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Questions around Proposition 1

 October 4, 2022 at 5:00 AM PDT

Good Morning, I’m Erik Anderson, in for Debbie Cruz….it’s Tuesday, October 4th.

Will Proposition 1 expand abortion rights? More on that next. But first... let’s do the headlines….

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Oil prices have are down in recent weeks, but gas prices keep going up. University of San Diego economist Alan Gin says cheaper oil means its cheaper for refineries to produce gas.

Gin says those refineries are at the heart of recent price hikes.

“The refineries that convert oil into gas are down, some for scheduled maintenance, some for unplanned problems in terms of maintenance that’s caused the price of gas to surge.”

Governor Gavin Newsom announced on Friday that refineries could start selling more polluting, but cheaper winter-blend gasoline to help bring down prices.

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Public transit in San Diego for free tomorrow. That includes the Trolley, COASTER, SPRINTER and fixed-route bus services. “Free Ride Day” falls on the same day as California's Clean Air Day, which aims to reduce emissions and improve air quality across the state. Past “Free Ride Day” events boosted ridership as much as 30-percent.

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The San Diego Padres are playing meaningful games in October this year. The Padres will play in a wild card series starting Friday and running through Sunday. They last made the playoffs in 2020 during the shortened season, but haven’t made the playoffs after a full season since 2006. The Padres secured their spot in the playoffs after the Milwaukee Brewers lost to the Miami Marlins on Sunday.

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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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When the US Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade was first leaked in April, state lawmakers in California went to work. They drafted an amendment to protect abortion rights under the state constitution and come November, residents will vote on it. But as KQED’s health correspondent April Dembosky explains, there is debate as to whether Proposition 1 may actually EXPAND abortion rights.

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San Diego's city and county governments held a joint meeting yesterday (MONDAY) on affordable housing. The first time that’s happened in 20 years. KPBS metro reporter Andrew Bowen has details.

AB: The city council and county board of supervisors voted unanimously to set a goal of building 10,000 affordable homes on public land in the next eight years. The hope is by making that land available for little to no cost, affordable housing developers would need less taxpayer dollars to make their projects pencil out. Council President Sean Elo-Rivera hopes San Diego can also speed up the permitting process. SER: It's not just about building affordable homes, it's about bringing down the cost of building housing. That makes housing more affordable. And one of the ways that we do that is by streamlining the regulatory process. You have my commitment to be open to a variety of ideas on that front. AB: One possible reform on the horizon is a measure to let San Diego's public housing agency exceed zoning limits on its own land. Andrew Bowen, KPBS news.

On the same day the city and county came together for a historic resolution on affordable housing, a groundbreaking ceremony took place in San Ysidro for a new project catering to seniors. KPBS reporter Jacob Aere says the 100-unit complex will include some rooms for those who have experienced chronic homelessness.

Mariachi music filled the air Monday morning in San Ysidro. The band played uplifting songs to mark the start of construction on a new affordable senior complex called Ventana al Sur in the town’s historic village district. The developer’s President and CEO Arnulfo Manriquez says the project is specifically for seniors 62 and over with very low income. “We’re across the street from the trolley station, so seniors will be able to go on the trolley, public transportation. It's right near grocery stores, it's right near to parks, and it's right near to a library as well as a health clinic nearby. The services are going to be incredible.” The project will also include 25 units reserved for seniors experiencing chronic homelessness. Manriquez says construction should be completed by summer of 2024. There will be a lottery system for interested applicants which will open during the first months of that same year. JA KPBS News.

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Late last week, governor gavin newsom vetoed a bill meant to reduce deaths inside county jails.

KPBS reporter kitty alvarado says the families of people who’ve died in custody are asking… what will it take to make change happen?

Family members of those who have died in custody inside San Diego County jails gathered in downtown San Diego Monday to share their stories. My name is Sundee Weddle… My son died … just 4 days after he was booked into central jail sending a message to Governor Gavin Newsom about his veto of  AB 2343… the Saving Lives in Custody Act. My name is Sabrina Weddle… How many people does Newsom want to die before he sees change? Newsom said he vetoed the bill because it required two new positions on the Board of State and Community Corrections. two necessary seats one is medical and one is mental health and a lot of the deaths that we have are a combination of both if not one or the other That’s Yusef Miller, who’s been fighting alongside the families for years and co-founded the North County Equity Justice Coalition Saving Lives in Custody Campaign. Assemblymember Dr. Akilah Weber wrote the bill. She plans to reintroduce the bill in the next legislative session. Kitty Alvarado, KPBS News.  

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Coming up.... A theater that’s been around since the Civil Rights era starts a new era at the La Jolla Playhouse. We’ll have that story, next, just after the break.

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Common Ground Theatre has been around since the Civil Rights era. Now it starts a new era as the Theatre in Residence at La Jolla Playhouse. KPBS arts reporter Beth Accomando attended a rehearsal last week to find out how Common Ground is using the residency program to reach a larger audience.

La Jolla Playhouse’s Theater in Residence program offers smaller companies an opportunity to benefit from the resources of the Playhouse. Jacole Kitchen, director of arts engagement, is always on the lookout for companies worthy of consideration. JACOLE KITCHEN We really look for companies who are showing a record of longevity, that they already have made a mark on this community. The latest beneficiary of the Playhouse’s program could not fit the bill better since it’s been serving the San Diego theater community since the 1960s . YOLANDA FRANKLIN Common Ground Theater is known in the United States of America as one of the three longest running African American theater companies. That’s Yolanda Franklin, she stepped into the role of artistic director for Common Ground Theatre just before the pandemic hit. But the company was formed during the civil rights era. YOLANDA FRANKLIN back then, there weren't many places that were producing our plays. So they created it so that we could have a place where we could teach people the art of acting and also some of the behind the scenes… All of that was done at Common Ground Theater and continues to be. Kitchen was impressed at Common Ground’s mission to support and lift up artists of African descent. And at how the company is deeply embedded in the community. JACOLE KITCHEN Just seeing the way that Yolanda Franklin and the team over at Common Ground have been hustling and getting things done and just at the most grassroots level. And she hopes the residency can help Common Ground reach a wider audience. JACOLE KITCHEN Common Ground is utilizing this year in residence to spread out their productions because they have so many different types of events and it's not just theater. There's poetry events, there's music events, and there's so many things that they want to do that we are able to spread out the resources of the residency really fully throughout their full season. Its first production under the residency program back in July combined poetry, music, and the theme of Black struggle, says Franklin. YOLANDA FRANKLIN We all have something that has oppressed us and kept us down, that we need to say, I'm going to still rise above that… And the audience feedback was, you know, what it was like. We were all in it together and starting there together, we could go on the journey and then we could open them up to different things that they didn't necessarily focus on about us. And we could speak to them then from a common ground. During the pandemic, finding common ground was more challenging as the company wanted to address outrage in the Black community over the murder of George Floyd. YOLANDA FRANKLIN So what we wanted to do was make a space during this time where these playwrights could have a voice and they could get it off their chest and kind of like a healing process for the community, for us, and for us to start conversation because everyone was like, where do we go from here? And where Franklin wanted to go was on a journey to extend that conversation to different facets of being Black, which led to her Black love series. YOLANDA FRANKLIN So there is a local playwright. Her name is Sheryl Mallory Johnson, and she has five novels. And they're all about love… This is something we need. Sheryl Mallory-Johnson’s Sense of Love began as a screenplay, then became a book and is now Common Ground’s next play. SHERYL MALLORY-JOHNSON I see stories that too often deal with the oppression of Black people and us overcoming impressions and our struggles. And I think this is very refreshing story to deal with, a story that's just about Black love. Her Sense of Love is about  a widowed dad and a single mom who come together at pivotal points in their lives. SHERYL MALLORY-JOHNSON They both are haunted by a painful past, and they must overcome it in order to have a second chance at love. Franklin hopes this story has something everyone can identify with as Common Ground enters a performance space from the Playhouse that is twice the size of its old venue. YOLANDA FRANKLIN And we're ready for it. It's exciting. It's like it's stretching and it's challenging. Common Ground has been meeting challenges for decades but now it has an opportunity to stretch beyond its core community to reach a wider audience. Beth Accomando, KPBS News.

Common Ground’s ‘A Sense of Love’ runs October 14th through 16th at the Mandell Weiss Forum Theater as part of The Playhouse's Theater in Residence program.

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The Indian narrow-headed softshell turtle is rare and endangered. The San Diego Zoo has 3 of the turtles and has been monitoring them for breeding for the last 20 years. Yesterday, they announced their waiting paid off. The zoo now has 41 baby turtles or hatchlings . We’ll have more on that tomorrow.

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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 Erik Anderson. Debbie Cruz will be back tomorrow. Thanks for listening and have a great day.

California state lawmakers drafted Proposition 1 to protect abortion rights under the state constitution, but there is a debate on whether it will actually expand abortion rights. In other news, San Diego's city and county governments held a joint meeting Monday on affordable housing. Plus, after two decades of waiting, the San Diego Zoo welcomed 41 tiny Indian narrow-headed softshell turtle hatchlings.