Biden's COVID-19 'rebound' case throws isolation guidelines into question
S1: The latest on COVID and monkeypox.
S2: The CDC guidelines are completely wrong. They're not evidence based.
S1: I'm Jade Hindman with Maureen CAVANAUGH. This is KPBS Midday Edition. A new climate action plan paves the way to a greener , more resilient San Diego.
S3: You know , it's a beautiful vision.
S1: And we'll take you to a pirate ship at Big Bear Lake. That's ahead on Midday Edition. As President Biden contends , with a rebound case of COVID. Health officials have been scratching their heads at just how unpredictable the virus can be. Rebound cases , initially thought to be rare , are becoming more common. While the exact guidance over isolation periods remains in question. Additionally , the lingering effects of long COVID , which impacts millions of Americans , is still being understood in the scientific community. And to make matters more complicated , another virus is demanding the attention of health officials nationwide , as San Diego follows the state of California in declaring a public health emergency over monkeypox. Joining me once again with a COVID update is Dr. Eric Topol , director of the Scripps Research Translational Institute in La Hoya. And Dr. Topol , welcome back to the program. Joining me once again with a COVID update and more is Dr. Eric Topol , director of the Scripps Research Translational Institute in La Hoya. And Dr. Topol , welcome back to the program.
S2: Thanks , Gene. Always good to be with you.
S1: It's being speculated that President Biden's second bout of COVID was caused by packs limited rebound.
S2: And we know American , especially the one we're dealing with right now , that the president had he had his virus sequenced , it could be a five , which is , of course , dominant throughout the country. That's a much tougher virus. So the chance for it to replicate after initially the packs of that effect is higher. We don't know exactly what that percentage. I think it's well over 30%. We also know some people have that happen even without packs of IT treatment , especially with this current virus that's such a formidable one to to fight against.
S1: The president's reinfection has also sparked some debate over isolation protocols.
S2: And if you're feeling well , just go wear a mask , which is what the president did. Except the difference for him is that he's having rapid tests every day , probably also even a PCR test. So what was I think the problem here is that he went out after day five following CDC guidelines and then by day seven , he tested positive again. The CDC guidelines are completely wrong. They're not evidence based. The the average time that it takes for to clear an infection is much closer to ten days , seven or eight days. And the ten day isolation guideline is what we should be using. So unfortunately , the current CDC guidelines that are now so many months out there and so wrong are helping to spread the virus because people aren't testing , they're just following. There's no tests that are part of that guideline. It's just five days. Feel good. Just go ahead. And that's really unfortunate.
S1: As we said earlier , Long-covid is another aspect of this virus.
S2: I think this week we're going to have a big report , you know , always with mass controls and is people who didn't have COVID to get a better handle on the incidence of because it's been all over the map from three or 5% to 30%. Turns out it looks like it's somewhere in the middle , about 12%. That is the percent of people who get COVID and either right away or then days or weeks later have symptoms that are durable that can be disabling. There's about 12% that are going to fit in that category. But what we don't have is any treatment yet. We don't have enough of the data about the immune mediated parts autoimmune or just the fact that there's still viral remnants or even intact virus. It's in a reservoir in the body. And then there are some people have very different symptoms that aren't really a factor in the immune system. So we still have much more to learn and we really need a treatment. But one thing we do know , if you never get COVID , you don't have to worry about long COVID. And that's what the thing is right now about being cautious. If you haven't had it , no reason to to lower your guard.
S1: What's the COVID situation here in San Diego ? Are we seeing any sort of a plateau or decline in cases ? Yes.
S2: The good news now is that as of this week , I think we can pretty be pretty certain that we're starting to plateau , that we're starting to get over this bay five wave. It's way dominant. You know , 86% of the new cases are v five , but it looks like we have maxed out. The only other question is how long this will last , will go on for weeks or will it start to come down pretty quickly ? But we should be heading into a much more favorable phase. Soon. And the good thing , another good thing is we don't see another variant out there yet that's competing with a five , so maybe we'll get a respite for a while.
S2: You know , if there's one thing about COVID , it's to be cautious. There's so much unpredictable features , like who is going to get long COVID , a lot of it unpredictable. What's going to be the next variant ? We're likely going to see one that can compete with Bay five , but so far , we don't see any real sign to that. But no , you never want to be thinking that this pandemic is really over until we go a stretch , which we aren't likely to do where we have such containment of the virus at such low levels. In order to do that , I think we really need to get these nasal vaccines and a pan coronavirus vaccines into high gear. And the good news is , we just heard from India yesterday of a successful 4000 person vaccine trial , and hopefully that's just one of many and that's going to help us get through this.
S1: The Biden administration has been considering a wider availability of a second booster dose in the coming months.
S2: Why not use them particularly ? We had a big study this week for the benefit in health care workers to ward off infections , essential workers. So I'd be in favor of opening it up now for all those vaccines that we have already. But we don't know when the VA five vaccine , which is going to be updated , is supposed to be available in September. I think that's optimistic , probably more like October or November. We don't know that's going to work significantly better than the original vaccine. Hopefully it will. But also , we don't know what variant we'll have right then. So. Well , it's great that that's being pursued. The chasing of a variant strategy is not nearly as good as coming up with a vaccine that will knock out all variants no matter where this virus evolves over time.
S1: And I want to switch gears now to monkeypox. Just yesterday , the county declared a state of emergency amid a severe vaccine shortage.
S2: The vaccines are made in Denmark that they were actually helped by U.S. efforts , but we have to get them from Denmark. There's a profound shortage in the country. Hopefully that's going to be alleviated in the weeks ahead. But right now , that's certainly the main strategy and it's just another catch up like what we saw with COVID. The difference is at least there's effective vaccines that are in high production right now.
S1: Unlike COVID vaccine rollout plans. The monkeypox vaccines are being distributed to health care providers instead of being available in a central location.
S2: Any way we can get them out efficiently to the people that really need them is is crucial. You know , our biggest bottleneck right now is just the number of vaccines. Hopefully , the distribution plan won't be something that will hold things up.
S1: I've been speaking with Dr. Eric Topol , director of the Scripps Research Translational Institute in La Hoya. Dr. Topol , as always , thanks again for speaking with us today.
S2: Thank you , Jane.
S4: An updated climate action plan was approved by the San Diego City Council yesterday , and it contains one huge new strategy. The city not only vows to eliminate natural gas in new construction , but plans to embark on a program to retrofit existing buildings , including whole neighborhoods from gas to electric heating and appliances. The target date is 2035. Mayor Todd Gloria praised the updated action plan.
S5: This climate action plan is our strategy to create a city with more efficient buildings , healthier lifestyles , good paying green jobs and more resilient communities.
S4: The plan to ban natural gas makes up 40% of the carbon reduction proposed in the new Climate Action Plan , with a continued emphasis on renewable energy sources and reducing car travel with public transit , biking or walking. Joining me is Nicole Capri's , founder and CEO of San Diego's Climate Action Campaign. And Nicole , welcome back.
S3: Glad to be here.
S4: Did you expect the city to approve such a sweeping upgrade to the Climate Action Plan ? Yeah.
S3: I mean , we've been working on this for almost two years now , so it's not a surprise at this point. But obviously , we're pleased that the city is stepping up and saying , like , we had to be bold , we have to be audacious. We have to really transform everything about our economy. And so making that commitment is a big deal. And so we are I wouldn't say surprised , but we are , you know , gratified.
S3: Right. You're going to do it incrementally over time. And what the city is going to need to do is develop a plan. Right. So to prioritize which buildings to start with , what neighborhoods to start with , you know , etc.. And so it will require basically replacing appliances. Right. We all mostly I shouldn't say all , but most folks have a gas stove , a gas heater , maybe a gas air conditioner , gas , water heater. So there's a lot of appliances that have to be changed out. So it's not like you have to go underneath the house and change up all the pipes , but you do have to replace appliances. So that's going to take obviously a lot of subsidies , a lot of rebates , a lot of incentives. There's going to have to be , again , kind of prioritization about what buildings to go into first and how who gets what rebates and how much. You know , obviously focusing in something we're as an organization going to ensure is prioritized is going into the communities that are most impacted by the climate crisis and probably have contributed the least and maybe don't have all the resources to do kind of a major transformation like this. But yeah , it's going to be it's going to have to be done with a lot of care and thought. But it's also pivotal. I mean , right. Everything's on the line at this point. I think everyone has seen what the climate crisis is doing in the U.S. like today in the near term and kind of what the future might hold. And so we've we've got to stop burning fossil fuels. And this is one , you know , really important strategy to get there.
S3: So making it retrofitting our communities and our streets so that they are bikeable and walkable and transit friendly. And that also means that they are doubling down on the idea that we need a lot more housing of a lot different types of housing. Right. So moving away from kind of the suburban single family sprawl that San Diego was designed with initially and really emphasizing , emphasizing that we need a lot of different housing types for a lot of different income levels and a lot of different types of families. And that , you know , if we can do that , if we can have more infill and mixed uses and more density closer to corridors that have , you know , protected bike lanes that have wide sidewalks , right , that have streets that are safe , that have transit , that's accessible and frequent and affordable , then we can really reduce the number of cars on the road and we can reduce the number of miles traveled. The city is also doubling down on electric vehicles and the infrastructure that's going to require. And all of these , by the way , I should say , all of these strategies are going to be required , are going to need funding. So , you know , there's going to be a lot of partnerships with the state and federal government to make all these things happen. But they are really kind of saying we need to do more like the first climate plan was a great first step , but now we need to kind of triple what we what we committed to in 2015. Because that's what the moment needs. That's what the moment requires.
S3: I wouldn't say anything gives us concern other than can we do it ? And what I mean by that is , do we have the political will to do that ? Because for the past seven years , the city has failed to successfully and meaningfully implement the first climate plan. So the powers that we have is not about the does the technology exist ? Can we figure out a program ? But , you know , can the elected officials be brave enough to figure out what it's going to take and find the funding and develop the strategy and really make the hard decisions and choices when they're facing ? You know , perfect example is there are community members who are really against adding infill and density to their neighborhoods , but that's essential. It's not only essential because we're in a housing crisis , but it's also central because housing policy is climate policy. So we need the elected leaders to sort of stand up and say , hey , this is this has got to happen. You know , of course , we want input and we want help designing this new future. But we've got to get people out of the cars and we got to build , you know , more dense housing , affordable housing everywhere.
S4: I've been speaking with Nicole Cabot's , founder and CEO of San Diego's Climate Action Campaign. Nicole , thank you.
S3: Thank you for having me.
S1: You're listening to KPBS Midday Edition. I'm Jade Hindman with Maureen CAVANAUGH. The San Diego Padres shook up the baseball world yesterday after trading several players for 23 year old superstar outfielder Juan Soto from the Washington Nationals. In a deal that some are calling one of the biggest deals in MLB history. The trade was just the most recent bold move the team has made in its effort to bring San Diego its first World Series title. Here to tell us more is Bryce Miller , sports columnist for the San Diego Union-Tribune. Bryce , welcome.
S2: Yeah , thanks for having me.
S2: One , every team with the ability to get him wanted him is this gets thrown around a little bit , but it absolutely applies to one. SOTO He's a generational talent. He's led baseball the last two seasons and on base percentage. And why that matters , it makes him by default , the toughest out in baseball offensively. A couple of years back , he led all of baseball in ops. And that's an analytic that's kind of the gold standard in the game on base plus slugging. It's a combination of getting on base and having power. And that's that's the measurement of offensive excellence these days in the analytical world. And he is leading baseball. He led baseball last year in walks and he's leading in walks this year. And it's one of those things he completely changes your offensive dynamic. It changes your lineup. The lineup projection increases for everybody around him. It's just on and on and on. What he can do for a team that's offensively challenged with some of the best starting pitching in baseball , he and what he really does is he gives them a chance to compete in the playoffs and maybe make a run in October.
S1: And then the headlines are all about Soto. This trade included many players at their team.
S2: Five of them came to the Padres , obviously , including Juan Soto , but they also picked up Josh Hader best closer in the game , a left handed closer they got from the Brewers that people didn't even know was on the market. So that changes the back end of the game in terms of the bullpen and closers are just worth their weight in gold in the playoffs. Yeah , there were a lot more pieces , but the Padres decided to invest a ton of draft capital , Prospect Capital , to get a guy like Juan Soto. But they made other moves that that really improved the team as well.
S1: In a recent column you wrote , In today's Padres Universe , all things are possible. But that hasn't always been the case in the Padres history , has it ? No.
S2: They've operated for most of their life going back to the late 1960s. They've operated as a small market team despite being in , you know , the eighth largest city in America , although it's the 27th largest media market , currently not big span's not big payroll. They went over the luxury tax last season , which is unprecedented for a Padres team. And and that's really you might hear that called the CBT competitive balance tax. It's the governor on teams like the Yankees and Dodgers just outspending everyone without facing any penalty. The Padres now are trending. They're over the CBT again for this season. So they're going to pay overage fees just to try to compete now over the next three seasons when they have Juan Soto available for postseason runs. So it's not just the money you see invested in the players on paper , that overage fee , that tax. That's another indicator of just how much they're trying to compete and how far they want to go. In October , this went back a few years ago. They sent me the Dominican Republic to do a thing on the Padres , the Latin Academy. They had never at that point spend more than $5 million in any given year in the international market. And I think that year they spent 80. So they turned it up. They have , you know , now three contracts , over $100 million in that clubhouse. It's Fernando Tatis Jr , Manny Machado , and now Joe Musgrove , the hometown pitcher who they extended over five seasons. So wherever you turn to count the money , this this ownership group and Peter Seidler is the principal owner and chairman. They're spending money in a way that Padre fans have never seen it.
S1: Right now , the Padres are in second place in their division behind the L.A. Dodgers , arguably the best team in baseball.
S2: They certainly have the starting pitching to compete with the Dodgers , and maybe that's the Achilles heel of the Dodgers. But they have one of the best lineups , not just in baseball , but in the history of baseball with Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman and Trey Turner and just pieces all around the diamond that are proven offensive talents. They know how to play and when not. Tobar Now the Padres have added to that starting pitching and put together a lineup that offensively could compete with them. I was having conversations yesterday with people. Somebody asked , Well , is this an effort to catch the Dodgers in the Northwest this year ? No , they're not going to catch the Dodgers. What they're worried about and why Soto is here and why they invested so much is they want to be able to compete with the Dodgers in the playoffs this year , the following year and the year after that.
S1: It would be hard to mention the Dodgers today and not mention Vin Scully , the legendary voice of the Dodgers for more than 60 years , who passed away yesterday at the age of 94.
S2: I think I saw a quote from Clayton Kershaw , the veteran pitcher for the Dodgers , who said he might be the most Dodgers thing in Dodger baseball and that that just shows the impact he had , his love of the game , his ability to communicate about the game. He was kind of like the whimsical grandfather. Later in his career that you just wanted to sit around and hear story after story after story. And the voice was singular. It was almost comforting. You know , people would have the game on in their homes just to hear about voice. I remember I was doing a story for the Union-Tribune a couple of years back. I think about late legendary broadcaster Dick Amberg. And I reached out to Vin Scully in a call back , and I missed his call. And I was in some ways , I'm so glad I did because he left me a voicemail and it's very pedestrian. He just calling to say , Hey , I certainly would love to talk about the bird. Sorry I missed you. I'll try you back. And I'd last night , I'd probably listen about ten times just to hear his voice again. Just a humble , gracious gentleman who was exactly what the game needed throughout his entire career. Very , very singular and so sad. And he'll be extremely missed.
S1: He'll leave behind a great legacy. I've been speaking with Bryce Miller , sports columnist with the San Diego Union-Tribune. Bryce , thank you so much. Anytime.
S2: Anytime. Thank you.
S4: San Diego County officials say we're in the midst of a mental health crisis. Millions of dollars in additional funding are being allocated in this year's budget. KPBS health reporter Matt Hoffman looks at how some of the money is being spent.
S6: This is the new way to do crisis intervention work. Gone are the days where you know you have to just call 911 for a mental health crisis. This is the new way of doing it. This is the new way to get people helping the community.
S7: Briana Lane leads Tele Care's mobile crisis response teams in San Diego County. Referred to as CRT teams with clinicians are being dispatched to mental health calls instead of police officers , and call volume has been going up month over month. Since expanding the program countywide.
S6: We will serve anyone and everyone. So we'll have a team that goes on a call to a very wealthy family who maybe one individual is struggling with passive suicidal thoughts to then wrap that call up and go down to 12th and imperial to someone who is unsheltered and is experiencing psychosis.
S5: I am here. This is my goal.
S7: A Mission Valley Hub acts as a dispatch center for the crisis response teams. If someone calls 911 now for a mental health emergency , these teams can respond instead. It's one piece of the county's efforts to turn the behavioral health system away from a crisis response to one that works similar to health care. That includes diverting people away from emergency services who might not need them.
S8: We see huge numbers of people. Disproportionate numbers of folks with behavioral health conditions showing up to emergency departments. Incredible work happens in emergency departments. They're amazing physicians and health care practitioners in emergency departments. But emergency departments are not designed to care for folks with the health conditions.
S7: Luke Bergman oversees San Diego County's behavioral health services. This year's budget calls for a $70 million increase and 115 new positions. Part of that is to help create a continuum of care which , like the health system , would have some type of middle ground or urgent care. That's what crisis stabilization units or systems are designed to do. Two recently opened in Vista and Oceanside , and there's plans for more over the next few years.
S8: It's designed to make people feel more at ease. To sort of cultivate a sense of connection between people who show up there and the care providers who are there and all of that. All of that , like , you know , stuff that happens at the instance of initial engagement is really significant to what happens farther along in that trajectory.
S7: These crisis stabilization centers are where many people contacted by the new NCR teams end up going.
S5: How do we make sure that we're getting folks to the right level of a of a service in crisis ? Right. Not going to 911 if it's not life emergency , but going elsewhere where they can get that immediate help.
S7: Nick McKeon leads the county's Health and Human Services Agency.
S5: Our budget is approaching $3 billion. Nearly a billion of that.
S8: Is behavioral health services.
S7: Mashiane says in his 25 years with the county. He's only seen the need for behavioral health services increase. Officials report we're seeing nationwide trends in San Diego County. Overdoses are up , as are rates of psychological distress. People of color and those with lower incomes are disproportionately impacted. And it's not just adults. The pandemic has caused a spike in mental health visits for kids. Officials want to be proactive and roll out a new program that will evaluate every student.
S8: We're going to start it in the middle school settings , screening every kid across all districts in this county , in middle school settings so will know , even if there's nothing that would suggest that they are at increased risk of behavioral health issues will know.
S5: Hi , this is Michael.
S7: Mobile crisis response teams are available 24 seven in San Diego County , and now people can call the National 988 crisis line to reach them to program operator say most referrals come in from third parties or police , but that's changing as more people become aware of the resource.
S6: With the call volume going up , it's definitely kind of told us that having an alternative to law enforcement for mental health crises is very much needed in San Diego.
S4: Joining me is KPBS health reporter Matt Hoffman. And , Matt , welcome.
S7: Hey , Maureen.
S4: Now , for several years , San Diego County police departments have used pert teams , and that's for psychiatric emergency response teams to help with behavioral health issues in the field.
S7: If you do remember the Pert teams , those are clinicians that are paired with law enforcement , so they're always out with law enforcement. The difference behind these mobile crisis response teams , and they're called CRT , is that there's no law enforcement response. And that's the idea behind this is is to meet people with a more low barrier , you know , approach and and not have that law enforcement response. So Pert is still around and they're still used quite a bit. But this is a new space where they're using non-law enforcement interventions.
S7: You know , we're seeing nationwide trends in terms of increases of people experiencing psychosis and overdose deaths going up. You know , we know this has been an issue for four years and and the pandemic , unfortunately , brought a lot more of this to the forefront. So health officials have known that they need to spend money here. Obviously , they don't have an infinite pool of money. But , yeah , behavioral health services got a pretty large increase , about $70 million. A little bit more than 100 new positions. And that's going to , you know , as they say , they want to change the way that they sort of do behavioral health in the county.
S7: As you heard in that story , there's a sort of need for like a middle ground here. Instead of seeking out emergency services , maybe that there's a middle ground , sort of like an urgent care for health care. And that's where these crisis stabilization units come in , where people can go , you know , typically staying less than 24 hours , get some help they need. But the other key here is that they want to follow these people. And because , you know , when somebody , for instance , NCR teams get called , they go out and make contact with somebody , they bring them to one of these crisis stabilization units. They're not there usually for more than 24 hours. So then it's getting them to that next level of care , which a lot of times they found can maybe not be emergency care.
S4: Now , can people experiencing mental health issues just show up at a crisis stabilization unit like you can , you know , just show up in an urgent care facility ? Yes.
S7: I mean , the county says that those doors are open. People can just show up. Now , we are seeing a lot of drop offs there related to this mobile crisis response teams or even law enforcement. But yes , you're right. Anybody can just walk up there and seek some help. And also , Maureen , when we talk about moving away from , you know , sort of a crisis response model , county officials also want to reduce the stigma around mental health , you know , or even behavioral health or even substance abuse. You know , they don't want people to feel like that they shouldn't be reaching out because maybe they they don't feel like that they're doing okay. I mean , they say that behavioral health impacts everybody. You know , it's not just certain. All sorts of people , everybody needs to take care of their behavioral health.
S7: They've partnered with a lot of different hospitals to build some some of them even inside of hospitals. And we're seeing the county , you know , take some of their own steps here and opening up these standalone units , Oceanside and Vista. And there are plans for more of those , you know , in the East County. They want to get these all over the county so that people , you know , have that sort of middle ground resource where where they can just go and get help.
S4: You say the call volume has been going up month after month for mobile crisis response teams.
S7: It's actually contracted out with two different private companies and they said that the county is fully behind them and they've already made commitments that , you know , once they see levels of service increases on their end , that they're committing to providing additional resources. And the woman who runs that program said that that's already happened in a way where they had , you know , maybe just a couple of clinicians at first , and now they've expanded that to three on staff. So they're bringing in more people as the as the need goes up and frankly , as more people become aware of this service.
S4: Speaking of the number of calls you referenced 911 calls a few times in your report. But the new number to call for mental and behavioral health issues , including emergencies , is nine , eight , eight.
S7: They they saw an increase when they had all the county law enforcement agencies in their 911 systems sign on here. That's when dispatchers can kind of try to make a call of , you know , does this need to go to. A mobile crisis response team instead of a law enforcement officer. But , you know , since that nine , eight , eight crisis and suicide line went up , they are getting a lot of calls for that. And it's something that is encouraging to them to see that people are are finding that this need is out there.
S4: I've been speaking with KPBS health reporter Matt Hoffman. And Matt , thank you.
S7: Thanks , Maureen.
S4: If you are experiencing a mental or behavioral health emergency , the number to call for help and resources is nine , eight , eight.
S1: Even in a state where millions struggle to find and keep an affordable place to live. Building more of it in California hasn't been a popular solution. That's because over the decades , public housing has become racialized and synonymous with warehousing of the poor and terrible living conditions. But in Los Angeles is Watts neighborhood. One massive public housing project called Jordan Downs is in the midst of what will be a decades long billion dollar transformation that will more than double the number of people living there. Its redevelopment is supposed to show the potential of public housing if done right. The California report saw Gonzalez traveled to Jordan Downs to get a sense of the dramatic changes that are being seen in the neighborhood. Here's what's resident Rick Chilton.
S9: I would never think in my wildest dreams that it would be ten projects.
S5: What's being torn down in slow stages is the old Jordan Downs. Row after row of decaying barrack style housing units dating back to the 1940s. Bars are over every single window and big no trespassing signs are on every building. What's replacing this is the new Jordan Downs townhouse style apartment buildings painted in warm earth tones with small patios on the first floor and balconies on the floors above. None of the windows have bars over them. Honestly , the new Jordan Downs looks and feels like a new suburban apartment complex and not public housing in Watts.
S1: So the building that I used to live in was right here but is demolished.
S5: Now , that's tricky to Perkins , a lifelong Jordan Downs resident. She was among the first people to move into the first phase of Jordan Downs redevelopment.
S1: Oh , yes , I remember like yesterday. Oh , it was really a final. I accidentally would sleep at night because I was just like , it was just awesome. Like , I couldn't sleep. I kept walking around the house. I was eager to decorate. So , yeah , it was really exciting.
S5: But the changes at Jordan Downs go way beyond new apartments on reclaimed industrial land right next to the housing project. There's a new 115,000 square foot shopping center called Freedom Plaza in a part of L.A. that's often been described as a retail desert. Here , Jordan Downs residents and the wider community can find a supermarket , bank , clothing stores , restaurants and the only Starbucks in Watts. Many who work in the businesses live at Jordan Downs. Watts resident Sherri Addison says the shopping center is something people have wanted here for decades.
S1: It's closer to me , you know , where I live.
S3: Instead of having to go out the area.
S4: I'm glad they brought it to the area , like the Nike store. I like. Nike.
S5: And the supermarket chain. Excellent. And the restaurants.
S1: Oh , yes. I love the have a grill.
S5: The burgers at a bar. Now , other public housing projects have been redeveloped in the U.S. , most notably in Chicago. But those projects soon became political powder kegs. Residents complained they had little say in planning what would come next. And housing activists argued public housing redevelopment was a euphemism for pushing poor people of color out of neighborhoods to make way for gentrification. Doug Guthrie , the CEO of LA's Housing Authority , says when it comes to the redevelopment of Jordan Downs , everything has been done to keep residents informed and part of the process.
S2: Got to get the community buy into all this. I mean , you absolutely have to have a successful outcome in this. And so we spent years , the Jordan Downs engage in the community and we didn't make any promises we felt we couldn't we couldn't keep.
S5: One key promise at Jordan Downs is a right of return , guaranteeing that everyone who lived there before redevelopment can come back after it's done if they want to. So there hasn't been.
S2: Any forced displacement at all. So far we don't anticipate any.
S5: But promising residents they could return to Jordan Downs doesn't mean there weren't plans to change the kinds of people living there. The redevelopment project is adding hundreds of new units to Jordan Downs on purchased land. It was hoped the new units would be rented out at or near full market rates , and some newcomers might even buy units. But that idea has been largely shelved for now , says Marco Ramirez. He's with Bridge Housing , one of the nonprofit developers of Jordan Downs.
S9: We can't see ourselves justifying market rate units in this community when there are so many people struggling to make rent. So market rate units or market rate rents don't make sense right now.
S5: And there have been other changes and complications in Jordan Downs transformation. The adjacent properties that were purchased to build the shopping center and additional housing are on former industrial sites. There are lingering concerns about toxic pollution in the soil , despite cleanup efforts. Then there's the speed of redevelopment. There have been big delays getting federal , state and private financing for the project , which have set back construction deadlines. Five years after building started , more than half of Jordan Downs residents still live in the old buildings again. Here's Marco Ramirez.
S9: To date , we have between our first and second phase , we have about 300 original Jordan residents living in the new apartments.
S5: So 300 about. And how many more to go ? We have about 400. 400 more to go.
S5: Ramirez says some Jordan Downs residents might have to wait ten years or more before their new buildings are ready as construction deadlines get pushed back. With many of. Her friends and neighbors still living in old Jordan Downs. Housing resident Shakira Perkins says she feels fortunate.
S1: I feel like I got lucky because I was in the right spot at the right time.
S5: Looking ahead , there are plans to redevelop two other smaller public housing projects in Los Angeles. But housing officials acknowledge there are no plans to do something on the same scale. Has Jordan Downs for LA's other large public housing projects ? Planning , building and financing the projects , they say , are just too difficult and expensive.
S4: This is KPBS Midday Edition. I'm Maureen CAVANAUGH with Jade Heineman. In the latest stop on the California Report's road trip series Hidden Gems , Amanda Fong takes listeners to the San Bernardino Mountains at Big Bear Lake to board a pirate ship. There are plenty of businesses that offer trips on Big Bear Lake , but for those seeking a more unique ride , there's the Time Bandit.
S5: It's a one third replica of a ship from about 200 years ago. 250 years ago.
S4: This is the man who will be at the helm today.
S5: My name is John Height and one of the captains on the Time Bandit on Big Bear Lake.
S4: Captain John says the mini Spanish galleon was built by a guy in San Diego in his backyard.
S5: He started building it in 1955.
S4: His original goal was to sail it to the Sea of Cortez.
S5: He completed in 1969 , but lost interest in it along the way and never put it in the water.
S4: Instead , this hand-built dream vessel became a tour vessel , first in Newport Harbor down in Orange County. Then it sat around for a while and eventually it was shipped almost 7000 feet up the mountain to Big Bear , where it's been cruising the lake for the last 25 years. But in the middle of its life , this boat had another kind of adventure.
S5: Okay , so I mentioned the name Time Bandit. Anybody ever see the movie The Time Bandits ? Hey , there. Go one to me. That's it. Okay.
S1: All right.
S4: Time Bandits is a 1981 film written and directed by Terry Gilliam of Monty Python fame about a boy who's taken on a wild adventure by a group of little people who sail the ship through time and space.
S1: As long as this ring keeps up.
S2: Nothing can go wrong. It is strange.
S4: The ship featured in the movie is the very same one we're sailing on now. It was used as a set piece in the film and was renamed after its foray on the silver screen. But as she sails around the lake today , the restored time bandit is fully decked out like a pirate ship , painted black with red and white accents , a few skeletons tied to the shrouds. Those are the rope ladders that lead up the masts and a flag that says time flies when having rum. Captain John is also decked out in pirate gear on board this swashbuckling vessel. Today are some families with kids. A group of teenage Girl Scouts on a trip. And Shannon and Steve who are celebrating. It's our 25th wedding anniversary. And I think pirates are my thing. And I told my husband that I needed to get on the pirate ship. As Captain John sails us around the scenic western half of the lake. He talks about the ecology and history of the area and points out places of interest during prohibition.
S5: Back in the late teens and into the early thirties.
S4: Like the town's old speakeasy.
S5: Was called the zipper house. It was painted black and white on the outside , black and white stripes on the inside , in the zebra room.
S4: And , of course , celebrity vacation homes.
S5: Anybody here , here ever enjoy Beavis and his buddy.
S4: Like Mike Judge's house ? He's the creator of Beavis and Butthead and King of the Hill , or the truly massive house of the guy who invented bubble wrap.
S5: I think bubble wrap has been good to him. What do you think.
S4: The most exciting of these comes when we stop at Mel Blanc's house ? You know Mel Blanc.
S5: About Bugs Bunny ? Yeah. Okay. Well , the guy that does the Bugs Bunny voice. But he also did about 1500 different voices. His nickname was Man of a Thousand Voices. And what's up , Doc ? Well , one of the strangest things I know.
S4: After Mel died , his son , Noel Blanc , took over doing some of the Looney Tunes voices , and he still vacations at this house.
S5: So he's going to come out like his dad used to because his dad used to come out here.
S4: Captain John positions the ship in the small cove near the house , fighting against some strong winds. And out comes Noel onto the back deck with a megaphone.
S5: Hey , Bugs Bunny , we're going to have to make a pass with the wind up. We just got.
S4: To witness the other passengers giggle with delight at hearing the voice as we sail on. It's back to the pirate centric entertainment like handheld cannon fire. Oh , cheesy pirate jokes.
S5: What kind of cookies are a pirate's favorite cookie ? That would be Chips Ahoy. Very good.
S4: Very good. And a chance for the kids aboard to steer the ship when Captain John delivers his passengers safely at the dock. After our 90 minute tour on Big Bear's calm waters , I'm really feeling like a sailor's life is for me.
S3: But yes , I had lots of fun.
S2: It's great. We definitely come. Back.
S9: Back. Oh , yeah. We had a good time.
S3: What was your favorite part ? The Bugs Bunny voice. It was really fun and it's great for kids because there's a lot of stuff kids do really like to the little kids that kids us.
S4: But if you're in the mood for a pirate excursion , the Time Bandits sails from hallways. Marina April 1st through November 1st. I'm Amanda Font in Big Bear Lake.