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Marine Testifies Navy SEAL Did Not Stab Iraq Captive And More Local News

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A Marine testified that a Navy SEAL accused of stabbing and killing an Islamic State captive didn’t do it. Plus, a new housing plan for Clairemont received a warm reception at the Planning Commission Thursday; the state’s new budget will fine cities up to $600,000 per month if they don’t build enough housing; and the Coronado Playhouse takes on a sci-fi spoof.

Show transcript

Speaker 1: 00:00 It's Friday, June 28th I'm Deb Welsh and you're listening to San Diego news matters from KPBS coming up, a marine testifies that a navy seal accused of murder didn't do it and we go inside Audrey two to find out how you bring a carnivorous plants alive on stage. The crowd that more San Diego news stories right after the break.

Speaker 2: 00:29 [inaudible]

Speaker 3: 00:33 thank you for joining us for San Diego News Matters. I'm Deb Welsh, the war crimes trial of seal chief Eddie Gallagher. Continued Thursday KPBS military reporter Steve Walsh was there and says there was another revelation by one of the people who'd been there in Iraq,

Speaker 4: 00:50 marine Raiders, Staff Sergeant Giorgio Carrillo was with the seals in Iraq in 2017 he says he was there when the body of a wounded detainee was brought in. After he died, Carrillo lifted the head in a bandage covering the neck of the detainee came loose and he saw no stab wounds. Two seals testified last week that they saw Gallagher's stabbed the detainee, including medic Cory Scott, who said he actually killed the detainee by closing his breathing tube. Prosecutors ask, why'd he didn't come forward when Gallagher was arrested in 2019 and the Raiders said, I believe in the innocent man had been arrested and I'm afraid of what would happen to me. The defense is supposed to continue its case at least through Friday. Steve Walsh, kpps news

Speaker 3: 01:35 on Thursday, California. Governor Gavin Newsome signed his first date budget capital public radio has been Adler, looks at what's in it.

Speaker 5: 01:43 Newsome asked for so much in his first state budget that he spent nearly two hours discussing it with reporters in January. Just warning you, uh, full disclosure, this is something I really enjoy nearly six months later, he's about to get much of what he wanted. New Preschool slots for income eligible four year olds to start a push toward universal pre-kindergarten expanding med account income eligible immigrants between ages 18 and 26 who are living in California illegally and first in the nation health insurance subsidies for middle class consumers who purchase coverage through the state's affordable care act exchange. There are also several revenue increases despite the state's $21 billion surplus, a state individual mandate penalty. If you can afford health insurance but don't purchase it, a new fee on cell phones and landlines to modernize California's nine one one system and a series of tax law changes that will net the state more than a billion dollars a year at the state capitol. I'm Ben Adler.

Speaker 3: 02:39 Governor Newsom has reached an agreement with democratic legislative leaders on how to incentivize local governments to build more housing as capital pelvic radio's been at or reports. There's a carrot and a really big stick

Speaker 5: 02:52 the deal. Let cities and counties earn bonus points toward winning state housing grants. If they voluntarily adopt ordinances that it easier to plan, approve or construct new project. It could also lead to courts fining cities and counties up to $600,000 each month if they repeatedly refused to comply with certain California housing requirements. The agreement drew praise from San Jose. Mayor Sam Liccardo.

Speaker 6: 03:14 We're at a point in this crisis where we need more than just carrots. A, we need sticks because the only way housing is going to get built in this state is this. Cities and towns allow it to get built.

Speaker 5: 03:25 Democratic Senator Scott Wiener says he backs the agreement because it puts teeth into existing law, but Warren's, it's not nearly enough to solve California's housing prices.

Speaker 7: 03:34 This is not a substitute for legislation to reform zoning and to streamline approvals and to get those three and a half million homes that we need built.

Speaker 5: 03:43 The deal also includes $640 million in emergency homelessness aid with 275 million for the state's 13 largest cities. It's expected to pass the legislature next week in the face of opposition from some cities, counties, and state lawmakers at the state capitol. I'm Ben Adler.

Speaker 8: 04:00 Most San Diego residents should have received earthquake alert on their cell phones. Yesterday morning, kpps science and technology reporter Shalina Celani caught up with some people whose phones buzzed with the shake alert at the San Diego State University campus. A group of high schoolers are gathered for a summer camp. They're about to get a sheik alert, earthquake warning on their phones. For the record. I told them they'd receive it, but Alex Kennedy, the groups, youth coach says he normally wouldn't have looked at it. He's from out of town and not used to earth

Speaker 9: 04:34 quakes. If it says it's an earthquake, I'm going to be a little skeptical. Probably text some friends. I don't really read it to be honest with you though. Texting wouldn't be an option for Kennedy. He'd only have seconds to react after getting a shake alert. You get a lot of spam and a lot of noise and stuff coming from your phone in the first place. I personally would do more of like a giant siren.

Speaker 8: 04:52 Another campus visitor, Ray Johnson, who's here with a high school group says he liked the alert

Speaker 9: 04:57 and was just happy he got any notification. I don't think there's like one way that is the best, but I think multiple ways is the best. So the phone is an option for sure. California started developing shade color

Speaker 8: 05:09 back in 2016 and San Diego is the second place to state as tested it out and now it's collecting data to see what potential drawbacks the system could have. Shelina Celani KPBS news San Diego city planners are looking at Claremont to help with the city's housing shortage. KPBS Metro reporter Andrew Bowen says on Thursday they held a workshop on boosting density in the area. Much of Claremont is restricted to single family homes, but its proximity to job centers and a future trolley line have put it in the sites of city planners. They told the San Diego Planning Commission how they plan to rezone parts of the neighborhood and they've tasked the volunteer community planning group with deciding where to permit 5,000 additional homes. Planning Group members, Susan Morgan, Ian says they've agreed to that much but more. We did,

Speaker 10: 05:58 um, move from the point of a unanimous vote to go up to 5,000 units and all of you who vote on things now that it's very, very difficult to come up with anything unanimous

Speaker 11: 06:10 other residents told the commission. Claremont shouldn't take on much of any new density city planners hope to finalize their proposal for the neighborhood by the fall. Andrew Bowen KPBS

Speaker 3: 06:20 the news, the town of needles, California population 5,000 has declared itself a second amendment sanctuary city. The move comes in response to a new state law taking effect Monday, requiring background checks for ammunition purchases. The California reports, Matt Gillam has more situations

Speaker 12: 06:38 along the Colorado River. The Rural California town of needles lies near the border of Arizona and Nevada, but local officials say would be visitors from those nearby states are steering clear. Do District California gun laws. The Mojave desert community is now asking state lawmakers for an exemption that would allow out of state licensed gun owners to carry concealed weapons in California. As it stands, California doesn't recognize permits from other states or issue them to non-residents California gun laws also mandate ammunition. Can only be purchased in state and in person, meaning needles. Residents have to drive long distances to cities like Barstow to buy bullets instead of nearby Arizona before needles gets the workarounds it wants. Many things would have to happen at the county and state level. Although the sanctuary city campaign is popular with locals, it's unclear how California officials are taking it. For the California report, I met Gillam in Los Angeles.

Speaker 3: 07:30 Districts with elections could lead to a new crop of candidates across San Diego County next year. The change in how council members are elected is leading to a new push to draft candidates, especially from minority communities. In part two of our series KPBS investigative reporter Claire Tresor visits one city where that's happening,

Speaker 13: 07:50 it's early evening on the busy main street in El Cahone and a group of men are sitting around playing checkers and cards in a Middle Eastern restaurant in a small storage room behind the restaurant. A group is gathered, but they're not playing games. They spread bus masks out on the table and speak in Arabic about what they want to see in the city's climate action plan. Mohammed trauma is running the meeting. He says the switch to district elections helped spur the Middle Eastern community to get involved in the districting process.

Speaker 11: 08:23 It was just like an achievement for us to from community that is not involved to a community that is actually involve and compete.

Speaker 13: 08:31 District elections are meant to increase diversity on city councils by allowing minority communities to elect someone from their neighborhood. Now Tuama and others are preparing for the November, 2020 election. That's when his district, which contains a big chunk of the Middle Eastern community, we'll get to vote on its first council member.

Speaker 11: 08:52 So so far we're welcoming to anyone who even if not from our community, but someone who cares.

Speaker 13: 08:57 Alcohol is one of five local cities that have switched to district elections but have not seen a boost in diversity on their city councils, but it may be too soon to make that call. That's because in all five of those cities, the first district election was only last year. They may need more time and more elections to diversify and all five will have their next chance. In 2020 in El Cahone. Tuama says his community is still looking.

Speaker 11: 09:27 We have someone, but we're trying to see if that person can be more involved because we don't really thought only about someone from our community, but we not so need someone who's really knowledgeable.

Speaker 13: 09:40 If their candidate is a Democrat, they may have some help.

Speaker 14: 09:44 It's a game changer in, in some, in many of the smaller cities,

Speaker 13: 09:47 will Rodriguez Kennedy is chair of the San Diego County Democratic Party. He says, district elections not only increased diversity, they also largely help Democrats

Speaker 14: 09:58 moving to district elections is more representative. It also means that communities of color and other marginalized communities will have more of a vote share in terms of their districts. Um, which is obviously better for everyone, but also better for the Democratic Party.

Speaker 13: 10:12 Although all local city council seats are nonpartisan. Rodriguez Kennedy says in reality it doesn't actually play out that way. And part of the Democratic Party's strategy, we'll be focusing on these smaller cities in the next election that he hopes will gain Democrats more seats on the local transit agency. SANDAG,

Speaker 14: 10:33 which means we need to start paying attention and investing in smaller cities in the north and the east.

Speaker 13: 10:39 Do Minority voters always vote as a block? That assumption is often true though. Not always. According to Zoltan [inaudible] a political science professor at UC San Diego,

Speaker 15: 10:51 African Americans are in many ways the the most polarized voting blocks, so they tend to vote overwhelmingly liberal democratic. Um, whereas whites tend to vote more Republican and Conservative

Speaker 13: 11:03 and he adds, if maps are drawn where minorities are too concentrated in one or two districts, it may actually limit the chance to elect even more diverse councils.

Speaker 15: 11:14 Essentially those districts will be the overwhelmingly liberal districts and then you might actually elect more conservative Republicans. Yeah,

Speaker 13: 11:21 but in El Cahone Mohammad trauma's focus is getting just one person from his community elected. He says there are some projects he wants to see tackled

Speaker 11: 11:31 the roundabouts back home. We all have roundabouts because it keep cars moving. It was come complicated for local community to accept roundabouts because they never drove in in our end about, so we actually had to show a video of how roundabout works.

Speaker 13: 11:47 He says, if they had a council person from the Middle East, they wouldn't have to explain that person would

Speaker 8: 11:54 just understand what they're talking about. Claire Trag, Sir KPBS News, little shop of horrors, began life as a Roger Corman B movie in 1960 grew into a stage musical in the 80s and has now sat down Tipperary roots at new village arts theater. KPBS arts reporter Beth luck Amando goes behind the scenes to find out how you bring a carnivorous plant life. A large boldly colored pod has attached itself to the set at new village arts theater. This is my spaceship. Let's just the Pod, the thing that brought me here to this planet and I grew inside of it and now I'm finally out out and Ravenous Ebony Muse takes over the stage as the carnivorous plant. Adri two in the musical little shop of horrors. This is the mouth right here, so whenever I eat anybody, I grab them, bring them in, pod closes and they're gone. Usually Adri to the mutant plant, raised by the befuddled shop clerk, Seymour and named after. The girl he loves is a puppetry rig voiced by a male actor, but new village arts director, a Knox had a vision of Audrey too as an actress singing on stage. Ebony has just this powerhouse voice shakes the rafters every time she sings. [inaudible].

Speaker 8: 13:19 We are having fun with some of the expectations that were challenging with this show, but it's still very much little shot. It just feels and looks different. Bringing Audrey two to vivid life involved a team of artists so that costume, puppetry, and performance could all combine to create a space queen hell bent on world domination on human at a time. Amanda Quimby designed Audrey Tooth, extravagant Vegas showgirl style costume.

Speaker 16: 13:47 I went and did a lot of research on carnivorous plants like we've got a little bit of a Venus fly trap kind of effect going on here. Things like pitcher plants or sun do plants, just all the things that eat insects in the wild. Trying to incorporate the plant elements into the space queen idea.

Speaker 8: 14:00 The costume helps muse dig deep into her inner villain. Well, the cave makes me feel fabulous because Adri too is all about being big and unnecessary and I hit people in the face with the Cape so it's all about this one right here. This is my favorite part. We wanted her to take over the stage again, Amanda Quiver

Speaker 16: 14:21 and so that as she opens up and as the play continues on, more and more of her just attaches itself. I love the arm hand sort of things coming over the cash register.

Speaker 8: 14:29 Madison Mellon worked on the puppets that included a baby Adri too that will's a teenage one that wrestles with Seymour and then the giant Pod,

Speaker 16: 14:37 like Amanda was saying, I did a lot of visual research into like the different sort of colors and patterns on current diverse plants, different types of toxic animals, things like that. So it a really fun challenge like coming up with this completely different design in terms of the way it looks and how it operates from really any version of the plant that I've seen before.

Speaker 8: 15:02 Audrey too soon lures the onstage chorus called the urchins into the pod to become her minions. The urgents are end up being a part of the plant and they become like more and more throughout the show. You see how they become a part of me and how I turned them. So yeah, much of the design and spirit of this production comes from Knox's love of B horror movies like plan nine from outer space.

Speaker 17: 15:27 I really wanted to pay tribute to those old B movies, which are at the original little shop was a B movie. You see the most earnest acting and the most earnest design and desires in those old B movies. Cause people are trying their hardest and it's very authentic. And to me, even as we were embracing that B movie, that authenticity, that earnestness, that heart was always so important. And so even as she emerges in this Vegasy kind of can't be draggy show stopping moment. The drives behind them were really important for us, that it was all very rooted in in real desires and real needs and real wants.

Speaker 8: 16:06 New village arts, or it's up an audaciously, inventive little shop of horrors with Ebony music, rooting Audrey too, from being a mere potted plant to devouring the entire stage, if not the world. We have two really, really good destinies in the show. So it's your, and I love it. Spoiler alert. So coming to an alien invasion has never been this much fun. Beth, like Amando KPBS news.

Speaker 2: 16:37 [inaudible]

Speaker 8: 16:38 thanks for listening to San Diego News Matters. For more KPBS podcasts, go to kpbs.org/podcasts

Speaker 2: 16:47 no. [inaudible]

Speaker 18: 17:12 [inaudible] yeah.

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