Factories that employ convicted felons are at the heart of a simmering debate about whether prisons should be siphoning away jobs — at much lower wages — that could be filled by those who need them during the nation's toughest period of unemployment in decades.
Congressional Republicans, a handful of Democrats and private-industry critics want to clamp down on Unicor. That is the trade name of Federal Prison Industries. Almost 13,000 inmates work in federal lockups for a few dollars a day, making everything from military uniforms to office furniture.
A federal judge has given Country Crossing casino developer Ronnie Gilley another two-week delay in reporting to prison.
Gilley was supposed to report to federal prison on Monday. U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson has granted Gilley's request to delay that until Nov. 19. The delay will allow the Enterprise businessman more time to recover from a complication from an unspecified surgery. It is the fourth delay granted to Gilley.
An Alabama utility crew heading to New Jersey has returned home, claiming it had to affiliate with a union to help with the recovery effort after Superstorm Sandy. But union officials, a New Jersey utility company and the governor say they were are mistaken.
Originally published on Fri November 2, 2012 8:57 am
Sandy has wreaked havoc for many musicians in the Northeast, along with everyone else up here. The New Amsterdam label for new music, located in Brooklyn's Red Hook neighborhood, says it took quite a hit: "Our space was flooded with almost four feet of polluted sea water. As a result, about 70% of our catalog of CDs has been destroyed — CDs we hold on behalf of our artists (we do not own them). Literally ALL of our financial records were destroyed, including our back-up hard-drive.
Originally published on Wed December 19, 2012 3:36 pm
Campaign reporters spend a lot of time pointing at color-coded electoral maps like the one below, showing which states voted for Republican John McCain (in red) and Democrat Barack Obama (in blue) in 2008.
But these maps lie — visually speaking.
Red appears to be the clear winner, dominating a vast swath from the South to the Rockies. It's all geographically accurate, but electorally skewed. For example, Montana (three electoral votes) dwarfs Massachusetts (which had 12 electoral votes in 2008).
Originally published on Fri November 2, 2012 11:15 pm
After a very long engagement that began with the original Toy Story, Disney finally made an honest woman out of Pixar in 2006, when it paid the requisite billions to move the computer animation giant into the Magic Kingdom. But Disney's spirited 2010 hit Tangled made it abundantly clear that Pixar had a say in the creative marriage: The story of Rapunzel may be standard Disney princess fare, but the whip-crack pacing and fractured-fairy tale wit felt unmistakably Pixar. From now on, it would seem, Mickey Mouse and Luxo Jr.
Originally published on Thu November 1, 2012 6:02 pm
Amid the devastation caused by Sandy, there are signs the superstorm might have blown a fresh breeze into the nation's politics. Suddenly, everyone's talking about something that seemed impossible just days before — bipartisanship.
Nothing sums that attitude up better than the actions of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. Republican Christie, who has worked closely with GOP hopeful Mitt Romney's campaign and has consistently proved one of President Obama's harshest critics, put that aside in the aftermath of Sandy.
Residents of Moonachie and Little Ferry, N.J., are beginning to clear the damage after their communities were inundated by floodwaters. The flooding occurred when a system of levees and berms was unable to control the storm surge pushed ashore by Superstorm Sandy.
Geologist Jeffrey Mount of the University of California, Davis, isn't surprised. "There really are only two kinds of levees," he says, "those that have failed, and those that will fail."
Desperation, laziness, overwhelming craving: I say these are three conditions that drive a person to make a tuna noodle casserole.
The desperation? A cupboard bare except for those nonperishable standards: pasta, a can of tuna and a can of cream of mushroom soup. Our friends along the Northeast Seaboard probably know what we're talking about right now.