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Local leaders calling immigration system broken

 September 18, 2023 at 5:00 AM PDT

Good Morning, I’m Debbie Cruz….it’s Monday, September 18th.


Local leaders are calling the immigration system broken. More on that next. But first... let’s do the headlines….


County health officials say there have been tuberculosis exposures at two local Chuze Fitness gyms.

The dates of potential exposure were at the gym’s Mission Valley location from January 4th to February 22nd, and at the Chula Vista location between February first and April 30th.

Members and employees who are at highest risk at the Mission Valley location have been notified.

But members at risk of exposure at the Chula Vista location have not been identified or informed.

The county says people who were at the Chula Vista gym in the afternoons between February and April are most likely to have been exposed.

A county spokesperson says they do not think the two exposures are related.


Demolition equipment is being moved into place this morning, in preparation for construction of the first-ever affordable student housing project at 16th and C streets.

The seven and eight-story buildings will serve students attending San Diego City College.

The community college district is using state funding to build the complex.

Ricky Shabazz is president of city college.

“800 students are going to have an opportunity to live in downtown in about 2 years..paying rents under a thousand dollars if we get this right.”

Demolition of a child development center on the site begins tomorrow.


When it opened nearly two years ago, the blue line trolley extension that ends at UC-SD was praised as a big move forward for commuters.

But the group “Circulate San Diego” organized a mile-long “walk audit” through the neighborhood surrounding the nobel drive station.

The walk helped identify safety concerns says university city resident Trey Hannula.

“There’s a lot of sidewalks that are inadequate for not just everyday students and shoppers, but also those with mobility impairments, visual and hearing impairments.  it’s not super safe.”

The walkers observations will be included in a report to the San Diego city council.


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


Dozens more migrants were dropped off at the Oceanside Transit Center Friday, and local leaders are calling it a symptom of a broken immigration system.

North County reporter Tania Thorne has the details.

City officials got a heads up about the arrivals giving local organizations time to set up basic resources. Local non profit organizations set out food and water, clothes, and power to charge their phones. Volunteers were also helping them coordinate travel arrangements to their sponsors. Janet Reeves/Interfaith Community Services Really basic necessities. We're helping them contact their sponsors and working through the logistics of booking a plane ticket. Or arranging transportation to the airport. Janet Reeves is with Interfaith Community Services. She says most sponsors are quick to book plane tickets but some can't afford it- leaving organizations looking for ways to cover the cost. In statements, North County Congressman Mike Levin and San Diego County Supervisor Jim Desmond called out the federal government for the lack of resources provided. TT KPBS News. 


55 years ago the crew of a U-S Navy Spy ship was captured off the coast of North Korea.

The crew was tortured for months before the U-S arranged their release, and now survivors are demanding that congress make good on promises to compensate victims of terrorism.

Military reporter Andrew Dyer has the story.

It was christmas eve in 1968 when eight-three crewman of the uss pueblo landed in san diego after eleven months of captivity and torture in north korea. james kell, of chula vista, was a navy chief in 1968 on the pueblo in charge of special operations. he says surviving the nearly year-long captivity in north korea came down to three things: retired chief james kell, former pueblo crew member “faith in god. in my country and my navy. and i knew those three things. if i had those, i was going to be okay.” pueblo crew members are among a cadre of victims of state-sponsored terrorism who qualify for compensation under a victims’ fund established by congress in 2015. others include survivors and families of those killed in the iran hostage crisis, the 1983 u.s. embassy bombing in beirut, the 1996 khobar towers bombing and the 9/11 attacks. kell says survivors have only received a fraction of what courts have awarded them but the fund’s been depleted. andrew dyer, kpbs news.


A pending agreement between state leaders that could have helped steady California's uncertain insurance market fell through last week.

Now, Californians are facing another fire season with no guarantee of stable access to homeowners’ insurance.

Cal Matters capitol reporter Alexei Koseff explains.

So as people have probably been hearing, California's insurance market has been collapsing over the last few years, and it really reached a breaking point this summer when several major insurers, including State Farm, stopped writing new policies altogether. So state lawmakers and the governor and the insurance commissioner came together with the industry to try and figure out how they could potentially keep them operating in the state. And the main way to do that is to allow them to raise premiums to cover the potential losses from increasing wildfire risk. The problem is that a lot of lawmakers were worried that this would basically be a giveaway to the industry and that there would not be enough balance with protections for consumers, who are going to have to pay more in the end. This will probably kick over now to Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara, who has a lot of regulatory powers to do things that the legislature was considering. And if he doesn't act this fall, I would expect that we'll see another bill again next session.

TAG: That story was reported by Cal Matters’ reporter Alexei Koseff.


San Diego is looking to close access to a rocky area in La Jolla, to protect a growing population of sea lions.

Metro reporter Andrew Bowen says visitors have been getting too close to the animals.

Sea lions barking AB: Point La Jolla is a small outcropping between La Jolla Cove and Boomer Beach. It's a popular spot to watch sea lions. But people have been doing a lot more than just watching. Some will see just how close they can get, or try to take photos with the animals. That can lead to aggressive behavior, or mother sea lions abandoning their offspring. The area is already closed to the public during the pupping season from May to October. The City Council will vote Monday on whether to close it year round. Harassing sea lions is a federal crime that can result in hefty fines and prison time. (sea lion bark) Andrew Bowen, KPBS news.


Coming up.... The speed and the ease of use that comes from an electric bike is attracting riders.

"We love E-bikes because it's getting more cyclists on the road, and we want to expand cycling as a mainstream things. The more people the more mainstream it is."

Some E-R doctors are calling motorized vehicles unsafe.

We’ll have that story and more, just after the break.


A lot of vehicles that used to only run on human power have been electrified… like bikes, scooters and skateboards.

Their offer of greater speed and ease of use has encouraged travelers and environmentalists who want to reduce our reliance on gas-powered cars.

But are they safe?

Sci-tech reporter Thomas Fudge has the story.

Chloe Lauer shows me her electric bike in a downtown park. She points out the  video screen that displays her battery charge.“So this is like a full battery. This shows you how fast yer going. And this is the pedal assist. And the tools that control the bike’s motor. CHLOE “And you can put it up, using the up arrow, or down.” Electric bikes can be peddled like a regular bike. They can run solely on their motor or help you pedal, giving your leg power a strong motorized boost. Some cyclists have called electric bikes a game changer. Lauer, who is director of the San Diego County bike coalition, doesn’t disagree. Chloe Lauer Executive Director, San Diego County Bike Coalition “We love Ebikes because it’s getting more cyclists on the road. And because we want to expand cycling as a mainstream thing. The more people the more mainstream it is.” The goal of getting people out of cars and on a bike is a step toward addressing the threat of global warming. Transportation accounts for half of San Diego’s greenhouse gas emissions. But the move to electrify bikes and scooters has raised concerns among people in emergency medicine. Dr. Vishal Bansal is Chief of Trauma at Scripps Mercy Hospital and has seen a lot of accidents linked to motorized scooters, a lot of them available on the street for rent. Dr. Vishal Bansal /Chief of Trauma, Scripps Mercy “You can pick one up anytime and start driving it. So if you’re intoxicated. If really have no good experience on a scooter, no-one is wearing a helmet. At least I haven’t seen that when I’m seeing these people in town.” UC San Diego did a study on about just over a hundred hospital admissions, related to motorized scooters in 2017 and 2018. They found a dramatic monthly increase in admissions during that time period, with a wide variety of injuries. Something Bonsal can vouch for. “We do see a fair amount of head injuries. Head injuries can be mild, moderate or severe.The majority are luckily on the mild or moderate side. But we have had some severe head injuries and death from head injuries from these vehicles. Wrist and rib fractures are also common. And what about Ebikes? Bansal says he sees a lot of kids riding them unsafely and he thinks their speed is not properly regulated. To me, this subject is personal. Years ago, in San Diego, I was hit by a car while riding my bike to work. I suffered from a traumatic brain injury and I did end up in the Scripps Mercy Trauma ward. It was three months before I was well enough to return to work. So I know what it's like to ride an unprotected vehicle on a road full of cars. Elizabeth Barrera-Rivest Emergencecy Room Physician “When you do have that interplay when you have bicyclists right next to cars. You’re putting a tank next to this itty-bitty sticks and someone in their itty bitty helmet and so it’s sort of a formidable task to go biking on our regular streets.” Elizabeth Barrera-Rivest is also an emergency room physician who sees the worst results of that mismatched vehicular traffic. But she’s also a member of the health advisory committee of San Diego’s Climate Action Campaign. You wanna talk about health risks… she says those that come from climate change are severe and numerous, including asthma, heat stroke and premature birth. The UCSD study on E-scooters describes the vehicles as inherently dangerous.  Barrera-Rivest argues they’re level of safety depends on the user. BERRERA “The same as anything else. You have to take control of your own personal safety.  And if they’re treated as a toy then certainly they are not a safe modality.” At San Diego state racks of Escooters are available for rent and you see them zipping past pedestrians on sidewalks and bike paths. Cesar Jimenez bought his own, which he drives to school after he parks his car off campus. I asked if he feels unsafe on the roads. Jimenez “No I don’t to be honest. Not really. There are certain areas of San Diego that definitely, I think it would be nice to have those spaces for bikes or scooters. There are some places that do. I think we can get better on it.” Robin Kaminsky does have a car and commutes to campus on her Escooter. KAMINSKY “When I go in the bike lane, which we’re technically supposed to do, it really doesn’t feel safe at all. Cars don’t care about your safety.” But with new electric cars going for more than 60 thousand dollars a pop, Berrera-Rivest says finding an affordable global-friendly way to travel may depend on bikes, scooters and the like. “I think we face a choice where we either have to make some sacrifices to be environmentally friendly, or we face the greatest existential threat to humans.” SOQ.


It’s Hispanic Heritage month, and the San Diego Unified School District has a first-of-its-kind flag flying over its administration building.

Education reporter M.G. Perez has more.

The San Diego Unified School District administration decided it was time to honor its Latin-x students with a flag showing their pride and culture. A team of educators designed the new flag now flying over the district’s headquarters for the next month honoring Hispanic Heritage. Haydee Zavala is instructional coordinator of Equity and Belonging programs serving all campuses.. “we wanted to find an image that represents all of that…there’s not necessarily a Latinx flag out there…showing all of the countries in the shape of a hand to show unity” Beside the many Latin American cultures and countries represented on the flag …there is the the spanish word orgullo …which means pride…MGP KPBS NEWS.


The San Diego County Fair is going back in time for next year’s fair.

“Let's go retro!” will be the theme.

So, get out those poodle skirts, baggy pants and grunge flannels.

Fair spokesperson Tristan Hallman says it’ll all be back in style at next year’s fair.

“No one does a theme like we do and we're very excited about this particular one, because it. You can see the excitement in both our community and our staff, and and terms of the nostalgia that we can bring to this fair.”

In addition to retro fashion, Hallman says people can expect retro arcade games, as well as musical blasts from the past.

Next year’s fair will run from June 12th through July 7th.


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 to hear about how the closure of the PEDWEST border crossing is impacting businesses on both sides of the border. I’m Debbie Cruz. Thanks for listening and have a great Monday.

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Dozens more migrants were dropped off at the Oceanside Transit Center Friday. Local leaders are calling it a symptom of a broken immigration system. In other news, a lot of vehicles that used to only run on human power have been electrified. The offer of greater speed and ease of use from electric bikes, scooters and skateboards, has encouraged travelers and environmentalists who want to reduce our reliance on gas-powered cars. But are they safe? Plus, it’s Hispanic Heritage month, and the San Diego Unified School District has a first-of-its-kind flag flying over its administration building.