A note from the editor Please consider making a v

first_imgA note from the editor:Please consider making a voluntary financial contribution to support the work of DNS and allow it to continue producing independent, carefully-researched news stories that focus on the lives and rights of disabled people and their user-led organisations. Please do not contribute if you cannot afford to do so, and please note that DNS is not a charity. It is run and owned by disabled journalist John Pring and has been from its launch in April 2009. Thank you for anything you can do to support the work of DNS… A minister has suggested that the government would be doing a “great disservice” to disabled people if it stopped sanctioning their out-of-work benefits.The comment by Alok Sharma, the employment minister, came in correspondence with the Commons work and pensions committee as part of its inquiry into the government’s “harmful and counterproductive” benefit sanctions regime.The committee’s report, published this week, calls on the government to “urgently re-assess” the regime.The committee concludes in its report: “Of all the evidence we received, none was more compelling than that against the imposition of conditionality and sanctions on people with a disability or health condition. It does not work. Worse, it is harmful and counterproductive.”But in a letter to the committee, Sharma had dismissed the idea of exempting disabled people from benefit sanctions.He pointed to the low proportion of claimants of employment and support allowance (ESA) in the support group – for those found to have limited capability for work-related activity, and who are not subject to any sanctions – who move into work every month (less than one per cent).He said this showed that “when provision or support is voluntary the take up is extremely low” and therefore “to impose a blanket ban which exempts all disabled people from any form of conditionality would be doing this group a great disservice”.He also said that ministers “do not think it would be appropriate” to introduce a blanket ban on all sanctions and conditions for disabled people awaiting their work capability assessment (WCA) under the new universal credit, even though such a ban is in place under the existing ESA system.Sharma said in his letter that universal credit regulations already allow work coaches to “tailor conditionality, apply easements, set ‘voluntary’ work related requirements… and ‘switch off’ work related requirements altogether” when appropriate.But the committee’s report warns that universal credit rules mean that claimants “could be required to look for work for up to 35 hours a week before any assessment of whether they are even capable of doing so”.It points to evidence from the Child Poverty Action Group, which said that these claimants “rarely have their claimant commitment suitably tailored”.One woman with a mental health condition was subject to “full conditionality” for nine months while she waited for her WCA, the committee was told by the charity Mind.In its evidence to the committee, Inclusion London said there was “sufficient evidence to raise such serious questions about the current regime that it should be stopped urgently”.It pointed to “mounting evidence of the harm that sanctions are causing to benefit claimants and negative impacts on our wider communities as a result.“Besides tragic examples of individuals ending or attempting to end their lives or dying as a direct result of sanctions, statistics show for example the link between increased use of sanctions and higher foodbank use.“One in five cases peer reviewed by the DWP following deaths linked to benefit cuts involved sanctions.”The committee calls in its recommendations for DWP to “immediately” halt all benefit conditions and sanctions for three groups: claimants found to have limited capability for work; those with a valid fit note which states they are unable to work; and universal credit claimants awaiting a WCA who have a fit note saying they are unable to work.In his letter to the committee, Sharma also refused to introduce a gentler system for all claimants with mental health conditions, arguing again that it would be “inappropriate” to introduce a blanket policy and “may not be in their best interests” because there was “a strong evidence base showing that work is generally good for physical and mental health and well-being”.The evidence Sharma pointed to in support of his claim was a single piece of research published 12 years ago by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) itself, and which was closely linked to the discredited biopsychosocial model of disability.But one witness who provided written evidence to the inquiry painted a different picture.He told the committee: “I cannot hold myself together against the might of the benefits system and its terrors.“The benefits system must not be allowed to be the final straw that breaks me and leads me to take my own life after all I have done and how hard I have fought to stay alive and get well.“I cannot live under the constant threat of sanctions.“I cannot cope with having my life controlled by someone who is either ignorant of or unwilling to be knowledgeable about the many complexities of mental illness and the damage even a careless word can do to someone like me.“I believe that it is negligent to suggest that work coaches can successfully work with and prevent harm to the mentally ill, they simply will not have the knowledge or sufficient training.”Sharma also confirmed in his letter that DWP had carried out no research to show the “impact and effectiveness” of the harsher sanctions regime introduced by the Tory-led coalition through the Welfare Reform Act 2012, and had no plans to carry out any such research.In its evidence to the committee, Inclusion London said it was “entirely unacceptable that a policy measure of this scale should be implemented and continued with no evidence base to support it”, and it called for an end to all conditionality and sanctioning, to be replaced with “tailored voluntary employment support”.The committee says the failure to evaluate the 2012 reforms was “unacceptable”.The report concludes that sanctions are more frequently used under universal credit than ESA and jobseeker’s allowance, and that “when applied inappropriately can have profoundly negative effects on people’s financial and personal well-being”.Frank Field, the committee’s chair, said: “We have heard stories of terrible and unnecessary hardship from people who’ve been sanctioned.“They were left bewildered and driven to despair at becoming, often with their children, the victims of a sanctions regime that is at times so counter-productive it just seems pointlessly cruel.” last_img read more

Two Alarm Fire Breaks Out on 26th and Harrison

first_imgPhoto by George Lipp.Photo by George Lipp.Photo by George Lipp.Photo by George Lipp.Photo by George Lipp.Photo by George Lipp.Photo by George Lipp. Sixty-six firefighters and 22 vehicles responded to the blaze, which affected mostly the rear of the two-story wood-frame building near a one-story garage, Baxter said. Firefighters walked on the roof of the attached garage and fought the fire from there, shooting water into the main building.The attic and top floor of the main building sustained heavy damage, Baxter said, as did the attached garage. Both the first and second floors sustained water damage, he added. It’s unclear when the grocery store will be able to open. The residential tenants upstairs will likely be displaced until repairs can be made.Red Cross have been notified and will provide some assistance to both residential and commercial tenants.A building next door suffered minor smoke damage, Baxter said, but firefighters encountered no major obstacles and worked swiftly to contain the fire to the affected building. The cause and origin of the fire is under investigation. Horrible fire broke out in the Mission. I hope everyone is ok. @Bernalwood @MBMASF @MLNow pic.twitter.com/T32bALXt39— Megan McDevitt (@MegGrazMcDevitt) October 1, 2016 0%center_img A two-alarm fire broke out at 26th and Harrison streets above a corner grocery store at 4:44 p.m. on Saturday, but was extinguished an hour later at 5:46 p.m by firefighters. No injuries were reported.Nine tenants who lived above Bob’s Grill and Grocery at 2999 Harrison St. would be displaced from their units, said Jonathan Baxter, a Fire Department spokesperson. The grocery store would also be closed down for the time being.“There is a business down below that is going to be closed down at this time,” he said.The Chronicle reports that one of the tenants and two construction workers were in the building when the fire started. Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%last_img read more

The Legacy of Ed Lee

first_img 0% This morning, however — as was the case last year following the sudden death of Lee’s lifelong friend and patron turned bitter critic Rose Pak — the mayor’s own sudden death induced political enemies to clutch one another and sway and weep.Every last member of what Lee unironically called “the City Family” stood on the Mayor’s balcony in City Hall; bureaucrats and journalists and random attendees overflowed into the corridors and looked on from every tier of the building as acting Mayor London Breed lauded Lee’s fundamental kindness and decency. More than a bit ironically, considering it was cardiac arrest that took Lee at just 65, the mayor was remembered, again and again, for his great heart.At City Hall today. Photo by Joe Eskenazi.“Ed Lee had empathy. He listened. He had remarkable integrity,” said Lt. Gov. and former mayor Gavin Newsom as he wandered the halls, clearly agitated at the jarring loss. “Ed was one of the good ones. You didn’t have to agree with his politics, but he was the kind of guy you wanted in politics. There are not a lot of guys like that.” Breed’s mention of Lee’s propensity for corny jokes induced a wave of laughter from the crowd — one last chuckle for the mayor from the great beyond. Politicos who’d butted heads with him only days ago were forced to admit that they’re going to miss those corny jokes.  “On Saturday I got a call from Ed on my cell phone, but when I picked it up he wasn’t there,” said Supervisor Aaron Peskin, who had no shortage of feuds both public and private with both Newsom and Lee. “I texted him and said ‘Ed, did you butt dial me or are you finally returning my call?’” Peskin smiles. “Ed called back two minutes later and said ‘Both!’” Lee’s avuncular personality and the heartfelt tributes regarding his caring and decent nature make assessing his legacy a challenge. Ours is a city that often demonstrates that it values good intentions more than good results. And, while Lee’s intentions were, by all accounts, the very best, his results are harder to gauge. Lee, at times, referred to himself as the “tech mayor” and the “housing mayor,” and this city’s relationship with the tech industry and the intertwined matter of housing affordability are both subjects of extreme and vitriolic contention. He didn’t call himself the “homeless mayor,” but combatting homelessness was also a major initiative of Lee’s. How well he succeeded there is also a matter of extreme and vitriolic contention.  Lee was a warm man leading a city that feels increasingly cold. When personal memories of his decency fade, his legacy may be left cold as well. EdwinMah Lee died at 1:11 this morning and it was hard, on this day, to find anyone to speak ill of him. That was not the case yesterday or the day before or any of the nearly seven years he led this city. There will always will be people who think of Lee with acrimony because he fundamentally broke the singular promise that enabled him to become mayor. In a behind-the-scenes power play orchestrated by this city’s most toothsome political sharks, a majority of the Board of Supervisors voted for Lee to serve as the “caretaker” filling out Newsom’s term following Lee’s explicit pledge that he would not run for mayor. “I believe Ed Lee believed he was not gonna run,” says former District 6 Supervisor Chris Daly. “But I knew he was gonna run because I know how shit works.” Daly, at the time, famously berated his board colleagues for committing “the biggest fumble in the history of progressive politics.” The former supe pivoted into running a bar on Market Street — but, following the Twitter tax break championed by Lee, found himself unable to meet his landlord’s new expectations of what constituted market rent. He is now an employee of the Nevada teachers’ union and residing in Las Vegas, where he has watched his bitterest San Francisco rivals become front-runners for governor and, even, a potential presidential candidate. But he wasn’t wrong about what he said about Ed Lee on Jan. 4, 2011. At that time, no one had ever heard of Uber or Airbnb or Twitter or $3,500 median rent or Ron Conway buying his way into a mayor’s good graces. No one man could have prevented all of this, but “preventing” it was not on Lee’s agenda. The mayor was, after all, pronounced dead in a public hospital recently named after the city’s premier tech baron.  Lee, friends and foes alike came to realize, was a nice guy and not confrontational; unlike Willie Brown, who ran a tight ship, Lee cut back senior meetings with department heads to just once or twice a year. That’s a remarkably laissez-faire way of running the city, but that was part of a larger pattern. Multiple tech platforms sired in San Francisco became multi-billion dollar conglomerates via business models that specifically and explicitly broke city laws — and San Francisco officials were slow (at best) to do much about that. A mayor is defined not only by the fights he picks, but by the ones he doesn’t. Breed, in her remarks from the lectern today, noted that Lee guided a troubled city economy into today’s juggernaut thanks to the creation of 140,000 jobs. He signed one of the nation’s highest minimum wages into law and revamped public housing (like Lee, Breed grew up in public housing). Lee did, indeed, do all of this. Seen another way, however, those 140,000 jobs were a driver of economic inequality; they went disproportionately to outsiders and helped raise rent and land values to infinity and beyond. And, while Lee’s drive to improve public housing is an unmitigated good, the mayor also included these units in the tally of new housing to be added in this city. Double-counting these numbers is the kind of thing politicians do. But the appeal of Ed Lee was supposed to be that he wasn’t a politician. As for homelessness, whether the programs that went into place under Lee are working remains, largely, to be seen. Jeff Kositsky, the director of the city’s new, unified department overseeing homelessness, pointed out that 1,300 units aimed at housing the homeless are in the pipeline, joining 7,400 already in existence. A coordinated entry system is in place for families and in progress for single adults and children. Other West Coast cities have experienced a homeless boom; San Francisco’s numbers are holding steady. “We’re on the right path,” promises Kositsky. “It breaks my heart Ed won’t be here to see it.” When Daly went ballistic in 2011, the main recipient of his ire was then-Supervisor David Chiu. Chiu, who would go on to run against Lee for mayor, helped to put into place a man who he thought was, merely, a placeholder. Alas. Lee undermined Chiu, who had enabled his ascension. And, by dying, he may have done so again. The special election now coming up in June 2018 would conflict with Assemblyman David Chiu’s June 2018 election for his state office. He would likely have to abdicate his Assembly seat to run in a crowded field for mayor. Ed Lee’s mayoralty was the end result of a Machiavellian game of political musical chairs, and his premature departure will likely trigger another one. Breed, who was widely predicted to be a mayoral aspirant, now finds herself with the job until at least June, unless another candidate can gain the support of six members of the Board of Supervisors. In the meantime, San Franciscans — and, perhaps even more so, out-of-town media — may find themselves enamored of the strong, outspoken woman with the inspirational life story and little patience for the goons and thugs now comprising the federal government. This city’s voters have always favored larger-than-life characters like Brown and Newsom more than quiet types like Lee. Breed could fill this role nicely.    And yet, seen another way, San Francisco’s last four mayors have been Willie Brown, Willie Brown’s handpicked successor, Willie Brown’s handpicked successor, and the woman who babysat Willie Brown’s kids when she was a child. Breed, however, notably stated that “Willie Brown didn’t wipe my ass when I was a baby,” adding that “I don’t do what no-motherfucking-body tells me to do.” She will have the chance to demonstrate this, amply, on a very big stage, and sooner than anyone could have thought. Godspeed. Mayor Ed Lee in the Mission Tags: ed lee Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0% Our mayor, who died today at 65, is recalled near universally as a decent man. As for how he affected the city, however, that’s harder to say.   San Francisco City Hall was awash in black suits, white coffee cups, and red eyes. Public servants, many of whom had formed a pre-dawn convoy to Mayor Ed Lee’s bedside in Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital, ambled about in a half-stupor, offering one another embraces and expressions of disbelief. In life, the mayor could be a divisive figure; he served as something of the city’s official greeter for the social and economic conditions inundating San Francisco like a tsunami; as such, he was an ever-smiling cipher who absorbed untold quantities of public wrath. In January of last year, he was booed, lustily, at his third swearing-in after a mayoral contest in which he essentially ran unopposed. That series of seemingly contrasting circumstances neatly encapsulates the slightly surreal state of our city and the strange fortunes of our erstwhile mayor. last_img read more

Marketrate studios to replace Valencia streets Phoenix Irish Bar

first_imgThe Phoenix Irish Bar’s days might be numbered — and it is potentially being replaced with 20 market-rate studios being labeled as “SROs.”  It’s a trend that people like Sam Moss, of the Mission Housing Development Corporation, have been seeing lately.“I think there’s a place for units, but I don’t know that we should be calling them single room occupancy rooms,” Moss said. It’s unclear they use the SRO designation — usually defined as housing for low-income residents who share a bathroom and kitchen. The plans for the Phoenix are to raze the 59-year-old building and erect a six-story, mixed-use building with 20 “Single Room Occupancy” rooms in the upper floors. The schematics show that there’s very little “low-income” in the works: instead, each unit would have its own small kitchen, a single bathroom and a large living space. Some of the units would have a washer and dryer. Similar units in the city are listing for north of $2,000, and there’s even a penthouse unit and rooftop balcony. About 350 square feet of commercial space will take up the ground floor. Each unit will be between 279 and 331 square feet of space. Instead of a parking garage, each unit has designated bicycle storage. The owner of the building, Eugene Power, could not be reached for comment. The project is being designed by SIA Consulting, an architecture firm that has worked on several projects in the city. Phone calls to the agency were not immediately returned.Diana Martinez, the Program Manager of the Mission SRO Collaborative, said that she has definitely seen a push to use the SRO label for upscale, formerly low-income rooms for more affluent renters. She’s even heard of developers converting SROs into refurbished, higher-end hotels. But a new SRO hotel hasn’t been built in her time, and the units being designed for 811 Valencia might not even qualify as SROs, because they have stoves and kitchen appliances. “There’s only one other case I heard that ended up getting scrapped, it was so egregious,” she said, adding that the developer ran into complications with the city and the community. Refurbishing an SRO isn’t a new idea. In 2016, 2072 Mission Street was bought and refurbished as a new “residential hotel” called Starcity. Residents there were paying up to $2,100 a month. When Michelle Meyer, the current manager of Phoenix Bar, took over a month ago, she began to hear rumors: patrons would come in and mumble about the potential closure of the Irish bar. “People here talk all types of stuff,” Meyer said. As it turns out, the rumors were true. In March, seven employees were suddenly fired without reason by the Phoenix’s owner, Eugene Power. One of the employees said the business might have been losing money. All of the employees fired were women, which sparked a guerrilla campaign to boycott the Phoenix.  Meyer is keeping her ears open. Whether the plans move ahead doesn’t bother her. Either way, she shrugs, construction won’t happen for a while, and if adding more housing to the city means losing her job, she’s fine with it. “We need more housing,” she said. “If that’s how it’s going be, that’s how it’s going to be.” Subscribe to Mission Local’s daily newslettercenter_img Email Addresslast_img read more

DO you want your child to run out with the Saints

first_imgDO you want your child to run out with the Saints at Langtree Park?Then the 2013 Mascot Package is for you.For £199 the little Saint in your life could be leading the team out at our fantastic stadium.You will receive:Full home kit with name and favourite number on reverseAutograph book & pen for signatures on the dayPlayers Lounge Package – 2 adult and 2 children – including pre and post-match access and food and beverage voucherPre-match tour – including home changing room, pitch side, dugout and trophy cabinetPhoto taken pitch side with favourite playerMatchday PA announcementsRun out onto pitch with chosen player as teams run outInclusion in matchday programme – name, photo, school, hobbies – and on in-stadia TVMemory stick pen with photos of the day to keep as a memento (available within 14 days after the game)Plus a small size match pennant – with the date and matchTo find out more, contact Dave Lowe on 01744 455 081 or email: mascots@saintsrlfc.comPlease note player availability is subject to terms and conditions.All home Super League games are now SOLD OUT but we are taking bookings for any home Play Off and Challenge Cup ties.last_img read more

New Hanover County opens additional shelter

first_img(Photo: Taylor Pecko-Reid/CC BY 2.0) NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Cape Fear residents now have another place to seek refuge during Hurricane Florence.According to a release, the Johnson Pre-K Center will open at 9 a.m. today as a shelter. However, the county says people at this shelter should be prepared for the possibility of being evacuated out of the county.- Advertisement – New Hanover County and the state of North Carolina are working to secure shelter options in Wake County and other areas.Those seeking emergency shelter should bring blankets/pillows, prescription medications and other necessary items. No alcohol, illegal drugs or weapons allowed. Limited food service will be available.Residents of Carolina Beach, Kure Beach and Wrightsville Beach, are under a mandatory evacuation order. Wilmington residents and those who live in low-lying areas are strongly encouraged to go inland.Related Article: Hurricane Florence victims: Here’s how to get a free Christmas treeNew Hanover County said all residents and visitors should be in a safe location before 8 p.m.Anyone with questions can call the public information hotline at (910) 798-6800.last_img read more

Team Rubicon helps with hurricane relief in Wilmington

first_imgWILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Many people have come down to help with the clean up in the cape fear after Hurricane Florence. Team Rubicon is one of those groups doing what it can for the area.It’s a veteran led disaster response organization. More than 850 volunteers are in North Carolina helping with things like damage assessments, mucking and gutting, chainsaw operations and home repair. So far, more than 200 damage assessments have been done and they have provided direct support to more than 50 homes.- Advertisement – “In the natural disaster, I have skills that can be put to use and I understand a chain of command and I understand the structure and how to respond and put those skills to use to help my fellow man,” Team Rubicon Regional Chainsaw Instructor Thomas Ryan Barkman said.Team Rubicon operations are also active in New Bern, Jacksonville, Lumberton and Rose Hill. Anyone still affected by the hurricane can still request assistance by calling 800-451-1954.last_img read more

Bakayoko set for loan move to AC Milan

first_imgChelsea midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko is expected to part ways with Chelsea so as to join AC Milan on loan for the upcoming Serie A season. The former Monaco player failed to live up to expectations after moving to Chelsea a year ago for £40m.Bakayoko was left out of the squad for Chelsea’s Premier League opener against Huddersfield and is not part of Maurizio Sarri’s long-term plans. The French midfielder will look to rediscover his best form at AC Milan who have high hopes for the season ahead after signing Gonzalo Higuain from Juventus.WhatsApp SharePrint <a href=’http://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/ck.php?n=a7617b59&amp;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’https://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=128&amp;cb={random}&amp;n=a7617b59&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a>last_img read more

Cancelo could leave Turin

first_img <a href=’http://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/ck.php?n=a7617b59&amp;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’https://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=128&amp;cb={random}&amp;n=a7617b59&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a> WhatsApp SharePrintcenter_img Portuguese right-back Joao Cancelo joined Juventus from Valencia last summer for £35million but could soon be leaving the Serie A champions. As reported by Tuttosport, Juventus are ready to sell the 24-year-old with Manchester City showing a keen interest in the player.The Portugal international made 34 appearances in all competitions for La Vecchia Signora but more was expected from Cancelo who had impressed whilst on a season-long loan at Inter Milan. It is believed that the Citizens are willing to pay £52m to secure Cancelo’s signature who was also scouted by Manchester United.last_img read more

Uganda The long awaited optic fibre finally launched

first_imgAdvertisement The national fibre-optic project was launched in 2006, and was scheduled to be completed by January 2009 but quickly ran into financial and technical problems.According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, the project, which was funded by the Export and Import Bank of China (EXIM), did not feature a tender and the government selected Huawei based on the EXIM’s recommendation.The hardware installed by Huawei during the first stage – which connected government department and agencies- was an ‘inferior’ cable type and is expected to be insufficient for the country’s needs. – Advertisement – Worse still, the construction itself may have been flawed: the ICT ministry believes that the cable was deployed less than 15m from the centre of the road, and less than 1.5m below the surface, leaving the hardware vulnerable to accidental damage, vandalism and theft. It is feared that constant repairs will only rack up further costs, further debt, and prevent Uganda from making the most of its telecoms resources.Source: 256 Newslast_img read more