From the daily archives: Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Imperial Valley Top Lifeguard Competition

Teams To Compete At Central Union High School on Sunday, August 22, 2010

(Imperial Valley)  Spectators are welcome at the inaugural TOP LIFEGUARD Competition, to be held on Sunday, August 22, 2010 beginning at 7:45am, at the outdoor Central Union High School pool. The El Centro Parks and Recreation has invited lifeguard teams from city and county recreation departments, non-profit organizations and private corporations to compete. Two-member teams and individuals will compete in events for TOP LIFEGUARD bragging rights and prizes to be presented at an awards ceremony immediately following the competition at approximately 12:00 pm.

The American Red Cross Imperial Valley Service Center, whose certification program is used to train and test the Imperial Valley’s lifeguards, will be on hand to support the event. Other event sponsors have generously provided gifts and prizes for the wining TOP LIFEGUARD competitors. The Central Union High School Pool is located at 1001 Brighton Avenue in El Centro just one block west of Imperial Avenue; telephone (760) 337-4443. Attendance at this family event is free.  It is recommended that individuals bring their lawn chairs umbrellas and sun block.

The Team Skills Events will consist of Submerged/Active Victim Relay, Rotation Endurance, 100 Yard Swim Relay and the fun but challenging CPR/First Aid Sinkers.  Individual Skills Events will consist of 50 yard Modified Front Crawl/Freestyle, 50 yard Modified Breast Stroke, Brick Retrieval, Active Victim Rescue and Longest Treader.  The Junior/Guard Start participants distances will be reduced by 25 yards.

The job of a lifeguard often is viewed as a romantic, “fun in the sun” job, but the Occupational Safety and Health Administration lists lifeguarding as a high-risk occupation. Lifeguards have the same professional rescuer status as emergency medical technicians, paramedics, doctors and nurses. Unlike other rescue workers, lifeguards usually are present at the scene of an emergency before it occurs, and have more opportunity to intervene and prevent accidents. When called on to act, lifeguards must react quickly and accurately to life-threatening emergencies. The TOP GUARD Competition will give our local lifeguards an  opportunity to display their endurance to handle rescues and their professional skills for emergency rescues.

For more information on the Aquatics and other recreation programs, contact city of El Centro at (760) 336-4443 or (760) 336-4445.  For all Health and Safety Training available please call your local American Red Cross at (760) 352-4541 extension 6221 or 6222.


Under the Education Jobs and Medicaid Assistance Act (H.R. 1586), which was signed by President Obama on August 10, 2010, California will receive approximately $1.2 billion to be used to save or create an estimated 16,500 K–12 jobs. Governors have 30 days from enactment to submit their state’s application for the funds, and the U.S. Department of Education must award the funds to states within 45 days of enactment. At this time, it is unclear what, if any, application process will be required for LEAs.

The Act requires that states allocate the funding to LEAs using the state’s “primary funding formulae” for K–12 education or each LEA’s share of Title I funding. This language is similar in some respects to the language for the allocation of State Fiscal Stabilization Fund (SFSF) monies under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). The SFSF language required the funds be allocated using the state’s primary funding formulae to backfill state cuts in fiscal years 2009, 2010 and 2011. Any remaining funds were to be allocated in accordance with each LEA’s share of Title 1. For the purpose of SFSF, California interpreted the “primary funding formulae” to include all general purpose and categorical funding streams. Due to the discretion involved in interpreting the primary funding formulae and the choice of the allocation method, it is impossible to predict what the allocations will be under this new law.

It is also impossible to predict when school districts will actually receive funds. Distribution of the funds is dependent on enactment of the Budget Act or other legislation authorizing the expenditure.

The Act also requires that recipients of the funding adhere to ARRA Section 1512 and Section 14008 reporting requirements. These sections require quarterly and annual reporting on expenditures and jobs created or retained using these funds.


Continuing his fight to ensure the safety of equipment used by children, Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr. today filed a lawsuit against several companies involved in manufacturing children’s bounce houses because some of the inflatable structures contain unsafe amounts of lead.

Testing done by the Center for the Environmental Health and the Attorney General’s office found that some of the vinyl in the bounce houses contains lead levels that violate both federal and state regulations.

“Kids at birthday parties can spend hours playing in bounce houses,” Brown said. “The goal of our lawsuit is to eliminate any chance they will be exposed to lead while they’re jumping around having a good time.”

Bounce houses are large inflatable structures designed for children to play in and on. Facilities that feature indoor inflatables are popular sites for children’s parties, serving millions of children a year. Companies also rent inflatables for use at children’s parties.

In February and March 2010, the Attorney General’s office received notices from the Center for Environmental Health alleging that its testing showed parts of some bounce houses were contaminated with high levels of lead, ranging from 5,000 parts per million (ppm) to 29,000 ppm. Federal limits on lead in children’s products are 90 ppm for painted surfaces and 300 ppm for all other parts.

Today’s lawsuit is intended to force these companies to stop using lead-containing vinyl immediately and to cease selling the lead-containing products. In addition, the action is intended to warn purchasers of these products, and require party places and rental companies to post warnings.

The main exposure pathway from the bounce house to the child is hand-to-mouth. Lead is transferred from the vinyl to a child’s hand during play and then to the mouth.

There is no safe exposure to lead. The tested levels of lead are not high enough by themselves to cause acute health problems, but some people, especially children, who are exposed to lead from a variety of sources can suffer health problems. For that reason, it’s important to eliminate sources of lead whenever possible.

Companies named in the lawsuit include:

Bay Area Jump
Cutting Edge Creations
Funtastic Factory, known as
Magic Jump
Leisure Activities Co.
The Inflatable Store
Jump for Fun, Inc.
Jump for Fun National, Inc.

In the past year, Brown has initiated several enforcement actions against manufacturers and retailers for lead in products designed for children.

In July, Brown reached a settlement with artificial turf manufacturers to lower lead levels in turf fields and playgrounds. In June, Brown demanded that Rainbow and 5-7-9 stores remove from shelves jewelry with parts containing as much as 97% lead.

Earlier this year, Target removed teddy bears from its stores after Brown notified the company that lead was found in the product. In November 2009, Brown warned several retailers, including Walmart, Sears and Walgreens, to remove several products designed for children that were found to contain excessive levels of lead.

A copy of today’s complaint is attached.

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By Bob Hurst

There hasn’t been much to celebrate in Baltimore this season, so when Adam Jones hit a game-winning single in the bottom of the 10th inning last Friday night, the Orioles mobbed Jones and jumped around like they had won the AL East.

It was Baltimore’s fourth straight win, matching its season high, and made new manager Buck Showalter 4-0 with the team. The Orioles finished their homestand at 6-1 and won their seventh in eight games under Showalter on Tuesday night.

Everything’s looking a lot more cheerful in the clubhouse of the team with baseball’s worst record (39-74 through Tuesday). A lot of the credit can be given to Showalter, who went from an analyst with ESPN to the dugout again.

“Everybody, including me, is thirsting for good things to happen,” Showalter said after winning his first game with the Orioles last week by a 6-3 final over the Los Angeles Angels at Camden Yards in Baltimore. “It’s one day, one game — but it was fun.”

Showalter returned as a major league manager for the first time since 2006. He had an 882-833 record as manager of the New York Yankees, Arizona Diamondbacks and Texas Rangers, winning two manager of the year awards after turning those teams around.

“He’s been on winning ballclubs,” Jones said. “He knows what it takes. Everybody knows his reputation around here. They know it as someone who’s going to get on you, and it’s working for us.

“People are on their P’s and Q’s and playing the game. We’re just playing the game smarter.”

The Orioles, who were 7-14 in their first 21 games since the All-Star break, swept the Angels for the first time since 1999 on a game-winning single by Cezar Izturis in a 5-4 victory. Then they beat the AL Central-leading Chicago 2-1 in their next game on Jones’ hit and took three of four from the White Sox, making it the first time this season that the Orioles have won consecutive series.

In Monday’s game, Brian Roberts hit his first homer of the year, a walk-off in the 10th inning for a 3-2 victory over the Sox. On Tuesday, Baltimore blew out Cleveland 14-8 behind four home runs.

“God knows they’ve had enough negative,” Showalter said of his players. “I just step back and watch them (celebrate), knowing how challenging and painful this season has been so far.”

Baltimore ranks 28th in runs scored with 424, but plated 20 runs in the three games with the Angels, and averaged 5.6 runs in its first eight games under Showalter.

“They’re totally different,” Angels outfielder Torii Hunter said. “They’ve been hitting some good pitching, swinging the bats well, hitting doubles, hitting homers. A lot of guys, they’re doing their thing and stepping up.”

The pitching also has improved. Baltimore’s starters had a 1.89 ERA during the homestand. The Orioles rank 28th in the majors  with a 5.06 ERA.

“I think it’s what people anticipated and hoped for back in March,” said Jeremy Guthrie, who has won three of his last four starts. “It’s taken longer to see what kind of potential we have.”

Guthrie (6-11) outdueled the White Sox’s Mark Buehrle in Sunday’s 4-3 win, which featured a home run by Felix Pie.

“If we pitch like this, we can play with anybody,” Showalter said. “It’s not like these guys have never pitched well this year. And they seem to be feeding off each other.”

There’s nothing the Orioles can do to avoid a 13th consecutive losing season, but with Showalter at the helm, it appears that riding out the season will be a lot happier than in recent years.

“It’s real fun to be an Oriole right now,” said rookie right-hander Jake Arrieta, Tuesday’s winner.

Quotable: “I’d play against those guys with one leg. We have to beat these guys. I hate the Cardinals. All they do is bitch and moan about everything, all of them, they’re little bitches, all of ’em. I really hate the Cardinals. Com

Diamond Notes: Toronto’s J.P. Arencibia went 4-for-5 with two home runs, a double and three RBIs in his major league debut on Saturday. He is the first player with four hits and two homers in his debut in the modern era (since 1900)…In that game, the Blue Jays slugged eight home runs in a 17-11 win over Tampa Bay. It was their most in a game since hitting a major league record 10 against Baltimore in 1987…The next game was a 1-0 score, with the Jays coming out on top again on Sunday. In that one, Brandon Morrow lost his no-hit bid with two outs in the ninth inning on a base hit by the Rays’ Evan Longoria. Morrow struck out a career-high 17 batters.

Copyright © 2010  Bob Hurst. All Rights Reserved. Distributed by Hurst Sports Media.


By Mario Conde

The County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to appeal Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker’s ruling overturning proposition 8 that made it illegal of same-sex couples to get married.

Last week, gay groups across America celebrated a federal court decision striking down the state’s ban on same-sex marriage as unconstitutional. California voters decided in November 2008 to define marriage in California as the union between a man and a woman and made it illegal for same-sex couples to get married. The County Board of Supervisors decided to intervene on behalf of the voters of Imperial Valley in a federal lawsuit that tried to overturn proposition 8 known as Perry vs. Arnold Schwarzenegger. The Advocates for Faith and Freedom filed a motion in the Court in San Francisco on behalf of the County of Imperial to intervene in the federal lawsuit challenging California’s Proposition 8.

The board took the decision to intervene in this case last December since the Imperial County voters supported this proposition with 68% of the vote. Then Chairman of the Board, Wally Leimgruber, said the county needed to intervene fast since the law firm that invited them to be part of case told them that the trial will start in January. In that close session meeting in December, Supervisors Wyatt and Kelly voted against the motion to intervene. The board gave direction County Counsel not to engage in separate discovery or participate through the introduction of new evidence at trial.

The issues that were looked during the case were if whether the characteristics defining gays and lesbians as a class might in any way affect their ability to contribute to society; whether sexual orientation can be changed, and if so, whether gays and lesbians should be encouraged to change it; whether the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage leads to increased stability in opposite-sex marriage or alternatively whether permitting same-sex couples to marry destabilizes opposite-sex marriage.

The Federal Judge ruled that Proposition 8 violated the constitution as gay groups celebrated the decision all over the United States. The County Board of Supervisors voted again in closed session to appeal the decision of the judge to deny the motion to intervene. County Counsel Michael Rood said that the County is appealing based on the decision of the federal judge and the denial to the county to intervene. The vote came 4-1 having this time Supervisor Gary Wyatt opposing the motion to appeal. The case is expected to go to the Supreme Court were the decision will be made if same-sex marriage is constitutional or not.

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