Saturday, February 16, 2008

While nearly all cover of the 2008 Presidential election has focused on the Democratic and Republican candidates, there are small political parties offering candidates, and those who choose to run without a party behind them, independents.

Wikinews is interviewing some of these citizens who are looking to become the 43rd person elected to serve their nation from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW.

First off is Long Beach, California’s Frank McEnulty (b. 1956), a married father of two with an MBA (Venture Management) and BS (Accounting/Finance).

Buffalo, N.Y. Hotel Proposal Controversy
Recent Developments
  • “120 year-old documents threaten development on site of Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal” — Wikinews, November 21, 2006
  • “Proposal for Buffalo, N.Y. hotel reportedly dead: parcels for sale “by owner”” — Wikinews, November 16, 2006
  • “Contract to buy properties on site of Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal extended” — Wikinews, October 2, 2006
  • “Court date “as needed” for lawsuit against Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal” — Wikinews, August 14, 2006
  • “Preliminary hearing for lawsuit against Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal rescheduled” — Wikinews, July 26, 2006
  • “Elmwood Village Hotel proposal in Buffalo, N.Y. withdrawn” — Wikinews, July 13, 2006
  • “Preliminary hearing against Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal delayed” — Wikinews, June 2, 2006
Original Story
  • “Hotel development proposal could displace Buffalo, NY business owners” — Wikinews, February 17, 2006

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Buffalo, New York —A proposed hotel that was supposed to be built at the corner of Elmwood and Forest Avenues in Buffalo, New York is apparently off the table. The former proposal was going to be called The Elmwood Village Hotel and would have consisted of 72 rooms and cost between $7 to $10 million American dollars to build.

Today several unknown individuals were seen removing a sign that was dedicated to the “Elmwood Village Gateway,” which signifies the beginning of the Elmwood Village at the formerly proposed project’s location.

Nearly an hour later the men replaced the sign with a different and unexpected sign: “For Sale: 5 commercial parcels and 1 carriage house, By: Owner.” Those 5 “parcels” are 1109-1121 Elmwood and 999 Forest Avenue, which is located in an illegal alley, according to the City of Buffalo, behind the 5 other properties on Elmwood. Hans Mobius owns all properties named in the sale.

Sam Savarino, CEO of Savarino Companies never owned the properties and has repeatadly told Wikinews in exclusive interviews that he still had a “contract to buy the properties” and on October 2, 2006 told Wikinews in an exclusive interview that he “extended” the “agreement to purchase the property[s] and will have it under contract for what we hope is a sufficient period of time.”

“He [Mobius] is undoubtedly concerned because he has lost some tenants and is a bit impatient. I think he has properly portrayed the situation,” said Savarino in an exclusive interview with Wikinews.

Savarino also says that there may be “legal issues” to work out now, before anything else can move forward, regarding the proposal.

“There are some legal complexities that must be sorted out before anything can happen there,” added Savarino.

The welcome sign was; however, not removed entirely. The sign was placed, facing the same direction of north, on the side of the Forest Plaza Art Gallery, a new art gallery located on the corner of Forest and Elmwood.

Nancy Pollina, owner of Don Apparel which was located at 1109 Elmwood, but closed on October 14, 2006 considers this a possible “victory” in regards to the lawsuit filed against the hotel to stop it from being built, alleging that several laws were broken, including not performing an Environmental Impact Study before the proposal was approved by the city, during its approval and the proposal was “rushed.” Patricia Morris, who operates Don Apparel with Pollina, Angeline Genovese and Evelyn Bencinich, owners of residences on Granger Place which abut the rear of the proposed site, Nina Freudenheim, a resident of nearby Penhurst Park, and Sandra Girage, the owner of a two-family residence on Forest Avenue less than a hundred feet from the proposed hotel’s sole entrance and exit driveway, were also plaintiffs in the lawsuit. They filed the suit with a lawyer representing them, Arthur J. Giacalone, on April 25, 2006 in New York State Supreme Court, but the case has never gone to a courtroom.

Giacalone believes that a press release issued in July regarding the project was nothing but a statement to “save face,” but that the placement of the for sale sign might be a way of convincing Savarino to speed up the sale of the properties.

“I thought all along that Savarino’s July press release might be no more than an effort to save face. But we have no way of knowing. Similarly, Mobius might have put the for-sale sign up in an attempt to pressure Savarino into closing the deal. There’s no way to tell,” said Giacalone in an exclusive interview with Wikinews.

In regards to the lawsuit, Giacalone thinks it may now be in “limbo.”

“The lawsuit still sits in limbo,” added Giacalone.

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Death of Kentucky census worker considered suicide

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26
Apr

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Kentucky State Police said yesterday that the September 12 death of census worker Bill Sparkman was suicide. His body was found naked in a Clay County, Kentucky cemetery, with “Fed” written on his chest and his census identification taped to his neck. This prompted widespread speculation that anti-government sentiment was responsible. However, police now believe that Sparkman deliberately killed himself, and tried to make it look like murder so his son could receive an insurance payout. Trooper Don Trosper, a Kentucky State Police spokesman, said, “[w]e believe this was an intentional act. We believe the aim was to take his own life.”

This conclusion is based on the police’s analysis of several elements of the crime scene; Sparkman was not hanged in the typical manner; his knees were less than six inches off the ground, and he could have avoided death simply by standing up before he suffocated. Captain Lisa Rudzinski, a leader of the investigation stated, “We do not believe he was placed in that position.” The letters of the word “Fed” were written bottom first, which is unlikely if they had been written by an attacker. The rag found in his mouth contained only Sparkman’s DNA. Police also believed he left glasses taped to his head so he could see while preparing.

Police suspect Sparkman’s motives included debt, failure to find a full-time job, and a desire to provide for his son through his life insurance.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

The Canadian film industry’s major awards night, the Genie Awards, takes place on Monday. The Genie Awards begun in 1949 as the Canadian Film Awards, and current nominations include the films L’Âge des ténèbres, Away from Her, Continental, un film sans fusil, Eastern Promises, and Shake Hands With the Devil.

Notably absent from the nominations is the film Juno, an Academy Award nominee for Best Picture. Most of the lead actors in Eastern Promises and Away from Her were not Canadian, and Eastern Promises was filmed overseas. The leads of Juno, in comparison, are all Canadian, and the movie was filmed in the country, despite the financial backing for the film being from an American source.

Quote

Juno is an excellent film and the Academy salutes its success, which reflects the work of many talented Canadians both in front of and behind the camera. Regrettably, the filmmakers decided not to enter the film into the Genie Awards.

In order to be eligible for the Genies, a film must be Canadian, as defined by CAVCO and the CRTC. These are the accepted industry standards for recognizing a film as Canadian.

Ultimately, it’s up to the filmmaker to decide whether to seek Canadian certification. It would not be appropriate for me to speculate about the reasons for a filmmaker’s decision, or why they may or may not qualify.

Sara Morton, CEO of the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television

CAVCO is the Canadian Audio-Visual Certification Office, part of the Department of Canadian Heritage. The CRTC is the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, a communications authority like the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in the United States, Independent Television Commission (ITC) in the UK (excluding Wales), and the Australian Communications and Media Authority.

Monday, January 31, 2005

New South Wales – 452 serious incidents that occurred during 2003 and 2004 have been brought to light, by a report released today about the safety of patients in the hospital system in New South Wales, Australia. Many of the incidents highlighted by the report resulted in injury, or even death.

The report detailed 13 patients who had operations that they were not meant to have or who had the wrong part of the body operated upon. It also noted that another 22 were seriously injured in falls in wards and bathrooms.

Other statistics included four suicides in hospital, with another 128 occurring in community care. Another nine people retained surgical instruments or materials inside them after the operation. The rest of the serious incidents related to labour and delivery problems (26) and clinical management problems (157).

Thursday, June 17, 2010

File:Civil Rights Mural SMC May 2007.jpg

On Tuesday, the “Bloody Sunday Inquiry” published its report into 1972 British Army killing of fourteen civil rights activists in Northern Ireland.

The Saville Inquiry, a twelve-year-long public inquiry into the fatal shooting, published their 5,000-page report; stating, the deaths were “unjustified”.

The events of “Bloody Sunday” in 1972 saw soldiers open fire on civilians during a civil rights march. Family members and supporters of the victims reacted positively to the report, as they gathering outside the Guildhall in Derry.

“What happened on Bloody Sunday was both unjustified and unjustifiable. It was wrong”, British Prime Minister David Cameron told the House of Commons. He also said, “[t]he Government is ultimately responsible for the conduct of the armed forces, and for that, on behalf of the Government, indeed on behalf of our country, I am deeply sorry”, and that “[t]here is no doubt. There’s nothing equivocal, there are no ambiguities”.

Cameron said the Saville report states that those killed did not pose a threat and some of those killed and injured were clearly fleeing or going to help those injured or dying. Some of the key findings were;

  • “The firing by soldiers of 1 Para caused the deaths of 13 people and injury to a similar number, none of whom was posing a threat of causing death or serious injury”;
  • “Despite the contrary evidence given by soldiers, we have concluded that none of them fired in response to attacks or threatened attacks by nail or petrol bombers”;
  • Accounts by soldiers were rejected and some had “knowingly put forward false accounts”;
  • The paratroopers shot first and later members of the official IRA fired a number of shots but this “did not provide an explanation for why soldiers targeted and hit people”;
  • Northern Ireland’s Deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness of Sinn Fein, was “probably armed with a sub-machine gun” on the day, but did not engage in “any activity that provided any of the soldiers with any justification for opening fire”.

Twenty-seven civil rights activists were shot by the British Army’s Parachute Regiment (of which “1 Para” was identified as the regiment mainly responsible) during an illegal Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association (NICRA) march in the Bogside area of Derry in 1972. The NICRA was an organisation, formed in early 1967, which campaigned against discrimination of the Roman Catholic minority in Northern Ireland and had five key demands: “one man, one vote”; an end to gerrymandering, housing discrimination, public authority discrimination and the abolition of the B Specials police reserve.

In the aftermath of Bloody Sunday, an inquiry by the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Widgery, justified British army actions on the day and claimed that many of the activists were armed with guns and nail bombs. Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) leader MP Mark Durkan said, “[t]he families have waited a long time for justice and for a long time the reputations and innocence of their loved ones have been smeared by the findings of Widgery”.

The shootings lead to the strengthening of Irish republicans’ anti-British army arguments in the Nationalist community and provided the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) with queues of new recruits for its “long war”, which resulted in 30 years of The Troubles.

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The 12-year inquiry is the longest-running and most expensive public inquiry in British judicial history, costing around £200 million. Around 2,500 people gave testimony, including 505 civilians, nine experts and forensic scientists, 49 journalists, 245 military personnel, 35 paramilitaries or former paramilitaries, 39 politicians and civil servants, seven priests and 33 Royal Ulster Constabulary officers. Evidence included 160 volumes of data with an estimated 30 million words, 13 volumes of photographs, 121 audio tapes and 10 video tapes.

The victims included Patrick Doherty (32), Hugh Gilmour (17), Jackie Duddy (17), John Young (17), Kevin McElhinney (17), Michael Kelly (17), Gerald Donaghey (17), William Nash (19), Michael McDaid (20), Jim Wray (22), William McKinney (27) and Bernard “Barney” McGuigan (41). John Johnston (59) died four months later.

Bob Dylan plays first concert in Vietnam

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25
Apr

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Bob Dylan, the U.S. musical artist and songwriter, performed his first concert ever in Vietnam on Sunday night, forty years after his 1960s protest songs, now iconic, gave voice to America’s anti-Vietnam War movement.

The concert came days after he played two shows in China, where he performed in Beijing and Shanghai as part of his Asia-Pacific tour. On Sunday, he played in Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon), on a date 50 years after his first major performance.

Dylan played outdoors on a warm evening on the grassy grounds of RMIT University. The audience was a mixture of young and old; both foreigners and Vietnamese were present. He played in a Vietnam now at peace where half the population is under 30, too young to have memories of the war.

Dressed in a purple shirt, black jacket and wearing a white hat, he was welcomed with loud applause by an enthusiastic audience. His 17-song set list included a selection of his 1960s and 1970s hits such as “All Along the Watchtower”, “A Hard Rain’s a-Gonna Fall”, “It Ain’t Me Babe”, “Tangled Up in Blue”, and “Highway 61 Revisited” along with more recent songs.

Bob Dylan’s music opened up a path where music was used as a weapon to oppose the war in Vietnam and fight injustice and racism. That was the big thing that he has done for music.

Tran Long An, vice president of the Vietnam Composers’ Association noted that the significance of Dylan’s Ho Chi Minh City performance was recognized by his Vietnamese fans. “Bob Dylan’s music opened up a path where music was used as a weapon to oppose the war in Vietnam and fight injustice and racism,” he said. “That was the big thing that he has done for music.”

Vietnam’s communist government allows few western acts to perform. Human rights groups criticized Dylan for submitting his play list for approval by the Vietnamese government authorities, although his promoter said no restrictions were imposed.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

A semi-tractor carrying 9,000 gallons (34,000 litres) of liquid butane overturned at the weekend on the United States highway 50 east of Salida, Colorado, rupturing the tank and spilling its contents.

The road was closed to traffic for 20 hours during one of the busiest times of the year, and traffic rerouted along a three-hour diversion route.

Colorado State Patrol reports state the driver, Roger Meely, 62, was hauling a pressurised tank full of butane when he lost control and crashed near Mile Marker 228. Colorado State Patrol Sgt. William Holt described the accident, “He lost control of the vehicle in the curves, veered across the lanes and rolled it.” Meely was treated and released from the Heart of the Rockies hospital in Salida after the crash, but escaped serious injury.

The truck rolled at about 6:50 p.m. six miles from Salida, prompting closure of the highway. Although the driver escaped unharmed, 10-15 homes and an unknown number of campsites along the Arkansas River were evacuated as fumes began to drift downstream towards the town of Swissvale. Rafters were ordered away from the area, but Hazmat crews were able to prevent butane from contaminating the river.

Emergency workers were forced to allow the butane to vent itself through the night. Capt. Jack Cowert of the Colorado State Patrol said, “I would say those of us on scene were surprised it didn’t explode.”

In total, the following organisations responded: the Colorado State Patrol Hazardous Materials Unit, South Arkansas Fire Protection District, Howard Volunteer Fire Department, Arkansas Valley Ambulance, Chaffee County Emergency Services, Alpine Towing and the Colorado Department of Transportation.

The driver either wasn’t paying attention or he was driving too fast

An attempt was made at 9:00 a.m. Monday to right the tanker and tow it away, but in the process of securing it to the tow truck it slipped and a dolly axle buckled, further lengthening the delay.

The road was not reopened until 3:10 p.m. Monday. Sheila Johnson, a flagger working for Alpine Towing, later said of the commuters affected that they were mostly understanding, saying of them, “For the most part people were pretty good about the road being closed,”.

Holt blamed the driver for the accident, saying he “will be cited for something,” and that “anytime a crash like this happens, the driver either wasn’t paying attention or he was driving too fast.” It was later determined that the driver’s excessive speed was to blame. He was ultimately charged over the incident.

The incident sparked a full review evaluating the emergency response, which included about ten agencies.

By Patricia Holland

Anti ligature washroom fixtures minimize the risk of violence in correctional facilities and patient care facilities. Fixtures are designed with a minimum number of ligature points for patient safety. Areas where ligature devices could be suspended are rounded, or they are designed with breakaway fail safes to keep individuals from using them for hanging. Sharp edges are beveled or rounded. This prevents the creation of cutting tools.

Anti ligature washroom products and accessories include a broad spectrum of products. Hand washing fixtures, showers and valves, and washroom accessories are all designed in compliance with suicide resistant codes written in the Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines and the National Association of Psychiatric Health Systems guidelines.

Anti ligature washroom fixtures for hand washing are made with contoured edges. Spray heads are mounted flush to basin. Many models have infrared activated faucets so that there is no handle to remove. Basins have contoured edges as well. Terreon material used to make handwash fountains is vandal resistant. This makes the basin very difficult to break into pieces with sharp edges.

If the material is chipped or scraped, repair kits are available to restore its condition.

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Anti ligature washroom fixtures for showers include both showers and valves. Shower design must minimize any protuberance that could be used to hand a ligature cord, or that could be broken off to create a sharp edge.

Shower valves feature a design that is rounded and flush mounted to the wall. This prevents attempt at hanging shoe laces, bed sheets, or other ligature devices from their surface. Contoured handles also minimize ligature points with edges too rounded and smooth for inmates or patients to tie ligature cords. Many shower models use hemispherical pushbuttons to minimize ligature points.

Features such as sloped tops on valve covers, breakaway towel hooks that release under excess weight, and other contoured shower surfaces are designed to prevent a number of self-inflicted injuries and weapons manufacture. Without sharp edges, handles cannot easily be turned into knives.

Breakaway hooks prevent attempts at hanging because they give way under excess weight. Sloped tops on valves are another way of minimizing the risk of ligature tie off. Showers mount to the wall extremely flush because they are manufactured with beveled edges. This makes it extremely difficult to remove the fixture from the wall.

The smaller anti ligature washroom fixtures are also designed to prevent self injury or the making of weapons. Accessories such as mirrors are made of shiny stainless steel so they cannot be shattered and turned into sharp weapons. Toilet tissue dispensers are recessed mounted into walls. Security screws that can only be taken out with certain equipment are used to hold the dispensers in place. Commonplace objects or bare hands are not enough to budge either the dispenser or these screws from their place.

Other smaller anti ligature washroom fixtures include grab bars and soap dishes designed to resist attempts at pulling them from the wall. Grab bars feature a welded plat that fills the cavity between the bar and the wall to give them extra strength.

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