San Diego Reopens Beaches, Poway Synagogue Shooting One Year Later, Pandemic Affecting San Diego Zoo’s Finances And Parenting Help During Outbreak
KPBS Midday Edition / April 27, 2020
With the county easing its restrictions on ocean activities, several cities in the county have reopened their beaches, with some restrictions. Also, Rep. Scott Peters (D-San Diego) joins us with details on the latest relief package for small business owners. Plus, it’s been a year since the deadly Poway synagogue shooting, Chabad of Poway hosted a memorial online to remember the victims. And, San Diego Zoo is starting to feel the pinch of the pandemic as the parks have been closed to visitors for more than a month. Finally, in the latest “Pandemic Pivot” podcast, the parental struggle is real, especially during the pandemic, but there’s help.
Speaker 1: 00:00 Our report from one of San Diego's newly reopened beaches and Congressman Scott Peters on covert 19 relief funds. I'm Maureen Cavenaugh with Mark sour. This is KPBS midday edition. It's Monday, April 27th
Speaker 2: 00:26 in his daily address. Governor Gavin Newsome scolded those who clogged beaches in orange and Ventura counties over the weekend. He thanked most Californians for abiding by the rules, but he said the only way to make meaningful changes to the stay at home order is to continue making progress and declining numbers of those contracting, COBIT 19 and those dying from it. Do. Some said the numbers continue to improve over the past two days. More and more tests are being conducted as well.
Speaker 3: 00:52 Not only are we increasing the numbers of tests, I just want to make sure people understand where we are. Testing is becoming more appropriate to the needs of 40 million Californians and so we're trying to meet people where they are as opposed to demanding they meet where we are.
Speaker 2: 01:09 He said a progress continues. He expects loosening restrictions to come in weeks, not months. Also, the governors of Nevada and Colorado have joined Oregon, Washington and California. Newsome said and then Alliance of Western States to fight the pandemic with shared info including data research and what's working. Some also announced a new digital round table he's hosting with business owners, experts and the media to discuss specific challenges facing various sectors of the economy. That round table begins tomorrow and Newsome said about 7 million masks have newly arrived and are being distributed across the state. He also announced that four point $5 billion have been distributed via unemployment claims since mid-March, but Newsome acknowledged the difficulty. Many have had getting a human voice on the line. He's added 600 more state workers to the state's unemployment call center. He added that a texting capacity is coming to the call center as well.
Speaker 2: 02:08 We've got a taste of what modified restrictions look like today in San Diego. Surfers and swimmers have been heading to the coast today as city beaches reopened at sunrise for limited use. Water activities are allowed along with walking and running on the sand, but sunbathing and gathering in groups are prohibited and parking lots are still closed. Demonstrations that local beaches continued this weekend with a gathering of a couple hundred protestors in Pacific beach on Sunday for more on the scene at the shore is San Diego lifeguard chief James Gartland who joins us from mission beach. Welcome to midday edition. Hello, how are ya? Well, uh, what can you tell us about how things are going so far? How many folks are out there are beach goers abiding by the rules today? So we're doing great. Actually, we've got full,
Speaker 4: 03:00 I've done a patrol of the entire city's beaches. We have certain areas that have a few more people, but everybody's in compliance
Speaker 2: 03:08 about as many as you might expect on a Monday morning this time of year,
Speaker 4: 03:12 more than I would think normally for this time of year. But this is kind of what I expected today. Um, but I'm really proud of San Diego and people are following the rules. They're complying with the parameters that are put out there. So nobody's sitting or, uh, loitering or crowding on the beach. It's mostly water use, uh, walking on the beach or running.
Speaker 2: 03:34 Now, how are San Diego lifeguards enforcing the restrictions? And the social distancing orders
Speaker 4: 03:39 we have public address, um, from our vehicles, from our towers. We have the police department is out here today and we're just making warnings and educating people and letting people know that you have to social distance coming. May one, uh, you're going to be required to wear facial coverings.
Speaker 2: 03:57 Are you prepared to issue citations or, uh, are warnings going to be the, the story of the day?
Speaker 4: 04:02 Right now we're educating, warning and helping people understand the rules. Um, but we always have the option to write citations. We want people to remember that the stay at home order is still in effect. So the reasons the beach and the water is open is for you to come out, get your exercise and go home. It's not free to come and spend the day at the beach. And that's where we're trying to remind people and let people know that the beach is open, but it's open for your exercise and then it's time to get back home and comply with that state home order.
Speaker 2: 04:33 Now the boardwalks along mission and Pacific beaches and long mission Bay, they're still off limits, right? No biking or walking or jogging. They're on the boardwalks.
Speaker 4: 04:43 Yeah, the boardwalks are still closed. It's kind of a confined space. So the beach area, you can still transit traffic and be able to six foot distance and once you put people on that contained area and the boardwalk, you wouldn't be able to do the social distancing.
Speaker 2: 04:58 Now it seems that rescues would pose a serious risk after all, you can't stay six feet distance when you're pulling a struggling swimming or shore. Right?
Speaker 4: 05:06 Yeah. You can't, you cannot six foot distance. And that's kind of the nature of the rescue business. Lifeguards get tested, they get screened, um, three times a day. They get medically screened. We take their temperature. So we're medically screening and doing that to kind of protect our people and monitor them.
Speaker 2: 05:24 Now before the beaches were reopened here where the lifeguards consulted about it, can you talk about sort of the factors that went into this decision to reopen?
Speaker 4: 05:34 Yeah, so the, there's a a organization called the SDR alert. It's a task force. And it has all the regional, uh, all San Diego counties, lifeguard agencies sit on it, some federal partners, state partners, state lifeguards. Uh, we got together and developed a plan on how to open the beaches, the phased approach, that two phased approach that you see. Uh, we put that we got a unanimous decision and unanimous vote on that plan. And then we presented that to the decision makers in the various cities and County. So the County decided when, uh, we decided how
Speaker 2: 06:11 and the um, the partial reopening that's part of phase one plan was phase two. Look,
Speaker 4: 06:16 it is, it's part of phase one and it's a plan that's set up to keep the beaches safe. Uh, protect the folks who come out to the beach as well as be able to protect the lifeguards. Phase two just opens more spaces. It opens to a little more activity, but it still has the facial covering still has the, uh, social distancing. You just get more access to areas of phase one does not have recreational boating. Um, and that will have to be lifted by the County. So that may be something you see in phase two but hasn't been decided at this point.
Speaker 2: 06:50 Okay. So boating, as you mentioned, maybe the boardwalks at some point open up people can ride bikes or juggling the boardwalks.
Speaker 4: 06:56 I would say the boardwalks is probably going to be last just because it's kind of a confined area and it's hard to stay six feet away out on these boardwalks the beach. It's still, you can still do that. You have the ability to move around and kind of stay away from one another.
Speaker 2: 07:11 Would you recommend the city shut down beaches again of San Diego experiences scenes or large crowds like some we saw in orange County over the week.
Speaker 4: 07:19 Yeah. If we cannot maintain the social distancing, I mean that is one thing that they will have to do.
Speaker 2: 07:24 So it's a, it's really a very much wait and see and watch and see. But so far it's, it's going pretty well you think?
Speaker 4: 07:29 Yes. And the no sitting, no loitering. You can't come out and sunbathe it's the beach just is. We can't do that right now here at the city beaches because we can't keep that social distancing, so that's why that is not included in the plan. It's not included in the opening. You got to keep moving. It's really just for you to get your exercise. I can't stress enough that the state home order is still in place. This is just giving people another venue to come out and get some exercise and then head home.
Speaker 2: 07:58 All right. I've been speaking with San Diego like our chief James Gartland. Thanks very much. Thank you sir and have a great day for more on which beaches in the County are open. Go to kpbs.org
Speaker 1: 08:13 when Washington rolled out the first cares act late last month, some analysts said the $2 trillion relief package wouldn't be enough to help American workers and businesses survive the economic destruction of covert 19 they were right last Friday. The president signed an additional $484 billion bill aimed at helping employers and hospitals as lawmakers argue about what may be needed in yet another relief package. American small businesses and workers are dealing with problems and getting the money they were promised. Joining me is Congressman Scott Peters of San Diego's 52nd congressional district. Congressman Peters, welcome to the program. Thank you for having me, Moraine. Appreciate it. Can you talk about
Speaker 5: 08:56 what's in this latest relief package for people here in San Diego? Like how does the region stand to benefit? As you mentioned, there's, there were issues with the pay payroll protection plan. The biggest one was that there wasn't enough money and so a lot of these businesses under 500 employees were left out. So what we did last week was we recharged that with some more money. We also provided a $60 billion dedicated entirely to small and community banks. So that wouldn't just be the big banks that got the money. So we want companies with three, 400 employees who face, you know, the loss of business and are thinking about laying off their employers. We want them to have access to this money, but at the same time, we also want to make sure that some of it is reserved for, um, folks who don't have great banking relationships or long standing banker banking relationships.
Speaker 5: 09:51 And so we did that and I think that will help the region. We also dedicated a certain amount of money to testing. Uh, we understand, I think as, as your, as your listeners do that having good testing is really a key to, um, getting hold of this disease and then getting back to normal someday. And that the country's far behind. Now there's supply chain issues with respect to that, with getting the reagents with getting even swabs, which seems unbelievable. Um, but, uh, federal resources will be there to, to support that effort if we can. And also to support hospitals. Uh, what's not in there unfortunately is, um, a lot of money for, um, state and local governments that we wanted to, to help, um, help with. There is some money for state and world governments. I think I heard on a report today, uh, you reported on the 280 some million dollars that the city of San Diego got, for instance, uh, to deal with issues related to Covin.
Speaker 5: 10:48 Uh, there's some ambiguity about what that covers. It does cover things like retrofitting the convention center as a, as a, um, hospital, but you know, as far as helping MTS and the, and the fire fire responders with the new costs, that's not clear yet. And we're trying to work on making sure that, uh, that's freed up a little bit to help help with them those local burdens. Congressman Peters, what would you say, from what you've heard is the level of economic hardship people in San Diego are experiencing? What kinds of experiences have people shared with you? Well, some people are taking it really hard and if you think about our economy, one big part of our economy is tourism. We're not as dependent on tourism as Las Vegas is, for instance. But if you were working in a hotel, you're basically out of the job.
Speaker 5: 11:35 No one is traveling, hardly anyone is traveling. No one's saying in hotels. Um, that industry has been devastated and it's been a really important part of our, of our economy. We've got other economic sectors, the military for instance, uh, which is hanging in there and the, um, science and technology sector. A lot of those folks are, are engaged in solving these problems, but tourism in San Diego has been particularly difficult. And, and so we're trying to work with, um, with a lot of the relief efforts and in philanthropy and working with the labor movement to make sure that those folks are taken care of. Cause they, they're the kind of workers that would never, that high paid never probably had a big bank accounts to deal with emergencies like this. Um, and they all need our help and support.
Speaker 1: 12:19 One of the criticisms, as you mentioned of the first care is bills, not enough of the money went into the pockets of the small independent businesses that really needed it. Is there any mechanism in this new legislation to ensure the money gets to those small businesses?
Speaker 5: 12:35 I just, that one thing we did was, um, put $60 billion aside for community banks, credit unions, uh, smaller organizations to deal with these folks so that, um, there's, there's some guideposts on that. Uh, you know, the part of the frustration is that, you know, Congress, we can appropriate money, which we did quite a bit of it, but it has to be administered by the administration. That's basically the small business administration and the treasury department. If we had a lot of time to, to have hearings and, and think about new ways to dispense this money, we could, there's really no time for that. You know, the purpose of the, of, of acting as quickly as to get the money out quickly to see if we can't get through this economic trough as quickly as possible and not let this recession turn into a depression. So we're stuck with these procedures and we're really imploring the administration to put this money where it's intended. We all know what it's intended for and we're counting on the administration to direct it there. And if they need support in terms of, you know, developing guidelines against executives, giving themselves raises with the money where we saw an example of that, um, or using it to acquire the firms. Um, we should work together to put those, guide those guideposts in. But we're really dependent on the administration to help us with that. And, uh, I think Congress would be supportive.
Speaker 1: 13:58 Now as you mentioned, again, a major issue is that there was no relief for state and local governments in this bill that just was signed last Friday by the president. And it's become a major issue of contention in Washington Republican leader Mitch McConnell has hinted that he could block the next stimulus package. He's gotten a lot of bad press over the suggestion that it might be okay if States file for bankruptcy, but he makes the point that with all these relief packages, the national deficit is expected to grow almost $4 trillion this fiscal year. Isn't that a problem for the nation too?
Speaker 5: 14:35 Not in the short term. Uh, I, I think that, um, first of all it's, it's reprehensible to suggest that States should file bankruptcy. You know, they're the folks that are funding the first responders and they're also huge employers. Have you think about the biggest employers in San Diego County? A lot of them are, are government entities, uh, doing things that are very important. And this notion that we're going to save employees without thinking about the public sector is, is strategically just ridiculous. And I think his, his statements are totally political and, um, I think you're responsible as far as the national debt. Um, right now I think most experts agree that the worst thing we could do is turn off the faucet too soon. And as you know, I more, you probably know, I've been, uh, associated with fix the debt and trying to get our country on a more sustainable fiscal path where the rate of that growth of debt is, is slower than the rate of the growth of the economy.
Speaker 5: 15:32 And we're not spending so much money on interest payments out of the federal budget each year. Uh, I'm going to be part of a bipartisan group that's, that's actually can meaning this week to talk about, um, once we get through this, uh, to make sure that we talk about what the choices are we're going to make to, to make sure that we are on a fiscally sustainable path. But right now I think it's important to emphasize that, uh, the worst thing we could do is, is turn off this aid to quickly send the country into a, um, a depression. So we have a strong enough balance sheet to sustain this. But I agree. Um, once we get through this, we're going to have to pay even more attention to it. And part of it has to do with, uh, the tax cuts in 2017 which were made during the strong economy and added $2 trillion to the debt. So, um, Mitch McConnell's got something as far as our four as well.
Speaker 1: 16:22 Are you satisfied congressmen at the way California and San Diego County have been managing this crisis?
Speaker 5: 16:28 Actually, I'm very impressed. I think first of all, the County has always been the, the place where these countywide crisis crisis ever been handled. I had more experience directly with the fires in 2003 in 2007. I think the County has done a really good job of getting information out and making sure that people know what's going on and are up to date on the latest trends in the community. Um, and so I think we've done, I think that the locals deserve a lot of credit for that. I think Gavin Newsome is one of the governors who's been, um, has been out in front of this and frankly I would like to see, um, the president behave a little bit more like governor Newsome, governor Cuomo in terms of things like implementing the defense production act and really getting these supply chain issues handled. I think he's been a little weaker than the governors have been. So I'm, I'm really pleased with, uh, with our governor and with our local elected officials who I think have been really trying to get it right and trying to work in cooperation and in good communication with the, with the County here.
Speaker 1: 17:30 I really want to ask you this question before we have to wrap it up. What kind of efforts are underway to ensure the integrity and full participation in our elections in November? There are many people concerned about a resurgence of the virus in the fall and that working to undermine our electoral process.
Speaker 5: 17:49 I spoke to, uh,
Speaker 2: 17:50 Tony Atkins, my friend and a leader of the Senate on this weekend. And I know that she is really making sure that, um, that the state is paying attention to the role of, of male vote. And you know, Oregon and Washington, I think only do voting by mail. So it's possible to do that. And I think that that's the way we should go. I know the Democrats have offered to the Republicans to provide support to States, uh, who, who want to implement that. And we've heard this notion that there's a concern about fraud. I don't think there's any evidence of that. I think that's certainly where we should move. And I think, you know, I think voting is one of the most fundamental parts of a democracy. The whole thing is we, we choose our leaders. Um, and I think, um, it's a real guard against tyranny.
Speaker 2: 18:36 And I, I'm surprised in a way that people aren't more aggressive about wanting to make sure that we have elections that we can rely on on the fall. I think, I certainly am. I think many of us stand ready to help States, but it is a state by state effort. I think California is going to be on top of it. I can't speak for the rest of the country, but, um, I think in Congress it should be a priority to make sure that States have the support they need to make sure that the, the polls work. We do not want to see a, uh, a redo of what we saw in Wisconsin where, uh, you know, had long lines of people standing too close to each other because they didn't have an alternative. I mean, democracy is about making more, making, making it possible for more people to vote, ideally for everyone to vote.
Speaker 2: 19:18 Uh, not making it harder. When are you scheduled to go back to Washington congressmen? Uh, we are not Maureen, we just got back from last week, you know, for those of us on the West coast in particular, but for all of us, um, you know, we're, we're all being told too that a safest to stay at home and if you, if your organization figure out a way to communicate and make decisions remotely, they should. I, I believe Congress should follow that advice. I think, uh, we could be participating in any of the tech technological abilities to have meetings and we should be, you know, that should all be on CSPAN. Everyone should be able to see it. But, um, we have an oversight responsibility that it's very difficult to do as a practical matter, uh, without going to Washington under the current rules. So, um, even when we went to Washington, um, you know, we sat in our offices by ourselves or we went to our apartments by ourselves, so we needed to get through that.
Speaker 2: 20:10 But physically when we go back to Washington, it won't be this week, it might be as early as next week. Uh, it depends, I think, uh, how the care's to package comes along and I think we'll be called, but a lot of us are, are, are calling for the ability to participate, to participate remotely because we all have jobs to do and we don't want to be shut out. Well, I've been speaking with San Diego, Congressman Scott Peters, thanks so much for your time and I appreciate it. Thanks Maureen. Be well, this is KPBS mid day edition. I'm Mark Sauer along with Maureen Cavenaugh. A year ago today, a gunman went into a Poway synagogue during a service and opened fire killing Gilbert Kay and wounding three others and online Memorial honoring the victims of the bod of Poway tragedy took place on Sunday. Rabbi Mendel Goldstein led the Memorial from the empty synagogue.
Speaker 6: 20:59 The pain is real. The loss of glory is ever present. But we know our focus must be on the future on becoming better people and better Jews. Strengthening our commitments to fulfilling our mandates, to prepare the world for Mashiah through observing another mitzvah, learning Arturo, being kinder to each other and spreading goodness and share it to everyone around those just as Lori would do,
Speaker 2: 21:27 joining me to discuss the tragedy that visited his city as Poway mayor Steve boss, welcome to midday edition.
Speaker 7: 21:34 Thank you.
Speaker 2: 21:35 Now, how did you learn about the shooting on that day? What was your immediate reaction?
Speaker 7: 21:39 I was on my way to a family outing, just a probably three miles from the hubbub. Uh, got a call from our Sheriff's captain and I knew it was bad and life had changed at that moment. Turned around and dropped my family off and went to the crime scene and then to the, uh, mobile command post. And that's where I spent pretty much the next 72 hours or so of my life.
Speaker 2: 22:03 And can you talk to me about what those first 72 hours were like?
Speaker 7: 22:07 Oh gosh. You know, just snippets of, of different moments that I'll never forget. Uh, the evening of the shooting, uh, one, we had almost an impromptu, uh, vigil at the neighborhood park up the street and, uh, you know, hundreds if not a thousand people came together and we sang God bless America and just spent time with one another. Uh, the next day when rabbi Goldstein returned to Habod and I greeted him, one of my favorite pictures or memories, uh, circulated afterwards was somebody grabbed that moment that I, I treasure that bittersweet moment, uh, the huge, uh, rally that we had, uh, at Hauwei high school, Titan stadium. A few days later when, you know, we, we filled the place with people that just wanted to, to express their condolences and their love and make sure that our Jewish brothers and sisters knew that we stood with them. And that Poway was no place for hate.
Speaker 2: 23:10 Now what in your view has been the impact of this shooting on the community of Poway as a whole?
Speaker 7: 23:15 Well, first I've got to say the community still hurts our, our hearts still break for Howard K and Laurie's daughter Hannah and, and for the rabbi and the others who were injured. Uh, but this community stuff, it comes together. Uh, whether it's a wildfire coming over a Hill or a young young person gone missing or a tragedy like this, we come together and we take care of one another. So we've wrapped our arms around each other in those dark days and, uh, walked through, uh, literally the Valley of the shadow of death and came out stronger and closer to one another.
Speaker 2: 23:51 And how did this shooting and the response to it in Poway change you personally?
Speaker 7: 23:55 You know, my, my grandfather was a minister, my father was a minister. My three brothers are ministers. And I, I've always kind of prided myself on being a black sheep in the family. Uh, but I found out in those days that sometimes mayors have to be ministers too and you have to take care of your community. Uh, so it, it changed my view of my role and I make sure to, to on a day to day basis, make sure that the folks around me, uh, know that I'm there for them and they can reach out and I'll be with them every step of the way.
Speaker 2: 24:30 Had you known Lori personally before the shooting?
Speaker 7: 24:33 I didn't, but I sure wish I had a, she lived literally a quarter mile from my home. And when I came to know her after the tragedy, I, it was one of those times where you just sit back and say, gosh, I wish I knew that person. She was clearly so special and such a bright light.
Speaker 2: 24:52 And, uh, the local man who was the alleged gunman, he's facing multiple state and federal charges, including the death penalty. And talking with Poway residents. What are some common conclusions you've heard about how this tragedy reflects on your city?
Speaker 7: 25:05 I don't believe it does reflect on our city. I think people saw the way Poway came together. Uh, the way that their mayor on down stood shoulder to shoulder with our Jewish brothers and sisters. Always having always, well, I had been at the hibachi just months before, uh, for an interfaith, uh, training on active shooter situations. So we do things a little differently in Poway. We come together on a theater faith basis a couple of times a year at a very minimum. So no, our, our community isn't defined by the shooting. Our community is defined by how we responded to it.
Speaker 2: 25:41 What has the shooting reveal about hate crimes and dark internet sites such as eight Chan where the defendant said he spent a lot of time. Were you aware of such hate forums before this?
Speaker 7: 25:50 No. Had had no idea. There was such a forum. I think it reminded us that there will always be hatred in the world. Uh, there's no way to get away from that. It will come through your door, it will come through your gate, it will come into your life sooner or later in some fashion. And the only thing you can do is choose how to respond to it. And there's a rabbi said so eloquently, time and time again, the only way to chase out darkness is with light.
Speaker 2: 26:17 Tammy Gilley's, regional director of the anti defamation league in San Diego told the UT that San Diego may be in a better position to combat hate targeted at Jews because of the awareness raised at the shooting at Habana power. Is there a silver lining here?
Speaker 7: 26:32 I think Tammy may be right. Uh, we were really honored. Uh, our first responders, uh, just received the highest award, uh, from the Anti-Defamation league, uh, about two months at a special ceremony in Los Angeles. And I think when we, when we shine the light on those who stand against hate, uh, who, who stand for coming together as a community who stand with their brothers and sisters regardless of their race or religion or orientation, that's how we combat such darkness.
Speaker 2: 27:04 Now it's an election year. You're running for a seat on the County board of supervisors. How in your view has angry rhetoric throughout our political discourse possibly motivated certain individuals to commit terrible crimes like the shooting in Poway? What's your candidates do about this?
Speaker 7: 27:19 Well, I can only speak for myself. I always try and focus on the positive. Uh, the angry political rhetoric from both sides I don't think is helpful at all. I look at the situation we're in now with the Corona virus and uh, unfortunately, uh, partisan rhetoric has been ramped up in all of this. Let's just take care of one another. Let's take care of business and, uh, we'll be much better off.
Speaker 2: 27:47 And on this, the one year anniversary of this tragic day, what do you want people to remember or think about?
Speaker 7: 27:52 I think if they remember the way Poway came together, uh, the way, as I said, Poway wrapped its arms around its Jewish brothers and sisters. The way we come together for interface gatherings with regularity. That's what I think people will remember about that way.
Speaker 2: 28:08 I've been speaking with Steve boss marrow Poway on the first anniversary of the synagogue shooting there. Thanks very much.
Speaker 7: 28:14 Thank you.
Speaker 1: 28:23 The San Diego zoo and Safari park had been closed to visitors for more than a month because of the covert 19 pandemic. Zoo officials say they have a healthy financial reserve, but KPBS reporter Eric Anderson says the institution is beginning to show the financial strain
Speaker 8: 28:40 rhino keeper. Western Papa cheque reaches his hand through a sturdy metal fence.
Speaker 9: 28:45 Girl, Vicky, weird word.
Speaker 8: 28:48 He's rubbing the dusty snouts of two Southern white rhinos, mom, Victoria and her strapping son Edward live at the Safari parks rhino rescue center. Edward is the first Southern white conceived by artificial insemination in North America.
Speaker 9: 29:10 Joyce's scratches
Speaker 8: 29:11 Amir 148 pounds when he was born last July. Edward is now a beefy 1200 pounds. Those scratches he loves so much might feel a little different these days. That's because Papa cheque is wearing plastic gloves and he's offering encouragement and training through a face mask. It's all part of the zoos covert 19 protocols. Papa check says the rhinos don't seem to notice.
Speaker 1: 29:37 So hanging out with their buddies and they're still going and rolling in the mud. Wallows playing with all the enrichment
Speaker 10: 29:42 that we give them and getting their, their regular training sessions. So life is kind of as usual for them. It might be a little bit quieter.
Speaker 8: 29:51 I think the interactions that we do see between the staff and the animals are pretty critical. Greg PC is the associate curator of mammals at the San Diego zoo Safari park. He says the organization has staggered schedules and created smaller teams to manage the animals. He says team members have a foot in the world inside and outside of the park. We have people out there that are risking themselves every day to take care of human life and to make sure that we're provided with. Um, and quite honestly the animals that's they need us. So we come in to take care of them. Uh, we can come in to make sure that they have what they need. Keepers feed clean and care for the animals just like they would do if the park was still open to the public. But the sprawling Safari park is a lot quieter than usual.
Speaker 8: 30:42 Zoo staff installed motion sensing sprinklers to keep curious mountain lions off the property. PC is reminded this isn't normal. Every time he drives to work. And we've even got some of the animals that in the morning they come running up and they're looking around, they're wondering where all the people are. Uh, there's no point in these animals being here if we can't share them with people. So we really want to see the people come back when that happens is not in the hands of the zoo. CEO and president Paul Berra bolt says science will guide that decision. We're really going to be following the advice of health professionals, uh, city government, uh, guidance. Uh, this is going to be an a all community effort on how the community reopens and we're going to be a part of that. And we're looking at a number of options that would be the right ones for us.
Speaker 8: 31:29 But we're really following County health advice guideline be enclosed comes with a cost zoo financial documents from 2018 indicate it costs $220 million that year to care for its animals. Visitation and merchandise accounted for about $250 million in revenue. Barrel bolt says the zoo's reserve fund helps, but it has limits and the financial pressure could impact the zoo's conservation work. The way that we approach our conservation work is our conservation work is largely developed through both grants and independent fundraising efforts. As those fundraising efforts grow, we're able to do more work on a shorter timeline. Uh, as that funding level slows down, we have to stretch out those programs. The zoo has engaged the local congressional delegation to lobby for covert really funding from the federal government. Zoo officials also launched a fundraising effort to help fill the funding gap and they furloughed their first workers this week. All of that is designed to keep the organization functioning as the pandemic changes everyone's lives. Eric Anderson, KPBS news, this is KPBS midday edition. I'm Maureen Kavanaugh with Mark sour. The struggle
Speaker 1: 32:40 for parents is real. Right now.
Speaker 11: 32:43 My biggest challenge while parenting in a pandemic is that my kids see me at home and think it's time to play and they don't understand that I'm also trying to work.
Speaker 12: 32:52 It's tough trying to take calls with your kid screaming in the background. I can't hardly do any work so one day in the past like four or five weeks I've been able to like have a productive design day.
Speaker 11: 33:07 Snacks all the time is just keeping up with the snacks as a challenge. One night last week my kids ate crackers for dinner and I had a lot of guilt over that. The next day I feel guilty about taking me time and then there's the guilt of not being able to educate them properly like even my third grader and I'm like, so are you learning as quickly as you would have in class? She's like, no. We learned so much more in school.
Speaker 12: 33:32 We put together this whole detailed plan of how we were going to teach them all this stuff that they were missing in school. Day one we realized that we were way in over our heads.
Speaker 1: 33:50 Parenting is hard all the time, but the pandemic has added extra challenges. Lots of families are trying to juggle working from home with distance learning from home and frustration levels are at an all time high. But there is help on a new episode of the pandemic pivot popup series, host Kinsey Moreland shares her and other parent's personal struggles. Then talks to parenting coach Lisa Howe who launched virtual support groups for parents after the stay at home order went into place.
Speaker 13: 34:31 [inaudible]
Speaker 14: 34:31 Kim Packard has three kids. She first reached out to Lisa about four years ago when the first one of her girls turned two. And the struggles began. It's definitely made things more peaceful at our house. I mean, it's not perfect, you know, we all have our different challenges, but um, we definitely have, I feel more equilibrium since we started this journey. So when the stay at home orders went into place, Kim knew things were going to get hard real hard. So she reached out to Lisa and started attending the free support groups on zoom, which has been so helpful. Um, for those days where I've just feel completely exasperated to know that I'm not alone on this journey. The other parents are having the same struggles, you know, we all are kind of isolated right now and so it's tricky to navigate this being kind of on top of each other all day long. Attending the support groups, being reminded of some parenting tactics for navigating stress and keeping herself imploding
Speaker 15: 35:38 or exploding.
Speaker 14: 35:39 It's all helped. But Kim says it's still hard, especially playing the role of a teacher. I feel like because I have those tools for the most part, like I said, I'm not perfect, but for the most part I'm able to stay fairly calm and grounded during those times and just be empathetic and say, you know what? I know this is hard. This is different. This is different for all of us. It wasn't our plan. You know, a lot of things have changed and so we've been able to kind of work through those things together.
Speaker 15: 36:13 Lisa, how grew up in a trailer park in Santi, her parents each worked multiple jobs to support Lisa and her brother. There was a lot of financial stress, which Lisa says led to a lot of abuse in the house, both physical and emotional. She says yelling was the primary mode of communication in her family.
Speaker 16: 36:33 My parents, um, were very authoritarian style. They were very strict, very demanding.
Speaker 15: 36:39 Lisa doesn't blame her parents for the way they raised her. Their parents raised them the same way too, and patterns repeat themselves, especially when it comes to parenting.
Speaker 16: 36:50 For better or for worse, we learn how to parent from our parents.
Speaker 15: 36:53 When Lisa got married and then pregnant, she knew only one solid thing about what kind of mom she wanted to be.
Speaker 16: 36:59 I did not want to parent the way I was parented, but I didn't really know what else was out there. What other options were
Speaker 15: 37:07 her journey to becoming a better parent started like so, so many reading online articles, getting lost in them, falling deep into internet wormholes where one piece of parenting advice immediately gets contradicted by another, but then something stopped her in her tracks or better yet someone, Laura Markham. Laura is the founder of aha parenting.com and author of peaceful parent happy kids. She's basically the godmother of the peaceful parenting movement. Lisa started devouring everything Laura was writing. Once I figured out that there were
Speaker 16: 37:45 ways and alternatives and tools, then I really got excited about wanting to share them with other people.
Speaker 15: 37:54 Lisa ended up applying and then being selected as one of just 15 people chosen worldwide to train with Laura and from there her career as a peaceful parenting coach just took off before coronavirus. About 40% of the parenting coaching Lisa was doing was already online. She has clients across the globe, but the rest of the work she does is in-person and super personal. She goes to people's houses, sees how the families interact with each other and then she makes recommendations based on what she observes. That kind of coaching is powerful and can't be replicated online. And then there are the support groups she normally runs in San Diego. And just that simple reframe of the that we look at our children's behavior changes the way we feel about it, meeting other parents in person, sharing struggles and successes IRL. It's a deeply powerful thing. She truly believes human connection is medicine. So moving the group online and increasing its frequency from once a month to twice a week to combat the added stresses that the pandemic Lisa says, it just felt like something she had to do Monday and Tuesday were really hard days for me and I was ready to just throw this whole distance learning thing. I'm like right out the window and be like, I will just be an unschooler. Like I don't care. I just can't
Speaker 16: 39:13 provide an opportunity for parents to hop on, see other parents, um, and share some different joys and struggles and what parents are telling me after each of the groups is that, gosh, that was so helpful to see that other people are struggling with the same thing. It's not just me, it's not just my kiddo. And several parents have said when they were articulating their joys, I realized I had those two. I just, I couldn't see them through the struggle. So I think that continuing to build that community is huge. So I certainly make missteps every single day as a parent. And I, what I hope is that by me sharing vulnerably, it offers people the feeling that they can also share vulnerably.
Speaker 15: 40:02 Not everything is going perfectly for Lisa. She's still trying to figure out how to replicate her in person workshops and classes online. And so far she's not quite there, but she says she's going to keep trying,
Speaker 16: 40:15 just being willing to fail. I think that that's sort of been my motto all along is that I will try something in my business and if it doesn't work, then okay, I learned something from that and move on. So the pandemic has given me an opportunity to try new things, to try things to reaching folks you know, far outside of San Diego. And I think because of that, I'm going to continue to do these things. I'm going to continue to host live online classes and live online support groups, um, even when I get back into my office and into my classroom.
Speaker 15: 40:51 Okay. So if you're at all like me, you might be hoping for some quick advice right now. Like what are these peaceful parenting tools that people are talking about? What can I actually do right now to stop all the yelling? So here's a quick tip from Lisa.
Speaker 16: 41:08 It sounds can sound trite and, and almost silly, but remembering to breathe. We go throughout our day. We're breathing automatically, but we aren't taking a pause and breathing. And right now because everyone is so overwhelmed and stressed with all the roles that they're taking on that we need to practice pause and the simplest way to pause is to take some deep breaths and if you are feeling triggered by your child, which of course you are all day stopping dropping your agenda and breathing, it's not an emergency key breathing.
Speaker 15: 41:53 And here's a tip from me. It's something I picked up from Lisa that's really helped. Don't forget to play with your kids.
Speaker 17: 42:01 Yeah,
Speaker 15: 42:01 I know it sounds super obvious, but I find myself for getting it all the time. It just really helps me to remember to be as playful as I can in every moment I can when I'm interacting with my kids.
Speaker 15: 42:13 So for example, if I want to get my kid to, I don't know, put its dishes in the sink or brush his teeth, I try to think about how I can turn that request into a little game, raise my kid to the bathroom or turn the hamper into a basketball hoop, or if there isn't time to play, even if I take a quick second to say something like, Hey, cool Magna block tower, you have going there. I love the cat ears. You put it on top and I do that before I ask my kid to do something. That tiny, tiny little micro connection, it's actually really, really powerful.
Speaker 16: 42:49 Notice what they're doing. Children just want to be seen in her just like the rest of us and just just, it can simple as saying what you see that you just acknowledged what the child was doing. Plays the work of children as Mr. Rogers said. And what we know is that when we play with our children and we connect with them, that they want to follow us. They're biologically wired to follow us, but if they're feeling disconnected, they're less likely to want to do what we've asked them to do. You have to go over to them, touch them, connect with them, make sure you've got their eye contact, and then make a polite request for them to do something because we're always modeling for them.
Speaker 13: 43:35 [inaudible]
Speaker 15: 43:36 information about how to join the free weekly support group is firstname.lastname@example.org or you can join Lisa's Facebook group. Just search becoming peaceful there. So this is what worked for my family, but there are lot of other resources out there. Parents can call two one one or go to two one one San diego.org to find help and parents place dot JFC S. Dot. Org has a great, great list of free remote parenting classes, counseling for kids, and a whole lot more. So check it out. Look, pandemic parenting is hard, so get help if you need it.
Speaker 13: 44:22 [inaudible]
Speaker 16: 44:25 and that was Kinsey Moreland host of the popup series, the pandemic pivot. You can hear this week's full episode by subscribing to KPBS as San Diego news matters podcast. The popup episodes appear every Sunday.