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Title 42 remains in place

 December 29, 2022 at 5:00 AM PST

Good Morning, I’m Debbie Cruz….it’s Thursday, December 29th.>>>>

A lawyer for the A-C-L-U on why he’s fighting against Title 42. More on that next. But first... let’s do the headlines….######

It was another rough day for airline travelers yesterday-as Southwest canceled most of its flights into and out of San Diego.

Passengers will likely be stranded for a few more days as the airline works through the backlog to catch up.

The airline now says a scheduling system failure, coupled with winter weather is to blame.

U-S Department of Transportation officials issued a statement saying the situation is “unacceptable”.

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Looks like rain will be part of this year’s New Year’s Eve celebrations.

Forecasters say San Diego will see light showers on and off for the next couple days.

But precipitation will pick up on Saturday–bringing up to three-quarters of an inch… and even more in the mountains.

Saturday’s storm is expected to dump a bit more rain than we got on Tuesday.

And is expected to last through New Year’s Day.

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An orphaned bear cub being treated at the San Diego Humane Society’s wildlife center is gaining strength and appears to be in good health.

The 7- month old cub was rescued in Bishop two weeks ago— and brought to the center in Ramona.

The Humane Society says the cub’s care team is fattening him up with a diet of eggs, honey, grasses, walnuts, gruel and fish.

They are limiting human contact with the cub, with the goal of releasing it back into the wild in a few months.

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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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The controversial pandemic-era immigration policy known as Title 42 was supposed to end last week.

But attorneys general from a group of conservative states persuaded the Supreme Court to keep the policy alive – at least for now.

KPBS border reporter Gustavo Solis spoke to an attorney trying to end the policy.

TITLE 42 (gas) 1:00 SOQ

The Trump administration originally framed Title 42 as a restriction meant to stop the spread of COVID-19. Advocates for immigrants say it’s ironic that the same state officials who pushed back on testing, masking and vaccine mandates are now fighting in favor of a pandemic restriction.Lee Gelernt is the ACLU’s lead lawyer in the federal court case against Title 42.

LEE 00:08:53:06

“These 19 states have almost uniformly opposed every type of COVID restriction. The one type of COVID restriction they claim to support is the one that targets vulnerable asylum seekers. So I think it’s hypocritical of these states to claim that they want to keep a COVID restriction in place..”

In November,  a judge in Washington DC ruled in the ACLU’s favor and ordered the Biden administration to end the policy on December 21.The states then took the case to the U.S. Supreme Court.Justices are scheduled to hear oral arguments in the case in February. Until they rule, the  order to terminate Title 42 is on pause.Gustavo Solis, KPBS News

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Volunteers stepped in after dozens of migrants were left at bus stations across San Diego County over the Holiday weekend.

KPBS North County reporter Tania Thorne says volunteers helped get them to their final destinations.

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A video taken at an Oceanside shelter shows dozens of migrants sitting on the floor eating a makeshift Christmas dinner. 

The group was dropped off on Christmas eve at the Rancho Del Oro Sprinter station. Max Dispoti with the North County LGBTQ Center is one of the people providing food and transportation to the migrants.

These are people that are already being vetted by United States immigration services. These are people. They already have sponsors in the Us.They apply for a refugee status for legal asylum status, or in the process of being recognized. 

Other similar drop-offs were reported at El Cajon.

County Supervisor Jim Desmond tweeted Wednesday more than 1,000 migrants have been dropped off in San Diego — straining local resources available.

Border officials declined to say if more migrants will be dropped off, but local organizations are already mobilizing to prepare just in case. 

TT KPBS News

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San Diego is preparing to add bike lanes to Convoy Street, the heart of Kearny Mesa's Asian Cultural District. KPBS metro reporter Andrew Bowen has more on how businesses and residents are taking the news.

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CONVOYBIKE 1 (ab)           1:15            soq

TN: You know not a lot of residents nearby. The previous owner always joked we were the neighborhood pub without a neighborhood.

AB: Tom Nickel is the owner of O'Brien's Pub on Convoy Street, the heart of San Diego's Convoy Asian Cultural District. The lack of housing within walking distance of the area means most of his customers arrive by car. The city's plans for bike lanes on Convoy Street will mean the removal of 288 parking spaces — a price that Nickel says isn't worth it.

TN: Convoy I think presents a real dangerous area to be on a bike, even in a bike lane, given the number of cars and the number of places those cars are going to be turning. So no, I will not be encouraging people to use the bike lanes in any way, shape or form.

SP: I think these bike lanes are a great step towards making it safer for other forms of transportation.

AB: Steven Palmer lives less than two miles to the east of Convoy Street. He bikes around his neighborhood several times a week. When he goes to the Convoy District, he usually gets takeout.

SP: But if there was bike infrastructure where I could lock my bike up in a public place, then I would be more likely to stay around, you know, maybe sit down at dinner, grab dessert after, things like that.

AB: Convoy Street is due to be repaved and restriped with the new bike lanes sometime in the next 6 months. Andrew Bowen, KPBS news.

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Coming up....

A cultural district celebrating black art and culture in San Diego.

We’ll have that story and more, next, just after the break.

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20-22 brought the establishment of a San Diego Black Arts & Culture District.

KPBS reporter Jacob Aere took a look at what the designation means for the city and its often overlooked Black communities.

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ARTSDISTRICT       TIME: (4:09)             SOQ

Walk into the World Famous Imperial Barber Shop, and you’ll find it chock-full of paintings, photographs and artifacts that pay homage to Black history – in San Diego… and beyond.The shop sits in the heart of the recently designated Black Arts & Culture district in Encanto. SOT 120Tau Baraka | World Famous Imperial Barber Shop56:44 - 56:51 (:07“We’re wanting this community to actually grow. And art is the foundation of most growth.”Tau (Ta-oo) Baraka is the shop’s owner… and the art isn’t just inside. Its back parking lot features some of the district’s largest art pieces to date.SOT 1205Tau Baraka | World Famous Imperial Barber Shop57:18 - 57:36 (:18)“We’ve actually had artists come out here to paint certain arts about our expression of where we’re at mentally and culturally.”Art in the district comes in all shapes, sizes and colors, says local artist Kim Phillips-Pea.SOT 0688Kim Phillips-Pea | Southeast Art Team President22:36:28 - 22:36:32 (:04)“I’ve painted a number of murals on this street and in surrounding communities.”She was overjoyed when the district became official.SOT 0688Kim Phillips-Pea | Southeast Art Team President22:38:44 - 22:39:02 (:18)“I was crying … tears of joy of course. And the reason why is just because we see in other communities, like you go to Chicano Park, you immediately know where you are. You feel the sense of culture, you feel the sense of pride and so that is something that I’ve always felt we deserve and we need.”The new cultural district covers eight blocks along Imperial Avenue, including Marie Widman Memorial Park. That same part of town once hosted summertime street fairs. SOT 1196Dajahn Blevins | Urban Warriors CEO23:45:51 - 23:46:06 (:15)

“Vendors from one end to the other, headliner bands. And just everybody would come out here in this wonderful weather in America's favorite city and just enjoy each other. This park became the staple of that and we want to bring that back.” That’s Dajahn (Duh-HON) Blevins, C-E-O of the nonprofit arts organization Urban Warriors.He says San Diego used to be known as “Harlem of the West,” and he hopes it’ll soon be that again.SOT 1196Dajahn Blevins | Urban Warriors CE23:50:24 - 23:50:38 (:14)“So if we don't do this on purpose, create an epicenter to where people can come on a common ground and see people who look like them, see hair that looks like this, hear music that speaks of us … you can kind of forget who you are.”The arts district is part of San Diego City Council District Four, represented by council member Monica Montgomery Steppe.SOT ZoomMonica Montgomery Steppe | San Diego City councilmember 4:37 - 4:40 + 4:15 - 4:29  (:18)“We’re talking about preserving history…This is the district that historically has housed the African American community in San Diego. This is the district that experienced the redlining. This is the district where we formed community.”The designation means funding… to improve store fronts, enhance landscaping andsupport small, Black-owned businesses… as well as adding freeway signage.Grant funding will be overseen by the San Diego African American Museum of Fine Arts,which is forming an advisory council to get community input.Gaidi Finnie is the museum’s executive director.SOT 1203Gaidi Finnie | San Diego African American Museum of Fine Arts30:40 - 30:53(:13)“A lot of times when people come to San Diego, they wonder where the Black community is. I mean many people have that problem. So having an area to be designated and redeveloped gives us that designation for people to be proud of the area.”Finnie says the district will launch a website for the advisory board in the next two weeks. Phillips-Pea plans to provide her voice and vision for the district’s evolution.SOT 0688Kim Phillips-Pea | Southeast Art Team22:39:55 - 22:40:12 (:17)“A little bit of everything from storefront improvement, I'd like to see infrastructure changes as far as driving down Imperial, beautification when it comes to just the landscaping, trees – definitely more murals – but we just want to see love poured into the area.”Back at the World Famous Imperial Barber Shop, Baraka says he’s already starting to see the community’s economic growth… and is looking forward to the healing that this designation can bring.SOT 1205Tau Baraka | World Famous Imperial Barber Shop58:32 - 58:53 (:21)“You have to have a culture to build a community or it will always be a hood. So the cultural part of it has to come – whether its arts, whether its sports – there has to be something there that people can grab a hold to. And I believe that art is like the universal message for bringing people together.”Right now, art is bringing people together at Marie Widman Memorial Park on the last weekend of each month. The park will be one of the first places in the district to see upgrades. JA 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 Debbie Cruz. Thanks for listening and have a great day.

KPBS border reporter Gustavo Solis spoke to an attorney trying to end the controversial pandemic-era immigration policy known as Title 42. Then, how businesses and residents are reacting to the bike lanes coming to Convoy Street. Plus, 2022 brought the establishment of a San Diego Black Arts & Culture District.