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Lawmakers work to extend child care funds

 September 14, 2023 at 5:00 AM PDT

Good Morning, I’m Debbie Cruz….it’s Thursday, September 14th.


What lawmakers are doing to stop emergency child care funds from expiring. More on that next. But first... let’s do the headlines….


The C-S-U board of trustees yesterday approved a 6-percent increase in tuition, every year over five years.

That amounts to almost 2-thousand dollars extra per semester, by the end of the decade.

Trustees decided the tuition hike is the only option to make up for a 1-point-5 billion dollar deficit in the university system’s budget for the coming year.

At SD-SU, students like freshman, Aiden Moore, were not happy about the decision.

“I feel like I’m getting jipped’s an insane amount of money I pay …and I have friends in Europe …they’re going to school for free…and I’m here paying a whole lot of money.”

The tuition increase will take effect next fall.


Convoy Street is being transformed with new asphalt, after a recently-completed water and wastewater pipe replacement project.

The repaving project will be broken up into two phases.

In the first phase, Convoy Street between the 52 on-ramp and Dagget Street will be repaved.

The second phase will continue resurfacing along Convoy Street from Dagget Street to Kearny Mesa Road.

The project also includes adding separated bike lanes on Convoy Street.

The work will take place on weekdays, from 9 p-m to 5 a-m.

There will still be access to businesses and residences during construction.

The project is expected to be completed by next spring.


Have you ever seen a mattress lying on the side of the road?

Well, the city of San Diego is partnering with the Mattress Recycling Council to hopefully prevent that.

They’re opening a mattress drop off site at the Miramar Landfill on Convoy.

There you can drop off mattresses and box springs, as long as they’re not severely damaged, wet, twisted, soiled or infested with bedbugs.

It’s open from 7 a-m to 4 p-m on weekdays.


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


Emergency child care funds from the pandemic will expire this month.

If nothing is done, centers could shut down and thousands of kids could be left without care.

Reporter Tania Thorne says lawmakers are acting quickly to prevent this from happening.

$24 billion dollars in federal emergency funding helped keep the childcare industry from collapsing during the pandemic. If those funds run out, it could push providers, parents, and more than 3 million kids towards a child care cliff. We know in San Diego it's already incredibly hard to find and afford childcare. You know, if we don't extend this funding, it's gonna get even more difficult. Congresswoman Sara Jacobs says around 80,000 kids and 13,000 programs in California would be impacted. So she’s pushing for childcare funding at the federal level. I'm really proud to co-lead the Childcare Stabilization Act, which would fund childcare stabilization grants at 16 billion dollars every year for the next 5 years. The legislation is proposed by a group of Democratic lawmakers in the Senate and Congress. TT KPBS News. 


At the state level, the legislature could vote this week to phase in a 25-dollar-per hour minimum wage for health care workers.

But those efforts aren’t stopping the Chula Vista City Council from also looking at it.

Health reporter Matt Hoffman has more from this week’s meeting.

Steve Sandoval works in a Sharp Emergency Room. He says the base pay would be life changing. Steve Sandoval, emergency room/guest services I work another job to make ends meet. As a single parent i’ve lived in my car to try and make ends meet Opponents say the increase in pay could have unintended consequences.. Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center board Chair Debbie Espe says the hospital has been operating at a significant loss the last five years.. She predicts this years losses will exceed 70-million dollars. Debbie Discar-Espe, Sharp Chula Vista board member If approved this ordinance will negatively impact health care programs and services that this community needs and deserves The proposed ordinance in Chula Vista would increase base pay for health care workers to 25 dollars an hour starting in January.. While senate bill 525 would phase it in.. In its latest version.. SB 525 states proposed city ordinances or ballot initiatives for health worker minimum wages like this one in chula vista would be nullified if the bill passes. In the meantime  a majority of chula council members agreed to move the item forward for a hearing next week.. MH KPBS News.


An administrative law judge is mulling over proposals that would dramatically change the way California residents pay for electricity.

Environment reporter Erik Anderson says an unavoidable monthly fee and lower per kilowatt rates are likely coming, but the details are still being sorted out.

A change in the state’s utility code directs regulators to create a monthly flat fee, based on income, for most of the state’s residents.  The range in the  nine official proposals is huge, from about $10 a month to more than $150 a month . Utilities have never based flat fees on income and most proposals ask for large monthly fees. Ahmad Faruqui, economist “Even having 20 dollars a month as a fixed charge is very, very rare.  Most of them are under 15 dollars.  The national average is around 11 dollars based on a sample of 1-73 investor owned utilities across the US.” The state’s three large investor-owned utilities, which includes San Diego Gas and Electric, offered a joint proposal that covers about 80 percent of the state’s residents. SDG&E asked for unavoidable monthly fees ranging from $24 to $128 depending on income.  The utility’s Scott Crider says the proposal cuts the per kilowatt hour cost by about 40 percent. Scott Crider SDG&E “This is not a rate increase.  And we’re also not asking to collect any more money from our residential customers and SDGE is not going to make one single penny more as part of this proposal.” However, S-D-G-&-E recaptures revenue from about 20 percent of its customers who have rooftop solar.  The utility says that money will be used to push down the cost of a kilowatt hour, the volumetric rate. “But even solar customers.  They’re still going to save more compared to not having solar on the roof, so we think that there’s still a lot of value there.” The Sierra Club has long opposed flat utility fees because they hurt poor  customers but the group's position has changed.  Their plan’s average monthly  rates are less than 40 dollars.  But, the charge for high income customers is more than $140 dollars a month.  The Sierra Club sees a chance to make the burden of electrification more equitable. Nihal Shrinath, Sierra Club “Electrification and affordability.  That’s the promise of an income based fixed charge.  While also preserving the existing incentives in volumetric rates to conserve energy, pursue energy efficiency and install distributed energy resources such as rooftop solar and battery.” The California Environmental Justice Alliance, a joint proposal from The Utility Reform Network and Natural Resources Defense Council, and one from the California Public Advocates Office fall in the middle range.  Average flat fees are between 20 and 40 dollars and flat fees for the highest income brackets range from 40-to-80 dollars. The per kilowatt rates only go down a little bit. Matt Baker, California Public Advocates Office “We made a modest proposal to the Public Utilities Commission on both how high the fee is and spreads between the income groups and how we would verify the income.” Baker says there is pressure to make it easier to electrify the state’s economy, and lower fees and per kilowatt rates can do that. “We’ve got to address the ability to electrify which depends on the per unit price of electricity.  And we’re starting to get to the point where it is becoming uneconomical to certainly electrify your house. At some point it will be uneconomical to electrify your car.  And so we really need to get a handle on that so we can electrify the economy and address our climate goals.” The proposal for the smallest flat fee comes from the Solar Energy Industry Association.  Their proposal suggests fees fall right around ten dollars a month with small reductions in the volumetric rate.   They argue that small fees are the right place to start because costs will only go up. Bernadette Del Chiaro , California Solar And Storage Association “The volumetric rates are going to come down in a one time fashion and then they’re going to tick back up.  And the fixed fees are going to tick up and consumers are going to lose, really, their ability to control their monthly energy bills.” The Administrative law judge will design the final proposal from those recommendations. It can be outright adoption of one plan, a blend of several ideas, or a plan that includes elements from all.  A proposed decision is expected next spring with state rules calling for a final ruling by next summer. Erik Anderson KPBS News. 


Coming up.... How hackers are sending emails that seem legit. We’ll have that story and more, just after the break.


Hackers try to deceive people online by sending them emails that seem to be from someone else.

It's called spoofing… and cybersecurity experts at UC-SD say it’s easily done on some systems, using a forwarding command.

Sci-tech reporter Thomas Fudge has more.

Most companies and agencies don’t manage their own email servers. They use something like Gmail or Outlook. And cybersecurity experts at UCSD have found that some of those management companies are letting fake emails get through. For instance, Outlook manages email for the US state department, and researchers were able to use the domain to forge emails from Secretary Antony Blinken. UCSD computer scientist Alex Liu says a hacker with an Outlook account +can create a spoofed email, send it to themselves and forward it to a potential victim. This email is claiming to be from and it’s sent by an Outlook server and does allow Outlook to send on its behalf, so it would consider the email trustworthy in this case. Getting someone to install computer malware or reveal passwords is easier if an email comes from a person of trust or authority.  Liu and fellow researchers have told well-known email service providers of their findings so they can prevent this type of hacking. And some have taken steps to do that. SOQ.   


A documentary about “Cassandro, the Exotico” screened at the San Diego Latino Film Festival a few years ago.

But this true story of a gay luchador from El Paso who rose to international stardom was too irresistible not to be turned into a movie.

Film critic Beth Accomando has a review of Cassandro, opening this weekend.

In Mexican wrestling, an exotico is a luchador who cross-dresses or assumes feminine characteristics that sort of challenge the machismo of the sport and culture. In the 1980s, exoticos were often campy. Did you ever think of being an exotico?... No, they don’t let exoticos win… But the openly gay Saul Armendáriz decided to flip the script. He challenged the conventions of what exoticos could be when he took on the wrestling persona of Cassandro and did not just want to be the comic relief that always had to lose. (chanting) Cassandro…Gael Garcia Bernal is dazzling as Cassandro, capturing the bravado of his wrestling personality while revealing a more vulnerable and subdued side outside the ring. The film offers an inspiring story of hard fought success but one also tinged with bittersweet emotions. Beth Accomando, KPBS News.


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 more top stories of the day, plus, as the world marks Democracy Day, the United States’ system of representative government is under assault. KPBS explores whether some of that anti-democracy mindset has seeped into the San Diego region. I’m Debbie Cruz. Thanks for listening and have a great Thursday.

Emergency child care funds from the pandemic will expire this month, and if nothing is done, centers could shut down and thousands of kids could be left without care. We have details on what lawmakers are doing to prevent that from happening. In other news, an administrative law judge is mulling over proposals that would dramatically change the way California residents pay for electricity. Plus, how hackers are deceiving people online by sending them emails that seem to be from someone else.