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California’s gas tax holiday

 March 18, 2022 at 5:00 AM PDT

Good Morning, I’m Matt Hoffman in for Anica Colbert….it’s Friday March 18th>>>>

A california gas tax holiday

More on that next. But first... let’s do the headlines….


Opening arguments begin this morning in the trial of former caregiver Matthew Fluckiger who is accused of sexually assaulting three women at local nursing homes. The alleged assaults took place at San Diego Post Acute and Avocado Post Acute in El Cajon. It also happened at Parkway Hills Nursing and Rehabilitation in La Mesa. The former caregiver faces multiple charges that carry between 15 years to life in prison.


The San Diego Sheriff’s department is investigating an in-custody death.. 22 year old William Schuck was arrested last week for driving under the influence following a crash near Sunset Cliffs.. The sheriff’s department says he was booked into the Central jail after San Diego Police transported him to the hospital where no “obvious” signs of trauma were identified. Six days later he was found unresponsive in his cell. Investigators say homicide detectives are handling the case. They say Schuck was alone in his cell and there were no signs of trauma.


San Diego is hosting the first two rounds of the NC double A March Madness tournament. The San Diego Sports Commission says it’s expected to bring in SIX to TEN MILLION DOLLARS for the local economy. The last time the tournament was held in San Diego … about 50 percent of attendees were from outside the area. Nathan Kopp is with Sports San Diego.

“So that's obviously a very good number to highlight of people that are coming in, for the event staying in hotels eating at our restaurants and supporting our local economy.”

The first game at Viejas Arena will be this morning at 10:45... the Red Raiders from Texas Tech will be playing the Montana State Bobcats.


From KPBS, you’re listening to San Diego News Now.
Stay with me for more of the local news you need.

Democrats in the California Assembly are proposing a 400-dollar tax rebate to ease the burden of high gas prices.

KPBS metro reporter Andrew Bowen says the money would come from the state's budget surplus.

AB: Republicans wanted a six-month gas tax holiday to ease the pain at the pump. Democrats argue that would leave out Californians who are too poor to own a car but are still struggling with inflation. UCSD economist Mark Jacobsen says an across-the-board tax rebate would also ensure all the money goes to consumers, not oil companies.

MJ: Illinois and Indiana had gas tax holidays a while back and some academic economists looked at those and found about 70% of the money went to consumers and about 30% went to the producers.

AB: Democrats say $400 would be the equivalent of a one-year gas tax holiday for the average motorist. They're still in talks with Governor Gavin Newsom, who's not yet on board. Andrew Bowen, KPBS news.


The Federal reserve raised interest rates earlier this week to cool down the inflationary spiral that’s made gas, food and housing prices spike. It raised interest rates by a quarter of a percent. Ray Major is the Chief Economist at the San Diego Association of Governments. He spoke to KPBS Midday Edition host Maureen Cavanaugh about how the move is expected to impact the economy.

That was SANDAG chief economist Ray Major speaking to KPBS Midday Edition Host Maureen Cavanaugh.


Help is on the way for health care workers who have seen the worst of the pandemic. The Dr. Lorna Breen Health Care Provider Protection Act is sitting on the president's desk. The measure aims to provide millions in funding to create new or beef up existing mental health programs.

The act is named after New York doctor Lorna Breen, who was working almost nonstop during COVID surges and became overwhelmed–

UC San Diego’s Judy Davidson has been studying suicides among health workers for five years..

What we’ve found is that the fear of loss of job or license is associated with death by suicide among health care professionals. And Dr. Breens’ family has reported publically that they think her fear of reporting that she had a mental health concern to the board of medicine prevented her from gettting the treatment she needed and lead to her death by suicide (:22)

Davidson says there’s a stigma around mental health that has to be removed. She also says the mental health reporting process must be kept private so people can seek help without fear of repercussions.


Yesterday we told you about how Oceanside was becoming a major hotspot for tourists. Today we’re bringing you more on Oceanside’s spiking home values. KPBS North County reporter Tania Thorne says some feel gentrification is killing the last affordable coastal city in San Diego.

Nataly Sanchez lives with her parents, brother, and 2 kids in the Libby Lake neighborhood of Oceanside.

“It's a 2 bedroom house, 1 bath,,, so it's a little difficult but.. With prices soaring and everything it's hard to purchase a bigger house.”

They’ve lived in the same house for 25 years.

She was looking to purchase her own home in Oceanside but the only homes within her budget were in Temecula.

“We’re rooted here, we don't want to move from here but at this point it's kind of well like should we move over there because its what we could afford?”

The city is undergoing a lot of change—two new beachfront resorts opened their doors less than a year ago, and trendy restaurants and cafes are filling downtown.

Aaron and Roddy Browning, the owners of the Flying Pig Pub and Kitchen say that's exactly why they moved their restaurant to the downtown area.

We have a lot of catching up to do and this change is good for that because its stimulating people coming to Oceanside.

While they welcome the new business, they say many locals don’t feel the same way.

We have a lot of regulars that are not extremely excited about it because they want to keep Oceanside the way Oceanside was and as much as we loved it as well I think its important to recognize that change is going to happen with or without you.

Many tourists are making Oceanside their next destination. So says Ben Fairchild with the Mission Pacific Hotel and Seabird Resort.

Now they're starting to explore a new seaside destination in Oceanside. What's new and what's next. This is the new hip part of Southern CA that prior hasn't really been explored.

Fairchild says the new resorts are projected to bring in $3.4 million dollars in tax revenue when stabilized.

He says that as tourism and events pick up, the resorts will have more job opportunities and boost the local economy.

But prices are also going up—The average home now costs more than $700,000…beyond what many working families can afford.

But Kristi Hawthorne with the Oceanside Historical Society says it isn't gentrification.

It’s something everyone is seeing.

“That's happening everywhere, not just Oceanside. The home prices that continue at this point in time to skyrocket are skyrocketing all over Southern CA and SD County. It's not because new development is happening that oceanside property values are skyrocketing. They were going to skyrocket with this economy that's happening right now unfortunately.”

Home values have increased everywhere—but not as fast of a rate as in Oceanside.

Sanchez, whose family has lived in the city for 25 years, can feel that plainly. She says Oceanside is gentrifying and locals and neighborhoods like the one she lives in are getting forgotten.

“All the funding has been going to tourism. They forget about all these little neighborhoods. They’re developing new housing, but they’re developing housing that minorities or people that have been here in Oceanside, can't afford.”

She is helping members in the community be more active in city council meetings and speak up in an effort to be heard.



Coming up.... We bring you part two of our series on how the pandemic is impacting San Diego’s art scene. That’s next, just after the break.

This week we began a new series on the second anniversary of COVID-19 shutdowns and the impact they had on events and the performing arts. We’re continuing with the state of the theater. Two years ago, theaters went dark across the country and there was a racial reckoning.

In June of 2020, theater workers nationwide joined together to build anti-racist theater systems. The campaign was called "We See You, White American Theater".

KPBS producers Emilyn Mohebbi and Julia Dixon Evans gathered stories from a variety of people working in the theater. We start with a local actor — and activist.

To listen to different parts in this series, go to our website at kpbs dot org.


The San Diego Latino Film Festival is at a new location after being postponed because of the pandemic. KPBS Speak City Heights reporter Jacob Aere says the film festival now celebrates latino culture with other visual arts.

The San Diego Latino Film Festival is currently going on at Westfield Mission Valley Mall’s AMC Theatres. It’s a new location for the event after a two-year hiatus.

While there are plenty of great films to see, this year’s festival also offers more visual arts than ever before. Mixed media artist Pako Pablos featured his paintings of Mexican icons at the event using augmented reality to bring his work to life through a phone app.

“Frida Khalo, an iconic painter and Guillermo del Toro, an iconic director. So they are proudly Mexican so my exhibition was about Mexican icons. So that’s the reason why I put them there.”

The 29th San Diego Latino Film Festival runs until March 20 and features in-person film screenings, daily live music and a food & drink festival this upcoming Saturday. Jacob Aere, KPBS News.

That’s it for the podcast today. As always you can find more San Diego news online at KPBS dot org. I’m Matt Hoffman in for Anica Colbert. Thanks for listening and have a great day.

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Dueling proposals from Democrats and Republicans in the California legislature aim to provide relief from soaring gas prices. Meanwhile, funding is on the way for mental health treatment for San Diego’s health care workers. Plus, we continue our series on how the pandemic has impacted San Diego’s arts scene.