A transgender woman has filed a lawsuit against fitness company CrossFit after it barred her from competing as a female in an annual strength competition.
CNN reports 34-year-old personal trainer Chloie Johnson is suing for discrimination, intentional infliction of emotional distress and unfair competition after the company stated entrants must compete as the gender they were born.
Johnson says she was born a male, but underwent sex reassignment surgery in 2006 and is now legally recognized a female in California. But the athletic company refuses to recognize the transition. (ViaYouTube / NorthernSpiritX)
CrossFit, which hosts separate competitions for males and females, says it is just trying to be fair to the other competitors and Johnson is still allowed to compete as a male.
But according to TMZ, CrossFit sent Johnson a snarky letter explaining its decision to not allow her to compete is based on an "understanding of the human genome, of fundamental biology, that [Johnson is] either intentionally ignoring or missed in high school."
CrossFit adds transgender athletes are "welcomed with open arms" but its decision to not allow Johnson to compete is based on its "commitment to ensure the fairness of the competition." (ViaYouTube / CrossFit)
Transgender athletes have faced similar hurdles before and many athletic organizations have implemented policies addressing them, such as the International Olympic Committee, which requires an athlete to have undergone reassignment surgery and hormone treatment for a period of time before being allowed to compete as the gender with which they identify. (Via Trans Athlete)
A date for the trial has not been set, but Johnson is seeking $2.5 million for alleged emotional distress she suffered.
Published: Fri, 07 Mar 2014 11:59:39 -0800
An Arkansas circuit judge announced his withdrawal from the Arkansas Court of Appeals race after several publications called him out for alledgedly leaving some shocking anonymous comments online.
"Circuit Judge Mike Maggio posted the comments on Tiger Droppings; that's an LSU fan message board. He used the pseudonym of 'geauxjudge.'" (Via WVUE)
Those posts were apparently racist, sexist or just plain offensive. (Via Tiger Droppings)
According to The Week Magazine, Maggio made dozens of comments about how a person's name can affect their chances of success and how women need to take care of men's two basic needs — food and sex.
KATV reports the circuit judge also equated gay and transgender sex to bestiality.
And that's not all. According to the Blue Hog Report, which first made the accusations, Maggio allegedly posted details about actress Charlize Theron's adoption of a child months before she announced it back in 2012.
The New York Daily News reports Maggio confessed and apologized Wednesday for leaking the confidential details of Theron's adoption on the site and announced he has quit his campaign.
He said in a statement obtained by the Arkansas Times: "I take full responsibility for the comments that have been attributed to me. I apologize deeply for my lapse in personal judgment and for that, I have no excuse. The comments posted were not acceptable. These comments are not a reflection of who I am."
The day before Maggio's withdrawal, the Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission confirmed it will be conducting an investigation into the incident. It's unclear what punishment the judge will face if the allegations against him are found to be true.
Published: Fri, 07 Mar 2014 11:49:51 -0800
Sheriff's officials in Mendocino say they raided a pot dispensary with help from federal officials after discovering a cash shipment from Colorado and marijuana products headed out of state.
Nine people were arrested during the raid on four sites associated with the Mendocino-based Love In It Cooperative on Tuesday. Sheriff's officials say they also seized packaged marijuana, pot-laced food products, 800 marijuana plants, five firearms and about $65,000 in cash. They were assisted by the District Attorney's Office and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.
Mendocino County Sheriff's Capt. Greg Van Patten tells The Press Democrat of Santa Rosa that the cash and marijuana product shipments raised suspicions that the cooperative was running a for-profit business. It is illegal to profit from marijuana in California.
Most of those arrested face charges of marijuana possession for sale, among other counts.
Published: Fri, 07 Mar 2014 11:42:21 -0800
A broken sprinkler system at the top of an office building in San Francisco's Financial District sent water cascading down to the street below and drenching passersby Friday morning, according to fire officials.
A broken valve was reported at 9:27 a.m. at a building at Kearny and Market streets.
Crews responded and found the malfunctioning sprinkler system on the top level of the 12-story building, fire officials said.
No injuries were reported.
The manager at Hakkasan restaurant on the building's second floor said staff had seen the water falling, but said the flooding had not affected restaurant operations.
Tyrone Jue, spokesman for the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, said the leak did not appear to be connected to a city-owned water line.
Published: Fri, 07 Mar 2014 10:59:59 -0800
Two people suffered serious burns Friday morning in a suspicious San Jose house fire, authorities said.
San Jose fire Capt. Reggie Williams said neighbors called in the fire at a home in the 2900 block of Aetna Way at about 3:45 a.m.
“When we got here the fire was heavily involved in the rear of the home,” he told reporters. “It appears to have started in an overhang or patio enclosure and spread to the home.”
Two residents -- a male and female -- were inside the home at the time of the blaze and had a difficult time escaping, according to Williams.
There were bars on all the windows and exterior doors, and the residents escaped the home through the rear where the fire was burning, Williams said.
Williams said the two residents suffered "critical burns" and were transported to a hospital for treatment.
He added that an arson investigator was at the residence, which is now considered a crime scene.
Published: Fri, 07 Mar 2014 10:38:03 -0800
A California boy who was treated for leukemia and became famous as "Batkid" got to spend time with another superhero after his planned appearance at the Academy Awards was cut.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences says Andrew Garfield, who plays Spider-Man on the big screen, spent time on Monday with 5-year-old Miles Scott and his family at Disneyland.
The two had been set to be on the Oscars the previous day, but the academy said segments sometimes have to be cut when producing a live show.
Miles battled the Riddler and Joker as Batkid last November in San Francisco. His wish was made possible by the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
His family said Miles was diagnosed with leukemia when he was 18 months old and ended treatments in June.
Published: Fri, 07 Mar 2014 10:19:03 -0800
The owner of a San Francisco-based Web hosting service that operated servers for a Japanese website that advertised the sale of child pornography was sentenced to 20 years in prison Thursday, according to the US Attorney's Office.
Kimihiko Makino, 40, a Japanese national, pleaded guilty on June 24, 2013, to advertising child pornography, admitting to operating servers in San Francisco for the Japanese site "Daio," according to federal officials.
The website contains thousands of visual depictions of children, most of them under the age of eight, being sexually abused.
Makino was arrested and indicted in July of 2012 while he was visiting the United States for the purpose of maintaining Daio's servers, federal officials said.
Japanese officials have indicted and convicted 10 others associated with Daio in a related investigation.
In addition to the prison sentence, Makino was also ordered to pay $10,000 in restitution to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and to serve five years of supervised release.
Published: Fri, 07 Mar 2014 10:13:15 -0800
Rangers at California's Redwood National and State Park are now taking desperate measures to stop poachers from dismembering coastal redwoods to support, among other things, their drug addictions.
The rangers say they've had to close areas of the park from sunset to sunrise and increase their patrols to prevent criminals, mostly drug users, from poaching the legendary trees. (Via KTVU)
With increased frequency, poachers have been sneaking into the park at night on ATVs and hacking off redwood burls — large, knotted pieces of wood that protrude from the trees' trunks. (Via Fox News)
Rangers say many of those they've caught committing the crime, which could amount to a felony, were selling desirable redwood pieces as a way to support their drug habits.
One park ranger told Digital Journal: "When I interview suspects, that is the (reason) they say: their addiction to drugs and they can't find jobs."
Ninety-five percent of the redwood tree population has been cut down over the last 150 years, the remaining 5 percent is now protected in state parks.
The Huffington Post explains redwood burls are valuable because they're large enough to build tables and other pieces of furniture. California's coastal redwoods in particular are "prized for their beauty, age and size."
The trees can live to be thousands of years old, grow more than 350 feet tall and are also fire resistant. Recent studies also suggest they're the best trees at capturing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. (ViaYouTube / Steven Poe)
That makes them invaluable in the battle against climate change. Redwood burls are desired for their marbled appearance, and can sell for as much as $3 a pound.
Published: Fri, 07 Mar 2014 08:23:47 -0800
For the first time ever, an asteroid has been photographed breaking apart in space.
NASA's Hubble telescope was able to capture images between October and January showing the asteroid gradually crumbling into 10 smaller pieces.
The biggest chunk is 650 ft. in diameter. And the leftover bits weigh a total of 200,000 tons. (Via European Space Agency / Hubble)
In a news release from HubbleSite, lead study author David Jewitt says this kind of breakup hasn't been observed before. "Seeing it fall apart before our eyes is pretty amazing."
The asteroid, called P/2013 R3, was first spotted in the asteroid belt between Jupiter and Mars in September. The Keck Observatory took photos of it when it appeared to be only three objects in a cloud of dust. It was so odd that the Hubble telescope was called to the task.
Jewitt blames what he calls "quite pathetic radiation" for the disintegration. According to the Los Angeles Times, small numbers of photons have been bouncing off the asteroid for billions of years, and that was enough to break it apart.
Discovery helps explain the process: The sun warms one side of the asteroid, creating infrared radiation that makes the object spin more quickly over time. "Should the spinning become faster than the structure of the asteroid can hold itself together, centrifugal forces can literally rip it apart."
In other words, it was a gradual build up over millennia that caused the asteroid to spin itself to death. NASA created a graphic showing what the whole asteroid might have looked like just last year. The chunks are drifting away from one another at the leisurely pace of about one mile an hour. Most of the pieces from the space rock will end up colliding with the sun, but a few of them could fall into Earth's orbit as meteors.
Published: Fri, 07 Mar 2014 08:23:37 -0800
A woman in Texas is taking the high road when it comes to her cheating husband — and taking out an ad.
Check this out — "I would lie to say congratulations to Shara Cormier and Patrick Brown...They are expecting a baby. Hope you both are really in love and I hope it works out." Signed by Patrick's wife, Timeshia Brown. (Via Daily Mail)
And we're calling it hilarious. It's unclear exactly when the ad was published, but the pic was posted earlier this week. If it wasn't a prank, we say well done, Timeshia.
We saw a similar move last March, when a woman named Jennifer bought a billboard to advertise the GPS tracker that helped catching her cheating husband. (Via New York Daily News)
While this ad might be smaller in size, it's classier in wording, which we sort of love. And as the Metro points out, it gets the job done.
No one seems to have tracked down Timeshia yet, but according to the Dallas Morning News, the ad was posted in a Texas newspaper.
Bottom line — maybe next time he'll think before he cheats.
Published: Fri, 07 Mar 2014 08:23:28 -0800
A SUV overturned and burst into flames in the eastbound direction of the San Francisco Bay Bridge early Friday, triggering a massive traffic backup leaving the city.
The three-vehicle collision between a red pickup truck, a silver sedan and another vehicle was reported at 7:39 a.m. near Treasure Island at the height of the morning rush hour, according to the California Highway Patrol.
Three eastbound lanes were initially blocked. Two lanes reopened as of 8:24 a.m. and one lane will remain closed because of a previously planned Caltrans closure, according to the CHP.
An ambulance was at the scene because at least one person involved in the crash suffered minor injuries.
A Sig Alert was issued for the eastbound bridge commute and remained in effect beyond the normal end of the rush hour.
Published: Fri, 07 Mar 2014 08:03:20 -0800
Dublin's mayor and police chief went before an overflow crowd Thursday evening, to address the recent spate of home burglaries, including one in which an elderly woman was tied up while her home was ransacked.
"We take this very, very serious, when someone ties up a poor person, that's serious, " Chief Tom McCarthy told an audience that packed the City Council Chambers, filling every seat and spilling onto the floor.
The chief immediately announced that two men were in custody as possible suspects in Monday night's incident in the Positano neighborhood of East Dublin.
"We did surveillances, identified, and have taken two people into custody within 24 hours," McCarthy said, "And we're now doing simultaneous search warrants in two different cities."
The chief said the men in gloves and ski masks who broke into the house on Cerreto Street were as surprised to see the elderly homeowner as she was to see them. It was 9 p.m., and she'd gone to bed. They had knocked, gotten no answer, and assumed no one was home. The resident was not injured in the home invasion.
Burglaries are up everywhere, said McCarthy as he rattled off some of the neighboring jurisdictions, which are sharing information with each other to try to make arrests.
Some citizens who attended the meeting called for more police officers or a substation closer to the east side of town. They notes that their neighborhood was still growing with new housing and needs a visible police presence.
"We've made the calls and no one ever comes, "complained resident Del Andres.
The chief responded that residents often call dispatch, but decline to be contacted by an officer. He urged people to follow through, be available to law enforcement and insisted that Dublin's police numbers have kept pace with its population.
"I can't put an officer out there full-time," the chief said, "because he'd be on one street and something would be happening on another street. I have to keep my officers mobile."
Others at the meeting wondered if budget constraints were the real reason Dublin doesn't have more officers.
"We're just saying, as a community, is it money?" asked resident Kirt Stoffer, "then say 'we need more money.”
City officials insist that at 1.3 officers per 1,000 residents, Dublin is actually above average compared to similar communities.
McCarthy recommends installing home surveillance systems to help deter and track down burglars. And since thieves have taken to entering through second story windows to evade cameras and alarms, he advises tightening defenses.
"If you don't have alarms on your second-floor windows, I'm telling you now – put them on," he said.
And he admonished those who leave doors and windows unlocked while away from their homes to lock-up, the easiest prevention of all.
Published: Fri, 07 Mar 2014 07:57:00 -0800
A Hayward grandfather dropped his 3-year-old grandson out of a second story window to the waiting arms of a relative late Thursday night and then leaped to safety with his wife as flames roared through the family’s apartment, authorities said.
It was one of two fires that erupted in a Hayward neighborhood overnight. Authorities do not know if the two are related.
Crews responded to multiple reports of a fire in the 22000 block of Seventh Street just before 11 p.m. Thursday, Hayward fire spokesman Don Nichelson said.
Arriving firefighters were confronted with a chaotic scene.
Three people had jumped to safety the ground about 25 feet down. A grandfather had dropped his 3-year-old grandson from a second-floor window to the child's aunt who made a basket catch on the ground.
Nichelson said there was heavy smoke and fire coming from a top floor apartment of a two-story, four-unit building.
The child was transported to a hospital for evaluation but was uninjured. His grandparents were injured from the jump. The extent of their injuries was not immediately available.
The fire, which originated in the kitchen, was knocked down at about 11:15 p.m.
Nichelson said the apartment was a total loss. The three other apartments in the building sustained smoke and water damage but were salvageable.
About five hours later, a fire raged through a carport about a block away. At nine vehicles were damaged and the structure was completely destroyed by the blaze.
There were no injuries in the second fire. Both fires remain under investigation.
Published: Fri, 07 Mar 2014 06:46:14 -0800
It appears that the pregnant South Carolina woman who drove her minivan with her three young children into the surf at Daytona Beach has some tragic ties to Florida.
The Charleston, S.C. paper The Post and Courier reports Ebony Wilkerson, 32, was cited in a fatal car wreck in Delray Beach on Feb. 23, 2007.
That day, an Ebony Wilkerson of Delray Beach was northbound on Interstate 95 when she switched lanes and hit the rear of a Nissan driven by a Fort Lauderdale man, Douglas Krane. Krane lost control of the car as it traveled across several lanes and slammed into a concrete barrier. Krane was not harmed, but his 35-year-old wife Jennifer Krane was taken to Delray Medical Center with critical injuries, The Palm Beach Post reported that day.
Jennifer Krane died several days later.
Details about any citation in the case were not immediately available.
A Volusia County Sheriff’s Office spokesman said Thursday that Ebony Wilkerson was still being evaluated under the Baker Act, according to The Associated Press. The law that allows authorities to involuntarily take people into custody if they seem to be a threat to themselves.
No one was injured in Wilkerson’s drive into the ocean Tuesday.
Bystanders and officers helped pull her and her children — ages 3, 9 and 10 — from their minivan as it was almost submerged.
Wilkerson was stopped in her vehicle by police officers two hours before she drove into the ocean. Her sister called police worried since Wilkerson had been talking about demons.
The officers found her lucid and let her go.
Published: Fri, 07 Mar 2014 06:26:53 -0800
It could have been an entirely different story. A blind man fell onto the tracks of a moving metro train Thursday in Los Angeles, and he will live to tell the tale. KCBS has cell phone video from the scene.
The unidentified man was injured, but it was from the fall — not the train.
â€‹The man had fallen directly between the rail and platform. The train had come to a screeching halt, and the doors were manually opened to let off the passengers before emergency personnel arrived on the scene.
The LA fire department was able to get the man out from under the second car of the six-car train. He is listed as in fair condition at a local hospital. (Via KNBC)
Paul Gonzalez is a spokesperson for LA's transportation authority. He told the Los Angeles Times, "It really is a miracle. It's something you only see on TV."
This is the third time since 2012 that a Redline train has passed over a person, but this is the first time a person wasn't seriously injured. (Via KABC)
See more at newsy.com.
Published: Fri, 07 Mar 2014 06:22:37 -0800
Bernard Marsonek’s neighbors called police when they saw him attempting to be intimate with the animal.
"When officers arrived on the scene, they were greeted by a small crowd of residents who were disturbed by their neighbor's activity with the dog," cops said.
They continued, “several of the witnesses stated that they yelled at the suspect to stop, but he ignored their commands."
Fox13 in Tampa reports a search of the house turned up a weapon and ammunition.
That added to the trouble for Marsonek because he’s a felon, and not allowed to own a gun.
The Raw Story says eight other large pit bulls were found and taken from the house by animal services.
Marsonek will now face two charges of a felon in possession of a firearm, animal cruelty, and sexual activity involving animals.
Marsonek is already out of jail after posting bond of $17,500.
Published: Fri, 07 Mar 2014 05:51:00 -0800
If you're a Netflix subscriber, you're on the hit list of cyber-criminals who want into your wallet!
Huffington Post reports some subscribers are being hit with a pop-up phony webpage that looks exactly like Netflix.
When you enter your account info to sign in, you get a message that says, "We have detected unusual activity on this account. To Protect your account for unauthorized use, we have temporarily suspended this username. To regain access to your account please contact Member Services at 1-800-947-6570."
I should note that the real Netflix customer service number is 1-866-579-7172.
If you call the fake customer service number, you're told to download special software that is a Trojan virus. It allows the criminals to take over your computer and look for sensitive financial info on it.
Netflix has become so popular that it's now a big target for crooks. Be very careful out there! If you ever need to call Netflix, make sure you call the right number. Do not respond to anything in any pop up!
For further reading:
Published: Fri, 07 Mar 2014 05:48:15 -0800
The stars dazzled Sunday at the Oscars, but one tiny superhero was absent from the festivities.
Miles Scott, a.k.a. the 5-year-old Batkid who battled leukemia then "saved" San Francisco, was scheduled to appear alongside on-screen Spiderman Andrew Garfield during a segment for the Academy Awards. (Via Make-A-Wish Foundation) But sometime before the show, the Academy axed the segment.
E! obtained a statement which read in part, "Due to the nature of a live show, hard decisions sometimes must be made which require the Academy to cut segments due to the logistics of production." What's worse is that the Scott family didn't find out until the morning of the awards show.
Natalie Scott, Miles' mother, told International Business Times the family had driven to Los Angeles and attended a Saturday rehearsal. Miles even had his tux ready to go. She said, "It got pulled so quickly that we didn’t have a lot of insight into what was going on."
It was originally believed that Garfield backed out of the segment leaving Miles hanging. (Via Us Weekly)
But more recent reports say Garfield was just as upset when their bit was omitted from the show. In a statement released by his reps, Garfield made it up to Miles by accompanying the Scott family to Disneyland Monday and gave his crime-fighting friend, Batkid, a personal gift. (Via Vanity Fair)
Garfield is set to reprise his role as Spiderman in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 which will hit theaters May 2.
Published: Fri, 07 Mar 2014 05:00:37 -0800
Later sunsets and delayed sunrises are just days away as we prepare to spring an hour forward Sunday, March 9. Daylight Saving Time is upon us.
The twice-a-year time jump will begin at 2 a.m. and last until Nov. 2, when clocks will fall back an hour.
If you use a smartphone and it is set to "set automatically" you won't have to do anything. But older clocks, microwaves and other appliances will need their clocks reset before you go to bed Saturday.
There's a national petition to end Daylight Savings Time here.
Published: Fri, 07 Mar 2014 03:26:00 -0800
The merger deal announced Thursday between Safeway and Albertsons has sparked many questions about what would happen to the Bay Area based Safeway grocery store chain.
The merger is far from being a done deal, however Safeway has a so-called "go shop" window to solicit and accept proposals from other companies. There are also anti-trust proceedings that would need to be completed.
An Albertsons' spokeswoman told KTVU late Thursday night that if the proposed merger succeeds, it would not involve any store closures, changes to the Safeway name or changes to the Safeway rewards program.
Albertsons spokeswoman Chris Wilcox told KTVU there has been no decision yet about what to do with Safeway's corporate offices in Pleasanton. One business expert says that is most likely where layoffs could occur to eliminate duplication.
Safeway and Albertsons announced the merger Thursday afternoon in a deal reportedly worth $9 billion.
The deal would combine the second and fifth largest U.S. grocery store chains. Safeway is the second-largest in the U.S. after Kroger by revenue. Albertsons - which is controlled by Cerberus Capital Management, L.P. -- ranks fifth.
"I like the deals that I get at Safeway. You know, you come and if you're a club member, you get the coupon deals and better bang for your buck," said Fre Johnson, a Safeway shopper who spoke with KTVU outside the Oakland store.
Johnson and other Safeway shoppers worry the merger might impact Safeway stores' quality, costs, and customer service.
Safeway operates 1,335 stores in 20 states. That would greatly add to Albertson's 1,075 stores in 29 states.
Albertsons' statement Thursday said the merger would result in a wider range of items, lower prices, better fresh products, and store renovations.
"This transaction offers us the opportunity to better serve customers by adapting more quickly to evolving shopping preferences in diverse regions across the country," said Albertsons' Chief Executive Officer Bob Miller in a prepared statement. "Working together will enable us to create cost savings that translate into price reductions for our customers."
The Safeway-owned store brands include Safeway, Vons, Pavilions, Randalls, Tom Thumb, Carrs stores.
Albertsons' brands include Albertsons', ACME, Jewel-Osco, Lucky, Shaw's, Star Market, Super Saver, United Supermarkets, Market Street and Amigos.
A union official with the United Food and Commercial Workers Union, Local 5 says it represents workers at Safeway stores. The union previously represented workers at Albertsons' stores and say those workers suffered when Cerberus bought the Albertsons chain in 2006.
"It was detrimental to our membership in terms of layoffs and hour reductions and loss of health and welfare and pensions and so forth and we don't want it repeated at Safeway," said Mike Henneberry, a spokesman for UFCW Local 5.
Albertsons officials said they plan to fund the merger in part with debt financing of approximately $7.6 billion, equity contributions from its current investors and their affiliates, partners and co-investors of approximately $1.25 billion, and cash on hand of Safeway.
"They're facing a lot of pressure from some atypical competitors, Target, Walmart, these are broad retailers who weren't always in the grocery business but now are," said Jennifer Chatman, a UC Haas Business School Professor who specializes in organizational behavior.
Chatman says merging the two former competitors into one grocery chain will be a challenge. She says she would advise the companies to draw attention to their shared history, which could help smooth the transition.
"Both chains were founded in Idaho," Chatman told KTVU," Joe Albertson actually worked for Safeway for 10 years from 1929-1939 before he became an entrepreneur opened his own grocery in Idaho."
Longtime customers say they hope for the best.
"Hopefully Safeway can just upgrade it and be a little more organic and a little more refined, without the prices going up," said Tom Paratore of Oakland.
Albertsons' CEO Bob Miller would become executive chairman of the new combined company. Robert Edwards, Safeway's current President and Chief Executive Officer, would become President and Chief Executive Officer.
The companies said "the merger is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2014 following the satisfaction of customary closing conditions, including approval of the Merger by the holders of a majority of the outstanding shares of Safeway common stock and regulatory approvals."
The statement states that Safeway has a "go-shop" period of 21 days to work with its financial advisor Goldman Sachs to "actively solicit, receive, evaluate and potentially enter into negotiations with parties that offer alternative proposals." There will be a 15 day period following those three weeks when Safeway will be able to select a different proposal. Any competing bidder would have to pay termination fees of up to $250 million dollars.
Published: Thu, 06 Mar 2014 23:26:53 -0800