Awful Weatherman Returns!

He’s back folks!  Remember the viral internet sensation the Awful Weatherman?  Well, Louis Badalament has been living here in the Orlando area and he’s given us another broadcast of the local weather that will not disappoint.

Don’t forget your umbrella!

 

Written by Brian Koss of Team Koss, Real Estate Agents at Keller Williams Classic in Orlando.  Please follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.

Bowl Season in Florida (2016-17)

Florida is the home of College Football from mid-December to the early part of January. No state in the nation will see nearly as much college football action during the annual bowl season.  Post-season has a long history in the Sunshine State.  The Orange Bowl, is the second longest standing bowl game, dating back to 1935.  The Gator Bowl / TaxSlayer Bowl (1946) and Citrus Bowl (1947) are also among the oldest annual games.

In the Bowl  Championship Series (BCS) era, four of the BCS National Championship Games games were played in Miami.  This year, the third National Championship of the College Football Playoff era will be played at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa.

Here’s the full list of Florida bowl games for the 2016-2017 bowl season:

December 17

Autonation Cure Bowl, Camping World Stadium, Orlando, 5:30 pm / CBSSN

Matchup:  UCF (American) vs Arkansas State (Sun Belt)

December 19

Miami Beach Bowl, Marlins Park (Miami), 2:30 pm / ESPN

Matchup:  Tulsa (American) vs Central Michigan (MAC)

December 20

Boca Raton Bowl, FAU Stadium (Boca Raton), 7 pm / ESPN

Matchup:  Western Kentucky (Conference USA) vs Memphis (American)

December 26

 St. Petersburg Bowl, Tropicana Field (St. Petersburg), 11 am / ESPN 

Matchup:  Mississippi State (SEC) vs Miami – Ohio (MAC)

December 28

Russell Athletic Bowl, Camping World Stadium (Orlando), 5:30 pm / ESPN

Matchup:  Miami (ACC) vs #16 West Virginia (Big 12)

December 30

Capital One Orange Bowl, Hard Rock Stadium (Miami Gardens), 8pm / ESPN

Matchup:  #11 Florida State (ACC) vs #6 Michigan (Big Ten)

December 31

Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl, Camping World Stadium (Orlando), 11 am / ABC

Matchup:  #20 LSU (SEC) vs #13 Louisville (ACC)

Taxslayer Bowl, EverBank Field (Jacksonville), 11 am / ESPN

Matchup:  Kentucky (SEC) vs Georgia Tech (ACC)

January 2 

Outback Bowl, Raymond James Stadium (Tampa), 1 pm / ABC

Matchup:  Iowa (Big Ten) vs #17 Florida (SEC)

January 9 

College Football National Championship, Raymond James Stadium (Tampa), 8:30 pm / ESPN 

Matchup:  Winner of Chic-fil-a Peach Bowl (#1 Alabama vs #4 Washington) vs Winner of PlayStation Fiesta Bowl (#2 Clemson vs #3 Ohio State)

If you are in Orlando and looking for more details on our local games (AutoNation Cure Bowl, Russell Athletic Bowl or Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl), check out Camping World Stadium and Florida Citrus Sports.

 

Where’s Santa – in Orlando?

If you have young children who are busy making their Wish List for St. Nick, you are likely looking for a place to take the kids to present their Christmas wishes for the man himself. Here’s five festive options for parents looking for those annual photos and holiday memories:

  • Disney Springs is a great place to stroll outside on the grounds of Disney and take the kids to meet Kris Kringle.  Walk up and pick up a pager, walk around to see all the new additions and they’ll buzz you when Santa is ready to visit.
  • Mall at Millennia goes all out with their “Hollyville” set up.  Photo packages are available as well as an option to take your own photos (with a minimum $10 donation to Arnold Palmer Children’s Hospital).  Check out their website for details about how to get in and their featured video on Santa’s arrival.
  • Florida Mall takes appointments online for meeting Santa.  This is a great way to avoid the long lines and unnecessary stress of the Christmas season.
  • Bass Pro Shop is offering a FREE photo with Santa at all their retail locations nationwide.  Check out the schedule and head down to the Bass Pro at the Artegon Marketplace for kids crafts and other holiday activities.
  • Gaylord Palms has major Christmas happenings, including Alpine Rush Snow Tubing, a Charlie Brown Christmas show and of course pictures with Santa.  Check out their website for a list of all the events and attractions and how to reserve tickets.

December is upon us and the North Pole is getting overloaded with requests. Make sure you get your kids to see the big guy today!

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Credit to DF Clifford, Illustrator.  www.dfclifford.com 

The Presidential Election Puzzle

America will pick their next President on Tuesday November 8th.  In the remaining days, candidates will remain focused on campaign rallies and television advertising in the key battleground states that will determine the outcome of the election.

A great source for following the breakdown of polling in each state is Real Clear Politics.  RCP is citing most often by media outlets because it provides and average of all the polls taken in each state and come up with a plausible outcome based on those averages.  Currently, the national polling average has Hillary Clinton with a +1.7% advantage in a 2 way race and +2.2% advantage over Donald Trump in a race including multiple candidates.

Two things of note:  First, there are multiple candidates on the ballot.  Gary Johnson (Libertarian Party) and Jill Stein (Green Party) are both showing that they register at with a few percentage points in national polls. Evan McMullin is also running an independent campaign for President, focused primarily on winning the state of Utah’s 6 Electoral Votes, which would typically go to the Republican nominee. Several polls have shown McMullin quite competitive in Utah.  Second, the national polls are just an indicator of the mood of the country, but will not determine the outcome of the election.  The candidate who will become the next President of the United States will have to win 270 Electoral Votes in the Electoral College.

The Electoral College was designed by America’s Founders to weigh each state’s influence according to population, giving them a representative number of votes.  The Electoral College votes for each states are determined by the number of Congressional Districts in each state, plus the number of US Senate seats (which is 2 for every state).  This guarantees even the least populated states like Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming at least 3 Electoral Votes.  Our system also allows states to determine how those Electoral Votes are allocated.  For example, the states of Maine and Nebraska break up the allocated votes according to Congressional District.  Each state has 4 Electoral Votes; 2 of which will be determined by each state’s Popular Vote, and the other 2 are determined by the outcome in each of the state’s Congressional districts.  Normally, this has not been a factor, however, Maine’s 2nd Congressional District is considered a “Toss UP” in this election.  Currently, Clinton is leading Trump in the RCP Polling Average by only  +0.7%.

When looking at polling, pollsters allow for approximately a 3% swing in either direction, called the margin of error.  Similarly, not all polls have the same methodology.  Over and under sampling of certain groups within the electorate are often a subject of dispute.  According to the pundits, pollsters and campaigns, there are anywhere from 11-18 states that are going to determine the outcome of the November 8th election. RCP Averages currently have the following states in the “Toss Up”category:  Florida (29), Ohio (18), Georgia (16), North Carolina (15), Virginia (13), Arizona (11), Colorado (9), Iowa (6), Nevada (6), New Hampshire (4) and Maine 2nd (1).

Additionally, there there are several other states that are currently categorized as “Leans Democrat” that have seen recent visits from both candidates this week. These include:  Pennsylvania (20), Michigan (16), Wisconsin (10) and New Mexico (5).  The Rust Belt states of PA, MI and WI have been seen to be of particular interest to the Trump campaign, where his message on opposition to trade agreements like NAFTA and the pending Trans Pacific Partnership seems to resonate with blue collar workers.

Three other states are listed as “Leans GOP,” which include:  Texas (38), Indiana (11) and Missouri (10).  In recently weeks, the Clinton campaign made trips to Arizona and Texas, hoping these once solid Republican states with high populations of Latino voters could start moving in her direction.  Given recent movements in the polls it is very likely Mr. Trump will win Texas and these other GOP leaning states, but Arizona will likely remain a critical battleground state.

One thing is for certain, Florida’s 29 Electoral Votes are crucial for both candidates.  The amount of time spent in the state by both candidates in all corners of Florida in the last week of the election is testimony that the entire election could come down to outcome of the Sunshine State.

 

Why Florida is the Most Coveted Swing State

On November 8th, Americans will elect a new President and Floridians will choose a US Senator, members of Congress and many state legislative and local officials.  It could be said that; so goes Florida, so goes the nation.  Here’s a few facts about how Florida is a critical player in national elections:

  • Florida has 29 Electoral Votes, tied with New York for the third most of any state. Only California (55) and Texas (38) have more.  As you may know, the Electoral College (not the popular vote) determines the outcome of the Presidential election.
  • Florida is considered perhaps the most coveted “swing state” in the country.  In the past couple decades, California and New York have leaned heavily Democratic, whereas Texas has leaned heavily Republican.  This leaves Florida’s 29 Electoral Votes as the largest prize for a state that is not locked in for one party.
  • The winner of the last four Presidential elections has won the state of Florida.  President Obama won Florida in 2012 and 2008.  President Bush won Florida in 2004 and 2000.  Many of you will remember the Florida recount in 2000, in which George W. Bush only won by just 537 votes.
  • Florida has a very diverse electorate.  Florida is the retirement capital of the US, meaning over 19% of the state’s population is 65 or older.  These retirees come in from many of the Northeast and Midwest states.  Only one third of Florida residents are native born Floridians and Florida is taking in hundreds of thousands of new residents each year.  23% of Floridians were born outside the continental United States; many of those migrating from US territory of Puerto Rico.  Cuban immigration is also larger (by far) in Florida than any other state.
  • Geographically speaking, the northern parts of Florida (Panhandle and Jacksonville area), tend to lean heavily toward Republicans, where as Southeast Florida (Miami, Ft. Lauderdale and Palm Beach), tend to lean heavily toward Democrats. These means the battleground areas are all across Central Florida, otherwise known as the I-4 Corridor. The Presidential candidate who wins Florida will have to convince voters in the greater Daytona, Orlando and Tampa areas that they are best fit to lead the nation.

Absentee and early voting is already taking place across the state.  If you are unsure the whereabouts of your local precinct voting location, or you’d like information on locations for early voting, contact your local county Supervisor of Elections.

Click here for Supervisor of Elections in your county or enter your search your county Supervisor of Elections online:

Lake County SOE

Orange County SOE

Osceola County SOE

Seminole County SOE 

Whatever your candidate, party or preference, if your live in Florida, your vote truly matters!

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Cubs, Indians and Florida

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Chain of Lakes Park in Winter Haven (Polk County)

The World Series starts this week and in case you haven’t heard, it will feature two teams with combined 176 years without a championship.  The Cleveland Indians last won the World Series in 1948; the Chicago Cubs, 1908.  As baseball has been a part of the fabric of America for a century and a half, the state of Florida has played a major role in the games history.

Spring Training has been host to most MLB franchises throughout the years, but the Cubs have spent little time here.  From 1913-1916, the Cubs held their Spring Training in Tampa.  However, their Advanced A minor league franchise the Daytona Cubs, played in Daytona from 1993-2014.  The Indians spent time in Lakeland (1923-27), Fort Myers (1940-41), Clearwater (1946) and most recently Winter Haven (1993-2008).

And who can forget the heartbreak brought upon both franchises by the Florida (Miami) Marlins?  The 1997 Cleveland Indians looking to end their 49 year drought, lost to the Marlins in the bottom of the 11th in Game 7 of the World Series.  Or the 2003 Cubs, who were just 5 outs away from clinching the National League Pennant, before the famous Steve Bartman Incident.

Similarly, the home state’s of the Cubs (Illinois) and the Indians (Ohio) have contributed to the makeup of Florida’s diverse population.  A study done in 2014 reveals that 3% of Florida residents are Illinois natives and 3% of Florida residents are Ohio natives.  Only New York (8%) and Pennsylvania (4%) have higher numbers.  Throughout the state, you’ll find some famous sports icons of Chicago like Mike Ditka in Naples or Jack Nicholas (Columbus) in West Palm Beach.

You don’t have to go far to find a bumper sticker, flag or cap touting support for a Cleveland sports team (or Ohio State) or for a Chicago team, most notably the Bears or Cubs.  I bet you’ll find plenty of Cubs fans to watch the World Series with at the Orlando area’s chain of bars, the Friendly Confines.

As both teams set out to end their respective curses this week, you can bet plenty of Floridians will be tuned in to witness the history unfold.  After that, the older residents will escape the frosty cold of the Midwest and enjoy their winter homes in the Sunshine State.

The Florida Citrus Tower

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If you are interested in checking out The Florida Citrus Tower, located in Clermont, please view our video.  This little treasure still remains a proud icon of Florida’s booming citrus industry.  Great 360 degree views of beautiful Clermont! Also, visit Lilly’s Gift shop located at the base of the tower – they have great gifts for any occasion.