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SoCal Oil Spill

 October 5, 2021 at 8:58 AM PDT

Good Morning, I’m Annica Colbert….it’s Tuesday, October 5th.>>>>

A large oil spill in Orange county. More on that next, but first... let’s do the headlines….

San Diego county health officials reported 390 new covid-19 infections on monday and nine covid-related deaths. According to the latest state data, hospitalizations increased by 4 yesterday. More than 88 percent of eligible county residents have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccines.


On Monday San Diego city issued a so-called “notice of availability” for the area around the Sports Arena in Point Loma. That is a signal to developers that the area is open for redevelopment. The city will consider proposals from developers that include at least 25 percent affordable housing units. Mayor Todd Gloria says he hopes the revitalization of this area will help alleviate the city’s housing crisis.


After a stormy Monday that included reported lightning strikes... Thousands of San Diego Gas and Electric customers experienced an electricity outage early this morning. SDG&E says, as of this morning, roughly 1300 customers in the Mission Hills and Hillcrest area, about 2500 in San Diego, and 4200 in Oceanside were without power. The power is expected to be restored by 3pm today.


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

Clean up efforts are underway after a huge oil spill off the coast of Huntington Beach that has closed beaches and waterways. Up to 127-thousand gallons are believed to have come from an underwater pipeline. The coast guard reports patches of oil have been found just past Dana Point and say it continues to move in a southerly direction.

Eric Terrill with the Scripps Institution of Oceanography tracks ocean currents and says it’s unclear if some oil will make its way to San diego.

the dynamics of the ocean the water is always in movement… it’s very typical like an oil spill situation for that to start dispersing itself along the coastline under the whim way the currents are pushing it

Meanwhile, it’ll take a coordinated effort to help sea life affected by the oil in the ocean. KPBS’ Alexandra Rangel says Sea World is on standby to help if needed.

AR: SeaWorld is part of the Oiled Wildlife Care Network, which is a coordinated effort by animal care facilities in California to respond to injured and ill animals.

Kim Peterson is the rescue supervisor at Seaworld.

She says the team is on standby as long as they are needed.

VM: “Seaworld San Diego is going to be taking in affected sea turtles and any dolphins that come and land on the beach.”

AR: More than 100 thousand gallons of crude oil is estimated to have spilled into the ocean off Orange County.

And that reporting from KPBS’ Alexandra Rangel. The extent of the damage is still being assessed by Wildlife rehabilitation experts. KPCC's jill replogle reports that so far they've only received a handful of injured birds.


For the second time in less than six months, a sexually violent predator has been rejected for placement in a San Diego county home.

but there are already five s-v-ps placed in homes throughout the county. KPBS reporter Melissa Mae spoke with a county supervisor who wants changes made before any more are housed in the region.

MM: Douglas Badger, a convicted sexually violent predator, will NOT be released to a home in Rancho Bernardo.

MM: After public outcry, the owners of the home where he was supposed to stay... say he is not welcome.

MM: While that news is a relief to the community, it's not enough for San Diego County Supervisor Jim Desmond.

“I am putting forward that we oppose any future placements of sexually violent predators in San Diego County, until we get to be a part of the process and that we also get a veto vote on anyone being placed here at all.”

MM: On Tuesday, Desmond plans to introduce a proposal to the Board of Supervisors to make San Diego off-limits for SVP placements until the process is improved. Melissa Mae KPBS News.


Governor Gavin Newsom on [Monday] signed into law the so-called California "Momnibus" Act to improve infant and maternal health, especially for families of color.

One of the bill's co-authors is Southern California Democratic Assemblywoman Doctor Akilah Weber.

"This bill is not only significant to me professionally as an obstetrician/gynecologist but also personally as a black woman who has given birth two times. I am aware that the successful outcomes of my pregnancies are unfortunately not the norm for woman that look like me."

Death rates for pregnant black women continue to be higher than the state's average ... and black and Native American babies die at a rate more than double the state's average.

Among other things, the new law will require a state committee to collect more details about pregnancy-related deaths and recommend ways to reduce racial gaps.

It will also expand access to midwives and doulas who can help improve maternal care.


State and federal lawmakers plan to introduce legislation and hold at least one hearing in response to an investigation from public radio stations in california. It showed how wildfire smoke from the western US is choking much of the country...posing serious health risks.

Capradio’s scott rodd reports.

Democratic Assemblywoman Luz Rivas says wildfire smoke is a big concern for residents in her Los Angeles County district.

“A lot of my constituents are worried about their children and long-term health effects.”

As chair of the Assembly Natural Resources Committee, she hopes to introduce legislation to bolster protections for students.

Fellow Assemblymember Robert Rivas says he wants to expand enforcement of a recently signed law that guarantees agricultural workers access to N95 masks.

“This is something that is going to require that we monitor closely … to ensure that we're doing all we can to protect the health and safety of such a vulnerable population of workers.

And our investigation got the attention of Congress.

Representative Mike Levin is a California Democrat and a member of the House’s Select Committee on the Climate Crisis.

“Clearly and overwhelmingly this problem is getting worse. It's going to become worse still if we don't act immediately.”

Meanwhile...Representative Ro Khanna...a San Jose Democrat who chairs the House’s Oversight Subcommittee on Environment...says he plans to hold a hearing on the impacts of wildfires and widespread smoke.

In a statement, Khanna said Congress has no option but to act.


Coming up....a San Diego scientist has won a nobel prize in medicine. We’ll have that story next, just after the break.

This year’s Nobel Prize for medicine has been awarded to Scripps research scientist Ardem Patapoutian. He and his partner David Julius at UC San Francisco won the award for their work in discovering how skin receptors allow people to sense temperature and touch. The Nobel committee says Patapoutian and Julius uncovered the pathways... that are fundamental to our ability to feel, interpret and interact with our environment.

Patapoutian spoke about his work briefly soon after he was notified about the Nobel Prize.

In science, many times it’s things that we take for granted that are of high interest and us being in the field of sensing touch and pain being the elephant in the room.”

The Nobel prize for medicine is widely regarded as the highest prize in science.

And Scripps is planning a celebration for the latest of its researchers to be awarded a Nobel….

San Diego Union Tribune bio-tech reporter Jonathan Wosen covered the story. He spoke with KPBS Midday Edition Host Maureen Kavanaugh. Here’s that interview….

And that was San Diego Union Tribune bio-tech reporter Jonathon Wosen, speaking with KPBS Midday Edition Host Maureen Kavanaugh.

That’s it for the podcast today. Be sure to catch KPBS Midday Edition At Noon on KPBS radio, or check out the Midday podcast. You can also watch KPBS Evening Edition at 5 O’clock on KPBS Television, and as always you can find more San Diego news online at KPBS dot org. I’m Annica Colbert. Thanks for listening and have a great day.

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Concerns that the Orange County oil spill is moving south…and SeaWorld says it is on standby to help rescue sea animals. Meanwhile, a Scripps Research scientist has been awarded the Nobel Prize for his work on skin receptors. Plus, County Supervisor Jim Desmond wants placement rules for sexually violent predators changed to give communities more say.