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Author: Jeff Peyton

Title IX created to protect young women; but that may be history if woke challenges prevail

We get why protectors of trans rights are digging in their heels over gender identity and participation in school sports – we really do. In many ways, we even sympathize with their cause. That sympathy, however, is tempered by the reality that biological males who compete as females in scholastic sports represent the exact opposite of “fairness” and “equity.”

In the simplest of terms, biological males are built differently than biological females. That’s why we have boys’ sports, and we have girls’ sports in the first place – so our young ladies have an actual equal opportunity to compete.

Allowing gender identity to trump biology invalidates – make that obliterates – the 40 years of progress young women have made in athletics since Congress first enacted Title IX.

There are competing views of Title IX, of course. But until President Obama by executive order rewrote its definition, Title IX ensured that young women were afforded equal opportunities in school – and especially in sports. Decades of Title IX regulations on the federal register make that point absolute.
Title IX today, however, seems to exist only to undermine that original intent. For the sake of “fairness,” female athletes in high school and college are being dominated by biological males who wouldn’t place in the top five if they had to compete with their own sex.

Last year, the Florida legislature put a stop to biological males competing in girls sports, though legal challenges seek to reverse that effort.

We wonder if supporters of identity politics would feel the same way about their kids’ sports if last year’s World Series MVP Jorge Soler identified as a 13-year-old and signed up for their kid’s local little league. Would it be OK, we wonder, if Superbowl titan Aaron Donald – the defensive end who almost single-handedly smashed the Bengals’ offensive line – identified as a high school freshman who wanted to play JV ball? What if he identified as a freshman girl with her sights set on a high school field hockey championship?

If not, why not?

Surely, if one can change sex simply by saying so, resetting age is on the table. To say otherwise would, after all, be highly insensitive.

No, we are not making fun of people with identity issues. We stated clearly that we have great sympathy for what these kids – and their parents – must be going through.

But the solution to these deeply personal issues must not come at our daughters’ expense.
The wiser, safer, far more reasonable solution for everyone might simply be to insist that transgendered athletes compete – fairly – where their biology dictates.

There are, after all, uplifting and inspiring stories every day about girls playing hockey in the boys’ league, and girls suiting up for high school football and baseball.

These pioneering young women are willing to literally and figuratively wrestle above their weight class. Why shouldn’t we expect the same from biological males, regardless of their gender identity?

Honestly, to expect any less is to sell them short. What parent wants to do that?
Congress created Title IX to give young women equal opportunities in school, and especially in sports. Title IX was not and should not be a gender-role panacea.

Don’t give it a second thought

When it happens to you, it’s headache-inducing. When it happens to others, that’s when we give it a name: Analysis Paralysis.

I once worked with a man who had perfected this art. So afraid was he to make a decision – any decision – that he would punt every decision. He would demand that we rerun the numbers, double-check the tea leaves, ask the good Lord for a second opinion, anything, really, that would give him a reasonable, rational excuse to simply not decide.

Of course, his example is an extreme one. But Analysis Paralysis is a real thing, afflicting all of us far more often than any of us would care to admit.

(I was about to add “if you think about it,” but the implied irony is just a bit much.)
Personally, I blame Google.

Think about it. (OK, yes, I went there.) With an entire world of information literally at our fingertips – from the most obscure factoid to how-tos for everything from changing your car’s spark plugs to using Excel to predict the weather – we can replay, rehash and recast every set of options we will ever encounter.

Psychologists call it the Paradox of Choice. More options can help us achieve better results, but more options also lead to greater anxiety, indecision, and yes, paralysis.

Psychologists also warn that Analysis Paralysis is bad for us.

Overthinking on the job is a productivity killer and a creativity squasher.

Overthinking one decision makes it harder to make ANY decision.

It literally siphons brain power.

Fortunately, there is a solution, and one that does NOT need to be over-analyzed. Becky Kane, writing for the Doist blog, offers several great tips for overcoming Analysis Paralysis.

Don’t make big decisions in the afternoon. Take on the most important issues first thing in the morning, when you’re at your cognitive best.

Limit the amount of information you consume.
When researching for a project, set a limit on how many sources you’ll check – and stick to it.
Set a deadline and stick to it.

Giving yourself a set amount of time to reach a decision will actually help you make a better decision.
Talk it out. Feeling stumped? Before you get too deep in the paralysis, talk to a coworker, a friend, even a complete stranger at the diner. Bouncing your thoughts off someone else, and listening to their feedback, has a way of producing clarity.

Start before you feel ready. It’s easy to fool ourselves into believing that gathering and analyzing more and more information is making progress. Just remember – it’s action, not analysis, that matters.
Make your decision the right decision. Confidence and commitment to the decision MAKES it the right decision – oftentimes confidence and commitment, not the decision itself – are ultimate drivers of success.

Bush House renovations nearing completion

The six-month project to convert what has, over the years, served as excess office space for city and county functions, into a living time capsule for Crestview’s eclectic history, is nearing its endgame.

According to Brian Hughes, the city’s cultural services director, the next step is to furnish the house and set up the first exhibits on the main floor. (The building’s second floor is office space)

Already, artifacts are filling up rooms on the main floor, as Hughes and a small cadre of dedicated volunteers work to determine what is appropriate for specific displays, and what will work in the museum with a modicum of repair.

“We have some big plans,” he said.

“The Bushes were a family of means,” he said, an early 20th century term of art for what today might be considered upper middle class. But, he said, the museum will be a reflection of Crestview’s history, not the Bushes.

Renovation began in earnest in late December, but the project’s timeline was an estimate. Because the building had undergone several additions and changes over the years – first as the Bush residence, but then as city and county office space – there were no useful blueprints to work from.
Construction crews had to work one room, one surprise, at a time.

For example, Hughes pointed out that a significant portion of the house’s kitchen area was, in fact, added to the original house – something that workers suspected but couldn’t confirm until they were onsite, peeling back layers of linoleum from hardwood floors, wallpaper from the original walls, and, in some cases, sheetrock from the original exterior brick.

Then, Hughes said, there was the case of a slowly collapsing ceiling that was, ironically, holding unsupported walls in place.

“The construction team just did amazing work,” he said, “especially considering that they had no blueprints or plans to work from.”

The new Crestview museum still does not have an official opening date. Unofficially, though, the day definitely draws near.

“We’re getting there,” Hughes said. “We’re working on exhibits, collecting furniture, and making plans for how to get the entire community involved.”

Blue Angels more than team of elite pilots

On Saturday, aviation aristocracy performed an aerial ballet over the Gulf of Mexico that wowed thousands gathered along Pensacola Beach for the annual Pensacola Beach Air Show, with Russell and the rest of the team’s ground crew on hand. The Montgomery, Ala., native has been in the Navy five years. Barely a quarter of his way through a military career, and the 25-year-old Aviation Machinist Mate is one of the nine men and women on the Blue Angels “power plant” team, charged with servicing and, if necessary, repairing the team’s blue F/A 18 Super Hornets and “Fat Albert” – the team’s C-130 Hercules. Russell’s team of mechanics is part of a 154-person unit that makes up the lion’s share of support personnel for 17 world-class Navy and Marine aviators. Russell’s commitment to the Blue Angels runs deep. If selected to serve as flight line controller, that will mean extending his tour with the unit, as that position itself requires a three-year commitment. Russell said he enjoys the incredibly fast-paced life of a Blue Angel, but admitted the job comes at a price. Maintaining the aircraft – and performing ground operations during Blue Angels appearances across the country – leaves little time for anything else. He hasn’t even seen the new Top Gun movie that features F/A 18s! “When you get time off, you have to take advantage of it,” he said. Fortunately, the Gulf Coast offers his favorite off-duty hobbies – including time at the beach and on the golf course. More importantly, Pensacola is only a few hours from his family in Montgomery, Ala.

Deputies foil ‘high speed’ getaway

Dusty Mobley, 40, is charged with grand theft, grand theft of a vehicle, felony criminal mischief, two counts of resisting an officer, possession of a concealed weapon by a felon, carrying a concealed handcuff key, possession of drug paraphernalia, as well as other felony charges after a warrant was served for his arrest Saturday at 9:30 a.m. at a home on Pasco Broxson Circle. 

Mobley is no stranger to police evasion. On Jan. 3, he fled deputies in Holt by diving into a swamp along the Yellow River, after he was confronted about a $40,000 stolen boat. Mobley was on the boat when deputies confronted him, but he dove into the swamp to avoid arrest.

Deputies quickly caught up to Mobley’s getaway mower Saturday morning, using a taser to bring the chase to a close. According to the sheriff’s office, Mobley had a revolver and a handcuff key in his possession, along with a pipe with methamphetamine residue.

Mobley was arrested and booked into Okaloosa County Jail. He is held on bond.

Two 15-year-olds facing murder charges in shooting death of Crestview teen

Police said none of the teens involved had planned to go inside, just to use the parking lot.

Police said they are still looking into whether the 15-year-olds met Jimenez to buy drugs or guns.

According to the arrest report, Lanieux told investigators he “winked” at Brown as a signal they were going to rob Jimenez by taking guns. When they took the guns and ran, police said, Brown fired at Jimenez when he chased after them.

The boys face murder charges because both were involved in a robbery that ended in Jimenez’s death.

Former Baker fire chief indicted for murder

The Defendant is being held without bond and his arraignment is scheduled for July 8, 2022.

The investigation is being handled by the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant State Attorney Alvin “Trey” Myers is prosecuting this case on behalf of Ginger Bowden Madden, State Attorney for the First Judicial Circuit.

City employees to receive mid-year cost-of-living raises

“Our initial plan was to do something for employees in October, with the upcoming budget year,” City Manager Tim Bolduc said. But, he added, the anticipated “leveling off” of gasoline prices hasn’t happened. “We find ourselves where employees are having a difficult time making ends meet.”

Bolduc told city councilors that a committee consisting of the city’s police chief, administrative director and finance director studied city revenues and expenditures, as well as how neighboring jurisdictions are approaching the same problems, to determine the best way to approach a mid-year adjustment.

Bolduc said that Crestview’s approach is like how neighboring communities have approached the issue. “Some have done cost-of-living adjustments, some have made one-time payments,” he said, adding that Crestview’s approach had to be competitive – particularly when it comes to law enforcement personnel.

To ensure that Crestview’s police department pays comparably to surrounding communities, police officers ranked sergeant and below will also receive the cost-of-living adjustment and one-time bonus.

Bolduc emphasized that city coffers can handle the mid-year increase.

“We have this available in current funds,” he said. “We can do this without touching the reserves” by not filling unfilled positions and by freezing certain spending levels through the end of the year. “This action will not put us in a bad financial position.”

Mayor Pro Tem Andrew Rencich endorsed the cost-of-living proposal, and suggested that the city make employees’ PTO available as well. “It’s their money,” he said, suggesting that many employees may find it beneficial to draw funds from accrued PTO balances.

Bolduc agreed. “That money is allocated to them, it’s held in reserve,” he said. “I’m not sure how many would participate, but we can offer it.”

“We are in an economy not of our making,” said Council woman Cynthia Brown. “We have to be able to keep our employees.

Councilman Joe Blocker enthusiastically concurred. “Our employees deserve this,” he said. “It’s a great plan.”

City council voted unanimously to endorse Bolduc’s proposal.

“I appreciate council’s recognition that we have to do these things to take care of our employees,” Bolduc said. “They are the greatest assets we have.”