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ACLU Files Class Action Suit Over Migrants’ Right To Counsel, San Diego Police Oversight Group A Step Closer To Reality, Homes For Teachers, Coronado Film Fest And More

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The American Civil Liberties Union is suing Customs and Border Protection, alleging the agency isn’t allowing asylum-seekers to see their lawyers. The San Diego City Council advanced a ballot measure to increase civilian oversight of the police. California is an expensive place to live for teachers and some school districts are considering turning district property into housing. A California native went on a 650-mile hike along California’s coast. Now, he’s sharing what he learned about the human and natural history of the Golden State. And, old-time charm and Hollywood glamour come together at the 2019 Coronado Film Festival.

Show transcript

Speaker 1: 00:00 The ACLU has filed another challenge to the Trump administration's remain in Mexico program for asylum seekers. The class action lawsuit claims that migrants seeking asylum are not being able to meet with us attorneys before they are taken for interviews. Johnny me as KPBS reporter max Rivlin, Nadler and max, welcome to the program. Thanks for having me. Tell us about the plaintiffs in this lawsuit. What are they say has been their experience?

Speaker 2: 00:26 So the plaintiffs in this lawsuit are a family of seven from Guatemala who have already been sent back to Mexico under the remain in Mexico program. Um, the father of the family had been separated from them and is being held elsewhere. So this is just the mother and the children. Uh, they've been sent back to Mexico after crossing, presenting for asylum, uh, at the border a few months ago. Uh, these a mermaid in Mexico hearings play out, uh, over a series of months. So a, you have a court date, then you have another court date. Um, and this family, which does have a attorneys, which is very rare, uh, for people in this program, um, has, you know, been able to kind of continue their case and their asylum case, uh, after they claim that they faced extreme amounts of violence and intimidation in Guatemala.

Speaker 1: 01:18 Now, does the ACLU claim attorneys are barred from meeting with asylum seekers who had been returned to Mexico?

Speaker 2: 01:24 So attorneys are not barred from meeting their clients once they've been returned to Mexico, although that poses its own problems. Practicing law in another country is not necessarily a risk lawyers want to take. However, what the ASLU is really, um, kind of, uh, trying to get straightened out in the courts is access to their clients when they're being held by customs and border protection in the days after their hearings, uh, where they're either returned to Mexico or they're not return or they're let into the U S so this is after they appear in court in the U S and they say, I fear returning to Mexico. And then they're given a really vital interview about whether they're going to be returned to Mexico or many people have faced violence there. Here's one of the lawyers for the ACLU, Monica [inaudible], who discusses how difficult it is to actually meet with their clients before these interviews,

Speaker 3: 02:20 lawyers don't have access to their clients. They don't know exactly where their clients are taken. The lawyer's requests for information go on answered. So no, we don't know exactly where they, where they're being held right now.

Speaker 2: 02:30 So basically in the days and weeks after their hearings in court, they are not able to speak with their lawyers. They're being held in Cognito and their lawyers have no idea where they are. And this is not specific just to this family, uh, this family yesterday, what happened to them as they showed up in court and they expressed a fear of return in Mexico and then they were sent back into customs and border protection custody. And their lawyers have no idea where they are. And this is really common in this, um, in this program.

Speaker 1: 03:01 So what kind of latitude would the judge, in this case judge Dana sobre have in ruling on attorney access?

Speaker 2: 03:09 So, um, that is challenging the actual legality, the, the current case that's in front of the ninth circuit that should be actually be decided upon in the next couple of weeks. Um, that's the legality of the program as a whole. This is specifically regarding access to attorneys for clients who are being held in CVP custody. Often they're being held at ports of entry, they're being Peled at border patrol stations, places where there are no meeting rooms for clients to meet with their attorneys, for asylum seekers to speak with legal counsel. So one remedy that [inaudible] could say is you have to hold them in a place that allows for these types of meetings. And other one could be, you have to make an accommodation in the courthouse before the hearing for them to actually meet with their lawyers. So it could take on a lot of different forms. It might not strike down the program as it exists entirely, but could provide a remedy that would make the current program untenable.

Speaker 1: 04:04 And if the name judge Dana subro sounds familiar to people, he has been involved in these, in these cases that are challenging the administration's asylum policies.

Speaker 2: 04:14 Yeah. He was the judge who made the decision on the family separation case, the miss L litigation. Uh, he's been the controlling judge ever since on the settlement that came shortly after that. Uh, and the reason he was able to kind of, um, have such latitude over that decision is because he issued a injunction and a temporary restraining order over those family separations. That's the same thing that the ACLU is asking for here. So as oppose to the situation and um, you know, basically in, uh, the larger challenge to MPP, which is now going through the course and it's going to take a very long time to sort itself out. We, even if we get a decision in the next few months, uh, so Brock could make a decision on this relatively quickly and definitively to change, uh, how the program is being administered

Speaker 1: 05:08 now, what's the ACO use contention that the ability to consult with an attorney is a right. Asylum seekers should have Y.

Speaker 2: 05:16 So they believe, and this is been backed up by the courts, that immigrants deserve due process regardless of, you know, their status, how they came here, um, people in who are being held civilly and civil detention. That's kind of what's going on here. Again, MPP is this, uh, that remain in Mexico. Prayer program is this very murky territory. Um, you know that even if you are being held in these types of places in a border patrol facility, you should be able to have access to lawyers. Access is the important thing because you're not being charged criminally. You are not provided a lawyer. So at the very least, if you do have resources or were able to connect with a nonprofit, you be able to see your lawyer before giving really important life determining interviews, um, where you might not understand what's being asked of you.

Speaker 2: 06:07 You might not understand. Um, what a yes answer is in a situation where they say, do you have fear X, Y, and Z? Things like that. And so that's why the ACLU and other legal organizations are really, really insistent that these immigrants and these asylum seekers have the right to an attorney. What does the government say in response? So customs and border protection, uh, told K PBS that they do not comment on pending litigation. Um, so we don't know. We don't know what the government responds and they haven't filed the responding brief. I'm sure that will be coming in the next couple of days.

Speaker 1: 06:42 And if the judge does have judges abroad, does it alter an injunction in this case? What effect, if any might it have on the entire remain in Mexico policy?

Speaker 2: 06:52 Right. So I think that could be a really thorny issue for the government to try to figure out how to continue running this program that does kind of rely on expediency, on trying to cycle people in and out as quickly as possible and get them into court, get them out back into Mexico or you know, a lot of people do get lost in the system and our how that border patrol stations or, or ports of entry for a very long time. Um, now if you say, okay, well listen, if you're going to bring people in, they have to have access to a lawyer. Um, when will the government accommodate that? W it's already stretched very thin in terms of, um, its treatment and accommodation for individuals. So it's possible that by saying that they have to have access to legal counsel, it'll short circuit the entire program.

Speaker 1: 07:37 I've been speaking with KPBS reporter max Rivlin Adler max. Thank you. Thank you.

Speaker 4: 07:50 [inaudible].

Speaker 1: 00:00 San Diego city council members advanced a ballot measure to create an independent commission that would look into complaints of officer misconduct. City council woman Monica Montgomery led the debate on the creation of the commission and said it's needed to improve trust between police and the community.

Speaker 2: 00:17 This is not the be all to end all. We have so much work to do in this area, but I do believe that it is a bridge and I believe that it will help us get to where we need to be.

Speaker 1: 00:29 KPBS Metro reporter Andrew Boeing has been following the negotiations and joined us to explain. Andrew, welcome. Thanks Jade. So currently San Diego has a community review board on police practices. How would this proposed independent commission be different? The biggest difference is in the degree of power that this new oversaw oversight body would have. So as you mentioned, the community review board on police practices is what exists now and they operate under what's called a review model. So in cases of complaints against officers, I'm officer involved shootings in custody deaths. Typically the San Diego police department will conduct an investigation and come to a conclusion. Was a complaint justified? Was a shooting justified? Did, did officers follow a department policy? And then the community review board reviews that internal affairs investigation and decides whether it agrees or disagrees. Um, and it's purely an advisory, a statement basically saying we think it was right or we think it was wrong, but it doesn't necessarily mean an officer would be charged with a crime or, or disciplined in any way.

Speaker 1: 01:30 The new police review commission that's being proposed would have the power to conduct its own investigation, subpoena witnesses or evidence in, in different, um, cases. And this is more similar to what exists at the County Sheriff's department. Uh, what's called the County law enforcement review board or club. So basically the, the justification is that this would create a new sort of independent body that would be more, uh, separate from the San Diego police department. There are a few other changes. Like the city council would appoint members of this new commission rather than the mayor. And also they would have independent legal counsel apart from the city attorney's office. So what exactly did the council vote on yesterday? The council voted to initiate a meet and confer process with city labor unions, which uh, is a requirement under a state law called the Meyers Milias Brown act. When the city wants to change the wages or hours or terms of employment of their workers, they first have to meet and confer with those unions if the unions want to.

Speaker 1: 02:32 Um, it doesn't mean that they have to come to an agreement with the unions, but at the very least they have to talk with them and see if there are any disagreements over what's being proposed and whether those can be resolved through a, a good faith bargaining process. Um, there are six labor unions that are recognized by the city representing firefighters, lifeguards, um, blue collar workers, office workers and deputy city attorneys and most importantly the police officers association. Um, so the city is notifying all six of those unions, perhaps just out of an abundance of caution. Really the police officers are the ones who are, who have the most at stake here and this is all further than the effort has gotten previously. There was a very similar charter amendment that went to the city council last year and by the time that it got to the city council that a deadline for submitting ballot measures to the County registrar of voters was less than two weeks away.

Speaker 1: 03:20 So there was no near nowhere near enough time to actually complete the meet and confer process. And supporters of this ballot measure really put the blame on former council president Myrtle Cole should they say that she was essentially running out the clock and trying to ensure that this measure would die. Cole ended up losing her reelection to Monica Montgomery, who we heard from in the intro to this segment. And uh, that this issue of the community review board really played a key role in that election. Why is it required that the city confer with the unions on this potential ballot measure? Well, it goes back to the whole history of the labor movement really. Uh, the Myers Millie's Brown act has been around for more than a half a century. Um, it granted the right to collective bargaining for public sector workers in California and it established this meet and confer requirements.

Speaker 1: 04:07 So the purpose is essentially just to promote good communication between local governments and employees of those governments to establish clear rules for all the public sector unions and avoid, um, acrimonious things like strikes and identify disagreements and see if they can be resolved. So then is there any indication about how the city's unions feel about this ballot measure? We haven't really heard any statements from any of the five unions other than the police officers. The police officers association opposed this measure last time around and they said it was unnecessary that it would cost more money and it wouldn't really have a meaningful impact on police community relations. That was their thoughts. Um, this time around they've actually been pretty quiet. Um, so it's likely that any, uh, you know, disagreements that they have with this measure would just be happening essentially behind closed doors in that meet and confer process.

Speaker 1: 04:58 And briefly, what are the possible outcomes of the talks between the city and the unions? Well, as I said, they don't have to come to an agreement. All they have to do was talk. So the unions could say, this measure is fine as proposed, they could ask for changes and then the city could either agree to those changes or disagree on if they can't come to an agreement, they have to declare an impasse and there's a whole process laid out for that. Um, whether this measure is, uh, ready for the March ballot, I think it's pretty unlikely because, um, we're just a month away from the deadline for that election. So it'll likely make, if it makes it to the ballot at all, it'll be for November of next year, and ultimately it will have to return to the city council before it's put on the ballot. That's correct. After the meet and confer process concludes, the council will take another vote on whether to place it on the ballot. All right. I've been speaking with KPBS Metro reporter Andrew Bowen. Andrew, thanks. Thanks Jade.

Speaker 1: 00:01 California schools don't have enough teachers and a big reason why is the cost of housing a growing number of school districts across the state are considering a radical solution building their own teacher housing on school district land. Erika Mahoney reports from member station, K a, Z U, and Monterey. Her story is part of our California dream. Collaboration's look at solutions to some of the state's problems.

Speaker 2: 00:29 L Wiley's classroom is lined with twinkle lights. Math pictures cover the walls. She teaches integrated math one at Soquel high school East of Santa Cruz and she buys most of these classroom supplies herself. She says it's just one more thing to pay for each school year. I can tell you I lived off of leftovers that students gave me for food for a couple weeks this year. What's really draining her bank account is the cost of rent. About 40% of her monthly paycheck goes toward housing every year. I have the same question to myself. Am I going to be here this year? Am I going to teach here next year? When Wiley was hired in 2016 she spent part of that year sleeping on a couch. She struggled for months to find somewhere affordable to live. Being a dog owner didn't help fast forward. And she now rents a room in a coworker's house, but Wiley says she's going to have to move soon and she's running out of options.

Speaker 2: 01:27 She's thinking about moving back home to Chico. I feel like giving up 100%. I love the school. I love my colleagues. I love my administration. I love my district office. Um, I just personally cannot keep fighting for a place to live. A recent study by USA today ranked Santa Cruz as the least affordable city in the U S for teachers, San Jose and San Francisco ranked as the second and third least affordable places to help some California school districts are building their own housing for teachers. A state law passed in 2016 makes it easier by allowing districts to put teacher housing on district owned property at a former elementary school North of Santa Cruz. Dr Lori Bruton walks upstairs that overlook a 28 acre school yard. And you could see it's really a beautiful campus. Bruton is superintendent of the San Lorenzo Valley unified school district. She says this elementary school has been closed for 17 years now.

Speaker 2: 02:31 The plan is to turn the classrooms into 33 below market apartments for teachers. The classrooms are bright and there's a lot of greenery around and there's a lot of flat space so you can see like this is a great patio right here at the entrance of this classroom. The project is estimated to cost the district nearly $10 million. Bruton hopes the investment will help hire and keep teachers around and she says that will ultimately help the students. If a young teacher and you raise a family in this area and your kids go to school here, that's a whole different level of ownership to the community, to the school. It allows housing in a location. We never thought about it before and that's phenomenal. We should do more of that. Billy Riggs is a professor at the university of San Francisco school of management essentially have people traveling less.

Speaker 2: 03:22 There is an environmental co-benefit there that cannot be dismissed. Rigs would like to see California embrace workforce housing for all kinds of professions, but he says that 2016 teacher housing act is a step in the right direction. We should allow more housing in places where people work. San Mateo community college and Santa Clara unified have already built employee housing to name a few. Now, school districts across the state are exploring the option including where L Y Wiley teaches Santa Cruz city schools. She says she would move into teacher housing in a heartbeat, but doubts that solution will be available anytime soon. I just know in my head I can't even think about it because I know it's not going to happen so I can't get my dreams up like that, but just last month, Santa Cruz city schools took their exploration one step forward. It's now in the process of hiring an architect to start making plans for their teacher housing just behind the natural bridges high school campus.

Speaker 2: 04:23 Joining me as Erica Mahoney of station K ACU reporting for the California dream project and Erica, welcome. Thank you so much. Now was it situations like the one teacher L Wiley found herself in sleeping on somebody's sofa that prompted state legislators to pass the new law that allows schools to use their property for housing? Absolutely. The law, SB 1413 points out that stable housing for teachers is crucial to the overall success of California schools. It also nods to the States teacher shortage, which has only grown worse in recent years. The lack of affordable housing not only affects the teachers who are struggling to make ends meet like Al Wiley, but also the students in terms of teacher turnover when they don't have that familiar face to return to at the beginning of the school year. That can be really difficult. Now I know San Diego teachers salaries are on average only half of what it would take to afford to buy a house here.

Speaker 2: 05:18 So is this a problem all across the state? It is, but it's worse in certain parts like coastal or Metro areas. The Bay area is especially expensive. As I mentioned in the story. A recent study by USA today ranks the best and worst places for teachers to live in, and California cities took the top three worst spots. That was for Santa Cruz, then San Jose and then San Francisco. Well, for this idea to make a difference, school districts must own a lot of land that they're not using. And is that the case? Yeah, I mean the law allows school districts to build housing on district owned property, so they would need some land to do that. Here in Monterey, in the Monterey Bay area, some school districts have said that they're rich in land. Also, I think there's an opportunity to be creative. For example, the San Lorenzo Valley unified school district in Santa Cruz County, they're turning an old elementary school into teacher housing, so they don't necessarily have to build from the ground up.

Speaker 1: 06:14 About how much below market do these districts hope the school housing goes for

Speaker 2: 06:19 the San Lorenzo Valley unified school district is looking at charging about 70% of market value. So for a one bedroom market rate is roughly 1700 a month, so they'd charge about $1,200 for a two bedroom market rate is around $2,400 and so they would charge about 1700

Speaker 1: 06:36 well here in San Diego school board trustees have been talking about using some of the space in its district headquarters complex to build a teachers' village and that's just one of the school properties that they're looking at, but the construction will of course cost money. What are the school districts in your report? Where are they getting their money to build these units?

Speaker 2: 06:58 Yeah, I can speak to how San Lorenzo Valley unified plans to cover the expense turning their old elementary school into 33 below market apartments is estimated to cost around $10 million. The school plans to essentially take out a loan which will eventually be paid off from charging rent and will eventually turn into a revenue stream for the district. Now on top of that, the district will also explore philanthropic options including reaching out to Apple. You know that big headline this week was that Apple plans to commit two point $5 billion to help address the state's housing affordability crisis, and so the district is actually planning to reach out to the company.

Speaker 1: 07:34 In your report, you mentioned that school districts in Santa Clara and San Mateo had already provided some housing to their teachers. How is that working out?

Speaker 2: 07:44 So these districts build their projects in the early two thousands before the state law. That essentially streamlines the process for the project. In San Mateo, rents are between $875 to 1100 per month for a one bedroom and tenants do have a cap on how long they can stay there. It's up to seven years. For the Santa Clara unified school district. There is a waiting list and actually in 2015 the district started raising rents to better match market rates.

Speaker 1: 08:11 Now you spoke with a school of management professor who said he'd like to see more professional complexes include housing for employees. Did he give you any idea of how that might work or if there are any examples of that? Around the country.

Speaker 2: 08:27 Yeah, so Billy rigs teaches at the university of San Francisco. He's a teacher himself still. He'd like to see workforce housing for all kinds of industries in the future here, we actually have a few local examples of this in Monterey County and Santa Cruz County. Agriculture is one of our top industries and a growing number of ag companies are building housing for their employees

Speaker 1: 08:47 here in San Diego. The best estimate on a time frame for getting teacher housing up and running is three to five years. Is that what Santa and other districts are

Speaker 2: 08:56 looking at too? Yes, that's about right. There are a lot of steps that these districts have to go through. Even though they now have this state law on their side, these projects often required. We're working with their local governments to approve zoning changes. Then the districts must complete environmental studies and then they get to work with the architect and the developer. Some districts here are even hesitant to say when their projects are expected to open because it is often a long process. I've been speaking with Erica Mahoney of stationK , a, Z. U. She's been reporting for the California dream project, and Erica, thank you so much. Thank you.

Speaker 3: 09:41 [inaudible].

Speaker 1: 00:00 And now lets take a trip along the California coast. Over the course of 12 weeks our next guest traveled 650 miles from San Diego to San Francisco on foot.

Speaker 2: 00:11 It was magical. I uh, I got to know California in a way that I never thought I would.

Speaker 1: 00:17 Now Nick Neely sharing his experience in a new book called Alta California, a journey on foot to rediscover the golden state. And Nick joins us now via Skype. Nick, welcome.

Speaker 2: 00:28 Thanks so much for having me.

Speaker 1: 00:29 So where did you get the inspiration to go on such a long hike?

Speaker 2: 00:33 I grew up in a town called Portola Valley in the Bay area and gas bar de Portola was the Spanish captain who led this expedition. And I actually got the idea when I was writing an essay for my first book coast range about the Madrone tree, which is a tree we have up and down post and Debra total expedition named that tree after a similar species that they have in Spain. And I wondered in that moment, what else had the Portola expedition give a name to and the idea for this track really just unfolded for me in that moment.

Speaker 1: 01:07 And your journey actually started here in San Diego. Where did you go from here and what did you see?

Speaker 2: 01:14 I have flew into the San Diego international airport and Watts walked right out of it with my backpack, which after I picked it up at the carousel and that even just getting out of the airport was kind of an adventure. I walked North, uh, in San Diego. It was behind the lagoons in North County. Um, they couldn't walk on the, on the beach. Then there was, there were no roads and they had to go behind the series of, of lagoons in marshes that really define, uh, North San Diego County. One of my biggest adventures, uh, which actually start the book with is I, when I came to the Hollister and coho Alama ranch is in Santa Barbara County at point conception where we're Southern California as it's supposed to turn to Northern. I was denied permission to walk through those ranches. So I decided to take the railroad tracks and the dark and that was a, that was a 20 mile night hike on the tracks. Um, which is one of my more extreme legs. Uh, when I reached big sir, I went inland, uh, up, uh, a Creek called San carpa FORO in the Santa Lucia mountains. And um, there I, I was just following the Creek and suddenly the boulders turned to the size of cars and I found myself scrambling in this remote area and feeling pretty vulnerable. You know, that the book is just full of little anecdotes and stories. That's, those are two of the more dramatic, but there a lot of exciting things did happen.

Speaker 1: 02:38 Wow. Did you ever like have to have a guide as you went along this? I didn't have how

Speaker 2: 02:43 much of a guide other than my, my handy, uh, phone, which was my scout, the, uh, the Portola expedition was sending a, a party of Scouts out every afternoon in advance at the hall, the expedition. I'm moving to make sure that they arrived at appropriate and forge for their, for their ho their horses and mules. They had over a hundred animals. I didn't have a guide for the most part, but I did a, I did have one guy who took me into camp Pendleton, which I otherwise wouldn't have been able to see. And there I, for example, I saw, um, the site of the first baptism in California, which the, the Franciscan Padres on the Portola expedition performed in Christiana does Canyon. And that was a very moving spot.

Speaker 1: 03:31 And you write as much about the human history of the land as well as the natural history. What surprised you about California diverse ecosystem?

Speaker 2: 03:39 Well, it really is one of the richest ecosystems in North America, certainly. And in Southern California especially, I was walking through suburbs through cities. And yet there so much wildlife, so much growth right up to the edge of it and within it. And um, that, that is actually one of the, uh, reasons that this project really appealed to me is that I could, I could write about urban nature and in a way that I think still hasn't really been done enough within the genre of natural history writing. I wanted to push my boundaries and this project and really show how human history and natural history are completely entwined.

Speaker 1: 04:19 Hmm. And after seeing so much of the coast, how would you say the state is doing when it comes to balancing the conflict of preserving land for private versus public use?

Speaker 2: 04:28 That's a complicated question. I'm not sure I have a, you know, a great answer to it. I think it's doing the best, the best they can and it's a process and it is, are happening. The, for example, the Hollister ranch and the coho Helana ranches, which I mentioned. Um, both of those since I went through there under the cover of darkness have started to open up to the public that coho Alama ranches are now, uh, a nature Conservancy preserve. Uh, I believe the biggest in California, which is incredible development and house your ranch. Just, just, uh, just recently Harrison developments there that people will be able to access beaches. But public access is important and, and an ongoing process or a battle. And I am hoping that my book will well in its way, make the case for, for more access.

Speaker 1: 05:18 Did this experience change your view of California? You

Speaker 2: 05:21 know, it, it, uh, I, I haven't lived in this state. I, in fact, since I left for college, I grew up here in Portola Valley and Bay area and then went away. So it was, it was really a incredible, uh, a deeply moving to filling return for me. Um, and as I write in the book, it sort of helps me re rediscover my home and actually learn the history that I should have really learned as a kid. And, um, I hope it will help others do the same thing. But yeah, I mean it's, it's my, uh, it's my love letter to this date. It's a book length portrait of the state and, um, I hope it will hang around. Now that you've accomplished this journey from San Diego to San Francisco, are there other areas of the state or even the country you'd like to explore next? Yeah, it's true.

Speaker 2: 06:08 I, you know, I really just, I did a transect of the state, but it's only, it's only a small portion of it. Uh, it really on the coast, I only two thirds of the way up I would love eventually to do is seek cool. Uh, in Northern California, something called the lost coast. The explores that, that stretch, I'm not sure I'd want to do it on foot, maybe, uh, maybe in different means of transportation. But yeah, no, no plans for another trekking book. Immediately. I've been speaking with Nick Neely, author of Alto, California. Nick, thanks so much for sharing your story with us. Thanks so much for having me on Nick knee. We will be reading from and signing copies of his new book, Alto, California, and Warrick's Thursday at seven 30

Speaker 3: 06:59 [inaudible].

Speaker 1: 00:00 It's a film festival worthy of all the old time charm and glamour of the hotel Del itself. The car and auto Island film festival begins this Friday bringing new films, old films and celebrities to various venues in Coronado, including that famous hotel, celebrated film critic Leonard Maltin. We'll also be handing out his achievement awards as part of the festival and joining us for more on the current auto Island film festival is Andy Friedenberg, who is the artistic director of the festival. And Andy, welcome. Thank you. Nice to be here. You've been with the Carnaval Island film festival since it started. What's new for the fourth edition of this festival?

Speaker 2: 00:40 Well, it's the same and yet it changes. Our lineup is completely different. We have more activities than ever before, over 100 events in a four day period. We, um, are honoring different sets of people, but some things don't change. The beauty of in the environment of Cornetto Island is magnificent for our festival and we always, no matter what lineup we put together, we always close our festival with some like it hot on the beach at the hotel Del where it was filmed.

Speaker 1: 01:10 I want to ask you more about that as we go along, but tell me more about why you say Coronado was special and it makes a good place for a film festival. You have a business, I know leading arts-related tours in the States and and abroad. So what's what makes Carnados special for something like,

Speaker 2: 01:26 yes, it's a village and I love film festivals that are a village because you can walk everywhere. Everything's within two, three blocks. Everything's on or right off of orange Avenue. That's easy for people. So I don't have to hop in a cab and run over. I don't have to worry about avalanches at Sundance. I don't have to worry about the French trying to explain to me where this theater is and con, it's easy and I love easy and so a plus people are so happy to be on Cornetto Island. We had an Oscar nominated filmmaker last year. I said, what? What are you going to be doing today? I'm going to rent bicycles with my wife and we're going to go around the islands. So it's, it's really quite lovely

Speaker 1: 02:08 now, the festivals to opening night films, our marriage story with Scarlett Johannson and Adam driver and the Atrust skin smile. One of your favorites at this year's festival. Tell us about those two films.

Speaker 2: 02:20 So marriage story is not about marriage, it's about divorce. It's a updated Kramer versus Kramer.

Speaker 3: 02:28 I realized I never really come along for myself. I was just feeding his alive ness to really be his parents again. He needs to know that I fought for him.

Speaker 2: 02:40 It's a very powerful film. Very well done. A trust can smile is a not powerful. It's sweet. The great Scottish actor, Brian Cox, who is actually playing Lyndon Baines Johnson on Broadway as we speak. Stars in this film was a Scottish guy with a, uh, with [inaudible] loves to, and uh, he, uh, he's taken ill and so he goes to San Francisco to stay with his son, his wife and the grandson that he's never met for medical purposes. And, uh, to get help. And it's the story in Sue's and it's quite charming. What other films at the festival are you personally looking forward to? So many. Uh, it's like, Oh, who's your favorite child? Um, uh, I love so many. I love the river and the wall, which is a, uh, a group of young people who say, okay, okay, we're going to have a wall between Mexico and the U S over 1200 miles.

Speaker 2: 03:40 Let's go visit the 1200 miles. Let's see it. Let's see where this wall's going. And so it's beautifully photographed. It's not political, but it's quite interesting. It's a very fascinating film. We're showing a film from Finland called one last deal, which is about a, a guy who has an art shop and he's wanting to close it up, but he wants to have one big special sale before he retires. And what's special about that is costs. Horrow. One of the great filmmakers on the planet is flying in from Helsinki. He's only made six films in his 48 years of age. Only six, four have represented Finland for the Oscars. The fencer was his last film, which got a golden globe nomination and was shortlisted for the Oscar. He is one of the great filmmakers and after that screening I'm taking him to a lunch where anybody can ask him questions about international cinema.

Speaker 2: 04:35 Also, we're going to be showing the 20th anniversary of the making of almost famous, which was filmed here in San Diego and Lois Burwell who did the makeup on that film and her husband, John toll, who was a cinematographer on that film are going to be there to talk about it. You're also showing a film about a pair of brothers who composed classic Disney songs, right? Yes. The Sherman brothers and uh, Richard Sherman's son. Greg Sherman is coming in for two presentations. One is about a film that he made. He's going to present a film that he made called the boys, the Sherman brothers, and the other is a presentation on Mary Poppins. The Sherman brothers were the song writers that Walt Disney always turned to.

Speaker 3: 05:26 I saw ladders, Dick and Bob Sherman over the Walt Disney studio, GM chipping the chip chip, chip, chip [inaudible]. These are the people who wrote every song that every child has grown up with. Ooh.

Speaker 2: 05:45 Oh inch that touch your heart.

Speaker 3: 05:49 He's weird. Do we all want to be not you? I remember

Speaker 2: 05:55 the songs more than I remembered the movie. [inaudible] the wonderful modern media television, movies and Disneyland day just were in the this extraordinary position to have a gigantic impact. Now, a signature event of the car now out of film festival is film critic Leonard Maltin, who picks his film greats to honor in a special ceremony. Give us just a couple of ideas of who will be honored this year. So we're honoring. I mentioned, uh, Lois Burwell, who's the vice president of the Academy and Steven Spielberg's favorite makeup artist. She and won the Oscar for Braveheart. She's been honored. Her husband, John toll, who won the Oscar for also for Braveheart. They met on the set and he won the Oscar too for legends of the fall in his new film called Harriet is out in theaters now. They're being honored along with 10 time Oscar nominee Diane Warren and we are honoring legend. Cloris Leachman who is now 94 years of age.

Speaker 2: 06:58 We should, we'll she'll be there. She will be there with her daughter. Her daughter and her are spending two two nights in Cornado and she will be at the dinner. Now you also have a veteran's day film salute is scheduled for Monday. What will you be screening as part of that? So, uh, it'll be, uh, two programs back to back. The first will be again, I mentioned Lois Burwell. She won an Oscar nomination for saving private Ryan, uh, for her makeup. She's going to be introducing on talking about saving private Ryan. And then we're going to show the first scene from the movie, which runs about 22 minutes on the landing a normity. And then we're going to show a film called Libertas, which is about a gentleman who flew into Normandy and he's now 93 and he will be at the screening to talk about the experience of landing on on D day.

Speaker 2: 07:49 So you're closing, uh, on Monday, as you mentioned, with that quintessential car and auto movie moment. And that is some like it hot. Tell us how you close the festival. We actually have three closing night films. We're going to be showing Alfre Woodard, new film clemency. We're going to be showing the biggest little farm, which is a strong contender for this year's Oscar for documentary feature. And we've invited a number of organic farmers from San Diego County to join us. And then as you mentioned, some like it hot. This is our event that we repeat each and every year. It's iconic. There are people, particularly in Cornetto that say I was there, I was on the beach when Marilyn was there. And they tell these stories. It's, it's a very important, the cinematic experience that happened on the Island. Oh, well, the Coronado Island film festival starts on Friday and runs through Monday. Films will be screened at various locations, including vintage village arts, theater, and the [inaudible] performing arts center. And I've been speaking with the artistic director of the festival, Andy Friedenberg. Andy, thank you so much. Thank you for having me.

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KPBS Midday Edition

KPBS Midday Edition is a daily talk show hosted by Maureen Cavanaugh and Jade Hindmon, keeping San Diegans in the know on everything from politics to the arts.