Santa Ana Winds Bring Fire Threat, Good News On Climate Change Fight, Planning For Bike Safety Post Pandemic, Sports In COVID-19 Age And Family Music Language
KPBS Midday Edition / September 28, 2020
PHOTO BY MIKE DAMRON
Santa Ana winds are again bringing increased fire threat in an already tough fire season. Plus, some good news amid the bleak climate change forecast — restoring the climate could cost less than fighting COVID-19. Also, the silver lining for many bicyclists during the pandemic is that there are fewer accidents, but advocates want a new public policy to ensure the trend continues post coronavirus. And, the global health crisis has dramatically changed the sports world. How professional teams are handling the crisis. Finally, a Grammy-winning producer is turning the mic on his own family, making an album with his sister who has Down syndrome, and her companions with developmental disabilities at an adult care facility in Contra Costa County.
Speaker 1: 00:00 A red flag warning, heightens wildfire fears in San Diego.
Speaker 2: 00:05 And what it typically means is increased fire danger. And that's the case today.
Speaker 1: 00:10 I'm Maureen Kavanaugh with Mark sour. This is KPBS mid day edition.
Speaker 2: 00:24 [inaudible]
Speaker 1: 00:24 Some rare, good news about reversing climate change.
Speaker 2: 00:28 We can change behavior. We just have to choose to do so.
Speaker 1: 00:32 The pandemic has boosted bike ridership significantly in San Diego, but will it last and a Roundup of what the pandemic has done and is doing just San Diego team sports. That's a head on mid day edition.
Speaker 1: 01:00 Most of San Diego County is under a red flag warning today as temperatures rise, humidity, plummets and Santa Ana winds pickup, especially inland as the potential for fire increases here. Several wildfires are burning through California's wine country. With 11,000 acres burned and thousands of people leaving their homes to escape the flames. San Diego is dangerous. Weather is expected to continue with unseasonable heat in the forecast almost to the end of the week. Joining me is national weather service meteorologist Alex tardy. Alex. Welcome back. Thanks for having me on now, what kind of weather conditions should we expect today in various parts of San Diego?
Speaker 2: 01:44 Okay, well right now, uh, Monday morning, you know, we're looking at Santa Ana winds already picked up across our back country, our foothills and the mountains. It's important to understand when we talk about Santa Ana winds, it's coming from the East, it's a dry wind. It comes across the deserts. And what it typically means is increased fire danger. And that's the case today. Um, it doesn't mean you'll feel wind at the coast or the beach. In fact, that'll be calm the next couple of days, but what it does mean is very dry, hot conditions, basically removing the ocean Marine air that we love to have. And we've been having cool nights lately because of it removes all of that and brings the desert air over San Diego County.
Speaker 1: 02:27 Is this a more severe red flag warning than last time when we saw the start of the Valley fire,
Speaker 2: 02:33 I would say, you know, there's similar. The difference with the Valley fire start was we had all time record highs. So it was 110 to up to 115 between Alpine and alcohol that Saturday when the Valley fire erupted. So just dangerous heat, all time heat and this particular event, it's going to be hot. It's going to be between a hundred and 105 along the [inaudible] corridor and points East up to Alpine. So that's hot, but that's not as hot. Um, wind speeds should be very similar. So our back country, you know, has already seen wind gusts, 30, 40 miles per hour. Those wind speeds will happen again. And I think they're going to peak out, we'll see our strongest winds and San Diego County foothills actually Tuesday morning. So the red flag warning has been extended into Tuesday morning.
Speaker 1: 03:27 Now we've been hearing for weeks about fires, ravaging areas in Northern California. How has their weather been different from ours?
Speaker 2: 03:35 Yeah, so basically what's been happening really since July, but especially in August and September is the heat waves that have been occurring over Southern California have actually extended far North all the way up to Oregon across Nevada. So what we've been seeing is very broad, extreme, warm temperatures. In fact, August was the hottest on record for all of California. I think September is going to come in pretty close to being one of the all time hottest across our area. We've never seen conditions like this hot and really statewide all across the region. And that's bottom line been driving some of these fires. Now on top of that, we have seen some, a wind events even as September and the fire that's ongoing right now in Napa Santa Rosa area. That's a wind driven fire. So that wind that they received on Sunday is now just moving down here into San Diego County. So it's a combination of things, but overall temperatures have been driving. Temperatures make things dry. They make the fuels or the vegetation dry and really receptable to any fire start.
Speaker 1: 04:44 You know, I heard in a forecast that even though the red flag warning is going to be expiring probably tomorrow, uh, that dangerous fire conditions will continue. What's the difference between dangerous fire conditions on a red flag warning?
Speaker 2: 04:59 Yeah. So that's a good question. So typically when we talk about red flag warning, think of a flag, uh, you know, when the wind blows, the flag is showing itself off and it's very obvious what's going to happen this week is sure we're seeing the wind now. And we're going to see the wind intensify and be even stronger again. And the foothills and the mountains of San Diego County, not on the beaches, not on the coastal cities, those areas will become, but when we get into Wednesday and Thursday, people are going to be complaining because the heat's not going to go away. It's going to be just as hot even in some of our coastal areas. But the difference on Wednesday and Thursday is the wind's going to be much lighter. So we don't have the red flag conditions per se, with the wind. But if you have a fire start when the temperature is 102 and the humidity's 10% and given how dry the fuels are that we talked about, that fire is still going to burn. It just may not be as fast or as aggressive. It's still going to be dangerous.
Speaker 1: 05:54 Is there any break insight from these hot and dangerous
Speaker 2: 05:58 Fire conditions across California? I actually have some good news. So mid-October, it does look like a cooling trend and actually maybe temperatures back to average or even a little bit below average and in mid October. And there I say, even maybe some precipitation, at least for parts of California, kink guarantee will be wet in Southern California, but there is a slight chance then unfortunately the latter half of October is looking really warm or warmer than it should be. And we're probably going to get back into those Santa Ana conditions. So we've got about a week here all the way through, you know, next weekend to deal with this heat and in a very slow cool-down next Friday and Saturday, very slow. Cool. Done next Friday, Saturday, but the good news is middle of October. It does look like a little break. So maybe we'll have like a week of coolish, Ty fallish weather. Good. Thank you, Alex, for that little bit of good news, I've been speaking with national weather service meteorologist Alex tardy. Thanks so much. No, thank you for having me on
Speaker 3: 07:06 The news is relentlessly bleak and scary record heat and wildfires in California and the West, a parade of deadly destructive storms in the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico. 100 degree temperatures in the Arctic massive ice sheets, breaking up in Antarctica and Greenland all happening, amid a pandemic yet in the Washington post comes a headline of hope. Stopping climate change could cost less than fighting. COVID-19 the coauthor of that bright essay joins me. Now. Rick Parnell is president of foundation for climate restoration and a former chief operating officer of the United nations foundation. Welcome to midday edition.
Speaker 2: 07:43 Thank you. It's great to be here.
Speaker 3: 07:45 The essence of your essay is as hopeful as it is eye catching. You're it, as it happens, we can make a very real difference against climate change for less than we've already spent to fight the Corona virus. That's still trillions of dollars, but compare the estimated cost of climate change. If we fail to address it worldwide now with the solutions that you're proposing.
Speaker 2: 08:05 Yeah. I would say that, um, there by a magnitude of we've had estimates of everything times 10 plus of what it will cost on an on not only over the longterm, but on an annual basis. If we don't react now for us at the foundation of a climber restoration that we believe, and what we are working with partners to do is to make climate restoration, um, specifically around carbon removal and some of the other solutions, the third pillar of climate action. One of the things that's a little known is that even if we reach to net neutrality in 2050, the legacy carbon of two centuries will still be an atmosphere. So the fires that you just spoke about, the, the, the storms, the flooding, the sea level rise, it'll still be here. So we have to do this third piece, the third piece of climate action, and that is restoration and remove all of this legacy carbon as said, good news is we can do this at a cost effective, and we can do it at scale with solutions that are already on the market or emerging now,
Speaker 3: 09:02 Right? And you argue that not only can we halt the expansion of greenhouse gases, but actually reverse climate change, clean the air and water as it were and restore a livable planet, how could it be done,
Speaker 2: 09:14 Um, through there's several solutions, there's natural solutions and there's technological solutions. But let me just focus a little bit on some of the technological right now, a perfect example is carbon negative concrete. There are a handful of companies that have come online over the last couple of years that can actually remove carbon, turn it into synthetic limestone for the production of concrete. So what that means is that you have a market that's already there. We're not going to stop building. The developing world is not going to stop building. The developed world is not going to stop building. So here is a solution that can rapidly, um, for no, uh, uh, maybe one, 2% cost difference between traditional concrete and this new carbon, uh, uh, negative concrete. We can scale buildings. Santa Clara County was the first local government in the world to call for their local County commission to be, uh, a climate restoration.
Speaker 2: 10:06 And we're working to spread that globally. Look at, um, if we could grow the kelp and the ocean. Um, it was in one of the pieces that was in the article. Um, it grows two feet a day and it has the advantage of that. It can be farm not only for, um, human consumption, but it can be feed consumption. It's used in beauty products. And so there's already a market. Therefore we just need to grow it. That the point of the entire story was we can change behavior. We just have to choose to do so. Well,
Speaker 3: 10:36 Talk a little more about these direct air capture systems. So we have so much pollution in the air now, which is causing the warming and the climate change. How do you actually reverse that with these air capture system?
Speaker 2: 10:49 What we were talking about is that you remove the carbon from the air. You can turn it into, some of it can be sequestered underground, permanently. Some can be turned into products that can be somewhat of a recycling of, um, of carbon. So that can be turned into things like jet fuel. That's not a perfect climate restoration solution, but it's a path. Um, and then, um, still others, they are developing, um, products where you use the director capture machines, um, and they can be, uh, deployed at scale, um, to remove the carbon and turn them into useful products. Uh, climax is doing carbon, carbon engineering is working on it. Um, director capture has a very, very promising future for us getting to full climate restoration.
Speaker 3: 11:32 Uh, but this is worldwide. Uh, can these mitigation methods possibly be cost effective if they're, if they're done worldwide, they can be
Speaker 2: 11:41 As they can be done in both the private sector and with, uh, government policy. So again, um, there's about a six, 650 different carbon removal operations that are both tiny, um, and large around the world. Um, and they're, they're growing every day. So yes, they can be. What we need is that the private sector comes in with the beginnings of investments, um, seed capital for some of these different solutions, then local governments can take them to scale because they can do it through their planning and procurement. So yes, absolutely.
Speaker 3: 12:13 Yeah. It sounds like Joe Biden is making the, uh, the same argument with his build back better part of his campaign. Now, when you make these arguments, you put forth these proposals, uh, I'm interested in the response you're getting from leaders and lawmakers. How can we possibly get United leadership on this among hundreds of nations and different political systems?
Speaker 2: 12:32 Well, I think that the biggest thing is that people need to use their voice. So when, when you know what I mean, let me talk more about the movement that we're building. Um, for climate restoration, we have so many different partners ranging from earth day network to the girl up campaign to, um, faith leaders, you know, the Pope called on climate restoration and a letter on September one. Um, he talked about it for our common home. So more and more and more, you're seeing this out there. Um, I think that using your voice and demanding it, um, as we'd like to say, climate restoration should be happening in the pews. It should be happening at school at work wherever you are, you should be calling on your leaders to do climate restoration. So, uh, you know, a year ago when we launched the foundation at the United nations headquarters during general assembly, it was an idea, uh, around climate restoration.
Speaker 2: 13:19 And it was, it was somewhat nascent and we just finished our second annual global climate restoration forum. And we had unbelievable, um, turnout. We had incredible speakers. Um, we had 40, I think, 40 or 42 different leaders talking about the investment opportunity, the science behind it calling for climate restoration. So I think that it's the biggest thing is using the voice we can change behavior. We just have to choose to do so. And if, if, once we have critical mass of people asking for this, then we'll make the change. One of our speakers, Christine Harada. She was the chief sustainability officer for the United States under the Obama administration. And she said 10, 15 years ago, investment in wind and solar was, was pretty iffy and look at that market now. So, you know, I have another partner that has said the work that you're doing is 10 years in the future. Yes it is. So we start now and build this next 10 years of the future that we want.
Speaker 3: 14:13 So bill back green, it's a simple concept, a simple slogan. Do you think bill back green can be the campaign going forward?
Speaker 2: 14:21 I would love to see that. I hope that we, uh, in the U S can join the rest of the world on a global green campaign, but that would be our goal. One of the things that coming out of our second annual forum is that we've had investors. We've had entrepreneurs, we've had business leaders. How do we work together over this next 12 to 14 months? So when we get to cop 26, all sectors are calling on the UN and global leaders to make climate restoration and carbon removal, third pillar of climate
Speaker 4: 14:52 Action. Well, it's certainly good news in a, in an area, in a discussion that is all to grim on far too often. I've been speaking with Rick Darnell president of the foundation for climate restoration. Thanks very much. Thank you so much.
Speaker 1: 15:17 This is KPBS mid day edition. I'm Maureen Cavenaugh with Mark Sauer during the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a Renaissance of bike riding in San Diego County. There's also been a decrease in bike crashes and injuries, perhaps due to lower traffic volumes, KPBS, Metro reporter, Andrew Bowen says advocates. See this moment as critical to whether that positive trend continues.
Speaker 4: 15:44 I'm biking with Oscar to Vera through terracotta park. One of the stopping points on the self guided black indigenous and people of color history ride to Vera is a board member of bike SD and helped organize a small group bike ride along the tour. Serralta park was included because of its significance to the history of city Heights. The site itself is a great visual representation of what can be achieved. Uh, the community organizers were able to advocate for this park. After the state, route 15 was constructed. It bisected that two communities, but this park was able to kind of join them together. It's making street level connections like these that Tavarus sees as central to bike STS mission. And one of the few positives of the pandemic is that people have become more apt to get on a bike and explore their city. He and others are hopeful that the new habits stick after the pandemic is over getting the people more comfortable with understanding the logistics of the road and feeling just even being comfortable, riding next to cars.
Speaker 4: 16:45 I think getting those families and getting those daily commuters out of their cars and understanding that biking isn't a possible alternative, not every day, but most of the time it could be a good solution. Long term. The regional transportation planning agency SANDAG measured a 42% increase in bike trips, countywide for mid March to mid August this year, compared to last year. Meanwhile, cyclist injuries from collisions were down 19% in the city of San Diego during that period. So more people are biking and fewer are getting injured. And then as you get more people there, there is a critical mass and drivers become more aware. And I think we have to do all of it. County supervisor, Nathan Fletcher also sees a window of opportunity to make lasting change, to reduce traffic congestion and greenhouse gas emissions. His office recently launched a program to give away up to 400 electric bikes to County residents. He says, e-bikes are especially promising in San Diego, which has spread out and has lots of Hills. And I think this program is a perfect compliment to come at the right to inject
Speaker 5: 17:50 Electric bikes in there, which are much easier to use as a community than a traditional bicycle. And so I think we really need to think about as we come out of this, how do we maintain and expand that the progress we've seen in, in this area
Speaker 4: 18:01 One life lost is too many. One law, one person injured this too many Hassan. It karata is executive director of SANDAG, which gathered the cycling data. SANDAG recently completed eight new traffic circles in the city of San Diego meant to slow down cars and improve visibility of cyclists. It Grotta says they're an improvement, but they're still not enough. Eventually we have to get to a place where we figured out how we separate bikes from traffic. And I think our long term vision for San Diego region will envision a bike network that will provide San Diego the ability to ride without having a fear of it. Biker like to Vera and Fletcher at karata hopes, the increased interest in biking brought on by the pandemic will change mindsets around building new protected bike lanes. Some projects have been delayed by several years, often under pressure from residents who don't want to sacrifice any road space currently dedicated to cars.
Speaker 4: 19:00 We need our communities to be willing to, to, to give up something that got used to just simply because we believe a multimodal approach to any community is a great way to sustain that community advocates say the great promise of the bike boom during the pandemic is expanding their constituency. Things like e-bikes and safe, protected bike lanes can make biking more accessible to more people like older adults or families with young children. Again, Oscar to Vera. This could be a simple thing that you can start doing on the weekend, and it's not a 20 mile commute, but maybe just starting around your block in the neighborhood. I think that will kind of make the system last longer. Andrew Bowen KPBS news. Joining me is Andy Hanshaw. He's executive director of the bike coalition of San Diego County. Andy, welcome to the program.
Speaker 5: 19:51 Thank you. It's great to be here. Now. We just heard about that significant increase
Speaker 4: 19:55 Bike ridership during the last six months, which of course corresponds with the shutdowns caused by the pandemic. But why do you think people seem to be riding their bicycles more during this time? I mean, they could just as easily drive around the city.
Speaker 5: 20:10 Yeah. I mean, I, it's been really interesting in a, in a good silver lining to all of this, but where people were starting to, you know, at the beginning of the pandemic, uh, looking for outlets and avenues to actually just be outside, be active and, um, remain socially distant for health concerns and be in your family unit. And, uh, it's nice to see that it's actually, you know, has happened during this time period. And we really want to ride this wave, uh, to continue to, to encourage more people to ride more often. How has this increase
Speaker 4: 20:46 Effected bike around town?
Speaker 5: 20:48 Well, uh, you can almost talk to any one of them in there. They're struggling to keep inventory. It's been a tremendous boom for bike shops and service, and you know, there there's a good, uh, bad problem where, you know, it may take some time for your bikes to get serviced just from the backup. People want it to get it, their old bikes fixed up. When this came out, people wanted to find new bikes. I mean, it's hard to find, and this is, you know, not just local, this is an issue nationally with the bike, boom that's been going on. It's not just a San Diego issue, but, but in a good way, more people riding, but there is a lot of demand on bike shops and they've, they're really having, you know, a time trying to keep up with the demand.
Speaker 1: 21:32 It's also now apparently safer to ride a bike than it was in the pre pandemic days. And I know bike safety is a big part of your organization's mission. Tell us about that.
Speaker 5: 21:43 That's our top priority is to, to make it safe and enjoyable for anyone who wants to choose to ride. And some more people choosing to ride creates, know one, a, a safety in numbers, uh, idea where more people are riding. There's a greater awareness, but also we've been promoting the slow streets, movement and creating safer spaces during this time for people to walk and bike and be outside. And, uh, you know, that was, uh, has been a growing success that the city of San Diego and other cities across the County, we're at a real tipping point in the County. Um, you have the SANDAG regional bike plan early asking program projects, which is an investment of $200 million in new bike infrastructure. The kind that make it protected and safe for people to take these trips, as well as, you know, more things like, uh, the downtown mobility plan and all of it, uh, helps, uh, cities reach their climate action plan goals of reducing GHG emissions, getting more people, taking less car trips, uh, it's translated into cleaner air and good results for, uh, mode share goals for the climate action plan. So, uh, we've got a lot of work to do, but I think that has been a real benefit to all of this.
Speaker 1: 22:58 Now expanding bike lanes and infrastructure has usually resulted in a fight in San Diego neighborhoods. So afraid of losing parking and auto access. Do you see that changing?
Speaker 5: 23:11 I do. I think once, especially, uh, when projects and these bike lanes actually come online, people will see that it's not, it's not doing those things. It's not, you know, it's not limiting anyone's ability to drive. It's not creating a major inconvenience for people who choose to drive in. That's fine if it's their mode of transportation and that's all they want to do, that's fine, but there's so many people that want to ride and really appreciate these, these new projects and this new infrastructure and safe spaces. And it, and it really just creates a balanced transportation network, which is what, um, you know, the city's been striving for all along and, and SANDAG as well. So we need a more balanced network for transportation modes. Bicycling is one part of that pedestrian access is another one unexpanded transit network. All of it is, um, creating space and opportunity for people of all modes. And I don't think it's creating those perceived inconveniences or lack of access if you want to drive.
Speaker 1: 24:21 Now, if people and families want to get out there and start discovering San Diego on bikes, where can they get advice to help them get started?
Speaker 5: 24:31 Yeah, well, um, yeah, I, I, you know, I'm always a fan of checking with your local bike shop. They're always good to check with us at the bike coalition. Our firstname.lastname@example.org has a lot of resources has, um, routes has classes we've been offering free, uh, learn to ride traffic skills kind of classes for the last couple of years, thanks to some good grant funding. And it's really, it's really been effective and we're doing it virtually in most cases these days where we can, you can take a quick, you know, one hour class and, and learn, you know, commuting tips by bike. And then, you know, when we all return to getting back together, we'll, we'll lead more of our community rides, but what's really been great to see is, uh, just so many families riding and families getting together. And so, you know, to find those safe routes, um, where your family can enjoy a group family bike ride, and we can help.
Speaker 1: 25:30 Okay. Then I've been speaking with Andy Hanshaw executive director of the bike coalition of San Diego County. And Andy, thank you for your time.
Speaker 5: 25:39 Thank you, Maureen.
Speaker 5: 25:50 This is KPBS midday edition. I'm Mark Sauer with Maureen Kavanaugh flashback to last September. The potteries were winding down showcasing young players before sparse crowds. The SDSU has texts. We're starting a successful football season. The baseball playoffs were about to begin. The NFL season was underway and NBA and NHL teams were playing preseason games. This year, of course, sports have changed dramatically along with everything else. Joining me to discuss the upending of American sports by COVID-19 is veteran San Diego sports journalist and author Jay Paris. Jay, welcome back to midday edition. Hey Mark. Thanks for having me on always good to be with you. Nice folks. Well, Jay, let's start with some good news. The 2020 Padres are back in the playoffs for the first time in a dozen years, they've got one of baseball's most exciting young teams, but nobody can buy a ticket to watch in person tell us about this truncated season, what odd post-season
Speaker 3: 26:44 Tournament is going to look like.
Speaker 6: 26:46 Yeah. It even sounds funny. Doesn't it Padres in the playoffs? I mean, that's a sentence some 14 years in the making, uh, the last time they were in the postseason, Bruce bocce with was the manager, Jerry Coleman was in the broadcast booth and a Dodgers manager, Dave Roberts was playing left field. So that just shows you how long it's been. But really this has been a, um, this has been the dream. This has been the vision. This has been the plan of general manager, AIG pillar to construct a team that can be sustainable if you will. Uh, yes, it's great that they're in the playoffs this year, but the way, uh, mr. Peller has constructed this team, uh, they plan on being on the playoffs year after year and really markets. It kind of goes back to what we thought or what the citizens thought or what Padre fans speculated would happen when Petco park was built.
Speaker 6: 27:34 That was among the selling points for measure C to get it approved by the voters was that this brand new stadium would create revenue streams that would, uh, be able, that would allow the Padres to be able to entice high price talent, which translate is two successful seasons. And you know, the first, uh, two out of three years after the, the Picco park open, the Padres were in the playoffs. I mean, they were in the playoffs in Oh five and Oh six and, and people were settling in and with a brand new ballpark and go, my goodness, this is going to be fun, but what happened nine straight losing seasons, a streak they stamped this year with a thrilling season and they're back in the playoffs and Petco looks pretty or never. The only thing missing are the fans, those patient Padre fans who deserved to be in there hollering and screaming in high five and with each other. Yeah.
Speaker 3: 28:27 All shut out this year. I mean, it's just amazing. Now, do you like the Padres chances in this odd post-season?
Speaker 6: 28:33 I do. I mean, they've struggled a little bit down the stretch, uh, offensively, but really the key is, uh, the Nelson limit and Mike Clevenger, they're top two pitchers, both, uh, prematurely left their last outings in a short series that, that starting pitching is so important. And those are really their top two pitchers. So that's the big question Mark going in? Do they have the pitching to get there, but, Oh my goodness, that offense is so much fun to watch with Fernando tatties, Manny Machado, Wil Myers, Eric Hosmer, there's a lot of, there's a lot of air there. And just to show you how, how things have changed. The Padres have gone 24 years without getting a single vote in the MPP balloting in the national league. This year, they'll have two players getting plenty of them in Tanti Semit shadow
Speaker 3: 29:22 College football. This season was shut down this fall, no games out here, almost any place else. Then it all suddenly changed the SDSU Aztecs. They're going to have a season after all tell us what happened.
Speaker 6: 29:33 Well, um, you know, it's not about the money when they say that it's always about the money. I mean, uh, college football kind of said quiet part
Speaker 3: 29:42 Out loud.
Speaker 6: 29:43 Uh, it's a house of cards almost that these universities are built around their athletic programs that I've heard a good line that, uh, you know, a lot of these university presidents want to have a, uh, uh, university, the football team can be proud of or the other way around, you know, somehow these bilayers got designated essential workers and they're running back into it, but you know, the sand could be thrown in the gears quickly. If the positive tests come up and they have to take some pauses and all this, but in the storyline is of course them having to play in Carson this year because of that construction, all of that got wiped away with the COVID-19. They're going to try to squeeze the eight games into eight weeks now, Mark. And that's a, that's a pretty tight window, but let's see where it goes. It's um, it, it felt like a college football Saturday, this past Saturday with the sec and all the big, big name schools getting back in it. Uh, I think it's easy to start this process. Let's see what the end game looks like.
Speaker 3: 30:41 Yeah. And all on TV for now. And of course you say that the, as you note, the Aztecs is going to play up in Carson, the suburb of LA, where the church has played. And I guess they're going to start the construction out there on the Aztec stadium, in mission Valley. Now, how are the fans reacting to all of this pottery fans can only follow the games on TV or radio, read them on bottom and the web and in the newspaper, how are they feeling?
Speaker 6: 31:03 You know, I, I think, uh, they're heartbroken, uh, in some ways that, uh, you know, the fans are excited about having a season out of stakes went 10 and three last year. Uh, they got seven starters coming back on that top rank defense. So they got to figure out the quarterback situation. I think the fans are excited to for asterix football, but again, there's, there's just such a, sport's such a component of being there and, and a high five and your buddy and, and Sharon for a third down conversion, all of that is lost right now. So I think from a distance, those fans are happy, but, uh, you know, there's nothing like seeing it live. Right.
Speaker 3: 31:41 I want to get into that in a second, but first, what about other college sports, soccer, lacrosse? Are they scheduled to play or is it just football?
Speaker 6: 31:48 And that's kind of, you know, if I was a parent and my boy was running out there playing, I mean, it's, it's okay for him to play, but my kid can't play the flute in the band, you know, it's okay for football to go on, but, uh, you know, my kid can't play soccer. It, it just, it just reeks Mark, uh, schools grabbing money. And it just reeks of these teenagers in some regard and early 20 year old kids having really no representation looking out for them. And it just, um, it, it feels different. And, uh, I hope it all works out. And I understand what the, the rapid testing and the bubbles, these, these college kids are going to be, and that's fine. But once the practices, and once the games are over, uh, you know, they are going to be college kids. And we certainly saw the spike at San Diego state with the positive COVID test.
Speaker 6: 32:40 So I would be reluctant to slap my kid on the rear end and send them out to play football during a pandemic. But, uh, they say they got the test. They say, they're doing the proper protocol. They say, they've got it under control. We don't know. And that's really the big mystery of this. Of course we're hoping for the best, but boy, when you're, when you're dealing with somebody's health, it's a, it's a red flag. If he asked me before we wrap up, I wanted your take on what sports in person and what normal seasons and playoffs means to our collective psyche as a, as a country, there's an emotional toll as well to not have our sports, right? Yeah. It's part of the landscape. Part of the fabric, you know, sports brings people together. Sports gave us something else to argue about other than politics. You know, we could argue bud Padres, Dodgers instead of Trump Biden for awhile. So, you know, baby steps, there were no sports. Now there's sports, at least, uh, you can watch and hopefully someday soon, and we're, uh, got this in our rear view mirror. We can all get back together and tailgate it again. Well, we'll see how this odd narrative plays out. I've been speaking with veterans, San Diego sports journalist and author, Jay Paris. Thanks, Jay. Okay. See you soon. Mark
Speaker 1: 34:00 Musician, Ian Brennan made a name for himself. Recording live shows and a San Francisco laundromat. In the 1990s, he went on to become a producer, working with Lucinda Williams, rambling, Jack Elliott and others. He then turned to field recordings of musicians around the world like prisoners in Malawi and survivors of genocide in Cambodia. Now he's made an album with his own family, his sister, Jane, who has down syndrome and her companions with developmental disabilities at an adult care facility in Contra Costa County, here's California report magazine, host Sasha Koka with their story. They're calling themselves the sheltered workshops singers. [inaudible] tell us about Jane. What was it like growing up?
Speaker 6: 34:59 Well, it was great growing up together. Uh, Jane is, and was one of the biggest factors in my life. The most significant individual, uh, growing up really in my whole world was her we're only 14 months apart. Music was our language of communicating with one another. Um, I was verbal before my sister was verbal though. She was older. You know, the day I walked, I walked before she did. She walked the next day. You know, she wasn't about to see her little brother walking, you know, without being able to do it herself. So, so our destinies were quite entwined and, and she taught me
Speaker 7: 35:38 How to listen. She taught me a way of listening to listen, not to the words, but to listen to the spirit. And the beautiful thing about her is that she is mostly nonverbal, but she knows the words to every song. She just makes them up as she goes along. If we listened to each other more carefully, we learn and we have so much to learn from each other. And this is what I learned from my sister is that she may be developmentally delayed. And yet her emotional intelligence, her EEQ is higher than almost anybody I've ever met.
Speaker 8: 36:22 There's one track. I know that you can hear her singing quite clearly on in this album. It's called farewell father. I love you. [inaudible]
Speaker 7: 36:36 Well, my father, um, was 85 years old and, uh, we, we had had an idea about doing a recording with Jane and her peers. For years, we realized that if we're going to do this, we need to do this. Now, my father had been diagnosed with less than a year to live. And, um, Jane is now 55 and, uh, the life expectancy, unfortunately for her population, her generation with down syndrome is 60
Speaker 8: 37:09 [inaudible].
Speaker 7: 37:09 We did the recordings with three generations with my three year old daughter with my father present and with Jane and her peers, many of whom I've known their entire lives. And, uh, so that is Jane singing to my father and telling him goodbye. And in fact, he passed away two months after.
Speaker 8: 37:30 Yeah, you were nominated for a Grammy for your recordings of music by prisoners, inside SOMBA prison in Malawi. And you won a Grammy for best world music album for your recordings, with Tanara, when musicians who have roots in Mali and Algeria. And now coming back to California and turning your mic on your own sister, I wonder what that was like for you to do something so deeply personal, and also what you think this project has in common with your other projects.
Speaker 7: 38:05 Well, I mean, it felt like literally coming home and it really came full circle musically because the music for me really started with, with her. And, uh, it's, it's been deeply rewarding, uh, to hear those voices. And again, to see that there are no way musical people, music is everywhere it's necessary for survival. And I think that the voices here are unlike any others. And the things that are expressed are real. This record is comprised of instant compositions with people that had never written songs before, uh, you know, song into a microphone before or, or played instruments before nonetheless, the results were stunning. And, uh, so it was a leap of faith.
Speaker 8: 39:04 Well, tell us about the instruments on this album. You know, when you're field recording around the world, you've often had people use instruments that are improvised, like glass bottles or, you know, bicycle spokes. What were the instruments like on this album?
Speaker 7: 39:20 We used, uh, some of the individual's own devices, the wheelchairs, the canes, there was a yoga ball. This 100% live what's your hearing is something that happens. And most recordings nowadays, what we hear is something that never happened. It's a simulation of an event that never actually occurred. I am invested in trying to represent a place in time and a moment in time that can connect people to reality in such a way that they can hear better. And I think that if at the end of a song, you don't feel differently than you felt at the beginning of the song and that song has failed.
Speaker 8: 40:13 Well, I'm thinking about that song, that Janet, one of the participants sinks, I'm not afraid of anything.
Speaker 7: 40:26 Janet is in a wheelchair and she's middle-aged, and I'm suddenly in the midst of improvisation, she began as a mantra, almost saying over and over again, I'm not afraid of anything. It just seemingly came out of nowhere and it was very moving.
Speaker 8: 40:45 No, no, no, no.
Speaker 7: 40:52 Here are those boasts. So often in our culture, you know, a lot of macho boasts about, I'm not afraid of anybody. I'm not afraid of anything. I'm a strong person. And then to see somebody saying that very matter of fact, but very clearly owning it and meaning it was so powerful and moving, I'm just in awe of many of the people on the record and, and, and true strength and true grit.
Speaker 8: 41:18 There's also a song that I found very moving, called bad memories by Tom, Tom, another individual
Speaker 7: 41:34 That has difficulty with ambulation, as well as being intellectually or developmentally delayed. He has to wear a helmet due to seizures. And, um, he, again, in the midst of an improvisation began talking about bad memories over and over again. And it was chilling to think what he might be referring to when you know that their population is literally statistically, the most vulnerable population, the most abused population of any in the world. Uh, some estimates say that as many as 90% of them are sexually abused and, or physically abused at some point in their lives. So to hear him talking about bad memories was, uh, was staggering and chilling.
Speaker 8: 42:25 What message do you think that these songs have for us in a time when there's so much anxiety and fear and isolation in the world?
Speaker 7: 42:34 What I've always learned from Jane and her peers, uh, throughout my life is, uh, is perseverance and tenacity and acceptance that it's not a surrender, so to speak, but acceptance of limitations, and then working with them and beyond them, there's a woman grace on the album and she reportedly goes and sings and consoles herself by singing often for hours at a time. And she makes up these incredible melodies. They're very intricate and, and unique and complex. Some people have heard them and they say, well, what language is that in? And it's, it's, it's easy. It's in the language of music. It's the universal language. There are no words to those songs. So people are trying to find the meaning and the meaning is embedded in the music itself. These lives have value and they may be overlooked, but they have incredible value. That might be a greater contribution to our society than, than some people might've ever considered or, or recognize
Speaker 8: 44:05 Musician and producer. I in Brennan talking about his new album, who you calling slow, featuring the sheltered workshops singers, and that was California report magazine, host, Sasha, Coca.