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Riders say, ‘No fare hike, Bezos can pay!’

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first_imgThe New York Metropolitan Transit Authority is asking riders to pay more for a subway system that has become a daily exercise in frustration, with constant service disruptions, a shocking lack of elevators and harassment of riders of color. At the same time, the city is rolling out a red carpet worth billions of dollars to lure Amazon to the borough of Queens — so that CEO Jeff Bezos, already the richest person on the planet, can get even richer.You’d think subway leaders would be embarrassed to raise fares. It was MTA President Andy Byford who boasted to Amazon’s executives this summer that Queens, home to the already overburdened #7 train — whose riders will face even more overcrowding when the L train shuts down in April — was a “transit wonderland.”Protest at fare hike hearingThat’s why on Nov. 27 people from the disability rights community and supporters protested the fare hike in front of a Manhattan fare hearing. Some had placards reading, “Make Bezos Pay for Accessible Subways!” Afterwards, some rally participants went inside to address the MTA board.The protest was called by The People’s MTA and Rise & Resist. Six wheelchair users spoke, making it clear that the last thing the MTA should be doing is raising fares when three out of four stations lack elevators, and the elevators that do exist constantly break down. Some protesters held placards reading, “Elevators Are for Everyone,” making the point that accessibility is also needed by older riders, parents with strollers or anyone who can’t navigate stairs.“Just yesterday, I was traveling from Fulton Street to Union Square,” rally speaker Dustin Jones said. Jones uses a wheelchair and is on the board of the Center for the Independence of the Disabled. “Byford goes on TV and YouTube videos and talks about station agents and station monitors. I took the A train from Fulton Street to 14th Street and 8th Avenue, trying to transfer to the L. There’s no elevators. There’s no signs. There’s no attendant. I looked and looked and looked, and nobody knew where any MTA official was.”People of color targetedRally placards also demanded that riders of color should not have to pay more for racist harassment at the hands of the New York Police Department. The clearly racist pattern of subway summons and arrests for fare evasion — 90 percent of those arrested are Black or Latinx — is about to get worse with the MTA’s new blame-the-poor campaign. Popping up in the subway are signs that read, “Fare Evasion Will Cost You.” That will likely accompany an increase in collaboration with the NYPD to arrest African-American and Latinx youth.That is on top of incidents like the one that happened just last month, when an African-American woman at Brooklyn’s Atlantic Terminal was abused and arrested by four cops — not for fare evasion, but for speaking up when she was falsely accused of fare evasion. That happened within days of a white supremacist assaulting and stabbing Anne Marie Washington. At a demonstration the next week, protesters noted how slowly the NYPD — which was hesitant to call the assault a hate crime and seemed to have no video footage of the incident — moved in contrast to its swift arrests of Black riders.The pattern of racist profiling will only intensify as the MTA focuses on what it calls “fare-beaters.” Byford’s announcement on Dec. 3 of “fare evasion strike teams” is a signal that the reduction in arrests, won by anti-racist campaigns like Why Accountability and the Coalition to End Broken Windows, was a brief pause in an epidemic of arrests that is sure to spike again.The response to this by Mary Kaessinger, a wheelchair user and leader of The People’s MTA, was: “Amazon paid no federal taxes in 2017. The biggest fare-beater is Jeff Bezos!”Wall Street is the real looterEven in the big business media there is already skepticism about the fare evasion figures claimed in a study by the MTA. “The MTA did not respond to a request asking for a list of the transit agencies used for its comparative analysis and did not provide exact details on which stations and bus routes were surveyed as the basis for the study,” reported the free daily amNewYork. “Having 208,000 daily turnstile jumpers would equate to roughly 18 fare evaders at every subway station each hour.”In fact, the truly criminal looting of public transportation takes place on Wall Street. That helps explain why MTA heads are compelled to raise fares — whether it’s embarrassing or not. The banks are ordering them to.Byford is claiming “fare-beaters” cost the transit agency $215 million a year. That number pales in comparison to the debt service owed by the MTA to Wall Street: about $40 billion. If you break that down, the transit authority pays interest at the rate of $83 a second. That adds up to $7.1 million a day, or $2.6 billion a year. (“In the best of times, the worst of rides,” New York Times, Nov. 16, 2017) Since then, the transit authority’s bond rating has been downgraded twice by Standard & Poor’s for “weaker debt-service coverage” — meaning the banks aren’t satisfied with the huge amount of debt the MTA is already paying.At the fare hike hearing, protester Taryn Fivek took the microphone to make what she called a “modest proposal to the board.”“I hear that Jeff Bezos has a lot of money, more than $100 billion. So I thought we could make a giant net and catch him — like a rabbit — and take all his money to fund the MTA.“If you think this sounds crazy, just think what it sounds like when the MTA is hiking fares while Albany gives Jeff Bezos and Amazon a $1.5 billion handout. When only 20 percent of our subways are accessible. While people are being gentrified out of their neighborhoods. Tell me which sounds crazier.”FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

COVID: Instacart Makes Changes Amid Worker Strike

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first_imgJAMESTOWN – Instacart is trying to increase safety measures for its workers who are worried about Coronavirus.The changes were a reaction to a nationwide strike on Monday.The grocery delivery service says it will provide hand sanitizers to its full-service shoppers. They select groceries at stores and then deliver them.Instacart also says it will make it easier for customers to set their own default tipping percentages. But, a nonprofit behind the strike says those concessions aren’t enough. The gig workers collective says it wants shoppers to get additional safety items and hazard pay.It’s also demanding a default tip of 10 percent and an extra five dollars an order.Demand is surging for Instacart deliveries as people try to avoid leaving home. The company is trying to hire another 300-thousand shoppers. Share:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Queensland finalists vie for top property gongs

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first_imgYarrabilba suburb profile. Photographer: Liam Kidston.Other Queensland finalists include Stockland’s Bells Reach, Newport by Frasers Property Australia, The Melbourne Residences by Aria Property Group, Unison by Mirvac, Yarrabilba by Lendlease, and AVID Property Group’s Tempo Living Stage 7 at Brentwood Forest. The Residences Yungaba HouseA MASTERPLANNED community in Townsville and a residential development within a historic Brisbane heritage building are among 22 Queensland finalists vying for a national property gong later this year.The finalists were announced on Monday, ahead of the 2018 Property Council of Australia/ Rider Levett Bucknall Innovation and Excellence Awards in May.“Queensland’s property and construction industry consistently delivers high-quality, innovative development, and this is once again underscored by the calibre of our 22 national finalists,” the Property Council’s executive director in Queensland, Chris Mountford, said.One of the finalists is The Residences Yungaba House at Kangaroo Point – 10 exclusive homes redeveloped within one of Brisbane’s most outstanding heritage buildings. The Melbourne Residences by ARIA Property GroupThe winners will be announced at the ICC Sydney Convention Centre on May 11.center_img Yungaba HouseThe redevelopment is in the running for the Best Heritage Development award, and will compete against six other national finalists including fellow Queensland contender, the Mater Hospital Whitty Building Refurbishment.More from newsNew apartments released at idyllic retirement community Samford Grove Presented by Parks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus21 hours ago“It’s (Yungaba House) been an immigration centre, a refuge for destitute soldiers, construction worker accommodation, a design studio and a hospital,” Rider Levett Bucknall managing director David Stewart said.“By respecting and retaining the building’s history, the development team will preserve this important landmark for future generations.”The Residences (by Frasers Property) comprise three low-rise apartment buildings set against the heritage-listed gardens on the riverfront site below the Story Bridge at Kangaroo Point.Another award contender is The Village, a masterplanned community by Economic Development Queensland in Townsville.EDQ, which is a unit within the Queensland Government’s Department of Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning, anticipates The Village will be home to 3000 residents once completed.It is currently in the running for three awards, including one for housing affordability.House and land packages at The Village start from $285,000 – well below Townsville’s median house sales price of $340,000.last_img read more

Whittier resident recalled as fearless

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first_img “He surprised my mom,” said Ana Cruz. “He told her he was coming in November, and came early.” Ana, 21, lives in Pomona, and Joseph visited her for a few days while he was back, she said. “In the beginning, he liked the Army. This time, he didn’t want to go back. He had been to Afghanistan and Iraq already, and he was only 22,” she said. After Joseph saw a friend of his die in front of him about a year ago, he lost enthusiasm for his missions, Ana said. “He didn’t want to talk to anybody and he was so upset,” she said. During his leave, Cruz joined part of his family on a cruise to Baja, Mexico, his stepfather said. “That’s the hard thing — he was just here. He was happy and had a lot of fun. He and his grandparents went on a cruise,” Roberto said. “He rested a lot while he was here. He didn’t talk much about the Army.” Cruz was a “video game fanatic,” according to his stepfather. In high school, he often went to Hollywood Video in Whittier to stock up on games. The fighting game “Mortal Kombat” was one of his favorites, his relatives said. “He liked alternative rock, skateboarding and video games,” Ana said. Joseph was taking online college courses and planned to get a job after the Army, but Roberto Aguirre said he didn’t know what type of work he wanted to do. Ana Cruz said that after Cruz joined the Army, his attitude seemed to change. He joked less often, she said, but he also became more polite to her and his family. “He wasn’t rude and did what my mom told him to do,” she said. Ana Cruz said she was not happy about her brother’s decision to join the Army because she worried about his safety. But, she said, it was a decision he made on his own. “He was a great kid,” said Roberto. “He was quiet and to himself. We were proud of him.” — Sandy Mazza may be reached by calling (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3026, or by e-mail at [email protected] local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! WHITTIER — Pfc. Joseph Cruz was not afraid of parachuting out of moving planes as a member of the Army’s 1st Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, also known as the “Red Devils.” “He wasn’t scared of much,” Ana Cruz, his sister, said Wednesday. Cruz, 22, who grew up in Whittier and graduated from a local high school, died in Bagram, Afghanistan on Saturday. Army officials said Cruz died from non-combat injuries sustained in an accident. U.S. Department of Defense officials have not provided details. Cruz attended Pioneer High School for the fall 2000 semester before transferring to Sierra Vista High School’s independent study program. He graduated from Sierra Vista in 2001. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week Army officials notified Cruz’s mother, Rosemary Aguirre, and his stepfather, Roberto Aguirre, who now live in El Paso, Texas, of their son’s death on Sunday, the parents said. The family is preparing for Cruz’s body to be shipped back to Texas for funeral services. “Right now, it’s really hard to talk about,” Roberto Aguirre said in a telephone interview. “His body is overseas. We don’t know what’s going on, they haven’t given us any specific information.” Cruz joined the Army just before graduating from high school. He was sent overseas soon after, his relatives said. In mid-September, he got a break from duty and went home to visit with his family for two weeks.last_img read more

Live updates: Energized Raiders beat Broncos 27-14

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first_imgGet live updates, news and analysis Monday at 5:15 p.m. when the Raiders play the Broncos in perhaps their last game ever at the Oakland Coliseum.It remains to be seen if this will be the final game here in Oakland, but the Raiders (3-11) would like to go out in style, just in case it us. They’ll be taking on a Denver team that was eliminated from playoff contention when it fell to 6-8 by losing to the Browns a week ago. Oakland had one of its worst performances of the …last_img

South African rhino film wins award in New York

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first_img10 November 2015She was honoured with the award for Best Conservation Film, said South African filmmaker Reina-Marie Loader, because it meant the message in her documentary was reaching a variety of people.South African-born Loader won the 2015 award at an international film festival in New York City. She is the owner of the Cinema Humain production company in Vienna, Austria.Her documentary, Horn, has received many accolades, including a nomination for the Rhino Conservation Awards 2015 in July in the category Best Awareness, Education and Funding. On 23 October, the film won the award for the Best Conservation Film in the US.Horn, according to film and entertainment industry news agency Screenafrica.com, focuses on a side of rhino poaching that is usually neglected. It highlights the social causes that drive people to poaching and shows that the conservation of rhinos can be a problem-solver for disadvantaged communities living on the borders of game reserves.Loader explained that a connection with three rhinos in the Kruger National Park in 2011 prompted her to make a documentary about rhino poaching. “One morning I saw three rhinos emerging from the bush. They stopped and intensely gazed back at me for what seemed like ages. I’ve seen many rhinos before, but there was something about that morning and the way they were staring at me – it was different. Their magnificent frames were awe-inspiring,” she recalled.“At that point, I had only read a few reports of poaching in South Africa although there were in fact already many rhino killings. Conservationists outside of South Africa also warned us repeatedly that poaching was moving in our direction,” she said. “Largely though, there was not as much news about this silent threat creeping into our country.”Poaching of rhinos at the time was not such a hot topic, she said. “And that scared me a great deal.”South Africa’s fight against rhino poachingThere have been more than 1 600 positively identified poacher activities in the Kruger National Park so far this year, according to the Department of Environmental Affairs. This implies that there are three incursions each day, anywhere along the thousand-kilometre long Kruger border.By 27 August, 749 rhinos had been killed by poachers across the country. Of these, 544 were in the Kruger. This was an increase from the 716 rhinos killed by poachers countrywide by the end of August 2014. Of that number, 459 were poached in the Kruger.Along with many private sector and conservation organisation interventions, the Department of Environmental Affairs is working with the security cluster departments, namely Defence and Military Veterans, Police, and State Security, to curb wildlife poaching.Watch South Africa’s interventions against rhino poaching: The birth of HornLoader said that after seeing the three rhinos, she made up her mind to make the film. “I struggled until 2013 to get a minuscule budget together. I left my job at the University of Exeter and we started principle photography shortly after that in July 2013.“Since that day in 2011, I’ve often wondered if those three rhinos are still alive,” she admitted.An emotional topicFilmmaker Reina-Marie Loader, whose film Horn has won accolades for its conservation message.(Image: Cinema Humain)It made sense that her first conservation film would be about rhinos, Loader said. “I have always been interested in conservation – ever since I was a little girl. My love for animals (specifically elephants, rhinos, wild dogs and leopards) developed because of the exposure I had to wildlife as a child. My father was a conservationist and worked as an honorary ranger in several national parks.”It was a huge honour to be recognised internationally for the work done by her and her team. “(Winning the award in New York) means a great deal to us because it (conservation) was an emotional and important topic to us, also, because such a platform allows the film’s message to reach a wide variety of people.“Despite the fact that the film is about a dark situation we are facing in our country, it nevertheless insists that our country can deal with it.”It was South Africans’ duty to do as much as possible to save rhinos from exploitation and extinction, Loader said.The message of the filmThe rhino poaching crisis was one of the problems in South Africa at the moment, Loader said, pointing out that curbing poaching went hand-in-hand with finding solutions for social problems such as crime, unemployment and lack of education.“I often say it is very hard to stay optimistic in the face of all the problems that seem to confront South Africa at the moment. It feels like a tsunami of problems engulfing us, with rhino poaching being just one of them.“The film’s ultimate message is therefore one of hope, claiming that it is only logical to tackle rhino poaching as part of the overarching problem. And by tackling it, you start to address the other issues as well.“If we succeed in saving our rhinos without compromising our morality, the benefits will radiate outwards and affect all the other problems in a positive way. So protecting the rhinos can have a massive positive impact on the entire country.”South Africans should stand strong and communicate to the world that our rhinos belong here. We should send a message that we are taking responsibility for their lives in a way that reflects the dignity we believe all living things should have. “This would include conservation programmes focused on the needs of underprivileged communities, a no-compromise attitude towards prosecution of poaching criminals, and – crucially – a national antitrade stance.”Watch read more

President Cyril Ramaphosa will lead an SA delegation to the AU Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethopia

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first_imgPresident Cyril Ramaphosa will travel to Addis Ababa, Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, to lead a high-level South African delegation at the 32nd Ordinary Session of the Assembly of African Union Heads of State and Government, scheduled to take place from 10 to 11 February 2018. The AU Assembly is to be preceded by the 34th Ordinary Session of the Executive Council that will take place from 7 to 8 February 2019.The theme of the Session is: “The Year of Refugees, Returnees and International Displaced Persons: Towards Durable Solutions to Forced Displacement in Africa”. It presents an invaluable opportunity to reflect on and address the root causes of forced displacement in Africa.The Summit is expected to deliberate on a number of other important issues, including the institutional reform and financing of the continental body; Peace and Security on the Continent; developments related to the African Continental Free Trade Area; and negotiations for a new cooperation agreement between the African, Caribbean and Pacific developing countries and the European Union Post-2020. South Africa intends to submit its Instrument of Ratification of the Agreement on the African Continental Free Trade Area during the Summit.In addition, consideration will also be given to the election of the Chairperson of the AU for 2020 – a position that will rotate to the Southern Region; the election of five Members of the AU Peace and Security Council; the appointment of one Member of the AU Commission on International Law; and of one Member of the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child.Important meetings immediately preceding the Summit on 9 February are the 28th Forum of Heads of States Participating in the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), the Meeting of African Heads of State and Government on Climate Change (CAHOSC) and the Meeting of the Heads of State and Government Orientation Committee of the AU Development Agency/NEPAD.A meeting of the African Union High-Level Committee of Heads of State and Government on Libya has also been convened for 9 February 2019 by its Chair, HE President Denis Sassou Nguesso of the Republic of the Congo.President Ramaphosa will be accompanied by the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Ms Lindiwe Sisulu; the Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Ms Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, the Minister of State Security, Ms Dipuo Letsatsi-Duba, the Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Rob Davies; the Minister of Finance, Mr Tito Mboweni, the Minister of Home Affairs, Dr Siyabonga Cwele, the Minister of Environmental Affairs, Ms Nomvula Mokonyane, the Minister of Health, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, the Minister of Public Service and Administration, Ms Ayanda Dlodlo and the Minister of Communications Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams.Media enquiries: Khusela Diko – Spokesperson to the President – 072 854 5707ISSUED BY THE PRESIDENCY OF THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICAlast_img read more

a month agoRobert Pires urges patience from Arsenal fans for Nicolas Pepe

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first_imgRobert Pires urges patience from Arsenal fans for Nicolas Pepeby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveRobert Pires has called for patience from Arsenal fans with Nicolas Pepe.Gunners legend Pires says the club’s record signing needs time to adaptThe Frenchman told Reuters: “With Lille, he was fantastic. Last season he was one of the best players, he scored 21 or 22 goals. He’s a great player.”Now he’s playing for Arsenal in the Premier League and he needs to adapt. It’s so difficult, very tough. So I want to say to the fans you need to be patient with Pepe.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

22 days agoFormer Porto star Pedro Emanuel: Football needs Jose Mourinho back

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first_imgFormer Porto star Pedro Emanuel: Football needs Jose Mourinho backby Paul Vegas22 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveFormer Porto star Pedro Emanuel says football needs Jose Mourinho back in work.Mourinho has been available since being sacked by Manchester United in December.Emanuel played for Mourinho at Porto and is now coach of Almeria.He said, “Mourinho impressed me a lot and so did his football. He is a special person, a coach who has taught me a lot in my career and I hope he will return to the bench quickly because this sport needs Mourinho.”My relationship with him, although we have not spoken in recent times, is of utmost respect. During my stage as a player and coach I hold a lot of respect and admiration for him. I can only say good things about Mourinho.”He was important because he changed mindsets and the way we looked at the game for the last 15 years, so he struck me.” TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

18 days agoEngland coach Southgate insists Chelsea pair Abraham and Tomori in squad on merit

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first_imgEngland coach Southgate insists Chelsea pair Abraham and Tomori in squad on meritby Paul Vegas18 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveEngland manager Gareth Southgate insists Chelsea pair Tammy Abraham and Fikayo Tomori are in his squad on merit.The pair have been included in the England squad on merit and not in an attempt to lock down their international futures, Southgate has said.Abraham, whose father is Nigerian, has never been capped in a competitive game for England but has made two friendly appearances for the Three Lions. Abraham’s Chelsea teammate, Tomori, was born in Canada and is also eligible for Nigeria through his parents.”I don’t think it’s ethically right just to give a player a cap to make sure they can’t play for somebody else,” said Southgate. “So, the two boys that are in the squad this time, Fik [Fikayo Tamori] and Tammy, are in on merit. I’m not going to guarantee that they’re going to get on the pitch, but they’ve both been part of our junior system right the way through.”Fik came in a little bit later than Tammy but has been part of the youth team that won the World Cup and as far as we’re concerned, born in England, Tammy, the two boys have been developed through English football, they’re English players and I’m sure they have huge desire to play for England at senior level.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

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