Jim Pattison Group acquires U.S. grocery chain owner Save Mart Companies - Business News (2024)

Boeing buys supplier Under pressure on plane safety, Boeing is buying stressed supplier Spirit for $4.7 billion
  • Boeing buys supplier United States 6:05am - 2,446 views
  • Fossilized poop on display Arizona 6:03am - 1,976 views
  • Meta accused over fees Europe 5:55am - 1,648 views
  • Can Canada deliver?Jim Pattison Group acquires U.S. grocery chain owner Save Mart Companies - Business News (2) Business Jun 28 - 7,450 views
  • Pattison buys grocery chainJim Pattison Group acquires U.S. grocery chain owner Save Mart Companies - Business News (3) Business Jun 28 - 25,705 views
  • Insolvencies rise in MayJim Pattison Group acquires U.S. grocery chain owner Save Mart Companies - Business News (4) Business Jun 28 - 5,933 views
  • Trump Media shares rise Business Jun 28 - 4,158 views
  • Law limits oil wells California Jun 28 - 1,451 views
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Boeing buys supplier

The Associated Press - Jul 1, 2024 / 6:05 am | Story: 495078

Jim Pattison Group acquires U.S. grocery chain owner Save Mart Companies - Business News (18)

Photo: The Canadian Press

FILE - A Boeing 737 Max jet prepares to land at Boeing Field following a test flight in Seattle, Sept. 30, 2020. Boeing announced plans late Sunday, June 30, 2024, to acquire Spirit AeroSystems for $4.7 billion in an all-stock transaction for the manufacturing firm. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)

Boeing announced plans to acquire key supplier Spirit AeroSystems for $4.7 billion, a move that it says will improve plane quality and safety amid increasing scrutiny by Congress, airlines and the Department of Justice.

Boeing previously owned Spirit, and the purchase would reverse a longtime Boeing strategy of outsourcing key work on its passenger planes. That approach has been criticized as problems at Spirit disrupted production and delivery of popular Boeing jetliners including 737s and 787s.

“We believe this deal is in the best interest of the flying public, our airline customers, the employees of Spirit and Boeing, our shareholders and the country more broadly,” Boeing President and CEO Dave Calhoun said in a statement late Sunday.

Concerns about safety came to a head after the Jan. 5 blowout of a panel on an Alaska Airlines 737 Max 9 at 16,000 feet (4,876 meters) over Oregon. The Federal Aviation Administration soon after announced increased oversight of Boeing and Spirit, which supplied the fuselage for the plane.

No one was seriously injured in the Alaska Airlines door incident, which terrified passengers, but Boeing is under pressure from the U.S. Justice Department to plead guilty to criminal fraud in connection with two deadly plane crashes involving its 737 Max jetliners more than five years ago.

Boeing has until the end of the week to accept or reject the offer, which includes the giant aerospace company agreeing to an independent monitor who would oversee its compliance with anti-fraud laws, according to several people who heard federal prosecutors detail a proposed offer Sunday.

The Justice Department said in a May court filing that Boeing violated terms of a 2021 settlement allowing the company to avoid prosecution for actions leading up to the crashes in Ethiopia and Indonesia, which killed 346 people.

Those crashes were blamed on a faulty sensor in a flight-control system and the investigation is separate from the probe of the more recent Alaska Airlines blowout, which involved Spirit.

Boeing spun off Spirit, which is based in Wichita, Kansas, and not related to Spirit Airlines, in 2005. In recent years, quality problems have mounted, including fuselage panels that didn’t fit together precisely enough and holes that were improperly drilled.

Spirit removed its CEO in October and replaced him with Patrick Shanahan, a former Boeing executive who served as acting defense secretary in the Trump administration.

Things seemed to be going more smoothly until the Alaska Airlines incident. Investigators said a panel used in place of an extra emergency door had been removed at a Boeing factory to let Spirit workers fix damaged rivets, and bolts that help hold the panel in place were missing after the repair job. It is not clear who removed the bolts and failed to put them back.

Spirit said in May that it was laying off about 450 workers at its Wichita plant because of a production slowdown since the January incident. Its total workforce was just over 13,000 people.

“Bringing Spirit and Boeing together will enable greater integration of both companies’ manufacturing and engineering capabilities, including safety and quality systems,” Shanahan said.

The acquisition's equity value of $4.7 billion is $37.25 per share, while the total value of the deal is around $8.3 billion, which includes Spirit’s last reported net debt, the aerospace company said.

Boeing common stock will be exchanged for Spirit shares according to a variable formula that depends on a weighted average of the share price over a 15-trading-day period ending on the second day before the deal closes, Boeing said.

The companies also announced an agreement with Airbus to negotiate the purchase of Spirit assets involved with programs operated by the European aerospace firm. The Airbus agreement is set to commence when Boeing's acquisition of Spirit is completed, the two U.S. companies said.

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Fossilized poop on display

The Associated Press - Jul 1, 2024 / 6:03 am | Story: 495077

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Photo: The Canadian Press

Fossilized crocodilian excrement is displayed at the "Poozeum", Friday, June 7, 2024, in Williams, Ariz. The museum in northern Arizona along Route 66 features the fossilized feces of prehistoric animals. Frandsen has been collecting the fossils known as coprolites for nearly three decades. His museum features roughly 7,000 fossils, including one suspected to be from a Tyrannosaurus rex. (AP Photo/Ty ONeil)

One way to help tell how a Tyrannosaurus rex digested food is to look at its poop.

Bone fragments in a piece of fossilized excrement at a new museum in northern Arizona — aptly called the Poozeum — are among the tinier bits of evidence that indicate T. rex wasn’t much of a chewer, but rather swallowed whole chunks of prey.

The sample is one of more than 7,000 on display at the museum that opened in May in Williams, a town known for its Wild West shows along Route 66, wildlife attractions and a railway to Grand Canyon National Park.

The Poozeum sign features a bright green T. rex cartoon character sitting on a toilet to grab attention from the buzzing neon lights and muffled 1950s music emanating from other businesses.

Inside, display cases filled with coprolites — fossilized feces from animals that lived millions of years ago — line the walls. They range from minuscule termite droppings to a massive specimen that weighs 20 pounds (9 kilograms).

Poozeum's president and curator, George Frandsen, bought his first chunk of fossilized feces from a shop in Moab, Utah, when he was 18, he said. He already loved dinosaurs and fossils but had never heard of fossilized poop. From there, his fascination grew.

“It was funny. It was gross," he said. "But I learned very quickly it could tell us so much about our prehistoric past and how important they are to the fossil record.”

Coprolites aren’t tremendously common but they can make up the majority of fossils found at some sites, and people have learned more and more about them over the past few decades, said Anthony Fiorillo, executive director of the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science.

It can be hard to identify them and in some cases, specimens that appeared to be coprolites — with their pinched ends and striations — were examined further and ultimately reclassified as something else.

“There’s a number of sedimentary processes that can produce an extrusion of soft mud to a different layer,” he said. “So think about your toothpaste, for example. When you squeeze it, there can be some striations on that toothpaste.”

Fossil enthusiast Brandee Reynolds recently visited the museum with her husband after finding it was a short detour from a road trip they had planned.

“I mostly find sharp teeth and things like that,” she said. “I haven’t really found a whole lot of coprolite, but who doesn’t love coprolite?”

A highlight of Frandsen's collection is a specimen that holds a Guinness World Record for being the largest coprolite left by a carnivorous animal. Measuring more than 2 feet (61 centimeters) long and over 6 inches (15 centimeters) wide, Frandsen said it's believed to be from a T. rex, given where it was found on a private ranch in South Dakota in 2019.

Frandsen also holds the record for the largest certified coprolite collection of 1,277 pieces, earned in 2015 when it was verified at the South Florida Museum in Bradenton, Florida.

His collection now stands at about 8,000 specimens. He doesn't have the room to display it all in the museum in Williams and features some online.

No need to worry about any smell or germs, Frandsen said. Those evaporated millions of years ago, when the feces were covered with sediment and replaced by minerals, making them rock-hard.

Location, shape, size and other materials like bones or plants can determine if something is a coprolite, but not necessarily which creature deposited it, Fiorillo said.

“I think the majority of us would say, let’s pump the brakes on that and just be happy if we could determine carnivore, herbivore and then look at possibly those food cycles within each of those broad groups,” said Fiorillo, a trained paleontologist and author of books on dinosaurs.

Ideally, Fiorillo said he hopes fossils that are rare and can add to the understanding of the prehistoric world find their way into the public sphere so researchers can use them as they form hypotheses about life long ago.

Like Frandsen, Fiorillo said he was captivated by fossils when he was young. He pointed to private quarries in Wyoming's Fossil Basin where the public can hunt for fossilized fish, plants and even coprolites. People also can visit a research quarry to learn about paleontology at the nearby Fossil Butte National Monument.

If a child goes home inspired after finding a fossil or seeing one on display at a museum, then that's awesome, Fiorillo said.

“Maybe they’ll be the next generation,” he said.

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Meta accused over fees

Kelvin Chan, The Associated Press - Jul 1, 2024 / 5:55 am | Story: 495075

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Photo: The Canadian Press

FILE - European Commissioner for Europe fit for the Digital Age, Margrethe Vestager speaks during a media conference regarding the Digital Markets Act at EU headquarters in Brussels, on March 25, 2024. European Union regulators accused social media company Meta Platforms on Monday, July 1, 2024 of breaching the bloc's new digital competition rulebook by forcing Facebook and Instagram users to choose between seeing ads or paying to avoid them. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

European Union regulators accused social media company Meta Platforms on Monday of breaching the bloc's new digital competition rulebook by forcing Facebook and Instagram users to choose between seeing ads or paying to avoid them.

Meta began giving European users the option in November of paying for ad-free versions of Facebook and Instagram as a way to comply with the continent’s strict data privacy rules.

Users can pay at least 10 euros ($10.75) a month to avoid being targeted by ads based on their personal data. The U.S. tech giant rolled out the option after the European Union’s top court ruled Meta must first get consent before showing ads to users, in a decision that threatened its business model of tailoring ads based on individual users' online interests and digital activity.

The European Commission, the EU's executive arm, said preliminary findings of its investigation show that Meta's “pay or consent” advertising model was in breach of the 27-nation bloc’s Digital Markets Act.

Meta's model doesn't allow users to exercise their right to “freely consent” to allowing their personal data from its various services, including Facebook, Instagram, Marketplace, WhatsApp, and Messenger, to be combined to target them with personalized online ads, the commission said.

Meta's model also doesn't give users the option of a service that's less personalized but still equivalent to its social networks, it said.

“Subscription for no ads follows the direction of the highest court in Europe and complies with the DMA,” Meta said in a statement. “We look forward to further constructive dialogue with the European Commission to bring this investigation to a close.”

The commission had opened its investigation shortly after the rulebook, also known as the DMA, took effect in March. It's a sweeping set of regulations aimed at preventing tech “gatekeepers” from cornering digital markets under threat of heavy financial penalties.

One of the DMA's goals is to rein in the power of Big Tech companies that have collected vast amounts of personal data on their users, giving them an edge on rivals competing in online ad or social media services. The commission indicated that in order for Meta to comply, it would like to see an option that doesn’t rely on a user’s full personal information being shared for advertising.

“The DMA is there to give back to the users the power to decide how their data is used and ensure innovative companies can compete on equal footing with tech giants on data access,” European Commissioner Thierry Breton, who oversees the bloc's digital policy, said in a statement.

Meta now has a chance to respond to the commission, which must wrap up its investigation by March 2025. The company could face fines worth 10% of its annual global revenues, which could run into the billions of euros.

Under the Digital Markets Act, Meta is classed as one of seven online gatekeepers while Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Messenger and its online ad business are among two dozen “core platform services” that need the highest level of scrutiny.

Monday's decision is the latest in flurry of regulatory activity by Brussels targeting Big Tech companies. The EU leveled its first charges under the DMA a week ago, accusing Apple of of preventing app makers from pointing users to cheaper options outside its App Store. It also recently charged Microsoft with violating the bloc's antitrust laws by by bundling its Teams messaging and videoconferencing app with its widely used Office business software.

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Can Canada deliver?

Nelson Bennett / Business in Vancouver - Jun 28, 2024 / 5:01 pm | Story: 494832

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Photo: Chung Chow, BIV.

Mobile hydrogen-powered generator from H2-Portable at the hy-fcell International Expo and Conference at Vancouver Convention Centre.

Germany is very keen on Canadian hydrogen and hydrogen technology such as fuel cells. It is so interested, in fact, that Messe Stuttgart—a German conference and trade fair organizer—held its second Canadian hydrogen and fuel cell conference in Vancouver last week to explore opportunities and challenges in developing a hydrogen economy.

The hy-fcell conference drew roughly 1,000 attendees.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) estimates that by 2050, hydrogen will account for 10 per cent of global energy.

While that is a comparatively small slice of the global energy pie, hydrogen is considered a critical part of decarbonization and net-zero ambitions because it fills gaps that other low-carbon energy sources can’t fill, such as energy needs in hard-to-abate sectors and industries like heavy duty trucking.

Vancouver is already a hydrogen fuel cell technology hub, thanks in no small part of fuel cell pioneer Ballard Power Systems (TSX, NASDAQ: BLDP). But Canada also has certain advantages as a potential hydrogen producer and exporter—including an abundance of natural gas, clean hydro power and nuclear power plants capable of producing hydrogen through thermos-chemical processes.

And Canadian ports from Prince Rupert to Newfoundland are well-positioned and eager to serve Asian and European markets, though some logistics surrounding the storage, transportation and processing of hydrogen have yet to be worked out.

Stefan Kaufmann, a member of the German parliament, told the hy-fcell conference that there are “clear geopolitical advantages to a strong energy trade relationship” between Canada and Germany.

Citing Canadian federal government incentives—the Low Carbon Economy Fund, the Clean Fuels Fund and a federal investment tax credit of up to 40 per cent for clean hydrogen—Kaufmann said Canada has “a clear funding framework to address foreign capital investment.”

To meet European targets, Europe will need to import 10 million tonnes of “renewable” hydrogen per year by 2030, Kaufmann said.

He cautioned, however, that there has been “a certain dip in the ramp-up of our hydrogen economy” in Germany.

“That is the big problem at the moment in Germany and in Europe—the lack of infrastructure,” Kaufmann said.

There is less government funding available as the German government struggles with budget shortfalls, he said, and there is still “a very fragmented value chain.”

Germany is also grappling with a lack of infrastructure, such as the ammonia crackers that are needed to decompose ammonia into hydrogen and nitrogen, and associated pipelines.

Hydrogen is a versatile low-carbon fuel. It can be run through fuels cells to provide electric power for vehicles, or can be burned to produce thermal energy with zero emissions.

But it can be troublesome to store and transport, so most exports of hydrogen will likely be shipped in the form of ammonia (hydrogen and nitrogen)—which is easier to transport—and then turned back into hydrogen and nitrogen at the receiving end.

Globally, there are many hydrogen production projects planned, but there have been few final investment decisions made, Kaufmann noted.

Germany is hoping Eastern Canada will become a source of green hydrogen. The wind-blasted Port of Agentia in Newfoundland is positioning itself to become a major green hydrogen producer and exporter using wind power.

The Agentia Renewables project represents a $1.5 billion investment, and Pattern Energy Group plans to build 300 megawatts of wind power at the port to produce green hydrogen.

On the West Coast, Rob Booker, CEO of Trigon Terminals in Prince Rupert, is working to position his company as a hydrogen fuel exporter serving the Asian market.

Trigon’s $163 million Berth 2 Beyond Carbon project is a liquids terminal that would be capable of shipping “hydrogen carriers” such as ammonia. The project received $75 million in federal funding under the National Trade Corridors Fund. Booker said a new berth is expected to be built by 2025.

He said efforts are underway to develop the capacity to transport ammonia by train between Alberta and Prince Rupert.

“We are trying to work very closely with B.C. and Northern Alberta to create a hub that runs from the Alberta industrial heartland, Saskatchewan across the North, through Prince George and out to Prince Rupert,” Booker said.

He added that he was “agnostic” as to how the hydrogen and ammonia would be produced, so long as there are significant volumes coming out of Western Canada.

“I don’t care what the carrier is—I just want to handle the tonnes,” Booker said. “What I need is production on an export scale.”

The majority of hydrogen and ammonia produced in Alberta will most likely be “blue” hydrogen, which is made from natural gas with carbon capture and storage.

“Unlike Germany and unlike Europe, perhaps, Asia does not really care about colour,” Booker said.

Japan, Korea, China, Taiwan, Singapore care about carbon intensity. And you are going to be rewarded for lowest possible carbon intensity, with highest volume, provided you can be cost competitive.”

Ports in Canada will not only play an important role in hydrogen exports, but they themselves are potential hydrogen fuel cell customers.

The problem with battery-electric vehicles is that they take time to recharge. For drayage trucks and trains operating at ports, fuel cells might be a better option, because they can fuel quickly and operate over many hours.

“If you’re a port truck, a drayage truck or a shunter locomotive, you can actually operate almost 24 hours a day [and] refuel very quickly,” said Nicolas Pocard, vice-president of marketing and strategic partnerships for Ballard.

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The many colours of hydrogen

There are many ways to make hydrogen, none of them cheap, and there may even be natural hydrogen reservoirs underground that could be tapped.

Green hydrogen, made from water and renewable electricity, is considered the cleanest from an emissions standpoint, since there are no methane or carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions associated with its production. But it is expensive, due to the enormous amounts of renewable electricity needed.

Blue hydrogen is made from natural gas, but with the CO2 captured and stored.

Vancouver’s Ekona Power is commercializing a method called methane pyrolysis that makes hydrogen from natural gas, but which obviates the need for carbon capture and storage, as the carbon pulled from the methane comes out in a solid form as “carbon black,” which can either be landfilled (a former of sequestration), or used in any number of chemical or industrial applications.

Attendees at last week’s conference also heard of a novel approach for making hydrogen from water using both heat and electricity.

Blessing Ibeh, a chemical engineer with the Canadian Nuclear Laboratories, described a process, called the hybrid copper-chlorine thermochemical cycle, that could use the heat generated in nuclear power plants to produce hydrogen from water.

But it’s not just heat from nuclear power plants that can use the copper-chlorine thermochemical cycle. Any significant heat source will work, including waste heat from industrial processes, said Kamiel Gabriel, former professor of mechanical and manufacturing engineering at Ontario Tech University who is now based at the University of British Columbia Okanagan.

He said electrolysis—using electricity to break water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen—is not an efficient use of energy, but that heat as a main source for electrolysis would be more efficient.

“We can take waste heat from an energy source, such as a cement plant or steel plant, and through a four-step chemical reaction cycle, we can release the hydrogen,” he told BIV.

There may even be sufficient amounts of natural hydrogen in Canada to warrant sucking it out of the ground.

Omid Ardakani, a research scientist at Geological Survey of Canada, said Canada may have the right geology for natural hydrogen extraction. To be viable, deposits would need to have the right volume and purity.

He said there are now two exploratory projects underway in Canada. Chapman Hydrogen and Petroleum is planning some exploratory drilling in Northern Ontario, he said. Another company is looking to do exploratory work in the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin.

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Pattison buys grocery chain

The Canadian Press - Jun 28, 2024 / 12:18 pm | Story: 494756

Jim Pattison Group acquires U.S. grocery chain owner Save Mart Companies - Business News (25)

Photo: The Canadian Press

Businessman and philanthropist Jim Pattison returns to his seat after speaking during a Canada's Walk of Fame ceremony honouring him, in Vancouver, on Friday February 15, 2019. U.S. grocery chain owner the Save Mart Companies says it has been acquired by the Jim Pattison Group. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

U.S. grocery chain owner, the Save Mart Companies, says it has been acquired by the Jim Pattison Group.

Save Mart spokesperson Jennifer Shelton confirmed the acquisition by the Vancouver-based holdings company, but declined to share financial details, including the value of the deal.

Save Mart's website says it operates about 200 grocery stores across California and Nevada.

Its store banners include Save Mart, Lucky, Lucky California, FoodMaxx, and Maxx Value Food.

Under the deal, Shelton says Save Mart will retain its headquarters in Modesto, Calif.

The Jim Pattison Group dates back to 1961, when it owned an auto dealership, but has since grown to a massive company that has been involved with Save-On-Foods, Great Wolf Lodge, Ripley Entertainment, Genpak and Canfor.

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Insolvencies rise in May

The Canadian Press - Jun 28, 2024 / 9:13 am | Story: 494704

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Photo: The Canadian Press

A pedestrian walks past an empty store front in Montreal, Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz

Canadian insolvencies rose in May from last year as elevated inflation and interest rates continue to hit businesses and consumers.

Data from the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy shows total insolvencies were up 19.2 per cent from May 2023 and up 3.1 per cent from April.

The overall figures came as consumer insolvencies totalled 12,195 in May for a rise of 3.4 per cent from April and an increase of 11.3 per cent from last year.

Business insolvencies were down from April, falling 3.8 per cent to 530, but up 41.7 per cent from last year.

Some sectors have seen steeper rises though, such as construction where the 92 insolvencies worked out to a 24.3 per cent increase from April and up 109.1 per cent from May last year.

The Canadian Association of Insolvency and Restructuring Professionals says consumer insolvencies are at their highest volume since October 2019, while year-over-year business insolvency levels have been continuously rising for 2.5 years.

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Trump Media shares rise

Michelle Chapman, The Associated Press - Jun 28, 2024 / 7:05 am | Story: 494691

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Photo: The Canadian Press

FILE - Pedestrians walk past a Nasdaq window displaying news on Trump Media on March 26, 2024, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II, File)

Shares of Trump Media, the owner of social networking site Truth Social, jumped 5% at the opening bell Friday after the first U.S. presidential debate, with some investors believing it could become a bigger mouthpiece for the former president if he is re-elected.

President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump clashed Thursday evening on topics including abortion, immigration and the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Biden's performance was largely seen as uneven, particularly early on. He tried repeatedly to confront Trump, who countered Biden’s criticism by leaning into falsehoods about the economy, illegal immigration and his role in the Jan. 6 insurrection.

In political futures markets, where investors can put money on the political fates of candidates, Biden’s odds of remaining the Democratic party’s nominee slid 29% after the debate.

Citi analysts said Friday there may be increased interest in Trump Media & Technology based on news headlines following the debate.

Shares of Trump Media & Technology have been buffeted during Trump's run for president and swung wildly a day after Trump's conviction in his hush money trial.

A New York jury found Trump guilty of falsifying business records in a scheme to illegally influence the 2016 election through hush money payments to a p*rn actor who said the two had sex.

The stock, which trades under the ticker symbol “DJT,” has been extraordinarily volatile since its debut in late March, joining the group of meme stocks that are prone to ricochet from highs to lows as small-pocketed investors attempt to catch an upward momentum swing at the right time.

The stock has tripled this year, in the process frequently making double-digit percentage moves either higher or lower on a single day. It peaked at nearly $80 in intraday trading on March 26. For context, the S&P 500 is up almost 10% year to date.

Trump Media & Technology reported in May that it lost more than $300 million last quarter, according to its first earnings report as a publicly traded company.

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Law limits oil wells

Adam Beam, The Associated Press - Jun 28, 2024 / 6:05 am | Story: 494686

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FILE- Members of Campaign for a Safe and Healthy California coalition campaign for Keep The Law (SB 1137) in Inglewood, Calif., on Friday, March. 22, 2024. The California Independent Petroleum Association says it will withdraw a referendum asking voters to block the law, clearing the way for it to take effect. The association announced Wednesday, Jun26, 2024 it plans to file a lawsuit to ask a judge to block the law instead. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)

A California law that bans drilling new oil wells near places like homes and schools will take effect after the oil industry on Thursday withdrew a referendum from the November ballot asking voters to overturn it.

The law, first passed in 2022, had been delayed because the California Independent Petroleum Association gathered enough signatures for the referendum.

On Thursday the association withdrew the referendum just hours before the deadline for it to get on the ballot. Instead, it plans to file a lawsuit asking a judge to block the law.

The withdrawal slims down what had been a crowded November ballot. Also on Thursday, proponents withdrew ballot measures about state labor law violations, financial literacy for high school students and a tax increase for pandemic research.

California was once the nation's leading oil producer over a century ago, but it has since been surpassed by Texas, New Mexico, North Dakota, Colorado, Alaska and Oklahoma.

The oil industry has still remained a powerful force in state politics, known for having its way at the state Legislature. But that influence has been declining, along with the state's oil production.

The 2022 law bans drilling new wells within 3,200 feet (975 meters) of “sensitive receptors,” defined as homes, schools, hospitals, nursing homes, retirement homes, prisons and any business that is open to the public.

In asking voters to block the law, the oil industry's strategy was to portray it as an “energy shutdown.” The argument was that it would only increase the state's dependence on foreign oil and contribute to California's high gas prices, which remain among the highest in the country.

Supporters of the law countered by saying oil wells spew harmful pollution that increases the risk of ailments like asthma and cancer.

The California Independent Petroleum Association disputed those claims. But it decided that “supporters of the energy shutdown can make unfounded claims in the press and in paid advertisem*nts, but they can't make those claims in court without evidence,” said Jonathan Gregory, the association's president and CEO of oil and gas company RMX Resources.

“That's why we are pivoting from the referendum to a legal strategy,” Gregory said.

Supporters of the law took the news as an admission of defeat from the oil industry. Mabel Tsang, political director for the California Environmental Justice Alliance, said passing the law and seeing the referendum removed was the result of a “multiple decade fight” for communities near oil drilling. The withdrawal also came after supporters launched a statewide campaign in March to keep the law, with backing from the likes of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jane Fonda and Gov. Gavin Newsom.

“Big oil saw what they were up against — and they folded, again,” Newsom said in a statement. “No parent in their right mind would vote to allow drilling next to daycares and playgrounds.”

The Legislature had been applying pressure to the oil industry, too. Assemblymember Isaac Bryan, a Democrat from Los Angeles whose district includes the largest urban oil field in the United States, introduced a bill that would have fined companies $10,000 per day from operating wells near homes and schools that produce less than 15 barrels per day.

Bryan, in an interview, said he agreed to limit the scope of that bill to just the oil field in his district, known as the Inglewood Oil Field.

“That was the gift from me to them in exchange for them agreeing to pull back this measure,” Bryan said.

State Sen. Lena Gonzalez, a Democrat from Long Beach who authored the ban on new oil wells, said she was confident the law would withstand a lawsuit. She said the law finally taking effect will mean cleaner air for her community, which includes her three sons.

“I never thought this would actually happen because of the power and influence sometimes in this building,” she said, speaking in the Capitol. “This time, oil didn’t win, and this time our community won.”

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OpenAI, Microsoft sued

Sarah Parvini And Matt O'brien, The Associated Press - Jun 27, 2024 / 2:14 pm | Story: 494591

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Photo: The Canadian Press

Copies of Mother Jones are shown in a photo taken on Wednesday, June 26, 2024, in Providence, R.I. The Center for Investigative Reporting, the publisher of Reveal and Mother Jones, said Thursday, June 27, 2024, it is suing ChatGPT maker OpenAI and its closest business partner, Microsoft, marking a new front in the legal battle between news publications fighting against unauthorized use of their content on artificial intelligence platforms. (AP Photo/Matt O'Brien)

The Center for Investigative Reporting said Thursday it has sued ChatGPT maker OpenAI and its closest business partner, Microsoft, marking a new front in the news industry's fight against unauthorized use of its content on artificial intelligence platforms.

The nonprofit, which produces Mother Jones and Reveal, said that OpenAI used its content without permission and without offering compensation, violating copyrights on the organization’s journalism. The lawsuit, filed in a New York federal court, describes OpenAI's business as “built on the exploitation of copyrighted works” and focuses on how AI-generated summaries of articles threaten publishers.

“It’s immensely dangerous,” Monika Bauerlein, the nonprofit's CEO, told The Associated Press. “Our existence relies on users finding our work valuable and deciding to support it."

Bauerlein said that “when people can no longer develop that relationship with our work, when they no longer encounter Mother Jones or Reveal, then their relationship is with the AI tool.”

That, she said, could “cut the entire foundation of our existence as an independent newsroom out from under us" while also threatening the future of other news organizations.

OpenAI and Microsoft didn't respond to requests for comment Thursday.

The lawsuit is the latest against OpenAI and Microsoft to land at Manhattan’s federal court, where the companies are already battling a series of other copyright lawsuits from The New York Times, other media outlets and bestselling authors such as John Grisham, Jodi Picoult and George R.R. Martin. The companies also face a separate case in San Francisco’s federal court brought by authors including comedian Sarah Silverman.

Some news organizations have chosen to collaborate rather than fight with OpenAI by signing deals to get compensated for sharing news content that can be used to train its AI systems. The latest to do so is Time, which announced Thursday that OpenAI will get access to its “extensive archives from the last 101 years.”

OpenAI and other major AI developers don’t typically disclose their data sources but have argued that taking troves of publicly accessible online text, images and other media to train their AI systems is protected by the “fair use” doctrine of American copyright law. CIR's lawsuit says a dataset that OpenAI has acknowledged using to build an earlier version of its chatbot technology contained thousands of links to the website of Mother Jones, a 48-year-old print magazine that's been publishing online since 1993. But the text used for AI training was usually missing information about a story's author, title or copyright notice.

Last summer, more than 4,000 writers signed a letter to the CEOs of OpenAI and other tech companies accusing them of exploitative practices in building chatbots.

“It’s not a free resource for these AI companies to ingest and make money on,” Bauerlein said of news media. “They pay for office space, they pay for electricity, they pay salaries for their workers. Why would the content that they ingest be the only thing that they don’t (pay for)?”

The AP is among the news organizations that have made licensing deals over the past year with OpenAI; others include The Wall Street Journal and New York Post publisher News Corp., The Atlantic, Axel Springer in Germany and Prisa Media in Spain, France’s Le Monde newspaper and the London-based Financial Times.

Mother Jones and CIR were both founded in the 1970s and merged earlier this year. Both are based in San Francisco, as is OpenAI.

The lawsuit from CIR, also known for its Reveal podcast and radio show, outlines the expense of producing investigative journalism and warns that losing control of copyrighted content will result in less revenue and even fewer reporters to tell important stories in “today’s paltry media landscape.”

“With fewer investigative news stories told, the cost to democracy will be enormous,” the lawsuit says.

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B.C. Investment earns 7.5%

The Canadian Press - Jun 27, 2024 / 6:52 am | Story: 494488

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Photo: The Canadian Press

British Columbia Investment Management Corp. logo is shown in a handout. The compnay says it earned an annual combined pension plan return of 7.5 per cent for its latest year. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO

British Columbia Investment Management Corp. says it earned an annual combined pension plan return of 7.5 per cent for its latest year.

However, the result fell short of BCI's benchmark which was boosted by the strength of the largest tech stocks and posted an annual return of 11.6 per cent.

BCI chief executive Gordon Fyfe said the fund delivered "solid absolute results even through challenged markets this year.”

The fund said all of its asset classes generated positive returns except its real estate equity investments which faced sustained market headwinds.

The combined pension plan return represents the performance of BCI’s six largest pension clients by assets under management.

BCI had $250.4 billion in gross assets under management as of March 31.

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Boeing sanctioned

Michelle Chapman, The Associated Press - Jun 27, 2024 / 5:48 am | Story: 494475

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Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., center, visits with family members of victims of Boeing plane crashes after a Senate Homeland Security Subcommittee on Investigations hearing on Capitol Hill Tuesday, June 18, 2024, in Washington. (AP Photo/Mariam Zuhaib)

Boeing is being sanctioned by U.S. investigators for sharing information about a federal investigation of a door plug blowout that left a gaping hole in a Boeing 737 Max 9.

The National Transportation Safety Board said Thursday that Boeing “blatantly violated” the agency's investigative regulations as well as a signed agreement by providing non-public investigative information to the media and speculating about possible causes of the Jan. 5 door plug blowout on a Boeing passenger jet in Portland, Oregon.

During the incident, a panel that plugged a space left for an extra emergency door blew off an Alaska Airlines Max 9. Pilots were able to land safely, and there were no injuries.

The NTSB said that on Tuesday during a media briefing, a Boeing executive provided non-public investigative information to the media about the Alaska Airlines incident that the agency had not verified or authorized for release. The NTSB said that Boeing portrayed the NTSB's investigation as a search to find the individual responsible for the door plug work, but the agency said it's focused on the probable cause of the accident, not placing blame on any individual or assessing liability.

Boeing did not immediately respond to a request for comment early Thursday.

“Because of Boeing’s recent actions, Boeing will retain its party status, but no longer have access to the investigative information the NTSB produces as it develops the factual record of the accident,” the agency said in a prepared statement.

The NTSB said that it may subpoena any relevant records it requires during the course of the investigation. It also will subpoena Boeing to appear at an investigative hearing in Washington D.C. on Aug. 6 and 7. The agency said that, unlike other parties, Boeing won't be able to ask questions of other participants.

The NTSB said that it will coordinate with the Department of Justice's Fraud Division, giving them information about Boeing’s recent unauthorized investigative information releases related to the 737 Max 9 door plug investigation.

In May the Justice Department told a federal judge that Boeing had violated a settlement that allowed the company to avoid criminal prosecution after two deadly crashes involving its 737 Max aircraft.

It is now up to the Justice Department to decide whether to file charges against Boeing. Prosecutors will tell the court no later than July 7 how they plan to proceed, the department said at the time.

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Glamping at Woodstock

Michael Hill, The Associated Press - Jun 27, 2024 / 5:42 am | Story: 494471

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Photo: The Canadian Press

Tents are set up at Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, the site of Woodstock Music and Art Fair, Friday, June 14, 2024, in Bethel, N.Y. (AP Photo/Julia Nikhinson)

Beverly “Cookie” Grant hitchhiked to the Woodstock music festival in 1969 without a ticket and slept on straw. Ellen Shelburne arrived in a VW microbus and pitched a pup tent.

Fifty-five years later, the two longtime friends finally got back to the garden, but this time in high style.

The women, now 76, were recently treated to a two-bedroom glamping tent at the upstate New York site equipped with comfy beds, a shower, a coffee maker and Wi-Fi. No mud from drenching rains this time. They sat in pavilion seats to watch shows by Woodstock veterans John Fogerty and Roger Daltrey.

“We’re like hippie queens!” Grant joked over breakfast during the trip earlier this month.

The Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, the not-for-profit organization that runs the site, rolled out the tie-dyed carpet for Grant and Shelburne to promote its new glamping facilities and to delve deeper into Shelburne’s trove of photos from the generation-defining festival held Aug. 15-18, 1969.

The once-trampled hillside by the main stage is now a manicured green space near a Woodstock-and-’60s-themed museum and the concert pavilion. But the return visit still bought back a flood of memories. Shelburne was able to retrace the steps she took as a 21-year-old college student in the photos taken by her then-boyfriend, and future husband, David Shelburne.

“I’m looking at this person in the photograph, who is me, but a person just starting out in life at that age. And now I’m looking back at sort of bookends of my life," Ellen Shelburne said. “All these decades later, I’m back at Woodstock and it just brings it all up in such a positive way.”

Grant and Shelburne did not know each other in August 1969 and they attended the concert separately.

Shelburne came from Columbus, Ohio, with David Shelburne, his best friend and another woman. They purchased tickets, got there early and bought ponchos at a local store after rain was forecast. She slept in a pup tent.

“I was never cold, wet, hungry, muddy, dirty, uncomfortable or miserable," she said. "It was the total opposite.”

Grant went to Woodstock on a lark.

A long-haired surfer she knew named Ray came up to her and a friend on a beach in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and said, “There’s this music festival happening in New York. You want to hitchhike up there with me?” Grant's friend dropped out along the way, but she and the surfer made it to the town of Bethel. The last driver dropped them off at the edge of the epic traffic jam outside the festival and gave them a blanket.

Grant walked the last several miles to Woodstock barefoot.

Both women were wowed by Jimi Hendrix, The Who and other musical acts, but also by the good vibes from the 400,000 or more people who converged on Max Yasgur's dairy farm some 80 miles (130 kilometers) northwest of New York City.

“If we needed food, someone gave us food. Someone gave us water. We needed nothing,” Grant said.

The two women met months later in Columbus, where they each ran shops adjacent to Ohio State University with the men they went to Woodstock with. And they each married their concert companions, though Grant got a divorce several years later.

David and Ellen Shelburne ran a film and video production company together until he died four years ago. Grant moved to Florida and eventually became a chef on mega-yachts before starting her own business providing crews for those big boats.

Each woman kept a spark of the Woodstock spirit. Shelburne said she's “stuck in the ’60s and proud of it.” They got the bug to return to the festival site last year after providing oral histories in Columbus to curators for the Museum at Bethel Woods.

Just like in 1969, the women were provided what they needed during their recent long weekend of peace, love and nostalgia — though this time it was a “Luxury 2 Bedroom Safari Tent” with a front deck and the shower in a bathroom. And when it rained this time, they were able to stay dry in the museum.

On a sunny Saturday, Bethel Woods senior curator Neal Hitch drove the women around in a golf cart to explore the spots where David Shelburne shot his festival photos. Unlike others who focused their cameras on the stage, he documented festivalgoers camping, swimming, selling goods, relaxing and having fun. Hitch noted that David Shelburne's images also are valuable because they are in sequence, meaning they tell a story.

At one stop, Shelburne stood by a tree line as she held a photo of a field full of campers. She was standing on the spot where her late husband took the photograph and was looking at the same field, minus the campers, 55 years later. Visibly moved, she said “oh” a few times and let out a deep breath before exclaiming, “Wow!”

It broke her heart that her husband is not in the photographs, but she felt his presence that weekend.

The women ranged across the festival site over several days, from the stage area to the woods where vendors had set up stalls. Despite the changes — the luxury tents, the fences, the museum — the women said they recognized the same mellow, friendly vibes here that they experienced as 21-year-olds.

And they were thrilled to immerse themselves in it again decades later.

“It’s very wonderful to see that it’s in history forever,” Grant said, “and we’re a part of that.”

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More Business News

Jim Pattison Group acquires U.S. grocery chain owner Save Mart Companies - Business News (2024)


Jim Pattison Group acquires U.S. grocery chain owner Save Mart Companies - Business News? ›

Dive Brief:

Did Save Mart get sold? ›

In 2022, the Piccinini family sold Save Mart Cos. to LA-based private equity firm Kingswood Capital Management for an undisclosed amount.

What does the Jim Pattison group own? ›

The Jim Pattison Auto Group

Today, the group owns 7 Toyota dealers and 2 Lexus dealers in the Toyota family. 1999 In the fall of 1999, The Jim Pattison Auto Group proudly welcomes a Volvo dealership to the fold. With the further acquisition of another, we are now BC's largest Volvo dealer.

How did Jim Pattison get rich? ›

Pattison's first business was a GM dealership he bought in 1961. The Canadian billionaire also controls more than 50% of publicly-traded forest products company Canfor. His entertainment division includes Guinness World Records, the Ripley's Believe It Or Not! chain and Great Wolf Lodge's Canadian franchise rights.

When did Jim Pattison buy Save-On-Foods? ›

The Save-On-Foods brand was launched in British Columbia in 1982 by Overwaitea Foods, which had been founded in 1915 and was later purchased by Jimmy Pattison in 1968.

Is Save Mart changing its name? ›

Though Save Mart Companies is under new ownership, the company and its new owner, the Jim Pattison Group, say nothing will change regarding the way stores operate, where it is headquartered or who is in leadership. The sale of Save Mart was effective Tuesday and includes Lucky and FoodMaxx stores.

Is Save Mart owned by Safeway? ›

Kingswood Capital Management LP, a California-based privity equity firm, acquired The Save Mart Companies in early 2022. Today, The Save Mart Companies serves nearly 200 communities across California and Nevada and is headquartered in the heart of California's Central Valley.

Does Jim Pattison own Toyota? ›

In 2012, The Jim Pattison Auto Group expanded into Manitoba with the acquisition of Toyota and Subaru dealerships in Winnipeg. In 2013, the Volkswagen brands joined our automotive family with Jim Pattison Volkswagen Surrey.

Does Jim Pattison own quality foods? ›

With company founders Ken Schley and John Briuolo announcing they are stepping back from selling groceries, Quality Foods is now wholly owned by BC's own Jim Pattison Group.

Does Jim Pattison own Peterbilt? ›

Peterbilt Pacific was sold by the Pasiuk Family and joined the Jim Pattison Group of Companies.

Who is the wealthiest person in Canada? ›

CharacteristicNet worth in billion U.S. dollars
Changpeng Zhao17.4$
Jim Pattison10.7$
David Cheriton9$
Anthony Von Mandl8.8$
9 more rows
Mar 11, 2024

Who is the richest man of North America? ›

U.S. the richest people in America 2024

As of June 2024, Elon Musk was estimated as the wealthiest person in the United States with a net worth of around 195 billion dollars.

How is the richest person in Indiana? ›

Carl Cook, $10.6 billion, is CEO of medical device manufacturer Cook Group and has been named the richest person in Indiana.

Does Jim Pattison own Buy-Low Foods? ›

In September of 1995, Buy-Low Foods then consisting of four corporate and four franchise locations was purchased from its founders by the Jim Pattison Group. With the support of our parent company, the Buy-Low Foods retail banner has now grown to 17 retail locations throughout British Columbia and Alberta.

How much is Jim Pattison worth? ›

Who owns Safeway? ›

Who owns Save Mart Center? ›

Save Mart Center
OwnerCalifornia State University, Fresno
Executive suites40
CapacityBasketball – 17,000 Boxing – 16,182 Concerts – 16,182 Ice Events – 14,224 Hockey – 14,224 Rodeo – 12,368 Professional wrestling – 16,182
15 more rows

Did Pick n Save get bought out? ›

In addition to Pick 'n Save, Roundy's operates 68 other grocery stores through the Mariano's, Copps and Metro Market flags. Roundy's was acquired on December 18, 2015 by The Kroger Company, a publicly traded company on the New York Stock Exchange (KR).

Who bought Save On Foods? ›

The Vancouver conglomerate already has at least nine grocery chains, including Save-On-Foods, Choices Markets and Nesters Market.

Does Albertsons own Save Mart? ›

Save Mart started in 1952, and has remained a relatively small chain that today has 204 supermarkets and about 90 pharmacies. But many of those stores — were purchased from Albertsons. In 2007, it purchased 10 Lucky stores from American Stores, which later merged with Albertsons.

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