The Sunshine Economy

The Sunshine Economy
6:00 am
Thu August 22, 2013

The Sunshine Economy: Profit Or Performance? Charter Public Schools

Jon Hage may be one of the most important school leaders you probably have never heard of. No one elected him to a school board or hired him as a superintendent.

But his company, Charter Schools USA based in Fort Lauderdale, is one of the fastest growing charter school operators. It runs more than a dozen schools in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties and has expanded to a half dozen more states.

RELATED: The Sunshine Economy: Education

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The Sunshine Economy
3:22 pm
Wed August 21, 2013

The Sunshine Economy: Are South Florida Schools Preparing Kids for Future Jobs?

During the past several weeks, South Florida business executives from manufacturing, hospitality and other industries have told The Sunshine Economy how challenging it is for them to find qualified employees locally.

RELATED: The Sunshine Economy: Education

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The Sunshine Economy
8:10 am
Mon August 19, 2013

The Sunshine Economy: Education

A new school year is underway for hundreds of thousands of children in South Florida. A new year brings with it the potential of new learning, new skills... and new challenges.

Are our kids learning what they need to in order to compete in the global job market of the future?

South Florida schools welcome back students August 19 and WLRN's Sunshine Economy looks at the education industry with "Getting Schooled, Public Education in South Florida."

WLRN's State Impact Florida education reporter Sammy Mack co-hosts the program.

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The Sunshine Economy
6:00 am
Fri August 16, 2013

The Sunshine Economy: Fueling Florida's Power

FPL

The demand for electricity is growing in South Florida, but Florida Power and Light has been tearing down power plants.

The power plants like the one in the slideshow above have been generating electricity for more than 50 years in many cases. Often, they burned oil to make power.

RELATED: The Sunshine Economy: Energy

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The Sunshine Economy
6:00 am
Thu August 15, 2013

The Sunshine Economy: Fill 'Er Up With Natural Gas

Credit Wise Gas

How about a fill up for less than $20 a tank?

That's the promise of compressed natural gas at recent prices.But good luck finding a passenger car than runs on compressed natural gas today but more companies are converting their trucks or buying new ones that run on the fuel.

RELATED: The Sunshine Economy: Energy 

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The Sunshine Economy
12:00 pm
Wed August 14, 2013

The Sunshine Economy: Plugging Into The Math Of An Electric Car

Credit Tom Hudson

The sound of turning over the pistons in an internal combustion engine are familiar to just about everyone. The almost soothing feeling of that low rumble of a well-tuned engine in idle.

RELATED: The Sunshine Economy: Energy

Linda Gassenheimer doesn't have these sounds or feelings anymore. And she doesn't miss them.

That's Linda on the right, in the driver's seat of her all-electric car.

And it's like her; petite but with a certain pizzazz.

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The Sunshine Economy
12:02 pm
Tue August 13, 2013

The Sunshine Economy: Filling Up The Tank Less Often

Lee Doucette
Credit Tom Hudson

We are burning less gasoline. That may sound strange but Floridians have less of a thirst for gas.

Some of the drop can be blamed on the slower economy since the Great Recession, but also we are driving more fuel efficient cars and trucks. Except for a three-year period (2004-2006) the volume of gasoline Florida drivers are buying has fallen from its high in 2002.

RELATED: The Sunshine Economy: Energy

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The Sunshine Economy
8:20 am
Mon August 12, 2013

The Sunshine Economy Video: Tearing Down An Old Power Plant

A decade ago FPL burned more oil to make electricity than any other electric utility in the United States.

But this year it expects to burn 99 percent less crude oil.

RELATED: The Sunshine Economy: Energy

Much of the difference has been made up by natural gas, with some of the new power coming from nuclear energy.

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The Sunshine Economy
8:20 am
Mon August 12, 2013

The Sunshine Economy: Energy

Credit Tom Hudson

Flip a light switch, turn the ignition key or hit the start button.  These are actions most of us do several times each day without thinking about where the power is coming from. Florida may have plenty of sunshine but it doesn't have any substantial supply of fossil fuels.  And fossil fuels still power much of our lives.

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The Sunshine Economy
6:00 am
Fri August 9, 2013

The Sunshine Economy: It's Not Business But A Lifestyle

Spencer Antle

That's Spencer Antle in the picture to the left. He left South Beach for Palm Beach and has seen his lifestyle fashion business flourish.

RELATED: The Sunshine Economy: Fashion

He founded Island Company, now headquartered in West Palm Beach. His clothing designs, retail shops and now music label have landed him on Inc. Magazine's list of the fastest growing 5000 companies in the U.S. four years in a row.

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The Sunshine Economy
10:55 am
Thu August 8, 2013

The Sunshine Economy: Miami's 'Minuscule' Fashion Industry

Penguin, Perry Ellis and Jantzen are some of the global fashion brands that trace their corporate ownership to the Doral headquarters of Perry Ellis International.

Over several decades George Feldenkreis built the company into the firm it is today selling $1 billion worth of merchandise worldwide.

Feldenkreis came to Miami from Cuba in 1961 and began by manufacturing and distributing auto parts. Instead of bushings and pistons, Feldenkreis oversees a business today that includes fashion design, manufacturing, technology, distribution, licensing and retailing.

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The Sunshine Economy
4:55 pm
Wed August 7, 2013

The Sunshine Economy: We Are What We Wear

Pastels in Palm Beach? Parrot Head T-shirts in Key West? South Florida has an image of a very fashionable place. On August 5, the Sunshine Economy explored the fashion industry here, but what about our sense of fashion?

RELATED: The Sunshine Economy: Fashion

Several members of our Public Insight Network helped give South Florida some fashion advice below:

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The Sunshine Economy
9:19 am
Mon August 5, 2013

The Sunshine Economy: Fashion

Rene Ruiz
Credit Tom Hudson

Rene Ruiz makes women's dresses. Fancy dresses. In the picture to the right, he is standing with a new spring 2014 design. Ruiz designs and makes them in Hialeah. Ruiz grew up here and as his fashion design business began taking off with merchandise showing up in Neiman Marcus stores, he decided he wanted to stay in South Florida.

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The Sunshine Economy
11:24 am
Fri July 26, 2013

The Sunshine Economy: Manufacturing

Credit Tom Hudson

On the right is a picture of lancets.

These are small devices used by diabetics to prick their fingers in order to test their blood for sugar. The maker of these devices, Specialty Medical Supplies, is based in Coral Springs. The company was manufacturing up to 100 million of them each month in China until June of this year, when the company's president, Chip Starnes, was taken hostage during a visit to his Beijing plant.

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Business
7:36 am
Mon June 24, 2013

Executive Pay: How South Florida CEOs Measure Up

Stuart Miller is the CEO of Lennar Corporation based in Miami. Miller reportedly makes about $4,000 an hour.

Lennar CEO Stuart Miller earned almost $13 million last year. That’s more than $4,000 per work hour, easily making the 55-year-old the highest-paid chief executive among South Florida’s largest companies.

Was Miller overpaid? His compensation from the national home builder his father co-founded amounted to 265 times what the Bureau of Labor Statistics said is the average annual pay for someone in the construction business. But by one measure of particular interest to shareholders, Miller’s pay may be seen as about right.

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