LOOKING AHEAD THIS WEEK
Earl Crittenden Jr.,
Can the president declare a national emergency as a way to build his border wall? Published expert legal opinions are surprisingly all over the map and from unexpected sources. For example, The New York Times has said yes, he can. And Fox News has said no, he can’t. But little has been focused on the reality that well over a third of the land needed is privately owned and the eminent-domain power would be necessary, and surely unpopular, to invoke. (Texas landowners have already made that clear.) For what it’s worth, note that it took 15 years for the army to seize land by eminent domain for the Truman Dam.
DeSantis and environment
John L. Evans Jr.,
Catchers are pugnacious, as all baseball and softball players know. Our new governor played the position, and as demonstrated this past week in the inaugural buzz, Ron DeSantis will be indefatigable in executing conservative policy. Said differently, this is no Charlie Crist. One interesting and welcome subplot for many conservatives: Will he really be a Teddy Roosevelt pro-environment Republican? Red tide must be reckoned with. Scientists suggest this is a deep, protracted problem ... Time will tell if the right guy is behind the plate.
March for Life
If you’re reading this, you’re a survivor. You made it out of your mother’s womb alive. In 2017, there were 68,935 fetuses in Florida (and nearly 1 million nationwide) who were not so lucky. To bring light to this great injustice, hundreds of thousands of Americans will congregate this week in Washington, D.C., for the 45th annual March for Life. While there are many lives to mourn, the good news is these annual numbers are in decline, mostly thanks to technology providing further awareness, through sonograms, that life begins far before we detach from that umbilical cord.
Helping on MLK Day
As Martin Luther King Day approaches on Jan. 21, now’s the time to consider participating in the “Great Day of Service.” Since the assassination of Dr. King, as a society we have made great strides toward the dream where “people are not judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character,” but we still have much more work to do. In our politically charged environment, Martin Luther King Day gives us a moment to stop, reflect and serve our communities together. Consider marking the day by participating in an act of service. Check out www.Orlando.gov/initiatives/ mlk for more information.
Talent is priority, concern
January brings out the economists, as we look ahead to a year full of economic opportunities … and challenges. UCF and the Florida Chamber Foundation are hosting events this month that will be all about — guess what — talent! The Chamber’s 2019 Economic Outlook Summit takes place Monday in Lake Nona Medical City. Florida’s 2.5 million small businesses comprise 99.8 percent of businesses in the state, and employ 3.3 million workers. That makes talent — and talent acquisition — a top priority … and concern. This statewide summit gives Central Florida an opportunity to chime in on emerging regional issues and contribute solutions to populate the talent pool.
‘Hamilton’ on the way
“Hamilton” is coming to Dr. Phillips, as you know if you have annoying friends like I do who happened to get tickets. Not everyone got tickets, Deborah, I’m happy for you, but keep it to yourself. Stay off Facebook next week if you don’t want to hear about it. Huge win for Dr. Phillips Performing Arts Center, though, who have been on a roll with their blockbuster programming.
Collaboration key to innovation
Those who have mastered the art of working smarter understand the importance of finding someone who has already solved a problem before tackling the challenge alone. This rings true among leaders in our technology industry who know better than most that collaboration is key to unlocking innovation. Indeed, two events, Otronicon and the Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy’s Press Play, will foster the sharing of knowledge among Orlando’s top companies and institutions to spark innovation and inspire future generations. Surely, by the end, a seed will have been planted for the next big idea to emerge from our region.