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Control Burns Aim To Reforest San Diego's Mountains And More Local News

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Setting fires to save the forest? That’s what the California State Parks department is doing in San Diego’s eastern mountains as part of a reforestation project. Hear why. Plus, Louisa May Alcott's novel “Little Women” has been adapted to the screen many times and now it gets a new one this year from Greta Gerwig. KPBS film critic Beth Accomando has this review. And, pulling a story from our archives, hear how difficult it is for a group of students from the City Heights neighborhood to make a trip to Pacific Beach.

Speaker 1: 00:00 It's Thursday, December 26th I'm Andrew Bowen and you're listening to San Diego news matters from KPBS coming up. The state parks department has been setting fires in San Diego's Eastern mountains to try and bring back the forest and from our archive. A group of kids from the city Heights area makes a trip to Pacific beach before school starts and it was my first time being on the bus ever, so I was very nervous. That and more San Diego news stories coming up after the break. Stay with us before this week's rains, the state parks department has been setting fires in San Diego's mountain areas to try and bring back the forest KPBS editor Tom fudge has more on a reforestation plan in Kuya maca Rancho state park

Speaker 2: 00:46 in 2003 the Cedar fire black and 10,000 acres of forest in Quia Maka park. Last week, members of the California parks department did a controlled burn to help remove an abundance of underbrush and make way to plant native conifer seedlings that will replace the forest, lost a wildfire. Lisa Gonzalez Kramer is an environmental specialist with the parks department.

Speaker 1: 01:10 Our reforestation project identifies the areas that used to be forested and were replanting about a quarter of the 10,000 acres that we'd lost.

Speaker 2: 01:20 She says the forest needs occasional fires to eliminate the fuels that build up on the forest floor, which can result in destructive blazes like the Cedar fire. Tom fudge came. PBS news,

Speaker 1: 01:32 selling cosmetics like shampoo or deodorant that were tested on animals will be illegal in the new year in California. Capitol public radios. Ezra David Romero reports as part of our series on new California laws taking effect in 2020 in 2018 celebrities like Alicia Silverstone joined forces with animal rights groups to help pass the animal cruelty free cosmetics act. Hey California, we want to tell you about a once in a generation opportunity that could help save the lives of millions of animals. It passed was signed and goes into effect January one it bands a sale of cosmetic products with ingredients that were tested on animals on or after the first of the year. Judy men CUSO is with social compassion in legislation.

Speaker 3: 02:16 Existing cosmetics will be grandfathered in. New products coming to market shall be cruelty free.

Speaker 1: 02:25 She says California was the first state to create a law like this and says other States like New York have followed suit in Sacramento. I measure David Romero. Congress passed a new budget last week and federal tax incentives for climate friendly purchases are on their way out. KPBS is Donald Bloodworth has more. Congress passed a one point $3 trillion spending package Tuesday. The budget allocates funds for new programs like space force and gun research, but it fails to extend federal rebate incentives for three green products, solar panels, electric and fuel efficient energy storage. That's going to hurt States with ambitious climate mitigation goals like California. Miro COPEC is an SDSU marketing lecturer and cofounder of bottom line marketing. He told KPBS evening edition what solar incentives will look like going forward.

Speaker 4: 03:16 Right now you get a 30% federal tax credit with your solar purchase through the end of this year. Next year it drops to 26% the year after that to 22% and then afterward it just stops. So if you're going to get solar on your house, you got to do it and you should do it very quickly.

Speaker 1: 03:31 Donald Bloodworth key PBS news, Louisa may Alcott novel little women has been adapted to this screen many times and it gets a new one this year from Greta Gerwig KPBS film critic Beth hock Amando has this review. Greta Gerwig little women is a well made and brightly performed film, but I can't stand it. It's just not my cup of tea. I never liked this beloved classic, maybe because the character named after me spent the whole time sick and trying not to bother anyone. The characters in Louisa may all cots book drip with goodness and self sacrifice and I have to confess it bores me as one might expect from Gerwig. She revisits the 150 year old novel with a feminist eye.

Speaker 5: 04:13 Women, they have minds and they have souls as well as just hearts and they've got ambition and they've got talent as well as just beauty. And I'm so sick of people saying that that love is just all a woman is fit for. I'm so sick of it.

Speaker 1: 04:32 Yeah. And I kinda got sick of the films relentlessly. Heartwarming tone. Call me Scrooge. I love Gerwig lady bird where the characters were real and flawed, but little women has too much homespun sweetness for my taste. I felt much more at home with the nastiness of uncut gems that also opened this week. But for all of you who loved the novel, I'm sure you'll embrace the film. Beth like Amando KPBS news. After days of rainfall this week, snow has come to San Diego. KPBS science and technology reporter Shalina chat, Lonnie found out where people are likely to see the snowflakes.

Speaker 6: 05:06 Hold on. I try and a lot are meteorologists at the national weather service in San Diego are busy answering calls from people asking about the cold winter weather. So snowy roads in the mouth, meteorologist James Brotherton says most of the snow from Wednesday night and Thursday will reside in the mountains.

Speaker 4: 05:23 The closest snow to San Diego. BNR normal snowy spots like julienne Mount Laguna, but closer to the city. Uh, there's not really not looking at a big potential for the super low elevation. Snow.

Speaker 6: 05:38 Brotherton says the snow probably won't stay for long. Temperatures are going to increase this weekend, but around new year's he says there will probably be another winter storm. Shalina Chet Lani KPBS news

Speaker 1: 05:50 at the end of summer. Countless kids across San Diego County take drips to the beach before school starts this year. One group of kids, a couple of hours in the sand and surf was extra special in a story from our archives. KPBS reporter, Prius breather explains why

Speaker 7: 06:05 it's around 1:00 PM on an August afternoon and dozens of kids from the city Heights area have gathered at the El Cahone Boulevard transit Plaza. They're going somewhere. They rarely go to the beach.

Speaker 5: 06:17 I'm look looking forward to playing volleyball and swimming.

Speaker 7: 06:20 11 year old, Tina Lou has only been to the beach three times even though she's lived in San Diego her whole life.

Speaker 5: 06:27 Yes, it's inconvenient for my family and um, I have a lot of activities that I do.

Speaker 7: 06:33 This will be the first time she makes the 11 mile Trek from her city Heights home by public transportation. It will take two buses in about an hour and a half to get to Pacific beach. 14 the kids board, the two 35 North bus. Approximately 15 minutes later, they arrive at a bus stop in Kearny Mesa. After walking across the street, the group waits 20 minutes for the 27 bus to Pacific beach scheduled to depart at one 51

Speaker 5: 07:07 my favorite moment thrown at me.

Speaker 7: 07:11 They make some introductions to pass the time, the next bus rolls in, but it's having a few maintenance problems. Wait, continues about 20 minutes after it was supposed to leave the bus finally heads out 3:00 PM almost two hours since their journey began. They've,

Speaker 5: 07:38 we went here by bus. It was my first time going here, my bus, eh, it was, and it was my first time being on the bus ever. So it was very like, I was very nervous. It was like a little bit too cramped. But um, I think it was, it was really good though.

Speaker 7: 08:00 10 year old Allen [inaudible] and most of his friends had few complaints despite the long commute. But sitting on a crimped bus for two hours isn't acceptable. Says Randy tourist van black. He's with the city Heights community development corporation. They organize the trip to highlight what they say are inequities in ocean accessibility for minorities and low income people in San Diego.

Speaker 8: 08:25 There's a lot of folks in our neighborhood and in city Heights but want to be able to go to the beach, but because of different access issues, affordability, it's not really a feasible

Speaker 7: 08:36 according to sandbags, regional plan, minorities and low income people in San Diego are more likely to live farther than 15 minutes away from the beach by both car and public transportation. MTS spokesperson, Rob Shupe says that there are a lot of considerations that go into planning bus routes and their,

Speaker 9: 08:56 you know San Diego is a spread out community. We have over a hundred buses that a hundred bus routes. We've got 800 vehicles out there including over a hundred trolleys. Some it's well-designed but, but San Diego is a challenging area to get people where they want to do go. We people live here and are working way over here and vice versa.

Speaker 7: 09:18 Back at the beach. The kids are enjoying their time in the sun and the water. They plan to stay for about an hour before they grab some tacos and board the bus again to make the trip home. Jonathan Burgos is one of the chaperones for the kids. He says, all kids should have a chance to take advantage of the beach,

Speaker 10: 09:37 to, to be here, to watch a sunset, to even like have a smores on the beach. You know, those are things that sometimes I took for granted. You know, growing up, a lot of times when the students have that, it's just, it's such a game changer. Like to know that they hadn't had that in their lives and like, I just want that and we should want that. And I think everyone should have that opportunity.

Speaker 7: 09:58 11 year old, Randy Thorne says the beach is his happy place

Speaker 5: 10:02 when I'm at the beach. I can explore, like learn more new things. Prius

Speaker 7: 10:09 assure, either K PBS news.

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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.