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Sherman A1

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Member since: Sat May 13, 2006, 07:37 AM
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Retailers Track Employee Thefts in Vast Databases

Facing a wave of employee theft, retailers across the country have helped amass vast databases of workers accused of stealing and are using that information to keep employees from working again in the industry.

The repositories of information, like First Advantage Corporation’s Esteem database, often contain scant details about suspected thefts and routinely do not involve criminal charges. Still, the information can be enough to scuttle a job candidate’s chances.

Some of the employees, who submit written statements after being questioned by store security officers, have no idea that they admitted committing a theft or that the information will remain in databases, according to interviews with consumer lawyers, regulators and employees.

The databases, which have tens of thousands of subscribers and are used by major retailers like Target, CVS and Family Dollar, are aimed at combating employee theft, which accounts for a large swath of missing merchandise. The latest figures available, from 2011, put the loss at about 44 percent of missing merchandise, valued at about $15 billion, according to a trade group, the National Retail Federation.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/03/business/retailers-use-databases-to-track-worker-thefts.html?partner=rss&emc=rss

When America Came 'This Close' to Establishing a 30-Hour Workweek

The April 15, 1933 issue of Newsweek, one of the first in the magazine’s history, contains a remarkable cover headline: Bill cutting work week to 30 hours startles the nation. Indeed only nine days earlier, on April 6th, the Black-Connery Bill had passed in the United States Senate by a wide margin. The bill fixed the official American work week at five days and 30 hours, with severe penalties for overtime work.

In his new book, Free Time, labor historian, Benjamin Hunnicutt of the University of Iowa, explains that the bill originally had broad support as a means of increasing employment during the recession and maintaining full employment in the future.

“We stand unflinchingly for the six-hour day and the five-day week in industry,” thundered AFL president William Green to a labor meeting in San Francisco that spring. Franklin Roosevelt and Labor Secretary Frances Perkins also initially endorsed the idea, but the president buckled under opposition from the National Association of Manufacturers and dropped his support for the bill, which was then defeated in the House of Representatives.

In its place, Roosevelt advocated job-creating New Deal spending and a forty-hour workweek limit, passed into law on October 24, 1938, as part of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

http://www.alternet.org/labor/when-america-came-close-establishing-30-hour-workweek

Steady turnout pushes Arch-Parks tax to win

A sales tax increase to improve parks, trails and the Gateway Arch grounds easily passed on Tuesday, propelled by a slow, steady line of voters at St. Louis County precincts and an overwhelming win in St. Louis.

The measure, Proposition P, had to win in both to go into effect.

Proponents called the passage an “investment in the future of St. Louis.”

“It means the people of St. Louis city and St. Louis County really care about the Arch and their parks, and they want to work together to make St. Louis a better place to live,” said Susan Trautman, executive director of the Great Rivers Greenway parks district. It stands to double its budget and speed up its trail-building.

http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/steady-turnout-pushes-arch-parks-tax-to-win-in-st/article_0f75d4b0-9efb-516a-b9d9-4801205cdbbb.html

Whole Foods to Build Rooftop Greenhouse Above Brooklyn Store

Whole Foods Market and Gotham Greens are building what they say is the nation’s first commercial-scale greenhouse farm integrated within a retail grocery space.

The 20,000-square-foot greenhouse, currently being constructed on the roof of the forthcoming Whole Foods Market store in the Gowanus neignborhood of Brooklyn, is scheduled to open later this fall. Gotham Greens will grow premium quality, pesticide-free produce year round in the greenhouse for Whole Foods Gowanus, as well as other Whole Foods locations throughout New York City.

“Gotham Greens has been a valued local supplier of high quality, flavorful and fresh produce to Whole Foods Market since early 2011, making this greenhouse project a natural and extremely exciting next step in our relationship,” said Christina Minardi, Whole Foods Market Northeast regional president. “We’re particularly excited to partner with a local organization with roots right here in Brooklyn and a mission in line with our own, in that we both care deeply about providing local, fresh and sustainably produced food.”

The specially designed rooftop farm will include advanced irrigation systems that use up to 20 times less water than conventional farming as well as enhanced glazing materials and electrical equipment to reduce overall energy demand. Based on the farm’s proximity to Whole Foods stores in New York City, the project will eliminate long-distance food transport and its associated emissions, while ensuring product freshness, quality and nutrition for thousands of customers in the area.

http://www.progressivegrocer.com/top-stories/headlines/fresh-food/id37722/whole-foods-to-build-rooftop-greenhouse-above-brooklyn-store/

6 Ahold USA Stores Earn LEED Certification

Six recently built Ahold USA stores have received Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification from the Washington-based U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), the national accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high-performance sustainable buildings. This latest round of certifications gives Ahold USA the largest fleet of LEED-certified stores among U.S. grocery retailers.

The stores are Cranston, R.I., and Roslindale, Mass., Stop & Shop locations operated by the Stop & Shop New England division; Arverne, N.Y., and Oceanside, N.Y., Stop & Shop locations operated by the Stop & Shop New York Metro division; a Burtonsville, Md., Giant location operated by Giant-Landover division; and a Trexlertown, Pa., Giant Food location operated by the Giant-Carlisle division. These stores feature white roofs to reflect sunlight and reduce heat gain in the stores, skylights to harvest daylight and lower electricity consumption during peak daylight hours, and LED lighting throughout. Additionally, smaller cooling systems boost the efficiency of refrigerated display cases, and open-deck refrigerated cases have been replaced with closed-door units.

“With each new LEED-certified building, we get one step closer to USGBC’s vision of a sustainable built environment within a generation,” said Rick Fedrizzi, the council’s president, CEO and founding chair. “With these certifications, Ahold USA has demonstrated its commitment to the green building movement and working toward a better future for everyone in the neighborhoods and communities in which these stores will be a part of daily life.”

“By utilizing these innovative green building technologies, we are building all-new stores across our retail divisions according to the LEED standards to reduce our environmental impact in the communities we serve for future generations,” noted Jihad Rizkallah, VP, responsible retailing at Ahold USA in Carlisle, Pa.

http://www.progressivegrocer.com/top-stories/headlines/equipment/id37726/6-ahold-usa-stores-earn-leed-certification/?icid=homepage

U.S. Productivity Growth: An Optimistic Perspective

ABSTRACT

Recent literature has expressed considerable pessimism about the prospects for both productivity and overall economic growth in the U.S. economy, based either on the idea that the pace of innovation has slowed or on concern that innovation today is hurting job creation. While recognizing the problems facing the economy, this paper offers a more optimistic view of both innovation and future growth, a potential return to the innovation and employment-led growth of the 1990s. Technological opportunities remain strong in advanced manufacturing and the energy revolution will spur new investment, not only in energy extraction, but also in the transportation sector and in energy-intensive manufacturing. Education, health care, infrastructure (construction) and government are large sectors of the economy that have lagged behind in productivity growth historically. This is not because of a lack of opportunities for innovation and change but because of a lack of incentives for change and institutional rigidity.

http://www.brookings.edu/research/papers/2013/03/us-productivity-growth-baily-manyika

Australia opens national child abuse inquiry

A national inquiry into child sex abuse has opened in the Australian city of Melbourne, with more than 5,000 people expected to provide evidence of "abuse and consequential trauma".

PM Julia Gillard has warned that the commission will unearth "some very uncomfortable truths".

She said that its opening was an "important moral moment" for Australia.

The inquiry will look at religious groups, NGOs and state care providers as well as government agencies.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-22011598

With Legacy on His Mind, Bloomberg Adds More Schools

As the clock winds down on his administration, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg is moving quickly to ensure that his educational legacy lasts until long after he is gone, or at least to make it difficult for his successor to undo it.

On Tuesday, the policy of choice was school openings, the flip side of closing schools: Mr. Bloomberg announced that 78 new schools would open in the next academic year, even though some of those lining up to fill his seat have displayed a less than zestful embrace of such policies.

“I think we’ve done a lot of good things,” said the mayor, on the topic of his education agenda. “Not everything has worked. But it would be wonderful if whoever comes after us continues the process because, I can tell you, the demands on our students are going to continue to grow and we certainly aren’t at where we should be.”

Standing with the schools chancellor, Dennis M. Walcott, at a news conference in a school in Long Island City, Mr. Bloomberg outlined a cornucopia of new schools, in all varieties and designs. The 78 new schools will have seats for 10,000 students in the fall, in all five boroughs, and span the years from elementary to high school.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/03/nyregion/with-legacy-on-his-mind-bloomberg-says-he-will-add-78-new-schools.html?partner=rss&emc=rss

North Korea Blocks Workers From South at the Border

SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea blocked South Koreans on Wednesday from crossing the heavily armed border to a jointly-operated industrial park, raising doubt about the future of the last remaining major symbol of inter-Korean cooperation.

The move came four days after North Korea threatened to shut down the industrial park, in the North Korean town of Kaesong, out of anger over United Nations sanctions and joint military drills that the United States and South Korea are conducting on the Korean Peninsula.

More than 480 South Koreans — many with their trucks — who showed up at a border crossing Wednesday morning were denied permission to cross and had to turn around, said the Unification Ministry of South Korea, which is in charge of relations with the North. But North Korea promised to allow 861 South Koreans currently staying in Kaesong to return home if they wished, the ministry said. But with no replacements arriving, only 33 decided to return home on Wednesday.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/04/world/asia/north-korea-blocks-workers-from-south-at-border.html?partner=rss&emc=rss&_r=0

April 3, 1860 The 1st successful United States Pony Express run from Saint Joseph, MO to Sacramento

The Pony Express was a mail service delivering messages and mail from St. Joseph, Missouri across the Great Plains, over the Rocky Mountains and the Sierra Nevada to Sacramento, California by horseback, using a series of relay stations. During its 18 months of operation, it reduced the time for messages to travel between the Atlantic and Pacific coasts to about ten days.[1] From April 3, 1860 to October 1861, it became the West's most direct means of east–west communication before the telegraph was established and was vital for tying the new state of California with the rest of the country.

The Pony Express was a mail delivery system of the Leavenworth and Pike's Peak Express Company of 1849 which in 1850 became the Central Overland California and Pikes Peak Express Company. This firm was founded by William H. Russell, Alexander Majors, and William B. Waddell all of whom were notable in the freighting business.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pony_Express
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