Friends and fellow activists have paid tribute to

first_imgFriends and fellow activists have paid tribute to the anti-euthanasia and disability rights campaigner Dr Kevin Fitzpatrick, whose life and death “epitomised the true meaning of dignity”.Fitzpatrick – who died on 15 January, leaving a wife, Fabienne, and three adopted children – played a huge part in the ongoing campaign to oppose the legalisation of assisted suicide in the UK, Ireland and internationally.But he also led the Disability Rights Commission’s (DRC) work in Wales throughout its seven-year existence, following an earlier academic career in which he taught philosophy, and was a former chair of Disability Wales.He was awarded an OBE in the 2011 New Year Honours for services to disabled people in Wales, and in an interview with Disability News Service to mark the award, criticised the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) for failing to build on DRC’s work.He said: “The fight for social justice is a long way from being won for disabled people. Are we there? Hand on heart, not at all. Have we gone backwards since the demise of the DRC? Sadly, yes.”Fitzpatrick (pictured being interviewed by Sky News about assisted suicide) contrasted the EHRC’s work with that of the DRC, which he said was “the best organisation I have ever worked with, in or for”.Among his other roles were as a long-standing chair of trustees of the St David’s Children Society adoption agency – he and his wife adopted three siblings – and chaired the Welsh government’s expert advisory group on adoption.There was also a five-year stint as a board member of Consumer Focus Wales, before it perished in the coalition’s “bonfire of the quangos”, and six years as a director of the Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust, despite frustration at its failure to work more closely with service-users.Fitzpatrick – who became disabled in 1973, after being hit by a stray bullet while working in a Belfast shop – also founded his own equality consultancy, Inclusion21, and ran it for nine years.He had set up his own company after seven years as head of policy and research at the disability charity Shaw Trust, leaving the organisation after becoming increasingly disillusioned, and, he would say later, “having learned a great deal more about cynicism and bullying”.Sir Bert Massie, who worked with him at DRC, said he had been appointed as commissioner for Wales but his “careful and precise analysis of issues resulted in his quickly assuming wider responsibilities, taking the UK lead on education and employment issues”.Sir Bert, who chaired the commission, said: “He retained his position throughout the life of the DRC and became highly respected.“He would use humour and integrity when making a case but the end result was always to provide a better service and reduce discrimination.”Lord [Chris] Holmes, disability commissioner at the EHRC, said: “I had the pleasure and great good fortune to work with Kevin as a fellow commissioner at the DRC; his intellect was only matched by his humour and lust for life.“We had many a happy discussion late into the evening with a touch of vino, and in the margins of meetings on philosophy and a bit of politics. “I feel sorrow, personally and for every person’s life he impacted, that he has been taken from us so prematurely.”Another former DRC colleague, Liz Sayce, chief executive of Disability Rights UK, said Fitzpatrick had “approached every topic with an unusual blend of humour, warmth and intellectual rigour – with great results”.She said: “He was involved in the DRC’s work on employment – for instance, working with small businesses to improve their knowledge and practice; and threw himself into big ethical debates on how disabled people’s lives were valued – or not – by things ranging from the abortion law permitting later abortions when the prospective baby is expected to have an impairment, to ‘do not resuscitate’ notices being placed in the notes of some disabled people without proper consent.“The movement has lost someone who brought huge talent and commitment to our work and we will all miss him.”In recent years, it was in his role as one of the leading UK campaigners against the legalisation of assisted suicide that Fitzpatrick was best known.In 2010, he took over the policy and outreach work for Not Dead Yet UK (NDY UK) – the network of disabled activists dedicated to fighting legalisation – from Baroness [Jane] Campbell, who had founded the network eight years previously.The disabled peer, who was another fellow DRC commissioner, said he would be “greatly missed” by fellow campaigners, who last September succeeded in persuading parliament to throw out the latest in a series of private members’ bills aimed at legalising assisted suicide.She said he was one of the “greatest advocates” of opposition to legalisation, and praised his “larger-than-life personality, intellectual rigour, vitality, humour and genuine warmth”.He was, she said, a “sad loss to all of us, and the thousands of disabled people’s lives he touched as he fought for our humanity to be valued equally, no matter what our impairment or illness”.Baroness Campbell said Fitzpatrick had thrown himself into NDY UK campaigning work from 2010 with “passion, intellectual drive and selflessness (when he could have been working for a decent income)”.She added: “As a result, NDY UK raised its game and began to attract European and international attention.”Another leading NDY UK activist, actor and performer Liz Carr, said Fitzpatrick was “a bloody lovely man whose life and death epitomised the true meaning of ‘dignity’”, and was “a man of great integrity”.She said: “Kevin’s passionate opposition to assisted suicide, his philosophical understanding of the issues, his humour, intelligence, optimism, energy, sense of justice and, of course, his great company are some of the many things that I am going to miss.”She also praised his decision to keep his illness private.Carr said: “During the past year, he decided that he didn’t want to be the pin-up for disabled people’s opposition to assisted suicide – despite the immense pressure from the media to talk about our impairments and illnesses to gain precious column inches and air time.”Fellow NDY UK activist Dennis Queen, who also worked closely with Fitzpatrick, said: “Kevin was a wonderful colleague in Not Dead Yet UK, as well as an inspired and talented teacher to activists who are fighting the creep of euthanasia across the globe.“Kevin was an incredible role model and media representative. I’m not quite sure what we’ll do without him.“An irreplaceable warrior, who defended our lives until his last breath, is now resting in peace, among our stars. We will honour him by doing the same.”As well as his work with NDY UK, he worked closely with the Care Not Killing alliance, which described him this week as “a great advocate, campaigner and friend”.Fitzpatrick also founded Hope Ireland, an Irish campaign opposing assisted suicide and euthanasia, and – just two years ago – was the founding coordinator of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition Europe.One disabled campaigner, Jessica Hatchett, described this week how she met Fitzpatrick when she was a member of Young Voices for Choices, a youth forum for disabled people in Pembrokeshire.She was one of several forum members who were invited to be a part of Rights Into Action 2003, the first international congress of young disabled people, in which Fitzpatrick was heavily involved through his role as DRC’s commissioner for Wales.She said he had been “hugely passionate about the disability rights movement, and spoke very eloquently on the subject”.She said: “He was great at encouraging us to share our thoughts and opinions and getting us to speak up on the issues that we felt were important.“He encouraged people to aim high with their aspirations and gave us the confidence to believe anything was possible.”She added: “He inspired a lot of us who attended the congress to go after our goals in life.“I kept track of Kevin’s most recent work and was proud of the campaigning that he was doing. I hope that in some way his work can be continued.”Baroness Campbell said Fitzpatrick had been “very private about his battle with cancer as he didn’t want others to worry about him or let his illness detract from his tireless work to prevent the legalisation of assisted suicide”.She said the disability movement “owe Kevin so much for his commitment, friendship and selflessness because without him our right to be valued as equal citizens, no matter what our impairment or illness, would not have the recognition that it does”.She added: “I think it’s important to honour his memory by continuing to campaign hard to get society to realise our right to equality in all things, especially at the end of life.”Sir Bert said Fitzpatrick had been such an effective campaigner because “although he dealt with contentious issues he was always courteous even when disagreeing”, and was “always a man of principle”.He said: “He wore his intellect lightly and never sought to intimidate. He always kept a sense of perspective and never lost his gentle humour and interest in other people and their lives.“But behind this he retained a steely determination to improve society and in particular the lives of disabled people. His early death deprives disabled people of a great advocate.”last_img read more

MPs have launched an inquiry into why so many disa

first_imgMPs have launched an inquiry into why so many disability benefit decisions are being overturned on appeal, and look set to examine claims of widespread dishonesty among the healthcare professionals who carry out assessments on behalf of the government.The investigation by the Commons work and pensions select committee follows a previous inquiry into the personal independence payment (PIP) assessment process, which had to be abandoned when the prime minister called a snap general election earlier this year.The committee will ask how the assessment processes for both PIP and employment and support allowance (ESA) are being handled by the private sector contractors Atos, Capita and Maximus.It will also look at how the application and appeals processes are working.The committee said – crucially – that the evidence it received in the last parliament revealed “worrying disparities” between how claimants described their face-to-face assessments and the final reports passed to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).And it said that concerns were also raised about the “dignity and conduct” of the assessment process and the ability of the assessors to “understand and properly assess” conditions.The latest figures, the committee said, show 65 per cent of appeals that reach the tribunal stage are successful, for both PIP and ESA, while the number of appeals had risen by nearly 30 per cent in the last year.Earlier this year, Disability News Service (DNS) provided the committee with substantial evidence of widespread dishonesty in the reports compiled by PIP assessors from the discredited outsourcing companies Capita and Atos.That evidence helped trigger an urgent evidence session of the committee, but none of the four welfare rights experts who gave evidence were asked by the committee’s MPs about claims of dishonesty.DNS had told the MPs how its investigation revealed that assessors working for Capita and Atos – most of them nurses – had repeatedly lied, ignored written evidence and dishonestly reported the results of physical examinations.The committee’s latest call for evidence appears to show that it has listened to criticism of its previous approach and that it will now examine these claims of dishonesty.DNS has so far received more than 250 such claims from PIP claimants, and is likely to submit updated evidence to the committee.One of those who has submitted evidence to DNS as part of its investigation is Mary*, who has experienced dishonest assessors both with her own PIP assessment and her husband’s.She said it was a “huge relief” to hear of the inquiry.She said: “We sincerely hope the extent of this widespread systemic malpractice will be fully exposed for what it is, putting an end to the dishonest healthcare professional reports and the abject failure of both the healthcare professionals and the DWP case managers to follow the DWP PIP assessment guidance and correctly apply the actual legal threshold for PIP.“There will then need to be an extensive clean up of the fraudulent reports and false statements that are currently on the system about individual claimants.”Frank Field, the under-fire chair of the work and pensions committee, said the rate at which ESA and PIP decisions were overturned was “truly amazing”.He said this suggested something was “fundamentally wrong” with how face-to-face assessments and mandatory reconsiderations – DWP’s internal reviews, the first stage of the appeal process – were being carried out.He said: “Quite apart from the human cost this represents – the distress and difficulty for applicants trying to get help with daily living or getting into work – it looks to be wasteful, inefficient, and a huge cost to taxpayers.”Field called for evidence on the assessment system from both claimants and assessors.Any evidence should be submitted to the committee by 10 November.Meanwhile, Maximus has announced that its contract to deliver the work capability assessment – which assesses eligibility for ESA – had been extended by the government by a further two years, until March 2020.*Not her real namelast_img read more

SFs Mission will have seven cooking schools

first_imgSoon, the Mission will have seven cooking schools for the amateur chef. Civic Kitchen, co-founded by chefs and entrepreneurs Jen Nurse and Chris Bonomo, will take over at 2961 Mission St. Classes will start on Jan. 13 and there will be an open house for the community on Sunday, January 21 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. 0% Meanwhile, Chef Dan Mills’ Tinker Kitchen is scheduled to open Jan. 15 near the corner of 22nd and Mission at 3233 22nd St.Still five other kitchens — La Cocina, The Cheese School, Thai Cooking, Young Urban Modern (Y.U.M.) Chefs and 18 Reasons — have kept the flames going in the Mission for more than a decade. La Cocina, Relaunched in 2005:In English, “La Cocina” simply means “The Kitchen.” But La Cocina has an incubator program like few others in the Bay Area. The program is designed specifically for startup food businesses owned by women, especially immigrant women and women of color.“In 2005, it was already clear that gentrification would push residents and businesses out of the Mission, without creating economic opportunity for the residents who had already given so much to their community,” said Caleb Zigas, Executive Director of La Cocina.La Cocina has an intensive application process for applicants to the incubator program. First, they have to be low-, or very-low-income entrepreneurs as defined by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Second, they must have a feasible business plan for their startup. Once accepted, they go through a year-long incubation process where they receive technical assistance in establishing their business.La Cocina is having its first orientation of the year on Jan. 31 for women interested in applying to the incubation program.18 Reasons, Remodeled in 2007:Maybe you don’t remember the 17 Reasons Why! billboard, which towered over Mission Street before it was removed in 2002. To honor the fallen icon, Sam Mogannam, then the owner of Bi-Rate Market, named his kitchen 18 Reasons.Since then, 18 Reasons has undergone many other changes, most recently partnering with Sarah Nelson’s Cooking Matters, a nonprofit that teaches free cooking and nutrition classes to more than 3,000 low-income families each year. Through a six-week-long series, low-income kids, parents and families throughout the Bay Area are taught how to shop for, and cook, healthy meals on a budget.“Our goal is to get people excited to cook more at home, and teach them about home cooking from around the world,” Nelson said. “We do not try to turn our students into professional chefs, but rather passionate home cooks.”18 Reasons offers plenty of classes: you can learn a number of new tricks, such as the basics of knife skills and the art of Shizen-Saibai on 27 out of the 31 days in January.On the last Wednesday of every month, you can enjoy a communal dinner for $15 with about 80 fellow community members.Thai Cooking with Sunshine, Opened in 2012:Ranida Thammarin, who’s the youngest of five sisters, moved to the United States 12 years ago from Thailand, where she worked in finance. She moved to San Francisco to get a master’s degree, then planned to move back. Instead, three years later, she met her future husband, who gave her the endearing nickname, “Sunshine.”Located at 439 Guerrero St., Thai Cooking with Sunshine occupies a space that used to be a church. Now, it’s where Thammarin teaches Mission residents how to cook a Thai dish and offers dancing lessons after dinner.“My class is not about cooking as I had learned from my experience teaching more than 6,000 people,” Thammarin said. “Some people, they just came without interest in cooking, but in meeting people.”Thammarin has degrees from Mahidol University, San Francisco State and Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, where she learned pastry making. But it’s her classes on ballroom dancing that give Thai Cooking a unique story. Thai Cooking offers 12 classes this month at $89 each — all focused on learning a different Thai dish.Young Urban Modern (Y.U.M.) Chefs, Opened in 2012:YUM Chefs, located at 1335 Guerrero St., brings cooking to kids and young adults inside the Katherine Michiels School. The school is part of Open Mind, a non-profit focused on the education and development of children. The school teaches year-round classes on healthy and sustainable eating.The Cheese School, Expanded in 2013:Kiri Fisher began her career working in magazine publishing. Then, one day, she pondered what it would be like to talk to animals more often than people.“When it was time to get out of that [magazine publishing] … my calming image was driving through the rainbow tunnel into Sonoma County to hang out with some sheep,” Fisher, Owner of The Cheese School, said. Fisher began her career in cheesemaking on the retail side of things. But after she spent more time around food, she learned the art of cheese.The Cheese School offers classes on cheesemaking, pizza making and wine tasting. The Cheese School is one of the most expensive of the Mission’s food schools; its three-day intensive cheese-tasting program costs $1,200. center_img Mission Local spoke with the seven different kitchens to learn what each brings to the table.Civic Kitchen. Opening 2018:Nurse, a former baker, and Bonomo, a “finance guy,” have turned an empty office space on Mission Street into a cooking school geared toward home cooks.The kitchen was scheduled to open last fall, but hit a snag in plans because of pesky ductwork.“We did a complete gut of the space,” Nurse said. “Taking a building that was closed off to the community and remodeling it.”The space will feature the equipment of a commercial kitchen, but with an emphasis of the home cook. A 20-foot bookcase will be filled with cookbooks and references for cooks to learn from.Classes begin Saturday, Jan. 13 and prices range from $25 to $145.Tinker Kitchen, Opening in 2018:Walking past 3233 22nd St., you will hear loud classic rock and a Spanish-speaking Latino man humming the tunes to himself while he sweeps the floors of what will soon be Tinker Kitchen.The walls are still halfway coated, and the space is filled with bubble-wrapped kitchen supplies. The Latino man, Ricardo, says he’s working as fast as he can to open up the Mission’s newest cooking school by Jan. 15 — a date set by Chef Dan Mills, a former techie turned foodie.Mills imagines it will be a place where people make use of the high-end kitchen equipment and discover cooking on their own. Tinker Kitchen lets would-be cooks use the space $25 per day, or $125 per month. Tags: food Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%last_img read more

SFs limitedEnglish sexual assault victims among the most ignored

first_img Tags: Mission Police Station • police • sexual violence • SFPD Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0% “What happened to me was outrageous, and because of that, I had to stand up and speak up to this injustice,” Mejia said. “I was able to get out of my horrible situation,” she added. “Many people are afraid because their partner initiates them with their children or immigration status.”Despite her court victory, advocates say delays in language services — or, in some cases, an utter lack of those services — continue to result in wrongful arrests and inaccurate reports by the SFPD, even as the department attempts to refine its program. Advocates said that many problems remain, but that the situation has improved since SFPD began hosting a language access working group in 2012. “Unfortunately, we continue to see this pattern where officers don’t go through process of identifying language and carrying out interviews, trying to rely on whatever limited English the individual might be able to produce, if any,” said Ana De Carolis, a program coordinator with Mujeres Unidas Y Activas, a grassroots organization for Latin American women. De Carolis, speaking at a recent Police Commission meeting, described an incident in which a woman had been in a car accident. Afterward, an officer interviewed her at the hospital in English, even though she told him she could not speak English. “It turns out the report was written based on the interview that contains gross inaccuracies and misinformation,” De Carolis said. De Carolis could not comment further on the specific case, but she said those kinds of inaccuracies can result in victims being excluded from accessing services and victim compensation. In addition, their cases may be delayed in court. “These roadblocks are affecting people in their right to access justice, as well as services, reparations and healing,” she said. “They re-victimize the victim and may end in wrongful arrest and problems stemming from inaccurate reports.” In the 2016-2017 fiscal year, 27 complaints related to language access were filed with the Department of Police Accountability. Six were sustained, 11 were not sustained, one was mediated, one “not found” and eight are still pending. But the number of those affected by the scarce language resources could be much higher. “Many of the survivors don’t want to come forward, because this is such a fearful time — not because of what’s going on in San Francisco, but the political realities are keeping communities afraid,” said Beverly Upton, executive director of the San Francisco Domestic Violence Consortium, during the meeting. Upton said stories like Mejia’s, and the one told by De Carolis, are “a drop in the bucket.” She offered an account of her own.Six months ago, she said, a deaf mother was arrested after she called police to the scene. They did not provide her assistance in American Sign Language when she requested it, and she was held for several days. “While everything was getting worked out, several of us got an Amber alert,” Upton said. It turned out “her child had been taken by the unstable dad she was trying to warn us about.” Commander Lazar, head of SFPD’s Community Engagement Division, told the Police Commission that department is now offering interpretation classes and classes to “update” bilingual officers. Dispatchers are now instructed to contact bilingual officers directly if they receive a call in another language. Before, he said, those kinds of calls were sent out to everyone. Moreover, he said, Mission Station will be piloting a multilingual informational marquee. “So when citizens come to file a report, there’s information in several languages … while they’re waiting to file a report,” he said.  But more than anything else, advocates say, the department needs more bilingual officers. The department currently has 303 bilingual officers on staff, 157 of whom speak Spanish, 97 who speak Cantonese, 20 who speak Mandarin, 18 who speak Tagalog and 11 who speak Russian. Yet that number is lower than the 326 that the department employed in 2015. That year, the police received 4,255 calls in a foreign language. In 2017, SFPD received 3,308 calls for service in other languages, down 22 percent from the 4,222 it received in 2016. “What we’re trying to see is more bilingual officers at district stations, where they reflect the communities they serve,” De Carolis said, noting that the advocacy community would like to see more bilingual officers stay at district stations to build a relationship with the community. “Right now, we’re not seeing that,” she said. “The system rewards officers who move around. What we would like to see is incentives to stay stations where they are most needed.” Maria Jimenez, a program coordinator at Mujeres Y Unidas Activas, has been accompanying victims of domestic violence and sexual assault to file reports at Mission Station for 18 years. In recent years, she said, the wait times have become longer, and officers at the station have become increasingly reliant on the so-called language line, a telephone line officers can call to receive interpretation services with limited-English residents. “That’s not what our survivors are looking for,” she said. “It’s important to know you can speak one-on-one with someone who speaks your language and knows your culture.” She said long wait times and the lack of personal connection can be traumatizing to victims. “If a woman is ready to take the step to file a report and is not able to, then many times the individual will go back to the abuser, the cycle of violence,” she said. “If you can’t do it in a timely manner, you may not go back another day to file a report,” she continued. “It’s so hard to take that first step.” Nearly three years have passed since Dora Mejia filed a lawsuit against the City of San Francisco that exposed the barriers many monolingual sexual assault victims experience when interacting with the SFPD, but advocates say the problems still remain.Mejia was arrested after her ex-partner sexually assaulted her in a Mission District apartment in 2014. He left the apartment, called the police, accused Mejia of attacking him. When officers arrived, they refused to offer her an interpreter, insisting that she use the best English she could. Police arrested Mejia and left her three children with the ex-partner as she sat in jail overnight. On Thursday, Mejia and the advocacy community announced her $50,000 lawsuit settlement at the Women’s Building.center_img 0%last_img read more

Carlos Gutierrez mentor to troubled youth dies at 38

first_imgGutierrez’s story is truly a Mission District story — one of a young Latino man sucked into the neighborhood’s gang violence in the 1990s, and later made a 180-degree turnaround to help establish an organization that helps young men and women find their paths. “He was a true a warrior and a son of the Mission,” said Socorro Gamboa, 62, the principal at Real Alternatives Program, the high school on Bryant and 23rd Streets for at-risk youth where Gutierrez began his transformation. Gutierrez was born October 30, 1979, at Kaiser Hospital on Geary Boulevard, and grew up in an apartment on the corner of 22nd and South Van Ness, where much of his family has lived for the last four decades. His father, James Gutierrez, was rarely present, said his mother, Erendira Leyva-Haus. A man named Bill Barrios had served as a stand-in father since Gutierrez was 12, said Gutierrez’s 35-year-old sister, Ella Leyva.  “This block was all single moms,” Gutierrez’s mother said, sitting on the porch of the 22nd Street house Monday evening. “Nobody had a dad; they all had each other.” At a very young age, she said, he enjoyed Nintendo games, G.I. Joe, and playing baseball with other kids on the block. “He was a mama’s boy,” said his sister. “He was attached to her hip.”But as Gutierrez moved into his teenage years, he was drawn to the gang life that dominated the Mission’s streets in the ‘90s. In those days, there would be different gangs — or “sets” — on nearly every corner of the Mission, according to two of his close friends. “You had to be really careful,” recalled his friend Mario Sandoval, 40, who met Gutierrez in the third grade. “One step in the wrong direction and you could get your ass whooped by five or six guys.” It happened that many of their friends were Norteños, Sandoval said, and that’s what he and Gutierrez became. He described Gutierrez as one who deeply believed in the lifestyle and, even as a teenager, he stood out as a leader. “It wasn’t just the color — it was about your neighborhood, where you lived, where you grew up, and what you personally represent,” Sandoval said. “And I personally stood by him on that front.” Gutierrez’s mother said that during that period, she prayed for her son to live “because everyone around him was getting stabbed or shot.” Sandoval agreed: “We lost a lot of friends.” Gutierrez and Sandoval followed each other from Hawthorne Elementary School (now Cesar Chavez Elementary School) to Horace Mann Middle School. In high school, after a short stint at International Studies Academy, they split up; Gutierrez went to J. Eugene McAteer High School. But his life there did not go well.  Then, in 1995, as a high school junior, Gutierrez started attending RAP High School, which occupied one floor and five classrooms of a building at 23rd and Bryant. When Socorro Gamboa, the principal, met Gutierrez for the first time, the young man had his knit cap pulled down over his eyebrows. She told him to pull it up, and said he was surprised when she said she just wanted to see his eyes. “What I noticed about him is that he was unique,” Gamboa recalled.Gutierrez went on to demonstrate an unusual interest in school, moving from classroom to classroom during breaks and hanging out with the teachers, she said. One of those teachers, Debora Koffler, said he took a special liking to her U.S. history class. “He was outspoken, and smart, and very quick and thoughtful,” Koffler said. “He cared about learning.” She noted that he earned the nickname “Sleepy” because he, like Koffler, had a lazy eye. “He was definitely my guy,” she said.Gutierrez’s mother, Erendira Leyva-Haus, sits on the porch of Gutierrez’s childhood. Photo by Abraham Rodriguez.At that time, as well, Gutierrez enjoyed political debates with his aunt, Beatriz Leyva-Cutler, now a Berkeley School Board member. “We would always argue politics,” she said. “We would always go back and forth.” Leyva-Cutler said that Gutierrez’s time at RAP changed him. “There was a large community that surrounded him at RAP,” she said. Around this time, when Gutierrez was just 16, he and his girlfriend, Heidy Rosales, had their daughter, Cassandra. “I moved in with his family on 22nd as soon as I found out I was pregnant with Cassandra,” she said. “His family took me in.”  After graduating from RAP, he eventually followed Rosales to Sonoma County and attended Sonoma State, where he majored in Political Science. After graduating in 2008, Gutierrez worked as a sales representative for Enterprise Car Rentals, and later was an organizer with the Teamsters. On Monday night, sitting in the room where Gutierrez grew up — now populated with three treadmills and a desk piled high with memorabilia — Sandoval, Gutierrez’s childhood friend, took a sip from his beer. He said that few people from Gutierrez’s earlier days on the street would recognize the man he became. “At some point he realized [gang life] is not raza,” Sandoval said. “That’s not what this culture can be or would like to be.” In 2013 Gutierrez began full-time work with Homies Organizing the Mission to Empower Youth (HOMEY), which works with gang members and formerly incarcerated youth. Gutierrez, in fact, helped start the organization in 1999 with several former RAP students at the high school’s building. It has since grown into an organization with four full-time employees and a budget of close to $500,000. Gutierrez, however, had not been fully involved until recently. “Even when he wasn’t part of it, he always felt that HOMEY was a part of him,” said Mauricio Quijada, also a founding member, who met Gutierrez when he was 12. “It’s going to be difficult to adjust without his presence,” said Luna Marie Morrell, the Youth Programs Coordinator at HOMEY. “But we have a lot of support and there’s a lot of love. I believe he will be honored. I know that without a doubt.”Over the years HOMEY has worked for political justice campaigns while also providing practical services for the community, like in-school programming, direct intervention with youth and young adults on the street, and in-jail support. Before he died, Gutierrez was working with incarcerated men through HOMEY’s work-preparedness program at the San Francisco county jail at 850 Bryant. “We always called Carlos the ‘protector of the temple,’” says Morrell — the temple being HOMEY.Gutierrez had a quick sense of humor, which Morrell described as medicinal. She could always spot a “Carlos-ism” — jokes of his that would be repeated by others. For their part, his children and former wife remembered him as someone they could count on. “We constantly talked,” said his 17-year-old son, Elias. “We talked about difficulties of being Latino and trying to go to college and succeed in this world and this society.” “We made a great team,” said Rosales about their current relationship. “His kids were everything to him.”  His daughter, Cassandra, said he cared about her and her brother more than anyone. “He always tried to make things work for us,” she said. “He would always try to call me back and try to fix the problem.” On the night before he died, Gutierrez had plans to visit his partner Dolly Sithounnolat’s family, but he stayed in Bernal so that he could check on a friend who was in the hospital, Sithounnolat said. “He wanted to make sure she was okay,” she said. The next day, around noon, she received a call from Elias and Cassandra about their father. Cassandra also remarked on her father’s journey to redemption. “He finally made it back to the city and finally found a spot in the neighborhood,” she said of the Bernal Heights home he had moved into only in March. “It’s something that brings me closure that he died at home — he did make it home.”A memorial will be held Friday, July 20, at Duggan’s Funeral Service (3434 17th Street). Public viewing begins at 3 p.m. and the funeral ceremony begins at 5 p.m. A reception will be held at 1990 Folsom Street at 7:30 p.m. The family will also be accepting donations for Gutierrez’s children’s college fund. For more information please contact: Beatrizleyvac@gmail.comCharlotte Silver contributed reporting to this story. Carlos Gutierrez, the 38-year-old co-founder of Homies Organizing the Mission to Empower Youth (HOMEY), was found dead in his apartment in Bernal Heights Sunday afternoon. Although the official cause of death has not yet been determined, his family said he had long suffered from sleep apnea. His 17-year-old son and 21-year old daughter discovered their father at noon on Sunday. “Dad and I were supposed to go to a Giants game,” said his son, Elias. Instead, he saw his father on the ground, checked his pulse, and noticed he was “discolored and pale.” As his sister Cassandra called 911, a doctor who lives next door confirmed that Gutierrez was dead. “For a moment, I laid with him, I kissed him and I told him I loved him,” his son said on Monday night as he gathered with his family and friends, all of whom were still shaken by Gutierrez’s sudden death.   Subscribe to Mission Local’s daily newslettercenter_img Email Address,0%last_img read more

In partnership with ONeills Sportswear this is th

first_imgIn partnership with O’Neills Sportswear this is the new home shirt Saints will wear for the 2018 Betfred Super League Season.Inspired by our heritage, the shirt continues Saints tradition of a White Shirt with a Red Vee.Giving the look of a late 80s/early 90s design, the front has an additional red panel filling in the vee whilst the reverse we have added a red band across the shoulder.The crest is embroidered onto the left chest and it sits above our new home shirt partner Cash Converters who join us this season.Matching white/red shorts, plus red and white striped socks are available compliment the home shirts giving it a real historic look too.Saints Merchandise Manager Steve Law commented: “Once again we have listened to our loyal fans and playing staff who continue to favour the Saints’ tradition of the deeper, bolder red vee on our iconic Home shirt.“With next season’s home kit we have turned back to the Late Eighties/Early 90’s for our inspiration with the additional filled-in panel on the chest, with white shorts and hooped socks to complete the look.“We are delighted to welcome our new Front of Home shirt sponsor Cash Converters and their logo sits well across the vee of the home shirt.“As always we thank all our kit sponsors and O’Neills for their support, and hope our fans continue to support the club through purchasing the official Saints shirts from the Superstore or online at www.saintssuperstore.comInspirationThe attractive white jersey with the unique ‘filled in vee’ design was first worn in the 1987-88 campaign until the end of 1990-91.It will conjure up images of the wizardry of Shane Cooper, brilliance of Tea Ropati, the belligerence and power of Kevin Ward and the pace and elusiveness of Alan Hunte.It was also worn in our John Player trophy final success against Leeds at Central Park in 1988.The FabricThe shirt is produced in the UK by our Partner O’Neill’s Sportswear from a fabric called Koolite. This is breathable, cool and offers high wicking properties for enhanced wearer comfort. It also compromises anti-bacterial properties with good shape retention after multiple washing.In PartnershipAlongside Cash Converters, we welcome back some of the Club’s most loyal partners.Right of chest shirt sponsors are RCL, with collar sponsors St.Helens College whilst our sleeve sponsors are once again Totally Wicked and MyProtein on the Adult shirts.On the reverse of the shirt, long-term shoulder sponsors are Hattons Solicitors, with A-Star Recruitment on the lower back hem.The back of collar sponsor on the Adult shirt is again Totally Wicked.Our Short sponsors are ESRG, and AFEX, whilst AFEX also continue to support us with Sock sponsorship.Shirt Sizes/PricesReplica Adult shirts are Available in sizes X-small through to 7XL. Priced at £49.Player Version Shirts are Available in sizes X-small through to 3XL. Priced at £70.Ladies Shirts size L8 through to L18. Priced at £49.Children’s Age 5/6 years through to 13/14 yrs. Priced at £36.Toddler’s Kits are also available.Personalisation is available in store and on-line, subject to availability, and confirmed squad lists. Saints will wear red numbers in 2018 and these will be available shortly.To BuyThe shirt will be available to buy in store and online from 10am Saturday November 4 and 2018 Members can get 10 per cent off by showing their 2018 Membership Cards, which they can collect from the Ticket Office from today.last_img read more

Whats your favourite Christmas song A recent sur

first_imgWhat’s your favourite Christmas song? A recent survey threw out some interesting results!The obvious ones were there – Fairytale of New York, Merry Christmas Everybody and I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day, but top of the list was O Holy Night.It’s an interesting choice and one that I would find it tough to disagree with. It came out top of two different surveys – The Nation’s Favourite Christmas Song and The Nation’s Favourite Christmas Carol.OK, that’s fine, but what’s your favourite line from a Christmas song?Is it that line from Fairytale Of New York that got it cut from many shops’ playlists? Maybe it’s ‘Bring us some figgy pudding!” or “All I want for Christmas is you.” Could it be that classic festive ditty, “Christmas time, don’t let the bells end!”?My favourite line comes in the classic carol, written by Charles Wesley and set to music by Mendelssohn, Hark The Herald Angels Sing.The words say, “Pleased as man, with man, to dwell; Jesus our Emmanuel”.That may sound like an odd collection of words, if you don’t know what they mean, but it’s the meaning that makes them so special for me. The amazing story of Christmas is the story of God being born as a human being and living with people, just like you and me – “Pleased as man, with man, to dwell.” Then the word Emmanuel literally means, “God with us”.If you read the line knowing the meaning, it literally says that God, the creator of all things and most powerful being in the universe, chose to leave the amazing place called Heaven and chose to live as a human being – God with us!Why do I find that so amazing? Well that tells me that human beings are just so incredible important and valuable. Don’t ever let anybody tell you that you are worthless or that you belong on the edge of things! God literally moved Heaven and Earth to show how valued you really are.This Christmas, we have seen many news stories about the rise of homelessness and rough sleeping in the UK. We have seen it ourselves in our own area. I love that Derek Hardman, our Community Foundation Chaplain, has been taking a small team out into town centre, each week, to show love and care to those people who are living on the streets of St Helens – reminding them that we, as a club, are interested in their stories and their wellbeing.I love that, last week, our first team squad went into local hospitals to give out gifts and spend time with families for whom Christmas won’t play out in the way that they hoped it would. It feels like the right thing to do, to be a club who truly show people that they mean something and that someone is there for them – it feels like the kind of thing that Jesus would do and, if you look it at His story, you will see that it is indeed what He did!This Christmas, have an amazing few days. Enjoy time with family and friends, celebrate and have lots of fun. In the middle of it all, remember the incredible fact that God loves you so much that He would live as a human being, bringing amazing value to people like you and me and to people who many in the world would choose to ignore. Jesus our Emmanuel.In the words of Noddy Holder, “Merry Christmas Everybody!”last_img read more

Lawmakers seek answers from Cooper on money request probes

first_imgRALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Several North Carolina legislators want more information from Gov. Roy Cooper to justify his funding request for responding to chemical releases into a river and future water safety issues.The Republican senators wrote Cooper this week demanding he answer questions by Monday about what and when his administration knew about the discharges of the chemical GenX into the Cape Fear River. That’s the Wilmington area’s main drinking water source.- Advertisement – The chemical company Chemours has been discharging GenX from its Bladen County plant, but the state said that recently stopped.Two of Cooper’s Cabinet agencies have requested $2.6 million in part for more staffing and continued water testing for GenX.GOP Sen. Michael Lee of Wilmington says Cooper’s funding proposal doesn’t ensure GenX is removed from the water.Related Article: Budget stalemate continues as new school year nears(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)last_img read more

See unreasonably high gas prices Price gouging law in effect

first_img00:00 00:00 html5: Video file not found 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 WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Gas prices have skyrocketed at local pumps and we are receiving calls from concerned drivers about price gouging.One caller said it is $2.55 a gallon on Gordon Road.   Price gouging laws go into effect when North Carolina is in a state of emergency.- Advertisement – Earlier today, Gov. Cooper signed Executive Order No. 18, declaring an abnormal market disruption for gasoline in North Carolina based on the temporary shutdown of Texas and Louisiana fuel refineries due to Hurricane Harvey. As a result, North Carolina’s price gouging law against overcharging in a time of crisis is now in effect statewide for the next 45 days.Governor Roy Cooper has asked in the past to report prices that seem unreasonably high to the Attorney General’s Office.You can report price gouging three ways:1)  File a complaint online at Article: Tree-removal company to pay $20K in fines for price gouging after hurricane2)Mail us a complaint to: Consumer Protection DivisionAttorney General’s OfficeMail Service Center 9001Raleigh, NC 27699-90013)Call 1-877-5-NO-SCAM (toll-free within North Carolina) or 919-716-6000.What should I report?The Associated Press reports that Colonial Pipeline says it plans to shut down a key line that supplies gasoline to the South due to storm-related refinery shutdowns and Harvey’s effect on its facilities west of Lake Charles, Louisiana.The Georgia-based company said in a statement that it expects to shut off the line Thursday. The company had already closed down another line that transports primarily diesel and aviation fuels.The pipeline provides nearly 40 percent of the South’s gasoline.In September 2016, a leak and gas spill in Alabama that closed the Colonial Pipeline led to days of empty gas station pumps and higher prices in Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee and the Carolinas.The company didn’t say how long it expects the closure to last, saying it will know more when workers can evaluate its facilities.last_img read more

Operation Safe Ride targets those who pass stopped school buses

first_imgBRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — The Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office and Brunswick County Schools are teaming up to catch people who pass stopped school buses.Operation Safe Ride will take place several days throughout the next few weeks.- Advertisement – In addition to deputies on routine patrol, others will be assigned to tag-team specific routes notorious for stop-arm violations. One deputy will be on the bus with the driver to alert their partner in a patrol car who will be nearby ready to issue a citation.“Nothing is more important than the safety of our children,” said Brunswick County Sheriff John Ingram. “An operation like this not only raises awareness and reminds motorists to be especially vigilant when school buses are on the road, it also reassures our community that we are committed to keeping our children safe by enforcing the laws pertaining to school buses. I am grateful to Brunswick County Schools for their willingness to join us in this operation.”A similar campaign has been conducted for the past two years.Related Article: Brunswick County Schools to close again due to another tropical systemlast_img read more