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Can California’s power grid take the heat?

 July 28, 2023 at 5:00 AM PDT

Good Morning, I’m Debbie Cruz….it’s Friday, July 28th.


How this week’s heat is affecting California’s power grid. More on that next. But first... let’s do the headlines….


We won’t be escaping the heat just yet…

Forecasters say it’s going to be another hot couple of days.

Temps will be close to hitting the 90s in the county today and tomorrow.

And a heat advisory for the county’s inland areas has been extended to 7 p-m tomorrow.

But, the weather will start to slightly cool down on Sunday and Monday, when temps are expected to drop down to average for this time of year.


A new audit says the City of San Diego's brush removal policies may be putting lives and property at risk.

Wildfires are becoming more frequent and intense, and vegetation from the heavy rainfall this past winter could make that even worse…

Yet a recent internal audit found San Diego’s only department effectively managing brush, is Parks and Rec.

Other departments like Transportation and Public Utilities are falling behind on the upkeep.

Auditors say that means more than three-thousand acres are being managed by ineffective policies.

According to reporting by our media partners at inewsource, city management plans to direct departments to do something about it.

That includes increasing staff and requesting more funding.


A one-time “Teacher of the Year” accused of inappropriate relations with a former student, faces new accusations involving another former student.

The San Diego County District Attorney's office earlier this week filed an amended complaint against 34-year-old Jacqueline Ma.

Ma now faces additional sexual misconduct counts linked to a second victim, who, like the first victim, is under 14 years old.

Ma was arrested in March on multiple charges after investigators discovered she had an inappropriate relationship with a 13-year-old student.


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


California’s power grid is showing a little more stress this week during a persistent hot spell.

Grid managers issued two warnings Tuesday and Wednesday that the gap between power supply and demand is getting tight.

Environment reporter Erik Anderson has details.

 The California Independent System Operator says there is not a lot of wiggle room when they forecast electricity supply and demand numbers.  Call it an early warning that an extended hot spell is taking a toll.  Grid manager Elliott Mainzer says the hot weather hasn’t reached last year’s levels which spawned 10 consecutive flex alerts, emergency calls to conserve power. Elliot Mainzer, (pres and ceo of California Independent System Operator. “Typically for us to really run into issues, it has to be hot not only in the interior part of California but in the big cities in Southern California and the Bay Area. It’s been relatively… it’s been warm but not super-hot there.” The state also got a boost on the power supply side this year.  California added new gas and renewable generating capacity, more battery storage, and access to more hydropower, thanks to a wet winter. Erik Anderson KPBS News.


A measure that would allow cities and counties across the state to establish rent control will be on next November's ballot.

Reporter John Carroll says it will be the third time rent control advocates have tried to get such a measure passed.

California secretary of state shirley weber announced wednesday night that the justice for renters act had gotten the required number of valid signatures.  during a statewide zoom call, rent control advocates, elected officials and former elected officials praised the news… saying high rents across the state are forcing people out of their homes and sometimes onto the streets.  the measure would allow counties and cities to establish initial rents and to control rent increases.  but apartment owners of california president jeff faller says if the measure passes, it will just make things worse.“because it’s not creating more housing, it actually creates a shortage and so the less of something you have, the more expensive it becomes.” voters will decide in november of next year whether the third time will be a charm when it comes to passing rent control in california.  jc, kpbs news.


After receiving an upgrade in June 20-22, one navy ship went to sea for just a week and hasn’t left San Diego since.

Military reporter Andrew Dyer has more.

The Navy says maintenance issues have plagued the amphibious assault ship Boxer, preventing it from leaving San Diego for the last 13 months. This is despite the Navy spending two years and two-hundred-million dollars upgrading the ship to deploy with the latest generation of Marine Corps Fighter, the F-35. Commander Arlo Abrahamson, a Navy spokesperson in San Diego, says the crew is staying sharp by simulating being at sea but won’t say exactly what is preventing the ship from leaving. “We don’t discuss specific instances of maintenance casualties due to operational security.” Abrahamson says the ship expects to begin a round of sea trials soon and will deploy in the near future. Its last deployment was in 2019. Andrew Dyer, KPBS News.


Coming up.... Our KPBS arts producer has you covered with some weekend plans if you need some! We’ll have that and more, just after the break.


A small group of indigenous athletes in San Diego are working to bring back one of the oldest team sports in history, Ulama (oo-lah-mah).

And with it, a key piece of Mesoamerican cultures.

Reporter Katie Hyson went to their practice to witness the revival.

Underneath the roaring freeway at Chicano Park, surrounded by murals of resistance, a team of seven gathers – the Fire Coyotes. Diverse indigenous ancestry, all genders and ages, 8-years-old to gray-haired. Schools don’t teach Ulama. There’s no manual for how to warm up. So they get creative, inventing drills that focus on their hips, the only body part allowed to hit the ball. They count off in nahuatl, an Aztec language, as they stretch. They wrap leather around their midsection to protect their body from the eight-pound rubber ball, and a faja, woven belt, to protect their spirit. They sweep the pavement free of glass and practice diving onto it, one-handed, to save a low-bouncing ball. They burn sage *nat pop* ask their ancestors for permission to play their sport and start the music, the drumbeat uniting players with the earth’s heartbeat. And the game begins. Each side fights with their hips to keep the ball from crossing the line behind them. It’s more than just a game. For thousands of years, indigenous people across Mesoamerica played Ulama to settle conflict and connect with divine forces. Catholic conquistadors banned the sport. Now, half a millennia later, teams are forming again in Central America and the U.S. The Fire Coyotes’ director, Eduardo Santiago, calls it decolonizing through movement. As we are asking ourselves why did these things about us go away? We are revitalizing our culture . . . There will be next generations of Ulama. Santiago first saw the sport on Youtube a few years ago. He dreamed of bringing it to San Diego. Then, last year, he heard there would be Ulama at a cultural exchange between Las Vegas and cities in the Yucatan. The next day. And after my graveyard shift that morning, I took a drive to Vegas from San Diego. There, Santiago met a team that practiced in the San Fernando Valley. He started driving five hours every weekend to train with them and learn the sport. Then he invited some of his friends to play in San Diego, including Michel’le Sepu’lveda. That's my government name. And my indigenous name is Baguá Inaru, which in the Taíno Arawak means woman of the ocean, woman of the sea. Sepu’lveda grew up in Puerto Rico. She tears up describing the honor of bringing the sport out of her childhood history book and onto the pavement. I ask her if the sport has always been co-ed, but the question itself was rooted in colonized thinking. Yes, of course, because I'm sorry, the Taínos, in my culture, we don't have difference between female and male. Sepu’lveda lives with lupus and fibromyalgia. She says Ulama has given her a reason to wake up every morning. The persistence connects her with her enslaved ancestors, who played the sport during their breaks from the field. Because imagine my ancestors pushed through even when they were playing this in the sugar fields. Just playing bomba and remembering who they truly were. She dreams of a real Ulama court at Chicano Park. And one day, bringing Ulama back to her island. To her, the sport is both child-like joy and ongoing indigenous resistance. We still, til this day, libré. We want our liberty. We want to be recognized, to be acknowledged that I do exist. The team will be formally inaugurated this Saturday at Chicano Park. Santiago says another team is already forming in Yuma, Arizona. Katie Hyson, KPBS News. 


And another sport is helping students from across the San Diego Unified School District prevent learning loss and gain new skills this summer.

That sport… is soccer.

Education reporter M.G. Perez has the story.

More than a thousand students in elementary and middle school…are playing soccer week-to-week in summer camps at the Chula Vista Olympic Training Center. San Diego Unified is partnered with the Chicano Federation and the San Diego Foundation to provide soccer coaching and lessons in problem-solving, decision- making, and team-building. 12 year old Isaac Vargas is a 7th grader at the Language Academy…and he’s serious about his soccer…“a lot of passion…a lot of time…you gotta put in the work…it takes a lot” The camps are free to children who have applied from neighborhoods that are under-resourced and often under-served. MGP KPBS News.


We have another story from M.G. Perez…

He says some of the most talented teenaged musicians in the country are in San Diego tonight, to perform at the Rady Shell.

Perez says their talent comes from a lifetime of learning.

The sound of a full orchestra powered by the talent of teenaged musicians. They are members of the National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America. Spencer “I like the rich, deep, chocolatey sound of the viola”  18 year old Spencer Quarles just graduated in June from Granada Hills Charter High School in the San Fernando Valley. He’s played the viola for 8 years …and the violin for a few years before that. He is grateful for his training at New York’s Carnegie Hall Music Institute before starting the youth orchestra’s national tour this summer. It’s the culmination of his education and hard work. Spencer I feel when I'm playing. I'm very much connected to my musician colleagues. We're all sort of feeling the music and overcome with joy by playing such incredible pieces together. Tonight’s performance at the Rady Shell starts at 7:30..…with tickets still available online through the San Diego Symphony website. MGP KPBS News.


And before you go… arts editor and producer Julia Dixon Evans has some other arts events happening this weekend.

She shares the details with KPBS Midday Edition host Jade Hindmon.

Now let's talk about miniature theaters. What do you know about this annual Paper Theater Festival at UC San Diego? 

…Next there's a free Shakespeare Festival happening at Southwestern College. How can we go and check out a play?

TAG: That was KPBS arts editor and producer Julia Dixon Evans, speaking with KPBS Midday Edition host, Jade Hindmon. 

You can find details on these and more arts events, at KPBS dot ORG slash ARTS.


That’s it for the podcast today. This podcast is produced by KPBS Producer Emilyn Mohebbi and edited by KPBS editor Joe Guerin. We’d like to thank KPBS web producer Lara McCaffrey for helping the podcast team this week. As always you can find more San Diego news online at KPBS dot org. I’m Debbie Cruz. Thanks for listening and have a great weekend.

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California’s power grid is showing a little more stress this week during a persistent hot spell. In other news, a small group of indigenous athletes in San Diego are working to bring back one of the oldest team sports in history, called Ulama. Plus, we have details on some arts events happening this weekend in San Diego County.