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Padres owner wants to solve homeless crisis

 June 2, 2023 at 5:00 AM PDT

Good Morning, I’m Debbie Cruz….it’s Friday, June second.

How the owner of the Padres is pitching in to address San Diego’s homelessness crisis. More on that next. But first... let’s do the headlines….


Every San Diego County representative in the house voted “yes” on the debt ceiling bill this week … except representative Juan Vargas.

The bill suspends the 31-point-4 trillion dollar debt ceiling until 20-25 and cuts spending.

Vargas spoke to our media partner 10 News.

"It was ultimately a bad bill. I mean, they're taking food out of the mouths of poor people. It's ridiculous. And so I couldn't vote for anything like that. I do understand how devastating it would be and, and again, the situation would have been different if I didn't know the outcome before I went to the vote."

The bill passed the house with bipartisan support.


Close to 400-thousand postcards are on the way to registered voters who live in District 4, listing how and where to vote in the special primary election.

The August 15th special election is to fill Nathan Fletcher’s vacant seat on the county’s board of supervisors.

The person elected will fill the seat for the remainder of the current term that ends in January 20-27.

If no candidate receives a majority of the vote during the primary, a special general election will be held on November 7th.


Seaworld San Diego’s newest roller coaster opens today.

The new “Arctic Rescue” coaster gives riders the feeling of riding a snowmobile.

It goes up to 40 miles per hour.

And is said to be the fastest and longest straddle coaster on the West Coast.

According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, it’s the fourth roller coaster the theme park has opened in five years.


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


Dozens of asylum seekers are sleeping on the Mexican side of the San Ysidro border crossing.

Many told border reporter Gustavo Solis that they don’t feel safe in Tijuana, and are in desperate need of help.

CBP agent: “Have your documents out, ready to show Thousands of people cross the San Ysidro port of entry every single day. They line up, show their passports or visas, and enter the country. Right now, more than 200 migrants are sleeping right next to the travelers waiting to cross. These people don’t have passports or visas. A month ago, they would have been turned away from the border by the pandemic-era restriction known as Title 42. The Biden administration is encouraging migrants to use a mobile app to schedule appointments to enter the country. But the people sleeping outside say the app isn’t working for them. Honduran asylum seeker “Yo llevo ya con la applicacion mas de tres meses y nada.” One Honduran migrant said he’s tried to secure an appointment for the last three months. He didn’t give us his name because he is afraid to live in Tijuana – where other migrants have been kidnapped, assaulted and killed. Lindsay Toczylowski is the executive director of the Immigrant Defenders Law Center. She says migrants still have a legal right to request asylum at the border. Even with new asylum restrictions. Lindsay Toczylowski, Immigrant Defenders Law Center “The law is people who are coming to a port of entry have a right to seek asylum and the asylum ban comes into play potentially years down the road” Gustavo Solis, KPBS News.


Padres owner Peter Seidler believes he can help create a better future for San Diego’s unhoused population.

Here’s Maya Trabulsi with the story.

Inside Peter Seidler’s office at the Padres headquarters, we step back in history. As he walks us through some of his unique baseball memorabilia, he recalls some of his fondest memories. SEIDLER:  “My favorite rock band of all time, the Rolling Stones live in San Diego 1981.” He shows us a family photo from 1931 SEIDLER:  “I’ll show you this, I don’t mind showing you this, this is from my grandfather, Walter O’Malley and my grandmother Kay’s wedding, they had a good show way back when.” Walter O’malley famously brought the Dodgers to LA from New York in 1957. So as his grandson,  Seidler’s baseball roots run deep.  But he has his sights firmly set on the future.  Not just for the Padres and the team’s fans, but for those who hear the roar of the crowds from beyond the ballpark’s walls - San Diego’s unhoused population.   Flanking almost every side of the ballpark, they settle on these downtown streets to be close to service providers. SEIDLER:  sadness is endless. Every new homeless face that you see and more often than not, they'll share their story with you. Like you can see something really good inside that person that's suffering right now and you want to help them. And helping those experiencing homelessness is precisely what Seidler has rolled up his sleeves to do. SEILDER:  Oh, yeah, I've got a strong appetite for that. The why is bottom line. It's just a humanity issue, It’s a personal mission, but one where he can use the profile of the Padres to create a bigger impact for San Diego. SEIDLER: The ballpark is a place for joy. People come out here and they want to forget their worries. And for a long time, I thought, this is my personal endeavor. And so there was a degree of separation. But I think now that the homeless population has grown and currently is growing with real visibility to bring it back on the decline, we've decided in here to really put our foot to the accelerator and what the Padres can do to help. Seidler is a member of  the Board of Directors for the Lucky Duck Foundation, which funds and implements programs to alleviate homelessness And youth homelessness is one of their main priorities for 2023.  One of the newest programs to launch is Timmy’s Pizza and Print shop on 5th avenue. The Lucky Duck foundation worked with Urban Street Angels to add 20 additional beds to the adjoining youth shelter where transitional youth can stay indefinitely until they find permanent housing.  Some of the youth will also work at Timmy’s, but they’ll be learning so much more than making coffee and pizza…SEIDLER: “whatever they need learning. How to balance a checkbook or use a credit card or the various things that all of us have to learn at some point in life and just open up a menu of options for them.” WREN:  “On a will that could lift us far beyond a shelter and into a home” Timmy’s Cafe employee Wren Williams reads from a poem he wrote after experiencing homelessness for more than a year. He says programs like Urban Street Angels and Timmy’s gave him what he was quickly running out of - hope and trust. MOSER:  “We need you now. We need you now. So I would encourage San Diego to just keep donating, keep showing up to places like Timmy's and keep being a kind face is huge, too. Just being a kind face, like smiling goodness. Smiling at a homeless person is in and of itself a lot.” SEIDLER:  The San Diego spirit. People collaborate, people compromise. People generally want to do their fair share. And I think we're at a point now where I think this year we're going to slow the momentum and start to see the numbers going back down. Seidler says it is important for people to know that he is committed to the issue for life. beyond the ballpark gates reality continues to live on these streets.   Much like the growing dreams for the Padres, Seidler is stacking the deck to change experiences of homelessness, to experiences of hope. SEIDLER:  There's a lot of great things we can do on this planet, and I intend to be here for a long, long time. Maya Trabulsi KPBS News.


Coming up.... We have you covered with plans for your weekend! That and more, just after the break.


The celebration of pride month officially started, with a historic raising of the flag honoring the L-G-B-T-Q-plus community

Education reporter M.G. Perez takes us on campus for the story.

For the first time in the 50 year history of the San Diego Community College District…… an Intersex Inclusive Progressive Pride Flag waves over the main office and all of its 8-campuses…The flags are raised in honor of PRIDE month…and to address the recent backlash against initiatives to support diversity and inclusion. Gregory Smith is the district’s Acting Chancellor …“we recognize the vital civic role that our institutions have in shaping a collective future where every member of the LGBTQ-plus community lives authentically and thrives.” The historic flag raising can be traced indirectly to the COVID shutdown of 2020…a time when trustees identified new priorities and later passed a PRIDE resolution declaring every June …LGBTQ plus month across the district. MGP …KPBS News.


The Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon is back in town this weekend for its 25th anniversary.

Reporter Melissa Mae talked with some runners who have participated in every single San Diego race!

MM: For the 25th time, the Rock ‘n’ Roll running series will take over San Diego neighborhoods and welcome more than 25,000 runners! MM: Johan Otter is one of the marathon’s legacy runners… a group of about 50 who have run all 25 San Diego Rock ‘n’ Roll marathons. Otter kept on running even after getting attacked by a grizzly bear at Glacier National Park! JO  “I broke my neck, ribs, de-scalped and to get back again to marathon running was my objective goal to physically be able to do that again.” MM: And 10 months after that attack Johan ran in his 8th straight Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon.  MM: This year’s marathon activities include a health and fitness expo at the convention center. There will be a 5-K race on Saturday.. And the marathon and half marathon happen on Sunday. Melissa Mae KPBS News.


Also this weekend, the sequel to the 20-18 animated hit “Spider-Man Into the Spider-Verse” finally hits theaters.

KPBS Cinema Junkie Beth Accomando says “Spider-Man Across the Universe” was worth the wait.

My name Miles Morales. I'm Brooklyn's one and only Spiderman, and things are going great. Ever since Miles swung onto the screen he has been my favorite Marvel character. And with the arrival of Spider-Man Across the Spider-Verse, his films remain at the very top of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Everyone keeps telling me how my story is supposed to go. Nah, I'm gonna do my own thing. Both films have just done their own thing and defined their own audacious style overflowing with action, humor and heartfelt emotion. The animation is spectacular. It’s breathtakingly innovative and cinematic but also deeply indebted to the comic book form. As with the first film there’s a surprising emotional weight to the story that catches you off guard. Being Spider-Man is a sacrifice. You have a choice between saving one person and saving the world. I only have one complaint and it’s about The Empire Strikes Back cliffhanger ending. I was not expecting that and there’s something frustrating about the lack of resolution. But the third film is supposedly coming out early next year and since Miles has yet to disappoint me, I’ll just try to wait patiently to find out what happens. Beth Accomando, KPBS News.


And before you go… arts editor and producer Julia Dixon Evans rounded up some weekend arts events for us.

She shared all the details with my colleague Maureen Cavanaugh.

Julia started their conversation by talking about a book fair in North County that’s happening tomorrow.

How about some music? Any bands coming to town that are on your radar? 

The Old Globe will host performances of Frontera Project, in partnership with some crossborder theater companies. What do you know? 

TAG: That was arts editor and producer Julia Dixon Evans, speaking with KPBS Midday Edition host, Maureen Cavanaugh on her last Midday Edition show.

Maureen is retiring after 25 years at the station.

Although I will miss hearing her voice on our airwaves and in the Midday Edition podcast, I am excited for her next adventure and wish her well.

Thank you for informing our community, Maureen.


That’s it for the podcast today. This podcast is produced by KPBS Producer Emilyn Mohebbi and edited by KPBS Senior Producer Brooke Ruth. We’d like to thank KPBS editor Nic McVicker, KPBS reporter Erik Anderson and KPBS producer Ben Lacy for helping out the podcast team this week. As always you can find more info on arts events and news online at KPBS dot org. I’m Debbie Cruz. Thanks for listening and have a great weekend.

We hear how Padres owner Peter Seidler is rolling up his sleeves to help solve San Diego’s homelessness crisis. In other news, dozens of asylum seekers are sleeping on the Mexican side of the San Ysidro border crossing, and many of them say they do not feel safe in Tijuana and are in desperate need of help. Plus, we have details on some arts events happening in San Diego County this weekend.