Karin Burns
Karin Burns, chief executive officer of San Diego Community Power on April 27, 2022. / Photo by MacKenzie Elmer

As thousands of customers in five San Diego cities plus the county move to a public power agency, Voice of San Diego’s MacKenzie Elmer sat down with its new leader, Karin Burns, on her seventh day on the job.

The two unpack the challenges that lie ahead for San Diego Community Power like driving down rising energy costs, staying competitive with San Diego Gas and Electric and where to build new zero-carbon energy projects that get the region to 100 percent renewable energy by 2035. 

To that first point, which is top of mind for most San Diegans as they struggle to pay their ever-rising energy bills, Elmer asked: With your experience in the financing of clean energy and with San Diego Community Power fighting to keep rates lower than SDG&E, I wonder whether you have any innovative ideas in terms of trying to drive down rates?

“We are about to go into our strategic planning process so it’s a little too early to say,” Burns said. “We also want to invest back into communities. Affordable lower rates is one way but there’s also workforce development and training, energy efficiency, electrification — all of those lower energy use behind the meter. And I’m really excited about those kinds of programs.”

Read the Q&A here.

Baja California Through the Lens of La Jolla Photographer, Historian

LEATHER WORKER ©UCSD from the Journeys of Harry Crosby

Reporters covering the U.S.-Mexico border spend most of their time pursuing fast-changing events. It’s a world that Sandra Dibble knows all too well — she did it for more than 25 years. 

In the latest Border Report, Voice contributor Dibble writes that if you take a deeper look, and know where to drive, you’ll find another world, one that is made up of landscapes studded with boulders, rancheros, Spanish missions and indigenous murals that speak to a time when that border didn’t exist: the Baja California Peninsula. 

It’s a world captured in a new documentary, “The Journeys of Harry Crosby,” which explores the peninsula of Baja California through the lens of La Jolla historian and photographer Harry Crosby. Dibble spoke to the film’s director about the significance of Crosby’s photography and the history it captured. 

Read more about the documentary here. 

Most San Diego Child Care Centers Are Losing Money 

A recent survey of 900 San Diego child care providers found that most of them are facing serious financial issues, reports KPBS.

The study, conducted by the Nonprofit Institute at the University of San Diego on behalf of The San Diego Foundation, found that 78 percent of San Diego child care centers are either losing money or just breaking even.

The average annual cost for one infant in a child care center is more than $19,000 a year, while care for one infant and one preschooler costs more than $33,000 annually. Families with one infant and one preschooler spend an average of 40 percent of their income on child care, according to the report.

But high costs aren’t the only problem. Voice previously reported that open spots at child care centers are becoming increasingly difficult to come by.

Before the pandemic, San Diego only had enough licensed care to serve about 40 percent of working parents. The county has lost 10 percent of those since then, according to the YMCA of San Diego County.

Kim McDougal, the executive director of the YMCA Childcare Resource Service, told KPBS that without more federal and state funding, along with more policy solutions, the situation is only going to get worse.

In Other News

  • The San Diego County Bar Association released its voters guide for the seven candidates vying for three San Diego Superior Court judicial seats. It ranks candidates on a scale from exceptionally qualified to lacking qualifications or unable to evaluate. 
  • San Diego County lawyers are seeking to void an $85 million jury award to the family of a man who died after being restrained by sheriff’s deputies in 2015, or get a new trial. In two separate motions filed last month, county lawyers said the jury’s verdict was “incurably infected with error” and that the trial was riddled with rulings that hurt the county’s case. (Union-Tribune)
  • The San Diego Humane Society is partnering with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to allow Ukrainian refugees crossing the U.S.-Mexico border to bring their pets with them. The Humane Society transported the first dog from Ukraine over the weekend at the San Ysidro Port of Entry. (Union-Tribune)
  • A SuperLotto Plus ticket worth $38 million was sold at a San Diego 7-Eleven store last week. The ticket, sold in Hillcrest, had all six of the winning numbers. The odds of matching all five numbers and the Mega number is 1 in 41,416,353, according to the California Lottery. (ABC 10)

This Morning Report was written by MacKenzie Elmer, Tigist Layne and Andrea Lopez-Villafaña. It was edited by Megan Wood.

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