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DAYBREAK DAILY: Gay conversion therapy remains OK in Virginia

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ABC7 WEATHER: Partly sunny with highs in the mid 40s. http://wj.la/72e8x6  

‘GOOD MORNING WASHINGTON’: Among the reports – Amanda Knox, freshly re-convicted of murder, appears on Good Morning America; Two found dead in Southeast; much more, beginning at 4:30 a.m. M-F.

I’M GAY: No you’re not, per the Virginian-Pilot, “(Virginia) parents may continue to send their children to gay conversion therapy, which seeks to change a person’s sexual orientation from homosexual to heterosexual, after a bill to outlaw the practice failed in a House subcommittee Thursday. The proposal drew emotional testimony from supporters and opponents alike before a House Health, Welfare and Institutions Subcommittee voted it down.

“. . . (B)eing forced to change can be irreparably harmful, said Del. Patrick Hope, an Arlington County Democrat who patroned the bill. Studies have shown conversion therapy, also called reparative therapy, to be ineffective, he said. And it is opposed by many medical professionals, including the American Psychiatric Association and the American Medical Association. Hope’s bill would have prohibited licensed medical professionals from trying to change the sexual orientation of a minor and would not have applied to clergy. The subcommittee’s members did not say why they opposed the legislation.” http://bit.ly/1dbE8Vq

MARYLAND RACE 2014: Of guns, per the Baltimore Sun, “Democratic gubernatorial candidate Heather R. Mizeur called for significant tightening of Maryland's laws on long guns Thursday night in the wake of the shotgun attack that took three lives at The Mall in Columbia Saturday. Her proposal came as the Montgomery County delegate met Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler at a forum that drew two-thirds of the Democratic field in the 2014 race for governor to the giant Leisure World senior complex in Montgomery County. Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, whose father died earlier in the day, did not attend.

“Mizeur broke new policy ground by calling for universal background checks for the purchase of all firearms – shotguns and rifles as well as handguns. In the wake of the mall shooting by a 19-year-old who legally purchased a shotgun, she also urged that Maryland set a minimum age of 21 to buy long guns -- the current standard for handguns. Gansler stressed his long experience in prosecuting gun crimes, defending Maryland’s concealed-carry laws in court and running gun buyback programs.” http://bsun.md/1ig2AKD

CREIGH DEEDS: Mental health bill advances, per the Richmond Times-Dispatch, “A Senate committee voted Thursday to impose a 24-hour time limit on emergency custody orders, which would quadruple the time a person can be held involuntarily for mental health evaluation. Sen. R. Creigh Deeds, D-Bath, proposed the 24-hour limit. He has led the move in the Virginia General Assembly to reform state mental health laws since the suicide of his son, Austin C. “Gus” Deeds, on Nov. 19. Gus Deeds stabbed his father repeatedly and killed himself at their Millboro home, just 13 hours after being released from an emergency custody order that expired after six hours.

“The proposal, Senate Bill 260, also requires the creation of a statewide electronic registry of psychiatric beds. The measure would ensure that a state mental hospital will accept people who have been found a danger to themselves or others if an appropriate bed cannot be found in a community hospital before the order expires. The bill now goes to the Senate Finance Committee for review of its fiscal impact and a likely revision to reduce the burden on law enforcement for having to hold people in custody longer than under current law.” http://bit.ly/1eCejyW

OFFICE DUTY: Just the facts, per the Washington Post, “A D.C. fire lieutenant and a firefighter were put on administrative leave Thursday as city authorities investigate why a man who suffered a fatal heart attack outside a Northeast Washington firehouse didn’t get care, according to officials familiar with the case. The move comes one day after the lieutenant — identified by District officials as Kellene Davis — met with the fire department’s internal affairs division. Officials declined to say what Davis, 51, said at the meeting, and she could not be reached for comment.

“But in a letter to city Fire Chief Kenneth B. Ellerbe, Davis, a 28-year veteran, said a firefighter told her that someone had slipped and fallen across the street. She said she told the firefighter to get an address and that she would go help. But she said he never returned with the address and instead told her that an ambulance had already been dispatched. It was unclear whether that firefighter is the one who was placed on administrative leave.” http://wapo.st/MDeiob

STOP: And frisk – or not, per the New York Times, “New York City will settle its long-running legal battle over the Police Department’s practice of stopping, questioning and often frisking people on the street — a divisive issue at the heart of the mayoral race last year — by agreeing to reforms that a judge ordered in August, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Thursday.

“In making the announcement, which he said he hoped would end a turbulent chapter in the city’s racial history, Mr. de Blasio offered a sweeping repudiation of the aggressive policing practices that had been a hallmark of his predecessor, Michael R. Bloomberg, but that had stoked anger and resentment in many black and Latino neighborhoods. He essentially reversed the course set by Mr. Bloomberg, whose administration had appealed the judge’s ruling.” http://nyti.ms/1fAm4HJ

GOP AND IMMIGRATION: Progress, kind of, per The Hill, “House Republican leaders are calling for illegal immigrants to be able to “live legally and without fear in the U.S.” after they have met a series of requirements and after “specific enforcement triggers” have been met, according to new principles presented Thursday to lawmakers. The endorsement of a path to legal status for many of the nation’s estimated 11 million illegal immigrants is a significant step toward comprehensive immigration reform for a party that has long resisted policies that some deride as amnesty.

“Inside the Republican conference meeting, Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) argued it was “important to act” on immigration reform from an economic and national security standpoint. But he drew a clear line and said that if Democrats insist on a faster path to citizenship, the effort will fall apart. "These standards are as far as we are willing to go,” Boehner said, according to a person in the room.” http://bit.ly/MDgM63

POLITICO PLAY: “The State Department is set to release a final environmental analysis of the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline as soon as Friday, according to several sources, setting the stage for a months-long endgame in one of the Obama administration’s most intractable environmental controversies. A State Department official told POLITICO that the report will be released “soon.”

“The department has repeatedly concluded — most recently in a draft study in March — that the Alberta-to-Texas pipeline would pose little environmental risk, despite sharp objections from climate activists and some scientists. But some activists took heart from President Barack Obama’s promise in June that the pipeline would be acceptable “only if this project does not significantly exacerbate the problem of carbon pollution.” http://politi.co/1kiL619

LOS ANGELES RAMS?: Stay tuned, per the Los Angeles Times, “The owner of the St. Louis Rams has bought a large piece of land in Inglewood that potentially could be used for an NFL stadium, multiple individuals with knowledge of the transaction have told The Times. Within the last month, billionaire Stan Kroenke bought a 60-acre parking lot located between the Forum and Hollywood Park, according to individuals who spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to speak on behalf of the buyer or seller.

“Wal-Mart originally owned the land but sold it after failing to get public approval for a superstore. Madison Square Garden Co., which owns the Forum, had planned to buy the lot for an estimated $90 million in order to acquire more space for parking and possibly additional development. However, MSG was informed by Wal-Mart at the end of 2013 that the land had already been sold to an unnamed party. The individuals confirmed the buyer is Kroenke, a former Wal-Mart board member and husband of Ann Walton Kroenke, daughter of Wal-Mart co-founder Bud Walton. For years, Kroenke has owned a substantial amount of land in Southern California.” http://lat.ms/1lpbXfM

MARYLAND BUSINESS: Of heavy hitters, per Gazette.Net, “Maryland’s top two legislative leaders unveiled a series of proposals that include a commission to review the business climate and bills to reduce the estate tax and provide more tax credits and business funding. The agenda marks the first time that state Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D-Dist. 27) of Chesapeake Beach and House Speaker Michael E. Busch (D-Dist. 30) have jointly proposed a legislative business package.

“. . .Norman Augustine, a former CEO of Bethesda defense giant Lockheed Martin, will chair the commission. Other members are expected to be announced in the next few weeks, picked from the business community. The commission will begin work this session and issue a report in December. Business leaders have long discussed that jobs and residents are moving to Virginia and other states because of tax purposes.” http://bit.ly/1cBYn39

DISTRICT DEBATE: Of barbs, per City Paper, “Wednesday night's D.C. for Democracy debate at Sixth & I Synagogue went with fight night-style scheduling, putting undercard ward races ahead of the main mayoral bout later in the evening. With Jack Evans and Muriel Bowser missing, it fell on Vince Gray, Tommy Wells, Reta Lewis, Vincent Orange, and Andy Shallal to answer a series of stultifying questions about tax policy.

“Still, Wells went hard on Gray, saying he was running to end the city's "culture of corruption," making sure to mention Gray and the 2010 shadow campaign allegedly funded by Jeff Thompson. Later, Wells criticized Gray over the city sending homeless families to Maryland during the cold snap. Gray defended his record on the issue, saying he made up for a loss in federal funding on housing.” http://bit.ly/MmqdWO

PURGING THE DEAD: Or the un-dead, per the Frederick News-Post, “Removing deceased individuals from voter rolls isn't as simple as checking newspaper obituaries. When election officials suspect someone on their lists has died, they sometimes have to wait two election cycles before they can remove the person's name. Delegate Kathy Afzali says this process needs some streamlining.

“On Thursday, she presented a bill that would allow boards of elections to use U.S. Social Security Administration records to purge names from their records more quickly. "This keeps the voter rolls cleaner," Afzali, R-District 4A, told the House Ways and Means Committee on Thursday.” http://bit.ly/1ig5krw

PRESENTING THE DEAD: Grateful art, per the Roanoke Times, “An upcoming Roanoke art show offers Grateful Dead fans — in fact, all fans of rock and roll from the Age of Aquarius — a trippy nostalgia trip. Robbi Cohn, an official photographer for the Grateful Dead, and Richard Biffle, a painter who’s created posters and album covers for numerous bands including the Dead, will exhibit and sell their work together at Ripple. Both previously have shown work at the store, which owner Christy Starchild describes as “a counter-culture bazaar, a hippie general store, a psychedelic boutique.”

“Starchild, 42, used to be a travelling vendor at Grateful Dead rock concerts, as well as with acts like Furthur — made up of members of the original Grateful Dead — and Widespread Panic, a newer band in the Grateful Dead mold, prone to long instrumental jams. “I’ve been in this business 15 years,” she said.” http://bit.ly/1ig6dQM

SPORTS, BRIEFLY: Caps lose 5-2 against Columbus.

TRENDING ON ABC7 FACEBOOK: “The snowy owl that's become a minor celebrity around downtown Washington was hit by a bus early Thursday morning and was rushed to the Smithsonian's National Zoo for treatment. The owl is expected to survive and will be released into the wild as soon as possible. The owl had been mostly hanging out near McPherson Square. Have you seen her?” http://wj.la/1bau3bB

NEWSTALK: 10 a.m., NewsChannel 8.

--Skip Wood

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