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Border restrictions remain in place after latest Supreme Court ruling

 December 28, 2022 at 12:47 PM PST

S1: The Supreme Court refuses to lift Title 42 restrictions.

S2: We cannot throw up our hands and say the United States of America is not going to have asylum system.

S1: I'm Maureen CAVANAUGH with Jade Heineman. This is KPBS midday edition. San Diego wetlands are an emerging weapon against climate change.

S3: Plants are naturally carbon accumulating machines. They suck carbon dioxide into the air. All this right here is , you know , all this biomass is basically just carbon.

S1: KPBS film critic Beth ACCOMANDO picks her top ten movies of the year and a book about pies and novels and how you could create them both. That's ahead on Midday Edition. Hopes that Title 42 restrictions would be lifted for asylum seekers before the New Year were crushed on Tuesday. In a54 decision , the US Supreme Court extended a stay which keeps the policy in place until the court revisits the issue in February. The Title 42 issue is now bound up in legal complexities , but the public health law was originally used by the Trump administration to limit immigration during the height of the COVID pandemic. Lifting Title 42 would allow thousands of people waiting at the Mexican border to ask for asylum in the U.S. but now their way continues. Joining me is attorney Lee Galant with the American Civil Liberties Union. And , Lee , welcome to the program.

S2: Thanks for having me.

S1:

S2: It extends a temporary stay even longer while the Supreme Court considers a technical procedural issue about whether 19 states are allowed to join the case. So the Supreme Court will not be taking up the legality of Title 42. It would affect the merits of the case , but instead only a technical procedural issue about whether the states are allowed to join. In this case , both the ACLU and its partners and the Biden administration believe that it was time for Title 42 to end , and that that made perfect sense , given that it was always supposed to be a temporary measure based on public health. You no longer use assuming you could justify it at the beginning of public health grounds , it's clear you can no longer justify it on public health grounds. And so what we have said is Title 42 needs to end. If we want to talk about revising our asylum system , we can do that. But we can't continue to misuse a public health law. If you believe that at least some people deserve asylum. Some people are in real grave or above persecution in their home countries , then you can't be for Title 42 because it eliminates any hearing whatsoever. So no matter how much danger you present yourself , you cannot get a hearing under Title 42. So for all those reasons , we are deeply disappointed that the court kept it in place. But we're going to continue fighting. Ultimately , this is a temporary measure and we're going to continue our court challenge as we've had for years , and hope that this eventually. Yes.

S1: Practically speaking , though , is the infrastructure in place on the U.S. side to handle such a massive influx of asylum seekers ? When Title 42 was lifted.

S2: I think there's no question that we can do this. I mean , if you look at the Ukrainian situation , we surged resources to the border and we're able to process tens of thousands of Ukrainians. We can do that here. It's just a matter of where there's a will , there's a way. And I think what the administration has previously been counting on is that it would be some crutch like Title 42 to rely on. So they didn't actually have to roll up their sleeves to put the resources in place. But we certainly have the resources and we cannot just throw up our hand states , the United States of America. It's not going to have an asylum system we set after World War Two. We would never again sent people back to danger without at least a hearing. We have the resources. There may be some temporary influxes right now , but ultimately immigration and migration flows are cyclical and we can work.

S1: Well along those lines.

S2: They should begin surging resources to the border , put more people there. We don't need so many people engaging enforcement actions with respect to these families coming. These families are not presenting a danger. We ought to put in place some of the regulations the Biden administration has put out there with certain tweaks to make the system more efficient. We ought to be figuring out the logistics of when people come in , where are they going to be processed , where are they going to be sent to ? I think that the Biden administration has put out a plan. They say they have a plan and we ought to start implementing it. The one thing that we really don't want to see is when Title 42 ultimately ends. And I believe it will have to ultimately it is the Biden administration pick another one of the anti asylum Trump administration policies and just substitute that. When President Biden ran for president , he said , I'm going to have a more humane asylum system. That has really not materialized. And we really this administration to step up and say , the United States , we are not just going to send people back to danger without even a hearing.

S1: I've been speaking with American Civil Liberties Union , attorney , Legal Learned And Lee , thank you.

S2: Thanks for. Much for having me.

S1: As the legal battle over Title 42 continues. Asylum seekers wait in Tijuana and at other border crossings. Advocates say conditions are deteriorating as the numbers of migrants grow and the wait goes on. Joining me is Associated Press reporter Elliot Baggett. And Elliot , welcome.

S2: Hi , Mary.

S1:

S2: One , there's no census. I would say certainly in the tens of thousands that are waiting in in border cities like Tijuana , then more who are waiting , you know , in their hometowns in Mexico and throughout Central America and Venezuela and so forth to come and wait. We are sort of on tenterhooks waiting to see what happens. Not all of them are going to apply for asylum. A lot of them , you know , will get into the United States under exemptions to Title 42. But they'll just be put into the system without even claiming asylum. That happens later on. So it's really hard to say for sure. But a lots of people , you know , as far as the conditions go , not great. I've been to a lot of shelters in Tijuana. Some of them are better than others , obviously. But in general , you know , some of the larger shelters are really packed. You know , a lot of people coughing , a lot of kids. You know , the air quality is not great. A lot of you know , woman was was texting me earlier this week that she she was afraid that there was some kidnapper in the in the shelter. I don't know if that was true , but those are that's the kind of fear that they're living under.

S1:

S2: There are a lot of people , you know , they had good jobs two years ago and then the pandemic hit and they lost them. A lot of people are getting extorted , particularly at Central America. They just can't make a living. They get they get shaken down all the time. You know , a lot of people in Tijuana are from the Mexican states of Guerrero and Michigan. And the stories that you hear out of there are just just stomach churning. I mean , one woman who we talked to last week said her house had been burned down. Her her brother got killed by the by the cartel. Her son ran away with the cartels to save them. Their land got stolen. They were threatened. You know , one thing after another. So they're fleeing violence.

S1:

S2: I mean , it's just really hard to know. There's just there's , you know , two court cases that we know of. And the future is uncertain is as uncertain today as it was yesterday. So I think the attitude in general , it's hard to generalize , but it's sort of like , you know , let's just wait and see what happens. Some people are going to probably give up and have already and gone home. Others will stay in Tijuana and other border cities and just wait it out and others will cross illegally and see if they , you know , try their luck at getting away.

S1: There seem to be a lot of loopholes in the title 42 restrictions , for example , for people who are at highest risk.

S2: I mean , the administration says that , you know , they would object to the term loopholes , but but they would say that this is a you know , exemptions are for people who are highly vulnerable , deemed highly vulnerable , and they don't say what those reasons are. And perhaps they have good reasons not to , because everyone would claim that they're under such conditions. But , you know , it's supposed to be things like , you know , people who are LGBT , people who have been specifically threatened with with violence , people who , you know , are an imminent threat in Mexico. But again , we don't know , you know , how many of these these there are , how many people are allowed in. We know from the Tijuana city officials that 200 people are allowed in daily at San Isidro. And we know that those those slots are distributed among NGOs , different NGOs and shelters in Tijuana. And they pick the ultimate decision rests with CBP , but CBP relies on them to pick , you know , who gets in. So that just sets off a guessing game among migrants about who's got the connections and how they're going to get in. And it's very opaque and bewildering.

S1: I've been speaking with Associated Press reporter Elliot Baggett. Elliot , thank you.

S2: Thank you , Maureen.

S1: This is KPBS midday edition. I'm warring. CAVANAUGH With Jade Heineman , San Diego. Researchers working to stave off the worst impacts of global warming are looking for answers in the region's wetlands. KPBS environment reporter Erik Anderson says cattails could be part of the answer.

S3: San Diego's Bet Iquitos Lagoon sits right beside one of the region's busiest highways , Interstate five. But it's the gently swaying stalks of cattails that have captured the interest of two researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. You can see how hard it is to dig out. That's why.

S2: It really holds the sediment extremely. Well.

S3: Well. Joseph Noel watches his colleague Todd Michael , use a small hand shovel to cut into the dirt around the base of a cattail stem. Michael lifts up a newly liberated plant. This is an example.

S2: Of still alive. So you can see.

S3: A new shoe is forming. The plant's roots are coated in a sticky black mud. The rich wet dirt is created by the constant push and pull of this coastal wetland environment. Michael says saltwater regularly flows into the estuary , pushing back and even killing the freshwater cattails. The ones that replace them grow over the dead and that creates the sediment. This is the rhizome and it's hard to see because it's all muddy. The rhizome is an underground stem. The grow sideways , much like the roots of grass found in Southern California yards. But it's not what Noel is interested in. It turns out that wetland plants are plants that have wet feet either like this or even fully submerged. They make a lot of super in , particularly in their roots. And Zubrin has the Salk team's attention. Zubrin is a waxy layer covering small root structures. It helps cattails regulate water. They can block the saltwater and allow fresh water in. Michael says the submarine covered appendages are full of carbon molecules. Plants are naturally carbon accumulating. Machines , right ? They suck carbon dioxide into the air. All this right here is know all this biomass is basically just carbon and the carbon molecules in super and don't break down when the plant dies. Noel says the carbon lingers in the mucky sediment. You can almost see it. It's all , although it's very dark and black , so it's full of carbon. In fact , I bet if you dug down , you know , up to ten feet below this , depending on how long this existed , it would be a huge amount of carbon that's stored. Noel and Michael have sequenced the cattail genome and they hope to transfer that plant's ability to make super it into crop plants like corn and sorghum. With these new gene editing technologies , we really think we're going to be able to go into these crop plants and tweak them. And so the roots will have more of this substance. The impact could be huge. Crop plants with the modified roots could pull as much as a quarter of the planet's excess carbon out of the air. That's enough to have a real impact on climate change. This is a key part of the Salk Institute's Harnessing Plants initiative , and Michael says cattails are Taifa have other traits that could make plants more resilient. Each cattail makes 300,000 plus seeds. Have you ever seen a cattle release in seeds that looks like snow ? And all of those seeds have the potential to be a new a new stand of typhoon. But the habitat that is so efficient at storing carbon has been under assault for decades. Darren Smith is a senior environmental scientist with the California State Parks. He says urbanization has eliminated 90% of the state's coastal wetlands.

S2: There's there's been a big change with people. You know , I think wetlands were something almost like an oasis early on in California , where you just didn't run into freshwater very often.

S3: And those same wetlands that are giving researchers hope about slowing climate change are under a lot of stress. Smith says people are making it hard for the habitat to adapt.

S2: We've built right up to them. We built the watersheds and we've built right up to the edges of them. And so for them to to do what they do to retreat or for the water to back up and form new vegetated wetlands further upstream , there's just got to be the space to do it.

S3: Researchers say giving the habitat space allows scientists extra time to find other plant traits that could play a role in reducing the speed of climate change. Eric Anderson , KPBS News. You.

S1: Earlier this year , the City of San Diego apologized for supporting the removal and incarceration of Japanese-Americans during World War Two. The city rescinded a 1942 resolution that called for the FBI to remove Japanese-Americans from the city. Council Members said the 80 year old resolution was racist and hateful. MIDDAY Edition's Jade Heineman spoke with KC , president of the Japanese-American Historical Society of San Diego , about what the apology means to the community. Here's their conversation. This resolution came on the heels of President Franklin Roosevelt's executive order , which opened the door.

S2: For this and the forced removal.

S1: And incarceration of people of Japanese descent.

S2: I'm so pleased with the San Diego City Council for unanimously passing this resolution to rescind.

S1: And what initiated the city of San Diego's rescission.

S2: It came through a collaboration between the Central library and the Historical Society. We worked on a really fabulous exhibit that was last fall into this January about Clara Reed , and she was a librarian back before World War Two , during and afterwards , and had befriended her students who came into the library , but not just befriended , but she just helped them when they were forced to leave San Diego with their parents. Upwards of 2000 Japanese-Americans were forced to leave the city. And she was there at the train station to see them off. She gave them small gifts of postcards with postage. She maintained lifelong relationships with these Japanese-Americans. And so this exhibit led to some research that the librarians did. And they uncovered Resolution 76068 , which had all of that hateful language , and they took it upon themselves. I like to think of them as our librarian activists who wrote the resolution to rescind. I worked with local people , meaning the Historical Society and the Japanese-American Citizens League , to get our input and support , of course. And that's where it all started. And I'm so grateful. And if you don't mind , personal privilege. I want to do a shout out to Steve Roman , Sarah Henry Jackson , Mark Cherry , Tony Tong and Jennifer Jenkins. These are the five , the team that really spearheaded this effort. Hmm.

S1: And you've been deeply involved in this moment in history.

S2: 40 years ago. 40 years ago. This sounds like a long time. I joined an organization based primarily in Los Angeles. Sneaky for civil rights and redress. Okay. As the term for people of Japanese ancestry. We were a grassroots organization and I was a teacher for 30 plus years. We had housewives and gardeners and truck drivers and all manner of folks from the Japanese word community who got together to fight to demand that the government apologize and provide redress and reparations. And see r I was one of it. Mainly the grassroots organization that involved the people who went through the camps , the people who really suffered. And as we learned their stories , because as we well know , history really didn't talk about what happened to the Japanese people. They were only that they were removed. The more we learned. It just not only angered us. It fills us with sadness about the stories that we had never learned and heard because our parents didn't speak about it. You know , they were too busy trying to recover. After the three year imprisonment , my mom and dad with the San Diego Japanese were sent to post in Arizona. And , you know , having come to San Diego , this beautiful oasis , a beautiful resort town to go to the horrible desert for three years , not only was it a physical shock , but mostly it was an emotional shock for the losses that they suffered. And I do have to say the main one , besides the obvious property losses , was their dignity and their you know , they had a sense of shame , of being targeted as being the enemy because of the actions of Imperial Japan. And so even 40 years later , when I joined NCR , you know , we learned about all that happened to them , the real story , the real history. And it just fired us up. And I believe that those testimonies which happened through a federal commission and this is important. Jimmy Carter did us a huge favor of passing this federal commission to study what happened to Japanese-Americans. And this happened in 1981. The Federal Commission came to Los Angeles and we heard over 150 testimonies of primarily Japanese-Americans about what really happened to their families. But this occurred. The commission went all over the United States to nine different major cities with Japanese-Americans. They collected over almost 800 testimonies. But the bottom line is the report that they were required to present , they concluded that our incarceration was based on race , prejudice , wartime hysteria , and the failure of leadership. And so. That really propelled us further to fight for redress and reparations. And I just want to say that I feel so lucky. I was born after the war. I didn't have to suffer through it as my parents , my older sister , the community , and upwards of more than 120,000 people.

S1: You know , I mean , you say when people hear about the.

S2: Forced removal.

S1: Of Japanese-Americans. They.

S4: They.

S2: Don't really.

S1: Understand the depth of trauma and pain that was and still is experienced. And , you know , I know that this issue is very personal for you. And you often talk about your parents.

S2: They were 20 and 21 years old when they were forcibly removed and they did not. They were very not wealthy people. They had no property by that time. So they did not have that loss. And because they had been raised in Japan , they were less aware perhaps , of the of the constitutional rights to which they should have been afforded. They made the best of it. And that would be the theme of our community. They were proud Americans , so proud to be Americans , that there was a sector who felt that the best thing to do to show our our pride and our loyalty , this country is not to make a fuss. But after the war , they were able to return to Barrio Logan , Logan Heights. And one particular family , Japanese-American family , had a home and another had a small market right on Logan Heights. And through the kindness of neighbors , the Navajo family , that home and business was protected. So they hiyashi actually were able to return to Barrio Logan , and my mom and dad were able to move in to their home. And that's how Japanese-Americans had no place to go. Everything had been taken from us except for those places that were protected by good people. And so we lived there first Barrio Logan. And as like many Japanese-Americans , as I said , my dad was involved with the fishing industry and my mom worked for the tuna counter canneries. But then with hard work , about ten years later , they were able to cobble together enough money for a down payment , and now they were able to purchase a home in Chula Vista.

S1: And your parents , they they did accept reparations from the U.S. government. Not everyone did.

S2: I think the Civil Liberties Act of 1988 , that was the legislation that we had fought for. And what it did , it was apologize. And that was huge. The apology was even more important to our community for the majority than the token reparations. And my mom and dad , they accepted the reparations gladly. The amount was $20,000. And some people I don't know how you react to that amount , but it was nothing. It was so token. Compared to the three years of lost lives , businesses , opportunities , hopes and dreams , and most importantly , their freedom was taken from them for those years. So $20,000 was really nothing but for them low economic people , they were very grateful. And I don't mind sharing that they were able to put a new roof on their house at that point and do things that people have to do and for which , you know , they were really , really didn't have a lot of extra money. They as a good person , good parents , where they gave their children a small amount of that money.

S1: I want to play a clip from City Council President Monica montgomery Stepp from the meeting on Tuesday. Yes.

S2: Yes.

S5: I do think that is our duty to use our platforms to speak out against hate and any form. And I also just want to briefly shout out my reparations task force , fellow member Donta McKee , who is an attorney in the Bay Area , who's really helping us. Do you know him ? He's helping us to really wade through what reparations looks like based on his experience and being a true ally in that fight.

S1: And you are involved with the State reparations task force , and I wonder if you can talk about why it's important for you to be an ally for black Americans in this effort. Absolutely.

S2: Absolutely. Yes. With an empty are once again we realized early on this is back in the eighties that it was our fight , that we had the privilege of having gone through the civil rights movement and learning the lessons of all those leaders and working with people of color , students when they were starting ethnic studies programs on different college campuses. And those lessons were well learned. And so within our our principles of unity , of organizing were , number one , direct monetary reparations for the Japanese-American people who were who suffered at the hands of the government. That was number one. Two was education. Education. About what happened. And because it was not written about the truth , was not told there. And third , that we would support other communities in their fight for justice when especially targeted by the government. We feel that these are not isolated events. It's the harms are really based on a very , very damaged system in this country of white supremacy. And we really look to the Constitution and their promises of justice for all. And I think that. Is really , really one of our main points and certainly AB 3121. I think the time is right. I think now is a time that we we really work hard for some repair to. That communities.

S1: I've been speaking with Koji of the Japanese American Historical Society of San Diego. Kay thank you so much for joining us and sharing your story.

S2: My pleasure. Thank you very much.

S1: This is KPBS midday edition. I'm Maureen CAVANAUGH with Jade Heineman. 2022 saw theatres fully reopened , but audiences were not quite ready to return in pre-pandemic numbers. But that didn't stop filmmakers from delivering some stunning work that deserved to be seen on the big screen. KPBS film critic Beth ACCOMANDO saw hundreds of films last year and compiled this list of her top ten.

S6: 2022 is ending on a sad note , as I just received word from one of the owners that the Cannes cinema has been sold and is unlikely to remain a theater. It's not a surprise at this point , but it still hurts and is a great loss to the San Diego film community as the year comes to an end. I'm also saddened by the fact that I still haven't caught up with all the 2022 releases that I wanted to watch , but I saw enough worthy films to fill my top ten list on a certain level. I feel a bit curmudgeonly as I grow more and more impatient with bland , formulaic storytelling. Top Gun Maverick may have saved cinemas and set the post-pandemic box office on fire , but it left me cold and bored. I did , however , find solace in foreign and independent films that pushed the envelope in terms of style , content and narrative structure. It's always an agonizing process to rank my favorites because they tend to be diverse. Does fun rank higher than deep introspection ? How can you compare horror , comedy and drama ? It's like trying to pick your favorite child when you love them all , precisely because each is unique. So without further ado , let the countdown begin. Girls at number ten is the year's most Intoxicatingly fun piece of pure cinema. SS Rajamouli's r.r. It features ridiculously gorgeous stars , crazy action set pieces and evil empire. You love to hate , melodrama to swoon over , and of course , musical numbers that are absolutely irresistible. So much so not so much a Not so much for being in stark contrast to the over-the-top flamboyance of RR is the subtle precision of Park Chan Wook s decision to leave. Coming in at number nine. Parks film is a police procedural , a film noir , a romance , and an intricately conceived challenge to conventional narrative structure. This is a film I wish I had seen on the big screen because I feel like I missed details on the small one. And honestly , I haven't even begun to scratch the surface of its meaning until I see it again. Its innovative style held me rapt and its characters were fascinatingly unpredictable. In the number eight slot is Broker , another Korean film. But this one directed by Japan's Hirokazu Kore EDA. A young woman leaves her baby at a church. Adoption only to discover a pair of brokers has stolen the child. She coerces them into letting her come along as they try to sell the child to new parents. Once again , Kurita reveals that families can be formed from the most unlikely components. The film is achingly human , immensely compassionate , and exquisitely told. Equally exquisite at number seven is Lav Diaz's When the Waves Are Gone. At 187 minutes , this meditation on power , corruption and violence is long and slow , but also riveting and brutal. Diaz takes his time and ratchets up tension with sublime patient precision shot in bleak but breathtaking black and white. It offers little hope or relief , yet the filmmaking is so transcendent that you leave exhilarated. Coming in at number six. I have some comic relief with Ruben Aslan's first English language film , Triangle of Sadness. It opens by poking fun at an audition for male models.

S2: So is this runway casting for a.

S3: Grumpy brand or a.

S2: Smiley brand.

S6:

S3:

S2: Owe the $250 million luxury yacht.

S6: But the humor has a savage bite as he skewers the rich and privileged. Privilege and power are on the table in my number five choice tour. Todd Field wrote the title Role of a conductor who orchestrates her own downfall. Specifically for Cate Blanchett. And she devours the role. She dazzles us with an unflinching and perfectly calibrated performance.

S5: Now the illusion is that , like you , I'm responding to the orchestra in real time , making the decision about the right moment to restart the thing or reset it or throw time out the window altogether. The reality is that right from the very beginning , I know precisely what time it is and the exact moment that you and I will arrive at our destination together.

S6: Control is key. And my number four pick Speak no evil Christian Taft drops. Film is intense , anxiety inducing and puts you through the wringer.

S3: No one's forcing you to stay.

S6: And that's the source of tension. No one is forcing a Danish family to stay at the home of a creepy couple , but fear of social awkwardness keeps them from leaving. It's a brutal , slow burn , executed with an elegant , subdued style that captivated me from opening frame to last.

S2: I am paying attention.

S6: You need to pay absolute attention to my number three. Pick everything everywhere all at once. Michelle Yeoh plays Evelyn , a put upon Laundromat owner whose problems take on an existential dimension. As she's told , the future of the multiverse depends on her.

S7: I'm not your husband , and he's not the one , you know. I'm going to set foot in a fulfillment as a life path and as a universe. I'm here because we need your help.

S1: Very busy. Today is whole time to help you.

S7: There's a great evil has taken over. My world has become spreading chaos to the many forces I've spent years searching for. The one who might be able to match this great evil with an even greater good and bring back. All those years of searching have brought me here to this universe , to you. I know it's a lot to take in right now.

S6: Mrs. Wang. Hello. Written and directed by the Daniels , individually known as Dan Kwan and Daniel Schneier. The film comes at you with chaotic energy and sucks you in like a black hole. Yeoh's stellar performance gives the film an anchoring humanity that makes us care. Even though the universe tells us that nothing matters.

S2: It is time to stop seeing. It is time.

UU: To stop speaking.

S2: It is time to listen.

S6: My number two spot goes to David Cronenberg's glorious return to Body Horror in Crimes of the Future.

S7: I removed these tumors as part of our performance. We are performance artists. We perform together.

S6: I love seeing a 79 year old filmmaker who's more radical and transgressive than his younger colleagues. This film offers a stunningly crafted meditation on Cronenberg's own career and on the relationship of artists to their work. An artist's commitment to his work is just one of the reasons I give the number one spot to Phil Tibbetts 30 year passion project Mad God. The film is a wordless descent into hell for the characters , the audience , and Tippett himself.

S2: Not unlike Captain Ahab of Moby Dick. And I went down with the Whale and for a few days in a psych ward and then recovery for about six weeks.

S6: Tippett gives us a film that's a fever dream combining madness , chaos , despair and beauty. Every frame of the stop motion animation is dense with detail. It's bleak and dark , but also gorgeously seductive in its meticulous craftsmanship. It tells us that we are utterly insignificant and that nothing matters. But the film itself is absolute proof that art matters. So there you have it. My very personal and eclectic top ten films of 2022. I hope you'll check some of them out.

S1: That was KPBS film critic and cinema junkie Beth ACCOMANDO. Check out her complete roundup of the best and worst of 2022 at KPBS dot org. Amy Wallen is a writing instructor and the author of three books. Her latest is a hybrid memoir , craft book and cookbook called How to Write a Novel in 20 Pies. It's about her effort to cook up a novel as well as a how to guide to write when Yourself and yes , There's Pie. She spoke with KPBS arts producer and editor Julia Dixon Evans.

S4: So is this something that you always wanted to write a book about how to write a book ? And at what point did you.

S6: Know that it would.

S4: Also be a.

S2: Pie cookbook ? Yeah.

S4: No , I never thought I would write a book about how to write a book. I also never thought I would write a memoir , and I also never thought I would write a novel. So maybe the book's decide for me , which I'm going to write. But now this book came to me when I was teaching actually at UCSD , and I just saw all of these students that I had been teaching for years and years and knew that they were so anxious to get a book written and wanted to know how to write it and want to know all the secrets. And I had been telling so many of my own stories over the years repeatedly , and it just occurred to me when I was standing up there that I could share those stories in a book. And the cookbook part came because a friend of mine asked me to do a cookbook with her. But I didn't consider myself a professional cook. And but I just had the idea of combining the two. When I started thinking about , you know , what if I did write a cookbook ? And one of my great loves is is pie. And I did also feel like it's how I survived getting through it , because the book isn't so much a how to as it is a more of an encouragement to persevere , to get all the way to the end , to get to through publishing , because it's such a long , hard road to write any book. It doesn't have to be a novel. It can be a memoir or any kind of book or anything , any big project that you're trying to get through. So it's more about the survival part , I guess. I think one of my favorite three lines in the book is your early relationship with making pie crust or sometimes even faking a pie crust. And to me , making progress is probably as intimidating as writing a book. Can you walk us through what happened in that moment ? I believe there was a trashcan involved. Yeah , sure. My in-laws were visiting and they were very , very Americana family kind of people. And so I thought I would make chicken pot pie. And I had been trying to make pie crust. I could never get it. It always just ended up being a gloppy mess. So I gave up and I used to always tell people , Oh , you know , you know , easy as pie. That's a lie. So I always told people that my pie crust robot , I bought Pillsbury to the point that even when I shared recipes with people , Google would send me Pillsbury recipes because I would put Pillsbury as the recommended pie crust to use. But then when these particular in-laws were visiting my ex-husband's family , I actually my sister in law asked me , Oh , did you make your pie crust from scratch ? And I just automatically , for whatever reason , out of my mouth came. I sure did. And right as I said , that she was helping me clean the dishes from the dinner. And I heard the lid of the trash can go up. And I know she saw that red Pillsbury box sitting on the top of the trashcan. But she didn't say anything because she's politer than I am. And and I didn't say anything , but I went right out after that and bought a pleasing aunt. So that I could start doing pie crust from scratch. I don't believe I have ever bought another Pillsbury pie crust since that incident. So I can always now say all my pie crusts are from scratch. So there's a vulnerability in writing a book like this and laying out your mistakes and U-turns for everybody to see.

S2: And I'm wondering if this is all.

S4: A part of teaching also. Oh , definitely. Like I said , that very first question you asked about about , you know , coming up with this idea was looking out at my students and realizing they want me. You know , every teacher knows that feeling of seeing this classroom of everybody just thinks you're going to give them the answers to everything. And and we're really we're just sharing what what we do know , the corner of whatever knowledge we have and mine , I really believe in , you know , learning from mistakes. And I made so many mistakes along the way and in publishing my first book and also my memoir. And I just wanted to share those. And I think some of those stories and realizing that , you know , getting up and scraping off or wiping off our , you know , scraped knees , all of that is part of the process. And so the book is really more about perseverance. You know , this you know , I always kind of impact , even with this book that's out now , that's not out yet , but almost we've had some little snafu like the shipping with COVID shipping and things like that. And I keep thinking this is the glamorous life of publishing because it's you know , there's always something that you have to just keep believing and keep moving forward and not give up along the way. You know , it even took me two agents to get this book published. And people are always like , Oh , it takes so long to get an agent , why bother ? And , you know , it's about finding the right one and believing and continuing to believe , but it's hard. So I wanted the book to be something that made people have a good time. And that's my , you know , the biggest lesson of all I think I would like to teach is try to have fun along the way. This book is illustrated. Amma Wilson's art is endearing. It's funny , and it does so much more than enhance the text.

S2: There are entire pages.

S4: Of comic strips. What was that process like for you both ? Working with Amal was was fabulous. We had been friends originally. We were both in the same writing group together with Janet Fitch , and he was also an art director in advertising , and he's also a pie baker. So after a writing group , we often had pie together. He's also I just , you know , when I had the idea for this book and I'd written about five chapters , I had a proposal ready , but I didn't have the illustrations. I sent it to him. Our senses of humor are both very sardonic. He got it. He sent me illustrations that to go with it. Said , What do you think ? Do you think this is work ? I was like , Yes , I think I totally hit what I wanted in the idea , and it just kind of flowed from there. He just it was really great working with him. I learned later that actually when you have a book , usually the publisher picks the illustrator for you. So it's kind of rare that two people come together like this. But I think we just had we clicked already as friends and knew each other and came into this with the same feelings about this work. And that , I think , is what really makes a big difference. He did over 200 illustrations , which is huge. So I think perseverance , which is the whole goal of this book , is to promote perseverance. I think he definitely had to apply that as well. So yeah , it was great. It's a great relationship and a lot of work and I was just so elated to see what he came up with. It's it's , you know , I always wondered what it's like to see your words as like a movie or coming to life. And I feel like that's kind of what he did with his illustrations. I can't let you go without giving us a pay recommendation.

S2:

S4: Gosh , I love all of em. Do you guys want sweet or savory ? Let's go , Sweet , sweet pie. You know , I'm going to say the coconut cream pie. And maybe just because I'm so old fashioned that I still think when you say the word journalist , I think black and white newspaper. So I think of my coconut cream pie with the Oreo crust. And so there you get a black and white pie. And it is really , really good. And I use whipped cream for the topping and lots of coconut milk and coconut cream. And so it's actually might even be dairy free. I think it might be. I have to look at the recipe again. But I created this recipe for this book. So , yeah , it's very it's kind of like a almond joy. Amy , thank you so much. Oh , thank you , Julia. This was fun.

S1: That was Amy Wallin speaking with KPBS , arts producer and editor Julia Dixon Evans. Walden is the author of the book How to Write a Novel in 20 Pies.

Pandemic-era border restrictions remain in place after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled to keep Title 42 active in a ruling announced Tuesday. Then, we replay a piece about San Diego researchers looking to the region’s wetlands to stave off the worst impacts of global warming. Next, earlier this year the city of San Diego apologized for supporting the removal and incarceration of Japanese-Americans during World War II. And, KPBS film critic Beth Accomando saw hundreds of films this year and compiled a list of her top ten for 2022. Finally, we revisit a segment with author Amy Wallen about her latest book "How to Write a Novel in 20 Pies." It's about her effort to cook up a novel, as well as a how-to guide to write one yourself.