Whole Foods Stretches Low-Income Strategy

Originally posted on U.S.:

Seven miles south of Chicago’s bustling downtown area is the neighborhood of Englewood, a community known for vacant buildings, stretches of empty lots and crime.

The residents of Englewood, almost 1 out of 4 of whom is out of a job, heard a surprising announcement last month: Whole Foods is coming, planning to bring its aisles of heirloom tomatoes and costly organic cheer, by 2016. Although Whole Foods has built in gentrifying neighborhoods, betting on an 18,000-sq.-ft. store in Englewood marks its biggest gamble yet.

The famously upmarket chain’s move into Englewood isn’t without precedent. Whole Foods opened a store in Detroit’s transforming Midtown neighborhood, where the company received $4.2 million in tax credits. In 2011, Whole Foods opened a store in Boston’s Jamaica Plain, drawing complaints from some neighbors. But Midtown’s Wayne State University and medical and art centers broadened the grocery’s professional clientele, while Jamaica Plain had already seen rising real estate sales and obvious signs of gentrification before…

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Casualties of Obamacare Fight to Meet in Massachusetts Governor’s Race

Originally posted on U.S.:

Martha Coakley and Don Berwick have at least two things in common: They’re both Democratic candidates for governor of Massachusetts and they’re both casualties of the Republican war on Obamacare.

Coakley, Massachusetts’s attorney general, lost a 2010 special election to fill the U.S. Senate seat left vacant by the death of Ted Kennedy. She was widely assumed to be a shoe-in for the post, but lost to Republican Scott Brown in a race considered a proxy for the political battle raging over the health care law shortly before it passed in mid 2010.

Berwick, a pediatrician and long-time health policy expert, drew fire from the same Affordable Care Act (ACA) opponents when President Obama nominated him to head the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services in 2010. A consultant to Britain’s single-payer National Health Service, Berwick was unfairly labeled a proponent of heartless rationing. To avoid a messy confirmation…

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Australia’s Asylum Seeker Policy is ‘Offensive and Illegal': Indonesian MP

Originally posted on World:

An Indonesian lawmaker has criticized Australia’s asylum seeker policy, warning that it threatens to damage relations between the two countries. Tantowi Yahya, a prominent member of Indonesia’s Foreign Affairs Commission, described the new policy as “offensive” and “illegal” under international law, in an interview with the ABC.

The newly elected Australian government officially began its border protection plan Wednesday, with hopes of deterring asylum seekers from making the dangerous journey to Australia by boat. Under the policy, the navy will tow vessels back to Indonesia, a common transit point. Australian police placed in Indonesia will also buy old boats from fishermen and pay members of the community to spy on people smuggling operations.

Yahya said that key aspects of the policy had not been discussed with Indonesian officials and his country’s parliament would “fully reject” the plan. “It becomes our concern because, firstly, it might potentially jeopardize our already good relationships in the…

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Why I Would Make a Lousy American

Originally posted on Thinking Out Loud:

I would not do well as an American.

It’s not the gun control debate, or the politicizing of the American Church, or the law-and-order mentality, or the idea that Americans are more capitalist and entrepreneurial, or that I prefer French to Spanish as a second language, or the pronunciation of the 26th letter of the alphabet. No, none of those.

It’s the preoccupation with sports.

It seems that if you live in The States you can’t mention the city or state you’re from without saying, “Go ___________ [name of local team]” Your support for the local baseball/football/basketball team is taken as a given. To do otherwise would be less than patriotic, perhaps even less than Christian. A “good citizen” is one who supports the home team. Dissent would be traitorous.

Church and SportsDon’t get me wrong, we have our hockey fans here; a…

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Panera Bread CEO Living Off $4.50 a Day for Hunger Awareness

Originally posted on NewsFeed:

What’s it like to live on just $4.50 a day, the rough cost of a Burger King Whopper Jr. meal? Panera Bread CEO Ron Shaich, who makes $3 million a year, is finding out himself and telling the world about it.

Through participation in the SNAP challenge, a program in which he will live for a month on the average daily benefit provided by the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (better known to those who are compelled to live on it as food stamps), Shaich says he will experience what it is like to do without.

“Despite everything I have learned about hunger and the various efforts I’ve undertaken to try to make a dent in the problem, I have never actually experienced hunger firsthand,” said Shaich, who was inspired by an article in The New York Times, and is recording his experience through posts on his Linked In…

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Google Doodle Honors Physicist Léon Foucault, Shows How the Earth Spins

Originally posted on NewsFeed:

Today’s Google Doodle celebrates the life of the nineteenth-century, French physicist Léon Foucault, and features one of his most impressive inventions: the Foucault pendulum.

Back in the 19th century, it was well known that the earth rotated on its axis, but scientists had struggled to find a simple way of demonstrating this concept. Some particularly ambitious researchers tried dropping weights from high altitudes, or even launching a cannon balls vertically upwards and hoping the earth rotated sufficiently while the projectile was airborne that the ball’s launch point and landing point would deviate in a measurable fashion.

(PHOTOS:History of Google Doodles)

Luckily, before anyone could get seriously injured by these types of experiments, Foucault came to the rescue. He devised a stunningly-elegant test using a multi-directional pendulum. The pendulum would be released over a thin layer of sand, at such a height that the pendulum’s bob would barely graze…

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