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Hitting the pavement in District 4

 February 12, 2024 at 6:00 AM PST

Good Morning, I’m Erik Anderson, in for Debbie Cruz….it’s Monday, February 12th.

District FOUR residents feel neglected by San Diego’s new pavement improvement plan. More on that next. But first... let’s do the headlines….

Applications for the city of San Diego’s new flood relief grant program open today. Small businesses and nonprofits that were impacted by the January 22nd storm can apply.

The city’s Economic Development Department will provide grants up to 2-thousand 5-hundred dollars per applicant. Applicants in areas of low to moderate income can receive 5-thousand dollars. For a link to the application, visit KPBS dot org slash weather. You can also ask for a paper application in the lobby of Civic Center Plaza in downtown.

There was a tuberculosis exposure at Sweetwater High School from July 19th to December 15th.

San Diego County and Sweetwater Union School District on Friday said they’ve notified people with the highest risk of infection. No-cost T-B screenings for immunocompromised students are being arranged.

T-B bacteria is spread through the air from person-to-person. Symptoms include cough, chest pain and fatigue.

A nurse was acquitted of involuntary manslaughter Friday for the death of an inmate at a San Diego jail.

Danalee Pascua was found not guilty in causing the death of Elisa Serna on November 11th, 2019.

The jury couldn’t reach a verdict against doctor Friederike Von Lintig, who is also facing charges in Serna’s (SIR-NUH) death. They did vote 9-to-3 in favor of acquitting Von Lintig, however.

Von Lintig will be back in court Wednesday to determine whether or not prosecutors are going to retry the case against her.

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

SAN DIEGO’S DISTRICT 4, INCLUDING ENCANTO, SKYLINE AND VALENCIA PARK, HAS SOME OF THE WORST PAVEMENT CONDITIONS IN THE CITY. BUT THE CITY’S NEW PAVEMENT MANAGEMENT PLAN DIRECTS THE LEAST AMOUNT OF MONEY THERE.

REPORTER KATIE HYSON SPOKE WITH FRUSTRATED RESIDENTS.

We have more potholes than you do bullet holes at our shooting range, you know, and it don’t seem to bother our elected officials. That’s Evelyn Smith from Emerald Hills. She’s one of a half dozen District 4 residents gathered at Malcolm X Library. Aurora Valdez, from Encanto, says the poor streets keep her from getting to class at San Diego State. I don't have a car right now. It broke down. I'm sure the streets didn't help, um, but it broke down [laughter] and I've been taking the bus, um, and because of the construction, because of the closed off streets, sometimes the bus does not come. Valdez says she has to use scarce food money for Ubers. Rob Campbell, also in Encanto, says the poor pavement is dangerous. Everywhere we go, if you try to walk, you know a sidewalk just suddenly ends and you're dumped into a street. And the street is in such poor shape, kids can't ride their bikes. I can't push a stroller with a kid because the stroller wheels get stuck. It’s dangerous not just for children, but for the neighborhood’s many elders and people who use mobility devices, says Valencia Park’s Andrea Hetheru. I saw a friend of my daughter's trip over – his wheelchair tipped over on Manzanares hitting potholes. Actually, I’ve seen it a couple of times. They report issues through the Get it Done app, as the city encourages, but rarely get a response. And when they do, it’s disappointing. Si hay cinco baches, solamente reparan dos, y dejan tres . . . Mauricio Zamudio from Skyline says they repair two potholes and leave three on the same street. Or they close off streets for a long time, and when they reopen, it seems to be worse. Valdez again. Right in front of Encanto Elementary? Um, they closed that off, and now there's a huge dip in the road, and cars go on the other side of the street to go around it. This is all day. Everyone's doing it. Fixing roads is expensive. The worse they are, the more it costs, exponentially. The city’s recently released pavement management plan advocates a quote “best value approach” – stretching budget dollars the farthest by improving the streets that aren’t as bad. It would get the city’s streets to quote “satisfactory condition” overall. But it leaves District 4 behind. It spends the least there – 144 million dollars over 10 years. And the most, almost double that, in wealthier District 5, which currently has the best street conditions. In response to questions, the city said the Streets Division worked with the Department of Race and Equity, and factored equity into the scoring. Hetheru again. Now they've included equity as part of the formula. But somehow the way the numbers shake out, we always end up at the bottom . . . The formula also gives weight to roads that are used more. But Hetheru says their roads are used less because the city has underdeveloped their district. To me, it's the same game that they've been playing for (ever?) ever. You know. In one era, it was called desegregation. In another era, it was called affirmative action. Then it became diversity and inclusion. Then it became equity. It's just talk. District 4 – with a high concentration of low incomes and Black and Latino residents – was one of the worst hit by recent floods. The water rose in minutes, but residents say the problem grew from decades of underservice by the city. It just feels like we're always waiting. That’s Marry Young from Alta Vista. And if it's not going to come, then just stop talking about it and just say . . . that you just have, you know, a concentration of poverty and that's where you put everybody. And then a few people will be able to get out. And that's how the world works. But that's not how I see it, you know? I just, I love this community . . . When I get off the 805, I always feel like I'm home, that this is home for me. She says she doesn’t have another 60 years to wait for equity. Katie Hyson, KPBS News

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

Up next is the city of San Diego’s District 3 where COUNCILMEMBER STEPHEN WHITBURN IS UP FOR RE-ELECTION.

METRO REPORTER ANDREW BOWEN HAS MORE ON THE RACE TO REPRESENT DISTRICT 3.

AB: District 3 includes downtown, Hillcrest, North Park and western Mission Valley. Growth and development are hot topics in the race. At a candidate forum last month, incumbent Stephen Whitburn said the district needs better infrastructure. "But I also think we need to keep adding housing and not expect to wait until we have perfect infrastructure because we're years away from getting there." AB: Kate Callen is a neighborhood activist and writer. She says District 3 needs more parking and fewer bike lanes, and that growth is happening too fast. "District 3 is suffering from a saturation of density. And we don't have the infrastructure to support it." Ellis California Jones is the only Republican candidate in District 3. He says he decided to run after seeing new construction in his neighborhood downtown. "Started calling the city and didn't like the response I got. So I went out and started to speak to other people and everybody had issues and the communication was broke down." And Coleen Cusack is an attorney who has represented homeless clients pro bono. She says the city too often criminalizes the homeless just for being poor. "We need to allow them to go into this shelter voluntarily, not under threat of police. And we need roofs over them, not tents." The top two finishers in the primary on March 5 will compete in a runoff in November. Andrew Bowen, KPBS news.

Visit the Voter Hub to learn about the March 5th Primary Election candidates at KPBS dot org slash elections.

RESIDENTS OF A MOUNTAIN VIEW APARTMENT COMPLEX, WHO LOST EVERYTHING IN LAST MONTH’S FLOODING SAY THEY ARE GOING TO SUE THE CITY OF SAN DIEGO.

REPORTER MELISSA MAE TELLS US THIS ISN’T THE FIRST TIME THE COMPLEX HAS FLOODED.

A storm channel for Chollas Creek runs alongside the apartments at 4150 National Avenue in Mountain View… The 32 unit complex flooded on January 22nd destroying renters’ belongings. Attorney John Gomez is representing about half of the residents impacted by flooding. He says the City of San Diego neglected to keep this channel free of debris. “We feel like folks that were displaced or harmed that live in apartments that are renters deserve justice too. So we’re here to help these San Diegans.” Gomez says he’s considering a separate lawsuit against the owners of the complex. Saying they knew that flooding could happen, but didn’t inform tenants. Chollas Creek flooded the complex in December 2018 and the owner sued the City of San Diego for damages. Melissa Mae KPBS News.

THE CORONADO HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION IS REVEALING THE ISLAND’S HIDDEN AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY.

REPORTER KATIE HYSON ATTENDED THE RIBBON-CUTTING FOR THE EXHIBIT.

Most people think Coronado has just been this pure white enclave that had no Black history, and when they come and see this they’re going to go, ‘Oh my god, there was actually a Black community here going back to the 1880s.’” That’s Kevin Ashley, exhibit curator. He says in those early years, Coronado’s proportion of African Americans was three times the state average. Some of the stories are inspiring, exciting, life-affirming. And some of them are as tragic as you could possibly imagine. The exhibit is a hyperlocal look into history that played out across the country – both triumphant and dark. Entrepreneurs, veterans and Civil Rights leaders. Redlining, minstrel shows and murders. In one corner, Claudia Ludlow looks up at photographs of her family, Black Coronado pioneers. I think the first night that I saw it, I cried for, like, the first two minutes. A lot of it is what we didn't know, because our family, there was a lot of secrets about our family and how they even got here. And Kevin was the one that opened that door. She hopes people understand the fight. How hard our ancestors worked for us to be here. We can't take it for granted anymore. They hope to grow the exhibit, and welcome anyone with a story from this community to reach out. Katie Hyson, KPBS News

That’s it for the podcast today. As always you can find more San Diego news online at KPBS dot org. I’m Erik Anderson. Debbie Cruz will be back tomorrow. Thanks for listening and have a great day.

San Diego’s District 4, which includes Encanto, Skyline and Valencia Park, has some of the worst pavement conditions in the city. The city’s new pavement management plan directs the least amount of money there. Also in District 4, residents of a Mountain View apartment complex who lost everything in the Jan. 22 flooding said they’re going to sue the city. This isn’t the first time the complex has flooded — Chollas Creek flooded the complex in December 2018. Plus, a history lesson on Coronado’s Black community going back to the 1880s.