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New Satellite Voting Offices, Midway District Eyes Height Limit Change And Weekend Arts Preview

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Speaker 1: 00:00 Do centers open for early voting and late registration and proposals for a midway makeover. I'm worrying Kevin off. This is KPBS mid day edition.

Speaker 2: 00:22 It's Friday, February 28th

Speaker 1: 00:27 a big turnout is expected in next week's election for new satellite elections. Centers are opening this weekend around San Diego County for people who want to avoid long lines on election day and they can help people who waited to the last minute to register to vote. Joining me as KPBS reporter Taryn mento and Taryn welcome. Thank you. Voters in California can now register and vote on the same day. Is that the reason for these centers?

Speaker 2: 00:54 It's a big part of it. The law was passed a couple of years ago, but now voters can register and vote on the same day at polling locations previously that could only happen at the registrar's office and so they're trying to eliminate a bottleneck happening at the 1500 polling locations that they have. But then there's also the issue of a lot of nonpartisan voters who may have not told the registrar's office that they want to vote in the presidential election because you have to request a ballot for a political party if you're not registered to the political party. So these are the two issues that prompted the election centers. So if you can go to your polling place on the same day and register to vote, why go to one of these satellite centers? Because of the long lines that could potentially occur in 2018 the midterm elections, which when turnout is is much less, there was long lines. I think Michael WGU, the registrar voters recently said that they caused a up to five hours. And so when we asked him, you know, why go there instead of a polling location, this is what we had. He had to say,

Speaker 3: 01:52 this is really important because we're hoping that this will mitigate some of the lines that we saw during the November, 2018 election.

Speaker 2: 01:59 Right? So right there he's saying, Hey, let's not repeat this. We know that this causes long lines. So let's encourage people to go to satellite centers that are just better equipped with more trained staff to, to help folks who didn't maybe wait till the last minute.

Speaker 1: 02:13 And when you register late at any location, you get a provisional ballot. What is that? And is it counted just like a regular ballot?

Speaker 2: 02:21 Eventually it is, but it's set off to the side at first so they can make sure that you didn't go to a different location and vote there that you didn't send in a mail ballot if you are a mail ballot voter. So they want to make sure that you, you aren't voting in two places. So they set it off to the side, verify that you know you are registered to vote, um, and that you didn't vote elsewhere and then count it. So yes, but it's, there's some extra checking involved. And one of the good things about these voting centers is that they can check at the voting center, whether or not you're registered, right? So they have the electronic voter rolls there. So you can walk up and say, Hey, I don't know if I'm registered and they can check there. So that way you know if you go to a polling location, they don't have that.

Speaker 2: 03:03 So you might walk in, not know if you're registered or you might think you are registered and you not be. So then you're registering conditionally voting provisionally where they have the information there at these satellite centers to get you the correct answer. And if you're already registered, you can go in and just vote at one of these satellite centers, right? Correct. Yeah. If you want to vote early, typically you could go down to the registrar's office. This is creating those opportunities at four other areas in the County so you don't have to go all the way to the registrar's office and they're also on transit lines. So it makes it easier to get to one of these satellite offices if you don't have your own car or other form of transportation. How has the registrar, I've been trying to get the word out about these voting centers.

Speaker 2: 03:41 I'm sure registrar, Michael WGU is just exhausted from the amount of interviews that he's been doing. Press conferences that he's had a appearance on, morning television, a new shows. I mean he's been on our program a day edition a number of times just talking about this. So he's just trying to make himself available. The County new center, the county's, um, information website has been putting out information about this, um, you know, social media. So there's a lot of avenues. And earlier they did send out these, uh, notice cards to nonpartisan voters, letting them know, Hey, this is how you're registered. If you want a ballot for any of these parties, you want to vote in the report. Republican presidential candidate, democratic presidential candidate, this is what you have to do. So they have been sending a lot of notices directly to people and through the media as well.

Speaker 2: 04:28 And of course this year voters will be using new voting machines at polling places and these satellite centers, is that expected to be a challenge for voters and for poll workers? Change is always a challenge. So they are working at, especially at these satellite centers, they're working to have people trained very specifically in this technology, how to use it and how to assist people that might be frustrated with it. I talked to an instructor at one satellite center who was talking about the, the trainees were kind of role playing, going back and forth about, you know, to present situations that they may encounter on election day. And she said some people really got into it and were kind of coming off a little bit rude or combative to make sure that everybody could respond to any type of situation that may occur. Um, leading up to and on election day, you spoke to a woman who will be working at one of the satellite voting centers.

Speaker 2: 05:19 Tell us a little bit about her. Right. Nancy Riley, she's 70. She's retired, but she needed to do, just to kind of supplement her income a little bit. She needed to have what she called her fun jobs and she had rules. They had to be temporary, so there had to be a start and an end date. And so when this opportunity came up, she said, that fits my fun job. She, one of her fun jobs was working up in Alaska at a fishing lodge for six months. Little bit of a different challenge up there. And what was her biggest worry about election day? That it's going to be a really long day. Voting on election day is 7:00 AM to 8:00 PM they have to get there early. So she's going to be there at 6:00 AM she said. And then, you know, with counting all of the ballots and moving everything around and closing everything down, she's gonna be there till about 11 o'clock. So she said just making it through that long day is what she was worried about.

Speaker 1: 06:06 Now getting back to what we were talking about, the locations of the voting centers, we have them on our but in general, can you tell us where they are

Speaker 2: 06:18 right there. I'm in the South region, the North region. Um, there's also the central region, the registrar voters, that's all where you can do all of these things. So you've got one in Chula Vista, San Marco, spring Valley, Carmel mountain ranch, and they're usually at a community centers. And so again, Michael WGU said they specifically chose these locations because of the transit lines that can get people there to make it easier on people to, to be able to access these facilities. I've been speaking with KPBS reporter Taren Manto. Taryn. Thank you. Thank you.

Speaker 4: 06:49 [inaudible]

Speaker 1: 06:56 yesterday we told you about the Navy's plans to redevelop its 70 acre navbar campus in the midway district, potentially bringing in new housing office space and a transit hub. That's just one of the several revitalization projects happening in the neighborhood. Hey, PBS Metro reporter Andrew Bowen says there's a hunger for growth in midway, but a decades old law could dampen those plans.

Speaker 5: 07:21 I think part of what's really exciting about the midway area is that there is so much sort of, um, potential energy, we'll call it

Speaker 6: 07:29 DK on UO has lived in the midway district for five years. And as a member of the community planning group, he says geographically speaking, it's great close to downtown and the beaches.

Speaker 5: 07:38 Uh, when it comes to sort of lifestyle and recreation though, um, I would not consider this a very walkable neighborhood. I would not consider this a very sort of aesthetically pleasing neighborhood. We have a lot of really wide streets and some ways midway is very much like a three point. I think this is sort of like San Diego's a little forgotten. RPA in a lot of ways.

Speaker 6: 07:54 Forgotten armpit or not on Euro has hope for midway. We need outside the Pachanga arena home to the goal's hockey team. The city of San Diego owns this land and earlier this month put out a call for ideas on how to redevelop it. Throw in the nav war project one mile away plus lots of other underdeveloped land and on Hugo says midway could be on the verge of greatness, but there's a cat.

Speaker 5: 08:18 I believe that that the community would develop in a much more interesting and beneficial way if we did not have a limitation of 30 feet.

Speaker 6: 08:30 Kathy Kenton is a property and business owner in midway and the chair of its community planning group midway is West of interstate five meaning new development is subject to the strict 30 foot height limit approved by voters in 1972 Kenton says that was a mistake. Midway isn't a coastal neighborhood. No one's ocean views will be blocked by taller buildings. Here she says theoretically midway could still be without changing the height limit,

Speaker 5: 08:57 but if we do, it's going to be pretty dense, pretty tight and it's going to be pretty flat horizontally. So if we were able to go up higher with, with redevelopment, then we would be able to add more parks, add more open space, and make a more interesting and enjoyable living area.

Speaker 6: 09:20 Any change to the height limit in midway would have to be approved by city voters. And the easiest path to the ballot box would be through the city council. Exciting things going on in the midway area and all of district two really. Councilwoman Jenn Campbell's district includes the midway area. She spoke at a recent meeting of the community planning group saying she's excited about nav war, the arena property and everything else that's about to happen here. We want to make sure that it's done beautifully. Nicely brings the area up and helps all of us in San Diego at the meeting, several of the planning group members and members of the public press Campbell to make sure their desire to raise the height limit gets heard at city hall. Campbell says message received. Yeah. It sounds like you're interested in raising it significant. Yeah. Yeah, so that's cause that's good to hear and if you have any a bounce in mind or whatever, we'd love to hear about it. Just yesterday, Campbell co-signed a memo with Councilman Chris Cate calling for a ballot measure to repeal the height limit in midway. The council hasn't tell August to decide whether to go along with that request. For some in San Diego, the coastal height limit is sacrosanct, but unlike coastal neighborhoods like point Loma or LA Jolla, not many people actually live in midway. DKA on [inaudible] who does live here says he wants more neighbors, more customers. For small businesses, more eyes on the street to deter crime and he says midway should do its part to relieve San Diego's housing shortage.

Speaker 5: 10:51 Have in some ways I think actually something of a, a civic duty to avail ourselves of as many different um, opportunities and options as possible. It would be a failure and massive failure on the city leadership, but I think even us as city, as citizens and civilians, if we weren't able to do that,

Speaker 6: 11:06 the city council approved an update to the midway community plan a year and a half ago, paving the way for up to 10,000 new homes here and it's starting to bear some fruit. Two projects are in the works with hundreds of new apartments either proposed or already under construction. Andrew Bowen KPBS news,

Speaker 1: 11:30 our weekend preview includes an album release from a local woman led metal band and the San Diego symphony performs music inspired by ping pong. Plus it's your last chance to see a contemporary animation installation at the San Diego museum of art journey. Me as KPBS arts editor, Julia Dixon Evans, Julia, welcome. Hi Marine. Now. First step is a local band holding an album release tonight. Tell me about the band hours.

Speaker 7: 11:58 Ours was formed about five years ago by a husband and wife, Carrie Gillespie, feller and Scott feller. Carrie is also the founder and front person for Hexa and she has several other solar projects too. She's one of the hardest working people in San Diego's music scene.

Speaker 1: 12:14 They have a new album out and are playing a live show tonight to celebrate. Tell us about the new album.

Speaker 7: 12:20 So who will meet me here is their first full length album. It's out today and it's heavy but not an in your face sort of way. The sound is dark and curious, kind of experimental kind of metal, kind of not. It's atmospheric and it has quite the range. These songs are very long and simmering every so often there's something stripped down and pure though almost glass like about Carrie's voice and I think that's what sets ours apart. It's a pretty classic, dark, immersive sound with all these lyrics about rage and the apocalypse, but it cuts away to something quiet and fragile. One song tracks really plays up that contrast between the gloom and Carrie's voice with these layered harmonies.

Speaker 1: 13:06 Let's listen to a bit of the song tracks by hours.

Speaker 8: 13:32 [inaudible]

Speaker 1: 13:32 local band hours plays at black cat bar in city Heights tonight at nine with a brand new album who will meet me here. The San Diego symphony will perform Sabellius and Rachmaninov alongside living composer texts to Kim this weekend. Guest conductor is wound soon. Kim, who is recently announced as the new director of the San Francisco opera and will be the first Asian woman at the helm of an opera in the United States. So Julia, tell us about this lineup.

Speaker 7: 14:03 Yeah, they're performing a new piece. Tech Sue Kim's spin flip it debuted in soul in 2015 has been been played just a few other times in the United States. And in fact one of those other performances was with and son Kim

Speaker 1: 14:18 is spin flip a rare work

Speaker 7: 14:20 compared to say the Sabellius Concerta. That's also on the bill. Sure. But when I talk to Clements, so is the symphonies director of artistic program. He said that three or four performances of a contemporary work by a living composer like texted Kim is actually a lot. So many of these new contemporary compositions aren't performed again after their premiere. So that tells you a little bit about how special texted Kim's pieces, or maybe it's the ping pong, that piece inspired by ping-pong techsy. Kim shares his name with a famous table tennis coach in South Korea. According to his program notes, people often ask him if he's good at ping pong and no he's not, but it at least inspired a song. Then music tries to mimic the sounds of a ping pong game, pops and slaps and the title spin flip. It's actually also a scientific term, the interplay between electrons and protons and hydrogen atoms, and it's also used when a black hole kind of swallows a smaller black hole and the orientation flips. So there's a lot of depth and reckoning inside of a playful piece.

Speaker 1: 15:30 Let's listen to tech Sue Kim's spin flip

Speaker 9: 15:38 [inaudible] [inaudible].

Speaker 1: 15:54 That's a little bit of spin flip. What else will the symphony be performing?

Speaker 7: 15:58 They'll play. John Sevillia says violin concerto in D minor. It's one of the most performed concertos in American classical music and violinist and emerging star Nancy's out. We'll take the lead. It's a really gorgeous and strong piece with sweeping melodies and they're also doing rock on and off. Symphony number three and a minor. It's a bit more volatile of a piece alternating bright and moody. It all really makes for a broad selection of pieces in this show.

Speaker 1: 16:28 San Diego symphony performs works by Sabellius, Rachmaninoff and tech. Sue Kim tonight and Saturday night at Copley symphony hall. Now closing this weekend at the San Diego museum of art is a fascinating installation by contemporary Los Angeles based artists. Nick Roth. Tell us about this work.

Speaker 7: 16:47 So Nick Roth created a triptych of video panels to display computer generated animation. Each of these three panels represents a fate. They have vines and stems growing and tangling up. And these tiny grotesque eyeballs pop up. And then at Crimson thread weaves across all of their frames is pretty mesmerizing and it's installed in this small darkened room in the museum with mirror set up to reflect the videos. In this infinite line as the videos are set to music. Yes. A Terry Riley composition performed by the Kronos quartet. It's beautiful, haunting or Kestrel and choral music, but it also includes actual space sounds. These blips and squeals recorded from NASA's plasma wave receivers on the Voyager probe missions. I love it. It combines this 2000 year old myth of the faiths with something so futuristic.

Speaker 1: 17:43 Let's listen to a little of the music from the installation.

Speaker 9: 18:02 [inaudible]

Speaker 1: 18:03 Nick Roths fates closes on Sunday at the San Diego museum of art, and I've been speaking with KPBS arts editor, Julia Dixon Evans. Julia. Thank you. Thank you. Maureen.

San Diego is launching four temporary voting sites ahead of Super Tuesday. This year, unregistered voters can sign up to vote on election day, adding another layer of complications. Plus, with several major redevelopments slated in the Midway District, some are calling for an end to the height limit in the neighborhood. And, a preview of this weekend’s top arts events around San Diego.

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KPBS Midday Edition

KPBS Midday Edition is a daily talk show hosted by Maureen Cavanaugh and Jade Hindmon, keeping San Diegans in the know on everything from politics to the arts.