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Being homeless during the heatwave

 September 7, 2022 at 5:00 AM PDT

Good Morning, I’m Debbie Cruz….it’s Wednesday, September 7th.

How homeless people are coping with the heat wave.More on that next. But first... let’s do the headlines….

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High temps are expected today as the heatwave continues.

Temperatures are expected to stay in the high 80s and reach the 90s by Friday.

It’s not expected to cool down until the weekend.

The National Weather Service extended the excessive heat warning to Friday at 8 p-m for San Diego County’s coast and valleys.

The warning is in effect for the mountain and desert areas until Thursday at 8 p.m.

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With the heat wave straining the grid … CAL ISO has issued flex alerts for the last seven days.

The agency is also tapping other sources for energy.

This past weekend … it asked the Carlsbad Desalination Plant to reduce its output by 20 percent.

The San Diego County Water Authority is also helping out by using Lake Hodges Pumped Storage Facilities to generate electricity to help meet peak demand.

That’s expected to generate enough energy to power roughly 20 thousand homes.

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UC San Diego will use its largest donation yet to fund an institute tasked with expanding stem cell research and reenerative medicine.

The 150-million-dollar donation is from businessman and philanthropist T. Denny Sanford.

It will primarily be used to do research on stem cells in space.

The university’s chancellor said the donation will help the university better understand the progression of cancer cells and aging.

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From KPBS, you’re listening to San Diego News Now. Stay with me for more of the local news you need.

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San Diegans are doing what they can to stay cool as the heat wave drags on.

But KPBS reporter John Carroll says, keeping cool when you live on the street is nearly impossible.

Along Commercial Street, under the I-5… city crews were out cleaning up the sidewalks… sidewalks where unsheltered people live.  Rachel Olson told us it’s especially difficult to pick up and move during this heat. “They make us move every other day.  and sometimes they wait until it gets really hot out and they make us move and a lot of people can’t move their stuff cause they’re handicapped.” The city of San Diego told us they have had people out distributing cold bottled water to the unsheltered… along with information about the dozens of cooling centers across the city and county.  JC, KPBS News.

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U-S Marshal’s are looking for the man dubbed Fat Leonard.

KPBS Military reporter Steve Walsh says Leonard Francis’s decision to flee provides another twist to the decade-long Navy corruption case.

The Malaysian businessman Leonard Glenn Francis pleaded guilty to defrauding the Navy in 2015. He was at the heart of a corruption probe that snared nearly 30 naval officials. Francis was awaiting sentencing when the US Marshals were notified Sunday that he had cut off his ankle monitor, Omar Castillo, deputy supervisor for the US Marshal’s southern California district. “We went to the house that afternoon, knocked on the door, no answer. Looking through the windows and looked pretty vacant. Found an unlocked door, and my task force officers went in.”  Leonard has few ties to the United States. His business was based in Singapore. He lived with three of his children, who are filipino. The US Marshal’s office believes Francis may have fled internationally. Steve Walsh KPBS News

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This fall, students across San Diego County are again adjusting to being back on campus – and face-to-face full time.

The start of the new semester is especially challenging for students who are visually impaired.

KPBS Education reporter M.G. Perez tells us how their special needs are being met and celebrated.

“step up…the button’s in front…forward left…find the button that’s in front of you.” These very specific directions …are for a very specific young student. “we use the back of the hand because we don’t know if there’s something on the button or if the button is hot.” 15-year old Grace da-BEER-ee is feeling her way across Orange Avenue in Coronado…and listening to traffic all around her… “right off my right shoulder is where the cars should be…nicely done…” Grace has been blind since birth…because of an underdeveloped optic nerve that can’t carry messages from her eyes to her brain. Grace Dabbieri/9th Grade Coronado High School “it’s a bit scary at first because there are literal cars…but after doing it for a few years, it gets easier because I know what to expect. It just becomes something I do everyday.” “let’s give a safety sweep left to right…very nice…step up.”  The voice she listens to belongs to Jim per-ON-di…an orientation and mobility specialist with the San Diego County Office of Education. He works with 5 or 6 visually impaired students every day… in districts from Coronado to San Ysidro …teaching them life skills and helping with accommodations for their school work. Jim Perondi/SDCOE Orientation and Mobility Specialist “it’s not about failure, it’s not about meeting my expectations. It’s about them reaching the highest level of independence that they can in the amount of time it takes to do that safely.” He has worked with Grace since she was in second grade. “I’m trailing the grassline that’s to my right..so I have a boundary.” She is now a freshman at Coronado High School…already enrolled in advanced placement computer science along with math and English classes. Grace is growing up with her other senses sharpened and has only a little interest in what she might never see …“probably just my family…and I’ve heard the stars are pretty beautiful…I’d want to see the night sky…but I really don’t want sight…because I’d have to relearn everything.” has more than 16 years of experience …that includes time as an E-M-T, security officer, a credentialed special education teacher with a masters degree, a black belt in Brazilian ju-jitsu…and…HE is visually impaired. slamming on mat “at 24 years old, I had an injury to my left eye where I had a retinal detachment and I lost the majority of my vision in my left eye and I didn’t get it back.” Sometimes, per-ON-di covers his one good eye so that he can relate to what his student is experiencing. A sense of humor also helps. “they’re going to be able to make safe choices and stay out of the hospital…be patient so they don’t become a patient and be able to find the highest levels of independence that they can.”  “what side of the door do we wait on…handle …handle side…very good”  At San Ysidro Middle School …there is another student success story involving 12 year old Diego Caperon…also blind since birth with prosthetics for both his eyes…He has never seen light or even shadows…only complete darkness. That has not stopped him from dreams of someday playing professional football. Diego Caperon/7th Grade San Ysidro Middle School “I love football, yes….(what position do you play?) …I haven’t figured that out yet.” “when I’m throwing the ball someone just makes noise…like they clap or something and I just throw it that direction.”  Diego is supported by his visual impairment teacher, too. Tanya Gonzalez is another member of the San Diego County Office of Education team… Gonzalez is a person who can see and she says she has been educated by so many of her students who can not. Tanya Gonzalez/Visual Impairment Teacher “my students can generally tell if a person is naturally kind and good hearted not because of the way they look but by the way they’re interacted with.” Diego’s perseverence sets an example for all the other visually impaired students across the county …like him… who just want success and happiness… “treat them normal…treat them the way normal people are treated…” That is a lesson for all of us… that is clear to see. MGP KPBS News.

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Coming up.... A new student housing project is underway at U-C San Diego. We’ll have that story and more, next, just after the break.

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U-C San Diego has broken ground on a new student housing project.

KPBS metro reporter Andrew Bowen says the dorms will house more than 13-hundred students.

AB: Specifically, transfer students and other upperclassmen who face stiff competition trying to get on-campus housing. The new dorms are going up right next to the campus's Blue Line trolley stop. And there are even more dorms under construction elsewhere on campus. Pradeep Khosla, the university's chancellor, says housing costs — whether on campus or off — are a huge burden on students. PK: In San Diego, because there's already a shortage of housing, it makes it worse. So I think as a campus we owe it to our students to use the land that has been given to us by the community effectively to build housing for our students. AB: The dorm project is benefitting from a $100 million grant from the state government, which will help keep the rents affordable for low-income students. Andrew Bowen, KPBS news.

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Comic-Con has become a huge event not just for San Diego but for pop culture fans around the globe.

During the pandemic Mathew Klickstein created a podcast called Comic-Con Begins, which presented an oral history of the pop culture convention…

But he had always planned for those interviews to be a book.

Now his book "See you at San Diego: An Oral History of Comic-Con, Fandom, and the Triumph of Geek Culture" is on sale.

Author Mathew Klickstein spoke with KPBS arts reporter Beth Accomando about his book.

That was author Mathew Klickstein speaking with KPBS’s Beth Accomando.

He will be at the American Cinematheque in L-A with a celebrity panel to discuss the book tomorrow.

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That’s it for the podcast today. As always you can find more San Diego news online at KPBS dot org. I’m Debbie Cruz. Thanks for listening and have a great day.

How people living on the streets are dealing with the heat wave. In other news, U.S. Marshals are looking for the man dubbed Fat Leonard. Plus, UC San Diego has broken ground on a new student housing project.