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Local Roundup

Amazon’s ‘Day 1’ Issues are Coming to the Forefront

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Day 1 is Amazon lingo for “staying hungry, making bold decisions and never forgetting about the customer,” and this mentality has been good for business, Amazon’s shoppers and shareholders.  However, employees are less than thrilled, and many of the company’s warehouse workers are voicing concerns that their employer is pushing them past their limits in the midst of a global pandemic.

In order to successfully maintain Day 1, Amazon has to lower labor costs and increase productivity, which means that it closes watches every minute that each employee is on the clock.  Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s founder, wrote in a 2016 shareholder letter, “Day 2 is stasis.  Followed by irrelevance.  Followed by excruciating, painful decline.  Followed by death.  And that is why it is always Day 1.”

After years of maintaining a policy of out-of-sight, out-of-mind, Amazon’s employment issues related to Day 1 are now becoming more visible.  In Bessemer, Alabama, workers have voted on whether to form a union, and if this idea gains traction, it will be the first union in Amazon’s history.  Due to the increased need for home deliveries during COVID-19, the company is now the second-largest private employer in the U.S., and in Bessemer, many of the pro-union workers are Black, which makes it a civil rights issue as well.

Continue Reading on Legal Reader

The complete guide to raising backyard chickens

in Local Roundup/Vacaville CA 16 views

The last ten years have seen a massive boom in backyard chicken-keeping, which has only been accelerated by the recent lockdowns, and the trend shows no signs of slowing in the years to come. More and more people are turning to backyard coops as their window into a healthier, locally sourced food supply, as well as the joys of chicken-keeping and animal companionship. However, keeping chickens is a complicated (and expensive) endeavor, that raises questions from what kind of breeds to get (and where) to how to make sure your new egg supply is safe to consume. We’ve answered these questions below, specifically for aspiring chicken keepers in the region of Buckley, Washington.

Continue Reading on THE COURIER-HERALD

Amazon’s Clashes With Labor: Days of Conflict and Control

in Vacaville CA 16 views

It has been Day 1 at Amazon ever since the company began more than a quarter-century ago. Day 1 is Amazon shorthand for staying hungry, making bold decisions and never forgetting about the customer. This start-up mentality — underdogs against the world — has been extremely good for Amazon’s shoppers and shareholders.

Day 1 holds less appeal for some of Amazon’s employees, especially those doing the physical work in the warehouses. A growing number feel the company is pushing them past their limits and risking their health. They would like Amazon to usher in a more benign Day 2.

The clash between the desire for Day 1 and Day 2 has been unfolding in Alabama, where Amazon warehouse workers in the community of Bessemer have voted on whether to form a union. Government labor regulators are getting ready to sort through the votes in the closely watched election. A result may come as soon as this week. If the union gains a foothold, it will be the first in the company’s history.

Attention has been focused on Bessemer, but the struggle between Day 1 and Day 2 is increasingly playing out everywhere in Amazon’s world. At its heart, the conflict is about control. To maintain Day 1, the company needs to lower labor costs and increase productivity, which requires measuring and tweaking every moment of a worker’s existence.

Continue Reading on New York Times

Solano experiences ‘significant’ drop in Covid case numbers

in Local Roundup/Solano County/Vacaville CA 22 views

FAIRFIELD — Solano County reported a noteworthy decrease Wednesday in coronavirus case numbers after two weeks of an upward trend.

The Public Health Division reported only 24 new cases, all of which were recorded in either Vallejo, Fairfield or Vacaville.

“For the day, the news is very good,” Dr. Bela Matyas, the county public health officer, said in a phone interview, “but I want to see it’s a trend.”

Matyas said he has no explanation for why the numbers climbed over the past two weeks, but said the cause of the transmission remained the same – social gatherings among younger residents.

Continue Reading on Daily Republic

Monterey Bay Aquarium announces reopening date

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Call it a golden oppor-tuna-ty for ocean lovers.

The Monterey Bay Aquarium, one of Northern California’s top visitor attractions, will reopen in May, 14 months after it closed due to the COVID pandemic.

The facility draws roughly 2 million visitors a year to Monterey’s Cannery Row to see exhibits of pulsating jellyfish, frolicking sea otters, waddling penguins, and cruising sharks.

The aquarium will reopen to members only for two weeks starting May 1, and then to the general public on Saturday May 15. Admission for members and the general public will be by advance reservation only at the aquarium’s website, www.montereybayaquarium.org

“We are super excited about having people back in the building,” said Julie Packard, the aquarium’s executive director. “It’s not just right to have the building be empty.”

During the pandemic, with no visitors, the aquarium suffered a major financial setback. To offset $55 million in losses over the past year, aquarium managers laid off about 40% of their staff of about 560 people to conserve enough money to continue to properly care for the animals and maintain the facilities.

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Elevate Dance Center wins big in regional competition

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Emma Mackley, Aubrey Colvin and Ashley Ede of Elevate Dance Studio perform a tap routine choreographed by Hailey Doyle and set to Christina Grimmie's "Absolutely Final Goodbye" at the Rainbow Dance Competition in Reno, Nevada. The trio won first place in the Rising Stars Duo/Trio category for ages 12 to 14. (Contributed Photo -- Rainbow National Dance Competition)

The past year has not been an easy one for the budding young dancers at Elevate Dance Center, having to shift from Zoom lessons to a hybrid model to back to Zoom to comply with COVID-19 regulations.

But throughout it all, the dancers kept on dancing. It paid off in a big way for them as Elevate Dance Center swept the Rainbow Dance Competition held March 19 to 21 in Reno, Nevada.

Elevate’s 28-member team performed 38 routines and received 32 Platinum awards, six Double Platinum awards, two first-place awards, one second place award, nine top 10 overall awards, the prestigious Al Gilbert Award for excellence in tap dancing, and the highest tap scoring routine for the weekend.

“We were so proud of them,” instructor Jennifer Daugavietis said. “We hadn’t seen a stage in almost two years because (of the COVID restrictions). The last time we had been on a stage was our recital in 2019.”

When the team last prepared for a competition in March 2020, half of the team were in San Mateo and received the call that the county would be implementing its shelter-at-home orders, prompting the competition to be canceled.

Continue Reading on The Reporter

Amazon Is Getting Sued for Failing to Give Warehouse Workers Meal and Rest Breaks

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It’s well documented that some Amazon employees work in gruelingphysically taxing, and unsafe conditions. In fact, a former Amazon warehouse employee in California has sued the company for not allowing its workers to take their full mandated meal or rest breaks, even though it discounts time for the former in their paychecks.

The case, which was transferred to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California on Friday, was filed on behalf of Lovenia Scott, a former logistics specialist that worked at Amazon’s warehouse in Vacaville, California for more than two years. Scott alleges that Amazon did not let her and other employees take their lawfully mandated 30-minute meal breaks in full for every five hours worked or their 10-minute rest breaks for every four hours worked.

Scott’s attorneys are asking the court to certify her case as a class action and to grant a trial by jury. Amazon, meanwhile, has denied any liability in the case in regard to Scott’s claims as an individual and her claims on behalf of a larger class of affected employees.

Continue Reading on Gizmodo

‘It’s just us being neighbors’ | Yeast for Change wants to bridge AAPI communities to others with Filipino food

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VACAVILLE, Calif. — Mark Famularcano, cook and baker with Vacaville non-profit Yeast for Change, really misses potlucks.

“I really enjoy it because it’s kind of like an outlet for me and at the same time, I really like sharing my own creations,” Famularcano said.

In the age of coronavirus, it has been hard to connect with people via food sharing. However, Famularcano is determined to make it happen for his local community, and he is doing it through an edible cultural exchange.

“The reason why we’re doing this initiative is so that we can try to be able to create a bridge to our neighbors, you know, try to ease this tension, and try to be able to communicate with food,” Famularcano said.

The Asian American and Pacific Islander [AAPI] communities in the U.S. have faced difficulties as of late, fighting back against prejudice and hate, especially in the wake of a mass shooting at three Atlanta spas that primarily targeted Asian women. The killings came amid a surge in hate crimes targeting Asian Americans and those of Asian descent across the U.S. during the coronavirus pandemic.

Continue Reading on ABC 10

California Thai chicken specialist finds niche with self-order

in Vacaville CA 22 views

When COVID-19 forced The Chicken Hawkers to close its indoor dining back in May, co-founder Deo Suwan decided it was a good time to introduce a self-order kiosk, along with takeout and third-party delivery, to the Vacaville, California store.

Fortunately, his POS provider, Clover, included an option to integrate Applova kiosk software.

“It’s picking up a lot (more) than before we used the kiosk,” Suwan told Kiosk Marketplace in a recent phone interview.

“It’s got the image of the food, and is easy for them to pay,” he said.

Suwan and his partners — Bua Deva and Lui Kancatta — launched The Chicken Hawkers two years ago mainly as a takeout restaurant after operating a more traditional restaurant with a more extensive menu, Thai Canteen, in Davis.

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Vacaville Music Therapy is touching young lives

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Music therapist, Brianna McCulloch (left) uses sign language to communicate with Rayna Neff, 13 of Vacaville during a recent session. McCulloch uses the rhythm of the music to help Neff learn words by regulating her speed and to help form syllables.Ê (Joel Rosenbaum -- The Reporter)

Sometimes when 13-year-old Rayna Neff sees her music therapist, Brianna McCulloch, she gets so excited that she can’t get her words out.

Rayna was born with Smith-Lemli-Opitz Syndrome, a rare disease that appears in just one out of 50,000-60,000 people. The syndrome, which prevents the body from making cholesterol, has also caused Rayna to be on the moderate to severe spectrum for autism. Her body cannot make cholesterol.

“It really affects her brain,” said her mom, Nicole Neff. “Her neurons do not fire properly. It causes intellectual disability.”

Rayna is at the developmental level of a toddler. She is so happy when she sees her therapist that the words won’t come. But McCulloch knows how to help.

Continue Reading on The Reporter

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