A leading disabled activist has asked the head of

first_imgA leading disabled activist has asked the head of one of the country’s largest unions to take action over jobcentre staff who appear to enjoy handing out sanctions to benefit claimants.The exchange took place at a fringe meeting organised by the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union – which represents most jobcentre workers – at this week’s Labour conference in Brighton.Mark Serwotka, the union’s general secretary, was told by Paula Peters, from Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC): “There is a lot of anger with a lot of claimants around some jobcentre workers who are quite enjoying sanctioning a little bit too much.”She said these claimants wanted to know what action the union was taking to try and reduce the rate at which claimants were being sanctioned – having their benefits stopped for a period of time as a punishment for refusing to meet strict work-related conditions – and whether PCS had considered a “name and shame policy to get this stopped”.Serwotka (pictured, second from left, at the fringe) said: “I am representing some of the lowest-paid workers in Britain, some of them have been physically attacked, some of them are blamed for what they have to do.“If you are a worker and you are earning under £20,000 delivering a pretty shitty system, there is a lot of pressure on you, with the worst management I think anywhere in the public sector – they have sacked people in DWP who have cancer – so this is an organisation where it takes an awful lot of guts to stand up.”But he agreed that some members “perhaps have been or do buy into the ideology of what they are doing”.He told the fringe meeting – also attended by Labour’s shadow work and pensions secretary Debbie Abrahams – that he had visited jobcentres where it was clear from posters on the walls and “conversations people have to have with their management” that managers were trying to persuade staff that imposing sanctions was “the right thing to be doing”, in a bid to win their “hearts and minds”.Peters told Serwotka that DPAC had been blamed for intimidating PCS members who worked in jobcentres, but she said: “We don’t do that, we don’t believe in that.”And she asked him how they could bring the two factions together, following displays of anger between jobcentre staff and claimants.Serwotka appealed for “unity” between disabled activists, claimants and his members who worked in jobcentres.He said: “At the moment, our members are demoralised by the fact that they are judged by the amount of people they sanction and how many people they push through the system.”He said he knew that some jobcentre staff, as well as some people in wider society, had “fallen for the divide and rule stuff” on benefit claimants.But he said: “The best way to tackle that is for us to be as united as we can, which is why I hope we continue that.“I hope something comes of this meeting and we can take this forward.”Serwotka had earlier called for a social security system that was based on “dignity and respect” and “not one obsessing about free market economics and the private sector and conditionality”.He warned that the “political consensus” had “undermined” the welfare state over the last 30 years, and he claimed that the Tony Blair government had done as much as any to “split working people from benefit claimants”.He said the service offered to benefit claimants at jobcentres now was “a million miles away” from the one provided in 1980, when he was working for the old Department for Health and Social Security (DHSS).And he said he hoped for a debate that would lead to a social security system that staff could deliver “with some passion and pleasure”, as they had been able to when he worked for DHSS.last_img read more

Missing Mans Family Friends Ask for Publics Help

first_img Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0% “He had his car keys – it makes no sense for him to leave his backpack outside of the car and disappear from there,” said Soto’s friend and former boss, Hugo Gonzalez, who owns Compupod, an electronics store at 2433 Mission St. Gonzalez said that previous to his job at Batteries Plus Bulbs, Soto was employed at Compupod for some five years, and the two have remained close friends.Gonzalez described Soto as “very responsible about work.”“If he was five minutes late, he would send me a text message,” said Gonzalez, who has been assisting the family in the search for the missing man. “He never missed a day of work.”Soto is currently enrolled at the City College of San Francisco Ocean Campus and spent the majority of the week in San Francisco, commuting between school and work. He previously held jobs at Sprint and Radioshack in the Mission. The family has posted flyers in the Civic Center area and in the Mission, where Soto still spent much of his free time.“We grew up here – a lot of people around here know him, he has his network here. This was his place to be in,” said Soto’s brother, adding that Soto “never had trouble with people.” Gonzalez said that he communicated with Soto through text messages last week, and that he seemed “fine,” adding that it is not like his friend to “just disappear.”  Soto has been diagnosed with asthma and is likely in need of his medication. He has also previously sought counseling for depression-related illnesses. “I don’t know where my brother is. It’s something that really hurts me,“ said Soto’s brother. “We are trying to piece it together but we can’t.”The family is asking that anyone who might have seen Soto contact them at 415-316-5991 or 415-827-7200. They can also call police at 911 or 415-575-4444. But Soto uncharacteristically did not return home, and his loved ones have been unable to reach him as of Tuesday.“He kept things to himself, but he would always tell our mom when he would go out and when he was coming back,” said Soto’s older brother, Jonathan Soto. “Saturday was our sister’s birthday – which I don’t think he would miss.”The family reported Soto missing at the Mission District police station on Sunday evening. A spokesperson for the station said that an investigator was assigned to the case on Tuesday.Hours before the Friday night concert, Soto had parked his car in an enclosed parking garage shared by an apartment complex and Batteries Plus Bulbs, a phone and electronics repair shop at 1450 Bush St. where Soto was most recently employed, according to his brother.Tom Schultz, who owns the shop, confirmed that Soto left his car in the garage after finishing his shift at 6 p.m. on Friday, and had asked a manager to borrow the garage’s remote with the intention of picking up up his car after the concert.After meeting up with his friend, the pair paid for an Uber car that shuttled them to the venue. According to Soto’s brother, the friend had told him that she and Soto had separated throughout the evening but reconnected after the concert concluded. Soto then accompanied his friend to her home around 1 a.m., just blocks away from Batteries Plus Bulbs, where they had drinks with a group of friends before parting ways an hour later.The friend reported that she did not hear from Soto after he left her home sometime around 2 a.m. on Saturday, according to his brother. The friend believed that Soto walked back to his car, and reported that he was carrying a backpack. Later that morning, a co-worker noticed Soto’s car still parked in the garage, and discovered his backpack “in front of the car.” The backpack’s contents – an ID card, credit cards, wallet, the car keys, and extra clothing – were strewn out on the ground. The car remained locked, and the only items that seemed to be missing were Soto’s cell phone and the garage remote, according to Soto’s brother.  “We thought that was odd,” said Schultz, who grew concerned when Soto did not show up for his scheduled shift on Saturday morning. “Cristian is always on time, never a no-show, always prompt and a great employee,” said Schultz, adding that police have not contacted him or any of his employees since Soto’s disappearance. “Even if [this was] some young person that doesn’t typically show up or has other problem in his life, we would be concerned, but that’s not him,” he said. “We are desperate for someone to come out here.”Schultz added that a neighboring building has a security camera that points towards the garage’s entrance, and that a camera located at a nearby construction site could also have captured footage of anyone entering or exiting the garage.Soto’s friends also expressed concern and confusion as to why his backpack was found abandoned next to his car. Update: Cristian Alan Soto’s disappearance was likely a suicide, according to his family.Family and friends of a 23-year-old man who has been missing since September 24 are asking for the public’s help in finding him.Cristian Alan Soto grew up in the Mission, but relocated to Concord with his mother and siblings less than a year ago. Soto is Mexican, with brown eyes and black hair, and described as 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighing about 180 pounds. He was wearing black pants and a button up shirt with white flowers at the time of his disappearance. Soto was reportedly last seen downtown, in the area of Bush Street and Van Ness Avenue, after leaving a friend’s home in the early morning hours on Saturday. The two had attended a concert by Australian record producer Flume on Friday night at the Bill Graham Auditorium at Civic Center. 0%last_img read more

DJ Lamont — and his 14500 records — come to SFs Mission

first_img Email Address It was a rainy morning at 20th and San Carlos, and Lamont Bransford-Young was combing his 12-inch single collection for a Sylvia Striplin album — the one record from which his entire collection of 14,500 has grown.“I’ve had that record since I was 14,” he said. He wasn’t able to locate it (he had just reorganized the sprawling collection) but that didn’t seem to matter: “It’s interesting organizing these because I just had a lot of nostalgia.” The reorganization was not born out of whimsy or boredom or an investigation into a troubled love life, but something far more practical. Only a month earlier, Bransford-Young schlepped the collection into the workspace because, for the first time ever, he’s had a workspace of his own. Subscribe to Mission Local’s daily newslettercenter_img While Bransford-Young has done DJ lessons out of his Mission District home for the last 15 years, the enterprise is now in plain view for anyone to walk in, inquire, and sign up. Already, he said, that is happening. “They walk by and see something for themselves,” he said. And for him, the act of moving his enterprise — and lifelong record collection — into plain view on at 20th and San Carlos is a new frontier for the career radio and club DJ. “It was a big emotional step to free it and put it in this environment where it’s vulnerable in a way,” he said of the record collection, though he really could have been talking about his business venture, or life writ large, “because now it’s not under my full control.”  To many listeners of the community radio station 89.5 KPOO, he’s DJ Lamont — a disco and house-music aficionado whose on-air segues are heartfelt and philosophical. In person, he’s very much the same, speaking with the deep, warm timbre of someone who’s heard his voice filter through the airwaves for much of his life. That in itself did not come easy. Bransford-Young was born in Waterbury, Connecticut, in December 1964. The first time he ever heard his voice recorded was in the 3rd grade. He had a speech disorder, and his speech pathologist would record his voice so he could hear his mistakes. “I was just so fascinated to hear my voice,” he said. Bransford-Young was also fascinated by the voices of others. He was a natural loner whose best and most consistent companion was the radio, particularly the New York-based WBLS radio — the flagship of the first full-service radio network aimed at African Americans. Much of the time, the music was disco. “I would sleep while the radio was on, and I would hear music in the middle of the night and wake up and just listen to be inspired by it,” he said, “or dance to it.”  <span data-mce-type=”bookmark” style=”display: inline-block; width: 0px; overflow: hidden; line-height: 0;” class=”mce_SELRES_start”></span>Despite these hints at his destiny, Bransford-Young’s learning disability — a struggle with reading — deterred him: He auditioned to become a student at the Connecticut School of Broadcasting, and while reading the script, “I basically just fell to pieces.” But he stayed the course, cutting his teeth at Central Connecticut State University’s college radio station and eventually landing a full-time gig at a station specializing jazz, and shortly after, its sister station that played country music. He paid the bills by working in the station’s continuity department (radio speak for advertising), and received a first-class education in what Bransford-Young described as the “art of radio.” He moved into the Mission in 1997, and has remained here ever since. “I’m happy here,” he said, explaining that he never wants to leave. Bransford-Young’s DJ academy smells fresh and newly painted. Remnants of the underground scavenging hub Junko’s, which vacated two years ago, have been erased by time and renovations, and have been replaced by a row of turntables, controllers, and CTJs. One of the turntables is set up in front of a large window facing 20th Street.On this table on a recent Tuesday, the tall man with thin dreadlocks flipped on a single by Agent K, a pioneer of “broken beat”-style house music and let the beat pulse through the room. “It’s one of my favorite songs here,” he said, moving to the music. He then took out another record, “Walk” by Amaria. He turned dials and moved faders, resulting in a sonic alchemy that produced the driving, textured sound made to coax body and soul into motion. “The idea is to engage with the track,” he said.“A lot of my students walk in bringing their day with them,” he said. “And, after they’re done, they say their heads are spinning, just like the music.”  DJing may appear to be an expensive undertaking — Bransford-Young said that professional tables and controllers can cost up to $2,500 — but, like anything else, he said, beginners need only a small investment to do a lot. He held up a smaller “starting unit,” a $250 piece of equipment he recommended for any budding club DJ. Bransford-Young talked about the responsibility he felt toward his students. They could be out getting into trouble, he said. “But the fact that they’re getting this, this is creating an opportunity.” He embraced the controller unit tighter and held it to his chest and reiterated: “This is opportunity.”Bransford-Young teaches a lesson with Markinson Johnson. Photo by Julian Mark. last_img read more

ACTING Head Coach Mike Rush is playing a waiting g

first_imgACTING Head Coach Mike Rush is playing a waiting game as he awaits medical reports on four players injured over the Easter Weekend.Jon Wilkin (shoulder) came off the field on Good Friday whilst Tony Puletua (shoulder), Ade Gardner (knee) and Gary Wheeler (hamstring) didn’t finish the clash at Castleford yesterday.“TP has a scan yesterday on his shoulder and it looks serious,” he admitted. “With Ade’s knee it could be a whole host of things minor to major. We can’t tell until the swelling goes down.“Gary felt his hamstring in the game and again we won’t know until it is scanned. I feel for Wheels, he doesn’t seem to be able to get a run of games. On Monday, he single-handily created the first try and every time we made a break he was there. Hopefully, it isn’t too serious and he gets that run of games.“With Jon Wilkin, we are again waiting for results. It’s a fine line between asking players to strap up and doing long term damage. He is as brave as we have got – but we have to try and manage what is best for the long term and the player.“On the plus side though, Jonny’s finger is fine so he should be in line to return this week.”The injuries leave Rush with several choices to make ahead of this weekend’s Challenge Cup Fourth Round tie at Widnes – especially on the wing:“Tommy Makinson, Adam Swift and Jamie Foster all are in with a shout for that wing spot. A lot depends on who is playing well and fitness too. Adam has been in the 19 for the last two weeks and is benefitting from that experience. He won’t be far away on getting a shout at some point.“Since Josh Jones has come in, he’s done really well. We need to keep his feet on the floor and he needs to continue to do what he is doing. He was a powerful centre with genuine pace too. At Castleford, every time he carried the ball he looked like winning the battle on the floor.”He continued: “It wasn’t difficult to lift the lads after the Good Friday defeat because they knew they had to give one more massive effort. It’s hard when you go to Cas and have prepared to face the likes of Rangi Chase and Danny Orr. We prepared for them and perhaps it is tougher mentally when you aren’t facing that. I felt in the first 20 minutes we needed to get some points on the board and it could have been different.“But this happens over the Easter weekend. I think the RFL do have to have a look at playing Friday and Monday. Maybe you could have all the local derbies spread across the weekend on the TV? We played an intense game against Wigan and then had to dust off and ask 110kg blokes to smash into each other once again. I’m not sure that is right.“But, we built character in those final stages at Castleford and come the later rounds of Super League, the Cup or the Playoffs, we can reflect on those moments.”This Saturday’s Fourth Round match at Widnes will be Saints first taste of the Cup comp this season and the infamous iPitch.“I think all the furore over the surface has gone now and we’re looking forward to the match,” Rush said. “It will be a very tough game and we are preparing to take on the team that beat Wigan recently. The Challenge Cup is massive for us. Every overseas player comes here with the dream of doing it and it’s the same for the local boys too.”last_img read more

SAINTS have once again teamed up with its Official

first_imgSAINTS have once again teamed up with its Official Travel Partner and sponsor of the Sponsors’ Lounge at Langtree Park, Hatton’s Travel and CFW Tailor Made Travel to offer two trips to Catalan next season.Keiron Cunningham’s side will face the Dragons on Saturday May 9, 2015.Hatton’s Travel’s Tour:May 6 – 12 2015Half Board Overnight Accommodation Outbound & ReturnAt Novotel Dijon Sud / Marsannay La Cote4 Nights All Inclusive & Santa Susanna Resort, SpainCrossing by Eurotunnel Folkestone – CalaisTickets NOT Included for the Game £499.00 pp based on 2 sharingYou can find out more information and book on this trips by contacting Hatton’s on 01744 811818 or by logging on to www.hattonstravel.co.ukCFW Tailor Made Travel & Catalan Sport Tours:Depart Liverpool Airport Thursday May 7Return Liverpool Airport Sunday May 10 or Tuesday May 12 3 or 5 Nights including breakfast at Fenals Garden Hotel in Lloret de Mar or Tahiti Playa Hotel in Santa SusanaAll airport & match transfersMatch tickets£399 per person (3 night package) – Based on twin share£449 per person (5 night package) – Based on twin shareSingle supplement if required is £15 per nightDeposit required at time of booking is £200 per personBalance is due eight weeks prior to departureCall now on 01925 589008 to reserve your place.last_img read more

Gov Cooper announces 19M in grants

first_img Seatox Research, Inc. of Wilmington got just under $60,000 to develop a sensor for the detection of paralytic shellfish toxins acquired through human consumption. This project is sponsored by the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration. Gov. Roy Cooper gives his first State of the State address as a newly elected Governor. (Photo: CBS) WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — 32 small technology-oriented companies across the state including one in Wilmington will share nearly $2 million to help them grow and provide good jobs, Governor Cooper announced Monday.These are the latest round of grants from the state’s One North Carolina Small Business Program.- Advertisement – last_img

CAPE FEAR HISTORY MYSTERIES Does Jack the Ripper haunt Wilmingtons Cotton Exchange

first_img In our first episode, we visit a familiar spot in downtown Wilmington that some say is home to some folks who left us long ago. There are various ghosts reportedly roaming the halls and shops that now fill the Cotton Exchange. But one of them may be linked to some of the most famous unsolved crimes in the history of the world.Does the mystery of “Jack the Ripper” stretch across the sea from England to the spot where merchants once traded their wares? Some say yes.Check out the video above to learn more about the story and Wilmington’s link.Related Article: Dad detains naked accused child molester at gunpoint at parkThen visit WWAYTV3.com/history-mysteries each Thursday for another installment of “Cape Fear History & Mysteries.” WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The history of southeastern North Carolina is rich. We have everything from treasured landmarks and historic events to legendary tales and straight-up ghost stories.All of it is what we will explore in our new web series “Cape Fear History & Mysteries.” Each Thursday evening we’ll release a new episode.- Advertisement – last_img read more

Rep Rouzer hosting opioid symposium in Wilmington

first_imgWILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A symposium aimed to share the best ways to address opioids when it comes to stigma, treatment, prevention and law enforcement is being held in Wilmington at the end of the month.“The Opioid Symposium will also serve as a resource for those who are either struggling or have a loved one struggling with addiction to learn where they can go for treatment and recovery in all nine counties across the 7th District,” said Rep. David Rouzer, who is hosting the symposium.- Advertisement – The objective of the symposium, Rouzer said, is to gather the best and brightest across the state who have been working on the issue, to spark a dialogue across the district that lays out the best practices to address the issues.The 7th District Opioid Symposium will be held on July 30 at the Coastline Conference and Event Center at 501 Nutt Street. It runs from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.For those who live in the northern part of the district and can’t attend, there will be a simulcast at the Maxwell Regional Agriculture and Convention Center at 3114 Wayne Memorial Drive in Goldsboro.Related Article: Jury tells pork giant to pay $473.5M in nuisance lawsuitIf you want to attend, RSVP here.last_img read more

Doctor hosts event to help womens health

first_imgDr. Felice Carlton, Founder of A Renewed You Women’s Retreat stopped by the WWAY studios to discuss her upcoming seminar. Healthy Minds and Healthy Bodies is a seminar for ladies that are looking to take their lives to the next level. Carlton says, “On the outside many ladies look like the image of success but secretly are struggling with stress, weight gain, anxiety, depression and health challenges. Women take care of everyone else but no one is taking care of them.” The event provides a safe environment for ladies to be rejuvenated, to develop a rock solid mindset and leave with a plan of how they could achieve their goals. Carlton is hosting Healthy Minds Healthy Bodies in Wilmington at Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church 3701 Princess Place Dr from 9am-1pm, registration is free and begins at 8:30.last_img read more

Watch Car crash at Birżebbuġa 2 severely injured

first_img SharePrint Two persons, suffering from serious injuries after a car accident in Birżebbuġa,were admitted to. The condition of the third person has not yet been confirmed.A spokesperson for the Police told Newsbook.com.mt that the accident occurred at around 9:00am, at Triq Għar Dalam, Birżebbuġa.One of the vehicles was being driven by a 21 year old male from Kalkara. The other car was being driven by an 80 year old man, who was accompanied by a female, 72. The latter two are both suffering severe injuries. They are both residents of Birżebbuġa.Footage sent to Newsbook.com.mt shows that due to the crash, one of the cars ended up crashing into a wall.WhatsApp <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