Archive for June, 2015

Kyklos Bearing International, LLC (KBI), an Ohio bearings manufacturer, will pay $50,000 and provide significant relief to settle a federal disability discrimination lawsuit, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced today.

According to the EEOC’s lawsuit, Donique Price worked at KBI’s Sandusky, Ohio manufacturing facility, where she operated a motorized scooter to move products and materials to and from an assembly line.  In 2012, the company’s medical staff imposed restrictions on Price because she had been treated for breast cancer.  The agency alleged, despite her breast cancer treatment and Price’s own doctor clearing her to work without any restrictions, KBI refused to consider outside medical opinions and fired her.

Such alleged conduct violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which prohibits employers from discriminating against a person because he or she is disabled or perceived to be disabled.  The EEOC filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio (EEOC v. Kyklos Bearing International, LLC, Case No. 3:13-cv-01662), after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its voluntary conciliation process.

In addition to providing $50,000 in monetary relief to Price, the three-year consent decree resolving the lawsuit provides substantial equitable relief.  The decree prohibits KBI from violating the ADA and requires the company make individualized assessments of a person’s ability to perform job functions, in compliance with the ADA.  The decree also provides for the EEOC to monitor the company’s compliance with decree provisions.

Regional Attorney Debra Lawrence of the EEOC’s Philadelphia District Office said, “We are pleased this settlement compensates Ms. Price for the harm she suffered and contains equitable relief designed to prevent future disability discrimination.”

The EEOC Philadelphia District Office has jurisdiction over Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, West Virginia and parts of New Jersey and Ohio and prosecutes discrimination cases in Washington, D.C. and parts of Virginia.

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The U.S. Supreme Court upheld on Thursday the legality of tax subsidies for millions of Americans who signed up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, sometimes called Obamacare.

The ruling means 6.4 million Americans in 34 states will continue to receive the subsidies — sometimes called tax credits — that help pay for their health plan premiums under the health-reform law.

The 6-3 decision, which included an affirmative vote from Chief Justice John Roberts, is the second big victory for President Barack Obama and his signature domestic achievement.

“Congress passed the Affordable Care Act to improve health insurance markets, not to destroy them. If at all possible, we must interpret the Act in a way that is consistent with the former, and avoids the latter,” wrote Roberts in the majority opinion.

The tax credits are a linchpin of the 2010 health-reform law that has been broadly criticized by most Republicans and conservatives. They view the legislation as a gross example of federal intrusion into people’s lives. The main reason: Obamacare requires most Americans to have health insurance or pay a penalty.

Supporters of the law, which was championed by Obama and most Democrats, said Americans deserve affordable, comprehensive health care.

The tax credit showdown — known as King v. Burwell — was the latest in a string of court cases contesting core elements of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Roberts also was the key vote that upheld the constitutionality of the law in 2012.

The key point of contention in King v. Burwell was whether people in states that failed to set up their own health marketplaces, or exchanges, to buy insurance under Obamacare could qualify for the tax credits if they use the federally run HealthCare.gov online exchange.

Opponents of Obamacare insisted that, as the 2010 law was written, the tax credits could only be offered with insurance purchased through online exchanges operated by individual states. But only 13 states and the District of Columbia created their own exchanges. Most of the states that chose not to create exchanges are headed by Republicans opposed to Obamacare.

The Obama administration insisted that Congress intended to make the tax credits available to all eligible buyers, whether they use the federal HealthCare.gov exchange or a state-established exchange.

The Supreme Court agreed.

A ruling against the tax credits could have also had a major ripple effect, jeopardizing other key provisions of the health-reform law, legal experts said.

For starters, there were the 6.4 million low- and middle-income Americans in the 34 states whose tax credits hung in the balance.

What’s more, millions of people would have become exempt from the law’s controversial “individual mandate” — which requires most Americans to maintain “minimal essential coverage” or pay a penalty.

A negative decision also could have potentially weakened the Obamacare mandate requiring employers with 50 or more full-time employees to provide health insurance coverage.

Under the health-reform law, individuals making up to $47,080 and families of four earning as much as $97,000 a year may qualify for tax credits to make their health insurance more affordable.

Tax credits for insurance premiums reduce monthly premiums of federal marketplace enrollees by 72 percent, on average. People who qualify for those credits pay an average of just $105 a month for health insurance, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

A recent Avalere Health analysis found that consumers’ monthly premium contributions could have jumped by 255 percent, on average, in 2015 if the tax credits were stripped away.

“It’s hard to imagine someone who is young and healthy, who was getting three-quarters of their premium paid for by somebody else, is going to continue to foot that bill,” Elizabeth Carpenter, an Avalere Health director in Washington, D.C., told HealthDay.

If younger, healthier people dropped coverage, “individual” or “non-group” health insurance rates in the affected states — those that didn’t create their own exchanges — could have surged in 2016, affecting even non-subsidized buyers. (Younger enrollees are considered a key to the success of the Affordable Care Act because they tend to be healthier and their premiums are designed to help offset the expenses of older Americans, who are more likely to be sick.)

Only one in five Americans wanted to see the tax credit subsidies eliminated, a HealthDay/Harris Poll released this week found. About 45 percent supported continuing the subsidies and 36 percent said they weren’t sure.

Even Republicans said they were loath to halt the subsidies, the poll found. Only 36 percent of Republicans said they wanted the subsidies ended outright, while 24 percent said people should continue to get the subsidies and 39 percent said they weren’t sure.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Urban Institute have released a study that finds that people who are deaf or hard of hearing, and those who use wheelchairs, are told about fewer available rental housing units than those who aren’t. The study finds that housing providers are less likely to respond to people seeking house who use assistive technology and those who need accessible housing.

Visit Study Finds People Who Are Deaf & Users of Wheelchairs Face Added Discrimination in Housing

A new U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report shows that in 2014, 17.1 percent of people with a disability were employed. In comparison, 64.6 percent of people without a disability were employed. The report, “Persons with a Disability: Labor Force Characteristics Summary – 2014,” also shows the unemployment rate of people with a disability fell to 12.5 percent from 2013 to 2014. View the data tables for more information.

Visit Labor Department Releases Report on Employment Characteristics of People with Disabilities

Galway Film Fleadh 2015

Posted: June 27, 2015 in Uncategorized

The Galway Film Fleadh returns for its 27th year, on the heels of Galway being designated an official UNESCO City of Film and the Film Fleadh itself being named as one of the 25 Coolest Film Festivals in the World. As ever, this year’s programme of films and events has been curated to have something for everyone – locally, nationally and internationally.

The 27th Film Fleadh will open with the World Premiere of My Name is Emily, the debut feature from award-winning shorts director Simon Fitzmaurice. This road movie turned love story, starring Evanna Lynch (better known as Luna Lovegood from the Harry Potter franchise) and Michael Smiley (Kill List; A Field in England), was directed entirely through the use of iris-recognition software.

Among the many World, European and Irish Premieres of New Irish Cinema, the Film Fleadh will host a Gala Premiere of the Oscar® nominated Song of the Sea; a sumptuous animation about a little girl who can turn into a seal and goes on an adventure with her brother to save the spirit world and other magical beings like her.

This year’s country-in-focus will be the Netherlands and the Film Fleadh will host a delegation of Dutch filmmakers, bringing to Galway a feast of contemporary Dutch features and documentaries, such as Son of Mine; Prince; Zurich and the Dutch-Irish co-production The Surprise.

Ticket Prices
Opening Film €20.00
Closing Film €20.00
Daytime Screening (before 17.00)
€8.50 (€7.50 Conc.)
Evening Screening (from 17.00 onwards)
€10.00 (€9.00 Conc.)
Late Night Screening (after 22.30)
€8.50 (€7.50 Conc.)

Way Out West €5.00
On The Box (Per Film) €5.00
Inside Out (Eye Cinema) €10.00
Oidhche Sheanchais & Other Lost Island Films €7.50
Song of the Sea, followed by Kíla concert €15.00
Mícheál Ó Meallaigh Tribute FREE (Booking Required)
An Afternoon with John C. Reilly €20.00

Ticket Packages
5 Ticket Daytime Deal €30.00
5 Ticket Evening Deal €45.00
(Please note that you will need to specify your chosen films at time of purchase)

PLEASE NOTE: Ticket Packages must be booked through the Town Hall Theatre Box Office

Season Ticket
Season Ticket for the Fleadh is €175.00 per person. This will entitle you to all screenings (except opening & closing films) subject to availability, a delegate bag, Fleadh t-shirt & a festival programme.

The Treason Felony Blog

Having escaped from Crumlin Road prisonon 15th January 1943, the northern government had offereda £3,000 reward for any information that might lead to the arrest ofJimmySteele(or the other three escapees). Havingremained atlarge,asIRAAdjutant General and O/C Belfast despite involvement inanumber of high profile incidents,at the end of May 1943his luck ran out and he was recaptured by the RUC. Duringthis time Jimmy is known to haveusedvarious safe houses, such as Trainor’sYard in Lancaster Street, Mrs McLoughlin’s in McCleery Street, Mrs Loughran’s in Amcomri Street, with a family called Thompson in a house off the Shankill Road andhisbrother Bill’s house (which had a hide in the roof)in Artillery Street. Despite the size of the reward and the levels of deprivation and poverty in the areas in which Steele usually hid, the money was never claimed.

On the night of28th May, the RUC hadcordoned offa number of housesat the top ofAmcomri…

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The Treason Felony Blog

Almost all those involved in the IRA in 1969cite a speech given by Jimmy Steele in Ballyglass cemetery in Julythat yearas apivotal moment en route to the splits that occurred, firstlybetween Belfast and Dublinthat September and, then, across the IRA as a whole. The content of thespeech, delivered at the re-burial of two IRA volunteers executed in England in 1940,was reported in Peter Taylor’s bookProvos in 1998. But the published text doesn’t match the surviving audio of the speech, now held by the Irish Republican Museum in Conway Mill. Thedifferences are significant and give some fresh insight into those at the centre of the IRA split.

Taylor published the following text as a quote from the speech:

Our two martyred comrades who we honour today … went forth to carry the fight to the enemy, into enemy territory, using the only methods that will ever succeed, not the…

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The taste of God.

Posted: June 19, 2015 in Uncategorized

monica byrne

Santino-honey-Byrne

Art by Hazel Lee Santino. Honeycomb and Castilleja.

~

My short story “Gustus Dei” (Latin for “the taste of God”) is up today on The Baffler. I love this story so much and I’m so happy to finally share it with the world.

Morsels be:

(1) I wrote it for my application to Clarion in 2008. It’s based on a conversation I once had with my sister Clare at the Cleona Dairy Queen about how much we wished there was a “buffet bar” for the Eucharistic wafer.

(2) It has been rejected 51 times, as you can see in my anti-résumé. From the time it was last rejected in 2011 to when it was published in 2015, I did no revisions. It’s exactly the same story.

(3) So hey, fuck the “merit alone” argument. It was finally published because (Kim) Stan(ley) Robinson, who was reading Clarion applications in 2008 and…

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Career Mapping.

Posted: June 17, 2015 in Uncategorized

great post

The Little Free Library

Posted: June 17, 2015 in Uncategorized

The Little Free Library movement is a community based book exchange scheme. Working on the principle of ‘leave a book, take a book’, the scheme aims to promote community arts programs, positive mental health, and most importantly, literacy, particularly amongst children. The movement began in Wisconsin, USA in 2009, by Todd Bol, but has spread worldwide since then, with now over 25,000 little libraries spread across over 70 countries.

The first little free library built by Bol was a model of a one room schoolhouse as a tribute to his mother, a former school teacher who loved reading, which he filled with books and put on a post in his front yard. These libraries are handcrafted structures, with designs that range from Bol’s very first schoolhouse model, to those of phone boxes, tree stumps, wine casks, and even the TARDIS from Doctor Who. They vary in size, but are usually big enough to contain 10 to 50 books, the majority of which are donated.

The movement is now in Ireland, started by the Free Wee Library project in Buncrana, Co. Donegal, and there are now Wee Free Libraries in Donegal, Dublin, Carlow and Clare.

For more about The Little Free Library: