San Diego students demand gun control action
Good Morning, I’m Annica Colbert….it’s Friday, May 27th.>>>>
Students demand action
More on that next. But first... let’s do the headlines….
Covid-19 cases in San Diego county continue to increase ahead of the holiday weekend. More than 88-hundred (8,854) cases were reported in the county this week.
That’s 26% more than the week before.
The number of cases only reflects cases reported to hospitals or the county.
With at home testing widely available it’s likely the actual number of cases is much higher.
The rise in infections has officials reminding residents that, if you get covid-19 you can get treated for free.
If you test positive for covid-19 and have symptoms, call 619-685-2500 to make an appointment.
San Diego county water authority staff on Thursday proposed increasing rates for its 24 member agencies.
Under the proposal, rates would increase by about 5% for treated water and almost 4% for untreated water in 2023.
The Water Authority said the price increases are needed because of inflation and other increasing costs.
The Water Authority Board is expected to vote on the proposal at its meeting on June 23, following a public hearing.
Voting centers for the june 7th primary election open Saturday at 39 locations in the county.
The centers will be open daily from 8am to 5pm, including on Memorial Day Monday.
Go to the registrar’s website at SD VOTE DOT COM To find a voting center near you.
From KPBS, you’re listening to San Diego News Now.
Stay with me for more of the local news you need.
Students across the country staged walk-outs to demand action after the Uvalde elementary school massacre. KPBS reporter Kitty Alvarado says those walk outs happened across San Diego County too.
The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on WEDNESDAY to vet the Biden Administration’s second nominee to head up the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
The hearing was already scheduled before the mass shooting at a Texas elementary school had occurred.
In her opening remarks, California Senator Dianne Feinstein noted a terrible irony: just a year ago, this same committee was vetting the Administration’s first nominee for this role.
“The morning of that nominee’s hearing a gunman in San Jose, California opened fire on a mass transit facility and killed 10 people.”
Feinstein has repeatedly introduced the ‘Age 21 Act’, a bill to limit teenagers’ ability to buy assault weapons.
The shooters in Buffalo, New York and Uvalde, Texas were both teenagers.
The state Senate on Wednesday passed a bill implementing Governor Gavin Newsom's CARE Court proposal.
The plan would compel treatment for people with severe mental illness and drug addiction - including many experiencing homelessness.
The bill passed unanimously.
But some Senators, like Sacramento Democrat Richard Pan, say the measure still needs changes to ensure local governments aren't stuck with a financial burden ... and that participants will be at the front of the line for housing.
"I realize there may be other people in line but if you're at the point where you have to require CARE Court, you get to cut in front of the line because you're in considerable straits. The other thing I'm just going to say briefly - I think it's going to be important that our county behavioral health system, which we're also counting on to make the CARE Court work, needs to get funding as well."
Under the CARE Court plan, first responders, law enforcement, behavioral health providers and family members could refer people struggling with addiction and mental illness.
A judge would then order a care plan that could include treatment, services, and housing.
The bill moves next to the state Assembly.
Authorities in San Diego and Imperial counties are increasingly turning to a smartphone app to track migrants under their watch.
Inewsource reporter Sofía Mejías-Pascoe has the story.
MEJIAS PASCOE: A little-known smartphone app called SmartLINK is now tracking more than 5,000 individuals in California’s southernmost counties.
The app uses facial recognition and GPS to monitor those under the watch of Immgration and Customs Enforcement.
Officials bill the program as a humane alternative to detention centers. But critics like Saira Hussain from the Electronic Frontier Foundation say there are big questions about the program and its developer.
HUSSAIN: “We really wanna know exactly what information the app has access to. And this has been far from transparent so far from the company.”
For KBPS, I’m inewsource reporter Sofía Mejías-Pascoe
inewsource is an independently funded, nonprofit partner of KPBS.
Coming up.... With recruitment down, the navy has high hopes for the New top gun movie.
“People are going to see it and it is the Navy culture. It’s a celebration of the Navy. It’s a celebration of aviation. It’s a celebration of the spirit, I think, of our country.”
We’ll have that story and more, next, just after the break.
A start-up company in San Diego is creating artificial limbs with a 3-D printer.
They say their digital system can be a cheaper, faster way to customize prosthetics.
KPBS science and technology reporter Thomas Fudge has the story.
People lose limbs due to traumatic accidents. Some due to diabetes. Today they can get
artificial limbs, made by a 3-D printer, from a start-up company called Limber P&O. Joshua Pelz, company co-founder and PhD student of engineering at UC San Diego, shows a lower leg prosthetic made from lightweight, custom plastic..
“This is the Limber unileg. It is a single piece prosthesis that is 3-D printed in just half of a day.”
Pelz says their process of making the prosthetic begins with a scan of the lower body, using an iPhone with FaceID.
We take that scan data and bring it into the computer as a three-D model.
One amputee who has used an artificial leg from the Limber company is San Diegan Diana Zambrano. She says using a new prosthetic limb is kinda like putting on new shoes. They don’t always feel or fit right.
“In this case, the Limber leg. I don’t know if it’s the technology or what it is, but the minute I wore it I was able to walk, very comfortably.”
So far the company has focused on creating artificial lower legs, below the knee. Pelz says printing the knee joint is in the company’s future. SOQ.
Faced with a tight job market, the Navy is banking that Top Gun Maverick can help rescue naval aviation from a pilot shortage– 36 years after the original film broke recruiting records.
KPBS Military Reporter Steve Walsh says it’s part of a long relationship between Hollywood and the military.
On a sunny day at a Navy base near San Diego, Tom Cruise is on message:
“It’s a celebration of the Navy. It’s a celebration of aviation. It’s a celebration of, I think, our country.”
Cruise was at Naval Air Station North Island for the premiere of Top Gun: Maverick. Several scenes were shot at the base. Surrounded by sailors in front of the base theater, Cruise worked the red carpet. The megastar said he shares the Navy’s high hopes for the long-awaited sequel.
Paramount paid the Navy more than $5 million. Much of the money was spent to retrofit real F-18 Super Hornets with cameras. Real Navy pilots do the flying, putting the actors, and the audience in the cockpit. It’s part of a long tradition of Hollywood working with the military. Nick Cull teaches media and history at USC.
”On the Pentagon side of things they wanted to have the best of the US military represented and they knew that if filmmakers wanted to have tanks and aircraft carriers and aircraft featured in their movies they’d be willing to concede certain aspects of creative input.”
Though it can be tough for the Pentagon to live up to the Hollywood hype, Cull says.
“Why can't we succeed in Iraq or Afghanistan? The difficulty of operating in these kinds of situations are underestimated when we have these fantasies of exaggerated competence.”
“I do think that the country knows that they're going to see a movie and they can make their own judgments.”
Rob Newell directs the Navy program that works with the entertainment industry. He says the Navy reviews the script to see if it upholds the values of the service - realizing fewer people have a direct connection to the military.
That has started to wane and so people don't have, and communities don't have, those connections that they used to….everybody can't go out to an aircraft carrier, but everybody can go to a movie theater.”
And the Navy could use a hit right now. The original film is legendary among Navy recruiters-, driving up interest in naval aviation ten years after Vietnam.
Capt. Kevin Ferguson was the Navy’s technical advisor on the Top Gun sequel.
Standing in front of an F-18 on North Island, he admits he became a pilot after seeing the original film in the 80s. Ferguson flies for both the reserves as well as Delta Airlines – commercial aviation always draws military pilots.
And the competition for pilots, he says, is heating up.
“You have to retire at age 65. So you do the math. You got a lot of people that are falling off the cliff there. The Airlines, all of them did not necessarily plan in advance. And then COVID hit and a lot of people took early retirement and left. What we're left with now is a massive resurgence in travel demand and not enough people to fill it.”
Outside the premiere a group of young sailors were waiting for the filmmakers. Some of them admitted they either hadn’t seen the original, or had watched it the night before. Seaman Recruit Charles Poindexter used to watch it with his dad as a kid.
“My dad, he was excited. ..he said, aw, you’re about to see Tom Cruise. You know, that’s my favorite actor. I called him yesterday. You got to get some pictures. Whole lot of pictures.”
Whether at the box office, or the recruiters office, we’ll know soon enough whether the franchise can handle one last mission. Steve Walsh KPBS News.
San Diego International Fringe Festival returns next week (June 2nd) in Balboa Park. This year’s Fringe brings back the play “Shelter.” It’s a one-woman show about Homelessness that premiered at Fringe in 2017. It’s by actress and playwright Renee Westbrook. KPBS arts reporter Beth Accomando spoke with Westbrook outside of her rehearsal room on the San Diego State University campus.
That was Beth Accomando speaking with actress and playwright Renee Westbrook.
Her play “Shelter” runs June 3rd through 7th at the Marie Hitchcock Puppet Theater during the San Diego International Fringe Festival.
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 great day.