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SDSU students plan protest to support Gaza

 April 30, 2024 at 5:00 AM PDT

Good Morning, I’m Debbie Cruz….it’s Tuesday, April 30th.


SDSU students plan to protest today, in support of the people of Gaza. More on that next. But first... let’s do the headlines….


County Board of Supervisor Chairwoman Nora Vargas will be resting her speaking voice for the next several weeks.

Yesterday she announced she has developed nodules on her vocal cords.

Vargas said in a statement that she will do her best to follow doctor's orders and continue to serve the community in every way possible without using her vocal cords.

The Board of Supervisors is still scheduled to meet today (Tuesday).

Vargas did not say whether she would attend the meeting, but did say her District One staff will show up for other community events and for constituent duties.


The County’s Citizens’ Law Enforcement Review Board, known as CLERB, is looking to fill an opening on its board.

The 11-member board investigates citizen complaints against Sheriff’s deputies and probation officers.

The current vacancy is in District 4, which includes Lemon Grove and La Mesa, parts of the city of San Diego, and unincorporated communities including Rancho San Diego and Spring Valley.

The County Board of Supervisors appoints CLERB members for three-year terms.

The first review of applications will begin on June 3rd.

To apply, head to the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors page on the county’s website.


County officials are looking for San Diegans to give input on the county’s Housing Blueprint plan, during two virtual community sessions this week.

The Housing plan aims to find ways to build more housing, create and preserve affordable housing, protect tenants, keep more people in homes and encourage climate-friendly communities.

Tomorrow’s (Wednesday’s) meeting starts at 6 P-M, and Thursday’s meeting starts at noon.

They’ll both be held on Zoom.

You can register for the community sessions on the county’s “Engage San Diego County Housing Blueprint” site.

The plan is expected to be considered by county supervisors this summer.


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


SD-SU students plan to walk out of class today (Tuesday), in support of the people of Gaza.

As reporter Katie Anastas reports, they’re calling for divestment from companies they say profit from Israel's current war in Gaza.

The walkout – planned by Students for Justice in Palestine – comes a day after Columbia University announced it would not divest from Israel. Students across the country have called on their universities to sever financial ties with companies they say are profiting from Israel’s war in Gaza – from weapons manufacturers to tech companies. UCLA Finance Professor Ivo Welch says divestment has little impact on a country’s finances. The universities all together, all their endowments together, are a drop on a hot stone when it comes to the capital that is invested in financial markets. Walkout organizers say it’s a way for the university to end what they call complicity in the killing of Palestinians. Universities have given up certain investments under pressure in the past. The University of California has divested from fossil fuels, Columbia from private prison companies and Yale from assault weapons retailers. In a statement, S-D-S-U says they expect and encourage respectful conversations and interactions on campus. Katie Anastas, KPBS News.


Firefighters say it appears last week's fire on the Oceanside Pier started by accident.

They say they believe they can open 75-percent of the pier soon, but they don't know when yet.

For now, it remains closed.

Reporter Tania Thorne found that's heartbreaking for some Oceanside residents.

My dad he comes down all the time, he picks roses from his garden and brings them and throws them over the pier and spends some time there. Lynette Staley and her dad used the pier as a way to be closer to her mom, who died six years ago.. They scattered her ashes in the ocean. I go with him but now we can't do that anymore so he said to me, this is going to change everything. Now they stop at the top of the pier’s entrance where Staley’s mom has a memorial brick. We're just sad that we can't create those same memories. Just sad.

TAG: That was Tania Thorne reporting.


It’s been almost a year since San Diego passed a controversial ban on camping to crack down on the growing number of tent encampments.

Our partners at Inewsource are reporting that it’s had a significant impact.

The number of people sleeping on downtown sidewalks has been cut in half compared to this time last year.

At the same time, people are flocking to canyons and riverbanks to avoid detection.

inewsource reporter Cody Dulaney has this story, about a group of people who are part of this growing trend, and found a unique place to call home.

Island life. Some dream about it. Others pay millions to attain it. But here, in the middle of the San Diego River, surrounded by dense urban development and high-speed roads, about a dozen people have pitched tents on a small island. STARBIRD: “I love the peace of it. There’s water all around, I just saw some ducks surfing the rapids over there. That was pretty cool. That was probably the highlight of my day.” That’s Jerrod Starbird. He’s been living on the island for close to a year with his girlfriend, Tia, and 2-year-old Boxer mix named Proper. But this kind of island life is harsh and unforgiving. Residents carry food, water and other supplies through a river that can be waist high and brimming with hazardous bacteria. Starbird knows it can be toxic. He has evidence of it. An inflamed, festering skin infection covers about six inches on his right knee. It’s red and puffy, and purple in some places. STARBIRD: “It’s extremely sensitive. Normally, I’ve got a pretty good tolerance toward pain. … This stuff, this stuff hurts.” It’s a price he’s willing to pay to avoid citation and arrest – at least until he finds a better option. STARBIRD: “I don’t really like living out here; I don’t want to die out here. … I’m more of an indoorsy, turn the lights on, go to the bathroom, close the door, you know what I mean?” Data and interviews show the city’s camping ban hasn’t reduced homelessness. It’s pushing people without housing into more remote, harder to reach areas — away from the services and help they need to get back on their feet. Kendall Burdett is an outreach specialist with a local homeless service provider, known as PATH. BURDETT: “Nobody out there wants to be out there.”  His responsibility is the San Diego River, from Ocean Beach to Mission Trails. He says it’s a common misconception, but he has never encountered someone experiencing homelessness who doesn’t want help. BURDETT: “If they had something that was affordable and accessible and appropriate, they would go live there.” Most people living in the riverbed have been experiencing homelessness for more than five years. Out here, they’ve grown used to being self-reliant, sticking to their own routines. And they’ve experienced different trauma. So, for them, the key is finding the right fit. BURDETT: “We have low recidivism, meaning once somebody is housed, they stay housed and they don’t return back to the riverbed.” He’s seen it happen. About a dozen people have already left the island with keys to a new home. And starting this week, city officials are planning to use a four-million-dollar grant to help others living in the riverbed with outreach and housing subsidies. But until then, most people living on the island feel this is the best place for them. A man named Art tries to make the best of a bad situation. ART: “I call it my bungalow.” inewsource agreed to not identify him out of concerns of retaliation. The bungalow he’s referring to is actually a tent erected in the trees – tucked away from others in what almost feels like a cul-de-sac. The outside decor represents a kind of grungy, eclectic bohemian vibe — with old bike chains and gears, playing cards, a license plate, a Honda emblem and a peace sign. Wearing a bandana over his head and a pony express messenger badge on his shirt — Art stopped mid-sentence and said … ART: “I have my own little beach here, check this out.” He pushes through reeds taller than 6 feet and follows a well-worn path to the water’s edge. ART: “It’s kind of cool, you know? It’s like there’s nobody out here." Suddenly a semi-truck passes by, snapping him back into reality. ART: “The only thing is you have to deal with the sound of the freeway. The constant rush of the everyday humdrums.” For KPBS, I’m inewsource investigative reporter Cody Dulaney.

TAG: That story was co-reported by Zoë Meyers.

inewsource is an independently funded, nonprofit partner of KPBS.


Leaders with the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance recently visited China to meet the two giant pandas soon to arrive at the San Diego Zoo.

According to a Wildlife Alliance statement, Yun Chuan is nearly five years old and is described as mild-mannered, gentle and lovable.

He is the son of Zhen Zhen, who was born at the San Diego Zoo in 2007.

Xin Bao is female, nearly four-years-old, and is described as gentle and witty.

The San Diego Zoo leaders met with conservation partners to discuss proper care for the animals and how to further protect and conserve the species.

While it’s not yet known when the pandas will come to San Diego, the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance and China Wildlife Conservation Association are hoping it will be this summer.


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. I’m Debbie Cruz. Thanks for listening and have a great Tuesday.

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San Diego State University students plan to walk out of class Tuesday, in support of the people of Gaza. In other news, firefighters say it appears last week's fire on the Oceanside Pier started by accident and they say they believe they can open 75% of the pier soon, but they don't know when yet. Plus, unhoused San Diegans are flocking to canyons and riverbanks in the wake of the city’s controversial ban on camping in public, and one group is desperate for a better alternative.