After 20 years heading one of Europes leading out

first_imgAfter 20 years heading one of Europe’s leading outdoor arts festivals, and three years after helping to direct the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Paralympic Games, Bradley Hemmings could be forgiven for resting on his laurels.But following an MBE in the latest New Year’s Honours, he is now set to direct the second Paralympic heritage flame ceremony at Stoke Mandeville Stadium, in advance of this summer’s Paralympics in Rio. The flame will be created on 2 September, five days before the opening ceremony of the Rio Paralympics, and will be sent “virtually” to Brazil where it will merge with the Brazilian regional flames to form the flame used on the torch relay and then light the cauldron in the Olympic Stadium during the opening ceremony.He has been advising Aylesbury Vale council on what the heritage flame ceremony could look like – although he has not yet been confirmed as its director – with further details likely to be announced in March.It would be interesting, Hemmings said, to mark the four-year journey from the London 2012 Paralympics and “imagine where [disability arts] might go next” – what that journey meant, what has changed during those four years, and what still needs to change.Asked what needs to change in the world of disability arts, his answer underlines his priorities as a disabled artist, and a festival organiser: “More people, more creativity, more collaboration, more internationalism, and more recognition for artists and for this still very fragile part of the cultural sector.”Hemmings (pictured) is probably best-known as one of the two artistic directors – alongside Graeae’s Jenny Sealey – of the critically-praised opening ceremony of the London 2012 Paralympics.But he has been artistic director of Greenwich+Docklands International Festival (GDIF) in London since founding it in 1996, and has produced the mayor of London’s disability arts festival Liberty since it began in 2003.He also directed the inaugural heritage flame ceremony in 2014, which celebrated the Sochi Winter Paralympics.He is proud both of GDIF’s longevity, when many other festivals have failed to sustain their existence over such a long period, but also of the festival’s work with Deaf and disabled artists over the last 15 years.He said: “What’s also been great is a number of those artists [he mentions Marc Brew, Graeae, Stopgap and Fittings] have through the building up of this kind of outdoor theatre sector gone on to enjoy touring and performances in other parts of the country.”He has, he said, a “particular vision of fairness in outdoor theatre”, and added: “The whole point is that outdoor theatre is profoundly about something really democratic; and what is good about it and brilliant and moving about it is when you get the audience feeling that [the experience is featuring] the same people who live in the city, that it includes everybody.”His own identity as a disabled person has played an important role, he said, in these ideas of “fairness and democracy and a sense of consideration about the way in which one likes to be communicated with or thought about or thought about imaginatively and with a degree of care”.Although Hemmings believes that disability arts has moved on and developed in the last 15 years, with far greater recognition from the Arts Council, he said he did not want to be complacent.He said: “There has been a wider conversation that has been possible about disability arts than there would have been perhaps 15 years ago when there was fantastic work being made but it was perhaps not being seen by nearly enough people.“There is a sense that things have moved on, but there is a lot more to be done, big challenges.”One of these is the challenge posed to many Deaf and disabled artists by the administration of the government’s Access to Work employment support scheme.With festivals such as Liberty, artists’ access needs are often built into the funding, he said, but “in the wider life of the artists it’s a much wider problem”.He said: “If you think about your working life in general and how you might be able to go about that and prepare and develop your work outside a moment in time, then that is obviously a considerable challenge.”He is also keen to dispel the myth that just by putting on a free outdoor festival in an accessible location “you have made it accessible and that’s it, job done”.He said: “There is a lot of work that needs to be done in engaging with audiences, which encourages people to feel that they are going to be safe and it will be an experience that they will come to and that they will enjoy it.”Access is not just about viewing platforms, he said. “It’s [also] about ways in which front-of-house staff are ready and equipped to think creatively and positively about how they might communicate with people across a range of impairment groups.”It is, he said, the “sense of welcome that is really important”, something that is often not done well with performances inside buildings.He said that much of GDIF’s work was “highly visual”, but when there is dialogue, the festival has “brought in not just captioning but thought about ways in which we can integrate text into performances”.GDIF always tries to ensure that at least one of its “large-scale spectaculars” has audio description, while it engages with the audience through volunteers and staff at festival meeting points so “it feels like a positive social experience rather than something that just stands in isolation”.He praised the charity Attitude is Everything for enabling outdoor festivals to “think creatively” on access, and added: “It’s obviously not an exact science, but it’s very often a question of openness and imagination.“I don’t think anything is ever perfect. That is what life is like: you’re always striving to do something new and make something better. That’s the challenge. I don’t think there is a nirvana.”The Liberty disability arts festival has posed some different challenges, including the criticism drawn when it was forced to merge with National Paralympic Day from 2013.Hemmings accepted that people had “a wide variety of views” on whether that merger was a good idea.But he said: “From my point of view, there is a great deal of common ground and a great deal of opportunity in terms of the megaphone it provides through Channel 4 and so on and the way you can communicate with bigger audiences and tell different stories, so as somebody who makes theatre I’m interested by it.“There are all sorts of ways of coming at it and I know as we go into 2016 – although I don’t know yet what the arrangements will be – [Liberty] will feel very different again, because a lot of the focus of the Paralympics will have moved to Rio rather than to London.”He said his approach to his work was “always to listen”, as he was “quite a practical and grounded person”.And he points to Circus Space, the training programme he and Sealey set up in preparation for the London Paralympics opening ceremony.Some of those who took part in the programme – and later appeared in the ceremony – were actors, performers, ex-servicemen, or people who “just wanted to have a go and hadn’t self-identified as an artist or anything else”.He pointed out that the opening ceremony itself featured striking sections towards the end about the importance of protest, including the emergence of the statue of a pregnant Alison Lapper and the performance of Ian Dury’s Spasticus Autisticus.He said: “There was dialogue, there was certainly common ground and sharing between all those different participating artists, sportspeople and services.“I wouldn’t have thought they are in completely different camps [at Liberty]. There is always possibility for exchange and sharing and there’s a lot of stuff that perhaps could be done to make sure that happens more.”Liberty, he said, had always been “a place of exchange, a meeting point, a coming together”, and he has noticed how families who attend because of their interest in the Paralympics “are going back and forward across the [sports and arts] areas and engaging with both”.Hemmings said there was some relief in the arts sector after the government’s spending review last November.He said: “It is not just [GDIF] but anybody working in the arts was prepared for a difficult autumn statement in November, and when that didn’t happen there were huge sighs of relief heaved throughout the whole sector.“We were anticipating a really, really difficult time this year and next and that hasn’t happened in the way we thought it might.”But although that has meant relief for the Arts Council – Hemmings is a member of the London area council of Arts Council England – many local authorities, which are vital to outdoor theatre around the country, have not been so lucky.GDIF has been fortunate, though, because Greenwich council has “stuck with the arts through thick and thin”, while committed sponsors such as Canary Wharf Group and London City Airport have also played a significant part in the festival’s continuing success.At a time of austerity, when many disabled people are finding it difficult to be included in their local communities, Hemmings hopes his festivals can make a contribution.“There is something about people coming together in large bodies to experience something together in an atmosphere of conviviality,” he said, “which might not sound very much on the surface of it, but it’s actually really important.“I think all of us need those occasions when we share something wonderful together that is quite different from sitting in any other kind of cultural experiences, because you can’t help but be aware of the other people who are in the audience with you.“You get this sense of real exhilaration from being in that experience – that is what people tell us, anyway – and I think that’s important and to make sure deaf and disabled people are right in the heart of that too is what I feel I have tried to do.”last_img read more

Only three out of 20 Premier League football clubs

first_imgOnly three out of 20 Premier League football clubs have met minimum requirements on providing accessible spaces and seating for disabled fans, according to the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC).A new EHRC review says Premier League clubs have made “only limited progress on stadia accessibility”, have broken Premier League rules, and have failed to provide sufficient information when questioned by the watchdog.It also concludes that access issues may never have been discussed at board level at some clubs, while three of the clubs do not appear to have appointed anyone to the “key” position of disability access officer.The EHRC said that some of the information provided to it by the clubs was of an “appalling” standard, and it warned that it could launch a statutory investigation into the failings of some of the clubs.Seven of them appear to be breaching the Premier League’s own rules after failing to provide a comprehensive disability access statement – including all the information a disabled person needs when attending a match – on their websites.Only seven of the 20 clubs provide the recommended number of wheelchair spaces, and only eight provide the minimum number of amenity [extra leg-room] and easy access (AEA) seats.The figures could be even worse, says EHRC, as some of the wheelchair spaces may not meet the relevant criteria in the guidelines.The worst performers for providing wheelchair spaces were Burnley (27 per cent of the recommended number), Crystal Palace (38 per cent) and Spurs (31 per cent, although it is building a new stadium).Just three clubs – Swansea City, Manchester City and West Ham – meet recommended levels for wheelchair spaces and AEA seats and provide no more than a quarter of wheelchair spaces at pitch-side.EHRC points out in the review that the relevant guidelines, contained in the Accessible Stadia Guide (ASG), were published 14 years ago.In August 2015, 17 of the clubs – all of them except those promoted this season – pledged to meet all of the ASG standards by August 2017, but the review suggests most of them will break that promise, although it says that there is “a lot of work being undertaken by clubs” in the run-up to the deadline.EHRC points out that football clubs have been required by law to make reasonable adjustments for disabled people since 1999, and adds: “Given the considerable wealth of the majority of Premier League clubs we would expect them to have taken significant steps over the past 18 years to ensure that they comply with their legal obligations.”It adds: “Following our analysis of the information provided to us, the Commission remains concerned that not all clubs in the Premier League are complying with their obligations under the Act.”It is now seeking meetings with clubs that have yet to demonstrate their plans to meet their legal obligations, and next month will issue a call for evidence from disabled fans on their experiences of attending Premier League matches.But it warns that it will launch formal investigations into clubs in September if “we continue to suspect that a club or clubs are not complying with their legal obligations”.Tony Taylor, chair of the national disabled supporters’ organisation Level Playing Field (LPF), said: “Once again, we need to make absolutely clear that these minimum standards have been in place for many years and that there is simply no excuse as to why any club should fail to meet these basic criteria to providing an inclusive matchday experience for disabled fans. “Indeed, we believe that Premier League clubs, with all their resources, should go well beyond what is considered to be the minimum requirements and should set the standard for all sports stadia.“LPF have always worked closely with Premier League clubs and will continue to do so, and  unequivocally welcome the firm stance the EHRC is taking on the issue.”David Isaac (pictured), EHRC’s chair, said: “The end of the season is fast approaching and time is running out for clubs.“The information we received from some clubs was of an appalling standard, with data missing and with insufficient detail.“What is clear is that very few clubs are doing the minimum to meet the needs of disabled supporters.“The Premier League itself does not escape blame. They need to make the concerns of disabled fans a priority and start enforcing their own rule book.“We will be meeting individual clubs and asking them to explain themselves and tell us what their plans are.”A Premier League spokesman said in a statement that clubs were “working hard to improve their facilities and rapid progress has been made”.He claimed that the improvements were “unprecedented in scope, scale and timing by any group of sports grounds or other entertainment venues in the UK.“Given the differing ages and nature of facilities, some clubs have faced significant built environment challenges.“For those clubs, cost is not the determining factor.“They have worked, and in some cases continue to work, through issues relating to planning, how to deal with new stadium development plans, how to best manage fan disruption or, where clubs don’t own their own grounds, dealing with third parties.“Clubs will continue to engage with their disabled fans and enhance their provisions in the coming months, years and beyond.”The Premier League will publish a report in August to detail the work carried out by clubs since August 2015.last_img read more

24 cases currently with the NCC Labours top disc

first_img24 cases currently with the NCC, Labour’s top disciplinary body, are outstanding.A Labour spokesperson commented: “Jennie Formby, after obtaining the NEC’s agreement, has published the figures on antisemitism complaints handled by the party and published a report on the work the party has done and is doing to speed up and strengthen our procedures, increasing transparency.“These figures relate to about 0.1% of our membership, but one antisemite in our party is one too many. We are committed to tackling antisemitism and rooting it out of our party once and for all.”Formby has offered the requested information today despite advising MPs last week that she would not release statistics.Her latest email explains: “The NEC has previously been clear that statistics on disciplinary matters should remain confidential and not be published. This is in line with our policy about not publishing other party statistics.“However, I took that request very seriously, and considered how it would be disclosed in an open and straightforward way, so that it was not misinterpreted or misused for other purposes by the party’s political rivals.”She added: “I consulted NEC officers to get their permission to publish data. I pushed hard to get their agreement to do so.”Tags:Labour /Jennie Formby /Antisemitism / Labour general secretary Jennie Formby has released data on disciplinary cases concerning antisemitism, following the requests for information made at last week’s parliamentary party meeting.Ahead of the meeting tonight, Formby told MPs that the party received 673 accusations of antisemitism by Labour members between April 2018 and January 2019.The email informs Labour MPs that:Of those who were party members96 members were immediately suspended146 received a reminder of conduct220 cases did not have sufficient evidence of a breach of party rules to proceed with an investigation211 were issued with a Notice of InvestigationOf the cases who were issued with a Notice of Investigation or suspension, there have been 96 NEC antisemitism disputes panel decisions42 members referred to national constitutional committee (NCC)16 members issued with a formal NEC warning6 members’ cases were referred for further investigation25 members issued with ‘reminder of conduct’7 members’ cases were closedThe following 18 NCC decisions have been made12 members were expelled6 received sanctionslast_img read more

Woman in Crown Hotel Incident Booked for Making Criminal Threats

first_img 0% Offering a few new details tonight, police wrote that at 6:45 p.m. Friday the suspect “stepped out of her apartment and confronted police who had taken up positions in the hallway.”“Kill me,” Helstrom said several times to the officers, police reported.  Police noted at the time that Helstrom appeared to have a gun in her front waistband.“Two officers equipped with less lethal extended range impact weapons delivered four foam batons which struck Helstrom who returned to her apartment,” police wrote in tonight’s update.Negotiations continued until Helstrom surrendered Friday at 9:05 p.m.A full report on Friday’s incident is here. The San Francisco Chronicle in 2001 profiled Helstrom, a former marine, and her journey to Thailand for sexual reassignment surgery.Police also released a photo of Helstrom:Image via SFPD Tags: valencia street Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%center_img Police reported late Saturday night that the woman who virtually locked down Valencia Street between 16th and 18th streets on Friday night was 57-year-old Samantha Helstrom.Helstrom has been booked on charges of making criminal threats and brandishing a weapon in the Friday siege that began at 1:55 p.m. when a 58-year-old pest control employee and a 32-year-old hotel manager went to Helstrom’s apartment to spray for vermin.“The suspect opened the door and pointed a handgun at them,” police reported tonight.That incident began an eight-hour siege in which Helstrom locked herself in her second-floor room.last_img read more

The Sweep Report 9th and Brannan cleared of homeless campers

first_img Tags: DPW • homeless • police Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0% Couper from Mission Local on Vimeo.A requests for comment from the city’s Department on Homelessness and Supportive Housing was not returned by press time. Rachel Gordon, spokesperson for the San Francisco Department of Public works, confirmed that cleaning crews from her department responded to the area after receiving a request for service from the San Francisco Police Department. Couper said that she cleans the area around her tent daily and makes room for pedestrians to walk by, but as the encampment grew larger, its newer residents were less attentive.Even surrounding business owners said that the tent swell along Brannen Street was a direct result of nearby sweeps and more permanent encampment resolutions in the Mission.“Different things have caused this area getting bad. That sweep there and that sweep here.  But during Super Bowl it was the worst – they swept them off Market Street and everyone came here,” said Dickerson. “Somewhere between the people who want to be comfortable walking down the street and the homeless having the right to put up a tent if they need to, there’s a conflict.“A temporary Navigation Center for the homeless at 1515 South Van Ness Ave. opened its doors earlier this month in an effort to give campers displaced by sweeps or formal encampment resolutions a place to go.There, the hope is that they will be connected to services and supportive housing during their stays, ranging from 30 to 90 days. Another, 75-bed Navigation Center has operated at 1950 Mission Street since 2015, and is set to close early next year. Mission District Supervisor Hillary Ronen, who pushed for the South Van Ness Navigation Center in response to increasing neighborhood discontentment over tent encampments, along with Mayor Ed Lee, this week secured state funding – $10 million in total – for the construction another, permanent Navigation Center at an undisclosed site in the Mission District.  Dickerson wanted to know if the opening of the newest Navigation Center at 1515 South Van Ness had offered any relief to the Mission – But it may be too soon to measure its impact. So far, 89 people have been placed, reported the San Francisco Chronicle. The center has a 120-person capacity and exclusively serves the Mission’s homeless population during its temporary life. By the end of the year, it will close to make room for a housing development. Those targeted by Monday’s sweep at Brannan Street were angered by the continued shuffle. “We were given notice yesterday afternoon – we are supposed to be given a 72-hour notice,” said Couper. “We were all running around like chickens with our heads cut off trying to get everything done. I had 15 cops today – standing here, arms crossed, looking at us and waiting for us to get our stuff out.“I’m just going as slow as I can,” said Couper.  “Hurry up and go where? I have nowhere to go.”Some seeking placement in the Navigation Center remained on the street on Thursday, unsure of where to go next.  “I had to hear from a friend of mine who doesn’t even stay down here that [the city] was packing up all of our stuff today,” said a 23-year-old Brannan Street camper who gave his name as Eli. “They are not telling us where to go next, just to get into the Navigation Center. But nobody is taking our names or putting us on the list.”Eli said that he had heard that homeless outreach workers visited his encampment over the last two days, but said that he was unaware that they were there because he had been resting in his tent. “It’s sort of like, whoever got the memo,” he said, adding: “I want to go into the Navigation Center. I’ve been homeless for over half of my life..I was raised in the streets and I’m tired of it.”Others, like Couper, were offered a bed but turned it down.“Two people out of 60 that I know have gone in there have gotten housing,” said Couper, with a defeated smile. “But hey, two is better than none, I guess.” A homeless encampment that had been growing in size for several months near 9th and Brannan streets was removed by San Francisco Police officers and Public Works cleaning crews on Thursday.Instead of the camp resolution process that involves weeks of preparation by outreach workers, Thursday’s sweep happened in one morning and was lead by police and public works. “This was a sweep, we need to get real about this,” said Kelley Cutler, a human rights advocate for the Coalition on Homelessness.This kind of sweep generally happens in response to complaints – and those had been stacking up for months.  The camp’s most recent arrivals – displaced from other sweeps or resolutions –  erected a row of tents and stored bicycle parts along the back premises of a Fitness SF Gym, their belongings taking over the sidewalk there and spilling into the street. 0% “You could not get from 8th to 9th streets,” said Don Dickerson, director of operations at SF Fitness. Some weeks ago, an employee at the gym told Mission Local that staff and members there filed complaints with police and city agencies regularly. “Our maintenance staff is harassed constantly. They step on needles. Our members quit because they don’t want to deal with this stuff,” said Dickerson.The owners of the gym estimated that up to 50 people had been living in the encampment before Thursday’s removal. Following months of targeted encampment resolutions along a four-block stretch of nearby San Bruno Avenue at the border of the Mission as well as from more residential areas, many campers who did not receive or turned down services resettled at that camp.  It was located underneath the 101 freeway on-ramp that separates the Mission from South of Market adjacent to the gym. “It wasn’t a resolution,” said a camper named Couper, referring to the formal process administered by the Department on Homelessness and Supportive Housing in which a team of social workers engages with campers over the course of several weeks to prepare them for shelter services leading up to an encampment removal.  “It was [a response to] an ADA issue because those mother fuckers over there were blocking the sidewalk,” said Couper referring to some new homeless residents who had moved in. “We’ve been here for hella long. And they just come in and make problems.”last_img read more

Supervisor Ronen unveils measure to combat Trump policies in San Francisco

first_img 0% Subscribe to Mission Local’s daily newsletter Email Address In an effort to combat discriminatory federal practices, Supervisor Hillary Ronen today filed a proposed ballot measure that would provide protections for members of marginalized and minority groups that may have been affected by the Trump Administration’s policies.If passed by voters in November, it would allow the city to monitor activity at the local level and verify that resources are not being used for ICE deportation raids or in actions that infringe on the rights of city residents.“In the context of what is happening in Washington, we have to be vigilant in protecting our city and our residents. Considering the irrational and cruel decisions coming down from the federal government, we have to take a stand now, ” Ronen said in a press release.The measure has the support of four supervisors and will be on the November ballot. It was co-sponsored by Supervisors Norman Yee, Katy Tang and Sandra Lee Fewer.center_img Tags: Hillary Ronen • immigration • sanctuary city Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0% Under the proposal, every February a yearly report will be delivered to the mayor that details what federal actions have discriminated against marginalized groups broken down by ethnicity, gender and sexual identities.Individual city departments would then conduct audits to discover if they had directly or indirectly expended city funds or resources that aided the federal government in the enforcement of discriminatory laws.The departments would then report to the Board of Supervisors on how or why these departments did so.With this information, the Board of Supervisors would consider whether it is necessary to create a city ordinance to prohibit such activity. This includes keeping certain programs funded that may have been affected by the federal budget.The measure would also maintain the city’s sanctuary status, providing protections for immigrant communities.last_img read more

The painful lessons to be learned from Jeff Adachis death

first_img Subscribe to Mission Local’s daily newsletter And cocaine is … a hell of a drug. You see that in a headline and you don’t even feel the need to read further. Don’t do cocaine, kids! Simple as that. But it’s not. Of course it’s not. Jeff Adachi was a complicated man in life, and that carried on into death. And his autopsy is, ultimately, a wrenching document. Because the upshot of it is: Jeff Adachi did not have to die. Not on a gurney in a corner of the CPMC Davies ER. Not at 59. Not yet. Not like this. But he did. Did Jeff Adachi kill himself when he used cocaine on or around Feb. 22? That’s what the report says. But it says more. It says that, in a way, he had been killing himself for years.Deputy Public Defender Willie Mincey honors his departed boss, Jeff Adachi, at his March 4 City Hall memorial. Photo by Joe Eskenazi.Jeff Adachi stood five-foot-ten and weighed 169 pounds. With his coiled energy and lithe build, colleagues likened him to a big cat; outwardly he seemed robustly healthy. He was not. “Based on the autopsy, he was a ticking time bomb,” said Dr. David Farcy, the president of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine and one of several doctors who reviewed Adachi’s autopsy at Mission Local’s request (all of these doctors hail from elsewhere. They were not caught up in the politics of Adachi’s death. To them, he is merely a set of symptoms and a name on a report.). “Even without the cocaine and the alcohol,” Farcy continued, “he could’ve had a sudden death due to a plaque rupture in an artery in his heart.” Adachi had hyperlipidemia (high cholesterol). He had high blood pressure, revealed by the thickening of his heart muscles. His left anterior descending artery was 70 percent blocked. This artery is referred to as the “widow-maker.” Adachi’s own widow, however, told investigators that he “had no known medical problems” and “to her knowledge was not taking any medications.” Unlike illicit drug use, this didn’t make the headlines. It’s not a seamy detail of the sort that drives interest in a story. But it is crucial. A 59-year-old man in Adachi’s condition should have been on medication. For decades. “That seems odd,” concurs Dr. William Durkin, a past president of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine. “He had high cholesterol. He had high blood pressure. He had coronary artery disease. He should have been on a statin.”Jeff Adachi at the Hall of Justiice. Photo by Lola M. Chavez.In life, Jeff Adachi was described in terms often more befitting a force of nature. Over the past 15 years, he remade the San Francisco Public Defender’s office into arguably the nation’s best. He famously slept four hours a night and wrote books and directed movies and participated in national justice campaigns and studiously returned reporters’ phone calls and turned up at God knows how many social or political events around town in addition to overseeing a major city department. He still took cases, too; he personally defended former attorney Carlos Argueta in December, winning a murder acquittal.  That was a stressful case. But Adachi lived a stressful life. So did his co-workers. Adachi was a perfectionist and a micro-manager who was not necessarily easy to work for. His erstwhile colleagues tell me they’re adjusting to not getting calls and messages at all hours from their new boss, Mano Raju.  Adachi’s level of devotion to his office’s clients was legion. His level of devotion to himself, however, was not. If Jeff Adachi had started taking medication in early middle age — as so many men do — and followed medical advice, he could be alive today. Should be alive today. That was a huge missed opportunity. But his autopsy reveals so many missed opportunities. On the night of his death, Adachi began acting “strange” and “unlike himself,” grinding his teeth in response to “upper abdominal” discomfort during his final dinner with his female companion. She asked him if he wanted to go to the hospital. He declined. Instead, they took a car to the North Beach flat Adachi had secured. There his condition worsened. She asked him, again, if he would go to the hospital. And, again, he declined, stating this “had happened a few times before and it had resolved on its own.” He took off his clothes, got into bed, and never rose. And this leaped off the page for the doctors who reviewed the autopsy. “If, when the friend made the suggestions to go to the hospital, he went, he would probably not have died,” says Farcy. Doctors “probably could have intervened at that moment through a percutaneous coronary intervention” or otherwise jolting his heart out of the lethal arrhythmia — irregular heartbeat — that killed him.“He could’ve been given some nitroglycerin for his chest pain,” notes Durkin. This would have dilated his constricting arteries. “He would have had an EKG done.” If that didn’t reveal his serious coronary condition, “it certainly would’ve showed up in the blood tests.” A 59-year-old man who copped to cocaine use and complained of chest pains “would not be sent home,” says Dr. Carl Chudnofsky, the chairman of the Department of Emergency Medicine at the Keck School of Medicine at USC, and chief of emergency services at Los Angeles County USC Medical center. “If he’d gone in and been honest about his history, they’d have kept him on a cardiac monitor.” They would, in all likelihood, have found his crisis and treated it.But Adachi didn’t go to the hospital. He was taken there. And, by the time he arrived, these options weren’t on the table anymore. But there’s more here. Remember, Adachi told his companion that this had happened a few times before. If a man of Adachi’s age and living his go-go-go lifestyle saw fit to mention these episodes to his doctors, it would have sent up a series of red flags, confirms Chudnofsky. Adachi, evidently, did not do this (or chose to disregard medical advice). “If a male comes in at that age, or even younger, with complaints about exertional chest pain or shortness of breath, it would result in immediate investigation and intervention,” Chudnofsky continues. It would have led to a battery of tests and exams. These, all but certainly, would have revealed the condition of Adachi’s heart. He probably would have required a cardiac catheter and a stent. And he probably would have been asked about drug use during his medical history. And explicitly advised that cocaine could cause lethal arrhythmia.  Jeff Adachi, 1959-2019. Photo by Joe Eskenazi.There’s no getting around it. You shouldn’t do cocaine. Lots of go-go-go people, the kind of people who sleep four hours a night and work maniacally hard, do cocaine. They also take benzodiazepine and crash, and Adachi did have that drug in his system, too. Cocaine was, sadly, just about the worst drug Adachi could have put into his body. Other than cocaine and alcohol, which magnifies cocaine’s effect. And Adachi and his companion drank champagne on his final night on earth. For a man with Adachi’s coronary condition, cocaine was akin to motoring a big rig over a rickety bridge. Cocaine itself doesn’t kill people via toxicity; rather, it induces lethal arrhythmia. “It can send the heart into an irregular heart rate,” explains Farcy. “It allows the heart to pump and no blood is going anywhere and the person dies.”  So, don’t do cocaine. Don’t put off medical attention for decades. Don’t neglect to tell your doctor about severe medical incidents. Don’t blow off reasonable suggestions to go to a hospital. Self-care isn’t indulgent. Listen to your doctors. Go to one. Jeff Adachi burned bright. He got a lot done in 59 years. But it didn’t have to be 59 years. He had many lessons to teach us. And, sadly, this was the last of them. Email Addresscenter_img Today the San Francisco Police Department will be held to answer for the premature leaking of documents pertaining to Public Defender Jeff Adachi’s death. And lurid details they were: Photographs of an unkempt pied-à-terre and a sheetless bed and all manner of speculation about Adachi’s home life were splayed about the Internet; details normally considered private and confidential were divulged to selected media sources. Adachi had a contentious relationship with the San Francisco Police Department, and it appears this was reciprocated by sullying him on the way out. Kicking a man when he’s dead, so to speak. In any event, this morning’s hearing before the Board of Supervisors Government Audit and Oversight Committee, in which representatives of the SFPD will be on the hot seat, figures to be interesting, if not illuminating. We shall see. Sadly, it won’t make a difference for Adachi either way. His autopsy was released late last month; his cause of death was pinned as “acute mixed drug (cocaine and ethanol) toxicity,” thereby ensuring “cocaine” was featured in every subsequent headline.last_img read more

SHANNON McDonnell made a great start to his Saints

first_imgSHANNON McDonnell made a great start to his Saints career on Friday when he bagged a brace in the 40-16 win over Wakefield Wildcats.The 27-year-old pulled on the Red Vee for the first time in the victory and is keen for more.“It’s good to be back as it has been a long year,” he said. “I played at Rochdale and really enjoyed that. It meant I was more comfortable coming into the game and it paid off.“I knew the atmosphere would be great as I’ve played here before. The fans are passionate and the boys have made it easy for me to come here and do what I have to do. I couldn’t ask for anything more.“I have been around for a while at fullback so I wasn’t really under any pressure. In fact it was easier wih the style of football we play to fit in. Playing off the back of the halves we have here has made it easier too.”Shannon scored two tries in the match and whilst he was pleased to get over the line, he was quick to praise his teammates.“The first one was fluky I suppose!” he continued. “There was a kick, I chased it and at times like that you hope for the best, put yourself in right place and right time and hope one comes off. I put my head down, kept the legs going and it came off in front of the fans.“The second one – there was a great lead up from the boys and I was lucky enough to get on the back of it.“Of course I’m hoping for more. I’m just training hard and hoping for the best. I just want to contribute to the great year Saints are having in any way I can.“Long term I’d love to pull on the Red Vee here. I’ve not spoken about next year yet. Hopefully this is the start of something.“I would love to stay on here beyond this season, especially after how easy it has been to come in and the culture of the club.”last_img read more

Ben came along and answered questions from Foundat

first_imgBen came along and answered questions from Foundation Ambassador Tommy Martyn and then from the audience.He told the Café how well he and his family had settled in St Helens and how the people have made he so welcome from day one.He stayed on for some photographs before the Chair exercises began with our very own Gaz Foster.The Reminiscence Café is a free bi-weekly event which is open to all and has an aim of using the Saints and the town as a way of triggering memories and instigating discussion.It also acts as a little respite for carers who do such a wonderful job looking after loved ones on a daily basis.The next Café is on Wednesday November 15 at the Totally Wicked Stadium between 11am and 1pm.Refreshments are also served .If you require any further information please email steve.leonard@saintsrlfc.comlast_img read more


first_imgAs part of Betfred Super League’s ‘New Beginnings’ campaign, a new 21-man voting panel for the Steve Prescott MBE Man of Steel award was announced by Panel Chairman Ellery Hanley MBE.Hanley, a three-time winner of the prestigious award, was joined by Linzi Prescott and panel members; Paul Sculthorpe MBE, Phil Clarke, Eorl Crabtree, Robbie Hunter-Paul, Barrie McDermott, Jason Robinson OBE, Garry Schofield OBE, Keith Senior and Johnny Whiteley MBE at an event in Leeds to unveil the full list of former players who will be awarding points throughout the season, leading to the crowning of the 2019 Betfred Super League Steve Prescott MBE Man of Steel at a new look event in October.Hanley said: “The major new approach will see a panellist allocated matches to watch from the Betfred Super League and award points to his three outstanding players: 3 points for their chosen Man of the Match, 2 points for the runner-up, and 1 point for the third-ranked player.The panel is an outstanding group of former players from across the generations who have experience of playing at the very top of the game, with seven of the group being Man of Steel winners and five inducted into the Hall of Fame. Their insight is priceless and will shape the worthy winner of the game’s ultimate individual accolade.”Fans will be able to follow the season long narrative when the scores are published each week of the season until Round 22 in mid-July. After that, the leaderboard will be hidden until the Awards Ceremony in October. Further details of that Awards Ceremony will be released during the season.Super League Chief Executive, Robert Elstone followed: “It feels wholly appropriate that the Game’s highest individual award, with over forty years of heritage, be selected by a panel of iconic and multi-decorated former players.Clearly, we couldn’t have done this without the support of the panel and I would like to thank all of them for injecting the rigour and authenticity to make the 2019 Steve Prescott MBE Man of Steel the ultimate Rugby League accolade.It was also really important for us to have the support of Linzi Prescott, wife of our ultimate Man of Steel. We thank Linzi and her family for working with us throughout this process.”Linzi Prescott said of the award: “This is a fantastic initiative from Super League! The judging panel assembled features some of the greatest names in Rugby League and all of whom Stephen had the greatest of respect for. It is a testament to Stephen’s legacy the level of respect the Man of Steel award is being given by the game.The Prescott Family would like to thank all who have revamped the voting process and we are really looking forward to the season and welcoming the new Steve Prescott MBE Man of Steel.”last_img read more