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SDPD investigates shootings as hate crimes

 May 21, 2024 at 5:00 AM PDT

Good Morning, I’m Debbie Cruz….it’s Tuesday, May 21st.


This weekend’s pellet gun shootings are being investigated as possible hate crimes. More on that next. But first... let’s do the headlines….


Local businesses in need of financial assistance after January's storms have a few more days to get in person help.

The Small Business Administration Disaster Loan Outreach Centers in Mountain View and Spring Valley are set to close on Thursday.

The disaster center located in the Mountain View Community Center Meeting Room will be open from 9 in the morning until 5 p-m today (Tuesday).

And all other days before closing, it’ll be open until 6 p-m.

The Spring Valley Library location will be open from noon to 6 p-m today (Tuesday).

The rest of the week, it’ll be open 10 a-m to 6 p-m.


Red Lobster has officially filed for bankruptcy.

It was previously announced that nearly 100 locations will close, including one in Mira Mesa.

The company has struggled with a decline in customers and rising lease and labor costs, among other challenges.

The locations in Chula Vista and the Sports Arena area are set to remain open.


Today’s (Tuesday’s) weather is expected to be slightly warmer than yesterday.

But the National Weather Service says temperatures will still be up to 10 degrees below average for this time of year.

Temperatures in the inland areas today will be in the low 70s, by the coast and in the mountains, temps will be in the low 60s, in the deserts, it’ll be in the low 90s.

Similar weather is expected tomorrow (Wednesday).


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


San Diego police are investigating a string of drive-by shootings targeting Hillcrest gay bars over the weekend as possible hate crimes.

Reporter M.G. Perez spoke to one of the victims hit by shots from a pellet gun.

“To me, it looked like an AK-47.” … Eddie Reynoso had just a split second to react when he was shot…as he welcomed VIP guests to Rich’s nightclub in the heart of Hillcrest Saturday…. just before 1 a.m. He was shot in his right eye …by a pellet gun, according to San Diego police…who say others on the sidewalk were also injured. Reynoso is also the publisher of the LGBTQ San Diego County newspaper….and executive director of the Equality Business Alliance, which serves the community as a chamber of commerce. “I spoke with Chief David Nisleit and incoming Chief Scott Wahl. They both assured me that every available resource the department has is working on this case. Police say it appears the same suspects shot pellets at three other nearby gay bars…now being investigated as a possible hate crime. Reynoso is expected to make a full recovery. MGP KPBS News.


For decades, ads for State Farm have claimed, “like a good neighbor, State Farm is there.”

But the company says it will not renew 72-thousand policies across the state in the next few months… and one county supervisor says that makes State Farm a “bad neighbor.”

North County reporter Tania Thorne tells us what the supervisor is planning to do about it.

The non-renewals affect homeowners and renters all over the county, from Rancho Santa Fe and Vista in the north, to El Cajon and Ramona in the east… This… as the state’s insurance commissioner attempts to negotiate and stabilize the insurance marketplace. County Supervisor Terra Lawson-Remer is trying to take some action. Our ability to locally affect change on this issue is limited. The state's insurance system is broken and there is difficult work ahead. Lawson-Remer will present a resolution during Tuesday's board of supervisors meeting to oppose -the cancellation of insurance policies by large companies. While the resolution won’t bring any immediate change, she said it symbolizes the support from San Diego County as the state tries to modernize the insurance system. TT KPBS News.


Advocates say Governor Gavin Newsom’s proposed budget cuts threaten vital public health programs and the vulnerable communities they serve.

Health reporter Heidi de Marco spoke with one public nurse about her concerns.

The proposed cuts include $300 million dollars in annual funding for the state’s Future of Public Health initiative. San Diego County’s share of that is about $14 million dollars. The program started in 2022 after COVID-19 to help each public health department address local needs and it filled 900 positions statewide, including communicable disease investigators, nurses, and lab staff. Advocates say - without the funding, hundreds of those positions could be jeopardized. San Diego public health nurse Michelle Zittlau-Johnson says it’s not just about preventing another pandemic. It's that every day bacteria that we are battling to keep from becoming something that will really hurt our community. San Diego County officials are currently assessing the effects of the proposed cuts, but say it will impact delays in responding to communicable diseases, preventing zoonotic diseases, and performing beach water testing. The Legislature has to approve the budget by June 15th. Heidi de Marco, KPBS News. 


Cross-border sewage pollution and record-long border wait times are clear signs of Tijuana's failing infrastructure.

In the final installment of a three-part series, border reporter Gustavo Solis explains how Mexico's upcoming presidential election could impact these issues.

This is the sound of a Tijuana apartment building crumbling to the ground. It’s just one sign of the city’s inadequate infrastructure. Other signs include outdated wastewater treatment plants dumping raw sewage into the Pacific Ocean. Or thousands of cars waiting up to 4 hours to cross the border into San Diego All of this comes from decades of neglect … and it’s caused serious environmental problems. From ocean contamination because of cross-border sewage to high asthma rates in communities near those long lines of cars waiting to cross the border. But things are changing … albeit slowly. “In terms of investment and infrastructure, we’re actually right now in the middle of big investments.” That’s Flavio Olivieri – director of the Center for Excellence in Competitiveness and Entrepreneurship at CETYS University in Tijuana.  He’s referring to high-profile projects like a new border crossing in Otay Mesa and much-needed repairs to a wastewater treatment plant south of Tijuana. How things change from here could depend on the outcome of Mexico’s presidential contest. The two leading candidates in the June 2nd election  are Claudia Sheinbaum and Xochtil Galvez. Both say the environment and infrastructure are high priorities … however, they differ significantly in their approach to those problems. Saul Sandoval is a professor at CETYS University in Tijuana. He says Sheinbaum’s political connections to the current Baja California governor could bring more federal pesos to the region. They are both members of the popular Morena Party founded by current president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador. “I think that if Sheinbaum wins, and because of the fact that Baja California’s governor belongs to the same political party, I think communication will be better. On the other hand, Sheinbuam’s political connections could hurt her on environmental issues. Lopez Obrador has made domestic oil production one of his major priorities. And it may be difficult for Sheinbaum to pivot toward clean energy. “He believes that oil is a very important asset for the country, that strengthens your sovereignty around the world. To some extent he may be right.” Lopez Obrador’s embrace of big oil is an example of his belief in centralized power. The Morena Party also supports putting the military in charge of major infrastructure projects and managing the border. Galvez, meanwhile, is a believer in small government … And she’s not restrained by Lopez Obrador’s policies. “She’s more of an engineer and really has pushed for the use of technology. So in general terms I think that’s something that could be beneficial in terms of operations.” Olivieri is dubious of a more centralized approach. “So the more centralized approach might have difficulty in empowering local administrations where a more decentralized approach more focused on grassroots and involvement of the community might provide better solutions if funding is available.” Regardless of who wins, experts say the border region will get more attention than it has under Lopez Obrador. He has not prioritized the U.S.-Mexico relationship. Rafael Fernandez de Castro is the director of the Center for U.S. Mexico Studies at UC San Diego. “I feel very comfortable, even happy and optimistic about them because both of them are self-made women.” “Either choice is very good for Mexico.” But, ultimately, Fernandez de Castro says local communities along the border cannot depend on the federal government for everything. Local leaders must also step up. “I believe that people from Tijuana, from San Diego and California and Baja California will really have to get a sense of agency and do the things for ourselves.” It remains to be seen if that local leadership will emerge. Gustavo Solis, KPBS News.


A new squadron of small un-manned Navy ships is up and running in San Diego Bay.

Military reporter Andrew Dyer has this from Coronado.

Due to the navy’s peculiar namingconvention, unmanned surface vessel squadron three is actually only the service’s second autonomous ship squadron. however, it’s the first based in san diego. its establishment ceremony was friday at naval base coronado. surface force commander vice admiral brendan mclane said the boats show the adaptability of the navy. vice adm. brendan mclane, commander, u.s. naval surface force “modern warfare requires faster innovation and adaptation. our navy needs to bring ideas to prototype , to experimentation and to build solutions faster than ever. the boats are about the size of a two-person rowboat but can carry different payloads, such as sensors, communications and weapons. lieutenant nicole kim says being part of the squadron is exciting because everything they’re doing is experimental. “developing the future capabilities of the navy is also really rewarding because i get to say in the future that i was a part of that.. the squadron is pretty small for now with just about 20 sailors and four boats but will have more boats and hundreds more sailors soon. andrew dyer, kpbs news.


That’s it for the podcast today. As always you can find more San Diego news online at KPBS dot org. In tomorrow’s podcast, KPBS arts reporter Beth Accomando joins me to talk about her new video podcast called “Stripper Energy: Fighting Back from the Fringes.” Join us for that, plus the day’s top stories. I’m Debbie Cruz. Thanks for listening and have a great Tuesday.

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San Diego police are investigating a string of drive-by shootings targeting Hillcrest gay bars over the weekend as possible hate crimes. In other news, advocates say Gov. Gavin Newsom’s proposed budget cuts threaten vital public health programs and the vulnerable communities they serve. Plus, cross-border sewage pollution and record-long border wait times are clear signs of Tijuana's failing infrastructure. We hear how Mexico's upcoming presidential election could impact these issues.