Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Churches Can Reopen For Indoor Worship

 February 8, 2021 at 4:42 AM PST

Good Morning, I’m Annica Colbert….it’s Monday February 8th. Churches across the state can re-open for indoor worship We’ll have that next, but first... let’s do the headlines…. San Diego county Health Officials reported more than 1200 new coronavirus infections on Sunday and 9 additional deaths. Hospitalizations decreased by 400 people in the past two weeks. There are also 95 fewer people in ICU care. A recall effort against Governor Gavin Newsom is nearing approval. Recall organizers say they’ve collected nearly 1.5 million signatures required to put the proposal on the ballot. Newsom won in a landslide in 2018, but polls show Newsom is losing ground among independents, Latinos and even some Democrats. At last night’s superbowl, former San Diego State Basketball player Trimaine Davis was honored for his work helping others during the pandemic. He was among 3 people selected by the NFL to be present at the coin toss at the start of the game. Davis is a retention coordinator at UCLA and helps historically underrepresented highschool students get ready for college, From KPBS, you’re listening to San Diego News Now. Stay with me for more of the local news you need. INDOOR WORSHIP WILL ONCE AGAIN BE ALLOWED IN CALIFORNIA. THE CHANGE IS THANKS TO a SUPREME COURT ruling late Friday. KPBS’ JOHN CARROLL has more. Indoor worship will once again be allowed in California. Late Friday night, the Supreme Court issued an injunction... stopping California's COVID-19 ban on indoor worship in houses of worship. One of the two cases the court ruled on came from right here... The South Bay United Pentecostal Church in Chula Vista has been trying repeatedly to get the state's ban on indoor worship overturned. In interviews with KPBS over the past year, Pastor Arthur Hodges said the ban was wrong, given the fact that places like large retail stores or small liquor stores were allowed to be open. Some parts of the restrictions still stand... such as a 25-percent capacity limit and a ban on singing or chanting. That story from KPBS’ John Carroll. Several school districts re-opened for some in-person learning last week. poway unified started having its elementary school students on-campus for half-day sessions. KPBS’ JOE HONG reports. Naomi Lukaszewski teaches transitional kindergarten and kindergarten at Pomerado Elementary in Poway. She’s back on campus teaching morning and afternoon sessions. Lukaszewski says, so far, she’s seen a huge improvement in her students. LUKASZEWSKI.mp400:10:35:09NAOMI LUKASZEWSKI /// POMERADO ELEMENTARY SCHOOL TEACHERI’ve noticed here they’re much more engaged, I’m getting much more response, they’re talking to me, they’re talking to each other. With case numbers in San Diego County slowly declining and with safety procedures in place, district officials say they hope to be able to keep elementary campuses open, but they won’t be able to reopen middle and high schools until the county enters the red tier for COVID-19 case rates. That was KPBS Education Reporter Joe Hong. Some of San Diego County’s vaccines are going to Mexican Citizens. KPBS reporter Max Rivlin-Nadler tells us why county officials are taking a regional approach to vaccination. San Diego County is the workplace for people from both sides of the border. So when it comes to vaccinations, the County isn’t worrying about citizenship. Nancy Maldonado is with the Chicano Federation. She believes that like housing, vaccines are a shared resource for the region. We have to tell the story and the whole relationship beyond just ‘oh gosh’ Mexicans citizens are coming over to get the vaccine. The truth is this is a bi-national megaregion. We depend on each other for a lot of things. Maldonado points out that Tijuana has long been a place where Americans have come to receive health care… and that restricting the vaccine to only US citizens… would pose a risk to everyone in the region. That story from KPBS’ Max Rivlin-Nadler The City of San Diego is making environmental justice a part of its general plan. KPBS Editor Tom Fudge says that means creating policies to address pollution and poor health in low income areas. The siting of freeways. The construction of sidewalks and locations of grocery stores. They're all planning decisions that can affect the quality of life in certain neighborhoods. That's why San Diego city officials say they want to focus on environmental justice. Vickie White, a senior planner for the city of San Diego, spoke to KPBS Midday edition. ENVIROJUST 1A :09 "We think it's important as the city planning department in recognition that these different conditions in different neighborhoods have real effects on people's lives" A state report has identified several San Diego neighborhoods that have disproportionate health and pollution burdens. Many of them are poor neighborhoods, south of state route 94. That was KPBS Editor Tom Fudge. Even though California is among the most progressive states for electric vehicle adoption, a new report suggests there’s a major reason why drivers aren’t buying them. CapRadio’s Ezra David Romero reports. Californians have range anxiety about going electric. There aren’t enough charging stations and people don’t want to be left in a lurch while driving. That’s a problem for meeting the state’s goal of 5 million zero-emission vehicles on roads by 2030. But UC Davis’ Hemant Bhargava says there’s a solution: build a statewide network of super-fast charging stations where any electric car can charge. [BHARGAVA] “If I want to take this car and a longer drive from San Francisco to Los Angeles or to Lake Tahoe. At the moment I decide I need to charge, I want the assurance that there is a station available.” He says this should mirror what gas stations offer today. As more electric cars go on the market he says California is going to have to come up with ways to make buying and charging them more equitable for all residents. SOC That story from Cap Radio’s Ezra David Romero. Coming up.... The mayor of National City says a New Port commissioner brings a background you might not expect. “Those natural resources of our waterfront, we deserve, we’ve earned and it within our jurisdiction to have access to.” The Port’s first Latina commissioner. That’s next just after this break. The port of San Diego’s board of commissioners is welcoming its first Latina. KPBS’ Erik Anderson reports. Jason Monroe and Jose Mendosa are at the Pepper Park boat launch in National City. Monroe “Still gotta disconnect the bow line if you can do that” Mendosa “Okay.” They’re on their way to collect a skiff with a dead engine at the 32nd Street Navy Base. Pepper Park is the only place in National City where the public has access to San Diego Bay. Helping preserve that access is a priority for the first Latina to hold a seat on the port commission board, Sandy Naranjo. 11:15:27 – 11:15:35 “I want to make sure I continue that legacy that former commissioner Valderamma left. But also too to expand that the port is inclusive of everyone.” Naranjo is filling the shoes of Dukie Valderamma, the former port commissioner who spent years supporting Bayside businesses while working to improve National City’s slice of the bay. 11:18:15 -- 11:18:36 “When everyone thinks of San Diego, they think of our waterfront. And I want to embrace that. But I also want to embrace that community members that live here to enjoy that as well. I want it to be inviting to not just the people who live in National City and Barrio Logan, but also San Ysidro, Southeast San Diego where they feel like the can come here and they have access.” Naranjo brings a fresh set of eyes to the board. She’s fought for clean air in communities near the bay. It’s a battle rooted in her childhood when she had her first severe asthma attack. It’s a condition she links to the diesel truck traffic that rumbled through her neighborhood. 11:10-:24 – 11:10:35 “Unfortunately my story’s not unique. This is what happens in our community where we see brown and black children being diagnosed with severe asthma at higher rates because they’re exposed to toxic air pollution because they live next to a polluting industry.” The Asthma rate for children in Barrio Logan is seven times higher than it is for kids growing up in La Jolla. Naranjo has worked for the Environmental Health Coalition and Mothers Out Front. And she hopes to bring that community perspective to the Port. 11:11:02 – 11:11:15 “Someone like myself, with my background in environmental justice and labor advocacy has not been traditionally welcome, but I believe its going to serve as a positive force.” National City mayor Alejandra Sotelo-Solis praises Naranjo’s willingness to fight for the community. And the mayor says that makes the new port commissioner the right person to push for issues important for National City. 00:02:21 – 00:02:35 “I think she’s very nimble. She has the understanding of the government as well as that personable aspect that the decisions that are made affect real people. Sotelo-Solis says Naranjo has a seat at the table and she’ll be able to fight to keep National City from being overrun by smelly industries. She is convinced Naranjo is the right person to advocate for National City ‘s clean air and clean water. 00:13:49 – 00:14:00 It’s also knowing that those are natural resources of our waterfront. We deserve, we’ve earned and it's within our jurisdiction to have access to.” But for longtime environmental Justice Advocate Diane Takvorian, Naranjo’s appointment marks a sea change in the way business is done at the Port of San Diego. 00:02:35 – 00:02:44 “Environmental Health Coalition has been advocating with the port for 30 years now. And this is completely different.” Takvorian says Port officials were surprised years ago when residents first began speaking out about air pollution in the portside neighborhoods. Now advocates are not just crowding a public meeting demanding to be heard, they have a seat at the table boosting chances clean air and water will be a priority for the Port. Erik Anderson KPBS News That reporting from KPBS Environment Reporter Erik Anderson. That’s it for the podcast today. Be sure to catch KPBS Midday Edition At Noon on KPBS radio, or check out the Midday podcast. You can also watch KPBS Evening Edition at 5 O’clock on KPBS Television, and as always you can find more San Diego news online at KPBS dot org. I’m Annica Colbert. Thanks for listening and have a great day.

The U.S. Supreme Court hands a victory to a local church and lifts California’s ban on indoor religious services. Meanwhile, some schools in San Diego return to limited in-person learning. Plus, the Port of San Diego welcomes its first Latina to the Port’s Board of Commissioners.