business news in context, analysis with attitude

Responding to yesterday’s story on MNB about Felpausch being sold to Spartan Stores, one MNB user wrote:

Felpausch has long been a beloved presence in the markets they have served for three generations now. Unfortunately, this is yet another case of a retailer who has had to succumb to the pressures of competition. My fear is that being purchased by a wholesaler who is still trying to figure out how to be an effective retailer will only result in their losing their connection to the local communities and everything that Felpausch has worked to build for the last 70+ years. Let’s hope Spartan chooses not to take the “cookie cutter approach” and tries to retain the qualities that made Felpausch a great independent chain for all these years.

On another subject, we got the following email from MNB user Jo Anne Sharlach wrote:

Citing the recent salmonella bacteria found in melons from Mexico, you said this points up the urgency of the creation of a single food safety agency.

Actually, what it also calls for is tough and immediate country-of-origin labeling. Having lived in Latin America and traveled extensively there, I always went by those practices found among U.S. Embassy personnel in-country that frowned on consuming certain local produce raw especially melons, strawberries, etc. I didn't eat the strawberries in Guatemala or the melons in Mexico then, but today at my local Safeway how do I know if my strawberries are from Guatemala or my melon is from Mexico?

We agree. We recognize that much of the food industry disagrees with us on this one, but we’re not budging.

And whether the industry likes it or not, we’d be willing to bet that within 10 years, country-of-origin labeling will be a fact of life.

We made an offhand comment yesterday, in a commentary about working hours, that we don’t know anyone who stops working at 5 pm. To which one MNB user responded:


You've obviously never tried to drive I-84 through Waterbury at 4:30, when the factories let out. But it's not just blue-collar workers -- flex-time hours mean a lot of white collar workers start early and leave early – and are out the door well before 5.

Good point. Our larger point was that we don’t know anyone who just works eight hours a day…but the Best Buy story from earlier this week certainly helps to make your point.

We’ve had a lot of discussion here recently about gender discrimination, with some focus on a university offering different introductory engineering programs for males and females – something that some of us found distasteful.

MNB user Jackie Lembke wrote:

I think the engineering school would have been better off marketing both camps to both genders. Maybe a beginner’s camp for those deciding if engineering is for them and an advanced camp for those who are definite in their career choice. I am with your daughter and thought the hands-on camp (for males) sounded like a lot more fun and I definitely do not want to be an engineer.

Another MNB user agreed:

Perhaps the entry-level engineering programs would work better if they were just 2 different programs that either males or females could attend. Then individual students could decide on which program based on their own experience and preferences. I'm sure some girls would choose the "guys" program, and vice versa. Perhaps this approach would give the college valuable feedback on how to enhance it's recruiting process.

We concur. The whole point is not to slot people into jobs or attitudes based on presumptions that we think are antiquated.
KC's View: