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Nonprofit helps flood victims clear out damaged properties

 February 19, 2024 at 5:00 AM PST

Good Morning, I’m Debbie Cruz….Happy President’s Day. It's Monday, February 19th.


A nonprofit is helping local flood victims clear out their damaged properties. More on that next. But first... let’s do the headlines….


The organization running the San Diego Migrant Welcome Center, says the center will be closing on Thursday, amid a surge of migrants seeking assistance.

SB-CS got six million dollars from the county to run the center.. But those funds ran out.

Immigrant Defenders Law Center provided support there, and managing attorney Paulina Reyes-Perrariz wants to know where the money went.

“Really asking for accountability and transparency, which we still have not received information of how the money was spent.”

In a statement, SB-CS President and CEO Kathie Lembo said they knew the county funding was for “a limited time”… and that they would work with the county and their partners to try to find a way to keep the center open.


Last week felt like the calm *after* the storm, but more rain is expected to head our way today (Monday).

Alex Tardy is a Warning Coordination Meteorologist for our county’s branch of the National Weather Service.

He tells us what we can expect.

“Some of the heaviest rain will come in Monday night and Tuesday for San Diego Area. We’re talking for North County, 1-2 inches of rain. So Oceanside, Carlsbad. South County, including metro San Diego, we’re talking half inch to an inch.”

Tardy says the rain this week will be less than what we experienced two weeks ago, but there will still be significant rainfall.

And by the coast, there’s a high surf advisory until 10 P-M tomorrow (Tuesday), where waves could reach up to 12 feet.

Looking ahead to the rest of the week, forecasters say the rain will wind down by Wednesday, but we may get more again on Friday.


Tomorrow (Tuesday) is the deadline to register to receive a ballot in the mail for the March 5th Presidential Primary Election.

Registration forms must be postmarked or delivered to the Registrar’s office by tomorrow.

You can also register online until midnight at sd-vote-dot-com.

If you’re not registered to receive a mail ballot by then, you can still vote… you’ll just have to conditionally register in person at the Registrar’s office or at a vote center through March 5th.


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


A California based non-profit is helping local flood victims clear out their damaged properties.

Reporter Melissa Mae went to one of the flood-damaged homes.

MM: For the last 3 weeks Team Rubicon volunteers have been helping flood victims in the San Diego and National City areas clear out their damaged properties… for free. MM: Team Rubicon is a nonprofit that specializes in clean up services after natural disasters. MM: Noel Middleton has been volunteering with Team Rubicon since 2020. NM  “Usually our clients are underinsured or uninsured and under-resourced. So, our services are provided to these folks that need it more desperately than ever.” MM: He says they have cleaned out 39 flood damaged homes in the county since last month with 10 more waiting for help. Melissa Mae KPBS News.


We’re continuing to bring you information on some of the local races on the primary ballot.

Today, we learn about the five candidates running for San Diego mayor, including incumbent Todd Gloria.

Metro reporter Andrew Bowen says all the candidates say homelessness and housing affordability are among their top priorities.

TG: "In my first term as mayor, we passed two large housing action packages intended to help increase the amount of housing that's being built, particularly for working and middle class families. But we have more work to do." AB: I meet Mayor Todd Gloria in North Park across the street from a recently opened apartment building. This neighborhood is dotted with housing developments under construction. He says to make San Diego more affordable, the city needs a lot more housing. And he says the growth happening in North Park is thanks to the zoning changes he championed as a city councilmember — eight years ago. TG: "This shows you how slow this process can be and why consistent, steady leadership is really necessary to make sure that the promises of these plans and the ideas behind them actually result in what we were hoping for, which is more housing that's attainable for working and middle class people." AB: On homelessness, Gloria says he's added more shelter beds and two safe campsites on the outskirts of Balboa Park. And he says the camping ban he passed with the City Council is helping keep tents off the sidewalks. TG: "It's a balancing act. It's amongst the most difficult work that I have to do. But we're committed to doing this work. And our ability, our success in growing our offerings means that there are thousands of people who are not on the sidewalk today who would have been absent these efforts." GJW: "I'm running for mayor because we need change. I recently became a mother. I have a 14 month old toddler, and it is just getting increasingly harder to survive in San Diego." AB: Genevieve Jones-Wright is an attorney and one of Gloria's opponents. After running unsuccessfully for district attorney in 2018, she founded a nonprofit that files in public interest lawsuits. She says Gloria's camping ban, and a similar prohibition on living in cars, are not helping the homelessness crisis. GJW: "I think what the city has done is it has moved people from one part of the city out of eyesight and onto asphalt and parking lots. And that is not a solution. We absolutely need to create more opportunities for shelter. But I also have to remind everyone that shelter beds and even tents on the street are not housing." AB: Jones-Wright agrees the city needs more housing. And she says stricter regulations on short-term home rentals would help deliver it. GJW: "We have so many homes and apartments that remain vacant for most of the year because they are short term rental properties. And we have not had the political will to actually get a handle on that situation. That will free up a lot of housing." LT: "We're going to start filling the convention center. All the hotels will be full, all the cafes will be full, and everyone's just going to be making a little bit more money. AB: Larry Turner is a Marine Corps veteran and San Diego police officer. LT: "I just really see that our city is not the safe city that it should be. It's not the clean city it should be. It's not as compassionate as it should be for those that are living on the street." AB: I meet Turner outside the H Barracks — a former police and fire department training facility near the airport that Mayor Gloria wants to convert into a new homeless shelter for up to 700 people. Turner opposes that plan. LT: "And I would go to the fact that it's only going to be around for a few years. I want to see something more permanent, and I don't want to give the people who have done a bad job for three years on this the opportunity to use some emergency powers to push something through really quick." AB: Turner declined to name a specific location where he'd prefer a new shelter, but said there are lots of other options. LT: "The city owns a lot of land and the city can buy more land, too. So there are plenty of places that we can look at. And I've talked to some folks who used to work in the real estate office for the city, and we've talked about a lot of these places throughout the city." AB: Two additional candidates on the ballot — Jane Glasson and Dan Smiechowski — haven't raised significant funds and have a limited campaign presence. The top two vote getters in the March 5 primary will compete in a runoff on November 5. Andrew Bowen, KPBS news.


Another race in the March 5th primary is the Chula Vista District 3 city council race… where affordability is also a key issue.

Reporter Gustavo Solis spoke with some of the candidates in southeast Chula Vista.

People who grew up in Chula Vista can’t always afford to buy houses there. Not when the median price is more than $800,000. “I walk into home where there’s parents in their 50s and 60s and 70s. Even abuelitos, grandparents. And their 25 to 35-year-old children, who are professionals with college degrees can’t afford home. A teacher or a nurse making $40,000 to $50,000 a year cannot buy a home.” That’s City council candidate Michael Inzunza. He was born and raised in Chula Vista and currently works as a legislative advocate for the California School Boards Association. Public safety and homelessness are his other top concerns. Another candidate is Leticia Mungia. She an employee and labor relations consultant with a history of advocating for working families. “New professionals are being priced out of the market and I think it’s absolutely critical that we maintain an element of affordability for our young professionals to make Chula Vista their home.” She wants to bring more services to east Chula Vista and make it easier to open businesses in the city. The other candidates in the race include David Alcaraz, Daniel Rice, and Christos Korgan. They did not respond to questions for this story. Gustavo Solis, KPBS News.


A new P-B-S digital series “Voces Shorts” features short films by latinos.

Reporter Katie Hyson spoke with a San Diegan whose film premieres today (Monday).

With skin like mine and hair like mine. There’s a side of me I don’t know Karla Duarte’s Sentir El Son is a hero’s journey of an Afro-Mexican woman told through poetry, music and dance. I chose the art form of dance and movement and body because I think systemic racism can be felt in the body. It's a matter of invisibility when you are a woman and a woman of color. nat pop song - Dónde está la mujer? Underlay Like in America, enslavers took African people to Mexico against their will. Their descendents have lived there for centuries. But the Mexican government didn’t allow people to identify as Afro-Mexican on their census until 2015. Since 2020, Duarte followed a parallel Black Lives Matter movement unfolding in Mexico – Las Vidas Negras Importan. nat pop - drums It led her to explore how Afro-Mexicans are reclaiming their identity through art. nat pop song and fade out - Préstame tu peineta, mirá bien mi alma para peinarme . . . You can stream Sentir El Son on PBS dot org. Katie Hyson, KPBS News.


Tomorrow (Tuesday), the Oceanside International Film Festival kicks off five days of films, discussions and parties.

Cinema Junkie Beth Accomando has this preview.

There are some topics you can always count on finding at the Oceanside International Film Festival: music, surfing, and social activism. It’s a festival with a personality based on the passions of its founder Lou Niles. You can also count on good conversations. Opening night is dedicated to an in-depth discussion with musician and TV and film composer Jason Hill. JASON HILL Every time there's a new score, you want to do something totally different with new instruments, new this or that. I have to learn how to play new instruments constantly because it's just like, well, I don't want to repeat myself… And so you're constantly sort of pushing yourself. Hill’s darkness and audacity appealed to director David Fincher who had him score the show Mindhunter, that got in the heads of serial killers. Music from Mindhunter JASON HILL Because Mindhunter lived in this place that was in the mind, I thought the score should live in that same place. It should be this intangible thing that we can't touch. It comes in and out like the thoughts in our head do. Hill will provide insights into the creative process of scoring a film or show. Then Wednesday through Sunday the festival focuses on its shorts and feature film programming. 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. Join us again tomorrow for the day’s top stories. I’m Debbie Cruz. Thanks for listening, have a great Monday.

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A California based nonprofit is helping local flood victims clear out their damaged properties. In other news, we’re continuing to bring you information on some of the local races on the primary ballot. Today we learn about the five candidates running for San Diego mayor, and some of the candidates running for Chula Vista’s District 3 seat. Plus, Tuesday, the Oceanside International Film Festival kicks off five days of films, discussions and parties.