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Water concerns for San Diego's South Bay

 September 1, 2023 at 5:51 PM PDT

S1: This week on Kpbs Roundtable. Tropical Storm Hillary has seen more than 2 billion gallons of contaminated water flowing across the border.

S2: This is a community that's really been suffering because of the cross-border sewage situation. And then on top of that , we have this boil water order.

S1: Plus , an investigation uncovered a fake non profit taking in concession money from local sports venues , including the home of the San Diego Padres. They were in this.

S3: Part for nine years , you know , a very , very long time.

S1: And it's been ten years since Bob Filner resigned as mayor of San Diego following sexual harassment allegations.

S4: There were so many people in hindsight that I learned about much , much later who knew what Bob Filner was doing.

S1: Don't go anywhere. Roundtable is coming up next. Welcome to Kpbs Roundtable. I'm Matt Hoffman. Contaminated water is nothing new for those living in the coastal border region. These cross-border sewage flows have led to frequent and long term beach closures. In fact , the beach just north of the border has had contamination warning since December of 2021. But last week , South Bay residents drinking water also became contaminated. It led to a boil water advisory which was later lifted. All of this happening while the region faces an increase in sewage in its ocean waters as a result of Tropical Storm Hillary. And South Bay's residents and their leaders are voicing their frustration about contaminated water. Here's how California Assemblyman David Alvarez put it.

S5: Over 110 billion gallons of sewage have poured into the coastline here in Imperial Beach since 2018. So we asked the president , do all communities deserve the right to clean water or only a few ? We ask the same question here in the state of California.

S1: Joining us now with more is Kpbs environment reporter Eric Anderson. Eric , welcome back to Roundtable.

S2: My pleasure.

S1: Great to have you here. So unfortunately , as we said , South Bay residents , they're very familiar with sewage flowing into the water near their homes , the ocean we're talking about. But Tropical Storm Hillary , it led to more than 2 billion gallons of contaminated water flowing across the border.

S2: Were they expecting it to happen ? Yes , definitely. They knew that any kind of a major rainfall in the region does cause sewage tainted flows to flow across the border. It's more than what they can handle in their system. So more often than not , that water flows into the Tijuana estuary and then out into the ocean where it leads to contamination. Were they expecting that ? Were they ready to handle it ? No , they weren't , because it just created too much of a flow for them to deal with. At the International Wastewater treatment plant , There was a time during the storm itself when the rain was falling that they were getting so much flow they couldn't treat it through the international wastewater treatment plant and they were just basically allowing that water to flow into the ocean outfall without being treated at all. So normally they send 25 to 30 million gallons of treated wastewater out that outfall. On top of that , they were adding 20 to 30 million gallons of untreated water and sending it out into the outfall. The Regional Water Quality Control Board , in fact , is probably going to issue notices of violation because it does not meet the standard set in their discharge permit.

S1: So we know that that was going on. But then South Bay residents , their drinking water was also in jeopardy last week. Over 100,000 people put under a boil water advisory.

S2: It's right after Hillary hit , there was a test. You know , the California American Water Systems runs that water system in the South Bay and they were testing at different faucets around their service area. And at one of the faucets , they got a hit for E coli. They did the test , took the sample , put it in the lab. 24 hours later , there were E coli in that lab sample. So they got a positive test. What they say they think happened was that somehow the faucet where they took that sample was contaminated , not the actual water itself , but because there was a positive test , they had to have two consecutive negative tests in the 24 hours. And then 48 hours after that positive test before they could lift their boil water order. So this is a community that that is really been suffering because of the cross-border sewage situation. And then on top of that , we have this boil water order.


S2: That was where a lot of the questions were coming from when the boil water order was first issued. But there was no contamination of the water system as a result of all the rain and the tainted water that flowed across the border.

S1: And we know that you've reported extensively on how just how hard Imperial Beach has been hit when it comes to contaminated water. You actually recently spoke with Imperial Beach's mayor , Paloma Aguirre , and she shared some of her frustrations with you and just the whole situation there. And we know that she and others are pushing for a state of emergency from the state or from the federal government. What would that do and how ? Likely. Is that to happen ? Yeah.

S2: This has been something that the mayor of Imperial Beach , Paloma Aguirre , has been calling for for some time. It's the declaration of a state of emergency , both in the state of California and from the federal government. What that would do is it would free up money. It would basically make extra money available , open some of the funding avenues that would allow local officials then to address some of those problems. And you said that she sounded frustrated. Boy , did she ever. I talked to her a week ago at the announcement of a of a testing system , which we can talk about in a minute. But talk to her then. And she was just devastated by this boil water order on top of all the other issues that her community is dealing with.

S6: We've suffered with our ocean being poisoned for so long , only to later find out that our air is poisoned as well. Our parks around the area , especially in the Hunter Valley , are poisoned and now our drinking water is poisoned.

S2: So basically what she's talking about there is the water is poisoned. That's the cross-border contamination coming from the sewage tainted waters flowing in out of Mexico and out into the ocean and the air. The poisoned air that she's referring to is some Scripps researchers have discovered recently that that when the surf breaks along the coast and there's contamination in the water , some of that gets airborne. And that may or may not create health risk for residents. The pollution in the parks is that area in the Teban River Valley , which gets flooded regularly with sewage tainted and pollution tainted water. And then , of course , the drinking water that led to the boil water order. It just kind of happened all at the same time. And you could sense in her voice the frustration that she was feeling.

S1: And I know you were saying that these emergency declarations would bring much needed funds. And it sounds like the EPA has a $630 million plan , and that would be to treat sewage on both sides of the border.

S2: I remember when these this plan was first announced a couple of years ago , there was a lot of relief among local officials who were suing the federal government because of this situation. And they were relieved. The comprehensive plan that the EPA has designed would greatly reduce the amount of cross-border flows by 97% is their estimate. It would build a sewage plant on this side of the border. It would build one south of Tijuana. It would increase some of the piping infrastructure in Tijuana. It would create a diversion system on this side of the border , all designed to make that happen. Now , here's the problem. As of this writing , they only have about $310 Million allocated. That's money that came from the US , Canada , Mexico trade deal. And so they're short of the money they need to make those upgrades and some of those upgrades on this side of the border require environmental impact work and that stuff is going on right now. It probably isn't going to be finished before the end of the year. Design has to happen after that's finished and then construction can begin. So the outlook is maybe 2026 before you see impacts from this funding. And you know , they still don't have all the money in pocket to pay for.

S1: And Eric , we also know that you say that the current treatment facility needs repairs , like we're talking like $100 million worth of repairs.

S2: And it's not just $100 Million worth of repairs. They actually need about $150 million to bring this international wastewater treatment plant back up to snuff. What's happened there ? It was built back in 1997 , and it pretty much has been running full steam over capacity in the last couple of months. And that's created some problems. So that needs to be fixed. The other fixes that the EPA is asking for are a way off. I think that's what prompted both Senator Feinstein and Padilla to ask the Senate leadership in Washington for $310 million to help address the border pollution. That's money that they can use both to repair the existing plant and to go toward the construction of a new facility that'll work beside the existing facility , but greatly increase the capacity of sewage that they can treat. They're one of the other political leaders from the region , Scott Peters , who represents Coronado , among other areas. You know , he says that the international wastewater treatment plant is completely failing because the federal government has refused to act on this issue. And he's imploring his fellow lawmakers to do what they need to do to make sure that they can get the funding into these projects so that this situation becomes nothing more than a bad memory in our rearview mirror.

S1: And Eric , something you mentioned earlier is about this effort from local researchers to build a tool that can better predict ocean water quality. What exactly is going on there ? Sure.

S2: There are some researchers at Scripps Institution of Oceanography that are working on a system that will allow local officials to basically predict when the water is going to be contaminated with pathogens that create health risks for local. Residents. And so much like a weather forecast , they would have a pathogen forecast and they could say 2 or 3 , four , maybe even five days out. Look , it's going to be particularly bad in the coming week or it's not going to be bad , whatever the case is. And local officials could use that knowledge , that information , to basically inform their residents. And what they're going to do is they're going to look at things like ocean currents and and pollution loads and how long some of these pathogens live once they're actually out in the ocean to help give this tool the scientific credentials that it needs to be a valuable tool for local officials.


S2: And it might bridge the period of time from now until when these major improvements are expected to be online , probably sometime in 2026. So it's really a question of what California and federal officials end up doing.

S1: Well , Eric , we definitely appreciate the update here. Eric Anderson is Kpbs environment reporter. And Eric , thanks for being here.

S2: My pleasure.

S1: Coming up , a nonprofit operating at Petco Park and Snapdragon Stadium that a voice of San Diego investigation found didn't actually exist , but it was still getting a cut of concession money. It was pretty shockingly the.

S3: Figure out , I got to say.

S1: We're diving into the investigation and the resulting action that's now being taken. Roundtable continues right after the break. Welcome back to Kpbs Roundtable. I'm Matt Hoffman. A voice of San Diego investigation uncovered a fake nonprofit taking in concession money from local sports venues. Chula Vista fast pitch was staffing some food stands at Petco Park and at Snapdragon Stadium. But when reporter Wil Hansberry went looking for information about the nonprofit , he found out it didn't exist. That investigative reporting has resulted in some swift action being taken , but there's still some unanswered questions as to how this dubbed fake charity was able to fly under the radar and for so long. Joining me to discuss what he found is voice of San Diego reporter will hunts Barry will welcome back to roundtable.


S1: This was a fascinating read , so let's just get into it. Chula Vista fast pitched.

S3: At one point , Chula Vista , Fastpitch , was a real organization from about 2008 to 2014. It was a summer league for fast Pitch down. And Chula Vista actually managed to talk to the former founders. You know , they were very shocked to hear the name still in use. And they said they just kind of shut down the charity because they couldn't keep it going in 2014 , you know , like life was calling and everything. But it was pretty shockingly the to figure out , I got to say.

S1: So , okay. So around 2014 , they shut it down. But at some point , this supposedly active charity started running some concession stands over at Petco Park. That's where the Padres play. And some people listening might be saying , why would a nonprofit be like staffing concession stands ? But you found that there's some benefits for charities in doing that. I mean , what exactly are we talking about ? Totally.

S3: Yeah. Not probably not everybody realizes this. I certainly didn't realize it. Many stands at Petco are run by nonprofit groups , and the way that works is the concessions management company. It's called Delaware North. It's not actually the Padres. They they seek out these nonprofits. These nonprofits come with their volunteers. They sell you your hot dogs , your Michelada , your Mister Softee , all of that stuff. And then they get to keep 10% of the take for that concession stand. And so that's basically what this phantom version of Chula Vista , Fastpitch was doing.

S1: And I know you kind of alluded to this earlier , but you reached out to the former , you know , founder or the former organizer of Chula Vista , fast pitched. And you said he seemed like surprised when he found out that the name was at least still in use.

S3: You know , he told me he had no idea that the name was still floating around. He did tell me that , you know , I was able to track down the people who are supposedly running this fake version of Chula Vista fast Pitch. And he told me one of those people did have a loose connection to the league when when it existed. He was like the brother of a coach. So I don't know if that's how the idea came around to these two guys to start this Chula Vista fast pitch.

S1: Yeah , so let's kind of get into that. I mean , so this charity isn't operating anymore , but someone obviously is still getting a cut from this concession money. And as you mentioned , you actually did track those people down. And I think from reading it , you went to a Padres game to find them.

S3: So obviously I had to go to the game. But , you know , not to make light of this serious subject matter. I had been told that it was two men named Noli Allard and Martin Rebelo running this organization. I got Martin on the phone briefly , and he told me , yes , I'm a manager with this charity. My daughter's involved in softball , but I don't run it. Some other guy runs it. I can't remember his name kind of thing , and pretty swiftly got off the phone , never called me back. The other guy I did track down at the ballpark Noli I went to the ballpark Eats stand at section 116. It's one of Chula Vista fast pitches biggest stands or was one And you know , you know I'm kind of like breaking the line and everybody in line is kind of looking at me angry and I get somebody to grab him from the back. And we're kind of talking across the counter very briefly and , you know , I'm asking him if he's involved with Chula Vista , Fastpitch and he admits he's involved , but he says he's not in charge. In fact , he says Martin's in charge. You know , Martin's name's on the paperwork. It's not me. So he kind of pointed the finger at the other guy and then , like swiftly disappeared into the back.

S1: And so it sounds like you didn't get many answers there. But by that point , you knew that the charity wasn't operating right or it didn't even have like a federal tax exempt status. Right.

S3: Right. You know , the the people involved here seem to have created like several entities for Chula Vista fast pitch. They they called one fast patch , you know , and they did briefly register that as a charity after the original Chula Vista fast pitch closed. And it did have this guy Martin's address on the paperwork. But , you know , the IRS shut it down very quickly. You know , doesn't look like they ever filed taxes. You know , I don't think we've mentioned this yet , Matt , but you know that they were in this part for nine years , you know , a very , very long time. And so the IRS noticed long before that that that they weren't really doing what they needed to do to be a up and running charity.

S1: So obviously , after you found out this information , you you go over to them , ask them what's going on. And then you reached out to the Padres and their concession company , which as you mentioned , is Delaware North earlier.

S3: North Delaware North manages concessions. We'll check in with them , but this is on them. Delaware North said , you know , we're going to investigate this. We're going to see what's going on. Um , it took some time to play out , but , uh , Delaware North , I found out yesterday from the Padres or found that two days ago from Delaware North that they have kicked Chula Vista Fastpitch out of the stand for good. Thursday is the first home game since all this was revealed and so Chula Vista , Fastpitch will not be back , according to Delaware North. But , you know , there's still a lot of unanswered questions about where all that money went and if it will ever be recovered.

S1: Oh , totally. And I know that you also wrote in there that you spoke with multiple sources who said it was like an open secret that this charity didn't actually exist. So simple question about it. No.

S3: Charities have to send in a little bit of paperwork every year to pick code , but none of that paperwork necessarily verifies that they're an ongoing charitable proposition. Now , Googling it and finding out if they are is , you know , again , really not very. Hard , but it seems like maybe that wasn't part of the process. I don't have clear answers on that yet. You know exactly how this was allowed to go on for nine years , and I'm definitely hoping to get it answered pretty soon.

S1: And so the story grows from here. You started digging a little bit deeper and you found out that Chula Vista Fastpitch was also staffing some concessions over at Snapdragon Stadium. That's in Mission Valley , where the Aztecs play. I mean , what's going on there ? Like same thing , Like they're going to get a cut of the food sales , but it's still this not real charity.

S3: Yeah , exactly. You know , they were providing staffing there and you still get a cut. The cut , there's 12% , officials for Sdsu told me. And yet they were they were up and running there and there. Sdsu told me all you have to do is sign a declaration saying you're a nonprofit. You know , and clearly somebody thought that was a sufficient process when they put it in place , but it doesn't seem to have worked out well.

S1: Well , and I know you said over at Petco Park , the concession leader there has said that , you know , they're not coming back. What about at Sdsu ? Has that changed anything for them ? Or when I say Sdsu , I should say Snapdragon Stadium , where the Aztecs play ? Yeah.

S3: Yes , exactly. You know , it's a Snapdragon is managed by an entity that's kind of underneath Sdsu , but they acted pretty swiftly the day I sent them questions about it. They sent Chula Vista fast pitch questions , asked them to prove their charity , Chula Vista , Fastpitch couldn't. And , you know , they they sent them packing. So they they're gone from Snapdragon now to.

S1: And you kind of touched on this a little bit earlier , but these two guys who you tracked down who are supposedly running this fake charity , as you referred to it , do we know how much money they've received from food concessions or maybe even a better question ? I mean , what did they do with the cash ? I mean , if it's not going for softball or or these other events , where is it going ? Well.

S3: You know , I've got a good guess. And if it's not going to softball and the charity's not real , it seems like it's probably going in their pockets , to be honest. And , you know , we'll see if law enforcement gets involved or like I said , if Delaware North comes and tries to recover some of this cash in terms of how much we're talking , I was able to get some of my hands on some receipts for a five month period at Petco at the beginning of this year. And those receipts show that Chula Vista , Fastpitch had a net sales of their mini stands of $3.7 million during five months. 10% of that would equate to 370,000. So , you know , that five month period only included the first two months of baseball season. So I think it's very reasonable to presume. You know , certainly this year Chula Vista , Fastpitch was on track to get nearly $1 million a year just in their take from the concession stand. And you work that out. They've been there nine years. Wow.

S1: Wow.

S3: But they but , you know , the the Martin hung up on me , you know , before could ask too many questions. He just kept saying he'd get somebody else to call me back. And , you know , Noli just kept saying , I can't. I , you know , talk to Martin , talked to somebody else , you know , and just kind of I got to go. So , you know , I wasn't able to shove that question their face. I will say I asked Martin , I was like , Do you think anything illegal is going on here ? You know , do you think that I've is this charity real ? And he's like , I think it's real. I don't think anything illegal is going on here. So that's kind of the extent of what I got from them.


S3: You know , I went to the ballpark. I , I asked , you know , this is an earlier game. I asked some of the people that stand was the charity you're working for. They didn't even know at first , but then they said Chula Vista fast pitch. Then I looked up the paperwork and , you know , it was so easy to verify they weren't a charity. I was almost like , I am I doing this wrong , you know ? Um , but turned out that they were not a charity. And then things moved pretty quick from there. You know , I just tried to. Get a response from them and and all the officials , Delaware North Petco , everything. And here we are. Obviously , San Diegans care a lot about the Padres. I've been I've been kind of overwhelmed to see the response.

S1: Oh , it was definitely a great story. And we know it's growing. So we'll have to see where this is going to go in the future. I've been speaking with Wil Hansberry from Voice of San Diego. And Wil , thanks so much for sharing this scoop with us. Awesome.

S3: Awesome. Matt. Thank you.

S1: When Kpbs Roundtable returns. It's been a decade since former San Diego Mayor Bob Filner resigned amid sexual harassment allegations. Years after the MeToo movement put a spotlight on the problem from men in positions of power. I. Welcome back to Kpbs Roundtable. I'm Matt Hoffman. It's been ten years since the resignation of Bob Filner as mayor of San Diego. That came after sexual harassment allegations from nearly 20 women. Here's former San Diego City Hall staffer Irene McCormack. Jackson And this was in July of 2013.

S7: I had to work and do my job in an atmosphere where women were viewed by Mayor Filner as sexual objects or stupid idiots.

S1: Years after the Filner story captured headlines nationwide , the MeToo movement put a spotlight on the problem of sexual harassment and assault from men in positions of power. The recent scandal and resignation of former County Board of Supervisor Nathan Fletcher demonstrates that these stories are not a thing of the past. Joining us is Kpbs investigative reporter Amita Sharma. Amita , welcome back to Roundtable.

S4: Oh , it's good to speak to you , Matt.

S1: Great to have you here.

S4: And she accused Mayor Filner of treating women horribly , of saying sexually inappropriate things to them. And one of the key things that she did is say , women , you are not to blame. It's not your fault. It's Bob Filner fault. You could say that by offering that assurance , she paved the way for women to come forward. However , it's still took another full week before one of those women came forward. The first woman who came forward was Irene McCormack Jackson , You just played some tape from her where she described what had happened to her. And she also said that she witnessed Bob Filner treating women as sexual objects , as stupid idiots. In the end , 19 women came forward and accused Filner of harassing them.

S1: And we know that you spoke with an expert who highlighted sort of a tipping point in this scandal , and that was when former San Diego City Council member Donna Frye , you just mentioned her , who at one time worked inside the Filner administration , spoke out against him.

S8: And we want the women of this city and the people who love them to know that sexual abuse and this behavior is not normal , not their fault , and they are not to blame. Bob Filner is to blame and he needs to resign.


S4: As I said , Donna Frye was a former San Diego city councilwoman and she was an ideological soulmate of Bob Filner. You know , he was well known for his progressive politics. He was the first Democratic mayor in San Diego in 20 years. She had long pushed for government transparency. Bob Filner created a special position for her. He hired her as his director of open Government and Community Engagement. So clearly , she is this very , very staunch ally of Bob Filner , and she's the first one to call him out. She's the first one to accuse him of sexually harassing women. That was hugely powerful. She was on his staff. She she believed in his politics and she sought to hold him accountable , not just privately , but publicly.

S1: And I know in the story that you wrote , you mentioned that there had been rumors about this sort of activity happening. You mentioned Bob Filner was somebody who had a lot of progressive policies , was well liked by a lot of people.

S4: But but these rumors about Bob Filner had been swirling around him for years. We first found out about Bob Filner in the summer of 2012. We received an anonymous letter from a woman who talked about how he had treated women back in Washington , D.C. when he was a congressman. And so I was assigned to look into those rumors. I called all the sources I know. They told me they had heard some of the same scuttlebutt , but nobody had names. Then in early 2013 , those rumors resurfaced and again , I was assigned to look at it. This time someone gave me a name. I called her up. She confirmed what I had heard. But she refused to go public. She said that she wouldn't be the first woman to go public , but if another woman spoke out , then she would speak out as well , because she didn't want to leave that woman. She didn't want to hang that woman out to dry. She didn't want that woman to stand alone. And in the end , she was true to her word. She did eventually speak out with a group of other women. There were other women that I spoke to in early 2013 who who also confirmed details regarding Bob Filner and his treatment of them. And they were just too scared to talk publicly. They said , look , this is a powerful figure who's going to believe me. I have no standing in this community. I have nothing to gain by speaking out.


S4: But you try to get confirmation again through documents , through people , and you just plug away at it. And all stories start out as rumors , really. Right.

S1: Right. I know the best tips come from people that are inside these organizations. But , you know , sort of as your story captured , the world has changed so much. After the Filner scandal , we had the whole MeToo movement , and it really brought attention to the problem of sexual harassment and assault inside of workplaces. But as your story states , you know , for all that's changed , a lot has also stayed the same.

S4: One is very famous women's rights lawyer Gloria Allred. And another one is Julie Riggins , who co-founded Lift Our Voices. She co-founded that organization with Gretchen Carlson , formerly of Fox News , who sued the former chairman of Fox News , Roger Ailes , for sexual harassment. And both of them told me that sexual harassment remains rampant in the workplace. What's changed since the Bob Filner scandal and MeToo is that fewer women. Are willing to stay silent about it. More women are saying , I'm not going to take that. I'm going to speak out about it. And the other thing that's changed is that there used to be. A silence mechanism around sexual harassment. About a third of American employees are required to sign nondisclosure agreements when they start a job that used to cover sexual harassment. There's a new law that took effect this year called the Speak Out Act. And so if a person signs one of those NDAs and then it turns out that there is sexual harassment in their workplace , they get to speak out about it.

S1: And are you hearing from these advocates that that new law , you know , could uncover more of this in the workplace or.

S4: Yes , but there's always a caveat. And that caveat is that sexual harassment is still extraordinarily difficult to talk about. Women and some men , they don't want to be labeled whistleblowers. It is embarrassing. It can be humiliating to talk about this. And you don't want to be known as the person who sued your employer for sexual harassment. It's a huge career killer. So those those issues remain.

S1: And we know that Filner did face some charges , Right. Stemming from all of this.

S4: The city of San Diego ended up paying hundreds of thousands of dollars in settlements as a result of lawsuits that have been filed. Because of that case. Filner pleaded guilty to sexual battery and imprisonment , I believe , and served some time in home confinement.

S1: And when you look back on this , it's been a decade. It doesn't seem like it's been that long.

S4: And they remained silent. They knew it was wrong , but they they didn't talk about it. They were just willing to go along to get along. And I think that in many , many , many of the cases that ended up being made public in the MeToo movement. That same complicity machine , if you will. Surfaced people there were so many employees in power , people who had less power , who understood what was happening , who witnessed what was happening , but never said anything.

S1: I've been speaking with Kpbs investigative reporter Amita Sharma. And , Amita , thanks so much for coming on.

S4: It's good to be here.

S1: It's now time for our weekly roundup of stories , other stories we've been following around San Diego. And joining me , as always , is Kpbs roundtable producer Andrew Bracket. Andrew , welcome back. Hey , Matt. All right , let's get into it.

S9: And NBC seven here in San Diego published a story talking about one of those self-driving companies , Cruise , and saying that they're testing some of their driverless cars on the streets of San Diego. So it's not approved here yet. But it's been interesting to kind of see some of the reporting about what the experience is like in San Francisco and how people in San Francisco have been , you know , adjusting to these driverless taxis. The future is here.

S1: I would say sign me up. Like , how do how do you become like a tester ? I would go to one of those and do it. I've seen like the , you know , like Domino's or whatever those pizza companies like doing the robot pizza deliveries with cars. It is interesting , but you got to wonder about things like because if it's driverless taxis , like I'm sure there's like taxi drivers and rideshare drivers like that's got to take a chunk out of their out of their pocket , out of their bottom line. Yeah.

S9: And I think there'd be a lot of steps to go through to get approved. And it was pretty contentious in San Francisco because a lot of those issues you mentioned and it isn't , you know , perfect. There are reports of several of these taxis stalling on San Francisco streets. I think it was related to like a music festival. And there's no , you know , announced plans for San Diego. But yeah , I mean , it is interesting to see that there are at least testing out the streets here.

S1: And I have seen some of those viral videos where maybe there's little mishaps going on with these things. All right.

S9: There's an article in The New York Times by Corina Knoll basically arguing that this endless growth that California has experienced since its inception , it seems like might be coming to an end and that the population could go down or at least stagnate for the next few decades. And it has , you know , potential implications for for our lifestyle here , but also just the idea of California for a long time for a lot of people has been just like where you go , let's go to California. And that may be shifting a little bit. And this particular New York Times piece quotes UCLA professor , We live in a world of limits , he said. And I thought that was an interesting thing to think about California and our lifestyle here.

S1: And you've got to wonder maybe why people are leaving or why not. New people are coming. And some of the you know , you always hear like California and New York , some of the highest taxes. We know living in San Diego , it is not a very affordable city to live in. There are other parts of California where that does happen. But yeah , and you got to wonder even further down the line , like I know we're facing a budget deficit right now and , you know , government needs people , you know , to collect taxes to pay for all these safety net programs that they have here in California.

S9: Well , and we've seen this change in the population. It really hit in 2020. So it was that pandemic that really kind of made this demographic change that we're talking about. Start. So , yeah , it'll be interesting to see how , you know , state leaders respond. But , you know , again , there's an argument to be made. Maybe it's not all bad potentially either.

S1: No , totally. And I know this hits close at home for me because , you know , my dad lived here and then he sold his house and his retirement goes a lot further. He moved up to Idaho. So all that plays into it. All right. What else you.

S9: Got ? Lori Weisberg from the San Diego Union Tribune published a piece about local mission Bay Resort. Looks like it might be fined for blocking access to the coast , which , you know , belongs to the public Paradise Point. It's actually on city owned land. And for a long time , I guess they would kind of put in obstacles and just make it really kind of hidden. But it actually was a public area for people could go on the bay there and they're potentially facing a $1 million fine to kind of make up for this thing that they've been doing for for many years.

S1: And I know that this is something that comes from the California Coastal Commission , which is basically the state of California , something they take very seriously. I even remember a few years ago where they wanted to be some sort of outdoor sporting event and they were trying to get a permit from the Coastal commission , but they would have to close parts of the beaches. And I guess ultimately they just couldn't come to an agreement on. How you use some of the beaches for sports , but then leave the public access open. So it's something that not only is a lot of residents like , but it drives tourism. So something I'm sure they take pretty seriously. All right. What else you got.

S9: A follow up to a story we talked about last week. We have at least slightly more information about that hazing scandal at the University of San Diego's football team. Roughly half the players on the team are facing disciplinary action of some sort and will be missing time with the team. But they've said they are again going ahead with their first game this weekend , but still not a lot of details out about it. But something really troubling.

S1: And I saw that Usds president , he put out a letter to staff and we should mention this comes from Mark Ziegler over at the Union Tribune. He's been on the show before. Always great to have him. But they were saying that it's deeply disturbing news that members have been accused of violating the no hazing policy. But we don't know exactly what it is , though , Right ? We don't know exactly what they're being alleged that happened.

S9: No , I don't think a lot of details come out yet.

S1: Something I'm sure that our newsroom will continue to follow. Andrew Bracken , always great to have you here on the roundup.

S9: Thank you , Matt.

S1: Thanks so much for joining us for roundtable this week. If you have a comment or an opinion on anything you heard today , you can leave us a voicemail at (619) 452-0228. You can also email us roundtable at If you missed any part of the show , check out the roundtable podcast wherever you get your podcast. Our show airs on Kpbs at noon on Fridays and again on Sunday at 6 a.m.. Roundtable is produced by Andrew Bracken and Rebecca Chacon and Adrian Villalobos are our technical producers. I'm your host , Matt Hoffman. Thanks so much for being here with us. Have a great weekend.

A sign outside a water distribution site in Imperial beach reads, "Out of water more on the way!" on Aug. 25, 2023. California American Water company was giving out drinking water to customers in the South Bay impacted by a boil water advisory issued due to possible E. coli contamination.
Matthew Bowler
A sign outside a water distribution site in Imperial beach reads, "Out of water more on the way!" on Aug. 25, 2023. California American Water company was giving out drinking water to customers in the South Bay impacted by a boil water advisory issued due to possible E. coli contamination.

South Bay residents have faced contaminated ocean water, as well as a boil water warning in recent weeks. Plus, a Voice of San Diego investigation uncovered a fake nonprofit taking in concession money from local sports venues. Then, ten years after Bob Filner's resignation, we take a look back at the sexual harassment scandal that prompted it.


Erik Anderson, environment reporter, KPBS

Will Huntsberry, senior investigative reporter, Voice of San Diego

Amita Sharma, investigative reporter, KPBS