Friday, May 30, 2008

Friday Morning One Liners...


Contract negotiations between The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co. and the union representing pharmacists at area Waldbaum's stores have stalled after the company declined to budge from its stance on employee retirement plans and refused to discuss other issues, the union said yesterday.

Long Island farmers are in a crunch as diesel and fertilizer costs continue to rise.

Here's an editorial on the problems L.I. farmers are facing.

NYC Food Pantries are scaling back on operations, by reducing handouts and turning people away.

Kroger Co. here yesterday said it has made a "significant investment" in The Little Clinic LLC "aimed at bringing walk-in medical clinics and consumer health solutions to stores across the country."
Read more of this story

Costco Wholesale Corp. here said yesterday that inflation in gasoline prices helped increase comparable-store sales in the U.S. by 6% during the third quarter ended May 11 — a figure that would have been up only 4% without the boost provided by fuel.
Read more of this story

Wal-Mart puts the squeeze on food costs [CNN Money]
With gas, grain, and dairy prices exploding, you'd think the biggest seller of corn flakes and Cocoa Puffs would be getting hit by rising food costs. But Wal-Mart has temporarily rolled back prices on hundreds of food items by as much as 30% this year. How? By pressuring vendors to take costs out of the supply chain.

More than half (54%) of people who dine out regularly are cutting back on restaurant spending due to the economy, according to the findings of a Mintel consumer report.
Read more of this story

John Catsimatidis, said that sales at his Gristedes supermarkets are up this year more than 8% over the same period last year

In a scathing report, the state's Commission of Investigation Thursday criticized the union representing Suffolk County correction officers for "highly questionable" accounting practices that failed to explain spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on things like airline tickets for board members' relatives, big-screen televisions and golf outings

And Donald Trump sold the Trump Marina Hotel and Casino for $316 million.


Top Republicans yesterday pledged a new push to urge Democratic lawmakers to help hard-pressed motorists by suspending the state's nearly 33 cent-a-gallon tax on gasoline for the summer

Republican leaders in Staten Island on Thursday night endorsed Francis H. Powers, a retired Wall Street executive, as their candidate for the Congressional seat being vacated by Representative Vito Fossella

Another controversial pastor associated with Obama?

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Thursday Afternoon One Liners...

Chris Chafe will become the new executive director of Change To Win

Here's more on Greg Tarpinian stepping down as the executive director of Change to Win.

RedOrbit News picked up the story on Local 338's strike authorization vote.

Crain's picked up the supermarket shortage story as well.

Here's the NY Observers take on supermarket closings...


Newsday writes, Brian X. Foley's candidacy for state Senate opens up the possibility of a special election for Brookhaven Town supervisor in which Republicans could widen their one-vote majority on the town council.

The Staten Island Democrats voted to endorse Michael McMahon for Fossella's seat last night.

And Ben & Jerry's has a new Ice Cream flavor modeled after John and Yoko.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Save our Supermarkets!! Press Event at City Hall tomorrow!

UFCW Local 1500

Save our Supermarkets!

** Reminder! **

Important Press Conference at City Hall tomorrow…

S.T.A.R.T. Members will receive 200 points for attending!

Join Community activists, health advocates and labor leaders in developing a healthy food policy in New York City by providing better access to nutritious foods at full service supermarkets!

The rising cost of food and the disappearance of neighborhood supermarkets are creating a crisis situation in our City!

In order to address the situation UFCW Local 1500 is joining with community based organizations and elected leaders to begin to address this important issue. Come stand with this coalition so that we can generate as much media attention as possible to create awareness on this crisis.

When: Tomorrow- May 28, 2008
@ 1:00 pm

Where: Front steps of NY City Hall

Good Food…
Good Jobs…
Good Health.

For more information simply hit reply on this email.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Friday Morning One Liners...

Half of Colorado's United Food and Commercial Workers would stop paying union dues if they could, according to the group's local president.

The UFCW in Utica sponsored an 'Eat Healthy Day' where students learned about eating healthy then had to race around a supermarket to purchase healthy food.

As Key Food passes from scene in Bay Ridge, Foodtown plans an Expansion.

Ninety Waldbaum’s pharmacists in 35 New York-area stores have authorized a strike after the company’s parent said it wants to pull the plug on their pension benefits

John Mackey, chairman and chief executive of Whole Foods Market here, this week issued an online in his bog on the company's website for the trouble he caused though his pseudonymous postings on the Yahoo stock message board.
Read more of this story

Mackey is also back to blogging...........again.

Reaffirming past estimates, an economic impact study of the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 found that 11,105 pharmacies across the country could close due to reductions in the Medicaid reimbursement rate, which is well below their cost to fill prescriptions.
Read more of this story

Supervlau in Minnesota has reportedly agreed to pay $15 million to settle a class-action lawsuit by Albertsons employees who quit, retired or were fired between 1996 and 2004 — before Supervalu acquired the company — but did not receive their final paychecks.
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Representatives of the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1473 in Madison, Wisconsin are urging a boycott of Woodman’s Market, issuing pamphlets at Woodman’s stores charging that the retailer had intimidated its union employees.
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Huntington Hartford II, the A&P heir noted for extravagantly spending a fortune on money-losing ventures and costly divorces, died at his home here at age 97, reports said Tuesday.
Read more of this story


The Fresh Market, Garden of Eden and housewares company Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. have all expressed interest in leasing space in Fort Lee, N. J. The most important name there is The Fresh Market, who since December have expressed interest to come up to the North East.

The U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday overrode President Bush’s veto of the 2007 Farm Bill by 316-108 votes, and the Senate followed yesterday, voting 82-13.
Read more of this story


The NY Sun writes on Casimatidis' campaign to the Mayors Office.

Noted economist and University of Maryland scholar John Lott says the election of Barack Obama as president would benefit labor unions even more than eight years of a Bill Clinton White House did.

In the face of mounting controversy over headline-grabbing statements from the Rev. John Hagee, CNN has learned that presumptive Republican nominee John McCain decided Thursday to reject his endorsement.

And Mayor Bloomberg was caught drinking in public last night.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Tuesday Morning One Liners...

John Fegan, the well-known senior vice president of pharmacy at Ahold USA here, will leave the company next week to become vice president of pharmacy at Winn-Dixie Stores, Jacksonville, Fla.
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NEW YORK — A number of prominent supermarket chains are participating in an American Express an in-store promotion revealed last week that enables shoppers to receive a free Spring Fling Card worth $25 from American Express Incentive Services when they purchase two American Express Gift Cards of any value

Safeway tries downsizing to better fit local needs [Los Angeles Times]
Safeway Stores Inc. jumped into the fray when it quietly opened a 15,000-square-foot store named the Market by Vons in Long Beach on Thursday as part of a test to see whether California shoppers like smaller neighborhood stores.

Safeway responds to Tesco challenge [Financial Times]
Tesco, the UK supermarket group, is eyeing a first direct response from a US competitor to the arrival in the US of its Fresh & Easy markets, with the opening this week by Safeway of a new similarly-sized small grocery store.

Bashas' announced it will cease home delivery of groceries after May 31 as "part of our plan to streamline our operations due to the current economic turndown."
Read more of this story

UFCW Canada takes ban on Ontario farm unions back to court

Whole Foods Market, the largest US natural-foods grocer, dropped the most in more than 18 months after second-quarter profit fell more than analysts estimated and sales growth slowed.

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Wal-Mart Stores Inc is now hiring store managers to work at Marketside, new smaller format stores the world's largest retailer is preparing to open in Arizona.


Need for more Supermarkets: Key Food Fight
Gristedes Will Reopen [Brooklyn Paper]

The Times Online: Soaring food prices have led to a growing number of middle-class New Yorkers joining an unusual organisation that “dumpster dives” in rubbish bins for food

With Food prices plumping like a frank on a grill, their biggest one-month surge in 18 years, according to Labor Department statistics released yesterday.

City plans on adding 63 more inspectors to enforce construction safety.

The New York Times writes on Anthony Weiner's Mayoral bid.

One of State Senator John Sabini’s longtime Hispanic supporters, Assemblyman Jose Peralta, is signaling that he may be ready to support Sabini’s likely challenger, City Councilman Hiram Monserrate.

Adam Clayton Powell, IV is going forward with his public advocate bid.

And the N.A.A.C.P. chose Benjamin T. Jealous, 35, an activist and former news executive, as its new president on Saturday, making him the youngest leader in the organization’s 99-year history.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Wednesday Morning One Liners...


Newsday writes on rising costs businesses are facing, focusing on Pathmark and other LI Supermarkets.

Plans call for Fairway to open other four stores in the metropolitan area and hire 2,000 employees. There also are plans to enhance Fairway's private-label business.

Wal-Mart Stores on Tuesday reported quarterly earnings that slightly exceeded analyst estimates, but cited a tough economy while providing a cautious outlook for the second quarter.
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A meat packing plant in the midst of an UFCW organizing campaign has been raided by I.C.E., resulting in the arrests of hundreds.

Responding to Wal-Mart Stores’ expansion of its generic drug program to include 90-day supplies for $10, the Kroger Co. said yesterday it would match the offer in all of its banners.
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Whole Foods Market here said yesterday it expects to complete its rebranding of Wild Oats by the end of the fiscal year, though it will spend another couple of years completing remodeling activity at some locations.
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The North American organic coffee market reached $1 billion in 2007, according to Daniele Giovannucci, author of the North American Organic Coffee Industry Survey.
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A&P’s Food Basics banner will host its annual family festival from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, May 24.
Read more of this story


After a landslide victory in West Virginia, Hillary Clinton emailed supporters to say, “[T]he pundits declaring this race over have it all wrong."

Here's are article highlighting the racism Obama volunteers face on the campaign trail.

Obama added 2 more super delegates this morning.

Bush-appointee William Donaldson, Clinton-appointee Arthur Levitt and Reagan-appointee David Ruder plan to announce they're backing Obama Wednesday.

Why labor still rules in New York-and what that will mean this November This is the way things are in New York politics, and the way they have been for decades, though on the national level, few unions would ever consider backing the GOP for much of anything

Suffolk lawmakers pass worker status billThe Suffolk Legislature Tuesday passed its much-debated worker status bill, marking the end of a months-long debate over whether the county should require its 17,000 licensed contractors to verify their employees' immigration status.

ALBANY — Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg of New York is appealing to Gov. David A. Paterson and legislative leaders to hold firm against two bills that the city believes would cost as much as $300 million a year. The mayor made his case last week in separate letters to the governor, the Senate majority leader, Joseph L. Bruno, and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.One bill would allow members of District Council 37, an umbrella group of New York City municipal unions, to retroactively buy into an early retirement plan that was offered in 1995, giving city workers a second chance to retire at 55. Read the entire story here

City Council member Darlene Mealy insists her sister's nonprofit group hasn't received a dime from taxpayers - but it wasn't for lack of trying.


Whole Foods announced in its quarterly report today that it will be opening a store in Closter, NJ. That will be closer to many Rocklanders than the current Edgewater or White Plains locations. Read the story here

The Hudson Yards deal has been declared dead.


A White House official yesterday told Reuters that high global food prices will likely be a persistent problem for the next two to three years, as the world replenishes depleted stores of grains and soybeans.
Read more of this story

Arguing that the 2007 Farm Bill is still too generous with federal subsidies to large commercial farmers, Grocery Manufacturers Association CEO Cal Dooley is urging lawmakers to oppose the Food and Energy Security Act of 2008, which is linked to the Farm Bill.
Read more of this story

More...NY Post writes on the Farm Bill from Hell.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

NYS Council on Food Policy Listening Session in Harlem

NYS Council on Food Policy Listening Session in Harlem

The New York State Council on Food Policy will be in HARLEM to LISTEN to YOU!

The NYS Council on Food Policy is holding a series of Listening Sessions around the state to gain perspective from community members on several food policy issue areas and to seek opportunities to maximize collaboration among stakeholders.

This is your chance to voice out your feelings on food!

"My grocery store just closed down!"

"My bodega only sells junk food!"

"Food prices are burning holes in my pockets!"

The Harlem Listening Session will be held from 5 to 7pm at

Adam Clayton Powell Jr. State Office Building

163 West 125th Street, New York

The Listening Sessions are open to the public and are an open microphone format. Anyone who wishes to participate will have five minutes to present their opinions and must also provide their comments in written format. Comments should focus on the key issue areas identified by the Council.

Key issue areas include:
1) Maximize participation in food and nutrition assistance programs;
2) Strengthen the connection between local food products and consumers;
3) Support efficient and profitable agricultural food production and food retail infrastructure; and
4) Increase consumer awareness and knowledge about healthy eating and improve access to safe and nutritious foods.

Please RSVP to John Mallen by calling 1.800.522.0456 ext. 212 or by sending an Email


Friday, May 9, 2008

Friday Morning One Liners...


Local Kroger stores remain open after employees from a dozen stores in the Ohio Valley voted down a tentative contract on Sunday. Members of the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 23 also approved a strike authorization, but won’t be hitting the picket line just yet.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc.'s hard-fought battle to turn Chicago into a beachhead for urban expansion across the country has come to a quiet end, at least for the foreseeable future, as big-city politics held sway over low prices.

Supermarket News also covered Wal-Mart's Chicago Retreat...

Wal-Mart Canada on Thursday said it will continue a national rollout of its supercenters in Canada this year, planning to build more than a dozen new stores by the end of its fiscal year in January.
Read more of this story

Six weeks after the Metropolitan Transportation Authority selected Tishman Speyer Properties to build a vast complex of office towers, apartment buildings and parks over the railyards on the West Side of Manhattan, the deal has fallen apart.

Congress yesterday announced that it has finalized a new version of the 2007 Farm Bill, which will increase support for federal nutrition programs such as food stamps, as well as for conservation and renewable energy programs.
Read more of this story

A 3% rise in comparable-store sales — including the best quarter at Pathmark in more than three years — helped lift fourth-quarter sales at A&P here to $2.2 billion but expenses in integrating the newly acquired Pathmark stores accelerated net losses to $61.5 million.

A new Quinnipiac poll says NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly is at the head of the pack to succeed Michael Bloomberg as New York City's next mayor.

Hillary Clinton send a "personal" letter to Barack Obama about the Florida and Michigan delegates.

The 23 NY members of the House of Representatives, all superdelegates, are not advising Hillary Clinton to drop out of the race.

And another Clinton Superdelegate defected to Obama...


The editorial board of The Staten Island Advance, a hugely influential paper in Vito Fossella’s district, wants him to resign.

One of Vito Fossella’s Democratic challengers, Steve Harrison, just released a public statement saying that if Fossella runs for reelection, “The people will decide in November if his recent behavior and revelations should disqualify him from continuing in office.”

Monday, May 5, 2008

Monday Morning One Liners

NY Times writes on NYC's current supermarket crisis, referencing the Key Food in the Bronx as a poster child for the crisis.

Here's a multimedia slide show put together by the Times.

Some 10,000 New Yorkers were asked: "How many servings of fruits and vegetables did you eat yesterday?" In nine of 12 Bronx neighborhoods, more than 15 percent answered, "None." The Solution? More Green Carts...Nelson Eusebio, executive director of the National Supermarket Association, insists that the 400 markets he represents are being unfairly targeted. "People [here just] don't eat as much vegetables as in suburbia," he said. "It has nothing to do with us." 500 'Green Carts will be rolled into the South Bronx starting this July...

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. said yesterday it shared almost $1.2 billion with its U.S. hourly associates through profit-sharing and 401(k) contributions, stock purchase plan, and associate merchandise discounts for the fiscal year ending Jan. 31, 2008.
Bashas' will cut its Administrative staff by 100.

Sen. Barack Obama won the endorsement of the Teamsters earlier this year after privately telling the union he supported ending the strict federal oversight imposed to root out corruption, according to officials from the union and the Obama campaign. is suing New York over a new law that requires out-of-state online companies to collect sales tax from shoppers in New York. "We are challenging the constitutionality of the recently enacted legislation in New York," Amazon spokeswoman Patricia Smith said. Officials estimated the state would gain about $50 million by requiring Internet giants such as to collect state sales tax. New Yorkers are currently on an honor system to report their online spending when they file state tax returns. The State Legislature and Gov. David A. Paterson passed the law as part of the 2008-09 budget.

From the WFP

Albany Times Union (Jochnowitz et al): Place your bets

After helping Democrats in some high-profile Senate contests, the influential 1199/SEIU health care union has decided to bet on Republicans, who still hold a 32-30 majority in the chamber, according to a person close to the union. The union will provide resources exclusively to the GOP this fall, the person said. Union leaders, joined by key health care industry figures, met Friday with Sen. Bruno to discuss how to help the GOP hold control. The union ruffled feathers in February when it was revealed it had donated more than $250,000 to the Working Families Party in less than two months.