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Showing posts from July, 2014

Little-Known Libertarian Could Decide Florida Governor’s Race

The nation’s most closely watched governor’s race, the battle for the Florida governor’s mansion, just got even more interesting.

It turns out that the bitter fight between Republican incumbent Rick Scott and his predecessor, Republican-turned-independent-turned Democrat Charlie Crist, may be doing more than causing voters to turn off their TV sets to avoid the omnipresent and nasty TV ads from both sides.

The negative air war has created an opening for a third-party candidate who is unknown to more than nine in 10 voters and is scoring in the polls because Mr. Scott and Mr. Crist have so turned off parts of the electorate.

It’s not that Libertarian Adrian Wyllie has a serious chance to win the governorship, but a Quinnipiac Poll of registered Florida voters out this morning shows that he could decide which of the major party candidates emerges as the winner.

In a two-way race, Mr. Crist leads Mr. Scott 45%-40%, down from a 10-point lead three months ago when Quinnipiac last polled th…

Gables bat enthusiasts get a rare glimpse

Bright beams pierced the banyan trees peppered throughout Coral Gables’ Granada Golf Course last Sunday night as hundreds of visitors flashed the night sky searching for a quick glimpse of the recently discovered bonneted bats.

Calls from crickets and other insects camouflaged the their high-pitched squeaks as two of the bats swiftly swooped and fluttered above the multitude of guests.

The bat watch was organized by a Florida International University biologist, Kristen “Kisi” Bohn, who discovered the bats in late 2012 when she moved three blocks away from the course.
“We put this together pretty quickly because I wanted to take advantage of the momentum. Tonight was really an info session for the public,” Bohn said.

As the bat news began to go viral around the Coral Gables community, Bohn’s email began to flood.
For Bohn, who believes there might be around 20 to 40 bonneted bats living in the area, the most important goal for this event was twofold. Not only was it aimed as a way to f…

This is what global warming looks like

WASHINGTON (AP) — The globe is on a hot streak, setting a heat record in June. That's after the world broke a record in May. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announcedMondaythat last month's average global temperature was 61.2 degrees, which is 1.3 degrees higher than the 20th century average. It beat 2010's old record by one-twentieth of a degree.
While one-twentieth of a degree doesn't sound like much, in temperature records it's like winning a horse race by several lengths, said NOAA climate monitoring chief Derek Arndt.
"We are living in the steroid era of the climate system," Arndt said.
Arndt said both the June and May records were driven by unusually hot oceans, especially the Pacific and Indian oceans.
Heat records in June broke on every continent butAntarctica, especially in New Zealand, northern South America,Greenland,central Africaand southern Asia.
The United States had only its 33rd hottest June.
All 12 of the world's month…

Why Doesn't The Sunshine State Use More Solar Energy?

As far as solar energy goes, the Sunshine State is third in the country for potential -- and 18th in actual installation.

In Florida, there’s no financial assistance for installing solar panels on your roof. Solar energy users can only take a federal tax credit.

Florida Power and Light powers the state using mostly natural gas. Out of all the energy FPL provides, only 0.06 percent comes from solar energy.

The only way to get solar panels installed on your roof is to call an independent contractor.

Solar Leading Energy Growth Sector in USA

In case you missed it, two recent developments clearly demonstrate why America remains “bullish” on solar energy. But they’re also vivid reminders of why we need to remain vigilant. As an organization, and as an industry, too much is at stake for us to become complacent. As the old saying goes on Capitol Hill: “What Congress giveth, Congress can taketh away.”

This week, a new report by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) predicts that most new electric generation capacity in the United States through 2040 will come from natural gas and renewable energy. Of the 83 gigawatts (GW) of renewable capacity additions being forecast, nearly half is expected to come from photovoltaic (PV) systems.

Today, solar is the fastest-growing source of renewable energy in America – and, as this report bears out, it will continue to be for years and years to come. The rapid deployment of solar nationwide will create thousands of new American jobs, pump hundreds of billions of dollars into the…

BMW Invests Heavily in Electric Vehicles

BMW agreed to spend billions of euros increasing its orders of Samsung batteries as the world’s largest maker of luxury cars expands its line of electric vehicles.

BMW is planning to increase its purchases of SDI battery cells for the electric i3 city car and the plug-in hybrid i8 sports car as well as for “additional hybrid models” in the coming years. 

“The battery is a key component in every electric vehicle—since it basically determines the range and performance capabilities of the car,” Klaus Draeger, BMW’s purchasing chief, said in the statement. “In Samsung SDI, we have chosen a supplier that offers us the best-available technology with future-oriented Korean battery expertise.”

The deal paves the way for BMW to secure supply of batteries—the most expensive part of an electric vehicle—as it rolls out the i8 and i3 to counter inroads by Tesla Motors into the luxury-car segment. For Samsung SDI, which supplies batteries to Apple Inc., the order builds on the company’s plans to e…

Realtor Report: Foreign Homebuyers Favor Florida

For the fifth year in a row, Florida was the favored destination of international homebuyers, according to areportTuesday from the National Association of Realtors. The Sunshine State accounted for 23 percent of all deals from foreigners. California was second at 14 percent, while Texas was third at 12 percent. The report is based on sales from April 2013 through March 2014. NAR has issued the report since 2010, and Florida has been the top choice each year. Nationwide, there were $92.2 billion in sales from international buyers, up from $68.2 billion the prior year. Nearly 60 percent of all U.S. sales from foreigners went for cash. Only a third of domestic buyers didn’t take out a mortgage.    Full story at Sun-Sentinel . . .

Florida Real Estate Market Draws an Influx of Agents

"With housing markets across the state picking back up, the trend is being mirrored throughout Florida. Membership in Florida Realtors, the statewide trade group, rose by nearly 12,000 members — or 10 percent — to 127,430 at the end of last year from the recent trough in 2011. But that is still down 42,000 from a recent peak in 2006." Read the full story at Sarasota Herald Tribune . . .