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How To Close San Diego’s Budget Deficit

 May 6, 2021 at 5:09 AM PDT

Good Morning, I’m Annica Colbert….it’s Thursday, May 6th. >>>> What it’ll take to close the city’s budget deficit. more on that next, but first... let’s do the headlines…. ######### One case of the covid-19 variant spreading in India has been reported in San Diego. The case was found in a woman in her 20s who traveled from India before being hospitalized last month. Public health Officials don’t know yet if the India variant is more deadly or causes more severe illness. They are also still trying to figure out if the vaccines in current use are effective against it. ######## The San Diego Board of Supervisors voted 3 to 2 earlier this week to extend and expand the county’s moratorium on evictions. The moratorium bans residential evictions without just cause and pauses some rent increases. It also closes some loopholes left by the State ban, including one that lets landlords evict tenants in order to rehabilitate a property. The moratorium will expire 60 days after the state lifts all COVID- related stay-at-home orders, which is set to happen June 15. ######## The Port of San Diego will hold a virtual community workshop tonight for residents to give feedback on the future expansion plans for Pepper Park, in National city. The workshop is from 6 to 8pm tonight over zoom. The event will also be offered in Spanish and Tagalog. ######### from kpbs, you’re listening to San Diego News Now. Stay with me for more of the local news you need. The San Diego City Council began a detailed review of Mayor Todd Gloria's proposed budget on Wednesday. KPBS metro reporter Andrew Bowen says the long-term budget doesn’t look good. AB: Federal COVID-19 relief dollars are sparing San Diego from draconian budget cuts this year. But the city's Independent Budget Analyst told council members Wednesday there's still a long-term deficit problem. Services like police, parks, libraries and trash pickup simply cost more than what the city takes in from taxes and fees. Councilmember Sean Elo-Rivera says the city should be honest about that. SEAN ELO-RIVERA SAN DIEGO CITY COUNCILMEMBER SER: The budget situation that we're in we will not get out of without acknowledging that we simply need more resources to provide the city and its residents what they want and deserve. AB: Fixing that long-term deficit won't be easy, since raising taxes or fees almost always requires voter approval. As the council was meeting today, activists held a press conference outside City Hall calling for cuts to the police budget and increases to a host of other priorities. Among them: infrastructure to adapt to climate change. 7:25 CRIS SOTOMAYOR ACTIVIST CS: While the police budget perpetually increases, environmental investments that would help us survive the coming crisis are far down on the list of priorities. We don't have enough money for parks, but there is enough money to police the parks. AB: The council is scheduled to review the budget for every city department over the next week. Mayor Gloria will present his revised budget proposal on May 18. Andrew Bowen, KPBS news. ######### While new border wall construction was halted by the Biden administration, the border fence in Calexico is still getting upgraded. KPBS’ Alexandra Rangel reports. Eight feet tall sheets of metal now cover a portion of the border wall near downtown Calexico. El Centro Sector Border Patrol says the added security measures are part of its tactical infrastructure funds. Local border patrol officials say the added metal sheets are to protect agents from rocks and other objects that are sometimes thrown through the barrier. However, the founder of the group, Calexico Needs Change Ismael Arvizu, believes the metal mesh was placed for other reasons. Ismael Arvizu, Calexico Needs Change That mesh blocks people from connecting and helping people out. “To be able to pass hands or even be closer. The El Centro Sector has seen a dramatic increase in apprehensions. The sector apprehended more than 12-thousand people in the 2020 fiscal year. That number has more than doubled to over 30-thousand apprehensions in 2021….with five months still remaining this fiscal year. Alexandra Rangel KPBS News. ############ SOME OF SAN DIEGO’S MOST ICONIC BUILDINGS were lit up in red last night. TO RAISE AWARENESS OF A CRISIS IN NATIVE AMERICAN COMMUNITIES ACROSS THE COUNTRY. May 5th was MISSING AND MURDERED INDIGENOUS WOMEN AWARENESS DAY. KPBS REPORTER JOHN CARROLL TALKED TO A NATIVE LEADER ABOUT THE CHALLENGE OF GETTING JUSTICE WHEN ONE OF THEM GOES MISSING OR IS MURDERED. RED LIGHTS ON THE COUNTY ADMIN BUILDING, THE CONVENTION CENTER AND THE BOTANICAL BUILDING IN BALBOA PARK ALL SYMBOLIZE THE SPIRIT OF NATIVE AMERICAN PEOPLE… AND IN THIS CASE, THE BLOOD OF MURDERED NATIVE WOMEN. EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE STRONG HEARTED NATIVE WOMEN’S COALITION KEELY LINTON SAYS JUSTICE CAN BE HARD TO COME BY AND A BIG REASON FOR THAT CENTERS AROUND JURISDICTION. 4:00 - 4:18 “We have to work around 3 different jurisdictions, the tribal jurisdiction, the state jurisdiction and the federal jurisdiction. So when we’re looking at prosecuting cases or seeking assistance for victims, it’s kind of maneuvering through those systems.” LINTON SAYS TRIBES ARE IMPROVING THEIR LOCAL JUDICIAL SYSTEMS, BUT SHE ALSO SAYS THERE’S STILL A LOT OF WORK TO BE DONE. JC, KPBS NEWS. The Head of California's State University System is getting some pushback after requiring students and employees to get the covid-19 vaccine before returning to campus. "i have received a few letters, mostly not understanding the way that were structuring the requirement." Chancellor joseph castro says students have time to get vaccinated once there is full f-d-a approval of at least one vaccine. The three vaccines currently used in the u-s have emergency-use authorization. He also says there will be exemptions for religious and medical reasons. " ... and then for those students who don't wish to be vaccinated, there will be a virtual option for them in the fall but again, our hope is that we can repopulate our campuses at a high level." Students at california's public universities have been outside the classroom for well over a year now. The university of california is also requiring students and staff to be vaccinated before returning to campus. President Biden has announced that his administration will now raise the nation’s refugee cap to 62-thousand five hundred individuals. The decision comes after Biden faced sharp criticism for failing to lift the previous cap set by the Trump administration of only 15 thousand… A restriction Biden now characterizes as historically low. The change in course means resettlement organizations will need to pull resources together to help people create a life here in the U.S. Michael Hopkins is the CEO of Jewish Family Services. He spoke with KPBS Midday Edition Host Jade Hindmon to discuss the efforts to help refugees resettle. Here’s that interview. And that was Michael Hopkins, CEO of Jewish Family Services, speaking with KPBS Midday Edition Host Jade Hindmon. ########## Coming up.... Leash laws are sometimes ignored at public parks, trails, and neighborhoods. “During the incident he kept saying he's never done this before. He's never done this before. This is not like him.” the tragedy that ensued when a seemingly friendly, unleashed dog turned deadly. Dog owners tend to think their pets are friendly in public. So, what’s the harm in unclipping their leash for a few minutes to play fetch at the neighborhood park? Well, a lot of harm can come of it, as KPBS’s Maya Trabulsi found out. A couple in Poway are still grieving and healing after a dog attack that ended in tragedy. NAT: “Happy birthday dear Chikis, Happy birthday to you.” VO: 6-year-old miniature Schnauzer, Chikis, won’t be getting any more birthday songs or treats. Her life ended last weekend after a vicious attack by an unleashed dog. But she wasn’t the only victim. CYNTHIA: 9524 “The bite here and then some puncture wounds here and the puncture wound there.” VO: Chiki’s owners Cynthia and Ricardo Elizondo are back at Garden Road Park in Poway for the first time since the incident. CYNTHIA: “I believe we might actually find blood trails. My understanding is they tried to clean it up after the incident, but were not successful in getting it all. So we may see some.” (B-roll POV walking path). VO: There’s a long stretch of grass to the side of the park that is commonly used as a dog run for unleashed dogs to play fetch. MAYA: So you were actually on this path? RICARDO: We were on the path. Oh, I actually think that's my glove. RICARDO: 09:21:06.23 Yeah. And that's blood right there. RL__9531.MOV MAYA: 09:21:45.22 “So this is the glove that you were wearing that morning. And you just found it here on the ground.” RICARDO: “I just found it here.” VO: A bloody glove, all that remains of the deadly encounter that seemed so innocent at first. CYNTHIA “I was not scared at all. I thought he was just coming to say hello It was clearly a friendly dog playing ball with his owner. RL__9533.MOV 09:26:27.19 VO: But, instincts kicked in, and the dog, who had been happily playing a just seconds before, had locked his sights on Chiksi, and his jaws into her back. CYNTHIA: “would not let go. At that point, his owner came running over. We started kicking the dog. The owner actually said, kick him, kick him, do it, go for it. And he got on the ground and immediately got his hands into his own dog's mouth to pry open the jaws.” RL__9533.MOV 09:27:36.12 VO: It took three adults more than 30 seconds to separate the dogs, at which point, the attack continued. The owner - clearly shocked by his dog’s behavior. CYNTHIA: “During the incident he kept saying he's never done this before. He's never done this before. This is not like him.” 9533 9:28:37.28 VO: Once Cynthia got Chikis into her arms, they spun in circles, trying to avoid another bite. This time, Cynthia’s arm got in the way and she felt the dog’s teeth in her flesh, but didn’t yet realize how badly she was injured. RICARDO: "At that moment, I thought we just needed protection. And so we actually took the dog to the children's structure there because I said there's a fort, I need a fort." 9533 09:32:40.06 (POINTS TO FORT) RL__9538.MOV 09:58:31.19 MAYA: “So you climbed up here?” RICARDO: “Yeah. So climbed from the other side to go up there” RICARDO: “I was carrying the dog up here just because I knew I had to only protect one entrance.” RL__9539.MOV VO: Once police and EMTs arrived, Chikis and Cynthia were both rushed to respective emergency rooms. Cynthia needed sutures and staples to close her deep wound. CYNTHIA: “He took a bite, there is a bite out of my arm RICARDO: So there was kind of a two inch and a half, two inch diameter, you know, separating with my skin and looking in all the way almost to the bone.” RL__9533.MOV 09:31:33.13 VO: Chikis suffered broken ribs and organ damage and had to be euthanized while Cynthia was still in the ER. She did not get to say goodbye. COOK: “There is inherently more safety for everybody in the park if other animals are leashed.” VO: Captain Danee Cook from the San Diego Humane Society says the dog that attacked is under a 10-day bite quarantine per California Health and Safety code, not punitively, but to rule out rabies. She says officers regularly get owners explaining why their dogs are off leash, despite the leash law. COOK: “My dog is under voice control or my dog comes exactly when I tell them to or my dog is the sweetest dog and would never harm another dog or person. But it's not. We explain to them that whether that is, in fact true or not, it's not just for them. It's not just for their safety and their dog safety.” [07:10] 9533 RICARDO: Friendly dogs are still weapons, you know, that is the point. Yeah, it can go from licking your toddler's face. To causing that big gash on the stranger's arm in, you know, because they are dogs, that is not a vicious dog is just a dog. VO: Back at the Elizondo’s home, Chikis crate, her dog door, and toys in the yard, are painful reminders of what they all endured. They say they have forgiven the other dog owner and want to make clear that he has been equally traumatized watching his beloved pet turn deadly. CYNTHIA “If even one person decides that they will no longer take their friendly, sweet, loving dog off leash at the park or anywhere other than the dog park, I will be happy.” 9534 09:46:00.15 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.

Federal COVID-19 relief dollars have spared San Diego City from major budget cuts this year. But over the long-term, the city will face persistent budget deficits in the absence of new sources of revenue. Plus, why more security is being added to the border wall at Calexico. And, President Biden has announced his administration will raise the nation’s refugee cap to 62,500 hundred individuals.