The bus industry is facing fresh legal action over its failure to ensure disabled people have access to the designated wheelchair spaces on buses, six months after a Supreme Court judgment that campaigners hoped would finally settle the issue.The Supreme Court ruled unanimously in January that wheelchair-users have a right to priority access over the wheelchair space on a bus, and that a driver must do more than just ask a non-disabled passenger to move if they are occupying the space and it is needed by someone using a wheelchair.But accessible transport campaigners said this week that, although there had been an initial improvement following the judgment, standards “were starting to slip again”.London’s user-led accessible transport charity, Transport for All (TfA), met last week to mark six months since the Supreme Court judgment.The meeting heard from one wheelchair-user and activist who said she had decided to take action over the repeated failure of a bus company to enforce the wheelchair space.She had earlier written in her blog that she had been refused access to a bus because of an occupied wheelchair space “numerous” times since the judgment, but that drivers frequently allow parents with buggies to board a bus when she is already occupying the space.She said: “It seems like there is a massively uneven system at work, and, by forcing a bus company to address this in court, I hope to further the rights of wheelchair users on buses and public transport.”She said she was “doing this for the wheelchair users I know who are too scared to take buses on their own because they don’t feel that the bus drivers, companies, nor the other passengers have their backs”.She was not available this week to discuss her case, but Alan Benson, TfA’s chair, said he was “not at all surprised” by her decision to take legal action, and he said that he suspected she would be “the first of a number” to do so.He told Disability News Service: “I think there were certain individuals in the room who would and hopefully will in the future consider taking legal action.”Many of those who attended the meeting had had recent problems securing access to the wheelchair space on a bus when it was being occupied by a pushchair, although some people said they had had positive experiences on buses since January.Transport for London (TfL) sent out new instructions to drivers after the Supreme Court judgment, but Benson said that “the actions of the drivers have changed very little”.He said: “What that means on the ground is we don’t get to go on buses sometimes, quite frequently.“I was on a bus on Sunday and the driver flat refused to ask the buggy to move from the wheelchair space.“I asked him to ask her and he just flat refused. That was a very common message on the day.”TfA wants buses to have larger wheelchair spaces, and separate spaces for buggies, to ensure that disabled people can travel with confidence.Although TfL has updated training and introduced new iBus voice announcements on buses since the court judgment, TfA wants it to go further and introduce a policy where bus drivers refuse to move the bus for a certain period of time unless the wheelchair priority space is cleared.Benson said: “If the bus sits there and waits, then the pressure shifts from the disabled person who is holding the bus up to the buggy-owner who is holding the bus up, and that changes the dynamic.”One of the disabled campaigners who attended the TfA meeting was Doug Paulley, who took the legal case that resulted in the Supreme Court judgment.He said after the meeting that the spaces were still “routinely abused”, and not just in London, despite his successful court case.He said: “It didn’t sort the problem. It raised the profile of the problem but it’s clear that bus companies and bus drivers and the public are still not necessarily doing what is needed.“We have to keep banging the drum. I don’t think we are going to achieve mass change in attitudes by one big court case.“It is a case of continuing to press for a change of culture both from the public and the public transport providers, which isn’t easy to do.”He added: “Many bus companies are still treating disabled and older people with contempt and denying them their fundamental right to travel; 25 years after disabled people chained themselves to buses to fight for the wheelchair space, it is still frequently abused by others.“It’s disgraceful, illegal and has got to stop.”Paulley, who was presented with an award by TfA for his campaign success, said he was “not surprised” to hear that another activist was taking a legal case because “it happens all the time”.He said: “I see videos of drivers refusing to ask people to move. I am glad she’s doing it and I support her 100 per cent.”TfL said that all of its bus drivers had been “comprehensively briefed” following the Supreme Court ruling and had completed “bespoke accessibility training”.Claire Mann, TfL’s director of bus service delivery and operations, said: “It is essential wheelchair-users are given priority over buggies and that the Supreme Court ruling is complied with.“We continue to work closely with Transport for All and implement their suggestions where possible.”Since the Supreme Court ruling, steps taken by TfL include: issuing drivers with a summary of the judgment and what it means for them; putting up posters in garages; issuing fresh guidance to bus operators and drivers; and producing new recorded iBus announcements about the wheelchair space that are played on buses.It has also delivered an accessibility awareness training programme to all its 24,500 bus drivers, which was developed in partnership with disabled and older bus passengers, TfA and Age UK London.TfL said that it receives “many commendations from wheelchair users who compliment bus staff for the help they have received” but in the “small number of instances when a wheelchair user hasn’t been properly supported, drivers are retrained or disciplinary action taken if appropriate”.On the size of wheelchair spaces, TfL says its current standard space is larger than those provided by many other bus operators, and where older buses have the UK standard spaces, they are increased when the buses are refurbished.But TfL added: “Where we can make spaces larger we do so. But significantly increasing the size of the wheelchair bay would result in rows of seats, often priority seats, being removed which would significantly disadvantage other customers with accessibility needs.”After the Supreme Court hearing, the junior transport minister Andrew Jones set up a working group to listen to advice on how to enforce the Paulley ruling.Responsibility for accessibility in public transport has now passed to the disabled Department for Transport (DfT) minister Paul Maynard.A DfT spokesman: “We are determined to improve access to all forms of public transport for people with disabilities, and we will shortly be launching a new accessibility action plan.“Our working group has now met several times to discuss how bus services can be improved and they will be making recommendations to us shortly.“In England, 94 per cent of buses have a designated wheelchair space and other features enabling disabled passengers to board, alight and travel safely and in comfort.”The action plan will include measures to ensure bus drivers know their obligations on access.Pictured: Doug Paulley (left) and his solicitor Chris Fry in front of the Supreme Court after the ruling, surrounded by supporters from Transport for All
A new Navigation Center will be installed near 13th Street and Highway 101 this spring, and while Mission District residents shared their concerns at a meeting on Thursday, many had warmed up to the idea after the apparent success of the center at 1515 South Van Ness.When the 1515 Navigation Center was built, “there was a lot of fear about a crime wave,” said Caleb, a resident of 25th and South Van Ness. “As a resident there, none of that came to pass. I’m actually very sorry that it’s only temporary.”The meeting was hosted by District 9 Supervisor Hillary Ronen, who is spearheading the project that will open sometime in April or May. She was joined by Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing Director Jeff Kositsky, as well as Julia Laue from the Department of Public Works.The new, 125-bed center will be located on a Caltrans-owned parking lot at 224-242 South Van Ness. It will sit adjacent to 13th Street, which has seen chronic homelessness and tent encampments since before San Francisco hosted the Super Bowl in 2016. In a bit of irony, the new center will be a very large tent structure with high ceilings and a large outdoor area. It will provide on-site meals, showers, storage and social services such as substance abuse treatment, housing opportunities, public assistance and job training.The site of the new Navigation Center.As with all Navigation Centers, people who enter are allowed to bring their pets, possessions and partners. People at the shelter can stay up to 60 days — or more if they are disabled and considered high-priority.Ronen said she is working on allowing every person to stay as long as they need — if they are engaging in services to find jobs and housing. “They can’t in 60 days address the underlying issues that are contributing to homelessness,” she said.The city officials also assured residents that the center will have a 24/7 desk service to answer residents’ calls if they have concerns. SFPD, they said, will provide security around the perimeter of the building.But some residents and business owners were nonetheless concerned about the center bringing more crime and nuisance to the area.“My biggest concern with this is, it’ll draw more attention, more people will come — we’re right there,” said Mitchell Kulder, Director of Operations at Royal Automotive Group, which borders the Navigation Center site.While he said he appreciated the initiative to help the area’s homeless population, he suspects some homeless residents have been damaging the cars at his business, and he’s worried that Navigation Center staff or the police would not be responsive enough.Kositsky reassured him that the center will have a 24-hour phone line for residents and businesses.“On paper, this sounds like it can continue to move the neighborhood in the right direction, but the reality of that, I’m not sure on,” said Ryan Cerami, Vice President of Ceramic Tile Design, which will neighbors the Caltrans site.Like some others, he asked for a more intimate sit-down with Ronen to see how he could “be part of the solution.”Ronen said that everyone is always welcome to contact her office. “We will talk to you, we will respond to you, because this is our top issue,” she said.A woman named Stephanie, who lives near the existing center at 1515 South Van Ness and 26th Streets, said the area “looks a lot better.” But since the center opened, she said she’s noticed an increase in drinking and drug use.“That issue should be addressed in future plans,” she said. “Because the outdoor space is nice to have, but people want to do drugs and drink … and it’s ending up in the surrounding areas.”She also asked about the wind-down plan for the 1515 South Van Ness shelter. Once the center leaves, construction for a new housing development will begin.“This is part of the wind-down plan,” Ronen said, speaking about the new center. “This is the replacement.”Ronen added that she will be holding a meeting about the South Van Ness center’s exit in a few weeks, although no date has been set. She said the new center does not have an end date, as they are on a $1 per month, year-to-year lease with Caltrans.A man who identified himself as Taylor said he is a soccer coach at Marshall Elementary, a school two blocks south. “I experience feces and urine in front of my doorstep,” he said. “Can the Navigation Center alleviate some of the public defecation that is happening on streets?”Ronen said that the onsite 24-hour showers and toilets will help to reduce those issues. “It is not acceptable for a world-class city to have people going to the bathroom and dropping used needles on the street,” she said. “It’s an embarrassment.”But the coach also asked how he could assist Navigation Center staff in referring individuals to the center. “I’ve interacted with a lot of homeless in area. I just feel connected to them,” he said. “My main question is: how residents can help folks get access to Navigation Center?”Kositsky encouraged community members to contact his office through email — or him, personally, through Twitter — if they feel compelled to help someone. “When they know you and trust you, we can leverage that to help them get indoors,” he said.Aerial view of new Navigation Center site.The center will be a tent structure with high ceilings and outdoor space. 0% Tags: homeless • homelessness • housing Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%
Subscribe to Mission Local’s daily newsletter Email Address Lucca Ravioli Company’s parking lot at 22nd and Valencia Street, which went on the market in August, quietly sold in October for around $3 million — and now plans are in the works to develop it into a five-story residential building. The parking lot’s new owner — M3 LLC — filed a preliminary application with the city in mid-December. The plans for 1120 Valencia St. envision a five-story, 18-unit building with around 1,171 square feet of ground-floor retail and a rooftop deck. Two of the units will be below-market-rate, and the building will include 18 bicycle spaces but no car parking. The project’s estimated cost is $4.8 million. The owner of M3 LLC could not be reached for comment, as his or her identity could not be confirmed. Planning documents list the owner’s address as the Garaventa Accountancy Corporation on Church Street. Michael Feno, the longtime owner of the deli, listed the property for $2.995 million in late August, hoping that the would-be buyer would develop the property into housing. At the time, he said his intention was to “take care of the middle class” by adding to the neighborhood’s housing stock. “As long as you’re short on housing, what are you going to have is every house with a multi-millionaire,” he said.Local Reporting takes reporters on the ground. It’s not free. Support Mission Local todayYet, he told Mission Local in August that any sale would be contingent on a developer including parking in the new development. With no car parking in the plans, that sticking point was apparently nixed from the deal. Feno has not yet responded to questions for this article. Feno’s family has run Lucca on the corner of 22nd and Valencia since 1925, eventually buying the corner building as well as the adjacent apartment building and the parking lot next door. If and when the new building is complete, it will be the tallest on the block, outsizing its neighbors, including the sprawling four-story City College of San Francisco Mission Campus across the street. Valencia seems to be a hot place to develop small housing projects: Less than block away, on Valencia between 21st and 22nd street, a six-story, 25-unit building is proposed to replace the San Francisco Auto Works garage.
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WE’VE got some more behind the scenes footage of your Saints working hard in pre-season.We were invited to film the lads’ latest conditioning and gym sessions – and as you can see, they are working hard for the season ahead.Saints will kick off their Super League campaign with a trip to Warrington on Thursday February 13 before hosting Hull FC at Langtree Park eight days later.Tickets for those games are on sale from the Ticket Office at Langtree Park, by calling 01744 455 052 or by logging on here.Mobile users can see the video here.
ST HELENS CHAIRMAN EXPRESSES ANGER AT EX PLAYER HOHAIA’S DAMAGING AND FALSE STATEMENTS ABOUT THE CLUB AND ITS STAFFSt Helens’ Chairman, Eamonn McManus, has followed up the Club’s official statement on Lance Hohaia’s recent false assertions and has expressed his personal incomprehension and anger at the damage that it has wrongly caused to the St Helens club and, importantly, to its highly respected professional staff.McManus stated:“We can all appreciate and sympathise with Lance over his feelings towards Ben Flower after his savage assault in the 2014 Grand Final against Wigan. St Helens and its medical staff naturally did everything to treat and support him at that time and thereafter.However, his recent series of utterly false accusations about the Club not supporting him and forcing him to play when he was not ready, is malicious and incorrect.His misstatements have wrongly damaged the respected and hard earned reputation of one of the world’s great rugby league clubs. However, I reserve my real anger for the damage and wrongdoing to our highly reputable and leading medical and rugby staff, each of whom could not have looked after Lance more professionally. Their reputations, livelihoods and lives have been wrongly maligned and undermined by his utterly untrue assertions. This is unacceptable and will not be tolerated by us.Furthermore, Lance claims that he is trying to help fellow players and athletes with his assertions. To the contrary, distortion of the truth by a high profile past player can only undermine and prejudice other genuine and serious medical cases, both present and future.Lance did not raise any concussive symptoms with relevant members of our staff from October 2014, when he went on holiday after the 2014 Grand Final, until April 2015, when thereafter he handed in his resignation without notice to the Club or to his teammates. His then retrospective assertions as to self diagnosed concussive symptoms were not supported in any way by our meticulously kept records.In the months before his resignation, in addition to being a full time rugby league player, he studied for a business degree in preparation for his planned new life and career in the United States. This was an impressive continuing achievement, but again utterly irreconcilable with his subsequent claims as to his wellbeing. Nevertheless, the Club still paid for his accommodation and cars after he had resigned and stayed in England in order to complete successfully his studies.However, he demanded to be continued to be paid a salary by the Club after had unilaterally resigned and terminated his services as a rugby player. This was as unbelievable as it was unjustifiable. He instructed various firms of solicitors, none of whom progressed his unfounded claims.St Helens and its staff supported Lance Hohaia at all times, as we do with all our players. That is the nature of a club of the very highest professional standing and standards, and this reputation is recognised as such throughout the sport.We will not tolerate our good name and the valuable reputations and livelihoods of our top professional staff being wrongly damaged by falsehood. We will take all appropriate actions to redress and remedy the situation. If we do not, the sport has no future.”
The board took questions about GenX from people in the community Monday night.“The biggest challenge is the lack of information about some of these chemical compounds. And so we want to get our arms wrapped around it,” N.C. Department of Environmental Quality Secretary, Michael Regan said.That is where the State Science Advisory Board comes in to play. The board was created to review the steps to take when dealing with emerging compounds like Gen-X.Related Article: China announces $60B of US goods for tariff retaliation“We’re trying to be very mindful to call our health goal a provisional health goal,” NC DHHS Health Director, Elizabeth Tilson said. “As we keep saying there’s very little health studies. This is really an emerging area. And the more we learn and the more we work with experts example like the Science Advisory Board the more health information we can bring in.”The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality is also making sure Chemours is being held accountable.“There is more to this issue than permitting,” Regan said. “The CEO spoke eloquently about the cash flow for the company and the company’s overall health. And we hope that he sends the same signals in terms of concern for the health of people in North Carolina.”The biggest takeaways from the meeting, officials are looking at the current health goal and possibly making changes.One major bombshell during the meeting was the announcement that high levels of GenX were found in a farmer’s batch of honey. The farmer lives near the Chemours Fayetteville site and wanted to get his honey tested. Results showed GenX levels at 2,000 parts per trillion.The health standard is 140 parts per trillion, but that is for water. Experts are now evaluating the way the honey was tested.“However, you have to remember that a lot of the lab centers are set up for water so how that is in terms of testing honey it’s a very different substance,” Tilson said. “Not sure at all if those lab standards are relevate for honey versus water.”Tilson says the honey was stored in a container that may have GenX in it as well prompting a higher level. This also poses the question, what other items could be contaminated?“It’s not so much important in it’s own single entity. But the idea that is it possible that GenX is in other foods or people could have exposure to GenX in other than drinking water,” Tilson said. WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A panel of experts is trying to get answers when it comes to GenX and how it is affecting you and your family.Monday afternoon, the state Science Advisory Board met at UNCW to hear the latest developments. WWAY was there during the public forum held at the Warwick Center.- Advertisement – The board’s next meeting is set for January 29.
It found that in Wilmington small businesses receive 24 percent more applications than bigger businesses.Wilmington had the 20th best small business hiring advantage in the nation and was the only North Carolina city on the list. (Photo: Pexels) WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A new study has placed the Port City in the top 20 cities where small businesses have a hiring advantage.The study done by ZipRecruiter compared job applications to small businesses and large businesses.- Advertisement –
After you’ve cleaned out your home, garage or attic and uncovered many new found treasures, remember to donate your surplus items to Communities In Schools (CIS) Thrift Shops. Donating and shopping at CIS Thrift Shops supports the local economy, gives customers great deals, and supports a good cause all at the same time. Every donation is rewarded with a tax receipt to benefit the donor’s income taxes and the money from shopping purchases goes back in to CIS programs helping students in Brunswick County stay in school. Thrifting should be a regular hobby – both donating and shopping.CIS Thrift Shops accept: gently used or new clothing for ladies, men, and children, shoes, home décor, jewelry, housewares, electronics, art work, music related items, sports related items, tools, books, magazines and comic books, furniture, bicycles, etc.“Donate with a purpose. Customers support students with their donations and purchases. It’s not only a fun way to shop, but a win-win-win. Customers who donate goods get a tax receipt, save money shopping at CIS Thrift Shops, and support students in Brunswick County through purchases. The money raised by CIS Thrift Shops support CIS Action for Success dropout prevention programs in four middle schools, Waccamaw School (k-8), and Supply Elementary School right here in Brunswick County,” said Todd Beane, CIS Communications and Thrift Shop Operations Manager.Related Article: Belville calls out Leland’s past stances on water plant as mayor issues open letterCIS incorporates Success Coaches, community volunteers, civic groups and business partnerships to support student achievement. CIS assists Brunswick County students through tutors, mentors, 21st Century Community Learning Centers after school programs, Teen and Peer Court, and parenting education, with a major focus on dropout prevention services.According to National Association of Resale and Thrift Shops (NARTS), resale or thrift shopping is growing every year and attracts customers from all economic levels. No one is immune to the excitement of finding a treasure and saving money.Beane says spring cleaning season is a great time to donate or to shop. “People are cleaning and organizing and emptying homes of clutter. As they say, ‘One’s man’s junk is another man’s treasure.’ You can get great deals on amazing items because of all the donations coming in.”CIS Thrift Shops strive to deliver the best customer experience around. CIS shop staff know their customers and spend the time to help find that treasured item they are seeking.CIS operates four thrift shops in Brunswick County for your donating and shopping convenience. CIS Thrift Shops are located in Boiling Spring Lakes, Leland, Southport, and Sunset Beach with inventory turning over daily. For more information about CIS of Brunswick County, our thrift shops or our programs, please contact the CIS office at 910-832-3494 or visit www.cisbrunswick.org. Communities in Schools (Photo: Facebook) SOUTHPORT, NC (NEWS RELEASE) — The Spring season is here and no better time to clean out your garage or home. Spring brings about feelings of renewal because this is the time of year when everyone is refreshing their surroundings.What better place to start with spring cleaning than in your home, garage or attic? You’ll feel better, your house or garage will look better, and students will benefit from your efforts. Studies show taking the time to clean and maintain a tidy home makes people happier. Cleaning doesn’t just clear away the physical stuff, it provides a sense of satisfaction, which puts you in a good mood, feeling more relaxed, and relieves stress.- Advertisement –
(ABC News) — Golf carts are becoming so popular in some communities that cities are taking measures to try to keep people safe, including Carolina Beach.A Good Morning American investigation into a surprising hazard on roads across the country, golf carts. They’re not just popular on the course or at resorts, but now they’re even showing up on highways raising serious safety concerns- Advertisement – “It’s pretty hazardous out on the roads and being out on a golf cart makes it even more scary,” Debbie Hersman, President of National Safety Council, said.There were an estimated 18,000 golf cart injuries filling up emergency rooms across the country in 2017, according to U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.16-year-old Drew Pelkowski suffered a major brain injury in 2016, after the golf cart he was riding in on the street flipped on its side.Related Article: Wake N Bake clears hurdle to serve alcohol-infused donuts“The doctors reassured us that he had less than a 10 percent chance of making it,” mom Lauri Pelowski said.Luckily, Drew beat the odds.“He’s a fighter and a survivor,” Pelowski said.Towns like Carolina Beach are now making new rules.“It’s an issue that absolutely needs to be made safe,” Carolina Beach Police Chief Chris Spivey said.Earlier this year, this coastal community raised the bar on golf cart safety, requiring everything from turn signals to seat belts.GMA investigates was there as officers enforce the new law.In just an hour, GMA witnessed a steady stream of people in golf carts on the roads some breaking the new rules. One officer wrote four tickets. In Carolina Beach, golf cart drivers are allowed on roads with a speed limit of 35 miles-per-hour or below, but laws vary from town-to-town across the country.In South Carolina, golf carts are seen driving through heavy traffic.“As a safety professional, this makes me really uncomfortable!” Hersman said.