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Call-outs to deal with rats and mice plummet after fees for council service triples – Wales Online

Recommended by Dikshit Aryal, Published on January 21st, 2020

The number of call-outs to deal with rats and mice in Neath Port Talbot have dropped dramatically since the local authority tripled its fees for pest control, new figures reveal.

In April 2019, pest control charges increased from 40 to 120 when dealing with rats, mice, cockroaches and bedbugs.

Meanwhile, for ants, wasps and fleas, the fees jumped from 40 to 65.

A report going that went to councillors, showed that in the first six months of the price hike there was the number of requests made to pest control services halved.

From April to September 2019, there were 348 service requests compared to 704 requests for the same period the previous year.

Due to the fee increase, the level of income for the service was the same around 30,000 for each six month period.

In the report going before the streetscene and engineering scrutiny committee, officers said the pest control service was a non-statutory function of the local authority which had previously been significantly subsidised.

They said the price increase meant the service was now expected to break even, helping to secure the service for the future.

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Call-outs to deal with rats and mice plummet after fees for council service triples - Wales Online

Natural Ant Killers and Ant Control Tips to Get Rid of …

Recommended by Dikshit Aryal, Published on January 20th, 2020

Do ants swarm your home every year? You'll want to memorize these ant control tips and natural ant killers ASAP.


Take a close-up photo of one of the invaders, and email it to your local university extension service. (These offices provide research-based information on issues like pests. To find your closest office, check here.) The extension service can tell you the type of ant youre dealing with and where it nests. It may give you fact sheets about the ant species and maybe even some advice on getting rid of it. Ants arent the only pests that are tough to get rid of. Get rid of house bugs for good with various tactics.

Place bait stations in areas where youve seen ants, like under thesink and along walls, to make it as likely as possible that the ants will take the toxic bait back to the nest. Expect to see more ants when you set out the bait at first. Thats a good thing for ant control. It means more ants are taking the bait back to the colony, wheretheyll share it with the rest of the ants, including the queen. Find out 13 more ways to keep your home pest-free all summer long.

After setting out the toxic bait,resist the temptation to step on theants. Theyre working for you nowgathering the poison and taking it to the nest (these new tips will get rid of ants for good.)


Ants leave a scented trail that other ants follow. Sweeping or mopping isnt enough to eliminate the scent. Instead, mix one part vinegar with three parts water in a spray bottle, then spritz wherever youve seen ants.

Spot treat anthills or mounds with an outdoor insecticide. For large-scale ant problems, use an insect killer that contains bifenthrin as the active ingredient. First, mow the grass, then spray the insecticide on the entire lawn in the early morning or late afternoon, when the ants are most active for effective ant control.

Trim back bushes, shrubs, andtrees that brush against your siding or roof. These provide a bridge for ants to reach your home. Avoid stacking firewood next to the house. Dont miss these warning signs your house is about to be infested.

Eldost Gadirov/Shutterstock

For some infestationsof carpenter ants, for instanceyou must get rid of the nest. How to find it: Look for damp areas such as framing or flooring that is soft and spongy (this could be the result of, say, a plumbing or roof leak). Look in attics, bathrooms, and exterior walls. When you find the nest, spray it with an insecticidelabeled for indoor use.

Entomologists (aka, the bug experts) agree that natural remedies are not as potent as pesticides for ant control. But if you want to try toxin-free ways to get rid of the little critters, these are good options.

Lemons:Squirt some lemon juice on door thresholds and windowsills. Then squeeze a wedge into any holes or cracks the ants are coming through. Finally, scatter small slices of lemon peel around any outdoor entrances. The strong acidity and smell can help keep the pests away.

Flowerpots and teakettles: Tired of getting stung by fire ants on your patio? Place a flowerpot upside down over the anthill, then pour boiling water through the drain hole to eliminate the insects house.

Herbs and Spices: Pantry staples like sugar, flour, and certain seasonings can fall prey to ants. To keep your food safe, slip a bay leaf inside your storage containers. If youre concerned about the flour or sugar picking up a bay leaf flavor, tape the leaf to the inside of the canister lid. This trick works inside cabinets, too, where sachets of sage, bay, cinnamon sticks, or whole cloves will smell pleasant while discouraging ants from getting cozy. Next, find out the 8 ways to make sure you never see a bug in your kitchen ever again.

From the book, Extraordinary Uses for Ordinary Things.

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Natural Ant Killers and Ant Control Tips to Get Rid of ...

Fair Lawn Dollar Tree resumes selling food after fixing health violations –

Recommended by Dikshit Aryal, Published on January 17th, 2020

FAIR LAWN A health inspector found a decomposing rodent, live mice and contaminated food at a Dollar Tree store in a shopping center that was oncetargeted for possible redevelopment.

The borough's Health Department slapped an"unsatisfactory"label on the entrance doors two days before Christmas. The result of the sanitary inspectionreport wasthat the store had to pull all food items from the store through Jan. 7, when it got the go-ahead to resume selling food.

Dollar Tree is the primary tenant of a Fair Lawn Avenue shopping center that the Planning Board described in August as deteriorating, poorly designed and having unsanitary and "unwholesome" conditions.

On Dec. 23, a health inspector visited the store and foundone live and one dead mouse, droppings and debris. Evidence of food contamination included eaten sunflower seeds and rice grains.

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The inspector ordered that the store stop selling food immediately, "as rodent droppings and decomposing rodents may pose a risk to the public and staff," the report reads.

"We want to make sure the food is safe to sell to the public," Health Officer Carol Wagner said.

For a food establishment to be considered unsatisfactory, it must be found to have one or more violations that constitute gross unsanitary or unsafe conditions. The inspector will immediately ask the management to voluntarily cease operation until the unsatisfactory conditions no longer exist, according to Fair Lawn's Health Department.

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Prior to Dollar Tree being able to sellfood they had to clean and remove all debris, remove all rodent carcasses and droppings, provide documentation from a pest control company stating that the mice are eliminated, discard food that may have been contaminated, and clean the storage room.

After noting improvements, the borough permitted the store to resume selling food.

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Kayleigh Painter, a spokeswoman forDollar Tree Inc., said, "The safety of our associates and customers is our first priority, and we take situations like this seriously."

She added, "We worked with pest control services and the health inspector to resolve the issue.Upon re-inspection, we were provided approval to sell food at this store location.We are committed to providing our customers with safe, sustainable and affordable products."

The Planning Board has recommended that the center be considered for condemnation and redevelopment, but borough officials said in October they would negotiate with the owners, Plaza Road Shopping Center LLC, rather than pursuecondemnation.

ShaylahBrown is a local reporter For unlimited access to the most important news from your local community,please subscribe or activate your digital account today. Twitter:@shaylah_brown

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King of the Hill: 10 Best Dale Episodes | CBR – CBR

Recommended by Dikshit Aryal, Published on January 15th, 2020

Animated sitcom, King of the Hill brought fun, small-town humor during an age when Fox was progressively pushing out edgier and edgier content. At the heart of the beloved series is its quirky, lovable Texas faithful whose everyday lives and quiet ambitions fuel the humor of the series.

RELATED: King of the Hill: Top 10 Holiday Specials (According to IMDb)

While it may consistently depend on humble, relatable characters for the bulk of its series, one character, in particular, stands out for his above-average eccentric behavior and outrageous adventures. The series' conspiracy theorist and gun fanatic, Dale Gribble is one of King of the Hill's most vibrant and dynamic characters, never failing to punch in with an uncannily funny line and, at times, oddly progressive ideology. This list will be giving the top exterminator his due, as it looks throughhis best episodes.

Dale's wild ability to create a conspiracy out of anything takes full effect here. Leading up to his and Nancy's vow renewals, Nancy encourages Hank, Bill, and Boomhauer to reach out to his father so that they can reconnect. However, much to their and everyone at home's surprise, Dale's father has come out as gay and is currently working at a gay rodeo.

Not ones to be upfront with Dale about anything, everyone keeps this a secret from Dale, a mistake that would lead Dale to assume that his father is a secret agent and once again banishing him from his life. There really is no winning with this guy.

The tumultuous relationship between Dale and Nancy is one of the most interesting and ever-shifting storylines throughout the series. For many of the early episodes, Nancy had been cheating on Dale with John Redcorn. After the two rekindled their marriage (without Nancy revealing a single thing), Nancy falls prey to a karmic cycle for her actions.

RELATED:King Of The Hill: The Best Episode Of Every Season, Ranked

When the neighborhood becomes overrun by pigeons, Dale seeks out the help of a legendary exterminator who not only turns out to be a beautiful woman but who also shares the same fascinations with the job as him. This episode is an interesting change in pace for the couple's dynamic, and one really is left wondering what Dale's marriage really means to him in the face of his perfect match.

When a legendary race car driver needs a new kidney, it turns out that Dale is a perfect match. However, while he reluctantly agrees to the operation, there's a sudden change in plans when the driver no longer needs the kidney but a dying child in the hospital does. It's only customary that being the paranoid, conspiracy theorist comes with the added benefit of being a childish coward.

That isn't to say that Dale's refusal to voluntary donate was childish but the way that he handled everything else was, panicking, sneaking across the hospital to steal his own kidney, and bribing a small child for some candy and a video game.

While "My Own Private Rodeo" is a nice taste of Dale's active imagination and paranoid phobias, "Dog Dale Afternoon" is that in full force. The gang, feeling that Dale has been a bit of a showoff with his new mower, decides to fake kidnap it and send Dale cryptic messages.

This, however, all goes awry when Dale takes the prank a little too far (because of course, he would). This would eventually lead to police surrounding Dale on a clocktower and everyone trying to get him down. Not even lawnmowers can be simple with this guy.

Let no one forget that Dale is an exterminator. Adding on top all that has been discussed above, as well as a few resources that really go outside the bounds of regular extermination, and Dale makes killing supposedly one rat look like an entire adventure.

RELATED:Family Guy: 10 Characters That Seth MacFarlane Just Forgot

However, suspicious of what he could do, Hank and the rest of the gang decide to help out, yet somehow fall prey to a series of other, mysterious traps. For once in Dale's life, he may actually be dealing with something a little tougher than a rat or possum.

To reiterate, there is no rational thinking with this man. When his wife is going through a body dysmorphia crisis, Dale's plan to make her feel better is to raise funds for plastic surgery by suing his favorite tobacco company. What could he possibly be suing them for, one may ask?

For second hand deteriorating his wife's looks. Things actually get ugly when the tobacco company legitimately tries to spy and sabotage him; and as the series has proven time and time again, this is never a good idea.

Dale can feel threatened by virtually anything. Though this is mostly a Bobby episode, much of the humor and external conflicts are being instigated by Dale.

When a retired ventriloquist gifts Bobby his old dummy, Chip, Dale is put on the attack as mild flashbacks from his past manage to spark immense trauma. From here, the show wonderfully portrays the delicate and overly convoluted operation of Dale Gribble's assassination of a wooden puppet.

When Hank rejects Dale's lawn extermination service in lieu of his newly planted lawn grass, Dale decides to enact revenge and sabotage by planting a variety of ants on Hank's lawn. Such a dilemma becomes widespread, leading Hank to eventually ask for Dale's services.

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And while Dale was responsible for the ant outbreak, that doesn't mean he was fully prepared to handle it. Dale pretty much accidentally kills Hank's lawn with poison, and Hank finds out that Dale was the one planting ants.One could almost hear what happens next.

Though it's not mentioned too often, Dale is quite the active and ignorant gun enthusiast. Though he is the president of the local gun club, he himself is kind of an incompetent mess who shouldn't be around those explosive pieces of steel.

This would eventually lead to Dale being usurped in the gun club and him having to find a way to reclaim his status. His friends somehow get held hostage and are held at gunpoint, so one could imagine how crazy this one gets.

One of the series' most extravagant and romanticized showings for Dale, everyone's favorite balding, chain smoker has to work in an office. After a doctor deems his lungs too sensitive to the poisons he's been spraying for years, Dale has to take up a desk job at a local, adhesives company.

Though he was put through mind-numbing, micromanaged work, he would suddenly rise in the ranks of human resources when the managers find out that he has an easy time firing people, something that comes in handy during a time of mass layoffs.

This would turn Dale into a coldhearted, business executive who starts to prioritize work over his own family. It's an interesting character transformation and fall from grace that eventually culminates in an amazing redemption sequence.

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Revealed: The parts of Bolton with the biggest rat infestation problems – Manchester Evening News

Recommended by Dikshit Aryal, Published on January 14th, 2020

The parts of Bolton with the biggest pest control problems have been revealed.

Postcodes in Bolton town centre, Farnworth and Great Lever all feature in the top ten areas visited by pest control in 2019.

Crompton Way, Hall Lane and Alberta Street had more than 100 rat-related visits between them while Crescent Road was the most visited for mice.

There were 30 rat-related emergency visits, three of which were in Anglia Grove at the start of the year.

Rats were by far the most common pest the local authority dealt with at 8,948 visits almost ten times more than mice at second place.

But for those people who cannot wait for Bolton Council to visit their property and are willing to pay more to exterminate pests, private companies available with some offering a same day service.

Ian Smith from Horwich, who has run his own pest control business for around 20 years, said rats seem to be getting inside buildings and homes more easily these days.

He claims eight out of ten cases of rats found in properties are caused by sewer faults.

This is when there are cracks and breakages in the pipes which connect to the sewer system.

He said: Rats get into the fabric of the building. Its something a lot of pest control companies dont want to admit because it can be hard work to find the fault.

It can be expensive, it can be frustrating. But at the moment thats the key to the problem in Bolton and everywhere else.

Mr Smith, whose father also worked in pest control, said that flooded sewers have also contributed to an increase in rats-related call outs this winter.

Rats and mice tend to keep pest control services busiest in the autumn and throughout the winter.

Andrew Glover, director of Premier Environmental pest control, explained why.

He said: You get problems with rats and mice throughout the year but it usually spikes in the winter because its cold so they look for a warm place where theres more food readily available that outside.

Mr Glover said that having a rat infestations can often be a case of bad luck but sometimes the problem is linked to poor hygiene, building maintenance or pipes not being sealed properly.

He said that wasp nests start becoming an issue in the summer as well as ants.

There were hundreds of visits by the councils pest control team related to wasps, bedbugs and ants last year as well as a small number of cases of silverfish, moles and beetles.

Treatment for rats usually consists of two or three visits but an infestation of bed bugs in Russell Street this year required 15 visits for one course.

Properties on Jessie Street, Philips Avenue and Adrian Road were visited 21 times each for bed bugs while Pixmore Avenue and Kent Court were the most visited cockroaches.

However, Mr Glover said that he has noticed a decrease in the number of calls he receives related to cockroaches in the 15 years he has operated in Bolton.

The postcodes which the council visited the most over the last year were revealed following a Freedom of Information request.

The Middlebrook area topped the list but many visits were routine, relating to a commercial contract with Bolton Wanderers.

The council also has a contract with Bolton at Home relating to Paderborn Court accounting for multiple visits as a preventative measure.

A council spokesman said: The councils pest control team undertake visits to domestic and commercial properties across the borough.

We understand that people may look at the figures and think theres a bigger pest problem in certain areas but this is not necessarily the case.

Quite often a number of visits will form one course of treatment. Many of the locations with higher number of visits are also due to us having commercial contracts in place, which means we will routinely visit on multiple occasions.

This is the case for Bolton Wanderers hence the high number of visits to the Middlebrook area.

We also routinely undertake a number of scheduled checks in some areas this means that while these postcodes may show multiple visits, this is for prevention work rather than to tackle an infestation.

To report a problem in your home call 01204 336553 or 336047 for businesses.

We now have a dedicated Facebook page bringing you all the latest news, events and community news in Bolton.

To keep up to date with all that is happening in Bolton - and to join in the discussion - follow the page here.

Reporter Tom George covers all things Bolton for the Manchester Evening News, you can follow him on Twitter here.

The postcodes which the councils pest control team visited the most over the last year were revealed following a Freedom of Information request.

The data provided shows how many times the local authority visited a property, but some were routine visits.

This includes a commercial contract with Bolton Wanders which explains why the Middlebrook area features so high on the list.

The figures only show visits made by the councils pest control team and does not take into account activity by private providers.

Middlebrook Retail Park, for example, uses a private pest control service.

BL6 6SF (Middlebrook area) 100 visits

BL1 4TX (Paderborn Court) 50 visits

BL1 4BE (Russell Street) 50 visits

BL4 7QS (Hall Lane) 44 visits

BL3 2JS (Crescent Road) 43 visits

BL1 8TL (Crompton Way) 43 visits

BL4 9BJ (Philips Avenue) 42 visits

BL3 5DX (Wellington Street) 40 visits

BL3 5PE (Jessie Street) 38 visits

BL4 7QQ (Glenbrook Gardens) 37 visits

BL6 6SF (Middlebrook area) 74 visits

BL1 8TL (Crompton Way) 38 visits

BL4 7QS (Hall Lane) 35 visits

BL3 5JD (Alberta Street) 32 visits

BL3 4BD (Daisy Street/Broomfield Road) 31 visits

BL3 3AR (Hamel Street) 28 visits

BL3 5DX (Wellington Street) 25 visits

BL3 4AW (Church Avenue) 25 visits

BL1 4LJ (Gilnow Road) 25 visits

BL1 3QE (Wolfenden Street) 25 visits

BL6 6LG (Brazley Avenue) 5 visits

BL3 4QE (Armadale Road) 5 visits

BL2 5HA (Winster Drive) 5 visits

BL1 5RZ (Great Marld Close 5 visits

BL1 6QY (Dunoon Drive) 5 visits

BL2 2RD (Rossall Close) 5 visits

BL1 3XG (Constable Close) 4 visits

BL2 5AA (Winchester Way) 4 visits

BL5 3HS (Beehive Green) 4 visits

BL1 8SD (Parkgate Drive 4 visits

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Revealed: The parts of Bolton with the biggest rat infestation problems - Manchester Evening News

Pest control: UK ‘fly-tipping epidemic linked to rats rise – The Bolton News

Recommended by Dikshit Aryal, Published on January 14th, 2020

PEST control businesses are expecting a spike in calls about rats this winter after reports of a UK-wide fly-tipping epidemic.

Rentokill says that nationally, there was a 34 per cent increase in rodent enquiries in December, when compared to 2018.

The company said that it is possible this increase will continue in January and February as fly-tipping, which is reported to be rising nationally, provides ample food and shelter for rats and mice.

Changing weather patterns are also a key contributor to more increased sightings of pests.

SPECIAL REPORT:The postcodes with the biggest pest problems in Bolton

REVEALED: Top 10 postcodes visited by pest control for rats, wasps and others

Bolton Council offered the following four simple steps which residents can take to keep their homes pest free.

1. Make sure the exterior of your home is in a good state of repair, any holes in the brickwork should be filled in.

2. Check any outside drains and make sure they are clear, especially the gully outside the kitchen which could trap leftover food.

3. Dont leave open food accessible anywhere on your property. Make sure all waste is placed securely in your bin or waste receptacle.

4. Clean up any outdoor spillages and repair structural defects in the house to prevent rodents gaining access.

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Pest control: UK 'fly-tipping epidemic linked to rats rise - The Bolton News

Separated by Design: How wealthy towns keep people with housing vouchers out – The CT Mirror

Recommended by Dikshit Aryal, Published on January 12th, 2020

This article was produced through a partnership between ProPublica and the Connecticut Mirror, which is a member of the ProPublica Local Reporting Network.

Hartford On a sweltering Saturday afternoon last June, Crystal Carter took a deep breath as she walked toward the red for rent sign.

Separated by Design

Shaded by tall oak trees, the three-story duplex looked cozy. The first floor siding was painted yellow, with white railings leading to the front door. The windows appeared new, the lawn freshly cut.

Although the property was in Barry Square, on the edge of a struggling area in southern Hartford, the family outside buoyed Carters spirits. Four children giggled in a recliner in the front yard, singing along to the radio while their father packed a moving truck. Across the street were Trinity Colleges dignified brick pillars, the entry to the elite schools 100-acre campus.

Carter tried to tamp down her excitement, but this looked like the kind of place the 48-year-old single mother so desperately wanted for her five kids: no mouse traps, no chipped paint trying to camouflage mold.

You own this place? she asked the sweat-soaked man. Yes, he said. Are you renting it out, or has it already been rented?

He put down a crate and offered her a tour of the first-floor, four-bedroom unit. Inside, she marveled at the modern kitchen, finished hardwood floors and large closets.

This is a lot of space. When are you putting this on the market? she asked.

Its ready, if you want to do the application, he told her. Rent was $1,500 a month.

Carter paused.

Ill be paying with a Section 8 voucher, she said.

Yeah, the man shot back. I dont do Section 8.

Monica Jorge

Crystal Carter.

Officially called Housing Choice Vouchers, Section 8 rent subsidies were supposed to help low-income people find decent housing outside poor communities. But, for the better part of a year, Carter had found the opposite. This was easily the 50th place she had toured since her landlord sold her last apartment and evicted her. Nearly all of them were in poor areas. They had holes in the wall, uncovered electrical outlets, even roaches and mice. When she hit upon something clean, she learned not to ask too many questions. She complimented the landlord, talked about her children and emphasized that she didnt smoke. None of it seemed to matter, though, once she uttered two words: Section 8.

Now, as Carter showed herself out of the first-floor rental, she felt panic welling within. There really are no doors open for people that have a voucher, she said afterward. It makes you feel ashamed to even have one. Typically, vouchers come with a time limit to find housing, and Carter had already won three extensions. She wasnt sure shed get another.

She had just 40 days left to find a place to live.

As the federal government retreated from building new public housing in the 1970s, it envisioned Section 8 vouchers as a more efficient way of subsidizing housing for the poor in the private market. They now constitute the largest rental assistance program in the country, providing almost $23 billion in aid each year to 2.2 million households. Local housing authorities administer the program with an annual budget from Washington and are given wide latitude on how many vouchers they hand out and how much each is worth. The bulk of the vouchers are reserved for families who make 30% or less of an areas median income. That is $30,300 or less for a family of four in Hartford.

For years, researchers and policymakers have lamented the programs failure to achieve one of its key goals: giving families a chance at living in safer communities with better schools. Low-income people across the country struggle to use their vouchers outside of high-poverty neighborhoods.

In Connecticut, the problem is especially acute. An analysis of federal voucher data by The Connecticut Mirror and ProPublica found that 55% of the states nearly 35,000 voucher holders live in neighborhoods with concentrated poverty. Thats higher than the national average of 49% and the rates in 43 other states.

Hartford resident Josh Serrano

The segregation results, at least in part, from exclusionary zoning requirements that local officials have long used to block or limit affordable housing in prosperous areas. As the Mirror and ProPublica reported in November, state authorities have done little to challenge those practices, instead steering taxpayer money to build more subsidized developments in struggling communities.

Dozens of voucher holders in Connecticut say this concentration has left them with few housing options. Local housing authorities often provide a blue booklet of Section 8-friendly properties, but many of the ones listed are complexes that have a reputation for being rundown and are in struggling communities or have long waitlists. Many recipients call it the Black Book because you are going to the dark side, for real. The apartments in that black book are nasty and disgusting, said Janieka Lewis, a Hartford resident whose home is infested with mice.

Frankie Graziano :: Connecticut Public Radio

Josh Serrano is a Section 8 voucher holder who lives in the North End of Hartford.

Josh Serrano also lives in one of the states poorest neighborhoods. After landing a voucher in 2018, he tried to find a place in the middle-class town of West Hartford, where his son lives part time with his mother. He also looked in nearby Manchester and Simsbury. At each stop, the rent was higher than his vouchers value or the landlord wouldnt take a voucher.

There is an invisible wall surrounding Hartford for those of us who are poor and particularly have black or brown skin like myself, he said. No community wanted me and my son.

Nearly 80% of the states voucher holders are black or Hispanic and half have children. Their average income is $17,200 a year and the average amount they pay in rent out of pocket is $413 a month.

The federal government has taken a mostly hands-off approach to ensuring the Section 8 program is working as it was originally intended. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development typically leaves it up to each housing authority to determine how much a voucher is worth, which essentially determines the type of neighborhood a voucher holder can afford. And when HUD assesses the work of housing authorities to decide whether to increase federal oversight only a tiny fraction is based on whether local officials are expanding housing opportunities outside areas of poverty or minority concentration.

Moreover, federal law does not make it illegal for a landlord to turn down a prospective tenant if they plan to pay with a voucher, so HUD does not investigate complaints of landlords who wont accept Section 8 vouchers.

Monica Jorge :: ProPublica

Commissioner Seila Mosquera-Bruno speaks at the annual conference of the Affordable Housing Alliance in Cromwell last September.

Connecticut goes further. It is one of 14 states where its illegal to deny someone housing because they plan to use a Section 8 voucher. And the state allocated more than $820,000 in the last fiscal year to help pay for 10 investigators to look into complaints of all types of housing discrimination and provide legal assistance. There has been an effort to try to change housing segregation, said Seila Mosquera-Bruno, the commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Housing.

But those efforts have done little to prevent landlords from continuing to reject voucher holders. The groups charged with investigating housing complaints say they lack the resources to be proactive and believe they are only seeing a fraction of whats really going on.

Housing providers keep coming up with ways to rent to who they want to rent and find ways around housing discrimination laws, said Erin Kemple, executive director of the Connecticut Fair Housing Center, which investigates complaints. There is a lot more discrimination going on than what we are investigating.

Executive Director Erin KempleConnecticut Fair Housing Center

In 2018, fewer than 75 complaints were made that accused the landlord or owner of refusing to accept a voucher or some other legal source of income, such as Social Security. The Connecticut Fair Housing Center said that figure isnt low because discrimination is scarce but rather because prospective tenants are fearful that complaining could hurt them and know that it will do nothing to help them with their immediate needs; investigations can take longer than the time they have to find a house with their vouchers.

In order to make it a real priority and address the real effects of discrimination in society, the government should dedicate more resources to ferreting it out, said Greg Kirschner, the groups legal director.

A Hartford native, Carter reluctantly moved back to her hometown in 2011 to escape an abusive relationship. She had delayed relocating, she said, because she worried shed be taking her children from a quiet neighborhood in Florida to a war zone in Connecticut.

They not from the streets. Their heart is trying to be goofy-cool, she said of her three sons, now 10, 17 and 18, and two daughters, ages 13 and 14. They dont have that fight in them. I do. (Worried about her childrens privacy, Carter asked that they not be named in this story.)

Monica Jorge

A blighted neighborhood in Hartford, near where Carter searched for housing.

She and her children moved into a homeless shelter and then an extended-stay motel. She saw Section 8 as their path to independence, and she started calling housing authorities around the state to apply for and get on waiting lists for a voucher. At first, Carter limited her search to Connecticuts middle-class and upper-income towns, hoping to settle in a place with low crime and high-performing schools.

But with each call, she lost hope. She met the income requirements hers was less than half the states average household income but the waitlists had thousands of families in front of her, if they werent closed entirely.

When she found out that the Winchester Housing Authority in Northwest Connecticut had just 67 people on its waitlist, she got excited; among the affluent regions celebrity residents are Meryl Streep and Ralph Nader. The feeling was quickly dashed. Officials barred her from the list, saying it was open only to those who already lived in the predominantly white towns. The housing authority did not return calls seeking comment.

Crystal Carter

That lady told me I would be better off living in Bridgeport, Carter recalled. The city is one of Connecticuts most impoverished. She would not send me out an application for nothing in the world, no matter how many times I called. She kept saying, Go to Bridgeport.

Blocking those who dont live in town from getting a housing subsidy is against the law, but housing authorities are allowed to prioritize whom they award the vouchers to.

Both ways can effectively shut out minorities. And the Winchester Housing Authority is not alone. The wealthy town of Westport where just 1% of the residents are black and 5% are Hispanic until recently posted on its website that it gave substantial preference to current residents and those with ties to the town for its public housing. After the CT Mirror and ProPublica asked about the policy, officials removed the language from the site and disavowed the practice.

Carter decided to fight back. Her mother had worked for the Hartford Housing Authority for decades, so she was familiar with housing rules. I pretty much know all my rights, she said later. She called the Connecticut Fair Housing Center and soon sued Winchester for housing discrimination.

The housing authority denied any wrongdoing, and the case dragged on for more than a year. The parties settled, with Winchester pledging to open its waiting list to those outside its borders. But instead of accepting applications from Carter and others, Winchester stopped participating in the voucher program altogether.

Amid the legal battle, she landed a voucher from the middle-class town of West Hartford. She was jubilant. Then, she started searching. There were no places no matter how hard I looked, Carter said. Its not a golden ticket.

Approaching the time limit to find housing with her voucher, she settled for Hartford, where her family ultimately moved into a quaint four-bedroom duplex on a quiet street in the South End. Another bright spot: After a few months in the citys struggling schools, her children had won coveted spots to attend school in the suburbs of Suffield and Simsbury, which have some of the highest-performing schools in the state. (The education lottery stemmed from a Connecticut Supreme Court order in 1996 to correct the inequality inherent in the Hartford regions segregated schools.)

The change was stark. In Simsbury, educators taught smaller classes; the school had a social worker and other staff who helped coordinate transportation for Carters children and enrolled them in free extracurricular programs. Clubs focused on the stock market, horticulture, mindfulness, fly fishing.

We was grounded, Carter said, and didnt have to worry about living.

Carter found the notice under her door. It was the summer of 2018. Her landlord of four years had sold the building, and the new owner had given her just 30 days to leave.

Carter was deflated. It had taken so long to find this apartment, and she had no free time; she worked long hours as a ramp loader at the airport for an Amazon Prime subcontractor. Further, the conditions of the education lottery restricted her options; in order for her children to remain in their current schools, they had to live in either Simsbury or Hartford. So when the deadline to move passed, Carter refused to leave. Her landlord filed for eviction. The legal fight lasted for months.

On a frigid morning in January 2019, Carter saw her children off to school and then headed to Hartford Housing Court, a brown brick building a half-block from the state Capitol.

The courtroom was packed with families facing eviction and their landlords attorneys, but when the bailiff yelled out her name, she still felt humiliated.

Carter pleaded her case above the squeals of a restless baby in the gallery. She told the judge her choices were bleak: either remain in the duplex and eventually be evicted, or leave and become homeless.

I just cant find an adequate four-bedroom. Its not like Im just sitting there. I know the man want me out. Its obvious the man want me out, she told Judge Rupal Shah. Ive been looking in Hartford. Ive been looking in Simsbury.

But not having anywhere to go is not a valid defense the judge gave her 10 days to move.

Monica Jorge

After Carter was evicted from her apartment in the South End of Hartford, she extended her search to other parts of the city, like this Albany Avenue neighborhood.

Eviction rates are high in Connecticut, with 1 in 18 families in Hartford evicted each year. While some skipped rent or damaged property, others are forced out because of new ownership or rising rents. Landlords will often start the eviction process on tenants in good standing to speed up the move-out process, said Nancy Hronek, a housing attorney with Greater Hartford Legal Aid. Regardless of the circumstances, an eviction stains a tenants rental record, making it more difficult for them to find a new place. Some housing advocates call it the Scarlet E.

On the morning of Feb. 7, Carter heard a knock on the door. It was a state marshal. She hadnt finished emptying the apartment, so the marshal began hauling her belongings outside. Within minutes, her furniture was strewn across the front lawn. Her children helped her load everything into a moving van. Fog hung in the air as they drove away in silence.

Her family crammed into a relatives apartment in a nearby city. The whole family slept in one room; the three boys in one bed, Carter and her two girls in another. Often, one of them would sleep on the couch in the family room. Everyone stuffed their clothes into a single dresser. The rest of their things moldered in storage.

Crystal Carter

The social worker at school tried to get the kids into free camps and after-school clubs, but they started to act out. They resisted getting up for school, and their grades started to suffer. The principal called to express concern.

Now we shelled in this house, Carter said. This neighborhood, it aint really great, so my kids are just stuck in a room all day playing video games or on YouTube.

Then, Carter lost her job; the shipping business where she worked took a hit and the company downsized. She redoubled her housing search.

Carter woke before dawn. Sitting at a half-moon table in the dimly lit kitchen, she opened her phone to review apartment listings on a handful of websites while her children slept. Facebook Market, Craigslist, Trulia, Zillow, She kept checking her phone for notifications of new offerings in Simsbury and Hartford.

It had been four months since her eviction.

Every day, I look and nothing works out, she said.

Most of the listings were in impoverished communities in Hartford. Carter doesnt drive, so she would line up tours and then ride the bus for an hour to the city. Many of the units she described as shitholes.

The Obama administration had tried to change this dynamic. In 2011, HUD piloted a program in the Dallas area that raised the value of vouchers in high-cost areas and decreased their value in impoverished communities as a result of a legal settlement. The idea was that more money would provide more choice, encouraging voucher holders to seek housing in safer areas with high-performing schools.

The Obama administration changed federal rules to expand the program, but the Trump administration in 2017 suspended an expansion of the initiative to poor cities like Hartford.

Carter sued HUD in 2017 in federal district court in Washington, seeking a court order increasing the value of her voucher in the more affluent neighborhoods of Hartford. The judge ruled in her favor.

Crystal Carter

Researchers have found that raising the vouchers value in certain neighborhoods worked to make more housing available within the vouchers price range. The share of rental units in better-off areas that voucher holders could afford jumped from 18% to 41%, according to New York Universitys Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy.

But now, two years later, Carter often found herself turned away from nicer places. That summer, she saw an ad for an idyllic Cape Cod in a quiet neighborhood, so she called the management company to arrange a tour. But when she disclosed that she planned to pay with a voucher, the firm told her it was no longer available and suggested listings in poorer areas. When Carter passed by a few weeks later, she saw a for rent sign on the front lawn.

Monica Jorge

A neighborhood in Simsbury, one of the suburbs where Carters children attend school, thanks to winning an education lottery, but where she couldnt find a home with her Section 8 housing voucher.

Frustrated with her online search, Carter sometimes asked friends and family to drive her around the better-off areas of Hartford looking for unlisted apartments. She also relied on her social network to send her tips. She heard about the yellow house in Barry Square from her oldest son, who came across it while he was out with friends.

There is no place for us, Carter said. How can I say this without being too blunt: Everybody dont want us in their backyard. Its not a color thing. Its a voucher thing. Nobody wants us.

Around the country, the federal government has largely outsourced investigating housing discrimination complaints to watchdogs like the Connecticut Fair Housing Center and the states Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities.

After disability discrimination, the second most common type of complaint Connecticuts watchdogs receive is that a landlord wont take a voucher or another legal source of income. But only 17% of people who suffer discrimination actually end up filing a complaint, research shows.

Crystal Carter

Like most apartment hunters, Carter had no time to file complaints. After the Barry Square landlord rejected her, she headed to another open house, which she had found on Craigslist. It was a five-bedroom in the Clay Arsenal neighborhood, a part of Hartford known for drug dealing. Her oldest son had once witnessed his friend being shot in this neighborhood in a carjacking.

My brain is telling me dont do this, she said. My kids arent built for this life.

She pushed her hair into her black duckbill newsboy cap and walked up the stairs. Inside, she scanned the floor and saw glue traps to catch mice. Its just as a precaution, the owner said. Carter thought about her 13-year-old daughter, who has severe asthma; rodent infestations can trigger the condition.

As she made her way into the main bedroom, she looked at the doors. A dog had scratched through the flimsy material. The carpet was worn. And a hallway closet had been turned into a bedroom. The rent: $1,600.

Carter couldnt wait to leave. She stepped outside, and the landlord assured her that she would have the carpets cleaned and the doors repaired. An exterminator would come monthly.

Do you take vouchers? Carter asked.

Thats not a problem, the owner responded.

Time was running out. In late July, Carters relative heard from their landlord. There were too many people in the apartment.

Carter and three of her children stayed while her two older sons moved in with her brother about 20 miles away. Her grasp on her voucher was also tenuous. It had been set to expire in August but, after attorneys at the Connecticut Fair Housing Center and the civil rights group Open Communities Alliance took up her case, she won a 30-day reprieve.

Shed turned down the apartment with mouse traps. But now she was forced to consider a different place in the same neighborhood; it too had mouse traps. Panicked, she started the process of finalizing a lease by sending paperwork to the Hartford Housing Authority.

Even then, she hit a snag: Housing officials approved the apartment but not the entire rent.

More here:
Separated by Design: How wealthy towns keep people with housing vouchers out - The CT Mirror

LETTER: Reader seeks city action on rat problem in Vernon – Vernon Morning Star

Recommended by Dikshit Aryal, Published on January 10th, 2020

To the Editor,

In the Dec. 20, 2019, edition of the Vernon Morning Star there was an article entitled Vernon council briefs: Rats The short article stated, among other things, the rats that invaded City Hall were taken care of with traps. The only advice given to anyone concerned about rats was the following: call an exterminator. Good advice if there is an infestation that may require rat poison with its potential for collateral damage, i.e., accidentally poisoning hawks, owls, pets and children. Even when using rat traps, the potential for mechanical collateral damage must be taken into consideration.

Rats, once limited to coastal B.C. communities, are now found as far east as the Kootenays and as far north as Kamloops. We live on Mission Hill. I have dispatched eight rats in our yard. Our neighbours grapes and walnuts were definitely part of their diet. According to Google, controlling food sources and limiting denning areas are key to keeping rats in check. Trapping is, at best, a stop-gap measure. The black rat, also known as the ship rat, the roof rat or the house rat, is a common long-tailed rodent. A typical adult black rats body is up to 18.25 centimetres (7.2 inches) long, not including its 22 cm (8.7 in) tail. Each female can produce up to 40 offspring a year. Rats need to gnaw to keep their constantly growing incisor teeth worn down. They damage woodwork, plastics and will strip insulation from electrical cables in houses and vehicles.

Here are a few basic preventative measures the public should be aware of, namely, remove pet food from outside, minimize access to birdfeeders; keep garbage/compost containers tightly sealed; prune back vegetation around buildings and block access points to houses and sheds with 1/4-inch mesh or steel wool. If you see a rat, or its droppings, the odds are there is more than one. Keep in mind, rats are nocturnal.

This email will be forwarded to Vernon City Hall with in the hope our Mayor and councillors will consider drafting an authoritative fact sheet and a list of recommendations for dealing with the growing rat problem. Such information could be included in the citys quarterly utility bills and/or be made available on the citys website. Hopefully our municipal officials will come up with appropriate information and an action plan.

Lloyd Atkins

Vernon, B.C.

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LETTER: Reader seeks city action on rat problem in Vernon - Vernon Morning Star

Inuit say airport hotel is inhospitable, unsuitable for housing the sick – CTV News

Recommended by Dikshit Aryal, Published on January 10th, 2020

MONTREAL -- As Quebec's northern communities grapple with a mental health crisis and a lack of medical services, more northern residents have flown hundreds of kilometres south each year to receive care in Montreal. Many of those patients stay in an airport hotel not suited to house sick people, where they feel discriminated against, patients told CTV News.

In 2016, the government financed the construction of a health centre and boarding home, Ullivik, to house Inuit in Montreal while they attend medical appointments or receive treatment. It isn't big enough, however, to accommodate the growing number of patients flown south, according to people who have stayed there and a government worker with knowledge of the situation.

So dozens of patients stay at the Quality Hotel, near Trudeau airport, on Cote-de-Liesse Ave. in Dorval.

CTV News spoke to seven people who stayed at the hotel: patients, their companions or family members. All said they felt they were treated differently from other patients and that their rooms were dirty or unsuitable for the sick.

The hotel has recently been renovated. Rooms are new, fresh and bright, but a section is reserved for the Inuit patients. That part of the hotel is crowded, dark and dirty according to people who have stayed there. It has not been renovated.

Fears of bed bugs

Fears of bed bugs at the hotel have also spread among patients, they say. Photos of bed bugs in one of the rooms have been posted to social media, and one patient said the pests got into her luggage and infested her apartment after she stayed at the Quality Hotel.

Recent inspections have shown that the hotel is free of bed bugs, according to the hotel manager, Nader Abdel Nour. He also disputed claims of discrimination. Hotel workers enjoy caring for the Inuit patients and housekeeping staff clean their rooms every day, as they do with all other hotel rooms, he said.

Much of the hotel has been renovated except for the rooms reserved for Inuit patients, he admitted, but only because those rooms have such a high turnover rate that they are always occupied, leaving no convenient time for renovations, he said.

Plans are being drawn up for renovations of the rooms used by the Inuit patients, Nour said. Those plans include hardwood floors, which will make them easier to clean, he added.

On a Friday in November, CTV visited the hotel. New rooms were clean and bright, and the rooms used by the Inuit patients were dark, and one such room had stains on the walls and on the carpet.

Many Inuit patients and their companions dread staying at the hotel. They fear unclean rooms and bed bugs.

Also, their complaints are not taken seriously, according to Ealasie Simigak, who lives in Kujuuaq but has stayed at the hotel while attending medical appointments in Montreal.

The hotel accommodations are inadequate, particularly for patients with serious conditions, she said.

"We have to leave our families back home because of medical appointments here, and sometimes there are severe cases chronic patients that cannot go back home because of their conditions, so the best way would be to make them feel at home as much as possible," she said.

Another Kujuuaq resident, Sarah Tukkiapik, said bed bugs had infested her apartment three times, forcing her to throw out sheets, clothing and furniture. Previously she had contracted the pests after a stay at Ullivik, she said. (That shelter now treats patients luggage in an attempt to reduce the likelihood of spreading bed bugs, according to people who have stayed there.)

Recently, signs of the bugs appeared soon after she accompanied patients to Montreal, where she had stayed at the Quality Hotel.

She won't go back to the hotel, she said. She is afraid of bed bugs and slept with the lights on during a recent visit because she feared being bit (she had heard that doing so would prevent bites). When she returned home, her granddaughter slept over at her apartment and woke up covered in bites. Bed bugs must have crawled into her luggage during her stay, Tukkiapik said.

She is not the only one.

Cecilia Kutchaka recently visited her mother in the hotel and noticed bed bugs in her room. She took pictures and posted them online. Her post was shared 87 times, and several people said in comments that they had seen the pests themselves, either at the Quality Hotel or at Ullivik. Many commenters also said they had never seen bedbugs at the Quality Hotel.

Kutchaka reported the sighting to the front desk. An exterminator inspected the hotel after her complaint, according to Nour, but didn't find any living bed bugs. Traces of the insects did turn up in one room (not the room where Kutchaka said she saw them).

Sometimes, patients overreacted and signalled false alarms, Nour said of the bed bugs.

Tensions between staff, security and patients

Patients are not allowed alcohol at the Quality Hotel, as is the case at Ullivik. At the hotel, a private security firm watches over the patients. The security guards check the patients bags, ostensibly for alcohol, but the checks bothered many of the patients CTV spoke with, who felt their privacy was being invaded.

Tensions also exist between some hotel staff members and the patients, according to Qarsauq Kajjat, who lives in Inukjuak and has stayed at the hotel multiple times while in Montreal to see doctors. (Kajjat is trans and prefers the pronoun "they.")

On a recent visit to the hotel, Kajjat said they got into a confrontation with one of the staff members, who snapped at them for holding open an elevator doorsomething that wouldn't have happened had Kajjat not been Inuit, they said.

Hotel staff members and security guards treat Inuit callously and are sometimes racist towards them, Kajjat said.

"They assume right away that every Inuit is a drunk, a druggie, and will cause trouble," Kajjat said. "When in actuality half the problems that are caused are due to miscommunication and the instant assumption that we are there just to drink and not what we're sent there to do, which is to go to the hospital."

Such treatment wasn't necessarily specific to the hotel it was pervasive in Montreal and other southern Quebec cities, Kajjat added.

Nour acknowledged clashes between patients and staff but stressed that such incidents were rare.

The hotel earns over $1 million per year providing rooms for the Inuit patients, Nour said. It's a valuable contract, and he stressed that he considered his guests' satisfaction including the patients vital.

Hotel 'not the best place' for patients

The government agency that oversees the health network in Nunavik admitted that the hotel is not the best place for patients.

Fabien Pernet, assistant to the executive director of the Nunavik Regional Board of Health and Social Services (NRBHSS), said most patients would prefer to stay at Ullivik, which is more suitable for them.

But Ullivik has had problems of its own. In 2017, the Nunatsiaq News, an outlet that covers Quebec's northern communities, reported on numerous cases of violence and sexual violence at Ullivik. That same year, a truck struck one Inuk woman, killing her, in the Ullivik parking lot, after she was turned away from the shelter because she was inebriated.

Rather than flying patients south, building more shelters or renting hotel rooms for them, access to healthcare in Nunavik should be improved, Pernet argued.

Nunavik is almost 550,000 square kilometres. It covers the northern third of the province of Quebec. Fourteen villages are spread along its vast northern shore.

The region has two health centres, and only a few dozen hospital beds. Health resources are scant and insufficient to provide patients with anything more than basic checkups and care. Patients who need to see a specialist, or receive any more serious care, must fly south.

A mental health crisis in the region has also contributed to a spike in the number of suicide attempts in the North, adding to the number of patients being airlifted south which doubled in 2018, Pernet said. The average life expectancy in Nunavik is almost 20 years lower than the rest of Quebec, he added.

As a consequence, Ullivik is virtually always full, and the rooms on the first floor of the Quality Hotel the section used by the Inuit patients are always full, too.

Pernet said patients' allegations of discrimination at the Quality Hotel were concerning.

"Of course, there will be discussions regarding the contract we have with the hotel (to see if it) is the perfect solution or if there should be another solution found," he said.

Improved northern healthcare would reduce the need for a trip south, he added. The NRBHSS is asking the provincial government to recognize the need for a hospital in Nunavik, and discussions are progressing, he said.

"We're working with the ministry to have this need recognized to make sure that in these next coming years, we will be able to start the construction of such a regional hospital," he said.

"Having those services available in Nunavik, having more exams available, more specialists available, that would for sure limit the amount of travel that patients from Nunavik would have to do to Montreal."

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Inuit say airport hotel is inhospitable, unsuitable for housing the sick - CTV News

51 Restaurant Health Inspection failure and re-inspection reports from 2019 –

Recommended by Dikshit Aryal, Published on January 10th, 2020

Editor's Note: This information is taken from inspection reports found on the Georgia Department of Health's Environmental Health Search Portal.



Last Inspection Score: 69

Last Inspection Date: 07-24-2019

Inspection Purpose: Routine

Inspector Notes:

Observed flies and gnats flying around the inside of the kitchen and toward the back of the kitchen where the dishes were being stored. The person in charge (PIC) also mentioned he is not a pest control technician. The presence of insects, rodents and other pests must be controlled to minimize their presence on the premises by: 1. Routinely inspecting incoming shipments of food and supplies; 2. Routinely inspecting the premises for evidence of pests; 3. Using methods, if pests are found, such as trapping devices or other means of pest control as specified under subsections (6)(e), (6)(m), and (6)(n) of this Rule; and 4. Eliminating harborage conditions.

Observed several items - slicers, can opener and knives - with food debris still stuck to the equipment and food debris splatter in the drawers. Food contact surfaces must be cleaned to sight and touch at all times. Corrective action: Dishes moved to the dish machine to be re-cleaned.

Observed the ice bin had black substance found on the inside. Equipment food-contact surfaces and utensils must be clean to sight and touch. Corrective action: PIC emptied all the ice and cleaned the ice machine.

Observed several foods inside prep units by the breading and salad station holding above 41 F. Except during preparation, cooking or cooling, or when time is used as the public health control, time/temperature control for safety food must be maintained at 41F (5C) or below or 135F (57C) or above, except that roasts cooked to a temperature and for a time specified in subsection (5)(a)2 of this Rule and reheated using the same temperature and time conditions as cooking may be held at a temperature of 130F (54C) or above. Corrective action: Food was discarded.

Observed the cornbread dressing on the warmer line holding at 113 F. PIC also stirred the dressing and mentioned it was holding at 174 F, but stirring is not allowed prior to checking the temperatures. Hot holding food must be maintained at 135 F and above at all times. Corrective ation: Food was discarded.

Observed several time/temperature control for safety foods were not labeled with a time and date or not listed on the written documentation provided to the inspector. The items were buttermilk, cornbread mix and butter. If time without temperature control is used as the public health control for a working supply of time/temperature control for safety food before cooking or for ready-to-eat time/temperature control for safety food that is displayed or held for sale or service, written procedures must be prepared in advance, maintained in the food service establishment and made available to the regulatory authority upon request that specify - (i) Methods of compliance with paragraphs 2(i) - (iii) or 3(i) through (v) of this subsection; and (ii) Methods of compliance with the cooling of time/temperature control for safety food that is prepared, cooked, and refrigerated before time is used as a public health control. 2. If time without temperature control is used as the public health control up to a maximum of 4 hours: (i) The food must have an initial temperature of 41F (5C) or less when removed from cold holding temperature control, or 135F (57C) or greater when removed from hot holding temperature control; (ii) The food must be marked or otherwise identified to indicate the time that is 4 hours past the point in time when the food is removed from temperature control; (iii) The food must be cooked and served, served at any temperature if ready-to-eat or discarded, within 4 hours from the point in time when the food is removed from temperature control; and (iv) The food in unmarked containers or packages, or marked to exceed a 4-hour limit must be discarded. Corrective action: The inspector provided a copy of the Times as A Public Health control and reviewed the guidelines with the PIC.

PIC could not provide documentation or otherwise satisfactorily demonstrate during the inspection, that all food employees and conditional employees are informed of their responsibility to report to management information about their health and activities as it relates to diseases that are transmissible through food. The manager also mentioned he was busy and not able to answer the inspector's questions. The permit holder must require food employees and conditional employees to report to the certified food safety manager (CFSM) and PIC, information about their health and activities as they relate to diseases that are transmissible through food. A food employee or conditional employee must report the information in a manner that allows the CFSM and PIC to reduce the risk of foodborne disease transmission, including providing necessary additional information, such as the date of onset of symptoms and an illness, or of a diagnosis without symptoms. Corrective action: The inspector provided and reviewed a copy of the Employee Red Booklet, Quick Decision Guide and Employee Health Agreement Form.

Establishment does not have established procedures for employees to follow when responding to vomiting or diarrheal events that involve the discharge of vomitus or fecal matter onto surfaces in the food establishment. A food establishment must have procedures for employees to follow when responding to vomiting or diarrheal events. The procedures must address the specific actions employees must take to minimize the spread of contamination and the exposure of employees, consumers, food and surfaces to vomitus or fecal matter. Corrective action: The inspector provided and reviewed the written plan procedure and supplies needed for vomit/fecal accidents.

Observed all the menus stated ask server about menu items cooked to order. The lettering for the consumer advisory was also all lowercase. This has been taken off on several inspection reports prior to the change of ownership. If an animal food such as beef, eggs, fish, lamb, pork, poultry or shellfish is served or sold raw, undercooked or without otherwise being processed to eliminate pathogens, either in ready-to-eat form or as an ingredient in another ready-to-eat food, the permit holder must inform consumers of the significantly increased risk of consuming such foods by way of a disclosure and reminder, as specified in paragraphs 2 and 3 of this subsection using brochures, deli case or menu advisories, label statements, table tents, placards or other effective written means. The disclosure and reminder statements must be worded in legible type in all capital letters and no smaller than font size No. 8 or if displayed on a menu board shall be printed no smaller than the smallest lettering used for a menu item. 2. Disclosure must include: (i) A description of the animal-derived foods, such as oysters on the half shell (raw oysters), raw egg Caesar salad, and hamburgers (can be cooked to order); or (ii) Identification of the animal-derived foods by asterisking them to a footnote that states that the items are served raw or undercooked, or contain (or may contain) raw or undercooked ingredients. 3. The reminder must include asterisking the animal-derived foods requiring disclosure to a footnote that states: (i) Consuming raw or undercooked meats, poultry, seafood, shellfish or eggs may increase one's risk of foodborne illness; or (ii) Consuming raw or undercooked meats, poultry, seafood, shellfish or eggs may increase one's risk of foodborne illness, especially if one has certain medical conditions.

Observed several food containers, bulk food and squirt bottles were not labeled with a common name. Any food item taken out of its original container should be labeled with a common name at all times.

Observed two containers of shrimp stored in direct contact with food. Storage or Display of Food in Contact with Water or Ice. 1. Packaged food may not be stored in direct contact with ice or water if the food is subject to the entry of water because of the nature of its packaging, wrapping, or container or positioning in the ice or water. 2. Except as specified in paragraphs 3 and 4 of this subsection, unpackaged food may not be stored in direct contact with undrained ice. 3. Whole, raw fruits or vegetables; cut, raw vegetables such as celery or carrot sticks or cut potatoes; and tofu may be immersed in ice or water. 4. Raw poultry and raw fish that are received immersed in ice in shipping containers may remain in that condition while in storage awaiting preparation, display, service or sale. Corrective action: The ice was removed.

Observed several waitresses preparing dressing for the tables at the front counter wearing bracelets and watches on their arms and hands. Except for a plain ring such as a wedding band food employees may not wear jewelry including medical information jewelry on their arms and hands while preparing food.

Observed several wet wiping and dry wiping cloths found on top of the prep tables. Wet wiping cloths also were found under several cutting boards. While not in uses, wet wiping cloths must be stored inside sanitizing solution holding between 50-100 ppm for CL and 200-400 ppm for Quat Ammonia. Dry wiping must be stored in a designated area. Corrective action: Wet wiping cloths stored inside the sanitizing buckets and dry cloths were stored in a designated area.

Observed excessive food debris found on the floors and walls. Except as specified under subsection (2)(d) of this Rule and except for antislip floor coverings or applications that may be used for safety reasons, floors, floor coverings, walls, wall coverings and ceilings must be designed, constructed and installed so they are smooth and easily cleanable.

Observed the floor tiles inside the back of the kitchen, walk in cooler and walk in freezers were in disrepair. All physical facilities must be maintained in good repair. The inspector stated this needs to be fixed as soon as possible.

Observed several employee drinks and phone scattered throughout the kitchen. Lockers or other suitable facilities must be located in a designated room or area where contamination of food, equipment, utensils, linens and single-service and single-use articles cannot occur. Corrective action: Employee belongings was moved to a designated area.

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51 Restaurant Health Inspection failure and re-inspection reports from 2019 -

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