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TwitchCon Returns To The San Diego Convention Center This Weekend And More Local News

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TwitchCon returns to San Diego today; we’ve got you covered on what you can expect from the live streaming and gaming convention as it highlights a growing esports industry in San Diego. Also ahead on the podcast, San Diego County is now offering free pre-approved floor plans for granny flats in hopes it will create more affordable housing in the unincorporated areas. Plus, four Republicans have dropped out of the running for the 50th District to back former Congressman Darrell Issa who has announced his bid for embattled Rep. Duncan Hunter’s seat.

Show transcript

Speaker 1: 00:00 It's Friday, September 27th I'm Deb Welsh and you're listening to San Diego news matters from KPBS coming up, four Republicans drop out of the running for the 50th district Tabak former Congressman Darrel Eissa and it's TwitchCon this weekend in San Diego. This is it. It all comes down to this next game that more San Diego news stories coming up right after the break.

Speaker 2: 00:29 [inaudible]

Speaker 1: 00:33 thank you for joining us for San Diego news matters. I'm Deb Welsh. Several Republicans dropped out of the 50th congressional district race Thursday to give their support to former Congressman Darrel ICER KPBS reporter Prius Sri. There was an El Cahone when he announced his candidacy Eissa. The former Republican Congressman who represented the 49th district for 18 years debuted his campaign to unseat embattled Congressman Duncan Hunter.

Speaker 3: 01:01 I'm dedicated to do that because I believe that I have the history, the skills, the seniority, and the capability to hit the ground running

Speaker 1: 01:10 at the news conference. County supervisor Diane Jacob gave her support to Eissa El Cahone, mayor bill Wells, former mayor of Escondido, Sam, a bed and former Navy seal. Larry will ski all dropped out of the race to back. The former Congressman, Congressman Hunter will go on trial in January for federal charges that he misused campaign money, Priya, Sri K PBS news. If you're in downtown this weekend, you may see a lot of costumes and gamers KPBS as Annika Colbert says, TwitchCon is back at the San Diego convention center. If you're not familiar with Twitch, it's an online platform where you can watch people play video games. Actually these days, all sorts of stuff. Get streamed card games, role play sessions, music, podcasting, competitive gaming called e-sports and video game conferences are all on Twitch. TwitchCon was small when it was last in San Diego in 2016 this year. It's three things in one. First, there's e-sports tournaments with a total prize pool of more than $2 million.

Speaker 1: 02:12 Second, it's a business conference for streamers to learn more about tools of the trade and it's also a big geek Fest with the cosplay contest co-hosted by Adam Savage, a dealer's room artist Sally, and a giant party at Petco park headlined by blink one 82 two which is owned by Amazon and it's the top live streaming platform beating out rivals like YouTube, Facebook and Microsoft, Annika covert KPBS news, San Diego counties now offering free preapproved four plans for granny flats and other accessory homes. KPBS reporter Matt Hoffman says the county's hoping it helps create more affordable housing in the unincorporated area

Speaker 3: 02:50 as an incentive. The County is now offering preapproved floor plans and earlier this year waived permitting fees. County supervisor Diane Jacobs says that we'll say potential builders around thousand dollars.

Speaker 4: 03:00 That's a big deal. So the whole goal is to provide some incentives for property owners in the unincorporated area to build these. Even though there are preapproved plans, building standards still need to be met before construction. It's a building permit that they need. We're just waiving the fees. So you have to have adequate sewage disposal, water infrastructure. The counties helping the move will spur affordable housing, but there's no cap on monthly rent that would be up to the property owner, but it only makes sense if you're, if you're renting out a 600 square foot unit, that rent is going to be a whole lot less than the average market rent. Jacob says the grainy fights could not be used as short term rentals. Matt Hoffman, K PBS news,

Speaker 1: 03:39 environmental activists disrupted work at the San Diego office of Congressman Scott Peters. Thursday KPBS reporter Eric Andreson says they want the lawmaker to support the green new deal.

Speaker 5: 03:52 The activists are trying to convince Peters to support the green new deal. That's a sweeping policy initiative that attempts to curb carbon emissions and overhaul the way the nation's economy works. Protest or Peter Sloan says the group converged on the congressman's office to raise the alarm about climate change.

Speaker 6: 04:08 We're in a planetarium emergency and the science has been known for decades, but our political leaders just aren't acting on it and it's, it's time for them to really step up or step aside.

Speaker 5: 04:19 Peter's hasn't been flexible on the issue. In an August interview with KPBS. The lawmaker said he did not agree with the green new deal because it's too broad and doesn't contain any actual legislation. Eric Anderson KPBS news,

Speaker 1: 04:33 the height of flu season is fast approaching and the County will soon report weekly on new cases and deaths, but changes to state reporting requirements will make it difficult to compare flu deaths in San Diego to those happening elsewhere. KPV as health reporter Teran Minto as the story this state now requires counties to report flu deaths only for patients under 18 years old before it was patients under 65 years. However, San Diego County will include all flu fatalities, no matter the age, and it's weekly reports to the public. San Diego county's dr Eric McDonald's says those detailed updates can make it seem our region is fairing worse than others. Like two years ago when more than 340 people died

Speaker 6: 05:17 and that was more than a lot of other locations across the state and people said, gee, you're reporting a lot of deaths. Let's just, we're good at reporting. It doesn't mean that deaths aren't occurring elsewhere.

Speaker 1: 05:25 The county's weekly flu reports will begin in October. Taryn mento KPBS news more than 25,000 gamers, virtual reality fans and online personalities are coming to San Diego this weekend for the annual TwitchCon convention. It's the second time the city is hosting the video game competition, otherwise known as e-sports KPBS science and technology reporter Shalina Chot Lonnie has more.

Speaker 6: 05:50 It's Tuesday night at games and can Kearny Mesa video game enthusiasts are giving the heated round the martial arts

Speaker 7: 05:57 fighting game all you got the God crush, but he doesn't get the follow up there in front of a computer live streaming it out to fans on the web platform. Twitch is, it all comes down to this next game. Over a dozen screens are lit up with at least 30 players in the room on Thursday nights. A smash brothers competition typically brings in over a hundred people while a few folks here providing color commentary, others are playing, having paid $5 to enter a competition for a cash prize. It's all part of a phenomenon known as e-sports.

Speaker 8: 06:29 So e-sports is simply put competitive gaming and you can think of it as a traditional sport, but obviously it's all done with gaming systems online.

Speaker 7: 06:42 Aggregata Segal is the owner of game sync. He pivoted from working on computers to opening the center in 2012

Speaker 8: 06:48 I think of our business like a movie theater, a here you're having an entertainment experience where you're buying time by the hour.

Speaker 7: 06:55 Siegel says he still brings in a small profit, but he says he's confident the local industry will grow, especially as its global figures suggest it will. Zachary Snyder is an East ports analyst.

Speaker 9: 07:06 The market is currently valued at over a billion dollars and it's continuing to grow.

Speaker 7: 07:11 Standard says even pessimistic forecast show industry revenue will grow by about 10% year over year. He says the West coast is already a major hub of e-sports activity and that's because the industry isn't just about the gamers.

Speaker 9: 07:25 Everything from the developers and the publishers and then there are players and teams that are getting paid to play these games professionally.

Speaker 7: 07:34 So online content platforms like Twitch that are streaming the games, advertisers, consultants, companies, sponsors for teams and little list goes on. Some professional gaming teams can win millions, much like a traditional sports ecosystem. That's why it's not just small businesses like you sync investing in the industry at the San Diego convention center, staff preparing for TwitchCon, they're testing one of several purple gaming's [inaudible] rooms with loudspeakers and massive screens. Convention center CEO Clifford rip toe says it's a no brainer to invest in an event like this.

Speaker 10: 08:14 So TwitchCon is going to put us on the map technologically similar to way that Comic-Con has put us on the map internationally and as a brand,

Speaker 7: 08:23 Roberto says the convention center had to upgrade its technology to host TwitchCon. He says that investment will help it bring in other events demanding the same capabilities and those are likely to bring in younger generations.

Speaker 10: 08:36 The ability for technology to not only create a business platform, but also a sport and entertainment platform is here and it's going to stay. From my point of view,

Speaker 7: 08:48 crypto says TwitchCon is an example of how the sports industry can bring people who are willing to spend money into the city and back at games and gets clear how the industry is doing that business owner Spiegel says many sports teams from out of town are paying to practice at the center for TwitchCon.

Speaker 8: 09:04 So I think what you see in San Diego is a lot of opportunity.

Speaker 7: 09:08 There are already a number of local college teams from schools like UC San Diego as well as major game publishers like psionics. But that's not enough for Spiegel. He wants to expand and it's still a challenge for him to find partners.

Speaker 8: 09:23 For me personally, the biggest challenge to expand my business here in San Diego has been um, educating potential investors and partners and co-founders on the opportunities here.

Speaker 7: 09:35 But Spiegel says as the industry gets more attention through events like TwitchCon, it's just a matter of time for East forts to go mainstream. Shalina shout Lani KPBS news.

Speaker 1: 09:46 The companies that manage most of the housing on U S military bases have been under fire for poor maintenance. Jay price of the American Homefront project reports from Fort Bragg, North Carolina. He says, now, one of those companies has unveiled an unusual plan. It says we'll help this one's three bedrooms, two baths,

Speaker 11: 10:05 had their fuller works for that company, which is called core V.

Speaker 12: 10:09 so this wall actually comes down. So it opens up the whole kitchen area that has an Eden bar in the new layout. It makes the kitchen larger as well.

Speaker 11: 10:17 Vacant ranch-style duplex, she showing me in a Fort brag neighborhood is older but doesn't show significant wear and tear. In fact, it looks like it's ready for someone to move in, but the inside is about to be gutted.

Speaker 12: 10:31 It's just dated. So the tiles in the bathrooms, they're small. They're like built in the 1960s. So, um, we're renovating and making those larger. We've taken some of these floor plans and um, added a bedroom,

Speaker 11: 10:45 280 homes on Fort Bragg or getting the same treatment while several thousand more will get new heating and cooling systems and other improvements. Similar upgrades will be done on six other army basis where core vias manages housing.

Speaker 13: 11:00 So approximately 16,000 homes are going to receive some level of energy upgrade and information upgrades.

Speaker 11: 11:07 John [inaudible] owns the company. He apologized to the Senate hearing earlier this year for what he admitted were unacceptable conditions and some of the housing by information upgrades. He means sophisticated systems that continually collect information on things like the heating and cooling systems, which could help the company know when maintenance is needed before expensive repairs are required. He and a group of outside lenders are pumping $325 million into the new program. And here's the unusual part. He says the program will pay for itself. Core will be able to pay the money back from the savings that will resolve. So we have

Speaker 13: 11:46 an estimated $300 million in savings over the next 30 years in energy efficiencies and a portion of that will come from lowering the maintenance costs. More predictive maintenance is far less expensive than emergency maintenance

Speaker 11: 12:02 troops who don't live in barracks get a housing allowance, most use it to live off base, but for those who use base housing, the allowance goes to companies like core vs. It covers all housing and utility costs, but per certain said, the army reduced the housing allowance about the same time it shrank by thousands of troops. After the peak of the fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, occupancy rates fell, the company's income fell and he said it made a mistake by scaling back at spending on renovations

Speaker 13: 12:32 and once you, you kind of take your eye off that ball, now you're playing catch up and I think what we're doing here by making this large investment is trying to get ahead of the curve again instead of always playing from behind the game.

Speaker 11: 12:45 The number of troops is up again, which is helping. He said one brag resident Diane Woodrill said the benefits of renovated housing aren't just about getting the company back on track. There are plus to families like hers

Speaker 13: 12:58 as a military spouse and going to live on base. I want to snag up on that. Either tell me it's been renovated or Hey, we've got brand new construction, we've got no mold issues, no bug issues or anything like that. Like you've cleared out every issue there could be. Yeah.

Speaker 11: 13:13 Her own two bedroom home where she lives with her husband and their four year old son isn't going to get the major renovations because it's not old enough, but she serves on a resident advisory group that was formed to give core vias feedback on what it can do to improve core Venus's new approach might start a trend poseurs had some of the companies that manage housing on other bases have asked him for advice. The new program was unrelated to hundreds of other tear downs, new home construction and renovations that the company already had planned as part of the normal cycle of its 50 year agreement with the Pentagon. This is Jay price reporting.

Speaker 1: 13:49 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. 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.