By Raya Al Jadir A disabled campaigner has secured

first_imgBy Raya Al JadirA disabled campaigner has secured a place to volunteer at this summer’s Rio Olympics but is struggling to raise £17, 000 to pay for herself and the four personal assistants (PAs) she will need to take with her on the trip.Mary Laver, who uses a powered wheelchair and needs 22 hours of care a day, was a leading campaigner against the closure of the Independent Living Fund (ILF), which shut last year, and secured media coverage when she took her PAs with her to volunteer at the London 2012 games.For seven days during London 2012, the former RAF servicewoman used ILF to pay for personal assistants to support her as she volunteered as a games-maker in the Olympic village, staying in a camp-site in south-west London every night because she couldn’t afford a hotel.She now hopes to repeat that experience in Rio this summer, after being selected to be an official volunteer in the transport section.She applied for the role last summer, and subsequently took a series of tests that examined her knowledge of the games of English, and included an interview via Skype, before being informed late last November that her application had been successful.Although she is not sure yet what her precise role would be, she hopes to be “an active member of the volunteer group” at the Rio Olympics.She said: “Without volunteers, there are no Olympic Games.”Most of the cost comes from two first-class air tickets – for herself and one PA, which she needs because of her access and support requirements – and three second-class air tickets for her other PAs, although two have offered to contribute by paying for their own tickets.Laver can only afford to contribute £1,000 of her own money.She plans to take both her electric and manual wheelchairs, and has booked accommodation at a wheelchair-friendly hostel in Rio.Laver said she does not believe she would face any access problems in Rio, because she has been assured by organisers that disabled volunteers would be “very welcome” and that the infrastructure and transport would be accessible.But she now needs to raise funds to pay for her trip.As a volunteer, she will not receive any financial support from Olympic or Paralympic organisations in Britain, and will only receive a travel pass, uniform and food from the Rio organisers.To raise funds, she has set up a gofundme page to raise the £17,400 she needs, which she says would enable her to live out her motto “life without limits”, but has so far raised only £1,175.She has also approached many UK sports organisations for financial support, but has been turned down by all of them.She has set herself a deadline of 1 February to reach the halfway stage of her funding quest.Among her efforts to persuade the government to reverse its decision to close ILF, she wrote to the prime minister, travelled from her home near Newcastle-upon-Tyne to the Conservative party conference in 2014 to lobby fellow party members, and attended protests in London.Last year, she rode her powered wheelchair the 14 miles from the House of Commons to the constituency of work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith in Chingford, east London, to mark his 61st birthday by delivering a “very special birthday card”, in another ILF protest.She also holds the record for the fastest journey from Land’s End to John O’Groats in a powerchair – just over 24 days – which she set in 2009, raising more than £1,000 for the Royal British Legion.Picture: Mary Laver being interviewed in 2013 about the impact of ILF on her life, for a short film  by False Economy, the Daily Mirror and Moore Lavan Filmslast_img read more

Work and pensions secretary Amber Rudd has announc

first_imgWork and pensions secretary Amber Rudd has announced measures that should mean fewer disabled people are forced to undergo unnecessary benefit reassessments.Sarah Newton, the minister for disabled people, announced in June that new claimants of personal independence payment (PIP) with the “most severe, lifelong conditions” who were awarded the highest level of support and whose needs were not expected to decrease would only receive a “light touch” review of their award every 10 years.Rudd (pictured) said this week that this measure would be extended to existing PIP claimants.The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) said this was to “ensure that for disabled people who need extra support, the system is designed to be as seamless as possible while minimising any unnecessary stress or bureaucracy”.Guidance for PIP case managers on which new PIP claimants will qualify for the “light touch” review and an “ongoing” award was published quietly by DWP in August.The guidance does not mention any particular conditions.Instead, it says such an award should be made if “the claimant’s restrictions on Daily Living and/or Mobility are stable and unlikely to change significantly or they have very high levels of needs which will only deteriorate” or if “the claimant is awarded enhanced/enhanced and their needs are not going to improve or would only deteriorate”.Newton’s announcement in June was seen by some as another move back towards disability living allowance (DLA), the benefit PIP is replacing for working-age claimants.One of the key reasons that ministers gave for introducing PIP was that DLA supposedly allowed claimants to secure unchecked “welfare for life” because of the lack of repeat assessments.Esther McVey, who quit as work and pensions secretary last month, made the claim herself five years ago in a bid to justify the introduction of PIP and proposed cuts of 20 per cent.But Jenny Morris, who helped write the Labour government’s Improving the Life Chances of Disabled People white paper, said in June that people were placed on lifetime DLA awards “for very good reasons” and all the government had done by introducing PIP and its frequent reassessments in 2013 was to “create extra costs for themselves”.She said that the “light touch” announcement showed the government had spent years and wasted hundreds of millions of pounds on its PIP reforms, while exposing people to assessments that were “very oppressive and upsetting”.This week, one disabled people’s organisation, Buckinghamshire Disability Service (BuDS), suggested that Rudd’s announcement should be treated “very cautiously”.BuDS said that 18 per cent of PIP claimants already receive lifetime awards, and it added: “The chances are that this announcement will make very little difference for most people.”A DWP spokeswoman said: “The guidance change has not been in place long enough for us to provide estimates of how many people may gain.” 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

Affordable housing on Florida Street keenly anticipated

first_imgThe preliminary design boasts multiple outdoor areas, including one on the roof. Laundry will be housed on the roof, as will a community garden and a lounge area. The entire ground-floor commercial space is slated to be reserved for arts groups, 115 bike storage spaces and two offices for social workers.“Can we apply at MEDA?” one person wanted to know.The Mission Economic Development Agency and Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation are collaborating on the construction of the property. MEDA will remain the owner and TNDC will manage the property, which will also provide social services to tenants.The lottery for placement at 681 Florida, however, will not open for several years. Construction is expected to begin in January 2019, and leasing a year later.“Is there any way to speed up the building process?” asked one person, one of the few who posed their questions in English. MEDA’s Feliciano Vera from the nonprofit’s real estate team said they were trying to accelerate the timeline, which is in the pre-construction phase.Environmental approvals have already been secured and the nonprofit is trying to get its community outreach done ahead of schedule. Permits and financing, however, still need to be finalized.The developers, for their part, had hoped to solicit some design input — rather than a flood of applications. Dairo Romero, another member of MEDA’s real estate team, stressed the importance of giving the community a sense of involvement in the development process.A few suggestions were conveyed through sticky notes left on a poster soliciting input, and in a question-and-answer session. One person asked to shift the unit balance toward more three-bedroom units, to accommodate larger families. Rogelio Gula, a principal at Mithun Architects, which is designing the building, said after the meeting that three-bedroom units are particularly tricky to accommodate; two-bedrooms are a little easier. “That unit mix is slightly flexible, but the three-bedrooms are the most challenging,” he said. Otherwise, feedback ranged from a few questions about parking (there will be none) to flooring materials due to a child’s asthma (a wood-like flooring, no carpet) to someone who wrote a note suggesting adding a grill to the roof deck.  For the crowd of around 100 people who filled the auditorium of the Mission Language and Vocational School Wednesday night to hear the plans for an 130-unit affordable housing building, it couldn’t arrive fast enough. This kind of community input meeting, where developers pitch their proposed building, usually draws small groups of immediate neighbors who critique the height of the buildings, design and amenities (parking is a popular one). But at the meeting for 681 Florida St., most of the largely Spanish-speaking crowd wanted to know only one thing: how to get housing. The proposal promises units ranging from studios to three-bedrooms that will be affordable to those making up to, or less than, 60 percent of the Area Median Income — about $62,000 a year for a family of three, and $48,400 for an individual. Tags: Affordable Housing • development • housing Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%center_img 0%last_img read more

SFs SRO tenants anxious for better housing will wait years

first_img Tags: Affordable Housing • SROs Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0% Ronen received so many questions about affordable housing projects in the Mission that she decided on the spot to schedule a public hearing about the status of those projects — a majority of which are at a standstill. Peter Rauch, who’s lived at the All Star Hotel for six years, asked about the status of two fully-affordable projects: one 143-unit development at 1990 Folsom St. and another 127-unit building at 2060 Folsom St. “Are those moving forward?” he said. Ronen said she believed the projects had received their entitlements, but hadn’t yet found the right financing, which she said was slowing them down. “This issue of how long it’s taking to build these project is frustrating for all of us,” Ronen said, noting that speeding up the process is something her office is “looking into.”  At present, the Mission District has seven fully affordable projects in the pipeline that comprise some 770 affordable units, including the two on Folsom Street. However, none of those projects have broken ground and will not begin leasing in the near future. Many have been delayed by neighbors, red tape or lack of financing. “Are these buildings going to be affordable for people who are on (general assistance), who are on (Supplemental Security Income)?” asked Gaylord Dixon, a Mission Hotel resident. “I don’t know if you have any power over that, but I’m hoping they can do that for us.” Ronen explained that the fully affordable projects are reserved for low-income people, and 20 percent of those projects’ units are reserved for formerly homeless individuals. As the residents asked questions about housing, it was clear they were anxious to move on from SRO living — once considered “transitional housing” but now, by most accounts, treated as a permanent situation for those in need. “A majority of SRO tenants are saying, ‘I want my own bathroom, my own kitchen, and I want to live independently’ — and I don’t see that happening anytime soon,” said Diana Martinez of the Mission SRO Collaborative. “The participants and leaders in our program tell us they have been on the list for 10 years or more, trying to secure an affordable apartment — and this is with the help of case management,” she added. All of the Mission Hotel’s 245 rooms are for formerly homeless residents. In the Mission, there are eight SRO hotels run by nonprofits — most of which are dedicated to formerly homeless or at-risk populations — representing around 709 units, including the Mission Hotel. “A lot of the people who live in these buildings are disgruntled,” Rauch said after the meeting. “They’ve lost a lot of faith, and they think this is where they’re going to live for the rest of their lives.” Indeed, one woman told Ronen that she has given up on applying for low-income housing because she never gets chosen, no matter how many times she applies. For one application, she said, she has been waiting nine years. “I sign up for it, qualify for it, they put me on a list and never call,” the woman said. “I don’t believe it anymore.” “If you’ve lost faith in the system, I completely understand,” Ronen replied. “If you’re living in the Mission, though, I’d ask you to keep trying.” Ronen explained that the so-called “neighborhood preference law” had passed recently, in late 2015, and that if the woman lived in the Mission, she would have a higher chance of occupying one of the units being built here. In fact, under the law, every SRO tenant in the Mission would have a fair crack at living in one of the fully-affordable buildings slated for the neighborhood. The question, again, comes down to: when?Yet, just like low-income apartments, SRO spots are highly coveted. Many homeless people in shelters yearn for supportive housing, but end up languishing for years on waiting lists. “Most people (in shelters) are on the list for a very long time,” Martinez said. “Years and years and years.” Subscribe to Mission Local’s daily newsletter 0%center_img Email Address Residents of the Mission’s SROs are often dismissed by the neighborhood as a nuisance, and many would agree they are treated that way — “like fourth-class people,” in the words of one resident.  But on Thursday, during a meeting with District 9 Supervisor Hillary Ronen, they challenged that notion. “We’re citizens like everyone else,” said Mervyn Greene, a Mission Hotel resident who organized the event.And, like everyone else, they voiced concerns about homelessness, pedestrian safety and public sanitation. One question, however, came up repeatedly: Where is the affordable housing, and is it for us? “We see huge projects coming up that are excluding us,” said Greene, who also works with the Central City SRO Collaborative. “The number of people who move from SROs into those units is minimal, because the process is so difficult.” last_img read more

Rentcontrolled tenants claim harassment neglect from Veritas Investments

first_img Subscribe to Mission Local’s daily newsletter Penny Schoner, 84, lived happily in the one-bedroom apartment she’d had since the 1980s. That changed in 2012, when Veritas Investments bought her apartment building. Suddenly, she said, management ignored her requests for repairs — including one to remove the wasp’s nest that sat outside her bedroom window.“They were in my hair and my clothing, and I got stung a bunch of times,” Schoner said.Schoner is one of 68 residents — including 11 senior citizens — that filed a lawsuit on October 11, 2018, against Veritas, one of the largest housing companies in San Francisco.The tenants, who reside in 30 of the company’s empire of 240 buildings across the city, cited a long list of issues, including harassment, emotional distress, and failure to provide housing services. The judge has yet to set a date for the case, but a case management conference is set for March 13, 2019. This will allow both parties to schedule a date for the trial, unless settlements are made before it’s brought to a judge.Veritas, the tenants’ charge, wants them out, and Schoner knows why. She lives in a rent-controlled building at 3663 20th St. and pays $462 a month for her one-bedroom apartment. Tenants who now move into Vertias’ newly renovated studio apartments, in the same neighborhood as Schoner, pay approximately $2,500 a month.“I’m on very limited income and I can’t go anywhere else,” said Schoner as she sat in her living room, rubbing her leg. “I’m old now, I have leg problems, but I’m gonna go up and down those stairs as long as I possibly can and I’m not expecting to leave here in the next 10 years.”Want local news to continue? Support it! We depend on you.Schoner said problems arose soon after Veritas bought the three-story building in 2012. Unable to get a response from them for two years, she finally made a written request, asking them to repair some of her apartment’s issues.“Our records show several letters or contacts regarding requests Ms. Schoner made since 2014, and we responded at each point,” said Ron Heckmann, a spokesperson for Veritas.Schoner disagrees.Luckily, the wasps “never came back.” Heckmann said he thought the bee issue was “thought to be taken care of by window repairs.”Still, Schoner said, some issues remain, including a request to replace a bedroom window and provide screens for the bedroom and bathroom. Other issues she repaired herself: broken bathroom tiles and a wall in bathroom that caved in during a neighbor’s renovations.Penny Schoner has lived in her apartment since the 1980s. She says trouble started in 2012, when Veritas bought the building. Photo by Tsanavi Spoonhunter.She showed me a loose casing on her bedroom window and the absence of screens. Looking through her screenless window, she pointed to the other windows in a newer tenant’s apartment. Those have been upgraded. She wants hers to be as tight.“A steady stream of air comes in here, so I just dress for it: I wear leg warmers, and sweatshirt and a hat,” said Schoner. “And heaters do very little good, if anything, because I have one heater here (in the living room) and then I have an electric heater. There’s no heater in the bedroom.”Heckmann, on the other hand, said that the window was repaired in 2017. “But it appears some issues remain, which we’re addressing.”Schoner is far from a complainer who expects someone to take care of her. She grew up on a ranch in Sacramento Valley and can easily make her own renovations. She built the sink, kitchen counter and a shelved pantry in her apartment.She’s also made some of her own furniture pieces, including the bed frame and closet. “I’ve always wanted sliding doors,” she said, smiling as she slid her closet doors back and forth.She does not even mind Veritas renovating apartments for the newer tenants. The problem is when those renovations directly impact her.In the midst of her neighbor’s renovations in apartment 3663A, some of Schoner’s bathroom tiles broke. In the letter, she requested that the landlord set new tiles. She waited one month and finally gave up.“I went out and bought the tile and the wood and fixed it myself,” Schoner said. “I didn’t even mention it, I just did it. I didn’t want any attention on it because for me to do repairs would be damaging their building.”Then, the bathroom wall caved in on her. The landlord responded by giving her a key to a bathroom located in a separate building. While she waited for the repairs to be done, she spent six weeks using the bathroom in another building.Next, during a demolition in another neighbor’s apartment, workers punctured her living room wall. In her letter to Veritas, she said the wall only needed some new plaster, not much, and that she didn’t have any on hand.During the time reporting this piece, Hechmann followed up with Schoner on several issues. He also cited a statement from Violation Radar, an independent firm that compiles data on tenant complaints and notifies property management groups. According to them, Veritas is one of the most, if not the most, proactive property management company in San Francisco in dealing with complaints and violations. Although Violation Radar doesn’t have the data to share, the statement, they said, is based on the city’s data for tracking complaints.“Many of our residents make changes or improvements to their interiors, and such was the case with Ms. Schoner, as her letter indicated, so we were not aware of lingering concerns about the walls she patched or the replaced tiles,” said Heckmann.But repairs were not the only issue.Veritas issued a three-day notice to pay a month’s worth of rent on May 15, 2017. Schoner said she had sent a check for that month, but had to go to the bank to request proof of payment. Since then, she said, she makes payments in person.“I was scared,” said Schoner. “[It was] unsettling,” Schoners said, even though her familiarity with the law should have made her more confident. “They woke me up at night, 11 at night I got a call from Veritas, or Greentree.”Like Schoner, all of the senior plaintiffs are citing emotional distress. As self-sufficient as she is, the harassment got to her. center_img Email Addresslast_img read more

WITH the Super League home opener against Warringt

first_imgWITH the Super League home opener against Warrington just a few weeks away – how are you getting to the Stobart Stadium?Saints Bus Services take the hassle out of parking and leave you free to enjoy the pre and post match fun this season.For just £40 you could travel to Widnes from St Helens for ALL of Saints fixtures in 2011.That’s just £3 per game for regular season fixtures, with Challenge Cup and playoff ties thrown in free.AND all under 16-year-old season ticket holders can travel free.Saints have teamed up with Arriva to provide all this and more.The prepaid service will pick up and terminate at Hall Street in St Helens – with the service beginning three hours before kickoff, running every half hour, and ending 45 minutes before kickoff.After the final whistle, the service will operate from The Stobart Stadium in Widnes (dropping off on Caudwell Road) back to St Helens town centre with the last bus leaving an hour after the final whistle – giving fans plenty of time to enjoy their post match celebrations.The bus season ticket will also permit travel on any Arriva bus service from a journey start point within the borough on any scheduled service to Hall Street and return.If you want a FREE JUNIOR BUS TICKET, you will need to head to Saints Town Centre outlet to pick yours up.The service operates under Arriva’s terms and conditions and is subject to demand. No cash will be taken on the Saints Arriva Bus Service.For match-to-match travel, then Saints’ Official Transport Provider, Hattons Travel, is providing a service from Eccleston to St Helens and through to Lea Green before travelling to the Stobart Stadium.Costing £4, the service will travel from the Griffin in Eccleston to Birchley Street and then on to Lea Green in Sutton.Parking is readily available at these venues and is free after 3pm on a Friday – please state your preferred pick up point when booking.To purchase your Bus Season Tickets, or ‘per match’ tickets, head into the Saints Superstore in St Helens Town Centre, call 01744 455 052 or log on to the Saints Superstore.DITCH THE FUSS… AND GET ON THE BUS!last_img read more

SAINTS have announced their squad for Sundays Rou

first_imgSAINTS have announced their squad for Sunday’s Round 21 Super League match at Castleford Tigers.Greg Richards is set to make his debut for Nathan Brown’s side whilst Luke Thompson has been recalled.Nathan Brown will choose from:1. Paul Wellens, 3. Jordan Turner, 5. Francis Meli, 6. Lance Hohaia, 7. Jonny Lomax, 9. James Roby, 10. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 11. Tony Puletua, 12. Jon Wilkin, 13. Willie Manu, 14. Anthony Laffranchi, 16. Paul Clough, 19. Josh Jones, 21. Tommy Makinson, 24. Joe Greenwood, 25. Alex Walmsley, 33. Luke Thompson, 37. Gareth O’Brien, 38. Greg Richards.Daryl Powell will choose his Castleford side from:1. Richard Owen, 2. Justin Carney, 3. Michael Shenton, 5. Kirk Dixon, 6. Rangi Chase, 7. Jamie Ellis, 8. Jonathan Walker, 9. Daryl Clark, 10. Craig Huby, 12. Weller Hauraki, 13. Grant Millington, 15. Adam Milner, 16. Nathan Massey, 17. Oliver Holmes, 18. Jordan Thompson, 19. Jordan Tansey, 25.Keith Mason, 27, Ryan Boyle, 29. Ben Davies.The game kicks off at 3.30pm and the referee is George Stokes.Ticket details are hereStat Pack:St Helens have won their last ten meetings with Castleford. The Tigers’ last win against the Saints was 30-24 at The Jungle (as it was then known) on April 6, 2008.St Helens have emerged victorious from four consecutive away visits to Castleford since then.2013 meeting:St Helens 48, Castleford 18 (SLR10, 1/4/13)Super League Summary:Castleford won 4St Helens won 29 (includes win in 1999 play-offs)1 drawHighs and Lows:Castleford highest score: 36-22 (H, 2002) (Widest margin: 35-16, H, 1997)St Helens highest score: 72-4 (A, 2006) (also widest margin)Career Milestones:Paul Wellens needs nine points to reach 1,000 for his career.Wellens has scored 945 points (216 tries, 40 goals, 1 field goal) for St Helens since 1998.He has also scored points for Great Britain (18 – 4 tries, 1 goal), England (16 – 4 tries) and Lancashire (12 – 3 tries).last_img read more

RUGBY League fans are being encouraged to take to

first_imgRUGBY League fans are being encouraged to take to the streets this summer to celebrate the 120th anniversary of a very special sporting revolution.From July 19 to July 24, representatives of every section of the Rugby League community can participate in the Founders’ Walk, a historic 120-mile journey taking in the homes of the original 22 members of the Northern Union.Organised by Rugby League Cares, the fund-raising walk commemorates the birth of Rugby League at a historic meeting at the George Hotel in Huddersfield on August 29, 1895 and will see the sport come together to celebrate its glorious past.RFL Chief Executive Nigel Wood will be doing the walk which will begin in Hull and end in St Helens, taking in the 20 other original sites of the game’s founding clubs in between.Each day will feature defined stages to give fans and community club players of all ages and abilities the opportunity to take part and raise funds for the sport’s charity, Rugby League Cares, their own local good cause or club.It is hoped the walkers will include sporting celebrities, current and past players, club officials and fans whose efforts will raise £120,000 for worthy causes within the game.RFL Chief Executive Nigel Wood said: “The 120th anniversary of Rugby League is a very significant milestone, and the Founders Walk is a terrific opportunity to celebrate our rich history and raise money to support good causes.“Many of the original grounds have been redeveloped over time, and some of the clubs no longer exist but the Founders Walk will be a fascinating journey into the past, as well as a celebration of our great sport, for everyone who takes part.“I’ve been asked to participate and I am delighted to do so. My colleagues have instructed me to do the full distance, so we’ll see!“The concept is fantastic – walking 120 miles to celebrate each of our 120 years – but people can walk as far as they like on each or any of the six days and I hope that everyone in Rugby League will participate, celebrate and support in whatever way they can.“Our sport has a rich and proud history and all efforts to celebrate are welcome.”To register for the Founders Walk please contact Rugby League Cares Operations Manager Katie IrwinThe itinerary for the Founders Walk is as follows:Sunday July 19 – HullMonday July 20 – Huddersfield, Batley, Dewsbury, WakefieldTuesday July 21 – Hunslet, Leeds, Bradford, HalifaxWednesday July 22 – Rochdale, OldhamThursday July 23 – Salford, Leigh, WiganFriday July 24 – Warrington, Widnes, St HelensThe Northern Union’s 22 founding clubs were Batley, Bradford, Brighouse, Broughton, Halifax, Huddersfield, Hull FC, Hunslet, Leeds, Leigh, Liversedge, Manningham, Oldham, Rochdale, Runcorn, St Helens, Stockport, Tyldesley, Wakefield Trinity, Warrington, Widnes and Wigan.Four clubs still play in, or on the site of, the stadium used in the first Northern Union season of 1895: Batley, Leeds, Wakefield and Widnes.The Founders Walk is one of a series of events and activities taking place in 2015 to celebrate Rugby League’s 120th anniversary. Other activities include the unveiling of a blue plaque at the grounds of each of the 22 founding clubs; the unveiling of a statue at Wembley Stadium on the day of the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup final, Saturday August 29; and the induction of two more of the sport’s all-time greats into the Rugby League Hall of Fame.last_img read more

First Team Match

first_imgIf you were not lucky enough to get your hands on a ticket, you can follow all the latest updates from the game, including exclusive content, by clicking on the Match Centre button below!last_img

Commission approves Monkey Junction affordable housing project

first_img Seventy-two units are expected to come to a 7 acre piece of land off of Piner Road in Monkey Junction.Neighbors complained the project would hurt their existing property values and bring more criminal behavior to the area. Several cited their past experiences with affordable housing, saying it brings in low-income neighbors.Michael Lee represented the developer and argued all of those issues are subjective and lacked any expert evidence. The commission overall agreed but commissioner Rob Zapple argued there were present traffic concerns along Piner Road and the complex could make  them worse.Related Article: Man allegedly took inappropriate photos of child at Wilmington WalmartCommissioners granted a special use permit that can allow the developer to move forward. Rendering of the apartments presented at commission. WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) – County commissioners have allowed the work to begin on a more than 70 unit affordable housing project near Monkey Junction.Commissioners voted 4-1 after lengthy debate and several back and forth from neighbors and the legal counsel representing the developer, Otter Creek Partners LLC.- Advertisement – last_img read more

Insurance companies brace for risk of more claims with Michael

first_img00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave Settings WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Insurance claims are adding up across North Carolina as homeowners work to repair their home from Florence’s damage.Insurance agencies like Don Bullard Insurance agency are hard at work. The agency has an estimated 4,400 claims related to flooding and roof damage, thus far, extending from Calabash to New Bern. As Hurricane Michael may soon impact the area, Bullard says the number of claims at his agency may rise.- Advertisement – “Unfortunately,if there is additional damage, they would come under a separate claim,” said Don Bullard, President of Don Bullard Insurance. “It would be handled separately and you would have a separate deductible. We had this come up with Hurricane Bertha and Fran in 96′. Bertha hit in July and then 6 weeks later Fran hit and it was 2 separate claims so it was two separate deductibles.”Bullard said the advancement of technology was very effective in helping the insurance company work with customers without being in the office. The agents were able to still work directly with customers despite the  limited access to the office space.The agency is working to effectively help all customers. Bullard encourages residents to be proactive by letting contractors assess property prior to adjusters and taking extensive pictures of damage.last_img read more

Celebration of life held for the late local drum major

first_img Transforming tragedy into a heartfelt goodbye, crowds gathered to cheer as drummers from Raleigh and Wilmington played in Gause’s honor.The Community Boys and Girls Club’s drum and drill team also presented Gause’s mother, Ardelia Gause, with a framed proclamation honoring his contributions to the community.Minister Ma’Biddy Newborn, Gause’s godmother, said he was loved.Related Article: Police search for missing teen in need of medication“He was a gift to the world,” Newborn said. “As you can see, everybody loved Keonte. He could play the drums and he would love to praise God.”People shared memories, hugs were given, and drums played on to celebrate Gause’s legacy. WILMINGTON,NC (WWAY) — Saturday, friends and family took to Love Grove Park to memorialize Keonte “Duke” Gause’s death by celebrating his life with one of the things he loved– music. He was a Wilmington native and popular drum major.Last week, he was found dead inside a car in Raleigh, after allegedly being shot by Samojeh Miley. – Advertisement – last_img read more

Malta needs a national emergency psychiatrist response service – Commissioner Cachia

first_imgThe Commissioner for Mental Health John Cachia is strongly requesting the government to urgently implement a national emergency psychiatrist response service. In a press release, the Commissioner for Mental Health said that such a service has to be resourced and functioning according to the best practices as such a service needs to provide proper and timely response to those going through a psychiatric emergency. Such a service according to the commissioner will also prevent unnecessary psychiatric hospital admissions and provide follow-ups to individuals within their community. Commissioner Cachia is also cautioning against transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). He explains that the therapy is not approved for use in reducing suicidal behaviour by a number of agencies amongst which the US Food and Drug administration (FDA), the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and the UK national Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). Cachia elaborated that TMS is only approved for use in treatment of refractory depression, meaning that it can only be used in cases of severe depression that has not responded to other forms of treatment such as medication and psychotherapy. WhatsApp <a href=’;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a>center_img SharePrintlast_img read more

Photos Malta – Commission ties never been as excellent – Juncker

first_img <a href=’;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a> SharePrint DOI – jason Borg 1 of 6 DOI – jason BorgDOI – jason Borg The President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker has praised Prime Minister Joseph Muscat for his involvement in ensuring a positive relationship between both Malta and the Commission.Speaking at Castille today, Juncker said that, ‘Relations between Malta and the European Commission have never been as excellent as over the past few years.’His message comes as part of his two-day visit to MaltaIn turn, the Prime Minister explained that Malta sees itself as a positive part of the European family.Jean Claude Juncker making two day visit to MaltaHe said that, ‘As the smallest member state of the European Union, we still pride ourselves as being pro-active in approach. When facing issues which emerge on a daily basis, Malta projects itself as part of the solution, rather than part of the problem.’The outgoing EU Commission President is also expected to meet Malta’s President George Vella. It is understood that he will be made an Honorary member of the National Order of Merit in the Grade Companion with Star.While still President, Juncker will soon be replaced by the new President-elect for the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen. DOI – jason Borg DOI – Omar Camilleri DOI – Pierre Sammut Read more:Naming of von der Leyen as EU executive chief not transparent – JunckerIncoming EU chief von der Leyen says ‘we don’t want a hard Brexit’EP should ensure that Von Der Leyen’s promises are carried out – CutajarWhatsApp DOI – jason Borg DOI – Omar Camillerilast_img read more

MasterCard and EBC introduce Egypts Mobile Payment Gateway

first_imgAdvertisement MasterCard, National Bank of Egypt (NBE) and Etisalat today announced the launch of the mobile payment wallet in Egypt, which will bring Etisalat Egypt’s subscriber base safe and convenient payment services through the power of their mobile phones.The newly introduced program is an early implementation of the Mobile Payment Solution that MasterCard and Egyptian Banks Company (EBC) introduced to this 94 million mobile users market and represents the world’s first ever interoprable Arabic mobile money program.“Flous”, which means money in Arabic, will use the Etisalat mobile network and can be deployed on any mobile phone. The first phase of this program will allow subscribers to transfer money to anyone participating in the service using their mobile phones, and to load cash on their phones or take out cash through over 100 of Etisalat’s branches and 305 of NBE’s branches across Egypt. – Advertisement – [related-posts]This represents a new era for mobile users as the service will be the fastest, most convenient and secure money transfer channel in Egypt. The second phase of the program will allow subscribers to pay their bills through their mobile phones, top up their mobile prepaid lines, and pay for goods and services at several merchants’ locations in Egypt, in addition to using it for e-commerce payments globally.Commenting on this landmark announcement, Mohamed Kamel Bayoumi, Managing Director, EBC said “We have chosen MasterCard to partner with us on this transformative mobile money program to benefit from their global experience as they have successfully implemented more than 30 such programs around the world. Our objective, together with the Central Bank and the Government, is to bring financial services to the fingertips of each and every Egyptian. This collaborative initiative will allow us to achieve that.”“Etisalat connects people from around the world, and we have developed some of the world’s most advanced networks by constantly adding value to the infrastructure. Mobile phones can be used for far more than calls and messages. In a world where smartphones and mobile browsing have become commonplace, it is only natural that mobile devices be used to conduct everyday transactions, especially with their current levels of penetration in the Egyptian market” said Eng. Saeed AlHamli, CEO, Etisalat Egypt.“As the largest commercial bank in Egypt, NBE has been working with our partners for many years to ensure that Egyptians have access to the latest and most advanced payment methods. We are now reaching the threshold that will change the way consumers go about their everyday banking needs. We are pleased to announce that we are opening the doors for consumers to utilize the power of mobile payments as an alternative to traditional payment solutions to conduct faster and more convenient transactions,” said Sherif Elwy; Vice Chairman, NBE.“MasterCard is committed to providing the Egyptian market with payment solutions that meet the needs and expectations of all consumer segments. With 65% of the population lacking access to formal banking, the mobile phone is rapidly becoming the method of choice for making payments and managing money.MasterCard customized this solution in cooperation with EBC and in accordance with the Central Bank’s mobile payment regulations, thus creating a world of opportunities for underserved communities. MasterCard congratulates both Etisalat and NBE for being the first movers in Egypt to leverage this landmark solution” said Michael Miebach, President, Middle East and Africa, MasterCard.last_img read more

Microsoft is continuing to aggressively push Windows 10 upgrades

first_imgChris Capossela, Microsoft’s CMO has said they are not yet backing down on the pushy antics to get people to upgrade. Image Credit: FayerWayer Advertisement Microsoft is continuing to aggressively promote Windows 10 on PCs that are running Windows 7 or 8, according to an analysis by InfoWorld.A pop-up, pushed to Windows 7 users, gave users the option toeither “Upgrade now” or “Upgrade tonight” with only a small “x” in the top right corner to navigate away. Windows has also been found to download bulky files — sometimes up to 6GB — in preparation for Windows 10, even if the user has not expressed an interest in the update.Microsoft has made it clear that the promotion of Windows 10 will continue indefinitely. “We do feel a responsibility to get people to a much better place,” said Microsoft’s marketing chief, Chris Capossela. – Advertisement – Windows 10 is a free update, making it easier for Microsoft to push the new operating system. The company has said it plans to charge for the operating system in the future, but has not given a specific date.Windows 10 is so persistent because KB3035583 (a version of the operating system) was updated in December last year, making the “Upgrade now” or “Upgrade tonight” options common place.Since then, the software has been updated to reset registry keys (a tactic that was used to stall Windows 10), re-download the Windows 10 preparation files, and restore update prompts which run multiple times a day.All of this results in the pushy updates for Windows 10, with users seeing multiple pop-ups a week.From Microsoft’s perspective, pushing Windows 10 makes sense: The software is the most important thing Microsoft makes and getting everyone onto the newest version — which is also the most secure and fastest — is a key goal for the company.However, having multiple pop-ups for an operating system that the user doesn’t want could also be annoying.[BusinessInsider]last_img read more

5th edition of Vodafone PowerTalks to focus on leveraging technology for tourism

first_imgAdvertisement As part of its continued effort to empower Ugandans through Information Communication Technology (ICT), and following the success of the past Vodafone PowerTalks editions, Vodafone Uganda, a leading telecommunications company, has announced that it will hold its fifth edition of its empowerment forum under the theme; Leveraging Technology in Tourism: Lessons for Uganda, on July 28, 2016 at the Kampala Serena Hotel.According to Vodafone Uganda’s Chief Executive Officer Allan Richardson, the fifth edition of the Vodafone Power Talks will feature success stories from the East African region, and also focus on identifying new and better digital marketing platforms that can be adopted by various players in the tourism and hospitality industry to boost both the country’s image and deliver better investment returns for their businesses.“Uganda is fast becoming a leading tourism destination and the progressive SMEs involved in this space will have to be more innovative in the way they use technology to redesign tourism products to address individual needs, satisfy consumer wants and grow their businesses,” says Allan Richardson. – Advertisement – “There are a lot of lessons we can learn from the region and I am confident that our experienced panelists will be sharing exciting ideas and insights during this forum,” he added.With technology, the world has turned into a global village and the internet has fast become the universal source of information for billions of people. This quarterly forum is designed to inspire Ugandans to harness the transformative power of technologies for growth at individual and business level.The panelists for this edition include; Steven Asiimwe, the Executive Director Uganda Tourism BoardAmos Wekesa, the Director of Great Lakes Africa SafarisKelley McTavish, the Executive Director of Pearl of Africa ToursBelinda Namutebi, the iBrand Chief Brand CustodianPhillip Kalibwami, the Director of Pearl GuideRosette Chantal Rugamba, the founder and Managing Director of Songa Africa based in Rwanda.All delegates participating in the forum will be entered into a raffle draw with the chance to win a return ticket to Abu Dhabi, where the winner will experience the warmth of traditional Arabian hospitality, courtesy of Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates.Recently, Uganda was named the second best honeymoon destination by the Huffington Post, a globally recognized online blog and news aggregator, hinting at the global attention that the country has received over the past few years leading to a booming market.According to recent National Budget revelations, tourism contributes US$ 2.5 billion to Uganda’s GDP and approximately USD 1.5 billion in foreign exchange earnings annually. This translates to 9% of national output and 26% of export earnings.The forum is expected to attract over 250 SME entrepreneurs, managers and ICT enthusiasts from mainly the tourism and hospitality industry and others including; aviation, media, health and cultural attachés.[related-posts]last_img read more

PREVIEW Liverpool v Ludogorets

first_img[dropcap]G[/dropcap]ood result for the column last night with the DRAW recommendation coming up trumps at the KC Stadium. I’ve had a few correct draw forecasts recently and could easily get used to this sitting on the fence lark!After a break of five years Liverpool are back in the Champions League tonight and there should be a great atmosphere at Anfield as the Group stage of the competition gets underway (LIVE ITV 7.45pm).Liverpool are long odds-on to see off their Bulgarian rivals Ludogorets but won’t be coming into this in the best frame of minds after a shock 1-0 loss to Aston Villa on Saturday.Brendan Rodgers also has a fair few injury problems building up. Martin Skrtel still hasn’t fully recovered from his knee injury and Joe Allen also has similar problems.Rodgers will also be without Emre Can (ankle), Daniel Sturridge (thigh) and defender Glen Johnson (thigh) and Lazar Markovic is suspended.Plenty of punters are piling into some wide margin victory scorelines for Liverpool on the news that not only the Ludogorets  goalkeeper is suspended but their back-up keeper is injured too !! So, in from the wings, comes third choice Georgi Argilashki.With their goalkeeping situation perilous it may well force Bulgarian champions Ludogorets into an over defencive strategy as they will at least attempt to ‘park their bus’ at Anfield.Ludogorets certainly seem to be a side that punch above their weight. They were only founded in 2001, did well in the Europa League last season and have a home capacity of just 6,000.I try hard not to tip odds-on shots in the column but tonight feel compelled to stick with Liverpool to be winning at HT and FT at 4/7.RECOMMENDED BETS (scale of 1-50 points)BACK LIVERPOOL HT/FT at around 4/7 for 7 points with Star SportsRETURN SINCE START OF WORLD CUP: PROFIT 56.01 POINTSWhat’s your view? CALL STAR SPORTS 08000 521 321last_img read more

STAR PREVIEW England v Turkey

first_img[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he FA Cup is done and dusted, Louis Van Gaal looks done and dusted and it’s only three weeks to Euro 2016 which gets underway with hosts France against Romania on June 10.Plenty of friendly action before then, including England taking on Turkey today at the Etihad Stadium.England’s great run of form since the World Cup in Brazil has faltered with recent defeats against Spain and Holland but they should have enough class to beat the Turk’s who are certainly not in bad form themselves – winning five of their last six matches.New boys Kane and Vardy start up front for England and if Premier League form is anything to go by that should be quite a potent force – 49 goals between them.Unsurprisingly, Wayne Rooney and Marcus Rashford miss the match after their FA Cup duties at Wembley yesterday.England v TurkeyInternational Friendly17:15 ITV / ITV HDHEAD TO HEAD RECORD(Maximum 10 matches)Oct 2003 EURO CHAMPIONSHIPS Turkey 0 – 0 EnglandApr 2003 EURO CHAMPIONSHIPS England 2 – 0 TurkeyMar 1993 WORLD CUP Turkey 0 – 2 EnglandNov 1992 WORLD CUP England 4 – 0 TurkeyOct 1987 EURO CHAMPIONSHIPS England 8 – 0 TurkeyApr 1987 EURO CHAMPIONSHIPS Turkey 0 – 0 EnglandOct 1985 WORLD CUP England 5 – 0 TurkeyNov 1984 WORLD CUP Turkey 0 – 8 EnglandSTARTING XIEngland1 Hart2 Walker5 Cahill6 Stones3 Rose11 Alli4 Dier8 Wilshere9 Vardy10 Kane7 SterlingTurkey1 Babacan7 Gönül15 Topal3 Balta18 Erkin8 Inan16 Tufan5 Calhanoglu14 Ozyakup20 Sen9 TosunBoth teams to score looks fair value at around 11/10 with Star Sports.RECOMMENDED BETS (scale of 1-100 points)BACK BOTH TEAMS TO SCORE for 12 points at 11/10 with Star SportsSaturday: -12.00 pointsWhat’s your view? CALL STAR SPORTS 08000 521 321last_img read more

Rice scholar to discuss link between space exploration and religious imagination at

first_imgFacebookTwitterPrintEmailAddThis ShareFranz Brotzen713-348-6775franz.brotzen@rice.eduScience, in the form of space exploration, has affected religion and culture, according to Rice Religious Studies Professor Jeff Kripal. He will look at the relationship between the history of natural science and religion during an Oct. 27 lecture titled, “Heavens Above: Space Exploration and the Religious Imagination.”Who: Jeff Kripal, the J. Newton Rayzor Professor and department chair of religious studies at Rice University.What: Lecture on “Heavens Above: Space Exploration and the Religious Imagination.”When: 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 27.Where: Herzstein Hall Amphitheater on the Rice University campus, 6100 Main St.For most of recorded history, human cultures have imagined, and encountered, the sacred as a power or presence that dwells “in the heavens.” This began to change with Galileo and the Copernican Revolution and has continued to change with advances of modern science; but perhaps no series of events inspired and catalyzed the cultural and religious imagination more than the Cold War space race and the Apollo space program.Kripal will address some of the most difficult and “impossible” moments in the modern interactions between science and religion, including the rise of the UFO phenomenon, which he will discuss as a religious phenomenon. He will illustrate his ideas with examples drawn from the autobiographies of a science fiction writer, an Apollo astronaut, a horror fiction writer and a world-class scientist.The event is sponsored by the Rice’s Wiess School of Natural Sciences and the Rice Space Institute.For more details about other lectures in the series or to be added to the mailing list, go to of the news media who want to attend should RSVP to Franz Brotzen at or 713-348-6775.last_img read more