Day: May 31, 2016

Tantalum?! Amazon document is an inside peek at newest compliance woes for top brass

Amazon has just filed its annual “conflict” minerals report with the Securities and Exchange Commission on a detailed — and we mean detailed — survey of suppliers who might unwittingly work with armed groups committing war crimes in the Congo region.

Yes, it’s gold.

The scores of companies supply commodities for making Amazon’s Kindle e-readers and Fire tablets. Last year’s survey literally ran from A (Aida Chemical Industries Co. in Japan) to Z (Zijin Mining Group Co. Ltd. Gold Refinery in China) in nearly 60 countries on all seven continents. The minerals are gold, tin, tungsten, and tantalum. The bottom line:

“While, for 2015, we identified no suppliers that were sourcing minerals through a supply chain that benefitted armed groups in the Democratic Republic of the Congo region, some of the suppliers for our Kindle/Fire products are still working to determine country of origin and facility information, and other suppliers are still investigating whether the facilities they identified were used to process the gold, tin, tungsten, or tantalum in our Kindle/Fire products.”

Related: SEC conflict reports explainer.

$17,000 to $23,000 a year: Blue is the new black in this Louisville job. (Just don’t have sex with the ‘clients’)

time-clockBoulevard reports extensively on executive pay at big local employers. But we also look at what folks make in the trenches — and in the slammer. This is from a recent ad in Craigslist’s etcetera help-wanted section in Louisville.

The job: halfway house corrections officer.

The duties: You’ll work at Community Transitional Services, a private Louisville halfway house under contract with the state Department of Corrections where paroled inmates land first after prison. Corrections officers count heads, monitor resident behavior, conduct searches for contraband, including drugs and alcohol surveillance, etc. (Boulevard worries about what “etcetera” might include.)

If this weren’t enticing enough, consider the wonderful work schedule: Full-time positions involve 12-hour shifts starting at 7 a.m. or 7 p.m., three and four days weekly,  alternating days every other week, with every other weekend off. Got that?

To qualify, applicants need a GED or high school diploma; a valid driver’s license, and a clean criminal background check (duh). Individuals on supervised parole needn’t apply (double-duh).

Big trouble in the house

Private lockups everywhere have a troubled history, and this place is no exception. Near the corner of 15th and Jefferson streets in the Russell community, CTS lost 329 offenders in 2013, when WDRB examined its history; nearly 1,000 had fled illegally since 2010. The company charged the state $31.61 per inmate daily, or $7,081 per day when the TV station visited. It’s had the corrections department contract since 2009.

Did we mention residents’ complaints about being sexually abused? In 2014, they lodged abuse allegations seven times; just two incidents were substantiated, according to the most recent report made public under the Prison Rape Elimination Act. None of them involved CTS staff, according to the report, which didn’t identify the offenders.

What it pays: $9.25 a hour, or $17,316 to $23,088 a year, depending on the number of days worked weekly.

Photo, top: Actor Matt McGorry as Corrections Officer John Bennet in Netflix’s dark comedy series Orange is the New Black, about a for-profit women’s prison. Here’s the trailer for season four, which starts June 17:

Summer’s officially here, so let’s love $3 balsamic strawberry pops, and the calliope of ice cream trucks

It’s now OK to wear white pants, cool off with abanicos — and binge on the ice cream we spotted Sunday at a Frosty Treats truck at the annual Willow Park Summer Concert Series. Cherokee Triangle street festivals are the go-to place for frozen treats: Steel City Pops was doing big business at last month’s Cherokee Art Fair, selling $3 craft popsicles from its new store at 1021 Bardstown Road; those are balsamic strawberry ones in the photo, top.

Ice cream street vendors have been around a long time, dating to the 19th century and advances in technology and sanitation, says Town & Country magazine. This summer, however, competition is igniting violent turf wars, according to this hair-raiser in yesterday’s New York Times.

That’s why we long for more genteel times in Louisville — like 1933, and this ice cream booth at the Kentucky State Fair from the University of Louisville’s Photographic Archives:

Ice Cream booth 1933