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Local officials’ thoughts on abortion rules

 June 27, 2022 at 5:00 AM PDT

Good Morning, I’m Debbie Cruz….it’s Monday, June 27th.

Local officials react to abortion ruling.

More on that next. But first... let’s do the headlines….

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SANDAG now has new credit card policies for its employees.

Inewsource reports that the new policies approved by the board on Friday will require more paperwork and include spending limits.

The new policies come after the agency’s internal auditor flagged questionable transactions earlier this year.

Including nearly 70-thousand dollars spent at local restaurants over a four-year period.

The government agency is funded with taxpayer money.

Officials haven’t said who, if anyone, will face discipline for misusing the cards. SANDAG says it’s still reviewing past transactions.

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An empty lot in Linda Vista is now being turned into a site for low-income housing.

Officials broke ground on the county lot last week.

It will be transformed into the new Levant Street Cottages with 127 independent living and affordable senior housing units.

At least 20-percent of the units will go to seniors with 50-percent or less of the area median income.

And the rest will go to seniors with 60-percent or less.

The project is expected to be completed by early 20-24.

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‘Stone Brewing’ has been bought by the U.S. branch of the Japanese beer company Sapporo.

The deal announced Friday is valued at around 165-million dollars and is expected to close in August.

Sapporo will add its beers to those offered at Stone's breweries in Escondido and Richmond, Virginia.

Stone will continue to brew its beers at the two breweries and operate its seven tap rooms under the Sapporo umbrella.

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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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Friday’s Supreme Court ruling overturned federal abortion protections.

That leaves it up to individual states.

It’s expected that almost half of U.S. states will make abortion nearly or entirely illegal.

Here in California, a woman can have an abortion until a doctor decides that the fetus could survive outside the womb or if its necessary to protect the woman’s life.

Local Assemblywoman Akilah Weber is an ob-gyn. She says women will either be forced to travel to states where the procedure is legal….

Or they will have a procedure that is unsafe and risk their lives and fertility. This is why this is a sad day on so many levels (:14)

Assemblywoman Weber says the assembly is voting on a proposed constitutional amendment that would codify the right to abortions in California. If approved, it will be put on the November ballot and voters will decide

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This decision is cause for celebration for religious groups, but it’s not as black and white as it may seem.

KPBS reporter Kitty Alvarado spoke with a local pastor who believes people should come first on an emotional day like Friday.

My reaction is mixed which you might not expect to hear from a pastor of a church While some are celebrating Friday’s Supreme Court decision…. Pastor Phil Metzger of Calvary San Diego is taking a different approach there’s a whole group of people that don’t see today as a victory they see it as a huge loss and I don’t have to kind of rub that in on anybody like oh yay for this because I don’t want to demonize people that have had to make the hard choice of having an abortion Metzger says now more than ever, no matter what we believe, we must reach out and love our neighbor because chances are we all know someone who has had to make a decision we have not had to make Every place, I don’t care what institution it is, statistically, somebody in that group had an abortion. So we have to ask ourselves are they my enemy? They're not. Kitty Alvarado KPBS News

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The sailor accused of setting fire to the USS Bonhomme Richard wants answers about a fire that happened the same day.

KPBS Military reporter Steve Walsh says it's part of a flood of motions ahead of his trial.

Seamans Apprentice Ryan Sawyer Mays faces court martial over the fire that destroyed the billion dollar warship, in July 2020. In a hearing, ahead of his trial in September, Mays’ attorneys said there was a second fire which broke out briefly on a similar ship, on the same pier, on the same day as the fire that destroyed the USS Bonhomme Richard. Prosecutors said investigators found no connection with the fire that broke out on the USS Essex. The defense is also pressing to have the admiral who ran the Navy’s investigation into the fire, appear in person. Separate from the criminal investigation, the Navy ruled the ship should not have been lost, blaming a series of failures up the chain of command. Steve Walsh KPBS News.

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Coming up.... Cross-border sewage issues in San Diego.
We’ll have that story and more, next, just after the break.

The big fix for the San Diego region’s U.S.-Mexico border sewage problem is several years away, but that doesn’t mean sewage will flow freely until then.

KPBS Environment reporter Erik Anderson says some smaller-scale projects are already having a positive impact.

When Morgan Rogers surveys the concrete-lined Tijuana River channel as it crosses the international border, he sees progress. 13:36:27 – 13:36:39 “This is the lined portion of the channel where it transitions to the natural. This is a good view point, you can see that all the sediment that has accumulated. This is from the wet season.” Rogers is a civil engineer in charge of pollution control on the U-S side of the border. This concrete channel is a conduit for pollution that fouls the ocean just a few miles away. 13:36:59 – 13:37:07 “You can see, when it rains, when we get rainwater, it carries a lot of sediment, a lot of trash. You’ll see a lot of tires here.” But when it’s not raining, most sewage-tainted flows can be stopped by a relatively low-tech solution. 14:03:54 – 14:04:16 “What we have here is a sediment berm. This is composed of the sediment that was deposited on the concrete lined channel. This is constructed and maintained by Mexico. We provide the equipment, in particular a wheeled loader and whatever else they need in constructing the berm and maintaining it.” Look over the sediment wall and there’s standing water. A few hundred yards north, a Mexican pump station pulls most of the water out of the river channel. 14:04:17 – 14:04:26 “During the dry season, this is very effective for preventing flows from coming down the river and crossing the border into the United States. And there are other small success stories. Rogers takes us to a culvert just north of the border wall. Look through the fence here and you can see cars zipping by on a Mexican highway. 14:59:38 – 14:59:59 “This is Stewart's drain. One of our five canyon collectors. “ Crews recently fixed an underground gate here that was locked in place, creating pressure when sewage flows under the border wall were heavy. With the gate now fully open heavy flows are easier to manage. There’s a trickle of water coming through the drain, but it’s hardly an issue. 14:46:14. 14:46:22 “So this isn’t something I would worry about. I mean we want to eliminate all flows, but we’re handling this one.” The progress by the International Boundary and Water Commission has been noticed. 00:06:57 – 00:07:06 “I’m very happy with what I call the micro fixes that the IBWC has made. Micro fixes that can stop flows that can result in weeks of closures.” Serge Dedina is the mayor of Imperial Beach. He says stopping the flow of sewage through the Tijuana estuary helps, but those micro fixes don’t solve the border pollution problem. His city's beaches have been labeled polluted for much of the summer because of a broken Mexican sewage treatment plan. 00:01:29 – 00:01:42 “They discharge 30 to 50 million gallons of raw sewage on the beach everyday, I think it's four and a half to six miles south of the border. And during south swells and south wind that comes up to Imperial Beach as well as all the other discharge sites south from Playas to Rosarito.” That’s one reason the U-S Environmental Protection Agency is pushing for a comprehensive solution which includes projects on both sides of the U-S-Mexico border. Officials hope to capture and treat sewage tainted flows that cross the border on land. And build a treatment plant that works south of the border. But it will still be a couple of years before any major sewage treatment plants start to be built. Nora Vargas, Vice Chair of the board of Supervisors. 00:04:20 – 00:04:25. “It’s not fast enough but it is a priority for us.” Nora Vargas is the vice chair of the county board of supervisors. She says it is important to remember that a fix is coming for communities that have long endured the public health crisis. She says focusing on pollution postings at South County beaches during the dry summer months shouldn’t become a distraction. 00:08:56 --- 00:09:13. “Let's not villainize the test. Let’s not make it about businesses. Or community. Let’s make it about our communities being safe and healthy so everyone can enjoy the beauty of our beaches in Southern California and South Bay.” 15:26:26 – 15:26:45. “The hope is that with all these small projects already underway and the big projects that are on the drawing board they’ll keep sewage tainted flows out of this river valley which will in turn keep those sewage tainted flows out of the ocean. Erik Anderson KPBS News

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During the pandemic, promotores or community leaders, kept many communities informed about testing and vaccines.

KPBS North County reporter Tania Thorne tells us their outreach work is continuing, but they’re looking for more help.

Universidad Popular is a community based organization in North County that promotes health, education, and civic participation. They get messages across through promotores- or community leaders- that connect with different communities. “promoters have a very unique ability and skill of being able to take complicated Information and really explain it in the most simplest way in a way that Community Members will understand That was Lilian Serrano, the co-director of the organization. She says the promotores work during the pandemic helped many minority groups get vaccinated for COVID-19. Now that restrictions have eased, they are looking to recruit and train new promotores to continue getting information into the community. TT KPBS News

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Just in time for summer’s warm weather, San Diego’s Mountain View community finally has a new pool.

KPBS reporter Jacob Aere was at the long-awaited opening day.

A seven-year wait is over in Southeast San Diego. A new pool is open for swimmers at the Jackie Robinson Family YMCA. Anna Arancibia is the Y’s executive director… and she says the pool has been a long time coming. “This pool is more than just a pool. It's a symbol of access, community and belonging for all. With this new incredible amenity we hope to create a positive community gathering space that provides everyone access to opportunities that lead to happy and healthy lives.” Official hours for the pool are still undecided and will depend on the ability to staff much needed lifeguards. But swim lessons will begin at the new pool on July 5, and the center will be offering 70 free swim lessons in the coming months. Jacob Aere, KPBS News.

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Thumbprint Gallery celebrates its 13th anniversary this Friday.

KPBS arts reporter Beth Accomando previews the event and reminds us of the gallery’s history.

In 2009, Paul Ecdao and Johnny Tran founded Thumbprint Gallery to showcase a broad spectrum of artists but especially emerging and San Diego area ones. Tran explains the Gallery’s philosophy. JOHNNY TRAN: If you look at the name Thumbprint, it means to leave your mark. So we're just allowing artists to have the opportunity to leave their own mark. So that's always been the mission. And maybe because of how I started as DJ and in the event business, you could see I came through the back door. So I'm interested in giving voice to artists that may not necessarily get the chance otherwise. Coming through the back door also means that the Gallery embraces what Tran calls edgier and more accessible art with an emphasis on urban art, nostalgia, pop culture and pop surrealism. In keeping with the Gallery’s mission to provide a welcoming environment to bring people together to appreciate and support art, it’s hosting a 13th anniversary party on Friday. It is partnering with its La Jolla neighbor BFree Studios to showcase art and live music at both venues. Fittingly, the event also lands on the same night as First Friday La Jolla Art Walk. 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. I’m Debbie Cruz. Thanks for listening and have a great day.

How local officials are reacting to the new abortion ruling. Meanwhile, officials are working to protect water quality next to San Diego’s South County beaches. Plus, as summer is here, a new community pool is open in San Diego.