Cautious Optimism Surrounds San Diego’s Return To Purple Tier
Speaker 1: 00:00 San Diego begins reopening with cautious optimism. Speaker 2: 00:04 I think that there's still some wariness about reopening and then having to shut down again. Speaker 1: 00:10 I'm Maureen Cavenaugh with Jade Heinemann. This is KPBS mid-day edition. Speaker 3: 00:14 Okay. Speaker 1: 00:24 A forum focuses on vaccine hesitancy in San Diego's black community. Speaker 3: 00:29 There's a significant health hesitancy in the community as a whole, but especially with African-Americans Speaker 1: 00:37 A tale of two economies in San Diego, rising high tech and falling tourism and an exploration of the enduring power of amazing grace that's ahead on midday. Speaker 3: 00:48 Yeah. Speaker 1: 01:01 Is it the light at the end of the tunnel or a shot in the dark governor? Gavin Newsome's abrupt ending of the state stay at home order is a beacon of good news in the midst of what experts have dubbed the darkest months of the virus. Now, many San Diego businesses are scrambling to provide outdoor dining haircuts and other services to an eager public state. Officials say the move back to the purple tier is based on trends that show virus rates declining and hospitalizations easing over the next month. But with so much about the rate of vaccinations and the variance still unknown, much of the optimism remains cautious. Joining me is Lori Weisberg who covers tourism and the hospitality industry for the San Diego union Tribune. And Lori. Welcome. Thank you. What immediate effect has the lifting of the stay at home order had on San Diego businesses? Speaker 2: 01:56 The biggest change we're seeing is that restaurants that have been limited to just take out and delivery can now reopen for outdoor dining only not indoors yet. And another big change for businesses that have been shut down completely were hair salons, nail salons, barbershops, personal care services. They can be open indoors with what the state says is modifications, you know, capacity limits, but, um, they were completely shut down. So they they're, they're reopening. And another change on that. People may not be aware of. I think even during the shutdown orders, hotels, weren't allowed to accept guests for anything other than essential workers. They are now reopened for business for any kind of travel, um, zoos, aquariums, museums can reopen, um, that, that that's outdoor only though. So we already heard an announcement from the San Diego zoo Safari park that they will reopen Saturday. Um, and then we're waiting and announcement from SeaWorld Speaker 1: 02:53 Are some of the people that you spoke with surprised by the state's decision. The restaurants themselves got a little Speaker 2: 03:00 Bit of a heads up, so they got word like a day or two before that this was, was coming. And they'd been through this drill so many times. I think that there's still some wariness about reopening and then having to shut down again. However, I think this time around, I think it's such a, there's been such a blow back on, on these on again, off again, orders that there's a feeling that we may not see another shutdown again for a while. So, um, so I think there's a sense of relief that they can start to gradually reopen the restaurants in particular, a number of big restaurant jurors had put some of their venues in what they call hibernation and they were just going to wait it out. I think now you're going to see a whole awakening from that hibernation. And, uh, I should point out that many of them say that they cannot survive on outdoor dining alone. Speaker 1: 03:51 Yeah. What was the governor's decision based on, he talked about projections Speaker 2: 03:57 Looking at, um, hospitalization rates, ICU rates, um, and they're projecting that in about four weeks out. They think they're going to see these, uh, ICU rates and the capacity rates increase substantially the, when they did put the stay at home order. And, um, it was, if you had anything 50, 15% or less, um, availability that it would, um, that the you'd have to go to the stay-at-home order. They're now projecting that within a month. We'll, we'll see those occupancies rise and there'll be 33% around, a little more than 33% by February 21st. They seem to be eager to open them. Even, even though it's four weeks away, they seemed willing to take that Speaker 1: 04:40 Risk. You mentioned how tenuous some of the restaurant operations are because of this whole pandemic experience. Do we have any sense how much San Diego's restaurants and hospitality services have lost because of the lockdown? I think, Speaker 2: 04:57 Um, a lot of your fast casual places that can survive on takeout are known more for takeout can do well. The bottom line is most of them that aren't heavily reliant on delivery normally, and take out say that, um, they were lucky to be breaking, eat, breaking even many have losses and profits profits are rare. I talked to one restaurant tour who told me yesterday that he hasn't taken a paycheck for himself since December of last year. So that was kind of a mantra that I heard yesterday was, you know, we, we can't survive on outdoor alone. Speaker 1: 05:30 What are County officials saying about when we might be able to move into that less restrictive tier and maybe have in-person indoor dining and all of those things that the businesses are looking forward to? Speaker 2: 05:44 So those are that's based on certain metrics and based on our latest coronavirus numbers, it looks like it could be a while based on these 14 day positive test rates and a number of cases per 100,000. And so to get to the red tier, you can't be at anything other than you have to have a seven day positivity rate of no higher than 8% and no more than seven cases per 100,000. Uh, as of recently, we were at 60.6 cases per 100,000. So they've estimated that we would need to average about 239 cases a day to reach that. And right now we're in the thousands, Speaker 1: 06:25 San Diego County officials are quick to warn the public though that despite this limited reopening that we have a long way to go, what are they warning people about? And what do they need us? Speaker 2: 06:39 The same thing, no gatherings with people of different households, masking, socially distant don't break, you know, businesses don't break the rules, um, because it's going to take quite a while before we can reduce the current case rate significantly enough to reach the red tier, which is still restrictive, but it's, we need to have far fewer cases per day. Speaker 1: 07:03 I've been speaking with San Diego union Tribune, reporter Lori Weisberg, and Lauren, thank you so much. No, thank you. Speaker 4: 07:15 A recent survey in San Diego County found that when people were asked, if they'd get the COVID vaccine, about 20% of white, Hispanic, and Asian people said, no, that number doubled to nearly 40% among black people who were asked to address why the hesitancy exists and dispel myths. The multicultural health foundation will be holding a panel discussion called don't hesitate to vaccinate. Dr. Rodney hood is president and chairman of the multicultural health foundation. He is also a physician and expert on health disparities, medical history, and racism and medical care. Dr. Hood. Welcome. Thank you very much. You are on the panel with the multicultural health foundation. Tell me about that panel and what you all hope to achieve. Speaker 5: 08:01 We, uh, hope to continue to do outreach, uh, to the San Diego community, especially the minority community on staying safe, uh, during a COVID and actually, uh, vaccinations. There's a significant health, uh, hesitancy, uh, in the community as a whole, but especially with African-Americans. And so the panel is designed to, uh, bring knowledge and education and try to answer some of the questions that would begin to diminish the hesitancy. Speaker 4: 08:33 And why do you think that has a tenancy exists? Speaker 5: 08:36 Um, I think it's multifactorial and I think it differs from one community to the other. We have three groups of individuals, as far as our vaccine. We've got, I call them vaccine acceptors. So there are those of us who are not hesitant, uh, just showed the access and, uh, and, and where is, and they'll take it. Then we got the hesitancy group. And part of that hesitancy group is what I call vaccine objectives. So for religious reasons or whatever reasons they, they, uh, are not going to take the vaccine. And, uh, we want to have a message for all three groups. I think there's a history in this, uh, country, uh, especially in the African-American community where the blacks have not been treated well in the health system. There have been inhumane, uh, experimentations done on a black folks. Uh, people talk about Tuskegee and that is usually mentioned. However many people are not even sure what that means, but they know it's bad, but it really predates to where there were multiple inhumane, uh, experiments specifically on African-Americans there's a book by Harriet Washington, a medical apartheid that actually describes many of these. And because of that legacy, I think is the reason why it's so high in African-American community. They just don't trust the health system. Don't trust scientists. And, uh, many times just don't trust doctors. Speaker 4: 10:06 Um, and you know, I want to turn now a bit too to the disparities that exist the health disparities, particularly when it comes to COVID, you know, why is COVID spreading faster in the black and Brown communities? Speaker 5: 10:21 There's a saying in the black community, is that when white folks catch a cold black folks catch pneumonia and, uh, what was meant by that is usually when something, uh, happens, uh, whether it's health or otherwise, uh, the, uh, black community tends to, uh, get affected by it more. And it's many factors, uh, let's talk about social determinants. So, uh, the population that is more vulnerable to these infections because of their living conditions, multi-generational living conditions, the more blacks tend to live in more urban areas, and it's not a spread out. So this is an infectious disease. And so the closer intimacy you have in populations, the easier it is to spread. So that's one reason. Another reason is, uh, blacks have excessive health disparities with co-morbidities. They tend to have more diabetes, obesity, asthma, cardiovascular disease. And although that does not cause them to catch it easier, but if they do catch it, those comorbidities put them at a much greater risk of developing more severe disease winding up in the hospital in death. So, um, um, I think it's, for all those reasons that you see at higher in the African-American community, it is not genetics. Um, I often get asked, is there something, uh, uh, in the genes of blacks that caused that the answer is no, uh, it, it is a motion, mostly the social determinants. Uh, we see that in the Latino population, as well, as a matter of fact, here in San Diego, the Tino's, um, are probably number one in, uh, getting, uh, the infection for the same reason. Speaker 4: 12:13 And, you know, earlier you mentioned that some people are reluctant to get the vaccine. One reason I've heard is because of allergic reactions. What do people need to know about allergic reactions to the coronavirus vaccine? Speaker 5: 12:26 So, uh, yes, with this new Corona virus vaccine that have been reported right now, there are two that have been approved, uh, the Pfizer vaccine and the maternal vaccine, both of them are what we call messenger, RNA vaccines. Um, and, um, um, uh, I, I don't really see a significant difference between the two, as far as efficacy. They're both 94, 95% effective. Um, and, uh, but both of them, we have seen, uh, people have allergic reactions. Uh, so, uh, if, if indeed you already know you have a history of allergies, especially allergy, um, the type of allergy, we call it NFL lactic reaction, where you have to take epinephrin or have epi pen it's best that you have a discussion with your provider prior to getting the vaccine, but that does not mean you should not get it. So that's why you should have that conversation Speaker 4: 13:28 With new variants of this virus. Are there any concerns about the effectiveness of the current vaccines? Speaker 5: 13:34 Well, right now, the current one that we're dealing with is about 94, 95% effective with the variants. It may be decreased that effectiveness to less than 94, 95%, but not below the level that we would still call effective. But yes, that is a worry, we do need to continue to monitor and see how well the population does, uh, as they get these, uh, variances to, um, see how effective they are. Speaker 4: 14:08 You know, if someone wants to get a vaccination, what should they do? Speaker 5: 14:11 There are many options. First of all, uh, contact your, a provider. The other option is to, uh, go to the County sites. There's more than that, that I just mentioned. And so you have to be persistent. Don't just look at one, if one doesn't have in an opening, go to the other. Speaker 4: 14:30 I've been speaking with Dr. Rodney hood, president, and chairman of the multicultural health foundation, Dr. Hood. Thanks. Speaker 5: 14:37 You're welcome. And thank you for having me. Speaker 4: 14:39 The panel is this Thursday from five 30 to six 30, for more information, you can go to kpbs.org. Speaker 1: 14:57 This is KPBS midday edition. I'm worrying Kavanaugh with Jade Heinemann. As we mentioned earlier in the show, San Diego's restaurants and hotels are now allowed a partial reopening because the state stay at home order has been lifted, but the outlook for San Diego's huge hospitality industry this year is still uncertain. Meanwhile, the number of high tech hubs and developments are increasing across the County. Some see the rise in tech and the slump in hospitality as a trend that could shift the economy of San Diego. Joining me is reporter Rameen Scubba, he's writing for voice of San Diego, and Rameen welcome to the program. Thank you for having me on, can you remind us about the impact of the pandemic on the tourism and hospitality industry in San Diego? I believe you call it a collapse. Speaker 6: 15:48 Yeah, it's, it's been rough. I mean, it's one of the biggest sectors of our economy and there are a lot of jobs associated with it, you know, with, uh, hotels with the convention center. I mean, you know, with Comicon going virtual, uh, and just like every other event over the past year, you know, it's, it's been tough for a lot of people. Speaker 1: 16:05 The same time plans have been moving forward to create a number of high tech hubs in San Diego. And they're, they're not just in the North County anymore. Speaker 6: 16:14 That's right. They're moving downtown and it's a bigger trend than I even realized. There's a Horton Plaza downtown. There's the new big waterfront site. Uh, UC San Diego extension is going to be nearby downtown and there. And there's a possibility for even a, another, another place near Petco park. Speaker 1: 16:32 I think San Diegans are very familiar with the old Horton Plaza. What's the new Horton Plaza. Speaker 6: 16:37 It looks like it'll be a pretty large complex. And, uh, it may be, it looks like you're potentially even bigger than what was there before. And they're saying that there could be as many as 4,000 employees there and which, which is a lot. And at the waterfront, they're saying it's going to be an eight acre site and a along Harbor drive. And that also could be 4,000 permit jobs too. So, so this, this could be a large number of jobs coming with these sites. Speaker 1: 17:02 Now, are these startups, or are they established tech companies moving here? Speaker 6: 17:07 Well, from what we can tell it's, it's both, but there's definitely been a lot of money going into startups as well, even during the pandemic. So it's not like it's slowed down during the pandemic. So just as these, uh, new hubs that are popping up, there's also a bunch of startups getting money or, or, or even, you know, popping up on their own as well. And so it's, it's not clear exactly which firms are going to be at which site it's too early to know that. But from what we can tell, you know, there'll be a lot of, a lot of these San Diego companies, as well as even some from LA and the Bay area coming here, too. Speaker 1: 17:37 Okay. So why is San Diego becoming attractive to the high tech industry? Speaker 6: 17:42 That's a good question. I think it's partly because, you know, there's a lot of, you know, there's a lot of potential workers in these places. Um, also the cost of living is, I mean, it seems high here, but it's actually slightly less high. Uh, it's not as high compared to San Francisco. And so that's part of it Speaker 1: 17:57 Again, back to the tourism and hospitality sector that has been, as you mentioned, I've been a mainstay of the San Diego economy. What are the prospects for like big conventions and tourism to bounce back this year? Speaker 6: 18:12 The reporting I've done, it seems like there's a good chance that it will get eventually get back close to normal. But the question is, you know, how long that will take. And so if the pandemic lasts, you know, if we're able to get, get people back to work and reopen more in the next few months, then things will get back to normal, you know, fairly quickly, you know, Comicon could video a live event this year and, you know, there's a bunch of other conferences that people would love to have live again. But if it lasts all year and we can't be meeting with a large number of people in person until next year, then it will be a lot tougher. So, and, and it's, it's possible, you know, it, it might not get back to normal if, if this lasts, you know, another year, but it's, it's, it's hard to tell. Speaker 1: 18:51 Yeah, you spoke to the head of Comicon and it sounded like from that conversation, if you can tell us about it, that he was really concerned that if it's a virtual event, if it has to be a virtual event again, this year, it might be hard to, to make it a normal event in, in the fall. Speaker 6: 19:08 I did speak with them and Comic-Con like with other big conventions, you know, that they get income from one event and they can use that as a, for their budget for the next event. But, you know, you can't get much income from a virtual event, comparatively, even, even for something as popular as comic con. And so I'd imagine that it will be tough for next year, if they have to go virtual again, Speaker 1: 19:27 Was the switch from a tourism based economy to a high-tech economy. Something that seems likely to continue here. Speaker 6: 19:34 I'm not sure if we'll see a switch, but I do think we'll see, you know, there's definitely a rise in tech. And so that is definitely a trend that's happening. Uh, the question is, you know, whether it might supplant the hospitality and tourism sectors as, you know, top industries in the area and, and that remains to be seen. So I think we would, we could just have sort of two really huge economies in the area and hospitality, uh, will just not be as dominant as before Speaker 1: 19:58 If high-tech does continue to surge though, there's a big difference in the type of skills required by high tech and life sciences, and then in most hospitality work. So is there any idea how San Diego's workforce might transition? Speaker 6: 20:12 That's difficult because you know, only a limited number of people have those skills needed for a tech jobs, as well as, you know, biotech and life sciences, because there's a wide range of firms that are growing here, but that's part of where I think UC San Diego extension is trying to position itself is to help train, train, or retrain workers and provide more education. And so I I'd imagined there may even be potentially people who used to work in the hospitality industry, maybe saying, you know, I don't want to be a manager at this hotel anymore. I want to try, you know, working at this other place and they might get the, that they need and Speaker 3: 20:48 Make the transition. So if, if the shift is as big as it could be, then there could be a lot of, lot of workers who are looking to pivot into new jobs, Speaker 1: 20:56 Speaking with a reporter romaine Scubba, his article can be found in voice of San Diego and romaine. Thanks. Speaker 3: 21:03 Yeah. Thank you. Speaker 1: 21:19 This month marks that midpoint and Gavin Newsome's term as California's governor, the moment arrives as he is facing a recall effort. That's gaining steam and could make it to the ballot this week. We'll be sharing stories that explore Gavin, Newsome, successes, and shortcomings to start our series cap, radios politics reporter Nicole Nixon has this look at who's behind the recall and whether it could actually succeed. Speaker 7: 21:47 Diana Chohan is posted up in the parking lot of a grocery store in citrus Heights, a suburb about 20 minutes North of Sacramento, she's wearing a neon green vest and her car is draped with an enormous banner that reads recalled Gavin Newsome. Speaker 1: 22:02 I'm a hairstylist. When my salon got shut down, I had a lot of time on my hands. Speaker 7: 22:07 Two year old comes here three days a week to gather signatures for a petition to get new some recalls. Speaker 1: 22:12 I got involved because it was disturbing to see all the businesses closing. Joe Cannon Speaker 7: 22:18 Actually carries a list of reasons. She thinks Newsome should get the boot pandemic. Shutdowns are at the top, but there's a lot more. Speaker 1: 22:25 We have the highest gas tax in the nation, the highest homelessness in the nation. He's promoting fear. Gavin Newsome goes to the French laundry and eats without a mask Speaker 7: 22:34 On any given day. There are dozens, maybe hundreds of tables like hers up and down, California organizers say they've collected over a million signatures, but if they want to get a recall on the ballot, they'll need to get about a million more than the next six weeks for a governor facing the very real threat of a recall election Newsome has a high approval rating. 58%, according to the most recent public policy Institute of California survey, that's largely because Democrats have given the governor high marks throughout the pandemic says Mark Baldessari. He's with the PPIs. Speaker 3: 23:09 People are very polarized in terms of how they think about their leaders. So you're going to find people who have very strong feelings for and against this governor, Speaker 7: 23:21 Sorry. He says there are big differences between this recall effort and the 2003 recall of former democratic governor gray Davis Democrats did not have such a tight hold on the state back then. And Davis has approval sunk to a record low of 24% in the months before his ouster. There haven't been voter surveys since the most recent stay at home orders or the French laundry incident when Newson was photographed dining with a group of lobbyists at the exclusive Napa Valley restaurant. But the most recent surveys show democratic voters still continue to support Newsome while Republicans disapprove voters, Speaker 8: 23:57 Biggest cue will always be partisanship as much as people don't want to admit it. Speaker 7: 24:02 Renee van Vechten is a political science professor at the university of Redlands. She says, well, Newsome is clinging to the good graces of most California voters. There's a lot riding on the next few weeks, including the all important COVID-19 vaccine distribution Speaker 8: 24:18 It is, do or die time for the governor because he does face the very real possibility of a Ricola. Speaker 7: 24:25 If the recall does qualify for the ballot and election would likely be later this summer. And then Vechten says Newsome shouldn't rely too heavily on his base to carry them through. Speaker 8: 24:36 He's on a mountain and he's driving around out a very narrow road. Could he go off the cliff at anytime? It's possible? It just one little turn of the wheel and he's over the Hill. That is what a French laundry incident represents. Speaker 7: 24:52 And she says, voters may not have the appetite for another scandal in Sacramento. I'm Nicole Nixon. We'll have another story tomorrow looking at governor Gavin, Newsome successes and failures on climate change. Okay. Speaker 8: 25:06 Wildfires find more at cap radio.org/newsome, Speaker 4: 25:12 Midterm Speaker 4: 25:18 Americans eat an average of 16 pounds of fish and shellfish a year. That number may be higher in San Diego where the fish taco can be found on restaurant menus from the iconic Roberto's taco shops to George's at the Cove and the Hoya. Now a San Diego aquaculture technology startup is betting that American's love for seafood will extend to fish filets grown from fish cells. San Diego based blue knowledge says it raised $60 million. It needs to build a pilot factory that will enable the company to bring eight species of cell-based seafood to restaurants. Joining me to talk about this blending of aquaculture with food science is a Lou Cooper house, president and CEO of blue Nalu. Lou, welcome. Speaker 9: 26:03 Well, thank you for having me on your show today. It's a real pleasure. Speaker 4: 26:06 You know, we often hear about technology companies disrupting existing industries to improve upon them. So did the idea for developing fish grown from fish cells come from a need to disrupt the seafood industry. Speaker 9: 26:20 Jayda really came from the fact that the world needs to come up with a new solution to feed the planet. Um, today we have a tremendous global supply chain gap. We just cannot keep up with, uh, what comes out of the ocean or what comes out of agriculture as global demand for seafood is actually an all time high people just love seafood. They are moving away from red meat towards the health and attributes that seafood offers. And today we're shipping seafood, you know, as many as five, 10,000 miles from point of capture to point of consumption, what blue Nala was doing is creating a far more sustainable footprint for seafood that's. Instead of being supply restricted is actually demand driven, putting these production facilities close to population and really democratizing seafood, uh, for all that, for all that are seeking that as part of their diet. So it's really a new solution, not just wild cotton farm raised, but now cell-based with all the positive benefits of seafood, but without the mercury microplastics or environmental contaminants that might be associated with seafood, we consume today. Speaker 4: 27:27 Hmm. And blue Nalu has been around for three years. Now, what kind of trial and error has there been in the process of developing a, an acceptable substitute to wild caught or farm raised seafood? Speaker 9: 27:40 We, we, our focus has really been, um, developing a broad array of fin fish species. So really we see ourself as a supply chain provider, uh, over time initially focused on fin fish that include, uh, mahi, mahi, yellow tail, Amber, Jack bluefin, tuna, red snapper, and other species as well. We'll launch them one at a time, but we have in fact already developed a proof of concept back over a year ago, uh, that showed that our product, you know, at the, at the very small level of, of production, uh, but nonetheless demonstrated the exact same functional characteristics as conventional seafood. And what that really means is when you prepare a seafood, you prepare maybe one of three ways you prepare it raw and you consume it that way, or you prepare it cooked grilled sear, sauteed pan fried, deep fried steamed, et cetera. Or you prepare it in some sort of an acidified solution like you're making Pokay or kimchi or [inaudible]. And what we showed was our product had the same exact characteristics. Uh, what, when it's prepared tastes the same smells, the same caramelizes, the same, it is fish just made differently. Um, but it really has all the exact same characteristics as a seafood that we consume every day. Speaker 4: 28:58 And what about the nutritional value? How does it compare to ocean caught fish and seafood? Speaker 9: 29:02 So we are literally making seafood, uh, at the cellular level, um, with, uh, all of the same characteristics as conventional products, including every nutritional element. Speaker 4: 29:14 All right. And you got to tell me about the science. How does the science work? How does the fish go from the cell to the filet? Speaker 9: 29:22 The science behind this was really developed as proof of concept, you know, over the past 10 years. And what's entailed whether it's a, a land animal or sea animal is look is literally about isolating the cells from a fish that are the same makeup as what you might in a filet. So what we're literally doing is growing this, those cell types specifically we're growing muscle cells, fat cells and connective tissue cells. These are the three, three cell types that are really intrinsic in the seafood that we are consuming. So we're growing them independently in large stainless steel containers. That look a bit like a microbrewery, these large stainless steel tanks instead of wine or beer. What you might have instead is muscle cells, fat cells, and connective tissue cells, each grown independently. And they're literally being bathed the nutrients. So some of the same nutrients you might find in agriculture feed, uh, you know, amino acids, salt sugars, vitamins, et cetera, are, are being fed to these fish cells. And they're growing and growing and really large numbers. Then we are forming these different cell types into a finished product, uh, that is in fact, the same characteristics and flavor profile and texture, as you might find in a conventional product Speaker 4: 30:44 [inaudible] was featured last week on the CNBC show streets of dreams. And the host of that show expressed some reservations about eating cell-based fish. Is that a reluctance that you're experiencing? Speaker 9: 30:56 Not at all. Actually we have found a enormous interest in our product. Uh, literally at the a hundred percent level, I must tell you at the food service level, um, they are very excited and motivated to put our product on the menu, um, and like many products in the food industry. We want to begin at restaurants because that's where we can really experiment and really see what, you know, how the product really resonates with consumers. Speaker 4: 31:21 Then you mentioned launching over the next year, when will people be able to taste blue now lose fish. Speaker 9: 31:27 As soon as we get through, you know, we're, we're literally putting in place a manufacturing facility and all the equipment. It's the first of its kind in the world to actually manufacture cell Bay seafood. So it's an extraordinary technology, uh, development, um, that is in process. And the second parallel activity is providing all the documentation that FDA requires for, uh, you know, that product being accepted into commerce. So we have, uh, the challenge of a facility never been done before and a regulatory agency. That's never actually validated this process before both those things that are in process. So to answer your question, um, we're projecting is somewhere around 12 months, maybe 15 months at the most, but maybe 10 or nine or 10 months on the, on the front end, where we actually might be able to have product in our first restaurant. Speaker 4: 32:17 I've been speaking with Lou Cooper, house president and CEO of blue. Now, Lou and Lou, thank you very Speaker 9: 32:23 Much. Thank you very much for having me Speaker 4: 32:36 Listening to KPBS midday edition I'm Heintzman with Maureen Kavanaugh and his inauguration speech, president Joe Biden called for bringing unity to what we all know is a deeply hurt, deeply divided country, right after the president spoke country music, star Garth Brooks saying amazing grace, and maybe more than any other popular song. Amazing grace has become a source of strength for many of our countries, presidents, when things get tough, KQ, EDS, arts and culture reporter Cole, Veltman spoke to a number of California artists with strong ties to the song about its enduring power and what all of us, including our leaders can learn from its message Speaker 10: 33:18 For years. There's been this link between amazing grace and us presidents, all along the political spectrum. Speaker 3: 33:28 [inaudible] Speaker 10: 33:28 Played on the bagpipes at Ronald Reagan's funeral, Jimmy Carter, bill Clinton and George W. Bush have all called the him a favorite. And no one can forget that moment. In Charleston, South Carolina, in June, 2015, when Barack Obama took the song to another level Speaker 3: 33:56 [inaudible] Speaker 10: 33:57 Then presidents broke into song in the middle of his eulogy for state Senator and church, pastor Clementa Pinckney Speaker 3: 34:14 [inaudible] Speaker 10: 34:15 Pinckney. Along with eight members of his congregation had been gunned down at their church by a white supremacist. Earlier that month. It was the latest in a spate of mass shootings motivated by racial hatred. Speaker 3: 34:30 [inaudible] Speaker 10: 34:33 The moment the president responded to the massacre by singing the song. Amazing. Grace is considered one of the most powerful of his years in office so much. So it inspired a new song. Speaker 3: 34:45 The president came to speak some and the cameras Speaker 10: 34:53 Days after Donald Trump was elected president in November, 2016, focusing as Zoe Mulford wrote the president sang amazing grace. Many Americans were still reeling from the events in Charleston the previous year. Speaker 3: 35:07 Good. Say what must be Speaker 10: 35:14 If it's song lyrics, where no words could say what must be said for all the living and the dead reflect back to a president who in her mind was able to connect with people in their grief. Speaker 3: 35:30 The presidents, folk radio, across the country Speaker 10: 35:38 Picked up the song. One pretty famous focusing. I happened to be listening while driving near her home in the San Francisco Bay area. When I first heard it, I had to pull the car over because I started crying. That's Joan Byers. And she told NPR, hearing that song inspired her to make her own version. Speaker 3: 36:04 [inaudible] Speaker 10: 36:05 Yeah. Buyer's is singing the song on tour in Paris in 2018, where she wraps up her performance with words about how much he missed president Obama. He wasn't perfect, but he was a person Speaker 3: 36:22 [inaudible] Speaker 10: 36:22 Right now we have nothing. And the president sang amazing. Grace kept going. It inspired a California publisher to commission a children's book. And in those final frosts weeks leading up to last November's presidential election, this video hit my inbox. Speaker 3: 36:50 [inaudible] Speaker 10: 36:53 It features San Francisco's Kronos quartet and Ethiopian American vocalists McClean Cordero. Obama's singing of amazing grace in Charleston was a moment. McLean says when Americans were faced with Speaker 11: 37:05 Voice, where are we going to choose this path of racist, white supremacist leadership that encourages the darkest parts of American history to wield their guns? Or where are we going to choose the possibility of something else Speaker 10: 37:20 For my cleats president's Obama's decision to sing amazing. Grace spoke to his willingness to be vulnerable. Speaker 11: 37:26 We don't want our presidents to do that. And yet those can be the moments where we connect as human beings to each other. And so why not have a president that can do that? Speaker 3: 38:01 [inaudible] [inaudible] Speaker 10: 38:02 Amazing. Race has traveled far and wide since English clergyman. John Newton wrote the lyrics in 1772. It's unclear. What if any music khesed when he invoked it as part of a sermon, but amazing. Grace traveled across the Atlantic where it was enthusiastically picked up by Baptist and Methodist preachers. Eventually the words were paired with the tune we associate them with today. Speaker 3: 38:29 [inaudible] Speaker 10: 38:30 The song took root in the black church where it's been sung across generations. Now amazing Speaker 3: 38:36 Grace for us. I mean, it is a traditional song, always been a landmark for black America and black church. Speaker 10: 38:46 Margaret pleasant. Durham is a gospel music composer choir director, and long-time member of the greater new Bethel Baptist church in Inglewood. Speaker 3: 39:07 [inaudible] [inaudible] Speaker 10: 39:09 I'm a little bit or struck when Margaret tells me she was in the audience the day Aretha Franklin recorded her iconic take on amazing grace in Los Angeles in 1972, Margaret says it was hard not to sing along with the queen of soul. Speaker 3: 39:25 You just join right in. Especially if we know the song, somebody is going to be singing with Aretha Franklin [inaudible] Speaker 10: 39:37 And Margaret says, there's no song, quite like amazing grace for capturing the black Christian experience Speaker 3: 39:43 In grace means something helped us. It was grace that brought us safe this far, and grace will lead us on [inaudible] Speaker 10: 40:01 Amazing. Grace connects deeply with the black church community, but the song has also reached millions of others outside the church, because it speaks so eloquently about rebirth and redemption. Speaker 3: 40:12 And I'm sober now 43 years. And the amazing thing is that I ever got sober. It's total grace Speaker 10: 40:19 Focusing, uh, Judy Collins spent part of her childhood in LA. She released her version of amazing grace in 1970, while struggling with alcohol addiction. Speaker 3: 40:40 [inaudible] powerful song, which reaches all kinds of people of every race, denomination, religious persuasion, color character. It doesn't matter who you are. Once you hear me. [inaudible] Speaker 10: 41:07 Many artists with California connections have taken the song in completely new directions like drag theater, performer Taylor Mack, by the way, Taylor uses the pronoun Judy, as in Judy Garland, not Judy Collins. So in any case, Taylor has unhappy memories of being forced to sing the hymn at Christian science church as a kid growing up in Stockton. Speaker 3: 41:33 [inaudible], it's not, it wasn't exactly the most soulful rendition. And I can't say that I was particularly drawn to the song at all, Speaker 10: 41:43 But Tyler eventually came around to Speaker 3: 41:45 The side [inaudible] Speaker 10: 41:56 Stint teetering platform heals a fantastical headpiece festooned with tinsel and a glittering hoop dress. Taylor performed a minor key version as the opening number in a mammoth stage production chronicling the history of American popular music. Speaker 3: 42:15 [inaudible] Speaker 10: 42:15 The critically acclaimed show debuted right before the 2016 elections and toward the U S through much of the Trump presidency, Speaker 3: 42:23 It became kind of a prayer for grace for the country. It stopped being about, um, God, for me, in the Trump years, it became this beautiful way to start the show and say, Hey, we're, we're all praying for actual grace. [inaudible] Speaker 10: 42:51 Our country needs grace so much right now between the racially motivated killings. One of the most contentious elections in us history and the recent assault on the nation's Capitol, it's been horrific and the COVID-19 pandemic has further driven people apart. In fact, Laurie Murray, K a nurse on the front lines of the health crisis sang amazing grace at an inauguration week Memorial service for the more than 400,000 Americans, we've lost to the virus Speaker 3: 43:26 Through civil war, the great depression world war nine 11 through struggle, sacrifice and setbacks are better. Angels have always prevailed Speaker 10: 43:37 In his inauguration speech. President Joe Biden echoed the core message of amazing grace Speaker 3: 43:43 In each of these moments are enough of us are enough of us have come together to carry all of us forward. And we can do that. Now. History, faith reason show the way, the way of unity Speaker 10: 44:03 In a dramatic moment, towards the end of his rendition of amazing grace country music, star golf Brooks reinforced the president's call for unity. Speaker 3: 44:11 I forgot to ask you to sing this last verse with me, not just the people here, but the people at home at work as one United, Speaker 10: 44:23 Of course, all of us singing amazing grace together. Won't solve this country's problems, but maybe it's a good place to start, Speaker 3: 44:35 But, uh, for the California reports, I'm Chloe Veltman, [inaudible].