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San Diego's National Cemeteries Honor Fallen Service Members On Memorial Day

 May 31, 2021 at 11:57 AM PDT

Speaker 1: 00:00 How Memorial day is being honored at San Diego's national cemeteries Memorial Speaker 2: 00:05 Day. And what I would like is for those who paid the ultimate sacrifice, that's the day that it's for I'm Speaker 1: 00:11 Jade, Hindman Maureen is off. This is KPBS midday edition. Speaker 3: 00:24 [inaudible] Speaker 1: 00:24 Climate change is stifling conservation efforts. Speaker 4: 00:28 Climate change is a really tough one. And on the one hand, as I've said, it's important to recognize nobody's alone. We're all in this together. And by that, I mean humanity. And on the other hand, it's important to realize these are big global problems that require a different approach. Speaker 1: 00:41 A social justice project looks at indigenous issues through a camera lens, and a new book explores Buddhist concepts of Nirvana and detachment. That's ahead on midday edition. Today, we remember and honor the men and women who died while serving in the U S military. One way of honoring them is through the beautification and expansion efforts underway at our national cemeteries. Earlier this morning, I spoke with Gretta Hamilton director at Fort Rosecrans and Miramar national cemeteries. Here's that interview? What is being done at San Diego's national cemeteries today to mark Memorial Speaker 2: 01:25 Day? Well, we're still under COVID restrictions. The main thing that we did today was we placed a reef in the private ceremony at Miramar and Fort Rosecrans. Um, in honor, of those who paid the ultimate sacrifice. We also, on Saturday, we placed flags at Fort Rosecrans as well on the graves there in the cemetery, but for now, because we're under COVID and the restrictions came too late for us to do a major ceremony. It's a very quiet, similar cemetery ceremony similar to last year. Hmm. Speaker 1: 02:01 What would you like people to reflect on, on this Memorial Speaker 2: 02:05 Day Memorial day? And what I would like is for those who paid the ultimate sacrifice, that's the day that it's for, but also for all veterans that served honorably and that are incurred in our national cemeteries and also their family members, their children, their spouses, you know, that the sacrifice that they made. Um, and, Speaker 1: 02:25 And you are an air force veteran and worked for the veterans benefits administration prior to going into cemetery administration. What called you to this field? Speaker 2: 02:36 Oh, you know, I'd always wanted to join the VA even as a child. I, um, I don't know if anybody, cause I'm probably much older than most folks is when max Cleveland was ahead of the veteran administration before it became a department, he was a Vietnam veteran who was severely wounded. And as he headed that the administration during the time, I was just amazed at the sacrifice he had made. He was an amputee or fallen out of grenade and lost both his legs and just the devotion he had for veterans. That was amazing to me and I, even as a child, I knew I wanted to be a part of that. Cause I grew up as a military dependent and I watched my father go through the GI bill to get his first home and also to go back to school after he retired. Speaker 1: 03:25 And you know, you're relatively new to this position in San Diego having started in March and you're the first woman and woman of color to hold this post. What's the significance of that for you? Speaker 2: 03:36 No, any cemetery that, and I just can't delineate it out. Any cemetery that I go to, no matter how large or how small it is, it's an honor and this community, it has a lot of mystery is military wise and both at Fort rose, Krantz and Miramar. And it's just the honor to be selected because we go through a rigorous interview process, um, to be, to even get to the point to even be considered. So it means a lot to me just to be here, probably one of the busiest cemeteries in the national cemetery administration. Hm. Speaker 1: 04:14 And you're directing a sort of renovation of the Miramar cemetery. Can you tell us about that project? Speaker 2: 04:22 So a major innovation at both cemeteries, I'll start with Fort Rosecrans first. Um, the roads are, if anyone's ever been there, it's a beautiful view million dollar view, but we're, we're, we're updating the sewer system. We're redoing all of the roads, updating the lodge and also, um, the grounds as well. So that it's more comfort, more ADA compliant with anyone that visited the cemetery. So a year from now, we're still in the design phase, but a year from now, you're going to see a lot of major going to Fort Rosecrans and at Fort Miramar, I'm sorry, Miramar national cemetery, because unfortunately it's the nature of what we do. The death toll is this high. I mean, we're going through, we've gone through most of the world war two and now we're seeing the Vietnam veterans as well, and the numbers are large. And so we have to expand. And so we're, we're putting in more, columbariums, we're doing more in ground casket, burial sites on Crip sites. You'll see that. And also just expanding our administration office so that we can accommodate the customer or what we've backed to say our families in a more efficient manner. Hmm. Speaker 1: 05:42 And are the increased numbers partly due to COVID? Speaker 2: 05:46 I wouldn't say that. It's just that we're starting to see just, you know, the, the natural circle of life. We've seen numbers that are not, I wouldn't say alarming, but it, it, it gives you pause and let you know that it's out there. And then there's a threat to a certain demographic that we serve, which is the older veteran and his family and their family. Excuse me. Um, Speaker 1: 06:08 You'd also like to tell military families about a digital remembrance platform. How does that work? Speaker 2: 06:14 We have what is called the veterans, um, legacy Memorial. I'm sorry. I should have brought up the website for you as well, but veterans can now their family members, anyone that anyone in the world can go out online and look up any veteran that is buried in a cemetery and you can find out initially when they serve the branch of service, but it also gives the family members the opportunity to also to load the memory pictures and also, um, letters, any kind of mementos that you would like to honor. So that that veteran can always be remembered. Our last under secretary, he was very big on that. Every veteran will never die. And in that sense, he mentioned that their names will always be remembered. Then by having this veterans legacy Memorial, we're able to ensure that Betches will be remembered and to imperpetuity. And we've actually Speaker 1: 07:12 Got that website. That website is V L M dot C E I've been speaking to Gretta Hamilton director at Fort Rosecrans and Miramar national cemeteries. Gretta, thank you so much Speaker 2: 07:27 For joining us. Thank you. I appreciate the opportunity Speaker 1: 07:39 As the accelerating effects of climate change become more apparent in our natural resources. The goal and scope of conservation is beginning to change for America's national parks. That goal was once absolute conservation. Well now, as rising temperatures transform the world's ecosystems, the focus of conservation efforts has shifted. The bleak reality now is that some things can be saved and some things can't that's according to new guidance handed down last month to park managers, joining us with details on the new guidelines is Gregor. Scurman an ecologist and researcher with the park service climate change response program who helped write the new guidance. Gregor. Welcome. Thank you, judge. So Gregor, how has the goal of conservation efforts changed as the effects of climate change become more pronounced? Speaker 4: 08:30 I'm keen to elaborate a little bit on that because I think it's important to understand that when we say absolute conservation, what we're really talking about is preserving everything exactly where it was as it was, is difficult and becoming more so because climate is a fundamental driver of ecological conditions. So if you turn the temperature up or you change the moisture regime, you're starting to favor different species than those that have existed in a place. And so this sort of broader way to think about this is to recognize that we are now managing a moving picture. Nature is always in motion, but because of our influence and that motion is fast enough that we can't pretend we're managing a snapshot. And so when we talk about giving up, ideally what we're talking about is giving up on conserving perhaps as a population of a certain species in a certain place, but hopefully shifting our emphasis spatially elsewhere. Speaker 4: 09:23 So that ultimately we're still committed and working towards the protection of our biodiversity heritage. But we're recognizing that we have to do it in the context of motion on the one hand, a fairly simple point, moving picture versus a snapshot. But in terms of practice, that's the difference between saying we're going to bring back everything that used to be here to this place, versus we are going to preserve everything that used to be here, wherever it is, emotion. It's like the rug is shifting underneath conservations feet. And if we're going to continue to succeed, we need to learn how to dance. Speaker 1: 09:55 You've been quoted as saying the mission of the park services to conserve unimpaired. How has climate change complicated? That Speaker 4: 10:03 The way that is stated is in the legislation it's conserved unimpaired, it's also often stated as preserve unimpaired preserve and impaired tends to lead people to think we mean conserve everything exactly where and how it was. When we say preserve, when we say conserve the way we interpret policy, it gives us a flexibility that we have a commitment to preserve biodiversity, to preserve our natural heritage, but it doesn't lock us into doing so exactly where and how it used to be done in the past. So it seeks flexibility. As you mentioned, Speaker 1: 10:37 Certain conservation efforts will have to be given up. So park managers can focus on more important goals. What are some of the criteria for prioritizing key conservation efforts in the near future? What Speaker 4: 10:49 We try to think about as being strategic overall, the resources that we can devote to conserving our natural heritage always will be limited, uh, relative to the task. There is always more we could do with more resources. So the ultimate question is how can we get the most conservation return for our investment? If we want to use business terms or how can we achieve the most success with our limited resources and ultimately this means being strategic. And what this means is when we choose to resist change and restore a population exactly where it was, we ought to put that under some kind of a microscope magnifying glass, and just ask ourselves, is that going to work, given what we know about how a climate has changed in that place and how it will change in the future. Now, if we can ascertain that it will, right, that you can bring back the corner, blue butterfly let's sites or a particular site, and you've done your homework. You can show your work. Then there is nothing wrong with an approach that looks like traditional conservation, but increasingly we're becoming concerned with investing like we always have and perhaps not getting that return. And what managers then say is, gosh, in that case, I really would like those worker hours, those dollars back so that I can save some other resource that perhaps had a better chance. So it's a lot about allocation, about recognition of the finitude of our resources, and then doing the best job we can. You know, the Speaker 1: 12:22 Predictions for nearby Joshua tree national park are particularly grim, rising temperatures and more aggressive fire seasons, uh, could result in catastrophic losses for the park. Can you tell us more about that and how the guidelines will affect conservation efforts there? Speaker 4: 12:39 That is a difficult situation and it's one that's fairly well documented. And you've got a combination there of increasing temperatures and also exotic species that are changing that fire regime. That's a really difficult situation. What one hears when, when talks to the managers at Joshua tree is both a recognition that there are places where it's going to be tough to retain the Joshua tree within its former range. But on the other hand, there are some places Refugio, as they're called that are somewhat sheltered from these modern drivers. Um, it's important to recognize that across the landscape, not every acre has the same vulnerability context really matters. And so a lot of the discussion when we're here in that part of the world is about again, being strategic and investing perhaps very heavily to resist change where it's feasible. And at the same time, again, trying to avoid wasting dollars in places that are really unlikely to result in success. And, you Speaker 1: 13:34 Know, I just asked you about this being a wake-up call for Americans, but how important is it that there be a global understanding of what's happening, Speaker 4: 13:45 Uh, right to our peers and to managers in the peer reviewed literature and beyond, we often emphasize the global nature of this change. And we do that for two reasons. One is it's important to understand that this is global and it's not just for instance, in American problem. And so our colleagues and our peers who can help us think about this can be found around the world. So that's a huge resource in terms of a common problem with a great number of people, all thinking about it. It's also important to understand this as a global problem, because that's why we need to do the kind of thinking we do. And we can't just mitigate locally. You know, other sorts of problems. One can, as I talked about earlier, fence out the bad guys, so to speak, or, or at least in one way or another counteract, some of these stressors that climate change is a really tough one. And so on the one hand, as I've said, it's important to recognize nobody's alone. We're all in this together. And by that, I mean humanity. And on the other hand, it's important to realize these are big global problems that require again, a different approach than the historical approach to resource conservation. I've Speaker 1: 14:51 Been speaking with Gregor skier, Mon, and ecologist and researcher with the climate change response program at the national park service Gregory. Thanks so much for joining us. You're very welcome. I'm good. You're listening to KPBS midday edition I'm Jade Heintzman Maureen Kavanaugh has the day off details continue to surface about the man who killed nine people at a rail yard in San Jose last week, according to the man's ex-girlfriend, he was prone to both physical and sexual violence experts who study violent behavior, say there's a frequent link between people who commit domestic violence and mass shootings, and that current laws might not be doing enough to break the cycle, California report host Saul Gonzalez talked about these issues with professor April Zealy with Michigan state university school of criminal justice. Speaker 5: 15:53 The statistics depend on how you define a mass shooting. If you define a mass shooting as an event in which four or more people are shot, whether or not they die, then about 60% of mass shooters have a history of domestic violence. And if you define a mass shooting as a case in which forum where people are shot and die, then it's around 30 or so percent. If you add the number of people who shoot their intimate partners to death, then it were more around 40 or 50%. So it really is quite common for mass shooters to have these histories of violence against their intimate partners. Those Speaker 6: 16:39 Seem to be really, really substantial numbers. I mean, that is not some small fraction of people. That's a significant percentage in all of those cases, Speaker 5: 16:48 Correct? Yeah. It is a very large percentage. How Speaker 6: 16:52 Well is law enforcement doing in terms of tracking someone's history like that? Speaker 5: 17:00 56% of, um, intimate partner violence events are reported to the police in the first place. So you're losing almost half of cases. And from there of the percentage that are reported, you know, only a fraction of those result in an arrest or charges, and then even smaller percentage of those result in a conviction and a conviction for domestic violence is the way that the criminal justice system would be able to place people under firearm restrictions. Yeah. Speaker 6: 17:38 And talk more about those laws that are on the books, including here in California, to seize the firearms of people who've been involved with intimate partner violence. Speaker 5: 17:48 So the main law that people rely on to remove firearms, um, domestic violence perpetrators are laws that say that if you're under a current domestic violence restraining order, you can't purchase or possess a gun when that law is accompanied by a relinquishment provision. So a provision that says now that you're restricted from having a gun, you have to give up the guns that you already have, then that is accompanied, or that is associated with about a 12% decrease in intimate partner homicide. So it does look like these, um, firearm restriction laws that are specific to intimate partner violence offenders do decrease the risk of intimate partner homicide. Can Speaker 6: 18:45 Anyone else take action beyond the person who's in the intimate relationship? Can, um, have a friend, a family member, a coworker, can they initiate this process in some Speaker 5: 18:57 Way in California, a gun violence restraining order can be petitioned for by close family members, by roommates, by employers or coworkers, um, and by employees or teachers of certain schools in addition to law enforcement. So if an employee or an employer is aware that someone is a threat, they can petition the California courts for a gun violence restraining order to have that person's gun rights temporarily suspended until they're again, safe to have guns. Yeah. Speaker 6: 19:36 Yeah. Um, is there an and just finally, is there anything that can be done to strengthen these kinds of firearms, seizure laws? Is there, are there other steps we can take that we're not taking either state by state or nationally, Speaker 5: 19:51 What you need is better implementation? So, you know, more people need to know about these laws need to use these laws. More people need to be comfortable with reporting. You know, these types of violence to the police are getting that, uh, domestic violence restraining order. And that may take more work with the community and building community trust. Speaker 7: 20:18 Uh, north county farming, family of Japanese descent has overcome legal barriers, internment camps. And most recently the pandemic KPBS north county reported Tanya thorn tells us about the Jasu cocci family and how their farm has survived to this day, Speaker 8: 20:36 Donald yes, a coachee and his daughter, Brianne walked the farmland that once belonged to his parents and grandparents were growing corn. We have artichokes asparagus. We have, um, you know, brass berries, blueberry strawberry, the land that now grows a variety of fruits and vegetables has a rich history that began in Japan, Donald yes, a coachee, his grandparents were farmers in Japan before they decided to leave their farm behind and head to America came over. They weren't just welcomed with open arms, the California alien land law banned aliens ineligible for citizenship from owning land, but not everyone agreed with the law that worked against immigrants and generous American farmers gave the JASA coachees a chance. They were able to settle in Oceanside in 1924, where they began dehydrating chilies. Here's a picture of my grandfather. He is the one standing on the truck and these are the dry chilies. Speaker 8: 21:34 Uh, he was known as the king of the chilies, but everything that, yes, a coach she's built king to a halt after the attack on Pearl Harbor. If you had a Japanese face and you had Japanese ancestry, even though you're an American citizen, uh, they, they interned you. They, it puts you in jail. Yes. A coach whose grandparents were separated from each other, along with their children and sent to internment camps in New Mexico and Arizona, most of the Japanese American families lost everything. And they had to come back when they were, at least they, they, uh, I think they gave him $25. When the JASA coachees returned to their farm, they were relieved to find that Mr. Gray, a generous Escondido school teacher had taken care of their land. They're used to like run us out to Escondido and ocean die desk. Indiana is not 20 minutes. Speaker 8: 22:21 Like nowadays it was like two and a half hours in a back road. And it took forever to get out there. But we had to go see Mr. Gray. We had to take him our fresh corn. My mother was just like, always like, you know, Hey, you know what? We're giving back. We have to give back. Yes. A coach has expanded into Carlsbad and began growing and selling wholesale tomatoes, semi truckloads, full of tomatoes in the late eighties. Yes. The coachee family farms transitioned from wholesale to growing a variety of different fruits and vegetables to sell in farmer's markets. Now into the fourth generation of the ESSA cocci family, Brianne USAA coachee had to help the family farm overcome a new hurdle. The pandemic, when the pandemic hit, you know, we were like, okay, the farmer's markets are closing down. You know, we might have to shut down because we don't have a viable source of income with pallets of fresh produce. Speaker 8: 23:14 The USAA coaches had to get creative and decided to promote their community supported agriculture boxes. The CSA boxes come stocked with fresh produce and are delivered for free. He saw it online on Facebook and well, I don't know what, what they do Instagram and my daughter was doing it. And before you know it, the phone was ringing off the hook at a time when stores were low on food, the CSA boxes went viral and the JASA coachees had to meet the demand. But the boxes didn't only help the yes of cocci farm stay in business. They also gave nearby farmers a chance to include their produce in the boxes we work, I would say with five to seven different farmers throughout the week, depending on the season and what they have. And so giving them a place to sell their produce while at the same time, giving the customers the connection of where the produce is coming from has been a win-win for everybody. The CSA boxes range from 25 to $35 and include free delivery anywhere in San Diego county, customers can also add locally grown flowers, olive oil and jams. Speaker 7: 24:23 Joining me is KPBS north county reporter Tonya thorn, Tonya, welcome, Speaker 9: 24:28 Happy to be here. Maureen, Speaker 7: 24:30 How many generations of the yes-no cocci family have been farming in the north county, we're now Speaker 9: 24:36 Into their fourth generation. And it was really interesting to see how much their farm has changed with each generation that has managed the farm. And Speaker 7: 24:44 Is it the same land that their grandparents farmed in Oceanside in the 1920s, Speaker 9: 24:49 They do have their original house that their grandparents lived in and they do have the same land and they've acquired even more land. Now in Fallbrook Bonzul in Oceanside. You told Speaker 7: 25:00 Us that during world war II, the us who cocci family, along with tens of thousands of Japanese Americans were sent to internment camps. Uh, what stories have come down to this generation about that time? Speaker 9: 25:14 Well, you know, the story about them just being taken from one day to the next, from their farm and their everyday life is already a very interesting story. And a piece of history that has been passed down. Donald gets a coach. He told me his grandparents were separated. So not only were they taken from their farm, they were both separated. His grandfather was sent to New Mexico while his grandmother and mother were sent to Arizona. They really had no time to make plans for their farm. So they had no idea what they were going to return to, you know, and to their surprise, a generous Escondido school teacher, Mr. Gray took care of their land. And you can tell that the family is just forever grateful to him. And for his progressive way of thinking at that time, this Speaker 7: 25:56 Family would have every right to Harbor a sense of outrage over their treatment during the war. How have they processed that really dark time? Speaker 9: 26:08 Yeah. Every right. But I really think that they use that rage to succeed. They use their farming skills that they brought with them from Japan and made a name for themselves in a business that now four generations later have been able to live off of. Speaker 7: 26:22 Right now, we're seeing an upsurge in hate crimes directed against Asian-Americans. Is this a reminder to the JASA cocci family, about the bad old days of the war? Speaker 9: 26:34 I believe it is. You know, their family has a history of barriers, preventing them from succeeding over and over again. And COVID, and anti-Asian hate crimes are just more thing to add, but they're, they're not going to let that break them down. And just like the generations before them, they figured out a way to survive and not only survive, but they were able to help fellow farmers sell their produce that would have otherwise gone, gone to waste. Speaker 7: 26:59 It seems that one hallmark of this family farm success has been its ability to change and to innovate. Tell us about how the farm has changed over the years. Speaker 9: 27:10 You know, their story is so representative of innovation as each generation has taken over the farm. They started the hydrating Chili's with a special machine, which was very innovative back in the day. Then they moved on to growing and selling wholesale tomatoes, becoming one of the biggest distributors in California. They moved on to diversifying their crops to a variety of fruits and vegetables and selling them at farmer's markets. You know, but the pandemic ultimately put a stop to the farmer's markets and here comes Brianne JASA. Cocci the youngest generation to take over the farm who use social media to promote the farm CSA boxes with free delivery. And this was at a time when grocery stores were low on food. So, you know, that just went viral. Speaker 7: 27:54 And that was another big innovation that didn't go over immediately with the older generation on the farm. Tell us about that. Speaker 9: 28:03 It was the cutest thing, Maureen. I mean, Donald, you know, the Brianne's dad was very surprised that social media brought this much attention to their farm and the CSA boxes. And it's, it's really cool to see how now they're using social media to even further their business. You know, the dad, you see him on Facebook and he's making small videos, a tip of the week videos is what they're called and he shows you how to cook the vegetables that you get in your CSA boxes. So, you know, now they're using social media and it's just really cool to see how now they're using technology, you know, to better advance their business. Speaker 7: 28:40 Since the pandemic seems finally to be easing up, do the yes, coachees and the other farmers involved plant to keep up the CSA boxes. Speaker 9: 28:50 Oh yes. The CSA boxes are definitely here to stay and their program has extended to all of San Diego county. They kept the free delivery. You get a box full of fresh organic and pesticide, free fruits and vegetables. And they let us get a little taste. And, oh my goodness, I definitely recommend everything was fresh and tasty. And we were watching it, you know, just get, go from the ground to our hands. So it was beautiful. And I think in the future, they do want to open up their farms to the public for some strawberry and blueberry picking Speaker 7: 29:22 Profiling. This family, Tonya was right in line with the end of Asian Pacific American heritage month. How did their amazing story, how did it come to your attention? You know, it's not Speaker 9: 29:33 Very often you find a family run farm, especially four generations deep with such a rich history. And, you know, as I do north canyon reporting our community forgets on Oceanside holds a large farming community. And the also coaches are one of the fields that have been here for almost a century. So it, you know, they really stick out and they're very special. Well, thank Speaker 7: 29:54 You for bringing us this story. I've been speaking with KPBS north county reporter, Tonya thorn. Thanks, Speaker 2: 30:00 Tanya. Thank you. Speaker 1: 30:09 Each day, this week, mid day edition, we'll spotlight the social justice reporting project, a multi-part series by the San Diego union Tribune that aims to amplify unheard voices and underrepresented communities in San Diego. Today, we focus on San Diego's indigenous community and the many historical and current injustices they face joining us to discuss the project is photojournalists and Nicole and to NACI Nicole. Welcome. Speaker 2: 30:36 Hi, thank you so much for having me. Speaker 1: 30:38 Yes, indeed. So can you start by telling us about the goal of this project and where your work fits into Speaker 2: 30:44 It? The goal of my project was to amplify the voices of local natives in San Diego. Ever since I was young, I've always felt called towards, uh, amplifying the voices of people who are in the back, people who are at the table, but no one is listening to, uh, so when it came to this project and I had a choice of what type of social justice issue I wanted to cover, I chose indigenous injustice because the project began around the time of black lives matter movements. And this movement was so, so important, but because it was so, so loud. And so front page, it kind of overshadowed other movements that were happening. And I noticed that as I was attending all of these protests as a photojournalist, I was, I was noticing that there are some movements happening that people weren't hearing about. And it started with a protest that was being done by the Kumeyaay nation in San Diego, which is the tribe that occupied the land before it was colonized. And I started to learn about this issue and realize that I had no idea. I had never heard of the name Kumi. I, and I was started asking, I started to ask around and realize that other people hadn't heard about them either and thought this is a movement that could use some amplifying. Speaker 1: 32:04 It is entitled, sacred remains. How did you come to choose that title and how does it reflect the content of Speaker 2: 32:10 Your work? So that title was inspired by what was happening at the us Mexico border while at the time. So the kunai nation was protesting in response to border patrol's plan to desecrate their sacred land in order to build Trump's wall. And this desecration was just happening every single day, silently in the background, far away from mainstream media could see it. And I was hearing all these stories about all of these ancient artifacts are being found, and this desecration was just happening. Regardless, people experts were being brought to the site to verify that there were these sacred ancestral remains, and yet they were just being blown up and desecrated in order to build this wall. So that kind of set the stage and set the tone for my product. That's where I got the title. But I will say I started with the movement that was being initiated by the Kumeyaay nation, but the project ended up expanding. The more I talked to people and realized that there was a greater issue here. It wasn't just the QBI nations protests that needed amplifying. It was the voices of other local natives in San Diego who were experiencing things like stigma and just daily discrimination, Speaker 1: 33:24 Right? Because I wanted to ask, what are some of the key issues and themes you wanted to explore with this Speaker 2: 33:29 Project? And it came out to be a four part series. The first part was about native stigma. That's where I interviewed a woman named Diane. It tells his name. She was actually adopted off of a reservation and raised by a white family who didn't want to know that she was native because of that stigma that existed. So that was one topic that I explored. Another topic I explored was generational trauma, where I interviewed Brooke Banes on what it's like to be a young native in San Diego and carry this very real traumatic reality that a lot of young natives feel. And she described it as a spiritual disconnect of, there are people from the earth, this not knowing of how to live life, this feeling of loss and having to relearn a culture that that was torn away from them. So that was generational trauma with Brooke veins. Speaker 2: 34:21 The third part of this series, I talked about the importance of protest and just the daily discrimination that natives in San Diego experience. And I interviewed Zola fish for this and also spoke to her husband, Carl Mohammed, uh, who cross border check points regularly for their jobs and are constantly being stopped and questioned. And we talked about why it's so important for Zola to protest alongside the Kumeyaay nation, even though she is an enrolled member of the Choctaw nation. So just the importance of solidarity and protest there, that was the third part of the series. And then the last part was the resistance is what we called it and how our native communities in San Diego resisting all of this stigma and discrimination. And for this one, I, I interviewed Stan Rodriguez, who is the director of Kumiai community college and teaches QBI language there as a, as a form of resistance. So those were kind of the main topics that I explored, native stigma, generational trauma, the importance of protest and the resistance. How do you hope your work Speaker 1: 35:25 Will change understanding of indigenous identity through the lens of injustice? Speaker 2: 35:30 I just hope that this project not only amplifies these voices, but helps people who aren't native understand that native people are still here. They're still very much, their culture is still very much alive. And it's so important that we do everything we can to honor it and shed light on it, especially since so much of their culture has been taken away by colonization. So I personally feel that it is our obligation to continue to acknowledge these communities and make sure that their voices and stories are being heard. So people know they're still here. I've Speaker 1: 36:02 Been speaking with photo journalist, Nicole, and to NACI Nicole, thank you so much for joining us. Thanks so much for having me. Yeah. Listening to KPBS midday edition I'm Jade Hindman Maureen Kavanaugh has the day off as Asian Pacific American heritage month comes to a close. We bring you a story that puts a new spin on the Buddhist concepts of Nirvana and detachment and explores the power of memory and desire. Lamesa author Serena Dahlan grew up in Thailand, surrounded by the myths and ghost stories that carried the cultural traditions of the past. But her debut novel is set in a utopian future and it, human memories are erased every four years as a way of living in peace without war, but eventually some memories find their way in and the book asks the question. Can you love someone you don't remember? So Rena Dallin's new book is called reset. She spoke to my co-host Maureen Kavanaugh recently, here's that interview. Speaker 2: 37:07 Now your novel Speaker 7: 37:08 Is set after a series of catastrophic wars and in an effort to stop that annihilation memories are reset. Why did you focus on memory being the nexus of human problems? Speaker 2: 37:23 Well, because I grew up in Thailand, I was surrounded by the culture and the teachings of Buddhism, even though I'm not. And Buddhism teaches that the path to Nirvana is detachment. And I thought, well, if memories are the seeds of all types of attachment, erasing memories would be a natural shortcut to peace. That's how I got the idea. Now, there Speaker 7: 37:48 Was an incident, as you struggled with what to write that sparked the idea for this book. Can you tell us about that? Speaker 2: 37:57 Yes, actually, um, reset is the first book I've ever finished. And previous to that, um, I've just been writing, you know, over and over again, try to get to a story. And, and I was writing for months, uh, this one story and, um, one night at about 3:00 AM in the morning, I decided that I hated the story and it, you raised everything. And, but in that moment, as I was staring at the blank screen, um, a question came to me. What if we, as human can erase our memories just as we do any program and what kind of world would we have and why would it be necessary? And those questions kind of propelled me forward. And the one question that you had mentioned, can you love someone you don't remember pretty much haunted me the entire time I was writing in creative Speaker 7: 38:55 This world, uh, to most people, it might sound pretty good. Your concept of the four cities where the people of the earth live sounds beautiful, you know, on the surface at least tell us what life is like. There Speaker 2: 39:12 It is a utopia in every sense of the word. Um, I wanted to go into a place where if the last war were to happen to us, what would be the one thing that we would find most valuable and that's peace. And in this world where peace is the most important thing, it would be something that we'd want to protect. It would be something that society would want to protect. And so the utopia has this, uh, life where everyone's taken care of because the idea is to protect the whole of humanity. So all resources are shared. Um, there's no money because, uh, extreme capitalism really has no place in this world because memories are, if memories are erased every four years, there's no point in accumulating wealth and no point in building empire and dynasties. Um, also, you know, everyone's a site, a place to live, so there's no homelessness. Speaker 2: 40:14 And because there's no homelessness, there's no hunger. Um, everyone is assigned a job pretty much, you know, life is this easy, uh, way of living. And, um, I wanted to kind of create a world where we all are. The readers can feel conflicted about liking because, you know, eventually in the book, um, the readers will get to know two characters who, whose memories were raised and are trying to find each other. And so, you know, this utopia became their dystopia and you know, some, every utopia someone's dystopia because whenever you place upon another your believe and they don't have a choice in it, um, someone is going to be unhappy. Speaker 7: 41:06 As you mentioned, in, in the four cities in this utopia, every four years, everyone's memories are raced, but that a ratio does not always work perfectly in your book. Can you read us a short passage where one of your characters is starting to recognize something in his dreams? Speaker 2: 41:27 I think there's something I'm supposed to find out about the past than just us. Like, I don't know, but I keep getting these dreams, dreams. Aren't real. Benja, there's this your mind firing synopsis, making connections, cleaning out junk they'll feel real. To me. He says Eris thinks of her own nonsensical dreams and how they to feel real to her that they are just dreams. They're not links to the past, no premonitions of the future. And even if one could visit the past, why do it to her tabula? Rasa is a gift. The planner had bestowed on humanity every four years, minder raised of all the reasons to hate. So everyone can co-exist in harmony. Every time she gives the children a tour at the museum, she is reminded of how fragile pieces scattered human skeletons, scorched sky collapsed buildings. She would gladly take this version of reality over the alternative Speaker 7: 42:33 That was Serena Dahlin reading from her new book called reset. And thank you for that. Thank you so much. Now, Serena Asian Americans are experiencing an outburst of, I guess you could call a generational hatred fueled by decades of anti-Asian sentiment, the humans in reset, move beyond that kind of hatred, because they don't remember it. Is that the only way out of this trauma, Speaker 2: 42:59 I believe that, um, you know, in reset that different sets was also taken out of their hands because everyone's, uh, everyone's created using randomly mixed DNAs of all their survivors. So in a way everyone's mixed and because of that res resonant exists, and we know that race is this kind of human concept and construct. Um, that is in a way, you know, have been used over and over again to divide us. But, you know, if we really take a look around and, um, and reach out to people on the other side and get to know them as human being, I feel that we are so much more similar than we are different. And the way out of this really is just through that. It's, it's rewriting what we were taught. It's in a way, erasing our old memories, the things that taught us to fear and hate each other. And we can do that ourselves. We don't need a world to erase our memories. And so we can preserve all the love that we have for another and learn to embrace people who are different from us. The Speaker 7: 44:19 Mesa author, Sharina Dollins new book is called reset. And I want to thank you so much, Serena for joining us. Speaker 2: 44:26 Thank you. I am so happy to be here. You can Speaker 7: 44:29 Join Serena in a virtual event presented by mysterious galaxy books. She'll be reading and discussing her new book reset. And that starts tonight at seven.

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Memorial Day ceremonies at Fort Rosecrans and Miramar National Cemeteries were again paired down this year due to COVID-19 restrictions. And, the National Parks Service has issued new guidance on how best to prioritize conservation efforts in the face of intensifying climate change. Plus, details continue to surface about the gunman who killed nine people at a Valley Transportation Authority light rail yard in San Jose on Wednesday. Then, a North County San Diego farming family of Japanese descent has overcome legal barriers, internment camps, and most recently, the pandemic. Also, a new multimedia series by The San Diego Union-Tribune spotlights social justice reporting across San Diego. Finally, a La Mesa author releases her debut novel in a post-catastrophic world where human memories are erased every four years to preserve peace.