The Daily Moth 6-11-2019

First Democratic presidential debates in Miami on June 26/27; Helicopter pilot killed after crashing on top of 54-story building; Alabama governor approves chemical castration for some sex offenders; 400+ deaf healthcare professionals and VR counselors at ADARA/AMPHL conference; Cleary School for the Deaf forced to freeze enrollment; Deaf cycling team finishes 545-mile ride, raises $16,500 for AIDS/LifeCycle

Hello, welcome to the Daily Moth! It is Tuesday, June 11. Ready for news?


First Democratic presidential debates in Miami on June 26/27

The first Democratic presidential primary debate will be in Miami on June 26 and 27. It will be aired on NBC with five hosts: Jose Diaz-Balart, Savannah Guthrie, Lester Holt, Chuck Todd, and Rachel Maddow.

The debates will be from 9 pm to 11 pm Eastern Time.

A total of 20 presidential candidates will debate — the field will be split to 10 for each night.

In order to qualify, a candidate needs to have either 1% support in three qualified polls or have 65,000 unique donors to their campaign.

So far, the leader in several Democratic polls is former Vice-President Joe Biden, followed by Sen. Bernie Sanders, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Sen. Kamala Harris, and Pete Buttigieg. They are the leaders.

The second debate will be in Detroit on July 30 and 31, broadcast by CNN. The third debate will be on September 12 and 13, broadcast by ABC News.

Today both President Trump and Biden were in Iowa to give campaign speeches in different places. 17 Democratic candidates were in Iowa two days ago.


Helicopter pilot killed after crashing on top of 54-story building

Yesterday afternoon a helicopter crashed on top of a 54-story building in Manhattan, killing the pilot. The helicopter burned up. Nobody else was injured.

The pilot’s name was Tim McCormack. He had just dropped off a passenger at a heliport and for some reason crashed on top of a building, which did not have a helipad. The weather might have been a factor as it was foggy and rainy.

The pilot’s last communication was that he was lost and didn’t know where he was. He was trying to go to an airport in New Jersey.

It is not known if there was something that happened to the helicopter’s engine or to McCormack’s health. Witnesses said the helicopter was flying erratically in the sky.

McCormack’s brother said he saved many others’ lives by putting the helicopter on a roof, which would have prevented it from falling on people on the streets.


Alabama governor approves chemical castration for some sex offenders

Alabama’s Governor Kay Ivey (R) has signed in law a bill that would require some sex offenders to be chemically castrated before they were paroled.

Chemical castration is when a person gets injected with a substance that blocks testosterone production with the goal of reducing a person’s sexual urges.

This will only apply to people convicted of a sex offense involving a child under 13 years old. If they want to be released from prison on parole, they will have to receive and pay for the chemical castration. They can choose at any time to stop the medication and return to prison to serve out the rest of their terms.

Chemical castration is different from surgical castration, which would be to remove a male’s testicles.

The lawmaker who sponsored the bill, State Rep. Steve Hurst (R) said the injections is not inhumane because there’s nothing more inhumane than molesting a child. In 2011, he proposed a bill that would have required surgical castration. That didn’t become law, but the chemical version became law.

Several other states have similar laws that require certain sex offenders to take drugs to reduce testosterone.

There is criticism and concerns that this punishment is inappropriate, could bring serious health side effects, is unconstitutional, or won’t be effective.


400+ deaf healthcare professionals and VR counselors at ADARA/AMPHL conference

Last week over 400 Deaf, hard of hearing, and DeafBlind healthcare and medical professionals, VR counselors, and advocates attended an ADARA/AMPHL conference in Baltimore, Maryland.

AMPHL is an abbreviation for the Association of Medical Professionals with Hearing Loss, while ADARA is short for the American Deafness and Rehabilitation Association.

The conference topic was “Embracing Cross-Disciplinary Partnership.”

Here are video clips of the conference from Def Lens Media.

[Video clips by Def Lens Media]

Nice, thank you Def Lens Media for the clips.

The Daily Moth did an interview with the outgoing AMPHL President, Dr. Jaime Wilson.


My name is Jaime Wilson. I’m a board-certified neuropsychologist from the state of Washington, or more specifically, from Tacoma, Washington.

DR. WILSON One of the purposes of AMPHL, the Association of Medical Professionals with Hearing Loss, is to provide workshops on how we can be effective in different types of healthcare scenarios. Maybe it’s a Code Blue where it’s an emergency situation, how do we communicate effectively? How do we work with the interpreters? Or other accommodation providers? Or how do we interact with the hearing health care staff? Can they effectively communicate, understand and be an ally? With this, we can give them the support they need as well. Our wide range of workshops that we’ve provided here has a lot of learning benefits.

ALEX: Can you share any of your stories, your experiences in Washington state?

DR. WILSON: Sure. This is a personal experience I had in Washington state. We are fortunate that we have a PCP (Primary Care Physician) who can use sign language. This PCP had this deaf patient who was in their 20s. This patient, up until then, had no diagnosis for several things.

For example, the patient was exhibiting high blood pressure, or hypertension. The PCP had given the patient medication to manage the condition. Secondly, he had a high count of A1C. It means he has diabetes. We started to work on managing this as well. Three, he had COPD which causes breathing problems including coughing. We also took action with this. These are three diagnoses I recall.

Now, that patient was also homeless. So that PCP referred him to a social worker, one who was culturally, linguistically appropriate and could effectively communicate with this patient. The social worker would then start looking for a home for this patient.

Another thing, he also had this drug addiction issue. The list goes on and it complicates the situation. This PCP could not handle this case alone. It’s crucial to have a network of professionals to refer to. He was referred to a deaf drug counselor. The PCP also referred this patient to me for a neuropsychological evaluation. So I proceeded with this evaluation that involved using diagnostic areas that could help clarify what diagnosis this patient may have. After we completed the evaluation, the results and the report was passed onto the PCP who reviewed them. With the report, the diagnosis was identified, and medication was given to the patient.

Now, the deaf person has shown improvements with his health. He feels like there’s stability and he’s happy now. That’s one success story.

DR. WILSON: This particular conference is interesting because we’re collaborating with the ADARA, an organization has many VR counselors, social workers and behavioral health providers. With them, we were able to provide a wide variety of workshops. And it’s really interesting too because many of these things are focused on medical conditions. For example, with diabetes, a high percentage of the obstacles associated with it is psychological. So, we also had to address psychological barriers with the diabetes first before we could proceed with managing and treating his diabetes.

So, we’ve really worked closely together, and it seems that by having this kind of relationship is partly the reason why we have over 400 in attendance here. Because of how these organizations have worked together.

Alex: Thank you, Dr. Wilson, for your time. It is very interesting to learn about the variety of medical, psychological, and social approaches that are needed to treat an individual.

He explained that there were some new technological concepts and gadgets at the conference that included a special eyewear device where you could watch an ASL interpreter or read CART captioning while working with patients.

He announced that the next conference is in San Francisco on June 4-6, 2021.


Cleary School for the Deaf forced to freeze enrollment

The Cleary School for the Deaf, a day school program in Nesconset, Long Island, New York has started an online petition to try and bring attention to what they say is inadequate funding from the state government that has forced them to freeze enrollment with 20 students on the waitlist.

Over 4,600 people have signed the petition.

High school teacher Katie Apicella told “The Daily Moth” that they currently have 89 students but only get government funding for 66 students. She explained that the funding was based on census data from 2009 and 2011.

“In 2009/2011, census data for our school showed 66 students. At that time, NYS set a new funding formula for all NYS 4201 schools (a school that educates students like ours). The funding methodology was set based on our enrollment at that time. That became our Certificate of Approval. We are hoping this methodology will be reconsidered and our Certificate of Approval can be updated since our enrollment has grown and continues to grow because families across Long Island recognize the benefit of the programs we offer to our students.”

Cleary’s leaders hope to get New York state legislators to fund the school according to the amount of students they have. There is only a week left in the 2019 legislative session.

I asked Apicella about Lexington School for the Deaf in Queens and if that was a good option for students in the area. She said it is more than an hour away from most of their students, which would require very long bus rides and explained that this would cause students to miss out on educational support services before and after school.

The petition website says Cleary has been there since 1925 and warned that if they don’t get more funding, they might have to make program cuts or reduce current enrollment.

The school uses a variety of educational approaches that range from spoken English to American Sign Language.

The link to the petition and additional information is below in the transcript.


Deaf cycling team finishes 545-mile ride, raises $16,500 for AIDS/LifeCycle

A Deaf cycling team from Washington, D.C. named Flying Hands recently completed a 545 miles bike ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles, California for a fundraiser event called AIDS/LifeCycle. Flying Hands reached the finish line last Friday.

(Video clip)

AIDS/LifeCycle is an annual 7 days bike ride (from SF to LA) that raises support for awareness and services for HIV/AIDS. The Flying Hands team participated this year.

The members of the Flying Hands team are: Uriel Torres, Lisa Fisher, Robb Dooling, Graham Forsey, (the four are cyclists) and the fifth person, Erikson Young, who is a roadie.

The Daily Moth reached out to Torres, captain of the team, for his comments.

We were curious of the reason behind the name "Flying Hands."

URIEL TORRES: My partner David Fontes and I were talking last year what to name our team. We wanted to have it be Deaf-related and as we were signing, we found the name, Flying Hands. We wanted to create a drawing of our team jerseys so we looked for #DeafTalent. We located a Deaf artist, Richard Bauman. He created a beautiful artwork and is very talented with drawing in ASL.

RENCA: We asked him what inspired the people on this team to team up for this cause.

(Video clip:

RENCA: Torres also mentioned that the team wanted to ride for their Deaf and Hard of Hearing friends and partners who live with HIV/AIDS.

Flying Hands raised $16,469 together. There were two other Deaf participants from San Francisco who raised $15,605. So, altogether, 7 Deaf participants raised $32,074.

We also asked Torres to share what was the emotion like when the team reached the finish line.

TORRES: As we were cycling and almost at the finish line, we saw a group of Deaf fans who came all the way from DC, Austin, and San Diego to cheer us on. We were very inspired when we reached the finish line. It is a very proud moment because the four of us proved that Deaf people can do anything by showing we can start a Deaf cycling team and fundraise more than $16,000 dollars for AIDS services. We have proven that Deaf people can overcome communication barriers.

RENCA: Torres mentioned that the team is ready for AIDS/LifeCycle 2020 and will continue raising support for this cause. You can find

more information on how you can be involved or give support on their Facebook page as they will continue updating. The link is in this transcript.

Congratulations to Flying Hands for reaching the finish line!


That is all for today. See you tomorrow and stay with the light!