Thursday, June 20, 2024

Friday Roundup: Wild Boars, Whataburger, and Hallowed Ground

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

A Haunting in the Making

A Florida developer apparently wants to take a step closer to making “Pet Semetary” a reality in Bradenton. Medallion Home’s proposed Aqua by the Bay project aims to develop a 520-acre stretch along Sarasota Bay into single-family homes, multi-family units, and commercial retail space, but there’s a slight problem—the land borders archaeological sites where ancient Native American artifacts have been discovered. The Seminole Tribe of Florida has raised concerns that these sites could be compromised by the development, and we’ve read enough Stephen King novels to know that you should never build anything too close to sacred Native American grounds.

Planet of the Hogs

Speaking of development that invariably results in being cursed, wild boars have been pushed from their usual wildland territories by increased development bordering the Everglades. And in true Florida fashion, we’re going to make it everybody’s problem. In just the last two decades, wild hogs have expanded from their most populous regions in Florida and Texas through most of the southeast United States, with some local officials dubbing the population boom as a “feral swine bomb.” This expansion is devastating to wildlife and agriculture, and conservationists are scrambling to slow the spread. One can only hope that we fare better than Australia did when it went to war with its own nuisance species, the emus, and lost.

Whataburger is Coming

Some things in life are just inevitable, like the slow creep of popular burger chains southward through Florida. Whataburger has recently opened its southernmost location in Bradenton, Fla., and the tide is unlikely to stop there. We’ve seen this kind of movement from another Texas-based institution, Buc-ee’s, which is currently looking to expand to the Treasure Coast, so we know it’s only a matter of time before Whataburger arrives on our doorstep. Literally. It’s open 24/7 so we will be Doordash-ing it like nobody’s business.

DeSantis to Let Trump Vote

In a state where even one felony can lose you the right to vote, Gov. Ron DeSantis has given his assurance that Donald Trump will still be able to cast a ballot in Florida despite racking up 34. It would seem that if you’ve been convicted of a felony in the state with the highest disenfranchisement rate in the country and would like your voting rights restored, the path is pretty straightforward. Simply be born rich, take over your father’s real estate empire, pay some hush money to an adult film actress, get elected president, get convicted for sketchy bookkeeping of said hush money payments, then get your former political rival whom you used to bully to grant you clemency. Let this be a model to the more than 900,000 people in Florida who, despite having completed their sentences and paid off of their court fees, fines and restitutions, are still unable to vote.

Boeing Launches Starliner Space Capsule from Cape Canaveral

Boeing, the company formerly known for making airplanes and now known for having suspiciously good luck when it comes to having whistleblowers testify against them, has finally launched its much-anticipated Starliner space capsule. The Cape Canaveral launch got off the ground this week on its third attempt following a flight computer issue that stopped the second launch. Kudos to the brave soul that reported an issue with Boeing equipment which allowed the third launch to go off without a hitch.

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 tyler@bocamag.com.

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