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San Diego Lab Tapped To Rapidly Develop Vaccine For China's Novel Coronavirus And More Local News

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San Diego researchers at a local pharmaceutical lab are working to quickly develop a vaccine in response to the growing and deadly coronavirus outbreak that originated in China. Plus, San Diego County could see sweeping changes in its land-use rules for unincorporated areas if Measure A passes on the March ballot. And, a week of classics at Landmark’s Ken Cinema is always something to celebrate and a new one is here.

Speaker 1: 00:00 It's Friday, January 24th I'm Deb Welsh and you're listening to San Diego news matters from KPBS coming up. A vaccine for the deadly coronavirus may be founded, San Diego and the San Diego state men's basketball team. Matching is best start ever could make history this weekend.

Speaker 2: 00:19 Every day somebody asked me, you know, you're a part of a 20 and O team. How does it feel? And I can't really tell him because I'm just so lost in a moment every day.

Speaker 1: 00:26 That more coming up right after the break

Speaker 3: 00:37 [inaudible]

Speaker 4: 00:38 the coronavirus that's killed at least 18 in China as it reached San Diego. Even. So the solution may be found here. KPBS health reporter, Terran Minto says a Sorento Valley lab announced it received a multimillion dollar grant to rapidly develop a vaccine.

Speaker 1: 00:56 This is a picture of the DNA, dr K Broderick gestures to a computer image at ENOVIA pharmaceuticals that shows a Corona virus DNA. It looks like a black vertical bar with horizontal white dashes. Broderick says the image is part of the labs computer based approach that'll have a vaccine against the new Corona virus ready for human testing. By this summer, which is much faster than the traditional approach.

Speaker 2: 01:20 They are generally protein, so they have to be made and chickens, eggs, and that whole process can take multiple, multiple bumps if not years.

Speaker 1: 01:29 The lab received $9 million from the coalition for epidemic preparedness innovations to create the vaccine and Novio is already testing vaccines for Zika and MERS, which is also caused by the Corona virus. Taryn mento KPBS news.

Speaker 4: 01:43 Thursday morning, more than a thousand people fanned out across San Diego County for the annual point in time. Homeless count. Governor Gavin Newsom, join state Senator Tony Atkins and volunteers to count the unsheltered in downtown San Diego. In city Heights, volunteers walked alleyways, parks and canyons to identify people experiencing homelessness. Speak city highs. Reporter Ebony Monet has more

Speaker 2: 02:09 long time. San Diego resident, Linda Pennington knows the city's canyons better than most. Thursday morning she ventured through Hollywood Canyon in city Heights before the sun came out looking for homeless camps. This is all homeless left behind by homeless. About three dozen people volunteer to Trek the communities for canyons to find and count people living outside. As a community organizer with the San Diego Canyon lands, Pennington says, helping people find shelter outside of the Canyon is important for the natural habitat because of the fires. Number one, because of the needles, unfortunately

Speaker 1: 02:45 because of the feces that goes into the open toilets and out to the storm drain.

Speaker 2: 02:50 Last year, volunteers counted 8,102 people experiencing homelessness county-wide, but service providers say the actual may be closer

Speaker 4: 03:00 to 20,000 Ebony Monet KPBS news San Diego has been without a permanent city auditor for nearly a year and a half. KPBS Metro reporter Andrew Bowen says, measure D on the city's March. Third ballot aims to fix that.

Speaker 5: 03:15 Auditor is responsible for investigating claims of waste, fraud, and abuse, as well as digging deep into problems with city operations. Right now, the auditor is nominated by the mayor and confirmed by the city council Councilman and audit committee chairman Scott Sherman says, that's a conflict of [inaudible].

Speaker 6: 03:32 The way it's set up now is you really have the mayor office choosing who will oversee and hold accountable the mayor's office and that just doesn't make any sense. Like it's been said. That's like choosing the Fox. It's going to be guarding the hen house.

Speaker 5: 03:46 Measure D would give the city council the power to appoint the auditor and what established two five year terms for the job. San Diego's previous auditor resigned in the summer of 2018 and the mayor's pick for a replacement got stalled. Sherman says he hopes the voters approved measure D so the council can fill the post under the new process.

Speaker 6: 04:05 So many times we have found out and saved millions of dollars because of performance audits done by the auditor and you want that person in that office to be completely independent of the body. They're overseeing

Speaker 5: 04:18 measure [inaudible], unanimous support from the council and the mayor's office and hasn't attracted any major opposition. Andrew Bowen KPBS news

Speaker 4: 04:26 to see all of our elections stories go to kpbs.org/election the Republican taking on president Donald Trump and the primaries was in San Diego Thursday. Talking to African American leaders. Presidential candidate bill Wells spoke to KPBS reporter Joe Hong about his experiences working with communities of color.

Speaker 5: 04:48 The former Massachusetts governor held a round table meeting at bow legged barbecue in Southeast San Diego to discuss everything from homelessness to criminal justice reform.

Speaker 7: 04:57 Well, I've got a lengthy record of working with African American leaders in my two terms as governor of Massachusetts and in my five years as a us attorney in Boston in areas as diverse as a criminal justice education, housing and uh, uh, just making sure that communities of color participate and have a seat at the economic table where all the goodies are divided.

Speaker 5: 05:21 The forum was hosted by local civil rights leaders, Shane Harris who said he doesn't endorse weld but admires him because he was willing to talk with both Democrats and Republicans from the community. Joe Hong K PBS news.

Speaker 4: 05:33 Uber is testing a new feature that allows some California drivers to set their own fairs. It's a reaction to a new state law that threads to drastically change the company's business model. Capitol, public radio, Scott rod reports

Speaker 5: 05:47 add non Badawi has been an Uber driver for four years. When he saw the new feature, he immediately gave it a shot. He says even a small rate increase can add up for if you've got 10 miles you paying was $9 zipping. Now $10 it's not that much difference. My friend not didn't make difference to us as a driver. Uber is testing the new feature at three airport locations. Palm Springs, Santa Barbara in Sacramento where Badawi picks up passengers. Drivers can raise fares in 10% increments up to five times. The base rate riders are matched with the lowest fare. That means drivers with higher fares may need to wait longer. The change comes in response to a new California law that would require more companies to convert their workers to employees and offer them benefits and added protections. Uber's new feature is an effort to keep their workers as contractors by giving them more control on the clock in the coming days. Uber says it will also allow drivers to decrease their fares below the base rate in Sacramento. I'm Scott rod,

Speaker 4: 06:48 a week of classics at landmarks kin cinema is always something to celebrate. KPB has film critic Beth luck Amando previews. The classic screening tonight through Thursday. All right, mr Denielle, I'm ready for my Billy Wilder's bleak and beautiful assault on Hollywood. Sunset Boulevard is just one of the gyms screening during a week of film classics at the Kenn cinema. That delicious lineup starts. Tonight was Serge Gainsbourg debut feature shut. Tim won non-flu. Then we turned to Hollywood for the existential 50 science gone wrong horror of the incredible shrinking man and for the wisecracking wit of the thin man, which made marriage seemed like a delightful rump.

Speaker 8: 07:29 Oh, Johnny, I was hoping I wouldn't have to answer that. Well, Donna's, he is really my daughter. You see, it was spraying and Venice and I was so young. I didn't know what I was doing. We're all like that on my father's side, by the way. How was your father's side? Oh, it's much better. Thanks.

Speaker 4: 07:48 Marriage is more of a battlefield as Elizabeth Taylor and Paul Newman bring heat to cat on a hot tin roof. While Cary grant and Joan Fontaine have a chili romance steeped in suspicion from the master of suspense. Alfred Hitchcock, a pair of foreign films round out the selections with a cure occur. A Sal was Yojimbo featuring a charismatic to share. I'm a phony and a land alone starring as the mysterious Mr. Klein. It's a week to celebrate cinema at the Ken Beth like Amando KPBS news San Diego County. Voters will decide in March whether they should get a say in deciding the fate of back country housing projects. KPBS reporter Eric Anderson says measure a would require a County wide vote for projects that currently only require the approval of supervisors Burdge

Speaker 9: 08:36 with the organization grow. The San Diego way stands next to a busy construction site in Valley center and right here is a project called park circle. It's a project he likes and it's on the site of an old dairy developer. Touchstone communities is building 630 homes here without the need for a special exemption from the County of supervisors. That's because this land is zoned to build houses.

Speaker 10: 09:00 This project is inside the county's plan for development in the area because it's located next to this Valley center road, which is a major thoroughfare and it makes it easily accessible to services.

Speaker 9: 09:12 The County spent years with stakeholders hashing out a development plan that clusters new housing near villages, services and jobs to provide a blueprint for growth. But since the general plan was adopted, supervisors are still approving large back country developments in isolated rural areas where those amenities are sparked.

Speaker 11: 09:32 New one, Sierra lilac Hills ranch, volley Yano, harmony Grove village South. Oh Tai.

Speaker 9: 09:37 Susan Baldwin is a retired urban planner and president for San Diegans for managed growth. She says the County shouldn't turn its back on a development blueprint that was eight years in the making and got input from everyone.

Speaker 11: 09:51 Business interests, the building industry, community members environmentalist's. And so if the plan needs to be changed, then there should be an over, uh, you know, uh, uh, review of the plan as a whole, not individual projects being approved in a piecemeal fashion.

Speaker 2: 10:11 The building industry. You know they do a lot of great stuff, but when it comes to the sprawl projects and the the ones that don't comply with the general plan, they really have their finger on this.

Speaker 9: 10:21 The bird says getting approval for a housing project outside the general plan guidelines is relatively easy. Developers only need to convince three supervisors and the public doesn't have input. That would change if voters support measure a called the save our San Diego countryside initiative. Developers working on a project larger than six homes would have to put it up for a countywide vote if it's outside the general plan guidelines. Supporters say that makes the process more fair. Opponents launched their campaign against the measure late last year. Tonya Castaneda represents the no on the SOS initiative campaign.

Speaker 2: 11:00 Well, the SOS initiative is fundamentally an anti housing and anti-growth measure and it's ballot box planning at its worst.

Speaker 9: 11:06 Casta native brought together labor leaders, first responders and politicians to speak out against the measure.

Speaker 2: 11:12 What it's going to do is it's going to add a whole new regulatory layer to try to get any new homebuilding happening in our County.

Speaker 9: 11:18 The no on measure. A effort is funded largely by the county's building industry association, which doesn't want the current system change. What it really is ultimately is an anti economy initiative. Gary London is a real estate economist volunteering with the no on measure a campaign. He says the current system works just fine because informed supervisors make informed decisions on amendments that are vetted by County staffers. There's

Speaker 2: 11:45 always compromises that are made in terms of the number of housing units or the type of housing or what infrastructure should be provided or, or what kind of roads should be provided, what kind of fire safety should be provided. All that is properly vetted within our representative system.

Speaker 9: 12:01 London is not confident voters will do the same. The demand for housing contributes to the region soaring home prices, prices which make housing unaffordable for most San Diego County residents.

Speaker 2: 12:13 Just by virtue of building more housing. By having more supply against a backdrop of large demand, you're going to, um, have an impact on the bid of, of pricing in, in, in, in the County.

Speaker 9: 12:28 A yes vote on measure eight is a vote to require a public vote for general plan amendments that increase housing density on rural or semi-rural lands. The measure passes if it gets more than 50% of the vote in March, Eric Anderson KPBS news,

Speaker 4: 12:45 the San Diego state men's basketball team is off to one of its best seasons ever. The team is sitting undefeated at 20 and nothing KPV as reporter Matt Hoffman has more on how the Aztecs could make history this weekend.

Speaker 12: 12:59 Jordan shackle rebound Pulliam corner three.

Speaker 13: 13:01 Good.

Speaker 12: 13:04 Those state Aztecs are the only undefeated team in college basketball that has them ranked number four in the nation. The other team sees the big target on our back and we know we have a big target on her back means 1.0 and every team that plays this wants to break our streak. SDSU assistant basketball coach, David Velasquez was there in 2011 when the Aztecs also started 20. Oh, that season led by current NBA star Kawai Leonard. They went to the sweet 16 in the NCAA tournament, but Velasquez says the team is not making any comparisons. To be honest, we don't even think about how we're going to measure success with the same. It's middle of January and it's great to be in the position we're in, but again, we're nowhere close to where we're going to be hopefully in March on both ends of the basketball. I think our guys know that we have to continue to get better.

Speaker 13: 13:48 It goes in,

Speaker 12: 13:49 I've taken note of the historic season and are turning out to show their support at the Aztecs home court, VA Haas arena. The last five games have been selling. Our fans are some of the best in the country and we're not in that arena across the street. VA Haas, Serena is a packed house and the energies behind it, it's gotta be one of the best environments in all of college basketball,

Speaker 13: 14:08 Bedlam, Bedlam,

Speaker 12: 14:10 players like senior guard, KJ. Fagan are also feeling the energy inside the building. Early in the first half of that last game, I think my ears were just ringing. We wanted a little run in. I just couldn't really hear anything. So just to know that people are coming out and being there hour and 30 minutes to an hour and 10 minutes before the game and just lets you know that people really care about what's going on around here. Fagan is just trying to take it all in. During his last season with the team, every day somebody asked me, you know, you're a part of a 20 and O team, how does it feel? And I can't really tell him because I'm just so lost in a moment. Every day. I'm just valuing everything that we do every day and just being around these guys, I know that I'm in about two or three months. This will be the end for me personally. So I just want to live in Easter moment.

Speaker 13: 14:52 [inaudible]

Speaker 12: 14:53 players we talked to including junior forward, Matt Mitchell say they're not letting the pressure of being undefeated and staying undefeated get to them.

Speaker 14: 14:59 Well, we're just level headed right now. Just just keep plugging away. Not too high, not too low. I mean, we're happy to be undefeated, uh, no doubt about that, but we're still plugging away.

Speaker 12: 15:07 But he does say it's hard not to think about, especially with the team getting national media attention.

Speaker 14: 15:11 It's hard to avoid it because it's, it's all throughout media, newspapers, whatever it may be. Um, but you know, we, we just come in here and we come to the gym. Uh, we know we gotta put our head down and get to work and stay together

Speaker 12: 15:22 with school back in session this week. Mitchell says there's a different vibe on campus.

Speaker 14: 15:26 So the first time somebody stopped me and asked me to take a picture with me and so that was, that was pretty fun. It's pretty fun to experience

Speaker 12: 15:31 students we talked to say there was a lot more attention on the team this year. Sophomore, Jesse Dombrowski says during games there's excitement inside the building.

Speaker 15: 15:38 I think the atmosphere is completely different than last year too because there's so much hype with the team being undefeated and everything. Like the games are sold out. Like everyone's really loud. Like the image is really good.

Speaker 12: 15:49 Junior Maxwell Johnson went to his first Aztec game this season and now is a rabid fan

Speaker 16: 15:53 and you're the underdog, right? Like you've got, you see Duke and you see Oregon, you see these big names and you see San Diego state and you're like, when we get up there and then we just start climbing up the ladder and it's incredible. You know, it's a, again, it's something that you could just show off to your friends back home that, you know, just don't get that kind of experience. I mean it's kinda, it's, it's honestly could be like a once in a lifetime opportunity. The atmosphere is way deeper than last year. Like as I said, it was a lot more to late this year. Like definitely I'd have to say that like last year and not as many people went,

Speaker 12: 16:22 sophomore, Jacob Haim says tickets are getting hard to come by.

Speaker 16: 16:25 People are trying to get like people to get tickets for them and everything. Everybody wants tickets,

Speaker 12: 16:28 even the university bookstores and on the action selling undefeated tee shirts. But Mitchell says stuff like that doesn't bother the guys.

Speaker 14: 16:35 It was just taking it one game at a time. Um, I mean, so happens, God forbid we lose the game and it, it happens. It's basketball. Uh, so you win some, you lose some, but you gotta go out and play our artists and, uh, give your best effort.

Speaker 12: 16:47 If the Aztecs went on Sunday against UNL V they'll set the school record for best start ever, despite all the excitement. Head basketball coach Brian Dettra says right now, they're focused on bringing home a conference title and we'll go from there.

Speaker 17: 16:58 We want to hang a banner, we want to win a conference title. So that's what our goal is. So we want to, we want to be successful in the mountain West. And if we do that, then everything else will fall in place. So we're trying not to stumble and if we do not have a prolonged stumble,

Speaker 12: 17:13 Matt Hoffman, K PBS news.

Speaker 13: 17:19 [inaudible]

Speaker 12: 17:19 thanks for listening to San Diego news matters. If you'd like the show, do us a favor and tell your friends and family to subscribe to the show.

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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.