New York City Parks Department at Center of Sex Abuse Scandal

n 2016, state investigators found that a New York City Parks Department supervisor, Jeffrey Blount, had pressured a woman employee into having sex with him, threatening to fire her unless she agreed. According to the New York Times, this was not the only time investigators found that Blount had sexually abused and harassed women whom he supervised. Instead of being fired, he was allowed to resign, and as part of his agreement with the city, officials promised not to mention his history of sexual abuse and harassment to any prospective future employer—a common practice that allows abusers like Blount to continue to find work, potentially putting other unsuspecting coworkers at risk.

Blount was not the only New York City employee who, after being found to have sexually harassed fellow workers, was allowed to resign with few consequences for their future employment prospects.

via New York City Parks Department at Center of Sex Abuse Scandal

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First Female Grand Canyon Park Superintendent Resigns Due Some Very Bullshit-Sounding Circumstances 

However, Lehnertz soon found herself battling accusations against her. In October, the inspector general of the Interior Department investigated claims that she issued a wrongful one-day suspension, “bullied or retaliated against male leaders,” and wasted park funds on renovating a park residence. All that sure smacks of a good old-fashioned bitch hunt by a bunch of dudes waving misandry banners.

via First Female Grand Canyon Park Superintendent Resigns Due Some Very Bullshit-Sounding Circumstances 

Thousands of ICE Employees Have Access to Massive, Nationwide License Plate-Tracking System

Records obtained by the ACLU of Northern California in a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit show that local city governments are piping automated license plate reader (ALPR) data to Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, the organization wrote on Wednesday.

The ACLU-NC wrote the records show that more than 9,000 ICE officers have been granted access to an ALPR database run by a private company, Vigilant Systems. More than 80 law enforcement organizations in more than a dozen states have also begun sharing license plate data with ICE, and in some cases “local police [have handed] driver information over to ICE informally, violating local law and ICE policies,” the ACLU-NC wrote.

via Thousands of ICE Employees Have Access to Massive, Nationwide License Plate-Tracking System

Mikaela Shiffrin Isn’t Tired Of Winning, But She’s Maybe A Little Tired Of Eggs

Despite all of that history-making, the 23-year old from Vail, Colorado, insists she’s trying to keep the accolades out of her head and focus on her turns. But when you’re bashing records this constantly, how is that even possible?

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Last week, over FaceTime from her hotel room in the Czech Republic, Shiffrin and I talked gross eggs, 1.5-hour naps and why walking away from the last Olympics with two medals left a sour taste in her mouth. (This interview has been condensed and edited for space and clarity.)

via Mikaela Shiffrin Isn’t Tired Of Winning, But She’s Maybe A Little Tired Of Eggs

Sexual Abuse of Immigrant Youth in Federal Custody is Rampant, According to HHS

These numbers point to a reality that has been clear for a long time: that putting immigrants in detention creates conditions that are ripe for abuse and exploitation. The HHS numbers echo a ProPublica report from July 2018 that found hundreds of incidents of abuse at ORR-run shelters housing immigrant children, from sexual abuse to other violent incidents. In 2017, one worker at a Southwest Key detention center in Mesa, Arizona was charged with sexually abusing at least eight immigrant boys under his care, and last year, another worker at a Phoenix shelter run by Southwest Key was arrested after he was alleged to have molested a 14-year-old girl. As Lisa Fortuna, the director of child and adolescent psychiatry at Boston Medical Center, told ProPublica at the time of the ORR shelter system report: “If you’re a predator, it’s a gold mine.”

via Sexual Abuse of Immigrant Youth in Federal Custody is Rampant, According to HHS

Stop Snitching On Malia Obama, a Normal 20-Something

The children of presidents have never been off limits: Chelsea Clinton was mocked relentlessly by right-wingers and comedians. The Bush twins, Jenna and Barbara, gained party girl notoriety after trying to use fake IDs to buy alcohol. And Malia and Sasha Obama, as the first black first daughters, have faced a combination of tabloid fixation on their personal lives and racist bullshit: in 2014, a Republican communications director resigned after suggesting that the then-teenage sisters were scantily clad and disrespectful during the annual Thanksgiving turkey-pardoning.

But with the modern ubiquity of cameras and social surveillance basically becoming a form of recreation, the Obama daughters are uniquely vulnerable to these invasions of privacy. She’s surrounded by narcs, essentially—from cab drivers to Ivy League assholes—who are happy to sell-out this famous private citizen to the vultures happy to smear or try to embarrass her for clicks.

via Stop Snitching On Malia Obama, a Normal 20-Something

What It Means for Jeff Ballabon to Call Ilhan Omar “Filth”

There too, Trump campaign advisor Jeff Ballabon found Representative Ilhan Omar. On Monday, Ballabon called Omar “filthy” during a Fox Business interview while accusing the progressive congresswoman of being an anti-Semite due to her criticisms of Israel and its right-wing leader, Benjamin Netanyahu.

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This is by now an old smear, told again and again about the Democratic congresswoman from Minnesota, but the most recent iteration of the cycle started last week. The New York Times reports that during an event at a Washington, DC bookstore, Omar, responding to accusations of anti-Semitism, “questioned why it was acceptable for her to speak critically about the political influence of the National Rifle Association, fossil fuel industries, and ‘big pharma,’ but not the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.”

via What It Means for Jeff Ballabon to Call Ilhan Omar “Filth”

Republicans Invite Anti-Trans Feminist to Hearing on Violence Against Women Act

For months, the landmark Violence Against Women Act has languished in Congress, and last month, funding for the bill expired, putting programs that support victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking at risk. On Thursday afternoon, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other lawmakers reintroduced the bill, hoping that in 2019, with a Democrat-stacked House, Congress will finally reauthorize the critical piece of legislation.

On Thursday morning, four people appeared before the House Judiciary Committee to testify on VAWA: Ramona Gonzalez, a Wisconsin family court judge who oversees cases of domestic violence; Sarah Deer, a law professor who has built her career advocating for the rights of Native Americans in sexual assault and domestic violence cases; Rob Valente, a policy consultant for the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence; and finally, Julia Beck, a self-identified radical lesbian feminist who has, in recent months, become a beloved figure in conservative media for her exclusionary, anti-trans views.

via Republicans Invite Anti-Trans Feminist to Hearing on Violence Against Women Act

Colorado Teen Quits State Championship to Avoid Wrestling Girl

A high school senior chose to sit out the Colorado state wrestling championships in order to avoid sparring with two opponents who ended up becoming the first female wrestlers to ever place in the tournament.

The Denver Post’s reporting of the incident was really something, placing Colorado teen Brendan Johnston at the center of the story as the one making history. In the article, Johnson said he didn’t want to compete against Jaslynn Gallegos and Angel Rios because of the “physical contact” wrestling entails:

via Colorado Teen Quits State Championship to Avoid Wrestling Girl

Snap Reportedly Settled With Multiple Female Employees Who Said Layoffs Targeted Women

Citing multiple sources familiar with the matter, the Journal reported that multiple of these women—who worked on growth and design teams—were paid out additional cash and stock shares after raising concerns about discrimination. The allegations followed previously reported claims of a sexist workplace culture at Snap raised by a female engineer who left the company months prior. Per the Journal:

via Snap Reportedly Settled With Multiple Female Employees Who Said Layoffs Targeted Women