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Gov. Gavin Newsom Delivers State Of The State Address

 March 10, 2021 at 1:39 PM PST

Speaker 1: 00:00 Governor Newsome delivers a hopeful state of the state address. Speaker 2: 00:04 Even as we grieve, let's allow ourselves to dream a brighter days ahead. Speaker 1: 00:09 I'm Maureen Kavanaugh with Jade Hyman. This is KPBS midday edition. Mental health crisis teams will become a resource countywide Speaker 3: 00:29 Mobile crisis response teams, non law enforcement ones. We believe get, can make a significant positive impact on getting better outcomes for these endeavors. Speaker 1: 00:38 Race-based medical assumptions may complicate treatment for COVID patients and some of this year's top picks at the San Diego Latino film festival. That's ahead on midday edition, getting kids back to school, getting shots in arms and getting the economy back on its feet. Those are the three priorities governor Gavin Newsome outlined in his state of the state address. Last night, Newsome reviewed the past difficult year. The burdens Californians have suffered on the mistakes that have been made, but the governor who may be subject to a recall vote later this year, praised California's vaccine program as the most robust in the nation and predicted better days ahead, Speaker 2: 01:32 Even as we grieve, let's allow ourselves to dream a brighter days ahead because we won't be defined by this moment will be defined by what we do because of it. After all we are California, we don't wait for someone else to show us the way forward. We go first and we go boldly. We lead and gay rights, gun rights and criminal justice reform. And now we lead on combating. COVID Speaker 1: 01:58 Joining me as a reporter and producer for [inaudible] California politics and government desk guy Marza rati and guy. Welcome. Speaker 3: 02:06 Thanks so much for having me now, the Speaker 1: 02:08 Venue for this state of the state speech was different and it had a sort of layered symbolism. Tell us about it. Speaker 3: 02:14 That's right. So unlike most state of the state speeches, which are delivered in Sacramento in the assembly chambers, this was in Los Angeles at Dodger stadium, and you really couldn't have picked more of a Hollywood setting, right? This was layered with production values, uh, cameras flying over new SEM and over the stadium, as he spoke images projected over, uh, on screens behind him. And it was both I think, to display the fact that Dodger stadium is being used as a mass vaccination site, but also really to drive home the scale of loss that we've had here in the state from the Corona virus, the, you know, roughly 54,000 deaths in the state are kind of equal to the capacity of the ballpark, which really put in perspective, uh, kind of the scale of the loss. And I think really for Newsome, um, was the reason him and his team chose to deliver this address in primetime, in Los Angeles Speaker 1: 03:08 And in an empty Dodger stadium too, for maximum effect. Now, what aspects of this long pandemic year did the governor highlight in his speech? Speaker 3: 03:17 He really focused on nailing the diagnosis. Then as you put it up top, uh, accurately was vaccine distribution, getting kids back in school and economic recovery so that the diagnosis is there that will obviously drive both the state's recovery. Um, and to a large extent Newsome's own political future. Speaker 1: 03:35 The message about getting the state's economy back on its feet, maybe easier than the governor had expected because of a windfall in state revenues. Tell us about that. Speaker 3: 03:45 Well, you're exactly right. I think this is where California's progressive tax structure really comes into play, even though we've seen the unemployment rate rise in this state by roughly 5% over the last year, the state is, has ended up with billions of dollars in unexpected revenue, precisely because our state budget relies so much on the wealth of high earners, both in high income capital gains. And as we've seen, you know, Silicon Valley, California tech companies really do well in the stock market in the last few, in the last 12 months, uh, that's reflected in these revenues that we have to spend on things like school reopening and the so-called golden state stimulus Speaker 1: 04:24 State of the state address was characterized by some as the governor's first campaign speech in the expected recall election. Does it look like that recall petition will qualify Speaker 3: 04:35 Well we'll we'll know, uh, in, in the not too distant future, uh, uh, supporters of the recall campaign have a week to hand in those signatures. It is looking likely, uh, at this point that they will have enough to force an election probably later this year. Um, and it's, you know, once the election is certified, it's, anybody's better dependent in large part on who gets into the campaign, um, on face value Newsome, obviously as a Democrat enjoys, uh, a big registration advantage and would have to be considered the odds on favorite to keep his job. It was notable though, Marine last night, uh, you know, 3,600 words delivered by the governor. He did not mention the word recall once he made passing mention to a what he called a partisan power grab, California naysayers. Um, but I think for the most part, he wanted to make this speech about the positive vision going forward for the state and not dwell on the fact that the pandemic has really reshaped his own political future Speaker 1: 05:33 And reshape the polling surrounding his approval rating. That's dropped from 64% last September to 46% early this year. Can we pinpoint the reasons for that? Speaker 3: 05:46 Well, I think it's kind of a perfect storm of things for new. Some obviously there's very few politicians that have come out smelling like roses from this pandemic. You look at the, the economic toll on low income earners in California, the school closures, the small business closures. And then there are the unforced errors, right? The dinner he had at French laundry gathering while he's know, telling Californians, not to gather in groups, uh, the, the vast problems that the state's employment development department, both with fraud and delays in getting out benefits. Republicans, you know, really went after Newsome after last night's speech for not even mentioning EDD, uh, in his state of the state address. And I think that might be in large part to Newsome thinking, this is not something I'm likely to turn around in the next few months. So the best political strategy might be avoidance. Um, but he definitely got some criticism on that. Um, so I really think it's, it's all of those factors that come into play when you're talking about why nuisance approval rating has declined. That being said, there are polls that show the decline is, is less, uh, to less than an extent than others Speaker 1: 06:51 Is speaking about the critical reaction to the speech. There were some comments from hopefuls, gubernatorial hopefuls, like former San Diego mayor, Kevin Faulkner. Here's what he had to say. Speaker 4: 07:03 Gavin Newsome has had almost unlimited emergency powers for a year and four months. We gave him the benefit of the doubt, but time and time again, he has completely failed on delivering the basics. I believe there should be a high bar for a recall. You have a Newsome has cleared it several times over. Speaker 1: 07:28 So what's next now for the governor, what challenges are ahead when it comes to the legislative session? Speaker 3: 07:34 Well, it was interesting. Unlike many state of the state addresses, this was not really focused on the five point plan, a legislative agenda going forward. I think Newsome in the legislature have done a lot in just the last couple of months since the legislature returned at the top of the year eviction protection legislation, the stimulus plan for economic relief, small business relief, and then this, you know, $6.6 billion plan to incentivize school reopening. So I think the large part is agenda. We'll be seeing those initiatives through that being said, the budget process is coming up in the next couple of months. We'll see how Newsome is going to be spending some of these increased revenues that he has. Um, so that'll be something to watch over the summer. Speaker 1: 08:19 Okay. Then I've been speaking with reporter guy Maserati. He is reporter and producer for [inaudible] California politics and government desk guy. Thank you very much. My pleasure people with mental illness are 16 times more likely to be killed in an encounter with police than those without mental illness, that jarring statistic has moved the County to look for better ways to help people experiencing psychiatric Speaker 5: 08:56 Crisis. Officials are now looking at the pros and cons of a pilot program that dispatches teams of behavioral health experts to some calls instead of law enforcement County board of supervisors, chair, Nathan Fletcher joins us with more on the mobile crisis response teams, chairman Fletcher, welcome. Thank you for having me. So these teams do not include members of law enforcement like PERT, the psychiatric emergency response teams do, how do they differ from the counties per se? Speaker 6: 09:25 It's just having a non-law enforcement response for what is a non law enforcement situation. If an individual is not a danger to themselves or anyone else, then we want trained clinicians to respond. These are individuals who have the training, the expertise, the compassion, the empathy, the time, uh, to try and help these individuals that are in distress and get them on a better path, the better way forward. And we're encouraged by the results of the pilot program. And we're looking forward to taking this project county-wide, uh, beginning of the summer. Speaker 5: 09:55 I mean, what prompted the decision not to include law enforcement on these teams? Speaker 6: 09:59 Well, I think that there's been a long recognition that that mental health and drug treatment issues are some of the only issues that automatically gets you a law enforcement response. If someone is having a heart attack, they don't respond to law enforcement and 59,000 times a year on enforcement response to these calls. And in some instances they need to go because there is a danger to the health and safety of San Diego, but the vast majority of them they don't need to, and the presence of law enforcement can escalate the situation. They're also not trained and equipped to be experts in mental health issues and drug treatment and issues. So we want to get the right care to the right person at the right time. And that's where mobile crisis response teams, non law enforcement ones. Um, we believe kit can make a significant positive impact on getting better outcomes for these individuals. Speaker 5: 10:46 Great. And so tell me who specifically makes up the new mobile crisis response. Speaker 6: 10:50 So it will be a series of, of, of trained clinicians. Uh, it will be individuals that are equipped, uh, that, that really know the ins and outs and how to talk some more down how to deescalate, how to build a relationship. Uh, they'll often be paired with someone in the team who has lived experience. There's tremendous value in someone who has lived experience, who has gone through some of these challenges with substance abuses or mental health illness, um, and, and really began to build that relationship with the individual in distress and also be able to assess them about what is the proper treat, how, how can we get them to the right place? Maybe it's a crisis stabilization unit. Maybe they need to go to the emergency room. Maybe they need a different level of care and treatment, but then begin the process of a continuum of care. And what we're trying to do is break the cycle of addiction, poverty, incarceration, emergency level care that repeats itself over and over and over. Let's get these folks into sustained ongoing care. They can improve their quality of life. Speaker 5: 11:47 San Diego County, behavioral health services, assistant directors, sessile, Sesame, Thornton stern during a press conference on Monday about the program. Here's a clip from her Speaker 7: 11:57 During the last fiscal year, pur provided over 12,000 crisis contacts. Approximately one third of those were to repeat individuals through the history of the PERT program. We've come to learn that not all situations require the presence of law enforcement. Speaker 5: 12:14 How will it be decided then whether law enforcement PERT or these teams respond to a call? Speaker 6: 12:19 Well, ideally that Joyce would be viewed send a mobile crisis response team, or do you send law enforcement with a Curt, a psychiatric emergency response team embedded with them? And the ultimate decision is, is the individual in distress? Are they a danger to themselves or someone else? And if the answer to that is yes, then it needs to be a law enforcement response, ideally with a clinician, if they're not a danger to themselves, and they're not a danger to anyone else, that's when you would send the mobile crisis response team. Speaker 5: 12:47 And what exactly will these teams do when they respond to a call? Speaker 6: 12:51 Well, that's where they'll begin the assessment. They'll begin talking to the individual, assessing what is going on in their life, and then be able to determine what is the best option. There were already a array of services for folks experiencing mental health issues or substance abuse issues. But traditionally with law enforcement, it is you either leave them where they are. You take them to jail, or you take them to the emergency room. Well, these mobile crisis response teams will have the expertise to be able to better assess. Uh, and third Avenue at Hillcrest, we're building our regional behavioral health hub. That'll be one site that will have an array of services in that one location. That's an ideal place where teams can take them. Uh, but again, these teams will know best and be able to make the best assessment about how do we get this individual connected into ongoing services and how do we get them connected into ongoing case management and care coordination, uh, to really try and break those vicious cycles, uh, that we see over and over again. Speaker 5: 13:46 And, and these mental health response teams have been responding to emergencies in North County since January. How has their effectiveness being measured? Speaker 6: 13:54 Well, we've seen tremendous success. I mean, we, we have seen, uh, exactly what it was designed to be exist. A story we recently shared was a family member of the family couldn't deal with them. Uh, it was really getting into a bad place. The mobile crisis response team got there, assess the situation, work with the individual, got them in a crisis stabilization unit. Adam's stable, got them on an outpatient system, uh, and, and was able to help turn it around. The difference is the pilot program has not included diversions from nine one. One to make the system truly work. We need to be able to divert calls from nine one one. And so, as we prepare to go county-wide in summer, uh, we are working with multiple jurisdiction city of San Diego, city of Chula Vista national city, and the Sheriff's department to design those protocols and processes. So the nine one, one calls can be diverted to the mobile crisis response team, uh, to try and help get them to the right place. Speaker 5: 14:47 And there's a shortage of mental health treatment options in the County. Will people referred by these mobile response crisis teams have priority for available services? Speaker 6: 14:58 Well, this is a huge issue. What we're doing on mobile crisis response teams is one piece of about a dozen different pieces. We're working on that all have to come together to truly provide the promise of a better way for behavioral health services. And a key part of that is, as you rightly identify, gives this shortage of, of community care. These are or mental health or drug treatment services that are of lower acuity, lower level than an emergency room visit. And this is where we launched our behavioral health impact fund, uh, just a year ago, $25 million to increase capacity for these. And so we simultaneously have to build out those levels of care that are below in emergency room type situation to make sure that we have a place to take folks. Speaker 5: 15:41 And there are currently more than 70 per teams, which include members of law enforcement and they aren't able to respond to all nine one, one calls involving a mental health emergency. How will this pilot program meet the demand for service? Speaker 6: 15:55 Well, I, I think there's, there's going to be a great intersection between the mobile crisis response team and the per teams. Uh, ideally anyone who's in mental distress would either get a mobile crisis response team, or if it needs to be a law enforcement response, there's a fear of safety. Then it would be a law enforcement response who is paired with a per clinician. And so we think that this can really enhance and augment the ability of part, uh, to be on scene when there needs to be a law enforcement response. And then when there doesn't need to be, then we have the mobile crisis response teams who can take over. So we think this can increase the effectiveness of our teams. Speaker 5: 16:31 I've been speaking with County board of supervisors, chair, Nathan Fletcher, Nathan Fletcher. Thank you so much for joining us. Speaker 6: 16:37 Thank you for allowing me to join you today. Speaker 5: 16:46 You're listening to KPBS midday edition. I'm Jade Hindman with Maureen Cavenaugh. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted a number of racial health disparities across the nation, but as researchers and physicians continue to study the severe effects of COVID-19 on the body, a new report from UC San Diego health suggests that long standing test used to determine lung capacity or actually rife with archaic. And in some cases, racist components that could lead to a misdiagnosis in patients of color. Joining me today are two of the researchers on that report, Dr. Amy naan and Dr. A tool. Malhotra welcome to you both. Thank you. Thank you, Dr. Nan, I'll start with you. Certain medical tests for determining lung capacity have come under scrutiny after the U S food and drug administration determined that these tests have limited utility among people of color. How did the FDA come to make that assessment so limited Speaker 6: 17:44 Probably in reference to the pulse oximetry tests that you're referring to. And those are, um, Speaker 8: 17:50 Tools that are designed to read blood flow through the skin and darker skin color. Actually can't be read through as easily as later skin color. And so it turns out that those pulse oximetry readers just can't read blood flow as well with darker skin and work less well then with people of darker skin color. Speaker 5: 18:11 And let me ask you this, another of those lung capacity tests, uh, spirometers can provide much more accurate results. However, this kind of test is used with a race-based modification that has racist origins. How did this come to be? Speaker 8: 18:26 The spirometer is the one that we wrote about in our recent article, and that is a tool that measures lung capacity. And so in the spirometry measurement, it actually is corrected for automatically in most barometers to adjust black lung function, 10 to 15% higher, because the assumption is that black lungs have 10 to 15% lower capacity than white lungs. And this is based on a really old historical data dating all the way back to Thomas Jefferson, where he assumed and, um, reported that black lungs were less, uh, had lower capacity than white lungs. And so this data has been shown over and over through the years that there is lower lung capacity at a population level. And so they've built these corrections into the tools that we use to measure lung capacity. But the problem is we don't actually know why there's lower lung capacity in black populations, and it's assumed to be normal. And so we adjusted leading to potential underdiagnosis among black people. If their lung capacity is lower, but it could be an environmental factor that's driving this difference and not a genetic factor. And the assumption is that they are genetically different and that's why they, they use a different normal standard for black lungs than white lungs. Speaker 5: 19:47 Dr. Malhotra how often do you think that leads to misdiagnosis? Speaker 9: 19:52 No, we really don't know. That's a study we're doing now where we're collecting data in actual survivors of COVID to see how many of them are in the normal or abnormal range. These, uh, assumptions about what's normal as doctor nonsense are based on historical assumptions. That really aren't well validated with scientific data. So we're now looking at some African American survivors of COVID to see how many of them are having these adjustments. If somebody is at 70% of normal, and that is adjusted up to, to put them into the normal range, we might not give them appropriate treatment. Cause we'd say they're normal, inappropriate Speaker 5: 20:26 In Dr. Malhotra because COVID-19 affects lung capacity. We've seen an increase in the use of spirometry tests. Uh, how have these so-called race modifications used in these kinds of tests exacerbated existing racial health disparities in America? Speaker 9: 20:42 Yeah, so it's something that not all of us are aware of as a lung doctor. We use by Ron all the time to assess lung capacity. We have people blow into a device and measure how much volume or flow comes out of their lung and what's normal or abnormal. So it depends on the eyes of the beholder. Sometimes what we end up doing is saying what is what the value is as a percent of predicted, but the predicted is based on these historical assumptions, which is on cases are flawed Speaker 5: 21:08 In Dr. Nom, this research indicates there's no major genetic marker. As you mentioned that can explain racial differences in lung function. How do you hope this finding will highlight racism in the field of him? Speaker 8: 21:19 That's right there hasn't been any genetic study that explains racial differences in lung function with any particular genetic markers. So I think the future of this research really should focus on what kind of environmental exposures might also be contributing to racial differences among function factors, such as air pollution, smoke, exposure, intrauterine growth restriction. All of these things over the life course can affect lung function. And so I think a focus on these factors in research and trying to get to the bottom of what's actually contributing to the lung function differences without just assuming they're genetic is, is the next step in research. Speaker 5: 22:00 And Dr. Malhotra, is it possible that doctors could be missing or looking past critical diagnosis, uh, in people of color due to these flawed testing methods? Speaker 9: 22:10 Yeah. It's not just possible. It's actually likely because the normal values I get when I do one of these tests are adjusted in ways that are not accurate to take an extreme example. If there was a group of people that smoked a lot of cigarettes, let's say smoke three packs a day for 20 years, just to make a point, if you adjust it for that said, that's normal, then nobody would have emphysema or smoking related disease. Cause he'd said that's normal. And that's obviously inappropriate was Dr. Is emphasizing understanding why the lung function is a certain way is important. If the genetic and environmental and other factors coming into play, it's important that doctors recognize that and say, what's from COVID, what's some other factors and then try and treat accordingly. Speaker 5: 22:50 What will it take to change the existing practice to make the measurements more equitable and accurate for everyone who's tested? Speaker 9: 22:58 I think the first step is raising awareness. Uh, even though I'm a lung, uh, physician, I can tell you that other lung doctors don't necessarily recognize where those factors came from and the truth be told, I wasn't fully aware of the, the Thomas Jefferson thing about inferior black lens until Dr. Naan brought that to my attention. So even though that sounds absurd, that was, uh, the dogma that we weren't aware of. So the first step is raising awareness. The next step is added research. And so looking at what happens to different people of different races, different ethnicities as they survive COVID is an important next step for Caucasian person blew out of their lungs three and a half liters, and an African-American blew out of their lungs. Three liters does a difference in the volume that they're blowing out of their lungs. If you make an adjustment. So it's normal Speaker 8: 23:46 For them, they'd be allowed to be concluding that everybody's normal, but the fact that their volumes are different or their air flows are different, maybe because they have disease. And it's not something you want to adjust for. Speaker 5: 23:56 And, uh, Dr. Naan, you're quoted as saying that body proportion, socioeconomic status and occupational hazard impact lung capacity and not necessarily a person's race. How do you hope this research will help impact future clinical reporting with regards to, Speaker 8: 24:11 I hope that, um, future clinicians actually do holistic interviews, asking people about all the exposures that they're encountering, smoke exposure, lifetime smoke, exposure, occupational hazards, and, and don't just automatically adjust for race in their spirometry readings or in any measurement or clinical diagnosis that uses race. This is not a situation actually specific to lung capacity, but it's common across many medical diagnoses. Um, there's differences in the way kidney function is, uh, estimated by race there's differences in, in estimates for risk of vaginal birth. After C-section many different diseases have risk calculators with race built into them. And I hope that we actually do closer examinations of what's driving these racial differences before we continue using these race adjustments, because we don't know what's causing racial differences, or if they're even real. Speaker 5: 25:09 I've been speaking with Dr. Amy naan and Dr. Atoll Malhotra of UCLA health. Thank you both. Speaker 8: 25:15 Thank you. Thank you. Speaker 1: 25:22 San Diego County supervisors have ordered an independent review of the COVID-19 hotels sheltering program, the program, which is nearly a year old provides shelter to people who need to isolate because of exposure to COVID or who are homeless. A company hired to solve earlier allegations of mismanagement at the crown Plaza isolation hotel in mission Valley is now facing allegations of mismanagement itself. Reports of inadequate care, untrained staff, hostile security guards, and frequent police calls surfaced in an I new source investigative report late last month. Joining me with more is I new source investigative reporter Cody Delaney, Cody. Welcome. Thanks for having me. How many hotels are part of this program and about how many people do they house? Speaker 8: 26:13 Yeah, the County won't say how many hotels are involved or where they are even only that, that, that it has secured 640 rooms for the program. Um, at the crown Plaza, there were close to 300 people staying there late last month. And these rooms are used for temporary housing for two kinds of people. Those who have come in contact with the coronavirus and those who are, who are at risk for developing severe illness. If they do come in contact and County health officials direct people Speaker 10: 26:44 To these rooms for isolation, if they have nowhere else to go. So that could be first responders who need to isolate away from family members, uh, or people who are going through integration. Uh, but we're hearing the vast majority of people staying in these rooms are homeless people Speaker 1: 27:01 And initial report by a news source on the crown Plaza found that people sometimes in mental or emotional distress were not getting the care they needed. Can you remind us about that situation? Speaker 10: 27:13 Yeah. After the County started acquiring these hotels last March County employees quickly became overwhelmed as they tried to manage. Uh, we obtained some emails from an employee saying she was begging and pleading for additional services. So they knew they weren't providing the mental health support and case management that these folks needed. And a few weeks later staff found a man had died in his room by suicide. Five days had actually passed before his body was discovered and staff members there had told us that there had been other suicide attempts there as well. Speaker 1: 27:48 So the County brought in a new management company, tell us what is Equis workforce solutions supposed to be doing? And how much is the County paying them? Speaker 10: 27:58 Yeah. Equis is responsible for providing guests with basic necessities, right, such as three meals, a day, laundry services, onsite security, and providing people with their medications. And it relies on several subcontractors to get that job done. Um, the county's contract with Equis runs through the end of this year and will cost $30 million. Another company called Telecare is responsible for providing mental health services to the hotels. And the County changed an existing $13 million contract had had with that company to get that done. Speaker 1: 28:32 Now, in your most recent report, you spoke to a couple of people who have worked for Equis at the crown Plaza and a former resident of the hotel. What kind of conditions did they tell you about? Speaker 10: 28:45 Yeah, it's, it's certainly a challenging situation to be in, regardless of who you talk to. Um, for employees they're doing what they can, but they know it's not enough. You know, they say guests, weren't receiving medication on time. Toddlers were going days without appropriate food. And they flat out told us that they're not trained to deal with most of the situations that they encounter, you know, especially when it comes to mental health episodes and for guests at the crown Plaza, it's, you know, it's not like they're there for vacation. They're, they're staying, they're under a public health order because they've come in contact with the coronavirus. And they told us from the moment they arrived, there is absolutely no empathy or compassion. They're treated like a burden from staff and harassed by security guards. Uh, one man, we interviewed for the story. He said an issue about his service dog escalated to a security guard, attempting to hit him with a chair. So was the I Speaker 11: 29:42 New source report the basis for this new County investigation into the hotel sheltering program? Speaker 10: 29:48 Yeah. I'm still waiting for confirmation on that, but, but here's what I can say that the county's order came eight days after our reporting on this situation. And when board chair, Nathan Fletcher called for the independent review, he said it was quote in response to some of the concerns around what we're doing on hotels and quote. Speaker 11: 30:08 So when is the investigation supposed to begin? Speaker 10: 30:12 Yeah, so County staff was directed to return back to the board with a report on this review within 90 days. So sometime anytime between now and 90 days we'll have a better understanding of what's going on. Speaker 11: 30:25 And Cody, what, if anything, is the longterm plan for these sheltering hotels? Are they supposed to continue being a housing resource for homeless people even after the pandemic? Speaker 10: 30:37 Yeah. I mean, there's a lot of, lot more reporting to do on the situation. That's certainly a question I have. Um, the CA like I said, the county's contract with Equis expires at the end of this year. Um, but we might have a better understanding on the future of this program when County staff returns with that report, uh, within the next 90 days. Um, because we don't, we don't, we still don't know what's going to come out of that report and what the staff will say about it. Speaker 11: 31:03 Okay. Then I've been speaking with, I knew source investigative reporter, Cody, Delaney, Cody. Thank you very much. Speaker 10: 31:10 Thank you so much Speaker 5: 31:20 Leaders at West point will allow most of the students involved in a major cheating scandal to remain at the military Academy. Late last year, 73 cadets were accused of collaborating on a virtual calculus exam. The scandal is raising questions about honor among the men and women who will become the Army's future leaders. Deseret Diorio reports for the American Homefront project. Speaker 11: 31:44 More than 50 of the accused cadets admitted, they cheated, but almost all of them will get a second chance West point enrolled them in a special program designed to rehabilitate students who violate the honor code shortly after the scandal became public. Last year four cadets resigned from the Academy. Another eight could face tougher discipline West point superintendent, Darryl Williams, address the scandal at a congressional hearing this month. He defended the Academy's decision to allow most of the cadets to stay Speaker 10: 32:14 Excuse for violating United States, military Academy honor code, and I have all the tools I need to hold them accountable for that. Speaker 11: 32:22 And we will. Those tools like the rehabilitation program came about the last time, a large cheating scandal rock the Academy, 1976 back then the accused cheaters were kicked out and the army established a special commission to investigate. Craig Bruce Smith teaches military history at the army school of advanced military studies. He says the aftermath of 1976 is when Westpoint began to reassess what honor. And the honor code really mean Speaker 10: 32:52 Was understood pretty widely throughout society in the 18th into the 19th century, but it's very much faded from public discourse, public discussion in the 20th, 21st century. So how honor the honor code has been administered has changed greatly Speaker 11: 33:09 Myth speaking personally, and not on behalf of the army, says the Academy began to allow more discretion in punishing honor code violations after the 1976 scandal. Speaker 10: 33:20 So rather than a black and white, if you have broken this, you are removed that there should be an ability to assess the situation, the circumstances, and to have a response that is not all or nothing. Speaker 11: 33:36 That's been the trend throughout higher education at non-military colleges, rehabilitation approaches like the kind at West point are much more common than outright dismissal when it comes to academic dishonesty. David Redinger is the former head of the international center for academic integrity, Speaker 10: 33:54 Expulsion flies in the face of everything we understand about the psychology of ethical and moral behavior. Speaker 11: 34:00 That's partly because the section of the brain that makes you feel icky when you do something wrong. Isn't fully developed until around age 23 to 26 after college is over. Render says, rehabilitation seems in line with West point's mission to instill the values of duty honor. And Speaker 10: 34:19 That doesn't necessarily mean weeding people outward, imperfect, because we're all imperfect. That means taking the best cadets we can and turning them into the best officers they can be, which means teaching them. And if there's no opportunity for redemption, what are we really teaching? Speaker 11: 34:34 But Congresswoman Jackie spear of California who chairs the military personnel subcommittee says cadets accepted into elite. Military academies should be held to a higher standard. Speaker 10: 34:46 I'm going to say accountability that I frankly am very disappointed, does not exist in the academies right now. When you have now etched in the marble at West point, cadet will not lie cheat steal or tolerate those who do that should be crystal clear. Speaker 11: 35:05 West point leaders called the cheating extremely disappointing, but speaking to the congressional committee, superintendent Williams also noted the cadets faced an unusual situation during the pandemic, Speaker 10: 35:16 Our young men and women in a remote learning environment, some were challenged in terms of home life at home. They were away from their coaches, their teachers, and the structures that provide the way ahead. Speaker 11: 35:30 William's promised that the cadets will learn from this experience. I'm Deseret Diorio on long Island. This story Speaker 12: 35:38 Was produced by the American Homefront project, a public media collaboration that reports on American military life and veterans funding comes from the corporation for public broadcasting. Speaker 1: 35:58 This is KPBS midday edition. I'm worrying Cavenaugh with Jade. Heinemann the San Diego Latino film festival kicks off tomorrow with films on two screens at the South Bay drive in, but the majority of films will be presented online. KPBS arts reporter, Beth Armando speaks with exhibitions manager, Moises Esparza about programming the festival. And he shares his top picks Speaker 12: 36:23 [inaudible] a year ago when I spoke to you, the festival was on it's opening night and had to cancel because of COVID. Now it appears that the festival is kind of more at the tail end of the pandemic. So what is this experience been like for you as someone programming the festival, Speaker 13: 36:43 Canceling the festival and its launch date last year was a bit traumatic to say the least now, in retrospect, and kind of in the chaos of putting a stop to everything. It was hard for me to contextualize just how emotionally deprived I felt from not being able to launch a physical edition of the film festival. We ended up launching a virtual edition in September, which was in a way a great trial run for this new edition of the festival, which is also mostly for patrol, but, you know, it's, it's a challenge. I think that film viewing is a communal activity. I think it deserves to be seen with friends, family, or with strangers in a movie theater. So we're still getting used to this virtual realm with that being said, I think what's important is that we as a festival stay true to our mission and continue championing Latin X cinema from all over the world, regardless of the exhibition platform, whether it's in theater or virtual, it's, it's weird. I feel we got canceled right. Or postponed, I should say right at the beginning of the pandemic and that I were doing this edition a year later, I almost see the light at the end of the tunnel with things relaxing and easing. So I feel like every festival was maybe two months from now. We might have been able to be back in theaters. Speaker 12: 38:05 Well, another thing that impacts your festival more so than I think other festivals in San Diego is the festival. The in-person festival attracted a crowd from South of the border, from Mexico, from Baja and with a virtual festival, you are faced with what the distributors called geo restrictions, where you're not allowed to have people from outside of a certain geographical region purchase your film. So how has that impacted you in terms of the audience you can serve? Speaker 13: 38:37 We are in a way of binational film festival because we're so close to the border. So there are some films that our audience in Tijuana will not have access to because of this geo block restrictions. Prior to this virtual edition, we had individuals who would cross the border every day to watch films and they would come from even further South and TJ sometimes. And it was just so impressive to see their commitment to attending the festival, watching these films. So in a way I think that these, while I understand the necessity of these geo blocking, I do think for such a regional festival, it's kind of a hindrance to us, um, in terms of access to our films and potential revenue streams. And so, yeah, there's, this geoblocking is, is a challenge. Speaker 12: 39:30 Let's talk about the programming a bit. I know that sometimes when you're programming films, the process of selecting them is when themes or trends seem to appear. And I'm wondering if during this pandemic year and looking at the films, if anything kind of seemed to be a trend or a theme that came up, Speaker 13: 39:51 You know, it's really fascinating. And I think I could talk for hours about this topic is what I thought through. A lot of the submissions is this reckoning with topic of colonialism, a lot of the films they thought were the reckoning with how colonialism has bred violence that still exists to this day. And I think that's a really important thing to take notice of as, as a programmer, the fact that this discourse seems to be happening amongst Latin X filmmakers, this idea that the trauma of generations pass gets passed down and it's, it's up to us to reckon with it. Speaker 12: 40:33 The films you'd like to highlight for people who are looking to attend the foster Speaker 13: 40:36 At our festival, we tried to program with different themes in mind. So there's films about the immigrant experience. There's films about the LGBTQ experience, really just trying to champion as many different perspectives on what it means to be Latin X. And I think that some of the films that I can recommend the most deal with what I discussed earlier regarding this reckoning of the idea of the violence that colonialism has created. One of them is a documentary called 499 by [inaudible] who is master documentarian. He is just so skilled. I creating documentaries and this one is really form breaking and astonishing in the way it tells its story. It explores the idea that colonialism has to directly affect it. The violence in Mexico that's occurring in modern times. So he frames it within this context of the conquistador arriving on the shores of Mexico in modern time. Speaker 13: 41:41 One of the other films that deal with this reckoning of colonialism is a narrative film called Blanken Blanco directed by the court with [inaudible]. Who's one of the greatest actors working today, and what's really striking about this film is how it portrays, how history is captured and how the way that history is captured is the way we interpreted it as actually happening. I would say Beth, that blank and blank goes one of the more provocative offerings the festival has to offer, but encourage audience members to take a chance on it. Because the reason to attend a festival in person or virtually is to watch films. You would not typically watch and to watch challenging films and subject matters that are sensitive. It's part of the festival experience to expand horizons, to become a more, learn it, film goer. So black-on-black would definitely gives audience members the opportunity to kind of embark on a truly film festival journey. I would say Speaker 12: 42:53 The things that's always key about your festival is discussions. So there will be a virtual discussion component to the festival again, correct? Speaker 13: 43:02 Absolutely. We are scheduling virtual Q and A's for many of our films, they'll start immediately after the posted duration of the film, but if you're not able to watch it live, you can tune in afterwards. So they'll be available on our social media channels, but I encourage film goers to watch these live because that's when you get to type out questions for the filmmakers. And we're trying to create a little bit of the festival and person magic in this virtual space, but something that's awesome is that I've gotten to speak with more filmmakers than ever. It's amazing and awesome for me. So the discussions are my favorite part of the festival. We were in person. And now that I get to talk with filmmakers from all over the world, I mean, it's just, it's almost maybe like as cheesy as it sounds a dream come true for me. Speaker 12: 43:53 Well, I want to thank you very much for talking about the Latino film festival and as always, I look forward to it. Thank you so much. Speaker 1: 44:00 That was Beth haka, Mondo speaking with Moises Esparza, the San Diego Latino film festival begins tomorrow night and runs through March 21st, both online and at two outdoor venues. Speaker 13: 44:12 Yes.

Governor Gavin Newsom urged Californians to dream of brighter days during his annual State of the State address, this year from an empty Dodgers Stadium. Plus, a North County mobile crisis response program is expanding county wide by this summer. And, a new report from UC San Diego Health suggests that long-standing tests used to determine lung capacity are actually rife with archaic and, in some cases, racist components that could lead to a misdiagnosis in patients of color. Then, the County Board of Supervisors called for a review of the entire COVID-19 hotel sheltering program eight days after our partners at inewsource reported on problems at a county-run COVID-19 isolation hotel. Plus, leaders from the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, New York will allow most of the students involved in a major cheating scandal to remain at the prestigious school. Finally, how the San Diego Latino Film Festival is adapting and growing due to the COVID-19 pandemic.