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brewer --- and then 20 years at Full Sail’s Portland brewery, which he left in 2012 to start his new brewery, restaurant and taproom on the North edge of the Mississippi District. “Scary? Yes it was scary,” he said. “I was leaving the womb, leaving a salary, benefits, insurance and all the rest, but I figured that I was going to be 50 soon, and if I ever wanted to do my own place, the time was now. Full Sail is a great place to work, a great employer, but I needed to move on. I could see all the beers I wanted to brew and I knew they weren’t going to get brewed there --- I wanted to get away from production brewing and back to the more creative side.” To access the full story, click here. 7. Congress to the Unemployed: Eat Confetti Is this really how we want to start the new year, by denying unemployment benefits to more than a million Americans who have lost their jobs? The bipartisan budget agreement passed by Congress and signed by President Barack Obama protects military spending, but promises to throw the most desperate in our economy into increased financial hardship, thrusting hundreds of thousands of families beneath the poverty line. The long-term unemployment rate is at the highest it has been since World War II, while the percentage of those receiving the benefits is at its historic low. Meanwhile, Wall Street bankers are popping the corks, celebrating a banner year for the stock market. As brokers await their bonuses, many more of the unemployed will head for the breadlines. “This is the wrong thing to happen at the wrong time for our economy,” Imara Jones told me. He is the economic justice contributor for Colorlines.com, and served in the Clinton White House, where he worked on international trade policy. “Jobless benefits are actually stimulative to the economy,” he said. “Every $1 we provide to someone of unemployment benefits yields $1.60 in economic activity. And that’s why the loss of these benefits is going to rob our economy of $41 billion.” People living on the edge financially spend what they have to get by. Those in the top echelons of our economy, the top 1 percent, can take their income and hold on to it, or stash it away into an offshore account. To access the full story, click here. 8. Fracking Wells State Map The following map shows fracking wells in each state since 2005. Click a state to view the total number of wells. Please zoom out for Alaska and Hawaii. To access the aforementioned map, click here. 9. Brown Signs Bill on Fracking, Upsetting Both Sides of Oil Issue The nation's toughest restrictions on a controversial oil drilling technique known as fracking were signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday. Hotly opposed by the oil industry, the measure "establishes strong environmental protections and transparency requirements," the governor said in a statement. Brown also signed measures giving law enforcement officers clear authority to take blood samples from resistant suspected drunk drivers; making it easier for police to recover stolen goods; and setting rules for California's health insurance exchange. At issue in the hydraulic fracturing measure is the injection of sand, water and chemicals to free oil and natural gas trapped in shale deep underground. The oil industry heralds the technique as a way to

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