Members of a House of Lords committee examining the impact of the Equality Act 2010 have visited a user-led organisation to hear from disabled people on how the legislation has affected their day-to-day lives.Six members of the committee – including the disabled crossbench peer Baroness [Jane] Campbell – visited Real, a support organisation for disabled people in Tower Hamlets, east London, to hear from them directly about the reality of their lives five years after the act became law.Only last week, four legal experts told the committee, which is examining the act’s impact on disabled people, of their serious concerns about the government’s commitment to enforcing disabled people’s rights through the Equality Act.Mike Smith, chief executive of Real, and the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s former disability commissioner, said the peers were “horrified” by what they were told by his members.He said: “It was really good for them to hear it from real voices, as opposed to the formulaic responses they get from other organisations.”Smith said he believed that hearing the “reality of people’s lives” would “galvanise” the peers into making “positive and constructive” recommendations.He said there had been an “incredible energy in the room” as the committee listened to his members’ evidence.He said: “Today we heard some amazing stories of day-to-day struggles disabled people experience trying to achieve equality.“Although direct discrimination is less common than 20 years ago when the Disability Discrimination Act was first introduced, too often people were reporting unintentional indirect discrimination, failure to make reasonable adjustments, poor understanding and awareness, and a lack of ability to enforce their rights.“Many still didn’t know what their rights were or how to find out more.”Faiz Rehman, a member of Real, said: “I felt it was a good event, and I found it really encouraging that the Lords committee have made this connection to our organisation.“I personally think the Equality Act is ambiguous and not as concise as the previous Disability Discrimination Act, and I am glad that the committee plan on producing a report on the new legislation.”Baroness Deech, who chairs the Lords committee, said: “For the committee to get out and speak to disabled people is invaluable for our investigation.“We heard some frank views on the Equality Act 2010, both good and bad, and they have given us a great deal of food for thought, which will inform our eventual findings.”Picture: Copyright House of Lords 2015/Photography by Annabel Moeller
The emails also indicate that Officer Samuel Fung was working with Hintzen the night of the shooting.“Let’s not forget Sam as well he is also as much of a victim of this shooting as Kai,” Lynch wrote. “They both were under extreme stress and performed valiantly.”The officer’s name was confirmed to Mission Local by SFPD personnel and the email in which he was named.The shootout broke out just after midnight on Wednesday near 18th and Diamond streets. Police said Hintzen and his partner were working a foot patrol in the area when a citizen asked them to check out a “suspicious vehicle,” a grey Chrysler sedan that police later said had been reported stolen.When Hintzen approached the car, an exchange of gunfire ensued, leaving both Hintzen and the suspect critically injured from gunshot wounds, police said. They have not said who shot first, how many shots were fired, or whether other officers were involved in the shooting.The suspect, who police haven’t identified, was in life-threatening condition on Wednesday afternoon, Officer Gatpandan said.Police said the incident is being investigated in relation to the carjacking of a taxi, which took place minutes after the shootout near Diamond and Market streets. Three other suspects — two females of unknown age and a man in his 20s — held up the driver at gunpoint, drove off with the car, and left it on Oakwood Street.Gatpandan said Wednesday that police will release details of the incident as they come, as their investigation is ongoing. The police officer that was critically wounded in a Halloween night shootout in the Castro is inching closer to recovery, internal police emails obtained by Mission Local indicate.Officer Shawn Kai Hintzen, aged 41 and a nine-year veteran of the police department, was undergoing surgery on his intestines on Thursday morning. He had shrapnel removed from his stomach, and was “in and out of consciousness” on Thursday afternoon, according to the emails.“His abdomen was clean of bacteria and the doctors were able to stitch him up,” Officer Joe Lynch of the Crime Scene Investigation Unit wrote in an email.At a Wednesday afternoon press conference, police spokesperson Officer Grace Gatpandan said he was in critical, but stable, condition. 0% Tags: police shooting Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%
Mission Local spoke with five more employees. All made similar allegations.Rubenfaer filed for bankruptcy on Feb. 25 — six days after the Mission Local article was published. According to those bankruptcy files, he owes more than $1 million to 49 parties, including banks, government agencies, and private companies like nurseries and farms that sold flowers to Mission de Flores. “I went into debt to finance Mission de Flores, and when I closed it down, the debts were very large,” Rubenfaer said in a recent interview with Mission Local. “I had no choice but to declare bankruptcy.”But former employees said that debt was only one of Rubenfaer’s failings.Two former employees spoke to Mission Local about Rubenfaer rubbing their lower backs without their permission; one said he touched her inappropriately; and four heard him talk extensively about his sex life at work.Emma Gilman, 30, a former florist at Mission de Flores, told Mission Local that after a work Christmas party in 2017, about five employees went to Hemlock, a bar on Polk Street that is now closed, where Rubenfaer “put his hand on my ass.” She didn’t feel comfortable reporting her boss’ behavior to another manager, so she tried to avoid him at work. Gilman did tell Sparks and fellow employee Paige McKinley about Rubenfaer touching her — and McKinley, who was at the bar, saw Rubenfaer repeatedly touch Gilman’s lower back. “He would point me out to other people, how I was having an attitude. And that’s what was wrong with me,” Gilman said.McKinley, 27, a former florist and driver at Mission de Flores, also said she experienced Rubenfaer’s inappropriate behavior.“I would be upset about something and he would rub my lower back, which is absolutely not okay,” McKinley said.McKinley didn’t report anything to management either. After all, Rubenfaer was the owner of the flower shop and she didn’t believe his behavior would change. “It’s not like we had an HR department,”McKinley said. “Coming to them with anything wouldn’t have really done anything.”Rubenfaer told Mission Local that he was unaware that anyone felt uneasy at work. “Never once did I ever hear anyone complain about me or about feeling uncomfortable or anything. Ever,” he said. “I didn’t do anything wrong, I didn’t do anything bad, I didn’t do anything unethical or illegal at Mission de Flores. I gave people the skills to turn their craft into careers.”A 2014 Mission de Flores window display.Rubenfaer would also make comments about his sex life and the people he was dating, according to Gilman and McKinley.The 51-year-old owner told McKinley how “amazing he was on Tinder and how he is good at getting women in their twenties. Being like, ‘I got totally laid last night,’” she said.Jesse Beltran, a former delivery driver and manager, was one of the few men who worked at Mission de Flores. He said he witnessed Rubenfaer’s boundary-crossing behavior with his colleagues. “During meetings sometimes he would talk about his dates,” Beltran said. Beltran also “overheard and saw [Rubenfaer] ask girls to have dinner with him that worked there a couple of times.” Rubenfaer denies this, and said he would never “date an employee that is working for me, as a rule.”For Sparks, Rubenfaer’s troubling conduct was often awkward. “He always would say sexual things like how girls were so cute,” which made her and other women feel uncomfortable at work.When hiring, Rubenfaer seemed to prefer working with attractive young women, according to Beltran.“They were very inexperienced,” he said. “They all were attractive and had flower tattoos. It was kind of a funny thing.”McKinley also noticed that most of her coworkers were young and conventionally good looking.“He would tell me that certain employees were specifically attractive and say things along the lines of whether or not he would have had sex with them back in the day,” added McKinley. “That’s completely ridiculous. I had nothing to do with hiring florists,” Rubenfaer countered in response to the allegation. He said he was friends with many of his employees and that it wouldn’t be unusual for him to talk about his dating life at work.“I am just really open and honest about things,” Rubenfaer said. “I’m sorry if anyone felt that way, I just probably kind of say things without thinking anyone is going to care.”Mission de Flores in 2014.Kelly Armstrong, an attorney for the Armstrong Law Firm in San Francisco, has been litigating sexual harassment cases for nearly 20 years. After reviewing the allegations made by Rubenfaer’s former employees at Mission Local’s behest, she says that the behavior they describe could be considered sexual harassment under the law.Armstrong said in an interview that Rubenfaer’s alleged behavior comprises typical sexual harassment, which includes “grabbing different body parts such as breasts or someone’s behind, sending someone sexually tinged jokes, talking about your sex life, rating women in the office on a scale of 1 to 10 and telling somebody that you want to do sexual things to them.”McKinley and Gilman also said they heard Rubenfaer use racist terms at work. Both said Rubenfaer used the N word. “He referred to all of us as his little [n-words] because he was really into Straight Outta Compton at the moment,” McKinley said, referring to the rap album by NWA. “I was not comfortable with the way he spoke.”McKinley, Sparks and Gilman additionally recalled Rubenfaer saying “dykes don’t buy flowers,” when gearing up for Valentines Day. Rubenfaer declined to comment on this.In addition to alleged inappropriate behavior in the workplace, former employees also say they received bounced checks from Rubenfaer — and he admits this happened. Dylan Hadley, 21, worked at Mission de Flores for five months and quit after her bank wouldn’t accept her paycheck, she said. It was her first floral job and she was paid $17 an hour. “I had negative $300 in my account and I had all these overdraft fees on top of it,” Hadley said. “It was such a mess and I’m a kid and I just want to pay my rent.” She quit the next day.Rubenfaer believed Hadley’s bank was at fault and wrote her another check that she successfully cashed. When the initial check also cashed a few weeks later, Rubenfaer was angry that he had paid Hadley twice and the two had a heated text exchange acquired by Mission Local before Hadley returned the extra payment to Rubenfaer. He wrote to the then-18-year-old, “You have 0% integrity and 100% entitlement.”“There were times when money was very tight,” said Rubenfaer, but he argued that he “always made sure employees got paid over everybody.”Nonetheless, Beltran routinely received checks that bounced in his first few months with the company. Rubenfaer ended up paying him in cash for the majority of the year and a half he worked for him, Beltran said. “It got to the point where he couldn’t pay me for the full amount. And he would ask me to go get an amount from the register,” Beltran said. “There was tons of post-it notes, you know, $20 taken out here or $100 here.” But Beltran did appreciate that Rubenfaer went out of his way to pay him, even when cash was really low. “He did try,” Beltran said. Rubenfaer acknowledged that paychecks did bounce when money was scarce and payments were sometimes a couple of days late — but that he tried to pay employees “extra for the hassle.” He also explained that his employees were paid well, “way over minimum wage.” And that’s so. Many employees stayed working at Mission de Flores because of the competitive hourly wage. McKinley was making up to $22 an hour at the flower shop and, although she often received her paycheck five days late, she was grateful for how much money she made and the paid vacation time she received. “I took a vacation, and got paid for the whole time I was gone. I got paid for eight days.”But others haven’t been paid back at all. Darrell Torchio, the owner of Torchio Nursery, is one of the flower vendors that Rubenfaer left hanging. The owner tried to run Rubenfaer’s credit card and it was repeatedly declined.“He’s a guy that would go down and burn everybody in the market and walk away, and then try and make an excuse,” Torchio said.The bankruptcy filing states that Rubenfaer owes the nursery $3,325. A woman takes a selfie in front of Mission de Flores’s wall of flowers display in 2016. Photo by Lola M. Chavez.In addition to owning Mission de Flores, Rubenfaer was also in the process of buying Floramor, a high-end event and floral company in San Francisco. A few days before Mission de Flores shut down in May 2018, Rubenfaer backed out. “For our last month worth of checks, he tried to not pay us,” said Bradley Jackson, a former manager at Floramor. “A month’s pay for me is my existence in San Francisco.” Rubenfaer eventually wrote Jackson a check in May 2018 for two weeks’s’ pay, and the prior owners of Floramor — who subsequently took back the business — paid him the remaining sum, according to Jackson. Floramor’s owners declined to comment for this story.“He was in it for that quick cash,” said Jackson. “Now he doesn’t even have an entrepreneurial thing, he’s just teaching other people how to. It’s terrible. He should not get any type of credit for that.” Email Address Subscribe to Mission Local’s daily newsletter After Steve Rubenfaer, the former owner of Mission de Flores, quietly closed the company last year, Mission Local reported on his new venture advising entrepreneurs. Clients raved about his work. But after that article appeared, former employees came forward, detailing incidents of sexual harassment, bounced checks, and discriminatory language. Sally Sparks, a former florist at Mission de Flores, was the first to speak out after reading the article. “He didn’t close his businesses, he ran them into the ground,” Sparks wrote in a Facebook message to Mission Local. “Withholding employees paychecks, giving no notice to his employees (including many of whom he sexually harassed), and owing vendors thousands of dollars.”
RUGBY League World Cup 2013 organisers have announced that the opening ceremony at The Millennium Stadium, Cardiff will be ‘the greatest show that Rugby League has ever seen’.RLWC2013 also announced that following a rigorous and successful consultation process, industry leaders EVENT360 have been recruited as the Official Sports Presentation Partner of the tournament.EVENT360 have an impressive portfolio of work at sports events and at all the major stadiums in the UK. They currently provide the sports presentation for international Rugby Union games at the Millennium Stadium, Murrayfield and Twickenham, as well the last eight F.A. Cup Finals and NFL International Series games at Wembley.RLWC2013 General Manager, Sally Bolton said: “EVENT360’s credentials are second to none, they are unquestionably the market leaders in live sports presentation in the UK, so we’re delighted to be working with them.“We are determined that RLWC2013 will open with the greatest show that Rugby League has ever seen so we’ve set aside an unprecedented budget and are putting resource that will match that behind it. We’ve also found the perfect partner in EVENT360 to help us craft and stage what will be a must-see event.“To follow that with two huge games as England take on Australia in arguably international Rugby League’s biggest fixture and co-hosts Wales playing Italy, will make for an amazing experience.“With tickets starting at just £20 (£10 for concessions) this will be a great day out at great value for fans as well as families and friends.”EVENT360 Director, Clive McElarney said: “EVENT360 have worked with some of the highest profile clients in UK sport and it’s great to add RLWC2013 to our portfolio.“We have been really impressed with the ambition and focus that RLWC2013 have put behind the opening ceremony and are genuinely excited about bringing it to life. We really believe that together we can stage the greatest show that Rugby League has ever seen.“We’re also excited about the fact that we will be providing the sports presentation solution to every game at RLWC2013. We’ve been working with Sally and her team since the start of the year on extraordinary and innovative ideas which will bring the tournament to life and which will also make sure that the fans’ match day experience is truly exceptional.”Get your tickets now at www.rlwc2013.com
THE auction for our match worn special autism shirts has now closed – and we thank all that have made bids, successful or not.We will be in contact with the winners shortly.The final bids were: 3. Jordan Turner – £1505. Adam Swift – £2007. Luke Walsh – £2008. Alex Walmsley – £2009. James Roby – £31010. Kyle Amor – £22511. Atelea Vea – £18012. Jon Wilkin – £22013. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook – £60014. Lama Tasi – £13016. Andre Savelio – £17519. Theo Fages – £48521. Matty Dawson – £13522. Jack Owens – £17023. Shannon McDonnell – £15028. Morgan Knowles – £20030. Calvin Wellington – £150
The Saints managed to break the home side’s resistance in half the time of the previous encounter as Aaron Smith crossed for the first of his side’s 13 tries after only 12 minutes, writes Graham Henthorne.Two more in the next two sets to firstly Ricky Bailey and then Jonah Cunningham put the Saints ahead of the clock.Five more tries in the second quarter highlighted the dominance and professionalism of Coach Ian Talbot’s side this time round which well and truly put the game beyond doubt.Jake Spedding, Liam Cooper and Calvin Wellington all scored in another three try burst and when Adam Walker and Bailey again scored in successive sets before the break it looked like the Saints would eclipse their previous score.However, as is often the way half time breaks the spell and despite Spedding scoring on the Saints first drive of the second period they found it harder to replicate their dominance.In fact the home side registered their only points of the game at this point but you could hardly say the comeback was on.Ben Morris celebrated his return to action after another injury lay-off with a try to resume normal service.Cunningham and Wellington scored their brace’s as the steam ran out of the Saints and it fell to Bailey to crown another sound spell as custodian with his hat-trick score before the end.Danny Richardson failed to match his 100% contribution from the boot from the last game only managing 11 from 13 this time (mock booing from the touchline notwithstanding!).One sided this contest may have been, on the scoreboard at least, but as ever valuable contributions will have been made in what was a very physical contest.The likes of Matty Lees, Josh Eaves, Mike Weldon and Evan Bullen, getting his first taste at this level, who’ve all been up against it so far this season in the U19s will have gained in confidence from playing in a winning team which will stand them in good stead for the rest of their campaign.The rest of the team benefit from time on the pitch playing together as part of a dominant outfit, which hopefully they will take into the first team when and if their call comes.Match Summary:Keighley: Tries: Barker (44). Goals: Brook 1 from 1Saints: Tries: Aaron Smith (12), Ricky Bailey (15, 36 & 76), Jonah Cunningham (16 & 58), Jake Spedding (21 & 41), Liam Cooper (26), Calvin Wellington (29 & 69), Adam Walker (34), Ben Morris (48). Goals: Danny Richardson 11 from 13.Half Time: 0-46 Full Time: 6-74Teams:Keighley: Darville; Davey, Casey, Lawton, Barker, Smithson; Brook, Hutchinson; Walters, Welsh, Pickering, Reed, Kelly. Subs: Brown, Adams, Scully, PriceSaints: 1. Ricky Bailey; 2. Dave Eccleston, 3. Jake Spedding, 4. Calvin Wellington, 5. Jordan Gibbons; 19. Jack Owens, 6. Danny Richardson; 8. Adam Walker, 9. Aaron Smith, 22. Matty Lees, 11. Liam Cooper, 12. Jack Ashworth, 13. Jonah Cunningham. Subs: 8. Josh Eaves, 16. Evan Bullen, 17. Mike Weldon, 24. Ben Morris.
The club beat off significant interest from other Super League clubs to secure the 19-year-old for the next three years.Dubbed the best player in the Championship “by an absolute mile” by former Saints star Leon Pryce, James made his debut for the Bulls against Oldham last season.He’s gone on to score 15 tries in 23 appearances and has been one of the Bulls’ standout performers.“James is a quality young player and we are pleased to bring him to the club,” Saints Head Coach Justin Holbrook said. “He’s powerful, strong and is consistent in his performances week in week out.“He knows he has a lot of improvement in him too and he’s looking forward to developing in our system.”James played for Oulton Raiders before progressing through Bradford Bulls’ Academy ranks.He said: “I can’t wait to get over there and get started. It was a big decision to leave, an emotional one as well but I am looking forward to be playing at the top level. It is a decision I’ve made to further my career.“I’m expecting the step up to be hard, it’s going to be a lot faster and a lot tougher but I am looking forward to and going head first into the challenge.“I can’t wait to get over there; some of the players that they have like Ben Barba and Jon Wilkin, are just great players. I can learn from them and become a better player.“I’m committed to the Bulls for the rest of the season I want to finish with my time here on a high.”
Ryan Morgan replaces Matty Lees in the only change from last week’s 19.Justin Holbrook will therefore select his 17 from:1. Jonny Lomax, 2. Tommy Makinson, 3. Ryan Morgan, 4. Mark Percival, 5. Adam Swift, 6. Theo Fages, 7. Matty Smith, 8. Alex Walmsley, 9. James Roby, 10. Kyle Amor, 11. Zeb Taia, 12. Jon Wilkin, 13. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 14. Luke Douglas, 16. Luke Thompson, 17. Dom Peyroux, 18. Danny Richardson, 19. Regan Grace, 23. Ben Barba.Ian Watson will choose his 17 from:1. Gareth O’Brien, 2. Greg Johnson, 3. Kris Welham, 4. Junior Sa’u, 5. Niall Evalds, 6. Robert Lui, 7. Jack Littlejohn, 8. Craig Kopczak, 9. Logan Tomkins, 11. Josh Jones, 12. Weller Hauraki, 13. Mark Flanagan, 14. Lama Tasi, 16. Luke Burgess, 17. Tyrone McCarthy, 18. Ben Nakubuwai, 19. Josh Wood, 23. Lee Mossop, 24. Jake Bibby.The game kicks off at 4pm and the referee will be Scott Mikalauskas.Tickets for the clash remain on sale from the Ticket Office at the Totally Wicked Stadium, by calling 01744 455 052 or online here.
“We were disappointing last week so tonight was all about how we responded as a team,” he said. “I thought we saw that. We saw how well Hull KR won last week and we knew they hadn’t played a home for a while. We knew it would be tough and I thought we handled it well. It was a pleasing win.“Our defence has been good every week, apart from last week. It’s really pleasing to see the boys get that right tonight.“In attack I thought we were a lot more settled too. We have been a little bit lost over the last couple of weeks so it was good to see it come together tonight.”He continued: “I thought our forwards really stood up and that helped the likes of Ben Barba play off the back of them. Luke Douglas, Luke Thompson, Kyle Amor and LMS; I thought they were outstanding.”Holbrook confirmed that Adam Swift has a shoulder injury and it will be assessed during the week.
Mark Percival and Regan Grace both scored braces to set up a Semi Final date with Catalans in Bolton.But they were pushed all the way by the cup holders who refused to give up their crown without a fight.In fact, this tie wasn’t settled until the last play of the game against a team that had been down to 11 men at one point, and had three sinbinned.Percival got Saints underway after a tense first ten minutes.Hull had already made a couple of half breaks before Saints took advantage when the centre crossed after some great interchange play.It got better immediately too – the visitors failing to send the restart more than 10 yards – and Grace making the most of the cut out pass from Jonny Lomax to dive in the corner.Saints were good for their 10-0 lead but within the blink of an eye Hull had gone ahead.Firstly, Albert Kelly darted along the line to step inside under the posts and then Chris Green used all his strength to muscle over.All the momentum had swung the holders way – but they were soon to rue their ill-discipline.Danny Houghton was first to go to the bin for a ‘crusher’ on Danny Richardson and within a minute, Danny Washbrook was sent the same way for leaving his knee in the tackle on two occasions.Two men to the good Saints recorded 12 points and took charge of the contest.Grace’s second came after Richardson’s chip was tipped back and the winger spun out of a tackle – Percival then grabbing his brace as he danced through the cover on the next set.Danny Richardson popped over a one-pointer for 23-12 at half time, and Saints should have increased their advantage early in the second.A lovely tip pass from Percival saw Grace take off down the left.With the defence closing in, he chipped for Lomax but the full back was hauled down just before the line.Zeb Taia then dove over from dummy half – when perhaps a pass would have been the better option – and lost the ball.Saints made back to back goal-line stands in the 50th minute, but on their third set, the Airlie Birds made the pressure pay – Taylor grabbing his second under the posts.Both teams were visibly wilting in the hot sun as the tension cranked up a notch but Hull’s discipline cost them again as Masimbaashe Matongo was sent to the bin for hitting Jonny Lomax late and from behind after he’d passed the ball.Richardson converted the penalty to make it a seven-point game, yet his teammates couldn’t unlock the Hull defence with a man advantage.They missed two opportunities down the left hand side to kill the game off – and they were made to regret that execution as Makim Miloudi jumped highest on a crossfield kick to make it game on with 10 to play.Saints couldn’t convert further chances as the game came to a close but they left Hull needing to go the length with 60 seconds remaining.They made 50 from a couple of tackles to set nerves on edge amongst the home faithful – but a forward pass from the play the ball with 10 seconds left meant it was game over.Match Summary:Saints: Tries: Percival (2), Grace (2), Goals: Richardson (4 from 5) Drop: RichardsonHull FC: Tries: Kelly, Green, Taylor, Miloudi Goals: Connor (3 from 4)Penalties Awarded: Saints: 6 Hull FC: 5HT: 23-12 FT: 25-22REF: Ben ThalerATT: 8,933Teams:Saints: 23. Ben Barba; 2. Tommy Makinson, 3. Ryan Morgan, 4. Mark Percival, 19. Regan Grace; 1. Jonny Lomax, 18. Danny Richardson; 10. Kyle Amor, 9. James Roby, 16. Luke Thompson, 17. Dom Peyroux, 11. Zeb Taia, 12. Jon Wilkin. Subs: 6. Theo Fages, 14. Luke Douglas 13. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 15. Morgan Knowles.Hull FC: 1. Jamie Shaul; 2. Bureta Faraimo, 24. Jack Logan, 3. Carlos Tuimavave, 28. Hakim Miloudi; 6. Albert Kelly, 14. Jake Connor; 15. Chris Green, 9. Danny Houghton, 8. Scott Taylor, 12. Mark Minichiello, 21. Sika Manu, 11. Dean Hadley. Subs: 17. Danny Washbrook, 20. Brad Fash, 23. Mickey Paea, 29. Masimbaashe Matongo.