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Scooter Regulations, Future Of Women Scientists At Salk, How To Ask Good Questions

 April 24, 2019 at 11:18 AM PDT

Speaker 1: 00:00 There's new scooter restrictions in San Diego in a national magazine, spotlights to the Salk Institute. I'm mark Sauer, Infer Maureen cabinet and I'm jade Hindman. This is KPBS midday edition. Speaker 1: 00:22 It's Wednesday, April 24th cars and trucks are the largest creator of greenhouse gas emissions. Supporters of motorized scooters in doc was spike say they have the potential to decrease emissions and reduce congestion, but since they were introduced in the city, we've seen riders and bystanders injured and city members frustrated over where they're written and parked. The San Diego City Council last night voted on regulations to try to address some of those concerns. KPBS Metro reporter Andrew Bowen joins us to discuss the rules for doc was bikes and scooters in the city. Andrew, welcome. Thanks jade. So first walk us through the regulations on doc plus bikes and scooters at the council approved yesterday. Yeah, companies that want to operate doc was bikes and scooter sharing in San Diego. I have to apply for a permit. They have to meet several requirements in order to get one and they'll have to limit speeds of the devices to eight miles per hour in certain high pedestrian areas, even lower three miles per hour in pedestrian only areas where biking scooter riding is prohibited and they'll do that through geo fencing, which basically means when a device enters a certain area, the automatic lower speed limit is triggered on the device. Speaker 1: 01:29 Companies will have to share anonymous trip data with the city to help the city prioritize infrastructure and where to enforce the laws. Staging of devices are also regulated. The city has painted boxes on streets downtown for bikes and scooter parking and when those are around, the devices have to be staged there by the companies rather than on the sidewalk. There's a regulation for how quickly they have to respond to reports of abandoned or illegally parked devices and failure to comply with any of these things could mean that the city revokes their permit and they would not be allowed to operate in the city anymore. And how about riding on sidewalks or riding without a helmet? Yeah. Both of those things were addressed in a state law that passed last year. Writing motorized scooters on sidewalks is already illegal under state law. Riding without a helmet is legal for adults. Speaker 1: 02:12 It's required for children. However, that the justification for those rules, at least with the helmets, is that adults are not required to wear helmets on bikes. So why should the rules be any different for scooters? Also, while wearing a helmet can save somebody's life or you know, decreased the risk of injury. Uh, research has also shown that mandatory helmet laws have little impact on the actual behavior. They're actually more likely to reduce the use of scooters and bikes then actually get people to wear those helmets when they ride them. And Council woman, Barbara Bree, who represents some of San Diego's beach areas, one of the speed on the boardwalks to be three miles per hour, but the approved regulation is set at eight miles per hour. Is that a change that will be enacted before the regulations take effect in July? I think that it's pretty likely the council will go along with Barbara Breeze. Speaker 1: 02:59 The city attorney suggested that it would be easier and simpler if they just brought that back as a separate amendment to the ordinance before it takes effect. In July, uh, Bree and her colleague Jen Campbell, who also represents beach communities wanted to complete ban of scooters on the boardwalks. A lot of the public testimony basically said that reckless riders have made it extremely dangerous for pedestrians. They've seen lots of injuries and it's just a less safe environment for everyone. But the council rejected a band last year and I don't think that people's minds have necessarily been changed. So the limit to three miles per hour through the same kind of Geo fencing technology that I mentioned on the boardwalks could be a compromise that everyone is willing to live with. So I mean, so is the speed limit regulation then expect it to go ahead and decrease the number of scooter related injuries? Speaker 1: 03:46 I think it could reduce the conflicts when scooter writers collide with pedestrians or with other riders in those particular areas. But it won't have any impact on conflicts between scooter riders and cars. It won't have any impact on folks riding on sidewalks because the geo fencing technology is not sophisticated enough to detect when someone is riding on the sidewalk versus writing on, on a street. Um, and that problem can only be addressed with enforcement or save for infrastructure. So for a less experienced rider riding on the street would be terrifying. You're surrounded by these vehicles that could literally kill you. And so for them, I think I'm riding on a sidewalk is a logical decision even though it might not be a safe one. And the approval of these regulations is the conclusion of something that's really been a long time in the making. Right? Speaker 1: 04:31 Yeah. So for the past year, the mayor has taken a fairly hands off approach to doc lists, scooters and bikes. Uh, supporters say this has been good, that San Diego has become kind of a proving ground for this new technology. And, uh, the companies have been able to, or given the space to innovate and figure out ways to improve the technology in San Diego. Um, critics say that the mayor was simply waited too long and allowed these public safety issues to fester. And do you know if there are any plans to add to the areas that are designated for, for reduced speeds or to add additional regulations in the future? I think that's very likely. One thing that the council said was this, uh, several council members, I was, this is just the beginning. They'll have time to revisit the regulations, the future and fine tune them and uh, the mayor's office and city staff plan on going back to the council with regular updates on, on the impact of, of how these, uh, these regulations have actually impacted, um, user behavior and things like that. So scooter writers should be writing in bike lanes in the city, as we mentioned earlier. But we have issues on that front. Here's councilman Mark Corsee at the meeting last night. Speaker 2: 05:34 Ultimately, the amount of planning and resources that are necessary to build out the infrastructure that we know we all need a, when it comes to a protected bike lanes and things like that, it's expensive and it takes a long time. These scooters. We're literally just dumped on the city. Speaker 1: 05:50 So where are we at and improving our biking infrastructure. The city council approved a network of nine miles f bike lanes downtown in 2016 so almost three years ago. The network was supposed to be complete by this summer, but uh, that is not going to happen. Uh, it's instead of being completed in phases, we've also seen several bike projects, a protected bike lanes from SANDAG face delays of several years. And I think that many other cities in the United States and in the world have shown that safe bike infrastructure can be dirt cheap and lightening fast. But politicians have to be willing to take some heat from their constituents because these projects often involve trade offs that make driving, which most people do a slightly less convenient. So I think so far all of the evidence that I've seen in San Diego points to the slow pace and the high cost of bike infrastructure in the city as a very self inflicted wound. I've been speaking with Kpbs Metro reporter Andrew Bowen. Andrew, thank you so much. Thank you jade. Speaker 3: 07:07 The venerable Salk institute in La Jolla were shaking in recent years by gender discrimination lawsuits in 2017 three of the just for women among sulks 32 full professors filed suit. They claimed the institute was an old boys club that restricted women when it came to funding lab resources and influence gender discrimination within top US bio science institutions was explored in depth this week in the New York Times Sunday magazine. And joining me via Skype is the author of that article, Mallory Picot. She's a Los Angeles based journalist who writes about science, the environment and technology. Mallory, welcome to midday edition. Speaker 4: 07:47 How are you? Thanks so much for having me. Speaker 3: 07:49 Well, for this story, you look back at the Salk institutions in the decades leading up to last year's gender discrimination lawsuits. Give us a sense of what you learned about what it was like to be a female scientist at salt. Over the years Speaker 4: 08:02 I learned from speaking with the three women who filed lawsuits and several other, um, you know, former female faculty. What I heard, and this was actually echoed by a lot of male faculty as well, was that there was basically a sort of small group of male faculty who had a disproportionate amount of power at the institute. Um, especially over private funding. They seem to benefit the most from a lot of the private donations that the salt got. Um, and the women faculty, uh, felt very excluded from the centers of power, um, and weren't able to get access to the resources they needed for their, their labs to really grow and thrive. Speaker 3: 08:45 And we should mention the gender discrimination lawsuits against the soccer. Been subtle. Now you were able to interview the women before the settlements, including a biochemist, a Beverly Emerson. Tell more about what she experienced. Speaker 4: 08:57 Yeah. Um, what she experienced. Um, and you know, her, her experiences were really similar to the other two women who, um, also settled, um, was a few different things. Um, partly what I mentioned, the not having the same sort of connections to donors that a lot of the senior male faculty, especially the sort of select group, um, some people called them the gang of five. Um, they had more private relationships with donors from, from Doctor Emerson's perspective. It seemed like they were being matched with donors by the fundings office more than her, her female colleagues where she says that, um, she was asked to fire some of her employees and downsize her lab even though, um, she, she did have some funding and she felt that she had enough funding to, to support those employees. Speaker 3: 09:48 No, there was a lot of optimism that things might change. When Nobel laureate Elizabeth Blackburn took over as president of the salt. What happened? Speaker 4: 09:55 Well, it's hard to know exactly what happened because of the ongoing lawsuit. It's feminized reporting. And also because afterwards, President Blackburn and some other people currently at the Salk didn't want to speak to me. Um, but from the perspective of, of Dr. Emerson and, and the other women that I spoke to, it seems like she just wasn't able to change the fundamental dynamics of the salt. I think that they had a lot of confidence that, that she tried, but she wasn't able to really make a difference in the power structure and the way it was run. Speaker 3: 10:32 And as you point out in your story in the New York Times magazine, it's not just a salt problem and it happens at other elite scientific institutions, right? Speaker 4: 10:40 Yeah. I mean, it's hard to say exactly what happens or what the particular dynamics are at different institutions, but the outcomes seem to be very similar, especially at at other small private research institutions that I looked at. But in general, you see a big drop off of women, you know, women earn more than half of the PHD's and biological sciences and yet are really underrepresented as senior faculty at research institutions and universities. Um, so whatever the particular dynamics already, each place it seems likely that there's, you know, implicit bias and issues with support for, for women having children and different things like that. But the outcome is the same that there are fewer and fewer women. You know, the further up you go, the the ladder of academic science Speaker 3: 11:26 and what's being done now to address gender discrimination and sexism in the scientific research community. Yeah. Speaker 4: 11:33 Um, there's a lot, and I'm glad you asked because you know, a lot of this wasn't able to make it into the piece, but I spoke with a lot of researchers who work on studying sort of bias and the structural things that are driving women out and they found that it might sound sort of silly or that kind of thing that you feel like, oh, you, you have to do it. And what's the point? But actual diversity of trainings and trainings on implicit bias can really help people be aware that, you know, when you're reviewing a resume, it's possible that there's a subconscious part of your brain that is going to prefer the resume with a male name versus a female name or assign a higher status to the person with the male name. So some of the things that can really help our mentorship programs and support for academic couples scientists are often married to other scientists, but it can be really hard to give to people in a couple of job and women are more likely to make the sacrifice of, of not getting the academic job that they want. Um, so support for academic couples and of course, you know, child care and support for, for women who want to have a child during their scientific career Speaker 3: 12:36 can make a difference. No, the Salk institute is admitted, no liability in connection with the recent settlements. What's a happened at Salt Qca since the, uh, the lawsuits Speaker 4: 12:46 they have hired. Um, and I, you know, I can't say this was because the loss of some of these hires were already in process, but there are some new women that they've hired a, at the rank of full professor, there are several women who have just been promoted to full professor, which is really notable because there had been no woman who had gone through the ranks all the way and been promoted to full professor, uh, since Dr. Emerson was, which I believe was in 1999. Um, but, so that's really notable. And, um, you know, I spoke to one woman who's a current postdoc there and she says that she feels like there are more conversations about these kinds of issues that are happening and also that the, the Salk institute is making an effort within the institute and publicly facing to really showcase the work of, of the many female scientists that they do have their, um, and, and the work that they're doing. Speaker 4: 13:36 The, the main point that I wanted to make and what I hope people will take away from the Salk story is that for example, you know Dr. Emerson and Dr. Jones, when they began at Salk in the 80s they sort of had this feeling that things were going to get better. They were hired, they could see that there was maybe a sexist culture there, but they just expected that that time would fix that and that's more women joined the institute. That would change and I sort of take away from speaking to them and the other academic scientists I spoke to, an institution can't really expect just sort of time or even a larger number of of women being hired to really fix a systemic issues or to just sort of naturally lead to inequality. Like it really takes active work to lead to real equality in the system. Speaker 3: 14:19 I've been speaking with Los Angeles journalist Mallory picket, who writes about science, the environment and technology. Thanks Mallory. Speaker 4: 14:26 Thank you so much. Speaker 3: 14:36 San Diego City Council woman, Vivian Marino has been on the job for just a few months after a narrow victory. Last November. She represents district eight, which includes Barrio Logan, Logan heights, the Sannyasi dro in Otay Mesa KPBS Metro reporter Bowen continues our series of profiles on new council members. He says, Moreno is keeping busy. Speaker 5: 14:59 Good morning. Why nosy? Yes, Speaker 6: 15:03 her campaign might be over, but Vivian Marino is still knocking on doors in her district and dropping off flyers that we're going to have a huge cleanup. Um, on the 27th at 9:00 AM and memorial, we're going to have a barbecue and raffle prizes. Get to know the community type of deal. Her flyers also have her office phone number and instructions on how to report issues to the city. She strikes up a conversation with another resident about curb paint and promises to pass on his complaints on streets division, but as he lists gay later in the day, Moreno attends a graduation ceremony for workshops for Warriors, a nonprofit in Barrio Logan, the trains veterans to be welders and machinists. And we're confident that the time and energy you've invested here at Workshop for warriors will deliver you a prospect, a prosperous and rewarding future. Moreno had a tough campaign. She's a Democrat, but the county Democratic Party still put out attack ads suggesting she was a Trump sympathizer, which she definitely is not. She won the election last November over another Democrat by just 549 votes. That slim margin keeps her humble. Speaker 5: 16:12 Well, one of the things that I heard is, uh, on the campaign trail walking 8,000 doors was you guys only come out when you guys need something, when you guys want to vote, that's when you guys come out. So I committed to going out to the community, introducing myself to the residents. Speaker 6: 16:27 Merinos transition to council member was smoother than some, she already worked in City Hall in the District Eight Office for former city councilman David Alvarez. Her former boss had a rocky relationship with Mayor Kevin Faulkner, but she says her relationship with the mayor is different. Speaker 5: 16:44 It has been fantastic. We get along really well. Um, I'm a very straight shooter and I think he appreciates that. Um, I'm not afraid to say, Hey, I, I'm not going to agree with you on this, but we could work on, you know, other things. Uh, but no, it's been really good. Speaker 6: 16:59 One area of collaboration is housing Marino chairs, the council's land use and housing committee. And recently advanced a proposal from the mayor that aims to incentivize middle income housing. She put her own stamp on the proposal with suggested amendments. Marino says San Diego has to build more homes for future generations. Speaker 5: 17:20 You know, my nieces and nephews are part of that population and it behooves me to make sure that we enact reforms that will help build more housing because essentially we are in the housing crunch that we are in right now because of the policy from, uh, from people that govern. Yeah. Before Speaker 6: 17:36 us last week, Merino also voted to advance a new prohibition on people living in cars. In her comments, she asked the mayor's office to limit new homeless services in her district, but didn't address concerns brought up in public testimony that the proposal would further criminalize homelessness and poverty. I asked her why I represent district eight Speaker 5: 17:59 and the calls and the emails that we're getting. Um, my um, my response or my comments that day in my vote that day reflect what my constituents have asked of me. Speaker 6: 18:13 Do you see people who are homeless who stay in district data? Is your constituents? Um, Speaker 7: 18:23 okay. Speaker 5: 18:23 They do not reside in district eight, so I would say no. Speaker 6: 18:28 Whose constituents are they? I'm not sure. One thing she is sheriff is a feeling of responsibility toward young Latinas. Last week she took part in a foot washing ceremony for holy week at her church in Logan Heights. Speaker 5: 18:43 There was a young girl like literally like nine years old who was washing my feet and I just thought like I owe her to be, you know, a good role model and to strive to always do the best for her future. Right. And that's something that, um, also I, I hold of importance in my heart. Speaker 6: 19:00 Andrew Bowen KPBS news. Speaker 6: 19:12 Californians are increasingly working well into their golden years. About one in five Californians 65 and older have jobs. Some need the paycheck, but others just want to keep working as part of our grain. California series. K P C sees David Wagner introduces us to one of them. I did want to go over the syllabus one more time since it's George Shannon is a professor of Gerontology at USC. He's opening today's lecture with a provocative question. Shoot. Older people be protected from bad choices. What does that mean? One student says older people might need help with decisions around money. Okay. Steven said financial, you know, financial management, right? George is 79 he welcomed students into the discussion with his calm demeanor and reassuring voice. In other words, staying at home too long without care. If it sounds like the voice of a debonair soap opera star, that's because it was, would you like to be my date tonight at a black tie dinner? That's him in 1990 on nbcs daytime soap generations. George used to be a professional actor. He started in a French surrealist film. He did theater and he narrated lots and lots of commercials and I got the the entire Cadillac icon in 1988 by saying Speaker 6: 20:27 new for 1988 the Cadillac Eldorado and I thought, I'm never going to get that. I just drew the line away and I got the job. I was amazed, but George says by his fifties doing commercials was getting boring. He was going through something gerontologists called generativity, sort of like a midlife crisis. When you get to be 45 55 and you look your life and you say, what have I done this meaningful? You know, I've done a lot of commercials. I've done a lot of soaps in a few films. Is that what it's all about? Is that when I wanted to do a no, I wanted to do more. So George went back to school as a 55 year old undergrad. He stayed to get his phd and he eventually became a professor. I have to prepare and I have to push myself and that that really stimulates me and keeps me going. Speaker 6: 21:13 His acting skills still come in handy. George says, teaching is a lot like Improv. You have to think on your feet. Teaching also keeps him social and gives him purpose. There are times when I might say, Oh God, I don't feel like going into the office today. And I think to myself, you're so damn lucky to have an office to go to, to be in demand and if you're doing something that you like and that pays you pretty well, get your butt into the office wall, toss to like move into the muscle depart or George runs a lab at USC. I think we can knock this down rather quickly. He likes collaborating with his younger colleagues, but putting off retirement can lead to tension in some workplaces. Younger academics can feel like older professors aren't making room for them. Of course, I think about it of course and and I recognize that it's really not true. What is true is that having more people in the workplace presents more opportunities. There is research backing him up, showing that older workers are generally not crowding out younger ones. George says he's healthy, capable and contributing to the economy and who the hell wants to retire? People ask me if I want to retire. I don't want to retire. Why would I retire? I'm enjoying what I'm doing in Los Angeles. I'm David Wagner. Speaker 8: 22:23 This story came to us from our California dream collaboration. You can find more from the series at Grande, Speaker 7: 22:42 okay. Speaker 8: 22:42 According to the federal government, about 90,000 people across legally through the San Ysidro port of entry every day. Among those daily crossers are hundreds of students who live in Tijuana but go to school in San Diego. The international commute is long. It's annoying. It can also be traumatic. On the latest episode of Kpbs is only here podcast host Alan. Lillian thall talks to Alex Zara Goza about what it's like crossing the world's busiest border every day just to get to school. Alex Sat, I go Sir is an editor for vice in New York now covering culture over the years. She's written a lot about the border in her personal experiences. She grew up here and started crossing the border to go to school when she was 12 and her family moved to Tijuana. She had to wake up at 5:00 AM just to get to class on time. Speaker 9: 23:32 I went from literally driving like 10 minutes from my house to Chula Vista junior where I went to then having across the international border and to get to school and like the two hours that took every day, Speaker 10: 23:47 Alex says the commute was more than just time consuming. She says it took an emotional toll. Speaker 9: 23:52 The crossing the border exacerbates so much like, you know, intense feelings and um, like just stress. It exacerbate stress and anxiety like, like so much. And my mom at the point at that point was dealing with like depression and really severe anxiety and like having had like a workplace injury. So then having to deal with like crazy cars honking all the time and like just the being in a border for two hours and like, is my daughter going to get to school on time, whatever. Like it was just, it was really intense for her. It was intense for me. Is that just a kid, you know, coming of age, um, and having to do it like while navigating like the code switching and just, you know, being embarrassed because you're taught to be ashamed of where you come from, you know, when you're from the corner and stuff. So I'm now having to do that every single day. Like that starts to weigh on you and it starts to have bigger implications on your identity and how you view yourself, how you view where you come from. Um, what opportunities are available to you. Because like if I wanted to go to college, it was just going to be a little bit harder than for all the kids that lived in San Diego. You know, Speaker 10: 25:13 there was another time during Alex's daily cross border commute that she'll never forget. She says her family cross one day on the way to school and he immediately got stuck in standstill traffic. Eventually the cars began inching along. That's when she saw what was holding things up. The dead body of a man who had been hit by a car while trying to cross the border illegally. Speaker 9: 25:36 I can't, I never forget like Yelp, my mom's made like this, like horrified, like saddened sound that came from our heart, like from our chest of like seeing this person being lifted. And I was in shocking to, didn't even know what to what to think or say, but I just remember hands and like how like they were, they looked like kind of cal is kind of dry. They look like my dad, my dad's hands, they look just like my dad's hands. I could kind of see his jacket and it was like dusty and stuff and there's this things where I was like, I saw like I saw this person who is just trying to get across the border. It just, it just brought that understanding the space that um, that I was crossing every day. For us it was definitely a nuisance. I was definitely traumatic and has all these other implications. But for other people it's life and death. Speaker 10: 26:52 According to the federal government, about 90,000 people cross legally through the San Ysidro port of entry every single day. No one knows exactly how many of those are students going to school. But a professor at San Diego State University estimates that it's in the thousands for more than a decade. That professor has been working on a project, she says, gives her a much better understanding of these students and their lives crossing the border. Speaker 11: 27:25 Well, why do we have here? It's again, the first element of this mental map. It's, it's the idea. Speaker 10: 27:33 Norma Yglesias Burrito is obsessed with how people in San Diego experience or tone experience the border. The San Diego state professor has spent 33 years of her life studying the border. She lived in Mexico for the first half of her career, but came to San Diego to get a better understanding of life on this side. One of the classes, northern my teachers at Sdsu is an introduction to border studies. And for the last 14 years she's required students in that class to draw large maps of the border. So the mental maps are exercise, uh, in which, uh, I ask the students to think about how borders and border lands affect their life. And they have to express it in a graphic way in, um, in, in a mental map. She tells the students not to worry about making. The maps are geographically accurate. Instead she wants them to include drawings of places that mean something to them and the roads that they take to get to those sentimental spots. Speaker 10: 28:36 The resulting drawings are super fascinating. Imagine poster boards filled with hen made drawings of the places that mean the most to the students. Those places are then connected by hand drawn freeways and how unaware the students decide to draw the border on the map. Depends on how often they cross or if they cross at all. She showed us a map with a drawing of several places on the San Diego side of the border, just a few places on the Tijuana side and a big cloud drawn right in the middle, nor am my interprets the cloud and the rest of the images on the map as if there's some kind of secret language that she's become fluent in. She pointed to a line drawn through the middle of the cloud Speaker 11: 29:16 that is referring to his thinking. No, he's mine. He's mine is divided. He thoughts are divided into the the U s and the w that is related with the Chicano and that is part of the flag of Cesar Chavez, the farm workers union, Eh, justice as he is you and the world. And that means people in his Spanish, this our people. So it's very clear that have a very Chicano awareness of his condition of being a minority or a Mexican America. Um, this person is divided, divided in terms of a language and a culture that is related with media, music and education. The formal way of thinking that is the you, the American war, but that the fate because it's across with Eh, with the roots, that means they're my, they're his path. He's mine. He's the faith. It related with Mexico. That was Norma Yglesias. Prietto speaking to KPBS is only here podcast host Alan Lilienthal listened to only hear wherever you get your podcast or go to k and click on only here Speaker 3: 31:06 with endless cable TV, new shows, new sites and podcasts. Not to mention traditional media. We're all quite familiar with the practice of interviewing. In fact, we all conduct interviews of a sword throughout our daily lives, even if they're not broadcast or published somewhere. Smart experienced journalists might make it look easy, but a lot of work and thought and energy and personality go into a successful interview. Joining me is Dean Nelson who directs the journalism program and a writer's symposium by the sea at Point Loma Nazarene University. His new book is, talk to me how to ask better questions, get better answers and interview anyone like a pro dean. Welcome. Thank you, mark. It's going to be with you. Well, you've interviewed more than a few people in your career. How has the way you conduct interviews changed over your 40 years as a journalist and journalism teacher? Speaker 12: 31:56 Yeah, I think early on when I first went into journalism, I was thinking it's all instinct and improvisation and you just kind of wing it and um, and those had mixed results. So I would say I, I now put a lot more thought even on a news story I might be reporting on it. Put a lot more thought into what's going to be my first question and what do I really want out of this interview. Um, and, and then try to craft it in such a way that there are some questions that, um, elicit better answers than others. Open ended questions, for instance. Uh, I think, uh, I'm more about that now and when I do, uh, interviews with the writer's symposium, I actually look at the questions as a, a kind of trajectory. I want this to go somewhere and I want it to end somewhere. Speaker 3: 32:52 All right. And what's the general purpose of the book? Why'd you write the book? Speaker 12: 32:56 Actually, the reason I wrote this book, this was not the book I had intended to write. The book I had intended to write was a handbook for writers and things. And, uh, it was the publisher, Harper Collins, they said, but you mentioned a couple of things about the interviews that you've done. Why don't you do a book about interviewing instead? So that got me thinking, I do know something about this. I could probably do something on that topic. But then I got to thinking actually so many different areas of life depend on the quality of the conversation you have with somebody. It could be a social worker, an HR person, a financial planner, a nurse or a doctor that I thought, you know, if we maybe if we talked more concretely about what we're after when we interact with one another, uh, we might actually improve some things. Speaker 3: 33:49 And you mentioned these other professions where asking good questions is important. Doctors, police officers give us some examples of, of how a good questions in various fields can make a difference. Speaker 12: 33:59 One of the examples I use in a, in this book, uh, talk to me is a social worker who said when she goes in to talk with a family where they have, uh, a newborn for instance, who is in some sort of physical distress. The first question she asks is what were the conditions under which this baby was born? And that helps her understand then some of the layers that she's dealing with here with those parents. And so I think when you start thinking about the quality of your questions as applied to other professions, even the human relationships, when you ask your kid, if you're picking up your kid on the way home from school, how was school? You're going to get a one syllable answer. What'd you do today? Nothing. But if you ask that in a more open ended intentional way that's going to lead to better kinds of connection, then I think your whole experience is going to be improved. Speaker 3: 35:00 Talk a little bit about a silence, especially in a hostile interview or a, an interview. That's where there's a lot riding on it. A big stakes interview. Uh, sometimes silence can be an excellent technique for an interviewer. Speaker 12: 35:12 Actually silence is part of the grammar of an interview. Um, if you and I went silent on this radio program for, for a little while, that's a good, yeah, that, that doesn't work. But, um, if you're in person with somebody or even on the phone with somebody, silence is a way to to just let the person know. I'll let you collect your thoughts, but you're not going to avoid it. I'm not letting you off the hook. And I think a lot of rookie interviewers, again, whether they're social workers or nurses or journalists will fill in the silence and uh, and kind of jump in there, uh, before they need to waiting the source out will probably lead to better responses. Speaker 3: 35:59 And the other side of this is listening to the answers. Talk a little bit about how an interviewer can do better to listen and really hear it, Speaker 12: 36:06 interpret what the person is saying. Well, we've all seen interviews on television where we just, you know, we, we hear what the, the person said in response to a question and there's no followup and uh, and we just think, no, they just left this door open for you to, to walk into and you were so fixated on asking your next question or posturing or showing how smart you are. Really active listening is a way to connect with another human being. Otherwise you're just giving statements in your questions and then they're giving statements in their answers and then you're just kind of trading statements. We're not really getting anywhere but actively listening so that you can follow up and say something like, uh, how come or what do you mean? Or I don't understand that shows that you're really trying to get past the surface. Right. Speaker 3: 36:56 Can you share an anecdote or two from interviews that really clicked and why they were, Speaker 12: 37:01 I'll give you an example of one that I thought was just super curb where the other person just hijack the interview altogether. But it was ray Bradbury and I'm thinking nobody paid to hear Dean Nelson Talk. They all paid to hear Ray Bradbury talk. So I'd throw him a question whether he answered my question or not was irrelevant. It was ray Bradbury. So off we go. Exactly. He was just been an off like the Tasmanian devil and it was awesome. It was absolutely awesome. Speaker 3: 37:31 So it's, uh, it's sometimes better just to z universe just to shut up. Speaker 12: 37:35 Yeah. Just shut up and let him go. Speaker 3: 37:38 All right. I've been speaking to Dean Nelson, author of talk to me how to ask better questions, get better answers and interview anyone like a pro. Thanks Dean. My pleasure. It's always fun talking to you. Mark and dean will be speaking and signing copies of his book at La Playa Books and point Loma on April 27th at 11:00 AM as part of the third annual San Diego book crawl Speaker 8: 38:04 from farm to table and seed to fruit. A growing passion explores the way southern California grows. Speaker 13: 38:12 A growing passion is back for season seven. Incredible on tech. They're not kidding. Wow. Look at that. What we're doing is organically growing heirloom beans Speaker 8: 38:23 show kicks off. It's new season on KPBS TB Thursday host and garden expert. Nan Sterman takes us all along and she visits gardens, farms and even southern California's super bloom. I spoke with Speaker 14: 38:36 Nan Sterman earlier about her show. Well man, thanks for joining us. My pleasure. Thanks for having me. So season seven premieres tomorrow night. Tell me what is the overarching theme for this season? But we never have one overarching theme. I mean, the overarching thing was plants in our world, but beyond that, we love to have diversity. So we have all kinds of different stories at all sort of fall under that plants, people, planet, you know, that umbrella that we're doing this season. In episode one, you talked about bromeliads. Tell me about that. What are the hosts from really, it's a really interesting category of plants that are very distinctive. They don't look like other plants. Pineapple is a Bromeliad, so you actually eat permeates. It's the only edible bromeliad. There's all kinds of variations, but generally the plants have slung strappy leaves that are kind of vase shaped. Speaker 14: 39:27 And many of them, they come from, from tropical regions primarily. Um, many of them accumulate water in the center of that vase. So they, they also attract frogs and insects and stuff. So you can, in their native habitats, you can have a whole little community living in the center, in our gardens, air plants to lands. Yes, those are bromeliad special kind of Emilia. It's like when you see Spanish moss hanging on a tree, but in our gardens, a lot of those plants are epiphytes. That means that they live on other plants. They don't take anything for the plants other than structure other than living on them. They don't take anything because a lot of those plants take water from the air or from rainfall or whatever. So they're really interesting plants to have in the garden. And all of the places that you take us along and your episodes. Speaker 14: 40:15 Um, it really does. I'm sure inspire a lot of people to want to do gardening, have their own space though is limited in many places here in San Diego. Can you do a garden anywhere and then how do you work around the space issue? Well, it's interesting you asked that because one of our favorite episodes this season, one of the last episodes, in fact we just finished shooting yesterday is on community gardens. So if you don't have room to do it at home or you have a small patio, you don't have enough sunlight or you just don't want to do it by yourself. There are 80 more than 80 community gardens around San Diego and there of every variety size, price point you can imagine. And they're wonderful because they're places where literally the community comes together and they build community. And if you don't know how to garden the people in the garden, we'll teach you whether formally or informally. Speaker 14: 41:03 Wow. One of the beautiful things that people have been talking about all season is the super bloom. Uh, we know those flowers are out there. Beautiful. What are some of the things that people should take away from that? From all of the rain that we received? Is there anything that people can expect in their own gardens? Yes. Will we, we had an interesting winter and fall. It was longer than normal. The rain started early, they came at regular intervals. We don't usually get that. And it was cool. So all of that together inspired a lot of seeds. Inspired, caused a lot of seeds that normally would have been dormant in the soil. It, there's, there's often seeds have compounds and chemicals that keep them from germinating until conditions are just right. And rainfall being one of them. So the rain leeches, those chemicals out and the seeds germinate. Speaker 14: 41:51 And then that's one of the components of getting that super bloom. But it's happening in our gardens too. I can't tell you how many people have said to me, I can't believe the flowers in my garden this year. And it's lasting a long time as well. So it's, it's really fun. And our episode on, on the big bloom was so fascinating and so much fun to make and it's still going on. There are still blooms all over southern California in places most people don't expect. And I love it. You know, I see the flowers everywhere, even in my own garden. But you know what else I see a lot of weeds. It's the same idea. You know, the seeds have been there and we call that the soil seed bank. The seed sit there and they just wait for the right moment to generate to, to germinate rather. Speaker 14: 42:35 And then they pop up. So if you have that situation, and most of us do, the important thing is you get those seeds as soon as you see them because once they have flowers or little seeds on them, forget it. They're making more and you're going to have more problem next year. So as the temperatures warm up, is there anything people should be doing in the gardens right now? Anything we should be planting or, Oh yes, this is prime summer vegetable planting time to Metos, eggplants, squash. It's almost warm enough for Bazell, you know, all those wonderful melons and things that we loved to harvest and you'd over summer. This is the beginning of that sowing time. This is the beginning of that transplant time. This is when hopefully you got your garden ready, your garden beds are ready, put them in the ground now. And given everything that you've learned and everything that you know about gardening, what's the key to having a successful garden? Speaker 14: 43:29 Patients. Patients. Because gardening is so much trial and error, it's so much letting things happen, watching what's happening, understanding, observing, figuring out what the issues are. Those are the things that we need to pay attention to. What's happening in my garden? What's, what's going right with things are going wrong? What is the problem, and then how do I solve that problem or do I even need to, is it really a problem? Who knew that gardening could be a life lesson in patience? Oh my God. The biggest, the only thing that's a bigger life lesson than, than the garden in terms of patients having children. Man, stern run. Thank you so much for joining us. Thank you. You can catch the new season of a growing passion starting this Thursday at eight 30 on Kpbs TV.

The San Diego City Council has approved regulations for dockless scooters and bikes. Also, a look at the Salk Institute since after settling gender discrimination lawsuits, an actor finds a second career as a professor, a career journalist talks about how to ask good questions and a new season of “A Growing Passion” debuts on KPBS.