Italy rules that stealing food not a crime if desperately hungry

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The right to survival prevails over property,” Italy’s highest court of appeals ruled this week when reviewing the case of a homeless man who had been given a six month jail sentence and a €100 euro fine for stealing cheese and sausages.

The man was caught before leaving the store and returned the goods, so the state prosecutor argued for the sentence to be reduced from “theft” to “attempted theft.”

But when the court of appeals heard the case, they radically upended the decision. This wasn’t worthy of punishment, they argued. In fact, taking food to stave off hunger should not even be considered a crime.

The judges wrote that the food had been taken “in the face of the immediate and essential need for nourishment.”

They also rebuked the entire process that brought this case before them–an attempt to take less than €5 of food went through 3 rounds of court hearings.

Italy, like large parts of the world, is coping with a recession. Each day, 615 people in Italy fall into poverty, according an op-ed in response to the ruling, many of whom struggle to find housing and food. Forgetting about these people is not an option, the piece argued.

Another op-ed argued that the ruling aligned with one of the most fundamental pillars of Western legal thinking–the concept of humanity that says a person’s dignity should be protected and that dignity rises when basic needs like food, water, housing and security are met.

On one level, this ruling attempts to return sense, discretion and an appreciation of context to criminal justice. Why, after all, was it necessary to spend so many resources to punish a man suffering from hunger, especially when this punishment will only deepen his poverty? Why not, instead, provide food for this person?

On another level, this ruling is a radical rethinking of human rights. Sure, it connects to ancient ideas of “humanity,” but these ideas have never fully been practiced on a large scale. The thought of a homeless person walking into a grocery store and just taking food without paying for it is, in a way, a radical affront to the market-based logic that rules most societies. If you want food, you pay for it just like everyone else, right?

Then there’s a more mundane explanation to all of this. Recently, Italy passed a law requiring all sellers of food to donate unsold food to charities rather than throw it away. So this decision may have been made under the aegis of the new legislation.

But even still–in a world of abundance, should the vagaries of circumstance–job loss, illness, traumas–ever leave a person without the ability to get food?

When grocery stores around the world are stuffed with food, is it moral to allow someone to suffer from hunger?

These are challenging questions that strike at the core of many societal arrangements. But they’re questions that are worth asking, and finding some compromise for, in a time when inequality is rising and more people find themselves in economically distressed situations.

Globally, 795 million people do not have enough food to lead normal, healthy lives. Many more people struggle to buy and find food every day.

It’s unlikely that this ruling in Italy will lead to widespread theft from grocery stores and it’s cynical to suggest that a breakdown in the rule of law will follow (as some critics have suggested).

The more likely result will be an evaluation of what really matters in life and how much another person’s humanity should be respected.

In an ideal world, there would be consensus that a person’s dignity is the top priority in any situation and from there other rules based on other, secondary considerations would apply.

Read More @ Global Citizen

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Always practise safe text: the German traffic light for smartphone zombies

zombiA ‘mobile phone lane’ on a street in a theme park in Chongqing, China. Photograph: Imaginechina/Rex

The word “smombie” is one of the most recent additions to the German language. Last November, the term – a mashup of “smartphone” and “zombie”, referring to oblivious smartphone users staggering around cities like the undead – was voted Youth Word of the Year in Germany.

The disease is virulent. A recent study of 14,000 pedestrians in Amsterdam, Berlin, Brussels, Paris, Rome and Stockholm found that 17% of people used their smartphone while walking. The heaviest users were 25 to 35-year-olds: almost a quarter of them exhibited smombie-esque behaviour.

Now Augsburg, a municipality outside Munich, has braced itself for this new public peril. After several smombies caused accidents by carelessly crossing tram tracks, city officials decided to install new traffic lights – at ground level.

At Haunstetterstraße station, one of two locations for the experiment, 16 red LEDs, each about the size of a beer mat, are embedded in the pavement next to a tram crossing.

Passengers are divided on their merits. Katja Lechner commutes here daily to university. “OK, you really do see the lights blinking when the tram approaches,” she says. “But that doesn’t stop anybody from crossing, as people rush to catch their trains.” She thinks the €10,000 should have been invested in education.

Arzu Araz, a hairdresser who lives nearby with her seven-year old daughter, disagrees. “The lights are ideal for kids, who notice them immediately,” she says.

Augsburg is not the first city to react. Cologne has equipped three tram crossings with similar lights, prompting the creation of yet another portmanteau: “Bompeln”, an abbreviation of “Boden-Ampeln” (ground traffic lights).

In Munich, where a 15-year-old girl wearing headphones was recently killed by a tram, certain particularly dangerous crossings were fitted with special beacons that send warnings to smartphones enabled with a corresponding app, called Watch Out!

In the US, meanwhile, cities such as Portland, Seattle and Cleveland have experimented with talking buses that alert pedestrians during turns. Rexburg, Idaho has even imposed fines of $50 for texting while walking.

And a theme park in the Chinese city of Chongqing has experimented with a special “phone lane” for pedestrians, itself based on an earlier experiment in Washington, DC.

After a trial period, Augsburg officials will interview tram drivers and passengers before deciding whether to roll the lights out to other stations.

“This is not just about smartphones. The crossing here is so busy and dangerous that we are used to the screeching noise of the tram’s emergency breaks,” says Sebastian Hrabak, owner of the restaurant Schwarze Kiste at Haunstetterstraße station. “But since the lights were installed last week, there hasn’t been a single dangerous incident.”

Have you been a “smombie” yourself ?

Read the full article @ Always practise safe text: the German traffic light for smartphone zombies

Several Events Taking Place @ GCC

 

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Are as follows….

FORENSICS TEAM CAMPUS SHOWCASE

Wednesday May 4th 3:30-5:30

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This event will feature team performances and will be open to the campus and community to attend.

STUDY FEAST

Wednesday May 4th 6-10pm

SU-104

Free food, school supplies and tutoring to aid in a smooth end to the semester

PERCUSSION CONCERT

Wednesday, May 4, 2016, 7:30 – 9:30 p.m.

Performing Arts Center

Performances by the GCC Percussion Ensemble. Directed by Dr. D. Nottingham.

Free & open to the public.

PIANO CONCERT

Thursday, May 5, 2016, 7:30 – 8:30 p.m.

Performing Arts Center

Performances by the GCC piano studio.

Directed by Dr. Christina Eide

Free & open to the public

GAUCHO AWARDS FOR THEATRE EXCELLENCE

Friday, May 6, 2016, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m

Performing Arts Center

The Glendale Community College Delta Psi Omega Drama Club recognizes the quality of excellence in the areas of performance, design, and technical achievements during the current theatrical season. Productions that will be in contention for recognition include The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, The 39 Steps, Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead, and The Glass Menagerie. A scene from each play, as well as other acts, will be performed.  New students will be inducted into the national chapter of Delta Psi Omega, scholarships will be awarded, and the new Drama club officers will be announced. Light refreshments will follow the GATE ceremony.  Come share in the celebration!

Admission is free and is open to the public.

Light refreshments will be served following the ceremony.

DJ PERFORMANCE

Friday, May 6, 2016, 7 – 10:30 p.m.

MU2-151

Performance by the MUC 135 Student D.J.s.

GCC GUITAR ENSEMBLES

Friday, May 6, 2016, 7:30 – 9 p.m.

Performing Arts Center

GCC Guitar Ensembles 

GCC’s award-winning classical guitar program presents an evening of guitar ensemble music featuring the Glendale Guitar Quartet, Glendale Guitar Sextet, and Guitar Orchestra. Always an exciting program, the ensembles have featured composer spotlight programs and a multitude of world premieres. Come hear what the fret buzz is all about at GCC! For more information contact Chuck Hulihan at charles.hulihan@gccaz.edu or 623.834.3715.

Friday May 6, 7:30pm

Free & open to the public

GCC Performing Arts Center

GCC CHOIRS: 42ND ST – BROADWAY CLASSICS

Saturday, May 7, 2016, 7:30 – 9:30 p.m.

Performing Arts Center

GCC Choirs present: 42nd St – Broadway Classics

 May 7, 7:30 p.m. GCC Performing Arts Center            

Free & open to the public

Join the GCC Concert Choir, Chamber Singers, Community Choir, and Vocal Jazz as they take a trip to 42nd St. and sing some of your favorite Broadway Musical Classics.

 

 

 

 

CONCERT BAND & SYMPHONIC WINDS @ GCC

When Tuesday, May 3, 2016, 7:30 – 9 p.m.
Where Performing Arts Center
Contact E-mail william.humbert@gccaz.edu
Contact Name Bill Humbert
Contact Phone 623.845.3726
Directed by Bill Humbert

Free & open to the public

CESAR CHAVEZ FILM NIGHT

When Wednesday, April 27, 2016, 5 – 8:30 p.m.
Where SU-104E
MEChA will be hosting a special screening of the documentary Harvest of the Empire: A History of Latinos in America in honor of Cesar Chavez’s birthday this month.

DÍA DE LOS NIÑOS CELEBRATION

When Tuesday, April 26, 2016, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Where Central Mall
El dÍa de los NiÑos/El dÍa de los Libros (Day of the Child/Day of the Book) is a celebration based on childhood and literacy that began in 1997. Borrowing from the traditional Mexican holiday “El dÍa de los NiÑos,” the American version expanded to include literacy when acclaimed author Pat Mora took up the cause in 1997. A year later, the U.S. Congress officially designated April 30 as “Day of the Child.”

Members from GCC’s MEChA Club will set up games to celebrate this event.

 

Volunteer Orientation

Volunteer Orientation

Free Arts for Abused Children of Arizona

Free Arts for Abused Children of Arizona is the only nonprofit organization in Arizona delivering creative and therapeutic arts programs to abused and homeless children, ages 3 to 21 years.  Established in 1993, Free Arts offers four distinct programs and serves more than 8,000 children annuallyWe partner with 32 child welfare agencies, spanning 100 + sites throughout Maricopa County, including group homes, crisis shelters, residential treatment facilities, and unaccompanied minor programs.  Since our inception we have provided creative healing services to more than 95,000 youth. The dedicated adult volunteers and employees of Free Arts are proud of our twenty-one year history of consistently and compassionately providing quality programs that result in changed lives for vulnerable and neglected children in our community.

Become a caring, adult role model and Free Arts volunteer today!

Volunteer Opportunities Include:

  • Mentoring a group of children at a group home, shelter, or treatment center for one hour a week through artistic expression
  • Supporting children for one day art events at places like the Phoenix Art Museum, Desert Botanical Gardens, and Arizona Opera
  • Assisting children to create, heal, learn and grow during our Summer Camp Series!

All volunteers start by attending a Volunteer Orientation.

These one hour, no obligation orientations are held each month at our office located at 103 West Highland Avenue Suite 200 in Phoenix. Join us to learn how you can give your time to Free Arts and make a difference in the lives of our community’s most vulnerable children.

Click here to learn more about Free Arts.

* Due to facility restrictions volunteers must be 18+

Official Link Provided: http://www.eventbrite.com/e/volunteer-orientation-registration-9469829515?aff=FBAPR

INFLUX Public Art Project in TEMPE, AZ

INFLUX Public Art Project in TEMPE, AZ

I’d like to announce that my ‪#‎influxaz‬ project is up -All Credits given to Casey Farina. on ‪#‎HaydenMill‬ in ‪#‎Tempe‬.‪#‎publicart‬ ‪#‎projectionmapping‬ ‪#‎raspberrypi‬ ‪#‎influxcycle6‬ ‪#‎generativeart‬‪ #‎CityofTempe‬ ‪#‎downtowntempe‬

Cascade.Erode.Construct. is a video installation that abstractly explores the history of the iconic Hayden Flour Mill. The Mill’s proximity to water (the Salt River) is an integral part of its identity as a Tempe landmark. The movement and erosive power of water form the fundamental structure of the animation from which new forms are constructed. The visual artifacts that remain on the north wall of the Mill are isolated and reinvigorated by the projected light. The animation was created by using a digital image of the wall as the input for a variety of algorithmic processes. The installation repeats every ten minutes between 8:00 PM and 1:00 AM on the north wall of the Hayden Mill. Casey’s research was facilitated by John Southard and E. Hunter Hansen in the Tempe Historic Preservation Office and Jared Smith at the Tempe History Museum.

This project was funded through the City of Tempe Municipal Arts Fund with the support of the Tempe Municipal Arts Commission.

https://vimeo.com/163623598

Thanks,

2016 RecycleMania Tournament – Final Results

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Thanks to Chaunda Fraulino and all of her hard work in making this happen every year. We have continually gotten better in this competition and I hope you all improve next year too.

Also thanks to all of you for doing your part and recycling, reducing, and reusing. This would not have been possible without an environmentally conscious student body and employees.

2016 RecycleMania Tournament
February 7 – April 2, 2016
 
Final Results
Glendale Community College (GCC) competed with 276 colleges and universities nationwide in the 2016 RecycleMania tournament from February 7 – April 2.  The four Arizona participants included Arizona State University, Glendale Community College, and the University of Arizona. GCC reduced the amount of waste per person from 8.63 lbs. in 2015 to 7.61 lbs. in 2016 earning a 3rd place finish in the 2016 Waste Minimization competition.
The goal of waste minimization is to reduce overall waste (trash plus recyclables) through waste reduction activities such as the Zero Waste Program.  As a direct result of our success in waste minimization, our placement in other categories is higher.  The final results in all categories are listed below.
2016 RecycleMania Final Results
Grand Champion
103 out of 207Per Capita Classic
249 out of 269Gorilla
222 out of 276

Waste Minimization
3 out of 114

Corrugated Cardboard
93 out of 97

Our cumulative GHG (Greenhouse Gas) Reductions during the competition are 58 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent, or 11 cars off the road, or the energy consumption of 5 households.
 

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About RecycleMania
This is GCC’s 6th year participating in the RecycleMania tournament.  The tournament ran from February 7 – April 2, 2016. RecycleMania is a friendly competition and benchmarking tool for college and university recycling programs to promote waste reduction activities to their campus communities. Over an 8-week period, schools report recycling and trash data which are then ranked according to who collects the largest amount of recyclables per capita, the largest amount of total recyclables, the least amount of trash per capita, or has the highest recycling rate overall.