San Diego

Relief checks distributed from La Mesa disaster recovery fund

LA MESA (KUSI) – The Final relief checks will be distributed to 23 businesses from the La Mesa Disaster Recovery Fund on Tuesday by representatives of the San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce and Chamber Foundation, La Mesa Chamber of Commerce, East County Economic Development Council. Recipients suffered damages during civil unrest overnight on Saturday, May 30, and Sunday, May 31. East County Chamber Foundation Board Chairman Patrick Howard said, “We have been determined from the start not to create another bureaucracy, but to get donations into the hands of the business owners who needed help and close out this project. We have accomplished this through an exceptional East County partnership.” La Mesa businesses receiving checks in both Phase I and again as part of Phase 2 registered and verified they had suffered physical damage or looting as a direct result of the activities of individuals. Thirty-five businesses have received $5,000 in relief distribution. After registration closed on Friday, July 24, GoFundMe released the remaining balance to the fund administrators. After a final accounting, 23 recipients will receive a second check for $3,750. Twelve…

Seattle police chief to resign following department cuts

SEATTLE (AP) — Seattle’s police chief says she is stepping down, a move made public the same day the City Council approved reducing the department by as many as 100 officers through layoffs and attrition. Carmen Best, the city’s first Black police chief, said in a letter to the department that her retirement will be effective Sept. 2 and the mayor has appointed Deputy Chief Adrian Diaz as the interim chief, KING-TV reported Monday. Councilmembers had approved the cuts Monday. “I am confident the department will make it through these difficult times,” Best said in the letter. “You truly are the best police department in the country, and please trust me when I say, the vast majority of people in Seattle support you and appreciate you. … I look forward to seeing how this department moves forward through the process of re-envisioning public safety. I relish the work that will be done by all of you.” In an email to police Mayor Jenny Durkan said she she accepted Best’s decision “with a very heavy heart.” “I regret deeply that she concluded that the best way…

Is it safe to ride public transit during the pandemic?

(AP) – Is it safe to ride public transit during the coronavirus pandemic? It depends on a variety of factors, but there are ways to minimize risk. The main way that the virus spreads is through droplets people spray when they talk, cough or sneeze. That means the best way to reduce the spread of infection on public transit and elsewhere is to wear and mask and stay 6 feet from others, experts say. Transit systems around the world are requiring riders to wear masks and encouraging people to socially distance. Compliance could vary, especially as ridership levels start rebounding and trains and buses get more crowded. But there are other steps you can take to make trips less risky. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests traveling during non-peak hours, avoiding crowded spots in stations and stops, and skipping rows between seats when possible. Surfaces are also believed to pose a risk, though to a lesser degree, and transit systems are employing a variety of cleaning techniques. Moscow and Shanghai have experimented with germ-killing ultraviolet light and Hong Kong has deployed a…

County opens walk-up COVID-19 testing site in San Marcos

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – County health officials have opened up a new COVID-19 testing site on the campus of California State University in San Marcos. The walk-up site at CSU is just the second such test facility in the county. Unlike the drive-through sites operated by the county in other locations, the walk-up tests do not require an appointment in advance. Ryan Clabow who works for the county’s Department of Health and Human Services said about 70 people were already in line when the testing facility opened for the first time this morning. Although the location is convenient to the university community, any member of the general public is allowed to take the free COVID-19 test. Rebecca Jones, the Mayor of San Marcos said, “I think it’s important for us to make sure our testing is wide range and not focus solely on south county because we need to make sure we’re keeping people healthy.” Ryan Gagliano, a youth baseball coach, decided to get a test as a precaution on the advice of a senior coach. “It was super easy. There wasn’t a line or…

Mountain West postpones all Fall sports seasons due to COVID-19

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – The Mountain West Conference, in which San Diego State University plays the majority of its intercollegiate sports, announced Monday it was postponing its fall sports season indefinitely in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The conference had announced last Wednesday that it was planning to delay the start of conference games in multiple sports until after Sept. 26. John David Wicker, SDSU’s athletic director, said he was working with student-athletes and coaches to prepare for an eventual rescheduling of the season. “We will continue to honor student-athlete scholarships and work with them on the pursuit of their degrees on the heels of a record-setting academic performance last spring,” he said. “We will continue to evaluate the possibility of a spring season for those sports impacted by today’s decision.” The Mountain West Board of Directors said in a statement Monday that it “prioritized the physical and mental health and well-being of the conference’s student-athletes and overall campus communities” in its decision. “Nothing is more important than the health and well-being of our students, student-athletes, coaches, faculty, staff and overall communities,” said Mary…

Assemblywoman Rubio introduces ‘Save Local Journalism’ Act to protect industry from AB 5

SACRAMENTO (KUSI) – Assemblywoman Blanca Rubio (D- Baldwin Park) announced she has introduced legislation (Assembly Bill 323) to strengthen California’s community news organizations, protecting their ability to provide all Californians with important information about news and events in their communities. AB 323, as amended August 7, 2020, directs state departments and agencies to place marketing and outreach advertising in community and ethnic news outlets. AB 323 also protects the journalism industry by extending the sunset date for the exemption for newspaper carriers from the ABC test to “give ethnic, mid-size, and daily newspapers two additional years to comply with AB 5.” “Our free media – one of our most cherished Constitutional rights – is at risk of extinction,” said Assemblywoman Rubio. “At a time when local information is critical for our communities and the rebuilding of our economy. AB 323 will prevent ‘news deserts’ by providing a lifeline to California’s community and ethnic media outlets.” As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, California newspapers have experienced declines in about half their average print advertising revenue. Furthermore, over a dozen California papers have suspended operations or…

Panel of experts help San Diego Unified School District with reopening plan

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – San Diego Unified School District officials announced Monday they were making preparations to get children back in schools, but were looking at a timeline of “months, not weeks,” before that could become a reality. The district will adopt strict new standards to protect students, staff and the community from the spread of COVID-19 when schools convene in person again, District Superintendent Cindy Marten said during a news conference Monday. The measures are being adopted and developed in consultation with experts from UCSD. In the meantime, the district will begin classes remotely this month. Conditions for reopening local schools will be stricter than state standards, will proceed in phases and will require critical protective measures including mandatory masks, proper ventilation and strict social distancing, according to district leaders. State standards for reopening schools already require a seven-day testing positivity rate of less than 8% and other factors, but the panel convened by San Diego Unified called for adding contact tracing metrics and other factors included in the County of San Diego’s designated health triggers. “We consulted with the world’s leading experts on…

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