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Florida House advances ‘biological gender inspection’ sports bill

The health care provider may verify the student’s biological sex as part of a routine sports physical examination

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Equality Florida press conference decrying anti-trans youth HB 1475 April 14, 2021

TALLAHASSE, FL. – The Florida House of Representatives on Wednesday passed House Bill 1475 on a 77-40 vote after considerable acrimonious debate. The measure would ban transgender girls from competing in all primary, middle, high school and college sports in the state. One Democrat lawmaker supported the measure and none of the Republican caucus voted against it.

With passage of the bill, Florida joins a national effort on the part of Republicans in at least 30 state houses to ban transgender female athletes from girls’ and women’s sports.

HB 1475 was authored by Rep. Kaylee Tuck, R-Lake Placid, and would enact a blanket ban on transgender female athletes competing in scholastic girls’ and women’s sports in Florida. However, Transgender males would still be allowed to compete in high school and collegiate boys and men’s sports.

The bill specifies that participation would be contingent on determining a students’ “biological sex,” which is a term that refers to the sex assigned at birth and which has been a term that is categorized as transphobic and non-accepting/affirming by LGBTQ advocacy groups.

“All eyes are on the Florida Senate to stop this cruel legislation and protect the transgender youth this bill vilifies,” said Jon Harris Maurer, Public Policy Director for Equality Florida in a statement released prior to the House vote.

“If this bill passes, it would be the first anti-LGBTQ bill to pass the Florida Legislature in 23 years and could send shockwaves through an economic recovery dependent on conventions, events, sports, and tourism. We know this is a nationally-coordinated attack fueled by far right anti-LGBTQ organizations, and the Florida House has taken the bait. The Florida Senate must hear the voices of transgender kids and reject this state-sanctioned discrimination.” 

Tweet by Florida Rep. Omari Hardy (D-Palm Beach- District 88)

According to the bill’s language, any disputes regarding a student’s sex arising would be resolved with a “health examination and consent form” verifying the student’s biological sex.

“The health care provider may verify the student’s biological sex as part of a routine sports physical examination by relying only on one or more of the following: 1. The student’s reproductive anatomy; 2. The student’s genetic makeup; or 3. The student’s normal endogenously produced testosterone levels.”

The Tampa Bay Times reported that the bill, is modeled after an Idaho law that was temporarily struck down by a federal judge last year. The law would allow a school or competitor to lodge a complaint about an athlete competing in a girls’ or woman’s sport.

If the party complaining suspects the athlete was not assigned the female gender at birth, the athlete in question will have to prove their birth gender — via a genetic test, a test of their testosterone levels or an examination of their reproductive anatomy by a medical professional — in order to compete.

It’s unclear how precisely the complaint process would work. The bill leaves it up to the the State Board of Education to create precise rules.

In a phone interview with the Blade Thursday, a spokesperson for Equality Florida, Brandon J. Wolf pointed out that cruelest aspect of the bill is that terrorizes trans youth athletes. He noted that a separate Senate bill that would also impede trans youth participation in athletics, SB 2012 would require that even “a 12-year-old trans female youth would be forced to adhere to Olympic standards for testosterone levels.”

Wolf said that both bills were simply “cruel and grotesque” and warned that there’s a definite racist element as Black Trans girls will end up bearing the brunt of these trans-adverse laws if passed.

Despite fierce bipartisan opposition from lawmakers across the country, professional and collegiate sporting organizations including the Miami HEAT and Misfits Gaming Group, world-renowned athletes, faith leaders, legal scholars, medical professionals, over 65 major corporations, and the very experts that bill sponsors cite as justification, the ban now heads to the Senate where its companion (SB 2012) has one remaining committee stop.

According to Wolf the next stop for HB 1475 in the Senate means that it could then be reconciled with the Senate bill and a combined version passed or taken to the Senate floor as a separate bill for a reading and a vote.

There was no response Thursday to the Blade’s request for comment by Florida’s Republican Governor Ron DeSantis.

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Community Services - PSA

101 Freeway set to close through downtown this weekend for construction

Closure of the 101 freeway will commence Friday at 10 p.m. & the freeway will reopen Sunday at 3 p.m.

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Map courtesy of the City of Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES – The 101 Freeway will close in both directions this weekend for construction work on the new Sixth Street Viaduct project east of downtown Los Angeles.

Work on the bridge will close 2.5 miles of the freeway in both directions, starting where the 101 and 10 freeways split and ending where the 5, 10 and 101 interchange meets east of downtown Los Angeles, city officials said. 

The transition from the westbound 60 Freeway to the 101 will also be closed due to the project. The freeway and transition road are scheduled to reopen by 3 p.m. Sunday.

The closure is necessary to remove the temporary frame supports around the new Sixth Street Viaduct bridge.

A second closure of the same stretch of freeway is scheduled to begin Friday, Nov. 5, at 10 p.m. and continue through Sunday, Nov. 7, at 3 p.m.

Map courtesy of the City of Los Angeles
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Community Services - PSA

LA County officials say avoid prolonged outdoor activities in Carson area

LA County Public Health recommends temporarily leaving the area where odors are present to alleviate health impacts

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The Dominguez Channel (Photo Credit: Los Angeles County Public Works)

CARSON – Los Angeles County officials have been working collaboratively since Oct. 6 to investigate and address the pungent odor affecting communities in the area of Dominguez Channel in the City of Carson.

A multi-agency response—including the County departments of Public Works, Public Health, Fire and the Office of Emergency Management, as well as the South Coast Air Quality Management District—was mobilized in response to this incident and to provide rapid relief to residents and businesses that have been affected.

The South Coast Air Quality Management District on Tuesday announced it has established a webpage to monitor the foul odor emanating from the Dominguez Channel that has sickened some residents and prompted numerous complaints.

To date, South Coast AQMD has responded to more than 2,000 odor complaints since the acrid scent was first reported on Oct. 3.

Congresswoman Nanette Diaz Barragán, whose 44th congressional district includes the affected areas, in her Oct. 18 letter called on California Governor Gavin Newsom to declare a state of emergency in the area.

On Oct. 15, LA County Public Works maintenance crews began spraying a natural, water-based and biodegradable deodorizer in the channel to neutralize the odor. The community should expect a noticeable reduction in the smell within 3-5 days.

The source continues to be considered as naturally decaying organic material (vegetation and marine life) at the bottom and sides of the Channel in Carson. As air monitoring of the surrounding areas continues, no other point sources for the hydrogen sulfide have been identified. South Coast AQMD, County Fire Hazardous Materials (HazMat), and Public Health continue to evaluate and monitor hydrogen sulfide concentrations and mitigate health impacts.

A bubbler system is being installed today to inject millions of tiny oxygen bubbles into the water to increase the levels of dissolved oxygen and prevent the creation of additional hydrogen sulfide gas.

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health updated the health recommendations for residents impacted by odors reported in Carson and surrounding communities to avoid prolonged outdoor activities between the hours of 9 p.m. through 8 a.m., based on patterns seen with air monitoring results, and whenever odors are strong to reduce exposure.

While the effort to get rid of the odor continues, Public Health recommends residents take the following actions to lessen their exposure and any symptoms experienced and to protect the health of themselves, their family, and their pets:

  1. If symptoms feel life threatening, seek immediate medical care.
  2. If symptoms are persistent, worrisome, or worsening, seek medical attention. Relocate to another area until odors go away. For assistance, call 2-1-1.
  3. Avoid prolonged outdoor activities between the hours of 9 p.m. through 8 a.m. and whenever odors are strong to reduce exposure.
  4. Keep doors and windows closed as much as possible to prevent outdoor odors from entering the residence or business. Air out the home/business when odors are not present.
  5. If residents have a central heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system, contact an air conditioning specialist, if needed, to determine if the air filters in the system may be replaced with High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) or MERV-rated filters with activated charcoal (carbon) to improve the air quality inside. If residents notice odors are stronger or symptoms are worse in the late evening or early morning hours (9 p.m. to 7 a.m.), residents should try running their central HVAC system throughout the night, if they have not already. Temporarily relocating may be best if this does not help.
  6. Use a certified portable HEPA indoor air filter with activated charcoal to improve air quality in their home. If residents notice odors are stronger or symptoms are worse in the late evening or early morning hours (9 p.m. to 7 a.m.), residents should try running their portable indoor air filter throughout the night, if they have not already. Temporarily relocating may be best if this does not help.
  7. Keep pets indoors. If residents notice any of the following in their pets, they should contact their local veterinarian: difficulty breathing, vomiting, lethargy, or nausea.

Hydrogen sulfide is a colorless gas that has a very strong odor (like “rotten egg”). Its smell can be detected and cause temporary mild to moderate symptoms even below the minimum detection limit of 1 part per million (ppm) or 1000 parts per billion (ppb) of typical equipment used to detect it. Everyone should take steps to reduce their exposure when the odors are present.

People experiencing persistent, worrisome, or worsening symptoms from the odors are encouraged to contact their health care providers, especially if they have any chronic health conditions. People should also ensure that they have adequate supplies of their medications, especially if they have heart or lung conditions. In addition, Public Health recommends temporarily leaving the area where odors are present to alleviate health impacts.

For more information on protective measures to prevent odors from entering the home, residents can contact the Public Health Community line at 626-430-9821 and leave a message with their contact information and their call will be returned. The message line will be checked every hour between 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day while odors persist.

If you live in the areas of Carson or West Carson, or the surrounding vicinity, County Public Works has a reimbursement program for the purchase of HVAC air filters, portable HEPA air filters, or for temporary relocation. during this public nuisance event. Please review the recommendations and guidance on “Air Cleaners and Filters to Improve Indoor Air Quality and Remove Odors” below before purchasing filters. Visit https://lacounty.gov/emergency/dominguez-channel for more information on the reimbursement program. Residents can click here to submit for reimbursement. For assistance, they can call 2-1-1.

In addition, residents should continue to call South Coast AQMD to report odors at 1-800-CUT-SMOG (1-800-288-7644) or use the agency’s On-line Complaint System.

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Community Services - PSA

Learn to Swim scholarship coming this Off Season!

Learn to Swim Scholarships will be made available for the Learn to Swim Program this upcoming Winter and Spring Season

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Castaic Sports Complex Aquatic Center (Photo Credit: County of Los Angeles)

LOS ANGELES –The County of Los Angeles Department of Parks and Recreation, in conjunction with the American Red Cross, is excited to announce that a series of Learn to Swim Scholarships will be made available for the Learn to Swim Program this upcoming Winter and Spring Season.

These scholarships will be made available at the five (5) year-round pools for kids 5-17 years old. These year-round locations are as follows:

· Belvedere Community Pool (5035 E 1st St, East Los Angeles, CA 90022)

· Castaic Sports Complex Pool (31350 Castaic Rd, Castaic, CA 91384)

· Jesse Owens Community Regional Park Pool (9835 S Western Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90047)

· San Fernando Regional Pool (300 Park Ave, San Fernando, CA 91340)

· Franklin D Roosevelt Park Pool (7600 Graham Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90001)

REGISTER TODAY!

The Learn to Swim Scholarships are being provided as a limited release, as well as a first come, first serve basis. All you have to do is complete the Scholarship Application (available online) as well as provide proof of enrollment in the Federal Free or Reduced Lunch Program. Upon completion and submission, your application will be reviewed for acceptance.

Download and complete the Scholarship Application TODAY!

Please note that completion and submission of application forms does not ensure you are awarded a scholarship. Applications must be reviewed prior to designation of scholarship. Scholarship process must be completed for each child in the household applying and for each session. Scholarships are only for the Youth Learn to Swim Program and are not applicable for any other Aquatics program or Youth program.

For a step by step breakdown, feel free to consult this graphic.

Download and complete the Scholarship Application TODAY!

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

REGISTER NOW!

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

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