The government is likely to face legal action if i

31 Jul 2019

first_imgThe government is likely to face legal action if it pushes ahead with plans to cut the out-of-work disability benefits of hundreds of thousands of claimants by £1, 500 a year, say disabled activists.The warning came as Conservative MPs overturned a House of Lords amendment which had removed the proposed cut from the welfare reform and work bill.The bill will now return to the House of Lords on Monday (29 February), but it is thought almost inevitable that the government will force through the cut, even if peers vote to reinstate their amendment.If the measure becomes law, weekly payments for new claimants of employment and support allowance (ESA) who are placed in the work-related activity group (WRAG) – for those found to have limited capability for work – will be cut from £102.15 to £73.10, a loss of about £1,500 a year. Ministers have argued that the extra £29 a week acts as a disincentive to find work for sick and disabled people in the WRAG.They plan eventually to spend an extra £100 million a year of the annual £640 million savings from the WRAG cut on improving employment support for disabled people.Priti Patel, the employment minister, told MPs this week that a “taskforce”, including representatives of disability charities Scope, Leonard Cheshire Disability, RNIB and the National Autistic Society, as well as the government’s Disability Action Alliance network, which is chaired by Disability Rights UK, would help decide how that money would be spent.The user-led grassroots campaign group Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) has already taken advice from a barrister, and has been told that a legal challenge – arguing that the group of disabled people affected would be discriminated against under the Equality Act – has a good chance of success, but could only be taken once the cut has been implemented from April 2017.Debbie Jolly, a co-founder of DPAC, said: “DPAC looked at the legal routes to challenge the £30 cut to the WRAG when it was first put forward as a possibility.“Unfortunately, we cannot challenge it until it happens. However, we will, in our usual way, be calling for people to help us take a legal challenge if this goes all the way through.“The cut is yet another illustration of this government’s contempt for disabled people, and any disability charity taskforce that helps to institute it is deserving of the contempt of disabled people.”Disabled activist Rick Burgess, from Manchester DPAC, said the cut to WRAG payments was “cruel and nasty”.He said: “It will take lives, it will ruin lives, because of the added stresses that the poverty will create.“The fight isn’t over, but if this ends with the government pushing this through then it will be down to legal challenges.”Burgess called on disabled people affected by the cut to “try to hold yourselves together”.He said: “It’s a nasty fight but it’s going to go on. These are dark days but there will be some light sooner or later.”He said he believed the government would find a way to extend the measure to existing WRAG members and not just new claimants.Burgess said the government could eventually make similar cuts to those in the ESA support group, and would justify this by saying that sick and disabled people facing extra disability-related costs should claim personal independence payment.Liz Sayce, chief executive of Disability Rights UK, said: “There is no evidence that the £30 a week paid to disabled people in the WRAG acts as a disincentive to work.  “Instead, all the evidence from a recent parliamentary review finds that the cut will make it difficult for disabled people to be able to afford to take part in things like training and work experience.  “It will also lead to disabled people struggling to pay food and heating bills, which will have a damaging impact on their physical and mental health.”There was disappointment among campaigners that only one of four Tory MPs who had spoken out against the cut – Stephen McPartland – voted against the government, while another, Heidi Allen, abstained.Allen had told MPs in this week’s debate: “I do not believe mentoring and support alone will heat the home of someone recovering from chemotherapy or help the man with Parkinson’s who needs a little bit of extra help.“I remain unconvinced that these people do not also have financial needs.”McPartland told the debate: “I do not accept that £30 a week is an incentive for somebody not to go to work.”He added: “My concern is that the way in which the bill will be perceived, and its practical implications, will lead some people who have disabilities to feel as though they are being pushed into the support group or into work.”Dr Eilidh Whiteford, who leads for SNP on social justice and welfare in Westminster, accused the government of “putting sick and disabled people on the frontline of their austerity agenda, hitting the incomes of those who are already disadvantaged”.She added: “The cuts to ESA will cause real hardship and are quite unnecessary. They are based on a flawed and frankly offensive misconception that people with serious long-term health conditions are malingerers who need to be prompted into work with ‘tough love’.”The vote saw a comfortable government victory by 306 votes to 279, while an equivalent measure affecting disabled claimants of universal credit was approved by 304 votes to 280.Employment minister Priti Patel declined to answer Labour’s Stephen Timms when he asked her to name a single disability organisation that backed the WRAG cut.She told MPs that as only one per cent of those in the WRAG move off ESA every month, the benefit was “not working as anyone intended it to work” and that the “fixation on welfare… traps people into dependency”.The disabled Conservative MP Paul Maynard backed the government’s position and said that agreeing to the Lords amendment would mean that “we will not get a £100 million fund placed in the hands of the third sector to support people with limited capacity for work to try to get back into employment. That would be a wasted opportunity.”He said ESA was a “dinosaur of a benefit” which “needs to be taken to the knacker’s yard and put out of its misery”, a measure he hoped would be included in the government’s forthcoming employment support white paper.last_img read more

first_imgThe government is likely to face legal action if it pushes ahead with plans to cut the out-of-work disability benefits of hundreds of thousands of claimants by £1, 500 a year, say disabled activists.The warning came as Conservative MPs overturned a House of Lords amendment which had removed the proposed cut from the welfare reform and work bill.The bill will now return to the House of Lords on Monday (29 February), but it is thought almost inevitable that the government will force through the cut, even if peers vote to reinstate their amendment.If the measure becomes law, weekly payments for new claimants of employment and support allowance (ESA) who are placed in the work-related activity group (WRAG) – for those found to have limited capability for work – will be cut from £102.15 to £73.10, a loss of about £1,500 a year. Ministers have argued that the extra £29 a week acts as a disincentive to find work for sick and disabled people in the WRAG.They plan eventually to spend an extra £100 million a year of the annual £640 million savings from the WRAG cut on improving employment support for disabled people.Priti Patel, the employment minister, told MPs this week that a “taskforce”, including representatives of disability charities Scope, Leonard Cheshire Disability, RNIB and the National Autistic Society, as well as the government’s Disability Action Alliance network, which is chaired by Disability Rights UK, would help decide how that money would be spent.The user-led grassroots campaign group Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) has already taken advice from a barrister, and has been told that a legal challenge – arguing that the group of disabled people affected would be discriminated against under the Equality Act – has a good chance of success, but could only be taken once the cut has been implemented from April 2017.Debbie Jolly, a co-founder of DPAC, said: “DPAC looked at the legal routes to challenge the £30 cut to the WRAG when it was first put forward as a possibility.“Unfortunately, we cannot challenge it until it happens. However, we will, in our usual way, be calling for people to help us take a legal challenge if this goes all the way through.“The cut is yet another illustration of this government’s contempt for disabled people, and any disability charity taskforce that helps to institute it is deserving of the contempt of disabled people.”Disabled activist Rick Burgess, from Manchester DPAC, said the cut to WRAG payments was “cruel and nasty”.He said: “It will take lives, it will ruin lives, because of the added stresses that the poverty will create.“The fight isn’t over, but if this ends with the government pushing this through then it will be down to legal challenges.”Burgess called on disabled people affected by the cut to “try to hold yourselves together”.He said: “It’s a nasty fight but it’s going to go on. These are dark days but there will be some light sooner or later.”He said he believed the government would find a way to extend the measure to existing WRAG members and not just new claimants.Burgess said the government could eventually make similar cuts to those in the ESA support group, and would justify this by saying that sick and disabled people facing extra disability-related costs should claim personal independence payment.Liz Sayce, chief executive of Disability Rights UK, said: “There is no evidence that the £30 a week paid to disabled people in the WRAG acts as a disincentive to work.  “Instead, all the evidence from a recent parliamentary review finds that the cut will make it difficult for disabled people to be able to afford to take part in things like training and work experience.  “It will also lead to disabled people struggling to pay food and heating bills, which will have a damaging impact on their physical and mental health.”There was disappointment among campaigners that only one of four Tory MPs who had spoken out against the cut – Stephen McPartland – voted against the government, while another, Heidi Allen, abstained.Allen had told MPs in this week’s debate: “I do not believe mentoring and support alone will heat the home of someone recovering from chemotherapy or help the man with Parkinson’s who needs a little bit of extra help.“I remain unconvinced that these people do not also have financial needs.”McPartland told the debate: “I do not accept that £30 a week is an incentive for somebody not to go to work.”He added: “My concern is that the way in which the bill will be perceived, and its practical implications, will lead some people who have disabilities to feel as though they are being pushed into the support group or into work.”Dr Eilidh Whiteford, who leads for SNP on social justice and welfare in Westminster, accused the government of “putting sick and disabled people on the frontline of their austerity agenda, hitting the incomes of those who are already disadvantaged”.She added: “The cuts to ESA will cause real hardship and are quite unnecessary. They are based on a flawed and frankly offensive misconception that people with serious long-term health conditions are malingerers who need to be prompted into work with ‘tough love’.”The vote saw a comfortable government victory by 306 votes to 279, while an equivalent measure affecting disabled claimants of universal credit was approved by 304 votes to 280.Employment minister Priti Patel declined to answer Labour’s Stephen Timms when he asked her to name a single disability organisation that backed the WRAG cut.She told MPs that as only one per cent of those in the WRAG move off ESA every month, the benefit was “not working as anyone intended it to work” and that the “fixation on welfare… traps people into dependency”.The disabled Conservative MP Paul Maynard backed the government’s position and said that agreeing to the Lords amendment would mean that “we will not get a £100 million fund placed in the hands of the third sector to support people with limited capacity for work to try to get back into employment. That would be a wasted opportunity.”He said ESA was a “dinosaur of a benefit” which “needs to be taken to the knacker’s yard and put out of its misery”, a measure he hoped would be included in the government’s forthcoming employment support white paper.last_img read more

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Mental health serviceusers are planning a daylon

31 Jul 2019

first_imgMental health service-users are planning a day-long musical celebration of the life of one of the survivor movement’s best-known – and best-loved – activists.The 12-hour gig at a venue in south-east London will feature “a cornucopia of punk and rock bands”, and will celebrate the life and work of Robert Dellar, one of the founders of Mad Pride, who died last December.Next month’s tribute has been organised by members of Mad Pride and the user-led campaigning organisation that grew out of it, the Mental Health Resistance Network.Robertfest* will feature bands that performed in the many sell-out gigs he organised across London, in both mainstream and mental health settings, which raised the profile of the mental health survivor movement, the issues its members were trying to raise, and the idea of mad culture.After his death last December, Denise McKenna, one of the network’s founders, described Dellar as “radical, anti-establishment, irreverent, non-conformist and funny” but also “disarmingly humble… steadfast and extremely hardworking” and with a “brilliant intellect”.“Above all,” she said, “Robert was loved by so many people.”Another friend, Gini Simpson, described him as a “an authentic punk, who opposed the chronic abuse of power he saw around him”, and as “a tenacious force for good in an uncaring world”.She added: “This is the man who put punk rock gigs on in the acute ward at the then Hackney Hospital, who organised football matches at Broadmoor and who arranged for a stupendous line up of bands to play at the Mad Pride festival in Clissold Park, when the local council were expecting limp cheese sandwiches and ‘carers’.”The one-off event will run from noon to midnight on Sunday 24 September and will also feature the first of what it is hoped will be an annual Robert Dellar Memorial Lecture, to be delivered by Professor Esther Leslie, a friend and fellow activist of Dellar’s.Over nearly a quarter of a century, Dellar, who left a partner, Shirley Pearson, and a step-daughter, Sophia, helped organise countless gigs, compilation CDs and direct action protests, and was a key figure in protests against the last Labour government’s plans to introduce community treatment orders.But he also worked tirelessly to support mental health service-users in a professional capacity for many years, and is remembered for his pioneering work in setting up a patients’ council and advocacy department at Hackney Hospital, a mental health institution in east London. He later set up another user council in Southwark.And in the autumn of 2010, Dellar organised an anti-austerity protest in Hyde Park that led survivor-activists to set up the Mental Health Resistance Network.Shirley Pearson said: “When someone dies there are traditions that are part of the wider culture that include somewhat formal funeral services and wakes.“I found myself asking what would Robert have done when someone we loved and cared for dearly died? He would put on a punk rock concert! So that is what we are doing, as a eulogy to Robert.“The idea of a Robert Dellar memorial lecture came from Denise McKenna. Hopefully the lecture will be something that is continued as an annual event in the ‘Mad’ calendar in some form or other.“It is really important that we remember those that helped make life more bearable and Robert certainly did that.”Zen Jones, one of the organisers of Robertfest, said Dellar was “all about building communities and then throwing different communities together”, and his death had left “a huge hole in the mental health survivor movement.“He was the inspiration for countless people to realise that they have a voice, and the empowering force that drew people together to organize themselves into action.“Robert was a natural innovator in everything he did, and driven by the highest of ideals and the purest of motives, empowerment at its core. We hope to capture this spirit at the Robertfest.”Among those appearing at Robertfest will be Alternative TV, The Astronauts, The Ceramic Hobs, Vic Goddard and the Bitter Springs, The Long Decline, and Dave Kusworth.*Ticket prices are £5 unwaged/low waged, £10 waged, £20 full price, with any profits to be donated to the Mental Health Resistance Network. It takes place at The Amersham Arms, 388 New Cross Road, Deptford, London SE14 6TY, which is near New Cross train stationlast_img read more

first_imgMental health service-users are planning a day-long musical celebration of the life of one of the survivor movement’s best-known – and best-loved – activists.The 12-hour gig at a venue in south-east London will feature “a cornucopia of punk and rock bands”, and will celebrate the life and work of Robert Dellar, one of the founders of Mad Pride, who died last December.Next month’s tribute has been organised by members of Mad Pride and the user-led campaigning organisation that grew out of it, the Mental Health Resistance Network.Robertfest* will feature bands that performed in the many sell-out gigs he organised across London, in both mainstream and mental health settings, which raised the profile of the mental health survivor movement, the issues its members were trying to raise, and the idea of mad culture.After his death last December, Denise McKenna, one of the network’s founders, described Dellar as “radical, anti-establishment, irreverent, non-conformist and funny” but also “disarmingly humble… steadfast and extremely hardworking” and with a “brilliant intellect”.“Above all,” she said, “Robert was loved by so many people.”Another friend, Gini Simpson, described him as a “an authentic punk, who opposed the chronic abuse of power he saw around him”, and as “a tenacious force for good in an uncaring world”.She added: “This is the man who put punk rock gigs on in the acute ward at the then Hackney Hospital, who organised football matches at Broadmoor and who arranged for a stupendous line up of bands to play at the Mad Pride festival in Clissold Park, when the local council were expecting limp cheese sandwiches and ‘carers’.”The one-off event will run from noon to midnight on Sunday 24 September and will also feature the first of what it is hoped will be an annual Robert Dellar Memorial Lecture, to be delivered by Professor Esther Leslie, a friend and fellow activist of Dellar’s.Over nearly a quarter of a century, Dellar, who left a partner, Shirley Pearson, and a step-daughter, Sophia, helped organise countless gigs, compilation CDs and direct action protests, and was a key figure in protests against the last Labour government’s plans to introduce community treatment orders.But he also worked tirelessly to support mental health service-users in a professional capacity for many years, and is remembered for his pioneering work in setting up a patients’ council and advocacy department at Hackney Hospital, a mental health institution in east London. He later set up another user council in Southwark.And in the autumn of 2010, Dellar organised an anti-austerity protest in Hyde Park that led survivor-activists to set up the Mental Health Resistance Network.Shirley Pearson said: “When someone dies there are traditions that are part of the wider culture that include somewhat formal funeral services and wakes.“I found myself asking what would Robert have done when someone we loved and cared for dearly died? He would put on a punk rock concert! So that is what we are doing, as a eulogy to Robert.“The idea of a Robert Dellar memorial lecture came from Denise McKenna. Hopefully the lecture will be something that is continued as an annual event in the ‘Mad’ calendar in some form or other.“It is really important that we remember those that helped make life more bearable and Robert certainly did that.”Zen Jones, one of the organisers of Robertfest, said Dellar was “all about building communities and then throwing different communities together”, and his death had left “a huge hole in the mental health survivor movement.“He was the inspiration for countless people to realise that they have a voice, and the empowering force that drew people together to organize themselves into action.“Robert was a natural innovator in everything he did, and driven by the highest of ideals and the purest of motives, empowerment at its core. We hope to capture this spirit at the Robertfest.”Among those appearing at Robertfest will be Alternative TV, The Astronauts, The Ceramic Hobs, Vic Goddard and the Bitter Springs, The Long Decline, and Dave Kusworth.*Ticket prices are £5 unwaged/low waged, £10 waged, £20 full price, with any profits to be donated to the Mental Health Resistance Network. It takes place at The Amersham Arms, 388 New Cross Road, Deptford, London SE14 6TY, which is near New Cross train stationlast_img read more

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A disabled campaigner says the decision to award h

31 Jul 2019

first_imgA disabled campaigner says the decision to award him an OBE is an overdue recognition of the importance of inclusive education.Anthony Ford-Shubrook, a youth ambassador with the charity AbleChildAfrica and a trustee of The Alliance for Inclusive Education, was among the disabled people recognised in the new year honours.Ford-Shubrook, who has campaigned for inclusive education both in the UK and Africa, was awarded the OBE for services to disabled children in Africa.He said he was “completely shocked” and “ecstatic” when he heard of the award and was “still in shock” now.In 2016, Ford-Shubrook (pictured) was one of 17 inaugural Young Leaders – and the only disabled young person – chosen by the UN to promote its Sustainable Development Goals.At AbleChildAfrica, he continues to campaign for disabled children’s right to inclusive education and sports, and to healthcare.He has recently returned from Kenya and Rwanda, where he delivered training to young disability rights activists on how to advocate for education for disabled children and young people.Now in his early 30s, as a teenager he successfully took a pioneering legal case – backed by the Disability Rights Commission – against a sixth form college that had decided the stair-climbing wheelchair he needed to use to reach a first-floor classroom would be a health and safety risk.It was the first time an injunction had been used to enforce the Disability Discrimination Act in education.And his undergraduate dissertation on access to education for disabled children in a South African township is used by the South African government in its training for teachers working with disabled children.He told Disability News Service: “The fact that I’ve been awarded [an OBE] shows that although there’s a lot of work to be done, people are finally realizing the importance of inclusive education, and the benefits it can bring.”And he said he hoped the OBE would help him continue his campaigning on disability, both in the UK and in Africa. He said the fight for inclusive education had been “very important” in his life, because “without going to a mainstream school I would not have had the opportunities I’ve had, would not have been able to do many of the things I’ve done”. The government’s own figures showed that only four per cent of recipients in the 2019 new year honours list said they were disabled, compared with five per cent in the 2018 list.Among other disabled people recognised are broadcaster, conservationist, author and naturalist Chris Packham, presenter of BBC shows such as The Really Wild Show and Springwatch, who receives a CBE.Packham won widespread praise for the 2017 documentary Chris Packham: Asperger’s and Me, in which he discussed being autistic and made it clear that he would not want to see a “cure” for autism.He said after the documentary was aired: “We don’t need a cure, there is nothing wrong with us – we are different.“And that difference has enormous biological and social importance.“Many of us have skills to invent solutions, produce art and science to benefit all and to receive these gifts all we need in return is understanding, tolerance and acceptance.”A CBE is also awarded to artist Yinka Shonibare, whose work explores issues of race and class through painting, sculpture, photography and film, and who has supported disability arts organisations such as Shape Arts.Martin Stevens, chair of Disability Rights UK, is recognised with an OBE for services to people with multiple sclerosis.Stevens, who has MS himself and has a background in accountancy and business management, is a long-term volunteer for the MS Society and a trustee for the Multiple Sclerosis International Federation.Also awarded an OBE are Robin Hindle Fisher, a trustee with Scope, who chaired the charity’s Extra Costs Commission, which looked at ways to alleviate disabled people’s extra living costs; and former Scottish rugby international Doddie Weir, who set up a charity to raise funds to research potential cures and support others with motor neurone disease after he was diagnosed with the condition.Disabled people awarded MBEs include campaigner John Davidson, for services to people with Tourette’s; wheelchair basketball coach and retired Paralympian Caroline Matthews; and motivational speaker and diversity consultant Andrew Walker.British Wheelchair Basketball (BWB) said Matthews was a “true ambassador of the sport” and had “tirelessly worked to further the development of wheelchair basketball within Wales and on the international stage”.As well as winning 125 caps for Great Britain between 2002 and 2011, and competing at the Athens and Beijing Paralympics, BWB said she had “changed the landscape of the sport within Wales” and had been either head coach or assistant coach at club, regional, national and international level. 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_imgA disabled campaigner says the decision to award him an OBE is an overdue recognition of the importance of inclusive education.Anthony Ford-Shubrook, a youth ambassador with the charity AbleChildAfrica and a trustee of The Alliance for Inclusive Education, was among the disabled people recognised in the new year honours.Ford-Shubrook, who has campaigned for inclusive education both in the UK and Africa, was awarded the OBE for services to disabled children in Africa.He said he was “completely shocked” and “ecstatic” when he heard of the award and was “still in shock” now.In 2016, Ford-Shubrook (pictured) was one of 17 inaugural Young Leaders – and the only disabled young person – chosen by the UN to promote its Sustainable Development Goals.At AbleChildAfrica, he continues to campaign for disabled children’s right to inclusive education and sports, and to healthcare.He has recently returned from Kenya and Rwanda, where he delivered training to young disability rights activists on how to advocate for education for disabled children and young people.Now in his early 30s, as a teenager he successfully took a pioneering legal case – backed by the Disability Rights Commission – against a sixth form college that had decided the stair-climbing wheelchair he needed to use to reach a first-floor classroom would be a health and safety risk.It was the first time an injunction had been used to enforce the Disability Discrimination Act in education.And his undergraduate dissertation on access to education for disabled children in a South African township is used by the South African government in its training for teachers working with disabled children.He told Disability News Service: “The fact that I’ve been awarded [an OBE] shows that although there’s a lot of work to be done, people are finally realizing the importance of inclusive education, and the benefits it can bring.”And he said he hoped the OBE would help him continue his campaigning on disability, both in the UK and in Africa. He said the fight for inclusive education had been “very important” in his life, because “without going to a mainstream school I would not have had the opportunities I’ve had, would not have been able to do many of the things I’ve done”. The government’s own figures showed that only four per cent of recipients in the 2019 new year honours list said they were disabled, compared with five per cent in the 2018 list.Among other disabled people recognised are broadcaster, conservationist, author and naturalist Chris Packham, presenter of BBC shows such as The Really Wild Show and Springwatch, who receives a CBE.Packham won widespread praise for the 2017 documentary Chris Packham: Asperger’s and Me, in which he discussed being autistic and made it clear that he would not want to see a “cure” for autism.He said after the documentary was aired: “We don’t need a cure, there is nothing wrong with us – we are different.“And that difference has enormous biological and social importance.“Many of us have skills to invent solutions, produce art and science to benefit all and to receive these gifts all we need in return is understanding, tolerance and acceptance.”A CBE is also awarded to artist Yinka Shonibare, whose work explores issues of race and class through painting, sculpture, photography and film, and who has supported disability arts organisations such as Shape Arts.Martin Stevens, chair of Disability Rights UK, is recognised with an OBE for services to people with multiple sclerosis.Stevens, who has MS himself and has a background in accountancy and business management, is a long-term volunteer for the MS Society and a trustee for the Multiple Sclerosis International Federation.Also awarded an OBE are Robin Hindle Fisher, a trustee with Scope, who chaired the charity’s Extra Costs Commission, which looked at ways to alleviate disabled people’s extra living costs; and former Scottish rugby international Doddie Weir, who set up a charity to raise funds to research potential cures and support others with motor neurone disease after he was diagnosed with the condition.Disabled people awarded MBEs include campaigner John Davidson, for services to people with Tourette’s; wheelchair basketball coach and retired Paralympian Caroline Matthews; and motivational speaker and diversity consultant Andrew Walker.British Wheelchair Basketball (BWB) said Matthews was a “true ambassador of the sport” and had “tirelessly worked to further the development of wheelchair basketball within Wales and on the international stage”.As well as winning 125 caps for Great Britain between 2002 and 2011, and competing at the Athens and Beijing Paralympics, BWB said she had “changed the landscape of the sport within Wales” and had been either head coach or assistant coach at club, regional, national and international level. 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

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Homeless Artist Recalled as Beautifully Imperfect

31 Jul 2019

first_imgThose who crossed paths with Allison Sparrow in the months leading up to her death near a homeless camp at 16th and Harrison streets on December 18 only knew her briefly, but all felt that they had found a rare friend who, however fleetingly, brought warmth and laughter into their lives.“Her heart was big, that’s what drew me to her,” said a woman who goes by the name Shy, who lives in the camp where the 33-year-old Sparrow and her partner had been living in the months leading up to her death.Shy said she had gotten to know Sparrow closely over the year that Sparrow lived in the encampment. She recalled how Sparrow would handcraft necklaces, earrings and keychains, which she sold at a local flea market near 15th and Julian streets each weekend.“That was her hustle, and it was something that was positive for her,” she said. “That girl made me laugh, and she had an eye for beautiful things.” 0% A week before Christmas, police responded to a call at 6:30 a.m. to 16th and Harrison streets, where Sparrow was found unresponsive in her tent. She was transported to San Francisco General Hospital where she later died, according to reports from the San Francisco Police Department. With an outstanding autopsy report and pending homicide investigation, police did not comment on the specific circumstances of Sparrow’s death. Sparrow’s relatives say they have been told that she may have been the victim of a random drive-by shooting. Sparrow was born Allison Michelle Deming in West Columbia, SC, on October 24, 1982. The daughter of a history teacher and pastor, a close family friend said that the family is “much loved by all who know them.” “To all of us, Allison is not a nameless crime victim but an amazing person, the light of many lives,” said the family friend. A funeral service was held for Sparrow on Saturday in Palm Springs, Fla., where she spent most of her childhood with her family.After learning about her death, a small group of Sparrow’s friends in San Francisco held a memorial for her at Dolores Park in the Mission, one of Sparrow’s favorite places to spend time.After receiving degrees in studio art and art history from Indiana University in Bloomington, Ind., Sparrow moved to San Francisco in 2008 with her second husband. In the city, Sparrow came into her own as an artist, and extensively explored her talents in music, drawing, jewelry making, and sewing.Those who witnessed her creative evolution said that Sparrow best expressed herself with her hands.“She was constantly crocheting – little animals and toys. She carried around a crochet kit in a backpack full of stuff, and could never find anything,” remembered Jorja Culbreath, who befriended Sparrow in 2009.Allison Sparrow. Photo via Sparrow’s Facebook page.In his eulogy, Sparrow’s younger brother, Andrew Deming, called his sister “beautifully imperfect.” The siblings shared a close bond, and he remembered his sister as empathetic and full of love — which she readily shared with those around her.“She had a purse that was like a magic hat full of unending surprises, and she always had an assortment of snacks in it for any occasion,” wrote Deming. “She was someone who understood people and connected, she listened when I talked, she cared about what I said, she gave me her time and full focus, her love and attention.”The self-taught seamstress developed her own line of clothing, which she sold on Etsy, an online platform for buying and selling handmade and vintage items, and in small shops throughout the city, including at Needles and Pens on Valencia street. Friends remember how she diligently sold her creations at local craft fairs.“Allison was always looking for that thing that she was supposed to excel in,” said Greer McGettrick, who formed a band with Sparrow roughly six years ago.Sparrow’s deep love for music was shared by her boyfriend, a guitarist, who became her partner in the last years of her life. The couple would often play music together.Sparrow’s friends described their relationship as “close,” but also said that it had distanced her from them. “She loved him so very much, and I have to respect that,” said Culbreath. The last two years of Sparrow’s life were marked by significant struggles, including that she began living on the streets.“It became really hard over the years, watching the trajectory of her life. As a result of that we weren’t close, but there was a time when we were,” said a former co-worker at Mendel’s, a fabric store on Haight street where Sparrow worked from 2008 to 2014 . “She really was a good, sweet, and well-intentioned human being.”Sparrow and her boyfriend are believed to have become homeless in early 2015. “Even at the end, when we were totally confused as to why she was in the place she was in, she was always so positive even though she was clearly struggling,” said Rachel Gant, the girlfriend of Sparrow’s brother. “She would just open herself up completely to the people she cared about, always putting them first.”Matthew Klingensmith, Sparrow’s ex-husband, wrote in a tribute to her: “I’ll never know the entirety of what she faced, and who she was, and who she impacted … Allison was a phenomenon in the lives of people around her.”That included many of the homeless people that met Sparrow at that late stage of her life and who, after getting to know her, said that a life on the streets was not hers. “She was very cool. She was the average white girl wearing glasses – she did not belong here,” said a woman named Tamara who had met Sparrow in the encampment, and was visibly touched by her death. In one of her last messages to Culbreath, Sparrow shared her desire to “get better” and, using her photography background, wanted to establish an exhibit for the homeless community.“Her heart was the most beautiful thing about her,” said Shy, the woman from the encampment. “We all have families. Maybe not here, but somewhere. With Allison, it was clear that she was somebody to a lot of people.” Sparrow’s imagination often came to life in her humor. A former co-worker remembered her as the “master of the long running inside joke.”“[Her jokes were] so involved, they cannot be succinctly described,” said the woman. “For years, we invented adventures for her alter ego, “Tall Kitty,” a series of hypothetical B-movie westerns where, no matter what, Tall Kitty rode off into the sunset.”Culbreath said laughter played an important role in their friendship as well.“We had a deal that we needed to make it to 80 years old, but then realistically lowered it to 70. It would be all Mai Tais and chain smoking from there – and we would do whatever the fuck we wanted,” said Culbreath. “All we did was laugh. We were complete goofballs together.” Culbreath added that the Mission District was Sparrow’s stomping ground.“Together, we covered every inch of the Mission,” she said, remembering Sparrow’s frequent trips to Mission fabric stores, local bars and venues. “She loved it here, and I cannot believe that this is where she died.”Because she was homeless at the time of her death, some of Sparrow’s close friends fear that her case will not be considered a priority for law enforcement officials.Klingensmith pointed to the police and media’s often apathetic stance on homelessness.“This cannot be who we are as a city,” said Klingensmith. “She deserves better than that, and she and her family deserve for the person responsible for her death to see justice.”Police are calling on the public’s help to provide information about the homicide. This can be done anonymously by calling 415-575-4444, or by texting a tip to TIP411 and beginning the text with SFPD. For those who do not have access to a cellphone, a tip may be submitted in person at the Mission Police Station at 630 Valencia St., on the corner of 17th Street. center_img Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%last_img read more

first_imgThose who crossed paths with Allison Sparrow in the months leading up to her death near a homeless camp at 16th and Harrison streets on December 18 only knew her briefly, but all felt that they had found a rare friend who, however fleetingly, brought warmth and laughter into their lives.“Her heart was big, that’s what drew me to her,” said a woman who goes by the name Shy, who lives in the camp where the 33-year-old Sparrow and her partner had been living in the months leading up to her death.Shy said she had gotten to know Sparrow closely over the year that Sparrow lived in the encampment. She recalled how Sparrow would handcraft necklaces, earrings and keychains, which she sold at a local flea market near 15th and Julian streets each weekend.“That was her hustle, and it was something that was positive for her,” she said. “That girl made me laugh, and she had an eye for beautiful things.” 0% A week before Christmas, police responded to a call at 6:30 a.m. to 16th and Harrison streets, where Sparrow was found unresponsive in her tent. She was transported to San Francisco General Hospital where she later died, according to reports from the San Francisco Police Department. With an outstanding autopsy report and pending homicide investigation, police did not comment on the specific circumstances of Sparrow’s death. Sparrow’s relatives say they have been told that she may have been the victim of a random drive-by shooting. Sparrow was born Allison Michelle Deming in West Columbia, SC, on October 24, 1982. The daughter of a history teacher and pastor, a close family friend said that the family is “much loved by all who know them.” “To all of us, Allison is not a nameless crime victim but an amazing person, the light of many lives,” said the family friend. A funeral service was held for Sparrow on Saturday in Palm Springs, Fla., where she spent most of her childhood with her family.After learning about her death, a small group of Sparrow’s friends in San Francisco held a memorial for her at Dolores Park in the Mission, one of Sparrow’s favorite places to spend time.After receiving degrees in studio art and art history from Indiana University in Bloomington, Ind., Sparrow moved to San Francisco in 2008 with her second husband. In the city, Sparrow came into her own as an artist, and extensively explored her talents in music, drawing, jewelry making, and sewing.Those who witnessed her creative evolution said that Sparrow best expressed herself with her hands.“She was constantly crocheting – little animals and toys. She carried around a crochet kit in a backpack full of stuff, and could never find anything,” remembered Jorja Culbreath, who befriended Sparrow in 2009.Allison Sparrow. Photo via Sparrow’s Facebook page.In his eulogy, Sparrow’s younger brother, Andrew Deming, called his sister “beautifully imperfect.” The siblings shared a close bond, and he remembered his sister as empathetic and full of love — which she readily shared with those around her.“She had a purse that was like a magic hat full of unending surprises, and she always had an assortment of snacks in it for any occasion,” wrote Deming. “She was someone who understood people and connected, she listened when I talked, she cared about what I said, she gave me her time and full focus, her love and attention.”The self-taught seamstress developed her own line of clothing, which she sold on Etsy, an online platform for buying and selling handmade and vintage items, and in small shops throughout the city, including at Needles and Pens on Valencia street. Friends remember how she diligently sold her creations at local craft fairs.“Allison was always looking for that thing that she was supposed to excel in,” said Greer McGettrick, who formed a band with Sparrow roughly six years ago.Sparrow’s deep love for music was shared by her boyfriend, a guitarist, who became her partner in the last years of her life. The couple would often play music together.Sparrow’s friends described their relationship as “close,” but also said that it had distanced her from them. “She loved him so very much, and I have to respect that,” said Culbreath. The last two years of Sparrow’s life were marked by significant struggles, including that she began living on the streets.“It became really hard over the years, watching the trajectory of her life. As a result of that we weren’t close, but there was a time when we were,” said a former co-worker at Mendel’s, a fabric store on Haight street where Sparrow worked from 2008 to 2014 . “She really was a good, sweet, and well-intentioned human being.”Sparrow and her boyfriend are believed to have become homeless in early 2015. “Even at the end, when we were totally confused as to why she was in the place she was in, she was always so positive even though she was clearly struggling,” said Rachel Gant, the girlfriend of Sparrow’s brother. “She would just open herself up completely to the people she cared about, always putting them first.”Matthew Klingensmith, Sparrow’s ex-husband, wrote in a tribute to her: “I’ll never know the entirety of what she faced, and who she was, and who she impacted … Allison was a phenomenon in the lives of people around her.”That included many of the homeless people that met Sparrow at that late stage of her life and who, after getting to know her, said that a life on the streets was not hers. “She was very cool. She was the average white girl wearing glasses – she did not belong here,” said a woman named Tamara who had met Sparrow in the encampment, and was visibly touched by her death. In one of her last messages to Culbreath, Sparrow shared her desire to “get better” and, using her photography background, wanted to establish an exhibit for the homeless community.“Her heart was the most beautiful thing about her,” said Shy, the woman from the encampment. “We all have families. Maybe not here, but somewhere. With Allison, it was clear that she was somebody to a lot of people.” Sparrow’s imagination often came to life in her humor. A former co-worker remembered her as the “master of the long running inside joke.”“[Her jokes were] so involved, they cannot be succinctly described,” said the woman. “For years, we invented adventures for her alter ego, “Tall Kitty,” a series of hypothetical B-movie westerns where, no matter what, Tall Kitty rode off into the sunset.”Culbreath said laughter played an important role in their friendship as well.“We had a deal that we needed to make it to 80 years old, but then realistically lowered it to 70. It would be all Mai Tais and chain smoking from there – and we would do whatever the fuck we wanted,” said Culbreath. “All we did was laugh. We were complete goofballs together.” Culbreath added that the Mission District was Sparrow’s stomping ground.“Together, we covered every inch of the Mission,” she said, remembering Sparrow’s frequent trips to Mission fabric stores, local bars and venues. “She loved it here, and I cannot believe that this is where she died.”Because she was homeless at the time of her death, some of Sparrow’s close friends fear that her case will not be considered a priority for law enforcement officials.Klingensmith pointed to the police and media’s often apathetic stance on homelessness.“This cannot be who we are as a city,” said Klingensmith. “She deserves better than that, and she and her family deserve for the person responsible for her death to see justice.”Police are calling on the public’s help to provide information about the homicide. This can be done anonymously by calling 415-575-4444, or by texting a tip to TIP411 and beginning the text with SFPD. For those who do not have access to a cellphone, a tip may be submitted in person at the Mission Police Station at 630 Valencia St., on the corner of 17th Street. center_img Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%last_img read more

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SF Mayor Says He Has Yet to Read DAs Preliminary Findings on

31 Jul 2019

first_img“With all due respect, I think that the public expects you to be on top of this report as it comes out and to take action as soon as possible,” Supervisor David Campos told the mayor.At the monthly session of the Board of Supervisors in which members are able to ask Mayor Lee questions, supervisors asked Lee what he would do to reform the police department given the recent spate of protests. Supervisor after supervisor mentioned the so-called Frisco Five hunger strikers, who were recently hospitalized after 17 days of fasting.The meeting was interrupted by a few crowd members who chanted the now-familiar, “Fire Chief Suhr,” prompting sheriff’s deputies to eject them from the chambers and Supervisor London Breed to call a recess.Protesters being ejected from the meeting. Photo by Lola M. ChavezBreed was the first supervisor to question the mayor.“Given this impasse, where does this end? Where do we see the situation headed? How do we reconcile to ensure that everyone feels safe in their communities?” she asked.Breed mentioned a protest at City Hall on Friday that turned violent when sheriff’s deputies attempted to remove protesters from the building and struck many with batons, arresting 33 and injuring four journalists. Since the protest, the main entrance to City Hall has been barricaded and dozens of sheriff’s deputies have been seen patrolling both inside and outside the building.On Tuesday, sheriff’s deputies armed with tear gas canister guns could be seen inside City Hall while other deputies guarded the Board of Supervisors chamber room. All audience members had their bags checked before being allowed to enter the public meeting.Breed called out “vandalism” and “thousands of dollars in damage” caused by protesters, but left out allegations of brutality and mistreatment of protesters and press members. Sheriff Vicki Hennessy on Tuesday announced an investigation into the reports that journalists were manhandled.Breed said the many protests indicated a high level of tension among members of the public.“The community is in pain. Protesters have demanded the removal of the chief, and I know you said you will not do so,” Breed said. “How do we bring the city together?”Lee pointed to already-proposed use-of-force reforms for the police department — like crisis-intervention training for officers — but did not specifically address the demands of the hunger strikers for greater accountability within the department, standing by Police Chief Greg Suhr.He did speak on the hunger strikers, though, pointing out that he stopped by the Mission District police station in an attempt to meet with the strikers but was rebuked.“I did attempt to do a direct meeting with the protesters at the hunger strike—” Lee said before someone shouted “Unscheduled!” from the crowd.“—and it was not welcomed,” Lee continued, adding that he “had concern for the health of the protesters” and instructed members of the Department of Public Health to evaluate their well-being, a statement that drew hisses from the crowd.The Frisco Five hunger strikers ended their 17-day fast on Saturday after being hospitalized the day before. For 16 of those 17 days, the group camped outside of the Mission District police station and demanded that Mayor Lee fire Chief Suhr.The mayor stood by the police chief throughout, telling the group in a phone call that the police department has made strides in reform. That did little to assuage the hunger strikers, who have continued to call for the chief’s job in a bid to increase accountability within the department.Supervisor David Campos — who represents the Mission District and Bernal Heights, where three of the four controversial and most-protested police shootings have occurred — requested that the mayor support a proposed unit within the District Attorney’s Office dedicated to the investigation of police shootings.Such a unit is required, Campos said, because “in all of those officer-involved shootings, many of which have occurred in the district that I represent, not a single one of those officers has been terminated by the San Francisco Police Department.”Photo by Lola M. Chavez“I ask you today, Mr. Mayor, to please give us a positive sign and say that you will support this budget request,” he added, saying it would cost $1.9 million annually to staff 60 people in the office.After answering other questions from supervisors, the mayor left the chamber room surrounded by sheriff’s deputies and reporters, but without incident.Also on Tuesday, the Board passed 9–2 a city charter amendment that would give 16- and 17-year-olds the right to vote in San Francisco for local elections. That amendment will go to the ballot and before voters in November.A change to San Francisco’s sanctuary city law — which would strengthen the prohibition on law enforcement officers from communicating with federal immigration officials  — was continued until May 24.Supervisor Aaron Peskin. Photo by Lola M. Chavez 0% Mayor Lee told the Board of Supervisors Tuesday that he had yet to read the recently released findings by a blue-ribbon panel that found a lack of oversight and prevalence of racial bias within the police department.Those preliminary findings emerged from a year-long investigation commissioned by the District Attorney’s Office.“Right now I can’t tell you what that report said because I haven’t read it,” Mayor Ed Lee said, promising only that he would have a conversation with politicians and stakeholders when those results were final.The San Francisco Examiner reported on the preliminary findings Monday, writing, “Perhaps the most damning findings were that the department engages in controversial ‘stop and frisk’ practices and that no internal review of systematic bias was conducted following the release of racist texts sent by officers in 2015.”center_img Tags: Board of Supervisors Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%last_img read more

first_img“With all due respect, I think that the public expects you to be on top of this report as it comes out and to take action as soon as possible,” Supervisor David Campos told the mayor.At the monthly session of the Board of Supervisors in which members are able to ask Mayor Lee questions, supervisors asked Lee what he would do to reform the police department given the recent spate of protests. Supervisor after supervisor mentioned the so-called Frisco Five hunger strikers, who were recently hospitalized after 17 days of fasting.The meeting was interrupted by a few crowd members who chanted the now-familiar, “Fire Chief Suhr,” prompting sheriff’s deputies to eject them from the chambers and Supervisor London Breed to call a recess.Protesters being ejected from the meeting. Photo by Lola M. ChavezBreed was the first supervisor to question the mayor.“Given this impasse, where does this end? Where do we see the situation headed? How do we reconcile to ensure that everyone feels safe in their communities?” she asked.Breed mentioned a protest at City Hall on Friday that turned violent when sheriff’s deputies attempted to remove protesters from the building and struck many with batons, arresting 33 and injuring four journalists. Since the protest, the main entrance to City Hall has been barricaded and dozens of sheriff’s deputies have been seen patrolling both inside and outside the building.On Tuesday, sheriff’s deputies armed with tear gas canister guns could be seen inside City Hall while other deputies guarded the Board of Supervisors chamber room. All audience members had their bags checked before being allowed to enter the public meeting.Breed called out “vandalism” and “thousands of dollars in damage” caused by protesters, but left out allegations of brutality and mistreatment of protesters and press members. Sheriff Vicki Hennessy on Tuesday announced an investigation into the reports that journalists were manhandled.Breed said the many protests indicated a high level of tension among members of the public.“The community is in pain. Protesters have demanded the removal of the chief, and I know you said you will not do so,” Breed said. “How do we bring the city together?”Lee pointed to already-proposed use-of-force reforms for the police department — like crisis-intervention training for officers — but did not specifically address the demands of the hunger strikers for greater accountability within the department, standing by Police Chief Greg Suhr.He did speak on the hunger strikers, though, pointing out that he stopped by the Mission District police station in an attempt to meet with the strikers but was rebuked.“I did attempt to do a direct meeting with the protesters at the hunger strike—” Lee said before someone shouted “Unscheduled!” from the crowd.“—and it was not welcomed,” Lee continued, adding that he “had concern for the health of the protesters” and instructed members of the Department of Public Health to evaluate their well-being, a statement that drew hisses from the crowd.The Frisco Five hunger strikers ended their 17-day fast on Saturday after being hospitalized the day before. For 16 of those 17 days, the group camped outside of the Mission District police station and demanded that Mayor Lee fire Chief Suhr.The mayor stood by the police chief throughout, telling the group in a phone call that the police department has made strides in reform. That did little to assuage the hunger strikers, who have continued to call for the chief’s job in a bid to increase accountability within the department.Supervisor David Campos — who represents the Mission District and Bernal Heights, where three of the four controversial and most-protested police shootings have occurred — requested that the mayor support a proposed unit within the District Attorney’s Office dedicated to the investigation of police shootings.Such a unit is required, Campos said, because “in all of those officer-involved shootings, many of which have occurred in the district that I represent, not a single one of those officers has been terminated by the San Francisco Police Department.”Photo by Lola M. Chavez“I ask you today, Mr. Mayor, to please give us a positive sign and say that you will support this budget request,” he added, saying it would cost $1.9 million annually to staff 60 people in the office.After answering other questions from supervisors, the mayor left the chamber room surrounded by sheriff’s deputies and reporters, but without incident.Also on Tuesday, the Board passed 9–2 a city charter amendment that would give 16- and 17-year-olds the right to vote in San Francisco for local elections. That amendment will go to the ballot and before voters in November.A change to San Francisco’s sanctuary city law — which would strengthen the prohibition on law enforcement officers from communicating with federal immigration officials  — was continued until May 24.Supervisor Aaron Peskin. Photo by Lola M. Chavez 0% Mayor Lee told the Board of Supervisors Tuesday that he had yet to read the recently released findings by a blue-ribbon panel that found a lack of oversight and prevalence of racial bias within the police department.Those preliminary findings emerged from a year-long investigation commissioned by the District Attorney’s Office.“Right now I can’t tell you what that report said because I haven’t read it,” Mayor Ed Lee said, promising only that he would have a conversation with politicians and stakeholders when those results were final.The San Francisco Examiner reported on the preliminary findings Monday, writing, “Perhaps the most damning findings were that the department engages in controversial ‘stop and frisk’ practices and that no internal review of systematic bias was conducted following the release of racist texts sent by officers in 2015.”center_img Tags: Board of Supervisors Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%last_img read more

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The fried chicken sandwich showdown stops in at Sons Addition

31 Jul 2019

first_imgFried chicken, and by extension, the fried chicken sandwich, is a global product, echoing the early cotton trade. A 1747 British cookbook called for floured pieces of chicken to be fried in hog’s lard. The dish became a hit in the colonies, especially in the slave kitchens of the south, where the meat was brined and the batter stirred with spices from West Africa, giving birth to “southern fried chicken.”The African connection did not play well in the late 19th and early 20th century as the image of fried chicken was used to stigmatize and dehumanize African Americans in post-Reconstruction America.And now it’s perched on the menu at a nuevo bruncheria on 24th Street, Son’s Addition.I should have gone on Saturday, but backed myself into Sunday. They were fully booked, so I got a sandwich to go.Mindful of your (unwarranted) complaints concerning my time experiments, I kept the slaw separate until I got home.Wow! What can I add to what you’ve written? Why should I? Other than to say, without hesitation, the best example of the All-World fried chicken sandwich I’ve encountered during the Spring of 2018.(It is spring, right? — I mean, all the wind, all the fog, it’s not summer yet, is it?)OK, I will add some marginal notes since you got carried away again and skipped over two critical points.One, the “mole aioli.” You couldn’t taste the mole? As you have yet to learn, a fried chicken critic cannot simply eat a sandwich and be done with it. It must be a lived experience.I approach a sandwich thoughtfully, slowly, objectively. I not only tasted the mole, a twist of sweet in a tangy sea, I found it exciting. At first a bit strange. Then … delicate … original. Bravo.The other point, not a small one, the slaw. Son’s Addition, however suburban it appears to your precariat prejudices, understands that the function of slaw is to complement, not take over, the chicken. A model Sancho Panza, Sons’ slaw is cabbage; dark and savory, with a dry wit.Onto Los Picudos to satisfy your mythologized “old school” fantasies. Don’t suppose we’ll find much mole aioli there.UPDATE:Donors take note: Mission Local gets results!After our review, (there must be a connection!) Salumeria ditched its Pepto Dismal pink slaw juice. Although they still insist on piling heaps of slaw onto the bun (which can easily be scraped off), the brine, spiced batter, and Aleppo pepper can now be fully appreciated. As can the crunch. And your pants are not splotched in pink when you leave.Congrats to Salumeria.The fried chicken showdown begins at the Salumeria, Dec. 7, 2017The fried chicken showdown takes a detour to Wes Burger, Dec. 18, 2017The fried chicken showdown goes to Monk’s Kettle, Jan. 4, 2018The fried chicken showdown goes to Rhea’s cafe, Jan. 23, 2018The fried chicken showdown at Buttermilk, Feb. 22, 2018The fried chicken showdown at Bi-Rite, March 30, 2018The fried chicken showdown stops at West of Pecos, April 23 Julian, 20-something, and Mark, 70-something, are on a journey to find the Mission’s best fried chicken sandwich. If you have suggestions, write a comment — or, if you prefer, send an e-mail to Julian at julian.mark@missionlocal.com. Then, a kind of Stockholm Syndrome set in, and I soon forgot that I was in the Mission at all. I even began to embrace the smiles of its young and effusive staff, who all looked freshly plucked out of a Banana Republic catalog. I even enjoyed its minimal decor — its abstract depictions of roosters and cows — and it’s ‘80s New Wave soundtrack.A very attentive and tattooed waiter asked me whether I wanted something to drink and, since losing myself at West of Pecos, I decided to hold strong and just order sparkling water. And then, remembering why I wandered into this strange wilderness, I order a fried chicken sandwich. Damn. Toasted sesame bun. Juicy chicken whose batter was brittle, sweet and well-spiced, very nicely soaked by the “mole aioli” (although I had a little bit of trouble finding the mole). The slaw pleasantly resembled the bottom of a big bowl of salad — a panoply of the good stuff: for our purposes, cilantro and cotija cheese. Adding to that was what I call batter debris, the small flakes that detach from the chicken and latch onto the slaw or fall onto your plate. Give me a bowl of that stuff. I wanted more — more of one of these great chicken sandwiches. I wanted to hunker down in this slice of suburban paradise and stay there until I had three kids and a second mortgage. But then, through the haze, I looked outside across 24th Street, saw life and color again, and I heard the calling of 24th Street and a little hole-in-the-wall across the way called Los Picudos. Mark: I hear this place has a great chicken milanesa torta. I think it’s our next stop, my friend, whether you like it or not. By the way, Son’s never quite filled up. Walking into Son’s Addition is perhaps like stepping into the Twilight Zone or, you know, suburbia. Maybe it’s the culture shock of walking down 24th Street — with its colors, sounds & smells — and being lured into a Bed, Bath & Beyond or, more precisely, a brunchery in downtown Lafayette. The host, his iPad in hand, directed me to the bar — in spite of a room full of empty tables. The empty seats gave me the impression that the place was more populated with reservations than actual people. Or, maybe not. It looked unusually empty for a Saturday during primetime for gourmet brunch. How is Son’s Addition actually doing? I wondered. Tags: fried chicken Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemaillast_img read more

first_imgFried chicken, and by extension, the fried chicken sandwich, is a global product, echoing the early cotton trade. A 1747 British cookbook called for floured pieces of chicken to be fried in hog’s lard. The dish became a hit in the colonies, especially in the slave kitchens of the south, where the meat was brined and the batter stirred with spices from West Africa, giving birth to “southern fried chicken.”The African connection did not play well in the late 19th and early 20th century as the image of fried chicken was used to stigmatize and dehumanize African Americans in post-Reconstruction America.And now it’s perched on the menu at a nuevo bruncheria on 24th Street, Son’s Addition.I should have gone on Saturday, but backed myself into Sunday. They were fully booked, so I got a sandwich to go.Mindful of your (unwarranted) complaints concerning my time experiments, I kept the slaw separate until I got home.Wow! What can I add to what you’ve written? Why should I? Other than to say, without hesitation, the best example of the All-World fried chicken sandwich I’ve encountered during the Spring of 2018.(It is spring, right? — I mean, all the wind, all the fog, it’s not summer yet, is it?)OK, I will add some marginal notes since you got carried away again and skipped over two critical points.One, the “mole aioli.” You couldn’t taste the mole? As you have yet to learn, a fried chicken critic cannot simply eat a sandwich and be done with it. It must be a lived experience.I approach a sandwich thoughtfully, slowly, objectively. I not only tasted the mole, a twist of sweet in a tangy sea, I found it exciting. At first a bit strange. Then … delicate … original. Bravo.The other point, not a small one, the slaw. Son’s Addition, however suburban it appears to your precariat prejudices, understands that the function of slaw is to complement, not take over, the chicken. A model Sancho Panza, Sons’ slaw is cabbage; dark and savory, with a dry wit.Onto Los Picudos to satisfy your mythologized “old school” fantasies. Don’t suppose we’ll find much mole aioli there.UPDATE:Donors take note: Mission Local gets results!After our review, (there must be a connection!) Salumeria ditched its Pepto Dismal pink slaw juice. Although they still insist on piling heaps of slaw onto the bun (which can easily be scraped off), the brine, spiced batter, and Aleppo pepper can now be fully appreciated. As can the crunch. And your pants are not splotched in pink when you leave.Congrats to Salumeria.The fried chicken showdown begins at the Salumeria, Dec. 7, 2017The fried chicken showdown takes a detour to Wes Burger, Dec. 18, 2017The fried chicken showdown goes to Monk’s Kettle, Jan. 4, 2018The fried chicken showdown goes to Rhea’s cafe, Jan. 23, 2018The fried chicken showdown at Buttermilk, Feb. 22, 2018The fried chicken showdown at Bi-Rite, March 30, 2018The fried chicken showdown stops at West of Pecos, April 23 Julian, 20-something, and Mark, 70-something, are on a journey to find the Mission’s best fried chicken sandwich. If you have suggestions, write a comment — or, if you prefer, send an e-mail to Julian at julian.mark@missionlocal.com. Then, a kind of Stockholm Syndrome set in, and I soon forgot that I was in the Mission at all. I even began to embrace the smiles of its young and effusive staff, who all looked freshly plucked out of a Banana Republic catalog. I even enjoyed its minimal decor — its abstract depictions of roosters and cows — and it’s ‘80s New Wave soundtrack.A very attentive and tattooed waiter asked me whether I wanted something to drink and, since losing myself at West of Pecos, I decided to hold strong and just order sparkling water. And then, remembering why I wandered into this strange wilderness, I order a fried chicken sandwich. Damn. Toasted sesame bun. Juicy chicken whose batter was brittle, sweet and well-spiced, very nicely soaked by the “mole aioli” (although I had a little bit of trouble finding the mole). The slaw pleasantly resembled the bottom of a big bowl of salad — a panoply of the good stuff: for our purposes, cilantro and cotija cheese. Adding to that was what I call batter debris, the small flakes that detach from the chicken and latch onto the slaw or fall onto your plate. Give me a bowl of that stuff. I wanted more — more of one of these great chicken sandwiches. I wanted to hunker down in this slice of suburban paradise and stay there until I had three kids and a second mortgage. But then, through the haze, I looked outside across 24th Street, saw life and color again, and I heard the calling of 24th Street and a little hole-in-the-wall across the way called Los Picudos. Mark: I hear this place has a great chicken milanesa torta. I think it’s our next stop, my friend, whether you like it or not. By the way, Son’s never quite filled up. Walking into Son’s Addition is perhaps like stepping into the Twilight Zone or, you know, suburbia. Maybe it’s the culture shock of walking down 24th Street — with its colors, sounds & smells — and being lured into a Bed, Bath & Beyond or, more precisely, a brunchery in downtown Lafayette. The host, his iPad in hand, directed me to the bar — in spite of a room full of empty tables. The empty seats gave me the impression that the place was more populated with reservations than actual people. Or, maybe not. It looked unusually empty for a Saturday during primetime for gourmet brunch. How is Son’s Addition actually doing? I wondered. Tags: fried chicken Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemaillast_img read more

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KEIRON Cunningham praised his sides professional

31 Jul 2019

first_imgKEIRON Cunningham praised his side’s professional performance after they beat Warrington 31-6.“We were really patient,” he said after the game, “it was probably the best first half of rugby we have played for a couple of years.“It was no coincidence that we put our seven back out there and produced that. The weight of possession told in the end; we stuck at it, got opportunities and took them. We scored three good tries.“We didn’t have the greatest start to the second half but we regrouped. We were playing a cornered animal in Warrington and knew they would come out and play and play really quick. We regrouped really well and got back to the job, restarted the half and it was a patient performance.”He continued: “Zeb Taia was really threatening on the left edge and Mark Percival has not had as much ball in his life. You have to get your best players the ball, we seem to be doing that and Percy is having a field day. I’m also pleased for Adam Swift. He had it tough for the first couple of weeks but has worked hard and over the last couple of weeks has been brilliant. He took his tries well.“Matty (Smith) got man of the match after playing his first game in two-and-a-half months. The way he manages himself in the dressing room before he goes out onto the field is impressive, as is how he performs in training.“Good players make other players better and we should only improve now.“We have a lot of potential. Jonny Lomax isn’t far away and Tommy Makinson is playing well as are the outside backs and middles.“We have to kick on and improve further now.“It is a long old season and now we have to get ready for Salford.“If we keep putting in the performances then you get what you deserve.“We have won two games in a row so we will enjoy the moment, but tomorrow we’re back to hard work and looking at Salford.”last_img read more

first_imgKEIRON Cunningham praised his side’s professional performance after they beat Warrington 31-6.“We were really patient,” he said after the game, “it was probably the best first half of rugby we have played for a couple of years.“It was no coincidence that we put our seven back out there and produced that. The weight of possession told in the end; we stuck at it, got opportunities and took them. We scored three good tries.“We didn’t have the greatest start to the second half but we regrouped. We were playing a cornered animal in Warrington and knew they would come out and play and play really quick. We regrouped really well and got back to the job, restarted the half and it was a patient performance.”He continued: “Zeb Taia was really threatening on the left edge and Mark Percival has not had as much ball in his life. You have to get your best players the ball, we seem to be doing that and Percy is having a field day. I’m also pleased for Adam Swift. He had it tough for the first couple of weeks but has worked hard and over the last couple of weeks has been brilliant. He took his tries well.“Matty (Smith) got man of the match after playing his first game in two-and-a-half months. The way he manages himself in the dressing room before he goes out onto the field is impressive, as is how he performs in training.“Good players make other players better and we should only improve now.“We have a lot of potential. Jonny Lomax isn’t far away and Tommy Makinson is playing well as are the outside backs and middles.“We have to kick on and improve further now.“It is a long old season and now we have to get ready for Salford.“If we keep putting in the performances then you get what you deserve.“We have won two games in a row so we will enjoy the moment, but tomorrow we’re back to hard work and looking at Salford.”last_img read more

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LUKE Douglas is looking for a big few weeks as Sai

31 Jul 2019

first_imgLUKE Douglas is looking for a big few weeks as Saints enter a busy part of the season.The forward is calling on his teammates to knock off some wins and improve their performance too – himself included.“It’s taken a little longer than I thought to get settled and I haven’t hit my straps yet,” he said. “It is a very good brand of footy over here, on a par with the NRL, and I have been impressed with how physical it is, the speed of the line and the skill too.“There are little different rule interpretations but it’s pretty good.“We have to kick on. We have got a job to do in the forwards; we have to get the team going forward and be solid in defence. We’ve been a little disrupted by different combinations due to injury but other clubs have had to deal with that too and we can’t use it was an excuse.“A lot is expected of us here and we have to produce the goods.“I haven’t been outstanding, I’ve just been trying to do my job and I know I have to improve.“We have an important period coming up with Huddersfield on Friday and then the Easter period. It’s important we play some good footy and get some wins. We are training hard and doing all the right things.”Douglas will meet a familiar face when the Giants come to town on Friday.Danny Brough is his Scotland teammate and Luke knows exactly what he brings to the game.“Danny has great ability with the ball,” he continued. “He can pop a 40:20 out of nowhere and it will be a big task for us to eliminate him playing with the ball. Their forwards like offloading and they play off the back of that. But it all starts with Danny.“He is great with the ball and he is a player we will be watching.”Luke Douglas is featured on this week’s Saints Podcast alongside Keiron Cunningham.It will be out later today so keep an eye on @saints1890 for news.Tickets for the Friday’s game are now on sale from the Ticket Office at the Totally Wicked Stadium, by calling 01744 455 052 or online here.last_img read more

first_imgLUKE Douglas is looking for a big few weeks as Saints enter a busy part of the season.The forward is calling on his teammates to knock off some wins and improve their performance too – himself included.“It’s taken a little longer than I thought to get settled and I haven’t hit my straps yet,” he said. “It is a very good brand of footy over here, on a par with the NRL, and I have been impressed with how physical it is, the speed of the line and the skill too.“There are little different rule interpretations but it’s pretty good.“We have to kick on. We have got a job to do in the forwards; we have to get the team going forward and be solid in defence. We’ve been a little disrupted by different combinations due to injury but other clubs have had to deal with that too and we can’t use it was an excuse.“A lot is expected of us here and we have to produce the goods.“I haven’t been outstanding, I’ve just been trying to do my job and I know I have to improve.“We have an important period coming up with Huddersfield on Friday and then the Easter period. It’s important we play some good footy and get some wins. We are training hard and doing all the right things.”Douglas will meet a familiar face when the Giants come to town on Friday.Danny Brough is his Scotland teammate and Luke knows exactly what he brings to the game.“Danny has great ability with the ball,” he continued. “He can pop a 40:20 out of nowhere and it will be a big task for us to eliminate him playing with the ball. Their forwards like offloading and they play off the back of that. But it all starts with Danny.“He is great with the ball and he is a player we will be watching.”Luke Douglas is featured on this week’s Saints Podcast alongside Keiron Cunningham.It will be out later today so keep an eye on @saints1890 for news.Tickets for the Friday’s game are now on sale from the Ticket Office at the Totally Wicked Stadium, by calling 01744 455 052 or online here.last_img read more

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Running with the wind in the first half the Saints

31 Jul 2019

first_imgRunning with the wind in the first half the Saints built up a commanding 14 point lead but needed all of that and more to withstand significant periods of sustained pressure.The Giants could and should have taken the lead in the fourth minute but a dropped pass let the Saints off the hook and they made the visitors pay; Lewis Dodd dummying his way through the line on his 50 metre run to the sticks.The visitors were falling victim to the Saints proactive defence and yet another dropped ball in their own half led to the Saints second try.From the resultant scrum Ben Betts took three men over the line with him to score.Harvey McDaid bombed a try with a knock on and from a last tackle kick the Saints knocked on again, this time under their own posts.The Giants punished the error with a barge over try from the big No. 8.Saints were determined to right the wrong, however, and forced an error from the kick off. Three tackles later and Harry Brooks was scoring under the sticks to regain the advantage.Unfortunately, the tit for tat continued as the Giants kick off sailed back to them in the wind and they went over down the left.With five minutes to the interval Jumah Sambou continued his impressive start to the season with a crunching tackle to knock the ball out of his opposite number’s hands. Two tackles later and Dan Ganson stepped inside the cover to score in the left corner.Dodd’s splendid touchline conversion from his wrong side and contending with the strong wind put the Saints up by 14 at the break.The Saints profligacy in attack continued at the start of the second half as strong running centre Evan Jones had a try disallowed for a forward pass.The agony was short lived though as substitute Lewis Baxter’s great angled run saw him under the sticks.He had another disallowed for offside from Dodd’s neat grubber kick before the Giants finally held the ball for long enough to find their feet.They camped out in the Saints 20 metre area for three repeat sets further enhanced with a smattering of penalties. The pressure finally told as a four man miss pass saw the visitors over down the Saints right.However, it is a testament to the Saints resilience that they withstood all that pressure over a ten minute period only cracking once.Normal service was resumed from the kick off as tough tackling forced the Giants to knock-on on half way and from the scrum Dodd scooted round the blind side, shot through the gap and outpaced the cover to the corner.This was a scratchy performance against a good side. The tackling improved in the second half with Lewis Baxter’s enthusiasm leading the way. The centre pairing of Sambou and Jones provides dynamism and worries defences and with Ethan Caine his usual combative self down the middle the Saints had too much.Match Summary:St Helens U16s:Tries: Lewis Dodd (8 & 61), Ben Betts (15), Harry Brooks (23), Dan Ganson (30), Lewis Baxter (42). Goals: Lewis Dodd 5 from 5, Harvey McDaid 0 from 1.Huddersfield U16s:Tries: Robson Stevens (21), Joe Burgess (25), Arif Burcak (23). Goals: David Gibbons 1 from 3.Half Time: 24-10 Full Time: 34-14Teams:Saints: 1. Harvey McDaid; 5. Will Loughnane, 4. Evan Jones, 3. Jumah Sambou, 2. Theo Robinson; 6. Dan Ganson, 7. Lewis Dodd; 8. Will Toone, 9. Keenan McDaid, 10. Ethan Caine, 11. Ben Betts, 12. Jack Stephenson, 13. Joe Spencer. Subs: 14. Jamie Duffy, 15. Lewis Baxter, 16. George Connolly, 17. Harry Brooks, 18. Ryan Appleton, 19. Reece Sumner, 20. Zak Lee.Huddersfield: 1. George Collins; 2. Kieran O’Reilly, 3. Marcus Garley, 4. Aiden McGowan, 5. Arif Burcak; 6. David Gibbons, 7. Kieran Rush; 8. Robson Stevens, 9. Sean Slater, 10. Lewis Laing, 11. Joe Burgess, 12. James Johnson, 15. Kobe Poching. Subs: 14. Stan Kilburn, 16. Kenan Lee, 17. Alfie Schultz, 18. Arian Woods, 19. Bennett Tupaea.last_img read more

first_imgRunning with the wind in the first half the Saints built up a commanding 14 point lead but needed all of that and more to withstand significant periods of sustained pressure.The Giants could and should have taken the lead in the fourth minute but a dropped pass let the Saints off the hook and they made the visitors pay; Lewis Dodd dummying his way through the line on his 50 metre run to the sticks.The visitors were falling victim to the Saints proactive defence and yet another dropped ball in their own half led to the Saints second try.From the resultant scrum Ben Betts took three men over the line with him to score.Harvey McDaid bombed a try with a knock on and from a last tackle kick the Saints knocked on again, this time under their own posts.The Giants punished the error with a barge over try from the big No. 8.Saints were determined to right the wrong, however, and forced an error from the kick off. Three tackles later and Harry Brooks was scoring under the sticks to regain the advantage.Unfortunately, the tit for tat continued as the Giants kick off sailed back to them in the wind and they went over down the left.With five minutes to the interval Jumah Sambou continued his impressive start to the season with a crunching tackle to knock the ball out of his opposite number’s hands. Two tackles later and Dan Ganson stepped inside the cover to score in the left corner.Dodd’s splendid touchline conversion from his wrong side and contending with the strong wind put the Saints up by 14 at the break.The Saints profligacy in attack continued at the start of the second half as strong running centre Evan Jones had a try disallowed for a forward pass.The agony was short lived though as substitute Lewis Baxter’s great angled run saw him under the sticks.He had another disallowed for offside from Dodd’s neat grubber kick before the Giants finally held the ball for long enough to find their feet.They camped out in the Saints 20 metre area for three repeat sets further enhanced with a smattering of penalties. The pressure finally told as a four man miss pass saw the visitors over down the Saints right.However, it is a testament to the Saints resilience that they withstood all that pressure over a ten minute period only cracking once.Normal service was resumed from the kick off as tough tackling forced the Giants to knock-on on half way and from the scrum Dodd scooted round the blind side, shot through the gap and outpaced the cover to the corner.This was a scratchy performance against a good side. The tackling improved in the second half with Lewis Baxter’s enthusiasm leading the way. The centre pairing of Sambou and Jones provides dynamism and worries defences and with Ethan Caine his usual combative self down the middle the Saints had too much.Match Summary:St Helens U16s:Tries: Lewis Dodd (8 & 61), Ben Betts (15), Harry Brooks (23), Dan Ganson (30), Lewis Baxter (42). Goals: Lewis Dodd 5 from 5, Harvey McDaid 0 from 1.Huddersfield U16s:Tries: Robson Stevens (21), Joe Burgess (25), Arif Burcak (23). Goals: David Gibbons 1 from 3.Half Time: 24-10 Full Time: 34-14Teams:Saints: 1. Harvey McDaid; 5. Will Loughnane, 4. Evan Jones, 3. Jumah Sambou, 2. Theo Robinson; 6. Dan Ganson, 7. Lewis Dodd; 8. Will Toone, 9. Keenan McDaid, 10. Ethan Caine, 11. Ben Betts, 12. Jack Stephenson, 13. Joe Spencer. Subs: 14. Jamie Duffy, 15. Lewis Baxter, 16. George Connolly, 17. Harry Brooks, 18. Ryan Appleton, 19. Reece Sumner, 20. Zak Lee.Huddersfield: 1. George Collins; 2. Kieran O’Reilly, 3. Marcus Garley, 4. Aiden McGowan, 5. Arif Burcak; 6. David Gibbons, 7. Kieran Rush; 8. Robson Stevens, 9. Sean Slater, 10. Lewis Laing, 11. Joe Burgess, 12. James Johnson, 15. Kobe Poching. Subs: 14. Stan Kilburn, 16. Kenan Lee, 17. Alfie Schultz, 18. Arian Woods, 19. Bennett Tupaea.last_img read more

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The youngster came in and took his spot in the s

31 Jul 2019

first_imgThe youngster came in and took his ‘spot’ in the side that beat the Vikings 38-18.“Matty is a great kid and I have a lot of respect for him,” Kyle said. “I talk to him a lot and try and pass on little bits of knowledge I have of the game. He has a bright future ahead of him and I really believe that.“That game at Magic will have helped him and the club. It was on the big stage and he handled himself pretty well too.“Obviously, my loss was another man’s gain but I couldn’t have thought of a better kid to take my shirt and do us and the lads well than Matty.”Kyle is likely to return to the side that travels to Castleford this evening, and it’s a game he is looking forward to.“I don’t think our approach to the game will change,” he continued. “We have had two good wins over them but at the same time we have to respect them. They have a great coaches in Daryl Powell and Ryan Sheridan, and great players, and I have no doubt they will come up with another way of coming at us.“They rattled us last time and played a little different than we expected but during the course of the game we managed that well I thought and ended up coming through it. They will possibly come up with something else this week so we have to be ready for that.“We are fully aware the last two games have been good for us but that doesn’t mean anything and we will have to play well. We have to go and back it up and perform.“If we do our job right and nail our roles then hopefully we can come through it.”last_img read more

first_imgThe youngster came in and took his ‘spot’ in the side that beat the Vikings 38-18.“Matty is a great kid and I have a lot of respect for him,” Kyle said. “I talk to him a lot and try and pass on little bits of knowledge I have of the game. He has a bright future ahead of him and I really believe that.“That game at Magic will have helped him and the club. It was on the big stage and he handled himself pretty well too.“Obviously, my loss was another man’s gain but I couldn’t have thought of a better kid to take my shirt and do us and the lads well than Matty.”Kyle is likely to return to the side that travels to Castleford this evening, and it’s a game he is looking forward to.“I don’t think our approach to the game will change,” he continued. “We have had two good wins over them but at the same time we have to respect them. They have a great coaches in Daryl Powell and Ryan Sheridan, and great players, and I have no doubt they will come up with another way of coming at us.“They rattled us last time and played a little different than we expected but during the course of the game we managed that well I thought and ended up coming through it. They will possibly come up with something else this week so we have to be ready for that.“We are fully aware the last two games have been good for us but that doesn’t mean anything and we will have to play well. We have to go and back it up and perform.“If we do our job right and nail our roles then hopefully we can come through it.”last_img read more

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Disaster recovery center offers FEMA assistance DSNAP cards

30 Jul 2019

first_img A FEMA official says more than $57 million have been approved for Florence victims. NC Social Services is also signing people up for cards that can be used at grocery stores.One Brunswick County resident says FEMA has been a lifeline for her.“It doesn’t matter how long it takes. If you don’t understand it, they help explain it to you. She called me three times in one day to tell me, ‘Look, this is the problem,” and I said, ‘Okay.’” Then she said, ‘Well they can’t do it today.’ Then she called me again and she said, ‘We’re going to try it tomorrow,’” said Hughes.Related Article: What’s next? Red Cross representative gives long term perspectiveA FEMA representative says that visiting a disaster recovery center will make the process as clear as possible for people. She also says another center will open in Pender County this week. 00:00 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 BOLIVIA, NC (WWAY) — If you still need to register for FEMA, a disaster recovery center is open at the O’Dell Williamson Auditorium at Brunswick Community College. North Carolina Social Services will also be set up to sign people up for DSNAP food cards.The disaster recovery center will be open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sunday.- Advertisement – last_img read more

first_img A FEMA official says more than $57 million have been approved for Florence victims. NC Social Services is also signing people up for cards that can be used at grocery stores.One Brunswick County resident says FEMA has been a lifeline for her.“It doesn’t matter how long it takes. If you don’t understand it, they help explain it to you. She called me three times in one day to tell me, ‘Look, this is the problem,” and I said, ‘Okay.’” Then she said, ‘Well they can’t do it today.’ Then she called me again and she said, ‘We’re going to try it tomorrow,’” said Hughes.Related Article: What’s next? Red Cross representative gives long term perspectiveA FEMA representative says that visiting a disaster recovery center will make the process as clear as possible for people. She also says another center will open in Pender County this week. 00:00 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 BOLIVIA, NC (WWAY) — If you still need to register for FEMA, a disaster recovery center is open at the O’Dell Williamson Auditorium at Brunswick Community College. North Carolina Social Services will also be set up to sign people up for DSNAP food cards.The disaster recovery center will be open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sunday.- Advertisement – last_img read more

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ILM names memorial plaza after former board chairman

30 Jul 2019

first_imgWILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A change is coming to Wilmington International Airport and it’s to honor Parks Griffin, a former chairman of the airport authority.Griffin died last year after a long career as a Wilmington businessman.- Advertisement – He was co-founder of the insurance brokerage GriffinEstep, a graduate of UNCW, and a recipient of the Order of the Long Leaf Pine.Packed room at ILM announcing the future Parks L Griffin plaza which will be part of ILM’s new terminal. @NewHanoverCo Chair Woody White, Parks “never wanted the recognition but spent a lifetime earning it…” #flyILM pic.twitter.com/y9WBWqHPZd— ILM Airport (@ILMairport) October 15, 2018Now, the Parks L. Griffin Plaza will be constructed as part of the overall terminal expansion plaza.Related Article: 4th Annual Ronald Sachs International Music Competition to spotlight youth musiciansWork should be complete in the coming years.last_img read more

first_imgWILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A change is coming to Wilmington International Airport and it’s to honor Parks Griffin, a former chairman of the airport authority.Griffin died last year after a long career as a Wilmington businessman.- Advertisement – He was co-founder of the insurance brokerage GriffinEstep, a graduate of UNCW, and a recipient of the Order of the Long Leaf Pine.Packed room at ILM announcing the future Parks L Griffin plaza which will be part of ILM’s new terminal. @NewHanoverCo Chair Woody White, Parks “never wanted the recognition but spent a lifetime earning it…” #flyILM pic.twitter.com/y9WBWqHPZd— ILM Airport (@ILMairport) October 15, 2018Now, the Parks L. Griffin Plaza will be constructed as part of the overall terminal expansion plaza.Related Article: 4th Annual Ronald Sachs International Music Competition to spotlight youth musiciansWork should be complete in the coming years.last_img read more

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OFFENDER WATCH BCSO launches new online sex offender registry

30 Jul 2019

first_imgBRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — With a quick search using the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office “Offender Watch” registry you can see the more than 250 sex offenders living in the county.The registry shows 41 sex offenders are within 5 miles of Leland’s town hall, 14 within 5 miles of downtown Southport, and many more across the county.- Advertisement – Launched by Brunswick County Sheriff John Ingram, the new online registry allows residents to search for registered sex offenders located inside a user-defined radius, ranging from quarter-mile to five miles,  from any Brunswick County address.“Offender Watch is a great tool in keeping residents informed of anyone moving into their communities who might be a potential threat to their families. I hope this tool will offer citizens peace of mind in knowing that information is easily accessible,” says Sheriff Ingram.The Offender Watch data is updated in real time as offender data is received by the sheriff’s office. The online registry links the county to more than 5,000 law enforcement agencies.Related Article: Southport names new police chief, department investigation still ongoing“The sheriff has also made available additional web based resources designed to educate and inform the public on ways to keep their families safe,” spokeswoman Emily Flax said. “The purpose of the program is to lessen the anxiety of citizens by proactively alerting them should an offender/predator move within proximity to them, and to provide the highest level of security and safety to all Brunswick County citizens.”You can find the Offender Watch registry for Brunswick County here.More information will be available at the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office Fall Festival at the Brunswick County Government Complex from 6-9 p.m Thursday.last_img read more

first_imgBRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — With a quick search using the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office “Offender Watch” registry you can see the more than 250 sex offenders living in the county.The registry shows 41 sex offenders are within 5 miles of Leland’s town hall, 14 within 5 miles of downtown Southport, and many more across the county.- Advertisement – Launched by Brunswick County Sheriff John Ingram, the new online registry allows residents to search for registered sex offenders located inside a user-defined radius, ranging from quarter-mile to five miles,  from any Brunswick County address.“Offender Watch is a great tool in keeping residents informed of anyone moving into their communities who might be a potential threat to their families. I hope this tool will offer citizens peace of mind in knowing that information is easily accessible,” says Sheriff Ingram.The Offender Watch data is updated in real time as offender data is received by the sheriff’s office. The online registry links the county to more than 5,000 law enforcement agencies.Related Article: Southport names new police chief, department investigation still ongoing“The sheriff has also made available additional web based resources designed to educate and inform the public on ways to keep their families safe,” spokeswoman Emily Flax said. “The purpose of the program is to lessen the anxiety of citizens by proactively alerting them should an offender/predator move within proximity to them, and to provide the highest level of security and safety to all Brunswick County citizens.”You can find the Offender Watch registry for Brunswick County here.More information will be available at the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office Fall Festival at the Brunswick County Government Complex from 6-9 p.m Thursday.last_img read more

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October medication disposal event comes Saturday

30 Jul 2019

first_imgNEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Saturday, New Hanover Regional Medical Center partnered with regional healthcare, law enforcement, education and safety organizations for a medication drop off.The event was to encourage proper disposal of medications and syringes.- Advertisement – Seventeen locations in New Hanover, Brunswick, Pender, Onslow, Columbus and Duplin counties accepted medications and syringes on Saturday, October 27 from 10 AM to 2 PM.Anyone unable to attend but interested in getting rid of unwanted medication can visit any permanent drop box available across southeastern North Carolina.No needles or biohazard materials are accepted in the drop boxes. Find your nearest drop-off site here.Related Article: Tanner’s Tee-Off Tuesday: Beau Rivage Golf & ResortThe locations in New Hanover, Brunswick, Pender and Columbus county include:NHRMC Medical Mall, 2243 S. 17th St., WilmingtonNHRMC ExpressCare, 510 Carolina Bay Drive, WilmingtonNHRMC Atlantic SurgiCenter, 9104 Market St., WilmingtonCarolina Beach Police Department, 1121 N. Lake Park Blvd., Carolina BeachNew Hanover County Senior Resource Center, 2222 S. College Rd., WilmingtonUNCW Police Department, 5126 Lionfish Drive, WilmingtonNew Hanover Medical Group – Myrtle Grove, 5145 S. College Road, WilmingtonMedNorth Health Center, 925 N. Fourth St., WilmingtonNHRMC Brunswick Forest, 1333 S. Dickenson Dr., LelandNovant Health Brunswick Medical Center, 240 Hospital Dr. NE, BoliviaPender Memorial Hospital, 507 E. Freemont St., BurgawIsland Family Medicine, 2540 N.C. 210 East, Surf CityVillage Pharmacy of Hampstead, Inc., 14057 US-17 #100, HampsteadBlack River Health Services, Inc., 4811 N.C. 50, Maple HillColumbus Regional Healthcare, 500 Jefferson St., Whitevillelast_img read more

first_imgNEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Saturday, New Hanover Regional Medical Center partnered with regional healthcare, law enforcement, education and safety organizations for a medication drop off.The event was to encourage proper disposal of medications and syringes.- Advertisement – Seventeen locations in New Hanover, Brunswick, Pender, Onslow, Columbus and Duplin counties accepted medications and syringes on Saturday, October 27 from 10 AM to 2 PM.Anyone unable to attend but interested in getting rid of unwanted medication can visit any permanent drop box available across southeastern North Carolina.No needles or biohazard materials are accepted in the drop boxes. Find your nearest drop-off site here.Related Article: Tanner’s Tee-Off Tuesday: Beau Rivage Golf & ResortThe locations in New Hanover, Brunswick, Pender and Columbus county include:NHRMC Medical Mall, 2243 S. 17th St., WilmingtonNHRMC ExpressCare, 510 Carolina Bay Drive, WilmingtonNHRMC Atlantic SurgiCenter, 9104 Market St., WilmingtonCarolina Beach Police Department, 1121 N. Lake Park Blvd., Carolina BeachNew Hanover County Senior Resource Center, 2222 S. College Rd., WilmingtonUNCW Police Department, 5126 Lionfish Drive, WilmingtonNew Hanover Medical Group – Myrtle Grove, 5145 S. College Road, WilmingtonMedNorth Health Center, 925 N. Fourth St., WilmingtonNHRMC Brunswick Forest, 1333 S. Dickenson Dr., LelandNovant Health Brunswick Medical Center, 240 Hospital Dr. NE, BoliviaPender Memorial Hospital, 507 E. Freemont St., BurgawIsland Family Medicine, 2540 N.C. 210 East, Surf CityVillage Pharmacy of Hampstead, Inc., 14057 US-17 #100, HampsteadBlack River Health Services, Inc., 4811 N.C. 50, Maple HillColumbus Regional Healthcare, 500 Jefferson St., Whitevillelast_img read more

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Deputies investigating midmorning armed robbery at Pender Co business

30 Jul 2019

first_img Two men wearing masks reportedly entered the store with a shotgun, demanded money, and then ran away.If you know any information, you are asked to call the Pender County Sheriff’s Office. (Photo: Pixabay) PENDER COUNTy, NC (WWAY) — Pender County Sheriff’s Office is investigating after an armed robbery at a Atkinson business Wednesday morning.According to PCSO Spokesman Capt. James Rowell, they received a 911 call around 10:15 a.m. of an armed robbery at the Family Dollar at 410 West Church Street.- Advertisement – last_img

first_img Two men wearing masks reportedly entered the store with a shotgun, demanded money, and then ran away.If you know any information, you are asked to call the Pender County Sheriff’s Office. (Photo: Pixabay) PENDER COUNTy, NC (WWAY) — Pender County Sheriff’s Office is investigating after an armed robbery at a Atkinson business Wednesday morning.According to PCSO Spokesman Capt. James Rowell, they received a 911 call around 10:15 a.m. of an armed robbery at the Family Dollar at 410 West Church Street.- Advertisement – last_img

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Sewer work may cause lane closures on Wooster South College roads

30 Jul 2019

first_img On Wooster, work will occur during the day, between 6 a.m. and 5 p.m., approximately one block in each direction starting at 17th Street and continuing to Fourth Street, as illustrated on this map.On College, work will occur in the nighttime, between 7 p.m. and 6 a.m., approximately one block in each direction starting at Lake Avenue and continuing to Wilshire Boulevard, as illustrated on this map.During this period, contractors for CFPUA will do video inspections, repair and install lining as needed. This program helps to minimize issues within the sewer system. A road construction sign (Photo: Courtesy of MGN/Tony Magpantay) WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Drivers may experience temporary lane closures on portions of Wooster Street and South College Road starting Monday as Cape Fear Public Utility Authority conducts inspections and maintenance on sanitary sewer mains.The work will run through mid-March.- Advertisement – last_img read more

first_img On Wooster, work will occur during the day, between 6 a.m. and 5 p.m., approximately one block in each direction starting at 17th Street and continuing to Fourth Street, as illustrated on this map.On College, work will occur in the nighttime, between 7 p.m. and 6 a.m., approximately one block in each direction starting at Lake Avenue and continuing to Wilshire Boulevard, as illustrated on this map.During this period, contractors for CFPUA will do video inspections, repair and install lining as needed. This program helps to minimize issues within the sewer system. A road construction sign (Photo: Courtesy of MGN/Tony Magpantay) WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Drivers may experience temporary lane closures on portions of Wooster Street and South College Road starting Monday as Cape Fear Public Utility Authority conducts inspections and maintenance on sanitary sewer mains.The work will run through mid-March.- Advertisement – last_img read more

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NC House to restart hurricane recovery committee

30 Jul 2019

first_imgNC farm flooded during Hurricane Florence (Photo: Mary Junell / U.S. Army / (CC BY-NC 2.0)) RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The state House is reconstituting an oversight committee that will keep monitoring challenges state government has had in distributing federal long-term housing grants to hurricane victims in eastern North Carolina.House Speaker Tim Moore announced Tuesday that the House Select Committee on Disaster Relief has been authorized to meet again.- Advertisement – The panel met in 2018 and scrutinized why the state was slow giving out $237 million in federal community development grant funds received after Hurricane Matthew in 2016 for housing repairs.A report by the legislature’s government watchdog agency last month quantifying that slowness again led House Republicans from eastern North Carolina to seek the committee’s reauthorization. The agency issued a follow-up report Monday.North Carolina also will receive $337 million in similar housing grant block money after Hurricane Florence.last_img read more

first_imgNC farm flooded during Hurricane Florence (Photo: Mary Junell / U.S. Army / (CC BY-NC 2.0)) RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The state House is reconstituting an oversight committee that will keep monitoring challenges state government has had in distributing federal long-term housing grants to hurricane victims in eastern North Carolina.House Speaker Tim Moore announced Tuesday that the House Select Committee on Disaster Relief has been authorized to meet again.- Advertisement – The panel met in 2018 and scrutinized why the state was slow giving out $237 million in federal community development grant funds received after Hurricane Matthew in 2016 for housing repairs.A report by the legislature’s government watchdog agency last month quantifying that slowness again led House Republicans from eastern North Carolina to seek the committee’s reauthorization. The agency issued a follow-up report Monday.North Carolina also will receive $337 million in similar housing grant block money after Hurricane Florence.last_img read more

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Police investigates argument which left Gozitan engineer in Hospital

30 Jul 2019

first_img <a href=’http://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/ck.php?n=ab2c8853&amp;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’https://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=97&amp;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a> Google MapsGoogle Maps The Police is currently investigating an argument which occurred last Saturday at around 2:30 pm, in Marsalforn.The incident happened during dredging and rock collecting works in the nearby valley. This argument resulted in a 55 years old man from Munxar suffering minor injuries, after he was allegedly punched in the face. Sources told Newsbook.com.mt that the injured man is an engineer working with the Government in Gozo.A spokesperson for the Police has confirmed that the man was treated at Gozo General Hospital, while the alleged aggregator was questioned by the Police.Read: An argument between 4 men in GozoWhatsApp SharePrintlast_img read more

first_img <a href=’http://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/ck.php?n=ab2c8853&amp;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’https://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=97&amp;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a> Google MapsGoogle Maps The Police is currently investigating an argument which occurred last Saturday at around 2:30 pm, in Marsalforn.The incident happened during dredging and rock collecting works in the nearby valley. This argument resulted in a 55 years old man from Munxar suffering minor injuries, after he was allegedly punched in the face. Sources told Newsbook.com.mt that the injured man is an engineer working with the Government in Gozo.A spokesperson for the Police has confirmed that the man was treated at Gozo General Hospital, while the alleged aggregator was questioned by the Police.Read: An argument between 4 men in GozoWhatsApp SharePrintlast_img read more

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Pastore returns to Serie A

30 Jul 2019

first_imgArgentine Javier Pastore, who was a transfer target for West Ham United, has decided to join Serie A side Roma. The 29-year-old was pictured upon his arrival at Rome’s Ciampino Airport where a number of euphoric fans greeted the new signing.Pastore is well-remembered in Serie A having played for Palermo before transfering to Paris St-Germain in 2011 for a reported £37m. The midfielder made over 250 appearances for the French side but played a limited role during Unai Emery’s last season as coach.Roma’s sporting director Monchi  has been busy in the transfer market and he has already recruited Justin Kuivert from Ajax and Davide Santon from Inter Milan while Radja Nainggolan joined the Nerazzuri.Brought to you by Hublot<a href=”http://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/ck.php?n=a01a3708&amp;cb={random}” target=”_blank”><img src=”https://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=34&amp;cb={random}&amp;n=a01a3708&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}” border=”0″ alt=”” /></a>WhatsApp <a href=’http://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/ck.php?n=a7617b59&amp;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’https://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=128&amp;cb={random}&amp;n=a7617b59&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a> SharePrintlast_img read more

first_imgArgentine Javier Pastore, who was a transfer target for West Ham United, has decided to join Serie A side Roma. The 29-year-old was pictured upon his arrival at Rome’s Ciampino Airport where a number of euphoric fans greeted the new signing.Pastore is well-remembered in Serie A having played for Palermo before transfering to Paris St-Germain in 2011 for a reported £37m. The midfielder made over 250 appearances for the French side but played a limited role during Unai Emery’s last season as coach.Roma’s sporting director Monchi  has been busy in the transfer market and he has already recruited Justin Kuivert from Ajax and Davide Santon from Inter Milan while Radja Nainggolan joined the Nerazzuri.Brought to you by Hublot<a href=”http://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/ck.php?n=a01a3708&amp;cb={random}” target=”_blank”><img src=”https://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=34&amp;cb={random}&amp;n=a01a3708&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}” border=”0″ alt=”” /></a>WhatsApp <a href=’http://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/ck.php?n=a7617b59&amp;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’https://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=128&amp;cb={random}&amp;n=a7617b59&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a> SharePrintlast_img read more

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Von der Leyen cracks EU parliament nut national leaders will prove tougher

30 Jul 2019

first_img <a href=’http://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/ck.php?n=ab2c8853&amp;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’https://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=97&amp;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a> SharePrint Ursula von der LEYEN, Candidate for President of the European Commission meets with the EPP groupUrsula von der LEYEN, Candidate for President of the European Commission meets with the EPP group Ursula von der Leyen had to dangle a range of promises on migration, taxes, climate change and the rule of law to secure even a wafer-thin margin of support in the European Parliament to become the EU’s first female chief executive.But delivering on those pledges will be an even harder task for von der Leyen, a close ally of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, because the EU’s national leaders, although they picked her for the job, are deeply at odds over many of those issues.The 28 member states are divided on how to handle refugees, on committing to carbon neutrality by 2050 and on the question of safeguarding democracy in the bloc.“She promised a whole lot of things and it’s not clear at all that we would be able to deliver,” said one senior EU diplomat. “It’s good to have ambition but one can already see that some areas will be extremely difficult.”Policy gridlock would inflict further damage on the EU, which has been buffeted in recent years by the euro zone debt crisis, Britain’s decision to leave, an erosion of democratic norms and the rise of far-right and far-left eurosceptic parties.As head of the EU executive Commission for five years from November, von der Leyen will oversee trade negotiations, economic and climate policy for 500 million Europeans and antitrust rulings involving powerful tech giants.She was approved in a secret ballot of EU lawmakers on Tuesday, but with only nine more votes than the 374 required in the badly fractured assembly.Some lawmakers from von der Leyen’s own centre-right party appear to have deserted her at the last minute, perhaps piqued by her promises of a greener and more equitable Europe that were designed to win over wavering socialists and liberals.Making up for the lack of centrist votes, von der Leyen has non-mainstream parties – including Poland’s ruling nationalist Law and Justice (PiS) party – to thank for getting her across the line in parliament.COMPETING DEMANDSThe competing demands that parties make on the new European Commission president as the price for their support in Tuesday’s vote will be writ large in the European Council of national leaders, who are just as divided as the parliament.Already decisions on the most contentious issues tend to stall in the Council because many of the EU’s key policy decisions require unanimity among the national capitals.Poland and Hungary have led an eastern states’ revolt against the ambitious 2050 climate goal, striking it down last month.Von der Leyen has proposed a transition fund whereby wealthier states would support their poorer peers in phasing out coal and helping with job losses, but it remains to be seen if this will be enough to win them over.Raising the EU’s climate ambitions does resonate with many capitals, especially Paris. France will also be happy with her economic and social policy proposals, which include continuing work towards a euro zone budget and a scheme to safeguard bank deposits in euro zone countries. Both plans have been held up, mostly due to opposition from von der Leyen’s native Germany.Von der Leyen also proposed an EU-wide unemployment scheme and a minimum wage.“As with many other things she has promised, the social pillar is a very sensitive issue,” said another EU diplomat.“The economic situation and social structure differs a lot among member states, which is precisely why work on harmonising that has been difficult. It’s hard to see anything quick.”On taxation, the EU’s work on a digital tax, a common corporate tax and ensuring big tech companies pay in Europe – all among von der Leyen’s promises – have also stalled over opposition from Ireland, the Netherlands and others.To allow progress, von der Leyen wants to switch to majority – rather than unanimous – approval for tax, foreign policy, climate, energy and social issues.“The paradox is that EU states would need to agree unanimously to move to majority decisions. None would voluntarily sign up for the risk of being outvoted on an important file,” a third EU diplomat said.Von der Leyen’s idea to give the European Parliament the right to propose legislation – currently it can only vote on laws put forward by the Commission or EU states – would require changing the bloc’s founding treaties, with the risk of ratification being compromised by resurgent eurosceptic groups.She did not explain how she would “relaunch” talks on the EU’s broken asylum rules, discussion of which has caused splits between southern states where migrants arrive, rich destination countries and easterners which refuse to help host new arrivals.If she acts on her promises to be tougher than the outgoing Commission on ensuring all EU states honour democratic standards, she would anger Hungary and Poland,Beata Mazurek, spokeswoman of Poland’s ruling PiS party, told Reuters on Wednesday that Warsaw wants the new Commission to treat all EU states equally. Poland has complained repeatedly that the current Commission’s legal action against Warsaw over the rule of law is biased.WhatsApplast_img read more

first_img <a href=’http://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/ck.php?n=ab2c8853&amp;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’https://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=97&amp;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a> SharePrint Ursula von der LEYEN, Candidate for President of the European Commission meets with the EPP groupUrsula von der LEYEN, Candidate for President of the European Commission meets with the EPP group Ursula von der Leyen had to dangle a range of promises on migration, taxes, climate change and the rule of law to secure even a wafer-thin margin of support in the European Parliament to become the EU’s first female chief executive.But delivering on those pledges will be an even harder task for von der Leyen, a close ally of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, because the EU’s national leaders, although they picked her for the job, are deeply at odds over many of those issues.The 28 member states are divided on how to handle refugees, on committing to carbon neutrality by 2050 and on the question of safeguarding democracy in the bloc.“She promised a whole lot of things and it’s not clear at all that we would be able to deliver,” said one senior EU diplomat. “It’s good to have ambition but one can already see that some areas will be extremely difficult.”Policy gridlock would inflict further damage on the EU, which has been buffeted in recent years by the euro zone debt crisis, Britain’s decision to leave, an erosion of democratic norms and the rise of far-right and far-left eurosceptic parties.As head of the EU executive Commission for five years from November, von der Leyen will oversee trade negotiations, economic and climate policy for 500 million Europeans and antitrust rulings involving powerful tech giants.She was approved in a secret ballot of EU lawmakers on Tuesday, but with only nine more votes than the 374 required in the badly fractured assembly.Some lawmakers from von der Leyen’s own centre-right party appear to have deserted her at the last minute, perhaps piqued by her promises of a greener and more equitable Europe that were designed to win over wavering socialists and liberals.Making up for the lack of centrist votes, von der Leyen has non-mainstream parties – including Poland’s ruling nationalist Law and Justice (PiS) party – to thank for getting her across the line in parliament.COMPETING DEMANDSThe competing demands that parties make on the new European Commission president as the price for their support in Tuesday’s vote will be writ large in the European Council of national leaders, who are just as divided as the parliament.Already decisions on the most contentious issues tend to stall in the Council because many of the EU’s key policy decisions require unanimity among the national capitals.Poland and Hungary have led an eastern states’ revolt against the ambitious 2050 climate goal, striking it down last month.Von der Leyen has proposed a transition fund whereby wealthier states would support their poorer peers in phasing out coal and helping with job losses, but it remains to be seen if this will be enough to win them over.Raising the EU’s climate ambitions does resonate with many capitals, especially Paris. France will also be happy with her economic and social policy proposals, which include continuing work towards a euro zone budget and a scheme to safeguard bank deposits in euro zone countries. Both plans have been held up, mostly due to opposition from von der Leyen’s native Germany.Von der Leyen also proposed an EU-wide unemployment scheme and a minimum wage.“As with many other things she has promised, the social pillar is a very sensitive issue,” said another EU diplomat.“The economic situation and social structure differs a lot among member states, which is precisely why work on harmonising that has been difficult. It’s hard to see anything quick.”On taxation, the EU’s work on a digital tax, a common corporate tax and ensuring big tech companies pay in Europe – all among von der Leyen’s promises – have also stalled over opposition from Ireland, the Netherlands and others.To allow progress, von der Leyen wants to switch to majority – rather than unanimous – approval for tax, foreign policy, climate, energy and social issues.“The paradox is that EU states would need to agree unanimously to move to majority decisions. None would voluntarily sign up for the risk of being outvoted on an important file,” a third EU diplomat said.Von der Leyen’s idea to give the European Parliament the right to propose legislation – currently it can only vote on laws put forward by the Commission or EU states – would require changing the bloc’s founding treaties, with the risk of ratification being compromised by resurgent eurosceptic groups.She did not explain how she would “relaunch” talks on the EU’s broken asylum rules, discussion of which has caused splits between southern states where migrants arrive, rich destination countries and easterners which refuse to help host new arrivals.If she acts on her promises to be tougher than the outgoing Commission on ensuring all EU states honour democratic standards, she would anger Hungary and Poland,Beata Mazurek, spokeswoman of Poland’s ruling PiS party, told Reuters on Wednesday that Warsaw wants the new Commission to treat all EU states equally. Poland has complained repeatedly that the current Commission’s legal action against Warsaw over the rule of law is biased.WhatsApplast_img read more

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