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How flood victims are coping with more rain

 February 2, 2024 at 5:00 AM PST

Good Morning, I’m Debbie Cruz….it’s Friday, February second.>>>>

How San Diegans are coping with the recent stormy weather. More on that next. But first... let’s do the headlines….

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Last week's flooding exposed the longstanding problems with the city of San Diego's stormwater system.

And voters could soon decide whether they want to put more money toward fixing it.

San Diego City Council President Sean Elo-Rivera this week said that he wants to place a tax measure on the November ballot, to fund stormwater infrastructure and disaster recovery.

SER: Our revenues dedicated to stormwater are just one tenth … of what other California cities collect. This all means that we are relying on an underfunded … 20th Century stormwater system to meet 21st Century challenges, and protect lives and property, and it's getting worse every year.

The city would need an additional 1-point-6 billion dollars over the next five years to pay for all the necessary repairs and preventive maintenance to its stormwater infrastructure.

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If you’re a CalFresh recipient, and lost food during the storm because of flooding or a power outage, you can request a replacement of your benefits until February 21st.

CalFresh is a program for low-income families and individuals that meet certain income guidelines.

To submit a request, you can call the county’s Access Customer Service Center at 866-262-9881, or visit a local Family Resource Center.

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Ballots for the March 5th Presidential Primary Election will be sent to registered voters starting tomorrow.

So make sure to keep an eye out for yours, over the coming week.

Once you receive your ballot, and complete it, you can return it by mailing it back.

Or if you prefer to vote in person, you can go to the Registrar's office starting on Monday.

You’ll have more ballot drop-off options available early next week.

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

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Heavy rain fell yesterday (Thursday) on southeast San Diegans still recovering from last week’s flooding.

Reporter Katie Hyson found resilience at a Lincoln Park shelter.

Rain flooded Jackie Jo Lopez’s home and her Logan Heights flower shop last week, devastating both. She sought refuge at the Red Cross shelter at Lincoln High School. I'm trying to keep my spirits high and trying to see how resilient and how we're going to get out of this situation, all of us together. Lopez says she has no flood insurance. Valentine’s Day, her biggest business day of the year, is in two weeks. She hasn’t been able to fill orders. She brought what flowers remained – red roses and lilies –  to share with everyone at the shelter, where she says a community is forming. There, she made friends with Tanika Darden, who says she was homeless when the storm hit. I'm very grateful for the Red Cross because we didn't have anything. We didn't have anywhere to go. Darden pulls up a raincoat hood over Lopez’s head. She says she’s determined to help her save her business. JJL: I'm going to put my little cart somewhere and we're going to sell flowers for Valentine's Day. JJL:  We're going to pull through. TD: Yeah! JL: We're going to make it. TD: Mhm.Darden nods in encouragement as they wait for a bus to relocate them to the city’s new shelter at Balboa Park. Katie Hyson, KPBS News.

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Environment reporter Erik Anderson was in Southcrest yesterday.

He says city work crews did a lot there to prepare for the additional rain.

Rain filled Chollas Creek, But the water was hardly the raging torrent that flooded Greg Montoya’s home on Beta Street.  The four foot deep flood destroyed everything in his house.  But he says the channel is flowing a lot faster today. Greg Montoya, San Diego “They cleaned a whole lot.  They’ve cleaned the sediment out in front of the outlets of the street drains.  I feel pretty good.  We’re not going to get flooded because, this is what should’ve been done.  If it had been done, we wouldn’t have had what happened on the 22nd. The flooding trashed more than a dozen homes along Beta Street.  City crews were parked at the end of the cul de sac poised to take action if floodwaters threaten property again. Erik Anderson KPBS News.

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North County Reporter Jacob Aere was in Encinitas yesterday.

He spoke to residents and business owners impacted by last week’s storm.

Heidi Ledger is the owner of Thread Spun. Her store is closed because of flood damage from last week.

She was nervous about yesterday’s rain and what's ahead.

“I'm definitely worried about it, but it's also like what are we going to do? I don't know. The city doesn't really seem to have a comprehensive plan.”

The Leucadia 101 Mainstreet Association says at least 10 businesses in the area were damaged by flooding in last week’s storm.

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The National Weather Service says there’s a chance of more rain today.

And with that, a flood watch remains in effect until 10 this morning, throughout the county.

Temperatures in the inland and coastal areas are expected to be in the high 50s, in the deserts it’ll be and in the low 60s, and in the mountains it will be cold with temps in the high 30s.

It will also be windy… with gusts reaching up to 30 miles per hour in some areas.

And by the beach, a high surf advisory is in effect until 6 tomorrow (Saturday) morning.

Forecasters say waves could reach up to 10 feet.

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It’s San Diego Museum Month. And this year, more than 60 museums and cultural institutions are participating.

The event is organized by the San Diego Museum Council.

The council’s Executive Director Bob Lehman (LAY-man) is joining me on the podcast today to talk about what the month entails, plus more.

Bob, welcome to the San Diego News Now podcast.

Can you tell us about some of the lesser known museums and cultural institutions that are participating in museum month?

I’m curious, what museums are your personal favorites?

And if an organization is participating in museum month, what does that mean? 

Can you give us an example of how much a ticket would cost during Museum Month versus any other time of the year?

Where can people get a pass?

What’s the goal of museum month? I mean why has the museum council been putting this on for the past 35 years…

What do you hope the community takes away from participating in museum month? 

You mentioned there are some new museums participating this year that haven’t in the past. Can you tell us about some of those. (he can mention some more here– expecting him to only name a few in the first question)

Is there a time of year when museums typically expect more visitors? Based on previous years, I’m wondering if Museum Month tends to be one of the busiest months of the year?

Does the museum council have any other upcoming projects our listeners should know about?

TAG: I’ve been speaking with the San Diego Museum Council executive director, Bob LAY-man, thank you Bob, for all this information on Museum Month, and thanks for coming on the podcast.

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San Diego Opera opens its first grand opera of the season tonight (Friday), with a bold new production of Mozart’s “Don Giovanni.”

Arts reporter Beth Accomando takes us behind the scenes to see how this bad boy of opera is being brought to life.

Mozart’s "Don Giovanni" is based on the notorious womanizer Don Juan, which led director Kyle Lang to start thinking about new ways to present the bad boy of opera. KYLE LANG It really came up how Giovanni is such a rock star. So that kind of stemmed into, well, what if we really think about rock concert lighting. And dressing Giovanni in a leather jacket while taking away other things you expect to find in a grand opera, says David Bennett, general director of San Diego Opera. DAVID BENNETT  We have these black curtains that sort of hide the lighting instruments. We're actually taking those away. So you'll see the lighting instruments. We have haze, a form of vapor that will be at the top of the theater. So we'll see these beautiful columns of light coming through in a way that's very arresting. So the architecture that we see on stage is actually made of light and projections and costumes. Instead of fixed, massive sets. That means the action can be more fluid and scene changes can be faster with lighting and projection redefining the space. But it is also less costly. DAVID BENNETT It does sort of start off as a way to deal with cost, but it also is a new way to embrace the way we produce opera  Another practical decision that yields artistic perks is placing the orchestra on stage rather than in a pit hidden from the audience. DAVID BENNETT …This is actually how opera started, was orchestra on stage. That way audiences can clearly see conductor Yves Abel and the musicians of San Diego Symphony, says Lang. KYLE LANG …There's an energy that comes when you have exposed or you see the workings of what happens around a production…seeing the orchestra on stage, it kind of allows you to see the organs of the mechanism working together, rather than just the skin or the makeup on the outside. You really get a more visceral experience by seeing not just the singers working, but really seeing the conductor working. The conductor and the musicians become characters helping to drive the story. The lack of period trappings and use of contemporary costumes then helps the audience connect to the centuries old story says Lang. KYLE LANG … this story, as old as it is, the psychology of it, we're still like this today. It's about the human condition… So don’t be surprised to see Don Giovanni doing lines of cocaine or a projection displaying the Tinder app. KYLE LANG …I wanted to kind of show that there's many pieces in the repertoire that people think of being like, oh, that's going to be like Renaissance period clothing, and the story lives in that world. This story does not just live in that world. This story is timeless. But some things are changing for attendees, says Bennett. DAVID BENNETT …We looked at our existing audience from last year, and we realized we could accommodate them in two dates, two performances. And because the cost of producing opera is so expensive right now, really expensive, sort of the fiscally responsible thing to do is to not overproduce expensive opera. We should sort of look at what our demand is and deal with supply and demand. So that's really where this decision of reducing our number of performances came from. So instead of having four performances partially full, "Don Giovanni" is looking at two almost sold out performances in the 2,800 seat Civic Theatre this weekend. DAVID BENNETT …So people are coming. And so it gives me hope that I think in future seasons we'll be able to add performances back as we regain our audiences. And Don Giovanni is something clearly people are wanting to see. You can enjoy this fresh take on an opera classic with performances of "Don Giovanni," on Friday night and then Sunday afternoon. Beth Accomando, KPBS News.

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Also taking the stage this weekend.. original works written by young San Diego playwrights.

Education reporter M.G. Perez has more on the annual contest that brings plays from the page to the stage.

“Shut it you imbeciles…oh yeah…that was perfect.” That’s an imitation of Jolly the parrot …performed by a young playwright who created the character…in an original work called THE SPIRIT TREASURE. Its one of the winning entries  in this year’s San Diego Playwrights Project Young Writers Festival. The winning writers are high school students…like 14 year old Isabella Vallejo who co-wrote MESSY REVENGE about a vindictive crow …the plays are performed by professional actors. “they do like such a good job of bringing the characters to life…doing it almost exactly how we practiced it and envisioned it.” The series of plays and a musical are directed by professional artist Kandace Crystal.. “theatre doesn’t survive without them…these kids are investing in a future…and I’m like…I won’t have a job if they’re not interested in it.” The public performance of the young playwrights shows happens at 7:30 Saturday night on stage at the Kroc Center in Rolando Park. MGP KPBS News.

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That’s it for the podcast today. This podcast is produced by Emilyn Mohebbi and edited by Brooke Ruth. We’d like to thank KPBS 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’ll be on vacation next week. My colleague Erik Anderson will be filling in for me on the podcast. Join him on Monday to start the week with the day’s top stories. I’m Debbie Cruz. Thanks for listening and have a great weekend.

How flood victims are coping with more rain. In other news, the executive director of the San Diego Museum Council joins the podcast to talk about the details of February’s Museum Month. Plus, San Diego Opera opens its first grand opera of the season Friday, with a production of Mozart’s “Don Giovanni.” We get a behind-the-scenes preview.