Single-use plastic bans in Florida are being rolled back as quickly as they are rolled out. The town of Surfside voted to repeal its plastic ban — passed only six weeks ago — at its Aug. 13 commission meeting. The next day, the town of Palm Beach, which passed a ban in June, moved to rescind it. Gainesville followed suit on Thursday. And Alachua County moved to repeal their ban the week prior. The municipalities aren’t changing their minds on the need to reduce plastic waste; they’re walking back policy to avoid a legal battle.
Pensacola News Journal
Santa Rosa County is preparing to stop the discharge of treated wastewater into the Santa Rosa Sound. The Board of County Commissioners moved to develop an agreement with Holley Navarre Water System on Thursday morning that will establish a formal partnership between the two entities as they move forward with the project to dispose of treated wastewater on Eglin Air Force Base. The project has been in the works for nearly 20 years and will ensure not only that Navarre Beach has a place to dispose of its effluent that isn’t the Sound, but also that HNWS will have a place to continue discharging its effluent once it reaches capacity, which it expects to do by Nov. 1, 2022.
During an appearance in Bonita Springs Wednesday, Gov. Ron DeSantis encouraged advocates for clean water to keep pressing lawmakers to pass conservation measures in the upcoming 2020 legislative session. DeSantis, proudly noting that legislators this year exceeded his environmental funding request of $625 million by $55 million, said local voices are needed to maintain the “momentum” on the effort to clean up and protect the state’s waterways. “Just keep talking about it and keep letting your legislators know that you appreciated the work of last session, but you’d like to see momentum continue,” DeSantis said during his appearance at the Save Our Water Summit. “I think we probably have a lot of momentum now.
St. Augustine Record
The Fountain of Youth was a stopover on Visit Florida’s schedule of community tourism meetings the organization regularly holds across the state. On Thursday, Dana Young, president and CEO of the state’s official marketing tourism agency, presented a broad snapshot of the state of tourism in Florida to local business and community leaders. The good news: St. Augustine and St. Johns County as a whole is one of the best performing markets in the state. The not-as-good news: With the funding Visit Florida receives to promote visitation to the area and the rest of the Sunshine State cut over last year’s budget, those in the local tourism industry hope it stays that way.
Palm Beach Post
Despite objections from residents from two suburban Delray Beach neighborhoods, Palm Beach County commissioners unanimously approved on Thursday an ask to relocate a light industrial project near their community. Greg DiMaria, owner of the West Delray Collision Center, proposed to move his business from its current Atlantic Avenue location onto a larger, 10-acre property across the street, which abuts part of the northern property line of the Dakota neighborhood at U.S. 441. The 164,000-square-foot project wouldn’t just include his business, which involves light and heavy vehicle repair, but also a three-story self-storage facility, a car wash and an office/warehouse facility.
A day many of us will never forget. On September 11, 2001, more than 2,000 people were killed in terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and United Flight 93. On Thursday, more than 100 people are giving their time in honor of those victims. Each year, Leon County hosts a day of remembrance and service, in honor of those who lost their life on that day. More than 150 county employees, partners and neighbors volunteered their time, working on 17 community and housing restoration projects in the Lakewood Estates neighborhood. Neighbors said they're grateful for the work done.
Florida is joining a multi-state partnership aimed at improving the accuracy of state voter registration rolls, Gov. Ron DeSantis said Wednesday in backing a move long pushed by county election supervisors. Florida will join the Electronic Information Research Center, becoming the 29th state along with the District of Columbia that are part of the exchange intended to help states track registration data, reduce the number of voters registered in more than one state and rid rolls of deceased voters. “All the supervisors think this makes sense for us,” DeSantis said in Orlando, adding that he hopes Florida will have full access to the system in advance of next year’s elections.
Florida legislators are voting on whether they should hold a special session to pass gun bills spanning from expanded background checks to a ban on the sale of high-capacity ammunition magazines. The Florida Legislature’s 160 members have until 5 p.m. Tuesday to submit their votes. Three-fifths of each chamber must agree for the special session to be held. That amounts to 72 members of the House and 24 members of the Senate voting in favor of a special session. The poll was triggered when 41 House Democrats sent letters to the State Department requesting a special session.