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Father Joe’s Village Will Build 14 Stories Of Affordable Housing And More Local News

 January 22, 2020 at 3:11 AM PST

Speaker 1: 00:00 It's Wednesday, January 22nd I'm Deb Welsh and you're listening to San Diego news matters from KPBS coming up. San Diego's homeless provider has big plans for more affordable housing and students at Hoover high grill San Diego, candidates for mayor on issues facing their community. Speaker 2: 00:18 Basically like Joel could abuse and like I would like, um, what does this like shooting and stuff like that around my neighborhood. Like I've experienced it Speaker 1: 00:28 that more coming up right after the break. Speaker 3: 00:37 [inaudible] Speaker 1: 00:38 dozens gathered Tuesdays to celebrate the groundbreaking of a 14 story affordable housing project in downtown San Diego. KPB as reporter Matt Hoffman says, one of the region's largest homeless service providers. Father Joe's villages is behind the development. Speaker 4: 00:54 Father Joe's has built affordable housing before, but CEO deacon Jim Vargas says never on this level, Speaker 2: 01:00 407 units. It's going to take right off the right off the bat it's going to take about 550 people off the streets. It's for seniors and veterans and disabled and family members as well. Speaker 4: 01:09 The projects, price tags $145 million with funds coming from the city, state and private donors. There has been some pushback from the community over the project, which is located near 14th and commercial streets downtown. But officials are confident it will be a success Speaker 2: 01:23 as we're helping people off the streets. The community's getting healthier economically and otherwise. Right, so it's, it's a, it's a win win all around. Speaker 4: 01:31 If the building opened today, official say rents would range from $600 to $1,200 for one and two bedroom units, but that will likely change before the project has finished. In two years, residents living in the development will have access to health and dental care as well as mental health services. Matt Hoffman, K PBS news Speaker 1: 01:48 by San Diego city council president, Georgette Gomez to run for Congress means council. District nine is up for grabs. Now there's a crowded field of candidates hoping to take her seat in a district that includes city Heights, Kensington, the college area, and mountain view. KPBS speaks. City Heights reporter Ebony Monet spoke to people in district nine to find out what they're looking for in their next representative Speaker 2: 02:13 angel morale is is a manager at fresh garden market in the city's Mount hope community. He says the bright white crosswalk on market street kitty corner from the grocery store is insufficient. It's, it's busy. They, they put, they put this maybe like five years ago and I can tell you how many people got hit. Morale is thinks the city should make improvements including a divider that would make cars come to a complete stop at the crosswalk, so it's safer for the kids coming out of schools. The mothers that pick them up, Laura and fernea is executive director of city Heights community development corporation. She agrees there are serious infrastructure needs, but says possibly a more pressing matter for the next district. Nine council member is affordable housing. I think the that person is, as long as they are really communicating in dialogue with approaching, accessing, having stopped, providing resources and policies that can protect people. Here for me, especially renters is I find it very important. Speaker 1: 03:07 The top two vote getters in the March 3rd primary. We'll move on to the November general election. Ebony Monet, K PBS news. California voters will be asked to support a $15 billion bond measure on the March ballot that would help renovate schools and universities across the state. KPBS education reporter Joe Hong spoke with local school districts and experts about what voters should consider before casting their ballots. Speaker 5: 03:33 If voters pass proposition 13 school districts and colleges could apply for state bonds that would match local bonds and those districts could face higher property taxes in order to repay that money. The neediest schools and districts would get priority lead. Doug Roth is chief of construction planning for San Diego unified. He says if proposition 13 passes, the district could be eligible for up to 200 million more dollars in state funds. Speaker 6: 03:57 Both the state government as well as the local school districts across the state are responsible for providing the high quality, uh, education facilities. And, and you know, as you can imagine, there are a lot of facilities across the state, um, that over time receive wear and tear Speaker 5: 04:15 every election. The San Diego County taxpayers association announces its endorsements for local bonds association. CEO Haney Hong said if the statewide bond passes, it's the local school districts I need to be held responsible, Speaker 6: 04:27 you know, whatever matching grants a school district might get from this bill. Uh, we will look at that district's program and we want to make sure that the taxpayer gets the performance that we deserve. Speaker 5: 04:40 Statewide measures require more than 50% of the vote pass. Joe Hong K PBS news, Speaker 1: 04:46 California may decide to label one of the country's most common drugs as a carcinogen Capitol public radio. Steve Melanie reports Speaker 7: 04:54 a panel of state scientists appointed by governor Gavin Newsome is examining evidence of whether acetaminophen can cause cancer. Speaker 8: 05:01 It's the active ingredient in Tylenol as well as a number of other over the counter medications. Pain relievers. Speaker 7: 05:09 Sam Delson with the state office of environmental health hazard assessment says a state law approved by voters in 1986. Proposition 65 requires California to keep a list of chemicals known to cause cancer. Public comment on the potential listing ends. Monday. Speaker 8: 05:22 There is some evidence of increased risk for kidney, liver and some forms of blood cancer. And we're looking for uh, information that the scientists on the committee can use to help them make an informed decision. Speaker 7: 05:35 He says a listing would not in any way restrict the use of the product. A trade group representing over the counter medicines says most studies suggest acetaminophen poses no risk for most forms of cancer in Sacramento. I'm Steve muni Speaker 1: 05:48 stealing bases in major league baseball is part of the game, but stealing, pitching signs by use of technology is not KPBS. Sally Hickson says that's why the Los Angeles city council wants the MLB to award them two world series titles. Last week, major league baseball officials concluded the Houston Astros used a camera to illicitly steal signs from opposing catchers during the 2017 season. That season ended with the Astros defeating the Dodgers in seven games in the world series. Fast forward to present day and the Los Angeles city council has approved a resolution asking major league baseball to award the 2017 and 2018 world series titles to the Dodgers. Why two titles? The sign stealing system was orchestrated by then. Astros bench coach Alex Cora. Cora became a manager of the Boston red Sox the following year, which ended with Boston defeating the Dodgers in the world series one LA city Councilman said the sign stealing has besmirched the national pastime, but he added it's uncharted territory to request major league baseball to strip two teams of their titles and award them to another. Sally Hickson KPBS news of the five San Diego city council districts on the ballot this year. District three is the most urban. It includes downtown Baker's Hill, Hillcrest and North park KPBS Metro reporter Andrew Bowen says, all the main candidates are Democrats, but they don't all agree on how to address the district's most pressing issue. Homelessness. Speaker 2: 07:22 I know how we talk big about our problems, but end up acting really small when it comes to solutions. Speaker 9: 07:28 Adrian quiet Koski is a local lobbyist who's worked on issues ranging from the seals and LA Jolla Cove to the city charter reform that created the strong mayor form of government. We needed a VA facility in old town that he worked to get approved. It was controversial at the time. Speaker 2: 07:44 We had to work with the neighbors, work with the community, work with the school across the street and come to some sort of consensus and how we can move this project forward and we were able to do that Speaker 9: 07:55 on homelessness. Quiet Koski says he supports the city using the police to crack down on people sleeping on sidewalks. He says he would ask the city attorney's office for options on how to toughen such laws. Speaker 2: 08:06 When you approach a little bit of tough love, there are going to be people that criticize you but I will tell you the voters want to see some sort of positive action. They are tired of the talk and the constant issue just getting worse and worse. You know we have housing and homelessness crisis that we need to get serious about. Speaker 9: 08:26 Tony Duran is a community representative for Senator Toni Atkins. We meet her at the old mission Hills library site, which has been vacant since the city replaced it last year. Duran is advocating a proposal by the mayor's office to make the site available for permanent supportive housing. Even though the site is pretty small, Speaker 2: 08:44 granted it would only help 28 people but helping 28 people get off the street, get housing, get support services that they need so they can thrive. Speaker 10: 08:56 That's, that's important. This is what we need to be doing. Speaker 9: 08:59 Ran acknowledges many mission Hills residents are wary of the plan. She says she would make sure their concerns are heard. Speaker 10: 09:05 I'm having conversations with people. I'm asking their opinions. I'm asking what do you like? What don't you like? What are you afraid of? What will help you get more comfortable with would help you get there so we can do this important work Speaker 11: 09:19 I'm running because I think it's time to bring the communities into the conversation Speaker 9: 09:23 better. Community outreach is also important to Steven Whitburn, a director of community development for the American cancer society. He says, neighborhoods want to do their part to solve homelessness but deserve a say in how to address it. Speaker 11: 09:36 And that's what frustrates people in our neighborhoods is that people make decisions before consulting with them. And I'm not going to do that. I'm going to consult first and then we'll come up with a solution. Speaker 9: 09:46 Whitburn who ran for this same seat in 2008 and for a County supervisor seat in 2010 says district three neighborhoods can play a big role in solving San Diego's housing shortage. Speaker 11: 09:57 Yeah, I think we need to increase density throughout the urban core. Um, I do feel it's also really important to engage our neighborhoods and listen to what our communities have to say about the best way of doing that. Speaker 9: 10:09 I've been here in San Diego at city hall for the past six years working in independent budget analysts office. We meet Chris Olson at a hotel in the Gaslamp quarter that used to be SRO housing, low quality, but cheap rooms that are often people's last stop before homelessness. Olsen says the city is missing opportunities to preserve this form of affordable housing. You know, many other cities in times of a lot of development pressure, we'll turn to the moratorium or interim interim control ordinance to kind of take a breather and put a pause on certain conversions while we come up with a strategy that will work best for all stakeholders. Olsen agrees. District three has room for growth and that adding more neighbors will enhance the community's character and support local businesses. I'm an analyst by training. Uh, I don't have any motivation other than finding the best solution to our problems, even if it's not my solution. District three voters will decide March 3rd, which two candidates get to compete in November's general election. Andrew Bowen KPBS Speaker 1: 11:10 news to read more about these candidates and to see coverage of other races go to students from Hoover high school or getting into the thick of local politics. Recently they had a chance to moderate a mayoral debate and it took a lot of prep and practice ahead of the big night. KPBS speak city Heights reporter Ebony Monet shows us how their hard work paid off. Speaker 12: 11:36 Hi everyone. My name is Charlie and I'm a 10th grader student attending Hoover high. Uh, I lived in the city Heights area Speaker 9: 11:43 10 year old. Charlie Rodriguez welcomes the guest. He and his classmates have invited into their school's gymnasium. Speaker 12: 11:48 I'd like to thank everyone for coming tonight, including our candidates here for our very first Meryl. After months of practicing, the main oral quorum was underway. Candidates, Todd, Gloria, Barbara, Bree, Tasha Williamson, and rich Rao. Each had one minute to answer the student's questions. Students formulated those questions and mrs Gucci's restorative justice class, which is part of the school's social justice Academy. We visited the class and the days leading up to the debate. I feel good about this, that the date on this morning, students were seated in groups strategizing with mentors about how to get the political candidates off script. Oh. Instead of just like my typical thing that I say to everyone, it's going to be specific to what you guys have taught. Sophomore has Seuss. Perez felt the pre-debate jitters. It's pretty Speaker 13: 12:39 exciting but nervous at the same time because you never know what's going to happen. You know, Speaker 12: 12:44 Perez group is responsible for coming up with the questions he wants to discuss solutions for youth substance abuse, Speaker 13: 12:51 mostly like drug use. There's a lot, um, in this kind of era, you know, um, there's a lot of uh, uh, drugs being used and some of us don't like it at all. Speaker 12: 13:05 Classmate Tyler Chan says his experiences offer possible debate topics. Speaker 13: 13:10 I'm aware of, you know, the high rent in San Diego. I'm aware of, you know, the drug addiction that's going around, you know, Speaker 12: 13:15 according to the school district, about 88% of Hoover's students live in the attendance boundary, which is largely city Heights. Speaker 2: 13:22 I want them to, to like take action in what they say Speaker 12: 13:27 senior channel need. The luck says before voting for the first time, she wants to hear how candidates would fix problems in her community. What are some of the problems that you see in city Heights? Speaker 2: 13:36 The followers are usually like homelessness and like, um, basically like Joel caboose and like I would like, um, what does this like shooting and stuff like that around my neighborhood. Like I've experienced it. Speaker 12: 13:50 This exercise is part of a partnership between the social justice Academy and youth will a social justice nonprofit, Sean ELO is youth Will's executive director, Speaker 13: 14:00 but it's also about young people from city Heights at Hoover high school. Wayne in and a really important conversation that San Diego is having about who their next mayor will be and what that, that next mayor will be [inaudible] Speaker 2: 14:10 focusing on. He says the debate project is an ambitious lesson in civic engagement. I want to be comfortable in my own skin. I want to say what I want to say. Speaker 12: 14:18 Students predict this experience will stay with them. Speaker 2: 14:21 And this like organization helped me like get through it and like just get rid of my insecurities. Speaker 13: 14:28 And I think that this class can be, you know, really impactful for the youth because not many, not many students are, you know, not mean, uh, you know, kids really know about the outside world and no, not really much about, um, the government or anything like that. Speaker 12: 14:41 The night of the debate, the students' plans are realized. They get a chance to be heard as the candidates listen on [inaudible] in general, it's very comparison and an opportunity to ask the people who want to lead the city, how they would help. It's you. Speaker 10: 15:00 Well, he didn't do warranty. [inaudible] Speaker 12: 15:10 from forum ends with high marks. Speaker 10: 15:14 They can see the fruits of their labor. So I am so proud of the the Monet PBS news. [inaudible] Speaker 12: 15:28 thanks for listening to San Diego news matters. If you like the show, do us a favor and tell your friends and family to subscribe to the show.

San Diego’s homeless provider has big plans to create more than 400 units of affordable housing in a new downtown highrise. Plus, Californians are being asked to vote on another Prop 13. This year’s ballot measure is a 15 billion dollar school bond measure. And students at Hoover High School learned how to prepare for a forum where they can grill candidates for mayor on the issues they see in their community.