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Daniel Lent
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My letter/email to Providence Hospital

Dear Mr. Honeycutt,

I’m writing to you today in response to your recent appearance on KTUU news. I feel that Providence’s recent policy in asking people not to play Pokémon Go at your hospital should be adjusted to be more accommodating to the patients and their families at the hospital.

Please, don’t get me wrong. I agree that people should be respectful of the hospital and the staff. I don’t believe that people should be allowed access to restricted areas to play the game. However, I do believe that gameplay would have benefits that aren’t being addressed, studied, or identified.

Pokémon Go is a fairly new game for Niantic, but it is not the first “Augmented Reality” game that they’ve produced. Back in 2012, they released a game called Ingress. While there have been a few differences in the game, they share many gameplay elements. Ingress players, such as myself and my wife, have been playing at Providence without anyone noticing for quite a while now. While the popularity of Pokémon Go has been great for Niantic and Nintendo, they are having to figure out how to deal with the shear unexpected number of players and the problems caused, much like Providence.

I do understand that you are aware of the benefits that games like Pokémon Go immediately bring to those that play. Getting more active is definitely something that I can see Providence as a whole supporting. However, I get the impression from the report and the policy that this is only being addressed as “people coming into the hospital to play” versus identifying what is probably the more likely scenario: Patients and their families playing in the hospital.

I’ve spent a fair amount of time in your hospital as both family and a patient. 8 hour or more waits in the ER, weekly appointments for care, and the list goes on for reasons why I might be at your hospital or any of its other campus locations. Each visit can be stressful for a number of reasons. My last major visit was because my wife was admitted after a major break to her leg. We spent 3 days inside, playing Ingress when we could to break up and pass the time.

I can’t remember much of any time we went onto Providence’s facilities to play Ingress. We did it every time we already had an appointment or other reason to be there. Most other people I know would only do the same. There is not much of a draw to play at a hospital versus much more gameplay dense areas like downtown Anchorage.

Just as much as there have been stories in the news about what issues have been caused with Pokémon Go and its launch, there have been stories about what benefits the game has brought to those that play. Combat Veterans who struggle in leaving their houses finally finding resolve to enter into the real world and socializing with other people that play. People suffering from PTSD and disabling social anxiety finding the courage to make new friends. Children on the autism spectrum speaking more in the past week than they have in their entire lives.

Games like Ingress and Pokémon Go can be awesome tools for physical and psychological therapy. How awesome would it be to see patients walking that extra loop around just to hit a portal or pokestop one more time? How about patients receiving much needed distractions from their pain. Distractions from their current situation? Seeing, making and achieving goals in an environment that doesn’t tell them they can’t?

So, yes, there have been a few bad apples that have disrespected and pushed hospital boundaries. However, let’s take into consideration that both Ingress and Pokémon Go do not require you to be on the same floor, or even in the same room with the objects that you interact with. If these individuals were playing, Occam’s Razor would suggest that they were probably unaware of most of the gameplay mechanics. They probably didn’t understand that you don’t have to be in that breakroom.

It is also possible is that they were just people that would have eventually pushed hospital boundaries as is, and Pokémon was only the enabler or excuse for this particular time. It will probably happen again, and with different people or excuses.

I invite you to come out with my wife and I as we play Ingress and Pokémon Go. Learn how it works, and see how it can be used as a tool for Providence instead of an annoyance. I believe that there is some level of co-existence that can be found that’s better than removing a resource for patients, their families, and caregivers.

Thank you for your time, and I look forward to discussing this further with you soon.
Daniel Lent 

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Operation 49 Deuce

For Unite16 we had put Fairbanks under 22 layers of blue. I decided I wanted to see the max layers I could achieve. I came up with a plan to get 45 layers over Fairbanks. Then ULA were released! After some discussion with +Kyle Tee  My plan went from 45 to over 100! With Alaska being the 49th state and our motto being "Field Big or Go Home" I decided we should be able to achieve 49 layers twice. I had extra layers to work with but with all operations there are problems encountered. Our first issue would be Point Hope link to Clear Air Force Base. Secondly working with remote sites and organizing shift work schedules would be challenging. Point Hope was then hit multiple times by spoofers. We knew we could not take advantage of the situation or we would be accused of cheating (some still are). We finally had a date that worked for everyone and agent DoctorFalken would go to Clear. The links from Point Hope had been reestablished and we were clear to go. In total we achieved 96 layers, 9.5 million mu (huge for a rural area) with links spanning 750KM up to 1200KM. Almost 90% of the portals used for this event were created by my wife AKbenji and myself over the last two years of +Ingress  . There were originally only 4 portals along this layer route. I hope we will hear soon from +John Hanke   on this new portal submission process (all tho I have concerns about it) So I can get back to creating portals where so few people travel for amazing OP's such as this. Big thank you to all the following people.

Doctor Falken Clear AFB, Tok and North Pole (He drove a great deal to make this happen)
North Pole: IceMaiden, IcePortal, AKhoneybee, JDStormFist, LadyBrienne
Delta Junction: Kildran, AKBenji, mcmxcAD
Deadhorse: Chloraphil, Wukonus
Kodiak: CRAVENBLKBSH, Narabedla
Carcross and Haines Junction: YukonGuy
Clearing: alaskan84, skin85, jobejo, Mommamuk, acruxksa, emoweee, rholand, akguido, loish, Saucytisticmom, theonecreator, AKNNJA, Westlind, pageluv, drkdrft76, LardassHardhat, gillship, skeetnmove
Intel: AccidentalGmr, UncleBeldin, emteeak
PhotoPhotoPhotoAnimated Photo
9 Photos - View album

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Finishing off an OP in Carcross..... The northern lights were awesome, and the cops kept a close eye on me.

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"Ain't no thing like me, except me!" Kid's Rocket Raccoon Costume by Christina Borchardt:

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+Delta made the mistake of sending me a customer satisfaction survey. Below is my response. Buyer, beware.   #DeltaAirlines  

I write to you absolutely dissatisfied with my experience. I found out about my flight delay via text three hours before my flight in Toronto, as I was walking into the airport.  No problem, these things happen. I fly frequently, so I knew what to do. Mine was the last flight to Atlanta, and as there was one flight prior,  I went to the gate and asked the gate staff if I could get on the earlier flight that was boarding just then. I explained that I would miss my connection due to the later delay. At first, they didn't have time to speak with me. I understand that they were busy boarding the plane, but this was communicated in a rude manner: I stood in front of the desk for 10 minutes while this gentleman stared at his computer, long after the last people had boarded. They had called several late travelers on the overhead speaker, so I knew they had several available seats. He simply didn't have time to speak with me, and brushed me off when I expressed my concerns. He talked over me and casually told me there would be no problems making my connection. I left the desk in tears when he sealed the gate, knowing I would get stuck in Atlanta.

Later, when people began arriving for the flight from YYZ to ATL, I approached the gate again, as the flight was now even more delayed. Unfortunately, it was the same staff at the gate that I had dealt with previously. I again expressed my concerns about getting stuck in Atlanta, and inquired on if I could just rebook for the morning so I wouldn't get stuck. I could have spent the night at my boyfriend's house and flown home in the morning, much preferred to getting stuck. He waved me off and said there would be no problems with connections.

I again expressed my concerns and told him I was sure I would get stuck there. He again said there would be no problems with connections, getting irritated with me. I sat down and waited to board.

The plane taxied into ATL 25 minutes before takeoff of my connection to Jax. I ran to my gate once I was let off of the plane, taking the train across three terminals, and made it to my gate TWELVE MINUTES before scheduled takeoff time. Not only were the doors closed, but there was no one at the gate. I spoke to a woman in a Delta uniform who was passing, and she told me they closed that flight out 'awhile ago'. I watched my plane take off in horror.

Several other people who had been on my flight experienced the same problem that evening. The woman at the customer service desk that helped us was unimpressed, and we were handed hotel vouchers and instructions without additional help or sympathy. No help with toiletries. No concern that I hadn't eaten in several hours or that it was near midnight and the hotel wouldn't have food available. Thank you also, Delta, for the four hours of sleep between flights, and the amazing experience of waiting half an hour for my hotel shuttle in a creepy crowd outside of the airport at midnight. Being heckled by strange men in hotel vans, vying for my business, was a great life experience.. 

Not only had Delta staff shrugged off my concerns, but the plane was locked down before its scheduled time. The only reason I truly question the takeoff time is because on my flight four days earlier, the plane that I rode from Atlanta to Toronto took off a full ten minutes before its scheduled time. I was the last one to board, even though there had been no delays at that time. 

I am a frequent traveler. I travel by air about twice per month, and I am again reminded why I try to avoid Delta at all costs.+American Airlines staff are not perfect, but they will at least listen to my concerns and try to problem solve. They demonstrate care for their customers. I cannot count how many flights I've adjusted with them in order to get home safey and on time. This experience with +Delta  breaks a perfect streak of being able to get home or stay over at my original destination in order to not miss a connection. 

I believe that my words on this survey are falling on deaf ears; however, someone should know that after my experience this week, I will now go out of my way to express my dissatisfaction with Delta at every chance I get to anyone who will listen. 

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Agents: With the blessing of Joe’s family, we have arranged for an Ingress Agent Memorial event for Joe at Angels Gate Park (3601 S Gaffey St, San Pedro, CA 90731) on Sunday, September 20, 2015 from 11am to 2pm PDT .  His family asked us to pass along their appreciation for your love and support during this difficult time.  Thank you.

RSVP at this event invite if you can make it (  Please come with the intent to honor Joe and spread his message of positivity and goodwill to all.

The Niantic Team

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If you are an amateur radio enthusiast or know someone who is, we are providing a slow-scan television (SSTV) template that you can use for your own #Broadcast802 , in memory of +Joe Philley -

We challenge you to keep Joe’s memory alive. Broadcast 802 over amateur bands, and share how you did it with the hashtag #Broadcast802.

A sample SSTV broadcast is attached.

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