The state of San Diego County
Good Morning, I’m Matt Hoffman. It's Wednesday March 30th.>>>>
Where San Diego County is heading..
More on that next. But first... let’s do the headlines….######
CONTRACT NEGOTIATIONS ARE RESUMING TODAY AFTER THOUSANDS OF GROCERY WORKERS ACROSS SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA VOTED TO AUTHORIZE A STRIKE.. That includes 6,000 San Diego workers. So far unions haven’t been able to make a deal with the owners of RALPHS, VON'S AND ALBERTSONS.. The union argues proposed wage increases aren’t keeping up with the cost of living. THE ``YES'' VOTE DOES NOT AUTOMATICALLY RESULT IN A STRIKE -- BUT IT DOES ALLOW THE UNION TO CALL ONE IF A DEAL CAN’T BE MADE
TITLE 42 IS UP FOR ANOTHER REVIEW TODAY. THAT’S THE PANDEMIC-ERA POLICY THAT ALLOWS BORDER OFFICERS TO QUICKLY TURN AWAY MIGRANTS ON PUBLIC HEALTH GROUNDS. International law gives migrants the right to seek asylum and to have their cases heard. CDC OFFICIALS HAVE BEEN REASSESSING THE POLICY — AND SO FAR RENEWING IT — EVERY 60 DAYS… but advocates argue there is no longer a public health justification.
A second COVID booster dose is officially being recommended for older adults and the immunocompromised..
The CDC says adults over 50 can get the additional booster shot 4 months after their previous one. Federal health officials say the second boost is especially important for those over 65 and those with underlying conditions. Christian Ramers with Family Health Centers of San Diego says vaccine protection for those groups wanes faster than most.
BOOSTER 1A Dr. Christian Ramers, Family Health Centers of San Diego
For the general public who has gotten their two shot series and then a booster it’s not really clear that another booster would really offer too much additional protection and that’s why FDA didn’t make this a blanket recommendation it’s really targeted on older individuals and those immunocompromised
The CDC's recommendations come after the FDA gave authorization yesterday for second boosters.. The FDA reports they are safe and data shows they increase protection for those who are high-risk. In terms of first booster doses, San Diego county is lagging behind the majority of the state.. With 42% of residents eligible getting them.
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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We have an update on the future of San Diego County.. Last night Supervisor’s Chair Nathan Fletcher gave the state of the county address.. KPBS Reporter John Carroll says remarks focused on homelessness, housing, mental health and public safety issues.
Supervisor Fletcher touted the County’s high COVID vaccination rate… more than 93%. On the issue of homelessness, he lauded the creation of Mobile Crisis Response Teams…
9:06 - “They have already helped more than 941 people and the program is growing stronger by the day.” 9:11
Fletcher says 1,000 housing units are either in the process of being constructed on county-owned land or in the pipeline, but he called on every government agency to work together….
18:57 - “Bring your surplus land and let’s put together a master plan for 10,000 units of affordable housing.” 19:03
The Supervisor says the board will soon consider a 10-million dollar investment to expand the childcare workforce and facilities.
He called on more families to come forward to foster children. He said the county would redouble its efforts to establish a permanent shelter for refugees. And Fletcher says the county stands to get 100-million dollars out of a settlement with Purdue Pharma which, he promised, will help fund a plan to deal with the county’s worsening opioid problem.
A new climate action plan is underway… with the goal of reaching 100% renewable energy in the coming years. And camping… Fletcher announced a new initiative to help families who’ve never camped before.
40:53 - Not only will we cover your admission into the park, but we will give you all of the gear, instructions and assistance that any individual or family needs.” 41:03
Fletcher finished by calling on all of us to seek out our better angels to help advance the quality of life for everyone in San Diego County. JC, KPBS News.
DESPITE RECENT RAINSTORMS … MUCH OF CALIFORNIA REMAINS UNDER SEVERE OR EXTREME DROUGHT.
GOVERNOR GAVIN NEWSOM HAS ISSUED AN EXECUTIVE ORDER REQUIRING URBAN WATER AGENCIES TO GO INTO LEVEL TWO DROUGHT RESTRICTIONS.
SAN DIEGO HAS BEEN UNDER LEVEL ONE FOR WATER CONSERVATION. Here’s JEFF STEPHENSON with THE SAN DIEGO countyWATER AUTHORITY WATER 2A :09 LEVEL TWO TYPICALLY MEANS UP TO A 20% REDUCTION IN WATER USE IS WHAT YOU'RE TARGETING. BUT THERE'S LOTS OF DETAILS THAT HAVE TO BE WORKED OUT OVER THE NEXT TWO MONTHS.”
AT LEVEL TWO, LOCAL WATER AGENCIES CAN REDUCE THE NUMBER OF DAYS PEOPLE COULD WATER THEIR LAWNS.
SAN DIEGO DOES FARE BETTER THAN MOST OF THE STATE ON THE U-S DROUGHT MONITOR,. Our county is AT the “MODERATE” DROUGHT. level.
The California Taskforce on Reparations has finally answered one of the thorniest questions this first in the nation effort has faced– who will be eligible for reparations. KPBS Race and Equity Reporter Cristina Kim has more.
CA REPARATIONS (ck) 4:02 soq
California’s task force on reparations has been meeting since last Summer to figure out how to address the continued harms of US slavery…. From giving Black people direct payment to changing housing policies.
But one question has always loomed large…. WHO EXACTLY BE ELIGIBLE for reparations?
TWO primary approaches to that question emerged…
On one hand you have those who say race should be central making the majority of Black people should be eligible.
And on the other, you have those that believe that reparations should be lineage-based – and reserved for those that directly descended from US chattel slavery.
After hours of tense debate …. the task force officially voted 5 to 4 for a lineage based approach. Chair Kamilah Moore read the approved motion.
Secretary of State Shirley Weber, who authored the bill that made this taskforce, spoke in favor of the lineage approach earlier this year.
“Reparations are for those who are the descendants of slaves first because of the hundreds of years they suffered of no wages or the ability to own land,”
And San Diego City Council member Monica Montgomery-Steppe previously told KPBS she agreed with Weber’s interpretation.
Speaker 2: [00:09:20] I just think that we have to go with the spirit and intent and the letter of the law, which does call out special consideration for poor people or descendants of those enslaved in the United States. [00:09:31][11.3]
But task force member and civil rights lawyer Lisa Holder advocated for including ALL Black Americans with a special consideration for desdendants of slaves in order to address anti-Blackness.
CUT: IC: 1:03:45
Assemblymember Reggie Jones-Sawyer says it shouldn’t matter where you came from—that Black people are subject to the same forms of racism.
Whether you came on a slave ship or a cruise ship, we are on the same boat now.
The decision came after a heated day—at one point Johnson Sawyer called out the board’s chair for speaking too long.
CUT: 18:51 Yes you are the chair but you aren’t the dictator.
In spite of the setbacks… many celebrated the task force’s decision
including Tiffany Quarles the co-chair of the National Assembly of American Slavery Desdendents in Los angeles… a grassroots group that’s been working towards more lineage-based reparations.
Speaking to KPBS ahead of the vote, Taskforce Chair Kamilah Moore, who advocated for a lineage-approach says the task force’s purpose is not to address all racism.
[00:10:49] I didn't really see this taskforce as a racial equity task force. So, you know, it's like, like I said, reparations for the institution of slavery. It's a specific political project. [00:11:00][11.1]
Now that the task force has finally decided who is eligible for reparations, it can focus on the next big question on the agenda … what will reparations actually look like in California.
Cristina Kim. KPBS News.
Coming up.... As humanitarian operations for Ukrainians ramp up, advocates worry Afghans who worked with the U-S are being forgotten.. Their story, just ahead.
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A LONG OVERDUE WELCOME HOME TO VETERANS FROM VIETNAM.. KPBS REPORTER KITTY ALVARADO was at MIRAMAR NATIONAL CEMETERY yesterday where Vietnam veterans were honored.
Vietnam Memorial 1 TRT 1:07
Nat sound song
Oh say can you see
VIETNAM VETERANS AND THEIR FAMILIES GATHERED TO COMMEMORATE THE DAY SET ASIDE TO HONOR THEIR SERVICE … MARCH 29TH … IT’S THE DAY IN 1973 THE LAST COMBAT TROOPS LEFT VIETNAM.
THE PRAISE, SALUTES, AND HONORS OF THIS CEREMONY ARE A SHARP CONTRAST TO WHAT SOME VETERANS LIKE CHARLES MOWERY SAY THEY CAME HOME TO ALMOST 50 YEARS AGO.
The toughest thing for me which will never go away was the unwelcome home.
AND PEOPLE ARE STILL TRYING TO UNDERSTAND EVERYTHING VIETNAM VETERANS WENT THROUGH, INCLUDING BOBBY RODRIGUEZ, WHOSE FATHER SERVED IN VIETNAM.
we weren’t allowed to talk about it at all
HE ONLY RECENTLY DISCOVERED SOME LETTERS THAT HIS FATHER WROTE DURING THE WAR, AND SHARED ONE WITH US.
Well we made it but we also lost 35 percent of our battalion …it was really hell
RODRIGUEZ SAYS THE LETTERS WERE A REAL EYE-OPENER.
I have more respect for him now
AND THAT’S THE HOPE … THAT COMMEMORATING VIETNAM VETERANS DAY WILL OPEN THE EYES OF THOSE WHO HAD NO IDEA WHAT THOSE VETERANS WENT through…
KITTY ALVARADO KPBS NEWS
Newly arrived Afghan immigrants are settling into their lives in San Diego, but thousands of others are still waiting in Afghanistan. Advocates worry as more attention turns to the unfolding humanitarian crisis in Ukraine, people who worked with the Americans for decades may be forgotten. KPBS Military Reporter Steve Walsh explains--
Jawid Karimi watches on his phone a recent news report out of Afghanistan. It shows a group of girls being turned away from a school. <> “They’re saying we are also human beings” <>He interprets the video for me.<> “and we have a right to education.”<>Five months ago, Karimi arrived in San Diego with his wife and two boys. Part of a growing number of Afghan refugees.The world watches as the Russian invasion of Ukraine produces millions of refugees, almost overnight. But Karimi and other Afghan refugees are still focused on the plight of their country. Many are nervous that the US will move on, leaving thousands of people who worked with the Americans stranded. Some remain in hiding.
MATT3090_02.MOV 7:17:01 10;32;50;05“They change their house going from this house to another house to hide them. This is a big concern. If they are forgotten, just something bad may happen to them.”
Shawn VanDiver is part of a coalition of mainly veterans groups trying to bring Afghans who worked with Americans to safety. Afghan Evac has been working with the Biden administration, but, VanDiver says, the White House has said very little publicly in months.
Video1259094782.mp4 :50:00(may need to add a bit more at the top of this cut for TV)“We're willing to bend over backwards to help Europeans that we haven't served with at the scale that we have with Afghans, and that we've kind of taken our time on Afghans, folks with whom we serve for 20 years. Folks that stood by us on the battlefield.”
Afghanistan didn’t come up in the president’s state of the Union Address. VanDiver was particularly frustrated after the Biden administration announced that the US would allow 100,000 Ukrainian refugees into the country.
Video1259094782.mp4 2:47“Nobody's saying that we shouldn't be helping Ukrainians. We all agree. What we're saying is that it would be nice if folks who didn't look like us got the same help as folks who looked like us.“Advocates are still waiting for the administration to get behind a permanent status for thousands of Afghans like Jawid Kamiri. He was given a temporary status called humanitarian parole. Naomi Steinberg, with the refugee aid group HIAS, says it doesn’t fix their situation.
GMT2022328-160249_recording_.mp4 1:54“It’s not a permanent status in any way. It’s not an immigration status. It was very important, and that allowed a lot of people to get here very quickly, and obviously time was of the essence, but what has happened now is that they are here with no path to permanency.”
Steinberg says the biggest problem isn’t the shifting focus from one refugee crisis to another. She says the previous administration gutted the US’s refugee resettlement program.
GMT2022328-160249_recording_.mp4 16:41“So it's a lot easier to wreck a program than it is to rebuild and so that's where we are now slowly but surely building up. An extraordinary progress is being made, but it feels painfully slow for the individuals who are directly impacted for sure.”Javid Besharat just received his green card, which will allow him to use his degree in computer programming in San Diego. He was beaten by the Taliban as made his way into the Kabul Airport with his family. This was just days before the last American plane left.
IMG_5259.mov 7:29;07“One of them had a 1 meter pipe on their hand and they were beating on my back, on my foot. We escaped from them and somehow we entered to the airport.”
He left behind two brothers, who also worked for an American company. He says the Taliban has searched their homes, looking for proof that they worked with the US.. IMG_5259.MOV 15:18“Our suggestion is that for the American government is that please help the people or for the family of those who were helping the Afghan government and also the American troops in Afghanistan.”
Because for many Afghans, time is running out.
Steve Walsh KPBS News
After two years of restrictions and case surges, the pandemic has touched the lives of all San Diegans.. Now many people are turning back to a pre-pandemic lifestyle, but their stories about COVID will stay with them forever. In part two of our series KPBS Midday Edition producer Emilyn Mohebbi brings you the stories of two San Diegans.
That story was produced by Emilyn Mohebbi.
That’s it for the podcast today. As always you can find more San Diego news online at KPBS dot org. I’m Matt Hoffman, thanks so much for being here with us, we’ll catch you tomorrow.