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San Diego County Enters Purple Tier As COVID-19 Cases Increase

 November 10, 2020 at 12:42 PM PST

Speaker 1: 00:00 San Diego is moved into the purple the most restrictive COVID team. Speaker 2: 00:05 But if people continue to disregard the guidance, we're going to keep seeing infections. Speaker 1: 00:10 I'm Maureen Cavenaugh with Alison st. John. This is KPBS mid-day today. Oceanside has a new mayor, the first woman, and first Latina in that office, Speaker 2: 00:29 We need jobs. We need affordable housing. We need to address our homeless issues. And I think that that's what I've been talking about, especially the last few years. And I think that that that's what the people want. Speaker 1: 00:42 It was approved, but a lawsuit is challenging the new hire building height limit in the midway district. And we'll get a preview of tonight's poets tree show from San Diego poet Gil. So two that's ahead on midday edition. San Diego got the announcement. It was dreading from the state today because of a rising number of Corona virus infections. The County has been moved from the red tier into the purple. The purple tear is the most restrictive of the state's COVID tears, and it indicates the virus is widespread in the County. The ramifications of falling back into the purple are profound for business schools and everyday life. Johnnie Mae is KPBS reporter, Matt Hoffman, Matt. Welcome. Hey Maureen, what are the numbers that got us to fall into the purple tier? Speaker 3: 01:35 Yeah, Maureen, we know that County health officials have been warning us for the last week that we were, you know, coming up on this precipice of potentially going from the red tier to the more restrictive purple tier. Basically they're saying, look, we've been seeing a case count a daily case count in the three hundreds. So we need to be in the two hundreds to stay in the red tier. Um, basically to go to purple, we have to have at a state adjusted case rate of 7.0 or higher, uh, last week we saw that clock in at 7.4, which puts us in purple. Now we need two weeks to change tears. Um, and this week we just got the numbers moments ago, 8.9 is our adjusted case rate. So really high over purple and that's, what's bringing on these restrictions. Speaker 1: 02:11 Now, San Diego County though also has an overall test positivity rate of 3.3 that would qualify us for actually even a lower tier. So doesn't that count? Speaker 3: 02:22 Yeah. Maureen, I think one thing to keep in mind, you know, I just said the quote unquote adjusted case rates. So the state looks at a number of factors, you know, it's not just looking at testing, it's looking at a number of factors when it comes up with this decision. And that's why we see some of those metrics, like the equity metrics that are designed to make sure that these rates are fair. Um, and the County, you know, we heard dr. Wooten say last week, look, you know, the state tiers are there and we know that this is happening because of an increase in cases. Speaker 1: 02:46 Does, does the County have any say in protesting its placement in the purple tier? Speaker 3: 02:51 You know, there is a process that the state has a very official process. And now it's my understanding that a lot of that usually happens, um, sort of in, in the wee hours before like the, that we have on Tuesdays when that new data comes out, but something to keep in mind for people, uh, restrictions, we'll sort of detail those in a minute. Um, but those restrictions don't hit until Saturday morning. So Saturday at midnight is when those restrictions will go into effect. So it's sort of unclear if the County can go back to the state and sort of negotiate, see if they can get us back, knocked down to the red tier between now and then Speaker 1: 03:18 What will landing, what is landing in the purple tier mean for businesses? Speaker 3: 03:23 It basically clamps down on indoor operations. So for restaurants, churches, movie, theaters, museums, um, and gyms, they can only operate outdoors. So that means, you know, if you've been going to eat inside of restaurants, that's not allowed anymore, no longer gyms. We'll have to see them moving some of their equipment outside, uh, for zoos and aquarium outdoors. Only retail used to be 50% capacity for indoors. That's been reduced to 25% also for schools. Now, if your kid is already going to school in person, not going to affect you, but schools that are planning to preparing for distance opening, that's going to put a pause on this and keep in mind, we have to stay in this tier for at least three weeks. So any schools that were planning to reopen the next three weeks, those are now plans are going to be put on hold. Speaker 1: 04:02 And you know, one of the reasons for these tears is so that the cases of COVID don't swamp, our hospitals and ICU capacity. So how is the County doing on being able to care for COVID patients? What is our hospitalization and ICU capacity? Speaker 3: 04:19 Yeah, I'm referencing numbers from yesterday here, but our hospital capacity is good. It's within the County metrics, 72%, uh, hospital capacity, um, and an ICU capacity. We're sitting at 31%, which is according to the County, a good metrics there. Now we know statewide too. Um, just 4% of hospital patients are COVID-19 patients where the governor talk about that yesterday. So statewide, we know we're doing okay. We also heard the governor say we have 20,000 plus ventilators, uh, available here in the state. Speaker 1: 04:47 Now you were listening to the announcement of us falling back into the purple tier. Did the public health officials say anything that could give us any guidance as to what we can do or what or what we've been doing wrong? Speaker 3: 05:00 Right. Well, I, I think th the good news for businesses here, and then people who are worrying about these, these looming restrictions is that there's a few days for them to prepare. Um, we know already talking to some businesses out there today, talking to the general manager of hoedads that they're preparing, you know, they've been doing their indoor operations. Now they're getting ready to shift back to outdoor. Only. Now you talk to a lot of those business owners. They say, look, you know, I built a restaurant here in the community. It's built on an indoor operation business and outdoor by itself is just not sustainable. Speaker 1: 05:26 Okay. I've been speaking with KPBS reporter, Matt Hoffman and Matt. Thank you so much. Thanks Maureen. As the nation tops, 10 million coronavirus cases and San Diego falls into the state's most restrictive COVID tier. Finally, we may have a glimmer of good news about the virus. The pharmaceutical company, Pfizer has announced its vaccine is showing to be over 90% effective in preventing coronavirus infection. The company is hoping to submit its results for FDA approval of the vaccine. By the end of this month. Now joining me is dr. Mark Sawyer and infectious disease specialist with Rady children's hospital and a member of California's COVID-19 scientific safety review work group, and dr. Soria, welcome to the program. Speaker 4: 06:14 Great to join you. Speaker 1: 06:16 Now, we just found out that San Diego has been moved into the purple tier. That's the state's most restricted COVID tier. What's the main reason that COVID rates are going up in San Diego. Are we getting lax or is it inevitable this time of year? Speaker 4: 06:33 I don't really know the answer to that. I accept that. I think we are still too lax in general, as a community. We're doing better than many, but the fact that the buyer is still circulates. So bigger honestly, is an indication that we're not distancing ourselves well enough, and we're not wearing masks well enough. And of course we're not alone. The virus is going up in many parts of the country. Again, uh, in the last few weeks, Speaker 1: 07:01 Many people believe shutting down the economy is only going to make things far worse for more people than having a few people get sick. I wonder how you answer that. Speaker 4: 07:11 That's a tough equation for sure, but I wouldn't characterize it as a few people get sick. We are seeing a lot of people get sick and we're of course seeing lots of deaths from COVID. So this is a very serious infection. I do think we need to try to get back as close to business as usual as we can, but that requires that everybody wear a mask and try and socially distance as much as possible. That doesn't mean businesses have to be shut down and restaurants have to be closed, but if people continue to disregard the guidance, we're going to keep seeing infections. Speaker 1: 07:46 What's your take on this information released by Pfizer? Is this really cause for celebration? Speaker 4: 07:53 Yes. I think this is very positive information. Uh, I was actually just on a meeting this morning, uh, hearing a little bit more about that, and it looks very encouraging so far. There hasn't been any significant safety concern, but we need to gather a little more data to be sure that their vaccine is safe with this early announcement of effectiveness is better than many people predicted. We would see Speaker 1: 08:16 How do researchers know that it's more than 90% effective? How are these tests conducted? Speaker 4: 08:24 Well, that's the whole point of the clinical trials that everybody has been hearing about for the last several months. Uh, so they take a group of people and half of the people get the vaccine and the other half don't and you don't know which cause they get an, an injection of just saline. So they're still getting a shot, but they're not getting the real thing. And then you follow those people for a period of time and see who gets COVID and who doesn't. So what happened in the, in the trial from Pfizer? Is that a significant number? I think it was 90 or more people got COVID and they were all almost all in the group who did not get the real vaccine. And everybody who got the real vaccine was protected. That's how, how you calculate a 90% effectiveness. Speaker 1: 09:09 And this vaccine requires two injections. Isn't that? Right? Speaker 4: 09:13 Right. So, so they didn't even start gathering data until people had received two doses. So this is, this is the effectiveness where you would predict if we started to use this vaccine widely now in two doses of people. Now it is still preliminary. The number may change some, but it is quite encouraging that it's as high as it, as it is. Speaker 1: 09:35 When will we know if there are any side effects? Speaker 4: 09:40 Well, we already have some information on side effects. Even before the large trial, there were smaller trials that looked specifically at safety. Uh, but that's what we're waiting for primarily now, I think before the FDA decides to release the Pfizer vaccine or any other is to gather enough safety data, to be confident that the benefit from the vaccine outweighs any risk from side effects. Speaker 1: 10:06 And does Pfizer know how long the vaccines immunity will last? Speaker 4: 10:11 No, that's one of the things that we're not going to know until time goes by. And, uh, so we're gonna cross our fingers and hope that it lasts for a long period of time. There are some animal models, studies that suggest it does last at least months, but we won't really know in people until it's used Speaker 1: 10:29 Now, if and when this vaccine is approved by the FDA, what will your scientific safety review group begin to do? Speaker 4: 10:38 Well, we're going to have access to the same kind of information that the FDA looks at to decide whether to release the vaccine. And we're just going to take an independent look at that same data and, and look at it in the context of California and make sure it makes sense for us as a state to move ahead with the dissemination of the vaccine through public health. And, uh, you know, this is meant primarily to reassure people that, that, uh, group outside of the FDA group is looking at the same information and reaching the same conclusion. Speaker 1: 11:13 Aren't there. Other vaccines also in the pipeline, also in development, Speaker 4: 11:18 There are many vaccines in development. There are actually six that have been targeted for major development efforts. And two of them are well along the way. And we may see several more come out and be considered for licensure in 2021. So I think the horizon is bright. There were out of all of these vaccines, we're going to find some that worked quite well and are safe. And those are the ones that we're going to disseminate. Why Speaker 1: 11:46 Now, how long do you think it will be before most people have access to a vaccine from a medical standpoint? Well, Speaker 4: 11:54 I think it's going to be months before there is enough vaccine manufactured for a large percent of the population to receive it Speaker 1: 12:01 In polls that have been taken on the subject about half the people surveyed say they won't get a vaccine against COVID. They're not going to take it. If that number holes, how will that impact the effectiveness of the vaccine? Speaker 4: 12:14 Well, it's a great question. I mean, we certainly need a large percent of the population to get backs unaided. If we want to get back to business as usual and reopen restaurants and stores and schools, I do think that the public's attitude may change once they see the real product and can be reassured by groups like the California safety group, that the vaccine really is safe. Speaker 1: 12:39 What kind of help would you be expecting from the federal government in, uh, rolling out this vaccine as the months go by? Speaker 4: 12:49 Well, the federal government has already put together some guidelines for distribution of vaccine and prioritization of vaccine. The group at CDC called the advisory committee on immunization practices is an independent advisory group of non CDC. People who meet with CDC and give them recommendations, which are then disseminated around the country. So those groups are already doing work to prepare us for first evaluating a vaccine and then distributing it once we have it. Speaker 1: 13:21 Okay. I've been speaking with dr. Mark Sawyer and infectious disease specialist with Rady children's hospital and a member of California's COVID-19 scientific safety review work group, dr. Sawyer as always. Thank you. Speaker 4: 13:35 Thank you, Maureen. Speaker 1: 13:48 You're listening to KPBS midday edition. I'm Alison st. John with Maureen Cavenaugh. Oceanside is San Diego. County's third largest city after San Diego in Chula Vista. It has traditionally been seen as a conservative town. It shares a border with camp Pendleton, but Oceanside voters have elected a new mayor who is a Democrat Astro Sanchez is also the city's first Latina mayor and the first woman to serve in this capacity. Mayor Sanchez, congratulations and welcome to midday edition. Speaker 4: 14:16 Thank you, Alison. Thank you so much. It's an exciting time in ocean side. Well, yes, that's a lot of firsts. Speaker 1: 14:23 What's your reaction to being the first woman and the first Latina to be elected mayor? Speaker 4: 14:28 I think that a lot of what we have in Oceanside includes the magnificent diversity that we have and growing up in ocean side, um, actually my dad grew up in ocean side. So when I grew up in OSHA, they were maybe 30,000 people. And so I still feel that it's a small town, even though it's grown to be over a 74,000. Speaker 5: 14:52 And for me, it's about the people. And I think that, uh, you know, people elected me because of who I am, but to be the first Latina and the first, um, woman is truly historic. So Speaker 6: 15:06 You've been on the council for 20 years and you've seen a lot of changes. What does your election say about what you think Oceanside wants to see in the future? Speaker 5: 15:16 I believe that ocean ciders would like to see some of the small town kind of characteristic stay, um, which is what my sense of it is and the way I try to bring us back the character to maintain that character. Um, so I think that that, because of that, I think that people want to give me that chance, the tend to want to give me that chance. Um, so in terms of, you know, we, we would like to keep kind of the mom and pop type character for the downtown and also kind of try to address the traffic in our, you know, in our more Eastern parts, especially of the city. And we're having a terrible time in terms of jobs. The jobs to residents ratio has really gone far beyond what we should have, let it go. So we need jobs, we need affordable housing, we need to address our homeless issues. And I think that that's what I've been talking about, especially the last few years. And, uh, I think that that that's what the people want and that's why they elected me. Speaker 6: 16:18 So let's talk about homelessness. What, what do you think is the first thing that needs to be done? Speaker 5: 16:24 We need to provide a shelter and maybe I should say shelters because it just can't be one. We have traditionally the council majority has, you know, suggested that the churches can take that responsibility over. We were down to just one organization, the bread of life, being able to do that. It's a very difficult thing to do because churches are not set up to have showers and do beddings. And, you know, with, with the funding that's available, it's five to $7 per bed. And it's, that's just not something that anyone can do. So we need shelters. We need to be the leadership on this. Um, we do have some private individuals who've been wanting, wanting to do this since we have been pretty much inactive. So, um, I'm thinking also day centers to try to get folks indoors and try to see how we can help lower that the numbers down to what is the most difficult to address and that includes mental health issues. Speaker 6: 17:26 And what, what do you propose to do to attract more jobs to Oceanside? Speaker 5: 17:30 Well, it it's, it, it all ends up being a land use issue. We have a general plan that pretty much our forefathers and sisters laid out a plan that would include industrial commercial. And several of those areas have over time, been converted into residential. And so the remaining, uh, industrial and commercial really needs to maintain that status. And what we need to do is develop job centers, which is what other cities have done. Um, this is something that we need to make as a priority. I think we have excellent staff. Um, we, we need to make the, you know, give them that direction and, and work with staff in making that happen. Speaker 6: 18:16 So Mr. Sanchez, are you concerned about the city's finances as a result of the COVID 19 pandemic? Speaker 5: 18:23 And, you know, this is kind of a silver lining that we're, you know, becoming this bedroom communities in terms of our revenues. Uh, the, the tax space has mostly relied on property taxes and sales tax. And we were just beginning to rely on tot and especially with re re with regard to vacation rentals. That's something very recent. So we we've actually fared pretty well because of that, but you know, how long we can sustain this because we did do a job freeze and, uh, pretty much eliminated our maintenance and operations funds. And we, we are spending some reserves, um, how long we can do that. You know, I, I definitely joined in, in others really appreciating the fact that we are looking at a vaccine that's what, 90% perhaps, um, that, and that will be free. I mean, I think that, you know, that news comes at a really, really critical time. Speaker 6: 19:22 The Oceanside is becoming a destination for many visitors and tot the transient occupancy tax could be effected too. Um, D do you see the future of Oceanside as a, as a destination? Speaker 5: 19:37 I do. I do, especially, um, for, uh, those that are choosing not to travel say outside where a hop, skip and away from several inland places to come to Oceanside, we work really hard to maintain a clean beach. And, um, we're at this time talking about how to, uh, make it possible to have more sand in our beaches, but at the same time, I think we, you know, this was an election. I think the voters are also saying, okay, don't, don't just think about tourism, think about us. Um, so it's a balance. It's, it's definitely a balance. And, and, and our, I think the key is to maintain a good balance. Speaker 6: 20:20 Now, you strongly opposed a new development in Morro Hills, the North river farms, project voters rejected it, and it would have added more than 500 new homes to the city's roster. Uh, the state of California is requiring the city to build thousands of new homes in the next decade to, to meet, to growing population. Where in the city, do you want new housing to be built? Well, Speaker 5: 20:40 W w we have a lot of infill, uh, places where we're housing, higher density housing could be built, and certainly it would make a lot better sense if it's near services, existing services. That's what made this project out on our farm on a farm, um, extremely unattractive, uh, the staff, uh, you know, recommended against it because it did not, it was not going to be able to provide us, um, really, um, any requirements that we are being, um, you know, that the state is demanding, that we fill. So it, it would have been in a place that had absolutely zero infrastructure improvements, no water, sewer roads, it would have been, uh, it certainly would have been an impact to the general fund, as well as, um, on services. I was very concerned about what it would do to water bills, for example, and just the traffic that, you know, over 7,000 additional daily trips onto 76, when it's already over, you know, congested, you know, the fact that it was turned down by staff and also by the planning commission, uh, you know, really hit home that, uh, this was not a project that, that would take us to the next level. Speaker 6: 21:51 No, you are a Democrat. The other four Oceanside city council members who've emerged from the election are perhaps more pro growth and development than yourself. Uh, the mayor is just one vote on the five person council. How do you plan to build consensus with the council? Speaker 5: 22:06 Well, as, as you mentioned, I have been around for, uh, you know, 20 years on the council, but this is a place that I was born and raised. I've. Um, even beyond that, I had spent, I've spent time in San Diego and elsewhere in the County and developed relationships with other leadership. So what I'm hoping is that, you know, as a leader that has, you know, good relationships in the region, um, that I will, you know, really move us forward. Um, I think it is a message being sent to us and, you know, there's another election two years from now. So, you know, it's it doesn't, you know, I, I don't feel that what happened just this past election is saying, Oh yeah, we, we want these, you know, kind of radical growth issues to continue. I am not against growth. I am for smart growth and ensuring that we are able to continue to provide a certain level of quality of service, um, quality of care to our residents, um, whoever they are. And, and I think for me coming from, you know, uh, one of the poor neighborhoods in Oceanside, I want to see, uh, changes that will be proactive and provide even more opportunities to our, to our community. Our, our youth is very diverse and the future of the city depends on their success. So, um, it's, I think it's, it's time. We, you know, reassessed and I'm hoping that we can do that as a, as a council and as a community, we've been Speaker 6: 23:35 Speaking with estro Sanchez who was poised to become Oceanside's first woman and first Latina mayor, mayor Sanchez. Thank you. Speaker 5: 23:43 Thank you. Alison Speaker 7: 23:49 Sunday, Speaker 6: 23:49 The city voters approved measure E with nearly 57% of the vote, but the will of the people may or may not be enough to overturn the 30 foot height limit when the midway district is redeveloped. The outcome of the measure is likely to be tied up in court for quite a while. San Diego union Tribune reporter Jennifer van Grove has written about the opposition that could delay plans already in the works to transform the sports arena area. Jennifer, welcome. Thank you for having me. So now, why is this height limit such an important issue for the future of development in San Diego briefly? What's its history? Speaker 7: 24:23 Well, it's important for a number of reasons. So the midway district is, um, defined by the military bases that dominate the land use there, and this, this coastal height restriction. And so there hasn't been a lot of redevelopment or revitalization in that area because there's not too much that you can do with a 30 foot height limit and a very small, I don't want to say small, but, um, a large portion of land is as military, and then there's less land that's available for redevelopment. And so it's a very central issue right now because the city, they own 48 acres right around the sports arena. And they'd like to see that land completely redone, completely redeveloped. And in order to do that, you know, they have to bring in a developer and the developer's going to want to rebuild the sports arena. And I'm right now, I'm talking about Brookfield properties in order to rebuild the sports arena, you have to go above 30 feet because the existing arena was built before the coastal height restriction was put in place. So you have a number of factors at play, but basically if you want to see the midway district look differently, this height restriction has to be eased, or at least that's, that's kind of the logic that was put before voters in which voters have, have agreed to it's true. Speaker 6: 25:44 The height limit was put into place back in the 1970s, right? So it's been in place for a very long time who, who is challenging this move to lift the 30 foot height limit? Speaker 7: 25:55 Why? Well, it's a small group it's called our access and they were behind the opposition campaign for measure E and they really believe in public access and, um, park and recreation space. And there's, there's a lot of different reasons why, but, um, you know, at the core of it, this group, which is led by, um, John McNab, um, who's an environmental activist and he's been involved in, um, some other controversial deals, including, um, what happened with Liberty station. So, but at the core of it is, you know, this, this notion of public and private ownership, and there is, you know, a lot of publicly owned land in the midway district, and it is save our access belief that the midway district was included in the city's coastal zone, which as you mentioned, was determined, you know, in 1972 by a vote. Um, so there's this strong, um, kind of core belief by this group that the midway district is always supposed to be a part of the coastal zone that deserves protecting. And not only that, that there's so much land that could be potentially privatized, that the public will be at a loss, should that happen? The public will lose potentially opportunities to build great parks. That's, that's kind of one of the arguments there, but it really comes down to public versus private and access to the coast. Speaker 6: 27:23 And they would be calling for more environmental reviews, right before anything changed. Speaker 7: 27:27 That's kind of the foundation of the lawsuit, the California environmental quality act, or [inaudible] as it's referred to is a big part of why this group is challenging the measure E vote. Speaker 6: 27:41 How do city planners respond to this legal challenge? Speaker 7: 27:45 Well, so let me just start and kind of break down the legal challenge. So before voters went to the polls, save access, laid the groundwork for this lawsuit. And they're essentially saying that the measure, you know, should be invalidated if passed because when, um, city planners put together the community plan for the midway district, they did not study the environmental impacts of raising the height limit. And that's true. So they did not study that because they could not study that. It's, it's a very sort of cart before the horse situation. And so where things are right now is should save our access, continue to move forward with this civil action. They would be seeking to invalidate the measure on those grounds. However, the city's position has been and continues to be that when they put together this community plan in 2018, and they did the state required environmental review, that at that time, it was comprehensive enough to consider the impacts of potential redevelopment and that those are covered regardless of the 30 foot height limit. So because they studied, you know, a population boom, and more traffic, and, you know, everything that comes with increased density, then they have their basis covered is the logic. So when I talked to landis' attorneys last week, um, they said, it's going to be, you know, should this case new forward, it's going to be a very like technical look at the, the midway community plan and the environmental view. And whether that environmental review for the community plan was sufficient enough to cover any potential impacts from raising the height limit. Speaker 6: 29:37 So Jennifer in practice, what does this legal challenge mean for those working on the plans to redevelop the midway district? Speaker 7: 29:44 So in practice, it just kind of puts a cloud over everything. Um, my understanding in talking with land use attorneys is that nothing will change until there's a hearing in this case, and there is no hearings scheduled. So right now the measure can, you know, move forward, be codified, et cetera. And so the issue kind of comes to a head once there's a hearing scheduled in that may be three to four months. So right now I suspect things will carry on as if measure is passed. So the city will negotiate with Brookfield properties as if there is no 30 foot height limit, um, and things will move, move ahead on that ground. However, when there's a hearing, then this might get a lot more complicated, but for now I think we can all carry on as if measure is passed and it'll move forward. And then the courts may choose to intervene. But right now that's not the case Speaker 6: 30:44 It's for helping us tease out the details of this Jennifer, Speaker 7: 30:47 A little bit of a mess, but I'm here to help Speaker 6: 30:52 With San Diego union Tribune reporter Jennifer van Grove. This is KPBS midday edition. I'm Maureen Kavanaugh, San Diego spoken word poet Gil. So two hosts the weekly online show, the poet's tree. The event is an arts engagement program for the old globe theater, KPBS arts reporter, Beth Armando Amando speaks with so too about modern poetry and tonight's show Gil. You are the host and creator of this series. That's at the old globe theater called the poet's tree. So explain what this is. Speaker 8: 31:36 So the poet's tree is a interactive interview series where I get to interview some of my poetic heroes and also use them to help inspire other people to write. So it's not just something that when you listen to it or watch it, that you're going to do nothing, like we have interactive games with our audience. We have, uh, challenges at the end of each episode where a writers write in their poetic responses to whatever the challenge from the artist is. And the artists for the following week helps me read some of those responses. So they get their poems read out loud by some of the top poets in the, in the country. And, uh, it's really just, uh, my excuse to be able to learn from the best, you know, and, and bring everybody along for that ride. Speaker 6: 32:29 This is for both people who are poets themselves, but also if somebody is just interested in modern poetry, they would also this. Yeah. Speaker 8: 32:40 And also I would say anybody interested in just performance of any type. So the, the, the caliber of the people that I bring on vast majority of them have been HBO, Def jam poets. They've won Tonys. They have, you know, been nominated for Grammys. So just as an artist in general, I talk, I speak to them a lot about what it's like to be in, in artists and pushing through your own negative self-talk. And so it's, it's centered around poetry, but I think that it really branches out. I don't think that I've ever interviewed an artist that was just strictly a poet. They usually, uh, have a lot of different slashes in, in what they do. So it's, it's, it's really open to a lot of different genres of expression. Speaker 9: 33:29 Tell me who you're going to have on tonight for the poetry Speaker 8: 33:32 Tonight. I have Jessica care Moore. So Jessica CareMore has performed everywhere from the white house to, she was the, I think the first poet to win Showtime at the Apollo and win it multiple times is a, uh, big talent competition in, in New York. She is the founder of black girls rock this huge concert in Detroit. She's just done amazing things with poetry throughout her career. Uh, so I'm excited to really interview her last last week, we interviewed, uh, Reggie Gaines whose show was on Broadway, bring in noise, bringing the funk. And the reason why I'm mentioning previous episodes is all my episodes, all our episodes, I should say, cause this, this could not have been done without the old globe are available to be viewed in. And you can follow along with it, uh, on our Facebook page or our YouTube pages, both on Facebook and YouTube live. Speaker 9: 34:30 And what is it about poetry that appeals to you? Speaker 8: 34:33 I think that it's just because one, there are rules to it, but if you break them, it's fine. It's a form of self-expression where you can be as metaphorical as you want to be, but you can also be really straight to the point and it's still very poetical. Uh, it lends itself to songwriting and rap and storytelling and all sorts of you can mix in dance with it. So all sorts of different types of self-expression fits in very well and in tune. So when something, and if you think about it, like when they talk, describe something very beautiful, you know, whether it be in a politician speech, or, um, even like a vision, something with visual arts, they say it's very poetic and that's, it's almost like that's the epitome of what art is, you know? Um, so I love it to death. Speaker 9: 35:33 Sometimes people are a little afraid of, they think, ah, you know, I don't get it or it's not really for me. What do you say to kind of those people in terms of maybe lessening their fear or opening them up to that experience Speaker 8: 35:50 When they say they don't get it? It's just, what they're really saying is that they don't get that person, you know, because it's so varied. It's so varied. Like you could turn on a, uh, episode of HBO Def jam or, or go to a local open mic and hear a poem and get it right away. It just, that individual, you may not like it, but you'll get it. And then other ones that you may like, but you need like maybe five, six more reads to really understand it, but you something about it, the way you delivered it or the way she, she put the words together, you just like it. So, um, you get it that way. So it's, I, I say to those people, you just, haven't experienced to lack of a better term. You haven't experienced a lot of good poetry yet. Um, because I've performed all over the country too. Speaker 8: 36:43 And I've yet to find someone who absolutely hates all types of poetry. What I experience is someone coming to me and say, I never knew poetry could be like that. And that's the same way that I experienced it. Uh, when I first really got into modern poetry, I, they, they had it in a movie that I watched here in Hillcrest and it was called slam. And when I heard that for the first time, I was like, Oh my God. Like, I didn't know, cause this is not the stuff that they teach in school. That's why I'm always so happy when I'm able to go to high schools and bring my Superfriends to perform, uh, because it really opens kids' eyes to like, Oh, it doesn't have to be like this, you know? Uh, and, and it just, it opens up a whole new world. And I mean, I could just say this and I can curse in it and I can do this. And I what's, uh, I could really just talk about, yeah, yeah. It's all good. Like, and, and, and try to craft it the way that makes it feel beautiful to you. Speaker 9: 37:45 When people get information about this, you go to Speaker 8: 37:48 The arts engagement page on the old globe. You can go to the old globe.org, uh, first and foremost, uh, go to our Facebook page arts engagement at the old globe, uh, both on YouTube and Facebook. It's my website, Gil sotu.com, G I L L S O T u.com. So any of those places, if you want to find out, find out about the poetry, you'll get challenged. You know, we have a, every week we have a, um, we take a literary theme and a common saying, and we smash it together and you have two minutes to write one line of poetry and we have people participating every week. Uh, and then again, uh, these, these people that I have on are our master teacher teachers. So they're giving you poetry prompts that gets Speaker 10: 38:36 You going, um, and you get to ride on that and have another master teacher read your work, uh, which is great. And so, uh, it's a fun show and we have fun. We laugh a lot and I hope you all join us. Right. Speaker 6: 38:50 I want to thank you very much for, uh, talking about that. Speaker 10: 38:54 Yeah. Thank you for having me. Appreciate it. Beth. Speaker 6: 38:57 Mark is speaking with Gil. So to tonight's event starts at five 30 on the old globe. Theater is arts engagement, Facebook page Speaker 10: 39:05 YouTube channel. Speaker 6: 39:19 The Pacific crest trail is 2,650 miles long. It stretches from the Mexican border up through California, Oregon, and Washington to the Canadian border. Every year. There's a window of opportunity for those, with dreams of through hiking, the whole thing in one go, it takes months and not everyone makes it. San Diego resident Barney scout man has written a personal story called journeys North about the cohort of Pacific crest trail through hikers, that he was a part of in 2007, that year extreme weathermen, only a third of the hikers who started the trail here in San Diego County reached the Canadian border. Bonnie Scott Mann joins us now. So Barney, or should I call you scout? Welcome to midday. Speaker 10: 40:03 I love being called scout. I'm my best self out there. Speaker 6: 40:06 Okay, good. Well, let's talk about that. Let's talk about your name. Uh, you write about how everyone on the trail eventually adopts a trail name and yours is scout. Speaker 10: 40:16 Well, let's start with the word adopted because that's actually the opposite of what happens is the name is usually thrust upon you. Uh, you've done something stupid. Uh, it's a play on a words. If you were sitting around a campfire after having eaten beans during that day, and what happens to actually did happen, and someone asks you, what is that? And you answer that's rolling thunder. 13 years later, I still know him as rolling thunder to thousands. If not tens of thousands of people, I'm simply known as scout and my wife, who I followed for 2,650 miles, she is simply known as photo Speaker 6: 40:56 Is having a trail name, give you a different identity from your everyday life. Speaker 10: 41:00 Imagine if you were suddenly thrust into Narnia or thrust into Hogwarts, Alison, when she want to have a different name. Yeah. And there's very similar sentiment. We were out there for five months and slowly had different way of living. And you are completely removed from all those things that we call normal or off trail life. So names are given usually early on in the trail. So it allows you Speaker 6: 41:25 In some ways, it sort of frees you up in a way to be a different self. Speaker 10: 41:29 That is so true. And that's one of the attractions for being out. I think we are different out there and we are more free Speaker 6: 41:37 Now rather than, you know, describing in your book, the changing landscape along the trail, you do a bit of that, but you chose mainly to focus on a handful of hikers through hikers with you and you weave their stories together so beautifully. So we get a sense of the internal journey, as well as the, the outward trials and tribulations. Why did you decide to tell your story that way? Speaker 10: 41:57 When you think about this, you might think, okay, you're going out there. And it's about seeing pretty scenery, the landscape, maybe putting yourself in a, in a, in harsh weather conditions. But what it's really about is the people. That's, what becomes the most important. These people that maybe you'll be around for a week or two. And then you'll see a month later, it's 13 years ago. And if I've met you on the trail for 15 minutes and you showed up at my front door today, well, COVID, we wouldn't hug each other, but we would literally treat each other as brother and sister. You feel differently. I would hear stories every day in a conversation you wouldn't have with the best friend once a year. And this is why I want to write. I want to share these stories, these amazing people who chose to pull themselves out of society for five months and hike in the wilderness. Speaker 6: 42:48 Uh, talk about how you, you end up sort of either walking alone or, or with someone else on any given day has that happened. Speaker 10: 42:56 Uh, the term is leapfrog and it literally is a it's random. We might for a, um, a few days, uh, be hiking around someone, see, might seem in a break. And when you see people, months later, you have these stories. You want to tell I'm 69 folks. And I don't have most perfect memory, but for each one of the hundred and 55 days, I was out there. I can tell you a story. This was the feeling I wanted to share. Speaker 6: 43:22 I got quite invested in some of the characters. It must've been quite difficult for you to decide which ones to, to choose for your book, but, but talk about how you became invested in how the heck was going for some of the other characters on the trail, Speaker 10: 43:35 The hike 20, 25 miles a day is hard and all honesty. There's a good part of the, of the time that you are carrying some burden, the pain, a number of the younger folks we hiked around and I teach her for four of them in the book, uh, Dalton, blazer, and Tony meeting. These people became like our children to us. In fact, if you would call us trail, mom and dad, and we call them a trail son and trail daughter, and I wanted to both share what that closest felt like, but also shared the depth of stories. Why do people break away for five months often? Because something traumatic, something very deepest happened to them. Um, and out there they're willing to talk about it. Tony. Now you're taking a shower side by side. There's a thin plywood wall between us. It's open to the sky, but we're still, you know, this closeness and we're watching a four or five days worth third. And we both tell each other's tails. I hear about, uh, Tony shares about a suicide attempt and out there, he felt safe enough to tell me, and I felt safe enough to hear it. And I wanted to share that feeling. Well, Speaker 6: 44:45 Talk a bit about why was it so important to make it to the end Speaker 10: 44:51 In some respect? It's not, it's what it was important was to stay out there. Uh, my wife fell and broke. A Lily had, had had a tooth, uh, come out of its socket and she had to shove it back in and broke the other half of the tooth off. And during that half day that we're trying to deal with this and trying to find a way 20 miles to, to get into the next smallest little town and being told no dentist will come out and finally getting money. The one thing she really realized was I want to be out here. I want to be part of these people. I want to be part of this adventure. Speaker 6: 45:26 You are. In fact, one of the people who has walked all three of the trails, the Appalachian trail, the great divide and the Pacific crest trail major through hiking trails in this country. How, how would you describe the experience of doing the Pacific crest trail? Our trail, you know, compared to the others, Speaker 10: 45:45 Uh, when people ask me, which one's the best I say to the civic crest trail, the Appalachian trail, they call the green tunnel in a lot of parts. That's what it is. I could go all day and I have a little guidebook would tell me, these are the three spots today. You'll have a view. And you're much closer to civilization. I enjoyed it thoroughly, but it was different. The continental divide trail way, fewer people, 60% of the time easily. I was, I was by myself. I could go 48 hours hike 50 miles and not see another human being as wild as it was. It's not quite as stunningly, beautiful as much of the time as the civic chris' trail. So our trail, and I love the word that you used. The word are with that. Um, our own it's wilderness, but it still has an edge of approachability to it. It has people, but you can still be alone. It's also where I grew up. I grew up in the Sierra Nevada. So it's my first love too. Speaker 6: 46:41 Yeah. So thank you so much for talking with us. Speaker 10: 46:44 It's a real pleasure and folks out there. I will hope that you give journeys North the chance I will take you far, far away for awhile. Speaker 6: 46:51 We've been speaking with San Diego author, Barney scout, man, about his book journeys North, the Pacific crest trail. And he'll be talking more about his book tomorrow, Wednesday in November the 11th at four o'clock at a Facebook live event, hosted by Warwicks. And he'll be in conversation with the cohost of a way with words here on KPBS, Martha Barnett.

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San Diego county falls back into the most restrictive “purple tier” impacting some indoor businesses. Also, reaction to news that Pfizer says its COVID-19 vaccine is over 90% effective. And, we talk to Oceanside’s Mayor-Elect Esther Sanchez, the city’s first Latina mayor and the first woman to lead the city. Then, how a majority vote may not be enough to overturn Midway’s 30-foot height limit. Additionally, The Poet’s Tree at the Old Globe takes a modern spin on poetry workshops. Finally, a San Diego author takes you on a journey from the Mexican border to Canada along the Pacific Crest Trail.