Good Friday morning.
Ella Joyce has a horse show today, so we’re getting out on the road. Here are a handful of items on my radar:
— Media bias on full-display with Capitol Press Corps Rebekah Jones love: They never miss a chance to report on Jones, if it’s positive. But when someone offers a counternarrative, it’s crickets. Worse, the Tally crew was silent when Christina Pushaw, who has often challenged Jones’ narrative, landed a job as the Governor’s press secretary. It’s not a good look.
?? — Winners and Losers, Rounders-style: Consider this my work of art. Winners and Losers in the Special Session are easy. Tying them to gifs from Rounders, the Texas Hold ‘em movie classic with Matt Damon and John Malkovich, not as much. Why did I do this? As I tweeted, “B/c in my club, like Teddy KGB, I will splash the pot whenever the f&ck I please.’
— Manny Diaz boasts historic school choice expansion: Speaking on the redefinED podcast with SUFS President Doug Tuthill, Diaz discusses how the landmark school choice bill passed this Legislative Session will normalize choice in public and private schools and touts the inclusion of education spending accounts as the next logical step in school choice expansion. But perhaps the most compelling talking point: Diaz contemplates how to remove partisanship from the school choice debate, which has typically pit opposed Dems against gung-ho Republicans.
— More trouble at the Tampa Bay Times is bad news for readers: With two high-profile departures and one containing claims of disproportionate pay between genders, things look even worse for the paper than they already did. And its track record snubbing Pinellas County doesn’t inspire confidence in promises to add two new reporters to beef coverage.
— DAYS UNTIL —
‘A Quiet Place Part II’ rescheduled premiere — 7; Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday begins — 7; Memorial Day — 10; Florida TaxWatch Spring Meeting and PLA Awards — 13; ‘Loki’ premieres on Disney+ — 21; Father’s Day — 30; F9 premieres in the U.S. — 35; ‘Tax Freedom Holiday’ begins — 41; ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ rescheduled premiere — 42; 4th of July — 44; ‘Black Widow’ rescheduled premiere — 49; MLB All-Star Game — 53; new start date for 2021 Olympics — 63; second season of ‘Ted Lasso’ premieres on Apple+ — 63; the NBA Draft — 69; ‘Jungle Cruise’ premieres — 71; ‘The Suicide Squad’ premieres — 77; St. Petersburg Primary Election — 95; Disney’s ‘Shang Chi and The Legend of The Ten Rings’ premieres — 105; NFL regular season begins — 111; Broadway’s full-capacity reopening — 116; ‘The Many Saints of Newark’ premieres (rescheduled) — 126; ‘Dune’ premieres — 133; MLB regular season ends — 135; ‘No Time to Die’ premieres (rescheduled) — 141; World Series Game 1 — 158; Florida’s 20th Congressional District primary — 165; St. Petersburg Municipal Elections — 165; Disney’s ‘Eternals’ premieres — 168; San Diego Comic-Con begins — 189; Steven Spielberg’s ‘West Side Story’ premieres — 203; ‘Spider-Man Far From Home’ sequel premieres — 210; NFL season ends — 233; Florida’s 20th Congressional District election — 235; NFL playoffs begin — 239; Super Bowl LVI — 268; ‘Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness’ premieres — 308; ‘Thor: Love and Thunder’ premieres — 350; “Black Panther 2” premieres — 413; ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’ sequel premieres — 504; “Captain Marvel 2” premieres — 539.
— TOP STORY —
“NOAA predicts busy hurricane season” via Jason Delgado of Florida Politics — The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration expects above-average storm activity during the 2021 Atlantic Hurricane Season, the federal agency announced Thursday. This year’s forecast comes after the most active hurricane season on record and marks the sixth consecutive above-average season. While NOAA expects a milder season in 2021 than last year, forecasters predict a 60% chance of an above-average season with 13 to 20 named storms. Of the expected storms in 2021, six to 10 could become hurricanes with winds of 74 mph or higher, NOAA said. Meanwhile, three to five major hurricanes are forecast with winds 111 mph or higher. The average hurricane season, comparatively, produces 14 named storms, of which seven become hurricanes and three grow into major hurricanes.
“Three Florida property insurers will drop a total of 50,000 policies” via Malena Carollo of the Tampa Bay Times — More than 50,000 Florida policyholders will need to find a new property insurance carrier in the coming months, just as hurricane season roars into gear. Three Florida insurers have received approval to let some of their policies expire and to cancel others, a step the state’s insurance regulator called “extraordinary.” The approvals are the latest bid to bring financial stability to Florida’s property insurance market. Florida carriers posted their worst financial performance in decades last year, with a combined $1.57 billion in underwriting losses and no quick fix on the horizon.