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Juneteenth Is Now A Federal Holiday

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PHOTO BY EVAN VUCCI AP

President Joe Biden signs the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act in the East Room of the White House on Thursday.

President Biden on Thursday signed a bill to recognize Juneteenth — the celebration to commemorate the end of chattel slavery in the United States — as a federal holiday. Plus, in a victory for survivors of domestic and gang violence seeking asylum in the U.S., the Department of Justice on Wednesday vacated the controversial Trump-era decisions. And San Diego climate scientist Ram Ramanathan was given two distinguished international awards this week honoring his pioneering work on climate change. Then, it’s been painful to lose so many of our elderly to COVID-19. But there are also many families, especially Latinx families, grieving the deaths of those who are younger. Also, San Diego Catholic schools saw an uptick in demand because of their in-person options. Finally, Angelika Film Center at Carmel Mountain, like all cinemas, reopened Wednesday at full capacity under the new relaxed pandemic guidelines from the state. We’ll tell you what to expect if you go to the movies.

Speaker 1: 00:01 Is the federal Juneteenth holiday performative,

Speaker 2: 00:04 Usually in the absence of not a single piece of legislation that materially or even nominally improve the lives of African-Americans I'm

Speaker 1: 00:12 Jade Heintzman with Claire Tresor. This is KPBS day edition survivors of domestic abuse and gang violence. Now have a better chance at asylum.

Speaker 3: 00:30 Uh, essentially it's still a very complex legal argument that has to be made, but now many practitioners are celebrating because the battle is a little bit easier than it was now under the decision that was issued

Speaker 1: 00:45 And international honors for a local famous researcher. Plus the changes you can expect when you go to the movies that's ahead on midday edition today, president Biden will sign legislation making Juneteenth a national holiday. It is one of the oldest celebrations commemorating the end of chattel slavery in the United States. It was June 19th, 1865. When a military decree was announced in Galveston, Texas, finally informing enslaved people that they were free nearly three years after slavery had been abolished the holiday, which has meant to be a celebration of independence is being met with wide cynicism as voter suppression legislation moves forward in some states, along with broad bands on ethnic studies and critical race theory, that would make it impossible to even teach about Juneteenth. Meanwhile, the George Floyd act reparations and anti-lynching legislation remained stagnant. Joining me to discuss all this is professor [inaudible] chair and associate professor in the department of Africana studies at the San Diego state university professor Al cable on welcome.

Speaker 2: 01:57 Thank you. Thank you so much for having me.

Speaker 1: 01:59 It is June, 2021. Now more than a century and a half after slavery was abolished, there will finally be a federal holiday to commemorate this independence. Um, what, what is your reaction to that?

Speaker 2: 02:14 My reaction is that we don't really need federal recognition for Juneteenth as a holiday, especially in the absence of not a single piece of legislation that materially or even nominally improved the lives of African-Americans. I mean, we've been celebrating Juneteenth for over 150 years, and most of America never heard of Juneteenth before last year, making it a federal holiday is not important to most African-Americans. But having said that, I mean, Juneteenth is our emancipation day and it will no doubt continue to be one of our most significant celebrations for years to come.

Speaker 1: 02:52 What do you make of the timing for this? What do you think, why do you think it was important for the, to finally make Juneteenth a national holiday?

Speaker 2: 03:03 Well, I don't think it's a coincidence and I also don't think that it's important. Uh, but the year that was 2020 forced a lot of conversations about race and social justice, but have yet to result in any meaningful societal change. It's no coincidence that, uh, Congress, you know, not prompted by the African-American community, took the step at the same time, but there are growing calls for reparations to compensate African-Americans for the very things that Juneteenth commemorates most African-Americans see this congressional and eventual presidential action is nothing more than an attempt to pacify the African-American community in silence. Um, any calls for substantive change.

Speaker 1: 03:51 Hmm. You know, despite the collective side-eye from the black community, Juneteenth highlights, the important history of African-Americans who built this country and those who fought and died to end slavery. Talk to me about that.

Speaker 2: 04:06 Well, that's, that's an important question. It's important for us to understand that African people were largely responsible for freeing themselves. Uh, we exercise our own agency and self-determination to join our cause of freedom. And we were fighting for something very different than what Lincoln himself said. The war was about. Uh, Africans were less interested in preserving the union as they were, uh, in the freedom of, you know, themselves and their families. So our ancestors weren't waiting around for Lincoln, uh, nor did they accept the premise of Lincoln. The single most important aspect of the emancipation proclamation was that it authorized the enlistment of black men to serve in the union army. And that is what ensured the union victory. So not only did Africans literally built this country, but they also talk this country and continue to teach the country the true meaning of freedom.

Speaker 1: 05:01 What are some of the traditional ways in which people have observed Juneteenth?

Speaker 2: 05:06 Well, Juneteenth is celebrated in a number of ways. Usually it's a festival or a parade, and sometimes it's a festival and a parade. There are other smaller ceremonies that take place, but generally they involve lectures, music, and other kinds of artistic expression and community reflections, but there is no uniform way of celebrating Juneteenth

Speaker 1: 05:30 In, in 1852 abolitionists, Frederick Douglas asked what to the slave is the 4th of July. What do you think he might be asking today?

Speaker 2: 05:40 I think it would be asking the same thing. Juneteenth is also a reminder that the freedoms that a lot of other Americans talk about are not the freedoms that African Americans enjoy. So when we talk about the many contemporary forms of oppression, Juneteenth highlights, the elusive freedoms that so many of us take for granted in generally don't even think about. So I think Douglas would be asking the same questions because the same questions remain.

Speaker 1: 06:07 Hmm. And, and for many of them that underscores the importance of celebrating Juneteenth with purpose and even strategy, what are some impactful ways people can do that?

Speaker 2: 06:19 I think people can advocate for the things that are truly important to African-Americans, you know, so reparations ending police violence, police, accountability, access to healthcare, affordable housing, ending mass incarceration, ending the racist drug war, and the list goes on and on. But those are some of the things that are important, uh, to African-Americans in that African-Americans actually talk about, uh, at Juneteenth celebrations and commemoration. So, you know, I would ask others to simply support us when the substantive issues, rather than those that are only cosmetic or that we never asked for. But having said that it is important for others to learn more about our history and specific contributions to this country, but, you know, generally be supportive of the substantive issues, uh, rather than simply the symbolic things I've

Speaker 1: 07:11 Been speaking with professor Idesa LK belong chair and associate professor in the department of Africana studies at San Diego state university, professor Al cable on thank you so much for joining us. You're

Speaker 2: 07:23 Welcome. And thanks so much for having me and happy Juneteenth, happy Juneteenth

Speaker 4: 07:32 Survivors of domestic abuse and gang violence. Now have a better chance at seeking asylum in the United States yesterday, the justice department announced it is reversing a Trump era rule that limited asylum protections for these groups. And while the decision does provide a clear path for some asylum seekers, it also underscores the need for clearer and more comprehensive law outlining who qualifies for asylum in the first place. Joining me with more is Leah Chavarria, the director of immigration services at Jewish family services. And Leah, welcome.

Speaker 3: 08:07 Hi, thank you for having me today

Speaker 4: 08:09 To start off, how did the Trump administration rule limit survivors of domestic violence and gang violence from seeking asylum?

Speaker 3: 08:16 The decisions from the prior attorney general made it so that it was much more difficult for survivors of domestic violence and those suffering from gang violence to receive asylum. So the line is already very convoluted to define what is a particular social group and the decisions from the prior attorney general made it, um, near impossible for someone who's a survivor of domestic violence or gang violence to receive asylum.

Speaker 4: 08:45 And so how does yesterday's decision by the justice department affect the criteria by which they can now seek asylum?

Speaker 3: 08:52 Essentially what's happened now is we go back the law as it existed before the last attorney General's decision changed the law. So that doesn't mean that everyone who is a survivor of domestic violence or everyone who is a gang violence survivor, will be able to get asylum. It's still a very difficult area of the law to navigate, especially for someone who's not represented by a lawyer, because even lawyers are confused by this area of law and how to navigate, defining what is a particular social group or someone who's a survivor of domestic violence or gang violence. So essentially it's still a very complex legal argument that has to be made to win on those claims. But now many practitioners are celebrating because the battle is a little bit easier than it was now under the decision that was issued. So

Speaker 4: 09:47 How common is it for asylum seekers to flee their countries of origin due to gang violence or domestic abuse? And do you have a sense of how many people this change could impact?

Speaker 3: 09:58 I would say that the majority of central American cases have to do with domestic violence or gang violence at this point in time. So that's a lot of asylum seekers who will now have a chance at reaching asylum that, uh, that chance was foreclosed on by the, or nearly foreclosed on by the prior decisions. It's thousands of people who will now have a chance at reaching asylum in this country, which they deserve. Now,

Speaker 4: 10:25 This decision by the justice department does not totally clarify who is eligible for asylum. So what needs to be done from your perspective to make that more clear?

Speaker 3: 10:36 Well, the decisions hinted at forthcoming rulemaking, which it seems that the administration is seeking to do so that would be regulatory framework that says here is exactly what a particular social group should look like. And, um, that will making it still forthcoming. So I can't really say exactly what that would look like. I think many practitioners, we want something that's a little bit more clear on what is a particular social group. Exactly. But we also want to have the opportunity to argue particular social groups that are outside of the confines of what the administration can create, because we want to be able to make a claim for all of the very types of cases that are out there. And every case is so unique, even though generally we're speaking of people who have suffered domestic violence and people who have suffered gang violence, each one of the claims has very unique facts and circumstances that makes it, um, more unique maybe than another.

Speaker 3: 11:37 And we want to still be able to make those arguments. But what we don't want to have happen is another case issued by the board of immigration appeals or another attorney general in the future that says that anyone that has suffered domestic violence or anyone that suffers violence is, uh, enable to reach asylum. Uh, and that that should not happen. So in the rulemaking, what we're hoping is that it at least sets in stone that someone can make a gender-based claim. Someone can make a gang violence claim, someone can make a domestic violence claim, and that, and that is sufficient for getting to the other arguments that you need to make in order to try to win an asylum claim,

Speaker 4: 12:21 The legal argument over who should qualify for asylum hinges on the meaning of three words, particular social group. Can you tell us more about that? What

Speaker 3: 12:31 I can tell you is that it is an area of law that is very complex and difficult. So a particular social group needs to be a group that is defined with popularity that is immutable, and that is socially distinct. And so if you can imagine, you can make many different arguments that a particular group meets each one of those elements. And so it really takes an expert to try to navigate how to make the best argument within those confines. It's an area of law in which even immigration judges struggle to make a decision that makes sense with the, with the law.

Speaker 4: 13:14 Are there people already in the country seeking asylum under these rules who are now protected from deportation because of this change?

Speaker 3: 13:22 Yes. So if, for example, if someone's case was already decided by an immigration judge now, and maybe it's up on appeal, or they were about to appeal their case, they have a chance now to possibly reopen their proceedings if their case was decided based on these prior decisions from the, from the last attorney general. So there's a chance for many people to reopen proceedings, there's a chance for people to make better appeal arguments based on their claim. And there's a chance for, for people. For example, some of my clients who already have a pending asylum claim, and now I'm going to be able to make stronger legal arguments on their behalf. I have a lot more work ahead of me now that these decisions have come forward, but it's work that I'm excited to do.

Speaker 4: 14:11 All right. Well, I've been speaking with Leah Chavarria, the director of immigration services at Jewish family services. And Leah, thank you so much for joining us.

Speaker 3: 14:20 Thank you so much for having me appreciate it.

Speaker 1: 14:32 You're listening to KPBS midday edition. I'm Jade Hindman with Claire Tresor. Maureen Kavanaugh is off the Tang prize and the blue planet prize are two distinguished international awards that San Diego researcher professor Ron Roman authon has been honored with the recognition cited ramen, Athens pioneering work on climate change and its impact on the sustainability of the earth, which shaped global policies and our understanding of climate change. Joining me is professor Ron. Ramanathan a researcher and professor at Scripps institution of oceanography at UC San Diego professor ramen out than welcome.

Speaker 2: 15:10 I'm pleased to be here. Thank you.

Speaker 1: 15:13 So this has been quite a week for you winning two major international prizes in climate science. Tell us about the blue planet prize. I mean, who bestows it and what's it for

Speaker 2: 15:24 It's a Japanese foundation. It's large theme is, uh, sustainability and protecting the environment, but it has predominantly gone to, uh, scientists working on climate change.

Speaker 1: 15:40 Hmm. What was your reaction to receiving it?

Speaker 2: 15:44 A total surprise? Anytime I received such a wards, it's always the mixed emotion for me. One is of course, a surprise happiness about being recognized by your colleagues. But the other part of the emotion is the climate is warming rapidly. And I feel, uh, sad that as scientists, we have been warning about this problem, at least for the last 40 years, the actions are slow coming. Although I would say I'm much encouraged by what's happening now, worldwide.

Speaker 1: 16:32 That gives insight to my next question. How would you say we, the people of earth are doing in the effort to stop global warming or at least mitigate climate change? I mean, have we had any success to speak of

Speaker 2: 16:45 Quite a bit of success, but not commensurate with what we need to do just to talk about, you know, uh, solar power, which is one of the solutions to switch away from fossil fuels. The solar power deployment has increased by a factor of 15 in the last 10 years. And wind power has increased by more than a factor of three. All of these are good science, but to tell you the amount of work that we need to do in terms of a green revolution and climate actions, we have to accelerate them by at least a factor of two to three. That's about a hundred to 200% increase is what's needed in the next 10 years.

Speaker 1: 17:35 Hmm. You know, how much warmer has the planet been since the Dawn of the 20th century and what happens if it warms to another degree or so?

Speaker 2: 17:45 Excellent question. As of, uh, 2014, this is based on my own work with my students and colleagues. Uh, the planet crossed, uh, one degree warming, okay. Compared to the pre-industrial, which is around 1800. I published a study in 2018 with my colleagues here at the university of California, San Diego in Mitsubishi concluded the warming would amplify by 50% by 2030. At the time we published it visited in 12 years. Now it's just in nine years. So you can see why worry about another half a degree when the weather and climate is changing day to day, month to month, when the planet features a degree and a half, the planet would be warmer than any temperature climate we have experienced in the last 150,000 years, climate change would move into all of our living rooms. Just like COVID the positive way to look at it is we have a 10 year warning to prepare people to cope with this and adapted this.

Speaker 1: 18:58 You know, one of your main current concerns is super pollutants. Can you talk to me about what they are and how harmful they could be in terms of climate change?

Speaker 2: 19:10 When I got into this field about 4 45 years ago in 1975, scientists thought the main human may pollutant warming the planet is carbon dioxide. That was based on a hundred years of research. So what I show was, uh, these super pollutant chlorofluorocarbons, which were used as refrigerants those days were about 10,000 times more potent than carbon dioxide. So what do I mean by that at ton of these compounds in the air, this chlorofluorocarbon, which is used as a refrigerant, had the same warming effect as 10,000 tons of CO2, many such super pollutants were added to the list of the top. One is methane, which comes from natural gas leaks are from our fossil fuel transmission, comes from agriculture and comes from our landfills. The next is black Carmen sucked. That's what the dark smoke coming from diesel. And then that is ozone in the lower atmosphere, you know, which we know as of put Newton to causing asthma, but it's also a powerful greenhouse gas and, and their lifetime is on the order of a few weeks to 10 years compared to carbon dioxide, which stays in the air for centuries to thousands of years, which means if you take actions to cut them down there quickly, uh, their heating effect would come down and we can bend the warming curve within the next 15 years.

Speaker 2: 20:48 So that is the hopeful sign Bihar. And, and I want to mention to you, uh, I had worked with governor Jerry Brown, thanks to him. We, we know, uh, the, uh, bill passed bill first in the world to cut down the super Peduto and via technologies. Particularly California is a pioneer in developing these technologies. We have technologies to bring them down quickly. And, uh, the third thing is we have to take some of the carbon out of the air by our children mechanical pains. So by bringing down the super pollutants, you also burn down air pollution. And the core benefits of that is avoiding millions of deaths worldwide, but America loses about 200,000 lives every year to this air pollution. So we bring them down by bringing down.

Speaker 1: 21:55 I've been speaking with Ron Robinson and a researcher and professor at Scripps institution of oceanography at UC San Diego and the recipient of the blue planet prize professor Rama nothin. Thank you so much for joining us and congratulations to you. Thank you so much. Thank you.

Speaker 4: 22:21 Schooling has been one of the biggest issues that parents have had to contend with throughout the pandemic. Parents have had anxieties over virtual learning versus in-person education, and that's led to one form of education. Seeing a boost in interest Catholic schools, amid concerns of social distancing and classroom sizes enrollment at a number of local Catholic schools has surged freelance writer. Jennifer McEntee joins us with more on her voices, San Diego story, and Jennifer, welcome. Hi, thank you. So to start, what are some of the schools in the area that have seen a notable bump in admissions

Speaker 5: 22:58 Catholic schools at all grade levels and Sandy Diego saw a net increase in enrollment of a least 5% for this last school year, but there were a few schools that kind of popped up as particularly higher in enrollment, which included, uh, St. Augustine and also, um, cathedral Catholic high school. Those schools kinda stood out as ones that had a lot more interest in terms of applications enrollment. Uh, there's even a look to kind of expand their class sizes. Given the increased interest,

Speaker 4: 23:31 The notion of in-person schooling has been a huge source of anxiety for parents throughout the pandemic. So why are we seeing increases in enrollment at these Catholic schools?

Speaker 5: 23:42 Well, to hear the schools, administrators tell it, it really has a lot to do with the fact that they were able to offer in-person learning sooner. Um, they had a plan in place right away as to how they were going to space the students. If they couldn't do it in side the classroom, because they needed to limit their capacity. They would split the classes into cohorts and put some outside with the teacher, some inside with the teacher. And they were just able to do a lot more in terms of having this kids on campus, um, which, you know, for a lot of students, it is tough to do online learning. So for our families who really needed their kids to be with a professional teacher, that seemed to be a good option in

Speaker 4: 24:33 The past. We've reported that enrollment at Catholic schools was slipping. So do you think this boost in enrollment could be a lasting trend that would reverse the decline at Catholic schools over the longterm? Well,

Speaker 5: 24:45 So what was interesting and what kind of peaked my interest in this story is that I had heard similarly that national enrollment was down. So this last school year across the United States, uh, Catholic schools experienced their largest single decline in nearly 50 years. So they actually had more students leave the Catholic school education than had happened in 50 years, including, uh, during the clergy abuse scandals in 2003 and a economic downturn in 2008. But the numbers are kind of hard to track down because of course the problem is they also had a lot of schools close across the nation. So there was a consolidation or closing of 209 schools and, uh, Catholic schools in the United States. So that had a big impact on the number of students who actually went to a Catholic school education. Whereas in San Diego, we had fewer closures, there were some closures, but fewer of them, and again, there were these families looking for an option for their kids outside of the public school system. And

Speaker 4: 25:57 So what are some of those big draws of in-person education at these schools?

Speaker 5: 26:02 Well, people really feel like they need their students to not just have the in-person education aspect, that the social aspect of it, the need to have instruction that's face-to-face versus on a computer screen, even just being outside and doing PE or recess seems to be important for kids. So, yeah, it was a tough call I'm sure for a lot of families, right? Because it's a, it's a tough thing to know what's in the best interest of your child, you're weighing health concerns against academic and social and emotional concerns. And

Speaker 4: 26:38 What kind of precautions did the area's Catholic schools take in terms of safety guidelines?

Speaker 5: 26:44 So in the case of St Augustine, they were among those who filed a lawsuit in August, 2020 against governor Gavin Newsome saying that they didn't want to have to shut down. And so they said for, in way of their safety protocols, that they would use UV lights to sanitize the air, uh, electric static, and disinfecting MIS system across the classes, which is one of those anti-bacterial type mechanisms. So they had plans to disinfect the classrooms as best they could. But that said, they did have instances of families, of students who did come down with COVID-19. And so in those cases, when there were quite a few numbers, they did actually close the school and revert to online. So, and again, the Catholic schools say that that was one of their skills was to be able to actually switch quickly to online if needed. So they said they had some flexibility there that they wouldn't necessarily have with teachers union school boards, you know, in a huge public school district like we have here in San Diego. Yeah.

Speaker 4: 27:56 I'm wondering, did reporting this story make you think any differently about how school could have gone for all students during the pandemic,

Speaker 5: 28:05 We have such large school districts and to get all those moving pieces together is really tough. So I, I think that the public schools did have a huge challenge just like amongst your own family, you can kind of control the spread and how much interaction you have a small school can have some measure of control, but at the same, you, it's not like going to the zoo and, you know, you're amongst all those people. It's a, it's a big difference, right? So I think the public schools here had a huge task in trying to get kids back on campus. You know, I have teenagers of my own and they said, you know, I can't imagine how the schools could keep all of the classrooms clean when the bathrooms typically aren't clean on campus. So just on a regular school day. So yeah, it's, it's a tough thing. And I, I can't imagine making teachers do the work of cleaning classrooms. You know, it's a, it's a mechanism that our public schools weren't ready for.

Speaker 4: 29:08 All right. Well, I've been speaking with freelance writer, Jennifer McEntee, and you can find her story on local Catholic school enrollment in the voice of San Diego. Jennifer, thanks for joining us. Thank you.

Speaker 6: 29:32 [inaudible]

Speaker 1: 29:35 It's been painful to lose so many of our elderly to COVID-19, but there are also many families, especially Latin X families grieving the deaths of those who are younger in Oakland Marybelle via, ever died of COVID-19 at age 46, she was a single mom and left behind a ten-year-old son, David, as part of the California report magazine series, remembering people who died from COVID-19. We hear from David's aunt Susanna Torres and his teacher, Myra Alvarado about how Mary Bell's death called each of them to take on roles. They never imagined KQ EDS. Julia McEvoy has their story.

Speaker 4: 30:17 Susannah Torres had always thought of her sister as resilient. She fought

Speaker 7: 30:21 The good fight while she was here. Just like everybody should have struggles. She had, you know, moments of hardship.

Speaker 4: 30:28 Susana is the youngest of the five siblings in their immigrant family. Her sister, Maddie bell, everyone called her Madi was the middle child.

Speaker 7: 30:36 We grew up in a, um, domestic violence, um, colorful high now environment. It was hard.

Speaker 4: 30:46 Your front porch Susana says Marty and her son lived in the homes downstairs apartment for little rent, sort of under the wing of Susannah and her house. She was

Speaker 7: 30:56 Very sensitive and you know, David's dad not being around. It was hard.

Speaker 4: 31:04 Marty found a lot of joy in caring for children, always babysitting Susana's two kids. When they were there, she loved

Speaker 7: 31:10 To cook. She was really good at cooking. Her lefts were contagious.

Speaker 4: 31:18 He found work in a childcare center and she also cleaned houses. What Maddie earned. She spent on instilling in her son. A sense of possibility. Yeah,

Speaker 7: 31:27 She will say for money. And even though she didn't have a car, she took David to Monterey aquarium on public transportation.

Speaker 4: 31:39 When Marty got sick, Susana was the one who drove her to the community clinic and then to the hospital where they talked over, zoom,

Speaker 7: 31:47 You know, stay strong, keep fighting. Uh, David is, it's fine. He's here with us. Some worry about him.

Speaker 4: 31:56 It was Susana who set up the last virtual visit with Marty and her son and Susannah was the one who had to make the hard decisions. When doctors said there was nothing more to be done.

Speaker 7: 32:08 It just happened really quick. You don't have time to say goodbye

Speaker 4: 32:14 As we spoke. One of Marty's friends pulled up in her truck to drop off some chocolate for David.

Speaker 7: 32:20 Okay. It's [inaudible] when you [inaudible]. Okay. Thank you. Bye-bye bye

Speaker 4: 32:30 Brenda's. Part of Susana's church community. It was church members like her who brought food and flowers to the family. It was another community David school that helped raise money for his mom's funeral from

Speaker 7: 32:43 The teachers from, oh, no, everybody that knew day then. And, uh, you know, everybody that knew my sister,

Speaker 3: 32:56 Okay. Alinka standard chat,

Speaker 4: 33:00 Anita seed elementary David's bilingual immersion school. There was also grief and confusion. At first,

Speaker 3: 33:07 The link is in the chat [inaudible]

Speaker 4: 33:10 Alvarado. Her students call her Maestra. Alvarado is David's teacher pistols glasses.

Speaker 3: 33:18 I knew that there was this outpouring of like, uh, support from the community that kids were going to hear about it. Manzanita

Speaker 4: 33:25 Seed draws students from Oakland fruit Vale neighborhood, which is majority Latinex and has been hard hit by the virus.

Speaker 3: 33:33 It happens, especially in our communities, but like I still was in disbelief. And so I was just trying to figure out what to do

Speaker 4: 33:40 Of Alvarado saw that a parent had started a go fund, me to help Mary's family. And she worried about David. She kept checking in with his aunt Susannah.

Speaker 3: 33:49 If he needs time, let him take time. He'll catch up. He's a very engaged student. Whenever he's in class, he's like fully there really funny kid. I see a lot of the drive in David that mom had this high expectation of him, both

Speaker 4: 34:05 David's teacher and his aunt felt it would help him to get back on zoom with classmates. First, my Alvarado met with David separately to try and understand how he was feeling to prepare him. If she

Speaker 3: 34:18 Could, some of your classmates might want to reach out to you and talk about this. How do you feel about that? He said like, unless he brings it up, he doesn't want it. And I was like, okay, I respect that. And thank you for letting me know. I'll let your classmates know, by

Speaker 4: 34:30 The way, I didn't feel it was right for me to interview. Ten-year-old David about his mom's death either, which is why you don't hear directly from him in our story here.

Speaker 3: 34:46 [inaudible] when questions

Speaker 4: 34:48 Do come up about the virus from students, my Eastern Alvarado has had to negotiate this sensitive discussion over zoom.

Speaker 3: 34:56 Um, it's good to get. Um, [inaudible]

Speaker 4: 35:06 Like when students shared in the chat that one of their family members had COVID though, none of them lost a parent as David did the

Speaker 3: 35:14 Empathy, right. Of knowing what it feels like to be scared. And some students were expressing in the chat, like we're really young. I can't imagine losing my parents at this age as

Speaker 4: 35:27 David returned to school Susannah and her husband decided it would be best for him to live with them. She's been making green enchiladas. His mom used to for him

Speaker 7: 35:38 For years pass by and we are still gonna miss her. And that's okay. You know, I'm always here. If you want to talk about anything.

Speaker 3: 35:47 Well, one of the things I did tell David, um, after his mom had passed, is that, you know, I remember how much your mom cared about your learning, and I know how proud she would be of you and how proud she is of all the work that you're doing. How awesome your purpose of painting in class. It's like at the

Speaker 4: 36:07 End of the school year, my Easter Alvarado's class met up in person at a nearby park. David hugged everyone. And then he hugged the air. He said it was for his mom and Julia McAvoy. You're listening to KPBS midday edition. I'm Claire triglyceride with Jade Heideman Maureen Kavanaugh has the day off yesterday, Angelika film center at Carmel mountain reopened for morning screenings under the new guidelines from the state KPBS arts reporter, Beth OCHA Mondo was at the busy cinema to speak with its marketing manager, Natasha Mulholland, about what changes you can expect when you go to a movie

Speaker 8: 36:54 Natasha on June 15th, the state had an announcement, which is changing everything for you at the cinema. So what does that announcement mean for you? For us, it's really a moment of joy. Uh, we have felt a great deal of suffering throughout this time. It was so difficult to, uh, you know, enforce all these new measures. Uh, we had many people upset about having to wear a mask or, you know, upset about having to wait in seemingly longer lines because of the social distancing. Uh, however, we did everything according to state and local guidelines, and we really wanted to make sure we were on top of all that and making the public feel comfortable and safe to come back. And so now is the time to get off your couch and come back and see a real movie in a real theater. So we're thrilled to be welcoming people back.

Speaker 8: 37:46 And so what have the new guidelines mean for you specifically? Are you at full capacity now, starting now we are at 100% capacity. So we will no longer enforce social distancing measures. So when you book your seat, there are more seats to choose from. We will have a regular seating and there won't be that social distancing requirement where it automatically blocks off seats next to you. And we will have more seating available as the larger films come out like F nine, the saga and black widow and people are really, really gonna want to see those films. We've already sold out several screenings at the lower capacity. So now we're going to be able to open up more seats. And what does it mean in terms of mask wearing? So at this point, the, what we have asked the public and that we have signs saying that by entering the building and not wearing a mask, you attest that you have been vaccinated in full.

Speaker 8: 38:44 And if you, uh, have not been, we are requiring that you come in with a mask on and wear it in all common areas. This is up to the patron to be honest about. And we do really hope that people do the right thing. So with the guidelines, allowing you to be at full capacity, uh, there's going to be a push now to get people back into the cinema. And what is that going to entail for you? Absolutely. We strongly encourage people to come back and we've already seen a fantastic response with our regulars and a lot of the patrons here who love us. And we want to encourage more people to come back through cinema week, which is taking place June 22nd to 27th. And it incorporates several fun events. So we'll be doing movie trivia on that outdoor patio, uh, June 23rd at 7:00 PM. So we're here to test your movie knowledge.

Speaker 8: 39:35 I'd love to quiz you bet. I'm sure you would. Maybe not. Um, so we'll be doing movie trivia. We have south coast winery coming from Temecula to do a wine tasting. The wine maker will be here Thursday, the 24th. And on the 25th, we have second chance of beer on the patio doing a beer tasting. So we want to encourage people to come back and enjoy the things that we have to offer here. And we are partnering with, uh, some of the local businesses in the mall that we'll be offering a discount or prize, uh, that will raffle off during the week of cinema week. So we're really trying to encourage people to come back, see the movies that we have available and get back here. Those events are here at the Angelica film center. You also represent Redding theaters and the Claremont's doing something a little different.

Speaker 8: 40:23 Yes. So the Claremont town square mall has a super fun event for kids and families. Saturday, June 26th, from 12 to 2:00 PM, we'll be doing balloons and face painting and, um, there's going to be music and, uh, we'll be giving out some prizes as well. And the mall does have some party business participants there that will be, um, doing discounts. And one of my favorite reading theaters is the Grossmont, not just because it's close to my house, but because it has a gorgeous large screen, is that theater also participating in this cinema week? Absolutely reading cinemas. Grossmont is also participating in cinema week. We've partnered with several businesses in the mall that we'll be offering a discount and we'll be offering coupons and special prizes that we'll be raffling off inside our theaters during that week. And then the film center has also done special events, not just new releases, but also other kinds of screenings of older films.

Speaker 8: 41:19 So are you going to be returning to some of that kind of programming in addition to the new releases? We really hope so. Uh, however right now the focus is on getting people back to see movies in general and focusing the films that are coming out. Uh, we want to be supportive of our distribution partners and to really highlight the films that are going to be coming out, especially in the next few months through fall, everything that was canceled or postponed from 2020 is going to bombard us. So we have so many great films just coming out back to back to back. So we certainly will return to repertory programming, just not at this time. And what has this change in guidelines meant for the theater staff? How has it been adapting to this? Pretty much overnight w actually for staff, staff are still required to wear masks until we hear the directive from Cal OSHA, which has yet to come out.

Speaker 8: 42:14 Um, however, we will reevaluate that situation. Once we have a direct guidelines. And for you personally, what does it feel like to get back to a cinema and see the venues full and at capacity? Well, we have yet to be full, but we hope that people come back. I really feel a strong sense of positivity. I think people really do want to get out of the house and want to have that feeling of normality. Again, I think that our cinemas are a place for community and for families and people who love film, especially the Angelica. So I really have an overwhelming sense of joy and hope that we will bounce back. Now, there has been some concern, people are saying, oh, because people have gotten used to streaming movies and watching them at home that they may not want to come back to cinemas. And I'm wondering, how do you feel about that in terms of what you're seeing in ticket sales and what you're seeing in theater?

Speaker 8: 43:13 There've been many encouraging signs from our patrons. We've seen many of our regulars come back. We've had a lot of inquiries on our social media channels. I think people are very excited to come back to see films. And we've seen a lot of pre-sales for F nine, the fast saga. We just released ticket advanced ticket sales for black widow. And that has been incredibly popular already. I think a lot of times it just depends on the film, a quiet place too, and Cruella did great for us, and we're hoping that we can encourage people to come see some of the smaller films as well. We have a fantastic documentary about Rita Moreno opening this week, as well as the sparks brothers, the Edgar Wright film. And we're really hoping that people do come back. I see signs that are very encouraging and I think, I think people need to, uh, get out of the house. All right. Well, thank you very much for talking about the reopening of cinema. We can't wait. Can't wait to see people back.

Speaker 4: 44:13 That was Beth Armando speaking with Natasha Mulholland at the Angelika film center at Carmel mountain. Beth recommends checking out the new Rita Moreno documentary opening on Friday.

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KPBS Midday Edition

KPBS Midday Edition is a daily talk show hosted by Maureen Cavanaugh and Jade Hindmon, keeping San Diegans in the know on everything from politics to the arts.