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Mental health forum left us wanting more from Iowa governor candidates

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Watch as candidates for governor answer questions about the state of mental health in Iowa during the Register’s mental health forum at Des Moines University.

Iowa’s crisis in mental health care is getting overdue attention, due to recent tragedies and events organized in response. But it’s clear that the candidates for governor  — and state leaders as a whole — have a lot to learn about how to reform the system.

At a forum Tuesday sponsored by the Register, Des Moines University and the Iowa Hospital Association, 12 candidates answered questions on how to improve mental health care in Iowa. A 13th, Gov. Kim Reynolds, had a scheduling conflict and provided a pre-recorded video statement.

The postmortem: The event included a dose of denial (thanks to the governor), a dearth of details and plenty of delusions. But advocates saw signs of hope from the discussion.

“There were platitudes, sure, but there were also sharp observations and specific suggestions. It was not all political talking points,” said Peggy Huppert, executive director for NAMI Iowa. “Honestly, when I compare their performance at the forum to what they had to say to me in July and August, the progress is remarkable.”

The candidates present — Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians and an independent —were nearly united in their criticism of privatized Medicaid management under Reynolds and her predecessor, Terry Branstad. Our editorial board, of course, agrees that it has been a disaster. Private managed care organizations have pulled the plug on care for some mental health patients and reduced payments for providers. An innovative crisis-stabilization program in Centerville was forced to close because state officials failed to write rules to allow Medicaid payment for such services.

Iowa’s problems go much deeper than Medicaid privatization, however. The state had barriers to care, a shortage of psychiatrists and funding issues long before the new system launched April 1, 2016. 

“They all criticized Medicaid managed care, but none of them addressed the big question on that — how would they contain costs if it went back to the state?” Huppert noted.

In fact, none of the candidates had any realistic answers on how to pay for improving mental health care. Manage the state budget better than Reynolds and Branstad have? OK, how? Establish programs to divert mentally ill Iowans from jail or psychiatric hospitals? Great – that should save money in the long run, but it still requires upfront investment. Pass single-payer health care and legalize cannabis? That might be a realistic solution in another state or nation.

Obradovich: Iowa governor candidates combat mental-illness stigmas with personal stories

Prompted by a question, some candidates agreed that the state should lift a state law that caps the amount of property taxes that counties can collect to pay for mental-health services. The cap is stuck at 1996 levels, even though some counties have seen large population increases since then. But none of the candidates addressed how to overcome the primary barrier to lifting the cap: The Iowa Farm Bureau Federation, which opposed any changes last legislative session.

Other candidates, such as Democrat Jon Neiderbach and Libertarian Marco Battaglia, questioned why Iowa ties mental-health funding to property taxes. It’s a great question, and it’s worth re-examining Iowa’s regional system that is governed by county supervisors.

A few candidates took the easy answer: reopen the Mental Health Institutes in Clarinda and Mount Pleasant. But other candidates — including Republican Ron Corbett and Democrats Fred Hubbell, Andy McGuire and John Norris — recognized that the state doesn’t necessarily need to reopen the institutes, but create more community-based approaches that include several types of beds: acute, transitional and long-term.

A separate event could be organized just to address the night’s final question, on creating a mental health system that serves children. Iowans should demand answers from all elected leaders on how we can intervene earlier to treat children.  

But sometimes it’s just better for candidates to keep their mouths closed. Independent candidate Brent Roske said it’s an “obvious correlation” that Iowa has seen an increase in violent crime and that it ranks last in its proportion of mental health beds. This comment perpetuates the unfounded stereotype that mentally ill people are violent.

Candidates and public officials have come a long way, but they must spend more time with Iowans to solve this issue — people like Leslie and Scott Carpenter of Iowa City, who were in the audience of about 400 people at DMU. In 2008, their then-16-year-old son was first hospitalized for suicidal thoughts. He’s since been diagnosed with schizo-affective disorder and other illnesses. They’ve struggled with long waits for a bed; privacy laws that prevent them from even talking with their son’s doctors without a release; a lack of continuity of care between rotating doctors and community agencies; and other holes in the system.

Their solutions include opening more psychiatric beds in regional medical centers and more efforts to recruit more psychiatrists, social workers, nurses and other care providers.

The Carpenters suggested the next event should include parents, medical professionals and others living the crisis every day. We agree. All of us must be involved in the solutions, from patients to whoever will be the next governor.

Obradovich: Here’s why Gov. Kim Reynolds and I cried at her news conference today

How Two Guys and an Internet Forum Built a Kickass Computer …

The China trip was only supposed to last 10 days. For Konstantinos Karatsevidis, the 23-year-old CEO of a new gadget maker called Eve, it was just a quick check-in to make sure production was rolling smoothly on his latest product. Karatsevidis and the rest of the nine-person Eve team have spent the last few years building the V, a laptop-tablet hybrid in the mold of the Microsoft Surface, working in remarkable concert with a teeming community of users and fans to create the exact product they wanted. All that was left to do was make it, perfectly, tens of thousands of times in a row. Which Karatsevidis learned is harder than it looks.

The 10-day trip stretched into a month and a half, during which Karatsevidis changed his flight home to Finland six different times. “I was living in the factory, basically, with the guys from my team,” Karatsevidis says. Day after grueling day, they’d sit with the workers on the assembly line, making sure every finish was applied with care and every part was connected just so. “We were just making sure everybody achieves the quality standard we want, because it’s very hard to communicate to the Chinese manufacturers that we want to make a nice device,” he says. Manufacturers see quality in measurables: how many times the kickstand opens before it breaks, how hot a temperature it can withstand. Karatsevidis knows users will measure quality by the texture of the fabric keyboard and the smoothness of the volume buttons.

Karatsevidis feels real pressure to get the V done, and get it right. Not just to appease the 4,208 people who backed Eve on Indiegogo more than a year ago, giving the company $1.4 million. Not for everyone else who pre-ordered, and has waited through months-long shipping delays. And not just for the 70,000 more who have signed up to be notified for Eve’s next flash sale.

Mostly Karatsevidis feels he owes it to the thousands of members of Eve’s online forum, who spent the last 18 months helping the team conceive of and build this thing. They decided the form factor. They picked most of the specs. They even chose the name. Eve’s product development doubled as a wild experiment in crowd-sourcing, in which Karatsevidis and his team let users design their ideal gadget and entrust Eve to build it. All those users, and some of the biggest players in the PC industry, are watching to see if Eve can turn a seemingly insane idea—asking a bunch of people on the internet for their opinions, and actually listening to them—into a killer product.

Ask the Audience

Back in 2012, when Karatsevidis was still a teenager, he met Mikko Malhonen at a poker table. Kindred spirits and fast friends, they talked late into the night about technology, the future, and their many business ideas. One held their attention: There were no good tablets other than the iPad, they thought, and maybe they could do it better. Or at least cheaper.

At first, Karatsevidis and Malhonen spent their time crawling Alibaba, looking for tablets they could tweak and sell. (Ever wondered why so many headphones look the same, or why every vape is just like every other vape? It’s because lots of companies find parts on Alibaba, slap their logo on them, and start selling.) But they wanted more control and flexibility, and since Karatsevidis knew a bit about manufacturing—his dad owned a company that made supplies for firefighters—the two dudes headed to China to figure out how to build a tablet.

Karatsevidis and Malhonen found a manufacturer at an electronics fair in Shenzhen that had a tablet design ready to go. They changed a couple of parts, named the device the T1, and started selling it on their website for $159 in late 2014. With a little press and some good reviews, Eve was off and running.

One thing about the T1 bugged Karatsevidis, though: Everyone had all these good ideas about how to make it even better. He’d find suggestions in comments, in forums, and in feedback from buyers. So Karatsevidis decided to steer into the feedback loop, and enlist all these ideas before they even started designing their next product. He and Malhonen knew they wanted to do something more ambitious, really make something rather than just tweak and re-brand. But that would require more resources, more suppliers, and a lot more work.

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The Eve founders went to Microsoft’s Finland team and asked for help in figuring out how things work. Microsoft directed them to the Hong Kong Electronics Fair, the massive annual gathering of suppliers, distributors, and manufacturers. There, somehow—Karatsevidis still can’t quite explain it—the Eve founders wound up at a fancy dinner, mingling with top managers from some of the largest companies and factories in the world. Karatsevidis spotted an important-looking guy walking around with an entourage, and armed with the dumb courage of youth, walked up to him and said hello. The guy turned out to be an Intel bigwig, to whom Karatsevidis immediately pitched his idea. He was going to build a laptop-tablet thing, he said, but he was going to crowdsource everything about it. “That’s a bullshit idea,” the guy said, and walked away. A few steps later, he turned around and came back. “No,” he said, “this is the future.” The Intel exec (who Karatsevidis declines to identify) is now a key mentor to Eve, and helped introduce the company to everyone worth knowing in the manufacturing world.

Over and over, that crowdsourcing pitch got Eve noticed. Microsoft and Intel both wound up investing in the project; even the Finnish government gave Eve a grant. “What’s very interesting to them is that we can tap into commoditized markets and have very rapid growth there,” Karatsevidis says. “When we enter with community, we can stand out.” Plus, he reckons being young and not asking for much helps his case too.

At first, Eve’s community consisted of 15 early T1 customers into a WhatsApp group, brainstorming what kinds of products and features they might be interested. Pretty quickly, a remarkable thing happened: Everybody seemed to agree on stuff. They’d argue and debate, but by the end, this small group usually reached consensus. Encouraged by the experience, Karatsevidis opened it up, started a web forum anyone could join. He didn’t know who would join, where they’d come from, or how they’d act. “We had zero hope that it would become successful,” he says.

The eve.community website opened on January 6, 2016. Pretty quickly, users started to introduce themselves: a student from Kokkola, an IT worker in the Netherlands, a Polish game developer. The fledgling community pored over the latest tech announcements and celebrated Finland’s victory in the U20 ice hockey world championships, but mostly got to work. The Eve team began asking questions about how people used their tablets, and what they might want from their next one.

On January 18, Malhonen wrote a post called “The Project: ‘Pyramid Flipper’—a PC when you need it, a tablet when you like it.” This was what he and Karatsevidis had decided to build next. Why Pyramid Flipper? Because they wanted to invert the way things were normally done, putting users at the top and corporate bullshit at the bottom. (The original codename was Flagburner, Malhonen said, but they were trying to be politically correct now. The embedded photo of PC Principal from South Park made clear how Malhonen felt about that.) He then laid out, in broad strokes, what Pyramid Flipper would be: an “ultimate portable PC” that was “as slim and light as possible” but still powerful enough to be “a mobile creation station.” Malhonen laid out a long list of possible specs, wrote a possible user story about a freelancer student named Maukka, and bared the whole plan for the device. People hated it. “Not really a device I would be interested in,” one user wrote.

Others began suggesting tweaks and adding features, pushing Eve’s idea toward something they believed in more. The more they talked, the more Karatsevidis and Malhonen realized the folks in this community—there were maybe 50 in the earliest days—knew their stuff. And they were, against all internet tendencies, reasonable in their thoughts, discussions, and requests. So the Eve guys bought all the way in. They decided that from then on, everything would be up to the community. And so 40 people decided that the Pyramid Flipper would be a 2-in-1, tablet-first device, with 83 percent in favor, according to a poll in the forum. They chose which ports the device would have, and how many, after spirited debates in the forum. They picked processors, screen sizes, even wireless radios.

The community won arguments with the Eve founders, making clear that pen support mattered when Karatsevidis didn’t think so. The same forum members even occasionally clashed with the team at Propeller, a well-known design firm that worked with Eve. “The community was really our user-data pool,” says Jessica Lambert, who runs business development for Propeller and was a key member of the Eve project. “They were giving us their gut reactions on things, what they wanted in a tablet, what they would use this tablet for.” Propeller wanted a slim, clean design, no more than 8mm thick, with future-proof USB-C ports. But the feedback said overwhelmingly that users wanted standard USB, and would rather have more battery instead of the slimmest possible body. That fight in particular Karatsevidis is glad he lost. “Without [the big battery], we’d be out of the game,” he says.

In every discussion, a few familiar tropes emerged. Somebody always wanted something impossible, like months-long battery life. Somebody would try and make everything about their specific needs. Somebody always just wanted to tell everyone else they sucked. But in every case, sanity prevailed. And the community, growing all the time, dreamed up a shockingly reasonable device. The Pyramid Flipper they imagined shared a lot in common with the Microsoft Surface, only with better battery (and a slightly bulkier body), more ports, and a more efficient processor. When it came time to name the thing, the place almost ate itself alive. The first poll included 120 options: Panacea, Chimera, Zeus, Stratus, Progenesis, Style, and, of course, Taby McTabFace, because this is the internet. One of Eve’s community managers, suggested calling it “V.” It sounded good, could mean victory or peace, and even looked a bit like a flipped pyramid. Four polls later, 80 voters had cast overwhelmingly in favor of the name. And so it became the Eve V.

Now Make Some

Once they’d finalized the basic specs and design, Karatsevidis and Malhonen built the prototype of the V. Once that came back, and they were confident this thing was going to work, they launched the Indiegogo campaign in November of 2016. “The idea behind Indiegogo was that none of your money is used for development,” Karatsevidis says. They’d paid for that with help from their partners and the leftover T1 profit.

The campaign was a huge success—it hit its goal in four minutes—to a degree that worried the Eve founders. “We used to hide the link to the community,” Karatsevidis says, as a way to keep too many people from joining and ruining the discussion. “Our biggest challenge has been making sure that only people who really want to contribute, get in.”

By the end of the campaign, Eve had thousands of orders to fill, $1.4 million to spend, and nearly 3,000 people in its community. “But the good news is,” Karatsevidis says, “somehow it managed to still be the same it was before, only better.” He worried that even a few trolls or angry voices would kill the vibe, but the conversations kept on. Meanwhile, the Eve team had bigger things to worry about, like actually shipping their product.

In most product development systems, the step after your first working prototype is known as the Design Validation and Testing phase, or DVT. That’s when you make 15 or 20 prototypes, all at once, with near-final software and hardware, in order to test and certify everything before you start building in the thousands. Eve decided to ship a bunch of these prototypes to community members, who could test the products in their own lives and report back. They identified countless bugs and issues, like how the headphone jack emitted a slight staticky hum, which nobody noticed in the loud factory in China but a user heard in their quiet home. There were lots of issues and a one-month delay thanks to some last-minute tweaking, but nothing huge. In early spring of 2017, Karatsevidis told the community it was time. “We were like, ‘OK guys, that’s it. Indiegogo’s successful, we’ve finished development, we’re ready to ship! That’s it.'” He said that the devices would be shipped either the last week of March, or the very beginning of April.

A few weeks later, Karatsevidis recanted in a long post in the Eve forums. “This week has been a long one,” he began, before detailing the problem they were having with the V’s screen supplier. They’d pre-ordered 15,000 displays, paid in cash, and the screens that came in were straight-up terrible. They had yellow stains, dead pixels, light bleed everywhere. “Fortunately, our screen supplier has stock and they will send us new screens already next week,” he wrote. Except the next batch, which took a month to arrive, came back the same way. Ditto the next batch. Eve couldn’t switch suppliers, since this one already had their money, and nobody else made the screen they needed. For the entire spring and summer, they were stuck in this back-and-forth, trying to keep users updated as often as possible.

Ordinarily, you’d expect everyone to be furious at delays, angry at the incompetence of the people they’ve entrusted with their money, and probably demanding of refunds. And there was that. But overall, every issue seemed to only band the community closer together. Forum members began referring to themselves as “stakeholders,” and referring to the product as something “we’re making.”

Eve’s forums are a remarkable artifact of what it takes to actually build a product. Karatsevidis often posted videos from factory floors, photos of prototypes at various stages, and long-winded digressions about things as mundane as the difficulty in getting two different materials to be exactly the same color. “We had to make a choice,” Karatsevidis says. “From the moment the delay happened, we could only be transparent. Just to show that, look guys, we’re the same as you, we really want this to be successful.” Forum members were full of encouragement, even advice on how to move forward.

Eventually Eve found a new display supplier, they got everything swapped in, and by October had entered into full mass production. With Karatsevidis there, watching over the process, making sure nothing else goes wrong. In early November, devices started to ship to Eve’s earliest backers. Reviewers, including me, started to get theirs as well. On December 4, Eve will have a flash sale for other users, then go back and make some more to sell those.

After all the debates and polls, you’d think the Eve V would be the sort of too-many-cooks device that everyone built and nobody likes. A camel is just a horse designed by committee, after all. But somehow, against all odds, Eve made a terrific device. Sure, the final V has a couple of quirks, like a backspace key marked “Oops!” and a design that won’t exactly wow a Best Buy shopper, but it’s a shockingly impressive device. “Beyond the rebellious marketing and convoluted back story, the Eve V is just a really good computer,” The Verge wrote, giving the V an 8 out of 10. Reviewers fairly worried about how such a tiny company will handle customer service or returns, but were all impressed with what a couple of young kids and a bunch of forum users could do.

Already, those forums are hard at work on what Eve should do next. They’re already working on a dock for the V, with more ports and power. The crowdsourced codename: Donald Dock. And for the next big product, everybody has ideas. User vithren proposed a more standard laptop, which garnered 294 comments. Hifihedgehog wants a straightforward iPad competitor, which got 174 comments. What about a V with an E Ink screen, borax99 wondered? (That idea didn’t get much love.) In every forum, before Karatsevidis or Malhonen could even respond, community members were debating specs, drafting press releases, even scouring the internet for manufacturers and reference designs.

Karatsevidis says he’s not sure what they’ll do next. He wants it to be something different, but close enough that he can use the contacts and supply chain he’s already set up. But after the last couple of years, even through all the complications, Karatsevidis brims with confidence. Sure, they could do a car, he says. It’d take a while, but it’s possible.

But if you really want to know what Eve’s probably going to work on next, just look at the forums. User fanoftech4life started a thread all the way back in February of 2016 called “An amazing Eve Phone.” It’s the most popular thread in the history of Eve’s forums, and the conversation continues even now. Karatsevidis is surely listening.

How Two Guys and an Internet Forum Built a Kickass Computer

The China trip was only supposed to last 10 days. For Konstantinos Karatsevidis, the 23-year-old CEO of a new gadget maker called Eve, it was just a quick check-in to make sure production was rolling smoothly on his latest product. Karatsevidis and the rest of the nine-person Eve team have spent the last few years building the V, a laptop-tablet hybrid in the mold of the Microsoft Surface, working in remarkable concert with a teeming community of users and fans to create the exact product they wanted. All that was left to do was make it, perfectly, tens of thousands of times in a row. Which Karatsevidis learned is harder than it looks.

The 10-day trip stretched into a month and a half, during which Karatsevidis changed his flight home to Finland six different times. “I was living in the factory, basically, with the guys from my team,” Karatsevidis says. Day after grueling day, they’d sit with the workers on the assembly line, making sure every finish was applied with care and every part was connected just so. “We were just making sure everybody achieves the quality standard we want, because it’s very hard to communicate to the Chinese manufacturers that we want to make a nice device,” he says. Manufacturers see quality in measurables: how many times the kickstand opens before it breaks, how hot a temperature it can withstand. Karatsevidis knows users will measure quality by the texture of the fabric keyboard and the smoothness of the volume buttons.

Karatsevidis feels real pressure to get the V done, and get it right. Not just to appease the 4,208 people who backed Eve on Indiegogo more than a year ago, giving the company $1.4 million. Not for everyone else who pre-ordered, and has waited through months-long shipping delays. And not just for the 70,000 more who have signed up to be notified for Eve’s next flash sale.

Mostly Karatsevidis feels he owes it to the thousands of members of Eve’s online forum, who spent the last 18 months helping the team conceive of and build this thing. They decided the form factor. They picked most of the specs. They even chose the name. Eve’s product development doubled as a wild experiment in crowd-sourcing, in which Karatsevidis and his team let users design their ideal gadget and entrust Eve to build it. All those users, and some of the biggest players in the PC industry, are watching to see if Eve can turn a seemingly insane idea—asking a bunch of people on the internet for their opinions, and actually listening to them—into a killer product.

Ask the Audience

Back in 2012, when Karatsevidis was still a teenager, he met Mikko Malhonen at a poker table. Kindred spirits and fast friends, they talked late into the night about technology, the future, and their many business ideas. One held their attention: There were no good tablets other than the iPad, they thought, and maybe they could do it better. Or at least cheaper.

At first, Karatsevidis and Malhonen spent their time crawling Alibaba, looking for tablets they could tweak and sell. (Ever wondered why so many headphones look the same, or why every vape is just like every other vape? It’s because lots of companies find parts on Alibaba, slap their logo on them, and start selling.) But they wanted more control and flexibility, and since Karatsevidis knew a bit about manufacturing—his dad owned a company that made supplies for firefighters—the two dudes headed to China to figure out how to build a tablet.

Karatsevidis and Malhonen found a manufacturer at an electronics fair in Shenzhen that had a tablet design ready to go. They changed a couple of parts, named the device the T1, and started selling it on their website for $159 in late 2014. With a little press and some good reviews, Eve was off and running.

One thing about the T1 bugged Karatsevidis, though: Everyone had all these good ideas about how to make it even better. He’d find suggestions in comments, in forums, and in feedback from buyers. So Karatsevidis decided to steer into the feedback loop, and enlist all these ideas before they even started designing their next product. He and Malhonen knew they wanted to do something more ambitious, really make something rather than just tweak and re-brand. But that would require more resources, more suppliers, and a lot more work.

The Eve founders went to Microsoft’s Finland team and asked for help in figuring out how things work. Microsoft directed them to the Hong Kong Electronics Fair, the massive annual gathering of suppliers, distributors, and manufacturers. There, somehow—Karatsevidis still can’t quite explain it—the Eve founders wound up at a fancy dinner, mingling with top managers from some of the largest companies and factories in the world. Karatsevidis spotted an important-looking guy walking around with an entourage, and armed with the dumb courage of youth, walked up to him and said hello. The guy turned out to be an Intel bigwig, to whom Karatsevidis immediately pitched his idea. He was going to build a laptop-tablet thing, he said, but he was going to crowdsource everything about it. “That’s a bullshit idea,” the guy said, and walked away. A few steps later, he turned around and came back. “No,” he said, “this is the future.” The Intel exec (who Karatsevidis declines to identify) is now a key mentor to Eve, and helped introduce the company to everyone worth knowing in the manufacturing world.

Over and over, that crowdsourcing pitch got Eve noticed. Microsoft and Intel both wound up investing in the project; even the Finnish government gave Eve a grant. “What’s very interesting to them is that we can tap into commoditized markets and have very rapid growth there,” Karatsevidis says. “When we enter with community, we can stand out.” Plus, he reckons being young and not asking for much helps his case too.

At first, Eve’s community consisted of 15 early T1 customers into a WhatsApp group, brainstorming what kinds of products and features they might be interested. Pretty quickly, a remarkable thing happened: Everybody seemed to agree on stuff. They’d argue and debate, but by the end, this small group usually reached consensus. Encouraged by the experience, Karatsevidis opened it up, started a web forum anyone could join. He didn’t know who would join, where they’d come from, or how they’d act. “We had zero hope that it would become successful,” he says.

The eve.community website opened on January 6, 2016. Pretty quickly, users started to introduce themselves: a student from Kokkola, an IT worker in the Netherlands, a Polish game developer. The fledgling community pored over the latest tech announcements and celebrated Finland’s victory in the U20 ice hockey world championships, but mostly got to work. The Eve team began asking questions about how people used their tablets, and what they might want from their next one.

On January 18, Malhonen wrote a post called “The Project: ‘Pyramid Flipper’—a PC when you need it, a tablet when you like it.” This was what he and Karatsevidis had decided to build next. Why Pyramid Flipper? Because they wanted to invert the way things were normally done, putting users at the top and corporate bullshit at the bottom. (The original codename was Flagburner, Malhonen said, but they were trying to be politically correct now. The embedded photo of PC Principal from South Park made clear how Malhonen felt about that.) He then laid out, in broad strokes, what Pyramid Flipper would be: an “ultimate portable PC” that was “as slim and light as possible” but still powerful enough to be “a mobile creation station.” Malhonen laid out a long list of possible specs, wrote a possible user story about a freelancer student named Maukka, and bared the whole plan for the device. People hated it. “Not really a device I would be interested in,” one user wrote.

Others began suggesting tweaks and adding features, pushing Eve’s idea toward something they believed in more. The more they talked, the more Karatsevidis and Malhonen realized the folks in this community—there were maybe 50 in the earliest days—knew their stuff. And they were, against all internet tendencies, reasonable in their thoughts, discussions, and requests. So the Eve guys bought all the way in. They decided that from then on, everything would be up to the community. And so 40 people decided that the Pyramid Flipper would be a 2-in-1, tablet-first device, with 83 percent in favor, according to a poll in the forum. They chose which ports the device would have, and how many, after spirited debates in the forum. They picked processors, screen sizes, even wireless radios.

The community won arguments with the Eve founders, making clear that pen support mattered when Karatsevidis didn’t think so. The same forum members even occasionally clashed with the team at Propeller, a well-known design firm that worked with Eve. “The community was really our user-data pool,” says Jessica Lambert, who runs business development for Propeller and was a key member of the Eve project. “They were giving us their gut reactions on things, what they wanted in a tablet, what they would use this tablet for.” Propeller wanted a slim, clean design, no more than 8mm thick, with future-proof USB-C ports. But the feedback said overwhelmingly that users wanted standard USB, and would rather have more battery instead of the slimmest possible body. That fight in particular Karatsevidis is glad he lost. “Without [the big battery], we’d be out of the game,” he says.

In every discussion, a few familiar tropes emerged. Somebody always wanted something impossible, like months-long battery life. Somebody would try and make everything about their specific needs. Somebody always just wanted to tell everyone else they sucked. But in every case, sanity prevailed. And the community, growing all the time, dreamed up a shockingly reasonable device. The Pyramid Flipper they imagined shared a lot in common with the Microsoft Surface, only with better battery (and a slightly bulkier body), more ports, and a more efficient processor. When it came time to name the thing, the place almost ate itself alive. The first poll included 120 options: Panacea, Chimera, Zeus, Stratus, Progenesis, Style, and, of course, Taby McTabFace, because this is the internet. One of Eve’s community managers, suggested calling it “V.” It sounded good, could mean victory or peace, and even looked a bit like a flipped pyramid. Four polls later, 80 voters had cast overwhelmingly in favor of the name. And so it became the Eve V.

Now Make Some

Once they’d finalized the basic specs and design, Karatsevidis and Malhonen built the prototype of the V. Once that came back, and they were confident this thing was going to work, they launched the Indiegogo campaign in November of 2016. “The idea behind Indiegogo was that none of your money is used for development,” Karatsevidis says. They’d paid for that with help from their partners and the leftover T1 profit.

The campaign was a huge success—it hit its goal in four minutes—to a degree that worried the Eve founders. “We used to hide the link to the community,” Karatsevidis says, as a way to keep too many people from joining and ruining the discussion. “Our biggest challenge has been making sure that only people who really want to contribute, get in.”

By the end of the campaign, Eve had thousands of orders to fill, $1.4 million to spend, and nearly 3,000 people in its community. “But the good news is,” Karatsevidis says, “somehow it managed to still be the same it was before, only better.” He worried that even a few trolls or angry voices would kill the vibe, but the conversations kept on. Meanwhile, the Eve team had bigger things to worry about, like actually shipping their product.

In most product development systems, the step after your first working prototype is known as the Design Validation and Testing phase, or DVT. That’s when you make 15 or 20 prototypes, all at once, with near-final software and hardware, in order to test and certify everything before you start building in the thousands. Eve decided to ship a bunch of these prototypes to community members, who could test the products in their own lives and report back. They identified countless bugs and issues, like how the headphone jack emitted a slight staticky hum, which nobody noticed in the loud factory in China but a user heard in their quiet home. There were lots of issues and a one-month delay thanks to some last-minute tweaking, but nothing huge. In early spring of 2017, Karatsevidis told the community it was time. “We were like, ‘OK guys, that’s it. Indiegogo’s successful, we’ve finished development, we’re ready to ship! That’s it.'” He said that the devices would be shipped either the last week of March, or the very beginning of April.

A few weeks later, Karatsevidis recanted in a long post in the Eve forums. “This week has been a long one,” he began, before detailing the problem they were having with the V’s screen supplier. They’d pre-ordered 15,000 displays, paid in cash, and the screens that came in were straight-up terrible. They had yellow stains, dead pixels, light bleed everywhere. “Fortunately, our screen supplier has stock and they will send us new screens already next week,” he wrote. Except the next batch, which took a month to arrive, came back the same way. Ditto the next batch. Eve couldn’t switch suppliers, since this one already had their money, and nobody else made the screen they needed. For the entire spring and summer, they were stuck in this back-and-forth, trying to keep users updated as often as possible.

Ordinarily, you’d expect everyone to be furious at delays, angry at the incompetence of the people they’ve entrusted with their money, and probably demanding of refunds. And there was that. But overall, every issue seemed to only band the community closer together. Forum members began referring to themselves as “stakeholders,” and referring to the product as something “we’re making.”

Eve’s forums are a remarkable artifact of what it takes to actually build a product. Karatsevidis often posted videos from factory floors, photos of prototypes at various stages, and long-winded digressions about things as mundane as the difficulty in getting two different materials to be exactly the same color. “We had to make a choice,” Karatsevidis says. “From the moment the delay happened, we could only be transparent. Just to show that, look guys, we’re the same as you, we really want this to be successful.” Forum members were full of encouragement, even advice on how to move forward.

Eventually Eve found a new display supplier, they got everything swapped in, and by October had entered into full mass production. With Karatsevidis there, watching over the process, making sure nothing else goes wrong. In early November, devices started to ship to Eve’s earliest backers. Reviewers, including me, started to get theirs as well. On December 4, Eve will have a flash sale for other users, then go back and make some more to sell those.

After all the debates and polls, you’d think the Eve V would be the sort of too-many-cooks device that everyone built and nobody likes. A camel is just a horse designed by committee, after all. But somehow, against all odds, Eve made a terrific device. Sure, the final V has a couple of quirks, like a backspace key marked “Oops!” and a design that won’t exactly wow a Best Buy shopper, but it’s a shockingly impressive device. “Beyond the rebellious marketing and convoluted back story, the Eve V is just a really good computer,” The Verge wrote, giving the V an 8 out of 10. Reviewers fairly worried about how such a tiny company will handle customer service or returns, but were all impressed with what a couple of young kids and a bunch of forum users could do.

Already, those forums are hard at work on what Eve should do next. They’re already working on a dock for the V, with more ports and power. The crowdsourced codename: Donald Dock. And for the next big product, everybody has ideas. User vithren proposed a more standard laptop, which garnered 294 comments. Hifihedgehog wants a straightforward iPad competitor, which got 174 comments. What about a V with an E Ink screen, borax99 wondered? (That idea didn’t get much love.) In every forum, before Karatsevidis or Malhonen could even respond, community members were debating specs, drafting press releases, even scouring the internet for manufacturers and reference designs.

Karatsevidis says he’s not sure what they’ll do next. He wants it to be something different, but close enough that he can use the contacts and supply chain he’s already set up. But after the last couple of years, even through all the complications, Karatsevidis brims with confidence. Sure, they could do a car, he says. It’d take a while, but it’s possible.

But if you really want to know what Eve’s probably going to work on next, just look at the forums. User fanoftech4life started a thread all the way back in February of 2016 called “An amazing Eve Phone.” It’s the most popular thread in the history of Eve’s forums, and the conversation continues even now. Karatsevidis is surely listening.

Forum considers new internet service | Local News | newsminer.com – Fairbanks Daily News

FAIRBANKS — An effort to create a local broadband internet provider for Fairbanks attracted about 40 people to a conference Saturday at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. 

Alaska state Rep. David Guttenberg organized the conference. The Democrat from the Goldstream Valley said he feels compelled to take action on broadband because he gets so many constituent comments on the poor service in outlying Fairbanks neighborhoods. It’s the No. 2 issue for constituents, second only to the state budget, he said.  

Conference guest speakers Saturday included the leader on rural internet cooperatives in Missouri and Minnesota, as well as in-state leaders from the Matanuska Telephone Association in southcentral Alaska and Heritage NetWorks, a network services design and construction company based in Delta Junction.

Representatives from larger commercial internet providers including Alaska Communications and ATT attended the conference, but weren’t given space on the agenda. Guttenberg made it clear that he doesn’t believe existing providers are sincere in reported efforts to improve internet service and tend to exaggerate the areas on coverage maps where they say service is offered. 

“One (internet service) provider was at the Chamber (Greater Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce) on Tuesday telling the Chamber that everything was wonderful,” he said. “They’re doing their job to defuse and tamp down the message that everything isn’t good.”

Most of the audience identified, by a show of hands, as customers with slow phoneline-based DSL connections. The group actively participated in about seven hours of presentations on technical subjects like fiberoptic cable installation costs and different satellite and wireless internet technologies. 

 

A GVEA-based internet co-op?

The group didn’t coalesce around any one solution for better internet service. However Guttenberg said after the forum that he’s interested in something that builds on the utility lines of the Golden Valley Electric Association, the electricity cooperative that already serves Fairbanks.

GVEA supported Saturday’s conference by donating airline miles to bring in the speakers, and when it was his turn to speak, GVEA Vice President John Burns expressed some interest in a future partnership. 

“I can assure you from Golden Valley’s perspective, Golden Valley will help facilitate as much as we can,” he said. 

While he said he was supportive of the idea, Burns highlighted challenges of a major broadband project in Fairbanks including high construction costs, legal complications and the absence of a large federal grant that made a Missouri cooperative internet project possible. 

Burn also said such a project would be challenging politically because central Fairbanks already enjoys high-speed broadband and may not understand the importance of spreading high-speed internet to outlying areas.

 “We as a community are going to have to spend the time to evaluate what really the need is, what the long-term cost is going to be and then make that decision collectively.”

 

Alaska Communications expansion 

Alaska Communications spokeswoman Heather Cavanaugh said after the conference that the Anchorage-based company is already working on a plan to connect large areas around Fairbanks to broadband internet. The expansion is subsidized through a Federal Communications Commission program called the Connect America Fund. The program requires a minimum download speed of 10 MB per second and 1 MB per second upload. The company plans to complete the service expansion over the next seven years.

“Our goal is to complete the project as quickly as possible. So if we can get it done before 2025 we will,” Cavanaugh said. 

Rep. David Guttenberg’s office created the website heyfairbanks.net to address the broadband issue and plans to post video of Saturday’s conference. 

Contact Outdoors Editor Sam Friedman at 459-7545. Follow him on Twitter: @FDNMoutdoors

Lee Health hosts forum for worried legal immigrants facing deportation

CLOSE

A broad range of House Republicans said they were ready to work to craft a new legislative fix for young immigrants, known by supporters as Dreamers, before the end of this year.
AP

Jean Phillipe came to Fort Myers in 2010 as a teenager fleeing the ravages of an earthquake-devastated Haiti.

Since then, he’s found full-time work as a medical translator for the Lee Health hospital system — a good job that he had hoped to keep for years to come. But recent changes to U.S. immigration policy could soon force him, and thousands like him in this region, out of the country.

“I’m worried because of the opportunities that this land has offered (me),” Phillipe said.  “With the situation in my country, they’re not ready to get all the people back. I’m really concerned about it.”

Lee Health, a public hospital system and one of Southwest Florida’s largest employers, hosted its first-ever forum Saturday for immigrants living in this country under the Temporary Protected Status and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, programs.

More: Temporary protected status: Why Haitians are being kicked out

More: Feds will process DACA renewals that missed deadline because of slow mail

More: 20,000 DACA teachers at risk — and your kids could feel the fallout, too

The Temporary Protected Status program allows immigrants to stay in the United States, often for many years, if they are unable to return to their home countries because of violence or natural disasters. 

Haitians make up the largest such group in Southwest Florida, with an estimated 10,000 immigrants now living here. The Department of Homeland Security decided last month that they must leave within the next 18 months unless they can find other legal recourse to stay here.

The hospital system does not know exactly how many of its employees are here under the programs. But such immigrants are strongly represented in support staff and medical positions throughout the organization, said Yemisi Oloruntola-Coates, Lee Health’s director for diversity and patient-care civil rights.

“As an organization, we thought that it was important,” Oloruntola-Coates said. “We have employees that are being affected and we also know that other organizations in the community have the same situation.”

Saturday’s forum, held at Lee Memorial Hospital in Fort Myers, was led by attorneys for the Miami-based group, Americans for Immigrant Justice. More than two dozen people, some wearing Lee Health badges, showed up for the event.

Lawyers explained their legal rights to remain silent, have attorneys and not be subject to searches without proper warrants. They also advised them to beware of scammers promising to quickly solve their immigration problems.

For those who are stopped by police, attorney Megan Humphreys advised: “You need to be polite. You need to be respectful. But you have a right to not answer their questions.”

Follow this reporter on Twitter: @FrankGluck

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Has President Trump reached a compromise with top Dems on DACA? | 1:25

The top House and Senate Democrats said Wednesday they had reached agreement with President Donald Trump to protect thousands of younger immigrants from deportation and fund some border security enhancements — not including Trump’s border wall.
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With talk in the nation’s capital of a possible deal to salvage a program that protects undocumented immigrants from deportation, some immigrants were watching anxiously and hoping for an outcome that let’s them stay in the U.S. (Sept. 14)
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Schumer: Trump Agreed to DACA Framework | 1:39

President Donald Trump and Democratic leaders have reached an understanding on protections for young immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children. That’s the word Thursday from Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York. (Sept. 14)
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Trump: We are ‘working’ on DACA Plan | 3:03

U.S. President Donald Trump says he’s “fairly close” to reaching a deal with congressional leaders on providing protections to young immigrants who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children but he needs “massive border security.” (Sept. 14)
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Demi Lovato working to help those affected by DACA, Harvey | 2:11

Demi Lovato says she’s reached out to nonprofit organization Voto Latino to find out how she can help after President Donald Trump said he’s rescinding DACA, a program protecting immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children. (Sept. 7)
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President Trump tweets ‘DREAMers’ are safe for six months | 1:02

President Trump’s controversial decision to end the DACA program was criticized by both Republicans and Democrats in Washington.
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New York Files Federal Lawsuit on DACA Decision | 1:22

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said the Trump Administration’s move to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program has “been driven by the president’s personal anti-Mexican and anti-Latino bias.” (Sept. 6)
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Comics on Trump’s dances with Dems in the Best of Late Night | 4:19

How did the Democrats manage to win the president over? The late-night comics break down the process.
USA TODAY Opinion_Eileen Rivers

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Young immigrants and DACA: AP explains | 1:48

What’s the next step for young immigrants protected from deportation under a program that is being phased out by the Trump administration? AP takes a closer look at the program and those affected by its closure. (Sept. 7)
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President Trump has ‘no second thoughts’ on DACA decision | 1:10

Just hours after President Donald Trump tweeted a very confusing statement, apparently is now standing firm on his decision. Susana Victoria Perez (@susana_vp) has more.
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Here’s what the business world is saying about the repeal of DACA | 1:47

Business leaders have rallied behind DREAMers after President Trump’s decision to repeal DACA.
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“We will fight back” – DACA recipients speak out | 0:35

DACA recipients say they feel betrayed by President Donald Trump’s decision to dismantle the government program that protects hundreds of thousands of people who were brought into the country illegally as children. (Sept. 5)
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Trump dismantles DACA protections for immigrants | 2:39

Dealing a huge blow to hundreds of thousands of immigrants, the Trump administration announced it’s phasing out the DACA program and leaving it to Congress to come up with a plan. Dreamers and their supporters said they won’t give up the fight. (Sept. 5)
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Here’s what President Trump has said about DACA in the past | 2:11

The Trump Administration announced Tuesday it will phase out the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA
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Senators push bill to help DACA recipients | 2:14

Senators Push Bill To Help DACA Recipients.
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Phoenix DACA participants say ‘not going back’ | 1:47

Young undocumeted immigrants in Phoenix covered under a program that allows them to stay in the U.S. are protesting a decision by the Trump adminstrtation to end the program. (Sept. 5)
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NY’s AG to Trump about DACA: `See You In Court’ | 1:31

NY’s AG to Trump about DACA: `See You In Court’
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Catholic leaders speak out against Trump’s decision on DACA | 0:44

Leaders from the Catholic Church here in the U.S. are taking a firm stance against President Trump’s decision to cancel DACA.
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Trump made ‘responsible’ decision on DACA: White House | 1:59

White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders says President Trump made ‘the responsible and constitutional step’ to wind down DACA.
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Protests outside White House after DACA edict | 2:00

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Sessions: DOJ cannot defend DACA ‘overreach’ | 2:00

President Donald Trump will phase out a program that has protected hundreds of thousands of immigrants brought into the country illegally as children. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said the Justice Dept. ‘could not defend this overreach.’ (Sept. 5)
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Pro-DACA protesters arrested at Trump Tower | 1:27

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Trump rescinds protections for young immigrants | 2:31

President Donald Trump will phase out a program that has protected hundreds of thousands of young immigrants brought into the country illegally as children and call for Congress to find a legislative solution to protect the “dreamers.” (Sept. 5)
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DACA holder anxious about announcement | 0:53

DACA holder Cesar Espinosa is anxious about President Donald Trump’s expected announcement to end protections for young immigrants who were brought into the country illegally as children. Espinosa heads an immigrant advocacy group. (Sept. 4)
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Killing DACA: Why Trump’s decision matters to ‘Dreamers’ | 1:38

We break down what DACA is and what it could mean for thousands of immigrants.
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Trump holds off on DACA decision | 1:54

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‘We love the Dreamers’ says Trump as he mulls DACA decision | 0:35

President Donald Trump is considering ending a program that allowed young immigrants who came to the United States with their parents illegally to stay in the country under the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
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White House still reviewing DACA program for immigrant children | 1:03

The White House says the Trump administration is still reviewing the Obama-era program that protects immigrants who entered the country illegally as children.
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  •  Lee Health hosts forum for worried legal immigrants facing deportation
  •  Lee Health hosts forum for worried legal immigrants facing deportation
  •  Lee Health hosts forum for worried legal immigrants facing deportation
  •  Lee Health hosts forum for worried legal immigrants facing deportation
  •  Lee Health hosts forum for worried legal immigrants facing deportation
  •  Lee Health hosts forum for worried legal immigrants facing deportation
  •  Lee Health hosts forum for worried legal immigrants facing deportation
  •  Lee Health hosts forum for worried legal immigrants facing deportation
  •  Lee Health hosts forum for worried legal immigrants facing deportation
  •  Lee Health hosts forum for worried legal immigrants facing deportation
  •  Lee Health hosts forum for worried legal immigrants facing deportation
  •  Lee Health hosts forum for worried legal immigrants facing deportation
  •  Lee Health hosts forum for worried legal immigrants facing deportation
  •  Lee Health hosts forum for worried legal immigrants facing deportation
  •  Lee Health hosts forum for worried legal immigrants facing deportation
  •  Lee Health hosts forum for worried legal immigrants facing deportation
  •  Lee Health hosts forum for worried legal immigrants facing deportation
  •  Lee Health hosts forum for worried legal immigrants facing deportation
  •  Lee Health hosts forum for worried legal immigrants facing deportation
  •  Lee Health hosts forum for worried legal immigrants facing deportation
  •  Lee Health hosts forum for worried legal immigrants facing deportation
  •  Lee Health hosts forum for worried legal immigrants facing deportation
  •  Lee Health hosts forum for worried legal immigrants facing deportation
  •  Lee Health hosts forum for worried legal immigrants facing deportation

 

Forum considers new internet service – Fairbanks Daily News

FAIRBANKS — An effort to create a local broadband internet provider for Fairbanks attracted about 40 people to a conference Saturday at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. 

Alaska state Rep. David Guttenberg organized the conference. The Democrat from the Goldstream Valley said he feels compelled to take action on broadband because he gets so many constituent comments on the poor service in outlying Fairbanks neighborhoods. It’s the number two issue for constituents, second only to the state budget, he said.  

Conference guest speakers Saturday included the leader on rural internet cooperatives in Missouri and Minnesota, as well as in-state leaders from the Matanuska Telephone Association in southcentral Alaska and Heritage NetWorks, a network services design and construction company based in Delta Junction.

Representatives from larger commercial internet providers including Alaska Communications and ATT attended the conference, but weren’t given space on the agenda. Guttenberg made it clear that he doesn’t believe existing providers are sincere in reported efforts to improve internet service and tend to exaggerate the areas on coverage maps where they say service is offered. 

“One (internet service) provider was at the Chamber (Greater Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce) on Tuesday telling the Chamber that everything was wonderful,” he said. “They’re doing their job to defuse and tamp down the message that everything isn’t good.”

Most of the audience identified, by a show of hands, as customers with slow phoneline-based DSL connections. The group actively participated in about seven hours of presentations on technical subjects like fiber optic cable installation costs and different satellite and wireless internet technologies. 

 

A GVEA-based internet co-op?

The group didn’t coalesce around any one solution for better internet service. However Guttenberg said after the forum that he’s interested in something that builds on the utility lines of the Golden Valley Electric Association, the electricity cooperative that already serves Fairbanks.

GVEA supported Saturday’s conference by donating airline miles to bring in the speakers, and when it was his turn to speak, GVEA Vice President John Burns expressed some interest in a future partnership. 

“I can assure you from Golden Valley’s perspective, Golden Valley will help facilitate as much as we can,” he said. 

While he said he was supportive of the idea, Burns highlighted challenges of a major broadband project in Fairbanks including high construction costs, legal complications and the absence of a large federal grant that made a Missouri cooperative internet project possible. 

Burn also said such a project would be challenging politically because central Fairbanks already enjoys high speed broadband and may not understand the importance of spreading high-speed internet to outlying areas.

 “We as a community are going to have to spend the time to evaluate what really the need is, what the long term cost is going to be and then make that decision collectively.”

 

Alaska Communications expansion 

Alaska Communications spokeswoman Heather Cavanaugh said after the conference that the Anchorage-based company is already working on a plan to connect large areas around Fairbanks to broadband internet. The expansion is subsidized through a Federal Communications Commission program called the Connect America Fund. The program requires a minimum download speed of

10 MB per second and 1 MB per second upload. The company plans to complete the service expansion over the next seven years.

“Our goal is to complete the project as quickly as possible. So if we can get it done before 2025 we will,” Cavanaugh said. 

Rep. David Guttenberg’s office created the website heyfairbanks.net to address the broadband issue and plans to post video of Saturday’s conference. 

Contact Outdoors Editor Sam Friedman at 459-7545. Follow him on Twitter: @FDNMoutdoors

China defends state control over internet at technology forum

China defends state control over internet at technology forum

Lee Health hosts forum for worried legal immigrants facing deportation – The News

CLOSE

A broad range of House Republicans said they were ready to work to craft a new legislative fix for young immigrants, known by supporters as Dreamers, before the end of this year.
AP

Jean Phillipe came to Fort Myers in 2010 as a teenager fleeing the ravages of an earthquake-devastated Haiti.

Since then, he’s found full-time work as a medical translator for the Lee Health hospital system — a good job that he had hoped to keep for years to come. But recent changes to U.S. immigration policy could soon force him, and thousands like him in this region, out of the country.

“I’m worried because of the opportunities that this land has offered (me),” Phillipe said.  “With the situation in my country, they’re not ready to get all the people back. I’m really concerned about it.”

Lee Health, a public hospital system and one of Southwest Florida’s largest employers, hosted its first-ever forum Saturday for immigrants living in this country under the Temporary Protected Status and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, programs.

More: Temporary protected status: Why Haitians are being kicked out

More: Feds will process DACA renewals that missed deadline because of slow mail

More: 20,000 DACA teachers at risk — and your kids could feel the fallout, too

The Temporary Protected Status program allows immigrants to stay in the United States, often for many years, if they are unable to return to their home countries because of violence or natural disasters. 

Haitians make up the largest such group in Southwest Florida, with an estimated 10,000 immigrants now living here. The Department of Homeland Security decided last month that they must leave within the next 18 months unless they can find other legal recourse to stay here.

The hospital system does not know exactly how many of its employees are here under the programs. But such immigrants are strongly represented in support staff and medical positions throughout the organization, said Yemisi Oloruntola-Coates, Lee Health’s director for diversity and patient-care civil rights.

“As an organization, we thought that it was important,” Oloruntola-Coates said. “We have employees that are being affected and we also know that other organizations in the community have the same situation.”

Saturday’s forum, held at Lee Memorial Hospital in Fort Myers, was led by attorneys for the Miami-based group, Americans for Immigrant Justice. More than two dozen people, some wearing Lee Health badges, showed up for the event.

Lawyers explained their legal rights to remain silent, have attorneys and not be subject to searches without proper warrants. They also advised them to beware of scammers promising to quickly solve their immigration problems.

For those who are stopped by police, attorney Megan Humphreys advised: “You need to be polite. You need to be respectful. But you have a right to not answer their questions.”

Follow this reporter on Twitter: @FrankGluck

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CLOSEDACA UNDER PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP
Has President Trump reached a compromise with top Dems on DACA? | 1:25

The top House and Senate Democrats said Wednesday they had reached agreement with President Donald Trump to protect thousands of younger immigrants from deportation and fund some border security enhancements — not including Trump’s border wall.
Time

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Immigrants Hopeful, Wary Of Talk On DACA Deal | 1:27

With talk in the nation’s capital of a possible deal to salvage a program that protects undocumented immigrants from deportation, some immigrants were watching anxiously and hoping for an outcome that let’s them stay in the U.S. (Sept. 14)
AP

 Lee Health hosts forum for worried legal immigrants facing deportation - The Newsx

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Schumer: Trump Agreed to DACA Framework | 1:39

President Donald Trump and Democratic leaders have reached an understanding on protections for young immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children. That’s the word Thursday from Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York. (Sept. 14)
AP

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Trump: We are ‘working’ on DACA Plan | 3:03

U.S. President Donald Trump says he’s “fairly close” to reaching a deal with congressional leaders on providing protections to young immigrants who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children but he needs “massive border security.” (Sept. 14)
AP

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Demi Lovato working to help those affected by DACA, Harvey | 2:11

Demi Lovato says she’s reached out to nonprofit organization Voto Latino to find out how she can help after President Donald Trump said he’s rescinding DACA, a program protecting immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children. (Sept. 7)
AP

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CLOSEDACA UNDER PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP
President Trump tweets ‘DREAMers’ are safe for six months | 1:02

President Trump’s controversial decision to end the DACA program was criticized by both Republicans and Democrats in Washington.
Buzz60

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CLOSEDACA UNDER PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP
New York Files Federal Lawsuit on DACA Decision | 1:22

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said the Trump Administration’s move to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program has “been driven by the president’s personal anti-Mexican and anti-Latino bias.” (Sept. 6)
AP

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CLOSEDACA UNDER PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP
Comics on Trump’s dances with Dems in the Best of Late Night | 4:19

How did the Democrats manage to win the president over? The late-night comics break down the process.
USA TODAY Opinion_Eileen Rivers

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CLOSEDACA UNDER PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP
Young immigrants and DACA: AP explains | 1:48

What’s the next step for young immigrants protected from deportation under a program that is being phased out by the Trump administration? AP takes a closer look at the program and those affected by its closure. (Sept. 7)
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CLOSEDACA UNDER PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP
President Trump has ‘no second thoughts’ on DACA decision | 1:10

Just hours after President Donald Trump tweeted a very confusing statement, apparently is now standing firm on his decision. Susana Victoria Perez (@susana_vp) has more.
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CLOSEDACA UNDER PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP
Here’s what the business world is saying about the repeal of DACA | 1:47

Business leaders have rallied behind DREAMers after President Trump’s decision to repeal DACA.
Time

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CLOSEDACA UNDER PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP
“We will fight back” – DACA recipients speak out | 0:35

DACA recipients say they feel betrayed by President Donald Trump’s decision to dismantle the government program that protects hundreds of thousands of people who were brought into the country illegally as children. (Sept. 5)
AP

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CLOSEDACA UNDER PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP
Trump dismantles DACA protections for immigrants | 2:39

Dealing a huge blow to hundreds of thousands of immigrants, the Trump administration announced it’s phasing out the DACA program and leaving it to Congress to come up with a plan. Dreamers and their supporters said they won’t give up the fight. (Sept. 5)
AP

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CLOSEDACA UNDER PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP
Here’s what President Trump has said about DACA in the past | 2:11

The Trump Administration announced Tuesday it will phase out the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA
Time

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CLOSEDACA UNDER PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP
Senators push bill to help DACA recipients | 2:14

Senators Push Bill To Help DACA Recipients.
AP

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CLOSEDACA UNDER PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP
Phoenix DACA participants say ‘not going back’ | 1:47

Young undocumeted immigrants in Phoenix covered under a program that allows them to stay in the U.S. are protesting a decision by the Trump adminstrtation to end the program. (Sept. 5)
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CLOSEDACA UNDER PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP
NY’s AG to Trump about DACA: `See You In Court’ | 1:31

NY’s AG to Trump about DACA: `See You In Court’
AP

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CLOSEDACA UNDER PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP
Catholic leaders speak out against Trump’s decision on DACA | 0:44

Leaders from the Catholic Church here in the U.S. are taking a firm stance against President Trump’s decision to cancel DACA.
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CLOSEDACA UNDER PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP
Trump made ‘responsible’ decision on DACA: White House | 1:59

White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders says President Trump made ‘the responsible and constitutional step’ to wind down DACA.
Video provided by Reuters
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CLOSEDACA UNDER PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP
Protests outside White House after DACA edict | 2:00

Protesters gather outside the White House in response to the Trump Administration’s announcement they will phase out Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA program. (Sept. 5)
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CLOSEDACA UNDER PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP
Sessions: DOJ cannot defend DACA ‘overreach’ | 2:00

President Donald Trump will phase out a program that has protected hundreds of thousands of immigrants brought into the country illegally as children. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said the Justice Dept. ‘could not defend this overreach.’ (Sept. 5)
AP

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CLOSEDACA UNDER PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP
Pro-DACA protesters arrested at Trump Tower | 1:27

More than a dozen activists were arrested Tuesday in front of Trump Tower in New York during a protest against the Trump administration’s decision to end the DACA executive order on immigration. (Sept. 5)
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CLOSEDACA UNDER PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP
Trump rescinds protections for young immigrants | 2:31

President Donald Trump will phase out a program that has protected hundreds of thousands of young immigrants brought into the country illegally as children and call for Congress to find a legislative solution to protect the “dreamers.” (Sept. 5)
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CLOSEDACA UNDER PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP
DACA holder anxious about announcement | 0:53

DACA holder Cesar Espinosa is anxious about President Donald Trump’s expected announcement to end protections for young immigrants who were brought into the country illegally as children. Espinosa heads an immigrant advocacy group. (Sept. 4)
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CLOSEDACA UNDER PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP
Killing DACA: Why Trump’s decision matters to ‘Dreamers’ | 1:38

We break down what DACA is and what it could mean for thousands of immigrants.
USA TODAY

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CLOSEDACA UNDER PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP
Trump holds off on DACA decision | 1:54

The White House said President Donald Trump will announce Tuesday his decision on whether to rescind federal protections for immigrant children whose parents brought them to the country illegally. (Sept. 1)
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CLOSEDACA UNDER PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP
‘We love the Dreamers’ says Trump as he mulls DACA decision | 0:35

President Donald Trump is considering ending a program that allowed young immigrants who came to the United States with their parents illegally to stay in the country under the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
Video provided by Reuters
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CLOSEDACA UNDER PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP
White House still reviewing DACA program for immigrant children | 1:03

The White House says the Trump administration is still reviewing the Obama-era program that protects immigrants who entered the country illegally as children.
Video provided by Reuters
Newslook

  •  Lee Health hosts forum for worried legal immigrants facing deportation - The News
  •  Lee Health hosts forum for worried legal immigrants facing deportation - The News
  •  Lee Health hosts forum for worried legal immigrants facing deportation - The News
  •  Lee Health hosts forum for worried legal immigrants facing deportation - The News
  •  Lee Health hosts forum for worried legal immigrants facing deportation - The News
  •  Lee Health hosts forum for worried legal immigrants facing deportation - The News
  •  Lee Health hosts forum for worried legal immigrants facing deportation - The News
  •  Lee Health hosts forum for worried legal immigrants facing deportation - The News
  •  Lee Health hosts forum for worried legal immigrants facing deportation - The News
  •  Lee Health hosts forum for worried legal immigrants facing deportation - The News
  •  Lee Health hosts forum for worried legal immigrants facing deportation - The News
  •  Lee Health hosts forum for worried legal immigrants facing deportation - The News
  •  Lee Health hosts forum for worried legal immigrants facing deportation - The News
  •  Lee Health hosts forum for worried legal immigrants facing deportation - The News
  •  Lee Health hosts forum for worried legal immigrants facing deportation - The News
  •  Lee Health hosts forum for worried legal immigrants facing deportation - The News
  •  Lee Health hosts forum for worried legal immigrants facing deportation - The News
  •  Lee Health hosts forum for worried legal immigrants facing deportation - The News
  •  Lee Health hosts forum for worried legal immigrants facing deportation - The News
  •  Lee Health hosts forum for worried legal immigrants facing deportation - The News
  •  Lee Health hosts forum for worried legal immigrants facing deportation - The News
  •  Lee Health hosts forum for worried legal immigrants facing deportation - The News
  •  Lee Health hosts forum for worried legal immigrants facing deportation - The News
  •  Lee Health hosts forum for worried legal immigrants facing deportation - The News

 

 

 

C Spire convenes roundtable forum on computer science education in schools

The forum brought together staff from Mississippi State University’s Research and Curriculum unit (RCU), Microsoft’s Technology Education and Literacy in Schools (TEALS) program and the Global Teaching Project examining the latest efforts to boost computer science education in schools while exploring ways to help teachers develop the knowledge and skills they need to be successful in the classroom.

Representatives from several public and private school districts also participated in the forum with C Spire to identify new strategies and tactics to help accelerate plans to get more of the state’s high schools to offer an accredited Advanced Placement computer science course to students as soon as possible.

“With the shortage of qualified information technology professionals growing every day, we need to move decisively and quickly to equip teachers and inspire students to pursue computer science education and career paths that will help us meet the needs of our new digital economy,” said Carla Lewis, the C Spire CIO who organized the forum.

Lewis said teacher training also is a critical piece of the computer science education puzzle and one that C Spire hopes to address by combining forces with the Mississippi Department of Education’s Computer Science for Mississippi (CS4MS) pilot program administered by MSU’s RCU unit.

Workers with a background in computer science are in high demand and short supply in Mississippi.  Employers currently have over 1,200 unfilled job openings due to the serious shortage of trained, qualified IT workers, Lewis said.  The average salary for qualified IT workers is nearly $69,000 a year, almost double the statewide average.

Nationwide, new research estimates the current shortage of 607,708 IT workers will balloon to over 1 million software developers in the U.S. by 2020.  “The inventor of the next big thing, the latest app or cutting-edge software may be sitting in a classroom waiting to be inspired and encouraged to become a leader in the digital economy,” Lewis said.

Besides today’s forum, C Spire is doing its part to encourage high school students to pursue a degree and career in information technology and computer science.  The company has hosted two computer coding challenges this year for high school students across the state, reaching 43 high schools and over 200 students.

The day-long C3 program teaches students to use critical thinking and problem solving skills to solve a fresh computer coding challenge during the competition.  Teams compete for college scholarships and other tech-related prizes.  C Spire assigns employees with IT backgrounds and experience to help each team navigate the challenge. 

Lewis said the company-sponsored coding challenges and support for other public and private non-profit programs like the Base Camp Coding Academy are designed to help C Spire deliver on its promise to help create and retain a 21st century technology workforce in its region.

The forum and the coding challenges can serve as an important first step to increase interest in computer science, according to Lewis.  In 2016, only 16 students in the state took the AP computer science exam and only three schools statewide offered the AP computer science course in 2015-16, according to Code.org, a computer science education advocacy group. 

Some progress is being made.  This year, 105 Mississippi high school students successfully completed the AP computer science exam, a 650 percent increase from 2016.  And 52 Mississippi school districts participated in the second year of the joint MDE and RDU CS4MS pilot program, reaching more than 15,000 students.

Workforce development is a key part of the broader C Spire Tech Movement initiative designed to leverage the company’s technology leadership and investments to help transform its service areas. 

Other elements of the program include creation of a state-of-the-art digital customer care platform for customers and team members, massive deployment of broadband internet for homes and businesses and other leadership initiatives to drive innovation and development of a 21st century technology workforce.

“We live in a software-defined world where code and the internet directly impacts every aspect of our lives,” Lewis said.  “Computer science drives innovation and creates jobs in our economy, but we need to do more to encourage schools to offer courses, equip teachers and enable young people to pursue IT careers and computer science degrees.”

About C Spire
C Spire is a leading technology company committed to transforming Mississippi through the C Spire Tech Movement, which includes the massive deployment of broadband internet to homes and small businesses, a state-of-the-art digital experience for its customers and team members, technology innovation leadership and the creation and retention of a 21st century technology workforce in its region.  The company provides world-class, customer-inspired wireless communications, 1 Gigabit consumer Internet access as well as a full suite of dedicated Internet, wireless, IP Voice, data and cloud services for businesses.  This news release and other announcements are available at www.cspire.com/news. For more information about C Spire, visit www.cspire.com or follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/cspire or Twitter at www.twitter.com/cspire.

View original content with multimedia:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/c-spire-convenes-roundtable-forum-on-computer-science-education-in-schools-300565527.html

SOURCE C Spire

Related Links

http://www.cspire.com

World’s Top Experts Kick Off Internet Infrastructure Forum (IIF)

Other attendees at the IIF included Wu Hequan (Academician of CAE, Director of ISC), Dr. Paul Mockapetris (Inventor of DNS, Internet Hall of Fame Inductee), Dr. Paul Vixie (Inventor of ISC, Internet Hall of Fame Inductee), Professor Kilnam Chon (Father of Korea Internet, Internet Hall of Fame Inductee), the representative of Professor Jun Murai (Founder of WIDE, Internet Hall of Fame Inductee), Professor Nick McKeown (Pioneer of SDN, Professor of Stanford University), Mr. Phil Robb (Operation VP of Linux Foundation), Dr. Dan Pitt (Senior VP of MEF), Latif Ladid (Global IPv6 Forum President) and Mr. Liu Dong (President of BII-CFIEC). The forum focused on the advocacy of IPv6 and DNS, which will bolster the connectivity of Internet Infrastructure worldwide.

Dr. Vinton Cerf, Father of Internet, who has been known as the evangelist of IPv6 for decades, encouraged the Internet industry to collectively implement IPv6 for the global good. Other speakers also discussed how emerging network technologies would guarantee the development of Internet infrastructure, as well as technologies including IPv6, DNS, access technologies, security and privacy, among others.

Mr. Liu Dong, President of BII-CFIEC, advocated prospectively for the sustainable development of Internet infrastructure, and emphasized that Internet Infrastructure Forum could serve an important role of bolstering innovation and connectivity in worldwide internet infrastructure. The sustainable development and evolution of internet infrastructure is essential to the global cyberspace and digital economy, and IIF will provide a larger scale of innovation platform for the internet community with more opportunities to new applications that it enables.

In the future, IIF will represent interests of the industry, developing and sharing best business practices that emerging network technologies implement in support of the need of internet community to the public, so that they can weigh its outcomes for the digital economy. The forum will also serve as a multistakeholder platform for diverse and innovative players from across the internet infrastructure industry, academic and user communities to better communicate and advocate the development of internet infrastructure for the global good.

View original content with multimedia:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/worlds-top-experts-kick-off-internet-infrastructure-forum-iif-300564148.html

SOURCE BII Group Holdings Ltd

CCPS to hold internet safety forum

The Carroll County Public Schools system is hosting a forum Wednesday to help foster conversations about safe internet practices.

A Department of Justice internet safety forum entitled “Innocence Stolen: Protecting Our Children Online” will be held at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Oklahoma Road Middle School in Eldersburg. The forum is open to the public, but is limited to adults only due to the sensitivity of the topics to be discussed, according to a news release from the school system.

The program is open to all parents or guardians in the county and no registration is required.

The Innocence Stolen program is offered to school staff, parents, and community organizations to equip and empower them to address the many teachable moments that occur when accessing the Internet, according to the release.

Cancer Connection hosts health forum

Cancer Connection, a nonprofit organization assisting people with cancer, will host its 2017 Cancer Connection Health Forum on Nov. 4 at Centennial Hall.

Doors open to the public at 11 a.m. and close at 2 p.m. Visitors will be able to meet with exhibitors promoting information on health-related goods and services to those who need them.

At noon, Mark C. Pettus, MD, FACP, will present the keynote address “Lifestyle Considerations for Cancer Prevention and Management.”

Lunch will be provided. Cancer Connection suggests a $10 donation at the door.

For more information, contact Cancer Connection at 796-2273.

Harvard School of Public Health to hold discrimination forum

Free St. Luke’s forum to discuss children’s mental health

Every year, St. Luke’s University Hospital’s behavioral department brings in a speaker to discuss timely mental health topics with the public.

Two years ago, it was the stigma surrounding mental health.

Last year, the forum touched on connections between mental health and drug and alcohol use, said Amie Allanson-Dundon, a clinical supervisor of three different programs within St. Luke’s behavioral health department.

There were requests from attendees to have a talk focusing on mental health in children and adolescents, she said, and that’s what led to the topic for the free forum for the public Tuesday night at the hospital in Fountain Hill.

MORE: Forum assures teens it’s OK to talk about mental health, suicide

The forum will feature “Just Talk About It,” a 90-minute presentation on early detection of child and adolescent mental health and behavioral issues.

The presenter is Sheila Gillin, a licensed social worker and a certified child and adolescent psychotherapist who works as the clinical director for Minding Your Mind.

“They really want you to be able to identify what are the most common causes and effects of stress in kids. What is considered a crisis for a kid? What are the warning signs with self-harm and suicide?” Allanson-Dundon asked.

Allanson-Dundon, who has worked in the hospital’s behavioral health department for 20 years, said worldwide 10 to 20 percent of children and adolescents have mental or behavioral disorders.

That includes anxiety or depression brought on by daily events and stressors.

“Every other day we’re seeing trauma. Kids are seeing all of this. Not talking about it,” Allanson-Dundon said. “These kids are soaking in everything we’re soaking as adults. And what are they doing with it? They’ve got to put it somewhere.”

The New York Times magazine had an in-depth report publish Wednesday on the rise of anxiety and stress disorders in American children, specifically teenagers.

The article touches on a number of anxiety-inducing issues for teens, including social media, and links between anxiety, teens and use of smartphones.

“Anxious teenagers from all backgrounds are relentlessly comparing themselves with their peers and the results are almost uniformly distressing,” Stephanie Eken, a psychiatrist and the regional medical director for Rogers Behavioral Health, says in the article.

Tuesday’s talk at St. Luke’s is designed to train families and friends, including kids, on how to recognize stress, anxiety and depression, Allanson-Dundon said. The goal is to prevent incidents and episodes from reaching crisis levels.

“No one talks about it,” she said.

In May, researchers presented a study that found the number of children and adolescents admitted to children’s hospitals for suicidal thoughts more than doubled from 2008 to 2015.

The study found children from ages five to 17 that identified as having thoughts of suicide or self harm increased from 0.67 percent in 2008 to 1.79 percent in 2015.

If you can’t make it to the forum, Allanson-Dundon recommended contacting insurance companies to find in-network mental health providers, or call St. Luke’s behavioral health department at 484-526-2400.

St. Luke’s forum

What: A 90-minute presentation on early detection of child and adolescent mental health and behavioral issues, followed by a 30-minute expert panel QA.

When: 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 17

Where: Laros Auditorium, St. Luke’s University Hospital, 801 Ostrum St., Bethlehem.

Register here.

Sarah Cassi may be reached at scassi@lehighvalleylive.com. Follow her on Twitter @SarahCassi. Find lehighvalleylive.com on Facebook.

Weekend Open Forum: What CPU powered your first computer?

Years of begging and pleading with my parents finally paid off when I received my first computer as a Christmas gift. It was an entry-level machine powered by AMD’s K6-2 processor clocked at 333MHz and although it wasn’t quite as powerful as my friend’s Intel Pentium II 266MHz machine, it served me well.

With this week’s open forum, we’re curious – what CPU was in your very first computer? AMD, Intel or maybe something else entirely? Chime in and let us know in the comments section below!

Democrats to host rural health care forum

Democratic Party central committees from Benton, Iowa, Poweshiek and Tama counties are joining forces to host a health care forum at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 19 at the Belle Plaine Historical Museum Auditorium.

Moderated by Sen. Liz Mathis, D-Hiawatha, the forum will include health care professionals and hospital administrators discussing health care issues unique to rural Iowa.

Panelists will include Dr. Laura Ferguson of Grinnell; Elizabeth Momany, director of Amana Family Practice and Tiffin Family Care; Keith Mueller, interim dean of the College of Public Health and Gerhard Hartman Professor in Health Management and Policy, University of Iowa; and Michael Riege, administrator, Virginia Gay Hospital, Vinton.

Candidates for the Democratic nomination in Iowa’s 1st Congressional District have been invited. They are Courtney Rowe of Cedar Rapids, George Ramsey III of Marion, Thomas Heckroth of Cedar Falls and state Rep. Abby Finkenauer of Dubuque.

Incumbent Rep. Rod Blum was invited, but chose not to participate.

For more information, contact (319) 504-9376 or bentondems2@gmail.com.