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UC workers are back in class

 June 11, 2024 at 5:00 AM PDT

Good Morning, I’m Debbie Cruz….it’s Tuesday, June 11th.


Thousands of U-C academic workers are back in class and research labs this week after a judge ordered a halt on their strike.

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


A union representing 6-thousand Food 4 Less workers in San Diego and other parts of southern California, could soon go on strike.

The United Food and Commercial Workers union is holding a strike authorization vote this week.

Workers say Food 4 Less and Kroger undermined contract negotiations and accused the company of violating workers' rights to representation.

They are demanding higher pay and safety improvements.

The results of the strike vote will be announced after voting ends on Friday.

Kroger issued a statement saying the company remains committed to negotiating in good faith.


It’s going to be a hot week throughout the county, but especially in our deserts, where temps are expected to reach nearly 110 degrees.

If you need a place to cool down, the county’s Cool Zones are now open.

To find a Cool Zone site and their hours of operation, visit the county’s website, or call 2-1-1.

The National Weather Service says in the inland areas, the mornings will be foggy, but the rest of the day will be sunny.

Temps in the inland and mountain areas will be in the high 70s and by the coast, temps will be in the mid 60s.


The San Diego County Fair opens tomorrow (Wednesday).

This year’s theme is “Let’s Go Retro.”

The fair will be open Wednesday through Sunday.

Ticket prices range from 13 to 25 dollars.

And children under five are free everyday, and kids 12 and younger can get in free on Fridays.

The last day of the fair is July 7th.

I always look forward to all the sounds and smells of the fair.


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


Conflict on campus continues at UC-SD.

Although the academic worker’s strike was stopped, education reporter M.G. Perez says protests have not.

A judge’s order temporarily ended the academic workers’ walkout on U-C campuses…forcing 48-thousand United Auto Workers union members back to classrooms and research labs Monday. 8-thousand of them at U-C San Diego had been on strike protesting the administration's decision to hold the diplomas of at least seven seniors who were arrested during last month’s dismantling of the Gaza Solidarity encampment near the Geisel Library. This is finals week…and graduation is on Saturday. Freshman Steven Aguire is conflicted. “I do know that it’s been affecting a lot of the classes like whether students will get their finals graded.” A temporary restraining order will now keep the end-of-year activities on track. The U-A-W says it will end mediation talks with the U-C and focus on its complaint filed with the California Public Employment Relations Board. MGP KPBS News.


As the November election approaches, political rhetoric around immigration is getting more extreme.

Border reporter Gustavo Solis says there is a long history of this in California.

CARL “And we know that this is an invasion. This is an invasion of [people not wanting to follow the rules for immigration.” That is State Assembly candidate Carl Demaio in May telling a local news anchor that there is an invasion at the border. It’s a talking point that Republicans across the country are using more and more as we head to the November election. Not only does Demaio say there is an invasion. He also tells us why. CARL “Because Democrats want the votes. They have no problem with a porous border.” Experts say this interview - without any pushback from the news anchor - is an example of why invasion rhetoric is so dangerous. Zachary Mueller is the senior research director at America’s Voice - a pro-immigrant advocacy organization. He says invasion rhetoric is part of a white supremacy conspiracy theory in which … INVASION “Elite liberals are part of this cabal to bring in non-white immigrants to replace white folks to replace their voting power and to steal elections and to undermine democracy. Now, obviously none of that is true.” This kind of language ramped up in 2016. But it has a long history in California. In 1873 the San Francisco Chronicle published an advertisement warning of a Chinese Invasion asking readers - what are you going to do about it. - Political cartoons from the 1880s show California as a sinking ship - falling under the weight of too many Chinese migrants. And a headline from the Chicago Tribune in 1903 says America Invaded by Alien Swarm. Natalia Molina is a professor at UC San Diego. She studies the construct of race in the United States. MOLINA “The use of the term invasion and just the general idea of it isn’t anything new in terms of how we describe immigrants, how we frame immigration issues. It goes back to the 19th century.” Molina says anti-Chinese sentiment led to the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882. Essentially banning immigration from China. U.S. history is full of examples of anti-immigrant rhetoric leading to discriminatory laws. California Governor Pete Wilson ran this ad in 1994 while advocating for a measure that would strip benefits from undocumented immigrants. Pete Wilson Ad “They keep coming, 2 million illegal immigrants in California. The federal government won’t stop them at the border. Yet requires us to pay billions to pay for them. Gov. Pete Wilson sent the National Guard to help the Border Patrol.” Molina says framing the problem as immigrants invading is counterproductive. It doesn’t help find real solutions to the broken immigration system.“How you define a problem defines the solution. If you define it as an invasion well then it’s a matter of putting up a wall and making America strong.” She says immigration is such a complex topic, that oversimplifying it distracts policy makers from asking nuanced questions. MOLINA “How do we encourage legal immigration, is our system set up even for legal immigration? At what level do we want immigration, what are the processes, and those are much more nuanced discussions that some politicians want to discuss.” 2020: $51 million 2022: $233 million Jan-May 2024: $160 million Source: America’s Voice In 2020, more than 50 million dollars was spent on anti-immigrant campaign ads. That amount more than quadrupled in 2022. And now, the 2024 election is already on pace to surpass that, according to data from America’s Voice. Mueller says these ads pull on people’s genuine concerns about immigration. INVASION “Because it is story that hits on their anxieties, who they are and their identity, about safety and their community’s safety. It hits on concerns about their economic security and pulling on those anxieties, which are legitimate anxieties racializing them saying immigrants are to blame for that.” Voters around the country should expect to see a lot more invasion ads before the November election. MOLINA “We can’t rely on ads because the ads are designed to be inflammatory. The ads are designed to get your attention for 30 seconds.” Molina’s advice? Do your own research. MOLINA “We need to become more informed on the issues. We can’t rely on a flier or somebody who wants to win an election.” Gustavo Solis, KPBS News.


The city of San Diego wants to help local service members leaving the military, find jobs with the city.

They've hired a Navy chief to help.

Military and veterans reporter Andrew Dyer has more on the city’s first veteran engagement coordinator.

Navy reserve chief Jon Aasted works as an intelligence specialist in the reserves and has done so for 16, in addition to those duties, he’s signed on to help the city connect with more veterans and service members. the new city job is partially funded by the wounded warrior project, a non-profit that assists and advocates for veterans. it’s the organization’s first local government-focused initiative in the country. jon aasted, san diego veteran engagement coordinator their intention was to help create a position with local government, which the city of san diego, is kind of like, right in the right place. and this is the right time for this type of position to just help support veterans in the community. aasted says he’s hoping to use his navy connections not just to help local service members and veterans but also military spouses who often have difficulty maintaining careers while moving every few years. wounded warrior project will help fund the job for two years but the city says the position is here to stay. andrew dyer, kpbs news.


A new service offered by the North County Transit District will make commuting to work, by train, easier for some.

Reporter Alexander Nguyen says it will benefit almost 60 thousand workers from North County.

ding ding from train crossing 1758 Commuting by train to work in Sorrento Valley has its challenges. On Monday  … the North County Transit District unveiled a restored last-mile Coaster Connection service in Sorrento Valley. “This is one of the biggest economic hubs in San Diego.” San Diego Councilmember Kent Lee represents the city of San Diego on N-C-T-D’s board. The Sorrento Valley train station is in his district. It’s the third most used Coaster station, according to SANDAG. Kent Lee San Diego City Council Member, District 6 “there are many employees that used the Coaster connection as a way to travel, considering that they get to skip a lot of the traffic on the 5 and really get connected to some of their working quarters here.” The San Diego Metropolitan Transit System used to offer the Coaster Connection Service … but eliminated it last year due to budgetary constraints. AN/KPBS.


Seniors from Mountain Empire High School graduate tonight (Tuesday), but first they took time for a walk down memory lane.

Education reporter M.G. Perez has more on their visit to where it all began for them.

“We use to play flag football…it was fun.” 18 year old Mannix Gonzalez remembers his time at Campo Elementary…all those years ago. He’s now a senior about to graduate from Mountain Empire High School…in far East County. Members of his graduating class took a school bus trip to the campuses where they first learned to read and write. “you’re whole life you’re trying to graduate now you’re finally here and now you’re going back…it’s a trip. A trip principal David Rios says is valuable for the 116 graduates this year…because it will inspire the younger students. “to show…the kids that are at the elementary school…that’s going to be me…that’s going to be me when I get to high school…that’s going to be me when I walk across the stage…that’s what I’m going to look like.” The community celebrates the 2024 graduation on Tuesday night at REDHAWK STADIUM MGP KPBS NEWS.


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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Thousands of UC academic workers are back in class and research labs this week after a judge ordered a halt on their strike. Then, we look at the long history of extreme political rhetoric around immigration in California. Plus, a new service will make it easier for people to commute to work in Sorrento Valley by train.