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Feeding San Diego opens new food marketplace

 April 12, 2024 at 5:00 AM PDT

Good Morning, I’m Debbie Cruz….it’s Friday, April 12th.


Feeding San Diego opens an expanded food marketplace in an effort to feed more people.

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


Former San Diego County supervisor Nathan Fletcher spent more than 300-thousand-dollars from his abandoned state senate campaign to pay for his legal defense in an alleged sexual assault lawsuit.

That's according to campaign finance disclosures reviewed by KPBS.

The lawsuit, filed by a former San Diego M-T-S employee, alleges Fletcher sexually assaulted her while he served as chairman of the agency.

State election laws allow campaigns to spend money on matters reasonably related to political or legislative matters.

However, two experts say Fletcher's spending is in a legal gray area.

In a statement, a lawyer for Fletcher's campaign argued the expenditures were legal.


Colder weather, rain and wind are in store for most parts of the county this weekend.

The National Weather Service says gusts could reach up to 60 miles per hour in some areas.

Most of the rain is expected tomorrow (Saturday) and Sunday.

Today’s temperatures in the inland and coastal areas will be in the mid to high 60s, in the mountains, temps will be in the high 50s and in the deserts, it’ll be warmest, in the mid 80s.

By the start of the new work week, we’ll be back to clear skies.


Thousands of vehicles cross the international border everyday, but there was one truck yesterday (Thursday), that celebrated a milestone for sustainable transportation… a fully electric powered semi-truck.

It arrived in Otay Mesa near the Port of Entry, and local leaders were there to celebrate.

The truck is operated by Bali Express Services.

Juan Baez is their owner.

"We are trying to fight the climate change. We are trying to give more opportunity to the young people to live in a clean environment."

SD-G-AND-E says its expanded charging system will provide the power for the new electric truck.

San Diego mayor Todd Gloria yesterday said the city will also unveil its first E-V fire truck in the coming weeks.


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


The rate of inflation may be slowing in the county, but food prices are still going up.

Reporter John Carroll says Feeding San Diego's response is to expand the number of people they can feed.

With the cutting of an orange ribbon, Feeding San Diego opened its expanded food marketplace.  The new one is twice the size of the old one.  90-percent of the food it distributes is rescued from local growers, manufacturers and retail stores.  Leticia Rodriguez oversees the rescue operation. “We work with manufacturers and growers in San Diego that, either they overproduce or they have extra product that they weren’t able to sell.” Feeding San Diego CEO Bob Kamensky says more than 300-thousand San Diegans face food insecurity at some point every year… 80-thousand of them children.  The newly expanded marketplace is open four days a week at the non-profit’s Sorrento Valley warehouse.  Everything is free.  People can shop there once a month… no questions asked.  JC, KPBS News.


Some people who suffered losses from the floods in January have been eligible for financial assistance from FEMA.

But reporter Melissa Mae tells us that’s not the only type of help the federal agency is providing.

MM: Nearly three months after the January floods, FEMA is offering more than money to flood victims. MM: They’ve got experts inside the Home Depot in the Mountain View neighborhood – ready with advice for do-it-yourselfers on fixing flood damage… and preventing it.  MM: Jack Synnott is one of FEMA’s mitigation experts. He says setting up in Home Depot lets them direct both flood victims and people who want to protect their homes from floods to the materials they need. JS “We can tell them what materials to pick and how to do it and the best method to apply these materials and get them back whole.” MM: The advice from FEMA is free. Their experts will be at the Home Depot on Marketplace Avenue until April 18th. FEMA is accepting disaster assistance applications until April 19th. Melissa Mae KPBS News.


Being able to find AND afford child care is a nightmare for most.

California has a new program aimed at helping: Transitional Kindergarten.

As part of the special KPBS series “Where's My Village,” reporter Tania Thorne looks at how it’s working so far.

I walked down the street to a daycare that was on our block. So I walked in and I had Damien there with me, and I said, how much is it to enroll my baby? And they said, it's $600. And in my head, I was like, oh, a month, that's doable. Of course I'm going to enroll him. But they said a week. And I was like, oh, well, that's a different story. The reality of the working-mom life got very real…. very quickly….  for Megan Moore. I mean, that's a little pricey. And when I was considering it, they then told me, we have a waiting list. There's so many people on the waiting list. And it kind of hit me, like, whoa, I'm going to have to truly shop around. Average San Diego County Childcare Center Cost Infant: $1,620 a month Preschool: $1,148 a week San Diego County YMCA, December 2023 For many parents, the cost of childcare is the same as—or even more than—their mortgage or rent. The average cost for infants in San Diego is around 16-hundred dollars a month…and with two kids, maybe 3-thousand dollars a month. So Megan had the same options as many parents: return to work to basically break even. Or quit her job. I had no intentions of becoming a stay at home mom. So when the time came around and maternity leave was almost over, it was kind of like, oh, my gosh, what am I going to do? Megan used to work in programming for a parks and recreation department. Now she’s a stay at home mom to 4 year old Damien and 3 year old Judah. But she gets some help with her oldest. there's this great thing coming out. It's TK. I don't know when it rolls out for you, but you need to get him in because it's free. Universal transitional kindergarten, or TK, is California's newest early childhood education program. All 4 year olds in California are supposed to have a free spot in public school by next year. San Diego has already fully rolled out the program…so all 4-year-olds like Damien can attend TK. And I remember that whole first day we were at home just worried, worried, worried. But he came out and he was like, I made this friend.I love my teacher. Do I get to come back tomorrow? And it was the best experience. This is yet another opportunity for us as a country to say that we value our children, that we value the people who care for our children. Sascha Longstreth runs the child and family development at San Diego State University. Sascha Longstreth Interim Chair SDSU Child and Family Development TK teachers will say, this is the gift of time. And what that means is that there's more of an opportunity to focus on these social emotional skills, these relationship skills, these active learning skills. Kids are in school a year earlier, so the idea is they’re better prepared for the next step in their education. But it can be hard to fit 4-year-olds into classroom routines. if you were to walk into a TK classroom and it was completely quiet and students were sitting at their desk doing worksheets, then that would be concerning. We're really good at kindergarten and I think we had this realization, this aha. That TK is not just kindergarten for four year olds, it's a whole different ballgame. Shana Hazan is the president of the San Diego Unified school board. She says it's taken about a year to iron out some of the initial transitional kindergarten challenges. I think for so many parents, TK represents a raise, right. But it’s not totally free. And the TK program was rolled out without much input from existing childcare providers. It has ended up hurting providers—even forcing some centers to close. And when childcare businesses close, it’s even harder and more expensive to find care for infants and toddlers. And the businesses that stay open have to raise their rates for those younger kids. Megan That could make infant care even more expensive for parents. Megan is already past that phase with her sons. And now she’s counting down the days until her youngest, Judah, can get into TK. Because that help means she can go back to work sooner than she thought. We're not going to have to check our bank account before we do certain things. But for Megan it also means something else. For me personally,I think the biggest sacrifice that people don't realize when you stay at home is the time you lose building your personal career.It's a big gap in a to b.But I think the thing I'm looking forward to most is getting back in, finding, chasing my passions, chasing my dreams,and doing something that I can feel good about myself.

TAG: That was reporter Tania Thorne reporting.

To see the whole series, go to kpbs dot org slash wheres my village.


Coming up.... the mayor of Chula Vista joins me to talk about tomorrow’s (Saturday’s) South Bay Earth Day event.

“We’re going to have arts and crafts for the children, we’re going to have games, we’re going to have a lot of environmental and educational things for people to do. And you’re going to be able to learn in a positive way on how you can go ahead and be a good conservationist.”

More on how we can protect our planet, and more, just after the break.


Little more than a week after the U-S-S Boxer left San Diego it’s turning around and heading home.

Military reporter Andrew Dyer has been tracking the ongoing maintenance problems on the ship.

Mechanical problems continue to plague the amphibious assault ship uss boxer. navy officials say this time the problem is with the ship’s rudder. so it’s coming back to san diego for repairs. over the last four years the navy has spent more than $200 million dollars overhauling and repairing the boxer. kpbs reported last month that poor oversight and craftsmanship from a san diego shipyard contributed to delays in 2022. the ship was again delayed last year. more mechanical problems were blamed on crew complacency and poor leadership. after years of repairs and re-repairs, the ship appeared ready to get back to its mission and left san diego april first. a san diego navy official now says the newest repairs are expected to take two to three weeks. andrew dyer, kpbs news.


This month, is Earth Month. And across the county there are multiple celebrations and ways to get involved in protecting our planet. The first Earth Day celebration is tomorrow in Chula Vista.

Joining me to talk about the event and the importance of bringing awareness to protecting mother nature, is Chula Vista Mayor, John McCann.

Mayor McCann, welcome to the San Diego News Now podcast.

Here’s a little fun fact… the first Earth Day was celebrated 54 years ago in 19-70. It’s been going on for more than half a century now. Why is it important that the city participate in celebrating Earth Day?

How about for you personally? Can you tell me the personal significance of Earth Day to you? 

The South Bay Earth Day celebration is tomorrow, at the Bayfront Park in Chula Vista. What can people expect at the event?

There are many Earth Day events and celebrations. What makes the South Bay event unique?

Are there any other environmental challenges in the South Bay that you hope attendees learn more about at the event?

What can people do on a smaller scale to take part in Earth Day not only in April, but year round, to make an impact on their community?

TAG: I’ve been speaking with Chula Vista Mayor, John McCann.

Mayor McCann, thank you for joining me on the San Diego News Now podcast.

I hope you have a great Earth Day celebration tomorrow.


That’s it for the podcast today. This podcast is produced by Emilyn Mohebbi and was edited by Nic McVicker. As always you can find more San Diego news online at KPBS dot org. Join us again on Monday to start the week together with the day’s top stories. I’m Debbie Cruz. Thanks for listening and have a great weekend.

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The rate of inflation may be slowing in San Diego County, but food prices are still going up. Feeding San Diego's response is to expand the number of people they can feed. In other news, some people who suffered losses from the floods in January have been eligible for financial assistance from FEMA, but that’s not the only type of help the federal agency is providing. Plus, the mayor of Chula Vista joins the podcast to talk about Saturday’s South Bay Earth Day event.