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Gathering of the Vibes 2013: One Very Tight-Knit Tribe

first_imgGathering of the Vibes wrapped up another fantastic weekend in Bridgeport, CT’s Seaside Park on Sunday with four days of beautiful weather, great music, and of course, good vibes. The festival that began in ’96 as a memorial for the recently passed Jerry Garcia, and named “Deadhead Heaven – A Gathering of the Tribe” by founder Ken Hays has never strayed from that concept, as could be seen by not only two headlining performances by Phil Lesh & Friends, but with a Thursday headlining spot by Dead tribute band (though they have become much more than that to many of us), Dark Star Orchestra.Though Vibes catches a bit of flack from certain factions of the Bridgeport community, the work that Ken Hays and company has put into giving back to this area has to be given its due; with a massive food drive, donations to local schools to help with music programs, helping to create work for an area that is hurting for jobs, giving demonstrations on environmental sustainability and social consciousness, and just creating a positive environment for attendees, Vibes has come a long way in the past few years. And this year simply built upon that tradition.With older and younger Deadheads alike sharing in the groove, Vibes boasted some incredible performances this year. Thursday saw a nice, mellow opening day with sets from Dark Star Orchestra, the Original Strangefolk, the Nigel Hall Band, Ryan Montbleau Band, and a funky late-night set from Kung Fu & the Dojo Allstars. Being that Vibes is roughly 20,000 people over the course of the weekend, with only two stages (Main Stage and Green Vibes Stage), it’s easy to journey back and forth to catch a little bit of each artist, if that is what you are going for. Either way, it’s a short walk, and over the course of four days of being on your feet, that short walk means a lot.Friday saw more people in attendance, and had great early sets from Assembly of Dust, Railroad Earth, and up and coming New Orleans act The Revivalists. During Galactic’s 4:30 set, they brought out Revivalist David Shaw, who belted out a couple of tunes, including a set-closing rendition of The Rolling Stones “Gimme Shelter” that had everyone in the crowd rocking out. Los Angeles indie-folk band Lord Huron played a magnificent set on the Green Vibes stage, which overlooks the Long Island Sound and acted as the perfect backdrop to their inspired, yet chilled out sound. The bluesy, soul rock of the Tedeschi-Trucks Band was a perfect lead-in to the Phil & Friends set. Derek Trucks is simply a master on all things guitar; listening to him play leaves you in awe. And Susan Tedeschi has this soulful, raspy voice that compliments Trucks’ tone. It’s a beautiful thing to watch this couple perform. And seeing Eric Krasno (Lettuce/Soulive) switch over to the bass while joining them on their tour with the Black Crowes is an added treat, as he throws down some mean bass lines.The particular lineup of Phil & Friends that we had bestowed upon us at Vibes was nothing short of magical. I mean, John Scofield and John Kadlecik on guitar, Joe Russo on drums, and John Medeski on keys surrounding Phil? Really? Count me in! Not only was the crowd relishing the opportunity to check out this musical concoction, but the musician’s looked equally as amped. A “Scarlet Begonias” opener got things started on the right note, as the swaying of bodies commenced on this gorgeous Friday night. A cover of Bob Dylan’s “Just Like Tom Thumb Blues” received a warm welcome. The set continued on more of an upbeat vibe with a well-played segment of “Crazy Fingers>Friend of the Devil” that showcased the jazz side of this lineup, and acted as the intro into what we would be subject to over the four sets. A really good “Uncle John’s Band” set closer brought us to set break on a high note.The second set featured some really impressive improvisation from the stellar quintet. “The Golden Road>Viola Lee Blues” was slow and spaced out, while the “St. Stephen>Unbroken Chain” brought the energy back up. A “St. Stephen” jam was played to perfection and set the tone for the rest of the set, as a very welcomed and funky “Shakedown Street” began a segue of “Standing on the Moon>Going Down the Road” to end the set. Not surprisingly, this was the highlight of the night, as Lesh & Friends just plain went off on a jam tangent. It was psychedelic, concentrated, and jazz-fueled jamming all in one, as the pocket grooves that Lesh and Russo make together afforded Scofield, Kadlecik and Medeski the opportunity to give their own takes on the Dead’s music. A late-night set from Deep Banana Blackout kept things going on Friday night. Though there were some obvious sound issues, their set was nothing short of a dance party that everyone was ready for.Saturday started off with an early set from The Funky Meters, which honestly was just a bit too early for the New Orleans legends. A mid-afternoon set would have been more welcomed, after being up all night on Friday, but what are you going to do? Tough problems, right? The Roots threw down a set that had everyone gushing about it the rest of the day, and Grace Potter & The Nocturnals just seem to get better and better as time goes on. They straight rocked, and even threw in a nice tribute at the end of their set to JJ Cale (who passed away the night before from a heart attack), with a rendition of “Cocaine” as well as bringing out long-time friend Warren Haynes. Gov’t Mule played a rather mellow set, with a couple of exceptions, as they brought out George Porter Jr. for The Band’s “The Shape I’m In” and saxophonist Bill Evans (who was all over the place this weekend) for “Devil Likes It Slow,” and again with John Scofield and Porter Jr. on JJ Cale’s “After Midnight.”Phil & Friends first set had a few nice selections with “China Cat Sunflower>Cold Rain and Snow” and “All Along The Watchtower>I Know Your Rider” to close the set. However, it was during the second set, with Bill Evans joining in the entire time that things just went to another level entirely. “Alligator” opened up the set and the band never let up; the “Cryptical Envelopment>Dark Star>The Other One>Dark Star>Stella Blue” could very easily go down as one of the best Phil & Friends segments ever. The makeup of this lineup has some serious chops, and bringing in yet another jazz man in Evans was a brilliant move, as it did nothing but elevate the music to the next level; it truly was a magnificent thing to not only listen to, but to watch as well. Seeing such accomplished musicians on stage, reinterpreting the Dead catalogue alongside Phil Lesh (who had nothing but a smile on his face both nights) was an absolute treat, and will not soon be forgotten. The music got a push in a direction that it doesn’t always take, and it was great to witness it first hand. As the band ended with “Not Fade Away” with the crowd chanting “Our love is real, not fade away” through the encore break, Phil came back out to give his touching Donor Rap, and the band joined him in a spirited “Box of Rain”, which had a really nice jam to begin the song. Overall, both nights of Phil & Friends was excellent, but the second set on Saturday night is something that people will be talking about for awhile. Definitely give it a listen if you get a chance.Saturday late-night was where it was at, as Rob Garza of Thievery Corporation and James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem played some uptempo sets that had all the creatures of the night moving and shaking, as they both incorporated some dance, deep house, and NuDisco. All the rock and jam had been nice, but this was the perfect compliment to the night, as sometimes you just feel that need to let loose. On a side note, the sound was much better on Saturday night than it had been during Deep Banana Blackout’s set the previous night. Papadosio played a fitting sunrise set, that was highly anticipated throughout the weekend by many fans. Their set ended as the sun began to rise and saturate the sky with different hues of blue, purple, and orange. It was a fitting way to end an epic Saturday Vibes.As it’s never easy to wake up after a couple of days of going to bed at 6am or after, it goes without saying that hitting up any early music on Sunday was near impossible. However, after finally making it over to the Main Stage in time for a powerful set from the John Butler Trio, getting back to “normal” was almost achieved in time for the Black Crowes closing set at Vibes. It’s always nice to see Chris and Rich Robinson on stage together, especially when they both are actually looking at each other and smiling. The addition of Jackie Greene to this lineup was definitely the right move, as his style fits in very well with the Crowes. As you don’t get to see them that often, what could be looked at as a “greatest hits” set was received rather warmly from the crowd. The Rolling Stones’ “Jumping Jack Flash” got everyone singing along, and the band didn’t let up from there, as they played a pretty version of “She Talks to Angels” with Greene on mandolin, rockin’ renditions of “Soul Singing,” “Jealous Again,” “Remedy” and encored with “Hard to Handle>Hush.” Closing the festival out with the Crowes was definitely a good call, as they are one of the few remaining true rock acts out there. Not many front men have the stage presence of Chris Robinson, as he just looks so natural doing his thing on stage.If there is anything that can be said about Gathering of the Vibes this year, it is that one could look around and see great energy coming from every single body in attendance. People were having fun with friends (both old and new), family, enjoying the beautiful weather that was bestowed upon us, and getting down to some ridiculously good music. What more could you possibly ask for?-Chris MeyerCheck out a full gallery of photos from Vibes, courtesy of L4LM photographer Matt Enbar and Menbar-Photos.last_img read more

Twin City Sues Paramedics for Defamation

first_imgIn a news release issued by Gradyl, Twin City management also accused the three paramedics of falsely accusing the company of “forcing injured people to wait significantly longer for medical attention by routinely refusing to respond to mutual aid calls.” Maxian is quoted as saying, “Our goal is to reaffirm the good name of our company, and although the defamatory claims made by the defendants are a matter of public record, their republication by any media outlet will not be tolerated.”e-mail: None of the three could be reached to comment. Gradyl said he did not think any have retained attorneys yet and the case has yet to be assigned to a specific judge. Twin City attorney Wayne R. Gradyl is the only person company officials said could talk about the dispute. He said all three have been served with the court complaint, which he expects to be the subject of court proceedings within the next six months. Last November, Varner Harris Jr., 19, was sentenced to up to 34 years in prison by State Supreme Court Justice Penny M. Wolfgang and Senior Erie County Judge Michael L. D’Amico for shooting the two on-duty officers. According to a copy of the publicly filed Twin City court complaint, the three falsely claimed to the local media, the Buffalo police union’s Blue Line publication and the SIREN, a national paramedic newsletter, that Twin City management refused a “mutual aid” call to help the two officers Dec. 5, 2006. In its court complaint, Twin City contends the Buffalo Ambulance Dispatch office “needlessly” called Twin City requesting ambulances at 9:10 p.m. Dec. 5, 2006, even though Twin City “had no contract” with the city and adequate ambulances already were at the scene, with more on the way to aid the officers. Terence Clark, Twin City Ambulance president, is quoted in a company release as saying the suit was filed because the company’s “present concern is for the reputation of our company and the impact that the defendants’ false statements will have on the company’s future.” The Twin City suit also alleges the defamatory claims were posted in December 2006 on the Internet at and on the Web site of the International Association of EMTs and Paramedics.center_img Clark also said it was “personally offensive that three rogue employees used a tragic event to maliciously defame the company in an attempt to injure its business reputation . . . “After careful consideration, it appears that litigation is the best way to get the truth out. We want to vindicate the company’s good name by way of a jury verdict,” Clark is also quoted as saying. The Twin City release also quotes Thomas Maxian, Twin City CEO and general counsel, as cautioning everyone against republishing the defamatory and false statements made by the defendants. BUFFALO, N.Y. — Three Twin City Ambulance paramedics are being sued by the company for falsely claiming Twin City refused to aid Buffalo Police Officers Patricia A. Parete and Carl Andolina when they were shot on duty 14 months ago, the City of Tonawanda company’s attorney said Monday. The 6-foot-7 Andolina, who was recognized as a national hero for his actions during the shooting, is slated to return to police duty soon. Parete was paralyzed in the shooting. The company seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages and other costs. The defamation suit against paramedics Christian M. Cloen, Jeffrey R. Abbott and Timothy J. Licht has asked for a State Supreme Court trial for the alleged false claims to the news media, professional publications and on the Internet.last_img read more

Watch Ryan Reynolds Give Terminally Ill Child the Best FaceTime Call Ever

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreRyan Reynolds’s list of good deeds continues to grow bigger by the day.Most notably, the Hollywood actor once schemed with a recently-dumped high schooler on how she could get back at her ex-boyfriend, and he wrote a moving tribute for a young Deadpool fan who he had befriended before his death. Now, he has just granted the lifelong wish of a fan who had just been diagnosed with terminal brain cancer.WATCH: Florence & the Machine Perform Surprise Concert for Teen in Hospice5-year-old Daniel Downing only recently came down with pontine glioma, an aggressive, non-curable type of cancer with an average survival time of 9 months.So when Reynolds heard about the boy’s grim predicament, he decided to call up the youngster in Plymouth, England.Downing, who is a zealous Marvel fan, couldn’t believe that the A-lister was on the phone. When he heard Reynolds’s voice, he asked if they could Facetime each other.Reynolds didn’t even hesitate to oblige.CHECK OUT: Robert Downey Jr. Comes to the Rescue of Bullied 7-Year-oldThe two chatted about Marvel and the Deadpool movies, with Reynolds remarking upon how Downing seemed a little young to be watching the explicit movies. Then, Reynolds offered to walk Downing around the set of Deadpool 2.After a quick tour of the facilities, Reynolds said that he had to get back to filming, and they said their goodbyes.While it may seem like a small gesture, the Downings say that it meant the world to their son.“I messaged his assistant to say how eternally grateful we all are for him taking the time out to talk to Daniel. It was absolutely fantastic,” Daniel’s mother Stephanie told the Plymouth Herald. “I’m so happy for Daniel – it’s something he wouldn’t normally have been able to do and he was so excited. He told all his friends and his teachers. It’s nice to see him so excited because he has been a bit down lately.”A friend of the Downings has set up a crowdfunding page that has already raised roughly $23,000 (£17,500) for the family.(WATCH the video below)Be A Hero: Click To Share With Your Friends – Photo by the Plymouth HeraldAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorelast_img read more

Forward Broback quits team

first_imgForward Broback quits teamApril 4, 2006Jump to CommentsShare on FacebookShare on TwitterShare via EmailPrintStar Minnesota women’s basketball forward Jamie Broback left the program because of “personal reasons,” coach Pam Borton announced in a statement released Monday.Broback, who just completed her junior season with the Gophers, was the team’s leading scorer and rebounder this year, averaging 13.7 points and 6.8 rebounds per game. She was honored as a second-team All-Big Ten selection.Broback took a preseason leave of absence from the team this season, missing the first two regular-season games with what the team called “personal reasons.” When she returned, Broback came off the bench for the first four games before assuming her starting role. In Minnesota’s first round NCAA Tournament loss to Washington in March, Broback sat out most of the second half in a 73-69 loss, but was neither in foul trouble nor injured.“We obviously want the best for Jamie,” Borton said Monday in a statement. “We will continue to support Jamie’s academic pursuits and wish her the best of luck.”last_img read more

Study links delay of gratification to how brain structures are connected

first_imgPinterest Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Email LinkedIncenter_img Share The ability to delay gratification in chimpanzees is linked to how specific structures of the brain are connected and communicate with each other, according to researchers at Georgia State University and Kennesaw State University.Their findings were published June 3 in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences.This study provides the first evidence in primates, including humans, of an association between delay of gratification performance and white matter connectivity between the caudate and the dorsal prefrontal cortex in the right hemisphere, said Dr. Robert Latzman, assistant professor in the Department of Psychology at Georgia State, who led the study with Dr. William Hopkins, professor of neuroscience at Georgia State. The researchers found higher white matter connectivity between the caudate and dorsal prefrontal cortex in the right hemisphere of the brain was associated with the learning of delay of gratification.Delay of gratification, the need to control emotional and behavioral impulses, is one of the earliest demands placed on individuals and is of critical importance, Latzman said.“Delay of gratification or self-control is core to a number of different types of mental illnesses, most notably ADHD (attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder),” said Latzman. “This ability and the developmental process that occurs when children learn to delay gratification and inhibit an immediate want for a longer-term goal is a hugely important developmental milestone.”There is a considerable need for understanding connections among brain regions associated with delay of gratification abilities, such as the two regions that showed significant results in this study, Latzman said.The task used to measure delay of gratification in chimpanzees in this study is a parallel task to that used in a series of famous experiments conducted by psychologist Walter Mischel at Stanford University in the 1960s and 1970s. Preschoolers were placed alone in a room furnished with a small desk and on the desk were two marshmallows and a bell. The researcher told the child he had to leave the room, but when he returned, the child could eat both marshmallows. If the child wanted to eat one marshmallow before the researcher returned, the child could ring the bell and eat one, but not both. When the researcher shut the door, some children ate the marshmallow right away and others tried to distract themselves, according to The New York Times.In follow-up studies, Mischel found that delay of gratification abilities at age 4 can predict a number of behaviors into adolescence and adulthood, including planning and reasoning abilities, control of negative emotions, standardized test scores, higher educational attainment, better coping abilities, fewer interpersonal difficulties, less substance use and higher self-esteem and self-worth more than 20 years later, according to Latzman.The current study involved 49 chimpanzees that were trained to perform a delay of gratification task. Researchers placed grapes in a transparent PVC pipe with a closed bottom and trained the chimpanzees to delay gratification in receiving the grapes. The study used chimpanzees because their self-control abilities, as compared to other model species such as monkeys, closely resemble those of human children and both their neuroanatomy and neural development are quite similar to humans. They also share a very high degree of genetic overlap, Latzman said.“We trained them to learn that if they waited, the one grape becomes two grapes and two grapes become three grapes and three grapes become four grapes and so on. There’s variability in how well they do and it was this variability that we were interested in,” Latzman said.All chimpanzees received DTI (diffusion tensor imaging) brain scans during their annual physical examination. Data were acquired that allowed the researchers to examine white matter tracts, or bundles of neurons that connect one part of the nervous system with another, between the caudate and prefrontal cortex. The white matter connectivity between these brain structures was compared to the chimpanzees’ delay of gratification abilities.last_img read more

Initial tests negative for outbreak E coli in German sprouts

first_imgJun 6, 2011 (CIDRAP News) – German authorities investigating a possible sprout link to a large Escherichia coli outbreak said today that lab samples are negative so far, dashing hopes for a quick end to the investigation and adding more confusion to the search for the source.Yesterday officials in Germany’s Lower Saxony state said at a press conference that they found clear signs that sprouts produced by an organic farm in the northern part of the country were responsible for the illnesses, but today the area’s agriculture ministry said 23 of 40 samples taken from the facility have tested negative for the outbreak strain, the UK-based Guardian newspaper reported today. Testing is still under way on 17 more samples.In a statement today, Germany’s health ministry said the negative tests don’t exclude sprouts as a source, and it warned consumers not to expect a quick identification of the outbreak source, the Guardian reported.The outbreak strain, E coli O104:H4, has so far been linked to 1,672 enterohemorrhagic infections and 661 cases of hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a severe and potentially fatal kidney complication, according to the latest update today from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). The number of fatalities stands at 22.The World Health Organization (WHO) said in its updated background information today that the outbreak cases have been reported from 12 countries, and all but one patient lived in or traveled to Germany. In one case, an individual got sick after having contact with an infected visitor from northern Germany.Michael Osterholm, PhD, MPH, director of the University of Minnesota’s Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, publisher of CIDRAP News, said that complicating the message about the possible sprout threat by releasing partial testing results, especially after a round of earlier testing miscues with Spanish cucumbers, signals “borderline incompetence” among those leading Germany’s outbreak investigation.He said response to the outbreak so far undermines confidence in health officials, a problem that extends beyond German borders to the global public health community. Osterholm said it’s critical that investigators on the scene stick with an epidemiologic focus to not only look carefully at what both cases (people who got sick) and controls (healthy people) consumed, but also to conduct trace-back investigations on the products both groups consumed.”That’s how you end up discerning which products are involved, especially if multiple products have been implicated,” he said.The investigation would also benefit from more specifics about illness onsets in order to help determine if the outbreak is ongoing or starting to taper off, Osterholm said. He added that it’s unclear how German health officials are calculating illness-onset dates. A longer illness onset date has been highlighted as an unusual feature in the outbreak, but Osterholm said more information is needed to determine of they’re referring to the onset of diarrhea illness or HUS, which when it occurs typically begins 12 to 15 days after the start of diarrhea symptoms.Daniel Bahr, Germany’s health minister, along with other health officials said hospitals in Hamburg are having a difficult time managing the surge of patients with E coli infections, according the Guardian report.In other developments, European Union (EU) health ministers met today to discuss the latest health developments with the outbreak, and the EU’s agriculture ministers will meet tomorrow to discuss food safety and economic impacts of the event, according to an EU statement. Because Spanish cucumbers were wrongly implicated in the outbreak and health warnings for other produce items have tamped down fresh vegetable sales, the ministers will discuss how to compensate producers for big losses.Last week the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said it imports little fresh produce from the EU and that it has stepped up surveillance on shipments of suspected vegetables. Today, Sebastian Cianci, spokesman for the FDA, told CIDRAP News that the increased surveillance also applies to all sprouts and sprout seeds from Germany and Spain. He added that the United States hasn’t received any shipments of sprouts or sprout seeds from those two countries since at least October.See also:Jun 6 Guardian reportJun 6 ECDC updateJun 6 WHO background informationJun 5 CIDRAP News story “Sprouts linked to European E coli outbreak”last_img read more

Autopsies of COVID-19 patients reveal clotting concerns

first_imgA study of autopsy findings of the first 12 patients who died of COVID-19 in a hospital in Hamburg, Germany, has found that 7 (58%) of them had undiagnosed deep vein thrombosis, suggesting that the virus may cause abnormal blood clotting.In the prospective cohort study, published yesterday in the Annals of Internal Medicine, researchers discovered that the direct cause of death in four patients was massive pulmonary embolism from deep vein blood clots in the legs that lodged in a lung artery, causing a blockage.High viral RNA loads, abnormal lung findingsHigh concentrations of COVID-19 genetic material were detected in the lungs, and also in the liver, kidney, or heart in five of six patients who had moderate viremia (COVID-19 viruses in the blood). All had abnormal lung computed tomography (CT) findings, and eight of them (67%) had alveolar damage indicative of early acute respiratory distress syndrome.Most lungs were congested and heavy, with a maximum combined weight of 3,420 grams (more than 7.5 pounds) in one patient. Mean combined lung weight was 1,988 grams (4.4 pounds). In comparison, standard lung weights for men are 840 grams (1.9 pounds) and 639 grams (1.4 pounds) for women. Only two patients had relatively low lung weights (550 and 890 grams).In many cases, the lungs showed signs of mild pleurisy, inflammation of the thin layers of tissue that separate the lungs from the chest wall, as well as a patchy pattern consisting of pale areas contrasting with slightly protruding, firm, reddish-blue areas with high capillary-to-fiber ratios. The lungs were firm but crumbled easily.In the 10 patients who died in the hospital, initial laboratory tests showed elevated levels of lactate dehydrogenase (indicating tissue damage), D-dimer (indicating blood clots), and C-reactive protein (indicating inflammation or heart damage), as well as mild thrombocytopenia (low levels of platelets needed for clotting) in 4 of 10 patients.Median patient age was 73 years (range, 52 to 87), 75% were men, and all had underlying medical conditions, the most common of which were coronary heart disease and asthma (50%) and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (25%). Many were obese, with a mean body mass index of 28.7 kg/m2.Anti-clotting drugs may decrease riskThe authors said that COVID-19 may lead to pulmonary embolism by activating the coagulation system or causing a cytokine storm, in which high levels of proinflammatory cytokines start to attack the body’s own tissues rather than just the virus. Factors such as immune-mediated damage from antiphospholipid antibodies involved in autoimmune responses may also contribute.Regardless of the cause, the researchers said that doctors should always suspect pulmonary embolism in COVID-19 patients who have deteriorating heart and lung function. “That patients with COVID-19 who have increased D-dimer levels, a sign of coagulopathy, may benefit from anticoagulant treatment seems plausible,” they wrote.They called for further research into the molecular mechanism and clinical incidence of coronavirus-related death and possible treatment options such as the use of anti-clotting therapies for COVID-19 patients.last_img read more

Worthington discloses third quarter 2016 results

first_imgSubscribe Get instant access to must-read content today!To access hundreds of features, subscribe today! At a time when the world is forced to go digital more than ever before just to stay connected, discover the in-depth content our subscribers receive every month by subscribing to gasworld.Don’t just stay connected, stay at the forefront – join gasworld and become a subscriber to access all of our must-read content online from just $270.last_img

It’s not either/or

first_imgSubscribe to Building today and you will benefit from:Unlimited access to all stories including expert analysis and comment from industry leadersOur league tables, cost models and economics dataOur online archive of over 10,000 articlesBuilding magazine digital editionsBuilding magazine print editionsPrinted/digital supplementsSubscribe now for unlimited access.View our subscription options and join our community Stay at the forefront of thought leadership with news and analysis from award-winning journalists. Enjoy company features, CEO interviews, architectural reviews, technical project know-how and the latest innovations.Limited access to industry news as it happensBreaking, daily and weekly e-newsletters To continue enjoying, sign up for free guest accessExisting subscriber? LOGIN Subscribe now for unlimited access Get your free guest access  SIGN UP TODAYlast_img read more

Sickening scenes at old hospital site

first_imgThe houses were built right on the boundary of the hospital site, and with the fencing stolen, it gives easy access to the homes. Residents living on the boundary of the old GF Jooste hospital site said since it closed down, the vacant building has attracted all the wrong elements, with vandals and thieves now also targeting their homes.The houses in Amandla Street, Tambo Village, were built right on the side border of the old hospital, and residents fear for their safety, as thieves have even stolen the bricks of the building. Gaironeesa Booley said since there is very little left to steal from the building, thieves have broken into her home three times. On Thursday February 16, her home was targeted for the fourth time, when a burglar tried to gain entry into her home while they were sleeping. The security gate at her front door was damaged when someone tried to break in during the early morning hours. “It’s terrible. We are constantly living in fear. They put our lives in danger. Our roof is already damaged because of some building rubble that fell on it while the vandals were busy ripping out building material from the hospital. We have replaced our vibracrete wall three times already, but every time the slabs are stolen. We have also closed up our back door with concrete, because they kept coming in through there. One night they even tried to knock that out as well. Now that wall – that is covering where our back door used to be – is full of cracks. My family and I have been living here for nine years, and it was never this bad – until the hospital closed down,” Ms Booley said. Betty Meveni, whose house is just opposite Ms Booley’s, said when she spoke out against the wrongdoings of the vandals, they told her that the hospital did not belong to her, so she had no say. “Before the hospital closed down, we had no problems like this. Now you find youngsters loitering and people dump here now, and I even caught a youngster defecating on the premises and I scolded him. Most of them get crazy from the drugs they use and then they come and break into people’s houses. We have complained to the police so many times, but they do nothing. When you report a case, they cross-question you that’s the victim, instead of the perpetrators. Everyone in this community must stand up against the perpetrators. It can’t go on like this. The parents of these youngters must also stop standing up for the wrongdoings of their children. They even fight with the security on the premises. These securities also fear for their lives, and they now stay at the police station when they are expected to work night shift,” Ms Meveni said. She added that the community want the hospital to be rebuilt on the site. “We want a hospital here. We don’t have a car. We are far from the other hospitals, and the ambulance service don’t go into certain areas. Everyone knew that it was a bad idea to close the hospital. Heideveld is a community health care centre and their trauma unit is not equipped to deal with the all the emergencies. They have too little staff and the facility is too small. They also take patients with serious mental disabilities there, and I know of at least one case where another patient was attacked by someone with a mental disability. I’ve also seen how men and women must lay in the same ‘ward’ at Heideveld’s trauma unit. We are struggling here. We are traumatised, and our pleas fall on deaf ears. It’s like we are nothing – but are human beings too,” Ms Meveni said. The Athlone News asked the City of Cape Town how its Problem Building by-law can be implemented in this case. According to the City’s definition, a “problem building” includes any building or portion of a building: that appears to have been abandoned by the owner with or without the consequence; that rates or other service charges are not being paid; that is derelict in appearance, overcrowded or is showing signs of becoming unhealthy, unsanitary, unsightly or objectionable; that is the subject of written complaints in respect of criminal activities, including drug dealings and prostitution; that is illegally occupied; where refuse or waste material is accumulated, dumped, stored or deposited with the exception of licensed waste disposal facilities; or that is partially completed or structurally unsound and is a threat or danger to the safety of the general public. The owner of the building could face a fine of up to R300 000. In this case, the Western Cape provincial government is the owner of the building. Priya Reddy, the City spokesperson, did not answer the Athlone News’ questions directly, and was only willing to state that: “The City of Cape Town has noted increasing concerns about the state of the Old GF Jooste Hospital site. Officials from various departments have been on site and have noted the deterioration of the building. City Health is already putting plans in place to block-bait the premises, as well as the surrounding area to curb the potential occurrence of rodents and associated health risks. In terms of the general state of the building, we are engaging the Western Cape Government as the owners of the site, in a bid to ensure public safety but also to prevent further degradation of site.” According to Byron la Hoe, the spokesperson for the provincial department of Public Works and Transport , the department “aligns itself with law enforcement agencies to prevent these activities from occurring”. He added: “But, to date, attempts haven’t yielded sufficiently positive results. Given the current climate in the Manenberg area, security personnel are fearing for their lives. The Department of Public Works and Transport (DPWT) is planning on securing the site by erecting fences and lighting. Securing the site and improving safety measures on site will require a mandatory procurement process. We are therefore unable to disclose an exact timeframe for these interventions. No immediate decision has yet been made by relevant authorities on the future development of the site. DTPW is preparing the necessary documentation to ensure a resolution to the future of the site at the earliest possibility.” Meanwhile, Premier Helen Zille said in her state of the province address (SOPA), that a regional hospital is needed for Manenberg. “Our Department of Health’s planning indicates that a regional hospital, a necessity for future healthcare demand, will require seven hectares of land, as it will comprise 550 beds – much larger than each of our district hospitals in Mitchell’s Plain and Khayelitsha,” Ms Zille said. She added that a request for proposals will also be issued by the provincial Department of Public Works this year to use all or part of the former hospital site on Duinefontein Road for skills and community development use.last_img read more