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Evacuations Underway As Fire Spreads Near Fallbrook

 December 24, 2020 at 10:35 AM PST

Speaker 1: 00:00 A Fallbrook brush fire is spreading prompting evacuations Speaker 2: 00:04 Having a plan, making sure that you're, you're ready to go at a moment's notice because you might not have a whole lot of time. Speaker 1: 00:10 I'm Jade Hindman. This is KPBS mid-day edition. Speaker 3: 00:14 Yeah. Speaker 1: 00:24 Making space for more COVID patients. How a new field hospital in San Diego could help in the Imperial Valley, Speaker 3: 00:32 We are asking to have priority to move patients out of ER, as soon as Palomar opens, we were told this morning that it's within 24 to 48 hours Speaker 1: 00:42 Housing solutions for low income veterans and lifting your spirits with screwball comedy that's ahead on midday edition. Speaker 1: 01:01 Right now, there is a brush fire burning and North County. The Creek fire started near Fallbrook and Cal fire now says it has grown to roughly 3000 acres pushed by overnight winds onto camp Pendleton 7,000 people are evacuated from homes in the Northwestern parts of Fallbrook, including the loos road main Avenue ceramic road to lose housing and the Lake O'Neill campground on camp Pendleton firefighters worked through the night to contain the fire facing windy conditions. Joining us with the latest as Cal fire captain Thomas shoots. Thomas. Welcome. Thank you for having me. What is the situation right now? Speaker 2: 01:38 So we're sitting at 3000 acres, um, 0% contained, although we're hoping to, uh, to get some confirmation on, on the line, you know, it's tricky, uh, when you're fighting fire overnight, this fire started at 1130 at night. Um, the main part of this firefight, um, was all in darkness. And so there's a lot of, uh, collection of intelligence. Uh, once, once we get a little daylight on it, um, getting the aircraft up there, we did have some aircraft overnight, um, scouting out the fire and given us idea of where it was burning, but, um, definitely getting a bit better picture this morning and, and hoping to, to have some more accurate numbers, uh, to, to go off of how close Speaker 1: 02:14 Is this fire to homes, Speaker 2: 02:16 You know, what burned pretty close, uh, the, to lose road has, uh, several structures along it, um, you know, for, for better or worse that the fire was being pushed by those strong Santa Ana Northeast winds. So the fire never came across to lose road. It, it, uh, ran Southwest and started pushing the entire fire was on camp Pendleton. Um, and then it really was about moving resources around. We, we, uh, started our, our, uh, fire attack where the fire started as per usual, but, uh, once it, once it made a good run and got established, started running up, uh, some of the hillsides we had to come around the front of it, um, come onto camp Pendleton and make sure that we started evacuating a lot of the homes in front of it. And there's a, uh, a number of housing communities on the base that we're, uh, right the head of the fire. So still a couple hours out from the fire, making it to them, but worked on evacuations there. And then we ended up evacuating the West part of Fallbrook, um, due to fears that the wind could shift. And we wouldn't have time to get those folks out of harm's way in time. Speaker 1: 03:14 So you are still doing evacuations at this point. Speaker 2: 03:18 Uh, yes, we are still doing evacuations, uh, you know, just, uh, in the last 10 minutes or so, uh, sheriff was working on reducing some of those, uh, some of those orders to warnings. So, um, I don't have the specifics on that, but, uh, we are working hard to secure those areas, make sure that's a containment lines in that these areas are cooled down so that we can get folks safely back in their homes. Speaker 1: 03:40 If you are living in an area that could potentially be evacuated next, what's the best way to prepare for that. Speaker 2: 03:47 It's important to first know what's going on. I mean, you look at the fire starting last night and, uh, it's tough to get information in the middle of the night. And so really having a plan, making sure that you're, you're ready to go at a moment's notice because you might not have a whole lot of time. Uh, sheriffs were driving up and down the road in Fallbrook over the loudspeaker, trying to get people to evacuate because they're pushing it out at two 30, three o'clock in the morning. Um, so, so being ready to go, having a plan for, um, for your family members, for your kids, for your pets, making sure that that you're ready to, uh, to load them up, that you have crates for the pets that you have, all your prescriptions and your eyeglasses and your wallet keys, and your mass could be his days and, and all this stuff that you're gonna need, um, to take with you. Cause you look at the folks who, uh, left their home at three this morning. They're still not back there. And, and now I'm sure there's some people who, who forgot some things that they really wish they would have grabbed. Speaker 1: 04:41 And is there anything that people should be monitoring to know whether or not their area is being evacuated? Speaker 2: 04:47 Yeah. A good start is signing up for, for reverse nine 11 system. The County has a, a good, um, alert SD is what it's called. So you can go to ready San and sign up for that. It gets your cell phone on the same set up that regular landlines get. So obviously a lot of folks don't have landlines anymore. That's the way that they're able to push out those reverse nine 11 messages when you're being evacuated. So, um, sign up your cell phone, make sure you're signed up ready, San And then, uh, and then just make sure that you're following a local media at Cal fire San Diego on Twitter. We, uh, push out notifications for all of, uh, you know, for, for any major wildfire in the County. Um, SD County emergency is where you can go to see the, the emergency notifications that they've pushed out and make sure your wireless emergency alerts are turned on on your phone. Those are the same ones that where you can get the presidential alerts and the, the Amber alerts. Uh, I know sometimes people get annoyed and they end up turning them off because they, they get too many notifications. But the truth is if you're in a deep sleep, this may be the only way that you wake up and find out about a fire, um, coming to your back door. So please leave those wireless emergency on, on your smartphone to make sure that you, uh, you have the best chance of getting notified when something's happening. Speaker 1: 06:03 Hmm. And the evacuation site is at Fallbrook high school. Do you know what kinds of resources are available for people there? Speaker 2: 06:10 Yeah, so the, so, uh, the, their, uh, temporary evacuation points, um, now, and so the idea is that they're not that your typical, um, evacuation site where people come and they stay and it's, um, it's not a shelter, but they do, uh, offer a lot of services. They're able to get, get coats, um, water snacks, um, get them taken care of. And a lot of times it's about, um, these days with COVID about getting somebody, a hotel room and finding them a place to stay. Um, you know, we, we we're, uh, we're not in a position where we can have people sleeping in gymnasiums and, uh, congregating altogether. And so, uh, the American red cross works hard to get folks, um, set up in hotels and find them someplace to stay. And, and we work hard on our side to, uh, to try and work as quickly as possible so that, uh, we can get them back in their homes and hopefully they don't, they don't have to stay in a hotel for too long. Speaker 1: 07:02 And what do people need to know if they are actually driving in the area, um, what roads are closed and what's the risk if you decide to travel in the area, Speaker 2: 07:11 You know, uh, Deleuze road is, is very populated right now. Um, we have a ton of fire equipment working out there, especially anywhere past San DIA Creek. That's where they have the hard closure right now, but really anywhere, uh, along the West side of Fallbrook, um, you know, we ha we have hundreds of firefighters out here trying to, uh, trying to put this thing to bed. And so we just ask for your patients, we know where we're coming into your area and, uh, and, uh, it's kind of a burden when stuff is closed down, but, um, we, uh, we appreciate the support and we do just ask that, um, folks don't focus on gathered to try and take pictures and, and, uh, you know, potentially put themselves in danger or put others in danger. And, uh, we'll, we'll get out here. We'll, we'll do the best we can, but following the local media to get those, those, uh, um, those, those photos and videos is, is really the best way to do it. Speaker 1: 08:02 Do you all expect the winds will pick up or die off at this point? Speaker 2: 08:06 We're hoping not. Actually, we got a few, a rogue sprinkles out here a couple minutes ago, which was refreshing, uh, it didn't last long enough, but, um, you know, the winds seem to have died down throughout the morning. We know the red flag warning was, uh, was set to expire at noon, and it sounds like that's still going to be the case. So, um, we're, we're hoping that this, uh, kind of, uh, turns for the better, it sounds like we're going to get a bit of an onshore flow for a bit. Um, and, and really we're, uh, we're trying to just take advantage of the good weather that we have right now. There's, there's a bit of an overcast, it's a bit cooler. Um, the wind's not pushing nearly as hard as it was earlier this morning, and certainly nothing like, uh, like last night and, uh, we're, we're doing the best we can out on the line to take advantage of that. But, but right now weather, isn't a huge factor for us. And that's a good thing. Is there any indication Speaker 1: 08:56 Of what caused this? Speaker 2: 08:58 Nothing as of yet, you know, we know the general area and we do have our Cal fire and law enforcement personnel out there carrying out the investigation, but it is a bit of a process. They it's, uh, um, like any kind of fire investigation. There's, there's interviews, there's collection of evidence and, and we want to make sure we get it right. These fires are expensive and, and, uh, and, uh, very challenging for the folk, all the folks who get evacuated and everything like that, w we w we need to make sure we're a hundred percent on the cause before we determine it. I will say that roadside starts are nothing new to us. We do get a lot of roadside starts for a variety of reasons. Um, and, and the public can really help us with that part as well. Just making sure that your car is well maintained, that you don't pull off into dry grass. Uh, uh, if something's going on, you find a safe place to pull off that, that there's not vegetation and the little things like that, just making sure, uh, you know, you don't have a catalytic converter that's, that's spitting out pieces. And, and of course, I, I would hope that nobody's throwing cigarettes out the window these days, but, um, please just realize that every action that you do could, could potentially be catastrophic, especially here in San Diego County. Speaker 1: 10:07 I've been speaking with captain Thomas chutes of Cal fire Thomas. Thanks. Thanks for having me. We will have updated information on the Creek fire throughout the afternoon on all things considered. And tonight on evening edition on KPBS television, Imperial County is one of the hardest hit by COVID-19 in the state. Nearly 21,000 people have tested positive for the coronavirus. There that's more than 10% of the population. 406 people have died. The El Centro regional medical center is bearing the brunt of the virus. It had a six bed ICU capacity in March and has increased to 49 beds today. And the hospitals can't handle many more patients. Even the parking lots are nearly at capacity. Some relief though is expected to come in the form of a field medical facility at Palomar hospital in San Diego County. Yesterday, I spoke with Adolf Edward. He is the chief executive officer for El central regional medical center. I started by asking him to describe the situation the medical center is facing Speaker 2: 11:13 Well, we've been really heavily hit this community with COVID 2.0 the second surge, uh, from the Thanksgiving wave is hitting us very much stronger than the first wave and the height of the first wave. We were at the highest number of 65, COVID positive, but now we're sitting today, uh, December 23rd at one 30. And, uh, we're anticipating probably that number to go up. And then next week do one 80 and then over 200 COVID foster patients in a couple of weeks. Speaker 1: 11:47 And the governor announced that there will be a field hospital set up at Palomar. Um, will that provide any sort of relief for your hospital? Speaker 4: 11:56 Well, we have actually been pushing for that field hospital to become active and polymer, uh, starting in April. I'm glad that the governor is finally getting it up and running, frankly speaking, it's going to help, uh, decamped the hospital here in Imperial County. And I know talking with Dr. Dave Duncan, the idea that we've been proposing all along, and I've been actually a very advocate of this, like I said, since April pushing for it, um, as to open that hospital and increase the ICU capability there so that I can put out some of the patients that I have here, there, because I'm going to be receiving more ICU beds. Just to give you an example of what I'm talking about. We've gone from six ICU beds. We're now sitting at close to 49 ICU beds, and we have a, what is equivalent to 69 ICU bed capability here? That's a huge increase in ICU. So the Palomar hospital, I want to thank Diane Hanson, the CEO there, and her team for working hard to opening that that's going to help us in Imperial County. Speaker 1: 12:58 Okay. And the medical center has received assistance in the form of disaster medical teams as well. Tell us about that. Speaker 4: 13:04 Absolutely. We are now on our fourth, uh, disaster medical assistant team. Um, we've had, uh, three in the first wave. We have one today leaving today where B, that, that team is being replaced by both, uh, what we call title 32, which is a reserve, a unit coming in. Then today at four, they start working tomorrow and at the department of health and human services, FEMA, federal team, that's coming in to help support us. Those themes are coming in at a great timing because we are not only have 10% of our, um, um, employees, uh, being affected, but by Corona, but also we're extremely tired and exhausted. We've been at this for nine months and it is nonstop. And now we are deeper into the second wave. Speaker 1: 13:56 And, and what is the medical center doing to be able to add more beds, to care for additional patients right now? Speaker 4: 14:02 So, as you know, a lot of, uh, hospitals and I'm reflecting, uh, of one of those hospitals, we've stopped, stopped elective surgeries, um, two, three, four weeks ago into the second wave. Um, and we've converted all of the ORs into ICU capability. We've left too, of course, uh, because we continue to have emergency surgeries that are required and we need to do those, but no elective procedures. Uh, so the areas back there have been converted to in the ORs have been converted to overt positive, uh, rooms, uh, for, for patients that are coming in, we've taken over the PACU area. Um, we have expanded outside in the facility itself. You'll see us busting at the seam in the parking lot with dense. Uh, those have expanded our capability. We've added, uh, new areas. We've we have, I think over 132, a negative pressure rooms in the hospital, um, where kind of physically beyond the capability of the structure itself. And now with the last two tenths coming here and do additional dents, uh, in the emergency room side to expand my, uh, ed, uh, bays or beds there, that's going to be coming in the next week. We're going to be running out of, even space in the parking lot for any more tents. So this is capacity. That's why Palomar is coming in very critical timing, because we don't want to turn anybody away. Speaker 1: 15:37 Um, and with that in mind, what are your main concerns now for being able to treat the patients currently hospitalized, Speaker 4: 15:44 There's going to be some critical conversations that will have to happen in the emergency room. We have to make sure that the families are aware of what their loved ones are encountering and experiencing. These honest conversations are difficult, especially with the fact that we can't really let the family members come in, we're trying to do everything and anything that we can to expand and extend the communication cycle. It's very hard, we're busy and we are attempting to connect with families, but at the same time, make sure that the patients are aware of their clinical circumstance and what is going to happen to them next. And that's always critical, but it's key in our conversation. And it's our responsibility to ensure that they know how their outcomes are and where they're headed Speaker 1: 16:34 In the ICU bed capacity in the County is, is almost non-existent or is it non-existent at this point? Speaker 4: 16:41 Well, so I can, I can tell you that, um, every time, and I want to make sure that you guys are aware of it. Can we say that it's near zero at, we've got 32 COVID positive patients sitting in ICU. We have two ICU beds left, but really if, if I count some of the med surge or medical surgical rooms that have been converted to accommodate ICU level care, then my number really is 69 beds. So we are doing everything and anything we can do, but the critical factor today is the ICU staffing. And I'm grateful to hear or have heard that we're going to be getting 10 more ICU nurses, if that does happen. And the next 48 hours, I'm going to expand my ICU capability to be able to accommodate the wave, because unfortunately, the patients that are coming now are coming in with higher co-morbidities much sicker. And I'm sure you guys are hearing that the Mexicali hospitals have closed down. Even the private hospitals are down. A lot of the folks that have the right paperwork to cross the borders and, or, or us citizens that can come back here are coming to us and they're driving directly to our EDS. So we don't know what impact that's going to be, but our ICU capability all is dependent today. And our ICU nursing, uh, Manny, Speaker 1: 18:11 What happens when you reach your, your expansion capacity, Speaker 4: 18:17 Um, Palomar kicks in. That's why, if I'm able to have Palomar, as I talked to Dave Duncan this morning, we're very clear. I'm so grateful that the governor is putting in the resources to open Palomar. We can move, uh, 10 patients out of a hospital here that immediately freeze me for 10 ICU capabilities. Um, and that is actually the level of conversations we're having. We are asking to have priority to move patients out of here. As soon as Palomar opens, we were told this morning that it's within 24 to 48 hours. Speaker 1: 18:51 Do you foresee a situation where you'll have to ration care? Speaker 4: 18:55 Well, ration care has been discussed all along crisis. Standards of care are very key and critical to understanding what conversations we have to have. They are key and moving forward on what we need to do. But the reality is rationing of healthcare resources in communities like mine that are predominantly Hispanic as a well-known fact across not just us across border cities. What we need to do now is worry about who gets the last vent, but the state is promised by the way, I just received good news right before the call, and we're going to be receiving 10 additional comprehensive vents. So imagine if you will, today, I have a total of 78 patients on vents. All of those are COVID positive. I have 22 available vents that are comprehensive and I've just added another 10 that's coming from the state. So I'm going to have 32 comprehensive vents. I have a total of 105 other types of events, like high flow, nasal cannulas, and BiPAPs. So I've got the ability technically to take care of them. Now, will I have the staff and the beds to be able to put the patient in the, in the bed and take care of them? That is the next ethics question that we're going to be dealing with. Speaker 1: 20:17 Hmm. And so how does the Corona virus complicate your ability to then do the expansions that you need, um, without further spreading the virus? Speaker 4: 20:27 Well, so the good news is we have believe it or not vaccinated 328 out of our 1,100, uh, staff members so far in a matter of 24 hours. And the vaccine is the Pfizer vaccine. We've received that through the distribution from the state that came down through the County to us. Uh, today we have another clinic that we're setting up at five o'clock and we're going to be vaccinating another hundred and 50. So we'll be climbing closer to 550 hearing for our staff first because we don't want them to, um, get COVID-19. Uh, we have been doing a lot of work on their mental health and my mental health. So it's everybody that's involved. Every single individual's mental health has been looked at because it's very key and critical. And then the last piece to all of this is to ensure that those teams that come in actually are rotated in areas where our team has been working nonstop. Speaker 4: 21:25 So we can give them just a little bit of a break, and I'm not talking about a break so that they can travel, uh, uh, in a van or a bus or a truck or on a plane for, you know, two weeks. I'm talking about just a 24 hour rest period. I'm talking about 48 days, so that maybe get a meal at home, relax, watch some TV and come back and be put on the, uh, the schedule. Again, those are kinds of the things that we're looking forward to doing, just to give ourselves a little bit of a break, but I'm going to tell you, we have a very resilient staff here. They've done phenomenal. And I can't thank them enough. Speaker 1: 22:02 And going into the Christmas holiday, we're hearing pleas from doctors across the state for people to stay home, not to gather with family and friends, what would happen in the Imperial Valley. If the governor's prediction of nearly 100,000 hospitalizations came to be, Speaker 4: 22:18 Um, it's going to be extremely dark winter. I think I'm quoting Dr. Fowchee, right? It's going to be difficult. I, we don't have the space for the numbers that you're talking about. I'm really hopeful. And by the way, I'd love for you to put out there that we've put a video that I made with my marketing team that says, don't be this dummy. We show a dummy. We show him connected to all of the vents and all of whatever we need to do to care for them. We ask people to be careful. Um, we ask people to think about their loved ones for 2021, make sure that they're there for next Christmas. Not this Christmas. We ask people to care for them, loved ones, not to want to have the meal this year and forget the fact that they won't have a meal next year, because there's going to be one or two missing chairs from their family dining room. We ask people to think twice about traveling, uh, uselessly for something that is not going to help them, but will hurt them. I don't know what else we can do, frankly speaking, but we would love for you to put up the word because I know you guys have been active pushing people, listen to you more than they would ever listen to us. Um, the stay at home, these wash your hands and please keep the mask on. Speaker 1: 23:37 I have been speaking with Adolf Edward chief executive officer for El Centro, regional medical center. Thank you so much for joining. Thank you very much. KPBS. You're listening to KPBS mid-day edition. I'm Jade. Hindman just weeks before residents began moving in a fire, destroyed a new housing complex for low income veterans in East Los Angeles. The laws underscored the severe housing crisis for veterans in Southern California, which has the nation's second largest homeless population. Robert Grova reports for the American Homefront project Speaker 5: 24:25 In September Manuel Burnell got some news. He and his team couldn't believe Speaker 6: 24:30 Four years worth of work. Just Speaker 5: 24:33 Burned down in a matter of hours. Brunel is president of the East Los Angeles community corporation, a non-profit affordable housing developer. The massive pile of rubble that he's standing in front of was supposed to become desperately needed low income housing in this working class neighborhood. It was 70% complete before it burned down dub the Nueva Monticello or new Dawn complex. It would have offered about 30 units for low-income veterans move ins were slated for the end of the year. Speaker 6: 25:00 We all can see it, right. We walked through the city, we'd drive to the city and there are encampments everywhere. Homelessness crisis in general is severe Speaker 5: 25:08 Here in Los Angeles County. The latest count found about 3,900 homeless vets. The numbers are basically flat over last year, even though this population has seen bumps in federal state and local investment over the past 10 years in an expensive real estate market advocates say the money doesn't go as far and in a city, this big it's hard to reach veterans in need. Being able to provide housing Speaker 6: 25:31 That is service enriched to help homeless veterans is a tremendous need in this, in this city. It totally changes life Speaker 5: 25:39 At one of Bernard's organizations, completed projects, just a five minute drive from the burndown building. Several veterans I spoke with agreed. They use similar language when talking about the 32 unit complex for senior veterans, they now call home. Speaker 6: 25:53 We a godsend. As far as I'm concerned, it's got for me. I would Speaker 1: 25:58 Go on the street for like almost five Speaker 6: 26:01 Years. If the gossip I'm even here, Speaker 5: 26:03 Fred Washington, John Wright and James Williams Williams entered the Marine Corps in 1979 and says he was trained as a sniper and later traveled around the country, giving desert and jungle survival demonstrations. He lived on the streets for 20 years before he found a home at this complex six years ago, William says the stability has given him time to heal. Speaker 6: 26:25 Did it breed Mia? Okay, because being homeless is traumatized. There's nothing that you up. It can cause some real serious mental illness. You know, I was suffering from now to go. And that's when I get here, anxiety, depression, Greenly back. I had to find treatment Williams and his were all saddened Speaker 5: 26:44 By the news of the burndown project. Especially since they know firsthand what's at stake, Speaker 6: 26:49 I know better. If it would have died on the screen, they never made it on. It never made it Speaker 5: 26:55 Retired. Marine Corps. Captain Leo Quadro is president of new directions for veterans. A nonprofit that provides ongoing supportive services where Williams lives. He says his group has 510 units that it operates with 157 Speaker 6: 27:09 That are in our pipeline. Speaker 5: 27:11 Quadro says based on the latest homeless count and other factors, it's estimated that about 3,700 units will be needed to address the veteran homelessness issue in the County. There are also concerns that that could get worse based on the current unstable economic situation that we're in due to the pandemic. Back at the side of the new website, I'm on a sadder project, Bernal and his team continue to chip away at the problem. It's been a difficult journey emotionally to rebuild, but, uh, we're gonna get there. They're hoping to complete reconstruction by the end of 2021. I'm Robert [inaudible]. Speaker 7: 27:46 This story was produced by the American Homefront project, a public media collaboration that reports on American military life and veterans funding comes from the corporation for public broadcasting. The pandemic won't be the only reason for empty seats around the holiday table. This week with president, Trump's still refusing to concede the election. Many families remain fractured. KPBS is Amica Sharma reports on how some San Diego families are coping. As Trump's tenure draws to a close. All it took was talk of the recent rise in COVID-19 cases for Jonathan Hanson and his brother-in-law to get into a desktop. The brother-in-law defended president Trump's pandemic response, Hansen disagreed. Speaker 6: 28:32 He started raising his voice. I raise my voice. I said a curse word Speaker 7: 28:37 All in front of their kids. Hansen says he reached for his shoes to leave. When his brother-in-law Speaker 6: 28:43 Do you grab the shoes to check them out the door? And then you just punch it. Speaker 7: 28:47 Hanson says his sister then appeared and hit him too. He called police. Speaker 6: 28:51 It was in shock. It was my sister who I love dearly. It's my brother-in-law who I also loved too. Speaker 7: 28:56 Family fights continued to erect nationwide as siblings, parents, and children and couples divide over Trump risks have developed over the president's comments about immigrants, women, and minorities, the sexual assault allegations against it. His administration's caging of migrant children, his handling of the pandemic, and now his false voter fraud claims and the race he lost to president elect Joe Biden. Speaker 6: 29:22 I regularly hear people sharing about the pain they have, that they can't talk with their brother anymore. Speaker 7: 29:28 David Peters is the San Diego marriage and family therapist. Speaker 6: 29:32 Their parents won't talk with them anymore. The family just can't relax together. People are afraid. People are hurting people, shamed and bitterness is rising. Speaker 7: 29:45 There's a science explains how emotions get so charged Speaker 6: 29:48 Politics in the mind sits in the same space as religion. It's that deep because it has to do with which tribe I'm with Speaker 7: 29:57 Has a real estate contractor says he's puzzled that his siblings and parents all more men have supported a president whose conduct contradicts their religion. Speaker 8: 30:06 That's not what we were taught. Growing up to love one another to turn the other cheek, to be more compassionate and empathetic. Speaker 7: 30:13 He also wonders why his mom, a nurse has been reluctant to wear a mask. Speaker 8: 30:18 She'll go off on, Oh, that's an overreach of the government. They're overreaching Speaker 7: 30:23 Has this as the cognitive dissonance is unbearable. Speaker 8: 30:26 Oh, we can't talk. We can't even hang out together. It's too incendiary Speaker 7: 30:30 Retired teacher and Trump supporter. Diane Pearson says political arguments with her youngest child, Benjamin Goodwin, a senior at UC Davis have cut deep. Speaker 8: 30:41 I was even moved to tears several times. I was so sad that after several years of college that he seems to have so far become pretty close minded. Speaker 7: 30:54 So she likes Trump because he opposes abortion rights. She also favors his immigration policy. Speaker 8: 31:00 The wall is a good idea and more than a good idea. I think it's essential Speaker 7: 31:02 As for Trump's disparaging tweets, she gets the criticism. Yeah, Speaker 8: 31:06 But at the same time, he's got a certain decisiveness and power in making decisions that I agree with. Speaker 7: 31:11 But Goodwin doesn't get what he says is his mother's unconditional backing of Trump. Speaker 8: 31:17 And this isn't just my mom. I feel like this is most Trump supporters. No matter what, they will find a way to defend him. Speaker 7: 31:24 Goodwin is half white and half black. His mother is white. He believes Trump is a racist. He says race forums, the crux of the gap with his mom. Speaker 8: 31:33 I see things from a boat like a black and white perspective. My mom can only really see things from a white person's perspective Speaker 7: 31:41 Therapist. Peter says he counsels his clients to apologize for heated exchanges, refrain from talking politics and not to give up. Speaker 6: 31:50 The worst thing you can do is cut off relationships with family members Speaker 7: 31:54 And Hanson and his girlfriend, crystal Coleman hoped to mend fences with his siblings and parents. But she says they wrestle with telling them that everyone makes mistakes and that Trump supporters were misled by his lies. Speaker 8: 32:09 How could you not realize what he was doing? How could you not see it? How could you not hear it? And your silence was your consent, if nothing else. And how do we get past Speaker 7: 32:19 That? What has it knows for sure is Speaker 8: 32:22 I'm a sitting with my mom and having tea with her, laughing, talking about her grandkids, Speaker 7: 32:28 Sharma KPBS news. Speaker 1: 32:41 This is KPBS day edition. I'm Jade. Hindman staying at home. Sheltering from a dangerous disease is not exactly relaxing. So if you'd like to lift your spirits over the holidays, KPBS, cinema junkie, but I think Amando would like to suggest watching some screwball comedies and this interview from earlier this year, Beth Jackson, with Nora Fiori, author of the nitrate diva blog, for some suggestions, and to explain why screwball comedies offer the perfect escape in these trying times, Speaker 9: 33:12 Nora, we met through TCM because we both have a love of old movies and classic films. Give us a little background on yourself and kind of how you came to love older movies. Cause you're not old enough to have been seeing these when they first came out. Yeah, Speaker 8: 33:27 No, I am. I'm a millennial. I grew up in the middle of nowhere in Vermont and these films really spoke to me from a very young age. My gateway to classic cinema was classic horror, but that quickly expanded to classic comedy through arsenic and old lace, which is, you know, this wonderful horror comedy hybrid. And I just got bitten by the bug. I loved the black and white. I love that it showed a world that I had not lived through. They've been a very big part of my life. So, Speaker 9: 33:58 So for today, we're going to choose to escape, whatever anxieties and stress we may have and look to the world of screwball comedy, which you have a real love for. How do you define what makes a screwball comedy? Speaker 8: 34:14 For me, it's more about a sensibility that it's these wacky situations that people are thrown in that a lot of times it's about reversing the social order, where somebody who would usually be on top of society is in a position where they're more vulnerable. And then they're dependent on the working man to save them. Or it's this battle of the sexes where, uh, you know, it's all the gender tensions and roles in society are being subverted. So they're, they're generally a very anarchic type of comedy they're comedies that are really in revolt against the social order. It's rebellion, but it's rebellion in this breezy. [inaudible] extremely sexy way that that makes it palatable. I mean, it's, it's worth noting that these films were made under, under some pretty strict censorship, you know, in the form of the production code, they, there were a lot of limitations of what you could show in ways you could be irreverent. You know, you had to stay within certain moral confines, but writers, directors, actors, everybody had to come up with all these creative and unusual ways to evoke that revolt and that sexual chemistry without crossing lines of propriety. So I feel like those films are kind of the sense of breaking through barriers and all of these creative and zany ways, this kind of subtle, uh, subtle revolt revolt that is expressed in an acute breezy manner. Speaker 9: 35:35 Now, one thing that audiences today may have a little bit in common with the audiences in the 1930s was films were very much an escape during the depression, uh, during the depression. However, people could actually physically go to a theater to seek that escape. So, um, do you see that connection in terms of audiences, maybe being able to find a similar sort of escape route through these films as people like in the 1930s did? Speaker 8: 36:04 Oh, absolutely. I think these are great escapist films. I think what makes them really great escapism is that they're wacky, romantic fantasies that are still allowing us to process some of the underlying tensions in society. So I feel like you just have to think of these as fantasies as, as a dream world and yet a dream world that is still metabolizing and digesting the crux of, of issues that are still with us. Things like, you know, class 10 tensions and gender relations and stuff. Speaker 9: 36:31 Well, that seems to be a perfect point to start with the first film on your list, which is Frank Capra's. It happened one night from 1934 and this sense of having kind of the escapism, but also that touch of realism is really clear in Capra's film. Speaker 8: 36:51 Yes, absolutely. I think this one has a little bit more of an aura of looking into the real world, because it is about an intensely sheltered young woman who decides that she's going to flee that she's she wants to marry a Playboy and her rich millionaire father says, no, you can't do that. So she, she escapes, but as soon as she gets out in the real world, she realizes that she doesn't have the skills to cope with that. And lucky for her out of work, reporter Clark Gable comes along and thinks I'm going to get her story. Because by this point she's a sensation. You know, she's the escape, runaway Erez. And in trying to get her story and keep her away from the cops and her father's hired goons, you know, they start to fall for each other and it has, you know, they have to become very resourceful to stay. Speaker 8: 37:32 One step ahead of the people who are, are searching for them. And it's fun to watch all the identity play that takes place as they have to do that. You know, the famous scene that they have to share a hotel room for the night, which pretty racy for 1934, you know, good girl. Wasn't supposed to share a hotel room with some guys who just met in 1934. So what they do is they string up a blanket in the middle of the room and they call it the walls of Jericho because nothing's going to bring that down. That's, that's their concession to propriety. Um, and you know, the famous scene where Clark Gable to keep her on her side of the room starts taking it. Speaker 4: 38:04 No, I have a method on my own. If you'll notice the Coke came first and the tie and the shirt now, uh, according to Hoyle, after that, the pain should be next. There's where I'm different. I go for the shoes next first, the right, and the left after that, it's a, every man for himself. Okay. Speaker 8: 38:29 They pretend to be a plumber's daughter and her angry husband. And, you know, quickly, you can see this era's who has lived this airless boring existence is really starting to enjoy this free-wheeling life that she's gotten herself into by escaping. Uh, you know, some of the most beautiful scenes are the ones that take place outdoors. I love the scene where they crossed the river and he just scoops her right up. And then there's this dreamy sequence where they're, they're finding a bed among hay bales and the moon shining on them. It just has this wonderful air of ordinary romanticism of the way in which the, for her everyday life becomes a Wonderland. It's this whole side of human existence that she has not discovered. And she, we get to see it almost through her eyes where things that ordinary Depression-era audiences would have been annoyed by. We, you know, this would have been the daily, the mundane annoyance of their life. She sees as this world of freedom for her. So I think that's an interesting inversion in the film as well. Speaker 9: 39:30 Just, I hate to move on from, it happened one night, but another film, which is one of my top films, because it features a couple of actors I adore is my man Godfrey, which is from 1936. And this stars, the absolutely effervescent, uh, Carole Lombard and William Powell playing, uh, uh, a homeless man. Would you usually, we think of him as this very erudite, you know, Nick and Nora Charles, and, uh, very classic SWOT. Yes, yes. And so he's a homeless person in this. What about this film? Um, do you find particularly memorable? Why? Speaker 8: 40:03 I do think about it. I do always think about the sequence where Carole Lombard finds him at the city dump. Like you said, if only you could find William Powell at the city dump, you do not expect to see William Powell just hanging around. But I think that that's such a key part of the movie's commentary is that somebody from the upper-class middle-class, you know, might look at, you know, somebody falling on hard times and think that it's their fault, or just discount them when you need it. You can see it's it's William pal, you know, it's, it's a film that really reminds you to always understand that you are where you are, because you're because of your luck. In many cases that the vagaries of fortune can take us all in strange directions. And I love that from the first she listens to him, you know, her sister comes and will. The, the setup is that Carole Lombard and her sister, Gail, Patrick, are both these Daffy socialites who are doing a scavenger hunt. They're looking for things to bring to the club and to show off so that they can win a prize. And one of the things they have to get as a forgotten man, which, you know, in depression era terms, would've meant a man who probably was a world war, one veteran who had lost his job, had fallen on hard times and was living as a bum. Speaker 10: 41:08 Do you mind telling me just what a scavenger hunt is? Well, a scavenger hunt is exactly like a treasure hunt, except in a treasure hunt. You try to find something you want in a scavenger hunt. You try to find something that nobody wants, like a forgotten man. That's right. And the one that wins gets a prize only. There really isn't a prize. It's just the honor of winning because all the money goes to charity. That is if there's any money left over, but then the never is clears the whole up beautifully. You know, I decided I didn't want to play any more games with human beings. It's uptake. It's kind of sorted when you think of it. I mean, when you think it over. Yeah. I don't know. I haven't thought it open. He, I don't like to change the subject, but he was telling me why you live in a place like this. And there's so many other nice places you really want to know. Well, I'm curious because my real estate agent felt that the altitude would be very good for my asthma, who my uncle has asthma, no coincidence. Well, I suppose I should be going there. She'll lie. Speaker 8: 42:08 That's with them, Ellie Andrews. And it had one night Carol Lombard's character and my man Godfrey, she is open to hearing other perspectives. So she hires him to be her Butler and, you know, pal and Lombard, they had been married and divorced by the time they made this film, but fortunately they stayed on good terms. William palette even recommended her for the role. He just thought she'd be perfect. And I think that they're friendly chemistry makes this really a very sweet film to watch. Again, felt like it happened one night. It's a film about finding your better self because even the wicked Gail Patrick comes around at the end. So, you know, it's definitely about personal growth. Um, and it's interesting because on the one hand, while it's still doing all the social commentary on the idle, rich, it still does have this glamor that is very attractive Carole Lombard, and these to die for Travis Banton gowns and the fancy house. There is, there is more Daphnis per minute in this film than maybe in any other film. So, well, you know, I, I make it sound like it's this serious social commentary and that's there, but the paradox of it is that's all there while all this crazy stuff is happening at the same time, that's really what screwball comedy did. So well, Speaker 9: 43:17 This all up. What do you think about screwball comedies offers the kind of escapism that might help people through some of this self isolation? Speaker 8: 43:25 That's a great question. I think that the, the sheer speed and amount of wit and joy in these films can really take a load off your mind. They're so fast paced and they're so beautiful. Look at they're so well acted they're so well-directed, and in most cases that you kind of can't take your eyes off them. You can't take your mind off them. So they really do pull you out of reality for that span of time and plunge you into this other world. And yet, you know, it's not, it's not brain candy. It's not just totally numbing you out or taking you out. I mean, in many ways I find that these films are like exercise for the mind, because as I said, I've, I've watched a bunch of them many times, and I still feel like I notice new details and new lines and new nuances to the characters. So I feel like they're kind of keeping you alert and keeping you engaged with human emotions, uh, with, you know, both high and low emotions. Um, even while they are delighting you with this, this make-believe world, uh, that Hollywood created so exquisitely all those years ago. Well, I want to thank you very much Speaker 9: 44:32 For taking some time to escape from some of the stress and anxiety of today's world. Speaker 8: 44:37 Oh, thank you. This has been a delight. This is talking about screwball comedy has been a tremendously delightful escape for me. So thank you so much for inviting me to talk about them.

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A brush fire that broke out overnight near Fallbrook has grown to over 3,000 acres, prompting evacuations. A planned field hospital being built to care for COVID-19 patients on an unused floor at Palomar Hospital could provide much needed relief to overburdened Imperial County. In Los Angeles, thousands of homeless veterans were in line to move into a new housing complex. Then, a fire burned it to the ground. Then, four years of disputes over President Donald Trump and his policies have fractured some San Diego families to the point of estrangement. Finally, how screwball comedies provided an escape during the Great Depression.