Senior disabled figures in the Liberal Democrats have spoken of their frustration that the party is not set to debate key issues of concern to disabled people at its annual conference next month.Disability News Service (DNS) contacted key disabled party members after an analysis of the party’s conference agenda and directory showed there was currently not a single debate or fringe event devoted to disability-related issues.There is nothing scheduled to discuss welfare reform, the social care funding crisis, the shortage of accessible housing, the highly topical problems facing accessible public transport, or the UN’s public examination in Geneva of the UK government’s alleged breaches of the UN disability convention, which took place yesterday and today (Thursday).Although many fringe events are organised by groups unconnected to the Liberal Democrats, not one of them is set to address disability-related issues such as welfare reform, social care or access to the built environment or public transport.One motion due to be debated at the conference in Bournemouth, on encouraging companies to be “responsible corporate citizens”, mentions (in line 31 of the motion) the need for greater representation of disabled people on company boards.Another, on the recruitment, retention and welfare of armed services personnel, mentions – in line 56 – the need for better treatment of veterans’ mental ill-health.And a third motion, on the impact of Brexit on public services, points out that “nearly 100,000 non-UK EU staff work in the social care system”.These appear to be the only mentions of issues linked to disability in motions scheduled for debate.The Liberal Democrats’ disabled president, Baroness [Sal] Brinton (pictured, left), told Disability News Service (DNS) that some of the motions that will be debated at conference – including the three above – came from the party’s federal policy committee, which was “very aware of the impact of those policies on disabled people”.She said she was “hoping (no, encouraging) disabled members to speak up in those debates”, including on the motion on the impact of Brexit on public services.Other motions are submitted by party members, and she said she was “frustrated” at their failure to submit motions on disability-related topics.But she said she was hopeful that members would submit emergency motions on issues such as widespread claims of dishonest personal independence payment assessments – due to fresh evidence reported by DNS over the summer – and this week’s examination by the UN’s committee on the rights of persons with disabilities, in time for the deadline early next month.Members vote for the two emergency motions they want to debate, so she said she hoped there would be a push for a disability-related motion to be submitted – possibly by the Liberal Democrat Disability Association (LDDA) – and that members would vote for it to be chosen.She said: “I am really hoping that there will be something to reflect the extreme concerns that the party has on what’s going on at the moment for disabled people, particularly for benefits and allowances.”She added: “I’m frustrated that there are no fringe events [on disability-related issues], but the party doesn’t control these from HQ. It is up to organisations inside or outside the party to book events.”Stephen Lloyd, the Liberal Democrat shadow work and pensions secretary, told DNS he was “very disappointed” to see that his party had failed to allocate time to discuss social care, welfare reform, or other issues such as accessible housing or transport.He told Disability News Service: “I was very disappointed to see the many strands around disability which are under such attack from this government not warranting serious discussion and floor time at our conference, be it as a motion deploring the cuts on a range of important issues or the shambles that is the introduction of universal credit or WRAG*.“I appreciate it’s all been a bit last minute because of the snap general election and the result, but as the Lib Dems new shadow secretary of state for the Department for Work and Pensions, I can promise that such a paucity of comment, debate or even leadership on these issues will change dramatically in the near future.”Robert Adamson, chair of the LDDA, said he was less concerned.He said: “Our conference decides policy that remains in place until it is changed by replacement policy.“So, as for example with transport, why do we need to change policy that is already strong? Basically, ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!’”And he said the conference needed to debate issues “that are important to all citizens (and in the Lib Dems that word ‘all’ does include people with disabilities and all other diversity groups)”.He added: “I use a wheelchair but the natural environment is important to me; as is climate change; as are public services and the impact of Brexit; as are safe building standards; as is defeating terrorism; as is knife crime and as is employment.“In other words I am far more than a person with a disability, I am a British citizen and every aspect of life is important and relevant to me.”*Cuts of nearly £30 a week to new claimants of employment and support allowance placed in the work-related activity group, a measure introduced by the government in April
0% “We did not turn over that individual to ICE and we do not cooperate with ICE in any way” said Captain Jerome DeFilippo of the Southern Station, where Figueroa tried to retrieve his vehicle. “As we let the person go, the ICE agent showed up and saw the person being released and grabbed [him] on the sidewalk.”On December 2, Figueroa came to the Southern Station to retrieve a car stolen in late November. At the time, police checked for any outstanding warrants for Figueroa, a normal routine when picking up a stolen vehicle, DeFillipo said. When a criminal warrant came up for Figueroa, the police contacted the sheriff’s department to confirm that warrant, a common practice. The sheriff’s department then contacted the immigration agency, a sheriff’s spokesperson said, to confirm the warrant — another common practice.“In this case, we are talking about a warrant signed by a judge for probable cause,” said Eileen Hurst, a sheriff’s department spokesperson. Hurst said the sheriff’s department would not contact the immigration agency for a deportation order, but only for a criminal warrant, and that a criminal warrant from ICE is so rare that it caused confusion among the clerk taking the call.“In fact, this is the first one this particular clerk had ever seen, so she asked ICE to clarify the warrant to the SFPD,” Hurst said. When a sergeant at the Southern Station took the call, ICE decided to send an agent to wait for Figueroa outside the station, Captain DeFilippo said.Because the police did not “verify the warrant and the identity of the individual,” Figueroa was released from police custody, when he was taken by an immigration team. It is unclear what charges were associated with the criminal warrant for Figueroa, however, since both the police and sheriff’s department said they do not see those charges unless they are told to take someone into custody. Figueroa had a DUI conviction in 2012 for which he has served probation, but no outstanding criminal charges, said his attorneys. His standing deportation order would not appear as a criminal warrant.In a prepared statement, ICE states only that Figueroa was targeted for arrest “based upon his conviction for DUI and an outstanding order of removal issued by an immigration judge in 2005.”Current law prohibits law enforcement from holding undocumented immigrants until federal immigration officials can step in. A recently proposed change to the law would also bar them from communicating to immigration officials when someone is set to be released, a policy Adachi embraced at the press conference.“We’re here to demand that San Francisco, the Mayor, and the Board of Supervisors pass the legislation that has been offered by Supervisor John Avalos to ensure that this will not happen in the future,” Adachi said, before taking aim at law enforcement.“We want to make sure that the police officers who committed this offense and obviously violated the law themselves are held accountable and are disciplined,” he said, adding he was “particularly concerned for the message this is going to send” to immigrants questioning whether to interact with the police. “We need a clear message from the Police Chief Greg Suhr that this is not going to happen to others.”Figueroa has been in the country since 2005, when he fled violence in El Salvador and illegally crossed the border into the United States, seeking asylum. He was quickly picked up by Border Patrol, detained, and told to attend an immigration hearing, which he missed because “they failed to get an address from him,” according to Alisa Whitfield, another of his attorneys. “And if you don’t show up for a hearing, you’re just ordered deported in absentia,” said Whitfield, meaning Figueroa was given an automatic detention order despite his absence from the legal proceedings.Zachary Nightingale, Figueroa’s immigration attorney, said his case for asylum was just re-opened yesterday, meaning he cannot be legally deported until that case is resolved one way or another. And Nightingale believes Figueroa has a good chance of obtaining asylum.“He fears for his life, which is why he came here in the first place,” Nightingale said, adding that family members in El Salvador have been threatened. “He fled the violence in El Salvador 10 years ago, and the violence [there] has only gotten worse.”Figueroa’s fiancee, Dora Cortez, said the family was in tears when he was arrested and described the difficulty of spending the last 45 days without her husband.“My daughter and I spent the holidays without him,” she said. “He helps me run a business at home, and I am in desperate need to have him back.”His 8-year-old daughter, Leilani Cortez, said the last time she saw her father was “when ICE got him” and that her “greatest wish” is “for him to take me to Disneyland.”Figueroa’s attorneys say their next step is to ask for him to be released on bond while he awaits an asylum hearing scheduled for 2019. Advocates say the arrest of a Mission District resident by federal immigration officials moments after he tried to retrieve a stolen car from police may be a violation of San Francisco’s sanctuary city policy, which prohibits cooperation between local law enforcement and Immigration and Customs Enforcement. “Pedro Figueroa was the victim of a crime, and today he’s the victim of a broken immigration system,” said Jeff Adachi, the city’s public defender, at a press conference held outside the Southern Station on Wednesday morning. “San Francisco is a sanctuary city. We welcome immigrants, we have a law and a policy that should protect them, and yet Pedro Figueroa was not protected.”Flanked by women holding “Free Pedro” and “ICE out of California” signs, Adachi did not mince words about Figueroa’s 45-day detention, saying it was an “outrage” that Figueroa is behind bars in “an illegal, unconstitutional detention.” But the police and sheriff’s departments say there was nothing illegal about Figueroa’s case, despite the presence of an ICE agent just outside the station when Figueroa went to retrieve his stolen car. Tags: immigrants • immigration Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0% read more
Tags: Affordable Housing • development • housing Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0% 0% All told, San Francisco had 392,000 dwelling units by the end of 2017, compared to 387,600 at the end of 2016. Although fewer new housing units were built, the population increased. By July 2017, San Francisco had added 8,260 residents over the previous year, making city’s total population roughly 884,363, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Meanwhile, the city saw a total of 4,500 new units in 2017, including 4,270 in new construction and 242 units through conversions and expansion of existing structures. (70 units were lost through demolitions, including the removal of illegal units, unit mergers, conversions and corrections.) In 2011, the construction of new units hit an all-time low of 348. Some 94 percent of the city’s new housing came from new projects totaling more than 20 units. The remaining 6 percent came from the new construction of projects totaling less than 19 units, with single-family homes accounting for 1 percent. In spite of the overall downward trend in production, affordable housing production actually increased 83 percent in 2017, to 1,460, up from 802 in 2016. Those new affordable units made up 34 percent of last year’s new units. Eighty-five percent of those new units are affordable to “extremely low,” “very low,” and low-income households. Affordable units for seniors made up 3 percent. A majority of the affordable units were contained in fully affordable projects, while 421 of the units, according to the report, were inclusionary — meaning they were mixed into a predominantly market-rate development — while 99 of the affordable units were considered “secondary,” or units added to an existing residential building. While housing production lagged in 2017, the number of units authorized dramatically increased by 65 percent from 2016, as the Planning Department authorized 6,731 units in 2017. The department approved 4,059 in 2016. Approvals hit an all-time low in 2009, when only 752 units were approved. San Francisco authorized 21 percent of the Bay Area’s housing stock, the third-most in the region. But Santa Clara County is the Bay Area’s biggest builder, having authorized 34 percent of the region’s total at 10,626 units last year. The second-highest number of unit authorizations came from Alameda County, with 8,523 units authorized, representing 27 percent of the region’s total. As the mayoral race heats up, the city got some sobering news: despite all the talk about the need for more housing, the city added fewer new units last year than it had in 2016. San Francisco added 4,441 housing units in 2017 — a 12 percent decrease, compared to net additions in 2016. Last year’s additions, however, are well above the 10-year average of 2,745 units built each year. Those numbers were released this month in the Planning Department’s “Housing Inventory,” an annual survey of housing production in San Francisco. It will be discussed at Thursday’s Planning Commission meeting. As people continue to flock to San Francisco and prices continue to rise, housing advocates argue that the city is not building enough units to keep up with demand. Meanwhile, longtime residents fear that an influx of mostly market-rate housing projects will only make neighborhoods more unaffordable. read more
SAINTS showed Super League why they are still a force to be reckoned with as they produced a fine 31-18 win over Leeds Rhinos.Jonny Lomax led the way with a brace and a crucial drop goal but it would be wrong to not pay tribute to the other 16 players who showed real pride and passion.The pack was superbly led by Josh Perry whilst Tommy Makinson’s winger performance and fantastic try was a real highlight.A tight tussle of a match was all-square at the break as Saints weathered early pressure to fight back before Leeds scored right on the half time hooter.The home side punished an error to lead 6-0 before tries from Lomax and Paul Wellens forged Saints ahead.But with seconds left a penalty was punished and Brett Delaney drew level.Leeds profited from another Saints error early in the second period before the visitors turned the match its head.Tommy Makinson put down under immense pressure then Sia Soliola broke through and found Jonny Lomax.James Roby then fired a sublime flat ball on the last to send over Jon Wilkin.Lomax added a penalty and a drop goal as the clock ticked down to seal a real gutsy win.The match started with big hits from both sides and great high catches from Makinson and Paul, as well as a clearing kick from Perry of all people.But on the 10 minute mark Leeds punished a Saints error to take the lead. Gary Wheeler knocked on in the 40 and from the scrum the ball went left and through the hands of Brent Webb and Ryan Hall for Danny McGuire to polish off.Kevin Sinfield adding the extras.Saints struggled to get out of their half after the try but did welcome back Tony Puletua from injury – the only change from the side that lost to Wigan last SaturdayAnd just after the big man returned to the field Lance Hohaia’s kick caused panic in the Leeds defence and his half-back partner Jonny Lomax reacted the quickest.He then converted his try to bring it all square.Saints’ next try was world class. Paul Clough was strong in the middle but Puletua’s flick pass got Roby on the way. He broke the line, fed Lomax who had Wellens on his outside for his 199th in the red vee.Makinson converting.The lead was short-lived though as Brett Delaney profited on a Saints penalty and missed tackle to level it up.It shouldn’t have happened as Saints were right on Leeds’ line, but poor discipline cost them and it was 12-12 at the break.Makinson took a fantastic high ball early in the early half before Saints put real pressure on Leeds’ line.But McGuire scooped up a nice Lomax chip through to quell the danger.After a poor kick on the last, Leeds got down the other end of the field and Jamie Jones-Buchanan put on a step to leave Saints flat-footed and behind on the board.Sinfield adding his third of the night.Saints weren’t going to give up though and after chancing their arm on the right hand side, Michael Shenton flipped a ball Jamie Lyon-esque and Makinson put down under a massive Webb hit.And in the 58th minute it got better as Jonny Lomax saw a chink in the Leeds defence, sent through Soliola who then fed his provider to put Saints ahead.Makinson adding his second conversion of the night.Unfortunately, that was Makinson’s last action of the evening as on the next tackle he was hit high by Sinfield – perhaps accidental – and was carried off the field.That caused Mike Rush a headache but he reacted by moving Wheeler to the wing and Flannery to the centres.And it worked as Flannery’s dummy run caused problems and on the last Roby found a fantastic flat ball for Jon Wilkin to get in.Lomax adding his second.Saints continued to press the Leeds’ line and were rewarded when Leeds were penalised and Lomax slotted over a penalty.And as the game entered its final stages, Lomax added a one-pointer and sent the Saints support into raptures.Match Summary:Rhinos:Tries: McGuire, Delaney, Jones-BuchananGoals: Sinfield (3 from 3)Saints:Tries: Lomax (2), Wellens, Makinson, WilkinGoals: Lomax (3 from 3), Makinson (2 from 3)Drop: LomaxPenalties:Rhinos: 5Saints: 6HT: 12-12FT: 31-18REF: Steve GansonATT: 15343Teams:Saints:1. Paul Wellens; 21. Tommy Makinson, 3. Michael Shenton, 17. Gary Wheeler, 5. Francis Meli; 6. Lance Hohaia, 7. Jonny Lomax; 14. Anthony Laffranchi, 9. James Roby, 8. Josh Perry, 13. Chris Flannery, 4. Sia Soliola, 12. Jon Wilkin.Subs: 10. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 11. Tony Puletua, 15. Mark Flanagan, 16. Paul Clough.Rhinos:1. Brent Webb; 14. Lee Smith, 3. Kallum Watkins, 4. Zak Hardaker, 5. Ryan Hall; 13. Kevin Sinfield, 6. Danny McGuire; 8. Kylie Leuluai, 7. Rob Burrow, 10. Jamie Peacock, 11. Jamie Jones-Buchanan, 15. Brett Delaney, 12. Carl Ablett.Subs: 16. Ryan Bailey, 18. Chris Clarkson, 20. Darrell Griffin, 31. Shaun Lunt. read more
The prop capped a stellar season to date by being named Player of the Year, Players’ Player of the Year and the Members’ Player of the Year.‘Thommo’ has led from the front all season to be one of the best forwards in the game.He said: “I’m really happy to win these awards. I just work hard during the week and try and do the same things in preparation. Justin has put a lot of faith in me, given me a starting shirt, and my job is to hit the high standards we set at the club.“It has been a great year so far, but it’s not finished yet. We have a semi-final coming up we have to perform in first.”Morgan Knowles was named Young Player of the Year whilst Jack Welsby and Lewis Dodd took home the Under 19s and Under 16s Player of the Year respectively.Paul Craig won Saints Wheelchair RL Player of the Year and Naomi Williams was awarded the Women’s accolade.The club also paid tribute to Assistant Coach Jamahl Lolesi who will leave the club at the end of the season.Try of the Year went to Tommy Makinson’s effort at home to Wigan in the Super 8s.The winger won with 41 per cent of the vote over three Ben Barba efforts.The Chairman’s Award paid tribute to our Community Development Foundation.Every year the club interacts with more than 50,000 children in the community through projects that range from the anti-bullying initiative the club launched last week to the new Learning Disability Rugby League side.We partner with Community Integrated Care, the YMCA and many other local organisations to spread messages that include being healthy, social interaction and many others besides.The Foundation has gone from strength-to-strength over the last 18 months with the first-team providing support for these programmes as well as putting time aside to welcome local charities, community groups and organisations to the Totally Wicked Stadium.Foundation Director Steve Leonard said: “This award is for everyone in the Foundation as without those people SCDF wouldn’t be what it is today. We have some great partners too such as Community Integrated Care, YMCA and North West Borough’s Health Care and we work alongside them to make a real difference in the community.”Finally, Justin Holbrook gave awards to two players who have gone above and beyond this year – Jon Wilkin and Tommy Makinson.Jon was also presented with a special framed shirt for his service to the club.Justin added: “Jon has been a fantastic help for myself both on and off the field and has been a terrific leader of this club.“His form has been excellent all season, particularly over the last couple of weeks when he has really stood up and made a difference. The standards he sets during training is first class.“He is a credit to work with as a coach and is probably the most mentally strong person as a player I have met. Physically he pushes himself and is a great part of our team. I’m sure he will want to end the season on a good note.”Wilkin said: “It feels strange talking about this now when there are three weeks left of the season. I am conscious of being sentimental and reminiscing about my time at the club now. When you build a house, you don’t leave five tiles off it and be happy with that; I have the last little bit of my job to do.“We have three games left to win something and when that time comes I can look back and toast everyone here.”The event was in association with Totally Wicked whilst Robinsons Brewery sponsored the awards.End of Season Award Winners:Wheelchair RL Player of the Year: Paul Craig Under 16s Player of the Year: Lewis Dodd Under 19s Player of the Year: Jack Welsby Special Recognition Award: Jamahl Lolesi Women’s Player of the Year: Naomi Williams Young Player of the Year: Morgan Knowles Members’ Player of the Year: Luke Thompson Coaches’ Special Recognition Awards: Jon Wilkin & Tommy Makinson Players’ Player of the Year: Luke Thompson Try of the Year: Tommy Makinson, Super 8s v Wigan Chairman’s Award: Steve Leonard, Saints Community Development Foundation Player of the Year: Luke Thompson read more
Saints face Castleford on Sunday (kick off 6pm) at Anfield. Tommy Makinson recently paid a visit as part of Super League’s Media Launch and talked up his special memories after starring for England at Liverpool FC’s home back in November.And Holbrook admit he has fond memories of the Magic Weekend after his Saints career started over in Newcastle after a 45-0 win over Hull FC back in 2017.“We love playing at home, we play a long season, but I love the Magic Weekend. I loved it in Newcastle, but it has been moved now and for us to be the closest side to Anfield is exciting and it is a great weekend. The weather is coming out really nice now and it’s the bank holiday too so hopefully we get a few more fans. Our away fans are terrific, but if we can get a few more ‘home’ fans make the trip down the East Lancs it would be brilliant.“Any chance we can get to go to these other venues like we are doing this weekend at Anfield [is great] and the more people that can get down, especially football fans, the better. If they can follow two sports, I love football myself, so to pick your football team and also follow St.Helens would be a win, win!“Magic Weekend was my first game two years ago and I loved it and to have it roll around again is a special feeling for myself so as a coach I can’t wait to be a part of it.”Holbrook also admits there is extra incentive given the exciting weekend ahead and also believes the Tigers will be a ‘tough’ task to overcome, despite the likely return of Kevin Naiqama and captain James Roby to the Saints 19 man squad which will be announced on Friday.“It’s a normal week in terms of what we do in training, but their is extra incentive in terms of where we are playing and the fact it is Magic Weekend, but the players are all aware of that and there is always a bit more excitement and effort at training happen naturally which is good.“Castleford have been disrupted this year because of injury, but they are a good side and they do like playing against us. They will be tough on Sunday that is for sure. Kev Naiqama should be OK to come back in as will Robes so it will be good to get those two back.”A LIMITED NUMBERS OF TICKETS ARE AVAILABLE FOR THE MATCH AND THE FULL WEEKEND SCHEDULE OF FIXTURES BY CALLING 01744 455052, VISITING THE CLUB TICKET OFFICE AT THE TOTALLY WICKED STADIUM OR ONLINE HERE. COACH TRAVEL IS AVAILABLE TO PURCHASE FROM THE CLUB PRICED AT £9 FOR 2019 MEMBERS AND £10 FOR NON-MEMBERS. read more
WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — CFPUA crews are responding to a sewer main break this afternoon in Wilmington.CFPUA crews have closed the southernmost eastbound lane in the 400 block of Dawson Street.- Advertisement – A travel advisory is in place and is expected to be completed by 8 p.m. and the area will be paved prior to dismantling traffic control.
The Oak Island Pier (Photo: WWAY) OAK ISLAND, NC (WWAY) — The funding needed for the rebuilding of the Oak Island Pier continues to roll in.The town council voted at their meeting Tuesday night to approve a new $1.5 million grant.- Advertisement – Hurricane Matthew caused extensive damage to the pier and inspections by Oak Island’s insurance company, consulting engineers and FEMA concluded that the rest of the pier should be condemned.It will be demolished and a new pier will be built in its place.The grant approved at the meeting is coming from the Golden Leaf Foundation.Related Article: FEMA approved $17.5 million for Wilmington’s Florence clean-upThe town already got a $300,000 grant from CAMA and expects $760,000 in reimbursement from FEMA.
“We are excited to offer this opportunity for the public to review the results of their input and how it has been incorporated into the plan. From the beginning of the plan update process, public input has been an integral part of creating a plan that serves the needs of Pender County. The overall involvement in the planning process has been encouraging to see. By providing these final open house meetings, we hope to reach out to gather additional public input on the product that has been created to manage the future growth and development of Pender County,” stated Kyle M. Breuer, Planning and Community Development Director.The meeting is being held today, January 17, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Pender County Hampstead Annex. PENDER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — A open house style meeting is underway in Hampstead, as county leaders look to residents to provide input on the Pender 2.0 Comprehensive Land Use plan.The meetings will allow people to ask questions and review the future land use map.- Advertisement – read more
WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Attention veterans! Over the next few days, the American Legion, New Hanover Veterans Council, and the Department of Veterans Affairs are coming together to help those who served our country.The Veteran Benefit Experience Center kicked off Thursday morning at the Elks Lodge in Wilmington on Oleander Drive.- Advertisement – The event gives veterans the opportunity to get answers to questions they may have about VA benefits, apply for disability compensation claims and possibly get them on the spot, and they even have a stand down event designed to help homeless veterans get back on their feet.“If we’ve helped just one veteran we’ve made a difference,” Deputy Undersecretary for Disability Assistance, Robert Reynolds said. “But I’ve already heard the countless stories of the many veterans that we’ve helped this morning. And then I was even surprised to realize that we’ve had veterans drive as far away as Indiana, Georgia, that I’ve met this morning to come receive this one-on-one assistance.”Reynolds helped make this event possible so he traveled from D.C. to see the impact the event is having on veterans firsthand.Related Article: New Hanover County leaders provide update on Florence recovery“So really it’s breath taking I guess. I actually started this three years ago when the Legion approached me in D.C. about the idea. So to see where it’s grown of the the past three years, knowing that here in North Carolina alone they helped 4,000 veterans last year earn over $2 million in the benefits here in the state,” Reynolds said.The event is open to any and all veterans.Doors open again Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. read more