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

Reforms to encourage more affordable housing get approved

 December 14, 2023 at 5:00 AM PST

Good Morning, I’m Debbie Cruz….it’s Thursday, December 14th.


A plan to build more projects that are taller and denser gets the green light. More on that next. But first... let’s do the headlines….


A Camp Pendleton marine was killed Tuesday evening in an amphibious combat vehicle rollover.

14 other marines went to area hospitals after the rollover.

Marine A-C-Vs are new in the Corps and are designed to operate both in the ocean and on land.

They were barred from waterborne operations for three months last year after two floundered in the Southern California surf, one rolling over.

Tactical vehicle rollovers have killed a number of service members over recent years, and a 20-21 G-A-O report found inadequate training and supervision led to many of them.

Since 20-10, more than 125 service members have been killed in non-combatant tactical vehicle accidents.


The number of un-housed people living downtown has dropped by 12-hundred.

That's according to new data from the San Diego Downtown Partnership.

The decline comes after a camping ban was enacted in the city of San Diego earlier this year.

However, homeless advocates say the people are still here, they've just moved to different neighborhoods.


The county’s Registrar of Voters office is looking for poll workers for the March 5th Presidential Primary Election.

They’re especially looking for people who are bilingual.

Poll workers are paid anywhere from 135 dollars to 160 dollars each day, depending on the assignment.

And on Election Day, that amount is higher because of extended hours.

Here’s the county Registrar of Voters, Cynthia Paes:

“We need over 2,000 individuals to assist voters across 220 plus vote centers that will be open anywhere from 4 days to 11 days, leading up to election day. So they play that critical role of frontline staff, assisting voters and playing a critical role in democracy.”

You can find more information, by going to sd-vote-dot-com and clicking on “be a poll worker.”


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


The San Diego City Council has approved a package of housing reforms proposed by mayor Todd Gloria.

Metro reporter Andrew Bowen says the goal is to turbocharge new home construction.

AB: The mayor's Housing Action Package 2.0 makes changes to a local program called Complete Communities, which lets developers build taller and denser projects if they agree to rent a portion of their units below the market rate. Now, those below-market homes can be built in a separate project if certain conditions are met. The council rejected the package last month, but was brought back with amendments sought by Council President Sean Elo-Rivera. SER: I'm here to legislate, and I think it's important that we don't let concerns about a complicated meeting or a longer meeting get in the way of us trying to pass the best policy possible. AB: Opponents of the package said the changes were too generous to developers, and that the city is allowing too much density in their neighborhoods. Andrew Bowen, KPBS news.


The City of Chula Vista is now planning to reopen Harborside Park.

South Bay reporter Kori Suzuki says the city council’s decision comes after a long debate over whether to use the land for affordable housing.

Over the last year, Harborside Park in Chula Vista has been at the center of citywide debates over housing, homelessness and environmental justice. City leaders first closed the park temporarily last August. They evicted dozens of unhoused residents who had taken shelter there – many of them during the pandemic. officials argued the encampment was creating a public safety issue. Earlier this year though, the council made the surprise decision to look at using the land for housing – potentially closing Harborside for good. Which led to a passionate response from residents. “My nephews learned how to skateboard there when they were little. They live on the east side of Chula Vista, by hilltop. And they used to skate there, they learned a lot of things. And it’s sad to think that buildings would go up there. In a park for the children.” There were multiple rallies. Dozens of people speaking out at public meetings, urging city leaders to change course and keep the park for the neighborhood. Now, the City Council has agreed to move in that direction. Here’s Leticia Lares, who organized marches in support of reopening. “I’m feeling really happy. I’m not going to trust one hundred percent. But yes – I’m really happy.” Officials say it will take at least eight months to fully reopen Harborside. Kori Suzuki, KPBS News.


The county is investing two million dollars into small, local nonprofits.

Reporter Katie Hyson spoke about the new program with the director of the Office of Equity and Racial Justice, Andrew Strong.

Most of our small nonprofits tend to be coming from our BIPOC communities. The county defines “small” as fewer than five employees and an operating budget of less than 500 thousand dollars. A lot of times these folks may have full time jobs and they're also running a nonprofit, and they're doing it pretty much for free . . . We have a social responsibility . . . to invest in those people who have the lived experience. They have the deep, deep profound knowledge of why this work needs to happen. Strong says these organizations have historically been edged out of county funding by larger nonprofits. Partly because they can’t compete with the numbers impacted. And partly because they don’t have the same time or resources to navigate all the red tape.Applications will close on January 26. Katie Hyson, KPBS News.


The debate over whether schools should disclose a child's transgender identity to parents is sparking heated discussions at school boards… and legal battles.

North County reporter Alexander Nguyen explores the legal clash between parental rights and a child's privacy.

At an Escondido Union High School District board meeting last month … the issue of parental rights was hotly debated. Some parents want their children to have the privacy to feel safe expressing themselves at school … others argue that it’s a parent’s right to know what’s going on with their children. Similar to many other school districts … Escondido Union High adheres to a policy that bars teachers from revealing a student’s gender identity to parents without consent. That aligns with California laws protecting students from potential abusive situations at home. But such policies are under attack at school boards and courts throughout the state. Recently …, the Classical Academy charter school system in North County changed its policy to no longer explicitly forbid teachers from disclosing a student’s gender identity. The charter school says it did so under threat of litigation. “it fundamentally is about who who really, the the child belongs to?” Dean Broyles is a constitutional lawyer whose wife teaches at Classical. He says he merely sent a letter to the charter school system to inform the board that its policy would expose it to potential ligation. Broyles is part of the conservative National Center for Law & Policy Dean Broyles National Center for Law & Policy “It's been our position that any policy that allows a school to keep secrets from their parents regarding their children violates the parent of rights since protected by the US. Constitution.” The Supreme Court has ruled that the 14th Amendment of the Constitution gives a lot of deference to parents regarding their children's upbringing, education and care. But under California’s Education Code … students have certain privacy rights. Jillian Duggan-Herd Family Law Attorney “That is the crux of the issue, is what is more superior, a child's right to privacy or a parent's right to know about their child's life? Family law attorney Jillian Duggan-Herd says with the Supreme Court’s 20-22 Dobbs ruling, it’s hard to fathom that a student’s privacy rights would be upheld by the court. The Dobbs ruling overturned Roe v. Wade, which had protected the right to have an abortion in the U-S. The crux of the Roe case centers on a woman’s right to privacy. Jillian Duggan-Herd Family Law Attorney “But they did not apply strict scrutiny to that privacy right, which is the right to have an abortion and your ability to have a child and have a say in how that happens.” Since the Dobbs ruling … a surge of laws and court cases by conservative groups has emerged challenging school policies protecting students’ privacy. In May … two teachers at Rincon Middle School in the Escondido Union School District sued … claiming the policy to protect students' right to privacy at school over their gender identity essentially forced them to lie to parents, which went against their religious beliefs. Duggan-Herd says the timing of these cases is not coincidental. Jillian Duggan-Herd Family Law Attorney “There's a bunch of strategy in it. There are a lot of politically affiliated groups that have interests on both sides of this argument.” In September … a federal judge in San Diego issued a pre-liminary ruling against the Escondido Union School District … saying the policy is likely unconstitutional. The decision is under review by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. Duggan-Herd thinks the issue will ultimately be decided by the Supreme Court. And based on the current makeup of the court, she thinks proponents of parental rights might win. And that might cause unintended consequences. Jillian Duggan-Herd Family Law Attorney “how do we, on that continuum of things that can happen to a child within a school system during the day, what is reported and what is not?” She says it might lead to parents micromanaging the education system, dictating the curriculum to be taught to their children and excluding anything they find disagreeable … such as evolution. And caught in the crosshairs of this political debate are the students … who may not feel safe expressing their gender identity at home. AN/KPBS.


Coming up.... We look at how small businesses are doing over the holiday season. We’ll have that and more, just after the break.


Some San Diego Community College students wrapped up their fall semester yesterday (Wednesday) aboard the U-S-S midway.

Education reporter M.G. Perez says they were in a pilot program for future welders.

The sparks are flying…in anticipation of a bright future for student welders from the San Diego College of Continuing Education. This fall, the students have had three days of campus classroom instruction each week…and then come aboard the USS Midway on Wednesdays for six hours of real work. The program was initiated by the Midway’s management. It’s considered a win-win for the aging ship with ongoing repair needs. Andrea Jarvis is about a year into her welding education… “it’s a passion for me…it’s a constant ever-going trade and I really like working with metal…it’s like sewing with fire …you know?” The Midway pilot program has been so successful it will continue into the new year. The initial cohort of eight students will be expanded to 14 starting in January. MGP KPBS News.


The National Retail Federation expects holiday spending to reach record levels this year as people buy gifts from big retailers.

But, what's the forecast for our small, local retailers…

Well, Theresa Fawv-Ro and Tanya Macanear have their fingers on the pulse of that.

They're both small business owners.

Theresa owns Amethyst Moon and Home and Soul in La Mesa.

She sits on the board of the La Mesa Village Association.

And Tanya owns Bad Madge in South Park and sits on the board of the South Park Business Group.

They spoke with my colleague Jade Hindmon.

So first off-how is business going for you both so far this shopping season? 

Theresa why don’t you start? 

How about you Tanya?

Black Friday and Cyber Monday, we know, are huge for larger retailers. Are those days as important for our region’s smaller businesses?

Have you seen a difference in customer behavior this year? Maybe due to inflation or other factors?

What are you both–as small business owners–doing to get those holiday shoppers in the door? Tanya?

How about you Theresa?

TAG: That was business owners Tanya Macanear and Theresa Fawv-Ro, speaking with KPBS Midday Edition host, Jade Hindmon.


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, we’ll have details on some arts events happening over the weekend. I’m Debbie Cruz. Thanks for listening and have a great Thursday.

Ways To Subscribe
The San Diego City Council has approved a package of housing reforms proposed by Mayor Todd Gloria. In other news, the debate over whether schools should disclose a child's transgender identity to parents is sparking heated discussions at school boards and legal battles. Plus, we look at how small businesses are doing over the holiday season.