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… The work of police officers on more than half of their disability hate crime investigations has been found to be “unacceptable”, according to a new report by two watchdogs.The joint inspection by HM Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) and HM Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate (HMCPSI) is the third attempt in five years to look at how the police and Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) handle cases involving disability hate crime.The report is generally complimentary about the work of CPS, which it concludes has made “significant improvements” in dealing with disability hate crime cases.But it is highly critical of the work of police forces in England and Wales.The report says officers are failing to “flag” cases as disability hate crimes on police computer systems and are also failing to refer many cases to the CPS for possible prosecution, while there are delays in the investigation process and a lack of effective supervision.It also says that police officers are failing to carry out risk assessments on victims of disability hate crime in many of the cases the inspectors sampled, and that they often fail to draw up risk management plans.HMICFRS looked at 90 sample cases across six police forces: Cheshire, Devon and Cornwall, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, the Metropolitan police, Nottinghamshire, and South Wales.It found that in 19 (21 per cent) of the cases there were avoidable delays in the investigation, with all reasonable lines of enquiry explored in only 69 of the 90 cases (77 per cent), while an investigation plan was missing from 39 of them (43 per cent).In 51 of the 90 police cases (57 per cent) examined by HMICFRS, the inspectors considered the case files to be sub-standard, including 24 deemed “inadequate”.The report concludes that the standard of police investigations into disability hate crime was “unacceptable in many cases”.The inspectorate also found that in 20 of the 90 cases, the outcome of the investigation had been “inappropriate”, including 14 cases dealt with by community resolution without CPS approval.Police guidelines state that officers should never offer a community resolution – an alternative way of dealing with less serious crimes that does not involve taking the case to court – to a victim of a hate crime without checking with CPS.The report also found that in the initial information provided to CPS, in only 16 of 160 cases (10 per cent) did police officers describe the reasonable adjustments that a victim of crime might need to give their evidence effectively.In contrast, the report says that CPS has made “substantial progress” in dealing with disability hate crime in most areas, and now has “clear” guidance, while decision-making on cases is “excellent”.But HMCPSI inspectors still said that the quality of more than two-thirds (about 68 per cent) of charging decisions was only fair or poor.The report says compliance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors in disability hate crime cases was “excellent”.And it also says there was “much greater awareness” among prosecutors of section 146 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003, under which the courts must increase the sentence for any offence where a defendant has demonstrated hostility towards disabled people, or where the offence has been shown to be motivated by hostility.In the year to December 2017, prosecutors secured a sentence increase in nearly seven in 10 cases (69 per cent) in which they had applied for one from the court, compared to about 34 per cent in 2015-16.But the report says more still needs to be done by CPS, although there had been “a significant and welcome improvement in some aspects of casework”.Five years ago, HMCPSI, HM Inspectorate of Constabulary and HM Inspectorate of Probation concluded in a joint report that disability hate crime was “the hate crime that has been left behind”.A follow-up report three years ago accused the police, probation service and CPS of failing to implement their recommendations.Disability News Service has been reporting on the criminal justice system’s failings in dealing with disability hate crime since 2009.It has particularly reported repeatedly on how the criminal justice system has failed to treat cases in which disabled people have been the victims of brutal and degrading assaults – many of them violent killings – as disability hate crimes.Last year, researchers at the University of Sussex called for a new hate crime act and other key legal reforms to address the “huge justice gap” that affects victims of disability hate crime, following a major two-year study.last_img read more

BART Board Candidates Talk Upgrades Future of Transit System

first_img 0% The candidates were also probed on their stances on pushing for the passage of a $3.5 billion bond measure placed on the November ballot by BART’s board of directors. The funding would be largely allocated towards fixing and upgrading system’s crumbling infrastructure.“Assuming that the measure passes we’d like to see money go into rebuilding infrastructure, modernizing the communication system that workers use, and money dedicated to overnight service on the weekend,” said Petrelis, adding that  “$3.5 billion is a start,” and that more sources of revenue for BART are needed. Borden spoke in favor of prioritizing a second Transbay tube to increase rider capacity. “The future of this region is the tube that can accommodate BART and high speed rail or Caltrain,” she said, though she added that her primary focus would be to shore up current infrastructure.“I’m very much supportive of the $3.5 billion bond, which doesn’t meet our need of around $10 billion,” she said.Other candidates also agreed that additional funding is needed beyond the bond to ensure that BART remains an accessible, equitable, and viable alternative to car ownership. Drawing from his four decades of experience as a politician, Dufty said that he would lobby for funding at the state and federal level.“The federal government is locked away from transit operations,” said Dufty. “We need leadership to go to Washington and say … ‘we need to be investing in transit operations.’”Petrelis said that he is in favor of taxing “the banks and tech companies” that benefit from their proximity to BART stations. “Many of them are getting a free ride, and that has to end,” he said.But Will Roscoe, an engineer who is running to represent District 7, which includes parts of the Bayview, Mission Bay, SoMA, and the East Bay, said that while immediate funding for upgrades is necessary, he urged voters to “think beyond the tracks’ in terms of the transit system’s future in the Bay Area. “We can’t assume that same technology that’s been available since industrial age is going to serve the transit agency when we have self driving cars today,” he said. “We need to think much bigger than dumping money into this same technology that was available before dial up internet.” Despite varying backgrounds and visions, harmony reigned among the District 9 contenders, whom one audience member described as being “best friends.”“We have a lot of agreement between the three of us,” said Petrelis, adding that his real gripe is directed at BART board president, Tom Radulovich, whom he is currently vying to replace. The Mission resident’s campaign began two years ago when Petrelis “grew dissatisfied with the unsanitary conditions at the 16th and Mission Streets BART Plaza,” which include pigeon waste, debris, and dirt. After two decades on the board, Radulovich announced last month that he will not be seeking re-election.Petrelis has been crusading for sanitary improvements at the plaza, involving Public Works and other public agencies himself when his requests for service went unanswered at the BART Board, he said. Borden too said that she would focus on sanitization, but also on equity. “Cleanliness of stations is at its worst,” said Borden, adding the district’s new director must think about “how we are responding to our low-income population.”Borden, who currently serves on the board of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, said she would focus on decreasing fares and extending subsidies regionally to target low-income commuters outside of San Francisco.Lateefah Simon, a youth advocate and candidate for District 7,  said that she would push for the creation of”transit-oriented housing across all metro stations” to ensure equity.Candidates differed, however, on their perspective on labor unions.When asked about his position on transit worker strikes, incumbent District 7 director Zakhary Mallett, who recalled two labor strikes that crippled public transportation in 2013, said that he would work to ban them.“I feel that transit workers going on strike creates a profound impact on most vulnerable populations and disable them from getting to work,” he said.Dufty, who said that he is running as a “pro-labor candidate,” disagreed.“I’m disappointed that some of current leadership of the BART board sought to vilify working people who have the right to bargain and to strike if their bargaining efforts are being met with resistance,” he said.San Francisco voters will decide on November 8 which candidates will best represent them and their districts on these issues. Tags: public transportation • Transportation • vote Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%center_img The candidates vying for two seats on the BART Board of Directors said on Monday that they are in support of a $3.5 million bond measure that would help upgrade the derelict public transportation system.During a candidate debate forum held in the recreation room at Mission Pool, the candidates answered questions about much needed improvements to the 44-year-old transit system and shared their plans to ensure that equitable access and capacity needs are met in the long-term. Three of the six candidates present –  politician and former San Francisco supervisor Bevan Dufty, activist and local blogger Michael Petrelis, and Golden Gate Restaurant Association Director Gwyneth Borden –  are competing to become the director for BART’s District 9. The latter covers stations in central and Southern San Francisco including both stations in the Mission District.Audience members – some of whom were members of transit, pedestrian and bicycle advocacy groups – wanted to know how the candidates would address BART’s long-festering problems such as aging trains, frequent breakdowns, delays and overcrowding.last_img read more

Neighborhood Notes HOMEY returns activist bus ads Brava sneak peek

first_img Tags: arts • Brava Theater Center • Business • food • restaurants Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0% But MEDA recently acquired 2221 Mission Street, near 18th Street, through the city’s Small Sites Program. The commercial space was most recently home to furniture store The Touch, which closed in December. That gave HOMEY the chance to make an earlier move. The group will now be on Mission Street for about three years, and anticipates moving in by November or December.The move also marks HOMEY’s first time operating in a storefront. The organization will take full advantage of that — it’s planning to sell clothing items from the space while also running its nonprofit programs, Alfaro said.  –LWBrava’s new commercial frontOn Sunday, Brava officials opened their doors for a sneak preview of its newly renovated storefront spaces. They look spectacular and offer room for an art cabaret, offices for Brava and other neighborhood nonprofits, and new dressing rooms. –LCInside the new Brava offices, looking out onto 24th Street. Photo by Lydia Chávez.Sarah, a staff member, standing outside what will be the new art cabaret. Photo by Lydia Chávez.Soon to be new offices for Brava in its renovated storefront spaces. Photo by Lydia Chávez.Building tries to shake off its gambling-den pastDetails are sparse so far, but someone has applied to change 2949 Mission St., formerly the Fizzary — and, later, a gambling and prostitution den that proved surprisingly difficult to root out — into a restaurant. The application has been accepted by the planning department but not processed or decided on. Because it’s a change of use, especially one from retail to restaurant — a typically sensitive kind of conversion — it could face a tricky hearing.  —LWKorean restaurant “Foxsister” has opened on 24th StreetWe wrote about this new tenant at the recently closed Montella Pizza, which will be serving Korean drinking snacks and a variety of cocktails and Asian beers. The new menu will reportedly include spicy fried chicken, noodles, pancakes and hotpots. –LWMayor to honor local institutions The Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts, Precita Eyes Mural Arts Center, Casa Bonampak and La Santaneca will be among a group recognized by city leaders at a Latino Heritage Month event next week.An awards ceremony will take place Monday, Sept. 25 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the North Light Court and Rotunda at City Hall.  –LWActivist bus postersYou may have seen a series of posters with a strong anti-eviction message at your bus stops: The San Francisco Anti-Displacement Coalition has produced the series of advertisements as part of National Renters’ Week of Action.The posters feature some very local figures and talking points: people like artist Rene Yañez, and issues like reforming owner-move-in evictions and the Ellis Act. They’ve been rolled out in English, Spanish, Chinese, Tagalog, Russian and Vietnamese. The Anti-Displacement Coalition and the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development commissioned five local artists for the images: Kayan Cheung Miaw, Patrick Piazza, Fernando Martí, Sydney Cain and fourth and fifth grade students at Guadalupe Elementary school in the Excelsior.For more on the campaign, visit sfadc.org. Images courtesy SFADC –LW 0%center_img HOMEY is returning to the Mission!After spending years tucked away in the upstairs space of a building in SoMa, the originally Mission-based nonprofit Homies Organizing the Mission to Empower Youth is set to move into a Mission Street storefront. “Were coming back home,” said Executive Director Roberto Elegio Alfaro. He said the group, known as HOMEY, was told it would need to leave its current space by March 2018, and has been looking for a new space for about a year. HOMEY leaders have been in conversations with the Mission Economic Development Agency about getting a more permanent space at 16th and Folsom streets, where MEDA is developing a below-market-rate housing building. last_img read more

NATHAN Brown couldnt fault the effort and commitm

first_imgNATHAN Brown couldn’t fault the effort and commitment of both teams on Friday night.Saints and Leeds locked horns in an epic Super League Playoff tie with his charges edged in the dying seconds by a Danny McGuire drop goal.“When you lose and your season is over it is very disappointing. We can’t come back next week,” he said. “I am proud of our guys, and Leeds’ too, the effort was super. I think you saw what proper semi final football is all about.”Saints found themselves 10-0 down away at Leeds before fighting back to level.Jordan Turner then put a tricky touchline conversion wide – much like Kevin Sinfield had done in the first half – and then they spawned the chance of a penalty shot at goal, instead opting to push the Rhinos right back on their line.“To kick a goal from half way… well that is a big kick,” Brown said. “Our number one kicker Jonny Lomax isn’t kicking because of a hamstring injury so we took the chance to put it into touch. When it’s there you have a good chance of scoring or setting up for a field goal. Miss the kick and you might not even get the ball back. We took the safest option with what we are working with at the moment.“It has been a tough season and we effectively began to rebuild the squad during the season. We have made some big changes. For a long time at this club Francis Meli was on the wing with Ade Gardner and Paul Wellens at full back. We now have two young wingers and Jonny Lomax back there. That has added speed.Jon Wilkin has played half which will change next year. The culture of the club is terrific and its effort and commitment is sensational.“The youth system has provided the path to make the rebuild quite quick too. We haven’t achieved what we would have liked, but we have achieved in moving forward.”last_img read more

Arrrgh Kick up your Labor Day menu with Cape Fear Pirate Candy

first_imgWILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Send Labor Day out with a bang courtesy of sweet and hot delicacies on your table tonight.  The Cape Fear Pirate Candy company makes delicious and addictive peppers guaranteed to give just about anything a kick.The company began in Carolina Beach and owner Travis Moore says you can make just about anything on your menu more zesty with their products.- Advertisement – “They are great on burgers, salmon, crab cakes and pizza,” he says, “you can even use the juice to enhance your tacos and barbecue.”The products are available at more than 70 locations up and down the coast.For locations and recipes click here.last_img

WPD searching for suspect who stole beer wine from Target

first_imgBeer theft suspect (Photo: WPD) WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Do you recognize the man in these photos?Wilmington Police say he’s wanted for stealing alcoholic beverages from Target. The alleged crime happened March 16. 1 of 2 Beer theft suspect (Photo: WPD) According to the incident report, the first larceny happened around 3:00 p.m. and again about an hour later.The suspect first stole beer worth $27.50.During the second trip, the suspect allegedly walked out with two bottles of wine valued at $36.Related Article: In plea deal, Russian woman admits to being a secret agentIf you can identify the man in the photos, use Text-a-Tip or call (910) 343-3658.center_img – Advertisement – Beer theft suspect (Photo: WPD)last_img read more

TSA wife reacts to federal government reopening

first_imgCASTLE HAYNE, NC (WWAY) — The government shutdown is over for at least the next three weeks, as debates continue over border security funding.Friday, WWAY spoke to the wife of a TSA agent about what effects the shutdown has had on them, and how she feels about this latest development.- Advertisement – “I just don’t want to see another shutdown. Because it has an effect on you mentally, emotionally,” said Dolores Swope.The past year has been a rough one for Swope and her husband, who is a TSA agent.“I lost my mother in June, so as I was beginning to get over that, then we had the hurricane. Then when Hurricane Florence was here, we lost everything,” said Swope.Related Article: Justice Department set to release redacted Mueller reportAfter the hurricane, Swope and her husband moved into a rental home they own, and had to temporarily close a shop she runs in Rocky Point, losing two sources of income.“My nerves were on edge. And then, when the shutdown came, I was like, ‘what else can happen?’” she said.Swope’s husband has not received a paycheck since December. She says as the weeks continued, the shutdown began to wear on them both.“My husband was sick, and he still had to go to work. And then he goes to work, and when he comes home, he says ‘I go to work, but I’m not getting paid,’” she said.She says most people have been understanding of their situation, and offered help.Nourish NC even provided groceries for TSA workers and their families.Swope says that help is sometimes difficult to accept.“When you’re used to doing for yourself, you kind of feel bad taking handouts,” she said.On Friday, President Trump and congressional democrats reached an agreement to support a short-term spending bill and reopen the government for three weeks.The White House later tweeted that federal workers will be paid in the coming days. Swope says hearing that was a blessing and a relief.“I’m glad it’s over. It’s finished. We’ll see what happens February 15th,” said Swope.Swope says she wants to thank every person, organization, and business that offered help to federal workers during the shutdown.She just hopes an agreement can be made before that February 15 deadline.last_img read more

AirLink helicopter takes flight at new Brunswick County location

first_imgBRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Saving time and lives, that’s the goal of a new project between Novant Health and New Hanover Regional Medical Center.This is not your average run of the mill medical project, it’s a whole new method of transportation for Brunswick County that will help get folks who need critical care at lightning speed.- Advertisement – This chopper is ready, set and taking off between New Hanover and Brunswick counties.It’s called AirLink, and is designed to serve the same purpose as an ambulance, but faster.This aircraft is now stationed in Brunswick County for those critical patients.“It can be heart attacks, it can be strokes, we just had a story told here last week of a patient in the community having a stroke [who] was brought here loaded on the helicopter, was on the table in New Hanover receiving treatment in 45 minutes and that saved that man’s life,” Shelbourn Stevens, the Novant Health Brunswick Medical Center president, said.Related Article: First child among 98 flu deaths reported in North Carolina this seasonPreviously, patients had to wait for AirLink to arrive from out of the county or be transferred by ambulance.Now, with this partnership between Novant Health Brunswick Medical Center and New Hanover Regional, that’s no longer the case.“[We are] very excited about this partnership and being able to bring this very valuable asset and base it here in Brunswick County and be able to make a difference in bringing people to that care that they need quicker,” said John Popella, Director of Critical Care Transport at New Hanover Regional Medical Center.If you need stitches or twisted your ankle, don’t expect to fly first class to the emergency room.“Minor injuries like lacerations probably not,” Popella added.This is the third New Hanover Regional AirLink helicopter stationed in the region. The others are stationed outside Jacksonville and Whiteville.last_img read more

FEMA assistance starts to end Florence victims still without homes

first_imgWILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — It’s been five and a half months after Hurricane Florence and hundreds in North Carolina are still living in hotels.For some, FEMA assistance is coming to an end.Barbara St. Charles says her FEMA assistance ends Thursday. She says she has called at least a dozen places, but she says there are not enough rental options to go around, and that her credit score is keeping her from finding a home.- Advertisement – “You think you’re getting somewhere and it’s like they pull the rug out from under your feet and you start all over again,” St. Charles said.St.Charles has spent the last five months since Florence living out of the Main Stay Suites, after her rental home was condemned. With three grandchildren to raise, her time there is about to end.“It’s hard trying to find a place when looking all over for several months, thousands of dollars spent on application fees. You go look at the place, then you come back and they’ll tell you it’s already rented,” she said.Related Article: First ever ‘Pender County State of Education and Economy’ held in BurgawSt. Charles is one of 200 households in the region who still needs FEMA assistance. But on Thursday, that help will end for St. Charles.FEMA spokesperson John Mills says everything is assessed on a case-by-case basis.“We’ve already been making hundreds of referrals to charitable, non-profit and faith-based organizations to help people make home repairs, find an available rental apartment and find short-term housing while they can determine their next steps,” Mills said.Mills says all transitional sheltering assistance will come to an end on march 12. He says FEMA has given almost a billion dollars to families, but that does wind down at some point.Florence victims like St. Charles have been saving that money, but she she does not know where to turn.“The shelter now is kind of coming to and end and that’s kind of scary because I don’t want to be on the street with three kids,” St. Charles said.She says the motel told her that it is almost completely full with other Florence victims like her.Mills encourages victims to get back in touch with FEMA because there are ways to continue getting certain assistance.To get in touch with the FEMA helpline, call 1-(800)-621-3362.last_img read more

UNCW Department hosts annual symposium this year discussing the opioid epidemic

first_img This year they’ve brought together law enforcement and clinical figure heads who each and every day combat the opioid drug epidemic. The state reports drug overdose death related to heroin and fentanyl rose from 18% 9 years ago, to 88 percent in 2017.Department members who organized this event hope the conversation educates as well as inspires a larger community effort to save lives.“We really hope that this starts the conversation and we hope that this conversation continues as well as partnerships with an among the various entities that are represented and taking really concrete action steps,” said Dr. Kristen Devall an associate professor.Related Article: How UNCW breaks down cyber security with new programThat same state report says since preventative action, in some cases the number of opioid pills dispensed had decreased 25% from the beginning of 2016 to the beginning of 2018 following the launch of a state opioid action plan. WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The state of the opioid drug epidemic was the center of a conversation on the UNCW campus this evening.The UNCW Department of Sociology and Criminology hosted their 2nd annual Social Justice Symposium.- Advertisement – last_img read more