Foundation names new officers
LARGO — Tash Elwyn, president and chief executive of Raymond James and Associates, has been named chair of the board of directors of the Pinellas Education Foundation.
As chair, Elwyn will lead a board of more than 30 corporate and community leaders who work closely with foundation chief executive Stacy Baier and her team of professional staff. Elwyn has served on the foundation board for almost seven years and was named vice chair in 2020. He succeeds Charles M. Harris, shareholder and litigator at Trenam Law.
Elwyn is joined on the board of directors by officers Robert Byelick (Partner, Abbey, Adams, Byelick & Mueller LLP) as vice chair; Pierre Caramazza (Head of Financial Institutions Group-U.S. and Head of ETF Distribution, Franklin Templeton Investments) as treasurer; and Susan Johnson (General Counsel, Echelon Development LCC) as secretary
Floridians feeling gas price bump
TAMPA — Researchers at the University of South Florida, in collaboration with Florida International University, have released the second set of findings from a statewide survey. This portion, sponsored by the Florida Center for Cybersecurity at USF, addresses how Floridians are being affected by rising gasoline prices and issues related to Elon Musk’s potential purchase of the social media platform Twitter.
Among the key findings:
• A majority of Floridians (83%) say that they are spending “a lot more” on gas than they were a year ago.
Slightly more than half (51%) have changed travel or vacation plans in the past year due to the price of gas.
More than a third of Floridians (38%) report that rising gas prices have affected their ability to pay other monthly bills.
More than three-quarters (78%) have less money available for discretionary spending due to the rising price of gasoline.
Over a third of Floridians (43%) have begun using digital apps to save money on gasoline.
About a quarter (28%) say that the price of gas is negatively affecting their ability to get to work on a regular basis.
• A majority of Floridians are dissatisfied with President Biden (65%) and Congress’ (75%) handling of rising gas prices. In addition, 49% and 54% respectively indicated being “very dissatisfied”.
• A majority of Floridians (72%) are in favor of increasing domestic oil production as a means of lowering the price of gasoline. A similar number (70%) would support a temporary suspension of the U.S. federal gas tax. In each case, majorities of Democrats, Republicans and Independents support these measures.
• While Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter remains in question, Floridians are divided on what it will mean for American democracy if the deal is finalized. Some 42% of respondents “neither support nor oppose” Musk’s purchase of the social media platform. However, Floridians are divided on whether its implications for American democracy would be good (24%), bad (20%), or neutral (33%).
The survey included a representative sample of 600 Floridians, fielded July 2-10, 2022. Results are reported with a confidence level of 95% and a margin of error of 4%.
July 4th brings nearly 100 BUI arrests
TALLAHASSEE — Some 93 boat operators were arrested over the Fourth of July weekend for boating under the influence of alcohol or drugs, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission said.
Some of the boaters arrested for BUI had small children on board.
The arrests occurred July 2-4.
The FWC reminds all boaters on the water this summer to enjoy time with friends and family but do so safely and don’t forget to designate a sober operator before departing from the dock.
Utility to protect wildflowers
ST. PETERSBURG — Duke Energy Florida has aligned its environmental efforts with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, among other agencies, to protect a population of federally endangered wildflowers and wildlife in central Florida.
Earlier this spring, Duke Energy environmental scientists joined various agencies and stakeholders to maximize the preservation and protection of the federally endangered clasping warea (Warea amplexifolia) and the federally threatened sand skink (Neoseps reynoldsi) found in an unincorporated community in Marion County, near Ocklawaha.
The annual wildflower occurs nowhere else in the world other than the central ridges in Florida, with the Ocklawaha population being among one of the largest of identified populations. By protecting the plant’s habitat, the team is supporting other species that depend on it, like the sand skink.
The company is installing “sensitive habitat” management signage within its rights-of-way corridors to alert contractors and crews working in these areas. The company has also moved to limit mowing and lower the volume of herbicide used in targeted areas to help the plants grow and flourish.
Parc gets funds for renovations
ST. PETERSBURG — Parc Center for Disabilities, a local nonprofit that provides opportunities for children and adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities, has received $1.5 millions from the state of Florida.
The funds will be used to pay for a necessary renovation to Parc’s facility, built in 1970, that houses programs and services for adults with disabilities who seek employment opportunities.
These programs prepare potential employees for the workforce and fulfill the needs of employers by providing 250 to 400 participants with possibilities for job training, community employment and/or greater community access in an integrated setting that replicates a real-world working environment.
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