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New tiny cabins to house the homeless

 February 5, 2024 at 5:00 AM PST

Good Morning, I’m Erik Anderson, in for Debbie Cruz….it’s Monday, February 5th.

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About 100 new tiny cabins are ready to house homeless individuals. More on that, next. But first... let’s do the headlines….

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Early voting has begun for the Presidential Primary Election on March 5th.

Voters should be receiving their ballots in the mail this week.

If you have not registered to vote yet, Registrar of Voters Cynthia Paes says you have until February 20th to do so.

“However, if you do miss that deadline, it is not too late. you can visit any vote center or the registrar's office in person and register and vote that same day. it's called conditional voter registration.”

Starting today (Monday), those who have received their ballots already can cast their votes in person at the Registrar of Voters’ office in Kearny Mesa or by mail.

For those who need more time to research the issues before voting, kpbs is launching a Voter Hub this afternoon.

Visit kpbs-dot-org slash voter hub for more information.

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More rain is expected to hit the county this morning.

National Weather Service meteorologist Alex Tardy says there’s a good chance the next big storm could stall over San Diego, dumping two to three inches of rain… and even more at higher elevations.

“We could be looking at three to six inches of rain in a couple of days in all of our foothill mountain areas, and that means that water has got to run off.  And so not only will we have local rain, we’ll have a lot of water running off.”

Tardy says the system should clear out by Wednesday.

He says the long range forecast shows no more storms until the end of the month.

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The Metropolitan Transit System says it will be increasing security at transit centers and on trolleys and buses.

M-T-S says it's in response to a passenger satisfaction survey that found riders want to see a larger security presence on transit.

The M-T-S Board last year approved a more than 4-million-dollar increase to the security budget, which will allow for a 60-percent increase in security officers in the MTS system.

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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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The San Diego region has tried a number of different temporary solutions for homelessness… from a large shelter in Golden Hall… to rows of tents in parking lots near Balboa Park.

Now, reporter Jacob Aere says the county is offering another option – tiny cabins.

The County of San Diego has about 100 new Pallet shelter cabins, ready to house the unsheltered population in the region. $1.5 million dollars has been set aside to purchase, deliver, and assemble the sleeping cabins on-site. Now – the job is to find those sites … and service providers. Pallet CEO Amy King says they’re structures that are sturdy and can be quickly set up. “We want people to use the products temporarily for three, six months a year – whatever they need. Get stabilized, get working with service providers, build the community relationships they need to succeed and then move on to permanent housing.” Most cabins sleep one to two people. They have storage space, a locking door and charging outlets … and some even have a bathroom. Any organization that wants to use the Pallet shelters will have to cover the cost of the operations. Jacob Aere, KPBS News.

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Higher than normal body heat is found in people who suffer from depression, suggesting new ways of treatment.

Sci-tech reporter Thomas Fudge reports on an exhaustive study, that confirms what has been suspected.

The study, led by UC San Diego and UC San Francisco, surveyed more than 20 thousand people globally. The subjects wore an oura ring, which measures skin temperature hourly. They also took their body temperatures and self reported depression symptoms every day. Researchers said the differences in body temperature were small, but significant and consistent. Benjamin Smarr is a data sciences professor at UCSD. “It’s not the case that depression makes you hot in the way that a fever makes you hot. This is not something that’s that clear. It’s a trend that’s clear over time. That somebody’s temperature is trending upward more than it should.” Ashley Mason is a psychology professor from UCSF. She says the link between depression and higher body heat was seen in previous studies with much smaller samples. But it required a big, real-world survey of people to really see what was going on. “So I believe that this analysis was particularly important to do because this has implications for thinking about how we treat depression.” She says, ironically, putting people in a sauna or a hot tub cools body temperature by forcing people to sweat. She says clinics should explore those kinds of treatments to reduce depression symptoms. SOQ. 

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A culture war about what's appropriate at the library continues in Coronado.

Investigative reporter Amita Sharma reports national coverage of a dispute over Christmas stories and L-G-B-T-Q plus content has triggered scores of threats against library staff.

This Fox News news segment featuring Coronado resident Rachel Racz ran during the holidays. Fox “There’s a new war on Christmas bite….” The holidays are over, but the controversy, fueled in part by the segment, continues. Coronado officials are now working on a response to a demand letter sent by Racz’s lawyer Jeffrey Hall. Hall states that the library discriminated against Racz by refusing her request to host a story time on the origins of Christmas from a Christian viewpoint…on grounds that it violates the separation of church and state. Coronado officials refused to comment. But Carl Luna, president of Friends of the Coronado Public Library, says Racz was not the victim of discrimination. “You don't get to walk into any public library and say, I'm going to take that chair and do a program and call it a library program.” “If you're going to do a story time at this library and any other library, it has to be run by the library. They're liable for content. They have to go through the books.” Luna also rejects  the narrative that the Coronado library is unpatriotic. “We have story times, which bring in our military families. We have military exhibits at the library. There's a veterans and military active duty personnel resource center with staff dedicated to helping them with anything they need as they transition to life in Coronado and dealing with military programs. There's a huge military collection here.” Following the coverage from FOX and other news outlets, library staff received dozens of vicious online messages … including threats like this one: “Will the staff please pour gasoline on their bodies and torch themselves.” Luna says the hostility spread fear among the library staff. When you are saying things like that to another person, it doesn't matter whatever righteousness you may think of is on your side, you are deliberately trying to create terror in somebody else.You want to have a conversation, have one. Don't be doing this. Coronado resident Jessica Tompane is married to a former Navy Seal and is also represented by Hall in  the dispute with the library. She says the vitriol goes both ways. “We're being called bigots, people of hate, KKK, Karens, Nazis. I mean, you name it, we've been called it.” Tompane objects to certain pictures in books in the children’s section. One such book is  The Rainbow Parade. It was read during toddler story time at the library last June.”....The premise of the book is uplifting. The story itself is. Okay. The illustrations are what are really called into question.” One shows the back of a nude man. Another smaller one shows a male couple in what looks like BDSM gear. Tompane says she’s not advocating for censorship or book bans…just for common sense. She wants books like The Rainbow Parade to be out of the reach of young kids … and that any books in the kid’s section containing nudity or sexualized material be clearly labeled as such. “We have ratings for music. So why are books any different? I mean, you wouldn't have playboys lined down the hallway of a children's section of a library. And why is that? Well, because it's not age appropriate.” Hall is threatening to sue Coronado unless the library segregates those books, refrains from including them in story time.  AND Racz is allowed to host reading events even if the content is religious. Coronado city officials say on their website they are in the process of responding to Hall’s letter and that staff is working with the women to “explore the nature of their complaint.” Amita Sharma, KPBS News.

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In a new film playing in movie theaters, called Argylle, a writer discovers that her spy novels are mirroring real life.

Cinema junkie Beth Accomando speaks with director Matthew Vaughn about making an action comedy.

Matthew Vaughn has made dark, violent films like Layer Cake and Kick-Ass. So what possessed him to make an action-comedy-romance? MATTHEW VAUGHN Basically, I was with my daughters and we watched Romancing the Stone during lockdown. And they turned around to me and said, why is nobody making movies like this anymore? And would you make a movie like this for us? How could a father refuse? So Argylle was born. OMG! You’re Elly frigging Conway, I am such a fan… what do you do?... espionage. When a spy novelist meets a real spy, it sets off a chain reaction of ridiculous action involving a cat, skating on an oil slick, and a showdown that’s equal parts Matrix and MGM musical. MATTHEW VAUGHN …I want to go hyper stylized, but I want to make it fun… Argylle is fun mainly because Sam Rockwell dances his way through anything the film throws at him. MATTHEW VAUGHN …he can definitely dance, some actors love to add lib. He just loves to add dance and he’s amazing the way he does that. And Rockwell dances around tropes and cliches as easily as his character dodges bullets and bombs. Beth Accomando, KPBS News. 

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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 Erik Anderson. Thanks for listening and have a great Monday.

About 100 new tiny cabins are ready to house people who are homeless in San Diego County. In other news, an exhaustive study finds higher than normal body heat is found in people who suffer from depression, suggesting new ways of treatment. Plus, a culture war about what's appropriate at the library continues in Coronado.