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Fletcher focusing on his mental health

 March 28, 2023 at 5:00 AM PDT

Good Morning, I’m Debbie Cruz….it’s Tuesday, March 28th.

County supervisor Nathan Fletcher is taking a step back to focus on his mental health. More on that next. But first... let’s do the headlines….


More rain is headed our way tonight.

The National Weather Service says we can expect light rain through tomorrow morning.

Then, a second round of rain will hit the county tomorrow night, into Thursday.

According to reporting by the San Diego Union-Tribune, this storm will be much colder than the ones that have hit the county in recent weeks.

Temps are expected to drop into the low 50s tonight.


In a few days people who use Cal Fresh will notice a big drop in the amount of food benefits they get.

That’s because the extra money given to recipients during the pandemic is ending on April 1st.

It was at least an extra 95-dollars in benefits every month.

Some food banks in the state are working with lawmakers to get more funding for food banks and benefits for people.

In the meantime, if you are impacted you can call 2-1-1 to speak to someone about food services available in the county.


The S-D-S-U men’s basketball team made program history on Sunday.

For the first time ever, the team is advancing to the final four of March Madness after beating Creighton University 57 to 56 in the Elite Eight.

S-D-S-U Sophomore Bella Espinoza plays for the S-D-S-U softball team, and could hear fans cheering for the men’s basketball team during their game on Sunday.

“I think it was just awesome. I was stoked to hear about it and just bringing more awareness to SDSU and we can compete with other schools.”  

The Aztecs take on the Florida Atlantic Owls Saturday.

Tip off is at 3:00 P-M.


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


San Diego County supervisor Nathan Fletcher announced on Sunday that he’s checking into a treatment center for post traumatic stress, trauma and alcohol abuse.

He also said he will be dropping out of the state senate race to focus on his health.

Health reporter Matt Hoffman talked to a local expert about P-T-S-D, and how treatment can transform lives.

Supervisor Nathan Fletcher says his post traumatic stress is from combat during his time as Marine.. and also intense childhood trauma that’s been made worse by alcohol abuse.. Post traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD can occur with anyone.. It’s typically triggered by traumatic events. Dr. Sarah Simmons is a psychiatrist at Kaiser San Diego… Simmons Sometimes it can be very difficult and painful to think about that trauma that’s happened,like you dont want to go there or im not ready for this. But the important thing to remember is treatment works, people can recover and move on with their lives Treatment doesn’t always involve revisiting trauma and can include therapy, support groups or medication. MH KPBS News.


The preliminary hearing for a doctor and a nurse charged with the in-custody death of Elisa Serna was postponed, but her family still showed up and held a rally in front of the courthouse yesterday.

Reporter Kitty Alvarado was there, and tells us justice advocates and other families whose loved ones have died in jail were there to offer support.

What do we want justice when do we want it now Elisa Serna’s family  was counting on attending the preliminary hearing for a doctor and nurse charged with her death while in custody at  Las Colinas Detention Facility in 2019 …  Instead, they stood outside the courthouse with justice advocates and other family members who have the same tragedy in common. Together they called for justice. justice for Elisa Serna The hearing was continued and a new date of June 26th was set for Dr. Frederike Von Lintig and nurse Danalee Pascua. Both pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter.  Elisa’s mom Paloma Serna said after watching unreleased video footage of her daughter inside the detention facility,  that she claims shows her 24-year-old daughter’s death while on medical supervision, it’s clear to her people must be held accountable for there to be real justice They never went in to check on her; they just left her there … Then we saw the video and we’re like when are these other deputies going to be arrested too? We reached out to the district attorney’s office and asked if more people would be charged … they said they could not comment on pending criminal cases Kitty Alvarado KPBS News. 


Two UC-SD professors helped identify the Raccoon Dog as the prime suspect in the investigation of how COVID-19 jumped from animals to humans.

Sci-tech reporter Thomas Fudge spoke to them, and tells us what likely happened at a seafood market in Wuhan, China.

Raccoon Dogs are a relative of foxes that have been sold for years at the market in Wuhan. Joel Wertheim, an evolutionary biologist at UCSD was a co-author of a report by viral experts on COVID's origins. “These data show a co-occurrence of genetic material from a raccoon dog and SARS COv-2. They don’t prove unambiguously that that Raccoon dog was infected with SARS COv-2, but this is exactly what you would expect to find if a Raccoon Dog were infected with the virus.” Another co-author of the report is Niema Moshiri, a computer science professor at UCSD. He said investigators had to sort through lots of different DNA left behind at the market stalls. If you have a stall in the market, you’re going to have some animal DNA from whatever animal was held in that stall. Yer going to have DNA from feces or other animals nearby. And then when you overlay that, what animals did you find in the stalls that they had detected to be COVID positive. Some U.S. agencies have suggested that the COVID pandemic came out of a lab in Wuhan. Wertheim said the data he’s seen simply does not support that hypothesis. SOQ.


Javier Salazar Rojas is better known in Tijuana as the Deported Artist.

He uses art to shine a light on the plight of deportees.

Border reporter Gustavo Solis tells us his story.

One of Javier Salazar’s favorite paintings is of a little boy in the desert – hiding from the Border Patrol. The boy crouches behind a bush. He’s carrying a light blue backpack that’s almost as big as he is. It’s actually a self-portrait. From when he went on a family trip to Tijuana when he was 11 years old. Javier Salazar Rojas, Deported Artist “And on the way back I try to load up in the van when everyone was going home. And my mom, she stopped me .” The rest of the family was going to drive through the Port of Entry. But Salazar would have to sneak back across the border illegally. “I was like I thought we were going home. And she was like you can’t come home with us, you don’t have any papers.” That’s when Salazar found out he was undocumented. He had been brought to Oakland as a 3-month-old and had lived there ever since. So while his family drove across the border, he had to hike through a rural part of San Diego County. “I got separated from my group. I remember hiding in the bushes and it’s when Border Patrol found me. I got taken to an immigration center and I got deported. ” Salazar eventually made it back to Oakland. And lived there until his late 20s - when he stole $300 from a gas station, got caught and was sent to prison. It was in prison where Salazar taught himself to draw. He also served as a volunteer firefighter between 2011 and 2014. “I risked my life for three years working for a dollar an hour for the state of California. And the last 30 days they told me I was getting deported.” He was deported right after finishing his prison sentence. Salazar is now 47 and lives in Tijuana. He’s an established artist. And the proud parent of five adopted dogs. And a cat. Chico, come on buddy. Blanco sientate. Good boy, good boy. Let me get you a blanket. Known locally as the Deported Artist, Salazar’s paintings depict migration and border culture. He uses art as a way to tell his own stories and change the way people see deportees. “If nobody speaks up nobody is going to hear our story. Somebody else might tell our narrative but they are going to tell it through their eyes, their agendas.” He says deportees are depicted as criminals – bad hombres. In theory, they are sent back to their home. But in reality, many of them have no connection to that home. “When you’re deported and being out here. It’s almost like being treated as a foreigner in your own country. They look at you as an outsider.” Discrimination plays out in different ways. Some deportees struggle to speak Spanish, or speak it with a thick American accent. Others, like Salazar, have visible tattoos. “Sometimes when I’m on the bus, and the only available seat will be next to me. People will come and they’ll stand up rather than sit next to me.” Salazar wants his art to change the way people – especially Americans – view deportation. In his case, the deportation separates him from the rest of his family back in Oakland. “You’re not just deporting a person. You’re deporting a father, you’re deporting an uncle. You’re deporting a family’s main bread winner, you’re separating families. You’re not just punishing the person whose being deported. You’re punishing the whole family.” His art is also political commentary. Salazar just finished an art installation at the beach along the U.S. – Mexico border. It features Presidents Joe Biden and Donald Trump locked in a passionate kiss. It’s meant to capture the disappointment advocates feel with Biden’s immigration policies by drawing attention to how similar they are to Trump’s.“Really the message behind it is Biden breaking all of his immigration promises and also adopting Trump era laws that are anti-immigrant.” Gustavo Solis, KPBS News.


Coming up.... How NASA is challenging kids to develop a passion for science. We’ll have that story and more, just after the break.


Officials yesterday celebrated the opening of an electric vehicle charging station near the Otay Mesa border crossing.

Environment reporter Erik Anderson says the station is designed for medium and heavy-duty trucks.

The four new high powered charging stations posts are located, conveniently, at a truck stop.  The California Energy Commission awarded the fueling station’s owner 200-thousand dollars to install the stations on the same property where they already fuel up diesel powered trucks.  San Diego County supervisor Nora Vargas cheered the installation of four high speed DC chargers designed specifically for trucks. Nora Vargas San Diego County Supervisor “This is a wonderful step in a good direction, to make sure that we’re opening door for many more, similar partnerships.  That we can really focus on clean air while at the same time working to promote economic prosperity and green jobs.” Having publicly available high-speed chargers is an important step toward transitioning the trucking industry to a zero emission future.  California is asking the trucking industry to use zero emission vehicles where possible by 20-45. Erik Anderson KPBS News. 


Outer space is infinitely huge and it occupies a similar-sized part of our imaginations.

NASA is running a competition to get kids to imagine future space missions.

Sci-tech reporter Thomas Fudge visited a third-grader in Carlsbad who is doing just that.

KID 1 “….and this is it landing. It actually has an individual thruster right here. And this will extend to cushion the impact… Third grader Luca Pollack shows me some drawings he made of the journey he has planned for his spacecraft Fortitude. The drawings are scattered around the floor of a room at home, and they show Luca’s spacecraft landing on the ocean ice of Europa, one of the moons of Jupiter. This space mission is his entry into NASA’s nationwide Power to Explore essay contest. Concha Reid is deputy of NASA’s space science project office, based in Cleveland. She says Power to Explore challenges kids to develop a passion for science. “We want to engage their imagination. We want them to think big, just like we do here at NASA. So we want them to envision, if you could go anywhere in the solar system, where would you go?” Luca wants to go to Europa because he’s stoked to think about its oceans, and their potential for life. He said when his spaceship lands on Europa, it’ll become a wheeled rover that can travel over the ice. So it’s going to drive up to one of the ice cracks and it’s going to use a drill to cut through the thinnest layer of ice as it can. And once it does that it opens a little port on the belly, you can see it right here….” And through that port in the rover, out comes Luca's second vehicle, a tiny submarine that is pushed through the hole in the ice and starts swimming in the water below. It will look for signs of life and send data back to the rover, which sends it back to earth. He calls his submarine Perseverance. The kids were told they’d be using a Radioisotope Power System. The same nuclear engine has powered NASA’s Voyager spacecraft, which were launched in the late 70s, and have now come to the very edge of the solar system. The RPS has its limitations, naturally. And if some space scenarios dreamed up by the kids may be technologically far-fetched by today’s standards, Reid says that’s OK. We don’t know what technology we will have in the future. You know, we have innovations in materials that are going on all the time. We have innovations in the IT world so we’re not changing the laws of physics but we don’t know what we don’t know. Luca’s mom, Danielle Pollack says science and technology come naturally to him. “He was always very mechanical even as a child, like, watching when he was on a carousel he’d be looking up at the gears and that sort of thing. He was always just drawn to that. Luca is waiting to see if he will become a finalist in the Power to Explore competition. He says advancing in the essay contest is pretty cool, and this won’t be all he does for NASA. I would love to work with NASA. Just so you can continue doing stuff like this? Yes. I really also want to learn about space. Luca’s idea for a rover that will drill a hole in the ice of Jupitar's moon, Titan, may not take place in the near future. But Concha Reid says NASA is now planning a real-life voyage to Titan, one of the moons of Saturn. The helicopter landing craft they plan to take there is called Dragonfly. SOQ. 


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 Tuesday.

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San Diego County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher announced on Sunday that he’s checking into a treatment center for post traumatic stress, trauma and alcohol abuse. In other news, we hear about Javier Salazar Rojas, who is known in Tijuana as the Deported Artist. Plus, NASA is running a competition to get kids to imagine future space missions. We hear from a local third grader who’s doing just that.