A note from the editor For nine years Disability

first_imgA note from the editor:For nine years, Disability News Service has survived largely through the support of a small number of disability organisations – most of them user-led – that have subscribed to its weekly supply of news stories. That support has been incredibly valuable but is no longer enough to keep DNS financially viable. For this reason, please consider making a voluntary financial contribution to support the work of DNS and allow it to continue producing independent, carefully-researched news stories that focus on the lives and rights of disabled people and their user-led organisations. Please do not contribute if you cannot afford to do so, and please remember that DNS is not a charity. It is run and owned by disabled journalist John Pring, and has been from its launch in April 2009. Thank you for anything you can do to support the work of DNS… A disability charity’s decision to choose as its new chair the head of a company closely linked with the government’s hated “fitness for work” test has been branded “a betrayal” of disabled people and “a truly disgraceful appointment”.United Response, which provides a range of support services to about 3,000 disabled people across England and Wales, this week announced the appointment of management consultant Malcolm McCaig (pictured).McCaig has been a non-executive director of Unum UK since July 2009 and was appointed to chair the company’s board last year.But Unum has spent decades attempting to influence UK government policy on welfare reform and is blamed by many disabled researchers and activists for pushing successive governments to make the process of applying for out-of-work disability benefits harsher and more stressful.Those policies have been closely linked to the deaths of countless benefit claimants and with causing significant harm to the physical and mental health of many others.Campaigners argue that Unum has spent years trying to undermine the social security system to boost the market for its own income protection insurance (IPI) policies.In 2011, Unum launched a major UK marketing campaign to promote the need for IPI policies, just as the coalition began its three-year programme to reassess about 1.5 million existing claimants of old-style incapacity benefit through the new work capability assessment (WCA).United Response this week celebrated the appointment of its new chair, describing him as “a strong advocate of diversity and inclusion” who would be “a major asset to the organisation”.But Mo Stewart, the disabled researcher who has done most to raise concerns about Unum’s influence on welfare reform*, described McCaig’s appointment as “an insult to the chronically ill and disabled people being coerced and intimidated by the DWP, who used Unum as advisers for welfare reforms that have caused death, despair and destitution for those in greatest need in the UK”.Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) described the appointment as “a betrayal of all the disabled people and their families who have suffered under the work capability assessment”.A DPAC spokesperson added: “More than that, though, we consider it active collusion in Unum’s interest in replacing the UK social security net with an insurance system from which they will profit and disabled people will be harmed.“Given Unum’s history in the US of denying disability in order to avoid pay-outs this is a truly disgraceful appointment.”Rick Burgess, another leading disabled activist, said: “Given Unum’s reputation in being a ‘disability denial factory’ and its role in abusive disability welfare changes, this appointment is completely inappropriate, unless of course United Response plans on replicating Unum’s approach to disabled people.”It is also not the first time Unum has courted links with the disability sector.Two years ago, the Mental Health Foundation was heavily criticised for launching a partnership with Unum that aimed to tackle the stigma of mental health in the workplace and encourage employers to safeguard the mental health of their employees.Unum’s links with the UK government date back to the 1990s, when Peter Lilley, social security secretary in John Major’s Conservative government, hired senior Unum executive John LoCascio to offer advice on how to cut the number of claimants of long-term sickness benefits. A detailed memo submitted to the Commons work and pensions committee in 2002 by a director of Unum – then known as UnumProvident – called on the Labour government to “ensure both that work always pays more than benefits, and more importantly that it is clearly seen to do so”.And in 2005, Unum bragged in a document that it had “always been at the leading edge of disability assessment and management”, and that government policy was now “moving in the same direction” as “our views and understanding” and was “to a large extent being driven by our thinking and that of our close associates”.Three years later, in 2008, the Labour government introduced the WCA.Stewart said McCaig’s appointment “disregards the history of this American corporate giant, the fact that they were official government advisers from 1992 regarding ‘welfare claims management’ which influenced the introduction of employment and support allowance and the notorious WCA”.She also pointed out that Unum was accused of operating a “disability denial” agenda by a professor at Yale Law School and was identified by the American Association for Justice as being the second worst insurance company in America.In 2005, California’s insurance commissioner, John Garamendi, described Unum Provident as “an outlaw company” that had “engaged in a strategy to increase its bottom line at the expense of its customers”.The company has previously admitted widespread criticism of its past actions in the US, mainly over its refusal to pay out on large numbers of genuine insurance claims by disabled people, a record also mentioned five years ago in a Commons debate on the WCA.Unum also sponsored Cardiff University’s Centre for Psychosocial and Disability Research for four years.That research, said Stewart, led to the fatally flawed biopsychosocial (BPS) model of assessment on which the WCA is based.Unum has repeatedly dismissed claims that it pushed the government to introduce the WCA system, and two years ago even claimed that it “never has lobbied on the topic of welfare reform or related matters”.United Response failed to respond to the concerns about Unum.But Tim Cooper, the charity’s chief executive, said: “Malcolm is an outstanding individual whose background and vast experience will prove invaluable in leading United Response and helping it achieve its vision.“We undertook an extensive recruitment process resulting in an incredibly strong shortlist of candidates, and Malcolm’s skill set and demonstrable understanding of the charity led to his appointment.”*Stewart’s book, Cash Not Care, details Unum’s influence over successive UK governments, and how it led to the introduction of the WCAlast_img read more

Developer facing appeal says hell shut down forever activist racket

first_imgActivists intend to file an environmental appeal on a project that would build 75 units of housing at 2918 Mission St., and that plan has the developer ready to do battle. “Please consider this email to be the equivalent to a fencer’s salute before beginning a duel,” wrote Robert Tillman, the property owner and developer of 2918 Mission. “We intend to have fun creating a legal precedent that will shut down forever the shakedown racket of MEDA, of Calle 24, and of the other Mission Activists.”The appeal in this case is being brought by Scott Weaver on behalf of the Calle 24 Latino Cultural Corridor group. MEDA, the Mission Economic Development Agency, is not involved in the appeal — the nonprofit made an offer to purchase the property, but the offer was rejected as insufficient.The project was approved after two tense hearings before the Planning Commission, where commissioners argued that the project provided little affordable housing but couldn’t argue with a state law that demands projects be approved if they reach a certain threshold of affordability — a threshold lower than what local laws prescribe.   Tags: development • housing • mission street Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0% 0%center_img Once filed, the Board of Supervisors first considers the appeal. If they uphold it, Tillman would file suit against the city for violating the state’s housing laws, thereby setting a precedent, if he were successful.Weaver, for his part, said it would be irresponsible not to appeal the project to secure additional environmental mitigation, and pushed back on the characterization of activist objections to development as a “shakedown,” saying the groups he represents do not ask for benefits that would go to their own coffers, but rather push for increased below-market-rate housing onsite and other concessions, such as hosting temporary shelters on the site before construction begins or finding muralists in the neighborhood to decorate blank walls.“We do not intend to request any concessions from you. We have met with you several times and you have been clear that you have no intention to even minimally provide community benefits that other developers have been willing to provide,” he responded to Tillman. Weaver, who volunteers as legal representation for groups like Calle 24, said development in the Mission has not stopped it from becoming an area of “advanced gentrification,” according to a UC Berkeley study. He also argues that the number of market-rate units developed in the neighborhood has far exceeded the number anticipated by the 2008 city plan for the area, called the Eastern Neighborhoods Plan.“Seeking equity from developers is hardly a shakedown — it’s a desperate attempt to keep the community intact. But, then again, your interest is only to maximize the bottom line,” Weaver wrote to Tillman. “I hope you see the irony of your planned attempt to ‘shut down’ those very activists and organizations that are trying to keep the Mission’s Latino Community alive.” The escalating confrontation is a tonally more aggressive version of a disagreement that has played out between developers and activists repeatedly in the neighborhood: Those who advocate for more development say any and all housing added to San Francisco’s starved market will help alleviate displacement pressures, and tenant advocates who insist only an influx of affordable housing will help working class families stay in place.On previous occasions where a resolution didn’t crystallize between the parties left to their own devices, Supervisor Hillary Ronen and her staff have stepped in to mediate — most recently, for 40 units of housing at 1726 Mission, and a nonprofit space planned at 1850 Bryant Street. Amy Beinart, an aide to Ronen, said the office hasn’t yet reached out to Tillman and Weaver, but would be willing to lend assistance. Otherwise, she said, Ronen will remain neutral before reviewing the case and subsequently casting a vote to uphold or dismiss the appeal at the Board of Supervisors. last_img read more

MIKE Rush was pleased to see Saints progress into

first_imgMIKE Rush was pleased to see Saints progress into the Quarter Finals of the Challenge Cup.His side beat Oldham 76-0 on Friday night and it was a case of “job done.”“Everything went to plan,” he said. “To be fair after the Widnes game, where we conceded points late in the game, we spoke about defence being an attitude.“When you have as many good players as us you aren’t doing tackle tech every day. It’s a mental thing, an attitude thing and in the last two weeks we have proven that.“I thought Oldham had a real dig at us and we expected that. To be fair we weren’t the best in the opening 10-15 minutes of each half offensively and missed a few chances. We came up with some errors so we got the message to our 6, 7, 1 and 9 to get hold of the game. When they did that we got into positions we wanted to be and were dangerous.“That’s six from seven now since myself and Keiron came in and we are confident. It we hadn’t lost Jonny Lomax early in the Wigan game then that would have been a different story too. But we’ve had six good performances and the last two weeks have been pretty similar. At Cas we had to defend for our lives and show determination. In our other games we have been more offensively strong and we are happy with where we are up to.”last_img read more

Theres now less than two weeks to go to secure yo

first_imgThere’s now less than two weeks to go to secure your best possible Membership price for 2018.Your deadline is October 31 … and there’s no need to be frightened when it comes to paying for your Membership.You can pay for it upfront or spread the cost over ten monthly payments.It’s that simple and means you don’t have to find the cash to pay straight away.Make your Membership a simple monthly Direct Debit and you will hardly notice the cost too.A Hatton’s Solicitors West Stand Renewal comes in at just over £24 per month whilst a Totally Wicked North Stand Renewal in the Silver section is just over £30 per month.A family of four (two adults, two juniors) is just over £52 per month – that’s for all the family to attend every home game in 2018 with all the added benefits of being a Member.And those Junior Members get to see every Betfred Super League away game free too!Just choose your Membership and price, and then pop into the Ticket Office at the Totally Wicked Stadium to sign up.For more information, forms and prices click here.last_img read more

Calabash man accused of using Kik to distribute child porn

first_img Warrants also state Lindsey sent images of a child between the ages of 10 and 12 having sexual intercourse with an unidentified adult male to unknown Google users.Lindsey was arrested on Thursday. He is charged with the following:Two countys of second degree sexual exploitation of a minorTwo counts of third degree sexual exploitation of a minorThe date of the alleged crimes happened between March 1 and August 24 of this year.Related Article: Burgaw Police remind you to lock your car after numerous break-insLindsey is in jail under a $500,000 bond. 00:00 00:00 html5: Video file not foundhttps://cdn.field59.com/WWAY/1503700506-bc088baeecd34a25f15c3cf8406e5abaa94a5fd2_fl9-720p.mp4 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave Settings BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — A Calabash man is accused of using an app to receive and send sexually explicit photos and videos of minors.According to arrest warrants, Benjamin Lindsey, 19, used “Kik”, a messenger app, to distribute the images. The unknown children are between the ages of 7 and 12. The photos show them engaged in sexual activity.- Advertisement – last_img read more

Couple wanted after allegedly stealing from Han Dee Hugo in Rocky Point

first_img Anyone with information is asked to contact the Pender County Sheriff’s Office at 910-259-1212.(Photo: Pender Co. Sheriff’s Office) Couple accused of stealing on a gas station in Rocky Point. (Photo: Pender Co. Sheriff’s Office) ROCKY POINT, NC (WWAY) — The Pender County Sheriff’s Office is asking for help in identifying a man and woman who are wanted for stealing from a Han Dee Hugo store in Rocky Point.The suspects reportedly concealed merchandise and then left the store without paying.- Advertisement – last_img read more

Commissioner Duke Energy power restoration efforts underway

first_img Last week, Jeff Brooks said the utility company would bring in more than 2,000 crew members from other states to assist with restorations.Today at a New Hanover County news conference, Commissioner Woody White addressed the current status.“We are working with Duke Energy to get assets here as quickly as possible before the floodwaters rise, that’s a concern, and we are dealing with that as quickly as we can. But overall, we have survived this, we have a long way to go. We are probably in the middle of it right now. It’s going to get worse, but we are going to be okay,” said Commissioner White.Related Article: Chef José Andrés serves free meals to furloughed federal workers in DCClick here for the latest outage maps from Duke Energy.Remember to report any trees that have fallen into power lines. Woody White speaks at a New Hanover County news conference.(Photo: Matt Bennett/WWAY) NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — With hundreds of thousands of people without power in our state, efforts to restore it are starting to show results.This afternoon, Duke Energy tweeted that they had restored power to more than 637,000 customers out of more than 1.1 million outages in the Carolinas.- Advertisement – last_img read more

Carolina Beach gets high tide ready

first_img “These kind of events are going to happen more and more with climate change and sea level rise,” said Cape Fear Surfrider Chapter Vice Chair David Jacobs. “This is an important way to at least try to help protect the dune system.”Jacobs says these trees would normally be deposited at a landfill. The trees are biodegradable and don’t damage the natural beach ecosystem. 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave Settings CAROLINA BEACH, NC (WWAY) — Carolina Beach residents brought their Christmas trees to the sand this Saturday for the 6th Annual Dune Restoration Project. More than 200 people came out.The town gathers the trees after the holiday, brings them to the beach and plants them about 10 feet apart along the front edge of the dunes. The trees capture the sand as it blows and strengthens the dune system. The set-up protects the neighboring homes and businesses which, was an effective tool during Hurricane Florence.- Advertisement – last_img read more

Hundreds trek miles to support ALS research

first_imgWILMINGTON,NC (WWAY) — Do you remember the ‘ALS Ice Bucket Challenge’ that went viral almost 5 years ago?The ALS Association North Carolina is keeping up that same momentum years later by raising money and awareness for this disease.- Advertisement – Hundreds of families trekked 2 miles across Hugh MacRae Park Saturday morning as a step to unlock the mystery behind ALS. The North Carolina chapter serves about 800 families each year but, Chapter President Jerry Dawson says losing 200 people to this disease each year means more research is necessary.“Our theme this year is unlock ALS,” Dawson said. “We all hold the key to unlocking ALS. One of us here could be the person that makes that donation that puts us over the top and allows us to fund that needed research.”Since 2007, Bento Box has supported the chapter. This year the restaurant donated $10,041.83.Related Article: MDA Muscle Walk of Wilmington raising money and awarenessDawson says he is in the works of better serving the Wilmington community with a clinic that offers all specialties on-site in one location for ALS patients.last_img read more

How school safety has evolved since 1999 Columbine school shooting

first_img Miller is also a member of the school board. He says since 2006, the county has spent at least eight million dollars on increasing school safety.“It’s a different world now,” Miller said. “We have to think differently, and that’s what we’re doing.”In his years with the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office, Miller says he remembers the day SROs first came into their schools. Now, there are 19 schools in Brunswick county. Each has at least one SRO.Related Article: PHOTOS: Flooding causes dangerous road conditions for drivers“We actually send our SROs to a military training facility that puts them under intense pressure during the summer months to make sure that we do have the right SROs in the right positions, and we do,” Miller said.Representative Frank Iler, who sits on the House Select Committee on School Safety, says the only thing more important than education is the safety of our children.“In Brunswick County, they should feel very safe,” Iler said. “I know we also have a high rate of parental involvement. The parents respect what the teachers and SROs are trying to do.”Iler says that when the Sandy Hook shooting happened on a Friday, Brunswick County had an SRO in every school the following Monday.Iler is also backing two proposed house bills to increase funding for SROs and mental health services in schools.Miller says Brunswick County holds training every year for both law enforcement and school staff to get hands on training.“You’re not going to have a successful school unless you provide a safe learning environment for them, and that’s what we’re going to do and that’s what they’re doing,” Miller said.In these times, they can’t afford to become complacent.“We always have our guard up,” Miller said. “We have our guard up everyday.”Iler says the two house bills he supports will hopefully get passed and go into effect by the beginning of the next school year. BRUNSWICK COUNTY, (WWAY) — Saturday marks 20 years since 12 students and a teacher were gunned down at Columbine High School. It was the worst school shooting at the time.The Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Charlie Miller says since the tragedy, school safety has come quite a long way.- Advertisement – last_img read more