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‘Joker’ laughs its way to October box office record   

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LOS ANGELES – The filmmakers and studio behind “Joker” have reason to put on a happy face. Despite concerns over its violent themes and ramped up theater security, audiences flocked to the multiplex to check out the R-rated film this weekend resulting in a record October opening.

Warner Bros. said Sunday that “Joker” grossed an estimated $93.5 million in ticket sales from 4,374 screens in North America. The previous October record-holder was the Spider-Man spinoff “Venom” which opened to $80 million last year. Internationally, “Joker” earned $140.5 million from 73 markets, resulting in a stunning $234 million global debut.

“This was a much larger result at the box office than we had ever anticipated globally,” said Jeff Goldstein, Warner Bros.’ president of domestic distribution. “Putting records aside, we’re just thrilled that audiences are embracing the movie as strong as they are.”

Since debuting at the Venice Film Festival where it won the prestigious Golden Lion last month, “Joker” has been both praised and criticized for its dark spin on the classic Batman villain played by Joaquin Phoenix. The film from director and co-writer Todd Phillips was always seen as a bit of a gamble with one of the studios’ most valuable pieces of intellectual property, hence its modest-for-a-comic-book-film $55 million budget.

But in the weeks leading up to its release, hype and uneasiness intensified beyond how audiences would react to placing this character in a realistic and unambiguously adult setting with “Taxi Driver” undertones. Responding to anxiety that the film might have the potential to inspire violence, multiple theater chains banned costumes or reaffirmed earlier policies regarding masks and authorities in numerous cities said they were stepping police patrols around theaters. Some relatives of the 2012 Aurora movie theater shooting even asked Warner Bros . to commit to gun control causes – the studio said it always has.

While some worried this would impact the box office, it did not ultimately detract audiences from turning out opening weekend; the box office surpassed industry expectations and may rise even higher when weekend actuals are reported Monday. Although the film got a B+ CinemaScore from opening night audiences, the studio is optimistic about its long-term playability.

“Sixty-six percent of the audience was under the age of 35,” Goldstein said. “That tells you that the audience will expand out with that younger group as time goes on.” The younger audience also gave the film a more favorable A- CinemaScore.

Paul Dergarabedian, the senior media analyst for box office tracker Comscore, said that the convergence of critical acclaim and controversy actually helped the film become bigger than expected at the box office.

“It’s the ultimate water-cooler movie right now,” Dergarabedian said.

He added that it was important that “Joker” was always marketed as a “very dark, R-rated film.”

“It always had an element of mystery and danger surrounding it,” Dergarabedian said. “If it were a G-rated film, controversy like this would not be a good thing.”

In the landscape of R-rated comic book films, “Joker” is nestled between “Deadpool” and its sequel, both of which opened over $125 million, and “Logan,” which launched with $88.4 million.

“Joker” was the only new wide release this weekend, which is down from last year when both “Venom” and “A Star is Born” opened. Holdovers populated the top 10: The more family friendly “Abominable” landed in second place with $12 million in its second weekend and “Downton Abbey” took third in its third weekend with $8 million.

With awards buzz behind it, the Judy Garland biopic “Judy,” starring Renee Zellweger, added nearly 1,000 screens this weekend and placed seventh with $4.5 million from 1,458 locations.

And in limited release, Pedro Almodovar’s critically acclaimed “Pain and Glory” launched on four screens to a solid $160,087. Less fortunate was the Natalie Portman-led astronaut drama “Lucy in the Sky” which earned only $55,000 from 37 theaters resulting in a dismal $1,500 per screen average.


          

Garth Brooks to receive Gershwin Prize for Popular Song   

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NASHVILLE, Tennessee – Country music superstar Garth Brooks has more than just friends in low places. The Library of Congress said Wednesday that the Grammy winner will receive the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song next March for his hit “Friends in Low Places.”

Previous recipients include Tony Bennett, Paul Simon, Carole King and Willie Nelson. Brooks is a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame. His many top hits alongside “Friends in Low Places” include “The Thunder Rolls,” “The Dance,” “Shameless” and “What She’s Doing Now.”

At 57, he’ll be the youngest recipient of the Gershwin Prize. He will be honored with an all-star tribute concert in Washington, D.C., that will air on PBS stations in spring 2020.

“An award is only as good as the names on it,” Brooks said in a statement. “First off, for any musician, the name Gershwin says it all. Add to Ira’s and George’s names the names of the past recipients, and you have an award of the highest honor. I am truly humbled.“

Since his debut in 1989, Brooks has become a top-selling and touring musical force, bringing his brand of high energy and emotional country music to stadiums and arenas.

He is the bestselling solo artist in the United States with more than 148 million in album sales, according to the Recording Industry Association of America, and is second only in total U.S. sales to the Beatles.

Born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Brooks combined his love of classic country music and cowboy songs with production typically seen in rock and pop acts. Seven of his albums have sold more than 10 million copies in the United States alone, according to the RIAA.

In the early 2000s, he took a break from recording and touring to spend more time with his family in Oklahoma. Brooks returned to major touring and recording in 2014, had a hit headliner residency at Wynn Las Vegas and remains one of country’s most popular touring acts. He is married to fellow country star Trisha Yearwood.


          

Ethics complaint targets Spokane Councilwoman Karen Stratton’s endorsement of Pasco marijuana business   

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Spokane City Councilwoman Karen Stratton’s endorsement last summer of a marijuana business seeking a license in Pasco has prompted formal allegations of unethical conduct.

The complaint, made to the city’s volunteer Ethics Commission, was made in the midst of a re-election campaign for Stratton, and as she and her husband navigate a bankrupcty case complicated by her own ties to the marijuana industry. The complaint was made by Spokane resident Neil Muller, who has made political contributions to Republican lawmakers and former political foes of Stratton. He alleges a letter the councilwoman sent, on official city letterhead, violates “both in spirit and specifically” several provisions of the city’s ethical code, including prohibitions on conflicts of interest and using an official position for personal financial gain.

Stratton said her relationship with Lucky Leaf, a marijuana retailer that opened in downtown Spokane in 2015, was borne out of her official role on the council assisting a business with complaints from the public. The pot shop opened amidst many protests from a nearby church four years ago. Stratton also said the marijuana production business she operates with her husband and other family partners does not have a processing license from the state, which would be necessary to sell their product directly to a retail store.

“I wrote it as a city councilperson, to me it was a city council to city council thing,” Stratton said, adding that she did not believe her actions were violations of the city’s ethical code.

The letter urges members of the Pasco City Council to consider the economic opportunities afforded by retailers such as Lucky Leaf, drawing on the transformations along First Avenue in downtown Spokane where the shop is located.

“The area has seen a resurgence of investment in recent years, and Lucky Leaf has been an important part of that resurgence,” Stratton wrote in her letter.

The owners of Lucky Leaf opened the store in Spokane after city officials forced closure of their Pasco storefront in 2015, and were hoping lawmakers there would reconsider their ban on stores during the summer of 2018. A ban on marijuana businesses in the central Washington city remains in place.

Stratton said she was approached by David and Shilo Morgan, owners of Lucky Leaf, to write a letter on their behalf, and she conferred with the City Council’s policy advisor, Brian McClatchey, before sending her own letter.

“I know Brian and I talked about it,” Stratton said. But Stratton said the conversation did not include whether writing the letter on city letterhead was appropriate.

When Washington regulators established the legal marijuana industry in the state, they split licenses to operate in the business into three categories: producers, processors and retailers. Producers are allowed by law only to sell to other producers or to processors. Processors are allowed to sell to retail stores. Some businesses own both producer and processor licenses, but Stratton’s business does not, which means her farm cannot sell directly to Lucky Leaf.

“Had that been a processor, I probably wouldn’t have done it,” Stratton said. “We don’t sell to retailers.”

David Morgan said Monday his business has never purchased directly from Stratton.

“There’s really no business connection,” he said.

But nothing in the law would prevent product her business had sold to a processor from ultimately winding up on Lucky Leaf’s shelves.

The letter, in the upper right corner, includes the logo of the City of Spokane and Stratton’s official office. Muller, in his complaint, urges the Ethics Commission to examine whether that official statement should be considered a conflict of interest.

“Stratton could have easily chosen to write a personal and/or business letter supporting her cannabis business colleagues and forwarding her personal political beliefs,” Muller wrote. “Instead, she invoked her office and the City of Spokane in a most improper manner.”

Stratton said the letter has been shared in Republican circles online, and the councilwoman canceled her scheduled appearance at an unrelated candidate event with the local GOP because they hadn’t called her to question her motives before posting the letter on their Facebook page in August.

“If I’ve done something wrong, I’ve been very transparent about it,” Stratton said. “I just can’t believe that this would be an ethics complaint. David Condon, Andy Rathbun and Jim Hedemark will do whatever they can to make this hard for me. Period.”

Rathbun is running against Stratton for her seat in northwest Spokane, and Hedemark is a political consultant for Rathbun’s campaign. Condon, Spokane’s mayor, reposted on his personal Facebook page a link to a blog shared to a local politics group mentioning the Strattons’ bankruptcy and her letter to the Pasco City Council.

The complaint also alleges a violation of the ethics code that prohibits the acceptance of gifts or gratuity for public services if it was “intended to serve as a reward for any official action on their part.” Lucky Leaf made a $1,000 contribution to Stratton’s re-election campaign Aug. 8, according to Public Disclosure Commission filings, but Morgan said the letter was not discussed before his firm made the donation.

Rathbun said he knew Muller professionally, but was unaware the ethics complaint had been filed. He declined to say whether the letter was an appropriate use of city resources.

“She wrote the letter, so she’ll have to answer as to her motivations,” Rathbun said.

Condon said in an email over the weekend that he had not coordinated with anyone in posting the link on his personal Facebook page. The mayor and Stratton have quarreled publicly several times in the past few years over issues including pay for department heads, Condon’s push for a restructured 911 response system in the city and the handling of the ouster of former Spokane Police Chief Frank Straub.

Muller has not contributed to Rathbun’s campaign, according to records filed with the Washington Public Disclosure Commission. But he contributed to Condon’s 2011 and 2015 mayoral campaigns, as well as a $50 donation in 2015 to Evan Verduin, who was running against Stratton. Verduin earned the mayor’s endorsement in that contest.

Stratton has recused herself from some votes involving the marijuana industry in the past, including when an arcade with dubious origins attempted to block the opening of a retailer on East Sprague Avenue.

As of Monday, the city’s Ethics Commission had not scheduled a meeting to discuss the complaint.


          

One Year On, How Has Amazon's Whole Foods Takeover Changed The Industry?   

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From Texas Standard . A year ago Saturday, Amazon announced it was buying Whole Foods, prompting a flurry of questions about what it meant for the country’s biggest online retailer to get involved in the grocery business. Since then, the industry has started exploring ecommerce, but Amazon has been moving cautiously.

          

Engie: ENGINEER INDUSTRIAL AUTOMATION & SERVICE   

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Competitive: Engie: Voor onze Business Unit, Belgian Operations, divisie Industry North, afdeling Process Solutions, gevestigd te Zwijndrecht, zijn we dringend op zoek na Zwijndrecht, Antwerp

          

Failure of SF grease recycling goes ignored   

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Photo courtesy nchoz on FlickrSo the city of San Francisco is trying to recycle restaurant grease into biofuel for automobiles, to save the city's pipes from having a heart attack, and to clean our air, and to save the planet from melting, and it's going to be so awesome, even the Chronicle and its self-styled nemesis BeyondChron manage to agree on its front-page-worthy awesomeness.

Which is why I think it's funny no one mentioned this has been tried before, and has failed.

Two years ago the Golden Gate Restaurant Association named Bay Area Biofuel of Richmond its "preferred vendor" for grease recycling, and then in May 2006 I wrote a big front page article saying the company was growing production based on the partnership, and hoped to soon be profitable. The executive director of the restaurant association said Bay Area Biofuel "has all the right stuff" for the partnership, and according to my notes told me the association had conducted interviews to "find the industry leader" before settling on the company.

In October 2006, my colleague Lizette Wilson checked in with Bay Area Biofuel as part of a industry roundup article. She found the company still unprofitable, looking for more money from investors and drowning in unprocessed grease ("We need to expand production significantly to keep up with supply and be profitable").

By February of this year, the company's website had disappeared.

Then in May, Bay Area Biofuel Inc. of Richmond, CA filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy liquidation in an Oakland court, according to Dow Jones Newswires' Corporate Filings Alert.

With Bay Area Biofuel gone, the city obviously needed to turn to a different company for its new grease recycling program. It settled on Blue Sky Bio-fuels of Oakland, which according to the Chronicle has been making biofuel for just two months.

I'm not saying San Francisco's new grease-to-biofuel effort will definitely fail, just that the city and its partner Blue Sky need to be asked what they will do to avoid the fate of Bay Area Biofuel and how certain they are about the sustainability of the restaurant grease recycling program. And coverage of the city's high-profile announcement should take note of the dead corporate body lying on this green road to the future.

By all accounts, including those of restaurateurs I interviewed in May 2006, restaurants are more likely to recycle their grease -- instead of pouring it down the drain -- if pickup is timely and reliable. There are well-established companies willing to reliably pick up restaurant grease for less glamorous ends than biofuel, as they have been doing for years. If restaurants are going to be encouraged to switch to a new recycler, it should probably be someone who is going to be around for some time to come.

(Photo courtesy nchoz on Flickr via Creative Commons license.)

          

Kroger, Walgreens to top selling e-cigarettes in U.S.   

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The vaping industry has come under scrutiny after hundreds of people have fallen ill and at least eight have died after using vaping devices.

          

Desktop Support Technician - Real Estate Council of BC - Vancouver, BC   

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We are accountable to government, and we advise government on real estate industry issues. Technical proficiency in Microsoft Office, web-based applications…
From Real Estate Council of BC - Tue, 10 Sep 2019 23:35:16 GMT - View all Vancouver, BC jobs

          

Investigation and Complaints Coordinator - Real Estate Council of BC - Vancouver, BC   

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We are accountable to government, and we advise government on real estate industry issues. Proficient in Microsoft Office and Adobe Pro, DC or other similar…
From Real Estate Council of BC - Tue, 10 Sep 2019 23:35:16 GMT - View all Vancouver, BC jobs

          

Auditor/Investigator - Real Estate Council of BC - Vancouver, BC   

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We are accountable to government, and we advise government on real estate industry issues. The Real Estate Council of British Columbia protects the public…
From Real Estate Council of BC - Wed, 02 Oct 2019 23:33:36 GMT - View all Vancouver, BC jobs

          

US companies likely to invest more in Mandalay   

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THE recent meeting between Mandalay Region Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MRCCI) and representatives from US-ASEAN Business Council showed some hope for American companies coming to invest in Mandalay, said MRCCI Secretary U Okkar Kyaw.

He added, “These representatives are opening offices in ASEAN nations. The Deputy US Ambassador urged American businesses to come invest in Mandalay. The MRCCI has an American Economic Center and ASEAN intends to work closely with them,” he added.
The meeting on 3 October was attended by the US Embassy’s Deputy Chief of Mission Mr George Sibley and seems to show the US’ interest to invest in Mandalay.
The business council delegation was led by its President & CEO Mr Alexander C Feldman with representatives from US companies Abbott, Amazon, Bower Group Asia, Chevron, Chubb, Coca-Cola, Diageo, Ford, Google, Jhpiego, MasterCard and Visa engaging in discussions with merchants and businesspeople from Mandalay.
—Khine Set Wai
(Translated by Zaw Htet Oo)
Ref; THE GLOBAL NEW LIGHT OF MYANMAR
PHOTO: PHOTO: KHINE SET WAI

          

‘At 50, I’m willing to give another man one last chance’ -Ayo Adesanya Talks Future Plans For Marriage In New Interview   

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Actress, director and producer, Ayo Adesanya with over two decades and half experience in the entertainment industry doesn’t look 50 at all, one of the reasons the mom-of-one is set to give marriage another shot, after her first trial packed

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The post ‘At 50, I’m willing to give another man one last chance’ -Ayo Adesanya Talks Future Plans For Marriage In New Interview appeared first on Motherhood In-Style Magazine.


          

Sustainable Clout: Timberland, Public School to Collab — But Wait, There’s More   

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At Timberland's "Freight-to-Table" dinner, the brand convened cross-industry players and talked sustainability, collaboration and more.

          

HF RFID NFC Reader ISO14443A/B/Android Tablet Pad PC /Capacitive 7 Inches Touch Screen/1d 2dimension Barcode Scanner /WiFi 3G Bluetooth GPS Multi-Ports PDA   

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BEI700 Features: 1. Multi-Data Capture Functions 1). BEI700 is with built-in 1D laser Barcode scanner, option CCD barcode reader, suitable for all kinds of complex industrial conditions. 2). Integ...Barcode Electronics Industry Co., Ltd

          

Quality Inspector   

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NJ-New Providence, Quality Inspector Location : New Providence NJ US 07974 Job Type : Direct Reference Code : 19975-AS1 Compensation : 17.00 - 20.00 USD/HOUR Start Date : 10/07/2019 Hours : Full Time Required Years of Experience : 3 Required Education : High School Diploma / GED Travel : No Relocation : No Job Industry : Engineering Job Description : Permanent position for a Quality Inspector for manufacturing of co

          

Executive Administrative Assistant   

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NJ-Newark, A+ Personnel celebrates its 32nd Anniversary in the staffing industry in 2019! We have successfully been placing qualified candidates with top corporations, from entry to C-Level, in New Jersey and New York. We would like to thank our client companies and outstanding candidates for their major contribution to our continued success. We now look forward to assisting you with your next career move! J

          

CBS News is The Latest to Report Health Concerns Regarding 5G Small Cell Tower Installation    

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CBS News is The Latest to Report Health Concerns Regarding 5G Small Cell Tower Installation May 31, 2018 By B.N. Frank On May 29, 2018, CBS News aired a segment about the many Americans who are fighting small cell towers being installed in residential yards and everywhere else in their communities. Quote :The wireless industry is in a race to roll out 5G service. The network is supposed to be up to 100 times faster than current data speeds, but it requires cellphone tower equipment ...

          

DELIVERY DRIVER (Franchise) - Aaron's - Gillette, WY   

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Reviewing lease agreements with the customer is occasionally required. Aaron’s has a long legacy as an industry leader, with continued growth regardless of the…
From Aaron's, Inc. - Thu, 05 Sep 2019 15:31:23 GMT - View all Gillette, WY jobs

          

Oman Data Park (ODP) receives payment security certification    

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(Telecompaper) Oman Data Park (ODP), Oman's first managed and cloud services provider, has received payment card industry data security standards (PCI DSS)...

          

Java Full Stack Developer - Boson Solutions - Charlotte, NC   

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Axius Technologies is a leading multimillion $ Global Talent Development Corporation, building skilled manpower pool for global industry requirements.
From Indeed - Wed, 02 Oct 2019 17:23:50 GMT - View all Charlotte, NC jobs

          

Customer Service & Driver of Medical Equipment CST - Rotech - Cody, WY   

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As well as the instruction to patients and/or caregivers concerning proper use and maintenance of equipment. Join the Leader in the Home Healthcare Industry and…
From Rotech - Tue, 23 Jul 2019 02:06:32 GMT - View all Cody, WY jobs

          

Gwen DeVoe - Episode #253   

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Gwendolyn DeVoe is the Creator and Executive Producer of Full Figured Fashion Week®, an annual presentation of the fashion industry’s finest plus models, designers, retailers, boutiques and businesses with products and services for the plus community.  The event celebrated ten years of production in June 2018 and is heralded as one of the industry’s most legitimate gateways for plus fashion and a “must attend’ for anyone involved in the industry. Gwen has written content for USA Today, and has appeared as an expert on several radio and television shows including Fox 5’s Good Day New York, OMG! Insider Entertainment Tonight and ASPIRE TV.  Gwen’s recent features include The Huffington Post’s Women in Business, Fortune.com, Fashion & Style, and Biz Women - The Business Journal. Gwen will be recognized at the inaugural Full Figured Industry Awards as the Lifetime Achievement Award Honoree, November 2nd in New York.

          

Würth Industry North America Acquires Fasco Fastener   

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Picture Head Holdings Names Industry Veteran Executive, Bill Romeo, President   

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8 Traits of Next Generation Insurers   

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The insurance industry is at a tipping point. The next generation of insurers are disrupting traditional business models and building future-proof business systems that will adapt to changing industry dynamics.

Traditional insurers must adapt to this disruption … or risk being completely displaced from the marketplace. Getting there won’t be easy. Traditional insurers face legacy roadblocks to next-generation success. These systems were designed for success in an earlier era, but now hinder their ability to adapt to the digital age.

The guide explores 8 traits of next-generation insurers — and what holds traditional insurers back from emulating their success.

Included in this guide:

  • How next-generation insurers are reinventing traditional insurance products and services
  • How these challengers leverage modern technology to drive customer experience improvements by unlocking more information and using it faster
  • How traditional insurers can confront legacy systems and legacy thinking to mitigate risk and ensure successful modernization efforts


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