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More resources for San Diegans impacted by January floods

 February 27, 2024 at 5:00 AM PST

Good Morning, I’m Debbie Cruz….it’s Tuesday, February 27th.


A Business Recovery Center opens for those impacted by last month’s storm. More on that next. But first... let’s do the headlines….


The Chula Vista City Council yesterday took the next step to replace former Councilwoman Andrea Cardenas, by declaring her seat vacant.

Cardenas resigned last week in the midst of fraud charges.

The council has 45 days from the date she resigned, to appoint someone to

replace her.

Cardenas represented the city's 4th Council District.

It covers the county's second-largest city's Southwestern division.

If the council doesn’t make an appointment during the 45-day period, the seat will remain vacant for the remainder of the term, through December.

Cardenas remains on the ballot for Chula Vista's District 4 council seat, but she’s not actively campaigning.


We are just one week away from the March 5th primary election.. and the county is reminding San Diegans that you don’t have to wait until Election Day to vote in person.

39 vote centers are open across the county, with 179 more opening this weekend.

They’re open daily from 8 in the morning to 5 in the evening.

Other ways to cast your ballot include returning it by mail, dropping it off at one of the Registrar’s official ballot drop boxes, or by visiting the Registrar’s office on weekdays.

To find the closest vote center or ballot drop box, and for more information on the races, visit our newsroom’s Voter Hub, at kpbs-dot-org-slash-voter-hub.


There’s a slight chance of more rain this morning, before lessening throughout the day.

It will be in the 60s today in our inland and coastal areas.

In the mountains, temps will be in the high 40s, and in the deserts, it’ll be in the mid 70s.

There’s also a wind advisory in effect until noon, in the mountain and desert areas, where forecasters say gusts could reach up to 55 miles per hour.

The National Weather Service says we can expect slightly warmer and sunnier conditions tomorrow (Wednesday)... which’ll be the warmest day of the week.


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


More resources are now available to help those working to recover from last month's devastating floods.

The Small Business Administration opened a business recovery center yesterday (Monday) in National City.

Reporter Alexander Nguyen explains.

The business recovery center opened inside the southwestern college higher education center in national city. sba representatives were there to help people like cynthia davis. the flood washed mud and other debris into her backyard from the hills. and now she’s here looking to get some help. cynthia davis flood victim “putting another fence or a gate or something to make that more stable, because at this point, every time it rains, i fear because it's constantly falling, you know, the mud.” small businesses and private nonprofit organizations can borrow up to 2 million dollars in low-interest loans to help cover what insurance won’t. the s-b-a says affected homeowners and renters also qualify for s-b-a loans. renters and homeowners qualify for up to 5 hundred thousand dollars. for more information, visit sba-dot-gov-slash-disaster or call 800-659-2955. an/kpbs.


California is one of eight states joining a federal lawsuit to block the merger of Kroger and Albertsons.

Reporter Jacob Aere says affordability is at the heart of the suit.

Putting food on the table … can be an expensive ordeal right now, says Liliana Barraza. “Its ugly, prices are nasty.” She was shopping for her family at a Food 4 Less grocery store in Vista. “I come here every Monday to get my regular stuff. I used to buy a full cart, but now it's become two bags only.” The Federal Trade Commission says the planned merger of Albertsons and Kroger would raise prices and lower employee wages… a claim the two companies dispute. They say the merger would “expand competition and lower prices, while increasing wages and protecting union jobs.” They also say the deal would “enhance customers’ shopping experience.” The companies say they will challenge the FTC in court. Jacob Aere, KPBS News.


We’ve been telling you about all the local races on your ballot to prepare you to vote in the March 5th primary.

Today we learn about San Diego’s District 9… which is arguably the most diverse district in the city, encompassing wealthy neighborhoods like Kensington and financially challenged areas like City Heights.

It’s currently represented by Sean Elo-Rivera.

But as reporter John Carroll tells us, two challengers are looking to replace him.

Democrat Sean Elo-Rivera has represented District 9 since 2020.  This time around, he’s facing Democrat Terry Hoskins and Independent Fernando Garcia. Sean Elo-Rivera/District 9 councilmember “I would understand why any constituent and any person living in the city would say that we’re not doing well enough.” We spoke with Elo-Rivera from a park in the Stockton neighborhood of his district.  It was days after the torrential, damaging storm of January 22nd… and the destruction that brought to neighborhoods in his district was very much on his mind. “We have, I think way more people than folks realize, who are picking up the pieces or trying to pick up the pieces… And I think we have a legitimate disaster in the southern part of the city and that’s going to need to be a top priority as well.” Elo-Rivera makes it clear that advocating for people who struggle to get by is his top priority… that means finding solutions to homelessness is at the top of his list. “And with that, that means that housing is also my top priority.  Those two issues go hand in hand.  You cannot separate homelessness from housing.” Fernando Garcia District 9 candidate “Our current city council lacks leadership, specifically in District 9.” His opposition to how Elo-Rivera does his job aside, Independent Fernando Garcia agrees with the incumbent about what he sees as the district’s most pressing issue. “I would say homelessness and then also housing, or development.  In terms of homelessness, I feel like a lot of people that we have a policy of enablement as opposed to empowerment, meaning that the streets should not be an option when it comes to people being unhoused.” Garcia left his career in financial services and real estate in 2017, when he formed a company called Schools Solar, which specializes in getting solar panels onto school roofs.  He says his business and real estate background will help in tackling homelessness… specifically through the use of ADUs… sometimes known as “granny flats.” “If somebody builds an ADU for $250,000 - what we could do is we could exempt that from their property tax, so they don’t pay for that additional property tax they would get hit, as long as they would agree to rent it for affordable rates, so it’s an incentive to the homeowner, not these big builders or developers.” Terry Hoskins, Ph.D./District 9 candidate “I’ve been serving the needs of the community members of District 9 for the past 14 and a half years as a San Diego Police Officer.” Dr. Terry Hoskins did 25 years in the Marine Corps before becoming a San Diego Police Officer in 2008.  He recently retired from the force.  Hoskins says he wants to continue serving the public on the city council… where he says his top priority would be public safety. “This current administration for District 9 doesn’t even talk to our law enforcement at all.  I will change that.” Both Hoskins and Garcia say they agree with council members who’ve criticized Elo-Rivera’s leadership as council president.  He was recently re-elected to the position by his fellow council members, but by only one vote. “The majority of the community that I interact with and all the community meetings, all the planning group meetings, they feel like they’ve got no representation since Marti Emerald left.” “Even in District 9, he’s really alienating a lot of neighborhoods here by not showing up to meetings, or just being dismissive of their concerns.” Elo-Rivera says since being re-elected to the council presidency, he has reached out to all his colleagues on the council for their thoughts on how they can all work better together.  But he says that doesn’t mean governing the city the way it’s been governed in the past. The top two finishers in the primary will face each other in November’s general election.  JC, KPBS News.


A local underdog community college polo club is on its way to a national championship.

Education reporter M.G. Perez has more on the Grossmont team’s winning season.

The Grossmont Community College polo club is only in its first year…made up of six East County friends who met in high school and share a love of horses and the game. Over the weekend…the 3 member women’s team beat Stanford and Montana State to advance and take the Western Intercollegiate Regionals trophy. They are on a roll…having defeated more established teams from schools like Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and UC Santa Barbara. The national championship is the first week of April. The men’s team from Grossmont is also heading to their nationals competition, this spring, after being undefeated this season. MGP 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 the day’s top stories. I’m Debbie Cruz. Thanks for listening and have a great Tuesday.

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The Small Business Administration opened a center Monday in National City to help those recovering from last month's devastating floods. In other news, California is one of eight states joining a federal lawsuit to block the merger of Kroger and Albertsons. Plus, ahead of the March 5 primary election, we learn about the election in San Diego’s District 9, which is arguably the most diverse district in the city, encompassing wealthy neighborhoods like Kensington and financially challenged areas like City Heights.