Talk of the bay: Come hear the global citizen of the year

By Times Staff
Published March 26, 2007

Come, hear the global citizen of the year

Dr. Paul Farmer, a former Brooksville resident with worldwide name recognition, is the 2007 Global Citizen of the Year for the Patel Foundation for Global Understanding. In the 1980s, Farmer helped found a charitable foundation called Partners in Health, which treats 1,000 patients in Haiti each day for free. His work is chronicled in the bestseller Mountains Beyond Mountains. The Patel honor seems to come with a bit of good luck, as well. Last year's Global Citizen of the Year, Muhammad Yunus, went on to win the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize for his work with Grameen Bank. Farmer will speak at the Tampa Convention Center on Friday evening. For tickets, call 813 471-4380 ext. 622 or e-mail info@global-understanding.org.

Home lending gets closer scrutiny

The Florida Minority Community Reinvestment Coalition plans to make a formal request today to the U.S. Justice Department to investigate three financial institutions for their home lending practices to Florida's minority families. Chase Bank (one of Florida's larger home lenders), Fidelity Federal and Fifth Third Bank have been identified by the Tampa group as banks that allocate less than 5 percent of their home loans (outside Miami) to minority families. FMCRC's allegation is based on data collected by the government as a result of the 2004 Home Mortgage Disclosure Act. In February, the Justice Department was reported to be investigating several banks and non-bank lenders based on the HMDA data.

N.C. is feistier about nuke plants

When it comes to nuclear power issues, we bet the top executives at the North Carolina headquarters of Progress Energy are looking rather enviously at the company's operations in Florida. A new nuclear power plant proposed for Levy County has drawn nary a protest from Floridians accustomed to the company's existing nuke plant in adjacent Citrus County. Pronuclear Progress Energy in North Carolina, on the other hand, faces far more organized and vocal protests over nuke power and safety. A public forum last week attracted local activists, legislators and a member of the anti-nuke Union of Concerned Scientists and focused on alleged fire hazards at the company's Shearon Harris Nuclear Plant in Wake County. Unless the Carolina protests rise to a higher fever pitch, though, don't look for much spillover in the Sunshine State.

Market punishes resilient Jabil

Jabil, Jabil, put your cards on the table. Shares of St. Petersburg's Jabil Circuit on Friday lost more than 10 percent of their value - that's hundreds of millions of dollars vanishing in one day - after the market did not take kindly to the company disclosing its third- and fourth-quarter results will be below Wall Street expectations. Jabil's stock has endured many volatile periods over the years and has rebounded and continued to grow. It's hovering near a 52-week low.