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More Santa Ana Winds On The Way, SDSU Ups Stadium Offer, A Former Pimp Is Working To Stop Sex Trafficking In San Diego And A Conversation With Comedian Lewis Black

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The National Weather Service has issued a red flag warning for Tuesday night through Thursday evening, raising the threat of wildfires in the region. Plus, San Diego State has upped its offer for the Mission Valley stadium by $20 million. How California’s “Fair Pay For Play” law may impact local college athletes. Also, a former pimp turned activist is on a mission to end sex trafficking on the streets of San Diego and he’s sharing his experience in a new book. And, an iconic Air Force Chapel is closed for repairs after years of leaks and water damage. Finally, comedian Lewis Black, also known as the “king of the rant” is coming to San Diego this weekend.

Show transcript

Speaker 1: 00:00 As firefighters battled two major wildfires in California. The situation in San Diego County is comparatively quiet today, but that could change. A red flag warning will begin at 11 tonight and last through Thursday evening at six. The national weather service says this could be the strongest Senate Anna's, we've seen this season for the very latest on the Getty and Kincaid fires in LA and Northern California. Along with how we're getting ready here. I'm joined by captain Isaac Sanchez of Cal fire captain Sanchez. Welcome. Thank you. So can you give us the latest on the Getty fire burning in the Brentwood neighborhood and on the Kincaid fire burning in the wine country?

Speaker 2: 00:39 They are concerning. They are incidents that we are engaged with the local agencies, but uh, um, they continue to burn. They continue to challenge firefighters. I know that the Getty is burning in some pretty, uh, um, a steep canyons at a Southern California is known for, especially that part of LA. Um, and then of course the Kinkaid, uh, it's impacting communities. That's really the, the big, the big issue. It's a, um, um, it's an area, it's starting to hit areas of Sonoma County that are populated. There are significant population, um, uh, I should say evacuations in place and, uh, it's an area that is definitely presenting challenges for everybody.

Speaker 1: 01:12 A red flag warning will go up tonight at 11 for much of Southern California. And as I mentioned, the national weather service says it could be the strongest Santa Ana we've seen this season. What precautions is Cal fire taking here and across the [inaudible]

Speaker 2: 01:25 region? Um, essentially in a term where we're staffing up, uh, we've got resources that have been staffed since last week's event. Uh, we never down staff, we kept them around because we knew that this one was coming. Um, and it's easier to have them around than it is to remobilize, but so we do have a significant, a, um, a presence when it comes to local resources. And then that gets projected across the entire region, Southern California and the rest of the state and are ready, uh, in the event that new fires break out.

Speaker 1: 01:51 And last week, Cal fire crews on the ground. And in the year we're able to knock down both of the solid day fire and the Valley center fire fairly quickly. What worked in your favor on those fires?

Speaker 2: 02:01 Boy, it was a combination of a couple things. The timing on it, uh, worked in our favor because it was when the San Annas were projected to start dying down, which is exactly what they did. Uh, I believe it was supposed to be a early afternoon is when the S the, the, uh, the, the winds were expected to die down, um, which is exactly when the Miller fire was burning. Uh, so that fire, particularly, they didn't have the aggressive winds or the strong winds like the Saudi did. Uh, when it comes to the Saudi, uh, it was a combination of an aggressive, uh, uh, initial attack and having those resources available immediately, uh, to, to put on that incident.

Speaker 1: 02:35 And how does planning for a fire work, because you know, B fire behavior can change in an instant. So how do you plan and prepare for [inaudible]?

Speaker 2: 02:44 So when it comes to, uh, before the actual event. So that's when, that's when fires start or I should say that's when the preparation start. We identify that there is going to be a, an issue that will potentially have to deal with when it comes to the weather and we start staffing resources before the fire ever starts. Um, and so, uh, in this case we had a, a fully staffed up our resources, but, uh, additionally the other agencies across San Diego County had staffed up their additional resources and then a, a regionally, um, our regional coordination center up in Riverside County had brought in several out-of-state resources just to stage in them in the event that a fire broke out. And they were certainly utilize that day. And whenever we see fires elsewhere in the state, the question always comes up, are we sending resources to help? And if so, how do we make sure we're covered down here?

Speaker 2: 03:27 How are you guys balancing that? So you're referring to what we call mutual aid, uh, in the state of California and in, in, uh, the, the name tells us, tells the story. We're, we're there to assist one another because we know one day we're going to need assistance and uh, and it gets put to use every year and everybody benefits eventually. Um, but in, in when it comes to mutual aid, uh, we have to balance our ability to, um, initiate a, an aggressive initial attack. And we never give more resources than we can afford to give. We still have a responsibility to protect our Homeland, our home front. Um, and we will give resources, but not to the point that it's a detrimental, uh, um, to the community locally. Best advice for people as the Santa Ana winds head in tonight. Boy, it's the same advice that we always give regardless of the time of year.

Speaker 2: 04:13 Be prepared, uh, that comes with a, you know, having that means having your, your personal evacuation plans in place. Uh, we're not necessarily recommending that folks do their defensible space clearance right now, uh, because, uh, the risk of, of, uh, starting a fire, um, is too high. Uh, but definitely have your evacuation plans in place and you gotta register for evacuation alerts because sometimes, uh, the knock on the door isn't the way that we deliver that message. And how can people register for evacuation alert? They can go to ready San diego.org and follow a couple of links and they'll be on the page to, uh, to a, to register. I've been speaking with captain Isaac Sanchez with Cal fire captain Sanchez. Thank you so much. Thank you.

Speaker 1: 00:00 A higher offer for the mission Valley stadium site might settle a dispute between the city and San Diego state university. And a letter delivered to mayor Kevin Faulkner yesterday. SDSU is offering to pay 19 point $5 million more for the 135 acre site than it offered earlier this month. The new offer of nearly $88 million will go before the city council for review. Journey me is San Diego union Tribune reporter Jennifer van Grove and Jennifer, welcome to the show. Thanks for having me. What was the amount that San Diego state originally offered and how did they calculate it?

Speaker 2: 00:37 So 68.2 was their original offer and the way they came up with that number is they essentially took the number that came out of a land appraisal, um, which valued the land that they wanted to buy at 68 point $2 million in 27 teen dollars. And so there are a number of factors when coming up with that 68 point $2 million. The appraiser discounted, um, the land, I believe, $253 million based on all the improvements that were going to be needed to, uh, to remain on site. Um, and so he came up with that number, SDSU agree that that was a fair market value. That's the offer they put forward. But there was some pushback from the city as we know,

Speaker 1: 01:23 right. Members of the city council said that offer wasn't faithful to the terms of the voter initiative that allowed the university to take over the site. How did they say that the original offer violated that initiative?

Speaker 2: 01:35 So in the $253 million of deductions that the appraiser baked in, some of that included deductions for stadium demolition of STCU stadium, which is there now. And some of that included, um, the cost to kind of prepare the land to build a 34 acre river park, which we know SDSU has promised to do. Well, the city has interpreted measure G, which was the, the voter initiative passed last year. They've interpreted the language in that measure to say that the city's general fund cannot take a hit on those type of deductions. And they had evaluated, I think based on some feedback from the appraiser that the difference was about $18 million. So they were looking for 86 point $2 million to kind of cover the difference between taking those hits that they didn't believe that they could take.

Speaker 1: 02:30 So this new offer addresses those concerns almost to the dollar

Speaker 2: 02:33 it does in fact. So the new offer is 86 point $2 million. And because of another concern related to the 20 $17 amount, SDSU was also offering to pay 2.15% an annual appreciation for 37% of the land. And that's the land that's owned by the water department and they're doing that so that it comes in at closing date in present day dollars in that amounts another one point $5 million and that's an estimate right now. So that number could change. But that brings a total offer up to 87 point $7 million. What? Is there any indication as to why SDSU decided to increase this offer at this point in the process? Well, I don't know for sure, but my guess is because they have a very aggressive timeline in building a new stadium. So they want to get a new stadium open for their football program by 2022 fall of 2022 in order to do that, they wanted to break ground early next year.

Speaker 2: 03:34 The longer that they go back and forth with the city, the more likely it is that their timeline is going to get delayed. They're not going to be able to close on the land, they're not gonna be able to break ground. So they really needed to get this deal done. And I think when they made their first offer, they presented it to the council and they heard council members say, we don't know that this offer is consistent with measure G and that is going to be a problem. So I think they took that feedback, looked at their timeline and kind of came back with something that they knew would meet with council members approval. There are a couple of changes. SDSU is made to the original plan one that concerns an extension of Fenton Parkway and the takeover of Murphy Kenyon Creek. Tell us about that. Yes, so the Fenton Parkway bridge, it's this piece of infrastructure that the city has wanted to build for decades.

Speaker 2: 04:25 I think most recently it was supposed to be built ahead of the the Superbowl that was the hosted than a Qualcomm stadium. Never happened. Environmentalist kind of got in the way of that. However, the city had hoped that any developer of that property would come in and build that bridge. Originally SDSU had no intention to do so. It became clear that that was going to be a sticking point. So the original offer, SDSU said, we will build you that bridge. We know it's going to cost about $22 million will front load the expense. We expect our share to be 25% and we'd like, you know, credits from our developer impact fees. The new offer, most of that remains the same, but the new offer, they would like eight point $5 million of the purchase price to go towards the bridge, which my guess is that, you know, that decreases the burden of money that they have to raise to, to kind of front load the expenses.

Speaker 2: 05:18 They still only expect to pay for 25% of that bridge costs at the end of the day. As far as Murphy Canyon Creek, it's also been a sticking point. And that's because the, the Creek is pretty complicated. Um, it's been known to have drainage issues. It floods sometimes when it rains, and so the city had always wanted the university to take it over. The university didn't think it needed to the original offer. They said, okay, we'll take it over, but you guys need to do the past, do maintenance on it. And I'm not sure what the cost was to the city, but it must have been substantial enough to where STCU knew that they were going to have to take the Creek over as is in order to, to get this deal done. So that's what they're offering. Now they're, they're offering it, take it over as is and kind of deal with it on their own.

Speaker 2: 06:06 And has the California state board of trustees, which of course oversees SDSU. Have they already approved this plan with this purchase price? No. So, I mean, I assume that they're apprised of what's going on, but what will happen is, so SDSU is currently working on an environmental impact report that studies their full project, um, and it's called the mission Valley, our STC mission Valley campus master plan. So that environmental impact report, um, they are currently revising that and they hope to take a final version to their board of trustees at the end of January. At that time, the board of trustees will likely, you know, unless there's some major issue with their report, certify that report and then kind of sign off on those purchase and sale terms at that time. So things are still moving along. Things are moving along. Indeed. I've been speaking with San Diego union Tribune reporter Jennifer van Grove. Jennifer. Thank you. Oh, thank you.

Speaker 3: 07:09 [inaudible]

Speaker 4: 07:13 [inaudible].

Speaker 1: 00:00 In an unprecedented move. The NCAA is allowing college athletes across the nation to cash in on their name, image, and likeness. Today, the board of governors voted unanimously to allow athletes to sign endorsement deals by 2021 this coming month. Add, this is coming. A month after governor Gavin Newsome signed a law allowing sponsorships starting in 2023 KPBS reporter Matt Hoffman spoke with athletic directors at local colleges about the looming changes

Speaker 2: 00:33 right after Newsome signed the law in September, allowing athletes to profit from their image. San Diego state's director of athletics spoke out. I don't support SB two Oh six in the sense that they've gone out and created a law that now puts us in direct conflict with the NCAA and NCAA rules. Ady John David Wicker doesn't agree with how the state is handling this, but he's not necessarily against student athletes making money. We're going to work on finding a way for student athletes to take advantage of those new opportunities. While SDSU is the only local university with a major football and basketball program, it is not the only school that stands to be impacted by this new legislation, which the NCAA says would give an unfair recruiting advantage to California schools and could bar them from competing.

Speaker 3: 01:15 I'm going to say it's a concern. It's not a fear for me in that I know that a groups are working together to resolve that

Speaker 2: 01:26 UC San Diego director of athletics, Earl Edwards also is not against athletes being able to sell their name, image and likeness,

Speaker 3: 01:32 whatever we come up with. Uh, it needs to be something that's manageable and work, uh, workable from the student perspective as well as the, uh, the colleges.

Speaker 2: 01:43 Edwards does say that there is already some unintended consequences from this new law.

Speaker 3: 01:47 There is a negative recruiting with individuals saying that if you go to California and this law passes and you're not eligible friends CA competition because the rules haven't changed in that regard. And that's that that's a problem for us.

Speaker 2: 02:03 Governor Newsome says colleges and universities are making billions while student athletes get nothing. Everybody's making coaches have let it director's assistant coaches know all the advertisers, the programs directly in themselves and everybody. But the athletes, Edwards disagrees that students are being left high and dry.

Speaker 3: 02:22 Something I don't agree with. Uh, particularly when you look at the scholarship aspect, when you look at the meals, when you look at the travel,

Speaker 2: 02:29 university of San Diego, AAD, bill McGillis argues much of the money that's made from athletics goes back to the students. The universities are not

Speaker 4: 02:37 owners in the way that you know and the way that professional sport owners have franchises. It's money that stays within within the institution and gets reinvested and, and athletic programs and academic programs that benefit the students. He

Speaker 2: 02:52 also thinks that the NCAA should do a better job of communicating how student athletes are being compensated right now. So above and beyond tuition

Speaker 4: 03:00 fees, room and board schools covered above and beyond that, um, at the highest levels, which is what I think legislators are most concerned about. Um, there are also those students are also receiving a cost of attendance stipend on average nationally and probably $5,000 cash.

Speaker 2: 03:19 The Gillis does say that there needs to be a clear line between college athletes and professional ones

Speaker 4: 03:23 and I'm not for going down the path of pay for play does name, image and likeness Morphin to something else and then something else and then we're there. I don't think, um, we should go there.

Speaker 2: 03:38 Student athletes we spoke to say change is needed.

Speaker 5: 03:41 I feel like university and make a lot of money off the players so I don't understand why it's not okay for us to receive some of that money. I think it's, you know, maybe something that is definitely going to benefit student athletes.

Speaker 2: 03:53 That was SDSU football players, Luke Barker who and Parker Houston, some of the regions, most high profile collegiate athletes, but what about star athletes from lesser known sports?

Speaker 6: 04:01 That was kind of bummed that my sport is one of those that are pretty much left out in the situation. Just because rowing isn't the most popular sport.

Speaker 2: 04:09 Katie Silla is one of the top collegiate rowers in the country. She doesn't believe there would be many opportunities for her to sign an endorsement deal.

Speaker 6: 04:15 I can see maybe some company that provides boats or gear for rowing, maybe reaching out, but it's, it's very slim.

Speaker 2: 04:22 But Cilla says, if the law was in effect, now she would go look for those opportunities.

Speaker 6: 04:26 I would 100% do it because it would just help my wellbeing and my financial situation.

Speaker 2: 04:31 Matt Hoffman, K PBS news.

Speaker 1: 04:33 And once again, just this morning, the NCAA voted to allow college athletes across the nation to cash in on their name, image and likeness, and to sign endorsement deals by the year 2021.

Speaker 7: 04:48 Uh.

Speaker 1: 00:00 One local activist is working to stop urban sex trafficking. Armand King, who once was involved in the illicit industry here in San Diego, has turned his life around and is now using his experience to keep kids from going down the wrong path and help women find a way out. He's written a book called raised in pimp city and his organization paving great futures is hosting an upcoming conference. Armand welcome. Thank you. Thank you. So what made you want to write a book about this side of the sex trafficking industry?

Speaker 2: 00:31 Well, it was missing. Um, you know, I got introduced into, I didn't even know what sex trafficking, human sex trafficking was. That was a new term to me, although I had been around the lifestyle for over 20 years. I'm seeing it. Family members, friends, best friends. I've lived it. Um, so when I heard this term, I had no idea what it was and, um, I kinda got thrown into the, into the fight, um, because I was seeing, um, young men around San Diego around the year 2014 being incarcerated in the masses behind this new term called human sex trafficking. And many of them I knew for a fact were not involved in anything close to human sex trafficking. So that started my journey down the rabbit hole right there.

Speaker 1: 01:20 And you write in your book that, you know, by the age of 13, I had already come to realize that I had to take care of my family any way that I could. Uh, what are some of the forces at play that led you down this path?

Speaker 2: 01:32 Well, the um, same forces that lead a lot of young men in my situation, um, in the communities I got to come from down that path is poverty. You know, you realize in a mini, like many of my friends, we didn't have a father in the home. So, um, you at some point you start feeling like you need to become a man and unfortunately sooner than you should, you know, should have still been a kid. But depending on the, you know, circumstances at your family situation, as in, you know, you, you, you jumped to, um, be in the man of the household.

Speaker 1: 02:01 And I know that there is a specific part in the book that you wrote that speaks to how you got into this industry. Would you read a short excerpt of your book for us and set it up for me?

Speaker 2: 02:12 Absolutely. Um, so in this book I dissect the mentality of um, what I call the urban, domestic human sex trafficker or the pimp. I thought it was very, very crucial for me in this book to identify exactly what I'm talking about. You here. Um, this about the epidemic of human sex trafficking is all this awareness that's going on. But to me it's just been a blanket over many different independent, um, types of trafficking. And it doesn't give people a clear view of what they're dealing with. Um, with this blanket and even the people involved don't necessarily identify because they hear and see this other imagery that doesn't reflect the lifestyle that they live and that's one of the things I'd come across being in the anti human sex trafficking field and it's like none of the things I was hearing really talked or spoke to the people that I grew up with that were involved.

Speaker 2: 03:09 This actual section is called making the urban American pimp and it says what is an urban American pimp? He one, one of many different types of pimps as I have mentioned previously in this book I am referring to the pimp that is usually from the black urban inner cities of America. What makes this kind of pimp or better yet what would make this person want to make money off of the sexual exploitation of another person? To better explain this, I'm going to have to take a take you back in time because as you know, everything has a beginning. The largest tree in the Redwood forest has a root and before it was a rooted was a seed. So it is with every condition and situation of people as a society that claims it wants to put it into crime, hate racism, human trafficking and other human behaviors. We frowned upon. We often fail to look at the root of the problem. We are quick to lock a person up without taking a step back and thinking about what led that person to commit that bad act in the first place to get rid of the weed in the garden. You must dig it up at it's roots. Yes. I am saying upfront that Pimpin is bad when speaking of the bad act [inaudible]

Speaker 1: 04:22 so that in mind, I'd like to talk about your roots. So what made you do this for as long as you did?

Speaker 2: 04:29 Um, it was the cool thing to do. I wasn't alone. It was like at least 65% of my peer group that I knew at this point in time in San Diego, San Diego history, um, many urban cities, mini communities, black and Brown communities. That became the new end, the new cool. It was the answer to kids that did not want to be gang involved anymore. But yet there was still no proper resources that came into communities. No mentoring groups that were really ident that identified that this was a crucial time in history to really saved these kids, save myself, saved my friends. So I got involved because that was the, the end thing and now it didn't like it didn't, it wasn't something that we thought was, um, the best for our life. But out of our current options at life and success, that seemed like the best option.

Speaker 1: 05:20 What role do you think media played in perpetuating pimp culture in sex trafficking

Speaker 2: 05:25 media? Well, media has a big role to play. Matter of fact, I didn't even know what a real pimp was until HBO produced the documentary pimps up hoes down. And when I seen that, it was like to my young 16 year old eyes, it felt like I finally saw an answer to my question that I'd never knew was a question of what am I going to do with myself when I grow up?

Speaker 1: 05:47 And how do you move on from some of the harm and pain you inflicted?

Speaker 2: 05:51 I'm gonna spend the rest of my life striving to help others. I'm, and that is how I move, how I move past. And I, I may, I don't know where that karma meter sits. I don't know where that gauge is and I'll never know until, until that day, hopefully God tells me. But in the meantime, my life is dedicated to helping others lives be saved.

Speaker 1: 06:12 And tell us more about the upcoming conference you've been organizing.

Speaker 2: 06:15 Okay. So paving great futures organization. I'm a, I'm a part of cofounder of, we are hosting a series of conversations called um, we need to know and the purpose of that is to start breaking down and discussing human sex trafficking and his direct impact on communities of color. And like I said, I've traveled throughout this country, even outside of this country with going to seminars, teaching, training, been to conferences. And 95% of the people in the audience are Caucasian. Not a problem with, but what I find out, find, find out most of these, these conferences as it seems like sometimes they're talking about our community, but I've never witnessed a conference or directed towards communities of color yet. We're 60 black people are 64% of the people that are being incarcerated for human sex trafficking. But there's no warning, no education coming to these communities that is bringing up this population of people still.

Speaker 2: 07:12 So I have to, no one else is going to me or just sit by and WIC recognize this problem in this gap and not do anything about it. I'm not that person. I have to step in. So this for, it's a breakdown in four parts. This first part is going to be on the hist basically the history. How did we get here? How are we even at this issue? And because this, this conversation has been so taboo and has not taken place. Like literally we cannot force all this into one night. There's too much to talk about. So the first part is just really how do we get here? Um, next month is, is the, um, it's, where are we at now currently discussing this with a panel of people, not just myself. And then we go into the law, the legal side, and how the laws have changed and how that's impacting us now. And then the last part of this all is solutions, or we're going to pow about solutions.

Speaker 1: 08:05 And that conference again, starts today. I've been speaking with Armand King, COO of paving. Great futures and author of raised in pimp city Armand. Thank you very much. Thank you.

Speaker 3: 08:24 [inaudible].

Speaker 1: 00:00 In Colorado. More tourists visit the U S air force Academy chapel than any other building in the state. The classic glass and aluminum structure just closed to the public for what's expected to be up to four years of extensive renovations. Dan boys of the American Homefront project tells us that shortcuts in its original construction have played the chapel from the beginning.

Speaker 2: 00:28 [inaudible]

Speaker 3: 00:28 the air force Academy's Catholic music director, Katherine Johnson, is a master of both organs inside this one iconic church downstairs in the smaller Catholic chapel and up here in the great main hall, the Protestant chapel

Speaker 2: 00:44 [inaudible]

Speaker 4: 00:45 you won't get to play this organ for a while. No, it's actually quite devastating to lose both my instruments for the next however long it takes.

Speaker 3: 00:54 This truly massive Oregon she's playing has more than 4,000 pipes,

Speaker 4: 00:58 thousands and thousands of pipes. Some of them still work [inaudible]

Speaker 3: 01:03 like the Oregon. The whole chapel is stunning and failing and aluminum cavern with a vaulted triangular ceiling reaching 99 feet with six total chapels, four different faiths. It's the center of religious life on campus. It's also the Academy's best known symbol down on the floor of the main hall. It's the first time Gale frost has been inside since her son got married 11 years ago.

Speaker 4: 01:28 Oh, the architecture with the spires pointing up to heaven is just, and the glasswork is so, so beautiful.

Speaker 3: 01:38 The stained glass, she's talking about 24,000 brick size pieces in 24 colors, largely blues and purples mixed with touches of green, orange, red bands of this glass run up the entire height to create a web of interconnecting diamonds and all of this, all of the glass, each of the aluminum panels. It is all

Speaker 2: 02:01 [inaudible]

Speaker 4: 02:02 coming down. It's a sad day for a lot of us in that a, it's an old friend,

Speaker 3: 02:07 air force Academy superintendent, Lieutenant general Jay Silveria was a cadet himself in the eighties our old

Speaker 4: 02:13 friend, my old friend needs some help and has leaked from the day that it was open. It drips all over.

Speaker 3: 02:19 Academy architects. Dwayne Boyle is heading this $158 million renovation.

Speaker 4: 02:26 We had a funeral in here a few weeks ago and it was raining outside and it was extremely wet in here

Speaker 3: 02:35 in the 1950s the original architect Walter nets junior, wanted a modernist re-imagining of those timeless European cathedrals flying buttresses 17 spires. All the elements are there. Only imagine Boeing built it.

Speaker 4: 02:50 No, the building's been widely accepted as one of the best pieces of modernist architecture in the world.

Speaker 3: 02:54 The deal with rain niche designed an elaborate network of gutters beneath the aluminum panels, but the project was over budget, so instead the air force was like, yeah, we'll just

Speaker 4: 03:04 cock everything. So caulking projects, I've never worked. We spent enormous amounts of money over the last decades trying to recall it.

Speaker 3: 03:11 Thus, all the leaks right next to where I'm interviewing boil, there are obvious water stains on the wall. A piece of damaged plaster once crashed down onto the floor.

Speaker 4: 03:21 Just obviously a safety issue. That's a of concern

Speaker 3: 03:24 right now. The Academy is pulling everything out of the chapel. Soon they will build an enormous airplane hangar over the whole thing and strip the chapel down to its steel skeleton. Then add in that original network of rain gutters, niche designed, and finally put every aluminum panel, every single piece of glass back exactly where it was as boil, perhaps understated.

Speaker 4: 03:48 It's a major project

Speaker 3: 03:51 up above the pews playing the organ she loves. Katherine Johnson knows it is not goodbye forever.

Speaker 4: 03:57 I will get this instrument back in this beautiful space to worship in back. Eventually I just have to be patient.

Speaker 3: 04:04 The air force hopes to have the cadet chapel renovation complete by November, 2022 the organs will also be restored and will sound like new in Colorado Springs. I'm Dan boys.

Speaker 1: 00:00 In a world where there is seems to be no consequences, no judgements, no righteous anger anymore. There is still one place we can turn to comedian Lewis black, his outrage over stupid things, terrible people. And a Starbucks across from a Starbucks has made him a beacon of sanity and hilarity for countless audiences. You've seen his comedy specials, his spots on the daily show. Now Lewis black brings his the jokes on us tour to San Diego this Saturday. It's my pleasure to welcome Louis Black and Lewis. Thanks for joining us.

Speaker 2: 00:37 My pleasure. Thank you.

Speaker 1: 00:39 Sometimes watching you perform, I get a little nervous for you. Like are you actually going to explode? Should we worry about your health?

Speaker 2: 00:48 Uh, no because my um, blood pressure's perfect actually. It's scarily everything else is probably rotting, but my blood pressure's spectacular.

Speaker 1: 00:58 Is that, do you think because of your app?

Speaker 2: 01:00 I think it helps and also because I've been doing it for so long. If somebody at one point did a thing where they got me, put me on a blood pressure thing and then got me excited and my blood pressure go up, and then to watch how fast it would go back to normal and it goes back to normal really quickly. So there must be something good in it. And I think probably getting, you know, as they, you know, getting all of this stuff out of your system helps because it's not just getting this stuff that bothers you on the big scale out. It's the stuff that, you know, the phone calls you make to the, uh, to the cable people or to the, you know, the, where PG and E, uh, to those people.

Speaker 1: 01:42 Now there's a promotional photo for your tour where you're holding up a newspaper with the headline. Government makes comedians obsolete. And I'm wondering, is it harder to do comedy now in this environment?

Speaker 2: 01:55 Well, it's, it's not really a, it was harder to kind of find a through line more than it was before because people on both sides were crazy, uh, from the very beginning. And so, uh, people who, uh, felt that they, that their candidate, you know, the people who didn't want him to be president were nuts and felt like the world had come to an end of the people who want him to be president. Uh, wanted me to talk about, uh, president Obama or Hillary. I mean, it was insane. And, uh, so I, um, it took a while for me to figure it out, but I finally did and I'm really happy with what I've come up with. I mean, I said for the very beginning, I said that it's how do you satirize what's already satiric

Speaker 1: 02:43 and so you decided to stay away from it.

Speaker 2: 02:45 I've stayed, I've always stayed away from the presidency of the president's. He's never interested me. I still think within the midst of all this madness that he is a problem in his own right, but the problem or are those two houses of Congress and have been for quite some time because they, for the longest time, they are not doing the job that they should be doing. It's appalling. It's just appalling. There are no adults in the room. And there haven't been for quite some time. [inaudible]

Speaker 1: 03:16 what are the kinds of topics that get under your skin?

Speaker 2: 03:19 Oh yeah. Anything that has to do with outright stupidity, um, marches completely to the, to the front of the list. And it could be, um, is, it could be it just watching a, um, like during the hurricanes in on the East coast, uh, it watching these, uh, these people stand down in is a hurricane approaches and, and they're standing in an area yelling for people to leave the area while they are standing in the area. That doesn't help that kind of madness. It doesn't help. The education drives me nuts. The fact that we can't seem to educate anybody anymore. I find that to be appalling. Uh, uh, the, uh, anytime I hear somebody telling me it's not just him, it's been all through my life. It's the greatest economy ever. That's like really, cause the only people who ever say that are people who were, um, rich or politicians, you never hear a middle class person go, wow, I can't imagine it's my, my 401k is so good and it has a 401k.

Speaker 1: 04:29 Okay. When you do see something or you read something that just makes you crazy, how do you start creating that into your act, into comedy?

Speaker 2: 04:39 Nope, it's pretty easy because what I do is just get angry and then I go on stage and just start yelling about it. And then once I start yelling about it is where I start to find the nugget that will basically be become the uh, uh, the, the point that I'm going for. And uh, so I usually I start with the screaming and then go to the being being a little more quiet about it and then working from that point back to the yelling. But it always starts with yelling.

Speaker 1: 05:09 Now as far as your, of your standup back, you read emails that are sent to you from the audience, then you do sort of a comedy improv on the answers. What's that been like for you?

Speaker 2: 05:20 We call the, the, the emails that come in from the audience. And I do, I've been doing it for a long time now. We call that the rant is due and it's been really great and satisfying and terrific. And, um, gives me a lot of hope. The writing that's coming in, some of it is really, uh, exceptional on levels. You can't imagine a lot of the times they're, they clarify more than others. Uh, a problem that we might be having that as a group is the people. Um, they also, uh, I get stuff from, you know, real specifics from who were dealing with, um, healthcare problems or health insurance problems. And those are a lot clearer than having some schmuck politicians stand there and go, you know, I met Harry Peduto and this is, this is actually much better because someone real is telling you a real story.

Speaker 2: 06:16 Um, then there are people, I get a lot of stuff from the military and how, uh, how that, how that's not working out, you know, in terms of, uh, the, the way in which they're treated after they come back. Um, in terms of the kind of services that they deserve in the services they actually get. And that whole kind of nonsense, you know, Oh, you know, we thank you for your service. Or, you know, how many flags can you roll out on a football field and uh, and yet you don't do really the basic things that have to be done for them and people write about that stuff and that and that. I get it from both sides. I think it's been great because I've been allowed to yell about things for the last 30 or 40 years and now I can yell for other people. And what's truly great when we come down to San Diego is hopefully 90% of that show will be written by and about Californians or people who live in San Diego,

Speaker 1: 07:10 you know, we tend to be a pretty mellow bunch here in San Diego. It might take some effort to get us riled up.

Speaker 2: 07:17 Oh, I don't think so. The ones who, uh, who act like they're mellow, right? They're simmering below the surface.

Speaker 1: 07:26 I think you've got that right. I've been speaking with comedian Lewis black. He brings his, the jokes on us toward true the bell Bowart theater this Saturday night. I can't tell you how much I appreciate your taking the time, Louis. Thank you.

Speaker 2: 07:40 Well, I really appreciate it and I liked talking about the, the rant. That really is a big help to us, so thanks.

Speaker 1: 07:46 You can send your rant to Louis black.com there. You can also watch a live stream of the rant on Saturday.

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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.