Scene & Heard

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Greater Cleveland Aquarium to Again Celebrate International Talk Like a Pirate Day

Posted By on Wed, Aug 15, 2018 at 2:29 PM

COURTESY OF THE GREATER CLEVELAND AQUARIUM
  • Courtesy of the Greater Cleveland Aquarium
Way back in 1995, John Bauer and Mark Summers proclaimed Sept. 19 should forever be known as a day when we should all talk like pirates. The Greater Cleveland Aquarium has embraced the resulting International Talk Like a Pirate Day (ITLAPD) and makes it a point to celebrate the date each year.

On Wednesday, Sept. 19, if you come dressed as a pirate or read a randomly selected phrase while doing your best pirate impression, you'll receive $5 off of your admission that day.

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Kelley Britt Resigns From RTA Board After Ohio Ethics Commission Ruling

Posted By on Wed, Aug 15, 2018 at 12:12 PM

ATU President William Nix speaks at CPT rally, (7/23/2018). - SAM ALLARD / SCENE
  • Sam Allard / Scene
  • ATU President William Nix speaks at CPT rally, (7/23/2018).

Though she disagreed with its ruling, Kelley Britt resigned from the RTA board this week after the Ohio Ethics Commission said she couldn't hold that role in addition to her job as a senior transportation planner with the Northeast Ohio Area Coordinating Agency.

Britt had been appointed three months ago by Frank Jackson after longtime board chair George Dixon III resigned in March amidst an internal investigation that discovered he'd likely failed to pay premiums on his RTA-furnished health insurance for years.

Jackson will appoint a replacement.

The move comes amid a particularly bumpy period for the transit agency. Westlake mayor Dennis Clough was recently elected board chair as Valarie McCall withdrew her candidacy. The board voted late last month to rapidly accelerate what's being politely called a "leadership transition," which will boot CEO/GM Joe Calabrese from the organization's top position and transfer him to a senior advisory role at the end of August.

Calabrese has come under fire recently for his leadership during a prolonged scandal involving board chair George Dixon III and, by riders and activists, for his failure to adequately prepare for dramatic funding shortages, which have led to fare hikes and service cuts in recent years.

The board also last week decided against placing a tax levy on the November ballot to address RTA's staggering economic needs, much to the chagrin of vocal transit advocates, as well as board member Trevor Elkins, who said that 2018 was the ideal year for a ballot measure. Voter turnout is expected to be strong in Cuyahoga County, the state's Democratic stronghold, with both Senator Sherrod Brown and Governor Richard Cordray seeking election.

"Furthermore, even if unsuccessful, this election offers an opportunity to revise a proposal and go back to voters in a future election," Clevelanders for Public Transit said in a statement. "The continued lack of funding will result in additional cuts and fare increases for the 150,000 Cuyahoga County residents that use transit."

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From Baseball to Beaches, Climate Change Squashes Summer Fun in Ohio

Posted By on Wed, Aug 15, 2018 at 11:53 AM

ERIK DROST/FLICKRCC
  • Erik Drost/FlickrCC

COLUMBUS, Ohio - As summertime begins to wind down, a new report outlines how climate change is putting a damper on many of the popular summer experiences enjoyed by Ohioans.

The research released today by the National Wildlife Federation found that excessive heat, toxic algae and increases in ticks, mosquitoes and noxious weeds are disrupting swimming, fishing, hiking, camping and other favorite outdoor activities.

Frank Szollosi, manager of the federation's Great Lakes Outreach Campaign, said the changing climate is even impacting America's favorite pastime.

"In some parks, the humidity and the heat means more home runs," he said. "While that's great for the fans and for the batters, I'm certain the pitchers don't like pitching in conditions that make it more conducive to the long ball."

He said heavy rainfall and other extreme weather events caused a record number of postponed Major League Baseball games this season. Popular vacation spots also are threatened by the warming climate, as the report notes sea-level rise, flooding and more severe and frequent storms are hurting beach quality. In Florida alone, nearly half the state's beaches are seeing critical erosion.

Excessive heat in summer months also is a burden on Ohioans, said Szollosi, especially those who have health conditions or struggle to afford air conditioning.

"It puts their health at risk," he said, "or they have to make some decisions about, 'Do we pay the electric bill, or pay the rent or buy food?' These are the types of real-world impacts that people need to understand."

Retired National Wildlife Federation senior scientist Doug Inkley said there are solutions to address these problems and ensure safer summers for the future.

"We not just can reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, but we have the means to actually use alternative energy sources," he said. "Now's the time; the sooner we do it, the better. If we wait too long, it's going to be much, much harder to do and the impacts of climate change are going to be much greater on all of us."

The report recommended policies that cut pollution from power plants, reduce vehicle emissions, expand renewable energy and reduce methane pollution from the oil and gas industry.

The report is online at nwf.org/summer.

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Happy National Breastfeeding Month! It is Totally Legal to Breastfeed Anywhere in Ohio

Posted By on Wed, Aug 15, 2018 at 11:29 AM

WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
  • Wikimedia Commons

In European countries, breastfeeding mothers are frequently shown baring the entire breast (and sometimes the entire chest) in order to feed their babies, and no one says a word. However, the Puritanical roots of North America has sexualized the breast so much, that people breastfeeding in public have often been made to feel humiliated, sometimes even threatened with violence.

August is National Breastfeeding Awareness Month and while the completely ridiculous and unnecessary debate regarding public displays of breastfeeding wages on, it’s important to know the laws and rights when feeding your baby in public.

The production of breast milk is a function triggered by pregnancy and childbirth, but considering many mothers cannot breastfeed due to a multitude of reasons, we will take the suggestions of many pediatricians and avoid referring to it as "natural," as to not imply that any other child feeding decisions are "unnatural." (As a comparison, the word "natural" is also believed to be a leading cause as to why anti-vaxxers exist, equating "natural" to also mean "only acceptable option.")

If a parent is unable or chooses not to breastfeed, they're often shamed for their decision, while those that do choose to breastfeed in public are frequently told to cover up or go somewhere more private. Either way, someone is usually around to tell you you're wrong. It's a strange culture of "mommy-policing" we live in when total strangers feel entitled to offer unsolicited parental suggestions or criticisms. But it seems nothing comes under fire more than breastfeeding.

All 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands have laws that specifically allow women to breastfeed in any public or private location, according to National Conference of State Legislatures.

The Ohio Revised Code from 2005 states that breastfeeding in places of public accommodation is allowed. “A mother is entitled to breastfeed her baby in any location of a place of public accommodation wherein the mother otherwise is permitted.

Protections added to the Ohio Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (FLSA) by a 2010 amendment to the law – known as the “Break Time for Nursing Mothers” provision – states that employers must provide “reasonable” time for new mothers to express milk, based on their individual needs.

Employers are not required to pay employees during these breaks, although employers who already provide paid breaks must allow employees to use these breaks for pumping if they wish. If employers refuse to offer adequate break time, they may be liable.

Potential exemptions for small businesses with fewer than 50 employees are eligible to apply on the grounds that compliance would cause an undue hardship, but gaining approval from the Department of Labor is extremely difficult.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) also protects breastfeeding parents from this type of discrimination, or retaliation, if a complaint has been filed. Lactation is a pregnancy-related medical condition, so it falls under the same discrimination laws that protect pregnant employees, and discriminating against a someone because of their need to pump may also violate federal and state sex discrimination statutes.

Meaning, you are free to breastfeed your child openly and publicly in any location in Ohio and anyone that complains can kick rocks. You have the right to pump milk while at work, and your employer can be held liable if they refuse to allow you the opportunity.

Know your rights. Feed your babies.

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Animal Advocates Rescued More Than 600 Birds From an Ohio Bird Hoarder

Posted By on Wed, Aug 15, 2018 at 10:05 AM

The 'Pigeon Lady' from HOME ALONE 2 (Not the actual woman housing these 600 birds) - COURTESY OF TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX HOME ENTERTAINMENT
  • Courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment
  • The 'Pigeon Lady' from HOME ALONE 2 (Not the actual woman housing these 600 birds)

Move over, crazy cat ladies, there's an new queen of excessive pet ownership.

After complaints from neighbors about the animals' safety in the Columbus suburb of Clintonville, advocates from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) arrived to investigate on Tuesday, only to discover more than 600 parakeets, cockatiels, finches, Macaws, African grey parrots, Amazon parrots and cockatoos in the 1,000-square-foot home.

“Upon arriving at the home, it was clear an intervention was needed to remove these birds from the property and provide them with the quality of life they deserve,” Jessica Rushin, an ASPCA official, told FOX28 Columbus.

The Columbus Humane had to close for the day to handle the job. Animal support center appointments continued, but new adoption pickups needed to be rescheduled. According to the Columbus Dispatch, it took about 10 hours to free the birds.

“Our immediate goal is to relocate the birds to a temporary shelter where avian experts can evaluate the condition of each bird to ensure they receive the care they need. We are pleased to be able to provide resources and assist Columbus Humane with their life-saving efforts,” Rushin said.

U-Haul trucks, three vans and a trailer were all used to transport and house the birds. The birds will be taken to a temporary shelter where the birds will receive medical assessments and care.

The Columbus Humane CEO, Rachel Finney, told Fox 28 that workers observed missing feathers on some birds and some signs of plucking mutilation.

The homeowner, was identified as Susan Stieve, a member of a national bird showing organization and is a former national champion exhibitor. She also works at Ohio State in Horticulture and Crop Sciences. Stieve is not currently facing any charges.

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Tuesday, August 14, 2018

12-Year-old Who Called Out Sexism at 4th of July Parade Got Personal Letter from Hillary Clinton

Posted By on Tue, Aug 14, 2018 at 3:15 PM

FACEBOOK.COM / CHRISTINA ZNIDARSIC
  • Facebook.com / Christina Znidarsic
Julianne Speyer, the 12-year-old Russell Township Girl Scout who made national headlines — and even appeared on the Today Show — for calling out sexist language used at a Geauga County 4th of July Parade, has received a personal letter from Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Channel 19 has reported that the former Secretary of State and presidential candidate sent Speyer a letter in late July thanking her for using her voice and for fighting injustice.

"As a former Girl Scout myself, I am not surprised to see you take up the mantle of this fight—one I have been participating in my entire life..." Clinton wrote. "Fighting for what is right is always worth it. As you continue to learn and grow, never forget that you are valuable, powerful and worthy of every opportunity to fulfill your potential. Onward!"

Channel 19, which conducted a TV interview with Speyer in the aftermath of the initial letter's publication, reported that Speyer was "ecstatic" to receive the letter from Hillary.

Speyer's letter, to the editors of the Geauga County Maple Leaf last month, called out the announcer of the Chesterland Fourth of July Parade.

"The announcer labeled the Boy Scouts the 'future leaders of America,'" Speyer wrote, "and he said the Girls Scouts were 'just having fun.'"

Speyer asked that the Maple Leaf let others know "how much this kind of thing happens and how bad it is."

"I feel it is an insult to both girls and women of all ages," she wrote. "This kind of thing happens way too much and it is not OK at all."

Chesterland parade organizers have apologized for the misunderstanding and said that the comments were unrelated. 

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Slip N Fly Fest Returns to Ohio This Weekend

Posted By on Tue, Aug 14, 2018 at 1:38 PM

click image The Slip N Fly is only open to the public for two weeks in August, but it’s worth the wait. It’s like the classic slip 'n slide and an intimidating waterslide had a baby. - JAKE RYAN/YOUTUBE
  • Jake Ryan/YouTube
  • The Slip N Fly is only open to the public for two weeks in August, but it’s worth the wait. It’s like the classic slip 'n slide and an intimidating waterslide had a baby.
The highest flying end-of-summer pool party is just around the corner, as Ohio Dreams Action Sports Camp's (3495 Tugend Rd., Butler) Slip N Fly Fest is set for this weekend.

According to Camp Director Justin Travis, the actual Slip N Fly was created in 2008 as a byproduct of the youth action sports training camp.

"The ride was designed to be a ski ramp, but we got bored one day and turned it into the Slip N Fly. So now the camp has both," Travis tells Scene.

The music and sports fest surrounding the glorified slide started about seven years ago, growing from a local party into a statewide event.

If unlimited rides on the actual Slip N Fly seem too extreme, the "wettest fest in the Midwest" hosts beach volleyball and corn hole tournaments for cash prizes as well as poolside DJs, live musicians on the main stage and black light silent discos, fireworks and more. All the camp's skateparks and mountain bike courses are open for use as well, and parking and camping are free.

The Ohio-famous slip-n-waterslide is only available for public use during the camp's festivals in August, but can be rented for private events as well.

Tickets for this year's fest are available here. And learn more about the event right here.

Take a look at last year's epic fest below.

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