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San Diego leaders react to Supreme Court camping ban ruling

 July 1, 2024 at 5:00 AM PDT

Good Morning, I’m Emilyn Mohebbi, in for Debbie Cruz….it’s Monday, July first.


What local leaders have to say about the Supreme Court ruling that cities can ban camping on public property. More on that next. But first... let’s do the headlines….


California bars and nightclubs are taking a new step toward safety.

Starting today (Monday), a new law requires 21 and older businesses to have date rape drug testing kits on site.

They also have to post signage that the kits are available to their customers.

Devin Blankenship with the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control hopes this law provides a sense of security for people who go to bars and nightclubs.

“If they're ever suspicious of something happening, that they're able to reach out to the staff, request a test kit, test their drink and be able to enjoy themselves without worrying about someone messing or tampering with their drink.”

Businesses are responsible for buying these kits, and can charge a small fee or provide them for free.


It’s going to be another hot week.

So if you’re making plans for the 4th of July, this forecast can help you prepare.

The National Weather Service says the mornings will be cloudy, but the skies will gradually become sunny in the afternoons.

For most of the week through the holiday, temperatures in the inland and mountain areas will be in the mid 80s.

In the deserts, there’s an Excessive Heat Watch in effect through Friday night.

Temps there could reach up to 116 degrees.

And if you’re planning to head to the beach this week, it’ll be in the high 70s by the coast.


And all public county offices, public health clinics, family resource centers, libraries and animal shelters will be closed Thursday for Independence Day.

But most county parks, campgrounds and neighborhood day-use parks will be open.

Essential services, including law enforcement and emergency animal control response, will be available through the holiday.

All county offices will resume normal business hours on Friday.


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


San Diego leaders are reacting to a Supreme Court ruling that cities can ban camping on public property.

Reporter Katie Anastas says while some are praising the ruling, others say it criminalizes homelessness.

The City of San Diego approved a public camping ban last June. It prohibits tent encampments in public spaces if shelter beds are available. City Councilmember Stephen Whitburn introduced the ordinance. He says it’s working. The Grants Pass ruling opens a lot of doors to cities across the west coast, and it could open doors for the city of San Diego if we wanted stricter regulations. I think the regulations we have in place now have begun to be effective, and I think that we should continue on with those. Paul Downey is the CEO of Serving Seniors. He says many people moving away from downtown encampments aren’t necessarily finding housing. We’ve simply shifted people from downtown to the neighboring communities. All you have to do is look and see where people are. We’ve just reshuffled the deck. The 2024 Point-in-Time Count reported a 6% increase in the number of unsheltered people in the city of San Diego compared to the year before. Other communities saw much larger increases, including a 47% increase in La Mesa, 58% in Chula Vista and 85% in Lemon Grove. Katie Anastas, KPBS News.


Veterans Affairs and M-T-S are partnering to help veterans in the homeless community connect with services.

Military and veterans reporter Andrew Dyer has more.

Representatives from the va, mts and several community groups are helping veterans connect to services at trolley stations. friday’s in old town is the first of several planned events in a new partnership between mts and the va. janice mcdonald is a clinical social worker with the va’s homeless outreach program. she says the partnership should help them connect with veterans who sometimes have difficulty accessing va services. janice mcdonald, va san diego “that's why we're coming to them. we're making it as easy as possible for them. to get the assistance and get engaged with us.” the pop-up events will rotate across three transit stations through october – old town, el cajon and the palomar station in chula vista. andrew dyer, kpbs news.


Smack talk has spread beyond bars and to public government meetings.

In the first of a three-parter, investigative reporter Amita Sharma explores how threats, conspiracy-laced accusations and swearing have become commonplace at the county board of supervisors meetings.

And a warning, the following contains explicit and offensive language.

There was a time when people addressed the Board of Supervisors’ with politeness. DEC 9 2009 “Good Morning. There were two issues I wanted to touch on but they have been done so I encourage you to vote yes. Thank you.” “Thank you very much” Then, the pandemic hit, and civility, by some, took a dive. Nov. 2, 2021 “Good afternoon Board of Tyrants.” Language…tone…even lucidity slid. O“Screaming man…Nuremberg, vaccines, heil Fauci, heil Fauci.” Carl Luna Political Scientist “....The pandemic has left us with an unaddressed case of national PTSD. It scared the bejesus out of people.” Political scientist Carl Luna is director of the local Institute for Civil Civic Engagement in San Diego. His analysis is backed up by KPBS’s own review of supervisors’ meetings. KPBS watched the public comment sections from a sample of meetings from 2009 to 2023 and found a clear trend. Sure enough, the tide turned a year into the pandemic. Vaccines were a trigger. Oct 5 2021 Audra “....You could save people in the county and not murder them with shots. In 2009, there were two incidents of incivility at the supervisors’ meetings, last year 167...mostly committed by the same small group of commenters. The offenses include conspiracies and threats Oct. 5, 2021 Audra “What are you doing to stop human trafficking? Nothing because you are a part of it maybe?” OCT 5 2021 Oct. 11 2022 “....You are putting money in abortion clinics, aka murder and genocide clinics.” Oct 5, 2021 “You’re felons. You should be taken to Gitmo.” Ill wishes. November 2, 2021  “Vargas, I can’t wait for your arteries to clog. Nathan, you should kill yourself.” The profane. Oct. 11, 2023 Hermes “You didn’t even give a shit… You are in big trouble because you have a power trip issue. Do you like being a cunt?” And racist. October 11 2022 Jason Wooten’s not here, but the blackest thing about her are her heart Terra Lawson-Remer San Diego County Supervisor Remer Incivility Interview There are a lot of comments that are quite anti-Semitic, and it's very troubling Supervisor Terra Lawson-Remer says those comments cut her differently. Terra Lawson-Remer/San Diego County Supervisor “....As a member of the Jewish community, my feelings are hurt. I feel afraid for people in our community.” She partly blames the nastiness at meetings on former President Donald Trump and his comments about race and women dating back to his first run for president in 2016. Remer incivility 2  “....There was a shift, I think, that allowed a normalization of discourse and toxicity that we're all grappling with now.” Luna says a subtler shift began more than 15 years ago, as a backlash to the election of Barack Obama as the first Black president. The high cost of living has only worsened the vitriol. UCSD political scientist Thad Kousser says a loss of faith in public institutions, covid vaccine mandates and forced business closures intensified the divide.“All of those things drive people's anger…they don't feel like they have anything in common with the other side.” All amplified by social media. Local public government meetings have typically been the bedrock of democracy where hyper local issues are discussed, and immune to partisanship. John Porten/Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice “One of the reasons that local debates and local politics survived polarization longer is that we had thicker and stronger connections to our neighbors, and we had a lot of trust that we built up, but that trust isn't free. It's being eroded.” Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice research manager John Porten says there are other forces at work…. outside organizations determined to divide.. “....We can see that there are groups organizing in Southern California whose reason for existence is to mobilize people to go to a series of public meetings and to bring up these policy preferences that they have.” San Diego psychologist David Peters what we’re really seeing at these meetings are scared people. David Peters/Psychologist “And in our spaces, people are converting the fear into anger so as to feel powerful.” Tomorrow, we’ll examine the effect of that rage. Amita Sharma, KPBS News.


A study from UC-SD has identified several categories of sleep.

Sci-tech reporter Thomas Fudge has more.

Scientists analyzed five million nights of sleep from more than 30 thousand people. The people wore Aura rings that measure their body temperature, pulse and other things that reflect the quality of their sleep. “So the idea that we could look at sleep across tens of thousands of people, living their normal lives was a really unique opportunity.” UCSD data science professor Ben Smarr was one of the researchers. The study revealed five main types of sleep. Even the best sleep showed some people waking up for a few minutes. Disrupted sleep involved waking up for at least an hour.  Computer engineer Varun Vaswanath, also on the study, says they discovered a link to diabetes.  “If someone has disrupted sleep that gives us some level of information that they might be diabetic.” He said the study also showed health problems weren’t usually linked to one type of sleep but to the movement from one kind to another over time. SOQ. 


What an interesting study! Well, that’s it for the podcast today. As always you can find more San Diego news online at KPBS dot org. Join me again tomorrow for the day’s top stories. I’m Emilyn Mohebbi. Thanks for listening and have a great Monday.

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San Diego leaders are reacting to a Supreme Court ruling that cities can ban camping on public property. In other news, Veterans Affairs and the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System are partnering to help veterans in the homeless community connect with services. Plus, we hear how threats, conspiracy-laced accusations and swearing have become commonplace at the San Diego County Board of Supervisors meetings.