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$2 Million In Upgrades Coming To Revitalize Seaport Village And More Local News

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The Port of San Diego is making improvements to Seaport Village with the hopes of bringing more people to the bay front destination. Plus, a new report says the Pentagon isn’t doing enough to protect military bases from sea level rise; scientists in Carlsbad are using light-based technology to identify lab-grown diamonds; and two new independent films open for the 4th of July weekend — Midsommar and Ophelia.

Show transcript

Speaker 1: 00:00 It's Friday, July 5th I'm Deb Welsh and you're listening to San Diego news matters from KPBS coming up. See, port village gets a $2 million upgrade infusion and the new report says military basis have struggled to protect themselves from climate change.

Speaker 2: 00:16 What we're looking at right now are some sinkholes that have developed on the seawall that faces the Severn river.

Speaker 1: 00:21 That and more San Diego news stories coming up right after the [inaudible].

Speaker 2: 00:25 Right?

Speaker 3: 00:31 Mm.

Speaker 1: 00:33 Thank you for joining us for San Diego News Matters. I'm Deb Welsh. Seaport village is getting a facelift. KPBS reporter Matt Hoffman says the port of San Diego is making some upgrades with the hope of bringing more people to the bay front destination.

Speaker 2: 00:49 We'll be one of the people in San Diego know is that we're open for business here. Seaport village. This is a great place to come and a great place to be.

Speaker 4: 00:57 Port of San Diego. Commissioner Dan Malcolm says last October at the port assumed ownership of seaport village and found it needed some upgrades and all the port to spending two point $2 million on maintenance, new seating, landscaping, play areas and lighting. The outdoor shopping space has been opened for nearly 40 years and recently has struggled to retain vendors in five to seven years. There are plans to completely redevelop the area,

Speaker 2: 01:20 so for the foreseeable future, until we do the redevelopment of the property, we are going to actually be putting new tenants in. We're going to be keep doing improvements. We're going to make this the world-class venue that it has been in the past so people can come down and enjoy it.

Speaker 4: 01:35 Matt Hoffman, k PBS news

Speaker 1: 01:38 every summer. Neon green or white scum floats on the surface of waterways across California. It's harmful to humans and pants, Capitol Public Radios, Ezra David Romero reports. It's already limiting access to recreation spots.

Speaker 5: 01:53 It's hot and rivers and streams are filling lakes and ponds with nutrients. These are perfect conditions for existing microbes to rapidly multiply, creating harmful algal blooms. Keith Bauma Greggs and runs a state's water board program that tracks the outbreaks. It's interesting and maybe a bit surprising that we do see these blooms even after these big winters and blooms have been found from Shasta to Oroville to Lindo lake near San Diego. Maggie Macias is with the Department of Water Resources. She says one of the worst blooms in the middle of the state at San Louis Reservoir.

Speaker 6: 02:28 There's no swimming, no water contact sports such as just gain due to potential adverse health effects.

Speaker 5: 02:34 Algae can cause symptoms from skin rashes to vomiting and in some cases pets die when exposed in Sacramento. [inaudible] are David Romero.

Speaker 1: 02:42 The new film. Ophelia looks to Shakespeare's hamlet from the perspective of it's supporting female character KPBS film critic Beth lycomato speaks with the director about bringing the young adult novel, Ophelia to the screen as the film opens Ofellian forms that we may think

Speaker 7: 03:00 we know her story and things. She was a tragic figure.

Speaker 8: 03:03 The dial is always a willful goal in front of my heart and spoke my mind and this is high time. I should tell you my story myself,

Speaker 7: 03:16 based on Lisa Klein's young adult novel. Ophelia tells her story with hamlet and the intrigue of the Court as the backdrop director, Claire McCarthy was attracted at telling the story from a female perspective that could attract a younger audience.

Speaker 6: 03:30 I think she's become a kind of iconic figure. So yeah, that was certainly a big attraction to this. It's to work out how to give her currency in a completely different way and to try and understand the dynamics of the hamlet story from a different point of view. From her point of view,

Speaker 7: 03:46 the film, Ophelia has the same appeal is that of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead. Both encourage us to look at something familiar with new eyes to gain new insights. Daisy Ridley is a radio feel, yet she gives us a strong, smart woman bristling at the limitations class and gender place on her. So celebrate your cinematic independence by checking out Ophelia this 4th of July weekend. Beth like Amando KPBS news,

Speaker 1: 04:12 Ophelia opens today at digital gym cinema lab. Grown diamonds are gaining steam in the jewelry marketplace. KPBS science and technology reporter Shelina. Chet Lani talk to Carlsbad scientists who've been trying to track these cheaper stones. Even though lab and natural diamonds are chemically the same purest believe the rock should still be valued differently. That's because natural diamonds are rare. They were formed deep below the earth's surface for millions of years and brought up sometimes by volcanic eruption. Since Dr. James Shrigley, a researcher at the Gemological Institute of America labs in Carlsbad,

Speaker 9: 04:47 these are increasingly available, these lab grown diamonds in the marketplace. Uh, they're increasingly showing up in pieces of jewelry and because they're not visually recognizable, you have to have some additional testing with a device like this or in our laboratory to identify them.

Speaker 1: 05:07 He and other researchers that GIA has been producing reports or putting inscriptions on the stones to indicate where they come from. It's part of a global effort to monitor this growing product. Shelina Chet Lani KPBS news. A new government report says many military bases aren't moving fast enough to protect themselves from the effects of climate change and they aren't getting proper support from the Pentagon. Jay Prize reports for the American Home Front project.

Speaker 10: 05:33 The report comes from the government accountability office. It looked at the sample of 23 installations and found most hadn't used projections of climate change effects such as sea level rise. The report said that planners on bases need more direction from the Pentagon in the reports. Words not assessing risks or using climate projections and installation planning may expose department of defense facilities to greater than damage or degradation as a result of extreme weather or climate related fabrics. For many installations, that kind of damage isn't just off in some distant nebulous future.

Speaker 11: 06:08 Where'd the Farragut fields seawall on the campus of the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.

Speaker 10: 06:12 Commander David McKinney is a spokesman for the academy. Those thrumming diesel motors belonged to three of the special 108 foot long boats. Used to teach naval cadets skills like coastal navigation. Sitting beside a waterway is crucial for the Naval Academy, but that water also has become a threat.

Speaker 11: 06:31 What we're looking at right now are some sinkholes that have developed on the seawall that faces the Severn river. These have developed over time. The seawall has been in place

Speaker 10: 06:40 in 2003 Hurricane Isabelle flooded buildings on campus causing more than $100 million in damage. That was such a big jolt that since then the Naval Academy has taken some of the most aggressive steps of any military installation to protect itself from the rising water. The academy created an advisory Sea level committee and among other things drew up plans to rebuild this seawall higher.

Speaker 11: 07:04 We're going to take into account that water level will most likely rise in the future and build it for about two and a half feet higher than what it's currently constructed with the ability that we'll be able to even add height onto it.

Speaker 10: 07:16 The academy also has designed a new building, not only to be high enough to have would flood damage itself, but also to act as a flood control wall to help protect the campus. Annapolis has about 40 floods a year now up from fewer than half a dozen, just a few decades

Speaker 11: 07:32 go. We encounter what we call a nuisance flooding quite a bit where when tides rise it over floods the road and you just have to deal with it.

Speaker 10: 07:40 Other bases like naval station Norfolk or taking even more elaborate steps. The world's largest naval base has been working closely for years with a host of partners on things like projects to protect key roads in the area and it's been building new structures like barracks and piers higher, but experts agree with the Gao report that the military isn't moving quickly enough. Dod is not adequately prepared for this retired marine brigadier general. Stephen Cheney is chief executive of the American security project, a Washington think tank that's been pressing for a more robust military response to climate change. Cheney knows one of the most threatened bases intimately. He wants commanded Parris Island, South Carolina, the iconic Marine Corps training base for new recruits. It's expected to be exposed to significant flooding in the next few decades and a senior marine commander has said it may need to start building seawalls Paris islands in trouble.

Speaker 10: 08:36 When you've got various sections center consistently flooded combined with catastrophic weather, you can't build a sea wall around that entire base. I mean you're talking miles here. Cheney says at least Parris Island can be moved somewhere safer because it doesn't have to be on the coast. That's not as easy for basis like Camp Lejune were marines trained for landings or deep water ports like Norfolk, your coastlines going to erode, you're going to go underwater. You're going to have to find a way to get around it. He says a big part of the problem is that the Trump administration has been downplaying the threats posed by climate change. Even as three bases are grappling with nearly $10 billion in storm and flood damage in less than a year. It's been difficult to get them to even admit that Glenn, that change changes causing destruction of major bases and interrupting training worldwide. But the Pentagon did agree with the findings and the Gao report among other things had said that it will begin providing basis with better guidance on which sea level rise projections to use in Annapolis, Maryland. This is Jay price reporting.

Speaker 1: 09:38 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. Thanks for listening to San Diego News matters. For more KPBS podcasts, go to

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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.