Car Wash Workers Negotiate Better Benefits and Wage Package

Jul 26, 16 Car Wash Workers Negotiate Better Benefits and Wage Package

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Forty-eight Brooklyn car wash workers successfully bargained for an 18-month contract which will bring their base pay up to a tad above minimum wage in exchange for the elimination of a tip credit system. Even more beneficial for the workers is paid sick days and paid vacation of one week per year, as many workers have families overseas. The vacation day plan will allow the workers to visit their families without having to worry about docked pay. Officials of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union say they are happy with the deal, and expect it could be used as a template for other unionized workers to negotiate similar deals. The deal stipulates that some workers will be able to earn $10 per hour, slightly more than the current minimum wage of $9 an hour. The sick day and vacation benefits will be available to all employees. The union viewed the deal as a big victory for them. “That’s a big deal,” said RWDSU spokeswoman Janna Pea. “A lot have families that do not live in the U.S. They will now be able to go back home to visit their families without having to worry about their jobs.” This contract is the tenth such accord for immigrant “carwasheros.” These New York workers voted to join the union in order to get better pay and benefits. This group of SLS workers is the largest to negotiate such a deal, according to union...

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Park Slope School Losing Funding for Lack of State Test Participation

Jun 08, 16 Park Slope School Losing Funding for Lack of State Test Participation

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PS 10 in Park Slope will lose a $75,000 grant because 12 percent of its student body opted out of state testing. This is despite the fact that NYC Public Advocate Letitia James sent a letter to families back in April assuring them that failure to participate in state testing would not result in negative consequences for the school or students. Now that the school, along with 15 others in the district have lost their reward school status, parents are working to reverse that decision. In order to be eligible for reward school status at least 95 percent of the student body must take the state exams. “I am alarmed that my school isn’t getting the rewards because people chose to opt out because of the tests,” parent Theresa Westerdahl said. “It’s a shame and it’s very unsettling,” said Tyndall Arrasmith, co-president of the PTA. “Parents when they opt out, it’s a personal choice,” Letitia James said. “Their schools should not be...

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Indictments Expected Against Former Brooklyn DA’s Office

May 30, 16 Indictments Expected Against Former Brooklyn DA’s Office

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A federal grand jury is meeting this week as part of an on-going investigation into the behavior of the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office under the former prosecutor Charles Hynes. Investigators have been looking into allegations that Hynes used money forfeited by criminals in inappropriately, and other misdeeds by the DA’s office. During the investigation Hynes suffered a “serious and incapacitating stroke,” said is lawyer’s office. Hynes is 81, and was the Brooklyn DA for 23 years. He was unseated when he lost his bid for re-election in 2013 to Ken Thompson. The Department of Investigation did find that Judge Barry Kamins gave Hynes campaign advice in addition to speaking with him on cases improperly. The DOI also found that Hynes used forfeiture funds to pay a political consultant, Mortimer Matz. Robert Hill Schwartz, Hynes’ lawyer, recently had open heart surgery and was unavailable for...

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Dow Chemical CEO, Andrew Liveris, Receives American Chemistry Society Honor

May 10, 16 Dow Chemical CEO, Andrew Liveris, Receives American Chemistry Society Honor

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Andrew Liveris, Dow Chemical CEO recently received the Corporate Leadership Award from the Midland section of the American Chemistry Society.  When accepting the award, Liveris spoke about how important it is to educate the next generation of chemists and engineers. The Dow executive said: “I feel like I’m with my people. This is a room full of science and chemistry and people dedicated to the field of chemistry.”  He then went on to explain the significance of the anniversary pin he was wearing which represented the four decades he has been at Dow. Addressing exemplary high school and college students, Andrew Liveris recalled how he had started off just like them “many years ago now,” but that today, as Dow Chemical CEO, he has a slew of tremendous responsibilities given that the firm “employs thousands of people and creates products in markets ranging from plastics to agriculture.” With regard to Dow “educating the next generation of chemists and engineers” to which Liveris referred, the Dow Chemical CEO said that Dow sponsors American Association of Chemistry Teachers, funding “advanced chemistry research and technology-based universities” throughout America as a way to do this.  The company is very committed to such an investment, “because we understand that students like you are the key to our company’s future.” Indeed, as an illustration of this, over the last five years, the firm has hired 10,000 people under the age of...

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Vandals De-face Brooklyn Police Car

Apr 03, 16 Vandals De-face Brooklyn Police Car

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Two policemen of the 84th Precinct were about to go out on patrol when they were confronted with a disturbing sight: two swastikas were painted on the marked car, and one tire was slashed. The incident occurred in Downtown Brooklyn on Gold Street right in front of the police station. The policemen discovered the defaced car at about 6pm last Monday evening. One swastika, which was the pre-eminent symbol of the Nazi party during World War II, was found on the hood of the car, while the other was drawn on the door. Police are investigating and searching the area carefully for the culprit or culprits, hoping that nearby surveillance cameras can lead them to the... starbuck coffee

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Get Real Achaar from Brooklyn Delhi

Mar 28, 16 Get Real Achaar from Brooklyn Delhi

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Until Chitra Agrawal started making her own achaar– strongly flavored Indian pickles- it was impossible to get properly made achaar in New York. Growing up, Agrawal loved eating lots of achaar, made by her aunts and grandmother back in India. When she grew up, she would bring back jars of the delicious treat back with her from India to New York. When Agrawal and her then boyfriend Ben Garthus finished the pickles, they soon realized that it was impossible to get as good tasting achaar in New York. She thought they were made with too much salt, preservatives, and “really bad oils.” Agrawal decided the time had come to simply make them herself. “Achaar is made all over India, but the type of fruits, vegetables, and oils they use vary by location,” Agrawal explained. “In the south, they often use sesame oil and spices like fenugreek. In the north, they might make it from carrot or cauliflower, in a base of mustard oil with nigella seeds.” Agrawal’s achaar is made with small amounts of salt and oil, allowing the freshness of the local ingredients she was using burst through. The first few batches that she made she served at pop-up dinners and cooking classes that she was already hosting. “People responded because they’re really different in flavor and more intense than something like a chutney, which you make and eat when it’s fresh” she said. “With achaar, the flavor gets better over time.” With so much support from the people who tried her achaar, she decided to launch Brooklyn...

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