first_imgA note from the editor:Please consider making a voluntary financial contribution to support the work of DNS and allow it to continue producing independent, carefully-researched news stories that focus on the lives and rights of disabled people and their user-led organisations. Please do not contribute if you cannot afford to do so, and please note that DNS is not a charity. It is run and owned by disabled journalist John Pring and has been from its launch in April 2009. Thank you for anything you can do to support the work of DNS… A transport watchdog is calling for action to make the network of major roads across England more accessible to disabled drivers and passengers.A new Transport Focus report, An Accessible Road Network?, centres mainly on the barriers disabled people face in using roadside services, as well as the problems caused for some disabled drivers who become stuck in long traffic jams or whose vehicles break down.Among the concerns raised by disabled people interviewed by Transport Focus was the difficulty of escaping their vehicle quickly and scaling the barrier at the side of the road after breaking down.There were also concerns that breakdown and recovery staff were not trained to deal with disabled drivers and passengers and adapted vehicles.The report says it is unclear if minimum training requirements are in place for breakdown and recovery services, and it calls for all such organisations to “review and improve the disability awareness training given to all their staff”.Those interviewed also raised long-standing concerns about the difficulty of securing assistance to refuel vehicles at filling stations, with the report calling on petrol retailers to ensure they meet their obligations under the Equality Act 2010.Disabled interviewees also said that services on ‘A’ roads often do not have accessible toilets, while there were also reports of those accessible toilets that were available being used to store bins or staff bicycles.The report says there are currently only 20 Changing Places toilets – facilities with extra space and equipment for disabled people who cannot use standard accessible toilets – in place or planned at roadside services in England, just two of which are at ‘A’ road services.It calls on the Department for Transport (DfT) to fulfil the pledge in its inclusive transport strategy that it would spend £2 million to support the installation of more Changing Places facilities in motorway services.Among the report’s other recommendations is a call for the government to ensure that providers of roadside services allow more than two hours’ free parking for disabled drivers and passengers because they often need extra time.And Transport Focus calls on DfT to carry out research to identify the number and location of driving instructors trained to help those with learning difficulties or hearing impairments, which would “enable an assessment to be made as to whether there are sufficient numbers in all parts of the country”.There are also recommendations for Highways England, including a call for it to update and publicise information about the help available to disabled people who are caught in traffic jams and need urgent assistance, and who they should call if their vehicles break down.There is also a call for Highways England – which runs England’s network of motorways and ‘A’ roads – to compile and maintain accurate information about facilities provided for disabled road-users at services on its roads.And the report says that the companies that run roadside services should strengthen efforts to ensure that accessible parking spaces are only used by motorists with blue badges.The report, published today (Thursday), was based on interviews with 50 disabled drivers and passengers, focus groups and interviews with service-providers and experts, including the Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee (DPTAC), which advises the government on transport access issues.Helen Dolphin, a DPTAC member [but not speaking on behalf of the committee] and an independent mobility consultant, said: “Thanks to the Motability scheme and sophisticated car adaptations, many disabled people are able to drive and this means that the road network may need to make some changes to ensure disabled people can use the roads as safely as every other driver.”Dolphin, herself a disabled driver, added: “I am therefore pleased that this report has highlighted many issues that I have been raising for many years and I sincerely hope that the recommendations put forward will be carried out.” DfT today (Thursday) announced a partnership with the charity Muscular Dystrophy UK to allocate the £2 million funding for new Changing Places toilets at motorway services, which will be installed in “the early 2020s”.But a DfT spokeswoman also said that motorway services operators were required to provide up to two hours free parking and that charging for longer parking periods was “a commercial matter for the operators”.She added: “Disabled people who need specially qualified driving instructions can speak to the Association of Disability Driving Instructors for impartial advice.“In the longer term, we recognise the need for further research to understand the barriers to transport that people with cognitive, behavioural and mental health conditions may face.“As outlined in our response to the consultation on the Accessibility Action Plan, we intend to proceed with this research by 2022.”Highways England welcomed the Transport Focus report and said it would be launching a new National Mobility and Disabled Road User Forum next month, which it said would help inform its response to the recommendations.It said it had already developed messages to display on electronic signs to “better inform road users about what is happening when they are caught up in incidents on our roads, specifically addressing the concerns of those trapped in traffic”.It also said it would “refresh” disability-related training for its traffic officers and would “work with disability and mobility forums to define what information is important to road users, and how they want that information shared”.A Highways England spokeswoman said: “We will work with operators to collect information about their roadside facilities, and will look at ways to publish it that reach the road users that need it.”And she said the agency would engage with operators of services “to discuss how we can work together to consider areas raised in the research, such as extending parking times where appropriate, and the layout of service areas”.She said Highways England was “already in discussions with DfT about enabling the construction of more Changing Places facilities at motorway service areas”, while operators of services had been “actively engaging with Highways England about existing provision, usage and future funding” of accessible toilets.Anthony Smith, chief executive of Transport Focus, said: “Disabled road users tell us how driving gives them independence and a sense of freedom when using public transport may not be possible.“More must be done to remove the barriers that disabled people face when they travel on the road network.“Until now, much of the transport debate around disability has been mostly about public transport.“This research widens the discussion to people who drive or are driven, a vital form of mobility for many people.”last_img read more

first_imgJane Ibrahim Gaito’s nine-year-old daughter Nicki also brought home life lessons along with the stool she made in class. “She comes home and she says, ‘you know mom, Mr. Montoya doesn’t let us say ‘what’ or ‘um’. If you don’t have anything to say, just don’t say anything’.” Gaito recalled. “Nine years old is when they start developing all those really bad habits. He doesn’t want any of that.”That comes from what Gaito calls a respect for the kids – holding them to high standards and knowing they can do it. But Montoya also has a long history of wanting to teach hands-on.  “I used to do units on real-life stuff, electronics, woodworking,” he said. “Shop class kinda doesn’t exist anymore.”Barnes first noticed the woodworking studio walking Zach to school. At the time, it was under construction, and Montoya takes pride in having done a lot of the work with his own hands. The necessary renovations were extensive.  The walk-in freezer partway through dismantling. Image courtesy of Danny Montoya After renovation, the former meat freezer becomes a woodshop. Image courtesy of Danny Montoya The former meat market sign mounted on the wall. Image courtesy of Danny Montoya Wood reclaimed from the damaged building demolition next door. Image courtesy of Danny MontoyaThe whole rear of the location was once a meat locker. Montoya turned it into a woodshop that houses a table saw and other power tools. The bathroom acquired relics of the butcher shop owners’ decor, like a few old framed Chinese embroideries and the shop’s former sign.Montoya is committed to reusing old materials. Zach’s shelf, for example, was made from old pallet wood. “You’re using this thing that could have been around the world,” Montoya said he tells the kids who are using pallets. “They could have been in Thailand, they could have been in Ethiopia.” The decorative siding inside much of the studio is reclaimed wood that Montoya snapped up from demolition workers removing it from the site of the burned-out store next door. But even if he’s using what’s ostensibly trash, Montoya is still committed to the craft, and wants the kids (and adults) in his class to create something valuable.“They get to take something home that’s gonna be an heirloom,” he said. “Something that’s not crafty. I want the kids to make things that their parents want, or that makes them jealous.”Montoya shows off a cutting board made in one of his classes. Photo by Laura WenusHe’s also trying to be a good neighbor. The location wasn’t the first he scoped out, but turned out to have its advantages. Montoya quickly found he shared Colombian roots with the owner of Grand Coffee and bonded over their shared heritage and alma mater – both went to San Francisco State University. He also extends warm welcomes to those who visit his studio and speak to him in Spanish.Parents, too, were happy to see something accessible to children move on to the street.Gaito said her daughter often comes home excited about trips the kids took to other parts of the neighborhood – to Mission Playground, for example. “It’s like, ‘we’re in the Mission, so we’re gonna do the best of the Mission’,” she said. “We’re just really excited to have something in the neighborhood that is sort of, like, wholesome,” said Barnes. “It sounds ridiculous to use that word… But it’s nice to have something move in that isn’t a bar or a restaurant.” “A lot of people come in and are like, this gives me hope that there are things happening in this city that aren’t depressing,” Montoya said. “So I’m just kind of trying to ride that wave.” 0% Tags: arts • kids • things to do Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%center_img Six-year-old Zach Barnes came home from woodshop camp wanting to eat vegetables. Sending him to classes at the Butterfly Joint, which opened about three months ago on Mission and 22nd next to the burned-out shell of a former discount store, turned out to have advantages beyond the floating shelf Zach brought home. Kristina Barnes, Zach’s mother, credits Danny Montoya, the proprietor of the Butterfly Joint, with the shift in her son’s taste. Montoya, who chose the space for its affordability despite the extensive repairs it needed, is a woodworker and a former kindergarten teacher. “Danny’s kind of magic with the kids, really,” Barnes said. “The woodworking is really cool…but what you also get is this great influence over your child. I haven’t really had that in such a positive way as we had with the Butterfly Joint.” last_img read more

first_imgMembers of a group of religious leaders, known as Faith in Action, invited several city officials and the families of victims of police shootings to the church of St. John the Evangelist on Thursday night to ask them probing questions about how to move forward with police reform. Faith in Action, along with other religious organizations and individuals, has taken an activist stance on the issue of police reform, quietly but persistently advocating for policy change and for criminal charges in police shootings like that of Amilcar Perez Lopez.“We want to see a just society,” said Imam Abu Qadir Al-Amin. “Don’t be frightened, stand on the right side of the right issue.”The family of police shooting victims Luis Gongora and Alex Nieto, as well as Paulette Brown, the mother of a murder victim, recounted the stories of how they discovered their loved ones had been killed, and how frustrated they were with the law enforcement and city response in the aftermath. Supervisors David Campos and John Avalos, along with Chief of Staff to the District Attorney Cristine DeBerry, were then invited to answer a series of questions about their efforts to improve police accountability. Campos was questioned about his proposal to create an Office of the Public Advocate, an oversight body that would be able to examine the efficacy of any city agency including the Police Department. The agency would be modeled on a similar office in New York. The Office of Citizen Complaints, which currently serves as an oversight body for the police department, was dismissed as largely ineffective by both the faith group and Campos, partly because it is funded by the Mayor’s office. “How truly independent can it be when its budget is dependent on the Mayor himself?” Campos asked. Avalos, who has visited or participated in several marches to demand police accountability, has proposed withholding a portion of the police budget until certain benchmarks of use of force reform are demonstrably met. Clergy wanted to know how the proposal would improve accountability. Avalos supported a change in use of force policy from mandating “reasonable” force to “minimal” force, but said policy phrasing alone may not be enough to change what he called  “Jim Crow system” of policing.“If we just change the rule, that’s not enough to see the change in behavior,” he said.District Attorney George Gascón, whom Faith in Action has been pressuring to press criminal charges against the officers involved in the shooting of Amilcar Perez Lopez, has proposed a separate internal office of attorneys dedicated solely to the investigation of officer-involved shootings. Faith in Action asked his Chief of Staff Cristine De Berry to explain how such an office would be uninfluenced by police officers’ interests, since the District Attorney’s cases against criminals usually hinge on police testimony.De Berry said the District Attorney’s office has offered to hand over all of its investigation into officer misconduct to the state Attorney General, but that offer was declined. The police officer investigation unit, she said, would be separated not only on paper but in location from the District Attorney’s office, and cases would be sent to the Attoreny General and the Department of Justice for review. Funding, however, remains a problem, as the mayor has refused to allocate money for the idea. As for accusations of a cozy relationship with police,  “We don’t have to worry so much about our relationship with the police department because it has been fractured in the last few years,” De Berry said. Faith leaders concluded the meeting by encircling family of the deceased and leading the group in several prayers. 0%center_img Tags: religion Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%last_img read more

first_img Tags: crime • police • SFPD Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0% Thecity officials tasked with taking on San Francisco’s auto break-in epidemic must, at times, feel a bit like they’re trying to piece together Humpty Dumpty. That job, you’ll recall, eluded all the king’s horses and all the king’s men. In retrospect, tasking horses with fixing this mess probably wasn’t a grand idea. But when things grow dire enough, any solution will do. And, in San Francisco, it’s dire: From January to Dec. 1 of last year, an astounding 26,662 auto boostings were reported here. That’s 80 break-ins a day. That’s a boosting every 18 minutes. Of those 26,662 reported break-ins, the cops registered 446 arrests. That’s 1.7 percent, which is as low as you think it is. Break-ins are up and arrests are down — and there have, all but certainly, never been more cops on the payroll. 0%center_img And so, for months, Supervisors Norman Yee and Hillary Ronen — whose stomping ground, the Mission, is a place where you’ll stomp on plenty of shards — have been doing their best impressions of Howard Beale. They’re as mad as hell. And they’re not going to take this anymore. Last Monday, the two supervisors held a press conference alongside Chief Bill Scott and the captains of both Mission and Taraval stations. Rather than have Yee and Ronen legislate where to put his cops, Scott countered that he’d create special units in the individual station houses tasked with confronting the epidemic. Here’s how he put it: “We are taking strong, proactive steps to reduce vehicle burglaries and bicycle thefts by assigning District Station officers specifically to the prevention, reporting and investigation of these crimes. By working closely with our community members and the deployment of data-driven strategies … we will make an impact on these types of crimes.”Now that … is a lot of words. But not just any words. “Proactive.” “Data-driven.” These are words like “organic” and “holistic,” meant to set a tone while remaining ambiguous in meaning. Your humble narrator has, like everyone else, suffered a break-in (they got a drugstore pair of sunglasses; my cousin and I split $180 for a new back window). It would be spectacular if last week’s announcement marked a turning point. But it’s difficult to imagine that happening. This move seems more akin to announcing you’ve determined the shape of the table for treaty negotiations. Meanwhile, the battle rages on. Whatdoes this “plan” do? Well, a great deal of discretion is left to individual captains. But, in short, it designates small teams — first in the Mission and Taraval and, eventually, elsewhere — to focus on boostings.  But does it, really? Mission Captain Gaetano Caltagirone affirms that he will now designate a point person for break-ins — but won’t alter his extant strategy. What’s more, for these four officers — yes, just four — Caltagirone affirmed that dealing with boostings would be “part of their jobs.” He could not confirm it would even be “most” of their jobs. What exactly will the teams do? Well, they’ll interface with the public and analyze where problems are — which helps determine where cops should be. But, echoes Ingleside Captain Jack Hart, “We do this anyway. We have officers from the Station Investigation Teams tracking this. My staff pulls weekly stats from the crime analysis unit. Officers know where the hotspots are.” Adds Richmond Captain Alexa O’Brien: “I had my crime analysts give me the top six locations for vehicle burglaries. And I staffed footbeats in all of those locations.”Flooding small areas like Land’s End with cops has reduced break-ins there by around 28 percent of late, O’Brien said. But it’s hit or miss: “I’ll be honest: some days it works, and some days we’re back up 40 percent,” she sighs. “The criminals are so organized and methodical.”  So, at this point, you’re probably wondering: Is formalizing what station captains were, by and large, already doing a novel strategy in the face of a crime wave? Is analyzing crime data and putting cops where there’s crime something revelatory? Your humble narrator spoke with more than a dozen San Francisco cops with more than 300 combined years of experience to answer these questions. Many of them were bewildered by the chief’s announcement. “This is not a ‘plan,’” said one veteran Mission cop. “It’s a reaction.” Adds another: “There is nothing profound about what they’re going to do. There is nothing groundbreaking. I just don’t get it.” Adds yet another: “Have we not been tracking data? Have we not been doing educational outreach? Everything in that memo was already being done — or it should’ve been.” The notion of putting officers in problem areas is so old that the term for it predates computers and refers to a map on the wall: “Cops on pins.” It is to policing what “keep your eye on the ball” is to baseball. And yet this department has to keep its eye on many balls. Whether through proactive, data-driven policing, dumb luck, or a bit of both, prior to last week’s Mission stabbing, nobody had been murdered in this city for two months. This cannot be understated or ignored. But veteran officers still wondered if Chief Scott understands that consequence-free break-ins drain his department’s credibility. “Many San Franciscans feel the SFPD has lost its efficacy,” lamented a longtime cop. “We’re secretaries with guns who show up after the fact, write a police report, and disappear.”In fact, they don’t even always do that. An increasing number of victims are shunted to 311 and may never even deal with a cop — something of an anathema in a city that purportedly values community policing. Things have grown so dire, some SFPD higher-ups actually applauded Ronen and Yee’s cajoling of the department.“I am not unhappy that Hillary and Norman are visible on this. Their constituents are being hurt,” said one SFPD graybeard. “Had they not been so public with this, the department would continue to sit on its hands. Instead, they roused the department to come up with a plan.” He pauses. “A plan that is strangely lacking in detail. Will the people eat this meal of ambiguity and feel satisfied?” He pauses again. “Man, I don’t know.” Afew years ago, a passing cop noticed a car with tinted windows and paper license plates — a dead giveaway for the crews of professional thieves, many from out of town, who are responsible for the lion’s share of this city’s break-ins. The driver of that car, spooked when he believed he was spotted, took off at high speed. For safety reasons, the SFPD does not normally pursue break-in suspects or drivers of tinted-window paper-plate cars who bolt when flagged down. “That’s our policy,” bemoaned an SFPD veteran. “Of course, they know this.” This particular driver ran a red light, which would normally be enough to elude capture. But then he struck another car and sparked a multi-vehicle pile-up. Unlike the vast majority of car thieves, these two were arrested. “That’s a good case!” recalls one officer. “It was viewed by a cop. All the stuff in custody. All the bells and whistles! Hit and run!” One of the men in the car, per SFPD sources, pleaded guilty to two hit-and-run counts and one auto-burglary count. He was a “multiple convicted felon.” The other man, already on misdemeanor probation for auto burglary, pleaded guilty to another burglary count, along with possession of stolen property. The first, per the SFPD, received 15 days in county jail. The second got two. And these are, again, the 2 out of every 100 car thieves the cops actually apprehend. Foot patrols and education campaigns will help — but organized, methodical criminals will find new targets. And the department’s new plan doesn’t spell out how to handle the prodigious amount of time and effort it takes to make cases and arrest suspects — before legal outcomes like those above, which aren’t exactly a deterrent. Many, many San Francisco cops claim this city is reaping the whirlwind for its conscious decision to pare back lengthy sentences for non-violent offenders and empty its jails. It’s a cynical point of view, but these are cynical times.A cynic might also note that the SFPD’s “plan” buys the department six months to gather (and polish) the data — and provides district supervisors, like the two who demanded action, unprecedented opportunities to insert themselves into this matter. Of course, these angry supes will now direct the brunt of their grievances to the lower-ranking station house officers tasked with overseeing boostings. Not the captains. Not the chief. Ronen, in fact, assures us she’s going to be talking to these cops just about every day. But these are strange days. Veteran cops admitted the SFPD deserves to have Hillary Ronen light a fire under its ass. “A 2,400-member department should have greater effectiveness,” said one. “There should be some accountability.” Ronen told us she’ll see to it there is. Count on this. And count on broken glass inundating the Mission for the foreseeable future.   last_img read more

first_img Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0% 0% Police said that Wednesday at 8:58 p.m, a woman walked into the Mission Police Station to report that her father, a 93-year-old San Francisco resident, Gilberto Fernandez, was missing.Fernandez was last seen on March 7, 2018, at 7 a.m. at his home on the 500 block of Head Street in Ingleside. Fernandez is not known to have any medical issues and has never gone missing before.His daughter told police that he collects recycling items on or near 24th and Mission Streets. Fernandez, a Latino, is 5-feet-four-inches tall, 120 pounds, with gray hair and a gray mustache. He was last seen wearing beige pants, a black and green jacket and cowboy boots.Anyone with information is asked to contact the SFPD Tip Line at (415) 575-4444, or text a Tip to TIP411 and begin the text message with SFPD. You may remain anonymous.last_img read more

first_imgThe lads made their annual trip to the Children’s Ward to meet the patients, parents and staff, and drop off some Saintly gifts.It can be hard for patients and their families to be in Hospital at this time of year so this is our way of spreading a little festive cheer at what can be a tough time.We’d like to thank everyone at Whiston Hospital for making us feel so welcome and we wish them all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.We’d also like to say thank you to Ellison’s Travel who organised transport to the hospital.last_img

first_img Back in November 2015,  Wilmington Police Department officers arrested McGill for attempted armed robbery.In February 2016, WPD arrested McGill, a validated gang member, for selling heroin near the 100 block of N. Front Street. WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A New Hanover County man is now a habitual felon after pleading guilty to his latest charge.Damien McGill was found guilty by a jury of Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon earlier this week in the New Hanover County Superior Court. He was sentenced to 8-11 years in prison.- Advertisement – last_img

first_img00:00 00:00 html5: Video file not foundhttps://cdn.field59.com/WWAY/1505785631-bb85cd9309174ba2bc40ebcd9dee0b952dcbc3d3_fl9-720p.mp4 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave Settings WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Summer may be winding down, but the baseball diamond is heating up as the Miracle League held the opener for its ninth season Saturday.Players ranging from age 4 to 78 packed into Miracle Field at Olsen Park in Wilmington for a day of grounders, pop flys, and most importantly, a lot of fun.- Advertisement – The league is put on by Access of Wilmington, an organization that strives to provide sports and recreation to all people living with disabilities in southeastern North Carolina.If yesterday was any indication, it should be a smile-filled season.Shannon Kernahan, whose son Dalton was playing on Saturday, said, “It’s a blast as you can see. It’s mostly dancing and baseball and music and hanging out with your friends. It’s a great place for him to meet other kids other than just in the school setting.”Related Article: Rival team drives hours to support New Hanover High after FlorenceThe league will continue for the next seven Saturday with four games each day from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.last_img read more

first_img00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave Settings FAIR BLUFF, NC (WWAY) — Fair Bluff is not forgotten. That’s the message Gov. Roy Cooper delivered when he came to Columbus County this afternoon.“It’s going to be a real test to make sure that Congress comes through with the money that is needed,” Gov. Cooper said.- Advertisement – The governor visited the Columbus Career and College Academy, which turned into a shelter during the hurricane almost a year ago. He toured the school and said he does not want the people of Fair Bluff to feel forgotten and will help them the best he can.“We salute those people. We’re working to help to restore housing, local infrastructure. We’re working to try to get the federal government to continue to do their share of this and we obviously want the legislature to do more as well,” Gov. Cooper said.He says one major issue is not enough money is coming from the federal government to help those who need it.Related Article: Republicans face more powerful Cooper with Democrats’ gains“There’s still not enough money from the state and federal government to provide help for everyone and I want to see that happen,” Cooper said.The governor’s visit was limited to some officials and the media but the public was not permitted. The mayor of Fair Bluff wanted the governor to see the people impacted by last year’s storm and the destruction.“I would like for him to ride through our residential area that’s been devastated by the storm,” Mayor Billy Hammond said.Cooper says the cleanup from Hurricane Matthew is an ongoing battle, one he believes will not end anytime soon.last_img read more

first_img The plaque will read: Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany lived, 1939-46, at agricultural colony founded in 1909 and revived by Alvin Johnson. Two mi. SW.Only about 12 of 50 families planned for resettlement in Pender County were rescued before the German borders were firmly shut as the government implemented Hitler’s Final Solution of genocide. Eventually, the families moved away. One family moved to Penderlea, where all the children of the colony attended school, and ran a dairy until the early 1950’s.According to the NC Highway Historical Marker Program, Wilmington’s Hugh MacRae, beginning in 1905, recruited immigrants to southeastern North Carolina for resettlement in six agricultural colonies.Related Article: Black History Month: The history of Williston High SchoolAmong MacRae’s advisers was Alvin Johnson, a native of rural Nebraska, an economist, and director of the New School for Social Research in Manhattan. Johnson proposed to MacRae to revive Van Eeden, which had foundered not long after its establishment in 1909.Johnson created the Alvin Corporation to facilitate the emigration of Jews from Hitler’s Germany, some of them directly from camps at Dachau and Buchenwald. Each family was promised one acre, a cottage, and a cow. Four families joined the community in the fall of 1939 and another four in the spring of 1940. More followed.Problems emerged soon. Resettlement of urban sophisticates to rural North Carolina did not go smoothly. Max Wolf, the first settler, had a vineyard in Germany but most were professionals. Arthur Flatow was an architect; Hubert Ladenburg held a doctorate in economics. With few agricultural skills their crops suffered. And there were snakes and mosquitoes. They made the best of a bad situation. Children of the settlers walked five miles to the nearest school, at Penderlea.By 1943 the settlement was abandoned, homesteaders moving to other opportunities in Wilmington as war commenced or to the Northeast.Pender County’s library director is working with the Pender County Historical Society and members of the Jewish community in Wilmington to coordinate a date and time for the dedication of the marker.The marker will be located on U.S. 117 between Burgaw and Watha.As part of the observance, the library’s virtual services librarian will design and host a webpage exhibit on the history of Van Eden. Author and historian Susan Taylor Block has given permission to the library to digitize and make available online her out-of-print book on the Van Eden Jews who she tracked down living in the northeast U.S. and interviewed in the 1990s. PENDER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — A historical marker will soon recognize the Jewish families who resettled in Pender County from Nazi Germany.According to Pender County, the 1939 rescue and resettlement of Jewish families from Germany at Van Eden was nominated by the Jewish American Society for Historic Preservation.- Advertisement – last_img read more