Archive for November, 2010

With the high rate of unemployment, new businesses that open in the District are always welcome. Many of those looking for jobs locally flocked to the new Panera Bread that opened recently at Dupont Circle, and the establishment has already accepted numerous applications. Dupont Circle will be one of their first locations here in the Capital.

“I’ve always said that there should be a Panera in D.C.,” said Dyani Hanrahan, head of community relations for Panera Bread. “It’s a great opportunity to serve the populous. For every community we move into, we want to become a part of what’s really relevant to the D.C. community.”

According to General Manager Eden Wadsworth, Panera Bread expanded because the company realized they didn’t have many locations in urban markets. Since its opening in D.C., Panera Bread has hired 50 employees and associates.

“You shouldn’t believe the stigma, that you won’t find good help here. I came from New York and the general view is that you wouldn’t find quality people to work with. That’s not true,” Wadsworth said. “I’ve met people that have been looking and spent time looking [for jobs], and I’m glad that I’ve been able to offer them positions. These are people I couldn’t imagine living without now.”

Before finding a position at Panera Bread, Donald Bell had been looking for a job since January, after he got laid off from Ronald Reagan International Airport. Without work, he struggled to pay bills and to stay in school.

“It was a tough time for me but I kept looking and I applied online here, got called in for the interview and got the job the same day,” Bell said. “I love it — it’s fun, it keeps me busy and the atmosphere is great,”

Of course Panera is not the only place hiring in town. A few blocks away from the Archives-Navy and Memorial-Penn Quarter Metro station is Carmine’s, a family-style restaurant that serves abundant portions of homemade Italian food made for sharing with friends and family. The restaurant’s birthplace is in New York, and the franchise has expanded to New Jersey, the Bahamas and finally Washington, D.C.

“We came here because of the opportunity for new market. D.C. is really thriving despite the unemployment rate being very low, so we wanted to provide jobs to a market that is growing and really great for the restaurant business,” Carmine’s general manager, Arlene Weston, said.

Since its opening in August, the restaurant branch has hired and trained more than 275 employees. “We feel we have made a great contribution to reducing the unemployment rate. We had a four week-training program to ensure newcomers understand the significance of house hospitality and the service market,” Weston said.

The general manager stated the restaurant’s goal was to promote an industry in an area that wasn’t as pronounced compared to government-related jobs, and recommended other restaurants expand their business to the Capitol.

“This place is a viable market and it’s the place to be — there’s been New York, Vegas, L.A., but D.C. is the place to be,” Weston said.

Are you ready for some serious evil-ex ass-kicking on Nov. 9? Well the long wait for one of  the most underrated movies of 2010 comes to a close with the release of Scott Pilgrim vs. The World.

If you have no idea who Scott Pilgrim is, I’ll quickly fill you in. Scott Pilgrim is 23 years old, he shares an aparment with his super gay roommate Wallace Wells, He’s in a band called Sex Bob-omb (they suck), he’s a career slacker. Scott lives a precious little life. He’s dating a high-schooler and it’s easy. But everything changes when he literally meets the girl of his dreams, the mysterious Ramona Flowers. Scott becomes obsessed and wants to date her but only if he can defeat Ramona’s seven evil-exes. Seven evil-exes, yes.

It’s no surprise, in less than two months, Universal quickly rushed the title to DVD in hopes that it will reach cult classic status like Napoleon Dynamite or Back to the Future. Universal expected Scott Pilgrim to pretty much flop at the box office. But box office sales don’t necessarily reflect the cinematic quality of any movie.

SP didn’t carry much weight in theaters because it doesn’t speak to every audience, the movie is filled with so many inside references that it only connects with the generation of old school vide0-gamers, wannabe rockers, and saturday morning cartoon watchers who are now twenty-something hipsters. You know, “cool people.”

Regardless, this is a great movie with a unique story. Director Edgar Wright brings Bryan O’ Malley‘s original graphic novel to life with fast-paced comic-book action, witty characters and laugh-out loud moments. The best part is now you get to take it home with you. With all these special DVD features including four commentaries, music, featurettes, bloopers, behind the scenes, adult swim cartoons and 17 hrs of extras, Scott Pilgrim is ready to take on the World again!

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, leader of a Democratic caucus that suffered historic losses in this weeks’ midterm election, announced today she will run to be the House minority leader when Congress reconvenes next year.

In an announcement made on Twitter, Pelosi said she would run the for the position because she is “driven by the urgency of creating jobs,” as well as protecting President Obama’s sweeping health care law, which Congress passed in March.

“Our work is far from finished,” she wrote in a letter to colleagues that was released today. “As a result of Tuesday’s election, the role of Democrats in the 112th Congress will change, but our commitment to serving the American people will not. We have no intention of allowing our great achievements to be rolled back. It is my hope that we can work in a bipartisan way to create jobs and strengthen the middle class.”

The announcement comes days after voters elected more than 60 new Republicans to the House, the largest pickup in an election since 1948. A growing chorus of Democrats have called on Pelosi to step down and let new members run for leadership.

Rep. Larry Kissell, D-N.C. added his voice to that chorus today, telling Politico that, “We suffered a devastating defeat on Tuesday in terms of the House of Representatives. In order to become a national party again, we should have new leadership in the next Congress.” Reps. Heath Shuler, D-N.C., John Yarmuth, D-Ky., and Jim Matheson, D-Utah, have also said they will not support their leader.

Republicans in competitive races across the country tried to tie vulnerable Democrats to Pelosi, frequently invoking her name in campaign ads. A Gallup Poll last month found that only 29% of voters view Pelosi, a 12-term California Democrat, favorably. That compares with 44% who viewed her favorably when she assumed the speakership in 2007.

“Given that there are now 60-plus defeated Democrat House members urgently seeking jobs due to Nancy Pelosi’s failed leadership, we welcome her decision to run for House minority leader,” Ken Spain, spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee, said in a statement.

But Pelosi remains popular among the liberal wing of the party and with many conservative Democrats tossed out of office their power within the party could grow.

“Speaker Nancy Pelosi is one of the strongest, most progressive leaders in Washington,” the liberal MoveOn said in a statement. “Some corporate Democrats are taking the wrong lesson—saying that Democrats should be less progressive and more like the Republicans. And they’re pushing Speaker Pelosi to step down. This would be a terrible loss for progressives, and for the country.”

This article was taken from USA Today.

The U.S. workforce grew a 151,ooo jobs stronger in October 2010 but the economy remains relatively weak with unemployment at 9.6 percent.

“The employment gains were concentrated in the private sector–which added 159,000 jobs – especially in service industries. Temporary-help firms added 35,000 positions; health-care employers added 24,000; and the retail sector added 28,000 jobs. The government sector was a drain on employment, shedding 8,000 positions in October,” according to the Washington Post.

“The fact is, an encouraging jobs report doesn’t make a difference if you’re still one of the millions of people who are looking for work,” Obama said

In earlier press conferences after the GOP took over the house, Obama noted both parties must work together to respond issues that are most important to the nation, the economy.

The president warned against partisan gridlock in the wake of this week’s midterm Republican landslide. “The most important competition we face in this new century will not be between Democrats and Republicans,” Obama said. “…Other countries, like China, aren’t standing still, so we can’t stand still either.”

However, The GOP and the Obama’s weakened administration have their own agendas. The Republicans are determined to repeal Obama’s Healthcare reform and even Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell made statements on ending Obama’s chances for a second term.

I feel the possibility of both parties working together is highly unlikely but for the economy’s sake, the two parties must actually work together to turn this economy around.