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Takeaways from State of San Diego address

 January 12, 2024 at 5:00 AM PST

Good Morning, I’m Debbie Cruz….it’s Friday, January 12th.


Key takeaways from the San Diego Mayor’s State of the City address.

More on that next. But first... let’s do the headlines….


There’s a frost advisory in the county’s inland valleys and deserts this morning.

The National Weather Service says there will be patchy frost and temperatures could drop into the low 30s.

The advisory is in effect until 8 A-M.

Temps will still be cool throughout the rest of the day, but not as cold as the morning.

In the inland areas and deserts, temps will get to the low 60s, and in the mountains, temps will be in the mid 40s.

By the coast temps will be in the high 50s.

And a coastal flood advisory is in effect until noon.

King Tides are expected again today.

Other than all of that, forecasters say the sky will be clear and sunny for the most part.


All lanes of the Eight East freeway at the Tavern Road exit in Alpine will be closed on weeknights this month for repair work.

Caltrans crews are doing pavement work and culvert repairs on the roads.

The interstate will close from 7 p-m to 6 in the morning Monday through Friday.

All drivers will be detoured to the Eight East Tavern Road off-ramp, then re-enter the freeway using the Eight East on-ramp.


Two Wal-Marts are closing next month.

One off Imperial Avenue in Logan Heights and another on Fletcher Parkway in El Cajon.

They’ll close on February ninth.

The company says they weren’t able to agree on lease terms with the property managers and the locations didn’t perform as well as others.

Employees at both stores are eligible to transfer to other Walmarts in the area.


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


San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria gave his annual State of the City address earlier this week.

Metro reporter Andrew Bowen says there were some newsworthy announcements.

AB: Much of the mayor's speech was touting progress on filling potholes, clearing homeless encampments and improving the morale of city employees. On housing policy, he said he's ordered city staff to permit new apartment buildings within 30 days — if they use an affordable housing incentive program called Complete Communities. He said the program was responsible for permitting 1,000 homes last year. TG: This new, faster timeline will likely increase those numbers, creating even more homes San Diegans can afford. These are all necessary policy changes as San Diegans continue to bear the brunt of decades of underbuilding. AB: If staff are able to implement the mayor's order, mixed-income housing that's close to public transit will get fast tracked — and housing far from transit could face delays. Andrew Bowen, KPBS news.


The city of San Diego is launching a cannabis equity program.

Reporter Katie Hyson spoke with hopeful participants who say it’s underdelivering.

A dozen people silently protest Mayor Todd Gloria’s state of the city address downtown. They’re holding signs that say things like, “come on mayor, make cannabis fair.” The city just launched a program to help people criminalized for cannabis – disproportionately Black and brown – enter the now-legal industry. City staff initially recommended 36 cannabis equity licenses with reduced restrictions and legal and financial assistance. They just announced they’re delivering on that – but at half the scale. They will issue just 18 equity licenses, through a lottery system. The same place I was physically incarcerated in handcuffs in a cop car, there is now a dispensary . . . The irony in that. That’s organizer Armand King, who says the mayor is catering to current operators. King wants a merit-based system. Reinvestment of profits into the community. And for 36 equity licenses, to match the number of current operators. You offer an 18, that means we're less than equal. That just reminds me of we're ‘three-fifths of a human being.' We're still less than equal to you, mayor? A city spokesperson said only that they met with King, and that Gloria did not think more equity licenses was a good idea. City staff will present the program to the planning commission next month. Katie Hyson, KPBS News.


Federal officials could soon be the target of another lawsuit linked to the region’s persistent cross-border sewage problem.

Environment reporter Erik Anderson says the new lawsuit may lead to even more legal challenges.

San Diego Coastkeeper put the federal government on notice in late-December.  The environmental advocacy group filed an intent to sue the International Boundary and Water Commission.  Phillip Musegaas says the agency routinely violates the sewage discharge permit at the federal government’s South Bay sewage plant. Phillip Musegaas, Executive director of San Diego Coastkeeper “We have tried along with many, many other groups and elected officials to take a softer route.  To find funding.  To encourage IBWC to work more quickly, but none of that, thus far, has worked.” The sewage infrastructure south of the border is broken, allowing billions of gallons of sewage tainted water to flow into the United States.  Those contaminated flows have overwhelmed the sewage capture and treatment facilities on this side of the border.  That’s a violation of the IBWC’s discharge permit which requires the plant to meet Clean Water Act standards. “fecal coliform or enterococcus , kind of sewage bacteria indicators, have to be at a low enough level so that they don’t threaten public health or degrade the environment.  And the same with a whole range of things, in this case the South Bay Treatment plant has limits on a number of chemicals. Because it treats sewage from Tijuana, that sewage also has toxic chemicals and hazardous substances in it.” Musegaas says the problem is not new and the region’s pollution regulators, The San Diego Water Quality Control Board, are working with the IBWC instead of punishing the federal agency. “The board is aware of the violations.  The board has the authority to take strong enforcement actions and to date they have not one that. And so we are stepping in as citizens, as a clean water advocacy group, to take action to hold IBWC accountable.” Regional Board officials have issued citations, but they have not fined the federal agency for violating terms of its discharge permit.  The Board’s David Gibson says a Supreme Court decision in the early 1990’s linked to Clean Water Act violations in Ohio rules that out. “In that, the Supreme court ruled, that unless congress has specifically waived sovereign immunity, sovereign immunity applies under the clean water act and other federal statutes.  Federal immunity has not been waived for the International Boundary and Water Commission.” Regulators have given the federal agency until August to make much needed repairs to the aging sewage treatment plant.  But the $18 million dollars due to be spent falls well short of the $300 million dollars needed to rehabilitate the plant. “while we cannot issue punitive fines.  We can work with them and ensure they understand the expectations of the clean water act.” “For the last ten years, we’ve had underinvestment in this plant.” Imperial Beach Mayor Paloma Aguirre is at the end of her rope. “There hasn’t been appropriate maintenance.  There hasn’t been appropriate operations.  Which is why we are in the debacle we are in now.” Aguirre says her town’s beaches have been off limits to swimmers and surfers for more than two years.   And that’s brutal for a community that celebrates its connection to the ocean. “We’re in the worst situation we’ve ever been.  So, we need to use every single tool available to us to make sure that the agencies that are in charge of protecting public health.  That the agencies that are in charge of wastewater treatment. Agencies that are in charge of the protection of our environment, that they’re all held accountable and responsible. Because right now we have a crisis that is the biggest public health and environmental crisis of our region, if not the nation.” Imperial Beach led the effort to sue the federal government six years ago .That lawsuit was settled last year after federal officials promised to do more to stop the polluted flows.  But flows have gotten worse. Aguirre  is taking a hard look at canceling the settlement and going back to court. Coastkeeper’s Phillip Musegaas says he won’t settle because he wants to see…. “a court ordered, federal court, legal agreement that will hold IBWC accountable if they don’t meet these deadlines.” The lawsuit could be filed in March.  I-B-W-C officials referred KPBS to the Department of Justice for comment.  The D-O-J declined. Erik Anderson KPBS News.


Coming up.... Our KPBS arts editor and producer has the 4-1-1 on arts events this weekend. We’ll have details on those, plus more happening in the county, just after the break.


This weekend marks the birthday of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.

Across the county, reporter Kori Suzuki says groups are gearing up for a week of volunteering.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a unique holiday. It’s also designated as a federal day of service. In San Diego, and across the country, there are community events and volunteering opportunities next week, honoring the American civil rights leader. JoAnn Fields is a founding organizer of Southeast San Diego’s MLK Festival – which takes place Saturday next weekend. She says they’ll have plenty of opportunities for volunteers to help out. “We’ll need pacers. We will need cleanup the day before. We want to make sure it's a clean space starting at the elementary school along the parade route on Skyline Drive.” Fields herself is a volunteer. She and several friends were inspired to organize the festival to celebrate Dr. King’s fight for racial justice and bring people together across the San Diego region. Because again, we have a namesake park after Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. But there was no celebration. [...] So I asked my friends Sean and Mario, let's present this. Let's do something for the community. That celebration is now in its 14th year. Do you have other stories about volunteers who power your community or neighborhood? KPBS wants to hear from you! Fill out our survey at Kori Suzuki, KPBS News.


It’s been a fixture in Little Italy for nearly 30 years.

But an eclectic shop called Architectural Salvage will soon be closing its doors.

Reporter John Carroll says it’s not because of a lack of business.

As the end of architectural salvage draws near, founder and owner elizabeth scalice is buzzing around the store, greeting customers new… and ones that have been coming here for years.“it’s been great.  and the pieces that we’ve purchased from here, just the accent it has made to our home… after 28-years, scalice is calling it quits… getting ready to close her store in the iconic pea green building at the corner of kettner and kalmia.  if you’re not familiar… architectural salvage holds within its walls very much what the store’s name suggests… a menagerie of things that were once used in and on buildings in different parts of san diego… some pieces come from very far away… like two very old wooden doors from alexandria egypt.  scalice is closing the place, not because of a lack of business… but rather because she’s ready to move on with a new phase of her life. “i’ve got some other stuff in me, and i got to get out there and go for it.  as they say, not a rehearsal.  this is it, and i’m going to go out and do some more things while i have a chance.” architectural salvage is having a celebration sale… it begins today and lasts through the weekend… a nearly final chance to get door knobs, old signage, vintage windows, doors, etc. etc. etc.  jc, kpbs news.


As another round of King Tides hits San Diego beaches, a first of its kind surf event in Oceanside is in full swing.

Reporter Jacob Aere says the W-S-L World Junior championships adds to the city’s impressive roster of surf competitions.

It began on Tuesday and will last through the weekend … for the first time … the World Surf League Junior Championships is being held in Oceanside. WSL North America Tour Manager Brian Robbins says the winter weather and Oceanside Pier setting add to the high-energy event. “The venue is just great. The pier sort of creates a stadium like atmosphere. We've got parking, we've got a big beach, there’s got a community here. So there's infrastructure here to not only create a crowd scene, but like a bit of dynamics with the surfers.” The event brings together the best junior surfers 20-years-old and younger from around the world. While Thursday’s competition was delayed due to poor weather conditions, surfers will continue to battle it out each day through the weekend … and the public is welcome to watch. Jacob Aere, KPBS News.


Speaking of this weekend, arts editor and producer Julia Dixon Evans has recommendations on arts events to check out.

She joined my colleague Jade Hindmon with the details.

Here’s their conversation.

Let's shift gears to Broadway. The 1970s soul adaptation of The Wizard of Oz, called "The Wiz," is finally having a revival. But before it goes back to Broadway, the production is coming here. Tell us about these shows this weekend.

How about some music. What are a couple of live music shows happening this weekend?

TAG: That was KPBS arts editor and producer Julia Dixon Evans, speaking with KPBS Midday Edition host, Jade Hindmon.

You can find details on all the things you just heard, and lots more, at KPBS dot ORG slash ARTS.


That’s it for the podcast today. This podcast is produced by Emilyn Mohebbi and edited by Brooke Ruth. As always you can find more San Diego news online at KPBS dot org. I’m Debbie Cruz. Thanks for listening and have a great weekend.

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San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria gave his annual State of the City address earlier this week and said he's ordered city staff to permit new apartment buildings within 30 days — if they use an affordable housing incentive program. In other news, federal officials could soon be the target of another lawsuit linked to the region’s persistent cross-border sewage problem. Plus, our KPBS arts editor and producer has the 411 on arts events happening in San Diego County this weekend.