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At least 3 judges eyed as Biden mulls Supreme Court pick

 January 27, 2022 at 3:51 PM PST

Speaker 1: (00:00)

President Biden will select a new Supreme court justice. And we already have some insights

Speaker 2: (00:05)

Person. I will nominate who will be the first black woman ever nominated to the United States Supreme court.

Speaker 1: (00:11)

I'm G Kim with Marine Kavanaugh. This is K PBS midday edition Housing costs continue to climb in San Diego.

Speaker 3: (00:27)

San Diego county is the fifth largest county in America, and you have less than 2000 homes for sale. So that's creating like insane competition.

Speaker 1: (00:36)

San Pasqua academy will stay open after months of uncertainty while alumni and are celebrating its expansion. And after two years, the San Diego opera returns indoors next month. That's ahead on midday edition, Associate justice, Steven Breyer, one of the three remaining liberal justices on the Supreme court announced his retirement today in a special event at the white house. And though Breyer won't officially retire until the end of his current term, the race to fill his seat has already begun speaking at today's event, president Joe Biden affirmed his campaign promise to nominate a to the Supreme court.

Speaker 2: (01:23)

I will select a nominee worthy of justice. Briar's legacy of excellence and decency. While I've been studying candidates, backgrounds, and writings, I've made no decision except one, the person I will nominate will be someone with extraordinary qualifications, character experience, and an integrity. And that person will be the first black woman ever nominated to the United States Supreme

Speaker 1: (01:48)

Court. Joining me now with a look ahead at this process is Glen Smith, a professor of law at California Western school. Glen, welcome back to the program.

Speaker 4: (01:57)

Thank you. Great to be here.

Speaker 1: (01:58)

There is already a lot of speculation about who Biden will choose to bill justice Briar's seat, but before we get to potential candidates, can you give us an idea of how this nomination process will play out? What are the next steps?

Speaker 4: (02:12)

Well, yes, it's always fun to speculate and people do that, but there's a, a lot of work that will go in. The first stage is identifying the particular person. The president will nominate. Um, sure. They've done a lot of work and narrowed down the list, but there's a lot of additional work to do when you get a vacancy that arises suddenly that galvanizes people at the justice department and various places to look at the backgrounds and look into the, you know, are there any hidden ethics issues or anything out there that might stall the nomination? And that can take some time. Then the press will announce a nominee that will go to the Senate. And the Senate will send a very long questionnaire to the nominee. It will have hearings and report to the full Senate, which will vote hopefully. And then the person will be confirmed. That's sort of a short version of, of a process that will take several months and sometimes takes even longer.

Speaker 1: (03:04)

What potential successors have emerged. And what do we know about them? I know this is pretty much speculation at this point, but we're already seeing some potential names out there. What do we know about

Speaker 4: (03:13)

Them? Well, I've seen a list of three, a list of five. This always happens when there's a nomination. I think what we know about the people that I've looked at as they're enormously qualified, they're very talented. They have lots of experience as Supreme court clerks or people that have argued before the Supreme court. They have judicial experience. One of the people mentioned is a California Supreme court justice Kruger, who also has state court experience, which I think is very important. So there's different ages, different experiences. They come from different parts of the country and everyone has a different life experience. So I think that's something that the people that are trying to win it down the short list and come up with a nominee are gonna take into

Speaker 1: (03:50)

Account. How significant would the addition of a black female judge to the Supreme court be?

Speaker 4: (03:55)

It's always significant when there's a first, when a barrier's broken the Jewish justice, the first Catholic, the first African American male Thurgood Marshall, the first woman, Sandra O'Connor the first Latina Sonya Soto. It's always important. It creates the possibility for a more diverse court. Not all presidents make diversity, a commitment, but it at least breaks through a barrier and opens up an opportunity and adds an interesting perspective to the court that hasn't been there beyond

Speaker 1: (04:24)

Firsts. Do you see there being an importance in having diversity in the Supreme court? Does it make it function differently?

Speaker 4: (04:30)

Absolutely. You know, justices are not robots as much as people might claim to be objective colors of balls and strikes every justice, whether they are white male or a black fee email brings a life experience and not just their race, but you know, where did they grow up? What was their family experience like? How were they educated? What did they learn from their environment? And it's real, just really important to have that kind of diversity because the Supreme court deals with very important and difficult issues. And it's very important for judges to bring their life experie. Not that they're gonna ignore the law, not that they're gonna become politicians, but just to bring their life backgrounds and have diversity in that is very important for

Speaker 1: (05:09)

The court. I wanna turn now to justice Breyer, he served for more than 27 years. Can you give us a brief overview of his career as a Supreme court justice and some of the major decisions that defined his tenure

Speaker 4: (05:21)

Justice Breyer definitely wrote some very important majority opinions and dissents in some very important areas like affirmative action and abortion rights and free speech. What I really valued about justice Breyer is he brought a pragmatic and common sense approach to his judging. He was concerned about the real world impacts the, at these sometimes abstract and arcane legal doctrines can have on communities and professions and the economy. And he was nuanced. He would often write a concurring opinion that said, well, I agree a lot with the majority, but I also think the defense got something to say. He was, he was sort of a, a consensus at least identifier, if not builder on the court. And I think that's an important role. And I hope that his successor brings is able to bring that perspective.

Speaker 1: (06:09)

Justice Breer departure comes at a time where America is sharply divided around politics. Do you think this will impact who president Biden ultimately chooses as a candidate?

Speaker 4: (06:18)

Absolutely. Every president that makes a nominee is affected by politics, not only politics broadly in the country and reelection and all that, but specifically Senate politics. And this president has a very razor thin majority in the Senate and has to be very, very cognizant of the individual Senate political pressures that are being brought to bear with them. Not only the several senators and the democratic party that are worried about reelection in, in a predominantly Republican state, but also I hope he's thinking about, and since he's a, a veteran of a lot of these fights on the Senate in the Senate, I hope he's thinking about what in the nominee make might make her attractive to Republicans who might be willing to drop their partisanship for the good of the country and put somebody on the court who will really advance the court for the next several decades.

Speaker 1: (07:11)

Do you anticipate president Biden will push through a candidate before the November elections because of this?

Speaker 4: (07:17)

Oh, absolutely. I think he'll try to do everything he can to have the nominee confirmed in the summer. First of all, that makes it more insulated from November politics. But importantly for the court, it allows the new justice to know that she's coming onto the court. She can hire law clerks. Uh, the court can begin to involve the new justice in the, um, decisions they make over the summer about which cases to take and all that. So I'm sure they're gonna try to make this as fast, although it has to be deliberative and lots of forces effective, but they're gonna try to get this done relatively

Speaker 1: (07:50)

Soon. A lot to keep our eye on. I've been speaking with Glen Smith, a professor of law at California Western school. Glen, thank you so much for joining us.

Speaker 4: (07:58)

You you're very welcome. Thank you for your interest.

Speaker 5: (08:10)

Double digit real estate price increases are not just a California problem anymore. New numbers show increases in Phoenix and Florida are even higher than San Diego. Meanwhile, here in San Diego, an incredibly low inventory of houses for sale is keeping the median home price growing and encouraging perspective buyers to come up with more competitive offers for the homes available. Joining me is San Diego union Tribune, senior business reporter Philip, and welcome back. Thanks Maureen. So home prices in Phoenix are rising even faster than here.

Speaker 3: (08:48)

Yeah, it's pretty incredible in Phoenix. Home prices are up there 32.2% in a year. Now San Diego is up 24.4%. This is according to the S and P chronologic case Scher indices for November. So even though San Diego, I mean, you're talking about nearly 25% in a year and that's pretty shocking. But when you look at at Phoenix at 32.2%, I mean, that is just extreme.

Speaker 5: (09:14)

And what other areas are seeing the biggest increases?

Speaker 3: (09:18)

So Tampa was up 29% Miami up 26.6% Las Vegas, up 25.7 and Dallas was pretty similar to us at 24.6%. But

Speaker 5: (09:31)

I think the actual cost of housing remains lower in those cities then here in San Diego. Is that right?

Speaker 3: (09:37)

Yeah, that's right. So even in Phoenix where you've seen this amazing price growth, their median home price is around $410,000, which is about more or less $340,000 less than what we have in San Diego counties. So it's, it's a considerable discount

Speaker 5: (09:54)

Are the actors that are driving home prices up here, the same across the country.

Speaker 3: (10:00)

You know, it is pretty similar. So fortunes have really increased a lot during the pandemic for stay at home workers, especially, but there was a lot of people lifted outta poverty with all the stimulus checks. So in general, people are doing better finding actually than they were a couple years ago. So that has sort of motivated a lot of people to get into houses. We still kind of have a hangover from the great recession where builders basically stopped building, you know, for basically a four to five year period because the market wasn't there. So there aren't a lot of homes get there. Isn't a lot of new building going on that has sort of met that demand. So what a lot of these markets, what you're seeing is people just fighting over resale, single family homes, really competing for that, cuz there's, there's not a big inventory of new homes just about anywhere.

Speaker 5: (10:53)

And that's certainly happening here. How low is the housing and here in San Diego?

Speaker 3: (10:58)

So things have gotten really extreme in San Diego county. At one point in December, we were down to about 1700 homes for sale. And if you consider we we're a county of 3.3 billion people, San Diego county is the fifth largest county in America and you have less than 2000 homes for sale. So that's creating like in same competition, people always bidding over asking price and just making all sorts of concessions just to try and get a home. Now, what

Speaker 5: (11:27)

About rising mortgage rates? Do they seem to be having any effect on driving prices down? No

Speaker 3: (11:33)

Rising rates do have an effect on probably some other markets in San Diego. I'm not as convinced that we're gonna see it in the third quarter of last year. We saw cash sales increase to their highest level in seven years. So almost 27% of all home sales in the third quarter here in San Diego were cash. And that's because buyers are trying to get an edge over other offers by offering cash offers. So the funny thing about that is, and that's most ironic is that mortgage rates are at these really low rates right now. You know, it's supposed to be people to get into homes. But the funny thing in San Diego is things are so competitive. People are doing without the mortgage.

Speaker 5: (12:19)

Uh, what does so many cash sales? What does that signal does it indicate that there are a lot of investors in the housing market?

Speaker 3: (12:27)

No, actually we've seen investor traffic as far as the single family homes be down. And a big part of that is you might remember last year, Zillow offers had a home buying program where they were buying up all these houses and anyways, it didn't go that well, they lost millions of dollars on it. They end up closing their Zillow offers thing. So we've seen investor traffic actually slow down, which is not the narrative that you hear a lot. You know, if you're at a bar in town or a restaurant, everyone talks about, oh, all the investors are buying up the homes. And that really, you know, the, the data shows us that it's, it's, it's us buying the homes. It's San Diego residents, or maybe people moving in from out of town. But they're, they're not big investors typically that are buying these single family homes. When I talk to realtors across the county, it's usually a situation where typically the, the main thing is like a millennial couple that is really trying hard to get into a home. And they have to come up with a cash offer because they wanna stay competitive or they feel they need to do that. So they're borrowing from family members to get that cash sale.

Speaker 5: (13:35)

Are we in danger of that bubble bursting the way it did during the great recession?

Speaker 3: (13:40)

Just about every economist I talked to and housing experts says, no, that we're not in danger because credit requirements are tougher. People are better economically. They're not as on shaky ground. But one thing that is kind of similar to back then is this exuberance just to get into a home at any cost. And that's the only thing that might give me pause that we might be seeing something that's sort of unhealthy in the market. And

Speaker 5: (14:08)

What's the outlook for this year. Do we expect to see prices stop rising so much

Speaker 3: (14:15)

Prices? According to most people I talk to just about everyone are gonna be higher than they are right now at this time next year. But hopefully they're, they're saying they're not gonna be up as much as they were this

Speaker 5: (14:28)

Year. Any good news? thank you so much. I've been speaking with San Diego union Tribune, senior business reporter Philip Mo are Phil. Thank

Speaker 3: (14:36)

You. Thank you so much.

Speaker 5: (14:49)

This is KPBS midday edition. I'm worrying Kavanaugh with Christina Kim in for Jade Henman the San Paque academy for foster youth has gotten a new lease on life. The boarding school located in Escondido came up against new state regulations and was slated to close this summer. This week, the San Diego board of super supervisors voted to keep the academy open and expand its programs to serve a wider range of at risk youth. It's a victory for San ques, many students and alumni who lobbied hard to keep the facility open. Joining me as KPBS, north county reporter Tanya thorn, Tanya. Welcome.

Speaker 6: (15:30)

Thank you, Maureen. This has been

Speaker 5: (15:32)

A long, hard fight for advocates of San Pasqua. Wasn't the academy originally slated to close last year?

Speaker 6: (15:40)

Yes, an almost year long fight. Maureen. I have been covering San Pasqua academy since the campus got news of the potential closure early last year. And what really kicked off my coverage was the way many of the students and staff found out about the news. An article was published in the San Diego union Tribune before spa was able to review the official letter, informing them of the plans to close. So the news devastated many of the foster kids in current care who are already coming from traumatic situations and staff, of course, because this is their job, their livelihood, but the academy was always a pilot program that was supposed to run until December of last year. But the state of California sent spa a letter informing them that the program would need to end earlier in October, you know, we're still in a pandemic and youth and staff found out through a Sunday paper that the home they come to know, or the job they've had is in jeopardy. So a million questions and concerns came up. Why did the

Speaker 5: (16:39)

State wanna close it?

Speaker 6: (16:40)

In 2015, a new federal law was passed AB 4 0 3, the continuum of care reform. And what this did was begin to eliminate most group homes or limit them for short term interventions. Only not law, long term living situations. And the goal of this new law is to improve the outcomes for youth in foster care. Many argue that a stable, permanent family and a residential setting are better for foster youth than congregate housing. Now,

Speaker 5: (17:07)

The fight to keep San Paal open, landed in the courts and advocates won an injunction to stop off the state from closing the school. Did that victory pave the way for the supervisors this week?

Speaker 6: (17:19)

You know, this has been a fight that has resulted in lawsuits. So I think the legal push definitely helps secure a future for spa. Following the initial closure letter, the school was granted an extension until June of this year, but no new students would be referred to the program. After Tuesday's board of supervisors meeting, it looks like spa will remain open past June and we'll need to wait and see what changes are in store. And when new foster children will attend spa,

Speaker 5: (17:44)

San Pasqua has been called a first in the nation residential educational facility for foster youth. What do supporters say makes the place so special

Speaker 6: (17:53)

Spa is definitely a unique place. It offers a place for youth to live as well as get an education. I keep saying youth because spa has been a place for many older kids in the foster care system to go to when there is nowhere else to go, teenagers that have possibly have had bad experiences in a home setting that maybe have a record of getting in trouble. So they have a harder time getting placed in a home and the age, right? Most foster families tend to take in younger children versus older teenage aged youth. So spa has become the home for many youth that haven't been able to find their home. Another thing then many parents will know this. Even as adults, kids sometimes come back home. They fall into hard times, come back from college. A pandemic happens and they return home. Spa supporters say that they have past graduates that are now in their late twenties, who are living and working at spa. So different factors make this campus unique and supporters are hoping that will continue

Speaker 5: (18:50)

When they voted to keep the school open. The board of supervisors also said the campus could be used for a variety of additional programs. What were the suggestions?

Speaker 6: (19:01)

You know, I have been to spa myself and it's a beautiful property over 200 acres in rural Escondido. So there is lots of potential and room for exp Anton to serve more youth. Some of the reimagining of spa might include temporary shelter care, short term, residential therapy, intensive mental health crisis programs, transitional and alumni housing for former foster youth. Nothing is set in stone yet, but what is is that spa will continue to serve children in foster care

Speaker 5: (19:29)

And what happens now? Now, how will the new programs be developed?

Speaker 6: (19:33)

What does happen now? You know, this week's news is the very beginning of the changes coming to Sanwell academy. This is a campus that I think we will continue to see evolving and with any changes, come debates, agreements, and disagreements before a final stamp of approval. But I do know the board of supervisors has, is bids for management of the expanded services that will be offered at San Pasqua academy. Eventually now, after

Speaker 5: (19:57)

Such a long battle supporters of San Pasqua academy must be celebrating.

Speaker 6: (20:03)

Supporters are thrilled. Here is Shane Harris with the people's association of justice advocates. He has helped with the efforts to keep the campus open and is also a spa alumni. This

Speaker 7: (20:13)

Essentially is a big victory being that a year ago. It didn't even seem like we were gonna be able to, uh, stay open, keep the academy open, uh, past six months. And we did that. And then we now have gone to another level of, of ensuring that the Academy's open indefinitely. So big day, big

Speaker 5: (20:28)

Victory. And I've been speaking with K P S north county for reporter Tanya thorn, Tanya, thank you very

Speaker 6: (20:34)

Much. Thanks for having me,

Speaker 1: (20:41)

Governor Gavin Newsome and other state leaders launched a first of its kind program this month called the Californians for all college core to help low income students continue their college journey debt free. The program structure is simple selected students will receive $10,000 in tuition aid for one year of ongoing community service. Joining me now for more details on this program is California volunteers, chief service officer Josh Friday. Josh, welcome to the show.

Speaker 8: (21:08)

Thank you so much for having us. So

Speaker 1: (21:09)

Josh, tell us a little bit more about how this program will work exactly. Well,

Speaker 8: (21:14)

This is, as you mentioned a historic program and it's very exciting for the state of California and it's really quite simple, like the GI bill where we've helped generations of Americans go to school and pay for college through their service are saying to a new generation of Californians. If you are willing to serve your community, we're gonna help you pay for college with $10,000 towards your degree. And that $10,000 is, is critical, especially for low income students. That's the gap that Pell grant students have to come up with, uh, to pay for college every year. And they do that by either taking out loans, uh, going into debt. And we know that student debt is, is crippling many of our young people across the country, uh, or they have to work. And so what we're doing is creating the opportunity for young people to basically pay for college, to serve in their community, to build job skills and job training, uh, along the way and make a real difference. And it's exciting for everyone.

Speaker 1: (22:07)

There's currently a funding for 6,500 students statewide. So how will the program select which students are eligible for this college core

Speaker 8: (22:15)

Through a very competitive process we've picked 45 universities to work with. And what's exciting is this is a combination of UCS of CSU, state universities, community colleges, and some private schools. And the schools that are participating will be picking. The students will be selecting the students who apply. Uh, and we, uh, we expect that we're gonna have a lot of interest from students who wanna step up and serve their community

Speaker 1: (22:39)

Here in San Diego, UC San Diego, and the university of San Diego are part of the program. They made that cut of 45 colleges and universities. How did you go about selecting which 45 colleges was it strategic in terms of geography and demographics?

Speaker 8: (22:54)

We wanted to make sure that the universities that were participating represented a, a diverse part of our state. So we have representation throughout all of California, uh, but we also wanted to find and work with schools who are committed to creating the next generation of civic-minded lead of young people who are gonna graduate with a sense of civic responsibility, uh, with a sense of understanding, uh, how to give back and wanting to give back. Uh, and we're fortunate that like the schools in San Diego, many of the universities stepped up and wanted to be part of this new program

Speaker 1: (23:25)

And who exactly is eligible to join the core. I know in the past undocumented students have been locked out of similar programs like AmeriCorps, but that's not the case for this program. Can you tell us more?

Speaker 8: (23:35)

That's right. So this program is for undergraduate students at the universities to be able to do a year of service while they're in school and receive the $10,000 towards their education. And one of the things we're very proud of because of the commitment of governor Newsom and the legislature, is that we were able to include AB five 40 eligible dreamers into this program. And historically with national service programs like AmeriCorps, because they're federally funded, dreamers are excluded. And it's really important as we create this program that we make sure everyone's included, uh, and that includes our dreamer population. So we're, uh, excited to, to, uh, to jump off. And, uh, we think we're gonna have a lot of interest from a lot of different people of different backgrounds.

Speaker 1: (24:15)

So what are some of the service options that students will be able to do? And will the program link them up with these opportunities?

Speaker 8: (24:22)

The students that are involved in this program are gonna be working on a variety of critical issues, everything from taking climate action to helping support our food banks and working on food insecurity to dealing with COVID 19 recovery, uh, and education. So we're gonna have people that are tutoring and mentoring in low income schools. The idea is, is that they're really focused on dealing with some of our biggest issues facing our state. Uh, we're gonna be working with local governments and nonprofits to partner with the universities to make sure that we're placing these students in really meaningful service opportunities so that they can learn, but also that they give back in a very meaningful way.

Speaker 1: (24:58)

California's son overall 6.5% drop in undergraduate enrollment from fall 2020 to fall 2021. A lot of it was actually because people were choosing to work instead of go to community college. Do you think this program is gonna address this trend and kind of help motivate students stay in school or go back

Speaker 8: (25:14)

To school? It's one of our main targets. It's why we created this program to ensure that those who are able to serve are doing it while they're in school so that they can stay on track to graduate on time, uh, and making sure that they, they don't have to drop out because of the stresses of paying for school, uh, or other, uh, reasons. And it's, it's also why we really think that this program is a win, win, win. It's a win for students who are able to, uh, pay for school while gaining critical leadership skills and, and job training. It's a, it's a win for the universities because they are able to keep each students on track, to graduate on time and reduces their financial strain. It's a win for the community who benefits from the service that's being performed by the, the college core fellows. But it's also a win for all of society who benefits from a new generation of civic minded leaders who are willing to actually come together in a time when we're incredibly divided across very different backgrounds, towards a common purpose. So we think for a variety of reasons, uh, this is gonna help everyone involved.

Speaker 1: (26:14)

So this program was just announced, what are next steps? When can students begin to apply? And when will we learn about this new cohort?

Speaker 8: (26:22)

The first cohort of this historic program will begin in fall of 22. This coming year, and students can, are to apply this spring with their university. So in San Diego, check in with the university of San Diego, uh, and UC San Diego to apply, apply to your school. And then we're gonna start to see thousands of young people across the state serving with the college core, this coming fall.

Speaker 1: (26:43)

I've been speaking with California volunteers, chief service officer Josh Friday. Thank you for joining us. Thank you.

Speaker 5: (26:54)

A new partnership with Caltrans and San Diego's newest homeless outreach program is working to help unsheltered people living along this states, highways, KPBS reporter Alexandra around hell has more on the program's progress.

Speaker 9: (27:09)

One of the spots that we're going to first is gonna be G street and 17th.

Speaker 10: (27:14)

This is the first stop of the day for city net. The city's latest homeless outreach team, a handful of people in hard hats carried snack packs and iPad, ready to reach out. They made their way through a hole in fence to get to an encampment that sits on a hillside above interstate five in downtown San Diego. Hi, sitting that

Speaker 9: (27:33)

Homeless outreach is anyone home.

Speaker 10: (27:36)

Good morning. Six makeshift tents are pitched here. All are homes, belonging to someone, a pair of city next staffers visit each tent, hoping someone is home and ready to receive help they shelter ready

Speaker 9: (27:49)

Shelter. Oh no,

Speaker 10: (27:49)

No, no, no. Karen Garner is a case manager with city net. She says, this is their third time visiting this encampment. Yeah,

Speaker 9: (27:56)

We've been here about three times. Um, so this, this area in itself is a little bit shelter resistant. Um, but we try to come in and we just continue to try to work with them. Um, we try to see what we can do

Speaker 10: (28:09)

When homeless men accepted a snack pack, but was not ready to go to a shelter, but that's okay. Garner says today's no could be tomorrow's. Yes. Garner says that's the beauty of their program. They continually engage with individuals living on the street and they build a rapport with them until they finally are willing to accept help. We

Speaker 11: (28:30)

Find 80 to 85% of the folks are very interested. They're just saying, could please help us understand how to work the system to, to navigate it. Um, we would love to not be living here on the side of the freeway, and that has been consistent in our experience here as well.

Speaker 10: (28:43)

Bradfield house is the executive direct with city net. He's helping leave the efforts in San Diego to help and shelter people living along the state's freeways. It's the first agreement of its kind in the state. And it's part of governor Gavin. Newsome's $22 billion California comeback plan to battle homelessness, Caltrans hopes to eventually clear these dangerous areas where homeless people are camping out. They don't just want to clear people out and put up signs. Does it sound like they're there Caltran meets with city net crews daily and escorts them to each encampment. An area is not cleared out until city net has had the sufficient time to get people into shelter. We're

Speaker 9: (29:24)

Here to make sure that they, these clients know that, um, like we value them. We're here to, to help them in any aspect

Speaker 10: (29:31)

For some encampments. It may take weeks before individuals accept help. Since the team started working in San Diego, they've engaged with more than 460 homeless people, more than a hundred have accepted help, which includes case management and connecting with behavioral health services. But only 11 people have been successfully placed in shelters. Garner says it can be disappointing when a person doesn't want to accept, help.

Speaker 9: (29:59)

You know, they have to be ready to you make the change and, and take it off the streets.

Speaker 12: (30:04)

I was homeless when I got him.

Speaker 10: (30:05)

Catherine was camping in a canyon along the 8 0 5 south after a decade of living on and off the streets, she was finally ready for some stability. You know,

Speaker 12: (30:15)

I'm doing it for my daughter and my grandsons too. Catherine

Speaker 10: (30:17)

Has two pubs. She wasn't willing to leave behind. Fortunately she found a shelter that took all three of them in and,

Speaker 12: (30:26)

And it, and it happened at the last moment, like they were saying, no, we don't have a spot. And then at the last moment they said, yes. So I knew that it was a God thing too. Can you give Levis to the puppy?

Speaker 10: (30:36)

Can you give love? She walks her dogs every morning and visits her friends that live near her shell. She says the transition hasn't been easy, but

Speaker 12: (30:44)

I'm determined. And, uh, you know, they're worth it. And my family's worth it. You know, you're worth it. You're worth it. And I'm worth it. You're worth it. Thank

Speaker 10: (30:54)

You. Garner says, seeing people like Kathryn make a positive change is what it's all about.

Speaker 9: (31:04)

Um, so being able to see her and like, get that follow up from her, um, you know, just makes all the, makes this job even better. It makes it even, um, you know, makes the stories come to fruition and it can, it encourages us to just continue to keep going.

Speaker 10: (31:21)

The city will eval. We wait the program success rate in June and decide if the contract will be extended. Alexandra KPBS news

Speaker 1: (31:35)

In downtown Sacramento. The restored Sutter for is a hotspot for elementary school field trips with people and pioneer costumes exhibit in colonial era tools. The Fort helped shaped California as we know it, but at a great cost to indigenous people over the past year, state parks have been working with local tribes to create a more accurate narrative about the violence native people suffered during colonial times cap radio's een Bartone has more. What

Speaker 13: (32:05)

Tens of thousands of kids have shuffled through this Fort about a mile from the state capital every year, until recently, they may have reenacted characters from the 18 hundreds and interacted with park staff dressed up in colonial attire. But John Frazier of California state park says that way of telling colonial history fails in one major way,

Speaker 14: (32:28)

We missed the truth. Um, and we missed the impact on native American people. Native culture was either diminished or distorted or inappropriately represented.

Speaker 13: (32:39)

Frazier says the state parks agency, which runs the Fort was too narrowly focused on a heroic narrative about the Swiss settler John Sutter. So for the past year, they've been collaborating with several local native American tribes to tell a fuller picture of his impact on Meach and Nien on people.

Speaker 15: (32:58)

He just destroyed so much of our culture and history and just took over, you know, lands.

Speaker 13: (33:07)

Rhonda Pope Flores is the chairwoman of the Buena Vista ranch of me walk Indians in Amador county. She says, John Sutter, violently disrupted indigenous ways of life. People

Speaker 15: (33:19)

Moved away and, and, and, and killed and slaughtered and enslaved. And that is very different from what you would find at Sutter's for

Speaker 13: (33:29)

Historians have documented Sutter's killing and exploitation of native Americans. One account describes hundreds of native people working for him, inlay alike conditions, eating out of troughs for livestock. He shelled indigenous villages and trafficked native American workers. That's according to his biographer, Albert Hertado.

Speaker 16: (33:52)

He had no compunction about taking some men and a cannon and shelling, an Indian rancher, killing people, indiscriminately.

Speaker 13: (34:03)

However Hertado says, John Sutter was a complicated man. He preferred to use diplomacy before violence, and he was the founder of Sacramento. He was hospitable to new settlers, and he even tried to save the Donner party. You

Speaker 16: (34:19)

Have to show him in all of us, different facets,

Speaker 13: (34:22)

Californians are not the only ones renaming or reinterpreting public areas with an equity lens. Autumn Sexton, Ross of the national recreation and park association says around the us people are rethinking parks, bridges, and statues too. So I

Speaker 17: (34:39)

Can have a park across the street for me, but if I, if it's named Robert E. Lee as a black woman, huh, you know, that drives certain feelings. So maybe, maybe I'm not comfortable in

Speaker 13: (34:52)

That park. Saxton Ross says, re-casting the stories around these common spaces is necessary for racial healing.

Speaker 17: (34:59)

If we are gonna tell history, it needs to be accurate. So we have to actually recognize that things sucked for a really long time. And we pretend as if it didn't

Speaker 13: (35:10)

Early this year, California parks department will invite the public to participate in meetings about how to reinterpret Sutter for

Speaker 15: (35:18)

Long time coming for this history to really be, um, corrected

Speaker 13: (35:24)

Tribal chairwoman. Pope Flores says she's proud to be part of shaping the new narrative. I'm Pauline Barone in Sacramento.

Speaker 5: (35:40)

This is KPBS midday edition. I'm Maureen Kavanaugh with Christina Kim in for Jade Henman. The pandemic has forced San Diego opera to pivot for almost two years. The company even innovated with a drive-in opera, but next month it finally returns to grand opera on the civic theater stage K PBS arts reporter. Beth Amando speaks with Tim Nelson about directing Mozart's Cote Tim,

Speaker 18: (36:09)

How does it feel to be directing the first opera back inside the civic theater after the two year hiatus from the pandemic?

Speaker 19: (36:20)

I'll, I'll admit it's a very strange feeling that I don't know that there was any way to prepare for after two years. One has these questions about, do I remember how to do this? And how does, how does all this work? And also as a group, you can feel this energy of us all kind of finding, supporting each other in that finding. But it's a very strange feeling to be coming back to life in this way.

Speaker 18: (36:44)

And how is this going to play out in terms of, are there any kind of COVID restrictions that are going to be in play during rehearsal and during production? Well,

Speaker 19: (36:55)

Certainly for rehearsal we're, we're all masked, which, you know, for, for a piece of straight theater is already, you know, a strange rehearsal practice, but for singing and for working with opera singers, it, it changes everything, cuz it changes the breath. It changes the way the, the singers relate with each other and relate with their text, which is of course a musical text. We're obviously going through regular testing and being very flexible. I mean, it's already a very short rehearsal period, but we know we have to be flexible within that because some people may, may fall out and come back in. If there's anything the pandemic's taught us, it's it's the need for flexibility and just rolling with the punches.

Speaker 18: (37:33)

And how do you feel about this choice of, uh, Tuti for the opera to bring everyone kind of back into the theater?

Speaker 19: (37:43)

I'm biased, cozy Fonte is by far my favorite Mozart opera. I think it's also by far his masterpiece, I think for a San Diego opera, especially to be doing this piece that they haven't done in, you know, not quite but almost 20 years is significant. It's a significant way to come out of the pan. Also the way Kofa duty is essentially about this quintessential human experience that every single member of any audience that has ever or will ever see it has experienced, which is the moment that your heart breaks for the first time. And you realize that life is not going to be as simple or as plantable as you imagined it. So it, I think has a particular resonance coming out of this time where all of a sudden all of our lives were shattered in a way that we couldn't have imagined. And you, you realize how vulnerable you are and how unpredictable life is going to be. And what seems safe is actually not safe. And in a way that's what CFA is about. It's about that with the heart, not with the body and the, and one's physical safety, but in the same way, it is the realization of how, how fragile we are and how, how tender we need to be to each other.

Speaker 18: (38:49)

I was able to some of the production design sketches that the opera has shared to talk a little bit about the way this production is going to look and be mounted.

Speaker 19: (38:59)

Cozy fund is very much about four young lovers, two pairs of lovers that are mismatched throughout the opera coming of age, realizing that love is not a fairytale, that, that it is possible tragically possible to love more than one person at the same time. And that love is difficult. And so sometimes love is not gonna be sufficient. So in looking at other ways that the Western cannon of theater has explored these themes, the one in which immediately struck out to me of course is Midsummer night dream. And the, the metaphor that Shakespeare spins out in dream, along with a lot of his plays of going into the woods of going into a dark scare, where one goes through a transformative experience and comes out on the other side different than the way they went into it. That's an essential metaphor that Shakespeare uses in most of his place.

Speaker 19: (39:45)

So the idea of not setting this on a Neopolitan veranda, but act actually staging the metaphor that I think Mozart and Deonte were going for. And so, so the way this product look is actually very much like a production of mid summer night stream or, uh, especially with his death fresh in our minds into the woods. I mean, that's, that's essentially what Samim is also exploring it into the woods the way when the fairytale ends, um, what it means to go into the woods and come to a place where you can wake up and, and take the next step. You

Speaker 18: (40:14)

Mentioned that this is your favorite moment. It's hard. What about it makes it your favorite?

Speaker 19: (40:23)

So it's my favorite, but with an important caveat, which is, I've never, I've always been too afraid to stage it because one of the problems with it is the music is so perfect.

Speaker 19: (40:37)

Mozart is doing something so, um, unique and experimental in it that I've never been completely convinced that a director could stage it in a way that doesn't diminish the brilliance of the music that doesn't get in the way of the music. And what I, what I mean by that is Mozart has isn't telling with music like he does in most of his great operas. Instead, he's actually trying to express in the music, the sensation of having your heart broken. And he does this by using the classical style in the first half to create a fairytale for its perfection. It's symmetric. Everything's perfect. And then when you get to the second act, as it evolves, um, every, everything falls apart and the music gets awkward in places and the music repeats itself and you have this strange sense of nostalgia. And it's exactly like what real life is as opposed to this perfect classical fairytale, but it's difficult for a director. I think to bring that to life on the stage, it's kept me away from actually doing a production of it. So not only is this, you know, my first production after, after the pandemic, um, it's also my first cozy, one of my very favorite offers, but one I've always been too afraid to, to try to stage.

Speaker 18: (42:00)

So those were the things you're afraid of, but what are the things that kind of really draw you into it? And, and now that you're actually tackling the production, what, what things are you enjoying about doing it?

Speaker 19: (42:12)

Well, it's, it's, it's very much, Mozart's most accomplished score. The music is just spectacular on a, on a level that is unrivaled in his, in his other pieces and San Diego opera of course is known for, and this production's no exception attracting really the, the highest caliber of singers. And so to be a able to do this piece with a young cast of extremely accomplished singers is just, it's a privilege that that directors rarely, rarely get. And I would say the ability to, because it's, it's very difficult music. So the ability to do the piece with singers that are actually capable of tackling this school and doing it with what the Italians would call spread, seora, you know, the ability to do something that's incredibly difficult, make it look easy. That's what this, this, this score requires. And it's some, it's a rare opportunity to, to do it in that way. What are you looking

Speaker 18: (43:08)

Most forward to when this finally moves into the civic theater and you get to see it on that stage?

Speaker 19: (43:15)

So one of the things that we've done conception wise, particularly in the design is to lean into stage magic old fashioned Ville stage magic because we're, we're using as a central metaphor of the piece being in a performance being on, on stage. So we have a stage within a stage, and then there's lots of Avil tricks and leaf drops and water tricks and silk for the water. There's all these things we can't do in the rehearsal room. So I'm really eager when we move into the theater to see the design come to life. That

Speaker 5: (43:47)

Was Beth Amando speaking with Tim Nelson, San Diego operas production of COSI Fante runs February 12th through the 20th at the city, a

Speaker 20: (44:46)

You the.

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Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer has announced his retirement. Glenn Smith, a professor of law at California Western School, joins KPBS to talk about the process of replacing him. And Phoenix is experiencing an even steeper increase in real estate prices than San Diego, but a low inventory of houses for sale locally means that prospective buyers are needing to come up with higher offers to compete. Plus, the county Board of Supervisors has voted to keep an Escondido boarding school for foster youth open and expand its programs to serve a wider range of at-risk youth. Then, a new state program will help college students pay their tuition in exchange for community service. Our guest explains how the new program works.