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San Diego, SDSU Inch Closer To SDCCU Stadium Site Deal And More Local News

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San Diego State University is one step closer to purchasing the city-owned stadium property in Mission Valley. The San Diego City Council has unanimously voted to direct the city's negotiating team to proceed with SDSU’s $86.2 million offer. So what’s next? Plus, hear part two of KPBS’ investigation into the Humane Society’s practice of releasing stray cats back to the streets. The controversy continues as environmentalists say outdoor cats are bad for the environment, as cat lovers say the alternative — euthanasia — is not acceptable. And, giving money to people to keep them from becoming homeless. That's the idea behind a new program being floated by county Supervisor Nathan Fletcher, who says the program could cover more than just rent.

Show transcript

Speaker 1: 00:01 It's Tuesday, November 19th I'm Deb Welsh and you are listening to San Diego news matters from KPPs coming up, San Diego and SDSU inch closer to a stadium site deal in mission Valley and some say outdoor cats are bad for the environment. They spread disease and kill birds. You know those cats don't deserve to die just because they were born outdoors and aren't social with humans like cat love. Say the alternative isn't fair. That more coming up right after the break. Thank you for joining us for San Diego news matters. I'm Deb Welch, San Diego state university has one step closer to purchasing the city owned stadium property in mission Valley. KPBS Metro reporter Andrew Bowen says the city council gave feedback on the university's latest offer.

Speaker 2: 00:50 SDSU has agreed to purchase the property for 86 point $2 million. That's quite a bit more than their first offer, but it also includes some new conditions. The university wants the city council to vote on a final purchase and sale agreement in January so it can stick to its timeline of getting a new stadium constructed in time for the 2022 football season. City attorney Mara Elliott told the council that timeline may not be realistic.

Speaker 3: 01:17 We must take the time we need to get the deal done right and to minimize the risk of major problems surfacing in the future. We will draft the PSA as expeditiously as possible, but we will not agree to do it under unrealistic timelines. That would be irresponsible.

Speaker 2: 01:32 The city attorney's office is expected to give an update on its progress to our drafting. A final deal next month. Andrew Bowen. KPBS news

Speaker 1: 01:39 five people are dead after a man killed his wife and three children before killing himself in paradise Hills. On Saturday. KPBS reporter Priya Sri there has more Saturday morning police, say 31 year old Jose Valdivia shot and killed his 29 year old wife and three of his sons ages three five and 11 the fourth son, a nine year old underwent emergency surgery and remains hospitalized in critical condition court documents show the couple was in the middle of a divorce. The wife had secured a restraining order just one day before the shooting. Jessica yadda is the outgoing president of the San Diego domestic violence council.

Speaker 2: 02:18 When a survivor's preparing to leave a relationship or has just left a relationship, it is in fact the most dangerous time in the relationship.

Speaker 1: 02:25 Police say it's unclear whether the husband had received a copy of the restraining order prior to the shooting Prius for either K PBS news giving money to people to keep them from becoming homeless. That's the idea behind a new program being floated by a County supervisor, KPBS reporter Matt Hoffman explains the program which could cover more than just rent.

Speaker 2: 02:47 When you confront a problem as, as vaccine is the homeless one, it requires you to do different things. It requires you to be innovative for County supervisor Nathan Fletcher, that means launching a subsidy called a flex

Speaker 4: 03:00 pool.

Speaker 2: 03:00 Maybe there's an apartment available to someone and it's $800 a month, but all they can afford is 500 and we can bridge that gap for a period of time.

Speaker 4: 03:07 The flex and flexible means the money would be flexible. It can be used countywide and for a variety of reasons. The flex pool model is one used by nonprofits including Jewish family service. They operate three city funded safe parking lots where people can sleep overnight. In those contracts there's dollars to operate the lots, but there really aren't the dollars, uh, to provide, uh, kind of the what ifs. JFS CEO Michael Hopkins says those what ifs include things like repairs, rent, storage costs or other bills. The other part of the flex pool is the pool, AKA the money. The County has two point $5 million that's eligible for this. And other funds could come from grants, businesses or private donors. Supervisors are voting on moving the idea forward today, Matt Hoffman, K PBS news.

Speaker 1: 03:47 The San Diego humane society is rolling out a controversial new program. Instead of keeping cats in shelters to either be adopted or euthanized, they're releasing them back to the streets. In part two of her series, KPBS investigative reporter Claire tracer looks at what impact those cats have on the environment.

Speaker 5: 04:08 Jim Pew peers into the marshy grass at the Formosa slew in point Loma.

Speaker 2: 04:12 It's too far away. There's a super cool bird on that wooden stump over there

Speaker 5: 04:18 with his cargo pants and wide brimmed hat. He looks like exactly what you'd expect from the conservation chair at the San Diego Audubon society. I think it's a Phoebe. I'm sure there were birds everywhere in the Marsh, but as we talked, we also saw something else. Oh, the cat sitting and watching the birds was one of many. We saw in the slew there a big problem. Pew says,

Speaker 2: 04:47 you know, a typical house cat, I guess catches avert a week.

Speaker 5: 04:51 A 2013 study found outdoor cats are the biggest human caused threat to wildlife and kill between one and 4 billion birds each year in the U S despite these sobering facts, the San Diego humane society has allowed more than 1200 captured stray and feral cats to be released back into the wild since it took over animal control services for San Diego and several other cities in the County. It's a controversial practice that is angered many environmentalist and animal rights advocates and led to legal challenges in Los Angeles and orange counties.

Speaker 2: 05:30 We should be treating cats like we treat dogs.

Speaker 5: 05:32 Grant Sizemore is director of invasive species programs at the American bird Conservancy. He says, all cats should always be contained.

Speaker 2: 05:42 We don't allow packs of wild dogs to run around this country anymore and we shouldn't allow hoards of cats to run around our parks or neighborhoods either. Sizemore

Speaker 5: 05:49 and others. Point to research showing cats have caused the extinction of up to 63 species. They say euthanizing feral cats, maybe the only way to serve the greater good.

Speaker 3: 06:02 50% of the cats in the United States are community cats who live outside

Speaker 5: 06:06 such a policy would be completely unacceptable to people like Hannah Shah who is known as kitten lady.

Speaker 3: 06:13 You know, those cats don't deserve to die just because they were born outdoors and aren't social with humans.

Speaker 5: 06:18 Her nonprofit, orphan kitten club traps feral cats and takes them to be spayed or neutered, then lets them go in a program called trap, neuter, release or TNR.

Speaker 3: 06:30 DNR helps everyone. It helps the community. It helps the animal shelter. It helps kittens, you know, whether you like cats or don't like cat. TNR is for you.

Speaker 5: 06:39 The point is to gradually decrease the feral cat population by preventing more cats from being born outdoors, but that doesn't swiftly deal with the problem the way bird lovers would like Gary Weitzman, the CEO of the San Diego humane society is familiar with the arguments for why cats shouldn't be outside, but he says cats aren't actually the biggest threat to birds and other wild animals and if cats do kill, that's part of nature.

Speaker 6: 07:09 You know, I wish the nature was a little bit of a kinder, um, guardian of our planet than it sometimes is, but the fact of the matter is we're committed to the welfare of both wild animals and domestic animals and I don't think that those have to be mutually exclusive.

Speaker 5: 07:24 And once they do wake up, we put them immediately into their trap. Meanwhile, Adri Stratton continues doing her work. She runs the feral cat coalition, which operates a small spay and neuter clinic in the college area because once they wake up, they're usually awake. Stratton stands over a table covered with sleeping cats at the moment. It's hard to see them as fierce hunters causing extinction of birds. They are cuddled up under blankets, but are actually Wildcats sleeping off their anesthesia. This is the only time they're getting pet and if they knew what was happening, they wouldn't be happy about it. She hopes to expand her clinic right now, the work she does only makes a small dent in San Diego's stray cat population. Claire Tyga, sir KPBS news, 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.