Second Coronavirus Case In San Diego, $1.5M Settlement For Rapper ‘Tiny Doo’ Over Controversial Gang Law, Common Sense Party Dubious Signature Gathering, San Diego’s First Poet Laureate And ‘Changing Tides II’
KPBS Midday Edition / February 13, 2020
Speaker 1: 00:01 An update from doctors treating Corona virus. Patients at UCS D hospital. Two minutes swept up in a San Diego gang case settled their lawsuit. I'm Jade Hindman. I'm Maureen Cavenaugh. This is KPBS midday edition.
Speaker 1: 00:23 It's Thursday, February 13th news of a second confirmed case of Corona virus among evacuees at Miramar Naval air station has highlighted concerns from others on the base. The CDC says the second person to test positive for the virus which is known officially as Covad 19 is one of the U S citizens evacuated from Mohan province in China. The first evacuee to test positive was a woman whose test was initially misidentified as negative. Adding to the confusion surrounding the Corona virus quarantine yesterday, a town hall meeting and a petition from evacuees at the Miramar base asked the CDC for an increase in disease prevention protocols including having all evacuees tested for the virus. Joining me now is KPBS reporter Matt Hoffman who just attended a news conference at UC San Diego medical center on the patients with who've tested positive for the covert 19 virus. And Matt, welcome to the program. Hello man. Good to be here. Okay. I'm glad you're there. What new information did officials share with you this morning?
Speaker 2: 01:30 So we learned that obviously yesterday we learned that the second coven, 19 also called the coronavirus case. What's confirmed here in San Diego? Like you said, it was one of those evacuees from Mohan China. Uh, that person, we don't know if it's a male or a female. They now join a woman here and we've got an update on their condition today. Now, we were told that one patient is in good condition. We don't know which one is that. And the other patient we're being told is in fair condition. Now, both of these people have the Corona virus. When asked to elaborate on fare, they wouldn't elaborate on what fair actually meant. So one person in good condition, and it would sound like one person is in a little bit a worser condition.
Speaker 1: 02:06 Did they explain how the patients are being isolated?
Speaker 2: 02:10 Yeah, so we know that I'm here at UC San Diego, Hillcrest and over at Rady children's hospital, they have these rooms that were set up basically to contain people that had the, uh, that had Ebola. And, uh, so they're in these special isolation rooms. Now, an interesting note that we heard today from UC San Diego, uh, officials that they're expecting more patients to be coming here from the Miramar quarantine. Now we know that the CDC said in a news release yesterday, did they, did they expect that more cases will be identified as well? So it sounds like officials are preparing for more now we don't have any insight on what exactly that means. But, um, she said it's a constantly flowing situation. They're working with the CDC as a liaison.
Speaker 1: 02:46 So the testing of the evacuees is still going on.
Speaker 2: 02:50 Correct. Well, and we know that nine people in total have been taken to, um, local hospitals here at UC San Diego, Hillcrest. There are three people, two and one, they're still waiting on a testing result to come back. But we do know that over at the base at MCA, MCA S Miramar or they are testing people at least two times a day taking their temperature. Um, and we know that here, while they're in isolation, that people that had the virus are being constantly tested as well. All this is new information that they're trying to deliver to the world health organization. As we learn more and more about this, uh, potentially deadly virus.
Speaker 1: 03:23 Now, as I mentioned, evacuees at Miramar are concerned about safety protocols. They're, they want an increase in actions to sort of mitigate the spread of the virus if indeed that's what ha what's happening at all. Has there been a response from the CDC to their petition?
Speaker 2: 03:40 Yeah, it's kind of interesting. They had a petition that they, that some members put out saying everyone in the fellowship, the facilities should be tested. Uh, they want to present, they want prevent large gathering of people in certain areas. They want more cleaning to be done. They want more hand sanitizer available. Um, now, interestingly enough, I did speak to one person who was inside the quarantine who says, Hey, you know, once this petition came out, it was sort of 50, 50, half of the people were like, what is this? This is ridiculous. The CDC is doing everything they can and the other half saying, Hey, we want more of these protocols. That person did tell me that the CDC is trying to be as, as accommodating as they can. They are putting out more hand sanitizer. They are, if people are requesting it, delivering meals to their rooms to make them feel more comfortable or they are trying to explain to them though according to this person why they don't need to be tested. Because if you're not showing signs, there's no point in doing a test because you don't have the virus. I haven't had a chance to reach out directly to the CDC on this, but it sounds like they're trying to meet some of these quote unquote demands that, like I said, not everybody inside is agreeing with.
Speaker 1: 04:35 And what about the incubation period? They're in quarantine for 14 days because we believed that the incubate incubation period is two weeks. Is it longer than that? Have they been looking into that? Did that get addressed at the news conference?
Speaker 2: 04:51 That that wasn't addressed at the news conference today, but the world health organization, uh, that th this question was posed to them. Um, and they said that right now they believe that 14 days is the incubation period. Although they are looking, this is a constantly a fluid situation. I mean there's only 14 cases here inside the United States, only a few hundred, uh, outside of China. So they're trying to gather as much information really as they can. At this point,
Speaker 1: 05:14 I have been speaking with KPBS reporter Matt Hoffman and Matt. Thank you very much. Thanks, Maureen.
Speaker 3: 05:28 They were wrongfully arrested in 2014 and incarcerated for seven months under a controversial gang law. San Diego residents, Aaron Harvey and Brandon tiny do Dunkin were arrested for allegedly being connected to nine shootings, but there was no evidence they actually committed the shootings after suing the city of San Diego for wrongful incarceration. They have settled this week for nearly one point $5 million for emotional damages. That's the short story of Harvey and local rapper. Tiny dude Dunkin. There's much more to tell and they both join me now. Welcome to you both. How are you doing? Let me ask you this. Take me back to 2014 what happened and what was your response to being arrested? So
Speaker 4: 06:12 say it was about five in the morning. I, um, heard a lot of chitter-chatter outside of my house. I was getting up, getting ready to go to work and I told my girlfriend, I said, you hear that? She was like, no, I don't hear anything. I was like dripping, go back to sleep. And I was like, well, I got to get up and go to work so I'm going to see what it is anyway, so I get up, open the door and as soon as I opened the door, get down, get down, get down, get down, get down, get down police with like machine guns, full tactical gear. And I'm like, what's going on? You know, I couldn't understand what was happening. And uh, they told me to be quiet and get down and they went through, proceeded to go through my house, tearing up my house or whatever and pulled me outside and just asked him, Hey man, what's happening?
Speaker 4: 06:48 Like, what are you guys looking for? And said, what's your name? I said, Brandon Duncan, he said, we're looking for you. They asked me, do I want to talk? I say no at first, like I'll have nothing to talk to you about. I was like, okay, well you're being arrested for, or you're going to jail with a $1 million bill and you're being arrested for murder. I was like, what? So I was like, okay, I'll talk to you, but I want to like see what's going on. So go and talk to him. And that's when they tell me, well, we know you have nothing to do with these crimes at all. We know you ain't doing anything but your music and the stuff you talking about in your music is promoting these felonious crimes that happened. So therefore you're going to be charged with those, uh, these murders and shootings. Aaron, what about you?
Speaker 5: 07:26 Yeah, so, uh, I was actually living in Las Vegas. Um, and, you know, I'll walk outside and I'm, I'm, I'm met by what kind of looked like seal team six, right? Um, and they arrested me and told me I was, uh, one for nine murders in the state of California. Um, so I spent about 30 days in the Las Vegas County jail and, uh, and I got extradited back down in California, you know, the district attorney admitted in court like w we know he wasn't there. We know he didn't facilitate, assist any kind of way, but because of this penal code, um, you know, we can charge him with these crimes. Um, and, and, and the judge agreed and they set my bail at one point $1 million, and then we sat in jail for about seven, eight. So they'd months, months.
Speaker 3: 08:11 Your lives impacted by the experience. Brandon, I'll start with you on that.
Speaker 4: 08:18 Like for instance, before I had was four, I was a kidnapped, that's why I call it, my children were fine doing good in school, you know, straight A's students. My left, my, um, middle son, Jesse, he went from being a straight a student his entire life to having all F's. That was one thing that, you know, my, the, the emotional distress that was put upon my children was like, still to this day, it's not all the way. Right. You know, we try to, I try to talk to him and, you know, we tried to get there, but that it just did something different to him. I got him back on track, graduated and everything. After I came back home, he went straight back to straight A's. So that'll show you, you know, kind of thing. Yeah. The impact that happens when you come and snatch a father out of his home and out of his kids' lives. Yeah. Aaron, how was your experience?
Speaker 5: 09:08 Yeah, so, you know, before you know, incarceration, I, you know, again, like I said, I was living in Vegas and studying, uh, to do real estate. Um, so, you know, being, being incarcerated and, and being told that, you know, you know, they know that you did nothing wrong. You know, you didn't have the wrong. Um, but still, uh, you know, being threatened with a life sentence. Um, you know, I was just kinda like the, the, the psychological impact that it has on your, on your mental health and kind of just like depletes, uh, rapidly. Um, so even, even, even, you know, just kinda like trying to console family members on the phone and pretty much lying, like, well, we're, we're getting out, there's, this isn't, isn't, isn't gonna stick or whatnot, but, but actually having to kind of like trick your brain into believing or, or, or being okay with you're gonna die in this place, right. You don't just click back to normal and once you're, once you're released. Right. So, you know, even now kind of like, you know, being in public places or loud noises or just kinda like the nightmares dream, just a lot of anxiety. Um, kinda just like with things that used to be just our daily normal lives. Uh, I feel like I, sometimes I can't really interact or, or be kind of like my normal self. Like I used to be.
Speaker 4: 10:24 You all did make it out seven months later. Yeah. And you decided to fight this in court. Tell me about that. And what led you up to this point here today?
Speaker 5: 10:34 Me and Brandon, when we would go back and forth to court, um, we kinda set the plan then honestly, we, we kind of like made a truce with each other. Like none of us were not going to sign me. You were not going to sign. Um, and when we get out of, you know, Brandon, you know, he has kids, so if they, if they're trying to set a precedent and use this on us, it's not necessarily for us. It's like for Brandon's kids, it's for my nephews, um, and many kids who grew up like us and the communities that we come from. Um, and I felt like, well, we felt like that it was just, it was a lot bigger than us, right. Um, that we were almost kind of have be like those sacrificial lambs and kinda just fight this, uh, all the way to the end, um, to make sure that this doesn't happen to our community, but communities across California and the United States, um,
Speaker 4: 11:22 right, so bigger than us, we feel like we can't let this happen to nobody else. And I was like, even if it means, uh, you know, us going up the way and having to do, get the license because we're not, we're not signing for nobody because it's a, it's wrong. It's super injust and we was like going to fight it by all means. And Aaron, how does it feel to have this behind you?
Speaker 5: 11:45 I think that's probably what we're more happy about. You know, it's stressful back and forth to court. Um, it's kinda just being known as those guys who went to jail kind of thing. Right? We, we, we're, we, we've done so much prior to this, we've done so much since this. Um, so now just kind of being able to put this behind us to move forward and to continue to execute the plans that we kinda really want to do. Um, it's kinda a sense of relief
Speaker 1: 12:11 and, you know. So what's the head for both of you? Where are you all right now in your lives and what are you pursuing Brandon?
Speaker 4: 12:18 Uh, well, um, obviously back doing my music again, full flares to, you know, talking about the things that I want to talk about and not with, they feel like it's okay to talk about. So I'm, I'm, you know, that's what I'm doing. I'm still pursuing my music career and dibbling and dabbling in management, you know what I mean? Stuff like that. Yeah.
Speaker 1: 12:36 And Aaron, you're in school.
Speaker 5: 12:38 Yeah, I'm in my last year, uh, UC Berkeley studying political science. Um, and uh, actually studying for my, for my El SAS right now, getting ready to apply to law schools.
Speaker 1: 12:48 All right, well best of luck to the both of you. I appreciate you stopping by to talk to us. I've been speaking to Aaron Harvey and Brandon, tiny dude Dunkin again. Thank you very much. Thank you. Yesterday we told you about how signature gatherers signed up San Diego voters for a new political party without their knowledge or consent. It's called the common sense party and experts say it's methods for registering voters raised ethical and legal issues today. KPBS investigative reporter Claire triglyceride gets to the bottom of what happened.
Speaker 6: 13:24 Quick recap. We talked to 31 people who are registered as members of the common sense party and 30 of them had no idea what I was talking about. They'd never heard of the party and didn't remember signing up. All of those 30 people were signed up by paid signature gatherers. I knew the LA Jolla group was hired by the common sense party to sign up voters, so I went to their offices, which are in Kearny Mesa. Hi, is this the LA Jolla group? I'm a reporter with KPBS, the head of the firm. Bob Glazer was there and he agreed to talk to me. He says the registrar voters had found one instance of a voter being signed up for the common sense party without their knowledge. He says it was the signature gatherers fault.
Speaker 5: 14:15 The secretary gather was turned over the registrar who contacted the signature gatherer, so between them, and we don't take any more cards from that person,
Speaker 6: 14:23 but he says they didn't report it to the common sense party leaders still, he insisted his company's methods are above board to sign people up for
Speaker 5: 14:34 been doing this 35 years. I'm an attorney, I'm fully aware of all of the importance of these cards and we, uh, do not allow any type of fraud or any other type of problems. And when the registrar gave me the one problem, we immediately researched it.
Speaker 6: 14:53 Then I called Chris Easterling, he's a signature gatherer whose name is on the registration forms for several people who said they unknowingly joined the common sense party.
Speaker 7: 15:04 The people were signing people up without their knowledge. I mean, that's going to happen if people are having people get paid to sign them up, right? I mean, so there's going to be people that are not going to be ethical.
Speaker 6: 15:18 He says he works with the LA Jolla group and says, starting in December or January, the firm changed his policy. Now he says, common sense registrations have to be in the voters own handwriting.
Speaker 7: 15:31 Those are the people doing these that are, you know, you know, I was gonna try to, you know, gain the system. But now they figured that out and now they said it has to be in their own handwriting, but to count
Speaker 6: 15:45 he claims he never filled out someone's form for them.
Speaker 8: 15:48 That's fascinating. In a bad way.
Speaker 6: 15:54 Will Rodriguez Kennedy is the chairman of the San Diego County democratic party and he had never heard of the common sense party, but his mind immediately went to what party these common sense registrants had come from.
Speaker 8: 16:06 I'm like, where are they? In no party preference. Were they Democrats? Were they Democrats? They were Democrats. Yep.
Speaker 6: 16:13 About half of the common sense. Voters who are already registered to vote used to be Democrats. While 10% were Republicans. It appears signature gatherers targeted specific groups. Nearly 40% of common sense party voters in San Diego are under 25 and almost two thirds live in urban areas South of interstate eight so then I went back to the organizers of the common sense party to ask about what I'd found. That's, that's crazy. Julie Meyer, right? A well known former Republican who lives in San Diego was shocked. She claims she didn't know people were duped into joining the party. And pledged to look into their allegations.
Speaker 8: 16:59 I will personally make sure that we get to the bottom of it.
Speaker 6: 17:02 She needs to act quickly, vote by mail. Ballots have already gone out. So common sense voters will have to contact the registrar to ask for a new ballot if they want to vote in the democratic primary. Claire Trigere, sir KPBS news joining me is KPBS investigative reporter Claire Trek of circle. Claire, welcome. Thank you. Tell us how you first found out about the common sense party and their push for recognition. Sure. So it started out where I was just looking into a story about this new political party. It seemed like they had some well known backers and, and some funding and they were trying to break up the two party system in California, provide this moderate alternative to Democrats and Republicans. And so I, uh, just started calling who are registered with the party. I got the information from the registrar of voters and you know, I said, Oh, there's one person who had never heard of this party before, didn't know what I was talking about. That's two people, that's three people. And it just kind of kept going. And I ended up talking, as I say in the story, it is 31 people and 30 of them had never heard of the party before, didn't know what I was talking about and all 30 who didn't know what I was talking about had signed up with signature gathers and the one person who did intend to sign up with a party had signed up online.
Speaker 1: 18:23 Now in, in the first part of your report, you found out that some of the forms being handed in by signature gatherers for the common sense party seem to have been altered. Remind us about that.
Speaker 6: 18:35 Sure. So for some of the people that I spoke with who said, yes, I'm apparently I'm signed up with a common sense party, but you're just telling me that I don't, I don't know. I haven't heard of that party before. Um, I then went to the registrar voters and asked to look at their voter registration forms. He, he redacted their address and their personal information, but you can see their name and their birthday and then you can see on the forms that for most of them at the under political party, the other box is checked and common sense is written in, but it's in a different handwriting. Then the name and the birthday on the form, it seems like someone else had filled in the form for them with their information.
Speaker 1: 19:19 Now did the head of the signature gathering operation LA Jolla group, did they say they independently examine any of the forms before they're handed into the registrar?
Speaker 6: 19:29 Well, so what the common sense party he told me is that they do, I'm a random audit. I think that's just standard practice for when you're doing a petition drive, you want to make sure that, you know the signatures that you're collecting are from real people. You know, you're just sending people out on the street. What if they just sat at home and you know, made up people sign fake names. But the issue is that no one is saying that the signatures aren't valid or that these aren't real people. Even though the people were real people who really signed up, they didn't. No one told them that they're signing up for a specific
Speaker 1: 20:04 political party. What does the County registrar of voters need to begin an investigation into? These apparently tampered forums.
Speaker 6: 20:12 Yeah, so he says that, um, you know, it, it could potentially be fraud and any complaints that he gets then he would forward them on to the district attorney or the secretary of state.
Speaker 1: 20:24 So one of the people who signed up would have to make the,
Speaker 6: 20:28 yeah. Any of the people who signed up would, would have to make the complaint to their registrar.
Speaker 1: 20:32 Now you found out that a well known Republican was promoting a new third party, which just happens to be signing up mostly young South of eight Democrats. Now on the face of it, that sounds suspicious. What did the common sense party people
Speaker 6: 20:48 have to say about that? Um, well I asked, you know, I said, you know, aside from the fact that people are saying that they didn't know they were signing up for this party, most of the people who are signed up are from Barrio Logan or city Heights or skyline. And you know, one of the organizers said, well, there's just more Democrats everywhere in the state. So you know, if you take a point on a map, it's more likely that you're going to run into Democrats than Republicans. But I did ask, will Rodriguez Kennedy, who's the chair of the local democratic party, if he thought, you know, this could be some kind of conspiracy to take people out of the democratic party. And he said, no, he didn't think so. It just sounded like they were going to areas where they felt like it was, would be easier to get people to sign to sign petitions.
Speaker 1: 21:39 So there's a larger implication in this story about all the signature gatherers that we see outside stores and supermarkets. Is anybody checking the way that you did to find out if voters are being duped into signing petitions?
Speaker 6: 21:54 Well, I mean it's come up in all of these other petition drives. I remember back when there was the petition drive to repeal the San Diego city councils, uh, ordinance to increase the minimum wage. And people were going around saying, sign this petition to raise the minimum wage when really it was actually to repeal the minimum wage increase. So I think, you know, when these things happen, there can be legal challenges that come out of it. But I don't know, this is somewhat of a new thing where you have people who are getting paid to register people with a specific party. Um, you know, when you do a petition drive, you say, are you a registered voter? Cause if you're not, I need to register you. Otherwise your signature doesn't count. But they're not, you know, then getting paid by a party to collect people in that party.
Speaker 6: 22:41 So I think this is sort of a new thing and I don't think that anyone is checking. I mean now that the, that I brought this to the attention of the common sense party. They say that they're going to go through and contact everyone who's a registered member of the common sense party to make sure that they are okay with that. They said that they're going to email people, which you know about one out of 10 people in the registrar's database actually has a listed email address, so I don't if that's the way that they're gonna reach people, they're probably not going to reach the majority of people who are impacted by this. I've been speaking with KPBS investigative reporter Claire charges or Claire. Thank you. Thank you.
Speaker 1: 23:24 New state laws make it easier to turn garages and sheds into dwellings. California report host Saul Gonzalez visited one of these accessory dwelling units in Las Crenshaw neighborhood. He spoke with Steven disk, the developer to talk about the growing ADU movement in California to our small home. This
Speaker 9: 23:45 is lovely. Yeah, it's entirely livable for 359 square feet
Speaker 1: 23:52 in LA Crenshaw neighborhood. I took a tour of one of the first 80 ewes built under the new laws with developers, Steven deets with the company United dwelling.
Speaker 9: 24:02 So this is the conversion of a garage. What we do is we actually demolish the garage that was in place and rebuild a or build a small home in its place. It's 359 square feet. And when you say small home, I mean, do you think, I mean, do you see someone could actually live here quite comfortably for not just days or months, but but years? Oh yeah. So what does this mean? Why should we care about this place? Affordable housing is the biggest problem in the state of California faces and uniquely, it's entirely manmade. It's a result of 70 years of zoning laws. The state change those laws to let an ADE like this be built on any of the 9 million residential properties in the state. This is a way of taking deeply underused, really high quality real estate and turning into something much more valuable.
Speaker 9: 24:53 And at its heart, that's the opportunity to take a tremendous inventory of real estate that's deeply under utilized. There are 285,000 detached two car garages in LA County alone. 91% of them we know just have junk in them and turn them into homes. And that all by itself would present enough inventory to drop real estate prices and fix the affordability challenge in the state. Right now, how would you characterize the interest in ADE use? They seem to be having a moment because of the new laws. I think they're having a moment for those who are paying attention to it. You see a lot more references to them. But our largest barrier to building is the need to normalize the idea of having an ADU and attendant. Oh really? Yeah. Most of the people we talked to say that's sounds weird. I've never heard of such a thing.
Speaker 9: 25:44 And they're right. This is new, but it works really well so often. What stops, um, construction of new housing in its tracks or slows it down tremendously as opposition from, from the neighborhood. An issue with ADU is that you've confronted so far? No issue from either side. Firstly, we actually have not had issues from the community, but the second is that as long as you meet building code, you can build one of these. You can do it. Yeah, and there isn't any but anything. A neighbor, a homeowner's association building and safety department, city planning, nobody can say no as long as you meet some fairly basic parameters on size and location.
Speaker 1: 26:22 That was ADU developers. Steven dis speaking with California report host Saul Gonzalez.
Speaker 10: 26:31 [inaudible]
Speaker 1: 26:33 San Diego is thriving, creative and spoken. Word artsy now has an official champion poet. Ron Saulsberry has been named the city's first poet Laureate. Salisbury has won awards for his poetry, including the main street rag literary magazines, poetry book prize in 2015 for his book, miss desert Inn. And he's taught poetry classes in San Diego and throughout California for more than 40 years. City officials say the new poet Laureate will tell this special story that is San Diego, but like all poets Solsbury might have his own ideas about that journey. May the San Diego's poet Laureate, Ron Solsbury. Ron, welcome to the program. I really enjoy being here now poet Lori, it sounds like such an antiquated and stuffy position. How do you plan to bring it up to date?
Speaker 11: 27:23 Well, uh, poetry will bring it up to date. Poetry today is not what you imagined it has been in the past. It very seldom ever rhymes and there's no careful meter things that we imagined that poetry is, is not what it is today. It's vibrant, alive, sometimes loud and it's a very personal.
Speaker 1: 27:44 How would you describe San Diego's poetry and literary arts scene as it stands today?
Speaker 11: 27:49 I came back after quite a few years. I came back from Northern California 12 years ago and from the previous time I was here, it has been a dramatic change. Uh, I imagine there's at least three or four readings that go on in the San Diego area every single week. It is a lively, uh, there are a lot of poets that are publishing that have national recognition that live here. The colleges, there are three colleges that have a master of fine arts in poetry. They bring in a lot of energy and a lot of poets and there are a lot of poets on their staff and writers that they have here. It is extremely vibrant. It may be segmented a little bit, but it is all connected and it is very attractive.
Speaker 1: 28:38 Instead of talking about poetry, why don't we hear some and, and I'm going to ask you if you would, they
Speaker 11: 28:43 would read a poem of yours. Fine. Sure. I'll read the poem. Insomnia. So just as a little background, as you get older, uh, sleeping is a little difficult and you're always waking up thinking of things and this has a little bit of that tone in it. And Somnia it's easier to slip downstairs at three 15 for a cup of warm milk and cinnamon when the moon is full. No tripping dogs in new sleeping place. No curb of a book on the floor. Just the moon watching me thread through the forest and not wake Yunus whose sleep often trips at the thought of cheese, not even mice. Then the Basque of circle. The lamp makes me the one dog beside and the book with finger place Mark slumped in the narcotic mill, Ks as Yunus drifts down in the morning for coffee and carefully pulls the on the lamp, the moon, having finished her shift and gone home.
Speaker 11: 29:46 And that's a poem by San Diego's new poet Laureate Ron Salisbury. Thank you for that. You're welcome. When did you fall in love with poetry? In the seventh grade? On one weekend, uh, my teacher was Palmer Libby and he had showed us Robert Frost poems during the week. And on Friday he gave us mimeograph copies of Robert Frost poems and told us to go home and write a poem over the weekend. My mother was the neighborhood Rhymer. She could create a couplet or quatrain, uh, with somebody's name in it and could rhyme it. And she was used for birthdays and anniversaries and weddings and so the neighbors would come. So I go home to her and ask her help and she says, yeah, if we can work something out. When we began talking about it, something like a switch went on in me and I said to mom, I think I can do this.
Speaker 11: 30:37 And it's from that moment that's been basically all I've ever wanted to do in my life is to be a poet. How have you seen poetry change over the years? Oh, it's changed dramatically. There've been major shifts in how we write poetry through our poetic history going back to the mid 1850s but they're through four different major changes where the style of what we wrote changed. One of the latest ones has been in the late seventies, eighties, nineties and it's been the recognition of poets of color, women, poets, uh, immigrant poets who are expressing what it is to live in this society at this time. And the language of anything that rhymed had meter was a restraint and it began to break down the walls of all of that. And it became extremely expressive of the personal experience of these people, which has influenced all of us. Almost every poem that we read today is about the poet, which is not necessarily what it was in the past.
Speaker 11: 31:39 The city says that as poet Laureate, you'll tell stories about San Diego. What stories would you like to tell that's going to be interesting and one of the challenges of being a poet Laureate is that most of us as poets don't write things like about cities. We end up writing about ourselves. We're not an occasion poetry. Unlike my mother, I'm not asked to write a poem for a wedding. I may pick one for somebody, but I don't write one. So there is a challenge, but it's a wonderful challenge. Uh, San Diego is like my adopted home that has taken me in and there's many attributes that I see in San Diego that I would like to emphasize and kind of report to the people here and to the rest of the state. Can you give us one perhaps one thing, one thing you've been thinking about? Actually I have been, it is the nature of climate and how it is so different.
Speaker 11: 32:38 I grew up in the state of Maine and this climate is invigorating rather than putting you to sleep. It's a very opposite of the theory that we used to think of when you went by the San Onofre power plant. You lost 20 points of IQ. That was the big thing. The radiation took it out of you. And that was the San Diego beach culture. I don't experience that. I experience the weather and the colleges as being extremely vibrant. So working against that is one thing. I have one other thing for you. Yes. The Padres poems about the Padres and how long we have waited.
Speaker 11: 33:17 Now you are chosen by an impressive group of your peers in the literary community for this position. That must be gratifying. It sure is. It was exciting. It was a little daunting to go into a room with so many people that uh, with the credentials that they had to be questioned and you had to do 15 minutes of reading and you had to answer questions and everything. So to be chosen was a wonderful, wonderful honor. I don't know how many other people, but they have said that there was quite a few that applied. And so to kind of be selected out of this whole crowd is just gratifying. This, there's not many rewards. And being a poet, they're hard to identify in their slim. So when these opportunities happen, it's almost as though that I'm having this reward with all of the other poets in San Diego because the city of San Diego is now recognizing poetry with a poet Laureate. So it's to be shared with all of the bullets. I've been speaking with Ron Salsbury recently named as San Diego's first poet Laureate. Thanks for coming in. Thank you.
Speaker 12: 34:28 UC San Diego is hosting changing tides to a telematic translocation concert in which musicians respond to issues of climate change. KPBS arts reporter Beth OCHA Amando speaks with UC Irvine professor and musician Michael decen to explain what audiences can expect from this free multimedia event tonight. Explain to me what changing tides is and this is going to be the second iteration. So what is this all about?
Speaker 13: 34:55 So the first, uh, changing tides in 2016 was a collaborative project with several different sites. But one of the main ones was this site in Korea. They were working with uh, artists in Seoul and at the soul Institute of the arts. And we came together to do what we call a telematic project, meaning that there are musicians in different geographic locations performing together in real time, making a concert together, sort of like a composite ensemble but located on different continents. And the concert four years ago, just like this one was named changing tides because we wanted composers to respond to the idea of the climate crisis to the, of of tides and shifting climate patterns. So we're featuring new work by a series of composers, again in this case, six different compositions by six different composers that all are individual composers' responses to that idea. And there's also a director in Korea that developed a really elaborate visual concept, which we're trying to emulate here as well at our site in response to that idea. So it's a lot of different artistic responses to the idea of climate crisis and both through the music composition and through the visual composition of the event.
Speaker 14: 36:10 So how would you describe this for someone in the sense of what can they expect when they come here to watch it?
Speaker 13: 36:17 Right. That's a good question. So what you're going to see is a musical performance. Just like any other concert you've been to, except there will be people in Korea as well as people right in front of you performing together. So that's on a musical level, that's, that's an unusual thing. And the quality of sound is very good as we're working with these really high level tools so that we can really hear each other well. In addition, you're gonna see a visual design of the stage space. It's really unique and it was designed originally for this concert where we're going to be displaying each of the musicians in Korea and different screens sort of hanging, floating in space a little bit, sort of interwoven with us. So you'll see a whole bunch of people performing together and half of them will be live in front of you and the other half will be live from Korea. But the idea is that the projection design, the scenic design will sort of blend everybody together in a way so that they're all part of the same ensemble. And there's also a whole nother layer of visual content floating above the musicians and also some on the side coming from visual artists in Korea. So it's a, there's a lot to look at and a lot to listen to.
Speaker 14: 37:31 And what about this collaboration excites you as both a professor and as a a musician yourself?
Speaker 13: 37:37 A lot of things musically I would say I really love the musical traditions that these Korean musicians are coming from. And there's a really interesting connection with the jazz and improvised music traditions that were coming from one of the musicians, for example here that will be featured on the concert. And Korea is a pun, sorry, singer who is PON story is kind of like, it will, it's a sham monic tradition in Korea. So, but we think of it as having a lot of parallels to kind of blue
Speaker 14: 38:04 and very emotionally expressive music.
Speaker 13: 38:09 A lot of interesting musical connections. And so we're trying to write for that. So posing for this kind of intercultural collaborative music making is very interesting. The other part of this work that really actually weirdly excites me is that when we're collaborating with people across culture, across language, across time zones, you know, it's tomorrow they're um, they're literally in the future. It's a really interesting skill set that we're, we're learning and developing all the time. Each. Each time we do one of these things, we sort of go for bigger things and it, the planning gets more complicated, the logistics, but it's always really fascinating to figure out how we can pull off a big complicated artistic and technological event together with people who are on the other side of the world working in real time. So that that skillset of learning how to do that and speak across all those differences and collaborate, use things like shared docs and all of these tools over a year or more of planning.
Speaker 13: 39:08 That's actually for me a powerful part of this work because I think that a lot of the, speaking of climate crisis, you know, a lot of the crises that we face, we need to figure out how to collaborate better across not just cultures and languages, but space and time zones. So it's an exciting kind of capacity building project, even beyond the artistic content, which is exciting also. And we are here on a rehearsal of the performance. So what kind of challenges are you facing at this point, whereas you want to list, do you want a spreadsheet of Joe with his endless challenge? It's so hard to get everything working right now. We're, we're, I would say we're about three quarters of the way to getting everything kind of working. Uh, we've been planning for months and you know, the challenges are just expanded versions of the same things that probably most people have with technology, right?
Speaker 13: 40:00 They're just more complicated when you're dealing with a dozen computers and projectors and, you know, lots of hardware and software and a lot of complicated, uh, high end tools for networking, audio and video. So there's endless potential for things to go wrong. But the other challenge is really trying to figure out how to get our head out of that and remember that we're making art, that we're trying to figure out how it feels, where it's not just a matter of getting it all to look good and sharp images. But then when that happens, you have to be able to deliver with with what you're doing artistically. And sometimes it's hard. For me, one of the biggest challenges is that kind of mental switching from spending three hours trying to troubleshoot cable and projector problems, and then suddenly I have to pick up my instrument and play music and connect with these amazing musicians in Korea and really make something happen.
Speaker 13: 40:50 So it's that kind of a Headspace. Shifting challenges is often intense, but that's again, a capacity we're really working on. And did you compose one of the pieces I did and [inaudible]. Yeah. And Mark also composed a piece, my co-director, definitely Richards, who's a professor here at San Diego. We're also feature featuring with Frito [inaudible], who's a flute professor here in the department. And Joshua White, who's a fantastic pianist in town that we've collaborated a lot with for many years. How would you describe the piece that you've created for this? Well, it goes through a bunch of different spaces and it has it, I gave everybody a chance to improvise a little bit. So there's solos and duos with all the different musicians that are featured at one point. And I sort of set it up so that at any given moment someone is improvising. There's a kind of a wavy line that goes through the score, uh, that shows who's improvising any moment.
Speaker 13: 41:45 And then I compose textures to sort of have people interact with. And at the end there's a very dense space featuring the singer I mentioned in Korea with a lot of layers and sort of to generate a big energy at the end. So each piece is different and that the visual team in Korea has also prepared a lot of really complicated and beautiful imagery that they're mapping onto our pieces. So there it's also been a collaborative project in that sense. We gave them scores and ideas about our music. They came up with visual designs to sort of tag on to different parts of the pieces in response to what they felt coming from the pieces. So it's been evolving over the past few months.
Speaker 12: 42:23 All right. Well, I wanna thank you very much for talking about changing tides too. Thank you, Beth. Changing tide to a telematic translocation locational concert takes place tonight at 7:30 PM at the Conrad previs music center, experimental theater on the UC San Diego campus.
A second person was diagnosed with COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, in San Diego. The first and second patients were on different flights and quarantined at different facilities at MCAS Miramar. Plus, San Diego rapper “Tiny Doo” and another man were awarded nearly $1.5 million in a wrongful arrest lawsuit. And, the new Common Sense Party is actively recruiting members, but experts say the way it is doing so raises ethical and legal issues. Also, the city of San Diego named its first poet laureate, Ron Salisbury, who will produce original works inspired by and in response to San Diego. Finally, this week, UC San Diego is hosting “Changing Tides II — A Telematic Translocational Concert.” KPBS arts reporter Beth Accomando speaks with a pair of professor-musicians to explain what audiences can expect from this free multimedia event.