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City Council To Vote On Surveillance Technology Contract

 July 27, 2021 at 2:00 AM PDT

Good Morning, I’m Annica Colbert….it’s Tuesday, July 27th. >>>> Advocates want city leaders to delay a vote on a surveillance tech contract More on that next, but first... let’s do the headlines…. ###### Starting August 2nd, California state workers will have a choice - get vaccinated for covid-19… or get tested for the virus at least once a week. Governor Gavin Newsom announced the new requirements for California as the number of delta variant cases continues to increase. “246k Californians are state employees. 246k Californians should be vaccinated and if they’re not vaccinated and cannot verify that they've been vaccinated we are requiring that they get tested.” The new health order will also apply to public and private health care settings starting on august 9th. …… Dr. Jim Schultz is the chief medical officer at neighborhood healthcare. He thinks the new vaccine policy is important...especially for those high-risk locations. “especially with the new delta variant, which is much more contagious than the other strains have been. it can really rip through any sort of congregate setting.” California is encouraging all local governments and other employers to adopt a similar protocol. ######## The Dixie fire burning in Butte and Plumas County has merged with the Fly Fire, tearing through the community of Indian Falls. So far the blaze has burned more than 197,000 acres, and is 22% contained. It’s already leveled over a dozen homes and structures. Evacuation orders were issued in a number of small mountain communities. Officials say more than 10,000 homes are under threat. ######### From KPBS, you’re listening to San Diego News Now. Stay with me for more of the local news you need. The San Diego City Council is scheduled to vote TODAY on extending a contract with a surveillance technology system called ShotSpotter. The police use Shotspotter to detect and track gunshots in some of the city’s neighborhoods. KPBS Race and Equity Reporter, Cristina Kim says community advocates want city leaders to delay the vote. Since 2016 San Diego has used ShotSpotter audio sensors that cover 3.6 square miles in the predominately Black and Latino Southeast neighborhoods of Lincoln Park, Valencia Park, O’Farrel and Skyline. Homayra Yusufi of The Partnership for the Advancement of New Americans … together with other coalition members from Trust SD say there is not clear evidence that the technology works as advertised. “ I think we need to have a more robust conversation about is this actually curbing violence or not because what we’ve seen from investigative reporting is that it’s not.” According to the company, ShotSpotter audio sensors are attached to the top of buildings, electric polls or light stops…. When they hear a shot. They record it, timestamp it, locate it and then send the data to an incident review center where people verify the sound is a gunshot before alerting the SDPD. City Council members are set to decide whether to extend the city’s contract for an additional year with the option of extending it another four years … at a total price tag of around 1.1 million dollars. Yusufi is concerned that the council will be making this decision without any of the measures that the council were unanimously approved last November that set up regulatory practices for reviewing the city’s use of surveillance technology. “The reality is that we are living in an even more technological world and we need to have a process in which the city is able to determine which kinds of surveillance technologies does or doesn’t make sense and ramming ShotSpotters through the process is not how we do that, that’s not responsible governing.” In June, the SDPD released new numbers showing a surge in gun violence., And in a July 1st letter to city council members department officials wrote the tool “enables a new normal where police can provide a consistent, rapid and precise response,” which will lead to increased community trust. Khalid Alexander of Pillars of the Community says the tool does the exact opposite andand wants to see all ShotSpotters out of San Diego. “We’re perfectly capable of picking up a cell phone and calling 911 if needed. ShotSpotters are really just another excuse to overpolice our neighborhoods, to come in and pull people over and essentially come into a place where they haven’t been asked to come.” The city council will meet virtually on Tuesday and the meeting is open to the public beginning at 11AM. That reporting from KPBS Race and Equity Reporter Cristina Kim. The city council will meet virtually TODAY (Tuesday). It’s open to the public beginning at 11AM. ########## It's been a deadly month for cyclists in San Diego County. KPBS metro reporter Andrew Bowen says the recent spike in fatal crashes is prompting calls for local governments to move faster on safety improvements. KV: She was kind and brilliant... AB: Kristen Victor remembers her friend and colleague, Laura Shinn, a prominent local architect who was struck and killed by a driver last Tuesday while riding her bike up Pershing Drive in Balboa Park. KV: It hits really close to home, because we both advocated for a safer, more sustainable San Diego. It was in our hearts. AB: Shinn was one of five people who were killed while biking in San Diego County over the past month. 14:41 or thereabouts: Chants of "safe streets now" AB: Dozens of activists gathered near the crash site to call on San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria and other local leaders to build safe bike infrastructure with a greater sense of urgency. Plans to add protected bike lanes to Pershing Drive have been on the books for nearly a decade. But they've been repeatedly delayed, as have a host of other bike safety projects across the county. EM: The choice to ride should not cost us our lives. This is the time for our government leaders to act quicker than ever before. AB: The activists want Gloria to commit to building 25 miles of protected bike lanes in San Diego each year. Gloria's office says it's working on plans to build bike infrastructure more quickly, but the mayor has not yet committed to a timeline. Andrew Bowen, KPBS news. ########## A new rehabilitation hospital is now officially open in North County. KPBS Health reporter Matt Hoffman says everything inside and out was built with the idea of getting critically injured patients back into their homes. Ball bounces alright nice work, alright 77-year-old Doug Bailey is in the middle of a physical therapy session, he bounces a ball back and forth— then gets out of a wheelchair to walk around the gym. Just go kind of around in front of the car OK After a horrible bike accident which broke his neck and caused spinal cord damage, Bailey was transferred to the new Palomar Health Rehabilitation Institute -- I’m lucky to be alive actually could have been serious enough to stop my breathing While Bailey’s brain is working fine, he’s having to relearn how to use it -- two weeks before being admitted to the rehab institute he was wheelchair bound. Doug Bailey, lives in Fallbrook They taught me how to walk again actually and how to use new neural pathways since the spinal cord is damaged -- my brain thinks I can get up and go for a little jog right now but it doesn’t work that way This is actually his first time walking without hanging on to anything With a few hours of physical therapy a day, Bailey says he feels himself getting stronger-- Bailey I can tell I’m improving my function in my finger tips I couldn't do this before it’s coming back -- not as fast as I’d like but faster than anticipated Bailey is also undergoing occupational therapy here-- Bailey Putting on my clothes, bathing myself, feeding myself Most patients stay here for just under two weeks, but Bailey has a thirty day stay.. And while he can walk again, the next part of his recovering will focus on refining his motor skills-- Bailey Like right now I don’t even think I could sign my name to a piece of paper but i think that will improve a lot The rehab facility is technically a hospital.. there’s also a full apartment inside, where patients stay overnight just before being released back into their homes-- Natalie Germuska, CEO, Palomar health rehabilitation institute What types of activities do you want to be able to tolerate when you go home and that’s sort of how we build that plan Natalie Germuska is CEO of the rehab institute which is a joint venture between Palomar Health and Kindred hospital -- Germuska There’s definitely a need especially in the north county for this type of care Germuska We have specialized equipment we have special trained nursing staff Some of that special equipment includes motion sensing technology which can be used in games that help people regain balance and function. There’s also a small car inside the gym that patients can practice getting in and out of. Germuska Our hospital is pretty much built for that rehabilitation patient it doesn’t have OPI it doesn't have ER we’re not competing for resources everything is built around rehabilitation The 52-bed facility was licensed by the state in May and is only accepting medicare patients, but that will change as operations are gradually scaled up over the next year. Germuska What we’ve seen just with our small population is 84 to 90 percent of our patients go home they don’t need to go to a skilled level for further care The facility generally treats patients who suffered strokes, amputations and spinal cord damage. Nat Bailey’s progress is remarkable. He’s hoping to be at or near 100% function soon. Right now he still has to wear a brace around his body and neck-- Bailey I’m hoping that as my strength returns and my balance returns that I won’t have to wear as many branches anyway maybe not even the neck brace I don’t know He says if you’re coachable and with encouragement from staff, recovery is possible.. But he’s not sure what life will be like once he goes home-- Bailey I think my bicycling days might be over because I’m my wife’s primary caregiver and I don’t want to jeopardize that anymore than I have to The Fallbrook resident is set to go home at the end of this month. Yes nice work turn around for me MH KPBS News. ########## Coming up.... “In some news stories, I think the narrative is skewed to where it was all for nothing. Is there a change that’s going to be sustainable even after we’re gone or not? It depends.” President Biden's decision to end U.S. involvement in Afghanistan is raising some questions. That story next, just after the break. President Biden's decision to end U.S. involvement in Afghanistan has raised questions about the wisdom of leaving...and the wisdom of having stayed so long. But veterans who served in Afghanistan say that the situation on the ground is hard to understand if you haven’t been there. Anne Kniggendorf reports for the American Homefront Project. KNIGGENDORF: Members of the Association of the United States Army are meeting for beer call on a hot, sunny rooftop bar in Overland Park, Kansas. Today, the lookout won’t see trouble, only wide, treelined suburban streets punctuated by parking lots and businesses. [bar ambi-chatter, music, Emma Toops says “Hi, it’s good to see you.” KNIGGENDORF: Emma Toops is a retired Army major who spent a year in Afghanistan in 5th Corps’ operations center at the Kabul International Airport. She doesn’t agree with the way the withdrawal is sometimes portrayed. TOOPS: In some news stories, I think the narrative is skewed to where it was all for nothing, it was completely useless, it was a whole generation of 20 years gone and down the tubes. Is there a change that’s going to be sustainable even after we’re gone or not? It depends. KNIGGENDORF: She says the average American didn’t see what she and her fellow servicemembers saw. Things like 20 years’ worth of exposure to American values. TOOPS: Young Afghanies who weren’t even born yet when the war started, they’re teenagers now. It’s a different environment as far as what they grew up and were able to actually see and observe than their parents or grandparents. KNIGGENDORF: Toops says Americans introduced Afghans to the mindset of individual freedoms and self-advocacy. Elders remain society’s policymakers, so some leaders may revert to old, tribal thinking after the withdrawal, but she’s hopeful about rising leaders who were only in their 20s when U.S. troops arrived. TOOPS: If they were in an area where there was exposure to new ways of thinking, new ways of governance, if they’re in their 40s now and are in leadership roles in their communities, and they now have the ability to influence elders, they still may be able to retain some of the paradigm shifts. KNIGGENDORF: Her friends look thoughtful as they listen. MONTGOMERY: I think it’s probably time we came home. KNIGGENDORF: Grant Montgomery organized combat operations in Bagram and Jalalabad. He doesn’t want American troops to become a permanent fixture in Afghanistan. MONTGOMERY: I think about Germany. We still have forces in Germany, and we have forces in lots of other places that are left over from things that maybe we don’t need to be present in. KNIGGENDORF: Afghanistan has a turbulent history, first as a British colony and later as a target of Soviet invasions. It hadn’t had a stable government since the 1970s. Veteran Scott Weaver spent three years at U.S. Central Command and worked on establishing the Afghan National Army. WEAVER: I would suggest to you that you go and look at what the British experience was in Afghanistan in the 19th century, and you look at what the Soviet Union’s experience was in Afghanistan in the 20th century, then ask yourself: did you think it was going to turn out differently? KNIGGENDORF: Weaver wouldn’t directly say if he thought the withdrawal was premature or overdue, still, he says, the past 20 years in Afghanistan are not lost. WEAVER: I would say to that and to any veteran who served there, be proud of what you accomplished, be proud of what you did, be proud of the difference you tried to make. And recognize that you did do good. KNIGGENDORF: Emma Toops reminds Americans that Afghanistan is a complicated place with vast regions isolated from each other. Though reports of pockets of unrest and regression are surfacing she thinks many areas will stay the course set by the U.S. That was Anne Kniggendorf reporting from Overland Park Kansas. This story was produced by the American Homefront Project, a public media collaboration that reports on American military life and veterans. Funding comes from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting That’s it for the podcast today. The House committee investigating the January 6th insurrection at the Capitol is set to hold its first hearing on Tuesday. Only one Republican remains on the panel after tensions between party leaders in the House escalated last week. Join us on KPBS FM this morning for live coverage of the opening session of the hearings, as well as expert analysis.

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Councilmembers are set to vote on whether to keep using a system that detects and tracks when gunshots are fired. Advocates want to delay the vote - saying the technology is flawed and increases community distrust. Meanwhile, a new hospital opens up in North County specializing in rehabilitation for patients with strokes, amputations and spinal cord damage. Plus, veterans who served in Afghanistan say that the situation on the ground there is hard to understand if you haven’t been there.