San Francisco officials boost efforts to get masks to homeless people

first_img Email Address San Francisco air quality is now Purple (very unhealthy). Everyone, especially people with medical conditions and respiratory diseases, should avoid outdoor activities if possible.— London Breed (@LondonBreed) November 15, 2018Original story, Nov. 13: City health officials are urging San Franciscans to stay indoors as fires render air quality so bad you can see it, and wear masks if they have to go out. “Stay inside if you can,” says Linda Acosta, a spokeswoman for the city’s Department of Public Health. “Otherwise, go to a library, a mall, a movie theater.”But, for those living out of doors and without popcorn money, this may not be an option. As such, the city has put more Homeless Outreach Team members on the streets, and instructed them to do wellness checks on unhoused individuals and disseminate water and particulate masks. The city has, as of Monday, handed out 900 masks and will restock Tuesday. Several dozen additional shelter beds have also been opened up for anyone wishing to come inside out of the haze. It is unclear if anyone has done so, but Jeff Kositsky, director of the Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing, said that anyone suffering smoke-induced respiratory ailments will be accommodated. In past years, when wildfires darkened Bay Area skies, the city opened up “respiration centers” where people could get out of the toxic air. Almost nobody did so and, this time around, San Francisco officials have determined they won’t open up such sites unless we reach “purple” on the air quality chart (purple is, counter-intuitively, worse than red, which is where things have hovered for the past few days. In ascending order of awfulness, the chart goes: green, yellow, orange, red, purple, maroon.)This visitor to San Francisco from New York, pictured in 2011, was ahead of his time in donning a mask. Incidentally, a surgical mask like this one won’t help with wildfire smoke.Brent Andrew, a spokesman for San Francisco General Hospital, says that there has not yet been any noticeable uptick in patients suffering from respiratory ailments. Unhoused people who haven’t yet received a mask can get one for free at Tom Waddell urban health clinic at 50 Dr. Tom Waddell Place, in the shadow of City Hall. Or they can call 311 and work out a deal with the outreach team. Particulate masks are sold out at stores across the Bay Area, and that goes here in the Mission, too (we checked). But you need to know which mask will protect you. A two-strap N95 particulate mask can be of aid against wildfire smoke. A single-strap mask (like the one in the photo above) will not help, nor will a surgical mask. An informal poll of homeless folks in the Mission revealed most had not been approached by outreach workers with masks, nor did they desire them. “I’m alright, thanks,” said Ariel, a tent-dweller on 19th Street. “You probably can’t tangibly tell the quality of the air, but, at this point, I don’t really want one,” added Kyle, who sat on 24th Street plaza with a large, mellow dog. Four Spanish-speaking men in Alioto Park said they’d take a mask if offered. But no one had. “We are homeless,” said one. “No one gives it to us.” Well, stick around. They just might. And the smoke isn’t going away anytime soon.   Libraries: Main branch, Chinatown, Glen Park, Mission BayMalls: Westfield, Stonestown, JapantownMuseums: San Francisco Arts Commission Main Gallery (401 Van Ness Ave.), Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Contemporary Jewish Museum, Museum of the African Diaspora, De Young Museum.Senior Centers: Dr. George W. Davis Senior Center, 1751 Carroll Ave. Subscribe to Mission Local’s daily newsletter Update, Nov. 15, 5:30 p.m.: With the city’s air quality reaching the purple “very unhealthy” level on the chart — and being ranked as the worst air quality among well-known world cities — San Francisco will open up additional shelter beds and urge the unhoused to head toward filtered air facilities.For those who must travel, Muni will be free on Friday.Seventy-five more beds are now available at 525 Fifth Street and 60 have been opened up at St. Anthony’s.The map of filtered-air facilities can be found here.last_img read more

SAINTS won their first tour match 266 against Wes

first_imgSAINTS won their first tour match 26-6 against Wests Juniors writes Jason Emery.Saints started off in impressive fashion in drizzly rain and skipped out to a 14-0 lead in the first 15 minutes with tries to Adam Swift, Mark Percival and Greg Wilde, the latter after a superb offload from Luke Thompson.As the weather deteriorated the game became scrappy and Saints started to turn over too much ball, especially early in the tackle count.Saints should have been further ahead but weren’t clinical enough and bombed a couple of chances to extend their lead.The defence was magnificent though when the Wests team dominated possession and field position prior to the half time break they held out for six sets in a row.St Helens wrapped up the game with further second half tries to Brad Ashurst and Mark Percival, set up well by Dom Speakman and conceded just the one to Wests for a final scoreline of 26-6.Apart from a few bumps and bruises, no major injuries were reported and the Coaching staff were happy to get a win under their belts against strong opposition in tough conditions.Standout players were Adam Hesketh, Greg Richards and Adam Swift.Saints: Charnock; Parry, Percival, Swift, Wilde; Speakman, Yates; Richards, Foster, Hesketh, Thompson, Clare, Tilley. Subs: Savellio, Wood, Webster, Fozzard, Skupski, Ashurst, Heaton. Dom Speakman – Best Back as named by Warren McDonald – Head of Recruitment at West Tigers. Greg Richards – Best Forward as named by Warren McDonald – West Tigers Recruitment.last_img read more

Saints get their Betfred Super League campaign und

first_imgSaints get their Betfred Super League campaign underway this Friday when Castleford Tigers come to the Totally Wicked Stadium.The game kicks off at 7:45pm and already it is one of the hottest tickets in town.Justin Holbrook’s come into the opener having won their two pre-season games and face a Tigers’ side that, of course, ended their Grand Final hopes last season.Tickets for the clash are now on sale from the Ticket Office at the Totally Wicked Stadium, by calling 01744 455 052 or by logging on here.last_img read more

Club Community

first_imgAll clubs across the Betfred Super League will be teaming up in support of the league’s biggest ever mental and physical health campaign ‘Tackle the Tough Stuff’ raising awareness throughout the Wellbeing Round.And SCDF have brought in lifelong fan, Mike, who has been watching Saints for over 50 years, as their Mental Health Ambassador.Earlier in Mike’s career he worked as a social worker and has a vast amount of experience at senior level in social services with North Yorkshire County Council and before that Lancashire County Council.Mike is a perfect fit for the Foundation as he shares the same beliefs and passion towards mental health. He has been brought in to further expand on their already impressive portfolio of programmes dedicated towards mental health awareness, coping strategies and ‘staying well whilst you’re well’.Both Walter Brennan (SCDF’s Mental Health specialist) and Mike have a good track record in their field and the Foundation is tremendously proud to be in a position to have them both on board.Mike Webster said: “I am extremely proud to be asked to join the Foundation as their Mental Health Ambassador. I know how important rugby, and especially Saints are to the town. Getting the chance to help members of our wide rugby audience who may be dealing with mental health issues is a brilliant opportunity. Hopefully we can build on the fantastic work the Foundation does in our community and most importantly reach out to individuals and organisations that work in the mental health field to increase the reach of the Foundation. If I can help even a little bit using my experience, it will be a massive bonus.”Saints Community Development Foundation Director Steve Leonard said: “Our work towards mental health is in its infancy. We have great programmes on the go which touch on all aspects of mental health and all the age ranges within our community, but we need to be doing more. Everyone in St Helens can hold their heads high when it comes to St Helens RFC and the heights that the team take us to on a weekly basis. I want everyone to be proud of the Foundation and to see it as the pillar of our community, a pillar that touches everyone’s life in numerous different ways, a Foundation that is there for people, that provides for our Community and something that provides a heartbeat for us all.“We can only do this with the support of experts like Mike, people who are passionate about making a difference, have the knowledge base and skill set in their field and the good name and reputation to uphold and enhance the name of the Saints Community development Foundation. I would like to welcome Mike on board and wish him well in his new role. I hope you will find time to support him also as I know Mike has a lot of work he plans to do and people he is eager to meet.“I would also like to welcome our partners and friends from State of Mind to tomorrow night’s game. Their work is tremendous and has really lifted the lid on mental health and the amount of people who need support. I would also like to thank North West Boroughs NHS trust and Simon Barber for their continued support of our work towards mental health in our community.”last_img read more

Former middle school assistant charged with child sex crimes

first_img The school system confirmed with WWAY that Oates had previously worked as a Special Education Assistant at Myrtle Grove Middle School through all of 2016 and resigned in early February of 2017.Oates was taken into custody over the weekend and will have his first court appearance Monday as he now faces a $1 million bond. NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) – The New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office has charged a former teacher’s assistant with sexually abusing a minor.Nicholas Lavon Oates faces charges of statutory rape of a child under the age of 15 and indecent liberties with a child. It is uncertain whether or not these alleged events happened while Oates was still employed with the New Hanover County School System.- Advertisement – last_img read more

Hemp crops not insured farmers lose everything

first_img In his first year of growing, Adams says he has put around $50,000 into this farm. But now, he will walk away with nothing.Hemp production is legal in North Carolina, but without a new federal farm bill in place, the crop is not yet eligible for crop insurance. Bill Brill is with Folium Biosciences, a Colorado company that makes hemp products.“Congress is trying to get a completed 2018 farm bill. If they would’ve completed it in August, for example, one of the pieces of language in that farm bill is to provide crop insurance for hemp farmers. So had they passed it in 2018 in August, this farmer would be able to file for crop insurance,” said Brill.Related Article: Death toll reaches 17 in NC, 1,200 roads remain closedBrill says that out of the 26 East Coast hemp farms he outsources from, this one is one of the worst, at 100% crop loss. Because there is no crop insurance on hemp farms, farmers like this one could risk losing their business forever.Brill’s company came out to assess the damage and see how much it will lose as a result.“If insurance was available, I would be on top of it. That would probably be one of the first things I would check into,” said Adams.Adams says he would consider trying hemp farming again, but he says he has a long year of recovery ahead. He says crop insurance is definitely worth the investment if it’s available. BLADEN COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Hurricane Florence devastated farms to the tune of nearly $2 billion in agricultural losses just in North Carolina. While many of those farmers will get help from insurance, one type of crop in particular cannot be insured.“As of right now, it might be a wash,” said Brad Adams, a hemp farmer in Bladen County. “I sold everything I had as soon as I found out about the opportunity. I went all in. Everything I had.”- Advertisement – last_img read more

Section of South Front Street closing for repairs this weekend

first_imgRoad closure (Photo: MGN Online) WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A section of U.S. 421 Truck Route (South Front Street) will be closed between Wright Street and Marstellar Street this weekend for rail repairs. Both the north and southbound lanes will be impassable.The closure is needed so crews can remove damaged rubber seals along the tracks, and patch the area with asphalt. The maintenance project will eliminate potholes adjacent to the tracks.- Advertisement – The lane closures will begin on Saturday at 5 a.m. and should end by 11 p.m. Sunday.There will be a detour option using 3rd Street. Drivers are urged to use caution when approaching the work zone and while traveling on the detour route.last_img read more

Saving the trees Organization trying to update land development codes

first_imgNEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — One organization is trying to save the trees. The Alliance for Cape Fear Trees is trying to preserve the trees throughout the City of Wilmington.Connie Parker is part of the alliance and says with the rise in construction and after Hurricane Florence, we’ve lost quite a few trees.- Advertisement – She says it’s more than just an aesthetic issue. Parker says it can even become a health and habitat issue.“There needs to be a better balance between the growth and development, and the preservation of the environment,” Parker said.She has dedicated the last several years to protecting the trees that decorate Wilmington.Related Article: Wilmington City Council receives update on Project GraceShe and the Alliance for Cape Fear Trees are now working with City Council to update the laws in place that preserve these trees.“They have plans in place which have allowed them to get better at it than in the 1980s, but what we want to see is those new codes and ordinances come out,” Parker said.She says the current policies are outdated. Parker says the Alliance has gotten 18 other city or county organizations on board to help make these updates.“We’re working on the budget,” City Councilman Paul Lawler said. “So we’re looking at what money we have in the city budget to replace trees that have come down, so that’s one piece. Then we’re rewriting the land development code, what most people would call the zoning law.”Lawler says the new code will have laws about how many trees must be replanted after construction.All Parker wants is to freshen up these codes.“We want this to move ahead and we want that to take care of the trees, as well as other parts of the environment that make this area so special,” she said.An official from New Hanover County says they are also actively working with the Alliance to find ways to balance development with the environment.last_img read more

Cholera cases reported as hunger disease stalk African cyclone survivors

first_imgFILE PHOTO: A child is transported on a fridge during floods after Cyclone Idai, in Buzi, outside Beira, Mozambique, March 21, 2019. REUTERS/Siphiwe SibekoFILE PHOTO: A child is transported on a fridge during floods after Cyclone Idai, in Buzi, outside Beira, Mozambique, March 21, 2019. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko Cholera cases were reported on Friday in the Mozambican city of Beira, adding a risk of deadly illnesses for hundreds of thousands of people who are scrambling for shelter, food and water after catastrophic flooding in southern Africa.“There is growing concern among aid groups on the ground of potential disease outbreaks,” the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) said.“Already, some cholera cases have been reported in Beira along with an increasing number of malaria infections among people trapped by the flooding,” it said in a statement.Cyclone Idai battered Beira, a port city of 500,000 people, with strong winds and torrential rains last week, before moving inland to neighbouring Zimbabwe, where it flattened homes and flooded communities, and Malawi.The storm killed 242 people in Mozambique and 259 in Zimbabwe, and numbers were expected to rise, relief agencies said. In Malawi, 56 people died in heavy rains before the onset of Idai.Cholera is spread by faeces in sewage-contaminated water or food, and outbreaks can develop quickly in a humanitarian crisis where sanitation systems are disrupted. It can kill within hours if left untreated.As survivors gathered in informal camps and health officials warned of the danger of cholera and other diseases, UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore said the situation on the ground was critical with no electricity or running water.“Hundreds of thousands of children need immediate help,” she said, estimating 1.7 million people were affected by the storm.Around 45 km (28 miles) west of Beira, in the village of Guara Guara, the government set up a makeshift camp for people rescued nearby, with little water and no toilets.As for many such camps, progress was slow as aid had to be delivered by helicopter.“The help is coming, but it’s coming very slowly,” said Esther Zinge, 60, from near the town of Buzi, adding that what did arrive had to be given to children first.“The conditions are terrible, and more people keep coming.”On a beach in Beira, where the Red Cross estimated 90 percent of the city was damaged or destroyed, survivors clutching infants and bags disembarked from rescue boats beside a ship marooned on the sand and began receiving Red Cross help.United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said he was saddened by the “heart-wrenching images of human suffering” and urged the world to step up support for the relief effort.“CONDITIONS TERRIBLE”In Zimbabwe’s Coppa Rusitu Valley, a township in Chimanimani near the Mozambican border, hundreds of homes were flattened by large rocks and mudslide from a nearby mountain, burying some residents, who never stood a chance as the cyclone unleashed its fury at night when most were sleeping.Relatives and rescuers were digging through the debris, hoping to find bodies, but some of the rocks were so big they need blasting, a Reuters witness said. Most people lost relatives, workmates or friends in the township, which also housed government workers, including police.President Emmerson Mnangagwa said on Thursday night he had come face to face with horrific accounts of people grieving the loss of family and friends in Chimanimani.Some survivors have taken refuge at churches and centres offering temporary shelter as they deal with the trauma of their losses while private citizens, international aid agencies and the government rushed humanitarian aid to affected areas.Zimbabwean Energy Minister Joram Gumbo said the pipeline bringing fuel from Beira had not been affected by the cyclone but the docking terminals at Beira port had been damaged.He said Zimbabwe had 62 days supply of petrol and 32 days for diesel, which is in short supply and has led to long queues in the capital. In the city of Mutare, near Mozambique, diesel shortages were worse, according to a Reuters witness.FEW HELICOPTERSIn Beira, Saviano Abreu of the U.N. humanitarian arm OCHA said the main problem with getting aid to relief camps outside of Beira was that they could be reached only by helicopter, since floods had cut off roads, and helicopters were scarce.Large parts of Beira lacked running water, but everyone affected was getting 20 litres of water for washing, cooking and drinking.Briefing his team late on Thursday night, Connor Hartnady, rescue operations task force leader for Rescue South Africa, said Beira residents were getting fed up with shortages.“There have been three security incidents today, all food related,” he told his team, without giving further details.Commenting on Beira, U.N. humanitarian spokesman Jens Laerke said if people were desperate to get aid, that should be treated as part of the community response and not as a security matter.“These are desperate people,” Laerke said. “I don’t think anybody would blame a desperate mother or father who have children who do not have clean water to drink or food to eat who grab it from wherever they find it in a shop.”The storm’s rains caused the Buzi and Pungwe rivers, whose mouths are in the Beira area, to burst their banks.Roads into Beira were cut off by the storm and wide swathes of the Indian Ocean port city lacked power.WhatsApp <a href=’;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a> SharePrintlast_img read more