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San Diego Looking To Oust Lime Scooters And More Local News

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The city claims Lime violated new speed rules for scooters that went into effect in July; the company says the city is wrong. Plus, veterans who participated in nuclear weapons testing are being offered certificates for their sacrifice and Caltrans has permanently closed a Mission Valley off-ramp as part of a major transportation project.

Show transcript

Speaker 1: 00:00 It's Wednesday, August 21st I'm Deb Welsh and you're listening to San Diego news matters from KPBS coming up the city locked horns with lime scooters over new speed rules as certificates will be awarded to as many as a half million vet exposed to radiation during nuclear weapons tests.

Speaker 2: 00:18 You were a young kid, you know, you're out there to say, wow, look what they're doing. And they never told us, you know, the radiation after or anything

Speaker 1: 00:26 that more San Diego, new stories coming up right after the break.

Speaker 3: 00:30 Mm.

Speaker 1: 00:33 Thank you for joining us for San Diego News Matters. I'm Deb Welsh putting the brakes on electric scooters. KPBS reporter Matt Hoffman says the city of San Diego is looking to revoke the permit of a popular scooter company.

Speaker 4: 00:47 The city has begun the process of revoking scooter company limes permit to operate in San Diego. New rules went into effect last month. They require companies to use technology called geo-fencing to limit scooter speeds in certain areas like mission beach, the city says Lyme has violated the new speed rules at least three times. San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulkner says, the rules are clear

Speaker 2: 01:07 and I'm going to absolutely hold everybody to those standards. I think we've seen most of the companies really complies. That's exactly what we want. Um, but we're going to hold everybody accountable. Uh, and that's very clear and I'm going to continue to be very clear about that.

Speaker 4: 01:22 But lime general manager Kimiya to Libyan says the company is in compliance.

Speaker 2: 01:26 I have reassured them that we are compliant. Then we're working with the city to demonstrate that we are, and we're committed to that.

Speaker 4: 01:31 Next month a code enforcement hearing will determine if lime scooters stay or go. And San Diego, Matt Hoffman tape PBS news.

Speaker 1: 01:38 Last year of federal judges had Diego took action to end family separations along the border. But a new complaint filed with the Department of Homeland Securities Inspector General says, separations are still happening. KPBS reporter Max, Roseanne Adler says this is under the Trump administration's new remain in Mexico policy.

Speaker 5: 01:59 The complaint was filed by the women's Refugee Commission and claims that DHS has run a foul of last year's district court ruling, which tried to stop the federal government from separating families. The complaint tells the story of 20 families they say were separated as part of the remain in Mexico policy, which sends people back to Mexico while their asylum claims play out in immigration court. One story described in the report tells the story of Marcello, a father from Guatemala who crossed into the u s with his son Byron near Calexico Marcello says u s customs officials didn't believe Byron was his son. The father was returned to Mexico. The son was put into a shelter for minors in the U s they've still not been reunited. The complaint calls on Da test to follow the district court's decision from last year and not separate families. Max with Adler k PBS news

Speaker 1: 02:49 in an unusual move, the city of Sacramento is suing a group of homeless people and asking a court to ban them from a commercial district. Capitol. Public radio is Chris Nichols has more.

Speaker 6: 03:00 The city alleges that for several years, seven people, at least some of whom are homeless, have been breaking into cars using drugs, trespassing and committing other crimes in the Broadway business district near Land Park, Mary Lynn Bolinga is the spokesperson for Mayor Darrell Steinberg and says, the mayor supports the lawsuit

Speaker 7: 03:21 is this is not in any way targeted these people because they're homeless. It's simply because they've been wreaking havoc on this. Ronny neighborhood

Speaker 6: 03:30 attorney Mark Marin, who's advocated for the homeless in Sacramento, says the attempt to ban the men is an attack on civil rights. He says it could be a new tactic for cities to drive out homeless people instead of providing them with needed services.

Speaker 8: 03:45 These are exclusionary laws. This is a totally contrary to our values as Americans. And I'm shocked that, uh, people who are on the pay of our city government would even be pushing this

Speaker 6: 03:58 in a statement. The city attorney's office says it will only take this kind of action when other remedies have failed. And when it has the backing of the neighborhood. Sacramento county's homeless population swelled 19% in the last two years to nearly 5,600 people in Sacramento. I'm Chris Nichols

Speaker 1: 04:20 restraining orders that separate people who threatened violence from their guns appears to be working. That's according to a new study from UC Davis, Sammy K Yala with capitol public radio has more

Speaker 9: 04:32 someone talking about harming themselves or others is considered a red flag and family members can call law enforcement to ask for that person's firearms to be removed. Researchers looked at 21 cases where someone threatened to commit mass violence and had to surrender their guns. They found that none of the people who were subject to a gun violence restraining order followed through on their plans. They say most mass shooters state their intent in advance and that stepping in early can save lives. Opponents of red flag laws say the standards for seeking an order are too broad. This is some of the first data on the 2016 California law, which was the first of its kind. The federal government is now considering a similar policy in Sacramento. I'm Sammy Kayla San Diego

Speaker 1: 05:14 underground film festival celebrates its fifth year with continued expansion. KPBS ours reporter bed like Amando has this preview. The need to rebel is as essentially a human quality as is the desire to conform a showcase of artists who defy expectation, challenge the status quo and just refuse to be pigeonholed can be found at this year. San Diego underground film festival, lead curator, Ryan bet chart to find underground in this way, underground is any type of media or thing that deviates from the norm that you're being fed through Hollywood through even regular film festivals. There's a lot of different that make media and cinema and music that don't fit the commercial qualities. Be it because it's too weird or too wild or too thoughtful even it's just a more niche. The festival showcases not just films, but also a diverse array of performances. Festival director Rachel Nahko Atossa describes Melissa Ferrari's relic, Si Phantasmagoria, which uses a pre electricity projection technology.

Speaker 1: 06:26 The magic lantern, the San Diego underground film festival runs Thursday through Sunday at the 10th Avenue Art Center where you can expect to be challenged and amazed. Beth like Amando KPBS news, the Department of Defense plans to award certificates to as many as a half million veterans who were exposed to radiation during nuclear weapons stance. The veterans serve between 1945 and 1992 but Stephanie Calambini reporting for the American Home Front project says many of the so-called atomic veterans are not impressed. 84 year old Tom bace of Ormond beach Florida's flipping through a scrapbook. He keeps of old pictures and articles about his time in the air force. Dash was our flight crow here. Natch me, he never went to war, but he still feels like he was part of history. In 1958 bace was involved in dozens of atomic tests on the we talk atoll in the Pacific. He serviced planes that flew through mushroom clouds after explosions while he and his comrades watched an all from the island, maybe 10 miles away.

Speaker 10: 07:33 You were a young kid, you know, you're out there and say, wow, look what they're doing. Look at this, you know, and they never told us, you know, the radiation, uh, after effects or anything.

Speaker 1: 07:44 Bace points himself out in a photo of young men wearing khaki shorts, short sleeve shirts and baseball caps.

Speaker 10: 07:50 That was our protective clothing for the atomic bombs.

Speaker 1: 07:53 After decades of being sworn to secrecy, atomic veterans were finally able to share their experiences. In the late nineties many realized they suffered from similar health problems and the VA expanded benefits for some whose diseases the government deemed were linked to radiation exposure. Botches heart problems didn't qualify, but he pushed for years with the National Association of atomic veterans to at least get a service medal.

Speaker 10: 08:19 It felt that there needed to be some recognition of those of us that were there that did this, you know, for the country, but forgotten.

Speaker 1: 08:29 But the military says, giving out metals for non-combat hazardous service is inconsistent with its awards program. Still the government is now acknowledging the atomic veterans. Congress required the Pentagon to issue certificates to eligible vets who request them. They haven't started going out yet, but some veterans and their families are disappointed they'll only receive a piece of paper. That's an insult really to these men. That's Frederick. Her late husband Walter, was involved in nuclear tests in Nevada in 1955 the army veteran died in 2017 after battling radiation related skin cancers and to nerve disease for decades.

Speaker 7: 09:09 A metal is something special and the atomic veterans are a special class. They gave their lives for this country and they are still giving their lives for this country. Just like anybody that goes to Afghanistan, Vietnam, Korea and gets shot.

Speaker 1: 09:26 It's not the first time non war time veterans have lost a similar fight. People who served during the Cold War era also pushed for metals but got certificates, retired Colonel Fred Bork is a military historian who's written about awards. He says he understands why the atomic veterans want to metal but says it's reasonable. The Pentagon limits who gets them.

Speaker 11: 09:46 There's only so much money to go around and if I'm trying to really take care of my people who were on active duty and I want to motivate them today, that my policy and my focus has to be on the present and the future

Speaker 1: 10:02 still. Judith Frederick is holding out hope she'll get a medal for her husband one day. Although she says he was so fed up with the military and the VA by the time he died, he had no interest in an award.

Speaker 7: 10:14 Let's just say he thought it was too little, too late. I feel a little differently about it.

Speaker 1: 10:21 Sitting at our Fort Lauderdale kitchen table, she clutches a letter he wrote to the government in the 80s as he fought for compensation. It's signed yours truly Guinea pig. Frederick says she wants the metal to help her grandkids remember her husband's service and sacrifice. I'm Stephanie Colombini in Tampa. This story was produced by the American homefront project, a public media collaboration that reports on American military life and veterans funding comes from the corporation for public broadcasting. What do we know about the history of slavery? School textbooks tells us that Africans were stolen from their homelands and forced to be slaves in the American south. We learned that the slaves were freed by Abraham Lincoln during the civil war, but the New York Times magazine has published a series of articles that tells a different story. It framed slavery as the institution that fundamentally shaped this country. The essays document how the ongoing struggle of black Americans for full equality can be seen as the redemption of America's original ideals. The project is called 16, 19 marking 400 years since the first African slaves landed in the American colonies. KPBS midday additions. Maureen Kavanaugh spoke about the project's goals with New York Times editor, Jasmine Hughes. The great thing about the final product of the magazine is the myriad ways in which the foundation of slavery continues to affect American life on a day to day basis. And the that slavery

Speaker 9: 11:54 could affect every single part of our life unknowingly is I think a huge reason why we decided to not only pursue this project but go about it so robustly. Can you give us an overview of project 16, 19 for those who haven't seen the series in print or online? So 1619, uh, is a production by the New York Times Sunday magazine and it's in two parts. There is an actual issue of the Sunday magazine with about a dozen writers who have picked various ways of American life and sort of explain how these institutions have its roots in slavery. So for example, Wesley Morris wrote about American music and how so much of what we would call cultural appropriation or just like mixing and matching and borrowing from different genres or cultures or what have you. How so much of that has its roots in black creative production. The magazine itself also issues several original creative works from poets and novelists and writers who in an attempt to add more to the, uh, to the American creative Canon about like the legacy of slavery and the black experience in America.

Speaker 9: 13:06 Um, people submitted many, many like wonderful creative forks. The other part of the project is a special section of the paper, which thinks about how inadequately slavery was taught in schools. I mean, so a big reason for this project is sort of like the Gross Miss Education of what slavery really was. And the section that I worked on is um, a collection of objects that were selected by Mary Elliot who was a curator at the National Museum of African American history and culture through which she and I tried to tell a fuller more robust story of what slavery really was. The information that's contained in project 1619 weaves together connections that aren't usually made in mainstream histories about slavery for example, how slavery helped Create Wall Street. Exactly. Slavery helped Create Wall Street. Slavery has led to like the, the modern day understanding of mortgages or like homeowners insurance. Like you know, these sorts of things go back to the protection of property, which 400 years ago meant the production of people that various people owned.

Speaker 9: 14:09 They are ways again in which the foundation of America and the institution that we hold dear and no familiarly today are touched by what we call in the issue. Like America's original sin I think will come as a surprise to many people that the great emancipator Abraham Lincoln did not believe that blacks and whites could live together in America and urged freed slaves to go back to Africa. And the project 1619 makes the point that it was then, wasn't it that former slaves claimed America as their country? Yes. I think that, you know, as a young African American woman, as someone who was mower likely to send it of slaves working on this project for me gave me, I guess my first real opportunity to feel real ownership and loyalty to this country and to really understand processes through which my ancestors likely contributed to its foundation and it, and the great thing about this project, and I think that everyone worked really hard to ensure this, is that it's not a project of sorrow, right?

Speaker 9: 15:15 It's not something that's very pitiful. It's atrocious, it's heartbreaking. It's often stomach turning at times, but it also really speaks to the resilience of black people or of of people who have descended from slaves and how incredible that is. And it really does really cement us in the foundation of American history. I've been speaking with Jasmine Hughes, with the New York Times magazine, and we've been talking about New York Times Project 1619 jasmine, thank you very much. Thank you so much for having me. Thanks for listening to San Diego News matters. If you're not already a subscriber, take a minute to become one. You can find San Diego news matters on apple, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts.

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San Diego News Matters

KPBS' daily news podcast covering local politics, education, health, environment, the border and more. New episodes are ready weekday mornings so you can listen on your morning commute.