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Local advocates allege migrants are treated inhumanely

 May 17, 2023 at 5:00 AM PDT

Good Morning, I’m Debbie Cruz….it’s Wednesday, May 17th.

Local advocates file a federal complaint alleging hundreds of migrants were treated inhumanely. More on that next. But first... let’s do the headlines….


Hepatitis A cases in San Diego County are on the rise.

The county is continuing efforts to provide vaccinations to at-risk populations, especially people experiencing homelessness.

Nearly 30 cases have been recorded in the county so far this year.

According to health officials, no single outbreak location has been identified.

Hepatitis A is usually transmitted by touching objects or eating food

that someone with the virus has touched.

The disease doesn't always cause symptoms, but can cause fever, fatigue,

nausea, loss of appetite, stomach pain, vomiting, and more.


The San Diego City Council has authorized a lawsuit against Seaworld… saying the amusement park is refusing to pay its bills.

City Attorney Mara Elliott says the park still owes back rent from the pandemic … totaling about 12-million-dollars.

She says the city has given the Florida-based theme park plenty of opportunities to pay their 20-20 rent and the corporation is still refusing to settle its debt.

Elliott says the level of disrespect Sea World is showing for a 60-year partnership is disturbing …

“It's a slap in the face to those of us who live here how dare they treat their partner like this. So we're going to file our lawsuit as quickly as we can.” 

SeaWorld declined an interview, but sent a statement that reads in part "we have enjoyed a long relationship with the City and remain hopeful that we can resolve this matter."


A north county brewery is one of three local beer breweries to bring home the gold at the World Beer Cup in Tennessee last week.

Battle-mage Brewing Company won for its amber ale … summon ifrit.

Now with a world-class award-winning beer on its hands ... the brewery is looking to expand to a second location … and, of course … enter more beer competitions.


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


Local advocates have filed a federal complaint alleging hundreds of migrants were kept under inhumane conditions, after the Border Patrol kept them in a makeshift open-air migrant camp in San Ysidro with virtually no food or shelter, for weeks.

Border reporter Gustavo Solis spoke with one of the advocates.

“We want to get answers. What was the logic behind allowing those things to happen? Who have the orders allowing them to form, but also what are we going to do to make sure it stops, and it doesn’t happen again.” Lilian Serrano is director of the Southern Border Communities Coalition. She and other volunteers documented the migrant camp’s substandard conditions. She says medical neglect was a big issue. Part of her job was to identify migrants who needed medical care and tell local Border Patrol agents about it. “Day in and out, all day letting authorities know of the different medical emergencies. I saw everything you can imagine.” Serrano says Border Patrol agents normally wouldn’t give medical aid. So volunteers called 9-1-1 and got ambulances to take migrants to the hospital. Customs and Border Protection cleared the camp Monday morning. Serrano says it is still important to file the complaint to make sure the camp remains empty. “What we are afraid of is that if we don’t address that, it will continue to happen and it will continue to spread all along the southern border.” Customs and Border Protection did not respond to a request for comment. Gustavo Solis, KPBS News.


The declared state of emergency with the covid-19 pandemic may be over.. but the virus isn’t totally gone.

Health reporter Matt Hoffman says a program to track covid and other viruses in our waste water is continuing.

Testing for covid at home is easy and efficient. however, those results aren’t tracked countywide -- that’s where sewage comes in. toilet flushing nat although not everyone takes a test these days or reports a test -- everyone poops rob knight pioneered wastewater testing for covid at uc san diego.. he runs the center for microbiome innovation which started tracking the virus in sewage during the first year of the pandemic. it’s proven to be an early indicator of viral spread, with detection up to two weeks before normal testing.. that’s because infections first develop in the gut.. the sewage testing is continuing on for at least five more years. rob knight, ucsd center for microbiome innovation although there’s the general feeling that covid is over -- it could be like the flu where new variants arise that are much worse than the variants we have currently. and if you have to setup the program again from scratch -- train all the staff and so on -- it’s very difficult to do that. so as an insurance policy it’s very valuable to keep it going knight says the amount of covid in the wastewater is the lowest it’s been in over a year. mh kpbs news. 


San Diego is one of the top cities in the country for multigenerational households…

And each home of three or more generations is different.

For the new KPBS series “Under the same roof,” reporter Katie Hyson spoke with a family who came together for the covid-19 lockdowns – and never moved out.

When Jill Riggs moved into her parents’ house in Julian in 2012, it was empty. She and her husband came to manage the nearby trailer park her parents own. Right before COVID, her parents returned for what they thought was a temporary stay. But then Riggs had a son, Frankie, in February 2020. And then COVID hit. It was a godsend that we were all here. That’s Riggs’s mother Kathleen Rosenow. But Riggs had different words to describe the nights with her newborn during lockdown, when her mother was still making plans to build another house. She was obsessed with measuring everything of this house till like midnight. And I was just counting the hours before my son had to get fed in the middle of the night. And I'm just like, if I hear that tape measure one more time. [laughs] [Frank: I forgot about that] None of them ever expected to live under the same roof. But they say it just worked. They started sharing daily cocktail hours and meals Come here Frankie, come on! I want chocolate! OK, I will get you your chocolate. debating politics and gardening and jumping in the hot tub. It was nice – for the most part – to share daily life. So they never left. It’s the five of them. And two dogs, three cats, and often, Frankie’s baby cousin Waldo. Should we go the playground, boys? Yeah! Come on, Waldo! This way! Rosenow likes seeing her family more than just on the holidays. And that someone’s always around in case something happens as she and her husband age. There's never a feeling of loneliness. [Frank: no] That's such a hard thing for people as they get older. We're not experiencing that at all. Riggs’ father Frank Spevacek likes being around not just his daughter and son-in-law, but their friends. My parents moved to a retirement community, and I have no real understanding of why anyone would do that, because it's nice to be current with what the next generation and next generations are doing because it makes life really interesting. Riggs likes the built-in babysitters. If you just need that one moment and you're like, go find your grandparents and you send them along, you shuttle them away. [laughs] And three-year-old Frankie? Frankie, what’s your favorite thing about living with Jedda and Bubby? Frankie had no comment. I’m gonna run away! Why are you gonna run away? The house has high ceilings and large windows overlooking their own 12 acres of nature. The grandparents added a private bedroom and bathroom in the yard. Though, Rosenow says “private” is a loose term. This morning when the boys all decided to come in the shower with me. [laughs] ‘Bubby, what are you doing?’ ‘I’m taking a shower.’ ‘Oh, hi!’ [laughs] They have way more space than many of San Diego’s multigenerational households. And the house is paid off, so there’s less financial strain, too. Sociologists say this kind of situation is ideal. Multigenerational living leads to better life outcomes: higher college attendance, more social mobility, more resources and better community relationships. Frank Spevacek’s family is reaping these benefits with less of the costs. I just think this is quite a luxury to be able to live like this. In the following weeks in this series, we’ll bring you stories from multigenerational households that don’t have some of these advantages, but are still making it work. Katie Hyson, KPBS News.


Quinceaneras are a coming of age celebration for Latin American girls turning 15.

But the parties can be extravagant…. and expensive…. making them inaccessible for many families.

North County reporter Tania Thorne tells us about a Vista nonprofit making this celebration a reality for a group of women.

We first introduced you to Las Valientes, or the Brave Ones, last month… The nonprofit organization in Vista helps men and women through their legal battles, allowing them to leave abusive relationships. Ana Serrano is the founder. You have a decision to make, are you going to continue that chain or are you going to break that chain. She is getting ready to celebrate a group of the women who have successfully broken the chain of violence, by throwing them the quinceanera they never had. “A lot of the women that we serve who have been abused, didn't have their quinceanera when they were 15. And its always been a desire in their heart, something that they wanted…” The community is invited to the celebration on May 20th.The event will be held at Local Roots Kombucha in Vista. Tickets are $50 and include dinner and entertainment. TT KPBS News.


Coming up.... Our KPBS arts reporter takes us behind the scenes of an immersive theater experience, inspired by Lucha Libre and masked Mexican wrestlers. We’ll have that story and more, just after the break.


A new immersive theater experience called LA LUCHA is currently playing at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego.

Arts reporter Beth Accomando got a behind the scenes tour of the show.

David Israel Reynoso grew up in Guadalajara where he saw El Santo, the famed Mexican wrestler, on the big screen. Santo versus the Martian Invasion. DAVID ISRAEL REYNOSO … There was something in which the idea that there was both someone who in person did some extraordinary things in a Luchador ring and yet somehow also were a superhero. But what did Santo do after he was done fighting Martians, zombies and mummies? DAVID ISRAEL REYNOSO …I was really struck by a series of photographs of luchadores, who, outside of the ring, were in their more domestic spaces but still wearing their masks. And it made me consider how there are moments in life that are maybe more private, that get less fanfare, but require just as much courage. All of that informs Reynoso’s new show La Lucha. This world premiere is part of La Jolla Playhouse’s extended Without Walls or WOW program. Reynoso is a veteran of WOW’s site-specific and immersive theater approach. Previously, he took the culturally specific idea of a quinceañera and asked… DAVID ISRAEL REYNOSO What are themes in it that are universal to the human experience? Through his company Optika Moderna, he invites audiences to peer through the eyes of another in order to see things from a different perspective or a new lens. Every Optika Moderna piece begins in a mysterious optician's office. DAVID ISRAEL REYNOSO … Your vision is assessed. And then you are outfitted with some optical gear which you then put over your face. It’s reminiscent of entering a virtual reality game and then choosing a character to be or to follow. DAVID ISRAEL REYNOSO So your journey begins at a series of portals into this dimension… You will be invited through secret doorways and… this space is very purposefully designed in a way that you are turning corners at every moment. You are disoriented in a way that I think it feels playful. Playfulness is key for Sol De La Rosa. He helps activate these spaces by choreographing the movements of actors who communicate non-verbally. SOL DE LA ROSA I think kids play to make sense of the world, to create environments, to imagine and to create conflicts, then resolve them… And through playing, we're actually configuring larger human conditions that we can all maybe relate to. De La Rosa relates to the luchadores and sees them as masked warriors. SOL DE LA ROSA … The mask is so full of symbolic representation.. and there's almost this external presentation of internal dialogue that use the aspect of mask wearing to actually not hide but expose their internal dialogues and their fears, their traditions. And maybe even their influence on ideas of Mexican masculinity. Actress Lorena Santana sees Lucha Libre as a big part of Mexican culture in part because it has a powerful element of storytelling. LORENA SANTANA In that if a luchador loses their mask or their mask] - is taken off, there's a very powerful thing that happens that involves shame and embarrassment. And so we are toying with this incredible theme of mask wearing. Reynoso agrees. DAVID ISRAEL REYNOSO And I think, too, the protective nature of how masks really are a second face that obscure sort of your true identity. And it made me consider how we in life have more public versions of ourselves and more private versions…this idea of really hiding your identity in some ways and being very protective about it. And there's great efforts to then shame and ridicule those who are ultimately defeated and are failures within lucha. And so I think there's something in which we as humans, regardless of the fact whether or not we are in the ring or not, struggle with the fear of failure, of being defeated. But can there be victory in defeat? Is there a value to the struggle? Each visitor will have a different answer because no two people will experience the same thing on any given night. Which is why the show leads you to a cantina at the end where strangers can turn an individual experience into a communal one and maybe openly wrestle with complicated questions of identity. Beth Accomando, KPBS News.

TAG: LA LUCHA runs through June 4th at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, on Kettner Boulevard, next to the train depot.


Tomorrow, SANDAG is hosting its annual Bike to Work Day, but now it’s called Bike Anywhere Day.

The event promotes biking as a viable, fun, and healthy transportation choice, and helps combat traffic congestion and air pollution.

So… will you ditch your car tomorrow and ride your bike?

KPBS Metro reporter Andrew Bowen tells us why he sometimes chooses his bike as his way of transportation.

“So I’ve been biking to work a lot more often since the pandemic hit. I actually still haven’t renewed my SDSU parking pass, so I’m saving a bit of money, I like not having to look for a parking space. There is a pretty tough climb uphill at the end of my commute, but overall it’s a great ride and I’m excited to see other cyclists on the road on Thursday.”

If it’s feasible, you can ride your bike to school or work.

If you work from home or are off tomorrow, you can ride your bike anywhere your day takes you.

There will be many pit stops for bicyclists across the county from 6 to 9 am where you can grab refreshments, snacks, and a free 20-23 Bike Anywhere Day t-shirt.

For a list of pit stops, visit the SANDAG website.


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 local news, plus, we will have a preview of the San Diego Fringe Festival. I’m Debbie Cruz. Thanks for listening and have a great Wednesday.

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Local advocates have filed a federal complaint alleging hundreds of migrants were kept under inhumane conditions, after the Border Patrol kept them in a makeshift open-air migrant camp in San Ysidro with no food or shelter, for weeks. In other news, as part of the new KPBS series, “Under the Same Roof,” we hear from a family who came together during COVID lockdowns, and never moved out. Plus, our KPBS arts reporter takes us behind the scenes of an immersive theater experience, inspired by Lucha Libre and masked Mexican wrestlers.