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tv   ABC7 News Getting Answers  ABC  October 21, 2021 3:00pm-3:30pm PDT

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>> building a better bay area, moving forward, finding solutions. this is abc 7 news. anchor: hi there. i'm kristen sze. we ask experts your questions to get answers for you in real time. today, we'll talk about the latest headlines regarding vaccines, boosters, masks, and school california and more. and what will be boebert and vekic swayze have to do with haiti born and more. rain in the bay area and quite a bit of it. let's get the latest with spencer christian. tell us what we're looking at. spencer: significant impact.
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we haven't seen this kind of rain and steady sequence coming our way in a long time. the current system has produced anywhere from a quarter inch to about an inch of rain depending on your location. let me show you what's going to be coming your way this evening. much of the bay area right now simply looking at cloudy skies. later tonight, another wave of steadier rain coming in during the overnight hours. a wet morning commute, some puddling and cooling because we haven't had any significant rain in so long. it's going to take the ground a while to absorb the rainfall. that's going to sweep out tomorrow, certainly by midday. drying out late tomorrow into tomorrow night. the current storm that we're looking at ranks 1 on the storm impact and the intensity will be continued -- considered light
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intensity. we will keep the light ranking there. . as we look ahead at rainfall estimates, going into nighttime hours, as i mentioned just a few more hundredths of an inch expected during this evening's rainfall. but tomorrow's rainfall will bring another quarter of an inch to an inch, quarter of an inch from locations in the east bay and santa cruz mountains and south bay, going up to the further northern reaches of the bay area. we could see another inch of rain from this rather significant system coming through tomorrow evening. so, i can stop it right there unless you need me to go further to the weekend, where we'll be expecting stronger storms. kristen: i do have a couple questions. that's probably great with the graphics and the numbers. but because this is going to go on for a few days, how worried are you about a lot of flooding and perhaps especially in those scarred areas from the wildfires? what are we looking at? lisa: there could be some runoff --spencer: there could be some
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runoff in the scarred areas. i don't think any significant flooding or widespread problems are expected from this current rain or tonight's rain. it's the stronger, heavier rain coming over the weekend saturday night, sunday, into monday. that's going to be steadier rain without much of a break, and that could produce some low flooding, could produce some mud sliding and runoff from the burn scar areas. there may be some concern then. kristen: i want to get you back to working on the 4:00 forecast, but by the time this is done, how much of identity you think it will make towards our drought? but also in the shorter term, the fire season this year. spencer: i'm not going to predict that this is the end of the wildfires season, but this certainly reduces the risk of near future wildfires because we're getting much needed rainfall for the vegetation to get the ground a little more saturated. but if we were to get one of those strong offshore wind events, that could dry out the
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vegetation again very quickly. so i don't want to say this is the end of the wildfires season, but it reduces our concern. as for the drought, the entire state is in severe or exceptional drought. it's not likely this rain is going to change that ranking, but it certainly helps. this is the most beneficial rain we've seen in probably a year. when you count what's coming in this weekend. kristen: spencer, thank you so much. see you again at 4:00 today. the storms we're getting a should shorten the seasonal wildfires, but what about the long run? what do we need to do to prevent the devastating wildfires in recent years? joining us to talk about this, the 30th anniversary of the oak hills firestorm, is a uc berkeley professor of fire science, scott stevens. thank you for your time. scott: happy to be here. kristen: happy to see this rain, but it's not just the rain. there's a lot of things, many
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things we have to do to minimize our chances of having another paradise, another oakland hills. before we get into that, because i know you have solutions, why do fire conditions seem to be getting worse and worse over time? scott: well, it's really true that climate change is impacting our fire regime. we're getting warmer, more variation in weather patterns. we're in a severe two-year drought, so when you compound that with more heat drying the fuels, and a tapestry of fuels and the way we are, that was already vulnerable already, we add to that the climate change impacts. it makes it worse. kristen: here in california, we've taken the fire suppression approach for decades, putting the fire out. what has been the result of that? scott: we really have changed the fundamental character of our force. you look at the early 1900s, we
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have 200, when the fire happened from indigenous burning, you had more of a system that worked. small flame didn't get into the crown. some areas of mortality small, couple acres, five acres, something like that. but when you tick fire out for so long, also do some harvesting practices, focusing on the giant trees, leaving space for giant trees to get established and then you have problems. kristen: the biden infrastructure plan does provide money to prescribed burns. how useful is that? scott: i think it's very useful. these forces are coming much more than they did in the last 5, 10 years. the state of california, the brown administration into the newsom administration, providing significant resources to do work on private lands and federal bill wil add to that from the
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federal side. i hope we can develop a plan that is more action oriented versus maybe just a little more like we're going to plan better, plan something on the edges. that's not going to work. we've really got to do decisive change. we cannot continue to do what we've been doing with that for four or five decades. kristen: part of the reasons the fires are more devastating is because we're building more houses and moving people into forest areas. people in our urban environment -- i think this is a good time to bring it up. we've been covering the 1991 oakland hills firestorm, 30th anniversary. what actions were taken, do you think, to try to prevent another repeat? you think we have really made a dent that will make another such fire less possible? and what more do you think needs to be done that hasn't been done? scott: you're right. we really have done better since 1991.
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i was in the fire like many people listening to the broadcast. done a lot better with -- suppression response, coordinating firehose sizes. i give credit for that. one thing we have to do better is get our houses and adjoining the to take and better prepared. if you go up and down the east bay hills, a lot of places in california, many of these areas are still incredibly -- you look at the housing construction, maybe vegetation on top of houses, even litter on top of roofs, these are so vulnerable. i'm afraid people don't realize how vulnerable they are. i do give credit. when i drive around the bay area, the california landscape, i see more and more people taking action. i think that has to continue. we've got to get community level responses more coordinated at the community level to try to move forward. kristen: heard a little bit about what actions we started 30 years ago with climate change
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worsening things in the last 30 years, if feels like we're who is trained to play catch-up. scott: i think you're actually write. we'-- absolutely right. wfor decades and decades, predecessor at uc berkeley wrote a paper about this in 1958 and recommended some ideas prescribed doing other measures. it didn't really take off on a policy standpoint. so the culmination of all this in action takes us to a point now or climate change comes over the top. we've got really big issues. it even tells me that we've got to take decisive action. it can't be something like we're going to go a little better, 50% more acres, work with commute -- 15% more acres, work with committees. we have to take decisive action, make people more uncomfortable because of the scale of it. but i don't see any other recourse. kristen: for the folks who
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aren't sure how this impacts them because maybe they don't live in those areas where they get these wildfires, in what other ways do wildfires near them affect their lives that maybe they don't even realize? scott: one thing i think everyone knows now, look at the smoke impacts that are happening in the state. in 2020, we had the north complex fire, the lightning fires that got ignited like all the others all over the state, including the bay area. remember the day we got up and looked at the sky and it was orange red? that turned out to be the big push of the north complex fire that burned a giant area of the forest and unfortunately killed 15 people and put so much smoke in the atmosphere, came over to the bay area, turn to whole sky orange red. the impacts of fire now are actually really unprecedented. it's impacting everybody in the state from an air quality standpoint, from economic impacts. tourism is down. i think now we've gotten to a point where i don't know if there's any place in the state not impacted by the fire.
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kristen: scott stevens, thank you so much for your insight. appreciate it. scott: happy to be here. kristen: to see more about the firestorm, including footage not seen since the day of that fire, check out firestorm, the east bay hills fire. it's available at abc7news.com and streaming on the abc 7 bay area app on your tv. coming up next, the latest on covid-19, news on vaccines and variant.s
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boosters and a new descendant of the delta variant are leading covid-19 headlines today. joining us now is use eff emergency dr. noble. thank you for being here. dr. noble: thank you for having me. kristen: i want to ask you about
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something i know you are very passionate about, the impact of covid policy on children. cal 40 public health officials said they will not relax public school mandates so children should expect to wear masks in school all through the winter. "now is not the time to let our guard down." do you agree with this? dr. noble: no, i don't agree with it at all. what we were really looking for our metrics. we need off ramps for our kids, for our families. we've been in this pandemic for almost two years and what cdp h released was just this very vague masks through the winter. meanwhile, for adults outside of the public school system, we have metrics. we know what our rates need to be to take our masks off. it's really puzzling to me why kids are not afforded the same sort of optimistic path to know when it is that they're going to be rid of covid restrictive policies. kristen: if you were at the
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table helping to shape those metrics, the offramp if you well, what do you think it should be? we refer to the fact that bay area health officers came together, put out these rules saying indoor masks can go away when we're yellow with three weeks in terms of transmission, and 80% of the county is vaccinated. do you think for schools, it should be that were a little different? dr. noble: i think that would be fine for schools. schools are not going to unmask the kids while the surrounding county is still masking, so that's already a given. but using an 80% evacuation -- vaccination rate for schools seems entirely appropriate. we already know schools are lower risk setting than the surrounding communities, so why we can't use similar vaccine mandates for these safer settings is really quite perplexing. and i'm afraid it's going to erode public trust in our public health officials. kristen: all right, now let's talk about the new delta descendant. it goes by ay4.2.
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what do we know about it? dr. noble: we don't know a lot. it might be more infectious than the delta variant. but it doesn't look like it's going to be a game changer from what we know this far. it is probable that it is a bit more infectious, but it's not like the big jump between the alpha variant and the delta variant, where we saw a huge increase in infectivity. we aren't seeing that yet with this new variant, although it's still new. we're only talking about a handful of cases, so still too early to say. kristen: overall, watching it, but not too concerned yet? dr. noble: correct. kristen: a cdc panel just endorsed the moderna and johnson & johnson boosters for millions of people. so what are the next steps? because people are asking me, when can they booked those appointment's for those shots? dr. noble: i think that will be announced soon. it should be upcoming very shortly. in the next days, i think people will know when they will be able
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to book their vaccinations. so it's right there coming down the pike. i think really, keeping our eye on the prize should be working on the vaccine hesitant individuals. boosting is great, but to really get beyond this pandemic, we need to reach the unvaccinated in our population. and so that's where i'd really like to see our public attention focused. kristen: part of this is they are not allowing for mixing and matching, so to speak. so what would you do? because people are asking, should i get a j&j again if that's what i got the first time? or if i got maternal before, should i get another maternal because mixing is good -- moderna before, should i get another moderna because mixing is good? give us how you would approach it. dr. noble: right. i think the bottom line is our vaccines, even without boosting, is very good. you're talking about benefit on
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the margins. we're trying to squeeze out a little more benefit from a really good product. so it's hard to say that mixing and matching is really going to be measurably better. it makes good physiological sense to optimize your immunity. i think that's a great idea for people to do if that's available to them. but at the end of the day, i don't think it makes a big wanted to have difference. you can boost with whatever's available to you and you're going to be very well protected. kristen: randy has a great question, which i should have asked. is it here in the west or the bay area yet? dr. noble: i don't know about the bay area. there's only been a handful of cases in the united states, i think five or less, so really we don't know a lot yet. but what we do know is that we suspect that there is a slight increase in transmissibility, but not a game changer. kristen: ok. and based on the current timeline, do you think five to
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11-year-old could have maybe gotten one or both shots in for thanksgiving when families were gathered? because i think they're going to take this up to november for approval. dr. noble: yes. i think that is quite likely. last time i was on the show, i thought shots would be in arms just before halloween. it looks like the fda decision will be made in november 1, november 2, but should be approved soon thereafter, so looking like the first week of november the shots would go into arms. kristen: we have of your question. is it safe to get -- a viewer question. is it safe to get vaccinated while breast-feeding? dr. noble: it is indeed safe. pregnant women and lactating women should indeed get vaccinated. it is really quite protective, so by all means, yes. kristen: and if you've already gotten two shots of a vaccine, is there any reason to think that with a third one, the booster, which i understand is half a dose, you would get a different sort of reaction that you didn't already see from the
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first two shots, perhaps side effects, things like that? dr. noble: yeah, the third shot looks thus far like it's quite similar to the second, so i don't think people should suspect anything different. you're likely to react quite similarly. we haven't seen any more adverse reactions from that third shot, whether the same series or mix and match. kristen: great information. thank you so much for your insight. dr. noble: thanks for having me. kristen: coming up next, a haitian born entrepreneur is giving back launching a new publication.
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crisis has impacted a lot of people, including a local entrepreneur born in haiti. she immigrated to california as a teenager. since then, she has launched a publication dedicated to highlighting talent from underrepresented communities, and she celebrating with a launch event tomorrow. this story also involves whoopi goldberg and patrick swayze.
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intrigued? joint is now is the founder and crate of director of touro magazine, tristan cunningham. tristan, good to see you. tristan: good to see you. thank you for having me on. kristen: absolutely. coming from san francisco, right? tristan: i am. kristen: i love this story because it is local. but you had to find your place not only in the fashion industry but also as a teenager. tell us about the circumstances. kristen: it was a very difficult time. i was a teenager at the time and we were very lucky to be able to come to the u.s. with my family. and it was an adjustment before. i speak french in haiti and english was my second language, and i barely spoke english. i was a teenager and i went to an all-girls catholic school. so it was definitely an adjustment. and it was hard. i won't say it was easy. there's definitely a romance
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about coming to california, but once i got here, it was very, it was a tough adjustment. but i would say now, you know, i've adjusted. kristen: very well, might i add. before you got here, on one of your vacations or trips to the u.s., you met some pretty big stars. tell us that story. tristan: oh, my god, so grateful for that happened to me. we use to visit on holidays throughout the u.s., my family's. and my family in los angeles had some connections to the entertainment industry, and we were able to get a tour of paramount. and at the time, they were filming the movie, "ghost," with patrick swayze and will be goldberg and demi moore, and -- whoopi goldberg and demi moore.
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he took us to see them and to meet them. they were very welcoming, and it was such an opening to the start. and whoopi, as a black definitely left an impression on me. she's definitely been a role model and simply i looked up to since. and it's been amazing. kristen: that is so special. i would cherish that. ghost" is an amazing movie, by the way. i think what's really neat is you use the publication to highlight people in typically underrepresented communities. talk about why that's really important in the fashion industry. tristan: you know, growing up, kristen, i obviously cherish magazines to this day. it's one of my favorite things to do when i travel. i go to the stands and buy
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magazines for the flight. also to really learn about other communities and other people and different cultures and fashion and all these things. so it's always something that i loved. i never thought that i would have my homes, -- my own, so that was definitely a dream coming true. but it's important for me to really highlight those underrepresented, and the people, there were so many beautiful, amazing work throughout the world that have amazing brands. they don't get an opportunity to have a voice or platform to be really represented. and that's what the magazine is all about. i'm very proud of it. the latest san francisco issue highlights a lot of those issues right in the bay area. kristen: and i understand you
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are hosting a special launch party happening this friday, right? what can we expect? tristan: well, you are definitely invited. it is tomorrow, friday, at the academy social club here in san francisco. and it starts at 5:30, and tickets are available on my website. and we would love to have everybody come. we're celebrating all the creative's that were featured in the san francisco issue. just a good time out with everyone here in the bay area. kristen: fashion, culture, food, and fun. no better combination. congratulations. don't go awa hey, i just got a text from my sister. you remember rick, her neighbor? sure, he's the 76-year-old guy who still runs marathons, right? sadly, not anymore. -what, you mean-- -mhm. -just like that. -wow. so sudden. um, we're not about to have the "we need life insurance" conversation again, are we?
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today we covered the drought, the rain, and the latest covid-19 headlights. we'll be here every weekday at 3:00 tonight, several breaking stories as we come on the air. the fbi moments ago revealing the human remains found in florida are brian laundrie. the news just coming in. those remains found in a florida nature reserve more than 24 hours ago. they have now determined they are laundrie after a month-long search in the gabby petito murder case. late word coming in. we'll go live to florida. also breaking as we come on the air tonight, a cdc panel moments ago voting unanimously to recommend boosters now for all three vaccines, not just pfizer. now the moderna and johnson & johnson boosters, too. the panel also clearing the way for mixing and matching. and this question tonight -- if you got the one-shot johnson & johnson vaccine, should you consider a pfizer or moderna booster?
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dr. jha standing by to answer your questions tonight.

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