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Four Candidates Vying For Duncan Hunter's Vacated 50th District Seat And More Local News

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For the first time in four decades, someone who isn't named Duncan Hunter will be representing the 50th Congressional District. The main candidates include three Republicans and a Democrat. And, San Diego County Voters To Decide Fate Of Newland Sierra Housing Project. Plus, San Diego City Council Debates SDSU Mission Valley Deal.

Speaker 1: 00:01 It's Tuesday, January 28th. I'm Deb Welsh and you're listening to San Diego news matters from KPBS coming up. A potential Corona virus case reported to San Diego County. Health officials and voters in the 50th district have no representation in Washington until January, 2021

Speaker 2: 00:20 I did make mistakes. Um, I did not properly monitor or account for my camp campaign money

Speaker 1: 00:27 that more coming up right after the break.

Speaker 3: 00:31 Uh,

Speaker 1: 00:38 a potential San Diego Corona virus case has been reported to County health officials. It comes from an individual who traveled to impacted areas in China where the deadly virus is believed to have originated after consulting with the San Diego hospital. As specimen was collected and sent to the centers for disease control and prevention for testing. Currently, the CDC is the only agency capable of testing for the deadly virus. The patient is currently in isolation. Meantime, San Diego County has been conducting its investigation to identify people who may have had close contact with the patient and quarantine them. Why do millions of people more than the death of a man they've never met KPBS. As Sally Hickson spoke to a scholar who studied our relationship with celebrities. She has this report about the death of Koby Bryant reaction to the sudden death of NBA star. Kobe Bryant has been so widespread with many feeling a personal loss. Bradley bond associate professor of communication studies at USD has researched this phenomenon and says it's not at all surprising

Speaker 4: 01:44 when someone who you have a social or emotional connection with on screen experiences, tragedy, you experience mourning and grief for that individual much the same way that you would for somebody in your real life.

Speaker 1: 01:58 Bon said, it really just stems from the human need for social connection and that desire for social connection doesn't stop with our real world experiences. It transfers to the screen. We develop bonds with characters and celebrities we don't even know, especially now with the presence of social media. Sally Hickson KPBS news, anything is possible. That's what many students visiting the Scripps institution of oceanography felt after speaking Monday with an astronaut in space. KPBS reporter Matt Hoffman was there.

Speaker 4: 02:29 Station. Can you hear me okay? Yes. San Diego. Can you hear me? Nearly 150 San Diego students got some FaceTime with the real life astronaut. Monday Jessica Meir received her PhD from the Scripps institution of oceanography before becoming a NASA astronaut. She made history last year, part of the first all female spacewalk mere spoke to students as she orbited earth inside the international space station. No matter how many obstacles stand in your way, you have to be ready to persevere and to keep on trying. Even if you fail along the way. The talk, gay Fulton middle school, eighth grader, Aja March,

Speaker 5: 03:00 some out of this world ideas,

Speaker 6: 03:01 I probably do want to visit space at some point. I still want to become an engineer. Open up my own company stole that, but a trip to space would be really awesome.

Speaker 5: 03:11 Matt Hoffman, K PBS news.

Speaker 1: 03:13 SDSU is inching closer to a deal to purchase. San Diego's mission Valley's stadium property KPBS Metro reporter Andrew Bowen says the city council on Monday debated some of the finer points.

Speaker 5: 03:24 The city and university have already agreed on a price for the land. 86 point $2 million, but there was hours of debate over my new shit. Like can students have special access to affordable housing on the property and can the university count landscaping being used for storm water filtration as Parkland council woman Barbara Bree cautioned against putting too many conditions in the deal.

Speaker 7: 03:47 I think it's all important for us to remember that the city is not a real estate developer. It's our responsibility to approve a legal agreement that adheres to the provisions of measure G. it is not our responsibility to micromanage the development of this site.

Speaker 5: 04:03 The university still hopes to close the sale quickly though it says it probably won't happen next month. Andrew Bowen KPBS news,

Speaker 1: 04:10 the fate of two large North County housing projects West of Escondido could be decided this week. KPBS reporter Eric Anderson has details

Speaker 8: 04:19 a San Diego judge has already tentatively ruled the 450 home harmony Grove village South project and a 326 ohm volley Ghana development fail to adequately address greenhouse gas emissions and fire evacuation concerns. Judge Katherine Bacall could finalize her ruling this week. Smart growth housing advocate. JP, the bird says the County shouldn't have approved the projects because they fall outside of areas zoned for dense housing.

Speaker 5: 04:45 These are rules that were developed with the help of you know, 29 communities if developers were involved, environmentalist were involved and the general plan is a good solid plan, but it's proving that the County is not doing their job. The board of supervisors are approving things that that shouldn't be approved.

Speaker 8: 05:00 More than a dozen other housing developments that have County approval and are planned for rural areas are also being challenged in court. Eric Anderson KPBS news,

Speaker 1: 05:12 Darryl Eissa, a candidate for the 50th congressional district is running a controversial campaign ad about Carl de Mio, one of his top opponents in the March primary KPBS reporter. Priya Schreder has more polls show Demio and Eissa running neck and neck among Republican candidates. ISIS, that includes headlines from the Los Angeles blade and the Hill that referenced DeMaio being gay. ISO responded to criticism of the ad to channel 10

Speaker 6: 05:38 Oh, I think you're talking about some headlines from actual newspapers. Yeah, I certainly think that you should talk to the Hill and to blade and ask them why they use those words, but the reality is those are real headlines talking about his real failures.

Speaker 1: 05:53 DiMaio and Eissa are running against Democrat, Amar [inaudible] and Republican state Senator Brian Jones. In the March primary, the top two vote getters will face off in the November general election. Prius are either K PBS news. San Diego county's registered voters are in a position to decide the fate of the Newland Sierra housing project. KPB reporter Eric Anderson says, measure B will decide whether the project moves forward.

Speaker 8: 06:20 Newland Sierra developers want to build 2100 homes, retail space, trails, parks, and set aside some open space. Near interstate 15 County officials approved the project, but opponents forced the measure on the March ballot measure. Be spokesman Kenneth Morris says the County needs the development. San Diego is suffering from a severe housing crisis. More says the project is being opposed by the owners of the golden door, a luxury resort near the project. We can't let narrow special interest of a $10,000 a week luxury spa take precedence over creating affordably priced housing for working families. Not so says the opposition to measure B. cliff Williams says developers took advantage of the system. They got cheap land because this project wasn't supposed to be there and they're going to up zone it and they're going to make go borough. $1 billion. County voters will decide for the first time whether they agree with the board of supervisors which approved the general plan amendment, allowing the project to move ahead and this is the people of San Diego scene. We've had enough of the sprawl developments. A yes vote on measure B allows the project to be built. A no vote overturns the supervisor's approval. Eric Anderson KPBS news

Speaker 1: 07:31 for the first time in four decades. Someone that isn't named Duncan Hunter will be representing the 50th congressional district KPBS reporter Prius Sri. There takes a look at the local race that's in the national spotlight. It's been a whirlwind in the 50th, uh, district with 750,000 constituents that covers much of North and East San Diego County and has been one of California's most reliably red districts for decades. The seat has been held by the Hunter dynasty first by Duncan Hunter sr, who served as a representative from 1981 to 2009 and then with his son, Dunkin Hunter jr who was elected in 2009 and served as the representative for the 50th until he resigned earlier this month after pleading guilty to a campaign finance crime. Hunter denied any wrongdoing for more than a year after being charged in 2018 with 60 federal criminal counts for using $250,000 of campaign money on personal expenses. But he did a one 80 in early December and pleaded guilty on one count, Hunter told local news station KUSC he wanted to spare his family a trial.

Speaker 2: 08:44 I did make mistakes. Um, I did not properly monitor or, uh, account for my camp campaign money. Um, I justify that plea with the understanding that I am responsible for my campaign

Speaker 9: 08:56 and what happens to my campaign money

Speaker 1: 08:57 Hunter now faces five years in prison and a $250,000 fine when he sentenced on March 17th. But where does that leave the 50th? Because of the timing of Hunter's resignation. California governor Gavin Newsome decided not to call a special election. That means voters like Joseph knob will have no representation in Congress until January of 2021 when the winner of this year's November election takes office.

Speaker 10: 09:26 Well, I think our community should be represented at all times by a rep, by a Congressman. So if we don't have a Congressman for a year, I mean that's not really fair for the people around here who, who vote,

Speaker 1: 09:39 but they will have a chance to vote in the March primary when three Republicans and one Democrat compete for this seat. One of the front runners is Democrat Amar camp and a jar of former Obama administration official who ran against Hunter in 2018 and lost by fewer than 9,000 votes.

Speaker 9: 09:57 Nearly half the district voted for me to be a Congressman. This district, we've been running for three years and we've been talking to everybody, uh, Republican Democrats, uh, independence, people who aren't ignorant but ignored by the democratic and Republican party

Speaker 1: 10:12 on the Republican side. Former nine term Congressman Darrel Eissa, current state Senator Brian Jones and former radio host in San Diego city. Councilman Carl DeMaio are all contenders of the candidates only Jones and [inaudible] live in the 50th district. Joan said the voters there should be familiar with his record.

Speaker 9: 10:34 I think I've built a pretty good reputation in Sacramento, you know, working with my democratic colleagues to get stuff done. Uh, I've fought and defended for the principles that are important to this district all at the same time getting bills passed through Sacramento and signed by the governor. So I think that skillset will transfer well to Washington D C

Speaker 1: 10:56 none of the three Republican candidates was able to gain the endorsement of the San Diego Republican party, which requires a two thirds majority of party committee members of the three running de Mio has been the most vocal opponent of Dunkin Hunter.

Speaker 9: 11:11 And I've shown time and time again, whether it's taking on the politicians with the, the pension, uh, reform initiative or fighting them on the gas tax. I'm willing to step forward and fight for the people when career politicians sit on the sidelines.

Speaker 1: 11:27 Secretary [inaudible] and about a dozen of his supporters showed up to protest Daryl Eissa when he announced his candidacy in late September. Eissa was the only candidate who turned down our repeated requests for an on camera interview. But he did speak to the press when he threw his hat in the ring. I believe that I have the history, the skills, the seniority, and the capability to hit the ground running, not just for this district but for California. The primary is March 3rd, the top two candidates will go on to the general election in November. Pre history, either K PBS news. Jitney was the first play August Wilson wrote, but the last to make it to Broadway. And now it comes to the old globe stage with a director and cast that are part of Wilson's extended theater family. KPB has arts reporter Beth like Amando explores Wilson's sense of home and family.

Speaker 4: 12:21 Wilson's plays always make director Ruben Santiago Hudson. Think of the same thing.

Speaker 11: 12:26 Home. I'm home, I'm home. I know these people intimately. I know the way they smell,

Speaker 4: 12:31 that sense of home and family are also key for actor Keith Randolph Smith.

Speaker 12: 12:36 It's like having Thanksgiving dinner and we invite all these people over and uh, we, we make an offering of a dinner for them and that's the play.

Speaker 4: 12:46 Wilson chronicled African American life in the 20th century in a cycle of 10 plays each focusing on a different decade. Jitney has set very specifically in the Hill district of Pittsburgh in 1977 and looks to a group of unlicensed cab drivers

Speaker 13: 13:02 more come by here. A little while ago, this morning, oldest couldn't have been no more than 1617 at the most. He come by here and asked me to carry him on the trip over to the North side, but then he said he got to make a stop up on Whiteside road. I carried him up there. He'd go into one of them houses and he come out here and the television, he said, nothing. Nothing, no television, none. I told him it's going to cost them $2 more for me to be hauling around the television.

Speaker 12: 13:29 When people come see the play, they always remark that, Oh, that character reminds me of my uncle. That character reminds me of that cousin, and I've heard this from people of many different nationalities, many different ages, many different genders and so I know there's something universal in the specificity of his writing and it's, it's beautiful to witness and behold.

Speaker 4: 13:53 Smith first acted in Jitney in 1998 and played the young son. Now he's aged into the part of dub and he appreciates Wilson's writing. Even more

Speaker 12: 14:03 did was he showed working class people. He did that show them as saints. He showed them all the complexity and all of their dimensions.

Speaker 4: 14:12 Steven Anthony Jones, place Becker, the owner of the Jitney station,

Speaker 13: 14:16 they go bought the place up, come the first the next month.

Speaker 11: 14:19 The play occurs against a backdrop of urban renewal.

Speaker 13: 14:25 It ain't like that's a small piece of news. I got rent to pay dr bills. Every man in here is depending on this station for the livelihood.

Speaker 4: 14:35 Joan says Wilson had a gift for capturing the life of working class black people

Speaker 11: 14:40 by examining the most mundane things. He found things that were profound.

Speaker 4: 14:49 Santiago Hudson directing the touring production of Jitney wants to convey both the mundane and the profound in the play. He says, Wilson is a great storyteller, but that's not where his true brilliance lies.

Speaker 11: 15:02 The brilliance is how you put that all together in a dynamic platform. Uh, create conflict, deceit, love, jealousy, disappointment. How do you put all those things in and reveal them in the context of just storytelling.

Speaker 4: 15:19 Joan says, Wilson achieves that in part by having plays that are not plot-driven but rather character and language driven.

Speaker 11: 15:26 It is so beautiful, so poetic. Very often I find myself afterwards feeling as though I had been riding, floating along and in this sea of language, uh, that that carries me up and down. And, uh, sometimes it's stormy and turbulent, and other times it's just, it's smooth and the sun is shining and it's, it's, uh, filled with such, such beauty. Uh, but the other thing about his writing is that he achieves an emotional honesty that is stunning.

Speaker 4: 16:13 It's an honesty that allows Wilson to find what's most human in his characters. And that's why plays like Jitney continue to connect with audiences. Beth Huck Amando KPBS news Jitney runs through February 23rd at the old globe theater. Watch for Beth's video story tonight on evening edition. 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.

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