network of providers support Floridians with the behavioral health services they need to get back on their feet and live life to their fullest potential.
Allison Kinney, VP of Government Affairs, HCA Healthcare — I am thankful for HCA’s AWESOME lobby team led by the Rubin Turnbull Group! (And fewer COVID admissions!)
Jack Levine, founder of the 4Generations Institute — I’m grateful for the health of my granddaughters (Julianne and Mollie) and the opportunity to advocate for the healthy futures of all the little ones who need help to survive and succeed.
Jennifer Motsinger — This year I am especially grateful to spend the day with those I hold most dear to me. I am grateful for my health, and the wealth of friends and colleagues who inspire me every day. I am humbly grateful for the opportunity to advocate for positive changes for our community. This year, most of all, I am grateful for my Faith and the freedom it gives me to embrace each change in this life with humility and grace.
Caitlin Murray, regional vice president — Southeast of the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies — What I’m grateful and super excited for this year is that the entire Murray family will be visiting the Motherland, Ireland, during the Thanksgiving holiday!
Edie Ousley, president of Yellow Finch Strategies — I am grateful to have awesome, loyal clients that do great things for Florida and the nation, to live and work in the greatest state in the country, and to be loved by my husband Johnny, our children Sarah, Drew and Chase, and our family.
Anthony Pedicini, SIMSWINS — I’m thankful for another year, another political cycle and one more hunting season. I’ve been blessed with great clients, the best business partner and the best and most loyal friends.
Jenn Poggie of Pinnacle Media — I’m grateful for a successful first year for Pinnacle Media and the opportunity to work with such wonderful clients. Above all, I’m grateful to God for the love and health of my family, especially my amazing daughters, Ivy, Lily and Madison.
Ray Rodrigues, State University System Chancellor — This Thanksgiving week as we celebrate our 30th anniversary I’m thankful for my wife Ruth, our son Rhett and all the family and friends who love and support us. After Ian hit Lee County, I’m thankful for the fastest hurricane response and recovery efforts ever seen anywhere in the world. Can you say, “Built a bridge in three days?” Because Florida can! I’m thankful to live in the free state of Florida where we have America’s Governor, Ron DeSantis. As Chancellor, I’m thankful for a State Legislature that recognizes higher education as a public good. And I’m thankful for a State University System ranked #1 in both quality of education and lowest cost to students!
Cari Roth, vice president of Governmental and Regulatory Affairs at Lykes Bros. — Professionally I’m grateful for heading into my 20th year of working for the Lykes family and being part of stewarding their landholdings with great colleagues and family leadership. On a personal level, I’m grateful for my family, especially my patient and funny husband of 20 years and a month, and my role model for aging Dad who is still sharp and active at 90.
Sam J. Saad III, attorney — I am most thankful for my family. Second that, I live in the free state of Florida!
Ron Sachs, founder and CEO of Sachs Media — Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday because it taps into the reality that we all have many things for which to be grateful. In what is surely the most divided political time in our lives, I am grateful that our families and friends can still gather and share our individual and collective thanks for the gift of life in our every day, no matter what challenges or problems we encounter along our paths. I’m also grateful for the family of wonderful colleagues and dear friends we have at our firm who bring joy and excellence to all that we do. Thanks to God for all we share in our time on this earth.
Mike Scudiero — For all the drama, delays, and resulting conspiracy theories from all partisan perspectives in other states, I am thankful Florida recovered from the 2000 cycle and is now the model for the nation when it comes to running elections. Most of our results — statewide and locally — were known before the Final Jeopardy music played.”
Melissa Stone, Cavalry Strategies — Thankful for CFO Jimmy Patronis and all of Team Patronis who made it possible to achieve a historic WIN on Election Day!
Eddie Thompson, regional director of External Affairs at AT&T — Immensely thankful to God for giving second (and third) chances on life. Thankful for the amazing Drs. at Ascension — Sacred Heart (Pensacola) who placed 3 stints in my right artery. Thankful for my wife who held down the Thompson fort as I recovered. Thankful for Casey Reed and Joe York who still challenge me on making healthy lifestyle choices and all the love I got from friends in the process who called and texted.
Missy Timmins, lobbyist — I am grateful for Kristen and Robin who are willing to be kidney donors and selflessly donate a kidney to me.
Sheela VanHoose, partner at The Southern Group — I am thankful that my family is happy. With our recent move to Tallahassee, I am truly grateful for how quickly my family has adapted and fallen in love with our new home city.
Mike Vasilinda, Capitol News Service — I’m thankful and honored to have spent nearly 50 years watching The Process from the inside, and now I am thankful for all the travel and many new firsts in my life. I’m excited about what the future may hold. But most of all, I am thankful for the love of my life, Michelle.
Mark Wilson, president and chief executive officer of the Florida Chamber of Commerce — More and more people are discovering free enterprise isn’t free and I’m thankful to live in a state with focused leadership from Gov. Ron DeSantis, Attorney General Ashley Moody, CFO Jimmy Patronis, Agricultural Commissioner Wilton Simpson, Senate President Kathleen Passidomo, House Speaker Paul Renner and all the pro-jobs legislators who fight daily to make Florida the best place to live, learn, work, start a business, and raise a family.
Skylar Zander and Carrie Thompson Patrick of Americans for Prosperity-Florida — This year we are very thankful for our entire AFP-FL grassroots team, especially thankful for the team’s hard work in making 600,000 contacts with Florida voters that resulted in 35 out of 37 wins for our endorsed candidates and now policy champions. We look forward to continuing to be grateful for our policy side of the house as we move toward committee weeks and Session.
— TOP STORY —
“New leaders of Legislature march in lockstep with Ron DeSantis” via Jeffrey Schweers of the Orlando Sentinel — New Senate President Kathleen Passidomo and House Speaker Paul Renner, both staunch conservatives loyal to Gov. DeSantis will take over the reins of the Legislature on Tuesday as the political world speculates whether DeSantis will run for President in 2024.
With a Republican supermajority in both chambers won in the General Election, Floridians should expect an aggressive conservative agenda that could advance the culture wars DeSantis has waged with further expansion of “anti-woke” legislation and more restrictive abortion laws.
Renner said he expects the Legislature will work together to address hurricane recovery, “inflationary pressure on [the] cost of living, providing a world-class education for our students, and pushing back against ideologues who are politicizing every aspect of our society.”
Some political experts have said he needs to move to the center if he wants to win a national election. But DeSantis has declared he has unfinished business on culture war issues, including passing a law allowing people to carry guns openly in public without a permit and curbing banking and investment policies that embrace what he considers to be “woke” social issues over returns on investment.
Passidomo and Renner will be installed at Tuesday’s constitutionally required organizational Session, the same day new members will be sworn in.
The big majorities give Republicans unchecked authority with the ability to stop Democrats from using administrative and procedural rules to slow down the legislative process. They also have the votes needed to override any veto by DeSantis, which is not likely to happen.
Mac Stipanovich, a former Republican political strategist turned independent after Donald Trump was elected President, said he didn’t think a single Republican legislator would “have the nerve” to go up against DeSantis.
“We may as well not even have a legislature for the next four years,” he said.
— DESANTISYLAND —
“Pollster finds DeSantis beating Donald Trump, Joe Biden in Florida” via Jacob Ogles of Florida Politics — Florida Republican voters would prefer DeSantis as a 2024 Presidential nominee over Trump. That’s according to the findings from the latest Victory Insights poll. The same pollster finds DeSantis would beat Biden in Florida, but Trump would narrowly lose to the Democratic incumbent. Victory Insights polled voters on Nov. 16 and 17, surveying 700 likely Republican voters for a potential Primary matchup between the two Florida men most mentioned as Republican contenders. The same pollster also surveyed 600 likely General Election voters for hypothetical matchups with both GOP candidates going head-to-head with the Oval Office’s current occupant.
“Agency for Health Care Administration Secretary Simone Marstiller calls it quits” via Christine Jordan Sexton of Florida Politics — Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) Secretary Marstiller will step down from her job, the first departure during what could be a busy transition for newly re-elected DeSantis. DeSantis announced in a Monday tweet that Marstiller was leaving his administration. He said that Marstiller “led the way by driving transparency & accountability in health care, fighting for patients’ rights & standing against vax mandates. She demonstrated an unwavering commitment to Floridians — I thank her for her service & wish her the best in retirement.”
“Kevin Guthrie to remain as Director of Emergency Management, oversaw response to Surfside and Hurricane Ian” via Eric Daugherty of Florida’s Voice — DeSantis announced that Guthrie will remain at his post for the Governor’s second term. Guthrie notably oversaw Florida’s response to the Surfside condo collapse in 2021, along with responding to Hurricane Ian and Nicole in the past couple of months. In a video, DeSantis highlights some of Guthrie’s key moments. Guthrie became the Chief of Staff for FDEM in October 2018 under Rick Scott and was then appointed by DeSantis to Deputy Director in January 2019. He became the director in May 2021.
“Suspended prosecutor fights back against effort to shield DeSantis” via Gary Fineout of POLITICO — Suspended Florida prosecutor Andrew Warren, who is locked in a legal battle with DeSantis over his ouster, on Monday pushed back against attempts to keep the Governor from having to testify in a trial scheduled to start next week. DeSantis removed Warren from his post back in August, citing promises the elected prosecutor had made not to enforce certain laws, including the state’s recently enacted ban on abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy without rape or incest exemptions. Warren has sued in federal court, contending that his First Amendment rights were violated.
— STATEWIDE —
“Senate Democrats reaffirm Lauren Book as caucus Leader, shake off red wave” via Renzo Downey of Florida Politics — Two weeks after Senate Republicans gained their first supermajority in a decade, the minority caucus has reaffirmed Book as Democratic Leader for another term. In a ceremony Monday, as lawmakers return to Tallahassee to prepare for the 2023 Legislative Session, Democrats unanimously elected Book as Leader and Sen. Jason Pizzo as Leader Pro Tempore for the 2022-24 term. With her re-election, Book now shepherds a flock with three-quarters the members she had before the election earlier this month. Looming over the ceremony were Democrats’ resounding losses across Florida in the 2022 General Election two weeks prior.
“Legislative Black Caucus elects new leader — Democrat Dianne Hart” via Isaac Morgan of the Florida Phoenix — With incumbents and new lawmakers convening Tuesday in the Legislature, Rep. Hart will take a leadership role as Chair of the Florida Legislative Black Caucus, a group of minority lawmakers established in the 1960s. Hart, a Democrat representing part of Hillsborough County, was selected to lead the Black Caucus last Thursday during a meeting with Black Caucus members. “I’m honored to have been elected as the Chair of the Florida Legislative Black Caucus,” Hart said in a Twitter post. “I’m grateful to my colleagues for their support and for trusting me to move this important caucus forward.” Hart is the CEO of the East Tampa Business and Civic Association, according to her bio on the House’s website.
“Pro-abortion activists may be scarce while anti-abortion crowd rallies Tuesday at the Capitol” via Danielle J. Brown of the Florida Phoenix — While anti-abortion activists plan to rally on the Florida Capitol grounds and inside the building Tuesday, abortion rights groups may not be around to counter their messaging. That’s because Planned Parenthood advocates for abortion access told the Florida Phoenix that they don’t have current plans to organize a protest or rally that day, when the Legislature convenes following the Nov. 8 election. Currently, Florida has a 15-week abortion ban, though lawmakers may be considering more abortion restrictions. And following the Nov. 8 election, both the House and Senate will have supermajorities in their chambers, which can make legislation easier to pass.
“Florida kicks off inspection, grant program to harden homes against hurricanes” via Gray Rohrer of Florida Politics — A program designed to entice Florida homeowners to pay for improvements to their homes that will make them more resistant to hurricane-force winds is officially open for business. Homeowners with a homestead exemption can apply with the Department of Financial Services (DFS) for a free home inspection and then can see which wind mitigation improvements would suit their home to qualify for up to $10,000 in grants from the state. Wind mitigation measures include improvements to the roof to protect against water leaks, roof-to-wall anchoring, and installing hurricane-force wind-resistant garage doors and window shutters.
— THANKSGIVING READS —
—”Thanksgiving is brought to you by these Florida lobbyists and political organizations” via Peter Schorsch
“At the first national Thanksgiving, the Civil War raged” via Ted Widmer of The Washington Post — As the Civil War raged in 1863, President Abraham Lincoln and his Secretary of State, William H. Seward, issued a proclamation on Oct. 3 calling for a national holiday to be observed on “the last Thursday of November.” That proclamation might do good service again in a nation that could use words of healing. The Civil War is never that distant; in troubling ways, it has resurfaced in recent months as an implied threat of a conflict that may reignite someday. Even in the worst months of the fighting, with violence all around them, they saw a better day coming, when Americans would return to the same table, in the “full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.”
“The invention of Thanksgiving” via Philip Deloria of The New Yorker — Americans have been celebrating Thanksgiving for nearly four centuries, commemorating that solemn dinner in November 1621. We know the story well, or think we do. Adorned in funny hats, large belt buckles, and clunky black shoes, the Pilgrims of Plymouth gave thanks to God for his blessings. The local Indians, supporting characters who generously pulled the Pilgrims through the first winter and taught them how to plant corn. Almost none of this is true. In Pilgrim’s terms, the first Thanksgiving was not a “thanksgiving” but a “rejoicing.” An actual giving of thanks required fasting and quiet contemplation; rejoicing featured feasting, drinking, militia drills, target practice, and contests of strength and speed. It was a party, not a prayer, and was full of people shooting at things.
“Why Thanksgiving still wins, in one paragraph” via Michael Schaffer of The New Republic — “It’s a holiday to be proud of: Humble without being morose, generous without being opulent, old without being irrelevant, intimate but also all about community. At a time of income inequality, the feast that is its central organizing event is made of ingredients that are democratic. In an era of suspicion, it celebrates immigrants. During a period of polarization, it’s something we all agree on. It can be religious if you want, but it doesn’t have to be: Thank the Almighty, thank your friends, thank your lucky stars — it’s all good.”
“Saying grace: How a moment of thanks, religious or not, adds meaning to our meals” via Emily Heil of The Washington Post — This Thanksgiving, it’s likely to be heard at tables around the country. The very purpose of the holiday, after all, is to express gratitude. Many families who don’t typically pray before meals will do so, and those that do might expand the ritual. The act of saying grace seems to be as varied as recipes for stuffing. The words people utter may be secular or religious, perhaps blended from various traditions. They could be familiar phrases repeated over and over, or invented on the spot. People create games to get their children involved. They say grace over fast-food burritos and elaborate holiday meals. Saying grace, though, “is medicine to the ingratitude that we can develop.”
“Thanksgiving tips to keep everyone happy and sane at your holiday gathering” via Becky Krystal of The Washington Post — Make as much as you can in advance. Don’t give up if you wait until the last minute. Ask for help. Clear your fridge. Set out some snacks before the meal. Learn how to make the best use of your oven. Not everything has to be hot or even warm. Have containers to send leftovers home with your guests.
—”The 9 best Thanksgiving songs I definitely didn’t just make up” via Alexandra Petri of The Washington Post
“Five myths about turkey” via Tamar Haspel of The Washington Post — 1. Ben Franklin almost made the turkey the national bird. In a 1784 satirical letter to his daughter, he maligned the eagle’s “bad moral character.” The turkey is a “more respectable bird, and withal a true original native of America,” Franklin wrote. 2. Stuffing turkey is a recipe for food poisoning. Yes, it’s important to take precautions when cooking poultry, but you can safely stuff a turkey — generations of Americans wouldn’t have risked death for the sake of a more flavorful side dish. 3. Basting is better. Not so fast, says Meathead Goldwyn, the force behind AmazingRibs.com and the author of “Meathead: The Science of Great Barbecue and Grilling.” The problem is that basting prolongs cooking times. “Think of it like sweat after a long workout,” Goldwyn told me via email, “it cools you off.” And basting may moisten the bird, “but not a lot,” says Goldwyn. 4. Thanksgiving turkey makes you sleepy. Tryptophan doesn’t necessarily induce sleep, and it’s doubtful that turkey’s the culprit for your post-Thanksgiving-dinner nap. 5. Turkey was Thanksgiving’s first entree. Kathleen Wall, a culinarian at Plimouth Plantation, a history museum that re-creates the original Plymouth colony, told Smithsonian, “Wildfowl was there … venison was there,” water birds like goose or duck were likely candidates, and passenger pigeons were a plentiful game at the time. But turkey probably wasn’t the featured dish.
“The rise and fall of turkey brining” via Kim Severson of The New York Times — Like the length of a trouser leg, turkey fashion shifts. Interviews with the big players in food media over the past few weeks suggest that the wet, salty turkey has lost its appeal among many of the people who once did the most to promote it. “I’m so over it,” said Alex Guarnaschelli, the New York chef and television personality. Never mind that her turkey-brining recipe — thick with honey, molasses and soy — is still prominently displayed on the Food Network website. “I’m not afraid to admit evolution has occurred with my cooking, and I’ll go on record as someone who has a great brine recipe,” she said. “But right now, I am in a no-brining phase.” Why the change of heart on brining? “It’s enormous. It’s wonky. It’s ambitious,” she said. “And I don’t always love the texture.”
“Airlines try to avoid meltdowns as longer Thanksgiving travel period begins” via Ian Duncan and Lori Aratani of The Washington Post — Industry leaders have been preparing for a Thanksgiving that looks more like a long, busy week of travel rather than a mad rush for the airport on Wednesday and again on Sunday — the result of flexible schedules that allow some to work from anywhere. Since Thursday, more than 2 million people a day have passed through Transportation Security Administration checkpoints, topped by 2.4 million on Friday. The figures have outpaced last year’s numbers and rival those of 2019. Less than 1% of flights were canceled and about a quarter were delayed in recent days, according to data from FlightAware, numbers that are comparable to the 2019 Thanksgiving travel period.
—“Traveling? Here’s your region-by-region Thanksgiving forecast.” via Matthew Cappucci of The Washington Post
“A cure for Thanksgiving stress? For many, it’s a cruise.” via Priya Krishna of The New York Times — Going to sea with thousands of strangers might seem at odds with a holiday so intimately tethered to the idea of home. COVID-19 dealt a punishing blow to the cruise industry, but as cruise lines have eased their health restrictions in recent months, bookings have soared — especially for Thanksgiving. Viking Cruises and Holland America Line reported last week that sailings during Thanksgiving week were nearing or at capacity, filled primarily with American passengers. A Viking spokesperson said Thanksgiving bookings have risen 48% this year over 2019, before the pandemic. “There seems to be an endless demand for cruising around this time,” said Vivek Menon, the executive chef of Carnival Cruise Line.
“What are you supposed to call your in-laws these days?” via Gretchen Tarrant of The Wall Street Journal — This year could approach a record for weddings in the U.S. Quite a few newlyweds have no clue what to call their in-laws. Mom and Dad? Bill and Judy? Hey there? Advice columns have tackled this etiquette puzzle for years, and it is still popping up in households to a surprising degree. The pollster YouGov conducted its first-ever survey on the topic in recent months at the behest of a British colleague who wondered if the in-law discord he saw featured in American television and movies was real. It was. According to YouGov’s July poll, 29% of couples call their in-laws by their first names, 17% refer to them as Mom and/or Dad, and 9% use Mr., Mrs. or Ms. The rest don’t have relationships with their in-laws or aren’t sure what to call them.
“At danksgiving, there’s no need to go outside for a smoke” via Jackie Bryant of The New York Times — Until fairly recently, Danksgiving wasn’t much more than a funny word that cannabis fans used for smoking weed on Thanksgiving. It’s unclear how many Americans hold Danksgiving dinners; the stigma that still surrounds the use of cannabis in many families and places may discourage revelers from sharing their celebrations on social media. But there is evidence that cannabis use is rising around Thanksgiving. In 2018, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration ran a #DitchDanksgiving social media campaign, warning those who did participate not to drive under the influence. Just one day before the holiday is another event promoting cannabis consumption: Green Wednesday, the weed shopper’s equivalent of Black Friday. Online sales of marijuana on Green Wednesday last year rose 78% over the average for the previous three Wednesdays.
— THANKSGIVING IN FLORIDA —
“AAA forecasts 2.9 million Floridians will travel this Thanksgiving holiday; the most since 2005” via WQCS — AAA forecasts more than 2.9 million Floridians will travel 50 miles or more for Thanksgiving. That’s 50,000 (2%) more Florida travelers than last year’s holiday and nearly 22,000 (0.74%) more than 2019. “Travel is still roaring back from the pandemic,” said Debbie Haas, vice president of Travel for AAA — The Auto Club Group. “While gas prices and other inflationary pressures weigh on budgets, travel remains a top priority for Americans, particularly during the holidays. Travel spending is at the highest level since the pandemic began, which is a driving force behind our projections this year. AAA expects busy roads and long lines at the airport, so leave early and be flexible with your travel plans.”
“Forecast calls for nice weather for Thanksgiving over much of Florida but lots of rain first” via Cheryl McCloud of the Palm Beach Post — The tropics may be quiet as the official end of hurricane season approaches, but most of Florida can expect to see wet weather into the middle of the week. A disturbance that brought rain from Jacksonville to Miami Sunday will continue to bring showers to the state early this week, according to AccuWeather meteorologist La Troy Thornton. Over the next few days, some areas could see up to 3 inches of rain, with locally higher amounts in some areas that get hit with repeated downpours. Southwest Florida could see a bit less, with less than an inch. The rain could disrupt flights across the state and affect motorists hitting the roads for Thanksgiving.
“For Thanksgiving, add old Florida fare to your table of gratitude. Some historians note the 1565 meal at St. Augustine.” via Joy Wallace Dickinson of the Orlando Sentinel — Floridians have spread the word about our “real” first Thanksgiving with recipes for dishes such as garbanzo-bean soup made with chorizo, potatoes and saffron. That’s the sort of fare Spanish soldiers and Florida Indians probably shared back in 1565. Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings’ “Cross Creek Cookery” (1942) is always a great place to turn for further inspiration for old Florida fare. Earlier this fall, Geoff Gates and Donna Wright of the Rawlings Historic State Park in Cross Creek visited the Orlando Public Library’s Cuisine Corner to demonstrate Rawlings recipes, including chicken pilau (pronounced “pur-loo”). “Feeding the masses with almost nothing — that’s the genius of pilau,” Gates noted. “No Florida church supper, no large gathering, is without it,” Rawlings wrote in 1942.
“Florida’s unique turkey species gobbles on” via David Flesher of the Orlando Sentinel … An elusive variety of the giant bird will be gobbling, clucking and flying at surprisingly high speed through South Florida’s fields and forests … Osceola turkey, also called the Florida wild turkey … a subspecies unique to the state’s peninsula. Smaller and darker than its Northern cousins, the Osceola can be found at the southeastern end of Everglades National Park, at the far western edge of Broward County, in the forests of northwestern Palm Beach County, and throughout the Peninsula up to about Jacksonville. The state’s native turkey has turned into an unlikely tourist draw, attracting hunters seeking to complete their “grand slam” of all five North American turkey subspecies. At the J.W. Corbett Wildlife Management Area in northern Palm Beach County, hunters killed 103 turkeys in the last three seasons … Their speed would surprise anyone who thinks of turkeys as waddling blobs of meat and feathers. According to the National Wild Turkey Federation, a wild turkey can run up to 25 miles per hour and briefly achieve a flying speed of 55 miles per hour.
“Wild Florida turkeys face headwinds from habitat loss, disease and hunts” via Jim Waymer of FLORIDA TODAY — As we celebrate Thanksgiving, state biologists warn that Florida wild turkeys face a litany of threats and uncertainties in coming decades, some preventable, others not. What’s certain, biologists predict, is that if Florida’s development patterns persist, the iconic bird, once praised by Benjamin Franklin as a more “respectable” bird than the bald eagle, stands to lose more than 2 million acres of habitat by 2060. “Despite factors such as urbanization and habitat fragmentation, wild turkeys are still well distributed across the state,” Tammy Sapp, a spokeswoman with the FWC, said. “Similar downward trends in harvest and annual productivity have been observed recently by many southeastern states. It is unclear what led to this drop.”
“Did you know? 7 interesting facts about wild turkeys in Florida” via Mark H. Bickel of the Fort Myers News-Press — It’s that time of year again. Time to talk turkey. While it’s the alligator that is the king of creatures big and small in the Sunshine State, other popular wildlife in Florida include dolphins, crocodiles, manatees, snakes, turtles, panthers, black bears and dozens of bird species like pelicans or flamingos? But let’s not forget about the wild turkey. Not nearly as pretty as a flamingo or ferocious as a gator, Florida’ wild turkeys have carved out their niche in a diverse animal kingdom. They have something to gobble about and deserve our attention, especially as we countdown to another Thanksgiving Day celebration.
“If you want to be historically accurate this holiday, serve alligator” via the Jacksonville Historical Society — Fifty-six years before the Pilgrims celebrated their feast, Spanish explorer Don Pedro Menendez de Aviles arrived on the coast of Florida. He came ashore Sept. 8, 1565, naming the land on which he stepped “St. Augustine” in honor of the saint on whose feast day, Aug. 28, the land was sighted. Members of the Timucua tribe, which had occupied the site for more than 4,000 years, greeted Menéndez and his group of some 800 Catholic colonists peacefully. Colonial records indicate that on the date they came ashore, and in gratitude for their safe arrival, the Spanish celebrated a Mass of Thanksgiving, the very first Catholic mass on American soil. According to the memoirs of Father Francisco Lopez de Mendoza Grajales, who celebrated the mass, once “the feast day [was] observed … after mass, ‘the Adelantado [Menendez] had the Indians fed and dined himself.”
“FSU researchers talk turkey: Native Americans raised classic holiday bird long before first Thanksgiving” via Kathleen Haughney of Florida State University — Native Americans as early as 1200 to 1400 A.D. were managing and raising turkeys. This is the first time scientists have suggested that early Native Americans potentially domesticated turkeys in the southeastern United States. Researchers knew that turkeys had been a part of Native American life long before the first Thanksgiving in 1621. Their feathers were used on arrows, in headdresses and clothing. The meat was used for food. Their bones were used for tools, including scratchers used in ritual ceremonies. There are even representations of turkeys in artifacts from that time. But this new research indicates turkeys were more than just a casual part of life for Native Americans of that era. For one, the groupings researchers worked on had more male turkeys than a typical flock. In a typical flock of turkeys, there are usually more females … But in the flock they examined, they found more remains of males. That would only happen if it were designed that way.
“SW Florida organizations ready to serve up all the right fixings in time for Thanksgiving” via Erica Van Buren of the Fort Myers News-Press — Preparing and planning for Thanksgiving is always a little stressful. This year, there are a few extra hurdles for many families: Hurricane Ian and inflation. Stefanie Edwards, CEO of Community Cooperative in Fort Myers, said recovery efforts following Hurricane Ian are still in play. “We’re certainly not first responders, but we are definitely second responders,” Edwards said. “Once the storm went through we immediately put into action plans to get relief efforts out into our community. Six almost seven weeks later we’re moving into long-term recovery. We did a lot of fundraising specifically for hurricane victims. This way we help fill in the gaps.”
— D.C. MATTERS —
“Biden opens holidays, pardons turkeys Chocolate and Chip” via Darlene Superville of The Associated Press — Biden continued a 75-year tradition Monday and pardoned a pair of Thanksgiving turkeys named after his favorite flavor of ice cream while cracking jokes about his political party’s better-than-expected performance in this month’s Midterm Elections. “The votes are in, they’ve been counted and verified,” Biden said as he welcomed Chocolate and Chip before hundreds of people gathered on the South Lawn in unseasonably cold weather. “There’s no ballot stuffing. There’s no fowl play. The only red wave this season’s gonna be if German Shepard Commander knocks over the cranberry sauce on our table.” Commander is his dog.
“GOP House majority could shield industries from new taxes, regulations” via Brody Mullins and John D. McKinnon of The Wall Street Journal — Republican wins at the ballot box have long translated into gains for the business lobby in Washington. This election is likely to be no exception, despite the party’s increasingly populist slant. The GOP takeover of the House will give Republicans the power to block efforts by Democrats to approve new regulations or taxes on the fossil-fuel industry, private-equity funds, tobacco makers and drug manufacturers. What’s more, with Biden in the White House and Democrats holding the slimmest of majorities in the Senate, Washington overall isn’t expected to do much for the next two years.
— A THANKSGIVING POEM —
By Kevin Sweeny
Over the river, around the I-4 construction and through Rock Spring Run woods,
First hand out the pies and then to Aunt Sarah’s house we go;
The Google map knows the way
To skip the political fray
Through the rain and quieting of the legislative show.
Over the river along I-10 and through the Aucilla woods,
Oh, how the Capital does glow!
Thanks to my team and the loyal friends we chose
And Wellesley’s kiss on the nose
Give thanks to those we work with- tell them- they might not know.
Over the river, flying down 95 and through the Matanzas woods,
I’m thankful for Babes, N+P, Dp, the G’s, 1.3%, KIE and the leadership play.
Hear the end of the recounts ring
Hurrah for Thanksgiving Day!
Over the river, ripping along Alligator Alley and Big Cypress woods,
Give thanks for what you have and send a prayer for those in Michael’s way.
Give thanks for family and friends we have found,
And for last-minute amendments inbound,
For this is Thanksgiving Day.
Over the river, stuck on 275 and through Terra Ceia woods,
For just one day may our political differences abate.
Stop! Now! Give thanks for all those you know
Donations, bills, Reps, Senators, paywalls and blogs come and go
Our time here’s short — give thanks now- you simply can’t wait.
Over the river sneaking along U.S. 1 and through the Glades woods —
Put down the Twitter, ‘insta, and ‘book today to remember why!
I’m thankful I can run!
Is this damn poem done?
I’ll be running for pumpkin pie!
—LOCAL: S. FL —
“Public Defender’s Office wants Parkland judge off all its criminal cases” via Rafael Olmeda of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel — The judge who handled the Parkland mass shooting case is so biased in favor of the prosecution that she cannot be trusted to oversee cases handled by the Broward Public Defender’s Office, according to dozens of motions filed in court last week. Broward Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer drew criticism in the final days of the Parkland trial for hugging members of the prosecution team after proceedings had ended and for dismissing the concerns of defense lawyers who felt they were being berated for doing their jobs. Lead defense attorney Melisa McNeill complained that the families of the victims of the Parkland mass shooting had taken their criticisms of the defense team too far.
“Will the elected Broward School Board subvert wishes of outgoing DeSantis-controlled Board?” via Anne Geggis of Florida Politics — Starting Tuesday, the Broward County School Board’s balance of power will no longer rest with appointees from DeSantis’ desk and new Board members likely will be asked to decide whether to subvert the wishes for those Governor-appointed members. If Board holdovers vote the same way they did last week, it will take just one of the four new members to vote in favor of bringing back Superintendent Vickie Cartwright. DeSantis’ appointees last week ousted Cartwright in a 5-4 vote, leaving the nation’s sixth-largest school district leaderless. But four of those five Board members who voted for Cartwright’s firing are leaving.
“Police escort hecklers. Proud Boys jeer. Miami School Board meetings becoming ‘hostile’” via Sommer Brugal of the Miami Herald — As the policy director of an organization that advocates for the LGBTQ community, attending School Board meetings is part of the job for Steven Rocha. Rocha, of South Florida-based PRISM, works to get others to attend School Board meetings to speak in favor of LBGTQ-inclusive policies and oppose those that would harm marginalized students. Rocha, 21, is a former Broward County student and trans man. He’s attended recent Miami-Dade meetings that have garnered national attention for the Board’s decisions. And though he plans to continue to show up at meetings, particularly when there’s an agenda item that could affect the LGBTQ community, he understands if people no longer want to attend. “They’re hostile environments,” he said.
“4 migrants dead after boat capsizes off Florida Keys, U.S. Coast Guard says” via David J. Neal of the Miami Herald — A homemade boat with at least 18 migrants capsized near the Florida Keys, killing at least four people, the U.S. Coast Guard said via Twitter. The Coast Guard said nine people have been rescued, some of whom wore life jackets in seas rolling with 30 mph winds. Another two were found unresponsive, but it was unclear whether they were in the overturned homemade boat. The search continues for five people about 50 miles off Little Torch Key. The Tweets didn’t specifically say the migrants were Cuban, but the Coast Guard tagged the U.S. Embassy in Cuba via Twitter.
—LOCAL: C. FL —
“Osceola residents angered by growth issues form political committee, eye 2024” via Natalia Jaramillo of the Orlando Sentinel — Osceola residents, outraged by what they describe as officials’ failure to manage the county’s growth, have formed a political action committee to groom candidates to run for open seats in the 2024 election. The Osceola Action Committee, Chaired by Cliff Clover, also aims to hold County Commissioners accountable for how they manage issues like traffic congestion and school overcrowding. The political action committee formed after the Save Kissimmee Park movement, also led by Clover, helped to bring over 250 residents to a County Commission meeting last month asking Commissioners to slow growth. As he launched the committee Wednesday night, Clover asked residents to consider running for elected office with its financial support.
“Campaign questions linger as Rick Nolte joins Polk County School Board” via Gary White of The Ledger — Nolte will join the Polk County School Board on Tuesday with a cloud of uncertainty hovering over him. Nolte, who ousted incumbent Sarah Fortney in the August election, is the subject of complaints that he violated state campaign finance laws. The Florida Elections Commission, the agency that enforces the relevant laws, does not confirm investigations until after they are complete, and it is not known whether the Commission is investigating Nolte. The complaints made by former School Board member Billy Townsend of Lakeland involve reported cash contributions to Nolte’s campaign that exceed the allowed maximum. In an official filing with the Polk County Supervisor of Elections, Nolte reported giving his own campaign a cash donation of $5,200 on March 10.
“After resigning amid discrimination claims, ex-Orange NAACP president wants changes” via Desiree Stennett of the Orlando Sentinel — Months after her resignation, former NAACP Orange County branch President Vanessa Toolsie issued on Monday a list of steps she believes the civil rights organization should take to prevent discrimination within its branches. Toolsie, who is of Indian descent, was the first South Asian woman to lead the Orange County branch. She was elected vice president in 2021 and became branch leader in March when then-President Tiffany Hughes left the organization to run for elected office. After less than six months, Toolsie resigned in August citing anti-Asian racism against her as her reason for leaving.
“A four-wheeled feast: Top 5 things to know about Daytona’s 49th Annual Fall Turkey Run” via Jim Abbott of The Daytona Beach News-Journal — Forget football and holiday parades. For classic-car lovers, the highlight of Thanksgiving weekend is always the mammoth buffet of chrome, carburetors and custom cars at the annual Fall Turkey Run at Daytona International Speedway. This year’s edition, the 49th annual, unfolds Nov. 24-27 in the Speedway’s massive infield. Despite the impact of back-to-back tropical storms, interest in this year’s automotive feast is as passionate as ever, said James Richards, the event’s director of marketing and public relations. “Interest is superstrong,” he said. “If you go on Facebook, on our event page, you’ll see thousands of people per day on there. There were 5,000 people looking at the post I did this morning.”
“Disney CEO Bob Iger faces big challenges in return to company” via Katie Rice of the Orlando Sentinel — Walt Disney’s Co.’s decision to oust CEO Bob Chapek and reinstate former longtime CEO Iger for two years surprised many when it was announced late Sunday, but analysts say the move was a long time in coming. “There’ve been disconcerting issues that have been in existence within the company, and I’m sure the board has been discussing this,” said Dennis Speigel, CEO of International Theme Park Services in Cincinnati. “It just didn’t happen overnight, and I do think that the (Nov. 8 fourth quarter and year-end) earnings call was the final trigger.”
— LOCAL: TB —
“St. Petersburg Mayor Ken Welch officially appoints Doyle Walsh to Chief of Staff” via Colleen Wright of the Tampa Bay Times — Mayor Welch’s Chief of Staff is no longer serving in the interim. Welch announced Monday that Walsh is now his permanent Chief of Staff. Walsh had been serving on an interim basis since Sept. 21, when Welch announced new hires and changes to his Cabinet. “Doyle is a trusted partner who I rely on heavily for expert guidance, team insight, and thoughtful advice,” Welch said in a statement. “His ability to provide strategic leadership within the Mayor’s Office, connect with City Council, and collaborate with the City Administrator and other departments reflects his breadth of experience working in the Tampa Bay region.”
“Hillsborough transit board seeks independent investigation into alleged mismanagement issues” via Olivia George of the Tampa Bay Times — The board of Hillsborough’s transportation agency voiced support for an independent investigation into allegations of mismanagement, poor workplace environment and questionable practices of the agency’s CEO at a meeting Monday morning. The announcement came a week after it was revealed the agency’s fourth highest-paid staffer was simultaneously working for a Louisiana public transit agency. Officials with both agencies told the Tampa Bay Times that they didn’t know she had two jobs. County Commissioner and Chairperson of the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority board Pat Kemp said she has been in conversation with agency attorney David Smith about the next steps. “The Board of HART takes very seriously the management issues that we’ve been hearing and reading about,” she said.
“Clearwater women’s shelter volunteers quit after CEO’s Zoom ‘rant’” via Christopher O’Donnell of the Tampa Bay Times — Stacy Myers thought the video call with the CEO and president of Hope Villages of America was to thank her and other volunteers. They had successfully organized a charity luncheon and raised $72,000 for The Haven, a women’s shelter run by Hope Villages of America. But instead of praise, the Clearwater nonprofit’s chief executive officer joined the Zoom call Oct. 19 and went on what some attendees described as a “20-minute rant.” Kirk Ray Smith said he should be treated like the “president of a billion-dollar company or the Sheriff,” Myers said, and he repeatedly demanded the committee respect him. Those on the call were baffled and asked him why he was upset.
Assignment editors — Rep. Castor will hold a news conference to announce the annual “Trouble in Toyland” report ahead of Black Friday, which explains how to protect kids from unsafe toys: 10 a.m., St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital, 3001 W. Martin Luther King Blvd., Tampa. RSVP at [email protected].
“How Tropicana Field turns into a giant Christmas light maze in St. Petersburg” via Sharon Kennedy Wynne of the Tampa Bay Times — Tropicana Field’s baseball diamond had disappeared under a sea of interlocking squares of squishy matting. Soon, a Christmas wonderland will rise from the new floor. Jay Stuber, the event manager for this undertaking, was shepherding nearly 100 workers to the construction site, making sure dozens of sections of black fabric were draped properly across the dome’s roof to keep out the sunlight. During the course of just three weeks, the Tampa Bay Rays home base gets turned into Enchant Christmas, dubbed the country’s largest Christmas light maze. Opening the day after Thanksgiving, the event will feature a 100-foot tree plus light sculptures of reindeer and snowmen, and, oddly, blue whales.
—LOCAL: SW. FL —
“A vast majority of Hurricane Ian deaths were elderly Floridians. What happened?” via Kathryn Varn of USA Today Network — Gregory Strasser never fixed his busted cellphone, so his sister’s daily telephone calls from New Jersey were to the landline in his Fort Myers Shores home. They’d often talk about books and politics. But the call toward the end of September was different, dominated instead by the impending Hurricane Ian. The 71-year-old Strasser, who lived alone, had been released from the emergency room after a fall just a day before the storm hit, and not long before that, had spent nearly two months at a hospital and rehabilitation facility. Worried about his declining health, his sister, Janet Link, tried to convince him to evacuate to a shelter.
“FEMA extends damage application deadline” via the Punta Gorda Sun — Those who suffered damage to their property from Hurricane Ian have additional time to apply for federal disaster assistance after the State of Florida made a request for an extension. The Federal Emergency Management Agency has extended the application deadline to Jan. 12 for residents in Charlotte, DeSoto and Sarasota counties, as well as Brevard, Collier, Flagler, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands, Hillsborough, Lake, Lee, Manatee, Monroe, Okeechobee, Orange, Osceola, Palm Beach, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Putnam, Seminole, St. Johns and Volusia counties. There are multiple Disaster Recovery Centers operating throughout the impacted area. To find a center close to you, go online to floridadisaster.org.
“‘It’s a bloody mess’: Cape Coral residents upset about Hurricane Ian debris burning site” via Luis Zambrano of the Fort Myers News-Press — A Cape Coral debris site is causing anguish to nearby residents as the city burns piles of vegetative debris left by Hurricane Ian. The site is located near Burnt Store Road and Diplomat Parkway West on land owned by the city and surrounded by a residential neighborhood. Residents like Kim Jones and his neighbor Tom Howard are just two of the dozens of people who have to live near the site, a constant reminder of the impact Ian left on the city. “It’s a bloody mess,” Jones said. “There’s more coming every day. I mean, there’s truck after truck after truck that is picking this up.”
“Lee schools provide update on Hurricane Ian damage, estimated at $230M overall” via Nikki Ross of the Fort Myers News-Press — The latest Hurricane Ian damage assessment for the Lee County School District is $230 million, according to district officials. The preliminary assessment — which is $80M more than the initial estimate of $150 million — was created for the state Department of Education and is still subject to change. A specific breakdown of the cost estimates was not provided. The district is currently working on immediate repairs and will present plans for long-term projects in December, Michael Ramirez, the district’s Chief of Staff, said during a School Board workshop this week. The district is also in the midst of working with consultants on insurance and Federal Emergency Management Agency reimbursements.
“‘A change of direction.’ Bradenton voters bring new era of all-Republican leadership” via Ryan Callihan of the Bradenton Herald — With decisive victories in the Midterm Elections, Manatee County voters have ushered in a new era of Republican leadership. On the Board of County Commissioners, Republican candidates Mike Rahn and Jason Bearden skated to victory against their lesser-known write-in opponents, while Amanda Ballard defeated Reggie Bellamy, the only Democrat on the Board. In a nonpartisan School Board race, Cindy Spray, a School Board candidate backed by Gov. DeSantis, defeated Harold Byrd Jr. In August, Manatee County’s other DeSantis-endorsed School Board candidates — Chad Choate and Richard Tatem — also won their elections. Republican candidates across the nation didn’t see the sweep of victories they expected, but Florida largely delivered on the GOP’s promise of a red wave.
“Manatee County motors ahead with major road construction projects” via Jesse Mendoza of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune — Manatee County has invested millions of dollars to kick-start a slew of major road improvement projects aimed at easing traffic congestion woes countywide. In September, County Commissioners approved a capital improvement plan that includes $435 million in transportation projects. Commissioners also signed $232 million in bonds to fund the upfront costs of construction. Crews are expected to break ground on some of those projects as early as next year.
“CEO of Manatee Community Foundation is leaving for a new role in the Sarasota area” via James A. Jones Jr. of the Bradenton Herald — Susie Bowie, executive director of the Manatee Community Foundation, has been selected as the new CEO of the William G. and Marie Selby Foundation’s board of directors, starting March 1, 2023. Current Selby CEO Carol Butera will retire in April 2023, as previously announced. “Susie’s demonstrated leadership in the local foundation arena compliments the values of our founders, Bill and Marie Selby. The attributes of humility, collaboration, stewardship, innovation and social responsibility match well with her style and accomplishments,” Barbara Zdravecky, Selby board chair and lead in the search effort, said in a news release. “Bowie’s deep experience in working with our region’s nonprofits and developing grants and scholarship programs will be a huge asset for our Foundation,” Butera said.
“Army Corps opens door for releases, but no Lake O water has gone to the Caloosahatchee so far” via Chad Gillis of the Fort Myers News-Press — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers may release Lake Okeechobee water to the West Coast soon, but not until flows slow from the basin surrounding the Caloosahatchee River and its estuary. Army Corps officials said Friday they plan to keep flows around 1,200 cubic feet per second as measured at the W.P. Franklin Lock and Dam in Alva. That rate falls within state thresholds set to ensure the health of Caloosahatchee and its estuary. Calusa Waterkeeper John Cassani said he’s glad the Army Corps is waiting to make releases.
— LOCAL: N. FL —
“‘Go time!’ Mayor-elect D.C. Reeves has lofty goals, starting with showing value of living in Pensacola” via Jim Little of the Pensacola News Journal — As he is set to take office, Pensacola Mayor-elect Reeves said he hopes to show city residents the value of living in the city of Pensacola. Reeves will be sworn-in as Mayor of Pensacola at noon Tuesday. Reeves was elected as Pensacola’s third “strong Mayor” during the Aug. 23 Primary Election, beating out three other candidates to win 51% of the vote and avoid a runoff election. The early win gave Reeves 13 weeks to prepare for a transition, and he told the News Journal in an interview Friday he’s been putting that time to good use.
“How much do residents know about JEA? Jacksonville news? Disturbingly — and amusingly — little” via Nate Monroe of the Florida Times-Union — Former JEA CEO Aaron Zahn has asked a federal judge to move his trial on conspiracy and wire fraud, currently scheduled for next spring, from Jacksonville to Tampa, reasoning that jurors there wouldn’t be tainted by the pre-trial publicity he believes has infected the minds of local residents. To bolster his request, Zahn’s defense team provided U.S. District Judge Brian Davis with a survey of Jacksonville and Tampa residents that, among other things, assesses their knowledge of recent local controversies. Zahn’s team believes the survey proves not only broad local knowledge of the JEA scandal but that a substantial portion of the local populace — led by the media — already believes Zahn to be guilty.
— MORE TURKEY NOTES —
“Thanksgiving dinner will cost 20% more this year because of inflation” via Vanessa Yurkevich of CNN Business — Thanksgiving dinner will cost a whopping 20% more than it did last year, according to a new survey released Wednesday by the American Farm Bureau Federation. A feast for 10 with 12 menu items including a turkey, stuffing, cranberries, and pumpkin pie mix will cost $64.05 on average — up $10.74 from last year. That breaks down to about $6.50 per person, according to the annual survey. The price of a 16-pound turkey is $28.96 on average this year, up 21% from 2021, according to the survey. Inflation cooled last month but still remains elevated at 7.7% for the year ending in October.
“Washing Thanksgiving turkey could spread germs, say food safety experts” via Candice Choi of The Associated Press — Food say experts say don’t wash the turkey before popping it in the oven. They say that could spread the germs lurking on your turkey in the kitchen sink or nearby food. But it’s a challenge trying to convince cooks to stop rinsing off raw poultry. “If your mother did it and your grandmother did it, and suddenly the (government) says not to wash your turkey, you may take some time to adjust,” said Drusilla Banks, who teaches food sanitation for the University of Illinois Extension. Germs that make people sick are common in the guts of healthy poultry and are legally allowed to be on raw turkey and chicken.
“How to spatchcock a turkey” via Carla Lalli Music of Bon Appétit — If you’re looking for reasons to spatchcock a turkey this Thanksgiving, ask yourself these simple questions: Do you want the bird actually to taste good? And be juicy? With perfectly browned skin? Of course, you do. This method, which disposes of the backbone so the bird can be flattened and cooked skin side up, is a game-changer. Because the turkey is butterflied, there’s more surface available for even browning, and the high cooking temperature means crackly, crispy skin. Perhaps most seductive of all, a 12-pounder cooks in 90 minutes. Repeat: 90 minutes. That’s half the time of your old-fashioned roast.
—”Who needs turkey?” via Melissa Clark of The New York Times
“How to avoid the seven worst holiday table décor mistakes” via Rebecca Malinsky of The Wall Street Journal — For many Americans, Thanksgiving will mark the first time they are setting the table for a holiday dinner party in quite some time. Here are some mistakes that can derail a holiday dinner party. 1. A table needn’t be covered in brown and orange linens, pilgrim figurines, and gourds galore to make the evening feel special. 2. A surplus of decorative objects will crowd both the victuals and the visitors. 3. A Thanksgiving feast deserves better than paper plates. 4. While many of us have been waiting years to dust off Grandma’s wedding china, don’t feel the need to use every teacup and dessert spoon. 5. Don’t have a tablescape that is too tall for conversation. 6. Avoid seating people too close or too far apart. 7. Pumpkin spice candles or cinnamon-scented pine cones create unappetizing olfactory confusion.
“How jellied cranberry sauce is made” via Christina Morales of The New York Times — Last year, Ocean Spray sold 75 million cans of jellied cranberry sauce, with the bulk of sales — 85% — occurring in the holiday season. Some of that popularity can be attributed to younger millennials and members of Generation Z, who are taking over Thanksgiving plans from their older relatives, said Joan Driggs, a vice president at IRI, a marketing research company. They’re also doubling or tripling up on the cans as they host other small Thanksgiving celebrations, like Friendsgivings, before the actual meal. About 1,100 farms grow cranberries in the United States, and this year, the crop is estimated to produce around 8.3 million barrels, or about 830 million pounds of cranberries, according to Karen Cahill, the marketing director of the Cranberry Marketing Committee.
“Hold the cranberry sauce: Items you can’t carry on a plane for Thanksgiving” via Mark H. Bickel of the Fort Myers News-Press — ’Tis the season. Starting with Thanksgiving (Nov. 24, 2022) and lasting until New Year’s Day, many of us will eat, drink and be merry. If your holiday celebrations take place away from Southwest Florida and require a plane ticket to join family and friends in the revelry, then it is important for you to know what the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will not allow passengers to carry on a flight. According to the TSA website, “if you can spill it, spread it, spray it, pump it or pour it, and it’s larger than 3.4 ounces, then it should go in a checked bag.”
“Thanksgiving food is showing up in unusual dishes — turkey ice cream, anyone?” via Charles Passy of The Wall Street Journal — Increasingly, restaurants of all kinds are getting in on the Thanksgiving act, creating mashup items that combine various elements of the holiday meal. At Socarrat, a Spanish restaurant with locations in New York City, a Thanksgiving paella is on the menu, featuring turkey, butternut squash and green beans, among other items. At Burrito Union, a Mexican restaurant in Duluth, Minnesota., November is all about the Thanksgiving burrito, filled with turkey and the traditional sides. And at King David Tacos, another New York City establishment, the current favorite is the Cranbirdy Taco, a breakfast offering with turkey sausage, sweet potatoes, eggs and cheese, accompanied by a cranberry salsa.
— TOP OPINION —
“Is there a problem with Thanksgiving?” via Pamela Paul of The New York Times — Have we decided what the problem with Thanksgiving is going to be this year? For four unforgiving years, from 2016 to 2020, the problem was breaking bread with your political nemeses. Also last year and just in time for its 400th anniversary — though one could hardly suggest the issue was new — some raised the pesky question of Thanksgiving’s celebration of genocide. So, let’s consider the nominees for this year’s chief Thanksgiving gripe: We could make a big deal out of the turkey shortage, for example. Both bird and side dishes have gotten notably more expensive, and with an impending recession, now really isn’t the time. And there’s always contagion to fall back upon. But would it be a problem to suggest that maybe Thanksgiving not be a problem this year?
— OPINIONS —
“Beware, DeSantis is as much a threat to America as Trump” via Jennifer Rubin of The Washington Post — If you believe DeSantis would be a less dangerous presidential candidate than Trump, take a moment to consider the recent ruling striking down DeSantis’s “Stop WOKE Act.” U.S. District Judge Mark E. Walker explained in his opinion, “The law officially bans professors from expressing disfavored viewpoints in university classrooms while permitting unfettered expression of the opposite viewpoints.” He dryly continued, “Defendants argue that, under this Act, professors enjoy ‘academic freedom’ so long as they express only those viewpoints of which the State approves.”
“Florida is turning its back on the New South, embracing its Dixie-fied past” via Diane Roberts of the Florida Phoenix — Florida was once a New South state. From the early 1960s to 2000 or so, Florida had leaders who looked to the future, determined to leave Jim Crow behind and separate ourselves from the likes of Alabama. We had Governors committed to equal justice, open government, and voting rights — however imperfectly achieved. No more. With the re-election of DeSantis, and ultra-conservative victories in gerrymandered congressional districts across the state, Florida is sliding back into the mire of its Old South past. Now, before y’all start yelping about how Florida isn’t really Southern, let me just remind you: Florida was third to secede in 1861, after South Carolina and Mississippi. North Florida was plantation country.
“The ‘resign to run’ trap” via A.G. Gancarski for JAX Today —I posed the question on Twitter in September about whether Duval should require elected officials to resign immediately when becoming a candidate for another office. Over 60% of respondents said yes, but only 80 people responded, suggesting that the issue doesn’t resonate with a lot of voters. Mayor Lenny Curry is betting on it, introducing a bill that would put “resign to run” in front of voters as a nonbinding straw ballot in March. Council. It can’t be overstated that it literally does not matter whether the “resign to run” straw ballot passes. But the discussion is perfectly timed to provide political headaches for anyone on the Council dais who wants to parlay that gig into a promotion, forcing them to answer the question of why they keep wanting the taxpayers to fund their lifestyles.
— INSTAGRAM OF THE DAY —
— ALOE —
“The 32 rules of Thanksgiving touch football” via Florida Politics — A Nerf ball is OK, but you should own a leather football … It’s two-hand touch. One-hand touch is for lazy people who buy turkey sandwiches out of vending machines. … Two completions are a first down. Not as simple as it sounds — just ask the 2012 Jacksonville Jaguars. … The ground is probably going to be squishy with cold mud, and someone in your family is going to fall down face-first and ruin their Thanksgiving outfit. This is not cause for alarm. This is the highlight of the game … It’s OK to play with kids but don’t baby them. Just because your 7-year-old niece is playing quarterback doesn’t mean you can’t intercept her screen pass and run it back for a touchdown. She’s got to learn sometime not to throw into triple coverage.
“25 more rules of Thanksgiving family touch football” via Jason Gay of The Wall Street Journal — You absolutely do NOT need a football uniform to play Thanksgiving Family Touch Football. Meanwhile, your cousin wearing the game-used Dolphins jersey is going to run into a tree. Just like the 2019 Dolphins. Resist the temptation to play “Parents vs. Children.” It’s a cute idea, but if the children are any good, it always ends up with at least four parents in urgent care. Dad will throw at least one pass that he’ll loudly say reminds him of his “high school glory days.” Mom is the true athlete of the family. Everyone knows this. No, those aren’t infants crying inside the house. Those are Bears and Lions fans, watching the Bears-Lions Thanksgiving game. No Juuling or vaping on the field.
“World on a string” via Nathan King of Air Mail News — In 1924, Macy’s asked Tony Sarg, the most acclaimed puppeteer in America, to help with their Thanksgiving Day Parade. In a stroke of genius, Sarg suggested introducing inflatable balloons to the parade. He was certain these upside-down marionettes would turn the event into living theater. The procession of smooth, dreamlike forms would float through the canyons of New York, enchanting adults and children alike not with the commercial appeal of today’s Macy’s parade but with the distended crudeness of a child’s fantasy liberated from the pages of a sketchbook and filled with gas. That year, the Macy’s parade featured balloons of Felix the Cat, a 60-foot-tall toy soldier, and a 20-foot-long elephant, all manufactured by the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company in Akron, Ohio.
“Orion spacecraft makes closest moon approach on Artemis I mission” via Richard Tribou of the Orlando Sentinel — The Artemis I mission brought Orion on its closest approach to the moon while blasting out on its way to an orbit that will take it farther from the Earth than any previous human-rated spacecraft. Orion entered the moon’s gravitational influence on Sunday and used that power along with a thruster on an outbound powered burn to come within 81 miles from the lunar surface. It will over the next week get as far as about 40,000 miles away from the moon. That would bring it about 268,000 miles away from Earth surpassing the distance away from Earth traveled by Apollo 13 by about 30,000 miles.
— HAPPY BIRTHDAY —
Happy birthday to Bettina Inclán-Agen, former Rep. Rich Glorioso, and Lauren Reamy. And since Sunburn is off the rest of the week, among those celebrating over the Thanksgiving break: Our friends Brady Benford, Chip Case, Screven Watson, Ron Christaldi, Jeff Johnston, Mark Kaplan, Lauren Bankert Steif, and Julia Gill Woodward. Freddy Balsera, Adam Basford, Stephanie Berger, Halsey Beshears, Edward Borrego, Ed Briggs, Danny Burgess‘ better half Courtney, Derek Cooper, Peter Cuderman, Jennifer K. Davis, Rebecca De La Rosa, former Rep. Jason Fischer, Keith Fitzgerald, Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber, former Rep. Rich Glorioso, former Rep. Adam Hasner, Tasi Hogan, John Kennedy, Andrew Ketchel, Beth Nunnally, Florida Politics’ Jacob Ogles, Ann Orner, Ben Pollara, Rep. Bob Rommel, Joel Searby, Keith Sonderling, Gary Springer, John “Mac” Stipanovich, Curtis Stokes, Robert Stuart, Mike Van Sickler, Todd Thomson, Charlie Van Zant, Carlie Waibel, Screven Watson, Mitch Wertheimer, Amy Young and Mark Zubaly.
Sunburn is authored and assembled by Peter Schorsch, Phil Ammann, Daniel Dean, Renzo Downey, Jacob Ogles, and Drew Wilson.