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Local organizations get to work during Day of Caring in Carlisle area

Numerous businesses, organizations and civic groups from the area gave back the community Friday as part of the United Way Day of Caring in the Carlisle area.

The event, hosted by the United Way of Carlisle & Cumberland County and sponsored by UPMC Pinnacle Carlisle, saw more than 400 volunteers take on projects from painting and landscaping to cleaning and maintenance.

“I enjoy doing it,” Christina Hess said. “I don’t always get extra time to do extra activities for the community like I would want to. So, these types of events, I always enjoy doing. It’s not always financially possible (to give), but you can always donate your time for free.”

She was joined by two fellow employees — Schanelle Palmer and Joel Sanders — from Giant Food Stores at the Carlisle YWCA. The group spent the day painting offices.

“I think it’s nice to see, when you come out and volunteer, the work that you do for the community and how it affects the community,” Palmer said.

The day kicked off with coffee and donuts at 8 a.m. before groups broke off and got to work.

Projects were hosted by groups including the Arc of Cumberland & Perry Counties, the Borough of Carlisle, Carlisle Family YMCA, Carlisle West Side Neighbors, MidPenn Legal Services and Project SHARE.

This year’s Day of Caring was moved up a week to align with the inauguration of Dickinson College’s new president, Margee Ensign.

Students, staff and faculty from Dickinson College spent the day reading to students at all seven Carlisle Area School District elementary schools.

“United Way proudly celebrates volunteerism in our community. Volunteering to help our community partners is a direct and hands-on effort to help the worthy causes that these agencies represent, and goes a long way to assisting them in enhancing the services they provide to the community,” said Lucy Zander, executive director of United Way of Carlisle & Cumberland County.

Rothman invites veterans to free pancake breakfast

State Rep. Greg Rothman (R-Cumberland) will host a free pancake breakfast for veterans and their families Oct. 14 at the Good Hope Fire Station.

“Many of these men and women have eaten more than their fair share of MREs,” Rothman said, referring to the Meals Ready to Eat military personnel often consume while serving overseas. “We figured a pancake breakfast was a unique way to show our appreciation. It’s an opportunity for our veterans to chow down and for us to say ‘thank you’ for their many sacrifices.”

There will be two seating times for veterans and their families — 8 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. Veterans must register to participate by calling Rothman’s district office at 717-975-2235. The registration deadline is Oct. 12.

Good Hope Fire Station is at 1200 Good Hope Road in Mechanicsburg. Maj. Gen. Tony Carrelli, who serves as Pennsylvania adjutant general, will speak at the event. Rothman said he plans to offer a special recognition to Vietnam War veterans as part of the overall program.

Court: Movie theaters must accommodate deaf-blind patrons

Federal disability law requires movie theaters to provide specialized interpreters to patrons who are deaf and blind, an appeals court said Friday.

The Philadelphia-based 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against Cinemark, the nation’s third-largest movie chain, in a case involving a Pennsylvania man who wanted to see the 2014 movie “Gone Girl” and asked a Cinemark theater in Pittsburgh to supply a “tactile interpreter.” The theater denied his request.

The plaintiff, Paul McGann, is a movie enthusiast who reads American Sign Language through touch. He uses a method of tactile interpretation that involves placing his hands over the hands of an interpreter who uses sign language to describe the movie’s action, dialogue and even the audience response.

The federal appeals court concluded Friday that tactile interpreters are covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act, which requires that public accommodations furnish “auxiliary aids and services” to patrons with vision, hearing and speech disabilities.

“It would be impossible for a deaf-blind person to experience the movie and understand the content without the provision of tactile interpretation,” said Carol A. Horowitz, managing attorney of Disability Rights Pennsylvania, which filed suit on McGann’s behalf.

The ruling said Cinemark still can argue that providing the interpreters would present an “undue burden,” an exception to the disability law that takes into account the cost of the accommodation and the business’s ability to pay for it. It sent the case back to a federal judge to consider that argument.

Because of the intensive nature of the work, McGann requires the services of two interpreters. The interpreters cost a few hundred dollars per showing.

Cinemark earned $257 million in 2016. The movie chain also has said that before McGann, it had never before received a request for tactile interpretation.

Attorneys and spokespeople for the Plano, Texas-based chain didn’t immediately return an email seeking comment on the ruling.

The U.S. Department of Justice filed documents in support of McGann.