POLICING in Khayelitsha is not only hampered by inadequate lighting at night, but the inaccessibility of certain areas in the informal settlements adds to the complexity, a Weekend Argus patrol found this week.
Last week, Weekend Argus reported that inadequate lighting was rendering the township residents vulnerable to crime. The report was based on a City of Cape Town’s lighting distribution map which showed fewer street lights and more high mast lighting in the township compared to neighbouring suburbs. High mast lighting, as described by the City’s Design and Management Guidelines for a Safer City, should be avoided as it casts deep shadows. Human rights organisation Social Justice Coalition, which is advocating for more street lights for the safety of Khayelitsha residents, said last week a clear plan with timelines and a ring-fenced budget to address the lack of effective public lighting in the formal and informal areas of the township was urgently needed.
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This week, a journalist and photographer team went on a patrol, trailing SAPS members of the Harare police station. The station is one of three operating in the township and covers areas such as Enkanini, Endlovini, Kuyasa and Makhaza servicing more than 50000 people.
Other parts of Khayelitsha are serviced by Lingelethu West Police Station and another station in Site B with a mobile police station in Site C. In a space of three hours between 8pm and 11pm, the Harare team responded to a woman’s call to be accompanied to serve protection order documents on her partner. Another woman called for help when she and a baby were thrown out of the house by her husband. Listening to the police two-way radio during the patrol, one could hear complaints in other areas including a hijacking in Eerste Rivier, a vehicle theft in Strand, a mob justice attack and another hijacking in Site C.
While patrolling Enkanini where most lighting comes from high mast posts, it was obvious inadequate lighting was a deterrent to visibility. Spaces between shacks and a lack of roads inside the informal settlement showed that movement, on foot and by car was not ideal. Some of the shacks had more than one house number and when trying to locate a complainant, this posed a challenge, an officer accompanying us said. A G4S security guard experienced this first-hand when a Toyota Quantum he was travelling in was hijacked in Site C. He was allegedly dumped in Enkanini where our patrolling team was flagged down while passing by. Had it not been for the police patrol, the security guard would have had a hard time explaining where he was.
If you go … What: “Guitar: The Instrument That Rocked the World”
When: Through Sept. 4; museum hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mon.-Sat., Noon to 5 p.m. Sun. Where: Berkshire Museum, 39 South St., Pittsfield
Admission: $13 adult; $6 child
“As far as I’m concerned, I’m just a guitar player, and my job is to go out there and play and entertain.”
PITTSFIELD There are a lot of reasons why people pick up a guitar and start playing. But local jam guitarist Tor Krautter has a theory based on his own experience.
“I realized that guitar players get all the attention,” said Krautter, better known as leader of the Rev Tor Band. “I started out as a drummer, but when I saw how cool people looked when they played guitar, that’s what I wanted to do.”
The history, evolution, design and lore of what most believe is the most popular musical instrument in the world, the guitar, is the focus of a new interactive exhibit at the Berkshire Museum. “Guitar: The Instrument That Rocked the World,” opens Saturday and will run through Sept. 4. Veteran local guitar player Randy Cormier, who plays solo shows, as well as with local combos Xavier and Whiskey City, said that the allure of the electric guitar, for him, was a basic one.
“When I started writing songs, I had melodies in my head, and playing a guitar was the best way to get them out,” he said. “I started playing the drums when I was a little kid, and you can’t play melodies on drums. I loved that outlet, of writing a song and being able to play it.”
“It was a creative outlet for me when I started writing songs,” Krautter said.
“It was the rock and roll thing,” said guitarist Jack Waldheim, who works at Wood Bros. Music in Pittsfield. He’s a solo artist, as well as the leader of Jack Waldheim and the Criminal Hearts. “That’s how I started. But another reason is that I learn something playing the guitar every time I play it. I think you can play a guitar for years and you’ll always learn something.”
The exhibit will feature more than 70 instruments, including the world’s largest electric guitar, 43.5 feet long and 16 feet wide. That guitar is a scale model of the Gibson Flying V, only 12 times the size of the real thing. It weighs about 2,000 pounds.
“[The exhibit] will cover the science, sound and cultural impact” of the guitar, said Lesley Ann Beck, communications manager for the museum. Visitors will be able to handle and hear different wood and string guitars, from maple to catgut, that give different guitars their distinctive sounds.
“We’ll have several interactive exhibits,” Beck said. “People will bee able to see how strings resonate on wood, as well as the kinds of stress the wood itself undergoes,” she said.
Visitors can also test their memory by playing riffs on a virtual fretboard that will test their ability to recall complex guitar patterns. Electricity was first used in guitars in the 1930s, she said. Visitors to the exhibit will see how magnetic coils capture the vibrations of the strings and turn it into amplified sound. There will be regular-sized examples of the sitar, oud and lute, Beck said, as well as European and Asian stringed instruments from as far back as the Middle Ages An oud is an 11- or 13-stringed guitar from the Middle East.
Krautter and Waldheim both said they plan to take in the exhibit.
“Sounds pretty cool,” said Cornier, who is presently playing gigs in North Carolina. “I’ll be back next week. I want to see this.”
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“It’s difficult to afford the basics, like food, rent,” added Zakiyy Medina, a security guard at the airport.
“It is un-American to be in this country, to work a full-time job and still live in poverty. That is unacceptable,” he said. “The minimum wage working at a lot of these contract companies only affords them about $22,000 a year … You cannot live and raise a family on $22,000 a year. You can’t afford housing, you can’t afford child care and since your company isn’t helping you with retirement, you can’t save for retirement.”
State Sens. Stephen Sweeney (D-Gloucester) Teresa Ruiz (D-Essex) have co-sponsored a bill, the Safe Transportation Jobs and Fair Employment Rules or STAFER Act, that would require better pay and benefits for subcontracted airport, rail and ferry workers.
“We are attacking this effort from every front,” Ruiz said Friday. “But the truth of the matter still remains the same, Port Authority can step up and can do better.”
Newark Deputy Mayor Rahaman Muhammad said workers had been waiting for living wages for too long and urged the Port Authority and the airline companies to raise workers’ pay now.
“You can decide to give them a living wage today, let’s do it now,” he said as he led chants of “do it now.”
“It’s their property. Any vendor on their property, (they) could tell them what to do,” added Kevin Brown, vice president of the local union 32BJ SEIU. He said after pressure from the union, the Port Authority agreed in 2014 to require all workers receive $10.20 an hour — above minimum wage. But last year they declined to increase pay to $15 an hour.
Brown said Ruiz’s proposed bill would boost wages from $10.20 to $17.98 an hour for about 10,000 subcontracted workers at Newark airport, Newark Penn Station and the Hoboken terminal. It would also require airline contractors to pay $4.27 an hour for worker health benefits and offer holidays and vacations.
“This is not going to be an easy fight,” said Booker before he was swarmed with requests from airport workers wanting pictures. “We are going to win this fight no matter how long it takes. I am committed to fighting with the workers.”
- ^ NEWARK (www.nj.com)
- ^ U.S. Sen. Cory Booker (www.booker.senate.gov)
- ^ Newark International Airport (www.panynj.gov)
- ^ increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour (www.nj.com)
- ^ Stephen Sweeney (D-Gloucester) (www.njleg.state.nj.us)
- ^ Teresa Ruiz (D-Essex) (www.njleg.state.nj.us)
- ^ last year they declined to increase pay to $15 an hour (www.nj.com)