San Diego Ambulance Services to Undergo a Change

San Diego Ambulance Services to Undergo a Change

In November 2021, the City of San Diego handed over responsibility for its ambulance services to Falck. The private ambulance provider promised to improve ambulance response times across the city. However, it has fallen short of its lofty goals. The city is now taking action to ensure that San Diegans will be able to get to the hospital on time.

Under the new plan, the city will handle billing and staffing for Falck. It will also be able to hire other companies, meaning that Falck will no longer be an exclusive provider. While the city is still working on the plan, it’s safe to say that things will change in San Diego soon.

Notably, the city is not going to take complete control of ambulance services in the city. In other major California cities, like Los Angeles, the city completely operates all ambulances. The paramedics who work in ambulances are all city employees. That will not be the case in San Diego, where the city is simply becoming more involved in Falck’s services. And it’s a good thing that it’s doing so, because Falck was falling short.

San Diego was unsatisfied with Falck’s ambulance services.

When the city of San Diego awarded Falck its contract, it came with some expectations. Falck promised to provide over 1,000 hours per day of ambulance coverage. That came with the requirement to have the proper amount of medical staff to cover those hours.

Falck has failed to meet those conditions of its contract. It usually provides around 950 hours of coverage per day. While that’s an improvement over San Diego’s last ambulance company, it does represent a breach of its contract with the city.

Negotiations over the transition are ongoing and should continue for a while. Once the city and Falck reach an agreement, implementation of the new plan will take a few months. In the interim, Falck will work side-by-side with another provider to help cover San Diegans.

COVID-19 Positive Patients Dwindle, Case-by-Case

COVID-19 Positive Patients Dwindle, Case-by-Case

The number of COVID-19-positive patients in San Diego County hospitals has decreased by 20 to 441, according to the latest state figures.

Of those patients hospitalized as of Saturday, 46 were being treated in intensive care, down five from a day earlier.

There were 220 available ICU beds Saturday, down four from Friday.

San Diego Count has the second-highest number of coronavirus patients in the state, behind Los Angeles County’s 1,202.

Meanwhile, the number of new COVID-19 cases remained fairly steady this past week, but county officials warned that an influx from holiday gatherings was likely in coming days.

San Diegans must take caution over the winter months during indoor gatherings, including masking, washing hands often, staying home when sick and home testing.

COVID-19 vaccines, including bivalent boosters, and flu vaccines were widely available at local medical providers and pharmacies. The county continues to offer vaccinations throughout the region at its vaccination sites.

The COVID vaccines do not necessarily prevent people from contracting or transmitting the virus, but health officials say they offer protections against serious symptoms and possible death.

In the past week, the county Health and Human Services Agency reported 21 additional COVID deaths and 4,714 new infections — compared to 15 deaths and 4,537 the week prior. Thursday’s data increased the county’s cumulative coronavirus totals to 967,078 cases and 5,662 deaths.

According to an HHSA report, 80.5% of eligible San Diegans have received their two-shot primary vaccinations, and 21% of all eligible San Diego residents 5 years and older have received the new bivalent booster.

Flu numbers are on a downward trend, with one additional death and 643 cases reported in the past week, compared to two deaths and 906 cases the previous week. The county’s cumulative total increased to 30 deaths and 20,030 infections — compared to 1,253 at the same time last season and a 3,144 prior 5-year average during the same week.

But what about the new sub variant?

What about it? Don’t worry! It’s an Est-Coast exclusive.

XBB coronavirus subvariants — especially one tagged XBB.1.5 — are fast becoming the most prevalent types circulating in the United States. But that is not yet the case in San Diego County or most of the West.

San Diego’s latest readout of coronavirus genetic surveillance, posted this week by SEARCH, a consortium of local research labs, indicates that 8 percent of genetic material decoded from wastewater samples taken on Dec. 28 are XBB strains. That’s roughly the same number that has appeared in recent readings, with 5.5 percent recorded on Dec. 27 and 9.1 percent on Dec. 26.

Free Books Given Out To Lakeside Students Via Vending Machines

Free Books Given Out To Lakeside Students Via Vending Machines

There’s a brand-new vending machine making the rounds at Riverview International Academy. It’s incredible, honestly. Because it’s a brand-new addition of books for the local student body in the local school district. The machine definitely tilts the industry on it’s head. All because there’s an initiative for the students that want to receive a gold token. All while there’s a new machine that dispenses books. Crystal Grobner, the leader of the Riverview Parent Teacher Student Association, believes that this will be a great motivator for students who want to improve their behavioral skills. In a statement, she said that “The idea of having a book as a prize as an award, and something exciting that you get to choose and put a coin in and get a book in return, we think that extra layer of excitement about books is really important at our school.”

Using triple-immersion curriculum, the school provides books with three different languages: English, Spanish and Mandarin.

Teachers are always pushing for more students to learn and what way for them to do so is better than receiving free materials?

The teachers choose which of the kids are able to choose from the free book vending machine, but do so while showing an example of equity. In other words, all students are mandated to earn a token for every school year.

Global Vending Group, in charge of creating enough book vending machines for 500 schools all over the USA, state how the system is so popular, there’s a wait list that takes months to endure

And that is certainly a delight to hear as boys and girls all over the San Diego county get more enthusiastic about reading through the very surprise of reward. It’s a great initiative that empowers the youth of today to adopt the habits of tomorrow. All a very forward interest to put on children. One would say that the San Diegans of the future are always pushing to be well-read, without having to worry about finances. If more people realized the value that came with reading, they would know that it improves cognitive thinking and would therefore think twice before scrolling wocial media incessantly.

If knowledge is power, access to free education is the fuel. And using a vending machine a valuable means of reading allows for some stylistic quirkiness to be often unforgettable when Riverview International Academy is remembered by alumni.

Startups Lose Funding As Markets Dwindle In Finances

Startups Lose Funding As Markets Dwindle In Finances

Startups all over San Diego have continuously been built right up to global financial markets, thanks to a growing amount of venture capital flowing to local companies, while creating about 60 percent comparisons to the similar quarter in the past year. However, it didn’t turn out to be a bad result. All because startup funding, plummeted through 2022 from the record highs of the last year. Firms all over the area have been able to raise about $1.04 billion in funding through third quarter, as exactly to the Venture Monitor’s specificity to snapshots of fundraising by the National Venture Capital Association and Pitchbook, being an industry research firm.

Huge funding rounds come from various companies like Capstan Therapeutics, RayzeBio, software firm Drata and battery materials outfit Wildcat Discovery while propping up the region’s total venture capital haul, throughout tough times for financial markets. The third quarter ranks as the 10th highest quarterly total for San Diego venture capital investment since Venture Monitor would publish data in 2014.

These type of developments bring hardship for the whole industry of San Diego Startups.

The San Diego region has about the eighth spot across the nation for venture capital raising in the third quarter alone. All following San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Jose all according to Venture Monitor. The region handles around 10 metropolitan areas for startup funding, all with thanks to dual pillars of technology companies and life science firms.

Straight out of the pandemic, the financial markets drove record investment in startups in 2020 and 2021, through hot sectors such as subscription software, fintech, health care and logistics. Entrepreneurs throughout San Diego were in turn able to pull in about $9.6 billion dollars in 2021. This being up 55 percent from years earlier. In regards to 2022, however, the stock market falling low had sidelined plenty of public stock offerings. That, being the key vehicle for venture capitalists to go ahead and cash in on invesments for young companies. In the past year, there had been about 416 companies that had gone public. In the past year, only 83 were IPO, according to Tim Holl, who was an audit partner with EY in San Diego.

EY, formerly Ernst&Young, operated in San Diego for a while. Of course, mergers, being the alternate avenue for venture capitalists to book, have totally slowed down, according to Venture Monitor. Exit values have been on the way to lower levels since 2016. Though not from a lack of trying, startups have brought up about $3.7 billion in funding, down from $8.1 billion for the same period last year.

Avocado Production Drops While Drought And Heatwaves

Avocado Production Drops While Drought And Heatwaves

In our county, avocado growers have been facing tough circumstances while showing the result of a heightening cost of water coupled in ongoing heatwaves and drought. The crop is likely to generate just about $82.8 million through the region within the past year, all down from the $152.9 million in 2020. All according to the yearly crop report. It’s likely the first time that avocado fruit have only been able to generate less than $100 million per year since 1996.

The productivity has been the biggest issue facing avocado growers in 2021. All while trees have produced an average of 2 tons per acre. Down from 4 tons an acre within the year before. The amount of land which has been equally harvested. The crop’s value has bumped up right to $3,117 per ton.

But where did this come from?

For starters, a lack of precipitation played a major role, being that because of the absense of raine, San Diego has essentially recorded around two years of less than satisfactory below-average precipitation while farmers have been absorbing the impacts. In which case, there’s hopes that a wet winter will re-up the avocado production in a major way. Growers are always needing to irrigate from year round. Which, in itself costs more but also doesn’t flush salts from the ground as effectively.

While California handles record dry conditions, there’s also been another threat from the weather. Heatwaves. They’ve made it way difficult for growers in the county. Of course, the rise in temperatures caused trees to shed avocados as they’re ripe. It’s typical for 100-degree temperature to occur for August heats. But for an occurrence to happen about four-or five days in a row. Avocado farmers are increading land from production as the cost of water has risen to unbelievable heights. Growers have therefore in turn, harvested about 14,458 acres from last year. Down from beyond 26,000 acres in 2007. As a result, the cost of water has tripled. Beyond a year, the Fallbrook Public Utility District and Rainbow Municipal Water District have been cutting ties with the country’s wholesaler: San Diego County Water Authority. Those agencies are joining forces with the Eastern Municipal Water District in Riverside County, where water rates are likely to be less volatile.

This is in hopes that agriculture is stabilized. The demand has dropped across the last two decades from 20,000 acre feet a year to nearly about 8,000 acre feet a year. Any acre foot is just enough to cover an acre a food deep, approximately 325,851 gallons. Water authority officials believe that savings shown by the water agencies are just too short-lived while, joining Eastern could expose agencies to state drought restrictions.

On the opposite side of the spectrum, the bigger cash crops included bedding plants, perennials and cacti as well as succulents, all according to the report. They would supplant ornamental trees and shrubs, as they have been for the past 12 years. However, honey and beeswax would suffer from an even bigger decline, as only a little of the overall farm economy still fell 85 percent, no thanks to the drought stopping bees’ from making honey.

Food Waste Recycling Program Still Being Re-Tooled By The City

Food Waste Recycling Program Still Being Re-Tooled By The City

Despite their best efforts, the city of San Diego has been looking to equip residents with a new recycling stream and it hasn’t quite been able to come around full circle. This is all projected to help the state of California to eradicate the harmful greenhouse gases. In turn, the state has told local governments to give programs the ability to cut down food waste in landfills. There’s a huge unfunded mandate for the local governments to pick up. All because of the California League of Cities, being the local government advocacy group to send up $180 million in the state budget. Specifically to support cities that struggle to show food waste recycling programs. Waste collection rates go up 25% in order to pay for all the equipment and staff to manage the requirements of organics recycling law, also known as the SB 1383.

There’s a bit of science driving the laws.

To make it well-known, there’s science in the politics occurring here. Organic matter like grass or food waste comprises about 39% of the thrown away matter and an overall landfill. However, when you have food that wastes away, it makes for a lot of methane. That of which tends to leak straight from the San Diego landfills. Methane is seen as a short-time climate pollutant, hanging around in the atmosphere. This all would last less time than carbon dioxide. Scientists are very certain that slicing methane emissions are also important in the war against heat waves among other natural disasters.

Smaller cities are starting a new waste collection stream. However, there’s still much to be done in order to execute the mandate properly. The waste collection itself is covered entirely by Republic Services. Such a company used the funds to buy additional equipment that is crucial to expand organic waste collection. This is evident from the new composting facilities created in towns like Chula Vista.

The city hauls plenty of waste for single-family homes while designating free refuse collections for some apartment properties. All of this is under a 1919 law titled “the People’s Ordinance.” Several residences and businesses aren’t quite as easily covered by the People’s Ordinance contract with private hauling companies, such as EDCO.

Currently, People’s Ordinance remains in effect, as free trash pickup costs the city about $72 million per year, according to the Independent Budget Analyst Office. While the law remains, the city will in turn absorb the costs of new food waste recycling requirements set by SB 1383.

Of course, there’s plenty more that needs to be done. All residents need an organics waste bin as well as food waste kitchen pails to expand weekly yard waste and organics collection services to eligible households. To handle all the new waste, a $50 million organics recycling facility is about to be built at the Miramar landfill.

The city in turn has signed a $51 million contract for 43 waste collection trucks have happened back in August 2021. There are further plans to order even another 55 trucks within the future under the same contract. Those had been scheduled for delivery earlier than when they’ll arrive, which will be more likely in the winter. New green kitchen pails are coming for countertops and waste carts alike.

Traveler Activity Flies High For The First Time Since 2019

Traveler Activity Flies High For The First Time Since 2019

Since March 2020, nothing has ever really been quite the same in the United States. Let alone the World. As if we weren’t already ravaged enough by the deaths of ordinary citizens like George Floyd, to international icons like Kobe Bryant, a world-wide pandemic of corona virus had spread all over to infect and destroy entire ecosystems of life. And with that rationale, it’s been tough. Very difficult. So much so that movies and television shows have been written about it as well. But the industry that has taken the most damage? The travel industry. Travelers all around have been a lot less capable of moving between different parts of the world. And why is that? Simply because there has been more of a chance for the virus to be spread thanks to it’s airborne quality. So you can only imagine that travel has been tremendously hit by the spread of COVID-19. Yet, after time has evolved, vaccines have been rolled out and lives have been saved, for the first time since that fateful year, things are finally appearing to go back to normal. For instance, San Diego International Airport has reached a new high in traveler attendance. Our very own airport has been able to hit a new high. About 2,068,397 passengers have flown in and out of the area. This will be the highest since the pandemic has started!

Truly, this is great news!

The number itself is only a testament to how things are finally returning to normal as society persists to continue on better and stronger than ever before. This would essentially be the first that SAN has reached even more than 2 million passengers since as long ago as December 2019. This is all according to airport statistics. Between January 1st and June 30th, both days of 2022, SAN was thankful enough to serve above ten million passengers. Comparing this, year after year, you’ve gotta admit. Business is good for the airports. In this specific calculation, traveler traffic has gone up to 30.2%. This milestone is as close the airport has come to reaching pre-pandemic numbers. Just about 90.5% of the way there to exactly what 2019 felt like.

Kimberly Becker, president and CEO of the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority, had this to say: “SAN has seen a steady increase in passenger numbers as demand for summer travel continues. Reaching more than two million passengers is a milestone we can celebrate as our region continues to recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Compare it to May, June traveler traffic is still up about 7.9%. The greatest number of traveler traffic activity was Sunday, June 26th, with about 82,000 of them entering and exiting. Becker believes that the uptick is thanks to available nonstop flights to and from domestic and international destinations. SAN offered eight more routes with nonstop destinations in June 2022 than June 2021.

Various airlines have increased the quantity of flight offered from SAN to 10 other destinations. Those airlines? Alaska Airlines, Frontier Airlines, Spirit Airlines, Southwest Airlines and United Airlines. God bless them.

Abortion Law Overturn Flips Everyone into a Frenzy

Abortion Law Overturn Flips Everyone into a Frenzy

It’s such a pity to see that there is a lack of constitutional protection of abortion in the USA. It’s no longer. On the day of June 24th, the United States Supreme Court has torn down the legendary Roe v. Wade ruling. This happened within the 5-4 split at the end of fifty years of actualized abortion access for American women. Such a ruling was totally anticipated since May. It had been anticipated way before the conservative justices have shifted the court. The fight over abortion rights continues and it’s really quite the problem when returning to the states. This being where it had played out five decades ago. Abortion is certainly a passionate topic to talk about.

California has been progressing towards combating the legal protections for abortion providers while also pouring all resources towards clinics. All while patients had to come in from other states in order to terminate their pregnancies. Jodi Hicks, the CEO of Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California. “I want to be crystal clear: abortion remains legal here in California and we are working to ensure that people — regardless of where they come from — can access abortion services with as much support and as few barriers as possible.”

Planned Parenthood leads the front against anti-abortion.

Miss Hicks continues to state her support for all the parents and people in town. “California is here for you. We will not turn people away, and we will find a way to support you so that you can get the care you need.”

Plenty of candidates have shown their overwhelming support for abortion rights. Planned Parenthood has many of difficult pitfalls facing ahead in defense of. Abortion rights have been needed to be protected for the 2022 midterm elections. This is all after many years of public polls displaying a majority of abortion turned legal in nearly all cases. It certainly is a danger to anyone who wanted to exercise their rights to take control of their own body. Gladly, Governor Gavin Newsom believes in a West Coast “commitment to reproductive freedom.”

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County Fair Returns For The First Time Since Corona Virus Pandemic

County Fair Returns For The First Time Since Corona Virus Pandemic

If I’ve wrote it once, chances are, I wrote it a thousand times before. But the COVID-19 pandemic was one catastrophic global event for the books. Not only did millions die and seeing family and friends became virtually impossible, but there was also no way to enjoy outdoor activities. And while things were a little less extreme in 2021, 2022 is the year to really celebrate. Because this year, life finally feels like it’s back in full swing. By the time next week rolls around, it will be totally cool to enjoy the outdoors in preparation for the San Diego County Fair! That’s right! You read me! The San Diego County Fair returns!

It’s coming back specifically to the Del Mar Fairgrounds.

In the year before, the fair had to be scaled down a lot. Just for safety precautions. People were still unsure about vaccines and the very trick of it was that masks were entirely essential so close to COVID-19 still existing. But now that the two-year hiatus is over, there will be plenty to enjoy. This is the hope of Jackie Eshelby, the Director of Agriculture and Education in San Diego. “It was a multi-day event that celebrated the community and kind of reopening, but it wasn’t anywhere near the San Diego County Fair.”

You’ll have all sorts of excitement to look forward to this year. From the rides and interactive attractions, to the newest additions, such as a dairy exhibit! Wonder what that entails?

Eshelby knows! “ At the end of each milking, you can purchase ice-cold milk, and I can tell you from Homegrown Fun, the chocolate milk cannot be beat!”

Other such tasty foods include the Australian battered potatoes, served with classic ranch, cheese sauce, bacon and chipotle.

Tickets for the event range from $12 to $20! Not a bad price. (It’s free if you’re a child interested in attending.)

The fair has a very fitting theme. Before the pandemic wreaked havoc on the county fairs of America, “Heroes Reunite” was the ideal theme for 2020’s event.

Well now it’s even more perfect. Eshelby seconds this. “We are all heroes at the end of the day. What we’ve all been through this past year and having to pivot at home, with your children and the classroom.”

If you are indeed fixing up to go to the San Diego County Fair next week at the Del Mar Fairgrounds, you must purchase your tickets and admission online at the following website:

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Time’s Up For Polinsky Child Emergency Shelter After State Violations

Time’s Up For Polinsky Child Emergency Shelter After State Violations

The Polinsky Children’s Center has been known to violate the rules beyond the state policies. There are people that work at the Polinsky Center with no real training.

Rachel Randolph herself is a residential care worker has said “Polinksy is a temporary shelter for children in need.” She has been an employee with the county for almost a decade. And yet her duties include looking over the campus, as well as housing and support for the Polinsky Children’s Center.

Randolph says that being a representative for the union speaks aloud about the Polinsky Children’s Center. Randolph says, “As a union steward, I get a lot of emails and a lot of phone calls due to being short-staffed, which is on a regular basis, staff feeling they’re not supported. The staff do not feel supported at all.”

There isn’t a lot different you have to do with a children’s emergency shelter at all. It’s really quite simple when you get down to brass tacks. But this one in particular doesn’t seem to really get the understanding of properly respecting the children involved.

Polinsky itself is not a locked facility.

That data qualifies due to the fact that in the past three years and months, there had been beyond 2,000 calls for service in the address of the Polinsky Center. With all sorts of complaints, like disturbing the peace with threats towards weapons and runaway juveniles.

The county themselves had allowed teenagers to live in a similar housing unit. There was also a high concentration of drugs and alcohol on the campus while there had been kids on AWOL (which in itself was a military term indicating “away without leave.”) But for the Polinsky Center in particular, it means when the kids depart from the center minus permission from the staff.

Polinsky has been undergoing renovations to decrease the number of AWOL youth. The renovations are also including the installation of more video cameras and upgrades.

A letter had been sent by the state of California addressing the lack of attention made towards the San Diego County’s Child Welfare Services. A little bit of the letter included a statement:

The County has reported hundreds of children are placed at Polinsky each year, many of whom are under the age of six years old, with an average stay that exceeds the maximum allowable length of stay of ten days for a temporary shelter care facility.

Of course, the Polinsky Center has doubled the number of children under the age of six staying beyond 30 days in shelter care than any other similar sized shelter care facility. With the pandemic itself, there had been a national crisis that had kept kids much longer than anticipated.

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