Robot helps Clark County boy, 6, attend school
By RILEY NEWTON
Friday, March 8
SOUTH CHARLESTON, Ohio (AP) — Levi Suttles is just like any other kindergartner. He learns numbers, plays with friends during recess and enjoys listening to his teacher read Dr. Seuss books.
The only difference between Levi and his classmates at Miami View Elementary School in South Charleston? He attends school via a robot he controls from home.
“He can see his friends every day. He can go to his Valentine’s Day party,” Kristen Suttles, Levi’s mom said. “It’s like he’s there, but he’s on an iPad. He moves around like a Segway.”
Levi was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in March of 2018 at the age of 5.
Childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia is a type of cancer in which bone marrow makes too many immature lymphocytes, which is a type of white blood cell, according to the National Cancer Institute’s website.
After his diagnoses, it was hard for Levi, now 6, to make it through full school days with doctors appointments and just overall exhaustion.
“Pediatric cancer is not as rare as people think. So there are so many school-aged children who are missing out on not only academic but also social aspects of school,” Suttles said.
Levi’s teacher, Jayelin Call, said it hurt to have to mark him absent every day.
“As a teacher, it’s heartbreaking to mark a child absent for 80-something days,” Call said. “You know, you want them here and learning. He’s entitled to get the best education possible.”
Call had heard a story about a student using a robot in the classroom in Pennsylvania. Around the same time, the Ohio State Engineering Department reached out to see whether Miami View wanted help with any projects.
“Right away we had someone come out and walk us through how a double robotics system in the classroom would work,” Call said. “We came up with classroom rules for the robot and how to interact with it. So we were ready when it came.”
Ohio State donated the robot to Miami View. Levi is allowed to use the robot for as long as he needs it. Suttles said with Levi’s diagnoses, he will require treatment for another 2 1/2 years.
The robot is controlled by Levi with simple arrow commands on an iPad and includes a Facetime-like streaming service. Levi can see the class, and the class can see him.
Suttles said that when Call reached out to her with the news of Levi being able to attend school in a way that was convenient for him, she was ecstatic.
“He is an expert when it comes to the iPad and stuff so he picked it up right away,” Suttles said.
Call’s class has been using the robot since the beginning of February and the students are already used to it. The robot has its own set of blue eye glasses, a wardrobe staple for Levi.
“Levi himself is very interactive so he is able still be able to show that,” Call said. “When I ask a question, he can raise his hand. Sometimes, when I’m not paying attention, he will rise his robot up so I know he wants to be called on.”
Suttles agrees that Levi has a big personality.
“He’s so funny. He rolled into the class Valentine’s Day party and announced, ‘The party is here,’” Suttles said. “He loves all typical boy things. He loves dinosaurs and video games.”
Suttles said Levi has been nothing but positive since his diagnoses, and has never complained once about having to miss seeing his friends at school.
There is one thing that Levi doesn’t like.
“I don’t like needles,” Levi said. “They are sharp and they stick you.”
Information from: Springfield News-Sun, http://www.springfieldnewssun.com
Portman, Udall Introduce Bill to Ensure Remaining Stamps to Promote Wildlife Conservation Are Sold
Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) and Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM) introduced the Multinational Species Conservation Funds Semipostal Stamp Reauthorization Act, legislation which would require the U.S. Postal Service to sell the approximately 50 million remaining Saving Vanishing Species Stamps left in stock. Senators Tom Carper (D-DE), Dianna Feinstein (D-CA), Ed Markey (D-MA), and Gary Peters (D-MI) are original cosponsors of this legislation. A companion bill in the House has been introduced by Representatives Lacy Clay (D-MO) and Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE).
When the program began in 2011, the U.S. Postal Service printed 100 million stamps to help promote wildlife conservation and this legislation would require the U.S. Postal Service to sell the approximately 50 million remaining stamps left in stock. This legislation is being introduced just after of World Wildlife Day this past Sunday, which celebrated and raised awareness about marine wildlife.
“We owe it to our future generations to preserve our planet’s rich wildlife and natural resources so that they can continue to be enjoyed,” said Portman. “This successful stamp program has raised millions of dollars to fund conservation without any taxpayer money. I am hopeful my Senate colleagues will join me in ensuring that every last stamp is sold.”
“B – The Underwater Bubble Show” Returns to Transform the Lincoln April 6 & 7
Produced with the support of Latvia’s greatest authorities in entertainment and theatre, B – The Underwater Bubble Show is a mesmerizing blend of drama, mime, dance, puppetry, juggling, contortionism, sand art, and magic. After another long day of deadlines and meetings, Mr. B finds himself magically transported to a colorful, happy place called Bubblelandia where his only job is to daydream.
CAPA presents “B – The Underwater Bubble Show” at the Lincoln Theatre (769 E. Long St.) on Saturday, April 6, at 7 pm, and Sunday, April 7, at 2 pm and 6 pm. Tickets are $26.50 and $36.50 and can be purchased in-person at the CAPA Ticket Center (39 E. State St.), online at www.capa.com, or by phone at (614) 469-0939 or (800) 745-3000.
Inspired by childhood standards like Alice in Wonderland, The Little Mermaid, and Peter Pan, B-The Underwater Bubble Show is a modern fairytale with one major twist. “Each classic tale represents a journey of a kid who grows up and learns something,” explains co-creator and director Enrico Pezzoli. “We wanted a story about an adult character who discovers that he can still go back and enjoy life. We don’t always need to grow up. Sometimes we need to step backwards for a bit and restart.”
The show follows Mr. B, a creature of modern habits who “always feels pressed by a thousand things to do in a world that seems to be moving too fast.” The office worker discovers a little aquarium that appears like magic inside his briefcase and gradually becomes enchanted by the wondrous underwater world of Bubblelandia, which is full of seahorses, dragon fish, starfish, mermaids, and other creatures.
Taking cues from Cirque du Soleil, the visually spectacular show incorporates the latest in stage technology. Lasers, low ground smoke, and flying foam simulate waves and the underwater atmosphere.
A juggler in a huge plastic ball is the performer that immediately attracts Mr. B and the audience into Bubblelandia‘s wondrous world, while dancers and acrobats serve as small, colorful fish chasing Mr. B and each other inside the aquarium. The main character is played by a skillful actor/mime exaggerating his gradual transformation from stressed-out modernity to blissed-out wonder.
However, the biggest attraction of the show is the spectacular use of soap bubbles in multiple artistic ways. Creators Pezzoli and bubble artist/spouse Dace Pecoli have toured the world as a duo act for nearly 20 years, working with the form, including a performance at the Sochi Olympics.
Developed over two years, The Bubblelandia Journey debuted in October 2011 with a pair of shows in Italy that drew more than 5,000 spectators. It has since toured major theaters across Switzerland, Kaliningrad, lndonesia, Russia, and Lebanon. A revised and enriched version made its UK and UAE debut in 2015 at the Blackpool Tower Circus and the Al Rayyan Theater in Doha, Qatar respectively. In 2016, the show toured the US for the first time, selling out nearly two thirds of their performances over a two-month tour.
CAPA presents B – THE UNDERWATER BUBBLE SHOW
Saturday, April 6, 7 pm
Sunday, April 7, 2 pm & 6 pm
Lincoln Theatre (769 E. Long St.)
Produced with the support of Latvia’s greatest authorities in entertainment and theatre, B – The Underwater Bubble Show is a mesmerizing blend of drama, mime, dance, puppetry, juggling, contortionism, sand art, and magic. After another long day of deadlines and meetings, Mr. B finds himself magically transported to a colorful, happy place called Bubblelandia where his only job is to daydream. Tickets are $26.50 and $36.50 and can be purchased in-person at the CAPA Ticket Center (39 E. State St.), online at www.capa.com, or by phone at (614) 469-0939 or (800) 745-3000. www.capa.com
The Ohio Arts Council helped fund this program with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, education excellence, and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans. CAPA also appreciates the generous support of the Barbara B. Coons and Robert Bartels Funds of The Columbus Foundation and the Greater Columbus Arts Council.
Owner/operator of downtown Columbus’ magnificent historic theatres (Ohio Theatre, Palace Theatre, Southern Theatre) and manager of the Riffe Center Theatre Complex, Lincoln Theatre, Drexel Theatre, Jeanne B. McCoy Community Center for the Arts (New Albany, OH), and the Shubert Theater (New Haven, CT), CAPA is a non-profit, award-winning presenter of national and international performing arts and entertainment. For more information, visit www.capa.com.
Pregnant women shouldn’t have to choose between a job and a healthy baby
March 11, 2019
Author: Jeannette Cox, Professor of Law, University of Dayton
Disclosure statement: Jeannette Cox does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.
Partners: University Of Dayton provides funding as a member of The Conversation US.
Pregnant women in low-income work often face an unappealing choice: lose their job or perform duties that endanger their health and that of their baby.
Walmart, the biggest private employer in the U.S., is a case in point. In 2007, the retailer fired Heather Wiseman for carrying around a bottle of water – despite a doctor’s note saying it was necessary for her pregnancy. A decade later Walmart forced Whitney Tomlinson to take unpaid leave after she revealed her pregnancy-related lifting restrictions.
These aren’t isolated cases. A 2018 New York Times investigation found that some of the largest American companies – including Walmart, AT&T, Merck and Whole Foods – “systematically sideline pregnant women,” “pass them over for promotions and raises” and “fire them when they complain.”
In 2012, I wrote a law review article that explored the ways employers refuse to provide simple accommodations to low-income pregnant workers, such as letting them drink from a water bottle or having co-workers help with heavy lifting. Since then, 18 states have passed laws that require employers to provide pregnancy accommodations, bringing the total to almost two dozen.
But as The New York Times report shows, more needs to be done to ensure women don’t have to make a choice between the health of their babies and earning an income.
A right to accommodation
Recent research suggests that pregnancy discrimination is particularly problematic for low-income women.
While the difference in employment rates between pregnant and nonpregnant women who earn US$20,000 a year or more is relatively small, the gap is more than 11 percentage points among poorer women. And the data already exclude women who have voluntarily exited the workforce, meaning they focus on the more than 60 percent of pregnant women who depend on a paycheck to support their growing families.
Congress passed the Pregnancy Discrimination Act in 1978 to prevent such discrimination. Unfortunately, it hasn’t resolved the problem because, unlike its counterpart, the Americans with Disabilities Act, it does not provide an absolute right to workplace accommodations. Instead, it directs employers to treat pregnant workers the same as similar colleagues.
But since pregnant workers have special concerns – such as a need for easy access to water, lifting restrictions or maternity-fit uniforms – discrimination claims tend to fail because they cannot find a comparable nonpregnant coworker who needs the same accommodation.
States lead the charge
In recent years, states have been filling this gap by passing statutes that provide pregnant workers with an absolute right to workplace accommodations.
The number of states with such laws has almost doubled from just 12 in 2014 to 23 today. And Kentucky is on course to becoming the 24th after its Senate passed an accommodation bill in February.
In addition, in 2015, the Supreme Court, in Young v. UPS, clarified the kind of employer accommodation policy that would violate the Pregnancy Discrimination Act. Specifically, it ruled that an employer that provides pregnant workers less generous accommodations than nonpregnant workers violates the act if it imposes a significant burden without a “sufficiently strong” nondiscriminatory reason.
In other words, an employer can’t simply claim that accommodating a pregnant worker is more expensive or less convenient.
While this caused a spike in the number of claims filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Young decision’s vagueness limited its positive impact.
The number of pregnancy accommodation complaints rose dramatically from just 15 in 2013 to 676 in 2017.
But the Supreme Court didn’t explain what it meant by a “sufficiently strong” reason, allowing employers to continue to argue that accommodating other workers does not trigger an obligation to provide pregnancy accommodations.
In October, a federal district court accepted this argument, ruling that Young allowed an employer to reject a pregnant worker’s request for a lifting accommodation even though the employer had provided that same arrangement to other employees. The reason it gave was that the accommodated workers had been injured on the job.
And now employers are arguing that they shouldn’t have to provide pregnant workers with the same accommodations they offer employees under the Americans with Disabilities Act, which would make it even harder to file a successful claim.
So what’s to be done?
One option is passing a new federal law that requires all employers across the U.S. to provide reasonable accommodations to pregnant women. The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, for example, would do just that. It is nearly identical to many of the recently enacted state statutes, except that it would exempt companies with fewer than 15 employees.
Although it’s been introduced in every Congress since 2012, it has yet to get a hearing. This could change in the current Congress, which has a record number of women.
There’s another option, however: Extend the American with Disabilities Act so that it covers the physical limitations that accompany a healthy pregnancy. Congress broadened the act in 2008 to cover pregnant workers with certain medical conditions like gestational diabetes and pregnancy-induced high blood pressure. Extending it further would require only a small change.
One major objection to this approach, of course, is that the word “disability” connotes a lack of work capacity, a stigma that may harm not only currently pregnant workers but women overall. But this assumption misunderstands the American with Disabilities Act, which differs significantly from earlier disability laws that viewed such people as defective.
Just as the act reshaped the workplace to accommodate disabled people who were previously excluded, it can do the same for pregnant women, recognizing them as legitimate wage earners. There’s no stigma in that.
Greeley Miklashek, logged in via Google: Today, we humans are 3,000 times more populous than our ecologically balanced hunter-gatherer ancestors just 12,000 years ago at the beginning of the agricultural revolution. We need to begin depopulating to reach a sustainable 2.5B by 2,1000 and only voluntary one-child families can accomplish this. Free women often pick higher education, meaningful work, and child-free lifestyles when they have access to safe, effective, inexpensive birth control. Our pro-natal cultural bias, as presented in this article would have us believe otherwise, but it is “fake news”. Population density stress is killing us now through all of our diseases of civilization. If we continue on our present thoughtless course of turning out 230,000 new copies of ourselves daily, the future for humanity is bleak indeed, not to mention the harm to the rest of the biosphere. Stress R Us
Allen Petrich: For decades, people derided Malthus but now we can see we are putting a huge environmental stress on the planet. Additionally, none of us are willing jointly to pay the price. Regarding share of the economy, about 25 years following the end of World War II, the emphasis on both people in a marriage work. Now, unless production of goods and services is double, the take per person falls. This meant that families that wanted to have the mother oversee the children from home were, in effect, having their income halved. Now when both work and cannot oversee the children, they must hire someone to do it. This i not to argue one way of the other but to acknowledge the consequences: 1. Increased population is putting a press on resources and pollution (LA air was cleaned by pollution regulations, but then pollution returned when the car population doubled) and 2. Without doubling production of goods and services, replacing one worker with 2 cuts down on the per person share of production.
MORPC Awards 10 Projects that Enhance Mobility of Older Adults and Individuals with Disabilities
(Columbus – March 20) The Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC) announces the Award of Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA’s) Section 5310 Program funding to 10 projects in Central Ohio that will enhance the mobility of older adults and individuals with disabilities.
FTA’s Section 5310 provides grant funds for capital expenses for vehicles and related equipment used to transport seniors and people with disabilities and activities related to mobility management. Funds may also be used for operating projects which specifically serve seniors and people with disabilities, travel training to instruct persons using fixed-route bus services, and capital projects to remove barriers at bus stops for persons with disabilities.
MORPC solicited funding requests from December 2018 through February 2019 for FTA’s Section 5310 Enhanced Mobility for Seniors and Persons with Disabilities program funding and received over $1.8 million in requests. MORPC staff approved administrative, operating and capital projects for funding totaling approximately $1.5 million for Federal Fiscal Year 2018 and State Fiscal Year 2019. Unless otherwise noted, projects listed require a 20 percent local match.
Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA) Operating Costs (50% match) $337,684
Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA) Miscellaneous Capital to Purchase Transportation $260,000
Delaware County Transit Board operated by Delaware Area Transit Agency (DATABus) Operating Costs (50% match) $35,774
Delaware County Transit Board operated by Delaware Area Transit Agency (DATABus) Three years of software $110,029
Delaware County Transit Board operated by Delaware Area Transit Agency (DATABus) Capitalized Maintenance $94,191
City of Dublin Older Adult/Individuals with Disability Shuttle $25,000
Clintonville-Beechwold CRC Hard/Software $34,144
Clintonville-Beechwold CRC Capitalized Maintenance $18,800
Clintonville-Beechwold CRC Miscellaneous Capital to Purchase Transportation $57,053
Greater Hilltop Shalom Zone Miscellaneous Capital to Purchase Transportation $6,446
MORPC Administration (no match required) $104,671
The program is administered by MORPC for the Columbus, Ohio Urbanized Area. Eligible recipients include state or local government authorities, private non-profit organizations, or public or private operators of public transportation services.
Funds are available each federal fiscal year and are distributed following a MORPC review and approval process. For more information visit the following website www.morpc.org/Section5310.
The Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC) serves as a resource for local officials as they make decisions about economic growth, development, transportation, energy, and environmental sustainability. Through a variety of transformative programs and services, we work to improve the lives of all Central Ohio residents and make the region stand out on the world stage. For more information, please visit www.morpc.org.
MONDAY, MARCH 11 – FRIDAY, MARCH 22
SR 257 between US 36 and Penn Rd
8 AM March 11: SR 257 will be closed for two weeks for a culvert replacement
Detour: Traffic will be routed around the construction via US 36, Sectionline Rd., and US 42
3 PM March 22: SR 257 will reopen
LICKING COUNTY: SR 13 Daytime Closure Beginning Monday
Ohio Department of Transportation
Fri 3/8/2019 3:01 PM
SR 13 Daytime Closure Beginning Monday
Beginning Monday, March 11, SR 13 will be closed to traffic between Dorsey Mill and Hopewell Drive for brush cutting. This is a daytime closure only.
Work hours: 9:00am to 2:30pm
SR 13 NB Detour: US 40 to SR 79 to SR 16 to SR 13
SR 13 SB Detour: Hopewell Drive to SR 79 to US 40 to SR 13
Road will be open to local traffic only during work hours
Estimated completion: Friday, March 15, weather permitting
SmartLane Traffic Advisory
Ohio Department of Transportation
Fri 3/8/2019 4:04 PM
Daytime work near airport tomorrow and lane closures next week
I-670 Between I-71 and I-270 (East Side)
SATURDAY, MARCH 9
5 AM: I-670 east reduced to two lanes between International Gateway and I-270
9 AM: The ramp from I-670 east to US 62 east will be reduced to one lane
5 PM: All lanes open
9 AM: I-270 north will be reduced to four lanes between I-670 and Easton Way
5 PM: All lanes open
MONDAY, MARCH 11 – FRIDAY, MARCH 15
9 AM: I-270 will be reduced to four lanes in each direction between I-670 and Easton Way
3 PM: All lanes open
US Route 62
9 AM: US 62 will be reduced to one lane between Stygler Rd. and I-270
3 PM: All lanes open