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Record profits for Sempra Energy

 April 19, 2022 at 5:00 AM PDT

Good Morning, I’m Annica Colbert….it’s Tuesday, April 19th>>>>

Sempra to pay out record profits to investors

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

It looks like the San Diego county fair will go on as usual this year after all. On monday, a temporary agreement was reached by the two sides in a lawsuit over who should be the provider of rides and games on the fair’s midway.

Earlier this month, a Superior Court judge ruled that the state’s bidding procedures benefited one company over all others and therefore violated state law. The favored company was Ray Cammack Shows.

John Moot represents Talley Amusements, the plaintiffs in the lawsuit. He says instead of just one carnival operator for the fair, the agreement calls for several vendors working together like in years before.

"it's really going back to the future, if you will. and simply working with a model that has worked in the past, and with the parties involved, sharing the duties for this year's fair.”

Moot says the agreement is only in place for this year’s fair. The lawsuit will continue after the fair ends.


San Diego county is getting more than 20 million dollars in federal and state funding for affordable housing projects. The county health and human services announced on Monday the money was awarded for five affordable housing projects that’ll include a total of 375 units. The housing projects will be in Vista, Logan Heights, National City, San Marcos and Carlsbad.


It’ll be windy in parts of the county today. The national weather service has issued a wind advisory for the San Diego county mountains and deserts. It’ll be in effect from noon today to 3am tomorrow. Winds will be about 20 to 30 miles per hour, with gusts up to 60.


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

As San Diego Gas and Electric customers complain about rising energy bills, the company’s investors are making record profits.

inewsource reporter Camille von Kaenel has more.


SDG&E is owned by a company called Sempra which paid shareholders their highest dividend ever on Friday. Sempra made more than two and a half billion dollars in 2021.

Consumer advocate Edward Lopez says the payout shows SDG&E makes good money for its investors.

LOPEZ: And unfortunately, those profits are borne upon the backs of SDG&E customers.

Lopez said that he wished the utilities commission would take note of the record profits when the company asks for higher rates. SDG&E will start negotiating customer rates for the next three years in May.

For KPBS, I’m inewsource reporter Camille von Kaenel.

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


On Friday, San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria unveiled next year’s city budget.

The Mayor says the new budget plays “the long game” for the city. This means focusing more on improving infrastructure and less on the pandemic emergency. The nearly 5 billion dollar budget now goes to the city council.

Mayor Gloria joined KPBS Midday Edition host Jade Hindmon on monday to discuss his new budget.

And that was Mayor Todd Gloria, speaking with KPBS Midday Edition Host Jade Hindmon.


The City of San Diego has a new official whose job is to connect marginalized children and their families to city services they need.

KPBS Education Reporter M.G. Perez has more on the city’s new Office of Child and Youth Success.

Andrea O’Hara comes to the City after spending the past 10 years as the San Diego Unified School District’s Director of purchasing and contracts.

She says her past connections will help her find resources for students and their parents to get better access to family mental health resources, child care, or career development and training.

Her message to parents today is this…

SOT :05 “ get excited… their children are going to start to have opportunities that they didn’t know were available to them.”

City departments like Parks and Recreation and Economic Development already offer

after-school programs and career mentoring …but these departments don’t always communicate with each other.

The hope is O’Hara and her new department will help San Diego’s most marginalized families get services more efficiently. MGP KPBS News


San Diego county opened a new community-based crisis stabilization unit in Oceanside on monday.

KPBS North County reporter Alexander Nguyen has more

With that … the county officially opened its fifth Crisis Stabilization Unit and third in North County.

It’s a place where people experiencing a mental health or substance-use crisis can go to seek help outside of an emergency room. Services are provided on a walk-in basis.

It is also a safe alternative for law enforcement officers to drop off people with a mental health crisis for care.

They are designed for the smoothest possible transition for law enforcement to hand off care. Oceanside police chief Fred Armijo (arm-MEE-ho) says his agency receives several mental health services calls a day.

“The number of calls for service that have a mental health component to them has increased dramatically over the last several years. So it's common for several times a day that we're getting somebody into some form of mental health services.”

He says the new center will cut the time officers are out on these calls from several hours down to about 10 minutes.

So far this year … crisis stabilization units have helped 52-HUNDRED people. The county is looking to add a sixth center soon … this time in East County.



Coming up.... Escondido’s grand avenue area is getting a huge facelift.

“were hoping that with all the improvements that are going on and with Palomar Heights building all those apartments that it draws more businesses into downtown in addition to the customers. ”

We have that story, next, just after the break.

Escondido’s historic downtown is undergoing a makeover that could make it the next Little Italy-like scene. KPBS North County reporter Tania Thorne gives us a look at the projects that are revitalizing Escondido’s Grand Avenue.

Dust, drilling, and construction workers have filled Grand avenue in Escondido where the Grand Tea Room is located.

While tea and construction aren't the best combo, Louisa Magoon, the owner of the tea room, says she doesn't mind it.

“It’s been a couple of months. But it's ok.. We’re excited about the end result.”

She’s talking about the Grand Avenue Vision Project… a plan to improve Escondido’s historic Grand Avenue… to drive more businesses and visitors into the city.

Magoon says the improvements came from requests made to the city by business owners on Grand.

“We gave them ideas. Widening the sidewalks, putting more plants in and just different ideas and so we were super excited when we found out they were actually listening and doing something about it.”

JENNIFER SCHOENECK (SHA-NECK)is the deputy director of economic development with the city of Escondido.

She says changes to Grand Avenue will be implemented in phases.

“The Grand Avenue Vision Construction Project is really the first phase in revitalizing downtown Escondido. The benefits from this project are going to help draw people to downtown, and help businesses expand their operations.”

She says outdoor dining helped many businesses survive the pandemic and the wider sidewalks will make the patios permanent.

“During the pandemic we were able to issue temporary use permits for all of the restaurants that wanted to have an outdoor dining option and that's something we definitely want to continue with the improvements that are happening on Grand Ave. That's why we’re widening the sidewalk, so more businesses have an option for safe outdoor dining.”

In addition to wider sidewalks, traffic on Grand will narrow down to one lane in each direction, parking spaces will be added, and string lighting will go up.

Schoeneck says changes will only be seen on the North side of Grand Avenue before construction comes to a pause right before the annual Cruisin’ Grand classic car meet resumes from May to September.

“We're looking to wrap up construction before Cruisin Grand starts. Cruisin Grand is a really important event in our downtown area and we wanna make sure that the event organizers feel comfortable with the state of Grand Avenue when that event starts.”

Then construction for the next phase is planned to start again in early 20-23.

Schoeneck says a completion date for the full Grand Avenue Vision Plan is yet to be determined because only about half of the $15 million dollar project has been funded.

But there’s also another project playing a big part in Escondido’s revitalization… right where the old Palomar Hospital used to stand.

“if you stand at the at the escondido sign at the end of grand and you look down, historically, you would see the large nine story tower of the hospital. 06:08And now that that has been demolished, we wanted to create another landmark.”

NINIA HAMMOND is with Integral Communities, the developers replacing Palomar Hospital with Palomar Heights.

It’s a mixed-use development, and the plans call for over 500 homes… some luxury, and some what the developer calls “attainably priced.”

“our idea was to bring a product type to the market that was smaller in size and 10:24 Lower in bedroom count to try to create a product that was attainable and what we described, that is, is an entry level buyer.”

90 rental units will also be specifically for seniors 55 and over. Plus it includes some retail and restaurants.

“tried to be careful about the amount of retail that we incorporated. We wanted it to be additive and not cannibalize the existing retail.

Hammond says construction of the development will take between 3 to 5 years.

Back at the Grand Tea Room, Louisa Magoon looking forward to what’s ahead..

“were hoping that with all the improvements that are going on and with Palomar Heights building all those apartments that it draws more businesses into downtown in addition to the customers. ”


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

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As energy bills in San Diego rise so have profits for Sempra Energy, the company that owns San Diego Gas and Electric. Meanwhile, Mayor Todd Gloria recently revealed a new city budget that focuses on investing in infrastructure. Plus, a historic downtown area in Escondido is getting a major remodel.