In a story reported widely in northern California last month, agents from the Department of Industrial Relations showed up unannounced at the tiny Westover Winery, in Castro Valley, and slapped its owners with more than $115,000 in fines and assessments for using volunteer workers. Westover is a typical hobby winery. A big winery no doubt spills more than this East Bay winery produces. Its annual profits are $11,000. Steven Greenhut talked to three of Westover's former volunteers. Volunteers typically are well-heeled retirees with plenty of health insurance. "I have so much fun out here, I should actually have to pay Bill," said Ken Tatum, a retired superintendent at the San Francisco shipyards. Unfortunately, owner Bill Smyth tells Greenhut that he is financially well off and is doing this for fun, so he's decided to shut down rather than face the not-so-fun prospect of fighting the state.
"She's a favorite of the Russians and they have a bunch of sites and bots and other ways of supporting her so far."
The company says it will sell only tobacco, mint, and menthol pods unless and until the FDA officially approves other varieties.
Chicago Teachers Go on Strike to Demand Higher Pay, Smaller Class Sizes, New Schools, More Staff, and Affordable Housing
More than 300,000 students in Chicago were out of school on Friday as the teachers strike continued.