The Daily Moth 6-13-2019

Oil tankers attacked in Gulf of Oman; Police in the Dominican Republic gives updates on David Ortiz shooting; Colorado passes $1B in state revenue from cannabis; Illinois to become 11th legal state; St. Louis Blues win Stanley Cup; Kevin Durant ruptures Achilles tendon; RIT/NTID students create 3D Moth animation; Protests at Michigan School for the Deaf; Deaf Bing: Unexpected Deaf Person

Hello, welcome to The Daily Moth! It is Thursday, June 13. Ready for news?


Oil tankers attacked in Gulf of Oman

Today in the Gulf of Oman, two oil tankers were attacked and ship workers were forced to evacuate. There were no deaths or serious injuries.

Images show a large fire on the side of an oil tanker, the Front Altair. The Sun reported that it was struck by a torpedo. The ship is owned by a Norwegian company.

The other ship, the Kokuka Courageous, was hit by a magnetic mine. The ship has a Panama flag and is owned by a Japanese company.

Fox News reported that the U.S. Navy received distress calls and sent ships to assist.

It is not clear who attacked the ships and where the explosions came from. This is happening during a time of increased tensions between the U.S. and Iran.


Police in the Dominican Republic gives updates on David Ortiz shooting

Police in the Dominican Republic said they have arrested six people in connection with former MLB star David Ortiz’s shooting, including the suspected gunman.

Police said the six men, all in their 20’s, were paid about $7,800 to kill Ortiz. So this appears to be a hit job, but it is not known the motive nor who ordered it. The investigation is still ongoing and police said there are several more suspects still at large.

Ortiz was flown to Boston on Monday and is recovering at a hospital after being shot once in his back. He was able to walk around a bit.

Police said the suspects went to a bar riding on a motorcycle and in two cars. After the shooting, the gunman tried to flee on a motorcycle but fell off, then was beaten up by a group of people before police detained him.

Police said the gun that was used in the shooting was buried at a home belonging to two of the suspects.

The Daily Mail reported a few days ago that police sources said the shooting was ordered by a “drug lord” who thought Ortiz was having an affair with his wife. But this report has not surfaced in other media reports.


Colorado passes $1B in state revenue from cannabis; Illinois to become 11th legal state

CNBC reported that Colorado has passed $1 billion in total state revenue from taxes and fees on cannabis sales since it was legalized in 2014.

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) said last month that it’s going very well because it’s created tens of thousands of jobs, tax revenue for the state, filling up buildings for landlords and reducing crime. He joked that he likes to tell governors in other states to not legalize cannabis so they can have an advantage.

Colorado has received at least $20 million in taxes and fees each month since July 2017.

Illinois’ legislature passed a bill to legalize recreational marijuana use and sale and the state governor is expected to sign the bill, which will make Illinois the 11th legal state. It will go into effect on January 1, 2020 and adults 21 and over can purchase cannabis.

People in Illinois who are in jail for marijuana-related offenses can make a request for pardon and have their records expunged.


St. Louis Blues win Stanley Cup; Kevin Durant ruptures Achilles tendon

Here are two sports news briefs.

The first — last night the NHL team St. Louis Blues won the Stanley Cup for the first time in history. They defeated the Boston Bruins 4-1 in a Game 7 match in Boston.

The Blues became a NHL team in 1967 and made it into the Stanley Cup Finals three times, and the fourth time is the charm.

It was a surprising season for the Blues, because they were the last in NHL rankings on January 3, but turned their season around. It’s happy times for the city of St. Louis and Blues fans.

The second news — NBA Golden State Warriors star player Kevin Durant announced he ruptured his right Achilles tendon during Game 5 of the NBA Finals Monday night against the Toronto Raptors. Prior to that, he didn’t play for more than a month because of a right calf injury.

An Achilles tendon rupture is one of the most serious sports injuries for basketball and the recovery time is a year, so he will miss next season for sure. He will also become a free agent, so his future is unclear.

Durant posted on Instagram a picture of himself on a hospital bed. He said he is hurting deeply but he is OK and that his road back starts now!

The Warriors’ team president Bob Myers said in an emotional press conference on Monday night that people can blame him for allowing Durant to play.

Toronto currently has the lead in the NBA Finals with three wins to the Warriors two. They play tonight in Game Six in Oakland. Toronto can win it all tonight, but if they lose, then Game Seven will happen in Toronto on Sunday night.


RIT/NTID students create 3D Moth animation

Two Deaf international students from RIT/NTID, Rodrigo Tavares and Haixu Liu, created an awesome 3D animation of a flying moth for “The Daily Moth.”

The two will explain how they created it and show you the animation.


BOTH: Hello!

RODRIGO TAVARES: I’m Rodrigo. *Signs his name*

I’m from Brazil.

HAIXUI’m Haixu. *Signs his name*

I’m from China. We’re students at RIT/NTID. We’re majoring in 3D Graphic Technology. Hey, have you seen this moth? That’s our creation, the Daily Moth 3D design model.

RODRIGO: Yes, more specifically, we used Maya provided by the company Autodesk. This is used for tv shows, visual effects, video games and 3D cartoons. Different aspects you would find in movie productions. We used Maya to create this logo. So, we had been watching The Daily Moth with their news broadcasting for the deaf community. I started wondering, “Why couldn’t they be more visual?”

So, we decided we would provide them support. Soon, I’ll show you really quickly what Maya looks like, my work and his work, the motion technology and lastly, the rendering.

You’ll see some of that soon!

HAIXU: See this? That’s Maya. It’s a computer program. Rodrigo and I emailed Alex and asked him for the picture of the moth which he gave us. I focused on the moth while Rodrigo focused on the light bulb.

RODRIGO: Hey, so you just watched Haixu’s commentary, after Haixu and I are finished with our production, I’ll integrate our models into this program with the moth and the light. Now, I’ll work on the moving animation. This is what it looks like.

[Shows animation]

RODRIGO: That’s how it works and now the next thing to do is test it through rendering. We test it out and make sure it’s satisfactory before we submit the file.

HAIXU: We’ve worked hard, tested repeatedly, given each other feedback and discussed how to improve our work. After all that process, we’re finished and we’re ready to show you the final product

RODRIGO: I’m so excited!


Alex: Very cool! I am very honored that you two took the time to create this. Thank you, Rodrigo and Haixu, and RIT/NTID!


Protests at Michigan School for the Deaf

This morning there was a protest at the front of the Michigan School for the Deaf with about 15 people, a mix of students, parents, staff, and advocates, holding signs. Today is the last day of school.

The Daily Moth was able to do interviews with two student leaders and several parents.

The main concerns are what they feel is a lack of transparency from the interim principal, school officials, and the Michigan Department of Education on who will take over as a permanent principal, and what they feel is an oppressive environment.

The Campus Manager and interim principal, Charles Thomas, is a hearing person who students say only know very few basic signs.

The former principal, Natalie Grupido, who is a Deaf woman, left her position about two months ago, citing family reasons. So Thomas took over and there was an opening for the principal position with four applicants.

Two MSD student leaders, Jake and Lucas, told “The Daily Moth” that they and other students want a CODA teacher, Rex Vernon.

The students said they asked the interim principal Thomas two weeks ago to set up a meeting on Monday and that it was agreed upon, but that Thomas skipped the meeting.

The students ended up taping posters demanding a culturally and linguistically appropriate principal on school walls, but said they were quickly taken down.

Jake (MSD Student): I put up the posters and all to explain who we wanted as principal and why. All the posters were taken down within 5 minutes during lunch time. They were all taken down and I was taken aback. Where is our voice? Students should have the ability to have their own voices. What is going on?

Lucas (MSD Student): They took it down. So we decided to have a protest today. The protest is to make MSD recognize us and make them realize that MSD students, staff, and teachers are not ignorant nor dumb. They have to recognize us.

Alex: Here are comments from two parents.

Sarah Houston (Parent): We started a parents group because we are not happy with the way the education system is going on at MSD. One of the most important things to me is that they abide by the language policy. It is very unfortunate that they have appointed a campus manager who has zero signing skills. Zero knowledge or understanding of Deaf people or culture. Therefore there is no way for our children to access them. Also they have a language policy that they are not following — they are supposed to be signing all the time in school but they are not. Hearing people use their voices with each other and leave our children out in the dark. The final straw, today, what made us decide to come out and protest, is because they oppressed our children. They put up posters saying they wanted a culturally and linguistically appropriate person to become a principal, and they had a right to do that, and the posters were nice and very cordial and respectful. They were taken down and this is oppression. Enough is enough. I’ve had it. The time for change is now. Thank you for taking the time to listen to us. We must improve the equation for deaf children across the state of Michigan. We can’t delay, the time is now.

Rosemary Langevin (Parent): My primary concerns are firstly that Deaf employees at MSD have been pushed aside, so resources have been pulled out from the Deaf community. And I can imagine that resources are not being appropriately given out to Deaf children with hearing parents. So we have been in touch with the Campus Manager, Charles Thomas and the Michigan Special Education department, both of them, since April. I’ve reached out four times. That’s just for me personally but there have been many other parents and students who have been trying to reach out, but they have avoided us and did not answer our concerns. That is my primary concern. My second concern his that many staff at MSD have been relocating. They have moved to Indianapolis, or Texas (Austin), or Riverside, because they have good schools. Not just that, teachers and staff have started to leave. That means MSD is not doing good. This is because the MDE and OSE is letting people go and people are scared. I understand why, but it is hurting our children who are still MSD students. Those are our concerns.

Heather (Golob Stubby): Our biggest concerns is where is the communication and transparency between the MDE and MSD? Both have two different sides and are telling us different stories. There is no solid story. And many of us parents have tried to email MDE and Charles Thomas but we have heard nothing from them.

Alex: There is a video of a MDE official, Janis Weckstein, talking with the protesters and asking for a meeting on campus.

Janis Weckstein, via interpreter: I’m with MDE. I want to hear all of your concerns. Right now I’m a little concerned about the weather and safety and the health of the students and your time. I would like to invite the students to…

(Crowd saying NO!)

Weckstein: I’m not done. I want to invite any students who are here to come in there and talk with me. I’m more than happy to meet with you. With the parents as well.

(Crowd talking back)

Interpreter: I want a real parents meeting now.

Weckstein: I will address that now. I understand that. I understand your concerns. We did send a communications email from the MDE about the process for hiring a principal position. That process is exactly what will be followed. It will not change.

Alex: The Daily Moth reached out to Weckstein for a statement, but did not get an immediate response. If I do, I will add it in the comments section.

This protest is happening at a time of increased anxiety by multiple members of the Michigan Deaf community. There were at least two town halls in the past several months on issues with MSD.

A MSD alumni and activist from Flint, Stevie Naeyaert, told “The Daily Moth” that there is a lack of Deaf leaders at MSD and that there are difficulties with finding qualified people. She explained that MSD’s top official for the dormitory is also a hearing non-signer. So there are two leaders who can’t sign.

Naeyaert explained that the MSD campus was sold about 8 years ago to a Catholic school program. MSD still uses a section of the campus by renting it out from the school program.

There have been some concerns from the Deaf community that the MDE wants to make major changes to the school, which could include closing the school.

Naeyaert said she has been told, by some parents who wanted to send their students to MSD, that the MSD and MDE said the school is “full”, while it is not. So this is a cause for concern.

The MDE did make a statement in local news in April that rumors of the school closing is not true.

I asked the two student leaders on what they would do going forward.

Jake: When I get back to school in the fall and see who is the principal, if I don’t like it, we’ll start another protest.

Lucas: My hope is… That they change. Pick Rex Vernon as our principal. And make them realize it. If they don’t, we’ll protest again.

Alex: Thank you to the students and the parents who provided comments.

UPDATE: Annie Urasky from the Michigan Division on Deaf, DeafBlind, and Hard of Hearing posted a video statement about the issues.

[Video clip: The Michigan Department of Civil Rights and the Division on Deaf DeafBlind and Hard of Hearing are monitoring developments at the Michigan School for the Deaf (MSD) located just outside of Flint. MSD students and their parents should feel free to exercise their rights to be informed about and involved in decisions about the management, policies and procedures of their school. Staffing the School for the Deaf with individuals who are unable to communicate effectively with students is unacceptable.

MDCR Director Arbulu and I will be reaching out to the Michigan Department of Education, MSD school administration, students and members of the deaf community to offer our assistance in addressing these serious concerns.]



Deaf Bing: Unexpected Deaf Person

A few days ago I went to the gym. It’s usually full of unknown hearing people. I happened to see a Deaf person I knew. I walked up to him and said hello. As we were talking, suddenly, a man came up to us and said hello in ASL — he was also Deaf.

Before I arrived, both of them had been exercising near each other but neither of them were aware that they were both deaf until I arrived and started signing! So that is a Deaf Bing — unexpected Deaf people popping up out of nowhere. You never know who is Deaf out there… That means you have to be careful what you sign!


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