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Navy: Child care wait lists on bases ‘improving’

 November 28, 2023 at 6:00 AM PST

Good Morning, I’m Debbie Cruz….it’s Tuesday, November TWENTY-EIGHTH.

Wait lists for child care on military bases can be pretty long. More on that next. But first... let’s do the headlines….

More than a third of San Diego County households face severe financial insecurity. Researchers with the United Ways of California found that a family of four needs nearly 117-thousand dollars in annual income to make ends meet in San Diego County.

United Way also found that one in three California households don’t earn enough to pay for basic needs like housing, food, health care, child care and transportation.

A NEW SURVEY FROM THE PLANNING AGENCY SANDAG FOUND THE IMPACTS OF REMOTE WORK ON VEHICLE TRAVEL AREN'T AS BIG AS INITIALLY THOUGHT.

SANDAG’S CINDY BURKE SAYS REMOTE WORKERS TAKE MORE TRIPS BY CAR DURING THE MIDDLE OF THE DAY. AND WHILE THEY’RE NOT DRIVING TO WORK, THEY’RE ORDERING MORE DELIVERIES.

But we also know people are more likely to be driving to do errands, and then still getting the deliveries. I may order one things from Amazon, but I'm still going to run down to the Target or Wal-Mart to get something else.

THE SURVEY ALSO FOUND ONLY ABOUT A THIRD OF JOBS IN SAN DIEGO COUNTY CAN BE WORKED REMOTELY AT ALL.

There will be a special patch on the Padres’ jerseys next season paying homage to the team’s late owner, Peter Seidler. The design of the patches will be revealed before spring training.

The Padres announced a public celebration of life for Seidler March TWENTY-SECOND and a legacy fund named in his honor. It will raise money for projects that benefit underserved communities in San Diego and northern Baja California.

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

CHILDCARE IS AMONG THE LARGEST EXPENSES FACED BY WORKING FAMILIES. PANDEMIC-RELATED STRAIN ON THE CHILD CARE LABOR FORCE LED TO LONG WAIT LISTS AT MILITARY FACILITIES ACROSS THE COUNTRY. BUT, IN SAN DIEGO, THE NAVY SAYS THINGS ARE IMPROVING.

MILITARY REPORTER ANDREW DYER HAS MORE.

It’s almost naptime at the Navy’s child development center on Marine Corps Station Miramar and the toddlers in this class are just finishing some snacks before laying down. This brand new center opened in October. It’s high tech and secure – a wall of monitors in the lobby show live video from each of the building’s classrooms. Parents can drop-in anytime and see their children and front desk staff can see what’s happening at all times. All of its classrooms open to outdoor age-appropriate playgrounds. Most are empty now, but Janet Hooten, who manages child and youth programs for the Navy throughout the Southwest, says once the center is fully staffed there’s room for more than 300 children – space that’s desperately needed. “Our waitlist is about 500 children for just miramar but metro San Diego, we have about 2600 children on the wait list and about 1100 of those are under the age of 12 months.” Those numbers are significantly better than they were during the summer of 2022 when there were more than 4,000 military kids on the San Diego wait list. Spots for infants are the most difficult to fill because of the smaller child-to-provider ratio requirements. In addition to building new centers, Hooten says better pay and bonuses help with staffing. “We are in the process of working with our colleges that have the early childhood department and so looking at internship and bringing them on board as well.”The Navy also holds hiring and recruitment fairs for child care workers and she says pay rates are rising well above minimum wage. “So, some of the other regions were a little bit harder hit, but for us when it hit 15 dollars, we were already paying over that. Now it's going up. I think in january if i'm not mistaken to 16, minimum wage is going to 16 an hour. Um, and so with that we're already paying above that.” Democrat Sara Jacobs represents California’s 51st Congressional District and sits on the House Armed Services Committee. Miramar is part of her district, as are thousands of service members living in central and eastern San Diego County. She says taking care of military families at home should be a top Pentagon priority. “The number one thing that i hear from military families in my town halls with them and conversation is really about quality of life issues, predominantly housing and child care.” Jacobs points to several amendments in next year’s defense bill she says will do even more to address child care, including better pay and benefits for workers and a boost in the child care subsidy service members receive. “And then also on the family side, increasing transparency and accuracy of the waitlists. So that they are understand, uh, you know, how long they have to wait.” Another complication is how the DOD manages child care workers, Hooten says. Each branch of service has their own administrative system. That means when spouses relocate to a base run by a different branch, the job doesn’t move with them. “So, OSD is really looking hard at that, but it's, it's all about their retirement and how would that transfer over? It's a little bit more work when you have two different retirement systems but they are working hard on that especially Locations like this.” The new Miramar center is the first of three facility projects in San Diego. Another center at Miramar is being updated and the Navy’s building another brand new center at Naval Base Point Loma. Andrew Dyer, KPBS News 

Operations are mostly back to normal at Tri-City Medical Center after a cybersecurity attack earlier this month.

North County reporter Jacob Aere says the incident lasted more than a week.

Oceanside’s Tri-City Medical Center has restored its electronic health platform and resumed accepting ambulance traffic…. after a cybersecurity attack discovered on November 9th severely impacted operations. University of San Diego professor of cybersecurity Nikolas Behar (BAY-har) says the situation is likely far from over. “Any healthcare organization has to notify patients their information was stolen without unreasonable delay … and it has to be done in 60 days or less following the discovery of the breach.” Tri-City has not said what caused the attack or if patient information was stolen during the incident. The medical center says its investigation is still ongoing. Jacob Aere, KPBS News.

With deals to be had … Black Friday shoppers were out snatching up savings … leading to a record 9-point-8 billion in sales.

However, a reported rise in retail theft is causing some concerns. KPBS reporter Alexander Nguyen looks into the numbers.

Nationwide shoppers were out in force this weekend to snatch up those holiday deals. At the same time … the National Retail Federation says retail theft cost the industry more than 112 BILLION dollars last year. Certainly … viral videos of thieves grabbing things off shelves with impunity add to the perception that retail theft is on the rise … but according to the San Diego Police Department … theft was down nearly 15% last year. University of San Diego Economics professor Alan Gin says compared to the first six months of 2019 … a year before the pandemic … and the first six months of this year … retail theft is actually down. “So I think what the numbers show is that possibly inventory loss is up compared to 2021. But those are the Pandemic years, so they were down considerably.” He says what the retail industry is seeing could be attributed to a lack of security staffing at stores and the use of self-checkout counters … rather than a rise in shoplifting. AN/KPBS News 

Coming up… An exhibit on the deep legacy of San Diego’s Filipino community. We’ll have that story and more, just after the break.

LAST WEEK THE GOVERNOR’S OFFICE RELEASED A REPORT ON THE PROMISES AND RISKS OF ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE FOR THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA.

SCI-TECH REPORTER THOMAS FUDGE HAS THIS OVERVIEW.

The report focuses on generative AI, like Chat GPT, that can learn, based on huge data sets then generate new information. The state report says Gen AI could dramatically improve government service. The examples include speeding up government work by analyzing millions of data points all at once. Also improving communication with Californians in multiple languages using text or video. The report says use of AI is also risky because it’s easily misused to cause  people harm. It also has some flaws that can lead to unintended harm. AI may rely on static data sets that become outdated. There is also a risk of over-reliance on automated AI recommendations, which might be based on false information. The report comes out of an executive order from Governor Newsom. The state will host a summit in 2024 to examine the impacts of AI on California and its workforce. Thomas Fudge, KPBS News.

AN EXHIBIT DOCUMENTING THE HISTORY OF FILIPINOS AND FILIPINO AMERICANS IN THE SOUTH BAY HAS BEEN EXTENDED FOR ANOTHER YEAR.

SOUTH BAY REPORTER KORI SUZUKI SAYS THE EXHIBIT SHINES A LIGHT ON THE DEEP LEGACY OF SAN DIEGO’S FILIPINO COMMUNITY.

The exhibit is tucked away, in the back corner of Chula Vista’s central library. When you step inside, you’re immediately transported across time. Old newspaper clippings and family photographs make up the Filipinos of South Bay exhibit – which tells the sweeping story of the Filipino diaspora. “I remember my mom and dad dragging me and my sisters to these pageants.” Anamaria Labao Cabato is a co-chair of the exhibit. “they're like the roaring twenties of the Filipino community because we'd be at the big Grand Ballroom and see all these beauty pageants coming together. So it was fun.” The pageants are just one part of that history. The exhibit shows flags that Filipino organizers carried alongside Cesar Chavez. And photos of a tiny Imperial Beach barbershop that, in the evenings, would transform into a dance studio. Now, all of those memories will live on at the library for another year. “Even though we have been the largest Asian-American ethnic group, our stories have not been told.” History professor and co-chair Judy Patacsil. “And so for this to come to fruition … it really makes, I think, a really big difference.” Kori Suzuki, KPBS News.

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.

Pandemic-related strains on the child care labor force caused long wait lists at daycares at military facilities across the country. However, the Navy said the situation is improving. Plus, Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office analyzes  the potential of generative AI and  concludes it could dramatically improve government service but also carries risks. Finally, an exhibition in Chula Vista that shows the legacy of San Diego County’s Filipino community has been extended for another year.