Big playoff wins brings San Diego sports to the forefront
S1: How a winning team unites a city.
S2: We consume it because it brings us together. It gives us a vessel for community at a time when people are desperate for such things.
S1: I'm Jade Hindman with Maureen CAVANAUGH. This is KPBS midday edition. A deep look into the Navy SEAL training program after the death of another trainee.
S2: And in this case , the Navy medical that knows this is a problem and should have been screened for. It wasn't. And so this guy was able to essentially work himself to death.
S1: A look at some of the measures and propositions on your ballot. Plus , just in time for Halloween , some Poe inspired strange tales. That's ahead on Midday Edition. In a major upset. The Padres won their playoff series this weekend , winning both home games and finally slaying the dragon up the freeway. The Los Angeles Dodgers. Despite a rare rainy Saturday at Petco Park , Padres fans celebrated the five three win late into the night after a seventh inning comeback for the ages. If that weren't enough , the San Diego Wave FC came from behind in its playoff match this weekend and are now in the semifinals of the NWSL playoffs in just their first season. But what is it about sports that makes us care so much ? I'm joined now by Michael Cerezo , associate professor of communication at Boston College and author of the book The Power of Sports Media and Spectacle in American Culture. He also grew up here in San Diego. Michael , welcome to Midday Edition.
S2: Thanks very much for having me.
S2: And also we consume it live. I mean , the story of our contemporary culture is one of fragmentation. People tuning into many different possibilities in terms of their entertainment options. And for the large part , sports is the last thing that still drives mass audiences. It's still the last thing that folks are needing to consume live. If you look at some of the data , roughly 90 of the top 100 TV shows or TV events in any given year will be sporting events. About 70 of those will be nflx , and nothing else tends to approach that level of popularity. So we consume it because it brings us together. It gives us a vessel for community at a time when people are desperate for such things.
S1: In your work you equate modern day sports to religion.
S2: There's about 70 million Americans who don't identify with any particular institutionalized religion. And I would argue that sports is filling that vacuum to some degree. Sports gives people the language of religion , right. You know , you use terms like you got to believe or keep faith , things like that. Sports provides people with a space to gather. It provides people with experiences of transcendence. And I think all of those things are vital , even as folks don't derive those things from traditional religion. Sports can nonetheless be the sort of thing that provides that for people.
S1: And today we are in an era of intense political and cultural divide.
S2: By and large , sports tends to be one of those rare spaces where , you know , Republicans and Democrats alike can find common cause and can sort of be joined together in union in rooting for an object of shared affection. So certainly , you know , there's passion within sports. Certainly fans can be intense and can be brutal toward each other. I certainly know that's true of San Diego and Los Angeles. But nonetheless , it still exists in a kind of split space of pleasure and diversion. And it doesn't quite have the potential for outright partisan conflict that we certainly have to deal with otherwise.
S2: On balance , it tends to be the case that when you are trying to host a particular sports mega event like the Olympics or the World Cup , whether you're trying to build a stadium for a city and use taxpayer dollars , those do not usually add up to being worth it in a financial sense. You know , certainly sports does ring the cash register , but there is a notion within the field of economics of the kind of substitution effect , which is to say that if people weren't spending money on sports , they would probably be spending it on some other form of entertainment. So even though it doesn't necessarily have , I think the economic impact that it's sometimes hyped as by boosters and vested stakeholders , I think without question you can feel it in a kind of ephemeral way when when a team takes off like the Padres have.
S1: And now you aren't a neutral observer on this topic. You grew up here and remain a diehard San Diego sports fan.
S2: I've been a diehard Padres fan and Chargers fan now with the Wave as well since I was a kid and. For me , you know , sports , I think I think my experience with this San Diego Padres and San Diego sports is not dissimilar from a lot of people around the country. We're a country of tremendous mobility. My job happened to take me back to Boston. There are certainly people all over the country who , for reasons of work or other circumstances , have had to migrate. And the sports team that you grew up with becomes a kind of badge of identity for you , Right ? It becomes the thing that you were familiar with from your earliest childhood memories. For me , it was going to Jack Murphy Stadium and cheering on those teams of the , you know , late eighties and early nineties. And when I tune in to Padres games , when I keep track of the team through the Union-Tribune , things like that , in a way , it's sort of reaffirming a kind of primal identity in some way. And I think that that's what fans all over the country , whether they're San Diegans or they're loyal to some other team of their childhood , tend to derive from these totemic objects that we worship , that our team logos.
S1: As you mentioned , you live in Boston now , far from San Diego.
S2: The game didn't finish until like 2 a.m. East Coast time , and then I literally could not pull myself away even at that hour from watching another hour or so of highlights from Petco Park , from , you know , the celebrations in the locker room , from , you know , Manny Machado running around , just drenched in champagne. There was something really special about that. And I think there was something special about the fact and I speak for this , you know , just as a sample size of one. But I think this is true for many people. Sports gives us an opportunity to keep in touch with our loved ones. Right. It is the text message thread among my family that happens when the team goes far and when the team is playing important games. And I think that's true for tons of fans everywhere , certainly San Diegan and otherwise. So for me , it becomes this kind of tether to the identity and community that I grew up with , and those are really important things to hold on to , especially in our kind of modern , alienating , lonely world.
S1: I've been speaking with Boston College communications professor Michael Serafino , author of The Power of Sports Media and Spectacle in American Culture. Michael , thank you. And go Padres and go wave.
S2: Thank you so much. Go Padres. Go with San Diego forever.
S3: Reprimands were issued last week for two Navy SEAL leaders and a senior medical officer in connection with the death of SEAL trainee Kyle Mullen. Mullen died in February , just hours after completing the grueling final phase of SEAL training known as Hell Week. The reprimands were characterized by the Navy as non punitive , and the officers have not been removed from their jobs. But Seaman Mullen's death has prompted some changes in SEAL training and started an ongoing command investigation , which includes inquiries into the use of performance enhancing drugs during training. Joining me is New York Times reporter and author David Phillips , who's been reporting on deaths in the Navy SEAL program. His book is called Alpha Eddie Gallagher and the War for the Soul of the Navy SEALs. And David , welcome to the program.
S2: Thanks for having me.
S2: Right now. All this stuff is happening behind a screen of personnel privacy rules. So it could just be a letter that says , hey , this thing went wrong. Let's make sure it doesn't happen again. Or it could be a more formal type of reprimand that's effectively a career killer so that these folks won't be able to move on through promotion. But my guess that the Navy isn't telling us exactly what happened here.
S3: Kyle Mullen's official cause of death was cardiac arrest caused by acute pneumonia.
S2: But. And during that time , these guys are getting very little sleep. They are being put through extremely physically taxing exercises and they're exposed to a lot of cold water. They spend a lot of time in the Pacific. You know , those things together can easily lead someone to get debilitating pneumonia. But put on top of that that each one of these guys is is expected to sort of push through whatever hardship they have. And so a lot of times SEAL candidates , they will minimize whatever injuries or sickness they have because they want to keep training. They want to make it to be one of these elite Navy operators. And so overwhelmingly , these guys try to hide what's wrong with them. And in this case , the Navy medical that is , you know , knows this is a problem and should have been screening for it wasn't. And so this guy was able to essentially work himself to death.
S2: There is better oversight by medical after Hell week , which is the toughest part of this training is over. They are now getting a prophylactic dose of antibiotics so that things like catastrophic pneumonia are less likely. But that old dynamic of we got to make it tough so that only the best get through that's still there. And that can be a really dangerous dynamic. I think that's what we saw take place with with this young sailors death.
S3: Now , you've reported on the use of performance enhancing drugs among Navy SEAL candidates.
S2: So I should say that that his death took place in a bigger change that was happening over the past couple of decades. If you take ten candidates trying to become SEALs , only about three 30% got through. But that changed drastically starting in 2001 , and all of a sudden we had maybe only about 15% or in the case of Mullen's class , 7% of people getting through. Things got much tougher and we don't really have answers why yet. But we do know that that the candidates who saw things getting harder decided , look , the only way we can get through this is by using things like testosterone or human growth hormone. And one thing that was really surprising for me to learn is that , you know , Navy SEALs are elite athletes and this is extremely competitive. And yet , unlike other competitive athletic endeavors for years and years , there was absolutely no testing for things like steroids and other performance enhancing drugs , which it strikes me as really odd. After Mullen's death , they did start testing and they have ultimately removed a little over 50 sailors from training because they thought they were somehow involved in performance enhancing drugs.
S3: You say that the Navy SEAL trainees , they want to power through and get through no matter how they are feeling. But this latest report has also raised questions about how the Navy supervisors , trainees and things like reporting health problems and calling 911 are discouraged.
S2: One of the most remarkable things about this report that just came out is how often the Navy medical personnel failed to do their duty. They're supposed to be independent of the Navy SEALs and independent of the candidates and just be there as a professional to make sure that things are being done safely. And yet again and again , they either falsified reports or didn't pick up on what was obviously wrong to other candidates with this suffering young sailor. And then at the very end of hell week , when the man who died was really clearly suffering and other sailors called the doctor on duty to report it , he said , Hey , if you want to call 911 , call 911 , but it could interfere with your training. And I don't think that that's probably the response that a medical professional should have had.
S3: Now , Seaman Mullen's family has been outspoken in criticizing the Navy for the death of their son.
S2: I mean , quite frankly , everyone , so far as we know , is unscathed by this. Maybe we'll learn more later. But , you know , their son died. He was a high performing , highly like , really promising young man who who other SEALs have told me probably would have made a great seal. But through repeated medical negligence and other misconduct , he's no longer here. And so I think that they want to see something change.
S3: Now , you've written a book about the alleged culture of brutality and general lack of accountability in Navy SEAL leadership.
S2: And even though they're part of the Navy , they look at the larger Navy with a great deal of suspicion and try to avoid scrutiny by it. And so even though , like I was saying earlier , for more than 40 years , the Navy has tried to do things to make the budget selection process easier so that more people get through. The SEALs have always resisted that day , and so they will sort of quietly , at a very low level , try to make things harder. And I think that's what happened here. And so that cultural struggle between big Navy and the Navy SEALs is really taken out on these these young sailors who are often 20 , 22 years old , who are trying to get through this course and maybe a couple of years ago would have sailed through easily. But but now , as one sailor described to me , just gets shredded because this cultural struggle is playing out.
S3: I've been speaking with author and New York Times reporter David Phillips. And David , thank you very much for speaking with us.
S2: Thanks for having me.
S3: This is KPBS midday edition. I'm Maureen CAVANAUGH with Jade Heineman. This November , voters will decide whether or not to increase arts funding to public schools across the state. KQED Julia McEvoy reports on what that would mean for one school in the San Francisco Bay Area.
S4: When it comes to high quality arts education , Richmond High senior Angela Matanza says it's pretty clear all things are not created equal.
S3: Like over the years , I've noticed , like communities like mine , Richmond High , where it's predominantly brown kids. We don't get the same opportunity as in like Hercules , which is , you know , predominately Asian kids and white kids.
S4: When Tom says plays viola in the Richmond High Advanced Orchestra , the school of 1500 students is 85% Latino.
S3: Parents , students and teachers have tried. Like here in Richmond High and Kennedy , to get the funding that they have. We don't have the money , you know.
S4: Many Richmond High families , including Matanzas , are working class.
S3: Like not many people say , but it's also a race thing. It's a socio economic class thing. It's just an issue.
S4: The quality of arts education varies from district to district and often depends on where you live. Voters in wealthier communities often raise local taxes to fund arts in schools. Those disparities became even more acute during the pandemic.
S5: I had so many principals call me or email me saying that my students have been sitting in front of a screen for a year and a half. They need to sing. They need to move. They need to express themselves. And.
S4: Andrea Lentini heads School partnerships for Eastbay Center for the Performing Arts , a community organization that sends part time arts teachers into schools in Richmond to help fill the gaps. Lundeen says there is never enough money or artists , which means lots of kids are missing out.
S5: Sometimes kids can't really name exactly what's going on emotionally or mentally , but once they start to move or sing or play an instrument , then there's so much healing that goes on.
S4: A measure on this year's ballot could help. Proposition 28 would double the amount of money schools get to about $1 billion annually , locking in a permanent source of funding even during tough budget times when schools tend to cut the arts and a third of that new money would go to schools serving economically disadvantaged students at Richmond High , that would mean enough to hire someone to help. Andrew Wilkie , who teaches seven periods , runs the marching band , and the orchestra oversees all the instruments. Scheduling , transportation. This list actually goes on.
S2: I'm like , I'm done. I'm like , I'm I'm like a rock bottom emotionally , because not only am I trying to hold all these classes together and teach them all , I'm trying to find money.
S4: Schools must use 80% of their money to hire full time credentialed teachers , which could help get talented artists like spoken word poet Jazz Monique Hudson back in the classroom.
S5: I was set to teach this semester , but could not teach in the teaching art program because there wasn't enough funding for the spoken word program.
S4: Hasan found a new full time job , but says she would love to be able to return to teaching. There is no official opposition to Proposition 28 , but there are those critical of so-called ballot box budgeting voters tying the hands of legislators by locking in a funding structure that can't be undone when a recession hits , for example. Then there is the accountability piece. Schools would have to create new ways of tracking personnel , which could take time and be a big lift. At Richmond High , student Anjali Matanzas is hoping that's something her orchestra leader , Mr. Wilkie , would be willing to do if it means getting more money in the door.
S3: Music , really , you know , helped me express how I felt deep inside that I couldn't express with words. And also , if I'm just having a hard day , you know , just playing music , like I could just let it all out.
S4: Wilkie says it's a job he'll happily take on if he can reach more kids in Richmond. I'm Julia McEvoy.
S1: We continue our commitment to keep you informed about what's on your ballot ahead of the November election. Today , we are breaking down Measure A it's a new cannabis tax measure that could bring in millions of dollars from businesses and incorporated San Diego County. KPBS reporter Matt Hoffman is here to explain. Matt , welcome.
S2: And we're only talking about in unincorporated areas , although all county voters will see this on their ballot. You know , basically the San Diego County Board of Supervisors , they want to tax these cannabis businesses. They think they can make some money on it. But in order to do that , they have to send this to voters. So that's where we're at here with Measure A , it was placed on the ballot by a majority vote of the Board of Supervisors , and that's where we're at.
S2: And that money , it's not really , you know , earmarked for anything specific , you know , other than in terms of , you know , supporting this legal cannabis industry here. The revenues go to any government purpose so it can be used for parks , fire safety , really whatever the county would want to spend on it.
S1: Is that estimated 3 to 5 million per year.
S2: Yeah , that's an estimated 3 to 5 million per year.
S1: Who's against the measure and why.
S2: In terms of those who are against it ? You know , we have the San Diego County Taxpayers Association. And interestingly enough , you know , the Republican Party of San Diego County on their voter guide , they say no , while the Democratic Party says yes. And the big argument that we're hearing in terms of why this shouldn't pass from Haney , hang the president of the Taxpayers Association , you know , saying that it's really unfair because this tax only applies to businesses that are in the unincorporated area , those cannabis businesses. But yet all county voters are being asked to weigh in on it. And he also questions , you know , whether revenues from this program like say , it makes $5 million in its first year. Is that money going back to just the unincorporated areas ? Because , you know , it doesn't have to.
S1: Nor is there anything included in this measure to ensure the revenue is distributed in a way that's equitable across the county.
S2: And the argument in support of Measure A that was written by Supervisor Nathan Fletcher , Nora Vargas and Tara Lawson Reamer you know , they say that the county's budget , you know , with these revenues will be protected from any new costs associated with this cannabis regulation. And sort of a broad statement here , but they say it's also can be used to protect resources for investment in communities , public health and social equity programs. Now , the rebuttal for that questions , you know , what exactly does that mean ? But supporters say that the money for this will stay in San Diego County.
S1: And that brings me to my next question.
S2: Jim Desmond was not in favor of that. But issuing the official argument in favor of this was Supervisor Chair Nathan Fletcher , vice Chair Nora Vargas and Supervisor Terrell Austin Reamer. Also , as I mentioned earlier , local Democrats say , yes , do support this. And they say , you know , look , we have a large market here of that. There's still some illegal operations. Funds from this will go to shut that down. They want to keep the money local. They point out that it's not a tax on cannabis users , that it's a tax on the businesses , although you know that be remain to be seen if that does get passed down to users. But they say that this is the way to go to advance the legal cannabis market in San Diego County.
S1: And this cannabis tax isn't uncommon some cities already have it.
S2: So the the unincorporated county , the county is not the first to do this , interestingly enough. And the Union-Tribune , their editorial board endorsements , they say no. They say that this is too early. They sort of point to when the state first legalized cannabis and started taxing it and they didn't get the revenues that they were expecting. And the argument from the editorial board is sort of , you know , the county needs to focus on shutting down all of the illegal operations before they can go out and try to , you know , put a tax on those that are operating legally.
S2: And while this was going through the county board process , Supervisor Jim Desmond was asking county staff about , you know , why is that ? Why does it have to go to voters county wide if we're just talking about unincorporated county and county staff basically said to him , you know , it's California law and they can't do this any way else. So that's why you're seeing , you know , supporters saying , hey , you know , this is going countywide. But , you know , keep in mind , it's not a double tax like those in La mesa , those in city of San Diego. They're not going to be paying their local city tax. And then this other county tax , it's just going to be for the unincorporated area.
S1: I've been speaking with KPBS , has Matt Hoffman. Matt , thank you so much for joining us.
S2: Thanks , J.
S1: To find out more about measure and other ballot issues , find the KPBS Voter hub at KPBS dot org.
S3: San Diego , residents in single family homes have been getting a free ride on separate fees for trash pickup for the last 100 years. An item on the November ballot would be the first step toward changing that measure. B would allow the city to study the feasibility of charging trash pickup fees for single family homeowners by repealing the Century Old People's Ordinance Law. And joining me is KPBS reporter Jacob Air. Jacob , welcome.
S6: Thanks for having me on.
S6: So it prohibits the city from charging single family homes an extra trash pickup fee. Meanwhile , multi-family complexes and businesses have to hire these private waste haulers.
S3: During that 100 years , has there been any effort to repeal the people's ordinance ? Yes.
S6: So Measure B is in the first time that people have actually tried to change the current system. In the past , there was actually a grand jury who has already called the system inequitable. So Measure B is really just a furthering upon that already decisive statement by the grand jury.
S6: And right now , that's costing about 40 to $50 million per year. San Diego City Council President Shawnee La Rivera says those funds in the tens of millions could be used for other things like parks , libraries , firefighters and lifeguards.
S3: So everybody else who doesn't live in a single family home has been paying fees for trash pickup , and they have to pay those fees to private trash haulers.
S6: Whether they've been paying and whether they know it or not. Around 47% of households within the city of San Diego , as well as businesses they've been paying. So if Measure B passed , it would let the city recover the pick up costs from the roughly 53% or so of San Diegans who have been exempt from those pick up fees.
S3: But the supporters say the fees would be studied.
S6: If Measure B passes , it would be at least two years before any fees are charged to these single family homeowners. The city would have to do a cost of service study first , which that analyzes specific fees that will be added to these homeowners.
S6: But at the moment , the city's independent budget analyst estimates customers would pay about 23 to $29 per month after that two year time period. But like I said , the number could change due to an inflation in other things.
S6: Those are their Big three. They say by repealing the ordinance , everyone would be paying into the system and they would also have additional money for public needs. And the climate action campaigns making have actually said it would help create a greener future.
S2: In a place where you never see your bill for a trash removal. You don't care whether you put recyclable things into your landfill bin or compostable things into your landfill bin.
S3: But opponents say trash fees for single family homeowners would amount to a double charge.
S6: So when I spoke with Hany Hong of the San Diego Taxpayers Association , he says the only way in his mind to make trash pickup equitable is to actually remove those fees for everyone and only charge those who are super wasters.
S2: If you want to make this more fair and more equitable , the answer is not charging everybody twice , including the single family home. The answer is charging everybody.
S6: And yes , the ballot measure would also guarantee free trash bins for all , which the city does not currently provide. And that's a perk that seemed to be a pretty big deal for a lot of voters who were maybe on the fence.
S3: Now , how can listeners find out more about Measure B and other issues on the November ballot.
S6: So people can go to KPBS sources and go out and check out our KPBS Voter Hub , which contains details about a ton of different ballot measures , races and other insights for this upcoming November election season.
S3: I've been speaking with KPBS reporter Jacob Air. Jacob , thanks.
S6: Thank you so much for having me on.
S1: Imperial County is one of California's poorest cities. But today people are expecting a gold rush. And the gold is a lightweight metal called lithium. In the first of a two part series , KPBS , science and technology reporter Thomas Fudge has the story of how it will be mined and who will benefit from it.
S7: The geothermal plant established by San Diego based energy source looks like a refinery sitting on the flat desert land of the Imperial Valley since it was built in the town of Calor Patrick in 2006. It has produced geothermal energy by extracting searing hot water from below ground. But that underground lake has something more than heat. It's loaded with minerals ready to be mined , including manganese , zinc and lithium. But it's lithium that has spawned a gold rush as the demand for lithium car batteries rockets into the stratosphere. Eric Folmer is the CEO of what's now called Energy Source Minerals. We started out looking at.
S2: Manganese , zinc and lithium.
S7: But it became clear pretty quickly that all anybody wanted to talk about was like Spooner says , their business plan is always envisioned a mining operation. Now that the focus is lithium , they are planning to build a $1 billion expansion that will allow them to pull that now precious metal from the same salty brine water that has been generating geothermal energy. Energy source isn't the only game in town. Berkshire Hathaway Energy , an Australia based controlled thermal resources , are also planning to mine lithium in Imperial County. They'll be using a new technical process called direct lithium extraction.
S2: This is exciting because we have this giant source , but Lithium.
S7: Biltong is a professor of chemistry and vice provost at San Diego State. He has been studying lithium for more than 30 years. He says the mining of lithium is a national concern since deposits of the metal have been mined in China and South America.
S2: If we are successful in extracting , we could be independent. We don't have to rely on other countries.
S7: Direct lithium extraction or DLT is a new method that Tong agrees is more environmentally friendly than established ways of mining lithium. Until now , lithium has been taken from open pit mines and evaporation ponds where brine water is left to dry up , leaving the lithium behind. Spokesman says direct lithium mining done with energy sources proprietary technology gets you the cleanest lithium in the world compared to evaporation ponds or hard rock mining.
S6: The carbon footprints almost zero.
S7: The physical footprint is very small in comparison and the water use is very low. Spooner says using daily mining at the energy source plant means that hot brine water is funneled to the surface , where it will be run through their extraction equipment. The lithium rich water is pushed through a kind of filter which attracts the lithium ion and lets everything else pass through. The brine water is ultimately pumped back below ground , returning to the water table. And energy use is very efficient due to the abundant supply of geothermal power produced by the very same plant. For all its promise , Vollmer admits that daily technology is only been proven in small pilot projects. Some might say that indicates it's not fully tested , says Bowmer , who expects energy source to produce 20,000 tons of lithium a year. Sees it another way on a real commercial.
S2: Scale , doing pure daily.
S7: This will be groundbreaking. Energy Source Minerals hopes to begin construction of their lithium mining facility by the end of the year and start extracting the metal in 2025. While the large scale environmentally friendly mining of lithium has yet to be seen , people in Imperial County are excited about the promise. Maria Nava Frohlich is the mayor pro tem of Cleopatra. She calls lithium the new California gold.
S4: We think it's a game changer for our community. We think that it's going to bring in a lot of jobs , community benefits. We do support the excise tax.
S7: Tomorrow , we'll learn more about the state tax on lithium and who stands to benefit from the new gold rush. In Imperial County , Thomas Fudge , KPBS News.
S3: This is KPBS midday edition. I'm Maureen CAVANAUGH with Jade Hyneman. With Halloween just around the corner , it's the perfect time to enter the macabre world of Edgar Allan Poe. For the fifth year , Right out Loud hosts Poe Fest , a celebration of the author and all things strange and otherworldly. This year , the more immersive experience will take place at the Villa Montezuma Museum. KPBS arts reporter Beth ACCOMANDO previews the event with Right Out Loud. Artistic director Veronica murphy and actress Megan Carmichael. Veronica , Some people may not know what professor.
S4: Is , So.
S3: Explain to people what they can.
S4: Expect from this podcast is a celebration of literature , of the macabre. And because Poe is sort of the king of that , we call it Poe Fest , and we have an actor who comes down from Riverside County and he portrays Poe. But Poe is not the only featured author , and the events that we have at the Villa Montezuma are all interactive. So , for instance , perhaps an encounter with Mary Shelley , the author of Frankenstein , An Encounter with Edgar Allan Poe , and then excerpted pieces from Jekyll and Hyde. We have the Weird Sisters from Shakespeare , and we have Madame Philomena , who is a medium , and she contacts the characters from Poe's stories. And then we have the housekeepers who guide people through the rooms. So what happens is when you come to Poe fast , you're all brought in in a group of 39. You're divided into three groups of 13 , and then each group moves through the house at a different time. So programs are going on simultaneously. And then in the end , you come together and depending again on the night you're there , whether you will be meeting with Mary Shelley or with Edgar Allan Poe. And describe.
S3: This house.
S4: The house is really fantastic. It was designed by a man in the 1800s. His name is Jesse Sheppard , and he was a very renowned pianist who said that he channeled the music of the great composers , and he designed this house. It's called the Palace of the Arts. That's the name he gave it. And it is filled with stained glass windows. And it's just stunning and it is beautifully intact in the interior. So that alone is a feast for people to come in and walk through the rooms with the candles all lit. And it's it's really quite an experience unlike anything you can really have anywhere else.
S3: Megan , you are going to be playing Mary Shelley in one of these stories.
S4: So what is it about Mary Shelley that you kind.
S3: Of connected with or were intrigued.
S4: By ? So I love Mary Shelley because she basically broke the mold as a young woman and kind of created this new genre of literature with Frankenstein and something that's so interesting and that this piece really touches on is she was really adverse to interviews and to the press and to bringing herself forward in public because everybody asked her this same question , which was , you're a young woman. How did you think of this story ? How did you think of this gross , gory , terrifying story of literally reanimating something that's dead to life ? And in this piece , we pull a lot from a forward that was written many years later when she was in her thirties , because she was , I believe , 19 when she wrote Frankenstein. And so this forward that she wrote later , she has the air of I have permission to say what I want to say right now because I have age and I have wisdom and. She kind of puts the public in the press a little bit in their place with her answer , Why shouldn't a young girl think of things like this ? Why shouldn't. Who's to call this hideous ? And I just love her gumption. And because not only did she create this genre , but she had this fire that is so attractive to me.
S3: And what do you think it.
S4: Is about the Frankenstein story that has given it this timeless appeal ? I think I really do think it's the idea of reanimating something that is absolutely dead. I mean , it is terrifying and it's the idea of pouring everything that you have into a dream or a creation and having that dream or creation come to fruition and then having it be absolutely horrifying and terrifying. I think that is so thrilling , that story to to witness in the performance.
S3: You do at fast , you are actually assuming the character of Mary Shelley. And can you share.
S4: A little bit of a scene with us ? So this section of the piece is from when she wrote Frankenstein. She was on vacation with fellow authors Lord Byron , her husband Shelley , and then John Polidori , and they were all challenged to write a ghost story. And so this was her. She had been trying for night after night after night to think of something. And this was the birth of the idea for Frankenstein. Knight waned upon this talk , and even the witching hour had gone by before. We were tired to rest. When I placed my head on the pillow , I did not sleep , nor could I be said to think my imagination , unbidden possessed and guided me , gifting the successive images that arose in my mind with a vividness far beyond the usual bounds of reverie I saw was shot to eyes , but acute mental vision. I saw the pale student of hallowed arts kneeling beside the thing he had put together. I saw the hideous phantasm of a man stretched out and then on the working of some powerful engine shows signs of life. All right. Well , thank you very much.
S3: And Veronica.
S4: Every year when you.
S3: Tackle doing a Poe fest , what kind of.
S4: Things are you considering.
S3: About which pieces to include for.
S4: That particular year ? In the new version of Provost , which has really been the last two years , where we've created the experiences to be interactive rather than presentational. So it's always sort of foremost. Now how can we find a piece that will be interactive that we can , you know , make a way for the audience to participate in what's going on ? So it's really the combination of an ability to interact for the audience in an interesting way and finding these various classic ways to bring literature to the community.
S3: Well , I want to thank you both for talking about Provost.
S4: Thank you so much , Beth. It's always lovely to speak with you.
S3: That was Beth ACCOMANDO speaking with Veronica murphy and Megan Carmichael Right out loud. Po Fest runs the next two weekends at the Villa Montezuma Museum on K Street in San Diego.