Friday, June 21, 2024

Friday Roundup: Florida Man Games, Plastic Pollution and More

It’s been a long week. Here’s a short recap of some fun Florida news stories.

Become Florida Man

Anyone who’s ever seen a “Florida Man” headline and thought, “yeah, I could do that” has the chance to prove themselves at next year’s Florida Man Games. This annual competition gleefully leans into the most cartoonish stereotypes about Florida residents, with games that include the “Evading Arrest Obstacle Course.” The Florida Man Games recently wrapped its first-ever competition in March, but enrollment for next year’s games has already begun. To apply, get together a team of three to five members, all 18 years or older with at least one member 21 or older, then submit the most Florida video possible here. The zaniness will go toward a good cause, too. This year, the Florida Man Games donated $20,000 of the proceeds to Jimmy Jam Community Outreach, a nonprofit that provides aid to Northeast Florida residents, and event founder/organizer ​​Pete Melfi plans on continuing that tradition for next year’s games, which will be held on March 1, 2025 at the St. Johns County Fairground in Elkton, Florida. To purchase tickets, click here.

Florida Ranks High for Plastic Pollution

While Florida may be ranked one spot away from dead last in teacher pay, it turns out there’s another area where we unfortunately excel: plastic pollution. A 2023 study from Florida International University found that Florida is ranked third for generation of plastic waste, with an estimated 8% of plastic in the state being recycled. If that sounds bad, it’s because it is; in 2008 the Legislature established a statewide recycling goal of 75%, so we’re quite a ways off the mark. In fact, we produce so much plastic waste that our current recycling system can’t even process it all. Maybe that’s why some folks have decided to cut out the middleman and just dump trash directly into the ocean.

Gov. DeSantis Signs Bill to Undermine Clean Energy

Speaking of the Florida environment, Gov. DeSantis this week signed a bill that would prohibit the construction of wind turbines and wind energy facilities, of which there are currently exactly zero in Florida. In a May 15 post on X, the governor said “We’re restoring sanity in our approach to energy and rejecting the agenda of the radical green zealots.” More importantly, the bill eliminates all references to climate change and greenhouse gasses in state law, a peculiar choice for a state where sea levels are rising by an inch every three years and where hurricanes are expected to worsen in intensity due to climate change. But at least we won’t have to worry about the threat of “woke” energy.

Loxahatchee Marine Honored 

A marine from Loxahatchee was awarded a Meritorious Service Medal for potentially saving the Department of Defense nearly 1 million hours of maintenance and more than $140 million. Cpl. Gage Barbieri, an automotive maintenance technician, discovered and repaired issues in more than 75 trucks and pieces of equipment that no one else had been able to identify, saving the federal government quite a pretty penny. And while the recognition is great, if we managed to save someone $140 million, we would hope to be awarded with something a little more substantial than a medal. 

Rory McIlroy Files for Divorce in Palm Beach

On Sunday, Rory McIlroy celebrated his fourth Wells Fargo Championship win after beating Xander Schauffele by five shots, breaking the three-win record McIlroy previously held for the tournament. The next day, he broke the record for the shortest ever celebration of a win when he filed for divorce in Palm Beach County. The World No. 2-ranked golfer has retained the services of the same attorney who represented Tiger Woods, Joe Jonas, and Jeff Gordon in their respective divorces, which is about as cushy a gig as we could ever imagine. 

Tyler Childress
Tyler Childress
Tyler is the Web Editor and a contributing writer for Boca Raton magazine. He writes about food, entertainment and issues affecting South Florida. Send story tips to

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