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Nonprofit helps victims of domestic violence

 April 6, 2023 at 5:00 AM PDT

Good Morning, I’m Debbie Cruz….it’s Thursday, April 6th.

A nonprofit in North County is providing legal help to victims of domestic violence. More on that next. But first... let’s do the headlines….


Lowrider cruising is no longer a crime in National City.

The city council voted earlier this week to repeal the ordinance that banned lowrider cruising in the city.

United Lowrider Coalition’s Rafael Perez, helped lead the push to repeal the ban.

“We can freely celebrate our culture across the county without any fear of being profiled, discriminate or harassed.”

There was a short term trial that allowed cruising in National City last year, but this will make it permanent.


The board of supervisors have agreed on how much the county will tax legal cannabis businesses in unincorporated areas of the county.

Retail shops will pay 2 percent of their sales to the county.

And manufacturing and processing businesses will pay 2-point-five-percent of their gross receipts, and a square footage tax.

The county expects to collect nearly two million dollars from the taxes in the first year.

The new tax rates will go into effect on July 1st.


After a three-week-long closure … the westbound lanes of the 78 are back open.

Caltrans closed the lanes on March 15th because of a sinkhole caused by a series of heavy rainstorms.

But now, the eastbound lanes will be closed.

Crews will be replacing nine culverts between El Camino Real and College Avenue.

“The work is a little more complicated on this side because of the depth of the culverts. We're an additional 20ft, ten to 20ft in depth. … So it'll be a lot bigger hole that we're digging. And then we have eight additional locations that we'll be addressing on this side.” 

Caltrans expects the closure to last about three weeks.


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


Leaving an abusive relationship isn’t easy… and for many people, embarking on a legal process to seek a divorce or child support is intimidating.

But a nonprofit in Vista is helping men and women every step of the way.

North County reporter Tania Thorne tells us about Las Valientes.

Measuring just under 5 feet tall, you wouldn’t assume Ana Serrano is the force that she is. She says in her line of work…  there’s no room for sugar coating. “Its easy to say, ay pobrecita, you poor thing oh yea hes such an ogre, terrible..’ but how is that going to help her.  You’re keeping her or him in that place of ‘feel sorry for me.’ Serrano is the founder of the Vista nonprofit Las Valientes, or the Brave Ones. The organization helps men and women through legal issues that allow them to leave abusive relationships and thrive. She has been running the program for 22 years, after her own experience with an abusive partner. When I was going through the abuse, I had no idea there was even help out there. I didn't know, even after my ex husband put me in the hospital I still went back to him. I didn't know there was help. She says that’s the case for many men and women, especially when language is a barrier. They don't know where to go and sometimes they've gone to court  and they ask, ‘do you speak Spanish, no.. ok go over there and they point you over there… adn by the time its all said and done they're frustrated and they just go home back to their abuser sometimes, pfff. All of the staff at Las Valientes are survivors of domestic violence and now help others. They've lived it, they've survived it, they understand. They know that  dealing with courthouses and lawyers can be intimidating. Attorneys are expensive.  I work with several who are very very good and I know their retainer fees are really not that expensive. But even their low prices can be a lot. We've seen the need out there. Las Valientes fills that need and has helped thousands of women… like Maria Isabel Montes. Our culture instills in us that marriage is forever. But it's not, it's really not. It's forever when it's a healthy relationship. When there’s respect among each other and one helps the other. But when that is missing, the healthiest thing is to cut ties. And Miriam Flores, who left an abusive relationship in 2007 with her 4 young children. A lot of up and downs for the first few years. It was a journey, a process. Through her healing process, Flores found love again. Someone who was also getting out of an abusive relationship. He was getting out of a situation and fighting for his kids. He had to fight against other stigmas against men, that this is unique to women, men are usually the perpetrator. And that brought us together. Flores says leaving her first relationship was hard, but she’s glad she did.. Its hard to move on and let go but just know that there is support out there, you are not alone, it's not happening only to you you have nothing to be ashamed of. Places like Las Valientes is one of those outlets to help a lot of people out there.  And that is why Serrano started the organization in the first place. That's why I do what I do. Am I hard, am I tough, yes because I love them. And I care about them. And I don't wanna see another woman get beat up because she doesnt know theres help That breaks my heart. TT KPBS News. 


San Diegans with medi-cal coverage haven’t had to renew services during the pandemic.. but that’s changing soon.

Health reporter Matt Hoffman has a look at what people need to know, to avoid a lapse in coverage.

Just over one million San Diegans are enrolled in medi-cal.. For the last three years of the pandemic they didn’t have to renew, but starting in June they will.. Not everyone will have to renew at once -- it’s based on when you first applied. For those due in the month June, information is being sent out making sure their contact information is up to date. Alberto Banuelos is assistant director of the county’s self sufficiency services.. He says when it comes time to renew, people will be getting a bright yellow packet in the mail. That is part of our marketing or messaging -- be on the lookout for the bright yellow envelope The state estimates up to three million Californians could lose coverage because they don’t qualify anymore or miss reapplying. San Diego county officials don’t want to see those who do qualify have a lapse in coverage. MH KPBS News.


Buying a home is out of reach for a lot of people… but a new state program is trying to help.

The California Dream for All home loan program pays for the down payment and closing costs.

If you’re single, or head of household and make less than two-hundred-and-11 thousand dollars a year you could qualify.

Cross Country Mortgage executive vice president Scott Evans explains how it works.

“The state of California can give up to 20% for a down payment and closing costs.  It’s a zero-percent interest rate.  The payments are deferred for the entire life of the loan.”

When the property is sold or refinanced, the loan is repaid from the proceeds.

The state also gets 20-percent of the profits, while the homeowner keeps 80-percent.

The state then puts that money back into the program to help more Californians afford a home.

For more info., go to Cal H-F-A dot C-A dot gov.


Coming up.... How theater companies are promoting diversity and inclusion in the industry. We’ll have that story, just after the break.


KPBS’ Theatre Corner kicks off its third season tonight.

The interview series is dedicated to promoting diversity and inclusion in the national theatre scene, both on the stage and in the seats.

Arts reporter Beth Accomando has this preview.

When Michael Taylor joined the board of The Old Globe Theatre, he wanted to address the fact that he was seeing only a handful of people that looked like him in the audience at shows. So he created a publication called Theater Corner to highlight Black performers in order to attract Black audiences. MICHAEL TAYLOR Perhaps I could, in my own little effort, to normalize the consideration of going to theater in the Black community, Now Theater Corner enters its third season as a TV series and has expanded its scope. The season opener highlights Stevie Agnew, director of lighting at the Old Globe and one of the few Black lighting directors in the industry. Taylor says someone like Agnew can inspire people to look to professions in theater beyond just who you see onstage. MICHAEL TAYLOR People need to see themselves in nontraditional career choices, there just may be some young Black person who watches this interview and thought, I had no idea that that was even an option. Theater Corner season 3 debuts tonight and then will be available streaming on the KPBS website. Beth Accomando, KPBS News.


That’s it for the podcast today. In tomorrow’s podcast — Nathan Fletcher isn’t the only local politician to be accused of sexual misconduct claims, we’ll hear how Democratic sex scandals have up-ended the balance of power in local government. I’m Debbie Cruz. Thanks for listening.

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Leaving an abusive relationship isn’t easy, and for many people, embarking on a legal process to seek a divorce or child support is intimidating, but a nonprofit in Vista is helping men and women every step of the way. In other news, San Diegans with Medi-Cal haven’t had to renew their coverage during the pandemic, but that’s changing soon. Plus, KPBS’s Theatre Corner kicks off its third season tonight. The interview series is dedicated to promoting diversity and inclusion in the theater industry.