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Minimum wage increases

 January 3, 2023 at 5:00 AM PST

Good Morning, I’m Debbie Cruz….Happy New Year, it’s Tuesday, January 3rd 20-23Experts weigh in on Biden’s inability to roll back Trump’s immigration policies

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





Remember how warm it was on Christmas Day well that’s a distant memory so now we’ve seen two big storms in Southern California since Christmas Day and we’re going to see another one on Thursday and we potentially will remain on and off with wet weather until the middle of January 



San Diego’s first-ever female sheriff took office yesterday.

Kelly Martinez has been with the sheriff’s office since 19-85–and started her career working in the county’s jails.

Most recently she was the undersheriff - in charge of the department’s day to day operations.

She was elected in November —- beating out retired criminal prosecutor, John Hemmerling.

As sheriff Martinez will lead a department that provides law enforcement for the county’s unincorporated areas and 9 contract cities, and runs the county’s jails.


An annual report finds women continue to be “dramatically underrepresented” in the film industry.

The Celluloid Ceiling study from S-D-S-U looked at the top 250 grossing films of 2022.

Only 7% of cinematographers for those films were women. Women represented 21% of editors. And 19% of writers.

SDSU’s Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film has been tracking these numbers since 19-98.

And has seen the numbers of women in film increase by just 7% in the last 25 years.


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




As of the first, California and the city of San Diego’s minimum wage increased.

Alan Gin (like the alcohol) is an economics professor at U-S-D and says the newest wage increase takes into account a few factors like inflation and the consumer price index.


“When prices rise the minimum wage is going to rise to help compensate workers for the increased living costs and that’s what’s happening in 2023. Inflation was particularly high here in San Diego, so the minimum wage is going to go up about 8%.”  

That translates to an increase of 16 dollars and 30 cents an hour

Constitutional law expert Dan Eaton (EAT-en) says it’s still not a living wage in San Diego.

DE (:09) “It’s pretty clear when you do the math, it’s going to fall short of that, but it’s still moving it closer to that ideal and that’s worth something.”

This wage increase is higher than the state’s minimum wage increase to 15-50 an hour.

Among the other new laws taking effect this month–

One that restricts creative expression from being used in criminal cases.

Eaton says this includes rap lyrics.


“It turns out that particularly african american males were having the fact that they created rap lyrics that had some violent or misogynistic elements used against them in criminal proceedings.”

San Diego prosecutors used rap lyrics as justification– in part– for the 20-14 arrest of local rap artist, Tiny Doo.

He was later awarded half of a 1.5 million dollar wrongful arrest settlement paid by the city.


2022 was an eventful year for immigration policy. KPBS border reporter Gustavo Solis spoke with experts frustrated with President Joe Biden’s inability to roll back some of the Trump-era immigration policies.


The Trump administration spent four years enacting hardline immigration policies. They included building a border wall, restricting the U.S. asylum system, and threatening to end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, which is known as DACA.


Two years into the Biden administration, immigration advocates say the rhetoric has changed from the Trump years … yet the reality at the border has largely stayed the same. 


Blaine Bookey is a legal director at the Center for Gender and Refugee Studies. 


She says Trump policies like Title 42 have radically changed the political discourse around asylum. Title 42 is a public health order that allows ICE agents to turn back asylum seekers without a court hearing. 

BOOKEY 00:24:04:06

“They have completely flipped our understanding of asylum. They have made it seem like access to asylum at our border is an aberration. When actually it’s these policies – these new policies only from the last few years are the aberration. For 40 years before that people were able to come to the border and seek asylum.”


While activists decry Biden’s approach to Title 42 and other immigration policies, conservatives slam him for being too soft on border security.


But advocates say it isn’t just the asylum policy that carried on from Trump …  DACA is still under threat and the border wall continues to expand.


Aaron Riechlen-Melnick is a policy director at the American Immigration Council. He’s among many who are frustrated with DACA still being frozen in place. The Obama-era program provides protections to undocumented immigrants who came here as minors.  


AARON 00:02:38:06

“No new DACA applications have been processed since 2018 when the Trump administration sought to end the program. That means it’s been over 4 years since anyone’s been able to apply for the program.”


Despite Democrat control of the White House and Congress, nothing has changed with DACA.


AARON 00:01:27:06

“As of today, Dreamers and other undocumented youth have just as much insecurity in their lives as they did at the beginning of the year.”


Pedro Rios is the director of the U.S./Mexico border program American Friends Service Committee. He says advocates remain frustrated by what they consider several broken promises by Biden. 


A particular sore spot for Rios is that the border patrol continues to block access to Friendship Park, located in the borderlands near Imperial Beach. This is the one place along the Mexico border where people from either side can spend time together.


PEDRO 00:05:46:15

“In terms of what’s taking place on the ground, we still don’t have access to the area that is known as the enforcement zone. This is the area between the primary and secondary border barriers. And, again, the rationale for not having access doesn’t necessarily make sense.”


On the south side of the border, people who work with migrants also say not much has changed in the last year. 


They point to racial inequities of border enforcement.


Title 42 gives border officials the discretion to grant exemptions on a case-by-case basis. But Ukrainian refugees and other white European migrants had easier access those exemptions than black and brown migrants from Latin America.


So says Erika Pinheiro – the executive director of Al Otro Lado, an LA-based legal organization.


ERIKA 00:13:10:03

“I think by and large it’s black and indigenous migrants who are left out. People who aren’t tech savvy, people who aren’t literate, people who just aren’t connected to services anyway. It’s not a fair process now and I don’t see the administration making plans to make it a fair process even after the end of Title 42.”


However, while advocates aren’t optimistic that 2023 will be much different than 2022, they see some rays of hope. They point to a poll showing that a majority of both Democrats and Republicans support offering asylum to people fleeing their homes. Again, Bookley, from the Center for Gender and Refugee studies


BOOKEY 00:25:38:03

“Americans see through that. I think the example of the Ukrainians just helped highlight for Americans what is the purpose of the U.S. asylum system and why people need to come through the border sometimes to access that protection.”


She says public opinion polling around DACA shows a similar dynamic. She says it’s possible that policy might catch up to public opinion.  Regardless, we are likely in for another eventful year at the border. 

Gustavo Solis, KPBS News


Coming up....San Diego is losing a cinematic treasure… We’ll have that story and more, next, just after the break.




Yesterday was the last day of San Diego's annual International Auto Show.

It was held at the San Diego Convention Center over the holiday weekend. Here’s KPBS reporter Jacob Aere:


San Diego's annual car show looked much like it had before the pandemic … packed with thousands of people, new car releases and lots of vibrant colors. 

But the one noticeable difference was the unavoidable presence of hybrid and electric vehicles.

That was good news for Guillermo Barajon (Bah-ra-hohn) who has been looking for a new, fully electric car alongside his wife.

“Well we know that EVs are the way to go. With the gas prices as they are, were looking to just upgrade so that we can have a vehicle that's going to last us for a few years.”

Barajon says another factor for them getting a fully electric vehicle is Califonrnia’s upcoming policy that all new cars, pickup trucks and SUVs sales in California will have to be electric or hydrogen by 2035. Jacob Aere, KPBS News.


Beginning in the 1940s, the Ken Cinema brought foreign and independent films to San Diego. But the single-screen landmark has been vacant for the past two years.

Now KPBS arts reporter Beth Accomando says the building has been sold.


The news I got just before Christmas was certainly a lump of coal in my stocking. The Ken Cinema, which first opened in 1946 had been sold and would no longer be a theatre.Here’s what Randi Kolender Hock, a member of the family that owns the Ken, said today in Facebook message: “This is a decision amongst the family. We will ALL miss The Ken and what my grandfather created out of love for film.Her grandfather was Robert Berkun. He had a business card boasting that the Ken was “San Diego’s only exclusive foreign and art cinema.” He was ahead of his time and gifted San Diego with a place to watch films as a community.Ethan Van Thillo, executive director of the Media Arts Center, tried but failed to purchase the cinema last summer. He recalled what the Ken meant to him when he came to San Diego 30 years ago. [00:17:19.150] - ETHAN VAN THILLO It seemed really unique. It was that space where you could get their calendar and check out all the independent films and foreign films that you otherwise wouldn't be able to see. And so losing that opportunity to see great independent cinema in a public space, a community space, where you can watch the movie, and then afterwards you talk about the movie. Indeed. A sad day for independent cinema here in the region.The loss of such a cinematic treasure  during the streaming age is also a sign of changing times.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.

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As of the first, California and the city of San Diego’s minimum wage increased. Then, KPBS border reporter Gustavo Solis spoke with experts frustrated with President Joe Biden’s inability to roll back some of the Trump-era immigration policies. Plus, the building that housed Ken’s Cinema has been sold.