A leading disability hate crime campaigner has blamed the government’s anti-benefits rhetoric for a verbal attack on the partner of a wheelchair-using Coronation Street actor.Cherylee Houston, who plays Izzy Armstrong in the soap, revealed on Twitter this week that a stranger had knocked on her door while she was out and told her partner that she was a “benefits cheat”.She tweeted: “Wow disability hate crime knocked on our front door today literally. Scary as shows how much our country’s instinct is to hate not think.”The man had apparently seen Houston, who has a fluctuating condition, walk a few steps to her wheelchair.He told her partner that he had taken a photograph of her and was going to report her because she was “on the fiddle”.Houston tweeted: “He was very rude to Toby and obviously disgusted that I wasn’t paralysed. Said it wasn’t right and he was going to papers. Vile. Ignorant.”Following support from other Twitter-users, she said she was “a little shaken” after being told by her partner what had happened.Anne Novis, a coordinator of the Disability Hate Crime Network, and the independent chair of the Metropolitan police’s disability hate crime working group, said: “It is evidence of what we have been saying for the last 10 years.“Although we had some of this [type of hate crime] at lower levels previously, we have seen a lot more since the coalition’s welfare reforms, using the language of government ministers and the cuts to attack disabled people.“The scapegoating mentality we get from ministers and some media articles seems to give permission to the general public to say the same things.”She said that if ministers, who were supposed to be “role models”, were describing disabled people as “unsustainable”, that kind of language was “going to be used against us”.Novis said it was common for people to think that wheelchair-users cannot walk at all, even though most – like Houston – can walk at least a few steps.
“We can’t tell you,” the man in the front passenger seat replied.When pressed, he shrugged. “We can’t tell you,” he repeated. He seemed happy with his and the car’s anonymity.“Look up git cruise,” another man, sitting in the back offered.“Git cruise?” I repeated, unsure I’d heard him correctly. “Yeah,” he replied. They drove off.They didn’t have to bother engaging in subterfuge: their privacy was stripped away in May when The Verge reported that driverless cars or AVs — autonomous vehicles — were being test driven in San Francisco by a former start-up called Cruise Automation, started by a man named Kyle Vogt who developed technology that will allow any car to be fitted with a self-driving system. Cruise Automation started test-driving the first car — described by one of Vogt’s collaborators as being “pretty ghetto” — on the 101 freeway sometime in 2014.The car had its first accident at Bryant and 7th streets on January 8th, according to the accident report filed with the California Department of Motor Vehicles . The Chevy Bolt AV was traveling about 20 mph when it began to drift back and forth between the right and left lanes on Bryant Street. When the driver switched the car back to non-autonomous control, he forgot to correct the car’s trajectory, which crashed into a parked Prius. Both cars suffered “minor visible” damage. “There were no injuries,” notes the accident report, presumably referring to the rattled human non-driver.Safety, or course, is the big question for driverless cars and their makers: unlike the sleek AV seen driving smoothly through in this Mercedes commercial, real AVs must contend with the chaos of urban traffic and all the elements therein. Happily, California requires AV manufacturers to submit collision reports, allowing the public to assess the relative safety of the cars for themselves.There have been 16 reported collisions since 2014, most of them involving Google’s AV and most caused by human error, according to the filed reports. Only the accident involving Cruise Automation was caused by a system malfunction. In anticipation of more accidents happening as testing in cities increases, the Department of Transportation has committed $4 billion dollars to assist the manufacturers of AV vehicles and technology to improve the safety of their cars and “accelerate” the development of AVs. Cruise was acquired by GM for $1 billion in March, and will undoubtedly benefit from some of the DOT largesse. In contrast, the DOT is spending $1 billion on their Clean Communities Grant Program, a “competitive grants” program designed to encourage city and regional governments to improve transit, pedestrian and bicycle transportation options.As of August 17, Cruise is slightly behind the curve in the rush to get AV’s on city streets: This month, Uber, the car service formally operated by humans, will introduce its first self-driving car to its fleet in Pittsburgh. Judging from the number of test drives in the Mission — there are at least seven a day, based on eyewitness accounts — Cruise can’t be far behind.When will Cruise unveil its technology in San Francisco? Who knows? Cruise, like its engineers, isn’t talking. The secretive staff are supported in their reticence by an equally secretive website, which, aside from acknowledging their frequent test drives on the streets of the Mission, is free of any other information; the site is whited-out, figuratively speaking. Silence seems to be a company tradition: Vogt declined to be interviewed for a story back in March, and neither he nor anyone at Cruise responded to my questions by press time.The benefit that driverless cars bring to an increasingly crowded urban environments is debatable. Manufacturers claim that driverless cars use parking space more efficiently and will be a boon to disabled or elderly populations. From the perspective of pedestrian and bicycle transportation advocates, the benefits are dubious. “We think that without public ownership of AV fleets, the use of driverless cars will exacerbate the privatization of the transit system and that this technology will increase private vehicle use,” Dave Snyder, Executive Director of the California Bicycle Coalition told me. “From the point of view of social justice, a more important investment than autonomous vehicles is an investment in protected bike lanes to support bicycling, which happens to be the most equitable and affordable form of transportation.”San Francisco’s Transit First policy wants to reduce the number of single-occupant automobiles in the city. But technology which transforms a privately-owned car into something like a personal BART system might have the opposite effect.The promise of release from the labor of driving might also prove illusionary: the makers of these systems point to the benefit of freed-up time to get stuff done, making the driverless car sound more like a mobile office.Moreover, while our streets are public, this technology isn’t. Since Cruise won’t talk, it’s impossible to know if their wizardry will benefit public transit. Driverless cars may look like the future, but all things considered, they may simply be more of the same: the same amount of — or even more — cars on the street. 0% Throughout this summer a small white car with odd instruments bolted to its roof has cruised through the streets of the inner Mission, making frequent, dream-like appearances throughout the day, and leaving puzzled residents behind in its stately wake. Bart Dority, who lives on 25th Street, has watched the car drive past his house for weeks now.”I thought: ‘Who is that in there? Scully and Mulder?’”I started calling the car “Moby Dick” after the titular whale of Melville’s masterpiece and like Ahab finally pursued the whale after being provoked by the sixth sighting of the day while chatting with my neighbor. “What is that?” my neighbor exclaimed in her lilting Russian accent. “I see it all the time! But I don’t know what it is!”I ran down the street and caught up with the car. Three men sat inside staring at computers in their laps – all of the Mission cars, it should be noted, still have humans inside. The men looked up at me warily.“What kind of car is this?” I asked. Tags: Transportation Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%
0% Breaking: Police in San Francisco are on scene of a shooting in the Mission District. @SFPD Tells ABC7 that four suspects entered a store on Mission St between 17th and 18th and shot a person inside. — Dave Russo (@russd008) December 23, 2017 The incident occurred around 5:19 p.m., according to a neighboring business owner Norinder Anand, who said someone running away from the shooting fled into his store, alerting him. He went next door to see what was happening and promptly called the police.Two suspects ran past him, Anand said, turning onto 19th and headed toward Valencia.Anand said it was the owner of the business who was injured, but he did not know how seriously the victim was injured.Patrick Haley, a bartender at Teeth, directly across the street, heard no gunshots but said he suddenly saw people running outside; a few of them took shelter in the bar. Later, he saw someone transported out of the store on a stretcher with what appeared to be bandaged hands.This is a developing story and we will update it as information becomes available. A person was injured in a robbery and shooting inside Mission Loan and Pawnbrokers near 19th Street, according to bystanders.Police did not immediately respond to a request for comment. ABC7 and KRON4 report that four suspects came into the store and shot someone inside. It’s unclear what condition the victim is in. Tags: crime • shootings Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%
0% A steady stream of about 50 Mission residents walked through an open gate on Treat Avenue Saturday to participate in a design and planning session organized by the neighborhood group, Friends of the Mission Greenway. Tree Rubenstein, the lead organizer, handed out nametags made of green tape while a volunteer set up a table loaded with pasta salad and hummus. A bicycle-powered blender was parked nearby in the small gravel lot. Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0% Group asks to hear from those who want — and oppose — the greenway idea Landscape architect Jane Martin walked through the crowd, distributing black-and-white renderings of the parcel, a plot of land with uncertain ownership and a chunk of unpaid back taxes. “We’re soliciting input from people who are interested in the development of this parcel,” Martin said, making it clear she wanted to hear from everyone, including those opposed to the project. Eleven-year-old Adriel Rosenblum had already drafted his own landscaping plans. “It has a footpath, a bike, skateboard and scooter path, and a place for public gardening,” he said, referring to the plans he had tucked into a folder.Adriel Rosenblum, 11 showing his design ideas for a greenway to landscape architect Jane Martin. Photo by Todd Sanchioni.Two men, Kevin Keany and Adam Feibelman, deep in conversation, strolled up to join the growing crowd. Keany, a landscaper and artist, wants the parcel to be developed into a public green space. Feibelman was less certain. He was tasked with representing the opposition: the 23 artists who work in the Heinzer warehouse. “I came out to meet the people who have similar ideas in creating green space, but also to have the concerns of the artists in the building heard,” he said. “That way, we can figure it out together, and work together.” Feibelman said that he and the artists want any development of a greenway to take place at the northern end of the parcel, close to the intersection of Harrison and 22nd streets and away from the loading dock inside the parcel, which the artists use for deliveries.There’s a whole lot of figuring-out going on these days, both in the neighborhood and in the City Assessor’s office. The status of Parcel 36 is uncertain, although property around it was recently demolished in preparation for development. There is no known owner or assessed value, and the parcel remains untaxed. To that end, the Mission Greenway group was going to end the event with a dash of political theater. A large check symbolizing back taxes was going to be presented by Rubenstein to city officials in absentia. “We count on our elected officials to sort these things out,” said Rubenstein. “There’s some thought that if the back taxes are paid, that you can own the land.” Rubenstein confirmed that there was no current campaign to raise money to purchase the land. “We’re doing it to raise awareness.” As the volunteers continued to set up, Christine Wolheim, one of the artists, walked to the table and hugged a bearded man who was setting out food. “Oh my God, it’s so good to see you!” he said, giving her an enthusiastic hug. But tensions simmered under the surface of the sunny day. “This makes me really uncomfortable,” Wolheim said a few minutes later, visibly angry. “The way this was done was rude and presumptuous,” she said referring to the gathering. “This is our backyard. We’ve paid for this legal easement.” Wolheim said that her rights of access, which included the use of a loading dock adjacent to the right-of-way, were included in her rental contract with James and Ernest Heinzer, whom she identified as her landlords and the owners of 933 Treat Avenue. “We didn’t have to let this happen,” she said, gesturing to the gathering. “We didn’t have to let any of you in. We could have locked the gate.” She doesn’t support the use of the parcel as a green space, she said. Neither does her landlord, James Heinzer, who was on site, surveying the party. When asked if he owned the parcel, he said no, disputing his identification as an owner by the California Board of Equalization. “That’s a mistake. That never happened.”Adam Feibelman, Christine Wolheim, both tenants in the Heinzer building, and their landlord, James Heinzer. Photo by Todd Sanchioni.Heinzer said that the heirs of John Center and George Crim own it, “but they’ve never stepped forward.” He says that he has rights of access and use to the parcel in perpetuity because he obtained prescriptive easement rights — a legal right to property that is secured by open, continuous and “notorious” use. Heinzer said that his use goes back 50 years. “My parents got a deed from the Southern Pacific in the ’50s to build a spur.” His easement claim is bolstered, he says, by a 1996 finding by the California Supreme Court which determined that the Southern Pacific Transportation Company didn’t own the land. “We believe we have prescriptive easements. We’d like to see them preserved for the tenants we have.” Any challenge to his assertion would have to be “contested,” he said. He’s unconcerned by the investigation underway by Assessor-Recorder Carmen Chu and the City Attorney. “From my perspective, I don’t see why the city would support this. They’re more interested in developing housing than supporting a bunch of tomato growers.” Both he and Wolheim were unconcerned by the untaxed status of the parcel. Feibelman said Parcel 36’s status represents some challenges. “I think property owners should pay taxes. But if the city has lost all semblance of control over this space … ” he hesitated. “I don’t think it’s any of my business. It’s between the owner and the city.” Back at the gathering, Rubenstein hoisted a large check into the air. “We’re calling on the city to find out who owns this land and who owes the taxes on it.” Onlookers whooped in support. Jane Martin, who was clutching a sheaf of design options created on-site, said she thought that a well thought out design could reconcile the apparently conflicting needs of the artists with the greenway proponents. “I do think for a very long time that this has been an under-utilized property.” She supports design that allows the artists in the Heinzer warehouse to continue to use the loading dock. “I think that a park that is thoughtfully designed can accommodate all of these uses. They’re not mutually exclusive, for sure.”Neighbors listen to different ideas on the greenway. Photo by Todd Sanchioni.Tree Rubenstein and a check with the taxes that have not been paid. Photo by Todd Sanchioni.Future greenway? Photo by Todd Sanchioni. Subscribe to Mission Local’s daily newsletterEmail Address
LOUIE McCarthy-Scarsbrook has been casting an eye over his pack teammates and is convinced Saints have a forward line to fear.He says there are some “big units” around the club and the side has a lot of experience and youth heading into the new season.“Nathan Brown has done well to recruit who he has,” Louie said. “Kyle Amor was outstanding for Wakefield last year; he was a workhorse. Richie Beaumont from Hull HR is a beast and then you move on to the big fella, Mose Masoe.“I have never seen a bigger man. I thought he wasn’t tall and then he turned around and I thought… he is a big set of human. I watched him in the World Cup and was hurting looking at him.“He can take all the opposition’s energy, James Roby can get a quick play the ball, pass to me and all should be good! We have a real good team this year and running off the back of big men will make my game a lot easier.”Louie has played 91 games for Saints since making his debut in 2011 and reckons the 2014 version of the team is the best yet.“Browny has had time to put things in place and now has the half back combination he wants as well as a massive pack and young backs who played out of their skin last season,” he continued. “Our kicking game means we can pin teams down and thrive on it.“We look like a good team on paper but we have to work hard to achieve the heights we all want and want the fans want too – and that is silverware.”Saints will kick off their Super League title tilt at Warrington on Thursday February 13 before the Langtree Park opener with Hull FC eight days later.Tickets for what will be an exciting season are now on sale from the Ticket Office at Langtree Park, by calling 01744 455 052 or by logging on here.
JAMES Roby and Keiron Cunningham talk about recent events at Langtree Park on the latest edition of the Saints InTouch podcast.The Head Coach also updates fans on Theo Fages injury and previews the game with Hull KR.Podcasts are automatically synced to your device if you subscribe via iTunes or you can listen at our Fanzone page
The prop forward has been stellar so far this year and was at the hub of a pack that secured six points.“Before this period, we said we would focus on each game as it came, so to get three out of three was really good,” he said. “Friday’s game was a tough one. Hull are a great team and have some big lads – the likes of Scott Taylor and Chris Green. The plan was to take it down the middle, get on top of them and we did just that.“It’s been a tough period but the wins make you feel better.”Thommo was also keen to praise the contribution of the backs in the victories over Wigan, Widnes and Hull FC.“Tommy (Makinson) has been doing a great job for a number of weeks,” he continued: “It is great when you turn around and see him getting us on the front foot. Regan (Grace) does the same as does Jonny Lomax too. We then come off the back of that.“We have a few days off now and that is important. We will get our feet up and charge the batteries.“Then it is on to Wakefield on Sunday. We will assess them when we get back, train hard and then go again.”
WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — High school football season kicks off with its yearly BB&T Jamboree. Fans of all ages came out to make sure their voices were heard.“Alright, let’s go E-L. Let’s go Bucs,” Sianna Stanley said.- Advertisement – “Go screaming eagles,” Misty Belgrave said“Go Hoggard,” Molly Williamson and Emery Smith said.Schools like North Brunswick, Hoggard, Laney, and many more, had fans cheering from the bleachers. For some fans, it’s important for the community to come out and cheer for the different schools.Related Article: State grant will fund help for opioid crisis in Wilmington“Well it’s good because that shows that they got support for, you know, the young kids. It’s coming up. It’s in high school, playing school athletics, so you know, it’s a good thing, to have this kind of support within the community. So I think it’s a good thing,” Thomas Merrick said.For others, they just love the feeling they get when they come out to the Jamboree.“I love the sense of competition and I love the fans and everything that comes with it. The excitement that everyone has for football this year,” Belgrave said.“It keeps you hype. It keeps you ready. It makes you really excited about getting ready for the season too,” Stanley said.“It’s cool. Yeah it’s really cool. Cause it’s a bunch of people and they’re all excited and rooting for different teams,” Williamson and Smith said. A time of year for fans to go all out because football season is in full swing.
WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — After opening up presents on Christmas morning, what’s becoming a growing tradition among many families on the holiday is heading to the movie theater to catch the latest flick from Hollywood.“Going to the movies on Christmas has kind of gotten to be a regular thing. Every time we’ve been to the movies on Christmas Day, it’s been packed,” said moviegoer Beau Lyons.- Advertisement – The Pointe 14 in Wilmington was packed with people looking to watch their film of choice and spend time with their loved ones.Some of the more popular movie selections included Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Pitch Perfect 3, and Jumanji.Moviegoers told us that they appreciated the theater’s employees working on the holiday and giving them the opportunity for some family time.Related Article: One Love tennis hosts film screening of ‘Althea & Arthur’“I think there are some people that don’t mind working on Christmas and they like making the extra money and so it just gives us some time to enjoy being together,” said moviegoer Stacey Hill.The theater is running 13 different movies on the holiday, with showtimes starting as late as 10:35 p.m.A couple of other theaters are also open for business, despite the holiday. You can head to AMC Wilmington 16 off Market Street or Regal Mayfaire Stadium 16 and Imax in Mayfaire.
WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — As it gets closer to the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday, there are a lot of activities that you can get in on to help celebrate the holiday.The Southeastern North Carolina Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration Committee has a lot planned leading up to Monday.- Advertisement – The YWCA Lower Cape Fear will host a Potluck for Peace Thursday at William E. Murphy Sports Complex on South 8th Street in Wilmington from 6 – 8 p.m. The event is free and you’re asked to bring a dish to share.On Friday you can join WWAY’s Amanda Fitzpatrick to honor Dr. King at the annual celebration banquet where Dr. James Anderson, Chancellor at Fayetteville State University, will be the guest speaker. It will be held at the Hilton Wilmington Riverside Hotel beginning at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $75 in advance and $80 at the door.It’s Family Fun Day on Saturday at the William E. Murphy Sports Complex. There will be fun and games, face painting, refreshments and more. This event starts at 11 a.m.Related Article: Surf into Summer at WB Surf CampAlso on Saturday, you can check out action on the hardwood as the CFCC Women’s Basketball team will play at 1 p.m. and the CFCC Men’s Basketball team will tip off at 3 p.m. The games are at Brogden Hall and free to the public.The main event is on Monday. The annual MLK, Jr. Parade kicks off at 11 a.m. The parade wraps all around downtown Wilmington. WWAY’s Randy Aldridge and Amanda Fitzpatrick will be grand marshals in the parade and are looking forward to celebrating with everyone.Click here for more information on events happening this week around Wilmington to celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr.