dlewis33/iStock(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) — California lawmakers are moving to put a ban on police officers using facial recognition technology in body cameras, arguing in a bill that the technology infringes on privacy and often misidentifies women, people of color and young people.The California state Senate passed AB1215 bill, a three-year ban on the technology, on Wednesday, and it cleared the state Assembly in a vote Thursday afternoon. If signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom, California could become the largest state to ban facial recognition and biometric technology in police body cameras in the nation when it would go into effect on Jan. 1, 2020.“This is not just a California concern, this is a national concern, people have really … been much more sensitive to their privacy recently,” California Assemblymember Phil Ting, who drafted the bill, said on a call with reporters Thursday afternoon.Ting added that the facial recognition technology “seems to have a higher misidentification rate for people of color,” and that “having all these questions make these highly problematic” for use with law enforcement.“We did the test with different California state legislators,” he said. “Twenty-six out of 120 of us got misidentified.”The three-year moratorium on the technology also allows lawmakers to revisit the idea if technology does advance, according to Ting. While facial recognition technology in body cams is currently not widely used by law enforcement, Ting said that they wanted to be “proactive” with this legislation.“Face-scanning police body cameras have no place on our streets, where they can be used for dragnet surveillance of people going about their private lives, including their locations and personal associations,” Matt Cagle, the technology and civil liberties attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California, said in a statement.“With this bill, California is poised to become one of the first states in the country to prevent its residents from becoming test subjects for an invasive tracking technology proven to be fundamentally incompatible with civil liberties and human rights,” Cagle added. “Other states should follow suit.”The bill, drafted by Ting, states, “Facial recognition and other biometric surveillance technology has been repeatedly demonstrated to misidentify women, young people, and people of color and to create an elevated risk of harmful ‘false positive’ identifications.”It also argues that if police employ facial recognition tech on their body cams it could hurt their relationship with the community.“Its use would also diminish effective policing and public safety by discouraging people in these communities, including victims of crime, undocumented persons, people with unpaid fines and fees, and those with prior criminal history from seeking police assistance or from assisting the police,” the bill argues.Some law enforcement groups, however, including the California Peace Officers’ Association, announced on their website that they oppose the bill.A U.K. report from earlier this year claimed that 81% of suspects flagged by facial recognition technology used by London’s Metropolitan Police were innocent.San Francisco and Oakland, the fourth- and eighth-largest cities in California, respectively, already banned their respective police departments from using facial recognition technology earlier this year. Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
Courtesy Nancy Organ(FORT SMITH, Ark.) — A former Arkansas 911 dispatcher was cleared of wrongdoing following accusations that she mishandled a call with a drowning woman and told her to “shut up” just moments before she died. An internal investigation concluded that operator Donna Reneau violated policy by being rude during an August call with Debbie Stevens shortly before her death, but she did nothing that would have warranted her termination, according to the Fort Smith Police Department. “No evidence of criminal negligence or activities on former Operator Reneau’s part. In fact, the evidence shows that while Operator Reneau spoke rudely to Mrs. Stevens during the call, she actually bumped the call up in the order of importance shortly after receiving it,” the department said in a report released Friday.Stevens’ death made national news earlier this year when the department released audio of the 911 call. Stevens only had minutes to live, but Reneau appeared unconcerned and even scolded the 47-year-old woman for driving into such deep waters.Fort Smith police got a call from Stevens, 47, at around 4:38 a.m. on the morning of Aug. 24. She had been delivering newspapers for the Southwest Times Record when her sport utility vehicle was swept away in a flood and then trapped among trees as the waters continued to rise, police said. Stevens first called a family member, Fort Smith police said, and then she called 911. “I have an emergency — a severe emergency,” Stevens said during the call. “I can’t get out, and I’m scared to death, ma’am. Can you please help me?” “I’m going to die,” Stevens cried later.“You’re not going to die,” Reneau responded. “I don’t know why you’re freaking out … You freaking out is doing nothing but losing your oxygen in there. So, calm down.” Later on during the 911 call, the dispatcher assures Stevens that she is not going to die. “I don’t know why you are freaking out. It’s OK. I know the water level is high,” the operator said. “I’m scared!” Stevens said. “I understand that but you freaking out, doing nothing but losing oxygen up in there,” the operator said. “So calm down.” Stevens could be heard crying on the phone.“I’m scared. I’ve never had anything happen to me like this before,” she said. “Well, this will teach you next time, don’t drive in the water,” the operator said. “I couldn’t see it, ma’am. I’m sorry I wouldn’t have,” Steven said. “I don’t see how you didn’t see it. You had to go right over it so,” the operator said. At one point, Stevens got frantic and had this exchange with the dispatcher. “These people are all standing out here watching me,” Stevens said. “Miss Debbie, you’re gong to have to shut up. OK. I need you to listen,” said the dispatcher. The recording intensified outrage over the operator’s response even though authorities insisted that “sincere efforts were being made” to save the drowning woman’s life during the call. Reneau had submitted her resignation earlier in August and was on her last shift when Stevens’s call came in.Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.
BoysThe Lakers defeated the Hornets 25-12. David Kobryn led the team in baskets with 21 points while Agostino Petrillo and Jordan Goding each contributed 2 points to the Lakers final score. James Riccio led his team with 8 points and Bauer Anderson followed with 4 points for the Hornets.The Pirates defeated the Rams 27-11. TJ Santos led his team to victory with 15 points, Sean Gasiozowski followed behind with 8 points, while Kendrich Tibay and Angelo Squiteri each put 2 points on the board for the Pirates. Joseph Olmo led his team with 9 points and Anthony Gonzalez contributed 2 points to the Rams final score.The Blue Devils defeated the Hoyas 31-20. Jordan Williams led the Blue Devils with his personal best of 24 points and Nolan Raparelli added an additional 7 points to the final score. Braxton Mulcahy was the lead scorer with 10 points, Gerard Hester trailed closely behind with 6points, Dametrius Andrews Jr. contributed 3 points, and Evan Sanniola scored 1 point for the Hoyas’ season ender. Great season Hoyas!GirlsThe Blue Devils defeated the Pirates 25-17. Gia Logan led her team to victory with 15 points followed by Jada Stovall with 10 points. Cara Hall was her team’s led scorer with 9 points, Julia Potts put 4 points on the board, while Sophia Feeney and Isabel Jaros each contributed 2 pointsto the Pirates season ender. Great season Pirates!The Rams defeated the Lakers 23-6. Samara Porch scored a whopping 21 points for her team and Jaliyah Small added 2 points of her own to the Rams final score. Ella Janeczko led her team with 4 points followed by Elizabeth Cueto with 2 points.
Richard Stanislaw will be honored May 6 as the Ocean City Exchange Club’s newest Book of Golden Deeds recipient.Stanislaw retired in December as president and CEO of the Ocean City Tabernacle.The Exchange Club describes the Book of Golden Deeds as follows:“The honoree need not have great wealth, prestige or high social standing. He might well be from the humblest walk of life, a hitherto marcher in the passing parade. One of the most satisfying aspects of the Book of Golden Deeds is its recognition of sacrifices and unselfish services of persons who otherwise would remain unheralded.”The public is invited to a banquet Monday, May 6, at Greate Bay Country Club in Somers Point, where Stanislaw will be honored. Cocktails start at 6 p.m., followed by a 7 p.m. dinner. The banquet is open to anyone who wants to honor Stanislaw.Tickets are $35 per person and will be available at the door. Federal, state, county and local representatives are expected to attend.The Tabernacle’s roots extend to the founding of Ocean City as a Christian resort in 1879, and it has continued as a place for summertime worship. But in Stanislaw’s 11 years leading the Tabernacle, he helped the institution become a vital part of the year-round community of Ocean City.Under Stanislaw’s leadership, the Tabernacle opened the Richard and Mary Anne Kull Youth Center in 2008. The Tabernacle itself expanded from an auditorium and a few offices to a much larger facility that plays host not only to worship but to business and community events as well.The Tabernacle played a key role in Superstorm Sandy relief efforts in Ocean City in 2012, and Stanislaw helped oversee the purchase of the Moorlyn Family Theatre that same year.These days he can be seen around town enjoying time with his grandchildren or helping his wife in the local real estate business.Stanislaw will be the 49th Book of Golden Deeds recipient for the local Exchange Club. Margaret “Peggy” Lloyd was honored last year.
Atlantic City Electric crews are pictured working on the lines at 5th Street and Asbury Avenue as part of the service upgrades. Atlantic City Electric will improve reliability in Ocean City by installing special equipment to reduce the number of customers affected by power outages.Reclosers will be installed for areas serving every 500 customers or fewer, so when an outage occurs outside of a substation area, fewer homes and businesses will be impacted. Instead of having a couple of thousand customers without power because of a pole accident, for instance, 500 or fewer customers will be affected until repairs are made.Installation of these reclosers will require service interruptions this winter as crews replace existing poles, transformers and wire. Contractors will notify customers before these outages occur. The work also will require road closings and detours around the blocks where work is taking place.For the week of April 22 to 26, the tentative schedule (weather permitting) of service interruptions will be as follows:Monday-Tuesday: On 55th Street between Asbury and Central avenuesTuesday-Wednesday: On Asbury Avenue between 55th and 54th streetsWednesday-Thursday: On Asbury Avenue between 48th and 49th streetsThursday-Friday: Central Avenue and 50th Street
For years, 10-year-old Daniel Espinosa would watch news reports about the immigration crisis in America and worry that his mom, who works with Restaurant Associates at Harvard Medical School, would be deported back to her native El Salvador.He can relax now. Armida Espinosa, his mother, recently became a U.S. citizen, in part with the help of an adult-education program for Harvard employees.“I came here in 2000, but my son didn’t know my legal status. We are immigrants, so when I became a citizen he told me, ‘Oh, they are not going to deport you anymore, mommy,’” she said. “And now as a citizen, I can make my voice count with my vote. I can raise my voice and say what I think.”Espinosa was one of 14 recently naturalized U.S. citizens honored Wednesday during the annual Citizenship Celebration Dinner at the Harvard Kennedy School. She credited the Harvard Bridge Program with improving her language skills and helping her become an American citizen.“Before I took the pronunciation class, at my job as a restaurant cashier I asked people, ‘Do you want your receipt?’ People looked at me strange, they thought I was asking, ‘Do you want your recipe?’” she said.,English fluency is only part of the education and training the Bridge Program provides to eligible Harvard University employees. In partnership with the Harvard Institute of Politics (IOP), Harvard Law School, and other entities both at Harvard and in the Greater Boston community, the program offers classes and services including U.S. citizenship preparation, career development, and one-on-one tutoring with student volunteers.Carol Kolenik, its director for 19 years, said the Bridge Program is a living, working, and learning lab of inclusion. Since its inception, more than 200 new citizens have been honored.“We are celebrating here tonight the connections the citizens have made with their IOP tutors, and what they have brought with them from their countries. Strong bonds of loving families, incredible, untiring work ethics, and the desire to keep learning,” she said. “You make the U.S. a better country. Congratulations.”The event is an annual highlight for Harvard President Drew Faust, who expressed appreciation for the dedication and accomplishment of the honorees and the partnerships that help make dreams come true.,“We see every day at Harvard how much talent and energy are contributed to our community, and the nation generally, by those who were not born here,” Faust said. “And we must strive to make the dream of American citizenship possible to those who have so very much to offer us all. This program represents a very important part of that effort.”Rosa Cernaque’s eyes welled with emotion during the event. A custodian at Widener Library, she arrived in the U.S. from Peru in 2001, leaving her son just days before his fourth birthday.“I came here because of lack of job opportunity. We could not survive with our salary in Peru,” she said. “I also wanted my son to have a career and be a professional. The Bridge Program is the best place to meet wonderful people who are willing to help.”Cernaque’s son, Andy Urbina, was eventually able to join his mother, and he too took part in the Bridge Program. He now works at Harvard University Dining Services and lives in Somerville with his wife and young son.“I am so proud of my mom, the whole family is happy because of her,” Urbina said. “It was a lot of tough years that she could not go back to our country. We have a lot to celebrate.”Nelson Cardenas Urquijo recently celebrated buying a new house in Everett, where he lives with his wife and two children. A native of Colombia, the crew chief for Facilities Maintenance Operations arrived in the U.S. in 2011. He said the Bridge Program opened the doors to citizenship and other benefits.“This country has given me job opportunities and an education for my children. It feels very good,” he said.Alice Sonsini Rossman, a tutor at IOP, said the bravery and perseverance of Bridge Program participant Carlo Signati gave her a new appreciation for the challenges immigrants face. Tutoring Signati brought her closer to her grandmother’s experience coming to Boston from Italy, alone, at age 15, with the dream of a better life.“Citizenship is about the hope and the courage of these individuals that comes with leaving what they have always known and starting a new and often scary journey in pursuit of new ideals,” she said. “Allowing people from different cultures to come into America and declare it a home not only enriches our country, but giving individuals equal opportunity to pursue their own happiness is what brings our nation together.”
Read Full Story A new study published in the Journal of Environmental Health found that around 65 percent of active natural gas storage (UGS) wells in the United States are located in suburban residential areas — not more sparsely populated commercial, industrial, or even rural areas like many new unconventional wells.The study by Harvard C-CHANGE at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health helps provide a more precise understanding of the populations at risk to UGS infrastructure and the potential health and safety impacts in the event of a well failure similar to the 2015 Aliso Canyon blowout event. It is the first time, outside of California, researchers looked at how many people live near similar wells.“As the U.S. transitions more toward natural gas to meet energy needs, it is critical that we fully understand the potential health, climate and safety implications along the entire natural gas supply chain,” said Drew Michanowicz, lead author and research fellow at Harvard C-CHANGE. “This work should help inform ongoing discussions around impacts and societal costs related to both current and future energy decisions.”Gas storage systems pose a higher health risk when located near people due to the larger number of people that could be exposed to hazardous air pollutants or an explosion hazard. The natural gas leak at the Aliso Canyon well failure in October 2015 was the largest single accidental release of methane in U.S. history and led to the evacuation of thousands of residents within a five-mile radius. High-pressure storage of natural gas is highly flammable and can potentially expose residents to explosion hazards, and toxic compounds like benzene and formaldehyde. Long-term exposure to natural gas operations has been associated with respiratory illness, cancer, and fertility issues in women.Methane emissions from natural gas also contributes significantly to the climate crisis. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) estimates that we have a decade to cut emissions in half to avoid catastrophic climate change, yet natural gas production in the U.S. grew 11 percent in 2017 — the largest annual increase in production ever recorded.“From a public health perspective, this new spatial method lets us determine precisely how close people live from a potentially hazardous pollution source or other hazard” said Jonathan Buonocore, co-author on the study and research associate at Harvard C-CHANGE. “We can now provide much more accurate estimates of populations at greatest risks to discrete environmental hazards like noise and air pollution, sea level rise, and explosion hazards, among others.”Two-thirds of gas storage wells across the U.S. are currently doing a job they were not designed to do, which is withstand cycles of high-pressure gas injections and withdrawals — many through a single pipe without backup safety valves to prevent blowouts (i.e., “Aliso Canyon-type” wells). The new method created by researchers to identify populations at an individual household scale uncovered hyperlocal land use conflicts between homes and UGS wells in many of these areas — something previous studies were not able to do.
Stock Image.JAMESTOWN – Two residents are charged in connection with a Barrett Avenue robbery Wednesday evening, according to the Jamestown Police Department.Police say a man, later discovered to be Bryan K. Livingston, Jr., 22, allegedly stole property forcibly from a victim from within his apartment after inviting a female to aide him.Livingston, Jr. and a woman, Amanda L. Cuthbert, 31, were located a short distance from the scene. Both were arrested and taken to Jamestown City Jail.Livingston, Jr. is charged with second-degree robbery and fourth-degree grand larceny. Cuthbert, who was allegedly in possession of stolen cash from within the stolen property, is charged with second-degree robbery and petit larceny. Share:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)
Share:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window) WNY News Now File Image.ALBANY – Applications for the Home Energy Assistance Program, commonly referred to as HEAP, are now open in New York State.The program utilizes federal funding to assist homeowners and renters with their heating costs during the cold weather months.This year more than $300 million in funding is available for low- and middle-income residents.To apply, homeowners are asked to contact the Chautauqua County Department of Social Services in Jamestown at (716) 753-4385.
In this week’s Mountain Mama post, Ky Delaney shares how confronting rapids head on has transformed the way she deals with the dread of dealing with sweaty-palm situations in real life.We scout the lead-in rapid to Bear Creek Falls on the Cheoah River. My stomach churns as I study the swirling water leading into holes, one after another, offset just enough to make a paddler scramble to get lined up for the next one. The rapid is busy and barely slows down before the river plunges twelve feet over the falls. I cringe as I imagine flipping in that chaos, my stomach pinches at the thought of rolling, panicky that I’ll miss my roll and end up in a worse place on the river.“Take it in the face,” our animated trip leader spreads her hand over her face. “Don’t skirt around it. Don’t try to avoid the impact. Square up to each hole, punch it, and then get set up for the next one.”I nod. That makes sense. My biggest consistent paddling mistake involves wanting to miss the hit of lateral waves or breaking holes. I worry that the hydraulic might flip me. Too often I throw in a back stroke, which results in killing my speed at the precise moment I need it the most to power through a feature. Or I try to avoid that part of the river entirely by paddling into shallower sections, full of rocks waiting to pin me.We walk back up to our kayaks and put on our skirts. My palms sweat. I tell myself, “Take in in the face.” I repeat it when I want to paddle out of the flow, away from the first hole. It becomes my mantra as I spear my paddle through the trough of one breaking wave and boof the next hole. I am in the main flow, moving with the power of the current with enough momentum to maneuver myself from one hydraulic to the next.I eddy out after the last hole behind a house-sized boulder before Bear Creek Falls. My trip leader gives me a high five. I’m beaming ear-to-ear. Squaring up to things that intimidate me gave me confidence that I could handle what comes my way. All the times I had avoided features that made me afraid didn’t serve me. The more I tried to stay away from the meat of the rapids, the more I ended up in squirrely rapids above sieves and took bumpy lines with nasty rocks that could pin my kayak. Ironically, by trying to avoid danger, I had put myself in harm’s way and often felt stuck there, my fear increasing.That day I first paddled the Cheoah was almost exactly a year ago. Since then, I’ve made it a point to take fear head on, trusting myself to deal with any uncomfortable feelings that come up in other aspects of my life. Last week I had a court date to finalize my divorce, a process that’s taken years. There was the separation agreement to hammer down. Then the filing and serving divorce papers. I worried that my ex would be hurt. I thought it might disrupt the co-parenting arrangement. The fear of getting a divorce escalated and I felt trapped, married to someone without love. I felt powerless to end my marriage even though I saw no way to reconcile with my ex.Then I came across a favorite Helen Keller quote about security being a superstition. “Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is a daring adventure or nothing at all.” That quote had always resonated with me, probably because I was struggling with how to embrace risks instead of running away from anything that scared me.I filed for divorce. When the court date approached to finalize it, I considered hiring an attorney even though the process was fairly mechanical at that point. I didn’t want to walk into that courtroom alone. I hated admitting that I had failed at being married, that my marriage was really over. I reminded myself of the lessons from that day on the Cheoah and realized that avoidance doesn’t reduce the dread of a particular situation. If anything, avoiding something gives it power, fueling the immobilizing hold of fear.I wore a polka dotted dress that made me feel pretty and professional, capable and confident the day of my divorce. I waited in the lobby of the courtroom, waiting for the bailiff to call my name. The bailiff swore me in, the judge asked me a few questions, and then she granted my divorce. I swelled with happiness. I was finally free. I felt brave for opening my heart to love someone in the first place, I felt grateful for the child we created together, and I thought about the lessons I’d take with me about love.I’ve realized that by allowing myself to experience whatever I’m going through at that moment, the bad or scary or intimating thing passes. Allowing ourselves to feel and embrace whatever feeling is transformative. On the river, that might mean basking in the bliss that follows styling a nerve-wrecking rapid from the calm eddy below and enjoying the river dance in the sun’s golden hue. In love, I’m finding that letting go of a failed relationship has opened my heart to the possibility of a new relationship – one that is wiser, more mature and honest. Nestled in the arms of my lover, I realized that I’d never had the chance to feel the glow of his love without first confronting the end of my marriage.