UKIPs manifesto has significant policies on outo

first_imgUKIP’s manifesto has significant policies on out-of-work disability benefits and social care, but offers little to suggest that disability rights would be a priority if the party won power.The manifesto says UKIP would abolish the much-criticised and “unfair” work capability assessment, relying instead on GPs and consultants to assess disabled people’s eligibility for out-of-work disability benefits.This would mean an end to the “limbo” faced by disabled people placed in the work-related activity group (WRAG) of employment and support allowance (ESA) after their assessment, says UKIP.The UKIP manifesto pledges to support disabled people who are unable to work through a “fair and fit-for-purpose welfare system”.The manifesto adds: “[UKIP would] remove ‘tick-box’ and quota arrangements from sickness and disability assessments, thereby streamlining and speeding up the assessment processes and continually respecting claimants throughout the process.”It would also abolish the coalition’s “bedroom tax”, known by the government as the spare room subsidy removal, which has hit many disabled people who claim housing benefit.UKIP says in its manifesto that it is “fully committed” to the rights described in article 19 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which outlines the “equal right of all persons with disabilities to live in the community, with choices equal to others”.The manifesto says: “We wholly endorse the right of the disabled to access in-home, residential and community support services and we support their inclusion in our communities.”On social care funding, it promises an extra £1.2 billion a year by the end of the next parliament, which would “ease the path through a change” to the integration of health and social care “under the control of the NHS”.It also pledges to introduce a legally-binding “dignity code” to improve standards of professional care, and says it would “protect services such as day care, home care and Meals on Wheels”, and abolish 15-minute home care visits.It also says that, if shale and oil gas “fracking” proved possible and profitable, a UKIP government would spend any tax revenue on “looking after older people”.UKIP (led by Nigel Farage, pictured) also wants to abolish the Care Quality Commission – which inspects and regulates the health and social care sectors – and place its inspection functions in the hands of new “county health boards made up of health and social care professionals elected locally by their peers”.The other significant disability-related policy is a pledge similar to the controversial promise on inclusive education offered by the Conservatives at the 2010 election.The UKIP manifesto says: “The policy of closing special schools will be reversed. Every child is unique and the needs of each child should come first.“Those who learn better in a tailored, non-mainstream environment should have the opportunity to do so.”One disabled parliamentary candidate, Star Etheridge, UKIP’s disability spokeswoman, who is standing in Wolverhampton North East, said the party’s plans on disability benefits would mean “no more limbo in the WRAG group; a person is going to be ill or not ill based on the opinion of their GP or hospital specialists”.She said: “That’s quite a good point when you think of those on contribution-based ESA because they will not lose out and their contributions mean they won’t lose benefits, as so many do now. “There will be savings from the removal of the contracts from the private assessing companies.“There will be less spent on mandatory reconsiderations and then tribunals so these savings will be part of the overall headline £12 billion that needs to be saved [across government].”last_img read more

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Staffing cuts across the rail industry – forced on

first_imgStaffing cuts across the rail industry – forced on train companies by the government – are damaging the rights of disabled passengers to catch trains without having to book assistance in advance, according to campaigners.The user-led accessible transport charity Transport for All (TfA) said the Department for Transport (DfT) was embedding such cuts in rail franchise agreements with train companies, making it even harder for disabled and older people who need assistance to board and disembark trains to travel “spontaneously”.Two representatives of the rail industry appeared to agree that the government was to blame and had forced the staffing cuts on train-operating companies – affecting station and on-board staff – although one of them later appeared to backtrack on that claim.Faryal Velmi, TfA’s director, told Tuesday’s Pan London Mobility Forum: “‘Turn up and go’ is not rocket science.“We are living in one of the richest cities, in one of the richest countries in the world.”She said that train operating companies were “making very handsome profits for their shareholders”, while the government was failing to answer questions “straightforwardly” about the need for “turn up and go”.She said the train industry needed to “stop treating disabled passengers as second-class citizens”, while transport ministers “really need to stop being so intransigent and face reality”.Alan Benson (pictured, left), TFA’s chair, said the government was driving staff cuts at companies like Southern Railway by embedding such reductions in franchise agreements.He said: “It is a really big problem that we need to raise the awareness of and tackle.”Michael Adlington, customer experience manager for accessibility and inclusion for the Rail Delivery Group (RDG) – whose members run the rail industry – said it was DfT that decided how many staff train operating companies could employ.When asked after the meeting to confirm that the government set staffing levels through the franchising process, Adlington told Disability News Service (DNS): “That’s what I believe, but the DfT would need to confirm it.”He then added: “I perhaps said too much, if I am honest, because I don’t know.”Veronika Krcalova, stakeholder support manager for South West Trains, also appeared to suggest that it was the government that decided how many staff a train operating company could employ.She told the forum: “At the moment, we have a guard on every one of our trains.“We want to keep them, but that is not up to us to decide.”After the forum meeting, DfT denied that it specified staffing levels in franchise agreements, and said instead that it was “a matter for the train operator to ensure that services operate safely and in compliance with legal and regulatory requirements”, while all train companies have to comply with the Equality Act.The forum heard that London’s Euston station has already warned disabled people that if they want assistance to board trains over Christmas it is “highly recommended” to book it in advance, said Benson.He told the forum that this was “shocking” for a station the size of Euston.TfA activist Gina Vettese (pictured, centre), a scooter-user, told the forum: “We have to keep guards on these trains, otherwise there will be no-one to help us on and off.“It is a total lack of common sense.”Hannah Barham-Brown (pictured, right), a junior doctor, blogger and wheelchair-user, from south London, told the forum about the ordeal she had repeatedly faced as she tried to travel to work at Kingston Hospital by train.She was unable to book assistance home because she could not predict what time she would finish her shift every day.She experienced so many “horrific journeys” caused by the failure of assistance to help her on and off trains that she admitted defeat and paid for a car instead.She said: “I would like to know that I am valued as much as any other customer, but I don’t think that is [true] most of the time.”Much of the discussion about “turn up and go” at the forum involved Southern, which is embroiled in a long-running industrial dispute over plans that will see more of its trains driver-only operated (DOO), with no other member of staff on board.Emily Yates, co-founder of the Association of British Commuters (ABC), said her organisation had been told by lawyers that DOO trains that visited unstaffed stations would breach the Equality Act if a disabled passenger was unable to secure assistance at those stations.She said it was not clear whether train operating companies or DfT would decide to prevent this happening.She said: “Will there be a call made on that decision or will it take us crowdfunding [to pay for a court case] to make it happen?”Adlington told her: “I honestly don’t know. It is horrible to think that a customer or group of customers like yourselves would have to club together to do something.“We have been talking to DfT. It is very much in their domain as to what happens.”He said the rail industry was only able to work within “parameters” set by the government, although “we can fight against it if we think it is wrong”.But Yates said: “In 2016, are we [really] having this discussion about whether disabled people have the right to turn up and travel?“The government are clearly saying, no, they don’t.”She said that attempts by Southern to “normalise” the inability of disabled passengers to “turn up and go” rather than trying to address the problem were “unlawful and immoral and unacceptable”.Charles King, chair of Croydon Mobility Forum, said the staffing situation on the railways was “absolutely appalling”, with DfT deciding how many staff train operating companies employ, leading to trains regularly skipping station stops because there were not enough staff on duty.When this happens, disabled people are “120th in the queue” for a taxi to get back to their home station, he said, and then “120th in the next queue” because the first taxi was not accessible.Adlington also told the meeting that RDG was now at the “early stages” of working with DfT to “put in some minimum standards of rail accessibility”.He said later that this work, which aims to produce common minimum standards on accessibility, was “at the very, very early stages”, although the department had been “receptive” to the idea.DfT told DNS after the forum that there already were minimum standards of accessibility, which it expected the industry to meet when designing and building stations and trains.But the department said that RSSB, the industry-owned safety and standards body, was developing accessibility guidance for train operators, and that this “may inform on future DfT franchise specification”.DfT said that DOO had been “operating safely for more than 30 years on a third of the UK rail network”, but it has yet to explain how increasing the use of DOO would not make it harder for disabled people to travel independently, particularly to and from unstaffed stations.Meanwhile, Transport for All is planning to launch a campaign in the new year, with a series of demands around access to rail travel for disabled people.It will demand that “disabled and older people have the same right to travel as any other member of the public”, and it will push for “proper turn up and go”, and for action on rail staffing levels.Among other demands, it will call on the government to reject recommendations from the chair of Network Rail to delay nearly £50 million already allocated to the Access for All rail station access improvement scheme.last_img read more

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Four people have been jailed for their part in a c

first_imgFour people have been jailed for their part in a criminal operation set up by a furniture company to target disabled and older people, many of whom were pressured for hours into buying substandard chairs and beds they did not want and did not need.Life Comfort Products Ltd in Peterborough employed “very aggressive and misleading practices” to secure sales of rise-and-recline chairs and electric adjustable beds, said trading standards.The company targeted parts of the country with higher proportions of disabled residents, and homes where their canvassing staff saw ramps and grab rails outside the property.Sales representatives then subjected individuals to high-pressure demonstrations lasting up to three hours.Seven directors and staff of the company were sentenced at Cambridge Crown Court last week after pleading guilty to breaches of consumer protection laws, while the company itself also pleaded guilty through its lawyer, with a sentence to be imposed later this year.The sentences followed an 18-month investigation by Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Trading Standards, with support from the National Trading Standards Tri Region investigation team.Peterborough Crown Court had heard from the council’s lawyer at an earlier hearing how Life Comfort Products “knowingly adopted criminally high-pressure sales techniques as a core business strategy for their own financial gain”.The company pretended that its products were “bespoke” pieces of furniture that had been manufactured at its factory in Peterborough, when in fact they had been made by another company.The chairs and beds were sold with a considerable mark-up, with customers misled about the true price of the products and then refused requests for refunds, while the company dealt with complaints “aggressively”.The aim, the court had heard, was “to maximise profits at all costs and with little or no regard to the feelings, circumstances and rights” of the people targeted.The court had heard how the company used “aggressive and overly persistent” canvassing techniques, with its staff often ignoring clear requests to leave or stop.Independent reports showed some of the chairs were not fit for purpose, had not been made to the individual’s measurements, and had manufacturing defects.The chairs had been purchased for £550 and then offered at a price of £3,500.One woman described how her 92-year-old grandmother, who has dementia, repeatedly told a telephone canvasser that she did not want a reclining chair, but the canvasser continued with the call until her granddaughter intervened.Despite her intervention, a member of the company’s staff still visited her grandmother two days later to provide a demonstration.Another customer, a woman with arthritis, tried to complain about the bed she had been sold, but was warned that “things could get very unpleasant” for her if she refused to pay for it.A third customer, who had bought a bed that was supposedly “made to measure”, was left unable to walk around her bedroom and open a chest of drawers because the bed was too big for the room. When she tried to complain, she was threatened with legal action.Citizens Advice received hundreds of complaints about the “aggressive and misleading” behaviour of the company’s staff on the doorsteps of homes across England.Victims later described how the incidents had left them “shocked and distressed”, questioning their ability to live independently, and feeling “embarrassed, ashamed and humiliated”.Peter Gell, head of regulatory services for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Trading Standards, said: “These sentences reflect the seriousness of the offence and that this company was using very aggressive sales techniques against victims, many of whom were targeted because they were vulnerable.”Lord [Toby] Harris, chair of National Trading Standards, said: “These criminals deliberately targeted neighbourhoods in ‘No Cold Calling Zones’ so they could prey on homeowners in more vulnerable situations, such as people with a disability or older people.“They were aggressive on the doorstep and pressurised victims to buy products they did not want or need.”Among those sentenced were company directors Geoffrey Bernard Turner, 64, and Jacqueline Turner, 60, both of Hall Lane, Werrington, Peterborough, who were sentenced to 12 months and nine months in prison respectively.Sales manager David Turner, 62, of Swan Close, Spalding, was jailed for nine months, while national marketing manager Tim Clark, 43, of High Road, Wisbech, was sentenced to six months in prison.Three sales demonstrators – Joel Henry, 54, of Furniss Close, Daventry; Ben Donohoe, 59, of Cogging Close, Newark; and David Perrow, 62, of Newick Road, Westvale, Liverpool – received suspended sentences, and were ordered to carry out rehabilitation activity, while Henry and Donohoe will each have to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work.All seven were given five-year criminal behaviour orders.A number of other canvassers and product demonstrators working for Life Comfort Products had earlier accepted cautions.last_img read more

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A note from the editor For nine years Disability

first_imgA note from the editor:For nine years, Disability News Service has survived largely through the support of a small number of disability organisations – most of them user-led – that have subscribed to its weekly supply of news stories. That support has been incredibly valuable but is no longer enough to keep DNS financially viable. For this reason, please consider making a voluntary financial contribution to support its work and allow it to continue producing independent, carefully-researched news stories that focus on the lives and rights of disabled people and their organisations. Please do not contribute if you cannot afford to do so, and please remember that DNS is not a charity. It is run and owned by disabled journalist John Pring, and has been from its launch in April 2009. Thank you for anything you can do to support the work of DNS… A minister has been asked why the benefits of hundreds of sick and disabled claimants are apparently being sanctioned, even though they should not have to meet any of the strict conditions imposed by the government’s new universal credit system.Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) figures show that more than 1,100 claimants of universal credit were being sanctioned in February this year (1,108), even though they had been moved into the “working enough” or “no work-related requirement” group.They have usually been moved into these groups because they have been found not “fit for work” or are not expected to look for jobs.The figures also show a striking increase in the number of claimants in these two groups who were being sanctioned from January 2017 (649) to February 2017 (1,109).The concerns have been raised by the Commons work and pensions committee, after it was sent the figures by employment minister Alok Sharma.In a letter to Sharma, the committee’s chair, Frank Field, says: “What is the point of applying sanctions to people who cannot work and are not expected to look for jobs?“The DWP have yet to make the case that benefit sanctions work to get people into employment and it’s difficult to see how they can have that affect for people who are ‘working enough’ or cannot work.“Benefit sanctions are the only major welfare reform this decade to have never been evaluated, and the picture DWP paints of the policy doesn’t match the troubling stories we’ve heard.”The committee also raised concerns with Sharma that DWP’s figures “consistently understate” the number of benefit claimants being sanctioned, particularly those on the out-of-work disability benefit employment and support allowance (ESA), where there is a high rate of successful appeals.In Field’s letter, he says that DWP removes a sanction decision from its statistics if it is overturned at an appeal.This had been pointed out by Dr David Webster, a leading researcher on unemployment and sanctions at the University of Glasgow, when he gave evidence in May to the committee’s inquiry into the benefit sanctions regime.Webster had told the committee (pictured) that the only reason DWP had not abandoned ESA sanctions when the National Audit Office reported in November 2016 that their use led to a fall in the time claimants spent in work was because of “embarrassment”.Field asks Sharma in his letter to publish pre-appeal sanction figures so that “the true picture can be understood”.In one month, in December 2016, the pre-appeal figures would have been 57 per cent higher (1,173) than the figures published by DWP (749).By January 2018, the pre-appeal figures were still 30 per cent higher (544 rather than 420).Asked to respond to the points raised by Field in his letter to Sharma, a DWP spokeswoman declined to explain why disabled people were apparently being sanctioned when there were no conditions attached to their universal credit.She did not dispute the universal credit sanction figures but said that “where someone’s situation changes and they have different conditionality, we can adjust an ongoing sanction amount”.And she claimed that “only a small proportion of sanction decisions are appealed and in the cases where they are overturned, the claimant’s payments are backdated”.last_img read more

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Roosevelt Tamale Parlor in SF Mission Closing Down

first_img 0% The Roosevelt Tamale Parlor on 24th Street near York posted a sign outside its door that said it would be shutting down by the end of this coming Sunday, December 6.The owners cited “personal health issues” and the “shrinking restaurant labor pool” for the closure, saying the low supply of workers has “fueled unsustainable wage expectations,” a problem Mission Local has written about before for storefronts on Valencia and Mission.“We are losing a large part of our kitchen staff, and replacing them is too expensive,” said Aaron Presbrey, one of the restaurant’s owners. “We can’t sustain the place with the current wage expectations.”Presbrey said that although “business has been steady,” an exodus of restaurant workers who are no longer able to afford the city’s high rents has made it difficult to run a full service restaurant that is profitable. As a result of the growing wealth gap, he believes that minimum wage jobs have been stigmatized. “People don’t want to work for for minimum wage anymore, even though that amount has been raised,” he said. “But if you pay more than that, how is a small business supposed to sustain itself? There’s only so much you can charge for tamales.”The Roosevelt Tamale Parlor has changed ownership several times since it first opened on 24th Street nearly 93 years ago, and has been in the hands of current owners Aaron Presbrey and Barry Moore for the past three years. Though the restaurant could qualify for financial assistance under Proposition J, the legacy business historic preservation fund that San Francisco voters approved last month, Presbrey said “it’s not enough.”Under Proposition J, appointed legacy businesses who have existed for 30 or more years qualify to receive $500 per full-time employee from an allocated city fund. But with a lack of employees, Presbrey said that the legislation will not benefit his business.“As great as Prop. J is, it will not make it viable for us to stay here,” he said. “It’s a sad thing to see happen, but it’s a result of the current economy of this city.”The store owners said the decision had nothing to do with their landlord, who they said has been “nothing but reasonable and fair.” The owners also hope to bring their gravy and salsa to retail in the future, and thanked their customers for years of support.The full letter is below:Due to a combination of factors including personal health issues and a shrinking restaurant labor pool which has fueled unsustainable wage expectations, we have been forced to close the brick and mortar location of the Roosevelt Tamale Parlor. This decision was in NO way influenced by our landlord who has been nothing but reasonable and fair with us.Although this may seem sudden to you, that is only because we have had to keep this agonizing decision making process private in order to ensure that we didn’t prematurely eliminate any options.For those of you who crave the house gravy or the table salsa, we do hope and plan to bring you many of the flavors you have come to love in jars at retail in the near future.We would like to thank all of you who supported us and communed with us as we steered this Grande Dame through her golden years. We would also like to think she was as great at her passing as at any other point in her illustrious, long and full lifetime.To keep up with future developments: facebook.com/EatAtTheRooseveltTo contact us: EatAtTheRoosevelt@gmail.comWith sincerest gratitude,Aaron and BarryThis story has been updated. center_img Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%last_img read more

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The U18s lost their first game of the season at a

first_imgThe U18s lost their first game of the season at a rain sodden Orrell on Friday – Wigan emerging 32-6 winners.Despite competing for long periods of the game the Saints just couldn’t stay composed long enough to put their hosts under pressure.A good first defensive set was followed by a silly error and the first score to the home side which seemed to set the tone for the rest of the evening.Alex Clare got the Saints only try in the half and as half time approached Coach Derek Traynor was reasonably happy for the Saints to be only four behind having not played well.Unfortunately another error let the home side in just before the whistle to stretch the lead.The Saints came out with more intent in the second period and kept the scores as they were for the third quarter but as the time ticked on the Saints couldn’t crack the home side and paid for it later on.Best for the Saints were the second row pairing of Alex Clare and Luke Thompson and Brad Ashurst off the bench but James Tilley was much missed after leaving the field early on with a bad mouth injury.Match Summary: Wigan U18s:Tries: TBCGoals: TBCSaints U18s:Tries: Alex Clare.Goals: Lewis Charnock.Half Time: 6-16Full Time: 6-32Teams:Wigan:TBCSaints:1. Lewis Charnock; 2. Ben Parry, 3. Lewis Galbraith, 4. Mark Percival, 5. Greg Wilde; 6. Jordan Heaton, 7. Lewis Sheridan; 8. James Tilley, 9. Lewis Foster, 16. Adam Hesketh, 11. Luke Thompson, 12. Alex Clare, 13. Andrè Savelio. Subs: 10. Brad Ashurst, 14. Tom Roughley, 15. Matty Fozard, 17. Greg Richards.last_img read more

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LOUIE McCarthyScarsbrook is once again looking fo

first_imgLOUIE McCarthy-Scarsbrook is once again looking forward to locking horns with Wigan Warriors.The prop forward was Saints’ stand out performer last time the two sides met but the result was anything but.“We’re going into this game in good form, we’ve had a good couple of wins and are fired up,” he said. “We were in a similar position last season; we couldn’t beat Wigan but went into the playoffs and won twice. We want to finish on a high and put a damper on their final game.“We know if we don’t win then we will have to go back there a week later – but in any case we’d face Warrington away. Both tasks aren’t easy. This is more about us finishing as high as we can.“These games are usually played in electric atmospheres and big crowds and we’re looking forward to that. Both sides will want to win. They don’t want to lose at home and I don’t see any side wanting to rest any players.”Last time out Louie locked horns with Gareth Hock and the two had an ‘altercation’ in the scrum.“We had a cuddle that’s all,” Louie laughed, “we were tired and he wanted one so I obliged. From there it was handbags really. Looking back at the video the three sending offs were harsh, but that’s what it was and it was dealt with. I didn’t do anything really; I was tying up my shoelaces at the time. Gareth’s a good bloke.”In the second half of the season Louie has become an impact player off the bench and has produced the sort of form that led him to join the club in the first place.“Think I have done well and improved,” he said. “It’s difficult not to do that at a great club when you have TP, Sia, Boof and Perry alongside you. I have been picking up little bits from them and then you have Roby who just puts you in a hole and says go on, run.“Coming off the bench has been good for me too. I’m getting the same game time as if I was starting.”He continues: “We’re under the radar at the moment and sneaking around. We need to go about our business on and off the field and we know what we need to do to get to the Grand Final. I think we will be there and know what we have to do.“We were lying in tenth at one point and now we are third, which is a great achievement. It shows the character of the squad and how we come through that adversity. We know when we lose those performances will not get us to a Grand Final. We want to set the record straight there. To show so much character to keep going back is amazing really, but we have to make one count.”Tickets for the game are on sale from the Ticket Office at Langtree Park until 12pm today. Limited tickets will be on sale at Wigan tonight with cash turnstiles on the North Stand.last_img read more

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THERES a whole host of festive ideas at the Saint

first_imgTHERE’S a whole host of festive ideas at the Saints Superstore.2014 Replica Home and Away shirts, a brand new range of 2014 ISC Trainingwear, fresh Leisurewear and plenty of gifts – there’s no reason not to kit out the Saints fan in your life.New lines are arriving every day too so why not pop into the Superstore or point your browser to www.saintssuperstore.comYou can also see some of the gift ideas by taking a look at our festive brochure.Saints Superstore is open 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday and 10am to 4pm Saturday and Sunday.There is also late night shopping on Thursday evenings in the run up to Christmas.last_img

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Justin Holbrook took his charges to within seconds

first_imgJustin Holbrook took his charges to within seconds of a Grand Final and marquee player and Dally M Winner, Ben Barba, showed fans what an acquisition he will be in 2018.Alongside some of the best young talent in the country – Super League Young Player of the Year nominated Regan Grace and Morgan Knowles for example – it is sure to be a season to remember, and to anticipate.Now it’s time for you to join us and either renew your Membership or sign on the dotted lineWe’ve simplified our range of prices and introduced a new Youth price to make it more affordable for 17–18-year-olds in full time education to back the club.And, our Direct Debit options make it simpler and easier to be a Saint.We have a 10 month ‘DD’ available now… with an eight or six package available later in the off-season.For a full breakdown of monthly payments for each Membership please click hereA Hattons Solicitors West Terrace Adult Renewal is just over £24 per month with an Adult and Junior just over £26! Great value and no upfront cost!Check out our Membership Section to find out more.We are Saints and Proud.last_img read more

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This is compatible with apple iCal Google and Mic

first_imgThis is compatible with apple iCal, Google and Microsoft Outlook.If you subscribed last year then your calandar should automatically update – but feel free to click the link below! Please note: fixtures are subject to change and where possible the calendar will be updated automatically, however the Club takes no responsibility for incorrect fixtures being displayed at any time.Memberships for the 2019 are now on sale. Click here to find out more and how to buy.last_img

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Hundreds celebrate at Leland Founders Day Festival

first_img(PHOTO: A view of the Leland Founders’ Day Festival from the top of the Ferris wheel.) LELAND, NC (WWAY) — Hundreds came out to the Leland Municipal Complex on Saturday to celebrate the town’s 28th anniversary.The annual festival, which is held each year on the second Saturday of September, features vendors, live music, food trucks, rides, and more.- Advertisement – This year’s festival kicked off at 3 p.m. with a special veteran salute, followed by a performance by the North Brunswick High School marching band. Live music acts included Johnny White and the Elite Band, Justin Cody Fox, and Across the Bridge.The event was attended by residents that were born and raised in Leland, and by some that moved to the area as recently as two weeks ago.Leland Mayor Brenda Bozeman said, “There’s an important need to get people that are moving here in with the people that have lived here forever; to blend them all together, and you can see that’s what we’ve got here.”Related Article: Brunswick County girl loses battle with brain cancerA fireworks display wrapped up the night around 9 p.m.last_img read more

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Wilmington Police searching for armed robbery suspect

first_imgFamily Dollar armed robbery suspect. Source: WPD WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) – Police are looking for a man who they say committed an armed robbery at the Family Dollar, 1013 Market Street, around 7:30 Saturday evening.Family Dollar armed robbery suspect. Source: WPDPolice say the suspect displayed a black semi-auto handgun and obtained an undisclosed amount of cash.- Advertisement – He is described by the cashier as a White Male, 5’5″ to 5’6″ in height, early 20’s, about 150 lbs.Suspect has a heavy acne and thick dark brown hair. Send info to Text-a-Tip or call 910-343-3609.last_img

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Double the love Twins celebrate Valentines Day at NHRMC

first_img 1 of 3 Raelynn & Ramsey born on Valentine’s Day 2019. (Photo: NHRMC) WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — If one baby wasn’t already cute enough, check out these twins celebrating Valentine’s Day at New Hanover Regional Medical Center.Meet Raelynn and Ramesy!- Advertisement – Congrats to their mom, Keana Keaton! Raelynn & Ramsey born on Valentine’s Day 2019. (Photo: NHRMC) NHRMC shared photos of the adorable duo in red onesies. Raelynn & Ramsey born on Valentine’s Day 2019. (Photo: NHRMC) Raelynn & Ramsey born on Valentine’s Day 2019. (Photo: NHRMC)last_img

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New bridge prompts Surf City restaurant to convert to food truck

first_img Now, it’s not a prime location,” Spudee’s Owner Chantale Duchaine said.Traffic cones, construction machinery, and road blocks fill the street that these businesses sit on.Duchaine says their lease is up soon and will be moving because they do not see nearly as much traffic with the new bridge.Related Article: UNCW still under construction, still set to open on-time“Now, they’re doing the renovations on the road too, so they block the road and have cones everywhere,” Duchaine said. “By the time you get out off the bridge with the roundabout and you figure out the cone situation, you have to be really hungry to come here.”She says Spudee’s will close its doors this weekend and put wheels to the ground as a food truck.Mayor Doug Medlin thinks the changes will actually bring more business along this road.“People had to come by here to get into Surf City, unless you came in the north end,” Medlin said. “So that’s going to change it around a little bit, but by us having this new bridge, I feel like we’re going to have a lot more traffic coming across.”Medlin owns East Coast Sports, which sits on the same road as Spudees.“We don’t have the traffic we used to have,” Duchaine said. “Now, I don’t know how it’s going to be this summer, but this spring, nobody passes in front of us anymore. So the new people who don’t know us cannot find us, or have a hard time finding us.”Duchaine says they hope to have the food truck up and running by the middle of May.Medlin says the town is working on changing the sign ordinances to help businesses along this road be more noticeable to traffic coming into Surf City.Despite construction struggles, Surf City keeps on pushing through Hurricane Florence recovery.The mayor says he hopes to be as close to fully recovered as possible by Memorial Day.As of April 15, records show that twenty two of the thirty six beach access points had been repaired.Medlin says beach renourishment is still going on, but hopes to be done with that by Memorial Day weekend as well.He also says they are continuing to work on getting remaining beach access points up and running for the season. SURF CITY, NC (WWAY) — Traffic in Surf City has been looking different lately with the new bridge and construction. One business says traffic has been looking pretty different for them too, but not in a good way.Roland Avenue used to be a prime spot for business owners. With the new bridge redirecting traffic, not as many people have a reason to take a trip down the road.- Advertisement – last_img read more

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36th aviation operator will be certified in the coming weeks Minister Borg

first_imgThe Aviation Directorate will be issuing a certificate to another air operator in the coming weeks. This is the 36th Air Operator Certificate that the entity within Transport Malta will be releasing.This was announced by Transport Minister Ian Borg during a conference organised by the Malta Aviation Outlook. He also talked about the importance of connectivity and added that Malta has recently endorsed agreements with Japan, South Korea, Ghana and the Ivory Coast and is currently discussing future agreements with a number of countries in South America, including Brazil.During his contribution Minister Borg mentioned how the aviation sector is contributing towards 2,5% of our gross domestic product and has created over 3,200 employment opportunities.WhatsApp SharePrint <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>last_img read more

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My son was trying to rub the black off his skin he

first_imgHigh school students being bullied.High school students being bullied. The parent of an 11-year-old dark skinned Maltese child has told Newsbook.com.mt that her son panicked after reading the comments from the Education Commissioner.‘He was reading the story and he panicked,’ Stephanie Mifsud explained.Mifsud had written a response to a Newsbook story about Education Commissioner Charles Caruana Carabez accusing foreign children of forming cliques and bullying Maltese children.Bullying by foreigners controversy: Commissioner answers detractors with “facts”Foreign students create cliques that bully the Maltese -Commissioner for EducationThe Commissioner had said that the bullying was carried out by students from different nations and that none of them were black. He also proposed a school for international students but did not imply that he wanted to set up a ghetto.He’s 100% Maltese but they bully him because he looks blackMifsud responded saying that her 11-year-old son, who was adopted and is officially a Maltese citizen, was being bullied because he looked black. “There are children on the bus coming back from the church school he attends, telling him that, ‘they don’t talk to black people,’” she explained.This has apparently been happening since he was five years old. Once, she describes that she caught her son rubbing his face with a cloth. When asked, he said he was trying to rub off the black from his skin.We’re not teaching our children about racism or adoption. It needs to be in the curriculumMifsud explained that Maltese schools are providing Personal, Social and Health Education to a child which includes everything from sexual health to understanding sexuality. However, it does not teach about racism. “No one talks about racism. Why is racism not part of the curriculum?”She explains that she had called on the school her son attends to do something about the issue of racism creeping into their school, as well as to teach tolerance in line with how they are educated about different gender and sexual orientation. Nothing has been done.Mifsud told Newsbook.com.mt that there a number of similar cases to their experience. She explained that there have been situations where other ‘dark skinned’ children whom have also been adopted by Maltese parents, have had to move to new schools because of racism and bullying. Even in private schools, she says.“It is a parent’s duty to teach their children about bullying. Bullying is the result of the parent’s upbringing. Tolerance, respect, these are things not taught anymore.”I dare him to tell usIn her comments to Newsbook.com.mt, Mifsud explains that the Commissioner should have to face her and her son and hear their side of the situation.“I dare the Commissioner to explain segregation to us. I want him to hear my son and what he’s been through.”Interestingly, Mifsud raises the question of the Education Minister’s response. She says that it is interesting that the only group that responded to the Commissioner’s comments were the NGOs. “Where was Evarist Bartolo? He kept quiet.”Education Commissioner report was ‘one-sided’ and ‘oversimplified’ on foreign students – NGOsConcluding her comments on segregation, Mifsud says, “when all the world fought against segregation you are suggesting that we go back to segregation? And then what we have is segregation in restaurants and buses and during sports. You should be ashamed. You should either have resigned or been sacked.”WhatsApp SharePrint <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>last_img read more

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Building an online Community

first_imgAdvertisement Hence, it is becoming an increasing norm for organisations to achieve this objective of understanding customers and their needs by forming or building a community of its customers or potential customers online.DEFINITIONAn online community is defined as set of interwoven relationships built upon the foundation of shared interests. These shared interests can refer to a diversity of topics, activities, or commonalities which bring people together online.These communities have proved to have contributed to success of online firms Facebook.com, and Amazon.com. While some organisations have extended their online and offline presence through online communities, other organisations have originated as online community focused on a shared interest like eBay, thus without the Internet or an equivalent communication medium these organisations may not exist. In both instances, there is objective need for the underpinning organisation or administrator of the community to understand its members or potential members in order to create value for the community. – Advertisement – Specifically communities may be categorised to be oriented around three main interests; Information-driven, activity-driven, and commonality-driven. Within information-driven community, the primary interest on members is the sharing of information – actionlink.org.uk; for Activity-driven community the primary interest is the shared activities – eBay; and for the Commonality-driven the primary interest is the common attribute or characteristic – community of practitioners, dta.org.uk. The value created within these communities is defined by the benefits to its members to a larger extent, and to the founding organisation or administrator of the communities. The community creates this value by satisfying needs of members which are is not be available individually and hence tends to be unique. The value is thus generated from the interrelationships between users and the administrator or founding organisation. The interrelationships can be characterised as three identifiable patterns from which value can be created and transferred within the community; User-to-user: User generated content such as member-written articles, opinions, advice, and sharing resources.Administrator-to-user: Administrator created content such as news, issues, exclusive research and reports and featured articles and interviews with practitioners or special guests.User-to-administrator: User generated such as revenue from product sales or trading, content fees, commissions, advertising sales.Though these benefits or value proposition may seem easily identifiable and achievable, creating a successful community which leverages these benefits is not an easy task in reality. This would require the dedication of founding participants of the community to create and sustain interest.GETTING STARTEDBuilding a website into a vibrant community filled with many contributors is very difficult and it nay be impossible to break down the exact steps. Below, we’ll try to put together some of the basic ones:1. Make sure you really want to do this!You know how interviewers ask someone who has lived a full life and they’re near death, if they could re-live their life again, what they would do different? You have to ask yourself that before you lift a finger building a community. Are you ready to be a leader? Are you ready to do all the work necessary to create not just a normal, engaging website, but one that many others can use? Are you ready to spend every waking moment watching it? Are you ready to stay up all night re-coding main areas of the site after someone hacks the files? Are you ready to keep it up, day in and day out for as long as you can stand it?I can’t underestimate how much time you will spend on a community website. It will take longer to create, often months to get rolling, with constant tweaking and twiddling of the code to keep everything running smoothlyThis is the most challenging point in the list, but it’s good to get this one figured out before you plunge full speed into new development.2. Have both a compelling idea and compelling contentThere are lots of possible reasons to start a community, but generally it’s good to focus on a specific topic. Having a specific topic means you’ll have an easier time explaining your site’s purpose, and quickly find like-minded people to contribute their thoughts and content to your community.The PC Tech online community was easier in this sense because we already had our theme: Technology. Some Facebook users referred to our Facebook page as their “local geek community”. At that time, we had just under 1000fans, mostly from Uganda. But still, we felt we needed to have a community on the website: first because we wanted to offer some premium services (SMS, restrictions in some content items, e.t.c), and also because we could do it!I guess having comments and allowing others to post was a compelling enough idea that lead to a busy site. Compelling content is more important than you probably think. The most well-defined group purpose, with lots of motivated members, will go nowhere unless there is something to draw everyone together and get people contributing. This rule could go for any site really, but it’s important to have the best possible writing, design, photography, etc. that you can, and update as often as possible.This is where community sites can excel over single person operations. With a diverse enough membership, you can have an expert artist, fantastic writers, great photographers, and senior programmers to build the best community site imaginable, and everyone pitching in can update the content on a frequent basis. It’s not exactly easy to get big membership numbers on which to draw for ongoing content, first you have to convince people to join your site, and contribute or comment on other work, and for that you need to start with good content. It’s sort of a Catch-22, but once you get a group of members creating good content, it creates a strong positive feedback loop that leads to growth, popularity and quality.3. Seed content sets the stageIn the early months of a community site, it’s important that there is good content there, and that the comments or audience interaction are as close to optimal as possible, so that others reading the site can get a feel for how they are expected to act. If you’re building a site that covers politics and you’re dreaming of lively debate with a specific slant, make sure your first few articles, essays, or threads cover a good topic, and that some discussion follows where users (more than one) are debating things in an intelligent way. New members will see what is currently on the site, and react accordingly. If there is considerate and helpful criticism, others will usually follow. If there are “first posts!” and posts making threats on other members, other such garbage will follow that as well.If it’s a company discussion forum, set up some threads and have some friends start discussions. If it’s a community of airplane enthusiasts, try and find 2 or 3 people to help start the site off the same way, by finding content and discussing it in a proper manner. You’re not shooting for having hundreds of fake discussion posts with no one, you’re just trying to convey a code of conduct by starting with things you can use as examples, and new members can follow.4. Create some basic guidelines and be as fair as possibleWhen you’re the administrator on a community site, it’s important that you set the examples to follow. Post regularly and intelligently, and keep a high profile on the site so others know of your presence (this keeps some troublemakers away, since they know that the site owner will quickly catch wind of their mischief). Follow the Golden Rule, treat others as you would like to be treated, and watch for unsavory patterns that form.If you catch something that’s happening with some regularity, and you’d like to see it stop, make it part of the rules of the site, and explain somewhere why people shouldn’t do it (start by putting a pointer somewhere near the posting forms, so curious contributors can read them if they like). Keep track of these rules, and put them somewhere people can easily find them on the site. When you have to enforce them, be nice about it, and show people the rules and how they broke them. The world isn’t a black-and-white place, so a lot of things will be up to your judgement, but explain as fully as you can why you chose to enforce a certain thing, and point out what the person can do to prevent it from happening again.What users of a community don’t want to see is a headstrong leader who rules with an iron fist, and seems to take pleasure in enforcement. Users also don’t want to see a leader that changes his or her mind from day to day, enforcing rules with some users, while letting friends or long time members get away with murder. Users don’t want to be yelled at publicly when they make their first mistake, and they want to be given second chances. Fairness and consistency are key practices when you’re running an online community.5. Have a place to talk about the site, somewhere on the siteIt can be a brilliant idea to have a special section designed to talk about issues around the site: bugs and features users wish for, or any etiquette that may have been breached.6. Spread the work out as much as possibleIf it’s possible, have a few trusted friends act as moderators and administrators and allow people to contribute and streamline the code that runs the site. When the day-to-day maintenance can be spread out among several people, it’s okay if someone goes on vacation, gets busy with work or gets ill, or takes some time off from the site. If lots of new features are being requested, several people can work on them, and debug them faster. This situation isn’t always possible, and there are only a few projects that come to mind, such as evolt.org where a sizeable, diverse group keeps a site running.7. Deal with troublemakers as quickly and nicely as possibleIf you’re running a community site of some sort, there’s a good chance that people are going to try and mess with it, push the envelope, and hack at it for no good reason. The important thing for you to do as the administrator is deal with problem members as soon as possible and as carefully as possible. If you act rashly, or too strongly, you may incite a casual hacker into a full-blown making-your-life-a-living-hell type of hacker. You want to defuse any situation before it gets out of hand.Start by emailing the person as soon as you can (but give yourself a little time to think, don’t send anything too rashly or in the heat of the moment), and asking them gently if perhaps they didn’t catch the guidelines pages, or that you’d prefer if they did their thing in a different way. Be careful of your wording in these emails – you don’t want to sound threatening or patronizing in any way. You might want to have a friend review the message before sending it to make sure it’s neither of those things. A short email reminding a trouble-making member of the error of their ways can usually take care of 90% of problems. Even if a member is doing something obviously malicious, they’ll usually stop when called on it.If that doesn’t stop the problem member, the next thing to do is enforce some sort of penalty. This would usually be something like taking away posting rights or moderation rights, posing some new limit on their participation in the site. You will probably want to email them, letting them know what you’ve done, why you’ve done it, and most importantly what they can do to get the ban lifted.Hopefully, you’ll never need to proceed after these first two measures, because a situation can quickly escalate into a war of willpower. If you have to start banning members, doing so will prove quite difficult. You may take all rights away from their account, block their IP address or range of IP addresses, and/or remove their contributions from the site. There are trickier means of hiding a problem user’s activity from the rest, but I won’t go into that here. It’s not a path you’ll ever want to take, and no one “wins” in the end; it’s just a big waste of energy for all involved.The bottom line is to stop unsavory behavior by defusing nasty situations as early as possible, in as nice of a way as possible.8. Highlight the good, recognize the work of othersI’m still searching for the perfect way to do this, but you’ll encourage good contributions by recognizing and highlighting the best your community has to offer. This is especially true when your community is larger, and you need something to point to as a casual “Hall of Fame” that new users can take their cue from. This can take many forms, you can use voting/moderation to let the community pick its favorites, you can utilize some sort of Brownie Point system where members earn credits for good contributions which are displayed somewhere (an ego stroking stop, basically), or if you’re lacking the extra technology just keep track of them by hand in a “Best of” setting.Building an inviting place that attracts users and maintaining high quality content on a bustling community site is far from easy, but these key points should help get you going in the right direction.last_img read more

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Intel acquires heartbeat recognition company

first_imgAdvertisement Idesia uses an electrical signal generated by the heartbeat to create an “electro biodynamic signature” unique to every individual, establishing a biometric identity that cannot be forged. The product only requires contact between the finger of the person being checked and a small metal sensor, and it therefore can be used at airports and border crossings as well as to access personal electronic equipment.Fingerprint readers and face recognition have been used for some time to recognize users, but there are concerns that those technologies can be easily tricked, said Nathan Brookwood, principal analyst at Insight 64.Monitoring heart beats could provide Intel a more advanced and secure way to recognize users, Brookwood said. – Advertisement – “Intel is very worried about security. That’s one of their major thrusts,” Brookwood said. “If Idesia has something unique, then Intel could possibly create a relatively easy sensor that could go into a smartphone or tablet that could monitor the heartbeat.”It is highly unlikely that the technology acquired from Idesia would go into the next microprocessor, Brookwood said.Intel has a big interest in the health care industry and is in a joint venture with General Electric to provide in-home heath care products. The joint venture, called Care Innovations, provides products like tablets targeted at the health care industry. Intel is also conducting research on health care for senior citizens. Source: computerworlduk.comlast_img read more

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Google Announces Semi Finalists for the Apps Developer Challenge 2012

first_imgAdvertisement With all the events going on in the technology industry, this is one of the many that could have probably been left with not as much attention and yet its of great significance to the apps development industry.On the 5th of June 2012, Google  in collaboration with its Google Developer Groups (also known as GTUGs) and Google Business Groups announced this year’s Google Apps Developer Challenge which gave an opportunity to “coders” to make use of their skills to earn themselves the $20,000 USD  prize money.According to the official  Google page, the first round of submission closed on 24th August,the list of semi finalists was announced on 13th September while the latest announcement on 25th October was the re-submission of updated semi-final apps. – Advertisement – Among some of the apps that made it to the semi Final List in Sub Saharan Africa include:DocTracker, an app from Uganda that manages incoming and outgoing office document records.NomiaPro,  an app from Ghana which  is a web application that will help businesses organize all their conferences delegatesForm+,  an app from Nigeria This application brings the power of Google Drive to forms.The winners of the challenge are slated to be announced on  12th November and the full list of the semi-finalists can be accessed at the Official Google apps Developer Challenge 2012 pagelast_img read more

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Apple confirms deal for 3D sensing company PrimeSense

first_imgThe company behind the Kinect now belongs to Apple. Advertisement Spokesperson says purchase of the 3-D sensing company behind Microsoft’s Kinect sensor is a done deal.A week after reports began circulating that Apple had purchased PrimeSense, Apple has confirmed the acquisition of the 3-D sensing company behind Microsoft’s Kinect sensor. – Advertisement – Apple spokesperson Kristin Huguet on Sunday confirmed for CNET the deal’s closure, which was for reported by AllThingsD. Financial newspaper Calcalist reported earlier this month that Apple had paid $345 million for the Israel-based company, but other sources said the deal had not been finalized and that the deal’s value would likely be a little higher. Huguet declined to disclose the deal’s value.“Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans,” Huguet said in routine Apple statement.Apple was reportedly in talks to acquire the 3D-sensing company since July when it was said to be offering $280 million for the Tel Aviv-based company. Perhaps best known for powering the gesture control used by Microsoft’s Xbox 360 game console, the company’s technology is also used in 3D scanners, iRobot’s Ava, and the Asus Xtion.Apple has found Israel to be a veritable treasure trove: last year, the company confirmed that it acquired Israel-based flash storage maker Anobit for $400 million. PrimeSense has raised $85 million from Israeli and US venture capital funds such as Canaan Partners Global, Gemini Israel, and Genesis Partners, according to Calcalist.Sorce: CNET Newslast_img read more

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