Axios Tampa Bay

Picture of the Tampa Bay skyline with TPA written across it.

Hey, Thursday. You look fantastic.

Partly sunny and cooler, 78/64.

πŸŽ‚ Happy birthday to our Axios Tampa Bay member Pam Legall!

Today's newsletter is 632 words, a 2.5-minute read.

1 big thing: Boat rentals in jeopardy

A boat circles back on the Hillsborough River.

Boaters on the Hillsborough River back in 2020. Photo: Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

Three words in the new Boating Safety Act β€” passed last legislative session to keep people safer in Florida waters β€” might doom boat and jet ski rental companies across the state after it goes into effect Jan. 1.

What's happening: Florida liveries are for the first time required to carry insurance on both the livery "and the renter" in the event of injury or loss. Insurance companies have balked at the change.

  • All agree those words will cripple the industry unless insurers come around β€” or unless the legislature fixes the law in the next session.
  • Some insurers estimate that compliance would raise rates from around $1,500 per boat annually to more than $8,000 per boat, Peggy Mathews, lobbyist for American Watercraft Association, told the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission yesterday.

Why it matters: Industry sources say most insurers currently operating in Florida refuse to insure renters.

  • Without those three words being removed from the law, Florida's waterways could look a whole lot emptier in the new year.

Zoom in: Several local liveries we contacted weren't even aware of the coming change.

  • Freedom Boat Club, with dozens of outlets around the peninsula, tells us they're exempt because they operate as a membership club, not technically a livery.

The latest: FWC commissioners voted yesterday to approve compliance rules for the new law with hopes that new insurers step in or that the legislature excises those three words at its next session.

Meanwhile, FWC will take an educational approach to enforcement for the first six months of 2023 β€” saying in a Marine Enforcement Alert that violators "should be educated and warned about the new laws."

Keep reading

2. Where housing prices are still on the rise

Change in Tampa Bay-area home prices, by ZIP code
Note: "Typical" refers to the average home value in the middle 30% of estimated home values in a region; Data:Β Zillow; Map: Erin Davis/Axios Visuals

Here's a look at how typical home prices have fluctuated from July to October in local ZIP codes in the northern part of the Tampa Bay region.

3. The Pulp: Kill two birds with one stonefruit

Illustration of a pelican eating small Axios logos.

Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

πŸ• Fat Boy's pizza chain, which claims to have the "World's Biggest Pizza Slices," plans to open 10 restaurants across Tampa Bay in the next few years. (Creative Loafing)

πŸ“š Gov. Ron DeSantis is releasing a second book in February, adding to the speculation of a potential 2024 presidential bid. (Florida Politics)

πŸŽ„ St. Petersburg made Trips to Discover's list of 10 must-visit Christmas towns in the state.

πŸ₯ After months of intense criticism from anti-COVID vaccination conservatives accusing Sarasota Memorial of patient negligence and other major missteps, newly elected board members voted for an investigation into the hospital's protocols at the height of the pandemic. (Sarasota Herald-Tribune)

4. Our favorite things

Selene wearing the sleep. headband

Selene awkwardly modeling her sleep headphones. Photo: Selene San Felice/Axios

πŸ‘‹ Selene here, with more gifting inspiration.

One of the most useful things I found this year: This soft Bluetooth headband made for sleeping ($20).

Why it matters: I used to get so frustrated on nights when I couldn't sleep, and all I wanted to do was listen to music with headphones. Even earbuds that guaranteed comfort would start to hurt after a minute or two of sleeping on my side.

  • This headband is great if you want to fall asleep to some ASMR, or try and tune out snoring (though the headphones aren't noise-canceling).

Plus: You can take out the headphones to wash the headband itself, which is a nice touch.

🎁 Go deeper: Our guide to buying local this holiday season

New jobs to check out

🌳 Branch out with our Job Board.

  1. Commercial Operations Manager at Coca Cola Florida.
  2. Human Resources Director at Tampa Bay Water.
  3. Senior Regional Account Manager - Publix at KIND.

Want more opportunities? Check out our Job Board.

Hiring? Post a job.

5. This is how you do it

Pat Maroon #14 of the Tampa Bay Lightning

Pat Maroon pummels Matt Irwin of the Washington Capitals on Nov. 13. He took a far more peaceful approach to a recent insult. Photo: Mark LoMoglio/NHLI via Getty Images

Lightning forward Pat Maroon was mocked by Bruins broadcaster Jack Edwards for his weight during Tuesday's game.

His response: Rather than take offense, Maroon β€” who's listed at 238 pounds and nicknamed "Big Rig" β€” took action.

  • He donated $2,000 in Edwards' name to Tampa Bay Thrives, a nonprofit that helps those struggling with mental health and substance use issues.
  • He said he was doing so "in support of those struggling with mental health, bullying and body image."

The bottom line: That's how you turn unprovoked lemons into charitable lemonade.

πŸ’ Sign up for Axios Sports

πŸ€₯ Selene is still reading about the guy who can't stop lying, because she lied about reading it yesterday.

πŸŽ‚ Ben is reading "Lost Children Archive," by Valeria Luiselli, and considering this new king cake recipe.

Tell the person whose snoring keeps you up to subscribe.

Today's newsletter was edited by Alexa Mencia and copy edited by Carlos Cunha.