Mission Supervisor Aims for Higher Safety Standards With Fire Legislation

first_img 0% Mission Supervisor David Campos introduced amendments to the city’s fire, building and housing codes on Thursday morning that he said could not only help prevent fires, but ensure that low-income tenants aren’t permanently displaced by them. Campos’s proposal would mandate that landlords prove that their annual inspections of fire alarms are up to date and that records are made publically available.“The key here is to empower the public so they know what’s happening in these buildings,” said Campos, addressing a small crowd of tenants displaced by fire and their advocates during a City Hall press conference.Following a string of fires in recent years that have displaced some 194 people and killed three more in the Mission District alone, Campos pushed the city to form a task force in 2015 to prioritize and address urgent fire safety concerns. The proposals announced Thursday are drawn from the task force’s recommendations. Currently, the city’s Fire Code requires building owners to have fire alarm systems maintained, inspected and tested annually.Tenant advocates present at the press conference cheered for an amendment to the Building Code that would require landlords of fire-damaged buildings with three or more units to put together an “action plan” laying out information for displaced tenants wishing to retrieve their belongings and eventually return to their homes.This plan would include a detailed a timeline for building repairs to give tenants a sense of when they could count on moving back to their restored units.“I’ve seen cases where tenants have minimal damage to their property, only to lose everything because their unit was not secured after a fire,” said Lucas Solorzano, a counselor with the tenants rights clinic Causa Justa.  “Folks were left high and dry because systems weren’t properly developed.”Under this action plan, landlords will have 72 hours after the posting of a Notice of Violation to notify the department of building inspectors of the steps taken to secure their tenants’ personal property.The current lack of such a mandate has further exacerbated the chaos and loss experienced by survivors in the wake of two major Mission fires. Nancy Lopez, an 81-year-old resident displaced from the fire-damaged Graywood SRO Hotel at Mission and 29th streets, reported last week that looters had entered the building and stolen her jewelry and other personal items because the hotel had not been properly secured. Looting was also reported after a four-alarm fire a on 22nd and Mission streets displaced some 60 people and killed one resident in January 2015. The amendments also include higher standards in ensuring that fire alarms work and that tenants are given access to and knowledge of fire alarms in their buildings. “People should be able to hear alarms when they go off, but right now, many alarm systems are in the hallways and common areas,” said Jamie Sanbonmatsu, a senior inspector with the Department of Building Inspections, one of the agencies on the task force. “This is going to make sure that you can hear it in your bedroom, and that will save lives.” The  amendments require landlords with placing fire blocks in attics more than 30 inches in height to prevent the spread of fire from one building to another.“I’ve seen a whole lot of tenants come in whose buildings have been burned, and they have a whole lot of questions,” said Tommi Avicolli Mecca, director of counseling program with the San Francisco Housing Rights Committee. Avicolli Mecca said that while current law provides tenants with the right to return to their rent-controlled units once restorations have been made, he often finds himself unable to answer more immediate questions such as when the displaced tenants will be allowed to enter their buildings to salvage their belongings, or how long repairs will take.“When you go through the trauma of a fire, that’s bad enough. But to have to experience the trauma of not knowing what’s going to happen, it’s just not fair,” he said.Diana Flores, a housing counselor with Causa Justa, called the lack of information provided by landlords to tenants displaced by fire a “communication gap” that Campos’ legislation would help to bridge. Campos said that the action plan would keep “the right level of pressure” on property owners to move them to make the needed repairs quickly, and also tasked DBI with “re-inspecting” buildings with pending Notices of Violation every 90 days until the issues are addressed. The amendments were heard at the Government Audit and Oversight Committee Thursday morning and will move in front of the full Board of Supervisors next Tuesday. On that date, Campos said he plans to introduce a “legislative package” that includes asking the city legislative analyst to “conduct a report” looking into the feasibility of increasing the use of fire sprinkler systems. center_img Tags: 22nd Street fire • David Campos • displacement • firefighters • Fires • housing • tenants Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%last_img read more

Read More →

Photo Essay Walking Home Snaps

first_imgAs I walk home from a visit I snap away……….Photo by Kathleen NarruhnPhoto by Kathleen NarruhnPhoto by Kathleen Narruhn 0% Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%center_img Photo by Kathleen NarruhnPhoto by Kathleen NarruhnPhoto by Kathleen NarruhnPhoto by Kathleen NarruhnPhoto by Kathleen NarruhnPhoto by Kathleen NarruhnPhoto by Kathleen NarruhnPhoto by Kathleen NarruhnPhoto by Kathleen NarruhnPhoto by Kathleen NarruhnPhoto by Kathleen Narruhn last_img

Read More →

VIDEO Inmates at SF jail reflect on Thanksgiving over a meal

first_img 0% A group of inmates at San Francisco’s maximum security Jail #4 celebrated Thanksgiving this year through an in-custody program, Discovering Your True Self. Men choose to join the program, which meets weekly.Volunteers bought, cooked and served the Thanksgiving meal to the 40 men who participate in the program. The population of Jail #4 changes daily, but on the eve of Thanksgiving, 315 men were being held there. In 2016, 48 percent of city’s jail population was black, though only six percent of the city’s population is black.From the County Jail: Tags: food • thanksgiving Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%last_img

Read More →

Calls to boycott Phoenix Pub after owner fires seven female employees

first_img 0% Tags: bars • Business • valencia street Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0% It’s not the first time Power has fired employees without giving a reason. All three of the employees Mission Local spoke to had been fired without explanation in 2014, including Poulin. Last Sunday, she said, Power showed up and told her the pub was closing for good, and that she and the other six female employees would find their checks in the mail. “He went into the kitchen and started talking to them, so I thought he meant everyone,” she said.  But the rest of the staff remained, and an hour later at around 4 p.m., she checked the bar’s security cameras. The doors were back open and “a new girl” was behind the bar, serving customers. The mass firing, she said, boiled down to Power suspecting the bar staff — primarily composed of female employees — of stealing booze or giving it away too freely. She said that notion is absurd and accused Power, an absentee owner who resides in Novato, of being paranoid. “He thinks since we are all friends that I was aware that everyone is giving away drinks for free and over-pouring and I was covering their asses and that’s why he’s going out of business,” she said, denying that she and the others were stealing booze. On Monday morning, Mission Local showed an image of the poster to a man who identified himself as the bar’s owner, standing outside the bar on Valencia Street. “I wouldn’t write about that,” he said in an Irish accent. “It’s slander.” A call later placed to Power was not immediately returned. The word on the street, however, is that the Phoenix is indeed tanking. “From what I heard, sales were down very significantly,” said a local bar owner who asked to remain anonymous out of fear of retaliation. “Not a 10 percent drop — like 50 or 60 percent. Their sales were down one year over the next.” The local owner said that was not surprising as, nowadays, bars that serve relatively cheap drinks and food are having trouble covering the rising costs of rent and labor. “With costs so high, we’re going to see dive bars and restaurants that serve cheap food disappear,” the owner said. The owner did not disagree with Powers’ actions. “It didn’t surprise me to see another place have to take drastic measures,” they said. “The calls for boycotting them without known the whole story are premature. It’s really hard.” But the fired employees see it differently. Michele Kramer, who was fired last Sunday, said she has been considering taking legal action. “I can’t give an explanation why it was all us women,” she said. “It’s a lawsuit waiting to happen with an all-female staff.” The 28-year-old Kramer has worked for the Phoenix off and on, most recently for the last six months. Four years ago, the same thing happened to her. “I had been working there for a year, he called me on a whim and fired me,” she said. “He gave no reason.” “I live in one of the most expensive cities in the country, and to be let go on a whim’s notice is disheartening,” she added. “To have this happen before and have it happen again … it’s had a pretty shitty effect.” Likewise, Power fired Ashley Melanson in 2014, a month after Kramer. He did not give a reason, she said.  “I was fired, along with at least four others four years ago, but this didn’t happen all at once, they were one at a time over the span of a few weeks,” she said in an email. Like the others, Melanson said she agreed with a boycott. “I do not believe Eugene Power deserves anyone’s hard-earned money; he clearly has no respect or concern for the seven women he fired,” she said. “I would be very happy if he continues to lose business.”  Some customers are already jumping ship. Liam Passmore, one of a group of some 20 people who migrate to the Phoenix after their weekend tennis matches at Mission Playground, wrote a letter to Power after he learned of the incident. In it, he says he and the 13 others who signed it would be going elsewhere this past weekend. “I pointed out … that he’s making it hard to be loyal to the restaurant by treating his employees so callously,” Passmore said. “And, indeed, this weekend we went somewhere else.”Boycott poster. center_img Signs have gone up in the Mission urging patrons to boycott the Phoenix Irish Pub on Valencia Street to protest a decision by its owner to fire seven female employees. The signs read: “Shitty business practices!! The owner fired entire female bar staff (not male staff) without any warning or reason and lied about closing the bar, only to reopen the same day with all new staff. There are other bars nearby don’t give this bar your money!” While it is unclear who is posting them or who is calling for the boycott, they do summarize the accusations Phoenix’s former manager, Marissa Poulin, has lodged against the pub’s owner, Eugene Power. Poulin, who had worked there for nearly a decade, was among those fired. “Ten years of loyalty working for him and he just fires the entire crew for no reason,” Poulin wrote in a long screed that was also shared with Broke-Ass Stuart, who wrote about the incident last week. last_img read more

Read More →

STEVE Prescott MBE and Apollo Perelini were named

first_imgSTEVE Prescott MBE and Apollo Perelini were named as the Hall of Fame 2013 class this week.They were induced into the Ty-Phoo Hall of Fame at a special ceremony at Langtree Park as the Lounge was officially opened.Ray French told the guests that it was a special night to open the Lounge and that the club goes out of its way to help past players.“The club has the strongest Past Players Association in the game,” he added.Representing the Hall of Fame, he ushered in Apollo and Steve for their outstanding contributions to the Club.Apollo, who made 193 appearances for the Saints, said: “I wasn’t expecting to be inducted into such a prestigious Hall. My best memory has to be the 1996 Challenge Cup Final.“We hadn’t won it for a while and when Bernard Dwyer scored for Bradford we were behind the sticks looking at each other. We thought we were done. In my mind I remembered we had done a reading from the Bible in the morning.“Then Bobbie Goulding made those kicks and I started to believe. Later on Vila Matautia turned to me and said let’s finish it off and I asked God to do it through me. I then scored. It was the best occasion of my career.”Steve Prescott was also emotional when he received his citation.“I didn’t expect this to happen,” he said. “I thought I was coming to help open the Lounge. It is a brilliant occasion and to be in the Hall of Fame, I am moved by it all.“I still have a long battle ahead but I have so many great memories of this club and my career. That game Apollo mentioned, I thought we were dead and buried but we came back.“I scored two in the first 18 minutes and then got one chance late on – but Simon Booth scooped the ball up in front of me. We really wanted to win that day for the club and fans and I remember jumping on Apollo’s back when he went over.“This club has great history and is going places.”last_img read more

Read More →

SAINTS welcomed a new member of the Rugby League m

first_imgSAINTS welcomed a new member of the Rugby League media to its ranks on Friday.Ben Holmes, 11, joined Media Manager Mike Appleton for a special press experience at the game with Bradford.He won the unique prize because he is a Junior Saint – and he certainly took full advantage of the opportunity.Not only did he pen a match report, which you can read below, but he also got the chance to grill Head Coach Nathan Brown after the game.So here is Ben’s report:Saints Vs Bradford Bulls k.o. 8 pm Saints start off with a penalty, but Bradford keep Saints attack at bay. Both teams battle hard for ten mins until Mark Flanagan flicks the ball to James Roby and he scores. Mark Percival converts 6-0 Saints.Saints score two tries one by Paul Wellens and another Masoe both converted by Percival, Saints 18 Bradford 0. Bradford break and good defence work by Saints help them regain the ball. Saints pass the ball out wide for Percival to score, but he misses the conversion, Saints 22 Bradford 0. A try by Adam Swift and another conversion by Percival, half time score Saints 28 Bradford Bulls 0. Saints come in to the second half 28-0 up, Louis McCarthy-Scarsbrook breaks and passes the ball to Hohaia who scores and Percival converts 34-0.Saints score again with Tommy Makinson’s first try, converted to give Saints 40 point lead. Saints take the foot off the pedal allowing Bradford to score four tries in 15 mins. Three out of four converted by Jamie Foster. Then Wellens gets the ball and scores his second and last of the match, to secure Saints a win. Final score Saints 44 Bradford Bulls 22. Sia Soliola gets man of the match. Masoe has his best game with some strong runs. Top game from Wellens as usual.last_img read more

Read More →

SAINTS U19s accomplished their goal at Langtree Pa

first_imgSAINTS U19s accomplished their goal at Langtree Park on Thursday evening securing second spot in the table with a commanding 40-12 display and a second win in a month over derby rivals Warrington, writes Graham Henthorne.The reward is a trip to the Halliwell Jones in a fortnight for yet another dual but the stakes then are not two league points but a trip direct to the Grand Final.Confidence for that game will be high after such a complete performance over the visitors. The Saints were only really troubled for two five minute periods in each half both of which were due to poor play from themselves.The opening quarter saw the Saints pack set their stall out producing twice as much possession as the Wolves with a combination of punishing runs and bone crushing defence.The opening set saw Greg Richards and Luke Thompson batter their way into the Wolves line carrying the message that this was going to be long old evening for them.The opening score came via a piece of sublime skill from Lewis Charnock after a Wolves knock on had given the Saints a scrum on the Wolves 30. Thompson and Matty Fozard were stopped short and on the last Charnock chipped the ball to the corner for Lewis Galbraith to catch and touch down unopposed.The visitors were trying to slow down the Saints play the ball but were pinged for two consecutive penalties which put the Saints on the front foot. Fozard, Thompson and Savelio were stopped short on the left but as the ball was spread right each man engaged their opposite number before Matty Fleming put Adam Saunders in at the corner.The Wolves opened their account courtesy of a cross kick after two silly penalties had gifted them position but this was a minor blip on Saints’ radar as normal service was resumed with the reintroduction off the bench of Richards. From their own 20 metre restart the Saints marched down field and quick hands from Thompson and Ricky Bailey put Fleming in at the corner. Charnock missed his only conversion of the night to leave a 10 point gap at the break.“Keep them out and you’ve won” was the call at the break but the opening few minutes saw that go out of the window as poor tackling allowed the visitors to stroll 70 metres down the middle for a simple try under the sticks and a reduction in the lead to four points.However, the wind was taken out of the Wolves sails with a lucky try for Jonah Cunningham. A Charnock chip to the corner on the last was fumbled by the winger after a great chase and challenge from Morgan Knowles. The ball bobbled about until Cunningham managed to touch down his own kick before it rolled dead.The very next set saw a great kick chase from Saunders and he was rewarded with a repeat set. The Saints were again dominating possession and territory and after another strong drive from Richards Cunningham burrowed his way through four defenders for his second.The Saints survived a ten minutes spell down to twelve men when Charnock was rather harshly sin binned for tackling the man after the call of held and on his return cut loose to score two classic tries.The first was a 60 metres scamper down the right form Saunders outpacing the winger to score, the second a remarkable 80 metre run down the middle of the pitch from Thompson. He charged onto the ball like every prop should burst through the line then proceeded to ignore the cries of his support and take on and beat first the full back and then both wingers covering back to score at the sticks in front of the adoring West Stand.As satisfying as this performance and victory was the Saints know that they will have to go up a notch in a fortnight as they face the Wolves yet again. But there has to be a nagging doubt in the minds of every Wolves player that of the four matches they’ve lost this season half of them have been comfortable defeats at the hands of the Saints.Match Summary:Saints U19s:Tries: Adam Saunders 2, Matty Fleming, Lewis Galbraith, Luke Thompson, Jonah Cunningham 2.Goals: Lewis Charnock 6.Warrington U19s:Tries: Toby King, Ryan Maneely.Goals: Declan Patton 2.Half Time: 16-6Full Time: 40-12Teams:Saints:1. Ricky Bailey; 2. Adam Saunders, 4. Matty Fleming, 3. Jake Spedding, 5. Lewis Galbraith; 6. Danny Richardson, 7. Dave Hewitt; 8. Greg Richards, 9. Lewis Charnock, 10. Luke Thompson, 11. Olly Davies, 12. André Savelio, 13. Matty Fozard. Subs: 14. Jonah Cunningham, 15. Morgan Knowles, 17. Joe Ryan, 19. Phil Atherton.Warrington:1. Declan Kay; 2. Jack Johnson, 3. Harvey Livett, 4. Toby King, 5. Jake Eccleston; 6. Declan Patton, 7. Louis Jouffret; 32. Tom Walker, 9. Ryan Maneely, 10. George King, 11. James Jones, 12. Sam Wilde, 13. Andy Philbin. Subs: 14. Robert Holroyd, 15. Alex Whalley, 16. Daniel Murray, 17. Daniel Hurst.last_img read more

Read More →

Cooper The monuments should come down WWAY asks local lawmakers about it

first_img “These monuments should come down,” says Governor Roy Cooper in his public address.A Tuesday statement by Governor Roy Cooper is a new issue for the Republican led General Assembly.“The North Carolina legislature must repeal a 2015 law that prevents removal or relocation of monuments,” says the Governor.We reached out to state lawmakers, hearing from Representative Deb Butler. Whether it’s for a political statement or for safety of the structures, she is in favor of a change.“Yes I think the General Assembly should vote on this issue and I do support the Governor, communities, each and every community needs to curate its own space,” says Rep. Butler adding, “and so it’s not for the General Assembly to decide what happens in Burlington, or Fayetteville or Lumberton, each community needs to decided and that law is in the way.”Changing the 2015 law enacted by then Governor Pat McCrory would take a new piece of legislation to move through both the House and Senate.“Certainly it may be on the agenda, I look forward to seeing what happens when we get back, I don’t know if we have time in this session, it’ll probably be next yea,” says the District 18 representative.We reached out to several lawmakers on the Republican side of the aisle but none returned our calls or emails on the issue. Senator Bill Rabon even left out of the back door during a meeting in Southport we attended and requested to interview him at.Representative Butler had this to say surrounding the morning vandalism on the monuments.“Any kind of vandalism is not appropriate.”We also reached out to state leaders in the GOP for comment but no calls were returned. WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) –  The Governor wants to move forward in removing confederate monuments.some local lawmakers support his position on the issue.It’s an issue lawmakers had to deal with back in 2015. That was under a different Governor and now a much different direction.- Advertisement – last_img read more

Read More →

EXTRAORDINARY PEOPLE The Speedy Sweetie

first_img It’s not easy working in such a sweet place. “And the glazed of course, when it’s hot it’s the best, melts in your mouth,” she continued.Bbut Markeyta Bostic has “toughed” it out for five years now at the Krispy Kreme on South College Road in Wilmington.  “Awesome. It’s very awesome,” she said of her job.And when that signature red sign turns on? “Everybody comes in, it’s like they play tag, tag you’re it, let’s go get donuts,” Markeyta laughed.Related Article: Join WWAY for annual One-Day Blitz to help restock Salvation Army’s food pantryIt’s a good thing this donut shop has one of the fastest donut box packers in the biz!  “I don’t know, I’ve always been a fast packer,” she said of her super fast talent. “I guess I don’t like seeing the long lines. Makes me want to move fast.”How fast? “They’ve timed me before,” she explained. “I’ve packed a dozen donuts in seven seconds.”  Seven seconds. So why not put her on the spot and put her to the test while the camera was rolling.  “3, 2, 1, GO!” Markeyta packed a dozen in an easy 8 seconds. But truth be told, the time was probably a little faster as Daniel’s fingers on the stopwatch weren’t as quick as Markeyta’s fingers on the donuts.Markeyta Bostic, and everyone who helped make the WWAY One-Day Blitz to benefit the Salvation Army another record breaker for the 3rd straight year, you are EXTRAORDINARY!By the way, in 2016 we set a record by collecting more than 25,000 pounds of food and nearly $700 in cash.That record no longer stands. Maj. Mark Craddock with The Salvation Army says the community came together and donated 33,100 pounds of food to restock shelves for 2017. That’s 16.55 tons of food and tens of thousands of donuts given out as a thank you! WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The WWAY One-Day Blitz benefiting the Salvation Army was such a success it had the folks inside Krispy Kreme in overdrive trying to get the donuts out the door as soon as they are ordered.  WWAY’s Daniel Seamans found our Extraordinary Person of the Week inside making sure the sweet treats were delivered as fast as possible.“Temptation?  I love the cake batter donut. It taste just like cake ice cream. It’s so good,” Markeyta Bostic told Daniel Seamans.- Advertisement – last_img read more

Read More →

NC Utilities Commission approves water service rate increase for Hampstead residents

first_imgHAMPSTEAD, NC (WWAY) — Despite a public hearing where Pender County residents spoke out about a proposed water rate hike, the North Carolina Utilities Commission approved the request.The residents of Belvedere Plantation in Hampstead have complained about discolored water and other issues in recent months.- Advertisement – The Utilities Commission determined that Carolina Water Service of North Carolina provides “adequate” service and approved the requested rate increase.Many residents are unhappy about this, but would not speak on camera.One woman, Kate Combs, says her water has improved recently, so she isn’t as worried about the increase as some of her neighbors are.Related Article: Power bills rising for Duke Energy Carolinas households“They don’t seem to understand that this is an inconvenience that we’re fortunate to have, because we already have good water running to our houses. It could be a lot worse, we could have no water, we could have GenX, we don’t have any of that,” said Combs.The new rates will provide CWSNC a thirteen percent annual increase in revenues.last_img read more

Read More →

Brunswick County man accused of beating and biting toddler

first_imgCody Lee Banks (Photo: Brunswick Co. Sheriff’s Office) BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — A Brunswick County man is accused of abusing his 2-year-old child.Cody Lee Banks, 20, of King Road NE in Leland, is charged with two counts of intentional child abuse-serious physical injury.- Advertisement – According to the arrest warrant, Banks assaulted the child which resulted in “bruises on victim’s back and bottom area, arms, legs, and other places on body” and on the child’s face, he left a “bite mark on left side.”The alleged crimes happened between January 26 and January 31.Banks is in the Brunswick County Detention Facility under $100,000 bond.Related Article: Man charged in $5M gold heist, reward offered for capturelast_img

Read More →

Students organize donation dropoff distribution site

first_img They brought food, baby products, clothes and cleaning supplies for victims in need. The students say they plan to donate any leftover items. 00:00 00:00 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) — Students from around North Carolina are pitching in to help victims of Hurricane Florence. One group even came to Wilmington to set up their own distribution site.Students from NC State University set up at the Pine Valley Church of God Saturday afternoon.- Advertisement – last_img read more

Read More →

Updated Debonos stepping back seen as common sense by Cutajar

first_imgDr Kevin Cutajar the PN 2017 election candidate eyeing the Parliamentary seat relinquished by David Stellini reacted positively to the decision of Jean Pierre Debono to step back from the same parliamentary seat.Cutajar, in a comment to Newsbook.com.mt, described Debono’s decision as a step in the right direction and a win for common sense. He reiterated his belief that since Stellini was voted in by the Gozitans so his seat should be retained by a Gozitan.The saga so farEarlier today, Monday, Jean Pierre Debono advised PN Leader Adrian Delia that he will not be taking the oath of office in Parliament to take up the place vacated by David Stellini.Last Saturday the Executive Committee voted 42 to 40 in favour of Jean Pierre Debono to take over the seat vacated by David Stellini. The defeated candidate was Kevin Cutajar.This decision brought a massive negative reaction particularly from the thirteenth district, that is Gozo. Chris Said MP, said that he is mulling his next move to counter the decision of the Executive Committee.The PN Regional Committee for Gozo on Sunday evening challenged the legality of the decision. The former chair of the Executive Committee, Mark Anthony Sammut, said that neither David Stellini nor the party treasurer David Camilleri had the right to vote, though they voted.Sunday late evening the PN Whip advised the Clerk of the House that the PN was requesting that the vote on the election scheduled for Monday morning be adjourned for a future sitting.Earlier Monday David Camilleri tendered in his resignation.The MZPN described the situation as untenable.I will not take Stellini’s seat – DebonoJean Pierre Debono advised PN Leader Adrian Delia that he will not be taking the oath of office in parliament to take up the place vacated by David Stellini. In a lengthy letter to Delia, Debono put the blame of all that occurred during this eventful weekend on  what he described as ‘that faction which never accepted your democratic election as leader of the party”. He said that this group was waging a bitter struggle to attack and discredit him personally since he had relinquished his parliamentary seat to facilitate Delia’s co-option. He denied having anything to do with the voting process for the co-option.“I do not want these people to destroy the party or to undermine both its credibility and yours, particularly in such a sensitive moment, by using my co-option into Stellini’s vacated seat as an excuse” wrote Debono.Debono called the alleged existence of some private written agreement as ‘pure fabrication’ and that the co-option was open to anyone who wanted to contest the seat. He denied allegations of lucrative compensation for the seat he himself had vacated. “These lies are the fabrications of a person who should know better and who should never have let district rivalry give rise to such serious and libelous allegations, which are also completely unfounded”Read Also: PN requests Speaker to postpone motion to co-opt DebonoUpdated: Gozitan seat fraudulently stolen – former PN Executive President SammutPN treasurer in voting controversy; PN reactsThe current situation is untenable – MZPNRead the letter here 20190306-Ittra-Jean-Pierre-DebonoWhatsApp <a href=’http://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/ck.php?n=ab2c8853&amp;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’https://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=97&amp;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a> SharePrintlast_img read more

Read More →

Busquets extends his contract with Barcelona

first_imgSergio Busquets has signed a new five-year deal with the reigning La Liga champions. The new contract will run until June 2023 and includes a buyout clause set at €500m. The hard-working midfielder has almost played 500 matches since making his first-team debut in 2008.A product of Barcelona’s youth academy, better known as La Masia, the Spaniard has won 28 trophies in 11 seasons, including seven league titles, six Spanish cups and three Champions Leagues. Busquets has also featured 109 times for Spain and was part of the team that triumphed at the 2010 World Cup and at Euro 2012.WhatsApp <a href=’http://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/ck.php?n=a7617b59&amp;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’https://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=128&amp;cb={random}&amp;n=a7617b59&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a> SharePrintlast_img read more

Read More →

Mobile Phones in Health care in SubSaharan Africa

first_imgAdvertisement IntroductionThere has been a tremendous increase in mobile phone diffusion in developing countries. Statistics from the International Telecommunication Union (2007) suggests that there are now more mobile phone users in the developing world than in the developed world. In countries like Uganda, it is estimated that, there are mobile phone subscriptions have increased by 1700 percent between 2002 and 2008; the mobile phone subscriptions per 100 inhabitants in 2002 was 1.51, and that of 2008 was 27.2 (ITU, 2008). This phenomenal global diffusion of mobile phones in developing countries has sparked debates on how developing countries can effectively harness this innovation for development (Heeks and Jagun, 2008).It has been argued that mobile phones have a multi-stranded impact on the poor and hence there is a need for a more comprehensive approach to conceptualize the link between mobiles and development (Duncome and Boateng, 2009; Boateng, 2010). – Advertisement – Our attempt to address this imbalance begins with a study on exploring the use of mobiles in health care in a developing country, Uganda. The need for affordable and accessible health care services in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) and its rural areas is critical. The current health statistics are not encouraging. First, the primary challenge is the lack of well-trained medical health professionals and facilities. Many rural areas are without physicians especially specialists. On an average, most countries in SSA have less than 20 doctors per 100,000 people and a majority of new medical doctors and nurses seek for jobs in richer countries (WHO, 2006; WHO, 2008). Moreover, where accessibility to health care exists, affordability becomes another issue. The inhabitants of SSA only spend an average of US$ 6 per capita compared to US$ 287, US$ 250 and US$ 273 per capita, respectively in the United States, the European Union and Japan (WHO, 2008). Health care services are therefore beyond the reach and means of many rural areas. Second, sub-Saharan Africa’s epidemics vary significantly from country to country in both scale and scope. Recent statistics suggest that diabetes and HIV seem to be the overriding health problem in this sub region of the world. An estimated 1.9 million people were newly infected with HIV in sub-Saharan Africa in 2007. In total, 22 million people are living with HIV in the region, which is two thirds (67%) of the global population of people with HIV (AVERT, 2008). Another killer disease that is plaguing SSA is malaria. Approximately 60% of the population of SSA live in endemic areas and are at risk for malaria. 9 out of 10 of malaria deaths occur in sub-Saharan Africa, the majority being children. Further, the WHO estimates that in every 30 seconds a child dies of malaria in Africa (WHO, 2009a). The socio-economical impact of this situation is felt across sectors of activities – agriculture, education, industry, transport, and human resources. With these resource challenges, a preventive approach to healthcare in sub-Saharan Africa. However, health education, which plays a major role in the prevention of many diseases, is often ineffective or nonexistent. E-medicine has been proposed as a reasonable approach that offers a set of new and innovative health solutions applicable to resource-poor environments (Kifle et al., 2006; Kingue et al. 2008). E-medicine is defined as the use of telecommunication and information technology to provide health care to people who are separated by geography and distance from the provider. In these resource-poor settings, the approach is to examine how low-cost, low-tech and more accessible technologies like telephones and mobile phones can be used to enhance efforts in a preventive approach to healthcare. Such technologies underpin opportunities for health education and monitoring patient compliance. E-medicine opens a new avenue to address and fill the existing gap.Our study seeks to explore the preliminary lessons in the use of mobiles to promote access to health care information in Uganda. The project under study is the AppLab Uganda Project. The Application Laboratory is an initiative of the Grameen Foundation. AppLab Uganda leverages MTN’s network of over 10,000 Village Phone Operators to test and deliver mobile information services to rural communities. Grameen Foundation, Google, and MTN Uganda have been working together since September, 2007 to build the physical, human, and technological infrastructure needed to support the initiative. In Uganda, the AppLab runs The Health Tips Application which educates users by answering common questions about sexual and reproductive health. It provides users with timely, trusted, accurate, and actionable information. The application also provides information on sexual and reproductive topics pertinent to adolescents, such as body changes and sexual abstinence. The project completed its pilot phase in 2009 and has since been rolled-out nationally.This study explores the impact or ‘potential impact’ of the Health care Tips Application in health care in Uganda. It details the health care outcomes and the challenges in deploying and managing the application in the developing country. The underpinning research question of this study is, how can mobile phones be used to support health care activities and what is the potential impact?Research MethodsThe study used a mixed methods approach. First, a case study approach to document AppLab project and develop in-depth understanding of the usage and impact of Google SMS Health Tips Application (GSHTA) among a cross-section of users. Data was obtained through 13 semi-structured interviews with the project manager of the AppLab project; two personnel of the MTN Village Phone project; a representative of one of the content developers, Straight Talk; and with nine users comprising of three students, two lecturers, two information technology (IT) journalists, one IT manager and one medical doctor. A focused group discussion was also conducted with six of the users and the project manager of the AppLab project. The objective of the focus group was to create a forum for discussing the project objectives and user perceptions and experiences. Interviews were recorded, transcribed and coded into themes to develop constructs explaining the usage and impact of GSHTA.Second, in a follow-up to the case study, a survey was conducted on the usage and impact of GSHTA on larger population of potential users. The survey sought to test the strength of the constructs from the case study on a larger population of users. The potential users were randomly selected from two campuses of two leading tertiary educational institutions in Kampala, Uganda. Educational institutions were selected as an appropriate site for study since GSHTA was primarily targeted to young adults. The 20 item questionnaire was administered to 149 users. The response rate was a minimum of 95 percent across all the questions on the questionnaire. Data was analysed through a descriptive statistics – frequency and cross-tabulation – to develop understanding mobile phone usage behaviour of users and the usage and impact of GSHTA. About UgandaLocated at the geographical heart of Africa, Uganda is a cultural melting pot with more than 30 different indigenous languages. This country, known as the “Pearl of Africa,” is appreciated for its scenery, large gorilla populations, and national parks. With a national population of 32 million, its capital Kampala services the diverse cultural mosaic of music, art, and heritage.Since President Yoweri Museveni’s electoral victory in 1986, Uganda has experienced relative stability and economic growth, shown by its expansion of roads and communications and increase in international tourist arrivals. More than 80% of the workforce is employed through the agriculture sector. However, Uganda’s services industry accounts for more than 50% of the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP). The landlocked country contains natural resources, including fertile soils, regular rainfall, copper, and gold.Nearly 50% of the nation’s population is between the ages of 15-64. With an average 53-year life expectancy at birth, Ugandans are faced with healthcare issues deriving from infectious diseases such as, malaria, Hepatitis A, and typhoid fever. Uganda is a successful model for Africa in the fight against the HIV/AIDS epidemic. In the 1990s, the HIV/AIDS prevalence rate was nearly 29% in urban areas. The current HIV/AIDS prevalence in Uganda is estimated at 7%. Government leadership, broad-based partnerships, and effective public education campaigns all contributed to the decline. Despite the remarkable decrease, an estimated 1.1 million people are still living with HIV/AIDS in Uganda, which includes 120,000 children. Devastating consequences, including social and economic, continue to affect the country. In 2008, 61,000 people died from AIDS and 1.2 million children were orphaned.Uganda has a strong cultural heritage since people from various origins inhabit the region. The residents are hospitable, and each of the native tribes has its own song and dances for various occasions. Traditions also are expressed through a wide range of arts and crafts made from wood and papyrus reeds.AppLab Uganda’s Health Care ApplicationsAppLab Uganda is made possible through collaboration between Grameen Foundation, Google and MTN Uganda. This partnership taps into the core expertise of each organization. The Grameen Foundation has extensive experience using technology as an enabler for building sustainable and scalable business models designed to improve the lives and livelihoods of the poor. Google is the worldwide leader in search technology, organizing the world’s information and making it accessible. MTN operates the platform of Village Phone Operators and Shared Phone Operators in Uganda – a unique distribution channel for reaching underserved markets, as well as the communication infrastructure serving the whole country. AppLab Uganda provides a service known as Google SMS. Google SMS is a group of mobile applications that allows users to find information. Google SMS facilitates three applications – Information Tips Application, General Web Search and Google Trader – in Uganda. The information tips application allows users to simply text message a search query to 6001, and the application will text message back the results. Users can use this SMS application to obtain information on health care and agriculture. The General web search application users to search for anything on the worldwide web through Google SMS. Users text queries to 6007. The Google Trader application is a trading platform were users can buy and sell goods and services through SMS. Users register, make submissions and query the trading platform by texting to 6002. Google SMS is currently free from Google but charges from your carrier for usage may apply. Text queries to the Information Tips application (6001) are also currently free.This study focuses on the use of Google SMS in health care. Google SMS Health Tips and Google SMS Clinic Finder enable users to find a information on sexual and reproductive health care and to locate health care facilities in Uganda respectively. Uganda has a high demand for information on HIV/AIDS, sexually transmitted infections, and reproductive health. Uganda’s Ministry of Health estimates the adult prevalence of HIV/AIDS (15-49 years) in 2005 was 7.0% (Uganda HIV/AIDS Sero-Behavioural Survey, May 2005). The accuracy of information sexual and reproductive health care is essential to dispel local myths and help them make informed decisions. The Health Tips Application educates users by answering common questions about sexual and reproductive health. It is aimed that the information provided should be timely, accurate and actionable. For example, users can text “Health pregnancy” to learn what to do if you are pregnant and how to prepare for a safe labor.The Clinic Finder offers a directory providing the details of local clinics, including the types of services offered as well as the hours of operation. This searchable directory makes it easier for users to find appropriate medical assistance. For example, users can text “Clinic Kampala” to locate health facilities in Kampala. The application also enables patients to find answers to questions that arise after treatment.The content for the health care tips application is provided through two local partners; Marie Stopes Foundation Uganda and Straight Talk. Marie Stopes Uganda is a leader in Sexual and Reproductive Health and provides content for the Health Tips and Clinic Finder Service. Straight Talk is a leader in health communication in Uganda and provides content for the Health Tips and Clinic Finder Service. How Mobile Phones Support Health CareFigure 1 Conceptual Model of Mobile Phones in Health Care in UgandaThe above model proposes that through applications mobiles phones can be used to support preventive and curative health care activities. Preventive health care activities cover health education and promotion to prevent the occurrence of illness or curb and control the outbreak of illness. Curative care activities cover treatment and post-treatment activities. Curative care also includes information and communication strategies which will enhance compliance to medical regimens and recommendations. We conceptualize mobile phones to have two effects – incremental and transformative – on compliance intervention strategies. Incremental effects characterize the effects from using mobile phones to enhance current preventive and curative health care activities. For example, mobile phones may enhance activities such as telephone education, feedback, scheduled appointments, monitoring, and reminders. In the case of the Google SMS it is primarily used to educate and provide information to access health facilities.Transformative effects characterize effects from using mobile phones to create something new – new forms of compliance intervention strategies. Transformative effects may include developing new mobile-driven multi-media education strategies, goals and means to change the schemes of thought. For example, “Text to Change,”- is a health non-profit organization running a project in Uganda, where the focus is on HIV/AIDs education as well as the promotion of HIV Counseling and Testing (HCT) services (TextToChange, 2008). In a six week pilot project targeted at 15,000 participants, a total of 255 participants came for HCT services and the response rate for the pilot quiz was on average 17.4% per question. The mobile-enabled HIV/AIDs education contributed to behavior to access HCT services among 255 participants. These examples demonstrate the transformative effects mobile phones may have on health care activities.Based on the model the underpinning research question of this study is, How can mobile phones be used to support health care activities and what is the potential impact?Then as a follow up we also ask that, What are inherent barriers (individual and environmental) to access to health care information and how mobile phones help to address these barriers? Key Field NotesWe will investigateThe motivations behind the project and roles of the partners in UgandaHow the AppLab works?What has been the impact – how has the target audience responded to it? Do Ugandan’s know about it and how often do they use it? Do Ugandan’s find it useful?What are challenges in implementing it?What have been the health care outcomes? What is the perspective of medical doctors and other health professionals concerning the project?Are there any privacy concerns when people access the service through the MTN village phone project?The AppLab project also focuses on trading and weather information, however, our focus is health care. To read more about the project, visit –General Information: http://www.grameenfoundation.applab.org/section/applab-initiativesHealth care tips: http://www.grameenfoundation.applab.org/section/health-appsNews stories: http://www.mariestopes.org.uk/News/UK/Providing_the_answers_in_Uganda.aspxInterview subjects and Institutions we may need to visit and interview: a) MTN Village Phone Project OfficeInterviews and purchase one of the village phone for documentation and exhibit in our research office.b) Grameen Foundation Uganda – AppLab TeamInterviews and demonstrationsc) Marie Stopes UgandaInterviews and follow-ups on their contribution to the projectd) Medical Professionals – nurses, doctors and medical studentsInterviews (5) on the views and perspectives concerning the project and also case stories of how it helped in emergency situationse) MTN Village Phone OperatorsObserve and Interview (10) on the views and perspectives concerning the village phone project, its impact on their livelihoods and use of the Village phone for health care tips (enquiries)e) Different members of general public – lecturers, students, workers, taxi drivers and et ceteraInterviews on the use of mobile phones for medical information, and emergencies; their knowledge of the Health care Tips short code (6001) and the frequency of usage and how it is has helped.PROJECT COORDINATORSRichard Boateng, PhD, ICITD, Southern University, USAVictor Mbarika, PhD, ICITD, Southern University, USAWaswa Balunywa, PhD, Makerere University Business School, UgandaStephen Robert Isabalija, ICITD, Southern University, USACarlos Thomas, ICITD, Southern University, USARESEARCH TEAMSouthern University, USA LaKenya Simpson, Brenda Wu and Shayla PriceMakerere University Business School, Uganda Charles Olupot, Joseph Munuulo, Mariam Naku, and Nulu NaluyombyaPC Tech Magazine, Uganda Albert Mucunguzi and Sandra KukundakweDISCLAIMERThis material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0927688. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.last_img read more

Read More →

Huawei faces severe competition

first_imgAdvertisement Similarly, a tier-2 carrier operates the same way, except it may get a portion of its network from a tier-1 operator by way of a concept known as “peering,” which can be loosely defined as piggybacking onto the network already in place by a tier-1 source.Huawei said it is able to manage the effects of competition and maintain its position in mobile broadband and home convergence by keeping a watchful eye on the fierce competition in the provision of software solutions and applications.Huawei Communications Manager for Southern Africa, Shalate Davhana, said in South Africa the company has a huge uptake of the Huawei IDEOS S7 Slim smartphone, which has started penetrating the market due to its value for money. – Advertisement – “In Kenya, the Huawei IDEOS U8150 is the top selling smartphone, dominating the market ahead of Nokia,” said Davhana.“To date we have sold nearly 100 000 units.  We have launched the same handset in Uganda and are planning to launch in Zambia in August,” said Davhana.Huawei has operations in Kenya, Zambia, Angola, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Namibia. It provides solutions, applications and software to local mobiles and telecoms companies across Africa.“We are not only targeting larger telecom’s companies, but also local distributors in each country who control the retail space, however we do not sell directly to the public,” said Davhana.“Our mobile broadband products are still leading the markets throughout Africa.”Source: itnewsafricalast_img read more

Read More →

Ivory Coasts AMN Co Working Space A boost to innovation

first_imgAdvertisement Founded almost two years ago, the Africaincorp Media Network (AMN) is a co working space located in Ivory Coast’s economic capital of Abidjan and  is aimed firmly at bringing technology businesses and entrepreneurs together in an environment that fosters an atmosphere of co-learning, co-building and give expression to a common set of objectives.Recent figures in Ivory Coast are pegging the number of regular web users at two million; this is combined with 600 officially registered cyber cafés and around 100,000 ADSL subscribers.Frederic Tapé, founder of the AMN co-working space says that while official statistics on computer ownership remain hazy, a confluence of factors, including an inflow of Chinese devices and technology-orientated credit offers by local banks, has added to the growing groundswell of ICT in the West African nation.“We wanted to essentially create a space where events and activities allow for networking, inspiration and an exchange of ideas. We can also see a surge in the number of companies and startups offering services and products in the sub-industries like web marketing, content development, online gaming and many more,” says Tapé. – Advertisement – The Ivorian government is also doing its part to stimulate growth in the technology space as it has almost completed drafting legislation dubbed the e-Gov program.Although the future seems bright for Ivory Coast’s fledgling innovation space, Tapé admits that there are still some challenges that must be faced.“A major hurdle is the lack of qualified and skilled workers in the job market. The school system is not preparing workers, both in terms of quantity and quality, to meet the demands of startups and businesses,” Tapé contends.The innovation hub plans to work to reverse this trend by focusing some of its efforts on high school matriculants and university students.Another issue that the AMN co-working space faced, almost from the start, was that of what Tapé refers to as the ‘loner mentality’. The hub had to work diligently in order to convince entrepreneurs and techies that by becoming a part of the space they could, at the same time, reduce expenses while sharing knowledge and improving upon skills.Membership of AMN begins with an initial interview in order to ascertain both parties’ expectations and visions.“We also discuss the ongoing project or product that the prospective member or startup is working on and its specific needs. If we are in agreement then we make two offers. They either pay the membership package or open their capital and together we collaborate to bring the service of product to the market,” explains Tapé.Currently, the space hosts five startups comprising around 20 people and is busy discussing membership packages with other interested parties. One of these start-ups, called Impulsion, is set to launch an innovative new solution in the coming weeks. Tapé believes that the product, called Impulsclic, will change the nature of how companies and brands communicate online in Ivory Coast.Tape says “until now a single portal has dominated online spending in this country, Impulsclic will change that.”AMN is committed to creating partnerships both locally and abroad while also continuing to host workshops and events that will continue to positively impact the skillsets of the local tech community. In addition, the space will soon be able to rely on a dedicated office co-ordinator who will make sure the members’ needs are met and further growth pursued.Credit: ITWeb Africa and AMN Co Working Spacelast_img read more

Read More →

MTN Group Selects Etisalat SmartHub to Extend Regional Network Reach

first_imgAdvertisement Etisalat, leading telecom operator in the Middle East and Africa today announced its partnership with MTN Group to extend their regional network reach via Etisalat SmartHub.MTN Group, a leading emerging markets telecommunications provider, will connect through Etisalat’s SmartHub at Fujairah CLS to expand its advanced data network capabilities. The South Africa-based multinational company operates in African, European and Middle Eastern countries.Etisalat’s SmartHub provides advanced content, IPX, IX and high speed data services for its customers in the UAE and the region. The new partnership will also enable MTN Group to connect via a new route to Europe, beneficial to its large customer base in the Middle East. – Advertisement – Etisalat’s SmartHub is a global communications hub facilitating direct routing of traffic between the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Europe.Ali Amiri, Executive Vice President, Carrier & Wholesale Services, Etisalat, said: “We are delighted to have such a prestigious telecom group as MTN join the SmartHub community of operators and content providers. SmartHub is designed to provide our partners with a one stop shop for connectivity to the region.“This partnership with MTN Group showcases the importance of the SmartHub as well as puts UAE in the limelight as the regional hub for telecom services. We look forward to a mutually beneficial relationship and enhancing customer experience.”Jyoti Desai, Group Chief Technology and Information Officer, MTN said: “Etisalat’s Smarthub is seen as an important hub in our bid to expand MTN’s world class global multi-services network, as it allows us to provide advanced communication services to our customers in the Middle East and Africa. The rising significance of UAE’s strategic position as the communication network hub for the Middle East and Africa region underpins the importance of this partnership in our expansion plan.”last_img read more

Read More →

Event Registration for Facebooks developer conference F8 now open

first_imgMark Zuckerberg CEO and Founder of Facebook giving a keynote in the last years Facebook’s developer conference. Image Credit: convoagency Advertisement Social media giant Facebook is hosting F8 on April 12th to 13th, 2016 in San Francisco for their annual global developer conference.Facebook is hosting the annual global developer conference, F8 in San Francisco April 12th to 13th.Each Year at the F8, Facebook unveils their new products, shares their vision for the future and also engages with their developers and publisher community. This year, Facebook is expanding its media and publisher sessions so as to share more insights into their products and tools designed specifically for publishers.Mark Zuckerberg delivering a keynote during the Facebook F8 2015 Developer Conference. Image Credit: IDigitalTimes – Advertisement – During the event, you’ll learn about the latest tools and best practices for designing and building your app, new surfaces for discovery and expression and innovative ways to make the world more open and connected.Here’s a glimpse into this year’s F8 experience:Keynote: Hear from Mark about how Facebook is helping partners build audiences and grow their businesses by connecting to the Facebook ecosystem and where we’re headed in the future.40+ Sessions: From Facebook, Messenger, WhatsApp, Oculus, Instagram, media products, advertising, engineering, and more there’s a session for everyone across Facebook’s family of apps and services.Interactive Demos: Experience our immersive products for yourself with hands-on demos featuring Oculus Rift and Touch, 360 video, and more.Innovation Lab: We’re committed to connecting the world. Learn how we plan to improve connectivity, enhance infrastructure, and scale artificial intelligence and virtual reality around the world.Meet the Facebook Team: Connect with product experts on the Media team to talk 1:1 about how you can grow and engage audiences and optimize your business on Facebook.Networking Party: There will be multiple opportunities during F8 to connect with the Facebook team and other publishers and developers while enjoying music, food and drinks.[related-posts]Space is limited, so apply today to attend. If you can’t make it to San Francisco where the event will be held, you can still get the F8 experience online. All the keynotes, sessions and exclusive live interviews from the show will be streamed.Head to the F8 website and you can watch the event live and for free.last_img read more

Read More →