The Point, March 23, 2021: ‘Watch It Happen’: Another University Avenue Development Is Rising In Gainesville


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• WUFT News: Small Business Owners On University Avenue Express Mixed Feelings About Proposed New Complex. “One by one, doors are closing on the 1200 block of West University Avenue in Gainesville. Felipe’s Mexican Taqueria closed in November, the former Liv+ Leasing Lounge relocated in September, and the space at 1227 W. University Ave. is empty.”

• Florida Politics: Dennis Baxley nixes plan to tie Bright Futures to job prospects. “The Ocala Republican’s strike-all amendment removes several parts of the bill that drew outcry from opposition, including students.”

• WUFT News: Gainesville Police Advisory Council Looking To Enact Change Despite Restrictions. “The council’s second meeting is Wednesday. Its new chair is Fareed Johnson, 28, a commercial driver who once served as an Air Force airman. He said he wants to keep the realities that many people of color experience when encountering police at the forefront of the council’s mission.”

• WUFT News: Duke Energy Announces Plans For Two New Solar Sites In Citrus And Hardee Counties. “The Bay Trail Solar Power Plant will be built on 500 acres in Citrus County, and will power approximately 23,000 average-sized homes.”

• WUFT News: First Magnitude Brewing Company Celebrates Seventh Annual Clean Creek Fest. “Current Problems is a nonprofit organization that cleans polluted water sources in north central Florida, and this year’s cleanup from March 17 to 20 garnered the support of 165 volunteers who collected a record breaking 6,597 pounds of trash, invasive plant species and other waste from Gainesville creeks.”

• WUFT News: University Of Florida Holds First Virtual Match Day Ceremony For 2021 College Of Medicine Class. “The University of Florida held its first virtual Match Day ceremony for the College of Medicine’s class of 2021 on Friday. Match Day is known to be one of the most important days for medical students around the country. During the ceremony, 142 UF College of Medicine students discovered where they will complete their residency training.”

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Around the state today

• First Coast News: Floridians 50+ can now get vaccinated; federally supported sites only open for first dose through Tuesday. “Starting Wednesday, federally supported sites including Gateway Mall are only offering second doses for the next three weeks. The plan was for federally supported sites to only exist for eight weeks and they’re currently in their third week.”

• WMFE: Orange County Booked 7,000 Appointments In 15 Minutes After Dropping Eligibility To 40. “Statewide, Gov. Ron DeSantis is lowering the age of eligibility to 50 years old Monday. The governor criticized the decision to drop the age even further by Orange County.”

• WUSF: Tampa FEMA Vaccine Site Not Overwhelmed By Expanded Eligibility. “Tampa Greyhound Track is equipped to give out 2,000 doses a day of the COVID-19 vaccine and recently there had been leftovers as fewer people sought vaccinations.”

• Associated Press: Debate over voting by mail intensifies in Florida Capitol. “Florida Republicans continued their drive Monday to rewrite the state’s vote-by-mail system, despite acknowledging that the state’s presidential contest last fall was a national model.”

• News Service of Florida: Florida Online Tax Plan Moving Forward Amid Stimulus. “A windfall of federal stimulus money won’t slow a deal between state House and Senate leaders that includes requiring out-of-state online retailers to collect sales taxes on purchases made by Floridians.”

• Florida Politics: Bill to curb Chinese influence heads to final House panel. “A Gov. Ron DeSantis-backed bill that would require groups to disclose funding from China and other adversarial countries when seeking large grants from Florida now heads to its final committee.”

• New York Times ($): Harris Visits Florida to Sell Stimulus Package in a Republican-Led State. “Few Republicans attended the vice president’s appearances on Monday. Symone Sanders, the vice president’s spokeswoman, told reporters that Ms. Harris’s office had reached out to Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida, a Republican, and ‘the entire Florida delegation.’ Lenny Curry, the Republican mayor of Jacksonville, greeted Ms. Harris.”

• NPR News: NOAA Upgrades Forecasts As Climate Change Drives More Severe Storms. “The upgraded model relies on supercomputers in Virginia and Florida as well as software upgrades that allow the model to use more information from satellites and aircraft.”

• WJCT: Local Efforts To Fight Climate Change Could Be Stymied By State Lawmakers. “If some state lawmakers have their way, local governments like Jacksonville could lose their ability to address climate change and its impacts independent of the Florida Legislature.”

• Fort Myers News-Press ($): Study: More than half of Florida’s manatees have the herbicide glyphosate in their bodies. “Published in the journal Environment International, the study found manatees were exposed to glyphosate in non-agricultural areas, such as the Crystal River, and that exposure was higher during winter, when manatees depend on the warm water refuge.”

• CBS Miami: ‘This Area Has Now Become A Crime Zone’: Miami Beach Business Owners, Residents Have Had Enough Of Spring Break Crowds. “Everyone who lives or works in Miami Beach is hoping for a much calmer week and weekend ahead. Still, the tumultuous couple of days of spring break trouble has been more than enough for some people.”

From NPR News

• National: 10 People, Including Police Officer, Killed In Colorado Grocery Store Shooting

• National: Despite ‘Ample Warning,’ U.S. Was Unprepared For Latest Surge Of Migrant Children

• Politics: Marty Walsh, Boston Mayor With Union Roots, Confirmed As Labor Secretary At Key Time

• Politics: Senate Swears In New Head Of Security After Insurrection Shakeup

• Business: Big Tech Showdown Looms As Biden Taps Top Critics Lina Khan, Tim Wu

• World: U.S. Joins EU In Sanctions Against China Over Treatment Of Uyghur Muslims

• Education: Homeschooling Doubled During The Pandemic, U.S. Census Survey Finds

About today’s curator

I’m Ethan Magoc, a news editor at WUFT. Originally from Pennsylvania, I’ve found a home telling Florida stories. I’m part of a team searching each morning for local and state stories that are important to you; please send feedback about today’s edition or ideas for stories we may have missed to

About WUFT News

Contact WUFT News by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing news

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