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Support program for people who are alone

 November 1, 2022 at 5:00 AM PDT

Good Morning, I’m Debbie Cruz….it’s Tuesday, November first.

One local hospital is bringing back a program that provides support to those who have no one else. More on that next. But first... let’s do the headlines….

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Vote centers have opened throughout San Diego County where you can vote early in person ahead of election day.

The centers are open everyday from 8 to 5.

And Saturday over 150 more locations will be opening across the county.

For a list of vote centers, check out KPBS-DOT-ORG-SLASH-VOTER-HUB.

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A deadly Avian flu that’s been moving west across the country has reached California, where it is endangering wild and domestic birds.

The California Audubon society is asking residents to empty birdbaths and take down feeders.

Mike Lynes (LINES) with Audubon California, says that prevents birds from congregating and spreading the disease.

He adds the destruction of wetland habitat in California has made matters worse.

“And so we’ve forced these birds into flocks in smaller and smaller habitat areas which then results in more disease spreading more rapidly.”

He says if the Avian flu takes hold in a domestic chicken flock, it will likely kill all the birds.

Some wild birds have tested positive for avian flu in San Diego County.

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Today is going to feel a lot cooler than the past few days, according to the National Weather Service.

Temperatures are expected to get even cooler throughout the week.

In the mountains, you can expect cold weather, rain and snow tomorrow and Thursday.

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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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In the east county one hospital is bringing back a program that provides comfort and support to those who have no one else.

KPBS Health reporter Matt Hoffman has more on the return of the 11th Hour program at Sharp Grossmont Hospital.

He’s been very lethargic for the last week or two and hasn’t been making any progress to get better -- there’s no better? Yeah These are the kinds of discussions Dr. Gregory Thomas has everyday.. He’s an inpatient palliative care physician at Sharp Grossmont Hospital.. He’s going over what an end of life care plan might look like with the hospital’s clinical Chaplain Andrew Griffice.. Dr. Gregory Thomas, Sharp palliative care physician They identify as christian i need to find out what their denomination is but I think they would be open to having spiritual care involved His family in town too? Griffice and a team of volunteers are standing by -- ready to comfort patients in their final hours who otherwise would have no one else.. It’s called the 11th hour program.. The mission statement is no one dies alone Griffice says it's designed to give companionship to those at their most vulnerable.. Andrew Griffice, Sharp Chaplain & 11th Hour Program We don't know what the in-between looks like for that person and so when i think about death as a living person i work around it all week but i’m still scared of death and i would be really scared to be around death alone Any hospital staff member can refer a patient to the 11th hour program.. Griffice says when they get a call, they know the patient isn’t going to get better and are typically on what they call a comfort care plan– Meaning that they’re kind of the end of their illness journey they’ve gone through fighting and the various levels of what an illness will do and they’re toward the end non verbal unable to speak generally older population Griffice and his team try to get as much information about a patient as possible before spending time with them, like finding out their favorite music or books. maybe if they like the beatles playing a beatles song if they like poetry reading poetry showing that act of being there with them The 11th program is just starting back up again, after a nearly three year hiatus due to COVID-19..That was a bummer for us because I really think it would have been a good time for our program Tamera Debelsio is an 11th hour volunteer and a physical therapist at Sharp Grossmont hospital.. She’s been with the program since 2015 and says it was tough not having it around during the deadly pandemic. Tamera Debeliso, 11th hour volunteer & physical therapist it was probably when we were most needed, it seems, because a lot of patients had to die by themselves and the family couldn't be there.. But now we’re back and that’s good The 11th hour program is looking for more volunteers to help reach a goal of having volunteers available 24-hours a day.. Majority of patients aren’t able to speak, but they can usually hear. I hold their hand and just talk them and tell them it’s okay and they’re in a good environment and they’re taking care of Debelsio didn’t think twice when she was asked to return to the program.. For her the work is personal. It sort of resonated with me because I’ve been present at the deaths of three my family members and those were different kinds of experience but we had so many family members at the time and for someone to pass without anyone there just didnt feel right for me I think it’s more of a comfort to the patient and to yourself just that you can provide someone maybe a few moments of peace Griffice says over the last couple years he saw heartwarming scenes where nurses and therapists took time out of busy schedules to spend time with those dying alone.. He jumped at the opportunity to restart the 11th hour program and is hoping more volunteers will help it thrive. I wanna live in a world where there’s a little bit of hope and so i think that program is one step toward that, bringing hope back in the world MH KPBS News.

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With rents sky high and a homelessness crisis still growing, housing is the main issue on everyone's mind.

KPBS reporter Jacob Aere says the San Diego city council met Monday to declare housing as a human right and discuss further tenant protections.

The San Diego City Council unanimously decided to declare housing as a human right on Monday. The declaration comes as San Diego, for the first time, recorded more newly homeless residents than those that are being rehoused. Asma Abdi works at Partnership for the Advancement of New Americans. “Stronger tenant protections are a requirement for many of our families to remain in their homes.” The meeting also featured a workshop on a framework to amend the city’s Tenants' Right to Know Ordinance. There was significant push back against the new proposal from landlord groups. JA KPBS News.

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One of the lower-profile races on the ballot this November is the one for assessor, recorder and county clerk.

KPBS metro reporter Andrew Bowen says it's three offices in one.

AB: The county assessor has the job of determining how much a property is worth, and how much of that value can be taxed under state law. The recorder and clerk parts of the job involve issuing birth, death and marriage certificates and registering business names. Current assessor Ernie Dronenburg is retiring after 12 years on the job. JM: I read every customer feedback card that comes into our office. AB: Jordan Marks is the chief deputy assessor running to replace his boss. He says the office needs someone with experience who will put the customer first. JM: When I got to the office and they said we need a new website — well, we budgeted for it, we planned for it, minus the slowdown from the pandemic, we got there for the taxpayers because that is great customer service. Hearing what you could do better and delivering that. BB: I've been an executive most of my life.  AB: Barbara Bry is Marks' opponent. She's a longtime entrepreneur who served on the San Diego City Council for four years before running unsuccessfully for mayor. Bry says the office needs to update not just its website, but also how it gets information from cities when they permit new construction and the property has to be reassessed. BB: Each city communicates with the assessor's office in a different way, and in some cases it was the U.S. mail. And that's not acceptable in the 21st Century. What if a piece of paper gets lost? Andrew Bowen, KPBS news.

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Coming up.... The San Diego Museum of Art has a new art installation now on view.

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A new contemporary art installation is now on view at the San Diego Museum of Art.

It's a one-thousand square foot structure called "Chapel of the Rocks" by artist Justin Sterling.

KPBS arts producer and editor Julia Dixon Evans explains that the artist wants you to think about bad faith.

"Chapel of the Rocks" is built from broken windows, particle board and things you'd find on a city street… like fire hydrants or police barricades. The windows are the centerpiece. Artist Justin Sterling breaks windows, stains them, and painstakingly reassembles them. "That's what I do for a living. I throw rocks, and I'm a window doctor. It's not all destructive" Sterling's installation explores "bad faith" in terms of religion, policing or legislating. It's also about healing. Inside the chapel, the windows look like beautifully patterned stained glass. A closer look shows the cracks and holes where the rocks hit, but the space is flooded with colorful and fractured light. "it is possible to put it back together, that healing is possible, that we can fix these broken parts of ourselves. I don't know, I feel like a chapel dedicated to the contemplation of Brokenness is a good place to start." Chapel of the Rocks is on view at SDMA through February 12th. Julia Dixon Evans, KPBS News

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San Diego Opera held the world premiere of ‘The Last Dream of Frida and Diego’ on Saturday.

The Spanish-language opera is inspired by the life and art of Frida Kahlo [KAW-LOW] and Diego Rivera.

KPBS arts reporter Beth Accomando attended the rehearsal last week and spoke with the stage director Lorena Maza [Maw-za] as the orchestra warmed up.

That was stage director Lorena Maza [Maw-za], speaking with KPBS arts reporter Beth Accomando.

San Diego Opera's ‘The Last Dream of Frida and Diego’ has three more performances through Sunday.

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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.

One hospital in East County is bringing back a program that provides comfort and support to those who have no one else. In other news, the San Diego City Council met Monday to declare housing as a human right and discuss further tenant protections. Plus, there’s a new contemporary art installation on view at the San Diego Museum of Art.