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Navy orders safety pause after training flight crash

 June 14, 2022 at 5:30 AM PDT

S1: The Navy orders a safety pause after fatal aircraft crashes.
S2: The smallest error in the air or the smallest problem with maintenance can lead to something really catastrophic.
S1: I'm Maureen CAVANAUGH with M.G. Perez. This is KPBS Midday Edition. Ongoing inflation could mean cloudy skies for the economy.
S3: Most economists are now expecting a recession late this year or early next year.
S1: We'll hear about a very special graduation ceremony in San Diego for students who are homeless. And a money crunch may not be the only problem facing the newly disbanded San Diego rep. That's ahead on Midday Edition. First , the news. Naval flight operations have been suspended in the wake of a series of crashes in Southern California this month. All non-deployed units have been ordered to take a safety pause to review proper aviation procedures and training. Six Navy and Marine aviation crew members were killed in two crashes in the beginning of June. A third San Diego based Seahawk helicopter crashed last week. Luckily , the crew survived. Joining us with more detail on pause flight operations is KPBS military reporter Steve Walsh. And Steve , welcome back.
S2: Hi , Maureen.
S1: Tell us about these fatal crashes this month. We're both in Southern California.
S2: Well , I mean , we had two crashes in a week involving military aircraft. We had an Osprey crash in the California desert near Glamis , California. And that's the one that killed five Marines. And then a couple of days later , on Friday , a Naval helicopter had what was described as a hard landing near El Centro. One sailor was sent to the hospital , I'm told. You know , he was since released from the hospital and he's okay. Now , earlier in the month , we had an F-18 Super Hornet from Naval Air Station Lemoore in south of Fresno , a crash in the Mojave Desert which killed the pilot. The fighter jet is similar to the ones used in Topgun. So there have been a string of mishaps involving both Marine and naval aviation all out here on the West Coast.
S1: We've heard about problems with the Osprey.
S2: The Navy is also started using them a couple of years ago. So we see a lot of them all the time in San Diego. They have dual rotors which tilt the aircraft so it can take off and land like a helicopter , but then fly like an airplane. There were several fatal crashes when the aircraft was being tested. There were also a series of crashes , mostly in dusty conditions after the aircraft was introduced in 2007. But they've been pretty reliable since then. All of the recent crashes were during training. No word on whether the Osprey was taking off or landing when the crash occurred.
S2: They they're pretty well tested. And there's not a lot of similarities between the three of them. I mean , one's a helicopter , one's a tilt rotor aircraft. And the third is a is a fighter jet. So they're they're not very similar at all.
S1: Have naval aviation operations been suspended across the country ? Yes.
S2: From what I'm told , all non-deployed air units are are taking a one day pause to review safety procedures today. So things will seem a little quiet in parts of San Diego. All Navy units will have to do the same thing , including those on aircraft carriers and attached to bases around the world. But deployed units can pick when they do the pause based on the , you know , the needs of the operation. I'm told to call it a pause , not a stand down , but safety. Stand downs are incredibly common. They usually happen after a major incident , like after the crashes of the USS McCain and USS Fitzgerald ship collisions in the western Pacific a few years ago. What's unusual is the driver here is the number of crashes in California so close together at the moment , there's very little connect , a helicopter and a hard landing within Osprey and an F-18 fighter jet. So , you know , they're just all very different. What about.
S2: Naval Aviation is headquartered on Coronado there. Airbus is the one who called for the safety pause. So the Marines have their own chain of command and they'll have to decide on their own.
S2: They instead will review safety manuals. Each commander will have to decide how to handle it , whether it will be a meeting in the hangar or , you know , some classroom tutorials or even a video. But they'll have to report up the chain of command that every single unit did this.
S2: I mean , the only thing that really happened , the only thing linking these things together is California desert conditions. You know , the Navy and Marines logged thousands and thousands of flight hours every year in those conditions. So it's really hard to say , you know , at this point what caused each one of these crashes and what links them together , if anything ? Normally , their red flags go up when there are multiple incidents in the same aircraft that can lead to changes in maintenance procedures and new flight procedures. That happened when the Osprey with the Osprey a couple of years ago , pilots were ordered to stop hovering for. For so long in dusty conditions because that dust was clogging the engine intakes. So they just don't do that anymore.
S1: Now , these recent crashes paint a pretty grim portrait of the risks involved in these kinds of flights.
S2: This will be a chance for commanders to talk directly to their air crews and their maintenance crews to make sure everyone is on the same page , that every flight procedure is being followed. There's going to be nothing new during this pause because they have no new information. But this is a chance to just sort of like give everyone a heads up. Naval aviation , like aviation in general is very safety conscious. They understand what can happen if there's the smallest error in the air or the smallest problem with maintenance , that it can lead to something really catastrophic. So this is a chance to get everybody to sit down and just get on the same page.
S1: I've been speaking with KPBS military reporter Steve Walsh. Steve , thanks a lot.
S2: Thanks , Maureen. Inflation shows no signs of slowing down. Numbers released Friday showed the consumer price index last month jumped 8.6% higher than a year ago , and that's the biggest increase since 1981. Also last week , the head of the World Bank warned that much of the world could be entering recession and potentially an economic condition called stagflation. Here to tell us more about what is happening with the economy and to explain some of these terms is Carolyn Freud , dean of the UC San Diego School of Global Policy and Strategy. Carolyn , welcome to Mid-day Edition.
S3: Thanks for having me.
S2: So on Friday , the Consumer Price Index shot up 8.6%.
S3: And it means that when you go to the grocery store or go to buy gas , the prices are higher by 8.6% for that typical basket of goods that consumers buy.
S2: And the impact , then , the importance to our economy , obviously , is.
S3: Well , when prices are going up , that means your paycheck goes last far. So people their real wage , the amount of goods and services they can buy with their income is falling. So that's very bad for consumers. And it also leads consumers if it continues to frontload their purchases. So imagine you think prices are going to keep going up. You want to buy stuff now , but that feeds into demand , raising prices even further. That's why inflation is such a dangerous phenomenon , and it's really important to stop it early because once it's in it expectations , it's really hard to stop.
S3: First , we had very , very easy monetary policy for many , many , many years. So that's the low interest rates that have been so great for investment. But that money is all out there. And then the second force is COVID , which caused supply disruption. There was less production out there. And then the third factor is this huge shift to goods away from services that happened during COVID. So instead of going to the gym , people were buying Peloton's. Instead of going out to dinner , people were remodeling their kitchens. So there was just this enormous demand for goods. But if limited supply at any point in time , that could be produced. And then finally , finally , there was the Russian invasion of Ukraine , and that caused a surge in gas and food prices , further feeding in to the inflationary pressures that we were experiencing.
S2: Here in the U.S..
S3: So that's one thing people point to when they say it's not just because of the US monetary and actually also I should have mentioned fiscal policy , all that money the government pumped in during the COVID crisis. It has been high around the world , but among industrial countries it's tended to be higher. In the U.S. , it's shifting up now in Europe. But of course , they're facing more direct impacts as a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
S2: So the Fed is meeting later this week and most expect another rate hike , although we're not sure how much.
S3: The main one is rate hike. The other is reversing some of the so-called quantitative easing that they had been doing for the past 15 years or so. So basically , they have been buying bonds and putting money out into the economy and they will also start reversing that and continue. They've started a little bit.
S3: So we're also at a point right now of very , very low unemployment , which is there , you know , at some point there are two jobs for every applicant seeking. So that means that there's pressure on wages to go up to attract these workers. And so the economy slows down. There's less pressure on wages. We might see a small tick up in unemployment and inflation slowly comes down. That would be the Goldilocks. It's very hard to do. And most economists are now expecting a recession late this year or early next year.
S2: Earlier last week , David Malpass , president of the World Bank , your former employer , warned about the possibility of recession and of something called stagflation.
S3: And it's very hard to reduce inflation at that point once it's built into expectations. So a period of stagflation is when you have stagnating growth and high inflation , and it's just very hard to get it out of without , again , pushing into recession.
S3: So I think one problem is we look back on the 1970s and say , oh , what happened then could happen now because there are similarities. There was an oil shock then. There's an oil shock now. But there are also big differences. There was no COVID crisis , and there had been a period of high government regulation , which then was followed by deregulation. Now it's the opposite , where we went from a period of extraordinary deregulation to one where now governments are acting. So it's really hard to read the tea leaves right now.
S3: It's hard to say. I think a big resurgence of COVID would be the absolute worst thing. So I'm still more worried about COVID and the war in Ukraine than the standard economic issues happening there. It'll it'll depend on how our policymakers do.
S2: I've been speaking with Carolyn Freund , dean of the UC San Diego School of Global Policy and Strategy. She also was a global director of Trade , Investment and Competitiveness at the World Bank. Thank you so much for being with us today.
S3: Oh , thank you for having me.
S1: This is KPBS Midday Edition. I'm Maureen CAVANAUGH with M.G. Perez in for Jade Heinemann. San Diego is hosting thousands of scientists , researchers and pharmaceutical executives this week at the Bio International Conference at the Downtown Convention Center. Some of the top names in biotech will be there , but many of them will not have to travel far. And that's because San Diego has become one of the biggest biotech centers in the country , perhaps even the world. So biotech reporter Jonathan Rosen took this opportunity to trace the life science explosion in San Diego , how and why it happened and if it will last. Joining me is biotech reporter for stat news , Jonathan Rosen , who comes to us from the Bio International Convention. And Jonathan , welcome to the program.
S4: Thank you for having me.
S4: So , you know , there are these various rankings based on a number of companies , number of people , amount of venture capital investment money flowing into the region. So it's definitely become you know , one of the things San Diego is known for in the same way that we're known for defense , in the same way that we're known for tourism , we also have , you know , biotech and tech is a big piece of the county's identity.
S1: Can you give us an idea of how many people work in biotech here ? Yeah.
S4: So most estimates put it at around 70,000 , and that works out to be about one out of every 30 employed San Diego. And so if you think about it , that's that's a whole lot of people , people you may , you know , pass by in the grocery store. People who are living in your apartment complex.
S4: Average income for a biotech worker in San Diego County is around $130,000. So you can compare that to , you know , household income in the county , which I think is closer to around $80,000. That's one of the interesting pieces here that you have this well-educated , well-paid workforce that keeps getting bigger and bigger. It has an increasing presence. So as we think about questions like , you know , who can afford to live in San Diego , that's going to be , I think , an important piece to pay attention to.
S1: And one of the things you don't normally think about , but you write about is that biotech facility deals now make up many of the real estate deals in the county. Yeah.
S4: Yeah. Nearly half of larger real estate deals. So 20,000 square feet or more are life science related these days. And that was not true ten years ago. I mean , this has really gone up to the point where it's you know , you talk to all the developers , all the real estate brokers. Now they're seeing a huge amount of demand for space right now in the life sciences.
S1: How did San Diego emerge as a biotech center ? Can you trace it back to one idea , one company ? Absolutely.
S4: One idea. One company. And the company's name would be hypertext. So basically back in the late 1970s , there was a young oncologist from Stanford whose name was Ivor Royston , who came down to UC San Diego to be an assistant professor. And he brought with him this understanding of how to grow what are called monoclonal antibodies. So these are antibodies that are all identical because they're all made from a particular individual immune cell. And so his thinking was , well , this seems really powerful because if you can make a ton of really pure antibody , maybe you can use that to , you know , diagnose disease. That became the basis for a company called Hypertext started in 1978 , started at a time when people weren't really starting companies in academia. The focus was still more on , quote unquote , pure research. So you got a little bit of pushback from his colleagues , but ultimately they did well. They created the PSA test , the prostate specific antigen test , which , you know , pretty big chunk of the country will get at some point in their lives. So , you know , they were ultimately bought by Eli Lilly , bought by Big Pharma in the 1980s. But then something really interesting happened. They didn't you know , the hyper tech folks didn't really like being part of big pharma that know culture was more stiff and rigid. It wasn't as fun freewheeling. So they all left and a lot of them started their own companies. And then when those companies got bought out or , you know , succeeded or failed , they started companies again and again and again. So there's this whole process of serial entrepreneurship that got sparked out of that original company. And , you know , well over 100 companies that had since been formed can trace their roots back to hypertext tech in some way. So that's sort of the origin story in a nutshell. And ever since then , you know that those success stories have attracted more venture capital , they've attracted more people to the region. And academia has really pivoted to in terms of actively trying to work with biotech. You know , UCSD has a space called Center for Novel Therapeutics , where UCSD researchers literally work side by side with industry folks , you know , their industry , academia , symposiums , where they get people together across. That desire to talk about new ideas , it all dates back to hypertext.
S4: No , there definitely are. It's not all sunshine and rainbows. In the short term , there is something happening in the stock market right now where biotechs in particular are being hit hard. So a lot of publicly traded companies are struggling. It's unclear exactly how long that'll last. That's a subject everybody has different opinions on. But even beyond the immediate market , yeah , there are all these big picture issues like , you know , where do you put everybody ? So I mentioned we talked a little bit about real estate , but at the moment , if you're a biotech company looking for space , you're going to have a really hard time finding it because vacancy levels are at historic lows and rents are at historic highs. So where are you going to put everybody ? There's a question of can you actually keep people in San Diego ? Are they going to leave to other , smaller , up and coming innovation , life , science communities ? You know , I spoke with a guy who was who's chief financial officer of a company that used to be in La Hoya. They ultimately ended up leaving April 20 , 21 , moved all the way to Florida about 2600 miles away. And he says they're not coming back because it's the quality of life. Cost of living are way better where they are now. So , you know , you have to deal with that on some level. And I think , you know , related to that. It'll be interesting to see what impact , you know , the growing biotech workforce as this well-paid , you know , well educated group of people in the community with what that does to sort of general access to housing and the way the city continues to grow and develop. So a lot of questions , a lot of open questions and a lot of things to track there.
S1: And a lot of things to talk about at the Bio International Convention. I want to thank Jonathan Rosen. You're right in the middle of it. And thank you so much for speaking with us. Anytime.
S4: Anytime. Thanks for having me.
S2: As families across Diego County celebrate their graduating students this month , there is one celebration that stands out. It's a class of just about a dozen graduates who have overcome homelessness and created true hope for their futures.
S3: To go off and make us proud. But more importantly , make yourself to think you.
S2: A favorite of Rise is CEO and president of the Monarch School in Barrio Logan. The school has almost 300 students in kindergarten through 12th grade , all of them without stable housing , often living in a car or with family or friends. So graduation is a significant accomplishment and celebration , as De Vries told me.
S3: We've got 13 kids that are leaving us to enter into adulthood with through post-secondary education or career. But all of our students here at Monarch are dealing with the condition of homelessness. All of our kiddos have survived a life that has had a lot of ups and downs and a lot of trauma at the heart of it. At the core of it. And so when our kids hit milestones like these , they're substantial. This is a special year because this particular class is the class emerging from the pandemic. So when you think about the compounded trauma of suffering , the distance of that experience , the pandemic experience and the condition of homelessness , these are kids that have demonstrated the kind of resilience that I hope inspires everybody that knows of them.
S2: The Monarch School has been a part of San Diego for more than 35 years. What started as one small classroom in 1987 has grown into a national model for children just trying to live and learn.
S3: This is the most unique construct , if I do say so myself in the United States , where the only of our kind , because not only do our children come here and get access to scholarly learning , they are wrapped around with a really substantive and robust , not for profit profile of social care programs. So our kids and their parents and their caregivers come here and receive everything from clinical mental health support to social work and case management , to housing supports to help them become stabilized and even right to things like showers and laundry facilities , everything that you could possibly expect or need in order to try to stabilize the family. You can find here within the four walls of this school , which is a pretty special setup.
S2: 18 year old Rosario Alvarez is this year's valedictorian.
S5: My first language is Spanish. I raised with my family , my family's Mexican , so I speak more Spanish.
S2: Rosario has learned English along with economics and engineering. Crossing the border from Tijuana every school day for the past four years , her mother is not legally able to cross. Rosario worked with the school advisor to write the speech she delivered at graduation last Thursday. The words are powered by her passion and the love for her mother , who is a single parent.
S5: I want to start by thanking each of you for being here. I am taking a solid step into the future. I am. I have plan. I am happy to find out more about who I am and what I'm going to do to continue support the world. That is why I propose fellow graduates look at who we have next to us at this very special moment. Because today , we are all part of this new generation. I want to thank my mother who has supported me , care for me and love me , because for her it was possible to say thank you to my family who is always willing to help me. I want to thank my boyfriend , who is a person who showed me true love and help me to adversity. I also want to thank those who cannot be here today , but who was there when it was necessary. Thank you , teachers , for making me part of this family that is really looking for a positive change in the world. Thank you , guys , for making me for making all things possible. I am proud of myself because it wasn't easy , but I did it. I'm still 40 and that makes me feel grateful. Congratulations , class of 2022 , because today is the beginning of a new speech. Thank you.
S2: Students at Monarch meet the same state requirements as students anywhere in California and get quality education with so much more. According to CEO Dave Bryce.
S3: Everything will always come down to two very specific interventions. One is the inspiration of self-belief in a child as young as you can get to them , right ? The children who walk in this door , the younger they are , the more capacity we have to help them understand that their circumstances are temporary , but their potential is forever. That is a critical component of our work , and it's a critical component of the way we impact students. The other piece of it is education is has always been and will always be a ticket to a better life. And that's why it's been so important for us to build that belief system within our students and help them recognize that no matter what they face after today. As graduates , they are equipped and armed with the tools to be able to stabilize themselves and break the cycle. Like Rosario's mom wants more than anything.
S2: The monarch butterfly is everywhere on campus , a clear symbol of what happens in this safe space created for students who need it most.
S3: Why is the butterfly the symbol of our school ? It's because it's about metamorphosis , right ? It's about recognizing that change is inherent to life and how you embrace change in order to become something beautiful is what we're here to do.
S2: Every member of the Monarch School Class of 2022 will continue their education this fall , with plans to attend Southwestern College , City College , Grossmont College and Barber College. Rosario Alvarez will be at Southwestern to start a career that she hopes leads to becoming a criminal attorney someday , representing the homeless and giving back to the community she came from.
S1: This is KPBS Midday Edition. I'm Maureen CAVANAUGH with M.G. Perez in for Jade Hyneman. Last week , San Diego Repertory Theater announced it would be suspending all productions and laying off its entire staff because of a financial crisis. But that may not be the only issue the rep is facing. On Friday , the cast of its recent show , The Great Con , released a statement on social media alleging racism and misogyny at the Rep. KPBS arts reporter Beth ACCOMANDO speaks with the Rep's founder and artistic director Sam Woodhouse about these recent events.
S3: Sam , earlier this year , you had announced that you would be retiring from the San Diego Rep in September. But now we have this announcement that the rep is closing.
S6: But that is what's happening. And we are have already formed a brain trust , if you will , to think about how we might be reborn and rise again as a more fiscally stable and stable organization that does the art that we remain committed to.
S3: From the outside , this seems like something that happened very abruptly.
S6: We're facing serious financial issues , which means a cash flow crisis. We have been challenged to produce and present programming in the basement of an active construction zone for over a year. That's going to continue for some indeterminate amount of time , at least until 2023. We have suffered a significant loss of ticket sales due to the pandemic and perhaps our geographical situation. And we have been operating simply at an expense level above what we have proven were able to generate in revenues. In some ways , the simplest way to look at it is we have spent more money than we brought in. And in the past few months we have we launched a quiet campaign , fundraising campaign. We were unable to secure the gifts we needed for that campaign to be successful.
S3: The rep has been producing theater here for almost 50 years.
S6: Most of the players were about a different time , and many of the place were about New Yorkers and their issues. We wanted to , from the very beginning , make a theater for San Diego that we didn't see existed yet , but we thought it might come into existence. Was a true metropolitan city that in which many different kinds of people ran into each other downtown on the streets. We wanted to be downtown and we wanted to be part of the downtown renaissance that happened with the Building Important Plaza and the explosion of Gaslamp Quarter. We wanted to make a theater for the people of San Diego , make plays with San Diegans about the community that we live in. We wanted to embrace and nurture multiple voices of diversity in our community and with an ongoing commitment for radical inclusion. We wanted to make the Lyceum from the very beginning a cultural town hall where all the people of San Diego felt welcome. So community is been at the center of all of our work. Citizenship has been at the center. I was born and raised in San Diego County. I believe I am an artist citizen , and our theater has been a gathering of citizens who together are sharing work that's helping to uplift the consciousness of the community towards a more enlightened , progressive point of view.
S3: And you are maintaining your lease on the Lyceum space.
S6: A lot of the work will be done by volunteers. Our Board of Trustees are volunteers. There are other volunteers in the community who have come out and said , What can we do to help that we're going to be reaching out to ? And there will be some extremely limited paid hourly staff to maintain the viability of the organization , to keep the organization's doors open , so to speak. And we will be presenting activity in the Lyceum periodically , limited activity based around the construction schedule , which is quite extensive , given that they're exterior renovations and interior renovations on the docket.
S3: And you had announced. Your retirement back in February that you were planning to retire in September.
S6: I really did not. I was looking forward to directing the final show in the season for me , at least in the season , a musical version of 12th Night and looking forward to retirement party at some point. And I'm certainly not directing 12th Night , the musical. Now that's had to be canceled. And as far as a retirement party , we shall see. So , no , the answer is no. I did not.
S6: And we present with our productions ten or 12 free and post-show events with partners. We present productions out in the community. My goodness , we have had a remix festival of new plays for five years , a Black Voices reading series for two years , and here is now series for one year. A brand new plays Jewish arts festivals in its 28th 29th year. And that's all in addition to our mainstage season of 6 to 7 works. We are a deeply embedded community organizer , professional organization , deeply embedded in the community and with multiple partners and multiple platforms for expression. And that will be going on hiatus.
S3: After speaking with Woodhouse regarding the rep going on hiatus , a social media post was made by cast and crew from the Rep's recent The Great Con. On Friday , actress Mikayla Bartholomew and director Jess McLeod wrote an open letter critical of the rep that was posted on social media. In it , they say they were subjected to , quote , racism , misogyny , misogyny , noire discrimination and disrespect. Racial profiling of hired artists , physical intimidation and ill care following injury , unquote , while working at the Rep. On Sunday , I asked Woodhouse if he wanted to reply to the social media post , and he read this prepared statement.
S6: Thank you. First of all , we're very proud of the production of The Great Car , particularly the work of the company was the first rate production. I can say we remain committed to our mission to create work that promotes an interconnected community , nourishes progressive values , and celebrates diverse voices. Our goal remains , and we have much work to do towards this goal to become a fully inclusive , equitable , anti-racist , multicultural organization.
S2: San Diego International Fringe Festival wrapped 11 days of shows from around the world , the nation and the county. KPBS arts reporter Beth ACCOMANDO spoke with executive director Kevin Charles Patterson after awards were given out Sunday night.
S3: Kevin Fringe has not happened in San Diego for two years because of the pandemic. You just returned with 11 days of the festival.
S6: It was very concerning knowing that we were going into this with such a small festival , but knowing that the surges have happened with the new strain makes it feel like we made the right decision to keep it small , keep it manageable , see how.
S3: Things were going to work.
S6: And I think that we are coming out of it with happy artists , happy audiences. And yeah , I think that it ended up being a complete success.
S6: And then our audience is , I should say , spread word of mouth about the shows , and then the strong shows get really full. And until there are just packed houses and we have to add seats. It's fantastic.
S6: 50% local. 25% national and 25% international. Well , because of COVID difficulties for people traveling , that those numbers are way down. I think that the breakdown ended up being about 85% local and then a mix with the rest. So it was very different.
S6: And I've said this since 2019. Losing Jacqueline Littlefield , who own Spreckels Theater , had a huge impact on our ability to run a festival the way we had become accustomed. And the reason for that is , while we were in the Spreckels Theater building.
S3: We were able.
S6: To use any space that we wanted to. Use.
S2: Use.
S6: And with losing Jackie , we ended up having to find a way to work outside of that space. Now we have to deal with organizations that often have to deal with red tape themselves. It makes it very difficult to make any kinds of decisions when there's multi level processes to go through in order to have anything happen is how it feels. I think that's just a little frustration coming out.
S6: More.
S3: More.
S6: Offerings for the public. So we learn that we're going to have to deal with that , and that's okay. It's just a new process for us. And we have also learned that we need to make sure staff members get more time to just take a break.
S6: The votes came in and it ended up being those crazy. People.
S3: People.
S6: From Japan Theater group. Gumbo.
S4: Gumbo.
S6: With the production.
S6: Lady Thank you so much.
S2: That was Beth ACCOMANDO speaking with Kevin Charles Patterson. A complete list of the awards is available at KPBS dot org slash Cinema Junkie. You can also check out the video playlist with highlights from the show's.

Naval Flight operations have been suspended in the wake of a series of crashes in Southern California this month. Then, inflation shows no signs of slowing down.

Numbers released Friday show the consumer price index last month jumped 8.6% higher than a year ago. Next, San Diego is one of the biggest biotech centers in the country. Will it last? And, as families across the county celebrate their graduating students, there is one celebration that stands out. It’s a class of just about a dozen graduates who have overcome homelessness and created true hope for their future. Next, San Diego Repertory Theatre announced it would be suspending all productions and laying off its entire staff because of a financial crisis. Then on Friday, the cast of its recent show The Great Khan released a statement on social media alleging racism and misogyny at the Rep. Finally, we wrap the San Diego International Fringe Festival which closed Sunday.