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Tax Filing Deadline Pushed Back

 March 18, 2021 at 10:19 AM PDT

Speaker 1: 00:00 The IRS extends the tax filing date, as it sends out stimulus checks. Speaker 2: 00:05 And as of yesterday, I believe we put something out, said 90 million of those have already gone out. Speaker 1: 00:10 I'm Maureen Kavanaugh with Jade Heinemann. This is KPBS mid-day edition Efforts are in the works to get COVID vaccines approved for children. Speaker 3: 00:28 So if you Amy, and I's all the children, even though you may not be benefiting children as much as immunizations and adults, you will be preventing the spread of virus within the population, Speaker 1: 00:41 A new report urges action on moving San and ovaries nuclear waste and Turner classic movies, reframes movies that may be offensive to modernize that's ahead on midday edition, Speaker 1: 01:00 Taxpayers are getting more time to file this year. The IRS has announced that it's extending the filing deadline from April 15th to May 17th. The deadline has also been extended for California state taxes. The reason given is that between vaccinations and business and school reopenings and the virus still in circulation, this is a hectic time for most Americans, but it's also been a hectic time for the IRS. The agency is dealing with a backlog of filings from last year, plus calculating and sending out stimulus checks and dealing with a host of last minute changes in tax law from the Biden stimulus package. Joining me is Raphael Cellino media relations director for the IRS in San Diego. Rafael, welcome back to the show. Speaker 2: 01:47 Thanks for having me as always glad to be here. Speaker 1: 01:49 What are some of the biggest of those last minute changes that will affect taxpayers this year? Speaker 2: 01:56 Uh, I suppose the, the first thing to address out of this new law and we haven't quite got there yet is the unemployment part of it is in there that says the first $10,200 of unemployment in 2020 is not taxable provided your income is married, filing joint, I believe $150,000 or less. And the other part of that was the economic impact payments that began going out, uh, this past weekend. And as of yesterday, I believe we put something out, said 90 million of those have already gone out. So that's direct deposit and the rest by check and debit card as the first two economic impact payments went out last year. And it really January of this year, Speaker 1: 02:35 The economic impact, um, payments that you're talking about are popularly known as stimulus checks, right? Yes. The IRS is administering the new child benefit included in the Biden stimulus law. What can you tell me about how that will work? Speaker 2: 02:53 Here's what I do know off the top. Then in 2021, the child tax credit is increased from thousand to $3,000. If it's under age six for children under age six, I believe in 21, if I'm understanding that right, it goes to $3,600, and then there's a provision in that law that has periodic payments being sent out each month or thereabouts. The other thing is it's been made refundable a refundable tax credits, like the earned income tax credit, for example, which is the most popular refundable tax credit. Meaning once your taxes are reduced to zero and you have more coming back and you get that back to you in the form of a refund, as opposed to just reducing the taxes you paid to zero. The other thing from the child tax credit, as I read here from the provisions in the law is it is increased to under age 18, as opposed to under age 17 Speaker 1: 03:45 People who earn so little that they don't usually file could and should file for this new child benefit. Isn't that right? Speaker 2: 03:53 Well, there's the additional child tax credit and there's the child tax credit and general yeah, it's for lower income taxpayers, the additional, and that has to do with the amount of income you make and the amount of child tax credit you're eligible for, uh, beyond that, I won't get into the complexities of it, but, uh, you know, certainly if you're talking about any tax benefit for any lower, moderate or higher income taxpayer, you should take advantage of it, either increase your refund or lower your tax bill Speaker 1: 04:20 Were any of last year stimulus payments, taxable, Speaker 2: 04:24 No round one round two round three of economic impact payments and round three being administered. Now none of them are taxable nor should it be included in gross income. Speaker 1: 04:33 What are some of the reasons people may not have gotten their stimulus payments yet? Speaker 2: 04:38 Life changes, uh, you know, lots of things happen in terms of the administration of all three of these. And you're talking about putting out a whole lot of money in a short amount of time. You're talking about taxpayers who may have filed last year in 18 return and not have 19 return. And as we speak now, maybe the 19 return, but the 2020 return has not been processed. So you're talking about two different tax years and the income levels for each based on the law that is there. So you may have a difference from one year to the next, depending on when you file it or not. Uh, if you had a baby, for example, childbirth is a change that could have happened in 2020 for the first or second economic impact payment. So if you have changes for those two and not the third, because the third is so new, there is line 30 on form 10 40, which is the recovery rebate credit. And that is a backstop. If you will, if you did not get the full amount or a partial amount of round one or round two of those economic impact payments, then that is where you will get the full amount based on changes you had and your eligibility, of course, in 2020, Speaker 1: 05:44 If you haven't filed your 2020 taxes yet, does that mean you may not get this most recent stimulus until you do Speaker 2: 05:52 Not necessarily. The new law is basing the new economic payment round three here, if you will stimulus three on 19 and or 20 returns. So it depends on what's been processed or not. Speaker 4: 06:06 Despite the deadline being extended, the IRS is encouraging taxpayers to file as soon as possible. What are the benefits? Speaker 2: 06:13 So doing that well, if you choose a paperless tax return as always, that's the quickest way to get your tax refund three weeks or less or most, but the bottom line is if you want your money as quick as possible, you want to get to computer and hit, enter and choose direct deposit, Speaker 4: 06:30 Oh, money to the IRS file as soon as possible as well. They'll still have extra time to pay, Speaker 2: 06:35 Right? Generally speaking, if you owe taxes based on this new, um, uh, piece of guidance, if you will, that extends the deadline a month and the payments are due on the deadline, which is May 17th in 2021, Speaker 4: 06:49 Unable to sort of take a look at the tip of the iceberg here in this conversation, where can people go for more information, Speaker 2: 06:55 Right? for anything and everything, anything free forms, filing all that kind of answer his questions. Speaker 4: 07:03 I've been speaking with Raphael Tulino, media relations director for the IRS and San Diego Raphael. Speaker 2: 07:09 Thank you. And thank you for having me, Maureen, anytime Speaker 4: 07:21 With the clinical trials aimed at studying the effects of the COVID-19 vaccine on children. Well underway doctors across the nation are hearing the same question from anxious parents. When can my child get the vaccine, as we continue to expand our understanding of how the virus affects children and how a vaccine would protect them against it, the issues of in-person schooling and community spread linger in the minds of parents concerned about the wellbeing of their children. Joining me today to discuss the effort to vaccinate the nation's children is Dr. John Bradley a pediatric infectious disease specialist at Rady children's hospital. Dr. Bradley, welcome. Speaker 2: 08:00 Thank you so much for having me. So children Speaker 4: 08:02 Are expected to be the final population group to be vaccinated against the virus. Is that still the best course of action? Given our evolving understanding of how COVID-19 can affect younger Speaker 2: 08:13 Children? Actually it is the best approach and there are two reasons for that. First, as you know, children do really well with this infection. Um, in contrast to the adults, our adult hospitals were just overflowing with symptomatic patients and our, our hospital rarely had a word, a small word with COVID patients and our ICU was never full the way the adult ICU is where, so the, the actual infection itself, for reasons that we still don't know is very mild in children. Uh, we're now studying long-term effects to see if, if there are, uh, Speaker 5: 08:56 Other long-term effects to the brain, to the kidneys, um, sort of like the multi-system inflammatory syndrome, we're looking at that, but the disease in children from the acute infection is, is very mild. And so you, you take that, uh, sort of less benefit for kids compared with adults, and then look at risk of new vaccines in children, especially new vaccines that haven't been widely used in children. And you want to balance the two. So I'm absolutely in favor of reviewing the adult data as, as we've all done to make sure that the safety and efficacy of these vaccines in adults is good. And of course there's ongoing follow-up so that the pediatric, uh, vaccine trials can be as safely put together as possible. And, and of course the dose of vaccine may be different between adolescent school aged kids, infants, uh, down to two months of age. So those sorts of studies that look at which dose to give kids and, and how safe and effective those doses are, are, are just now starting up. Speaker 4: 10:19 If the long-term effects on children of COVID-19 is still a question. Is it safe to send them back to school? Speaker 5: 10:26 I think it is. And I know everybody's worried about this. And, uh, and there's been a lot of discussion pro and con and, and, um, we don't have all of the information of course, which makes decisions very difficult to make, but, but given the fact that, uh, that the highest risk population at San Diego P uh, older people and those with underlying medical conditions are all on track to get back now. And, and I think the biggest problem in sending kids back to school is that if they pick up infection and they bring it home to say grandparents, and those grandparents are not immunized, you can have horrible consequences in that particular family when, when a grandparent gets sick, but the kids, as you know, well over half of them have no symptoms of this infection at all. So sending kids back to school is actually safe for kids, especially with all the guidance that, uh, that the San Diego County and the department of education, uh, and the California state guidance has put together where kids are wearing masks, there's distancing, uh, there's, there's cohorting th you know, classes are in bubbles. So you don't, you don't keep mixing up kids from different classes. You keep them consistent. I think it's a blueprint for a safe return to school, particularly when older folks are immunized and now teachers are being immunized and you, and you need to balance that with, with how difficult it is for children not to be in school, not learning, not having social interaction, making friends figuring out how life works. So lots of things to consider here. Speaker 4: 12:25 And can you explain to our listeners how vaccinating children is the final piece in achieving herd immunity within our population? Speaker 5: 12:33 So we've got a tremendous amount of information from influenza, and we've known for decades that unless you immunize kids, you'll still have circulation of the virus in the community. So as long as kids are spreading viruses in the community, these people, these high-risk adults will be intermittently exposed. And, and we don't want anyone to die from this or get hospitalized. So if you immunize all the children, then even though you may not be benefiting children as much as immunizations in adults, you will be preventing the spread of virus within the population. And in that way, you'll be protecting the elderly and the adults at high risk. Speaker 4: 13:21 And as a pediatric doctor, what are some of the questions you're getting from parents who are worried about their children, contracting the virus, or who might even be unsure about vaccinating their children? Speaker 5: 13:32 Those are indeed all the questions that we're getting, and I wish I had more evidence-based answers to give them, but I I'm reassuring people that the infection itself in children is still mild. And thank goodness those data have been reproduced in every country, in the world where they've looked at it. Uh, the safety of the vaccine is another issue. And I have grandkids in San Diego and, and my son has asked me, and daughter-in-law, is it safe to immunize my children? And so it's a very personal question to me. And I've told them yes, with what we know about these vaccines in millions of adults and knowing that the FDA and the vaccine companies and public health officials at the CDC will be tracking the safety of these vaccines and how effective they are in children. I feel comfortable that my own grandchildren should be immunized to provide herd immunity for San Diego, as well as protecting themselves from infection. Speaker 4: 14:38 I've been speaking with Dr. John Bradley, a pediatric infectious disease specialist at Rady children's hospital. Dr. Bradley, thank you so much for joining us. Speaker 5: 14:48 Thank you. Appreciate the opportunity to chat with you. Speaker 1: 14:57 This is KPBS midday edition. I'm Maureen Cavenaugh with Jade Heinemann and enduring image from the early days of the pandemic where San Diego's open freeways and empty trolleys traffic and transit ridership are recovering, but Willy ever come back all the way as part of our series pandemic life. One year on KPBS, Metro reporter, Andrew Bowen, considers COVID nineteens lasting impact on transportation. Speaker 6: 15:25 This is our living room slash dining room slash kitchen, Speaker 3: 15:28 Millions of Americans. Andrew Picard has been working from home for the past year. Speaker 6: 15:33 Most mornings. I start my day, uh, on the sofa with coffee, a blanket, and my cat, and watching the news. Speaker 3: 15:40 The card works for the nonprofit San Diego workforce partnership. He misses seeing his colleagues in person, but likes the flexibility. Remote working offers. He saved a boatload on gas and car insurance, and he saved time pre pandemic. His 10 mile commute would take up to an hour one way Speaker 6: 15:57 Now. Yeah, my commute is all of a 20 feet. It takes me, you know, two minutes to get from my bedroom to the living room or wherever I'll be parked for the day. Speaker 3: 16:07 Even as more people get vaccinated and returned to some version of their pre pandemic work lives, Picard says his job will likely stay remote at least part of the week. Speaker 6: 16:16 So are really keen to have flexibility. And I think what the pandemic has proven is in many industries, you can be as productive or more productive in a remote environment. Speaker 3: 16:28 It's a very different story for Rodney Jerome. Any problems, give me a call. Jerome provides in-home support services for the elderly and disabled work that can't be done remotely. His commute from work in Santee to back home in city Heights starts on a bike followed by a trolley than a bus. It takes an hour and a half or more each way. Jerome likes moving around. He doesn't want to work from home. He just wishes his commute were faster. Well, more direct service, a more direct way of getting here instead of having to transfer or to go for bus to trolley. You know, that would make it a lot easier because I have more time to do other things. You know, the stark difference between Picard and Jerome's pandemic commutes represents a greater truth. The benefits of remote working have gone mostly to jobs that are higher paid and more likely to be held by white people. Speaker 3: 17:18 The jobs where remote working was never an option, tend to pay lower wages and are more likely to be held by people of color. And that disparity made us actually think harder about social equity, social justice, about getting rid of the sins of the past. When it comes to transportation, Nannette CRADA is the executive director of SANDAG. The county's transportation planning agency. The sins of the past a CRADA says include bulldozing communities of color to build freeways. SANDAG is currently updating its long-term transportation plan with a mandate to slash greenhouse gas emissions. It CRADA says the pandemic has made clear the new plan should put the needs of disadvantaged communities first. So what does that mean? It means that the pupil, the group projects, and one project is building an interchange for the freeway and the other one is building a bikeway, even. So the interchange for the freeway might have the money and might seem logical. Speaker 3: 18:15 If the social index said, you should do the bike way, we'll do the bike ride. That's going to upset some people, but that is how you get rid of the sense of the past, but is SANDAG accounting for the pandemic's potential to fundamentally change our daily commutes bus and trolley trips are down by about 60% since February, 2020. And although traffic has ticked up a bit rush hour still, isn't what it used to be. It Grotta says it would be foolish to base a generation of transportation planning on a one-time event, no matter how dramatic it might be in the short term, but none of them will be over. Therefore it's short-sighted to say scrap everything. Let's start over again, because we don't know what the other side of the pandemic looked like, but we can anticipate that's going to be back to North SANDAG predicts, remote working will curb greenhouse gas emissions, somewhat just not enough. Given the scale of the climate crisis. When Rodney Jerome looks beyond the pandemic, he still sees better public transit as key to his livelihood and a healthier planet. We're trying to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, you know, which is important to our climate action plan. Um, you have to make it better, you know, um, you have to make people want to get out of their cars, you know, and, and if they can't do that, it won't happen. Andrew Bowen, KPBS news, Speaker 4: 19:43 Well, many industries have suffered as a result of COVID-19. The biotech industry has grown Carlsbad's GenMark diagnostics. For example, was just bought by Swiss pharmaceutical giant Roche for $1.8 billion. This is thanks to its development of rapid testing kits, which has put San Diego in the spotlight for bringing innovation to the market during a pandemic, the San Diego union Tribune technology reporter Mike Freeman has been covering San Diego companies like Jen Mark that have been creating new technologies to quickly diagnose COVID-19. He's joining us now. Mike, welcome. Speaker 7: 20:20 Thank you. Thanks for having me. Speaker 4: 20:22 So GenMark a company that made less than 200 million in revenue just sold for $1.8 billion. Why was this company so attractive to Roche? Speaker 7: 20:32 Well, it, um, fills a hole in, in kind of Roche's portfolio of tests for, um, diagnostic tests and, you know, the roaches as Roche diagnostics, animal diagnostics, they are, they will have many, many tests, um, molecular and non molecular, um, tests that are in, you know, sold to hospitals and, uh, hospital labs and so on. But this, um, test that, um, GenMark has is platform. The GenMark has, um, is some, is kind of an emerging, um, technology and it fills a hole that Roche did not have in their portfolio. Speaker 4: 21:11 And what is it about these testing kits that advances the technology already out there? Speaker 7: 21:16 So, um, what GenMark does is, uh, syndromic testing. So they have a platform that, um, allows you to test for multiple, um, illnesses, um, in one kind of run. So w what typically happens in, in these, in these hospital labs is, you know, you'll come in and, and you'll have, uh, symptoms saying, you know, I got a runny nose, a fever, a headache, stomach ache, you know, what do I got? And they'll run it. The doctor will say, well, it sounds like the flu, and I'll run a test for the flu, or maybe it sounds like COVID, and they'll run a test for COVID. And if that, if that test comes back negative, then I kind of start all over with the next potential virus. It might be w w what Jen Mark and some other companies have done is, um, develop a test that will search for the markers of many viruses so that people can get diagnosed faster and then treated faster. Speaker 4: 22:22 Hmm. Another local biotech, Mesa biotech was also recently purchased by a larger pharmaceutical company. Tell us about that. Speaker 7: 22:30 Yeah. So Mesa biotech is, uh, is interesting. They do a PCR test, which is a molecular test that that's kind of the gold standard of these, um, COVID tests for point of care, which is, is more like in the clinics, right in medical offices and areas that are not like big hospital labs or hospital labs at all. Um, so what, what, uh, Thermo Fisher scientific, which also is a very large diagnostics has like very large diagnostic division. They, um, they purchased Mesa and I, you know, I think a little bit what you're seeing here is some of these big, bigger pharma, bigger life sciences companies, making bets that diagnostic testing is going to be, you know, very important in kind of a post COVID era. Speaker 4: 23:21 Hmm. And with more people getting vaccinated, how much COVID testing will actually be needed moving forward. Speaker 7: 23:27 That's a really good question. And, um, you know, I don't think anybody knows, but there are a couple of schools of thought, uh, on it. Um, you know, one is that, you know, you're, there probably will be less testing needed going forward. However, you know, in the next couple of years, you will probably still see a large demand for tests. You can imagine that going forward, if you have any procedure in a hospital that requires a hospital stay, whether that's like having a hip replaced or going in having a baby, you're going to get a COVID test before you go in. And, and that's something that is new. Um, and there's sort of going to be that sort of testing there potentially could be a lot of emphasis. And the Biden administration has talked about this on these, in the field tests, like, you know, things that you could even do at home where, you know, you could, I'm not feeling well. Speaker 7: 24:17 And, and I can run a COVID test, or I can ask my doctor to give me a prescription and I can go to CVS and buy a little COVID test. And it's, you know, as long as they're cheap, then enough people do that. Then there's going to be demand for, for that sort of testing, you know, to bridge, to allow kids to go to school, allow people to go to work and that sort of thing. So there's that, there's the school of thought that thinks that, um, you know, testing will be around for a long time. And then there's also the, you know, the potential for the next virus. The COVID may not be the end of this era. And so we may see another one, um, that will need to be tested for going forward. So in the variants from COVID two will need to be tracked. Um, especially if one comes up that is, you know, can sidestep or is not, you know, the vaccines aren't as effective against there's. Uh, a lot of speculation that testing even with vaccines is going to be around and be kind of a rise in importance for a long time. Speaker 1: 25:15 You think local biotech companies have been so successful in innovating testing products to help us through this. Pendo, Speaker 7: 25:21 You know, that's a good question and I'm not sure I have a great answer to it. I mean, I, all I would say is that, um, you know, the expertise tends to cluster in these tech fields and, you know, so you have some strong expertise in this area, um, locally, and, and, you know, again, they tend to cluster, um, and that happens with a lot of industries, right? Speaker 1: 25:44 I've been speaking with Mike Freeman who covers technology for the San Diego union Tribune. Mike, thank you so much for joining us today. Again, thanks for having me. Some of San Diego's biggest ongoing stories have taken a bit of a back seat during the last pandemic year, but now the controversy over stored nuclear waste at San Onofre is back in the headlines. Southern California, Edison is out with a report on what might need to be done to move 3.6 million pounds of waste from the shuttered nuclear power plant. Along with the report comes the formation of a new coalition called action for spent fuel solutions. Now whose members include Edison and SDG and E as well as elected officials from orange and San Diego counties. Joining me is Rob Nikolsky. He is energy reporter for the San Diego union Tribune. And welcome. Speaker 8: 26:44 Good to hear from you again, Marie. Speaker 1: 26:46 Well, this report is the result of a lawsuit that challenged Edison's right to store nuclear waste at San Onofre. What did the settlement require Edison to do? Speaker 8: 26:58 One of the things that the out of court settlement did was it required Edison to come back with a report that will look at ways, realistic ways to try to move the 3.6 million pounds of spent fuel, or also known as nuclear waste from Santo freight to some other location, whatever location that might be. And they required them quiet Edison to put together this report. And after basically about three or four years here is the report that came out the other day. Speaker 1: 27:32 Now have an Edison and SDG and E argued that the waste is perfectly safe to be left onsite at the old San Onofre grounds. Speaker 8: 27:41 Yes, they have, but Edison and all the utilities all across the country that store nuclear waste in fairness to them, they were never required or expected to keep this waste for long periods of time. And that's why all this goes back to the federal government, the federal government was supposed to take possession of all the nuclear waste in this issue. And this is I think, an important thing for people to understand this issue is not unique to Santa, no freight, every single nuclear reactor site across the country, whether it be in California or Vermont or in Illinois, in order for that nuclear waste to go to someplace, it has to have a place to go to. So, because we don't have a solution for we as a country, don't have a solution to our, or a place to put the spent nuclear fuel. That's why we're in this position. And that's why I said no freeze in position, as long with nuclear power plants all across the country. Speaker 1: 28:47 Now this is a very detailed and extensive report. Can you give us the takeaways? Speaker 8: 28:54 The big takeaway is that the federal government needs to take ownership of this and come up with and lead the way towards finding a solution. And the second thing is, unfortunately, is that a solution is not going to come right away. We're talking about decades. Speaker 1: 29:12 What kind of responsibility does this report put on the utilities for finding an alternative site? Speaker 8: 29:19 Well, it puts some responsibility on the utilities in the sense that they have to keep the nuclear fuel safe, but really until the federal government gets, gets its act together and, um, comes up with, uh, with, uh, at least the, the germination of, of ideas to try to find this. It's really hard to say because under the nuclear waste policy act, the, the spent fuel, the waste belongs to the utility, but ultimately that title belongs to the possession of that. Nuclear fuel is responsibility of the federal government. So when that glorious day comes, for example, when you can move that nuclear fuel, the spent fuel the waste away from songs. The moment it goes off the site at songs on that property, it belongs to the federal government part of what the momentum is behind this report. And, and, uh, there's been lots of other talk about this as well, is that if the utilities along with elected officials, along with community members can put some pressure on the federal government to make a decision on this sooner, rather than later than maybe some headway can be made. Speaker 4: 30:38 You've been following the sand. I know for a story for years, Rob well, in one, in your opinion is the significance of this new report. Speaker 8: 30:46 In many ways, the report, even though it's incredibly detailed. And, and I think it's a very good source for people to read. Cause it's, it's three volumes long it's hundreds of pages long, but it gives people a really good overview of what's going on about, about this situation. But on the other hand, though, it doesn't really say anything that people like me. Who've been following this very closely. It's not really, it doesn't really break any new ground because we've all known for a long time that the federal government has not acted on this and needs to act. But I think maybe if there's a strong takeaway from this is that maybe this helps move the ball forward in getting some momentum going towards making this, making a decision. Because the one thing that I would say that there, there, there are lots of different voices out here sometimes going across purposes. But I think just about everyone wants, including the utility. They want them to spent nuclear fuel off the Santa, no freight beach. Speaker 4: 31:51 I've been speaking with Rob Nicole Leschi, he's energy reporter for the San Diego union Tribune. And Rob, thank you very much. Speaker 8: 31:59 Thank you, Maureen Speaker 4: 32:10 Efforts to improve the environment around the Salton sea were widely expected to begin at red Hill Bay in 2015, but that groundbreaking project remains undone and that's pulled air quality officials into a fight with local officials at the Imperial irrigation district KPBS environment. Reporter Eric Anderson has details the roughly 400 acres of red Hill Bay on the Eastern edge of the Salton sea used to be underwater. The state funded project Speaker 9: 32:40 Would return water to the flat Playa trapping, dangerous dust and providing habitat. It's all in a bid to protect air quality, but the Lake bed remains boundary Speaker 10: 32:51 Five years later after many of these red ribbon cuttings and, and unveilings had happened, uh, there's been little, little action on the ground Speaker 9: 33:01 Irrigation district director. JB Hamby says the two year project never got finished in the dispute as landed in front of the Imperial County air pollution control district. Speaker 10: 33:11 That's a pretty standard ticket that the air pollution control district it's pretty awful Speaker 9: 33:15 Air quality regulator. Katie burns worth says the exposed Lake bed has been a source of particle pollution for years, local clean air officials hope a citation will push the ID to finish the project. Speaker 10: 33:28 We've had to go this strong enforcement route because nothing's getting done at the salt and sea. Speaker 9: 33:34 The region has well-documented issues with air quality and asthma Imperial County fails to meet federal clean air standards for particulate pollution. When the wind kicks up, the dry Lake bed becomes a man-made source of small particles known as PM 10. Speaker 10: 33:50 The scariest thing about the Playa is we really don't know what's in it. Speaker 9: 33:55 Everyone worries. There's toxic industrial pollution that washed into the Lake and mixed in with those sediments. The Imperial irrigation district is responsible for the land because they own it. [inaudible] JB Hamby says the hearing could have been avoided. Speaker 10: 34:10 Do we need to get together? Get on the same page and finish the project, not continue to fight about this. And so when the air district and it sorted itself in and demanded to continue the hearing and take this adversarial rather than cooperative route, it was disappointed. And it, it blew up all progress. We're making Speaker 9: 34:27 The ID worries about potential rich underground resources. Cal energy has a contract to explore geothermal energy and mine. Lithium at red Hill Bay, the district worries a restoration project would complicate access to the area Speaker 10: 34:42 Better saying, Oh, no, we don't want to do these projects. Speaker 9: 34:45 Luis Olmedo is a community advocate. Who's fighting for clean air in the room. Speaker 10: 34:49 Now we want to see what kinds of industry we can bring into these exposed areas. Time's out, time's up. There is no time for that. Speaker 9: 34:57 Olmedo says the federal government is ready to step in and take over the project, but they need some security about the land's future. The U S fish and wildlife service has the funding to finish the restoration project. But federal officials won't invest the cash until they can secure a long-term lease from the ID Speaker 10: 35:16 We'll we'll fund this, you know, we'll pay for this, we'll maintain it. We'll do operation and maintenance into perpetuity. You know, they've said all the right things, Speaker 9: 35:25 Oh, Metta says for once it is local officials, the Imperial irrigation district holding up progress on a solvency project, he says the entire Valley suffers. As long as the Lake bed is exposed to the strong wins. Those only Speaker 10: 35:38 Time to mitigate that exposed area right now. And look, if they want to dry it up later and replace it with another best available control measure that a industry wants to bring in, that's fine. Do it. Then Speaker 9: 35:51 The Imperial irrigation districts, JB Hamby says, it's not that simple. Speaker 10: 35:55 There are complications with the lithium and the geothermal liberate leases with mineral rights with calendar G there's, fish and wildlife with certain leases they have, or don't have the elevation and the Alamo and water quality and a whole host of other things. Speaker 9: 36:12 But air quality regulator, Katie burns worth says, if there isn't progress soon, there could be significant fines coming. Speaker 10: 36:20 And obviously this will be an order is used as a tool to keep everybody on task in a timeline because what's missing at the Salton scene is a referee. Speaker 9: 36:31 Fines could lead to litigation and that could hold up. The progress even longer burns worth says, regulators would rather see the kind of progress the state is making on a nearby 4,000 acre project. That'll cover exposed Lake bed on the Southern edge of the Salton sea. Eric Anderson KPBS news. Speaker 11: 36:56 Okay. Speaker 4: 36:56 You're listening to KPBS midday edition. I'm Jade Hindman with Maureen Kavanaugh earlier this month, Turner classic movies launched a new series called reframed classic film and the rear view mirror KPBS arts reporter Breathtec Amando speaks with TCM host Eddie Mueller about what this month long series is doing to contextualize films that might be problematic and often downright offensive for contemporary audiences. Speaker 10: 37:23 Eddie, you are one of the hosts for the TCM program called reframed. Explain what this is Speaker 11: 37:31 Reframed as an attempt to take classic films and contextualize them for a contemporary audience. That's it? I mean, they are quote unquote problematic films. And so that's why we're taking the time all the hosts are involved and we're taking the time to address what these concerns might be. Speaker 10: 37:52 I really love the idea of this program because as someone who loves movies, I do feel that there are elements in certain films that are problematic from a contemporary point of view, but I hate the idea of completely removing them from availability because sometimes they have importance in other ways. And in terms of either how they fit into a genre or a person's particular body of work, uh, what was the main interest for you in kind of revisiting these films? Speaker 11: 38:21 I do not want to see the films disappear. I mean, you know, me a little bit, Beth already, you know, that I do work with a film noir foundation. Uh, the goal is to preserve movies that would otherwise be, it is not lost on me, that there is problematic content in most, every movie that I've actually restored and or preserved for a contemporary audience. But the idea that the movies would be lost or not seen is actually kind of offensive to me. That's, what's offensive to me because I, you know, movies are our cultural consciousness. They are a shared history, if you will. And that is for everyone there, isn't one way history gets written. It's constantly rewritten and reformed and it, you know, there's a metamorphosis into a fresh way of looking at things so far from canceling these movies out like, Oh, we know better now. Speaker 11: 39:22 I mean, I feel our job is to say, well, here's how we got here. And these movies are an example of that. And as you pointed out, I mean the artistry of these films, this is many of these films built the language of cinema that we're now so familiar with. And it would pain me to think. And I, this I'm especially thinking of younger people, if they think like we invented this language 20 years ago, it's like, no, actually you can go way back. But if you go way back and there are scenes in those films that are offensive to people today, they just need to be put in context. That's the way I feel about it. Uh, I don't think they should just be eliminated. I'd like to think that we're intelligent enough as a culture that we can understand this context we're providing so that we can continue to broadcast the films. Speaker 12: 40:17 Well, the other thing I think is important too, is this sense that if you don't know where we've been, we don't know how far we've come or how far we still need to go. And to remove these films kind of erases what, what was considered okay, or what was considered, you know, mainstream at the time, Speaker 11: 40:38 Remove it and cancel it. People are going to have miss assumptions, like, Oh, I guess there weren't racist things in these movies. There weren't sexist things in these movies. Like no, there were, and we're just pointing it out, but it's much better to point it out than it is to hide the film. That's my attitude. Speaker 12: 40:57 This Thursday, one of my favorite John Ford, John Wayne films is going to be highlighted. And this is the searchers, and you're going to be hosting this one. What are you going to have to say about this particular film? Speaker 11: 41:08 To me, I love to talking about this movie because it cut right to the essential point. Is this a racist movie or is this a movie about racism? That's a conversation that is that you have to have with a lot of these films. I mean, there are a lot of racist westerns, right? Then there are these westerns that are about racism and I, and honestly, Ford who has made both of them. The searchers is where I think he started to second guess the history that he was putting out there and saying, Hmm, there's some problematic things here. Speaker 12: 41:46 Next week, TCM is going to focus on films that deal less with racial stereotypes and more with things that deal with sexual orientation. And you have films like the children's hour and psycho Speaker 11: 41:58 The conversation about the children's hour was really interesting to me because William Wyler was intent on bringing that played back onscreen. I mean, Lillian Hellman wrote the play in the early 1930s. It had already been filmed once by Hollywood where all the homosexuality was taken out. So he was determined to put this back on screen, you know, it's 1961. So now it's intriguing to me that a lot of people in the LGBTQ community are like, well, the film didn't do enough. You know, because it's still stigmatizing the Shirley McClain character who is the lesbian in the film, but it's totally compassionate towards her. The film is totally compassionate towards her. Speaker 12: 42:42 The other thing about the children's hour is the context allows it to be a step towards something better, even though it may not be the perfect film. Speaker 11: 42:54 Uh, Beth, that is a beautiful, very succinct way of putting it. All of these things are incremental. You know, history is a wheel and the wheel turns and we seem to be compelled to repeat the same things over and over again. But the wheel is always rolling forwards. The wheel doesn't go back. History does not go back. It repeats, but it doesn't reverse. So now we are learning these things and the wheel is going forward. And do you want these movies to be with us on that trip? Or do we leave them behind? I don't want to leave them behind. In fact, I've dedicated my whole life to ensuring they're not left behind. I mean, cinema is a community thing, right? It's a, it's a popular entertainment that is about having an audience. People watch these films, you have to maintain that audience. So if that requires putting these classic films in context so that younger people will continue to watch them and understand this was a step towards something. Speaker 11: 44:05 Right. And appreciate it as such. I just think that's vitally important, honestly, but that's what I think my job is, you know, when people say, so what do you do at TCM? I say, well, my job is to keep this stuff vital for another generation. I love what the best of what we've created. I wanted to continue to resonate and it's not always going to resonate in a pleasant way, but it's going to resonate. And if requires a bit of context to understand why don't, don't shut it out. If it doesn't resonate pleasantly for you, just learn how to deal with it. Speaker 4: 44:43 All right. Well, I want to thank you very much for talking about TCM reframed, Speaker 11: 44:48 Beth. My pleasure. I hope I get to see you in person one of these days, because that is always a pleasure. Speaker 4: 44:53 That was Beth doc. Amando speaking with Eddie Mueller, TCM reframed releases a new collection of films each Thursday in March tonight's films include stagecoach breakfast at Tiffany's and swing time.

The IRS is delaying the 2020 tax filing deadline until May 17. How will provisions in the latest stimulus bill will affect your taxes? Plus, Moderna has begun testing its COVID-19 vaccine in children under 12, another step to getting everyone protected. Then, San Diego’s freeways and public transportation were empty in the early days of the pandemic. Traffic and transit ridership are now recovering, but will they ever come back all the way? And, Carlsbad’s GenMark Diagnostics, developer of rapid COVID-19 testing kits, was sold for $1.8 billion — a testament to the San Diego region’s biotech industry innovation during the pandemic. Also, the controversy over how to safely move millions of pounds of nuclear waste from the shuttered San Onofre power plant is back in the headlines. And, efforts to improve the environment around the Salton Sea were widely expected to begin at Red Hill Bay in 2015 but the project remains undone. Finally, KPBS arts reporter Beth Accomando speaks with Turner Classic Movies host Eddie Muller about contextualizing classic films that might be problematic and often downright offensive for contemporary audiences.