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State Releases New Fault Line Maps, Shaking Up San Diego City Zoning

 February 26, 2021 at 11:42 AM PST

Speaker 1: 00:00 Building restrictions to prepare San Diego for a catastrophic earthquake, Speaker 2: 00:05 It would be horrifying. It could damage 100,000 houses. The impact on the city would cost billions of dollars. Speaker 1: 00:12 Jade Hindman. This is KPBS midday edition. Speaker 2: 00:16 Yeah. Speaker 1: 00:24 The campaign to recall San Diego city council president Jen Campbell is kicking off its signature gathering this weekend. Speaker 2: 00:31 Meanwhile, community-based policymaking at the city. We want our voices to be heard. We want to, to govern our own city and not be governed by these special interests Speaker 1: 00:43 And to look at artwork, the symphony and a stage play and your weekend preview that's ahead on midday edition. Speaker 1: 01:00 Imagine gas and water service being shut down for months, along with the Cornetto bridge buildings collapsing and mission-based sinking 12 inches. That's what scientists think would happen along the Rose Canyon fault line should an earthquake occur. Now the California geological survey is looking at ways to make San Diego more resilient to a catastrophe by imposing building restrictions. Gary Robbins covers science and technology for the San Diego union Tribune. He is joining us with details. Gary, welcome. Hi. So further regulations are being put in place because data has revealed that the Rose Canyon fault is much more active than scientists initially thought. Do we have a sense of how many San Diego ans live within this active zone? Speaker 2: 01:44 It'd be more than a million and a half. So the city of San Diego has a main and a half people and the fall, it goes right through the heart of the city. So at least a main and a half people. Wow. Speaker 1: 01:54 Which areas of San Diego will be mostly affected by this fault zone? Speaker 2: 01:58 Well, it depends on how it breaks, but think of the fault has coming ashore in the Jolla Cove and going on the East side of Mount Solidad, then it comes down into old town cuts right down through the heart of the city, goes out into the Bay and then jumps across to Cornado and then goes off shore. So that's really through the heart of San Diego, Speaker 1: 02:17 Are these tighter building restrictions in the area expected to take Speaker 2: 02:20 Perfect. It looks like it's going to happen this summer. So the California geological survey has inactive what are called Alquist Priolo zones. In other words, they, um, they designated certain area of a town or city and say, if you want to build here, that's fine, but you probably have to do a geological study to find out whether the spot you want to build on is the site of an actor fault. And if it is then probably what you would have to do is do a so-called setback. You would have to move your project a short distance away. What they're trying to do here is to prevent a situation where the earthquake ruptures, the surface, right, a building causing catastrophic damage and loss of life. We've seen this happen in California on many occasions, including during the 1971, um, uh, San Fernando Valley earthquake, which occurred 50 years ago this month, Speaker 1: 03:12 What kind of impact will this have on future construction projects located within this cautionary zone? Speaker 2: 03:18 It could be significant, but I don't want to leave people with the idea that it's going to shut everything down because it's not. And I'm like, for example, if you just live in a neighborhood and you want to put in a swimming pool or a retaining wall, you're not going to have a problem with that. This is aimed at, uh, newly proposed projects, particularly residential buildings, commercial buildings, public buildings, um, that's who will be affected in these zones. Um, so for example, if they're going to be building an apartment complex on the, on market street, this would absolutely fall into it. Um, you know, given where it is on the map. Um, so it's, it'll have it'll affect a lot of types of buildings and there are 7,000 parcels in the city, um, that will be affected by this, but it won't, it's not meant to shut construction down. It's meant to do it in a more thoughtful way to prevent catastrophe. Speaker 1: 04:09 How has the scientific understanding of this fault changed in recent years? Speaker 2: 04:15 It's changed profoundly. There was a time when, uh, it was thought that the Rose Canyon fault was not active. Um, and then it was learned through scientific research that, well, it probably produces something really significant once every 1000 to 1500 years. And then just in the last few years they decided, you know, that's not right. We think it happens every 700 to 800 years. So we've gone from nothing happens here to something, to something even sooner. And they're doing more studies all of the time. So their understanding of the fault is really become sharper. And with each iteration, you know, they become more concerned about the fall. Speaker 1: 04:54 And as you mentioned, scientists say that significant seismic activity along this fault occurs in an interval of hundreds of years with the last major event occurring in the 17 hundreds. Despite that scientists still say we should remain cautious. Speaker 2: 05:09 You know, I really think that that we're seeing that play out now. Um, in the story, I refer to it, this really large scenario that was run by the E R I about a year ago. So these are top engineers and, um, they said, what would happen in San Diego? If there was a 6.9 earthquake on the Rose Canyon fault and they found that it would be horrifying, it could damage 100,000 houses. It could displace 36,000 homes. It would shut down the core natto bridge. Um, they would cause parts of mission Bay to sink of four, to all the things that we, that you talked about at the top. So the impact on the city would cost billions of dollars in economic activity. It would likely kill significant members of people. There was one study earlier that talked about the possibility of between 1,002 thousand people dying in San Diego being seriously injured in an event like this. Speaker 2: 05:59 So while they don't happen, often they do happen. And the other thing to keep in mind is we just don't know with any specificity when they're going to happen. It's said that the San Andreas is overdue, and that seems to be the case based on his, on his history, but it skipped past its most likely period of, um, eruption in the last few years. So they just don't really know. The other thing that I would ask people to consider is this many of us remember the Northridge earthquake. That was a deadly earthquake. It was really, really bad. And it occurred on a fault that was not known to exist. So we have to be concerned about false that do exist, but also realize that we live in a place where there are faults that may be very close to us, that we don't yet know about the only way to really deal with that. Speaker 2: 06:43 And I talked to a reader about this this morning is this don't panic. Um, have an earthquake kit in your car and in your home and have a good communication system between members of your family and our members of work know where hospitals are and know what to do. So when we shake the drop cover and hold on, you know, that's something very easy. So rather than just being anxious all the time about an earthquake, do the practical things that will help you survive because the reality is that even a very, even in a very large earthquake, most people by a super large margin will survive. Speaker 1: 07:19 Preparation is key. I've been speaking with Gary Robbins who cover science and technology for the San Diego union Tribune. Gary, thank you so much for joining us. Speaker 2: 07:28 You're welcome Speaker 1: 07:34 Residents of San Diego city council district two, we'll start gathering signatures to recall their council member, Jen Campbell. The district includes Pacific beach, mission beach and point Loma KPBS. Metro reporter, Andrew Bowen has more on the issues motivating the recall campaign and how Jen Campbell is responding. Speaker 2: 07:54 All right, everybody, six 35. It is let's, uh, get started here. Speaker 3: 07:59 Bridger Lankford is a volunteer with the recall Jen Campbell campaign. He's welcoming about 90 people to a virtual organizing meeting. Speaker 2: 08:06 We want community-based policymaking at the city. We want our voices to be heard. We want to, to govern our own city and not be governed by these special interests. Speaker 3: 08:18 All campaigns are rarely successful and the pandemic will make this one all the more difficult, but the group is motivated by what they see as Campbell's failure to represent their interests. Speaker 2: 08:28 We live in a coastal community that has been taken over by shorter term vacation Speaker 3: 08:34 Point Loma resident. Mandy Havlik says she joined the campaign when Campbell announced her proposal to legalize and regulate short term home rentals popularized by Airbnb. The proposal was approved by the council Tuesday and is expected to significantly reduce the overall number of short-term rental listings in San Diego. Most of the city's officials called it a good compromise, but have like says it was crafted by special interests, not the community Speaker 2: 09:01 We need to ban them. Uh that's uh, I'm not willing to compromise on that because again, you're saying that this history it's going to be put on the backs of people who are in need of housing and that's going to impact their community little by little when the families can't, you know, the school populace goes down because there's no families in the neighborhood. Speaker 3: 09:22 Campbell says she's been discussing this thorny issue with constituents since, before she was elected to her seat in 2018. And that community input played a big role in her proposal. Speaker 2: 09:32 So it was a lot of collaboration, a lot of compromise, a lot of working together over at least a three-year period and included the community all the way along. Speaker 3: 09:43 Campbell adds a special recall. Election would cost taxpayers up to $2 million, a high price. She says, when she's up for reelection next year, Speaker 2: 09:51 Uh, the people behind this are people who disagree with me on certain issues or politically, and what they need to do is get themselves together for the next campaign and vote for whomever they want Speaker 3: 10:05 Campbell's stance on short-term rentals is not the only issue driving the recall. Speaker 2: 10:10 Maybe it's unconscious racism, but it is racism and people need to call it out for what it is. Speaker 3: 10:16 Tasha Williamson is an activist who lives outside district two in Southeast San Diego. She was outraged when a slim majority of Campbell's colleagues chose her to become city council, president council member, Monica Montgomery step also sought the post and said she would use it to advance racial equity, especially in policing. Williamson says Campbell is holding back police reforms. Speaker 2: 10:40 Jane Campbell has showed us in every instance that she is against. I write a, to have a police department that is just, and moral, that provides non-biased policing. Speaker 3: 10:52 She spent a lifetime advocating for equality and has evolved on policing issues. For example, she initially backed the police's right to use the carotid restraint or sleeper hold. But after last year's racial justice protests, she agreed it should be banned. Speaker 2: 11:07 I did not realize that the police departments were using it incorrectly and they were choking people. So I opened my eyes and I learned new information and I changed my mind. Speaker 3: 11:21 But Williamson says the community's problems with Campbell run deeper than her stance on a few specific issues. Speaker 2: 11:28 She has actually brought people together that would not normally be together to recall her because she has refused to listen to her constituents all over the city. And she has been disrespectful to constituents of color, Speaker 3: 11:40 To force a vote on the recall, the campaign needs to gather more than 14,000 valid signatures from district to voters by June 2nd campaigns like this often rely on paid signature gatherers, but recall effort doesn't Speaker 1: 11:54 Have major financial backers. So most of the work will have to come from volunteers, Andrew Bowen, KPBS news. You're listening to KPBS midday edition. I'm Jade. Hindman this weekend in the arts over a hundred new works of art to see in town and most of them and a single exhibition. Plus the symphony commemorates lives lost to police oppression, and there's a special Purim themed ballet and theater through experience. Joining me is KPBS arts editor and producer Julia Dickson Evans with the details. Julia, welcome. Hi Jane. Thanks for having me first up. Let's discuss this new exhibition on your radar, Carlos Castro's resources and other maladies at bread and salt. Tell us about the show. Speaker 4: 12:44 Yeah, it's a solo show by Carlos Castro who teaches art at San Diego state. And he divides his time in San Diego Tijuana and his native Bogota. This show spans the three huge rooms at bread and salt, and it opens this weekend with an actual opening reception with metered entry, kind of like a grocery store. I got a peak this week and it's a pretty remarkable collection. Over a hundred individual pieces ranging from very tiny works, like his remorse series to large sculptures, huge tapestries, and even video work that reinforces use a lot of smaller works in groupings and they intertwine found images that he paints on to found objects, or he mounts things like human bones with a 10 drilling plant. The bones were pretty startling obviously, but my favorite in the series of as a small seabird painted on the lid of a cardboard lunch container. So I spoke to Custer at the gallery at bread and salt about these works and his process a little bit here's Carlos costume. Speaker 5: 13:51 So exclusions will be Morses because in a way it's kinda like finding this image or reflecting on it through painting it or without an object that I find. And then I go back to that. Um, and I'm also a professor. I teach my students not to think so much about, you know, making big paintings, you know, spending three months or whatever. Now we are making weekly paintings and some of the assignments I do them too, you know, so I make the review and I tell them, okay, now we're going to use a found object and we're going to find it, use it in something abstract and we're going to add images to it. It also becomes kind of like a nice broad process. Speaker 4: 14:30 And in the next room of Costa's exhibition is the dark splendor series. And it spring from a trip he took to Texas to study the churches there. There's a powerful life size metal sculpture of a man head on fire, actual fire hunch over a phone, watching a video footage of a church fire. And there's also a room full of six of his large scale tapestries from his myth story series. These are things like an alien on this ancient civilization operating table or Michael Jackson getting a King style funeral. There's one on COVID myths, one on heaven, heaven's gate, it's all kind of a way of intertwining the modern and popular myths with ancient myths as well. The whole show has a really contemplated spirituality to it about where our stories and our imaginations come from. Speaker 1: 15:26 Carlos Castro's exhibition opens at bread and salt with a free reception on Saturday from five to 8:00 PM. With metered entry masks are required and social distancing in place. The exhibition will be on view by appointment through April 30th in the music world, the San Diego symphony is dedicating this month's live stream to lives lost due to racism, injustice, and police brutality. Tell us about some of the works they'll perform. Speaker 4: 15:54 Yeah. So they're kicking things off with Carlos Simon's 2015 composition for string quartet. It's called an allergy, a cry from the grave. He wrote this after the Ferguson verdict and it's dedicated to Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner and Michael Brown. And these sorrows haven't gone anywhere. This looks really stunning. It's curious and haunting, but also really lush and almost has a classical romantic feeling. Simon one, the 2021 Spinks metal of excellence, which champions black and Latin X individuals in music Speaker 6: 16:57 [inaudible] Speaker 4: 16:58 Is Carlos Simon's 2015 work allergy from his album. My ancestors gift and the symphony is following this up with a Mozart serenade for a small wind ensemble. It's one of my favorite classical works. In fact, Mozart serenade, number 12 and C minor it's moody and simmering. And even in its brighter moments, it still feels a bit angry. And I think if you have to follow up that LNG piece with Mozart and like oboes, it, it'd better be a bit angry. And finally, they'll close out the whole night with a sweeping and emotive check, hospi serenade, Rafael Perry conducts, and these streamed symphony performances from Copley symphony holler, always such a treat. Speaker 1: 17:40 Indeed the San Diego symphony is allergy and serenades takes place online tonight at 7:00 PM. And finally it's Purim and the Lapinski family, San Diego Jewish arts festival is presenting a drive-through shoe Shan with stories and performances. What can we expect? Speaker 4: 17:57 Yeah. So for those who don't know, um, pram is a joyous holiday that commemorates the survival of the Jewish people who were marked for death in the fifth century BCE. And it includes readings from the book of Esther and program is often referred to as the festival of the masks, which has a new meaning this year for a COVID safe event. The Lapinski family, San Diego Jewish arts festival is holding a drive-through per annum at the hive and Encinitas they'll have performances by the San Diego ballet, some short theatrical vignettes, curated by a San Diego repertory theater, and plenty more. They're also doing a food drive, which is one of the foundational elements of the perineum holiday. And you're guided through the 30 minute driving experience with audio recordings. You can listen to on a smartphone, it's pay what you can, but the time slots are filling up fast. Speaker 1: 18:55 And that drive-thru shoeshine is Sunday from noon to 5:00 PM. At the hive in Encinitas, you can find more arts slash arts. I've been speaking with KPBS arts editor and producer Julia Dixon Evans. Julia. Thank you. Thank Speaker 4: 19:16 You, Jane. Have a good weekend. Speaker 6: 19:43 [inaudible] [inaudible] [inaudible] [inaudible] [inaudible].

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San Diego is notifying residents and property owners of proposed changes to earthquake fault zones within city limits which could potentially impact development and real estate transactions. Plus, San Diego City Council President Jen Campbell is facing a swell of opposition from her constituents due mainly to her position on short-term rentals. But there are also deeper issues at play. And this weekend in San Diego arts: a new exhibition at Bread and Salt, the Symphony's homage to lives lost to police brutality, and the San Diego Ballet and San Diego REP take on Purim.