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Palomor College President Resigns With $600,000 In Pay And Severance And Other Local News

 February 14, 2020 at 3:00 AM PST

Speaker 1: 00:00 It's Friday, February 14th I'm Deb Welsh and you're listening to San Diego news matters from KPBS coming up, following financial problems at Palomar college and other controversies, the school's president resigns and has now been a year since the Trump administration launched the remain in Mexico program. Speaker 2: 00:19 It's as if the border has descended into darkness and we're all just doing the best that we can to ensure that people survive Speaker 1: 00:28 that more. Coming up right after the break, Speaker 3: 00:36 [inaudible] Speaker 1: 00:36 Palomar college has been warned of serious budget trouble. Now its president is leaving with a big paycheck. I knew source investigative reporter Jennifer Bowman has more. Speaker 4: 00:46 Two months after Palomar college. President joy Lynn Blake was placed on paid leave pending an unspecified investigation. She's agreed to resign. She'll receive more than $600,000 in salary and severance for quitting. Blake is leaving a mid of financial crisis at Palomar state. Officials say the college could be broke within two years. Blake has led the college since 2016 and it's face criticism from faculty over money issues. Last year. I knew source reported the college was spending $1 million to build a presidential office suite in the colleges recently open library. Blake's official last day as president will be June 30th for KPBS I my new source investigative reporter, Jennifer Bowman, Speaker 1: 01:27 I knew source is an independent nonprofit partner of KPBS. There are now two people with the Corona virus at UC San Diego medical center in Hillcrest. The patients came to San Diego from China last week. KPBS reporter Matt Hoffman was there Thursday. As officials gave an update on their status Speaker 5: 01:47 one um, I would consider in very good condition. The other is in fair condition. Fair condition means fair condition, um, not severe and not good. Speaker 6: 01:59 Dr Randy tablets with UC San Diego health says they are doing everything they can to help both patients. Speaker 5: 02:04 If they require IV fluids, they'll get IV fluids. If they require Tylenol for fevers, they will get Tylenol. There is no specific FDA approved treatment for this virus. At this point, Speaker 6: 02:17 the world health organization is working to find drugs that will fight the virus, which is now being called coven 19. Right now. Clinical trials are underway in China, which could show results in the coming weeks. Those who tested positive at UC San Diego health could be in San Diego for a while. Speaker 5: 02:31 They will be with us until the CDC feels comfortable sending them back. Speaker 6: 02:36 Tablet says the hospital is expecting more patients from the quarantine at MCA S Miramar but would not elaborate. Matt Hoffman, K PBS news. Speaker 1: 02:44 San Diego scientists have shown that certain prebiotics can help mice fight skin cancer. KPBS science and technology. Reporter Shalina Jelani spoke to the lead researcher about the effectiveness of these prebiotics, which caused bacteria grow in the gut. Speaker 4: 03:00 At the Sanford Burnham Previce medical discovery Institute in LA Jolla, scientists EV Rhondai selects a Petri dish filled with mice cancer cells from a refrigerator. Speaker 7: 03:09 Well, we provide them with the right temperature, the right concentration of oxygen Speaker 4: 03:15 road. I studied these cells and he found two kinds of prebiotics can help mice fight skin cancer. Prebiotics are food that encourages certain kinds of bacteria to grow, Speaker 7: 03:25 so we have 2% of our body close to it is a basically trillions of bacteria of the other. Knew about different populations, dynamics that affect each other and to get an effect on the immune system is a pretty pronounced [inaudible]. Speaker 4: 03:41 He says it's still too early to see what this means for humans, but it shows more evidence Speaker 1: 03:46 that gut bacteria could be a useful tool in fighting cancer. Shalina chop Mani key PBS news. San Diego County this week received $750,000 from the state to better address dementia. KPBS health reporter Taryn Minto says, advocates hope it will go toward better diagnosis of Alzheimer's, which causes up to 80% of dementia cases. Wordless serves a very useful claim. Dr. Gilbert ho asks patients to recall words during an Alzheimer's assessment. It's among dozens of questions. He asks over multiple appointments to diagnose the disease that has no single diagnostic test, but he says more patients can get to specialists like him with better screening by primary care physicians. Again, you know they're overwhelmed. The Alzheimer's association says only 16% of surveyed patients received regular assessments, even though a majority felt it was important. The local chapters. Anna Gonzales, SEDA says the group hopes the new funding will address this gap. Definitely advocating on behalf of the patient and the having that conversation with the doctor. The County has not yet provided details of its spending plan. Taryn mento, KPBS news teachers remembered black history and rallied the San Diego continuing education community to use their vote in the upcoming election. KPV as reporter Eric Anderson has details, Speaker 8: 05:04 the black history month event recounted events from the reconstruction era to modern day emphasizing the need to remember the past, so it was possible to move forward. Voting is considered a key tool for change. Gwendolyn Chamberlain is an adjunct professor at San Diego continuing education part of the region's community college district. She says voting has an impact on nearly every aspect of life, particularly the Brown and black communities in San Diego. Speaker 2: 05:31 Let's talk about economics. Let's talk about food and security. Let's talk about housing and security. Poverty, new levels. Boden is critical for this, just this community, but communities that are disenfranchised. Speaker 8: 05:44 Chamberlain says the backdrop for the disenfranchised is different now than in the past, but it is just as important today. Eric Anderson, KPBS news, Speaker 1: 05:55 California sliding back into conditions after a brief period when the state was considered completely drought free. Cap radio's rental white has more Speaker 9: 06:05 a swath of California is Southern Sierra Nevada and San Joaquin Valley is now determined to be in moderate drought. It's about 10% of the state, nearly half of California, including portions of the Sacramento Valley Bay area and central coast are abnormally dry drought expert. Rich tinker is a meteorologist with Noah and author of this week's drought monitor report. Really the last 60 days or so after a decent start to the wet season, uh, things have pretty much, I won't say shut off, but there's been a considerably lower than normal amount of probably at a just a quarter of normal. He says the state is about where it was last year at this time, but that was during one of the what is February's on record and with each week the outlook got better this year, however, February is lining up to be one of the driest with no rain insight. You can get precipitation in March. Of course, if you don't get a decent slug of moisture, then though you're going to be entering the dry season with a moderate drought, uh, already existing in that region and it can't possibly get better until the next wet season. Also, more than half of Nevada, including the Reno area, is now considered abnormally dry as well. That's up from just 4% last week, Randall white cap radio news, Speaker 1: 07:16 the price tag for California's high speed rail project is expected to increase another billion dollars. That's according to its late as business plan. Now, a handful of democratic lawmakers are calling for a shift in strategy gap radio. Scott rod reports. Speaker 10: 07:33 The current plan prioritizes laying track in the central Valley Los Angeles area. Assemblywoman. Laura Friedman doesn't think the state should abandon that strategy, but she says funding should shift to parts of the project in Los Angeles in San Francisco Speaker 11: 07:46 because once you get more people in those population centers used to writing a fast, reliable, convenient train, that's when I think you build the public will. You're going to need to continue financing the rest of the project. Speaker 10: 08:00 Under the current plan, the central Valley line, it's expected to be completed in 2031 the San Francisco to Los Angeles line is projected to finish a few years later. The billion dollar cost increase is moderate compared to previous years. When voters approve the project in 2008 they were told it would cost about $45 billion. Since then, the projected cost has nearly doubled in Sacramento. I'm Scott rod, Speaker 1: 08:23 San Diego international Jewish film festival kicked off its 30th year last night. KPBS film critic Beth like a Mondo looks at what's ahead in the next 10 days of the festival. This year, the San Diego international Jewish film festival showcases five venues, 13 countries and 35 films. That's a long way from its roots showing a few films on 16 millimeter in a gymnasium. After three decades, the festival decided to add the word international to its title festival and feature selection. Chair crisping says she, the new name helps correct misconceptions people may have about a Jewish film festival. I think many think that all the films are Holocaust films. We have Jewish and Israeli stories. We also have films with no Jewish content that might be by a Jewish director and we bring it to town to showcase the work of a Jewish artist. The director, Israeli director, Danny Menkin, has two documentaries, the picture of his life and all see screening at the festival. Any of my films, there is a quest of the hero and I'm there to document it, but I struck my movies as the were feature narrative films. There's something for everyone's taste as the San Diego international Jewish film festival continues through February 23rd both like Amando KPBS news. It's been just over a year since the United States began returning asylum seekers to Mexico under the remain in Mexico program. KPBS reporter max Rosen Adler gives us a look at how the program is playing out South of the border. Speaker 6: 10:00 Remain in Mexico. Came to Tijuana in the form of a 55 year old Honduran man walking down the ramp from the Santa Cedure port of entry on January 29th of last year. He was the first asylum seeker return to Mexico under the controversial migrant protection protocols or more commonly known as remain in Mexico. Since that day, more than 57,000 asylum seekers have followed in his footsteps across the Southwest border, returned to Mexico to wait for their day in immigration court in the U S the department of Homeland security said it created the program to prevent asylum seekers from being released in the U S before their asylum hearings. A program they call catch and release. DHS and customs and border protection declined repeated requests for an interview for this story with KPBS. It says the remain in Mexico program. It's currently under internal review, but the administration of this program by DHS has placed migrants directly into danger. Asylum seekers have faced violence and persecution while waiting in Tijuana and have been virtually unable to access legal assistance. On top of that, Mexican authorities say they have their hands tied. They are simply complying with the wishes of the Trump administration. Speaker 12: 11:16 [inaudible] always tells me is [inaudible] the style from Neal's [inaudible] Speaker 6: 11:22 Zeus, Alejandro Ruiz [inaudible]. eBay is the federal delegate who act as the liaison between the Baha state government and Mexico. Mexico's president. He spoke with KPBS last week in Tijuana. Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador Mexico's president allowed remain in Mexico to expand and began a crackdown on immigration along Mexico Southern border. After the Trump administration threatened the country with crippling tariffs, give us a little bit of food. Still we read, they says that the goal for Mexican authorities has been to treat the migrants returned to Mexico with dignity. To that end, he says the government has opened up a hostel for migrants with social and health services and even tries to provide jobs for them. The Mexican government doesn't keep track of what happens to the migrants returned to Mexico. Many faced with a month long wait, enter the United States by jumping offense or walking through the desert. Some go back to their home country, others fall victim to violence in the border cities or report from the organization. Human rights first found that over 816 people in the program have been murdered, tortured, or attacked while waiting in Mexico for their court hearing. In late November, a 35 year old Salvadorian man was killed into Guana after being sent back to Mexico with his wife and kids. According to the coroner's report obtained by KPBS, the man was dismembered. Speaker 2: 12:43 Really no comparison. It's as if the border has descended into darkness and we're all just doing the best that we can to ensure that people survive. Speaker 6: 12:53 Nicole Ramos is a lawyer with the organization. I'll throw lotto, which has provided legal and humanitarian support to asylum seekers in Tijuana Speaker 2: 13:01 at our office in Tijuana. We literally have had victims of human trafficking come to our office after escaping their traffickers. And we ourselves have been faced with deep personal danger as we're forced to find places for people to hide. Speaker 6: 13:15 More than 27,500 people have been returned to the two Juana Mexicali region from along the border to get to court. They have to line up early in the morning in Tijuana to be bus to downtown San Diego for their hearings. Less than 3% of those in court in San Diego have been able to find a lawyer. As legal service providers are stretched thin and private lawyers are fearful of traveling to see their clients in Mexico, we rebate the federal delegate says the future of the program hinges on November's presidential election. You cause you're sending this person listening to this. And he says that American voters will be the ones who decide if the program and America's current policy towards migrants along the Southern border will continue into Juana max with Linda Adler, K PBS news. Speaker 1: 14:00 The murder rate is rising in Sonora, the Mexican state East of LA, and with a number of women and girls being killed in this date. Now, Sonoran women are joining a movement that spread across Mexico and Latin America. They're demanding justice and action in response to the increasing violence and insecurity they face. KJ zzz Kendall blessed reports about femicides in Sonora, Speaker 13: 14:30 a small group of women and girls hold up thin white candles as night falls on a busy and Maricio Plaza, their faces a glow in the candlelight. They sing a simple Anthem of unity and peace for Mexican girl Andrea Sanchez leads the group feminist girls collective and MLCO. It's DIA de Muertos or day of the dead and they've set up a small altar of crosses, candles and paper flowers to honor the thousands of women and girls murdered in 2019 [inaudible] Sanchez says she wants the world to know that women and girls are being raped, tortured, and killed in Mexico. Next to the scene girls, she's strung up dozens of sheets of paper each printed with the picture of a smiling child. Some of them more than 3,800 women and girls killed in Mexico last year on one of the wrestling pages is he thin Norman Morocco, the seven year old from San Luis, who [inaudible] was found murdered near her home on May 30th, 2019 now known as black Thursday in Sonora. Three women were murdered that day. Another survived, a brutal beating. You say, I want [inaudible] Sanchez says, femicide is becoming an unwanted tradition in Mexico. Last year, 117 women and girls were killed in Sonora. The state designated 41 of those murders as femicides. Speaker 14: 16:10 [inaudible] is [inaudible] on union [inaudible] Speaker 13: 16:16 the murder of a girl or a woman because of her gender. It's a hate crime. Says Sylvia Nunez, head of the Sonoran arm of the national citizens observatory on femicide. We met in a coffee shop late last year to talk about growing violence against women. Official records show more than 1000 cases of femicide in Mexico in 2019 a 10% jump from the previous year, but many believe the real number is much higher. Nunez says, nearly all murders of women should be considered femicides because of the social context. Speaker 14: 16:56 [inaudible] [inaudible] [inaudible] Speaker 13: 16:59 men kill each other, she says, and men kill women. Until women have the same power, access to weapons and involvement in organized crime as their killers. Gender is a factor, but classifying murders as femicides is just one step. Nunez also wants more attention focused on prevention. State attorney Claudia and Contrarez agrees [inaudible] but effective [inaudible] mass [inaudible] [inaudible] says her office is working with other entities to tackle the root causes of violence against women. And she says they're sending the message that femicides won't be tolerated in Sonora by doggedly investigating, tracking, and prosecuting cases. [inaudible] [inaudible] but for many, it's not enough. In November, a crowd of friends, colleagues, and supporters marched through the streets of [inaudible], calling for justice after well known Sonoran scholar and activist of [inaudible] was brutally murdered by her partner is willing [inaudible] activists, [inaudible] says, everyone's in shock by the as death as a reminder that all women are vulnerable to femicide. They're terrified and enraged, but that's only made them more determined to keep fighting for change. I'm Kendall blessed in air. Most CEO, thanks for listening to San Diego news matters. If you liked the show, do us a favor and tell your friends and family to subscribe to the show.

The President agrees to quit following financial problems at the school and other controversies. Plus, Sacramento politicians want changes to California’s very expensive high-speed rail project. And drought may be returning to many parts of California.