San Ysidro shoppers return
Good Morning, I’m Kinsee Morlan in for Annica Colbert again….it’s Wednesday, November 10...Tijuana shoppers are finally back shopping at San Ysidro stores after COVID travel restrictions are finally lifted.
That story later in the show. But first... let’s do the local headlines….
THE PANDEMIC IS STILL HERE, BUT CALIFORNIA’s economy IS ROARING BACK.
THAT’S ACCORDING TO GOVERNOR GAVIN NEWSOM WHO said OUR STATE CONTINUES TO LEAD THE NATION ECONOMICALLY. In fact the state IS LOOKING FORWARD TO ANOTHER BUDGET SURPLUS in 2021.
SPEAKING AT THE CALIFORNIA ECONOMIC SUMMIT happening Tuesday and Wednesday …
GOVERNOR NEWSOM said THE GOLDEN STATE HAS CREATED THE MOST JOBS IN THE NATION SINCE THE BEGINNING OF THE YEAR.
NEWSOM SAYS THE projected budget SURPLUS WILL ALLOW CALIFORNIA TO DO “UNPRECEDENTED” THINGS AND ADDRESS ISSUES like childcare THAT HISTORICALLY HAVEN’T GOTTEN ENOUGH ATTENTION.
***The county Board of Supervisors will consider a policy change today intended to help stop hate speech and inappropriate conduct during county meetings…
The move follows a contentious session last week where some members of the public used racist and threatening language when they got up to talk.
One man who opposes the county’s continuing efforts to combat COVID 19 even said he wanted several of the supervisors dead.
And...on Tuesday MAYOR TODD GLORIA PROPOSED UPDATING CITY POLICY TO DIVEST THE CITY'S INVESTMENTS IN FOSSIL FUEL COMPANIES BY THE END OF THE YEAR.
It’s something lots CEOs, fellow politicians and other folks with a hold of purse strings are considering as an effort to help curb climate change.
From KPBS, you’re listening to San Diego News Now.Stay with me for more of the local news you need.
After almost two years of COVID travel restrictions, Mexicans with tourist visas can finally cross the U.S./Mexico border again..
This is very welcome news to San Ysidro business owners..
Folks who make most of their money from Mexican customers who drive through the border to shop and eat.
KPBS border reporter Gustavo Solis tells us what the reopening means to San Ysidro.
San Diego’s COVID recovery is in full swing. Bars and restaurants have been packed on weekends. And tourists are coming back to beach front hotels.
But in San Ysidro it’s been a different story. Sure, the state COVID protocols were lifted. But not the one that matters most. Cross-border travel restrictions still kept Tijuana shoppers from visiting San Ysidro stores.
Jason Wells is the CEO of the San Ysidro Chamber of Commerce. He has a funny way of explaining what San Ysidro has been going through.
“This is how I explain San Ysidro. It’s as if the governor had told Little Italy, ‘You could reopen and go back to your normal lives’ and then the president of the United States came in and said ‘but the only people who can shop in Little Italy are those that live in Little Italy. They wouldn’t have survived, and we barely have.”
Wells says the restrictions were inherently unfair. They protect large corporations at the expense of small businesses.
That’s because truckers and workers have been able to cross the border. But shoppers haven’t.
“The low-hanging fruit were tourist visas. Unfortunately, in binational communities, that’s what we depend on for our living. And our quality of life I will say because of our family members who could and could not cross.”
San Diego Councilwoman Vivan Moreno agrees.
She represents San Ysidro and sees this as an equity issue.
“Border communities have long been disproportionately impacted by the closure of the San Ysidro Port of Entry, the biggest Port of Entry crossing in the world. Border closures devastated the small businesses of San Ysidro, depleted the regional economy in San Diego and weakened the tourism industry’s ability to make a comeback.”
The numbers speak for themselves.
“The San Ysidro Chamber of Commerce reports that since 2020, 1 billion dollars in retail sales have been lost. Over 2,000 people lost their jobs and over 200 businesses had to close permanently here in San Ysidro
Olivia Campos owns Carolin’s Shoes. When the border opened Monday, she opened an hour early. And even put together goodie bags for customers she hadn’t seen in 20 months.
But on day one, the border reopening didn’t live up to the hype.
“Teniamos otras expectativas. Esperamavos ver mas movimiento de gente.
We expected to see more people, she says.
One theory behind the low numbers is long border wait times. Or at least the fear of them.
It only took people about 15 minutes to walk across the border Monday morning. But Customs and Border Protection told the public to expect longer wait times because of the reopening.
So maybe people stayed home Monday to see how things play out.
Kenia Zamarripa is the executive director of international business affairs at the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce.
Even with ongoing concerns over border wait times. Reopening the border is a net positive.
“This is great news especially for south county. Even with the border wait times this a new opportunity to reconnect with their consumer base, to be reconnected with their cross-border workers and at least keep that flow of tourism injected into the San Diego economy.”
(***Sound Break – Todd Gloria celebrating the reopening during the press conference***)
“We’ve been waiting a long time for this day. This is a great day for Tijuana, for San Diego and for our binational region, let’s give it up for the reopening.”
That was San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria. He joined a dozen politicians and business leaders from both sides of the border to celebrate the reopening.
They spent months trying to convince Washington D.C. to lift the border ban.
One ray of hope from this ordeal is that local leaders now have a roadmap of how to get the federal government to care about border issues.
“What we have done today should be a template going forward to drive positive change in the border region.”
“You’ll know that for the last five plus years it seems as though the border is something bad. Everyone up here knows the border is an asset in Tijuana, San Diego, Baja California and California. This is a difference maker. It gives us an edge in the global economy, it improves our quality of life, it makes us a better region.”
Speaking of making our border region better…
THE ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY’S just-announced plan TO finally put a STOP to most TRANS-Border SEWAGE FLOWS IS BEING PRAISED BY SAN DIEGO CLEAN WATER ADVOCATES.
BUT THE QUESTION REMAINS - WHERE WILL ALL THE MONEY to pay for this massive binational project COME FROM?
KPBS ENVIRONMENT REPORTER ERIK ANDERSON HAS DETAILS.
U-S officials hope to spend 630 million dollars for a massive upgrade of sewage capture and treatment facilities in San Diego and Tijuana.
EPAFOLO 1A :06
00:03:54 – 00:04:00 “My biggest fear was that they would choose an economical path that would only solve the problem of the day.”
David Gibson is the region’s top clean water regulator. He says he’s confident the region will have a sewage control solution that can last decades. But only if all the projects are built, and less than half the funding is now in place. Imperial Beach mayor Serge Dedina says his city regularly endures daily sewage flows that send tens of millions of gallons of sewage tainted water into the U-S.
EPAFOLO 1B :10
00:00:57 – 00:01:09
“We’ve been besieged with a tsunami of sewage for the last two years. Things got way worse than we could’ve imagined.”
Dedina says he’s ready to help find the 330 million dollars needed to complete the work. The money could come from state, federal, or Mexican sources.
A RECENT SETTLEMENT WITH THE NAVY AND MARINES MAY HELP THOUSANDS OF VETERANS IN SAN DIEGO who were let go with LESS THAN HONORABLE DISCHARGES.
KPBS MILITARY REPORTER STEVE WALSH SAYS RIGHT NOw, lots of vets stuck with that stigma ARE DENIED VA BENEFITS AND FACE HOMELESSNESS.
In recent years, thousands of veterans have been kicked out of the military for misconduct. Even though many of them can document they had PTSD or a brain injury or even sexual trauma from their time in the service.
Brandon Baum is with the Veterans Legal Services Clinic at Yale.VETSETTLE 2A :14“We've been dealing with the fallout of the Iraq and Afghanistan war in terms of mental health for almost two decades now, and I think we've made some progress, but that progress has not been nearly enough and I think we hope that our settlement achieved here is something that will help.”
The Yale class action suit will require the Navy to automatically review some cases denied in the past. It will also change the process so veterans can speak directly to the board hearing their case via video conference. Under the old system, they had to fly to Washington to be heard. Yale won a similar lawsuit against the Army and is about to file another suit against the US Air Force.
SINCE THE PANDEMIC STARTED causing problems….
Lots of PEOPLE HAVE had to rely ON LOCAL FOOD BANKS TO HELP FEED THEIR FAMILIES.
BUT NOW…. FOOD BANKS ARE FACING A CRISIS OF THEIR OWN.
KPBS REPORTER MELISSA MAE TELLS US IT’S BECAUSE FOOD PRICES ARE shooting UP.
MM: Compared to 2020, the Consumer Price Index for all food has increased an average of 3.0 percent.
MM: Chris Carter is the vice president of development and communications for the San Diego Food Bank...He describes how the food bank purchases their produce.
CC (:15) “We purchase produce on the wholesale food market. The price of that and other goods per pound has gone up from 12 cents per pound to around 18 cents per pound. So, that’s a 50% increase in the price of food.”
MM: With the upcoming holiday season, the food bank has had to allot almost double the money for the same amount of food as last year.
MM: The food bank currently helps around 550-thousand people a month and every dollar donated provides five meals to someone in need.
You’ve seen it on our city streets….SCOOTERS LEFT SCATTERED ACROSS SIDEWALKS AND all up in the way of PEDESTRIANS.
Well...THE CITY OF SAN DIEGO is sick of it and has made a move to make ELECTRIC SCOOTER COMPANIES TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR the scattered scooters.
KPBS REPORTER ALEXANDRA RANGEL EXPLAINS THE LATEST LAWSUIT FILED BY THE CITY.
Little Italy resident Jared Granoff uses scooters to get around town.
He says he hasn't had issues with scooters laying around where he lives but can definitely see the issues that arise with them.
“I think if you have scooters like that one just in the middle of the sidewalk there’s definitely people that can trip over them or fall.”
Those falls can result in lawsuits against the city of San Diego. Scooter companies who have operating agreements with the city are required to compensate the city against any damages and cover litigation costs in relation to the dockless scooters.
But City Attorney Mara Elliott says companies like Bird and Lyft are not protecting the city in those suits… so now the city is suing the companies.
The city is hoping their operating agreement with scooter companies will be upheld in court
Tonight (Wednesday) SAN DIEGO JEWISH FILM FESTIVAL WILL HOST A SCREENING OF THE NEW DOCUMENTARY THE ADVENTURES OF SAUL BELLOW (BELL-oh) AT the GARFIELD THEATER.
KPBS FILM CRITIC BETH ACCOMANDO PREVIEWS THE FILM WITH ITS DIRECTOR.
The Adventures of Saul Bellow” is a thoughtful and complex documentary about a writer whose life and work are inextricably intertwined. Bellow won the Nobel Prize for literature and three National Book Awards but his work was not without controversy and the film confronts that says Chicago-born Israeli director Asaf Galay.ASAF GALAY The people that were really near him felt really betrayed by him, really upset about him… His children, his wives are very intelligent and seem in a very good perspective. They know the good things about him. They know the difficult things.The film explores Bellow’s work through literary commentary, personal reminiscences, criticism of his depiction of women and minorities, as well as through archive interviews with the author. The result is a portrait of a flawed individual and skilled writer.
The Padres last season disappointed lots of fans like me….
But...the recent hire of a new team manager has lots of people doing cartwheels of excitement…
That story….after a quick break.
The San Diego Padres moved forward from one of the most disappointing seasons in recent memory by hiring Bob Melvin of the Oakland As as the team's new manager.
While Melvin is among one of the most respected managers in baseball…
Only time will tell if his hiring will make a difference next season for the beleaguered Padres.
KPBS MIDDAY edition host Jade Hindmon talked with San Diego sports writer Jay Paris about the Melvin move, Padres’ fans response to it...and more.
What's been the initial reaction to the hiring of Bob. Melvin, are people excited about this?
Speaker 2: (00:31)
I'm excited, thrilled, stunned, I think would be a appropriate term. Bob Melvin had already agreed to an extension for the 2022 season with the Oakland athletics. And when going through the long list of candidates to replace Jason Fiddler, who was dismissed after the season, Bob Melvin's name was not on anyone's list because he had a job. He had a contract, but with the people in Oakland and their situation, and then possibly moving and really the franchise being in flux, Mr. [inaudible] of the Padres general manager sought permission to speak to Mr. Melvin, the age, granted it, and look, you hear the potteries have their 22nd manager in franchise history.
Speaker 1: (01:09)
Is there been much response from players or people within the organization to this?
Speaker 2: (01:13)
Yeah, I think cartwheels might be a good term. I mean, for once they're not bringing in a manager who needs training wheels, uh, the last two gentlemen, Andy green, Jace Tingler. I mean, they had never been big-league managers and Bob Melvin certainly been that he's a three time manager of the year, only, uh, eight people have won it three times like him he's won over 1300 games as a manager. He was a 10 year player as a catcher. I mean, when he walks in a room, you kind of sit up a little straighter, you know what I mean? He has that instant credibility. He has that presence. He has that been there, done that, which all these players are experienced and, uh, major league wide he's thought is one of the best communicators. And one of the most respected managers in the game.
Speaker 1: (01:57)
I know some people, for example, wanting to see Ron Washington of the Braves considered who else was, was looked at
Speaker 2: (02:02)
Why she was a finalist and the last go around, of course, everybody's heart goes pitter, patter over Bruce bocce. You know, he got the first call, regardless of what anyone says. You know, he won three titles with the San Francisco giants, but of course, uh, his heyday was with the Padres. He still one of the most iconic members, uh, of, of the Padres past. And, uh, they were hoping maybe the presence. So, you know, Ron Washington, uh, um, there was some other talk of bocce and, uh, even locally Brad awesomeness with Del Mar who, who managed the tigers and angels, that his name was certainly in it. Mike Sotia I think what, what was interesting about this search is that, you know, on one side of the baseball today, it's the analytical side. And on the other side is the old school baseball. If you will, the game, how it used to be played, what makes Mr. Melvin such a great candidate that he's almost a hybrid he brings with him those old school, um, mannerisms, if you will. But when somebody suggests the data suggests the analytics, which what baseball is now, he doesn't, you know, head off in the other direction as a 60 year old screaming about not knowing what a PDF file is or something. So he's able to, to be an old school guy, but he's certainly receptive of the data driven analytics, which the game has come today is
Speaker 1: (03:13)
This new manager expected to be a good fit for the Padres.
Speaker 2: (03:16)
Baseball has changed. And just to put this hiring into context, you know, old school baseball, yet you had nine different hitters and you move the ball around, you try to string together, some hits and the score runs nowadays. The pitchers are so good at throwing unhittable pitches that really everybody's trying to hit a home run. And, uh, that's just the way the game is today. Now the blend of the analytics, which AGA trailer is certainly a big fan of with what Mr. Melvin has done and can do is exciting. I think again, is to point out that he did a lot of this recently in the last 10 years with the Oakland athletics, Oakland routinely has one of the lowest payrolls in the league still. He was able to take it to the playoffs three of the last four years and became the windiest manager in Oakland history.
Speaker 2: (04:01)
So he's done it on a low budget. So now he's going to have a bigger budget with the Padres, $180 million projected payroll. Next year, he's going to have the data and the stars and Manny Machado, Fernando tests, east junior, uh, you know, there's five all-stars on this team. So they think they've really hit a home run to sum it up. They think they've robbed the rest of the teams of one of the greatest managers in the game today and that they were to do so without anybody knowing about it only adds to the intrigue of Mr. Melvin, coming to town.
Speaker 1: (04:28)
You touched on this, but talk a bit more about Melvin's track record of success with previous organizations when it comes to winning championships.
Speaker 2: (04:36)
Uh, you know, he was a bench coach for the Arizona Diamondbacks from when they won everything in 2001 he's been in manager for the time and backs. He was a manager of the Mariners. He was a manager of the Oakland. A's 18 seasons of making the tough, hard decisions. And before that again, we mentioned his playing career, which, uh, when you hit 2 30, 3 and 35 career homers, it didn't quite pan out like he thought, but I think he knows what a players going through, and he's not a screamer. He's not a holler guy, he's a communicator. And he does so in a manner in which she has empathy for a player, which is going, going through rough patches, you know, every player goes through a rough patch. You know, baseball is built around failure. Only Glen got out seven out of 10 times and we built a statue for him. So that shows you how difficult the game is. So I think when you have a manager who can empathize on those, uh, you know, on those during those puddles on the path to greatness, you know, it's going to be tough. That's Palm, Melvin. He knows what his players are thinking and that he's proven time. And again, it's almost like writing about the Pope. You can't find anybody to say a bad thing about him. And that's Bob, Melvin,
Speaker 1: (05:40)
As you mentioned earlier, Melvin's hiring comes after the Padres parted ways with their previous manager JS Tingler what do experts think that Melvin will bring to the table? Uh, that his predecessor didn't,
Speaker 2: (05:52)
Uh, again, we go back to the training wheels, you know, nobody has to point Bob Melvin in the right direction. Nobody has to tell him what he should do next. I think just the comfort of being his own man, uh, the comfort in knowing you've done it before in the respect, the other players leaned from that. Now, now when Mr. Tingler Mr. Green, you know, too good baseball man, but when they walked into the room, they were still proving themselves. You know, you look on their sleeves, there weren't any stripes yet. You know, they were still earning their stripes while on the job, as a manager of the Padres, Mr. Melvin walks in, he's got those stripes, he's got those big wins. He, and he's maybe more importantly, he knows how to react to the losses, you know, to react. When a team goes into a tailspin, look that second half of the year, last year was a disaster at the all-star break.
Speaker 2: (06:38)
The Padres were 15 games over 500 and looked to be a lock for the second playoff spot, nationally wildcard. And it was a complete faceplant the second half, once they started losing, there was nobody there or nobody able to, to, to pull a rip cord, if you would. And, and, and try to soften the landing and maybe with a more experienced guy like Mr. Melvin, he would know what buttons to push. Look, nobody knows how this is going to turn out, which is the beauty of baseball. But that being said, the Padres feel extremely fortunate to have Bob Melvin, as their manager,
Speaker 1: (07:12)
The Padres have made a number of roster moves in recent years to put the team into contention and still this year fell short of their goals, or what kind of a difference will a different manager make with a team that already has so much talent?
Speaker 2: (07:26)
I think a different voice. And again, we go back to credibility, uh, maybe if somebody hasn't proven themselves and their message could be the exact same as somebody who has proven himself, but when you're hearing it from somebody who, who doesn't have that been there, done that label, maybe you take that advice or you take that, uh, their statements with a bit of trepidation. You know, Bob, Melvin says something, you know, he's done it when Bob Melvin said something, uh, he can back it up. So, so I think it's just more the, uh, not as much the message. I mean, the message is really the same, you know, play hard, have fun win games, but it's the messenger. And, and in this way, it'd be like a substitute teacher telling you to do your homework or, uh, a tenured faculty member. Who's then the teacher of the year, a few times. I mean, if you're a student, you react differently. If you're a ballplayer, you react differently as well.
And that was San Diego sports writer Jay Paris talking with KPBS Midday edition host Jade Hindmon. Find and follow the Kpbs midday edition on Apple, Spotify or wherever you listen to podcasts for more interviews like that one.
And that’s it for this podcast. Thanks for listening. Anica is back tomorrow.