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New youth gang and drug program

 August 1, 2022 at 5:00 AM PDT

Good Morning, I’m Debbie Cruz….it’s Monday, August first.

A new program to help youth stay away from gangs and drugs.More on that next. But first... let’s do the headlines….


San Diego county’s health department has launched a monkeypox text alert system.

Monkeypox can cause flu-like symptoms and rashes.

It’s spread through close contact or using the clothes or bedding of someone who has it.

The state said that out of the just under 800 cases of monkeypox identified in California, 27 of them were in San Diego County.

To sign up for real time info about the virus in the region, text C-O-S-D MONKEYPOX to 468-311.


A resident at Veterans Village of San Diego died of a suspected fentanyl overdose last Tuesday.

Now, the DEA is investigating two deaths at the nonprofit rehab center.

D-E-A officers could not provide specific details about the incident, but said they typically look for fentanyl supply sources and collect evidence for prosecution.

Although drugs and alcohol are not permitted at Veterans Village, an inewsource investigation in June found that clients have struggled to stay sober because of the prevalence of drugs on the property.


It’s nearing the end of summer break, and the beginning of the school year.

Along with school supplies and new outfits, the county says it’s also time to make sure your children are up-to-date on all vaccines and doctor’s appointments.

Some of the vaccines for children include D-TaP, Hep-B, M-M-R, chickenpox, polio and the H-P-V vaccine.

August is National Immunization Awareness Month, a reminder for everyone to make sure they’re up-to-date on recommended vaccines.

Call 2-1-1 for more info about vaccines and where to get them


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

Growing up in poverty – surrounded by guns, drugs and gang members – is a reality for many in San Diego.

KPBS reporter Jacob Aere says a new mentoring curriculum has an innovative approach to change lives and address trauma for at-risk boys and young adults in those scenarios.

Maclovio Marquez is a personal trainer and coach in downtown San Diego. But just a couple of years ago … he was dealing drugs. Maclovio Marquez | Youth Consultant “To be a gang member or to be ‘tough’ or to have this persona of ‘I’m a badass’ is so widely accepted. And not only widely accepted, it's strongly enforced and encouraged, when it doesn't need to be. Donavyn Dove says he ran into similar scenarios… Donavyn Dove | Youth Consultant “We don't have counselors, we counsel ourselves. We drink, we smoke, they put liquor stores everywhere. We out here faded, we out here lost. So we out here lost, no guidance, police circling around our neighborhood all day – it's cops and robbers. So it put us in a criminal mindset already.” Marquez and Dove both say an organization called Paving Great Futures helped turn their lives around… and now they’re mentors for other youth. Armand King co-founded the group, which educates kids and young adults on harsh realities many of them face: from drug abuse and child sex trafficking – to homelessness and youth violence. King says the program gives them hope. Armand King | Paving Great Futures Co-Founder “It gives them ideas and thoughts and belief that they can do more than what their circumstances that they grew up in might dictate to them.”Now, King is building on the lessons he learned through Paving Great Futures and as the Chair of San Diego Gang Prevention & Intervention board. His next chapter is a separate, for-profit youth mentoring curriculum called Walk With Me Impact. Armand King | Paving Great Futures Co-Founder “The only solution we end up hearing is prison. The only things that we see as a result to the lifestyle is death and incarceration. So this curriculum, we are fully focusing on prevention tactics, prevention methods. How do we stop a kid from ever having to go through these traumatic experiences?” King says Walk With Me Impact is for-profit so he can pay youth consultants like Kemet Ackee… who says kids can be attracted to illegal and dangerous work. Kemet Ackee | Youth Consultant “You know pimps always have money, fly clothes, got girls, giving out dollars to the young – to us – and looking out for us and taking care of us. A lot of us don't have fathers, older brothers or anyone that’s looking out for us like that.” The program will provide youth with positive role models who look like them and are from similar backgrounds… like Marquez. Maclovio Marquez | Youth Consultant “I know when I was younger and when I was in that lifestyle I didn’t want to talk to no adults about what I was doing. But if I knew you could relate to me and you know what I’m going through I’d be more willing to not only vent to you but to engage with you and keep a relationship with you, you know?” The new curriculum includes rap music, a video documentary series and a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure book, where readers can make choices based on real-life experiences. Armand King | Paving Great Futures Co-Founder “The material in this curriculum will help kids not only recognize what they’re surrounded by, recognize these toxic lifestyles, but it’ll help them cope with things that they're already dealing with. Prepare them for things that may be approaching them.” King says there’s a dire need for this new curriculum as he’s lost too many loved ones over the past couple years. Armand King | Paving Great Futures Co-Founder “And after death, after death, after death it's like being at war in Afghanistan. It seems like nobody cares. And wondering why you can't behave well at school, wondering why you're not participating in society.” King says the Walk With Me Impact curriculum is being reviewed by two professors at Point Loma Nazarene and San Diego State University. A kickstarter campaign to raise funds for the initiative starts on August 2nd. Eventually, he hopes to expand the program into schools, juvenile halls and other settings across the U.S. and Canada. Jacob Aere, KPBS News.


The compromise climate legislation working its way through congress is getting mixed reviews from local experts following the nation’s response to the climate crisis.

KPBS Environment reporter Erik Anderson has details.

Sierra Club president Ramon Cruz last week called the surprise compromise between Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin a big Effing deal. The bill calls for 369 billion dollars in funding for environmental justice, making clean energy products, and cutting the nation’s carbon emissions by 40 percent. Masada Disenhouse, San Diego 350 “It’s not where we need to be but it’s much further along than we have been.” San Diego 350’s Masada Disenhouse says it is important to codify carbon emission goals but the legislative package remains a mixed bag. Masada Disenhouse, San Diego 350 “It’s very far from perfect. It has some really insidious parts like subsidies for expanding the extraction of il and gas. And for the false climate solutions being pushed by the fossil fuel industry. But it also has 100s of billions of dollars to incentivize renewable energy, energy efficiency and investing in environmental justice communities.” Energy industry analyst David Victor says the legislation is significant because it is a deal that could make it to President Biden’s desk. The UC San Diego professor says the agreement comes during a difficult political environment. David Victor UCSD “We’ve waited for decades now to get serious about the climate problem and we can’t do a huge amount very quickly. Especially in the context of the energy crisis that we’re in where there’s a huge amount of political pressure to increase conventional fossil fuel production.” Victor cautions that the goal to reduce carbon emissions by 40 percent is somewhat aspirational. “These numbers are always a little bit squishy because figuring out the actual reduction in emissions requires knowing how these policies will be implemented. We don’t know that yet.” Democrats hope for a senate vote before the end of the month. The house would also need to approve the bill before it is sent to Biden. Erik Anderson KPBS News


Coming up.... New regulations for electric scooters and bikes. We’ll have that story and more, next, just after the break.


San Diego has some new regulations for shared electric scooters and bikes.

KPBS reporter Jacob Aere says they went into effect last week.

The new rules include a ban on parking shared scooters and bikes anywhere but in city-approved corrals, slower speeds on sidewalks… and an effort to make scooter companies more accountable for irresponsible riders. City Heights CDC Community Engagement Coordinator Jesse Ramirez says adding more scooters or e-bikes would help to meet overall transportation needs of the area, especially with gas prices becoming unaffordable to many. “I do see a lot of value in these new regulations and I think it can help the City Heights community and other historically excluded communities a lot.” Jacob Aere, KPBS News.


Globe resident artist Patricia McGregor will be taking on the role of Artistic Director of New York Theatre Workshop.

But before she leaves, she is directing ‘A Midsummer Night's Dream’ to close the Globe’s 20-22 Summer Shakespeare Festival.

KPBS arts reporter Beth Accomando spoke with McGregor about the Bard's popular and magical comedy.

That was director Patricia McGregor, speaking with KPBS arts reporter Beth Accomando.

‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ opened yesterday (Sunday), and runs through September fourth at the Lowell Davies Festival Theatre.


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 day.

A new mentor program in San Diego County aims to help youth stay away from gangs and drugs. In other news, the compromise climate legislation is getting mixed reactions from local experts. Plus, San Diego has some new regulations for shared electric scooters and bikes.