February 04, 2009
A summertime Ridgway resident has filed a complaint with the Colorado Division of Civil Rights alleging that the Ridgway Public Library Board of Trustees has discriminated against her.
Ruth Ann Davis claims the library staff was unwilling to turn off the
building's "wi fi" wireless system for computers for three hours during the opening reception of a photographic art exhibition planned for August 2008. She filed the complaint last July, alleging a violation of her civil rights due to the denial of her request, and that the library instead postponed the event while seeking to make its own determination of her medical issues.
Davis alleges that because she has been diagnosed to be "extremely sensitive to electromagnetic field radiation" that the library staff and the Board of Trustees are required by law to accommodate her request and "not diagnose or discount a legally certified debilitation."
Board of Trustees President Jane Fairbairn said the library has formally denied the charges, and cannot provide any details, but did provide a "complicated response."
"We feel we really can't discuss this," Fairbairn said. The board has not received a response from the investigators.
Board member Dickson Pratt said no preliminary finding or decision has been given, "not so far as we are aware," Pratt said. He explained that the board is awaiting a finding from the division, and that the matter then goes to an administrative law judge. "That finding would be followed by a hearing if probable cause has been determined."
Davis maintains that she is also sensitive to "wi-fi" digital microwave
The library postponed the exhibit for an "indefinite period" in order to gather additional information, the board said in a letter to Davis last July.
By Christopher Pike, news correspondent
The days of running off to sea to escape problems on land could be over as mobile connectivity hits the ocean.
Irish mobile maritime communications company Blue Ocean Wireless has teamed up with picocell developer ip.access to develop the system.
For crews, separated from their families for months on end, the ability to be able to make and receive calls from their mobiles will be a big boon.
Previously merchant ship crews had to rely on expensive satellite phones.
The new system will also rely on satellite communication. A picocell - a small base station that extends mobile coverage - will be installed in accommodation areas of the ship.
Connected to a remote gateway, it will convert a mobile call into a narrowband IP signal for transmission over the satellite network.
Picocells are increasingly being used to extend mobile coverage to places where exterior signals cannot penetrate, such as office buildings, ships and aircraft.
UK-based ip.access has already done a series of deals which have put picocells onboard ferries and cruiseliners.
Extending the service to merchant ships will "bring the benefits of mobile cellular communication to seafarers who spend so much time away from friends and family," said ip.access chief executive Stephen Mallinson.
Typically such picocells are used by mobile operators on 'terra firma" to boost indoor network coverage in buildings and for business customers in offices.
But anywhere where traditional GSM coverage is difficult could potentially be a candidate for using picocells.
British Airways has announced that it will be using picocells on planes from the autumn.
It will enable air passengers to send and receive text messages and access the internet using a smartphone or GSM-enabled laptop but BA is stopping short of allowing voice calls.