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Chula Vista’s Coronavirus Relief Program

 February 16, 2021 at 5:46 AM PST

Good Morning, I’m Annica Colbert….it’s Tuesday, February 16th. Chula Vista’s coronavirus financial relief funding gets a vote today We’ll have that next, but first... let’s do the headlines…. Officials say the Petco Park vaccination super station will re-open Wednesday. It shutdown over the weekend due to a delayed shipment of MODERNA vaccines. That shipment is expected to come in today. The fallout from the delayed shipment was felt at vaccination super stations across San Diego as they had to either close or slow appointments. UC San Diego Health’s vaccination super site says anyone who had appointments canceled will get rescheduled. People aged 16 to 64 with certain severe health conditions will soon be able to get a covid-19 vaccine. But State Health and Human services secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly says the expanded access to vaccines won’t start until march 15th due to a scarcity in vaccine supply. Those health conditions include cancer, chronic kidney disease, down syndrome and severe obesity. Three Sailors on the San Diego-based USS Roosevelt have tested positive for covid-19 on sunday…. a month into the ship’s deployment to the south china sea. According to the US Navy pacific fleet: the sailors were asymptomatic and they, along with anyone close to them have been isolated per CDC and Navy guidance. From KPBS, you’re listening to San Diego News Now. Stay with me for more of the local news you need. The Chula Vista City council is voting today on millions of dollars in relief for residents financially impacted by the pandemic. KPBS’ Max Rivlin-Nadler reports. The 16.8 million dollars comes from a mix of state and federal funds meant to help pay the day-to-day bills of people in a city hard-hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. Chula Vista Mayor Mary Salas announced the relief fund will help not only cover past or current rent, but also utility bills. Many have struggled to pay the rent, gas, electric, water and sewage bills. Some have been faced with these hardships for the first time ever, these funds can help those who fit the eligibility requirements to get those bills paid. The city of Chula Vista has set up a website for those seeking assistance to see if they qualify, and a call-in line for those without internet access. Residents can sign up for notifications about the program at That was KPBS’ Max Rivlin-Nadler. For the third time this month Feeding San Diego is distributing food to hospitality workers. KPBS’ Jacob Aere reports. Cars lined up at Pechanga Arena Monday for Feeding San Diego's emergency food distribution, specifically targeted to hospitality workers who either lost their jobs or got their hours cut because of COVID-19. Sheneise Scott is one of those workers who has experienced economic hardship due to the pandemic’s ripple effects. “It’s been really rough for me personally to maintain employment. I recently started working and honestly if I didn't come pick up this food I wouldn't know where my food would come from until I got paid.” One more distribution session for those in the hospitality industry is planned for this month at Pechanga Arena, happening next Monday, February 22nd. That story from KPBS’ Jacob Aere. A pair of Arizona congressmen have signed on to a letter urging the new Homeland Security secretary to cut ties between the immigration enforcement agency and local police. From the Fronteras desk in Phoenix, KJZZ’s Matthew Casey reports. U-S representatives Ruben Gallego and Raul Grijalva were among dozens of members of Congress to sign the letter. It asks for an end to the practice of Immigration and Customs Enforcement requesting that local jails hold people longer so agents can pick them up. Data compiled by Syracuse University show that nearly 23 thousand so-called ICE-detainers were issued in Arizona from October 20-16 through June of last year. The letter also urges the end of a program that allows local police to partner with ICE inside jails and to serve warrants. Five law enforcement agencies in Arizona are enrolled. That was KJZZ’s Matthew Casey. Local congressional representatives Sara Jacobs and Juan Vargas are also co-signers of the letter to DHS. The Biden administration has announced plans to begin processing asylum seekers sent back to Mexico under a Trump era policy known as the “Remain in Mexico” program. Some asylum seekers may be able to enter the United States by the end of next week. But others remain stuck. From the Fronteras Desk in Hermosillo, Sonora, KJZZ’s Kendal Blust reports. The Department of Homeland Security says on February 19th it will start allowing into the United States asylum seekers forced to wait in Mexico under the Migrant Protection Protocols.MENSING: For the people who will qualify, this is a good thingBLUST: Alex Mensing with Innovation Law Lab works with migrants in Tijuana. He says some asylum seekers who have waited sometimes for years south of the border are hopeful they are close to reaching safety in the United States.But he says the process will be slow, and only works for a small number of people.Of some 70,000 asylum seekers who were enrolled in MPP, only about 25,000 people with active cases are eligible. And thousands of others are still unable to even start the process of claiming asylum because of other Trump era policies still in effect. That reporting from KJZZ”s Kendal Blust In Hermosillo. Coming up.... An update on the female marines training at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego. And, KPBS launches the Parker Edison project. Both of those stories are next, just after the break. Female Marine recruits started training at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego last week for the first time. The Marines are the last service to separate men and women at boot camp. The Corps is under a Congressional mandate to end segregated recruit training. KPBS Military Reporter Steve Walsh has been following the new recruits. After two weeks of isolation under protocols to stop the spread of COVID-19, the first company to include female recruits officially stand at attention. The first in the 100 year history of boot camp in San Diego, They assemble outside doors marked: “ through this portal walks the future of the United States Marine Corps.” “When I tell you take a knee, you will take a knee right now! AYE Ma’am. Stand UP! Take a knee right now! AYE MA’AM” Drill Instructor, Staff Sgt. Ayesha Zantt, was brought in from Parris Island, South Carolina to be part of San Diego’s first team of female drill instructors. Parris Island has trained female recruits in separate units since the 1940s. On their first day, Zantt’s job was to put both the male and female recruits through their paces. -“Some people haven’t gotten yelled at their whole life. They need to understand the difference. You’re going to move when I tell you to move. You’re going to do what I tell you to do.” Right now Congress is telling the Corps they have five years to end gender segregation at Parris Island and eight years at San Diego - though leadership is hinting that -- after holding out - the Marines will try to beat Congresses timeline. Zantt laid out the task for these women, with the bluntness of a drill instructor. -“They have something to prove. They are the only females that is training right now. This is the first female platoon, so they are going to be going against all their brothers inside of that whole company. They have to show everyone that they are worthy to be here.” 19 year old Teia Chutaro is from Hawaii, but she grew up in the Marshall Islands. She’s starting to understand the significance. -“I had no words at first but now I take pride in that, you know, not many people get this opportunity today.” Critics have charged that keeping men and women separate, just as they become Marines, has created larger issues for the Corps. In 2013, Elizabeth Fitzgerald commanded a company of female recruits at Parris Island. She has since left the Marines. She says, during her time at Parris Island, a male instructor ordered their recruits to look away as the female recruits passed. Fitzgerald believes the lack of integration led to chronic problems like online scandals where active duty Marines were caught sharing and commenting on photos of female Marines. “We lay the foundation for everything else in the Marine Corps at boot camp. All of our leadership traits our principles and our values. All of those, the foundation is laid right at boot camp.” Only about nine percent of Marines are women - the lowest percentage of any service. They’re also the youngest service on average, 70 percent are 24 years old or younger. Fitzgerald says it’s not the young recruits, but their leaders who struggle with integrating women at boot camp. “The younger generation never has an issue. It always stems from top leadership.“ In San Diego, the first female recruits were largely focused on the moment. 19 year old Gabrielle Latchford of Valparaiso, Indiana, has just been given her gear. “I’m a little nervous, but nothing I didn’t expect.” Her brother was a Marine. “We’re going to learn a lot about ourselves that we didn’t learn before. We’re going to build up our leadership skills and overall just build up our personality.” Commanders at boot camp say, this is still officially a test, but for now, very few changes were required to train this first class, as these new recruits -- men and women -- embark on the 13 weeks it takes to become a US Marine. That reporting from KPBS Military Reporter Steve Walsh. What makes culture? That’s the question posed in a new KPBS podcast, the Parker Edison Project. KPBS’s Maya Trabulsi spoke with San Diego musician and artist Parker Edison about how this project connects the San Diego community. NATS: “What comes to mind when you think of American culture, apple pie, bumper stickers, hulk hogan? VO: That’s Parker Edison. The host and co-creator of the Parker Edison project, a new podcast that takes an intimate look at the meaning of American culture. SOT: ”[00:49] “And I'm specifically looking at it through the black lens, because that’s my lens.” VO: Edison says it is a cultural sound experience. SOT: [08:52] “I want people to see how cool my city is.” [09:07] “We have superpowers like we, we are so skilled at so many different things, and we do it so nonchalantly. So ultimately, I want the whole world to be like, oh, yeah, San Diego.” SOT: [09:35] “There's so many of us, it feels like a little city, but there's four million people here and so we are incredibly spread out where it's incredibly cliquish. And so this series lets us meet each other and each episode, in fact, taps into a different part of the city. I think the first episode takes place in North Park and the second episode happens in southeast San Diego.” VO: Each episode explores topics related to food, customs, money, religion, sex, movies, and fashion. Episode one, titled “Womxn on Film,” guest, Latanya Lockett, talks about the symbolism of hoop earrings. SOT: 4:27- 4:39 “Hoops are savage. I'll wear them just with anything. I don't have to be going somewhere. I'll have a t-shirt and jeans and put on some big hoops. I want it to be the statement of my outfit. But, you know they're trying to change us.” VO: Parker is part of the fabric of San Diego’s creative world. A TedX speaker, part of award-winning rap group Parker Meridien and In 2016 he won a local peacemaker award from the National Conflict Resolution Center for producing the “Reclaiming Community Music Project,” which showcases storytellers of SouthEast San Diego. VO: Adversity, he says, is a shared struggle among us, and learning how people find creative solutions is inspiring, bringing people together. In episode 3 artist Oranje Space talks about how he overcame a speech impediment with music. NAT: “It definitely helped me understand why I stuttered and it helped me understand how it works and so I think with that, it allows me to be more patient with myself and to understand why it's happening.” SOT: [07:19] “And so I think when you hear these stories, it lets people have that experience in their car or on a run. They're able to hear what happened to this person and relate to the adversity because we share the same problems. But they get to also see that triumph and how it happened for somebody else.” VO: Edison thinks now is the perfect time to talk about local events that may have been glossed over the last 20 years. This show, he says, allows him to put them into context. SOT: [12:46] “...and be like, ‘hey, were you here for this or you were, oh, do you remember this? Did you talk to this person about it?’ And we get to kind of see the web and again, how big it is and how much happened in this little concentrated area.” VO: Edison says this show is unique in that it comes from a grassroots level and has local guests and stories never heard before. SOT: [11:47] “Again, even getting to meet people that are behind movements that shaped my life.” [14:05] “I'm learning and I get to meet these people, so I'm getting to watch it, too. And so it's just the perfect time. And it's just the thing that I kind of always hope to turn on the TV or turn on the radio and find; That excites me.” VO: The first season of the Edison Parker Podcast has 10 episodes, released every two weeks. That story from KPBS’ Maya Trabulsi. “The Parker Edison Project” is funded in part by the KPBS Explore Local Program Fund. That’s it for the podcast today. Be sure to catch KPBS Midday Edition At Noon on KPBS radio, or check out the Midday podcast. You can also watch KPBS Evening Edition at 5 O’clock on KPBS Television, and as always you can find more San Diego news online at KPBS dot org. I’m Annica Colbert. Thanks for listening and have a great day.

The Chula Vista City Council will vote today on millions of dollars in relief funding for residents impacted by the pandemic. Meanwhile, President Biden is facing increasing pressure at the border. Plus, an update on the female marines training at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego.