Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Tuesday, May 24, 2021

Luring Scripps Research Institute to Florida was supposed to be Governor Jeb Bush’s lasting legacy to the state. Despite persistent snags over the viability of the Palm Beach County site, the deal finally was officially consummated today.

But the sticking point — opening up the Mecca Farms site for the Scripps facility — brings up an interesting question: Was this whole deal really designed to jumpstart the biotech industry in this state, or was it just an elaborate way to initiate a landgrab of environmentally-protected South Florida real estate?

“I’m convinced this has nothing to do with getting the biotech industry,” says environmental attorney Richard Grosso. “This has everything to do with opening up an area where the market has wanted to go but the (county development) plan has said it couldn’t. This is a real estate deal.”

Given the developers who are lined up to build on thousands of acres surrounding the remote Mecca site, Grosso may well be right. State growth management laws were designed to stop county commissions from playing to such development profiteering, but Scripps is also the governor’s project. The state Department of Community Affairs, which is supposed to enforce growth laws on urban sprawl, is waving a green flag.

It wouldn’t be the first time a smokescreen was employed to knock down otherwise impenetrable Federal barriers. The growth pressures all over Florida, especially in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach metroplex, are prompting more demands to build on the scarce spits of open land left. Jeb’s certainly been known to grease the wheels in that regard.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 05/24/2005 10:50:25 PM
Category: Florida Livin', Business
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The theatrical release of Bewitched is coming this summer. Some of us are anticipating it with no small degree of trepidation; tonight, my friend Kirby had a thought that might lessen that feeling (or, maybe, enhance it):

Since the original TV show was infamous for an abrupt substitution of actors playing the lead role of Darrin Stephens, wouldn’t it be a hoot if the big-screen version pulled the same stunt, midway through the movie?

It would certainly be line with this new plot’s meta-premise: About a TV show about a witch, where the actress (I can’t think of a better choice than Nicole Kidman, personally) turns out to be a for-real witch. What’s more, Jim Carrey was originally tapped to play Darrin; it would be perfect to have him step into Will Ferrell’s spot, without explanation! (Carrey has enough of a facial resemblance to Dick York to make him a good Darrin, anyway.)

I know, it’s not going to happen. But it’d be appropriate.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 05/24/2005 10:34:55 PM
Category: TV, Movies
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