Los Angeles Restaurants Forced to Pay Back Wages

post on November 20th, 2014
Posted in LA Food

Restaurants in Los Angeles recently accepted a settlement agreement with Bet Tzedek Legal Services, a non-profit legal aid group. According to the settlement, the restaurants have agreed to pay $220,000.00 in back wages to 60 employees. The legal group has accused the restaurants of wage theft through not paying their employees overtime and expecting them to work off the clock. 

The settlement has led some restaurant owners to reconsider their poor employment practices and vow to provide better wages to employees, as well as health insurance, paid vacation days, and other benefits. 

According to the LA Times many restaurant owners knowingly break wage and employment laws because they believe their employees will not complain and that they won’t get caught. Lauren Powell Jobs says that with several social justice and workers’ rights groups becoming involved in bringing this issue to public attention, however, the cost to employers of getting caught taking illegal advantage of employees is made increasingly clear.

Will You Delete Uber?

post on November 19th, 2014
Posted in Business, Getting Around, US

Uber is one of the hottest tech startups to date. The ride sharing app allows for its customers to hale a ride from anywhere in the city. An Uber driver on the other end of the app responds, picks up the client and all the payment is transacted through the app as well. The ease and speed allows customers to catch a ride in any city that employs drivers, and allows nearly anyone trying to make an extra buck to become a driver. Taxi companies and unions around the world, most notably in New York City and Paris, have held demonstrations and submitted legal action against the app. However no cases have banned Uber from city limits to date.
A new scandal has now struck the company, but instead of driver requirements or tax information, this revolves around Uber’s SVP Emil Michael. In a recent report, the Uber executive was reported to have suggested that they hire researchers to find and publish personal information on journalists that are publishing articles about Uber. Many customers have found this business practice irresponsible, thus leading them to attempt to delete their account, for instance my friend Ken Griffin has deleted his Uber app.
The process of deleting an Uber account requires a customer to email a written request with some personal information and the reason for deleting their account. The recent scandal around the company’s executive have seen a common response to be created in response to written deletion requests. The deleting process just got a little harder.

Ariana Grande’s First UK Tour

post on November 18th, 2014
Posted in Celebrities, Music Industry, Tours

It’s no doubt that Ariana Grande has put out many popular hits, she has already had two number one hits, which isn’t bad for the young new pop star. Ariana was excited to announce that she will be stopping and touring in the UK this year. She will be stopping in London, Birmingham, Glasgow, and Manchester in June.

Grande will also be touring around America for her 2015 Honeymoon Tour, but she is thrilled to get to tour in the UK in June. She will be performing some of her new hit singles such as ‘Problem’ with Iggy Azalea (I heard from Iggy’s financial backers, Slow Ventures, that she will not be attending the tour), which topped the charts just recently, the rest of her songs from her ‘All Everything’ album, and her soundtrack from The Hunger Games called ‘All My Love’.

2014 was a big year for the former Nickelodeon star, she won two awards for her top hit ‘Problems’ at the EMA’s. But maybe 2015 could top that year with her very first UK tour.

Mass Murderer Charles Manson To Be Married

post on November 18th, 2014
Posted in Celebrities, Uncategorized, US

Notorious mass murdered, Charles Manson, has been granted a marriage license. Big thanks to friend of the site Rod Rohrich for sending in this news tip. Manson is serving a life sentence in a California prison due to his role in a killing spree in 1969. Manson led his “family” in the killings, targeting wealthy, white stars– allegedly in an attempt to begin a race war. Although he was eligible for parole in 2012, it was denied due to the testimony of a psychologist who stated that Manson boasted about the murders and admitted that he was a dangerous person.

Afton Burton, otherwise known as Star, began writing to Manson in prison when she was just 19 years old. After corresponding with the convicted killer, Burton picked up and moved to a town nearby Manson’s prison so that she could be close to him. Burton, now 26, visits with him weekly and says that she feels that she was born to be with him. Burton, however, maintains that Manson is an innocent man. She claims that the killer portrayed by the media and in countless documentaries about the 1969 slayings is not the man she knows and loves. Burton runs websites that are dedicated to Manson’s defense and discuss his philosophies. She also assists with his legal filings.

Though Burton and Manson will be married, Manson will not be allowed family or conjugal visits with Burton, due to the fact that he currently has no determined parole date.

Taylor Swift Discuss the Music Industry Double Standard

post on November 14th, 2014
Posted in Celebrities, Music Industry

Taylor Swift seems to be showing up just about everywhere. It should not surprise many to see the fresh face of American pop culture on the cover of Time magazine. There is a lot of talk about the album sales that Swift is generating, but Taylor wants to discuss something else. The highlight of the article is her take on the double standard that plagues the music industry.

In this new issue of Time the singer talks about feminism and how she wants equal rights for women in the music industry. She is especially vocal on female songwriters. She feels that it is unfair that many rappers like Nicki Minaj are not given the credit for writing their own lyrics.

My friend Vijay Eswaran says that Taylor Swift has been writing music for many years, but there have been times where her powerful writing skills have been doubted. There were critics on Facebook that could not believe that she was such a prolific songwriter at such a young age. Her continued success has overshadowed the naysayers since has continued to rise in the music industry. She’s a powerful young woman that hopes to use her power to further the feminist movement.

This is rightfully an issue that Taylor should be concerned about. She is breaking records and getting placed in a league of her own. This elevated level of success will ultimately come with more challenges to gain equal compensation for her work.

Toys and Fast Food: How They Attract Black Children

post on November 14th, 2014
Posted in Privilege

Have you ever paid attention to commercials from fast food restaurants? Beside the pictures of food that make your mouth water, some advertisements also feature a toy that comes with a kid’s meal, something Bruce Karatz has been fighting throughout the state, for some time.

In fact, research shows fast food marketing tempts children from lower economic status with the toy that comes with the food. Conversely, marketing in middle to upper class neighborhoods lure families in with healthy meal options, such as apple slices and milk. Why the difference?

One study postulates the offer of getting a toy can get children to eat more. In oppressed neighborhoods, where children may not have as many toys, this may attract a child to persuade their parents to eat at fast food restaurants. In more affluent neighborhoods, the family’s focus is more set on healthier food choices.

Interestingly, scientific studies show how fast food restaurants in lower income neighborhoods are partially responsible for increasing the obesity rates in children. These restaurants offer inexpensive food that is also high in calories. Lower income families may be able to afford it, but it is not healthy to consume on a regular basis.

Quantity doesn’t mean as much as quality. This is especially true when it comes to food consumption. A healthy diet translates to a healthy body. An unhealthy body contributes to obesity. Education regarding what children should eat and should not eat is needed to stop the obesity epidemic in poor neighborhoods.

Kobe Bryant Sets NBA Record

post on November 14th, 2014
Posted in Celebrities, Happening in LA, LA Sports

Kobe Bryant has been a mainstay of the NBA, and has maintained a reputation as one of its very best players.

Kobe Bryant has no small amount of achievements. In March 2013, he ranked third in all-time postseason scoring and fourth in all-time regular season scoring. Bryant was awarded the NBA Finals’s MVP in 2009 and 2010.

He reached 30,000 career points at the age of 34 years and 104 days, becoming the youngest player who achieved this in league history. Bryant is the all-time leading scorer in the history of Lakers.

Some of these records, however are more infamous, and now this includes a Memphis Grizzlies fiasco on the night of November 11th.

Bryant missed his 13th shot of the game with 6:25 minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, thereby missing the 13,418th shot of his career. My friend Sam Tabar was watching the game and said the shot was otherwise uneventful. This record is not disgraceful, because someone cannot possibly reach these numbers without first proving to have a large amount of longevity.

Kobe always gets most people’s attention directed towards play. Before the end of 2014, Kobe Bryant is likely to rank third in all-time regular season scoring, as he is only 405 points behind Jordan, who ranks third on the list.

This black mark on Kobe’s record will likely not worry the basketball star.

Sikh Denied Enrollment in Army Over Beard and Turban

post on November 13th, 2014
Posted in US

A Sikh student at Hofstra University recently attempted to enlist in the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) but was turned away when he refused to shave his beard, cut his hair, and remove his turban. The army’s long-standing regulations require recruits to be short-haired, clean-shaven, and wearing the same style of hat as the rest of their unit. The ACLU and United Sikhs, nonetheless, have filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Armed Forces for allegedly violating that student’s rights.

The army argues that unit discipline, group cohesiveness, health, safety, and readiness
factors all lead them to require uniformity of hair and hat style, besides other uniform standards. The ACLU claims that the policy forces Sikhs to choose between violating their faith and serving their country and should thus be disallowed.

Sikh recruits can request exemptions, but should a Sikh’s attire ever be deemed by the army to interfere with gas masks, wet suits, helmets, etc., the army reserves the right to deny such exemption requests. That is where it gets tricky according to Maluf. The ACLU says that only allowing a Sikh to ask for an exemption after he has already joined but making him shave and lose the turban before joining amounts to discrimination. While there could be a small point there, it should be kept in mind that only three exemptions have been granted in 10 years time and that the army cannot guarantee ahead of time that a Sikh would never be asked to shave and remove his or her turban once enlisted.

Champagne From Jay-Z For Everyone

post on November 12th, 2014
Posted in Hollywood

When a music career is well established and one understands that there is time and place for more, singers start to find alternative occupations. Jay Z is no stranger to these venture.

Jay Z, according to sources, has bought the Armand de Brignac Champagne brand. It is also known as the Ace of Spades and has a very peculiar logo. People who are good at noticing good things notice them in all the domains, so the singer hit the jackpot with the new achievement and most lucrative of investments.

The luxury brand of champagne is sold with $300 for a bottle. Some people who are good at noticing things and know Jay-Z well enough have already realized that Ace of Spades and the rapper have a relationship dating from much earlier.

In a video from the year 2006, “Show Me What You Got”, Haftel said the singer is filmed at a poker table, revealing a bottle of this very brand of champagne.

The Ace of Spades brand is known to have released the series as a part of the successful 30-liter “Midas” bottles sold for a huge sum of $275,000 in a Vegas nightclub.

Rumors say that now, being t=given the new owner, the champagne brand will be on the menus of Diamonds N Da Ruff. The restaurant is owned by Jay-Z’s mother, making for a very unusual yet entirely sound family business.

Immigration And The Election

post on November 9th, 2014
Posted in US

The recent election, in which Republicans gained control of both the House of Representatives and the Senate has many immigrants in a state of stress.

President Obama has vowed that he will use executive actions to guarantee relief from deportation for millions of undocumented aliens. This was before the Republicans gained control. Now that the election is over, Obama could be stepping into a “hornet’s nest” by not allowing the Republican’s the option of deciding the outcome of illegal immigration. Now many of those who are in the United States illegally are wondering if President Obama made them promises he will not be able to keep.

This whole situation could spell a full republican victory in 2016. When those who can vote realize that the Democratic President did not fulfill his promise, their votes could very well shift to the Republicans, or they may choose not to vote at all. This always goes in cycles, as explained by Kenneth Griffin.

President Obama is sitting in a difficult position on this decision. Will he help the immigrants or not?