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Monkeypox vaccines in San Diego

 July 29, 2022 at 5:00 AM PDT

Good Morning, I’m Debbie Cruz….it’s Friday, July 29th.

Monkeypox in San Diego. More on that next. But first... let’s do the headlines….

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Pharmacists at Ralphs, Vons, Albertsons and Pavillions stores in Southern California have voted to authorize a strike.

This comes after their union, the United Food and Commercial Workers union, turned down the latest contract offer from the stores.

The U-F-C-W said the contract did not meet the needs of most of their members.

No dates have been set for a strike, and negotiations with the stores are ongoing.

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Health officials say Novavax will be available in San Diego County, as soon as this weekend.

Novavax is considered a "more traditional" vaccine and is similar to what has been used for hepatitis B, shingles and H-P-V.

The two dose vaccine presents a specific portion of the virus... and the body generates immunity against it.

Clinical trials have shown the vaccine is 90-percent effective at preventing mild, moderate and severe COVID-19.

It's only available for people 18 years or older.

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Narcan will be available at vending machines throughout the county by the end of the year.

Narcan or Naloxone is a medication used to reverse opioid overdoses by restoring normal breathing.

Six of the 12 vending machines will be installed by the end of the year.

In 20-21 nearly 900 people died from accidental opioid overdoses in the county, according to preliminary data. That’s up 55 percent from 2020.

The vending machines will be available to anyone in the community 18 years or older, who completes a training online

Registration and use will be anonymous and free.

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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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The Biden administration is planning to follow the lead of the World Health Organization in declaring the spread of Monkeypox a health emergency..

But people in San Diego who do not already have an appointment for a vaccination against the disease, may have to wait several months for another chance.

Appointments for all 800 doses being administered this week in county clinics were snapped up by Monday.

The vaccine, used to both protect against monkeypox and ease its symptoms, is in short supply across the nation.

San Diego County deputy public health officer Dr. Cameron Kaiser joined KPBS’S Maureen Cavanaugh to discuss the shortage.

Why is there such a shortage of this vaccine?

Is this the same vaccine that’s used to prevent smallpox?

Would declaring Monkeypox a national health emergency speed up production of the vaccine?

If you are of the generation who received a smallpox vaccine as a child or as a traveler years ago- does it provide any protection against monkeypox?

The county is taking into consideration risk factors as it prioritizes the use of the limited amount of the vaccine...what are the risk factors ?

Can monkeypox be sexually transmitted?

How many confirmed and probable cases of the disease does San Diego have now?

Do you know when the county will be getting more vaccines?

That was San Diego County deputy public health officer Dr. Cameron Kaiser, speaking with KPBS Midday Edition host Maureen Cavanaugh.

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The U-S Border Patrol is sticking with plans to build two 30-foot walls at Friendship Park along the U-S-Mexico border.

But KPBS reporter Tania Thorne says advocates for the park are still hoping to pause construction.

Friendship Park advocates met with Border Patrol officials late Wednesday. During the meeting, CBP confirmed their plans include 30 foot tall walls and a public access gate. But John Fanestil with Friends of Friendship Park says the 30 foot bollard style walls would add to the desecration of this unique location. “Friendship Park is not just any other location along the border. It is a site of unique, historic, cultural, environmental, and social significance. It is a symbol of the truth that people of Mexico and the US are friends and not enemies.” Fanestil thinks local stakeholders should’ve been included in the conversations about changes. In a letter, Friends of Friendship Park requested a 120 day pause on construction. Friends of Friendship Park say they expect a response from CBP about their request by next week. TT KPBS News

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The auto industry took a hit from the pandemic … and so did cities that rely on tax revenues from car sales.

But things are changing again …

KPBS reporter Kitty Alvarado has the story.

Todd Southivong is hauling a full load of cars out of the marine terminal lot in National City.Up until recently, regular trips and a full load have been a rarity because of pandemic supply chain issues It was tough yes … it’s been picking up for the last two months National City city manager Brad Raulston says car dealerships bring in about $10 million a year, a big part of the city’s revenue that provides services like public safety ¼ to ⅓ of our sales tax revenue that we depend on to provide core services … When COVID actually hit there was a 40 to 50 percent decrease. He says fortunately the dealerships supplemented with used car sales, and that decrease only lasted about a ¼, now they’re seeing a steady three to five percent increase in that revenue. Kitty Alvarado KPBS News.

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Coming up.... San Diego's efforts to recycle food waste. We’ll have that story and more, next, just after the break.

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It’s been seven months since California required trash haulers to start picking up and composting food waste.

But the city of San Diego is still far away from complying.

KPBS Environment reporter Erik Anderson says the clock is ticking.

Renee Robertson walks up to a large pile of brown stuff So, compost is (she reaches into the pick and grabs a handful) nutrient rich. It’s not soil. It’s a soil amendment. It’s a nutrient rich soil amendment. You can see the moisture in it. Robertson runs the city's Environmental Services Department including the 75 acre Greenery site at the Miramar landfill. This is where green waste such as grass clippings and shrubbery trimmings come to get a second life. It is ground up and sequestered under waterproof tarps. Oxygen gets pumped into the piles to speed up the natural composting process. “This is a blower. Very small electric engine and this is the other, the brain components and the feedback. It is a process that has been refined over the two decades San Diego officials have been working to keep green waste out of the landfill, unlike regular recycling which relies on shipping trash far away. What comes to this facility has been generated within 30 miles, and our final product goes right back out within 30 miles. So I think it's taking everything we think about from climate action and really flipping it in the right direction where we’re doing it locally.” And the operation is about to get a lot bigger. A new state law that took effect in January requires cities to begin collecting food scraps and composting the organic material. That’s because decomposing food in landfills creates methane—a significant greenhouse gas that warms the climate. The Miramar landfill already handles commercial food waste from large vendors like Starbucks, Seaworld and The Marine Corp Recruit depot. But the city has a lot of work to do to upgrade its residential collection system. “Where we’ve gotten a little tripped up, of course, is some of the issues. City council member Joe LaCava chairs the Environment committee. He says some city residents who have private waste haulers are already separating their food scraps. But everyone else won’t be able to until the city can ramp up its collection capability. It has to pick up green and organic waste from 285-thousand (sic) customers, every week. “We’re going to switch from the current schedule which calls for recycling and for greens to be picked up every two weeks. To include them on the weekly pickup. Now what that means is, we need more trucks and drivers for those trucks to really update that collection on a more frequent basis.” LaCava says supply chain issues are keeping 43 new trucks from being delivered until early next year. When the trucks arrive, the city will deliver 240-thousand green waste containers and 285-thousand food-scrap buckets to city residents. The pick up schedule needs to happen weekly because food scraps can attract rodents and other vermin. “We really are very motivated, for environmental and regulatory reasons to get this right at the get go and to make sure everyone understands how this will work.” CalRecycle is phasing in implementation over a two-year period. If the city fails to get the program up and running there could be a notice of violation and fines, but the process allows for ample opportunity to correct the violation before daily fines would be issued. CalRecycle officials say if the entire state removes food scraps from landfills, it will be the equivalent of removing three million cars from local roads. “We’re all generating food waste right now, that’s what I always like to point out. So we’re just going to be putting it in a different bin. We’ll be putting it in our green waste bin along with our green waste. The city’s Renee Roberston says changing the city’s trash system is a challenge, “This is going to be a large habit change for millions of residents and we’re going to take the time to do it right. And city residents will have to adjust for this climate friendly effort to succeed. “we’re really set up well to start receiving this material.” This facility handles about 100-thousand tons of compostable material in the course of a year. That’s going to grow to 250-thousand tons by the time this organics recycling program is fully up and running. Erik Anderson KPBS News.

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San Diego is reaping the rewards from a hefty state budget surplus.

KPBS metro reporter Andrew Bowen says officials are touting more than 68-million-dollars in funding from Sacramento.

AB: Mayor Todd Gloria gathered with state and local leaders at the Oak Park Library. The city got 20 million dollars from the state to design and construct a new library here, long on the community's wishlist. State Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins says it's just one example that California's system of progressive taxation is working. TA: The wealthy pay their share, making record amounts of funding available. The state's fiscal health made it possible for us to provide transformational investments in critical programs across the state. AB: The state budget also allocates more than 29 million dollars to parks and recreation projects in San Diego, including 8 million to expand Ward Canyon Park in Normal Heights. Andrew Bowen, KPBS news.

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The newest California state budget has added millions of dollars in new funding to support students who grew up in foster care…this coming school year.

KPBS Education reporter M.G. Perez has more.

Statistics show that only 8-percent of children who grew up in foster care…graduate from college. California state lawmakers approved an additional 48-million dollars this fiscal year to support foster youth and improve their chances of graduation …starting with the need for housing. At San Diego State alone, there are 3-thousand students who will start the fall semester without a permanent place to live. Roberto Lopez knows the struggle. He was in foster care since he was 5… “I came from a place where we didn’t have role model or anyone to look up to. Life was just really understand it on your own…and I made a lot of mistakes throughout my time.” The additional state funding will help Lopez keep his low-income housing in an apartment complex on the SDSU campus. He just transferred to the university with plans to get a degree in social work. MGP KPBS News

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And y before you go…

We have a few weekend arts events to share with you, compliments of KPBS arts producer Julia Dixon Evans.

Here’s a pop-up exhibition of artwork by Vista artist Addy Lyon tomorrow.

It’s called 'Do You Think Too Much Too?'

Lyon's work is inspired by her own mental health experiences.

She uses her art as a tool for healing and a way to normalize conversations around mental health.

The one day exhibition will be at the Hill Street Country Club in Oceanside, tomorrow evening (Saturday), from four to eight p-m.

If you want to hear some music and get your groove on this weekend, the San Diego Gay Men's Chorus is wrapping up San Diego Pride month with a performance.

The chorus will perform '80s hits, including Journey, Whitney Houston, Pet Shop Boys and more.

The 'Get On Your Feet' concert is happening at eight p-m tomorrow (Saturday) and again at three p-m on Sunday, at the Balboa Theatre.

Speaking of dancing,

Contemporary, modern dance company LITVAK-dance is collaborating with other dance companies for a set of outdoor performances on Saturday.

Collaborators include Tijuana's Lux Boreal and locally based The Rosin Box Project, There will also be live music by Perla Negra Latin Jazz Quartet.

The performance is at the I-C-A San Diego North campus in Encinitas, tomorrow (Saturday) at 4-30 and 7-30 p.m.

You can find more details about all the arts events mentioned, plus more, at kpbs-dot-org-slash-arts.

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That’s it for the podcast today. This podcast is produced by KPBS Senior Radio Producer Brooke Ruth and Producer Emilyn Mohebbi. 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 San Diego County health officials are distributing limited monkeypox vaccines. In other news, we take a look at San Diego's efforts to recycle food waste. Plus, San Diego will be getting nearly 69 million dollars in state budget funding.