The Sunshine Economy

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

Tom Hudson
Tom Hudson
Credit WLRN

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.

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The Sunshine Economy
7:54 am
Thu November 14, 2013

Underwater Real Estate

This chart from NOAA shows the monthly mean sea level in Miami Beach. The data does not include the regular seasonal fluctuations due to coastal ocean temperatures, salinities, winds, atmospheric pressures, and ocean currents. The long-term trend lines are designed by NOAA to indicate a 95% confidence level of the trend.

  

The dream of South Florida real estate is beachside.  The marquee properties along our beaches attract global attention and eye-popping prices.  But as studies from the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration have found, sea levels in South Florida have risen about nine inches in the past century.  Today's beachside may be the next century's underwater property.

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The Sunshine Economy
12:01 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

A Lot Of Dreams Behind New Urban Garden In Dania Beach

An assortment of peppers grown at the Dania Beach urban garden.
Credit Tom Hudson

In the movie Field of Dreams, an Iowan farmer builds a baseball diamond in a cornfield and the ghosts of the disgraced 1919 Chicago White Sox materialize from the stalks.

On a 1.6-acre plot of land in Dania Beach, there's nothing so supernatural taking place. Instead, the community, along with a public-private partnership, have joined together to build an urban garden. They grow vegetables and sell them to neighbors who otherwise have a difficult time finding fresh food near their homes.

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The Sunshine Economy
11:50 am
Mon October 28, 2013

The Sunshine Economy: The Grocery Business

Credit Tom Hudson

Would you pay $12 for this jar of pluot jelly?

It's a combination of apricots and plums. Plenty of people are shelling out the $12 for the 10-ounce jar at independent grocery store Joanna's Marketplace on South Dixie Highway in Miami.

This jelly is just one way the small store looks to compete in an increasingly crowded grocery store industry in South Florida.

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Friday Business Report
8:00 am
Mon October 28, 2013

How South Florida Supermarkets Move Customers Through Their Stores

Publix supermarket #794 in Miami Shores was recently remodeled. The deli was expanded, as was the produce section. Publix says they remodel stores every five years.
Credit Karen Rundlet

The store you probably spend the most time in isn’t a boutique or a department store. I’ll bet, over the course of a year, it’s the supermarket. 

On average, supermarket customers shop for groceries twice a week and spend about $100. In South Florida, Publix is the marketshare leader – dominating with close to 250 stores. Winn Dixie is second. And then, we have Walmart and Sedano’s.

While each chain is distinct in terms of pricing and store environment, there are commonalities in how many of them are designed, said Paco Underhill, a consultant and author who studies the science of how people shop all over the world.

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The Sunshine Economy
6:30 am
Wed October 23, 2013

How Brazilians Have Helped Save South Florida Real Estate

Credit FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The years 2009 and 2010 were dark days for Miami real estate. Home prices plummeted. Mortgages imploded. Foreclosures soared.

And buyers flooded in from Brazil.

Since that time, Brazilians have become the top foreign buyers of homes and especially condominiums in South Florida. As recently as June, the largest number of foreign-based online visitors to the Miami Association of Realtors website came from Brazil. In 2011 and 2012, most international buyers of residential real estate in the Miami area came from Brazil.

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The Sunshine Economy
6:10 pm
Fri October 18, 2013

The Sunshine Economy: Brazil & South Florida

This week was supposed to bring together the leaders of the largest and sixth-largest economies in the world. Brazil President Dilma Rousseff had been scheduled to make an official state visit to the White House but she called off the trip after it was revealed that the U.S. National Security Administration intercepted emails and telephone calls between herself, her staff and the Brazilian state energy company Petrobras.

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The Sunshine Economy
6:30 am
Thu October 17, 2013

Public Debt On TSE: Counting Up The Dollars And Sense

Credit U.S. Federal Reserve / Truth In Accounting

The debate in Congress over raising the debt ceiling was focused on the $16.7 trillion borrowing limit. That's a huge number that has been increasing rapidly since the Great Recession. The chart above from the U.S. Federal Reserve shows the federally reported public debt jumping from $6 trillion after the 2001 recession to almost $17 trillion this fall.  

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The Sunshine Economy
7:00 am
Wed October 16, 2013

Public Debt On TSE: Lining Up Lenders for Landing

Credit Tom Hudson

The federal government may be partially shut down and flirting with an unprecedented debt default but the Broward County Aviation Department had no trouble borrowing $450 million this month.

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The Sunshine Economy
6:00 am
Mon October 14, 2013

The Sunshine Economy: Public Debt

Credit Tom Hudson

The picture above shows the beginning of a second runway at Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport that, once completed, is expected to cost $2.3 billion. The runway is just part of a multi-billion dollar expansion project already underway.

More than half of the project is being paid for with borrowed money. The Broward County Aviation Department will eventually assume $1.5 billion in public debt. Last week, it successfully sold $450 million worth of public bonds to continue the construction project.

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The Sunshine Economy
7:00 am
Fri October 11, 2013

Broward County Isn't Bleeding Jobs Anymore But Hiring Has Stalled

Animals and transportation. Those are two areas Broward County Administrator Bertha Henry says residents would like to expand county services. And while the county has seen its finances improve as the housing market has recovered somewhat, the county is not looking to expand its workforce.

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The Sunshine Economy
7:00 am
Thu October 10, 2013

Why The U.S. Should Pay People To Dig Holes And Fill Them Up To Create Jobs

Prof. Paul Krugman
Credit Tom Hudson

Paul Krugman is a lightning rod for economic criticism. He's used to it. For several years Krugman has argued in his New York Times columns for more government stimulus spending, not less.

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The Sunshine Economy
11:33 am
Wed October 9, 2013

Miami-Dade Mayor: Some County Workers Are Overpaid, Underworked

The view looking south from Mayor Gimenez's office at Government Center in Miami. He has a view of the booming Brickell neighborhood, one of the hottest real estate areas in South Florida.
Credit Tom Hudson

Mayor Carlos Gimenez started his career as a government employee in 1975. He's still one today, but with a very different perspective. From a firefighter to mayor of Miami-Dade County, he now leads over 25,000 full-time public sector employees.

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The Sunshine Economy
6:00 am
Tue October 8, 2013

The Sunshine Economy: Searching For Work In South Florida

Sal Clemente
Credit Tom Hudson

One cost of the federal government slowdown is a delay in the monthly checkup on the nation's job market. The September unemployment report was due out Friday morning, but U.S. statisticians are among those on leave until there is an agreement on funding the government.

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The Sunshine Economy
11:00 am
Mon October 7, 2013

The Sunshine Economy: Public Sector Employment

Lauderhill Police Chief Andrew Smalling
Credit Tom Hudson

Like a lot of law enforcement agencies in South Florida, the Lauderhill Police Department run by Lauderhill Police Chief Andrew Smalling did not hire any new officers for several years as the city's budget was hit by falling property values. But now Lauderhill is hiring again. It's looking for five new officers, offering full benefits and a starting salary around $50,000.

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The Sunshine Economy
8:29 am
Fri October 4, 2013

The Sunshine Economy: How Broward County Ignored The State

From the U.S. Supreme Court case against the Affordable Care Act to trying to keep insurance exchange navigators from public health facilities, the state of Florida has resisted assisting the federal government in implementing the health insurance reform law.

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