Month: July 2019

Disabled activists fear that the UN committee exam

first_imgDisabled activists fear that the UN committee examining the UK’s progress on implementing the disability rights convention may be ignoring links between the government’s welfare reforms and the deaths of benefit claimants.This week, the UN committee on the rights of persons with disabilities (CRPD) published its “list of issues”, the areas where it believes the UK government may have failed in its obligations under the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD).The UK and devolved governments will now be expected to respond to the list, while disabled people’s organisations (DPOs) and other bodies, including the Equality and Human Rights Commission, can also submit their responses to the committee.The list was published three weeks after DPOs came together to tell CRPD how they believed the UK government had been breaching the convention.One of the key areas that DPOs focused on during last month’s session in Geneva was the impact of benefit sanctions on disabled people and the links between welfare reforms and the deaths of disabled claimants.The committee was told how government ministers ignored a prevention of future deaths letter from a coroner in 2010 – following the death of Stephen Carré – which warned that other people with mental health conditions would die if they did not take action to improve the safety of the work capability assessment (WCA).But Iain Duncan Smith (pictured) ignored his legal duty to reply to the letter, and, when he appointed an independent expert, Professor Malcolm Harrington, to review the WCA, failed to show him the letter.Duncan Smith and his employment minister, Chris Grayling, announced that summer – against Harrington’s advice – that they were going to roll out the WCA the following spring to hundreds of thousands of existing claimants of incapacity benefit.As a result of that decision, the test’s flaws were not corrected, and many other people with mental health conditions lost their lives.But there has been concern this week that there is no explicit mention of this and other similar areas of concern, including the impact of imposing benefit sanctions on disabled people, in the committee’s list of issues.The committee does use the list to ask the government which measures it has taken to monitor the cumulative impact of its welfare reforms and tax policies, and to ensure that the WCA – which tests eligibility for out-of-work disability benefits – is “based on the human rights model of disability”.It also asks for information on measures taken “to address suicide rates among persons with disabilities, including in relation to disability-related discrimination”.But there is no explicit mention of concerns that welfare reforms have breached disabled people’s right to life, particularly through the use of benefit sanctions and the links between flaws in the WCA and the deaths of claimants.DPOs that gave evidence in Geneva have stressed that it is too early for a detailed response to the list of issues, but Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) said: “Although we cannot make any immediate response, this is an area of concern.”When asked whether the list included questions relating to links between the WCA and the deaths of claimants, a CRPD spokeswoman said: “On the issue of causation you have raised, it is for stakeholders which would like to submit written comments to the list of issues to substantiate their submissions.”When asked to clarify the meaning of this statement, the spokeswoman declined to comment further.The list of issues also asks the government to describe the policies, programmes and measures it will put in place to protect disabled people from being “negatively affected” by leaving the European Union.Elsewhere, the list appears likely to have covered many of the issues raised in “shadow reports” to the committee by DPOs and other organisations, including questions for the UK government on: discrimination and violence against disabled women; access to justice; involuntary detention; deaths in detention of people with mental health conditions; disability hate crime; the right to independent living; access to healthcare; workplace discrimination; poverty; participation in political and public life; and access to sporting events.On education, the committee asks for detailed statistics on the number of disabled pupils and students in the segregated and mainstream systems, and the steps the government has taken to ensure “mainstreamed inclusive education at all levels”.It also asks the UK government “when and how” it would withdraw its reservation against article 24 of the convention, which covers inclusive education.The last Labour government placed an “interpretive declaration” against article 24 when it ratified the convention in 2009, explaining that the UK believed the convention allowed it to continue to operate both mainstream and special schools.It also placed a “reservation” against article 24, reserving the right for disabled children to be educated outside their local community.Tara Flood, director of The Alliance for Inclusive Education (ALLFIE), said: “The government has used as cover the reservation and interpretive declaration to increase levels of segregation.“It sounds as though [the committee] have picked that up, which we are delighted about.”She said it appeared that the committee had listened to ALLFIE and other DPOs on the issue of inclusive education.She said ALLFIE would now send the committee more information on the government’s plans to increase the number of grammar schools, which she said was “as clear an indication that a government is going to give that they are backing away from an education system that is inclusive”.The government will be examined on its UNCRPD progress in public in Geneva in August. A final report from the committee will follow later this year.last_img read more

TwoAlarm Fire Breaks Out on San Jose Ave in SF Mission

first_imgA two-alarm fire broke out today at 9:32 a.m. and burned two buildings on San Jose Avenue between 23rd and 24th streets in San Francisco’s Mission District. Some 21 residents were temporarily displaced, and students at Buena Vista Horace Mann a few blocks away were forced to evacuate. Fire in SF Mission now at corner of 24th and Valencia, firefighters on scene— Mission Local (@MLNow) April 22, 2016 0% By 10:08 a.m., the fire was contained, and by 10:22 it was under control. Two firefighters sustained minor injuries — a cut to the hand and a bloody nose — and no civilians were injured.The fire started at the back of the first floor of a three story, three-unit building 143-147 San Jose Ave. It then spread quickly to the third floor of that building and damaged the third floor of the building next door at 131-141 San Jose Ave., which is a three-story, six-unit building.Jonathan Baxter, a spokesperson for the San Francisco Fire Department, said the units at 143-147 San Jose Ave. suffered extensive damage to the back and that just one third-floor unit in the building next door suffered serious damage.Baxter said he did not know how long the displaced would be out of their building, but that at least the 12 residents from 143-147 San Jose Ave. would be unable to immediately return to their units. Gas and electricity had been shut off to that building.The blaze is the second residential fire in the neighborhood in as many days – two multi-unit buildings were damaged on Thursday morning, displacing dozens at least temporarily.Elizabeth Gleninger, who lives in the bottom unit of 143 San Jose Ave., where the fire started, said she thought the fire started from the dryer in a back laundry room. The dryer had been running for about an hour before the fire started, and she heard loud noises from the back room.“And then all I saw were flames, bright orange, coming from that room, enveloping that room,” Gleninger said.Gleninger’s father and his girlfriend stay near the laundry room, she said. When a neighbor began knocking on her door to alert her to the fire, she rushed for her cat while her mother ran to evacuate her father and the father’s girlfriend.“It was an ‘Oh shit’ kind of moment,” she said. The family didn’t think to grab phones or other belongings — just people and pets. “It was just humans and cats, that was the the priority.”SFPD helping residents. Photo by Lola M. ChavezGleninger said she was only home that day because she had skipped school, and her mother had skipped work.“It was lucky me and my mom were there even though we weren’t supposed to be there,” she said. “Thank god that our neighbors came and alerted us.”Julissa Hernandez, Gleninger’s mother, said she had just gone into the kitchen to get something to eat when she heard crackling from the back of the unit. Then a neighbor knocked to warn about the fire.“I ran to the back, where he said there was a fire, and it was all in flames,” Hernandez said.Resident Julissa Hernandez (center) is comforted by her friend Raquel Andreatto (right) after Hernandez’s unit on San Jose Avenue suffered from the fire. Photo by Lou DematteisThe neighbor who had knocked on her door was Scott Montagnino, a resident of the second floor of the building next door, which was partially affected by the blaze.“I went out to my back deck, smelled the smoke, saw the smoke, then I ran to the building next door and started knocking on their doors,” Montagnino said.Montagnino and a neighbor from the burning building went down to the first floor unit where the fire appeared to have started. He said he emptied two extinguishers into the fire but that it was too big to subdue.Monk Wellington lives on the second floor of 143 San Jose Ave. and said he was in his front room when someone knocked on his door and asked if he knew about the fire.The back of 143-147 San Jose Ave. on Poplar Street. Photo by Lola M. Chavez.“We ran to the back of the building, where we have a patio area. I opened the door and smoke hit me. I couldn’t even see, it was too smoky,” Wellington said.The fire, he said, spread along the outside of the building to the third floor.Wellington’s roommate Kim Anderson said she is worried the back bedrooms of the unit are damaged. She said the building had not been well maintained recently and that she is not sure whether smoke detectors work.“This is what happens with all the fires. Where do we go?” Anderson said. “The reason I was living here so long is because the building is rent controlled.”Photo by Lola M. Chavez.Next door to the building where the fire began, Tom Boatman was evacuated from his unit in the rear of the building.“I’m worried,” he said. “I want to know what happened to my apartment. They haven’t told us when they’ll let us back in. My wall is next to the fire building – they may have had to chop in to it.”Jiro Corrales, a worker at the 76 gas station at 24th and Valencia, said workers there wasted no time evacuating. Corrales said he saw the fire start on some wood paneling near the back of the building’s first floor and then climb up.“I smelled a burning smell like gasoline, and then I saw it was big and I called 911,” Corrales said. Working in a gas station, Corrales said he didn’t need to be told twice to leave. “We didn’t wait for them to tell us to evacuate.”Photo by Lola M. ChavezGeorge Totah, who owns a liquor store at 24th and Valencia streets, said he jumped on the phone when he saw the fire.“I called the guy in the gas station to tell him there’s a fire behind his gas station,” Totah said. “Can you imagine? The last thing we need is a fire 20 feet away from a gas station.”One passerby told a reporter the smoke originally resembled fog climbing up the building.“I could feel the heat from here,” the passerby said, standing in front of Papalote Mexican Grill on 24th Street.Students being evacuated from Horace Mann. Photo by a community contributor, taken from her window. Tags: Fires Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%last_img read more

If Halloween reflects SFs psyche Trump is no longer funny

first_imgBut Belvedere is. Two older women, Carolyn and Erin, decorating their Victorian-style home, said they had bought “either 80 pounds, or $80” worth of candy. Most of their foot traffic came from as many as a thousand or more kids who paraded around the closed-off street in search of scares and surprises.Dressed as a giant candy corn, dentist Scott Levus, and his assistant, Kuljit Singh, handed out toothbrushes — a kind of business card for Park Smile on 9th Avenue. He would have plenty of business, as three separate music scenes on the four blocks of Belvedere carried kids from one cavity stop to the next. A light acoustic band played at one end of the street, a five-man mariachi band played in a garage and a minion-themed dance party was put on by the St. Anthony Foundation.Scott Levus, and his assistant, Kuljit Singh from Park Smile dress up as something different every Halloween. Photo by Nikka Singh.Moti Bycel, dressed in a T-shirt and baseball cap, dropped by for 10 minutes with his eight-month-old owl before leaving to catch the Dodgers-Astros game.At Dolores Park, the mood was less hectic. Brennan Kirk and Michael Striker were there from Ohio, looking for Halloween in San Francisco.“Honestly, we’re just walkin’ around,” said Kirk, bespectacled and in a red hoodie.A pair of officers chatted intermittently behind the statue of the Mexican priest, Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla.“It’s been calm,” said one. The other noted that the parties there happened over the weekend.  “I’m sure people are Halloweened out,” he said.As the sidewalk lamps flickered to life just in time for the encroaching darkness, a blonde incarnation of the devil crossed the lawn, flanked by two casually dressed mortals. A vampire posed for a photo before moving on.For Melody Kelly, Dolores Park was a brief stopping point on the way to some livelier destination. Fresh off a breakup, she had transformed into a “crazy ex-girlfriend” for the night: her nose splotched with black makeup, half her face and neck smeared with white, one of two pigtails dyed red and black.“I’m surprised, actually, that it’s this empty,” she said from a bench overlooking the entire park. Within minutes, she was off to dance at ConfiDance Fitness.A few blocks south on Fair Oaks — the Mission’s Belvedere — McGill Hort chased kids around with a bubble machine: “It makes all the kids really happy,” he said.Mary Joblin, dressed as Disney villain Cruella de Vil, has owned a house on Fair Oaks Street for 35 years and hasn’t missed a single Halloween.“[It’s] is a chance for everyone to be their fantasy. I’m nice every day; today is the day I get to be mean,” she said laughing.Standing on the busy corner of 23rd and Fair Oaks, Cesar Romero sold light wands and other paraphernalia for $5 a pop. “Business isn’t as good as I expected,” he said.At dusk in the Bayview, music blasted out from the Bayview Opera House for its annual Halloween party for kids, and the music spilled up and down Third Street as people hustled from work to home, grabbing snacks from the market before heading back to wait for trick-or-treaters.Four men on motorcycles paused at a red light. One stuck his arm out and snapped a selfie of himself and his friends, riding down 3rd Street in Bayview wearing masks.A fireman and a panda bear waddled up the street, crossing paths with another fireman, who was walking with his sister, an astronaut.At Palou Market, one block up from the Opera House, owner Ali called people in from the street. He happily handed out candy to all his customers — children and adults, with or without costumes. Men buying cigarettes broke out in smiles by the unexpected gift of free caramel M&M’s.A 10-year-old vampire wearing a marvel backpack was disappointed Ali didn’t have Skittles.“I love people — to talk to them,” Ali said, snacking on his own candy.At Fillmore, a local animal rights organization, the San Francisco SPCA, hosted their annual pet stroll with the Fillmore Merchants Association.“Who doesn’t like pets and kids and costumes?” Ron Benitez, 39, owner of Assembly Hall and President of the Fillmore Merchants Association said.Local celebrity LiLou, San Francisco Airport’s first ever therapy pig, made an appearance as a unicorn, posing politely for her fans. Photo by Mallory Newman.When the sun set, the Castro came to life. There were giant walking bananas, a woman dressed as bacon and one Barney. “I work at a non-profit, this is the only costume they had left,” explained the young man dressed as Barney.A Jack Sparrow, smelling of dangerous waters, told tales of his lost ship. In the Castro, pirates seem to be the costume of choice. “Love Shack, baby love shack,” spilled from The Edge Bar into the streets. Inside, the booty: $1 well drinks.Winners of the Halloween Pet Costume Contest at SF SPCA. From left to right: Victor Frankenstein, Bride of Frankenstein, Frankenstein, Tinkerbell, Capatin Hook, Tick Tock the crocodile, Cruella de Vil with a dalmatian imposter, and from the hosting Fillmore Merchants Assoc., Executive Director Vas Kiniris President Ron Benitez, and Marketing Director Patti Mangan. Photo by Mallory Newman. Tags: Events • Halloween Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0% 0%center_img JoeBill Muñoz wrote this post with contributions from the other reporters. In the weirdest city, on a weird holiday, San Francisco’s celebration of Halloween offered a barometer of pop culture and politics. Donald Trump masks, no longer funny, were nowhere to be found. A man dressed as Colin Kaepernick popped up at the corner of 18th and Valencia streets and then disappeared. Two trash bags emblazoned with 2017 floated towards Belvedere.Some traditions remained the same: On Belvedere in Cole Valley, thousands of kids and parents gathered at the family-friendly event. And in the Bayview and Mission, flocks of kids chased candy and cavities. Fillmore Street filled with humans dressed as animals and animals dressed as humans, and when the sky’s orange burn dimmed, the smell of marijuana perfumed the Castro and the party began.Some neighborhoods seemed unaware of the specialness of Oct. 31. At sunset in the Haight-Ashbury, once an oddball enclave of the city, only a handful of people on the street wore costumes. When asked why, one man shrugged, “maybe Haight Street isn’t that kind of thing anymore.”last_img read more

THE latest crop of Scholarship players have been r

first_imgTHE latest crop of Scholarship players have been rewarded with professional contracts as they make their next steps in the professional game.After a challenging year on Scholarship Dave Hewitt and Oliver Davies, who both represented England Youth this year, are joined by Adam Saunders, Ross McCauley, Tom Calland, Joe Ryan, Daniel Abram and Matthew Fleming, in signing a two-year deal.They will link up with the Club’s Academy as soon as their community club commitments are finished.“St.Helens R.F.C. commitment to locally produced talent continues with these latest signings,” Saints Acting Head Coach and Head of Youth Mike Rush said. “They have all demonstrated a great attitude, appetite and enthusiasm for learning, and these qualities combined with the obvious talent that they have, gives them every opportunity of fulfilling their sporting ambitions.”Derek Traynor Academy Head Coach added: “These players will link up with the Academy squad in pre-season ready for a massive challenge of playing under 19s rugby next year, and it’s one that they all meet with excitement.“Congratulations to the community clubs, coaches and schools that helped in their development and good luck to the players.”Dave Hewitt, Stand Off, Bold MinersAdam Saunders, Full Back, Thatto Heath CrusadersOliver Davies, Prop Forward, Orrell St JamesRoss McCauley, Prop Forward, Bold MinersTom Calland, Prop Forward, Widnes Moorfield, West Bank Bears and Widnes St MariesJoe Ryan, Loose Forward, Rylands and Bold MinersDaniel Abram, Scrum Half, Bold MinersMatthew Fleming, Centre, Bold Minerslast_img read more

SAINTS have named their 19man squad for Sundays

first_imgSAINTS have named their 19-man squad for Sunday’s Ladbrokes Challenge Cup Quarter Final with Widnes Vikings.Matty Fleming and Lewis Charnock come in for Luke Thompson and the injured Shannon McDonnell.Joe Greenwood (pictured) and Luke Walsh are also named following successful returns last week.Saints’ 17 will come from:3. Jordan Turner, 4. Josh Jones, 5. Adam Swift, 6. Travis Burns, 7. Luke Walsh, 8. Mose Masoe, 9. James Roby, 10. Kyle Amor, 12. Jon Wilkin, 13. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 14. Alex Walmsley, 15. Mark Flanagan, 17. Mark Percival, 19. Greg Richards, 21. Joe Greenwood, 22. Matty Dawson, 25. Andre Savelio, 26. Lewis Charnock, 30. Matty Fleming.Denis Betts will choose his Widnes side from:1. Rhys Hanbury, 2. Paddy Flynn, 4. Stefan Marsh, 5. Patrick Ah Van, 6. Kevin Brown, 7. Joe Mellor, 10. Manase Manuokafoa, 11. Danny Galea, 13. Hep Cahill, 14. Chris Dean, 15. Jack Owens, 16. Willie Isa, 17. Chris Clarkson, 21. Danny Craven, 24. Macgraff Leuluai, 25. Alex Gerrard, 28. Matt Whitley, 33. Aaron Heremaia, 35. Gil Dudson.  The game kicks off at 4pm and the referee is Robert Hicks.Ticket details for the game can be found here.last_img read more

His side beat the holders 2522 to set up a date w

first_imgHis side beat the holders 25-22 to set up a date with Catalans.“My overriding emotion is relief, I think that it a fair answer to give,” he said after the clash. “They kept on coming and you could see why they have won it for the last two years. We were ready to take control but never had it.“I have to give Hull a massive rap for the way they played. They stuck it to us and I was happy to come away with the win.“When they lost a few to the bin we panicked a bit and probably expected to put them away. I thought our game management struggled at times – particularly at the back end of the second half in the as we began trying kick well clear of a good opposition. We have to be a little more patient in that area.“On the flip side I am happy with how hard we worked to win. We only won by three but I didn’t feel too threatened on our own line at the end of the game. “We will learn a lot from that but I am just relieved as they are a good opposition. I thought we created a lot of things but didn’t convert as we might have done in recent weeks.“Regan Grace was outstanding; he had his best game for us today.”He continued: “We can now look forward to the semi final. It is a long way away though. Catalans are improving a lot and will have that time to gel further. Until then I am happy to still be alive in the comp and happy to be in the semi final.”Next up for Saints are Hull KR this coming Friday June 8 at the Totally Wicked Stadium.Tickets for the game are now on sale from the Ticket Office, by calling 01744 455 052 or online here.last_img read more

Wilmington to vote on contract with Live Nation to run North Waterfront

first_imgThe future site of the North Waterfront Park. (Photo: Madison Morgan/Reporter) WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Wilmington City Council is expected to award a contract to Live Nation to run events at the proposed North Waterfront Park.Under the 10-year contract, Live Nation will pay $200,000 rent each year and provide $700,000 for maintenance expenses. The city will also receive $2 per ticket sold and Live Nation will provide an initial investment of $2 million for equipment, fixtures and furnishings of the park’s performance venue.- Advertisement – City Council will discuss the contract at Tuesday’s meeting.The city says one of the top priorities identified by residents in the park master plan is a large performance venue.The city has already contracted with a nationally known landscape architecture firm to design the 6.6 acre park and a construction management firm has also been selected.Related Article: Florence clean-up nearing $25M for City of Wilmington aloneThe parks bond approved by voters in 2016 will fund the construction and development of the park.Design is underway. The park is expected to open in the fall of 2019.last_img read more

Navassa Police investigating armed home invasion

first_img Sgt. Scott Perez says a family was at home when two men with guns came inside.The men took money and a handbag.No one got hurt.Related Article: Police announce arrest in 1996 Wilmington rape caseIf you know anything, call the Navassa Police Department. Town of Navassa and Genx concerns (Photo: Jenna Kurzyna/WWAY) NAVASSA, NC (WWAY) — Navassa Police are investigating a home invasion and armed robbery.It happened just before 10:00 p.m. on Sunday at a home on Brooklyn Street.- Advertisement – last_img read more

PHOTOS Bald Head Island close to welcoming residents back after storm

first_img Bald Head Island on September 18, 2018 post Florence. (Photo: Steve Montgomery) Bald Head Island on September 18, 2018 post Florence. (Photo: Steve Montgomery) Bald Head Island on September 18, 2018 post Florence. (Photo: Steve Montgomery) Bald Head Island on September 18, 2018 post Florence. (Photo: Steve Montgomery) 1 of 12 Bald Head Island on September 18, 2018 post Florence. (Photo: Steve Montgomery) WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Residents will soon be permitted to return to Bald Head Island nearly two weeks after Hurricane Florence came ashore in southeastern North Carolina.Until now, the only people allowed on the island were those assisting with the recovery process.- Advertisement – Bald Head Island on September 18, 2018 post Florence. (Photo: Steve Montgomery) Bald Head Island on September 18, 2018 post Florence. (Photo: Steve Montgomery) Chris McCall, Village Manager for Bald Head Island, said some business owners have also been allowed on the island because they were considered “essential to the recovery process.”center_img Bald Head Island on September 18, 2018 post Florence. (Photo: Steve Montgomery) As of Thursday morning, power had been restored to more than 40 percent of the island and McCall said he hoped Duke Energy crews would be able to significantly boost that number by the end of the day.The good news is that no homes were a total loss on the island but many have minor storm damage.  At least six residents remained on the island during the height of the category 1 storm.Related Article: New Veterans Affairs Secretary visits center after Hurricane FlorenceMcCall said the primary reason why homeowners have not been allowed to return to the island is due to excessive flooding issues. Since the island is only accessible by golf carts, many of the roads were flooded and covered with vegetative debris.Even if residents had been allowed back onto the island immediately following the hurricane, McCall said they would not have had any means to get from one point to another.McCall said prior to the hurricane and every day since, he has sent out a personal email to residents updating them on recovery efforts to restore infrastructure throughout the island.On Wednesday, the mayor sent a message saying they were close to having the island open for residents to return and check out their property.By this weekend, McCall said he hopes to have the ferry service back in service and residents should be allowed to return home.“We’re so close and we want everyone to come back,” McCall said. Bald Head Island on September 18, 2018 post Florence. (Photo: Steve Montgomery) Bald Head Island on September 18, 2018 post Florence. (Photo: Steve Montgomery) Bald Head Island on September 18, 2018 post Florence. (Photo: Steve Montgomery) Bald Head Island on September 18, 2018 post Florence. (Photo: Steve Montgomery) Bald Head Island on September 18, 2018 post Florence. (Photo: Steve Montgomery)last_img read more

Britts Donuts in Carolina Beach reopens Friday for 2019 season

first_imgBritt’s Donuts (Photo: Instagram) CAROLINA BEACH, NC (WWAY) — Hot, glazed, and gooey goodness! Who is ready for Britt’s Donuts in Carolina Beach to open for the season? Well, you don’t have to wait too much longer!The famous donut shop, located on the boardwalk, reopens for the 2019 season at 4:00 p.m. Friday. They will stay open 10:00 or until they run out of donuts.- Advertisement – Store officials say they will be open on weekends until Memorial Day weekend. Hours on Saturday are 8:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. and Sundays from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.The shop will run on this same weekend schedule with the exception of Easter weekend at which time Britt’s will be open Easter Sun 8:30 a.m. – 10:00 p.m. and Mon 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. or until donuts run out.The shop will be open 7 days a week starting the Memorial Day weekend.Related Article: ‘Rock star for a day’: New Orleans celebrates Mardi GrasHappy eating!last_img read more