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tv   This Week in Northern California  PBS  July 14, 2012 1:30am-2:00am PDT

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painkillers. i'm scott shaffer. coming up, we'll see the significant role that bay area artists have played and giving voice to the 99%. coming up next. good evening. i'm sitting in for belva davis. welcome to "this week in northern california." on our panel tonight is david lazarus for the "los angeles
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times." and in our studio, christina jewett with california watch. and nanette asimov. the san francisco cronicle education reporter. thank you for being here. nanette, let's start with you and the city college of san francisco. it is being threatened with losing accreditation. this is huge. this is a campus with 90,000 students. how did this happen and how are school officials responding? >> you know, this is really a story of good intentions going awry. the plan for higher education said the community colleges in california are supposed to be open and accessible for everybody. it was an idea in san francisco, the leadership just did not want to let go of. even as the state has cut from the economic crisis millions of dollars from city colleges budget, the school continued to operate and does to this day,
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nine campuses and 100 or 200. they don't know how much instructional sites. >> they did not make cuts. >> exactly. they did not shrink down. they loved the kids. they loved to provide education. it was important to them. in so doing, they abdicated the fiduciary responsibility they needed to do. >> so this is not a case of ill will or bad behavior or ethical. it was a case of someone wanting to do good for the students. at the same time, failing to keep up with the administrative needs that needed to happen. >> absolutely. what they did in 2006 was we have the accreditation which was the mandated process federally. you need to listen to the evaluators. they said you need to shrink down and have better planning
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and you need to academically, be able to say what the academic outcomes are in a more consistent manner. city college did not do that. instead, they shrunk the administrators down. they don't have enough administrators. they did not do anything the accreditation said six years ago and now they came and evaluated and the problems have gotten worse. >> they did not meet the fiduciary obligations. i think david lazarus has a question for you. >> nanette, we had a similar debate in los angeles when compton college lost accreditation. it was taken over by el camino satellite college. since then, we have seen the same financial troubles that plagued compton in the first place. this year, we had a grading scandal involved. does anyone think that any kind
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of rescue measure for san francisco community college could actually work? >> what's happening right now is that city college of san francisco has until october 15th to provide an action plan, they are working on that. they are not listening to talk of closure. they are trying to save it. they have until march 15th, actually, to fix all of the problems. fix six years of problems in eight months. they are looking to compton college, which you mentioned, david, because it is the only school that had accreditation yanked and had to close. that is the only model that we have. as you said, another college came in. what if that happened in san francisco? if the accreditation were actually yanked and next june the commission said the school has to close and the students might not notice a difference because somebody else might come in and take over leadership and
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change the academics. >> nanette, does this mean something different for a student who is on a career path versus a san francisco resident who wants to take spanish for personal enrichment? >> that is a good question. it is a huge school. it will have to shrink. they know that. we will not see this as a vast school. i think on 30,000 or so students take classes for credit. there is more that take licensing. those are the protected groups. those who would no longer -- we don't know what it would look like. the priority students. >> let's talk about the larger picture because this is not a problem confined to city college of san francisco. we are talking about the boards that affected colleges and universities. if this place closes, what does
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that is a for the state of education? are there other colleges in california facing this very similar dilemma? >> there are only two small ones in the same position as city college of san francisco. one of them is in eureka. the master plan for higher education no longer really can apply to open access for all and at this moment, the board of governors of community college are shrinking the mission. every college will have to be focusing on students who need to transfer to four-year schools and get a license and we're shrinking down. that is what we will see. >> it is not a good picture. i know you will stay on top of it. we will keep two dates in mind. october 15th, when they need to
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meet the deadline. then march 15th. >> that's the day. >> all right. thank you, nanette. let's turn now to transportation and david lazarus. david, last week, the state legislature nearly approved funding for high-speed rail. it is not exactly a smooth ride ahead. what are the hurdles? >> they are clear. there are environmental reports and lawsuits pending. the main thing is money. as with what nanette was talking about with the school, there is not enough greenback to go around. let's look at what we are talking about here. in 2008, california voters approved a high-speed rail from san francisco to l.a. you are running at speeds more than 200 miles per hour. it would do the run in over two hours. sweet. it has been one problem after another. gerrymandering has gotten us to
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the point where californians are not ready for the pig. the senate is following the legislature has approved roughly $8 billion on the spending on the first leg of this. that would run roughly from fresno to bakersfield. as you know, the burning demand for high-speed demand from fresno to bakersfield. >> the high-speed train to nowhere? >> i'm being facetious. if you don't build a project that people don't, they won't come. people think of "field of dreams." that is not how high-speed rail works. japanese and french officials. they run the tgb in french. they say this can work, but your market is in san francisco and in l.a. people who want to go very quickly between those two hubs. the idea that -- >> i'm sorry.
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it is not going to be high-speed rail. it is a medium-speed rail. >> it's what is called a blended system right now. where you will get the high-speed rail in the central valley, although with spots in palmdale and fresno and gilroy and bakersfield. once you get into the urban areas on the peninsula and down here in southern california in l.a., you will stop the high-speed rail tracks and it will hit normal urban rail tracks. it will chug along by thomas the tank engine. that is not what you want here. it is an open question as to what the law accommodated which could make the lawsuits dangerous. >> david, christina has a question for you. >> david, i'm curious. some of these lawmakers who had a burning desire to see this happen are now voting against it. what are they talking about? >> they are talking about right idea, wrong plan. they have been clear about
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saying this specific plan is derailing california's high-speed rail plans. i think they are right. i'm also a huge fan of high-speed rail. love this idea when it was first floated. now we see what is actually on the table with a lot of our state lawmakers having pushed the ideal track off the i-5 corridor where it made a lot of sense and moving it further east to good up the other cities like fresno and bakersfield. now it looks like a lot of gerrymandering. that is what legislators are responding to and saying that is not what we had in mind originally. it is also a very open question as to whether all of those jobs, the tens of thousands of jobs that were promised when the project was first floated and if they will materialize. >> they promised 450,000 jobs over the 25-year span of this project. people are now questioning whether that will happen. i think christina brought up a good point. here is a man who was a san francisco lawmaker for a very long time. he was the rail authority chair
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and not only that, he fought for 20 years to have high-speed rail happen. now he is coming out against the current plan. when he is coming out against the current plan, you have to take note and go why? he has said this is a plan that will not allow electric power to happen and the trains will not travel as fast, is that right? >> that is what he said. he has been one of the big boosters for a long time. he said this wasn't the plan he envisioned. the big question is going to be money. we have the $8 billion in start ups. that means the statens of california will borrow, yes, borrow, about $4.5 billion and $2 billion will go to b.a.r.t. and muni. that will free up $3 billion in federal funds. current projections put the cost of the project at about $70 billion. you know it's going to be more
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than that. where is this money going to come from? we don't know. >> david, wasn't there a poll that said voters don't want to spend the money on that. if they do, they are not enthusiastic about jerry brown's tax measures on the november ballot. >> there was another poll done by your organization, david, the "l.a. times." according to the people they polled, 70% said they would not ride this rail transit system if it were to happen. you have to think about that and take that into consideration as well. we have to move on. >> absolutely. we have to move on. you stay there. we want to you chime in on the next story. let's turn to christina jewett and talk about the growing concerns over the abuse of prescription drugs. including oxycontin. this is massive. this is something the cdc is calling an epidemic. now an east bay doctor is under investigation. what is going on?
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>> you have an issue where we're in 2009 where you have more people dying of drug overdoses than people dying in car crashes. this is a change. being driven by huge increases of people dying from the opiates and overdoses. i have been working on an article about the doctor in the east bay. he was prescribing the pain pills that were off the charts. doctors have come together and agreed when you have 200 milligrams of morphine, that is a high dose. dr. manougian had a patient on 12 times the dose. that man died of an overdose of the drugs prescribed to him. some of the drugs weren't in his system, which the experts said this guy may have been selling
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these on the street. you are looking at a big issue. >> what is the incentive for doctors to do this? driving a mercedes? >> this doctor was not driving a mercedes. he was driving a very middle of the road vehicle. he is very philosophically solid on the fact that there is no limit on how much opiate painkillers you can prescribe to patients in this pain. there have been doctors in california who are rich. they are driving mercedes benz and there are prosecutions over those cases as well. you see a whole spectrum. it is a problem when you have the addiction and overdose deaths that are continuing to climb. >> this doctor is not alone. there are many instances of people going doctor shopping until they find one to give them
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the painkillers. >> the interesting thing we found in the story, the doctor's offense says the medical board has a rule you cannot discipline a doctor no matter how much you prescribe to a patient with pain. there are big issues to that. they have to be careful and thoughtful and thorough when they are treating patients. amount alone is really not on the books in california. >> is that something that anybody is looking at? can they tweak the law or change it? >> great question, nanette. the state of washington has passed a very controversial law when patients get up to 120 milligrams of morphine, you are supposed to refer the patients to a pain expert to take a really thorough look at what is going on with the patient and what do you want to do. do you want to go higher before you take a really careful look at the options.
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>> that is not something california is considering. >> not that i know of. it is controversial in seattle. doctors tend to have a strong belief that they should not be told what to do in that granular sense. doctors have a lot of training. they want that autonomy. >> they want the freedom. let's turn to david. he has a question for you. >> hi, david. >> i want to look at the demand side of things for a moment. how much does the war on drugs, by drugs i mean, marijuana and cocaine and heroin. how does that play into the legal drugs and whether that increases demand for it or if it is exacerbating the problem? >> that is a good question. the answer is reverse of your question. people are going from the opiate drugs over to heroin, in some cases. this is something that is supported by anecdote. when you look for data on this,
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it is very hard to get any hard numbers. you do see people going from the drugs that your doctor says are okay over to drugs that you can buy on the street. >> you know, the fda recently went against a panel of experts and decided not to mandate specialized training for doctors who prescribe painkillers. >> that is controversial. i don't think the book is closed on the dialogue. we will see more conversation about this because when you see the addiction numbers and the deaths escalating, you know, i think everyone will be at the table. there will be more conversation. >> are there estimates to how many people are addicted to painkillers? >> i have not seen any. the estimates i have seen 116 million people are in chronic pain. that is one in three in america.
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they feel like that conversation that so many people are in chronic pain has opened the flood gates for this prescribing. it is an ongoing question. >> and an ongoing problem. we will take a moment to thank david right now for being part of the panel. david, you need to go. enjoy your friday night. thanks for being with us. >> thank you. >> all right. good to see you. we want to tell you about the other story. bay area has a long tradition of socialism and art. the current example is the occupy movement. it began a year ago, but it is inspiring and getting people talking. we look at some of the most iconic images to come out of the movement. >> last september when the first tents went up blocks from wall street, it was hard to imagine a stand against economic inn
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equality would ricochet worldwide. >> one of the features of it is that it is almost completely nonviolent. it is more of an artistic statement. people peacefully occupying the parks with guitars and singing songs and making art. >> once it took root, the message of occupy went viral. branded initially by a single iconic image. >> it started out with a poster of a woman, like a modern ballet dancer standing on top of the bull on wall street. it was criptic. occupy wall street. >> the editors of the canadian ad magazine were the creatives behind the poster. as the movement grew, cities
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like oakland and san francisco, other artists followed their lead. >> you will grab people by their eyeballs. something that is very beautiful or very funny or some powerful aesthetic statement that will make them look. >> he makes a living producing graphic novels and covers for the "new yorker magazine." his love has been street art. >> if something is on the street and doesn't get peeled off or covered up for a full week, thousands of people will see it. wealthy people, poor people. everybody. >> over the past year, he has created a series of bold images for occupy gatherings. >> this was the poster that got picked up the most. i think it is because it is very optimistic image. i think that is why this one stuck in the collective consciousness here and in other
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countries. >> oakland artists have long had a passion for art that both agitates and inspires. >> this is the translated version into spanish. the initial version we did said "close on the 1%." it was action on oakland. >> before the occupy, the two were making screen prints to promote causes in a style firmly rooted in the chicano style. people are a recurring theme in their work. >> this is the first design that we did in relationship to the emergence of occupy. it was the response to the lack of people that looked like my dad and other people of color. "we are the 99%." i'm blamed for the economic cries, but what about the wall street banks? >> we probably produced and have given out something like 3,000
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posters. >> in the development most activists could not imagine, their work is now occupying a museum. if you think about it, it is a pretty radical idea given the movement is less than a year old. >> it is very unusual that an institution would have something topical like that while it is happening. typically, a museum, if they deal with something that is social criticism at all, they wait until it cools off. >> the inspiration for doing occupy bay area exhibition was seeing the strength of the political posters coming out of the occupy movement. we are conscious of wanting to show a lot of style and approaches. some are conceptual and minimal. like the one with the pie that
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says "occupy everything." others are very personal illustrations that are very suggestive and an intimacy to the image. even though occupy started on wall street, it was taken up in the bay area with great fervor because we have a deep legacy of political activist here. >> just opposed with the current posters are past struggles. including prints by artists like rupert garcia. >> you see artists who are clearly looked at emory douglass. from the posters from the 1960s. now one originally from iran blended photography from the arab movement with the spring.
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she has created an islamic pattern of the images. other artist is megan wilson. she had made over 100 color panels that is a "we are the 99%" in 45 languages. >> it is kind of the expression of how do you reflect as you are still moving. like we are so action oriented that we don't take time to really understand what worked. what posters did we create that actually moved people and made them feel connected and get involved? >> the occupy bay area exhibit is at the yerba buena center for the arts through october 14th. that is all for tonight. i want to thank our guests and ask you to visit to
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subscribe to our news letter and share your thoughts. belva davis returns next week. thank you for watching.
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adnan: picking fights over who will raise your tax, ship your jobs overseas or pay for your health care. that's the campaign week in a nutshell tonight on "washington week." gwen: getting ready to rumble on the campaign trail. >> if there's an outsorcerer in chief it's the president of the united states, not the guy who is running to replace him. >> you say you want to bring down the deficit, but you're not willing to let tax cuts lack or the top 2%, it tells me you aren't serious about deficit reduction. gwen: throwing down gauntlets in congress. >> we have to go repeal health care again for the 31st time. you would have thought the 17th time would be good.


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