Judge Denies Motion To Dismiss Murder Charge Against Jamestown Man

first_imgJAMESTOWN — A motion dismissing the second-degree murder charge against Jamestown man Carl Sorenson was denied during a preliminary hearing in Jamestown City Court Friday morning.Public Defender Ned Barone entered the motion on behalf of Sorenson, saying that the defendant is “entitled to a preliminary hearing.”Chautauqua County First Assistant District Attorney Derek Gregory, however, says there’s “no basis” for a dismissal. Gregory says the District Attorney’s Office is proceeding to a Chautauqua County Grand Jury with the case.Acting Jamestown Police Chief Tim Jackson previously told the Jamestown City Council during its July Work Session meeting that a Grand Jury is scheduled to hear the case on July 29. Jamestown Police charged Sorenson in the death of 23-year-old Brandon Holland who was stabbed in the chest while walking on the sidewalk along North Main Street between East 4th and East 5th Streets around 10:14 p.m. July 6.Holland was taken to UPMC Chautauqua Hospital where he died of his injuries.Sorenson, according to police, is also a New York State Parolee. Officers say he was taken into custody July 7 by investigators at his apartment on Washington Street in Jamestown.Investigators say additional charges are expected as the investigation continues.Sorenson was released by Judge Fred Larson on his own recognizance on the felony murder charge. However, Sorenson is being held in Chautauqua County Jail on a separate detainer. 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),Je should not be allowed out,Why is he out here killed my little cousincousin. He should be on death row,free the murderer smh how stupid to let him out to kill again!,My gosh people read the article, he’s still in jail on a detainer. More than likely because he violated parole. They ROR him knowing the detainer is there and he wasn’t going anywhere.last_img read more

4-H Camp

first_imgMany University of Georgia Extension offices across the state have begun sign-up in advance of the March 3 opening of registration for summer camp at Georgia’s 4-H centers. Each year about 8,000 campers, along with adult and teen leaders, attend 4-H camp and create memories and friendships that last a lifetime.Randy Cruse, 55, of Griffin, still remembers his first week of camp as a Bibb County 4-H’er. “That first day, I called and begged my mama to come get me. By the end of the week, I hated to have to go home,” he said. Cruse attended camp again the next year and, as an adult, encouraged his son, Peter, to become involved in 4-H.Cruse recently visited Rock Eagle, some 40 years after his first 4-H camp experience. “Some things have changed physically, but it’s still the same,” he said as he began to recall memories of learning to braid, make woven baskets and graft plants. He also remembered attending the Rock Eagle pageant on the last night of camp.Campers to the Rock Eagle 4-H Center, Georgia 4-H’s largest center, will be housed in 22 new cabins this summer, in addition to 26 of the original cabins. “Not quite half of our cabins are new, but, by the 2016 camping season, we will have at least 28 new cabins and possibly 34 new cabins,” said Charlie Wurst, head of the Georgia 4-H camping program. “We certainly appreciate the public and private support that has made these improvements possible.”Camp officially begins on June 1 at the Rock Eagle 4-H Center in Eatonton, Wahsega 4-H Center in Dahlonega, Fortson 4-H Center in Hampton and Burton 4-H Center on Tybee Island. Camp on Jekyll Island is taking a hiatus while the facilities undergo renovations.In the meantime, Georgia 4-H is busy preparing for this season’s campers. “Lifeguards are being trained, background checks are being run on all of our volunteers – we are taking all the important steps to provide the safest atmosphere for all of our campers,” Wurst said. “We certainly want to have a safe week of camp, but we also want the week of camp to be fun. If it’s not fun, it’s not camp.”Even with the emphasis on safety and fun, Georgia 4-H’s summer camps take their educational mission very seriously, he said. “We provide classes for campers to learn more about healthy living through good fitness and nutrition choices,” Wurst said. “We use our indoor and outdoor classrooms to teach about wildlife and their supporting ecosystems and we are offering more workshops to spark interest in science and technology. And, of course, campers learn more about themselves as they experience being on their own away from home.” Many campers go on to become active 4-H’ers, teen leaders at camp, and 4-H summer camp counselors, like Abby Harrison of Royston.“Summer camp has been an absolutely amazing experience for me over the past four years. After ninth, 10th and 11th grades, I teen led for the Cloverleaf camps my county attended,” she said. “Now, having gone through my first year as a camp counselor, I feel like I not only learned even more about working with kids, but also valuable lessons about working with others and sharing living space.”Tyler Gray of Harlem was a summer camp counselor at Rock Eagle last summer. She taught canoeing classes and was a lifeguard. “The campers taught me how to always put others first and treat everyone with utmost kindness. I loved that I was given the opportunity to impact children simply by giving them the best thing of all – time,” she said.Georgia 4-H is filled with teenagers with individual stories about their own camp experiences. Wurst’s job is to help University of Georgia 4-H agents continue to help students create camp memories. “Our job is to give the kids a safe, fun and 4-H-focused experience,” said Wurst, a former Lincoln County 4-H’er. “The ultimate payoff is that the kids leave camp excited about becoming more involved or staying involved in 4-H and experiencing all the benefits of being involved in 4-H.”Camps are offered this summer for senior, junior and Cloverleaf campers. To learn more about Georgia 4-H camp or to register a camper, contact your local UGA Extension office at 1-800-ASK-UGA1.last_img read more

Vacation Time

first_imgWe are well into longer, hotter days and children are out of school and eagerly anticipating family vacation. Whether you attend a family reunion in a rural area or head to the big city, University of Georgia Cooperative Extension offers the following tips to help you have a fun, safe vacation.Make a list: Write down what you need to pack and include everything, from your medications to vehicle maintenance, to ensure you cover all of your bases. You may still forget something, but I always feel better when I miss a few small things rather than critical items.Mail: Before you go, request that the local post office hold your mail. An overstuffed mailbox with newspapers strewn about is like advertising that no one is home.Tell someone: Let someone know that you are going on vacation, but do not tell your 1,000 Facebook friends. Tell a trusted neighbor or friend that you are leaving and ask them if they would be willing to keep an eye on things while you are away. This will ease your mind and allow you to enjoy your vacation.Speaking of Facebook, it is probably not a good idea to post that you are away or will be away for an extended period of time. Remember, not everyone is as honest as you are. Medication: Order any prescription medication in advance. I also pack antacids, Children’s Motrin, Benadryl and pain medication. I also include insect repellent because my youngest son has reactions to insect bites.Entertainment: Make sure everyone has something to entertain them. We frequently drive long distances, and I have found that a preloaded playlist helps to keep everyone occupied — it can even prompt a family singalong. It also allows me to share “real music” — oldies — with my children.Snacks: Provide healthy snacks for everyone. Nuts, fruits and applesauce are all great snacks for trips. Taking snacks from home also helps to minimize the unhealthy food you might buy on impulse. Don’t forget to bring a cooler with plenty of water to stay hydrated along the way.Breaks: Are you traveling with younger or older family members? It’s imperative to make stops for stretching, bathroom breaks and physical activity. My 5-year-old is a ball of energy. He needs to run around and stretch his legs. I also benefit from stretching after long intervals of riding. I am no longer under 40.Research: Research your destination online. The hotel, attractions and restaurants can be investigated prior to leaving for vacation. My family loves hot dogs (hangs head in shame), so in every city we visit, we search for a place that specializes in hot dogs. We have found great spots in a number of cities.Be “in the moment”: While it may be tempting to catch up on emails, post every fun activity on Facebook or surf the internet, don’t do it. Be in the moment! I am often asked, “Did you take a picture?” I prefer to be in the moment, enjoying our silly inside jokes and experiences that we may never have the opportunity to do again. My poor teenagers balk at the idea of going too long without technology; however, they still follow the example set by their parents. So, unplug from technology.Be safe, enjoy and have an awesome summer of travel.last_img read more

Long Island Index’s Affordable Housing Strategy Comes Up Short

first_imgIn this instance, the big picture is so disconnected from the on-the-ground realities that the final product almost seems disingenuous. The Long Island Index’s goal of increasing density to foster more walkability and transit usage is laudable, but the pesky issue of actual commuting patterns gets in the way of the convenient, builder-driven narrative that has been fostered in Nassau and Suffolk counties.According to estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2013 American Community Survey, 88 percent of Suffolk County’s workforce uses automobiles to travel to work, with about 6 percent of workers taking transit, and 10 percent of Suffolk’s workforce heading to NYC for employment. There is little hope in creating the vibrant urbanized oases that they want. In Nassau, 77 percent of workers drive their cars to and from work and 16 percent of workers take mass transit. Maybe the prospects are better there. Plus, the presence of sewers makes development easier the more westerly you go. But even in Hicksville, as the report shows, the matter gets complicated due to private land ownership, zoning restrictions and what is often little discussed: the capacity of our infrastructure.One issue that the Long Island Index and its pro-builder cohort seems to neglect is the viability of integrating these downtown environments within a larger, cohesive environment. As it stands, the Index is all for the creation of these artificial downtown environments without understanding their inherent isolation. Urban enclaves need to be interconnected in order to thrive. Think how the diverse neighborhoods of Manhattan’s Lower East Side merge into one another seamlessly. Downtown Patchogue and Mineola don’t blend in easily with their surroundings. These revitalized areas are essentially apartment buildings scattered within single-family-home neighborhoods.Overall, the latest Long Island Index report repeats the same mantra that has been echoed from various conference rooms, board rooms, panels, and podiums at business breakfasts at the Crest Hollow Country Club and beyond: Build! Build! Build!But to do so without taking into account the fundamental realities of Long Island’s housing market, our economy, our environmental limitations, and what our residents actually do on their daily commute, may work on paper, but it becomes a harmful prospect when it’s seriously being considered to direct policy.We need a diverse group of stakeholders who think critically and constructively about our regional issues, not vested interests who always agree.Rich Murdocco writes about Long Island’s land use and real estate development issues. He received his Master’s in Public Policy at Stony Brook University, where he studied regional planning under Dr. Lee Koppelman, Long Island’s veteran master planner. Murdocco is a regular contributor to the Long Island Press. More of his views can be found on www.TheFoggiestIdea.org or follow him on Twitter @TheFoggiestIdea. Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Recently, in a crowded conference room in Melville packed with developers, business leaders, municipal officials and other interested parties, the Rauch Foundation unveiled its latest Long Island Index report.The principal finding of their effort, titled Long Island’s Needs for Multifamily Housing: Measuring How Much We Are Planning to Build vs. How Much We Need for Long Island’s Future, is that we will have a deficit of 72,000 housing units in “walkable mixed-use areas” by 2030. The research was conducted by the Regional Plan Association and HR&A Advisors, both groups based in Manhattan.To this writer, the reception seemed less enthusiastic than in previous years, when the Rauch Foundation’s Long Island Index exhaustively detailed the region’s environmental, transit and housing challenges. Perhaps this report’s numbers-heavy findings were too much for those in attendance to digest.The Index’s recommendations depend on supply driven housing economics. But their consultants’ analysis may not reflect the reality of Long Island’s suburban landscape, or what truly drives up housing costs here. For their solution to work, a lot depends on local zoning boards approving higher density.During the presentation, one of the PowerPoints predicted that the increased supply will make housing more affordable, “assuming all new value created through rezoning is passed down to tenants through a reduction of rents.” But that’s no small assumption.Did the creation of additional units in Queens, Brooklyn or Manhattan make any of those boroughs more affordable? Nobody would make that premise about New York City because they know better.As the report outlines, is Long Island supposed to rezone large swaths of land to allow for 2,582 additional units in Hicksville, 377 additional units in the Village of Babylon, and 962 units within the Village of Valley Stream based on the mere assumption that the “value created” will trickle down to tenants? Did the addition of multifamily units make rents in Patchogue, the long-held bastion of smart growth, more affordable? At $1,992 a month for a 679-square foot, one bedroom apartment in New Village at Patchogue, no. Did the addition of units in Mineola make the already attractive area any more affordable? If $2,236-a-month-rent for a 486-square foot studio at Mill Creek’s Modera is any indication, no.The Long Island Index’s report is out of whack considering the realities of housing within the region—and how really affordable housing is typically created.In the more realistic scenario, public-private partnerships use tax subsidies to create affordable housing units. Private market developers produce units at differing price points to maximize profitability for their investors. Unless the proposed units are slated to be heavily subsidized, it is very likely that the residents in these areas are essentially being urged to relax their zoning density restrictions in order to maximize the profits of developers. When it comes to housing, trusting private development interests to create truly affordable housing is like letting the foxes watch the hen house.For years, the Rauch Foundation has been the leader in depicting the Island’s problems and proceeding to present philosophical solutions that are easy to understand, but sometimes fantastical in nature. The key to the Long Island Index’s success is that it takes rather unsexy topics and packages them in a colorful, presentable manner—with some years having cutesy videos that outline Long Island’s economic stagnation. Great marketing and public outreach, yes, but those are weak fires in which to forge policy. This recent presentation was less flash and more numbers.last_img read more

Why Nicki Minaj Hasn’t Hired Nanny for 1-Month-Old Son

first_imgOn her own! Nicki Minaj has made the “difficult decision” to not hire a nanny while raising her and Kenneth Petty’s 1-month-old son.When a Twitter user wrote, “Why Nicki can’t be a normal celebrity and get a nanny? Girl I miss you,” on Friday, November 6, the rapper, 37, replied, “Everyone tells me that. Lol. I rlly should get one.”Nicki Minaj Why I Havent Hired Nanny My 5-Week-Old SonKenneth Petty and Nicki Minaj. Courtesy Nicki Minaj/Instagram- Advertisement – The Grammy nominee went on to tweet that her baby boy wants her “undivided attention,” which she is giving. “Last night, I tried to tweet while I was feeding him,” the new mom wrote. “He looked @ me and said, ‘Absolutely TF NOT.’”Us Weekly confirmed last month that Minaj and Petty, 42, had welcomed their first child. The “Super Bass” rapper went on to share her infant’s sex in an October Instagram post thanking Beyoncé, Kim Kardashian, Kanye West, Winnie Harlow and Karol G for their well-wishes.“It meant the world to me,” Minaj captioned an Instagram slideshow of handwritten notes at the time. “I am so grateful and in love with my son. Madly in love. My favorite liddo [sic] boy in the whole wide world.”- Advertisement – – Advertisement – The newborn made his debut in October when the Queen Radio host posted a picture of his bare foot. “Happy anniversary, my love,” she captioned the social media upload.The American Music Award winner, who wed Petty in October 2019, has been vocal about her motherhood plans in the past. “I wonder if I’m going to be one of those women who balances my child with a career,” she told Complex in 2014. “I always said, ‘When I have my baby, it’s going to be all about my baby.’ I don’t want the child feeling like they don’t have all of my attention, so I always said, ‘I’m going to take a little break.’ But we’ll see.”Nicki Minaj Why I Havent Hired Nanny My 5-Week-Old SonNicki Minaj. Evan Agostini/Invision/AP/Shutterstock- Advertisement – Minaj added at the time that she didn’t want to become “so consumed with work” that she didn’t live her personal life “to the fullest,” explaining, “I feel like I was put here to be a mother. I definitely will be married before I have my baby. I want to make sure I do it in that order. I’ve always felt like that since I was young; my mother always put that in my head.”Listen to Us Weekly’s Hot Hollywood as each week the editors of Us break down the hottest entertainment news stories!last_img read more

Emergency Help for Wildfire Victims

first_img“The general state of affairs for these people is so dire it’s almost hard to describe,” said Mr. Trotter, a retired state court justice who was appointed to oversee the fund by a federal bankruptcy court. “Covid and this season’s wildfires have just added to their misery. If this does not qualify as a humanitarian crisis, I don’t know what will.” Good morning.There are still votes left to count in California. There are races yet to be called, winners and losers yet to be determined. But the election hasn’t stopped the state’s many other long-running crises.- Advertisement – My colleague Ivan Penn wrote this dispatch, a reminder that for victims of wildfires, the pandemic has only compounded hardship:A trustee overseeing a $13.5 billion compensation fund earlier this month ordered emergency payments of up to $25,000 to some of the people who lost property or suffered injuries in wildfires caused by Pacific Gas & Electric, the California utility.The trustee, John K. Trotter, said the payments, which will go to an estimated 15,000 people, had become necessary because some fire victims who have been struggling in recent years have become destitute during the coronavirus pandemic, which has forced large parts of the economy to seize up.- Advertisement – “Jones Day, Hands Off Our Ballots,” read a mural outside the law firm’s offices in San Francisco last week. Lawyers with Jones Day and Porter Wright are becoming uncomfortable representing President Trump in his election lawsuits, fearing they undermine the electoral system and attract negative attention. [The New York Times] On Tuesday, California public health officials announced that 11 counties would be moved back into more restrictive tiers in the state’s reopening system, underscoring what officials have said is a worrisome rise in coronavirus cases even as the state continues to add testing capacity. No counties were moved into less restrictive tiers.[Track Covid-19 cases by California county and see other maps for the U.S. and the world.]While California isn’t yet seeing the kind of surge hammering other states, Tuesday’s announcement was one of the most severe reopening rollbacks in the state since the summer.“The virus does not go away just because we’re tired of it,” Dr. Mark Ghaly, the state’s health secretary, said in his weekly briefing.Much of the spread now, he said, probably traces back to at-home, indoor gatherings or people getting too lax about wearing masks and distancing at indoor or outdoor businesses.Officials in San Francisco, which throughout the pandemic has been more cautious than required by the state, shuttered indoor dining and paused plans to reopen schools, even though the county wasn’t moved into a more restrictive tier.[Read how the reopening tiers work.]San Diego, Sacramento and Stanislaus Counties were moved back into the most restrictive purple tier, meaning that most indoor businesses that had been allowed to reopen must also close — although as The Modesto Bee reported, later in the day, Stanislaus County’s top public health official called the designation a mistake and planned to contest it.San Diego was one of the most populous counties to start in the second most restrictive red tier when Gov. Gavin Newsom unveiled the new tiered system at the end of August, and it has barely managed to stave off new closures since then. Its move into the purple tier is discouraging for leaders of counties hoping to keep cases low while also allowing indoor dining — even at reduced capacity — to resume. PG&E sought bankruptcy protection in January 2019 after accumulating an estimated $30 billion in liability for wildfires caused by its equipment. The company emerged from bankruptcy in July but investigators have continued to cite the utility for causing additional fires. Last month, investigators said PG&E caused the 2019 Kincade Fire, and they collected the utility’s equipment related to the Zogg Fire this year.[Read about how PG&E raced to improve safety before fire season this year.]- Advertisement – The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors escalated an ongoing power struggle with Sheriff Alex Villanueva and voted to explore ways he could be removed from office. [The Los Angeles Times] About elections: And Finally …center_img Michelle Steel, the Republican challenger, has defeated the Democratic incumbent Harley Rouda for California’s 48th Congressional District in Orange County. Mr. Rouda won the seat in the “blue wave” of 2018. [The Orange County Register] See all California election results here. [The New York Times] “It’s a combination of circumstances,” Mr. Kane said. “Covid is certainly one of them. It certainly is for one of our clients who died of Covid.”PG&E has said it has taken steps to reduce fires and protect the 16 million people in its service area, including with weather stations to track storms, cameras and devices to cut power remotely.[Read about withering criticism regulators leveled at PG&E over last year’s blackouts.]The company also for the last two years has cut power to millions of its customers — sometimes for as long as a week — to prevent its equipment from sparking a fire. The strategy, pioneered by San Diego Gas & Electric, has angered some customers, in particular during the pandemic when children need their home computers for distance learning.Late last month, the California Public Advocates Office, a representative of consumers at the California Public Utilities Commission, called for additional fines of almost $166 million against PG&E for its broad use of cutting power to its customers last year.During recent power shut-offs, PG&E said its safety improvements had allowed it to reduce the number of customers who lose power.(This article is part of the California Today newsletter. Sign up to get it delivered to your inbox.) In a statement about the emergency payments, Mr. Trotter noted that the areas devastated by the fires include a “disproportionate number of retired, disabled, veteran and economically disadvantaged individuals.” Many have been living in their cars, emergency tent communities or Federal Emergency Management Agency camps.Mr. Trotter said the coronavirus also had made it difficult to reach PG&E wildfire victims who have yet to file a claim to receive payments from the wildfire fund. Although they filed claims during PG&E’s bankruptcy process, they still must submit one to the trustee for payment.“The pandemic has really hindered the lawyers’ ability to stay in touch with their own clients,” Mr. Trotter said. “This cries out for help. In order to receive a payment, you have to submit a claims questionnaire.”Steven Kane, a San Diego lawyer who represents some of the wildfire victims, said that he had to close an office he had set up near the fires because of the inability to meet face to face with customers but that he had continued to get claims filed. It’s official: Proposition 15 failed. The measure would have updated commercial property tax rules in an effort to pump more funding into schools and local governments. Read more about it here. [The New York Times] Jill Cowan grew up in Orange County, graduated from U.C. Berkeley and has reported all over the state, including the Bay Area, Bakersfield and Los Angeles — but she always wants to see more. Follow along here or on Twitter.California Today is edited by Julie Bloom, who grew up in Los Angeles and graduated from U.C. Berkeley. – Advertisement –last_img read more

WHO confirms Indonesia’s 53rd avian flu case

first_imgJul 14, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – A 3-year-old girl who died on Jul 6 near Jakarta had Indonesia’s 53rd case of H5N1 avian influenza, according to test results announced today by the World Health Organization (WHO).Meanwhile, Bloomberg news reported last night that the only survivor of a recent family cluster of avian flu cases in Indonesia is being treated for brain abscesses.The 3-year-old girl, who was from a suburb of Jakarta, became ill on Jun 23 and was hospitalized Jul 5. The WHO said investigators found that she had handled some dead chickens 2 days before she fell ill. Samples taken from chickens in her neighborhood were positive. Investigators found no other patients with influenza-like illnesses, and they are monitoring close contacts of the girl, the agency said.With 41 avian flu deaths, Indonesia now trails Vietnam for most deaths by only one, according to WHO statistics. Vietnam, however, has had no human cases of H5N1 since last November, while Indonesia’s 53 cases have all come in 2005 and 2006.According to the Bloomberg story, Luhur Soeroso, a doctor caring for the sole survivor of the avian flu case cluster in North Sumatra, said the 25-year-old man experienced headaches and fatigue a month after he was treated for avian flu. The patient, Jones Ginting, is hospitalized at Adam Malik Hospital in the northern Sumatra city of Medan. The cluster involved seven confirmed cases and one probable case.”We found abscesses in several parts of his brain,” Soeroso said. He suggested that antibiotics and other drugs given for avian flu might have weakened the patient’s immune system, but said the brain abscesses are gradually shrinking in response to treatment.Neurologic manifestations of H5N1 infection have been reported before, though rarely. A Vietnamese boy who died of encephalitis in 2004 was later found to have had H5N1 infection, according to a research report published last year. Encephalitis is also known to be a rare complication of ordinary influenza.See also:Jul 14 WHO update on Indonesian situationhttp://www.who.int/csr/don/2006_07_14/en/index.htmlJun 22 CIDRAP News article “WHO concludes H5N1 likely spread within family”Feb 16, 2005, CIDRAP News article “Avian flu caused encephalitis in Vietnamese boy”last_img read more

Arsenal winger Reiss Nelson explains how Mikel Arteta will turn him into a top player

first_imgArsenal winger Reiss Nelson explains how Mikel Arteta will turn him into a top player Arteta has had an overwhelmingly positive response from his players since taking over in December (Picture: Getty Images)Reiss Nelson has heaped praise on new Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta for his unique drive and determination that has lifted himself and the entire squad.The former Manchester City coach has impressed players and fans alike since taking over from fellow Spaniard Unai Emery in December.While only winning three out his first nine games in all competitions, 20-year-old winger Nelson joined fellow teammates in praising the methods of the young Spanish coach.He told the Guardian: ‘Now is a great time to have him as a manager because he understands what I am good at. He’s going to give me the encouragement when I need it, and if I am not doing the right stuff he is going to tell me.AdvertisementAdvertisementADVERTISEMENT‘I have all my belief in Mikel and I think he is going to make me into a top player.’ Comment Mike StavrouThursday 13 Feb 2020 2:20 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link6.9kShares Advertisement Advertisement Nelson cuts a much happier figure under new boss Mikel Aretta (Picture: Getty Images)Nelson, who spent a year on-loan at Bundesliga side Hoffenheim where he scored seven league goals, lauded the individual work Arteta does with players during training.He added: ‘You look at the likes of Sterling and Sané, and you see them before at their previous teams, they weren’t doing what they do now.‘I think that is credited to Pep [Guardiola], of course, but Mikel as well because they said he did a lot of one-to-one work with them. They are two top players.’More: Arsenal FCArsenal flop Denis Suarez delivers verdict on Thomas Partey and Lucas Torreira movesThomas Partey debut? Ian Wright picks his Arsenal starting XI vs Manchester CityArsene Wenger explains why Mikel Arteta is ‘lucky’ to be managing ArsenalThe young winger revealed Arteta relentless work ethic renders him an outstanding manager in the making.England Under-21 international Nelson said: ‘You can see it because Mikel’s drive is different. I haven’t seen a manager with that much determination to make individuals into better players.‘I was doing one thing with one of the players on the training pitch the other day. He came over and he showed me one thing to do and it is that little detail that is incredible.‘I think he has got a plan, and it is going really good.’MORE: Arsenal fans hail ‘best recruiter’ Matteo Guendouzi after Pape Gueye Instagram messageMORE: Arsenal target Dayot Upamecano keen on Premier League move as contract talks stalllast_img read more

How $50 turned retired grandparents into property moguls

first_imgThe RSL Art Union raffle prize on Jefferson Lane at Palm Beach worth $4.1 million.“We’ve been coming up here for the winter for many years and we’d have a look at homes, but think we’re just dreaming,” said Mr Sanders, who calls Bendigo, Victoria, home.“Usually we would book in February to come and holiday here, but this year we won’t have to.”The couple have bought entries in the RSL’s draws across Queensland for the past 35 years.More from news02:37Purchasers snap up every residence in the $40 million Siarn Palm Beach Northless than 1 hour ago02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa20 hours ago“Jenny and I are still going through the emotions, we’d never looked like winning anything, and here we are,” said Mr Sanders. What to do with an entire apartment block? Ray and Jenny inside their new penthouse. Picture Glenn Hampson“Down the track, what a great future it’s going to be for our daughters, son-in-laws and eight grandchildren.”The newly-built complex at Bluebird’s Rest features a two-storey penthouse with ocean views, four two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartments, a pool, 10-car garage, barbecue area and $304,000 worth of furniture.The Sanders also won $80,000 of gold bullion. Ray and Jenny Sanders are the winners of the RSL’s largest prize home — a $4.1 million apartment complex at Palm Beach. Picture Glenn HampsonTHE GOLD Coast’s newest property moguls are thrilled with the future they can provide their grandchildren after winning an entire apartment block worth $4.1 million.Retirees Ray and Jenny Sanders bought a $50 ticket in the RSL Art Union’s biggest prize home draw — five apartments in Palm Beach — during their annual holiday to Burleigh Heads. The couple has the option to rent out or sell the apartments.“We’ll probably be living in the penthouse for a good six months of the year to start with and then the family can come and go whenever it suits them,” Mr Sanders said..“With the four other apartments, our financial adviser will assist us with them, we might sell a couple, we might keep the four, we don’t know yet.”The RSL raises funds for ex-servicemen and women, including services like crisis accommodation and rehabilitation support.The next prize will see a $5 ticket land a lucky prize winner a $2.3 million package of three apartments, including a luxury Southport unit and one on the Sunshine Coast and Brisbane.last_img read more

The harm of NZ’s prostitution law – from someone who supported the law change at the time

first_imgThe Evidence About Prostitution That The New York Times Ignored Truth Dig 1 June 2016Family First Comment: A fascinating read….“Sabrinna Valisce, a former New Zealand pro-decriminalisation lobbyist, spent over 20 years, on and off, in New Zealand prostitution and as a volunteer with the New Zealand Prostitutes Collective, where she advocated for the decriminalization model before it passed into law. She then learned, in the most intimate and brutal way, the folly of Amnesty’s call to decriminalize “all aspects” of the sex trade. Valisce now campaigns for the Nordic Model of criminalizing pimps and johns, decriminalizing prostituted persons and offering real, viable exit services so that women can start exercising some of the “choice” liberal feminism keeps telling us about.”…Sabrinna Valisce fought long and hard for what she believed to be right when she campaigned to pass New Zealand’s Prostitution Reform Act. She was subsequently violated and abused within the same system she fought for. It took courage for her to publicly admit she was mistaken. Now that she is speaking out about it, we owe it to her—and to women around the world—to listen.”Well said. One of the most striking things about Bazelon’s account, however, was not what she reported. It was what she did not report. I had put her in touch with Sabrinna Valisce, a former New Zealand pro-decriminalisation lobbyist. Valisce spent over 20 years, on and off, in New Zealand prostitution and as a volunteer with the New Zealand Prostitutes Collective, where she advocated for the decriminalization model before it passed into law. She then learned, in the most intimate and brutal way, the folly of Amnesty’s call to decriminalize “all aspects” of the sex trade. Valisce now campaigns for the Nordic Model of criminalizing pimps and johns, decriminalizing prostituted persons and offering real, viable exit services so that women can start exercising some of the “choice” liberal feminism keeps telling us about.New Zealand is the only country in the world that has implemented the full decriminalization model championed by Amnesty International, and Valisce has lived it firsthand. Below is the word-for-word evidence, given to Emily Bazelon and subsequently forwarded to me by Sabrinna Valisce, that was not printed by The New York Times:I worked pre- and post-law reform. The Prostitution Reform Bill passed into law to become The Prostitution Reform Act (PRA) in 2003. The good part of it was that the threat of a criminal record was removed. This would happen under The Nordic Model also. I volunteered at the New Zealand Prostitutes Collective (NZPC), so I was [able to compare our decriminalization] goal … to the results. I, and others who were agitating for decriminalization in New Zealand, we always wanted the power to be placed firmly in the hands of the prostituted person/sex worker. Decriminalization didn’t do that. The power went to the brothel owners, escort agency owners and johns. Immediately following the PRA, the pimps became legitimate businessmen. They introduced “All-Inclusive.” An “All-Inclusive” is a single fee paid by the john to the brothel/escort agency via the receptionist. This means that the prostituted person/ sex worker has no power of negotiation. It also means that the pimp decides her earnings (most are women). The pimps gained the power to decide what a “service” would be paid and how much of that belonged to them. They also gained the power to withhold the woman’s earnings or even deny any existence of those earnings. Prior to law reform we negotiated our own money and decided our own services.In NZ, prostituted persons are considered Independent Contractors; yet in practice women are, in fact, employees without any benefits of being employees. They are told when shifts start and finish, what the rates are, what to wear, and what to do. Some places even have a minimum amount of shifts per/week. There can be any number of fees and fines; shift fee, advertising fees (without receipts I might add), late fines, room fines, presentation fines, drivers fees for out-calls, fines for being sick and missing a shift and even laundry fees. All brothels and agencies say they are drug-free. I’ve yet to see one where this is true. I could get any drug I wanted on any day of the year in every place I ever worked.Decriminalization also saw a 400% increase in “service providers” / prostituted persons. This wasn’t solely in response to increased demand. It was also in response to the pushing of the image of sex-work as empowering, luxurious and glamorous, through TV shows like “Secret Diary of a Call-girl.” Brothel owners and escort agency owners also increased the amount of ‘their girls’ on shift. Where once it had been 4-8 [girls], it was suddenly 15-28 per night shift. This was fuelled by the johns wanting a lot of choice. Johns wanted the cheapest service, with the most extras, with the most amount of girls to choose from: the younger and newer, the better. So the pimps drove down the prices to get their patronage. This, of course, had a roll-on effect of lowering prices on the streets and in private sole contractors. It also saw girls competing by offering more and more to get the jobs.The PRA was meant to make it safer and enforce safe sex practices. In reality, it’s done the opposite. “Passionate” is code for kissing, including deep tongue kissing. Prior to the PRA this was an absolute taboo in the trade. No one did it. After the PRA, nearly everyone does, despite the huge risk of cold sores, which is herpes simplex. I saw, for the first time, oral sex being performed without barriers. The code for this is NBJ, which stands for Natural Blow Job. CBJ is the code for Covered. We had no terms for these things before [decriminalization] because we considered it a betrayal of the sisterhood. Safe sex had been rigidly internally policed. All that has gone by the wayside since high competition and lowered rates. Girls are also now expected to let men cum as many times as they can within the booked time. It was never that way before. They paid once and received one service.Porn has changed the trade dramatically. More johns expect a kind of violence to be acceptable. I’m not talking about punching and beating, though that can and does happen now, just as it always has. I’m talking more about gagging, throttling, spanking, and hard pounding. The rise of gonzo porn has normalized sexual violence. Under the Nordic Model, prostituted persons / sex workers would command far more power to draw boundaries because johns could be criminalized with a phone call. Under the circumstances in NZ right now, prostituted persons /sex workers are putting up with it because they desperately need the money.So, I repeat, the power went to the pimps and johns despite that never being the goal. I respect and adore the people I worked with at NZPC because I know [that] they, like me, wanted everyone in the sex trade to have legal protections, power of conditions and negotiation, and a way to be as safe as possible. It’s been very hard to admit we failed, but I feel morally obligated to do so. I still want the original goal and I believe the Nordic Model offers the best chance of making that happen.It is frankly disturbing that Valisce’s testimony was left out of an article that included so many voices calling for exactly the legislation she has experienced as disastrous. It is vital that her voice is heard now, when Amnesty International has just told the world that New Zealand-style prostitution laws, which decriminalize pimps, brothel owners and johns, should be rolled out across the globe.Valisce, of course, will be an enormous inconvenience to Amnesty and others who are committed to the pretence that decriminalizing human rights violations against women is some kind of positive forward step. Some people, though, will listen to her, and when they do, it will be no thanks to The New York Times.In private conversation with me, Valisce said that because of the “seemingly endless fines and fees” set by pimps, together with the 50 percent cut they took, it was not uncommon for her to be used by her first john of the day for free. She described the situation as “debt bondage rape.” She also said:In one brothel, I witnessed Thai women who barely spoke English, lived on premises, were kept separate, and never left the building. We were told they were “visiting sex workers.” I didn’t want to believe it was trafficking, but on some level I knew. Over a decade later while reading a book that described trafficked Thai girls in great detail, I had flashback memories of this. I contacted the author and gave the name of the brothel owner, the one I had worked for. The author contacted the woman whose story it was, and asked for the name of the brothel and who owned it. It was the same pimps in a different brothel. This was no coincidence.I dedicated over two decades of my life to law reform for the sole purpose of placing power into the hands of people in prostitution. I saw the travesty of pimps and johns taking that power for themselves and using it against us. I believed it was against the spirit of the law and we’d fix it. The more I looked into fixing the problems, the more the Nordic Model provided the solutions, because it disempowers those who would abuse us sexually and financially. It’s not people’s opinions that are stealing incomes and lowering charges, or beating, raping, and killing people in prostitution. It is pimps and johns. The way to protect people in prostitution is to recognize who the real criminals are, which the Nordic Model does.It is to be hoped, going forward, that institutions of influence will pay attention to voices of experience from within these regimes. Sabrinna Valisce fought long and hard for what she believed to be right when she campaigned to pass New Zealand’s Prostitution Reform Act. She was subsequently violated and abused within the same system she fought for. It took courage for her to publicly admit she was mistaken. Now that she is speaking out about it, we owe it to her—and to women around the world—to listen. READ MORE: http://www.truthdig.com/report/page3/the_evidence_from_new_zealand_the_new_york_times_ignored_20160601Keep up with family issues in NZ. Receive our weekly emails direct to your Inbox.last_img read more