A disabled artistactivist has scattered the groun

first_imgA disabled artist-activist has scattered the ground-up remains of 650 clay human figures into the Bristol Channel, in the last stage of a project to demonstrate the real-life impact of austerity.Liz Crow said this final stage of the We Are Figures project, which coincided with the state opening of parliament, was “a distress call to the global community”.She had planned to scatter the remains into the Thames beside the Houses of Parliament, but this month’s election results – and the overall Conservative majority – convinced her that the message would not be heard in the UK.She decided instead to take the figures out into the busy shipping lane of the Bristol Channel in “an appeal to the international community to take heed and signal their solidarity”.The We Are Figures project aimed to “make visible the human cost of austerity”, and inspire action against cuts to support and services.All of the 650 figures were hand-sculpted by Crow from river mud, with each one paired with an individual story drawn from research into the impact of austerity, on subjects such as benefits reform, cuts to council spending, homelessness, malnutrition and NHS rationing.The night before the general election, Crow’s clay figures were raised into a bonfire and, as they were fired, the 650 austerity stories were read aloud over six hours.Afterwards, every one of the figures was ground up, and this week the remains were scattered into the Bristol Channel (pictured).Crow told Disability News Service that the project had been a “leap of faith”, and it was impossible to predict what its impact would be.She said: “No one thing is going to change the political landscape. What I am doing is in collaboration with many, many other things that other people are doing.“It is another way of communicating with people [about the impact of austerity]. That is one of the ways the project has been very successful, the conversations it has triggered.”Because of the results of the election, Crow said the end of the project now felt less like “a closing” and “more of a beginning”.She said: “It would be wonderful to say austerity is over and now we start rebuilding, but effectively it was a mark in the sand saying, ‘this is where we are,’ because it is going to get worse. I cannot see how it cannot.”Crow said the scattering of the remains of the figures over the side of the boat had been “incredibly moving”.She said: “I was very conscious all the way through the scattering, but also during the phases leading up to it, that every single one of those figures represented a real person, and I still felt that very strongly as I scattered them yesterday.”Among the stories marked by her project was that of Liza, who found applying for employment and support allowance to be so “horrendously stressful” that she could not face applying for disability living allowance. Instead, she scavenged for food from supermarket skips.Another was Stephen, who was assessed for his fitness for work and told by the healthcare professional to see a doctor as soon as possible. Although he was found fit for work, he was diagnosed with heart failure. He won his appeal but was told to attend another assessment, even though he was waiting for a heart operation. He was again assessed as being fit for work, but died 39 days after the assessment.A third story involved a young man with testicular cancer, who was sanctioned by Jobcentre Plus because he could not attend an appointment. Days later, he was admitted to hospital for intensive chemotherapy, after a scan revealed the cancer had spread to his lymph nodes. Even though a social worker from a cancer charity rang Jobcentre Plus to explain, they still refused to give him any money.Crow said she would now take some time to recover from the project, before deciding on her next piece of work.In the meantime, she will continue to work on a doctorate examining different approaches to activism, including the role of performing and the arts.And in the autumn, she is due to start on a film-based piece of work using footage shot during the We Are Figures project.Picture by Matthew Fesseylast_img read more

The twin brother of a man who killed himself after

first_imgThe twin brother of a man who killed himself after being told he was ineligible for two disability benefits has backed calls for an inquiry into links between the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and deaths of benefit claimants.DWP had beentold the man, Michael*, from the West Midlands, was depressed and suicidal, inaddition to his recent sight loss, but still found him fit for work.He was alsofound ineligible for personal independence payment (PIP), with the letters rejectinghis two benefit applications arriving within days of each other.Michael’sbrother, Adam*, had filled in the employment and support allowance (ESA) claimform on his behalf, and had made it clear his twin was severely depressed andsuicidal, following sight loss that had led to him losing his job as ahighly-skilled mechanic working on HGVs months earlier.But Adamsays DWP ignored that information and made no attempt to ensure his safety whenit sent the two letters, one after the other, telling him he was losing hisentitlement to ESA – which he had been granted while he was being assessed –and that he would not be entitled to PIP.About 10days after receiving the two letters, Michael took his own life.Within abouta week of his funeral, DWP wrote to Michael’s widow to admit that he had beenentitled to both benefits after all – including the enhanced levels of bothdaily living and mobility on PIP – and telling her she would receive £7,000 inbackpayments.Adam sentletters raising concerns about his brother’s case to DWP – telling the departmentthat the decisions it made had “played a significant part in my brother’staking his own life” – and work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith, butreceived no reply to either of them.Adamcontacted Disability News Service (DNS) this week after reading about the Justice for Jodey Whiting petition on the Benefits and Work website.It is thefirst time the family have spoken to the media since Michael’s death inFebruary 2015.The JodeyWhiting petition calls for an independent inquiry into deaths linked to DWPfailings, and for evidence of criminal misconduct by civil servants orgovernment ministers to be passed to the police.It alsocalls for MPs to recognise that DWP is institutionally disablist and not fitfor purpose, and for DWP to “urgently change its policies and administration ofsocial security benefits to make the safety of all claimants a priority”.By thismorning, the petition had secured more than 25,000 signatures in less thanthree weeks. If it reaches 100,000 it should be debated by MPs in the House ofCommons.Adam said hesupported the petition and believed DWP was not fit for purpose “without ashadow of a doubt”.He said aninquiry was “not going to bring Michael back but it can make it better forother people”.He said hecame forward because he wanted to speak out about his brother, who he says was“another person let down by the broken benefit system”.Adam, who isalso disabled himself and previously set up a disability support organisationin their home town, said: “They took his benefits away. He got nothing, he wasdestitute. They didn’t tell him where he could go, where there were any supportagencies.“I filled inhis ESA form and I told them that he was depressed and suicidal. They knewthat.”He andMichael served in the army together.Adam said:“It’s now four years gone by but it’s as if it was yesterday. I miss him everyday. He was my soulmate.”Michael’sfamily have now become the eighth to support the Justice for Jodey Whitingpetition, which is also backed by the grassroots groups Black Triangle, Disabled People Against Cuts, Mental Health Resistance Network and WOWcampaign, as well as DNS. A DWPspokesperson refused to apologise for the department’s failings in the case, orto explain why DWP changed its mind about Michael’s eligibility for ESA and PIPso soon after his death.She alsorefused to say why DWP and Duncan Smith failed to respond to Adam’s two lettersafter his brother died, and whether DWP accepted Adam’s view that its failingsplayed a significant part in his brother’s death.But she saidin a statement: “The department has received a petition relating tobenefit claimants who have sadly died, and will respond to this shortly so wecan’t pre-empt that.“Obviously any suicide is a very complex and tragicissue, and we can’t attribute any specific one cause to [Michael’s] case. “Oursympathies are with [his] family. “We arecommitted to safeguarding vulnerable claimants and we keep our safeguardingguidance under constant review to ensure we provide the highest standard ofprotection.“Where anyfailings on specific cases have been identified, we have addressed these toensure they are not repeated.”*Names have been changed at his widow’srequestTo sign the Jodey Whiting petition, click on this link. If you sign the petition, please note that you will need to confirm your signature by clicking on an email you will be sent automatically by the House of Commons petitions committeeSamaritans can be contacted free, 24 hoursa day, 365 days a year, by calling 116 123 or emailing jo@samaritans.orglast_img read more

The Mission Gets Another Ice Cream Shop

first_img 0% Tags: 20th Street • ice cream • mission Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0% “There are a lot of dairy laws,” Lang said. “When we found a facility where we could pasteurize our dairy, we were able to add an organic ice cream line.”Lang has come a long way from her humble beginnings five years ago, when she first began making a name for her speciality ice cream line by serving it on wheels, out of a trailer. Through catering gigs and by distributing to grocery stores, Lang’s ice cream gained popularity. In 2012, Lang secured $35,000 by launching a crowdfunding campaign, allowing her to upgrade to a bona fide food truck a year later. The 20th Street storefront, which she will operate with the help of her boyfriend, Donald Capozzi, will be her first brick-and-mortar location.“We never thought we’d be able to open up in the Mission,” said Lang, who landed the space after one of her friends found it advertised on Craigslist. For almost a year, the couple had been working on locking down one of two locations in the Tenderloin. “It’s a dream come true,” she said, especially because the space comes with a back entrance that allows easy access to loading the truck, ensuring that it will stay in operation for the time being. Lang signed a 10-year-lease for the 1,100 square-foot space back in January, and began its overhaul earlier this summer.Once renovations are completed, the space will host a serviced, cafe-like storefront and a back kitchen that will be fitted with a pasteurizer, which the ice cream entrepreneurs will use to make their product in-house, allowing for both dairy and vegan options. Lang said she plans to bring “a lot of the island” to her Mission District shop, referring to her Oahu roots. That means that customers can expect coconut-based, agave-sweetened flavors like taro and butter mochi – the first is a nutty, starchy tuber commonly used in Asian desserts, and the latter is the “Hawaiian spin-off” of mochi, a traditional Japanese rice cake with ice cream filling.“There’s definitely an Asian influence,” said Lang. “It’s not going to be just your typical banana, chocolate, mint flavors.” Alongside the pasteurized ice cream, she also plans on continuing her dairy free line in store, with “Kona coffee and other fun flavors.”Lang and Capozzi have done a lot of the build-out of the space themselves. “He’s a jack of all trades,” said Lang of Capozzi, who is tasked with maintenancing the truck and handling the businesses’ logistics. The couple met in the kitchen at Homeward Bound of Marin, a homeless shelter and family-services program where Lang used a kitchen to test her ice cream creations and Capozzi, who was formerly homeless, was a resident and worked as the head of maintenance. “We met, and the whole thing flourished from there,” she said. Now, the couple runs the small business “hand-in-hand.”Lang described Garden Creamery as a “mom-and-pop shop,” and said she hopes to add to the neighborhood’s fabric in a similar way as Jocelyn’s bakery did. “We are hands on, and we produce everything ourselves,” she said. “We are excited to be a part of the community, serve the community, and hire people from the community.”As to the sizable selection of ice cream shops – Bi-Rite Creamery, Mitchell’s Ice Cream, Humphry Slocombe, Xanath Ice Cream and others –  that line the Mission, Lang said a bit of competition is always healthy. “We are here to put our best foot forward,” she said. “We are just planning on putting a lot of love into our business” – although there is a slight chance that the in-house pasteurizer will give her shop somewhat of a leg up. center_img A year after the beloved, Latina-owned Jocelyn’s Bakery departed the Mission after serving pastries alongside healthy juices for some two decades, it turns out that come October, 3566 20th St. at the corner of Lexington will reopen as an ice cream parlor and that its owner – much like the previous tenant – is a health-conscious, female entrepreneur with a sweet tooth. Erin Lang is the creator of Garden Creamery, an exotic ice cream line that has supplied many Bay Area shops with vegan sorbets, organic chocolate-dipped ice cream sandwiches and other frozen desserts. “It’s not necessarily healthy, because it’s ice cream, but we use quality ingredients,” the Hawaiian transplant explained. Garden creamery began in 2011 as a dairy free company, mainly because Lang did not have the financial means to access a pasteurizer.last_img read more

Willie Browns new venture allows crowdfunders to send dollars to candidates —

first_imgChronicle columnist could profit by publicizing politicians who use his new service Brown’s fellow AngelPAC co-founder, Wally Baker, explained to Mission Local how the site works. Aspirational politicians or backers of political campaigns place their advertisements on the AngelPAC site, noting what geographical audience they’d like to reach. Then visitors to the site donate money to the ads they like and AngelPAC buys ads on Facebook and elsewhere — and takes a 15 percent cut. Baker, a Southern Californian with a background in advertising, consulting, and filmmaking, describes the site as a means for political campaigns to reach new donors they otherwise likely wouldn’t, and enhance their advertising reach without spending additional money. The idea, he says, is to elect more left-leaning candidates. But, while Baker describes the site as a potential boon for “progressive” causes and Democratic candidates looking to unseat Congressional reps in red districts, it is also a for-profit venture. When asked if outside publicity generated for a candidate using the site could result in donations flooding in that could aid that candidate’s AngelPAC ads — and yield a 15 percent take for the site — Baker answered, “absolutely.” And that’s what has both political professionals and ethicists raising their eyebrows about Brown’s involvement. “A guy who writes about politics is now positioning himself to take a chunk of what the candidates raise,” sums up one city politico. Adds another: “It’s a closed circle: He can endorse a candidate and they can contract with this firm to do the crowd-funding.” Bob Stern, the former head of the Center for Governmental Studies, noted that “certainly, there’s nothing illegal going on here.” But that’s not so much the issue. “Clearly, it would be ethical of Brown to divulge [in his Chronicle column] if any of the candidates he mentions” are using the service. Well, good luck with that. Stern notes that AngelPAC offers Brown the potential to offer support and publicity to candidates on the condition they “go through his company.” But, city political players note, that potential already existed — there are, in fact, far more expedient and efficient ways to get Brown’s attention.  Only now, with AngelPAC, one can pay via credit card. Whether Brown submits a client list — for AngelPAC or otherwise — to his editors at the Chronicle is unknown (and unlikely). We asked as much of editor-in-chief Audrey Cooper. We also queried whether she knew of AngelPAC prior to its launch (other editors did not); whether this business move was approved by Chronicle management; whether conditions are attached to the former mayor’s involvement in this company while writing a political column; and whether Brown will continue to have the paper’s dispensation to support and endorse candidates while involved in AngelPAC. She has not yet returned our message. Neither has Brown. Baker described himself as the largest shareholder in AngelPAC, holding some 82 percent of the shares. Brown, he says, is the second-largest shareholder among 10 who hold the remaining shares.The AngelPAC site is still working out its opening-day kinks. The “blog” section is entirely composed of “lorem ipsum” placeholder text. The names of execs Steve Lambert and Dennis Regan are misspelled (“Lambart” and “Dannis”). The biographies of Baker, Lambert, Dennis and three other Southern California-based principals direct users to their LinkedIn pages. Brown’s links to his Wikipedia page. The site’s landing page features an image of former Los Angeles Mayor and gubernatorial candidate Antonio Villaraigosa. Villaraigosa, however, has no connections to AngelPAC. A sample video of erstwhile San Francisco mayor and Democratic candidate for governor Gavin Newsom is included on the site, but Baker acknowledges that Newsom, too, has no ties to the site. But “one of my co-founders, Willie Brown, knows Gavin pretty well.” When asked what the 84-year-old Brown will bring to his tech platform, Baker notes that “So far, he’s done introductions for people. I am waiting for him to finish up his London Breed stuff and we’re going to get together and go deeper into it and, hopefully, work with the state Democratic party.”“Willie knows everybody,” Baker continues. “And he understands how to get things done.” Willie Brown, San Francisco’s former “juice” mayor and now a San Francisco Chronicle columnist, registered and unregistered lobbyist, political fixer and oracle, civil rights pioneer, power broker and fund-raiser, and ersatz film critic, is a man of many hats. Yes, literally. And now he’s got one more. This month marked the launch of AngelPAC, a site that serves as something of a GoFundMe for political advertisements.  Email Address,0% Subscribe to Mission Local’s daily newsletterlast_img read more

JAMES Roby is clear to play in Saturdays Challeng

first_imgJAMES Roby is clear to play in Saturday’s Challenge Cup Semi Final against Wigan after being fined for a Grade A offence that took place in the Castleford match last Sunday.The player pleaded guilty to offence and was fined £500.There are 250 tickets left for the semi final – in the West and East Stands.You can buy West Stand tickets from Saints Town Centre store or by calling 01744 455 052.East are available via the same sources but also www.saintssuperstore.comTickets will go OFF SALE on Thursday at 12pm.last_img read more

Nonprofits team up to give away food for families in need

first_img(Photo: MGN/Salvation Army USA West) WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — WRAAP and the Food Bank of Central and Eastern NC are holding a benefit to distribute food items to families in the community.Daryl Dockery, executive director of Wilmington Residential Adolescent Achievement Place, says the annual event will take place at 2929 Princess Place Drive on November 22nd from 9am to 12pm.  Food will be given out on a first come first serve basis.  Dockery says last year they gave away nearly 15,000 pounds of food to families in need.- Advertisement – You are asked to bring a photo ID and a personal shopping bag to put the food items in.last_img read more

Hampstead man facing child sex crime charges arrested for new charge

first_imgPENDER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — A Hampstead man that was originally arrested in October 2016 and charged with child sex crimes was arrested for a new charge Friday.70-year-old Haywood Elwood Garner of Hampstead was arrested and charged with statutory rape of a female child. The crime happened in 2000, according to the Pender County Sheriff’s Office.- Advertisement – Garner was originally charged with child sex crimes involving a 4-year-old female victim in October 2016.Five additional female victims came forward and told investigators that Garner had sexually molested them as children. Garner was subsequently charged with sexually assaulting those victims.Garner’s bail was increased to $4.625 million and he remains in the Pender County jail with a total of 37 child sexual assault felonies.last_img read more

WPD hosts security seminar for daycare private school staff

first_img Police provided information on whether to hide, fight or run in an active shooter situation.The department uses the acronym A.L.I.C.E which stands for alert, lockdown, inform, counter, and evacuate.This is the department’s second active shooter seminar this year.Related Article: Wilmington Police searching for man who exposed himself to teenSpeakers think preparing for this emergency now is a must for daycare centers and schools.“I think that it’s important that young people today, and I have three grandchildren, that they are taught early on, how to survive should there be an active shooter situation,” Retired Sgt. Warran Kennedy said. “Yes, I want you to teach them how to survive a fire. I want you to teach them how to survive if there’s a tornado. I want them to be taught how to survive an active shooter.”WPD plan to host another seminar for preparing people in a work setting for an active shooter. WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Those who watch and teach some of our younger children in New Hanover County got a lesson in protecting them as well this afternoon.Wilmington Police held a seminar on security at daycares if there was an active shooter.- Advertisement – last_img read more

NCAE meets with local educators ahead of teacher pay rally

first_img The group says they want five things from elected leaders: more money spent per-pupil, better teacher pay, schools that aren’t crumbling and overcrowded, more school nurses, counselors, and prioritized classrooms.“Enough is enough,” NCAE President Mark Jewel said. “The North Carolina General Assembly has not been funding public schools. We know that our classrooms have not had textbooks, paper, pencils, resources. We know we have large class size. We have a huge teacher shortage in the state of North Carolina and we’ve got to reverse this backwards trend that the general assembly has set us on.”Close to 1,000 educators from the Cape Fear will be heading to Raleigh Wednesday. A rally was held Friday afternoon by the North Carolina Association of Educators. (Photo: WWAY) WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A rally was held Friday afternoon by the North Carolina Association of Educators.The NCAE met with local educators to discuss their plans.- Advertisement – last_img read more

Port of Wilmington sustained 50 million in Florence damage

first_img But the damage could have been more extensive had Florence’s winds not suddenly diminished from 130 mph to 90 mph as it approached the coast, he said, and the port welcomed its first ship six days after Florence made landfall and was nearly fully operational by Sept. 24 — train service from CSX still hadn’t resumed as of Wednesday.“It could have been a lot worse,” Cozza said Tuesday. “We were very fortunate compared to what could have happened.”Read more from StarNewsOnline. Many containers sustained damage during Florence at the Port of Wilmington. (Photo: StarNews) WILMINGTON, NC (StarNews) — Warehouse walls sheared away. Containers tossed about. Roof sections torn from buildings.Hurricane Florence ripped through the Port of Wilmington, ultimately causing an estimated $50 million in damage, Executive Director Paul Cozza said.- Advertisement – last_img read more