Roundtable: Hugo Castro, Border Wall, Tuna Harbor, Holocaust Memorial
Friday, April 21, 2017
Hugo Castro, Border Wall, Tuna Harbor, Holocaust Memorial
Jean Guerrero, Fronteras reporter, KPBS News
Seth Combs, editor, San Diego CityBeat
Brad Racino, senior reporter, iNewsource
John Wilkens, feature writer, The San Diego Union-Tribune
WHAT HAPPENED TO HUGO CASTRO?
Hugo Castro, a San Diego resident and immigrant rights activist, was last seen in a Facebook Live video he posted on April 13, from the side of a highway outside Mexico City.
He pleaded for help, saying criminals were pursuing and threatening him and had cornered him.
He was found alive on April 18 with injuries all over his body in a town in the state of Mexico.
He is now in a Red Cross hospital in Mexico City, and that is about the only fact that is not in dispute.
The circumstances around his disappearance and injuries are murky. Castro, a U.S. citizen and member of the Border Angels, was on his way to meet a caravan of asylum seekers from Central America trekking to the U.S. border.
-What do the Border Angels do that might put them in jeopardy?
-What clues are there in Castro's Facebook posting?
-What do the Mexican authorities say?
BUILDING THE WALL
The deadline for submitting plans to build a wall along the border has passed and several San Diego companies are in the mix.
The wall will reportedly be built first here, along the border with Baja California. The final wall must be between 18 to 30 feet tall, aesthetically pleasing on the U.S. side, prevent tunneling and be able to resist physical attack for an hour.
Some proposals are, well, out there. One includes an obstacle course with an electric fence and trench of nuclear waste. Another is not a wall at all, but a trillion-dollar train looping in and out of Mexico. Another features pretty mosaic work.
The state legislature is considering laws to punish California companies who participate in the project.
-Which San Diego companies are viable bidders on this mega-project?
-When is construction likely to start?
-What legislation is being considered to punish companies that help build the wall?
-Is a wall going to work?
TUNA HARBOR MOVES FORWARD
The mega-developer Yehudi Gaffen, who has won the right to re-configure Seaport Village and the fishing docks near it, is trying to win the trust of downtown’s commercial fishermen.
This group of men are normally loners. They don't like dealing with developers or politicians. Yet, the 130 or so commercial fishermen say the downtown docks are wholly inadequate. If fishing is to remain part of downtown life, as it has for decades, changes — millions of dollars worth — must be made.
Gaffen has vowed to make the fishermen a key stakeholder in the new Tuna Harbor, part of his Seaport San Diego development.
-Why does Gaffen want to invest some $32 million in a dying business?
-Where do San Diegans get their fish now?
-How does Tuna Harbor fit in with the rest of Gaffen's development?
HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL REJECTED FOR EMBARCADERO
Two brothers, Mark and Frank Powell, wanted to erect a memorial to the Holocaust and their family members who were killed, with a large memorial on the Embarcadero, next to the Midway Museum.
The memorial was to feature several bronze statues, including an 18-foot-tall piece of barbed wire. The plan had the backing of several elected officials.
The Port of San Diego’s Arts Advisory Committee, however, rejected the idea, 8-0. Committee member Charles Reilly noted the memorial would be installed next to the kitschy statue "Unconditional Surrender."
Others objected to the memorial's confusing messaging and the probability of having to move it when Seaport Village was re-developed.
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