Having a rough time finding work? or keeping work. Could it be da Ganja? da Weed? da marijuana?


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The US unemployment rate is currently 4.2 percent.  It a very good time for those looking for work?

Are you filling out applications, sending resumes and not getting a call after the interview?

Do you smoke? 

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You may have an Epic resume with stellar references and a Oscar winning smile.  .  An oder can undo the best resume, even with an Oscar winning smile.  That oder could be too much perfume, and over powering body spray and Hygiene.

Occasionally an  interviewer MIGHT suggest the applicant use  less or no cologne or a body spray.  However an applicant smelling of alcohol or marijuana will likely hear, “thank you for applying, we are reviewing several applicants “

Heartbreak: You got the job.  You’ve been working there for several weeks  You love every one there and seem to  get along with everyone and one day without warning or discussion, your let go.

The Nose knows.  You smoked a little weed on the way to work.   Marijuana isn’t any different then any other smoke.  It gets in your hair, your clothes, and perminates your skin.  Like a person who smokes tobacco, the smoker doesn’t smell a thing however non smokers can.  That tobacco or ganja may be front and center during your interview.  Front and center in the workplace.

If you the new guy,  and if you seem to be smiling more than normal your supervisor may walk by or start a random conversation.   If they detect  ganja or alcohol after the first meeting you may be subject to further scrutiny.  If your task include driving, customer service or working with machinery may be viewed as a liability particularly if the Oder is brought to the attention of a manager or supervisors.

 After a few passes within the your first few weeks with the company , a drug test isn’t needed . The company can simply let you go . In most states, your not eligible for unemployment insurance if you have worked less than 90 to 120 days.

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Recreational Marijuana is Legal in my State!

Lets’s dispel with some of the myths.  While it is legal in many states to smoke ganja. Employer can legally fire you for using at work or before work. Not any different from anyone  who drinks on the jobs or coming to work impaired from a Sunday of beer.   They can demand a drug test and terminate you for having it in your system.

What if? 

You were using it for Medical purposes?  

If you think the card you bought at the dispensary will do it? Slap yourself  hard three times.

In 2016, a federal district court in California reaffirmed that an employer, in this case Kohl’s department store, maintains the right to discipline employees even where the marijuana use is recommended by a physician: “It does not violate [California’s laws against workplace discrimination] to terminate an employee based on their use of marijuana, regardless of why they use it,” the ruling said.

I’m not stupid, I would never smoke at work, can they still test me?  

The simple answer is yes: An employer can fire you if weed is found in your system. Doesn’t matter if its in Colorado or Oregon

In 2010, Brandon Coats, a quadriplegic.,was fired from Dish in Colorado after a random drug test. He worked for Dish for three years and smoked at home to help control seizures. In 2015, the Colorado Supreme court says the employee was not protected under the state’s “lawful activities statute.”

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There are a few thing happening here.  Marijuana does impair people from doing many functions.   You may have had a bud an hour before work, and while you may think your in control others around you may not.  A salesman lost a million dollar account because the client said he entered his office smelling like pot and acting funny (smiling).    Yes attitudes toward weed has changed, and at one point small amounts will be legal in all 50 states.

Many professional progressives who support legal marijuana ,are against marijuana in the workplace.  No more that someone smelling of alcohol. 

Showing up smelling of marijuana at an interview with a non smoker can almost guarantee you will not get a follow up interview.

Showing up at the workplace, smelling of marijuana could lead to a random drug test and termination.

Be Smart

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Don’t smoke weed, ganja, marijuana, in your car.  Its get into your headliner, carpet, seats and on to your clothes.   If you have smoked in your car have it deep cleaned and from that day forward make it a non smoking car. 

Don’t smoke in the same room as your clothes.

If you normally smoke before work, smoke before taking a shower.

Don’t smoke on your lunch break

If your communing with a smoker, consider alternative transportation.  Your not a criminal, your simply trying not to bring undue attention to yourself by way of smell and demeanor  and keep your job.

Remember just because no one has asked you to do a random drug test, doesn’t mean it wont happen one day so be smart.

 

CityFella

 

 

 

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Jeff Bezos CEO of Amazon and other Business Leaders could change U.S Gun Control Laws


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Contrary to popular opinion, the majority of Republicans support tightening gun laws.

In an Oct 2017 Quinnipiac poll ,conducted after the Las Vegas Massacre. Sixty percent of Americans supported tightening of Gun Laws. 36 percent opposed.  73 percent supported a ban of devices that allow owners of semi-automatic rifles to mimic fully Automatic rifles.(Bump Stops)  

A majority of voters who identify as Republican — 62 percent — said that such gun modifications should be banned. An even greater percentage of voters who live in households where there is a gun favor outlawing the devices.

Background checks have wide support among Americans at 94 percent, the Quinnipiac poll found. Even among those in gun-owning households, 93 percent are in favor of background checks.

Nearly two-thirds of respondents say they support a ban on the sale of assault weapons, as well as a prohibition on the sale of high-capacity magazines that hold more than 10 rounds. *

Not much has changed since the Sandy Hook Massacre in 2012, where 20 six year old students were killed by a lone gunman with an automatic rifle.  Before 2012,  the majority of Americans supported Gun Control.

After Sandy Hook, many states have weakened gun control laws.  Reducing or eliminating background checks. In some states, individuals with mental conditions and have used a firearms in a domestic dispute are legally allowed to purchase a firearm.

A block of Senators (56) from states were gun ownership is high, have routinely voted against every piece of gun control legislation proposed.

There have been several massacres since Sandy Hook, involving Automatic Rifles.

Those opposed to gun control believe limiting one gun,opens the door for the eventual elimination of all guns. 

“Based on the inaction’s of our elected, nothing is likely to change”

With one exception Business

Amazon is looking to open a second Headquarters.  Amazon has promised to invest $5 billion into the local economy and will eventually will create as many as 50,000 jobs.  Cities from Coast to Coast are clamoring to get this prize of the largest Internet Retailer in the World.

It would be a boon to Mega Cities like New York and Los Angeles and a game changer for cities like Des Moines and Sacramento.   Cities from coast to coast are competing for Amazon’s attention.

What would get the attention of states with liberal gun control laws is Business publicly avoiding those cities.   Business effectively changed Transgender Bathroom Laws in North Carolina, many companies have avoid states who are unfriend to the LGBT community including the NBA who moved relocated the coveted all star weekend from Charlotte to New Orleans.  Losing the weekend  resulted in a 60 million dollar loss to Charlotte and surrounding area.

It isn’t a perfect world, in California, the weapons used in San Bernardino Massacre  in 2015, were legal when they were purchase. however, the modification made to the firearms were illegal .

In California if you are convicted of possessing an Assault style firearm you can receive one to three years in Jail and a fine from $1000, to 10,000.  If you are accused of using the assault weapon or .50 BMG rifle, you face an additional and consecutive three to ten-year state prison sentence.

The reality is, the public and their employees are in danger in a state that has virtually no gun control law and allows the sale of firearms who only purpose is mass destruction.  It may be problematic attracting talent  and intimidating to Amazon employees who have transferred to state like Texas where open carry is permitted.

Business could effectively change gun laws and save lives.  The issue is not to take guns away, from hunters. homeowners, and gun fans.  It is simply to remove one type of gun, a gun that’s not used for hunting in Montana or Vermont.

Jeff Bezos and other business leaders would join the majority of Americans who want gun control and the removal of Assault weapons. The impact of Amazon and other major companies rejecting cities in states without waiting periods and sufficient background checks gun control would have a major impact.  Mr Bezos, are you listening?

CityFe

*The survey polled 1,482 voters and has a margin or error of 3 percentage points.

Amazon Corporate Headquarters 535 Terry Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109

 

 

 

Zzzzzz Your next-NEXT car will be Electric!


Yes, your next NEXT car will be electric.   A report from research firm,Bloomberg New Energy Finance says by 2022,” the report says, the cost of ownership of battery electric vehicles will fall below that of an internal combustion engine vehicle.  Bloomberg projects by 2040 25% of the cars globally will be electric.

In 2016, nearly 160,000 electric vehicles was sold in the US . Last year Toyota sold nearly 390,000 Toyota Camry’s

Electric vehicles have fewer moving parts than an internal combustion vehicle.

The current challenge for electric car production is the availability of batteries which currently accounts for one third of the cost of the vehicle.

California Clears The Air

Automobiles are responsible for more than 40% of air pollution.

Air pollution exposure can trigger new cases of asthma, exacerbate (worsen) a previously-existing respiratory illness, and provoke development or progression of chronic illnesses including lung cancerchronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and emphysema.

1.2 million die each year in India to diseases related to Air Pollution.  In China over 2 million people die annually.

In 1967, The State of California established the Air Resources Board(CARB).  One of the goals of CARB is maintaining air quality.  One of CARB’s responsibilities is to define vehicle emissions standards.  California is the only state permitted to issue emission standards.  Other states can choose to follow CARB standards   There was a time when Automakers  built two engines, one designed for California and the other for the other 49 states.

A few years ago CARB set a mandate for cars sold in the state. By 2025,15% of all cars sold in California must be zero polluting vehicles.  These would include, Electric, fuel cell vehicles powered by hydrogen.

Naturally there was resistance by auto manufacturers.  How committed was the state to implement this programs in 2006 there were a few charging stations and no hydrogen stations.

To build an electric vehicle from the ground up would cost the industry billions without a guarantee of acceptance by the public.

To meet this mandate, Auto manufactures modified existing vehicles adding an electric motor.  The problem is these cars had a very limited range(most were less than 100 miles) and to completely charge the cars took 8 hours or more.  The electric vehicles were based on a compact or subcompact platform, the average cost for these electric cars was $40,000 (before state and federal incentives) The manufactures lose money on each electric sold.   As for styling ,automakers seems to be dragging their feet, building something to meet the requirements.

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BMW I-3

The worlds best selling electric vehicle in the Nissan Leaf.   The Leaf was introduced in 2011 and more than 250,000 Leafs has been sold worldwide.   The current Leaf has a range of 107 miles.

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 Tesla Brings Sexy

Founded in 2003 The Palo Alto, California based Tesla started building electric vehicles in 2008.,  A two seat Roadster with a range of 200 miles.  It was the first production automobile to use the lithium-ion battery.

In 2012, Tesla introduced the model S.

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  Unlike the other automakers,the S was built from the ground up as an electric vehicle.  The batteries are larger and is a part of the cars structure. thus having a considerable longer range (265 to 351) than other electric vehicles .

The S was an instant hit.  With a price range from $80,000 to $100,000 its style attracted buyers who would normally purchase premium luxury cars from Mercedes Benz, BMW and Jaguar.

In 2015, Tesla introduced the model X, SUV.

Tesla has a network of high-powered Supercharges located across North America, Europe and Asia for Tesla vehicles.  Software within the vehicles navigation directs Tesla to charging stations.  The company also operates a Destination Charging program, under where shops, restaurants and other venues are offered fast chargers for their customers. As of  December 2016, Tesla has nearly 1000 stations globally, and 6,400 and charging locations. 

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Tesla Supercharing Center, Rocklin, Ca

Earlier this year, Tesla briefly surpassed Ford and General Motors in market capitalization for a couple of months, making it the most valuable American automaker.

An Electric World?

The Government of Norway intends to ban internal combustion engine cars fueled by gasoline or diesel by 2025.

  Sweden, Japan and the Netherlands do not have an official mandate, however,their governments are  looking at 2025.  Implementation in Japan and the Netherlands would not be difficult. In the Netherlands 6% of the cars sold are electric.  In Japan 14%

China, home to some of the world’s most polluted cities has a mandate similar to California requiring manufacturers to sell a minimum of 8% “new energy vehicles” by next year.  Virtually every car company argued the time table was too aggressive. Even though sales of the low or zero emissions vehicles are higher than in most other countries, except Norway, they still account for less than 3% of the Chinese new car market.

There are now strict limits on the number of new vehicles that can be registered in major cities such as Beijing and Shanghai, but qualified NEV models are exempt, encouraging buyers to shift. With some of the world’s most polluted cities, some observers believe China could call for an outright ban on internal combustion technology in the not-too-distant future.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       India wants all its cars to be battery powered by 2030 — and that means it not only wants to end the sale of internal combustion vehicles but convert or replace all other vehicles already on the road by the end of the next decade, a goal few see possible.

France and Germany, the ban is expected to be far more contentious. Auto manufacturers in both countries have condemned the moves by their respective governments to ban the internal combustion engine, saying that it would make the economy less competitive. European automakers have lagged behind Japanese and American ones in both hybrid and all-electric car technology, as conventional

European gasoline based and diesel cars already have high fuel economy. In response to so-called range anxiety, in which an electric car’s limited range may leave the driver stranded on the motorway, the Holland administration is expected to pair the proposed phaseout with national investment into charging stations as well as additional investment into TGV lines, to make it easier to travel long distances in France without a car.

Germany may also push to end sales of gas and diesel cars by 2030, but there is strong opposition, especially since half of its electricity comes from coal. Yet German automakers are launching major drives to electrify and that could help build momentum for a switch.

Volvo Leads the Way

In July, Volvo told the world ,all the models it introduces starting in 2019 will be either hybrids or powered solely by batteries.

Volvo headquartered in Sweden, is owned by Geely Automobile Holdings of China, which already produces battery-powered cars for the Chinese market. The decision by Volvo to focus on electric vehicles could ultimately give it and Geely a head start if, as many analysts expect, sales of battery powered cars begin to take off. China is already the largest market for electric vehicles.

Next!

With the American automakers focus on the very profitable SUV’s  will they have the billions necessary to build electric vehicles?  Currently every electric vehicle sold in America loses money.

Last year General Motors introduced the Chevy Bolt, the first car built from the ground up as an electric vehicle.   The car has been well received by the press.  Car and Driver says the Chevy Bolt ” is so cutting edge that it makes all other affordable electric vehicles seem irrelevant.”  At 238, it has more electric range than any car on the market with one exception, Tesla. It actually has a greater range than the highly anticipated Model 3

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Nissan just announced their next generation Leaf will have a range of 150 . Hiroto Saikawa CEO of Nissan says a Leaf with a range of 300 miles is possible within 3 years.

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Unlike Tesla, this car is affordable. its very quick and roomy AND it starts at $38,000 (before incentives) $40,000 less than the current Tesla model S.   If there is one problem with the car, its the styling.

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV

 

It not ugly or Toyota Prius Quirky.   Tesla gave buyers a reason to trade in their BMW’s and Mercedes . One would expect more from the General.

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Waiting in the wings is Tesla’s people’s car the  Model”3”. Tesla began building the car in its Fremont, California plant in July.    Pricing for the “3” begins at $35,000(before incentives), if its the “3′ you want, you’ll have to get in a very long line as 450,000 people have placed deposits on the “3”.  Based on Tesla’s track record the 400 thousandant should receive his “3” by 2020   Tesla has an Apple like, cult following and those people are willing to wait.

Game Changer?

With all the luxury manufacturers taking aim at Tesla. Jaguar, a company known for its stately vehicles, is introducing a compact luxury electric SUV called the I-Pace( Est arrival is first quarter 2018).  Its engineering comes from Tesla’s play book.  The batteries anchor the car with two electric motors, one at each axle.  Jaguar says the range of the I-pace is estimated at 220 miles.

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The SUV, will be built in Austria and the platform will be used on other Jaguars as the company says half of its vehicles  will be electric by 2025  The cost for I-Pace begins a tick under $100.000.

If $100,000 seems hefty.  Tesla sells to variations of the Model S for $100,000 and the Model X SUV sells for over $100,000.    If Jaguar is remotely successful, expect the automakers to quickly follow suit.

Perhaps with the assistance of Tesla’   Tesla build a Gigafactory, outside of Reno Nevada.  Panasonic is currently building car batteries in a section of the uncompleted building and Tesla will eventually build cars there.

  Cummins, known for diesel trucks recently introduced its first application for inthe first electric commercial truck

The truck has a range of 100 miles and is capable of hauling a 22-ton trailer.  Cummins electric power train is being targeted at urban delivery vehicles (like a beer truck or food delivery truck) as well as for short haul trips in and around ports and other terminals. It can be recharged in about an hour at a 140 kWh charging station, and Cummins’ goal is to get that down to 20 minutes by 2020, reducing down time for its business customers. Production begins in 2019.

There are challenges ahead for the industry.  There isn’t a standard for charging. In Most charging stations uses Level 2 J1772 charger.these will work on all electric cars. Those charging stations are fairly slow, often requiring hours to fully charge your vehicle.  If you own a Tesla you can drive from coast to coast due to their network of superchargers where owners can charge their cars in as little as 30 minutes. Those charger are exclusive to Tesla vehicles.

The other challenge is much greater.  Is  our national electrical (grid) prepared for an  increase of electric usage?  As a result of individual scharging their vehicles at home?

Your next-next new car is likely to be an electric car.  With ranges considerable more than the cars of today.

Like your cell phone, charge it and drive.

CityFella

Tourism is killing Venice, but it’s also the only key to survival for the Italian City


'Tourism is killing Venice, but it's also the only key to survival'
Throngs of tourists flood the streets of Venice. Photo: Venezia Autentica
By Catherine Edwards/The Local
Venice has topped travellers’ bucket lists for centuries, but in recent years the city has struggled to cope with mass tourism, while tension has grown between visitors and locals.

 

By the 17th century, a trip to Venice had become a rite of passage for upper class northern Europeans, who flocked to the lagoon city as part of the Italian Grand Tour. Writers and artists drank in inspiration from the city where imposing architecture was reflected in glittering waters and Venice became a symbol for Italian romance.

Fast forward to the 21st century, and the city is groaning under the weight of tourism.

Cheap flights, huge cruise ships, and the city’s Instagram appeal attract so many travellers that on a given day, there are more visitors than residents in the Veneto capital. It’s the type of tourism as much as the sheer amount that causes problems: the majority of visitors don’t stay overnight in the city, meaning most of them spend their time and their money in the same small areas.

Small businesses and artisans’ craft shops have been replaced by identikit souvenir stalls and fast food restaurants to cater to day-tripping bargain hunters. In recent years, Venetians have staged frequent protests against the mass tourism which has pushed up rents and forced many families out of their hometown.

But could the visitors hold the key to Venice’s survival?

“Venice is a one-industry city; it relies on tourism, like our bodies rely on food to survive,” says local resident Sebastian Fagarazzi.

“But in order to thrive, you need to have the right kind of food; the right kind of tourism. The wrong kind can mean death.”

Sebastian Fagarazzi’s family had to close down its textiles shop due to the pressure created by mass tourism; he says all his friends have left the city. Photo: Venezia Autentica

Fagarazzi and his partner, France-born Valeria Duflot, have launched Venezia Autentica, a social enterprise with the aim of promoting responsible tourism and supporting local business in the city.

Frustration with visitors has grown to the point that last summer, angry locals plastered the city with flyers reading ‘Tourists go away! You are destroying this city’, but the couple believe not only that tourists could help save Venice, but that a large number of them want to do so, and would if they were given the tools.

“Tourism is the problem, but it’s also the only solution,” Fagarazzi tells The Local. “Everyone protests [against excessive tourism], but no one has done much to try to have an immediate positive effect.”


Crowds mass at the Rialto Bridge. Photo: Venezia Autentica

Duflot met her partner on a visit to Venice before later making the city her home and remembers the difficulty she had in finding out about the real side to Venice, beyond the tourist hotspots and gondoliers.

“When I spoke to locals and met Sebastian, I learnt a lot about the city and enjoyed my time there much more. But at the start,it’s very hard to get that information and to know how to have a positive impact,” she says.

The 30-year-old came up with the idea for Venezia Autentica when walking down the city’s main street one day. To one side, she saw a crowd of cruise ship tourists; to the other, a group of young Venetians, carrying flags and singing local songs.

“In a flash, I thought, wouldn’t it be great if we could get these two groups to understand each other? I know other people care about the impact they have on Venice, and if just a small proportion of the visitors thinks like that, then we can have a huge impact, particularly as the Venetians now are so few,” Duflot explains.


Valeria Duflot first came to Venice in 2014 and now calls the city her home. Photo: Venezia Autentica

The pair are sceptical about recent measures introduced by city authorities aimed at protecting the city’s heritage, including bans on new hotels and takeaway food joints in the historic centre.

“They’ve basically closed the stable door after the horse has bolted,” says Fagarazzi. “It should be the city authorities who regulate tourism – you can’t expect visitors to do in depth research; after a 40-hour working week, you come on holiday to relax! But it’s meaningless political manouevring. The bans only apply to new establishments when there are hundreds already, and there will be exceptions when it suits the authorities.”

One thing missing from the new measures is any concrete proposal of support for Venetian-run businesses or local residents, such as tax exemptions for entrepreneurs or housing support for young people.

The two Venetians hope their business will offer some support to local entrepreneurs and artisans by highlighting their shops to visitors and educating tourists on the expertise and long hours that go into making a typical mask, for example.


A Venetian artisan works on a mask while a young girl watches. Photo: Venezia Autentica

Fagarazzi is acutely aware of the pressures local businesses face: in 2015, his family was forced to close its popular clothing shop in the city centre, after facing increasing pressure linked to the effects of mass tourism.

At the age of 32, he says the majority of his friends have been forced to leave because they can no longer make a life in Venice – “and it’s my generation that makes babies!”

“People worry that Venice could disappear because of flooding, but it actually could disappear much sooner,” Fagarazzi comments. “Without the Venetians, it’s not Venice. Time is running out.”

The local population has dropped below 55,000, less than half the figure of 40 years ago, as Venetians find themselves priced out of their hometown. What’s more, it has one of Italy’s oldest populations; despite the fact Veneto is the country’s second wealthiest region, youth unemployment is extremely high.

The couple hope that by supporting local artisans, they can help them stay in business and create opportunities for young Venetians to continue living in the city and carve out rewarding careers.


A lace-maker sits at work outside her shop. Photo: Venezia Autentica

On their website, they offer information about the city, guidelines for responsible tourism, and a selection of local restaurants and artisan shops that have the ‘Authentic Venice’ seal of approval. All have been personally tried and tested by the couple, their family and friends; as Fagarazzi says, “we need to be sure that it’s a consistently good experience -a business which makes Venice proud”.

Aside from following the online guide, there are a few clues tourists can look out for when hunting down a true Venetian experience. Duflot explains that there is no particular neighbourhood to go to for artisan shops, but there are some red flags to look out for.

“If you see someone standing outside a restaurant beckoning you in, or menus with pictures and flags of different countries, walk in the other direction!” she warns. “And in ‘artisan shops’, if you see any kind of massive sale or very cheap products, it won’t be good quality – which can be dangerous too.”

On the other hand, a true artisan shop will likely have a clear specialization in one kind of product; a craftsman at work – or signs that they’ve been working; and prices that reflect the fact that the simplest mask, for example, takes around seven hours to create.

“But the best litmus test is always to ask the salesperson about the craft. A seller of mass-produced souvenirs might badger you to buy things or repeat the same catchwords like ‘Murano glass’; an artisan will be able to tell you everything about what they do. Their eyes will light up,” says Duflot.


A mask-maker shows off her creations. Photo: Venezia Autentica

The pair say they hope that would-be visitors aren’t scared off Venice by the stories of anti-tourist sentiment, but also that they will take more time to learn about the city.

“It’s not a theme park to tick off your bucket list; it’s a real, living city with people and struggles which visitors should appreciate,” says Fagarazzi.

To get a glimpse of Venetian life and better understand the city, he advises visitors to venture off the well-trodden tourist trail and explore side streets and quieter piazzas. Not only does this ease the pressure on the city’s main thoroughfares, it’s also more likely to lead to a unique shop or experience.

“As a Venetian I’m envious, because I don’t get to experience the magic of getting lost and finding that incredible shop you’ll never find again. It’s like the Room of Requirement in Harry Potter – sometimes you stumble across the very thing you’re looking for, totally at random,” he says.

“Venice has always been very welcoming to all kinds of people,” adds Duflot. “Here, it doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from – just treat Venetians and their city well.”

 

Volvo reveals plans to go all electric… and it’s going to happen sooner than you think


Volvo reveals plans to go all electric... and it's going to happen sooner than you think

Volvo chief executive Håkan Samuelsson. Photo: Janerik Henriksson/TT

All new Volvo cars will be equipped with an electric motor from 2019, making it the first of the world’s traditional car makers to pull the plug on cars powered only by a combustion engine.

“This is about the customer,” said Volvo Cars president and chief executive Håkan Samuelsson in a statement. “People increasingly demand electrified cars, and we want to respond to our customers’ current and future needs. You can now pick and choose whichever electrified Volvo you wish.”

Volvo said it would launch five fully electric cars between 2019 and 2021, as well as petrol and diesel plug-in hybrids and so-called “mild-hybrid cars”, cars with a small petrol engine and large battery.

“This announcement marks the end of the solely combustion engine-powered car,” said Samuelsson. “Volvo Cars has stated that it plans to have sold a total of one million electrified cars by 2025. When we said it we meant it. This is how we are going to do it.”

Volvo Car Group is owned by Chinese Geely Holding. It is headquartered in Torslanda, Gothenburg, and has a factory there as well as in Ghent, Belgium, and Chengdu, China.

European car makers have been racing to develop electric vehicles.

German car giant Volkswagen is championing electric models in a bid to clean its tarnished reputation, after it admitted in September to installing emissions cheating software in 11 million diesel-powered cars worldwide.

Higher-end manufacturers like BMW and Daimler, which owns Mercedes, are also jostling for a share of the electric vehicle market, but face a challenge from newcomers like Tesla, which has had a head start in autonomous driving as well as electric power.\

The Local

Paying my credit cards on time cost me $$$


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“We live in a different world, then where we came from “

I live via electronics and plastic.  I rarely write a check.  Most of my debts are automatically deducted from my checking account.  Less than a hand full of my bills are mailed to me.    This is the new world.

Since I’m never late on my bills I rarely check the balances.    One day I checked my  balance on couple of my accounts because the balances staying near the same.   For some reason I had difficulty setting up an auto pay on these two accounts.  So I would pay them by phone on the due date.

After a little investigation, I discovered I was charged a late fee, even though the account was paid on time.  In the case of the my bank card , I paid over $450 00 in late fees, even though I paid them on time.   On the other card I paid more than  $175.00 in  fees and charges.

After five phone calls, I learned , to avoid late fees I had to make my payment by 3pm on the west coast, or 6pm (east coast time) on the date due.  It didn’t matter if I walked into one of the mega bank’s branches or paid by phone, the account must be received by 3pm. The mega bank did agree to reverse $150 of the $400 in bank fees.

The other business was not so accommodating, in addition to charging me $23 in late fees, they charged me $7.00 for calling them.  I once remembered questioning the $7.00 which was waived, I thought.  Because I didn’t have a paper trail or monitor my balance, that conversation was only in MY mind.

It would be easy to blame the big bad mean creditors. But I didn’t monitor my balances.  Apparently its all legal. Its in the fine print, page 716.

 I’ve returned to the old tried and true, I get billing via the US Postal service.

Ouch!

CityFella

 

 

 

Robin Hood? Portland Oregon Takes on Income Inequality


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The city council of Portland in Oregon will vote on Wednesday whether to impose a tax on companies whose CEO’s pay exceeds the median salary of their workers by a ratio of more than 100-to-one.

The measure, which was proposed by Portland city commissioner and former environmental lawyer Steve Novick, will take advantage of the fact that new Securities and Exchange Commisson (SEC) rules will require companies to disclose their executive pay ratios for the first time beginning in 2017.

If it passes, experts said the tax would be the first of its kind.

Novick said that he was inspired by a similar measure proposed by the California state senate in 2014, which failed to reach the supermajority needed to make changes to the state tax code. He was also inspired by reading French economist Thomas Piketty’s book Capital.

“To me, after global warming, income inequality is the biggest challenge we face in our society,” Novick said. “It’s been absolutely frightful to see the divide between regular folks and the richest-of-the-rich. It’s economically destabilizing, it’s politically destabilizing, it’s unhealthy.”

The measure could gain support from both sides of the political spectrum. As candidates, Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders – diametrically opposed on many issues – both pointed to the “rigged system” that supported the wealthiest one percent as a problem, Novick said.

The disparity between workers’ and CEOs’ pay has been rising sharply since the 1960s, when the average ratio was around 20-1. It now stands at above 200-1.

Novick’s proposal would increase current corporate income taxes by 10% if a company CEO had a salary ratio of above 100-1, and by 25% for CEOs with a ratio of 250-1 or higher.

He said that he was “95% confident” that he had the three votes needed to pass the measure through the five-person council.

“What I find quite interesting is that it seems [to be] the first tax that targets inequality as such,” said Branko Milanović, a former lead economist at the World Bank and a professor at New York University who specializes in income inequality.

For Milanović, the idea was novel because “it treats inequality as having a negative externality like taxing carbon emissions”.

Steve Seelig, a senior regulatory advisor for the corporate risk management advisory firm Willis Towers Watson, said that “this isn’t the first place and won’t be the last place” to try to impose such a scheme.

“Unlike current CEO pay disclosures that don’t really get a lot of attention from the rank-and-file, this one will,” Seelig said, referring to the new SEC disclosure rule. “It’ll be in the local newspapers, talked about at the water cooler, and companies need to be poised to deal with their workforce.”

Seelig said that workers were in some cases likely to go through “the stages of grief” upon finding out how much their CEOs are being paid. “Shock; then when they wake up the next day they’ll be angry, they’ll say how does this affect how much I am paid?”

“That’s going to present a lot of challenges to companies that don’t do a great job of explaining that proposition,” he added. Of Portland’s move, Seelig said that it probably wouldn’t meaningfully affect companies’ bottom lines, but that it was “a matter of raising awareness”.