Month: July 2019

first_imgAn ombudsman has warned of the sharp rise in complaints he has received about how local authorities in England are charging disabled people for their care and support.Michael King, the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman, said there had been a nine per cent increase in complaints about adult social care charging over the last 12 months.There was also a sharp rise in complaints about direct payments (an increase of 13 per cent) and a smaller increase in complaints about assessment and care planning (a 1.4 per cent rise), comparing 2016-17 and 2017-18.The ombudsman warned that the complaints he was dealing with on adult social care were no longer just “one-off mistakes” but were increasingly about the “systems and policies” of local authorities.He said he had become “increasingly concerned” about the way some local authorities were “handling the need to balance the pressures they are under with the way they assess and charge for care”.In his annual review of social care complaints, King said he had been upholding two-thirds (67 per cent) of complaints about charging, which was higher than the rate for adult social care (62 per cent), and for all complaints the ombudsman investigates (57 per cent).He said: “Assessment and care planning, and how care is paid for, remain some of the biggest areas of complaint.“Even more concerning is that the issues we see demonstrate a shift from one-off mistakes to problems with whole systems and policies, or procedures being incorrectly applied.“Adult social care has seen sustained high levels of complaints upheld compared to our general work.“We know authorities are operating under an enormous amount of pressure and financial challenge to deliver care services.“The stark reality of this is now playing out in the complaints we see.”The Local Government Association refused to comment on the ombudsman’s criticism of local authorities’ care charging policies and performance.The ombudsman’s report comes just two weeks after a report from the Independent Living Strategy Group (ILSG) found that charging disabled people for their care and support was driving many of them into debt and forcing them to cut their spending on food or heating.The ILSG study found that four in 10 (41 per cent) of those responding to a survey had experienced a substantial increase in charges over the last couple of years.Jenny Morris, an ILSG member, said: “The increase in complaints to the ombudsman about charging for care and support comes as no surprise to the Independent Living Strategy Group.  “Our survey found that many people are facing substantial increases in charges, many are cutting back on essentials like food and heating, and some are forced into debt.  “The Care Act was all about ensuring people’s well-being but charges are effectively a tax on disability and old age and are having a negative impact on well-being.”  A note from the editor: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 note 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…last_img read more

first_imgOne application for restaurant conversion is being reviewed by the Planning Department, for a space at 1910 Mission St., according to Gina Simi, a spokesperson for the Planning Department. In the case of the controls, the Mission is defined as: “13th, Duboce, and Division Streets to the north, Mission Street to the west (including any parcel with a property line on either side of Mission Street), Cesar Chavez Street to the south, and Potrero Avenue to the east.” “These interim controls respond to the community’s cry for immediate action,” said District 9 Supervisor Hillary Ronen, who sponsored the resolution, during Tuesday’s meeting.She said she doesn’t want to see Mission Street “go the way of Valencia,” which is largely populated by so-called destination businesses, such as pricey restaurants, coffee shops and boutiques.If a restauranteur wants to open a restaurant in a space not previously used as a restaurant, they will have to seek what’s called “conditional use authorization” from the city’s Planning Commission, which weighs whether the business is necessary or desirable to the neighborhood. Storefronts hoping to merge their spaces exceeding 2,000 square feet will also have to undergo scrutiny by city planning staff and authorization from the Commission. Tags: Board of Supervisors • Business • restaurants Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0% Those hoping to open a restaurant or extend their storefronts in the Mission District will continue to face bureaucratic hurdles with the city. In an effort to curb gentrification in the Mission, the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday voted unanimously to extend so-called “interim controls” for a 15-month period on businesses wanting to convert spaces to restaurants in the Mission. The vote also added controls on stores seeking to merge commercial storefronts exceeding 2,000 square feet in the designated area. The controls on restaurant conversion were first put in place March 2017. The continuation of the controls is an effort in line with the Mission Action Plan 2020, which is aimed at promoting cultural and economic diversity in the neighborhood. center_img 0%last_img read more

first_imgThe strange and terrible saga of the city’s “historic laundromat” at 2918 Mission St. came to an ostensible conclusion in April. That’s when, for $13.5 million, the property passed out of the hands of Robert Tillman — a man described by put-upon city officials as “not a developer” but “an ideologue doing a development” — to a traditional developer who’s likely more interested in making a building than a point. That developer is Lawrence Lui. And two of his top lieutenants — Robert Walter, the general manager and senior vice president of Lui’s Cresleigh Homes and Jeremy Lui, a Cresleigh development manager — this week told Mission Local they’re intent on getting that building built, sooner rather than later. Both are hopeful that ground will be broken in a matter of months — by 2020, perhaps. So, that’s new. But the building they envision is not. It would be the building Tillman bulldozed through the system, making few if any concessions and invoking state density bonuses to entitle an eight-story, 75-unit structure in the heart of the Mission that would be less than 11 percent affordable. “That sucks. That’s lame,” is how former planning commissioner Rodney Fong put it in 2017. Fong, incidentally, is no lefty: He was a mayoral appointee who has since left the commission to helm the Chamber of Commerce. And if the guy running the Chamber feels that way, you can only extrapolate how Mission anti-gentrification activists feel. Subscribe to Mission Local’s daily newsletter But this is the building Walter and Lui say they will build. Must build, in fact, because that’s the one the permits allow them to build. And, furthermore, that’s the building that led to the $13.5 million price tag.“We paid full price for this property,” says Jeremy Lui.  “That is what’s approved, and that is, in a way, what drove so many people bid on this,” Walter adds. “It’s fully approved. The permit is pulled. There’s no changing it.” The builders emphasized that they want to be “good neighbors” and say they are reaching out to nearby residents and community organizations. But altering the building plans or augmenting the percentage of affordable units is not part of the conversation they wish to have. “We’re not blind to some of the views we’re surrounded by here,” said Jeremy Lui. “But, to us, there’s nothing there right now. There’s zero affordable housing on-site now. We plan to build eight more affordable units and 75 more residential units than what’s there currently. We think we’re bringing value to the neighborhood through the production of those units.”The proposed development from the back, bordering Osage Alley.Cresleigh Homes, say its principals, had no overriding desire to get into the Mission. The goal, rather, was for the Sacramento-based company to break into the San Francisco market. This was its first successful bid after years of coming up short. The laundromat was attractive not just because of its location but because it’s a fully entitled project. And that’s because of Tillman’s unapologetic crusade to extract maximum value for the site and not accept anything less — even if nonprofits and/or the city would have used it for housing the indigent or formerly homeless. As such, he was made to surmount a number of legal and procedural hurdles. The city delayed Tillman’s plans on multiple occasions: In 2018 he was mandated to underwrite a 137-page study examining if the laundromat was a “historic resource” (it was not). Later that year, his project was put on hold so more work could be done to analyze the impact of potential future shadows across an adjacent school’s playgrounds — at hours it would be open to the public if that school was participating in the city’s San Francisco Shared Schoolyard Project. It is not.That prompted a lawsuit from Tillman in August 2018. In October 2018, however, the city quietly capitulated, and Tillman’s project was discreetly approved. The laundromat’s new owners — who are also, temporarily, in the laundromat business — aim to have better relations with the community than their predecessor. But, in yet another challenge emanating from this site, they aim to do so without altering their predecessor’s polarizing plans. Just how they aim to thread this needle remains to be seen.  “We’ve been good members of every community we’ve been in,” assures Walter. “We want to be one here, too.” center_img Email Addresslast_img read more

first_imgNATHAN Brown says Saints need to be hungrier than Wigan if they are to be successful this Friday.His table-topping side face the Warriors at the DW Stadium knowing a win would take them four points clear of their fiercest rivals.“We’re looking forward to the derby,” he said. “The intensity is higher and it is usually a higher quality game than most other Super League matches. The local Saints and Wigan lads look forward to it in particular and there is a lot of good rivalry there.“They beat us physically last time and we know they can start quite well. They started better than us, then we fought back, and then their start was better in the second half. We need to start better and be hungrier.“At the end of the day it will be the forwards that decide who wins the game. Wigan know what we do and we know what they do so it will be who is more capable on the day. Our effort and commitment needs to be spot on.“A win will give us a four point break from Wigan but they can come level with us. It should be a great game.”Saints come into the clash on the back of a 38-16 win over Castleford.“I’m happy with the way the boys played but defensively we still have some work to do,” he continued. “In the last ten minutes we died off a little but as a whole it was good and the best we have attacked for a while too.“Castleford have been playing well and they don’t sit in the top four and have a Challenge Cup Semi Final to look forward to without earning it.“People thought they would only be there for a short time but I think they’ve proven they will be there in the latter part if the competition as well. To get such a comprehensive win was pleasing.”Winger Adam Swift could return this week whilst Anthony Laffranchi and Kyle Amor continue to make good improvement.Richard Beaumont will play at Rochdale on Sunday too – his first appearance since joining the club.“Richie has been in rehab since he has been here and thankfully he will finally get a game. He has good size, carries the ball well and we think he will be a reliable player for us.”Tickets for the game remain on sale from the Ticket Office at Langtree Park or by logging on here.Price details can be found here.last_img read more

first_imgWILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — If you are looking for something to do this weekend, the Cucalorus Film Festival is now in full swing.Events kicked off last night and more films began Thursday morning in Downtown Wilmington. Films are being shown across the downtown area throughout the day and night.- Advertisement – WWAY stopped by Thalian Hall Thursday afternoon where dozens of people checked out various documentaries like Acorn and the Firestorm. The film is about America’s largest grassroots community organizing group and their role in the 2008 presidential election.Filmmaker Ashley Mills was there and said films that are focused on historical movements are inspiring.“I think it has a bit of a stronger effect on me because I am really able to feed from it creatively, and personally, in a way that I’m not always able to with other documentary films,” Mills said. “So it was really great to watch.”Related Article: List of road closures in downtown Wilmington during Azalea FestivalThis is Mills’ first Cucalorus Festival and she said it will not be her last.last_img read more

first_imgWILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Wilmington Police are investigating a breaking and entering at a funeral home.According to a WPD spokeswoman, it happened at Quinn McGowen Funeral Home at 315 Willow Woods Dr.- Advertisement – Officials say Tuesday morning around 9 a.m., when an employee arrived for work, she noticed someone had broken into a lock box and taken jewelry. There was also cash missing.Police arrived a short time later and said there did not appear to be forced entry. They said the last known person left the funeral home just before 8 p.m. Monday.Anyone with information is asked to call Wilmington Police or use Text-A-Tip.Related Article: Man accused of helping elderly woman, then stealing purse at hurricane shelterlast_img read more

first_imgWILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Today is Vietnam War Veterans Day and to thank those veterans who fought for our country Mission BBQ is honoring them in a special way.This day marks 45 years since our US Troops withdrew from Vietnam.- Advertisement – Mission BBQ is giving away free sandwiches Thursday to those veterans to show appreciation for their service.The National Anthem will also be played at all locations at Noon.“We wish to honor the brave men and women in service from that era, remember their history and show are sincere appreciation,” said a restaurant spokesperson. “We thank them for their continued dedication and loyalty as well as the sacrifices they’ve made to keep Our Country free.”Related Article: Shaquille O’Neal, Ken Jeong team for reality TV comedy pilotThey are giving away sandwiches from now until 9 p.m.This is happening at all locations.The Mission BBQ location in Wilmington is 351 South College Road.last_img read more

first_imgWILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — One day after the Environmental Protection Agency held a summit to discuss Chemours and the toxicity of GenX and other contaminants in our drinking water, the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority held a meeting of their own.The focus of the discussion was installing a water treatment system to remove GenX and other contaminants.- Advertisement – But it’s not guaranteed to filter everything, and will come at a cost to customers.“Do you really need to spend $46 million on something that is of unknown value to the ratepayers of the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority,” said customer Tom Newcomb.$46 million is the cost of installing a granular-activated carbon system at the Sweeney Water Treatment Plant to filter out GenX and other contaminants.Related Article: Sewer work could close lanes on S. College Rd. through MayRepresentative Ted Davis attended the CFPUA board’s workshop, and is happy with the progress being made.“It’s taken a long time, but as you can see now there is a positive forward movement to address this problem,” said Davis.But not everyone is convinced.“It’s my belief that the vast majority of any harm that may have been done has already been done. So why jump into this?” asked Newcomb.Newcomb, a retired engineer, says he wants to see more conclusive effects of GenX before any money is spent.He worries that CFPUA’s lawsuit against Chemours, the company that discharged GenX, will not be successful, and customers will have to foot the bill.“My thought is that their rationale and argument against that would be that they have spent and are spending very sizable amounts of money to capture the materials at their location,” said Newcomb.CFPUA executive director Jim Flechtner says he hopes that will not be the case, but they do not have many other options.“It’ll be about a $5 per month cost for a typical residential customer. It’s a lot of money for people, they shouldn’t have to pay it. But we need to move the plant forward so we can provide the best water we possibly can,” said Flechtner.last_img read more

first_img Sharon Harmon, a board member with the organization, says they plan to hold an emergency meeting as soon as possible to discuss rescue options.We will provide updates as we get them. Organizations are holding emergency meetings to rescue cats. WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — There may be hope for the stray cats who are being pushed out of their home by construction in downtown Wilmington.Two cat rescue organizations reached out on Thursday in hopes of helping to rescue the cats. The Ruffian Foundation was one of those organizations, and plans to contact Roger Johnson, who has been feeding and watching over the cats.- Advertisement – last_img read more

first_img James Jarvis, who is with the Red Cross, says it is important to keep supplies on hand for you and your pets, and to keep track of valuables. He says the three things you can do to stay prepared are to get a kit, stay informed and be prepared.“You want to put together an emergency preparedness kit because you want to be prepared to be on your own for up to three days,” said Jarvis. “First responders are going try to save lives, so the more self-sustaining that you are, that you can take care of yourselves, then they can focus on doing those other things to keep your overall community safe.”County officials are also trying to make sure all of their resources are up and running. Emergency management departments are getting continuous updates, and they are making sure to keep residents updated.Related Article: Virginia man trucks over 2,000 lbs of fresh food to CarolinasBoth New Hanover and Pender Counties have started teaching out to their local officials to discuss plans. New Hanover County is not activating their emergency center yet, but they will re-evaluate next week.Both counties will also continue to push information it to residents through social media.New Hanover County says it is still early, but they encourage residents to check out their website for tips and alerts.You can download the American Red Cross mobile app to stay up to date on hurricane efforts and relief. You can also download the WWAY StormTrack3 app for your weather updates. WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — It is officially the peak of hurricane season, and the southeastern coast of North Carolina could see some action is Hurricane Florence heats up.The Americans Red Cross is double checking their supply inventories and making sure their shelters and resources are fully stocked, in the event of severe weather.- Advertisement – last_img read more

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