The San Diego City Council Tuesday approved a major overhaul to the city’s Parks Master Plan that prioritizes funding for historically underserved communities with few or non-existent parks. Meanwhile, San Diego oceanographers helped in the recovery of the remains of a military flier who crashed off the shore of Vietnam more than 40 years ago. Plus, the Biden administration’s plan to reform the military’s response to sexual assault in its ranks will likely take years to see results.
Good Morning, I’m Annica Colbert….it’s Wednesday August 4th.
A new parks master plan
More on that next, but first… let’s do the headlines….
San Diego is now the largest county in the state to not have a mask mandate. Sacramento, san Francisco and 7 bay area counties have joined LA in mandating masks for indoor spaces.. Meanwhile, lines wrapped around Kaiser Permanente in La Mesa on Tuesday, with a surge of people looking to get tested. There are 21 county testing sites providing free covid-19 testing, and many sites do not require appointments.
Sweetwater Union high school is also offering free rapid covid tests to students in the district. Their school year started two weeks ago and they’re already seeing covid-19 cases among students.
Erico Cerreno’s daughter was among those getting a test, after she was exposed to the virus in class at Eastlake middle school. Although his daughter is vaccinated, Cerreno says they’re switching her back to the hybrid model.
“we are afraid of what’s going on right now.”
Out of the 35-thousand students attending in-person classes, 58 students have tested positive, according to the district’s covid dashboard.
The city of San Diego is asking the Coastal Commission for permission to protect the Sea Lion rookery at La Jolla Point. They’re seeking an emergency permit to protect visitors and marine mammals along the coast at Ellen Scripps Browning Park. The move could allow the city to put up signs saying the area is closed, and put up chains near the stairwell near Boomer Beach to block access to the shoreline. The signs and chain would remain up until sea lion pupping season is over in mid-september.
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The San Diego city parks master plan hasn’t been updated in more than 65 years…that is until Tuesday when the San Diego city council approved the first major overhaul.
KPBS metro reporter Andrew Bowen says the goal is equity.
AB: In the past, neighborhood parks were largely funded by fees tied to new development. That meant newer and wealthier neighborhoods with more growth received a disproportionate share of park money. The new system requires that a portion of development fees, regardless of where they come from, go to underserved communities. Councilmember Vivian Moreno says the status quo has left her constituents behind.
SAN DIEGO CITY COUNCILMEMBER
VM: Kids have no safe place to play in their neighborhood. Seniors don’t have safe places to walk and exercise. Park deprivation is why you see people playing soccer on basketball courts and parking lots. And we felt it tremendously during the lockdown.
AB: Councilmember Chris Cate cast the only vote against the park plan, saying he fears his district, which includes the fast growing community of Kearny Mesa, could be left behind.
SAN DIEGO CITY COUNCILMEMBER
CC: We have communities in my district that are going to be seeing tens of thousands of new units being built, potentially over 100,000 new residents come into my communities, with really no assurances or guarantees that even a small bit of the funding that would come from those communities will go back to those communities for parks.
AB: The Parks Master Plan update also includes incentives for more affordable housing. And it changes how the city evaluates park quality, with less emphasis on acreage and more emphasis on a park’s amenities. Andrew Bowen, KPBS news.
San Pasqual Academy, the residential educational campus for foster youth in Escondido, has been granted an extension to keep operating until next year, but no new students can enroll. KPBS North County reporter Tania Thorne says a lawsuit was filed on tuesday to secure the schools future.
The current foster youth at San Pasqual Academy will be able to stay on the campus until next June.
In the meantime, no new youth will be referred to the program.
Meaning, the academy’s future looks dim.
“So to take them out of this system and put them back in the structure, remember these are the kids that were not only not thriving within the typical foster care system, they kind of fell out of the system and they could very easily end up on the streets because there’s no placement for them. “
Charles LiMandri is the attorney representing SPA supporters.
They have filed a lawsuit against the state of California and the county of San Diego for the attempt to shut down the program.
He says SPA is a unique institution and needs a carve out in the federal law that prevents its funding.
“They’re going to need to give it a special licensing category because it is unique. It’s not a typical foster home situation, nor is it a group home. Certainly not one of these short term residential facilities either.”
Limandri also claims the state and county violated the foster youths’ rights.
“There’s something called the foster youth bill of rights, which is a statute of welfare institutions code, which says that children in the foster care system, particularly those who are in their teenage years and high school bound are entitled to have input into decisions that are going to affect their education and living arrangements.”
The youth and staff of SPA found out about the closure through a newspaper.
Natasha Strain is a SPA alumni and one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit.
“This place is for kids 12 to 18 and that’s the gap in foster care, that’s where parents usually don’t want teenagers, this place helps fill that gap…they feel more wanted here, a place where they can grow and become a better person.”
LiMandri feels confident that a solution will be reached.
“This is not a controversial issue, everyone wants to help out kids do better and this is a program that works so this is something we should all be able to get behind.”
TT KPBS news
San Diego oceanographers have helped recover the remains of a military flier who crashed off the shore of Vietnam more than 40 years ago.
KPBS Environment Reporter Erik Anderson has details.
Recently developed underwater search technology has helped find the remains of an Air Force major aboard a plane that crashed into the south China Sea in 1967. Finding the crash site in the open ocean took some work.Eric Terrill, Scripps Institution of Oceanography00:03:27 — 00:03:38 “One of the workhorses is an underwater robot that has side stamp sonar on board and it allows us to survey wide areas in a very efficient means.” Two b-52’s collided and crashed plunging into the ocean. Seven crewmembers were rescued, but three remained missing. Researchers had a general location, but they had to scour eight square miles of ocean floor.
Drew Pietruszka, Scripps Institution of Oceanography
“It makes it much more difficult to put that exact pin in the map where the accident occurred so this being so far offshore, we had a decent location but it’s not like today where all these aircraft have GPS units in them and they’re giving sub meter location.”Once the debris field was located under about 80 feet of murky water, divers inspected the underwater site. That led to the recovery of the remains of radar navigator Paul Avolese. The search happened because of cooperation with Vietnam, the US Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency and researchers in San Diego and Delaware.Erik Anderson KPBS News
California voters will decide whether to recall Governor Gavin Newsom in September. But how does a recall election actually work? CapRadio’s Nicole Nixon explains.
NN: Voters will be asked two questions in the September 14 recall:
One: should Gavin Newsom be recalled — or removed — from the office of governor?
Two: If he is recalled, who should replace him? This question will include a list of the 46 qualified candidates, plus a space for a write-in answer.
The governor will be recalled if more than 50…
Read More:A New City Parks Master Plan (San Diego News Now)