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Stories by Andrew Bowen

Emanuela Lisa Rossi, left, and Danielle Nuzzo M...

Normal Heights Residents Rallying To Save Community Garden

June 11
By Andrew Bowen

The Vera House Community Garden was recently put on the market, but those who enjoy it as a gathering space are trying to find a way to keep it.

Nurse practitioner Debbi Hinderliter, left, col...

Recovered COVID-19 Patient Describes Agony Of Distorted Sense Of Smell

June 10
By Andrew Bowen

The loss of taste and smell is now widely known as a telltale sign of COVID-19. But fewer people are aware of another potential lingering side effect: when scents and flavors become distorted.

A crane towers over the wood framing of an apar...

San Diego Tweaks 8-Year Housing Plan To Satisfy State Requirements

June 9
By Andrew Bowen

The minor amendments to San Diego's housing element won unanimous approval from the City Council, despite pushback from some housing advocates.

Lori Holt Pfeiler is seen in this undated photo.

New Building Industry Association Chief: Cities 'Need To Step Up' On Housing

June 7
By Andrew Bowen

The Building Industry Association of San Diego County announced last week it was hiring Lori Holt Pfeiler as its next chief executive, making her the first woman to lead the main lobbying organization for local developers.

City Councilwoman Jen Campbell smiles while att...

Campaign To Recall Jen Campbell Fails To Get Enough Signatures

June 1
By Andrew Bowen

Recall backers cited the pandemic and competition from other petition drives as reasons why their campaign to oust the council president fell short. Campbell’s camp called the effort “reckless and ridiculous.”

SANDAG Executive Director Hasan Ikhrata stands ...

SANDAG Unveils Transit Plan Focused On High-Speed Rail And High-Density Housing

May 28
By Andrew Bowen

The long-term strategy by the regional planning agency balances future transportation needs with climate change reduction goals. It's already facing political opposition because it does not call for freeway widening.

Tammy Piehl stands in the outdoor dining space ...

More Dining Spots Mean Fewer Parking Spots, And San Diego Seems Fine With That

May 27
By Andrew Bowen

The city has approved hundreds of outdoor dining permits since the pandemic began. Yet despite causing a big loss in parking across the city, the program appears to have widespread support.

Power lines at an SDG&E facility in North Park ...

San Diego City Council Approves New Franchise Agreements With SDG&E

May 25
By Andrew Bowen

Activists had been pushing the council to reject the deals, which they said do not do enough to hold the utility accountable. But supporters said they were the best compromise the city could get.

A line of police officers observe protesters du...

Activists Want More Police Cuts In Mayor’s Final Budget Proposal

May 19
By Andrew Bowen

A proposed $19 million increase to the San Diego Police Department budget is unchanged in Mayor Todd Gloria's latest spending plan.

A crane towers over the wood framing of an apar...

Supervisors To Debate Fees For Development In Car-Centric Areas

May 17
By Andrew Bowen

Environmental groups say the proposal would help focus the region's growth in urban communities. But critics say it will make housing even less affordable for low and middle-income families.

The Navy's NAVWAR facility is seen here from ac...

Navy Seeks To Build 10,000 Homes On NAVWAR Site In Midway District

May 14
By Andrew Bowen

The Navy envisions a row of high rise, mixed-use buildings with a new transit hub on its 70-acre campus in San Diego’s Midway District.

Two pedestrians use a crosswalk on El Cajon Bou...

Five Years Into 'Vision Zero,' San Diego Streets Are Even Deadlier

May 13
By Andrew Bowen

San Diego has a goal of ending all traffic deaths and serious injuries by 2025. But progress has been slow, and many bike and pedestrian safety projects have yet to be built.

San Diego's seal is shown at the downtown City ...

City Budget Analyst Says New Taxes, Fees Needed To End Chronic Deficits

May 5
By Andrew Bowen

While federal COVID-19 relief dollars have spared the city from major cuts this year, long-term deficits are expected to persist unless the city finds more revenue.

A house is seen behind an abandoned golf course...

Planning Commission Endorses Housing On Abandoned San Diego Golf Course

April 29
By Andrew Bowen

Some neighbors fear the 536-home project supported by the San Diego Planning Commission will slow down fire evacuations in Rancho Peñasquitos. But experts say they'll improve.

The vacant California Theatre building is seen ...

San Diego City Council OKs Redevelopment Of Historic Downtown Theater

April 27
By Andrew Bowen

The decaying California Theatre will be turned into a high rise with condos, retail space and a hotel. The plan approved by councilmembers satisfies historic preservationists but not affordable housing advocates.

San Diego police officers forming a chain separ...

Why Is San Diego's Mayor Adding $19M To The Police Budget?

April 23
By Andrew Bowen

Mayor Todd Gloria says the increased police spending is due to factors out of his control. But activists calling for cuts to the police budget are not satisfied.

Matthew Vasilakis of the nonprofit Climate Acti...

Activists Rally To Oppose SDG&E Bid For Utility Franchise Deals

April 19
By Andrew Bowen

SDG&E submitted the only bid on a city agreement that would keep its monopoly on electric and gas services for at least another decade. Activists and some city councilmembers say Mayor Todd Gloria must strike a harder bargain.

San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria holds a press confe...

Mayor Gloria Proposes $4.6 Billion Budget To Help City Recover From COVID-19

April 15
By Andrew Bowen, City News Service

Nonprofit and small business loans, building "sexy" streets, reducing police overtime, investing in the city's Climate Equity Fund and a focus on supporting the San Diego Convention Center are among the highlights of Mayor Todd Gloria's $4.6 billion proposed budget.

San Diego's seal is shown at the downtown City ...

San Diego City Council Considers Keeping Remote Option For Public Comment

April 12
By Andrew Bowen

Open government advocates say remote testimony allows more people to engage with their local government and that it's worth keeping even after the post-pandemic return to in-person meetings.

San Diego Convention Center on Jan. 14, 2020.

San Diego Will Ask Judge To Salvage Convention Center Expansion

April 6
By Andrew Bowen

The City Council on Tuesday voted to go ahead with Measure C, a March 2020 ballot measure that seeks to fund an expansion through increased hotel taxes, even though it garnered approval from slightly less than two-thirds of city voters.

SANDAG Executive Director Hasan Ikhrata stands ...

What Biden's Infrastructure Plan Means For San Diego

April 5
By Andrew Bowen

The president's $2 trillion infrastructure plan would invest heavily in public transit and intercity rail — goals that are closely aligned with what San Diego transportation planners hope to achieve.

Protesters gathered at the San Diego Police Dep...

San Diego Commission On Police Practices Proposes Changes To SDPD Protest Policy

April 5
By Andrew Bowen, Harrison Patiño

The commission submitted a 19 proposed changes involving SDPD's policy on how officers respond to and interact with protestors.

Bird, Link and Spin scooters are seen by an MTS...

Electric Scooters Slowly Return After Pandemic Slump

March 31
By Andrew Bowen

Two new scooter sharing companies obtained permits to operate in San Diego this year as city officials consider ways to improve regulations of the industry.

Two cyclists ride on Diamond Street past signs ...

Residents Fight To Preserve San Diego's Last Remaining 'Slow Street'

March 25
By Andrew Bowen

The city unveiled a "slow streets" program last year to give residents safe places to walk and ride bikes during the pandemic. But in recent months it has quietly been scaled back to just one street in Pacific Beach.

Power lines at an SDG&E facility in North Park ...

San Diego Mayor Reopens Bidding Process For Right To Provide Electric, Gas Services

March 19
By Andrew Bowen

Mayor Todd Gloria says his demands from the city's future utility partner will result in a better deal for taxpayers and the city's climate goals. But activists say the mayor's offer isn't enough to hold SDG&E accountable.

The tracks of the future Mid-Coast Trolley exte...

Pandemic Life: How COVID-19 Is Changing San Diego's Transportation Planning

March 18
By Andrew Bowen

The pandemic has had a profound impact on how San Diegans get around. Now planners are figuring out what lessons can be applied to the long-term future of transportation.

A woman writes a message on the wall of a tunne...

Fatal Crash Prompts Calls To Shelter Homeless In Hotel Rooms

March 17
By Andrew Bowen

On Monday, a man drove his car into a downtown homeless encampment, killing three people and injuring six others. Advocates fault the city for not doing enough to shelter homeless people.

San Diego Police roped off the area of a fatal ...

Driver Charged With DUI After 3 Killed, 6 Hurt In Crash Near San Diego City College

March 15
By Alexander Nguyen, Andrew Bowen

A 71-year-old man was charged with driving under the influence after a crash Monday morning near San Diego City College killed three people and wounded six others, police said.

A man waits for the trolley next to a PRONTO ti...

MTS To Lower Youth Fares, Bring Back Free Transfers On Busses And Trolleys

March 11
By Andrew Bowen

An overhaul to the way San Diego County’s Metropolitan Transit System collects fares is launching this summer with new functions that give transit riders more flexibility and cost savings.

A pedestrian crosses a street in City Heights, ...

San Diego Creates 'Climate Equity Fund' For Disadvantaged Communities

March 9
By Andrew Bowen

The fund approved by the San Diego City Council aims to put more money toward projects that would make neighborhoods more resilient to the impacts of climate change.

City Councilwoman Jen Campbell smiles while att...

Signature Drive To Recall Jen Campbell Kicks Off This Weekend

Feb. 26
By Andrew Bowen

San Diego City Council President Jen Campbell is facing a swell of opposition from her constituents due mainly to her position on short-term rentals. But there are also deeper issues at play.

San Diego County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher del...

Fletcher Lays Out 'New Progressive Agenda' In State Of The County Speech

Feb. 18
By Andrew Bowen

Nathan Fletcher, the new chair of the San Diego County Board of Supervisors, has an ambitious agenda for the next year, emboldened by the board’s new Democratic majority.

Wind turbines dot the landscape along Interstat...

Public Power Agency Preparing Launch With Clean Energy Emphasis

Feb. 18
By Andrew Bowen

The new government entity, called San Diego Community Power, will launch March 1 with half of its electricity coming from renewable sources.

A man with a face covering exits an MTS trolley...

MTS Considering A 'Kinder And Gentler' Approach To Fare Enforcement

Feb. 11
By Andrew Bowen

An independent report on the Metropolitan Transit Agency's security and fare enforcement suggested dozens of changes, including uniforms for fare inspection officers that look less "paramilitary."

A sign advertising Conrad Villas apartments is ...

Conrad Prebys Estate Putting Thousands Of Low-Cost Apartments Up For Sale

Feb. 9
By Andrew Bowen

The estate of the late real estate mogul turned philanthropist says the sale will fund good works. But affordable housing advocates and some elected officials fear it will lead to low-income families being displaced.

A closed sign at the San Diego Public Library K...

San Diego's Budget Picture Keeps Getting Worse

Feb. 2
By Andrew Bowen

A massive pandemic-induced shortfall in hotel tax revenue could mean city departments will have to cut spending sometime in the next five months or dip into the city's precious reserves.

Power lines at an SDG&E facility in North Park ...

San Diego Kicks Off Public Outreach On Pending Utility Deals

Jan. 29
By Andrew Bowen

City officials are trying to gather input on what should be required of the city's electric and gas utility.

Customers buy products at a medical marijuana d...

San Diego County Supervisors Prepare To Reverse Ban On Backcountry Marijuana Businesses

Jan. 25
By Andrew Bowen

In 2017, a Republican-majority board of supervisors voted to ban all new cannabis businesses in San Diego County's unincorporated areas. Now, with Democrats in the majority, two supervisors say they're ready to repeal the ban.

San Diego's City Administration Building is sho...

San Diego Faces Budget Cliff Without More Federal Aid

Jan. 22
By Andrew Bowen

City departments are planning budget cuts as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to choke the local economy. But President Biden’s relief plan gives them hope.

San Diego Fire-Rescue Department fire trucks ar...

Some Fire Department Staffers Decline COVID-19 Vaccine, Even Amid Outbreak

Jan. 19
By Andrew Bowen

A recent outbreak at a fire dispatch center forced 14 Fire-Rescue Department employees into quarantine. Yet, about one in five department employees have thus far declined to be vaccinated.

A Blue Line MTS Trolley train in Barrio Logan, ...

Transit Agencies Considering Fare Hikes To Pay For System Upgrade

Jan. 13
By Andrew Bowen

MTS and NCTD are launching a new pay-as-you-go fare collection system aimed at providing more flexibility to riders. And they might raise fares to pay for it.

Todd Gloria being virtually sworn in by Califor...

Three Ways Todd Gloria Has Already Changed San Diego City Government

Jan. 12
By Andrew Bowen

During his first month in office, Mayor Todd Gloria has taken stances on key issues that separate him from his predecessor. Gloria will give his first State of the City address Wednesday.

County Board of Supervisors Chair Nathan Fletch...

UCSD To Help County Deliver 5,000 COVID-19 Vaccinations Per Day

Jan. 10
By Andrew Bowen, City News Service

UC San Diego Health, San Diego County and the Padres are teaming up to vaccinate at least 5,000 healthcare workers per day against the novel coronavirus, starting Monday.

San Diego's seal is shown at the downtown City ...

San Diego County Judge Invalidates Prop B Pension Reform

Jan. 6
By Andrew Bowen

The ruling, which was not unexpected, could pave the way for thousands of city of San Diego employees to be brought into the pension system they've been excluded from since 2012.

In this Sept. 7, 2019, file photo, San Diego Ma...

Former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer To Explore Potential Run For California Governor

Jan. 4
By Andrew Bowen, City News Service

Former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer announced Monday he is launching a gubernatorial exploratory committee, the first step in a potential run for California Governor next year.

Vivvi Incognito stands behind the counter of he...

Pandemic Profile: During COVID-19, San Diego Drag Queens Search For Ways To Keep Performing

Dec. 22, 2020
By Andrew Bowen

The pandemic has deprived many drag artists of the opportunity to perform in front of live audiences. But one local drag queen says she and others are still finding ways to keep their art alive.

Observers look over the shoulders of election w...

Recount Ends With No Changes To Vote Tally In Tight Santee City Council Race

Dec. 14, 2020
By Andrew Bowen

The San Diego County Democratic Party requested the recount after the declared winner won by just five votes. But a full day of counting Monday failed to change the results.

City Councilwoman Jen Campbell smiles while att...

Jen Campbell Chosen As New San Diego City Council President

Dec. 10, 2020
By Andrew Bowen

The decision came after a long and contentious meeting in which the overwhelming support during public comment was for Councilmember Monica Montgomery Steppe.

A family plays in a public playground in Poway,...

Playgrounds To Remain Open In San Diego County

Dec. 9, 2020
By Andrew Bowen, City News Service, Lara McCaffrey

Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered playgrounds closed last week under the new stay-at-home order. But parents and state lawmakers pushed back.

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer during an inter...

Mayor Faulconer Speaks On Chargers, Trump And His Potential Run For Governor

Dec. 9, 2020
By Andrew Bowen

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer officially leaves office Thursday after the inauguration of Mayor-elect Todd Gloria. KPBS spoke with Faulconer about his nearly seven years in office, his potential run for governor in 2022 and his decision to vote for President Donald Trump in the November election.

Other stories featuring work by Andrew Bowen

Mayor Faulconer announced the city's plans for ...

San Diego Converts Golden Hall To Shelter, Prepares For More COVID-19 Cases

March 23, 2020
By City News Service

The city of San Diego announced Monday the entirety of Golden Hall and parts of the Convention Center will be converted to homeless shelters with hundreds of beds as the city rushes to prepare for what health officials are describing as a storm on the horizon with the COVID-19 pandemic.

A smart streetlight located near the entrance o...

Public Safety Committee Moves Surveillance Ordinances To Full Council

July 15, 2020
By City News Service

In two separate motions, the Public Safety and Livable Neighborhoods Committee approved a proposed ordinance establishing rules for the city's acquisition and use of surveillance equipment and technology and to establish a Privacy Advisory Commission.

Part of a

San Diego City Council Extends COVID-19 Rent Repayment To Dec. 30

July 28, 2020
By City News Service

The San Diego City Council voted 5-4 Tuesday to extend the rent repayment period for commercial and residential renters to Dec. 30, giving renters who have lost income due to the COVID-19 pandemic a few extra months to repay back rent.'

An undated rendering of the Riverwalk San Diego...

SD City Council Approves Riverwalk San Diego Project, Clears Way For 4,300 Homes

Nov. 17, 2020
By City News Service

The Riverwalk San Diego project is intended to transform the existing Riverwalk Golf Club into a neighborhood as well as restore the stretch of the San Diego River that runs through it.

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