Haggling Over Mission Valley Stadium Begins, San Diego GOP Fails To Endorse Rep. Duncan Hunter, Climate Activists Not Backing Down On Green New Deal And More
KPBS Midday Edition / October 15, 2019
San Diego State and the city of San Diego are millions of dollars apart on the price for the Mission Valley stadium. Can they strike a deal? For the first time in his political career, embattled Rep. Duncan Hunter failed to win the endorsement of the San Diego County Republican Party, a sign of a turbulent campaign to come. After a KPBS story about her detention, a 9-year-old asylum-seeker, who was being held in Border Patrol custody for more than 10 days, has been released. Plus, people living outside the city of San Diego don’t seem to have the same problem with broken trash bins. We’ll explain why. Also, the executive director of San Diego 350, a group of climate activists, says they aren’t backing away from a dispute with Rep. Scott Peters over the Green New Deal. And, a preview of the San Diego Italian Film Festival.
Editor’s Note: KPBS is a service of San Diego State University.
Speaker 1: 00:00 SDSU presents its offer on the stadium site. San Diego's GOP gives no endorsement in the 50th district. I'm Jade Hindman. I'm Maureen Cavanagh. This is KPBS mid day edition
Speaker 2: 00:22 [inaudible].
Speaker 1: 00:23 It's Tuesday, October 15th San Diego state university has formally presented its offer to the city of San Diego to purchase the 132 acre mission Valley stadium. Site voters approved an initiative last year in which the university proposed building an SDSU West extension along with business and residential structures and a new 35,000 seat football stadium. That proposal also includes building a river park and the cost of that park is proving to be a sticking point between the city and the university. Joining me is KPBS Metro reporter Andrew Bowen. Andrew, welcome. Thanks. Morning. How much is SDSU offering to pay for this prime San Diego real estate? 68 point $2 million and that reflects an appraisal that was done by a third party hired by both the university and the city. And SDSU says that when you factor in all of the community benefits that they're offering, the new stadium, the river park and some offsite improvements to the area that their total package is actually worth more than $150 million. They didn't have a line by line breakdown on a, on all of those things. So it's a little hard to verify that figure. But, um, I think Adela Delatorre, the SDSU president kind of summed up the university's position like this.
Speaker 3: 01:41 This offer represents not only fair market value but a fair and equitable price to the tax paying public. We both represent and support.
Speaker 1: 01:51 And this was somewhat of an unusual meeting because SDSU essentially presented this offer in the form of a letter to the city council right there in the meeting. It wasn't exactly, um, you know, fleshed out all beforehand, um, in public at least. So, um, you know, we can also remember this, had these things had never been discussed before in an open session city council meeting. So the council was too, to a certain extent, kind of processing some of this information on the fly. Now SDSU apparently sees this as a final figure, whereas the city sees that figure as a place to start negotiations from the city's point of view. What else should be included in the offer? Well, so the appraisal does include two discounts that are proving to be controversial. Um, a discount for the demolition of the existing stadium, formerly Qualcomm stadium and the construction of this new river park.
Speaker 1: 02:38 Now the disagreement centers really on the language in measureG , which as you mentioned was the, the measure that voters passed last year. Um, those costs, the stadium demolition and the river part construction are not allowed to fall on the city's general fund. Now, the city says if the costs of those things are deducted from the sale price, then they're indirectly falling on the fund and taxpayers are paying for them. There's also a question about the appreciation of the land value. It was, it was appraising the value of the land as if it were September 30th, 2017. The city council's independent budget analyst put out a report saying that, you know, let's assume that deal closes in September of next year. The value will have appreciated since that initial appraisal price by several million dollars. So, you know, if you take into account the added costs, you know, if, if the, if they're getting the extra money for the demolition and the Riverpark construction and the added value year over year, the it could be worth actually more than 92 million or about $92 million.
Speaker 1: 03:40 Now, what does the university counter when it, to the argument that this is not in the spirit of measure J that the university should be paying more for this, uh, this prime real estate. As I say, they are saying that they are still going to pay for the demolition of the stadium and the construction of the river park. So let's say, you know, those costs go over the estimated, the current estimated a cost of $18 million. The university won't go to the city and say, Hey, we've got some cost overruns. Can you please, um, pay us, you know, make up the difference. Uh, they're also saying if you don't take into account those discounts in the, uh, appraisal of the land, that SDSU will essentially be paying for those things twice. So the disagreement really has to do with what is a fair and equitable price.
Speaker 1: 04:28 What is the, uh, uh, you know, what is the appraised value of the land versus what should actually be paid. And ultimately that's kind of up to interpretation and it has to be negotiated by both of the parties and there are about $18 million apart. That's right. The city is not satisfied though with other things, including the traffic mitigation offered an SDSU his plan. That's right. The university has put out its draft environmental impact report for all of this. Um, this city has several planning documents that have long planned for a bridge over the San Diego river at Fenton Parkway. So to orient our listeners, this is just West of the stadium property. It's right by that Ikea and the mission Valley library. Uh, the city wants a bridge that will cross and connect basically the North and South ends of the river there, uh, to, to allow for more, you know, flow of traffic, um, between the two areas.
Speaker 1: 05:17 Uh, the university doesn't believe that this bridge is required. It's a required mitigation under the, um, uh, California environmental quality act. Um, but it is offering to front the money, uh, to pay for it. They're saying just out of the goodness of their hearts and then they expect to be reimbursed, uh, at least partially by the city for that construction of the bridge. Now we'll this just agreement between the city and SDSU setback, SDSU timeline to begin building because it's, it's nearing, isn't it? We're pretty close to it. SDSU had hoped to have a, a deal worked out by the end of the summer and that clearly hasn't happened, but they say they're still confident that they can get this agreement signed and ready for approval from the CSU board of trustees by January. I will say the tone of this meeting yesterday was not super adversarial. I think it's, you know, everyone is really acknowledging both sides want the same end result.
Speaker 1: 06:11 They want the university to expand. They want to honor the will of the voters. But there are just some things that they have to work out on that in the way, on the way to get there. What are some of the city council members have to say? Well, certainly everyone was pleased that the negotiations will starting now have a bit more transparency to them. The city and the university have held more than a hundred meetings behind closed doors. Uh, and several council members also backed up the city's claim that, uh, the SDSU offer was too low. Uh, Councilman Scott Sherman, whose district includes this property had this to say at the meeting,
Speaker 4: 06:45 but I need to make sure that the city gets what they were promised and the voters get what they were promised. And what they gave their vote for is actually realized. And that's really the most important part of here at the end of the day.
Speaker 1: 06:57 So what happens next? What's the next step in this process? The city attorney's office said they'll do an analysis of the universities offer. You know, I think we can expect that to include some analysis of the California environmental quality act and the traffic mitigation. Um, you know, things that are going to be happening there, whether or not this offer is in line with measure G. I think we can also expect the negotiations to just keep on going because clearly the university and the city are not in total agreement about this. And ultimately the council will have to take up this item again as an action item, um, so that they can actually vote on whether to approve the land sale. Any timeframe on that? No, frankly, no. All right. Then I've been speaking with KPBS Metro reporter Andrew Bowen. Andrea. Thank you. My pleasure. Maureen
Speaker 5: 07:45 [inaudible] last night, candidates vying for the 50th congressional district seat took part in a form style debate by the end of the night. Not one of them walked away with the endorsement of the San Diego County GOP. Andrew Dyer covers military and veterans issues for the San Diego union Tribune and was at last night's Republican forum. Andrew, welcome.
Speaker 6: 08:09 Hi. Thanks for having me.
Speaker 5: 08:10 So, you know, was this form an official event sponsored by the San Diego County GOP?
Speaker 6: 08:16 Yes, it was. This was there a, uh, you, they have a series of meetings throughout the year and, um, last night was a, a kind of a special one because they had each Republican candidate for the 50th district in, in the house and on the stage, uh, for a, uh, debate style forum.
Speaker 5: 08:36 And how many of the candidates showed up?
Speaker 6: 08:38 Oh, for them. Did a state Senator, a Brian Jones, uh, the incumbent, uh, Congressman Duncan Hunter, uh, former Congressman Darrel Isaeh and former city council member Carl de Mio.
Speaker 5: 08:52 And you mentioned the incumbent representative Hunter was there, who is facing charges surrounding the use of campaign funds. What was the reaction to his presence?
Speaker 6: 09:02 Um, he, you know, he, he has a lot of support. Um, you know, when he came in I kind of did his, his entrance, you know, there was a lot of cheers. Do you know when he's speaks? Um, you know, he hits his talking points and the, um, background really responds to him.
Speaker 5: 09:21 And, and so this forum was sort of a debate style forum. Um, you know, was there a moderator who asked questions and did the audience get to ask questions? Um, set the scene for us
Speaker 6: 09:33 so the audience did not get to ask questions. That was moderated by the County Republican chair. Um, Turney Kovacik, uh, he asked each, you know, he had a list of questions in each candidate, got a chance to, to answer the question. Um, he asked the candidates to avoid mudslinging against each other because this was a Republican event. And, um, he really tried to keep a, a unified front, so to speak.
Speaker 5: 10:05 How did that work out?
Speaker 6: 10:08 Uh, for the most part, it worked out. Um, you know, at one point, Daryl Leisa did mention, he said that Carl de Mio wasn't never Trumper and that drew some booze from the audience. Um, Carl de Mio talked about, um, Republicans abandoning their congressional congressional seats in, in 2018 he didn't mention Eissa by name, but I, so of course did not run for reelection in 2018 and his seat was won by a Democrat.
Speaker 5: 10:44 Hmm. So what were some of the big issues that they tackled in this forum last night?
Speaker 6: 10:50 Uh, they talked about, um, the big ones. Immigration is a big issue. Um, they talked about guns. They talked about, um, abortion rights, Roe V Wade. Um, they kind of fit all of the, um, kind of the cultural, uh, Republican issues.
Speaker 5: 11:12 So were there any responses that came as a surprise, uh, or that were uncharacteristic of the candidates?
Speaker 6: 11:20 No, in fact, they're, they're all, um, you know, they all are pretty much in agreement with each other. They all say they support president Trump and they each answered a question about how they would support the president if they're elected to Congress. Um, there wasn't any, um, specific policy differences between the four that, that, that I saw.
Speaker 5: 11:43 Mm. And so by the end of the night, no one got a majority of votes, so there was no endorsement. Uh, you and your colleague reported that the union Tribune obtained a showing Carl de Mio got the most votes though. Uh, did Demio know that? Know that, and if so, what was his reaction?
Speaker 6: 12:00 Yeah, the, the candidates. Um, you know, this, the, the vote happens behind closed doors, but you know, the candidates are members of the party. Um, so, but I did get a little information today. Um, they do like there's rounds of voting and each round the, uh, the person who receives the least amount of votes is kind of dropped off. And, um, um, a representative of, um, state Senator Brian Jones, his campaign emailed us this morning to say, Hey, you know, the, the photo that you saw, you know, that was, that was the first round, but in the next round, um, it was DeMaio who dropped off. And, um, according to the Jones campaign, uh, the voting came down to, to Duncan Hunter and Brian Jones with, uh, with neither getting the two thirds majority required for an endorsement.
Speaker 5: 12:57 Hmm. And that same photo also apparently showed that former representative, Darrell Eissa, who has the backing of the local GOP establishment, got no votes. Uh, was that fact known to the people in the room?
Speaker 6: 13:10 Um, right. So the, uh, the, the photo that, that we obtained, it, it, you know, I is not in the top three and I'm that does square with, uh, information provided from the Jones campaign that, um, that former Congressman I said did not make it out of the first round.
Speaker 5: 13:27 What do you think that says about his candidacy for the 50th congressional district?
Speaker 6: 13:31 You know, I'm not, I'm not sure how much we can, we can infer from it because this was a meeting of, you know, the County GOP, you know, these are the most active members of the party. And, um, you know, Congressman Eissa, he, he really, during his closing statements, he really took the time to speak directly to the delegates. And he said, you know, if you endorse one of us, you're basically not endorsing three of us. And, um, his thinking was that whoever wins the primary is your likely winner. So he seemed to kind of back off really. Um, he did not come out swinging. He was very deferential to Congressman Hunter. You know, he said the congressman's voting record was stellar and that if for whatever reason Hunter was unable to continue in his seat, um, that he was B, uh, he being, um, Darryl Leisa would be the best person to, to step in. Um, of course, um, Duncan Hunter is, uh, under indictment and awaiting his criminal trial.
Speaker 5: 14:41 All right. I've been speaking with Andrew Dyer who covers military and veterans issues for the San Diego union Tribune. Andrew, thank you very much.
Speaker 7: 14:50 Hey, thank you.
Speaker 8: 14:52 [inaudible]
Speaker 5: 15:00 a nine year old asylum seeker from El Salvador being held in a border patrol station in San Diego has been released. Attorneys say the girl had been held for 10 days and violation of a longstanding agreement that limits the time a minor can stay in border patrol custody to 72 hours. KPBS reporter max Riverland Adler has been following this case and joins us now. Max, welcome. Hi. What else can you tell us about the miner? Who I understand was being held with her mother?
Speaker 7: 15:29 So the minor was from El Salvador. She was nine years old. She came to Tijuana with her mother fleeing a, so El Salvador asking for asylum this past spring. They waited for several months in Tijuana under the metering policy, which, uh, makes people wait for months essentially to be able just to be processed for asylum once they were processed in June. Um, and they were then taken in, placed in the remain in Mexico program, which is the Trump administration policy, which sends individuals back to Mexico to wait out their asylum claims. Uh, so they had been going back and forth from Mexico to San Diego over the past few months for their court hearings on their asylum case and then back to Mexico. Where are they now? So, um, right now they are in a shelter in San Diego County after they were being held at the border patrol station, uh, for 10 days. So what happened was after one of their hearings for the remain in Mexico program, they were not sent back to Mexico.
Speaker 7: 16:37 Uh, it was unclear why this decision was made, but they were sent instead to a border patrol station at that border patrol station. They were held for over 10 days. Uh, they, the, their lawyers were unable to contact them. And the nine year old miner, uh, somehow got access to a phone called their lawyers and told them that they were both, uh, falling, very sick. A lot of people had airborne illnesses. They were having stomach elements. Um, and that the situation was really dire. The lawyers themselves couldn't reach them during that time, especially, um, considering that it was a violation of the Flores settlement agreement, which limits the amount of time that a minor can stay in a border patrol custody to 72 hours. Eventually their lawyers, uh, filed a habeas petition. We picked up on this story, um, and customs and border protection remove them from their custody, uh, yesterday.
Speaker 7: 17:32 So they are at a shelter right now in the San Diego area pending their next court hearing. Uh, they're trying to get their next court hearing moved to Maryland where the mother has another daughter who's, you know, a sister of the nine year old. Um, but unfortunately their health is not great. And the mother I was told by attorneys, uh, was taken to the hospital last night and her status right now is unclear. The daughter cannot reach her. So the girl and her mother were part of the remain in Mexico program, which is officially known as the migrant protection protocols. If they are part of that program, then why were they being held in detention in San Diego? Right. So that was the big question. There's a lot of times most people do get sent back after their court hearings. They'd gone to two previous court hearings where they had been sent back to Mexico again.
Speaker 7: 18:19 They had attorneys, which is rare, extremely rare. Only 1% of the people in the remain in Mexico, um, program have attorneys. Uh, their attorneys were trying to get their venue changed from San Diego to Maryland so they could reunify with their family members. Um, maybe that threw a wrench into the system. Something happened, but they were not returned to Mexico. They were taken to this border patrol station in San Diego County where they were unable to meet with their lawyers. The lawyers literally had no idea where they were until they got the phone call from the, the nine year old girl, you know, and kind of a, a daring show of agency on her part to even call the lawyers. What kind of impact would you say the remain in Mexico program? I had on the asylum system on the, in silent system at large, it is completely up ended.
Speaker 7: 19:04 What we consider, um, you know, basically the asylum system, which is that people come, they um, make a, a claim, they're a about that they fear returning to their home country. Uh, they are evaluated rather quickly in an initial screening that says whether they have a fear or not, uh, whether their fear is credible and then that begins the next phase of their asylum claim. Uh, under this, you lose that initial interview, you end up being just kind of returned and mass to um, Mexico. You then have to wait months and uh, for, to get a, a final determination. People have given up in their claim. People have been kidnapped, people have disappeared. In this specific case, the mother and daughter had to actually fight off, uh, individuals who were trying to kidnap their roommate. That migrant protection protocols or remain in Mexico have been called by several people to be a, a cartel, a stimulus program just because it delivers people who do not have roots in the community back to border towns where they become expecially vulnerable to kidnapping and extortion.
Speaker 7: 20:16 Meanwhile, the Trump administration is challenging the so called Flores settlement agreement. President Trump has referred to it as a loophole because it allows CBP to release immigrants from detention. What does CBP have to say about why it might hold minors pass at 72 hours? Right? So the 72 hours were created because border patrol stations are not equipped to handle minors. Uh, they do not have the medical care. They do not have, um, kind of a hygiene that's needed to care for a lot people in general, but specifically for minors. So the Trump administration has said, listen, we understand that, let us continue to detain children with their parents in different facilities, these family detention facilities, um, that aren't border patrol stations. But also allow us to no longer, uh, follow through with what we consider to be called catch and release. Uh, the big problem of course with private family detention facilities is that no state will license these. This is not something that States want to get into the business of. Obviously family detention has some pretty negative connotations in general and this is something that the federal government would need to work around and they're trying to invalidate the agreement in court. And that was just recently as of two weeks ago struck their original proposal, their original new rule that would break the floor settlement agreement was struck down by a district court judge in Los Angeles.
Speaker 9: 21:42 You know, are there any consequences for CBP violating the Flores settlement?
Speaker 7: 21:47 So the consequences are that they, uh, lawyers who kind of have been keeping the litigation going for the floor settlement agreement now over 20 years, um, they bring it into court every time there is a, uh, a violation and they have to argue it out there. It's a really slow process. There's no real mechanism for the district court to enforce the, the agreement because CBP often says that, you know, listen, we don't have the resources, we don't have the logistical abilities to deal with the massive amount of people that have shown up on the Southern border, which is true. There are way more people being taken into CVP custody this year and last year then, um, the three years previously. Um, that being said, that doesn't mean that, um, you know, the government itself doesn't have the resources to be able to do this. Uh, when CBP does do violate these things, uh, usually it goes to the court. The court mandates that CVB do it. Often they do it, sometimes they don't. And then you're back in court
Speaker 9: 22:50 and I know that this was a story you broke and one of many you'll continue to follow at the border. Max Rivlin Nadler KPBS reporter, thanks so much for joining us. Thank you. A local group of climate advocates is going after democratic Congressman Scott Peters in San Diego, San Diego, three 50. Once Peter's to become a cosponsor of the green new deal. Peter says he is not sold on the sweeping climate change blueprint. KPBS environment reporter Eric Anderson recently talked with the executive director of San Diego three 50, Masada D's and houses not backing away from the dispute with Peters. Let's talk about the
Speaker 7: 23:34 every new deal. What is it, when, when you think of the green new deal, what are you envisioning it to be?
Speaker 9: 23:40 It's the only proposed policy that really addresses the climate at the scale
Speaker 10: 23:46 of the problem. And it's a, um, public program that, uh, invests in people and infrastructure in order to, um, transform our energy sector and our economy, uh, as the science demands. And it also prioritizes working families and, um, frontline communities.
Speaker 11: 24:04 The framework that it sets up. What, what does that look like or sound like?
Speaker 10: 24:08 The UN report has told us that we have, uh, about 10 years to really reduce carbon pollution in the atmosphere. And so it first of all sets expectations that we will meet those reductions. And, uh, it, uh, it, it envisions, um, the large financial, uh, investment that would be required to really transform our economy into a clean energy economy.
Speaker 11: 24:34 Of the four Democrats, Peters is the other one who's not supporting it. Um, do you accept his explanation for why?
Speaker 10: 24:43 Well, you know, he's said that he supports the climate parts of the green new deal, but not the equity, um, parts. Um, but that's problematic because, uh, we know that the climate crisis is going to severely disrupt our entire economy. And so we need to make sure that, uh, climate solutions not only reduce carbon pollution, but also create jobs.
Speaker 11: 25:07 Have you sat down and talked to the Congressman about this?
Speaker 10: 25:09 Basically, he's, he's told us that he supports the climate part of the, of the, um, green, new deal, but not the equity part. Um, and he also has said that he has a problem with the fact that it's a resolution. Um, but he hasn't a suggested alternative, a really bold, comprehensive climate action. Uh, like the green new deal. You know, we're not married to the green new deal. Uh, it can, but, but we need something at that scale that will really accomplish the goals in the short window that we have available to do that.
Speaker 11: 25:40 You've tried to convince him to change his position. Tell me what that's been like for you. What have you done and kind of, where is that going?
Speaker 10: 25:50 We have tried to change his position and I'll just say that I do think that the campaign has been successful because from the beginning of, uh, since the beginning of the campaign, both representatives Vargas and Davis have, uh, come on board to cosponsor the green new deal. And, um, and uh, I also think that representative Peters has, um, has, uh, uh, engaged on the issue much more than he had previously. Um, and, uh, so far we've tried to, um, we have, uh, sent postcards. We have made phone calls, we have met with the Congressman, we've held rallies outside his office. Uh, but he rallies inside of his office. Yes. Uh, but I was gonna say we haven't, um, you know, we didn't take a step lightly. We really tried a range of, of, of actions, um, prior to that to convince him. Um, because, you know, um, climate change is a planetary emergency. Our, basically our house is on fire and, and, uh, it's unfortunate that many of our elected officials, including representative Peters, have not, uh, have really failed to take the bold climate action required. When you look at the efforts to draw attention to this issue, what gives you hope? I'd say that more than anything else at this point. What gives me hope is, um, the large numbers of, uh, young people who are, uh, taking action to, uh, to combat climate change.
Speaker 9: 27:16 That was San Diego three 50 executive director, Masada decent house speaking with KPBS environment reporter Eric Anderson. Congressman Peter says he opposed the green new deal because it does not contain actual legislation, but does include items unrelated to the environment like free college. Well, yesterday we told you about San Diego's trash ban problem. If you lined up all the bins broken by city garbage trucks, they would stretch almost 10 miles today. KPBS investigative reporter Claire Treg Asar looks at how and why we got to this point.
Speaker 10: 27:59 Uh, I came home one night and, uh, the trashcan had been destroyed by, uh, well something.
Speaker 12: 28:06 Andrew Sammy, who lives in Scripps ranch is one of thousands of San Diego [inaudible] with a broken trash bin. But unlike most, he caught what happened on video.
Speaker 10: 28:16 Uh, we'd gotten these cameras, uh, a few months earlier and so we decided to take a look.
Speaker 12: 28:21 He quickly spotted the culprit, a city truck head speared the bin and flung it around trying to break free. When he first called the city to ask for a new bin, he heard what lots of residents here.
Speaker 10: 28:33 They had told me that this was a normal occurrence and this was normal wear and tear. And so I was a little upset by that because, um, normal wear and tear, I expect, you know, over 10 years, something happens, not just one incident and things get crushed.
Speaker 12: 28:48 After Sammy posted his security video to social media, the city gave him a different answer. He get a new bin for free. Sammie's ordeal speaks to the old adage that you get what you pay for. San Diego is one of just three cities in California that provides free trash service, cost the city more than $30 million a year to balance the costs. The city started buying cheaper bins. Meanwhile, every other city in San Diego County uses private contractors and charges residents for trash pickup from $14 to $31 a month. And because they pay, they benefit from better bins and trucks. For example, Chula Vista uses special attachment on the front of its trucks called a Corrado can that keeps the bins from being flung around or slammed down, but those special attachments typically cost more than $12,000. The city also uses more durable bins and if a bin does break,
Speaker 13: 30:00 yeah, and a Chula Vista I, the resident could just call the trash company and have any either any part of the container replaced or the full container replaced, then no cost.
Speaker 12: 30:08 Manuel Madrano is the environmental services manager for Chulavista in his city and every other city in the County replacement [inaudible]
Speaker 14: 30:16 bins are free. San Diego is free. Trash pickup was established
Speaker 12: 30:25 all the way back in 1919 when San Diego voters passed a law called the people's ordinance. Yet a big portion of the city's population is left out of the free deal apartment and condo dwellers. There have been efforts over the years to repeal the people's ordinance, but they've never gained much traction. Brian Adams is a politics professor at San Diego state university. He says one of the reasons is strictly political, single family homeowners tend to be more likely voters than people in apartments and condos.
Speaker 13: 30:58 So the only way to change these rules is to have a ballot initiative where the voters will vote on, you know, basically charging themselves for trash pickup. And it's very unlikely that we're going to see that
Speaker 12: 31:09 with little chance that anything will change to bring better bins to San Diego sons. Some take matters into their own hands. Faced with a broken bin, some people get creative with duct tape bolts, PVC pipe, even pieces of wood to fix their bins. Clare Trigere, sir KPBS news
Speaker 5: 31:30 for a slideshow graveyard of some of the worst broken trash bins had to KPBS pbs.org/trash and now to the Bay area where native people up and down the West coast gathered in San Francisco yesterday to celebrate indigenous peoples day. They also commemorated and important event in the history of native Americans, the occupation of Alcatraz Island that began 50 years ago. This month, the action was meant to draw attention to the plight of native Americans across North America. KQ EDIS Alice Wolfley brings us this story.
Speaker 14: 32:11 It's just after 6:00 AM at aquatic park on the San Francisco waterfront to the West. A full moon looms over the golden gate bridge illuminating more than a dozen canoes made of wood, grass and animal skin. They're here to honor the 50th anniversary of the indigenous occupation of Alcatraz with the canoe journey around the Island. Ruth Orta greets the boats as they return. She is an elder of the Aloni people who have lived in the Bay area for thousands of years. Well, it makes a little old lady very, very happy that we have hope. Antonio Moreno made his boat out of two wheat grass gathered locally boats like his where once a common site in the Bay. It's not just the physical thing of making something, it's a act of remembering something that's really important, too inefficient to our communities.
Speaker 15: 33:04 John Tridel inviting you to Indian land radio Indian land, Alcatraz Island on behalf of the Indians of all tribes
Speaker 14: 33:10 that was radio free Alcatraz, which kept the world informed about the occupation. Eloy Martinez didn't know what to expect when he arrived on Alcatraz in 1969 and Brandon Rush, cold Ruth told the occupation lasted 19 months and face down the FBI. Winter storms and internal disagreements, but its legacy is important, says Eloy.
Speaker 16: 33:36 It wasn't about living on Alcatraz. It was the idea that the idea was that per sovereignty where the education, all those things that seem easy for other people to get that we never had.
Speaker 14: 33:54 The occupation was a catalyst for the native American civil rights movement. It also steered president Nixon towards a policy of self determination for native Americans and inspired the younger generation like Laelani, pheno. Cleo died is my native name from Haida. The Alcatraz occupation is a big inspiration to me to continue doing the community work that I do. Um, I, I personally work in fitness, in nutrition with Laelani says after generations of oppression and eraser events like this. Remind everyone, you know, we're very diverse and or all over and we're still here.
Speaker 16: 34:32 Hey,
Speaker 14: 34:33 I'm Alice Wolfley
Speaker 17: 34:38 [inaudible]
Speaker 9: 34:40 the San Diego Italian film festival kicks off its 13th year tonight at MOPA with a madcap murder mystery and new leadership KPBS film critic Beth Hawk Amando speaks with the new executive director Deanna Agostini and artistic director Antonio in Octa.
Speaker 15: 34:58 The Italian film festival is going to be kicking off and Deanna has just taken over as executive director of the San Diego Italian film festivals. So what is this like and do you have some big plans?
Speaker 9: 35:12 I do have big plans them. Um, you know, this is, has been such a fun and really interesting and ride for me. I joined a festival basically as soon, almost as they move to San Diego. And I had the fortune to meet both Antonio and Victor [inaudible] who's our former executive director on new, who's now the president of the board officially. So I'm really excited cause
Speaker 15: 35:37 I'm still gonna be working with both of them. But at the same time, I think that this time really got me to better understand your organization and to also grow it. And both in Tonya and I were able to put our soul and sweat and tears and blood and everything into the organization and for the future. We're known as the San Diego Italian film festival, but our organization is technically the Italian American arts and culture association of San Diego. But what I'm trying to say is that there's also a very strong cultural component that I think through the years has been coming out through our programming. A lot of bring in movies that also speak to the communities that open up dialogue, that um, are meaningful in bringing our perspective and that of the Italian perspective being, you know, even from a simple comedy too and more, uh, structured drama or documentary, but at that same time would allow our audience to not just see that but also reflect on what they're going through here in San Diego and globally.
Speaker 15: 36:43 Austin in terms of some situations from, I dunno, immigration to family dynamics and whatnot. So I think that we want to push a lot on that and grow that aspect, including potentially also other forms of art. Like even this year was 50 value. We have a special night dedicated to it, enough Atlanta who's one of Italy's most well known writers. So I think that as we move forward, we're going to try and expand the cultural side also of the organization together with of course the starting from, from the movies. Antonio, you are the artistic directors. So the programming choices fall upon you mostly. And what are you looking for in these films? What are the kinds of things that you feel are necessary to be programmed here at the San Diego Italian?
Speaker 18: 37:29 The festival? Well, first of all, um, um, incredible good movies, contemporary movies. So the idea is that our audience can pretend to be in Italy and come to more pie. And, uh, we just, well, the 16 months of delay watching the best of our contemporary production as if they were in Italy. So that is very important. So we pay attention a lot of attention to the quality of our movies. If they're comedies, if they're dramas, if they're documentaries or something that is in between, you know, these labels that sometimes don't make any, any, any sensor. For example, we have a movie selfie that uses a lot of technology, have a selfie phone to document the lives of two teenagers in Italy. It's an extraordinary piece of a filmmaking, art. And then this year we have a very big, uh, innovative, uh, programming that is our restraint or show short film awards.
Speaker 18: 38:30 We put together a competition of shorts are open to everybody. Either if you are a, an Italian director or you are an American director or a director come in from whichever part of the world. If you have an idea of what is Italian culture today, you are Italian American culture or that idea of Italy today you can participate to our competition. So we put together a jewelry and independent jewelry. We just made the first selection of movies and the jury decided, you know, the, the, the two main awards that we're gonna give during, uh, our, uh, gala night.
Speaker 15: 39:11 So for full disclosure, I was one of the judges and I got to see all of the films that were in the competition. And there's really this great breadth of films in there because you have documentaries, you have dramas, you have comedies, you have really simple, beautiful little documentaries and much broader ones. We got,
Speaker 18: 39:31 you know, 60 shorts and a short can be also up to 30 minutes. And so he was also very difficult to, to select, you know, the, the, the, the finalists. It was difficult to, to reach this number that, you know, seems to be a lot twin T
Speaker 15: 39:45 Deana. Part of what the festival is about is about starting a conversation. So explain what people can expect in terms of there's going to be post film discussions and there's going to be filmmakers and panelists and what can they expect? Well, during the 50 valid, we try to bring movies that have also a broader meaning and impact. And so we, like you said, we always have Q and A's. One of the movies that we're really excited about, for example, it's called Comandante. So this year as part of our partnership outreach, we were able to partner up with the Milano film festival, the Naples film festival. And with [inaudible], the Milano film festival gave us this incredible documentary about a specifically, a very delicate moment in Italian history, which was around the seventies. Uh, when, uh, you know, there were a lot of attacks like terrorist attacks within Italy by Italians and by extra myths in any Italy.
Speaker 15: 40:46 And so this is a tricky period, historical period, but also a very complicated one that needs kind of um, some explanation and some, some sort of a introduction also and so on. Tanya is going to to do that to better support our audience in terms of understanding what they're about to see followed by a Q and a as well. And Antonio opening and closing night usually draw a lot of attention and a lot of buzz, but are, is there a smaller film that you'd like to give a little a boost to and and get people's attention for?
Speaker 18: 41:19 Yeah, absolutely. Our closing night is going to be dedicated to an incredible comedy [inaudible] LA Luna, the man who bought the moon is a comedy from a director from Sardinia we screened a couple of years ago. His feature, Lara betrayal, that was an incredible comedy slash musical shot in black and white. And this movie, on the other hand, is a movie that they can be considered a fantasy movie, a science fiction movie, a strange movie, something that goes in place with the genre and a in a, in a way that is also very romantic because you know, the reason man from Sardinia that is in love with her, his wife, and he decided to buy the moon for his wife. And so the Americans are really mad about that. And so this is the, this triggers the narrative. So yeah, I would encourage everybody to come to as many movies as possible, but if you need to pick something lighthearted, but also very, very particular come to this one.
Speaker 9: 42:22 All right, well, I want to thank you both very much for previewing this year. San Diego Italian film festival. Thank you for asking guys. That was Beth Armando speaking with Deanna Agostini and Antonio ENL de the San Diego Italian film festival begins to night and runs through October 27th.