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Monday’s FTB: Navigating the new media landscape without a safety net – Pension Plan Puppets



On December 16, SBNation put up a post, topped by a stock photo of some young female San Jose Sharks fans, to tell the world they were terminating the contracts of a large number of writers for sites based in California. SBNation, isn’t just hockey or even just the big four professional sports, so that announcements affected 25 different sites. They reported in this post that over 200 people blogged on those sites in 2019.

200 people.

SBNation termed this move “bittersweet” and most of us are still looking for the sweet and can’t find it.

The root of this decision is a new law (signed in to law on September 18) in the state of California that makes it carder for companies to classify workers as contractors instead of employees. The popular description of the law is an move against “gig economy” employers who contract out work almost exclusively. This law has actually grown out of a court decision, and has been in the works for some time.

The law affects journalism, and journalism-adjacent businesses in a particular way:

As CJR reported in March, some publishers responded to the Dynamex ruling by cutting ties with freelancers based in California. The passage of Assembly Bill 5 offers some relief: freelance writers, editors, photographers and editorial cartoonists were given a partial carve-out, allowing publishers to hire them for up to 35 separate “content submissions” in a given year. (The law exempts more than 20 professions, including doctor, lawyer, manicurist, travel agent and commercial fisherman. Graphic designers have a full exemption, which means California judges could find themselves ruling on how much Photoshop work it takes to distinguish photography from graphic design.)

And for many types of media today, that means they have to overhaul how they get their stories, and who they hire, or in a lot of cases, just don’t hire.

Nathan Cambridge, a freelance sportswriter in Los Angeles, covers football games and other high school and community college sporting events for local newspapers

“In an ideal world, the company would recognize the value of my content and think, ‘Rather than not being able to use this person anymore, I’ll give them a job,’ but that’s not the world we’re in with newspapers,” Cambridge says. “What’s going to happen is, I’m going to hit 35 and they’re going to stop giving me assignments.”

And this is where the reality of media itself smashes into the intent of California’s lawmakers to protect the rights of workers. Something all sides in this conversation should realize is that there isn’t a big pot of gold greedily being horded by publishers of most forms of media. SBNation, for example, has suggested they are going to hire 15 paid employees to run the 25 sites in California.

For us here at PPP, we don’t expect anything to change, and we have no contributors who live in California, so no one is being fired out from under us. But the hockey sites as a group are connected, and we share back and forth, standing on an even playing field as writers and site managers who aren’t journalists, who aren’t working at a job where an editor hands us assignments, but as bloggers who, frankly, run off at the mouth for the most part.

We’re here to talk, to argue, to opinionate, and we’re here — here on SBNation — because when the sites were originally founded and PPP joined up, it was a way to link writers like us (fans who blog, bloggers who are fans) to an audience. SBNation pays for the infrastructure that all of us as individuals would have to re-invent hundreds of times over to go out and just blog as the OK Boomer advice has been from professional journalists in the past.

The media landscape has changed a lot, just in the time PPP has existed. And when people do try to go out on their own and “just blog” following that advice, they quickly find out they’ve got two full time jobs that don’t pay them anything: one writing and one shilling their brand on social media. Oh, and then there’s the cost and technical skill of putting a site on the air.

So, it’s fair to say that SBNation provides a service to the fans who want to blog, and then they divvy up the ad revenue as they see fit. They’ve seen fit to dole it out in small portions to non-professional writers and site managers, and now for one set of sites, that’s going to change:

For some of [the California site contractors], that will mean full or part-time employment at SB Nation, but for others it will mean offering a platform: They’ve built a following among our communities and after their contracts end, they’ll have the option (but no obligation) to continue blogging on those communities whenever (and only when) they like. They will be the first of our new Community Insiders – with a special lane to write on the site and a special place on the masthead. Community Insiders’ participation in events, blogging and any other community activities will always be 100 percent voluntary with no obligations to SB Nation at all. But to the extent these incredibly talented people want to remain involved in the communities that they helped build, create and foster, they will be – with special access to the features of the best sports conversation platform on the web.

Our common playing field is getting tipped. And in whose favour is a very open question. There is nothing sweet here for anyone, not Vox who owns SBNation, not us looking in on this from another country where our rules about contracting vs employment are different, and not the 200 or so people who are now competing for a very, very few jobs or who can blog for no compensation at all.

Many of the hockey sites have decided to take today to go dark to protest this situation:

We are very disturbed and concerned by two separate, yet related, issues that arose as a result of this decision. First, the decision to cut loose the entire writing staffs of 25 SB Nation team sites was a complete surprise to everyone impacted. It dropped out of the clear blue sky with no warning and minimal contact from SB Nation management prior to being made public. The fact that it happened a week and a half prior to Christmas makes it even more difficult to accept.

The California law that prompted this decision was enacted on September 18, yet the affected writers had no knowledge that their contracts with Vox Media were at risk until they were told that the contracts were being terminated, nearly three months later.

SBN management has stated that part- and full-time positions, which are now posted, will be used to replace the current contractor positions that will no longer be available as a result of the new California law. While current contractors have been invited to apply for these newly-created positions, the reality is that many of the writers affected by this decision have little to no interest in traditional employment with the requisite expectations on time and commitments that employment entails. Many of us have existing jobs and careers that we work our SBN commitments around. While it isn’t by any means a perfect scenario, it works for a good number of our writers, and it’s heartbreaking that so many good writers are being sacrificed outright as the result of an ill-conceived law and ill-conceived decisions resulting from that law.

Read more here.

SBNation has chosen to carry some of their California contractors through next year in a transition phase. I personally do not see any way out of this mess that doesn’t involve California relaxing it’s rules or exempting some or all forms of journalism from this law the way they have many other professions.

But the decision to remove non-California residents from their site-manger and writer positions, to terminate contracts with little warning, and to wait until the end of 2019 to disclose how they were going to deal with a law passed months before failed the fans who built those 25 sites in a fundamental way.

There might never be a good solution to this conundrum. There can only ever be integrity and respect in dealing with each other as we try to navigate this difficult media landscape.

PPP has chosen to discuss this with you today in a way that we hope is helpful to you in understanding the issues, and we will cover the Leafs game this afternoon with a game day thread for you to meet and talk with us, which is what we’re here for, is what makes these sites unique and is not something a professional content creator can ever replicate.

See you at 2 pm for the game.

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August 12, 2022 – Media Release – Winnipeg Police Service – City of Winnipeg



2022 Winnipeg Police Service Public Opinion Survey

Every two years, a public opinion telephone survey is conducted through an independent agency to ask citizens about their view of the Winnipeg Police Service and their opinions about crime and public safety in Winnipeg. This year, on behalf of the Winnipeg Police Board, interviewers from PRA Inc, an independent market research firm, will randomly call individuals in all areas of Winnipeg beginning August 15th, 2022 to complete the 15 minute survey. 

Citizens can be assured the survey is legitimate. Interviewers will ask for general demographic information (age, gender, postal code), but will never request personal identifiers such as banking information, street address, or Social Insurance Number.

Once complete, the results of the survey will be made public and posted on both the Winnipeg Police Board and Winnipeg Police Service websites.
On behalf of the Board, the Winnipeg Police Service thanks all those who take the time to participate in the survey.

“Grandparent Scam” – Arrests: C22-161861

On July 28, 2022, the Winnipeg Police Service issued a public advisory in response to an increase in “grandparent scams” targeting the elderly.
The Financial Crimes Unit continued its investigation and identified two female suspects believed to be involved. On July 29, assisted by officers of the East District Community Support Unit, investigators arrested both suspects in the 1100 block of Sommerville Avenue without incident.
Investigators executed a search warrant at a residence in the 1100 block of Somerville Avenue and located evicence linking the suspects of the offences. During ten days, the suspects defrauded nine seniors for approximately $100,000.
Vanessa Fatima ALVES DASILVA, 18, of North York, Ontario, has been charged with the following offences:
– Fraud Over $5,000 x 6
– Conspiracy to Commit an Indictable Offence
– Possession of Proceeds of Property Obtained by Crime Over $5,000
– Forgery
– Use a Forged Document
Gabriella Edith Marie PARADIS, 25, of Walpole Island, Ontario, has been charged with the following offences:
– Fraud Over $5,000 x 2
– Conspiracy to Commit an Indictable Offence
– Possession of Proceeds of Property Obtained by Crime Over $5,000
The victims and the suspects were not previously known to one another.
The Financial Crimes Unit is continuing the investigation.
As previously released:
The Winnipeg Police Service has recently seen a significant increase in local “grandparent scam” (also known as “emergency scam”) reports – including 15 incidents over the past six days, with about $100,000 in losses.
The Financial Crime Unit is investigating these incidents.
The “grandparent scam” often involves an actor calling an elderly person and claiming to be a grandchild who is in serious legal trouble and needs money immediately. The caller sometimes cries, and there is often urgency and secrecy around the demands.
In October 2021, the Winnipeg Police Service issued a cautionary media release in response to an increase in “grandparent scams” targeting the elderly.
This release was followed up in March 2022, when it was discovered that the scam had escalated to the point where couriers or rideshare drivers were physically attending the victim’s residence to collect funds – rather than relying on an online transfer.  
An example of the scam, as seen in recent local incidents, occurs as follows:
A caller will claim to be a nephew, niece or grandchild – and sometimes provides the first name. They then claim to have been involved in an accident (such as a collision with a vehicle).
They then claim to have been arrested and jailed. The phone is passed to another actor who claims to be a lawyer and can come off as very professional.
The victim is told that money is needed for bail; otherwise, the family member will continue to be jailed. They are also told that a “gag order” has been put in place by a judge and that they cannot discuss the matter with anyone, including other family members or the bank.
Instructions are given to the victim to inform the bank that the money will be used for home repairs or something similar.
The victim is given a phone number to call, or the fraudster calls back soon after.
Once the money is obtained, the victim is told a bondsperson will attend their home. This fictitious bondsperson will attend the residence and take the cash – completing the scam.
There may be additional attempts to retrieve money from the victim over the following days.
Warning signs – How to protect yourself:
Knowledge is critical when it comes to preventing these frauds.
– The police and courts will never send someone to your house to collect money.
– The police and courts, including lawyers, will never tell you to lie to the bank about the purpose of obtaining money.
– These scammers will pressure people to act quickly before they have time to consider what they are doing or agreeing to. Always talk to a trusted person before providing personal information or funds, especially if it is an unsolicited call.
– We urge people to converse with their elderly relatives regarding this fraud.
– If you receive a call like this, please contact the police immediately.
If you have been victimized by the “grandparent scam”:
If you have been a victim of fraud, document all the information you can recall about your fraudulent transaction, e.g. receipts, copies of emails, text messages and courier companies.
It is also crucial that you report the fraud – doing so can help you possibly recover any loss, and it helps protect the community from future frauds and scams.
Information on how to report the “grandparent scam” can be found here:
Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre

Drug Trafficking Investigation – Arrests: C22-118564

Beginning in August 2022, the Winnipeg Police Service’s Guns & Gangs Unit conducted an investigation involving the trafficking of methamphetamine within the City of Winnipeg.

On August 11, 2022, the Guns & Gangs Unit observed four suspects operating a stolen 2014 Cadillac ATS in the 400 block of Marion Street. Officers placed four adults under arrest and seized the following items from the vehicle:

– 53 grams of Methamphetamine (Estimated Street Value = $2,100 to $2,650
– 2 grams of Fentanyl (Estimated Street Value = $360 – $400)
– 2 grams of Cocaine (Estimated Street Value = $160 – $200)
– Digital Scales
– Score Sheets
– Cell Phones

With the assistance of the Tactical Support Team and officers from the East District, the Guns and Gangs Unit executed a search warrant at a residence in the 300 Block of Marion Street and seized the following items:

–  2.8 grams of Methamphetamine (Estimated Street Value = $112 – $140)
– Unused Packaging Materials
– 12 Guage double barrel shotgun
– Digital Scales
– Score Sheets

Bryden Joel JONASSON, 28, of Winnipeg, has been charged with the following offences:

– Possession of a Scheduled Substance for the Purpose of Trafficking – Cocaine
– Possession of a Scheduled Substance for the Purpose of Trafficking – Methamphetamine
– Possession of a Scheduled Substance for the Purpose of Trafficking
– Possession of Property Obtained by Crime Over $5,000
– Fail to Comply with Condition of Release Order x 2
– Possession of Firearm, Restricted/Prohibited Weapon or Ammunition Contrary to Prohibition Order
– Warrant x 2 (RCMP)

He was detained in custody.

A 25-year-old female from Winnipeg is facing the following charges:

– Possession of a Scheduled Substance for the Purpose of Trafficking – Cocaine
– Possession of a Scheduled Substance for the Purpose of Trafficking – Methamphetamine
– Possession of a Scheduled Substance for the Purpose of Trafficking
– Possession of Property Obtained by Crime Over $5,000
– Possession of Property Obtained by Crime Under $5,000
– Unauthorized Possession of a Firearm
– Store Firearm or Restricted Weapon Contrary to Regulations

She was released on an Undertaking as mandated by the Criminal Code.

A 25-year-old male from Winnipeg is facing the following charges:

– Possession of a Scheduled Substance for the Purpose of Trafficking – Cocaine
– Possession of a Scheduled Substance for the Purpose of Trafficking – Methamphetamine
– Possession of a Scheduled Substance for the Purpose of Trafficking
– Possession of Property Obtained by Crime Over $5,000
– Operate of a Conveyance While Prohibited by Order Under Criminal Code

He was released on an Undertaking as mandated by the Criminal Code.

A 35-year-old female from Winnipeg is facing the following charges:

– Possession of a Scheduled Substance for the Purpose of Trafficking – Cocaine
– Possession of a Scheduled Substance for the Purpose of Trafficking – Methamphetamine
– Possession of a Scheduled Substance for the Purpose of Trafficking
– Possession of Property Obtained by Crime Over $5,000
– Possession of Property Obtained by Crime Under $5,000
– Store Firearm or Restricted Weapon Contrary to Regulations
– Possession of a Firearm Knowing its Possession is Unauthorized
– Possession of Firearm, Restricted/Prohibited Weapon or Ammunition Contrary to Prohibition Order x 2

She was released on an Undertaking as mandated by the Criminal Code.

Weapons – Arrest: C22-181351

On August 11, 2022, at approximately 2:30 p.m., members of the North District Community Support Unit observed an adult male operating a bicycle in breach of the Highway Traffic Act (HTA) in the 500 block of Pritchard Avenue.

Officers attempted to stop the male; however he fled on foot. After a short foot pursuit, officers arrested the uncooperative male and placed him in custody.

The male was found to be in possession of the following items:

– Loaded Taurus G2C 9 mm Handgun with obliterated serial number
– Magazine containing several rounds
– Drug Paraphernalia
– Approximately $3,200 in currency

A  21-year-old male from Winnipeg has been charged with the following offences:

– Possession of a Prohibited or Restricted Firearm with Ammunition
– Unauthorized Possession of a Firearm
– Tampering with Serial Number of a Firearm
– Possession of Proceeds of Property Obtained by Crime Under $5,000
– Resist Peace Officer

He was released on an Undertaking as mandated by the Criminal Code.

Weapons – Arrest: C22-181032

On August 11, 2022, at approximately 8:00 a.m., officers from the North District observed a wanted male at the intersection of Andrews Street and Flora Avenue. The adult male suspect was also believed to have a rifle in his possession.

Officers attempted to make contact with the suspect; however, he promptly fled on his bicycle. After a short distance, the strap from the duffle bag he was carrying became entangled in his front bicycle wheel, causing him to crash to the ground when the bicycle abruptly stopped.

Officers safely placed him under arrest on the strength of the Warrant and, as they did so,  observed a sawed-off rifle in plain view protruding from the duffle bag the suspect had been carrying.

Clinton WIRFFEL, 37, of Winnipeg, is charged with the following offences:

– Possession of a Firearm Knowing its Possession is Unauthorized
– Carrying Concealed Weapon Prohibited Device or Ammunition
– Possession of Firearm, Restricted/Prohibited Weapon or Ammunition Contrary to Prohibition Order x 4
– Fail to Comply with Probation Order
– Warrant – Fail to Comply with Probation Order

He has been detained in custody.

Constable Jay Murray, Public Information Officer
Constable Dani McKinnon, Public Information Officer
Constable Claude Chancy, Public Information Officer
Kelly Dehn, Manager of Public Affairs

Office: 204-986-3061

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Why Does Anyone Actually Believe These Social Media Nanny Requirements Are Real? – Forbes



As we’re now in the middle of August, it means back to school is either right around the corner or perhaps even here. Thus, it isn’t surprising that some parents are now actively looking for a nanny or child care worker – and many have found that social media can be a good place to connect with candidates.

However, this week, a Facebook listing for a nanny was in a word “extreme.” The original poster’s account details were hidden but apparently the demands were way beyond what anyone might reasonably expect from even the most professional nanny.

School is starting again, and that means we once again need a nanny! Please read ALL of these requirements. You need to have a master’s degree or higher so that our 5-yo and 7-yo will be intellectually challenged. (No, your “bachelor of english” doesn’t mean you’re smart! Sorry!) You must be between 24-28 years of age to keep up with the activity level of our kiddos. And please plan to have your own housing, don’t assume you will be staying with us Yes, we have extra room, but the privilege is earned, not assumed. We need you from 7am8:30am and 3:00pm-6:00pm every weekday, and the pay will be $18 daily. Plan to bring “snacks” or other food for the kiddos as our cabinets will be locked during the day while we work. You will also need to bring educational materials such as workbooks as we do not keep anything like this at home. Thanks!

It didn’t take long on Thursday for this to go viral; with many commenting that the job requirements were more than a bit over-the-top. What was also notable was a second post that was just as extreme and perhaps even more nonsensical.

According to the job listing, though a master’s degree wasn’t required, a “Bachelors Degree in Childcare OR 9 years of relevant babysitting experience” was among the criteria. Likewise, this particular parent further demanded, “No tattoos. No drugs. No alcohol. No sketchy social media behavior AND/OR public pictures,” as well as adding, “Ideally will be a Trump fan.”

Many users on social media have questioned what type of person would expect such criteria to be met by any nanny. In fact, if anything it is the reactions that are truly comical.

Real? Unlikely

A search across Facebook, and other sites have failed to find actually who originally posted these job listings – so the authenticity can’t be verified. If real, both still read like pure satire and are likely a comment on the state of the job market, and what the “Karens of America” often expect today.

The first post demands that their children be intellectually challenged, yet it is riddle with grammatical errors. Likewise, the pay of $18 a day is clearly a joke, especially as the would-be candidate is required to bring (and thus pay for) “snacks” for the kiddos. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay for child care workers was $13.22 per hour as of May 2021, so clearly few individuals would be willing to work for $3 an hour.

The second post also reads like a parody of an affluent MAGA follower – the type of person who demands a Native English speaker yet will make payment for service under the table.

Now it is true that there are plenty of people who do post what can rightfully be described as “slightly unreasonable” demands while looking for a nanny/babysitter via social media. That is what makes these recent posts perhaps somewhat convincing, but clearly they’re meant to mock those who are looking for cheap help.

Given the state of the world, they were certainly good for a laugh.

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Social media model charged with killing boyfriend in Florida – The Globe and Mail



Prosecutors in South Florida announced a second-degree murder charge Thursday against social media model Courtney Clenney in connection with the fatal stabbing of her live-in boyfriend.

Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle announced the charge against the 26-year-old model during a news conference. Clenney was arrested Wednesday in Hawaii. Fernandez Rundle said Clenney, who goes by the name Courtney Tailor on such platforms as Instagram and OnlyFans, remained jailed in Hawaii while authorities seek her extradition to Florida.

She appeared in a courtroom on Hawaii’s Big Island Thursday, where she waived her right to an extradition hearing and agreed to return to Florida.

Judge Henry Nakamoto ordered her held without bail pending extradition.

Fernandez Rundle characterized Christian Obumseli’s April 3 death at the couple’s Miami apartment as the culmination of a “tempestuous and combative relationship” that began in November 2020. The county medical examiner said in an autopsy report that Obumseli, who worked in cryptocurrency, died from a forceful downward thrust from a blade that went 3 inches (7.6 centimeters) into his chest, piercing a major artery.

According to an arrest report, Clenney acknowledged killing Obumseli but said she acted in self defense. She said Obumseli had pushed her and thrown her to the floor, which prompted her to grab a knife and throw it at Obumseli from about 10 feet (3 meters) away. The medical examiner said Obumseli’s wound could not have been caused by a knife thrown from that distance.

Clenney’s Miami defense lawyer, Frank Prieto, said the medical examiner’s opinions won’t stand up to scientific scrutiny when they argue self-defense at trial. He acknowledged that Clenney and Obumseli had a tumultuous relationship but said Obumseli was the primary aggressor.

“Obumseli was the abuser, the worst kind of abuser,” Prieto said in a statement. “He would manipulate and abuse Courtney in private when he thought nobody was around.”

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