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Documents Reveal Serious Abuse Allegations By Minors In Border Patrol Custody And More Local News

 October 17, 2019 at 2:50 AM PDT

Speaker 1: 00:00 It's Thursday, October 17th I'm Deb Welsh and you're listening to San Diego news matters from KPBS coming up, managing climate change. When the ocean comes knocking Del Mars, working on a blueprint and artists from around the world will be performing at this year's LA Jolla wow. Festival because we're performing outdoors and it's a free event. There's a sort of come as you are feeling to the audience that more coming up right after the break. Thank you for joining us for San Diego news matters. I'm Deb Welsh, a new trove of documents obtained by the American civil liberties union sheds light on years of alleged abuse of minors in customs and border protection, custody by border patrol agents, KPBS reporter max rules. Adler tells us more. Speaker 2: 00:53 The 35,000 heavily redacted pages were obtained by the American civil liberties union. After a lengthy court battle with the department of Homeland security over a freedom of information act request, they contain hundreds of instances of miners alleging abuse by border patrol agents all along the us Mexico border. The miners say they were beaten while handcuffed, run over by ATVs and bitten by dogs. In the hands of agents. The complaints cover the years between 2009 and 2014 parts of these investigations have been released as part of this litigation. Sarah Thompson is an attorney with the ACLU of San Diego and Imperial counties. Speaker 3: 01:29 The individual investigations of what the results were for the individual kids. All of that happens behind closed doors and we only know some of that because of the foyer requests. Speaker 2: 01:40 A 2009 allegation details. A border patrol agent putting his hand down, a teenage girl's waistband, another has a border patrol agent hitting a teenager with a flashlight as he calls them a liar. Speaker 3: 01:50 These documents absolutely show how the culture of this type of behavior and abuse is very deeply rooted within the agency. Yes, Speaker 2: 01:59 customs and border protection has not yet responded to a request for comment on the documents. Max Riverland, Adler, K PBS news. Speaker 1: 02:07 California spends more than $12 billion a year on its prison system. Wednesday in San Diego, legislators gathered to discuss prison reform and to hear what the public thinks. KPBS reporter Matt Hoffman explains state assembly members including filtering of San Francisco. We're in Chula Vista Wednesday talking about the future for California's prison system. Speaker 4: 02:28 We are spending now for 125,000 people, about $13 billion. Speaker 1: 02:35 State legislators say they intend to spend even more, but want the money to go toward keeping people out of prison. Speaker 4: 02:40 We're going to have to invest upfront so that when people come back out into their, to their community that they're prepared to be in the community. While initially it may cost more. We're trying to save money much further down the road. Speaker 1: 02:54 A January audit of the state's prisons found that while access to inmate rehabilitation programs have up, they are not being Speaker 5: 03:00 fully utilized. The audit also found the state has no way of determining whether or not the rehabilitation programs are working and while inmate population has decreased recidivism rates have not. Matt Hoffman, K PBS news Speaker 1: 03:11 only democratic assembly members attended the hearing. However, they insisted that prison reform is a bipartisan issue in California. Congressman Scott Peter's question, top VA officials yesterday about a flawed human research study conducted at the San Diego VA I. New source investigative reporter Brad Racino has more Speaker 6: 03:32 members of the house committee on veterans affairs. Held a hearing yesterday about how the countries at VA medical facilities are protecting veterans from bad doctors. During the hearing, Congressman Scott Peters brought up, I knew sources investigation into an unethical liver study conducted in part by San Diego VA dr Samuel ho. The research involved collecting liver tissue, blood stool and urine samples from patients suffering from alcoholism and liver disease. I knew source found whistleblowers alleged for years that the research was dangerous and unethical. This story presents a case though that could have consequences in other settings, especially for VA medical centers that conduct research on site. Peters asked VA leaders how they handled the whistle blowers claims in response. Dr Gerard Cox, a deputy under secretary at the VA said for the first time publicly that there was egregious research misconduct in San Diego. Cox also said that a new report about what happened at the San Diego VA has been completed and is being reviewed for KPBS. I'm I new source investigative reporter Brad Racino Speaker 1: 04:37 to read the whistleblowers comments on yesterday's hearing. Go to I new I knew source is an independently funded nonprofit partner of KPBS beginning next year. Homes built in California must include solar panels, but KPBS science and technology reporter Shalina Celani says some are concerned this new building code will make it even more difficult for people to afford homes Speaker 7: 05:03 at a home in Southeast San Diego. Accrue from grid alternatives is screwing in solar panels on the roof. This nonprofit group install solar for low income families at no cost. Clovis Andre volunteers with the group and as president of the local NAACP, he says a mandate requiring new residential construction to have solar is a good idea, but he's concerned that low income people will not be able to participate in the state's clean energy transition. Oh, we're going to put solar on new homes. We're going to put solar on up to three story apartment buildings, but where will they be built? Who will be able to access them? Andre says the California public utilities commission funds some programs to incentivize solar in multifamily homes. Grid alternatives also gets funding, but he says that's not enough to close the clean energy divide between the rich and poor, especially since new housing is already so unaffordable. So when you talk about new construction, you're Speaker 8: 05:58 talking about doing those cause that construction neighborhoods that typically are going to be priced out of even the rental range of lower income and communities of color. Communities of concern, Speaker 9: 06:08 Andre says it'll be challenging for the state to meet environmental goals if lower income communities aren't able to afford clean energy Shalina chump money. Speaker 1: 06:17 Key PBS news, the city of Del Mar and the California coastal commission have put off a decision that would have tackled the difficult issue of managing climate change. KPBS environment reporter Eric Anderson says coastal regulators and San Diego's smallest coastal city are locked in a battle over how to plan for sea level rise. Speaker 10: 06:38 Camino Del Mar cuts through the heart of this upscale enclave of about 4,400 residents. He just over two square mile community features of beach that attracts more than 2.7 million visitors a year. Tell them our city council member, Terry Gaster land says the seaside location puts more than a billion dollars worth of [inaudible] homes in the path of a rising ocean. Speaker 9: 07:02 That's a difficult issue in Del Mar because we have 600 homes that are vulnerable and at risk. If we initiate managed retreat on the beach front, homes, Speaker 10: 07:13 homes right along the beach are actually in a better spot. Those homes sit about 13 feet above average sea level gastro Lynn says homes behind them are only seven to five feet above. She says, giving that property back to the sea is widely considered a bad idea here. So the city's alternative is to bolster local beaches with sand and protect lower lying homes with a natural berm. Gastro Lynn says that's enough for now and the next few decades. Speaker 9: 07:42 After that 50 year Mark, after 2078 it gets the cone of uncertainty broadens and so to plan for. The worst case scenario is to plan for great extremes that we don't know what timeline it's on, Speaker 10: 07:56 but the California coastal commission is not convinced. Del Mar has done enough staff is recommending rejecting Delmar's new local coastal plan unless the city accepts 25 amendments. The coastal staff praise the city for its near term plan, but found the document lacking when it comes to longterm strategies. Delmark Councilman Dwight warden says those changes are just a clever way to introduce managed retreat and buried in those 25 changes are what I characterize as take backs at an undermining of the basic premise that they're letting us go with our plan. A, they're not, uh, they're trying to undermine that. The Surfrider foundation disagrees. Stephanie c-KIT, Quinn says the commission changes are practical and help the community draw up a longterm plan to cope with the retreating shoreline. Speaker 9: 08:45 Again, it's the longterm proactive planning that Surfrider wants to get out there because again, we owe it to future generations for them to have these tools. Because when the time comes, they're going to need to have all of these things on the table. Speaker 10: 08:58 Secret's Quinn says, adjusting the local coastal plan would allow Del Mar to prepare now for changes that are coming. She says she wants the city to review their local coastal plan. Speaker 9: 09:08 We cannot put our head in the sand and look down the road and pretend like we're not going to have to deal with that. So if we do that now, if we put our head in the sand now and ignore the inevitable parts of climate change, it's just going to get harder in the future. Speaker 10: 09:23 Change is already underway. Scripps institution of oceanography researcher Laura Angerman, says the ocean is getting warmer. Ice sheets are melting, and the pace of ocean level rise is increasing. She says, how fast or how severe that change will be remains undecided. Some of it depends on what people do about carbon emissions. And that makes policy decisions difficult. Speaker 9: 09:46 We need to think about ways that the science can support those kinds of adaptation pathways, uh, and give a sense for the pace and the acceleration, um, as much as possible. Uh, one thing that we can do is work with our cities to really develop more strategic monitoring so that we're really tracking what's happening or shoreline. Speaker 10: 10:07 The coastal commission and Del Mar city staff are continuing to talk about the city's local coastal plan. In an effort to find common ground, a decision on this issue could set a precedent for the rest of the state's coastal communities. Eric Anderson, KPBS news, Speaker 1: 10:23 LA Jolla Playhouse kicks off. It's without walls or wow festival tonight. The festival showcases site-specific works from around the globe at Liberty station through the weekend. KPBS arts reporter Beth Armando speaks with Sammy canaled and Emily mulpi, the New York based artists presenting allegory outdoors in front of the women's museum. Speaker 3: 10:46 Sammy, you are going to be having a production in this year's wow festival called allegory. So tell us a little bit about what it's going to cover. What kinds of themes? So allegory is a recreation of a 20th century women's suffrage pageant. It's based on a pageant that was performed in 1913 on the steps of the U S treasury building. And it was created by a woman named Hazel MCI and performed by a thousand women in 1913 and it was about representing the cause of women's suffrage through the form of spectacle and propaganda as a way of trying to push forward the, the challenge of getting women the right to vote. And Emily, you are co-directing this. What are the particular challenges of working in the without walls festival? Well, I think because especially our piece is a recreation of something that existed a hundred years ago. So much of it is sort of being created on the people in the room and with us live in front of us. Speaker 3: 11:44 So I think that the biggest challenge is sort of figuring out how to bring together, you know, we had a cast of like 70 75 community members as well as a forum that has sort of not really seen the light of day in a hundred years and perform it outside. So there's a lot of moving parts that we're putting together. And you guys are not from San Diego. So what is the kind of appeal or what draws you here to San Diego to perform in? Oh wow. Festival. A lot of the work that the two of us do in New York is, is site specific. And to know that there is a festival of site-specific work is unbelievable. Um, uh, and so of course we are great admirers of the work at LA Hoya and um, the Playhouse specific and have, have admired the festival from afar. And when we got connected with the festival, we're very, very excited about partaking. Speaker 3: 12:36 And I think that for this piece in particular, we're, we're very excited to do it in such a way where we're able to involve the community and also able to involve the community in such a way that it's taking place right outside the women's museum of California. So we're trying to make that connection as well and figuring out all the ways that, you know, we can make ties between the community and the piece. So you both have worked with site-specific works before. If audiences have not sampled that yet, what can they experience in a site specific work that they may not get from something that's inside of conventional theater? Speaker 3: 13:12 I think that oftentimes it's about what does it mean to put a story in dialogue with a space that can be very literal in the sense that we're both working on a production of ragtime, that we put sites specifically on Ellis Island. And in that case it's very literal because it's like Ellis Island is a location that, that we go to in the musicals. So putting it there is about like literally representing what's happening in the piece. I think in the case of allegory, for us it's more symbolic of what does it mean to perform this pageant in what we understand is a community gathering place in a place that is related to the women's museum of California in a place that is, um, in an of the community, which is how patents were performed a hundred years ago. They were performed in the town square. I think a lot of outdoors site specific theater doesn't look necessarily the way that we expect theater to in the sense that we don't have any lighting, we don't have, you know what I mean? Speaker 3: 14:06 It's, it's, there's not like certain conventions of theater and yet if you come with an open mind, I think you'll have a great time because we're performing outdoors and it's a free event. There's a, there's a sort of calm as you are feeling to the audience that they can come see part of it. Leave our pieces. I mean we hope you stay for the whole thing, but our pieces is in sort of little episodes so you can kind of sample it and stay for as much of it speaks to you and so it really asks the audience to engage in a way that when you purchase a ticket and sit in a dark theater, the sort of transaction has already occurred. Whereas in this piece, the transaction is happening throughout the piece. All right, well I want to thank you both very much for talking about your work. Thank you. Yes. LA Jolla. Playhouses without walls or, well, festival continues through October 20th at Liberty station. Speaker 1: 14:53 Thanks for listening to San Diego. News matters. Do as a favor and if you appreciate the podcast rate or review us on Apple podcasts or wherever you listen to podcasts. Thank you.

A new trove of documents obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union sheds light on years of alleged abuse of detained minors by Border Patrol agents. Plus, managing climate change when the ocean comes knocking, Del Mar is working on a blueprint that may be adopted by other coastal cities. Also on today’s podcast, California spends more than $12B per year on its prison system and lawmakers gathered in San Diego to discuss ways to reform it. And, San Diego Italian Film Festival kicks off its 13th year at the Museum of Photographic Arts with a madcap murder mystery and new leadership.