A university which built a library it knew was ina

first_imgA university which built a library it knew was inaccessible in order to cut costs has agreed to pay £20, 000 in compensation for discriminating against a talented disabled photography student.Andrew Brenton (pictured, in a self-portrait) and other mobility-impaired students at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David were barred from the basement floor of the library for more than four months after he reported concerns about fire safety practices when a lift broke down at the start of the academic year in October 2013.Disabled students are believed to have been using the building in Swansea since 2005, even though these flaws – including problems with communications, evacuation routes and fire exits – meant it had been unsafe, particularly for wheelchair-users.Although the lift was fixed within a couple of weeks, disabled students were not allowed to use the basement of the library until the following February, as university authorities took that long to install the necessary safety improvements.The basement floor of the library on the university’s Dynevor campus houses all of the photography literature Brenton needed for his three-year photojournalism degree course, which is entirely assessed on coursework, with students expected to spend hours every week browsing the books in the library.Brenton also discovered that he should have been given a personal emergency evacuation plan (PEEP) on the first day of his university course.But despite complaining about this in October 2013, his PEEP was not completed until April 2014.Brenton had begun his course at Swansea Metropolitan University, but at the end of his first year it merged with another institution to become the University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD).The institution’s inadequate safety procedures were highlighted in May 2014 when Brenton – who has mobility and other impairments – was abandoned in a stairwell of the library after a fire alarm sounded and the building was evacuated.During a meeting following this incident, Brenton discovered that senior management were unaware that the university did not have a health and safety officer on its staff, and had not had one for some months.After the university failed to deal with his concerns, he launched a legal action – with support from the Equality Advisory and Support Service and the Cardiff charity Race Equality First – claiming he had been discriminated against because the lift had been out-of-order for so long, and the university had failed to provide him with a PEEP at the start of his course.He also complained about being left in the stairwell, and how a member of staff who left him there had made sarcastic comments to other students and staff about his impairment.Brenton also claimed that a senior member of university staff refused him permission to record a meeting held to discuss his complaints in November 2013, and called off the meeting when he asked to be accompanied by his wife.He says that both measures were reasonable adjustments needed because of his deafness, attention deficit disorder, and joint problems, which mean he cannot take legible and accurate notes.The staff member told him he was not entitled to such reasonable adjustments under the Equality Act because he was “just a student”, an attitude that he said left him feeling “bullied and disempowered and belittled”.He said the university’s apparent lack of concern for his safety and welfare had led to him feeling “anxious, devalued and worthless”, while the efforts to resolve the dispute had exacerbated his anxiety.After he launched his complaint, he obtained an email that had been sent by Professor Ian Wells, the university’s pro vice chancellor for student experience, in which he said: “Privately I understand that much of the Dynevor building was constructed without taking into account DDA [Disability Discrimination Act] requirements, to save money and this has caused the lift problem.”Despite the discrimination, Brenton graduated this summer with a first-class honours degree. He has now agreed to settle the case, and will be paid £20,000 compensation by the university.He said he felt that the way he had been treated by the university was “almost like a betrayal of trust”.He and his wife Michele have now submitted evidence to an inquiry into the impact of the Equality Act on disabled people, which is being carried out by a House of Lords committee.They have told the committee they believe the key problems are with enforcement of the act, rather than the legislation itself.Brenton said: “It’s up to the person who is being discriminated against to enforce the law. It is expensive and very stressful.”If he had lost his case, he believes that he and his wife would have been left bankrupt by having to pay the university’s costs.Brenton also said he did not believe that universities such as UWTSD would fill the gaps caused by planned cuts to disabled students’ allowance (DSA), with the government intending to force universities to fill these gaps through their duties to provide reasonable adjustments under the Equality Act.He said: “They seem to struggle to comply with their legal obligations as it is. They will do as little as they possibly can in my opinion.”He said that his case was “the tip of the iceberg” when it came to discrimination in education.He added: “It seems to me that disabled people in education do not count.”Tara Flood, director of the Alliance for Inclusive Education, said: “We know from examples [like those of Brenton, Lesley Bayley-Bureau and Marina Bernstein, covered in recent months by DNS] that universities are not close to getting it right now.“With the change in the funding responsibilities, I can only imagine that disabled students will be less and less likely to not only get their access requirements met but less and less likely to enter higher education in the first place.”A UWTSD spokesman declined to answer several key questions about the case, but said in a statement: “The legal claims brought forward by Mr Brenton were defended and were compromised on the basis of no admission of liability by UWTSD.“The University of Wales Trinity Saint David recognises its responsibility to properly control the risks to health of its staff, students and visitors, and reviews its health and safety policy annually.“The university has a strategic equality plan and is firmly committed to promoting diversity and equality.“UWTSD was recently a part of Swansea’s successful bid to gain ‘disability confident city’ status, the first UK city to achieve this.“In conclusion, we would like to congratulate Mr Brenton on his excellent academic outcome following his studies at the university and wish him well for the future.”Picture by Andrew Brentonlast_img read more

Disabled peoples organisations DPOs have come t

first_imgDisabled people’s organisations (DPOs) have come together to tell a UN committee the different ways in which the UK government has been breaching the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD).The meeting in Geneva took place just four months after the UN’s committee on the rights of persons with disabilities (CRPD) found the UK had committed “grave or systematic” breaches of the convention, following an inquiry – the first of its kind since the treaty came into force in 2008 – into the government’s social security reforms.Now the committee is examining the UK’s record in implementing the convention as a whole.On Monday, CRPD took evidence from grassroots user-led organisations and other DPOs, as well as the UK’s national equality and human rights bodies, including the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), as part of a process that will see the UK government examined on its record in public in August.The committee will use this week’s evidence to help it produce a “list of issues” on which it needs further information from the UK government. That list is set to be published later this month.The government will then have three months to consult and respond on these issues, before it is examined in public in Geneva in August. A final report from the committee will follow later this year.Among those giving evidence to the committee this week – in a closed, private session – were Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC), Disability Rights UK (DR UK), Inclusion London, The Alliance for Inclusive Education (ALLFIE), Black Triangle, Disability Wales, Inclusion Scotland, Spectrum Centre for Independent Living, the British Deaf Association, Equal Lives, Disability Action (from Northern Ireland), People First Scotland and Black Mental Health UK.DR UK, Disability Action, Inclusion Scotland and Disability Wales have already produced a shadow report on the UK’s progress in implementing the UN convention – with EHRC funding – while DPAC, ALLFIE, Inclusion London and Equal Lives have produced their own report under the Reclaiming Our Futures Alliance (ROFA) umbrella.But both groups came together to deliver a joint presentation in a three-hour session on Monday afternoon, with each DPO concentrating on different areas where they believed the UK had failed to implement the convention, with concerns raised on nearly every article of the treaty.Tracey Lazard, Inclusion London’s chief executive, said that Inclusion London, as part of ROFA, had been “very pleased” to work alongside the other organisations to “put forward a very powerful combined body of evidence on the retrogression of our rights under the UNCRPD”.She said: “There was a great deal of consensus on key areas of retrogression and concern spanning independent living, impact of welfare reform, inclusive education, access to justice, right to life, capacity, liberty and detention as well as enforcement, monitoring and lack of meaningful or effective engagement with disabled people and DDPOs (Deaf and disabled people’s organisations).”She said that Inclusion London and ROFA were now looking forward to continuing that joint work as the CRPD process continues over the next few months.Liz Sayce, DR UK’s chief executive, said: “It was great to have the opportunity to put disabled people’s experiences directly to the United Nations committee in Geneva.“What worked so well was that many of us going over to Geneva met and held teleconferences to prepare together beforehand; and we planned together in Geneva as well.“We unanimously agreed on the top issues to present; and we collaborated on how to present them, with one organisation leading on a particular issue, but others being nominated to answer questions from the committee on that topic.  “We are stronger united – and by working together to convey the top issues raised by disabled people (from all our organisations) we presented a strong analysis of the biggest human rights challenges that need to be addressed.”Tara Flood, ALLFIE’s director, said: “It did go well. It was very well organised and it felt like a very positive three hours.“ROFA’s report came from a grassroots voice and our intervention strengthened the UK delegation overall.“We really gave a solid, unified message with a completely united list of issues that was all agreed upon by all of us. I don’t think we could have done a better job.”And she said there were still opportunities for the DPOs to engage and share more information with the committee to ensure it was “ready to go for August”.Anita Bellows, a member of the DPAC steering group, also welcomed the “professionalism” and quality of their presentations delivered by all of the DPOs that gave evidence in Geneva.Rhian Davies, chief executive of Disability Wales, said the committee was looking to see whether the situation had improved since the UK submitted its first progress report to CRPD in 2011.In some cases there had been a “lack of progress” and in other areas affected by austerity there had been “regression in people’s rights”, she said.Davies said she had been able to refer to specific examples from Wales both during her presentation and during the question and answer sessions.She said the DPOs had been helped in the lead-up to the session by advice from Diane Kingston, a former member of the committee, and in Geneva by the International Disability Alliance and the European Disability Forum.She said: “I found it a great privilege to be there and to represent disabled people in Wales.“It’s an opportunity to hold the UK government to account and that is what the focus needs to be on.“We were clear about what we think the issues were. We feel that in Britain policy around disabled people is regressive and I think we got that message across really clearly.“The fact that we did present such a united front and gave such a clear direction on what the key issues were… I hope that that will have influenced them.“Whatever we said was complementary, it was not contradictory.”John McArdle, co-founder of Scottish-based Black Triangle, said the presentations by DPOs had been “well-rehearsed and coordinated”.He said that the different DPOs had worked together “in harmony” and had produced an “extremely successful presentation”.He said: “We are delighted that the UN is listening to the voices of disabled people and DPOs, and we are extremely confident that all of our points will be taken into account.“It was good that DPOs were able to give evidence with the established organisations like DR UK in a constructive and meaningful way.“We might not always see eye-to-eye but if they listen to us and we have a dialogue, that is a breakthrough.”Dr Sally Witcher, chief executive of Inclusion Scotland, said it had been “a genuine privilege to have the opportunity to put the concerns of disabled people in Scotland” to the committee.She said: “We have been very encouraged by the effective collaboration of a substantial number of disabled people’s organisations from throughout the UK.“In Geneva, and before, the UK delegation worked together with unity and purpose, and the session with the [CRPD] reflected this.“We hope to continue developing these productive relationships, working together to improve the human rights situation for disabled people in Scotland and the UK.”Meanwhile, Disability Wales has also launched its shadow report on how the UN convention has been implemented in Wales, with key messages on independent living, the need for infrastructure projects to be “fully inclusive”, and the barriers disabled people face in accessing justice.Picture by Natasha Hirst: Representatives of the DPOs in Genevalast_img read more

Community Letter The pain of others

first_img 0% Mimi Chakarova is the director, writer and producer of the award-winning documentary The Price of Sex. She is also Mission Local’s multimedia advisor.The Q&A is over. We are asked to clear the stage. There is a line of people waiting outside. As I’m walking toward them, a middle-aged woman in a red shirt intercepts. Her breath smells of popcorn, butter and gum.“Your film… It really moved me. I mean, I haven’t been able to…” I feel what’s next. “I don’t know how to tell you…” Her cheeks are streaky wet. I hug her. She sobs quietly.“When I was a little girl…” she tries again. “It’s OK,” I keep embracing her, clearing a cluttered corner of my mind for the details of what she’s kept wrapped and locked for half a lifetime.“My father … when I was nine … ”I can spend hours answering questions about illegal sex trade and corruption. I can spend weeks telling the stories of the young women who survived. But one thing I wasn’t prepared for at these screenings was the pain of others. I didn’t realize the channels it would open — the silence and shame so many of us live with, and the need to tell someone who won’t judge or blame.All of that is changing now, at this very moment. Women are fed up. When people used to ask if it’s possible to end sex slavery, I always said that the core reason for its existence is money. And so, if those who benefit the most are held accountable, if they lose their assets and ability to profit from the buying and selling of girls, then the supply and demand chain will be interrupted. After all, it’s strictly business for most. Like selling cattle or vegetables or anything that yields profit. Which brings me to the here and now.When men in high positions are held accountable, when they are fired from positions they’ve dominated, owned, flaunted for more than 30 years, well, the message is a lot clearer. The rules of the game are changing. And that’s a beautiful thing for our daughters.But if we look at women’s rights as something that not only affects American and Western women but women from all over the world, would we be able to see the same glimmer of hope across borders? In how many places are women forced to offer their bodies for the favors of men?I was filming in Zimbabwe a few months ago and met women who faced that predicament daily. Feed my kids or starve. Risk HIV or go home to relatives who mistreat me for being a burden. Life for women is tough. The silence might have been interrupted here but then I think of all the young women I’ve met throughout the years who are still waiting for their moment — to tell their story. To be believed.I remember the story of an immigrant housekeeper at the Sofitel in New York who alleged rape by a powerful and wealthy guest. She said that after the incident, she went into the room next door to start cleaning. Back then, I didn’t sit in front of my laptop wondering why. Nor was I surprised when the same woman was called a “prostitute” in another paper. Do you know how easy it is to discredit a woman with no power? As easy and automatic as tying your shoes. Call her a “money-hungry liar,” call her “easy,” call her “a desperate immigrant wanting a piece of the American pie.” Tell her she’s lucky to have a job. Tell her she should have kept her mouth shut.Would our reaction be different now? center_img Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%last_img read more

Neighborhood notes Taqueria Cancun reopens and more

first_img Subscribe to Mission Local’s daily newsletter Bernal Heights Playground, behind the Library — Supervisor Hillary Ronen will be welcoming neighbors at 9 am.Flynn Elementary School at Cesar Chavez and Harrison Street.In Chan Kaajal Park at 17th and Folsom Streets.Martin Luther King Middle School at Girard and Bacon Streets. On Thursday afternoon at Taqueria Cancun at 19th and Mission, all of the tables were turned upside down and the bright yellow paint on the walls still smelled fresh. But owner Gerardo Rico swore his famed taqueria’s doors will be open Friday after six months of dormancy. “It feels like the first time we opened over here,” Rico said, standing in the still-chaotic space. The second of three locations, Cancun on Mission Street opened in 1993, two years after the first location was founded at 6th and Market. Since its foray into the Mission, Cancun has become a favorite of the neighborhood, particularly for socially-lubricated night owls jonesing for a snack. To all the die-hards, Rico would like to say: “We have the same menu, the same recipes — the same everything.” Email Address Talks at the meditation centerKadampa Meditation Center (3324 17th Street) will host a talk by one of the center’s resident teachers, Teach Gen Kelsang Coma, on Tara Prayers and Pawa (Prayers for the Recently Deceased). “Finding Spiritual Protection in Times of Natural Disasters,” and “Special Prayers for Victims of Fires, Floods and Other Disasters” will also be talked about. The event is from 1:30 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Sep. 8, at the center. “Proof of Life” opens at the Laundry Eileen Noonan, a Bay Area-based abstract artist, will show her newest collection, “Proof of Life,” at the Laundry (3359 26th Street) starting Friday, Sep. 7, with an opening reception from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. The show will run through Oct. 21. center_img St. John’s Church on Chenery Street.St. Aidan’s Church on Diamond Heights Boulevard. The taqueria closed in February to complete a seismic retrofit. “So we’re very excited so we can get working over here again,” Rico said. A career in Pilates? EHS Pilates (1452 Valencia Street) is hosting a happy hour on Friday, September 7 to educate folks about becoming pilates teachers. Wine and cheese will be served from 7 to 8:30 p.m. RSVP here.SF is dirty. Now the city is asking you to help clean it up. SF Public Works is spearheading a city-wide cleanup initiative, launching Saturday. “We will be engaging residents across the City to get out and sweep their sidewalks and pick up trash: there will be 40 gathering places throughout the City where Public Works will be handing out brooms and trash bags.”Please register at sfgiantsweep.org, the press release says. District 9 locations include: Other nearby locations are: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. Fieldworkers pick honeydew melons outside Mission.Photograph by Joel Salcido Never Miss a StorySign up for Texas Monthly’s State of Texas newsletter to get stories like this delivered to your inbox daily. 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, 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 This article originally appeared in the August 2019 issue of Texas Monthly with the headline “Postcards from the Border.” Subscribe today. 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. Texas red grapefruits, the state fruit, harvested by the Rio Grande Juice Company, in Mission. Photograph by Joel Salcido Mexican and American fishermen at Boca Chica, where the Rio Grande empties into the Gulf of Mexico.Photograph by Joel Salcido 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. This Week in Texas(Weekly)The best stories from Texas Monthly Dad Enter your email address 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 Con cariño,Dad First Name Editor’s Desk(Monthly)A message from the editors at Texas Monthly The State of Texas(Daily)A daily digest of Texas news, plus the latest from Texas Monthly 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 Salcido Last Namelast_img read more

A RECORD number of young home grown players were

first_imgA RECORD number of young, home grown players were given their chance to shine on the big stage in the 2011 Engage Super League season, according to official statistics – and your Saints lead the way.We average more than 11 Club-Trained players per 17-man squad selection whilst 34 per cent of our match day team in 2011 comprised players aged under 21.67.9 per cent of Saints squad are Club-Trained (Wigan are second with 57.4 per cent) with 20.4 per cent Federation Trained. 11.8 per cent are ‘Non-Fed’ trained.And nearly 78 per cent of the squad is under 23.During the 2011 regular season, a total of 101 players aged 21 or under featured in Rugby League’s elite competition, which also recorded a significant rise in the number of Club-Trained players and a dramatic fall in the number of Non-Federation Trained players.Figures from the RFL show that during the 27 rounds of Super League, the average number of Under-21s in each club’s 17-man squad was almost three (2.72), a 30 per cent increase year on year.In addition, the average number of Club-Trained players per 17-man squad this season was almost seven (6.96), up from an average of just over five in 2007.It is the fifth consecutive year that the sport’s elite competition has recorded rises in home grown players and is further evidence of the investment all clubs have made in their talent identification and development programmes.“It’s very pleasing for us to see that all the hard work that the clubs have been putting in at youth and community level over the last few years are now paying dividends on the pitch,” said RFL Chief Executive Nigel Wood.“To see so many home grown players and exciting young talent coming through the ranks at all the clubs in the competition is testimony to the work of all involved.“By encouraging clubs to create more club trained players they develop stronger links within their communities which will lead to creating a larger pool of players available for national selection and that in turn will hopefully lead to international success in the future.”last_img read more

SAINTS are well into the throes of preseasonUnde

first_imgSAINTS are well into the throes of pre-season.Under the watchful eye of Head Coach Keiron Cunningham and his assistants Jamahl Lolesi and Sean Long, alongside Head of Strength and Conditioning Matt Daniels, the boys are undergoing intensive testing and conditioning drills.New players Travis Burns and Atelea Vea have fitted in well too.Here are a few pictures of the lads hard at work!Saints Trainingwear is available in-store at Langtree Park and here.last_img

LUKE Walsh is hoping for a happy reunion on Friday

first_imgLUKE Walsh is hoping for a happy reunion on Friday.The scrum half made his bow for Newcastle in 2007 against the Roosters and is hoping to replicate the success of what he says was a ‘special’ game.He said: “I made my debut against the Roosters back in 2007 and it was an amazing experience.“It was special because we managed to beat them that night and it’s an occasion I’ll never forget. We were without a lot of our senior blokes in that game but we managed to pull off a pretty big upset.“The Roosters are obviously a massively different team from then, but hopefully we can pull off something equally special by getting a win on Friday.“They have some great players who I have a lot of respect for and we know it will be tough, but we know we’re a good side on our day and we’re confident we can do a job on them.”He continued: “It should be an entertaining series. I’m looking forward to watching the other games and seeing how they get on.“It’s a unique event in any sport, putting two massive leagues against each other. As a Rugby League fan, I can’t wait to see how it all goes.”Prices are: Hattons Solicitors West Terrace, East Terrace and Family Stands: Adult – £22.50, OAP and Young Adult – £15.50, Junior – £10Solarking South and Totally Wicked North Stands: Gold: Adult – £30, OAP and Young Adult – £22.50, Junior – £12 Silver: Adult – £28, OAP and Young Adult – £20.50, Junior – £12 Bronze: Adult – £25, OAP and Young Adult – £18.50, Junior – £10Are you a group of 20 or more and planning to come to our game? Then contact James Newman on 01744 455081 for great discounted rates.Tickets can be bought by popping into the Ticket Office at Langtree Park, by calling 01744 455 052 or online here.A package for all three games (Leeds v North Queensland, Wigan v Brisbane) costs £60 and can be purchased by visiting www.rugbyleaguetickets.co.uk or calling the Rugby League Ticket Hotline on 0844 856 1113.last_img read more

Todays is simply – spend £50 or more online at sa

first_imgToday’s is simply – spend £50 or more online at saintssuperstore.com and you’ll receive a FREE 2019 Calendar!This offer runs today and all day tomorrow (Saturday December 8).So why not jump online and get your Christmas gift shopping done early!Terms and conditions apply, whilst stocks last, this offer cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer.last_img

Height of flu season on the horizon deaths reported in the Cape

first_imgSOUTHEAST NORTH CAROLINA (WWAY) –  We know the deadly flu season has hit the Cape Fear. Now it’s led to a death in our area.A government official in Brunswick County confirms to WWAY a person has died suffering from the flu. The death comes as the state saw nearly a dozen deaths last week alone.  We are entering the height of the flu season. It’s turned deadly across the country and across the state.- Advertisement – “Someone that is infected with influenza is going to be contagious before they have symptoms,” said Dr. Brian Lanier.Dr. Lanier practices family medicine and founded the Promina Health clinic. He also -helps- at area hospitals..and is concerned about what he is seeing.“Almost everyday it feels like that you’re there, somebody else comes in and they’re diagnosed with the flu,” Dr. Lanier said.Related Article: Health officials report 10 flu deaths in North CarolinaHospitals like New Hanover Regional have had restrictions for visiting in place since December to reduce flu transmission. Dosher Memorial released a flyer this week restricting visits. Medical centers all across the state and nation are joining In.“Over at Dosher Memorial the census of patients with the flu has been fairly high,” Lanier said.Statewide more than 40 people have succumbed to the flu. Deaths in some cases that come quick like for six year old Emily Muth in Cary. Lanier says this current virus severely affects both young and old.“There’s been a lot of news about how the flu vaccine has not been as effective as it has been in the past few years and that’s probably true,” said Dr. Lanier. “It still has value and I really want to urge people now don’t wait to go out and get your flu vaccine if you haven’t already had it.”Here are some warning signs and symptoms that you or someone you know could have the flu:Muscle pain or fatigueDry coughFever or chillsA runny noseEven if you have had a shot or plan to get one, Lanier urges folks to follow your general practices to not spread the flu, wash your hands, face and reduce contact between the two during this time of the year.last_img read more