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The State Of The State

 March 10, 2021 at 4:31 AM PST

Good Morning, I’m Annica Colbert….it’s Wednesday March 9th. This year’s state of the state address, one year into the pandemic. We’ll have more on that next, but first... let’s do the headlines. San Diego will stay in the most restrictive purple tier of the state’s covid-19 system. But there is STILL a chance we could see the less restrictive red tier by the end of the month. We need to drop below 7 new cases per 100,000 people, and stay at that rate for two weeks to get to the red tier. Right now we are at 8.8. The earliest we could get to the red tier is March 30th, just in time for baseball. Meanwhile, the Del Mar fairgrounds vaccination superstation is shutting down again this weekend, friday through sunday, due to a vaccine supply shortage. Appointments will be rescheduled through their online system. For now Del Mar is scheduled to reopen on Monday. City of San Diego officials are expecting around 300-million dollars in relief funding as part of the next Federal COVID-19 relief package. San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria says the money will be used to preserve jobs and keep essential services that have been stretched thin, like trash pick up. “It seems much more likely that we will not have to close a 150, 250 million dollar budget deficient but instead we’ll be able to look at preserving services during this recession and providing relief to key sectors of the economy.” A winter storm system is passing through San Diego. The storm started last night and it’s expected to continue through Friday. Widespread rain and thunderstorms are expected along most of the region, with snowfall in the mountains. From KPBS, you’re listening to San Diego News Now. Stay with me for more of the local news you need. California Governor Gavin Newsom struck an optimistic tone in his State of the State address last night. CapRadio’s Scott Rodd has this recap. Newsom’s speech primarily focused on the state’s pandemic response--and the progress made since last March. NEWSOM-1: “It was a year ago, a year ago that we made that incredibly difficult decision to issue that stay at home order to slow the spread. You know we agonized about it. We agonized about the sacrifices that it would require. But we made sure that science--not politics--drove our decisions.” Newsom delivered the address at an empty Dodgers Stadium in Los of California’s mass vaccination sites. He hinted that the state could return to a sense of normalcy soon. NEWSOM-2: “Today, the light at the end of the tunnel is brighter than ever.” The address lasted less than 30 minutes...significantly shorter than his previous ones. He also touched on economic inequality, housing and education. While Newsom alluded to the mounting campaign to remove him from office...he did not say the word “recall.” That was Cap Radio’s Scott Rodd. ...And now for a quick fact check on Newsom’s speech. Here’s CapRadio’s Politifact california report Chris Nichos…. Here’s what Newsom said in his speech: “California’s death rate has remained one of the lowest per capita in the nation: 134 deaths per 100,000, compared to 158 nationally, 153 in Texas.” The governor is exaggerating. California does have a slightly better rate than the nation and somewhat better than Texas. But California’s rate is only middle of the pack, 23rd lowest out of 50 states, according to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention. Some individual counties such as Los Angeles and Imperial continue to have a much higher death rate than the nation’s average. Newsom also made this claim: “We were the first to launch mass-vaccination sites in partnership with FEMA.” (:05) This is correct. The Biden administration partnered with California to open the nation's first two mass-vaccination sites in mid February. They are located at Cal State Los Angeles and at the Oakland Coliseum. A third FEMA site planned for the Central Valley has yet to open. Finally, Newsom also made this statement: 03Newsom: “Today, we have the most robust vaccination program in the country.” (:05) Looking at the raw numbers, California has administered nearly 11 million doses, more than any state and more than most countries. But when it comes to vaccine rollout California has been one of the slowest states. That’s according to Bloomberg’s vaccine tracking website. In Sacramento, I’m Chris Nichols And that was CapRadio’s Politifact California reporter Chris Nichols in Sacramento. Yesterday we reported a drop in overall crime rates in San Diego. But Violent crime has gone up in a number of big cities across the country during the pandemic. KPBS investigative reporter Claire Trageser says that’s been true in San Diego County cities, as well. The city of San Diego saw a 1.7% increase in violent crime in the last year. Murders ticked up by 5, and aggravated assaults rose by about 300. Robberies and rapes were down. During a San Diego City Council presentation on the numbers, Councilman Sean Elo-Rivera said he would like to see more investment in childhood programs that can help prevent crime in the long term. “I hope that we can lean into those efforts just as much as the more direct ways that we deal with interrupting criminal activity.” Other cities in the county experienced similar trends, according to crime records obtained by KPBS. Violent crimes increased by between 1% and 50% from 2019 to 2020 in Oceanside, Chula Vista, Coronado, Escondido, and La Mesa, with every city except Coronado seeing an increase in murders. That was KPBS Investigative Reporter Claire Traegeser. When the pandemic hit one year ago, many home based childcare providers saw their businesses fall apart overnight. Now, KPBS reporter Max Rivlin-Nadler tells us how a coalition of local organizations helped childcare providers in City Heights stay in business, and, in some cases, thrive. When the pandemic hit, children were kept home…. Their parents couldn’t pay for care anymore…. And Safiyo Jama’s childcare business fell apart. A year ago, the pandemic, it hit us, especially me, hard. I lost a lot of kids, a lot of families, who couldn’t keep their jobs. That’s when a coalition of local groups — including the International Rescue Committee — stepped up. They launched a training program meant to keep these vital local institutions alive…. During a time when many essential workers in this immigrant neighborhood still needed childcare. None of the fifteen businesses that reopened to children last spring and took part in the 12-week training program, had to close their doors. Some even increased their revenues and enrollment from before the pandemic. The San Diego City Council voted on tuesday to create a new "climate equity fund." KPBS metro reporter Andrew Bowen says it's meant to lift up disadvantaged communities. AB: Climate change is already disproportionately impacting low-income communities of color, which often suffer from extreme heat and poor air quality. They also tend to lack parks, safe streets and other amenities that make neighborhoods more livable in a warming planet. The new climate equity fund would dedicate a portion of the city's tax and fee revenues to make up for those deficits. Councilmember Vivian Moreno proposed the fund. VM: The lack of investment by the city of San Diego has had a domino effect in other public and private investments within these areas, including insufficient access to goods and services. AB: The city will use environmental, health and economic data to determine which neighborhoods can receive money from the fund. And that was KPBS Metro Reporter Andrew Bowen. The first class of female Marine recruits on the West Coast is under isolation after one recruit was exposed to the coronavirus. KPBS Military Reporter Steve Walsh says their training continues. The first female platoon of Marine recruits at San Diego is isolated for two weeks after one recruit tested positive Sunday for COVID-19 says their commander, Capt. Ashli Sands. ‘It’s not disappointing. We’re used to things like this happening with recruits, where they will occasionally test positive for COVID. We’re required to adjust fire and conduct all the training necessary for them.” Still, this is not the first case of COVID among west coast recruits. At the moment, recruits aren’t receiving the vaccine. Tuesday, the recruits of Lima Company navigated the confidence course and pool exercises. Lima Company is in week 4 of the 13 week Boot Camp. And that was KPBS Military Reporter Steve Walsh. Coming up.... Next week, the San Diego Repertory theatre launches its new Black Voices 2021 Play Reading Series. We’ll have more on that next, just after the break. Next week, the San Diego REP launches its new Black Voices 2021 Play Reading Series. It consists of a selection of plays representing a diverse range of Black voices with post-show discussions after each play. KPBS arts reporter Beth Accomando speaks with playwright Vincent Terrell Durham whose play “Polar Bears, Black Boys, and Prairie Fringed Orchids” kicks off the series. That was Beth Accomando speaking with playwright Vincent Terrell Durham about Polar Bears, Black Boys, and Prairie Fringed Orchids.” It will be presented live online, next Monday at 5:30 PM. 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.

Governor Gavin Newsom gives his State of the State address, one year into the pandemic and amid growing pressure from a recall campaign against him. Meanwhile, while San Diego police are touting a lower crime rate in 2020, a closer look at the numbers shows that violent crime here has gone up a bit, as it has big cities across the country in 2020. Plus, San Diego City Council votes to create a “climate equity fund.”