Trump Vows New Economic Sanctions On Iran, Spring Valley's New Homeless Camp, San Diego Toddler Spawns A Kindness Movement, New Film Series From Film Geeks San Diego
KPBS Midday Edition / January 8, 2020
President Trump is vowing new economic sanctions on Iran in response to a missile attack on U.S. bases in Iraq. Plus, a new program clears tickets for homeless people who stay at a bridge shelter for at least 30 days. We’ll also take a look at rising homelessness in Spring Valley. Highly skilled immigrants continue to struggle to find work in the United States. How a San Diego toddler sparked a kindness movement. And, KPBS arts and culture reporter Beth Accomando is calling on all film geeks to check out two new film series that get underway this weekend and focus on Italian and Gearhead Cinema.
Speaker 1: 00:00 A small group of San Diego ans rallied in Balbo. Apart today to protest rising tensions with Iran.
Speaker 2: 00:06 I do fear for um, Iran for the Iranian people, for myself and my fellow running in Americans for, you know, any Americans like we don't, we don't need to go into another war.
Speaker 1: 00:18 That was San Diego resident Peter Behravesh. Luckily the threat of war with Iran. Cool. Today as president, Donald Trump did not mention a U S military response in his address to the nation about Iran's missile attack. Trump said no Americans had been hurt by Iranian missiles fired at two bases in Iraq on Tuesday. Iran's government said last night that they would forego additional attacks against the U S if America did not respond militarily. And here's president Trump speaking at the white house this morning.
Speaker 3: 00:48 As we continue to evaluate options in response to Iranian aggression, the United States will immediately impose additional punishing economic sanctions on the Iranian regime. These powerful sanctions will remain until around changes its behavior.
Speaker 1: 01:09 Joining me now via Skype is professor Michael Provence. He teaches modern middle East history at UC San Diego and professor Provence. Welcome to the program.
Speaker 4: 01:19 Thanks for having me. It's a pleasure to be back.
Speaker 1: 01:21 Is this the kind of response you expected from the U S to the missile strikes by Iran?
Speaker 4: 01:27 Yes, I think so. I mean, the president is erratic but somewhat predictable in, uh, in not wanting to respond to, uh, to things that will maybe bring things out of control, put things out of control.
Speaker 1: 01:43 Yeah. The president says his response will be more sanctions against Iran. There have been crippling economic sanctions on Iran for years. What more sanctions could the U S impose?
Speaker 4: 01:55 I can't imagine what they could, uh, what further economic majors could be brought against your on at this point? I mean, the, the, the problem or the situation of course is it sanctions harm the day to day lives of ordinary people, uh, and make life more difficult for millions of Iranians, but they don't cause any kind of threat or problem for the regime that government, uh, its military structures, uh, at all. And in fact, since people blame the United States for the sanctions, it tends to, to undermine the position of the United States. And and solidify the position of the, of the government.
Speaker 1: 02:34 Now the precedent is also asking world allies to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal and join together to negotiate a new deal based on how the last deal was formed, how much time and effort do you think that would take?
Speaker 4: 02:47 It's not going to happen. The Iranians are hoping, I presume, and European countries, including Russia, are hoping that if a new government comes into power in the United States sometime in the future, that the nuclear deal may be maybe a renewed. So I don't think that anyone's going to seriously consider any of these initial steps from president Trump.
Speaker 1: 03:09 But since Iran itself has said that is withdrawing from the nuclear deal, isn't there a concern around the world that something else should take its place?
Speaker 4: 03:17 They have withdrawn from elements of it and they have a Zuri for yesterday in an interview on NPR said, we withdraw from the things that, uh, that we, that are not being upheld, uh, by the Americans. But we maintain the ability to renew the nuclear deal, uh, immediately. Uh, if the things that the breaches on the part of the Americans are, uh, are rectified. So this is an open door. It's an open door for the deal as it is not for a deal, uh, in the future. That could be.
Speaker 1: 03:56 Now going back to last night's attack, um, that was a risky move on the part of the Iranians. What kind of message do you think they were trying to send?
Speaker 4: 04:05 Well, it was pretty major apparently. And at calc, I mean, they have to do something. I imagine it's necessary to, for them to respond in some way. So they launched an attack at the moment, least likely to cause casualties. And in fact, it seems that it hasn't caused casualty. Uh, the, the American forces in Iraq apparently knew about it at a time by radar. Uh, so, um, it was a major and calculated move to, um, to restore the initiative on the part of the Iranian government without further, uh, provoking and American responses seems to me so far. More majored, far more moderate, you could say, than the initial, uh, assassination of, uh, of, of, uh, costume SUNY, Amani
Speaker 1: 04:55 now, uh, in response to all this unrest in the region, the Pentagon announced today, it's suspending the fight against ISIS. That was a joint effort of Iran, Iraq and U S and other fighters against ISIS. So where is that fight against ISIS stand now?
Speaker 4: 05:14 Uh, I mean, the people who were assassinated, uh, general Sunni Mani and, uh, and, uh, the, uh, Mohandas, the, the Iraqi military leader with the two main military figures on the, uh, on the part of Iraq and Iran in the fight against ISIS. So those two, uh, military figures were assassinated by the United States. So the fight against ISIS is, is dead in the water. It's a, it's finished. And the Iraqi government and the Iranian government probably don't care if ISIS, uh, returns to the upper Euphrates region, the Syrian Iraqi border region, and they don't consider it their problem. Uh, and as long as the, as ISIS doesn't threaten the Iranian or Iraqi governments, uh, in the South, they probably won't be interested in and won't have anything to do with it.
Speaker 1: 06:07 Is there still enough left of ISIS to be a threat to the rest of the world?
Speaker 4: 06:12 Sure. Well, not the rest of the world, but the region that they have fought, the upper Euphrates region, I'm sure. I mean, they may return to Mosul or Rocco or something like that. Possibly. I suppose. I think that reconstituting, um, ISIS cadres is, is a real possibility, probably likelihood. One interesting thing which has not been widely reported is that in the last few weeks and the last month, big protest movements in Iraq and in Iran have, uh, formed and challenged the government and been met with ferocious repression, uh, and a number of deaths, uh, of, uh, unarmed civilian protestors against corruption, economic hardship, uh, unrepresentative government, uh, the clerical regime and Yurok, a sectarian government senior on or vice versa. And these protests have been destroyed, and the validity and legitimacy of the protestors have been undermined by these U S actions of the past few days. So this is a kind of an untold story, and it's given license. The fact that these assassinations took place, I've given license to both the Iranian and the Iraqi government to, to repress domestic criticism and legitimate civilian grievance more ferociously than they would've been able to do otherwise. So that's really a tragedy and it's something that I think people should know about.
Speaker 1: 07:37 I've been speaking with professor Michael Provence, who teaches modern middle East history at UC San Diego. And thank you so much. I appreciate your time.
Speaker 4: 07:46 My pleasure.
Speaker 1: 00:00 Police departments across the country had been criticized for criminalizing homelessness. A new program though operated by the San Diego police department and alpha project is trying to change that. The program gives those who are homeless who face arrest or a ticket for minor quality of life issues. The option of going to the alpha projects shelter in East village, if they stay for 30 days, their infraction is cleared. Joining us to talk about this program is Bob McElroy president and CEO of alpha project who is joining us from the bridge shelter. Welcome Bob.
Speaker 2: 00:32 Good afternoon. Thanks for having us.
Speaker 1: 00:34 Can you tell me more about the circumstances in which people are offered, uh, to participate in this program?
Speaker 2: 00:39 Well, they've been out there for a long time and they have a bunch of tickets. These are folks that, uh, the police department, uh, as they go through the neighborhoods, you know, doing enforcement from some community compliance, offer folks an opportunity to go into a facility, whether it be us or st Vincent's or somewhere around the town. But in this particular situation, we, as we opened this new shelter back in November, we designated 50 beds to the hot team, the homeless outreach team, and the police department for folks out there who are looking to, you know, start the road to recovery.
Speaker 1: 01:13 Well, I was going to ask, I mean, what type of infractions are, are people facing here?
Speaker 2: 01:17 Well, you know, the typical ones that are out here, you know, trolley tickets and encroach man, he'll look a lodge and public urination, uh, Jay walking, you know, ones that are associated with, with our folks that are out here. You know, I was thinking, as I said, I was a little skeptical at first because we're talking about a lot of folks that are, are generational urban campers that have always been resistant to, uh, facilities and services. And, um, I've been pleasantly surprised lately.
Speaker 1: 01:45 And you know, you mentioned you were skeptical at first. What were your reservations about the program initially?
Speaker 2: 01:50 Well, because I know a whole bunch of people out here, you know, for 35 years, and a lot of folks are just, you know, we love each other. But, uh, I just don't want to come in today. And a lot of people are still active and trapped in their addiction. You know, a lot of people have severe mental health issues and you know, we've got waiting lists at every facility that we have. And I didn't want to waste a spot on somebody who was just, it was just another part of the hustle. And what I've seen here lately are people are actually staying the 30 days plus they don't want to leave in 30 days. We've developed a relationship with people. We've found two folks permanent supportive housing. Um, we have people that are in drug and alcohol treatment. We have people that are going out and cleaning up the neighborhoods as part of our wheels, a change program. I'm a cynical old guy, but I'm seeing some people that I never thought, you know, would take on a challenge and succeed. I'm seeing them doing it. I seem to succeed.
Speaker 1: 02:39 Mm. So, so people come into this program, they stay for 30 days. What services are they being offered while in the shelter and are there any bridge services afterwards?
Speaker 2: 02:50 Every service that, you know, that was one of the stipulations that we made going in is that both these fees for folks, we're not going to be treated any differently than anybody else. A as a, as a member of alpha project facilities. And so they have access to every housing navigators, case managers, drug and alcohol treatment, job opportunities, uh, mental health services, physical health services, and we have our medical clinics onsite. So everything that we provide is available to everybody.
Speaker 1: 03:16 And you mentioned that 50 beds at the new shelter are reserved for people who want to participate in this program. Have they been filled on a regular basis? All right. And have there been any other unique challenges with this population? Uh, are there, is there a need for more resources even?
Speaker 2: 03:32 Well, there's certainly a need for more, but you know, we still have that 10 to 15% of population that are so severely mentally ill that they can't be in any facility. And there's nothing for those folks. And we're talking hundreds and if not thousand plus in San Diego, if you take 15 to 20% of the population, and I, you know, I always say nobody ever signed up for that. It's being trapped in mental illness. And you know, the only institutions we have today to treat those folks are jails and prisons. And that's not bad. So Nathan Fletcher's started the conversation about building a facility in town here for the severely mentally ill. I'm 1000% behind that. And you know, those, those folks, you know, take up 80% of the resources because the, you know, certainly like police time, paramedic time, their primary care physician is the emergency room simply because they have severe mental health issues. And that's, that's just not right.
Speaker 1: 04:27 And I, I understand there were a few kinks with the program, um, that have since been ironed out. Can you tell me about that?
Speaker 2: 04:33 A logistical type of things, you know, um, you know, with time folks come in, um, you know, we have a curfew and whites out of 11 and, you know, so we, you know, stuff like that. And then how many bags of stuff people have. We do have fire Marshall issues, um, you know, and coordination, you know, getting the word out nine to our staff on hand to how to triage assessment, assess intake folks, but also the police department on the protocols, you know, that we need to have to check somebody in. So those things have all been ironed out and it's, it, it gets better every day.
Speaker 1: 05:06 And I want to switch gears a bit and discuss the security officer who was killed outside of the new shelter. Two suspects have since been arrested in his murder, has alpha project since made any changes to security since that shooting?
Speaker 2: 05:19 We, we have, first of all are, you know, we're just so thankful and grateful for the Sandy police department for finding these two individuals arresting two individuals because the family doesn't need any more issues on their plate than they already have. And so we're grateful for that. As I said, maybe hopefully prayerfully that the family can have some modicum of peace and closure. Certainly our staff and our residents feel a little more secure. But yes, we have changed some things around. The police department's been outstanding about being on site every day just to enhance police presence that we have in all of our facilities, and we're going to have discussion down the road on what we do, where we go from here.
Speaker 1: 05:57 I've been speaking with Bob McElroy, president and CEO of alpha project. Bob, thank you very much for joining us.
Speaker 2: 06:04 Thanks for having us.
Speaker 1: 00:00 The Trump administration has made it harder for asylum seekers to win protection. It's also cut way back on the number of refugees accepted into this country. Even so the thousands of migrants here face big challenges in finding work in the first of a two part series for our California dream collaborations. KQ EDIS for Rita Jubala Romero reports
Speaker 2: 00:23 a small group of recently arrived refugees from Afghanistan, Nepal, Ethiopia and other countries are about to start a workshop at an office in San Jose.
Speaker 3: 00:33 Today we're going to talk about what a job interview looks like in America.
Speaker 2: 00:40 Staffers with the nonprofit international rescue committee or IRC go through basic do's and don'ts to ACE. A first meeting with a potential employer. They ask people to stand up and practice introducing themselves with a firm handshake. Hi, I'm sunny day. Nice to meet you.
Speaker 3: 00:58 Hi, my name [inaudible].
Speaker 2: 01:05 Well, some immigrants here are starting from scratch with not much English or a resume. Others come with university degrees and a lot more language and professional skills. Uh, my name is Eden ASFA. As far as 38 she worked in her native Eritrea as a secretary for the European union diplomatic office and also in community development with European NGOs here in San Jose. She starts work at 5:30 AM as a cashier at a restaurant. I need to support myself. About half the clients that we serve come to us with high high-skilled backgrounds. Kevin Davis coordinates career development programs at the local IRC office and all of them are going to get us rebel job first. The IRC helps about 200 humanitarian migrants per year. Find those first low skilled, often minimum wage jobs, and then rebuild careers and the U S through coaching and scholarships. Davis says immigrants living paycheck to paycheck face big barriers to get higher skilled jobs even if they've worked in those fields in their home countries.
Speaker 2: 02:08 Oftentimes foreign credentials for him degrees and even sometimes foreign work experience is not viewed the same as domestic American credentials or work experience in California, nearly half a million immigrants with at least a bachelor's degree are underemployed, meaning they're overqualified for their job or can't find work. That's according to an analysis by the migration policy Institute. That translates into a big loss in state and local taxes, almost 700 million in California per year. Jana [inaudible] lava is a senior policy analyst at the Institute. Unfortunately at the national level, there hasn't been really strategy developed on how to do what we call brain waste, but the lava says other countries invest more to help immigrants navigate their way into professional occupations. The U S not so much the approaches sink or swim. There is some limited federal and local financial support to help refugees and asylees adjust to life in the U S through organizations like IRC in San Jose.
Speaker 2: 03:13 Kevin Davis says that first survival job is like a stepping stone and once they can pay their immediate bills, then we work with them to sort of see. All right, well what comes next for Eden [inaudible] it was working as a cashier, wild training to draw people's blood for lab tests. Now she's getting ready to take her exam to become certified as a phlebotomy technician. When I come here, I knew I would be starting from scratch. I knew it's going to be a hard road ahead. Just have to take the steps I needed to take to get in there. The healthcare industry needs more workers in California. And as far as I says, she's excited to leave the restaurant and get a job quickly with a better paycheck. Her longterm plan is to work some and then go back to school to become a medical lab technician for the California report. I'm [inaudible] Romero in San Jose.
Speaker 1: 04:04 Joining me now is KQBD reporter for Rita chavala Romero and for Rita. Welcome. Thank you. Talk to us a little about that interview training session you were, your report opens with how was it conducted and were the trainees hopeful or apprehensive? Yeah, so that was a workshop
Speaker 2: 04:22 for, uh, how to land, uh, uh, how to do well during job interviews for refugees at the international rescue committee, um, offices in San Jose. And what was interesting is there were people there from around the world. There was a 19 year old, 19 year old man from Guinea and, uh, you know, a mom, uh, from El Salvador in her thirties. And, uh, people from Iraq. So, you know, just being in this room with like a dozen people with all these languages and all of these experiences from around the world was really interesting. And I think most of them were really hopeful. I mean, this was like the first step, you know, getting a job in the U S their first job means that they'll be able to make money and, um, you know, be able to, uh, support themselves and their families. So I think many of them saw it as the first step in really, you know, getting settled in this new life in the U S
Speaker 1: 05:19 now the challenges must be greatest for those refugees who can barely speak English. What resources are available to them.
Speaker 2: 05:27 Yes, you're right. I mean, it's not only a huge cultural change for many of these refugees coming to the U S but if you don't have the language skills, it just takes that much longer, you know, to be able to get a job that you want to, um, that you're interested in. Um, or even just deal with, you know, basic things in daily life. Um, I heard many of these people who, who didn't have the language skills, they're able to go to English as a foreign language classes and resettlement agencies often connect people with those resources.
Speaker 1: 06:00 Now I think that probably everybody has heard stories of refugees working in low paying jobs and they were professionals, trained professionals in their native countries. Why don't those educational and work credentials transfer more often to the same kind of professional employment in the U S
Speaker 2: 06:20 right? So especially for the really high school jobs and we're talking about, you know, doctors, engineers, um, there's a licensing process they have to go through and the U S and sometimes that's a very expensive and, and long process that takes a lot of effort and dedication to get through. So there's that, but there's also a hard from the employers side, um, sometimes employers don't know how to value the skills and education of the immigrants, you know, that are applying for those jobs. So I had, um, you know, one expert, um, explain it to me as, you know, how do you value someone who graduated from the university of Baghdad versus UCLA? So I think there's a lot of, you know, um, uh, information that, uh, people are working on to, to share, uh, about this talent. Uh, this talent pool that refugees and other immigrants bring into the country. Um, and then often, um, employers want us professional experience. And so if you just came to the country, even if you have loads of professional experience in your country of origin, that may not translate, um, you know, to getting a job in the U S because you lack that, uh, work experience in this country. So it's a chicken and an egg question sometimes, you know.
Speaker 1: 07:40 Yeah. Uh, one of the people in your report, we heard say that this is a, an instance of brain waste. Is there any effort being made to stop that waste?
Speaker 2: 07:51 Yeah, it's falling right now mostly on local governments. You know, trying to provide those resources to connect people to be able to use their skills and talents and jobs. And at the same time, you know, help the community because if people are able to get higher jobs where they can earn more money, you know, it also improves taxes for the community. Um, but, uh, there isn't right now from what I heard from the people I spoke with for the story a national, you know, big strategy on how to reduce this brain waste. But there are other countries like, um, uh, Australia and Canada who have immigration systems that are more reliant on an unprofessional immigrants. And, um, so in those countries there's more of an effort. Like for example, Canada has a website for example, that can tell you a really, you know, quickly and easily based on what province you're going to in Canada and what your profession is, what are the requirements you need to, um, you know, meet for licensing and also has links to, uh, organizations and other resources to help you do that.
Speaker 2: 09:05 And I heard the country, Canada is even encouraging immigrants to go through the steps before they even get to Canada so that they're ready to work as soon as they get to the country. And, um, from what I've heard, there's nothing like that, um, in the U S as that, you know, big fat at the federal level. Now for Rita, this is the first installment of a two part report you did on refugee retraining. What will we hear in tomorrow's report? So tomorrow you'll hear the very interesting story of a doctor, a physician who was trained in Cuba, and he had seven years of experience working as a doctor in Cuba and Venezuela. And you'll hear about his struggles to be able to work as a doctor again in the U S I have been speaking with KQD reporter for Rita ciabatta Ramiro and for Rita, thank you so much for speaking with us. Thank you Maureen.
Speaker 1: 00:00 In April of 2016 San Diego, Leah and Rob Davis experienced a blessed event. Leah gave birth to their second child. A boy called Blake. Blake was growing up just like other little boys until July of 2017 when he suddenly stopped breathing. That led to a three month stay at Rady children's hospital. It was during that time, family and friends would ask the Davis' if there was anything they could do a question they struggled to answer. A social worker said, give them something to do, and so the four Blake movement was born. The goal is simple, do something nice for someone else and do it in Blake's name, like lost his battle with a rare heart and lung condition on January 2nd of last year, but the movement goes on. Joining us to talk more about the four Blake movement are Blake's parents, Leah and Rob Davis. Welcome to you both.
Speaker 1: 00:51 Thank you so much. Thank you for having us on the, for Blake webpage. You talk about wondering what you could tell people when they asked what they could do to help. Then you said something clicked, which led to the for Blake movement, what exactly clicked? Well at that time we had no idea what Blake's fate was going to be and we felt incredibly helpless and all of our friends and family also felt helpless. There was nothing that really anybody can do and you know, we were desperate and wanted to raise the positive energy that was surrounding Blake. And so it all just kind of came together for us that we wanted to ask our friends and family if they would just go out and do something kind for someone they know for a stranger and do it in honor of our son, that it would potentially help elevate the positive energy that was surrounding him.
Speaker 1: 01:48 And our friends and family responded and it was really incredible. A friend actually started a Facebook page just called for Blake and people started to post their, their stories there. And each day when we were in the CV ICU at radius, you know, we would start to see these stories coming in of what people were doing and we would just hold his hand. And even though he was intubated at the time, um, and on life support, we would just read the stories to him and tell him what an incredible impact he was making in the world and how much he was loved. And to be clear, you know, this, this movement is not about money. You don't ask for money. No, no, not at all. Right. Yeah. The only thing that we're asking for is, is just, you know, it, it, for us anyway, what it, what it does give us is it allows the legacy of our son to live on.
Speaker 1: 02:43 Right. How aware was Blake of the movement that bears his name while he was still alive? Oh, that's a great question. You know, um, you know, I [inaudible] two years old. There's no way he fully understood what was going on, but as he was, uh, released from Rady children's hospital after the first stay of three months, it really became part of our lives. So we started to find other ways that we could do good or that we could give back. And we held a toy drive in his name, actually after one year of, um, the date that he stopped breathing in the, uh, in the park nearby and tried to turn something tragic into something really positive and ended up, um, gathering near 200 toys for the CV ICU. And we started to do things in his honor, really celebrating his life while he was alive, whether it was, you know, baking toys or, or taking things to the firehouse or, um, just trying to help people at the grocery store. And so he was a part of it all along while he was alive.
Speaker 2: 03:50 Yeah. And I mean, as far as his actual understanding as a two year old, I'm sure it wasn't, um, that aware as far as what was going on. But we as parents, you know, we, we raise our children and we teach them that, you know, we donate things and we do things for others. And, uh, even as a two year old, when we, when we gathered, you know, all of our people together and all these toys that we were going to donate, you know, sure. There's excitement. He's two and there's a bunch of toys, but you wonder if there was a level of understanding because he never really got attached to him. He understood that they weren't for him. He understood that they were going someplace else. And I don't, I don't ever recall him being attached to it. So I, I like to think that he did have an understanding that we were doing something greater.
Speaker 1: 04:35 Yeah. And, and can, can you tell us about, you know, one or two acts of kindness that were really unique or really stuck out to you in some way?
Speaker 2: 04:45 Yeah, there's a, there's a couple I know that, uh, I know, you know, Leah and I were just talking and one of the ones that she likes so much and, and secretly we are going to replicate here in San Diego, um, is a friend of ours that lives up in Portland. Uh, you know, they have these little libraries in neighborhoods, you know, where you can give a book, take a book, that type of thing. You'll see them in neighborhoods and whatnot. And, uh, she went through and she bought a whole bunch of books and you know, put some of the, the kindness cards, the blades. Yeah, the put them inside the back cover of the book and then went around all around Portland and, and kind of donated these books. And that one, that one was pretty cool. And uh, um, I think the another one that always stands out to us, um, is, you know, there was a woman, um, that lived here locally in San Diego County. Someone did something nice for her, for Blake. And then fast forward we're in when we were transferred to Houston, um, this woman, unbeknownst to us, obviously follows, follows the page, now lives in Houston, showed up at the hospital to give us things, you know, toys for Blake and, and food for us. Cause because we were, our whole lives were uprooted and we're now in a, a foreign land where we were no one, no one.
Speaker 1: 06:01 Right. It was actually really amazing. It was a complete stranger. We still don't know who helped her in Cardiff and San Diego, but ultimately she was so affected personally by the story that when we were at Texas children's hospital, uh, Blake was undergoing a lung transplant evaluation there and she found us complete strangers and she offered us a place to stay her car, a place to shower. And it was just, it always moves me to tears. I just, I can't believe that's a complete stranger that was affected by the story would go out of their way to make us feel like home when we were in a strange place. It's amazing how big the outpouring of kindness can be. And Rob, you mentioned the kindness cards. I'm curious to know what they said.
Speaker 2: 06:44 So, so ultimately, I mean, you know, when, when this whole thing started, you're doing something nice for someone and obviously it starts with those that are close to us. And so you feel a little bit more passionately about the topic and it's, it's, it's a little bit hard to express, you know, to tell the story of a, of a boy who passed away. Um, and so you can get a little bit choked up or maybe you don't have the time, but you still want to participate in the movement. Um, and a friend of the family's made just kind of a little quick story about what she was doing and why she was, why she was doing this kind need and what it meant and what it stood for to her. Um, and so we took that and kind of refined it a little bit. So it's almost like on a business type card. Um, and it basically just says, you know, who Blake was a little bit about him and the kindness movement of, of the four Blake, uh, movement. And so that way it's, it's something that you, you can go through and you can do the good deed. And if you're Blake's father like me, it's really hard story to tell a complete stranger without getting worked up. And, uh, it's kind of just, here you go, this is, this is why I'm doing this. Please spread it, spread it on and pay it forward. For Blake,
Speaker 1: 08:05 people do verbally tell the story and about this legacy of Blake and these little kindness cards that were created were a way to do it without having to say anything at all. But for somebody to understand why they were touched by a good deed. And so we know that they are trickling throughout San Diego and across the nation actually. And on the new Ford blake.org website, there's also a place to download these kindness cards. And we have even seen in recent deeds that have been posted that people are doing that and sharing those also. That's pretty cool. I mean, well I so appreciate you guys coming in and sharing, um, Blake's powerful movement that, that lives on. How can people participate? What's the website? Thank you. Yeah, it's for blake.org um, and on there there's this really cool feature. It's a good deeds tracker, essentially a map that can track the movement globally and you can see how it's spread locally to across the States and now into multiple countries.
Speaker 1: 09:08 And so we really ask that people be willing to do something kind and share the story through the website to actually pin it on the map. You can also see all of the good deeds. There's a page that almost serves like a library, and you can just scroll through hundreds of good deeds and it's really uplifting and inspiring that so many lives have been touched by our little boy. I've been speaking with Leah and Rob Davis, parents of Blake Davis, the founders of the four Blake movement. Thank you both so much for joining us. Thank for so much. Thank you.
Speaker 1: 00:00 Now Beth Huck Amando is the KPBS arts and culture reporter, but she also volunteers as a film programmer with film geeks, San Diego and co-hosts, a pair of annual film series at digital gym cinema. This Sunday marks the launch of a monthly series on Italian Shondra cinema and Monday night is the start of gearhead cinema. And Beth is here to discuss the films. Welcome vet.
Speaker 2: 00:25 Thank you. To begin, tell us a little about film geeks, San Diego. Sure. This is the sixth year that film geek San Diego has been programming at digital Jim's cinema, and my main partner in crime for this is Miguel Rodriguez of horrible imaginings film festival. So we've volunteer as programmers and through our film geeks Facebook page, we pull followers about themes for our year long series. And this year people voted for Italian Shara cinema and gearhead cinema. So our goal through this is to present films in some kind of a context, be it film history, or a more social perspective.
Speaker 1: 01:00 This Sunday you start the Italian Shara series with Colossus of Rhodes, and here's a little of the trailer you sent.
Speaker 3: 01:09 Fabulous Colossus. Let's try the Harbor of road. City of sin, a pagan fortress with an evil purpose behind its eyes. Cruel warriors watch the devastation they have run within its walls, the temple of the devil worshipers as the great God molec incites its followers into our raging Peoria of ecstasy and error and behind the wicked heart of the Colossus of fiendish torture chamber. Yeah. Fighting back against terror like this was almost shore death when one man gambled his fantastic strength and pallor Dario, the daring portrayed by a Rory Calhoun star of the Texan racing at the head of a band of reckless horsemen, Eve pieing, the treachery of a beautiful princess.
Speaker 2: 01:51 Now it's a flesh, lots of sword fights. And it's an Italian film in English. Yes. So these are really fun. The Italian film industry was looking to cash in on the popularity of the American biblical epics, like Cecil B to mills, the 10 commandments. And they wanted something that looked like a Hollywood product since that appealed to Italian audiences. And they also wanted something that they could export back to America to cash in on an additional market. So these films were called peplum films and that's a Latin word for robe of the state. So Italy had been producing these sword and sandal films since the silent era, but the second world war devastated the film industry and it rebounded with highly respected neorealist films, but also more popular genre film like low budget comedies and these sword and sandal films. So while they're inspired by Hollywood's biblical epics, these peplum films took a more fun tax, shall we say.
Speaker 2: 02:50 So instead of trying to serve up profound dramas steeped in history, most peplum films aimed a little lower and went for lavish spectacle and sensuality mixed with fantasy. So Colossus of Rhodes is the first feature of Sergio Leoni who would also go on to define the spaghetti westerns in the following decade. And you, since your series is called Italian genre cinema, I guess we can't expect spaghetti westerns. Absolutely. And we are going to have one from one of the masters, which is Sergio Leoni and he's the one who gave Clint Eastwood his overseas stardom. And the film we're going to be showing is for a few dollars more, which is actually the sequel to a fistful of dollars, which kind of started the entire spaghetti Western genre. So here's a little taste of that film.
Speaker 4: 03:39 Well, such a big reward offered under you gentlemen. I thought I might just tag along and the next robbery might just turn you into the law. Naturally. I'll be in the Tavern, the around his things anyway, just like the food. But the month will go fast.
Speaker 5: 04:03 [inaudible]
Speaker 2: 04:06 the series is designed to trace the evolution of Italian Shara cinema and these are films aimed at the masses, so we only are able to show 12 films, one a month. So it's a quick journey. But we go from sword and sandal films to comedies to spaghetti westerns in the 60s and then geologists and police thrillers in the seventies and eighties and to put these films into a context in terms of both the Italian film industry and the politics of the time, we'll be partnering with the San Diego Italian film festival and having its artistic director, Antonio and NATA provide introductions. Great. The Italian films are one Sunday a month at 1:00 PM at digital gym cinema and gearhead cinema is one Monday night a month. How do you define gearheads cinema? Well, we are going to be offering a diverse range of films in which the cars are the stars. So there are cult films like vanishing point and road warrior classy racing films like grand Prix art house films like Walter Hill's, the driver, and then a special delicious kind of cheese ball film like hot rods to hell. And that kicks off the series on Monday. And here's a scene with some kids trying to run a family car off the road
Speaker 5: 05:24 going 55 [inaudible]
Speaker 2: 05:50 55 no, that sounds like one of the films with juvenile delinquents, the 1950s it's a film that's a bit out of step with time because it was made in 1967 with Dana Andrews as the square dad. And it's really a fun piece of B-movie cheesiness with the actors acting their heart out. And it's very different from the more serious car films like grand Prix and Lumon. But we wanted to showcase the broad range of car movies that have been made and we'll be having a stunt driver, Steve leper, come and introduce select films and provide insights into how a film like rom pre was made and why gearheads like him are so enamored with it now. How can people get more information on these films? You can either go to the digital gyms cinemas website or you can check out our film geeks SD Facebook page and for Sunday films, I always make themed dessert treats to go with the movies. It sounds like a total experience. It's great fun. Beth will be on hand to cope present the films in this series and you can find out more about the films on her cinema junkie blog and podcast. Beth, thank you. Thank you.