first_imgA Labour MP has written to the work and pensions secretary to call for an inquiry into deaths linked to government social security reforms, and for evidence of criminal misconduct by ministers or civil servants to be passed to police.Debbie Abrahams made the demands –  key elements of the Justice for Jodey Whiting petition – in a letter to Amber Rudd, in which she expressed “grave concerns” about the government’s failure to pass documents linking its reforms with the deaths of disabled people to its own independent reviewer.Abrahams, a former shadow work and pensions secretary, had been told by Disability News Service (DNS) that the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) had finally admitted failing to send key letters and secret reviews to the team reviewing the work capability assessment (WCA).In her letter, Abrahams demanded urgent answers to “these very serious questions”.She told Rudd: “I am concerned that under your predecessors, two letters written by coroners, and a series of ‘peer reviews’ into the deaths of claimants, were not sent to Dr Paul Litchfield, the independent expert ministers hired to review the Work Capability Assessment in 2013 and 2014.“I would be grateful if you would confirm that these reports are correct and outline what steps you have taken to ensure such an omission could not recur.”Abrahams also raised the issue during work and pensions questions in the House of Commons on Monday.But the minister for disabled people, Justin Tomlinson, failed to answer her questions, insisting instead that the government had “accepted and implemented” more than 100 recommendations made by the WCA reviews and would “continue to do all that we can to improve the process for claimants”.Abrahams told DNS afterwards: “His response, or lack of, speaks for itself.”In her letter to Rudd, she said there needed to be an independent inquiry into all deaths linked to the government’s social security reforms, with any evidence of criminal misconduct in public office by ministers or civil servants to be passed to police.DNS revealed last week how ministers failed to send the review team two letters from coroners and a series of internal reviews, even though they knew the documents linked the WCA with the deaths of disabled people.The admission came in DWP’s response to a complaint lodged by DNS with the Information Commissioner’s Office about the department’s failure to confirm if it passed the information to Dr Paul Litchfield, the independent expert ministers hired to review the WCA in 2013 and 2014.A senior ICO case officer told DNS: “Consultation with the ex-review team elicited statements that no such information was received from DWP nor were any physical files sent to stores.”DWP has this week finally responded to DNS questions about the ICO evidence.A spokesperson said: “DWP co-operated fully with the Litchfield reviews, and shared all relevant information which was requested by Dr Litchfield and his team.“DWP was not asked by Dr Litchfield or his review for information on the specific cases you refer to.“The issues investigated and evidence sought is at the discretion of the independent reviewer, and according to the terms of reference of their review.”But she has been unable to explain how Litchfield’s team could have requested information – the secret peer reviews and coroners’ letters – if they did not know they existed.The existence of the letters and the links between peer reviews and the WCA were not revealed by DNS until after the final Litchfield report was published.She also refused to say if DWP believed the cover-up showed there needed to be an independent inquiry, and that any evidence suggesting criminal misconduct in public office should be passed to the police.*To sign the Justice for Jodey Whiting petition, click on this link. If you sign the petition, please note that you will need to confirm your signature by clicking on an email you will be sent automatically by the House of Commons petitions committee A 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…last_img read more

first_img Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0% After news earlier this month that 19 people were hospitalized after eating edible marijuana candies at a quinceañera in the Mission District, we thought we’d ask candidates for District 9 to weigh in on medical cannabis and dispensaries in the neighborhood.What is your view on medical cannabis dispensaries in the Mission District? What do you think they contribute to the neighborhood?Respuestas en español aquí.Iswari España, training officer with the San Francisco Human Services Agency Having worked in a continuation high school for 12 years, I have seen first-hand how the use and distribution of marijuana has criminalized and destroyed young people’s lives through the criminal justice system. The federal government does not recognize these establishments as legal entities. There is no doubt that there are medical benefits for patients. I am a supporter of providing access to marijuana for medical use. However, there is a high and disproportionate number of dispensaries in the district. There is an assumption that the number of establishments is equivalent to the acceptance and tolerance of all San Franciscans including law enforcement. These notions give youth in our neighborhood a false sense of reality of the consequences of use and access to the drug. The use is penalized and criminalized in other counties at the discretion of law enforcement and the medical cannabis card does not give automatic legal rights to its holders. These dispensaries are not set up to be business enterprises therefore, it is not necessary to have one in every block.Hillary Ronen, chief of staff for Supervisor David CamposCalifornia voters will have the chance this year to pass smart, new, marijuana regulations that will bring us up to date with the successful laws passed by Washington, Oregon, Colorado and Alaska.I support the Adult Use of Marijuana Act, not only because it raises billions of dollars of revenue for our state and city, but because it has the strictest child protection laws in the nation. The use of adult recreational marijuana will be highly regulated, restricted to 21 years and above, and only used indoors in specific licensed businesses.The San Francisco Board of Supervisors needs to hit the ground running to update our planning code to address this new type of business and make sure that communities and neighbors have strong voices in when and where marijuana is sold.The recent incident at the Women’s Building must have been frightening for the families involved and I hope everyone is feeling better. Clear and better regulation of labels is needed.Melissa San Miguel, education advocateOne of the most important responsibilities of an elected official is to ensure that her constituents and her city are safe. The recent issues at local dispensaries must be investigated so we can assess what actions need to be taken to keep people safe. That said, I am pleased that dispensaries exist and provide access to alternative healing treatments for those in the community, but regulation is definitely necessary. I commend some dispensaries for being proactive in their outreach to the community to ensure they are responding to the surrounding areas’ needs and concerns. It’s clear that there needs to be some level of standardization in the product and clarity about its contents to protect both the consumer and the vendor. Otherwise, people may buy a product that does not have the intended effect of helping them cope with their medical ailment.Joshua Arce, community liaison for Laborers Local 261The incident last week at the Women’s Building involving marijuana edibles was tragic, and my heart goes out to the families who were affected.However, I am a strong supporter of medical cannabis, and in the vast majority of cases it is safe for adult use. Studies confirm that cannabis provides much needed relief to patients who suffer from a variety of different ailments.Cannabis dispensaries provide a level of quality control and can counsel patients on the appropriate method, strain, and dosage best for that patient. It is important for patients in the Mission to have access to the medicine they need near where they live.I support efforts to legalize cannabis to expand access and reduce the unnecessary incarcerations stemming from the use and sale of marijuana that disproportionately affect black and brown communities.43 Questions is a weekly series — started 43 weeks before Election Day — to question the candidates running for District 9 supervisor. Send us questions to and let us know in comments or in an email if you think candidates have answered as asked. center_img 0%last_img read more

first_imgEven if you’re looking at the ground while you walk — not a terrible idea here in the Mission — you’re probably not going to see it. Somehow, a black-and-white sign as striking as dazzle camouflage and a flight of stairs descending into a compact underground vault goes unnoticed, unless you’re specifically looking for it. And then you can’t not see it. Well, good. That’s the idea. “We kind of rely on being hidden,” says David Kasprzak, 35, one of the denizens of this subterranean lair at 23rd and Capp. “That’s why we’re able to survive here without the rent getting crazy.” Adds his business partner, Luca Antonucci, 34, “Because we’re so physically well-hidden, we’re not the kind of space that’s ideal for other companies.” What you’ll discover if you wander down these steps is a space so esoteric it’s hard to imagine you haven’t transported yourself many miles from the heart of the Mission to a realm of cheap rent, working artists, and blue-collar printers — or somehow traveled backwards in time when these things could be found here. Subscribe to Mission Local’s daily newsletter Kasprzak and Antonucci are the proprietors of Colpa, a design shop (they did branding work for Trick Dog and Al’s Place) and book and poster printer (the San Francisco Art Book Fair, which Kasprzak and Antonucci co-founded, will run Friday to Sunday). This 1,000-square foot space is also a collective studio for up to eight artists at a time — and it’s the repository of more than 3,000 VHS tapes, which have been deposited here by well-wishers like coins in a fountain. A few meters away from Kasprzak and Antonucci’s workstations, intern Louise Chevallet uses Wite-Out to conceal blemishes in posters created by the risograph printer, which she subsequently hand-numbers (1/100, 2/100, and so on). The risograph itself rests in a well-lit corner and takes up about as much space as a dishwasher. It hails from 1991, and it’s still here.Prior inhabitants of this basement melted a necktie and adhered it to the front door. Nobody knows why. It’s still here too.Luca Antonucci, left, and David Kasprzak are artists who know the value of not being seen. Photo by Joe Eskenazi.Carlos Gonzalez was born in the Mission in 1959 in an era when it was a newly minted Latino neighborhood. This was a realm of mom-n-pop shops; nobody had to coin terms like “neighborhood-serving business” because every business was a neighborhood-serving business. What else could there be?Everything was small and local and specific to its neighborhood — everything. “Every neighborhood had its own clique,” recalls Gonzalez. “Back then we didn’t call them gangs. But we behaved like gangs: Dolores Park was known as the Bridge Boys. Precita Park. The Folsom Park Locos.” The latter was Gonzalez’s clique. Gonzalez never saw an art collective in a basement. But he saw plenty of basements:  “We’d hang out in basements. We’d congregate and then go out and do our thing.” And what, pray tell, would that be? “Fighting. Rumbles. Selling drugs. Wreaking havoc.”“I was at the tail end of rumbles,” he continues. “In my day, we fought over neighborhood pride. Maybe there was a beef here or there. Or, over drugs, somebody got burned. Today, it’s a more organized thing. We thought guys who used guns were punks. They didn’t know how to fight. But now, it’s the complete opposite.”The young Folsom Park Loco became a muralist — which he still is — and spent 25 years as a juvenile probation officer. He knew the terrain. He knew what was going on on the streets, in the buildings and, of course, underground. And then the terrain changed.  These movie advertisements from Bangalore, seen here atop the risograph printer, will be featured in a forthcoming book from Colpa Press called See To Day. Photo by Joe Eskenazi.Spaces, says Jesse Drew, “would come and go.” A goodly percentage of the storefronts on Valencia were vacant, “and all of them had basements.” There’d be literal trap doors into the underground, dudes selling beer, punk music, and no overpriced real estate or Ghost Ship-like tragedies to bring about anyone who’d stop the music. There was the “Gartland Pit,” a hotel that burned in 1975, killing 14, and was left vacant for years. “People did shows there all the time,” recalls Drew, a labor organizer-turned-artist who arrived in the Mission as a teenage runaway in 1971. “It was everything from graffiti exhibitions to musical performances.” There were punk shows at The Farm, at Army and Potrero Streets, “the most violent nightclub of the ‘80s,” which was within shrapnel distance of Survival Research Laboratories, which specializes in robotics, pyrotechnics and flames.   “Most of the arts stuff was underground,” Drew recalls. “Legitimate art stuff was in North Beach; we never thought it would make it into the Mission. Most of the artists were young with no money. The stakes weren’t that high. You could do shit and not worry about getting sued or whatever, and the places were cheap and the neighborhood was welcoming.”Louise Chevallet puts the finishing touches on posters printed up on the risograph. Photo by Joe Eskenazi.Well, that’s gone. Kasprzak and Antonucci are thrilled to have a basement hideout that floods when it rains; they work a number of ancillary jobs to keep rent paid, including branding work and teaching gigs. Money made elsewhere gets reinvested here — and at a three-month-old bookstore at 716 Sacramento Street for their own publications and works from small presses that don’t usually distribute. The bookstore is new enough that, on Google Street View, you can actually see Kasprzak and Antonucci through the front window, unpacking boxes and setting the place up. And, in the past few years, several galleries have opened here in the Mission, a stone’s throw from this underground site. More may come. And this is uplifting and validating for Kasprzak and Antonucci, but also economically beneficial: Their design and print shop serves the same purpose for artists and galleries that a dry goods store did for a prospector. “It is helpful,” confirms Kasprzak, “in a cyclical way.”Echoing Drew, he notes that San Francisco became a magnet for creative types because “this place was weird and experimental, and you could afford to take a risk and fail here.” But now you can’t afford to do much. Things change. But this thing hasn’t: There’s a world going on underground.  That’s a lot of VHS tapes, yes. Photo by Joe Eskenazi.center_img Email Address,0%last_img read more

first_imgA man was robbed at knifepoint at 15th and Valencia streets on Sunday, police said. The 24-year-old victim was sitting in his vehicle at 4:15 a.m. when a man in his early 20s approached, made him roll down his window, and pulled out a knife, The suspect made off with the victim’s sweater and phone. There were no injuries. Police say a man was robbed of his phone on the corner of 23rd Street and South Van Ness Avenue Friday night. The 36-year-old victim was sitting with the suspect on the sidewalk at 9:33 p.m. when the latter took the victim’s phone and slipped it into his pocket, according to police. They argued over the phone, and the suspect pulled out a knife and then fled on foot. No injuries were reported. No arrests have yet been made. Recent calls for service to police can be found on CrimeMapping.Crime is trauma and the county offers different services, which can be found here. Victims of violent crime can also contact the Trauma Recovery Center at UCSF. The Mission District played host to four different robberies this weekend, per the police department. Subscribe to Mission Local’s daily newslettercenter_img Email Address A man was assaulted and robbed of his money on the corner of 17th and Guerrero streets on Sunday at 2:47 a.m., police said. The 34-year-old victim was beaten by two suspects, a 25-year-old male and another of unknown age. The victim suffered swelling to the head; his condition is unknown. The suspects fled south down Guerrero and then east on Dorland. A woman was assaulted and robbed of her phone at 24th Street and Treat Avenue on Sunday at 8:56 p.m., police said. The suspects, two women of unspecified ages, exited a white sedan and attacked the 18-year-old victim. She sustained swelling to her face and lip; her condition is non-life-threatening. last_img read more

first_imgST. James’ Park in Newcastle will host a full round of First Utility Super League fixtures next May when Rugby League’s unique six-match extravaganza takes place in the North East for the first time.The event will see the sport’s elite players from the 12 Super League clubs showcase their skill and athleticism in six matches – three on Saturday May 30 and three on Sunday May 31 – at the home of Premier League football club Newcastle United.Rugby League fans from around the country are expected to converge in their thousands to watch the action and experience the famous hospitality, sights and sounds of a city and region which welcomes millions of visitors each year.Magic Weekend has previously been staged in Cardiff, Edinburgh and Manchester but the Etihad Stadium, its home for the last three years, is unavailable next May and Super League General Manager Blake Solly believes Newcastle is the ideal venue in 2015.“St James’ Park is one of Britain’s iconic sporting stadiums and Newcastle is a fantastic destination city that will provide the perfect backdrop to the First Utility Super League Magic Weekend,” said Solly.“From all our engagement with Newcastle United, Newcastle City Council, NE1 and other agencies, it is clear that the region will welcome Rugby League fans with open arms and I have no doubts that Magic Weekend 2015 will be a huge success.“We did receive interest in staging Magic Weekend from a number of other venues but none provided as good a fit as Newcastle for many reasons, including its transport links, hotel and accommodation options and opportunities for our fans to enjoy a weekend to remember.”As well as the exciting action on the pitch, visitors to the North East can take in sights such as the Angel of the North and Tyne Bridge, and visit the award-winning Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art and The Sage.Famous for shopping destinations such as Eldon Square and the Metrocentre and its lively nightlife where fans can unwind after watching a thrilling day of Rugby League, Newcastle ticks all the boxes to make Magic Weekend 2015 a memorable one.Sean Bullick, Chief Executive of NE1 Ltd said: “NE1 is delighted to be hosting Magic Weekend and to be welcoming Rugby League teams and fans to Newcastle.“The city is well placed to host Magic Weekend and we will give a fabulous welcome to the visiting teams and the thousands of spectators.“The economic impact of this will be significant, particularly for the hotels and restaurants, as well as the retailers. Similar events such as the 2012 Olympics and Great North Run have generated millions of pounds for the city.“Large scale events like this do a fantastic job of promoting Newcastle and the wider region. I’m sure visiting fans will have a fantastic time in the city and we hope this will be the best Magic Weekend so far.”Councillor Nick Forbes Leader of Newcastle City Council, said: “I’m delighted that Newcastle has been chosen to host Magic Weekend which will bring additional investment to the City.“Newcastle has a proven track record of hosting large scale sporting events. With so much to do here and our famous hospitality, visitors are guaranteed a fantastic experience and a taste of Geordie Magic.“Our city has excellent transport routes so visitors from outside the region will find it nothing short of easy to get to and if they are staying over, hotels to match all budgets.”Details of Magic Weekend 2015 fixtures and kick-off times will be confirmed in mid-November.Fans looking to secure discounted accommodation early in the North East can do so via a special Magic Weekend website portalFor more information on Magic Weekend and to be kept up-to-date on when fixtures and tickets will be become available please visit read more

first_imgDEADLINE day is looming with just one month until entries close for the 2016 First Utility Super League Fanorak.Consider yourself Rugby League savvy? Is your knowledge of the game, the clubs and the players second to none? Then this is your perfect opportunity to prove you’re the St Helens First Utility Fanorak!Entries close on Friday August 19, so now’s the time to prove yourself as St Helens’ most knowledgeable fan. We’ve already put Alex Walmsley through his paces, now it’s your turn to face the quiz master.The top three scores from across the league will be invited to the finale at the Dream-Team unveiling later in the season. The overall winner will then be crowned 2016 First Utility Super League Fanorak and win a VIP Grand Final experience, including: two VIP seats, food and drink, behind the scenes access; signed merchandise and a chance to be part of all the Grand Final action, performing the pre-match coin toss and presenting the Man of The Match award.Second and third place will win tickets to the Grand Final and a shirt signed by the stars of their favourite First Utility Super League team, and every club’s winning Fanorak will also get two tickets to the big game in October.Since launching in May, the First Utility Fanorak competition has seen hundreds of Rugby League fans take to the hot seat to prove they know all things Rugby League. The deadline is fast approaching, so get involved to be in with a chance to win the title of First Utility Super League Fanorak and VIP Grand Final prizes! Entering couldn’t be easier – visit read more

first_imgSAINTS’ Betfred Super League campaign continues this evening when Warrington Wolves come to the Totally Wicked Stadium.We have a whole host of entertainment both on and off the field to bring you the ultimate matchday experience, which is ideal for all the family, including a stunning lightshow.Game Schedule:Turnstiles – Open 6:30pm Club Face Painters – These will be operating in the Hattons Solicitors Family Stand and as well as the Totally Wicked North Stand from 6.30pm … come along and get your face painted in Saints colours for free! Inflatables – Rugby themed inflatables will be in the North and South West Stands.Crabbie’s – Buy two Crabbie’s and get a beanie hat free in the kiosks tonight!Kiosk Food – We have a new range of food for you to sample at selected kiosks – endorsed by big Alex Walmsley. We’ve teamed up with Big Al’s to bring a selection of Burgers and Pizza Twists to the Saints. Click here to find out more!Member Offer – If you’re a member, you can take advantage of our pie and hot drink combo offer for £3.50. Simply present your Membership Card at the kiosks to access this deal. slected kiosksBoots – Your favourite furry mascot Boots, who is sponsored by Small Wonders, will be in attendance in all the concourse areas from 6.30pm onwards so look out for him and say hello! The A Star Saints Angels – Will be performing a brand new routine before the game.Kick Off – We’ve planned a very special and spectacular entrance for the teams tonight – be in your spot ten minutes before kick off!Tony Barrow and a mark of respect – There will be a minute’s silene for the late Tony Barrow just before kick off as well as all those affected in the London attacks on Wednesday. Half Time – Our Crossbar Challenge in association with OD’s Jewellery & Watch Boutique will take place. Participants can win £100 in ODs vouchers. If you want to take part email the club at keepmeupdated@saintsrlfc.comCash Dash – Check out the great prizes!The match is sponsored by Cultivate Creative with Qualitech as our Corporate Sponsor. The Matchball is sponsored by O2 Rainford.Team NewsKeiron Cunningham has named his 19-man squad for the match. You can find out more here and you can also view a match preview here.TicketsTickets for the game are available from the Ticket Office at the Totally Wicked Stadium or by calling 01744 455 052. Price details are here.There will be cash turnstiles on the Hattons Solicitors West, Totally Wicked North and East Stands.If you require a South Stand ticket then you need to head to the Ticket Office.Saints SuperstoreThe Saints Superstore is open from 9am until kick-off. It will be open after the game for 45 minutes. Our new look programme #asone will once again be on sale.Featuring an interview with Mark Percival it is packed with all you need to know about your Super Saints!The cover has our players on one side of the V and randomly selected 2017 Members on the right hand side! Is your name there? These will change every match!There’s also the latest news and views from around the club, our Academy and community teams.It is priced at £3.Today’s programme is available on the concourse as well as in the Saints Superstore and is sponsored by Warrington AudiTravelMatchday Car Parking details are here.last_img read more

first_imgThe game kicks off at 8pm and you can follow it live with us.For all the very latest from the match log on to our Official Match Centre.You can interact with like-minded fans across the globe at our Official Facebook Page and don’t forget to follow us @saints1890 on Twitter.#saintsasonelast_img

first_imgThe teams took part in the launch of The Community Integrated Care Learning Disability Super League that took place at Stanley Park on the 25th and 26th May 2019.  Players from St. Helens LDRL  also had the amazing opportunity of playing on the pitch at Anfield during Half Time of the St. Helens vs Castleford First Team fixture.Saints Community Development Foundation are delighted to be a part of this pioneering inclusive sports programme for people with learning disabilities and autism. Gaining significant national attention since its announcement in February, and engaging hundreds of people in the sport, this world-first programme is a growing success.Supporters that attended the Dacia Magic Weekend had the opportunity to watch the inspiring action first-hand on both days of the event. With a special festival taking place on Stanley Park during the second game of each day, and the teams playing on the famous Anfield turf during the halftime break of the final games, the LDRL players were at the heart of the action.Learning Disability Super League gives people with learning disabilities and autism the opportunity to play an adapted version of Rugby League, The programme aims to promote the development of skills, confidence and positive experiences, and make a major statement about social inclusion. This world-first initiative is the first ever example of a professional sports league sharing its brand with a learning disability sports programme.The inclusive competition has been supported by 12 founder clubs, who have established or will be developing Learning Disability Rugby League teams: St Helens, Castleford Tigers, Huddersfield Giants, Hull KR, Leeds Rhinos, Newcastle Thunder, Salford Red Devils, Wakefield Trinity, Warrington Wolves, Widnes Vikings, Wigan Warriors and York City Knights.The Dacia Magic Weekend provided one of the biggest ever crowds for a learning disability sport event. Further fixtures are set to be announced this year! Stay tuned to our social media outlets for more information.Twitter – @communitysaintsInsta – @communitysaintsfacebook – Saints Community Development Foundationlast_img read more

first_img On July 4, 2016, Guerrette hid in a stall in the stall in the women’s restroom. He filmed two women while they were using the restroom. One of thewomen saw the Guerrette’s cell phone coming from underneath the neighboring stall and she tried to stop him.Guerrette ran off.Det. Sam Smith was given a description of the defendant and then spotted him.Related Article: Young woman ‘infatuated’ with Columbine is found deadAs Smith stopped Guerrette to investigate, he threw his cell phone down a construction hole. Officers were able to retrieve the phone and during a forensic examination of the phone, the videos from the bathroom were found.Connie Jordan, the prosecutor assigned to the case, said, “This type of behavior poses a danger to our community and leaves victims with feelings of intrusion and violation. When officers are not able to locate and seize the recordings, as they were able to in our case, victims rightfully fear their images being circulated on the internet. Thankfully, the images Mr. Guerrette captured have been seized and will be destroyed after he is released from prison.”Guerrette has been convicted of more than three prior felonies for breaking and entering and obtaining property by false pretenses, so he was sentenced as a habitual felon. Without habitual felon status, he would have been facing between 5 – 20 months in prison and the possibility of probation. With habitual felon status, Guerrette will serve a minimum of 26 months and a maximum of 44 months in prison. NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — The man accused of recording women using the public restrooms on the Carolina Beach boardwalk is going to prison.This week, Daniel Jay Guerrette, 30, pleaded guilty to secretly using a photographic device to capture images of two women.- Advertisement – last_img read more