Axios San Diego

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Another Friday without the works of Miller-Boyett to mark the occasion. Still feels wrong after all these years.

  • Today's weather: Coast β€” Mostly cloudy with a chance of showers; highs in the low 60s. Inland β€” A chance of rain this morning, then mostly cloudy with highs in the low 60s.

Situational awareness: Members of Congress are investigating Oceanside-based Frontwave Credit Union after KPBS revealed it "preyed on Marine recruits" for decades by collecting millions in overdraft fees.

Today's newsletter is 879 words β€” a 3.5-minute read.

1 big thing: Advocacy groups want more input in county's plan for federal migrant aid

Asylum-seeking migrants wait to be processed in Jacumba Hot Springs. Photo: Qian Weizhong/VCG via Getty Images

San Diego County and local advocacy groups are at odds over the process for spending $39 million in federal funds for migrant aid as a key deadline looms.

Why it matters: The money is critical to address the ongoing migrant crisis in San Diego, where tens of thousands of people, many seeking asylum, have been released and arrested by border patrol in recent months.

How it works: FEMA's Shelter and Services Program (SSP) gives money to local organizations and governments offering assistance to migrants and asylum seekers in border communities.

State of play: San Diego County was unexpectedly awarded $19.6 million of those funds for fiscal 2024 earlier this month. Without its own migrant shelter or center for services, the county is more of a vehicle for the money.

  • In order to get the promised cash, the county needs to submit a plan to FEMA by today, outlining how the money will be spent.
  • Local migrant services groups and San Diego's congressional delegation have urged the county to collaborate with advocates before submitting that plan.
  • California Welcoming Task Force's member organizations said in a statement Monday they should be part of the conversation beforehand to ensure the money will go "where it can do the most good." But that didn't happen.

Between the lines: The plan is expected to come in ahead of deadline β€” but not get specific about the groups, projects and amounts of money involved, according to county spokesperson Michael Workman.

  • Instead, the county will meet with local migrant services organizations post-deadline and determine how the money will be dispersed through contracts approved by the County Board of Supervisors, he said. That process could take weeks.

Zoom in: In the past, similar money has gone toward local centers that provide vulnerable migrants and families temporary shelter, meals and transportation to their final destination.

What's next: Once the county gets a response from FEMA on its plan, community groups will be able to meet with officials and request the funding for migrant services.

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2. Solar steam starts up in the San Diego region

A solar-powered boiler and steam storage unit developed by Sunvapor and installed in Brawley. Photo: Courtesy of Oberon Fuels

An unusual project that uses solar-powered steam and storage to decarbonize clean fuel production is up and running in Imperial County.

Why it matters: The project could help industrial solar steam go mainstream, because for the first time, the tech has been part of a power-purchase agreement, the companies behind the project say.

  • A power-purchase agreement is when a developer pays to install, operate and own an energy system on property owned by a customer who agrees to buy the energy for a predetermined time.

Driving the news: Solar steam company Sunvapor built the project at Oberon Fuels' renewable fuel-production facility in Brawley.

  • The solar steam replaces natural gas-powered steam Oberon had relied on to create clean fuel, lowering its carbon footprint.
  • The federal Department of Energy funded it as a demonstration project that also uses compressed steam to generate heat at night.

The big picture: Solar-powered industrial heat is emerging, in part, as a result of industrial decarbonization incentives in the Inflation Reduction Act.

Bottom line: Solar industrial steam is still fledgling technology, but the Brawley project's adoption of attractive financing is a major step that could help it grow as potential customers see a way to avoid initial costs.

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3. The Lineup: Local news roundup

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

🎸 San Diego band Electric Mud will open for the Rolling Stones during their May 7 concert in the Phoenix area. (Union-Tribune)

πŸ›Ά About 15 homeless residents have created a community on an island in the San Diego River in Mission Valley. (inewsource)

πŸŽ’ Logan Memorial students staged a mass walkout this week to protest planned layoffs of San Diego Unified teachers. (Voice of San Diego)

4. πŸ₯ Catch some playoff lax

Austin Staats takes a hit against the Las Vegas Desert Dogs. Photo: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images for NLL

The San Diego Seals are ready to begin their playoff march in hopes of bringing home their first National Lacrosse League title.

Why it matters: The Seals have reached the playoffs in four consecutive seasons but were upset in last year's first round after entering the postseason as the league's top team.

Driving the news: Coach Patrick Merrill and the Seals went 13-5 this season, earning the No. 2 seed and a home playoff game against seventh-seeded Panther City.

How to watch: The Seals and Panther City meet at 7pm Saturday at Pechanga Arena.

  • The game won't be on TV but can be streamed on ESPN+.

State of play: Austin Staats scored 50 goals this season, a Seals record and good for fourth in the NLL.

Bottom line: A win Saturday would advance the Seals to a best-of-three semifinal series.

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5. Legit low-key-kickbacks

Makenzy Doniak of San Diego Wave FC against Gotham FC. Photo: Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images

It's a jam-packed weekend, so get out and enjoy it!


πŸ“· Medium Festival of Photography Keynote

Enjoy the 12th annual festival, beginning with a keynote lecture by Indigenous artist Cara Romero.

πŸŽ›οΈ San Diego Music Awards Showcase

Hear five 2024 nominees play ahead of Tuesday's awards ceremony.


πŸ₯ Adams Avenue Unplugged

Enjoy the all-day music festival that includes more than 60 bands on 20 stages.

⚽ San Diego Wave

Watch our NWSL stars take on Bay City FC.


🎨40th annual Mission Fed ArtWalk

Find more than 250 visual artists displaying work throughout Little Italy.

🌷Encinitas Spring Street Fair

Meander along a two-day street fest that has been going strong since 1983.

πŸ“– San Diego Book Crawl

Find great books at 13 participating stores across the county.

More events

Our picks:

☁️ Andy is wondering if life would be easier as one of those people who pretends to like "May gray."

😊 Kate is just happy it's Friday β€” anyone else?

This newsletter was edited by Carly Mallenbaum and copy edited by James Gilzow.