Volume 6 Issue 8_Sun Bay Paper

From Island to Bay, News at Sea Level Volume. 6 Issue No.8 On Vacation? Take us home with you! Read our digital Flipbook version at www.SunBayPaper.com Budget Request Suggests Broader Revisions To Florida’s Unemployment System Nov. 20, 2020 - Nov. 26, 2020 The Florida Depart- ment of Economic Opportu- nity (FDEO), which handles Florida’s much-maligned unemployment system, is seeking $5 million to hire 108 new employees next fis- cal year. New FDEO Execu- tive Director Dane Eagle also is calling on lawmakers to consider raising the $275 weekly max unemployment benefit, overhaul or ditch the CONNECT system and hold hearings to understand why it failed when needed most. Gov. Ron DeSantis authorized a state inspector general in May to investi- gate why Florida spent $77 million for the CONNECT unemployment website built by Deloitte in 2013 that col- lapsed “right off the bat” in March, when the unemploy- ment rate tripled to 12.9% and left hundreds of thou- sands of suddenly jobless Floridians waiting weeks for their first checks. DeSantis wanted to know how Deloitte’s 2011 contract for $40 million was amended 17 times, why it was nearly discontinued in 2012 and why the website cost $77 million to launch in 2013. Florida taxpayers have spent more than $100 million since March to up- grade the system by pur- chasing 72 servers, reassigning 2,000 state workers, contracting 330 phone center workers and tapping Florida Department of Management Services Secretary Jon Satter to man- age it. Eagle said legisla- tive hearings will help clar- ify whether the system can be adequately improved and moved into a cloud server or whether it would be better to build a new system that will cost tens of millions of dol- lars. The 108 new hires in the FDEO’s budget request would allow it to stop pay- ing third-party call centers and fill a labor shortage the agency still struggles with, Eagle told Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer is the first company to announce a successful vaccine candidate that is safe and ef- fective in preventing COVID- 19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2. Pfizer Chairman and CEO Albert Bourla Monday announced positive efficacy results from the company’s Phase 3, late-stage study of its potential COVID-19 vaccine. “The vaccine candidate was found to be more than 90 per- cent effective in preventing COVID-19 in participants without evidence of prior SARS-CoV-2 infection in the first interim efficacy analy- sis,” Boula said. This week, on 11-11- 2020, Armando’s Day Spa celebrated its 20 year An- niversary... Not an easy feat on Fort Myers Beach, as the past two decades have seen a significant change in the landscape as well as the coming and going of many, many businesses. It all started with Hurricane Charlie in 04', which though a diverting from a direct hit on the beach was still the first dev- astating natural disaster to hit our shore in over 20 years, strangely enough with the influx of all the insur- ance money that poured into the area causing a real estate boom in the area.... setting for the crash years later. then the BP oil spill in the pan- handle, the real the bubble bursting in the estate market, multiple red tides with the worst in recent decades just a few years ago, ruining the next few years of tourism and then............. this year when season finally looked like it was shaping up as a season of good times ago... the pandemic, Covid - 19. strikes ........and everything comes to a screeching halt. Nonetheless, Ar- mando's still prevailed, with an understanding landlord Fred DePalma, who worked with them through those troubled times and a lot of loans, they survived. "For now, we still have to see how this pandemic plays out" added Owner Bobby Armando, as many friends and clients call him. I asked the owner what he thinks makes his spa special. He said " I bore easily, this massage is al- ways different, before mas- sage, all my life I tried anything and everything work wise, I would always get to a point in whichever job I was in and say to my- self 'really? This is what you want to do for the rest of your life?' Sometimes that was on the first day, some- times it was a week, maybe two or longer, but always be- fore I was at a job for two years I would have that thought and move on to an- other job adventure, I re- member one job, in my early years, I never returned from lunch on my Cont. pg 6 Pfizer 1st With COVID Vaccine, Claims Over 90% Efficacy Armando’s Celebrates 20 Years Cont. pg 12 Gov. Ron DeSantis’ “anti-mob” bill would ex- pand Florida’s Stand Your Ground law to allow armed citizens to shoot anyone en- gaged in “criminal mis- chief” that disrupts a business or damages prop- erty. DeSantis introduced in September the parameters of his proposed Combatting Violence, Disorder and Looting and Law Enforce- ment Protection Act, which he touted as the “strongest pro-law enforcement, anti- rioting, anti-looting legisla- tion anywhere in the country.” The governor said the measure was in response to “violent and disorderly assemblies” during summer- long police brutality protests while acknowledg- ing no such events – other than a looting instance at Miami’s Bayside Market- place – occurred in Florida. According to the Miami Herald and Tampa Bay Times, a draft of De- Santis’ “anti-mob” initiative has been submitted to the Senate Criminal Justice and House Judiciary commit- tees. The draft seeks to increase criminal penalties for people involved in “vio- lent or disorderly assem- blies,” makes blocking traffic during a protest a third-degree felony, offers immunity to drivers who “unintentionally” kill or in- jure traffic-blocking protest- ers and DeSantis' ‘Anti-mob’ Bill Would Extend Stand Your Ground Lethal Defense To Criminal Mischief, Property Crimes Cont. pg 15 Cont. pg 12 Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks during a news conference at Jack- son Memorial Hospital in Miami Skin Care Specialist Colleen LoRae Florida Department of Economic Opportunity Executive Director Dane Eagle