Homeless services deserve our support

first_imgSurprisingly, it’s not a question that derives an easy answer. Total freedom, no one telling you what to do. Those were aspects that even appealed to me. But then I would remember, her lifestyle almost killed her. And if I were to believe some people who work with chronically homeless women, the question is not if she was ever raped, but how often. The Not In My Back Yard phenomenon is so strong right now. Concerned neighbors are rallying against people like my sister, the modern-day lepers. They are outcasts to be shunned into ghettos of despair, away from the oh so fragile eyes of us “normal people.” I can’t pass judgment on the NIMBYs. After all, I know I can’t live with my mentally ill relative in the same house. How far can I blame the people who don’t want them to live in the same neighborhood? I can only hope. I can only hope that people feel, when they survey the tragic landscape of Skid Row, there but for the grace of God go I. I can only hope the nights stay warm. I can only hope that the NIMBYs someday realize that services located in their neighborhood for people with a mental illness don’t have much effect on their property values or local crime rates. I can only hope that when the cloud of trouble comes, it will pass over the head of a toothless, one-footed woman. Jim Randall is president of the San Fernando Valley chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Write to him by e-mail at jim.randall@verizon.net.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! I hated myself for calling the police when she went to the bathroom. She had come to me for sanctuary, and now I had to do the right thing so she could live and hopefully keep her leg. To do the right thing had never felt so obscene. But to not call the police could lead to her death. I didn’t hesitate. And now she had gone AWOL again. I once asked her, trying to get a sense of logic governed by psychosis, why she lived the way she did. It made no sense to me. She replied, “What’s so bad about living on the street?” MY sister recently went missing. She was living in a home for seniors and people with a mental illness. I had taken her to eat at the local Sizzler the previous weekend. She had told me she was now taking walks around her neighborhood. I had been so excited that she was finally taking some initiative to get outside. After she had part of her foot amputated from the gangrene she had picked up living on the street, she rarely left her bed. But now she was taking walks without me, exploring the neighborhood. I gave her a $20 bill to buy things on the outside. Everybody needs a little money in their pocket. Then she used that money to take off. She was last seen heading to pick up a bus. I had reconnected with her a couple of years ago. She arrived at my doorstep after we had lost contact. I quickly noticed she walked with a limp. She had walked 12 hours to get to my house on a gangrenous foot. I saw a hospital bracelet, and got her to give me the phone number. When I called, officials said she had to be taken to the hospital immediately, that she had gone AWOL from a nursing home and needed to have her foot amputated. last_img read more

‘Pollen bomb’ to hit Donegal over Easter weekend

first_imgAsthma and hay fever sufferers are being warned of a potentially deadly “pollen bomb” which could cause life-threatening attacks this weekend. Met Eireann’s pollen count forecast is showing high levels over the coming days as Ireland is set to scorch over the Easter holidays.The national forecaster warned: “With dry, settled and increasingly warm temperatures over the next few days the tree pollen risk will rise to high across all regions.” And the weekend will see spells of sunshine which will bring the mercury into the 20s.Sarah O’Connor, CEO of the Asthma Society of Ireland said: “Project pollen levels are high in coming days and, with pollen levels rising earlier than last year, people with hayfever really need to start managing the condition now, especially those with hayfever and asthma.“80 per cent of people with asthma also have hayfever. We have lots of information on asthma.ie on minimising hay fever symptoms for asthma patients, which for some people can cause a fatal asthma attack.“Hayfever is very misunderstood in Ireland and people often dismiss you as a hypochondriac or simply a complainer when you mention it. “As a hayfever sufferer, I can testify that it is a very debilitating condition that leaves you feeling really miserable and unwell.“The constant runny nose, itchy eyes and sneezing are extremely distracting, and the accompanying headache and fatigue have always really marked out the summer months for me. For me, it felt like a flu all summer long.”“Some tips to help prevent and/or reduce symptoms, include: keep windows closed in your bedroom at night, remaining indoors as much as possible, staying away from grassy areas, and putting Vaseline around your nostrils to trap pollen.“One person dies every five days here as a result of their asthma.”‘Pollen bomb’ to hit Donegal over Easter weekend was last modified: April 20th, 2019 by Staff WriterShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Jimmer Fredette leaves Warriors’ summer-league team

first_imgSACRAMENTO — After playing in only two summer-league games, Jimmer Fredette left the Warriors’ summer-league team to minimize the chance of injury while weighing various overseas options, league sources told Bay Area News Group.Fredette informed the Warriors about their plans after the team’s loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday. He was not with the team for Wednesday’s game against Miami and will not travel with the Warriors for Las Vegas Summer League from July 5-15. Fredette also …last_img read more

The Power in Clarity of Purpose

first_imgLast weekend I was reviewing my projects and tasks when I recognized how many of the projects and tasks had nothing to do with my goals now. I accumulated this list over the course of the last seven or eight years, and many of the tasks and projects are no longer relevant, and some of them belonged to issues that had been resolved over time. A good portion of them were things I am no longer interested in nor are they worth the investment of my time. Many of them are ideas and projects  I would love to work on, but I haven’t touched since they went on the list.Even though it is critical to capture everything you want or need to do in a place where you can track those projects, ideas, and tasks, not everything can be substantial enough to command your time and energy. Deciding to release myself from the obligation I had to what was no longer relevant, I exported the entire list to a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet (so I could be sure to have a record to review later) and pushed the delete button. All the tasks and projects disappeared, along with the power they held over me.I started over, typing in the major projects and outcomes that I genuinely care about and that are going to move me closer to my goals and aligned with my purpose. I added in the commitments I owe to other people, of which there were far fewer than I imagined. The list I deleted had 298 tasks, and the new list consists of 50 in 22 projects. About 15 of those tasks are routine maintenance, the things that I do every week, including things like emptying all my electronic inboxes and physical inboxes, and reviewing my lists and transferring the stuff I need to do into my analog sales planner.My project list and task lists are now much smaller. All the items on those lists are vital to me now. I liked a lot of ideas and potential projects that are on the list I deleted, and someday a few of them may resurface. What I have now is not a greater sense of control, but also a greater sense of clarity. Which brings us to the big idea.We collect a lot of projects and tasks and commitments. We make many more commitments than we realize, some which seem small and innocuous when we make them. Over time, the list of things that we have said yes to, and the list of things that someone else commits us to, without us recognizing how overcommitted we are. Each new project or tasks commands a tiny sliver of our remaining time, and energy, and focus. Even though we aren’t always conscious of each of those commitments, they each take a little bit of our psychic RAM, and they contribute to an overall sense of overwhelm.Starting with a clean sheet of paper provides a sense of clarity. It’s a chance to decide what is important to you, and an opportunity to release yourself from things that are no longer who you are—and no longer part of what you are here to do. If any of what is here resonates with you, I invite you to give yourself the gift of a do-over and write down what you want, what projects are critical to you, and what you should be doing with your limited time and energy to make the contribution you are here to make.After I deleted my task list, I wrote this post that I published on the blog yesterday: Being Overcommitted is a Sign of Being Uncommitted to Your Goals.last_img read more

Minimum Wage Commission Wraps Up Consultations

first_img Concern expressed over the exploitation of employees in establishments such as certain haberdasheries and retail entities Story Highlights The consultation received recommendations and concerns from representatives of a wide array of sectors. There was general consensus among the group for an increase ranging from six per cent to 30 per cent. The Minimum Wage Advisory Commission (MWAC) on September 26, concluded its series of island-wide consultations on the national minimum wage, at a two-hour session held at the Ministry of Labour and Social Security in Kingston.The consultation received recommendations and concerns from representatives of a wide array of sectors central to the discussions on the national minimum wage.These included private sector entities, and groups such as, the Jamaica Confederation of Trade Unions (JCTU), the Sugar Producers Federation of Jamaica, the Jamaica Employers’ Federation (JEF), the Household Workers Association, as well as governmental agencies such as the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ), the HEART Trust/NTA, and the Bureau of Women’s Affairs.There was general consensus among the group for an increase ranging from six per cent to 30 per cent, as well as an endorsement for fixed periods of two to three years, for increases.Chief Executive Officer of Manpower and Maintenance Services Limited, Audrey Hinchcliffe, argued that the way in which increases in the national minimum wage are currently administered poses significant challenges for companies in terms of reconfiguring contracts, and collecting retroactive payments. She suggested that the increases should be tied to macroeconomic factors, such as inflation.Mrs. Hinchcliffe urged the government to consider other forms of support and benefits for minimum wage workers, such as transportation subsidies and called on individual companies to examine innovative means of easing the economic burden of their workers, such as discount arrangements with retailers.Security and Safety Manager of the HEART Trust/NTA, Suzanne Scarlette, who spoke specifically to wages for security personnel, advocated for minimum incremental increases over fixed periods.“This is so that we would know in advance that this is the thought process going for the next five or six years, as opposed to a sudden 10 per cent,” she said.Security officer, Wayne Hanchard, while suggesting a 30 per cent increase in minimum wages for that group, expressed concern over what he said, is the “exploitative treatment” of workers by companies, and lack of benefits. He called for the Ministry to investigate the flouting of the law by some security companies, which pay below the minimum wage.Meanwhile, a concerned member of the public, Senu Virtue-Burke, suggested that the minimum wage be increased from $5,000 weekly to $7,000. She asserted that the increase would enable minimum wage earners, who are among the most vulnerable groups in the society due to their limited income, to be better able to contribute to the National Housing Trust and the National Insurance Scheme.Ms. Virtue-Burke highlighted the Ministry of Transport, Works and Housing/NHT/Food for the Poor low-income housing scheme, which is accessible to workers, who earn $5,000 to $7,000 weekly.In his remarks, Assistant General Secretary of the JCTU, Keith Comrie expressed concern over the exploitation of employees in establishments such as certain haberdasheries and retail entities, which often pay below the minimum wage.“They don’t get a payslip…it is wrong…we must have a wage that they (employers) don’t exploit our workers …there must be other benefits than the bare minimum wage, and that must take into consideration…cost of living,” he said.Meanwhile, Director of Industrial Relations and Training at the Sugar Producers Federation of Jamaica, Michael Martin, recommended an increase of six per cent. Explaining his rationale, Mr. Martin pointed out that some sugar industry workers receive other benefits, which complete their remuneration package.“Most of the workers – we have task-based rates and time-based rates. For the time-based rates, they mainly work at the factory, so although you might have a minimum wage of $5,300 per week, you’re talking about adding a shift premium, an out of base allowance, a meal allowance, …some of them (the allowances) is a percentage of what the basic rate is, so with any increase in the minimum wage, all of these would also go up,” he outlined. Mr. Martin also suggested applying trade/industry specific minimum wage rates.Presenting the PIOJ’s submission to the Commission, Labour Market Analyst at the agency, Deidra Coy, said the PIOJ recognises the importance of the minimum wage in providing a foundation for creating and maintaining an adequate wage structure.She said the agency also recognises the importance of ensuring that workers receive remuneration that allow a reasonable degree of security and enable them to live with some amount of dignity.Ms. Coy noted that the government continues to provide measures to cushion economic conditions, by expanding and improving social protection for the most vulnerable. She highlighted the increase of 15 per cent for Programme for Advancement Through Health and Education (PATH) beneficiaries, and post-secondary grant; expanded school feeding programme; and transportation allowance. She pointed out that many PATH households include minimum wage earners.She added that the government is in the process of developing a strategy, which will facilitate a much wider social protection framework. The PIOJ has proposed a nine per cent increase in the minimum wage.Commissioner Bernita Locke, assured that all submissions and concerns would be presented to Labour Minister, Hon. Derrick Kellier for consideration in arriving at an increase in the minimum wage.Chairman of the Commission, Silvera Castro, reminded that the minimum wage is a guide for employers. “Those who can pay more, pay more…government alone can’t do everything, we must assist the process,” he stated.Other members of the Commission include: Danny Roberts; and Latoya McCatty (Secretary).The national minimum wage was last increased in September 2012, from $4,500 to $5,000 per 40-hour work week, while the minimum wage for security guards was also increased from $6,655 to $7,320 per 40-hour work week.last_img read more

PEI police arrest nine men tied to Torontoarea Hells Angels chapter

first_imgCHARLOTTETOWN – Nine men affiliated with a Toronto-area Hells Angels chapter have been arrested by a new police task force targeting P.E.I.’s growing outlaw motorcycle gang presence.Police say the nine — reportedly aged 19 to 63 — are “hangarounds” with the Hells Angels in Woodbridge, Ont.They face charges relating to involvement in a criminal organization as well as lottery and gaming counts.They were arrested early Thursday by the P.E.I. Organized Crime Task Force — a joint group including municipal forces and the RCMP.Members affiliated with the Hells Angels chapter set up shop on Prince Edward Island last December.The Angels were without a beachhead in the Maritimes since police disbanded the former Halifax chapter in 2001.But the gang has begun to reassert itself, strengthening its presence mainly through affiliate or so called “puppet clubs” in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and P.E.I.last_img read more

Andreescus storybook US Open run stands alone in Canadian sports lore

first_imgMost of us have never seen her lose.That’s how fast and unexpected and remarkable this has been. Way back on March 1, in the semi-finals of the Mexican Open, a third-tier event in Acapulco, Bianca Andreescu fell in three sets to Sofia Kenin, then the 35th ranked player in the world. She took home a check for $11,500.She had made a bit of noise earlier in the season, beating Venus Williams and Caroline Wozniaki in Auckland en route to the Australian Open as a qualifier, but beyond the tennis hard core, those victories hardly caused a ripple.And before that, Andreescu was precisely as famous as you’d expect the 152nd ranked player in the world to be.Then, immediately after Acapulco, Andreescu won Indian Wells, sort of the fifth major, and this crazy ride began.Her only two losses since, a retirement and a walk-over, were forced by injury. Andreescu has otherwise been untouchable. The odd wobble here, the brief loss of form there, but no one has been able to beat her when she was able to finish a match, and there is every reason to believe that in this moment, she is the finest female tennis player on Earth.That truth was, of course, hammered home on Saturday afternoon, when Andreescu defeated the greatest female player in history, Serena Williams, in straight sets in the final of the U.S. Open — the first Grand Slam victory by a Canadian.It wasn’t quite prime time Serena, at age 37, but it was very, very good Serena, riding an emotional high after dominating her side of the draw. So no asterisks here. Just try and come up with a historical list of the players Andreescu wouldn’t have beaten that afternoon in Flushing Meadows.The image of her victory, Andreescu lying on the court, spread eagled as though about to make a snow angel, staring into the New York sky, is already one that belongs on a stamp. She has been propelled over those eight months from obscurity to full-on national sports hero.And we, as a country, have entered uncharted territory. You can start searching for comparables, but they just aren’t really there.<span data-mce-type=”bookmark” style=”display: inline-block; width: 0px; overflow: hidden; line-height: 0;” class=”mce_SELRES_start”></span>In tennis, Carling Bassett made it as far as the U.S. Open semis, and Milos Raonic and Genie Bouchard both made Grand Slam finals – Bouchard also made it to two Grand Slam semis – and peaked at number three in the world. Perhaps it’s merely the power of hindsight that paints those results as unsustainable, but the truth is, none of them won, and for all of the excitement in the moment, it didn’t feel anything like this.In other individual sports, there’s Mike Weir winning the Masters and Lennox Lewis winning the heavweight championship, Brooke Henderson’s recent triumphs and Ben Johnson and Donovan Bailey and a long list of Olympians who at least temporarily captured the country’s heart.None of those, though, came so quickly, so out of the blue.Emotionally, the can’t-stop-smiling part of this feels closest to the Raptors’ championship, not just because of She The North, but by the way something went from specific to universal so quickly, by the way it became one big, ecstatic social-media driven national hug.And now to figure out who this young woman is, since there hasn’t really been time for that. Even the marketers are scrambling to catch up.You will hear very much in the coming days about her parents and their classic, immigrant story (not a bad time to be reminded of just how Canadian that story is….), about her little dog Coco, about her coach Sylvain Bruneau, about her dogged rise through the ranks when no one was paying attention, about the sacrifices made, about her diet and training regimen, about how she might fare in Melbourne in January, about how she’ll approach the red clay of Roland Garros or the grass courts of Wimbledon next summer, about what it will be like to return to New York as a defending champion, with expectations turned on their head.How Andreescu handles that whirlwind will be telling. But absolutely no one is doubting that she has the tools, and the varied, nuanced game, to continue to succeed at this level.At age 19, it’s understandable that Andreescu doesn’t really have the words to describe what she’s living through. In some ways, she is processing it along with the rest of us.But there is a look in her eyes that, in the context of what we have just witnessed, speaks to a level of confidence that only the greatest athletes possess. It’s as if she was shocked by the moment, yet absolutely unsurprised by the result.Amazing enough when it comes from a Tom Brady or Sidney Crosby. On a whole other level when it comes from a teenager who has never been this way before.Emotionally, it might never be so sweet and fresh and beautiful again, and Canadian sports fans have been historically conditioned to wait for bubbles to burst.But there’s nothing to dread here. Instead sit back, savour what we’ve just witnessed, and imagine the journey to come.last_img read more

Jennifer Garner Finds The Words For Save The Children

first_imgOn International Literacy Day on Sept. 8, Save the Children will join forces with actor and artist ambassador Jennifer Garner and other stars to host a day-long virtual word-a-thon and bring attention to the poverty-induced early learning gap.Video: Jennifer Garner #FindtheWordsThe event is part of the organization’s newly launched #FindtheWords campaign, designed to give voice to children in poverty who hear 30 million fewer words by age three than children from well-off families.“Every child has something to say, but 250 million children living in poverty in the United States and around the world don’t have the words they need,” said Jennifer Garner in a recently released public service announcement. An avid supporter of early childhood education, Garner will hold a virtual Q&A during the word-a-thon. “In this back-to-school season, please join me in supporting Save the Children to help kids in need #FindtheWords.”Leading up to the big day, 30 of the top influencers in the blogosphere have been riling up their audiences and garnering support through Save the Children’s 30 Days/30 Words blogger challenge. To raise awareness, each blogger has written a post highlighting a specific, meaningful word. The 30 posts in 30 days symbolize the 30 million words too many kids miss out on.“Each and every one of us can make a difference in the lives of all those children who continue to fall behind before they even start school,” said Save the Children president and CEO Carolyn Miles. “We call on all Americans to join us on Sept. 8 in helping shed light on this early learning crisis — we all have a favorite word, so post yours and tag it #FindtheWords.”Save the Children provides kids from poverty-stricken communities in the United States and around the world with access to books, essential learning support and a literacy-rich environment, setting them up for success in school and a brighter future. The organization’s domestic and global education programs receive support from a variety of corporate funders, including Bulgari, Carter’s, IKEA, Mattel, OshKosh B’gosh, Primrose Schools, PVH, Scholastic and T.J.Maxx.To learn more about Save the Children’s #FindtheWords campaign and how to get involved, visit www.SavetheChildren.org/FindtheWords.last_img read more