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Roundtable: Cancer in Jail; Sea Wall Lawsuits; Frogs With Fungus; Mice With Alzheimer’s; Undocumented Millions

Evening Edition

Aired 5/17/13 on KPBS Midday Edition.


Mark Sauer


Kelly Davis, Associate Editor, San Diego CityBeat

Tony Perry, San Diego Bureau Chief, Los Angeles Times

David Wagner, KPBS News

Adrian Florido, KPBS/Fronteras Desk


Cancer in Jail

In San Diego CityBeat this week, Kelly Davis tells the agonizing story of Robin Reid, who was given a four-year sentence in November of 2012 for operating a business in San Diego County offering full-body massages.

Until recently, a four-year sentence would have meant prison, but under California's prison realignment, she was sent to jail. At the same time, the breast cancer she was diagnosed with in 2007 returned with a vengeance and spread to multiple organs.

Robin is dying. If she were in prison, she would be eligible for compassionate release and sent home. But until last year, there was no such provision for prisoners in county jails. SB 1462, allowing compassionate release for offenders in jail, passed and went into effect January, 2013. But there have been delays in producing regulations for the bill, which leaves Reid in limbo.

Her deal with San Diego County releases her four days a week for chemo treatments — that are not working — and makes her personally liable for the expense.

Until the regulations come down to the county from the state, she will not be eligible for release until December 2014.

She could be released earlier if the District Attorney agrees. So far, she has not.

Living Dangerously In Solana Beach

Evening Edition

The high bluffs overlooking Solana Beach afford any homeowner spectacular, unobstructed ocean views. Until their house falls off the crumbling cliff.

Bluff residents have plastered the cliffs with, well, plaster, building walls to hold back the sea, some of them 30- to 40-feet tall, reports Tony Perry in the Los Angeles Times. Most are designed to resemble the cliffs they cover. But what happens if a wall needs repair?

The Solana Beach City Council has adopted a land-use plan which requires a permit for upgrading or expanding a seawall to expire after 20 years. If the wall is not holding up its end of the bargain at that point, it will have to come down.

The California Coastal Commission likes the plan. Environmentalists like it, too. People with homes on the bluffs? Not so much. They like it so little, in fact, that they are heading to court.

Of Mice With Alzheimer's, Frogs With Fungus

KPBS News science and technology reporter David Wagner this week found important stories featuring mice and frogs.

Researchers at the Salk Institute are using very old mice with Alzheimer’s Disease in research they believe is leading to a compound that will stop the progression of the disease.

The compound, J147, can improve multiple types of memory in these mice and prevent synapses in the brain from disconnecting, which halts the disease.

The other piece of critter news is not so positive. Scientists have found that African Clawed Frogs, first imported into the U.S. in the early 20th century for a form of pregnancy test, carry a fungus. Although the African frogs are immune to this fungus, other types of frogs are not.

When they were no longer useful for testing for pregnancy in humans, many labs worldwide simply released them. The fungus has already wiped out 200 frog species worldwide. So far, there is no antidote.

They are still imported into this country for other uses.

How Many Immigrants Without Documents — Really?

You’ve heard it in newscasts and read it in print articles: there are an estimated 11 million immigrants living in the U.S. without permission. How did we arrive at that number? KPBS/Fronteras Desk reporter Adrian Florido found out.

Jeffrey Passell, senior demographer at the Pew Hispanic Center, came up with the number by collecting government information from multiple sources, particularly the Bureau of Labor Statistics. His formula is simple: the total number of immigrants minus the number here legally equals 11 million.

So who are they? The Pew Hispanic Center says six of the 11 million are Mexicans, 60 percent are men and most live in states like Texas, Illinois and New York.

And then there's California.

Pew estimates that nearly 25 percent of the nation’s undocumented immigrants lives in California. They are 7 percent of the state’s population, 8 percent of its adults and 9 percent of its workforce. Many are single men, but many also are families with children in school and on soccer teams.

Unauthorized immigrants are not exclusively in the large cities. Many live in the South, Midwest and Northwest, and they include Salvadorans, Guatemalans, Chinese, Koreans and Filipinos.

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | May 17, 2013 at 1:29 p.m. ― 3 years, 9 months ago



Sorry for the dramatics with the capital letters, but I am trying to convey how disgusted and angry I am over this story.

I am no lawyer, but this "limbo" seems to me to be highly illegal.

If you are kept in custody, then the state or county must provide your healthcare.

What San Diego County is doing here - keeping this woman still in a state of custody but releasing her for just enough time that the County can skip-out on paying any medical bills.



The ACLU or somebody needs to SUE the DA's office and the county over this, it is playing stupid financial and political games with a woman's life.

And also look at her crime - full body massages? So what, so she was a prostitute? and for that she needs to be locked-up for 4 years as she dies of cancer?????

That is an absurd overreach by our extremely corrupt prison-industrial complex system.

For shame.

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | May 17, 2013 at 1:37 p.m. ― 3 years, 9 months ago

Bonnie Dumanis, if you have any shred of decency for your fellow HUMAN BEINGS, you will release this woman TODAY.

YOU have the power to do it, it's a lot of power given to you, please - do the right thing.

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Avatar for user 'JeanMarc'

JeanMarc | May 17, 2013 at 2:51 p.m. ― 3 years, 9 months ago

Lets rip down that artificial sea wall that created the childrens pool. We should not be interfering with nature and creating artificial sanctuaries for seals, this causes over-population.

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Avatar for user 'MsCarrese'

MsCarrese | May 17, 2013 at 8:47 p.m. ― 3 years, 9 months ago

Thank you for commenting on my story. PLEASE LIKE, SHARE, TWEET AND CARE!
I post by my real middle and preferred name Carrese. Read more about me, my business and my boundaries at

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Avatar for user 'MsCarrese'

MsCarrese | May 18, 2013 at 4:03 p.m. ― 3 years, 9 months ago

PLEASE CONTACT, for my release.

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Avatar for user 'muckapoo1'

muckapoo1 | May 19, 2013 at 7:59 a.m. ― 3 years, 9 months ago

Do the crime>do the time. You commit a crime, get sick, too bad. I have not committed any crime>if I get sick, I have to pay for my own healthcare too. I also have to pay for my lodging, utilities and my food. Seems to me you have it better than I do, except I get to select the tv channels that I also pay for. So quit your complaining. There are a lot of non-criminals that have it worse than you. I'm sure Charles Manson is sick and would enjoy a week-end at home too.

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Avatar for user 'MsCarrese'

MsCarrese | May 19, 2013 at 11:15 a.m. ― 3 years, 9 months ago

I respect your opinion muckapoo1. This is Robin Reid. Carrese is who I am.
Your comment reflects the bare facts of my story. There is no complaining about my "deal". THAT is your interpretation.
I am grateful for being able to control my own healthcare. I would already be dead at the hands of the jail nurses by now if I wasn't allowed access to my advanced healthcare and ability to get it.
I have committed a crime that has no victims and have been sentenced to the maximum prison time with no previous record. The charges of Pimping never stuck and were changed to "Housing an illicit relationship". I payed my taxes.
Should I be so harshly judged? Of course, I have a plea and I hope it falls on the hearts of San Diego and anyone else who has fingers to SHARE and type an email.
Even as a very low risk inmate, I am free to go home four days a week, but not seven, I have been the focus and expense of the San Diego District Attorney's office for four years now as being worthy of the time and expense of numerous government agencies, it's employees and our city resources. I would love to see an expense report.
This should concern every tax payer in San Diego. The waste isn't only about me. I hope for compassion, but know that I cannot be everything to everyone, so I'll just be me.


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Avatar for user 'muckapoo1'

muckapoo1 | May 19, 2013 at 5:19 p.m. ― 3 years, 9 months ago

What upsets me most is that you have access to the internet at my expense, on top of the other fees. Quit complaining.

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Avatar for user 'Photoman65'

Photoman65 | May 19, 2013 at 7:38 p.m. ― 3 years, 9 months ago


You might want to check your facts. Robin is locked into a solitary cell, as her diminished immune system would not be able to fight off any of the millions of bugs which are a standard in large population incarceration centers. She also follows every regulation which any other County inmate is held to.

She has no access to internet while she is incarcerated. If you followed the round table, she is able to access internet at her own expense while she is out of the jail per her negotiated incarceration schedule but due to her chemo schedule. I hope you have never had to undergo chemotherapy. I have. I'd rather slam my hands in a car door repeatedly for a couple hours rather than have to deal with the after effects of chemo, my friend.

Make no mistake. Regardless of the fact she is in jail for 3 days a week, there is nothing even close to a 'cake-walk' in this woman's life. Her four days are no picnic. Often she is too sick to even rise from the couch/bed to bid her kids a good day as they are off to school.

You're worried about her receiving internet at your expense? Doesn't happen, unless you are paying her bill. Not even close.

You can translate that self-piety of yours into some savings, and here is how: Start sending sending emails to the jail system, Governor Brown, and the DA. Tell them you, as a resident and taxpayer, are tired of subsidizing Robin's incarceration. Tell them you would rather she pay for everything herself and not be a drain on your tax contributions. Tell them they should have seen fit to weigh the cost of incarcerating her against the County's financial contribution and the fact the plain fact is that Robin will probably die in the single cell she occupies 3 days a week. Tell them you for damn sure don't want to be on the hook for her burial expenses. Tell them...I beg of you to...

She is serving time for, as the sentencing magistrate said, "...a victimless crime..." Her only mistake: providing a service which occurs under slightly different conditions between two people millions of times a day in this country.

Have a good day. Remember to write those emails!


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Avatar for user 'benz72'

benz72 | May 20, 2013 at 8:40 a.m. ― 3 years, 9 months ago

So, would you be in favor of decriminalizing prostitution? Is it actually a victimless crime?

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Avatar for user 'MsCarrese'

MsCarrese | May 26, 2013 at 11:14 p.m. ― 3 years, 9 months ago

@Photoman...xoxo. Thanks for stating the facts. The county of SD only pays for me to be in their four walls. HI...I'm out right now. : )

I pay for my own healthcare. You can keep the savings spent on the imitation soy foods they offer me to accommodate my vegetarian diet too. I prefer to order peanuts from the commissary menu for my protein.

My story will come out soon and everyone who reads it will have an opportunity to question their believes about full-body massage and prostitution. The definition of services of prostitution is out dated and prevents many people from seeking full-body massage which has many proven health benefits for men and women.

WHY IS PORN PROTECTED BY LAW? and massage therapists go to jail?! A full-body massage should not be classified as sex as there is no penetration. Yeah, THAT'S my story and I'm sticking to it,

My health is frail, what have I got to lose? I'm going to shout it out to the world! Call me a prostitute if you feel like you have to be mean, judge or just plain have to...I am a natural healer in my world!

The District Attorney testified on behalf of the people over and over again...Ms Reid made $500,000 in PayPal alone. The official court documents show two official statements from PayPal showing slightly over $37,000 in a five year period. No masseuse offered any of her orifices for sale. There were no acts of penetration!

MY CASE is a total exaggeration of misused facts regarding finances and services available to mislead the public and Judge Moring. I was just a case to ALL COSTS!

It costs every week for 68 hours on the County Budget...I pay taxes too. Robin Reid

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