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Latest from Matt Kempner

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Kempner: Ignore call from boss? Georgia shifts on distracted driving
 Georgia’s new distracted driving rules are confusing and watered down, but they give Georgians a legal excuse not to work in their cars and to ignore calls from bosses and customers. Some workaholics won’t take the hint. Not when they spend all that time brewing in Atlanta’s traffic. Not when plenty of employees and business...

Posted: 3 days ago

Georgia’s new distracted driving rules are confusing and watered down, but they give Georgians a legal excuse not to work in their cars and to ignore calls from bosses and customers. Some workaholics won’t take the hint. Not when they spend all that time brewing in Atlanta’s traffic. Not when plenty of employees and business...
Kempner: Will the Amazon-Trump spat cost you? Beware, online shoppers
 President Trump pointedly accused Amazon of not paying enough in taxes. That’s an interesting call for our president, who apparently didn’t pay federal income taxes for years and boasted about “brilliantly” working tax laws as a private citizen. If the president is trying to highlight unfairness in our tax systems...

Posted: 10 days ago

President Trump pointedly accused Amazon of not paying enough in taxes. That’s an interesting call for our president, who apparently didn’t pay federal income taxes for years and boasted about “brilliantly” working tax laws as a private citizen. If the president is trying to highlight unfairness in our tax systems...
Kempner: Big land for big Atlanta dreams is opening up on westside
 A chunk of railroad land that stretches across more than three miles of west Atlanta is going up for sale. It could be developed for more apartments and homes, which I’m told is the most likely demand for it. Or big thinkers could find a more valuable use. This is a city that hungers to think big, after all. CSX’s Tilford Yard...

Posted: 19 days ago

A chunk of railroad land that stretches across more than three miles of west Atlanta is going up for sale. It could be developed for more apartments and homes, which I’m told is the most likely demand for it. Or big thinkers could find a more valuable use. This is a city that hungers to think big, after all. CSX’s Tilford Yard...
Kempner: What will replace all those Toys R Us stores in metro Atlanta?
 Liquidation sales at Toys R Us offer another reason to doubt the survival chances for any and all stores you walk into rather than visit online. But the end of the greatest store of my childhood isn’t the whole story. We’re again about to witness a tantalizing test of brick-and-mortar’s future: seeing what happens to...

Posted: 25 days ago

Liquidation sales at Toys R Us offer another reason to doubt the survival chances for any and all stores you walk into rather than visit online. But the end of the greatest store of my childhood isn’t the whole story. We’re again about to witness a tantalizing test of brick-and-mortar’s future: seeing what happens to...
Kempner: Georgia entrepreneur was wrong about bullet jewelry
 Heather Abbott was dubious when her husband wanted them to create and sell earrings using bullet casings. Because, well, spent bullets as a fashion statement? Really? It became the launchpad for what the Georgia couple says is a million-dollar-a-year business their website describes as “the leader in bullet and shotgun shell style.&rdquo...

Posted: 30 days ago

Heather Abbott was dubious when her husband wanted them to create and sell earrings using bullet casings. Because, well, spent bullets as a fashion statement? Really? It became the launchpad for what the Georgia couple says is a million-dollar-a-year business their website describes as “the leader in bullet and shotgun shell style.&rdquo...
Kempner: These Atlanta restaurants are dropping dollars
 Allison Hill wants success for the Neapolitan pizza chain she’s helping launch in Atlanta. She just doesn’t want cash. Patrons at The Local Pizzaiolo on Atlanta’s Westside can pay by credit, debit or plastic cash cards, but not with the legal tender of the United States. Some nearby restaurants also recently put...

10:00 AM Thursday, Mar. 22, 2018

Allison Hill wants success for the Neapolitan pizza chain she’s helping launch in Atlanta. She just doesn’t want cash. Patrons at The Local Pizzaiolo on Atlanta’s Westside can pay by credit, debit or plastic cash cards, but not with the legal tender of the United States. Some nearby restaurants also recently put...
Kempner: Atlanta company has your secrets; doesn’t like sharing its own
 Equifax, which controls sensitive personal information on nearly a billion people, becomes a bumbling mess when it comes to quickly and clearly sharing its own troubling information. Either that, or the data and credit reporting agency acts as if it’s trying to hide something. In the fall of 2017, for example, it made a great show of...

1:35 PM Thursday, Mar. 15, 2018

Equifax, which controls sensitive personal information on nearly a billion people, becomes a bumbling mess when it comes to quickly and clearly sharing its own troubling information. Either that, or the data and credit reporting agency acts as if it’s trying to hide something. In the fall of 2017, for example, it made a great show of...
Kempner: Why gun shop owners need to turn away more customers
 Ken Baye sells guns, including assault-style rifles. But sometimes when a customer comes in Stoddard’s Range and Guns to buy a firearm or shoot at targets, Baye and his team go beyond what gun control laws require and turn down the sale if they think the person seems off. If a patron acts distraught, smells like weed or booze,...

10:00 AM Tuesday, Mar. 13, 2018

Ken Baye sells guns, including assault-style rifles. But sometimes when a customer comes in Stoddard’s Range and Guns to buy a firearm or shoot at targets, Baye and his team go beyond what gun control laws require and turn down the sale if they think the person seems off. If a patron acts distraught, smells like weed or booze,...
Kempner: How a cool Georgia food company met Whole Foods reality
 “My heart is broken,” The Big Cheese told me. Ron Marks, who used the titles president and “The Big Cheese” on his now-unnecessary business cards, launched a fancy Greek yogurt venture in Gwinnett County in 2009. The operation, AtlantaFresh, used milk from grass-fed cows and flaunted flavors like black cherry & port...

11:26 AM Wednesday, Mar. 07, 2018

“My heart is broken,” The Big Cheese told me. Ron Marks, who used the titles president and “The Big Cheese” on his now-unnecessary business cards, launched a fancy Greek yogurt venture in Gwinnett County in 2009. The operation, AtlantaFresh, used milk from grass-fed cows and flaunted flavors like black cherry & port...
Kempner: Delta, NRA and Cagle’s political litmus test for taxpayers
 Georgia’s Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle is being bad for business. Which means he’s being bad for jobs in Georgia. That’s a problem for a guy running to be governor. Cagle’s economic sin isn’t that he’s critical of Delta Air Lines — the state’s largest private employer — for ending a travel discount...

4:54 PM Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2018

Georgia’s Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle is being bad for business. Which means he’s being bad for jobs in Georgia. That’s a problem for a guy running to be governor. Cagle’s economic sin isn’t that he’s critical of Delta Air Lines — the state’s largest private employer — for ending a travel discount...
Kempner: Uber Eats murder in Buckhead? Old trouble in new economy
 Who doesn’t like a shortcut? Uber, Airbnb and other cousins of the sharing and gig economy help make our lives easier and, sometimes, more affordable. But digital technology also has reset our tolerance levels. We now accept realities that would have seemed crazy before. People happily get in the personal cars of strangers late at night...

11:00 AM Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2018

Who doesn’t like a shortcut? Uber, Airbnb and other cousins of the sharing and gig economy help make our lives easier and, sometimes, more affordable. But digital technology also has reset our tolerance levels. We now accept realities that would have seemed crazy before. People happily get in the personal cars of strangers late at night...
Kempner: Big Delta squeezes Georgia and metro Atlanta’s poorest county
 Here’s what we should never forget about Delta: it is fabulously good for Georgia’s economy, and it never tires of squeezing fellow Georgians for more profits. Picture more than 500 local high school students showing up at the headquarters of mighty Delta Air Lines to protest. They were there — at the urging of Clayton...

11:00 AM Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018

Here’s what we should never forget about Delta: it is fabulously good for Georgia’s economy, and it never tires of squeezing fellow Georgians for more profits. Picture more than 500 local high school students showing up at the headquarters of mighty Delta Air Lines to protest. They were there — at the urging of Clayton...
Kempner: What if ‘the-customer-is-always-right’ is wrong?
 Just how much abuse do employers expect their workers to take from customers? I’ve seen recent accounts of people supposedly being pretty awful to fellow humans on the job. Like the male business customer who allegedly went on a racist rant against a female employee at an AutoZone store in South Georgia. Supposedly a manager...

1:28 PM Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018

Just how much abuse do employers expect their workers to take from customers? I’ve seen recent accounts of people supposedly being pretty awful to fellow humans on the job. Like the male business customer who allegedly went on a racist rant against a female employee at an AutoZone store in South Georgia. Supposedly a manager...
Kempner: Another reason for health hope? Three rich titans make a leap
 Now that we’ve had time to ponder the initially wonderful-sounding idea of Amazon and two powerful friends fixing health care, it’s become clear that … yeah, it still sounds great. Not “great” as in they’ll definitely succeed in some sweeping way. They may not at all. Just “great” as in, for...

11:30 AM Saturday, Feb. 10, 2018

Now that we’ve had time to ponder the initially wonderful-sounding idea of Amazon and two powerful friends fixing health care, it’s become clear that … yeah, it still sounds great. Not “great” as in they’ll definitely succeed in some sweeping way. They may not at all. Just “great” as in, for...
Kempner: Not Amazon; another big ‘A’ bets on bringing Atlanta HQ jobs
 When locals dream of recruiting hot employers to Atlanta, hearts flutter over landing cutting-edge tech companies such as Amazon or luxury global brands, like when Mercedes-Benz’s chose Sandy Springs for its North American headquarters. But it’s time to appreciate things at a more gut level. Such as a chicken sandwich...

12:57 AM Wednesday, Feb. 07, 2018

When locals dream of recruiting hot employers to Atlanta, hearts flutter over landing cutting-edge tech companies such as Amazon or luxury global brands, like when Mercedes-Benz’s chose Sandy Springs for its North American headquarters. But it’s time to appreciate things at a more gut level. Such as a chicken sandwich...
Coke tries transgender reference in Super Bowl 2018 commercial
 The reference is easily missed, but one of Coke’s new Super Bowl 2018 commercials briefly highlights a person who doesn’t identify with traditional gender definitions.  The ad, which is scheduled to air during the Super Bowl’s fourth quarter, refers to the person as “them.” >> Read more trending...

6:54 PM Friday, Feb. 02, 2018

The reference is easily missed, but one of Coke’s new Super Bowl 2018 commercials briefly highlights a person who doesn’t identify with traditional gender definitions.  The ad, which is scheduled to air during the Super Bowl’s fourth quarter, refers to the person as “them.” >> Read more trending...
Coke tries transgender reference in Super Bowl 2018 commercial
 The reference is easily missed, but one of Coke’s new Super Bowl 2018 commercials briefly highlights a person who doesn’t identify with traditional gender definitions.  The ad, which is scheduled to air during the Super Bowl’s fourth quarter, refers to the person as “them.” It may be the first time...

6:29 PM Friday, Feb. 02, 2018

The reference is easily missed, but one of Coke’s new Super Bowl 2018 commercials briefly highlights a person who doesn’t identify with traditional gender definitions.  The ad, which is scheduled to air during the Super Bowl’s fourth quarter, refers to the person as “them.” It may be the first time...
Kempner: Coke softly crosses the ‘them’ gender line in Super Bowl ad
 Coke, the like-to-teach-the-world-to-sing beverage giant, has a new Super Bowl 2018 commercial in which one of the people is highlighted as a “them.” That’s a pronoun sometimes preferred by some people who don’t identify with traditional gender definitions. Except that the company doesn’t say all that. Coca-Cola...

12:58 AM Friday, Feb. 02, 2018

Coke, the like-to-teach-the-world-to-sing beverage giant, has a new Super Bowl 2018 commercial in which one of the people is highlighted as a “them.” That’s a pronoun sometimes preferred by some people who don’t identify with traditional gender definitions. Except that the company doesn’t say all that. Coca-Cola...
Kempner: Why a daring grandpa sold his Georgia winery and golf resort
 It sounds French, but it isn’t. Chateau Elan, the brainchild of a pharmaceutical baron from West Virginia, started as a Georgia winery before Georgia wineries were cool or even taken seriously. It grew into a sprawling resort along I-85 at the edge of Gwinnett County, with big-time golf courses, hotels, restaurants, convention...

11:00 AM Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2018

It sounds French, but it isn’t. Chateau Elan, the brainchild of a pharmaceutical baron from West Virginia, started as a Georgia winery before Georgia wineries were cool or even taken seriously. It grew into a sprawling resort along I-85 at the edge of Gwinnett County, with big-time golf courses, hotels, restaurants, convention...
Kempner: Pay bonus boom isn’t because the boss just wants to be nice
 Just a few weeks into Republicans’ delivery of hefty federal tax cuts for businesses, the impacts keep piling up for employees. Most of it looks quite nice, as hundreds of thousands of Home Depot hourly workers are finding out with “one-time tax reform” bonuses of up to $1,000. But there’s also the potential for...

1:05 PM Monday, Jan. 29, 2018

Just a few weeks into Republicans’ delivery of hefty federal tax cuts for businesses, the impacts keep piling up for employees. Most of it looks quite nice, as hundreds of thousands of Home Depot hourly workers are finding out with “one-time tax reform” bonuses of up to $1,000. But there’s also the potential for...
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