The new minister for disabled people has brought forward plans to roll out the government’s new disability benefit to those with the highest support needs despite continuing lengthy delays for thousands of claimants.The Department for Work and Pensions had been planning to start in October reassessing people with indefinite or long-term disability living allowance (DLA) awards for their eligibility for the new personal independence payment (PIP).But the new minister for disabled people, Justin Tomlinson (pictured), announced today (Thursday) that these reassessments would instead begin for some claimants in some postcodes in the northwest of England and the Midlands – those beginning BB, BL, DE, LE, M, OL, PR, ST, WA and WN – next month (13 July).The government’s target is that all existing working-age DLA claimants will have been reassessed for PIP by late 2017.PIP has already been rolled out across Britain for new claimants, and those who choose to claim PIP instead of DLA, those whose circumstances change, and those whose DLA award has come to an end, including children reaching the age of 16.In a written statement, Tomlinson said he had decided to bring forward the last stage of the PIP rollout after new government figures published last month showed that the average waiting time between someone returning their assessment form and having their assessment was now just four weeks.He said: “This improved performance means I am pleased to announce that we are now in a position to begin the final phase in July, initially at small volumes and in a limited number of areas.”But his announcement came only two weeks after Disability News Service (DNS) revealed that reception staff at one of the two companies assessing people for their PIP eligibility had been sent scripts telling them how to explain to claimants why their appointments have been cancelled.Disabled people across Wales and central England are turning up for pre-booked appointments to be assessed by Capita for their eligibility for PIP, only to be told that their appointment is no longer available due to “assessor availability”.Because of a shortage of assessors, the outsourcing giant is having to recruit 90 more healthcare professionals, just five months after making an estimated 80 of its 400 assessors redundant.DNS first began reporting on delays and backlogs in the PIP system in late 2013. In January this year, one disabled woman described how she had been forced to wait more than 14 months to be assessed.But Tomlinson has boasted of the “massive improvement” in the system and claims that ministers took “swift action” to correct earlier problems, and “drove the assessment providers to make radical improvement to their service”.Earlier this month, the high court ruled that work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith had been “unreasonable”, “irrational” and acted “unlawfully” by delaying PIP payments to two disabled people for up to 13 months.By the end of March 2015, according to government figures published in May, nearly 23,000 disabled people had been waiting longer than 20 weeks for their new PIP claims to be decided. Of those 23,000, more than 3,000 people had been waiting longer than a year.
Can you park next to the median on Dolores Street? The answer to this seemingly simple question is soon going to be: Sometimes. The specifics (there are many) approved Tuesday by the San Francisco Municipal Transit Agency’s Board of Directors can be found at the bottom of this post. The vote essentially gave the go-ahead to test parking along the median, which the agency has turned a blind eye to for years and which church-goers and other visitors to the neighborhood have taken advantage of for as long. “With all the cars parking, the neighbors can’t have their spaces,” she said. On the other hand, “it’s good, it allows people to come in this area, it’s good for business.” But even some of those who need parking aren’t convinced by the pilot program.“I would say no to more cars on the road,” said Angus Haller of Box Dog Bikes on 14th Street. But he also finds the median parking rules confusing – “I don’t feel comfortable so I end up not parking there,” he said.“It’s very difficult to get down here with cars parked along the road sometimes,” said Lissa Lehmann, a resident of Rosemont Street. Asked if she would ever park on the median on weekends, the response was a distinct negative – ”You’d have to get up at dawn to get a spot,” Lehmann said.On her way to get back in her car parked in a street off Dolores, Megan Kinter, who works nearby, said that while finding parking is a challenge, she has never parked on the median because she hasn’t been sure of the rules. But even once it’s made clearly available for all drivers, she said, she would abstain – in protest of the 50 percent reduction in spaces overall in an already parking-starved neighborhood.“I still wouldn’t do it, if it’s taking away from parking we need. I don’t want to contribute to that,” she said. Guerrero Street, where median parking is also common but informal, will be addressed with another community stakeholder group, though it’s not clear whether that street will also get a test run or will go straight to new, permanent rules after a community panel makes recommendations.For those readers interested, here are the details of what was approved Tuesday: 0% Now, or at least for the next 16 months, the transit agency will allow (and install signs and red curbs to signal this) parking along the median during certain weekend hours on Dolores Street from 14th to 18th streets. Anyone – residents, church attendees and visitors – can use the parking during those hours. The pilot program, in the form of signs and markings, will roll out sometime in February or March. However, as Chairman of the Board Cheryl Brinkman pointed out before the vote to approve, the design of the program, including safety measures like limiting the allowable parking area at the intersections, will reduce the capacity of median parking to about half of what it effectively offers now.The board approved the specifics of the pilot without much fanfare – a stark contrast with the years of planning and contention that preceded the vote. For nearly two years, a committee of neighborhood stakeholders has been convening to work out a compromise between two bitterly opposed groups. A city survey indicated that a most residents oppose parking on the median, while a supermajority of members of faith groups in the area find that parking vital to be able to attend religious services.The survey results were somewhat murky when it came to finding a consensus on what should be done – 51 percent of the survey respondents in the neighborhood supported formalizing the median parking. In the end, the decision to generally approve a pilot program in some form was not without opposition. Transit planner John Knox White, who has led efforts to figure how parking on the median should be done, called the the pilot project a compromise. The lone area resident who attended the Board meeting agreed that the pilot program was a middle ground.“I would prefer no median parking, but I realize that given all the factors involved, a compromise here is necessary,” said Stefan Lazar, a Dorland Street resident.Among those out and about on Dolores Street Tuesday afternoon, a different consensus became clear: Parking in general is a nightmare, and Dolores Street specifically is confusing.“It’s already there, make it official,” said nearby resident Amanda Nelson. “There is no parking anywhere…Those churches wouldn’t be attended if there weren’t parking. We’d just have an insane amount of double parking to drop people off.”Wendy Cai of Maxwell’s House of Caffeine acknowledged that some neighbors aren’t pleased with the practice, but it can be good for business. Tags: parking • traffic Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%
0% Tags: food • restaurants Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0% El Metate guac.The chips were great, a rarity at taquerias — some flour, some corn — as were the salsas: tomatillo, habanero and chipotle. There’s also a wonderful pineapple salsa and a spicy/tart cuke salsa. We weren’t a fan of the guacamole, unfortunately; for me, it just lacked chunky integrity. But that’s strictly a style thing.For my main, I went with one of their specials, chicken mole:El Metate mole.Really good mole, subtly chocolatey, and apparently it’s a prize winner! Francisco and his mom used to compete with each other as to who made the best mole, and his mother finally said, “You won.” Although the rice was a little dry — this is a place that tries to cut down on fat wherever they can — it had really good flavor. Their fresh salsas are delicious mixed into the rice. The beans were especially tasty. You can tell these are homemade recipes.ADVERTISEMENT 5 Below Market Rate (BMR) Rental Apartments available at 3000 23rd St., San Francisco, CA 94110. Applications must be received by 5PM, Nov. 7, 2017, and must either be submitted online here or mailed in with a self-addressed stamped envelope to: 3000 23rd St. BMR, P.O. Box 420847, San Francisco, CA 94124. Applications available here or picked up from an agency listed here.The BF got a carne asada “a la Mexicana” burrito:El Metate “a la Mexicana” burrito.“A la Mexicana” meant that the carne asada was cooked with tomatoes and peppers. It was huge, and he says he liked it. I tasted it, and it was good, but the black beans were the best part for me — very flavorful. As long as he’s happy, I’m happy. And he’s happy when I let him order a burrito at any Mexican restaurant.On our second visit, the BF and I had to arm wrestle for who was going to get to order the chile relleno platter. I won.El Metate chile relleno.First, it’s huge. Go starving. Very gooey cheese, tasty. And again, I LOVE their beans.The BF, however, actually won the evening with his pork tamale:El Metate pork tamale.Unusual, but the tamale appeared to just have veggies inside the masa, and the pork — stewed in a wonderfully tart tomatillo sauce — seemed spooned over the top. Really delicious and juicy. I’m not usually a fan of Mexican tamales, as I often find the masa dry. This one was tender and flavorful all the way through, and the BF was pleased he’d gotten it instead of the chile relleno. I would definitely order this again.We both decided we needed a taco on the side. His, a carne asada:El Metate carne asada taco.And mine, a fish taco:El Metate fish taco.His steak, to me, was OK, nothing terribly exciting, less flavorful than the Mexicana, but again, he liked it. My fish taco was very crispy — a plus. The fish itself was very mild — perhaps they’re using basa. I liked that mine came with rice on it. Even though we found El Metate’s rice a bit dry, again, a few splashes of their hot sauces or salsas render it juicy and spicy as it soaks them all up.There are a lot of things I’d still like to try on the menu, like chicken milanesa tacos, tortas and a few shrimp and fish dishes — in particular, a platter of seafood. It’s a homey place and it’s usually packed by old and young, though it does seem to get its share of techie bros. Can’t blame them, really. It looks like a great place for big private parties, too — they appear to have another whole dining room on the side. The boys up front are very warm and friendly. The owner, Francisco Hernandez, is a local boy. and he’s usually on site working with his “second family.” Go pay him a visit and find out about that anniversary party!Señorita Taco.El Metate2406 Bryant St. (between 22nd and 23rd)San Francisco, CA, 94110(415) 641-7209 El Metate will celebrate its 15th year this November, and the young man who took our order at the counter of this sunny taqueria-plus seemed quite enthused about it. “We’re going to have a party!”“When?” I asked. “I’m not sure of the date, but we’ll let everyone know.”That cheerfulness follows you all the way inside from the Day-Glo yellow exterior. It’s an order-at-the-counter, get-served-at-the-table type of place, and the dining room is a charming faux adobe/brick-tiled hacienda fantasy with colorful blue-painted tables, half-moon-faced ceiling lamps, cute little shelves stocked with a plethora of different hot sauces, and a “cantina” that serves beer, micheladas, sangria and wine.Our first visit, we got an order of guac, chips and beer to start:
Eight different try scorers we involved as Saints overran Wakefield.And Holbrook was delighted with his team’s display.“It was great to win and get through to the semis.We played very well last week and it was important to back it up with another performance.It was a different feeling today as we knew it was a knockout game, the players scored some really good tries to finish the game off in particular.Zeb Taia was probably our best today.”The semi is a long way off but we want to go there and play well, as we have all year, the way we have gone about winning our games has been impressive, we have really been in control of a lot of games and may that continue.”Listen to the full press conference below.,And Holbrook was delighted with his team’s display.“It was great to win and get through to the semis.We played very well last week and it was important to back it up with another performance.It was a different feeling today as we knew it was a knockout game, the players scored some really good tries to finish the game off in particular.Zeb Taia was probably our best today.”The semi is a long way off but we want to go there and play well, as we have all year, the way we have gone about winning our games has been impressive, we have really been in control of a lot of games and may that continue.”Listen to the full press conference below.
BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — He’s a musician. He’s a real estate developer. He’s a life saver. Our Extraordinary Person of the Week was asked to create a way for 3rd world countries to get disease free water. He answered the call with a “Living Water System”. WWAY’s Daniel Seamans shows you how it works.Water is a necessity. We know that. But in 3rd world countries, it’s a whole new ballgame. Michael Little is trying to change that.- Advertisement – “It’s the stuff that E-Coli, salmonella, Hepatitis A and C, Malaria, it’s the things that kill 95% of the children that die in 3rd world countries before the age of 5,” Michael Little told WWAY’s Daniel Seamans.Michael Little got the idea in 2013 from a close friend who spent time traveling to villages around the world.“She said, you know the kids are sick everywhere I go and they are sick from water born diseases and you need to do something. I said okay.”‘Okay’ turned into the “Living Water System“, a water filtration system that uses gravity to filter out waterborne illness.“What you have is waste from mammals,” Michael said,”carries the deadly stuff. And most of the people where we are they are sharing watering holes with the beast.”Four years later, Michael says the non-profit organization now has the system in 19 developing nations and is expanding for natural disasters in the United States.“In case of a hurricane where municipal service is down or where there is cross contamination.”Here’s how it works: You find a water source, hang the filter, and gravity takes care of the rest.“The flow rate is 8-10 gallons per hour. In 3 hours, you can take care of a family’s needs for a day, you don’t have all that plastic, all you have to do is have some water source.”Courtesy: Living Water SystemsMichael Little…you find ways to create water safe to drink in places where it just isn’t. That makes you….Extraordinary.For more information on Living Water Systems, the non-profit, and their mission, click here.
Eddie Wayne Reavis (Photo: Columbus County Sheriff’s Office) COLUMBUS COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — A Columbus County man faces several charges, including assault on a government official, after deputies responded to a home on Quail Drive in Whiteville on Monday.Michele Tatum with the Columbus County Sheriff’s Office says a call came in that Eddie Wayne Reavis, 54, was holding someone at gunpoint. When deputies arrived, they found Reavis in his backyard. Tatum says Reavis threatened to harm the deputies as they approached him.- Advertisement – Reavis then tried to run to a nearby storage building. After a short chase, deputies took Reavis into custody.Tatum says while being escorted to a patrol vehicle, Reavis ‘spit bodily fluids’ on a patrol sergeant and a detective.Reavis also kicked the patrol sergeant in the chest.Related Article: Chancellor identifies victims in deadly UNC Charlotte shootingReavis faces the following charges:Resisting a public officerMalicious conduct by a prisonerAssault on a government officialAssault by pointing a gunCommunicating threatsAssault with a Deadly WeaponHe is in jail under a $12,500 bond.
BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Only a handful of votes separate four races in Brunswick county. That’s why the board of elections conducted a recount to confirm the results from election night are accurate. The recount showed the results will stay the same.“We essentially tabulated everything again, just like we did election night. The outcome was that the results were exactly the same. So, nothing today for any of the contests that we did a recount on were changed,” Sara Knotts, board of elections director, said.- Advertisement – For now, that means Bill Beer will join the H2Go commission. Plans to terminate the reverse osmosis plant could still be a reality.“I did run on a platform but I have not yet had a chance to work with the new board yet, to discuss these matters,” Beer said.But, the results are still not official. Knotts says results could change once they canvass the votes.Related Article: Belville offers counter to Leland’s plan for H2GO, RO plant“What we’re doing on Friday has the potential to change some of these contests. So we will be adding in any supplemental absentee ballots that we received. And the board will review any provisional ballots that were cast in this election,” Knotts said.Besides the H2Go commission, the other contests the board looked into were the boiling spring lakes commissioner, the Southport mayor and the Sunset Beach council, which is separated by 1 vote.
WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Wave Transit’s expanded Azalea Festival free trolley service is underway.The Cape Fear Public Transportation Authority announced in March that they will debut a new downtown trolley route during Azalea Festival.- Advertisement – Wave will run a single trolley through Wednesday every 45 minutes. On Thursday through Sunday, Wave will run two trolleys.The new route adds Castle Street and the South Front Street districts.Wave Transit and a group of stakeholders have been working over the past year to develop the best possible strategy for public transportation in the area with a focus on the trolley.Related Article: WPD seeks Leland man who crashed into downtown signClick here for a full list of routes.It’s finally here! @NCAzaleaFest fun starts today, 4/9, and our FREE festival #Trolley is on the road and ready to take you to all the best spots in #downtown Wilmington. Click below to check out the Trolley schedule! https://t.co/f2J5VhiYya @CityofWilm @NewHanoverCo @DBAilm pic.twitter.com/Hf0Jdmrs8z— Wave Transit (@WaveTransitILM) April 9, 2018
A Sea turtle rescued by Coast Guard Station Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, May 14, 2018. (Photo: U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd class Brandyn Napolitano) WILMINGTON, N.C. (WWAY) — The Coast Guard, the North Carolina Wildlife Resource Commission and a good Samaritan rescued an injured sea turtle on Monday, less than a mile off Wrightsville Beach.The 75-foot fishing boat Lady Lisa contacted watchstanders at Station Wrightsville Beach and notified them that they found a small sea turtle with a hook in its mouth and an injured fin.- Advertisement – 1 of 2 (Photo: U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd class Brandyn Napolitano) Injured sea turtle found near Wrightsville Beach (Photo: U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd class Brandyn Napolitano) Sector North Carolina’s command center dispatched a response boat from Station Wrightsville Beach, accompanied by a representative from the WRC.Once on scene, the good Samaritan transferred the turtle to the Coast Guard boat, where the WRC representative took custody. The turtle was transported to The Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center in Surf City.Related Article: Coast Guard medevacs 2 burn victims from cruise ship off NC coast“Due to the Lady Lisa’s quick action, authorities were able to transport this injured sea turtle to a facility where it can receive the care it needs,” said Cmdr. Matt Moorlag, the Sector North Carolina deputy sector commander. “The boating public plays a vital role in the conservation of our protected species.”
SOUTHPORT, NC (WWAY) – When Norman Holden didn’t answer his phone Wednesday morning, Southport Police went to his home on Frink Drive to check on him.Holden was part of We Care, a program used by police to check in on elderly residents daily.- Advertisement – When police arrived at Holden’s home around 9:00 a.m., they found the former mayor in his yard, dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to Southport Police Chief Gary Smith.Holden was mayor of Southport on and off for many years. He last served in 2007.Normally, WWAY does not report on suicides, but given the prominence of the person involved we felt this case was an exception.Related Article: Police say Wilmington mom kills child, self in shooting