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Gloria And Bry Mix It Up In Mayoral Forum

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BARBARA BRY AND TODD GLORIA CAMPAIGNS

San Diego mayoral candidates Barbara Bry and Todd Gloria are seen in campaign photos.

In this episode of San Diego News Matters, we’ll go over election races and debates; the San Diego Mayoral Forum, the 49th Congressional District race San Diego County Supervisor race in District 1, and the 50th and 52nd Congressional District races. Plus, part two of how Covid-19 Metrics are calculated with KPBS’ Trigger Trackers.

At last night’s San Diego Mayoral Forum, Assemblymember Todd Gloria and City Councilmember Barbra Bry faced off in a very civil manner compared to last week’s Presidential Debates. The forum was hosted by KPBS’ Andrew Bowen in collaboration with UC San Diego.

The candidates answered questions about equity and the housing crisis, ballots measures, the COVID-19 recovery, and of course, some of their ideas for tackling climate actions goals...

If you missed it last night, KPBS will air the forum in full on KPBS Midday Edition at noon on 89.5 FM. You can also stream the forum on our website at KPBS dot org.

San Diego city council president Georgette Gómez released her tax returns recently, and the San Diego Union Tribune noted some discrepancies between the returns and publicly available information. Gómez is running for a seat in Congress in California’s 53rd District against opponent Sarah Jacobs.

According to Gómez' federal tax filing in 2017 she reported no income, despite earning more than $90,000 from her job on the council.

The UT also found that on her 2018 return, Gómez reported about $90,000 in income, but in financial disclosures she had to file with congress as a candidate for federal office... she reported an income of more than $120,000.

In a statement, Gómez says she was shocked by the discrepancies. Through a spokesperson, she says her accountant and tax preparer are at fault for the errors, and she plans to amend at least one of her returns.

UC San Diego is planning a COVID-19 vaccine trial at a National City Park as part of a global trial run.. The vaccine trials are expected to run through October 2022. UCSD is waiting on approval from Janseen (Yawn-sin) Pharmaceuticals to get started. But, to sign up for the vaccine trial, go to cavodivaccine-sd-dot-com.

San Marcos is helping city employees who are returning to work by providing a place for their kids to go for distance learning. The city has turned the local Senior center into a learning hub, where children are guided by staff into their zoom meetings and lectures.

Parents can drop off their kids for a day of virtual learning followed by recreational activities.

Stella James, a student at the learning hub says that's her favorite part of the day.

"I like it here. I get to play in the rec room and I get to go in the playground with the staff. Sometimes when you're in music or PE you get to go in the computer room."

The city says the program will be available to city employees through the end of 2020 and potentially beyond to assist parents with hybrid learning.

The Padres season ended last night when they went down for the third game in a row to the LA Dodgers. Last night’s score- a disappointing 12 to 3 as the Dodgers seemed to get hit after hit. This was the first time in more than two decades that the Padres had advanced to the National League division series.

It’s Friday, October 9th. It’s officially 22 more days until Halloween -- whatever Halloween will be this year. This is San Diego News Matters from KPBS News...a daily morning news podcast powered by everyone in the KPBS Newsroom. I’m Anica Colbert. Stay with me for more of the local news you need to start your day.

The 49th Congressional District in San Diego's North County flipped in 2018 from Republican to Democratic. KPBS reporter Shalina Chatlani spoke to both candidates about their platforms...and their confidence in their voter base.

In the 49th district, there are slightly more democratic voters - 38 percent - compared to republican voters- 36 percent. And more than a quarter are independents.
That could help incumbent Mike Levin keep the seat blue. But Republican challenger Brian Maryott says he could flip the seat back because voters want someone more bipartisan.
MARYOTT: Mike is a very ambitious progressive, he is part of a progressive caucus that has ideas about nationalizing our energy sector, our healthcare sector, that means putting your family on a government run plan very quickly and that's not what families want.
But Levin says he's passed several bipartisan bills.
LEVIN: I think the record speaks for itself. I'm the chairman of a Veterans Affairs subcommittee where I've helped to introduce 20 bills, bipartisan bills, 12 of which have passed the House, four of which have already been signed into law by President Trump. Ideologically, I'm right in the middle.
Some of Levin's key issues are veterans rights and removing nuclear waste from San Onofre and keeping residents safe during the coronavirus pandemic. Maryott says he supports private healthcare and keeping businesses afloat. Shalina Chatlani, KPBS news.

Democratic Congressman Scott Peters and Republican challenger Jim DeBello pose a stark contrast to voters in the 52nd District, which spans much of coastal San Diego County. KPBS's Amita Sharma has more.

Four-term Congressman Peters touts his work on pushing for the 750 million dollar San Ysidro border crossing expansion and a new training facility for Navy SEALS as well as supporting programs to reduce veteran homelessness. Peters says his district is one of the 10 most educated in the country and doesn't support President Trump, unlike his opponent -- tech entrepreneur DeBello.
He will not state a policy disagreement with Donald Trump...look, Donald Trump has caused a lot of hurt to this country. I oppose him and my opponent does not.
DeBello doesn't believe humans are the main driver of climate change. He says abortion should be available in cases of rape, incest and when a woman's health is in jeopardy. He also favors replacing the Affordable Care Act. He said this about Peters.
"My opponent regrettably, hasn't passed a single bill that he's personally authored in eight years during his entire incumbency. He has been a career politician.
DeBello says homelessness and the flow of sewage from the Tijuana River are among the region's top problems. Amita Sharma, KPBS News.

Change is coming to the San Diego County Board of Supervisors, as term limits push out longtime incumbents. KPBS metro reporter Andrew Bowen looks at the two candidates vying to represent District 1 in South County..

AB: Supervisor Greg Cox, a moderate Republican, has represented the district for 25 years. The districts includes San Ysidro, Chula Vista and Coronado. But after the November election, it will be represented by a Democrat -- either Ben Hueso or Nora Vargas. Vargas serves on the Southwestern Community College Board and works as a vice president of Planned Parenthood of the Southwest. She says the COVID-19 pandemic has made it clear the county needs leaders with direct experience in health care.
NV: When you talk about healthcare, we're not just talking about medical health care or mental health care, right? We're also talking about making sure that people have access to food, housing security and transportation. All of the issues that are really the basic needs that our communities have to have in order to be able to have a good quality of life.
AB: State Senator Ben Hueso says his long record in public service, including five years on the San Diego City Council and a decade in the state legislature, shows he knows better how to make government work.
BH: I have not only worked hard to represent my constituents but to actually get things done. And I'm running because I have a strong record of getting things done, of using this system to help improve the lives of the people of San Diego.
AB: Andrew Bowen, KPBS news.

Recent polls show the race for the 50th congressional district in San Diego's east county is neck and neck. Veteran and former Congressman Darrell Issa is squaring off against former U-S Hispanic Chamber of Commerce official and east county native Ammar Campa Najjar.

KPBS reporter Matt Hoffman takes a look at both candidates.

I'm trying to teach you best I can and I'm trying to keep you honest and im trying to keep you honest. The race for the 50th congressional district is heating up--
I look forward to having you as a constituent when I return. I can't say the same because you don't dont live in the district. I do live in the district
Republican Darrell Issa and Democrat Ammar Campa Najjar have had some tense exchanges during recent forums--
He has great ideas but - don't you want to answer the actual question?
After serving in congress for 18 years, most recently in the 49th district, Issa is eyeing a return to Capitol Hill.. He stepped down in 2018 after regular protests outside his office in Vista. He was then nominated for a position in the Trump administration..
I make no bones about it as a conservative the other district that I represented became very difficult but I stood my ground
My two year sabbatical has certainly given me an opportunity to rest and i've never been more excited about the job
The candidates are vying for a traditionally conservative seat once held by Duncan Hunter, who resigned after pleading guilty to misusing campaign funds.
The district covers much of east county and goes into Temecula.. 40 percent of voters in the 50th are registered Republicans, while 30 percent are Democrats. Still former Obama white house aide Campa Najjar was able to grab nearly half of the vote in 2018 and is running for a second time.
I am a consensus builder i've managed to piss off both parties so i'm doing something right
On the things we agree on i want to go far creating jobs, apprenticeship programs
Campa-Najjar sat down with KPBS to talk about the issues, while Issa's campaign did not make the former congressman available for an interview. Issa did address many issues in public forums and debates. One of them was How to help businesses affected by the pandemic.. Both candidates agree the state shouldn't be deciding who gets to stay open or who has to shut down -- but Issa doesn't want to see any more forgivable loan programs while Campa Najjar does.
The idea that we're going to throw another trillion, two trillion, three trillion of borrowed money in order to keep people at home. I think that is foolhardy. It is inconsistent with what i'm hearing. Small businesses tell me they just want to be reopened.
What i'd like to do when im in congress is make sure these loans for small businesses are going to those who are employing people and those who need it the most
California Governor Gavin Newsom recently issued a bold executive order to tackle climate change. All new cars sold in the state will have to be zero emissions by 2035.. But Campa Najjar says the state has energy issues and points to recent rolling blackouts.
We need to make sure that our energy policies meet the demand right now we don't have the supplies especially in those peak hours when the sun is setting people are going home. We've done a good job with solar and wind and bio fuels to have energy development but we're not good at the storage yet
Issa agrees storage is a problem and wants to see investments in energy alternatives like nuclear and pump storage--
We need to be more innovative we need to have large storage capability or we need to keep other systems on board
We're prematurely shutting down nuclear which is zero emissions
The candidates have sparred over healthcare and how to lower costs for Americans..
In order to reduce the cost of healthcare we have to reduce the costs of healthcare - not try to subsidize insurance. The basic goal is competition, tort reform, FDA reform. That will work
I don't believe in single payer just the opposite
Campa Najjar did support medicare for all while running in 2018, but now he says it's not affordable and he doesn't support single payer healthcare.
Have your private insurance if you want it. Half of Americans have it but then create competition to lower costs to increase costs and lower the quality of care. Introduce a national kaiser nonprofit plan give people the opportunity to buy into medicare a little bit earlier
Through the end of June Issa - formerly one of the wealthiest members of congress - has raised 8.2 million dollars -- of which nearly 6 million was donated or loaned by Issa himself.. During the same time Campa Najjar has raised just over three million dollars. Matt Hoffman, KPBS News.

That was KPBS’ Matt Hoffman. And remember, the KPBS voter guide is online now. It’s a resource where you can customize to your ballot. You can make sure you’re registered, request a ballot, find your polling place, and find comprehensive links to all of the news and information on local and state races and ballot measures. You can find the KPBS voter guide online at KPBS dot org, slash election.

Coming up on the podcast…..

We’ll have a quick film review from our arts reporter, and then we’ll take a closer look at community outbreaks of COVID-19.

"it just it hit me hard like ugh because you really hope it doesn't happen"

How they affect those sickened and the rest of the San Diego County. That’s next, after this break.

The documentary “Time” depicts one woman's fight for the release of her husband who is serving a 60-year sentence in prison.

The film is now playing at the newly reopened Landmark Hillcrest Cinemas.
KPBS film critic Beth Accomando has this review.

Garrett Bradley wants her documentary Time to encourage people to imagine a more just and compassionate future. The way she tries to achieve this is through the story of Fox and Rob Rich, a couple who committed a robbery out of desperation. Fox served three and a half years but Rob was sentenced to 60. When Fox was released she dedicated her life to getting her husband out of prison. At one point her son talks about the struggle.
CLIP If we are to transform criminal justice system in order to make it more a forgiving system then you have to understand how it operates.
Time wants us to understand that injustice is not just about innocent people wrongfully imprisoned but also guilty people whose punishments do not fit their crimes. Time states it case with compassion and a stunning sense of artistry.
Beth Accomando, KPBS News.

A community outbreak of COVID-19 is defined as at least three cases among people who live in different households. San Diego County tallies its outbreaks to monitor coronavirus spread.

But in our ongoing series about the county's COVID data, KPBS Health Reporter Tarryn Mento says the significance of counting outbreaks has waned.

The University Christian Church bells are a familiar sound in San Diego's Hillcrest neighborhood.
But there used to be another melody ringing from the sanctuary.
The San Diego Gay Men's Chorus rehearsed in the space for its upcoming Broadway concert series.
But the group went quiet in March. Executive Director Jeff Heine says they cancelled rehearsals as a precaution.
"There was an unknown quantity to this this virus back then.
The show was delayed until next year.
"We wanted to be safe."
The last rehearsal was 10 days before Governor Gavin Newsom ordered all Californians to stay home.
"that directive goes into force in effect this evening"
But COVID was already in the door. Four chorus members would later test positive and become one of the region's first community outbreaks.
"it just it hit me hard like ugh because you really hope it doesn't happen"
There have been hundreds of outbreaks in San Diego County since then, and officials track those outbreaks to measure how much COVID is spreading. Outbreaks are one of 13 triggers the county uses to determine public health restrictions. But a KPBS review of the triggers found it's a complicated and evolving system.
For example, there should be no more than six community outbreaks in a week, but we've exceeded that number for months. The San Diego Unified school district initially said classrooms wouldn't reopen until we met that goal. But both county and school officials are reevaluating this metric.
For the gay men's chorus, news of COVID illnesses circulated just days after practice was cancelled.
"a singer would post something on Facebook saying that they were home sick, not feeling well"
Heine eventually contacted the health department. He said he was told the info helped them link the cases together.
"...if they've been told to stay home or if they have tested positive, we have their names already. You're just helping us to connect the dots"
County health officials connect a lot of those dots. At one point staff confirmed 40 community outbreaks in a week. There are fewer now but still higher than the threshold that the county's Dr. Wilma Wooten is giving the metric a second look.
"obviously we knew as things would open up that, uh, we would have more cases. So we have, uh, asked two entities to look at modeling to determine going forward, if that number should change or remain the same."
That was a month ago. County doctors wouldn't give an interview for this story but a spokeswoman says they're still reviewing the threshold. In the meantime, parents have pushed San Diego Unified for a clear reopening plan.
But others are pushing to reopen only when experts say it's safe. UC San Diego's Dr. Howard Taras is advising the district on when that is. He says he acknowledged early on plans could change. The school board just OK'd sending a small percentage of students back to class next week.
"it doesn't worry me to open schools more than we are now in the San Unified School District, if only community outbreaks, especially the type of community outbreaks that we're seeing, is still not quite yet up to par"
Meanwhile, all four San Diego Gay Men's Chorus members have recovered from COVID. Including one who was hospitalized. Heine says he's not sure where or how the virus was transmitted — but thinks at least one singer contracted it from his job in the medical field.
"we believe that's where he probably got it from and not not necessarily with the chorus at all."
A county spokeswoman said linking an outbreak to a location or organization doesn't mean that's where transmission occurred. But the chorus rehearsal space is still empty.
"God, I miss it. I really miss it"
The chorus did reconnect briefly in June at Balboa Park. They record a socially distanced video to them singing "Somewhere Over the Rainbow."
Passersby recognized the group. Heine says after cancelling two seasons of concerts, and profits, the experience lifted their spirits.
think for the people who gathered too I mean, you kind of get you wondering, well, what what would stop us from just going out into the park and just singing Christmas carols in December or wandering around or things like that
Their "Return to Broadway" show is scheduled for April. But it's unclear what the data will allow then — right now live theater isn't part of any phase of the governor's reopening plan. Tarryn Mento. KPBS News.

That was KPBS Health Reporter Tarryn Mento. KPBS will continue to report stories on the region's 13 triggers as part of its ongoing series. You can look at all 13 data points using the KPBS Trigger Tracker at kpbs.org. That’s it for the podcast today, thanks so much for listening and have a great day.

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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.