A regulator chaired by a former Tory minister is r

first_imgA regulator chaired by a former Tory minister is refusing to investigate charities that have signed contracts that prevent them criticising the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and its secretary of state Esther McVey.The Charities Commission – a non-ministerial government department – is chaired by Baroness Stowell, a former Tory communities and local government minister and a former work and pensions spokeswoman in the House of Lords, who resigned the Tory whip when she was appointed to chair the regulator.This week, the commission has refused to express any concern or take any action after it emerged that disability charities had signed up to contracts that include strict clauses preventing them from criticising McVey or DWP.The commission said yesterday (Wednesday) that it was “not aware of any specific regulatory concerns regarding charities and the Work and Health Programme”, despite being shown one of the clauses.Both the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) and the Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations contacted Disability News Service (DNS) this week so they could examine the clause, after reading last week’s news story.So far, charities including Shaw Trust, Leonard Cheshire Disability and RNIB have confirmed that they have signed contracts – either with DWP or with one of the five main Work and Health Programme contractors – that include clauses that prevent them bringing DWP and McVey into disrepute.Other charities linked to the Work and Health Programme, such as Action on Hearing Loss and the Royal Association for Deaf People, have refused to answer questions about the clauses.The clause in the DWP contract signed by Shaw Trust says that the charity and its “affiliates” must “pay the utmost regard to the standing and reputation” of work and pensions secretary Esther McVey and must promise not to do anything that harms the public’s confidence in McVey or her department.And the clause warns that these promises apply whether or not the damaging actions relate to the Work and Health Programme.Other charities, including RNIB, have signed agreements with the main contractors that say they must have “regard to the standing and reputation” of DWP, do nothing to bring McVey and her department into disrepute in delivering those contracts, and must not “attract adverse publicity” to them.A Charities Commission spokeswoman said in a statement: “Decisions on whether to enter into a contract and accept specific terms are a matter for a charity’s trustees.“They must ensure that any action they take is in the best interests of the charity and its beneficiaries.“They should also consider whether it is necessary to take professional advice before reaching a decision.“The commission is not aware of any specific regulatory concerns regarding charities and the Work and Health Programme.“However, it would consider on a case-by-case basis any evidence that might suggest that a charity’s trustees were not fulfilling their legal duties.”*An earlier version of this story said that Down’s Syndrome Association had refused to answer questions from DNS. This was not correct. The charity did not receive two emails containing questions about the Work and Health Programme, due to a mistake made by DNS. The charity has made it clear that it does not have formal links with the DWP and has not been asked to sign any Work and Health Programme contracts. Apologies for the error.last_img read more

SFPDs use of force plummets from last year

first_imgUse of force by SFPD officers continues on a sharp downward trend, according to recently released use-of-force data.  Citywide, SFPD continues to disproportionately use force on people of color, specifically African Americans, the numbers show. And, despite the overall downturn in use-of-force incidents, there were four deaths at the hands or under the watch of San Francisco officers in 2017, compared to three in 2016. For its part, Mission Station has seen a decline in its officers’ use of force, although not as sharp a decline as other districts with similar call volumes, such as Central, Southern and Tenderloin stations. What is use of force? Use of force includes firing a gun, pointing a gun, using pepper spray, physical contact, batons or “less-lethal” firearms that shoot bean-bag rounds. Officers are required to report any kind of force when it is used. The pointing of firearms made up 67 percent of incidents, followed by physical control at nearly 20 percent, and striking someone with an object or fist at 7.9 percent. One explanation for the decline in use of force is that de-escalation tactics, such as creating time and distance between subjects, is now being emphasized in training. But beyond this, it is difficult to figure out why the numbers are declining. Higher-ups at the SFPD are loath to comment on forces driving the numbers. Police Chief Bill Scott has said that the department is in the process of finding an outside institution to analyze the data. Use of force way down, citywide In the fourth quarter of 2017, SFPD used force 33.6 percent less often, compared to the fourth quarter of 2016. Compared to year-to-date totals, use-of-force incidents declined 18.5 percent, from 3,747 in 2016 to 3,054 in 2017. Use of force down in the Mission The number of times officers used force in the Mission is down 16 percent from the fourth quarter of 2016, from 131 to 110 in the fourth quarter of 2017. Compared to the previous quarter, the number of times force was used declined 20.8 percent from 139 to 110. Specifically, the station has seen a drop in the number of times officers used physical control, or struck subjects with their fists or objects. However, officers are pointing their guns slightly more often — 6.6 percent more, an increase from 84 times to 90 times. Those incidents were mainly in response to violent crimes and people carrying guns or other weapons.  Likewise, compared to the fourth quarter of 2016, the number of people in the Mission on whom force was used dropped 25 percent, from 68 incidents to 50. Yet it should be noted that, while the Mission has seen a decline, other stations with similar call volumes saw sharper drop-offs in their use of force. Compared to the fourth quarter of 2016, the Southern District saw a 49.7 percent drop in the number of times officers used force, from 167 times to 84 times. The Northern District saw a 48.8 percent drop from 80 incidents to 41, and the Central District saw a 45.1 percent decline, from 113 incidents to 62. Black and Latino arrests up in the Mission Arrests of black and Latino men in the Mission rose by 4.3 percent in the fourth quarter of 2017, compared to the third quarter. In the third quarter, the two groups comprised 52.5 percent of arrests, while in the fourth quarter, they comprised 54.9 percent of arrests.Black residents make up 2.7 percent of the Mission’s population, while Latinos comprise 46 percent, according to the American Community Survey.   Meanwhile, arrests of white subjects in the Mission has dropped 29.4 percent from the third quarter of 2017, from 282 to 199 in the fourth quarter. White residents make up 57 percent of the Mission’s population.Force, arrests, traffic stops disproportionate against people of colorIn the fourth quarter of last year, police used force against black subjects in 42 percent of the incidents — 266 of 633 times they used force overall.  Black residents made up 5.6 percent of the city’s population in 2016, according to U.S. Census data.White subjects were the second-largest group on whom force was used, making up 25 percent of all force. However, white residents make up 53.5 percent of the city population. Latinos came in third, comprising 21 percent of times officers used force. Latino residents make up 15.2 percent of the population. African Americans also made up 43.7 percent of the all suspects observed by or reported to the SFPD, followed by “others” at 19.5 percent, whites at 18.8 percent, and Latinos at 13.1 percent.In terms of traffic stops, white subjects made up 33.3 percent of all traffic stops in the fourth quarter of 2017, while black subjects made up 21.3 percent and Latinos 15.6 percent. Fatal shootings & in-custody deaths A man, identified as “A. Margo-Carlos” in the report, died in police custody after he had been allegedly breaking windows at 15th and Market on March 11, 2017. Police used physical control on him, and he was transported to San Francisco General Hospital, where he died roughly a week later. The incident is under investigation. On May 3, police shot and killed Nicholas Flusche, who they had suspected of stabbing someone at Turk and Market. The District Attorney did not pursue charges against Officer Kenneth Cha, the officer who shot Flusche. On Sept. 23, SFPD shot and killed Damien Murray, who had allegedly been holding his wife and child hostage at a residence at 60 Salmon St. The incident is under investigation. On Dec. 1, a rookie officer shot and killed 42-year-old Keita O’Neil, who had allegedly carjacked a California Lottery van and led police on a car chase ending in the Bayview. O’Neil was unarmed. The incident is under investigation.  0%center_img Tags: Mission Police Station • police • SFPD Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%last_img read more

New startup Cobo allows San Franciscans to rent out their homes as

first_imgThis is what it’s come to pic.twitter.com/kndiJJXpMu— Julia B. Chan (@juliachanb) March 28, 2019 Your humble narrator’s requests to speak to Cobo staff were not granted until he signed up to use the platform and work in some unknown person’s dining room. It was then we were sent a number to reach Rafe Oller, Cobo’s marketing head. He declined to say much, as a launch is imminent: “We don’t want to do advance press.” When asked if Cobo had done any advance press with this city’s government, he replied: “We’ve been working with the local government, yes.” Well, that’s one way of putting it. When Cobo mailed out fliers to residents of the Mission, Cole Valley, and elsewhere in order to find freelancers willing to pay $10 a day or more to work in strangers’ kitchens and strangers willing to host them — it managed to inadvertently solicit several employees of the San Francisco Planning Department at their homes. These employees then brought the fliers to Tina Tam, the Planning Department’s code enforcement manager. She roped in the department’s Zoning Administrator to decide whether Cobo’s business model is strictly legal. The City Attorney is now in the loop, too. Our planning codes were not prescient enough to directly rule on whether you can glean money from people via a third-party outfit by running a de-facto office out of your home. But it is pretty clear that, with specific exceptions, you cannot run an office out of your home, and cannot have employees or clients dropping by. So, planners are involved, lawyers are involved, and lawyers with an expertise in planning are involved. It remains to be seen how they’ll rule on the legality of Cobo’s business model on the eve of its official San Francisco launch. But, having made a number of phone calls to city decisionmakers, one needn’t be an expert to intuit that they do not appreciate learning of a company’s official launch via haphazard and inadvertent mass-mailings. It would not at all be at all surprising if our city’s ambiguous rules are interpreted in such a way as to clip this company’s wings. In recent weeks, Mission residents have been receiving curious missives in their mailboxes inquiring whether they’d be game to monetize their kitchens and living rooms by having strangers drop in and start doing office work. As if to clear up any ambiguities, these fliers feature a photo of three young, happy business casual types sitting at a table and peering at laptops. An arrow points to them alongside the handwritten words “THE MISSION.”  These fliers have the homespun, photocopied Sharpie-on-typing paper look of something you’d get from a local kid offering to walk your dog or the church group that wants your gently used jackets. It’s not anything like that. Rather, it’s a note from Cobo, a nascent startup hoping to capitalize on what its founder calls “a billion-dollar market”: Placing lonely freelancers pining for company into people’s homes, monetizing that home, and taking a cut. It’s funny, but not ha-ha funny, that the two tech startups-turned-titans that currently epitomize San Francisco — Uber and Airbnb — vastly increased congestion in one of the nation’s most congested cities and cannibalized affordable housing in one of the nation’s most unaffordable cities.Their business models were, additionally, strictly illegal under city law. And yet they flourished here regardless, not because of some newfangled technological ingeniousness but good old-fashioned co-opting of politicians and institutions via money.If you or your principal investors aren’t tight with politicians or regulators, and you can’t induce them to look the other way or rewrite the law so as to enable your company (and, in a neat two-for, kneecap your competitors), then entitled and destructive behavior is less likely to be tolerated.   So, no, Cobo has not yet taken the step of registering its business in San Francisco under either the name “Cobo” or its prior iteration, “Hiven.” If and when it starts up here, the hosts of Cobo workspaces would be legally mandated to register as well. As would, additionally, any business operator toiling out of a Cobo workspace (or, for that matter, a cafe, or her own home, or anywhere within city limits). And, while Cobo disseminated fliers throughout the Mission, it never contacted the neighborhood’s elected representative, Supervisor Hillary Ronen. “I have the same worries I had with Airbnb,” she says. “These homes were not meant to be offices. I worry about it escalating the already egregious cost of housing. I worry about issues that come up in terms of tenants and evictions. I worry about how it impacts congestion and parking,” she says. “My list of concerns is quite large. And I am also sick of everyone and their mother creating every new experiment for the Mission. The Mission is dealing with enough issues as it is.” This is, to put it mildly, not a good way to break the ice with any elected leader, let alone the one overseeing the desired territory of the Mission.Supervisor Hillary Ronen, seen here scouring 16th Street BART Plaza, feels the Mission has enough challenges without homeowners and apartment dwellers being enabled to convert their dwellings into offices. Photo by Susie Neilson.There are, already, services in this city offering similar fare to Cobo. Spacious, for example, allows freelance workers to post up in restaurants during hours when they’d otherwise be closed. City officials told me they found this far less problematic. These restaurants are, naturally, in the districts where the city would prefer businesses to be. And it’s not as if a co-working space will be such a bonanza that a building owner will shutter a restaurant and go full-laptop haven. But, with a residential space, that is a worry. Regarding anyone itching to convert a home into a full-time office, Oller says “We don’t allow those people on our platform.” And yet, Cobo’s website allows for up to six workers to drop by one’s home for up to five days a week. With this income — plus potential short-term rentals on Airbnb or similar sites — the notion of taking a home off the market and converting it into a full-time office/hotel/not-a-home is hardly far-fetched. Just how Cobo plans to ensure unscrupulous people won’t exploit its site is something city officials would have loved to discuss prior to fliers showering the neighborhood. “But that has not been the model,” says Ronen. “The model has been to flout and break laws, get people hooked to the service, and force city government to bend to the will of a scofflaw company by becoming a powerful force in lobbying and financing of candidates and campaigns and politicians in Sacramento.” And that model works. Until it doesn’t. Because when you fail to engage with the Mission, the Mission engages with you.  center_img Email Address Subscribe to Mission Local’s daily newsletterlast_img read more

THREE of St Helens local sides were drawn out of

first_imgTHREE of St Helens’ local sides were drawn out of the hat in the Tetley’s Challenge Cup yesterday.Scottish champions Aberdeen Warriors will travel to Pilkington Recs whilst Blackbrook will host Egremont Rangers.Shaw Cross will welcome Thatto Heath too.Forty four clubs will begin the journey that concludes with the final at Wembley on Saturday August 23 when they contest a compelling first round over the weekend of February 1-2.The 2014 Tetley’s Challenge Cup first round draw:Underbank Rangers v East LeedsLeeds Metropolitan University v MillomBlackbrook v Egremont RangersShaw Cross v Thatto HeathLeigh Miners v Hunslet WarriorsOulton Raiders v West HullSaddleworth Rangers v Milford MarlinsKells v Wigan St JudesSkirlaugh v Rochdale MayfieldRAF v Dewsbury CelticAskam v British ArmyRoyal Navy v Walney CentralMyton Warriors v East HullLoughborough University v Great Britain PoliceSouth West London Chargers v Torfaen TigersWidnes St Maries v Wigan St PatsPilkington Recs v Aberdeen WarriorsYork Acorn v SiddalWath Brow Hornets v Halton Simms CrossWoolston Rovers v EllandLock Lane v Normanton KnightsHull Dockers v Bristol Sonicslast_img read more

Ideal to keep in your wallet or purse its the ea

first_imgIdeal to keep in your wallet or purse, it’s the easiest way to keep track of all the 2018 fixtures home and away!You can grab yours from the Club Ticket office or Club Superstore at the Totally Wicked Stadium.#saintsandproudlast_img

Academy Reserves Club League

first_imgThe 11 English Betfred Super League clubs have approved a proposal for all Super League clubs, and clubs with Category 1 funded Academies outside Super League (Widnes Vikings and Bradford Bulls), to have a mandated reserve team.Five further applications from clubs in Betfred Championship and League One have been received, with decisions to be made by the end of July.The launch of Reserve Grade will be accompanied by a change in the regulations surrounding the Academy, which will now become an Under-18s competition rather than Under-19s, as at present. The dual registration and loan systems will remain unaffected.Dave Rotheram, the RFL’s Interim Chief On-Field Officer, said: “We have listened to the views of stakeholders  – clubs, coaches and players – before making this proposal.“The majority view is that the game would benefit from the reintroduction of a Reserve Grade competition, primarily as a next step in the development of players between Academy and senior rugby, but also to provide regular rugby for players on the fringe of selection, returning from injury, and a platform for later developers.“It was important in making what is a significant change that we also took into account the impact on the other professional competitions – Betfred Championship and League One – and also the community game.”Robert Elstone, Super League’s CEO, said: “Super League is about superstars – players that get us on the edge of our seats, players that make our jaws drop, players that inspire us. “Our success will depend on our ability to find, nurture and create the superstars of tomorrow. It’s why development pathways like this are so critical to the future success of the game. “It is essential that we offer appropriate challenges to our young players on their journeys into Super League. A well-managed, resourced and competitive reserve grade will provide that.”The Reserve Grade competition in 2020 will be administered by the RFL. The fixture schedule will be finalised during the winter but is expected to run on a home and away basis, with no play-offs.last_img read more

Union Elementary teacher Tara Cumbee named VFW NC Teacher of the Year

first_img Cumbee has been teacher in Brunswick county for 14 years.  She is also a two-time WWAY Teacher of the week!Union principal Vickie Smith says Cumbee is an “amazing teacher who goes above and beyond to engage her students and make learning fun,”Cumbee leads activities such as the Science Olympiad and the Running Club and organizes the 5th grade trip to Washington D.C.Related Article: UNCW trustees discuss possibility of alcohol sales at sporting eventsShe is a graduate of South Brunswick High School and earned her teaching degree at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington.  She concentrates on experiences for students which emphasize the US military and government in history and present-day. Lessons include Bring a Vet to School Day, Breakfast for Veterans, Veteran’s Day Wall of Honor, and Christmas Cards for a Veteran“I am surrounded by a sea of teachers that have an overwhelming sense of pride in our country,” Cumbee says.  “As the daughter of an Army Veteran and a daughter-in-law of a Navy Veteran, I’m so appreciative of the support of our United States Military and thankful for a chance to share that through lessons aligning to our history lessons in school.”The official presentation of the award will be at the VFW NC Convention Banquet in Cary, NC February 2.She will be joined by Colonel Joseph Calisto of West Brunswick High School, who brings home the award in the High School category. Teresa Cumbee, VFW NC Teacher of the Year. Elementary Division SHALLOTTE, NC (WWAY) — Union Elementary School teacher Tara Cumbee is the VFW NC Teacher of the Year in the Elementary School category.  She is the second Brunswick county teacher to be named this year.“To be nominated for VFW NC Teacher of the Year in itself is a great honor,” Cumbee says “but to be awarded the Elementary VFW Teacher of the Year is very humbling.”- Advertisement – last_img read more

Crews battle overnight fire in Wilmington

first_img Crews searched the home and confirmed there were no people inside.Once firefighters got the blaze under control, they noticed flames inside the home next door at 413 Shipyard Blvd. Another crew entered that home and put out the fire.There were no reported injuries. The cause of the fire is still under investigation. (Photo: Jenna Kurzyna/WWAY News) WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The Wilmington Fire Department responded to a structure fire Friday night that spread to the home next door.According to a release from Sammy Flowers with WFD, crews responded to a report of a house fire at 411 Shipyard Blvd. in Wilmington. They say heavy fire was visible from the rear of the residence upon arrival.- Advertisement – last_img

UNCW basketball teams open practice in Chapel Hill

first_img The UNCW teams are grateful for the chance to get back out on the court.“The last two weeks have been very crazy lately,” senior Devontae Cacok said. “Just going all over with the hurricane and stuff like that, but Carolina opening the doors for us and letting us be able to come here and practice, after everything that’s going on for us, it’s just definitely a great opportunity for us.”Women’s coach Karen Barefoot sees some positives from the experience for her team.Related Article: University breaks ground on new student housing“Just think about all the things that you’re just fortunate to have, and I think for them they got closer as a team, they became sisters,” Barefoot said. “You know our community got affected by it, so we just want to come out on this floor and play for them.”Both the men’s and women’s teams plan to continue practicing in Chapel Hill for the rest of week.Classes are scheduled to resume at UNCW Monday. The UNCW women’s basketball team gathers for its first official practice of the season on the campus of UNC Chapel Hill on Sept. 25, 2018. (Photo: Tanner Barth/UNCW) CHAPEL HILL, NC (WWAY) — UNCW’s men’s and women’s basketball teams kicked off their first official day of practice this afternoon, but it was anything but normal for the Seahawks on the hardwood.In the aftermath of Hurricane Florence, the UNCW campus is still closed. That means the basketball teams had to find somewhere else to begin their official practices. With the help of the University of North Carolina the Seahawks are working out in Chapel Hill using the Tar Heels’ facilities. UNCW men’s coach C.B. McGrath spent 14 years as an assistant at UNC.- Advertisement – last_img read more

Family living in tent after storm gets new temporary home

first_imgThe Bridges family bought a tent and moved in after being displaced from Hurricane Florence. (Photo: WWAY) PENDER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Things are slowly beginning to look up for a Pender County mother who’s home completely flooded during Hurricane Florence.“I didn’t know that something as great as this, that we would lose everything that we have and our whole world as we know it.”- Advertisement – It was three weeks after Hurricane Florence before Amelia Bridges was able to reenter the home she has rented for years.Once inside, she says the home she shared with her adult children and mother was completely flooded, all the way to the roof, leaving all four homeless.“I saw a neighbor down there who had set up a tent, and they had a grill outside,” Bridges said. “And the weather was still good then, and I was like oh, okay.”Related Article: North Carolina lawmakers mull Hurricane Florence spendingThe family bought a tent and moved in, but the nights are starting to get colder and they say a space heater can only do so much.Going to nursing school full time during the week and working full time on the weekends, Bridges hasn’t had much time to figure out other options.When the school heard what was going on they decided to get the word out.Instructor Riley Casey says nursing school is hard enough without added stress.“She’s a very hard worker, she’s definitely not going to give up on her dream,” Casey said.“We both just pray that she can get through this test, get through this class, just so she can get her degree,” said Bridges’ mother Camille Lane.Now, Bridges’ employer is helping her by getting a camper to live in.“No matter what life throws at you, find a way to cope with it deal with it, get stronger and keep pushing forward,” Bridges said.Bridges and her mother both say they’re excited not to have to worry about those cold nights anymore.last_img read more