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One Million Vaccinated In San Diego

 April 29, 2021 at 5:01 AM PDT

Good Morning, I’m Annica Colbert….it’s Thursday April 29th. >>>> An important milestone - one million San Diegans vaccinated. What now? Thats next, just after the headlines…. ###### District 2 Supervisor Joel Anderson claims his East County district is a dumping ground for sexually violent predators released from state custody. At a news conference Wednesday, Anderson was joined by constituents who say the state isn’t following the law that dictates placement of sex offenders. Anderson says his fellow supervisors could help find an equitable solution to the problem by reconvening the Sex Offender Management Council, which hasn’t met since 2019. ####### The San Diego Police Department in tandem with local businesses is launching the “Safe Place Program.” It’s an effort aimed at helping the LGBTQ community feel safe and supported. Participating businesses will put up stickers on their storefronts, identifying themselves as a place that victims of hate crimes can go for safe haven and to get help from authorities. The program is starting in Hillcrest and Northpark, and other nearby neighborhoods. In time, resources are expected to support the Asian American and Pacific Islander community as well. ######## The Tijuana River Valley Regional Park Campground opened on Wednesday in the South Bay. It has 51 campsites with San Diego’s first yurts. Yurts are modern versions of ancient, round, tent-like dwellings, with room for four to ten people. County officials say the site will be protected from flooding or sewage issues that have been a problem in the area in the past. ######### From KPBS, you’re listening to San Diego News Now. Stay with me for more of the local news you need. One million San Diego County residents are now fully vaccinated. But KPBS Health Reporter Matt Hoffmans says vaccine demand is waning and officials are getting creative. Wooten The fact that we’ve reached over a million vaccinations is an herculean feat Progress on the vaccination front, but at the same time county public health officer Dr. Wilma Wooten says for the first time demand for vaccinations is falling.. Bringing us to a sort of crossroads-- 34:06 Dr. Wilma Wooten, San Diego County Public Health Officer Things are not going to stay constant so as the temperament of the general public changes, our strategies must change County supervisor nathan fletcher says health officials are now stepping up outreach efforts-- 9:37 Fletcher We’re ramping up all of our engagement in various sectors Officials are trying to make it easier to get vaccinated.. Not requiring appointments at some sites, working to extend hours at locations to 8pm and the possibility of a 24-hour site, for those who can't get vaccinated during the day. 10:11 Nathan Fletcher, San Diego County Supervisor We always knew at some point this day would come folks very motivated would get it we think there are people who still want it we just have to work harder to make it easier Overall, San Diego County is about halfway toward its goal of having 75 percent of residents 16 and over fully vaccinated by mid-July. 34:44 Wooten That goal is just for 16 and older, we will have to adjust and modify for when that opens up for 12 to 15 Officials have also aligned local health orders with new CDC guidance that says those vaccinated don't need masks outside unless in large crowds.. And today in mission beach we saw lots of people without face coverings--- 24:57 Fletcher This is the guidance out there and we trust that the overwhelming majority of folks will follow it I get there’s some frustration I’ve gotten my vaccine why do i have to wear my mask at all. Outreach efforts for youth are being increased too. And Supervisor Nora Vargas says pilot programs that helped vaccinate hard-hit south bay communities, are now being implemented in the north county. 18:03 Nora Vargas, San Diego County Supervisor We’re going to continue to ask all of you to share with your family and friends, make sure they get their vaccines At the county’s 20 or so vaccination sites there are now a limited number of doses set aside for walk ups.. But other sites like supersations and health care providers still require appointments. That was KPBS Health Reporter Matt Hoffman. ….. A new study by researchers at U-C San Diego found that individuals identifying as Republicans became more skeptical about getting a covid-19 vaccine, or any vaccines, over the course of the pandemic. The same study found that From March to August of 2020, Republicans also grew less trusting of the media. Over the same time period, Democrats’ views on the two topics remained the same. The report gave a possible explanation for the differing viewpoints -- Republicans and Democrats got their news from different sources. ########## Court orders that restrict the actions of people identified as gang members are known as gang injunctions. These injunctions have been used by prosecutors in San Diego for years. But Criminal justice reform advocates have been calling for an end to gang injunctions. They say they target black and brown young men and stigmatize those who may have left gangs. On Tuesday San Diego County D-A Summer Stephan said that her office is moving to eliminate the injunctions. She says after consulting with law enforcement, she believes the injunctions do not play a significant role in maintaining public safety. Geneviéve Jones-Wright is a member of San Diego’s Commission on Gang Prevention and Intervention. She spoke with KPBS Midday Edition Host Maureen Kavanaugh about the injunctions. Here’s that interview…. That was Geneviéve Jones-Wright, a member of San Diego’s Commission on Gang Prevention and Intervention. She was speaking with KPBS Midday Edition Host, Maureen Kavanaugh. ########## Coming up....The San Diego Zoo is close to opening a couple of new, high tech exhibits “The challenging part is the complexity. It's not just four walls and a roof, we’ve done this before. Let’s just repeat that construction process. That’s next just after the break. t’s been more than two years since the Children’s Zoo closed for a major renovation at the San Diego Zoo. KPBS Environment Reporter Erik Anderson says there’s new hummingbird and komodo dragon exhibits that highlight new, sustainable technologies. This corner of the zoo is a bundle of activity. Construction crews are working to get the old children’s zoo area ready for visitors. The southeast corner of the zoo has been closed since February 2019. The children’s zoo isn’t the only renovation project underway. Crews are putting finishing touches on a new sustainable hummingbird habitat. Curator of birds David Rimlinger says San Diego is among only a handful of zoos that keep hummingbird collections. 04:44:34 – 04:44:42 “I think hummingbirds are one of those few birds, like a penguin, that even if you’ve never seen one you know that it’s a hummingbird.” Hummingbirds thrive in San Diego, but don’t exist in many parts of the world. The new habitat offers a chance for people to see the birds up close. Stand-up 2 05:06:43 – 05:06:56 “and green walls like this will not only enhance the experience for people walking through the exhibit but it's also better for the hummingbirds that’ll live here.” Rimlinger says keeping the birds on display requires a significant effort. 04:43:29 – 04:43:47 “They’re not an easy species to keep. They eat more often than any other type of bird. They feed mainly on nectar. That has to be replenished twice a day. And fruit flies,. We raise fruit flies for them to eat, especially when they’re raising babies. And the new habitat will help. Some of the walls resemble pillows. The rugged plastic is translucent and it traps air in the wall. 04:48:44 – 04:48:54 “ The E-T-F-E pillows we call them are double layer with air in between and so that also helps us regulate the thermal control in the environment.” Vanessa Nevers is one of the project’s architects. She says the enclosures were designed to take advantage of San Diego’s unique environment to help regulate the habitat. She says it is part of the sustainability underpinning of all major projects at the zoo. 04:51:16 – 04:51:38 “A sustainable design is becoming more prevalent and much more common practice in a lot of areas. (04:51:24) Construction manager Eamon Farrell says the sustainability discussion was underway long before the first shovel cut into the earth. And the process took everything into account. 04:56:17 – 04:56:36 “What we’ve done now versus years ago, we’ve boxed trees. We safely put them in a location so we can bring them back in. And with the demolition, instead of loading it all in and taking it off, we separate it into concrete, glass steel. We take the time to do that. That’s all recyclable and we send it to a source close by.” Farrell says the designers, builders and keepers all got together early on to discuss what the new habitats would need to serve the animals housed there. For the Komodo Dragons, heat is important. Herpetology and ichthyology curator Kim Gray says Heat rocks, infrared lights and even the natural environment will help keep the large lizards toasty. 05:00:38 – 05:00:47 “You can tell it’s a little bit overcast today, a little bit cooler temperatures. In Indonesia it might not be this cool so we might let them spend more time indoors in a nice warm environment.” Gray says the new exhibit will have separate indoor areas, and outdoor space and a nesting area in the back. Gray says that’ll give the Komodo Dragons a choice. The new habitats require integrated systems that Farrell says could be controlled by a smartphone. That’ll make it easier for keepers to manage the two new exhibit spaces, but that ease of operation masks the challenge of making the habitats work. 04:57:38 04:57:47 “The challenging part is the complexity. Its not just four walls and a roof, we’ve done this before. Let’s just repeat that construction process. No we’re dealing with live animals and they all have different needs. And the collection is very dear to us.” The hummingbird and komodo exhibits are scheduled to open to the public this summer. Erik Anderson KPBS News. And that was KPBS Environment Reporter Eric Anderson. 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.

One million San Diegans have been vaccinated. That’s good progress, but now officials say demand for vaccines is beginning to fail. Meanwhile, the District Attorney’s office is filing to eliminate gang injunctions. Plus, new high-tech exhibits at the San Diego Zoo.