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Individual Comes Forward Claiming ‘I Brought The Tortillas To The Game’

 June 24, 2021 at 1:43 PM PDT

Speaker 1: 00:00 The latest fallout over a racist high school incident. There Speaker 2: 00:04 A large contingent of people that just aren't sold that this wasn't a racist incident. Speaker 1: 00:11 Jade Heintzman with Maureen Kavanaugh. This is KPBS mid date. [inaudible] Ethnic studies will be expanded in San Diego unified schools. We Speaker 2: 00:29 Need to have honest conversations in our courses about our history as a country and motivate our young people to believe that they can actually make change and make things better going forward. Speaker 1: 00:44 And the county works to meet the needs of people priced out of homes and on the street. Plus a look at hyper-realistic art at a local museum that's ahead on midday, a championship San Diego county high school basketball game turned tortilla hurling fracas continues to make national headlines. The game Saturday was a victory for Cornetto high school over Escondido's orange, Glen. It's what happened after the game that continues to dumbfound observers. Tortillas were hurled by some Cornetto players at their opponents. There was an altercation on the court and Cornado is now terminated. Coach reportedly yelled expletives at orange Glenn's coach for the team to leave unsportsmanlike, definitely racist. Yes. Racist intent. Well, that's still being debated among some here with some background on the story is San Diego high school basketball expert and longtime Southern California journalist Aaron Bergen. Aaron welcome. Good afternoon. A Granada resident has come forward to claim responsibility for bringing the tortillas to the game and says that it wasn't intended to be racist. How is this latest development being received? Speaker 2: 02:04 It really depends on the audience that you talk to. A lot of people have panned, uh, the interview that he gave with several news outlets. Um, specifically talking about the intent versus impact. Uh, when we talk about the tortilla throwing, while it might not be been his intent, um, to be racist in any way, that's what he's claiming, uh, the impact both visually and obviously from a, um, from a very, you know, just cultural perspective, uh, begs otherwise. And I think that there's a large contingent of people that just aren't sold that this wasn't a racist incident now from the Cornetto bans and, and family's perspective, they've all kind of taken hold of this interview and really kind of, uh, fought back or tried to fight back against the allegations of racist conduct. Uh, partly because Luke Sarno, the person who brought the tortillas is half Hispanic and they've pointed to this and saying, well, if he's half Hispanic, how could this be a racist incident? Uh, so as you mentioned, there's still a lot of debate about, uh, the intent and also the impact, as well as, um, where to move from here. Speaker 1: 03:27 You watched the game as it happened and tweeted about the tortillas being thrown that night. What's your reaction to what happened following the game? Speaker 2: 03:35 Well, and in a word, it was unacceptable, uh, as a basketball observer in San Diego, I've attended about 40 championship games, close to 50 and over 500 basketball contest. And this rivals anything that I've seen at the end of a game. And I think what makes it, um, specifically egregious is that the behavior that we're talking about was instigated by the winning team. Um, these were the, they had won a championship. They had won their second championship and as many weeks, and when we talk about high school basketball in California, the California interscholastic Federation, CIF has as its primary mantra pursuing the three with honor. Uh, there was nothing honorable about the display that occurred after Speaker 1: 04:28 The victory Coronado school board fired their coach over this. What do you make of his conduct on the court that night and the responsibility he bears for? What happened? Speaker 2: 04:39 Now? Let me preface my remarks by saying that I've known JD Lahiri for nine years now. Uh, I know him not to be a racist and most of the time JD is a very even keeled, good coach and instructor of men. But in the moment that he turned to the orange Glen, uh, staff and players and scream the expletives and told them to get out of the gym and reportedly called them losers, everything that occurred after that, the fracas that occurred near the scores table, um, the large group of people that converged on one another. And then of course the tortilla throwing incident, while I'm not going to say that he caused the tortilla incident, he definitely caused the environment that maybe, um, led people to believe that it would be okay. I know that there's been a lot of discussion about whether the tortillas were part of a celebration, but if you look at the tape, the tortillas were thrown during the altercation. Speaker 2: 05:49 I don't know if you're, if they're then saying that they were celebrating the altercation, but it really does kind of fly in the face of what counter-argument has been, but we're never the less, uh, JDS behavior sparked the incident that led to the conditions that led to this really unsightly incident. And if you listen to the board members, our remarks at the, um, Monday emergency board meeting, they did make clear that the profanity was also part of the problem. It wasn't just the tortilla froing. It was the coach's behavior, and they didn't say specifically the coach, but they mentioned and called out several times the profanity towards the visiting team. And I don't think, I don't think they had much of a choice, but to let JD go. And that's unfortunate given that his, his track record up until that point, he had been a coach of, of good esteem in the county, Speaker 1: 06:54 You know, and there was a foul committed at a previous game between the teams that you say could explain what appears to be bad blood between the coaching staffs. What can you tell us about that? So orange Speaker 2: 07:05 Glen and Cornado had basically been the two best teams in San Diego's division two all year. And the champion, the CIF section championship game before was also tightly contested. It was a one point game in the fourth quarter. Uh, Cornado Starguard Wayne McKinney. Who's headed to the university of San Diego, had a breakaway layup and, uh, one of orange Glen's players committed a very hard foul. It was deemed an intentional foul by the referees, and it sparked a confrontation between both coaching staffs. Uh, they had to be separated by CIS commissioner, which is very rare in a championship game. And I think that there was some carry over into the, uh, state regional championship game. Uh, given the fact that from all from the reports I've received from both sides, neither coaching staff approached, um, the other before the game, which is highly unusual. There were no well wishes going into this game. So the temperature of the game already was elevated. Speaker 1: 08:11 Yeah, it sounds like they went in with high tensions. Um, the California, California interscholastic Federation, which oversees high school sports and the state has yet to weigh in on this incident. Uh, what consequences could Coronado high schools team face as a result of what happened, Speaker 2: 08:27 Uh, myriad. And before we even get to the CIF level, we've already had at least one school district say that if Cornell's response to this incident does not meet their expectations of what it should be. They will not participate in any games against Cornado. That was the Sweetwater union high school district, which is the second largest school district in San Diego. And from a sports perspective, perhaps its most influential given two CIF commissioners, the last UCF commissioners have come from a Sweetwater district now from CIS perspective locally. And from the state perspective, there's a need, there are numerous things that they could do to punish Cornado. Uh, they could strip Cornado of its section and state regional championships, uh, looking forward to next season. They could, uh, every coach has given a certain amount of points to create their non-league schedule. That those are games that are not against league opponents. They could reduce or eliminate, uh, the points. So the Coronado could not have a non-league schedule and as well as ban them from the post season. So there are, there are a number of things that are still on the table and CIF has taken a wait and see approach to see what Cornado unified does as well as the other concurrent investigations by, uh, the Cornetto police department and as well as Escondido union high school district, Speaker 1: 10:02 I've been speaking to San Diego high school basketball expert, Aaron Bergen. He is founder of full-time hoops and NCAA scouting service. Aaron, thank you so much for joining us. Thank you very much. And a special meeting will be held tonight at 5 45 at the Escondido school district office to address this incident Speaker 3: 10:29 [inaudible] Speaker 1: 10:33 Earlier this week, the San Diego unified school board unanimously approved a plan that will integrate anti-racism and ethnic studies education into its curriculum. The vote was proceeded by a protest of roughly two dozen people who oppose the effort with some equating the new curriculum to components of the hotly contested critical race theory. This expansion of ethnic studies comes at a time of heightened racial awareness in San Diego, where many are reconsidering, how racism should be confronted in the classroom, especially after several racist incidents at local high schools. Joining me now to discuss the scope of the new curriculum and some of the debate around it is San Diego unified board, president Richard Barrera, Richard Wilson. Awesome. Speaker 2: 11:17 Thanks so much, Jay. Thanks for having me. Speaker 1: 11:19 It's becoming increasingly common to see people conflate elements of multicultural education initiatives with critical race theory. What will this new ethnic studies and anti-racism training cover and why do you think some in the community are equating it with critical race theory? Well, you Speaker 2: 11:39 Know, the most important thing that we're doing to move forward Jade is, you know, we are absolutely committed as a district that the barriers that people have for generations as a result of racism, that we want to equip our young people to be able to move beyond those barriers and not simply pass down the same problems that we inherited as, as, as prior generations. And in order to equip young people to combat racism, we need to have very honest and deep conversations in our courses about our history as a country, our history as communities, why we're at the place that we're at now and motivate our young people to believe that they can actually make change and make things better going forward. And so, you know, ethnic studies for instance, is really about young people learning that their own history is incredibly relevant and has produced so many positive contributions to our country that often have gone overlooked, but also that the situations that young people understand that they're living in day to day are the product, you know, a long history, uh, that, you know, includes, you know, racism and racist practices all over our country and, and here in San Diego as well. Speaker 2: 13:11 So what we know Jade is that when we are able to speak honestly and directly and clearly with young people about our history, good and bad young people get very engaged and very motivated and want to learn more and want to be on the front lines of making our community better going forward. Speaker 1: 13:33 And what are you hearing from educators within San Diego unified about the need for ethnic studies? Educators Speaker 2: 13:40 Are strongly in favor of ethnic studies. And I, you know, when we hold professional development for teachers around ethnic studies, we get great response. You know, teachers want to learn a new ways of teaching new ways of engaging students, new content that they can share with their students. And the ethnic studies training that we've done over the past couple of years has been incredibly well received by our teachers because here's what our teachers know when they're able to teach content that is relevant to students and teach it in a way that engages students. They see better attendance, they see more motivation, uh, of young people to do assignments, better grades, better academic performance, but also a bigger sense on the part of young people that they can actually contribute to the world and be part of change going forward. And that's very motivating, as you can imagine to teachers, Speaker 1: 14:41 How have parents of children enrolled within San Diego unified reacted to the approval of this curriculum? Expansion parents Speaker 2: 14:48 Have been overwhelmingly supportive, you know, three quarters of the students in our district are students of color. So we have parents, you know, that for decades have been saying, look, we need, uh, what our students learn to be more relevant to their own lives and to our families, uh, histories. Um, but parents of, you know, white students have also been incredibly supportive of ethnic studies because they don't want their students to go forward in a world where, uh, racism affects everybody. You know, I think one of the, uh, you know, stories that certainly we can take out of this incident at Cornado high school is that had the students, you know, at Cornado high school, been better equipped, uh, to understand what was going on. You know, when an adult started to pass out tortillas, you know, to throw at the other players, I think the students would have been in a, in a, in a better position to, you know, to say, that's not who we are. Speaker 2: 15:51 That's not what we do. Unfortunately. Now, you know, students at Coronado high school and orange Glen high school are both having to, uh, you know, live in the aftermath of an incident that they wouldn't have wanted to be involved in. So, you know, that's a small example, but on a larger scale, I think, you know, what we're seeing from parents of all of our students is a sense that we don't want to continue to live in a world where racism is such a limiting factor to everybody. We want to equip our students with the ability to move forward and make a better world Speaker 1: 16:26 About that incident with the tortillas being thrown. Do you think, do you really think that the students involved in that were that innocent and that they just didn't know what they were doing was racist? Speaker 2: 16:36 No, I think, I think they were acting in a, in a, in a way that was racist. And that's the problem, you know, the, the problem is why are we putting young people in a position, whether they're victims of racism or perpetrators of racism to be either, you know, why aren't we equipping people to move beyond that and, and move past, you know, the, uh, you know, the way of thinking and the way of acting, that's been a burden on adults for generations and generations. So yeah, of course it was a racist act, but why aren't we educating our young people, not to perpetrate racist acts and why aren't we educating our young people, uh, to confront racist acts when, when they happen, Speaker 1: 17:24 You know, a constant refrain against this kind of teaching is that, uh, children are too young to confront the horrors of racism more than doing so with some, so some sort of racial division. Um, what can you tell us about that? Young people Speaker 2: 17:37 Understand that we already have racial division and that we already experienced horrors and incredibly negative, uh, you know, uh, situations as a of racism, young people live that every day, what they wanted, what they want to know is why are we in this situation? Why is the world the way that it is and how can we make the world better? So, you know, young people, they're not coming at this in a way that, um, that they're not already experiencing problems associated with racism. I, they want to not be trapped, uh, in a situation where they are going to move forward in a world that hasn't addressed these problems and pass these problems on to future generations. Speaker 1: 18:21 I've been speaking with San Diego unified board, president Richard Berrera Richard, thank you so much for joining us. Thank you, Jade. Speaker 4: 18:35 This is KPBS day edition. I'm Maureen Kavanaugh with Jade Heinemann for a short time. Last year, it was thought that the effort to protect homeless San Diegans from COVID-19 would have long-term effects on solving the region's homeless crisis. That does not seem to be the case. According to the downtown San Diego partnership, the number of homeless people living on the streets in downtown and surrounding areas has increased dramatically with hundreds of tents set up across the area. A joint city county outreach effort is set to begin next week, which will include the reopening of some city-funded shelter beds closed during the pandemic. And joining me is San Diego county supervisor Nathan Fletcher, supervisor Fletcher. Welcome. Speaker 2: 19:23 What Speaker 4: 19:23 Is your understanding about why there's been such an increase in homelessness in recent months? Speaker 2: 19:28 Well, homelessness is a multifactorial faceted really com complex issue that at its root Maureen really is about poverty. Uh, ultimately people don't make enough money to be able to afford to live. And then it is compounded by issues of substance abuse, uh, of mental illness of trauma. And it really requires a multifaceted approach. And there's no just easy, just do this one thing, and it all goes away. It takes really intentional, dedicated effort, uh, over a sustained amount of time to, to see progress. And it, it is very challenging Speaker 4: 20:00 Is the increase in people living on the streets due to people who are newly homeless, or is it that we're not helping people who are chronically homeless? Speaker 2: 20:10 I think it's both. Uh, you know, I think it's both the old adage of, you know, in social services is, you know, if you stop someone who's heading into the river, when they're ankle deep, then you don't have to save them from drowning. And I don't think we do enough of the preventative work. Um, but I also think that we have decades on end of not treating mental health and substance abuse in the way it ought to be treated. I think we have a multi-decade failed war on drugs and at its underlying point, we still have significant issues of poverty that while you may have a raging stock market and creating more millionaires and billionaires, your average person out there working, uh, is barely making to make ends meet because wages remain very low. And I think all of these rolled together into a situation we face today that compels us to act and really compels us to try to do things differently than just the way they've always been done in the past. And that's what we're really trying to do is recognize the severity of the situation, the impact on the lives of those who are in shelters, but also the impact on our neighborhoods and our small businesses, uh, and our residents, uh, to, to really try and try and significantly improve the situation. So Speaker 4: 21:16 What is this new outreach approach that the city and county is going to launch next week? Speaker 2: 21:21 Well, there's two parts to it. The first part is the immediate next week, which is we're going to have increased shelter capacity, uh, because a lot of the shelters, pretty much all of them operated under physical distancing, social distancing rules of COVID. Those roles have now been lifted, which gives us increased capacity. But in order to fill that capacity, you've got to have dedicated, uh, outreach workers to really blanket an area, offer services, engage with individuals and get them comfortable moving in. And that's the immediate step one, uh, that, that is, that is going to be taking place here in gym. Step two, as a program we're launching, uh, again, the county funded, but in partnership with the city, but also doing it county-wide, which will launch in August. And that will be what we call our C heart team, our community harm reduction teams. Speaker 2: 22:04 These are uniquely trained outreach workers, particularly to reach those with the most chronic substance abuse and mental health issues and engage them in a unique way. And, and for a lot of those books, there is nowhere for them to go because of the condition they're in. And we will be opening new, safe Haven locations that will give them an open door, no questions asked let's facilitate getting them indoors and build that trust and then get them connected with some of the services they need in that program. We'll launch in August. That is a change from, from what has historically been done. Um, but again, focused on those most difficult cases. And we hope the combination of both of these plus everything else we're doing, uh, can, can begin to yield some positive results, Speaker 4: 22:48 Uh, talking about the teams that will be reaching out and providing services to people who have chronic substance use issues, um, who will be on those teams, what types of services are they going to be offering? Speaker 2: 23:01 Well, it's really going to be a team effort. You're going to have peer support individuals with lived experience. That's very vital for someone to say, Hey, I've been in your path and you've got to trust me. It gets better. And to include substance use counselors that are really designed to walk people through, you know, kind of this stages of, of coming to terms with the addiction and the options available to you, uh, mental health clinicians, along with psychiatric consultation with nurse practitioners, it really is a team effort. You know, some of these individuals, Maureen are 10, 15, 20 plus years, uh, into addiction and mental illness. And, and it, it, it takes a considerable engagement. And, you know, as a county, we just wiped away decades of failed approaches to substance abuse. We just adopted like embracing certain services, uh, Naloxone harm reduction strategies. Uh, and it really does take a different approach, uh, with these folks, one of compassion and empathy, uh, and one of opening a door and building trust to just facilitate, Hey, let's get you in a better place. And then let's work on a long-term path, uh, to try and get you well. But these are very challenging cases. They are very, very, very part of difficult. So Speaker 4: 24:09 Homeless people, if they don't agree to stop drinking or stop using drugs, there are virtually no shelters available to them. Now, how would that change under this new outreach? Speaker 2: 24:19 Well, that's right. I mean, right now most shelters and housing options for, for the unsheltered require you to be sober, uh, or actively committed to sobriety. That's obviously a preference, but for a lot of individuals, that's not a reality. You've got to build trust. Um, and so we've got to look for creative ways to get people off the streets and into shelters, um, in order to facilitate a pathway to recovery, when someone's suffering with addiction and mental health issues, you know, the standard promise of a hot meal at Cod or a roof over their head that may not be appealing enough. And if we're being honest, some of these individuals just don't have that level of trust. And so a safe Haven will simply provide you a housing and sheltering opportunity with no questions asked, it's going to be unconditional. It's going to be non-judgemental. But we also know based on evidence, it is the key to unlocking trust and getting people on a pathway to recovery. And so sometimes we have to do things that may be a little controversial or a little unconventional in order to get an outcome different than what we've been doing urine. And you're out, Speaker 4: 25:20 As I understand it, police officers will be involved in the first phase of this outreach effort. Are you concerned that it may put people off and prevent people from engaging? Speaker 2: 25:31 Uh, that is a concern that that's a very valid and legitimate concern. Um, you know, if a lot of these individuals have been justice involved in the past and just the presence of law enforcement, not law enforcement, not doing anything wrong at all, but their presence, uh, can escalate the situation and create some trust issues. Um, and so that's why as a county we've really moved now more than $20 million to build out our mobile crisis response teams. These will be coming online late summer, uh, countywide, and, and we think this can help an assist. Um, you know, I think generally the, the, the best engagement is going to be those, those lived experienced peer support specialists to kind of work with these individuals, build some trust, engage with them and try and get them into helping services. I think that's the probably preferable. Speaker 4: 26:14 Now the fundamental problem San Diego has with homelessness is there are not enough low income housing units for people to live in. Where will that resource come from? Well, Speaker 2: 26:24 I think it's twofold. I think you're right there. There's not enough, uh, affordable housing that's out there. Uh, you know, I'm moving, I've got hundreds, if not thousands of units that are under construction in my district, taking county owned land and building a hundred percent affordable projects. But the other problem that we still face Maureen is, you know, I see this, my wife and I, and our family. We live in Heights. You know, if I go for a run in the morning and I see people who live in their car, and these are folks who work full time. And so we have two problems and that people who work full-time still do not make enough money. We have not seen a wages track with the stock market and track with, you know, income, inequality, and differences. And so increase in wages will help deal with half of the problem. The other part of the problem is ensuring that that rent remains affordable and there's affordable housing options. Uh, and I think we have to push on both of those recognizing again, that homelessness at its root is about poverty. Uh, and, and if we tackle poverty, uh, then we can begin to see some structural change as opposed to just back-filling that, that, that poverty with help and assistance to bridge it over. And so I think we, we have to really keep pushing on the issue of surrounding wages and pushing on issues surrounding affordability of housing. Speaker 4: 27:34 Okay. Then I've been speaking with San Diego county supervisor, Nathan Fletcher, always. Thank you Speaker 2: 27:39 So much. Thank you, Maureen. [inaudible] Speaker 4: 27:50 San Diego county's eviction moratorium ends most likely this fall, will we see massive waves of people forced out of their homes. A rental relief program is meant to prevent that, but KPBS, investigative reporter, Claire Traeger, sir found it's not always working. Speaker 5: 28:09 Oh yeah. Ramon Tescano is a day labor and father of five kids soon to be six together with his wife. And mother-in-law the family lives in a two bedroom apartment in Vista Speaker 6: 28:24 It's staples. This began well with the pandemic in March. When we tried to ask for loans and used our savings to pay the rent, but then it became harder for us. Speaker 5: 28:34 When the pandemic hit work dried up, they soon fell back behind on rent [inaudible] Speaker 6: 28:41 We could eat, or we could pay rent. I mean, that's a really hard decision though. Speaker 5: 28:46 Family applied to the county's rent relief program this past March and waited. Finally, the money came last month. Rent relief was meant to quell a tsunami of evictions, but across San Diego county, the money is only just beginning to trickle out. The county has doled out only a quarter of the money it's received as of last week. And a KPBS analysis of the funds reveals that wealthier zip codes, disproportionately benefit residents of San Diego's downtown high rent district have gotten the most, so far little Italy in the Gaslamp received almost $1.4 million while residents of some of the counties, three lowest income neighborhoods, each received a fraction of that in Logan Heights, San Ysidro and national city, and the zip codes where residents have had the best chance at receiving rent relief are some of the wealthiest in the county, Rancho Santa Fe, Poway, little Italy in the Gaslamp. Speaker 2: 29:47 The list is so long that it's impossible for me to cover it with Speaker 5: 29:51 You. The problem is getting the word out to renters for how to get help says, as Susanna Valladolid at the San Diego housing, we did Speaker 2: 29:59 Paid advertisements in both English and Spanish on the radio advertisements, on the bus routes from sunny, Seadrill all the way to downtowns. There Speaker 5: 30:09 Are numerous issues with how the money is going out. A complicated system that is difficult for tenants to navigate the fact that money can't be given to people who've taken loans to pay their rent and the requirement that landlords cover 20% of the rent money. The Speaker 2: 30:25 Eviction moratorium does not absolve a tenant's financial responsibility to pay all of the rent. We have been advocating for significant changes if those changes happen. And that's a big, if, if those changes happen, we would be able to exhaust all of the funds that we have as they've Speaker 5: 30:46 Seen many tenants who, despite the eviction moratorium prioritized paying rent over other bills, Speaker 2: 30:52 They may have taken out loans may have charged on their credit cards. Unfortunately, we are not able to pay or provide assistance for people who have taken out loans. Speaker 5: 31:06 The Vista resident, he did get some money, but nothing to cover. April may and June the months he waited after he applied California is considering a plan to forgive all back rent for people like to [inaudible]. He owes almost $5,000 and is worried. Speaker 6: 31:26 [inaudible] maybe we're one more homeless to stick, because if I don't have enough money for my rent, what's going to happen. I'm going to take my family onto the street or in the car to live. Toscano Speaker 5: 31:38 Says, this is all because of something his family didn't ask for the pandemic before the pandemic hit. He says he always found a way to pay the rent one way or the other. Speaker 4: 31:50 Joining me is KPBS investigative reporter, Claire Traeger, sir. Claire. Welcome. Thank you. Now, in several interviews that we have done on this show, we've been following the slow disbursement of rent relief funds and San Diego county. Isn't one of the reasons that there aren't as many people applying for those funds as we're expected. Well, yeah, Speaker 5: 32:09 I think part of the problem is that it's been very slow to go out and, you know, initially the applications were quite complicated. Um, people said it was harder than doing your taxes. The state has now simplified the applications, um, to make it more straightforward and make it so that you can do it on a mobile phone. People didn't really know about it as much at first. Uh, and so they're, they're working to get the word out. And then, um, these agencies, government agencies are having to process all the applications and sometimes even go back to people and get more information, more forms of identification, things like that. So it's all going slower, I think, than was expected. Speaker 4: 32:53 No, it seems that one big loophole in this program is that if people went into debt to pay their rent during the pandemic, they have no recourse to these rent relief funds. Is that one of the state guidelines, the housing commission says makes this program so difficult. Speaker 5: 33:08 Yes, definitely. That's that's a big issue is that people prioritize paying their rent as their first bill. You always think, oh, I've got to pay my rent. And so even though there was this moratorium and people weren't necessarily going to be evicted, they were still doing whatever they could to pay their rent. And that means that if they took out a loan or use credit cards, things like that to pay their rent, they aren't now eligible for, for rental relief through this, through this program. But I should say the housing commission is asking the state to change that so that people who did take out loans to pay their rent can get that rental relief. Um, they've written a letter to the governor. And so that's potentially one of the changes that they're looking for to make it easier to get money out to people, Speaker 4: 33:57 Outline the difference in rental relief payments across the county with a higher amount, going to higher income neighborhoods. Isn't one reason for that, that rents are higher in those neighborhoods. And so the payout would be high. Well, Speaker 5: 34:11 That's a good point. But when you look at the numbers of, um, households, who've received rental assistance, it's also higher in those neighborhoods, which of course then follows why the money is higher because they're giving out more rent to people in those neighborhoods. Um, but I think another issue is that, you know, depending on what neighborhood people lived in or what part of the county, like you look at ELCA Hoehn, um, there's a high number of people who got rental assistance in those neighborhoods. Maybe just because there's more outreach or there are more nonprofits set up to help people. You know, people have been going around with tablets and, and trying to sign people up. Um, so it's, it's not just about, uh, how many people live in that neighborhood necessarily, or what the rents are, but how the outreach is going to, to let people know and help them fill out these forms. Speaker 4: 35:05 And landlords in particular have been hesitant to apply for rent relief payments. Is there some concern that many might be waiting to evict their tenants? Speaker 5: 35:15 Well, yeah. So the way that it goes is that a tenant fills in the application, but then the landlord has to, um, agree. Yes, I will cover 20% of this person's rent. And then the landlord gets 80% of the rent that hasn't been paid. And if the landlord doesn't agree, then the tenant only gets 25% of their rent, um, rental assistance paid to them. And that's, again, something that, um, advocates are asking the state to change, but yeah, as we'll go into in the story tomorrow, um, some landlords just want people out because then they can raise the rents when, when people leave for, for new renters, more than they're allowed to under rent control laws. Um, so, you know, we have a landlord talking about the chinos, other landlords who are even just giving people money to move out, not only, you know, not helping them get rental assistance, but actually paying them to move because they can then raise the rent enough to make more money off of new tenants. Moving in Speaker 4: 36:20 Also in part two tomorrow, this report you and fellow reporter, Christina Kim, you will examine how the eviction moratorium is working and apparently evictions are still taking place. Why is that happening? Speaker 5: 36:34 That's right. I mean, there are, there have been reasons why people could, um, evict people during the pandemic, despite the moratorium. Um, and some advocates say that landlords have abused those reasons. Like, for example, if you say, oh, I'm going to move into the place myself, or have a family member move in, or I'm going to make improvements on the property, you can still have people move out. And I think another big thing is that people just don't necessarily know that there are protections for tenants, especially in San Diego county. That's pretty recent too. Um, you know, rent control, uh, tenant protections, things like that. So I talked with an organizer who said, um, when someone in LA is evicted, their first thought is who do I talk to for help? Uh, who do I reach out to? And in San Diego it's oh, shoot, where am I going to move to? You know, so people don't know that they can fight it. And so they may just leave. Even if the eviction wasn't actually allowed under state law, Speaker 4: 37:37 We've been saying part two of this report will air tomorrow on midday edition. I've been speaking with KPBS, investigative reporter, Claire Tresor Claire. Thank you very much. Thank you. Speaker 1: 37:55 You're listening to KPBS midday edition. I'm Jade Hindman with Maureen Kavanaugh. Now on view at San Diego museum of art is a new exhibition featuring be hyper-realistic drawings of contemporary artists on a D LVR. It's not the first time the Balboa park institution has welcomed contemporary work to its walls, but it's part of a trend of recent exhibitions that play with or reflect on the old masterpieces from the museum's collection de LVRs exhibition features dozens of still lives that draw you in for a closer look and make you question everything. KPBS arts editor, Julia Dixon Evans has the story. Even Speaker 7: 38:38 If we were standing right in front of one of [inaudible] works of art, you probably wouldn't believe me, but what you're seeing, isn't real. The San Diego museum of art just installed a major exhibition of work by contemporary artists on a VR she's based in Madrid. The exhibition is called everything you see could be ally entering the gallery on the first floor of STMA begins. The progression of lies. Here's Anna Davia. Speaker 2: 39:07 One of the things that happens when you enter the exhibition is that you think everything is a photograph, but it isn't. So that's the first lie. And, uh, and then you see some stuffed animals and you think that it's a toy, uh, exhibition, but it isn't. We talk about hunger in the world. We talk about mistreatment of children. What I'm trying to do with this title is explain to you from the beginning that everything would you see, you should think about it twice that maybe your pre-established thoughts are not the ones that should be working on there, that you should think about what all the meanings of the things that you see. The exhibition Speaker 7: 39:51 Features dozens of massive hyper realistic drawings. [inaudible] work is made entirely with colored pencils, but it looks so real. I was even scolded by a museum guard for getting too close and attempt to lean in and hunt for a pencil lines. When Speaker 8: 40:08 You first see her drawings, you think they must be photographs Speaker 7: 40:13 And Nina Feldman, the museum's deputy director for curatorial affairs and education. Speaker 8: 40:18 You absolutely cannot believe that they're drawn in pencil. It's kind of unsettling and startling at the same time. You know, um, just how incredibly talented she is in this technique. It doesn't seem humanly possible. At Speaker 7: 40:33 First, the obvious drawings look like traditional, still lifes, like a Bruegel the elder painting. There's vivid flowers in a vase with insects crawling nearby there's animals, strung up hanging upside down, light glints on an etched, crystal goblet, or a feast of crumbly baked goods. There's a sort of unraveling as you realize that what you are looking at is not a photograph. Then you start to see that the things depicted aren't real in the first place, they're stuffed animals, fake flowers, plastic insects. There's a depth to the Alvarez work beyond the first layer of deception. Feldman said, it's a form of humor, Speaker 8: 41:17 Looking at the values of society and making sort of ironic little statements about them by using stuffed toys and bits of plastic and Thanksgiving, which you don't notice immediately, but you get your eye. You say, I know that's not a real insect. That's actually stuffed animals. And your first response is to find it really funny. And then she, you know, she comes through with these other quite darker meanings, the Speaker 7: 41:44 Fake objects in her work represent misinformation. They represent concealed or silent abuse. They represent the climate crisis. The Javier wants viewers to think about the dual nature of mundane things around us. Speaker 2: 41:59 And it's also about hunger, about hunger in the world, about the Ms treatment in general of the society to other societies, which are not from our color, from our flag, from our whatever. And also what is the inheritance we're leaving to the future generations because everything is in plastic. So someday we will not even have those rabbits or those flowers to be able to cook them because everything will be dead. One Speaker 7: 42:31 FDA Alverez works called two hairs shows to plush, rabbit toys, strung up like freshly hunted, kill, ready to prep for a feast. Each Tuft of fur fake fur. That is, is unbelievable. The finest of details. There's even a hint of a blur like an over enlarged photograph, but this is all the work of the Alverez pencil. While the viewer is unpacking the lies, there's more Speaker 2: 42:59 Actually that is child mistreatment, because what if you kill a stuffed animal? What are you killing? You are killing the, the, the innocence to play the game. If Speaker 7: 43:10 The 24 still life drawings represent the problems in that society DVR also poses a way out to pencil drawn galaxies, fill two entire walls in the gallery. Each massive galaxy contains 50 individual drawings patchwork together. One is dark at night. The other is bright, white up close. They swirl with color from afar. It's a reminder. Speaker 2: 43:39 One of the things you can do is you can, you can get very far away with your mind and then your problems are so small that you can just jump over them. And that's the way you can get the distance towards those problems and try to find a solution Speaker 7: 43:57 Though. Yeah, there's work feels like a modern twist. Hyper realism has been used by artists throughout history. It's a way of inviting the viewer to question reality by fooling the eye, by bringing in a little of the surreal SDMA has recently shown other contemporary work that pushes boundaries, but also seems to play with art history like Colleen Smith's homage to one Sanchez Katon. That's still on view in placing Davia his work on the walls of STMA. Our viewing experience is shaped and informed by the old masters surrounding it. The exhibition is situated next to another new exhibition, the old European paintings from the Bamberg foundation into Luce. It's a powerful juxtaposition against [inaudible] radical drawings in so many ways on a Dov, his work lures you in for a closer look. Maybe you're wondering if that's a plastic ant crawling over the pastries. Maybe you're thinking about world hunger or innocence lost, or the vastness of the universe, or maybe you're looking for a pencil lines Speaker 1: 45:02 That was KPBS arts editor and producer Julia Dixon Evans on a D LVRs exhibition. Everything you see could be a lie is on view through September 27th at the San Diego museum of art.

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A championship San Diego County high school basketball game-turned tortilla hurling fracas continues to make national headlines. It’s what happened after the game that continues to dumbfound observers. Plus, the San Diego Unified School Board voted unanimously to fund an expansion of ethnic studies and anti-racism training, prompting some debate in the community over how much racism should be confronted in the classroom. And a joint effort by the city and county of San Diego to address homelessness is set to begin next week. Then, while early pandemic predictions of a tsunami of evictions seem unlikely, advocates are worried that there could still be a steady stream. Finally, Madrid-based contemporary artist Ana de Alvear’s colored-pencil drawings call reality into question at San Diego Museum of Art.