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Proposal to force treatment on people with severe mental illness

 March 4, 2022 at 5:00 AM PST

Good Morning, I’m Annica Colbert….it’s Friday, March 4th


“Care courts” for the those with severe mental illnesses

more on that next. But first... let’s do the headlines….


As gas prices continue to rise, there’s been more calls to suspend the state gas tax.

A bill pending in the state legislature would suspend the gas tax for six months if approved.

Local civil rights advocate Shane Harris has also asked the governor to declare a state of emergency to suspend the 51-cent per gallon gas tax for 90 days

“It’s about those everyday people that I’m thinking about who will struggle every time they go to the pump.”

U-S-D economist Alan Gin says suspending the tax would have the effect of adding 50-million dollars a month back into the local economy.


San Diego county public health officials reported seven hundred and seventy two new covid-19 cases on thursday and 11 additional deaths. The average positivity test rate fell just slightly. Down to 5 point 2 percent from 5 point 7 as of last friday. Hospitalizations continue to decline, down by 26 to a total of three hundred and ninety one.


San Diego County has launched a new outreach program to raise awareness about the exploitation of boys by sex traffickers. It aims to improve support for male victims. The campaign will include messaging on social media, radio, billboards and bus transit posters. County officials say national studies find that as many as half of commercially sexually exploited children in the U-S are boys, and that the sexual exploitation of boys is underreported.


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

California Governor Gavin Newsom wants to make it easier to force people with severe mental illnesses into long-term treatment.

KPBS metro reporter Andrew Bowen says the mayor of San Diego is on board.

AB: Newsom is proposing a bill that would create so-called "Care Courts" in every county across California. People suffering from debilitating psychosis could be brought before a judge and forced into a long-term mental health treatment plan — and the county would be required to pay for it. Newsom says the state will step up its support so local governments aren't left with the bill.



GN: If the budget's approved this year, we will have support specifically for 33,000 new beds and placements. Clinically supported new beds and placements.

AB: Some mental health experts are wary of expanding the state's ability to force people into treatment. But San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria says the status quo is not working.



TG: For far too long, government at every level has allowed individuals who struggle with mental illness and addiction to language untreated on our streets, cycling between our jails and emergency rooms with little hope of ever getting the care that they truly and desperately need.

AB: State officials expect between 7,000 and 12,000 people would be eligible for forced mental health treatment under the program. That's a small minority of the state's homeless population, although the severely mentally ill are often the most visible among homeless Californians. The governor hopes the plan can win approval from state lawmakers by June, with a rollout targeted for January. Andrew Bowen, KPBS news.


​​A new study finds San Diego's regional climate action plans don't call for enough change to meet the county's greenhouse gas reduction goals.

The Energy Policy Initiatives Center at the University of San Diego worked on the study. kpbs’ Maureen Cavanaugh spoke with the director of the center, Scott Anders. Here’s that interview.

That was Scott Anders with the Energy Policy Initiatives Center at USD speaking with KPBS Midday Edition Host Maureen Cavanaugh.


A recent state audit condemned San Diego county jails for seeing one hundred and eighty five (185) in-custody deaths over 15 years….KPBS race and equity reporter Cristina Kim says a new study is calling for stronger law enforcement oversight.

San Diegans for Justice… helped establish the city of San Diego’s Commission on Police Practices… Now it’s taking on the county’s Citizen’s Law Enforcement Review Board or CLERB.. Which oversees the Sheriff and Probation Department.

the group released a study that outlines how CLERB can become more independent and effective. Andrea St. Julian, the group’s co-chair, says the most important step is expanding its jurisdiction beyond sheriff deputies.

Andrea St. Julian, San Diegans for Justice

“For CLERB to be limited to only investigating alleged wrongdoing by deputies is really too limiting. CLERB should be able to investigate complaints against ALL staff.”

The state audit last month also found CLERB failed to investigate nearly one-third of in custody deaths. CLERB will review the report's recommendations next week.

Cristina Kim. KPBS NEWS.


Coming up.... how San Diegans are helping civilians in Ukraine who are defending their country. We'll have that story, and more, just after the break.

Activists in Mexico are criticizing the lack of transparency surrounding the murder cases of two Tijuana journalists.

KPBS border reporter Gustavo Solis explains why big announcements of arrests in Mexico mean less than you might think.

Last month, Mexican authorities announced the arrests of three men suspected of killing Lourdes Maldonado. And last week ten men were arrested in connection to the death of Margarito Martinez.

But not much else has been made public in either case.

Prosecutors have not said what evidence they have, what the motives are, or what weapons were used in the fatal shootings of the two Tijuana journalists. Reporters have been barred from covering the proceedings and court documents have not been made public.

Local reporter Sonia De Anda says that they are being kept in the dark.


“La verdad es que nos tienen en ciego.”

“The truth is they have us blind.”

98 percent of all violent crimes in Mexico are never prosecuted.

People who track violence against the press in Mexico say there is a repeated pattern of authorities announcing big arrests and then nothing happens.

De Anda says the lack of transparency in both cases does not inspire confidence that justice will be served.


“No, no, no. Definitibamente no nos genera algun tipo de confiasa.”

“No, no, no. It definitely does not give us any confidence.”

Gustavo Solis, KPBS News.


Donations of cash, military gear, and even bicycle helmets have been pouring into the House of Ukraine in Balboa Park. Those donations will be sent to help Ukrainian civilians defend themselves against the Russian invasion. KPBS reporter Kitty Alvarado says every donation is accepted with a hug.

I prayed over this hat whoever gets it I pray that they’ll be safe …

Derek Morris

San Diegan Helping Ukrainians

Derek Morris was moved to donate a military grade helmet and goggles by the images of ordinary people in Ukraine defending their country

People standing in the street in front of vehicles with no protection

And I just pray that whichever individual gets this they’ll be comforted and protected and be kept out of harm’s way

He brought it to the House of Ukraine, one of the International cottages at Balboa Park where an effort is underway to help those staying behind in the country, who are being shelled and bombed by Russia around the clock.

Volunteers at the house say they especially want gently used military grade body armor, boots and helmets. They’re also accepting cash… and even bicycle helmets to help protect children.

Donations given from the heart accepted with love for Ukraine.

This one’s prayed for …

Thank you very much

Aww thank you

Thank you for your help

Kitty Alvarado KPBS News

And one more story before you go…

This Saturday, the Comic-Con Museum will hold a series of panels about the life and legacy of American cartoonist and comics legend, Will Eisner. The series is called Will Eisner week, and it comes from a partnership between the museum, and the Will and Ann Eisner Family Foundation.

KPBS arts reporter Beth Accomando has more.

Will Eisner is a pioneer of graphic storytelling. He started in comics in the 1930s, created the character of The Spirit, and published the groundbreaking graphic novel A Contract With God in 1978. This Saturday Comic-Con Museum will host a day of panels dedicated to his legacy as part of Will Eisner Week. Jackie Estrada has been running Comic-Con’s Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards since 1990 and is hosting one of the panels.

JACKIE ESTRADA: I call it ‘And now for something completely different’ because it is about Will Eisner's vision for what could be done with the graphic storytelling comics medium. He felt that we're just scratching the surface on the things you could do with words and pictures.

Will Eisner Week is an annual international event celebrating Eisner as well as comics, free speech, sequential art, and graphic novel literacy. Its goal is to get libraries, schools and organizations to inspire people to pick up a graphic novel and read it.

Beth Accomando, KPBS News.

That’s it for the podcast today. As always you can find more San Diego news online at KPBS dot org. This podcast is produced by kpbs senior radio producer Brooke Ruth, and me, Annica Colbert. Thanks for listening and have a wonderful weekend.

California Governor Gavin Newsom wants to create "Care Courts" that would have the power to compel people with debilitating psychosis into longer-term mental health treatment. Meanwhile, a new study shows San Diego’s existing climate action measure won’t put the city on track to achieve the goal of net-zero emissions by 2035. Plus, this weekend the Will Eisner Week panels open at the Comic-Con Museum.