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Transgender ban would be anti-military

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When President Donald Trump abruptly declared on Twitter that “the United States Government will not accept or allow Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military,” he gleefully overturned the Obama administration’s 2016 carefully researched and meticulously planned inclusion of transgender service members in the armed forces.

But he also lobbed the latest grenade in a long-simmering conflict over the identity of soldiers and the meaning of the military in American life – a duel between those who see the armed forces as an exclusively martial male, straight, and largely white and Christian enterprise, and those who recognize that the military must reflect the diversity of the U.S. population.

The military has long been a flash point for social conflict because it operates as a legitimizing institution in American life. Citizenship has historically intertwined with military service, and once the military recognizes a marginalized group as an equal member of the services, it legitimizes them in civil society as well.

This debate over who can be a legitimate soldier is a recurring feature of the history of inclusion and exclusion in the military. In World War I, military leaders fretted about the large percentages of foreign-born – often Catholic and Jewish – immigrant soldiers. In World War II, the government initially excluded Japanese Americans from military conscription before reversing course and allowing them to enlist. The military also segregated African Americans and limited them to menial jobs until 1948. Women, too, have historically been excluded from many military spaces, facing significant discrimination and harassment as they gained access to more military occupational specialties including, now, combat positions. Gay and lesbian personnel served in the closet until five years ago, fearing discovery of their sexual orientation would produce courts-martial and dishonorable discharges.

In all of these cases – race, religion, country of origin, gender, sexuality – political and military officials mobilized the language of “efficiency,” “effectiveness,” “readiness” and “disruption” to exclude people from service. But in each case, the military also eventually changed its policies and used the very same language to promote inclusion on the basis of creating an “efficient,” “effective” and “ready” fighting force.

Since the turn to an all-volunteer force in 1973, the urgent need for manpower has promoted ever greater inclusion: of racial and religious minorities, of women, of gays and lesbians, of immigrants and of transgender people. The pragmatic need for people to fill and sustain the ranks undergirded these shifts, whether enacted by a commander in chief, the military hierarchy or civilian legislation. When the Obama administration dismantled “don’t ask, don’t tell” and then allowed for the inclusion of transgender people, it followed in the path of opening the military to new people to meet the needs of the force.

Neither the inclusion of transgender people nor the changes in personnel before it constituted, as critics have charged, “social engineering” in a prospective, calculated sense. But inclusion has had consequences. The military has been a participant in and sometimes even an unintentional driver of social change. When forced to train, worship, sleep and eat together, Americans have learned about one another and often realized – as frequently memorialized in World War II-era novels and movies – that shared experiences can overcome divergent backgrounds.

The military included Catholics and Jews as chaplains even as anti-Catholicism and anti-Semitism reigned in U.S. public life. The military desegregated prior to public schools. The military opened staff corps positions to women as the Equal Rights Amendment failed to be ratified. The repeal of don’t ask, don’t tell preceded the Supreme Court decisions in Windsor, which struck down the Defense of Marriage Act for treating same-sex and opposite-sex couples differently under federal law, and Obergefell, which legalized gay marriage nationally.

This tradition of opening the military to marginalized Americans derives from pragmatic rather than progressive views. But once the military recognizes these groups as equal, it becomes harder for civilian society to overtly retain prejudices and rescind (or forego) civil rights.

There is nothing pragmatic about excluding transgender people from the military. Trump’s announcement followed the script of conservative members of the House of Representatives who just weeks ago attempted to roll back transgender inclusion by citing the purported costs in surgeries and hormone treatments, money they assert could instead be spent on weapons or training.

In fact, the costs to the military will be greater if the policy is rolled back. Not only does the inevitable litigation tie up funds, time and people, but the loss of transgender people will undermine readiness. There are transgender personnel who, much like the discharged gay Arab and Farsi linguists under the don’t ask, don’t tell regime, perform essential military duties. It is the fear of recognizing the military as a diverse, integrated institution and of seeing transgender people in uniform that drives Trump and others to try to restrict military space to cisgender people: If the military accepts them, civil society will, too.

Ronit Y. Stahl is a fellow in the Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy at the University of Pennsylvania. Jennifer Mittelstadt is a professor of history at Rutgers University and author of “The Rise of the Military-Welfare State.”

Seahawks’ Bennett announces scholarship plans for Charleena Lyles’ children

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Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett hosted a rally and benefit for the children of Charleena Lyles, killed by Seattle police on June 18, at Judkins Park on Saturday.

Bennett, an active Black Lives Matter supporter, helped put together the event in hopes of bringing change and awareness, but also to raise money and support for Lyles’ family and children.

Lyles, 30, had reported a burglary attempt at her Magnuson Park home. The two officers who responded to her call contend Lyles was shot after brandishing a knife. An investigation is ongoing.

RELATED: ‘Say her name’: Charleena Lyles remembered

During his speech opening the event before a crowd of several hundred, he announced his plans to raise money throughout the upcoming NFL season to pay for scholarships for each of her three children.

Following Bennett’s words, families who said they were victims of police violence spoke about the loss of their loved ones.

RELATED: Questions linger over Charleena Lyles shooting

Lyles’ cousin performed spoken-word pieces and prominent Black Lives Matter and racial equality activists also spoke.

Charleena Lyles is a 30-year-old, pregnant mother who was shot and killed by two Seattle police officers. The police officers claim that Lyles was unruly and unstable, her sister Monika Williams says that isn’t true about her sister at all. Williams explains, “if you met her, you would be drawn in. I don’t care what she was going through or what anybody was trying to bring to her, she would hit it with a smile.” Her family has spent the last few weeks celebrate Lyles’ life and trying to reach as many people as they can to let them know that Lyles’ was innocent and wrongfully killed.

Bennett signed Seahawks-themed chairs and a canopy, which were auctioned to kick off his fundraising effort. 

Ironman Santa Rosa competitor races to honor fallen comrades

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Mike Ergo knows fear.

The 34-year-old Marine spent two tours in Iraq, including fighting in Operation Phantom Fury during the Second Battle of Fallujah in 2004, a six-week battle considered the bloodiest of the Iraq War.

He came home intact, physically at least. Many of his friends did not.

Ergo, a veterans counselor in Concord who spent time in Santa Rosa as a youth, has channeled that fear into an emotional fundraising effort to remember his fallen comrades and help other veterans reintegrate into society.

In Saturday’s Ironman Santa Rosa, he will compete with the 29 names of his buddies from the 1st Battalion, 8th Marines on his triathlon shirt.

His campaign has raised $6,790 of an $18,000 goal (1-8 for the battalion’s nickname), which will go to the San Ramon-based Sentinels of Freedom. That’s a nonprofit that takes a holistic approach to helping severely wounded or injured post-9/11 veterans become self-sufficient and productive members of their communities as they return to civilian life.

The organization puts veterans into a two- to four-year program, provides them a vehicle, career training, ongoing mentoring and other assistance re-entering their communities. They attend school and have the option to buy a home at the end of their four years.

Ironman organizers spotted Ergo’s application for the Santa Rosa race and pounced on the opportunity to help spread the word about his efforts.

They surprised him with a gift entry into the mother of all Ironman triathlons, the Ironman World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, in October.

When Ergo came home from war, he admits he was lost. He felt no purpose, no mission, no connection to himself or others. He began drinking. A lot. He was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. He was drifting.

“After a few years of heavy drinking to avoid the pain of combat memories, I changed my life and sobered up,” he writes in his blog. “I found connection with family, community, and a purpose — to help others heal just as my counselors helped me.”

He saw himself heading down a self-destructive path. After finally taking a Vietnam veteran neighbor’s advice to seek counseling, Ergo realized he was in danger again — unless he acted fast.

“That scare the living daylights out of me. I used fear as a guide to move toward my next step in life,” he said.

Shortly after that, a friend gave him a gift certificate to a half-marathon, which he completed.

Then, in 2014, he happened to be in Hawaii the same time as the Kona triathlon. He believes things happen for a reason.

“I felt that same sense of fear. But I thought, ‘I could do something like this. I have no idea how I could do this, but this is my next step,’” he said.

“I used to be controlled by fear, and when that happened I’d head straight for the bottle. Now, I use it. It’s mixed with excitement now. I know it’s become my friend and so I’m OK.”

Ergo was speaking with a veterans counselor about how he was feeling and what he had planned for the future, and the counselor asked if he’d ever considered helping other vets.

Find out more

www.crowdrise.com/ SentinelsofFreedom/fundraiser/michaelergo

www.sentinelsoffreedom.org

Heat wave to bring 106 degrees to Portland, National Weather Service predicts

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The National Weather Service has revised its forecast for Wednesday and Thursday in the Portland area, setting 106 degrees as the predicted high for those days and warning that one model had temps hitting a whopping 113 degrees.

A high of 106 would be one degree short of tying the city’s record high temperature — 107 degrees, which was reached on Aug. 10, 1981; Aug. 8, 1981; and July 30, 1965.

On Friday, the weather service had predicted a high of 101 on Wednesday and a high of 95 on Thursday.

Additional computer modeling has added to the weather service’s belief that 106 degrees is possible, service meteorologist Will Ahue said.

The model that predicted a high of 113 is one of dozens that meteorologists ran, Ahue said. The likelihood is “very low” that temperatures will reach quite that high, he said.

“We have a strong upper level (high pressure) ridge building over the area with a strong thermal trough centering over the Willamette Valley,” Ahue said.

He explained the phenomenon further in an email to The Oregonian/OregonLive:

A strong upper level ridge of high pressure is forecasted to build into the Pacific Northwest next week. This ridge of high pressure will essentially place a large dome of hot air over the region. The reason for this is that the air under the ridge is sinking and as it sinks it is compressed and heats up. A strong upper level ridge will generally bring warm and dry conditions at the surface during the summer, especially without the influence of the marine air.

The predicted high on Monday is 91, on Tuesday it’s 98 and on Friday it’s 99.

The Portland area’s high temperature Saturday, Aug. 5, is expected to drop to 87 as “the high pressure shifts inland and the trough moves inland,” Ahue said in an interview. Earlier this week, the weather service had expected Friday to begin reflected the cooling trend.

Also on Saturday, government officials said they are taking steps to prepare for the extreme heat.

“We are opening discussions with TriMet, fire (and) the Portland Bureau of Emergency Management,” said Michael Cox, spokesperson for Mayor Ted Wheeler.

“We’re going to try to get moving on some cooling centers,” Cox said.

TriMet’s MAX trains are limited to 35 miles per hour when temperatures exceed 100 degrees, spokesperson Roberta Altstadt said. When temperatures exceed 90 degrees, the speed is reduced by 10 mph in high speed areas, she said, noting that MAX trains can hit 60 mph in those areas.

When high temperatures hit the city, Portland Police Bureau officers typically “will check on people who they believe might be in distress and needing assistance,” spokesman Sgt. Chris Burley said, adding that officers sometimes are supplied with bottled water to hand out to people.

Portland General Electric is expecting power to flow as normal. About two-thirds of PGE’s residential customers have some kind of air-conditioning in their home, spokesman Stan Sittser said. 

“The electrical grid is built to handle extreme temperatures,” Sittser said. He added that “those high temperatures will put the grid to the test.”

A lot of hydro power is available due to abundant rain and snow this winter, Sittser said. Also, some customers allow the company to adjust their power use during times of high electrical demand.

— The Oregonian’s Carli Brosseau contributed to this report.

–Allan Brettman

abrettman@oregonian.com

503-294-5900

@allanbrettman

The story of a NY Post legend and the serial killer that needed him

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On July 31, 1977 — 40 years ago Monday — David Berkowitz struck his last victims at the corner of Shore Parkway and Bay 14th Street in Bath Beach, Brooklyn. There, Robert Violante and Stacy Moskowitz, both 20, were out on their first date after meeting a few days earlier at “Gong Show Night” at Beefsteak Charlie’s in Sheepshead Bay. The couple had taken in a movie and driven to Shore Parkway. They walked around the park, played on the swings and spotted a lone man standing with his arms folded. Moskowitz grew nervous and they returned to the car. Neither saw Berkowitz coming. He stood at the passenger window shortly before 3 a.m. and blasted them. Two bullets hit Moskowitz in the head and neck, and a third pierced Violante’s left eye.

The madman’s year-long reign of terror had begun on July 29, 1976, when he opened fire with his .44-caliber revolver on two young women in car in Pelham Bay Park, the Bronx, killing 18-year-old Donna Lauria, and injuring 19-year-old Jody Valenti. By the time he was captured on Aug. 10, 1977 at his Yonkers home, “the Son of Sam,” as the killer eventually became known, had murdered six innocents and wounded seven. The spree paralyzed Gotham. Legendary columnist Steve Dunleavy was The Post’s chief reporter on the story, and even engaged in a front-page correspondence with the killer. Here he recalls the night he spent in the hospital with the Moskowitz and Violante families during the gut-wrenching hours as they waited to see if their children would live or die. The retired journo — who participated in the Investigation Discovery documentary, “Son of Sam: The Hunt for a Killer,” premiering Aug. 5 at 9-11 pm — also recounts his discovery of key clues to Berkowitz’s coming rampage, which cops had ignored.

Blood was seeping through the bandages that covered the gaping head wounds of the beautiful young couple.

The putrid mongrel who called himself the “Son of Sam” had claimed his last two victims in his one man war against New York, reducing the city into a messy, nervous breakdown.

Stacy Moskowitz and Bobby Violante lay as still as stone on the stretchers that moved swiftly but silently through the lobby of Kings County Hospital.

‘I need you now Dunleavy … I should really kill you but I need you…’

 – David Berkowitz in a letter to Steve DunleavyJerry Moskowitz, an ice cream salesman and Stacy’s father, whispered silently, “Oh, Jesus. Oh boy.” Neysa Moskowitz moaned, “What they have done to my little girl?”

‘I need you now Dunleavy … I should really kill you but I need you…’

Bobby’s father, Pat Violante, says, “He is such a good boy. A real American boy.”

The animal killer — who in real life we would soon find out was named David Berkowitz — had outdid his infamy in the wee hours of July 31st, exactly 40 years ago.

I was standing with the two families, the only reporter in that hospital lobby to witness the agony of the families of the last two victims. For the next 24 hours, I witnessed both Brooklyn families suffer heart-wrenching pain, display superhuman strength and embrace faith in humanity.

The two young kids are now being wheeled into surgery.

Neysa is talking animatedly to Teresa Violante, Bobby’s mother. They never would have known each other if they hadn’t been thrust together by tragedy. “He is such a beautiful boy,” Neysa says. “When he came to pick her up in the apartment, he was so handsome. He looked like Mark Spitz, the swimmer.”

Dr. Shahib, a Palestinian, walks out of the OR and addresses the two couples.

“We’re worried about the extent of her head wound.”

“They are both conscious and responding to life signs.”

The doctor is very conscious of not raising hopes. Both couples are scared to step on the rollercoaster of optimism.

It is painful to watch their agony.

Suddenly there is activity at the entrance to the recovery room.
A stretcher is being wheeled out.

It’s difficult to be sure who is on this stretcher, the form is shrouded in sheets.

There is a shaved head visible.

“That’s my boy. Oh, look at him,” says Pat Violante in despair.

“No, it’s Stacy, Pat. They have her bra on the stretcher,” Neysa counters.

Nobody was sure what they were seeing and everyone sinks back into nervous depression.

The rollercoaster is unremitting.

The Moskowitzes have now been joined by their younger daughter, Ricki, 16. She looks just like Farrah Fawcett.

“Mom, it’s not Stacy. She’s going to be okay. She’s going to be okay,” Ricki assures.

Neysa looks like she’s about to crack.

She then tells me of another tragedy — about her 10-year-old daughter. The child died after accidentally consuming adult medication.

How much can one mother take?

The couples, one Jewish, the other Italian-Catholic, quietly pray together.

Neysa repeats over and over to herself, “He hurt my baby.”

The Son of Sam became my pen pal. It was not something that was supposed to happen.

As disgusting as they were, his vicious and insane ramblings in the many letters he sent me gave varying and important clues to his twisted personality.

“I need you now Dunleavy … I should really kill you but I need you…” he wrote in one missive.

In another: “When I killed, I really saved many lives. You will understand later. People want my blood but they don’t want to listen to what I have to say … I am doomed now, my fate has already been decided. There are other ‘Sons” out there — God help the world.”

Basically, David Berkowitz was a faceless nerd who could not walk among real men. He had to use threats about the streets running with the blood of his victims to feel important and strong. They were the threats of a bully who in fact has no guts.

He was finally arrested, 11 days after his last attack, after police traced a parking ticket that had been slapped on his car on that last bloody night in Brooklyn.

Like many serial killers, he has now found God.

The tragedy of all this was that local authorities, the Yonkers Police Department, could have gotten close to Berkowitz if they had listened to a slightly nutty old man called Sam Carr — the real-life Sam whose name Berkowitz co-opted for his own insane moniker.

He lived atop a small hill behind the Berkowitz apartment on Pine Street. It was a shaky old Addams Family-type home.

After Berkowitz’ arrest, I knocked on his door and he greeted me with an automatic pistol pointed at my midriff.

When I convinced him I was a reporter, and, with my photographer Arty Pomeranz, meant him no harm, he invited us in and showered us with a load of letters from Berkowitz to his wife.

One was an insanely abusive missive complaining about Sam’s dog Harvey, a big, floppy black labrador.

Harvey had actually been shot in the rear end by Berkowitz. The bullet was still inside the dog.

The Yonkers cops did not consider it of any importance.

The cops there said they never heard a complaint from Sam Carr. He said otherwise.

When Stacy’s and Bobby’s parents were told later of the Sam Carr story, they bristled with rage.

 

“To think so much of this could have been avoided,” Neysa said.

Already, Bobby was showing signs he would make it — although he would forever be blind in his left eye.

Not so, Stacy.

The day after the shooting, on Aug. 1, I had been with the Moskowitzes at their Brooklyn apartment all afternoon awaiting news of Stacy’s condition.

Shortly before midnight, the family got a call from the hospital, summoning them to Stacy’s side.

A nurse spoke quietly to Jerry.

“She’s not responding. I think your daughter is not going to make it,” he said.

He invited me into the recovery room. I declined.

Minutes later, Jerry and Neysa reappeared on the second floor.

“She’s gone,” Neysa said quietly.

Jerry says “I’m not a religious person, but there’s got to be a God.”

Perhaps that night, God looked away for only a split second.

Berkowitz, now 64, is serving six consecutive 25-years-to-life sentences at the Shawangunk Correctional Facility. He became eligible for parole in 2002, and at his last hearing in 2016, he referred to his killing spree as a “terrible tragedy.”

Kobe Bryant swings by Chargers facilities ahead of camp

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Toto, we’re not in San Diego anymore.

The Los Angeles Chargers brought out the Southern California star power on their first day of training camp, inviting Los Angeles Lakers legend and Orange County resident Kobe Bryant to their training facility in Costa Mesa.

First day of team activities in LA. Thanks to @kobebryant for swinging by #ChargersCamp! pic.twitter.com/8dMpqViWfk

At least one Chargers player was psyched about the Black Mamba’s presence.

First day of Camp and guess who shows up to our meetings….. @kobebryant …yes the @kobebryant

No word on what the future Basketball Hall of Famer told the Bolts as they embark on their first season in the Greater Los Angeles area, but we imagine it went something like this.

16-year-old crashes stolen car outside police station, officials say

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NEWARK — A 16-year-old boy was arrested after he stole a car and crashed the vehicle into a fence outside a Newark police station Saturday, officials said.

The Newark police division 5th Precinct station and city Public Safety Department headquarters (Google Maps) 

A woman got out of a Buick and left the car running at a gas station near Meeker and Frelinghuysen avenues before the teen took off with the vehicle shortly after 3 p.m., according to a police spokeswoman.

The teen later lost control of the car and crashed into a fence outside the Newark police division’s 5th Precinct on Bergen Street, authorities said. The complex also houses the city’s public safety department headquarters, including police and emergency management offices.

Authorities said officers arrested the teen after he fled the crash on foot.

Noah Cohen may be reached at ncohen@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @noahyc and on Facebook. Find NJ.com on Facebook.

Have a tip? Tell us. nj.com/tips

Mourners pack East Side church to attend slain 4-year-old’s funeral

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De-earlvion Whitley, 4, was shot and killed in a drive-by shooting late Wednesday, July 19, 2017, in the 200 block of Hub Avenue. A gofundme page has been set up to assist the family with expenses in light of the tragedy.

De-earlvion Whitley, 4, was shot and killed in a drive-by shooting late Wednesday, July 19, 2017, in the 200 block of Hub Avenue. A gofundme page has been set up to assist the family with expenses in light of

There wasn’t a seat left in St. Stevens Baptist Church on Saturday for the funeral of De’Earlvion Whitley, known as Little Earl, the 4-year-old boy killed at home July 20 in what police believe was a gang-related drive-by shooting.

At the front of the church, stood a little white coffin surrounded by blue and white flowers.

Ushers struggled to find room for all those who came to support the child’s parents, Earl and Cyntwanisha Whitley, adding chairs to the ends of pews, taking people behind the pastors to sit in the choir chairs and directing stragglers to stand in the back.

“We want to celebrate today our young lad, young boy, young baller, young superhero,” said Rev. Charles Biggs, one of several pastors who participated in the service at the East Side church. “The good thing about Little Earl, he wasn’t at the age of accountability. God has him covered.”

RELATED: Mother of 4-year-old boy killed in East Side drive-by asks for justice, not retaliation

Many of the mourners were wearing something blue, from headbands to sneakers, in honor of the child, as requested by family.

“We are choosing to remember our happy times with him and he loved football,” said Brandy Sheppard, whose son was one of Little Earl’s Texas Spartans teammates. “He absolutely loved football.”

Sheppard told a story about the boy struggling with pulling flags one day during practice. In an effort to help him get better and get his smile back, she offered a deal.

“For every flag he pulled, I would give him candy,” she told the crowd, smiling at the memory. “He probably pulled 10 flags that day and he earned that big bag of Starbursts.”

RELATED: Feds: Accused San Antonio drug dealer involved in shooting death of 4-year-old

Everyone who spoke about their relationship with Little Earl mentioned his ever-present smile and big hugs.

“We know that our bodyguard is still there with us and we will play every game this season…” Sheppard broke for a minute to wipe away tears and regain her composure. “He will be there with us for every game. We will have his number and his initials on our jerseys.”

When it was his turn, Devin Brown Sr. talked about how Little Earl was like a son to him and that he and Brown’s son were brothers.

“I had to get up early to tell my son that his brother’s gone,” Brown said.

RELATED: S.A. man allegedly involved in drive-by that killed 4-year-old has lengthy criminal history

He went on to talk about the violence in the communities that ended Little Earl’s life: “That’s got to end, bro, because that’s what happened here.”

Rev. Douglas Marshall also called for an end to the violence.

“We don’t need anybody to tell us to take back our community,” Marshall said. “We already know that. You call this senseless, but to those who did it, it made a lot of sense — that’s what they do. If we leave from here with a ‘not me’ attitude, we’re going to be doing a lot more funerals. I don’t like funerals. It takes one person to decide — I’m going to do it different. I’m going to try Jesus.”

JPolcyn@express-news.net

Law places limits on interviewing alleged child sex abuse victims

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Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday signed into law a measure placing limits on how alleged child sexual assault victims may be interviewed during civil legal proceedings.

State Sen. Jim Beall (D-San Jose) said he authored the bill after meeting with parents who decided not to file suit because they were afraid defense lawyers would traumatize their children. He also met with parents who felt defense attorneys’ experts had manipulated their children.

“Manipulation is currently allowed under the existing anything-goes process … for litigation on child abuse cases,” Beall said in an interview. “This bill would start imposing some standards or rules of behavior when it comes to cases that involve interviewing children.”

Defense lawyers previously were permitted to conduct a seven-hour-long deposition, as well as have doctors or psychologists evaluate the children with few limits and no supervision.

The new law — which passed the state Senate and the Assembly with no opposition — allows only doctors or clinical psychologists with expertise in child abuse to evaluate anyone under 15 years old, for up to three hours.

Micha Liberty, an Oakland-based attorney, said she had seen “horrific abuses of the process that caused sustained trauma” to child witnesses.

She described the case of one 6-year-old boy who had allegedly been sexually abused. During the deposition, the defense attorney’s medical expert denied the youngster a bathroom break. The boy wet his pants and started crying, and it became harder for him to answer questions.

Liberty said that as she and the boy’s mother sat in the waiting room, they heard the expert yelling that good boys don’t cry.

Defense attorney Decio Rangel said he thought the three-hour limit was a good idea. “It protects a young victim from unscrupulous questioning,” said Rangel, who previously worked as a deputy district attorney in Los Angeles County with a specialty in sexual assault.

But, Rangel said, the required expertise in child abuse might be overkill. “Anybody with any kind of experience can ask those kinds of questions of a minor,” he said before adding: “I can see why they put that in there.”

Associate Deputy Atty. Gen. Robert K. Hur lays out the Justice Department’s plan to execute the executive orders of President Trump focusing on violent crime and criminal immigration enforcement.

Associate Deputy Atty. Gen. Robert K. Hur lays out the Justice Department’s plan to execute the executive orders of President Trump focusing on violent crime and criminal immigration enforcement.

Associate Deputy Atty. Gen. Robert K. Hur lays out the Justice Department’s plan to execute the executive orders of President Trump focusing on violent crime and criminal immigration enforcement.

Associate Deputy Atty. Gen. Robert K. Hur lays out the Justice Department’s plan to execute the executive orders of President Trump focusing on violent crime and criminal immigration enforcement.

Deputy White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders says any disagreements among White House staff is because he “hires the very best people” and discourages “group-think.”

Deputy White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders says any disagreements among White House staff is because he “hires the very best people” and discourages “group-think.”

Ashley Gonzalez was sent a letter of admission to UC Irvine. Just weeks before the fall term begins, however, the university has rescinded the offer. (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

Ashley Gonzalez was sent a letter of admission to UC Irvine. Just weeks before the fall term begins, however, the university has rescinded the offer. (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

Video shot on Samuel Chang’s cell phone on the Halloween night he was physically confronted by three men including two off-duty Los Angeles firefighters. (Courtesy Taylor Ring Law Firm)

Video shot on Samuel Chang’s cell phone on the Halloween night he was physically confronted by three men including two off-duty Los Angeles firefighters. (Courtesy Taylor Ring Law Firm)

There’s one candidate for California’s next governor who the cannabis industry supports by a longshot. USC acknowledges it could have better handled the recent scandal over its med school dean’s drug abuse. Analysis: Trump’s war on the elites. Republicans may resort to a ‘skinny repeal’ on Obamacare. 

There’s one candidate for California’s next governor who the cannabis industry supports by a longshot. USC acknowledges it could have better handled the recent scandal over its med school dean’s drug abuse. Analysis: Trump’s war on the elites. Republicans may resort to a ‘skinny repeal’ on Obamacare. 

Joy.Resmovits@LATimes.com

@Joy_Resmovits

Seen this man? He allegedly scammed a senior citizen out of $24K

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The home improvement job should have cost $2,450. Authorities say only $1,200 was done.

But a Northampton County man allegedly convinced a senior citizen to sign an $18,700 contract, and actually collected $24,350 from the woman over about a month last fall, according to the Monroe County District Attorney’s Office.

Now authorities are looking for Mark M. Harrison, 32, of the first block of North Country Club Road in Allen Township. He is wanted on charges of theft by deception, theft by unlawful taking and three counts of home improvement fraud — all second-degree counts because the victim, a Kunkletown resident, was over 60 years old.

Fugitives of the week July 29, 2017

Harrison was not licensed as a contractor and used the name of a legitimate company without permission, the DA’s office said in a news release.

Harrison previously resided in Beaver Spring, Pa.; Winfield, Pa.; and Seaford Del., the release says. Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to contact Chief Detective Eric Kerchner at 570-517-3052.

Steve Novak may be reached at snovak@lehighvalleylive.com. Follow him on Twitter @type2supernovak and Facebook. Find lehighvalleylive.com on Facebook.