Crisis in the streets

  Sept 16, 2013

 Vancouver Sun – Jim Lee
Vancouver mayor and police chief say ‘alarming trend’ of violent attacks signals mental health crisis – B.C. not ready to create new institution for mentally ill 

 Both city officials are looking for a 300 bed secure facility on the grounds that the streets are experiencing new levels of violence.  Health Minister Terry Lake says that they still need to do some basic street level work.   Related article: Globe and Mail – Andrea Woo   Vancouver mental health crisis demands resources, Robertson says 

 Winnipeg Free Press – Mary Agnes Welch
Then and now — what’s changed in 25 years 

 The Aboriginal Justice Initiative is 25 years old and prompts the Free Press to ask what has changed.  The commentary looks at poverty, education, unemployment, health, housing and incarceration then and now.—-whats-changed-in-25-years-223729501.html    Related article: Winnipeg Free Press – Mary Agnes Welch   25 years after the Aboriginal Justice Inquiry began, much of its promise has yet to be realized 

 Maytree Foundation – Ratna Omidvar
Train immigrants and build social capital 

 What refreshing advice for people awash in conflict over what religious symbols on public officials are OK and what are offensive!  Ratna has three specific examples in this speech: bridging, paid internships and community agencies filling gaps.  Full text of Speech:  (downloadable in pdf) 

 Vancouver Sun – Stephen Hume
Does income inequality imperil the economy and society?

On a tour of BC, Reich draws comparison between the social upheaval of the Great Depression and the social strife found now in the growing income inequality. Professor of public policy at the University of California, Berkeley, a former secretary of labour with the Clinton administration, Reich says that though the depression ended in 2009, the impact has not ended nor will it.   Related article: Democracy Now!   Amy Goodman   Inequality for All: Robert Reich Warns Record Income Gap Is Undermining Our Democracy  (Link is a video interview with Reich and Democracy Now!  Full transcript of the interview is also available.) 

 Kitchener-Waterloo – AUCUNS (Academic Council on the United Nations System  October 17-19, 2013

Speakers include: 1997 Nobel Peace Laureate Jody Williams (International Campaign to Ban Landmines), James Orbinski (Global Health Governance), George Roter (Engineers Without Borders), Rhoda Howard-Hassmann (Canada Research Chair, International Human Rights), Sylvia McAdam (Idle No More), Deborah Ellis (author – Teachers Professional Development strand), and Howard Zehr (Eastern Mennonite University – Mediation/Restorative Justice pre-conference session.  A student session will operate as well.    For registration: 

 WHSV Radio (Harrisonburg, VA) – Bob Corso
1on1: Restorative Justice with Howard Zehr 

 The grandfather of RJ has a five minute radio interview with Corso and offers a succinct explanation of RJ and how it works.  Zehr is founder of the Eastern Mennonite University RJ department.  

 Boston University – School of Public Health – Michael Siegel
New Research Shows Link between Rates of Gun Ownership and Homicides 

 This latest studies directly challenges the NRA claim that more guns mean fewer homicides.  The research shows that states with higher gun ownership rates, in fact, do have higher rates of homicide.  The 30 year study in all 50 states found a “robust correlation.”  

 Washington Post – Jill Craig, Associated Press
Girl commits suicide after cyber-bullying 

 After a prolonged period of cyberbullying, 12 year old Rebecca Ann Sedwick wrote a note and jumped off an abandoned cement factory tower.  15 girls are under investigation for contributing to the cyberbullying.   Related article:  Columbus Dispatch – Tamara Lush   Florida girl was bullied for months before suicide 

 Sudbury Star (ON)  – Editorial
Taser fundraising a worthwhile initiative to improve safety 

 The editorial reviews the use of force by the Sudbury police and suggests the community embrace a fund raising to purchase of 40 tasers for its 150 officers following the provincial permission (without funding) to equip front line officers.  

 Chronicle Herald – Frances Willick
Fairness Express driving to close income gap 

 The reports on income inequality have suggested that the impact is more severe in Atlantic Canada than elsewhere.  The National Union of Public and General Employees have started an effort in Dartmouth with the theme “Only Fair is Fair. Income Inequality Isn’t!”  The big green bus with the lettering will tour all of Atlantic Canada.