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California at increased risk of megaflood, new research says

 August 15, 2022 at 5:28 PM PDT

S1: The latest research predicts a California mega flood.

S2: The chance of bigger floods is very real. They're rare , but not as rare as they were before.

S1: I'm Maureen CAVANAUGH with Jade Heineman. This is KPBS Midday Edition. Weekend violence shuts down several cities in Baja.

S3: This appears to be retaliation for the arrest of high level cartel members in other parts of Mexico.

S1: After contentious parent teacher confrontations. A new state program is aimed at helping troubled school boards and the cherished ingredients and recipes of an Indian homeland in the new book cover. That's ahead on Midday Edition. Hot weather in August is not often news , but weeks of hot , humid weather , which feels more like Florida than San Diego is something people have been talking about. On top of that , headlines across the nation are highlighting the coming California mega flood. While much of the state is worried about drought , climate researchers say warmer temperatures make it more likely that California will be hit by huge winter downpours. Coming in , waves maybe lasting a month. So we thought this would be a good time to get some solid information about San Diego's current weather and potential climate changes. Joining me is Marty Ralph , director of the Center for Western Weather and Water Extremes at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. And Marty , welcome to the program.

S2: Good morning.

S1: Now , we've known about atmospheric rivers for a while and their ability to bring huge downpours to California.

S2: And then a major point that this study makes , which I agree with completely , is that the storms will be warmer and larger areas of the mountains will receive rain instead of snow in these storms. And what that means is since the rain turns into runoff , that happens immediately. The runoff in the rivers , the floods are going to have that much more water in them because more of the watershed experienced rain than snow. Historically.


S2: And I believe that's essentially the scenario that this mega flood study took , but they extended it to consider a month long , wet period with one or two big storms and embedded in it that compound each other.


S2: They're rare , but not as rare as they were before. The climate has been warming. You know , they're looking at now 200 year storms being something more plausible every 50 years on order , which is a big shift towards higher risk.


S2: On average , it forms up and lasts for a few days and then dies away. And where they are depends on the storm track and they move around and all that. So if you take one of the an average one that's active and you slice across it hypothetically , you could calculate how much water vapor is flowing along it. Sort of like you calculate the flow in a terrestrial river and an average atmospheric river transports about 25 times what the Mississippi River discharges into the Gulf of Mexico. So 25 Mississippi's or to Amazon's Amazon's the biggest river on earth. So air as an average air is essentially is bigger as a as a river of fresh water than any other river on Earth. It's just it's in the air.


S2: And particular I want to highlight that in 1861 , 62 , which is really the storm that we use to recognize the risk of something like a mega flood. Since that time , there has been developed a major array of large flood control and water supply dams in the Sierra Nevada that have the capacity to hold back a lot of water. And they're designed partly to help offset flooding. So first and foremost , the state is much better prepared than back in 1861 , 62 because of the existing dams and levees and the like. However , in addition , because the amount of water is likely to be greater than than today's expectations , to some degree , it's important that we consider forecast information more readily in operating the dams so that ahead of a storm , maybe some portion of water that would normally be saved for summer might be released ahead of time , knowing that at least that much water will come from the storm to replace that. But in the meantime , creating more flood control space in the existing reservoirs , this is a very complicated that needs to be a rigorous and carefully done process. And there's something called the Forecast Informed Reservoir Operations Program that is sponsored primarily by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers , but also the California State Department of Water Resources and local water agencies , including the Yuba Feather System and Yuba Water Agency. This forecast informed reservoir operations program on the on the Yuba Feather River system in the Northern Sierra is a really good example of what can be done potentially. That study , which isn't yet complete but preliminary results are very promising. Is asking the question could these two big dams , Oroville and New Bullard's Bar , be used a little bit more flexibly based on accurate forecasts of atmospheric rivers so that they could have enough extra flood control space to offset the fact that a third dam that had been planned 50 plus years ago that never got built , that that flood space , that unbuilt dam could have contained , is now possible through Fierro on the existing reservoirs. So this is a Pathfinder study and I'm hopeful and the team is optimistic that it will prove quantitatively feasible. And we're working very hard to ensure that that is that is done carefully and the results are robust. So I'm encouraged by the prospects of that.

S1: Now here in San Diego , we've been experiencing an unusually long stretch of very hot , humid weather , and the monsoonal flow from the tropics is lasting longer than usual.

S2: I happen to have just taken a trip to Arizona and Utah and seeing some of it firsthand and have been watching the weather daily since then. Yesterday , even there was a big thunderstorm over the mountains just east of San Diego , and it looked very much like a monsoon storm you'd see in Arizona. The amount of water vapor the air is holding right now is above normal. The high pressure center that is helping bring easterly flow and southerly flow from Mexico bringing the moisture in has been more steady than typically the case. Often we get a break in the monsoon that lasts a week or two , a couple of times during the summer. And this year the breaks have been very limited and it's basically been continuing. In terms of the role of climate change , I am not familiar enough with the projections to offer any insight on that. But to say that a warmer atmosphere can hold more water vapor. And as we have a warmer summers , the chance for more water vapor in the air will mean we'll potentially get some heavy rains.

S1: And of course , that thousand year flood in Death Valley just happened about a week or so ago.

S2: Yes. And , you know , watching these storms over the last over this summer , it's been remarkable how how it has been wet pretty much every day for almost two months now. And that's pretty rare.

S1: Well , all this extra moisture and rain at least mitigate our drought.

S2: A moist monsoon has a couple of really positive impacts. One is it offsets wildfire risk in regions like in Arizona , New Mexico , Colorado , Utah , Nevada and even the Sierras have faced pretty bad summers of fire. And this year , the monsoon started early enough that it sort of suppressed that even in the eastern Sierra. So I think the monsoons benefit is largely one of , you know , reducing the fire risk , wildfire risk. However , interestingly , there are several smallish rivers that normally don't flow very much in the summer , but flow into the Grand Canyon area. And feed into Lake Mead below Lake Powell. And those rivers are flowing more than normal , and they will therefore contribute , you know , maybe a percent or two to improving the water outlook for Lake Mead. I doubt it would be enough to change any , you know , serious problems that are occurring there. But , you know , every drop counts.

S1: Indeed have been speaking with Marty Ralph. He's director of the Center for Western Weather and Water Extremes at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. And thank you so much.

S2: You're welcome. Thank you for having me.

S4: Over the weekend , drug cartels brought many cities in Baja , California to a standstill after violence broke out across the region on Friday as threats were made from drug gangs. Tijuana and other nearby cities were shut for much of the weekend with multiple vehicle fires and roadblocks. Joining me to talk about the situation in and around Tijuana is KPBS investigative reporter reporter Gustavo Solis. Gustavo , welcome.

S3: Thank you , Jade.

S4: Now you are headed to Baja , California today.

S3: Right now , businesses are back open , people are out on the streets and they're trying to kind of return to normal. But there is a sense of insecurity or concern or just a cloud hanging over the city , because what happened on Friday was rare for for a city that's actually known for violence. Hmm.

S4: Hmm.

S3: It was meant to be kind of like a show of force. Right. So we know that there were several vehicles , 28 all over the state of Baja , California , 17 in Tijuana that were burned. This included public transportation , buses and just personal vehicles. There were also a couple of roadblocks set up throughout the city , throughout the state , rather , keeping people from going , let's say , from Tijuana towards another on Friday night.


S3: On Friday , they actually sent out they wrote a formal curfew from 10 p.m. Friday to 3 a.m. Sunday saying people should not leave. And the stated reason , the words they used was we're going to create mayhem so the government frees our people. This appears to be retaliation for the arrest of high level cartel members in other parts of Mexico.

S1: Mm hmm.

S4: And by Sunday , the security situation had improved.

S3: Right ? I mean , medical appointments were canceled , the cruise lines canceled , talking in and Sanada public transportation was shut off and hundreds of people were left stranded. By Saturday and Sunday , the city had kind of shown their own force. Right. There were , I believe , 3000 military personnel out in the streets. There were 2000 state police officers just kind of patrolling the area. And since Friday , there's been like one or two isolated incidents of vehicles on fire , but nothing to match what happened Friday night.

S4: And on Friday , the U.S. consulate in Tijuana issued a shelter in place order for its employees. Has that been lifted ? Yes.

S3: That stay in place order was lifted around noon on Sunday.


S3: The mayor has been out kind of saying , you know , we can't live in fear. We can't let the cartel tell us when we cannot and when we can leave. We have liberties. And she did like trying to put the context of the situation in context. I think she made the point that the majority of the violence was property damage. The quote she gave over the weekend was the problem is serious but not grave. We don't have any murders , which in the context of Tijuana City known for murders , it actually is kind of a good thing. In this case , it could have been worse. And relative to previous crime waves , it was , like I said , mostly dedicated property damage and a show of force which nonetheless did have an impact. I mean , there are people all over the state that are that are terrified right now that are on edge right now. You can kind of feel it.


S3: Right. There were already like before this happened for months in Tijuana , there had been thousands of military police in the city patrolling some of the most dangerous neighborhoods in response to increase in homicide rates. So while some more police came as a direct result of this , some more federal soldiers came. There was already a high police and military presence in the city. So in terms of long term , I don't know how much more it can get. There were reports of them not being not having enough room for all the soldiers that are here right now. So I don't know. I think we'll have to wait and see how the security situation changes. We have to kind of wait and find out if this is a one off show of force by the cartels or this is part of a more prolonged strategy to try to get the people that are arrested out of out of jail.

S4: All right. And let's talk about that a bit more. So this was one cartel who did this because some of their high level officials were arrested , correct ? Right.

S3: Yeah. This is one cartel run out of police go. But they've been more and more. In Tijuana the last couple of years. And it's happened. I mean , the cartels have a history like this. It's kind of a strategy for them. You might remember a couple of years ago when police in the state of Hailey School arrested the son of El Chapo. That cartel responded by basically just showing up outside of the jail and shooting it up with machine guns. I think some of them even had rocket launchers and they showed up there to pressure the authorities to release El Chapo son , which they did. So so it has it's a strategy that's worked for them in the past. And fortunately , one note that I think is worth mentioning about the city's response , Tijuana's response. The mayor of Tijuana , Monserrat Caballero , has been getting a lot of heat for something she said on Friday , which was essentially telling the cartel to only. She used the term bills , only collect bills from the people who owed them bills , and she told businesses who owe the cartel bills to pay up. Essentially telling businesses that old extortion money to pay that extortion money and telling the cartels to take that out with the businesses but not the people of Tijuana , which is pretty wild for for her mayor to kind of say that. Right. She's gotten a lot of heat for essentially normalizing cartels grip on her own city.

S4: Very interesting. All right. And I know you are headed down there today to cover this and we'll be following up with you on the latest. I've been speaking with KPBS investigative border reporter Gustavo Solis. Gustavo , thank you so much for joining us.

S3: Thank you , David. Thank you for having me.

S1: This is KPBS Midday Edition. I'm Maureen CAVANAUGH with Jade Heineman. The troubled San Diego school board has yet to determine if a settlement will be made in the contentious firing of Superintendent Cheryl James Ward. The dysfunction plaguing that district is symptomatic of the disruptive atmosphere school boards and school board meetings have recently taken on a new California initiative is hoping to counteract that trend. KPBS education reporter MJ Perez spoke with Troy Flint with the California School Board Association about the new School Boards in Action program. He began by asking why the program was needed.

S2: So much of the discussion around schools and school boards has been focused on adult matters. On the hostility sometimes at school board meetings or the increasingly political nature of the way that schools are being administered. But really , what we want to focus on is the steps that school boards are taking to not only address all the challenges that have been presented by the pandemic , but to use the disruption that we've experienced over the past two years to reexamine and to transform schools into systems that serve students better , produce better academic and social outcomes for our kids.

S4: Let's go back.

S2: And the second goal is to make sure you have effective and ethical governance that's not only in compliance with the laws , but is elevating and pursuing your mission and goals as an organization. And thirdly , financial stewardship , making sure that the district is sustainable. And you're making actions not just with an eye toward the present , but also with a glance at the future to make sure that this important institution can continue.

S4: Let's go back to school boards in general. In the climate and the day that we are living , they've turned into shouting matches in many cases. How did we get here ? Troy.

S2: I think what you see is just really a function of what's happening in society at large. There is increasing hostility , increasing partitions , partisanship , and most importantly , a failure to agree on the facts. If people are operating with different sets of facts , it's going to be very difficult to come to any sort of compromise or amicable conclusion. When you have somebody with an opposing viewpoint and we're seeing that play out at school board meetings and school board meetings have become the latest front in this never ending partisan war between left and right. I think people see the school boards as sort of a ripe opportunity because outside of the major cities and maybe some of the larger suburbs , school board races have not been as intense as they've become recently. We haven't seen the amount of money , we haven't seen the level of organization. And what we're seeing now is funding and organization and coaching at a national level , being invested in local communities to really shape these races along partisan lines. And I think that is a very concerning development and it's something we're keeping an eye on. Obviously , people make their own decisions about who they want to vote for and why. But fundamentally , school boards have traditionally been nonpartisan races. Now , that's not to be naive and say people don't have their own political preconceptions or tendencies , and that doesn't play out in their votes. But now it's being explicitly political in a way you would see of a congressional race. And the danger of that is that the focus on students , first and foremost , is being lost.


S2: Those people who are elevating students first and putting their welfare before the partisan divide , I need to tell their school board members that the outcomes for students , academic and social are number one concern. You're going to have your political viewpoint. You're going to bring that to the boardroom. But when it's time to make votes , when it's time to pass policy , you have to be looking at it through the lens of is this going to benefit students ? And everything else should flow from that , not putting the ideology ahead and trying to cram policy into your partisan box.

S4: One of the most recent and painful situations involves the San Diego Union High School District and the termination of their superintendent , who was only there for a few months.

S2: I don't want to speak on one side or the other about who's right or wrong. I'll just speak sort of globally about this type of dysfunction is exactly what we can't have right now because of the pandemic , because of the school closures , where there was distance learning instead of in-person instruction in most districts. And there's a higher level of scrutiny now. People were frustrated to a large degree by what happened during the pandemic and also when their kids were at home during remote learning. That gave them a lens into what's happening in the classroom , what's happening at the school board meetings when many school board meetings went online for the first time. So you have a lot more interest , a lot more engagement , and people are looking with a critical eye at schools. And so it's really time for school board members , even more so than in the past , to exhibit that laser focus on students. And when you have adult bickering , adult fighting , when all the focus in the community , at least in terms of what you're seeing in the media , what people are gossiping about is the fight between two adults or two groups of adults. And the conversation is not centered on student learning , and that's a detriment to the students in that district. And it undermines the good work that many school board members are doing statewide , which is what we're trying to highlight through the school board's inaction campaign to get people to rally and rally behind that work and to support it for the benefit of our students.

S4: Troy We have survived quite a bit in the last two and a half , three years with COVID and so forth. So many people have said , I just want to get back to normal.

S2: The normal wasn't that great. We had situations where overall achievement is below par , below the standards that we should expect as a society. So normal is not good enough. We have to go way beyond that.

S4: We've been speaking with Troy Flint with the California School Board Association. Troy , thank you.

S2: Thank you.

S1: Adding rooftop solar panels to a home can help reduce greenhouse gases and potentially save a homeowner money on utility bills. But the cost of installing solar has been out of reach for many middle and low income San Diegans. Now , a new city program gives qualifying homeowners the chance to add solar to their homes at little to no cost. The San Diego Solar Equity Program arises from an agreement between the city and San Diego Gas and Electric to dedicate $10 million of SDG and shareholder profits over ten years to go toward rooftop solar. But there are requirements that applicants must meet. Joining me is Alexander Quinn , KPBS North County multimedia producer. And Alex , welcome to the program.

S2: Well , thank you , Maureen , for having me.

S1: Well , some families really be able to get the full cost of rooftop solar covered by this program.

S2: Yes , more or less. The program aims to have 100% of the cost of solar installation paid for. Now , there may be some ancillary costs that homeowners may be responsible for , but the goal is to have the entire thing paid for. Now , some homes will need to have their electrical grid upgraded for solar , and the program has up to 30 $500 to pay for the upgrade. And that's the ancillary costs that I was talking about. So if the upgrade costs more than 30 $500 , they may have to put out a little bit money for that.


S2: And this is one of the way the city will get there. The program is specifically targeting underserved areas of the city most affected by climate change. And these are also people who have historically not been able to access solar energy.



S1: So where are the communities ? I think they're called communities of concern , according to the Climate Equity Index.

S2: Well , some of the communities are located in the city districts four , seven , eight and nine. And that's your North Park. Oak Park , Rolando Valencia Heights and Skyline Area areas , just to name a few.

S1: And is there an income requirement as well ? Yes.

S2: This is for moderate and to low income families. So , you know , they have to make about 120% or less of the San Diego median income for the application years. So whichever year they apply for and this is a ten year program. And just to throw out a numbers for a family of four in the city of San Diego , that's about $128,000 annually. If they're making about $128,000 annually or less.

S1: And just to be clear , the applicants must be homeowners , not renters , right ? Yes.

S2: These are for homeowners. And it has to be home owner occupied houses. And , you know , these are for single family homes and they're not exactly specifically just detached homes. That could be your townhomes , your duplexes in the lakes.


S2: So if it expands to other areas that , yes , those areas will be able to qualify.

S1: Now , there are a lot of people who are in neighborhoods that are going to be impacted by climate change and would meet the income requirements. But they are not in these particular city council districts. And you spoke with a woman who was in that situation.

S2: You know , anything to help the planet. She's alive. She's a library assistant. So she really is caring about the plant. And she says , you know , it's a great idea. And especially for her , she looked at the program and she says , you know , it's too bad I don't qualify because I have been looking at solar and just the upfront cost alone is out , out of my range. She does live in an older home in Golden Hills. So she says she wishes she could apply for this thing because her home is an older home. It needs a lot of , you know , maintenance. So just to pay for the maintenance and the solar costs , upfront costs of like 25 to $35000 , that just out of her affordability range.




S2: You can actually go to SD equity dot org. Again , that's solar equity dot org to sign up and they can actually read more about the qualification process.

S1: I've been speaking with Alexander Winn , KPBS North County multimedia producer. And Alex , thank you.

S2: Well , thank you for having me.

S4: If your life span is the number of years you live on Earth , what's your health span ? A study of accelerated aging shows that a person's biological age may be different from what their birth certificate says. KPBS science and technology reporter Thomas Fudge has the story.

S3: Well , you've been quite an exercise. Studio with a hardwood floor is filled with senior citizens moving to R&B music. This is a soul dancing class taking place in La mesa. It's one thing people do to remain fit and stay young. And while staying young may not be literally possible based on the time you've been on this earth. The idea is not so far fetched when you consider a person's biological age , which is the state of your health. Or , as it said in a UC San Diego health study , a person's epigenetic age.

S1: And then epigenetic age refers to someone's biological age. It's one way to measure biological age , but it captures the health of your tissues and cells and organ systems using the methylation marks across the genome.

S3: Purva Jain is an epidemiologist and former Ph.D. student at UC San Diego. Her article on epigenetic age acceleration among women appeared in the journal JAMA Network Open. The methylation marks she mentions are molecules that attach to your DNA , causing some genes to be expressed and some to not be in provision's research. Those methylation markers were revealed through blood tests of about 1800 women. UCSD Professor and Chief of Epidemiology Andrea Lacroix was Gene's dissertation advisor.

S1: If a biomarker only matches with our chronological age , we could know that from our birth certificate. But what we're trying to find is a marker that we can easily measure in the blood that tells us whether we're aging faster or slower than our chronological age.

S3: The research found that when markers act on your DNA , they can increase the risk of disease and accelerate your biological age. Jane says that has a profound effect on how long we live and how well we live.

S1: So what we found is that for every 5 to 8 years of epigenetic age acceleration , you had a 20 to 32% lower cost of living to age 90 with intact ability and cognitive function.

S3: Jane says those methylation markers are kind of like traffic signals for your genes , but how did they get there ? In the case of accelerated aging , it could just be bad luck. But scientists say that well known factors like lack of exercise and poor diet do influence your health. Put another way , they can determine your health span. Again , Andrea Lacroix.

S1: Many of us think about growing older , and the thing we fear most isn't dying , but losing the ability to live the lives we want to live. At least in surveys in the past , that's what older adults have told us that they don't care as much about living to be the oldest age they can be , but they care a lot about being able to do the things that they love doing for the longest period of time. And that's really what Healthspan is.

S3: If accelerated , aging can be reversed or stopped altogether. That's what some of these people are trying to do in that La mesa exercise studio. The studio part of Oasis , San Diego , has many fitness classes for old folks. 62 year old Pat Foreman , a retired nurse , clearly exercises here to keep her biological age as low as possible.

S4: Oh , my gosh. It keeps your mind young.

S1: It keeps your heart young. Just your whole body keeps moving. Keeps you moving.

S4: And it's so important for the whole the whole picture of health.

S3: Eleanor Smith , who's 88 years old , is one of the fitness instructors at San Diego Oasis.

S1: It's not just to stay young , it's to feel good and to be able to do the things you want to do.

S3: Of course , some people have seen their health spans run out. Like Andrea Lacroix , whose mother who has advanced Alzheimer's disease.

S1: She can no longer get out of her chair. She can no longer speak. She can't say our names , and we can't tell if she knows us , if she knows that we're her daughters.

S3: Lacroix says every person needs to decide what their health span means to them. And that question is crucial when it comes to planning the final years of our lives. Thomas Fudge , KPBS News.

S1: This is KPBS Midday Edition. I'm Maureen CAVANAUGH with Jade Hyneman. How do you remember the events of your life's journey ? For some people , it's photos and videos of the places and the people they've known. For some , it's the sounds of the music playing at the most precious moments of their lives. For author Madu Sherie , gosh , it's the food , the tastes , the smells , the preparation and the meals created that marked the many facets of her life as a refugee , immigrant , traveler and scientist. Ghosh writes about the good and bad aspects of her journey from India to San Diego , of the legacy of colonization and the racism she's encountered all through a connection with the food that has sustained her. Madu Sri Ghosh is one of the local authors , celebrated this weekend at the Union-Tribune Festival of Books. She is the author of Kobar , An Immigrant Journey of Food , Memory and Family. And welcome to mid-day. Thank you so much. Now , as it happens , today is Independence Day in India , commemorating 75 years of independence from British colonial rule. Your parents were forced to leave their homeland when India was partitioned in 1947. And you. You've left India to live in the U.S.. What toll do you think the refugee and immigrant experience has taken on you and your family ? Thank you so much for asking that and happy Independence Day to India. I think it's amazing to celebrate this from afar. And there the whole concept of partition , the whole concept of how India was divided into what's now three countries has been part of our world , our family history. Even though we don't talk about it or record it the way other displaced folks have been doing. It's only very recent that we've started talking more about it because there was a shame associated with it. There was a. Let's move on with our lives associated with it. But my childhood stories were my father telling me how big the cauliflower was in what's now Bangladesh , how fragrant the turmeric was or the fish was. And so. I don't know if you would call it a cold , but it was a yearning for a country that I have never been to. It was a yearning for a life that my father kept referring to , even when he was living his life in India as an immigrant coming to America in 93. I think I carried those stories , that trauma that my parents experienced over to America. So the only way to respond to that would be through food. Food is a connection that you can have a conversation with. The lack of food or the removal of food from your world is also a conversation starter and a memory trigger. And so it's always a part of my life. What do you think food really means to our sense of place and identity ? I think in our brains we have triggers. Those triggers come from , like you mentioned earlier , music , smells , tastes , events , you know , many different ways you can trigger these thoughts. Food triggers , not only the scent , those sense of smell and taste , but it also leads to a trigger of memory , even a memory that your parents may have had. But it's a memory that has been told to you through cocktail or storytelling that we are so used to , at least from the South Asian perspective. So telling a story through food is a question of negotiation. It's a question of memory. It's a question of how do I navigate this world now that the world that I knew and I was familiar with is gone ? You write about how colonialism has affected India and , of course , your own family's history. How has it affected the food traditions of the nation ? How much time do you have ? Well , we've got colonized by so many , so many. So when you're looking at food in West Bengal , which is the state my parents came from a state right next to Bangladesh. That state was colonized by , of course , the British. But we had Portuguese influence. We had immigrants who moved in from China , not colonization , but more coming in there as business folks , as well as indentured Chinese folks who then created what we call kangra Chinese food , which is very different from the Chinese food you eat in Sichuan province or the Chinese food you eat in America. So you've had people who've been journey through what I call the spice route. And and so with that comes a change in place. You've had the French colonizers in Pondicherry , and therefore the food there has a French tinge. You have Portuguese influence saying go and cuisine. So the food will have dishes like Pao are bred in Portuguese that that go and people in India will obviously be eating. And then just in Bengal , we've had the Portuguese cheese. We also have what's called different forms of pastries , which have an Indian things to it. You have Chinese food that is slightly different , more spicy , more salty , rather than the the standard Sichuan fare that you have the food in itself when it travels through the country. The influence of the colonizer or the colonizing group is pretty significant , but we also would call that Indian ized. There are very serious essays in Koba and some lighthearted ones. Do you have favorites ? I don't know if it would be favorites , but it would be more about what I think about quite a bit as an immigrant who's left this , left India and lived outside of India longer than what I call home. I'm always conflicted about what is home because San Diego to me is is home , but so is New Delhi. One of the essays that I wrote and I was doing , The Pandemic , was talking about activism and protests and what is happening in in India right now , where where non Hindus are asked to provide proof of their citizenship. Of how patriotic people and nationalist people seem to have blended in. I wanted to talk about that in the sense of what's happening in America , what's happening in rest of the world , and what's happening in India. Given this is the 75th anniversary of our independence , but have we really become independent in terms of freedom for all , secularism for all ? Treating women with the respect that we say we do. And it's is this chapter about peaceful protests and. Poetry. I have related that to the concept of tea. Masala Chai is known as an Indian concept. However , Tea was not a native to India. It came from China , brought in by the British Colonial Colonial Group. How we made it our own and then in contemporary India used it as part of our our struggle , our protests , our demonstrations against injustice to me is what needs to be highlighted as contemporary India and the grave danger to democracy that we face. I know that there are many serious and heartfelt issues in Kabir , but do you also want to make your readers hungry to try some of the food that you're talking about ? Absolutely. I mean , it's I'll tell you a thing about us , Bengalis. We start the day drinking our tea and talking about lunch and dinner. At lunch , we talk about dinner. At dinner , we talk about what we eat for breakfast. Food is how I think food as my my language. So , yeah. Do I want to make people hungry ? Absolutely. Why should we not ? It's a joy to see the kind of things you can create with greens and meats and fish that's available in San Diego. The farmers in San Diego are amazing people who give you this food. Even during the pandemic , they've been growing amazing greens that you could actually convert into to Indian food standard all Indian food that my mother used to make. So yeah , that's the plan. Okay. I've been speaking with Madhu Sri Ghosh , author of Koba An Immigrant Journey of Food , Memory and Family. She'll be speaking on a panel called Food is Life at 130 this Saturday , August 20th , at the Union-Tribune Festival of Books. Amadou Cheree , thank you so much for speaking with us. Thank you so much. It's been an honor and a pleasure.

While San Diego continues to experience hot and humid weather, climate researchers say warmer temperatures make it more likely that California will be hit by megafloods. Then, over the weekend, violent drug cartels brought cities in Baja California to a standstill. Next, a new California initiative aims to improve the disfunction plaguing some school boards. Next, a new city program gives qualifying homeowners the chance to add solar to their homes at little-to-no cost. Then, a study of accelerated aging shows that a person’s biological age may be very different from what their birth certificate says. Finally, local author Madhushree Ghosh writes about the good and bad aspects of her journey from India to San Diego– the legacy of colonization and the racism she’s encountered – all through a connection with the food that has sustained her.