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LASD Active Shooter Preparedness

preparing for active shooter

Sadly, it is no secret that active shooter situations are occurring more frequently across the country. There have already been several instances this year and many people have been injured or killed. While these events are still very rare, there recent frequency is causing many people to consider what they would need to do if an event occurred near them.

In an effort to help people stay alert and safe, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) has created a new site and page to help teach people what they should and shouldn’t do in an active shooter situation. The goal is of course to help educate people and prepare them for a worst case situation.

The site features a 9 and a half minute video depicting different situations and what should be done during them. The video covers the three options that a person has in these kinds of situations:

  • Get out
  • Secure
  • Defend

The video does contain graphic content, so viewer discretion is advised. However, it does offer several important tips that everyone should know, just in case. Hopefully you will never need to use any of the information in the video, but it is best to have this handy and never need it.

keeping kids safe in water

Keeping Kids Safe in Water

keeping kids safe in water

Summer is here, and that means families are looking for the best ways to keep cool during the hottest of days. One of the favorite pastimes is going swimming, whether it is in a pool, river, or lake. Swimming is a great way to beat the heat, however not everyone is always up to the task. Young kids in particular can be at serious risk of drowning in large amounts of water.

When taking kids to bodies of water, it is important for parents to keep a close eye on their kids. Failing to do so risks their safety, which is something that nobody wants. All children should be actively supervised when near bodies of water. Infants and toddlers should always be within an arm’s reach from an adult. It only takes a few minutes for something bad to happen. It is also important to not rely on pool toys such as noodles and water wings to keep a child safe as they are not true safety devices.

Teaching kids to swim is a big and important step. If a kid knows how to tread water, they are that much safer. However, figuring out when to teach a child how to swim is dependent on the child and parent. Only start teaching a child to swim when they are ready, and don’t stop at just swimming. Teach your child how to float and to stay close to the shore in open water. Also teach them that swimming in open water is very different than swimming in a pool.

If you have a pool in your own backyard, be sure that you take the proper precautions. Backyard pools should have a four foot fence around them and a self-closing, self-latching gate. This should help keep kids from accessing the pool while unsupervised. Also consider putting some sort of alarm on the gate that could alert you to someone accessing the pool.

Swimming is a great way to beat the heat during the peak of summer. However it can be dangerous for little kids if they are not properly supervised. If you plan on taking your family swimming this summer, be sure to keep a watchful eye on your younger kids. Doing so will help ensure that your summer stays happy and fun.

snake dangers

Snakes Aren’t toys, They Are Dangerous

snake dangers

With every positive, there always seems to be a downside. California has beaches, sunshine, and great views. However, California also has snakes, earthquakes, and the occasional summer temperature rising above 100. If these cons to living in California stress you out, take a hike out on one the hundreds of trails California has to offer residents. Just be careful, summer is snake season.

Snakes can be out all throughout the year, but usually are more active in the warmer months. Snakes are cold blooded, which means they need to the sunshine to raise their body temperature enough to move. This is why in the colder months we typically see fewer snakes. California, like other states, does have several snakes. The ones that you need to extremely cautious of, are rattlesnakes.

Every snake should be treated with extreme caution because they all can bite. Some snakes are extremely venomous to us, others, not so much. Either way, snakes are not toys. California is home to a lot of rattlesnakes, such as:

  • Western Diamond Back
  • Mojave Green
  • Speckled
  • Sidewinder
  • Red Diamond.

All of these are types of rattlesnakes and have a wide, diamond-shaped head.

The good news is that the rattlesnake is California’s only native venomous snake. Most snakes aren’t bad. If you’re looking at a snake and it doesn’t have a rattle on its tail, or a diamond shape head, you can breathe a little easier because more than likely, that snake is helping you catch rodents.

If you ever find yourself with a rattlesnake staring you down, or infringing on your backyard, you can call in an expert snake remover. Simply back away from the snake and call a professional to come deal with it. A rattlesnake will not chase after you, it just wants to be left alone. If you keep your distance from the snake, it will keep its distance from you.

While you stay in California, it is important that you adapt to protect yourself from the harm of dangerous snakes such as rattlesnakes. By making little adjustments to your lifestyle, you will be decreasing your chances of getting into trouble with a rattlesnake. Here are a few tips from the Californian Department of Fish and Wildlife on how to be snake aware:

  • Be alert of your surroundings where you place your feet.
  • Wear protective foot wear.
  • Children shouldn’t wear flip flops in snake country.
  • When hiking, avoid grassy areas where snakes could be hiding.
  • Don’t step or place your hands in areas that aren’t visible to you.
  • Don’t grab sticks or branches in rivers, snakes can swim.
  • Never hike alone.
  • Carefully handle freshly killed snakes because their fangs still have venom in them.
  • Teach children to leave snakes alone.
  • Walk your dogs on a leash to avoid your dog getting bit by a snake.

There are a lot of perks to living in California, but there are some small downsides. One of those downsides are snakes. However, with the proper knowledge you’ll realize that snakes out in California aren’t a big deal. As long as you’re aware and remember that snakes aren’t toys.

gambling laws in california

Legal Gambling Options in California

gambling laws in california

The office football pool and the friendly weekly game of poker you indulge in might not seem like a big deal to you, but if you’re caught, you could find yourself on the wrong side of California’s legal system.

While gambling is legal in the state, California lawmakers have created some pretty specific rules limiting when and how you can gamble.
Casinos Owned by Native American Tribes are Legal

Like most states, the only casinos that are legally allowed to operate in California are Tribal Casinos that are connected to and managed by a Native American tribe. In most cases, these casinos are modeled after Las Vegas casinos, in addition to offering an assortment of gambling options, they frequently have restaurants, entertainment, and lodging available.

Horse Racing is Okay

One of the preferred forms of legal gambling allowed in California is betting on the horses. Whether it’s Thoroughbreds, Standardbreds, or Quarter Horse races, you can spend as much time placing bets as you’d like. The only catch is that the races must be officially sanctioned. You aren’t legally allowed to bet on the barrel races your county fair holds each summer.

Horse racing is the only form of gambling in California where pari-mutuel betting is legal. If you decide to try your hand at pari-mutuel betting while at the races, be aware that both management fees and state taxes are deducted before you’re allowed to collect your winnings.

Card Clubs are Legal

According to the state law, the only type of casinos that can legally operate in California are those run by Native American tribes, however, there is one loophole. Card clubs. These clubs represent California’s oldest form of formal gambling. As of 2016, the state had issued 89 licenses even though only 76 belonged to active card clubs.

The California Gambling Control Act which was introduced and passed in 1998 makes these card clubs legal. To operate a Card Club, the management must:

  • Submit to a highly extensive background check
  • Obey all local ordinances

State law prohibits publicly owned corporations from becoming involved in card clubs.
Card Clubs operate by charging each player a fee before they start playing. Once the game gets started, the players bet against one another. The house doesn’t have a stake in the game.

California Loves the State Lottery

California lawmakers not only permit gambling via state sanctioned lotteries, they encourage it. The couple dollars you spend on lottery ticket is a huge money maker for the state. Both the MegaMillions and SuperLotto Plus are state lotteries.

Gambling for Charity

Charity organizations are allowed to host gambling functions in order to earn money for their cause. The trick is that they have to be a registered non-profit organization. For the longest time, the only game allowed during the events was bingo but in 2007, legislatures voted to increase the types of games charitable organizations were allowed to offer, which is why it’s not common to see poker, raffles, and a few other casino-style games being played at these events.

cycling laws in california

Cycling in Los Angeles: Rules of the Road

cycling laws in california

Not only does using a bicycle mean decrease the carbon footprint you leave during your daily commute, most people find that riding a bike is often an easier and faster way to commute in Los Angeles. As a cyclist, there are a few rules you should be aware of before you jump on your bike and start pedaling to work.

Drivers Have to Respect Your Right to be on the Road

You have just as much right to bike to work as motorist have to drive to work. According to the AB-1371-California Statutes which was passed into law n September 2013, drivers must required to maintain a minimum of 3 feet between your bike and their car. The one exception to this is if the car driver slows way down and works hard to make sure you remain safe while biking.

You Must Follow the Flow of Traffic

Just because you’re cycling on Los Angeles’s streets, you aren’t allowed to ride against the flow of traffic. While going against the flow of traffic might be the fastest way for you to get to your destination, it also increases the risk of you getting seriously hurt in a car/bike accident.

In addition to being required to go with the flow of the traffic, while cycling, you’re also required to stick to the right side of the road. The only exceptions to this rule are construction or road conditions makes it unsafe for you to continue with the flow of traffic, and going down a one-way street, provided there’s a great.

Car Drivers are Responsible for Car Doors

One of the most common accidents between drivers and cyclists is accidents involving car doors. To reduce the number of accidents cyclists sustain from biking into a car door that opens suddenly in front of their bike, LA lawmakers passed Cal. Vehicle Code 22517, which requires the driver and other occupants in the car to look and confirm that there aren’t any cyclist close by before they open the doors. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t look where you’re going, if you’re far back when the car door opens and you crash into it because you weren’t paying attention, you’ll be the one the police consider responsible for the accident.

Don’t Drink and Cycle

Don’t assume that just because you’re riding a bike rather than driving a vehicle, that you don’t have to worry about how much you drink when you’re out on the town. You do. Cal. Vehicle Code 23152 states that when used for commuting, a bicycle is a vehicle, which means that if an LA officer pulls you over, they can arrest you and charge you with a DUI.

When you and the drivers in Los Angeles watch out for one another and obey the traffic laws, you’ll find that there’s plenty of room on the streets for everyone.

golf cart dui

California’s View on Golf Carts and Alcohol

golf cart dui

All of us know that alcohol and driving a car/pickup truck/motorcycle don’t mix. In order to avoid getting a DUI some people decide that rather than drive their car to the local bar or party, they’ll take a golf cart instead. They figure that since you don’t need a driver’s license to operate a golf cart, you don’t have to worry about the police.

Unfortunately, California’s legal system doesn’t see things the same way.

Golf Carts and the Police Have Long History

It often seems like a joke when a report of someone getting pulled over while driving a golf cart appears in the newspaper or social media outlets, but the truth is that since the first production of motorized golf carts all the way back in 1951, golf carts have been involved in a number of police incidents. You can look at police records in any state, probably even every county, and find instances where someone was operating a golf cart after having one to many and did something silly, such as trying to take the cart on a freeway, running it into a wall, and even driving it into a swimming pool and lake. There have even been cases where operating a golf cart while under the influence has resulted in fatalities.

California’s Policy About Golf Carts and DUI’s

While the laws about driving a golf cart while under the influence of either alcohol or drugs vary from one state to another, in California Section 23152 of the California Vehicle Code makes it very clear that in the eyes of the court, the golf cart is a motorized vehicle and you will be charged with a DUI if you’ve been drinking. It also means that if you have an open container in it while you’re driving on a public roadway, you can also be charged.

One man faces DUI charges in California after he made a mistake while turning the golf cart, which resulted in the him flipping the cart and becoming pinned beneath it. He was arrested after the police lifted the cart off him.

If you plan on going out for the night and having a few drinks, the best way to keep yourself out of jail is by leaving both your car and golf cart parked in your garage and arranging to take a taxi, Uber, or have a friend act as a designated driver.

dog leach laws california

California’s Attitude Towards Leashes and Dogs

dog leach laws california

The issue of leashes is a sensitive subject for many dog owners. Some feel that if their dog is well trained, they shouldn’t be required to keep their dog on a leash. Other’s feel that whenever a dog isn’t on the owner’s private property, the animal should be leashed.

The State of California doesn’t have a formal opinion on the topic. Officially, the state doesn’t have any laws that state dogs have to be on a leash. However, before unclipping your leash from your dog’s collar, you need to check with the local government. There are several county, city, and townships that do have very strict rules regarding leashes and dogs. Violating the local rules can land you and your pet in serious trouble.

A perfect example of this is Sacramento County. They have very strict leash ordinances. The only time a dog can legally be off leash is when they have been brought to one of the county’s “off-leash” dog parks or on the owner’s property. The City of Sacramento also has its own set of leash laws.

Don’t assume that just because your dog is on a leash, that you don’t have to worry about getting into any legal trouble. Sacramento insists that the leash be a maximum of six feet long (this means that if you have your dog on an extendable leash, law enforcement officer could write a ticket) and that the dog be under control at all times.

Sacramento County uses Code 9.36.061 (d) when dealing with dog owners who let their dogs run free.

The penalty for having your dog off leash when you’re in an town or county that has leash laws depends on where you are. In most places, you, as the dog owner, will be issued a ticket and a fine. If you don’t pay the fine, the court could opt to file a bench warrant for your arrest, which means that not only will you be arrested if you’re ever stopped by the police (or get caught with your dog off-leash a second time) and have a criminal record.

If your dog bites or otherwise injures someone while they are off leash, you’ll not only be required to pay for the off-leash ticket, you will also be responsible for the injured parties medical bills and could face losing your dog forever.

If you aren’t clear about what the laws are in your county/city, it’s best to keep your pet on a leash until you speak to either a police officer or a court official who is familiar with the local laws and how they pertain to your dog.

How Do You Avoid Unnecessary Stress

How Do You Avoid Unnecessary Stress?

How Do You Avoid Unnecessary Stress

Having an open mind is vital in the world today. There are so many opinions, facts, and attitudes out there. Even in family settings we may feel like we have to tread carefully because we don’t want to offend anyone. Some people get so offended over another’s opinions that you may feel as if you can’t say anything. You might feel trapped with your own thoughts. However, it’s not the end of the world.

Having an open mind is beneficial to you in the following ways:

  • Less stress
  • More information
  • Better Research
  • More friends

Having an open mind about a lot of things can benefit you greatly. You won’t stress as much because you’re not worrying about what is the right answer. You’ll be able to provide an objective point of view because you’re not looking for the yes or no kind of answer.

Having this open perspective will benefit you in any research you need to do in your daily life. You won’t be looking for biased answers to your questions. You’ll find yourself discovering facts and information about a topic that you may have never noticed before. Being opened minded will also help you identify sources that are biased. You’ll begin to see sources pushing their points of view rather than giving actual facts. Being open minded will also help you connect with people.

People will flock to you for information because they realize that they can come and talk to you without feeling judged. Far too often, people feel lonely or isolated from friends and family because they feel like they can’t talk to them. If you have an open mind about things, then people will start to see that. They’ll feel comfortable talking with you because they know you won’t be judging them.

Having an open mind will only benefit you. It will help release any tension you may have been holding on to. Being open minded will improve your relationships with friends and family. By having an open mind, you will find yourself getting less offended by what people say.

Things that Actually Make You Happy

Things that Actually Make You Happy

Things that Actually Make You Happy

Unfortunately life doesn’t come with manual or guide. In life we often get dragged down by the mundane. Routines become our way of life, and leave little time for having fun. The challenge many of us face is how to be happy. This simple question plagues many people’s minds on a day to day basis.

Endorphins, oxytocin, serotonin, and dopamine are all chemicals that contribute to your happiness. When we feel good, it’s usually because our brains have released one of those chemicals. These chemicals, also referred to as hormones, can be released for many different reasons. Exercising, stretching, laughing, and smiling can all help activate the release of these hormones.

When you exercise, your body releases oxytocin and endorphins. These hormones increase your happiness. Even through exercising may seem like a daunting task at first, it can actually improve your mood. The best part about exercising to feel happier is that the more of a regular routine you have, the more hormones will be released.

Laughing is an excellent source of happiness, but you’re probably thinking that you can’t control when you laugh. However you would be wrong. Studies have shown that if you fake laugh for over a minute, you will actually start laughing naturally. Yes, faking it till you make it works. Fake laughing relaxes your body, and releases just enough dopamine to trigger a real response. Also when you make a fool of yourself, you can begin to naturally laugh about it.

Smiling is similar to laughing when it comes to making you happy. If you force yourself to fake a smile for a certain amount of time, you’ll eventually trick your brain into releasing the happy chemicals. Fake smiling is more effective if you can see yourself smiling in the mirror.

Another great way to improve your happiness is dancing. Taking a moment of your day to let go, and dance around like a fool, can help relax your body. A relaxed body is more likely to release the hormones that improve your happiness and overall mood.

When you break down what makes you happy, there can be many factors. However there are scientific explanations for why you are feeling like you do. There may be physical factors, as well as mental ones. Just know that if you’re searching for a way to improve your happiness, trying these simple gestures can help you out.

Do You Know What to Do in the Springtime

Do You Know What to Do in the Springtime?

Do You Know What to Do in the Springtime

Spring has officially arrived and that means it is finally warm enough to start venturing outside once again. Winter weather can be fun, but it can wear a person down. There is nothing quite like sitting outside on a warm spring day and enjoying the fresh air. If you have kids, then now is the perfect time to take them outside to have some good old fashioned fun.

As the weather warms, there are all sorts of things kids can do outside. There are classics such as going to the park to play hide and seek, tag, or draw with chalk. However, if you want to be a bit more adventurous, there are other options. For instance, you can:

  • Go to the library.
  • Go to the beach.
  • Go to a museum.
  • Go to a zoo.
  • Go to a local nature conservatory.
  • Go on a road trip.
  • Go to an amusement park.

Children love it when spring rolls around again because it is warm enough to have adventures again. The best adventures are ones that families take together. It is one these adventures that memories are made. The child may not remember everything you do with them growing up, but they will always remember their favorite moments, and as a parent, you want to be a part of those moments.

Whatever you do together, be sure to take lots of pictures. This way you will all be able to look back on those moments as the years pass. So, as spring begins again, go out and have an adventure with your kids. They won’t be young forever, and you definitely don’t want to miss this amazing time in their lives.