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Signal T See our pet section on pages 8 and 9 Vol. 35 No. 15 R I B U N E “Orange Kitty,” oil on canvas by Curt Miller See page 15 September 13, 2013 SERVING BIXBY KNOLLS, CALIFORNIA HEIGHTS, LOS CERRITOS, WRIGLEY AND THE CITY OF SIGNAL HILL Long Beach City Council takes new direction in regulating medical marijuana Your Weekly Community Newspaper California law requires that schools protect rights of transgender students, but repeal effort surfaces CJ Dablo Staff Writer Sean Belk/Signal Tribune Skyler Clarke, 19, stands in front of his alma mater, Polytechnic High School, where he played on the varsity girls softball team before graduating last year. Though born a female, today Clarke identifies as male and says a new state law, known as AB 1266, will go a long way to keeping transgender children safe from discrimination. Sean Belk Staff Writer Skyler Clarke today proudly lives as a male, but that wasn’t always the case. Considered the typical “tomboy” during childhood, Clarke, who was born female, enjoyed sports and played on the varsity girls softball team at Polytechnic High School in Long Beach. By the age of 16, however, he began looking into transgender issues, something Clarke didn’t feel comfortable talking about with his peers, especially the girls on the team, he said. “I was still sort of coming to terms with this idea that I maybe was just not a straight woman, but even that, which has become much more widely accepted nowadays, was something I didn’t share with my teammates,” said Clarke, who is now 19. It wasn’t until after graduating last year that he decided to make the full physical transformation, starting with taking male hormones. California is the first state in the country to pass a law requiring that all K-12th-grade schools that receive state funding protect the rights of transgender students by allowing children access to bathrooms, locker rooms and sex-segregated sports activities and programs based on their gender identity rather than their sex at birth. The unprecedented law is intended to clarify existing state legislation that bans discrimination against transgender students in public schools. AB 1266, also known as the School Success and Opportunity Act, was signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown last month and goes into effect Jan. 1, 2014. The bill was authored by Assemblymember Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco) and co-authored by Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) and Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens). According to a statement from Ammiano’s office, the new law would “help avoid future complaints and lawsuits.” In one recent case, a transgender student, who was born a female but now identifies as male, at an Arcadia high school filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education after being forced to use a bathroom in the nurse’s office. The school district has since reached a settlement by agreeing to treat all students equally. The statewide law is seen by its supporters as a “victory” for rights of transgender people and the entire lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) community. “We were incredibly thrilled when that legislation was signed,” said Porter Gilberg, administrative director of The Center Long Beach, a longtime LGBTQ community organization and advocacy group. “Transgender students face an almost insurmountable amount of harassment and discrimination in public schools. So any law that we can get on the books to increase access and equality for our transgender and gender-nonconforming students is a victory.” At the same time, an effort to repeal AB 1266 through a petition to get a measure on the ballot for the November 2014 election has recently surfaced Weekly Weather Forecast Friday Saturday Sunday see TRANSGENDER page 18 September 13 through September 17, 2013 Monday Tuesday 84° 86° 85° 83° 81° This week’s Weekly Weather Forecast sponsored by: Low clouds, then sun Mostly sunny and warm Mostly sunny Low clouds, then sun Low clouds, then sun Lo 64° Lo 63° Lo 62° Lo 62° Lo 62° It’s a “do over” moment in the continuing saga of Long Beach’s attempts to regulate pot dispensaries. City officials will begin the process of finding a way to regulate safe access to medical marijuana…again. The City Council voted 8-0 last Tuesday, Sept. 10 to request the city attorney to draft a new ordinance that would regulate dispensaries. Sixth District Councilmember Dee Andrews was not present for the vote. This time City Attorney Charles Parkin and his team have now been charged with developing a conditional-use permit (CUP) process “under the City’s zoning laws.” The full framework of a new ordinance has yet to be hashed out, however the Council did recommend parameters to the ordinance. A draft of the City Council minutes outlines them as follows: •Performance standards which include a security plan •Location restrictions within certain zones such as industrial and no residential and institutional zones CJ Dablo/Signal Tribune Adam Hijazi of the Long Beach Collectives Association, seen here at the Sept. 10 Long Beach City Council meeting, says that his advocacy group, along with other marijuana proponent groups and volunteers, collected more than 43,000 signatures for a petition that would require a special municipal election in which voters could determine how to regulate medical-marijuana dispensaries. However, earlier this week, a court did not side with the medicalmarijuana advocates, who had hoped at least to put the issue on the ballot of a general election. Fresh & Easy grocery stores to be purchased by investor The Yucaipa Companies, some to close see MARIJUANA page 15 Sean Belk/Signal Tribune The Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market at 2475 Cherry Ave. in Signal Hill has been open since 2010. Now, investment firm The Yucaipa Companies LLC plans to purchase a majority of the grocery stores, according to a company statement released Tuesday, Sept. 10. It remains unclear which stores will close as a part of the pending agreement. Sean Belk Staff Writer Investment firm The Yucaipa Companies LLC, owned by billionaire Ron Burkle, is expected to scoop up financially faltering Fresh & Easy grocery stores, which have been a money pit for British owner Tesco since their United States debut nearly six years ago. Fresh & Easy representatives announced the purchase on Tuesday, Sept. 10, stating in a message to customers that the company expects to maintain 4,000 jobs and a majority of stores, but some stores will be closing as part see FRESH & EASY page 6

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