San Diego County Reports Record Of 1,087 New COVID-19 Cases
KPBS Midday Edition / November 16, 2020
PHOTO BY ALEXANDER NGUYEN
San Diego County health officials reported a record number of 1,087 new COVID-19 cases Sunday, the highest one day total yet. Plus, the Port of San Diego has been working on an update to its master plan, which will set the vision for future development on San Diego’s waterfront. Also, President-elect Joe Biden will inherit President Donald Trump’s border wall construction and all of the lawsuits that come with it. In addition, Biden has pledged that on his first day in office he will end Trump’s “travel ban,” which bars entry for most nationals from several Muslim-majority nations, including Iran. And, Scripps Institution of Oceanography is planning to deploy 500 new robotic floats to study what’s going on underneath the waves as the planet warms. Then, if you’re cooking a Thanksgiving meal for the first time because of the pandemic, we have some tips for you. Finally, if you ask people in the city of Mexicali, Mexico, about their most notable regional cuisine, they won’t say street tacos or mole. They’ll say Chinese food.
Editor’s note: During the Thanksgiving dinner at home interview that appears in this podcast our guest said that defrosted cooked turkey bones are poisonous. According to the US Department of Agriculture, It is true that undercooking a turkey can lead to serious food-borne illness, as can leaving leftovers out too long. But we can find no source stating frozen turkey bones, if cooked properly, are poisonous. If you have questions about food safety for your Thanksgiving dinner, call the USDA Meat and Poultry hotline at 888-674-6854. We regret the error.
Speaker 1: 00:00 As COVID cases, skyrocket San Diego is our urge to stay strictly safe,
Speaker 2: 00:05 Every city egg, and to make an individual decision determination, uh, that we're going to come together and fight this thing.
Speaker 1: 00:11 I'm Maureen Kevin Hall with Alison st. John. This is KPBS midday edition Fordham San Diego revises its construction plans for 2021.
Speaker 3: 00:29 We've been trying to do with this port master plan update is create something for everyone who enjoys San Diego Bay
Speaker 1: 00:36 Grip starts researching the effects of climate change in the deep ocean and some pandemic Turkey tips. For first time, Thanksgiving cooks that's a head-on midday edition
Speaker 1: 01:00 On Sunday. San Diego reported over 1000 newly diagnosed cases of Corona virus. That number 1087 is a record daily total for the County, but it marked the fifth consecutive day. That more than 600 new coronavirus cases were reported by the County. These high numbers do not indicate that San Diego will be able to move out of the purple tier anytime soon. And for public health officials, the numbers are an indication that San Diego may not be doing all. They can to stop the spread of the virus yesterday County supervisor Nathan Fletcher, pleaded with the public to wear masks and observe social distancing, even as the upcoming holiday season poses, more challenges to maintaining strict adherence to those guidelines. Joining me is San Diego County supervisor Nathan Fletcher, and a supervisor. Fletcher. Welcome.
Speaker 2: 01:55 Thank you for having me.
Speaker 1: 01:56 Are these numbers surprising to you?
Speaker 2: 02:00 Uh, they're concerning? Uh, I think a lot of us were concerned. We would see an increase. I think, uh, what is, what is surprising is the severity of the scope of increased. We went from 300 cases a day to 400 to 600 to a thousand, and it's likely to continue to increase. And that really is the alarming call to action.
Speaker 1: 02:19 How is the County monitoring adherence to COVID safety measures by local businesses in particular? And I asked that question, because for instance, there are multiple gyms that are already telling their members. They won't be shutting down indoor operations. So has the County visited any of those businesses already and started the process of enforcement?
Speaker 2: 02:43 Uh, we have, uh, we have, and we're in the process of issuing a series of cease and desist in public health closure notices. Uh, but one of the, one of the most challenging and frustrating things of COVID is that there's only, there are limitations to what you can enforce. Uh, we have individual law enforcement jurisdictions, and we have cities, uh, such as alcohol and that have, have proudly proclaimed. They will not enforce any public health orders, uh, or hold anyone accountable for egregious or blatant violations as, so we're going to continue to do everything we can within our power. But the reality is our effectiveness in responding to COVID is community Y uh, there is community-wide spread and that's where we need every city egg and to make an individual decision determination, uh, that we're going to come together and fight this thing, despite all of our political differences and partisan differences and ideological differences, whether you want business to be open, or you want to save lives, we do the exact same thing and that's slow the spread. And so my hope is the overwhelming majority of San Diego will, will hear that message will receive that message. And we'll really come together in a, in a spirit of service, uh, to help us slow the count and benefit our whole County.
Speaker 1: 03:45 Now, according to County numbers, 34% of cases in San Diego result from household exposure. Now that's about three times as many cases that come from exposure in bars and restaurants. So my question is, how is it possible? It's not a rhetorical one. I really would like to know how is it possible to be more careful at home?
Speaker 2: 04:05 That's where everyone has to make an individual determination. For example, Thanksgiving is certainly one of my favorite holidays and we have a large family and an extended family, and we really look forward to getting together. We've made the decision as a family. We're only going to celebrate with our household, uh, the individuals who we live with every day. And it's not every Thanksgiving. It's just right now, it's just this time. And those are the decisions that, that everyone has to make, uh, around. What can you do to slow the spread. And that is limiting contact with individuals who do not live with you on a regular basis, uh, utilizing face coverings, you know, moving things outdoors. Um, and, and those, the spreads that are happening in individual households are, are virtually impossible to enforce other than getting the community to buy in that this is something we have to do, and we have to do it together. Um, and we have to all do it. And so my hope is, uh, that we can really see, uh, more vigilance and more intentionality in what everyone is doing. So we can bend this curve.
Speaker 1: 05:03 There's a protest today by businesses who are impacted by the new shutdown orders, the purple tier. What do you say to those businesses who are opposed to what some call a one size fits all approach?
Speaker 2: 05:19 Well, I look, none of us want to be doing the things that we're doing. Uh, none of us want to have closures or restrictions or requirements. Um, but the, the unfortunate reality of the situation we face is that if we don't take action, uh, to limit those higher risk settings, those settings that are, are more likely to, to create super spreading events and increasing cases, uh, and we overwhelm our healthcare system. Uh, the economic negative impact will be far greater than the impact we face now. And so what you're faced with is a series of choosing the least bad option. Uh, no one is suggesting that what we're doing is good or positive, and certainly not what we want to do, but we don't have a choice. When you look around the country, you see States and regions that are, that are getting their healthcare systems to the point of collapse.
Speaker 2: 06:02 And, and you have to take action early. COVID has a significant delay factor. There's a delay between, uh, an unhealthy gathering. And when those cases happen, there's a delay of three to three weeks. Plus between that case and hospitalization, there's a delay between hospitalization and death. And so it forces us. Now we have all the warning signals, uh, all the reason to be concerned. We have to take this action, uh, for the betterment of the entire County. And so my heart hurts for them. I feel terrible for them. We want to provide help and assistance, uh, but we have to look out for the entire County. And this is a moment we have to come together and get through this.
Speaker 1: 06:38 Now we heard good news last week about the Pfizer vaccine today, we hear more good news about the effectiveness of the Medina vaccine in clinical trials. What is your hope about when Corona virus vaccines may become available to San Diego? Ans
Speaker 2: 06:54 I've been really encouraged by the news. Uh, there was some uncertainty about how effective these might be. And I think this is very encouraging and should tell all of us that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Uh, we don't know exactly when those vaccines will start being distributed. We're working tirelessly to put in place plans, procedures, to be able to distribute them equitably and, and, and help us move forward. Uh, but I still think that we're all looking at first quarter of next year, and that should give us hope and encouragement that what we're going through now is, is not going to be forever. Uh, but between now and the end of the year, we really have to focus, uh, to slow the spread and get it down, uh, so that we can remain in a stable position while we await that vaccine. Uh, and while we look forward, uh, with joy to the day at which we are through this, uh, that day is not here yet, uh, is certainly on the horizon, but, but we really have to deal with where we are and what we have right now.
Speaker 1: 07:47 I've been speaking with San Diego County supervisor, Nathan Fletcher. Thank you very much. Thank you.
Speaker 4: 07:56 For the past seven years, the port of San Diego has been working on an update of its master plan to set the vision for future development along the 34 miles of waterfront from San Diego and Carnados South through Chula Vista, national city and Imperial beach. The last master plan was adopted in 1981, nearly 40 years ago, and much has changing along San Diego Bay. The port is soliciting public comment on its port master plan update through tomorrow is here to talk about what changes could be in the works is Leslie initia hero planning director for the port district. Leslie, thanks for joining us.
Speaker 5: 08:33 You're welcome. Good morning.
Speaker 4: 08:35 So now what's the vision for the port district for the near future regarding how things will change for commercial property and public space and aesthetics in general?
Speaker 5: 08:45 Well, what we're really trying to do with this port master plan update is create something for everyone who enjoys San Diego Bay. Um, the master plan is essentially the ports, water and land use law and the intention of an updated poor master plan, which we often refer to as the future of the port is to serve as the primary tool for balancing environmental, economic and community interests along the San Diego Bay waterfront for the next 30 years.
Speaker 4: 09:12 Originally, the master plan would have allowed hundreds of, of new hotel rooms along the waterfront, but I understand there were objections. What was the original plan and how has it changed?
Speaker 5: 09:23 Um, you're correct. We received an extensive amount of community feedback. So after extensive conversations with communities around San Diego Bay, the port determined that added density was more appropriately located in our urban centers, specifically in the planning district of shelter Island. Next to the point Loma area, um, 1600 rooms were initially proposed and now we are not advancing any new hotel rooms for that area. Similarly, in the Cornetto planning districts, we initially had 710 total hotel rooms. And this revised draft has reduced those rooms down to a no increases
Speaker 4: 10:05 The reduction in hotel rooms, but there will be quite a lot of new hotel rooms on the North Embarcadero, right. Yeah.
Speaker 5: 10:11 But correct on the area or the proposed redevelopment between Ash and, uh, the 1220 Pacific highway property just around B street. Uh, what we initially had proposed was 2000 hotel rooms, uh, in response to that community feedback. However, we've reduced the amount of proposed hotel rooms to be a total of 1,550 rooms. So it's a net increase of 950 rooms over what exists today. Now in the revised plan, we're also advancing stripped tight limitations along with building setback requirements, to make sure that we preserve view corridors and make access to the waterfront very easy.
Speaker 4: 10:54 And why the delay in the, in the long planned redevelopment of Seaport village and the central Embarcadero what's happening there?
Speaker 5: 11:01 Well, um, the central Embarcadero has long been recognized as one of our most important and significant areas of port Tidelands. The central Embarcadero sub-district is essentially the Seaport village area, uh, which extends roughly from the G street mole area around the bend to where the Hyatt hotel property Brigit begins. So, uh, we want to make sure that that area is planned in a holistic and integrated manner, and there's still a significant amount of planning work that needs to be coordinated, um, most notably with the state lands commission. Uh, so we've determined that the best approach for redeveloping this area is to process it as a separate amendment to the port master plan independent of the PNP process
Speaker 4: 11:47 So soon. Okay. Now what about public space? I understand that the plan calls for Navy pier as a recreational open space and adding more green space between the waterfront park, by the County buildings there and the waterfront, when might that happen.
Speaker 5: 12:03 So, uh, the port master plan update requires a number of milestones to achieve before elements of the plan can be implemented. The plan needs to go through the California environmental quality act process, as well as processing with the California coastal commission for their certification. So once that occurs, which we estimate will be, uh, towards the end of 2022, we'll be able to begin implementing specific improvements, such as the conversion of maybe pier to a park area with some parking allowed, uh, along with the creation of additional public space, along the waterfront in the North Embarcadero area. Specifically, we have a concept called the window to the Bay, which is to create new opportunities for the public to access the waterfront and provide, uh, enhanced park areas for all Californians and visitors, the window to the Bay, uh, concept we'll add more green space as, as you mentioned, and a waterfront destination, just North of the Newport st pier restaurant and the maritime museum. The concept includes a large public pier with public docking opportunities and would create synergies with the iconic County waterfront park right across the street.
Speaker 4: 13:19 Nice. So now the master plan calls for the reconfiguration of the Southern part of Harbor drive. That's further South though. Uh, tell us about that. And, and what's, what's the goal.
Speaker 5: 13:30 So we referred to that as the Harbor drive 2.0 project, which is one of the first major achievements and the port master plan update process, uh, through smart planning, the port will reduce truck traffic impacts by redesigning the industrial section of Harbor drive using intelligent transportation systems while adding protected bike lanes, beautification, and other requirements. And this is really as a way to address community concerns about check traffic while also making, uh, maritime cargo, uh, hauling more efficient between our two terminals
Speaker 4: 14:06 And public input on this draft update ends on Tuesday, but will there be chances for public input in the future?
Speaker 5: 14:13 Absolutely. So, uh, through the entire California environmental quality act process, and there will be opportunities for public participation and commenting, uh, we estimate putting out the draft program EIR for the PMQ next summer, and that will be subject to a review and comment period. Uh, and also when we present that EIR to our board, the public will have the opportunity to make public comment and participate in that hearing, uh, before our board of port commissioners, as well as through the entire processing with the California coastal commission.
Speaker 4: 14:48 We've been speaking with Leslie initia, Hera planning director, the port district, Leslie, thanks so much. You're welcome to submit feedback to the port and review the revised draft. You can go to port of San diego.org/pnpu and feedback will be accepted through Tuesday, November the 17th
Speaker 6: 15:15 [inaudible]
Speaker 4: 15:21 You're listening to KPBS midday edition. I'm Alison st. John with Maureen Cavenaugh when Joe Biden takes office as president in January, he'll inherit the cornerstone of Donald Trump's legacy in the Southwest hundreds of miles of new border wall, blocking off the regions deserts at the international boundary with Mexico, from a, from terrorist desks in both countries, KJ, ZZ reporters, Michelle Maurisco and Kendall blast have this report
Speaker 7: 15:48 In downtown though, gal the Trump administration draped the existing border wall and coils of gleaming razor wire two years ago, Nogales, Arizona, mayor art, Guardino. Isn't optimistic that the incoming Biden administration will take it down.
Speaker 6: 16:03 Okay. Are, you know, you know how the government is, you know, once they put something up is very Southern comes down.
Speaker 7: 16:12 That was just one small border wall project along the entire U S Mexico border. The Trump administration has put in place about 400 miles of new 30 foot high border wall ACLU, attorney drawer late and leads that suit. And he's waiting to see if the new president will withdraw the petition to the court. And if he doesn't,
Speaker 6: 16:33 Once Biden comes in and becomes the precedent, we've already sued him. And the lawsuit will be against Biden as to what is to be done with these illegal law sections. And then he and his administration are going to need to decide whether they want to defend this flagrantly unlawful thing that Trump did, or whether they want to work with border communities and environmental groups to readdress it.
Speaker 7: 16:55 Candidate Biden has said that he will stop all construction, but he never said that he would tear down the new border wall. We need
Speaker 4: 17:02 To also look at ports of entry
Speaker 6: 17:04 And figure out ways to open up more channels.
Speaker 7: 17:08 Vicky gal Becca has the Southern border communities coalition in Tucson. She hopes the incoming administration will focus on humane policies rather than those that drive people to enter the us through remote parts of the desert. Now, Kendall blessed picks up the story in that almost seal
Speaker 6: 17:26 People in Mexico share their Northern neighbors concerns over the harms us border wall construction has caused in the region, severing indigenous lands, destroying secret sites and devastating the natural environment. And they want building to stop getting [inaudible] who heads the nonprofit is simply halting completion of the wall. Won't be enough to counteract significant and potentially
Speaker 8: 17:50 Irreparable damage to the environment on both sides of the border.
Speaker 6: 17:56 [inaudible] a mass. Yeah.
Speaker 8: 17:59 Instead he says the Biden administration should tear down existing sections of border wall in critical areas where it cuts across rivers and wildlife corridors for Jaguars black bears, ocelots and other endangered species. But Dunkin would with a DC based think tank. The Wilson center rejects the possibility that the incoming president will take that step.
Speaker 6: 18:18 There's no way that they're going to pull down a barrier that has been put in place on the U S Mexico border.
Speaker 8: 18:25 He says, there's little political wilt undo what us tax dollars have already paid for. And he thinks Mexico will continue to face diplomatic pressure to participate in migration enforcement within its own borders. As it did under the Obama Biden administration.
Speaker 6: 18:39 The Trump administration did was to take that up several levels,
Speaker 8: 18:44 But what says U S Mexico relations during a Biden presidency likely won't be as narrowly focused on migration as they have been for the last four years.
Speaker 6: 18:52 I think that we will see a more nuanced bilateral relationship.
Speaker 8: 18:56 The one that puts greater emphasis on trade, human rights, corruption, and climate change, and that gives Cajon hope.
Speaker 6: 19:03 It's pronounced [inaudible].
Speaker 8: 19:06 He says a U S government invested in fighting climate change and protecting natural resources might listen to conservation scientists studying the impacts of the wall on both sides of the border and heat their calls to knock it down and begin restoration efforts. At least he hopes so I'm, condole blessed in our most CEO As an intellect, Joe Biden has pledged to end the Trump administration's travel ban on several Muslim majority nations, including Iran. The impact could be big here in California, home to the largest Iranian community in the country. [inaudible] for Rita Tovala Ramiro spoke with an Iranian American doctor near Fresno. Who's tried for years to bring his father to live with him in March almond, dairy was consumed with worry. His father, also a doctor got Corona virus from a patient in Tiran and was hospitalized.
Speaker 6: 20:04 He's 81 years old, and that's the biggest risk factor for COVID-19,
Speaker 8: 20:08 But Derry lives in Visalia more than 7,000 miles away. That distance compounded his fear. He couldn't just go care for his dad.
Speaker 6: 20:18 Uh, that was a very tough time. Very scary.
Speaker 8: 20:22 He and his sister are both naturalized us citizens. Five years ago, they applied for green cards for their parents. Their mothers was approved in 2016, but their fathers got stuck in limbo. After president Donald Trump issued that travel ban doing his first days in office,
Speaker 6: 20:39 It's been a burden, a huge burden on our shoulders, on our minds. Yeah, it's been very difficult for all of us.
Speaker 8: 20:49 Trump invoked national security to bar travel to the U S for most people from some Muslim majority nations, but critics challenged the ban in court as discriminatory and racist and amended version. Didn't go into full effect until December, 2017, after the Supreme court allowed it to move forward. And earlier this year, Trump added more African nation nations for a total of 13,
Speaker 6: 21:15 The harm that it has done to the reputation of the country and to the people and communities it's impacted. It is so imaginable.
Speaker 8: 21:23 Max Wilson is an attorney with the national immigration law center, which sued to end the travel ban. He says the impact goes way beyond the more than 41,000 visa as the us state department has denied under the ban.
Speaker 6: 21:37 Every child that you keep separate from their parent, every person who misses a wedding, and then every person who misses a job opportunity, those don't just hurt the person involved, or they hurt the people that would benefit from being reunited with their family members. They hurt the places that these people would end up working
Speaker 8: 21:57 And could undo the travel ban. Just the way Trump started it with an executive order that would trigger a reversal at the state department, customs and border protection and other federal agencies [inaudible] would the American Arab anti-discrimination committee says if Biden ends the travel ban as promised it would signal the start of a new era on how this country treats immigrants, including protecting dreamers and reuniting separated migrant families
Speaker 6: 22:26 By overturning the ban, which is the lowest hanging fruit, but he can signal to the communities that, you know what I take immigration. Seriously. I take your concern. Seriously.
Speaker 8: 22:37 Dr. Ironman dairy says getting rid of the ban would lift a weight of his family and many others, and it would help ease the feeling. The travel ban gave him that he wasn't welcome in America.
Speaker 6: 22:50 It's going to be a huge relief for people who are affected by this indust and discriminative act. It means a lot for us.
Speaker 8: 23:03 His dad has recovered from COVID now Derry hopes. He can finally come live with them and Visalia, that was KQBD reporter for Rita Davala Ramirez
Speaker 3: 23:23 [inaudible]
Speaker 8: 23:26 Scripps institution of oceanography as part of a consortium of the country's top ocean research institutions that will deploy 500 new robotic floats in the ocean to collect data about what is going on under the surface. As the planet warms. We know how global climate change is affecting us on land with more powerful and
Speaker 4: 23:46 Floods and wildfires, but studies of how global warming is affecting the deep ocean are equally important. And this new initiative funded with $53 million from the national science foundation could help to transform our understanding of the changes affecting our whole Marine ecosystem. As part of the KPBS climate change desk. Joining us is script's institutions lead scientists on this project. Lynn tally, Lynn, welcome to midday. Oh, glad to be here. So no scripts institution was one of the very first scientific institutions in the world to show the planet was warming when Walter monk took those ocean readings decades and decades ago. And since then, there are literally thousands of floating monitors already in place. How is this project taking things a bit further?
Speaker 9: 24:30 Yeah. So those floating monitors are measuring its temperature and also salinity these new instruments that will deploy all over the world will measure things like acidity, the pH, uh, nitrate, which is a nutrient. You need nutrients to live and oxygen, uh, which is out there. And we'll also be able to measure how much biomass there is. We'll be looking at chlorophyll and particles. So it takes us to the ecosystem and health of the ocean. In addition to what we've already been measuring for heat. Why exactly is that significant? Well, the ocean is 70 odd percent of our planet. Isn't it? It's just a huge engine for the way the, the whole earth works, uh, for its ecosystem and its health. As we pump more and more CO2 into the atmosphere, a fraction of that goes into the ocean. Um, it's about a quarter to a third of it. And the ocean is, is, uh, uh, you could think of it as a great sewer for the extra carbon dioxide, but as that goes into the ocean, it makes it more acidic. And that has a major consequence for the biology. That's out there at the oceans, a little bit more acidic and a little bit warmer. It really interferes with the ecosystem.
Speaker 4: 25:44 How deep will these robots be positioned? Where, where will you put them?
Speaker 9: 25:49 Well, they're, um, they go up and down. Um, every 10 days they go from 2000 meters. Let's see, that's about 6,000 feet down up to the surface. So it's about half the ocean depth. So that's just like the array that's out there to do heat right now. This adds in basically one fourth of those floats will have these extra sensors. So it's, it's the upper half of the ocean.
Speaker 4: 26:13 Are they attached to the bottom? How come they can stay in one place?
Speaker 9: 26:16 Oh, they're, ballasted carefully. They don't stay in one place. They move on there. They drift around with the currents and they basically are parked at one kilometer down and, uh, they move along for nine days or so. And then at the end of the nine days, they go down to two kilometers and then up to the surface and, uh, it's that profile from two kilometers to the surface that we really are looking at. And then they broadcast their data through the satellite. Uh, so we get their position and all the data, and then they go back down again, back down one kilometer deep and just drift along. So we also get sort of a measure of what the currents are at a thousand meters down at down a kilometer down as they drift. And in some places they move really fast in some place. They just sit there for years.
Speaker 4: 27:03 Cool. So now who gets this data and what do they do with it?
Speaker 9: 27:07 Data is all public. Um, it comes up through our data management system. Um, we apply some corrections and it heads on over to NOAA, the national oceanic and atmospheric administration, and they handle data management for the U S fleet of these fleet of floats. Um, and there's an international organization too. Um, this is an international observing system and everybody can have the data. And so the data coming out now, they've been coming out for 15 years of temperature and solidity are used by a lot of different, um, groups. Um, it's an amazing, huge resource for heat and solidity. It goes into all of the computer models that do a weather and climate prediction, forecasting, et cetera. These new measurements will be matching with the NASA color satellites that look at how much chlorophyll is out in different parts of the world. Expect that fishermen, the industry will be out there grabbing the data as soon as it comes up.
Speaker 4: 28:05 And I understand that some schools can, can join in the monitoring and adoptive float. How will that work?
Speaker 9: 28:11 Yes. So we've been doing this now as a pilot project in the Southern ocean for the last five, six years. And each of our floats has gone in with a school that's adopted the float. We have curriculum, you can attach a cool name to the float. One of them is like Teeter Todd, or you can have one at named after your favorite teacher or whoever, and the group that's at sea, putting the floats in. There's always somebody out there who just loves to take your drawings from your class and they'll transfer them over to the float and your float gets pictures and it goes down. And then we're in, we're in contact with, with your teacher and your class, uh, through the whole process. And then you can, um, follow your float for years, uh, get the data off and graph it up and use it for science. If science fair science projects in class. And
Speaker 4: 28:59 When will this project actually begin
Speaker 9: 29:01 Well, um, we're hoping that the, for this brand new increment, um, the large global increment, uh, we'll be deploying putting our first floats into the ocean, probably around hopefully March or April. Next year, we have to order and start ordering all the parts and putting the floats together. There are some bits and pieces to get started on, and then we'll be in full production by the end of a year. So we'll be putting out about a hundred floats a year, all over the world, different different research cruises everywhere.
Speaker 4: 29:32 Very cool. We've been speaking with Lynn tally, who is one of the co-principal investigators of the global ocean biogeochemistry. Then
Speaker 10: 29:42 Thanks so much. You're very welcome.
Speaker 1: 29:53 This is KPBS midday edition. I'm Maureen Kavanaugh with Alison st. John. This will be a Thanksgiving like no other, for many people. The spike in COVID cases across the country means the usual travel and family gatherings will not be happening. Americans are devising all sorts of imaginative ways to spend the holiday using technology, to bring family together virtually, but it's left many people with the realization that if they want a home cooked Thanksgiving dinner, they're going to have to make it themselves. And some for the first time in their lives. Joining me with some first Turkey tips is San Diego freelance food writer, Karen Golden, and Karen, welcome back.
Speaker 10: 30:38 Thanks Maureen. It's good to be back with you.
Speaker 1: 30:40 If you generally travel to relatives at Thanksgiving, you may never have had the experience of putting together a Thanksgiving dinner. So what's the first thing you need to do to get organized, maybe a list.
Speaker 10: 30:54 You need a list. You need a calendar. Um, because the, the trick to all of this is preparation and knowing when you're going to do all the tasks that need to be done, a lot of this has to do with just how many dishes you're going to make and what dishes you're going to make. So you need to go to the market. You need to do food prep. You even need to know when you're going to set the table, um, and having a little calendar in which you can just put down, okay, at this time, I need to be doing this at this time. Someone else in the household needs to do that. That makes it so that you don't have to think about it. You don't have to tear your hair out at the last minute, because you know, you didn't turn on the oven at 10 o'clock in the morning to put a pie in so that you could get the Turkey in by 1130, that kind of thing. So you have to start at the end and work backwards.
Speaker 1: 31:56 Now, if only two or three people are going to be at your Thanksgiving table, how big a Turkey should you get?
Speaker 10: 32:03 Well, it depends on whether you want leftovers and how many. And remember that a big Turkey is nice, but you cannot freeze cooked Turkey, bones, it's poisonous. So you don't want to do that. So whatever you do, you're going to have to strip all the bones anyway. But if you can get an eight to 10 pound Turkey, then you have hit, you know, gold because everybody is looking for smaller turkeys because of the pandemic. So try and find eight to 10. You're not going to find smaller. If on the other hand, there's nothing saying you have to have a whole Turkey. You could have whatever pieces that you enjoyed best. Maybe you get a Turkey breast, or maybe everyone loves the dark meat. So you get the dark meat and some wings, if that's how you want to roll. And there's nothing saying you have to have Turkey. Um, you could get a beautiful chicken and roast a chicken. So there are a lot of options, but smaller is best also because it depends on how many side dishes you're going to be serving. And you'd be amazed at how, how much people eat the sides, nipple on the Turkey.
Speaker 1: 33:19 What are some typical newbie mistakes that Thanksgiving cooks make?
Speaker 10: 33:24 There are several, one is taking on too many dishes, especially if they haven't made them before. My feeling is that, well, Thanksgiving is typically the best potluck meal of the year. If you're not going to have other people in, you know, bringing dishes to the house, reduce the number of dishes that you make and buy things that you want. So have a couple that you'd love to make. And then the rest don't feel guilty about buying them. Pre-made it's fine. The other is cooking way too much food because people don't eat nearly as much as we think they do. And if you want to have leftovers, then do it for leftovers. The other is not planning well enough. You need time to shop and to prep and to cook, and you need to have space for storage, both the freezer and the fridge. You need to think about what serving dishes you have, uh, for what you're making. Are you going to clean while you cook, um, between courses to make room, do you need to have ice and go out and get ice? And do you have a place to store it? It's like a choreography. You need to have all of that thought out to make it much easier. And finally, you need to make sure that you correctly time, whatever it is that needs to be in the oven, really break apart, take apart the meal and the components of the meal and figure out how it needs to be done.
Speaker 1: 34:53 Now you have a suggestion for a perfectly cooked Turkey that works especially well with smaller birds. Can you tell us about it? It's got a weird name.
Speaker 10: 35:03 Yeah. It has a weird name. It's called spatchcocking, which apparently is an Irish old Irish term that goes back to, uh, dispatching of the bird. Um, it's a very simple, straightforward thing. I've tried so many ways of making Turkey and had so many fails. This is foolproof. And what you're going to do is take your Turkey, your eight to 10 or 12 pound Turkey, and cut down the backbone most say, cut off the backbone. That's easier. I kind of like cooking the backbone. So if you're going to take it off, you know, keep it and maybe cook that to roast that too. But what you do is you cut out the backbone and flatten the Turkey and then straighten it out and put it at a level in which you have physical body leverage with the heels of your palms, to be able to push down on the breast of the Turkey.
Speaker 10: 36:06 The idea is to break the breastbone. So it lies completely flat. And then what you'll do is you'll season it. You can, at that point, if you do it a day before, you can brighten it, if you like brining, otherwise just, uh, get a large baking sheet that has a rim put foil on top and put the bird on the foil and first upside down so that you can season the underneath and then flip it over and season the top. You're going to have very even cooking. You're not going to worry about whether the breast is cooked before, you know, the thigh, the skin will all be nice and crispy. It's just, it's miraculous. It's wonderful. How
Speaker 1: 36:50 Long does it take to cook that way?
Speaker 10: 36:53 It depends on the size of the, um, Turkey, but I found that I cook it at four 50. I season it like with garlic, salt and paprika. I rub in some oil, you could use melted butter, squeeze, some fresh lemon juice. You can use any spices that you want and put it in for about an hour and 20 minutes and don't baste it. It doesn't need basting and then pull the Turkey out of the oven and measure its temperature with a meat thermometer. And the breast should hit 150 degrees. The sh thigh should be one 65. If you've hit that, turn off the oven, pull the Turkey out and lightly tinted with some foils so that it can rest. If it's not at those temperatures, put it back in the oven, try again in five minutes. And ideally you want to let it rest at least 20 minutes before you carve it.
Speaker 1: 37:53 And finally, Karen, your advice, if I understand it is that people, you know, who are thinking about putting together their Thanksgiving dinner, maybe aren't too familiar with how to do it. Should really start buying their Thanksgiving dinner ingredients this week and not wait until next week. Is that right?
Speaker 10: 38:11 Oh yeah. I, every time I go to the market, I have my list and I pick up things that I think I need that I have space for. I'm not going to get a Turkey now because, um, I don't have room I'll order a Turkey now that I can pick up a day or two before Thanksgiving. But yeah. Um, you know, depending on what kind of stuffing you make or, uh, mashed, you'd be surprised you could buy your potatoes for mashed potatoes. You could make the mashed potatoes, you can put them in the freezer. And then the day before, let it defrost and then heated up in a microwave and it will be perfectly good. It's something my mother has been doing for years. We do the same, do the same with a grain salad. By if you're going to make a Farrow salad with roasted vegetables, you can roast the vegetables ahead of time. So go and buy the vegetables you need. Now it's just less stuff to worry about and less competition for all those same foods that everyone is getting. If you start now exactly well, I've been speaking with San Diego freelance food writer, Karen Golden, Karen. Thank you very much. It's very helpful and happy Thanksgiving. Thanks Maureen. Happy Thanksgiving to you too.
Speaker 4: 39:35 It's no surprise that you might find good Mexican food in the Imperial Valley, East of San Diego. But what about Chinese food? What about Chinese Mexican food in 2015, reporter Lisa Morehouse traveled to both sides of the border to dig up the history behind Baja fusion.
Speaker 11: 39:53 The Salsedo family sits in a coveted booth at the fortune garden restaurant in the city of El Centro. Myra Saucedo, her sister, Marta Kramer, their mom and other sister are almost drooling, waiting for their food to arrive. We come all the way from Uma twice a month, just to eat. That's Yuma Arizona over an hour away. A huge site order comes light, yellow, deep fried chilies. It's a dish I've never seen. We always ordered the chili and, but my sisters, she eats them all. And their next order comes the salt and pepper fish. It's like red fish, sort of like hostile fish, that chili peppers and audience downplay that bar hostile at a Chinese restaurant. It's like a fusion Mexican ingredients with the Chinese. It's very different than if you go to any other Chinese Americanized Chinese restaurant. And there's a reason for this fusion. One that dates back over 130 years, we'll get to the history a little later for now. I leave this Austedo family as they carefully mix Chinese mustard, a little spicy Saracho, and catch-up into a special, only an Imperial Valley dipping sauce for barbecue pork. Well, they all that. They don't say barbecue. They say, yeah, my name is Jenessa ciao. Uh, I'm in my husband own the faltering garden.
Speaker 11: 41:25 Joe came to the U S from Southern China, her husband, Carlos from Mexicali, where he worked in Chinese restaurants in the fortune garden, the cooks speak to each other in Cantonese, the waiters speak Spanish and English.
Speaker 3: 41:40 You can see every table. They had lemon. Hot sauce. Time is you. Don't in lemon, right?
Speaker 11: 41:48 Fried yellow chilies on almost every table. Chilia Sato. They're served in a lemon sauce with lots of salt, kind of a margarita flavor. If you believe the rumors, some chefs marinade pork in tequila, and they serve Botha Sato roast duck with lots of cilantro.
Speaker 12: 42:09 The restaurants that you see now are kind of the remnant of the Chinese population that used to fill the U S Mexico borderlands in Mexicali and Inbar California. Robert
Speaker 11: 42:20 Chao Romero is a professor at UCLA. He teaches in both the Chicano studies and Asian-American studies.
Speaker 12: 42:27 Chinese started to go to Mexico after the Chinese exclusion act was passed in the United States,
Speaker 11: 42:32 1882, the Chinese were the first ethnic group, specifically singled out and banned from entry into the U S so tens of thousands went to Cuba, South America and Mexico.
Speaker 12: 42:43 Yeah. The Chinese invented undocumented immigration from Mexico smuggling with Toyota's guides hired to lead people across the border and smuggling with false papers in boats and in trains. The infrastructure for that was all invented by the Chinese
Speaker 11: 42:59 Today's border patrol grew out of the mounted guard of Chinese inspectors. Many Chinese immigrants settled in Mexicali becoming grocers, merchants and restaurant owners. Others managed to smuggle across and make lives in the U S including Imperial County, a block from the border in Calexico, California. George Lim pulls up in a big truck like our first city and drives a few minutes.
Speaker 13: 43:25 We're at the international border crossing into Mexicali
Speaker 11: 43:29 In the U S but helps run one of the oldest and most grand Chinese restaurants in Mexicali called El dragon. There, he goes by Jorge Lim. Why not have a restaurant in the U S
Speaker 13: 43:41 I mean, population here about a million
Speaker 11: 43:44 Curio county's population is about 170,000.
Speaker 13: 43:47 So just doing the math is, I mean, it's plain simple that you're going to have a lot more customers in Mexico. And I hate to say this, but people in Mexico are more sophisticated. They're in the Imperial Valley about Chinese food.
Speaker 11: 44:04 That sophistication may come from the decades of people eating Chinese food here with some Mexican flavors. 70 years ago, it was a necessity. Chinese cooks used Mexican ingredients like Chili's Hikma and certain cuts of meat, because that was what was available. Now it's part of a culinary legacy like this new dish on the menu,
Speaker 13: 44:24 A, which is the best meat for tacos.
Speaker 11: 44:27 Beef served with asparagus and black bean sauce. The meats clearly Mexican
Speaker 13: 44:32 Asparagus, uh, could be both Chinese and Mexican, but the sauce, the black being that Chinese,
Speaker 11: 44:40 A kind of Mexican, Chinese American hybrid, there's an egg roll was shrimp, cilantro and cream cheese. It seems like it shouldn't be good, but it is. And this is the only place I've ever seen avocado and fried rice.
Speaker 13: 44:55 That was Lisa Morehouse reporting from the Imperial Valley.