Some good news

tomatoes

Naturally, I’m a little suspicious, but it sure sounds hopeful:

World’s largest retailer to put unprecedented market power behind groundbreaking Fair Food Program; Will work with CIW “to strengthen and expand” the FFP beyond Florida and into new crops!

United Nations Working Group on Business and Human Rights says FFP “offers promise for us all,” is “eager to see whether Fair Food Program is able to… serve as a model elsewhere in the world.”

This afternoon, at a ceremony held under a watermelon packing shed on a tomato farm outside of Immokalee (photo above), Walmart and the Coalition of Immokalee Workers signed an historic agreement for the world’s largest retailer to join the CIW’s Fair Food Program, the widely-acclaimed social responsibility program that is bringing real, measurable change to the men and women who harvest tomatoes for Florida’s $650 million tomato industry. As part of the agreement, Walmart will work with the CIW to expand the Fair Food Program beyond Florida and into “other crops beyond tomatoes in its produce supply chain.”

Alexandra Guáqueta, chair of the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights, also attended the signing ceremony “to support the Immokalee workers and the Fair Food Program, which offers such promise for us all,” and conveyed a statement on behalf of the Working Group. The statement praises the Fair Food Program for its “smart mix” of monitoring and enforcement tools, including “market incentives for growers and retailers, monitoring policies and, crucially, a robust and accessible mechanism to resolve complaints and provide remedy,” adding, “Workers have no fear of retaliation if they identify problems.” The statement concludes, “We are eager to see whether the Fair Food Program is able to leverage further change within participating businesses, and serve as a model elsewhere in the world.”

Oopsy daisy

AFP-Getty_461557241

Yeah, I’m getting tired of this, too. But this is the guy Christie hardly knew, remember:

(CNN) — Give him a position at the top of the agency; he’s a good friend of the governor.

That’s how David Wildstein was introduced to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey in 2010, according to a former employee with extensive knowledge of the agency’s hiring practices.

Soon after, Wildstein was named the director of Interstate Capital Projects, a title that previously had not existed at the bi-state agency, setting in motion a career that would eventually place the former political blogger at the center of the lane closures controversy at the George Washington Bridge.

Wildstein catapulted into the national spotlight with his response to the infamous e-mail from New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s aide: “Time for some traffic problems in Ft. Lee,” Bridget Kelly wrote. Wildstein responded, “Got it.”

A former Port Authority employee told CNN that agency officials were told in 2010 they had to find a place for WIldstein at the executive level and the directive was coming from Christie’s office.

Soon after, the position was created specifically for WIldstein. When Wildstein started, Deputy Executive Director Bill Baroni, Christie’s top appointee at the agency, introduced him to people as a good friend of the governor.

CNN examined documents from the Port Authority showing the names, titles and salaries of nearly 7,000 employees. The reports show that prior to Christie’s first term in office there were four people working in the deputy executive director’s office, the highest position on the New Jersey side of the agency. When Christie came into office the number increased to six. The documents show that Wildstein’s position was created in May 2010.

Sources, including several current and former employees at various levels of the Port Authority who did not want their names used, told CNN it was assumed that when David Wildstein was involved in any discussions at the agency, the information was being passed back to Christie’s office.

Working

Cluster Headache

The birds are twittering. A picturesque snow flurry is falling. And as I sit here, I have excruciating pain on the right side of my head that starts at the top and runs all the way down behind my ear. That is why I am drinking a Diet Pepsi and wearing a Velcroed ice pack around my head.

I’m beginning to think this has more to do with the chronic TMJ problem than my sinuses. (I have an appointment with the chiro this afternoon.)

I have such chronic tension in my neck and shoulders, you could bounce a brick off me. I’m running the other site, where it gets so busy, I sometimes forget to come back here and post. (Sorry!) I’m always feeding that goddamned media beast. So between that and the mechanical problems that come with being deskbound all day, I am fucked up. I feel like an assembly-line worker. “It’s my life has been wasted/And I who’ve been a fool/To let this manufacturer use my body for a tool.” Writers are no longer paid to write, they’re “content providers.” And the machine grinds on.

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