On the picket line

By on June 15, 2021

first_imgTarget workers win union representationPharmacy workers at a Brooklyn, N.Y., Target store have made history with the first ever successful union drive in the company’s more than 100-year history. On Sept. 8, the workers voted 7 to 2 in favor of joining the Food and Commercial Workers. Their major concern was job security, given CVS Health’s pending acquisition of Target’s pharmacy operations. “We were all happy with our jobs at Target. … It’s more that we didn’t like being thrown into uncertainty,” said a worker quoted anonymously. (nasdaq.com, Sept. 16)This union drive is especially significant due to Target’s notorious union-busting scare tactics, including anti-union propaganda videos that all new employees are forced to watch. (Gawker.com, March 19, 2014) By proving that it’s possible to organize in even the most anti-union workplaces, these workers have set the stage for more Target and other low-wage workers to win union representation.Capitol service workers strike against low wagesOn Sept. 22, just two days before Pope Francis’ speech before the U.S. Congress, 1,000 federal service workers walked off the job to demand fair wages and a union. Organized by “Good Jobs Nation,” the workers who cook, clean and perform other essential services in the Capitol and other federal buildings struck for 24 hours, calling on Pope Francis to join their cause. ”We want you to know that even though we serve the wealthy and the powerful in the Congress, we earn so little that we live in utter poverty,” read the workers’ open letter to the pope. (TheHill.com, Sept. 22)Although President Obama signed an executive order raising the minimum wage for federal contract workers to $10.10 in February 2014, workers say it isn’t enough. This wage — $21,000 yearly — still falls several thousand dollars short of the federal poverty line at $24,250 for a family of four. (TheNation.com, Sept. 22)UFW wins EPA pesticide worker protectionsOn Sept. 28, United Farm Workers celebrated the 50th anniversary of its founding in the fields of California with an announcement of long-fought-for rules protecting farmworkers nationwide from pesticide poisoning. In Washington, D.C., UFW President Arturo Rodriguez applauded the new U.S. Environmental Protection Agency rules that end decades of exclusion of farmworkers from when labor laws were first enacted in the 1930s. In those days, most farmworkers were African Americans in the South or Mexican and Filipino immigrants or Mexican Americans in California and Washington state.The EPA estimates that 10,000 to 20,000 physician-diagnosed pesticide poisonings occur each year among about 2 million farmworkers. Over the years, farmworkers have fought for and won regulations in individual contracts against pesticides in Washington state, Texas and California. The first was with a California grape grower in 1967. The new EPA rule requires all pesticide applicators to be at least 18 years old, upgrades pesticide training requirements, enacts whistleblower protections and allows improved access to important health records.“The same rules that have protected other American workers from dangerous cancer and birth-defect causing pesticides are finally going to protect farmworkers,” noted Rodriguez. “Our families and communities will now be able to work with reassurance that [their] work … will not unknowingly harm themselves or their families. It’s been a long time coming.”Peanut CEO gets 28-year jail sentence for fraudOn Sept. 22, Stewart Parnell, CEO of the Peanut Corporation of America, was sentenced to 28 years in jail for fraud and deliberately shipping tainted food. Nine people died and over 700 others became ill during a national outbreak of salmonella poisoning in 2008-2009 traced to the Georgia factory. Calling this sentencing “groundbreaking” and “a victory for consumers,” food safety lawyer Bill Marler said, “This sentence is going to send a stiff, cold wind through board rooms across the U.S.” (CNN.com, Sept. 22) If only it would put people before profits!In a more typical scenario, corporate giant General Motors got a slap on the wrist on Sept. 16: a $900 million fine and a three-year deferred prosecution agreement after its Cobalts and Saturn Ions led to 124 deaths and 275 injuries between 2003 and 2008. New York Times columnist Joe Nocera advocated on Sept. 26 for prosecution for corporate executives as “the most powerful deterrent imaginable.” Under capitalism at a dead end? Not likely. Only with a socialist revolution!FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

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Tight regulation of marijuana needed in Massachusetts to protect youth

By on March 1, 2021

first_img Read Full Story There’s reason for both enthusiasm and caution when it comes to the state law that will legalize marijuana for those for those age 21 and older that was approved Nov. 8, 2016 by Massachusetts voters, according to a Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health tobacco expert.While it’s good that there should be fewer drug-related arrests because of the law— along with the racial disparities that sometimes accompany those arrests —Massachusetts needs strict marijuana regulations to protect youth, Vaughan Rees, director of the Center for Global Tobacco Control and lecturer on social and behavioral sciences at Harvard Chan School, said in a Nov. 14, 2016 Boston Magazine article on the law’s public health implications.“I’m delighted that we’re going to see an end to young people being criminalized and facing jail sentences or prison sentences, and having a criminal record which will impact them, perhaps for life,” Rees said.However, he noted that without tight regulation, the marijuana industry, like the tobacco industry, could “target the youth of Massachusetts with their products to get them hooked, so they will become good customers and use their products, potentially to the detriment of their own health.”last_img read more

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Heartland Town Square Proposal Is Too Big For Only Islip Town Board’s Approval

By on December 16, 2020

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Could one small township have the power to approve the largest development project in Long Island’s history? That seems to be what’s shaping up for Jerry Wolkoff’s ambitious Heartland Town Square for the former Pilgrim State property in Islip Town.Wolkoff is taking an all-or-nothing approach to the project. Heartland could affect the future of Long Island.As the 1990s dawned, Pilgrim State Psychiatric Center, once one of the largest such mental institutions in the world, was in its twilight. Psycho-pharmaceuticals were growing in popularity for treating severe mental illness, and large-scale psychiatric treatment centers like Pilgrim had become obsolete. Decentralization had already led to Edgewood State Hospital, Pilgrim’s sister center in Deer Park, being shuttered and demolished. The western portion of the Pilgrim property had been subdivided in 1974, eventually becoming home to the western campus of Suffolk County Community College.Now planners were anticipating what lay in store for the remaining large tract of land that Pilgrim State had occupied for decades.The 1992 plan for Pilgrim State’s property arose out of environmental necessity. The Long Island Comprehensive Special Groundwater Protection Area Plan, a crowning achievement of environmental planning and policymaking by the Long Island Regional Planning Board, staked out the property’s fate with modest recommendations for development. Their findings had determined that the Pilgrim State properties, as well as the former Edgewood site, a total of 3,000 acres, were—and still are—hydro-geologically important for recharging Long Island’s freshwater underground aquifer. Subsequently, the site was named specifically as the Oak Brush Plains Special Groundwater Protection Area, or SGPA for short.The SGPA plan recommended halting development until the site could be completely hooked up to the sewer infrastructure of the Southwest Sewer District and immediately reducing its potential for illegal dumping and storage. It called for subdividing the property into large lots for “dry” industrial usage that minimized the risk of noxious spills and production waste, as well as commercial development and ensuring “the quality of future non-residential development in the area.” Last but not least, it urged the State, Suffolk County and Islip Town to “maximize the preservation of existing open space within their respective holdings so as to protect the remaining undisturbed recharge areas.”While the special groundwater plan was being formulated in the early 1990s, the Long Island Pine Barrens Society filed a lawsuit to freeze future development in critical areas of Long Island’s aquifer until a long-term strategy to protect our region’s vulnerable water supply could be created. In an op-ed in The New York Times, David Stern, who was then-executive director of the New York State Assembly’s Legislative Commission on Water Resource Needs of Long Island, warned that “development projects approved before the lawsuit was filed are being constructed in these areas. Many municipalities that have the absolute authority on development within [the] protection areas have blatantly ignored their importance to Long Island’s groundwater by approving overly dense developments.”More than 25 years later, Stern’s words are still just as true today.By all accounts, Jerry Wolkoff is a very driven individual. Starting in 1984, he built the Heartland Business Park, which spans roughly 500 acres. Then in 2001, he purchased 460 acres of the 778-acre Pilgrim site for around $20.1 million. As The New York Times put it, “With the purchase of Pilgrim State, Mr. Wolkoff will own more than 900 contiguous acres of land in the Town of Islip, including Heartland, which is adjacent to the Pilgrim site.”By any measure, Wolkoff’s Heartland Town Square is a monumental proposal. For the 452 acres, Wolkoff wants to change the current as-of-right single-family residence zoning district to a new “planned-unit-development zone”, or PUD for short. The current zoning has each unit on a 40,000-square foot minimum lot size, which is more in line with the less-impact development called for by the SGPA plan, while the new PUD zoning significantly increases the developmental density. The breakdown of proposed usage is as follows:• Office Space: 4,039,500-square feet• Retail: 1,030,000-square feet• Civic Space: 110,500-square feet• Residential: 9,130 housing units• Total: 15,500,000-square feetThe project would be built out in three five-year phases, with the total project taking 15 to 20 years to reach completion. So far, the ground has not been broken but some work has commenced, such as demolishing an old LIRR bridge over Commack Road and beginning some preliminary utility projects. Some projections say that 20,000 new residents may eventually live there. But who knows if they ever will.Not much has changed on Long Island since Wolkoff first announced his ambitious plans…except that the climate has become much friendlier to developers overall. In recent years, multi-family developments have been in vogue, with projects such as the Ronkonkoma Hub and Wyandanch Rising grabbing headlines in the papers and approvals by the municipalities. Suddenly, the humongous Heartland Town Square seems to fit the bill. After years of delay, the Islip Town Board finally signaled that they were more open to the project when they adopted the proposal’s Final Generic Environmental Impact Statement last May.Over the years, the project has run into more than a few delays, but one particular point of contention between Islip and Wolkoff still remains: Who exactly will pay for the public improvements that will be necessary to allow for such colossal growth? Payment of what are called mitigation or impact fees is often debated whenever a development is being proposed, but the burden of cost in this case is particularly heavy. Substantive roadway upgrades will be needed on the Sagtikos Parkway, Long Island Expressway and other local roads to handle the proposed growth as each phase is completed. Improvements include additional lanes on the parkway, which would impact every interchange along the route, as well as the potential for an additional lane on the LIE, which would be a massive undertaking. These two large projects eclipse all the local roads that will need widening as well as other modifications to allow them to handle the additional traffic volume Heartland is slated to generate.Simply put, if Wolkoff gets his increased density approved, the public improvements should be financed by the developer. Currently, the level of service on Long Island’s roads, graded like a middle-school essay from F to A, is at a mediocre B, at best. The Heartland proposal would put undue burden on the neighboring communities, and residents should not have to shoulder the costs to maintain the currently deplorable condition of our road network.Not all of Wolkoff’s entire proposal is bad. His preservation of an elegant pre-existing brick tower that once supplied Pilgrim’s water needs as the focal point of one of the many new residential districts is a nice, tasteful adaptive reuse, as is the proposed repurposing of the former power station into an art gallery.Development of the Pilgrim site should happen, but not at this scale.After the first phase is completed, the Town of Islip and its residents should stop to assess the economic climate, study the regional inventory of commercial, office and residential needs, and adapt to the new regional conditions. Why should we oversaturate the region with unnecessary growth that will have impacts far beyond the Town of Islip’s borders? Long Islanders pride themselves on the principal of home-rule, which gives a local community the ability to control its own land usage, but mega-projects like Heartland justify the need for strong, unfettered, comprehensive regional planning.It is critical for Long Island’s residents to remember that there is a marked distinction between “builders,” who often seek to profit from development, and “planners,” whose goal is the long-term vibrancy of the community. The goal of planning is to balance development and preservation within the existing community framework.Long Islanders cannot let Heartland—and Heartland alone—dictate the future of not only the Town of Islip, but the region as a whole.Without taking a comprehensive approach, Long Island’s future is in the hands of the town board members of one municipality. Can we trust them to think beyond their election cycle and their borders?Rich Murdocco writes on Long Island’s land use and real estate development issues. He received his Master’s in Public Policy at Stony Brook University, where he studied regional planning under Dr. Lee Koppelman, Long Island’s veteran master planner. Murdocco will be contributing regularly to the Long Island Press. More of his views can be found on www.TheFoggiestIdea.org or follow him on Twitter @TheFoggiestIdea‬.last_img read more

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Liverpool’s move for highly-rated RB Leipzig striker placed on hold

By on September 26, 2020

first_img Liverpool have put all contract talks and recruitment plans on hold amid the coronavirus crisis Read Also: Klopp tells pals Liverpool will be last club job Similar sentiments apply to negotiating deals with any members of the current playing staff. Liverpool completed a raft of contract extensions over the last 12 months, including new deals for Klopp and James Milner in December, but a pressing issue has been the future of Gini Wijnaldum. FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 Liverpool have put all contract talks and recruitment plans on hold due to the ongoing uncertainty around the coronavirus pandemic. The Premier League leaders have been heavily linked with RB Leipzig striker Timo Werner and there have been persistent reports about the Germany international having a £51million release clause that had to be activated by a certain date in April. Any ambitions Timo Werner has of moving to Liverpool will have to be placed on hold Werner is hugely admired by Liverpool and he has spoken favourably on a number of occasions in recent months about their team – and manager Jurgen Klopp – but any ambitions he has of securing a move to England will have to be placed on hold. With no indication as to what will happen with the summer transfer window and the ongoing insecurities, Liverpool are not actively working on any deals to bolster and refresh their squad – and will only resume once there is clarity.Advertisement Loading… center_img Promoted Content10 Legendary Historical Movies You Should See6 Ridiculous Health Myths That Are Actually TruePlaying Games For Hours Can Do This To Your BodyThe Very Last Bitcoin Will Be Mined Around 2140. Read MoreWhat Happens To Your Brain When You Play Too Much Video Games?These TV Characters Proved That Any 2 People Can Bury The Hatchet7 Of The Wealthiest Universities In The World5 Of The World’s Most Unique Theme Parks8 Addictive And Fun Coffee FactsWho Is The Most Powerful Woman On Earth?World’s Most Delicious FoodsBest & Worst Celebrity Endorsed Games Ever Madelast_img read more

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WATCH: Stunning Kerrykeel property on the market for €495,000

By on December 21, 2019

first_imgThis superb four bedroom detached house situated on private land in Kerrykeel is on the market for sale for a €495,000.Superbly laid out modern, spacious, accommodation finished to a high standard throughout with superb uninterrupted views overlooking Murloy Bay, Broad Water towards Marks Point, Fanad and Devlinreagh, Carrigart. Facilities and amenities nearby or within a short drive include the glorious Ballymastocker Beach, 18 hole golf courses at Portsalon and Rosapenna, fishing, walking, hill climbing, etc.Letterkenny, the principal town of the county with excellent shopping facilities, is within a comfortable 30-minute drive.City of Derry Airport within a comfortable hour drive and Belfast International Airport within two hours.WATCH: Stunning Kerrykeel property on the market for €495,000 was last modified: September 8th, 2019 by Shaun KeenanShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Seahawks coach Pete Carroll has disparaging words for Levi’s Stadium

By on December 20, 2019

first_img“It wasn’t great. There were guys slipping all over the place … During the AstroTurf craze of the late 1960s, baseball slugger Dick Allen famously stated, “If a horse can’t eat it, I don’t want to play on it.”Dick Allen, meet Seahawks coach Pete Carroll.Appearing on his ESPN Seattle radio show Monday, one day after the Seahawks lost to the 49ers in Santa Clara, Carroll said the Levi’s Stadium playing surface was as he expected: “really lousy.”To the point of being equine-unfriendly?last_img read more

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Updated: New MH370 search area not specific enough, says Minister.

By on December 18, 2019

first_imgAustralian Transport Minister Darren Chester has dampened hopes of extending the search for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 to a  new 25,000 sq. km search zone identified by international experts as having a high probability of containing the wreckage.Mr Chester’s view that the new search area is not specific enough puts him at odds with the experts’  conclusion that the location north-east of the existing search zone needs investigating.The expert findings are detailed in  “First Principles Review”,  a report issued on Tuesday by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau detailing the findings of a meeting held in Canberra in early November by parties involved in the search for the missing Boeing 777“The participants of the First Principles Review were in agreement on the need to search an additional area representing approximately 25,000 sq. km,’’  the report concluded.  “Based on the analysis to date, completion of this area would exhaust all prospective areas for the presence of MH370.’’.The disagreement comes as the existing search for MH370,  which disappeared on March 8, 2014, with 239 aboard, is winding down and is expected to conclude early in the new year.The new area identified as a potential crash site adjoins an area searched in 2014 and takes into account additional information from a CSIRO ocean drift study. It is not part of part of the 120,000 sq. km swathe of Indian Ocean swept for more than two years and in which no sign of the aircraft debris field has been found.Mr Chester welcomed the review of what he described as the biggest search in aviation history and one that tested the limits of technology. “The information in the ATSB report, however, does not give a specific location of the missing aircraft,’’ he said.“We are very close to completing the 120,000 square kilometre underwater search area, and we remain hopeful that we will locate the aircraft.“As agreed at the Tripartite Ministers meeting in Malaysia in July we will be suspending the search unless credible evidence is available that identifies the specific location of the aircraft.’’The experts taking part in review concluded the search team was unlikely to have missed the debris in the current search area and there was a high degree of confidence, greater than 95 per cent, in the high-resolution sonar coverage conducted so far.The new area — between latitudes 32.5 degrees south and 36 degrees south —  was based on “comprehensive satellite data analysis and updated with the latest search results and the CSIRO drift analysis,” the report said.It is slightly narrower than the first zone due to revised calculations that the aircraft crashed closer to the seventh arc, the curved line determined by the last satellite handshake between the aircraft and the plane.The analysis of the last two satellite transmissions, the likely position of the aircraft’s flaps when it hit the water and the results of recent end-of-flight simulations indicate it was within 25 nautical miles to the east and west of the arc, rather than the 40nm originally postulated.The three-day First Principles Review was attended by Australian and international experts in data processing, satellite communications, accident investigation, aircraft performance, flight operations, sonar data, acoustic data and oceanography. It aimed to reassess and validate existing evidence and to consider any new analysis that may assist in identifying the location of MH370, which crashed in 2014 while en-route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.A key to the finding was additional information not available when the first search area was defined.More than 20 items of debris have been recovered and identified as likely to be, almost certainly or definitely originating from MH370., including parts the wing. Items have been located along the east and south coast of Africa, the east coast of Madagascar and the Islands of Mauritius and Rodrigues in the Indian Ocean. However, none has been found in Australia.The CSIRO drift study found there was definitely a surface debris field and that the fact that the original sea surface search between March 18 and April 28, 2014, failed to detect wreckage argued that area was not the site of the crash.The drift study identified the new search area as being consistent with the failure to detect debris during the 2014 surface search, the absence of wreckage on the WA coastline as well as the July, 2015, arrival of a flaperon at La Reunion Island and the arrival times of other debris.last_img read more

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The week that South Africa changed gear

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first_imgIt is the very basic tenet on which the society is founded and on which the Constitution is based: ubuntu. I am because you are. And what can I be if you have no food, no proper roof over your head, if you have to go to school under a tree or are denied basic health care.This week the framework was created for us to work together rather than against each other. To put our brothers and sisters’ well being before our own enrichment and to work together for a better future for all.We desperately need a social compact in South Africa. The country has taken a major step in the right direction and the positive outcomes will start to take shape as a result.Deputy President Motlanthe said: “If we are to be competitive we must have in place sound economic policies; cultivate a favourable legal and business environment; roll out socio-economic infrastructure; constantly improve our trade and industrial policies; and lower the cost of doing business.”That is what being competitive entails. There is no place for short-cuts. No place for posturing and no time to play games.The country’s survival is at stake.The Goldman Sachs report reminded us of the many achievements we can be proud of in the first 20 years: tripling of GDP, more than halving inflation,  16-fold increase in gold reserves, six-fold increase in welfare payments, dramatic rise in the middle-class, eight-fold increase in tax collection and a six-fold increase in the number of tax payers.These are remarkable achievements.But the red lights flash on unemployment – youth in particular – inequality on racial lines, a 6.5% budget deficit and the shrinkage in the mining and manufacturing sectors.The good news is that it can all be fixed with a collective effort to improve productivity, GDP growth and foreign direct investment.We did it before and we can do it again.The tide has been going out for much of the past 20 years. This week it started coming in.Read more about the inaugural South African Competitiveness Forum:Growing competitiveness, tackling povertyCompetitiveness Forum tackles education, labourPromote South Africa’s sector excellenceBrand South Africa supports governance debatelast_img read more

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Build Your Own Fire Hose API with STREST – a New Protocol for Real-Time Data Streaming

By on December 16, 2019

first_imgSTREST is a new open source protocol and server from Wiredset, the company behind the real-time social media analytics service Trendrr. STREST is HTTP-compatible and is designed for real-time data streaming. Wiredset has released the protocol spec, a server implementation and drivers in Java, Python and JavaScript.Wiredset created the protocol to deal with the challenges it faced when building the Trendr API. The team needed a way to offer extremely high-volume API calls with low latency, deliver the results in real-time at scale, and do so through a RESTful interface.STREST features:Fully duplexed streaming connectionsSupport for multiple simultaneous streams on a single connectionWebsockets support out of the boxHTTP CompatibilityIn short: you can use this to power a pretty massive API. Anyone know of anything else like this? Tags:#APIs#hack Growing Phone Scams: 5 Tips To Avoid Why You Love Online Quizzes Related Posts center_img 7 Types of Video that will Make a Massive Impac… How to Write a Welcome Email to New Employees? klint finleylast_img read more

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