The Point, Oct. 13, 2022: The lawmaker who helped change Florida’s university president searches reacts to UF’s process


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• Tampa Bay Times ($): UF’s presidential search was not done as Florida law intended, lawmaker says. “The University of Florida’s search for a new president violates the intent of a new state law that governs the process, according to state Sen. Jeff Brandes, who co-sponsored the measure in the Legislature this year. The law keeps the early part of presidential searches secret as a way to attract high-caliber applicants who don’t want to jeopardize their current jobs. But it also requires universities to lift that confidentiality when ‘a final group of applicants’ emerges. Instead, UF officials announced one finalist, U.S. Sen. Ben Sasse, and have refused to release the names of a dozen people they interviewed after reaching out to hundreds of possible candidates.”

• WUFT News: WUFT, Gainesville Sun to host debate for 2022 mayor race. “Gainesville’s mayoral candidates will face off in a debate Oct. 25 on the University of Florida campus. Mayor candidates Ed Bielarski and Harvey Ward have both agreed to participate in the debate… The event will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 25, from 7 to 8 p.m. at the University of Florida Levin College of Law.”

• WUFT News: New Gainesville policy may be the push aspiring recyclers need. “The city passed this policy as a part of its zero-waste initiative. There are three parts to it. The Solid Waste Ordinance Revision reduces single-use plastic accessories like forks and ketchup in restaurants. It also requires apartment complexes to collect discarded but usable furniture and donate it to places like Goodwill.”

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Around the state

• WMFE-Orlando: Florida Commits $1 Billion to Climate Resilience. But After Hurricane Ian, Some Question the State’s Development Practices. “In the less than two weeks since Ian made landfall on Sept. 28 as a near-Category 5 storm, officials in Florida have been focused on searches and rescues, restoring power and collecting the dead, a grim tally that tops 100, according to the Associated Press. But the conversation in Florida has started to turn toward policy, including Gov. Ron DeSantis’ approach to climate change in a state that is among those most vulnerable to impacts from global warming.”

• Politico: Federal judge upholds Florida Medicaid ban on covering gender-affirming care. “Judge Robert Hinkle denied a preliminary injunction request from a coalition of transgender rights groups seeking to stop the rule. The groups previously filed a lawsuit against Florida over its ban on Medicaid covering the cost of gender affirming care.”

• The Tributary: ‘Racial segregation’: Federal judge blocks Jacksonville City Council districts as racial gerrymanders. “A federal judge has barred Jacksonville from using its City Council and Duval School Board district maps, finding that seven City Council and three School Board districts were likely racially gerrymandered. U.S. District Judge Marcia Morales Howard found the City Council likely had used race as a predominant factor in drawing the maps in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment.”

• Palm Beach Post ($): Doctors rip basis of Florida Surgeon General Ladapo’s latest anti-COVID vaccine advice. “Florida’s top health official, who touts unproven COVID-19 treatments, is once again urging a large group of people to skip vaccination, drawing rebuke from doctors who point out his recommendation lacks evidence.”

• WUFT News: Rock revetment project underway to restore Flagler Beach shoreline after Hurricane Ian. “Rock revetment absorbs energy from incoming waves and prevents damage from coastal erosion through the layering of stone, sand and geo-textiles on banks and shorelines that create a barrier between the ocean and the shore. FDOT crews will use coquina rock in the affected areas to return the beach’s shoreline to its pre-storm conditions, according to the press release.”

• Florida Politics: Statewide effort restarts classes at all the state’s hurricane-hit higher ed institutions. “There’s also been an effort to use the state universities’ and colleges’ facilities to help with recovery. Eight universities are serving as Business Recovery Centers in partnership with Florida Small Business Development Center, officials said. Florida State University is providing a staging area for first responders on their way to the affected areas. Daytona State College opened its computer labs for those students who need an internet connection.”

• WUSF-Tampa: Florida bee colonies that were destroyed by Hurricane Ian are smashed, drowned and starving. “Experts say the number of bee colonies in the path of the Category 4 hurricane account for about 1 in 7 of the nation’s total. They represent a crucial pollination force.”

• News Service of Florida: Hurricane Ian expected to make a bad year for Florida’s citrus growers even worse. “An initial forecast for the growing season showed overall citrus production down a projected 31.8 percent from the past season. That came out before Hurricane Ian damaged crops.”

From NPR News

• World: Russia arrests 8 people for the blast on a Crimea bridge as Ukraine denies involvement

• Politics: What’s coming up in the Jan. 6 committee hearing on Thursday

• Business: Virtually all PPP loans have been forgiven with limited scrutiny

• Business: As mortgage rates rise, some people are giving up on owning a home

• Business: Examining the issues behind a possible rail strike

• Health: The FDA authorizes omicron boosters for kids as young as 5 years old

• Health: Human cells in a rat’s brain could shed light on autism and ADHD

• National: Alex Jones ordered to pay nearly $1 billion to Sandy Hook Families

• National: Former president of the L.A. City Council resigns after she made racist comments

Ethan Magoc curated today’s edition of The Point.

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