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City employees face COVID consequences

 July 6, 2022 at 5:00 AM PDT

Good Morning, I’m Debbie Cruz….it’s Wednesday, July 6th.

Consequences for non-vaccinated city employees. More on that next. But first... let’s do the headlines….


A new coronavirus wave continues to spread across California.

Two-thirds of the state’s counties are now in the “high COVID-19 community level.”

In the high level, the CDC recommends masking in indoor public places.

Currently, San Diego County is still in the “medium” tier.

Health officials are warning people of concerning weeks ahead, as two new ultra-contagious omicron subvariants spread.


The chairwoman of Jamul Indian Village was appointed to serve on the Tribal Advisory Committee for the U.S. Department of Interior Secretary. .

Erica Pinto will serve as the Pacific region’s primary member on the committee, representing more than 100 tribes throughout California.

The committee was created for tribal leaders to have direct communication with federal officials.

Pinto’s one-year term began last month.


Governor Gavin Newsom pardoned former San Diegan Sara Kruzan on Friday.

Kruzan served 18 years in prison for killing her pimp when she was 16.

She said her pimp had sexually abused her and trafficked her for sex starting when she was 13.

Newsom said Kruzan has transformed her life and dedicated herself to community service.


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


San Diego city employees who refuse both to be vaccinated and tested for COVID-19 on religious grounds, are now at risk of being fired.

KPBS investigative reporter Claire Trageser has been following the story, and has this update.

The city confirmed it has issued Advance Notice of Termination letters to at least three dozen employees, half of them in the San Diego Police Department. But the letters are just the beginning of the city’s dismissal process for the workers, says city spokeswoman Nicole Darling. "Those who fail to comply will be issued Advance Notice of Termination letters and will be afforded all due process rights and rights to representation.” Employees said their Christian beliefs instruct them not to use testing swabs because they contain ethylene oxide. The chemical is a known carcinogen, but is not actually present on the swabs — it’s used as a gas to sterilize them. Medical and religious experts say the employees’ claims are groundless. CT KPBS News.


The city of San Diego’s Mayor – Todd Gloria spoke with KPBS’s Maureen Cavanaugh about homelessness and policing in the city.

Here’s that interview.

That was San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria speaking with KPBS Midday Edition host Maureen Cavanaugh.


Friendship Park is a place where families separated by the border can see and talk to each other through the fence.

But plans by the Biden administration to rebuild the border wall may put an end to that tradition.

KPBS border reporter Gustavo Solis spoke with activists who are angered by the new developments.

“This latest announcement really amounts to the complete desecration of this historic location.” That is Rev. John Fanestil, a longtime advocate for Friendship Park. He says replacing the existing fences with two 30-foot-tall walls would destroy any sense of bi-national unity in this space. Friendship park, located in the coastal borderlands near Imperial Beach, has become hallowed ground for families separated by the border. For decades, they’ve gathered to see and even touch their loved ones. Plans for the new walls do not include gates or any space for families to see each other. Rev. Seth Clark says he was shocked by the plans.. Especially because President Joe Biden ran on a campaign promise to stop Trump’s Border Wall. “And that’s really disappointing. Because there was this promise that things were going to be different. That there would not be any more walls.” Gustavo Solis, KPBS News

Customs and Border Protection confirmed plans to replace the existing fence. But did not respond to questions about public access in the future.


Coming up.... Delays at the San Diego Airport. We’ll have that story and more, next, just after the break.


Getting to and from San Diego International Airport is going to be tougher than usual this week.

KPBS reporter John Carroll explains.

In order to build a new Terminal 1 parking structure, the pedestrian bridge between the terminal and the old Terminal 1 parking lot has to go. Crews are demolishing it now - it should be complete by Friday. That will mean moving traffic flows from one place to another this week. The airport’s Sabrina LoPiccolo says it’s more imperative than ever that you allow plenty of time to get to the airport. “We have detours, we have lane cuts so we really just need you to allow at least 2 hours ahead of time to get to the airport, get dropped off, through security and to your gate.” Years of demolition and construction lie ahead before the entire Terminal 1 project is complete… slated to happen in 2028. JC, KPBS News.


Dozens of volunteers turned out at San Diego beaches yesterday (Tuesday) to tackle “the morning after mess” …what was left behind after Fourth of July celebrations.

KPBS reporter Kitty Alvarado tells us the yearly beach clean-up is also a call to action …year round.

There was a big mess on our beaches the day after America’s birthday party … a lot of plastic, lot of party streamers, a lot of styrofoam, pieces of styrofoam but mostly cigarette butts that’s the main thing that I’ve been finding everywhere Marisol McLaughlin is just one of dozens of volunteers with the Surfrider Foundation’s annual beach clean up who set out to do something about the it … she’s expecting her first baby … she’s picking up trash on the beach for her and the community I’d like to bring my daughter out here and picking up trash is just the least that I could do it’s every little bit counts but then when the community comes together we can really make an impact Alex Ferron with the Surfrider Foundation says while one day clean ups are important, it’s what they find that will help some trash disappear forever we’re collecting data to try to inform policy so we can reduce at the source, like we saw with the state bag ban we don’t see those plastic bags on the beaches anymore. KA KPBS News.


Chula Vista and Carlsbad have launched their composting efforts in a bid to meet new state requirements to keep food out of landfills.

KPBS Environment reporter Erik Anderson says their new programs began Friday.

Republic Services began picking up the organic waste late last week. And they now mix what used to go into the Otay landfill with green waste. (nat pop of unloading) About three percent of what’s being dumped in the composting part of the landfill complex is now food scraps, and some paper waste like coffee filters. Republic’s Chris Seney says residents will collect the organic waste in plastic boxes called food caddies and add it to the green bin for green waste. “It’s going to take time for residents to get on board and start participating, using those kitchen caddies and getting food waste into the container.” Once residents adopt the new habits, the landfill officials expect the facility to process about 200 tons a day of green waste. The move is part of California’s requirement to keep organic waste out of landfills. Erik Anderson 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 Debbie Cruz. Thanks for listening and have a great day.

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San Diego city employees are now at risk of being fired if they refuse to get vaccinated and tested for COVID-19. Meanwhile, Friendship Park, where families separated by the border talk to each other, may be getting replaced. Plus, a project at the San Diego International Airport causes traffic for travelers all week.