The Sunshine Economy

9 a.m. and 7 p.m. Mondays

The Sunshine Economy, takes a fresh look at the key industries transforming South Florida into a regional powerhouse. From investments in health care, storm preparedness, international trade, real estate and technology based start-ups, tune in to learn more about one of the worlds most vibrant and diverse economies.

Tom Hudson
Credit WLRN

Associated Press

What started with a phone call two years ago may end in a tweet early next year.

The changes in the relationship between the U-S and Cuba have been dramatic and quiet, slow and significant since Dec. 17, 2014 when President Barack Obama began a new strategy of engagement with Cuba.

Tom Hudson

If you walk through the right breezeway on Worth Avenue in Palm Beach and into a small courtyard, you’ll see on your right a spiral concrete staircase. It’s painted pink. You can’t miss it. It leads to a single doorway. Inside is about 2,000 square feet split into four rooms. This is home the Gavlak Gallery.

Sarah Gavlak began her gallery in 2005 and was chosen to show works at the next Art Basel (2006) in a shipping container on the beach. She has been back every year since, including the fair that wrapped up this past Sunday.

Tom Hudson

Fidel Castro may be dead, but his shadow lurks over the Cuban economy even as it absorbs -- oftentimes resists -- the biggest changes in its relationship with the U.S. in more than a half century. At the same time, a new American president-elect has promised to extract more freedoms and restitution from Cuba if the new economic engagement is to continue. The Sunshine Economy looks at this double challenge in the economic dealings between South Florida and the island.

 

 

Tom Hudson

During the Great Recession, the cruise industry canceled or postponed building and introducing new cruise liners trying to conserve cash as passenger traffic was hurt by the sour economy. Now, those ships are entering the oceans and many of them have South Florida ports of call.

 

While America has experienced a peaceful transition between presidents 44 times, there has never been a president-elect quite like Donald Trump.

 

For his supporters, including the 4.6 million Floridians who voted for him, Trump represents a change. Not just a change in which political party controls the White House, but a repudiation of decades of the political class on both sides of the aisle.

 

Like mangoes, snowbirds and hurricanes, even health insurance has a season and this is it -- open enrollment season. This is the time many companies give their employees a window to check out any changes to health care insurance plans, including how much more it will cost. It’s also the time Obamacare health insurance plans open on the federal government’s Healthcare.gov site for the 28 states using it, including Florida.

 

courtsey: Donald Goldberg

An adult aedes aegypti mosquito measures about six millimeters. That’s roughly a quarter of an inch. Yet for weeks this summer, it looked to threaten a $26 billion a year industry that underpins the South Florida economy -- tourism.

The bug remains a big public health worry -- so much so the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention still recommends that pregnant women stay away from all of Miami-Dade County -- but it in its early months, hasn’t hurt tourism.

Brutal

But try telling that to Donald Goldberg, manager of the Wynwood Diner.

The Sunshine Economy: Haiti, Help And Hurricane Matthew

Oct 24, 2016
Rowan Moore Gerety

Drive down on Lucy Street in Homestead, take a right at a school painted pink, then a left at the stop sign and you will find yourself surrounded by Haitians in a horseshoe-shaped apartment complex. They've come to Homestead, most of them from Southern Haiti, the same mountainous peninsula that was hit by Hurricane Matthew Oct. 4.

Tom Hudson

Through all the tawdry talk, accusations and innuendo during this election American voters have been consistent in saying the economy is their big issue.

 

The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, which includes South Florida in its territory, quizzed 200 companies throughout the region. One out of three of them said the election was having an effect on their business decisions such as investing in their companies or hiring new workers.

 

athrasher/flickr

Floridians are anxious. Even after several years of job growth, most are worried about the economy. Two out of three Floridians say they are financially stressed. For those with a child at home, or living in South Florida, odds are even higher.

Teresa Frontado

There is no Election Day. Between mail-in ballots, early voting and the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November, Florida voters have almost a month to make their decisions and cast their ballots.

This is the most contentious campaign season in memory, yet business goes on. Boat repairs, restaurants, banking -- you name it. Commerce continues despite the uncertainty of the election.

The economy consistently ranks as the biggest issue for most Americans. Taxes, regulations, health care, immigration even the combative tone of this election -- does the uncertainty of this election threaten to hurt or help business?

These four teenagers spent their summer with WLRN News. They each reported personal stories focused on a place: a park, a torn-down apartment building, school, etc.
Wilson Sayre

"To get out and explore more things," is how Rochnel Jean-Baptiste described her desire to eventually leave Miami after she finishes school. Jean-Baptiste was one of four teenagers who participated in WLRN's 2016 Youth Radio program.

It's the most teenage of desires -- to explore more things -- isn't it?

It has been four months since WLRN launched Pricecheck, an online guide to bring clarity to health care costs in Florida. Along with our partners WUSF in Tampa and Health News Florida and with input from our audience, we created a searchable database of prices of common health care procedures and supplies aiming to answer a single question: "How much does it cost?"

Palm Beach Post

"A critical inflection point." "Reached a crossroads." That's how a new study describes the South Florida economy. 

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