San Diego County Recommends Masks Indoors Regardless Of Vaccination Status
KPBS Midday Edition / July 28, 2021
CREDIT: AP PHOTO / DENIS POROY
San Diego County officials are now following the lead of the CDC in recommending that all residents, vaccinated or not, wear masks in indoor public spaces. Also, the latest in the 101 Ash Street debacle may lead to the city being evicted from Civic Center Plaza. Plus, North County has a new rehabilitation hospital. Then, a new book showcases the 120 year history of Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Finally, we kick off the 2021 KPBS Summer Music Series with Jelani Aryeh whose unique brand of pop music is catching lots of attention.
Speaker 1: 00:00 New recommendations on masking as infections rise,
Speaker 2: 00:04 Still one of the best tools we have to keep these outbreaks from getting worse and to really get on the other side of this pandemic, where we all want to be.
Speaker 1: 00:11 I'm Jade Hindman with Maureen Kavanaugh. This is KPBS mid-day edition details on a complicated real estate dispute with the city.
Speaker 2: 00:28 The city's chief operating officer sent a notice to the city's landlord early this month saying there would not be any more rent payments coming for civic center Plaza.
Speaker 1: 00:38 We'll tell you about a new rehab facility in the north county and kick off our summer music series. That's ahead on midday edition. San Diego county officials are now following the lead for the CDC and recommending that all residents vaccinated or not wear masks indoors in public spaces. The new guidance is a reversal of the county's previous message over the last few weeks, which encouraged residents to get vaccinated, but said that facial coverings were optional while the updated guidance stopped short of the kind of full requirement that neighboring LA county has implemented health officials are hoping that increased masking will slow. The alarming rate of speed. The virus has shown in recent weeks. Joining me with more is Dr. Christian. Ramers a specialist in infectious diseases who oversees clinical programs at family health centers of San Diego. Dr. Ramers welcome.
Speaker 2: 01:45 Thank you, Jay. Good to be with you.
Speaker 1: 01:47 What's your understanding of why the CDC is making this change
Speaker 2: 01:50 Now? So my understanding from the presentation yesterday that Dr Willinsky made is that there is new evidence that's emerging about the ability of fully vaccinated people, even if they don't get sick to transmit infection. And this may seem like a, like a flip-flop or like whiplash when people hear something new every day, but really they're responding to evolving information, the original numbers that we saw in the clinical trials, again, we're 95% protection from the vaccines, probably a 75% reduction in transmission and nearly a hundred percent protection from serious disease and death. And really the Delta variant has changed that whole calculus. Um, you know, that was, those trials were done last year when we didn't have any Delta around the CDC recommendation about being able to take your masks off. If you're fully vaccinated happened in April and this major Delta outbreak in India didn't really happen until the end of April or may. So we're really operating on new information here. And I think the CDC is worried that if people that even if they're fully vaccinated, don't wear masks, they can still be vectors. And in fact, those around them, we know that there's a lot of people who are immunocompromised or who are vulnerable or who may not be vaccinated. And so this is where the masks still have utility. Your
Speaker 1: 02:55 Understanding though, of the virus changed with the rise of the
Speaker 2: 02:59 Variant. Yes. In fact, there's evidence that the amount of virus that people carry in their nose and mouth when they're sick with COVID, or even if they're asymptomatic is about a thousand times higher with Delta variants. And we're not exactly sure why it might have to do with the mutations, uh, to do with the variant, but that's been observed. And really that is probably what's driving a lot of the increased transmission that we're seeing. So even if someone has mild illness, they're vaccinated, they're fully protected against getting really severely sick from COVID. They could pass on with these much higher levels of virus. Um, and that's where the masks come in. No.
Speaker 1: 03:31 And about the transmissibility of the Delta variant by people who are fully vaccinated specifically, we know that they, that it's still transmissible, but how transmissible,
Speaker 2: 03:40 You know, Dr. Willinsky cited some data that has not been published yet. So I'm not really privy to, to what it, what it showed. And I hope that comes out really soon, but I think it was alarming enough. Um, you know, from the CDC own data that this recommendation had to change. What
Speaker 1: 03:54 Do we know about the effectiveness that masking has in slowing the spread of COVID-19?
Speaker 2: 04:00 Yeah, this gets back to the fundamentals of what we know works. Uh, you know, we want to use all the tools at our disposal and not just sorta take one side or the other unmasked versus no mask. I think you're seeing public officials just, you know, rally all hands on deck here. What do we have in front of us to keep us from sliding back where we were last year and definitely for, to keep our businesses open and to keep us from having to do a lockdown again? Well, we have vaccines. We know they're very effective at keeping people healthy and keep them from getting in the hospital. We have social distancing and good air ventilation. Those things help as well. And then we have masking and there was a study just put out on the MMWR, the CDC publications, showing that the combination of HEPA filters, good air ventilation plus masking gets you up to sort of 90% levels of protection, you know, kind of what we used to think of vaccine. So really all of these tools when used together, give us the best effectiveness at preventing disease. Since
Speaker 1: 04:48 We know that Delta variant is much more infectious and or much more transmissible, uh, is there a specific type of mask that people should consider wearing?
Speaker 2: 04:58 That's a really good question. You know, uh, a lot of the requirements from last year were just for a basic cloth mask, but if people are able to get the type of blown fabric, surgical masks, those probably work a little bit better. And then I know many people that are really trying to get their hands on N 95 masks. We were very worried last year at the beginning of the pandemic that the public would buy all these and really get them out of the hands of healthcare workers who really need them in high risk situations. I would say, you know, for your general, going to the grocery store type of thing, a cloth mask is better than nothing. A surgical mask is probably better than a cloth mask. And then my personal advice, and this is not really guideline driven, but if you're going to be on an airplane or somewhere that's really closed and really high risk, I think trying to get your set your hands on an N 90 or a, an N 95 is probably the right thing to do. And Angeles
Speaker 1: 05:44 County chose to require masks indoors before receiving the guidance from the CDC, uh, with the uptick of infections here in the last few weeks. What's your take on why San Diego county waited for CDC guidance?
Speaker 2: 05:57 Yeah, I mean, I can't speak for the public officials, but I do sympathize with the difficulty of enforcing this type of thing. So we would just love for the public to do what's right to really get us again, we're all in this together. We don't want to slide back into lockdowns and closing businesses and all those things. So let's really just all do what's right to decrease the transmission. Um, you know, I think the county does not want to be policing this and does not want to be, uh, you know, trying to find people that type of thing. They made it a recommendation at this time, following the CDC. Um, and that's really, you know, most public health officers are gonna follow what CDC says, uh, because they have the best eyes on the newest data in terms of making these decisions. So th
Speaker 1: 06:34 The county may not want to have to police this, but, uh, how effective will this new recommendation actually be if only a portion of the population chooses to match?
Speaker 2: 06:43 Yeah. Jane of course, any, any intervention as good as it looks on paper, it needs to work in practice. And I would just urge people, you know, wearing a mask is a minor inconvenience, but it's so effective. And, and you don't want to be the person that causes these outbreaks. I mean, you know, all of us have parents and probably have friends and family that are vulnerable and just the knowledge that you could be, the one that makes somebody sick and dies. We're seeing stories and anecdotes all over the place of unvaccinated, healthcare workers causing outbreaks and nursing homes and that type of thing. Nobody wants that blood on their hands, so to speak. Um, so I would just encourage people, you know, uh, appeal to their better. They're better angels, really to do the right thing. It's not such a hard thing to wear a mask. I wear a mask for eight hours a day. Sometimes it doesn't impede my oxygen levels. It's a minor inconvenience and it is still one of the best tools we have to keep these outbreaks from getting worse and to really get on the other side of this pandemic where we all want to be.
Speaker 1: 07:36 Do you think it was inevitable that we were going to see a spike like this, given the county's plateauing rate of vaccination and optional mask use?
Speaker 2: 07:44 Yes, I did. I think anytime that we've had a reopening, anytime that restrictions have been loosened a little bit and people mix and, and gather and more, um, uh, closed and cramp settings, there is going to be a spike. I don't think any of us anticipated that the spike would coincide exactly what the time that the Delta variant arrived, arrived in San Diego. And so that's made it a little bit more dramatic than we thought, plus this new information about people that are fully vaccinated are able to transmit the disease. It's kind of a perfect storm. You know, again, I keep saying, I think we're in a better place than we were last year because of the vaccinations in a, both 60% in San Diego. And there's some hopeful signs in the UK, for example, which has very good vaccination rates that they're starting to get on the other side of this, uh, you know, we, we, at the, uh, at one hand fear exponential spread where the curve just keeps going up and up and up and up, but we also have some degree of protection from the vaccinations that we already have. Um, so what do we do again, look at our tools on the table. I get more people vaccinated. Those people that were still on the fence, it's still the best way to protect yourself and then try to implement smart policies like, uh, like returning to masks and returning to some of the just distancing policies to keep us safe.
Speaker 1: 08:48 I've been speaking with Dr. Christian. Ramers a specialist in infectious diseases who oversees clinical at family health centers of San Diego. Dr. Ramers. Thank you very much for joining
Speaker 2: 08:59 Us. Always a pleasure, Jay. Thanks for having me.
Speaker 3: 09:08 The San Diego city attorney calls a gamesmanship, the building's lenders say they want their rent paid and they filed suit to evict city offices, and more than 800 employees from the civic center Plaza building the dispute is part of an ongoing effort by the city to get out of an expensive and allegedly unlawful real estate deal, which includes the abandoned 1 0 1 Ash street building. Now that the legal battle includes civic center Plaza. One of the iconic public spaces in downtown San Diego, the complicated real estate dispute may be exhibiting real world consequences beyond the tens of millions of taxpayer dollars already sunk into the building deal. Johnny Mia's voice of San Diego reporter Lisa Halverstadt. Lisa. Welcome.
Speaker 2: 09:56 Thank you so much for hearing me. Why
Speaker 3: 09:58 Isn't the city paying its rent on civic center Plaza? The
Speaker 2: 10:02 City attorney decided late last month that the city should try to back away from both its 1 0 1 Ash and civic center Plaza leases, and thus should not be paying rent anymore.
Speaker 3: 10:16 And how has the Plaza been drawn into the Ash street controversy? So
Speaker 2: 10:21 Late last month, there was a big revelation that the city's landlord at civic center Plaza Astera development, who also did the one-on-one Ash deal with the city paid the city's real estate consultant, who was the volunteer, Jason Hughes, just over $5 million for his work on civic center Plaza and $4.4 million for his work on 1 0 1 Ash. Now that is significant because of a government code section known as 10 90, which essentially says that people who are acting in an official capacity, which can include, um, people who are consultants or contractors should not financially benefit from deals that they broker in those official roles. And so the city attorney said that both of these deals should be voided. And the city's chief operating officer sent a notice to the city's landlord early this month saying there would not be any more rent payments coming for civic center Plaza.
Speaker 3: 11:20 Give us an idea if you would about the city departments that could potentially be involved in this eviction effort. Well,
Speaker 2: 11:27 So there are about 850 city employees that report to this building probably has been some of a decrease because of the pandemic. We know so many folks are working from home, but there are more than a dozen city departments that have this building as their headquarters, the city treasurer's office, the city's it department, the city attorney's office. I have occupies multiple floors of this building. Um, even cities, city TV that some of us watched to monitor city council meetings is in this building. So they're really a lot of questions about what will happen next for these employees and these departments.
Speaker 3: 12:07 But, uh, there is a charter school there that's not affected by this eviction threat.
Speaker 2: 12:12 Yes, king Chavez, uh, community high school, which is, uh, as you said, a charter school basically has been sort of set aside here. The lender has said that it's not going to try to kick the school out. They're essentially a subtenant, so they pay rent to the city, but they, you know, again, the lender has said, they're not going to be trying to boot the high school.
Speaker 3: 12:33 Now, as you said, a city attorney, Mara Elliot's office is calling the lawsuit gamesmanship because of this lawsuit that the city has filed in an effort to avoid both the civic center and Ash street, real estate deals. But my question is, does the lender actually have the right to evict the city for non-payment of rent?
Speaker 2: 12:53 Well, that will certainly be for a court to decide. And it will be interesting to see how this plays out, because right now these are two separate legal actions. You have the unlawful detainer case, essentially an eviction action. And then you also have these other legal actions seeking to essentially quash, both leases. Um, the city will have once it's actually served in the unlawful detainer case five days to respond, um, one legal expert. I talked to suggested that the city may want to, or try to, uh, put together these multiple cases because they could then sort of link the issues and actually buy themselves more time because eviction cases typically move pretty quickly pre COVID. They typically moved in about 45 to 60 days, um, which may seem like for most of us a longer period of time. But when we're talking about, you know, hundreds of city employees and lots of city departments, 45 to 60 days would be real panic mode for the city,
Speaker 3: 13:56 Former mayor. Now recall candidate Kevin Faulkner tied up in all of this.
Speaker 2: 14:00 Well, that's a great question, Maureen, because I also have a lot of questions about what former mayor Kevin Faulconer new Hugh's attorney, um, is making the case that the former mayor actually signed off, um, on Hugh's ability to be paid for his work on these more complex deals. Um, and also, you know, produced a letter, uh, that he says was signed by the city's former real estate director at the mayor's direction saying in fact, the Hughes could be paid. The attorney also produced text messages between the mayor's former chief of staff, um, and Hughes talking about this letter. Um, and I was able to look back at some calendars that I had obtained after public records request, um, showing that there was in fact, a meeting between the mayor and Jason on the day that that letter was signed, but the, the mayor has really not directly addressed this issue.
Speaker 2: 14:58 He's implied in some statements that he did not know, um, that he used was being paid and that the payments were not disclosed. And certainly former Faulkner administration officials have really pushed back pretty hard. The former city real estate director said that she doesn't recall signing such a letter and the mayor's former chief of staff has pushed back and criticized use and said that, that the idea that they knew that he was being paid was wrong. Um, but there are still a lot of questions, um, that I have for former mayor Faulkner, um, about what he knew. And, uh, I think would benefit from some direct answers from him.
Speaker 3: 15:36 Now, city attorney, Mara Elliot's office says the city will make every effort to, and here's a quote, ensure public services go uninterrupted throughout court proceedings. But what is the potential for disruption of public services during this legal process?
Speaker 2: 15:53 No, Maureen, it's really hard to say. Um, certainly the experts I spoke to who work on these sorts of eviction cases say that there will be lots of opportunities for the city to try to drag this out. And what would imagine, certainly when we're talking about the headquarters of so many city departments and so many, um, employees that the city will make every effort to try to keep those employees in that building. Um, but the city ultimately did make the call to not pay rent here. And traditionally that is something that could create the possibility of an eviction. Um, obviously in this case, the city attorney, as you pointed out is saying there's a lot more going on here that led the city attorney to stop paying rent. Um, but I guess we'll have to see what comes next. And this one I'll certainly be closely following it.
Speaker 3: 16:42 I know that you will. I've been speaking with voice of San Diego reporter, Lisa Halverstadt. You can read her story on the civic center Plaza email@example.com. Lisa, thank you. Thank you for having me. This is KPBS day edition. I'm Maureen Cavenaugh with Jade. Heinemann a new rehabilitation hospital is now officially opened in the north county KPBS health reporter. Matt Hoffman says everything inside and out was built with the idea of getting critically injured patients back into their homes. I'm going to talk
Speaker 4: 17:29 To you a ball, catch it. All right. Try it. Yeah. Okay.
Speaker 5: 17:37 All right. All right. 77 year old, Doug Bailey is in the middle of a physical therapy session. He bounces a ball back and forth then gets out of a wheelchair to walk around
Speaker 4: 17:46 The gym around. Yep. That's good. Kind of around the front of the car. Okay.
Speaker 5: 17:51 After a horrible bike accident, which broke his neck and caused spinal cord damage, Bailey was transferred to the new Palomar health rehabilitation Institute.
Speaker 6: 17:59 I'm lucky to be alive, actually could have been serious enough to stop my breathing. Yeah. Oh, Bailey's brain
Speaker 5: 18:05 Is working fine. He's having to relearn how to use it two weeks before being admitted to the rehab Institute, he was wheelchair.
Speaker 6: 18:12 They taught me how to walk again, actually, and how to use new neural pathways. The, since the spinal cord is damaged and what the brain and you know, my brain thinks I can get up and go for a little jog right now, but it doesn't work that way.
Speaker 5: 18:28 Hours of physical therapy a day, Bailey says he feels himself getting,
Speaker 6: 18:33 I can tell I'm improving on my, my function and the fingertips. I couldn't, I couldn't do this before at all. And uh, so it's coming back faster than not as fast as I'd like, but faster than, than anticipated. That
Speaker 4: 18:49 Was good. Okay. Your balance is getting better. Yeah.
Speaker 5: 18:52 Bailey is also undergoing occupational therapy.
Speaker 6: 18:55 You're putting on my clothes, bathing myself, uh, feeding myself, things like that. Most
Speaker 5: 19:00 People you should stay here for just under two weeks, but Bailey has a 30 day stay. And while he can walk again, the next part of his recovery will focus on refining his motor skills.
Speaker 6: 19:10 Like right now, I, I don't even think I could sign my name to a piece of paper, but I think that'll improve a lot.
Speaker 5: 19:17 Have facility is technically a hospital and also has a full apartment inside or patients can stay overnight just before being released back into their homes. What is
Speaker 7: 19:26 Your typical day like at home? Are you a golfer? Is that where we want to go with this? Um, are you a Walker or a hiker? You know, what, what types of activities do you want to be able to tolerate when you go home? And that's sort of how we build that plan. Natalie
Speaker 5: 19:39 Drew Muska is CEO of the rehab Institute, which is a joint venture between Palomar health and Kendrick. There's
Speaker 7: 19:45 Definitely a need, especially in the north county, um, for this type of care. And it's a separate entity from a normal acute care. So we have specialized equipment. We have special trained nursing staff. Some of that special
Speaker 5: 19:57 Equipment includes motion, sensing technology, which can be used in games that help people regain balance and function. There's also a small car inside the gym that patients can practice getting in and out. Our
Speaker 7: 20:09 Hospital's pretty much built for that rehabilitation patient. It doesn't have OB it doesn't have, ER, we're not competing for resources. Everything is built around rehabilitation. The 52
Speaker 5: 20:18 Bed facility was licensed by the state in may and is only accepting Medicare patients, but that will change as operations are gradually scaled up over the next year.
Speaker 7: 20:27 We would like to see in what we've seen just with our small population is 84 to 90% of our patients go home. They don't need to go to a skilled level for further care. This unique
Speaker 5: 20:38 Facility generally treats patients who suffered strokes, amputations and spinal cord damage.
Speaker 4: 20:44 I want you to not hold on if you don't have to. Okay. It was his first time walking without holding on to anything. Bailey's
Speaker 5: 20:50 Progress is remarkable. He's hoping to be at or near a hundred percent function soon. Right now he still has to wear a brace around his body.
Speaker 6: 20:58 I'm hoping that as my strength returns and my balance returns that I won't have to wear as many braces anyway. Maybe not even a neck brace when I get out of here. I don't know
Speaker 5: 21:09 If you're coachable and with encouragement from staff, recovery is possible, but he's not sure what life will be like once he goes
Speaker 6: 21:15 Home. I think my bicycling days might be over just because, uh, I'm my, my wife's primary caregiver. And, um, I don't want to jeopardize that any more than I have to. I want you
Speaker 4: 21:27 To do it really safely without touching any child. If you have to it's here, the
Speaker 5: 21:33 Fallbrook resident is set to go home at the end of this month.
Speaker 4: 21:36 Yes. Yes. Nice work. Turn around for me. Matt Hoffman, KPBS news.
Speaker 3: 21:42 Joining me is Natalie [inaudible] CEO of Palomar health rehabilitation Institute. And Natalie, thank you for joining us.
Speaker 2: 21:51 Well, thanks for having me, Maureen,
Speaker 3: 21:54 Why was a facility like this needed don't hospitals usually provide rehabilitation services to their patients?
Speaker 2: 22:02 Yes, I'm actually all general acute care hospitals have an established rehabilitation, um, center. Um, if you will, they have therapists that see patients in the acute units, um, getting ready to go home. We were established because there's a need for a higher level of rehabilitation with a focused approach for patients that have neurologic injuries, um, traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord, and even post stroke that need to have more intensive therapy prior to going home. So the therapy will start in that, um, acute center, like a Palomar health or a script's health. And then after that, they will move to our individual setting, um, where we can provide more of an intensive therapy.
Speaker 3: 22:44 And what determines whether someone needs a stay in a rehabilitation facility as opposed to perhaps an outpatient physical therapy,
Speaker 2: 22:53 Right? It's really the intensity of service that we're giving. We have a board certified physical medicine and rehabilitation physician that will see that patient on a daily basis and provide a treatment plan in concert with our occupational and physical and speech therapists. Um, these patients will receive, um, at least three hours of rehabilitation every day. Um, meaning up to five or six days a week, um, as they can tolerate. And then we have, um, more specialized equipment, um, that can be utilized. We have an exoskeleton for, uh, mobility training for spinal cord injuries. We have an emotion machine, which is intensive therapy for upper extremity injuries. Um, we have multiple gyms, uh, certified therapists as well as certified nurses and rehabilitation. Everything we do is centered around that rehabilitation to get patients to full functioning at home.
Speaker 3: 23:50 What is an exoskeleton? Is that a form of a brace?
Speaker 2: 23:54 It's a full body. It's almost like a bionic suit if you will. Um, it's actually used to, um, do fluxion extension with, uh, different muscles in the body and it's a full body brace almost. Um, and it actually trains the muscles again for walking. So, um, it's something that we have, um, and have invested in training for our therapist for, um, and it works great for those stroke patients, um, who have some hemiplegia spinal cord injury patients, um, so that we can actually get them moving again.
Speaker 3: 24:31 Now we heard about patient Doug Bailey and really how quickly he was responding to the rehabilitation therapy. What makes someone a good candidate for this kind of therapy?
Speaker 2: 24:43 Well, I think as you saw, um, with Doug's video, he talked about being coachable. I think that the patients have to have a willingness, um, to push forward, um, through the therapy exercises and a treatment plan. Um, obviously it's, it's a little bit more intensive and rigorous at a rehabilitation hospital. So we're asking patients to really do the full limits of their capabilities. Um, and so they have to really be able, I mean, when we look at patients, we just, we look at them in terms of their previous therapy notes in the acute care setting, can they actually tolerate this intensive therapy? Can they, can they tolerate three hours of therapy in different modalities every day? Uh, will that make a difference in their lives and their ability to be discharged home? Um, and with that, we do look at those patients that do require physician oversight, um, in an outpatient care setting, you would not get that. And here you do. So we may accept a patient. Who's still having some medical issues, uh, regarding medication management or other things wound care management that the nursing staff can provide in the inpatient setting. Along with all of the therapeutic interventions we're doing,
Speaker 3: 25:54 Does the Palomar rehabilitation facility have a program of at-home followup for patients?
Speaker 2: 26:01 We actually, um, move that into the folks that already have that, um, skill set centers of excellence. So for instance, if a patient came from Palomar health, we would then discharge them back to Palomar health. In that outpatient setting, if a patient came from scripts, we would then discharge them back into their setting at scripts with that outpatient therapy, we are purely an inpatient rehabilitation Institute. Currently
Speaker 3: 26:27 The Palomar facility is running at full capacity. How many patients do you hope to treat?
Speaker 2: 26:34 Well, our, our bed count is 52 private bets. So we can go up to 52. We're hoping, um, at the end of the year to be, um, at 30 and then over the course of 20, 22 to fill to capacity, there's definitely a need. We did some, you know, market analysis on that. There's definitely a need in the San Diego county. We'd like to be the center of excellence for the whole area, not just limit ourselves to the Northeast. So, um, so that's our
Speaker 3: 27:01 Goal. Yeah. I know rehab can be needed for people of all ages, but with the number of older people increasing, I would imagine you expect the need for this kind of therapy to grow.
Speaker 2: 27:13 Absolutely. And, um, and it is interesting that you say that initially we are just really accepting Medicare and we just started to, um, put together some contracts with some of the commercial payers. So we're starting to see, um, age groups. Um, you know, middle-age even down to some, you know, older teenagers who are getting into skateboarding accidents and those types of things. So, um, right now our population is mostly a Medicare base over 65, but as we progress, um, and what we had seen earlier in our operating acute care unit at Palomar was that we were serving patients as young as 18.
Speaker 3: 27:53 So if an elderly person say has a stroke or an accident, it no longer means they can't get back to taking care of themselves. Is that right?
Speaker 2: 28:03 That's correct. Our goal is to get those folks home, just like Mr. Bailey, he was in his seventies, a former pilot, very active riding. His bicycle happened to get in an accident, break his neck. There's no reason that someone in that age group who's active and has a productive life, can not get back to that same situation after their hospitalization. And he actually went home yesterday. So highly successful.
Speaker 3: 28:28 I've been speaking with Natalie [inaudible] CEO of Palomar health rehabilitation Institute, Natalie, thank you so much.
Speaker 2: 28:36 All right. Thank you, Mike. Have a great day.
Speaker 1: 28:49 120 year history Scripps institution of oceanography has been a leader in Marine research and the study of climate change, their scientific breakthroughs are globally known. And now that history is showcased in a new book featuring 200 photos. Robert Monroe is the author of images of America, Scripps institution of oceanography. He's also a communications officer at scripts and he joins us now. Robert welcome. Hi Jade. Thanks for having me. So how did the idea for this book come about? I know it's one in a series of books about the history of local places, right?
Speaker 2: 29:26 The publisher Arcadia publishing came to us first looking for an author and my office fielded that initial request. And so I took it on and originally I took the idea to a script's is a retired historians. There's Peter Brogan and Deborah Day who just know everything there is to know about scripts, but they are retired in fact, and, uh, enjoying retirement. And I think they just didn't have the bandwidth for it. So after that, I just volunteered myself. To me, it kind of made sense. I've been writing about script's history last 20 years, and just a few years ago, scripts and star installed kind of an art installation and its main building sort of depicting the script's history. And so that required me to do a lot of research on, uh, with, uh, key events in the scripts history where, and also to get an inventory of all the photos. So in a sense, I had already kind of laid the groundwork for this book four or five years ago,
Speaker 1: 30:21 You know, Scripps institution of oceanography has been, uh, well an institution in San Diego since 1903. So why did you want to tell the story of its history?
Speaker 2: 30:31 Well, you know, it's kind of amazing, uh, Scripps hasn't really had any kind of popular a history book written about it as far as I can tell for at least 50 years. And, you know, we can't take it for granted that everyone is in San Diego, understands why scripts is a big deal and its world. And, um, you know, I'm never really sure how much I think people know of scripts his reputation, but they may not know just, uh, specifically where that reputation comes from. Um, and, and I'm a little bit biased. I work there, but I mean, among research centers where we really are the pinnacle in our fields yeah. In oceanography, there are entities like Noah, or, you know, the UK has met offices that are bigger operations in terms of people and budgets and so forth. But, uh, in academia scripts really is the place in the world that still holds that title scripts. Pedigree is really something that means something to scientists and, you know, plus, I mean, we're in California and, you know, California is relatively young and there aren't too many places in California that can be said to be the place in the world for whatever their particular focus is. And so it's kind of cool that we have this one right here in San Diego. Hmm.
Speaker 1: 31:41 So, so what are some of the highlights of the institution's history then that people, as you say may not know about?
Speaker 2: 31:47 Well, the term oceanography as is defined now among scientists, uh, originated here. Uh, it originated, uh, around, uh, world war II in the form of a book about oceanography that could, can became the Bible of oceanography. The term oceanography had been bouncing around since the 1870s, but it meant different things to different people, you know, for some immense or like that part of geology that extended in the oceans, uh, there's meant sort of more Marine biology stuff, but there was never really a holistic view of oceanography until a script's researchers wrote this textbook, which they wrote because everything else was kind of lacking, you know, the course materials that they were trying to use to teach students are we're good on this point or that point, but not as an overall connection of biology earth systems and the atmosphere that really has come to comprise what oceanography is now.
Speaker 2: 32:44 So that's one thing the argument can strongly be made that the modern era of climate change research started right here at Scripps. I date it to the beginnings of the Keeling curve, uh, which started in 1958. And for people that don't know, that's the measurement of carbon dioxide in the air a few years ago and over 400 parts per million and got a lot of attention for that. But that's like the barometer of climate change. That's ours. Uh, there are other things, um, coastal oceanography or the study of beaches and, and, and, and surf zone processes and things like that pretty much started with one guy here. And now every researcher who is in that field, you kind of consider themselves like the son of that guy in an academic sense or the grandson or granddaughter or great-granddaughter by this point, probably the biggest advancement in oceanography, in my opinion, is a network that's called Argo. And it's like a network of robotic floats that go out in the oceans and, and can measure what's going on in the oceans down to 2000 meters, which is about 6,500 feet. And never before in history, we've been able to see all of the oceans at once, like this, and this is transforming the way we see the oceans because, you know, we just can't have that kind of view any other way.
Speaker 1: 34:02 Yeah, absolutely. And what do you hope readers take away from this book?
Speaker 2: 34:07 I really hope people in San Diego realizes what a gem. This is. Um, I mean, how this is like a world-class place. I make the point in the book and probably people will dispute it, but I'll stand by it. You know, I think without scripts, a lot of the character of San Diego that we have now doesn't happen because scripts was through the academic center that brought about, say, UC San Diego in 1960, you see San Diego is what brought about the golden triangle, your Qualcomms, and so forth. And so, you know, this community of early science professionals I think was really attracted to San Diego and large part I'm sure not entirely, but by the influence of scripts and making the city, or like a, really a real destination kind of place. I've
Speaker 1: 34:53 Been speaking with Robert Monroe, a writer and editor at Scripps institution of oceanography. Robert, thank you so much for joining us.
Speaker 2: 35:01 Thank you so much for having me. And
Speaker 1: 35:02 You can catch Robert later today and Warrick's, he'll be speaking about his new book images of America, Scripps institution of oceanography at 4:00 PM. [inaudible]
Speaker 3: 35:23 This is KPBS mid day edition. I'm Maureen Cavenaugh with Jade Heinemann audiences are back. Venues are opening up and San Diego was bursting with music from local artists this summer. So we're here to capture some of that creativity, energy and joy with the return of the KPBS summer music series. And we're lucky to begin the series with a young artist. Who's unique brand of pop music is catching lots of attention. Shalani REA songs have a rich Sonic palette and sound other worldly as the lyrics look inward and explore the complexity of our times. But Jelani grew up in San Diego of African-American Filipino and Chinese descent. And somehow along with its introspection and emotional honesty, his music always lets the sunshine in. We begin with a single, from his new album, I've got some living to do, and this is Jelani REA with his song
Speaker 8: 36:25 Stereo loud, blazing the space around you is love light. And Mary gold sounds bright. We live a long life seeking a futures. So the nurse's son come right in soccer, prince of the pride Titan cheese. Hi nurse come down, get in a full view is like clutching a cloud, but none new surround you come around this barrier of lights where bill beams for crown bringing life to the biomes where well-beings of brown sending pockets of solace in equal amounts. As from cold seasons, there was an ease in a home ground map place, um, feeling, rush, being punched. The heat of the sun in my head feels late to watch as a maple in your stereo loud laziness space around you is love light. And Mary gold sounds great. We live in seeking all futures and the world still hollow.
Speaker 3: 38:00 That was the song Marigold by Jelani REA off his new album. I've got some living to do and Jelani. Let me welcome you. Thank you for joining us.
Speaker 9: 38:10 Thank you so much for having me. How's your day been?
Speaker 3: 38:13 My day has been going pretty good today and it's better since I've been hearing your music. I know a lot of people say that to you because I've been reading on a YouTube. A lot of people give you crazy compliments. How do you handle
Speaker 9: 38:28 That? I don't know. It is. It's like the feeling that I can't put like words to. And it's just crazy how many people connect with the songs because initially I just make them for myself, not really thinking if people are going to resonate and just the fact that they comment and really share how the song makes them feels. I couldn't ask for more.
Speaker 3: 38:52 Tell us, uh, about the song that we heard Marigold. What got you interested in creating it?
Speaker 9: 38:59 I was doing some research online about the flower Mary gold, and I came up on its nickname and I guess it's little lion and my name Jelani or yang means mighty lion. So Jolani means my ID in Swahili and then RDA means lion in Hebrew. So I try to weave like Mary gold little lines with my name and then also bringing in like imagery of the sun and just like waving all three of those things together and making a song called Mary gold. And I feel like it's my soul song. It's who I'd like to be kind of behind the walls of like my skin who I think I am like on a soul level, but yeah, Mary gold is just, I feel like me.
Speaker 3: 39:43 No. What inspired you like overall to begin to make music?
Speaker 9: 39:47 I think I just wanted an escape initially away from football. I was in high school football and I just really wasn't enjoying it anymore. I was getting hurt a lot and music just felt like something new and childish Gambino's because the internet album made its way to me somehow. And I was intrigued by the way, an artist can create a whole world around our album and he made like a screenplay and like a short film with it. And I just want to give that to people as well. So I think childish can be no. And just having like another world to live in as what kind of brought me to music,
Speaker 3: 40:24 You did do the whole number on that whole experience of having to give up playing football and being injured and not wanting to go on and wanting to change your direction. Tell us about the song jet fuel
Speaker 9: 40:39 Jet fuel was more of a reflection on my high school experience and leaving the sport of football that I was fighting for my whole kind of just high school career. I guess my dad was my coach from age six to my freshman year. He was super slated on the fact that I was gonna play football in college. And the song is just kind of after I told him I no longer wanted to play. And the feelings that I had jet fuel was kind of just a conversation between me and my dad and tell him like, music is what I really want to do and what feels right? Right.
Speaker 8: 41:17 So it seems passing the pylons of folk injury. Cause in the stands, no one screen the field with some lower esteem, every case and the same too many shots to the brain tend to spin and carry this bed and look on my face. Hey, I don't want to play. Cause it makes me Harless and hopeless. It's some I could have said said, but it's not even close. When's the last time my school used to call me the little boy and no I had to leave the school and the school should just know that I had to go. It's good to know
Speaker 3: 42:24 That was the song jet fuel by Jelani REA. So when you gave up football, how did your dad react?
Speaker 9: 42:31 At first? He was like, son, I won't be able to look at you the same because he put in all of these years with me and was pretty set on me going to college and making this like my thing, Jeff Phil came about around, I'd say early 2019. And I call it where we go part two. Um, because where we go was I wrote that out to the night. I told my dad and no longer wanted to play football on pursuing music. Yeah.
Speaker 8: 43:22 [inaudible] I don't know.
Speaker 9: 43:31 I don't know. And so when I wrote my song where he go, the reception of that was so I guess just unexpected. And he was shocked by the fact that so many other people connected with it that now like him, my mom were kind of, my biggest fans are like advocates. And they're like, are you responding to bands? Are you doing this? Are you doing that? And like, they're on me more than I'm on myself sometimes. So I really appreciate them just coming around and um, just appreciating what I have to do and what I have to offer the world.
Speaker 3: 44:13 So you and your dad are good now?
Speaker 9: 44:15 Oh yeah. Super good. Super good. I hope so. That minute to minute. Right.
Speaker 3: 44:26 Um, what was it like growing up in the San Diego suburbs?
Speaker 9: 44:30 Growing up in the suburbs was super strange. I mean, at the time it didn't feel wrong or anything, but I'd say I was away from my culture or like my ethnicity and my family, because a lot of them are in the Philippines or in Ohio or like up north in California. So it was weird not really having that family present, but I was always able to just like, hang out, talk to everyone and make friends super easily. And I think I got really lucky living in the suburbs. It was, it was really hard to find like a scene once I got into music of just like minded people. And I think that's why I took to the internet because I wanted a community with people of a like mind. And it was, it was kinda hard to find that where I lived
Speaker 3: 45:22 Talk to us more. If you would about the whole idea of connecting with people on the internet to make your music, to form your ideas, to form a music collective. How, how influential has that been to your growth as an artist? Mm,
Speaker 9: 45:38 I think the internet has IO the internet so much for, I guess just my success in learning, just learning in general. Um, but I formed my group, my music collective raised by the internet on Reddit, on, on future Frank ocean and, um, a Brock Hampton subreddit. And I was just like, but does anyone want to make a group full of beautiful, just music and art? And we don't have to have a certain genre and the guys that responded to that or my group, but it's crazy because like maybe 30 years ago, you wouldn't be able to just click on something and have people respond to you and create this community. So I think the internet, it's a jump starter for having that opportunity and having that community of people. And that's what I think I appreciate the most is how fast and like how willing people are to just get to know each other and talk about their, like what they love to do.
Speaker 3: 46:37 Your music is very colorful, your music videos, of course, reflect that and reflect a certain attitude and of certain fashion sense. And I'm wondering, where do you get that? Where do you get that fashion sense? That presence
Speaker 9: 46:53 From like a young age, my dad always made it apparent that just clothes are super important and the way you look is like a reflection of how you feel. And so every time I dress, I just want something that feels right. But I'd say I pull a lot from the errors that I listened to. So a lot of like sixties and seventies and nineties, and kind of just blending those errors and styles together. So I wear a lot of like flared pants, a lot of like boots, doc Martens, and then tight fitting shirts. Um, cause it just like feels right. And that's kind of my head space at moment, but yeah, I give all credit to my dad for just making clothes, something of importance and like matching and just finding the right shoes and sneakers and stuff. But yeah, fashion is super important and just the way a silhouette looks on your body, I think is super important for my image or someone else's image.
Speaker 3: 47:52 So let's move now to your new album. How did you come up with the title? I've got some Livingston. I
Speaker 9: 47:59 Came up with the title, I've got some living to do. I was driving back from LA back to SD and I was listening to velvet underground thinking what I was going to talk about in the next album, let us separate time. And I was like, dang, I've got some live in the duke. And then just the light bulb kind of went off my head and I was like, that's the title for this album? And it just feels something about, it feels very young, very casual and just like being 21 years old and figuring out life and especially coming out of a pandemic, just we've got some living to do. I've got some living to do. I got some traveling to do. I got to see the people that I love. I want to get out of the country for the first time. And I feel like it just, it makes people think and reflect on their life and what they want for themselves in the future.
Speaker 3: 48:52 Let's go out with the title track from Jelani, RAs, new album. I've got some living to do and Jelani before we leave. I want to thank you so much for being a part of the KPBS summer music series, sitting down, talking to us, giving us some insight into your work and your music and thank you so much. Good luck in the future. [inaudible]
Speaker 8: 50:42 [inaudible] [inaudible].