Mayor Todd Gloria Thursday announced a pilot program that will use solar power to charge San Diego’s municipal electric vehicle fleet as part of the city’s climate action plan. Also, since the beginning of the pandemic, 535 child care providers have shuttered their doors in San Diego county, putting a strain on an already beleaguered child care system. Plus, scientists say carbon capture technology, that pulls CO2 out of the air, is the quickest way to reduce carbon emissions.
Good Morning, I’m Annica Colbert….it’s Friday, April 23rd.
We may see a solar-powered electric vehicle fleet in San Diego one day soon
Solar powered electric vehicle infrastructure for san diego…
More on that next, But first… let’s do the headlines….
The University of California and Cal State University officials say all students and staff who come back to campus in the fall must be vaccinated, once the Food and Drug Administration officially approves COVID-19 vaccines. The UC and CSU systems are the largest school systems nationwide to announce such a mandate. The FDA doesn’t have a date yet for when they’ll officially approve any vaccines.
The first female recruits to train in San Diego officially became Marines today (Thursday). This first class will graduate May 6 before a small group of family and friends. But The future of female recruits in San Diego is uncertain as this class was a pilot project. Congress gave the Marines until 20-28 to integrate the west coast boot camp.
An Alumna of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Megan McArthur, blasted off into space at about 3 this morning from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. She’s part of the NASA SpaceX Crew-2 mission. They’re headed to the International Space Station, where they’ll stay for the next 6 months.
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San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria unveiled a new pilot program on Thursday that will use solar power to charge electrical vehicles in the city. KPBS’ Alexandra Rangel has more on the charging stations.
“We have police vehicles, trash trucks, parking enforcement.”
4-thousand city vehicles…and counting… only 20 in the city’s fleet are electrical vehicles and they will be the driving force for San Diego’s latest pilot program that aims to improve air quality all while saving taxpayer money.
Todd Gloria, San Diego Mayor
“Transportation is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, and so to really map how the city moves and find out ways of how we can drive down emissions, this is also a part of this budget.”
Mayor Todd Gloria says he’s committed to transitioning the city’s gas-powered vehicles to electric vehicles.
Todd Gloria, San Diego Mayor
“I’m extremely optimistic that this pilot is going to prove, not just a savings for taxpayers, but really help our city meet our ambitious climate action plan goals.”
According to city officials San Diego spends 6-million dollars on fuel every year. They’re hoping to cut that cost as the city transitions to solar powered vehicles.
The city has partnered up with the San Diego based company BEAM Global for this project. The company’s CEO Desmond wheatley is confident the city will meet its goal toward a cleaner San Diego.
Desmond Wheatley, BEAM CEO
“The one thing they’ll never generate is a utility bill, so these vehicles will drive on sunshine for free, for the rest of their lives.”
So far the city has purchased two of the company’s electric vehicle autonomous chargers for 155-thousand dollars, which includes the first year of operation and maintenance. Each station can charge up to five EV cars.
Wheatley hopes to eventually deploy more EV charging stations across San Diego, making it possible for San Diegans to charge their electrical vehicles for free.
And that was KPBS’ Alexandra Rangel.
Mayor Gloria also released his new budget this week. Following the murder of George Floyd, there’s been a lot of calls to cut the San Diego Police Department’s budget. But KPBS metro reporter Andrew Bowen says this budget shows the Mayor is proposing the opposite.
KG: It continues to disappoint those of us who want real reform in the way that policing operates.
AB: Kyra Greene leads the progressive think tank Center on Policy Initiatives, which for years has been advocating for money in the police budget to be shifted to libraries, parks, affordable housing and social services. She says the $19 million increase for the SDPD included in Mayor Gloria’s proposed budget is a step in the wrong direction.
KG: There’s been a study of what’s happening in the police budget, and there are clearly places where we can make reductions and be able to redirect those funds to things that are really going to deliver safety for San Diegans.
AB: The mayor’s office says the increased police budget is mostly due to higher pension obligations and other costs the city is legally required to pay. Cutting the number of officers the city employs is something Gloria says he just won’t do — at least for now.
TG: But that would have been significant service level reductions at a time when people are counting on the city to support their needs right now. I don’t think that’s appropriate. I think we can do this over a course of years.
AB: The mayor is proposing a $4 million cut to the police overtime. That funding would go to youth programs and the city’s new police oversight commission. Some City Council members are skeptical of the need for more police funding. The council starts an exhaustive budget review on May 5.
And that was KPBS Metro reporter, Andrew Bowen.
12 percent of all of San Diego County’s child care providers closed down during the pandemic. The Child Care Providers Unions says Calfiornia needs to step in to make sure child care is available for everyone, not just the fortunate few.
KPBS’s Cristina Kim has more.
CK: Local child care providers say more state dollars are needed to ensure that California’s youngest and most vulnerable people are cared for.
Johanna Puno Hester Vice Chair of the Child Care Providers United Union says everyone who needs child care should get it.
Johanna Hester, Child Care Providers United
“We need structural change to ensure that every family has access to quality affordable child care we need to get rid of every child care desert here in California.”
GRAPHIC: In a Child care desert there’s one spot available for every three children that needs childcare.
Before the pandemic 60% of all Californians lived in a child care desert.
Child care deserts are areas where the demand for child care is greater than there are providers.
More than half of all Californians lived in a child care desert before the pandemic… that number has only grown during the past year.
In San Diego County 535 child care providers have closed their doors.
“I have parents that don’t even make it through the interview process. I have to turn them away because our program is currently full.”
Shaunte Brown is a San Diego child care provider She says families will continue to live in poverty unless there’s a real push to end child care deserts in places like East County and South Bay.
ID: Shaunte Brown, Child Care Provider
“I believe that people won’t be able to go to work, I believe that people won’t be able to further their education and I also believe that children will suffer. That’s what will happen at the bottom line. Children won’t be ready for Kindergarten.”
Earlier this week Child Care Providers Unites, which represents 40,000 child providers in California, reached an agreement with Governor Gavin Newsom for 25 million dollars to expand child care capacity … including fee waivers and helping shuttered providers reopen.
Union leaders and child care providers say they are grateful for this investment but want to see a continued commitment to building an equitable child care system.
And that was KPBS Racial Justice reporter Cristina Kim.
It’s been less than two weeks since San Diego Unified began modified in-person instruction. But some schools are already seeing more students than the teacher’s union and school district agreed could attend in person. KPBS Education Reporter Joe Hong has more.
Since that agreement was made, the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that students are safe with 3-feet of distancing, which means class sizes could be larger. Union president Kisha Borden says renegotiating the agreement would take too long and hinted that it might mean the district will have to reduce the number of in-person instruction days.
It wasn’t just the SDEA saying this must be the distancing. This was an agreement between the teachers and the district, so it wasn’t just us pushing for this number. It’s what was agreed to between both parties.
Rebecca Fielding Miller is a public health professor at UC San Diego. She backed the CDC’s recommendation, saying more students can be in classrooms as long as ventilation and other safety protocols are in place.
Masking.. making sure students are masking. Making sure as many teachers are vaccinated as possible, making that accessible. Opening doors and windows. Good hand hygiene. Everything they should be doing already at 5 ft is exactly what they should be doing at 3 ft.
District officials are exploring other alternatives. School Board President Richard Barrera said some teachers have moved their classrooms to larger spaces on campus or are rotating students through the overflow rooms. Joe Hong KPBS News.
And that was KPBS Education reporter Joe Hong.
The investigation continues in the officer-involved shooting in Escondido that left a man dead Wednesday morning. KPBS North County reporter Tania Thorne has more.
We still don’t know the name of the man shot by Escondido police officers on Wednesday morning.
But Greg Anglea the CEO of Interfaith Services said based off the description from police, he believes the man was someone receiving basic needs services from his organization.
He said breakfast at the Interfaith Escondido cafeteria the Thursday morning was somber…
“People who are living on the streets right now who were here this morning receiving basic needs and services understood that they lost a member of their community yesterday and they’re scared. They’re scared about what’s going to happen to them, and their friends and others.”
Escondido police responded to a call of a man hitting cars with a metal object.
Police said the man was holding the tool in a “threatening manner” causing the officer to shoot at him.
The suspect later died at a local hospital.
Police said they believe he was homeless and someone they encountered many times before. Body cam footage is expected to be released as the investigation continues. .
And that was KPBS North County reporter Tania Thorne.
Coming up…. Scientists say the climate crisis is advancing so quickly that carbon capture technology is needed to remove CO2 emissions from the air. We’ll have more on what that is next, just after the break.
Global Leaders at President Biden’s earth day climate summit discussed ways to slash CO2 emissions as quickly as possible to avoid a disastrous increase in global warming. But some scientists are now saying the only way to limit global temperature rise is to pair emission reduction efforts with a massive investment in carbon capture technology….basically removing some of the existing CO2 in the atmosphere.
Ryan Hanna is an assistant research scientist at UC San Diego. He’s the lead author of a paper on the emergency deployment of direct air capture as a response to the climate crisis. He spoke with KPBS Midday Edition Host Maureen Kavanaugh. Here’s that interview….
And that was Ryan Hanna, an assistant research scientist at UC San Diego. You heard him speaking with KPBS Midday Edition Host Maureen Kavanaugh.
And for our art’s segment today… The Academy awards will be this Sunday. KPBS film critic Beth Accomando has composed her own list of 2020’s best films. Here’s Beth.
You can find information about where to watch the films on Beth’s Top Ten list on her Cinema Junkie blog at K-P-B-S-dot-ORG. The Academy Awards will be televised this Sunday at 5pm on ABC.
That’s it for the podcast today. Be sure to catch KPBS Midday Edition At Noon on KPBS radio, or check out the Midday podcast. You can also watch KPBS Evening Edition at 5 O’clock on KPBS Television, and as always you can find more San Diego news online at KPBS dot org. I’m Annica Colbert. Thanks for listening and have a great day.