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Why CBP closed Ped-West border crossing

 September 15, 2023 at 5:00 AM PDT

Good Morning, I’m Debbie Cruz….it’s Friday, September 15th.


Why C-B-P closed the Ped-West border crossing.

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


The M-T-S board of directors yesterday voted to allow passengers to pay their bus and trolley fares with a credit card or phone.

The move came after advocates complained about difficulty setting up the Pronto app.

Connor Proctor is V-P of Ride-SD, which advocates for better public transit.

“The big impact of having user unfriendly systems is people just give up, they don't bother going through the whole process.”

The upgrade to allow open, contactless fare payment will cost M-T-S 1-point-2 million-dollars.

It's expected to be complete by the end of next March.


Thousands of child care facilities failed to comply with the state’s lead (led) testing law, and many have yet to face the consequences.

Almost 400 child care centers have been cited by the Department of Social Services for failing to test their drinking water for lead, yet nearly eight-thousand facilities across the state missed the deadline.

High levels of lead were found at a quarter of the facilities that did conduct testing.

Some of the highest contamination was found in San Diego and Chula Vista.


The County's tuberculosis program and SD-SU are notifying people potentially exposed to T-B on the college campus, primarily at the Charles B. Bell Junior, Pavilion.

According to the county, the dates of potential exposure are from February 16th to June 22nd.

Exposures to the general public, SD-SU students and faculty, and to other employees are considered to be limited.

Dr. Jeffrey Percak is the Medical Director and Chief of the Tuberculosis Control and Refugee Health Branch at the county.

“The person who developed active TB disease was a former employee at Aztec shops. In that employee’s role they had predominantly non-public facing interactions. So they were behind the scenes in their official duties.”

Dr. Percak says fewer than 150 employees of Aztec shops with significant exposure were notified.


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


Customs and Border Protection yesterday abruptly closed the Ped-West pedestrian crossing in San Ysidro.

Border reporter Gustavo Solis says the closure disrupted morning commutes.

“No, I didn’t know it was going to be closed. I was waiting for my son to come out.” Gloria Brown was supposed to pick up her son Thursday morning on the San Diego side of the border crossing known as PedWest. The closure forced her son to use another pedestrian crossing in San Ysidro. GLORIA “I gotta go over to the east side and pick him up and he doesn’t have a phone. ” Apart from disrupting morning commutes, business experts say the closure could also impact the regional economy. Kenia “We’re hugely disappointed to hear this news.” Kenia Zamarripa is with the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce. She says the closure could  impact jobs, tax revenues, and economic development. Kenia “We can talk numbers, but it’s a huge setback and it’s honestly not only a challenge but a threat to our economy.” Customs and Border Protection officials say the PedWest closure is connected to an influx of migrants and asylum seekers. However, the agency did not close PedWest during a similar surge in migration earlier this year. Officials would not say how long the crossing will be closed. But said they want to reopen it as soon as possible. Gustavo Solis, KPBS News.


Customs and Border Protection has also been dropping groups of asylum-seekers off at the Oceanside Transit Center, this week.

North County reporter Tania Thorne says the drop offs happened the previous two days (Wednesday and Thursday).

The migrants came from countries all over the world and many didn’t know where they were. One Colombian couple got reunited at the Oceanside station after being held in different CBP facilities. They didn't want to share their names. Una felicidad. Ni si quiera es posible espresar. Tranquiidad. They said they’re grateful to be together and in the U.S. Local organizations were informed of the drop offs ahead of time, and helped migrants with resources like food and water, clothes, and power to charge their phones. They were also helping them coordinate travel arrangements to their sponsors. CBP said the drop offs are a standard process to quickly decompress the areas along the Southwest border. They  did not say how many people they’re transporting, or where they first crossed the border. TT KPBS News.


As the world marks Democracy Day, the United States’ system of representative government is under attack.

Investigative reporter Amita Sharma explores how the pillars of democracy are holding up in San Diego County.

Thirty-three months after the January 6 assault on the Capitol, nearly 70 percent of Republicans nationwide still believe the 2020 presidential election was stolen. In the last 10 years, more than 29 states have passed legislation making it tougher to vote. Censorship is on the rise and a  growing number of Americans, from both parties, believe political violence is justified. How much of this sentiment has seeped into the San Diego region post January 6?  San Diego Mesa College political science professor Carl Luna says somewhat, with potential for more. “Politics is local but it’s also national and if any part of that tree of liberty is poisoned, it’s eventually going to spread out to the rest of the tree.” KPBS set out to assess the health of democracy in San Diego through a handful of key indicators: Threats to elected representatives. Voting. Censorship.  And local news coverage. A recent University of San Diego poll found 66 percent of local elected officials reported threats have increased since taking office.  Chula Vista Elementary School Board Trustee Kate Bishop says sexually violent threats spike against her when she pushes for inclusivity.”...The ones that are more ominous and threatening are 100% from men, usually conservative men that identify themselves as such.” Overall, access to voting in San Diego County is strong. California largely prevents gerrymandering by having an independent commission determine political districts. And the state does not have the harsh voter ID laws and limits on polling places that restrict voting in some other states. The censorship situation is a bit more cloudy. There HAVE been isolated attempts to ban books on LGBTQ topics in Oceanside schools and county and city of San Diego public libraries. Misty Jones, director of the city library system, says she’s up for the fight. “I feel like libraries are kind of the last stand for democracy, right? They are the location that anyone can come, regardless of your circumstances, your background, your beliefs, whatever.  And that's what we stand for. We stand for freedom of access to information.” However, on another key measure of information access, San Diego County is faltering. Its major daily newspaper, the San Diego Union-Tribune  has gone from employing 400 people in the newsroom in the 1990s to just over 100 today. Local television news stations have also faced significant cuts in recent decades. “We're missing a ton of journalism that we used to have.” Northwestern University journalism Professor Penny Abernathy says Those journalists covered major beats like education, city hall, and wrote investigative pieces. All  Hallmarks of local news. “It is the glue that binds a community together and binds out society together. it serves this country and this democracy by giving us the information that we need at the grassroots level to make decisions about who to vote for, So when we've lost that, there is a great void into which you can misinformation. Disinformation can also flourish.” And it has through highly partisan news outlets and social media.This fragmented news world is far cry from an era when Americans learned a uniform set of facts from a few media gatekeepers like major newspapers and the big three television networks. UCSD political science Professor Barbara Walter says today’s  ecosystem allows people with ideas and attitudes that were historically on the fringe to enter the mainstream. “.... They can find each other really easily. They can chat with each other really easily. They can be fed information from Putin or from the Proud Boys or  whose goal is to actually radicalize individuals. There's no regulation. And  of course the algorithms just accelerate that.” But on this Democracy Day, local political scientist Luna sees silver linings. Americans still prefer democracy. “Another nice, positive thing is that it hasn't gotten violent yet.” He’s hopeful the peace holds through next year’s presidential election and beyond. Amita Sharma, KPBS News.


A California appeals court has agreed to hear a challenge to the state’s recently adopted solar rules.

Environment reporter Erik Anderson has details.

San Diego’s Protect Our Communities Foundation is one of three groups which asked the 1st District Court of Appeal in San Francisco to intervene.  The groups argued the rules do NOT recognize all the benefits of solar, do NOT encourage solar adoption and do NOT  expand solar in disadvantaged communities. Attorney Aaron Stanton says the legal petition asks the court to throw out the decision. “I have seen these orders come out with summary denials.  One sentence. The court declines to hear the case. And that’s not what happened here.  The court has decided to hear the case and the court will review the commission’s Net Energy Metering decision and determine if it was lawful. Which is very exciting for us.” The California Public Utilities Commission voted unanimously last December to approve the new rules which increased the cost of rooftop solar.  They took effect in April. Erik Anderson KPBS News.

TAG: KPBS reached out to the California Public Utilities Commission and they pointed to their legal filing asking the court to deny the petitioner’s request.


The city of San Diego spent more than four-million-dollars in a single year on unplanned purchases.

Now, the city auditor found some of the spending may be due to mismanagement.

inewsource reporter Crystal Niebla explains.

NIEBLA: They’re known as confirming purchase orders … and they’re meant to be used for unanticipated spending on goods and services that the city could not have planned for. But a recent report from the city auditor is flagging the process. It found nearly sixty percent of these purchases happened because of errors and poor planning. Many related to contracts, lack of training or, quote, misunderstandings. Auditors suggested many fixes, and by next year city management aims to set spending limits and publicly disclose these transactions. For KPBS, I’m inewsource reporter Crystal Niebla.

TAG: inewsource is an independently funded, nonprofit partner of KPBS.


Coming up.... Our KPBS arts producer and editor has some suggestions for arts events to check out this weekend. We’ll have that and more, just after the break.


The stereotype that poor people make short-sighted decisions is being challenged by new research.

Reporter Katie Hyson has more.

Past research suggests that when people feel like they don’t have enough money to meet their needs, they make shortsighted decisions. Like taking out a high-interest loan to make rent. Does that mean that they're stupid, they're short sighted, they're impulsive, they just want money now? That's one interpretation. SDSU Professor Eesha Sharma has another theory. They have really important needs and paying their rent today might feel a lot more important. Sharma’s team found when the need was less urgent, that effect went away. Sometimes even reversed. So people actually become more patient, potentially, arguably more thoughtful when their needs have longer time horizons. The takeaway? Being poor or feeling poor doesn't necessarily make you a poor decision maker. Katie Hyson, KPBS News.


Before you go… arts editor and producer Julia Dixon Evans has some suggestions for arts events to check out this weekend.

She shared the details with my colleague Jade Hindmon.

First up is the annual Trolley Dances, celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, and it's a collaboration between San Diego Dance Theater and the Metropolitan Transit System. What do you know?

So how does it work?

Let's talk about some visual art. There's two new exhibits opening at Quint Gallery in La Jolla, including one that's about motel soap???! Tell me more. 

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

You can find details on these and more arts events, at KPBS dot ORG slash ARTS.


That’s it for the podcast today. This podcast is produced by KPBS Producer Emilyn Mohebbi and edited by KPBS Senior Producer Brooke Ruth. Join me on Monday for the day’s top stories, plus, we’ll learn about the safety of motorized bikes and scooters. I’m Debbie Cruz. Thanks for listening and have a great weekend.

Customs and Border Protection abruptly closed the Ped-West pedestrian crossing in San Ysidro Thursday. In other news, as the world marks Democracy Day, the United States’ system of representative government is under attack. KPBS explores how the pillars of democracy are holding up in San Diego County. Plus, we have details on some weekend arts events happening in San Diego County.