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Considerations for Christmas tree safety

Now that the Halloween costumes are off the shelves, stores have started promoting Christmas. Between the commercialization of Christmas and the mass appeal the holiday has, it is no wonder that stores seem to start earlier and earlier getting the decorations out each year.

The one piece a lot of people see as a must-have is a Christmas tree. With the lights and the ornaments, they can have appeal for even the biggest Scrooges. Whether you decide to celebrate with a real tree or a fake one, there are still risks to keep in mind. Having a tree in your home can present several potential risks, including:

Have you experienced subtle discrimination at work?

The discrimination we see on TV and in movies can be easy to spot. Even by the time real stories hit the news cycle, bias can seem obvious. As the stories about people turned down for promotions or denied a new job unfold, it seems hard to miss.

Your situation, more likely, is more subtle. Perhaps you were not looking for a promotion or a new job, just a change in your work schedule. You may not have asked for anything at all but you noticed a difference in work assignments between you and your colleagues.

What risks do you face as a pedestrian in Los Angeles?

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Between 2015 and 2017, there was an 80 percent increase in pedestrian deaths in Los Angeles, according to new data. The data collection is part of Mayor Garcetti's 2015 initiative to eliminate traffic fatalities by 2025. It goes without saying that the statistics are trending in the wrong direction.

Although pedestrians make up only 8 percent of traffic collisions in L.A., the pedestrians involved make up 44 percent of the deaths, according to the Los Angeles Times. Being so grossly under-protected in a collision with a vehicle makes it all the more important for pedestrians to focus on what they can control while the city manages its part.

Injury risks you face on Black Friday

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Every year the holiday decorations seem to go up earlier and earlier. Now, with Thanksgiving right around the corner, comes the biggest shopping season of the year.

Black Friday starts so early that some stores open just as the turkey is starting to settle on Thursday evening. The big meal is not enough to stop the enthusiastic Black Friday crowd. Every year, crowds of people wait outside to storm the doors for the best deals. Is this behavior a potential cause for catastrophe?

Did your child suffer a head injury while playing football?

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It's that time of year again. As football training season turns into game season for kids across the state, parents start to think about injuries. You've made sure that your child has all the recommended protective gear, but you may wonder if it is enough.

In a sport where the stakes can be as high as the chances of injury, it can be difficult to know when to let kids enjoy what they love and when to protect them.

What you need to know about drones and drone safety

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Perhaps it is the remote control or it might be the fact that they are sold alongside other products that are considered toys, but drones certainly have the feel of a toy. These amazing flying contraptions have been spotted in all kinds of places, some for fun, and others for business purposes.

As they have increased in popularity, the prices have allowed more people to buy drones of their own. But with the higher number of drones occupying the skies comes an increase in injuries from inexperienced drone operators.

Is your child's Halloween costume safe?

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Halloween has become a time-honored tradition for kids to stay out late, dress in amazing costumes and get candy from the neighbors. Children talk for weeks about who or what they want to be for Halloween and what their costume will look like. As a parent, you may spend the days before looking for the last piece that will make your child's costume perfect.

Halloween can also be a dangerous time. Most trick-or-treaters do not start walking the neighborhood until after dark and many costumes can be difficult to walk in and hard for drivers to see.

Did an arbitration clause block your workplace harassment claim?

After the #MeToo campaign gained national attention, California legislators began taking stronger measures to protect people from harassment and make reporting less intimidating. Still, harassment continues to take place in the workplace.

Until recently, some workers who had summoned the courage to come forward were met with another roadblock: an arbitration clause in their employment agreement. With AB 3080 in the works, legislators are working to make this barrier a thing of the past.

Were you forced to pay an illegal tax in Palo Alto?

If you are a resident of Palo Alto who uses a cell phone and has a landline, you could be eligible to recoup unlawfully collected utility taxes. In 2006, it was determined that taxes not billed by both time and distance are not collectable.

According to legal claims against the City of Palo Alto, the city continued to collect taxes on Palo Alto residents' phone bills in violation of current laws. A class action lawsuit has been ongoing for several years. Additional people who are — or were affected — may join in on the lawsuit. Those who join may be entitled to a return of the taxes paid.

Electric scooters: Tips for a safe ride

In the wake of ride sharing and bike sharing, scooter sharing is the next big thing. Electric scooters are quirky and convenient. They're easy to operate and can zoom along at swift speeds. And with their thin, light profiles, they're not as clunky to navigate as mopeds or Segways.

Given all these features, it's no surprise they've become the latest craze in many areas, including California. You may have seen them lined up on sidewalks in Santa Monica or Long Beach. You may have even been tempted to give one a spin.

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