‘First, Let’s Get Rid of All the Bosses’ — the Zappos Management Experiment

schnell writes: The New Republic is running an in-depth look at online shoe retailer Zappos.com’s experiment in a new “boss-less” corporate structure. Three years ago the company introduced a management philosophy that came from the software development world called “Holacracy,” in which there are no “people managers” and groups self-organize based on individual creativity and talents. (When the change was announced, 14% of the company’s employees chose to leave; middle management openly rebelled, but perhaps surprisingly the tech organization was slowest to embrace the new idea). The article shows that in this radically employee-centric environment, many if not most employees are thrilled and fulfilled, while others worry that self-organization in practical terms means chaos and a Maoist culture of “coercive positivity.” Is Zappos the future of the American workplace, a fringe experiment, or something in between?

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Portland speakeasy serves up drinks for $5

You don’t need a secret knock, password, or slamming outfit to get in. A pocketful of cash and the guts to ask the 20-somethings smoking butts outside “where is Lincolns?” does the trick. What, you haven’t been to Lincolns? Where the hell have you been drinkin? This months-old speakeasy where drinks are …

Portland businesses organize to fight $15 minimum wage

PORTLAND, Maine — A nonpartisan group of business owners has started raising money to defeat a local referendum that would raise the city’s minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2019. Chris Hall, CEO of the Portland Regional Chamber of Commerce, said the group mobilized partly in response to polling …

Pumpkinpalooza!!! October 17th 11am-3pm

Saturday, Oct. 17, 2015 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Location: Anglers Restaurant , 91 Coldbrook Road, Hampden, Maine For more information: 207-862-2121 Anglers Restaurant will be hosting its first ever Pumpkinpalooza! On October 17th from 11am to 3pm kids of all ages are asked to come to the restaurants and …

N.H. city council candidate kicked neighbor’s dog to death, police charge

KEENE, N.H. – A city council candidate in southwestern New Hampshire is facing animal cruelty charges after police say he kicked his neighbor’s 17-year-old dog to death after it tried to relieve itself on his lawn.

Police say 55-year-old Toby Tousley turned himself in Monday evening after kicking Teddy, a Pekingese-Chihuahua mix, Saturday afternoon. Tousley is running for Keene City Council in Ward 2.

The owner tells WFXT-TV he let two dogs, including Teddy, who was losing his eyesight and hearing, outside to relieve themselves.

Tousley tells the station that the dogs were “menacing” him and that he’s sorry Teddy’s owner “didn’t take care of it and keep it under his control like the state of New Hampshire requires.”

He was released and is scheduled for arraignment on Dec. 10.

Vermont group targets 200 ‘deadbeat dams’ for removal

POULTNEY, Vt. — A nonprofit organization is eyeing about 200 “deadbeat dams” with the goal of pushing for their removal.

The Nature Conservancy of Vermont is partnering with the state to create a detailed, data-supported map, that ranks and prioritizes the most destructive dams, Vermont Public Radio reported Tuesday.

“We use things like the length of river that can be opened up for fish spawning, the presence of rare fish such as lake sturgeon and the conditions of river shore habitat to prioritize which dams, if removed, could have the most positive impact for our communities and for our rivers,” said Heather Furman, the organization’s state director.

Derelict dams cost communities money for upkeep, and they impede water flow, she said. They also create problems for fish and other aquatic species.

There are more than 1,200 dams that hold up rivers, creeks and streams throughout the state – some more than a century old. Currently, only 80 of the state’s dams are actively used for hydropower or flood control. Far more no longer serve a purpose.

Critics say about 200 deadbeat dams are deteriorating and reducing habitat for fish as well as hampering recreational activities for humans.

“They don’t manage floodwaters,” Furman said. “They don’t produce any hydropower. And today these dams are posing safety hazards.”

Search is on for El Faro’s data recorder

The National Transportation Safety Board’s investigation into the apparent sinking of the El Faro cargo ship is underway in Jacksonville, where investigators are gathering the first, tenuous strands of information necessary to weave a picture of the ship’s final hours.

NTSB Vice Chairman T. Bella Dinh-Zarr briefed U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree Wednesday morning on the agency’s efforts to locate the wreckage of the El Faro, which is believed to have sunk in approximately 15,000 feet of water off the northern coast of Crooked Island in the Bahamas. Missing are the 33 crew members, including 28 Americans and five Polish nationals; one crew member’s body was located by the Coast Guard, but the fate of the remaining 32 aboard is still unknown as Coast Guard search and rescue operations continued Wednesday from the air and sea.

Pingree said the agency’s investigation could take up to 18 months, and will focus in the coming weeks on locating the voyage data recorder, the so-called “black box” that if found intact will give insight into the ship’s final navigational movements, in addition to the previous 12 hours of audio recordings from the ship’s bridge.

“Twelve hours of recording from the bridge could tell you a lot,” Pingree said in an interview. “A lot of questions have been asked about this vessel and if it could present difficulties in this type of weather.”

The National Weather Service issued an advisory upgrading Tropical Storm Joaquin to hurricane status while the ship was several hundred miles into its voyage. The vessel remained on its course through seven additional hurricane advisories over the next 21 hours.

Party to the investigation is the American Bureau of Shipping, TOTE Inc., the ship’s owners, and the nation of Poland, because five of its citizens were aboard to do work related to a pending retrofit of the ship’s engine room.

TOTE has provided to the NTSB access to the El Faro’s sister ship, which could help investigators learn about the unique characteristics of how the ship behaves during rough weather.

Pingree said investigators have a relatively narrow area in which they believe the black box may be found. The device is designed to send out pings for 30 days after it hits the water. If found, the black box could be recovered by the United States Navy, which has robotic retrieval equipment capable of operating to 20,000 feet below the surface.

If no one is found alive, the El Faro’s sinking would be the worst U.S. shipping disaster since 1983, when a bulk carrier sank off the coast of Virginia, killing 31 crew members and prompting major changes in shipping safety standards and water rescue techniques.

TOTE has declined to release the full crew manifest, but media outlets are piecing together the names of those aboard the 790-foot vessel that left Jacksonville Sept. 29 bound for Puerto Rico.

On board were 391 containers topside and 294 trailers and vehicles below deck. It was headed for San Juan, about 1,300 miles to the southeast, but ran into the hurricane less than halfway into the trip.

On the third day of the journey, the crew reported engine problems that left the vessel powerless to evade Hurricane Joaquin, a Category 4 storm that blew into the Caribbean region with winds that topped 130 mph, or maneuver once it was in the storm’s grasp.

Aboard were four Mainers, including the ship’s captain, Michael Davidson, 53, of Windham; Danielle Randolph, 33, of Rockland; Dylan Meklin, 23, of Rockland; and Michael Holland, 25, of Wilton.

Matt Byrne can be contacted at 791-6303 or at:


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