The Alliance for Solar Choice Vows to Fight Florida Power Utilities

Roto Frank AG via Wikimedia Commons
Florida's solar industry might be up against the ropes, but it's vowing to fight on. As we reported a few weeks back, the small but feisty solar industry -- with an assist from the Alliance for Solar Choice (TASC), a national group pushing sun energy -- is trying to outlive the kibosh coming from Florida's all-powerful utilities. And although it's lost an important bid to enter current state discussions on the industry's future, there's a growing grassroots push for more solar options.

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Craft Beer Makers Need to Spend More Money!

Categories: Economy, El Jefe


Florida's attempt to kill craft brewing almost succeeded because of... gasp... campaign money, a Montana think tank has found.

During the past five years, the biggest supporters of Senate Bill 1714, which would have required small beer makers to -- in effect -- pay twice for their own beer, invested almost twice as much in state political contributions as those who opposed the bill, according to a new study by the National Institute on Money in State Politics.

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Bitcoin Expert to Talk at Bimini Boatyard Friday

Photo by Isokivi via Wikipedia Commons
Bitcoin is said to have been created five years ago by an anonymous computer programmer (or programmers) called Satoshi Nakamoto. This pseudonym is a male Japanese name, but it's never been traced to a real person and no one knows for sure if one or many individuals created the electronic currency substitute, which can be easily traded online to and from anywhere in the world without the interference of banks or currency exchanges. Bitcoin has been touted by enthusiasts as the digital answer to e-commerce and international finance because of its smooth online transferring capabilities.

But where there's freedom, there are crooks. It can be used for money laundering. The feds shut down the dark-web narcotics site Silk Road, which used bitcoin to enable drug deals. Various governments have struggled with how to regulate bitcoin. This year, the IRS recognized it as an asset, not a currency.

See also:
- Bitcoin Gains Foothold in South Florida

Early bitcoin adopters were psyched to have bought bitcoin for pennies and then see its value shoot to $900. That price wavered when a bitcoin exchange called Mt. Gox mysteriously went out of business this February and caused bitcoin's value to drop in half. It now hovers around $450 per "coin." (You can also buy fractions of coins, which are not tangible objects but rather virtual constructs.)

What does any of this mean to a business owner? Broward resident Chris DeRose will give a bitcoin 101 talk on Friday, May 16, at Bimini Boatyard in Fort Lauderdale.

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Fort Lauderdale Accountant Can Help You Claim Bitcoin Gains/Losses on Taxes

scottks1/Flickr creative commons
Bitcoin has become hugely popular because its potential as a new type of currency that operates outside of any government control. Because it can be bought, sold, and traded anonymously online, outside of banking institutions, proponents say it can help make commerce fast and easy and empower people in third-world areas that have trouble getting access to capital. But skeptics say it can be used for money laundering and drug deals.

Observers have been watching to see how the U.S. government ends up dealing with this phenomenon -- which could be a threat to its financial system. Last week, the IRS both legitimized it and diminutized it, declaring that bitcoin would be treated not like another currency (like yen, euros, etc) but like an asset (such as a stock).

On March 25th, the tax overlords released guidelines saying that the IRS will tax bitcoin as property, not as currency.

See also: Five Weirdest Things I Learned at the North American Bitcoin Conference

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South Florida Company Sells Sexy Radiation-Blocking Bras

Categories: Economy

It's currently in stock!
Whether you're in a postapocalyptic nuclear disaster or standing a little too close to the microwave, this radiation-blocking bra will provide lift and shape. It can also simultaneously protect boobs from harmful radiation, heat, and even biological and chemical threats. When was the last time you saw anything from Victoria's Secret do that?

See also: Victoria's Secret Employee Foils Underwear Robbery, but Thieves Get Away With $11K in Merch

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Broward College Adjunct Professors Make Maximum $16,000 a Year; They Are Now Unionizing, May Strike


Broward College administration must be brought to account for paying starvation wages to its faculty.

I have taught American government and American history, primarily at Broward College, as an adjunct professor since 2004. Due to unannounced circumstances this semester, and as has been done many times to me in the past, my income was cut in half this term due to arbitrary scheduling of professors at the various campuses. Having been assigned a half load means I earn roughly $200 per week, as opposed to the normal $400 per week I make when I teach a full load. Either way, this is a travesty.

Even when teaching the maximum load of four classes per term, an adjunct can at most make $16,000 per year teaching both the fall and spring terms (the normal full year for full-time professors). This is half of the median income in Broward County.

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GEO Group Earns Over $600,000 a Year From Prisoners' Phone Calls

Categories: Economy

miss_millions via Flickr Creative Commons
At least they don't have to deal with Comcast?
GEO Group (formerly Wackenhut Corrections) is the second-largest private prison company in the country.

Guess where it gets a nice chunk of revenue? By taking kickbacks from the companies that put phone lines into its prisons. According to a letter it sent to the SEC, GEO Group received $608,108 in prison phone commissions in 2012. (Though the company pointed out that's less than one percent of its $2.8 billion in assets, $1.339 million in income and $1.5 billion in revenues.)

A GEO Group shareholder -- a very interesting one -- attempted to bring this to the attention of fellow shareholders. He hoped that, since it creates an unnecessary cost to inmates' families (many of them poor), and since it was really a small sliver of GEO's revenue, the shareholders could vote on a resolution to nix this revenue stream. But this week, the GEO Group put the smackdown on that attempt.

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Florida Yacht Broker: Why Bitcoin Is Better Than Credit Cards

Categories: Economy

yachtfan/ Flickr creative commons
"I'm on a boat!" The last time you yelled that out was probably in your dreams.

It's true that booking a yacht for a charter cruise can take some serious cash -- or bitcoin, the virtual currency that's making waves in finance.

The Advantaged Yacht Charters and Sales in Miami Beach booked its first boat charter last Sunday in bitcoin.

Last weekend, co-owner Jessica Londono attended the North American Bitcoin Conference in Miami, where the deal was sparked. "At the conference, the owner of BitPay, Tony Gallippi, made a shoutout that there were local businesses accepting bitcoin during his talk," she says.

See also: Five Weirdest Things I Learned at the North American Bitcoin Conference

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"Professor of Cannabis" Is Ready to Teach Medical Marijuana Entrepreneurs in Florida

Medical Marijuana Tampa
Jeremy Bufford of Medical Marijuana Tampa
On Tuesday, I wondered aloud who was ready to make some money if medical marijuana becomes legal in Florida after November's vote. There was only one corporation with "marijuana" in its name listed in the state so far.

Since, then I heard from a few others who said they're waiting to see what happens with the vote or that they are purposely registering under names that don't have "marijuana" in the title because in other states that have legalized weed, it's been hard for pot businesses to get bank accounts. (While "drowning in cash" sounds like a great problem to have, there are crazy security concerns.) Don't worry, though -- pot entrepreneurs are out there salivating.

One man, Jeremy Bufford, proprietor of Medical Marijuana Tampa, has already pounced. He is preparing to open a chain of 15 dispensaries with a quality-control lab and next week will launch his school for medical marijuana workers and entrepreneurs. He has already hired five people and expects to hire 350 more, plus trigger a mini-real estate boom assuming the initiative passes and he signs leases on the properties he's already scoped out. His website is already advertising for 15 positions from "lead botanist" to "delivery driver" to "executive chef" to "professor of cannabis."

I spoke to Bufford at length about his preparations and predictions for the medical marijuana industry in Florida:

See also: Florida Supreme Court Approves Medical Marijuana Initiative

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Medical Marijuana: Who Will Profit? So Far, Only One "Marijuana" Corporation Is Listed in Florida

Yesterday, the Supreme Court OK'd the language in a proposed ballot initiative, so Florida voters this November will get to vote on whether or not to legalize medical marijuana.

Surely, stoners compassionate medical professionals are going are going to come out in full force to vote this thing through and see that weed is enshrined in the state constitution. (I can't believe this is happening in my lifetime! Black president and weed in the constitution!)

So, next question: Who will profit?

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