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New City Council district lines

 December 17, 2021 at 8:46 AM PST

Good Morning, I’m Annica Colbert….it’s Friday, December 17th.>>>>

A final map of new city council districts

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

A new feasibility study out from the Metropolitan transit system says extending the trolley to the San Diego airport is not only possible, but could be done in 10 years. The study looked at three different options for construction: an elevated guideway off Laurel Street and two underground options at Hawthorne. MTS staff favored the underground option along Hawthorn Street and authorized staff to pursue federal and state grants for the project.


The first-ever virtual county opioid summit for school children was live streamed to hundreds of campuses on Thursday morning. It was sponsored by the district attorney’s office and other organizations committed to stopping an epidemic that’s killing as many as one-thousand people a year - most of it from fentanyl and other opiates. district attorney summer stephan says middle school and high school students are the target audience.

“it’s a true crisis and if we don’t get that information to them we can’t be at every street corner trying to protect them.”

Last year, 19 children under the age of 18 died of opiate-related overdoses in San Diego county.


A major bottleneck for people crossing the border at Otay Mesa is now eliminated. A ribbon cutting ceremony was held on (Thursday) to celebrate the opening of connector bridges linking the 125 to the eastbound 905 and eastbound 11. The bridges mean vehicle traffic will no longer have to navigate surface streets in the area. More than 90-percent of the project’s funding came from federal and state sources… the rest from local governments. The bridges officially open today.


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

San Diego has a new map of City Council districts. KPBS metro reporter Andrew Bowen says the city's independent redistricting commission approved new district boundaries Wednesday.

AB: The new map unites some neighborhoods, including Clairemont and Rancho Penasquitos, into a single council district. Right now, those are split between two districts. But the new map also splits up other neighborhoods to even out each district's population. Mission Valley will straddle three council districts. Redistricting Commission Chair Tom Hebrank says tradeoffs were unavoidable.

TH: "The commission was not able to keep every community whole without violating other redistricting principles and maintaining an equal population balance, and it was necessary to split some of the communities in the final map and plan."

AB: The map passed on a 7-2 vote. The two dissenters said it dilutes the voting power of some minority groups and prioritizes wealthy coastal neighborhoods over everyone else. Andrew Bowen, KPBS news.


More community gardens and better broadband could soon be coming to San Diego. KPBS Speak City Heights reporter Jacob Aere says that’s after the City Council approved 33 code updates.

One of the code updates will create a faster process to install 5G fiber optic equipment. Community gardens will also now be allowed in designated Open Space parks.

The previous code made it difficult for San Diegans to grow nutritious foods on city-owned spaces within their communities … says Lauren Welch, co-chair of San Diego Promise Zone Healthy Communities.

“This code amendment helps for communities to put together gardens, for community groups to put together species, for shared spaces for food. For people to - I made a whole bunch of cucumbers you have a whole bunch of tomatoes - to learn how to grow, to learn how to share and co-opt that food.”

The City makes updates to the Land Development Code yearly. Suggestions can be submitted year-round by visiting the City Planning Department webpage. You have until the end of March to suggest ideas for next year. Jacob Aere, KPBS News.


This week the Navy outlined its case against the sailor accused of setting fire to the USS Bonhomme Richard in 2020. KPBS Military Reporter Steve Walsh says the hearings showed how difficult it can be to prove arson.

Seaman Apprentice Ryan Sawyer Mays was in court for the first time – charged with arson and hazarding a vessel in the fire that destroyed the USS Bonhomme Richard in July 2020.

We learned the US Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms sent its National Response Team to San Diego. They spent months combing the wreckage before declaring the fire was arson. Defense experts, including former ATF fire investigator Phil Fouts poked holes in their conclusions. Saying they couldn’t rule out lithium ion batteries or a spark from inside a forklift parked in the bay where the fire broke out. 7:17“It is one of the tougher crimes to prove and it does have a relatively low clearance rate, according to the FBI uniform crime report.”

Robert Schaal, a former arson investigator for the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms, who now works for Gulf Coast Fire in Florida.

“Sometimes you can prove it’s arson, but you can't prove who did it. Sometimes you can't prove its arson, so you never get to who did it, so there are a lot of complicating factors in arson cases that are not associated with other crimes.”

Naval Criminal Investigative Service interviewed Mays for more than nine hours on August 20, 2020, before taking him into custody. Mays lied about details of his time in SEAL basic training. He said the Navy “sucked.” But never admitted to setting the fire. A military police officer testified that as Mays learned he was being taken into custody, a dejected Mays said “I guess I did it.” but even she wasn’t sure whether he was serious.

“He has continued to maintain his innocence in regard to these allegations.”

Gary Barthel is Mays’ civilian attorney. He spoke briefly at the end of three days of hearings. Prosecutors portrayed Mays as hating the Navy.

2:34“Obviously, his attitude has changed now given allegations that have been made against him. But his intent was always to return back to BUD/S and be a SEAL.”

The Navy painted Mays as upset about being sent to a ship after he voluntarily left training to be a SEAL, called Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL at Coronado. BUD/S is famously difficult, with a high failure rate. Anyone who doesn’t make it is sent to the regular Navy. It’s actually a problem, says Lawrence Brennon, a former Naval officer and a law professor at Fordham University.

24:01“They go back to his days when he was in BUD/S when he wanted to be a seal and you know it's a problem when you have a smart person who is frustrated. And goes from the world where he thinks he's going to be a seal and all the things that entails, in reality, as well as in his vision and then get sent to a ship, where he or she has given a crudy job.”

The Navy declared the USS Bonhomme Richard a total loss, after the fire burned for more than four days in San Diego - though no one died it was still a very public failure for the Navy. There is pressure to find those responsible, says outside arson investigator Robert Schaal.

20:18“I would say, the higher the profile the case. The more pressure there is on the government to have accountability so here you've lost a you know, a multi billion dollar vessel.”The Hearing officer will likely take several weeks to review the testimony and reports before recommending to the Admiral in charge of Third Fleet, whether Mays should face a court martial. The legal standard is probable cause - not an overly high bar. If it goes to trial, the burden to prove it was arson will be higher. Steve Walsh KPBS News


Coming up.... The evolution of James Bond … in musical theatre…

Back when I played Bond, James Bond we had laser battles in space and inflatable gondolas, now it’s all nanobots and electronic eyes.

We’ll take you backstage for a musical version of 007 that opens tonight at Coronado Playhouse. That’s next. Just after the break.

Actor Tom Steward put his obsession with James Bond into a 2018 San Diego International Fringe show called One-Man Bond. For the show he channels all six actors who have played Bond and condensed all the films into one hour.

KPBS arts reporter Beth Accomando has been following the evolution of the show, which now returns as James Bond The Musical at the Coronado Playhouse this weekend.

When asked what music defines James Bond, most people would likely think of this…

CLIP James Bond Theme

But not Tom Steward.

TOM STEWARD I, on the other hand, are very interested in this kind of shadow world of Bond music, which is the Bond themes that were submitted to the producers but rejected…

CLIP The Goldeneye is the place where the night is so cold…

TOM STEWARD Or the songs that were specifically recorded as background to never really be heard.

CLIP Pool music

TOM STEWARD So I wanted to bring all that to light because the show has always been a kind of alternative, skewed perspective on the Bond films. So I wanted a musical soundtrack that also addressed that.

And that’s the soundtrack you’ll hear in James Bond: The Musical, the result of Steward’s lifelong obsession with James Bond.

TOM STEWARD [00:04:07.280] I'm watching Bond films since I was a child… And over the years, it sort of becomes like a lexicon that you carry with you through life. So when it came time to sort of devise a solo show for myself, like a showcase. This was for me, at least the obvious choice.

Back in 2018, Steward was looking for a project to showcase his talents and he decided to tap into his knowledge of Ian Fleming's MI6 agent for a San Diego International Fringe show. The result was One Man Bond, which condensed all 24 Bond movies into a single, rapid-fire hour.

CLIP Fringe show

TOM STEWARD It started as a show that was as basic as could be that I could literally take anywhere and do. So because of that, it's always been extremely flexible and adaptable to take to theaters and say, I have this show and we can make it as big as you want or as small as you want. And the joy of this show is always kind of reinventing it each time based of the place that you're performing.

Now he’s revamped the show for the cabaret style of Coronado Playhouse and created "James Bond: The Musical.” In addition to rejected theme songs and incidental music, there are comic flights of fancy like a sung summary of "Spectre."

TOM STEWARD I do something different with Spectre every time based on the kind of show I'm doing so because it's a musical, I wanted to have a kind of musical version of the film Spectre. And that's what we've done here, specifically, a William Shatner spoken word version of the movie, inspired by the Hollies. He ain't heavy. It's my brother. He's my brother.

CLIP But I’m Bond, but not Bond enough to carry the film…

The new show has added the latest Bond, No Time To Die, so you can enjoy all 25 movies and go from Sean Connery…

CLIP Glad that man known as Q put all those things in my luggage…

To Daniel Craig…

CLIP I hate playing Bond.

In one night. Steward has done intense research to find not only obscure musical tidbits but also fascinating behind the scenes trivia about the Bond movies. So whether you are a casual consumer of 007 or a diehard fan, the show will entertain you with facts, humorous insights, and one fan's obsessive examination of decades of Bond films.

CLIP The end of George Lazenby’s career.

TOM STEWARD So, yeah, it's the fascinating little niche culture that we've appeared to have tread into.

As a long-time Bond fan I put my nerdy seal of approval on this hilarious and surprisingly informative summation of all things 007.

Beth Accomando, KPBS News.

James Bond: The Musical runs tonight through Sunday at Coronado Playhouse.

That’s it for the podcast today. Be sure to catch KPBS Midday Edition At Noon on KPBS radio, or check out the Midday podcast. You can also watch KPBS Evening Edition at 5 O’clock on KPBS Television, and as always you can find more San Diego news online at KPBS dot org. I’m Annica Colbert. Thanks for listening and have a great day.

The independent redistricting commission finalized its map of new city council districts this week. The new map unites some neighborhoods into a single council district but also splits up other communities. Critics claim the new map dilutes the voting power of minorities. Meanwhile, what’s next in the USS Bonhomme Richard arson hearing. And, James Bond: The Musical returns to the Coronado Playhouse tonight.