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Bry Concedes San Diego Mayor’s Race To Gloria

 November 9, 2020 at 10:25 AM PST

Speaker 1: 00:00 Barbara break concedes the raise for seven Speaker 2: 00:03 Bayer. Uh, first I want to congratulate Todd Gloria as the next mayor of San Diego. I'm Maureen capita Speaker 1: 00:11 With Alison st. John. This is KPBS mid-day edition. The Biden Harris win means California needs a new Senator. This is one of the most prominent political posts to the state of California. We'll hear what it means to one new citizen to cast a ballot in his first election and the story of a white woman who learned about prejudice when she encountered it in Japan. That's a head-on midday edition this morning, Barbara Bry conceited to Todd Gloria in the San Diego mayor's race. The race had been predicted as a close call, but in the end, Gloria won with 56% of the vote here to fill us in his KPBS. Metro reporter, Andrew Bowen, Andrew. Welcome. Hi, Alison. Thanks. So now Barbara Reed did wait several days to concede, but here's what she said today. Speaker 2: 01:22 I offered him my congratulations yesterday, and I've acknowledged that he's going to have some difficult choices ahead and that the community needs to understand that and that the community needs to be at the table. Um, as these difficult decisions are made, Speaker 1: 01:38 What else did Brie say in her concession announcement? Speaker 3: 01:41 She said that, you know, looking back on the campaign, she was surprised and disappointed by some of the negative attacks against her. She mentioned, um, what she called special interests. You know, there was a super PAC funded by the San Diego regional chamber County, regional chamber of commerce, and also the, uh, a city employees union that basically, you know, suggested to Republicans that she was a progressive and the same group then suggested to Democrats and independence that she was, uh, the Republican choice for mayor. She felt that that was dishonest. She said that the media did not properly call it out as dishonest, but she said, you know, uh, Todd Gloria has, uh, a difficult road ahead of him and that she wishes him the best. Speaker 1: 02:27 What do you see as the dynamic that led to her defeat and glorious victory? Speaker 3: 02:31 Well, I think that it's certainly true that Brie had a disadvantage in terms of fundraising in terms of the endorsements from elected officials. I mean, Todd Gloria was in Sacramento in the state assembly and managed to get the endorsement of every democratic assembly member, a host of, uh, elected officials in state government, including governor Gavin Newsome, Senator Kamala Harris. So he certainly came into this with an advantage, but I think, you know, with the margin of victory that we're seeing with Todd Gloria, we can't just chalk this up to money. He clearly had a message that resonated with voters. I asked him, uh, last week when he was making some remarks and the race wasn't fully settled, but it was still pretty clear that he was going to win. Um, if he saw this as a mandate from the voters and he said he wanted to respect the vote counting process, of course, but he certainly hopes that it is that, uh, you know, this was a campaign where he went in talking about issues like homelessness, like affordable housing, like transportation and climate change. Bree was choosing to focus much more on issues like the city's one Oh one Ash street deal, this real estate transaction that has cost taxpayers a lot of money and has been pretty disastrous and other things. And I think he can come out of this race, really feeling like the issues that he, he wanted to focus on are the issues that the voters cared about, Speaker 4: 03:59 Re remain in San Diego, city politics. You think, Speaker 3: 04:02 You know, she chose not to run for a second term on the city council. So her time in elected office will be over. She has said many times, uh, she doesn't plan on running for election again, although today she said, you know, never say never. Um, but it sounded like, uh, from her virtual press conference this morning that she does plan on staying engaged in city issues. She mentioned a couple of times she's got, uh, an extensive contact list and we see this often from candidates who lose elections, they keep that email a listserv and, and use it to sort of promote their own ideas, maybe advocate for things in city politics. So I think it's probably safe to say that, you know, we, we haven't heard the last from Barbara Bree. Uh, she, you know, certainly wants to continue pushing issues that she cares about like, um, accountability in city government. Um, she's always been very passionate about the issue of short-term vacation rentals, which the next mayor and next city council might be trying to tackle, uh, on their own. So, um, I expect that she won't be completely out of the picture. Speaker 4: 05:11 So Gloria will have an eight to one democratic majority on the council. Um, that looks good for him, but just because there's such a strong democratic majority, does that mean they'll agree on policy? Speaker 3: 05:22 Well, certainly not. I think there, we, we haven't seen the policy divisions yet among all of the, uh, people who will be coming into city council. Um, there's going to be a majority of brand new city council members, by the way, it's, uh, five, uh, newly elected council members. Uh, but I think that he is going to certainly have more options in terms of trying to put together a majority for, uh, th that would back his agenda. This has not been true for, um, any mayor in recent history. Really. Um, most of the mayors have had, uh, most of the Republican mayors have had a, uh, democratic majority on the city council. And I'm the only democratic mayor that we had in, in recent history or in, in the last 20 years, let's say, um, uh, Bob Filner was not exactly a guy who, um, who got along with everyone, even the Democrats. So there are a lot of things that I think he can accomplish. Uh, and he, you know, um, among the sort of things that are, that he has going for him are not just that eight one, uh, parent democratic majority on the city council, but also he knows the city bureaucracy, he was on the city council for eight years. He served six months as interim mayor has direct experience in this executive position. He was endorsed by the municipal employees association, which represents, uh, you know, a huge number of, uh, city employees. Speaker 4: 06:50 Well, he has quite a bit to tackle, so probably a good thing. He has some allies on his side. We've been speaking with KPBS, Metro reporter, Andrew Bowen, Andrew, thanks so much. Thank you. Alison mayor elect Todd. Gloria issued this statement this morning. He says, I want to thank council member Bree for her service to our city. And I wish her and her family well it's time to put the campaign behind us and come together. As San Diego is to resolve the many challenges we face. Gloria continues, voters have embraced my vision of creating a city that works for all of us. It's now time to turn that vision into reality. I am honored to be the next mayor of Sandy Speaker 5: 07:31 As Camilla Harris moves into her newly elected position. As the first woman vice president, California will be looking for a new Senator. Speculation has already started about who governor Newsome may tap to fill Harris's seat. And that appointment may also break new ground. Joining me is Phil Wilson, who covers governor Gavin Newsome and California politics for the Los Angeles times. Phil, welcome to the program. Thanks for having me now, remind us if you would give us a tutorial, how are Senate seats filled when there's a vacancy between elections and California? Speaker 6: 08:07 Uh, well, there are two options. One is governor Newsome could call a special election, no one expects that to happen. Um, the other is he has the authority to appoint, um, a replacement who will serve out the remainder of a term the next two, two years. And that's what everyone expects. He could theoretically appoint someone who would just serve the two years and then stepped down kind of a placeholder. But again, no one expects that to happen. This is, this is one of the most coveted political posts to the state of California. It will impact his political legacy as well as whoever he appoints. Speaker 5: 08:42 Now, just a follow up question on that. Does the governor's appointment have to be confirmed by anyone if he does choose to go that way? Does it have to be confirmed by California legislators? Speaker 6: 08:52 No, it's an executive appointment. So, um, he could do the same thing I understand with, I think, County supervisors as well. Speaker 5: 08:59 Now several names have already been floated as possible replacements for Camila Harris. One of them is Congresswoman Karen Bass. She was also apparently on Joe Biden, the shortlist for vice president. Speaker 6: 09:15 Um, she's a Los Angeles, uh, Congresswoman who used to serve as the, um, speaker of the assembly up here in Sacramento. Uh, very well-regarded and democratic circles known as a kind of a real legislator. Someone who works well with others, um, within our party, even some Republicans as well. She used part of the, kind of the political power base in LA growing up over the past 30 years, she was tight with, uh, former LA mayor, Antonio Villaraigosa among others. She she's someone that a lot of people think is a rising star in the party. Um, she didn't get over the finish line with the BP, um, selection, obviously. So this may be, it won't be real consolation prize, but it would be, uh, it kind of put her in the minds of, uh, everyone nationally, Speaker 5: 10:04 I suppose, one consideration to appointing someone from Congress, if for a democratic governor would be whether or not that's a safe democratic seat. Is that Karen is a seat safe for a Democrat. Speaker 6: 10:18 Yes, it's, it's very safe. Same with Barbara Lee in the East Bay area, up, up into the Oakland area. That's opposed to someone like Katie Porter who is really well like is a good fundraiser. Um, again, another rising star in the democratic party who has a lot of name recognition in the state and nationwide, but she's in art, she's in a Republican leaning district. And, um, the expectation is, uh, that her Oliver elections going forward will be hotly contested, especially in 2022, which is a kind of a midterm election when usually the opposing party who whoever's in the white house, uh, make some gains. So, um, I'm sure that speaker Pelosi would want to lose another member of the democratic caucus. Speaker 5: 11:06 Now California's attorney general, Javier Bissera could also be tapped to fill Harris's seat. Would his appointment be a first for California in any way? Speaker 6: 11:17 Yeah. California has never had a Latino or Latina a us Senator. It would be a first. And he's one of the names that we keep hearing who's on the short list, um, along with secretary of state Alex Padilla, as far as the statewide officer and, uh, either it would be historic Speaker 5: 11:35 Javier Bissera used to work in Washington, right? What was his previous position? Speaker 6: 11:40 He was a long time Congressman from Los Angeles. I remember before I came to the LA times, I used to work for the paper in Tampa, Florida. And I remember us in the mid nineties interviewing them about Chiba policy and other. So he used, he knows, knows the turf really well. One thing you see a lot of speculation now that, um, about who would be in president Biden's cabinet and his name pops up there as well as a potential attorney general or head of Homeland security. Speaker 5: 12:09 Yeah. And one of the people on your list in, in your LA times article is long beach mayor, Robert Garcia. He probably doesn't have the profile of some of the other people that we've been talking about. Why is he on your list as a possible replacement for Harris? Speaker 6: 12:26 He is a very loyal ally of, um, governor Newsome. He endorsed him early on in the 2018 governor's race. Uh, one of the, one of the first major Latino politicians in the state to do so, um, along with Alex Padilla as well, he's also, uh, an openly gay mayor of long beach and his, his appointment along with being Latino, um, being openly gay would be a historic appointment for the us Senate. Um, he has a compelling story about his mother and stepfather both passed away because of COVID. So he has firsthand knowledge of the destruction of that virus and the devastation that it causes. And, um, but primarily, I mean, it's because he has been a longtime backer of, uh, Gavin minutiae. That's what kind of made him rise. I still think he's kind of, I don't want to say a long shot, maybe a medium shot, but you never know Speaker 5: 13:19 Also perhaps a long shot on, on your list is Senate president pro tem, Tony Atkins from San Diego who is also openly gay. And she's mentioned on your list. So what strengths do you think she would bring to the job? Speaker 6: 13:33 Uh, well, she's, uh, she's a, uh, a very able legislator. She's been leading the Senate really well. She's aligned with, uh, governor Newsome on a lot of, a lot of progressive issues. One of which is affordable housing, which is one of her main political goals and priorities up here in Sacramento. They've had some bumps in the road between the two. I remember covering some legislation where, um, the governor kind of Anne and her did not get along. I wouldn't put her in the top tier of a potential replacement, but Newsome has been holding all this really close to the vest. So it's hard to tell, uh, what considerations he'll take into account. Speaker 5: 14:08 Now, Phil, considering the close number between Democrats and Republicans in the Senate, governor Newsome would probably want to pick a replacement quickly. What's the timeframe on an appointment? Speaker 6: 14:19 Well, um, he doesn't, it, a lot of it depends on what in Harris we'll will we'll step down. You have the, I think the electoral college doesn't officially vote an award of electors until December. So it probably wouldn't be before that the new Congress is sworn in, in early January. But again, Harish is an incumbent senators. Her term is not over, so she doesn't have to step down until the second before she gets sworn in as vice president. And, um, I guess there's the potential that Newsome could just name, uh, her successor tomorrow, just as someone in waiting. Speaker 5: 14:52 And the expectation is that it'll be a while before that happens. There's also the uncertainty of having a, uh, a lame duck president and the Republican majority now. And what that all means. I've been speaking with a reporter Phil will on with the Los Angeles times. And Phil, thank you so much. Thank you. K QED politics editor, Scott Shaffer looks at the extraordinary career of Senator Kamala Harris and how the Biden Harris victory will allow her to break through the glass ceiling. That's kept other female candidates from attaining the vice presidency, Speaker 7: 15:28 Kamala Harris from San Francisco district attorney in 2004 to vice president elect in 2020 is truly an only in America kind of story. And one that may transform the notion of what a winning presidential ticket looks like forever. Speaker 8: 15:43 Having Senator Harris on the ticket was a complete game changer. Speaker 7: 15:47 Amy, Alison of she, the people in Oakland based organization, which advocates for women of color in politics, while it may take a while to verify the final vote count in places like Georgia and Arizona, Alison thinks Harris deserves a lot of credit for getting Biden over the finish line. Speaker 8: 16:04 Kamala Harris brought with for black women, Latinas, Asian Americans, immigrant. She brought so many people who saw a kind of country that kind of government they want through her candidacy. Speaker 7: 16:17 The daughter of immigrants from India and Jamaica who was born in Oakland inspires a lot of hometown pride from the city's mayor, Libby, chef Speaker 8: 16:25 Vice president Kamala Harris will mean everything for a city like Oakland. Speaker 7: 16:30 Yeah. As a longtime friend and supporter of Harris, who she says, we'll present Oakland in a more favorable light Speaker 8: 16:37 In such sharp contrast to Donald Trump's. Every mention of Oakland is a libelous slander of our diversity of our safety of our reputation. And she never hesitate to celebrate her roots as an Oaklander Speaker 7: 16:57 Since Joe Biden named Harris as his running mate, she has not surprisingly faced vicious attacks and name calling president Trump called her a monster Trump, Georgia, Senator David Perdue, and many others deliberately mispronounce her name in anticipation of the nastiness and personal attacks directed at Senator Harris, Sacramento, lobbyist, Samantha Corbin notes. There was a concerted effort to discourage the media's use of tropes and discriminatory labels. For Harris. Speaker 8: 17:25 I will tell you, there was a pretty robust campaign of advocate, um, who came out and said, literally we've got her back and really started pushing back on that type of coverage. Speaker 7: 17:37 Governor Gavin Newsome knows Kamel Harris. Well from the days when he was mayor of San Francisco and she was district attorney Newsome hailed, the Biden Harris victory as a critical moment for California. And so I just couldn't be more happy for her. And it's profoundly significant for the state. Democrats will have a long to-do list on issues ranging from the pandemic to economic recovery, climate change, and more, their failure to win control of the Senate will hamper that agenda. But Samantha Corbin, who helped expose the culture of bias, harassment and abuse aimed at women in Sacramento calls Harris's rise to vice president elect a pivotal moment. This will change Speaker 1: 18:18 For generations, how young women think about themselves and their place in this country and their place in politics. And that's really an amazing thing. Speaker 7: 18:26 The nation is still getting to know Kamala Harris and how impressions of her are shaped in the coming years will help determine if there is yet another higher office in her future. Speaker 1: 18:37 That was KQBD politics editor, Scott Schaffer. This is KPBS mid day edition. I'm Maureen Kavanaugh companies like Uber, Lyft and door dash and Postmates spent more than $200 million to bankroll prop 22, the most expensive proposition in California history. It will allow app based companies to classify their workers as a new kind of independent contractor under state law, Sam Harnett covers labor and technology for KQBD Silicon Valley desk. He spoke to California report magazine, host Sasha Coca about why prop 22 will change how some people work in our state. Speaker 9: 19:28 Basically the argument is, is that all the Uber drivers and door dash to food deliveries and Instacart shoppers that you see the good companies argue that these are, uh, entrepreneurs, that they have their own businesses that they're independent and they're not workers. And because in our workers, they aren't entitled to benefits like, um, guaranteed minimum wage overtime, workers' compensation or unemployment insurance Speaker 1: 19:52 And lifts say, this is going to be good for drivers. What is the benefit package that they're offering? Speaker 9: 19:58 I mean, the benefit package is really slippery. I mean, the, the, the easiest way to define it is it's watered down employee benefits. So instead of workers' compensation, uh, the workers will be able to buy insurance. Instead of getting health insurance, they would be able to buy healthcare subsidies, uh, instead of having guaranteed minimum wage, they would have 120% of minimum wage guaranteed for engaged driving time. But of course, a lot of time working for a gig apps means waiting for jobs, which is not going to go into that calculation. Speaker 1: 20:26 What about unemployment? I know during the pandemic, there were drivers who no longer had as many rides, and then they had a hard time getting unemployment Speaker 9: 20:34 In the new category. There's no unemployment insurance. Um, there's been some studies that have suggested that Uber Lyft and other good companies would have had to pay California hundreds of millions of dollars in unemployment, but because they've always classified their workers as contractors, they haven't paid a dime into the state unemployment insurance fund. So yeah, we've seen with a pandemic that now not having unemployment for these workers has been pretty catastrophic. Speaker 4: 21:00 So Sam, what could the passage of this proposition mean for other industries? Speaker 9: 21:06 Right now? The law is, uh, limited to companies that use apps for transportation and delivery, but there are lots of companies, uh, that could create apps say for their trucking business, or you can see a company that maybe does warehouse fulfillment making an app. And then, and then arguing to sort of push, uh, what's established with prop 22, a little farther. I mean, any corporation that could take advantage of this sub employee category of worker is going to go for it because it is way cheaper than having to pay for employee benefits. Uh, and then on top of all of that, uh, Lyft, Uber, and the other good companies have said, they already want to pursue this nationally. And which is something they've been working on already. The Trump department of labor actually, um, before the election, um, uh, issued a ruling that would make it easier for geek companies to classify workers as contractors. And the good companies are already trying to push this kind of third way, sub employee worker category through federal. Speaker 4: 22:03 What about drivers who are relieved that this has passed? You feel like it is going to give them more flexibility. Speaker 9: 22:08 There are so many gig workers who are really desperate for income and who are happy to have any chance to make any money. And so there is a sentiment with a lot of these gig workers of like, you know what, it might not be perfect, but I just need money. And I don't want that to change. Speaker 4: 22:26 Sam Harnett covers labor and technology for [inaudible] Silicon Valley Bureau. And he was speaking with California report magazine, host, Sasha Coca, some California voters are costing a ballot for the first time during a pandemic and a contentious national election. Raul Alvarez lives on Catalina Island, he and his 23 year old daughter, Diana filled out their ballots together this year. This was her second time voting. And her dad's first, since he just became a citizen in 2018, Diana sat down to talk with him about finally casting a vote. Speaker 10: 23:04 My dad specifically went to his PO box, saw that we got the belts, and then he brought them back to his apartment and was like, Hey, Deanna, let's vote for you being your second time, just has to do with your age. You know what I mean? You're only 23, but I mean, for me, it had to be because I wasn't a citizen and I became a citizen recently. And this is the first elections that I'm allowed to vote. I mean, I became a citizen after the previous election. And do you remember like the reason why you felt so strongly? I need to become a citizen? Well, sure. The right to vote is Nora, is you your earned that by becoming a citizen. And it's a really complicated process, you know, the elections and everything, and you learn more and then you want to know more so bodiness is, it's a great thing, you know? Speaker 10: 23:54 And so people take it for granted because they always had had the privilege, you know, they had the right to vote for somebody that never had it. And then they have it will, they want to take advantage of it, you know, and be powerful. But, you know, I remember us both like opening it up and obviously like the big thing is voting for the next president of the United States. And I had gone over a couple of the propositions too, but I wasn't really prepared for any of the judges that we were going to be voting for. And I remember Papa, we just kind of like looked at each other and we're like, we're going to have to do some research, looking at the silver. I honestly, I Google it. I cannot. And I say, wait a second. It's not about just, Oh, that guy's Democrat let's vote. Speaker 10: 24:41 No, no, no, no. It has to do with right now in the internet. There's a lot of tarp, red chorus of what the people have really done on this stuff, uh, is, and that's who you built for, you know, on, hopefully your boat will make the difference. We had like different opinions on it. I remember, Oh, there's a promotional team. There are certain things we share, you know, as family as communities, but also you yourself as a person. Yeah. And I remember when we got to the precedent, like we both immediately kind of knew exactly who we're voting for, but we also like kind of had a laugh about it just because it was so obvious for you and me who were getting, and then also just seeing Kanye West name up there. Speaker 10: 25:31 You're probably the best person I can vote with. Cause I feel like I'm a bit stressed out with anyone else, but you're like a very good listener to me, rambling on and on. Especially about like propositions and stuff. Cause I already had some thoughts about it. So it was kind of cool, like getting to say like how you voted versus me. Cause I feel like it's such a solo activity or at least it was the last time I voted. Cause I just went in into a stuffy little box. But this time it was kind of like sit down, do your homework, drank some cafe and just vote with your dad talking about it. It was kind of gone actually Speaker 4: 26:10 That was Diana Alvarez speaking with her father, Raul Alvarez who voted for the first time, this election and now to a tragedy of California's past Sunday marked two years since the town of paradise and nearby communities were destroyed by our state's deadliest and most destructive wildfire, the campfire killed 85 people and displaced tens of thousands. And two years later, plenty of people are still wrestling with the like insurance policies and the state laws that govern them. The California reports, Lily Jamali traveled to North Carolina to report on one company. That's now under state scrutiny Speaker 1: 26:55 Days before pandemic lockdowns began in March. I visited a cafe on a charming strip in flat rock, near Asheville to meet up with Jan and Tony Dunn like so many others. They lost their home in paradise in the campfire. They live here now. But the memory of November 8th, 2018 looms, large, they found themselves doing constant battle with their insurance company, nationwide insurance. Yeah. We, we stopped communicating with them verbally, um, because it was just way too much of a problem. It was very stressful. Unlike some other companies nationwide asked them to itemize everything, they lost, Speaker 11: 27:35 God it's, it's horrible and grueling. I mean, we've had, we've made a list that our list has 6,200 items in it, 6,200 items. And it's just crazy to have to go through room by room and remember, okay. Yeah, my, my office drawer, what was in there and it's, it's painful and traumatic. It's not right that anybody would ask you to do Speaker 1: 27:58 The, Dunn's say nationwide also promised to cover the cost of moving to North Carolina then changed its mind Speaker 11: 28:05 Moved 2,700 miles. And they said, we're only gonna pay you to move back to paradise. And it's like a, that's not what the state law says B that's not what you told them. It's also just makes no sense. There's no paradise left. Speaker 1: 28:20 Meanwhile in paradise fire survivor genie web got so frustrated. She started a Facebook page where nationwide customers exchange tips and vent. Speaker 8: 28:30 Everything's a nickel and dime issue where you've got to back them all the way up to the wall, fix the department of insurance on and fight with them for six months to get one thing. Every single thing is like that with them. And it's exhausting Speaker 1: 28:42 Nationwide. Isn't the only insurer facing these criticisms. But industry insider say the company has a reputation for dragging out the process of paying claims. And unlike others nationwide has resisted some requests by state insurance commissioner, Ricardo, Lara aimed at streamlining that process in a statement, the company told the California report. It can't comment on individual claims, but it's working in good faith to quote fully honor our commitments to members based on the coverage that policy holders purchased for that time of loss. A spokesperson for commissioner Laura's office says it's opened an audit known as a market conduct exam to determine if nationwide has been underestimating, what it owes to Californians who lost homes and businesses in 2018. Meanwhile, Tony Dunn says climate related disasters that followed in the two years after the campfire show. It wasn't isolated event. I really hope Speaker 8: 29:44 For all the people that are going to come after Speaker 1: 29:46 Us, that things changed. That story was by California report, host Lily Jumani after decades of trying to get ahead of the problem of the West big fires. It seems we're still behind the massive fires that have burned this year. Don't just alter forests. They impact water supplies for people and the environment, but it could refocus efforts to better manage forests in the final story of our series on where water and fire meet in the West. Ron Dunkin from K J Z, Z in Phoenix reports Speaker 12: 30:24 In June of 2002, nearly half a million acres burned in Arizona, high country rodeo. Chediski fire was the largest fire in Arizona history at the time. And it got everyone's attention. There was too much fuel in the forest and something needed to be done. Speaker 8: 30:38 So, um, I think the first thing to recognize is that the Southwest and California are built to burn Speaker 12: 30:45 Arizona state university professor Stephen pine. Speaker 8: 30:48 We get lots of dry lightening where we're the epicenter for lightning caused fires in the United States. Speaker 12: 30:55 Rosa forest evolved with fire. Modest sized fires would burn grasses, small trees and brush, but leave the big tree standing then over grazing and fire suppression, removed grasses and allowed small trees to grow and checked by the time foresters figured out the problem mega fires were on the way economic is with the grand Canyon trust. He remembers 10,000 acre thinning projects in the nineties, which felt like significant progress. Speaker 8: 31:18 We realized that we were not working at the scale at which wildfire was working. Speaker 12: 31:23 And so Arizona ranchers conservation is politicians, foresters and local communities put aside their differences and came up with a plan. The four forest restoration initiative for fry for short. Um, it says the goal was to thin more than 2 million acres across the state from the grand Canyon to New Mexico. Speaker 8: 31:39 The problem is not getting smaller. The problem is only getting larger in Arizona. Same can be said across the West. Speaker 12: 31:46 There are two ways to thin the forest cutting and burning for fried did both. The target for cutting is small diameter trees. That's different from traditional logging, which takes the big fire resistant ones. LV Barton is with salt river project, which provides power and water for the Phoenix Metro area through a series of dams. She says forests. Aren't just for wildlife and hiking. They're often headwaters for crucial rivers and streams. The region's biggest cities rely on. Speaker 8: 32:11 We all have overgrown forest. We have endangered species. We have large catastrophic wildfires that are coming through and just devastating these landscapes and having these horrible impacts on communities and the water supplies. Speaker 12: 32:27 The forefront I seem to address the problem on paper companies hired within the forest failed to deliver the forest kept growing. And in 2011, the wallow fire took out another half a million acres. Nice turn Arizona climate change, drought and growing housing development have made the problem more complex, different ecosystems of different fire regimes. And today's fires can jump from one to the next fire historian Pines. As it firefighters are allowing some fires to burn within certain parameters. Speaker 8: 32:55 I'm seeing a lot of from fire officers on the ground that we're not going to get ahead of this in that way. We're riding the tiger. There were too many things coming at us, too fast, changing things, too rapidly. We're having to work with what we're given, Speaker 12: 33:09 Using prescribed burns to thin the forest is complicated, but for Fry's beginning to meet its targets, the project is also done work in Springs and watershed restoration and not all wildfires are catastrophic. Some places that burn recover like Canyon Creek, it's burned and rodeo cedis sky, the forest service hopes to ramp up thinning in the near future. But grand Canyon trusts economic wonders. If we can correct past mistakes. Speaker 8: 33:33 On the other hand, I actually feel very optimistic because sometimes foolishly so that we can solve this problem. And I really think the question is, can we do it in time, Speaker 12: 33:44 Charlie esters with salt river project. He says, he thinks that for I can work. If it moves forward one step at a time, Speaker 8: 33:51 We're not giving up. We're going to continue. The forest service is not giving up. They're going to continue the collaboratives not giving up. We, we all have to work together. We all have this common goal and I'm very positive about the future of our forest ecosystem. Speaker 12: 34:07 18 years later, you can still see the scars from rodeo cheddar sky at Canyon Creek, but there are trees standing and clear. Water is flowing. You'll find trout in the stream. Elk in the Hills, more fires are coming. The only question is how hot they will burn and how much ground they will consume. I'm Ron Dunkin in Phoenix, Arizona Speaker 1: 34:36 Critics say the army. Isn't doing enough to address sexual harassment and sexual assault in the ranks. The outcry comes after the killing this spring of Fort hood soldier, Vanessa Guian. Her family says Gillian's alleged killer had been harassing her, but she was afraid to report it. But army leaders say they are addressing the issue from San Antonio, Jolene Alvin Doris reports for the American Homefront. Thousands of people have joined forces online and in protests across the country to make their voices heard about rape sexual harassment and assault in the military, San Antonio army veterans. Sarah is one of them. She says she experienced everything from sexual comments to attempted rape. It started in basic training and then got worse. That's when everything else started happening, like the guy slapping my , they're making comments about the things that they would do. And I mean, and it went all the way from privates to master Sergeant Sarah asked that we not use her last name because she fears harassment or revenge. Speaker 1: 35:38 She says those kinds of sexual comments were normal in the military. We work in an environment as a female and it's a predominantly male environment. And men talk, you know, men saying things that they shouldn't say. And it's just the joke. I mean, we had guys that would come in and tell us about what they did to their wife last night, as a Sergeant sexually assaulted her. After a night of playing pool and drinking, he took photos of her and showed other soldiers they worked with. She says later, a Lieutenant tried to rape her at a friend's apartment. The army says none of this is supposed to happen in 2006. It launched the sexual harassment assault response and prevention program called sharp. Jim Helis oversees the army sharp program. Speaker 8: 36:21 These are issues of critical importance, not only to our readiness, but to taking care of soldiers. It is an importance to every commander up and down the chain of command, Speaker 1: 36:32 How he says sharpest supposed to work. Soldiers who are harassed or assaulted can file either a restricted or unrestricted report. Restricted reports allow them to get medical help and other services and are withheld from the chain of command, but they can't seek legal action against the perpetrator. Unrestricted reports allow legal action, but the soldiers chain of command is told about the investigation. According to the department of defense, about 25% of women in the military reported sexual harassment in 2018, the numbers increased about 10%. The next year reported sexual assault increased about 3%, but the army doesn't necessarily think that's a bad thing. Hella says, it's a sign that the sharp program is making a difference. Speaker 8: 37:12 What we've seen over the last several years is we've seen increases in the numbers of reports and the percentage of cases that are being reported with women. I take that assigns that there is an increasing competence in the chain of command and in confidence in the system to, uh, to, to report incidents of sexual assault, sexual harassment. Speaker 1: 37:34 There's no way to know if the increased number of reports are because the sharp program is working well or more people are being victimized, but there's a gap in what is being reported and what people are experiencing. For instance, Sarah never reported the comments, sexual assault, or attempted rape. I had other friends that I would talk to and they would tell me like, well, I made a sharp complaint and nothing ever got done about it. And her experience in the army, isn't unique. I can't think of one woman that say she's never experienced sexual abuse. That's Deshauna barber CEO of the service women's action network known as Swan. She's been an army reservist for around 10 years. Barber said army culture lacks a basic understanding of what sexual harassment means, despite regular training on it. And she says, even when sex crimes are reported, perpetrators aren't necessarily discharged from the army or even prosecuted. I see soldiers get kicked out of the military so often for, for DUIs and drug related offenses. I have yet to see someone get kicked out for sexual wrestler, sexual assault. And that is the absolute Speaker 13: 38:36 Problem. Speaker 1: 38:37 There are efforts in Congress to take on some of the barriers soldiers face when reporting sex crimes, but unless the military culture changes activists say that might still not be enough. I'm Jolene almond data is in San Antonio. Speaker 4: 38:57 You're listening to KPBS midday edition. I'm Alison st. John, along with Maureen Kavanaugh, the feeling of being an outsider is the theme explored in San Diego writer, Susan sleeper story titled guide Jean it's sleepers first novel. And it's a coming of age tale that sheds light on the uncomfortable relationship between the residents of Okinawa, Japan, and the American community centered on the military base there. Sarah as Libra joins us. Sarah. Welcome. Speaker 13: 39:24 Hi, thank you. I'm so thrilled to be talking to Alison Goodwill, Speaker 4: 39:29 Start off by telling us what the title of your book means. That's guy Jean, why did you choose that title? Speaker 13: 39:35 Sure. Well, the word guy, Jean is a Japanese word. That's, it's not a slur. Exactly, but it is not necessarily favorable. And it gens to refer to a person who is not Japanese as sort of like an unwanted intruder, unwanted alien. Speaker 4: 39:54 The book is telling the story of a girl, Lucy, who goes to Japan in search of a love that she's lost. And in search of a Japanese culture that she saw as very refined and delicate, you know, like haiku poems and, and delicate tea sets. What did she actually discover when she got there? Speaker 13: 40:13 Well, of course Lucy had studied Japan, so she knew something about it. But when she got to the Island of Okinawa, which is very South of mainland Japan, she discovered that there was a lot more going on beneath the surface with regard to the relationship between the Japanese and the American military. And that's something that though she had heard of, she was surprised to see the ranker that was there and daily street protests and, um, allegations of crimes against the American. So she was, uh, caught off guard by the hostility that she encountered. Speaker 4: 40:53 She arrives in Okinawa and finds that. She's not exactly welcomed there. Talk a bit about what the problem is for Americans there. Speaker 13: 41:01 Yeah. So it's a very interesting situation there. And I think not everyone in the public, you know, we don't always pay attention to what's going on in every other country, but you know, the Americans have been in Japan since world war two with military basis and I'm in a sub place like Okinawa, we take up, the American military takes up quite a bit of land. And some of the people there really don't like us to be there. So they protest in the streets asking for the American military to leave Shinzo ABI. Uh, the prime minister of Japan had made a promise to reduce American military presence and that has not happened. And so every time an American service person commits a crime or just causes some kind of trouble, the protests ramped back up and they're spilling out into the streets, outside the base. So that's what my character encounters a much to her surprise after there's been a crime allegation. Speaker 4: 42:03 So you make it very clear that this is not an autobiography. You know, the heroin Lucy is not you, but you did spend some years in Japan. There are so many routes to this word, gaging under, from, from skin color to economic status, to political power. How did you explore all those in your book? Speaker 13: 42:22 There are several layers or levels of being unwelcome in whatever circumstances. The characters in one of course is my protagonist. Lucy who finds herself perhaps on welcomed by not everybody, but some people that she meets there. And then her love interest has an alienated relationship with his family. So he's like a guy gene in his own family. And of course, unfortunately just like in most cultures, um, people find a reason to discriminate against someone. And in this case, sometimes the main lenders, um, looked at the OCA now on some, there's a little bit of discrimination that goes back and forth there from the traditional, um, like people from Tokyo, let's say two people from Okinawa. Speaker 4: 43:13 Now you're a heroin was in her early twenties. And you describe her naivety very well, but you yourself are in your fifties currently. What was it like to get into the head and heart of a much younger woman? Was, was that a challenge? Speaker 13: 43:27 Right? And thank you for pointing my age out. No, I'm kidding. Speaker 4: 43:31 That'd be proud Speaker 13: 43:32 Of it. Yeah. I am proud of it because you learn a lot as you go along and it's, you have the better ability to express things as you get more mature. So it was, it was fun to go into Lucy's brain. It was also a challenge and she's definitely not me. Um, but certainly I recall all the feelings of that age and how strongly you feel about things, even if you may be misguided, um, you certainly can feel passionately. You certainly can feel driven to things that might not always be good for you. So, um, I just wanted to show a person who had a decent heart, but maybe had some misguided perceptions. And so she was able to mature through her experiences in this other country. Speaker 4: 44:20 Now you talk about all the support that you got along the way in, in writing this story. How would you describe the writing community in San Diego? Speaker 13: 44:29 Oh, you know, feel so lucky because I have a gang, a gaggle, a gang of really great friends who are really good writers and we don't all write the same thing. So we write different things, but we come together to help each other, give commentary, share our work. And so that's been absolutely invaluable. And, um, we have actually a very strong community here of writers. And I think, um, San Diego writers, inc, which is a nonprofit that supports writers, I teach there and it's been it's in Liberty station. That's also a really important San Diego resource for anyone who's trying to break into the writing community here, I would suggest contacting them for sure. Speaker 4: 45:17 So Sarah, thanks so much for spending some time with us. Speaker 13: 45:20 Alison, thank you. I appreciate this conversation a lot. Speaker 4: 45:23 We've been speaking with San Diego author, Sarah sleeper, whose first novel is called [inaudible].

Todd Gloria will be the next mayor of San Diego, City Councilmember Barbara Bry conceded the race. Next, Governor Newsom will decide who will replace Vice President-elect Kamala Harris in the U.S. Senate. Also, how Harris’ political rise will change presidential politics forever. Additionally, how one of Arizona’s largest wildfires has affected forest management. Finally, following Vanessa Guillen’s murder, the Army launched an independent investigation into the climate of Fort Hood, but critics say the problems are systemic.