More campaigners have added their voices to calls

first_imgMore campaigners have added their voices to calls for a new national organisation of disabled people that they hope would bring together the “fragmented” disability movement.The idea is still being widely discussed, even though at least two of the campaigners who had been working on one project, to set up a “disabled people’s union”, withdrew from the scheme after being attacked on social media by other activists.Dr Sarah Campbell, one of the campaigners who was supporting the project, published a blog this week explaining why she had decided to pull out.She said she had been called a “traitor” for her previous work on the Spartacus campaign with Sue Marsh, the disabled activist who caused controversy earlier this year by accepting a senior position with the controversial US outsourcing giant Maximus.Campbell had previously written a blog calling on disabled people to put their differences aside on issues such as social security, social care and inclusion, and unite in a new organisation.Campbell, who was principal co-author of the Spartacus report and has campaigned on other issues around support for disabled people, said: “I don’t have the physical strength to deal both with internal disability politics and campaigning and will now take the time to recover as much as will be possible from recent illness.“I still hope that a way forward can be found and wish all disability campaigners well in the battles ahead.”Many fellow campaigners told Campbell that the attacks were not representative of most disabled people’s views, and praised her commitment to disability rights.Another disabled campaigner, Jayne Linney, also posted a blog this week about the attacks.She wrote: “To my horror, in this very short period of time several of those willing to do the backroom work have been bullied and verbally assaulted by the same people who purport to believe in campaigning and challenging for our rights.“So much so, that a number of the individuals willing to use their spare energy have said they can no longer continue.”She added: “Isn’t it enough that people are dying through the bullying of Jobcentre & other DWP staff, without resorting to this behaviour ourselves?”She said that she and others were continuing to work on developing a “unifying project for disabled people, a group that can challenge the government with authority”, but that this work would be “much more difficult without the lost expertise”.Ian Jones, co-founder of the WOWcampaign, said he believed there was “a space for an inclusive organisation that we can all relate to”, and that it was “an idea whose time has come”, but needed a different approach than the current project, which had been based around social media.He said: “The way to do it is to talk to disabled leaders and try to get movement from them.”He said the disability movement was currently “too fragmented”, and added: “We have got to find a way of getting everybody involved.”Both Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) and Black Triangle – two of the most influential grassroots organisations of disabled people – said they did not oppose the initiative but currently needed to focus on other areas.John McArdle, co-founder of Black Triangle, said: “Black Triangle does not in any way oppose such an initiative.“We do lack activists, money and other resources as a disabled people’s organisation to contribute to such a project at this time. “We will continue to work effectively with our sister organisation DPAC towards the realisation of our goal: nothing less that the full implementation of the UNCRPD [UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities] in the UK, and restoration and respect for the fundamental human rights of disabled people throughout Britain.”DPAC’s steering group said in a statement: “The election result was devastating for disabled people and naturally since then activists and campaigners have been looking at ways to do things better and how to more effectively link up and co-ordinate our resistance.“The result has been lots of different people working on lots of different ideas. We respect and welcome every act of disabled people self-organising in defence of our rights but time and resources do not allow us to be directly involved in everything.“At DPAC, our focus has been on building the Reclaiming Our Futures Alliance (ROFA) and developing that national network in order to co-ordinate between DDPOs (Deaf and disabled people’s organisations), disabled people-led campaigns and trade union disabled workers’ committees across England.“We hope to see as many people as possible at the ROFA conference in Sheffield on 14 July and all Deaf and disabled people-led organisations and groups are welcome.“We have also been focused on ensuring Deaf and disabled people’s issues are central to mainstream movements such as The People’s Assembly (PA).“We are delighted that for the first time the PA is funding British Sign Language interpretation for their demo on 20 June.”last_img read more

Advocates for Immigrant Shot by Police Push for Criminal Charges

first_imgWitness accounts indicate Perez Lopez had been approached from behind by plainclothes officers, wriggled out of their grasp and then – before turning to run away – dropped his knife at the officers’ commands. Arnoldo Casillas, a lawyer representing Perez Lopez’s family in a civil suit against the city and Suhr, presented the results of a private autopsy in April 2015 that show Perez Lopez had been shot in the back, casting serious doubts on the police version of the story. The San Francisco Medical Examiner’s autopsy confirmed that Perez Lopez was shot in the back.The autopsy results are a major facet of activists’ stance that the shooting was unjustified. “I think once the Mario Woods thing was seen and people saw the video all of a sudden they realized that, first of all, the cops are capable of killing people…and secondly, they’re also capable of covering up,” said Father Richard Smith, a vicar at the Episcopal Church of St. John the Evangelist. “From the Mario Woods video…people realized, wow, maybe that’s what happened with Amilcar, so they kind of went back to revisit it.”The autopsy certainly complicates the police narrative of what happened, but may not indicate any wrongdoing on the part of the officers. Ron Martinelli, a forensic police practices expert and an expert witness who often examines officer-involved shootings, said it is not necessarily suspect that officers shot Perez Lopez in the back, or failed to give him time to respond to a command to drop the knife, depending on the circumstances. “It takes about 58 hundredths of a second to experience a life threat…The next thing is, it takes about 56 hundredths of a second for the human being to make a decision of how they’re going to respond to that life threat,” Martinelli said. “Do you know how fast a human being can turn around? .25 seconds. So here’s the conundrum: A police officer could be threatened by a person with a knife… yell at him to drop the knife, and when he doesn’t see the guy immediately drop the knife and the person has already started to turn and run, if the officer only takes 33 hundredths of a second, and that guy’s already turned around… it struck him in the back.”But the exact details, on which such an assessment depends, are nebulous. Since the autopsy results were revealed, the public has gotten no further clarity on what might have actually happened the night of Perez Lopez’s shooting or on the timing of the sequence of events. But it seems the District Attorney may have new information.Advocates for Perez Lopez’s family report that District Attorney staff members have been able to extensively interview two of Perez Lopez’s former roommates. Immediately following the shooting, these roommates, both undocumented immigrants, gave statements to the press only under condition of anonymity. Casillas, the attorney representing Perez Lopez’s family, said he is trying to find some kind of protection for them, but as that they have not been afforded any special protections for their testimony. In mid December, following Woods’ death, SFPD categorized pointing a gun at someone as a use of force. On February 11, police commissioners considered changes to the police’s general order on use of force, and then passed them on to a group of stakeholders. The changes would establish policy to put the sanctity of human life first and foremost, employ de-escalation techniques where possible, and respond to force proportionally. The proposal, however, was also the chief’s attempt to grant select members of his department electric stun guns (or Tasers, after their biggest manufacturer).Meanwhile, the federal Department of Justice has launched a review of San Francisco’s police department. Representatives from the department are holding meetings with the community to gauge its feelings toward law enforcement. One meeting was held in the Bayview on Wednesday, and another is scheduled for the Mission on March 8 at 6 p.m. at Mission High School. But Smith does not have high hopes. “It really became very very clear last night that that really is a sham,” he said. “They’re treating us like we’re one big therapy group.”The civil case brought by Casillas is on hold while the District Attorney completes his investigation into the conduct of the officers. “We’re kind of treading water until the work is done on the DA’s side whether there’s going to be criminal charges or not,” said Bill Simpich, an attorney who lives near where Perez Lopez was shot and is assisting in the case. Keeping political momentum going has been challenging in a case whose emotional appeal pales in comparison to the other two most memorable police shootings in San Francisco – those of Alex Nieto and Mario Woods. In Woods’ case, bystander video of the shooting was immediately widely circulated and drew passionate responses. “It’s video! It’s so powerful. There’s just no comparison between a video case and a non-video case,” Simpich said. Nieto, meanwhile, has a family present in the city around whom continued activism swirls, and a deeply rooted network of friends. Perez Lopez, Smith pointed out, had neither of these. “He is not local, he’s not a homegrown boy, he doesn’t have a network of friends that go back years as do both Mario and Alex,” he said. “There’s not quite the same community around him of people who loved him and…feel his absence.”What’s more, the young immigrant struggled to speak Spanish – his mother tongue was an indigenous Guatemalan language.“It was harder for him to connect with people,” Smith said. Nonetheless, both Simpich and Smith said interest in the case has increased since Woods’ death. “I started getting approached by supervisors and just people sparking more interest. I started seeing Amilcar’s name being mentioned more frequently in public spaces and in the media,” Smith said.On the anniversary of Perez Lopez’s death, organizers plan to meet, hold a vigil and march from the site of his shooting to Mission Police Station. “This whole kind of area of law depends on how badly you want to do something,” Simpich said. “I think that the city is genuinely surprised by the power of the Black Lives Matter movement… It hasn’t gone away, it’s gotten stronger.”This story has been updated to reflect new information about the San Francisco Medical Examiner’s autopsy report. It also stated that the undocumented eyewitnesses in the case had been granted a U-visa. Following an interview with attorney Arnoldo Casillas that indicated the contrary, this has been corrected. 0% One year after police officers shot and killed Amilcar Perez Lopez, who they say was threatening them with a knife, activists are hoping to keep advocacy on his family’s behalf going strong.With public outcry mounting after the shooting of Mario Woods, organizers said they are seeing renewed vigor in pushing for criminal charges against the officers who shot Perez Lopez.On February 26, 2015, officers Craig Tiffe and Eric Reboli responded to 24th and Folsom streets, where a caller had reported a person with a knife. They found Perez Lopez in an altercation with a cyclist, Abraham Perez. What happened next is unclear, and accounts vary dramatically. Police say Perez Lopez brandished a knife and then lunged at the officers.  An account given later by Chief Greg Suhr indicated that Perez Lopez had actually threatened Perez, the cyclist, with a knife rather than an officer. center_img Tags: Amilcar López-Pérez • protests • SFPD • shootings Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%last_img read more

Distillations Clooneys is a neighborhood bar in a neighborhood that at times

first_imgOne of two rooms is dominated by a horseshoe bar with a giant TV behind it turned to football, with walls holding two other TVs turned to games, two TVs that are not turned on (at least that night), sports memorabilia, and pictures of old San Francisco. The other room holds a pool table and more memorabilia. An odd mix of hip hop, classic rock, and I-don’t-know-what was playing on the jukebox. What the music all had in common was that it was loud. It was the sort of crowd in the sort of bar where people sitting around the horseshoe would periodically stand up and gyrate to their songs. I ordered an 805 blonde ale, because I am that guy, and “Donna” ordered a Lagunitas Little Sumpin’. “Okay,” she said. “I have to tell you this. Before we talk about anything else, I HAVE to tell someone this.”“Okay,” I said.“So, right when the fires started, I met somebody who lived in Paradise, and loaned her my phone because … well, obviously, she needed some help. And then, when she was done, she logged it out of Facebook, gave it back, the whole deal. But …”She took a breath.“… apparently she accidentally did something where she connected her Messenger account to my phone too, even after she’s logged out. So when she gets back on Facebook, after they’ve all left the area, all her messages are also going to me now! And some of them are about what’s happened with people from the community after the fire hit, which is really neat to see. But apparently she’s also a meth dealer, and she’s selling a bunch of drugs on Facebook, and it’s just … it’s Jerry Springer-level fascinating. And I … I haven’t disconnected it from my phone yet. I can’t stop reading.”“Wow.” I’m speechless. “Wow.”“How was your day?”“Well … I spent my entire afternoon giving advice to a friend of mine who swore that my explaining the place of Jungian psychology in the modern world was really crucially important to a bunch of things he’s been thinking about. Somehow. Then I went out to dinner with another friend who told me that the person I’d been helping out all afternoon has a history of abusive relationships and once held a friend of hers at knifepoint. So … I don’t even know what I was really doing today …”“Oh my God,” she said. “Wow.”“I cannot process this right now.”“No! Do you want another round?”I do. I really do.Illustration by Molly Oleson.We’re here to make a drop off. A big arts organization is throwing a fundraiser next weekend, and they asked me to put an item up for auction: a mystery box. I get a box, I put anything I want into it, and they try to convince a rich person to buy it. I said yes, and then decided this was too big a job for one person. I put a team together. Donna is one of the people who made the physical box itself, beautiful wood, shaped and polished and only lightly adorned, and she’s here to give it to me so that I can turn it over to my electronics guy. The bartender brings us our drinks, and we clink glasses. It’s easy to forget, going to San Francisco bars, just how reasonable a $6 beer can be.Nearby, a drunk woman who might be a regular but who also seems like she may work here when she’s not drinking here, started to insist that she was going to help the bartender clean the place up and close it down. She tried to help, but was in no condition to be helpful, and it was tender and lovely the way she was surrounded by people who knew her name and knew how to accommodate her as she tried to clean the windows. This moment was a neighborhood bar at its best. We’re all in this together.“Wow,” Donna said. “This is SO not like San Francisco! I love it!”“I had no idea there were still bars like this on Valencia,” I agreed. Donna recently quit her job, and has almost four weeks coming up between her last day at the old job and her first day at her new one. “You’re good at this,” she told me. “You go off on these open-ended trips and just disappear for months at a time. I’m staring at four weeks going: How do I DO that? It seems like SO MUCH time! I talked to another friend who’s good at this, and she told me that the best advice is: Do something that will change you. Don’t be the same person coming back that you were when you left.”“Wow, that’s pretty good.”“Yeah, I thought so. The last big project Donna worked on was a haunted house in the East Bay— a group of friends and housemates who turn their whole property into a horror realm for the whole neighborhood.“It took us three weeks to really build it out,” she said over another round. The bartender’s attention was hard to get on a moment’s notice, but he was clearly making rounds that we were included in. We were never left for too long: We were being taken care of. “We actually built a cave in the backyard. A full cave. With a waterfall. And a sewer system underneath it. It was SO MUCH WORK! Nonstop! And then the whole neighborhood, hundreds of kids, goes through it.”But the best part, she said, is always the post-Halloween “friends and family night” that they have, where they ramp the terror and the fucked-upedness up to 11, and go all out to make this trauma-inducing to the people they love most in the world.“Seeing your friends be that fucking terrified is such a gift!” she said, her face lighting up. “Oh my gosh! Seeing their faces! Hearing the sounds they make! They don’t just scream, they squeak! It’s beautiful! Hey … why didn’t you come?”“I decided to go to a magical circus instead.”“That’s disappointing.”After friends and family night, they take it all down. “It just took us one day, one day, to take down everything it took us all those weeks to put up. Well, except the sewer. That took longer.”“There may be a lesson there.”“Yeah, maybe.”“All right!” the bartender called out. “Last call! It’s 15 minutes ‘till I close up shop! You’ve got 15 minutes left!”Around the bar, the crowd of regulars clapped and cheered.“Well, that never happens,” I told Donna.“I kind of love this place,” she said.“Are you still taken care of?” the bartender asked.Yes we were. Email Address Subscribe to Mission Local’s daily newslettercenter_img The Mission on Christmas from Mission Local on Vimeo.There are no hooks along the bottom of the bar at Clooney’s Pub with which to store your bag or backpack or satchel — and perhaps that is because I am the only person in the room with anything like a bag or backpack or satchel. I want those hooks, and the people at Clooney’s are so nice that they actually pretend to care.Clooney’s is a neighborhood bar, not a destination. It’s the sort of place where, when I ask to see a drink menu, the bartender says that he can make mixed drinks and tell me what’s on tap. It’s heavy on standards — Bud, Lagunitas, Shock Top, and what seems like a half-dozen IPAs. Fucking IPAs. I hated IPAs before it was cool.last_img read more

Mission residents sound off on neighborhood design guidelines

first_img“We want to make sure everyone is playing by the same rules so we ensure the cohesiveness of our neighborhood,” senior urban designer Luiz Barata said.Whenever a renovation occurs or a new building is constructed, the guidelines are used for design review; architects and designers also refer back to them. “When sponsors come in with the projects, there’s some expectation of what kind of design they should propose so, in terms of quality, the parameters of the materials — so that creates a baseline language for us to review,” Barata said. After the info session, attendees were escorted to the cafeteria and huddled around several tables. The rest of the time was spent discussing what they like about the 24th Street corridor, and which elements of the neighborhood are at risk of fading away. Facilitators were stationed at each table to mediate the conversation; one planner asked questions while another facilitator took notes on a huge sketchpad resting on an easel.Participants cited a love for the Victorian style houses in the neighborhood, which have steps where people sit down and hang out on. “That’s magnificent because that’s community,” one woman said. Residents also liked the ficus tree canopy that covers much of 24th Street, the neon shop signs, street vendors, and the constant music blaring out of speakers. What people did not like were opaque shop windows and the removal of some of the ficus trees. They would like to see more outside free spaces for vendors and a tile art design at the 24th Street BART station. While the guidelines can only dictate architectural treatment and can’t control what kinds of businesses can move into the district, residents spent a great deal of time lamenting the old businesses, like laundromats and affordable sit-down food spots, that have come and gone due to rent increases. Planning manager Harris told attendees the planning department would continue conversations with residents throughout the coming months. On July 18, a planning informational session will be at the planning commission. The department will begin drafting guidelines this summer and will be hosting their second community meeting sometime in early fall. Email Address Subscribe to Mission Local’s daily newslettercenter_img In conjunction with Calle 24 Latino Cultural District, the San Francisco Planning Department and the Office of Economic and Workforce Development held a special area guidelines workshop at Cesar Chavez Elementary School on Wednesday. Amy Beinart, legislative aide to Dictrict 9 Supervisor Hilary Ronen, was in attendance.The project’s planning manager, John Francis, told the crowd of fifteen, “We’re going to reflect on the character of 24th Street,” and that community feedback will be a critical part of establishing guidelines for design elements such as windows, business signs, outside art, and building facades. The school’s colorful interior was filled with Mission residents who have called the historic district home for years. They filed into the quaint school library, sat on sturdy wooden stools meant for small children and were treated to a lesson in special area guidelines. These established limits on design elements are being created with the goal of preserving the Calle 24 Latino Cultural District’s unique physical characteristics. No official guidelines have officially been set. last_img read more

The Other Side of the Border

first_imgThe story I tell my kids is that their great-great-grandfather reached the Texas border in 1837. He was a young boy, kidnapped by Indians in northern Mexico and then abandoned on the north side of the Rio Grande, near Hidalgo. Later, more of our family migrated from Mexico, all of them settling in the same area of the upper Rio Grande Valley. We farmed on the U.S. side, but legend has it that one year, in the early 1900s, the river flooded and changed course and suddenly we had land on both sides. My father was the first to move to Brownsville, in 1944. He worked for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, patrolling remote stretches of the Rio Grande on horseback to make sure livestock weren’t crossing over and possibly bringing fever ticks into the U.S. Although I moved away to Austin for college, in 1985, and eventually settled there, these and other stories of the border stayed with me. I’ve written a collection of short fiction, two novels, and more than a dozen essays dealing with my family’s time in Brownsville.When I became a father, I wanted my children to know something about the place we came from. They were just babies when I took them to visit their grandparents. Over the years, I took them to family reunions so they could meet all their cousins who still live on the border. I even took them to see the little house where I grew up. So far, they’ve indulged me by not complaining too much about the six-hour drive from Austin to Brownsville, but lately my ten-year-old, Elena, has begun to wonder why I’m so “obsessed with talking about the border.”If this is an obsession, then it has to do with what I see as an incomplete story being told about the region, which is constantly in the news and often comes up at the dinner table. It’s a topic that my two kids, Elena and Adrian, who just turned twelve, are bound to hear about. They are, whether I like it or not, getting only part of the story. Because just as there are two sides of the Texas-Mexico border, there are also two narratives of the place.One version tells us the border is a lawless land, a region in constant crisis, overrun with crime, unauthorized immigration, asylum camps, kids locked in cages, drug smuggling, cartel violence, armed militias. You know this story. In this telling, the border is the place where Texas ends and Mexico begins.The other version reveals a region that’s home to parents and tíos and abuelas, of comadres and primos, of people raising their families, of people enduring, of people falling in and out of love, of people dreaming their own dreams. This is the border of my youth. Hope you enjoyed your free ride. To get back in the saddle, subscribe! This Week in Texas(Weekly)The best stories from Texas Monthly In May, I flew to El Paso to meet up with Joel Salcido, a good friend and talented photographer who grew up there. Together we set out on a weeklong journey, driving the length of the Rio Grande. In talking to and photographing people on the streets, in the plazas and cafes, and along the bridges that cross over into Mexico, we attempted to uncover that other narrative of the border. To find some way of sharing with Elena the story that she, and the rest of us, need to hear.Friday, May 10Dear Elena,It was raining this morning in El Paso and the clouds hung heavy over the Franklin Mountains, so much so that we couldn’t see the peaks and where the rest of the sky began. The weather needed to clear up before my friend Joel could take pictures. We parked next to a convenience store in El Segundo Barrio, a historic part of the city where so many immigrants from Mexico used to pass through in the 1800s, some of them getting here at the same time that immigrants from Europe were arriving in New York City. When it stopped drizzling, we stepped out of the car, and a few minutes later a bearded man came hobbling down the street. He used a wooden cane to walk, but when he stopped to say good morning, he began to tip from his left foot to his right, back and forth, over and over, like he’d forgotten which one was his good leg and so he had to try them both out. He was from El Segundo Barrio, in case anybody wanted to know. But all his life he had also crossed back and forth to Juárez, he told us. Then he continued hobbling along in the same direction he was heading before stopping to ask what Joel was doing in the middle of the street taking pictures. It wasn’t too much later that the sun finally came out.Love,DadCarlos Ramirez, 64, a lifelong resident of El Paso’s El Segundo Barrio, “the other Ellis Island.”Photograph by Joel SalcidoSaturday, May 11Hi Elena,It took us four hours to drive from El Paso to a little town called Presidio. On the way, Joel and I talked about the people we’d met so far. I told him that at a panadería yesterday one of the bakers reminded me of my tío Hector. Something about the man’s eyes. The baker was from Juárez, and it made me wonder whether everyone has a twin version of themselves somewhere. And then Joel told me about a woman he’d photographed in El Paso a couple days earlier, a singer who sometimes performs as a woman and sometimes performs as a man. Her name is Amalia, but when she dresses and sings as a man, his name is Tereso. She sings in English and Spanish, and is great in both languages. She performs across the river too, in Juárez. Unless you already know Amalia, it is hard to tell it’s her when she’s pretending to be Tereso, who even wears a fake mustache and makeup so it looks like he needs a good shave. She does this because when she was growing up, her dad wanted a boy and treated her like a boy, which sometimes made things tough for her. But later, when she started performing, she decided to cross a border, one inside herself, and on the other side she could pretend to be a boy, or a man, really, and she could do it her way. Now that she’s older, she gets to choose when she wants to cross back and forth, and either way she’s lucky because she knows who she is.Love you,DadA composite photo of the singer Amalia Mondragón and her alter ego, Tereso Contreras.Photograph by Joel SalcidoSunday, May 12Dear Elena,Yesterday we walked from Presidio over to Ojinaga, on the Mexican side. From the bridge we saw a man playing with his three kids in the shallow water. A little boy and two girls, close to your age. Their car was parked on the Mexican side of the river and the kids were taking turns pouring water on their father’s head and he was acting like they had him trapped and he couldn’t get away, like he was their prisoner, only he was laughing and so were they every time he fell trying to escape. Immigration guards were stationed on the bridge, right at the boundary between the two countries, where they could make sure people didn’t try to step into the U.S. without having all the right papers. But the guards were also keeping an eye on the family in the water. It didn’t matter, because the father and his kids never noticed they were being watched, and the whole time they stayed in the middle of the river, equal distance from either side, like they’d forgotten there was a this side and a that side. Why am I seeing this? Dad Enter your email address Fieldworkers pick honeydew melons outside Mission.Photograph by Joel Salcido Last Name Left:Texas red grapefruits, the state fruit, harvested by the Rio Grande Juice Company, in Mission. Photograph by Joel SalcidoRight:Fieldworkers pick honeydew melons outside Mission.Photograph by Joel Salcido This article originally appeared in the August 2019 issue of Texas Monthly with the headline “Postcards from the Border.” Subscribe today. Sign UpI agree to the terms and conditions. Monday, May 13Elenita,I forgot to tell you something else that happened while we were walking across the bridge to Ojinaga. It was really hot, plus we were still at a high altitude (2,600 feet), and we were trying to figure out if we wanted to keep walking in the sun and how far it was to the downtown in Ojinaga, or at least how far it was to the next bit of shade. So we asked a young woman who was coming in the opposite direction how to get to the main plaza. Her name was Molly. She had brown hair and was light skinned, like she might sunburn if she wasn’t careful. We weren’t sure at first, but she turned out to be from the U.S., from Presidio. The next thing we asked her was why she was carrying a mariachi outfit. She told us she was performing that night with a mariachi group that included some of her students from Presidio High School, where she’s the assistant band director, and then afterward would be walking back across the bridge. She lives in Ojinaga because a year ago she married a guy originally from Veracruz, and he isn’t allowed to live on the U.S. side, so they live on the Mexican side and every morning during the week she crosses over to work in Presidio and then back again at the end of the day. Five days a week, back and forth. She doesn’t mind it, though. There’s more to do in Ojinaga, and anyway, she’s in love.Miss you,DadMolly Ferguson Rodriguez crosses the Presidio-Ojinaga International Bridge carrying her mariachi outfit. Molly married a Mexican resident and commutes daily from Mexico to the U.S., where she works as a high school band director.Photograph by Joel SalcidoTuesday, May 14Hi Elena,In Del Rio, we met a husband and wife who were holding hands as they walked across the bridge to Ciudad Acuña to buy corn tortillas, and right away we thought, Wow, those must be some great tortillas. We never found the tortillas ourselves, but in Acuña we met a father and his young son who were from Central Africa. They both had learned Spanish in just the last three months. The father cleaned windshields when cars stopped at a busy intersection, and meanwhile, the boy stood on the sidewalk, asking people for “ayuda” and jiggling a Styrofoam cup, a few lonely pesos rattling at the bottom. The father, when he thought we might take his photo, removed his baseball cap and smoothed down his hair. The son wore thick glasses and kept blinking like the glasses weren’t helping. To get to Acuña, they had first migrated to Ecuador, which means after arriving in South America, the father and his little boy probably traveled overland through Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, and finally Mexico, where they were stopped at the bridge because they didn’t have permission to enter the U.S. It seemed like such a long way to travel only to be stuck cleaning windshields and jiggling a cup. And then suddenly walking across the bridge to buy some tortillas didn’t seem so far.Love you,DadDidier Betofe and his six-year-old son migrated from Central Africa to reach Ciudad Acuña, across the border from Del Rio.Photograph by Joel SalcidoThursday, May 16Hi Elenita,We finally made it down to the Valley, closer to where I grew up. We’re just as close as we have been to the river all week, but it feels like there are more Border Patrol agents everywhere. On the highways, in the neighborhoods, at the Whataburger. They’re looking for people—fathers and mothers and sometimes even kids—who come from other countries, like Mexico and Guatemala and Honduras, and cross into the U.S. without permission. Many of these people come because they were living in a dangerous place and thought someone could hurt their kids if they stayed. They come for work and to be able to feed their families. And some come because they have been separated from their father or mother and they want to be a family again. The next morning we went out to the country, where men and women were picking melons. It’s hard work, stooping over and over to pick up the melons in the sun. But this is the melon season, when the farmers need someone to pick the fruit so it can get to stores for the rest of us to buy. These are the people who do the work, the ones no one sees, starting early in the morning so they can pick faster. Melon by melon, row after row after row. Joel took a few pictures and then we left before it got too hot.Con cariño, Con cariño,Dad The State of Texas(Daily)A daily digest of Texas news, plus the latest from Texas Monthlycenter_img If you fill out the first name, last name, or agree to terms fields, you will NOT be added to the newsletter list. Leave them blank to get signed up. Sign up for free access First Name Already a subscriber? Login or link your subscription. Friday, May 17Elenita,We visited a high school yesterday in Los Fresnos, a little town just a short drive from Brownsville. We stopped there because we were looking for a music teacher who shows his kids how to play conjunto music. Sometimes I play this type of music in the car and you tell me to please, please, please turn it off. I used to hate it too when I was growing up. It’s the old-fashioned music your grandparents used to listen to when they were farmworkers. They told me that at the end of each week the musicians would come play at the migrant camps where the people stayed and someone would sprinkle water over the dirt so everyone could dance without making it too dusty. And that was more than eighty years ago, so now the music is super old-fashioned. But that’s what made this teacher and his students so special (you might say weird). Outside of school, they probably listen to hip-hop or rock or country with their friends, but at school they had decided it was cool to play the music of their grandparents and great-grandparents. To sing in Spanish and play the accordion and even a bass and electric guitar, which is less traditional but still traditional because of the way they play the instruments. It was like they had stepped forward in time and still had one foot behind them, watching the dust rise up as their music played on.Wish you were here,DadJuan Longoria Jr., is founder of the Los Fresnos High School Conjunto program. Longoria continues to teach the musical tradition of the Rio Grande Valley as well as performing with his own conjunto band.Photograph by Joel SalcidoSaturday, May 18Hi Elena,We reached the end of the river. You’ve never been here, but someday, if you want, I can bring you to see it. This is where the Rio Grande, the river that for more than 1,200 miles divides one side from the other, meets the Gulf of Mexico. East of here, the Gulf becomes the Caribbean Sea, and then farther out it turns into the Atlantic Ocean, where it connects to Europe and the coast of Africa. But here the water isn’t very deep or all that wide. When I was about your age, my parents would bring me here and, believe it or not, I would swim across, from this side to the other side, to the beach on the Mexican side. Yes, to Mexico! I know it sounds crazy, but nobody thought it was back then. This morning, on the U.S. side, close to where we parked on the public beach, I saw an older man with waders and a fishing pole enter the water, and on the opposite side a younger man wearing cutoffs took his own fishing pole into the river. The young one shouted something to the older one and the older man took a few steps forward—they were maybe fifty yards apart—but the wind was blowing hard and they couldn’t hear each other, so instead they waved. Maybe they were trying to say the water was cold. Maybe they were wishing each other luck. I can’t even say if they were speaking English or Spanish or maybe a little of both, but the wave they gave each other seemed to be enough to get across what they wanted to say.See you soon,Dad You’ve read your last free article Texas red grapefruits, the state fruit, harvested by the Rio Grande Juice Company, in Mission. Photograph by Joel Salcido Subscribe Subscribe now, or to get 10 days of free access, sign up with your email. Cancel anytime. Editor’s Desk(Monthly)A message from the editors at Texas Monthly Never Miss a StorySign up for Texas Monthly’s State of Texas newsletter to get stories like this delivered to your inbox daily. Mexican and American fishermen at Boca Chica, where the Rio Grande empties into the Gulf of Mexico.Photograph by Joel Salcido The revered Virgen de Guadalupe is a constant presence on both sides of the border, as shown here in the border town of Presidio, Texas.Photograph by Joel Salcidolast_img read more

TICKETS for Saints away match in Catalan are now o

first_imgTICKETS for Saints away match in Catalan are now off-sale and available from the Stade Gilbert Brutus only.last_img

TODAY is the final day to buy your season ticket a

first_imgTODAY is the final day to buy your season ticket and take advantage of our Early Bird discount offers.They are packed with great value and offer superb discounts in the Saints Superstore…Hatton’s Solicitors West StandOur Early Bird Junior Season Tickets are still same as 2006 prices at Knowsley Road with season tickets starting from the equivalent of just £4.25 per match!For new purchasers Early Bird Adult tickets save £58 on match day tickets… that is nearly three games free! Typhoo/Hattons Solicitors Family StandsJunior Early Bird = £4.25 per home game!Early Bird Adult tickets save £58 on match day tickets = nearly three games free! Totally Wicked North/Solarking South StandsEarly Bird purchasers in the North and South save nearly £50 or two games free per season! As well as guaranteeing their spot for the year, Season Ticket Holders can also take advantage of 10 per cent off items in the Superstore as well as priority availability for cup and play-off games.You can also save £15 on the 2014 home and away shirt if you buy them together.Need another reason? Then this!Season tickets guarantee you are in the ground for magical moments like these.And remember… you can’t experience the sights and sounds of times like these in the pub!Join us, be the heartbeat #saintsheartbeatYou can buy your ticket from the Ticket Office at Langtree Park (up until 4pm) or online here (up until midnight). You can also take advantage of our six-month Direct Debit scheme.last_img read more

The second rower makes the move to the MBi Shay to

first_imgThe second rower makes the move to the MBi Shay to secure valuable game time in the Championship as he continues his development.Liam, 22, played for Sheffield Eagles on loan in 2017 and split the season with Whitehaven and Halifax last year making 23 appearances in total.He will continue to train with the Saints throughout the course of the year.Saints will continue to use the loan and dual-registration system to ensure its younger players gain game time whilst a mandatory Reserve competition isn’t in place.“The club are 100 percent committed to running a reserve team and did so for two seasons with only Warrington and Wigan also showing their commitment,” Saints CEO Mike Rush said. “Following this experience and lack of game time for the players, the club is awaiting the governing body to make the competition mandatory for all Super League clubs.“We strongly believe that a three tier system, with under 18s and Reserves, is vital to the production of the game’s next generation of elite players for our club and international competitions.“In 2017, the club played 14 games at this level while the next nearest club played seven and as a result we stated that a greater commitment from the centre was needed to make this a genuine competition.“With regards to 2019, once again the competition is based on friendly matches with no formal competition and we felt that the lack of certainty around such fixtures made it impossible to commit to.“The club will explore the opportunity to play some games against other clubs at this level during the season using our top age Academy under 19s and our first team squad members.”last_img read more

Killer heads to prison after accepting plea deal in 2015 murder

first_img In court, Sweet, who had been charged with first-degree murder, agreed to the lesser charge of second-degree murder and to discharging a firearm into a vehicle. A judge sentenced to 15-19 years in prison.Rouse’s mother addressed the judge saying to Sweet: “Who are you to play God with my child’s life?”Sweet was accused of arguing with Rouse over the mother of his daughter before shooting into the car three times. He hit Rouse in the chest and arm. Rouse drove off and crashed into another car and a wall in the 1900 block of Market Street, where he died.Related Article: Burgaw man wanted on kidnapping, assault charges“What you decided to do was in the heat of the moment,” Winifred Ellerby, victim’s mother, said. “I mean, with the education you have, I know you have the intelligence to know right from wrong. You decided to do something in the heat of the moment that changed everyone’s lives, his family and my family. Now he’s in a situation where he can’t be there for his child, so we both lose. Like his family won’t have him, I won’t have my son. We both lose.”One of Sweet’s last statements in court was that the victim’s family is in his prayers. WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A man will spend nearly two decades in prison after admitting to a 2015 murder in Wilmington.Montrell Dyshawn Sweet reached a plea agreement more than two years after the shooting death of Ali Iquan Dameish Rouse.- Advertisement – last_img read more

Medical examiners report confirms evidence of sexual assault in Paitin Fields homicide

first_imgPaitin Fields (Photo: WWAY) PENDER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — The Medical Examiner’s Office confirms 5-year-old Paitin Fields was strangled and her death is considered a homicide.The report, released today, provides a few more details on the circumstances surrounding the Pender County child’s death.- Advertisement – According to the medical examiner’s summary, the child’s family took her to Pender Memorial Hospital on November 13, 2017, with complaints of seizure and an altered mental status.There was also complaint of illness over the previous two days.ER staff noticed what appeared to be ligature marks on her neck, consistent with strangulation. She was then sent to New Hanover Regional Medical Center for further evaluation.Related Article: NCGOP chairman, others indicted in federal corruption probeThere was a bruise on her right lung and a small amount of hemorrhage in the abdomen. The medical examiner also wrote there is evidence of sexual assault.Over the next day, Fields lost her remaining cranial nerve reflexes.On November 15, an EEG showed no electrical activity in the brain. She was prepped for organ donation.The autopsy was then scheduled for November 20 in Greenville.The autopsy report has not been released yet. So far, no one has been arrested.The Pender County Sheriff’s Office says they are waiting on the autopsy report.This story will be updated.last_img read more