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Uptown News Briefs: Nov. 3 – 16, 2017

Posted: November 3rd, 2017 | News, Opinion & News, Uptown Briefs | No Comments

FLU SHOT WON’T MAKE YOU SICK

It’s a myth that a flu shot makes you sick, so don’t use that as an excuse to not get vaccinated against influenza.

“The viruses in the flu vaccine are dead or ‘inactivated’ and cannot be infectious or cause illness,” Dr. Wilma Wooten, the county public health officer, said in a news release. “The most common side effects from the flu shot are soreness, redness, or swelling where the shot was given.”

Some people may experience a low-grade fever, headache and muscle aches within a day or two of getting vaccinated, Wooten said, leading them to falsely believe that they got sick from the shot.

“When this happens, the reactions are considerably milder and less severe than the symptoms caused by the flu, which can last up to two weeks,” Wooten said. “Get vaccinated now before the flu starts to spread.”

The flu season has already begun in San Diego, and there were 285 known cases of influenza as of Oct. 21. One person has died from influenza to date this year.

Call 211 or visit sdiz.org to learn where to get a flu shot, if your medical insurance doesn’t cover it.

In addition to getting vaccinated, people who want to avoid getting sick should also do the following:

  • Wash hands thoroughly and often.
  • Use hand sanitizers.
  • Stay away from sick people.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Clean commonly touched surfaces.
  • If you are sick, stay home and avoid contact with others.

KENSINGTON MIXED-USE PROPERTY SOLD

A mixed-use property in Kensington, located at 4060 Adams Ave., has been sold for $1,550,000.

The 2,500-square-foot building is directly adjacent to Interstate 15 on/off ramps, located within the main commercial district in Kensington, and is occupied by Good Vibrations Family Chiropractic. The property has onsite parking and a residential unit.

Brendan Wilkes of NAI San Diego, represented the seller CRI Big Rock.

The buyer is the Meza Family Trust, owner-operator of Ponce’s Mexican Restaurant adjacent to the property.

EARLY SUCCESS IN REDUCING GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS

Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer, joined by business and environmental leaders on Oct. 25, released a new report that shows San Diego’s landmark Climate Action Plan (CAP) is seeing early results and the city remains ahead of schedule toward reaching the ambitious goal of slashing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in half by 2035.

The CAP’s second Annual Report revealed that overall GHGs have been reduced by 19.3 percent since 2010 — outpacing the 2020 goal of a 15 percent reduction. It also represents a 2 percent reduction since last year.

“It’s been less than two years since we passed a landmark Climate Action Plan that won accolades from around the globe,” Faulconer said. “Now the results are starting to roll in and we’re seeing significant progress in our push to slash greenhouse gas emissions. We continue to be ahead of schedule on our ambitious goals which means the actions we’re taking are making a difference — and that San Diegans are doing their part to leave a cleaner and more sustainable city than the one we inherited.”

The analysis outlined in the report attributed much of the reduction to improved fuel efficiency in vehicles, expanding use of renewable energy sources, and increased the amount of reused or recycled trash.

“The city of San Diego is setting the example by using more energy-efficient vehicles, making it easier to get solar panel permits and finding new ways to reuse or recycle trash before it ends up in the landfill,” said Cody Hooven, the city’s chief sustainability officer. “We’ve seen a groundswell of residents and business leaders joining our efforts and helping us reach the ultimate goal of a healthy and sustainable San Diego.”

For each of the past two fiscal years, the city has invested nearly $130 million annually in five bold strategies outlined in the CAP. They are Energy and Water Efficiency; Clean and Renewable Energy; Bicycling, Walking, Transit and Land Use; Zero Waste; and Resiliency.

The report’s other key findings include:

  • 18 percent reduction in residential energy use.
  • 13 percent reduction in daily per capita water use.
  • 5 percent reduction in municipal energy use.
  • 43 percent use of renewable electricity citywide.
  • 12,000 linear feet of improved sidewalks.
  • 90 zero emissions vehicles/45 hybrids in municipal fleet.

Additionally, the report finds that sustainability efforts have helped spur the local economy and create jobs. For example, jobs related to sustainability grew 10.9 percent since 2010, with the largest increase in the clean and renewable energy sector. San Diego’s clean tech job concentration is also 2.6 times the national average.

The city also continues to be a national leader in several categories, including:

  • No. 1 for solar rooftop installations, per Shining Cities Report 2016.
  • No. 1 for climate and carbon management, per U.S. Clean Tech Leadership Index 2017.
  • No. 4 for Clean Technology Leadership, per U.S. Clean Tech Leadership Index 2017.

SCHOOL DISTRICT ADOPTS A CLIMATE ACTION PLAN

San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD) has become the first school district in San Diego County to adopt a Climate Action Plan (CAP).

The district’s Climate Action Plan aims to achieve 100 percent renewable energy by 2035. SDUSD joins the cities of San Diego, Del Mar, Solana Beach and Chula Vista in committing to that goal, and cements our region as a national leader in driving a 100 percent clean energy future.

The school board also passed a resolution to support the adoption and implementation of Community Choice Energy (CCE) in the city of San Diego to achieve its clean energy target.

“We’re thrilled to see SDUSD become the first school district in our county, maybe the nation, to commit to 100 percent clean energy and join the regional effort to stop climate change and protect the future of children,” said Nicole Capretz, executive director of Climate Action Campaign. “We’re making big strides throughout the county for 100 percent clean energy and we’re counting on the other school districts in our county, state, and even nation to follow in SDUSD’s footsteps. There is too much at stake not to take bold and immediate action now.”

A survey conducted during the development of SDUSD’s Climate Action Plan confirmed that over 70 percent of parents and employees believe it’s important for the school to take action in response to climate change. Partly in response to the survey data, SDUSD included increasing alternative transportation modes for school commutes — which has the dual benefits of both reducing greenhouse gas emissions and increasing public health and quality of life for teachers, parents and students. It also helps set new transportation habits for the next generation.

Board president Richard Barrera stressed the urgency of adopting comprehensive clean energy policy solutions such as Climate Action Plans and Community Choice Energy. “Our kids will create an amazing world if we support them now,” he said.

WEBSITE HELPS FAMILIES FIND QUALITY EARLY EDUCATION

Quality child care comes in many shapes and sizes, just like children themselves. The trick is knowing how to look for it and recognizing it when you find it.

Parents across the San Diego region now have a resource to find quality early education and care via SDQPI.org, a new website from the San Diego Quality Preschool Initiative (QPI), a network of high-quality early care and education programs.

“A child’s experiences during their first five years of life will have a profound impact for years to come,” County Superintendent of Schools Paul Gothold said in a news release. “That’s why investing in early education and care is the most important commitment we can make to help ensure a child’s future success.”

SDQPI.org was created by the San Diego County Office of Education (SDCOE) with funding from First 5 San Diego. The website is a comprehensive resource designed to help parents and providers understand what quality early care and education look like; how to find participating early care and education providers; and to assist providers who want to become part of QPI.

The new website houses guidance on the essential elements of quality in early care and education, as well as quality rating data on more than 300 programs across the county — making it the go-to resource for parents and providers. The website covers the complete range of early care and education programs, from infant/toddler programs to center-based preschools to home-based family child care.

The first five years of a child’s life are critical for doing well in school and beyond, and the QPI website will help parents find the type of early care and education programs that will give their child a strong foundation.

BABY BOOMERS ARE NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK

Almost 10 years after the housing crisis and in full rental boom, the apartment market continues to surprise. According to the latest analysis of census data by Rent Café, the current trends in apartment development are suddenly attracting a new kind of renter: seniors 55 or older, highly educated, and with no children in the household. Most preferred lifestyle? Living in the suburbs.

All these factors point to one cohort: empty-nest baby boomers. Whether driven by a change in lifestyle, a consequence of the housing crash, or an inability to downsize due to lack of affordable homes, senior households are embracing renting in droves. San Diego-Carlsbad metro area boasts the 10th highest percentage increase in terms of senior renter households in the nation and a 29,000 net gain since 2009.

Here are some more highlights from the press release:

  • Between 2009 and 2015, the percentage of the renting population over 55 years old increased by a whopping 33 percent in San Diego-Carlsbad, vs. 5 percent increase in renters 34 or younger.
  • By education, the biggest changes came from renters holding a bachelor degree or higher: up by 22 percent vs. 9 percent increase in college graduates.
  • Suburban renter households with no children saw the most significant percentage increase when looking at family type: up by 29 percent vs. 22 percent increase in families with children.

Read the full report at bit.ly/2gC3mb2.

OPIOID-RELATED DEATHS REMAIN STEADY

The number of prescription drug and other opioid-related deaths in San Diego County has remained steady over the past few years, according to the latest report.

The county’s 2017 Prescription Drug Abuse Report Card shows 253 fatalities last year. That is five more than in 2015, but 15 fewer than in 2012 when the highest number was recorded.

“It’s good news that prescription drug–related deaths have dropped slightly since 2012,” said Alfredo Aguirre, director of Behavioral Health Services for the County Health & Human Services Agency and a member of the Prescription Drug Abuse Task Force executive committee. “However, misuse and abuse of prescribed medicines continues to be a serious issue in the region.”

To read more, visit the countynewscenter.com at bit.ly/2y5gXDe.

HEPATITIS A UPDATE

On Oct. 24, the San Diego County Board of Supervisors again extended the hepatitis A outbreak public health emergency for another two weeks.

The county’s public health officer declared the outbreak emergency on Sept. 1 and the board is required to review the need for continuing the declaration every 14 days.

Through Oct. 31, there have been 536 cases associated with the outbreak, including 20 deaths and 357 hospitalized.

The county and community partners have given nearly 84,000 hepatitis A vaccinations, including 70,748 to the at-risk population, which includes homeless individuals, illicit drug users, people with chronic liver disease, law enforcement and emergency personnel, people who work with homeless or treatment programs, food handlers, and men who have sex with men.

The board was presented with a letter from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that recommended against testing the San Diego River or any body of water for waterborne hepatitis A virus. The CDC letter stated there has not been a documented waterborne hepatitis A outbreak in over 30 years and referred to the “futility of environmental sampling” during a person-to-person outbreak such as San Diego’s.

“There is no evidence that either water or environmental sampling provides additional information for addressing person-to-person HAV transmission,” said John Ward, CDC director of viral hepatitis wrote in the letter. “Thus, investing in these activities would unnecessarily divert resources that are needed to contain the outbreak in proven and effective ways (vaccination, education, restrooms, and hand hygiene practices).”

To read more, visit the countynewscenter.com at bit.ly/2y4MncM.

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