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Sherman A1

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Gender: Male
Current location: U.S.
Member since: Sat May 13, 2006, 06:37 AM
Number of posts: 26,758

Journal Archives

Alleging Labor Abuses, U.S. and Mexican Workers Call for Boycott of Driscoll’s Berries

http://inthesetimes.com/working/entry/17865/alleging_labor_abuses_u.s._and_mexican_workers_call_for_boycott_of_driscoll

Driscoll’s may be the U.S.’s most recognizable brand name on strawberry, raspberry, blueberry and blackberry cartons. Its conventional and organic berries can be found year-round everywhere from Sam’s Club to Whole Foods. To keep its berries stocked far and wide, the company uses a vast supplier network stretching from Canada to Argentina.

But some of those suppliers are coming under fire for allegedly abusing workers, in the U.S. and Mexico. One Driscoll’s grower has spent weeks embroiled in a major farmworker protest, while a nearly two-year boycott against another grower recently intensified. Workers in both disputes have called for a boycott against the company.

Poverty wages in Baja

While Driscoll’s is a family-owned company, it’s no mom-and-pop operation. According to its website, over 40,000 people are involved in its berry production worldwide. The company has a code of conduct for its suppliers, called the “Promise for Workforce Welfare,” which includes obeying minimum legal requirements and avoiding egregious labor violations like human trafficking and conditions “posing immediate risk to life or limb.” Driscoll’s says it is committed to hiring suppliers that “show a sincere commitment” to such principles.

But Bonifacio Martinez questions whether those requirements are enough. Martinez picked strawberries and blackberries destined for Driscoll’s boxes for 10 years. Now he’s a leader in the farmworker movement that erupted last month in the fields of San Quintin, in the Mexican state of Baja California. Thousands of farm laborers picking multiple crops stopped work for nearly two weeks, demanding higher wages and legally required benefits, among other protections.

Daily Holidays - April 23

National Cherry
 Cheesecake Day What's creamy, tangy and sweet all over? Ah, yes, that would be one of the best food marriages in dessert: cherry cheesecake. The pure flavors of cherries mingling with the unique, smooth taste of cheesecake is something you'll be asking for beyond today.

Now, this can mean one of two things: You either like your regular cheesecake drowning in cherry compote or sauce, or you bake the cheerful cherry flavor right into your cheesecake. The best part is that cheesecake pairs well either way. Whether you use a ricotta or cream cheese base on your graham cracker crust, cheesecake can be a blank canvas or shine with a little embellishment.

Are you a New York-style devotee who relies on heavy cream or sour cream, or is your Pennsylvania Dutch-style cheesecake with its tangy cheese flavor that's the talk of the town? Then there is always Philadelphia-style, considered to be lighter on the tongue but richer in flavor than New York. http://eatocracy.cnn.com/2012/04/23/national-cherry-cheesecake-day/

National Lost Dog Awareness Day Lost Dog Awareness Day aims to place the spotlight on the huge numbers of lost dogs around the world, and in particular the efforts undertaken by organisations like the Lost Dogs of America to help reunite pets with their owners. Charities and communities get together to help distribute fliers, to locate missing animals, and to celebrate the thousands of lost dogs who were successfully reunited with their families and who did not go to a shelter. https://www.daysoftheyear.com/days/lost-dog-awareness-day/

Talk Like Shakespeare Day Talk Like Shakespeare Day celebrates the bard’s birthday and his works, from such classics as Romeo And Juliet to A Midsummer Night’s Dream. https://www.daysoftheyear.com/days/talk-like-shakespeare-day/

World Book Night World Book Night is about celebrating the joy of reading. Nothing quite matches the enjoyment that comes from losing oneself in a good book.

But, with so many people having lost the habit of reading for pleasure, this event provides an opportunity for book lovers to share with others the enjoyment literature provides.

World Book Night is celebrated with community events promoting reading and literacy. But it is at a personal level that this day really comes into its own; people who like books are encouraged to try to involve those around them.

Taking part couldn’t be simpler: think of a friend, family member or work colleague that you know does not read regularly and then give them the gift of a book. It doesn’t matter whether the book is new or second-hand, it just needs to be a book you have enjoyed or one you think your friend will like. https://www.daysoftheyear.com/days/world-book-night/

http://www.famousbirthdays.com/april23.html

Stop & Shop, Wegmans turn food waste into energy

http://supermarketnews.com/sustainability/stop-shop-wegmans-turn-food-waste-energy

Stop & Shop announced it has broken ground on an anaerobic digester that will turn food scraps into energy at its distribution center in Freetown, Mass.

The retailer plans to transfer food waste and unsold food that cannot be donated to food banks or local farms to the anaerobic digester. Stop & Shop’s long-term goal is to divert 90% of waste going to landfills.

“We are excited to begin the groundbreaking of this facility, as it’s a clear proof point of our commitment to reducing waste across our supply chain,” Jihad Rizkallah, VP of responsible retailing for Stop & Shop parent Ahold USA, said in a press release. “Once operational, the anaerobic digester will create approximately 1.25 megawatts of clean, based load electricity, which would offset up to 40% of the

Freetown facility’s energy use. This is just one of the ways we strive to be a better neighbor, and a responsible retailer in the communities we serve.”


What's in the pipe for closed Walmart stores?

Wal-Mart Stores abruptly closed five supercenters this week to work on plumbing issues plaguing the units, but the retailer could wind up repairing more than just the pipes.

A spokesman for the Bentonville, Ark.-based retailer told SN Thursday the company was hopeful that the stores — located in Tulsa, Okla.; Midland, Texas; Livingston, Texas; Brandon, Fla.; and Pico Rivera, Calif. — could reopen within six months. In addition to “extensive repairs” required to plumbing at the stores, Walmart would also look at what other improvements can be made to upgrade the units, the spokesman added. He declined to elaborate.

Greg Foran, Walmart’s U.S. CEO, in a recent investor presentation said the company was at work on “reinventing” the supercenter in concert with changes to the retailer’s distribution model. Foran cited an opportunity to improve space allocations and adjacencies, ambiance, navigation and flow. While it was unclear whether any layout changes would necessarily come to the closed stores, the units are being cleared of all equipment and fixtures so as to address the plumbing, the spokesman said.

The five stores, which closed Monday, had the most incidents of plumbing issues in Walmart’s entire fleet of stores over the last two years, the spokesman added. He characterized the problem as “recurring clogs and leaks.”

http://supermarketnews.com/store-design-construction/whats-pipe-closed-walmart-stores

From the industry trade publication Supermarket News. The comments section below the linked article seems to offer the generally accepted skepticism of this rather "interesting" move by Wal Mart in regard to these 5 suddenly closed stores.

Target agrees to pay $19 million to MasterCard issuers over data breach

http://supermarketnews.com/retail-financial/target-agrees-pay-19-million-mastercard-issuers-over-data-breach

More than a year after Target Corp.’s massive data breach, the retailer announced a settlement agreement with MasterCard to compensate card issuers for operational costs and fraud-related losses.

Target has agreed to pay up to $19 million to banks and credit unions that issue MasterCard-branded cards that were impacted by the 2013 data breach.

“We believe this settlement provides our issuers a reasonable resolution of the Target data breach event,” said Eileen Simon, MasterCard’s chief franchise integrity officer, in a press release. “The timely reimbursement of costs and losses under the agreement delivers MasterCard issuers a faster and more certain resolution to the event, while reinforcing our commitment to maintain the integrity of industry security standards.”

2015 OSHA Violations

Companies cited in the first quarter of 2015 for machine hazards include:

• Gateway Extrusions Ltd. allegedly exposed workers to amputation and other serious hazards while operating presses at the company's aluminum parts manufacturing facility in Union, Mo. OSHA cited the company with one repeat and eight serious safety and health violations and issued penalties of $63,000. An inspection found that two operating machines lacked proper safety mechanisms. The company was cited for a similar violation in 2013, as the company failed to implement lockout/tagout procedures and inadequately guarded the point-of-operation of some operating machines, such as press brakes.

• An employee lost all the toes on his left foot when an auger was turned on in the grain bin he was cleaning in Waterville, Kansas. The Beattie Farmers Union Cooperative Association was fined $65,900 for failure to place locking devices on augers. One willful, one repeated and three serious safety and health violations were found. Inspectors also noted that drive pulleys on the bucket elevator legs and augers lacked adequate safety mechanisms to prevent workers from coming into contact with operating machinery parts. Beattie previously was cited for this violation in 2010.

• Alliance Tubular Products LLC put workers at risk of amputation and other serious injuries twice in one year. An inspection found three repeat and four serious violations, garnering $139,800 in proposed fines at the high-end industrial steel tubing manufacturer in Alliance, Ohio. OSHA cited similar violations at the company's facility in Darlington, Pa., in 2014 and at the Alliance facility in 2012 where workers were exposed to operating machine parts with incorrectly installed safety mechanisms. Inspectors also noted four alleged serious violations that involved lack of procedures to prevent unintentional operation of machinery during maintenance. The company has since been placed in OSHA's Severe Violator Enforcement Program.

http://ehstoday.com/safety/2015-osha-violations

Daily Holidays - April 22

Earth Day Celebrate and protect our natural environment by taking part in Earth Day. Join with community groups to explore environmental and ecological issues on local and international scales, and work towards making a difference to our habitat.

If you’re really committed, why not learn the words to the Earth Day anthem (sung to the tune of ‘Ode to Joy’):

Joyful joyful we adore our Earth in all its wonderment
Simple gifts of nature that all join into a paradise
Now we must resolve to protect her
Show her our love through out all time
With our gentle hand and touch
We make our home a newborn world
Now we must resolve to protect her
Show her our love through out all time
With our gentle hand and touch
We make our home a newborn world

https://www.daysoftheyear.com/days/earth-day/

National Jelly Bean Day Who doesn’t love a jelly bean? From good old cherry or buttered popcorn to more adventurous flavours like latte and chili mango?

Once mainly associated with Easter and Halloween holidays jelly beans are now an everyday treat and there’s no better time to celebrate them than Jelly Bean Day.

No-one knows for sure how, when or why Jelly Bean Day began and the origins of the beans themselves are equally mysterious; they are thought to have been developed from Turkish Delight and have certainly been popular since the mid-19th century or earlier.

You can enjoy Jelly Bean Day by using the beans in craft activities with your kids or staging your own ‘how many beans in the jar’ contest. Whatever you do, don’t forget that the tastiest way to celebrate Jelly Bean Day is by eating lots of jelly beans! https://www.daysoftheyear.com/days/jelly-bean-day/

Administrative Professionals Day Where would we be without the secretaries of the world? Spare a thought to all of the paperwork that would never be done, the phone calls that would never be taken and the secretary jokes that would never have been invented and raise a glass to Administrative Professionals Day, the day when administrative professionals the world over can be celebrated in just one day for all the hard work they do all year!

First originated in 1952, Administrative Professionals Day is now observed in a number of countries worldwide and is one of the most celebrated workplace holidays, especially amongst support staff. Treat your Administrative Professionals to traditional gifts such as flowers, chocolates or gift cards, or, if you are feeling particularly appreciated, perhaps an annual bonus or extra time off. One thing is for sure, if the boss forgets this holiday it’ll be at his peril! https://www.daysoftheyear.com/days/administrative-professionals-day/


http://www.famousbirthdays.com/april22.html

Suit says Pine Lawn police were used as a tool of political intimidation

The American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri has sued the city of Pine Lawn for using its police department as a tool of political intimidation.

The federal lawsuit filed Tuesday centers around the 2013 race for mayor between Sylvester Caldwell, who was the incumbent, and challenger Nakisha Ford, who was backed by former mayor and councilman Adrian Wright.

In the suit, Wright alleges that Pine Lawn police arrested him several times on trumped-up charges stemming from an April 2012 traffic stop, then used the arrest to discredit his support for Ford.

"I agree with a lot of the frustrations out there," Wright said. "I get numerous phone calls from elderly citizens wanting to know if their tickets are real."

http://news.stlpublicradio.org/post/suit-says-pine-lawn-police-were-used-tool-political-intimidation

Daily Holidays - April 21

Chocolate-Covered Cashew Day National Chocolate Covered Cashews Day is celebrated each year on April 21st. The cashew is a tree from the tree family Anacardiaceae. Its English name comes from the Portuguese name for the fruit of the cashew tree “caju.” This tree is originally native to Northeastern Brazil; however, it is now widely grown in tropical climates for it’s cashew fruit and nuts. Surprisingly, the shell of the cashew nut is toxic, which is why the cashew is shelled before it is sold to consumers. The cashew nut is a very popular snack with a rich flavor. They are a well-known favorite during the holidays, but can be enjoyed anytime throughout the year. http://nationaldaycalendar.com/latest-posts/

Bulldogs are Beautiful Day If there’s ever a day when it’s time to look beyond appearances, it’s Bulldogs Are Beautiful Day. Known for their wrinkly faces, stocky builds and tendency to slobber, bulldogs don’t often find themselves associated with the word ‘beautiful’. On this occasion, however, things are different.

To celebrate, owners treat their beloved pets to a special adventure – be it a walk in the park or something more extensive. Delicious treats and extra cuddles are usually on the menu, too. Some dog-lovers dress their pets in cute garments and accessories. Those who don’t already own bulldogs, but have always wanted a furry, dribbling, loyal friend, can consider rescuing one from a dog home.

Bulldogs come in a wide variety of types, including Bull Mastiff, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, American Pit Bull Terrier and the Olde English Bulldogge. They are related to the Asiatic Mastiff, which, according to historical records, lived in Mesopotamia around 4,000 BC. https://www.daysoftheyear.com/days/bulldogs-are-beautiful-day/

Kindergarten Day National Kindergarten Day is celebrated annually on April 21st. This day honors Friedrich Wilhelm August Frobel (April 21, 1782 – June 21, 1852) who is credited for starting the very first Kindergarten in Germany in 1837. Frobel was a German teacher and a student of Pestalozzi who laid the foundation for modern education based on the recognition that children have unique needs and capabilities. He created the concept of the “kindergarten” through play and activity institute as a social experience for children for their transition from home to school. His goal was that children should be taken care of and nourished in “children’s gardens” like plants in a garden. Today, most states in the United States offer free kindergarten to children ages five and six. Kindergarten is a fun and memorable time in the “social experience of the transition from home to school.” http://nationaldaycalendar.com/latest-posts/

http://www.famousbirthdays.com/april21.html

Daily Holidays - April 20

National Pineapple Upside-
Down Cake Day Turn topsy-turvy with joy because April 20 is National Pineapple Upside-Down Cake Day!

Some desserts you have to turn upside down to get the utmost joy, and we certainly don't mind flipping the pan for this golden delicious treat.

While inverting cake pans with fruit in the bottom and batter on top is an idea dating back to the Middle Ages, canned pineapple wasn't available in America until Jim Dole began tinning them in 1903. Soon after, pineapple upside-down cakes began to appear on American kitchen tables everywhere.

Melting butter in a cast iron pan with brown sugar is a tantalizing way to start, and then you plunk pineapple slices into the mixture for an even sweeter beginning. A simple cake batter is poured on top - and yes, the smell of it baking just might make the neighbors beat your door down, so fair warning. Once you retrieve said heavenly confection from the oven, you invert the gooey contents on a cake plate.

Serve up some history with this storied recipe from vintage junior league cookbook, "Tea-Time at the Masters." One bite will turn any frown right-side round. http://eatocracy.cnn.com/2012/04/20/national-pineapple-upside-down-cake-day/

Chinese Language Day As the world’s most widely spoken language it seems appropriate that Mandarin Chinese has one day every year dedicated to it. This officially marked day of Mandarin language celebration was established by the United Nations as a way of celebrating the language’s history and overall contribution to the world. It is hoped that by having one day every year to celebrate Mandarin Chinese this additional focus on the language will encourage more people around the world to take it up. With China likely to become the largest economy in the world it is important that the wider world becomes interestingly more proficient in this wonderful language. Chinese Language Day is annually celebrated in April. A great way to get involved in the celebration is to join a Mandarin class or attend one of the many Confucian Hubs now established by China in countries around the world. https://www.daysoftheyear.com/days/chinese-language-day/

Lima Bean Respect Day National Lima Bean Respect Day is celebrated on April 20. Lima beans are a good source of protein, iron, magnesium, potassium and zinc. Lima beans can increase energy levels by helping to restore more iron

This day is a day to have Lima beans with your dinner as they are an often forgotten about vegetable. Most of us have grown up with the memory of not liking Lima beans as a child and do not give them a second chance as we become adults. They are delicious in soups, stews, salads, casseroles, by themselves or mixed with other vegetables. http://nationaldaycalendar.com/2013/04/19/april-20th-2013-national-look-alike-day-national-lima-bean-respect-day-national-pineapple-upside-down-cake-day/



http://www.famousbirthdays.com/april20.html
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