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PedWest border crossing open

 January 10, 2023 at 5:00 AM PST

Good Morning, I’m Debbie Cruz….it’s Tuesday, January 10th.

The PedWest pedestrian border crossing in San Ysidro is open! More on that next. But first... let’s do the headlines….

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Don’t forget an umbrella and raincoat on your way out today, more rain is headed our way.

Alex Tardy is a warning coordination meteorologist with the National Weather Service in San Diego.

He says the impacts of a winter storm hitting Northern and Central California will be felt in San Diego starting today.

“It’s far worse to the North, but we are seeing the impacts from these storms even in Southern California.”

We can expect sunny skies tomorrow and Thursday, but more rain is possible over the weekend.

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A total of one-million in funding is now available to nonprofits to increase access to affordable early childhood education and developmental care.

The funds are from the San Diego Foundation and the Dr. Seuss Foundation.

The grants will go towards supporting early literacy, instructional quality improvements and educational staff support.

Nonprofits can apply through February 10th at S-D-Foundation-dot-org-slash-grantseekers.

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More than 20 elementary schools in the county have been selected for the 20-23 California Distinguished Schools Program.

The program recognizes excellent work in one of two categories– closing the achievement gap and achieving exceptional student performance.

The state Department of Education looks into multiple things to assess performance… including, assessment results, absences and suspension rates.

The local honorees include Carmel Del Mar Elementary in Carmel Valley, El Camino Creek Elementary in Carlsbad and Scripps Elementary in Scripps Ranch.

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

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On Monday, Customs and Border Protection opened the PedWest pedestrian border crossing for the first time in nearly three years.

KPBS reporter Gustavo Solis spoke with cross-border commuters this morning.

Marlene Sepulveda really missed PedWest. Especially during the holiday shopping season when she waited as much as 4 hours in line at PedEast, the other port of entry in San Ysidro. “Extranaba el PedWest definitivamente. Haciamos 3, 4 horas de fila mas en la temporada navidena.” She crossed the border Monday in record time – didn’t wait even a minute. Customs and Border Protection closed it in April 2020 because of the pandemic. That funneled all pedestrian traffic to PedEast. Jason Wells is the CEO of the San Ysiro Camber of Commerce. He noted the small crowds Monday at PedWest, but says that will soon change. “I would say within two weeks you are almost going to have a 50-50 balance of crosses at both of these crossings.” However, as of now, people can only travel one way through PedWest. The Mexico-bound lanes are still closed. Customs and Border Protection has not said when those lanes will reopen. Gustavo Solis, KPBS News

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Thousands of Brazilians attacked the seats of power in that country over the weekend. Many demanded that far-right ex-President Jair Bolsonaro be restored to power and newly inaugurated leftist president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva be removed.

Brazilians living in San Diego tell KPBS reporter Alexander Nguyen they were shocked but not surprised by what happened.

“It’s a sad moment for Brazilians overall” Roberto Rocha is a visiting economics professor at San Diego State. He says the rise of the far-right movement in South America is worrisome.  Abner Sotenos is a UC San Diego PhD student from Rio de Janeiro. He focuses on Latin American History … especially Brazilian history. He hopes that the Brazilian government will act swiftly to hold the insurrectionists accountable. “I hope that Supreme Court, the Parliament, the president and media agree that we cannot have this situation again in Brazil.” The attack was not unexpected. Right-wing groups have been publicizing their plans on social media. But observers say what was surprising was that it happened on the weekend when government offices were closed. AN/KPBS

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Governor Newsom is setting aside 100-million-dollars to support Native American tribes in buying back their ancestral lands.

It's part of his 30 by 30 pledge to preserve one-third of state lands and coastal waters by 20-30.

But once a tribe gets their land back, how do they restore and preserve it?

K-Q-E-D's Izzy Bloom reports from Humboldt County, where an indigenous tribe bought back 48-acres of land earlier this year.

That was K-Q-E-D's Izzy Bloom.

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Coming up.... Plans to redevelop Old California Restaurant Row in San Marcos. We’ll have that story and more, next, just after the break.

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The O-B pier was closed yesterday, in response to stormy weather and high surf.

KPBS sci-tech reporter Thomas Fudge has more on the weather and what it’s brought.

Chuck Fisher runs the Ocean Beach Pier Cafe. He unlocks the gate to the pier to check on damage. His cafe that’s now closed because the public isn't allowed on the pier. “It’s that time of year where waves get high and they knocked off some of the railing out there, and kinda hit a couple of doors. It’s not really bad, but there’s a lot of damage out there.” The storms that have visited San Diego are part an atmospheric river. In fact, more than one, says climate scientist Julie Kalansky, of the scripps institution of Oceanography. “What we have seen recently is a series of atmospheric rivers. We often refer to them as atmospheric river families. So it’s a sequencing of atmospheric rivers in that they’ve been coming back to back.” With respect to the iconic Ocean Beach pier, which is old and needs replacing, she says we should keep in mind rising sea levels. That will put the pier in yet more risk in the future. SOQ. 

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The need for housing is impacting small businesses in a once popular hub for dining and entertainment.

KPBS North County reporter Tania Thorne tells us plans to redevelop Old California Restaurant Row in San Marcos.

Old CA Restaurant Row was once a popular destination for North County families. But the scene looks very different these days, with lots of empty storefronts… as leases expire… and the spaces aren’t rented out. “My feeling is that the previous owners really let the place go which is why a developer came through in the first place and saw an opportunity to tear it down and start fresh. Erin Harper has been with Old Cal Coffee House for 12 years. She started out as a barista and worked her way to owner. Restaurant Row got sold in 2020. Her five-year lease was supposed to be up for renewal in 20-21. “There was no offer of a new lease, it kind of rolled into month to month that's when we figured out their plans weren’t to work with us or preserve us, we weren’t being told anything.” Then Harper found out plans were in the works to redevelop the center… plans that  don’t include most of the original buildings. The new owner has teamed up with developer, Lennar Homes, to build a mixed use development that includes 202 housing units and some commercial space. The businesses being displaced are now having to rethink their long term goals. For Harper, that means relocating… and rebranding. “Old CA Coffee house is directly tied to old CA restaurant row and without restaurant row the name just kind of sounds like old coffee…” She has the new name:  Ascend Coffee Roasters. But she hasn’t settled on a new location yet. Not too far from the coffee house, Jim Hadley owns 55 Yard Line Sports Bar. This was gonna be our retirement. Run it real good and when we call it quits, sell and take our money and retire. So now that's out the window. Hadley didn't want to show his face on camera. Hadley’s lease will be month to month after February. He has about a year and a half to figure out his next steps. Its just defeating to see this property in general  go away. We've been in the town for 31 years so we've seen it grow and this was the epicenter and to see it disappear its sad. Hadley says he understands the town is progressing but he doesn't think the infrastructure is set up for that growth. San Marcos Blvd is terrible to drive on … the 78 forget about that. And it's just getting more and more. San Marcos mayor Rebecca Jones recognizes the traffic concerns… and the need for housing. She says she also talked with the developer about preserving history. Yes, we need housing. However, you know, it's important to remember that this is something that the community really cherishes as far as the quality and the You know the history of San Marcos. because truly Restaurant Row was part of what's put San Marcos on the map. She says the city expected changes for the site when it got re-zoned for mixed-use development more than a decade ago. Not that it would change right away,  but that it would change at some point in time. We reached out to Lennar Homes multiple times to ask about the project: especially what kind of housing is in the works. But no one from the company was available for an interview. Whatever is in those plans, Erin Harper at the Old CA coffeehouse says she hopes they keep some of the elements that make Restaurant Row so unique. I'm hoping that they'll really preserve the character and what people love about restaurant row because of the wood beams, the tile work. This isn't just some run of the mill cookie cutter development. This place has a lot of character and I think we need to work to preserve that. As well as the hard working business people here. Work is expected to start in the spring on an environmental impact report for the development. TT KPBS News. 

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Have you told us your new year’s resolutions yet?

There’s still time to call us up and tell us!

You can share your 20-23 goals by calling us at 6-1-9- 4-5-2-0-2-2-8 and leaving a voicemail.

You can also visit w-w-w-dot-kpbs-dot-org-slash-goals and tell us there.

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

Customs and Border Protection opened the PedWest pedestrian border crossing in San Ysidro Monday, for the first time in nearly three years. In other news, new plans to redevelop Old California Restaurant Row in San Marcos are underway. Plus, tell us your new year’s resolutions by leaving us a voicemail, with your name and what part of San Diego County you live in, at 619-452-0228.