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As quarter ends, UCSD students express support for strike, uncertainty about grades

 December 1, 2022 at 1:48 PM PST

S1: Academic workers at UC San Diego remain on strike as finals approach.

S2: They feel like their grades will be affected in some cases.

S1: I'm Maureen CAVANAUGH with Jade Heineman. This is KPBS midday edition. The low eruption is putting a break in the Keeling Curve.

S3: They have let the lava cool. They have to build a new road over it. They have to put in the power plant , borrow power poles over it. That's months , in any case.

S1: San Diego police get into the act of enforcing new street vendor laws. And the San Diego Symphony performs a world premiere composition. That's ahead on Midday Edition. It's the third week of the academic workers strike at UC San Diego and students are starting to feel it. With finals beginning in just a few days , students are missing the feedback they get from teaching assistants and wondering if their tests will be graded on time. 48,000 postdoctoral scholars , researchers and graduate students across the U.S. system are striking for higher pay and benefits. A tentative agreement has been reached for about 25% of the strikers , but they remain on picket lines in support of their fellow workers. Joining me is KPBS reporter Kitty Alvarado. And , Kitty , welcome to the program.

S2: Thank you so much.

S1: Now , I know that you've been reporting on this story from the UC San Diego campus.

S2: There are striking students there every single day. But sometimes you'll see them there every single day on campus , in little groups all over. But you will really see them there when they hold rallies. And when they do hold those rallies , they are a force , for example , on Monday. That was their most recent rally. And they were really shutting down streets. They were a force. There was about 500 academic workers there. And as they approached the campus , they were just really like this huge mass shutting down streets as they approached the campus. And it was really something. It was just like a thunderous roar as you could just hear them coming from , you know , like a mile away. It was really something to to see and to hear.

S1: Now , the university system has reached a tentative agreement with some of the strikers.

S2: And it's about two of the four units , the bargaining units. And they're bargaining separately because they are so many different fields.

S1:

S2: And you kind of heard it in their chance when they're picketing. But when I pressed the ones that made the deal , when when they did make the press availability , they kind of struggled to answer that. When I asked them if they were going to stay on the picket line and wait for the rest to make deals. But , you know , they said that they will stay on the picket line until they sign their contracts and they they will remain in solidarity throughout. But they do believe that their contracts , when they do sign , that they will serve as a template for the others because they made really huge strides in the the certain things that they were able to negotiate , like e-bikes , transportation , paid leave for for mothers. And so they feel like they they did some some wonderful groundbreaking things in their contracts that they were able to negotiate.

S1: Now , you spoke with several students as finals approach.

S2: And but you can tell they were saying the environment is completely different without the Tas in their classroom. They both say the students who did want to speak with us on camera said the environment is completely different without these academic workers in their classroom , they say they essentially run the you C's , they run discussions , grade our papers , run the labs. They basically teach the classrooms. And without them , it's the classrooms aren't aren't running efficiently. They feel like they're not even learning. They tell me in a lot of the cases and they feel like their grades will be affected in some cases. Others say , well , my grade is already okay. So if it stands as is , it won't be affected. Others say , well , it may be affected , but I don't know. There hasn't been much clarity. I don't know what's going to happen if it prolongs. Maybe if it extends my graduation , I don't really know. No one's really talking about it. But I do stand in solidarity with them because now. Now I really see how much they do. I feel like I'm not even learning sometimes. Some students just say they really don't know what's going to happen. And for example , I spoke with Kayla Guzman , who's a fourth year student , and here's what she had to say.

S1: It is kind of scary. It sucks that we're so late in the quarter and everything is up in the air.

S2: But I'm learning and I'm just going to keep.

S1: Going to class and trying to do the best that I can , despite everything. Now , you spoke with striking workers , too.

S2: I spoke with Yuri and Tandon and they say they do sympathize with the students , but they are struggling.

S4: Me and a lot of my colleagues are basically living in poverty. And the university at any point has the ability to end that.

S1:

S2: I also spoke with Humana Garcia. Her parents are farm workers and she says her parents really don't know how tough she has it out here in the university. She often has to go to the food bank just to make ends meet.

S1:

S2: So they're frustrated. They are frustrated. But today it seems like they're they are back. I spoke with one of them this morning , a couple of them. And they say that they seem to to actually be be talking. I haven't heard details , but I did speak to them and they said they finally seem to be talking again. So that that's progress to me.

S1: I've been speaking with KPBS reporter Kitty Alvarado. Kitty , thank you so much.

S2: Thank you.

S1: And academic workers continue to strike at University of California campuses all across the state. Now we head to the picket line at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Reporter Laura Fitzgerald tells us how the tentative agreement the university reached with postdocs and academic researchers to increase their pay and other benefits will impact one scientist.

S5: Two weeks ago , when I met Rajeev Ramana , Jim Prabhakar.

S6: He was wearing a yellow safety vest and marching with other academic workers. This was Barker's first time participating in the strike. He studies climate change at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

S5: For him , the tentative.

S6: Agreements between postdoc bargainers and the University of California.

S5: Will mean an additional $12,000 a year in his bank account.

S4: My rent button is definitely going to decrease.

S5: And that's not all.

S6: Prabhakar will have guaranteed time off for visa and immigration appointments. As an international postdoc worker from India. That's a big deal to him. He's also excited that under the tentative deal , the U.S. will extend the duration of his appointment from 1 to 2 years.

S4: You don't need to go every year outside the country to train either. I can go every two years. That saves a lot of resources , like time and money and effort for international force doctor workers.

S5: Prabhakar won't be leaving the picket lines just yet.

S6: Postdoc workers like him are continuing their strike in solidarity with GSI and researchers who have yet to reach agreements. But he thinks.

S5: The hours he and his colleagues put in these past couple of weeks led to monumental improvements. The strike is the largest ever in U.S. higher education. Prabhakar believes he helped change the future of postdoctoral employment across all UC campuses. There's just one problem. He's got a lot of work to catch up on.

S4: I've fallen behind on that. So he's going to I'm going to have to catch up on those pretty soon. So it's going to be a little bit busy Christmas holidays for me , I guess , now.

S5: I'm Laura Fitzgerald in Berkeley.

S1: The eruption of Hawaii's Mauna Loa. A volcano has shut down a research project that's been measuring carbon dioxide in the air since 1958. Those measurements are widely known as the Keeling Curve , and they were one of the early warning signs of global warming. KPBS environment reporter Eric Anderson spoke to Ralph Keeling , who maintains the project started by his father , Charles. And Erik started by asking how the eruption shut down the carbon dioxide tracker.

S3: Well , of course , the Manolo Observatory is where we've been getting records of carbon dioxide , starting with my father's measurements in the 1950s. And there's a really beautiful , continuous , long term record that's a key baseline for carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. And what happened on Sunday night was the Mont Ulloa started spewing out , lava started erupting. Initially , we're continuing to get data. There was no one on site. And at that point , they didn't let anyone go to the site. But we were still getting data for a while. And then we got news on Monday that the lava spilled off the side , was going down the slope and had cut the road as well as power lines. So at that point , everything was shut down because we had no power. And of course there's no access even possible. If you even were safe enough , it wouldn't be possible because there's no road. So the record has come to an abrupt halt at this point.

S7:

S3: At some point , I should say , the station is run by the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration , and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography has a collaboration with them. But they're the main operators at the station , and they're working diligently to try to figure out options. And we're in discussion with them about that. I mean , there's really two categories of things going on. One is to try to figure out how it might be possible to resume the measurements , even while we don't have power lines and don't have a road because the station is not been damaged. And as far as I know , it's not really under any direct threat. It's miles away from the current lava flows could change. But I mean , I don't think that's a huge risk. So , yeah , so we're thinking about how to how to get something going back on the mountain. The other the other thing under discussion is to try to figure out where we can do measurements elsewhere on the big island of Hawaii that will give us comparable data that we can use to fill the gap that would be created by the instruments up there being down. Eventually , we'll get the record going again , and so it'll just be a piece of it that has the special data in it.

S7: Tell me why this is important.

S3: And so this is the one of the primary indicators of where we are on the climate problem. And , you know , in the 1960s , when this data first became available , it was really the wake up call. This record itself was the wake up call that humans were changing the whole planet in a way that could affect the climate. And the record , although there are measurements being made now of carbon dioxide in lots of locations , this record remains a really important baseline. For example , let's suppose you wanted to ask how is the system different now than it was in the 1960s ? You'd need a baseline from the 1960s to compare it to you don't have much. And the one really compelling , beautiful baseline is this model or record. So to make that comparison , you need that record to continue. So it's still a critical measure of how things have changed and how things are changing , even though it's just one location.

S7:

S3: And just because even if the lava stopped flowing today and we don't know when it's going to stop , but that's the optimistic one. They still have to build a new. They have to let the lava cool. They have to build a new road over it. They have to put new power plant fire power poles over it. That's months in any case. Okay.

S7: Okay.

S3: There's more than one thing , one possibility. And we're looking and we're. We're looking into possibilities now. And this is a collaboration with my colleagues and Noah , because there's there's more than just carbon dioxide being measured , and no one is measuring lots of other gases , greenhouse gases , ozone depleting substances , other properties of the atmosphere. So there's a lot of data sets that are being compromised by this , not just the CO2 records.

S7:

S3: And there was also a new observatory being put on this monolith on Hawaii. And it just was a perfect match between the vision of trying to get remote air and a new infrastructure that was being put forth in the 1950s. And it is a fantastic location because what's around well , what else is there at 13,000 feet in the middle of the Pacific Ocean ? There is nothing in it. Well , there's there's there's Monica , there's Mount Ulloa. There's some other volcanoes on Maui that are that are getting up pretty high. But , I mean , it's just those volcanoes are the only thing sticking up in the atmosphere in such a remote , remote spot. So it's really it's really an amazing location and unique and really valuable for atmospheric work.

S7:

S3: Volcanoes give off carbon dioxide. And what about the contamination ? And as long as we're upwind , which we will be depending on the wind directions , we'll get some upwind air. We'll be able to get clean data , clean enough for our purposes , we don't we don't require that. We measure 24 seven. We just need some good data every few days to to piece together the record that we that we have so that the volcanic emissions are not going to be an issue. Another point there is that globally people think , oh , volcanoes aren't a big source of CO2. Well , what about how does that stack up compared to other sources ? And the truth is that volcanoes are pretty small compared to fossil fuel burning. We are overwhelming the system right now with human fossil fuel combustion. The emissions are something like 100 fold bigger than all the volcanoes in the world. So in an individual volcano like model , even when it's going off now , is a pretty tiny source compared to , say , a city.

S1: That was Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Climate scientist Ralph Keeling , who runs the Keeling Curve Carbon dioxide Tracker. He was speaking to KPBS environment reporter Erik Anderson.

S5: You're listening to KPBS Midday edition. I'm Jade Hindman with Maureen CAVANAUGH. Earlier this year , San Diego passed a new law that would tighten regulations on street vendors throughout the city. Enforcement of those new laws and rules , however , hasn't been consistent. Now the police are getting involved. Joining me now with more is KPBS metro reporter Jacob Air. Jacob , welcome back.

S6: Thanks for having me on.

S5:

S6: So back in June , some new regulations came into place that regulated when , where and how street vendors can actually sell their goods. The big part of this is that it took them out of high traffic areas. So think places like the majority of Balboa Park and also places like the Gaslamp. They're no longer able to sell their goods there.

S5:

S6: But the Gaslamp has a bit of a unique situation where a lot of the vendors there , at least according to people that I've spoken with on the ground , are coming there at nighttime and they're actually from out of town. So they've had some issues regulating it as far as other certain coastal and beach areas , because the Coastal Commission didn't originally approve this. They haven't had to had wide ranging enforcement yet. But coming next year , there will be more regulations coming to the coastal areas and other beach areas.

S5:

S6: As I brought up earlier , there have been some scenarios where there's been folks from coming in from out of town. There was even a physical altercation that led to an act of violence in the recent past. And on top of that , they've just not been obeying any of the laws. So the police have been brought in there over the last couple of weeks , but only in the Gaslamp so far.

S5:

S6: They're still seeing dozens of what is mainly hot dog vendors coming in , especially on the weekends with numerous health and safety violations , according to them. And they say the police is needed because like I mentioned before , there's actually been kind of like turf wars that have in some cases lead to acts of violence and just the complete disregard for the laws down there. It's not been able to be handled by code enforcement because they often don't work late at night and they haven't been able to deal with the sheer amount of vendors in the area.

S5:

S6: So you have that issue. And then on top of that , you're having people often impeding right of way on sidewalks. So there's kind of a double issue there. In some cases , it's led to certain carts catching on fire. So it just seems like there's a overall lack of regulation. And a lot of these vendors , from what I'm being told , also don't have the permits that are needed outside of the fact that you're just not allowed to actually vend in the Gaslamp anymore as a whole.

S5: And you've spoken to some of the vendors themselves.

S6: They kind of agree for the most part that additional regulations and policing is needed in the Gaslamp because the situation there has gotten out of control. But the ones who live here locally , a lot of them are just trying to pay their bills and pay rent from what they're saying. Most of them are kind of selling around the Broadway Pier area now and other certain pockets , but they don't have as many areas as they did prior , such as Balboa Park and Little Italy. A lot of them are kind of nervous about the future regulations in the coastal areas because they're not sure where they're going to be able to sell and if they're still going to be able to sustain themselves. So a lot of them are considering potential other solutions for income.

S5:

S6: That being said , the Gaslamp Quarter Association's Mike Trimble tells me that this weekend they're going to be moving beyond the educational approach. I did try and clarify this with the San Diego Police Department. They did not. Give me a direct response. So , so far , the city says it's still an educational approach from the police department. Mike Trimble says it's going beyond that. We'll see what's happening this weekend. This is when it's really kind of supposed to begin going beyond the education down in the Gaslamp.

S5:

S6: Of course , when you have a physical altercation that leads to violence , in this case , it was a stabbing. Something needed to be done. So they're kind of buckling down and saying , we need to address this. They realized code enforcement wasn't working. That's why they brought in police. I think they're going to kind of take it day by day and see if the educational approach that they're saying they're doing right now is working. If not , they might have to move beyond in other cases , Code enforcement previously was able to cite and in some cases impound equipment. So we'll see if that ends up happening from the police as well.

S5: I've been speaking with KPBS metro reporter Jacob Air. Jacob , thanks for talking with us today. Yeah.

S6: Yeah. Thank you so much for having me on.

S5: China is facing rare public protest as anger over strict pandemic shutdowns continues to grow. Meanwhile , its president , Xi Jinping , recently solidified his grip on power after being appointed to an unprecedented third term in October. A new book from a local expert on China looks at what changes in that country mean for the world as well as the United States. I'm joined now by Susan Shirk , professor at UC San Diego School of Global Policy and Strategy , who will be appearing later this evening at Work's bookstore in La Hoya to discuss and sign copies of her new book , Overreach How China Derailed Its Peaceful Rise. And Susan , welcome back to Midday Edition. Thanks so much , Jade. Great to be here. So your new book is called Overreach a First. Why did you choose that title ? Well , overreach means to take things too far in a way that then snaps back to harm yourself. It means not just being excessively ambitious , but it means doing things , taking actions that end up being costly to yourself and in this case being costly to China itself. And for a long time , China was known for prioritizing economic growth while avoiding international confrontations. Why do you think that changed ? It was a puzzle to me when I saw it happening in real time in the mid 2000. I mean , that's the big surprise of my book to many readers , is that this type of aggressive international behavior in the South China Sea toward its neighbors , economic coercion of other countries , as well as domestically and repression of various social groups and very tight media censorship , Internet censorship. These things didn't start with the current leader , Xi Jinping , but actually started under a mild mannered leader named Hu Jintao , who ruled with a collective leadership , a kind of oligarchy of a nine person standing committee of the Communist Party. And so that was a puzzle when I observed that. And this the research for my book began around 2007 , 2008 , when I started trying to figure. Out.

S3: Out.

S5: How collective leadership worked and why it didn't lead to restraint , but instead was leading to overreach. You say the book opens the black box of Chinese politics. Why do you feel that is important now ? Well , it's important , of course , especially as the relations between our two countries have become dangerously adversarial. And this can lead us to misperceive each other. So I think it's important to dig down and try to penetrate the secrecy of Chinese internal politics and decision making so we can ascertain how threatening is it , really. And are we dealing with China in the right way or are we overreacting ? China's leader , Xi Jinping , was recently appointed to a third term. It can you talk about why that's significant ? Well , it's very significant because , you know , it means Xi Jinping is likely to be China's leader until he dies or is overthrown by his comrades. Other senior party leaders who've grown frustrated with his monopoly of power. What makes China such a big competitor to the U.S. ? Well , China is , of course , a major power already. Ever since Mao died , its economy has really taken off. And so China is the second largest economy in the world , having already surpassed Japan. And sometime soon , it will be the largest economy in the world. Of course , as per capita income and living standards are still lower than those in the United States. But China is rising economically very fast. And. It's investing a lot of its technology as well as its budgets and also strengthening its military. Hmm. You know , China is seeing rare public protests right now with many Chinese pushing back on the country's zero COVID policy. How has the coronavirus pandemic changed China ? Well , Xi Jinping's autocratic rule has concentrated personal istic. Dictatorship has meant that there's tremendous pressure on local officials to prove their loyalty to Xi Jinping. And the way they do that is to overdo their implementation of Xi Jinping's policies. And we really see that with the implementation of zero COVID , which has , you know , locked people in to their residences so that when there's a fire , they can't get out. That's what the protesters were reacting in this instance against the loss of life and Shin John , where the firefighters hadn't been able to get through because of the lockdowns related to zero COVID. We don't know yet how these protests will evolve , but it's very significant that we had protests in so many cities in China , which shows that the support for Xi Jinping's concentrated , personal , ascetic rule and his overreach may be diminishing. I've been speaking with Susan Shirk , professor at UC San Diego School of Global Policy and Strategy. She is also author of the book Overreach How China Derailed Its Peaceful Rise. She'll be having a book signing at 7:30 p.m. and Warwick's bookstore in La Hoya. To learn more , you can visit Warwick's dot com or our website KPBS dot org. And Susan , thank you so much for joining us and thanks for your insight. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to speak with you. The U.S. Department of Education is asking local school systems to better meet the needs of military children with disabilities. When service members moved from base to base , they sometimes find it takes too long for their child's new school to begin providing special education services. Carson Frame reports for the American Homefront Project. And on weekdays , Army wife.

S6: Lawanda Jenkins turns the morning news on well before dawn. She glances up at it from time to time as she helps her eight year old daughter.

S5: Victoria , get ready for school with the effects of landmines.

S6: And it's an exacting morning routine that's often interrupted by health scares.

S2: So you might have a seizure like every other morning.

S5: Usually she'll.

S2: Have it maybe around like three. Ish.

S5: Ish.

S2: But her standard wake up time is about 5 a.m. in the morning because she requires a lot of work.

S6: Victoria suffers from two neurological conditions that make it hard for her to process information and lead to problems with body functioning. She's non-verbal and relies on a motorized wheelchair and assistive communication.

S5: Devices that I usually get for her medication.

S2: She usually takes four medications for seizures in the morning.

S6: When the family lived on post at Fort Sam Houston , Victoria's life at school was pretty stable. She attended the elementary school on base and the teachers there understood her routines and quirks. But when the family had to move off base unexpectedly last year , Victoria transferred to another school system.

S5: It was a big.

S2: Learning curve for the teacher , even.

S5: Though the teacher was a special needs. Teacher.

S2: Teacher. One of the days she started having a seizure and there was no nurse on sight at the time. Know they started panicking , calling me.

S6: To make matters worse , the school liaison at Fort Sam Houston , an Air Force.

S5: Employee who was supposed to help.

S6: Military families in situations.

S5: Like these , didn't.

S2: They put in no effort. It's like we don't care about our child.

S5: That's kind of how I felt.

S6: Advocates say military families with disabled children often face.

S5: Problems like these when they move.

S6: From place to place. Their new district or state might not offer the same services as their old one.

S2: It's a very difficult system to navigate , particularly when you get down to the.

S5: School district level. Jackie Nowicki.

S6: A researcher with the Government Accountability Office , has studied the programs the Defense Department offers to families with children in special education. She says the department is limited in what it can do to help , since it.

S5: Doesn't determine which accommodations children should get.

S6: That's mostly up to school districts and states.

S2: The way the law is designed , they're providing latitude in defining disability categories and setting eligibility criteria that results in unevenness.

S6: Frequent moves add to the problem. Jennifer Barnhill is with Partners in Promise , a nonprofit organization that provides special education resources to military families.

S5: You know , it's not as though these experiences in the military community are different than the experiences of our civilian counterparts in special education. It's just that we experience them more frequently because of the highly mobile military lifestyle.

S6: Disabled children go through evaluations to determine the kinds of support they need , but when they move there , new districts often want to start that process from scratch. It takes , on average , 171 days for them to do new evaluations , according to a survey Partners in Promised did last year.

S5: So , for example , if a military student arrives in a new location and it takes them , as our survey data show a roughly 5.75 months to receive services , they are approximately a quarter of the way through a two year tour of duty at that point. And if there's a dispute with the school.

S6: District , it can take months or years to resolve. By that point , it's time to move again. The Department of Education recently sent a letter encouraging school districts to look at the complications of the military lifestyle and to offer disabled children the services that have historically worked for them. And last year's defense budget expanded legal assistance for military families who experience special education disputes. I'm Carson Frame in San Antonio.

S5: That story was produced by the American Homefront Project , a public media collaboration that reports on American military life and veterans. Funding comes from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the Bob Woodruff Foundation.

S1: I'm Maureen CAVANAUGH with Jade Heineman. The La Hoya Symphony Chorus will debut a world premiere piece from San Diego composer sang song in its concerts happening this weekend. He's the winner of this year's NEH Commission , named in honor of long time artistic director Thomas Nee , which is granted to up and coming U.S. graduate student composers. Song wrote his new work specifically for the players in the La Hoya Symphony. He spoke with KPBS arts producer and editor Julia Dixon Evans about his intriguing piece that has some unexpected theatrical elements. Here's their conversation.

S2: So you wrote your composition Frozen Grief , specifically about the Ohio Symphony in mind.

S3: But the the level of their playing is just. In some sense , they're better than some of the professional orchestras. And in terms of dedication , I think they're just unmatched. So they're playing and their dedication and artistry and expertise , everything really , really inspired me and blowing them up , blow me away. So it really got me got me going. Look. And then I decided to take this particular subject because I don't know if you know about the term ambiguous loss and frozen grief , but those are the notions that proposed by psychiatrist Pauline Boss. And her theory is that there are certain losses that are. That doesn't have you know , that don't have closures. So those , you know , griefs stay with those I like frozen and I found the idea really inspiring. And you may recall at the beginning of the pandemic like this , people were dying because of COVID and yet they were not getting proper funerals because of health concerns. Right. So. And , you know , some some students had to graduate without getting a proper graduation ceremony. And according to Professor Boss , that could result in ambiguous losses and therefore frozen grief. So I decided to take that theme as my. That the subject matter , quote unquote of my piece. The move. And then in addition to that , I was inspired by hype. You know , Joseph Haydn , the Austrian composer Joseph Haydn's Farewell Symphony. So I sort of built that idea into the piece later on. Yeah.

S2: Yeah. Can you tell me a little bit about Haydn's Farewell Symphony and how they're connected ? Sure.

S3: So there's a little story behind the Genesis in Haydn's Fellow Symphony , which is that , you know , Haydn was at that point hired by Prince Heterodoxy in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. And so that the Princess Strozzi was spending a summer with all the musicians in his favorite summer palace. And the stay was getting extended beyond the musicians expectations. So the musicians became really homesick at some point. And so they can kind of come up , came up to Haydn was the copper maestro due to the music director basically of the orchestra , a quartet orchestra. And Haydn came up with an idea instead of talking to a princess or hot and complaining about the situation , he decided to write a symphony. And what happens in the symphony is that the procedure is as if just like a typical in the symphony. But in the last movement , the music suddenly becomes slower and then softer and the musicians just leave the stage one by one. So Haydn was trying to convey the idea that yet the musicians wanted to leave. Right. So the Princess Sarti got the idea. And then then he promptly returned to Vienna , you know , to the relief of the musicians. But I wanted to sort of create an updated version of that symphony. So what I what happens in my piece is that , you know , I thought about making the musicians leave the stage just as just as Haydn did. But then Haydn only had just about a couple about like 20 decisions in the orchestra. But in the larger symphony , we have close to 100. So making them leave the stage would be a disaster. Maybe not a disaster , but that's probably , you know , the safety hazard. So I had to come up with something , some some clever idea to to present the same idea without risking anybody's safety. So what happens in my piece is that the towards the end of the second movement , the stage light goes dark and there are only the musicians are relying on the music stem that's on their music stands. And once each musician is done with their final notes , they turn off their music. And. So at the end , it's just a conductor.

S2: You have said how the pandemic shaped this composition and the creative process. But this performance is also just the second time the Delaware Symphony has performed live since the pandemic.

S3: But I would I would assume that it has a profound impact on the orchestra musicians , like I mentioned down there , second to none in terms of dedication. But I have the sense that they're even more dedicated to to do their best. And in this environment , because it's something they , I guess , you know , you you have you have taken for granted before the pandemic. But now we all know that this is every moment is precious. So I think that really creates a wonderful environment for especially for people , for people like me , because I'm this is a new piece. So nobody knows how it's supposed to sound except for me. And to an extent , it the conductor. So it takes a lot of patience and and and love , actually. It's been know we've been rehearsing this piece for almost a month now and working with Professor Jeffrey Maliki , with the who's conducting the orchestra for these concerts and the the troubled soloists on Brooke Schneider and all the musicians of the orchestra. It's been a privilege and joy to work with them. And I'm really , really enjoying every second of it.

S2: Saying , thank you so much for joining us.

S3: Well , thank you for your time.

S1: That was composer sang song. Speaking with KPBS , art producer and editor Julia Dixon. Evans Songs new composition will be performed for the first time on December 3rd and fourth part of the La Hoya Symphony and Choruses Passionate Voices Program. You can find more information about that at l j ac dot org.

It’s the third week of the academic workers strike at UC San Diego, and students are feeling it. Then, the eruption of Hawaii's Mauna Loa volcano has shut down a research project that’s measured carbon dioxide in the air since 1958. And, earlier this year San Diego passed a new law that would tighten regulations on street vendors throughout the city. Enforcement of these new rules, however, hasn’t been consistent.  Next, a new book by a local scholar on China looks at what changes in that country mean for the rest of the world. And, the U.S. Department of Education is asking local school systems to better meet the needs of military children with disabilities. Finally, pandemic grief inspires new composition premiering at the La Jolla Symphony this weekend.