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One Republican, 2 Dems Vie For San Diego City Council District 5, Once A GOP Stronghold And More Local News

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Speaker 1: 00:00 It's Monday, January 20th. I'm Andrew Bowen. And you're listening to San Diego news matters from KPBS coming up. There's a new location for the temporary shelter from migrants entering through the Southern border. And what are the most important issues to the candidates for San Diego city council district five design, safer streets.

Speaker 2: 00:19 Wildfire prevention will be a huge priority for me. I think people still want to see more progress on our roads.

Speaker 1: 00:23 We'll meet the three major candidates running to represent the Northern parts of the city that a more San Diego news stories coming up.

Speaker 3: 00:31 Uh,

Speaker 1: 00:38 a shelter that helped thousands of migrants in the days after they arrived at the Southern border has found a new home. KPBS reporter max Rivlin Adler says what was originally viewed as a short term solution could become a permanent fixture in San Diego. Last fall, immigrations and customs enforcement abruptly stopped a program that helped migrant families coordinate their travel once they were released in the U S a coalition of groups known as the San Diego rapid response network, immediately spring into action and opened a series of shelters for stranded families who were seeking asylum. A year ago, the network began using an empty County courthouse downtown. Now it has found a more permanent location in a state owned building and Linda Vista, Michael Hopkins is the CEO of Jewish family service, which is running the new shelter. He says it's likely that the shelter will continue to have a presence in San Diego beyond the current presidential administration. We've had

Speaker 2: 01:31 ice officers come here and see the work that we're doing and um, they've been pretty impressed with the quality of the transportation and sort of the handoff that we provide. It's hard to believe that the government is going to go back into doing this work.

Speaker 1: 01:43 Jewish family service has been contracted by the state to run the shelter for two years. Max with Lynn Adler, K PBS news. There's been a shift in demographics in the American workforce. Women are now the majority. In December, women surpassed 50% of the overall workforce in the United States according to the U S labor department. One reason more jobs are being created in sectors where women dominate like health and education. Miro COPEC is a lecturer at San Diego state and a cofounder of bottom line marketing. He says there are many trends helping women dominate. More women are going to college than men. More women are graduating than men and so in higher end jobs they're, they're taking more leadership roles. Copake says the bad news is that wages are still lower for women and that means real wages aren't growing as fast as they should. The state of California is suing the Bureau of land management over its plan to open more than 1 million acres of federal land to oil drilling.

Speaker 1: 02:38 That includes fracking, the practice of injecting water, sand and chemicals into the ground to extract oil and gas. State attorney general, Javier Bissera says the Bureau failed to adequately evaluate the negative environmental impacts. It poses a real threat to California. It's a plan that ignores a growing body of evidence that points to fracking as a significant cause of water and air pollution and earthquakes. But Sarah claims the central Valley is especially at risk environmental groups including the Sierra club and earth justice have also filed suit over the plan. The Bureau of land management says it has not issued any new leases or permits to drill and any new approvals would require further environmental review. It's been 73 years since the Los Angeles Dodgers and Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in major league baseball. Now there are longtime rivals. The San Francisco giants have made history of their own breaking the gender barrier. Bob Moffitt with Capitol public radio and Sacramento reports.

Speaker 4: 03:39 Alyssa nackin one 56 games as a pitcher for the Woodland high school wolves softball team and was then a three time all conference first baseman for the SAC state Hornets from 2009 to 2012 her mom, Gaye says her daughter will be on the field for batting practice and will work with another coach to focus on clubhouse culture.

Speaker 5: 03:58 It's been very exciting. It's what she's wanted and we've been drawing, I've been at giant Stan since 1958 so it's very special.

Speaker 4: 04:06 SAC state softball head coach Laurie Perez was an assistant head coach when she recruited knack and more than a decade ago.

Speaker 5: 04:12 She was competitor who could pitch, could throw the ball with some good velocity and good movement and she could swing the bat.

Speaker 4: 04:20 mlb.com says seven of the giants. 13 coaches will be in uniform during games this year, but knack and won't be one of them. Perez says the hiring though sends an important message to young women.

Speaker 5: 04:31 I think a lot of women when they read this today and see this, they're gonna know that, Hey, I could have a career in baseball.

Speaker 4: 04:39 According to USA today, the Oakland athletics were the first to hire a woman to coach in the minor leagues. The Chicago Cubs in New York Yankees hired women two months ago to fill minor league positions. I'm Bob Moffitt in Sacramento.

Speaker 1: 04:50 The company planning to redevelop Horton Plaza in downtown San Diego has reached an agreement with a major tenant KPBS. As Tom fudge says, settling a lawsuit filed by Macy's removes a major roadblock to the plan. Today's declining retail economy has been especially hard on Horton Plaza. The downtown mall had become nearly vacant. Then came a plan by its new owner to transform it into what they called campus. Had Horton, a retail entertainment and office complex that they said would create thousands of downtown jobs. The plan was approved unanimously by the San Diego city council, but Macy's department stores sued the developer, Stockdale capital partners arguing the deal, violated the terms of its leaves. On Friday, Stockdale said they'd reached an agreement with Macy's. Their press release included praise from mayor Kevin Faulkner, who said campus at Horton will become a downtown civic treasure. The development still faces legal challenges. However, Jim bows a Horton Plaza grocery store is still suing Stockdale. Tom fudge, Cade PBS news. Harriet's slipped theaters over the holidays

Speaker 6: 05:58 and got lost and it's bigger releases. But the bio pic of Harriet Tubman is back at digital gym cinema after it won two Oscar nominations. KPBS arts reporter Beth OCHA, Mondo has this review. Harriet Tubman became a conductor on the underground railroad after escaping slavery in 1849 and becoming an abolitionist, she risked her own freedom in order to return to the South repeatedly to free others. That story would seem irresistible to Hollywood, yet Kathy Lemon's film. Harriet is the first to put her life on the big screen and there's nothing more you can do. Don't you tell me what I can do. I'm going to do this. Follow them all. God was watching, but my feet was my home running, bleeding column and nearly drowned. Nothing to eat for days and days when I'm made it. Don't tell me what I can't do. Lemons gave us the stunning eaves by you in 1997 and has been too long absent from the director's chair.

Speaker 6: 06:54 Her Harriet biopic may trip over some tropes, but more often it sidesteps them to deliver a film that exudes poetry and a surprising sense of faith. Cynthia revoke gives us a woman who's driven by a ferocious need to be free and to not merely stand by while others are enslaved. Lemons keeps the focus on Tubman and does not allow other characters or celebrity cameos to steal her spotlight. The story has taken too long to be told on the screen, but lemons and Arriva do it. Justice Beth, Armando KPBS news. If you live in Northern San Diego, including black mountain ranch, Carmel mountain ranch, Rancho Bernardo and Rancho Penasquitos, you're in city council. District five, three major candidates are running in the March primary to replace termed out Councilman Mark Kersey KPBS reporter Claire tragus or introduces you to each of them.

Speaker 7: 07:45 My name is Isaac Wayne. Uh, I'm running for San Diego city council district five. I'm Joe Levinthal. I'm running for district five, San Diego city council.

Speaker 6: 07:52 My name is Marnie Von Milford's. I am running for city council here in district five, three candidates each with very different backgrounds.

Speaker 7: 08:00 I do a GIS and data visualization software company.

Speaker 6: 08:03 Isaac Wang also is a Navy veteran, has a degree from Duke in public policy and worked in urban design. I grew up here and I care deeply about this community. Von willpower is a deputy city attorney. She used to work as a lawyer for the national labor relations board and was in the peace Corps.

Speaker 7: 08:20 I started my own law firm seven years ago.

Speaker 6: 08:22 Joe Leventhal also served on the San Diego ethics commission. Levinthall is the only Republican in the race. The other two are Democrats. When we asked what was their top issue, they each gave different answers. We'll start with Isaac Wang.

Speaker 7: 08:39 Design safer streets. I think you see a, a lot of poor street design that leads to people driving faster. It leads to people running stoplights.

Speaker 6: 08:49 And how would he tackle safer streets?

Speaker 7: 08:51 Speed tables, roundabouts crosswalks, um, you know, angled parking. We, there's a lot we can do to our physical environment to shape safer streets.

Speaker 8: 08:59 Next. Marnie Von Wilbert wildfire prevention will be a huge priority for me on the city council. Um, high know what it's like. The, my parents still live in a house that I grew up in, just up the street from here and when they were evacuated and a couple of my friends homes had already burned. It was terrifying. So what would she do about preventing wildfires? We want to make sure our firefighters have the resources they need to adequately cover our communities. Um, it never a fire stations that are needed make sure we can have our firefighters recruitment and retention crisis reduced so we keep good firefighters in our communities.

Speaker 6: 09:31 Finally, Joe Leventhal is number one issue

Speaker 7: 09:35 roads. Again, I think people still want to see more progress on our roads. I think there's more innovation that we need to bring to our, something as simple as roads.

Speaker 6: 09:43 What kinds of innovation?

Speaker 7: 09:44 Some cities in the country have started using Kevlar type material in the roads material, which helps them last longer. A UC San Diego right now is experimenting with a stretch of road that has recycled plastic in it.

Speaker 6: 09:57 But one issue stood out for all the candidates.

Speaker 7: 10:01 Inclusive housing, uh, affordable housing.

Speaker 8: 10:04 I see the challenges that new families face trying to buy a home

Speaker 7: 10:08 homelessness. And I really do think the way we've been approaching the homelessness challenge is, is not working

Speaker 6: 10:14 yet when it comes to solutions, none have any new ideas. Here's Isaac Wang

Speaker 7: 10:20 and I think it's the, the regulatory Tory hurdles, um, the red tape that adds to a lot of the costs and that's where we can reduce a lot of the burden.

Speaker 6: 10:28 Here's Marnie Von Wilbert,

Speaker 8: 10:30 making sure that we're doing what we can to have the housing that everyone can afford to live in.

Speaker 6: 10:35 And Joel Leventhal who talked about homelessness, not housing affordability,

Speaker 7: 10:39 the underlying reasons people are homeless. Very, and I really think we need to have people on separate tracks depending on what that underlying reason is.

Speaker 6: 10:46 He says, for people dealing with a short term problem, like a lost job, they need permanent housing first, but others need treatment, not just housing. We also asked for any new ideas for the district. Isaac Wang has one

Speaker 7: 11:02 something called Asian night market. I think if we can really bring down the cost and make it easy to have small footprint businesses, we can see a lot of the small food vendors and small night markets that we see in a lot of other countries.

Speaker 6: 11:15 Marnie Von Wilbert says she also wants to work on setting up more transportation for seniors and veterans who need to get to the VA and Joe Leventhal says he bolster it, the police department in a specific way.

Speaker 7: 11:28 Maybe look at using our reserve senior volunteer patrol more than we are now. For some things like traffic management,

Speaker 6: 11:34 the top two vote getters in March will face off against each other in the election in November. Claire Trag of sir KPBS news

Speaker 1: 11:42 to see our stories on all the candidates go to kpbs.org/election over the last five years, the U S has paid more than a billion dollars in military aid to Ukraine. The ongoing impeachment case in Washington centers on president Trump's handling of some of that money. Meanwhile, the U S military support continues. American aid is helping the Ukrainian army buy vehicles and supplies, and U S troops are continuing to conduct training with their Ukrainian counterparts from Western Ukraine. Levi bridges reports for the American Homefront project.

Speaker 9: 12:16 The combat training center in Yavar of Ukraine stands near the border with Poland. It's a military base out in a quiet stretch of forest and marshland lined with fluffy cat tails for the next nine months. This is home for more than 150 members of the Wisconsin national guard. Some of mentors in places like Iraq, but this mission and Ukraine is totally different

Speaker 10: 12:39 in Iraq. We had weapons 24 seven go to the bathroom. Guess what's go home with you.

Speaker 9: 12:46 I'm walking with major Katherine Burbridge. She's unarmed and it's peaceful here. Some of the soldiers spend their downtime playing with the dog.

Speaker 10: 12:55 Where's your babies? Where's your baby's mama? Oh, you're so cute.

Speaker 9: 12:58 About a dozen dogs live on base. Mostly strays this morning. Berberich is looking for some lost puppy.

Speaker 10: 13:05 Oh, a bunch of puppies just came out from the tanks. Yup.

Speaker 9: 13:12 Puppies coming out from the tanks here. It's easy to forget. There's a war going on hundreds of miles to the East. This is where some Ukrainian soldiers come for training before they go to the front. About a mile away. You sometimes hear gunshots and demolitions as soldiers go through artillery training, but Ukrainian troops also spend a lot of time here in classrooms learning how to operate an army. The U S troops, they're training the Ukrainian instructors, how to instruct, how to evaluate, how to assess training. That's really what we're doing. Colonel Michael Hansen is the deputy commanding officer here. The Wisconsin national guard is the eighth group of us soldiers who have rotated through here since 2015 Colonel Hansen says, us military aid here is a collaborative process with Ukrainians. What we try to do is sit down with them and say, what do you need? What is your army want? And then we're using our expertise to help teach that not what America wants, but what they want.

Speaker 9: 14:15 Success for the Ukrainian military means training their soldiers to work with NATO. President Trump has criticized NATO as a waste of money, but Colonel Hansen says, this mission is a serious bang for your buck. We are a nation that only has so much money, so we can only have a certain size military. By being out here in building these partnerships, we've now taken a million man army and turned it into a 2 million man army, and we're not even funding the other million people in one of the classes. I watch American and Ukrainian soldiers discuss a military through an interpreter. My view of the entire mission, Lieutenant Colonel Daniel Walsh stands next to me. He helps oversee these classes. They're just kind of nerding out on strategy right now. All right. Yes, they are. Walsh says, strengthening the armed forces of our allies. That's a huge part of what the military does.

Speaker 11: 15:13 I think it's in America's interest to promote democracy. Ukraine is a fledgling democracy and that our job is to work with their military to help them achieve their political goals.

Speaker 9: 15:24 Whilst, as folks here followed the news about impeachment, Rudy, Giuliani, all of that, but he says it really hasn't changed the mission.

Speaker 11: 15:32 The political disruption that's going on doesn't affect our day to day operations and it doesn't affect our relationship with our multinational partners.

Speaker 9: 15:39 There is a real sense of comradery here. At night, their Wisconsin troops play a blues concert for some Polish and Lithuanian soldiers. We're leaving at the show. Are you bringing soldier calls to [inaudible]? He says, we're so grateful to the Americans. We love you and Jabra of Ukraine. I'm Levi bridges. 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.

Three major candidates, two Democrats and a Republican, are running in the March primary to replace termed-out Councilman Mark Kersey. Plus, new data from U.S. Labor Department says women are now the majority in the American workforce. And, California increased its efforts to keep the federal government from allowing oil and gas drilling on more than 1 million acres of public land. Also, Harriet slipped into theaters over the holidays and got lost amidst bigger releases, now it's back at Digital Gym Cinema after it won two Oscar nominations.

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