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State wants more affordable housing in Coronado

 December 22, 2022 at 5:00 AM PST

Good Morning, I’m Erik Anderson, in for Debbie Cruz….it’s Thursday, December 22nd.

The city of Coronado could soon face a lawsuit for not building enough affordable housing. More on that next. But first... let’s do the headlines….

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California’s ban on flavored tobacco products is now in effect.

The new state law makes it illegal to sell menthol cigarettes, along with flavored vaping products and cigars.

San Diego city council member Marni Von Wilpert lead the campaign for a similar ban in the city of San Diego.

“For decades we've seen the major big tobacco industry hook adolescents and kids by marketing a wide variety of highly addictive, flavored products.”

A national association for convenience stores says a large part of their tobacco sales are flavored products, and that the ban will push buyers to illicit sources.

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U-S Senator Alex Padilla this week proposed more than 63-million-dollars in federal funding to support 22 projects across San Diego County.

Projects expected to receive funding include an Ocean Pollution Research Project by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and San Diego County's Mobile Crisis Response Team.

Padilla said the proposed funds will next head to both chambers of Congress for approval.

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Over the past 5 weeks gas prices have continued to drop in San Diego County.

The average price for a gallon of regular gas yesterday was four-dollars-and-43 cents.

Prices have dropped more than two-dollars since rising to a record of more than six-dollars a gallon in October.

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

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State housing officials are dialing up the pressure on Coronado to zone for more affordable housing.

KPBS metro reporter Andrew Bowen says the city could soon face a lawsuit.

AB: State law requires cities to adopt plans that zone for enough homes to accommodate population growth. But Coronado's plan adopted last year zoned for only a fraction of those homes. State officials sent the city a letter last week warning it could face fines and prosecution from the attorney general's office. Melinda Coy is with the state's Housing and Community Development Department. MC: "They are working on a draft. However we do not have a timeline yet for completion, or when that draft will come to us, which is something that we requested in this notice of violation." AB: Coronado says it is working on an updated housing plan that meets the state's requirements. Andrew Bowen, KPBS news.

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Yesterday was supposed to be a big day for San Diego’s border communities.

The pedestrian crossing in San Ysidro known as ‘Ped-West’ was going to re-open, but that didn’t happen.

KPBS reporter Matt Hoffman has the story.

San Ysidro Chamber of Commerce executive Director Jason Wells says he was told by federal immigration officials Ped-West was reopening Wednesday, but he says those plans were scrapped at the last minute.. Jason Wells, San Ysidro Chamber of Commerce It was going to be an extremely great day for us last minute shoppers people visiting their families unfortunately we’re here today and in the same situation last week It comes just days after Title 42 was extended-- the policy allows border agents to turn away migrants on the grounds of stopping the spread of COVID-19. I would just expect that the communication was there since they told us they were opening they should tell us when they changed their mind Customs and Border protection said in a statement Ped West is not opening today. Unfortunately we have no additional updates regarding the opening of the facility.. MH KPBS News.

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Democrats will still be in the driver's seat at the county's transportation planning agency, SANDAG.

The Chula Vista City Council this week appointed Democrat Councilmember Andrea Cardenas to the SANDAG board.

Republicans had hoped the council would appoint newly elected Mayor John McCann to the board.

It makes key decisions on where and how to spend transportation dollars.

McCann pitched himself as a consensus builder.

“Knowing many of the mayors and having good relationships on both sides, I think I would be able to be someone that would be able to bring SANDAG together, because SANDAG has frankly become very divided.”

But the council's Democratic majority voted to appoint Cardenas.

That means progressives could have an easier time pushing public transit improvements over freeway expansions.

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Coming up.... What will the weather be like this holiday weekend? We’ll have that story and more, next, just after the break.

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For people driving on the freeway right now …or just looking out a window at work…do not get too comfortable with the cool temperatures…

By Christmas Day, the forecast is expected to be warm in San Diego County.

But in the meantime just about every other part of the U-S is preparing for a bitterly cold winter storm.

For more on how this can affect your plans this weekend, Brian Adams, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service joined KPBS’s M.G. Perez with a weather update.

Let’s get right to it…what is happening with this winter storm over the next few days?

How is it that it will be freezing in other parts of the country….and sunny and mild here in San Diego.

How long will it last?

What is the worst day for travel? Or is it all going to be bad?

And, for people staying in town…just how nice is it going to be in San Diego for the holiday?

That was Brian Adams, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, speaking with KPBS’s M.G. Perez.

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Yesterday we told you about the sour situation between pickleballers and tennis players.

Earlier this week the Pickleball Association of San Diego reported they were in meetings with the city of San Diego to discuss creating a regional pickleball facility.

However, since then we have not received comment from either party.

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The 501st (five-oh-first) Legion is a worldwide costuming organization run by fans dedicated to creating screen accurate villain costumes from the Star Wars Universe.

When KPBS arts reporter Beth Accomando got her own stormtrooper costume, she decided to attend an armor party of the local Imperial Sands Garrison to find out about joining the Legion.

I really am too short to be a stormtrooper. But Dean Amstutz assures me I am not. DEAN AMSTUTZ 501st  does not discriminate based on height, body shape, gender, anything like that. Amstutz is the Garrison Membership Liaison. He’s in charge of approving all the costumes for the San Diego and Imperial rural county areas including my stormtrooper. DEAN AMSTUTZ I can tell from looking at the lenses, these are bubble lenses, that this is an ANH hero helmet instead of a stunt, which is the ones that, like, Luke and Han wore. Amstutz consults something called a Character Reference Library. DEAN AMSTUTZ We call it a CRL for short. And it's basically the list of requirements you have to meet for the costume to be screen accurate. So part of the 501st Legion is that we are all about film accuracy. So we don't want to look like just guys in Stormtrooper costumes. We want to look like we stepped right off the film set. Or onto one. Although the volunteer organization is not affiliated with Lucasfilm, members of the 501st recently appeared as extras in the Obi-Wan-Kenobi show and they arrived on the set in full screen accurate gear. The 501st includes all the Star Wars villains and all variations of stormtroopers. DEAN AMSTUTZ From the animated shows, from comic books. There's Special Ops, Stormtroopers, there's sand, troopers. So there are dozens of different types of troopers. That means a CRL for each says Lindsey Cepak, Legion executive officer. LINDSEY CEPAK We try to get angles from all the sides. Sometimes we even have to use action figures if we don't have all of the sides that we need. So we try to rely on action figures a little bit less, but we'll take that and then people will get together on what we call a detachment forum, which is basically people who are dedicated to just that type of costume. Cepak is second in command for the global organization of 14,000 members in 60 different countries. When I met Cepak she was at an armor party. LINDSEY CEPAK It is what we do at the local level to get members together. But it's not only for members. It's also for potential members who are looking to join the 501st…You come here and everybody gets together and works on the costume together.  The organization encourages members to partake in a lot of charity work. Shane Holly is the garrison commanding officer of the Imperial Sands Garrison. He recalled doing an event and meeting a little girl. SHANE HOLLY When I’m in Vader, I'm like almost 7ft tall. And so as soon as I got down onto my knees, she ran out from behind her dad and gave me the biggest bear hug I've ever had in my life. And at that point I'm just like tearing up and everything. That’s why he loves being part of the 501st. Plus it pushes him to expand his skill set. SHANE HOLLY Since starting, I've learned how to sew, I've learned how to 3D print, I've learned how to make costumes out of sheets of plastic. I've learned so much from being a part of this club and other clubs that I participate in that it's something that I never thought that I would be doing. Fellow 501st member Ermer Michelle Twaño has taken it a step further. ERMER MICHELLE TWANO First, it was a hobby. I still work full time, but at the same time, doing Etsy. I put some stuff on there, like robots and droid parts, and then all of a sudden, it blew up. And then now on my Etsy. Site, it's actually official now. It's called TD Outpost, and you can see all the work I've done…so it's been an extra side business for me, too. As Amstutz looks over my armor he stops at the belt. DEAN AMSTUTZ I'll pull out my handy tape measure. Size must be two and three quarters to three and a quarter inches. So let's see what you got. Yeah, this is a four inch belt. LINDSEY CEPAK Sometimes the difference between getting in and getting out is a stitch in the right place. Again Cepak. LINDSEY CEPAK And you know what? If your stitches aren’t the right place, it doesn't make your costume any better or any worse than anybody else's. It's all about what you're feeling comfortable with and what you want to do with your costume. If you want to go to the dark side then check out the 501st either online or at their fan table or panel at Comic-Con. Beth Accomando, KPBS News.

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

State housing officials are dialing up the pressure on Coronado to zone for more affordable housing, or the city could soon face a lawsuit. In other news, the Chula Vista City Council Tuesday appointed Democrat Councilmember Andrea Cardenas to the SANDAG board. Plus, how the weather this holiday weekend could impact your plans.