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San Ysidro migrant support center shuts its doors

 October 9, 2023 at 5:00 AM PDT

Good Morning, I’m John Carroll, in for Debbie Cruz….it’s Monday, October 9th.


Why a major support center for migrants has shut down.

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


Early voting in the Chula Vista city attorney race starts today.

The three candidates running for the seat are Marco Verdugo, Bart Miesfeld and Dan Smith Diaz.

Former city councilmember Rudy Ramirez says the city attorney’s advice is very important.

“You want somebody who’s a political and somebody who can just focus on the law.”

The Registrar of Voters office in Kearny Mesa is open from 8 in the morning to 5 P-M on weekdays for anyone who wants to cast their ballot early.


The I-R-S is reminding tax payers about the upcoming tax filing deadline.

The deadline to file your tax returns and pay any remaining federal income taxes owed for last year is a week away.

The tax deadline was extended to October 16th for those living in counties impacted by recent storms, including here in San Diego county.


The city of San Diego may soon be getting more strict with street vendors.

A San Diego city council committee late last week unanimously approved a crackdown on unlicensed street vendors in the city’s downtown area, parks and beach communities.

Under the proposal, police and park rangers would have the ability to immediately impound vending carts and impose fines.

Some unlicensed vendors have been accused of obstructing sidewalks, creating unsanitary conditions and threatening customers and other vendors.

Pete Soto is a licensed hot dog vendor in downtown San Diego, and talked to N-B-C 7.

“Between the homeless and the illegal vendors it is like the wild wild west down here. the police can get involved now. That's important because without them nothing is going to get done.”

The proposal will need to be approved by the full city council before it goes into effect.


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


A key support center for migrants passing through the county, has ceased operations.

Border reporter Gustavo Solis has details.

Casa Familiar shut down their makeshift migrant aid center in San Ysidro Friday due to lack of funding. Since September, Customs and Border Protection personnel have dropped off 13,000 migrants in the streets of San Diego. Various nonprofits and mutual aid organizations used Casa Familiar’s center to provide aid to migrants. Many of them had no food, water, or any possessions other than the clothes on their back. Of those asylum-seeking migrants coming through San Diego 98 percent of them move on to other parts of the country. News of the center's closure comes as San Diego County leaders consider allocating $3 million to local nonprofits who provide services to migrants on the U.S. side of the border.

TAG: That was border reporter Gustavo Solis.


It’s been about a month since the border patrol began detaining migrants near Jacumba hot springs, and aid groups say the situation is growing more dangerous by the day.

Reporter Jacob Aere has the story.

Three outdoor sites near jacumba hot springs have become a temporary gathering space for hundreds of migrants … who are enduring temperature swings from the 50s at night to the 90s during the day. sam schulz works with the non-profit border kindness. “the border patrol supplies a very small amount at the best of their abilities … but they're just not set up for this. so we've been basically 90 percent of all water and probably 100 percent of the food.” schultz says each day … more people are coming through gaps in the border wall. a cbp spokesperson would not agree to an interview but  issued a statement saying: ‘ u.s. border patrol, san diego sector is currently experiencing irregular levels of migration between official ports of entry. this level of migration is spurred by criminal smuggling organizations who continue to exploit vulnerable migrant populations for profit.” schulz says they are reaching a breaking point … and that their organization desperately needs more financial donations … and the government to step in to help. jacob aere, kpbs news.


The Chula Vista city council last week updated residents on the city’s homelessness crisis.

Reporter Kori Suzuki says officials seem to be turning away from a city of San Diego-style camping ban.

It was in June when the city of San Diego passed its controversial camping ban – a sweeping ordinance that made it illegal for unhoused residents to set up encampments in public spaces. That led Chula Vista officials to talk about what a ban in their city might look like. In August, Chula Vista mayor John McCann asked city staff to take a look at different options. Now city leaders seem to be steering in a different direction. Last week, several city council members said they’re considering more limited restrictions. Here’s Mayor John McCan. “I think we should be very specific. I don't think they should be overly broad” The city council voted to explore the approach Los Angeles and Sacramento have taken. City staff say both of those cities focus on blocking camping only at specific places and at specific hours of the day. Kori Suzuki, KPBS News.


California regulators are poised to shake-up the solar market for apartments, schools and farms.

An administrative law judge is proposing changes that make the economics of investing in solar projects unappealing.

Environment reporter Erik Anderson has details.

The California Public Utilities Commission rewrote the rules for solar on single family homes last year and they could do the same for bigger complexes that have one solar array with multiple metered hookups.  It is part of the legislatively mandated review of the state’s solar rules.  Changes approved for single family homeowners slashed the value of electricity sold back to the grid.  The new proposed decision calls for an end to something called virtual net metering. Jae Berg, Center for Sustainable Energy “one multifamily property with multiple meters that go into each unit and virtual net metering allows that property to install one solar system on the property.”Jae Berg works with the Center for Sustainable Energy and the organization does not have a position on the proposed decision.  But she says virtual net metering allows an apartment complex owner to use the solar generated electricity to power community spaces and share the proceeds with residents.  She says the process is fairly common. “So there’s contractors that specialize in virtual net metering and they are experts to help property owners go and figure out how to break up the allocations so that each property and each tenant is getting the desired amount.” But California’s investor-owned utilities – including San Diego Gas and Electric -- argue in their legal filings -- that developing an updated virtual net metering program is too complicated and too expensive. “The utilities have no problem billing us.  They can figure that out.”  Bernadette Del Chiaro works with the California Solar and Storage Association. “What they’re complaining about is giving us credits and lowering our energy bills.  They’re saying that that’s just too difficult.  And we just don’t buy it.  We know it’s not true.”  S-D-G-and-E declined a chance to comment. Utilities also support the recommendation to require complexes to sell their solar generated electricity to the utilities at the wholesale price and require them buy that same electricity from the utility at the retail price.  The panels could not be used to offset usage at the complexes like single family homeowners can. Arnulfo Manriquez, Metropolitan Area Advisory Committee. We are developers of affordable housing.  We build multifamily housing and we’ve been installing solar at a lot of our apartments.” Arnulfo Manriquez runs a social services nonprofit in San Diego County.  His agency operates a 300-unit affordable housing complex in Southeast San Diego.  He says virtual net metering allows everyone in the complex to benefit. “We want solar because it is using solar it is using a natural resource.  It does have substantial savings to our operation on the cost that the landlord pays. But then the savings also get passed through to the residents for utilities that they spend individually in their own unit.” But Manriquez says changing the rules makes solar financially unappealing.  Critics like the California Environmental Justice Alliance’s Tyler Valdes says that hurts communities of color which rely on rental housing. Tyler Valdes, California Environmental Justice Alliance “through this proposed decision, which would virtually end the program, it’s really taking multiple steps back for us.  Really for us we believe it’s going to perpetuate a long legacy of racism.” The California Public Utilities Commission was set to take up the issue last month, but postponed that decision a couple of weeks.  Some observers think some changes may be in the works.  But solar industry spokesperson Bernadette Del Chiaro says it is still the same commission that gutted financial benefits for single family homeowners. “We really would like to see this commission get back into the place of promoting distributed rooftop solar for Californians.  We need ten times more solar power than we have today and we’re not going to get there if we basically tie up the economics of solar for renters.” The C-P-U-C’s five commissioners will likely decide the fate of the proposal when they meet on Thursday. Erik Anderson KPBS News.


Coming up.... a San Diegan will soon lead the American Psychological Association. We’ll have that story and more, just after the break.


Here’s a follow-up to a story we told you, late last month, about Palomar Health's problematic terms of use for its website.

North County reporter Alexander Nguyen says the public health care district has since updated the terms.

As we told you previously … visitors to palomar health’s website have to accept the terms of use in order to access the website. of particular concern for david loy … the legal director for the nonprofit first amendment coalition … is the copyright clause. it forbade users from copying, reproducing, republishing, posting, retransmitting or distributing information found on the site without permission. palomar has since updated its copyright clause to say that information presented on the site is considered public domain … unless otherwise indicated. “i appreciate that the district has clarified that public records belong to the public.” loy says public agencies should bear in mind that they are serving the public and the terms of service should reflect that. an/kpbs.


Professionals handling the ongoing mental health crisis across the U-S have elected their next president.

Education reporter M.G. Perez says a San Diegan will lead the American Psychological Association.

Debra ka-wa-HARA is an associate dean and distinguished professor of psychology at Alliant International University in Scripps Ranch. She becomes president-elect of the leading U-S psychology scientific and professional organization… The A-P-A is made up of 146- thousand members that include mental health researchers, educators, clinicians, and students as young as freshmen in high school. ka-wa-HARA is the first Asian American woman elected to the position…with a priority of increasing support for students who are Black, indigenous, and other people of color dealing with heavy student loan debt. “The stress of finances is something that we have to address for a lot of first generation BIPOC students. This is how you attain a lifestyle that your parents kind of want it for you.” ka-wa-HARA has led extensive mental health research in multicultural and women’s issues. MGP KPBS News.


Twelve years ago, a mosaic of the virgin of Guadalupe surfing on a big wave, surprised the city of Encinitas.

An anonymous artist placed the mosaic on a concrete pillar, and since then it has evolved into more than just public art.

North County reporter Tania Thorne looks into the legacy the artist of the surfing Madonna leaves behind.

The artist, mark patterson, who was forced to reveal his identity, died recently. but in an interview from 2011, patterson told kpbs he assumed the railroad owned the pillar and the art piece wouldn't pose a problem. to me it looked like the perfect frame for the mosaic. and that's what really called me to it. alas, the surfing madonna had to be removed from the rail bridge, and it took a couple more moves until it found its final destination – the back wall of leucadia pizzeria facing encinitas boulevard. mike redman is the vice president of the surfing madonna oceans project. the nonprofit organization was created following the fame of the surfing madonna mosaic. the surfing madonna oceans project has gone on to do all kinds of things for the community. they've put on the world's biggest beach run,....and of course our special needs surf camps throughout the summer. the organization also holds art shows to support clean oceans and surfing programs, despite patterson’s death, redman says the legacy of the surfing madonna will live on and he invites the community to its forever home. tt kpbs news.


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

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A key support center for migrants passing through San Diego County has ceased operations. In other news, California regulators are poised to shake up the solar market for apartments, schools and farms. Plus, a San Diegan will soon lead the American Psychological Association.