A 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… More than a third of disability assessment reports completed by a government contractor have been found to be significantly flawed, according to secret government files.The proportion of substandard personal independence payment (PIP) reports completed by outsourcing giant Capita has risen to 37 per cent in the two years since 2016, when nearly 33 per cent of reports were found to be defective.The figures, secured from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) under the Freedom of Information Act by campaigner John Slater, are likely to add fuel to concerns about Capita’s performance in delivering the contract.And they are also likely to strengthen calls for DWP to be declared “not fit for purpose” and institutionally disablist, as demanded by the Justice for Jodey Whiting parliamentary petition*.The figures show the results of government audits of nearly 6,000 assessment reports carried out by Capita during 2018.They show that nearly four per cent of the reports (3.92 per cent) were of such poor quality that they were categorised as “unacceptable”.With another 17 per cent of assessments, DWP concluded the report was so flawed that there was “learning required” by the healthcare professional who wrote it, although the report was of an “acceptable” standard.And in a further 16 per cent of cases, the report needed to be amended because of even more serious flaws, although again the report was still said to be of an “acceptable” standard.In all, nearly 37 per cent of assessment reports audited during 2018 were found to be of an unacceptable standard, to need changes, or demonstrated that the assessor had failed to carry out their role properly.The newly-released data provides details of the “management information” (MI) that Capita and fellow outsourcing giant Atos are contractually obliged to provide every month to DWP, so it can check on their performance and take action when they need to improve.It was obtained as part of Slater’s continuing efforts to secure information from DWP that he believes will expose the widespread failings of Capita and Atos, and DWP’s failure to manage the contracts properly.He is still appealing against DWP’s failure to release data showing the results of audits of Atos assessment reports.The data that was released raises continuing and multiple concerns about the way the two private sector companies are carrying out their contractual duties.It also shows that the many reports of dishonest and distressing assessment experiences by individual disabled people are not isolated occurrences.One of the concerns highlighted by the data is the proportion of assessments cleared by Capita within 40 days, which nearly fell as low as 50 per cent at one stage during 2018.Another concern is over the number of Atos and Capita healthcare professionals who have been the subject of multiple complaints within a three-month period.Last year, DNS revealed that 161 assessors working for Atos and 19 Capita assessors had had at least four complaints made against them in a three-month period in 2016.But the figures for 2018 show that, although the number of Atos assessors who faced multiple complaints fell from 161 to 129, the number of Capita assessors who were subjected to at least four complaints in just three months leapt from 19 to 84 between 2016 and 2018.Capita carried out about 220,000 face-to-face assessments in 2018, compared with more than 730,000 by Atos.Another key concern is that Capita is still requesting vital further evidence from GPs and social workers in less than 30 per cent of assessments.This is an improvement on the figures from 2016, when at one stage, in June and July 2016, Capita was seeking further information from GPs, consultants or social workers in fewer than one in every 50 PIP claims (less than two per cent of cases).But DWP documents drawn up in May 2012, before the award of the contracts to deliver PIP assessments, show the department expected its contractors would need to request further evidence (also known as further medical evidence) in about half of all cases (50 per cent).A Capita spokesperson refused to say if the data obtained by Slater showed there were still serious concerns about its performance, and that this was deteriorating.She also refused to comment on the audit results, or explain why they had worsened in the last two years.And she refused to explain why so many assessors had been subjected to multiple complaints within a three-month period, and why that number had increased so sharply in the last two years.But she said in a statement: “Capita is the first PIP provider to consistently meet the ambitious quality targets set by the DWP and we are committed to continually delivering against this target. On average, cases are completed within 38 days.“We are focused on delivering the best service to individuals coming through the assessment process.“This is evidenced in our independent monthly satisfaction rating from customers, which in 2018 was more than 95 per cent.”An Atos** spokesperson refused to comment on the number of its assessors subject to multiple complaints.But he said in a statement: “As part of our commitment to provide a high quality service we have invested in our continuous professional development training for all health professionals.”A DWP spokesperson refused to say if the figures showed there were still serious concerns about its management of the PIP contracts and the performance of the two companies.She also refused to say if DWP was concerned by the Capita audit results and the number of Atos and Capita assessors subjected to multiple complaints within three-month periods.She refused to say why DWP had not released the Atos audit results to John Slater.And she refused to say if DWP had taken any action to address these concerns.But she said in a statement: “We are committed to ensuring that the PIP assessment providers give our claimants the highest quality service.“That’s why we set the providers challenging targets and monitor their performance closely, and the latest figures show that complaints make up just one per cent of all the assessments carried out.”Meanwhile, work and pensions secretary Amber Rudd today (Thursday) announced an in-depth review of how terminally-ill people and those with “severe conditions” are treated by the benefits system.The announcement came days after a report compiled by the charity Marie Curie and published by the all party parliamentary group for terminal illness saw people with terminal illness calling on ministers to end the “arbitrary and outdated” rules that force many of them through a “demeaning” and “insensitive” benefit assessment process.*Sign the Jodey Whiting petition here. If you sign the petition, please note you will need to confirm your signature by clicking on an email you will be sent automatically by the House of Commons petitions committee**Atos delivers its PIP assessment contracts through Independent Assessment Services, a trading name of Atos IT Services UK
LabourList readers believe that Chris Williamson MP should be readmitted to Labour – and also that the party should have an independent complaints procedure, according to our latest survey.Last week, Williamson had his suspension from the party lifted and the whip restored following a decision by a three-member panel on Labour’s ruling body. Over 140 parliamentarians then demanded that Corbyn intervene and take action against the MP, and Keith Vaz – a panel member who voted for the decision – said the ruling could not stand.Williamson has now had the whip withdrawn again pending further decision by Labour’s national executive committee (NEC). This is expected to lead to his case being referred to Labour’s ultimate disciplinary body, the national constitutional committee (NCC).Asked whether the Derby North MP – who was originally suspended over the claim that Labour was “too apologetic” about antisemitism – should be readmitted to Labour, 61% of 10,066 readers who took the survey said ‘Yes’ while only 31% said ‘No’.LabourList readers also said they believed that Labour should have an independent complaints procedure, with nearly 74% of respondents saying the party should implement one and only 17% disagreeing.The call for an independent system is often heard from party members who are against Williamson being readmitted, but the result would suggest that people from across Labour are concerned about political interference in or influence on the disciplinary process.Further analysis of the results shows that pro-Williamson respondents were 63% in favour of an independent process, while anti-Williamson respondents were almost entirely in favour at 94%.On Brexit, respondents were asked whether and when Labour should come out in support of Remain as well as another referendum in all circumstances. Although Jeremy Corbyn has committed to backing a public vote on any deal, with “real choices for both leave and remain voters”, the leadership has not endorsed Remain as its preferred outcome. This would be a huge shift in policy as the party has been supporting a ‘soft’ Brexit deal.Survey respondents were divided over the best course of action on Brexit. The biggest group, 34%, said Labour should “back Remain now”, while 33% said Labour should make the decision at a later date – either following further consultation or conference in September.A total of 30% said the party should not back Remain, or should neither back Remain nor another referendum.LabourList readers would rather see Jeremy Hunt win the Tory leadership race than Boris Johnson – mostly because they see him as the “least worst” option. Those who picked frontrunner Johnson as their preferred winner made their choice on the basis that he would be “easiest to beat”.1. This week, Chris Williamson MP was readmitted to the Labour Party and had the whip restored. The Labour whip has now been withdrawn again pending further decision by the national executive committee (NEC).Do you believe that Chris Williamson should be readmitted to Labour?Click to enlarge.Yes – 61.3% (6,169)No – 31% (3,117)Don’t know – 7.8% (780)2. Should Labour have an independent complaints procedure?Click to enlarge.Yes – 73.8% (7,429)No – 17.0% (1,710)Don’t know – 9.2% (927)3. Labour has committed to backing a public vote on any Brexit deal, but not to supporting Remain in that referendum. When should Labour back Remain?Click to enlarge.Labour should back Remain now – 34.3% (3,455)Labour should wait until conference makes a decision in September – 22.3% (2,249)Labour should only back a public vote on any Brexit deal, not Remain – 15.8% (1,593)Labour should not back Remain or another referendum – 13.8% (1,392)Labour should take the decision before conference after consulting with trade unions and members of the ruling body – 10.9% (1,096)Don’t know – 2.8% (281)4. There are just two candidates left in the Tory leadership race. Who would you prefer to see win the contest? Why?Click to enlarge.Readers were asked which candidate they would most like to win the Tory leadership contest, and then why they had chosen that candidate. They could choose from the following options: Because they would be the easiest candidate for Jeremy Corbyn to beat in a general election, Because they would make the least worst Prime Minister, Neither/other or Both. Jeremy Hunt5452,7371,2438395,364 Boris Johnson3,1822104099014,702 Easiest to beatLeast worstBothNeither/otherGrand total Grand total3,7272,9471,6521,74010,066 The survey was open from 4.30pm on Sunday 31st June until 4.30pm on Monday 1st July. The results are unweighted and from a self-selected sample of readers. Thank you to all 10,066 readers who took part.Tags:Labour /Chris Williamson /Weekly Survey /Survey Results /Complaints process /
Fritz Maytag, the scion of the Maytag washing machine empire, bought Anchor in 1965 when it had $128 in its coffers. He saved the business and, in the process, became the paterfamilias of craft brewing in America. Maytag, who fostered a family environment and treated his workers very well, sold the brewery to Skyy Vodka execs Tony Foglio and Keith Greggorin 2010. These two, in 2017, unloaded Anchor to Japanese multinational Sapporo for the stunningly paltry sum of $85 million (Petaluma’s Lagunitas Brewery likely ran Heineken closer to $1 billion).Everyone who works here will swear up and down that the quality of the product has not diminished. That’s believable — but, now, Anchor is brewing beers with fruit in them and the aforementioned half-dozen different IPAs, while case upon case of Liberty Ale gathers dust in the basement. This reeks of a “How do you do, fellow kids?” moment; an old brewery donning a young brewery’s clothing in a desperate, marketing-department driven chase for market share and relevance. Meanwhile, either modern drinkers don’t want the brewery’s classic products or the brewery is unable to effectively get it to them — or both. Quality notwithstanding, this is not the workers’ paradise Fritz Maytag created. After he left the picture, starting wages were knocked back from $17.25 to $15.50. They’re now $16.50 — less than they were eight years ago during a period when San Francisco’s cost of living jolted skyward. In 2017, workers were made to contribute significantly more to their healthcare plans. Moreover, paid 45-minute lunches were replaced with half-hour unpaid lunches — a stealth appropriation of thousands of dollars from already marginally compensated employees. Sapporo is a multi-billion dollar company, but austerity continues. In 2018, Anchor ceased contributing to workers’ 401Ks. In 2019, the cap for accrued sick time was halved. Things have gotten to the point that, when Anchor management announced internally that the plan is to begin readying the factory to brew Sapporo Premium here alongside Anchor, workers were thrilled. The brewery is, purportedly, only chugging away at perhaps 60 percent capacity. More beer equals more shifts and more work. The company would, clearly, like to get more out of this factory and its workers.But will the workers get more out of this company? ILWU organizer Agustin Ramirez, who broke in under Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta, reminds Anchor management that international longshore workers aren’t the best people to displease for a multinational import-export company. Photo courtesy Anchor Union.It is a testament to both the caution of the nascent unionists — and dissatisfaction among the workforce — that Anchor employees, cooperating with the city’s Democratic Socialists, were clandestinely able to gain the support of the majority of the factory’s employees. This required more than a year of organizing; it wasn’t until management was earlier this month hand-delivered a letter with 39 signatures affixed to it that it became aware. Roughly 50 of the 71-odd workers subsequently signed union cards. Our calls and e-mails to Anchor management were shunted to a West Hollywood-based PR outfit, which told us no questions would be answered: “We are laying low.” That may change after March 6, when the 61 factory workers will vote on whether to unionize. Two days later, the 10 employees at Anchor Public Taps will follow suit. Agustin Ramirez, the brewery’s organizer with the International Longshore and Warehouse Union got his start working under Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta 35 years ago with the United Farm Workers. This is his first brewery but it ain’t his first rodeo. And yet, even he can’t help but be optimistic: “At 1 o’clock on March 6, we’re probably gonna come out to celebrate in the tap room.” First the drinking, then the working: This could be a difficult bargaining session. Anchor management on Feb. 20 e-mailed workers noting that it “will be meeting with all potentially impacted employees providing them with important information. We think it is critical that everyone gets all of the facts and that everyone’s minds remain open as they carefully think through the implications of becoming unionized here at Anchor.” (emphasis ours)That’s loaded language. And, even if the votes go the workers’ way, it figures to be something of a challenge to wrangle with Sapporo. The company’s 2019 Management Plan reveals a profitable 2018 — with one of the few money-losers being Anchor. The multinational reported a 4.4 billion yen “impairment loss” on Anchor ($39.8 million). “We switched to a strategy of concentrating on Anchor’s local area, but the craft beer market in San Francisco stagnated due to new emerging craft beers and outflow of demand to wine and spirits,” notes the prospectus. And yet, it may be tough going to “concentrate on Anchor’s local area” if you’re perceived as a union-busting out-of-town mega-corporation. “I intend to closely monitor the developments at Anchor,” wrote Supervisor Shamann Walton, in whose district the brewery sits, to the company’s chief operating officer. “I stand ready to assist in achieving a positive outcome that honors the workers, their union, and the Anchor Brewery that has been an important part of San Francisco since 1896.” This is a union town. And, for a business that makes money by putting products onto ships and taking them out of ships, it may not be the best strategy to poke the ILWU in the eye. That “L” stands for “Longshore,” and the “I” is for “International,” after all. “This is why the workers came to the ILWU,” explains Ramirez. “We have a long history of militancy. Not only here in the United States but around the world. We live by the credo that an injury to one is an injury to all.”This is the storm that is gathering over the brewery. But, really, it feels more consequential than the plight of 71 workers in an art deco factory housing an ocean’s worth of beer. The story of young locals forced to choose between following their dreams or making a living; coming to the realization that the career and housing status of an earlier generation are unattainable; being forced into perpetual adolescent penury or commuting from further and further rings of Bay Area suburbs; and toiling away harder and harder, for wealthier and wealthier corporations, for less and less money and with less and less standing have become the overarching themes of life in this city. Anchor isn’t just San Francisco’s beer. It’s San Francisco. Subscribe to Mission Local’s daily newsletter Email Address Your humble narrator has been amassing bottle caps since 1996. They’re piled in a hefty wooden chest that used to belong to his wife’s grandfather. You can reach in with both arms and, near literally, wallow in nostalgia. There are far more Anchors in there than all the U.S. Navy. Pale blue caps speckle this collection like gems among stones. Your humble narrator’s son, in fact, learned to differentiate colors by climbing into the chest and sorting Anchor bottle caps — blue, red, brown (Anchor now sells no fewer than six — six! — varieties of India Pale Ale. This is ridiculous, and indicative of larger problems. But it has expanded the kid’s color palette). The men and women who brew this beer 3.5 miles from Grand-père Theodore’s chest went public earlier this month with a unionization drive; the first craft brewery in America now may become the first craft brewery to unionize from within. And the workers have delivered devotees of their product the most indulgently pleasing news we may receive for quite some time: If you want to help them, buy more Anchor. When Garrett Kelly walked into Anchor’s 83-year-old art-deco brewery for the first time, it took his breath away. There they were, the ceiling-high, onion-shaped copper vats as shiny as the day they were made in West Germany nearly 70 years ago. There they were, the unique open fermentation tanks, as foamy as a carwash. This room, and, in fact, this whole neighborhood, is awash in the grainy odor of half-produced beer. It smells perfect. “It’s just amazing,” Kelly, 31, says with a smile. “When you step into Anchor, you truly do feel like you’re a part of history. It’s like a cathedral.” That was around four years ago, and, after the de rigueur stint on the bottling line — everybody here starts out at the bottom — he’s now in the fermentation department. His Anchor jacket and blue Dickies pants are discolored with craft beer and industrial lubricants and a mixture of both. He doesn’t care: “I love what I do. I love what I make. I love beer. I never get sick of it.” Kelly earns $18.35 an hour. That’s $734 a week. That’s $36,700 a year. He recently was forced out of San Francisco; even the illegal in-law off Ocean was getting too expensive. He is now in Oakland, but that’s getting expensive, too. “I feel every penny I spend,” he says. “There are times when I have to ask whether I’m buying groceries or paying the phone bill. But I’m not married. I have no kids. This is my only job. So I am able to scrape by.” He is relatively lucky. Belden is working up to three other jobs. And Jon Ezell, a tour guide turned bottling worker, finds himself living in a two-bedroom U.C. Berkeley student apartment in Albany with his grad student wife, his 7-year-old, his 5-year-old, his 5-month-old baby, and either his mother-in-law or father living in — because who can afford child care? In fact, had his wife stopped attending classes following the birth of their most recent child, she would have lost her scholarships and the family would have been out of this apartment. She was back in class one week later. He is making $19.25 an hour, which comes out to $38,500 a year. He’s being trained on the machinery by men earning $16.50 an hour. “It sounds ridiculous talking about poverty here in San Francisco when you make $19.25 an hour,” he says. But it creeps up on you. Suddenly, you’re in tight quarters.” Ezell’s bedroom currently features a bunk bed, a double bed and a crib. Comparable apartments within San Francisco would run $4,000 to $5,000 a month — well more than his entire salary. These stories roll off the line like so many bottles of beer. Bykle, the brewer, grew up on Potrero Hill in the shadow of the factory. He’s still here: The 43-year-old lives with family, because he’s clearing less than $50,000 a year. Cesar Ibarra thinks about his life and work a lot when he’s waking up at 4 a.m. and driving in from the outer periphery of the Bay Area for his 5:30 a.m. shift. He’s 30 and has worked at Anchor for eight years. In that time, he’s been priced out of his native Mission to Richmond to Vallejo to Suisun City. The John O’Connell High grad is a long way from home, physically and metaphysically. “Anchor is such a big San Francisco icon and I am a San Francisco man and a Mission man,” he says in a late-evening phone call. In the background, his 1-year-old daughter wails. In a few hours, he’ll have to wake up and start driving. “I enjoy getting up early and going to the brewery and smelling the malt. I care about what I do.”“But now that I have a family and an infant, I am hoping they will be there for me the way I am there for them.” Buy more beer. Drink more beer. And, if you’re so inclined, post photos to social media with the hashtags “AnchoredInSF” or “AnchorUnion.” “Lots of workers watch those hashtags,” says Brace Belden, who works in the Potrero brewery’s racking room. “It gives us hope.” Adds Brian Witte, a worker in the fermentation department, “We’re unionizing because we love our jobs. We love our co-workers. We want everyone to have jobs. Boycotting Anchor will impede that effort. If anything, people should show support: Buy more beer!” This is the happy-go-lucky messaging the workers have been delivering to the general public prior to make-it-or-break-it union elections at the brewery on March 6 and March 8: Better wages, better conditions, better sales, a better tomorrow. A beer for everyday San Franciscans produced by everyday San Franciscans paid enough to live here, every day. “Most people at Anchor are really happy to work there — from a passionate side,” says Odin Bykle, a brewer at Anchor. “We are passionate about the products we make. The problem is turning our passion into paying rent and living in the Bay Area.” The brewery workers, like so many San Franciscans, are forced, every day, to choose between living and surviving.
First Name Mission to MarsBy Katy VineFrom “The Martian,” originally published in February 2018In a cavernous warehouse behind a strip mall about three miles from the Johnson Space Center, Franklin Chang Díaz has been tinkering with an unorthodox idea for the past thirteen years. The lab for his eleven-person company, Ad Astra, is roughly the size of a Barnes & Noble. But in the center of the room, rather than rows of romance novels, there are three stacks of gadgets resembling hi-fi stereo components. Along the back wall is the main event: a forty-ton stainless-steel cylindrical chamber that sits like a thirteen-foot-tall beer keg tipped on its side. If Franklin is right, this is the engine that will take us to Mars.Jeff Bezos in West TexasBy Dan SolomonFrom “How Do We Feel About Space Exploration Companies Buying up a Bunch of Cheap Texas Land?,” originally published in November 2013If you pass through Van Horn, you might be surprised to encounter the beautiful and historic Hotel El Capitan, which was [recently] renovated to the tune of $2.5 million. There’s little that makes Van Horn, whose per-capita income is $13,775, an obvious location for a higher-end hotel with an upscale restaurant/bar on its ground floor. But if you spend an evening in the Hotel El Capitan bar, you’re likely to get your first clue: there will probably be some contractors who work with Jeff Bezos’s Blue Origin aerospace company enjoying steaks and watching basketball, before heading out in the morning to install, say, a liquid nitrogen system at the “Corn Ranch” facility that Blue Origin operates nearby.Elon Musk in South TexasBy Domingo MartinezFrom “Countdown to Liftoff,” originally published in August 2016While an environmental-impact statement produced by the FAA acknowledges that [SpaceX’s launchpad] will bring traffic and noise to the Las Palomas Wildlife Management Area–Boca Chica Unit and the Laguna Madre, it seems a bit optimistic about lasting consequences. It projects that wildlife habitat will shift naturally and wetlands will hardly be affected. Larger birds and animals—the piping plover, the northern aplomado falcon, the ocelot and jaguarundi, the sea turtles—won’t be affected, it says. Only time will tell whether this turns out to be true. Still, it’s a risk that needs to be taken: compromise is the way of the world, and for [Brownsville] to move into the now, the now needs the beach.That’s Not How Bruce Willis Did It in the MovieBy Madelyn HerzogFrom “NASA Presentation on Asteroid Detection ‘Not Reassuring,’ ” originally published in March 2013In a presentation to the House, NASA officials revealed their plan of action if they were to discover an asteroid three weeks away from obliterating the Earth: they would “pray.” This Week in Texas(Weekly)The best stories from Texas Monthly Sign UpI agree to the terms and conditions. Editor’s Desk(Monthly)A message from the editors at Texas Monthly If you fill out the first name, last name, or agree to terms fields, you will NOT be added to the newsletter list. Leave them blank to get signed up. Enter your email address This article originally appeared in the July 2019 issue of Texas Monthly with the headline “From the Archives: To the Future!” Subscribe today. Last Name Never Miss a StorySign up for Texas Monthly’s State of Texas newsletter to get stories like this delivered to your inbox daily. The State of Texas(Daily)A daily digest of Texas news, plus the latest from Texas Monthly
THE Reserves registered their first win of the Season against the previously unbeaten Harlequins RL with a resilient team performance built on a great first half display writes Graham Henthorne.Although only 12 points to the good at the break the Saints had had the majority of the territorial advantage pinning Quins in their own half with Ben Karalius and Adam Swift’s astute kicking game.It was Swift who opened the scoring showing good pace in outpacing the covering defence to the line after good footwork had created the opening.The lead was doubled on quarter time as Dan Brotherton picked up a loose ball to touch down in the left corner. Danny Jones’ run down the left had put the Saints in good field position and Swift’s cross field bomb put the defence under pressure allowing Brotherton the easiest of scores.The Saints were more than matching the big, experienced Quins pack with Carl Forster to the fore.As the half wore on a touch of fatigue set in and a string of penalties marched the visitors down field but strong defence on the line epitomised by Josh Jones’ two last ditch try saving tackles prevented Quins from taking gaining any advantage.The break came at the wrong time for the Saints allowing Quins to regroup and they came back with a vengeance at the start of the second period.Again ferocious scrambling defence kept them at bay and the Saints took full advantage going straight down the other end to score. A strong drive to the line from Ant Walker and a quick play the ball gave Swift time to step inside his opposing centre for his second try of the evening.The visitors enjoyed a purple patch around the hour mark scoring three tries as the saints appeared to be tiring.Sandwiched in the middle Aarron Lloyd had snook over from dummy half to stem the flow a little giving much needed breathing space to the Reserves. Forster’s strong drive was followed by a handoff and break from Captain Warren Thompson who was stopped inches short of a deserved try.That was as close as the visitors got, however, as the Saints finished the stronger. Ben Karalius’s 40/20 again penned Quins in, and Tommy Makinson’s fourth goal of the night, for a high shot on Lloyd pushed the lead out to 10.From the kick off Scott Hale dummied inside but set off down the short side on a 30 metre run. Forster took it on from the play the ball finding Hale on his shoulder to finish what he’d started.This was a much better performance giving the Reserves a much needed boost after a disappointing loss at Salford. Man of the Match was Adam Swift whose enthusiasm and running at the line always had Quins worried, but he was pushed all the way by Gary Wheeler and both starting props Forster and Jordan Hand making his starting début at this level.Match Summary:St Helens U20s:Tries: Dan Brotherton, Adam Swift 2, Aaron Lloyd, Scott Hale.Goals: Tommy Makinson 5.Harlequins U20s:Tries: Kieran Dixon, Lamont Bryan 2.Goals: Omari Caro.Half Time: 12-0 Full Time: 30-14Teams:St Helens U20s:1. Nathan Ashe, 2. Josh Jones, 3. Tommy Makinson, 4. Gary Wheeler, 5. Dan Brotherton, 6. Adam Swift, 7. Ben Karalius, 8. Jordan Hand, 9. Aaron Lloyd, 10. Carl Forster, 11. Danny Jones, 12. Scott Hale, 13. Warren Thompson.Subs: 14. Marcus Baines, 15. Joe Bate, 16. Anthony Walker, 17. Joe Greenwood.Harlequins U20s: 1. Kieran Dixon, 2. Omari Caro, 3. Will Lovell, 4. Joe Ridley, 5. Mike Channing, 6. Dan Sarginson, 7. Mike Bishay, 8. Rob Thomas, 9. Max Edwards, 10. Olsi Krasniqi, 11. Alex Ingarfield, 12. Lamont Bryan, 13. Sam Bolger.Subs: 14. Billy Driver, 15. Gavin Hyder, 16. George Archer, 17. Alex Anthony.
Academy head coach Derek Traynor recounts an eventful trip…My lasting memories of the 2013 tour consist of a big low and disappointment and a massive high. The big low point was in the first game we suffered our heaviest ever defeat on tour against a very big and experienced St George team. St George obviously got the age groups a little mixed up.Even on that day there were some highlights such as watching James Nicholl and Joe McLoughlin stand their ground and not give an inch to lads about 20kg heavier than them and two years older. Also, the squad got to meet the New Zealand world cup team – Sonny Bill and Shaun Johnson were mobbed for selfie’s with the lads.Then another disappointment followed with a loss at Central Coast; we thought there was a little bit of a hangover from the previous game and confidence had obviously been dented.But after a very tough and encouraging training session at funnily enough St George, there was a feeling of confidence and self-belief returning. This was taken into the next game against Wests Tigers and the first victory of the tour was gained. But more importantly the lads had shown their true ability and were now looking forward to the last game against the mighty Penrith.The Panthers game finally came around and playing at the Pepper Stadium is always a big buzz for the players. This was the massive high as the squad put on a great show and came away with a win. Danny Richardson was outstanding and scored three great tries and Dave Hewitt was pulling the strings and bossing the team around the field.As far as tours go this squad had the worst record with two defeats, but they did show the most improvement and proved they could handle disappointment and work hard to turn their fortunes around.It was also the youngest squad we had taken on tour also.The one thing that still sticks in my mind is seeing Dave Hewitt’s big toe nail ripped off whilst white water rafting … note to lads make sure you pack your nail clippers.As previously mentioned, I have retired from this event after breaking a finger, badly bruising my foot, getting stuck in a whirlpool and being thrown about like being in a washing machine when I come out of the boat.I feel I am getting a little too close to the nine lives for comfort.Tourists:1. Daniel Abram 2. Philip Atherton 3. Ricky Bailey 4. Tom Calland 5. Liam Cooper 6. Jonah Cunningham 7. Oliver Davies 8. David Eccleston 9. Lewis Fairhurst 10. Matthew Fleming 11. Liam Forsyth 12. Lewis Hatton 13. Kieron Herbert 14. David Hewitt 15. Morgan Knowles 16. Ross McCauley 17. Joesph McLoughlin 18. Ben Morris 19. James Nicholl 20. Daniel Richardson 21. Joe Ryan 22. Adam Saunders 23. Aaron Smith 24. Connor Smith 25. Jake Spedding 26. Bobby Williams 27. Chris WorrallResults:St Helens 14 v 60 St GeorgeSt Helens 16 v 30 Central CoastSt Helens 32 v 30 Wests TigersSt Helens 20 v 12 Penrith Panthers
The centre took his season’s tally to seven as Saints kept up their 100 per cent record to top the Betfred Super League table.Danny Richardson lay on two of Percy’s scores in a show that belied his 21 years, whilst James Roby was also stellar as he reached 99 tries for the club.Whilst the scoreline blew out towards the end of the contest, this game was a tight tussle throughout.Both sides ripped into each other from the off but it was Saints who stuck first in the fifth minute, thanks to a piece of brilliance from Percival and Richardson.On the last, the scrum half shaped to kick it right, but instead opted to dip his shoulder, go left and catch Percival on a class line to go over.Richardson slotted the first of his five goals for 6-0 but from the restart, Saints lost the ball and had to defend a number of sets on their own line.They did that, but were powerless to stop Toby King on 15 minutes when he pounced on Tyrone Robert’s chip to the corner.Stefan Ratchford tagged the conversion from the touchline but Richardson put Saints back in front with a penalty on 30 minutes.8-6 to Holbrook’s men at the break.It didn’t take Saints long to extend that lead as within minutes of the second half, Roby darted over for his 99th in the Red Vee.It came after an error from the restart; Roberts turning his back only for Saints to grab it and the number 9 doing what he does best.Richardson made it 14-6 with the boot, but Warrington got back in the contest thanks to another kick to the corner.This time, Tom Lineham caught the high ball and offloaded superbly to put Harvey Livett in.Ratchford tagging another tricky conversion from the touchline.Saints weren’t going to crumble though and replied with style.Ben Barba won a drop out with a cute chip and then, on the next set, fired a wonder pass for the Percival to grab his second of the night.Then followed more magic from the boot of Richardson.On the last and in his own half, the youngster ‘showed and goed’, broke through and then displayed great awareness to chip into the left hand corner for Percy to grab his hat-trick.A try that was world class.Warrington tried to get back into it but the game was gone and it was left for Richardson to grab a try of his own right at the death.Barba went away down the left hand side, found Percival who then chipped it ahead for Danny to chase.And he did, putting down under the sticks in front of 3,000 delirious travelling supporters.A magnificent end to a great performance.Match Summary:Wolves: Tries: King. T, Livett, Goals: Ratchford (2 from 2)Saints: Tries: Percival (3), Roby, Richardson Goals: Richardson (5 from 6)Penalties Awarded: Wolves: 6 Saints: 12HT: 6-8 FT: 12-30REF: J ChildATT: 12,268Teams:Wolves: 1. Stefan Ratchford; 2. Tom Lineham, 18. Toby King, 4. Ryan Atkins, 21. Mitch Brown; 6. Kevin Brown, 7. Tyrone Roberts; 8. Chris Hill, 9. Daryl Clark, 10. Mike Cooper, 13. Ben Murdoch-Masila, 12. Jack Hughes, 34. Ben Westwood. Subs: 14. Dominic Crosby, 17. Joe Philbin, 19. George King, 20. Harvey Livett.Saints: 23. Ben Barba; 5. Adam Swift, 2. Tommy Makinson, 4. Mark Percival, 19. Regan Grace; 1. Jonny Lomax, 18. Danny Richardson; 10. Kyle Amor, 9. James Roby, 16. Luke Thompson, 17. Dom Peyroux, 11. Zeb Taia, 13. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook. Subs: 6. Theo Fages, 8. Alex Walmsley, 14. Luke Douglas, 20. Matty Lees.
The main ‘mover and shaker’ was William Douglas Herman, the newly-appointed Head Chemist at Pilkington’s Crown Glass Works, who had played rugby in his school and college days and for the Crescent club in London, where he was born. He was disappointed that there was no rugby club in the area.On many a cold winter’s afternoon, the ‘Sporting Chemist’ could be seen kicking a ball around with some of his new-found friends on a field near Boundary Road. These young gentlemen were keen to try their hand at this new game which would fill a gap in their sporting calendar. By 1872, there were clubs established in Liverpool, Manchester and Wigan!He wanted to form a club and William initially turned to his workmates, but this came to nothing. Undeterred, he placed an advertisement in the St. Helens Newspaper calling a meeting at a local hostelry for anyone interested in forming a club:“It is proposed to form a football club for St. Helens and neighbourhood. Gentlemen taking an interest in the game are requested to attend a preliminary meeting to be held at the Fleece Hotel on Wednesday November 19, 1873 at 7.30pm.”The meeting attracted some of the most prominent young men in the town who had industrial and commercial connections, with names such as Gamble, Varley, who themselves have carved out their own niche in our town’s history.Under the Chairmanship of William Douglas Herman, a club was formed. Rules were drawn up and the use of the Recreation Ground at Boundary Road secured. Their first game took place early in late January 1874, against Liverpool Royal Infirmary on their newly-acquired home turf.After several changes of name [Eccleston Rangers and St Helens Rangers], amalgamation with St. Helens cricket Club and residence of several different grounds in the town, the club moved to Knowsley Road in 1890 to ensure a more-or-less stable existence, before the advent of professionalism changed the very nature of our club and we broke away from the 15-a-side code.Then there was the move to the Totally Wicked Stadium in 2012, another major phase in our proud club’s great history.What memories the club has provided for us over the years. Long may it continue!
BC’s previous owner passed away so he’s looking for a new forever friend to cuddle with.If you think he could be the perfect addition to your family, head over to New Hanover County Animal Services to meet him.County residents can adopt for just $70.Related Article: Pet Pals: Meet this free spirited 2-year-old Border Collie mix GradyAdoption services are available between noon and 4:45 p.m. Monday through Friday or on Saturday 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.To see other animals available for adoption, click here. NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — There’s a four-legged friend looking for a loving home and he could be yours!Meet BC. He’s a 10-year-old domestic shorthair cat with a black coat. He’s been around children and has lived with female cats. He’s also up to date on his shots.- Advertisement –
Gary Terrell Everette (Photo: BCSO) BOLIVIA, NC (AP) — Authorities have arrested a North Carolina man nearly five months after skeletal remains were found in Brunswick County.News outlets report the Greensboro Police Department said in a news release that 25-year-old Gary Terrell Everette is charged with first-degree murder and concealment of a death. He was arrested Tuesday and jailed without bond. It’s not known if he has an attorney.- Advertisement – Police say charges against Everette stem from an investigation into the disappearance of 22-year-old Darace Xavier Bolton in September 2016. Authorities say investigators followed up on leads that produced information indicating that Bolton’s body would be found in Brunswick County in December 2018.In December, police found skeletal remains. DNA analysis determined that the remains were those of Bolton. An autopsy found that he had been the victim of a homicide.