Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Watch Live

Plans for a memorial, 45 years later

 September 26, 2023 at 5:00 AM PDT

Good Morning, I’m Matt Hoffman, in for Debbie Cruz….it’s Tuesday, September 26th.


Plans could soon be underway to create a memorial 45 years after a plane crash in San Diego.

More on that next. But first... let’s do the headlines….


The price of gas in the county is still on the rise.

This week, the average cost of a gallon rose to a whopping 6-dollars.

A year ago, gas prices were about 29 cents lower than now.

However last October on the 5th San Diego saw it’s record high, reaching 6-dollars-and-43-cents a gallon.


The city of Chula Vista has broken ground on the first phase of what’s been dubbed UniverCity.

The project includes new office space, the first new city library since 19-95, and space for the city's first four-year university.

It’s located in the Millenia master-planned community.

The project is partly being funded by the California State Library.

Construction is expected to be complete in fall 20-25.


San Diego County is hitting some high marks for its beer!

Five county breweries won gold medals and 18 medals overall at the 20-23 Great American Beer Festival in Denver over the weekend.

It’s the largest professional brewing competition in the U-S, and is also known as “The Oscars” of the craft beer industry.

The breweries are judged on beer style categories.

The Gold medal winning breweries are Ballast Point, Belching Beaver, B-N-S Brewing and Distilling, East Village Brewing Company, and Tap-Room Beer Company.

Some silver medal winners included Modern Times Beer and Pizza Port.

According to the San Diego Brewers Guild, the county has more than 150 craft breweries.


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


It was the worst air disaster in the U-S at the time.

In late September of 19-78, a Pacific Southwest Airlines jet and a small Cessna collided over North Park.

144 people were killed.

Yesterday, reporter John Carroll introduced us to some people who’ve been working for years to establish a proper memorial.

Now, he reports on what happened when he asked a member of the San Diego City Council about why there still isn’t one, 45 years later.

“why isn’t there one here?  why can’t the politicians do that?  do i have to do it?  they should do it.” “none of us have a place to grieve.  there’s no cemetery, there’s no headstone where i can say, this is where i can pay my respects.” the voices of two people with close connections to the psa crash… mike bagnas, who as a 14-year old sophomore at st. augustine high school, saw the plane coming down in his north park neighborhood… and myra sulit pelowski, who lost her brother michael… the last person to board psa flight 182 in sacramento, en route to san diego. both bagnas and pelowski have been working for more than 10-years to get a proper memorial placed near the corner of dwight and nile… where the psa 727 smashed into the ground. “i can’t believe that 45 years later, we still don’t have a proper memorial to the people who perished.” councilmember stephen whitburn represents district 3, which includes north park. stephen whitburn san diego city councilmember “we’ve heard how important it is to the family members of those who died that we have a memorial here to honor those who perished in this.” both pelowski and bagnas say the neighborhood has shown overwhelming support for placing a memorial here. there are two city-owned pieces of land within a block of the psa crash site… a little piece at the eastern end of dwight… and a triangle of land a block or so west of the site. now, pelowski and bagnas say the moment has come for the city to move the project forward… to finally, 45 years later… bring the memorial into reality.  whitburn agrees. “i think it’s time for the city of san diego to step up and do this itself, and so i am now working with city staff to see how we can get a memorial in place as the city and have the city get this done.” pelowski and bagnas say they’ve heard that before.  so, i asked whitburn what concrete steps he could show he was taking to move the project forward. “i have a meeting scheduled for later this week with city staff to get a memorial placed where it belongs to honor the victims of this tragedy.” that meeting has now happened… and a representative for whitburn says the councilmember conveyed his strong stance on getting the memorial project done.  but what about a timeline?  how long before family members and others scarred by this tragedy see actual progress?  whitburn says, not long. “we are going to get a memorial to honor those who died in this tragedy.  there’s no reason why it should have taken 45 years to get this done, and i’m determined that it’s not going to take 46.” if it finally happens, a proper memorial will give surviving family members and others deeply affected by this tragedy… a place to go, to pay their respects to the 144 people who died on one of the saddest days in the history of san diego.  jc, kpbs news.


For the past two weeks, groups of migrants have been dropped off at the Oceanside Transit Station by Customs and Border Protection.

They've been getting help from volunteers and nonprofits, but today, county supervisors will consider a call for a humanitarian crisis and ask for federal assistance.

Reporter Tania Thorne has the story.

Oceanside city council member, Eric Joyce, says the county needs to lend some resources. Its just not sustainable…….. We really need all local agencies to step in and be a partner. Thats the only way we keep this from becoming a humanitarian crisis. To that, San Diego County supervisor Jim Desmond said:  We just don't have those resources. And… we don't have just extra money laying around. Desmond said with no end in sight, the county can’t take on funding something that is the federal government's responsibility. So at Tuesday’s board meeting, Desmond and Chairwoman Nora Vargas are presenting a humanitarian crisis declaration to send to  the federal government. But with a government shutdown looming this week, it might take some time for any resources to arrive. TT KPBS News. 


The San Diego County Sheriff's Department is adopting a new strategy to improve their interactions with people with disabilities: blue envelopes.

Reporter Katie Hyson has more.

One in four Americans have a disability. It can hinder their ability to communicate or comply with law enforcement, who may not realize they have a disability. That can have serious consequences. Americans with disabilities, especially Black Americans, are much more likely to be arrested – and killed – by police. The sheriff’s department plans to distribute free materials – like buttons, lanyards and seat belt covers – with a blue envelope logo. That logo signals to an officer that the person wearing it needs disability accommodations. County Board Vice Chair Terra Lawson-Remer, whose daughter is on the autism spectrum, says the program is an important step toward safety. The Blue Envelope program will create greater understanding and shared respect between law enforcement and our neurodivergent neighbors, and it might even help save lives. The sheriff’s department rolled out additional training to officers and plans to launch the program Oct. 16. You don’t need to register, just obtain the materials from a participating location. They hope to expand the program to all emergency responder agencies in the county. Katie Hyson, KPBS News.


San Diego city leaders recently rejected a grand jury’s advice to help fix the city’s crumbling roads.

inewsource reporter Crystal Niebla explains.

In a unanimous vote… the City Council’s transportation committee decided not to pledge annual funding for road repairs, against the advice of the county grand jury. Staff from the mayor’s office had urged the committee to leave money in the city budget for other uses instead. But before the vote, City Council President Pro Tem Monica Montgomery Steppe expressed concerns about the growing road repair backlog. “I just don't see how we get there without, kind of, making that type of commitment. We're underwater here.” The full City Council must approve the decision by mid-November. For KPBS, I’m inewsource reporter Crystal Niebla.

TAG: inewsource is an independently funded, nonprofit partner of KPBS.


Coming up.... The La Jolla Playhouse is hosting the world premiere of the play SUMO today. Our KPBS arts reporter talks to the playwright about it.

“I was so entranced by the idea or the feeling of a sport being so powerful and so ferocious and so wild and also so restrained and so filled with ceremony and honor.”

We’ll have that and more, just after the break.


A new online marketing campaign called "Why North County" launched this month.

North County reporter Alexander Nguyen says the campaign aims to attract more businesses to the region.

Up and down the 78 corridor … and by the coast … businesses are thriving. from breweries … to tech companies … to manufacturing … … north county’s got it all. erik bruvold is the ceo of the san diego north economic development council. bruvold says there are affordable turnkey-ready manufacturing facilities in several north county industrial parks. he says the campaign’s aim is to bring high-paying jobs to the area. “there have been golf manufacturers, gopro — other active sports and leisure companies — who have been able to be located in this area because they get a better, closer relationship with their customers and with the kind of market that they're trying to serve.” bruvold says the synergy between the workforce, the lifestyle and the collaborative nature of north county is why companies should consider relocating here. an/kpbs.


La Jolla Playhouse is hosting the world premiere of SUMO today.

It’s a play that looks into an elite sumo training facility in Tokyo.

Six men practice, live together, and ultimately fight each other there.

Arts reporter Beth Accomando speaks with playwright Lisa Sanaye Dring about the beauty, power, and rich tradition of Japanese sumo wrestling.

TAG: That was playwright Lisa Sanaye Dring, speaking with KPBS arts reporter, Beth Accomando.

Sanaye Dring’s play SUMO has its world premiere at La Jolla Playhouse tonight at 7-30.


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, plus, it’s the 100-year anniversary of zoning in San Diego. We hear about the current push to create more multi-family zoning. I’m Matt Hoffman. Thanks for listening and have a great Tuesday.

In late September of 1978, a Pacific Southwest Airlines jet and a small Cessna collided over North Park and 144 people were killed. We hear more from San Diego City Councilmember Stephen Whitburn on plans to make a memorial 45 years later. In other News, San Diego city leaders recently rejected a grand jury’s advice to help fix the city’s crumbling roads. Plus, the La Jolla Playhouse is hosting the world premiere of the play “SUMO” today. We hear from the playwright.