A Bad Day for All Things Trans

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• The Board of Health has backed off the much-publicized proposal to let people change the gender on their birth certificates nearly at will, without having necessarily gone under the knife. The ultraprogressive policy would run afoul of new federal regulations, due next year. Once again, being first doesn't pay off. [NYT]
• The Reverend Al Sharpton and other black and Latino leaders say they want to stage a pre-Christmas march down Fifth Avenue, from Plaza Hotel to Herald Square, to protest the 50-bullet police shooting of Sean Bell. Bell's relatives will lead the procession. [NYDN]
• Broadway's James Barbour (Beauty and the Beast, Urinetown) is hauled in on sexual-assault charges. If nothing else, this easily trumps yesterday's news that a guy with a Law & Order credit was sticking up drugstores. [NYP]
• Eagle-eyed MTA budget-watchers noticed an odd expenditure: In the last four years, the authority has spent $102,009 on tailor's bills. The culprit: a weirdly shaped armrest on LIRR and Metro-North trains, prone to ripping passengers' pants. [AP via amNY]
• And in what's clearly the Times' grossest "Metro" item of the day, a must-read local-color piece trails undiscriminating diners as they grapple with the Taco Bell E. coli scare. Money quote: "I ordered from the Pizza Hut side of the menu because I can't take any chances." [NYT]