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Efforts to prevent fentanyl overdoses

 December 8, 2023 at 5:00 AM PST

Good Morning, I’m Debbie Cruz….it’s Friday, December 8th.


An update on how the city of San Diego is trying to prevent fentanyl overdoses. More on that next. But first... let’s do the headlines….


The Oceanside City Council has rejected a proposal to create a new policy for flags that are allowed to fly from city flagpoles.

Two city council members had asked for a policy that would limit flag displays to government flags and some specific commemorative ones.

Their proposal stemmed from a request to fly a "sanctity of human life" flag at the Civic Center.

But L-G-B-T-Q-plus activists were concerned the policy would ban Pride flags, which the city has never flown.

This week's vote leaves the current practice in place… community members can ask to display special flags, but the council does not have to say yes.


State lawmakers will have to fill a 68-billion-dollar budget deficit next year.

The state’s nonpartisan legislative analyst’s office says it’s due to a sharp dip in tax revenue this year.

Gabe Petek, who leads the L-A-O, says lawmakers could patch the deficit by dipping into the state’s rainy-day fund, and pulling back billions in one-time money that hasn’t been spent yet.

“We can get to 68 billion without having to make reductions to ongoing programs.” 

Republican state lawmakers blame democrats for what they call out of control spending.

Governor Newsom is required to present his plan to fill the deficit early next month.


San Diego Superior Court officials are warning of recent attempts by scammers to take money from San Diegans, by posing as court or law enforcement officials over the phone.

The scams typically involve someone asking for money orders or cash, to resolve court-related fines and fees.

The scammer often says that if the payments aren’t made, the person will be arrested.

San Diego Superior Court officials say the court will never call someone on the phone asking for money.


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


San Diego mayor Todd Gloria gave a status report yesterday (Thursday), on the city's efforts against fentanyl.

Reporter John Carroll says the mayor also talked about the threat of a new drug.

Mayor todd gloria says last year, 410-people in the city died from overdosing on the drug… an 800-percent increase over five years. gloria says the unhoused population has been hit especially hard.  it’s the number one cause of death in that group. gloria says since he issued an executive order last year cracking down on fentanyl, arrests are up 53-percent.  now he says there’s another problem emerging that’s even worse than fentanyl. I’ll also be leading the charge to support Governor Newsom’s legislative efforts to increase penalties on Tranq, a Narcan resistant fentanyl and xylazine that is driving even more deaths.” the cdc says tranq is an animal sedative that’s not approved for use in humans… and says it’s especialy dangerous when combined with fentanyl. gloria says prosecutions for fentanyl-related crimes rose one-thousand percent between 2018 and 2022.  john carroll, kpbs news.


The Jewish Festival of Lights began at sunset last night.

Education reporter M.G. Perez says this year Hanukkah takes on deeper meaning in the shadow of the ongoing Israel-Hamas war and acts of antisemitism.

A 22-foot….15-hundred pound menorah made with a thick skin of quarter-inch steel…now hovers over the house of Chabad…a home away from home and safe space for thousands of Jewish students on the campus of San Diego State…. In late March… a security camera caught someone in the act of what police later said was a hate crime of vandalism…when they destroyed the outdoor menorah. Josh Soper is an engineer who grew up in San Diego…with no connection to SDSU…but he says the anti-semitic vandalism was personal and he was compelled to design the replacement. “we thought it was just replacing a menorah…and the more we did it…it just started becoming more and more fantastic!” Police have still not captured a suspect in the hate crime. The replacement menorah and landscaping improvements at Chabad House are being funded by private donations. MGP KPBS News.


The deadline is just around the corner for public comment on the environmental impacts of a proposed warehouse in Oceanside.

North County reporter Jacob Aere says there's pushback from residents who live nearby.

Last month Oceanside released a draft environmental impact report for the Eddie Jones warehouse, slated to go between the Oceanside Municipal Airport and the San Luis Rey River and bike trail. The draft EIR found little impact … but residents near the project disagree – including Dee Keck. “And our opposition is on the size of the development, the number of trucks that will be generated in and out of there, the fact there is no known tenant.” The 32 acre site has a proposed 566- thousand square foot warehouse and distribution facility. It will also have 114 truck terminals, plus parking space for 60 truck-trailers and 590 parking spaces for employees and visitors, according to the draft report. People have until Dec. 11 to read the report and submit written comments to be included in the final document headed to the Oceanside Planning Commission sometime next year. Jacob Aere, KPBS News.


Military veterans and families gathered yesterday (Thursday) on the flight deck of the U-S-S Midway Museum for Pearl Harbor remembrance day.

Military and veterans reporter Andrew Dyer has more.

It was 82 years ago on the island of oahu that a sleepy sunday morning turned into a day that lives in infamy. in san diego the day is marked as it is every year with a ceremony on the flight deck of the uss midway museum – a ship itself named for a battle in the war that followed the attack. Thursday’s ceremony was the third without survivors of the battle. local survivors stu hedley and clayton schenkelberg died in 2021 at ages 99 and 103. midway marketing director david koontz says even without them, the ceremony means just as much to the families. “i think it is really difficult to to finally come to realization that those who survived pearl harbor aren't going to last forever and it's been over eight decades, which means the youngest pearl harbor survivors, today, they are probably 99 years old. so, wow, intellectually. we understand that they're not with us. emotionally, it's very difficult. the ceremony closed with ringing bells, a wreath laying and a vintage aircraft missing man flyover. andrew dyer, kpbs news.


Coming up.... Our KPBS arts editor and producer joins me to talk about her suggestions for holiday events to check out. We’ll have that and more, just after the break.


Nine months after the San Diego International Airport abruptly removed a public art piece, the work is resurfacing.

This time at a nonprofit art gallery in Logan Heights.

Investigative reporter Amita Sharma says the new and expanded exhibit opens tomorrow (December 9).

“So this is going to be a handout from the show…still not sure how it’s gonna be displayed….” Deciding a detail as simple as a display…is thrilling for artist Evan Apodaca as he installs his work at the Athenaeum Art Center in Logan Heights. Its debut there tomorrow caps a bumpy journey. In March, San Diego International Airport officials unceremoniously stripped the wall near Gate 48 of Apodaca’s public art video piece, critical of San Diego’s military presence, after an onlooker called it “woke” bs. “That person's comments went way up the chain of command in the airport, which directly caused the removal of the artwork.” The artwork is named Monumental Interventions. It expresses opposition to the local military industrial complex and its role in world conflicts through the mouths of beheaded statues of well-known figures. The severed heads are computer animated and speaking the words of San Diego residents. A statue of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher asks this….Do we want to continue to create an economy that believes in death and destruction?” Just weeks before the airport slammed the door on the piece, Apodaca says the Athenaeum opened theirs to show the work at its center. Executive Director Christie Mitchell declined an interview. But in a statement, she said the center was interested in offering Apodaca a solo show because of his hyper-focus on issues affecting Southeast San Diego. Mitchell added: “His video works are the result of years of research and thinking, and we are excited to be making them available to our audiences, and to provide a space for various perspectives.” Apodaca says the Athenaeum’s invitation has renewed his excitement about the project he started in 2017. “It's not easy to enjoy sometimes because the subject matter is so intense. It's about violence. And so the fact that someone wanted to support it and wanted to support me in getting these ideas out there just felt like a dream come true.” Elizabeth Larison, of the National Coalition Against Censorship, had called the removal of Apodaca’s work from the airport…censorship. She says the advantage to showing artwork in non-government spaces, like galleries and museums, is they may be more receptive to contentious ideas.“Particularly if it goes with their brand or their mission or the artistic tastes and expectations of, say, their clients and their audiences. They may be less concerned with controversy.” And while it may seem like Apodaca’s art might get fewer eyeballs at a gallery instead of an international airport, Larison says suppressed work – any kind – draws even more interest. That’s what happened when singer Barbara Streisand tried to get the California Coastal Commission to get rid  of a photograph of her Malibu home – taken to document erosion. “There's something called the Streisand Effect, which takes place, which means that the attention brought by the censorship act itself can help artists show with other places.” Apodaca expanded Monumental Interventions to include a segment on the grave environmental effects of the nearby Navy base and shipyards on Barrio Logan, considered one of the most polluted communities in California. “The communities that are adjacent to the shipyards that lost their access to the ocean when these shipyards were created are communities that have the highest rates of asthma and other diseases.” Apodaca has also added pieces to the exhibit.  And he has created a map depicting San Diego’s defense contractors, what they produce and where they sell their weaponry.“We know it's a military town, but we don't know the exact violence that is inflicted. And when you see the specifics of the violence, those are things that individuals in San Diego don't know much about..” But he adds, those are the VERY things we need to know. Amita Sharma, KPBS News.

TAG: Apodaca’s exhibit opens at 5 p-m tomorrow, at the Athenaeum on Julian Avenue.


It’s easy to get caught up in the stress of everything that needs to be done ahead of the holidays, but it’s important to enjoy this time too.

Arts editor and producer Julia Dixon Evans is here to help us do just that. She and web producer Leslie Gonzalez created a list of holiday events to check out and she’s here to talk to us about it.

Julia, welcome to the San Diego News Now podcast.

Julia, before we get into your suggestions, I’m curious, do you have any traditions you do during this time of the year with your family?

Is there anything on the list, that you want to check out with your family this year?

I love driving around and finding new areas where people have decorated their homes or businesses. Where are some of your suggestions in terms of the best light displays to check out?

Ice skating is a popular activity this time of year, and I know some rinks have popped up around the county. Where can families go ice skating this holiday season?

We have some of the best weather there is… even this time of year. What are some outdoor holiday activities people can enjoy?

There’s also quite a few holiday parades coming up, which ones stood out to you?

The big holiday event of the season, December Nights took place earlier this month. But what are some of the upcoming festivals listeners might want to check out?

Some of the theme parks in the county also get festive this time of year too… what’s happening at some of those?

TAG: Julia, thank you for all your recommendations of holiday activities around the county. I’ve been speaking with KPBS arts editor and producer, Julia Dixon Evans. Julia and KPBS web producer Leslie Gonzalez worked together to put together a list of events on our website. You can find that at KPBS-dot-org. Julia, I wish you and your family the happiest of holidays.


And speaking of the holiday season, if your’re planning to add a four-legged family member to your home and make it a “paw-liday” season, you can do it without paying an adoption fee.

The San Diego County Department of Animal Services is hosting a special fee-waived adoption event on Saturday, for all its dogs, cats and other animals.

The event includes a visit from Santa Paws, and will be held at both their Carlsbad North and Bonita South shelters.


That’s it for the podcast today. San Diego News Now is produced by Emilyn Mohebbi and edited by Brooke Ruth. As always you can find more San Diego news online at KPBS dot org. Join me on Monday so we can start the week together, with the day’s top local news. I’m Debbie Cruz. Thanks for listening and have a great weekend.

San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria gave a status report Thursday, on the city's efforts against fentanyl. In other news, nine months after the San Diego International Airport abruptly removed a public art piece, the work is resurfacing at a nonprofit art gallery in Logan Heights. Plus, our KPBS arts editor and producer has details on holiday events happening in San Diego County.