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How grounding V-22 Ospreys is affecting the Marine Corps

 December 13, 2023 at 5:00 AM PST

Good Morning, I’m Debbie Cruz….it’s Wednesday, December 13th.


V-22 Ospreys are grounded. More on how that’s impacting the Marine Corps, next. But first... let’s do the headlines….


A civil lawsuit accusing former SD-SU and N-F-L punter Matt Araiza of sexual assault, is being dismissed.

It stemmed from an alleged gang rape at an off campus party in 20-21.

The lawsuit is being dismissed without any monetary settlement.

As part of an agreement reached between Araiza and his accuser, he will also dismiss his defamation countersuit against the young woman.

The civil case is currently still active against four other former SD-SU football players.

That trial is scheduled for February.


A California law that limits people under the age of 21 from buying semi-automatic rifles and other long guns has been upheld by a San Diego federal judge.

According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, the judge wrote in the ruling that “people under the age of 21 lack cognitive maturity and are disproportionately prone to violence.”

The ruling will likely face an appeal.


According to the Automobile Club of Southern California, nine and a half million travelers are expected to hit the roads and airways over the Christmas and New Year’s holidays.

That’s a 3-percent increase compared to this time last year.

Doug Shupe with Triple A has this tip for us.

“For those who are flying somewhere, Auto Club travel agents recommend you arrive at the airport at least two hours before domestic flights and at least three hours before international flights.”

The top destinations for Southern California travelers include Vegas, San Diego and Palm Springs.


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


After eight Air Force airmen were killed in a November crash near Japan, the Pentagon last week grounded its entire fleet of V-22 Ospreys – an aircraft that flies like a plane, but takes off and lands like a helicopter.

Military reporter Andrew Dyer has more.

The tiltrotor V-22 Osprey’s unique capabilities have proved useful, but costly. Ten Ospreys have crashed since the aircraft entered service in 2007. Dan Grazier, a senior defense policy fellow at the project on government oversight, says the aircraft has been involved in several high-profile crashes. “Just over the last two years. There have been four fatal crashes and 20 fatalities.” A known issue plaguing the Osprey called a “hard clutch failure” was found to be the cause of a crash last year that killed five Camp Pendleton Marines. Grazier says more than any branch the Marines have embraced the aircraft. “And so because of that, because the marine corps really built an operating concept around around this aircraft whenever they're grounded, you know, that that that creates a huge disruption to Marine Corps operations.” The investigation into the Air Force crash is ongoing. The Pentagon says each branch will decide when to resume Osprey flights. Andrew Dyer, KPBS News.


The San Diego City Council last week voted to create new "community parking districts" in Kearny Mesa and San Ysidro.

Parking districts are the precursor to installing meters, which can help fund neighborhood improvement projects.

Metro reporter Andrew Bowen says, as San Diego looks for new ways to pay for its crumbling infrastructure, charging for street parking could become the new normal.

KL: I think when people think of a parking district, they literally think just parking. AB: I'm standing with City Councilmember Kent Lee on Convoy Street in Kearny Mesa. It's a wide arterial road filled with car dealerships and strip malls that feature some of the best Asian restaurants in San Diego. Lee says the neighborhood is growing, and the status quo of everyone getting around by car is unsustainable. KL: It's going to be more important for us to think about how people get around. So it's everything from things like bus shelters to, if we have bike facilities, crosswalks that are designed to be safer for pedestrians to be able to get across. AB: All those improvements need funding. And the new parking district may be able to help. There aren't any immediate plans for parking meters in Kearny Mesa. But Lee's office is talking about them with local businesses as a way to increase turnover in those high-demand parking spots. And a portion of the revenue from parking meters can be reinvested in the neighborhood. KENT LEE SAN DIEGO CITY COUNCILMEMBER KL: And it just seems natural for an area where folks are looking to travel from a restaurant that they're visiting to a spot for dessert to a place to karaoke at the end of the night. This is sort of that natural place where having different options on how you can get around would be really valuable. And I think at the end of the day, what a parking district will offer us the opportunity to do is to explore all these options, to make this a more friendly space for pedestrians, for folks who are traveling here by vehicle, but really also for all the businesses who enjoy that kind of traffic. AB: Changes are happening in San Diego's parking districts. The one in Pacific Beach was created in 2005. But only recently did it decide to add meters to their neighborhood. Those meters are helping fund an on-demand shuttle that can take people from the trolley to the beach. GT: It goes beyond beautification. You're talking about pedestrian safety. You're talking about bicycle safety, and people will not use those modes unless it's safe to do so. AB: Gerrie Trussell is executive director of the Uptown Community Parking District, which includes Bankers Hill, Mission Hills and Hillcrest.  She says the district used to be more focused on increasing the supply of parking. Nowadays it's also embracing projects that reduce the demand for parking by making streets more walkable and bikeable. GERRIE TRUSSELL GT: We put in 300 bike racks, trash cans, acorn lighting, and some of the traffic calming planters and things of that nature. AB: Trussell says it used to be a lot harder to get city approval for this kind of spending. Parking districts built up millions of dollars in reserves that the city wouldn't let them spend on the things they wanted. Then Mayor Todd Gloria switched oversight of parking districts to a new city department. GT: The mayor has created mobility and sustainability, and that department is very forward thinking. They're looking at going, okay, we need lights. So street lighting was approved, things of that nature. TG: I've always made the observation I'd rather talk about taxes than parking, because it's a very personal issue. I mean, people interface with it on a daily basis. AB: Mayor Gloria says the city's two new parking districts are a response to neighborhood-level concerns. But just how big will San Diego go on parking meters? Could they be used to fund larger projects, like new bus and trolley lines? The city is developing a Mobility Master Plan. It mentions parking districts as a way to help reduce the city's greenhouse gas emissions. TODD GLORIA SAN DIEGO MAYOR TG: What that means globally for the city going forward, you know, it kind of remains to be seen. My administration wants to empower communities that want to address this issue head on and improve their quality of life and gain those amenities that they think will make their neighborhoods work better. KL: Convoy is what it is today because, to be frank, for generations, this was not a desired place to be. AB: Back on Convoy Street, Councilmember Kent Lee says the neighborhood has outgrown its industrial design. It needs a facelift. And when government resources are scarce, a parking district can help pay for upgrades that could otherwise take decades to fund. KL: It's going to help the many small businesses, a lot of them who are immigrant, culturally, really diverse. And then it's really going to help us as a region to be able to share this as a destination, not just for those in San Diego, but for anyone who's visiting. AB: Andrew Bowen, KPBS news.


San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan is calling on congress to pass a new law to help crack down on organized retail theft.

Reporter John Carroll says she was part of a panel that testified before a congressional panel yesterday (Tuesday).

D-A stephan appeared in her role as incoming president of the national district attorneys association.  she says san diego county is a leader in prosecuting organized retail theft.  but in front of the congressional subcommittee on counterterrorism, law enforcement and intelligence, she also said a law, passed by california voters in 2014, has become a big problem.  that law makes all thefts below $950 a misdemeanor.  it used to be $400. “it didn’t allow for first time or second time, there’s no aggregation so you can steal every day of the week just under $950.” along with her fellow panelists, stephan called on congress to pass the “combatting organized retail crime act” - which is designed to strengthen communication and coordination between law enforcement agencies and retailers.  jc, kpbs news.


And as people are buying gifts online and in stores for the holidays, reporter Melissa Mae tells us about the newest scam targeting consumers and how to spot it.

MM: The Better Business Bureau is trying to raise awareness of a fake package delivery scam this holiday season. MM: If you receive a text message like this, “Hi! My name is Tony. I work for some delivery company, and I'm trying to find your house. Please call me.” MM: And when you call the number the scammer asks you to confirm personal details like your name, address or your credit card information. Don’t give it out! MM: To protect yourself from scams, Jasmine Hill with the Better Business Bureau recommends… JH “Write down what you're buying, when you purchased it, maybe even what card you purchased it on. Make your purchases with a debit or credit card if you need to dispute a charge.” MM: To report suspicious activity or find out scams happening in your area, go to the BBB scam tracker website at B-B-B dot org slash scam tracker. Melissa Mae KPBS News.


Coming up.... We check in with some local independent bookstores on their top picks to gift the reader in your life. We’ll have that and more, just after the break.


The San Diego Pride board of directors will hire a consulting firm to find the organization’s next executive director.

Reporter M.G. Perez says that comes after they heard input from the community.

Sarafina Scapicchio and Jen la-bar-BEAR-a are currently interim co-executive directors of San Diego Pride…both are experienced employees of the organization that let go Fernado Lopez from the job three weeks…in what was described as an amicable split. The public has now voiced their questions and concerns in a town hall meeting…prompting the board of directors to hire a consultant to find a permanent replacement. Noah Lomax is board co-chair… “I think the most important thing is someone who can come in and and not only drive continuity because we have so many great programs and services we’re already offering…and someone to build upon that …in a way that is consistent with the mission and direction the organization has been going.” it could take more than six months to find the new Executive Director…which would come around July…and the 50th anniversary of the first San Diego Pride parade. MGP KPBS News. 


The holidays are in full swing and many of us are still looking for gifts for our loved ones.

We checked in with some of the independent bookstores in our area to get recommendations for books to buy the reader in your life…

First up, here’s Jenny March-eh-soto, one of the owners of Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore in Point Loma…

“Mysterious Galaxy has been in San Diego for 30 years. We celebrated our anniversary this May, and we are a genre-focused bookstore, meaning we specialize in sci-fi, fantasy, mystery,YA, romance, horror, young adult, everything but regular fiction, all the fun stuff, basically. If we were going to talk about young adults, so generally that's for ages like 12 to 18. But I would really recommend Sinner's Isle by Angela Montoya. She's a California author. It's her debut novel. It is a fantasy with romance. It is very unique in the way the world is crafted. I really enjoy the magic system that she sets up, but essentially the female protagonist is trapped on an island where they have sent all of the witches, and she's getting prepared to be auctioned off as a weapon with her magic. A marooned pirate, they come across each other and they together work to escape Sinner's Isle andThe magic is great. The worldbuilding is super exciting and different, and I really enjoyed it overall. If you're looking for younger kids and need picture book recommendations, our favorite, my daughter's favorite is Anzu, the Great Kaiju by Benson-Shum. It is about a kaiju, which Kaijus are monsters like Christina or Mothra and giant monsters of destruction. But Anzu doesn't have destructive powers. His power is flowers. He is struggling to make his family proud, but also embrace making people happy as a Kaiju. It's lovely. We probably read it in our house about four times a week.”

Next up, we have Maxwell’s House of Books located in downtown La Mesa. Here’s store owner Craig Maxwell….

“I've had this shop for 20 years, and we are a general used bookstore. We sell everything from rare, signed, out-of-print books to mass market paperbacks, thrillers and mysteries and fantasy and sci-fi and general fiction. We have a little bit of everything here. The vast majority of the authors in here are long dead, so it's a used bookstore in the full sense of the word. In thinking about a recommendation, actually, two books come to mind, which are pretty closely related. Sometimes I think world events bring certain titles to mind, certain authors, and that's certainly the case with me. When I think about all that's going on in the world today, both George Orwell and Aldous Huxley come to mind. I think of 1984 and Brave New World and the differences between them. I think they both have a lot to teach us. These would be my recommendations. We're talking about books to recommend to a reader who wanted to read something that is excellent, read something that is classic, and read something that really couldn't have greater relevance to today. I do like American poetry as well. I love Emily Dickinson.”

And last but not least, we head to the “Meet Cute Romance Bookshop” in North Park …

“My name is Becka Title. I am the owner of Me Cute Romance Bookshop over in North Park, which is a queer-owned feminist bookshop focusing on genre romance with a nice side of queer non-fiction. It is a place for romance readers and people who are maybe romance curious to find each other, find books, and generally get nerdy about romance. One of my favorite books this year is a historical romance called Hotel of Secrets, which is set during a somewhat uncommon time period for historical romances. It's set in the 1870s in Vienna. And one of our characters runs a hotel that she's trying to get to bring back to its glory days, and her love interest is an American spy. A great book for you or perhaps the teenager in your life, would be a book called Highly Suspious and Unfairly Cute by Talia Hibbert. It's about two high school students who are rivals, but they have to head off to an academic wilderness camp. And in the process of surviving, they become friends and then more.”

That piece was produced by Andrew Bracken.

You can find the full list of book recommendations and information about the stores, at KPBS dot org.


That’s it for the podcast today. As always you can find more San Diego news online at KPBS dot org. Join us again tomorrow for the day’s top stories, plus, we hear about the legal argument around school’s notifications to parents and their rights. I’m Debbie Cruz. Thanks for listening and have a great Wednesday.

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After eight Air Force airmen were killed in a November crash near Japan, the Pentagon last week grounded its entire fleet of V-22 Ospreys. In other news, we look at what the money raised through parking meters is used for in light of the San Diego City Council voting to create new "community parking districts" in Kearny Mesa and San Ysidro. Plus, we check in with some local independent bookstores on their top picks to gift the reader in your life.