Limerick families in crisis after home help hours cut

first_imgNewsLocal NewsLimerick families in crisis after home help hours cutBy Alan Jacques – October 29, 2015 609 Twitter WhatsApp WATCH: “Everyone is fighting so hard to get on” – Pat Ryan on competitive camogie squads Print Predictions on the future of learning discussed at Limerick Lifelong Learning Festival RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Limerick Artist ‘Willzee’ releases new Music Video – “A Dream of Peace” Linkedin Facebookcenter_img Previous article18% increase in calls to Limerick domestic abuse serviceNext articleTeenagers training for film industry Alan Jacques TAGSfeaturedFianna Fáilhome helplimerickOireachtas Health CommitteeWillie O’Dea TD Limerick’s National Camogie League double header to be streamed live by Alan [email protected] up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up THE GOVERNMENT has been accused of a “bitter betrayal” on supports for older people following confirmation that over 143,000 home help hours have been slashed over the past five years in Limerick alone.According to Census 2011, there are 8,246 family carers in Limerick city and county providing around 200,000 hours of care every week in their own homes.Limerick Fianna Fáil TD Willie O’Dea, who is the party spokesman on Social Protection, told the Limerick Post this week that many older people are finding it more and more difficult to continue living at home following a substantial reduction in home help supports since this Government came into office.“The cuts to home help hours for older people are nothing short of disgraceful and are another example of the Government’s failure to keep the promises it made in order to get itself elected,” the Limerick politician claimed.“Fine Gael and Labour committed to increasing home help supports year on year. What has happened is the complete opposite. The assistance hours have been slashed by over 25 per cent in Limerick over the past five years, which is way above the national average of around 10 per cent, and as a result of these harsh cuts, older people are finding it increasingly difficult to stay living in their own comes,” he said.Figures provided at a recent Oireachtas Health Committee meeting show that the number of home help hours in Limerick is down from 524,671 in 2010 to a projected 381,000 in 2015 — a fall of 143,671 hours over five years.Nationally the number of home help hours are down from 11,680,516 in 2010 to a projected 10,447,000 in 2015 — a fall of 1,253,516 hours over five years.Deputy O’Dea continued: “This cut clearly highlights the extent of the Government’s betrayal of its Programme for Government commitment in relation to home supports for older people. It’s another example of Fine Gael and Labour’s continued attack on older people and people with disabilities.“The cuts to over 70’s medical cards, to home adaption grants, to the housing aid for older people scheme, to the telephone allowance, the abolition of the bereavement grant, and the five fold hike in prescription charges have had a serious impact on older people in Limerick and across the country.He feels it is deeply unfair for the Government to continue to target older people in this way and also “extremely counter-productive”.“By failing to provide the supports needed to allow people to live securely and with dignity in their own homes, the Government is forcing these people onto the already overburdened hospital system and costing the taxpayer more in the long-run.” Email Vanishing Ireland podcast documenting interviews with people over 70’s, looking for volunteers to share their stories Advertisement Limerick Ladies National Football League opener to be streamed livelast_img read more

Press release: Need for speed drives superfast broadband boost for Wales

first_imgThe Government’s rollout of superfast technology is an important part of the ongoing digital transformation work designed to make it quicker and easier for citizens to interact with Government online.ENDS Local businesses in areas covered by the Government’s rollout of superfast broadband have seen a combined £9 billion increase in turnover since the boost to their broadband speed, new figures have revealed.The “The Evaluation of the Economic Impact and Public Value of the Superfast Broadband Programme” is an independent assessment of the impact the rollout has had in its first years (2012-2016). Key findings from the report include: Secretary of State for Wales Alun Cairns said: The UK Government is delivering on its promise to speed up service for thousands of residents and businesses across Wales. While it is often challenging to reach some of the most rural parts of the country, today’s figures demonstrate a real increase in service coverage, which together with the Universal Service Commitment by 2020 will ensure residents can legally expect a minimum level of service from their providers, wherever they are in Wales. By making sure everyone has access to reliable, high speed broadband we can not only support our rural communities and businesses in Wales, but also provide a boost for the rapidly expanding digital sector, which is quickly becoming a central part of the Welsh economy. New research shows a £9 billion increase for local businesses, delivering a welcome boost to the UK economy and creating new jobs Government rollout of superfast broadband has now reached almost 5 million homes and businesses who would otherwise have missed out Suppliers will now return more than half a billion pounds for reinvestment in extending rollout to the rest of the UK, due to high take up rate In Wales, the current coverage level is at 94.7%, with 700,364 Welsh homes and businesses now able to get a superfast broadband service as a result of the Government’s rollout The figures also show a 42.51% take up rate of superfast broadband in areas reached by the Government’s rollout in Wales New figures out today also show that around 5 million homes and businesses who would have been stuck in the digital slow lane now have access to superfast broadband. The Government’s rollout of superfast broadband to those areas deemed “commercially un-viable” has helped take nationwide coverage to 95.39%.Take-up of the new technology in areas benefiting from the Government programme is now running at 45% – more than double the expected rate. As a result of the contracts put in place by Government, those companies rolling out superfast broadband will now return more than £500 million in subsidies to the public purse to be used to reach those locations not yet covered by existing plans.It is estimated that more than 1 million extra UK homes and businesses will gain access to superfast speeds, taking superfast coverage to 98% of the nation over the next few years.Government is introducing a Universal Service Obligation that will mean everyone in the UK has access to fast and affordable broadband by 2020, and has recently set out plans to deliver nationwide gigabit capable (1000Mbps) connectivity by 2033 as part of its modern industrial strategy.Openreach CEO Clive Selley, said: It is great to see businesses across the UK reaping the benefits of faster broadband speeds and I’m proud of the leading role that Openreach has played in helping to deliver the Government’s rollout of superfast broadband – one of Britain’s great engineering achievements. We’ve also recently introduced a raft of lower wholesale prices to help drive higher take-up of faster fibre services which will help to further fuel the boost to the UK economy. Our rollout of superfast broadband across the UK has been the most challenging infrastructure project in a generation but is one of our greatest successes. We are reaching thousands more homes and businesses every week, that can now reap the clear and tangible benefits that superfast broadband provides. We are helping to ensure the downfall of the digital divide. £9 billion surge in turnover for businesses benefitting from the faster connections now available £690 million net increase in Gross Value Added to the UK economy A reduction of almost 9000 individuals claiming jobseekers allowance, as well as a reduction in long term claimants by 2,500 in programme areas, accompanied by the creation of 49,000 local jobs. Programme has delivered £12.28 benefit for businesses for every £1 invested by the Government and local authorities Strong indication that high take up rates of Government’s superfast programme have encouraged telecommunications industry to expand their own commercial broadband projects. Minister for Digital, Margot James said:last_img read more

NSF grant will virtualize evidence-based teaching for science and engineering

first_imgHarvard University and The University of Texas at Austin have received a $500,000 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to develop open-access research-based tools for advancing learning in science and engineering.Eric Mazur, Balkanski Professor of Physics and Applied Physics at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), will serve as lead investigator in collaboration with co-principal investigator Sacha Kopp at the UT-Austin College of Natural Sciences (CNS), and project director Julie Schell, senior educational researcher in the Mazur Group at SEAS.As part of the NSF’s Office of CyberInfrastructure, the grant will be used to “virtualize” evidence-based teaching methods, making good practices accessible to educators everywhere.“This project will help teachers improve students’ learning by disseminating innovative instructional approaches via the Internet and, in turn, will allow us to streamline our efforts to enhance learning in science and engineering for broad audiences,” said Mazur.The project will feature Mazur’s learning methodology—Peer Instruction (PI). The basic goals of PI are to encourage and make use of student interaction during lectures, while focusing students’ attention on underlying concepts and techniques.Already used by thousands of instructors who have collectively taught more than 75,000 students, PI is supported by 20 years of research. Many studies using standardized, diagnostic tests have evaluated PI and shown it to be considerably more effective than the conventional lecture approach to teaching. Read Full Storylast_img read more

Bill will transfer GAL program

first_img Bill will transfer GAL program Senior EditorA bill that transfers the state’s guardian ad litem program from the court system to an executive agency has passed the House Judiciary Committee. That panel also approved a bill revamping the process for trying residential construction defect cases, although some representatives said the measure has serious flaws.Rep. Nan Rich, D-Sunrise, sponsor of the HB 439 on the GAL system, said that while a gubernatorial blue ribbon panel found guardians indispensable to helping children caught up in court proceedings, the courts had not identified it as central to their functioning.Her bill would move the agency from the court system to the Justice Administration Commission, which now oversees accounting for the state’s public defenders and prosecutors. The program would be overseen by a director who would report to the governor.One major change was in staffing for the new statewide office. Rich’s bill originally mirrored Gov. Jeb Bush’s budget, which called from transferring 10 employees from the Office of the State Courts Administrator to the new statewide guardian office. Court officials opposed that, saying they have no more than two positions that support the guardian program and cutting 10 positions would require reducing support for other vital programs.Under Rich’s bill, as amended, there would be eight positions assigned to the new office, and no more than two would come from OSCA. The remainder would come from vacancies within GAL local operations.Lisa Goodner, deputy state courts administrator, said after the meeting that court officials are happy with that solution.Rich said the new program would oversee the 4,500 volunteer guardians and the GAL’s $23 million budget. It will also oversee the related attorney ad litem program, and provide for training and education.“It is critical that the guardian ad litem be given a home in this session in order to continue the program,” Rich said, adding the transfer to the JAC will produce uniformity and improve operations.The committee unanimously approved the bill. A similar measure, SB 1974, has been introduced in the Senate by Sen. Skip Campbell, and has been referred to several committees, including the Senate Judiciary Committee.The construction defects bill came up as a proposed committee bill. It calls for giving contractors and subcontractors notice and an opportunity to fix construction defects on residential properties before filing a construction defect lawsuit.Despite criticism the bill was too one-sided, it passed, although Chair Rep. Jeff Kottkamp, R-Cape Coral, said he would ask House leadership to refer it to another committee for further work. The bill was originally scheduled only for Judicial Committee review before going to the House floor.Representatives of the construction industry said it would save them money by giving them a chance to repair problems without having to pay legal fees to defend actions in courts. They said frequently the first they knew of a problem was when a lawsuit was filed.But Debra Zappi-Henley, representing the Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers, said the only area in tort law where the state requires presuit notification is in medical malpractice cases. And that was done only after extensive studies showed the public benefit, and no such research has been conducted for construction cases, she said.Rep. John Seiler, D-Pompano, said he could support the idea of notification with a chance to fix a problem, but added contractors themselves could address the problem by revising their construction contracts without resorting to any legislation.He also said the bill was stacked against homeowners victimized by shoddy construction. Each separate defect requires a separate notice, Seiler said, and homeowners with multiple defects could be swamped by the paperwork. He also said that the statute of limitations in some cases could expire while homeowners are pursuing the repairs and mediation under the bills procedures.In the case where a contractor does not intend to make the repairs, homeowners could be left with malfunctioning heating or aid conditioning for several months before they could seek a legal remedy.Rep. Dan Gelber, D-Miami Beach, agreed. He also noted the bill contained a provision making it a second degree misdemeanor to give a homeowner something of value to encourage them to file suit. That could be read, he said, that if someone invited neighbors over for dinner to discuss construction flaws, they had violated the law.Rep. Phillip Brutus, D-North Miami, said he would vote for the bill, but only because Kottkamp promised another committee would review it. The bill now requires homeowners to specify why they reject a proposal to fix a problem from a contractor, but the contractor does not have to detail why a homeowner-proposed settlement was rejected.Likewise, there are penalties for homeowners who reject a settlement offer and then fail to do substantially better in court, Brutus said, but none for contractors who do the same.“ “I think it’s good but, but in a bad fashion. We ought not to kill it but allow it to go forward and make it a better bill,” Brutus said.After the meeting, Kottkamp wrote to Speaker Johnnie Byrd requesting an additional committee reference, but as this News went to press, no action had been taken. Bill will transfer GAL program April 1, 2003 Gary Blankenship Senior Editor Regular Newslast_img read more

Arkansas Police Chief Resigns After Calling for Democrats to Be Executed

first_imgMr. Foster said his organization was looking into Mr. Holland’s connections to the Arkansas Patriots, which he said was a local right-wing militia with ties to the larger Proud Boys network and advocates politically motivated violence.Members of the Arkansas Patriots have been showing up at protests with firearms, Mr. Foster said, adding that many claim to be current or former members of law enforcement and the military. Mr. Holland, he said, had been spotted at such protests recently as part of a militia group. The police chief’s undoing came at breakneck speed.- Advertisement – Mr. Elliott said that Mr. Holland quickly turned in the car, badge, cellphone and other items issued by the city, including a sawed-off shotgun. Mr. Holland carried his own sidearm on duty, which he retained, the mayor said.“As far as the city attorneys are concerned, we’ve done what they asked us to do and they’re going to stand behind us,” Mayor Elliott said. Mr. Holland’s calls for politically motivated violence were only the most recent ones he made on Parler, according to Mr. Foster. On Oct. 17, Mr. Holland called for Democrats to be hanged and said the F.B.I. and C.I.A. were Marxist organizations. Two days later he called for the F.B.I. director, Christopher A. Wray, to be tried for treason.He also encouraged followers to throw water on Democrats while in restaurants and to push them off sidewalks, calling them “traitors” who “have no right to live in this Republic after what they have done.”Aside from the former police chief, Marshall has three other full-time police officers and four part-time officers. “Death to all Marxist Democrats. Take no prisoners leave no survivors!!” Chief Holland added. Updated Nov. 9, 2020, 7:57 p.m. ET – Advertisement –center_img Roughly a day later, after an NBC affiliate in Little Rock reported on his posts, Chief Holland was out of a job. His Parler account, which says he previously worked as a trainer in Iraq and Afghanistan, has since been made private but has not been deleted. After Mr. Holland resigned, Mr. Foster said the Ozark Mountain Proud Boys released a statement on Parler calling for Mr. Foster to be harmed. The Ozark Mountain Proud Boys did not respond to a message asking for comment on whether Mr. Holland was a member of their organization. Quinn Foster, a 26-year-old Arkansan who runs the Ozarks Coalition, an anti-racist watch group, and shared screen shots of Mr. Holland’s Parler posts with The New York Times, said he was alerted to the posts at 7 a.m. on Saturday. An hour later he had taken screen shots of Mr. Holland’s online statements on Parler that were then shared with the mayor’s office in Marshall.By 3:20 p.m. the mayor’s office released a statement saying that Chief Holland had resigned, effective immediately.Email requests for comment were not immediately returned by Mr. Holland on Monday. Efforts to reach Mr. Holland by phone were unsuccessful.- Advertisement – As the results of the presidential election unfolded last week and former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. took the lead in the Electoral College, the police chief of Marshall, Ark., a town of roughly 1,350 people north of Little Rock, shared his feeling of rage online.“Will you and several hundred more go with me to D.C. and fight our way into the Congress and arrest every Democrat who has participated in this coup?” Chief Lang Holland posted Friday on Parler, a right-wing messaging site. “We may have to shoot and kill many of the Communist B.L.M. and ANTIFA Democrat foot soldiers to accomplish this!!!”- Advertisement – Kevin J. Elliott, Marshall’s mayor, said that Mr. Holland was hired as police chief about two years ago and that he was unaware of his political beliefs until Friday night, when he received screen shots of the chief’s posts on Parler from people around the country. On Saturday morning, Mr. Elliott said, he contacted lawyers from the Arkansas Municipal League, who informed him that he was within his rights to fire Mr. Holland.Mr. Elliott summoned Chief Holland to a meeting at the Marshall City Hall at 1 p.m. Saturday and showed him the posts. Mr. Holland declined to answer the mayor’s questions and announced his decision to resign.last_img read more

Union College has grown in diversity

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionI was happy to welcome my good friends, retiring President Stephen and wife Judith Ainlay of Union College to our reformed Jewish synagogue, Gates of Heaven. The format involved a Friday night service, soup Shabbat and discussion on diversity, led by President Ainlay and local “clergy against hate.”The comments were lively and interesting and I, too, had thoughts of how Union has handled diversity through the years. Unfortunately, I neglected to voice them. But now, as a 96-year-old 1943 alumnus of Union and chair of our 75th reunion in May, I offer that when the college had an 8 percent Jewish quota, and a couple “token blacks” were admitted. Now the numbers show 25 percent Jewish and 22 percent African-American.In addition, Union College now enrolls large numbers of foreign students and, conversely, sends many men and women to terms overseas.Plus, it offers “Minerva” scholarships for work/study programs to countries in South and Central America, Africa, Europe, Asia and Australia. That’s diversity.Ted VinickSchenectadyMore from The Daily Gazette:Schenectady department heads: Budget cutbacks would further stress already-stretched departmentsEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesSchenectady High School senior class leaders look to salvage sense of normalcySchenectady NAACP calls for school layoff freeze, reinstatement of positionsTroopers: Schenectady pair possessed heroin, crack cocaine in Orange County Thruway stoplast_img read more

Antigua’s DPP makes extradition request for British officer to face rape…

first_imgThe Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) in Antigua and Barbuda, Anthony Armstrong has successfully requested the extradition of a British officer to face a rape charge on the island.A government statement says this development marks a first in the legal history of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS).Armstrong had made the request through the United Kingdom Crown Prosecutions Service which presented the extradition request to the Westminster Magistrates’ Court before a senior District Judge in October, 2017. The request was finally granted in July this year, after the British Court heard legal arguments for and against it.“The court’s decision was sent to the British Home Secretary for him to decide whether to issue an order for the return of the fugitive officer. The order was signed by the Home Secretary in August of 2018, paving the way for the British officer [to] return to Antigua and Barbuda,” the statement said.However, the British officer, who was not named, may appeal the decision of the Home Secretary before another court.According to the allegations, while on vacation in Antigua and Barbuda in May 2015, the police officer met with a foreign student studying at a local educational institution, and raped her shortly after.The matter was reported to the police who commenced an investigation, spearheaded by Assistant Commissioner of Police Clayton Davis. However, before the suspect could be apprehended, he went back to the UK later that month.last_img read more