UKIP is refusing to say whether it is in favour of key sections of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD).Last week, its election manifesto made it clear that UKIP supported article 19 of the convention which outlines the “equal right of all persons with disabilities to live in the community, with choices equal to others”.The manifesto adds: “We wholly endorse the right of the disabled to access in-home, residential and community support services and we support their inclusion in our communities.”But despite repeated attempts this week by Disability News Service to secure a response from the party, particularly from its disability spokeswoman, Star Etheridge, UKIP has failed to say whether it supports other articles in the convention.These include sections focusing on the right to: accessibility; life; personal mobility; freedom from torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment; access to justice; freedom from exploitation, violence and abuse; respect for privacy; and liberty of movement and nationality.In an interview with Disability News Service two years ago, Etheridge distanced herself from some of the party’s previous discriminatory policies, and suggested there would be a “radical change” in its approach at the 2015 general election.Etheridge, who is disabled herself, has also refused to provide further details on UKIP’s plans to scrap the Care Quality Commission – which inspects and regulates the NHS and social care – and replace its inspectors with locally-elected health and social care officials on new county health boards.DNS contacted Etheridge by email on Monday (23 April), and later followed up by phone and through a Facebook message, as well as with a call to the UKIP press office, but she and the party failed to respond.Etheridge, who is standing for election in Wolverhampton North East, did have time on Thursday to post a series of pictures about a bunch of flowers she had been sent by an anonymous admirer, and to tell her Facebook followers about her plans to visit the hairdresser “to get my hair and nails done” before an evening hustings event.The previous day, her many Facebook posts included comments on aliens, the need for capital punishment for paedophiles, a family expedition to buy a new suit, and her son’s taste in music.
One of the leading disabled supporters of legalising assisted suicide has encouraged opponents by appearing to admit that there are crucial flaws in the legislation that will be debated by MPs next month.Comments by Dr Tom Shakespeare (pictured) this week suggest that there is no possibility that any safeguards introduced through the assisted dying bill would prevent all unnecessary or abusive deaths.He said that safeguards were “very important” but that “even the best safeguard is not infallible” and “any law can be bypassed”.Supporters of legalisation, including its main organisational cheerleader, Dignity in Dying (DiD), repeatedly stress the bill’s “upfront safeguards”.Other high-profile supporters of a change in the law, such as Kate Green, Labour’s shadow minister for disabled people, have stressed that they will only vote for a new law if the safeguards are water-tight.Shakespeare is one of the most high-profile disabled supporters of legalising assisted suicide.He is among those backing a private member’s bill being proposed by the Labour MP Rob Marris, which is due to be debated – and voted on – by MPs on 11 September, and would allow an assisted suicide for people found to be terminally-ill with less than six months to live, in England and Wales.In an interview with Disability News Service last week, Shakespeare claimed he would reconsider his position on the bill if presented with evidence showing concerns with how a similar law had been implemented in the US state of Oregon.But this week he dismissed evidence shown to him from Oregon and the state of Washington – where assisted suicide is also legal – that proves that many people using the law cite the feeling that they will be a “burden” to family and friends as one of their reasons for wanting to be helped to die.In 2013, according to official state records, 49 per cent of those who were given a prescription for drugs to end their lives in Oregon said “being a burden” was one of the reasons (40 per cent in 2014); in Washington state, which has similar legislation, 59 per cent cited “being a burden” in 2014, and 61 per cent in 2013.Despite his comments last week, Shakespeare said he did not see these figures as worrying.He said the three most cited concerns in Oregon in 2013 were loss of autonomy (91 per cent), decreasing ability to participate in activities that make life enjoyable (87 per cent), and loss of dignity (71 per cent).He said: “Those all seem to me credible reasons which should not concern us in terms of possible abuses. “Burden is way down the list at number six.” [It is actually fifth, and in Washington it is fourth.]Shakespeare also accepted that if the bill became law, terminally-ill people would probably shop around for a doctor who was in favour of assisted suicide to support their application to die.But he said that that “does not mean that the doctor who is in principle in favour of assisted dying would give a particular individual permission to proceed. “I would imagine that doctors would always be very careful as to who they supported to die. The alternative is abuse, uproar and discredited legislation, which nobody wants.”Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC), which is campaigning against the bill, said it was deeply critical of the position that Shakespeare had taken.Debbie Jolly, a co-founder of DPAC, said the majority of the many emails that DPAC receives on the issue were “fundamentally against assisted suicide, seeing it as a clear threat to their lives”. She said: “We also get emails that tell us of disabled people with no money, food, about to lose their homes, people who have been continually sanctioned, people who are forced to rely on their families.“They’re the ones who might say they don’t want to go on, they’re the ones that might mention suicide as a way out.“Is this an individual choice? No, it’s about being denied basic human dignity by a raft of heinous policy changes.“The current economic situation, loss of the Independent Living Fund, the cuts in the NHS, the removal of life-saving drugs due to cost, aren’t around individual choice either. “Until we have a level playing-field for disabled people to live with dignity, we cannot condone something as dangerous as an assisted suicide bill.”Tracey Lazard, chief executive of Inclusion London, disputed Shakespeare’s claim that disabled people should not be concerned that so many people in Oregon had cited loss of autonomy, decreasing ability to participate in activities that made life enjoyable, and loss of dignity, as reasons why they wanted to kill themselves.Lazard said: “It should absolutely concern us that loss of autonomy, decreasing ability to participate in activities that make life enjoyable and a loss of dignity are cited as the main reasons for choosing assisting suicide in Oregon.”She added: “In Washington state, 61 per cent of those opting for assisted suicide cited ‘being a burden’. “These factors are about being disabled and they are all factors strongly exacerbated in the current climate, where cuts to support and services mean more and more disabled people are facing a life defined by these characteristics and experiences.“We know of at least one person who committed suicide rather than face life as a burden to family and friends after the closure of the Independent Living Fund.“We know of others in similar positions so completely worn down as a result of the savage cuts now being proposed to their social care packages that they feel like giving up.“Meanwhile, the safeguards suggested by the bill are completely inadequate for what amounts to a fundamental shifting of the ethical ground on which our medical profession and our society stands.”
Legal advice commissioned by the equality and human rights watchdog has called for disabled people to have a legal right to independent living.The barrister was asked by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) last year to examine if there needed to be a right to independent living in law for disabled people, because of concerns that their right to choice and control over their lives was being “eroded”.The lawyer has now concluded that there does need to be a legal right to independent living, although there are several options for how that could be achieved.Now EHRC is consulting on which of those options it should recommend, and it is likely to publish its conclusions by the end of the year.An EHRC spokesman told Disability News Service that the barrister’s advice contains “quite a few options” on “how such a right could work in practice”.He said: “We are going to speak to a range of people involved and see if we can narrow down those options and will then come forward with a set of proposals.”Although he said EHRC could not yet say that it agreed that there needed to be a legal right to independent living, he said its proposals would “take into account” the barrister’s advice.Last autumn, the UN’s committee on the rights of persons with disabilities (CRPD) called on the UK government to recognise disabled people’s legal right to independent living, one of the key demands disabled people and their organisations in the UK had made in their submissions to the committee .Stig Langvad (pictured), the CRPD member who led the examination of how the UK had implemented the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), said then that the UK was “going backwards” on independent living.Meanwhile, two Commons committees have called this week for a new, dedicated national insurance fund to solve the adult social care funding crisis.The joint report by the housing, communities and local government committee and the health and social care committee calls for a new “social care premium” which would be paid only by those over the age of 40, including those over 65.It also calls for an increase in inheritance tax.The report was influenced by the findings of a citizens’ assembly, a representative sample of nearly 50 members of the public – including disabled people who use services – who were asked by the committees to consider how best to fund social care.Two-thirds of the assembly voted for an entirely publicly-funded system that would be free at the point of use, like the NHS.But despite written evidence from Inclusion London, which called for a legal right to independent living underpinned by UNCRPD’s article 19, the report appears to have ignored such rights or any mention of the social model of disability.The committees said the social care system was under “very great and unsustainable strain” and there was an urgent need to plug the gap in funding for adult social care that could reach £2.5 billion a year by 2019-20.The inquiry report says that the personal element of social care should eventually be provided free, although accommodation costs should continue to be paid on a means-tested basis.As the two committees say that this policy is “unlikely to be affordable immediately”, they recommend that free personal care should be extended first to people with the highest – “critical” – level of assessed need.Sarah Wollaston, the Tory chair of the health and social care committee, said: “We can no longer delay finding a fair and sustainable settlement for social care.“Too many people are being left without the care and support they need and it is time for decisions to be made about how the costs are shared.”
For nine years, Disability News Service has survived largely through the support of a small number of disability organisations – most of them user-led – that have subscribed to its weekly supply of news stories. That support has been incredibly valuable but is no longer enough to keep DNS financially viable. For this reason, please consider making a voluntary financial contribution to support its work and allow it to continue producing independent, carefully-researched news stories that focus on the lives and rights of disabled people and their organisations. Please do not contribute if you cannot afford to do so, and please remember 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… Nearly 7,000 employers that signed up to the government’s much-criticised Disability Confident jobs scheme have promised to provide just 4,500 new jobs for disabled people between them, less than one per employer.The figures emerged as the minister for disabled people, Sarah Newton, and work and pensions secretary Esther McVey were giving evidence to the work and pensions select committee yesterday (Wednesday) for its inquiry on disability employment.Newton had been asked to write to the committee about the Disability Confident employment scheme (see separate story), which was launched in the summer of 2013.The scheme has three levels – Disability Confident Committed (the entry level), Disability Confident Employer and Disability Confident Leader (level three) – but it is only at level three that employers’ pledges and claims on employing disabled people are assessed independently.In a letter to Labour MP Frank Field, who chairs the committee, Newton said that 133 employers across the UK had reached the level of Disability Confident Leader, while this number had risen by just 35 in the last six months.In all, 6,841 employers had signed up by 22 June, with more than 4,000 at the lowest level, and just four employers in total signed up in Northern Ireland.Employers had, by the end of March 2018, committed to provide a total of 4,586 paid jobs, 2,871 apprenticeships and 1,223 traineeships, as well as work experience, work trial, job shadowing, student placement, sector based work academy and paid internship opportunities.Labour MP Neil Coyle, who asked Newton about the figures, said that with the current rate of progress it would take nearly 1,000 years to meet the government’s target of securing jobs for another one million disabled people in the 10 years to 2027.He asked why employers were able to sign up to Disability Confident when they were not even employing a single disabled person.Newton said employers that signed up were on “a journey”, which also included offering supported internships, apprenticeships and work experience.She said the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) was now commissioning research which would ask employers how Disability Confident had changed their behaviour.Newton told the committee: “We will be asking people about the number of people they have brought into employment.“If there are changes that need to be made [to Disability Confident], we will make them.“It’s a campaign about helping employers understand the benefits of employing people with disabilities and enabling them to do that.”She said the research would examine whether employers have done what they said they would do.Coyle pointed out that it was now five years since the scheme was launched by the coalition government in 2013 (pictured).Labour’s Steve McCabe said critics had said it was too easy to sign up to Disability Confident, and asked Newton what had been done since ministers pledged to “put some teeth into the programme”.Newton said the government wanted to make the initial step onto the scheme “deliberately very straightforward” for employers that want to sign up.But she said they were then taken “on a journey” with increasing levels of support, and when they reach the top level [Disability Confident Leader] their commitments to the scheme are “independently, externally verified”.Field said that if the 7,000 Disability Confident employers all employed five disabled people, it would still only add up to 35,000 disabled people.He said: “We have a long way to go [to reach the target of one million more disabled people in work].”
Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0% The Mission District is the heart and soul of the Latino community in the Bay Area. We have lost thousands of Latino families due to rising rents and the constant threat of eviction. Our City Hall representatives have not done their job in protecting our community. Instead of proposing real solutions, the status quo in City Hall worked to drum up anger and anxiety around self-serving policies and created a wedge between our community and newer residents.It is time for things to change. Our campaign has created a diverse coalition of Latino community members and people of all ethnicities and walks of life, longtime District 9 families and more recent residents, tenants, homeowners, and public housing community members, coming together to create solutions that work for all of us.I would be the first supervisor elected from the Mission District in nearly 40 years, and I would be the first Latino supervisor elected from the Mission District in even longer, perhaps ever. It is time for real representation from our community on the Board of Supervisors. After 43 weeks of questions, we’ve asked our candidates for District 9 supervisor — four of whom remain: Hillary Ronen, Joshua Arce, Iswari España, and Melissa San Miguel — to provide their stances on homelessness, policing, development, cyclists, affordable housing, Bernie vs. Hillary, and a host other topics.We broke down their answers in early September to give readers a sense of their various stances on more than a dozen different topics. Some differed in their support for the Police Department or their stance on new market-rate development. All but one said they were outsiders hoping to change the status quo, while everyone revealed they are renters in a city of renters.For our last question, we wondered what one question we should have asked that we didn’t.What question do you wish we had asked you? And please give us your answer to that question. I could not be more excited to be running for supervisor so I can continue to serve the residents of District 9 and create policies and laws that can not only change our city, but if they work well, the state and country.Joshua Arce, Civil Rights AttorneyWe wished you would have asked, “How important is it that the Mission District have Latino/a representation on the Board of Supervisors?” Melissa San Miguel did not answer this week’s question. Respuestas en español aquí.Iswari España, Training Officer for the Human Services AgencyMany community leaders in the district question the legitimacy and motives of D9 campaigns and candidates. Some have questioned their whereabouts prior to the elections. I have been asked, why am I running now and where have I been in the past?I have devoted myself to working for social justice issues and against the bureaucracy of politics in San Francisco for 23 years. I have been fighting the system that has oppressed families in the Mission and abused neighbors in our district. I have been always in the field and in the trenches, working for and with people in my neighborhood in the court systems and in continuation educational systems. As a result, I advocated effectively for resources for families while building partnerships to create solutions with city government and non-profit agencies. I created over 500 employment opportunities. I can tell you that in the past years, I have never seen any of the other candidates. Where were all these candidates when our youth were murdered on our streets, when our neighbors were getting evicted and displaced. When the infrastructure of our neighbors was undermined. I have helped numerous individuals and families in this district and beyond. I have and continue to do this work because it is the right thing to do. I don’t help only when there is a photo-op or the opportunity to get my name in headlines. Last year in September, I had enough with our local politicians and their lack of response to the issues in the neighborhood. I hope when you make your decision in D9 you will consider my devotion to community and give me your support.Hillary Ronen, Chief of Staff for Supervisor David CamposWhy are you running for Supervisor?Since college, I have been working to improve the communities where I lived. I have worked as a domestic violence counselor in San Diego, as a human rights advocate in the Dominican Republic, as a corporate accountability legal aide at the Center for Constitutional Rights in New York, as an immigrant rights attorney at La Raza Centro Legal in the Mission District of San Francisco, and as a legislative aide in the District 9 supervisor’s office.Despite how difficult and negative politics can be, the change I have been part of making when I was a legislative aide in City Hall was the most fulfilling and meaningful work I have ever done in my life. In the last six and half years, I helped: 0% Create Free Muni for Youth (and now seniors and people with disabilities)Save St. Luke’s Hospital from being shut down in the MissionProtect women seeking health care services at Planned Parenthood in BernalStop evictions by passing four of the strongest tenant rights laws in the countryPut over 900 units of affordable housing in the pipeline for District 9Guarantee that the Healthy SF surcharge we pay actually goes to worker health careEnsure that city contractors are paying women equally for equal workForce the city to build six new navigation centers so we have an alternative to tent encampmentsBuild the first adult LGBT homeless shelter in the nationAnd provide one on one constituent services to hundreds of District 9 residents
How could we resist? A dream – super light & flaky, creamy and salty/sweet inside.Media Noche pastel de guayaba The Cubano is beloved Miami late night fare with club-goers, meant to soak up the indiscretions of the evening. Made with slices of roast pork, ham, Swiss cheese, pickles, and mustard, grilled panini-style, Media Noche’s Cubano was pretty true to ones I’ve had in Miami, if just a tad dry.For our second visit, we went fairly early (6 p.m.) on a Saturday night, but the place was so packed we left, as it didn’t look like we’d have a table by the time our food was ready. I’d read that that’s been a problem, but luckily, we live in the Mission, folks, and there’s always something else good to eat right around the corner. But, we made it back again on a Sunday evening.Almost everything we had was excellent this evening. We ordered the picadillo empanadas to start…media noche empanadas Earthy, yet light and healthy tasting, I certainly could have eaten this whole bowl but there was too much other deliciousness on the table.The BF’s ropa vieja (“old clothes”), in particular, tasted like a bowlful of Cuba to me.Media Noche ropa vieja bowl AY MAMI, que delicioso! Lechon is a beloved pork dish in several Latin American countries. Cuba’s version is made with mojo criollo – a citrusy garlic marinade. Media Noche’s lechon is one of the best I’ve ever tasted – succulent, flavorful, not even a hint of dryness. The whole bowl just works so well together – rich, garlicky meat, deliciously robust black beans, fragrant rice, and that tasty coconut slaw for freshness and crunch. Superb.For my main, I had La Celia – a fried chicken sandwich:Media Noche Celia (chicken sandwich) Shredded, tender brisket in a tomato-y/pepper sauce over rice with black beans, and a killer pickled veg and coconut slaw. They use this slaw in a lot of other dishes, too, and that’s a really good thing. It’s not too pickle-y, not too sour, and the crunchy coconuttiness of it is just right with these flavors.That ropa vieja was better than my Cubano, but I had to at least try the iconic sandwich…Media Noche cubano Right on the money. Picadillo is a beef stew with raisins and olives, in a slightly sweet tomato sauce. These were scrumptious.For his main, the BF got the lechon asado bowl…Media Noche lenchon Perfectly crunchy, with oozy cheese that forms a gooey bridge from your hand to your mouth, these babies didn’t even need the mustardy aioli they were served with. They tasted of a really good grilled ham and Swiss cheese sandwich, in crackly ball form.We also shared the ensalada roja – a quinoa salad with beets, carrots, greens, and mint…Media Noche roja salad[clear] Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0% Perfect – flaky pastry dough, and the filling…Media Noche empanada None of this is a negative. Media Noche is quite lovely, with its soft-turquoise columns, myriad tile designs (there are several in the space), flashy Warholian banana wall-papered bathroom, de rigueur neon flamingo behind the counter, and mirrors-as-art hanging on the walls. The space is airy and light, and the music helps transport you to Calle Ocho.And while it’s really not heavy-handed – you don’t feel like you’re in an It’s-a-Small-World version of Miami – it’s definitely not like any Cuban restaurant I grew up eating at in L.A, where old school Cuban eateries abound. But they’re not trying to be that. The food isn’t meant to be strictly authentic, but modern, locavore takes on Cuban favorites, and true to the Caribbean flavors. And more importantly, I was told by a couple different staff members that the owners really adore this cuisine.On our first visit, we got the ham and cheese croquetas…Media Noche croquetas Made in the same mode as the Cubano and the Media Noche, it’s pressed, with a breaded, fried chicken patty (think Milanesa de pollo), that fantastic coconut slaw tucked into it, their green hot sauce, and avocado, which added a nice creaminess. Tasty, but the chicken patty was a little thin to me, and it couldn’t compare to the rest of the food. I virtuously brought half home for the BF to snack on later, as I snuck forkfuls of his lovely pork.We actually grabbed the guayaba and cream cheese pastelito before we ordered our food – they had them sitting on the counter – and actually sampled it before dinner.Media Noche pastel de guayaba You know, even without a single Cuban in sight, Media Noche isn’t half bad. In fact, it’s more than half good. I grew up eating Cuban food in L.A., and while I’ve never been to Cuba, I have spent some time in Miami, and Media Noche was designed to invoke those beachy, tropical aspects of a Cuba most of us haven’t seen. The owners aren’t Cuban either – Gringos! – but they’re well-steeped in the sleek, fast foodie shininess that seems to be popping up in new restaurants here – think Barzotto, Souvla – where white tiled surfaces abound, you Havana-slide it up to the counter to order, get a number, serve yourself water from a giant silver or glass canister, and toddle back to your table to await delivery of your food. (The remodel at Media Noche was done by the same people as the ones that did the make-over for Barzotto, as a matter of fact.) 0% It reminded me of a childhood Cuban friend who would bring jelly and cream cheese sandwiches to elementary school. Such a simple treat, but so evocative. These were not available last time and aren’t on the menu. I hope they make regular appearances.Media Noche has a limited wine list, but it suits the sensibility of the place: simple, bright, and clean. It consists of a French white, a bubbly, and a red, and four craft beers. But make sure you try their absolutely killer white sangria – apparently the recipe of the bar across the street, the Wildhawk Club (which took over the Lexington, sadly shuttered last year.)I’m not a fan of Wildhawk as a bar, but this sangria is stellar, made with white wine, pineapple, Cocchi (a quinine-based aperitif wine), and lemon. It’s a perfect, summery balance between sweet/tart, herbal, and refreshing.I’ve yet to try the signature Media Noche sandwich , but the only difference between that and the Cubano is the bread — the former subs in brioche. I also want to try their ceviche and the bean and cheese empanadas. I do hope they expand and change up their menu just a little, because I want to try every new thing they make. In the meantime, I can see us bringing home a couple of lechon bowls for dinner and being happy as puerquitos.You can tell these people, non-Cubanos notwithstanding, really know this cuisine. And that’s good for all of us.Media Noche3465 19th St, San Francisco, CA 94110415-655-3904https://www.medianochesf.com/
Sitting beneath the high concrete ceiling in the historic Carnegie reading room at Mission Branch Public Library, about 30 residents of the neighborhood on Wednesday imagined what could make their beloved home-away-from-home a little bit better.A projection screen for movie night. More tables with computers and outlets. A recreational room for older people. And more bathrooms. Definitely more bathrooms. Most in attendance had lived in the Mission for more than 30 years, and all had a stake in the neighborhood library.The San Francisco Library Commission has requested $19.8 million to restore the landmark building to better fit the needs of the 21st century. On Thursday, the Board of Supervisors will vote on how much funding the library will get. If all goes to plan, the renovation will start in the fall of 2019 and last a year-and-a-half.But before that can happen, the Department of Public Works and the library need to come up with an innovative design, and they want to make sure it serves the people who use the library the most. “We’re here to find out more about the mission and more about the library that you all love,” said Mindy Linetzky, the library’s director of communication.At Wednesday’s meeting, Linetzky facilitated a casual conversation, eliciting from those in attendance what they like and don’t like as much about the Mission Public Library.The last time the 1915 building was renovated was in 1998– before WiFi and the Internet reigned. “Technology has transformed the way libraries and librarians deliver service,” said Andy Sohn, an architect with the Department of Public Works.Sohh and library representatives referred to making the building have more “flexible and adaptable” rooms, and transparency in each room.As a designated historic landmark, none of the grandeur of the reading room or fine detailing in the molding are at risk. There are some on the Library Commission who would like to see some of the original design elements restored — including re-opening the main entrance on 24th street and reconstructing the old staircase that opened up in the middle of the reading room.But all of these ideas are still just that — ideas. The library will continue to collect surveys from community members and will hold another conversation on June 12 at 9 am. In the fall, they will hold a series of workshops with city architects and planners, at which community members can give feedback to initial design ideas. 0% Tags: department of public works • Libraries Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%
SAINTS would like to wish all its fans, sponsors, friends and the rugby league community a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous and Happy New Year.It has been a very successful 2014 both on and off the pitch and on behalf of Chairman Eamonn McManus and the Board of Directors, Chief Executive Mike Rush, the Coaching Staff and of course the players, we’d like to thank you all for your support.This season saw Saints lift the First Utility Super League trophy at Old Trafford and League Leaders’ Shield – a phenomenal achievement that saw the whole squad grow together.We’ve also enjoyed success off the pitch too with a great kit launch for 2015 alongside our new kit partners O’Neills and very good Season Ticket sales ahead of the new campaign.We send our best wishes to everyone who has made this season one to remember – and we’re sure 2015 will be even bigger as we defend our crown and welcome South Sydney to town on February 22.We thought long and hard about what gifts to send out this year… so how about these two shiny presents below. Hope you all like them.#OurSaints
Following on from the success of our Community and Junior Members Day on Wednesday we welcomed fans down to watch the boys train at Ruskin on Friday morning.It was cold but you certainly gave the lads a lift as they were put through their paces.Thank you to all – we are Saints and Proud.
WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, NC (WWAY) — Levels of bacteria found at two sound-site sites in Wrightsville Beach exceed the state’s and Environmental Protection Agency’s recreational water quality swimming standards.Both alerts are for waters in Banks Channel off Waynick Boulevard in Wrightsville Beach. The first is for the public access between Snyder and Seashore streets, the second is for the public access between Taylor and Bellamy streets. Tests of water samples collected yesterday show bacteria levels that exceed the state and federal single-sample standard of 104 enterococci per 100 milliliters for Tier 1 high-usage sites. Swimming areas are classified based on recreational use and are referred to as tiers.- Advertisement – State officials will test the sites again today, and the results of the sampling will determine what happens next.If the new samples also show elevated bacteria counts, state officials will post a swimming advisory sign and issue a swimming advisory.The N.C. Recreational Water Quality Program tests water quality at ocean and sound beaches in accordance with federal and state laws.Related Article: Surf into Summer at WB Surf CampEnterococci, the bacteria group used for testing, are found in the intestines of warm-blooded animals. While it does not cause illness, scientific studies indicate that enterococci may indicate the presence of other disease-causing organisms.People swimming or playing in waters with bacteria levels higher than the standards have an increased risk of developing gastrointestinal illness or skin infections.