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CSU academic workers rally for new contract

 September 22, 2023 at 5:00 AM PDT

Good Morning, I’m Debbie Cruz….it’s Friday, September 22nd.


C-S-U academic workers are rallying for a new contract. More on that next. But first... let’s do the headlines….


The fall and winter seasons are slowly approaching and health officials are warning of a potential rise in covid cases.

In the county, there have been nearly 180 covid-related hospitalizations over the past week, and 12-percent of COVID tests are coming back positive.

Since the beginning of July, 59 people have died from COVID-19 in the county.


In response to rising rates, the Biden administration is bringing back free covid tests.

Next week, the federal government will send up to four free COVID-19 rapid tests per household to anyone who requests them via the U-S Mail.

You can head to covid-tests-dot-gov starting Monday to get yours.


Today is the last official day of summer so try to soak it in.

Tomorrow marks the start of the fall season and it’s also National Public Lands Day.

In honor of the holiday, all fee-charging national parks will be free to visit.

Plus, the National Weather Service says there will be a warming trend in the weather this weekend, so it may be the perfect time to visit your favorite park!

Some national parks closest to the county include Joshua Tree National Park, Cabrillo National Monument and Channel Islands National Park.


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


Academic workers on the 23 campuses of California State University are rallying for a new contract.

Education reporter M.G. Perez has more from SD-SU.

“what do we want? Fair contracts…when do we want it…now!”  Teaching, graduate, and instructional support student assistants rallied on the San Diego State campus …demanding C-S-U negotiators do better to provide them a new contract. Contract talks have stalled since May…with the university system offering academic workers a 4-percent pay raise. They are members of the United Auto Workers 41-23…an unconventional pairing that makes sense for Cal State workers…according to Maria Voss who is one of them…“we’re the ones creating the actual tangible goods…whether that be teaching the material or creating car part…so our struggle is their struggle..against the owners.” The C-S-U said in a written statement that officials continue to negotiate in good faith working toward an outcome that is agreeable for both parties as soon as possible. MGP KPBS News.


If you think you’re paying a lot more for gas than last week– you’re right.

The Auto Club of Southern California tracks gas prices, and says they are seeing the third fastest week-over-week increase they’ve ever recorded in Southern California.

Reporter Melissa Mae tells us when gas prices should go down.

MM: The price per gallon of regular gasoline jumped a whopping 39 cents since last week, 66 cents since last month, and 51 cents since last year. MM: The Auto Club’s Anlleyn Venegas says by the end of October, gas prices should decrease because California switches from the summer blend to the winter blend of gasoline. AV “Summer blend gasoline burns more cleanly in higher temperatures, and it's just more expensive to produce and the winter blank gasoline that we use costs less to produce and also to distribute. So, we're gonna be paying around 30 cents a gallon less.” MM: The Auto Club has some tips for reducing your gas consumption. They say – shop around for cheaper gas, use your  air conditioning less, take heavy items out of your car and avoid hard accelerations. Melissa Mae KPBS News.


A major construction project in San Marcos is nearing completion.

North County reporter Alexander Nguyen says the city closed the last stretch of Via Vera Cruz yesterday, for crews to install much-needed infrastructure.

The san marcos creek project has been going on for more than three years. for ruth ceron … it’s affected her business. her family owns sub-marine sandwich shop at the other end of via vera cruz by san marcos boulevard. ruth ceron sub-marine owner “well it’s prevented customers from the neighborhood behind us from coming. it was supposed to take a certain amount of time and it’s taking longer.” the project was supposed to be completed this past spring … but construction is still going on. issac etchamendy is the project engineer for the city of san marcos. he understands residents' frustrations. he says part of the delays stem from the rain we had this winter. construction is expected to last until the end of the year. etchamendy says despite the delays … the project is still on budget at 114 million dollars. an/kpbs.


Coming up.... We have you covered with a few different weekend plan options. We’ll have those weekend event suggestions and more just after the break.


Oceanside Museum of Art is currently hosting an exhibit titled Art For The People: W-P-A-Era Paintings from the Dijkstra Collection.

It features art created during the Great Depression through World War 2.

Arts reporter Beth Accomando has this preview.

Bram Dijkstra has a good eye for art as well as a bargain. BRAM DIJKSTRA This is a part of what we used to call our collection of discarded art. The art he’s referring to was part of the government sponsored Works Progress Administration or WPA, which  gave artists a weekly stipend in exchange for art. But thousands of artists creating work on a regular basis for years left the U.S. government with more art than they knew what to do with. BRAM DIJKSTRA The exhibit is essentially the result of about 40 years of collecting of work that was basically being thrown out by a lot of different places. Bram’s wife, Sandra Dijkstra, adds that many of the WPA artists were also politically engaged. SANDRA DIJKSTRA …And because they were politically engaged, both the professional art establishment and the government did not welcome them. Their art was described as social realism, by which they really meant socialist realism. And so this art was not only discarded, it was actually dissed and denigrated. But the Dijkstras saw value in these works that were intended to be both accessible and meaningful to the public. BRAM DIJKSTRA Art for the people was obviously not what the museums wanted in the 80s and 90s and not until fairly recently. But Oceanside Museum of Art was interested. It’s showcasing 45 paintings from the Dijkstra’s collection for the exhibit, Art For The People: WPA-Era Paintings. Executive director Maria Mingalone says it’s the perfect way to supplement a small museum’s permanent collection. MARIA MINGALONE …So collectors are really part of the spine, if you will, or the heart and soul of a museum. Mingalone appreciates the diversity of the Dijkstra’s collection and how it resonates for today’s challenging times. MARIA MINGALONE …The work that's in this exhibition was made during similar times, and I think that it speaks to sort of what we've been experiencing, and it adds that certain sense of humanity, of understanding what we and people go through when times aren't so great. Many of these paintings emphasize that humanity by focusing on the human figure as in Harry Sternberg’s bold and powerful Coal Miner and Family in which we see a miner forced to dig under his own home, endangering his family above. Sandra Dijkstra points out that many of these painters were critiquing America with a keen eye. SANDRA DIJKSTRA One of the objectives of this collection and the show was to bring back the political dimension but to also show the art of the period included many different things. That diversity and social commentary are evident in the provocative and surreal New Death painted by Philip Evergood and depicting the Atom Bomb. BRAM DIJKSTRA The way these characters, who are basically capitalists, are being caught up in the new death of the atom bomb, and there is a kind sense of a spidery world and in that spidery world it is not just the people plotting the destruction of the world but also all of humanity, you might say, is being caught up. The intense, thick, and deceptively chaotic texture of the paint conveys an emotion that can only be appreciated in person, says. Mingalone. MARIA MINGALONE So you can experience things in print or in digital formats, but there is nothing like literally being in front of a painting or in front of a work of art. And the experience that you have is intangible. The Dijkstra collection serves up a diverse array of breathtaking art that has not always received the appreciation it deserves. Art For The People: WPA-Era Paintings celebrates this art. Beth Accomando, KPBS News.

TAG: Art For The People: W-P-A-Era Paintings from the Dijkstra Collection runs through November 5th at Oceanside Museum of Art.

You can SEE the paintings tonight on KPBS Evening Edition.


The skies over San Diego will roar this weekend with the return of the Miramar Air Show.

Military reporter Andrew Dyer got an early look at what to expect.

The navy’s blue angels flight team is back in san diego for the annual miramar air show. starting friday and running through sunday, the skies over marine corps air station miramar will be  teeming with fighters, aerobatic planes and the rarely seen u2 spy plane. base  commander, col.b marty bedell says this mix of aircraft  makes the miramar air show – rebranded this year as “america’s air show” – unique. col. marty bedell, commanding officer, mcas miramar “the miramar air show is the largest air show in dod. and just in terms of scale and diversity of aircraft here, we have civilian performers. we have military performers from all of the services.” the air show is free and open to the public. bedell says sunscreen and water  are recommended but backpacks and coolers aren’t allowed. andrew dyer, kpbs news.


Also this weekend, top female surfers from all around the world are in Oceanside competing in the Nissan Super Girl Surf Pro.

The event is something of a festival that surf enthusiasts and local businesses look forward to every year.

North County reporter Tania Thorne shares the details.

Over 140 top female surf pros from around the world will be competing for the Super Girl Surf Pro championship this weekend. The event held near the Oceanside pier runs until Sunday. Leslee Gaul with Visit Oceanside says the festival is an event the community looks forward to every year. over a hundred professional surfers throughout the country and and world competing. There will be a festival of activities ongoing for women to experience. There'll be esports tournament going on in the area, and there'll be live bands playing throughout the weekend to include Shawn Kingston. Gaul says the event is an economic engine for the city and is expected to generate close to $1 million dollars in spending. The event is free to attend and welcome to all, surfing is not required. TT KPBS News. 


After you're done watching the pros catching waves a new festival will make space for ZEENs.

This event is also in Oceanside and dozens of zeen makers, artists, musicians and vendors will descend upon The Hill Street Country Club, all celebrating an enduring form of analog art.

My colleague Julia Dixon Evans spoke with the people behind the festival.

Dinah Pole-nitz is the co-founder and artistic director of The Hill Street Country Club, and Brookes Reeder is the founder of Lunchtime Printhouse and one of the coordinators of the Oceanside Zeen Library.

Here’s that conversation.

Dinah, I want to start with you. Tell me why zines are so important to the work of The Hill Street Country Club in Oceanside?

Brookes, you publish zines and have been a big part of the zine movement in Oceanside. Can you talk about how it all began? When did you start making zines, and what motivated you? 

This rich history with zines as a way of sharing messages, activism, art and stories and connecting community long before the internet made those sorts of things more instantly shareable … without having to cut and photocopy little books. But, zines have persisted. What is it about this art form that is so enduring?

Let's talk a little bit about the actual festival. There are two days, but the first is kind of the kick-off evening event. There's music performances and DJs. Brookes, can you tell us about some of these bands?

TAG: That was Dinah Pole-nitz, cofounder and artistic director of The Hill Street Country Club and Brookes Reeder, founder of Lunchtime Printhouse and one of the coordinators of the Oceanside Zeen Library, speaking with KPBS arts reporter Julia Dixon Evans.

The festival kicks off tomorrow from 6 to 10 P-M, and again on Sunday, from 11 A-M to 6 P-M.


That’s it for the podcast today. This podcast was produced by KPBS Producer Emilyn Mohebbi and edited by KPBS editor Nic McVicker. We’d like to thank KPBS editor Megan Burke for helping the podcast team this week. As always you can find more San Diego news online at KPBS dot org. Join us again Monday for the day’s top stories, plus, we’ll bring you a story marking the 45th anniversary of the P-S-A jet collision over San Diego and how work is still underway to get a memorial for the victims. I’m Debbie Cruz. Thanks for listening and have a great weekend.

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Academic workers on the 23 campuses of California State University are rallying for a new contract. In other news, the Auto Club of Southern California says they are seeing the third fastest week-over-week gas price increase they’ve ever recorded in Southern California. We tell you when gas prices should go down. Plus, the Oceanside Museum of Art is currently hosting an exhibit titled, “Art For The People: WPA-Era Paintings from the Dijkstra Collection.” It features art created during the Great Depression through World War 2.