Category Archives: Economy

Seattle City limits concession hours, after complaint from labor union

mafia

From MyNorthwest.com: A business operating on Seattle Parks and Recreation property was told to stop serving food during school lunch hours, to avoid conflict with the union representing school cafeteria workers, who serve lunch at Garfield High School next door.

Artez Ford, who owns Garfield Eats, said he has lost 70 percent of his business since October, when he was forced to sign an amendment to his Parks and Recreation contract promising not to sell food between 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

I signed it under distress because we had spent an awful lot of money. We had invested – our whole family – cousins, sisters, brothers,” he said.

This happened just days after Ford said a union representative came to his stand. The man told Ford he was representing cafeteria works at the school district. “He told me that there are real American families up at the cafeteria that’s trying to make a living,” Ford said.

KIRO 7 reached out to that union, Local 609B. KIRO 7 did not receive a response to our request for an on-camera interview, but a representative named David Westberg responded to initial questions over email. Westberg said that Garfield Eats was selling junk food, tobacco and beer. When KIRO 7 asked for evidence of this, Westberg did not reply.

Ford said he has never sold tobacco or alcohol. Students told KIRO 7 they had not seen those products for sale either. Tobacco and alcohol are prohibited in Seattle parks.

As for the claim of junk food, Ford said, “We’re totally disappointed. We really thought we were providing nutritious meals.” He said he sold four kinds of salads, cheeseburgers and hot dogs, among other things.

Students told KIRO 7 they preferred Garfield Eats, because of the low cost and vegetarian options. They now go to Ezell’s for fried chicken, or to AmPm, a gas station convenience store.

KIRO 7 asked the Department of Parks and Recreation for an explanation of the circumstances. While representatives declined a request for an interview, they said in an email that “we have had a vendor there in years past, and we have always tried to be good neighbors with the school district and have asked previous vendors to not sell during school lunch hours.”

In an email sent to Artez Ford directly, a Parks and Recreation employee named Antoinette Daniel wrote about Ford selling during lunch hours, “This is in direct conflict with the Garfield High School cafeteria staff’s efforts to serve lunch and their union.”

KIRO 7 looked through the contract between Local 609B and Seattle Public Schools. There was no language referencing activity off of school property. While a Seattle Public Schools spokesperson did not want to confirm this, he did write in an email that “SPS wouldn’t tell a vendor to stop selling food off school grounds.”

KIRO 7 obtained data from Seattle Public Schools, showing that the number of meals served per lunch hour at all high schools is below the target goal.

A third-party study of SPS nutritional services, sent to KIRO 7 by Local 609B, shows that only 18.9 percent of high school students participated in school lunch from 2015-16. It also said that 38.2 percent of high school students in the district qualify for free or reduced lunch.

“I used to come down here [to Garfield Eats] for lunch, like, all the time, because it was so much cheaper,” said freshman Makayla Clegg.

Ford said that his family struggled financially over the past season and cut back on spending, especially during the holidays “I haven’t been to the movies. We had no Thanksgiving, no Christmas. (on) Dec. 16, I decided, ‘I’m going to buy my daughter a Christmas tree.’ And I opened this store in violation,” he said.

Ford said someone from the Department of Parks and Recreation came that day to stop him.

Ford is now trying to obtain a new contract with the department for the next season. He said that the stipulation of not selling during school lunch hours — summer excluded — is still present in the contract. He does not want to sign the contract under those circumstances and is hoping to negotiate with the city.

DCG

Advertisements

Mark Zuckerberg joins Silicon Valley bigwigs in calling for government to give everybody free money

zuckerberg

Zuckerberg: Doesn’t understand how failure can drive one to succeed.

You are personally responsible for finding your own meaningful role, not the government. But that self-sufficiency mentality never crosses the mind of a proggie.

From Yahoo: CEO Mark Zuckerberg called on the need to consider universal basic income for Americans during his Harvard Commencement Speech.

Zuckerberg’s comments reflect those of other Silicon Valley bigwigs, including Sam Altman, the president of venture capital firm Y Combinator.

Every generation expands its definition of equality. Now it’s time for our generation to define a new social contract,” Zuckerberg said during his speech. “We should have a society that measures progress not by economic metrics like GDP but by how many of us have a role we find meaningful. We should explore ideas like universal basic income to make sure everyone has a cushion to try new ideas.

Zuckerberg said that, because he knew he had a safety net if projects like Facebook had failed, he was confident enough to continue on without fear of failing. Others, he said, such as children who need to support households instead of poking away on computers learning how to code, don’t have the foundation Zuckerberg had. Universal basic income would provide that sort of cushion, Zuckerberg argued.

Altman’s view is similar. A year ago, Altman said he thinkseveryone should have enough money to meet their basic needs—no matter what, especially if there are enough resources to make it possible. We don’t yet know how it should look or how to pay for it, but basic income seems a promising way to do this.” Altman believes basic income will be possible as technological advancements “generate an abundance of resources” that help decrease the cost of living.

DCG

This is Chiraq: Four teens shot in four hours

rahm_emanuel_2

Year to date: 1,295 people shot in Chiraq. Rahm must be so proud.

From Chicago Tribune: Four teenage boys were shot over four hours in Chicago, including a 16-year-old killed in the South Shore neighborhood, according to police.

The 16-year-old was shot in the head around 9:20 p.m. Wednesday in the 7700 block of South Marquette Avenue on the South Side, police said. Officers responding to a call about gunfire found the boy on the ground outside, police said. He was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

On the West Side, two other boys, 14 and 17, were shot around 1:15 a.m. Thursday in the Little Village neighborhood, apparently with a rifle, police said. Officers responding to a call about gunfire found the boy on the ground outside, police said.

The boys were in a maroon truck near 25th Street and Trumbull Avenue when another vehicle pulled up and someone opened fire, police said.  The older teen was wounded in the back, and the other boy was wounded in the foot.  They were taken to Mount Sinai Hospital, where their conditions were stabilized, police said.

Rifle casings could be seen near the intersection where the shooting took place. Less than two miles away at Mount Sinai, officers surrounded the truck that was pocked with several large bullet holes.

On the West Side just before 10:50 p.m. Wednesday, another 14-year-old boy was seriously wounded in the South Austin neighborhood, police said. He was walking in the 200 block of North Lockwood Avenue when someone opened fire, hitting him in the chest. He was taken in serious condition to Stroger Hospital.

Read the rest of the story here.

h/t Drudge

DCG

Hollywood’s summer movie season is off to a rough start

Hollyweird

Imagine my despair…

From NY Post: Tinseltown’s hopes for a $5 billion summer are already fizzling, with a couple of flicks crashing out of the gate.

Warner Bros.’ “King Arthur” and Fox’s “Alien: Covenant” both disappointed this month, and movie analysts are warning this summer’s box office won’t be as hot as last year, when Disney’s “Finding Dory” was the biggest hit.

When it comes to striking cinema gold, no one needs it more than Viacom’s Paramount Pictures and Sony’s Columbia Pictures. Paramount, which just tapped a new chief executive and got a fresh injection of cash from its China financing deal, needs to find its mojo, and quickly. The studio lost $136 million in 2016 and has paid out steep restructuring and severance charges.

Paramount is behind the upcoming “Baywatch” movie and is releasing a new “Transformers” feature. “If ‘Transformers: The Last Knight’ flops, Paramount is in big, big trouble,” said Jeff Bock at Exhibitor Relations, which tallies ticket sales. “They need a billion-dollar hit.”

Sony, meanwhile, is set to roll out “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” in partnership with Disney’s Marvel. “They’re planning multiple spinoffs” for Spider-Man, according to Bock. “But you need the flagship firing on all cylinders.” Sony also is releasing “The Emoji Movie” in July, for which expectations are already set low.

The inclusion of the Iron Man character will help juice interest in “Spider-Man,” but “it’s the third reboot in 15 years,” Bock notes.

Last year’s summer box office was $4.4 billion. Anything under that number is going to have Tinseltown in a tizzy, according to the analyst.

A survey conducted by online movie ticketing service Fandango suggests that Warner’s “Wonder Woman,” out on June 2, is the most anticipated movie of the summer, followed by “Spider-Man.”

A strong first quarter at the box office and promising. However the summer sorts out, executives on the lots can always plead their newbie status.

Viacom’s Bob Bakish, who took over as acting CEO in October last year, hired new Paramount boss Jim Gianopulos in March. Twentieth Century Fox has a new chief in Stacey Snider. Sony Pictures Entertainment this month named as its new CEO Tony Vinciquerra, who starts in June. Meanwhile, Warner Bros. parent Time Warner is in the midst of being acquired by AT&T. Only Disney and Universal have left their top executives in place this year.

“I don’t think anyone will judge [Paramount’s] Jim Gianopulos based on this summer,” observes Cowen & Co. entertainment analyst Doug Creutz. “Warner really needs to do well. They had one issue with ‘King Arthur,’ and they have ‘Dunkirk’ coming out, it’s a prestige picture.”

Warner is launching the most original movies versus sequels, and will likely be the biggest spender on marketing this summer.

DCG

Hallmark offers cards to give to people who are “transitioning”

hallmark transgender card

The truth about “transitioning” is something you will never hear about in popular media. That’s because the transgender truth hurts – both mentally and physically – and goes against the liberal agenda.

That truth is that you cannot physically or scientifically change your gender/sex. You can only change your feelings. And when it comes to feelings, Hallmark has a card for that!

From HuffPo: Hallmark is expanding the company’s line of greeting cards to be more inclusive of the experiences of transgender people.

The new card depicts a butterfly on the front with the words, “You’re becoming who you’ve always been.” The interior reads, “How wonderful is that?”

The card is intended to both acknowledge the journey of transition for trans people and help the people in their lives celebrate their experiences.

“Hallmark is committed to helping people share what’s in their hearts with those they love, and we strive to be inclusive and relevant with our products,” a spokesperson for Hallmark told HuffPost. “We are committed to reflecting people’s real lives and enriching their relationships, and our mission includes all people. We know how increasingly diverse our connections to each other are, and we’re here to help people express love, celebration, support or recognition in a wide range of situations.”

While Hallmark first introduced the card in 2015, it has recently made waves on after several viral tweets related to the product.

h/t Newsbusters

DCG

California man, 20, who drugged and raped his teenage sister gets lenient sentence of less than a year prison as judge insists the ‘stigma’ is enough

nolan bruder

Sex offender Nolan Bruder

Unreal.

From Daily Mail: A 20-year-old man who drugged and raped his 16-year-old sister was sentenced to less than a year in prison by a California judge on Wednesday.

Nolan Bruder pleaded guilty earlier this month and admitted that he gave his younger sister high potency marijuana to smoke until she reached a point where she no longer recognized him as her brother after she resisted his repeated sexual advances, KRCR reported.

Bruder was sentenced by Judge William Follet to serve only three years in prison with all but 240 days suspended in favor of granting probation for rape of an intoxicated person, according to the Del Norte District Attorney’s Office.

Follet said that the stigma of this conviction along with the mandatory sex offender registration requirements would ‘sufficiently deter Bruder.’ 

After the judge’s sentencing, district attorney Dale Trigg said he ‘could not disagree more with (it).’

‘The message that this sends to our community is that sexual predators who get their juvenile siblings stoned enough can have sex with them without any meaningful consequence,’ Trigg told KRCR. ‘That is not the message I want to send to our community,’

Trigg said that the judge noted in court that the victim took her own clothes off and was not unconscious.

Follet apparently also questioned if there was enough evidence for a jury to convict Bruder, despite there being a video-taped confession that the 20-year-old gave after admitting to what he did.

During the sentencing hearing, Deputy District Attorney Annamarie Padilla argued that Bruder should be sentenced to prison for six years in following the Probation Department’s recommendation.

Trigg said that since the highly-publicized rape case involving ex-Stanford swimmer Brock Turner, the California legislature changed the law to make such crimes ineligible for probation.

Turner sexually assaulted an unconscious woman after a party and was eventually spent three months in jail for the crime. Trigg said that in this case, Bruder benefited from the fact that the crimes he committed pre-dated the change in the law, which allowed Follet to sentence him to probation.

The district attorney argued that Bruder’s crime is significantly worse than Turner’s. ‘In a lot of ways, this case is more egregious than Brock Turner,’ Trigg told KRCR. ‘This defendant took advantage of a position of trust as this victim’s big brother. He knew she didn’t want to have sex with him.

‘She told him that repeatedly. So he got her stoned on dabs he gave her until she didn’t even recognize him in order get what he wanted.’

DCG

The price tag on universal health care in California is bigger than state’s budget

government solve all problems

Shocker, not.

From Sacramento Bee: The pricetag is in: It would cost $400 billion to remake California’s health insurance marketplace and create a publicly funded universal health care system, according to a state financial analysis released Monday.

California would have to find an additional $200 billion per year, including in new tax revenues, to create a so-called “single-payer” system, the analysis by the Senate Appropriations committee found. The estimate assumes the state would retain the existing $200 billion in local, state and federal funding it currently receives to offset the total $400 billion price tag.

The cost analysis is seen as the biggest hurdle to create a universal system, proposed by Sens. Ricardo Lara, D-Bell Gardens, and Toni Atkins, D-San Diego.

It remains a longshot bid. Steep projected costs have derailed efforts over the past two decades to establish such a health care system in California. The cost is higher than the $180 billion in proposed general fund and special fund spending for the budget year beginning July 1.

Employers currently spend between $100 billion to $150 billion per year, which could be available to help offset total costs, according to the analysis. Under that scenario, total new spending to implement the system would be between $50 billion and $100 billion per year.

“Health care spending is growing faster than the overall economy…yet we do not have better health outcomes and we cover fewer people,” Lara said at Monday’s appropriations hearing. “Given this picture of increasing costs, health care inefficiencies and the uncertainty created by Congress, it is critical that California chart our own path.”

The idea behind Senate Bill 562 is to overhaul California’s insurance marketplace, reduce overall health care costs and expand coverage to everyone in the state regardless of immigration status or ability to pay. Instead of private insurers, state government would be the “single payer” for everyone’s health care through a new payroll taxing structure, similar to the way Medicare operates.

Lara and Atkins say they are driven by the belief that health care is a human right and should be guaranteed to everyone similar to public services like safe roads and clean drinking water. They seek to rein in rising health care costs by lowering administrative expenses, reducing expensive emergency room visits and eliminating insurance company profits and executive salaries.

In addition to covering undocumented people illegal aliens, Lara said the goal is to expand health access to people who, even with insurance, may skip doctor visits or stretch out medications due to high co-pays and deductibles.  “Doctors and hospitals would no longer need to negotiate rates and deal with insurance companies to seek reimbursement,” Lara said.

Insurance groups, health plans and Kaiser Permanente are against the bill. Industry representatives say California should focus on improving the Affordable Care Act. Business groups, including the California Chamber of Commerce, have deemed the bill a “job-killer.”

“A single-payer system is massively, if not prohibitively expensive,” said Nick Louizos, vice president of legislative affairs for the California Association of Health Plans. “It will cost employers and taxpayers billions of dollars and result in significant loss of jobs in the state,” the Chamber of Commerce said in its opposition letter.

Underlying the debate is uncertainty at the federal level over what President Donald Trump and the Republican-controlled Congress will do with Obamacare. The House Republican bill advanced earlier this month would dismantle it by removing its foundation – the individual mandate that requires everyone to have coverage or pay a tax penalty.

Republican-led efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare is fueling political support for the bill, Atkins said at a universal health care rally this past weekend in Sacramento hosted by the California Nurses Association, a co-sponsor.

“This is a high-ticket expense…We have to figure out how to cover everyone and work on addressing the costs in the long-term — that’s our challenge,” Atkins said. “I’m optimistic.”

The bill has to get approval on the Senate floor by June 2 to advance to the Assembly. A financing plan is underway, which could suggest diverting money employers pay for worker’s compensation insurance to a state-run coverage system.

Lara said he believes California can and should play a prominent role in improving people’s lives. “We can do better,” he said.

DCG