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Free.Get all the latest Pasadena news, more than 10 fresh stories daily, 7 days a week at 7 a.m. Top of the News Business News 2 recommended0 commentsShareShareTweetSharePin it Councilmember Andy Wilson (inset), Thatcher BuildingCouncilmember Andy Wilson has scheduled a Town Hall meeting Thursday evening about a developer’s plans to convert portions of the iconic New Orleans Colonial-style Thatcher Building Medical Center in Green Street’s Village district into residences, backed by a new four-story, multi-family residential building.The project plan has drawn the ire of building tenants, most of whom are medical professionals, and neighborhood residents.Wilson, who has taken a neutral position on the matter, said the meeting is more about understanding the process of development than the merits or demerits of the Thatcher project, but that he understands the concerns citizens may have.“It’s really a workshop to get the facts on the table,” Wilson said. “We are looking at some concessions for affordable housing that have certainly raised a bunch of community concerns. I’ve received a great deal of correspondence that patients are concerned about access and neighbors are concerned about traffic.”The project’s official applicant, American General Design of Pasadena, requested housing concessions in order to build 20 residential units on the second and third floors of the three-story Green Street building, and to construct a new four-story 79,365 square-foot multi-family residential building with 117 units at the Catalina Street address, currently the site of the Center’s parking lot.“All the tenants [of the Thatcher Building] and a lot of residents don’t want the development to happen at all,” said Angelina Chen, a member of the community against the project. “We don’t even want a tree to be taken out of the parking lot.”American General Design of Pasadena representative Robert Montano said the designer will work to address the array of different concerns doctors, residents, patients and nearby merchants may have.“They all have unique positions,” Montano said of the project’s dissenters. “The entire point of this conversation will be to address [those] concerns and to hear anything we’ve not heard before.”Montano went on to say that it’s still very early in the process and the project may drastically change by the time it is actually approved by Pasadena.“We’re at the very start of a multi-year process with the City of Pasadena, we’ve only taken the very first step. We’ve not gone through design review or the planning department,” he said. “This project may look nothing like it does today — this is the way the CIty’s procedure works.”Last month, a group of over 100 of the project’s detractors went to a city meeting to make plain their opposition to the plan to convert the medical center.“This building has a legacy of medicine, a half-century of tradition,” said Sandra Greenberg, a pediatrician, during the meeting. “Once this construction happens, our patients won’t want to come back.”At that meeting, Pasadena Zoning Hearing Officer Paul Novak Thursday rejected an application for an Affordable Housing Concession Permit relative to 12 “very low income” units planned for the project.The Thatcher Medical Center was reportedly purchased jointly last September by Tucson-based real estate investment firm Holualoa Cos. and local developer Patrick Chraghchian. The buyers are said to have paid $28 million.Wilson’s town hall meeting will start at 6 p.m. in the Founders Hall of Polytechnic School located at 1030 East California Boulevard.For questions and more information, please call 626-441-4802.
Examples of modern-day slaves could be the workers who make our cotton shirts, pick cocoa for our chocolate, and harvest shrimp for our dinner plates while imprisoned aboard ships at sea. Enslaved prostitutes — more than 1.3 million worldwide — also provide the labor force for much of the world’s sex trade.Modern slavery’s ubiquity — and our collective responsibility for it — were two of the messages driven home in an Institute of Politics lecture on Thursday (Feb. 18) at the Harvard Kennedy School’s John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum.Co-sponsors were Harvard College for Free the Slaves, the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy, the Committee on Human Rights Studies, and Harvard College Human Rights Advocates.The man behind the messages was Luis CdeBaca, who directs the U.S. State Department’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons. When he was a federal prosecutor, he sent more than 100 traffickers to prison and freed 600 sex and garment workers kept in involuntary servitude.Trafficking in humans “is a crime akin to murder,” said CdeBaca, who seasoned his 40-minute talk with case studies and statistics. “It’s a crime akin to rape, and to kidnapping.”Worldwide, there are more than 12 million people who exist in some form of slavery, he said, part of a shadow economy that turns a $32 billion annual profit for traffickers. About a tenth of those are in what experts call “commercial sex servitude.”Yet in a typical year, nations around the globe initiate only 3,000 prosecutions against traffickers, “an unforgivably low percentage,” said CdeBaca.Nations all over the world have to get to the root causes of human trafficking, he said, including understanding what creates the markets that make the practice viable. (So far, 136 countries have signed on to a decade-old U.N. protocol against slavery.) Stepping up criminal prosecutions is still a prominent key, said CdeBaca, along with a range of other strategies to “rescue and punish.”He outlined a “3-P paradigm” for addressing human trafficking: prosecute, prevent, and protect.CdeBaca was introduced by journalist E. Benjamin Skinner, a Carr Center Fellow this year and author of the 2008 book “A Crime So Monstrous: Face-to-Face with Modern-Day Slavery.”Skinner’s research, conducted both in public and underground, took him to child markets, trafficking networks, illegal brothels, and other slave venues in a dozen countries in the Middle East, Asia, Europe, and North America. Even suburban America, he discovered, contains its own parallel universes of hidden slavery.CdeBaca’s office every year rates nations around the world on their measures to fight slavery. The 2010 ranking — called the Trafficking in Persons, or TIP, report —will include the United States for the first time. That announcement drew a brief burst of applause in the crowded hall.To illustrate the problem in the United States, consider the case of Shyima Hall, whose story was outlined in the 2009 TIP report. She was a teenager from a poor family in northern Egypt who was moved by a wealthy Egyptian couple to work in their California home. In exchange for up to 20 hours of labor a day, Shyima was locked in a windowless garage and paid $45 a month.CdeBaca mentioned another case, one of an “escaped slave” who fled from virtual imprisonment in an Arlington, Mass., home. Her passport was locked in a safe.He told other American stories: about the illiterate garment workers who studied the boss’ dictionary one word at a time to compose a note that they threw over a high wall. (They were rescued.) And the woman who rushed up to a policeman in a Dollar Store with a desperate plea to escape domestic servitude: “Arrest me.”Modern slavery will prompt “the next great abolitionist movement,” said Skinner. He provided a chilling definition of modern slaves, who are so inadequately uncovered and protected: “Those forced to work, held through fraud, under threat of violence, for no pay beyond subsistence.”Skinner acknowledged that slavery is a “contentious term” that some Westerners even sometimes equate to the drudgery of corporate jobs, mortgages, and credit card debt. But the world’s real slaves are “people that cannot walk away from their work.”And the commercial enterprises that underlay slavery, Skinner said, potentially involve every consumer. To address the slave trade, he said, “takes all of us.”Understanding modern slavery also invites comparison to the U.S. war on the drug trade, which has more resources and prominence, said Skinner. The annual budget to fight slavery, he said, is the equivalent to what is spent in a single day to combat trafficking in illegal drugs.Without disparaging the need to target drugs, Skinner asked a rhetorical question about which is more important: “Is it a 15-year-old selling pot on the street corner, or is it a 15-year-old being sold on the street corner?”Prosecution alone is not enough to stop modern slavery, said CdeBaca, who called for protection that extended beyond the courtroom, including provisions for social services. Ignoring the victim after the crime, he said, would only “replicate” the way the victim was treated by a trafficker.Meantime, there is the third “P,” said CdeBaca: prevention, which remains “an afterthought” to most nations. Real prevention means more than policy pronouncements, public-awareness advertising campaigns, or “interesting documentaries,” he said. It means stopping human trafficking at the source, in part by understanding the demands behind forced labor and commercial sex.Stopping trafficking at the source is also a matter of awareness, said CdeBaca in discussing the imprisoned shirt-makers and shrimp fishermen. Just as people are now aware of their carbon footprint, he said, they should be aware of their “modern-slavery footprint.” That means taking a critical look at the goods and services they buy.“The prevention-P,” said CdeBaca, “is where every American can play.”
The R&A and the USGA have issued a new Decision on the Rules of Golf to limit the use of video evidence in the game which takes effect immediately.The two organisations have also established a working group of LPGA, PGA Tour, European Tour, Ladies European Tour and PGA of America representatives to immediately begin a comprehensive review of broader video issues that arise in televised competitions, including viewer call-ins.New Decision 34-3/10 implements two standards for Rules committees to limit the use of video: 1) when video reveals evidence that could not reasonably be seen with the “naked eye” and 2) when players use their reasonable judgment to determine a specific location when applying the Rules. The full language of the Decision can be found on the R&A website.The first standard states “the use of video technology can make it possible to identify things that could not be seen with the naked eye.” An example includes a player who unknowingly touches a few grains of sand in taking a backswing with a club in a bunker when making a stroke.If the committee concludes that such facts could not reasonably have been seen with the naked eye and the player was not otherwise aware of the potential breach, the player will be deemed not to have breached the Rules, even when video technology shows otherwise. This extends the provision from ball at rest moved cases, which was introduced in 2014 (Decision 18/4).The second standard applies when a player determines a spot, point, position, line, area, distance or other location in applying the Rules and recognises that a player should not be held to the degree of precision that can sometimes be provided by video technology. Examples include determining the nearest point of relief, or replacing a lifted ball.So long as the player does what can reasonably be expected under the circumstances to make an accurate determination, the player’s reasonable judgment will be accepted, even if later shown to be wrong by the use of video evidence.Both of these standards have been extensively discussed as part of the Rules modernisation initiative and The R&A and the USGA have decided to enact this Decision immediately because of the many difficult issues arising from video review in televised golf.The standards in the Decision do not change any of the current requirements in the Rules, as the player must still act with care, report all known breaches of the Rules and try to do what is reasonably expected in making an accurate determination when applying the Rules.Video-related topics that require a deeper evaluation by the working group include the use of information from sources other than participants such as phone calls, email or social media and the application of penalties after a score card has been returned.Martin Slumbers, Chief Executive of The R&A, said, “We have been considering the impact of video review on the game and feel it is important to introduce a Decision to give greater clarity in this area. Golf has always been a game of integrity and we want to ensure that the emphasis remains as much as possible on the reasonable judgment of the player rather than on what video technology can show.”USGA Executive Director/CEO Mike Davis said, “This important first step provides officials with tools that can have a direct and positive impact on the game. We recognise there is more work to be done. Advancements in video technology are enhancing the viewing experience for fans but can also significantly affect the competition. We need to balance those advances with what is fair for all players when applying the Rules.”The R&A and the USGA will consider additional modifications recommended by the working group for implementation in advance of 1 January 2019, when the new code resulting from the collaborative work to modernise golf’s Rules takes effect. 25 Apr 2017 New Decision limits use of video evidence in golf