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Sunburn – The Morning Read Of What’s Hot In Florida Politics – 8.2.21

Ryan Murphy caps off the weekend by bringing home the gold.

By Peter Schorsch    

Good Monday morning.

There’s no way to spin it. The weekend sucked for front-line health care workers.

Florida cemented its place as the national epicenter of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, with nearly 22,000 new cases reported on Saturday alone, setting a new daily record. According to the Florida Hospital Association, hospitalization numbers are just as dire, with more than 10,000 people currently laid up.

Want next weekend to be better? Get the shot. And wear a mask, too.

There were some bright spots this weekend, at least in Tokyo.

Team USA entered The Games undefeated in the men’s 4×100 medley relay. That streak continued Sunday with a gold-medal performance from Ryan MurphyMichael AndrewZach Apple and Caeleb Dressel. The men’s basketball squad has also bounced back from its early stumbles to reach the quarterfinals — and Kevin Durant is officially the leading men’s scorer in U.S. Olympic basketball history after landing a three-pointer in the second quarter of Team USA’s match against the Czech Republican on Saturday.

Back in Florida, back-to-school season is underway. That means parents across the state are shelling out for new backpacks, clothes and computers. While their wallets took a beating, those who got a jump start on their shopping had a better weekend than those who are holding out thanks to the sales tax holiday approved by lawmakers last Session. There’s still time to take advantage — the holiday runs through Aug. 10.

It was a weekend to remember for the graduating seniors at Florida A&M and Florida State students, who were able to celebrate earning their lambskins during in-person commencement ceremonies. Some members of FAMU’s 2020 had an even bigger reason to celebrate — their alma mater said it had spent more than $16 million to clear student debts incurred during the 2020-21 school year.

FAMU VP of student affairs William E. Hudson, Jr. said it was a way for the university to live out its motto: “Excellence with caring.”

The weekend could have gone better for Citizens Property Insurance Corp. customers, who were treated to a small dose of sticker shock. The average policy costs about 3% more for the state-backed insurer’s 600,000-plus policyholders. They did get some warning — the rate hike was approved in April — but that doesn’t make it much better.

St. Petersburg residents were treated to an awesome show this weekend by way of 300 highly synchronized drones. The squadron flitted about over the bay with Blue Angels-esque precision, parking midair to display images such as beer mugs and even a map of Florida. The Duke Energy-sponsored show marked the anniversary of the St. Petersburg Pier.

If you missed out, the Tampa Bay Times’ Arielle Bader snapped plenty of pictures that’ll brighten your Monday.


Why you should be vaccinated and why you should urge everyone you know who can be vaccinated to get jabbed, in one graphic (h/t to Mike Allen):


Now, how about some good news about a great person — Anna Alexopoulos Farrar is taking on a new role.

Congratulations to Anna Alexopoulos Farrar for making a move to an up-and-coming recycling company.

Starting today, she will lead global communications strategy at high-tech recycling company PureCycle Technologies.

PureCycle holds the patent for a groundbreaking recycling process that takes plastic waste and removes the color, odor, and contaminants to produce a virgin-like resin that can be used again in unlimited markets.

The Orlando-based company went public in March and is listed on THE NASDAQ stock exchange under the ticker symbol PCT. The company is currently building out its first commercial-scale recycling plant in Ironton, Ohio.

“Anna is the quintessential communications professional for PureCycle at the perfect time. As we continue working with global stakeholders and building sites in new markets, we will rely on her top-tier public relations expertise to amplify our brand and share our story,” said David Brenner, PurCycle’s chief commercial officer.

Farrar added, “I’m thrilled to be joining the top-notch team at PureCycle Tech to expand our brand reach and amplify the message to a wide range of audiences. The PureCycle team is doing incredible work and revolutionizing the way we recycle and think about plastics, and we want the whole world to know about it.”

She joins Adrianna Sekula, who recently joined PureCycle as the Chief of Staff to the CEO, overseeing public affairs, government affairs, and communications teams.


Spotted at the Newport Jazz Festival in Rhode Island: Speaker-to-be Paul Renner, Reps. Sam GarrisonJosie Tomkow, former Sen. President Mike Haridopolos and Dr. Stephanie Haridopolos, as well as Erica ChantiMegan FayTaylor FergusonJohn HolleyNick IarossiBrian LoganHolly MillerBeth NunnallyJoel OvertonKirk PepperTom PiccoloKevin ReillyWill RodriguezStephanie Smith, and top fundraiser Katie Ballard.


Happening today — Sen. Aaron Bean holds his 2021 Amelia Island Gathering, an annual tradition that this year will feature a catboat cruise to Cumberland Island. Special guests for the family-friendly fundraising event include Sens. Ben AlbrittonJennifer Bradley and Joe Gruters. The day’s activities begin at 8 a.m. with a coffee and family breakfast, The Ritz-Carlton, 4750 Amelia Island Parkway, Amelia Island.



@RepThomasMassie: I don’t have time for anyone in the liberty movement who doesn’t understand the implications of the vaccine/mask fight.

@RepHorsfordWhen I was growing up, my family was evicted. It’s the scariest thing to know that you can be kicked out of your home with all your belongings and nowhere to go. We must extend the #EvictionMoratorium NOW.

@TomBossert: Too late in FL to mitigate meaningfully. FL has 2,038 in ICUs. FL needs to position to deal w/ the potential of 3-4 weeks of overwhelmed health care systems: plan for hospital surge, especially pediatric capacity. Neighboring states are strained & soon might not be able to help.

@AstorAaron: What bothers me about Florida is that it is not a particularly low-vax state. And it has been hit hard a few times before, so there should be lots of natural immunity as well. And yet, it is facing pretty serious pressure on its health care system.

@kkfla737: The anti-intellectualism & cognitive dissonance that made us the epicenter of a global pandemic is the culmination of decades of driving away young professionals, high-wage jobs & intellectuals. My Florida, the one I grew up in, is dead. One hope left

@Mike_Grieco: An overwhelming majority of Republicans are patriotic, well-meaning, well-balanced Americans who care about their country and their neighbors. So why do so many Republican elected officials pander to the far-right conspiracy theorists and anti-science crowd?

@ShevrinJones: My #unvaccinated Aunt is now suffering from COVID. After just speaking with her on the phone, she said she wish she would had just got the vaccine and not have listened to the misinformation from “street committee.” #GetVaccinated

@MacStipanovich: My grandchildren (then 10, 13, 13, and 16) in Leon County had to wear masks to school all year, plus social distancing when outside. They minded it so much and were so uncomfortable that they would often forget to take their masks off after they in the car after pickup.

@SheaSerrano: a thing I miss from teaching is when you start the professional development stuff and the administration has their new buzzwords they’re really excited about like “this year we’re focusing on something called Aggregated Curriculum,” and all the veteran teachers roll their eyes lol

FloridaPolitics, excerpt posted on  SouthFloridaReporter.comAug. 2, 2021

Republished with permission