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The business of tipping

A huge part of a restaurant’s success is the ability to maintain great wait staff.  This becomes a major challenge when customers do not adequately compensate the waiters. 
In some states, waiters are paid a base salary that is a fraction of minimum wage, with the expectation that tips or gratuity will make up the difference. The lack of appropriate tipping is the primary reason excellent waiters move on to better-paying gigs. Soon after great staff leaves, the service begins to suffer and customers wonder why.
So many situations call for tipping that it is easy to become confused.  Sit-down restaurants, buffets, bars and hair salons are only a few of the locations where tipping is not only desired but expected. Tipping is considered a part of etiquette, according to the experts at the Emily Post Institute. How much to tip and how often are the questions that perplex many.

‘Educating Black Girls’ and questions galore

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We hear so much about the 47 percent dropout rate among black males, but I believe a 40 percent dropout rate among black females is outrageous and unacceptable. Black males may be on life support, but black females are in critical condition.
What are the factors causing so many black girls to leave school? Could one factor be that only18 percent of black girls by eighth grade are proficient in reading? Could another factor be that only 13 percent are proficient in math by eighth grade? What about the fact that 21 percent of black girls are retained at least once? How does retention affect the psyche of black girls? What effect does black girls’ suspension rate of 12 percent have on their dropout rate? Black girls’ pregnancy rate had been considered a factor in their dropout rate. But then in-school and alternative school programs emerged.

‘Are the kids out of the car?’

kidsnheat 600On Wednesday, Shelby County Dist. Atty. Gen. Amy Weirich and Memphis Child Advocacy Center Executive Director Virginia Stallworth slated a midday news conference at the Memphis Child Advocacy Center to address the matter.
Tennessee law holds adults responsible for leaving a child under age 7 unattended in a vehicle on public property, including at any shopping center, trailer park, apartment complex or at any other premises generally frequented by the public.
Meanwhile, the Tennessee Department of Human Services is reminding licensed child care providers across the state that are approved to transport children of the licensing rules and preventative measures to keep children safe when transporting them during summer months. DHS licensing staff will be making extra visits to monitor child care agencies.

Ikea and the Gap fill the wage gap

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President Obama would like the national minimum wage to rise to $10.10 an hour. By executive order, he has already raised the minimum wage for federal contractors.  House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has threatened to sue President Obama for his use of executive order, which he says circumvents Congressional authority.
Ikea said it will raise the average minimum wage to $10.76 an hour, which is an increase of 17 percent.  Ikea says its goal is to offer their workers a living wage, regardless of whether their competitors offer it.  Half of Ikea employees will get a raise, while those who already earn a living wage will not. The chain now provides other benefits, such as a 401-k match. Ikea has just 38 stores in the United States, which may minimize the impact their wage increase has on its competitors.  Still, Ikea has done the right thing and earned a competitive advantage in the areas where they have stores.

Why we need more black female rappers

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I swear, this is not another “I miss Lauryn Hill” article, even though, yes, I do miss her output. “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill” (and, to a lesser degree, the “Unplugged” double album) changed my life for the better. But as often as Hill is cited for being the greatest female rapper of all time (I agree) and, in some circles, the greatest rapper, period (I also agree), she wasn’t the only. There were several, and as an ’80s baby, I grew up watching them and sneaking to order their videos off Video Jukebox and playing dumb like I didn’t know where the charges came from when my parents got the bill.