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No 5G near airports

 January 19, 2022 at 5:00 AM PST

Good Morning, I’m Annica Colbert….it’s Wednesday, January 19th>>>>

5G tech a danger to air travel?

We'll have more on that next. But first... let’s do the headlines….######

The Biden administration recently announced a 50 billion dollar plan to more than double the use of controlled fires and logging to reduce vegetation that feed fires. The plan is to significantly increase efforts to prevent the kinds of catastrophic wildfires that have torched the western US over recent years.


California legislators want to make Juneteenth a paid state holiday. It's a federal holiday right now, but California currently doesn’t give state workers the day off. The holiday commemorates June 19th, 1865, when slaves in Texas celebrated their emancipation after learning about the Emancipation Proclamation two-and-a-half years after it took effect.

Los Angeles Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer introduced the proposal.

"The reason we're going to keep reminding people about Juneteenth is because justice is delayed. It was delayed then and it can be delayed now."

Under his bill, June 19th would be an official state holiday for public schools, community colleges, and California State University campuses…and allow paid time-off to all state employees.


Trash started being picked up again on tuesday in chula vista and other communities served by republic services, after a month-long strike. councilmember Jill Galvez says the city of chula vista plans to fine the company. They want customers to be reimbursed for the month they went without services. She said she also wants the company to pay back the money the city shelled out to try to keep from drowning in trash.


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

On tuesday, telecom giants AT&T and Verizon agreed to limit their rollout of 5G cellular service in response to concerns it could be a danger to air travel in San Diego and the U.S.

KPBS science and technology reporter Thomas Fudge has more.

5G technology will allow smartphones to communicate a lot faster. And engineering professor Sajit Dey, at UC San Diego, calls it efficient and essential.


“It will totally revolutionize agriculture, industry, shipping, transportation, health. Everything.”

But this communications revolution has got a problem. It’s wireless spectrum is uncomfortably close to that of the radar that airplanes use to land in low visibility conditions. In response, the airline industry has said airports need to maintain buffer zones, such that 5G towers cannot operate within two miles of an airfield.

It’s a solution professor Dey calls drastic. And an FAA list of airports, that have adequate 5G buffer zones, does NOT include the San Diego international airport.

San Diego International put out a statement, saying companies operating at the airport have not implemented 5G. And those companies have agreed to work with the FAA to ensure continued operations at affected airports.

For it’s part, AT&T said in a statement it has voluntarily agreed not to activate some towers near airport runways in the U.S. It added a jab at the FAA, saying the agency has not responsibly used the two years it has had to plan for this deployment.

Dey says he agrees the parties saw this coming and should have worked out a plan. He says one possible short term solution, and it’s not a good one for all airports, is to dial down the 5G as airplanes approach.

“Sensing technologies that can sense that an aircraft is coming and then the power can be reduced.”

Long term? It’s more difficult to say. But a solution is needed if air travel and the power and speed of 5G are going to co-exist in urban America. SOQ.


Tijuana photo journalist Margarito Martinez was murdered outside his home Monday morning. He was among more than 145 journalists who’ve been killed in Mexico since 2000. KPBS Border Reporter Gustavo Solis tells us who Martinez was and what our region lost on Monday.

I met Margarito Martinez in 2019 while working on a story about fixers in Tijuana.

Fixers are the unsung heroes of cross-border journalism. They work behind the scenes to make sure other reporters from bigger publications get their story. Martinez was among the best in the business and had a knack for being first at murder scenes.

Freelance journalist Jorge Nieto remembers one middle-of-the-night call from Martinez.

Hey campanero partner estas despierto wake up wake up there is a gun shot close to your house.

Former Union-Tribune reporter Sandra Dibble has covered Tijuana for decades. She says without Martinez’s work, a lot of murders would have gone unreported.

Somebody like Margarito was an essential person to document these scenes. And I think to have someone go out there did sort of keep the eyes of the world on an important issue for Tijuana that otherwise would be easy to overlook.

News of Martinez’s murder rocked Tijuana’s journalism community. Colleagues set up a GoFundMe page to help his widow and 16-year-old daughter.

Gustavo Solis KPBS NEWS


Last week, The San Diego County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to take the first step toward allowing micro-enterprise home kitchens in the county. KPBS Speak City Heights reporter Jacob Aere says the law could officially open up home kitchens by late February, but in the meantime, some local home kitchen owners have already been shut down.

Just south of the 94 freeway, in San Diego’s Emerald Hills neighborhood is where Rosalind Johnson lives.

Originally from St. Louis, Missouri, Johnson loves to cook soul food staples from her hometown.

During the early days of the pandemic, she decided to share her passion with the community after she got laid off from her job. She opened Clara’s Kitchen from her home and even helped serve seniors during the COVID-19 pandemic.

That was until she got a cease and desist letter from the County of San Diego just less than a year ago.

Rosalind Johnson | Clara’s Kitchen Owner

“I did some research actually and I found out that it was okay for you to do it, I thought. I got my business license, I got my food certification, I got my sellers permit. I thought I was ready to go, and to find out I wasn’t …”

In Paradise Hills, there’s a slightly different story for Delilah Davis and her SoCal cafe delivery business.

She’s been cooking and selling food from her home for seven years, to a select few trusted customers with minimal online advertising.

That’s because it’s still illegal to run a micro-enterprise home kitchen operation… also known as a MEHKO… in San Diego County, even though the state allowed for their introduction in 2018.

Delilah Davis | SoCal Cafe Delivery Owner

“In further research of finding out that Riverside County has actually approved it, and had several businesses operating successfully under the bill, I was ready, literally, to sell my house this year. I was going to sell my home and find another home in Riverside county, just so I could go up there and be part of that.”

Davis and Johnson both want MEHKOs to be held to the same health and safety standards as traditional restaurants and food trucks, but acknowledge there may be some challenges at the beginning.

They both say the home-enterprise kitchens have a lot more benefits than drawbacks, particularly in disadvantaged communities. That’s because of the lower start-up costs.

Delilah Davis | SoCal Cafe Delivery Owner

“This is like the perfect opportunity for me to go into business, generate cash flow, in order to establish a business.”

The second ordinance reading to allow the micro-enterprise home kitchens in San Diego County will come during the board's land use meeting on Jan. 26. If the board then votes in favor, MEHKOs will be allowed to operate 30 days after that for at least the next two years in the County. Jacob Aere, KPBS News.


Coming up....we take you to a long forgotten secret stairway hidden in Southeast San Diego ... that's getting a new breath of life.

“There’s a sense of pride that comes along with something like and there’s also a sense of ownership because if you live in this area you consider this yours.”

That’s next, just after the break.

Tucked away in Southeast San Diego is a hidden stairway… that for years has been neglected. But, as KPBS Race and Equity Reporter Cristina Kim reports, the hidden gem is being revitalized for and by the community.

If you don’t know what you are looking for… chances are you might just walk by Valencia Park’s secret stairs….

The more than 150 stairs connect Las Alturas Terrace which overlooks the San Diego Skyline …. Across Trinidad Way all the way to Churchward Street in the Southeast San Diego neighborhood.

How the stairs came to be … and their purpose are a bit of a mystery to local residents. They’ve been a part of Barry Pollard’s life since he was a kid.

L3: Barry Pollard, Urban Collaboration Project

I personally remember using them to get from my home to Morse High School and that was back in the 1970s.

Over the years, the stairs fell into disrepair … with overgrown vegetation and areas that tend to flood after heavy rainfall….

L3: Barry Pollard, Urban Collaboration Project

“Around the 90s 80s thing started to probably, you know cutting in some of service because of the budget from the city, and maybe some drain stuff needs to occur so there are some structural issues that we are working through.

That is until last year … when the Valencia Park residents, with help from Councilmember Monica Montgomery Steppe’s office, started to clean up the stairs.

Now, thanks in part to a $15,000 donation from Blue Shield, the stairs are getting a makeover. The effort is spearheaded by Pollard’s organization the Urban Collaboration Project.

Lights are going to be put in….and four local artists

are beautifying the secret stairs with a mural of flowers… the goal to make it more inviting and change perceptions of the neighborhood.

L3: Shannon White, Artist

“I’ve heard of this area called the hood or the ghetto and I lived in this area my whole life and I have never thought of it that way.”

Shannon White is one of the muralists.

She believes art makes places more inviting for everyone and more importantly, it makes people feel good about themselves and their neighborhood.

L3: Shannon White, Artist

“There’s a sense of pride that comes along with something like and there’s also a sense of ownership because if you live in this area you consider this yours.”

One artistic inspiration was to cover the stairs with different color poppies.

Because while no one is 100% sure why these stairs were built…. The native California flowers are an homage to a local story that says a developer created them so his wife could go collect wildflowers.

L3: Isabel Garcia

I wasn’t aware of that story to begin with and so when I learned that story it made it more special.

Isabel Garcia is another muralist working on the project.

L3: Isabel Garcia

We wanted include something that actually is important to the area itself.

The Valencia Park neighborhood … like so much of San Diego … is gentrifying at a rapid pace. Home prices rose nearly 25% last year and are expected to continue rising, according to Zillow.

That’s not lost on Garcia who has witnessed many of the changes firsthand. As a local artist she says she’s very intentional about how her work intersects with these forces.

L3: Isabel Garcia, artists

For me to be involved in this and use my art in that way, it’s for the people that live here and I want them to feel included and know it’s for them.

So far the response by neighbors has been overwhelmingly positive says Shirise Villasenor… another one of the artists.

L3: Shirish Villasenor, Artist

It brightens people’s faces up to see the change. So what I have seen from here is even seeing the people passing seeing that any color is being brought into that area really brightens people’s faces to know that some type of change is coming.

Abner Soto Rodriguez who lives right next door to the steps…. Says he’s already seeing the positive change.

L3: Abner Soto Rodriguez

It’s nice to see people walk up and down left and right but I think it’s very much more inviting.

And that’s exactly what this secret stairs’ makeover was intended to do…. Invite people in the community to use this public space, exercise and take pride in Valencia Park.

Cristina Kim. KPBS News.

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.

On Tuesday telecom giants AT&T and Verizon agreed to limit their rollout of 5G cellular service in response to concerns it could be a danger to air travel. Meanwhile, micro enterprise home kitchens may come soon, after the San Diego County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to take the first step toward allowing them. Plus, a secret staircase in southeast San Diego is getting a makeover.