March 3, 2021 · Disability · (No comments)

Submitted by: Christopher Smith

Many kinds of wheelchairs are available for those who require them. They are designed to aid people with different combinations of medical conditions, so examine them closely to ensure that the wheelchair you purchase suits your needs. Motorized wheelchairs provide the advantage of electric motors, and thus can be used by many people who may not be able to operate a manual wheelchair due to their diminished physical capacities.

Manual wheelchairs must be operated by the person using them. One way or another, the user provides the force to propel himself. However, not everybody is able to do this. Some wheelchair users have arm or leg problems and simply do not have the strength or ability to operate a manual wheelchair. They are better advised to use a motorized wheelchair instead.

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“Powerchairs” are so-called because they are powered by electric motors. The operator uses a control device such as a joystick, or one of various other methods, to “drive” the chair. The chair will operate both indoors and outdoors, and can be customized with many various options for comfort and ease of use.

Motorized wheelchairs, due to their greater complexity, will generally cost more than the manual variety. However, if you have a condition that limits your ability to use a manual wheelchair, check with your insurance agency. You may find that powerchairs are covered under your policy. Even if it is not covered, a wheelchair is usually a one-time purchase, so the cost is not as daunting as it may appear at first glance.

One should buy wheelchair parts or accessories at the same time as purchasing the device. A portable wheelchair ramp is among the most valuable of accessories. When one is stuck in a location difficult to maneuver, or completely without access portable wheelchair ramps make things much simpler. Other replacement wheelchair parts such as batteries or motors should be available from the retailer and are quite useful.

When deciding which wheelchair to buy, it’s important to keep in mind that this is a long-term investment in a piece of equipment that you may be using for a long time: be very careful to choose one that you’ll be happy with. For both manual and motorized wheelchairs, comfort and convenience are paramount; spending your money wisely now will likely save you both money and difficulties in the long run.

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Israeli-Palestinian conflict in Gaza continues after another ceasefire violation
February 28, 2021 · Uncategorized · (No comments)

Thursday, August 21, 2014

On Tuesday, an interim ceasefire between Israel and the armed factions in Gaza was broken again, ending the talks between the delegations of both sides in Cairo before a long term agreement could be achieved.

The armed factions in Gaza renewed their rocket launching into Israel, while Israel renewed its targeted bombings in the Gaza Strip, including an apparent attempt to kill Hamas military chief Mohammed Deif, collectively resulting according to Hamas in at least nineteen Palestinian deaths. Reportedly at least 80 rockets have been fired from the Gaza Strip since Tuesday and sirens were heard in many areas across Israel, including Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.

Mohammed Deif deserves to die… as long as we have an opportunity, we will try to kill him

Yesterday, Moussa Abu Marzouk, Hamas’ exiled deputy leader, announced on Facebook Israel had tried to kill Mohammed Deif, Hamas military chief since 2002, and “The wife of the great leader was martyred with his daughter”. Israeli Interior Minister Gideon Sa’ar commented on the event to Israeli Army Radio, “Mohammed Deif deserves to die just like bin Laden. He is an arch murderer, and as long as we have an opportunity, we will try to kill him”. Reports suggest Deif already suffered from a number of disabilities caused by earlier Israeli assassination attempts.

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Four arrested in three Naperville, Illinois prostitution stings
February 21, 2021 · Uncategorized · (No comments)

Monday, March 15, 2010

An undercover investigation by Naperville, Illinois law enforcement has led to the arrest last Thursday of four people allegedly involved in prostitution. The stings came after police received tips that people were using websites like Craigslist and Backpage.com to sell sexual performances in Naperville hotels. 

Patricia H. Scoleri of Naperville was arrested after an unidentified neighbor observed consistently suspicious activity at Scoleri’s home. Traffic was unusually heavy and consisted mostly of luxury cars in an otherwise quiet, middle-class neighborhood. Also, the visitors were mainly middle-aged men, and an odd string of lavender-colored lights were hung on the front window.

Police say Scoleri worked alone. She was arrested at 2 p.m. local time (2000 UTC) and is charged with violation of anti-prostitution laws, anti-cannabis laws, and the Massage Licensing Act. She apparently has four children, but the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services has neither contacted her nor received a police report on her.

The second sting occurred at 5:30 p.m the same day (2330 UTC) and resulted in the arrest of Chicago resident Tonya M. Adams. She is charged with prostitution and driving without a license. Another sting about an hour later resulted in the arrests of Jessica M. Walley, a Skokie resident, and Mark A. Williams, a self-admitted Schaumburg gang member. “Walley was charged with prostitution and unlawful possession of cannabis. Williams was charged with pimping, obstructing a peace officer, driving with a suspended license and driving without insurance,” reports WBBM News Radio 780.

All four suspects are free, having paid the required ten percent of their $1,000 bail. They may face additional charges related to crack cocaine discovered during the police investigation. Arraignment is scheduled for next month at the DuPage County Circuit Courthouse in Wheaton.

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Tom Cruise debates psychiatry on NBC’s Today show
February 20, 2021 · Uncategorized · (No comments)

Saturday, June 25, 2005

In an interview on NBC’s Today show with Matt Lauer, Tom Cruise aggressively defended his opposition to psychiatry and anti-depressive drugs. This occurred after being asked questions about his criticism of Brooke Shields, who has been taking drugs, including Paxil, for postpartum depression. Cruise is usually known for keeping his cool in interviews, but recently he has been slightly more unbound.

Cruise’s statements, including “Psychiatry is a pseudoscience“, and “There is no such thing as a chemical imbalance in a body”, reflect the beliefs of the Church of Scientology, of which he is a member. The interview became particularly tense when Lauer mentioned that he knew people who had been helped by taking Ritalin, an attention-deficit disorder drug.

“Matt, Matt, you don’t even — you’re glib,” Cruise responded. “You don’t even know what Ritalin is. If you start talking about chemical imbalance, you have to evaluate and read the research papers on how they came up with these theories, Matt, OK. That’s what I’ve done.”

Cruise went on to say: “You don’t know the history of psychiatry, I do.”

Cruise has not formally studied medicine beyond a high school education, having dropped out in his senior year (1980) to pursue an acting career. In light of this, some members of the psychiatric community have refuted Cruise’s controversial statements. Dr. John Scully, medical director of the American Psychiatric Association, has said “The illnesses we treat – anxiety, depression – are very real illnesses…The treatments work. We have demonstrated that through robust scientific study.”

Lauer insisted that Ritalin helped people: “You’re telling me what’s worked for people I know or hasn’t worked for people I know. I’m telling you, I’ve lived with these people and they’re better,” Lauer said.

Cruise hinted that Lauer was promoting Ritalin and Lauer scoffed: “I am not. I’m telling you in their cases, in their individual case, it worked.”

The exchange ended when the two basically agreed to disagree. Cruise, who is 42, did admit that one of his goals is to speak more about Scientology in an effort to get people to understand it better.

Scientology has historically been at odds with the established medical and mental health community. The rift dates back to the 1950s and Scientology’s founding father L. Ron Hubbard. In his book, “Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health”, published in 1950, Hubbard claims that Dianetics (later called Scientology) could cure the majority of human ailments. These claims were sharply disputed by a variety of mainstream science and medical professionals including psychiatrists.

On Monday, June 27, 2005, the American Psychiatric Association released a statement that stated the following:”It is irresponsible for Mr. Cruise to use his movie publicity tour to promote his own ideological views and deter people with mental illness from getting the care they need…Rigorous, published, peer-reviewed research clearly demonstrates that treatment (of mental illness) works…It is unfortunate that in the face of this remarkable scientific and clinical progress that a small number of individuals and groups persist in questioning its legitimacy.”

The APA represents nearly 36,000 physicians specialising in the diagnosis and treatment of mental illness.

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Television New Zealand announces job losses; news worst hit

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Television New Zealand announces job losses; news worst hit
February 18, 2021 · Uncategorized · (No comments)

Friday, April 13, 2007

New Zealand’s state-owned broadcaster, TVNZ (Television New Zealand) announced yesterday its proposed redundancy cuts that will see jobs go from various sectors, the most going from their news and current affairs sector.

At least 140 people will be told that they will be set to lose their job in the next six months, at least 50 of those are from the news sector.

Seven general reporting journalists will be leaving, which only leaves six left from the Auckland newsroom. Two sports reporting journalists will also be leaving from the Auckland newsroom, leaving six. Accredited parliament reporters also look to face redundancy cuts, as well as reporters from the Christchurch newsroom. As well as people losing their jobs, the Queenstown, Wanganui and Rotorua newsrooms will be closed, as well as the news reference library, and the current affairs show, Sunday looks set to close its Wellington office. Head of journalism at the University of Canterbury, Jim Tully says that the closing of the Queenstown newsroom is a big mistake. Current affairs show, Close Up will also lose two journalists and a Christchurch producer, but will gain a producer in Auckland. Fair Go, consumer affairs show, will lose three senior producers. Breakfast will lose a weather and sports presenter, and a producer.

The final decision of the exact numbers will be disclosed in the next few weeks, following consultation with the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union, which represents, altogether, 5,000 employees.

Some of the job losses include experienced journalists, and Bill Ralston, former head of news and current affairs for TVNZ, said that they will be replaced by cheaper, inexperienced journalists. “If you do that your audience will reduce even further . . . this move makes no commercial sense whatsoever,” he said.

The Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union has described the job losses as an attack on democracy, and have launched a campaign titled, ‘Our Media’ to bring these issues to light. The National Secretary, Andrew Little has said that an essential function of communities is good quality regional news reporting, which will be reduced because of the job cuts.

Steve Maharey, broadcasting minister, has refused to comment regarding TVNZ.

Mr Ralston has said that this move will destroy TVNZ’s 30-year reputation being “…a good quality public broadcaster who gives you a news and current affairs service that you can believe and trust.”

He also questioned why they were cutting the news sector heavily when there are other sectors that are unnecessary, such as human resources. “Last time I looked at TVNZ it had 25 people in its human resources division – TV3 has none.” One TVNZ staff member has said that the job cuts were run by the human resources decision, and that they are very “anti-journalist”.

TVNZ plan to launch a new continuous news channel next year on New Zealand’s new digital platform, FreeView.

The New Zealand Herald is currently also looking at reducing staff numbers by outsourcing their sub-editors/copy editors.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Television_New_Zealand_announces_job_losses;_news_worst_hit&oldid=428080”

Apple Inc. unveils iPad 2 tablet

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Apple Inc. unveils iPad 2 tablet
February 13, 2021 · Uncategorized · (No comments)

Thursday, March 3, 2011

In a media event on March 2, Apple Inc. unveiled its iPad 2 tablet computer, the successor to the company’s iPad. The announcement was made at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, California. CEO Steve Jobs appeared at the event and introduced the new product, with FaceTime video messaging (with front and rear cameras) as well as a new dual-core Apple A5 processor.

The iPad 2 is an all new design and has several improvements over the original iPad. The device runs on an dual-core Apple A5 CPU. According to Jobs, the CPU’s new dual-core capability enhances multitasking and doubles the processing speed. Apple additionally introduced a magnetic ‘Smart Cover’ accessory that snaps to the front screen of the device along with several new apps ported from the Mac OS X operating system and the iPhone. These include iMovie, GarageBand, and Photo Booth. The new iPad introduces front and rear cameras which enable FaceTime. The new tablet is 15% lighter and 33% thinner than the previous version – thinner than an iPhone 4 – and has beveled edges. It will be available in black and white. The device continues to be capable of ten hours of battery life on a single charge.

The announcement comes after months of rumors about a successor to the original iPad. Competitors have designed tablets to compete with the iPad such as Motorola’s Xoom powered by the Android operating system. One research analyst predicted that iPads would still make up at least 20 million of the more than 24 million tablet computers sold in the United States in 2011. Another analyst credited the Apple’s App store for iPad’s continued success. The device will become available in the United States on March 11, 2011, available in 16, 32, or 64 gigabytes. iPad 2’s 3G models can connect to the wireless networks of AT&T or Verizon Wireless and Wi-Fi. The iPad 2 will start at US$499. In tandem with the announcement, Apple reduced the price of its original iPad to US$399. Shares of Apple inc. rose $2.81, closing at US$352.12 the day of the announcement.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Apple_Inc._unveils_iPad_2_tablet&oldid=1191729”

Air Conditioning System Maintenance

February 8, 2021 · Air Conditioning Servicing · (No comments)

Submitted by: Fiona Baron

Just what would summer be like without central air? In most parts of the country, central air is not a luxury, it s a necessity. Your central air conditioning system is your lifeline during hot weather, and when it goes on the fritz, no one is happy. Most central air units are connected directly to your home s forced-air distribution system. The same blower, motor, and ducts that are used to distribute heat are also used to distribute your cool air. Hot air from inside your home flows through your furnace via a return-air duct, and is then moved by the blower across the evaporator coil in your unit and then delivered throughout your vents in order to cool the home. If the air conditioning unit is working but the house isn t cool, then you likely have a problem in your distribution system. Your evaporator and condenser to your central air conditioning unit are sealed, which is one of the reasons that a qualified technician must be called out for any maintenance other than the routine cleaning that you can perform to keep your unit running in top shape. There are few repairs that the average homeowner can make on their own when it comes to central air, but there is specific maintenance tasks that you can undertake to make certain that your system does its job like it should.

Replacing Air Filter

The filter of your central air unit should be changed at least once a month, and more often during peak periods of use in order to allow air to properly circulate through the blower. A dirty filter can cause a host of problems for your central air unit. To replace the air filter, locate the filter in your unit. Some may be located on the condenser, while others may be found around the evaporator. Remove any grilles or housing that must be removed in order to access the filter and remove it. Replace the filter with the exact same type of filter. You can find the part number for the filter on the old filter, or simply take the old filter with you to the store when replacing it. Reinstall your central air unit filter, and make certain that the area around the filter is clean and free of debris and dust.

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Cleaning the Condenser Coils

The condenser coils on your air conditioning unit should be cleaned at least once each year, preferably at the beginning of the cooling season, but they can be cleaned more often if they are dirty. To begin, shut of the power to the central air unit and turn the thermostat up. Remove the exterior metal grille if necessary, which is usually held on with bolts or screws. Use plastic bags to cover the compressor, motor, and other electrical parts, and then seal them with tape. Gently brush off any visible dirt from the condenser coils, and then use a garden hose to wash the coils from the inside. Allow the unit to dry before taking the plastic bags off of the compressor, motor, and other electrical parts.

Cleaning the Evaporator Drain

The evaporator coils on most central air conditioning units are sealed and can only be accessed by a licensed technician. But you can keep the evaporator drain clean. This is the drain that carries away moisture from the evaporator coils. If you see that there are puddles of water beneath the coils, then the drainpipe is likely clogged with bacteria and algae. Simply disconnect this drainpipe and flush the trap with a hose. Then pour in a tablespoon of bleach and reattach.

About the Author: Fiona Baron is a writer who loves home improvement. If you’re looking to get a new

Sacramento air conditioning system installed

give

Newmans Heating and Cooling

a call at 916-344-6625.

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Petition pressures City of Edinburgh Council to review clause affecting live music scene

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Petition pressures City of Edinburgh Council to review clause affecting live music scene
February 4, 2021 · Uncategorized · (No comments)

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Live music venues in Edinburgh, Scotland are awaiting a review later this year on the 2005 licensing policy, which places limitations on the volume of amplified music in the city. Investigating into how the policy is affecting the Edinburgh music scene, a group of Wikinews writers interviewed venue owners, academics, the City of Edinburgh Council, and local band The Mean Reds to get different perspectives on the issue.

Since the clause was introduced by the government of the city of Edinburgh, licensed venues have been prohibited from allowing music to be amplified to the extent it is audible to nearby residential properties. This has affected the live music scene, with several venues discontinuing regular events such as open mic nights, and hosting bands and artists.

Currently, the licensing policy allows licensing standards officers to order a venue to cease live music on any particular night, based on a single noise complaint from the public. The volume is not electronically measured to determine if it breaches a decibel volume level. Over roughly the past year there have been 56 separate noise complaints made against 18 venues throughout the city.

A petition to amend the clause has garnered over 3,000 signatures, including the support of bar owners, musicians, and members of the general public.

On November 17, 2014, the government’s Culture and Sport Committee hosted an open forum meeting at Usher Hall. Musicians, venue owners and industry professionals were encouraged to provide their thoughts on how the council could improve live music in the city. Ways to promote live music as a key cultural aspect of Edinburgh were discussed and it was suggested that it could be beneficial to try and replicate the management system of live music of other global cities renowned for their live music scenes. However, the suggestion which prevailed above all others was simply to review the existing licensing policy.

Councillor (Cllr) Norma Austin-Hart, Vice Convenor of the Culture and Sport Committee, is responsible for the working group Music is Audible. The group is comprised of local music professionals, and councillors and officials from Edinburgh Council. A document circulated to the Music is Audible group stated the council aims “to achieve a balance between protecting residents and supporting venues”.

Following standard procedure, when a complaint is made, a Licensing Standards Officer (LSO) is dispatched to investigate the venue and evaluate the level of noise. If deemed to be too loud, the LSO asks the venue to lower the noise level. According to a document provided by the City of Edinburgh Council, “not one single business has lost its license or been closed down because of a breach to the noise condition in Edinburgh.”

In the Scotland Licensing Policy (2005), Clause 6.2 states, “where the operating plan indicates that music is to be played in a premises, the board will consider the imposition of a condition requiring amplified music from those premises to be inaudible in residential property.” According to Cllr Austin-Hart, the high volume of tenement housing in the city centre makes it difficult for music to be inaudible.

During the Edinburgh Festival Fringe during the summer, venues are given temporary licences that allow them to operate for the duration of the festival and under the condition that “all amplified music and vocals are controlled to the satisfaction of the Director of Services for Communities”, as stated in a document from the council. During the festival, there is an 11 p.m. noise restriction on amplified music, and noise may be measured by Environmental Health staff using sophisticated equipment. Noise is restricted to 65dB(A) from the facades of residential properties; however, complaints from residents still occur. In the document from the council, they note these conditions and limitations for temporary venues would not necessarily be appropriate for permanent licensed premises.

In a phone interview, Cllr Austin-Hart expressed her concern about the unsettlement in Edinburgh regarding live music. She referenced the closure of the well-known Picture House, a venue that has provided entertainment for over half a century, and the community’s opposition to commercial public bar chain Wetherspoon buying the venue. “[It] is a well-known pub that does not play any form of music”, Cllr Austin-Hart said. “[T]hey feel as if it is another blow to Edinburgh’s live music”. “[We] cannot stop Wetherspoon’s from buying this venue; we have no control over this.”

The venue has operated under different names, including the Caley Palais which hosted bands such as Queen and AC/DC. The Picture House opened in 2008.

One of the venues which has been significantly affected by the licensing laws is the Phoenix Bar, on Broughton Street. The bar’s owner, Sam Roberts, was induced to cease live music gigs in March, following a number of noise complaints against the venue. As a result, Ms Roberts was inspired to start the aforementioned petition to have Clause 6.2 of the licensing policy reviewed, in an effort to remove the ‘inaudibility’ statement that is affecting venues and the music scene.

“I think we not only encourage it, but actively support the Edinburgh music scene,” Ms Roberts says of the Phoenix Bar and other venues, “the problem is that it is a dying scene.”

When Ms Roberts purchased the venue in 2013, she continued the existing 30-year legacy established by the previous owners of hosting live acts. Representative of Edinburgh’s colourful music scene, a diverse range of genres have been hosted at the venue. Ms Roberts described the atmosphere when live music acts perform at her venue as “electric”. “The whole community comes together singing, dancing and having a party. Letting their hair down and forgetting their troubles. People go home happy after a brilliant night out. All the staff usually join in; the pub comes alive”. However licensing restrictions have seen a majority of the acts shut down due to noise complaints. “We have put on jazz, blues, rock, rockabilly, folk, celtic and pop live acts and have had to close everything down.” “Residents in Edinburgh unfortunately know that the Council policy gives them all the rights in the world, and the pubs and clubs none”, Ms Roberts clarified.

Discussing how inaudibility has affected venues and musicians alike, Ms Roberts stated many pubs have lost profit through the absence of gigs, and trying to soundproof their venue. “It has put many musicians out of work and it has had an enormous effect on earnings in the pub. […] Many clubs and bars have been forced to invest in thousands of pounds worth of soundproofing equipment which has nearly bankrupted them, only to find that even the tiniest bit of noise can still force a closure. It is a ridiculously one-sided situation.” Ms Roberts feels inaudibility is an unfair clause for venues. “I think it very clearly favours residents in Edinburgh and not business. […] Nothing is being done to support local business, and closing down all the live music venues in Edinburgh has hurt financially in so many ways. Not only do you lose money, you lose new faces, you lose the respect of the local musicians, and you begin to lose all hope in a ‘fair go’.”

With the petition holding a considerable number of signatures, Ms Roberts states she is still sceptical of any change occurring. “Over three thousand people have signed the petition and still the council is not moving. They have taken action on petitions with far fewer signatures.” Ms Roberts also added, “Right now I don’t think Edinburgh has much hope of positive change”.

Ms Roberts seems to have lost all hope for positive change in relation to Edinburgh’s music scene, and argues Glasgow is now the regional choice for live music and venues. “[E]veryone in the business knows they have to go to Glasgow for a decent scene. Glasgow City Council get behind their city.”

Ms Martina Cannon, member of local band The Mean Reds, said a regular ‘Open Mic Night’ she hosted at The Parlour on Duke Street has ceased after a number of complaints were made against the venue. “It was a shame because it had built up some momentum over the months it had been running”. She described financial loss to the venue from cancelling the event, as well as loss to her as organiser of the event.

Sneaky Pete’s music bar and club, owned by Nick Stewart, is described on its website as “open and busy every night”.”Many clubs could be defined as bars that host music, but we really are a music venue that serves drinks”, Mr Stewart says. He sees the live music scene as essential for maintaining nightlife in Edinburgh not only because of the economic benefit but more importantly because of the cultural significance. “Music is one of the important things in life. […] it’s emotionally and intellectually engaging, and it adds to the quality of life that people lead.”

Sneaky Pete’s has not been immune to the inaudibility clause. The business has spent about 20,000 pounds on multiple soundproofing fixes designed to quell complaints from neighboring residents. “The business suffered a great deal in between losing the option to do gigs for fear of complaints, and finishing the soundproofing. As I mentioned, we are a music business that serves drinks, not a bar that also has music, so when we lose shows, we lose a great deal of trade”, said Mr Stewart.

He believes there is a better way to go about handling complaints and fixing public nuisances. “The local mandatory condition requiring ‘amplified music and vocals’ to be ‘inaudible’ should be struck from all licenses. The requirement presupposes that nuisance is caused by music venues, when this may not reasonably be said to be the case. […] Nuisance is not defined in the Licensing Act nor is it defined in the Public Health Act (Scotland) 2008. However, The Consultation on Guidance to accompany the Statutory Nuisance Provisions of the Public Health etc (Scotland) Act 2008 states that ‘There are eight key issues to consider when evaluating whether a nuisance exists[…]'”.

The eight key factors are impact, locality, time, frequency, duration, convention, importance, and avoidability. Stewart believes it is these factors that should be taken into consideration by LSOs responding to complaints instead of the sole factor of “audibility”.He believes multiple steps should be taken before considering revocation of licenses. Firstly, LSOs should determine whether a venue is a nuisance based on the eight factors. Then, the venue should have the opportunity to comply by using methods such as changing the nature of their live performances (e.g. from hard rock to acoustic rock), changing their hours of operation, or soundproofing. If the venue still fails to comply, then a board can review their license with the goal of finding more ways to bring them into compliance as opposed to revoking their license.

Nick Stewart has discussed his proposal at length with Music is Audible and said he means to present his proposal to the City of Edinburgh Council.

Dr Adam Behr, a music academic and research associate at the University of Edinburgh who has conducted research on the cultural value of live music, says live music significantly contributes to the economic performance of cities. He said studies have shown revenue creation and the provision of employment are significant factors which come about as a result of live music. A 2014 report by UK Music showed the economic value generated by live music in the UK in 2013 was £789 million and provided the equivalent of 21,600 full time jobs.

As the music industry is international by nature, Behr says this complicates the way revenue is allocated, “For instance, if an American artist plays a venue owned by a British company at a gig which is promoted by a company that is part British owned but majority owned by, say, Live Nation (a major international entertainment company) — then the flow of revenues might not be as straightforward as it seems [at] first.”

Despite these complexities, Behr highlighted the broader advantages, “There are, of course, ancillary benefits, especially for big gigs […] Obviously other local businesses like bars, restaurants and carparks benefit from increased trade”, he added.

Behr criticised the idea of making music inaudible and called it “unrealistic”. He said it could limit what kind of music can be played at venues and could force vendors to spend a large amount of money on equipment that enables them to meet noise cancelling requirements. He also mentioned the consequences this has for grassroots music venues as more ‘established’ venues within the city would be the only ones able to afford these changes.

Alongside the inaudibility dispute has been the number of sites that have been closing for the past number of years. According to Dr Behr, this has brought attention to the issue of retaining live music venues in the city and has caused the council to re-evaluate its music strategy and overall cultural policy.

This month, Dr Behr said he is to work on a live music census for Edinburgh’s Council which aims to find out what types of music is played, where, and what exactly it brings to the city. This is in an effort to get the Edinburgh city council to see any opportunities it has with live music and the importance of grassroots venues. The census is similar to one conducted in Victoria, Australia in 2012 on the extent of live music in the state and its economic benefit.

As for the solution to the inaudibility clause, Behr says the initial step is dialogue, and this has already begun. “Having forum discussion, though, is a start — and an improvement”, he said. “There won’t be an overnight solution, but work is ongoing to try to find one that can stick in the long term.”

Beverley Whitrick, Strategic Director of Music Venue Trust, said she is unable to comment on her work with the City of Edinburgh Council or on potential changes to the inaudibility clause in the Licensing Policy. However, she says, “I have been asked to assess the situation and make recommendations in September”.

According to The Scotsman, the Council is working toward helping Edinburgh’s cultural and entertainment scene. Deputy Council Leader Sandy Howat said views of the entertainment industry needs to change and the Council will no longer consider the scene as a “sideline”.

Senior members of the Council, The Scotsman reported, aim to review the planning of the city to make culture more of a priority. Howat said, “If you’re trying to harness a living community and are creating facilities for people living, working and playing then culture should form part of that.”

The review of the inaudibility clause in the Licensing Policy is set to be reviewed near the end of 2016 but the concept of bringing it forward to this year is still under discussion.

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Left-wing EU parliament candidates debate in Cardiff

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Left-wing EU parliament candidates debate in Cardiff
February 4, 2021 · Uncategorized · (No comments)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Cardiff, Wales —Labour, Plaid Cymru, and No2EU candidates for the Wales seats in the European Parliament met at Cardiff‘s Sandringham Hotel last night for the second of two pre-election hustings debates hosted by Cardiff Trades Union Congress. Cardiff TUC president Katrine Williams moderated as Derek Vaughan of the Labour Party, Jill Evans MEP of Plaid Cymru, and Rob Griffiths of the No2EU coalition, the tops of their respective lists, took questions from an audience of 22 composed largely of socialist activists and trade union members.

Candidates from the Tories, Liberal Democrats, and Green Party were not invited to the evening debate, although the Liberal Democrats did take part in the TUC’s debate earlier in the day. Ms Williams explained that the Liberal Democrats and Tories had been excluded because “we wanted to have candidates more representative of trade unions” but that not inviting the Greens had been “an oversight” due to the less prominent tradition of green politics in Wales. The BNP, UKIP and some minor parties also did not take part.

In opening statements, the three candidates discussed their records and their goals for the European Parliament. Mr Vaughan, leader of Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council, asserted the pro-organised labour credentials of the Labour Party, which has been under fire for several years from the left, and noted that Labour, which currently controls two of Wales’s four seats in the EU Parliament, has brought £1.5 billion to Wales, with a comparable amount to come in the future. Calling the BNP “Nazis” and comparing the British political situation to that in Germany in the 1930s, Vaughan called for the parties of the left to rally behind Labour in order to ensure that the BNP did not obtain any seats in Wales; but he expressed resignation to the likelihood that the BNP would earn a seat in North West England.

Ms Evans, meanwhile, who has been an MEP for ten years, announced her opposition to the pro-privatisation current in the EU and pledged that Plaid would support a new program of public investment and pro-organised labour revisions of EU directives, particularly the Posted Workers Directive.

Mr Griffiths, meanwhile, who is General Secretary of the Communist Party of Britain, took a position urging radical reform of the European Union. The Lisbon Treaty, which he characterised as a re-branding of the European Constitution, would, he argued, enshrine neo-liberal policies in Europe and impose them on its member states in a way that was irreversible — “at least by any constitutional means”. Calling for a “social Europe” as opposed to a “United States of Europe“, Griffiths suggested that the creation of a European Defence Agency and the actions of the European Court of Justice were being used to turn the European Union into a capitalist “empire” akin to the United States.

Discussion of the ongoing UK parliamentary expenses scandal and its implications for MEPs, who draw salaries and expenses considerably higher than Westminster MPs do, dominated the early discussion. The Labour candidate expressed the position that the problems in accountability leading to the scandal had been fixed; his opponents noted that of the parties currently representing Britain in Brussels, only Labour has not yet disclosed their expenses (although Mr Vaughan states that the party will begin to do so soon) and Mr Griffiths furthermore declared that the scandal was part of a wider problem: the corruption of the political system by big business.

On the subject of a common European defence policy the three candidates supported widely differing views. The No2EU candidate stated plainly that he considers Europe not to be threatened, and said that a European defence force would be used for foreign adventures in Afghanistan, Africa, and elsewhere in the developing world while at the same time building up the armaments industry in Europe. Ms Evans, meanwhile, argued that the proper role of a common EU force would be as a “civil force” supporting conflict prevention and conflict resolution operations, and also called for the abolition of NATO. Mr Vaughan finished the second round of questioning arguing that a common European armed force should be an alternative to the “US-dominated” NATO, but also stated the importance of bilateral alliances in building up a common European defence force, citing the Franco-German Brigade of the Eurocorps as an example.

Debate ended on the contentious question of MEP salaries, with one member of the audience challenging the three candidates to pledge to accept a wage, if they won, equal to the average wage of their constituents. Ms Evans agreed that the set wage, currently £63,000 rising to £73,000 in 2010, was “too high”, but would not commit to a so-called “worker’s wage”, under heavy criticism from the audience. Mr Vaughan, following, called it “not fair” to ask MEPs to take such a pledge but asserted “I have never been motivated by money” and finished his part in the debate with a call to elect more left-wing socialist MEPs. Mr Griffiths, whose No2EU coalition has made a worker’s wage for MEPs part of their election manifesto, readily pledged to hold to a living wage, albeit not necessarily one equal to the average wage of his constituents, and described some of the difficulties associated with refusing an EU salary, noting that initially No2EU had proposed that its MEPs should draw no salary and claim no expenses from Europe but the coalition’s legal advisors had said that to do so would endanger the status of any of its members as MEPs.

Voting for the European Parliament elections in the United Kingdom takes place June 4.

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How the Army Corps of Engineers closed one New Orleans breach

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How the Army Corps of Engineers closed one New Orleans breach
January 29, 2021 · Uncategorized · (No comments)

Friday, September 9, 2005

New Orleans, Louisiana —After Category 4 storm Hurricane Katrina slammed into New Orleans, on the night before August 29, 2005, several flood control constructions failed. Much of the city flooded through the openings. One of these was the flood wall forming one side of the 17th Street Canal, near Lake Pontchartrain. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) is the primary agency for engineering support during such emergencies. A USACE team was assessing the situation in New Orleans on the 29th, water flow was stopped September 2nd, and the breach was closed on September 5th.

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