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Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2024
Good morning to you!

Do you remember ordering a Domino’s pizza that was promised to be delivered in 30 minutes or less or it was free? This pizza promise started in 1979 and created amazing growth for the pizza chain in the 1980s, catapulting the store count to more than 5,000 by the end of the decade. Customers not only loved the guarantee, but they seemed to enjoy trying to beat the game by making it difficult for drivers to find them in 30 minutes. As a result, drivers felt pressure to deliver on time and were often driving recklessly to do so. In fact, according to a 1993 lawsuit, more than 20 fatalities occurred in the 1980s as a direct result of this. A St. Louis woman won a $78 million verdict against the company. In response, Domino's dropped the guarantee, which was a good thing. We can all wait 45 minutes for a pizza.

I thought about this reckless delivery driving the other day when I saw an Amazon delivery vehicle speeding through my neighborhood. And then another one. And then another one. All driving over the speed limit, coasting through stop signs. Could they be headed down the same path as Domino’s?

According to a 2021 article at vice.com, the answer is yes. The article states that Amazon drivers were being asked to “quietly disable a driver safety system partway through their shifts,” encouraging “reckless and dangerous driving.” That safety system was called Mentor, and it monitored drivers’ speeds and issued safety scores with a goal of preventing accidents. The article said, “Drivers say they are being ordered to turn the app off by their bosses so that they can speed through their delivery routes in order to hit Amazon's delivery targets.” That was 2021. Needless to say, many more Amazon packages are being delivered and many more Amazon vans are on the road today. To be fair, Amazon may have rectified this problem, but the concerns are real. This is dangerous work, as Amazon has learned. The company often hires outside delivery companies and expects upwards of 400 packages a day to be delivered in 10-hour shifts, according to the article.

The employee vs. contractor debate has been going on for years in the newspaper industry, and laws vary by state and, seemingly, by year. Even so, the Amazon delivery problems are adding fuel to the fire. The Wisconsin Supreme Court heard arguments last week about whether a group of drivers who deliver packages for Amazon should be considered employees, qualifying them for unemployment compensation if they lose their jobs, according to wisconsinexaminer.com. If Amazon has to make these drivers company employees, much of the liability for reckless driving would be back on the company. And if that happens, expect delivery costs to increase, too.

We got used to waiting longer for pizza, and I suspect we will survive if Amazon packages show up a day or two later as well. In the meantime, be cautious.

Have a terrific Tuesday, and thanks for reading.

Shane Goodman
President and Publisher
Big Green Umbrella Media
515-953-4822, ext. 305

See Shane Goodman's previous columns here.

CITYVIEW's Best Of Des Moines®
The polls have closed and a record number of readers have cast their votes in the latest CITYVIEW'S Best Of Des Moines readers' poll — the metro's original and largest poll of its kind.
Winners will be announced in the February 2024 issue of CITYVIEW!

Your Clear Mortgage forecast

Highs in the 30s are ahead for a dry week. Slight snow chances come our way Saturday night into Sunday morning.

For help with pre-approvals or refinancing, get in touch with Originating Branch Manager Carrie Hansen at carrie.mortgage.

Featured home for sale
Attention, Realtors, post your listings here for $50. Contact jolene@iowalivingmagazines.com for details.
502 N. 16th St.
Indianola, IA 50125
This stunning 3 BR, 2.5 BA home 2-car garage and fully fenced backyard with brand new extra insulated siding that was installed within the last year. The HVAC has also been recently updated, ensuring maximum efficiency and comfort throughout the home. Upon entering the home, you will be greeted with a formal living room/dining room area perfect for entertaining guests. Spacious kitchen with plenty of cabinets & features a corner sink with 2 beautiful windows overlooking the backyard.
See More Homes For Sale

Forbes reported that frozen orange juice led all food products in rate of inflation in 2023. Florida's 2022 weather and the continuation of citrus greening disease were blamed. Good news is that 2023 was a really good year for weather in Florida's orange groves and progress has finally been made combating greening disease.

Institute of Food Technologies recognizes "food as medicine" as a main trend of 2024. They predict this will unite medical professionals, health advocates, manufacturers, retailers, farmers and government. "Efforts will be made to redefine medical professional nutrition education and establish health insurance connections related to diet and health," according to Food Business News.

Wednesday brings beef stew and biscuits as a special at Paula's (524 Elm St., West Des Moines).

— Jim Duncan, jd91446@aol.com


FROM KCCI: Iowa football ends 2023 season with back-to-back shutout losses

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Freshman quarterback Nico Iamaleava ran for three touchdowns and threw for one in his first career start, and No. 25 Tennessee shut down No. 20 Iowa’s Division I-worst offense to beat the Hawkeyes 35-0 in the Citrus Bowl on Monday. ...READ MORE FROM KCCI

FROM WHO-TV: Ledges State Park kicks off celebration of 100 years with a New Year’s Day hike

BOONE, Iowa — This year 2024 is the 100th anniversary of the founding, of Ledges State Park. The year was begun with an Iowa DNR First-Day Hike. People hiked down the Canyon Road, as far as the first low water crossing. People could then return up the same road, or wander through the canyon, and climb over the ridge to get back to their cars. ..READ MORE FROM WHO-TV

FROM WOI-DT Local 5: Des Moines welcomes first babies born in 2024

DES MOINES, Iowa — Meet central Iowa's newest and cutest residents: Some lucky central Iowa families welcomed new babies into the world just hours into 2024. ...READ MORE FROM WOI-DT Local 5

This week in history
Jan. 7, 1789: First U.S. presidential election
Jan. 1, 1863: Abraham Lincoln signs the Emancipation Proclamation
Jan. 1, 1892: The first immigrants arrive at Ellis Island
Jan. 1, 1923: Rosewood Massacre decimates Black Florida community
Read more at www.history.com
Birthdays and notables

Happy Birthday Sue Fidler and Amy Welp!

These celebrities were born on this date: Shelley Hennig, Bryson Tiller, Ben Hardy, Jilly Anais, Claire Rosinkranz, Taye Diggs, Renee Elise Goldsberry, Dax Shepard, Fernando Tatís Jr, Cuba Gooding Jr, Kate Bosworth, Alden Richards

SUBMIT: Send your birthday greetings and congratulatory notes to: tammy@iowalivingmagazines.com

Morning chuckle

The answer to yesterday's riddle:

What do criminals pay on Jan. 1?  NEW YEAR'S RESTITUTION! - Gail Tomlinson. Thanks for also sending answers: Rex Post

Today's riddle

What do you call a man who drinks too much Chardonnay and falls off his horse?

Have a guess? Email tammy@iowalivingmagazines.com


To advertise in this daily newsletter, contact Jolene Goodman at jolene@iowalivingmagazines.com, or call 515-953-4822 ext. 319.

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