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ICE Tries To Extend Private Detention Contracts Before State Law Ban And More Local News

Earlier this year, California legislators banned the use of private detention facilities in the state. But Immigration and Customs Enforcement is trying to extend contracts for four facilities, including one in Otay Mesa, before the law takes effect. Plus, two more flu deaths have been reported in San Diego County, bringing the season’s confirmed death toll to five. And, Mission Valley will be a bit less congested from now on thanks to a $40 million construction project that adds lanes to the Friars Road and state Route 163 interchange. Also ahead on today’s podcast, a one-on-one interview with City Council President Georgette Gomez. She’s now running for Congress, so what does that mean for District 9 and City Heights?

Show transcript

Speaker 1: 00:00 It's Friday, November 29th I'm Deb Welsh and you're listening to San Diego news matters from KPBS coming up. Immigration and customs enforcement tries to extend private detention contracts before a new state law takes effect and an interview with city council president Georgette Gomez, who's now running for Congress. That and more San Diego news stories coming up right after the break. Earlier this year, California legislators ban the use of private detention facilities in the state before the new law takes effect on January 1st however, the federal government is trying to extend the use of these prisons. KPBS reporter max [inaudible] Adler explains how

Speaker 2: 00:49 AB 32 which was signed into law by governor Newsome and October bans the use of private prisons in California. This includes four for profit detention centers used by immigration and customs enforcement, including one in OTI Mesa. The law takes effect on January 1st and doesn't immediately shut down these detention centers. Instead, it says the current contract the companies have with the federal government can't be extended, but ice is trying to extend the contracts of these facilities this year before the bill goes into effect Bay area. Assemblyman. Rob Bonta sponsored the bill. He says, ice is circumventing federal law by rushing the contracts into extensions.

Speaker 3: 01:29 They are handing these contracts billions of dollars over the potentially a period of 15 years, uh, spending American tax dollars, uh, without a process, without a betting, without a transparency, without an openness. This is a fake, uh, bid process.

Speaker 2: 01:44 I said earlier, told KPBS that it didn't believe AB 32 would have any impact on its operations. Max Riverland Adler K PVS news,

Speaker 1: 01:53 the Navy's driving the review of the three remaining seals involved in the Gallagher case. KPBS military reporter Steve Walsh says questions still remain over the future of reforms for the Navy's elite sailors.

Speaker 4: 02:06 Late Wednesday, the Navy announced that Edward Gallagher's leadership would keep their Tritons the symbol of the seals. Janessa gold Beck is a Marine, a veteran with a Truman national security project. She says, taking this case out of the hands of commanders sends a message, especially to those who would come forward in the future. Review board of seals making a decision about this case is the appropriate next step. And it's disappointing to see the president undermine his leadership. The action flies in the face of efforts by the San Diego base Naval special warfare rear Admiral Collin green press for the review boards. As part of an effort to restore good order and discipline, the acting secretary's decision brings to an end the formal process for Gallagher Lieutenant Jacob Portier, Lieutenant commander Robert Brice and Lieutenant Thomas McNeil, who all faced being ousted from the seals. Steve Walsh KPBS news,

Speaker 1: 02:55 it's black Friday and the crazy holiday shopping traffic could be a little less congested in mission Valley. At least. KPBS reporter Prius Schreder explains

Speaker 5: 03:05 Caltrans in the city of San Diego announced that the construction on state route one 63 and the friars road interchange is complete. The $40 million project was funded by the city and includes the widening of friars road and the friars road overpass from three lanes to four. An additional southbound lane was also added on Frazy road between Marie Canyon road and friars road. Gustavo Delonda from Caltrans says the changes will help with congestion in the area

Speaker 6: 03:33 as a region continues to to grow. So do the demands on our infrastructure and we have to design, build and operate an integrated system that provides safe pathways for all modes of transportation.

Speaker 5: 03:48 Prius, Sri, either KPBS news

Speaker 1: 03:50 in city Heights, people are using the ghetto dun app to request improvements. They're reporting everything from graffiti to illegal trash dumping KPBS speak city Heights reporter Ebony Monet took a tour of the neighborhood with a community advocate who's spreading the word about the app.

Speaker 7: 04:09 Maria Cortez lead the way around the business district in city Heights, a community she's lived in for 40 years.

Speaker 8: 04:15 We were known for the drugs for gangs, shootings. We were in, we went on for unsavory things here, but we wanted to prove that city Heights can be something.

Speaker 7: 04:29 So far this year, the city has received more than 21,000 reports from city Heights. Second to only downtown Cortez says it's about community pride.

Speaker 8: 04:38 As long as everybody uses that app and we see that it gets done. That's what it's all about. Ebony Monet,

Speaker 1: 04:47 K PBS news. There've been two more deaths in San Diego County due to influenza related complications. KPBS has Sally Hickson says that brings this flu seasons confirmed death toll to five health officials say a 78 year old North County woman died earlier this month. A 70 year old woman also died in July, but both deaths were only reported last week. According to the County health and human services agency, there was no record of either woman having a flu shot. Both however, had additional medical issues. The agency also reports that 122 flu cases were confirmed throughout the County last week. Bringing this season's total to 731 cases to date. That's twice as many as confirmed at this time. Last flu season, the flu vaccine is recommended for everyone six months and older. It's available at doctor's offices, retail pharmacies, and the county's public health centers. Sally Hickson, KPBS news, San Diego zoo, Safari park officials are keeping a close eye on the 100 Southern white rhino born at the park KPBS environment reporter Eric Anderson says the calf is part of an important recovery effort. The rhino calf

Speaker 9: 05:58 is curious, playful, and energetic. The youngster doesn't stray far from mother Amani, but it loves to push around the stuff on the floor of the barn. It calls home keeper. Johnny Kabira says Amani is a doting but relaxed mom

Speaker 7: 06:12 for now with these chili temperatures, especially overnight, they're spending a lot of time in the barn. We did get both of them out into the yard yesterday and we saw some nice calm behaviors. We saw the calf running around and Amani feeling comfortable and confident just watching her run around.

Speaker 9: 06:27 Zoo officials hope the Southern whites will eventually be surrogates for Northern white rhinos. Only two of them remain alive. Eric Anderson KPBS news

Speaker 7: 06:37 from environmental advocate to San Diego city council president. Now Georgette Gomez is running to replace Congresswoman Susan Davis. So what does that mean for district nine which includes city Heights where some residents say their community is often overlooked. KPBS speaks to the Heights reporter Ebony Monet sat down with Gomez to get her take. We caught up with council president, Georgette Gomez at cafe ina cafe, a new specialty coffee shop on 46th street in city Heights. Your time, of course Gomez has represented city Heights for three years and now she's running for Congress. How did that,

Speaker 10: 07:12 that decision come about? Was it always the plan? No, it wasn't part of the plan. [inaudible] to me politics was never part of the plan. It's about, for me the plan is addressing injustices in our society. It's changing systems that are um, that impact people's quality of life. That is part of the plan for me. How I do that is different ways.

Speaker 7: 07:35 In 2016 while transitioning from a long time community organizer to a San Diego city council member, Gomez often spoke critically about special interest. What have you learned about getting things done and, um, have your, has your mind softened a bit to the idea of the, those special interest downtown and have you learned anything about why things may take time or how Oh,

Speaker 10: 07:58 yes, no, I've learned a lot. Um, since uh, coming in, I, I, I had a perspective, um, that really has shifted completely. Now I have a much better understanding of what the council does versus what the mayor, um, the council is there to set up policies, the mayor's there to implement the policies that the council is adopting. Mind you, um, I didn't feel that we were introducing a lot of policies. So now as the council precedent, I'm intentionally trying to introduce policies. I'm updating the affordable housing Ornez yes, it got me towed.

Speaker 7: 08:37 Mayor Kevin Faulkner recently vetoed Gomez is inclusionary housing update that would have increased fines. Developers have to pay when their projects don't meet. The city's affordable housing guidelines

Speaker 10: 08:48 to the design itself is to slow down to vehicle still

Speaker 7: 08:52 as we walked around the neighborhood. Gomez says she's not giving up on her agenda, which also includes attracting business to the district. Challenge that we have is that a lot of the uh, new businesses that one of them

Speaker 10: 09:06 calm because it is an older community. We have infrastructure deficits.

Speaker 7: 09:11 Gomez says her office is making progress

Speaker 10: 09:13 working with price charities they're trying to do, they're, they're in the midst of working on doing an affordable housing development that is for seniors. But also for multifamily

Speaker 7: 09:23 Gomez has released a housing action plan that she says addresses the community's lack of affordable housing back inside. I questioned if she believes her district nine replacement can build on this momentum.

Speaker 10: 09:35 Do you believe that you started a momentum that will continue with or without you in this leadership position? Oh, most definitely. I mean what I've learned at city hall is that once you get the projects going, there's, there's not going to be an attorney back from the city. So I feel very confident that everything that we've started this, this during this period of my time being in council will see the light. What do you say to people who feel that they're, they're losing that support, um, by you running for the 53rd and that they're going to just be left behind? D I know that the residents in district nine are smart and they're going to elect that person. So it's, it shouldn't be just based on me cause I'm going to get termed out whether I leave now or in four additional years, I'll be done. So for me, my commitment to this community doesn't change. It doesn't matter where I'm at. I carry the community. I'm going to continue fighting for the community. This is why I got into government.

Speaker 7: 10:35 To get the job, Gomez would need to beat out a crowded field of Democrats who've also entered the race for the 53rd which does not include most of city Heights. Ebony Monet, KPBS news, the antiestablishment roots of music genres like hip hop or rock have fertile soil in indigenous cultures. As music has become a way to preserve languages and culture while fighting centuries of colonialism from KJ [inaudible] Mexico city Bureau Rodrigo's Servantez reports in the second episode of our Fronterra series, the Mark of the King two doors

Speaker 11: 11:11 [inaudible] country music festival in Mexico city. A hip hop band teaches the audience some native American words to sync the combination of an example. It's snotty nose reskins first nations duel from British Columbia, Canada. Young drives is one of the MCs. He says they grew up listening to rappers like Tupac and notorious. It's dubbed

Speaker 12: 11:54 indigenous hip hop but it's hip hop in general cause we're talking about people that are oppressed for hundreds of years. For him, hip hop is a vehicle to bring light to the problems. Their communities still face that through a European colonization like land stealing, oppression, racism and environmental damages. If we weren't colonized like this world would be fine. I think tribe says changing Columbus day to indigenous people's day is just a little piece of bread thrown to the indigenous communities in the us and Canada. They talk about truth and reconciliation. We're telling our truths they need to hear it and then they need to do a lot of work land back and while it's naughty knows rest kits use music as a way to open dialogues. Other musicians are using it to preserve and revitalize the legacy of indigenous cultures. That's the case of [inaudible], a band from the state of [inaudible] central Mexico. I'm older guy. She got on mixes. Gypsum music rock and local carnival sounds well incorporating now with the language used by the Aztecs. Minority clapper is the band's guitarist and [inaudible] says he finds it very melodic and pleasant to the year. Here's your [inaudible] and he says, using native languages as a way to honor their roots while helping reinforce Mexico's identity and sometimes forgotten origins [inaudible] Romania for historic events like the European colonization can't be amended. He says the arrival of the conquistadors was tragic, but it also enriched the culture by bringing more ingredients to including musical instruments.

Speaker 12: 13:40 They've got racism, music curator, sociologists, and anthropologists based in Mexico city. He says the cultural class started by their rival of the conquistadors isn't over yet, and music has been a way to resist for 500 years. [inaudible] [inaudible] music like hip hop and rock is not colonizing native languages, but this languages are actually using it as a means of preservation. Say the [inaudible] [inaudible] social tensions built by centuries of colonialism currently result in migrations. As many indigenous people have to run away from discrimination of Lavian and poverty, and he says indigenous migraine musicians are integrating their experiences into their cells. Mainstream [inaudible] says the mainstream will eventually adopt indigenous music. Meanwhile, he says globalization and the internet will facilitate the exchange of music while expanding the reach of its message.

Speaker 11: 14:37 You better understand. I live for the else [inaudible]

Speaker 12: 14:48 I'm Rodrigo Cervantes in Mexico city.

Speaker 11: 14:54 [inaudible]

Speaker 1: 14:55 thanks for listening to San Diego news matters. If you like the show, do us a favor and tell your friends and families to subscribe. Thanks.

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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.