The Sunshine Economy

Trade And Logistics
8:17 am
Tue May 20, 2014

Sunshine Economy: Going Through The Miami Tunnel

The light at the end of the tunnel. After 55 months of construction the Miami Tunnel is due to open to traffic before the end of May. The tunnel is designed to move cargo trucks and cruise passenger traffic out of downtown Miami and under Government Cut between Watson Island and PortMiami.
Credit Tom Hudson

I'd been asked a lot of things in advance of an interview with a source, but the text from Chris Hodgkins was my first wardrobe question: "What size shoes do you wear?"

Hodgkins is a vice president with MAT Concessionaire, the conglomerate formed to build, and eventually operate, the Miami Tunnel.  More than four years after beginning construction, the $1 billion tunnel is scheduled to open to traffic by the end of May.

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Sunshine Economy
1:08 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

Burgers Before Beer: 5 Questions For Funky Buddha Brewery Co-Owner

Before he went into the beer business, Funky Buddha co-owner KC Sentz (second from the left) was an electrical engineer at Motorola, though his first taste of the working life was at a McDonald's when he was 14.
Credit Courtesy of Funky Buddha

KC Sentz and his brother Ryan opened the Funky Buddha Brewery in June of 2013. It was the first production microbrewery in Broward County, and the best known in South Florida. The brewery added a bottling line recently, a milestone for craft breweries, and this May the Sentz brothers announced plans to expand.

Before seeing success as a brewery owner and manager, KC Sentz worked in engineering. But before that, he got his paycheck from Mickey D's.

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Sunshine Economy
6:00 am
Mon May 5, 2014

Can South Florida Boast Of Having Some Tech Cred?

Hundreds of entrepreneurs, technologists and executives come to South Florida May 5 and 6 for the first eMerge Americas technology summit. The conference aims to highlight Miami's growing tech prowess.

The technology industry remains small in South Florida, but it attracts a lot of attention. The promise of high-paying jobs, a highly educated community and a more diversified economy are powerful pulls to develop the tech industry.

WLRN revisits the effort to grow and attract the technology industry to our region. It's the Sunshine Economy with "The Future Emerging: The Technology Industry in South Florida.”

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Beer Trends
10:45 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

Head To Your Local Brewery For... A Yoga Class?

Maria Murriel WLRN

Click through the photos above.

This story originally ran on April 14, 2014.

Shelah Davis is a professional yoga teacher who spends her 9-to-5 at a fitness studio in Florida City. But since the fall of 2013, she's been hauling her mats to microbreweries from Homestead to Oakland Park.

She founded Om Brew Yoga -- so far the only yoga classes offered at South Florida breweries -- after learning of the practice in an established craft-beer state.

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Friday Business Report
1:31 pm
Wed April 9, 2014

The Growth Of Coaching Businesses In South Florida

Credit freedigitalphotos.net

This story originally aired on Friday, Jan. 10, 2014.

Last year, U.S. consumers spent more than 11 billion dollars on CDs, books, seminars, and coaching all aimed at making some part of their lives better.

The particular field of one-on-one coaching has grown exponentially since the beginning of the recession in 2007.

Miami's Dan Silverman grew his coaching business out of something he was doing free at bars all over South Florida.

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Sunshine Economy
6:00 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

Charter Schools CEO Started As A Janitor

Credit Courtesy of Jon Hage

Jon Hage heads the for-profit charter school management company, Charter Schools USA (CSUSA), based in Fort Lauderdale. The company operates 58 schools in seven states across the country, including Florida.

Hage grew up in middle-class Oakland Park near Fort Lauderdale. He served in the United States Army, Army National Guard and Army Reserves as a commissioned officer in the Special Forces (Green Berets). After then doing policy work in Washington D.C. and Tallahassee, he founded CSUSA in 1997.   

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Sunshine Economy
5:36 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

How Non-Brewers Are Using Beer As A Branding Tool

The Miami Brewing Company, owned by South Florida winemakers Peter and Denisse Schnebly opened the first production brewery in Miami-Dade County. One beer is called Vice IPA.
Credit Karen Rundlet / Miami Herald

The number of microbreweries in South Florida could triple by the end of 2015. More brewers are well on their way to setting up shop locally, and from a business perspective, it’s about time: Craft beer has been popular in the U.S. since the mid ‘90s. Brewers know South Floridians have a taste for it and they’re excited to bring their flavorful suds to underserved local customers. But it’s not just brewers who recognize these specialty brews as good business.

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The Sunshine Economy
9:10 am
Mon March 24, 2014

Brew Askew: The Beer Business In South Florida

The Funky Buddha Brewery held a large outdoor festival to release its first bottled offering, the Maple Bacon Coffee Porter. Packaging beers is a milestone for small breweries.
Credit Maria Murriel / WLRN

Up until 2012, there was only one microbrewery in South Florida. But after Tequesta Brewing Company's first colleague, Due South Brewing Company, opened that summer, more have bubbled up all over.

And the newness of this industry partly contributes to the difficulties brewers face when trying to open their businesses -- local and state laws prohibit even beer tastings at storesmake even beer tastings difficult.

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Politics
2:13 pm
Fri March 21, 2014

Florida Legislature Considers Beer Growlers, In-Store Tastings

Tired of the same old wine tastings at your local store? Beer samples may be on tap soon if Florida lawmakers give the okay.
Credit burgerduo/flickr

Half a dozen bills about beer have been filed in the Florida Legislature.

The proposals would essentially do two things: allow certain stores to offer beer tastings - like many already do with wine – and legalize 64-ounce containers of beer.

Florida’s weird packaging laws allow 32-ounce and gallon-sized containers, known as growlers. But 64-ounce growlers are illegal. The law dates back to the prohibition era.

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Sunshine Economy
2:13 am
Thu March 20, 2014

From Farm To Brewery: 5 Questions For Craft-Beer CEO Mike Halker

Credit Tom Hudson

Before making beer in Palm Beach, Mike Halker served on a bomb squad with the U.S. Army. That cool under pressure has served him well as the founder and head of Due South Brewery, a craft-beer company based in Boynton Beach. 

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The Sunshine Economy
8:03 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

Redland's Schnebly: From Wine To Beer To Spirited Expansion

Customers usually show up at the tasting bar just before lunch hour at Schnebly Redland's Winery.
Credit Karen Rundlet / Miami Herald

 

Florida’s southernmost winery is located in the heart of Miami Dade’s farm country, Redland. It’s called Schnebly Redland’s Winery and it’s been up and running over a decade. For me, the trip to Schnebly Redland’s Winery meant a couple of hours in the car, heading south on U.S. 1, with a view of Miami Dade slowing down.

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Sunshine Economy
9:31 pm
Sun March 16, 2014

Bottoms Up: The Liquor & Wine Business In South Florida

Miami Club Rum began distilling in the Wynwood neighborhood in 2012. Founder and CEO Matt Malone uses Palm Beach County sugarcane byproducts and Miami-Dade County public water to make his rum.
Credit Tom Hudson

South Florida may not have the valleys and vineyards of Napa Valley nor the hollows and oak barrels of Kentucky but the wine and liquor industry is here in its own unique way.  Think mango wine not chardonnay, rum not bourbon and you've got the idea.  

South Floridians can talk about rum the way oenophiles go on about wine. There are the aromas of the rum, the notes and the finish. There may be hints of chocolate, berries or citrus.  For many outside of South Florida rum means one company: Bacardi.  

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Sunshine Economy
8:47 am
Mon March 10, 2014

Got Water?

Water being treated on its way to from Florida City to the Keys via a 130 mile pipeline.
Credit Tom Hudson

 

The good news from last summer's rains is that South Florida's water supply is running above average. But that doesn't ease the concerns of those responsible for finding, protecting, cleaning and distributing freshwater to the more than six million people from Pam Beach County through Key West.

They tell us there is no "average" year for water supply. It's either too wet or too dry. And while it's technically the dry season, there's plenty of water.

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Topical Currents
1:00 pm
Mon February 24, 2014

How to Run—or Ruin—an Economy

Tim Harford
twitter.com/timharford

02/24/14 - Monday’s Topical Currents is with popular economist, journalist and broadcaster Tim Harford.  His book, THE UNDERCOVER ECONOMIST sold millions internationally.

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Sunshine Economy
8:58 am
Mon February 24, 2014

Bittersweet: The Sugar Industry In South Florida

Rick Roth, President of Roth Farms, stands among his sugarcane in Palm Beach County.
Credit Tom Hudson

Talking about sugar in South Florida is like talking about politics and religion in polite company. Few people are without strong opinions about the sugarcane farms stretching across the eastern Everglades south of Lake Okeechobee. The industry is a mix of government price policies, environmental regulations, trade practices and the demand for food.  

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