What Orlando is talking about
💉 If you’re looking to get a COVID-19 vaccine, you’re far from alone.
The state lowered the eligibility age to 50 years old on Monday while the county lowered it to 40. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis wasn’t thrilled with Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings’ decision, but in Demings’ own words, “Told you before, I don’t feel like I have to get permission to be the mayor of Orange County from Tallahassee.”
Here’s a helpful Reddit thread on where/how to get the vaccine and here’s an update from FEMA about how the agency’s sites will continue offering the first dose through Wednesday, April 7, a relief for those who haven't secured their first appointment yet.
As an editor's note, I'd like to add in that I volunteered at the AdventHealth pop-up vaccine site near the airport on Friday. From start to finish, the whole ordeal was smooth sailing, and as one attendee noted, "the easiest day of the hardest year". I caught myself saying "Happy Vaccination Day" a few times, and my eyes welled up as I saw the extremely vulnerable and the 60 and up crowds lining up, letting nothing stand between them and their shot. All that to say, if the opportunity to volunteer at one of the many sites around town arises, I highly recommend it.
In other news…
🍍 The old Dexters’ building in Thornton Park just found new owners. Todd Ulmer and Wendy Connor, both well-known figures in the hospitality industry, plan to open a Hawaiian-themed restaurant in the coveted location. Ulmer is a restaurateur known for Stardust Lounge and Aku Aku while Connor is the longtime owner of The Abbey and MEZZ. They’ve recruited Chef Daniel Weber to curate the menu and are hoping for a summer opening of “The 808”. (Orlando Weekly)
🎟 In keeping with foodie news, Chef Bruno Fonseca said the Foreigner Experience has been selling out quickly after restarting weekend dinners at the counter of The Heavy. If you want to experience the, er, Experience in April, Fonseca says to act fast. It’s a five-course omakase-style dinner and tickets start at $105. (The Foreigner Experience on Instagram)
🚀 Former U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson has been nominated to head NASA under the Biden administration. He’s still waiting on confirmation from the Senate, but Nelson, a Florida Democrat, previously served as an astronaut and flew on the Columbia flight in 1986. Space Florida tweeted that they’re all for it. “He (Nelson) is a longtime advocate of our nation’s space program, having flown in space himself. And with that expertise, the former senator brings to the agency an intimate understanding of both its strengths and its weaknesses, which will help him hit the ground running on day one.” (Orlando Weekly)
💰 Gov. DeSantis said Monday that he wants to boost the state’s workforce through $75 million dollar career training initiatives. Said initiatives will fast-track high school students and adults into high-paying jobs in technology, manufacturing, and the like, providing an alternative to the traditional four-year college career path. (Florida Today)