A Broward animal welfare organization is under fire after shocking video of one of its volunteers being rough with a cat emerged.
In the video, a unidentified volunteer for Cat Crusade is seen using a broom to forcefully push “Mocha”, a cat, against a wall divider.
The volunteer uses profanity and becomes visibly angry while shoving the broom at the cat.
“Get the fuck out!,” the woman says on video. “Go! Go! Come on! Move! Out! Out! Out Mocha!”
The video was taken by Nadia Sazonova yesterday at a Hollywood PetSmart.
She then sent it to RISE NEWS.
In a phone interview, Sazonova said that the incident occurred at the cat adoption section of the PetSmart.
She said that there were a number of cats in that area at the time of the incident.
She was at the store to pick up a leash for her dog when her attention was drawn to the cat adoption section.
“When I was passing by she was cursing,” Sazonova said. “When I came closer, I saw she had a broom and was hitting the cat, so I started to record.”
“Nothing is more important than the safety and well-being of pets in our care,” PetSmart said in a statement to RISE NEWS. “As soon as we were alerted to to the incident with Mocha, we took immediate action to ensure that Mocha was unharmed. Additionally, the volunteer of our partner organization, Cat Crusaders, that committed the act was immediately removed from the store and will not be allowed to return.”
A PetSmart spokesperson told RISE NEWS that the pet chain works with over 4,000 different animal welfare organizations across the country, and even supplies space for their operations in its stores.
However, the spokesperson said that it is up to the individual partner animal welfare organizations to vet the volunteers who work out of space at PetSmart.
“It’s a unfornature incident that occurred with a volunteer,” the spokesperson said.
But for Sazonova, that response isn’t enough.
“I would like this woman not to work with pets anymore or for her to be charged with animal cruelty,” Sazonova said.
According to its website, Cat Crusade provides care for 50-80 stray cays per month in Broward County.
PetSmart said that they brought Mocha the cat to a veterinarian immediately after learning of the incident and that the cat is doing fine.
Cat Crusaders did not immediately respond to requests for comment. We will update this story if they do.
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About the AuthorRich Robinson is the CEO and publisher of Rise News. He is also a journalist and a native of Miami. Robinson graduated from the University of Alabama and can be followed on Twitter @RichRobMiami.
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Broward School Board Candidate Posts Video Of Moldy Classrooms And Wet Floors At Hallandale Beach Elementary School
What’s New With This Story:
-Broward County School Board candidate Elijah Manley posted a video to his campaign Facebook page which purports to show mold and severe water damage inside multiple Gulfstream Academy of Hallandale Beach classrooms.
-Manley claims that the video was taken by a Gulfstream Academy teacher on November 21, 2017.
-The teacher did not want to be publicly identified for fear of retaliation.
-Broward County Public Schools have been in the headlines in recent months due to allegations of widespread mold problems at various county schools.
Elijah Manley, an 18 year old candidate for Broward County School Board made waves on social media today after he published a video that he said was taken by a teacher at Gulfstream Academy of Hallandale Beach.
The video shows a woman going from room to room narrating issues she finds along the way.
Some of the things seen in the video?
A broken window, wet floors, wet electrical boxes and water stains on roof tiles.
The woman in the video also says that she smells mold and thinks that mold in growing under the wet floors.
Manley said that the video was taken on November 21 by a teacher at the school. He then said that the teacher posted the video to a group chat that Manley is part of, on Sunday.
Manley then posted the video to Facebook.
He said that he spoke to the teacher who recorded the video today but said that she did not want to go publicly on the record.
Manley, who is running for an at-large seat on the School Board said he posted the video because he wanted to draw attention to the problem.
“A lot of the other candidates aren’t talking about it at all,” Manley said. “Now, they can’t deny it.”
Broward County schools have been the subject of recent international headlines after allegations of widespread mold issues caused hundreds to get sick.
In a statement, Broward County Schools said that the video shows a part of the school that is not used to educate children and that it is several weeks old.
Here is the full statement:
“Broward County Public Schools takes all matters concerning the upkeep, maintenance and repair of school facilities seriously, and is committed to ensuring the safety and well-being of students and staff. Per the District’s Facilities & Construction Management Department, the video does not reflect repair and restoration work that has already been completed – with many of the images taken prior to the now completed work. Furthermore, the video includes images from some areas that are currently unoccupied (not being used by students or staff) due to ongoing repair work. The building has also undergone roof restoration work within the last 60 days. Additional interior and exterior restoration and repair work is ongoing and scheduled for completion by the end of the upcoming winter break. Once again, the District is committed to ensuring the safety and well-being of all students and staff.”
RISE NEWS has reached out to a spokesperson for the Broward County Teacher’s Association but we could not get an official statement before the time of publication. The principal of Gulfstream Academy could not be reached before publication time.
We will update this story as it develops.
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What Do You Think?
By Mark Kaire
The I-95 Express lanes are literally deadly. Ineffective “delineators” — those flimsy orange plastic poles you see falling down like so many pins on a bowling lane — invite collision and abuse. They are obstructive more than instructive, and they do little to divide high-speed traffic from cars driving at more normal speeds.
As a result, Miami now faces a new phenomenon known as lane diving, in which drivers weave between express lanes and regular lanes as though there isn’t any difference in them at all.
It’s a dangerous habit, but one that has become commonplace — all on Miami leaders’ watch. Real people are suffering real injuries. I’ve seen it first-hand. My firm has represented some of these people. These are your neighbors. They could be your family members. They could be you. And all because Miami-Dade County rushed into an Interstate “improvement” project it wasn’t ready for.
The intentions were undoubtedly noble. The state needs revenue. Drivers want to get where they’re going quickly. One might reasonably argue that the fast traffic ought to be divided from the slow and assessed a fee for the privilege of efficiency. But when priorities are ranked, money and speed should never surpass safety. And moreover, if the goal is to divide traffic, division ought to be a keyword.
The I-95 Express lanes in Miami do not provide adequate division, nor have they advanced safety. On the contrary, they’ve introduced a new danger in our community, and our commuters’ lives are at stake.
It’s time to admit that, however, worthwhile the original aspirations might have been, the project hasn’t worked. And now it’s time to fix it.
It’s time for Miami and the State of Florida to own up to its error. It’s time to admit that, however, worthwhile the original aspirations might have been, the project hasn’t worked. And now it’s time to fix it.
I’d like to demonstrate just how dangerous the problem has become by looking at actual numbers. Consider the following, keeping in mind that these all pertain to just a short stretch of road right here in Miami (about 13 miles):
- In 2014 alone, state troopers made more than 150 arrests for lane diving. That is an especially compelling number when you consider that, by their own admission, officers are increasingly reluctant to enforce the laws on I-95 because the traffic conditions are so dangerous there. They fear for their own lives. It is likely, then, that these 150 arrests represent only a very small portion of the amount of lane diving that actually occurs.
- There have been more than 17,500 crashes on this specific stretch of I-95 between 2005 and 2014. That is an astounding total. No 13 miles of asphalt should be that dangerous.
- The total number of crashes that have occurred on this section of I-95 has increased over 50% in the past eight years.
- At least four people have died as a result of lane diving in Miami during just the last few years. Even more have been injured.
- Crashes are most likely to occur during peak traffic periods (i.e. southbound in the morning rush hours and northbound in the evening rush hours).
- Fatal crashes are most likely to occur between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m., and are more common when traveling southbound.
- Serious injuries happen at all times of the day, with incapacitating injuries evenly distributed across the 24-hour driving period.
- Road crews replace 11% to 15% of the plastic delineators on I-95 every single week. That’s how often cars hit them.
- Each delineator is replaced between 6 and 8 times per year, on average.
- When the Express lanes were installed, the average shoulder width shrank by 40%. As WLRN reports, the shoulder along I-95 in Miami is now 7 feet, 11 inches on average (about the size of a single parking space).
Why the I-95 Express Lanes Are Dangerous
Before going further, it’s important to understand exactly why these lanes are dangerous. It isn’t just that they’re fast. Speed is indeed dangerous, but it isn’t the sole source of the problem.
The Express Lane situation is more complicated than that. A number of factors converge to create the danger here, and we can begin with the delineators themselves.
Lightweight as they are, the delineators still stand as obstructions to traffic. Every time a car hits one of these in-the-way wobblers, there is an increased likelihood that the driver will be distracted by the collision and/or lose control of his or her car, thus raising the risk for subsequent or multi-vehicle collision.
The simple fact is that the delineators make it more difficult to drive down I-95. Difficult driving isn’t anyone’s objective, so why did we pursue it?
Drivers have historically shown little patience for obstacles, and many simply ignore them. Figuring that they can easily zip between the delineators with little risk of real damage to their own vehicles, many of Miami’s drivers — already known for an occasional proclivity toward recklessness — now pick the lane that suits their interests best in the moment.
“If I see a line at a grocery station that’s faster than the one I’m in, I’m liable to jump over there,” expert traffic analyst Scott Cooner recently told Miami’s WLRN. That same instinct kicks in on I-95.
To be clear: the standard and Express lanes are not intended to be interchangeable. Drivers aren’t supposed to hop between them. But with very little to prevent them from doing so, drivers do it anyway.
The problem with such “lane diving” is that higher-speed traffic is suddenly entering into slower-speed traffic without warning, and vice-versa. Different speeds don’t mix well, and sudden changes in acceleration often lead to unexpected impacts.
Without a Shoulder, Drivers Can’t Shrug Off Their Mistakes
Adding insult to injury (or, as the case may well be here, adding injury to injury), the diminished shoulder width on the Express Lanes leaves little room for error. So not only is driver error more likely on these roads but there is also a small margin for correcting those errors before they cause a crash.
The shoulder size poses other dangers too. Police officers say the small shoulder is the biggest reason they avoid enforcing the laws on I-95. They simply don’t have a safe space for pulling people over anymore.
Pedestrians are vulnerable too.
On March 5, 2011, five people were killed on the shoulder of an I-95 Express lane. They were standing on the side of the road after a series of accidents had forced them out of their cars. Then another vehicle — this one with a drunk driver behind the wheel — entered the Express lane and veered off course, killing all five. It was Miami-Dade County’s deadliest I-95 accident in a decade. And while the drunk driver is to blame, those bystanders might not have been in such peril had the Interstate not been so poorly redesigned.
The Proof Is in the Price Tag
The delineators aren’t just dangerous. They’re expensive too. The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) spends more than $1 million on replacing delineators that have been damaged or destroyed by vehicle impact every year.
If you need a sign that something isn’t working, a million-dollar annual repair budget is it. And again, we’re talking about a cumulative total of 13 miles here. That comes to about $77,000 in annual delineator repair-and-replace costs for every mile.
It’s Time for Change
It is not permissible for our leaders to recognize a dangerous condition and then simply do nothing about it.
We here at Kaire & Heffernan, LLC hold irresponsible parties to a basic duty of care every single day — hospitals, storeowners, insurance companies, vehicle and drug manufacturers, and more. We expect the same kind of care from the people who have a responsibility to keep our roads safe.
Our firm has called on county and state leaders to take immediate action to rectify the dangerous situation on Miami’s I-95 Express Lanes. We only hope that more people won’t have to lose their lives before we see real change.
Take a minute to sign our petition for Florida representatives to step up and fix the failed, deadly, and costly I-95 Express Lane.
Mark Kaire is a personal injury lawyer in Miami and a cofounder of Kaire & Heffernan, LLC.
RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. Anyone can write for you us as long as you are fiercely interested in making the world a better place.
Cover Photo Credit: Gaspar Torres/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)Post Views: 383
What Do You Think?
By Erika Hills
We have the Baby Boomers, Generation X, Millennials, and now according to MTV, the Founders.
In a nationwide survey, MTV gave 1,000 teenagers born after 2000 the opportunity to choose what they believe to be a fitting name for their generation.
They are eager to face the world and the problems that lie within it, in their very own way.
With the abysmal job market and crushing national debt that stand before them, The Atlantic hails the Founders as pragmatists navigating a post-9/11 nation.
They [the Founders] continue to say that in front of them lie a mess from prior generations that they are tasked with cleaning up.
According to MTV, the teens surveyed also considered names such as “The Bridge Generation,” “The Builder Generation,” and “The Regenerator Generation,” before choosing “The Founders,” a fitting description for how today’s youth view themselves.
“We’re ‘the Founders’ because we’re the ones transitioning from before to what’s going to become after,” one participant explained in a video MTV released on Dec. 3rd.
Another said, “I’d like our generation to be marked kind of as the foundation that mostly set off what’s going to happen in the next 50 to 100 years.”
MTV is just as hopeful as the teens themselves, because despite the fact that Generation Y receives a bad rap, the Founders are “optimistic and forward-thinking” in terms of their endeavors and what they anticipate their futures to hold.
However, taking upon the thoughts and ideas of high schoolers to let them name their own generation has come under question.
The Atlantic points out that classifying any generation’s personality and goals is quite the challenge, but even more so when the people being interviewed have recently entered high school.
TIME also cited that entire generations don’t typically decide what their name will be.
That has been done only by individual personalities in history such as how “The Lost Generation,” was coined by Gertrude Stein to describe those who lived through World War I.
Others are bewildered at MTV’s attempts to gain credit in labelling a generation of rising teens who are unfamiliar with their music network roots and vastly prefer mobile devices.
In fact, this April the International Business Times revealed that MTV’s ratings have been declining for that very reason.
Don Kaplan of The New York Daily News deems it purely self-promotional on MTV’s part.
“It’s a ridiculously overstated attempt by MTV to define a generational boundary,” he noted in a column. “And it comes off more…like a bid to advance the network’s own self-promotional agenda.”
Is it still early yet to know the defining characteristics of this generation?
As the Atlantic claims, one crucial difference of this cohort is that they’ve never known a world without the Internet.
Griffin Picciani, 14, interviewed by TIME, only knows of a black president. The games he plays today carry a world of difference in comparison to those his 20-year-old cousins played when they were younger.
“I think our generation is the bridge to a new era — a new idea, a new world, where things that haven’t really been thought of, get thought of,” another young Founder told MTV.
Only time will truly tell if the Founders’ optimism to achieve greater things will remain long enough to define them.
Cover Photo Credit: Petra Benstead/Flickr (CC by 2.0)Post Views: 88
What Do You Think?