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Extreme teacher shortages

 January 17, 2022 at 5:00 AM PST

Speaker 1: (00:03)

Good morning. I'm Anica Colbert. It's Monday, January 17th, teacher shortages across the county more on that next, but first let's do the headlines.

Speaker 1: (00:19)

COVID 19. Did hospitalizations have decreased slightly, according to the latest state data out on Sunday of the more than 1200 patients, 191 are in the ICU. That's up 10 from the previous day. Overall COVID 19 hospitalizations have more than tripled in the past 30 days. San Diego county reported more than 9,800 new COVID 19 infections and five additional deaths on Friday. People with health insurance can now be reimbursed for eight at home. COVID 19 tests a month, or can get free tests at retailers that have agreements with their insurance companies. Save your receipt and submit a claim to get re burst at a rate of $12 per test or more if it's a multi-pack, but tests must be FDA approved and bought on or after January 15th to qualify starting on Wednesday, the Biden administration will roll out a website where you can order at home tests delivered to you for free prescription of COVID. 19 treatments are newly available at San Diego pharmacies. The antiviral pills are unlimited supply, but county officials say they should be getting larger shipments of those and antibody treatments. Soon. Dr. Jennifer tutor is the county's deputy chief medical officer. She says, if you've tested positive and have mild to moderate symptoms, and think you need the treatment, contact your doctor quickly to determine your next step, they

Speaker 2: (01:47)

Should call their primary doctor. They should not go to the emergency room. The emergency rooms are very busy taking care of people with emergent conditions right now. And the whole point of these medications is to help people avoid the

Speaker 1: (02:00)

Hospitals from KPBS. You're listening to San Diego news. Now stay with me for more of the local news. You need San Diego unified school district officials are invoking emergency procedures to deal with the extreme shortage of teachers in classrooms. K P B S education report mg Perez has more on the district's COVID 19 response plan.

Speaker 3: (02:28)

The new San Diego unified plan includes canceling all field trips and school assemblies, moving students outdoors when possible and into larger indoor spaces like the school auditorium, all absences due to illness or mental and emotional stress will now be treated as excused. According to school board, president Dr. Sharon Whitehurst pain being

Speaker 4: (02:51)

Locked up at home with their family, really did a lot of damage to our students. And we're seeing the impact of that. We know that we need to do everything we can to keep our children in school.

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As a last resort principles will be given authority to declare a COVID impact day canceling school on their individual campus.

Speaker 1: (03:10)

And that was K PBS education reporter mg Perez, San Diego unified as not alone in facing a staffing shortage. More early childhood educators and support staff are also leaving their jobs because of COVID as they search for higher pay and safer working conditions. It's a preschool pandemic problem. The San Diego county office of education is now trying to solve with an offer of free tuition for students in community college. A county that program will pay for tuition books and even a laptop computer for students interested in completing an associates degree in early childhood development. Lucia Guari is with the county office of education. We are making

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It much more accessible for them to consider their career pathways and to really consider that early learning and care is a career. It's not a default. And we need to give that

Speaker 1: (04:04)

Importance. The free tuition program is currently being offered through Grossmont and KOAC community colleges. Some immunocompromised people will be eligible for additional COVID 19 vaccine booster shots, but is that enough protection? The California reports SA Gonzalez talked to U C S F physician, Dr. Lindsay Ryan, about the

Speaker 5: (04:32)

Issue I've heard from a lot of immunocompromised people around the country over recent months plus, and there's a lot of confusion. There's a lot of a sense of abandonment and being forgotten. There's a lot of sense that they haven't been given the information. They need to take proper care of their health or the tools to do that. And that they don't really know where to look. So

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What specifically are the shortcomings that you see when it comes to the information that the, you know, compromised are or are not receiving?

Speaker 5: (05:04)

I think individually people need to know what their risk is in terms of how sick they might get from COVID, you know, and obviously you can't predict that exactly. But as I said, the risk of someone who, for instance, just got a kidney transplant two months ago is different from someone who's on a, a very low dose of a immunosuppressant. That's not particularly high risk. They need to know that they need to have good information about vaccination and, and boosters when they should get those, why they should get those. And for people who might have a very poor response to vaccination, they need to have information about out other options, which right now include potential monoclonal antibody therapy.

Speaker 6: (05:47)

And just to be clear, we're talking about laboratory produced molecules that could substitute or mimic antibodies that are found in the body.

Speaker 5: (05:56)

Exactly. So monoclonal antibodies, they're artificially produced in a lab and they basically bind to the spike protein on the coronavirus to inactivate the virus. And they do, you know, what the antibodies produce by one's own immune system would do, except some people can't produce adequate antibody right now there's a preventative monoclonal antibody combination called Eichel that's available for people who did not respond adequately to the coronavirus vaccination series because of immunocompromised. As I said before, there's around a, an estimated 7 million immuno compromised people in the country of who many would benefit from a, she, the government

Speaker 6: (06:41)

Initially purchased around 700,000 doses, actually just committed to another 500,000 doses, which, you know, still is likely to be far from enough. And the emails that I get in my inbox now are from people who are distr, that they're literally being put into Lotes with other patients at their cancer centers, pitting them against each other, um, in hopes that they'll be the lucky one who gets the next dose of the monoclonal antibody. And I think this is an example of the fact that the lives of immunocompromised people during the pandemic have not been put on equal footing with the lives of non immunocompromised individuals. And there needs to be a serious look at the equity issues surrounding this. What more should be done to address the particular concerns of the immunocompromised

Speaker 5: (07:30)

Population. So I think right now we're at a point where it's becoming clear that coronavirus will become an endemic fire and that we're all going to have to adjust as individuals and a nation as to what this is gonna mean for our lives, our work, and in thinking about what that involves on a policy level nationally and locally, it needs to involve considering what the lives of immunocompromised people are going to look like. And also including their voices in that conversation and for the people, for whom the vaccines are not enough, they should be given the full tools to protect themselves too equitably with other Americans. And that means good access to preventive monoclonal antibodies. And those have been an extraordinarily short supply

Speaker 1: (08:18)

That was UC SF physician Lindsey, Ryan speaking with the California reports, Saul Gonzalez, hundreds of thousands of Californians might lack access to safe drinking water. That's according to a recent study from UCLA and UC Berkeley and the drinking water problem, disproportionately communities of color, K C R w reporter Kayley. Wells has more the study

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Tested water for nitrate, arsenic, and hexavalent chromium. They can cause cancer. And they're all commonly found in California. Turns out 370,000 Californians have high levels of those chemicals in their water. And nearly half of those people are relying on domestic well water.

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There's no requirement to test, uh, domestic well water for the presence of chemicals,

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UCLA environmental health science professor, Laura Cushing says a lot of California have no way of knowing if their water is safe. Most

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Groundwater access with a private well doesn't get treated like in a public drinking water system.

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Cushing also says the climate induced drought makes the chemicals more concentrated and makes the water quality worse. Prior study suggests more than a million people lack access to safe drinking water once you for bacteria and other contaminants. I'm Kaylee Wells in Los Angeles

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Coming up a program of shorts and features from Turner classic movies in honor of Martin Luther king Jr day plus a new exhibit at art produce gallery in north park. That's next, just after break In honor of Martin Luther king Jr day Turner classic movies has created a program of documentary shorts and features looking at the civil rights movement of the 1960s KPBS film critic. Beth Amando has this pre view of tonight's lineup that begins at 5:00 PM to

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Celebrate the legacy of Martin Luther king Jr. Turner classic movies has partnered with the Chicago film archives to broadcast eight films from its film group collection. The program was curated by TCM host and film scholar, Jacqueline Stewart, the rarely screen documentaries offer a window onto the civil rights movement of the 1960s with a specific focus on the violence and unrest that took place in Chicago. Part of the collection includes short works from a series called urban crisis and the new militants in one segment members of the black Panther party, sit down with a black principal.

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I have my doubts. I understand what you understand what you mean, but as long as you work within a framework of what is existing now, I think you're always run into a hangup because you see the thing is we are about changing what exists now, you know, by whatever means necessary, including revolution, you know, to put that word into the conversation.

Speaker 9: (11:34)

In addition to the shorts are two outstanding feature length documentary, American revolution, two, and the murder of Fred Hampton. They provide a vital and fascinating historical context to more recent social and political unrest. Betho KPBS news

Speaker 1: (11:58)

At art produce gallery in north park photographer. Doug McIn features the powerful work of local choreographer, Kala SOPA, KPBS arts editor, and producer, Julia Dixon. Evans has more

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It's dusk outside art produce gallery on university avenue in north park from the sidewalk against the rapidly dimming light of the sky, the galleries floor, ceiling windows practically glow inside, larger than life. Photograph adorn all the walls, even the floor in them, a single dancer, twists, reaches and crouches in movement. The photographer is Doug McIn. The dancer is Lauren Christie at the heart of it is San Diego choreographer, calmly Somon and her recent work purpose. The accidental son was born in Laos, a country that holds the chilling statistic of being the most bombed nation per capita in the world during the pandemic, she wanted to make a work to tell that story.

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Former president Trump was our president at the time. And one of the first things that he'd did when he came into term was to remove the initiatives that president Obama had instilled with the country of Laos. And one of them, they, he gave them, I think, was like 90 million to help remove the bombs and beautiful initiative to bring more education into the country. And especially for women and former president Trump got away. So that was heavy on me. And it had also been heavy because I wasn't able to see my parents. I was worried about them

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In the 1960s and 1970s during a CIA mission and Laos amids the Vietnam war. Some 2 million tons of explosives were dropped on the small nation. Just 1% of these bombs were detonated and 80 million bombs remain UN detonated, effectively. Landmines scattered across the land. Son said that the bombs are undeniable and a part of everyday life in Laos, both in their omnipresence and the landscape, but also in their continuing tragedy in the gallery. In addition to the oversized pictures on the walls, eight of the images are printed on durable adhesive, backed final and installed on the floor photographer. Doug McIn said their positioning in a grid is important. That

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Grid on the floor is a, you know, distant illusion to a, a grid you would make in a field. When you're trying to clear it from, from

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Minds, the images also afford a perspective that audiences may otherwise never get during a performance, both profoundly up close and from above.

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And so by placing the photos on the floor, I wanted to give us just the faintest of faintest

Speaker 11: (14:58)

Echos of that anxiety as well. And, uh, that you were suddenly very aware of where you're stepping. When McIn first saw this performance, he found someon choreography incredibly meaningful, but also more than any other dance he'd photographed as a professional photographer. This piece lent itself particularly well to this medium,

Speaker 13: (15:19)

There was something about the very strong gestural material in the dance that, that slates so well into a still image. And that's really critical because, uh, some dance I like, for example, pirouettes, I've photographed a lot of pirouettes. I rarely find them very compelling as a still image. They're very compelling as movement. So you have to find those things that translate into still photograph

Speaker 11: (15:44)

McIn first shot the performance last spring, then collaborated with dancer, Lauren Christy, and Somon on a separate at shoot specifically for this project, with the gallery walls and floor in mind, a choreographer is no stranger to handing off a personal creative product to another artist. In fact, the relationship between choreographer and dancer is essentially transactional already audiences at possibilities of interpretation. In this case, the photographer adds one more. Each image, the photographer chose to shoot each decision about which ones to print, even the order by which the pictures are arranged in the gallery. These are new layers of meaning added to the work. And Somon said these changes are essential in art,

Speaker 12: (16:35)

In the creative process. We have to trust what and how things come out and we can have an approach, but that's part of what we do. And cuz art is alive

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While the photography is all viewable from the sidewalk, especially at night cam also make an appointment to see the work indoors inside visitors can hear the dances, soundtrack and audio of a speech to the people of Laos by president Obama in 20 16, 6

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Decades ago, this country fell into civil war and as the fighting rage next door in Vietnam, your neighbors and foreign power, including the United States intervened here as a result of that conflict and it's aftermath, many people fled or were driven from their homes at the time. The us government did not acknowledge America's role. It was a secret war

Speaker 11: (17:30)

Indoors. You can step amidst the floor photography and get up close in a way, not otherwise possible with dance either from the layout of a performance hall or the current COVID surge and the resultant event cancellations. This choreography debuted with San Diego dance theater and a virtual protection in November, 2020. And it was also performed in person in an outdoor Liberty station showcase last spring, the virtual performance is no longer viewable online. So for now until future performances are scheduled, a collection of photographs in a small art gallery is the only way to experience the work. The exhibition dis remember will be on view at art produce through January 29th

Speaker 1: (18:21)

And that's it for the podcast today. Be sure to catch KPBS midday edition at noon on KPBS radio or check out the mid day edition podcast. You can also watch KPBS evening edition at five o'clock on KPBS television. And as always you can find more San Diego news online@kpbs.org. I'm man Colbert. Thanks for listening and have a great day.

Speaker 11: (19:09)

Hello. .

San Diego Unified School officials are invoking emergency procedures to deal with an extreme shortage of teachers in classrooms. Meanwhile, some immunocompromised people will be eligible for additional Covid-19 shots, but is that enough protection? Plus, Turner Classic Movies has created a program of documentary shorts and features in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.