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How bi-curious Hugh Hefner and the gays emboldened free speech and the sexual revolution

Hefner’s death reveals ties to gay community

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Hugh Hefner (Photo wikiCommons)

The right of individuals to exercise free speech without fear of government censorship, coercion or crack down has been much in the news recently as President Trump tries to bully NFL owners into firing football players who “take a knee” during the national anthem to protest police shootings of unarmed black men.

The First Amendment is perhaps the most cherished—and most assailed—of constitutional rights, with the interpretation changing with time and administrations. That became abundantly clear on Wednesday as Americans learned that Playboy Magazine founder Hugh Hefner died at age 91.

Marilyn Monroe was a Playboy covergirl several times.

Hefner is widely believed to be one of the instigators of the sexual revolution of the 1950/60s, launching Playboy Magazine in December 1953 featuring a nude centerfold of actress Marilyn Monroe at a time when chaste ultra-conservative conformity and McCarthyism were in full swing. From the beginning, Hefner championed the First Amendment, not only by celebrating female nudity but by serializing such controversial works as Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 and in 1955, The year was 1955, science fiction author Charles Beaumont’s futuristic short story “The Crooked Man” in which homosexuality is the norm and heterosexuality is criminalized.

But perhaps Hefner’s greatest contribution to the sexual revolution and the parallel quiet movement for LGBT equality was the Playboy Forum where wide ranging discussions on taboo topics, including homosexuality, were enthusiastically encouraged.

“What makes Hugh Hefner really important is the combination of his belief in the First Amendment and his Playboy philosophy,” which rebelled against religiously-mandated codes of sexual morality, Charles Francis, president of the Mattachine Society of Washington DC, tells the Los Angeles Blade.
“He was an early supporter of LGBT equality,” says Francis. “Playboy gave a platform where the first serious considerations about homosexuality could take place, well before Stonewall. (Mattachine Society/DC founder) Frank Kameny had serious back-and-forth discussions with psychiatrists and psychologists who thought homosexuality was an illness and a perversion. The Playboy philosophy was basically liberally enlightened about sex and humanistic and empathetic— homosexuals should be treated as human beings, not as perverts or deviants. It wasn’t porn or smut; it was progressive and encouraged open-minded inquiry.”

In fact, Francis says, Frank Kameny introduced his famous slogan “Gay is Good” in the “Playboy Forum” in the March 1969 issue. The forum enabled him to express his outrage at “normal” anti-gay attitudes and policies.

“The Playboy Forum gave Kameny the space to engage in substantive debate, over years, with such psychiatrists David H. Barlow and Gerald Davison about aversion therapy and whether or not homosexuality was a mental illness,” Francis says. “Dr. David Barlow is a past President of the Division of Clinical Psychology of the American Psychological Association, and still very much alive.

In the day, Barlow was promoting various therapies at the University of Mississippi, including something called ‘fading,’ in which a patient seeking to be ‘cured’ of homosexuality would be exposed to a series of images, ‘fading’ from a naked young man into a highly sexualized black woman.”
Though the Playboy Forum pushed back on Frank “that homosexuality is a ‘compulsion based on phobic responses to heterosexual stimuli,’” Francis says, “the Forum itself was the only mainstream, popular platform to give him that much space and the ability to write at length about his ideas and reactions to psychiatrists like Davison and Barlow.”

Historian Mark Stein wrote in his 2010 legal accounting of the sexual revolution, Sexual Injustice, that Playboy created “what may have been the country’s most influential forum for public discussion about homosexuality during this period.”

Francis discovered in the Kameny Papers at the Library of Congress that “Playboy Forum Associate Editor Henry Fenwick actually shared with Frank many of the letters (names withheld) Playboy had received on these exchanges–from groups like Texas Advocates for Human Dignity,” Francis says. “Fenwick wrote Kameny on May 7, 1969, just months before the Stonewall riots: “In spite of our differences of opinion I hope we can continue to keep our lines of communication open. I believe the dialogue to be very useful, and we appreciate your continued cooperation.”

It turns out Hefner may have read Kameny’s “Gay is Good” missives, too. In a 1999 interview, Carrie Leigh, who lived with Hefner for five years in the 1980s and filed three lawsuits against him, told the Washington Post that Hefner’s infamous and misogynistic sexual swinging also included men.

The Post reported: “Leigh and other Hefner girlfriends from the 1980s say they were also disturbed by Hefner’s propensity for sexual encounters with men. Leigh says she interrupted Hefner’s liaisons with men a couple of times. The irony that this symbol of heterosexual male virility was involved homosexually was not lost on her. But her real fear was that it indicated Hefner’s only true interest in women was exploitive. ‘It bothered me. It totally flipped me out,’ she says. ‘I tried to accept it. He thought it was all okay.’”

Indeed, in the interview with the Post, Hefner acknowledged having bisexual trysts.

“There was some bisexuality in the heterosexual, swinging part of my life,” Hefner told the Post, adding that Leigh, who also had lesbian dalliances was “obsessed” with gays and her suspicion that he preferred men was only a “projection” on her part.

“I was testing the boundaries, just knocking down walls,” Hefner said. “That period of sexual experimentation is long gone.”

Aside from dabbling in bisexuality and promoting open discussions, Hefner also stood up for civil rights, gay rights, and opened his Playboy Mansion for AIDS fundraisers. When straight readers sent in angry letters about Beaumont’s sci fi depiction of straight people having to sneak into dark barrooms to find someone to love, Hefner was quick to reply. “If it was wrong to persecute heterosexuals in a homosexual society,” he wrote, “then the reverse was wrong, too.”

But the greatest boon to Hefner and his Playboy Enterprises—and hence the goose that jump-started the sexual revolution and the sexual liberation movement was a gay lawsuit that reached the US Supreme Court—ONE Inc. v. Olesen, the landmark lawsuit that the gay publication, ONE Magazine, was not obscene and could therefore be sent through the US Post Office.

“ONE filled a very critical role for gays and lesbians during a very dark time,” BoxTurtleBulletin founder Jim Burroway wrote on January 13th, 2008, the 50th anniversary of the first gay victory at the Supreme Court on January 13, 1958.

Sen. Joe McCarthy and chief deputy Roy Cohen

ONE’s 1953 debut coincided with a major anti-gay push by the federal government, with President Dwight D. Eisenhower siding with communist and gay-hunter, Sen. Joe McCarthy, who framed gays as a subversive national security risk and a threat to the country’s moral fiber. Eisenhower’s Executive Order 10450 included a “sexual perversion” clause that prohibited gays and lesbians from federal employment; homosexuality was a crime in every state and considered a mental illness.

J. Edgar Hoover launched a major FBI crackdown on every aspect of homosexuality, from entrapment stings to confiscating and trying to shut down publications such as ONE Magazine, which was sold in gay bars and by subscription. The FBI, Burroway writes, “went so far as to write to the employers of ONE’s editors and writers (they all depended on their day jobs for income), saying that their employees were ‘deviants’ and ‘security risks.’ Fortunately, no one lost their jobs, the FBI decided it wasn’t worth their time, and ONE continued publishing.”

The U.S. Post Office then took up the mantle, with the Los Angeles branch checking each issue before shipping. In August 1953, postal authorities held up the issue on “Homosexual Marriage” for three weeks to check if it violated federal laws. It didn’t and it was released. ONE sniped back in the October issue, saying on the cover “ONE is not grateful”:

“It is true that this decision is historic. Never before has a governmental agency of this size admitted that homosexuals not only have legal rights but might have respectable motives as well. The admission is welcome, but it’s tardy and far from enough. As we sit around quietly like nice little ladies and gentlemen gradually educating the public and the courts at our leisure, thousands of homosexuals are being unjustly arrested, blackmailed, fined, jailed, intimidated, beaten, ruined and murdered.”

The victory was short-lived. Having seen a copy of the March 1954 issue—“The Importance of Being Different”— Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Alexander Wiley (R-WI), wrote a protest letter to U.S. Postmaster General Arthur Summerfield, registering a “vigorous protest against the use of the United States mails to transmit a so-called ‘magazine’ devoted to the advancement of sexual perversions.” Allowing a homosexual magazine to operate, he wrote, “(a) runs utterly contrary to every moral principle, (b) runs utterly contrary to our intentions to safeguard our nation’s youngsters, (c) likewise, it is the very opposite of the entire purpose of our governmental security program…”

ONE tried not to get shut down through government censorship, having their young straight lawyer, Eric Julber, to write rules to avoid conflict. But the October 1954 issue featured a fictional short story entitled “Sappho Remembered,” in which two young lovers touched four times and declared their love—and, most deplorable—the story had a happy, not dire or suicidal ending. The issue also featured a snarky poem about the gay arrests of British notable and two ads postal authorities construed as promoting obscenity.

LA postal officials seized the “You Can’t Print It!” issue and, Burroway reports, “charged the editors with violating the 1873 Comstock Act, which prohibited sending ‘obscene, lewd, and/or lascivious’ material through the mail.”

Broke, ONE’s editors waited a year to sue, with Julber,30, taking the case pro bono. The ACLU, which was still defending anti-sodomy laws at the time, refused to help. Julber flew solo and it didn’t go well as he argued that ONE Magazine was not pornographic but educational. In March 1956, the judge ruled for the Post Office, as did the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in February 1957, writing that the magazine “has a primary purpose of exciting lust, lewd and lascivious thoughts and sensual desires in the minds of persons reading it.”

Julber filed his petition with the Supreme Court on June 13, 1957. He argued that lower courts had allowed publications advocating nudism, so why did the 9th Circuit “singled out and discriminated against” ONE because it dealt with homosexuality?

In fact, Hefner’s HMH Publishing Company sued the US Post Office in 1955 because Postmaster General Arthur Summerfield deemed Playboy obscene and prohibited its distribution through the mail. Hefner won and received $100,000 in damages, as well as Playboy being granted a “B” class permit to operate without the risk of government censorship.

In a quirk of fate, the Supreme Court had been dealing with the issue of obscenity in Roth v. the United States. New York book dealer Samuel Roth was appealing his conviction for selling and mailing sexually explicit books, circulars and advertising. The Justices upheld his conviction in a 6-3 decision, but narrowed the definition of obscenity, which is not constitutionally protected free speech under the First Amendment.

“All ideas having even the slightest redeeming social importance — unorthodox ideas, controversial ideas, even ideas hateful to the prevailing climate of opinion — have the full protection of the guaranties, unless excludable because they encroach upon the limited area of more important interests; but implicit in the history of the First Amendment is the rejection of obscenity as utterly without redeeming social importance,” wrote Justice William J. Brennan, adding that “Sex and obscenity are not synonymous.”

The Court handed down its ruling on June 24, 1957, 11 days after Julber filed his petition. The Court took ONE’s case and rendered a one-sentence ruling in ONE Incorporated vs Olesen on January 13, 1958, reversing the 9th Circuit decision, expanding the First Amendment and limiting the Comstock Act. No longer branded “obscene,” ONE Magazine—and similar magazines—could be sent through the mail without legal action taken by the Post Office.

ONE editors noted this coverage from The New York Times: “The court today reversed a post office ban on a magazine, One, which deals with homosexuality. The petition for review filed by the lawyer, Eric Julber of Los Angeles, had apparently raised only one question: was the magazine ‘obscene’ within the statute banning importation of obscene matter? The court’s order appeared to answer: No.”

Hefner existed in a parallel universe, with Playboy Magazine, like ONE Magazine, also considered “smut” by the moral arbiters at the Post Office. And despite Hefner’s earlier win—and despite ONE Magazine’s win in January, by November 1958, the Post Office was after Hefner again, this time trying to ban the “lewd” Playboy from the mail system entirely. Hefner got a restraining order, which enabled him to keep distributing Playboy, while he continued to challenge the Post Office through the courts. Hefner won his lawsuit at the Supreme court, HMH Publishing vs the US Post Office in 1959.

ONE Magazine writer and editor Jim Kepner said Hefner was always grateful for the legal victory achieved by ONE Magazine at the Supreme Court, which paved the way for his victory—and for the sexual revolution. And gays were grateful, too, for the Playboy Forum that allowed them to see themselves as human beings, not society’s deviants.

Indeed, one can almost say that gays bought Playboy for the articles.

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Los Angeles County

LA County Parks offers soccer, flag football & now… LACROSSE

The Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation is proud to announce a new slate of Youth Sports Leagues for the Fall 2022 season

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Photo Credit: County of Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES – This season, LA County Parks Offers Soccer, Flag Football and now… LACROSSE for Youth Countywide!


REGISTER FOR YOUTH SPORTS LEAGUES TODAY!

As we settle into another school season this fall, the Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation is proud to announce a new slate of Youth Sports Leagues for the Fall 2022 season.

YOUTH FLAG FOOTBALL 

Football season is almost here! This year, with generous support from NFL Flag Football and the Los Angeles Rams we’re bringing Flag Football for youth across LA County. The emphasis will be on sportsmanship, skill development, team concept, and fun. Game scores and league standings will be kept. Registration fee will include uniform, award, and umpire. Qualifying teams will advance and participate in playoffs. Season starts October 1st!

Divisions & Costs:
Division 2 (2007-2009): $43
Division 3 (2010-2011): $43
Division 4 (2012-2013): $43
Division 5 (2014-2015): $32
Division 6 (2016-2017): $25
Division 7 (2018-2019): $25

AVAILABLE AT THE FOLLOWING PARKS

Castaic Sports Complex: 31230 N. Castaic Rd., Castaic 91384  – (661) 775-8865

George Lane Park: 5520 W. Avenue, L-8, Quartz Hill, CA 93534 – (661) 722-7780

Jackie Robinson Park: 8773 E. Avenue R, Littlerock, CA 93543 – 661-944-2880

Stephen Sorensen Park: 16801 E. Avenue P, Lake Los Angeles, CA 93591 (661) 264 -1249

Adventure Park: 10130 Gunn Ave. Whittier, CA – (562) 698-7645

Alondra Park: 3850 W. Manhattan Beach Blvd. Lawndale, CA – (310) 217-8366

Amigo Park: 5700 Juarez Ave. Whittier, CA – (562) 908-4702

Campanella Park: 14812 Stanford Ave. Compton, CA – (310) 603-3720

Helen Keller Park: 12521 S. Vermont Ave Los Angeles, CA 90044 – (323) 241-6702

Mayberry Park: 13201 E. Meyer Rd. Whittier, CA – (562) 944-9727

Sorensen Park: 11419 Rosehedge Dr. Whittier, CA – (562) 908-7763

Victoria Park: 419 E. Martin Luther King Jr. St. Carson, CA – (310) 217-8370

Arcadia Park: 405 S. Santa Anita Ave., Arcadia, CA 91006 – (626) 821-4619

Charter Oak Park: 20261 E. Covina Blvd., Covina, CA 91723 – (626) 339-0411

Dalton Park: 18867 E. Armstead St., Azusa, CA 91702 – (626) 852-1491

Valleydale Park: 5225 N. Lark Ellen Ave., Azusa, CA 91702 – (626) 334-8020


YOUTH AND GIRLS SOCCER ⚽🙌

It’s time to lace up those cleats again!  Youth and Girls Soccer is returning to LA County Parks this October. Join us for another competitive and fun season for all ages! Youth and Girls’ Soccer will provide opportunities for participants to thrive thru the sport and physical activity. Participants will learn and display sportsmanship, teamwork and responsibility when participating and give exposure to learning soccer in a fun and safe setting. Registration fee will include a certified soccer official, uniform and award. League will consist of 10-week season with 1-hour practice during the weekday and 1-hour game Saturday. See you on the field!

CO-ED Divisions & Costs:
Division 2 (2007-2009): $61
Division 3 (2010-2011): $61
Division 4 (2012-2013): $61
Division 5 (2014-2015): $55
Division 6 (2016-2017): $45
Division 7 (2018-2019): $45
Girls Only Divisions & Costs:
Division 3 (2010-2011): $61
Division 4 (2012-2013): $61

AVAILABLE AT THE FOLLOWING PARKS

Castaic Regional Sports Complex: 31230 N. Castaic Rd, CA – (661) 775-8865

Crescenta Valley Park: 3901 Dunsmore Ave La Crescenta, CA – (818) 249-5940

El Cariso Park: 13100 Hubbard Street Sylmar, CA – (818) 367-5043

Loma Alta Park: 3330 N Lincoln Ave Altadena, CA – (626) 398-5451

Dr. Richard Rioux Park: 26233 W. Faulkner Dr. Stvn. Ranch, CA – (661) 222-9536

Val Verde Park: 30300 W. Arlington Rd, Val Verde, CA – (661) 257-4014

Athens Park: 12603 S Broadway Los Angeles, CA – (323) 241-6700

Bethune Park: 1244 E 61st St Los Angeles, CA – (323) 846-1895

Lennox Park: 10828 Condon Ave Inglewood, CA – (310) 419-6712

Mona Park: 2291 E 121st St Compton, CA – (310) 603-3729

Roosevelt Park: 7600 Graham Ave Los Angeles, CA – (323) 586-7228

Ted Watkins Park: 1335 E 103rd St Los Angeles, CA – (323) 357-3032

Bassett Park: 510 Vineland Ave., Bassett, CA – (626) 333-0959

Belvedere Park: 4914 E. Cesar E. Chavez Ave., Los Angeles, CA – (323) 260-2342

Carolyn Rosas Park: 18500 E. Farjardo St., Rowland Heights, CA – (626) 854-5557

City Terrace Park: 1126 N. Hazard Ave., Los Angeles, CA – (323) 260-2371

Hacienda Heights Community Center: 1234 Valencia Ave., Hacienda Heights, CA – (626) 333-3250

Manzanita Park: 1747 S. Kwis Ave., Hacienda Heights, CA – (626) 336-6246

Martin Park: 14830 E. Giordano St La Puente., CA – (626) 918-5263

Obregon Park: 4021 E. 1st St Los Angeles., CA – (323) 260-2344

Pathfinder Park: 18150 Pathfinder Rd., Rowland Heights, CA – (562) 690-0933

Rimgrove Park: 747 North Rimgrove Dr., La Puente, CA – (626) 330-8798

Rowland Heights Park: 1500 Banida Ave., Rowland Heights, CA – (626) 912-6774

Salazar Park: 3864 Whittier Blvd., Los Angeles, CA – (323) 260-2330

San Angelo Park: 245 S. San Angelo Ave., La Puente, CA – (626) 333-6162

Saybrook Park: 6250 E. Northside Dr., Los Angeles, CA – (323) 724-8546

Steinmetz Park: 1545 S. Stimson Ave., Hacienda Heights, CA – (626) 855-5383

Sunshine Park: 515 S. Deepmead Ave., La Puente, CA – (626) 854-5559


GIRLS LACROSSE 🙌

America’s oldest sport comes to LA County! Thanks to support from US Lacrosse, we will be offering Girls Lacrosse across a variety of LA County Parks. The emphasis will be on sportsmanship, skill development, team concept, and fun. The league will be providing all the equipment needed to play. Participants will be taught to play during clinics held during the first three weeks of the league season. During the final 5 weeks teams will be created, and games will be played. Leagues will start in October so make sure you head to reservations.lacounty.gov today to sign up for this exciting opportunity!

Division & Costs:

Division 3 (2010-2011): $30

AVAILABLE AT THE FOLLOWING PARKS

Castaic Regional Sports Complex: 31230 N. Castaic Rd, CA – (661) 775-8865

Dr. Richard Rioux Park: 26233 W. Faulkner Dr. Stvn. Ranch, CA – (661) 222-9536

El Cariso Park: 13100 Hubbard Street Sylmar, CA – (818) 367-5043

George Lane Park: 5520 W. Avenue L-8 Quartz Hill, CA – (661) 722-7780

Jackie Robinson Park: 8773 East Avenue R Littlerock, CA – (661) 944-2880

Loma Alta Park: 3330 N Lincoln Ave Altadena, CA – (626) 398-5451

Pearblossom Park: 33922 N. 121st St. East Pearblossom, CA – (661) 944-2988

Stephen Sorensen Park: 16801 E. Avenue P. Lake L.A., CA – (661) 264-1249

Val Verde Park: 30300 W. Arlington Rd, Val Verde, CA – (661) 257-4014

Adventure Park: 10130 Gunn Ave. Whittier, CA – (562) 698-7645

Alondra Park: 3850 W. Manhattan Beach Blvd. Lawndale, CA – (310) 217-8366

Amigo Park: 5700 Juarez Ave. Whittier, CA – (562) 908-4702

Del Aire Park: 12601 Isis Ave, Hawthorne, CA – (310)-643-4976

Sorensen Park: 11419 Rose Hedge Dr Whittier, CA – (562) 908-7763

Ted Watkins Park: 1335 E 103rd St Los Angeles, CA – (323) 357-3032

Arcadia Park: 405 S. Santa Anita Ave., Arcadia, CA 91006 – (626) 821-4619

Bassett Park: 510 Vineland Ave., Bassett, CA 91746 – (626) 333-0959

Belvedere Park: 4914 E. Cesar E Chavez Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90022 – (323) 260-2342

Carolyn Rosas Park: 18500 E. Farjardo St., Rowland Heights, CA 91748 – (626) 854-5557

Charter Oak Park: 20261 E. Covina Blvd., Covina, CA 91723 – (626) 339-0411

City Terrace Park: 1126 N. Hazard Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90063 – (323) 260-2371

Dalton Park: 18867 E. Armstead St., Azusa, CA 91702 – (626) 852-1491

Hacienda Heights Community Center: 1234 Valencia Ave., Hacienda Heights, CA 91745 – (626) 333-3250

Manzanita Park: 1747 S. Kwis Ave., Hacienda Heights, CA 91745 – (626) 336-6246

Martin Park: 14830 E. Giordano St., La Puente, CA 91744 – (626) 918-5263

Obregon Park: 4021 E. 1st St., Los Angeles, CA 90063 – (323) 260-2344

Pamela Park: 2236 Goodall Ave., Duarte, CA 91010 – (626) 357-1619

Pathfinder Park: 18150 Pathfinder Rd., Rowland Heights, CA 91748 – (562) 690-0933

Rimgrove Park: 747 N. Rimgrove Dr., La Puente, CA 91744 – (626) 330-8798

Rowland Heights: 1500 Banida Ave., Rowland Heights, CA 91748 – (626) 912-6774

Salazar Park: 3864 Whittier Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90023- (323) 260-2330

San Angelo Park: 245 S. San Angelo Ave., La Puente, CA 91746 – (626) 333-6162

Saybrook Park: 6250 E. Northside Dr., Los Angeles, CA 90022 – (323) 724-8546

Steinmetz Park: 1545 S. Stimson Ave., Hacienda Heights, CA 91748 – (626) 855-5383

Sunshine Park: 515 S. Deepmead Ave., La Puente, CA 91744 – (626) 854-5559

Valleydale Park: 5525 N. Lark Ellen Ave., Azusa, CA 91702 – (626) 334-8020


REGISTER NOW!


For questions, contact LA County Parks at [email protected] or (626) 588-5364.

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Los Angeles County

Excessive Heat Warning for parts of Los Angeles County

Hot conditions will bring elevated risk of heat related illnesses over portions of Southern California, especially the valleys & inland areas

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Graphic via the National Weather Service

LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles County Health Officer has issued a Heat Warning as high temperatures have been forecast for the following areas:

  • Downtown Los Angeles: Monday, September 26, through Tuesday, September 27, 2022
  • Santa Clarita Valley: Monday, September 26, through Tuesday, September 27, 2022
  • San Fernando Valley: Monday, September 26, through Tuesday, September 27, 2022
  • San Gabriel Valley: Monday, September 26, through Tuesday, September 27, 2022
  • Santa Monica Mountains: Monday, September 26, through Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Public Health reminds everyone to take precautions to avoid heat-related illness, especially older adults, young children, outdoor workers, athletes, and people with a chronic medical condition who are especially sensitive to negative health impacts from extreme heat. Public Health offers the following recommendations during high temperature days:

  • Drink plenty of water and keep hydrated throughout the day.
  • If you must go out, plan your day to avoid going out during the hottest hours, and wear sunscreen. Wear lightweight, light-colored clothes, and wear a hat or use an umbrella.
  • Cars get very hot inside, even if the windows are ‘cracked’ or open. Never leave children or pets in cars. Call 911 if you see a child or pet in a car alone.
  • Beware of and know what to do for heat-related illness, such as heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Call 911 right away if you see these symptoms: high body temperature (103°F or higher), vomiting, dizziness, confusion, and hot, red, dry, or damp skin. Heat stroke is a medical emergency.
  • Check on those at risk for heat-related illness, like those who are sick or have chronic conditions, older adults, pregnant women, children, those who live alone, pets, and outdoor workers and athletes.
  • If you are wearing a mask, avoid strenuous workouts wearing face coverings or masks not intended for athletic purpose.
  • Visit your power company’s website or contact them by phone to determine if you are scheduled for a rolling power outage.

“While it is very important that everyone take special care of themselves, it is equally important that we reach out and check on others, in particular those who are especially vulnerable to the harmful effects of high temperatures, including children, the elderly, and their pets,” said Muntu Davis, MD, MPH, Los Angeles County Health Officer. “High temperatures are not just an inconvenience; they can be dangerous and even deadly. But we can protect ourselves, our families, and our neighbors if we take steps to remain cool and hydrated. It is critically important to never leave children, elderly people, or pets unattended in homes with no air conditioning and particularly in vehicles, even if the windows are ‘cracked’ or open, as temperatures inside can quickly rise to life-threatening levels. If you have an elderly or unwell neighbor who is without air conditioning, check on them throughout the day.”

County and City partners have planned ways to safely operate cooling centers during times of high heat. Residents who do not have access to air conditioning are encouraged to take advantage of these free cooling centers. To find a location near you, visit https://ready.lacounty.gov/heat/ or call 211.

The health and safety of staff and visitors at cooling centers is priority. Public Health notes the following for cooling centers:

  • Staff and visitors are instructed to stay home if they do not feel well. Any person reporting or exhibiting signs of illness is advised to seek appropriate medical
  • Staff and visitors are required to wear a face covering at all times, regardless of COVID-19 vaccination status.
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Southern California

Excessive Heat Warnings for SoCal Sunday through Wednesday

Hot conditions will bring elevated risk of heat related illnesses over portions of Southern California, especially the valleys & inland areas

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Graphic via the National Weather Service

OXNARD – The National Weather Service has issued Excessive Heat Warnings for Southern California beginning Sunday and extending through Wednesday.

Today, Sunday, temperatures are forecast to reach 100 degrees in the valleys and inland desert areas. In Riverside County, a heat warning for the Coachella Valley region took effect at 11 a.m.

For the greater Los Angeles region, the heat warning takes effect Monday morning with high temperatures expected to surpass 100 degrees in the San Fernando Valley, San Gabriel Valley, Santa Clarita Valley, and inland areas of Orange, San Bernardino, and Riverside counties.

Graphic via KTLA 5

Hot conditions will bring elevated risk of heat related illnesses over portions of southwest California, especially the coastal plain and valleys of Los Angeles and Ventura Counties. Take care to stay hydrated if working or recreating outdoors, take breaks in the shade, check up on the elderly or ill, and those without AC. Consider limiting strenuous activities outdoors during this time and remember to never leave kids or pets unattended in a car. Look before you lock!

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