Coronavirus Changing US-Mexico Cross-Border Life, Justice System In Age Of Pandemic And Museum Of Man Steps Up To Fight COVID-19
KPBS Midday Edition / April 9, 2020
The coronavirus pandemic is a worldwide pandemic and the San Diego border region reflects this.The virus has changed life along the U.S.-Mexico border. Also, the Convention Center has been turned into a homeless shelter to stem the spread of the virus. Father Joe’s Villages president Deacon Jim Vargas on what that means. Plus, the courts remain closed to the public because of the virus but there is still a backlog of cases. The courts are now using video hearings for defendants in custody. And, the Museum of Man is offering its space to help fight the pandemic.The museum was used as a hospital during World War II. Finally, five songs to discover this month while you’re stuck at home.
Speaker 1: 00:00 A new program will offer hotel rooms to weary healthcare workers and how coven 19 has affected the us Mexico border. I'm wearing Cavenaugh with Mark Sauer. This is KPBS mid day edition. It's Thursday, April 9th in his daily coven 19 update. Governor Gavin Newsome announces a new program to help health care workers during the Corona virus crisis. The program to provide care for caregivers will offer hotel rooms for weary doctors and nurses and healthcare staff at deep discounts or with state funded vouchers depending on their level of need.
Speaker 2: 00:49 Yeah, and we will extend those deep discounts directly to our caregivers and in other cases, again, for low income workers, we'll provide 100% reimbursements so that they're allowed to stay closer to their patients and provide them the opportunity not to worry about being out of pocket or worry about exposing their families or God forbid, worried about another nights sleeping in their cars.
Speaker 1: 01:14 Also, for airlines have offered free flights to healthcare workers across the country who have volunteered to join California's new health Corps. Finally, the governor announced the first dip in the number of total coven ICU patients. Since the outbreak began in California, the coven 19 pandemic does not respect borders and nowhere is that more clear than in our border region. San Diego and Tijuana are linked by geography, commerce and family ties. And now they are also linked by Corona. Virus. Restrictions stay at home orders and closed businesses on both sides of the border have led to empty streets and much less border traffic. And there's rising concern among immigrant advocates of the threat of coven 19. Infection to immigrants held in detention on both sides of the border. Joining me are KPBS reporter max Rivlin Nadler and max. Welcome. Hi. Thanks for having me and Maya Sri Krishnan of the voice of San Diego border report. And Maya, welcome to the show. Thank you for having me. Maya. Because of the Corona virus pandemic, California has enacted a number of restrictions, you know about staying home, wearing masks, closing non-essential businesses. Is that also the case in Tijuana?
Speaker 3: 02:30 Yes, they do have restrictions and um, they have stay at home orders. Um, they've closed many non-essential businesses at this and I believe local police are enforcing many of those orders.
Speaker 1: 02:41 And Maya, how many positive coven 19 cases have been reported in Tijuana.
Speaker 3: 02:46 So as of Wednesday, there were 200 of the cases in Baja, California, 13 deaths, eight which were in Tijuana. So Bob California now has the third highest number of cases of any state in Mexico.
Speaker 1: 03:01 Cross border travel restrictions are in effect limiting travel to essential workers and those with medical needs. Maya, what has that done to the number of border crossings?
Speaker 3: 03:10 So last week U S customs and border protection to pull me that passenger vehicle crossing for down by about 70 to 80%, which is quite significant. Commercial traffic has remained unchanged. This was sort of the goal of the restrictions to try and maintain cross border trade and supply chain. Um, so as of now that's okay, but cinder crossings for tourism and recreation and things like that are down
Speaker 1: 03:33 and max hundreds of central American migrants are waiting in Tijuana to come to the U S to seek asylum. What have the new restrictions at the border meant for them?
Speaker 4: 03:42 It's meant a great deal to them because for the vast majority of them, it's essentially that the border is now closed. Even individuals in programs like the remain in Mexico program who had been sent back to Mexico to wait during their silent claims as they were processed through the courts, no longer have those court dates. They'd been postponed. Uh, I would until may and possibly much longer than that. So for people who have already begun the asylum process that's being postponed for individuals who haven't yet begun the asylum process, that's people who enter outside of a court event, who crossed through the desert or hop offense. They are being sent back to Mexico almost immediately. A border customs and border protection has made a huge deal out of this. A shift in maintenance that allows them to within a matter of minutes or hours, take people from apprehension and return them back to Mexico.
Speaker 4: 04:38 In fact, they said earlier today that um, at least 6,306 migrants have been immediately turned back at the Southwest border. Normally during this amount of time, they apprehend around 10,000 people along the border. So that was during the same timeframe as since the pandemic started. So you're seeing way less people trying to cross the border and almost all of those people being immediately returned back to Mexico. And that's a, that's a huge break in a kind of precedent. And in law, it's a massive change in us policy since the refugee act of 1980 and kind of the silence system as we knew it.
Speaker 1: 05:19 And you've also max been looking at what's going on inside local immigration detention centers is covert 19 spreading among the detainees.
Speaker 4: 05:28 So for weeks, uh, immigrant, uh, lawyers for immigrants and immigrants themselves have been saying that, you know, the facilities are not a closed system. Obviously employees come in and out and there wasn't just not enough precautions being taken to make sure that the people inside who of course had been inside for some time didn't become infected by those who went home everyday to their family. And unfortunately, we've seen a steady stream of more and people in detention testing positive for Corona virus. So at first it was just one employee than it was five employees at the OTA Mesa detention center. Now we're up to at least seven detainees have tested positive for COBIT 19. Um, and with a lot more suspected cases, four separate pods are now in quarantine at the facility. So unfortunately it looks as though the, an outbreak is very much happening at the Otay Mesa detention center. Um, and they've gotten past the point of trying to wall it off or contain the infection to certain pods.
Speaker 1: 06:33 And how are immigration advocates responding to these conditions?
Speaker 4: 06:37 So just this morning, a coalition of immigrant advocates, lawyers, a federal public defenders and public health experts held the a press conference discussing the need to massively reduce the amount of people specifically in the private gel jails in San Diego. So that would be the who Tai Mesa detention center, which is run by core civic and geo, which is the jail downtown in San Diego. These facilities have shown to these advocates that they're incapable of protecting, uh, the people inside. And that the most, uh, the healthiest thing to do would be to release civil immigration detainees to their families and avoid a situation where because of widespread outbreak, these detention facilities overwhelm local public hospitals, right? Cause they don't have the facilities able to deal with a Corona virus infection. So not only are the immigration advocates, um, trying to get people out, but the detainees themselves are taking matters into their own hands. This is a individual out the Otay Mesa detention center. Hugh described a hunger strike that they waged over the weekend.
Speaker 5: 07:51 [inaudible] [inaudible] [inaudible] [inaudible] a little bit. Then you hear the beetle [inaudible]
Speaker 4: 08:16 so he said, you know, we went on a hunger strike because the majority of us participated in this because the virus can come and it would very likely infect them all. So they're very aware. They have access to the television, they're watching the media reports and they're aware that individuals in the facility have become sick and they're not social distancing from others. They're trying to draw attention to their plate and they're doing that with a hunger strikes.
Speaker 1: 08:43 Maya, the other crisis this is causing is an economic one. Any sense of what the economic cost of this shutdown at these closures at the border, what it's costing? Um, we still don't
Speaker 3: 08:56 have a full idea of costs. It's mostly sort of bits and pieces. Um, commercial traffic has been not too impacted, which is good. It means that one aspect of the cross border trade is doing okay. Um, recreation and tourism though do make out a third of borders sayings, um, based on past the days of a quarter crossers that we've done in the region. So that is definitely going to be a significant impact. I mean, we do know that this is specifically in Santa Seadrill, right by the border crossing. We're already seeing a decline of 80% in sales even before the border restrictions went into place. Um, just from less movement because of coronavirus. Um, so, you know, we can assume it's going to end up being pretty significant.
Speaker 1: 09:41 Let me ask you both, starting with you, Maya, what else will you be paying attention to as this story unfolds along the border?
Speaker 3: 09:50 Well, you know, there's a lot of things to look at at the border. Um, we have to continue looking at what is being done with asylum seekers and immigrants who are trying to cross. Um, there's a very important story with um, medical devices and that supply chain that's happening at our border, uh, to wanna has become the center of many stories about the production of ventilators and gloves and um, other protect personal protective equipment and things like that. And so I think what's happening at our border with that is going to be very important moving forward.
Speaker 1: 10:20 And max, what will you be paying attention to?
Speaker 4: 10:24 Yeah, I mean obviously I would want to, I'm doing a story today on the um, ongoing outbreak into Juana as the numbers there continued to build and obviously want to look at the medical device angle as how much Mexico will kind of assert itself and want to keep some of the equipment that they're making in their own country. On top of that, I really am interested in seeing how much of the changes that have happened under the guise of the pandemic will remain afterwards because a lot of the steps that have been taken along the border, things that people in the Trump administration have been pushing for for years. So, uh, with ice detention, numbers falling with the amount of people in border patrol stations falling, are we seeing essentially a new normal here that will be justified by the use of, um, you know, warning off the pandemic and saying, listen to CDC has said we can't allow people in and whether this is a temporary thing or whether this is a much, much longer term thing.
Speaker 1: 11:23 Thank you both. I've been speaking with KPBS reporter max Riverland Adler and Maya Sri Krishnan of the voice of San Diego border report. Thanks. Thanks for your time.
Speaker 4: 11:33 Thank you.
Speaker 3: 11:33 Thank you for having us.
Speaker 6: 11:41 [inaudible]
Speaker 1: 11:43 the San Diego convention center is filling up as shelters around the city, transfer their homeless residents to the facility. A major effort is being coordinated to provide the homeless a refuge from the covert 19 virus. Just yesterday, father Joe's villages relocated the last group of homeless men from its shelter to the convention center. The now empty shelters will turn their attention to admitting homeless people living outdoors on the streets, canyons, and along the San Diego river. Father Joe's has also converted part of its shelter into a space for more than 170 homeless people who are at high risk for the Corona virus. Joining me is deacon Jim [inaudible], president and chief executive officer of father Joe's villages and deacon Jim, welcome to the program.
Speaker 7: 12:30 Thanks for having Maureen. It's a pleasure.
Speaker 1: 12:32 Now the shelter at the convention center is set up differently than the typical shelter, so that's social distancing as possible. Can you tell us about that?
Speaker 7: 12:40 Sure, absolutely. You're right. That was the whole purpose and it allowed us as a whole, those services providers who have within our shelters less than six feet and allowed us the opportunity to reduce the density by being able to move individuals. Initially we moved some individuals, some women into the Colton hall you might recall, and then we expanded the beds there for single women. And then in time we've now emptied Al golden hall actually and moved everyone, all the single women into the convention center. And similarly we've been able, from our own campus itself to reduce the population there. We used to have 350 beds for single men and women and we've been able to reach to reduce that now to 175 beds. So this is a beds to which you alluded and and focus on our campus on the at risk population.
Speaker 1: 13:31 Now we've heard about some territorial issues arising at the convention center among different shelter providers. Is it just a rumor that father Joe's won't let anyone but it's clients use the indoor bathrooms at the convention center?
Speaker 7: 13:46 That is not the case. There is. There's no validity to that. In fact, there are, as you know, have you been to the convention center for other functions? The one good thing that it has is that it has restaurants all over the place and that's because it has to accommodate thousands of people who frequent it as an example during comic con and so they are bathrooms all over and at the way it's been set up or the way, and we haven't set it up this way, it's really the city and the County. They've set up different areas in different halls almost for the various providers so that we have a whole, um, as those VSD, as does the alpha project in each of this whole nature of these halls have restrooms and showers have been brought in. Actually the city and the County have brought in showers so that people have the availability of showers as well.
Speaker 1: 14:31 Why do you think rumors like this spring up?
Speaker 7: 14:33 I don't know why they spring up, Maureen. I really told, but it's, it always saddens me when it, when it happens because it, it detracts from the work that we're each doing in. Each of the providers are working very hard, especially under these circumstances in order to be able to continue to serve those who on the street and in that only those were on their shelter would be able to have the opportunity to bring others into, into the indoors where it's more sanitary, where we have distancing, where we can provide what they need in order, not just to have a roof over their heads for the time being, but start working with them for them to be able to become self sufficient so we can help them get housing and get employment, which is what our specialty is.
Speaker 1: 15:16 And do residents, uh, now in the convention center, do they, are they wearing masks
Speaker 7: 15:22 for sure. Team members that were in this because the team members have been issued while masking that's required there. The residents, there they are, they're tested before coming in and there's a strict testing area or protocol I should say to make sure that the individuals who are there do not have the virus so that it won't be contagion, won't go, won't have an opportunity to spread, um, or be available at all within that area. So, um, they have that, um, as to whether each and every single one of them is wearing mass. I'm not sure, some are wearing masks. I'm not sure that every single person in there is wearing a mask. But I can tell you that there's, there are strict protocols for screening to ensure that individuals, they are not symptomatic.
Speaker 1: 16:05 Now his father Joe's using any of its shelter space that has been vacated, uh, to bring in people who are now living outside, outdoors.
Speaker 7: 16:17 Well, yes. Uh, we are the, the Palma robbery center, which I mentioned used to have 350 beds and now has been repurposed to 175 in order to allow the distancing we are. And as far as the re at risk population, initially it's our own people. Um, then we will be bringing in also at risk clients from the alpha project as well as VSP. And then any other additional beds that are, that are available up to 175 will be filled by people off the streets. Or our outreach teams are continuing to work on a daily basis out on the streets in order to be able to, to not only educate those who are on the streets and pass out hygiene kits, but also start linking them up with, with shelter grants.
Speaker 1: 17:02 And what about the number of your volunteers? I've heard from other charitable organizations that the volunteer pool is kind of shrunk because more people are staying at home and, and so forth. Do you have enough people to care for the people that you care for?
Speaker 7: 17:19 Oh, we do. We're, we're blessed with a lot of volunteers. Last year we had 10,000 volunteers. And have we seen a reduction? We absolutely have. And in fact, in some cases we suggested that some volunteers stay home. We don't want to put anyone who's in a vulnerable category who's older, as an example, who has preexisting conditions. Um, while, while we're very busy sanitizing everything, our custodial staff is extremely diligent about that. And we have a lot of protocols that we put in place. And then we have PPEs the personal equipment in place as well. We have all that, but I also don't want to put those who are at risk at an undue risk basically. And, and so we recommend that those stay home, but those who are healthy and those who want to help us, uh, by all means, I w I, I suggest that they of reach out to us and our volunteers are great and they've been extremely responsive.
Speaker 7: 18:11 In fact, it's interesting how even those who who might be older have still wanted to come down and, and at the end of the day, I leave it to them, but it's, it's great to see how people want to give back. And this is a season, you know, it's an interesting time for the different faith traditions as you can imagine, because a lot of things are happening within this weekend and a couple of weeks we have Passover just started yesterday. And, and for the Christians, the holiest days are upon us in these next few days leading to Easter. And we have Ramadan coming up in a couple of weeks. And so, and so it's an interesting, we know what we're going to have to be celebrating in, uh, in these, these, um, events and commemorating these events in a very different way. And yet at the heart of it is still the fundamental truth. Well, if number one of God's love for us and how we should be serving one another. And also how, you know, charity really is at the heart of who we are in these various faith traditions. And so it gives people an opportunity to give back in, in various ways, whether it's volunteering or, or whether it's a financial support and having those at this critical time. Uh, we need financial support. So, so we're in, we're in interesting times morning.
Speaker 1: 19:25 We are indeed. I've been speaking with deacon Jim Vargas, president and chief executive officer of father Joe's villages. Thank you for your time. I appreciate it. Thank you. God bless you.
Speaker 8: 19:43 Essential to our judicial system is the principle that justice delayed is justice denied. But what happens when the courthouse is shut down by a global pandemic? That unique challenge is being met this week in San Diego superior court, which faces a backlog of cases. Joining me to discuss the creative new arrangement. It's judge Lorraina oxone who is presiding judge of San Diego superior court. Judge, welcome to midday edition.
Speaker 9: 20:09 Thank you for having me.
Speaker 8: 20:11 Well first, how long have San Diego courtrooms been shut down and can you give us a sense of the size of the backlog of cases?
Speaker 9: 20:18 So we have been shut down since March 17th. We asked the chief justice to shut us down until April 3rd, April 3rd. She gave us that permission. I issued a general order, uh, the week of April 3rd, I needed to ask the chief for additional closure authority as the pandemic is only increasing in San Diego rather than flattening. So we are now closed until April 30th. In that first three weeks that we, we closed, we missed, uh, over 20,000 different that, uh, will need to be rescheduled. And now with an additional three weeks of closure, it makes sense. It's probably going to be about double about 40,000 different matters that need to be re calendared.
Speaker 8: 20:59 Well it sounds like a huge number. I mean it's going to take a long time to get through everything.
Speaker 9: 21:04 It is going to take an enormous amount of time to get through everything. And, and even when we do reopen, my guess is the social distance orders will still be in place. So I can't bring back as many people as I'd like. Only to get, only have a couple people going up and down in the elevators. I don't know. I don't know how we can sit seat jurors in a courtroom. We don't have six feet apart for jurors. So there's a a long road ahead of us
Speaker 8: 21:31 in this quasi virtual court hearing that we're about to discuss. How is that okayed following the state shutdown order due to the pandemic?
Speaker 9: 21:39 Well th the chief justice has urged all the courts up and down the state to get creative, uh, cheat to try to use remote appearances to, uh, reduce the number of folks that are in custody that would normally get out, uh, to, uh, to use a different bail schedule so that misdemeanors are not held pretrial to authorize the Sheriff's office to release people that are within 30 days of their, um, their sentence being completed. And so we have, uh, added all those things to our toolbox to assist in, in reducing the jail population, working very closely with sheriff Gore, district attorney, summer, Stephan public defender, Randy mys and the criminal defense bar. So those things we started doing in the last couple of weeks, the remote video is abs. It took us a while to ramp it up with sheriff Gore's help, uh, in his it department, the district attorney's it department, the public defenders, it department and the San Diego superior courts, it department, they have collaborated in a way that is unique I think up and down the state of California and uh, have, uh, installed remote video capabilities in all of the seven different detention facilities in San Diego County.
Speaker 9: 22:55 And on Monday I presided over the first remote appearance where the lawyers all called in, both the public defender and the district attorney called in and the defendant was on the television screen as well, giving his or her consent to having this hearing done remotely.
Speaker 8: 23:12 Just a little more on the nuts and bolts about how this works. You explained the defendant, the prosecutor, defense attorney are all remote there. They're being videoed in. What about the witnesses? The judge, the clerk, the court reporter or other courtroom workers?
Speaker 9: 23:26 So the court is in session, uh, with the court reporter and the clerk and the judge. And, uh, there we have a deputy in the courtroom, but there's really no need. There's no, there's no public in the courtroom and there's no defendants in the courtroom. The witnesses, uh, we haven't had a preliminary hearing yet where you would have witness move in. Just taking a change of please. We've been taking what we call a time waiver where someone has a statutory right to have a hearing on a certain day and they waived that right by giving up the statutory time and, and agree to come back, uh, either remaining custody while they're waiting time or are there, we're letting them out on their own with cognizant and ordering them back on a date in July. Uh, so we've only been doing those starting, uh, and so today we're testing it in Vista.
Speaker 9: 24:13 Tomorrow we're testing it in South Bay and Monday we're testing these kind of triage, what I'm calling triage hearings to try to call through the cases that the district attorney, the public defender in the criminal defense bar, have that, that are easily handled in this manner. And then starting on Tuesday, we're going to be, do be doing preliminary hearings by remote video, which we've often never done before. And the witness will be up, will be a kind of a, a scale down preliminary hearing where the prosecution is allowed to, uh, call the professional law enforcement witness to show that there's probable cause, whether there is or there isn't the professional witness can do the testimony. So we don't anticipate that any lay witnesses or victims or alleged victims would come into the courthouse. Instead. The professional witnesses will appear remotely just as the lawyers and the defendant will appear.
Speaker 8: 25:06 Do you expect to do actual trials this way?
Speaker 9: 25:09 I do not expect to do actual trials this way, uh, because I, I, I can't imagine that I can bring jurors into the courthouse anytime soon. It's a new time for trial courts as it relates to civil and family. I know you asked about that. They have, and it particularly in civil, they have statutory times that they need to file motions, statute of limitations, requirements to, to file certain pleadings. And those all have been, uh, told to use a legal term because we're technically closed. It's like every day is a Sunday for civil and for family. And so Bill's won't start adding up until we reopen for those. And in fact, the chief justice has issued a new rules of court that has given even additional extensions to allow for 30 or 90 days depending on what the issue is, to allow for them to file those certain pleadings so that we don't get a rush to the courthouse on the day we first opened.
Speaker 8: 26:06 Now it seems like a remarkable task to get all the lawyers to sign off on this. You're getting waivers signed by defendants to go through this process and all. Um, do you think that at some point you may face some appeals based on this or you know, maybe the defendant's right to face and accuser might be grounds, for example?
Speaker 9: 26:26 Uh, well I think if we tried to hold a remote trial, I think you, yes. And I don't think anybody wants to do that. We're not trying to take away anybody's right under the constitution to face an accuser. What we're trying to do with this triage court is to get some people that would ordinarily plead guilty or that had deals. Uh, when we closed the courthouse, there were some people that had deals ready to go, but then they had no place to actually put them in front of the judge. So we're not trying to take away anybody's rights. We're trying to actually assist the defendants in the cases that that can be resolved during the period of court shutdown.
Speaker 8: 27:01 How's it really going? Any complaints or things you have to tweak a little bit?
Speaker 9: 27:05 You know, everyone's wearing a mask. So you make, you need to make sure that you identify who everybody is. You can't assume that you have the right person in front of you. And where when we're in regular court, I know the lawyers, uh, and so I need to make sure that I'm, you know, talking to the right lawyer at the right time, uh, making sure it's the right defendant, making sure that, uh, they can hear us. There's, there's mute buttons that when the, uh, when we're not in session, we view it, we want to meet, make sure we unmute them out. There's a way for the defendant to have a private conference with their attorney while in custody that the sheriff has provided a telephone for each of these, these, uh, video remote rooms. And so we need to make sure that when they are talking to their attorney that we need all the buttons. And so we're just going through the, the, the steps now. We're writing up protocols so that when we do this next week, uh, with preliminary hearings and we start doing more of these hearings, that we're all on the same page.
Speaker 8: 28:07 Well, I've been speaking with judge Lorna [inaudible] presiding judge at the San Diego superior court. Good luck to you and thanks very much for talking with us.
Speaker 9: 28:14 Thank you. Thank you very much for having me.
Speaker 1: 28:26 Balboa park has been closed because of the Corona virus pandemic, but the San Diego museum of man is looking for a way to remain vital while its doors are officially close to the public. Last week had offered a proposal to serve community need KPBS arts reporter Beth OCHA, Mondo speaks with the museums CEO Micah Parson to explain what that means. So about a week ago you sent out an email offering the museum of man up for anyone who might need it during this Corona virus pandemic. So what was your reason for doing that?
Speaker 10: 29:01 The museum closed, as you likely know on, I believe it was March 14th is Saturday. And it was a part of a collective effort of all the institutions in the park closing as a way of doing our part to try to flatten the curve. And at that point, you know, everything that we had always been doing to serve the public consistent with our mission had all the sudden gone by the wayside. And with our doors shattered, we started trying to think outside the box in terms of even though we can't be open to the public, um, how can we still serve the community? And clearly there were so many needs that were kind of bubbling out there and were, we knew we weren't the experts, but we knew that if we put out a call to the experts and to people who are in the know and who were thinking ahead and in the days and weeks and months down the road, um, that maybe we could come up with something in partnership with another organization. So we, we put out the word and have just had a phenomenal response.
Speaker 11: 30:07 What were you offering in terms of kind of like the amount of space and, and what part of the museum?
Speaker 10: 30:12 We have about 60,000 square feet of space at the museum and we were, are certainly, I'm more than willing to make any or all of that space available. Um, back in world war II, the, a Navy actually took over the museum and several other institutions in the park and converted it into a hospital to care for the [inaudible], the sick and the wounded. And part of our, I'm thinking in terms of putting out this proposal to serve community need was we've done it once before. Why can't we do something like that again?
Speaker 11: 30:49 And so this was about 10 days ago that she put this out. So what kind of response have you been getting?
Speaker 10: 30:53 We've gotten dozens and dozens of emails and I posted it on LinkedIn so it got a huge outpouring, just a swell of enthusiastic support first and foremost. I think it just inspired people to think about how perhaps they could serve to whether from an organizational perspective or from where they're positioned, uh, in their own community. Uh, so there was a lot of um, wonderful, kind of enthusiastic, just wow. We didn't even think that that could be possible, that a place like a museum could be used for something other than exhibits and in public programs. But yet it's sort of opened up a portal of sorts, right. To, to a different way of thinking. We also got a huge number of responses that had all sorts of ideas, um, many of which were similar to the ones that we put out in our proposal as possibilities cause we'd be at a testing site for covert 19. Could we be an overflow for folks who don't have coven but who still need care? Could we be a food distribution site of some kind? All sorts of responses along those lines. Um, some other ones that, uh, we're uh, innovative and creative in their own right. One said, you know, do what you do best, create an exhibit on pandemics over time and, and across cultures and in the impact. Um, do it virtually and then springboard that into a, uh, a physical exhibit when you reopen.
Speaker 11: 32:24 And are any of these ideas ones that you're moving forward with?
Speaker 10: 32:28 You've had some sort of nibbles from various partners? Um, we are very much hoping that we can find a way to turn those into bites. Those are mostly in sort of the food distribution or the homeless resource space. Um, the challenge we're having is that, uh, as you likely know, the park is closed and it is barricaded off, um, to the public. We're hoping that we'll be able to do something, you know, the first step was to put the word out there. Um, if nothing else, it's, it's motivating others to sort of think a little differently, uh, about ways that they can serve that, that aren't squarely in, in what they're, yeah. Accustomed to are the traditional ways, but nonetheless are part of this effort of bringing us all together.
Speaker 11: 33:14 Um, you mentioned this idea of, um, looking to, uh, doing an exhibit on pandemics. Has that ever been something that the museum has looked to and uh, is that something that you might be interested in doing?
Speaker 10: 33:26 No, we haven't considered that in the past. You know, it's one of those topics that of course I'm not sure people will have the appetite for, uh, whether, you know, we're all so inundated by information and certainly from an anthropological perspective is a really interesting question, right. In terms of pandemics of the past, in terms of a, an exhibit, it's easier said than done with a very small team. Um, I do however, think that within all of this pain and suffering and sort of horror that is occurring all around us, there also will be huge opportunities for us to emerge as a better version of ourselves. Both as a community, um, but also as a, as a society and as, as a species, I was reading somewhere that, that the pandemic could serve as a portal of sorts, right to, uh, a process by which everybody is getting so shaken to the core that we are all going to have to re-imagine and sort of re-invent who we are as individuals, who we are as organizations, who we are as a community and as a society and um, we're sort of strip air to the point that, you know, we can learn from the lessons of the past.
Speaker 10: 34:39 Things that have not worked for us so well and, and move forward in ways that we feel are going to be far more productive for us as a, as a species. So I very much hope that's the case. And, and I think that there will be exhibit opportunities that emerge out of thinking through those kinds of issues.
Speaker 11: 34:58 That was Micah Parson of the San Diego museum of man speaking with Beth. Armando [inaudible]
Speaker 8: 35:14 musicians in live music venues are facing continued uncertainty when those signs of shelter in place orders being lifted anytime soon. Live music shows are all postponed or canceled for this month and beyond, but the new albums these shows were designed to promote are still out in the world. Just waiting for you to listen. Joining us now as KPBS arts editor, Julia Dixon Evans. Hi. Well, I know you brought a few songs for us to check out from shows that were supposed to happen this month. Why did you put this list together?
Speaker 12: 35:46 Yeah, so I recently started this feature on our site, kind of like a monthly playlist of a few songs to check out from touring acts or locals, whoever has great new music with putting on your radar. I've been anticipating a lot of this stuff for April, long before the pandemic shutdowns and cancellations and it just kind of still felt really important to honor the stuff we're missing and to spend some time rocking out at home since we can't go out to see this music live.
Speaker 8: 36:15 All right, well let's hear about the first track you recommend. Tell us about this band. A tennis [inaudible].
Speaker 12: 36:20 Yeah. It's hard to talk about tennis without using words like timeless or dreamy. That singer Elena Moore's voice evokes this mix of the 50s and the 70s but they still have this modern lo-fi synth aesthetic to it. There's a sad edge to this track nature. Lev, I'm kind of a sneaky, dark side, packaged in a love song. It was released in mid February. Their newest album is called swimmer and it's fantastic.
Speaker 8: 36:52 Okay. All right. Let's listen to need your love by tennis.
Speaker 13: 36:59 Just need to be [inaudible] strange bit of
Speaker 12: 37:18 quarantined serendipity. It was recorded at home alone in there.
Speaker 8: 37:22 Yeah. Okay. Moving on. Who is Yeet tell us about their song that you recommend.
Speaker 12: 37:28 So you guess a New Jersey raised Filipino American, he cut his teeth in the DIY scene and Miami eventually landed in LA and his 2009 album IDK were like, I don't know where it's really short. The whole thing's under 17 minutes, but it doesn't mess around. Every second is packed with this spellbinding blend of hip hop, indie, pop, R, and B. So the song I picked too fast, it has this refrain of it won't last. It's ironically the albums longest track and it's this low key track about love. He's
Speaker 13: 38:08 Sada from when you smell fake or said, do you love me? She said if you're named Bay, so Sue FAS dives to FAS Lona.
Speaker 12: 38:37 He was supposed to play soda bar this week.
Speaker 8: 38:39 All right, next you have a debut album by a new group of a couple of music and performing veterans who are heart bones.
Speaker 12: 38:47 Yeah, and they're kind of a super group featuring Harmar superstars. Sean Tillman and Sabrina Ellis from a giant dog. They're both known for their wild theatrical when performing.
Speaker 8: 39:00 All right, let's have a listen to some of this time. It's different by heart bones.
Speaker 13: 39:24 [inaudible]
Speaker 12: 39:25 hard has a lot of power and raw motion in their work and the new album is showy and tough, but it's also a little bit sweet. This time it's different is the album's opening track and it's kind of a crash course on harp loans. They postponed their April 13th show at soda bar, but it's really great, the album to listen to you.
Speaker 8: 39:49 All right, next up is nom D. tell us about nom D.
Speaker 12: 39:53 yeah. Chicago [inaudible] just released a new album on April 3rd and opening track flowers to my demons is pretty eclectic at pulse from his wide range of influences and tastes like rap, hip hop, pop, um, his Nigerian immigrant parents music to name a few, but it still feels really beautiful. Five and solid. The tracks first minute, it's kind of this raw, no frills acoustic guitar part
Speaker 14: 40:30 [inaudible] this microphone [inaudible]
Speaker 12: 40:40 but then it just keeps building layers of vocals and percussion. Shyman non-bias a drummer and it shows, so watch for his and scheduled. So Debar shows sometime in the future.
Speaker 8: 40:52 And finally you have a local track, a San Diego alternative jazz group. Kelly Kelly was supposed to perform this week. Tell us about [inaudible].
Speaker 12: 41:01 Yeah, it's a project of San Diego musician Lexi Palito and they were supposed to play at the whistle stop this week. Their most recent Alabama 2000 nineteens agency is a gold mine. Tons of whimsy. And the jazz elements are approachable and kind of edgy and weird at the same time. The lyrics read like storytelling and poetry and the opening track, Dan Dennett really showcases pelitos enchanting vocal range and the theatrics that she brings to the,
Speaker 8: 41:34 well good. Let's listen to done done it by [inaudible]
Speaker 15: 41:38 very in a vessel full of anesthetics, not extent. Quicken pain was Liam [inaudible] and consistence is precedes this tradition. I live the mystical edge across state update [inaudible] and the Gutsel dizzy with the open door. It's a pity. It's a pit. It's a petty pit of pet. Oh, I got a two step. Ah,
Speaker 8: 42:17 all right. Like a poetry reading as you say. Now, what's the best way to listen to these songs and support these artists today?
Speaker 12: 42:25 Uh, I'm as big a fan of a tidy Spotify playlist as anyone, but on the web article for this, I link to artist's band camp's page, um, because changes in their recording industry the last couple of years, they've met the, for a lot of artists that are performing and the touring is their primary source of income and streaming revenue is pretty much, um, just for the top tier of artists. So with all these performances canceled, consider buying tracks from band camp rather than streaming.
Speaker 8: 42:59 Okay. I've been talking with KPBS arts editor, Julia Dixon Evans, who writes a weekly arts and culture newsletter for the San Diego region. You can sign up at kpbs.org/newsletters and thanks Julia.
Speaker 12: 43:13 Thank you so much.