San Diego Week: August 5, 2011


Uploaded by KPBSSanDiego on 08.08.2011

Transcript:
FROM THE KPBS STUDIOS, THIS IS SAN DIEGO WEEK.
HELLO. THANKS FOR JOINING US. THE DEBT CEILING DEBATE IS OVER, AND FEDERAL SPENDING CUTS
ARE ON THE WAY. WE'LL TAKE A LOOK AT WHAT THAT MEANS FOR SAN DIEGO, WHERE FEDERAL SPENDING
ACCOUNTS FOR 20% OF THE ECONOMY. ALSO, SHERIFF BILL GORE TAKES US ON A TOUR OF A COUNTY JAIL
AND TELLS US HOW HIS DEPARTMENT IS GETTING READY TO HANDLE 2000 INMATES THAT WILL SOON
BE TRANSFERRED FROM STATE PRISONS.
AND MEDICAL STUDENTS FROM UC SAN DIEGO JOIN FORCES WITH THEIR COUNTERPART SOUTH OF THE
BORDER TO OPEN A FREE HEALTHCARE CLINIC TIJUANA. THOSE STORIES AND MORE, COMING UP, BUT FIRST,
A LOOK AT THE HEADLINES.
JOANNE, NO CHARGES WILL BE HELD AGAINST A FORMER SAN DIEGO POLICE OFFICER ACCUSED OF
RAPING A WOMAN IN AL CAJON. THE OFFICER RESIGNED AFTER BEING PLACED ON UNPAID LEAVE. A 19-YEAR-OLD
STUDENT FROM POINT LOMA UNIVERSITY ACCUSED THE OFFICER OF ASSAULTING HER IN FEBRUARY,
BUT PROSECUTORS DON'T BELIEVE THEY CAN PROVE THE CASE BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT.
TWO MEN ARE BEING HELD ON $2 MILLION BAIL EACH IN CONNECTION WITH THE WILDFIRE THAT
BURNED 22 SQUARE MILES NEAR WARNER SPRINGS. THE EAGLE FIRE BURNED FOR 10 DAYS. 18 FIREFIGHTERS
WERE INJURED, WHILE FIGHTING THE BLAZE. THE TWO SUSPECTS ARE BOTH 23 YEARS OLD, JEREMY
ORTIZ AND JESSE DURBIN WERE ARRESTED EARLIER THIS WEEK. THEY HAVE ENTERED NOT GUILTY PLEAS.
NO HOMES WERE DAMAGED IN THE FIRE, BUT IT COST $15 MILLION TO PUT OUT.
A FORMER WARRENS HEIGHTS FOOTBALL STAR HAS ENTERED A GUILTY PLEA IN THE UNIVERSITY OF
SAN DIEGO BASKETBALL BRIBERY CASE. DAVID GATES ADMITTED THAT HE COLLECTED DEBTS FOR WHAT
HE DESCRIBED AS AN ILLEGAL SPORTS GAMBLING OPERATION. 10 PEOPLE ARE ACCUSED OF FIXING
COLLEGE GAMES AND DEALING DRUGS. THE DEFENDANTS INCLUDE TWO FORMER USC PLAYERS AND A FORMER
ASSISTANT COACH.
A JUDGE HAS UPHELD A RULING TO COMBINE TWO SAN DIEGO LAWSUITS OVER A CONTROVERSIAL CLEMENCY
DECISION BY FORMER GOVERNOR ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER. THEY SEEK TO REINSTATE THE FULL MANSLAUGHTER
SENTENCE OF ESTEBAN NUNEZ IN THE 2008 DEATH OF A COLLEGE STUDENT. NUNEZ WAS THE STATE
OF A FORMER STATE ASSEMBLY SPEAKER AND SCHWARZENEGGER CUT HIS SENTENCE NEARLY IN HALF BEFORE LEAVING
OFFICE. SAN DIEGO COUNTY'S DISTRICT ATTORNEY IS SUING, ALONG WITH THE FAMILY OF LUIS SANTOS,
THE MAN WHO WAS KILLED, CLAIMING THE GOVERNOR VIOLATED STATE LAW BY NOT NOTIFYING THE SANTOS
FAMILY BEFORE COMMUTING THE SENTENCE.
SAN DIEGO COUNTY HAS AN UPDATED GENERAL PLAN. THE SUPERVISORS APPROVED A MAP TO PROVIDE
FUTURE DEVELOPMENT IN THE COUNTY'S UNINCORPORATED AREAS, DOWNSIZING 20% OF PROPERTIES IN THE
AREA, RESTRICTING HOW MANY BUILDINGS CAN GO ON THE LAND. OPPONENTS OF THE PLAN SAY THAT
WILL REDUCE PROPERTY VALUES. SUPPORTERS SAY IT WILL REDUCE COSTS AND URBAN SPRAWL.
A --HAS LED TO A LAWSUIT. LAST WEEK, THE CITY COUNCIL APPROVED A MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING
TO ALLOW FUND-RAISING FOR THE PROJECT, WHICH INCLUDES A BYPASS BRIDGE TO TAKE TRAFFIC OFF
THE LAUREL STREET BRIDGE AND A PARTIAL UNDERGROUND PARKING STRUCTURE BEHIND THE OREGON PAVILLION.
THE SAVE OUR HERITAGE ORGANIZATION SAYS APPROVING THE MEMORANDUM VIOLATES STATE ENVIRONMENTAL
LAWS AND IS LOOKING TO GET THE APPROVAL RESCINDED. THE CITY ATTORNEY SAYS THE SUIT HAS NO MERIT.
THE APPROACH TO LINDBERG FIELD CAN BE FRIGHTENING FOR WHITE KNUCKLE FLYERS, BUT A NATIONAL TRAVEL
MAGAZINE RANKS SAN DIEGO'S AIRPORT AS THE 7th SAFEST IN THE U.S. TRAVEL AND LEISURE
MAGAZINE GAVE LINDBERG FIELD HIGH MARKS FOR HAVING JUST FOUR NONLIFE THREATENING RUNWAY
INCIDENTS IN A FOUR-YEAR PERIOD. THE AIRPORT WAS ALSO PRAISED FOR ITS RUNWAY STATUS LIGHTS
SYSTEM, WHICH TELLS PILOTS AND DRIVERS WHETHER A RUNWAY IS IN USE. ONLY THREE OTHER U.S.
AIRPORTS USE THAT SYSTEM.
JOANNE?
THANKS, AMIKA. WELL, THE DEBATE MAY BE OVER, BUT THE FALLOUT IS JUST BEGINNING. THE DEBT
CEILING DEAL THAT WAS REACHED EARLIER THIS WEEK CALLS FOR HUGE CUTS IN FEDERAL SPENDING,
AND HERE IN SAN DIEGO COUNTY, THE IMPACT OF THOSE CUTS WILL BE ESPECIALLY DEEP. NOW, THAT'S
COMING UP.
BUT FIRST, LET'S TAKE A LOOK AT WHAT HAPPENED TO SOME LOCAL COMPANIES IN THE STOCK MARKET
THIS WEEK, AS THURSDAY MARKED THE WEAKEST DAY IN TRADING IN THE PAST TWO YEARS. THREE
OF OUR BIG COMPANIES, QUALCOMM, SEPRA ENERGY AND CARE FUSION TRENDED DOWN THROUGHOUT MOST
OF THE WEEK WITH SLIGHT RECOVERY AT THE END OF TODAY'S TRADING DAY. ECONOMISTS SAY TODAY'S
JOB NUMBERS UP SLIGHTLY HELPED TO STABILIZE THE DOWNWARD TREND THIS WEEK.
WELL, MORE THAN 20% OF SAN DIEGO'S ENTIRE ECONOMY IS FUELED BY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT.
WITH US NOW TO TALK ABOUT HOW TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN CUTS WILL RIPPLE DOWN TO US, IS
KELLY CUNNINGHAM, ECONOMIST FOR THE NATIONAL UNIVERSITY SYSTEM INSTITUTE FOR POLICY RESEARCH.
THANKS, KELLY, FOR BEING HERE. NOW, YOU WERE HERE LAST WEEK TO TALK ABOUT WORST CASE SCENARIO
IF A DEBT CEILING DEAL WAS NOT REACHED, BUT FEELS LIKE WE'VE GOT THAT WORST CASE SCENARIO.
INSTEAD, WE'RE GETTING HUGE CUTS IN FEDERAL SPENDING. WHY IS THAT GOING TO AFFECT SAN
DIEGO COUNTY MORE THAN OTHER MUNICIPALITIES ACROSS THE COUNTRY?
WELL, THE AGREEMENT THAT'S BEEN REACHED, IT DIDN'T SEEM TO REALLY TAKE EFFECT IMMEDIATELY
AS FAR AS THE CUTS. I MEAN, IT SPREAD OUT OVER 10 YEARS. AND THEN --IMMEDIATELY, AND
THEN THERE'S ALSO MORE TO BE RESOLVED IN THE NEXT, BY APPARENTLY BY NOVEMBER. SO IT DIDN'T
REALLY BRING US A LOT OF CLARITY ON WHAT'S GOING TO BE CUT OR WHAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN.
BUT STILL, FOR A PLACE LIKE SAN DIEGO, IT'S HUGE, BECAUSE SO MUCH OF OUR ECONOMY IS DEPENDENT
UPON THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT SPENDING, AND SO--
IT'S ABOUT 20%, RIGHT? $36BILLION ECONOMY, 20%. WHERE'S THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT SPENDING
THAT MONEY IN SAN DIEGO?
WELL, A BIG CHUNK OF IT IS FEDERAL GOVERNMENT. AND THAT'S PROBABLY 40, 45% OF IT. BUT THERE
ARE A LOT OF OTHER THINGS. OF COURSE SOCIAL SECURITY, MEDICARE, AND OTHER THINGS, HOMELAND
DEFENSE, ACTUALLY A BIG PART OF OUR ECONOMY BECAUSE OF THE BORDER AND THE OCEAN, OR THE
COASTGUARD AS WELL. SO THERE'S A LOT OF MONEY SPENT THERE.
AND ALSO, DON'T WE HAVE A LOT OF MONEY BEING INVESTED IN TECH COMPANIES?
YEAH, THAT'S THE OTHER BIG PART OF IT. ACTUALLY, WE FIND THERE'S ABOUT 1.3 BILLION ALONE JUST
IN THINGS LIKE THE NIH AND THE OTHER FEDERAL GRANTS THAT ARE, DIFFERENT THINGS THAT ARE
BEING SPENT HERE FOR RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT, WHICH FUELS OUR, NOT ONLY OUR UNIVERSITIES
AND RESEARCH INSTITUTIONS, BUT THEN THERE'S A HUGE SPIN-OFF, BECAUSE A LOT OF BUSINESSES
HAVE GROWN OUT OF OUR HIGH TECH INDUSTRY. SO THAT'S A BIG FUEL OF WHAT OUR ECONOMY IS.
SO WE KNOW FROM HISTORY WHAT COULD POTENTIALLY HAPPEN, BECAUSE SOMETHING LIKE THIS DID HAPPEN.
IT WAS IN THE '90s, RIGHT, IN SAN DIEGO COUNTY?
RIGHT.
WHAT HAPPENED THEN?
THE GOVERNMENT HAD A DOWNSIZING OF DEFENSE SPENDING AT THAT TIME AND IT HIT US IN TWO
WAYS, BECAUSE THERE WERE SOME BASE CLOSURES, BUT THERE WAS ALSO THE DEFENSE CONTRACTING,
WHICH, AEROSPACE INDUSTRY, WHICH HAD BEEN OUR LEADING INDUSTRY. IT WAS OUR MAJOR INDUSTRY
HISTORICALLY. AND THERE WAS A BIG DOWNSIZING OF THAT, WHICH HAD A HUGE RIPPLE EFFECT INTO
THE REST OF THE ECONOMY.
SO ACTUALLY OUR COUNTY WAS IN RECESSION LONGER THAN THE REST OF THE COUNTRY.
RIGHT, YEAH. AND IT WAS TRUE FOR SAN DIEGO AND ALL OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA, THAT IT TOOK
US LONGER TO GET OUT OF THAT RECESSION THAN IT DID THE REST OF THE COUNTRY AND EVEN THE
REST OF CALIFORNIA.
NOW, KELLY, YOU ALSO ARE ON AN ADVISORY COMMITTEE TO THE SAN DIEGO ASSOCIATION OF GOVERNMENTS.
WHAT ADVICE DO YOU GIVE POLICY MAKERS NOW LOOKING AT THIS TO SAY WHAT DO WE DO SO THAT
DOESN'T HAPPEN AGAIN?
WELL, THE IDEA BEHIND THAT IS THERE ARE CERTAIN CLUSTERS, CERTAIN INDUSTRIES THAT ARE ECONOMIC
DRIVERS. THESE ARE INDUSTRIES WHERE IF WE INVEST AND SEE THOSE GROW, THEN THERE'S A
NATURAL RIPPLE EFFECT THAT WILL AFFECT THE OTHER INDUSTRIES. SO WE'RE WANTING TO TARGET
OR LOOK AT THESE INDUSTRIES THAT HELP THE ECONOMY, DRIVE THE ECONOMY, AND SO WE WANT
TO, SO THAT BY SUPPORTING THOSE, THAT WILL HELP THE OVERALL ECONOMY TO GROW AND PROSPER.
KELLY CUNNINGHAM, THANKS FOR BEING HERE.
SURE.
STILL, WITH THE ECONOMY, SAN DIEGO COUNTY WILL STILL HAVE ONE MORE BILL TO PAY. THE
COST OF 2000 NEW INMATES TO ITS COUNTY JAIL. A NEW CALIFORNIA LAW IS REDIRECTING THOUSANDS
OF INMATES FROM STATE PRISONS TO LOCAL JAILS. EARLIER THIS WEEK, I TOOK A TOUR OF THE GEORGE
BAILEY DETENTION CENTER IN MESA WITH SHERIFF BILL GORE AND SPOKE TO HIM ABOUT THE IMPACT
OF THE NEW INMATE POPULATION.
WELL, THIS IS WHAT WE CALL OUR MAIN HOUSING FACILITY. IT HAS THE CAPACITY TO HOLD ABOUT
1800 INMATES. WE HAVE ABOUT 1500 HERE. WE HAVE ALL TYPES OF CLASSIFICATION, FROM MINIMUM
SECURITY TO MAXIMUM SECURITY PEOPLE.
THIS SOUTH BAY COUNTY JAIL DOESN'T LOOK A LOT DIFFERENT FROM A STATE PRISON. THE CELL
BLOCKS ARE ALIKE. THE METAL BLOCKS AND STAINLESS STEEL TOILETS ARE STANDARD. BUT TAKE A CLOSER
LOOK AND YOU SEE THE OBVIOUS. EMPTY CELLS. IN FACT, SO MANY EMPTY CELLS, THIS ENTIRE
BLOCK CAN BE CLOSED TO INMATES WHILE REPAIRS ARE MADE. JUST ACROSS THE ROAD IS DONOVAN
STATE PRISON. SO PACKED THAT GYMNASIUM SLEEPS INMATES IN TRIPLE BUNKS. THIS CROWDING IS
WHAT'S DRIVING THE DECISION TO SEND THOUSANDS OF CONVICTED FELONS WHO USED TO BE SENTENCED
TO STATE PRISONS TO LOCAL JAILS.
BUT MAKE NO MISTAKE, THIS IS NOT A GOOD STORY. SACRAMENTO HAS FAILED THE TAXPAYERS AND VOTERS
AGAIN. BUT THIS TIME, THEY ARE PLAYING WITH THE SAFETY OF SAN DIEGO RESIDENTS.
UNLIKE CURRENT OFFENDERS, ONCE THEY SERVE THEIR FULL SENTENCE, THEY WILL BE RELEASED
WITH NO SUPERVISION.
Reporter: SAN DIEGO STATE PUBLIC --EARLIER THIS WEEK, ABOUT THE IMPACT OF 2000 NEW INMATES
TO SAN DIEGO'S JAILS.
FIRST TIME DRUNK DRIVERS, DRUG USERS, PETTY THIEVES MAY BE RELEASED BACK INTO OUR COMMUNITY
EARLY.
Reporter: CALLED NONE-NON--NON-FOR SHORT, NONVIOLENT, NONSERIOUS SEXUAL OFFENDERS.
THEY INCLUDE IDENTITY THEFT OF HUGE PROPORTION, VEHICULAR MANSLAUGHTER, DRUG DEALERS, COMMERCIAL
BURGLARS, AND THE LIST GOES ON AND ON.
WE ESTIMATE THAT 85% OF THIS POPULATION WILL NEED SUBSEQUENT SERVICES AND 20% WILL NEED
SPECIALTY MENTAL HEALTHCARE. FROM OUR PAST EXPERIENCE THROUGH INITIATIVES, THE STATE
OFFENDERS IN TREATMENT, TYPICALLY HALF OF THE ELIGIBLE POPULATION WILL SHOW UP FOR SERVICES.
THEREFORE, THE COST TO AGENCY OF $8 MILLION TO PROVIDE TREATMENT TO 50% OF THE POPULATION.
Reporter: THE BOTTOM LINE, THE INMATES WILL COST SAN DIEGO ABOUT $100 MILLION A YEAR.
THE STATE SO FAR HAS COMMITTED TO PAYING PART OF THAT AMOUNT, ABOUT 65 MILLION, FINDING
$35 MILLION TO PROCESS AND HOUSE ALL THE INMATES EXPECTED TO COME INTO COUNTY JAILS WILL ONLY
SOLVE PART OF THE PROBLEM.
CERTAINLY THE LONG-TERM INMATES, PROVIDING PROGRAMS SO THEY ARE NOT JUST WAREHOUSED,
SIT HERE FOR 18 MONTHS, FOUR YEARS AND ABOVE WITH NOTHING TO DO.
Reporter: THE SHERIFF IS WORRIED ABOUT WHETHER HE'LL BE ABLE TO PROVIDE REHABILITATION PROGRAMS
TO INMATES, OR WHETHER COUNTY JAIL WILL BECOME ANOTHER REVOLVING DOOR IN THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE
SYSTEM.
TO AVOID DOING THAT, WE'LL NEED THE MONEY TO DO SOME EFFECTIVE PROGRAMING INSIDE OUR
FACILITY AND THEN HAVE SERVICES AVAILABLE THAT THESE PEOPLE CAN TRANSITION TO IN THE
COMMUNITY. SO THEY ARE NOT JUST KICKED OUT THE DOOR AND GIVEN A BUS TICKET BACK TO THE
OLD NEIGHBORHOOD.
Reporter: RIGHT NOW, COUNTY INMATES SERVE AN AVERAGE OF 75 DAYS. THE NEW INMATES WILL
STAY ON AVERAGE 18 MONTHS. SOME OF THEM, EVEN EIGHT YEARS.
WE, EVERYBODY IN PUBLIC SAFETY, THE WHOLE COMMUNITY HAS A VESTED INTEREST IN MAKING
THESE PEOPLE SUCCESSFUL SO THAT WHEN THEY REENTER OUR NEIGHBORHOODS, THEY ARE NOT GOING
TO HAVE TO BURGLARIZE YOUR HOUSE OR MY CAR TO MAKE A LIVING. HOPEFULLY THEY WILL HAVE
SOME SKILLS AND BE ABLE TO SUPPORT THEMSELVES.
Reporter: SO FAR, COUNTY OFFICIALS HAVE ONLY HAD TIME TO CRUNCH THE NUMBERS. NOW THEY ARE
WORKING ON TRYING TO FIGURE OUT WHAT THEY WILL DO ONCE INMATES BEGIN SERVING THEIR SENTENCES
HERE IN SAN DIEGO OCTOBER 1st. SHERIFF GORE, A SELF PROCLAIMED OPTIMIST, SAYS FOR NOW,
HE'S LOOKING AT THE CHALLENGE AS AN OPPORTUNITY, ONE HE JUST HAS TO FIGURE OUT HOW TO PAY FOR.
TO ME, SEEMS LIKE IT'S A MORAL RESPONSIBILITY. FIRST OF ALL, THESE PEOPLE ARE IN MY CARE
AND CUSTODY AND FROM A FISCAL STANDPOINT, IF I CAN MAKE THEM SUCCESSFUL WHEN THEY GET
OUT OF HERE SO THEY ARE NOT RIGHT BACK IN HERE AGAIN IN 18 MONTHS, TO ME, THAT'S JUST
MORALLY THE RIGHT THING TO DO. SO TO ME, IT'S A NO-BRAINER.
CALIFORNIA'S LEGISLATIVE ANALYST OFFICE, A NONPARTISAN ADVISOR TODAY RELEASED A REPORT
SAYING TRANSFERRING STATE INMATES TO COUNTIES WILL HELP EASE OVERCROWDING, BUT IT'S NOT
ENOUGH TO REDUCE THE ENTIRE POPULATION BY MORE THAN 30,000, AS ORDERED BY THE COURTS.
EARLIER, WE TOLD YOU ABOUT THE DECISION BY THE SAN DIEGO COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS
APPROVING A NEW GENERAL PLAN FOR THE COUNTY. THE PLAN LAYS OUT THE RULES REGARDING LAND
USE IN THE UNINCORPORATED AREAS OF THE COUNTY. KPBS HAS BEEN COVERING THE PLAN SINCE WORK
ON IT BEGAN 13 YEARS AGO. TOM, 13 YEARS! TELL US WHY SOMETHING LIKE THIS TAKES SO LONG.
Reporter: BECAUSE WHEN YOU'RE TELLING PEOPLE IN SAN DIEGO'S UNINCORPORATED AREAS, THOUSANDS
OF PROPERTY OWNERS, WHAT THEY CAN AND CANNOT DO WITH THEIR LAND, IT IS COMPLEX AND IT'S
CONTROVERSIAL. I'LL ALSO ADD THAT EVEN THOUGH IT TOOK 13 YEARS TO COME UP WITH THIS PLAN,
THE LAND USE PLAN FOR SAN DIEGO COUNTY HAS NOT BEEN UPDATED FOR 33 YEARS. SO THIS IS
QUITE A REMARKABLE EVENT.
NOW, THIS PLAN, BASICALLY AS YOU SAY, TELLS PEOPLE WHAT THEY CAN DO WITH THEIR LAND. HOW
MANY PEOPLE ARE ACTUALLY LIVING IN THESE AREAS?
WELL, I CAN'T GIVE YOU A POPULATION FIGURE, BECAUSE I, I'M AFRAID I DON'T KNOW. BUT IT
DOES INVOLVE A LOT OF UNINCORPORATED LAND. WELL, IT INVOLVES ALL OF THE UNINCORPORATED
LAND OF SAN DIEGO COUNTY. THAT INCLUDES FARMS. IT INCLUDES RURAL AREAS. IT INCLUDES TOWNS,
LIKE JULIAN AND RAMONA.
NOW, WE WANT TO SHOW OUR AUDIENCE A MAP, JUST TO GET A SENSE OF HOW LARGE AN AREA THIS IS.
NOW, THE GRAY AREA, THOSE ARE ALL CITIES WITHIN THE COUNTY. BUT THAT WHOLE WHITE AREA, THAT'S
UNINCORPORATED, SO NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE. AS WE CAN SEE, A HUGE LANDMASS. WHAT DOES THE
NEW PLAN SAY? WHAT CAN PEOPLE NOW DO WITH THEIR LAND THAT'S IN THIS AREA?
WELL, IT DEPENDS, JOANNE, WHERE YOU LIVE. IF YOU LIVE IN A PLACE LIKE RAMONA, THAT IS
AN AREA THAT HAS BEEN UPZONE, DEVELOPMENT ENCOURAGED IN A PLACE LIKE THAT BECAUSE IT'S
A TOWN CENTER. NOW, IF YOU LIVE IN RURAL AREAS, IT MAY BE A DIFFERENT STORY. MOST OF THE LAND
IN THE UNINCORPORATED PARTS OF SAN DIEGO COUNTY HAVE NOT BEEN AFFECTED. THEY HAVE STAYED THE
SAME, BUT ABOUT 20% OF THE PROPERTIES IN THE AREA, THE COUNTY'S JURISDICTION, HAVE BEEN
DOWNZONED. THAT MEANS THAT THE COUNTY HAS SAID TO THE PEOPLE WHO OWN THAT PROPERTY,
WELL, MAYBE THERE WAS A TIME WHEN YOU COULD DEVELOP THIS PROPERTY AND PUT 40 HOUSES ON
IT. NOW, THE RULES HAVE CHANGED AND YOU CAN ONLY PUT ABOUT FOUR HOUSES ON IT AND THAT
IS VERY CONTROVERSIAL BECAUSE THE HIGHEST AND BEST USE YOU CAN HAVE OF ANY LAND, THE
THING YOU CAN MAKE THE MOST MONEY ON, IS DEVELOPMENT. AND WHEN YOU'RE TELLING PEOPLE THAT THEY CAN'T
DEVELOP THEIR LAND, YOU'RE TELLING THEM THAT THE POTENTIAL VALUE OF THEIR LAND IS NOT AS
GREAT AS IT ONCE WAS.
QUICKLY, TOM, FIRE OBVIOUSLY MUST HAVE COME UP IN THIS PLAN AS WELL. THERE'S ALWAYS CONCERN
ABOUT FIRE IN THE BACKCOUNTRY. DOES THIS PLAN ADDRESS THAT?
YES, WE'VE BEEN TALKING ABOUT THE CONTROVERSY OF THE PLAN, BUT THIS IS A PLAN THAT IS VERY
POPULAR WITH A LOT OF PEOPLE WHO SAY THAT IT WILL PREVENT URBAN SPRAWL, THAT IT WILL
PREVENT THE COUNTY HAVE HAVING TO BUILD 780 MILES OF NEW ROADS, AND IT WILL ALSO MAKE
IT MUCH EASIER TO PROVIDE FIRE PROTECTION, BECAUSE YOU'RE NOT HAVING TO PROVIDE FIRE
PROTECTION IN EVERY INCH OF THE COUNTY. YOU'RE ONLY FOCUSING ON THOSE TOWN CENTERS WHERE
DEVELOPMENT IS ALLOWED.
GREAT, TOM, THANKS SO MUCH.
THANK YOU.
WELL, STILL, WITH FIRE, PEOPLE LIVING IN THE BACKCOUNTRY ARE GOING TO HAVE A NEW FEE TO
PAY. THE STATE WANTS TO COLLECT $150 FOR EVERY HOME IN WILDLAND AREAS PROTECTED BY CALFIRE.
THE STATE AGENCY RESPONDED TO 300 FIRES IN THE BACKCOUNTRY LAST YEAR AND NOW JOINING
ME IS RON PITERKA, BOARD MEMBER WITH THE ENTER MOUNTAIN FIRE RESCUE DEPARTMENT. NOW, YOU'VE
BEEN WITH THIS VOLUNTEER FIREFIGHTING AGENCY FOR YEARS. TELL US THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN
YOUR VOLUNTEER FIREFIGHTING GROUP AND CALFIRE.
WELL, THE BIG DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE TWO DEPARTMENTS ARE OURS IS A VOLUNTEER DEPARTMENT, THEIRS
IS A PAID DEPARTMENT. CALFIRE IS PRIMARILY TO FIGHT LARGE FIRES, WILDLAND FIRES. THAT'S
THEIR PRIMARY TRAINING AND THEIR PRIMARY POINT OF BEING. OUR VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPARTMENT TAKES
CARE OF ROAD ACCIDENTS ALONG IN OUR AREA, 125 SQUARE MILES, AS A MATTER OF FACT. IT
TAKES CARE OF MEDICAL EMERGENCIES. IT TAKES CARE OF SMALL FIRES. WE WERE THE FIRST FIRE
DEPARTMENT TO BE ON SCENE OF THE WITCH FIRE THAT HAPPENED GOING ON FIVE YEARS NOW.
DOES IT SEEM LIKE THIS HELPS YOU OR HURTS YOU DOING YOUR JOB?
I'M AFRAID IT'S GOING TO KILL US. WE LIVE --OUR FIRE RESPONSE AREA, LIKE 125 SQUARE
MILES, THERE'S ONLY ABOUT 400 OR SO RESIDENCES IN THAT AREA, SO IT'S SPARSE. I'M ONE OF THEM,
BUT -- BUT WE'RE SPARSE AND IT'S A LOW INCOME AREA BY DEFINITION OF THE AVERAGE WAGES AND
INCOMES THERE. SO WE DEPEND, AS A VOLUNTEER, WE DEPEND ON DONATIONS FOR HELP AND GRANTS,
AND WE GET SOME MONEY FROM THE COUNTY, BUT IT'S A SMALL AMOUNT OF OUR BUDGET.
SO THIS FEE'S GOING TO TAKE THAT DONATION AWAY FROM YOU?
OUR 400 OR SO RESIDENCES GENERATE --WE TRIED TO --WE HAVE A SUBSCRIBER PROGRAM, SUBSCRIBER
DONATIONS. WE GET $100 PER FAMILY ON AVERAGE, BUT WE DON'T GET THE WHOLE 400, BECAUSE IT'S
OBVIOUSLY UP TO THEM WHETHER THEY PAY OR NOT. BUT HOW DO WE GET ANY MONEY FROM THEM IF THEY
ARE ALREADY PAYING $150 TO THE STATE FOR FIRE PROTECTION, WHEN IN FACT WHAT THEY ARE GOING
TO GET FOR THEIR $150 I'M AFRAID IS A PAMPHLET THAT TELLS THEM WHAT THEY ALREADY KNOW ABOUT
CLEARING THEIR PROPERTY OR PROTECTING THEIR PROPERTY OUT IN THE WILD COUNTRY.
NOW, RON, WE KNOW TWO COUNTY SUPERVISORS ARE ACTUALLY SUING, DIANE JACOBS AND PRICE. DO
YOU SUPPORT THE LAWSUIT?
ABSOLUTELY. IF THEY DON'T, IF THEY DON'T CHANGE THIS, THE CHANGE THAT WOULD HELP WOULD BE
IF THEY POURED THAT MONEY INTO THE VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPARTMENT, INTO THE DEPARTMENTS THAT
ARE PROTECTING THE BACKCOUNTRY NOW WILL BE A --IT WOULD BE A BIG HELP. I MEAN, IT WOULD
BE ENOUGH TO PUT US IN A BUDGET THAT WOULD ALLOW US TO PROVIDE 24/7 PROTECTION.
RON, THANKS FOR BEING HERE.
THANK YOU. I ENJOYED IT.
THERE'S A NEW CLINIC TIJUANA THAT OFFERS FREE CARE TO ANYONE WHO WALKS IN THE DOOR. MEDICAL
STUDENTS FROM BOTH SIDES OF THE BORDER STAFF IT. KPBS HEALTH REPORTER KENNY GOLDBERG TELLS
US A MED STUDENT AT UCSD CAME UP WITH THE IDEA.
Reporter: THE CLINIC SITS ON A BUSY STREET, JUST BLOCKS AWAY FROM THE U.S.-MEXICO BORDER.
[ SPEAKING SPANISH ]
Reporter: INSIDE THE BUILDING, FOURTH YEAR UCSD MEDICAL STUDENT AMY EPSTEIN GREETS HER
COUNTERPARTS FROM THE MEDICAL SCHOOL IN TIJUANA. THIS CLINIC IS EPSTEIN'S BABY.
I'VE ALWAYS BEEN VERY INTERESTED IN GLOBAL HEALTH, MEDICINE. AND THAT'S A LOT OF THE
REASON WHY I DECIDED TO GO INTO MEDICINE. MY FIRST DAY OF MEDICAL SCHOOL, I CAME DOWN
TO TIJUANA WITH A GROUP FROM A DIFFERENT MEDICAL SCHOOL AND THAT GAVE ME THE IDEA TO START
SOMETHING AT UCSD THAT WOULD ALLOW MEDICAL STUDENTS TO ALSO GET MORE INVOLVED WITH HEALTH
IN THE BORDER REGION.
Reporter: EVERY SATURDAY, STUDENTS WORK AT THE CLINIC. DOCTORS FROM BOTH SCHOOLS SUPERVISE
THEM. IT'S ALL PART OF A CLASS CALLED HEALTH FRONTIERS IN TIJUANA. [ SPEAKING SPANISH ]
Reporter: MEXICAN HEALTH OFFICIALS SAY THE CLINIC OFFERS A GREAT LEARNING EXPERIENCE
FOR STUDENTS ON BOTH SIDES OF THE BORDER. [ SPEAKING SPANISH ]
BUT ABOVE ALL, THE MOST VALUABLE THING ABOUT THE PROGRAM IS THAT WE'RE PROVIDING SERVICES
TO A GROUP OF PEOPLE THAT NEED IT THE MOST.
Reporter: THE CLINIC IS LOCATED ON THE PERIPHERY OF TIJUANA'S NORTH DISTRICT. IN THIS NEIGHBORHOOD,
THERE ARE A LOT OF DRUG ADDICTS, SEX WORKERS, HOMELESS PEOPLE, AND EVEN PEOPLE THAT LIVE
IN THE IRRIGATION CANAL. [ SPEAKING SPANISH ]
Reporter: BUT PEOPLE LIVING IN OTHER PARTS OF TOWN COME TO THE CLINIC, TOO. [ SPEAKING
SPANISH ]
I WAS PASSING BY AND I SAW THAT THE CLINIC OFFERED FREE CARE. THE MAIN HEALTH CLINIC
IN TOWN IS CLOSED. I CAME HERE ONCE AND THIS IS MY SECOND VISIT.
Reporter: GONZALEZ TELLS STUDENTS SHE'S BEEN SUFFERING FROM TERRIBLE HEADACHES FOR ABOUT
A MONTH AND A HALF. SHE HASN'T BEEN ABLE TO GET ANY RELIEF. [ SPEAKING SPANISH ]
Reporter: AFTER GONZALEZ IS EXAMINED, EPSTEIN CONSULTS WITH ONE OF THE SUPERVISING DOCTORS
ON HOW BEST TO TREAT HER.
HOPEFULLY, THESE STUDENTS WILL WORK WITH THE POPULATION, WORK WITH THE COUNTERPARTS IN
MEXICO, AND TO ADDRESS AND COMMUNICATE BETTER BETWEEN CLINICIANS AND TO BETTER ADDRESS HEALTH
ISSUES IN BORDER POPULATIONS.
Reporter: AMY EPSTEIN SAYS AFTER YEARS OF PLANNING, IT'S REWARDING TO SEAT CLINIC UP
AND RUNNING.
I'M SO EXCITED TO SEE THE STUDENTS WORKING TOGETHER. ABOUT 90 TO 100 PATIENTS HAVE BEEN
SEEN IN ONE OR TWO MONTHS. I'M VERY EXCITED TO SEE WHERE IT WILL GO IN THE FUTURE AS WELL.
THE TIJUANA CLINIC HOPES TO ADD MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES AND A NUTRITION PROGRAM SOON.
NOW, A FOLLOW-UP TO SOME OF THE STORIES WE'VE BEEN FOLLOWING HERE AT KPBS. FIRST, A 380-TON
PIECE OF LOW LEVEL RADIOACTIVE MATERIAL HAS LEFT THE NUCLEAR POWER PLANT. THE HUGE STEAM
GENERATOR STARTED ITS TRIP THROUGH THE NORTH COUNTY SUNDAY NIGHT, CAUSING A BIG TRAFFIC
JAM ON INTERSTATE 5, DESPITE THE LATE HOUR. IT FINALLY LEFT SAN DIEGO COUNTY LATE THURSDAY
ON ITS WAY TO THE DISPOSAL SITE IN UTAH. AFTER THIS ONE, SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA EDISON HAS THREE
MORE GENERATORS TO MOVE THE SAME WAY.
AND THE MUSIC WILL PLAY ON AT THE SPREKLES ORGAN PAVILLION IN BALBOA PARK. A NEW 10-YEAR
CONTRACT WAS APPROVED FOR THE ORGANISTS WHO HAS BEEN PERFORMING SINCE 2001. HER CONTRACT
WAS UP FOR DEBATE EARLIER THIS YEAR DURING BUDGET DELIBERATIONS. UNDER THE NEW DEAL,
SHE'LL BE PAID ABOUT $28,000 A YEAR FOR CONCERTS THAT DRAW IN ABOUT 100,000 PEOPLE EVERY YEAR.
AND YOU CAN SEE ANY OF THE STORIES YOU SAW TONIGHT BY GOING TO OUR WEBSITE AT KPBS.ORG/SDWEEK.
WELL, THANKS FOR WATCHING. HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND AND HERE'S A LOOK AT YOUR FORECAST. HAVE A
GREAT NIGHT.