Monday, July 26, 2010

Infant is returned to blind couple after state places her in protective custody

This is really sick! Aren't these people more enlightened in 2010! I used to hear about such cases back 25 years ago but today? This is worse than just the once in a while ignorant folks who might occasionally stare at me and my husband because I'm African-American and he's a blonde-haired, blue-eyed Italian. I've worked with a lot of kids who came from parents who are kids but nobody thinks that's a crime! Kids having kids leads to more problems than folks with mild disabilities having children. I'm posting this one on my blog!
Thanks Colleenie-Beanie!

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Ms. Kathy's Kids Blog:

--- On Mon, 7/26/10, cdupuiswrote

Please read this sad story with a somewhat happy ending.

Posted on Wed, Jul. 21, 2010 12:15 AM
Infant is returned to blind couple after state places her in protective custody
The Kansas City Star
Fifty-seven days after she was born, Mikaela Sinnett was home for the first time Tuesday with her parents, Erika Johnson and Blake Sinnett of Independence. State officials had worried they were unable to care for her.
DAVID EULITT | The Kansas City Sta
Fifty-seven days after she was born, Mikaela Sinnett was home for the first time
Tuesday with her parents, Erika Johnson and Blake Sinnett of Independence. State
officials had worried they were unable to care for her.

A folding cane used by Blake Sinnett rested in the baby carrier used to carry home his daughter.

On Tuesday, Blake Sinnett, guided by his mother, Jenne Sinnett, carried his 2-month-old daughter, Mikaela Sinnett. Behind them was Mikaela's mother, Erika Johnson.
Erika Johnson will never be able to see her baby, Mikaela.
But for 57 days she couldn't keep her newborn close, smell her baby's breath, feel
her downy hair.
The state took away her 2-day-old infant into protective custody — because Johnson
and Mikaela's father are both blind.
No allegations of abuse, just a fear that the new parents would be unable to care
for the child.
On Tuesday, Johnson still couldn't stop crying, although Mikaela was back in her
"We never got the chance to be parents," she said. "We had to prove that we could."
Tuesday, she and Blake Sinnett knew their baby was finally coming home to their Independence
apartment, but an adjudication hearing was scheduled for the afternoon on whether
the state would stay involved in the rearing of the baby. Then from a morning phone
call to their attorney, they learned that the state was dismissing their case.
"Every minute that has passed that this family wasn't together is a tragedy. A legal
tragedy and a moral one, too," said Amy Coopman, their attorney. "How do you get
57 days back?"
Arleasha Mays, a spokeswoman for the Missouri Department of Social Services, said
privacy laws prohibited her from speaking about specific cases. But she added, "The
only time we recommend a child be removed is if it's in imminent danger."
Johnson said she knew the system eventually would realize its horrible mistake, but
she often was consumed with sadness. Sinnett tried his best to keep Johnson hopeful.
For almost two months she and Sinnett could visit their baby only two or three times
a week, for just an hour at a time, with a foster parent monitoring.
"I'm a forgiving person," Johnson said, but she's resentful that people assumed she
was incapable.
"Disability does not equal inability," she said.
Representatives of the sightless community agreed that people were well-meaning but
blinded by ignorance.
Mikaela was born May 21 at Centerpoint Medical Center of Independence. The doctors
let Sinnett "see" her birth by feeling the crowning of her head.
For Johnson, hearing Mikaela's whimpers was a thrill. The little human inside her
all these months, the one who hiccupped and burped, who kicked and moved, especially
at night, was now a real person whom she loved more than anything else she'd ever
In her overnight bag was Mikaela's special homecoming outfit, a green romper from
Johnson's mother, with matching bottoms and a baby bow.
Questions arose within hours of Mikaela's birth, after Johnson's clumsy first attempts
at breast-feeding — something many new mothers experience.
A lactation nurse noticed that Mikaela's nostrils were covered by Johnson's breast.
Johnson felt that something was wrong and switched her baby to her other side, but
not before Mikaela turned blue.
That's when the concerned nurse wrote on a chart: "The child is without proper custody,
support or care due to both of parents being blind and they do not have specialized
training to assist them."
Her words set into motion the state mechanisms intended to protect children from
physical or sexual abuse, unsanitary conditions, neglect or absence of basic needs
being met.
Centerpoint said it could not comment because of patient privacy laws, but spokeswoman
Gene Hallinan said, "We put the welfare of our patients as our top priority."
A social worker from the state came by Johnson's hospital room and asked her questions:
How could she take her baby's temperature? Johnson answered: with our talking thermometer.
How will you take her to a doctor if she gets sick? Johnson's reply: If it were an
emergency, they'd call an ambulance. For a regular doctor's appointment, they'd call
a cab or ride a bus.
But it wasn't enough for the social worker, who told Johnson she would need 24-hour
care by a sighted person at their apartment.
Johnson said they couldn't afford it, didn't need it.
"I needed help as a new parent, but not as a blind parent," Johnson said.
She recalled the social worker saying: " 'Look, because you guys are blind, I don't
feel like you can adequately take care of her.' And she left."
The day of Johnson's discharge, another social worker delivered the news to the couple
that Mikaela was not going home with them. The parents returned the next day to visit
Mikaela before she left the hospital, but they were barred from holding her.
"All we could do was touch her arm or leg," Johnson said.
The couple began making calls. Gary Wunder, president of the National Federation
of the Blind of Missouri, had trouble believing it at first.
"I needed to verify their whole story," he recalled. "We had to do due diligence.
… I found the couple to be intelligent and responsible.
"We knew this was an outrage that had taken place."
He notified Kansas City chapter president Shelia Wright, who visited the 24-year-olds.
Hearing about the empty crib, the baby clothes, Wright recalled, "I felt as helpless
as I've ever felt in my life.
"I hurt so bad for them. This is unforgivable."
They rallied other associations for the blind nationwide. More than 100 people at
a national convention in Dallas volunteered to travel to Kansas City to protest and
testify, both as blind parents and as the sighted children of blind parents. (Mikaela
has normal sight.)
They also hired Coopman, who watched the young couple with their baby girl on Tuesday.
"I'm sorry," she said, wiping tears. "But this should not have happened."
Johnson kept a journal that Coopman is keeping closed for now. She indicates that
legal action will be taken.
"Whether a couple is visually impaired or deaf or in a wheelchair, the state should
not keep them from their children," she said.
Now breast-feeding is a lost option. And the beautiful newborn clothes hanging in
the closet went unworn, because their baby was growing bigger in the arms of someone
The couple said they had tried to prove themselves to the sighted community since
their early years. Sinnett rode his bicycle on the street with the help of a safety
gadget. Johnson graduated from high school with honors. But all the challenges they've
endured over the years shrink compared to the responsibility of caring for 10 pounds
of squirming baby girl.
Johnson cuddled Mikaela. Gave her a bottle. Patted her back until she burped. Mikaela
gave a tiny smile.
In their 24 years, the couple said, they've both endured prejudice from others. They
don't want any other blind parent to suffer the same obstacle they did.
Fifty-seven days are too precious to lose.
The Star's Laura Bauer contributed to this report. To reach Lee Hill Kavanaugh, call
816-234-4420 or send e-mail to

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Fw: Video from Yahoo! and Jennifer

Yeah, Jen. That's party time in these parts!!

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Ms. Kathy's Kids Blog:

--- On Sun, 7/25/10, Jennifer Lutterbie wrote:

Fire up the grill!

Personal message:

Fisherman Makes World Record Catch

Yahoo! Video

Thursday, July 22, 2010

A Small Request

One I certainly don't mind recirculating. I've a personal interest. Thanks, E.C.

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Ms. Kathy's Kids Blog:

--- On Mon, 7/12/10, E. C. Sibille wrote:

From: E. C. Sibille
Subject: Fw: A Small Request
Date: Monday, July 12, 2010, 9:11 AM

Cancer   is a strange cell .
You can go along for years in remission
and then one day it pops its head up again.
If you ever have it you will never be free of it.
Pray for the day there will be a permanent cure.
93% won't forward, but I'm Sure You Will.
A small request....Just one line
Dear God,
I pray that You will guide someone to find a cure for cancer.
In Jesus Name,   Amen
All you are asked to do is keep this circulating.
Even if it's only to one more person.
In memory of anyone you know who has been
struck down by cancer or is still living with it.
A Candle Loses Nothing by Lighting Another Candle.
Please Keep This Candle Going

Usher's Syndrome

Web 1 new result for Usher's Syndrome
Usher | Yahoo!
Usher syndrome is a relatively rare genetic disorder that is a leading cause of deafblindness and that is associated with a mutation in any one of 10 genes. ...

Albinism: Foundation Urges Africans to Dispel Myths

News 1 new result for Albinism
Foundation urges Africans to dispel myth surrounding albinos
African Press Agency
The chairman of the Albino Foundation in Nigeria, Jake Epelle, said albinism in Africa had been riddled with all kinds of myths and superstitious beliefs, ...
One of my pet causes. ~K

Shameful, unacceptable

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Ms. Kathy's Kids Blog:

--- On Wed, 7/21/10, James Rucker,  wrote:

From: James Rucker,
Subject: Shameful, unacceptable
Date: Wednesday, July 21, 2010, 8:53 AM

Shirley Sherrod was fired after a baseless, race-based attack.
The truth is known. Why won't the Obama administration correct its mistake?
Demand the Obama administration reinstate Sherrod, now:
Dear Eleanor,
The Obama administration just caved in to the right-wing smear machine, firing a Black USDA official after she was smeared by far-right blogger Andrew Breitbart and his friends at Fox News Channel.[1]
Sherrod's dismissal was based on a selectively edited video that made it appear she was confessing to discriminating against a White farming couple. In reality she was telling the story of how working with that family to save their farm helped her to lose her racial preconceptions.[2]
It took less than 24 hours for the lies to be debunked. But by that time, it was too late — Sherrod was forced to quit. And even now that the truth is known, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack is refusing to reinstate her.[3] Worse, Vilsack has President Obama's support.[4] This kind of political cowardice is beyond shameful.
Please join us in calling on the White House to immediately give Shirley Sherrod her job back, and to stop bowing to the will of right-wing propaganda artists. And please ask your friends and family to do the same — it takes just a moment:
The smear
On Monday, Andrew Breitbart (a blogger who works closely with FOX News and has a long history of launching deceptive, racially charged smear campaigns) posted a deceptively edited video of USDA employee Shirley Sherrod speaking at an NAACP function. The video shows Sherrod telling a story about how she once was asked for help from a White farmer, and how she didn't "give him the full force of what I could do" to help him, because of his race.[5]
Breitbart touted the video as evidence that the NAACP and the Obama administration tolerated racial discrimination against White people, saying that it showed Sherrod's "federal duties are managed through the prism of race and class distinctions." Breitbart's doctored video and false storyline moved quickly to FOX News, where on-air personalities called for Sherrod's firing.[6]
The truth is that Sherrod was telling a 24-year old story about her work for a non-profit organization whose mission was to help Black farmers. Discrimination against Black farmers was rampant, and she described how she was first reluctant when approached by a White farmer named Roger Spooner for help (Sherrod also says that her father was killed by a White farmer 45 years ago). But after seeing that no one wanted to help Spooner, she worked to save his farm, and eventually became good friends with his family. [7]
Yesterday, Roger Spooner said that Sherrod saved their farm and kept them out of bankruptcy. He told CNN, "I don't know what brought up the racist mess. They just want to stir up some trouble, it sounds to me in my opinion."[8]
A disturbing pattern
Sadly, the truth didn't matter at all. Soon after Breitbart's fake video surfaced, Sherrod says she was pressured by the White House to resign. Sherrod was never given a chance to tell her side of the story and says that the Obama administration was "not interested in hearing the truth."[9]
Once the truth became known, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack issued a statement saying that whether or not the smear campaign against Sherrod was based in lies, it was necessary to fire her because the "controversy" would make it hard for her to do her job.[10] The Obama administration is essentially saying that they will always back down in the face of dishonest, race-baiting smear campaigns launched by right-wing propagandists. They've ended the career of someone who did nothing wrong, and by handing a victory to the people who launched this deception, the administration is encouraging them to launch even more smears. All to avoid "controversy." It's pathetic, it's shameful, and it has to stop.
It's not the first time this has happened. Several members of the Obama administration have lost their jobs or been demoted, and nominees to cabinet positions have either stepped down or withdrawn their nominations after becoming the target of smear campaigns launched by FOX News and Breitbart.
It's bad enough that we have to fight the constant smear campaigns and appeals to racial paranoia from FOX and the right-wing media. But it's completely shameful and outrageous for the Obama administration to throw innocent public servants under the bus just to avoid having to fight back against the lies.
If enough of us call out the White House and tell them to stop running scared from FOX News, they might listen. Please join us in standing up for Shirley Sherrod, and demanding that the White House do the right thing now:
Thanks and Peace,
-- James, Gabriel, William, Dani, Milton and the rest of the team
   July 21, 2010
Help support our work. is powered by YOU — your energy and dollars. We take no money from lobbyists or large corporations that don't share our values, and our tiny staff ensures your contributions go a long way. You can contribute here:
1. "Fox smears Sherrod as racist, Sherrod cancels Fox interview," Media Matters for America, 7-20-2010
2. "NAACP 'snookered' over video of former USDA employee," CNN, 7-20-2010
3. "Official: No WH pressure on Sherrod," Politico, 7-20-2010
4. "Obama briefed after Sherrod incident," CNN Politics, 7-20-2010
5. See Reference 2
6. See Reference 1
7. See Reference 2
8. See Reference 2
9. See Reference 2
10. See Reference 3

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Re: McChrystal's Rolling Stone Interview: General's Team SLAMS Key Obama Officials (SLIDESHOW)

That's just it, Jeanne: Dude was NOT thinking.

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Ms. Kathy's Kids Blog:

--- On Thu, 6/24/10, Jeanne wrote:

From: Jeanne

Dont understand WHAT in the world he was thinking....both sides Dems and Reps. dont understand it.

Edible Noah's Ark Craft for Kids - Christian Edible Crafts for Kids Noah's Ark Easter Craft -

Kathy says, "edible!"


Using another sense helps include kids with visual impairments.

PubMed Search Results

PubMed Results
Item 1 of 1

1. Early Hum Dev. 2010 Jun 17. [Epub ahead of print]  
The influence of early postnatal nutrition on retinopathy
 of prematurity in extremely low birth weight infants. 
Porcelli PJ, Weaver RG Jr.  Department of Pediatrics, 
Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC, 27157, 
United States; Department of Ophthalmology, Wake 
Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC, 27157, United 
BACKGROUND: Retinopathy of prematurity(ROP) 
is the most common serious ophthalmic disease in 
preterm infants. Human milk may provide a protective 
effect for ROP; however, beneficial effects of human 
milk preclude randomized trials. Therefore,  we 
conducted a retrospective analysis comparing early 
postnatal nutrition with ROP development. 
OBJECTIVE: Evaluate relationship between early 
postnatal nutriture and ROP surgery. 
DESIGN/METHODS: Nutrition data was collected for inborn
AGA infants, BW 700-1000g. ROP surgery was the primary 
outcome variable. A single pediatric ophthalmologist 
supervised examinations. All infants received triweekly 
IM vitamin A as chronic lung disease prophylaxis (Tyson: 
NEJM, 1999). RESULTS: BW and gestational age were 867+/-85g 
and 26.3+/-1.2weeks (n=77, mean+/-1SD). ROP surgery infants
(n=11) received more parenteral nutrition, 1648mL, and 
less human milk, 13.8mL/kg-day, and vitamin E, 1.4mg/kg-day, 
during the second postnatal week. Human milk was a negative 
predictor for ROP surgery, odds ratio=0.94. Both groups met 
vitamin A recommendations; however, 74% was administered 
via IM injections. Neither group met vitamin E recommendations. 
CONCLUSIONS: Human milk feeding, parenteral nutrition 
volume and vitamin E intake were predictors for ROP surgery. 
IM vitamin A injections provided the majority of vitamin A; 
vitamin E administration was insufficient. Improving human 
milk feeding rates and vitamin dosing options may affect 
ROP surgery rates. Copyright  © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights 
reserved.  PMID: 20561759 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]  

cute quips

My hunnee sent these 'cause he knows I like kidstuff

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Ms. Kathy's Kids Blog:

A Pre-Trial Financial Investigation and Debt Recovery Company
Telephone: 504.201.2786
El Paso Office
 Lance Silva: 915-203-2198

A Sunday school teacher was telling her class the story of the Good Samaritan.

She asked the class, 'If you saw a person lying on the roadside, all wounded and bleeding, what would you do?' 

A thoughtful little girl broke the hushed silence, 'I think I'd throw up.'

A Sunday school teacher asked, 'Johnny, do you think Noah did a lot of fishing when he was on the Ark? 

''No,' replied Johnny, 'how could he, with just two worms.'

A Sunday school teacher said to her children, 'We have been learning how powerful kings and queens were in Bible times, but, there is a Higher Power...  Can anybody tell me what it is?'

One child blurted out, ' Aces!'

Nine-year-old Joey was asked by his mother what he had learned in Sunday School.

'Well, Mom, our teacher told us how God sent Moses behind enemy lines on a rescue mission to lead the Israelites out of Egypt.  When he got to the Red Sea , he had his army build a pontoon bridge and all the people walked across safely.  Then he radioed headquarters for reinforcements.  They sent bombers to blow up the bridge and all the Israelites were saved.

'Now, Joey, is that really what your teacher taught you?' his Mother asked.

'Well, no, Mom.  But, if I told it the way the teacher did, you'd never believe it!'

A Sunday School teacher decided to have her young class memorize one of the most quoted passages in the Bible: Psalm 23...  She gave the youngsters a month to learn the chapter. 

Little Rick was excited about the task - but he just couldn't remember the Psalm.  After much practice, he could barely get past the first line. 

On the day that the kids were scheduled to recite Psalm 23 in front of the congregation, Ricky was so nervous! When it was his turn, he stepped up to the microphone and said proudly, 'The Lord is my Shepherd, and that's all I need to know.'

The preacher's 5 year-old daughter noticed that her father always paused and bowed his head for a moment before starting his sermon. 

One day, she asked him why.

'Well, Honey,' he began, proud that his daughter was so observant of his messages, 'I'm asking the Lord to help me preach a good sermon.

'How come He doesn't answer your request?' she asked.

During the minister's prayer one Sunday, there was a loud whistle from one of the back pews.  Tommy's mother was horrified.  She pinched him into silence and, after church, asked, 'Tommy, whatever made you do such a thing?'

Tommy answered soberly, 'I asked God to teach me to whistle, and He did!'

When my daughter, Kelli, said her bedtime prayers, she would bless every family member, every friend, and every animal (current and past).  For several weeks after we had finished the nightly prayer, Kelli would say, 'And all girls.'

This soon became part of her nightly routine, to include this closing.

My curiosity got the best of me and I asked her, 'Kelli, why do you always add the part about all girls?'

Her response, 'Because everybody always finishes their prayers by saying 'All Men!'

Little Johnny and his family were having Sunday dinner at his Grandmother's house.  Everyone was seated around the table as the food was being served. 

When Little Johnny received his plate, he started eating right away.

'Johnny!  Please wait until we say our prayer,' said his mother.

'I don't need to,' the boy replied.

'Of course, you do...' his mother insisted.  'We always say a prayer before eating at our house.

'That's at our house,' Johnny explained, 'but this is Grandma's house and she knows how to cook!'


The New Busy is not the too busy. Combine all your e-mail accounts with Hotmail. Get busy.

Ms. Kathy would like you to see an article on

Hello Ms Kathy's Kids,
Ms. Kathy would like you to see the following article on
Ms. Kathy also included the following message:
Take a look at this article. Know that occular albinism is often accompanied with nystagmus. In any event the vision is not clear and this most often means legal blindness or close to it.

God's Rosebud

Thanks Brother Gerry. Sharing with others in this reply.

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Ms. Kathy's Kids Blog:

--- On Wed, 6/30/10, Gerry Gribbin  wrote:

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Wednesday, June 30, 2010 1:10 PM
Subject: FW: God's Rosebud


GOD'S Rosebud

A new pastor
Was walking with an older,
More seasoned pastor
In the garden one day.

Feeling a bit insecure

About what God
Had for him to do,
He was asking the older pastor
For some advice.
The older pastor

Walked up to a rosebush
And handed the young pastor
A rosebud and told him
To open it
Without tearing off any petals.

The young pastor
Looked in disbelief
At the older pastor
And was trying to figure out
What a rosebud
Could possibly have to do
With his wanting to know
The will of God
For his life and ministry.

But because of his great respect

For the older pastor,
He proceeded to try to unfold the rose,

While keeping every petal intact.
It wasn't long

Before he realized
How impossible
This was to do.

Noticing the younger pastors's inability
To unfold the rosebud
Without tearing it,
The older pastor
Began to recite
The following poem...

"It is only a tiny rosebud,
A flower of God's design;

But I cannot unfold the petals
With these clumsy hands of mine."

"The secret of unfolding flowers
Is not known to such as I.
GOD opens this flower so easily,
But in my hands they die."

"If I cannot unfold a rosebud,
This flower of God's design,
Then how can I have the wisdom
To unfold this life of mine?"

"So I'll trust in God for leading
Each moment of my day.
I will look to God for guidance
In each step of the way."

"The path that lies before me,
Only my Lord knows.
I'll trust God to unfold the moments,
Just as He unfolds the rose."

Please share this poem
With a friend
If you enjoyed
Being reminded
To let go
And let God
Unfold your life.




A Giant Heart; Ignoring False Imprisonment; World’s Dirtiest Oil

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Ms. Kathy's Kids Blog:

--- On Mon, 6/28/10, Weekly  wrote:

From: Weekly
Subject: A Giant Heart; Ignoring False Imprisonment; World's Dirtiest Oil
To: mrs
Date: Monday, June 28, 2010, 8:48 AM Weekly June 21 - June 27

by Tifanei Moyer

by Lois Brooks

by CREDO Action

A Giant Heart

Dear Kathy,
At 7 feet 7 inches tall, there's no denying that former NBA basketball player Manute Bol was a giant on the court. He led the NBA in blocked shots for several seasons, while always drawing a crowd as one of the tallest people to ever to play the game.  
But off the court, Manute Bol was also a giant: a giant of benevolence, and a tireless activist for peace in his native Sudan.
As millions of Sudanese lived through a seemingly endless war between the North and South, Bol took the fortune he earned as a basketball player and gave it all back to the people of his country. And when genocide broke out in the Darfur region in Sudan, he offered his prominent voice to advocate for an end to the violence.
In his native language, the word "Manute" means "special blessing." There's no doubt that for millions of Sudanese - and the tens of millions inspired by his story - Manute Bol was nothing short of a blessing.
Sadly, Bol died last week at the age of 47, from kidney failure related to a rare skin disease. It was too short a life for a sports icon who became more famous for his activities off the basketball court than on it.
But Bol's hope for peace in Sudan lives on. His dream was to end the cycle of violence in Sudan by building schools where Christians from the South would study alongside Muslims from the North. This year could mark the opening of the first of these schools, and you can help achieve Bol's dream by donating to Sudan Sunrise, the charity building each school.
You can also honor Bol by joining Save Darfur in calling on President Obama to make ending the violence in Sudan, which continues to this day, a priority.
Ultimately, the legacy Bol leaves is as important as his lifetime accomplishments. Too many of us are tempted to view the world in terms of all that we don't have. But Bol's life helped to teach us that we're much more successful when we look at the world in terms of all that we do have - namely, our voice, and our capacity to give to a cause greater than ourselves.
For more news and commentary from this week in change, see the summaries of your favorite causes below.
Ignoring False Imprisonment in CRIMINAL JUSTICE
For the past 35 years, William Macumber has been locked in an Arizona prison for a crime he didn't commit. The state's clemency board calls him innocent, declaring that his conviction was based on false accusations from his ex-wife, and another convicted man has already confessed to the crime. So why is Arizona Governor Jan Brewer ignoring the board's recommendation and refusing to pardon him? It seems that Brewer, who is running for election this year, doesn't want to look weak on "crime" and is putting her political future above justice. This is disgraceful; join Criminal Justice blogger Elizabeth Renter in demanding the Governor to set Macumber free. Read more »
World's Dirtiest Oil in ENVIRONMENT
The Deepwater Horizon disaster is emblematic of a new era of "extreme" fossil fuels: larger risks and more destructive practices are needed to feed our oil addiction. Exhibit A is the Canadian tar sands mines, where American demand fuels the dirtiest extraction practices on Earth. Now, the State Department is considering approval of a 2,000-mile pipeline to transport huge quantities of this truly crude oil to the Gulf. Kenny Bruno of the No Tar Sands Oil campaign tells us how 50 members of Congress wrote to oppose the plan. You can too. Read more »
Farm Worker Toxins in SUSTAINABLE FOOD
While consumers worry about pesticide residues left over on produce, farm workers are practically marinating in the chemicals. Sustainable Food blogger Kristen Ridley examines how farm workers from Florida to North Carolina suffer from diabetes, birth defects, miscarriages, arthritis, and other health problems as a result of pesticide exposure. Right now, the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (CDPR) is poised to approve methyl iodide, a substance used in pesticides that is so toxic it's used to grow cancer cells in lab settings. The public has until June 29th to tell CDPR to deny approval of this dangerous chemical. Read more »
An egg farm that keeps millions of birds crammed in battery cages has branded its facility "safe-hen cage farming." The birds are "safe" because they never see predators. Of course, this is because they never see the light of day, and are forced to live alongside the dead carcasses of other birds that perish in the unhealthy environment. But the farm is able to get away with saying - and doing - whatever they want since there are so few regulations. To fight back against this "humanewashing," Animals blogger Stephanie Feldstein writes that this past week the Humane Society of the United States filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission against the egg farm's false advertising. Read more »
No Black Senators in RACE IN AMERICA
So much for post-racial politics. Barack Obama might have broken the presidential color barrier, but as Race in America blogger Chris Santiago writes, in Congress, the number of black representatives is languishing. By 2011, not only is the Senate likely to lack a single black member - but it's quite possible that the Grand Old Party won't have any black representatives sitting in the House or Senate, either. Read more »
Have a great week,

– The Team

AADB Alert --

If you cannot view this message, please visit our website.

American Association of the Deaf-Blind

July 2, 2010
Dear Kathy,

H.R. 3101 Takes a Step Forward and Leaves People who are Deaf-Blind Behind

On June 30, 2010, the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, and the Internet considered the "Twenty-first Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act" (H.R. 3101). Rick Boucher (D-VA), chairman of the Subcommittee, offered an "Amendment in the Nature of a Substitute" (a new H.R. 3101) which replaced the original bill.
The new H.R. 3101 is missing an important provision funding for specialized communications equipment needed by people who are deaf-blind, such as refreshable Braille devices. That funding, up to $10 million per year, was not included in the new H.R. 3101. The Subcommittee voted favorably on the new H.R. 3101. The bill will be considered next by the full Committee on Energy and Commerce.
Possible funding sources, for up to $10 million per year, include the Universal Service Fund and the Interstate Telecommunications Relay Service Fund. These funds were created to ensure that all Americans have access to the nation's communications network.
Deaf-blind people cannot afford to buy expensive equipment to help them access the phone and Internet. For example, the Deaf-Blind Communicator, which enables deaf-blind people to make telephone calls, access the Internet and communicate with other people who otherwise could not communicate with them, costs $8,000 alone.
Although a few states have equipment distribution programs, most do not distribute equipment that meets the needs of people who are deaf-blind. A secure and consistent source of funding is needed to assure that the communication needs of this small, discrete, and un-served population are met. This community does not have the political presence to ensure annual appropriations from Congress.
By restoring Section 105(b) to H.R. 3101, you will ensure that approximately 70,000 deaf-blind people get the specialized equipment needed for them to have telecommunications services, Internet access, and advanced communications.

Act today!

Contact House Energy and Commerce Committee members and tell them you want Section 105 (b) back in H.R. 3101.
Here's what you can do:
  1. Call or fax the members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee now and ask them to put back Section 105 (b) in H.R. 3101.
  2. If any of these committee members live in your district, please call them and make appointments with them in person to talk about H.R. 3101. Ask to talk to their legislative assistants in charge of telecommunications. You can find their addresses on
Call them today! Or deaf-blind people will be further, further and further behind!

House Energy and Commerce Committee (in alphabetical order by State)

Parker Griffith (R-AL-5)

  • 202-225-4801 Voice
  • 202-225-4392 Fax
  • Huntsville-Decatur (81)

Anna G. Eshoo (D-CA-14)

  • 202-225-8104 Voice
  • 202-225-8890 Fax
  • San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose (6) & Monterey-Salinas (124)

George Radanovich (R-CA-19)

  • 202-225-4540 Voice
  • 202-225-3402
  • Fresno-Visalia (55)

Henry Waxman, Chair (D-CA-30)

  • 202-225-3976 Voice
  • 202-225-4099 Fax
  • Agoura Hills, Beverly Hills, Calabasas, Malibu, Santa Monica, Hollywood, West Hollywood, Westlake Village

Mary Bono Mack (R-CA-45)

  • 202-225-5330 Voice
  • 202-225-2961 Fax
  • Los Angeles (2) & Palm Springs (142)

Christopher S. Murphy (D-CT-5)

  • 202-225-4476
  • No fax available
  • Hartford-New Haven (30) & New York (1)

Cliff Stearns (R-FL-6)

  • 202-225-5744 Voice
  • 202-225-3973 Fax
  • Jacksonville (47) & Gainesville (160) & Orlando (19)

John Shimkus (R-IL-19)

  • 202-225-5271 Voice
  • 202-225-5880 Fax
  • Champaign-Springfield-Decatur (84) & St. Louis (21) & Terre Haute (152) & Cape Girardeau (78) & Evansville (102)

Baron P. Hill (D-IN-9)

  • 202-225-5315 Voice
  • 202-225-6866 Fax
  • Evansville (102) & Indianapolis (25) & Cincinnati (33) & Louisville (49)

Charlie Melancon (D-LA-3)

  • 202-225-4031 Voice
  • 202-225-3354 Fax
  • Lafayette (123) & New Orleans (51) & Baton Rouge (95)

Bart Stupak (D-MI-1)

  • 202-225 4735 Voice
  • 202-225-4744 Fax
  • Duluth-Superior (139) & Marquette (180) & Green Bay (70) & Traverse City-Cadillac (117) & Alpena (208)

Fred Upton (R-MI-6)

  • 202-225-3761 Voice
  • 202-225-4986 Fax
  • Grand Rapids-Kalamazoo (41) & South Bend-Elkart (91)

Mike Rogers (R-MI-8)

  • 202-225-4872 Voice
  • 202-225-5820 Fax
  • Flint-Saginaw-Bay City (68) & Detroit (11) & Lansing (115)

Roy Blunt, Deputy Ranking Member (R-MO-7)

  • 202-225-6536 Voice
  • 202-225-5604 Fax
  • Joplin-Pittsburgh (147) & Springfield (74)

Lee Terry (R-NE-2)

  • 202-225-4155 Voice
  • 202-225-5452 Fax
  • Omaha (76)

G. K. Butterfield (D-NC-1)

  • 202-225-3101 Voice
  • 202-225-3354 Fax
  • Greenville-New Bern (103) & Raleigh (26) & Norfolk-Newport News (43)

Robert E. Latta (R-OH-5)

  • 202-225-6405 Voice
  • Columbus (34) & Toledo (73) & Cleveland (18) & Dayton (65)

Zachary T. Space (D-OH-18)

  • 202-225-6265 Voice
  • 202-225-3394 Fax
  • Columbus (34) & Cleveland-Akron (18) & Wheeling-Steubenville (159) & Charleston-Huntington (63)

Bart Gordon (D-TN-6)

  • 202-225-4231 Voice
  • 202-225-6687 Fax
  • Nashville (29)

Marsha Blackburn (R-TN-7)

  • 202-225-2811 Voice
  • 202-225-3002 Fax
  • Memphis (50) & Jackson (173) & Nashville (29)

Joe Barton, Ranking Member (R-TX-6)

  • 202-225-2002 Voice
  • 202-225-3052 Fax
  • Houston (10) & Dallas-Fort Worth (5) & Waco (89) & Tyler-Longview (109)

Rick Boucher (D-VA-9)

  • 202-225-3861 Voice
  • 202-225-0442 Fax
  • Tri-Cities (93) & Bluefield-Beckley-Oak Hill (156) & Roanoke-Lynchburg (67) & Greensboro (46)

Peter Welch (D-VT-AL)

  • 202-225-4115 Voice
  • No fax available
  • Burlington-Plattsburg (94) & Boston (6) & Albany Schenectady (57)
Thank you for your support!
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