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California grid can handle electric vehicle load with updated infrastructure and customer discipline

 September 20, 2022 at 1:25 PM PDT



S1: I'm Maureen CAVANAUGH with Trade Heinemann. This is KPBS Midday Edition. The DA's office will not file charges against San Diego Democratic Chair Will Rodriguez Kennedy.

S3: Prosecutions are easiest when there is very clear black and white. And in this particular case , I don't think that black and white exists.

S1: A San Diego evangelical church aims to take back San Diego politics , and a major San Diego State campus is coming to Chula Vista. That's ahead on Midday Edition. California is poised to add millions of electric cars to local roads in the next decade. But is there enough electricity to fuel them ? KPBS environment reporter Eric Anderson looks at whether the grid can handle the load.

S2: The gentle hum of electric vehicles could soon overtake the rumble of internal combustion engines in California. Cleaner regulators say all new cars sold in the state will be electric or zero emissions by 2035. But California's relationship with the power grid is fraught with uncertainty. The fact highlighted by a late summer heat wave between now and next Wednesday , we're going to be experiencing a prolonged heat moment. We're going to have Governor Gavin Newsom's calls for conservation were answered and the threat of rolling blackouts was averted. But Newsom was roasted on social media after power grid. Officials ask residents not to charge their EVs during the evening. That came just a week after the state announced the 2035 ban on the sale of new cars with internal combustion engines. Still , California remains committed to shrinking its carbon footprint as a way to avoid more intense wildfires and drought. Hallmarks of climate change. We need to eliminate emissions from the California economy. David Victor is an energy policy researcher at UC San Diego. Biggest source of emissions right now in California , 41% of emissions come from transportation. So you got to tackle that. And the leading solution , not the only solution. The leading solution is electrifying , especially electrifying cars. Victor says no one wants the electric grid to become less reliable. And he says there's time for the state to absorb the coming demand. He says EVs are arriving in the midst of an energy transition. Solar and wind are rising in prominence , but that also calls for more energy storage capacity. And the grid will have to be built up to account for the extra draw from EVs. Pretty much every study shows it's going to be a significant increase in the demand for electricity in California as a result of this. I think many of the studies suggest that light duty vehicles alone , so cars that they are going to be responsible for maybe a one quarter increase in the demand for electricity between now and 2045. And while millions of new EVs will be feeding off the electric grid in coming years , the change isn't immediate. San Diego Gas and electric representatives say they can handle the demand for more power as more EVs hit the road.

S1: The short answer to that is , is yes.

S2: Jenny Reynolds is San Diego Gas and Electric's director of Clean Transportation.

S1: The long answer is much more complicated. And so when you start getting into the specifics of when that load is going to hit , how it's going to hit , what new technology and what type of battery storage we have to help. You know , that's a much more complex answer.

S2: Reynolds says the utility can build the required power lines and transformers. That's what utilities do. But the company also needs to build understanding among its EV customers. Right now , energy usage peaks between four and 9 p.m.. The utility wants EV charging to happen during the day or overnight.

S1: If we can get a lot of that charging in those times , then the buildout isn't going to be as much. So we have capacity that's there. It's about how to incentivize customers to use that capacity. Then it's also the new technology like vehicle to grid.

S2: Vehicle to grid is an emerging technology being tested in the Cajon Valley School District. Electric buses can feed power in their batteries back to the grid for a premium price when electricity is in short supply. EVs , in essence , could become a huge reservoir of stored energy. But UC San Diego's John Kiesel says that tech isn't quite ready yet. The devil really is in the details of the inverter technology not becoming too expensive. And the battery manufacturer , meaning this case , the vehicle manufacturer , agreeing that that this is something that they will cover in the warranty. Alisal says developing ways to manage the power demand from millions of household devices and EVs will keep the grid reliable. Computing systems can help us to manage things better in time scheduling. But still , you don't make the load go away. You just shift that. Shifting the load , shifting people's habits and shifting the power supply to renewables while adding capacity to the grid are keys to making sure the flood of EVs don't swamp a power grid that's already feeling its limitations.

S1: That report from KPBS environment reporter Eric Anderson , who joins me now. And , Eric , welcome.

S2: Thank you , Maureen.

S1: Can you explain more about the vehicle to grid concept and how that might work to increase electrical capacity ? Sure.

S2: This is a kind of a new technology that's being developed , at least in part by a San Diego company called Nuvia. And what they're doing is they're designing chargers that work both ways. Right now , if you plug your TV into a charger. You can draw electricity from the grid , put it in your battery and then drive around. But what movie is doing is saying , hey , if we can draw electricity one way , why not make this a two way street so that you can put electricity that's stored in your vehicle's battery back into the grid when the grid needs extra electricity ? The technology itself is not fully formed. It's not fully developed. It's something that's still being tested out. The Cajon Valley School District , I think is has got a test station there. But it seems like in relatively short order , if everything lines up well , if the manufacturers of the vehicles and the batteries agree that this is a good idea and then the charging stations get changed over to make this possible , that it may be a real solution to the capacity problem that California's grid keeps bumping up against.

S1: But won't EVs just have to recharge and get all that energy back from the grid when they want to drive around ? Sure.

S2: But think of it like hydropower , right ? If you have a big reservoir that sits at a higher elevation and you can release water and generate electricity during peak electricity usage hours like between four and 9 p.m. , then you can pump that electricity back into the grid , back into the reservoir. That's higher up during a period of time when there's plenty of electricity and electricity is cheaper.


S2: For some EVs , the bigger EVs that are coming into market , they have bigger batteries. So I would say for those EVs. Yes , for the smaller EVs , no , not so much. Well , I think what you're seeing right now is a range of battery sizes in vehicles , which range from somewhere around 60 kilowatt hours to , you know , a little bit over 100 kilowatt hours. But I think that those sizes in that range will stay pretty much stable over the next couple of years , at least.

S1: It's not only electric vehicles that will be demanding more from the grid. San Diego once most household heating and appliances to switch from gas to electric by the year 2035.

S2: And it's not just San Diego , it's also the state of California. The California Air Resources Board this week , I think , is going to be voting on a measure that encourages people to switch out their gas , water heaters or their gas heating and cooling systems or gas dryers and even gas stoves for electric versions. And will that load onto the grid ? Yes , it will. But there are some interesting things in the marketplace that might decrease the amount of load there for heat pumps. For example , in the Inflation Reduction Act that was just passed in Congress , they set aside a lot of money for people to install heat pump powered heating and cooling systems and water heating systems and dryers and such that devices that use less electricity than their all electric counterparts. So you may see an increase in demand as the gas appliances are removed from the grid usage , but you may also see a reduction in the demand at the same time for more efficient technologies like heat pumps that are going to make using those same devices a little bit less costly for the grid.

S1: Now , the governor pushed for and got an extension on the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant to help shore up the state's grid , because right now , other renewable sources don't provide enough power.

S2: There's a pretty strong opposition to that happening. There are a lot of safety concerns , although that the energy it does produce is is green energy. It doesn't create emissions that are released into the atmosphere. But there are some safety concerns around nuclear that will probably keep it a couple of runs down on the discussion ladder. In terms of long term solutions , this Diablo Canyon decision is is really sort of a short term bridge solution while the rest of the state starts to gear up its ability to tap into renewable sources and to store the energy that those renewable sources generate. Solar , for example , power is in power close to half of all the state's peak demand during the middle of the day. And that's pretty significant. But the thing about solar is , is that you need to have a way to store that energy during the daytime so that you can release it onto the grid when the sun goes down. I think that there's still a gap there right now. Utilities are still scaling up their battery storage facilities. And and this will give them this extension of the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant. A lifeline will give them some time to build that capacity so the state can be more ready to deal with just the renewable fuels.

S1: Just a week or so ago , when we had about nine straight days of flex alerts , if Californians hadn't pitched in and scaled back their energy use , and we could have been in four days of rolling blackouts.

S2: I think one thing that most people who study energy in California would agree with is that consumers , the people who basically control the demand side , they are going to have a big role to play when they make the demand on the grid is going to be important and utilities are going to try to encourage them to make that demand when other people are not making the demand. So consumers will be a big part of the equation , always moving forward.

S1: I've been speaking with KPBS environment reporter Eric Anderson. Eric , thank you.

S2: My pleasure.

S1: The chair of San Diego County's Democratic Party will not have sexual assault charges filed against him. Allegations surfaced in May against Will Rodriguez Kennedy of having non-consensual sex with an ex-boyfriend. Rodriguez Kennedy denied the accusation from the start , but stepped down as chair while investigations were underway. Now that the district attorney's office has declined to file charges , it's unclear if Rodriguez Kennedy will resume his party chairmanship. Joining me is KPBS metro reporter Andrew Bone. Andrew , welcome.

S3: Hi , Maureen. Thank you.


S3: So the district attorney's office told me they have a policy of not commenting on decisions like this when they decide whether or not to file charges , except that they only file charges when they're confident that they can be proved beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law. So whether the prosecutors believed the allegations , whether , you know , what degree of evidence there was to support or refute the allegations , those questions are simply unanswerable at this time because we haven't seen any more details. And the nature of the allegations also makes them , I think , just hard to prove in a court of law. So the accuser in this case , as you mentioned , is an ex-boyfriend. And he says that he was intoxicated and incapable of giving consent , but that , well , Rodriguez Kennedy had sex with him anyway. And so to prosecute a case like that , you know , it might be helpful to have some physical evidence showing the level of intoxication of him at the time. We don't know if that evidence exists at all. And just being intoxicated to that level to begin with leaves a lot of gray area , at least from the perspective of the law. So the law , you know , doesn't deal well with gray prosecutions are easiest when there's very clear black and white. And in this particular case , I don't think that black and white exists from what we know.


S3: She said that Will Rodriguez Kennedy should tell the Democratic Party about what he's been accused of. And she also mentioned the Democratic Party's history of brushing aside allegations of sexual misconduct and not giving accusers the support that she thinks they deserve. The most notable example of this , of course , is former Mayor Bob Filner , who was a serial groper. And many people in the Democratic Party had heard rumors about this , had perhaps even been victims themselves of his misconduct , but that there hadn't been any sort of public blowing up of these allegations. And he ended up receiving the Democratic Party's endorsement and went on to become mayor , only to then resign in disgrace. So she was just trying to kind of connect this case in with that longer history. She said after I interviewed her that the accuser had gone to her and asked her for guidance and for resources. And she in that interview and I spoke with her. That was when she also elaborated with this detail of the the accuser saying he was intoxicated and incapable of consenting to sexual intercourse.

S1: What did Rodriguez Kennedy say about the allegations.

S3: After Tasha Williamson's post on Facebook ? He made a post himself publicly. He didn't give any details about what he had been accused of , but simply said that someone with whom he had been in a committed relationship accused him of something falsely , something that he didn't do. He said he would be taking a leave of absence from his position as chairman of the San Diego County Democratic Party , while that party did an investigation in accordance with his bylaws , and he said that in general , he supports victims and the right to be heard , but he also believes in due process and of the principle of innocent until proven guilty. His attorney also told me that there was exculpatory evidence , evidence that , you know , would prove that his accuser was not being truthful or perhaps were just was not credible. But we don't know what that evidence was. Perhaps they were saving it for some legal defense if this ever ended up in a court of law. But there's just still a lot of rumor and innuendo around this whole case that we don't really know the details about. And the accuser himself , by the way , has not come forward publicly , not giving any interviews to the media or otherwise said who he is and exactly what happened.

S1: How is Will Rodriguez Kennedy reacting to the fact that no charges. Are being filed.

S3: He sent out an email to the media last Friday. He said in that e-mail he had cooperated with the investigations and law enforcement had sat down through interviews with the deputy district attorney , provided evidence that supported his account of the events. And he said and this is a quote here with this trauma behind me , I look forward to returning to my work in service of the public and my party. That suggests that he is planning on returning to his position as Democratic Party chair. I reached out to the Democratic Party and asked whether that was on the horizon or what was the status of the investigation into these allegations. I just never heard back from the party. And I'll say also the Democratic Party's investigation. I've looked through their bylaws and read a bit about , you know , how this is supposed to go. It's meant to be independent from a law enforcement investigation , at least in theory. There are also different standards. So a criminal conviction requires proof beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law and convincing a jury of of one's peers of that guilt. His position as party chair and whether that continues doesn't necessarily require that same burden of proof. The party could determine that Rodriguez Kennedy didn't do anything illegal , but perhaps he showed poor judgment , and that's deserving of some type of censure. The action that would result from an investigation by the party also has different outcomes. Potentially , they could keep him as chair , but , you know , reprimand him somehow. There's a process for that laid out in the bylaws. They could determine that he is he should not continue as a party chair. But again , I don't think that they're willing to comment on anything about the investigation until it's concluded. And frankly , I don't even know if it's concluded yet.

S1: All right , then. I've been speaking with KPBS metro reporter Andrew Bowen. Andrew , thank you.

S3: My pleasure , Maureen.

S4: You're listening to KPBS Midday Edition. I'm Jade Hindman with Maureen CAVANAUGH. A controversial San Diego church previously known for spreading pandemic misinformation is now host to a grassroots conservative political action group called The Remnant. In their own words , the group looks to take back San Diego by influencing local politics , and they've got the candidates to prove it. Six members of the group will appear on the ballot for the upcoming November election. Joining me now with more is Voice of San Diego reporter Jacob Mcwhinney. Jacob , welcome to the show.

S2: Thanks for having me.


S2: They believe the key to effecting a sort of shift in history for them is for a remnant , hence the name of individuals to stand up and fight for it. A lot of this talk echoes biblical language , which makes sense because again , as you said , they meet at and describe themselves as a partner ministry of Awaken Church , which itself has been the subject of quite a lot of controversy.

S4: What some of the rhetoric they use in their messaging.

S2: It can be quite stark. As I said before , there's talk of armies in a video advertising the group. They also talk about the potential for war and that America is on the brink of either destruction or greatness. This sort of stark talk and often , often drifts into sort of conspiracy mongering or social media postings , which include references to conspiracy theories about COVID 19 pandemic being planned and concerns about the vaccine causing injury.


S2: I think that often times this group is not overtly militant in terms of their gatherings. I attended a meeting in August and it felt much more like a group meeting at a at a community center as opposed to , you know , a barracks or something of that sort. I also don't think that there's any sort of actual militant and cold there , not training with guns. But there also don't seem to be any sort of , you know , white supremacist ideologies. And because of how loosely knit it is , I think that oftentimes the views expressed by some of the leaders or some of the guest speakers don't necessarily fit super neatly onto each member.

S4: And the actual church where this group meets might be familiar to some for their vocal stances on health and safety guidelines earlier in the pandemic.

S2: Church has been the subject of quite a lot of controversy locally. As you said , they made headlines throughout the pandemic for refusing to close their doors , leading to multiple outbreaks of COVID there. I wrote a deep dive about it back in May , actually , that explored the growth of this church. It has campuses all across the county and thousands of attendees weekly. And some of the stark rhetoric that we see from the remnant is also present in this church , as is their penchant for conspiracy mongering. Most notably coming from lead pastor Jurgen Noticias. That rhetoric has included spreading misinformation about the negative effects of COVID vaccines and conspiracies about global plots to reduce the world's population to under a billion people to better control them coming from the pulpit. They've also been a hub for for a lot of political organizing and have drawn a number of extremely high profile right wing speakers from a stop by the Nationwide Reawaken America tour , which , despite the name , doesn't have any connection to awaken church that featured Roger Stone and Michael Flynn , among others. And in April , I broke news that at an event at a wake in San Marcos campus , Fox News's Tucker Carlson claimed for the first time that he was actually completely unvaccinated , and that elicited quite a few cheers from the audience. As I said , they're not a small church. They boast at least a thousand attendees weekly and have at least six campuses countywide. But they definitely seem to hit above their weight class when it comes to speakers.

S4: You also write that a lot of the group's members have moved on from COVID related issues to other politically divisive issues like sexual orientation or gender identity.

S2: Many of the attendees had clearly been motivated by the pandemic to get involved with politics , and although that may be their origin story , like many folks who were sort of activated by the pandemic , I think it mostly just served as an onramp to a broader right wing activism. You know , LGBTQ grooming and trans issues in schools have been a big flashpoint nationally as of late , and that was also reflected at the meeting largely by that night. Speaker Woody Woodrum failed local mayoral and congressional candidate. And though a number of attendees also expressed concern about these issues , Woodrum himself has this long history of homophobic rhetoric , and he links homosexuality to two abuse as children. He has also espoused his belief that there's a whole arm of the LGBTQ. Swasey community , as he puts it , that engages in pedophilia and grooming. Woodrum is a deeply Christian person. So abortion was another key issue addressed that night alongside gun control and his belief that communist influences are encroaching on American values and politics.


S2: That night distributed a list of this voter guide , essentially , that that seeks to advise people how to vote based on Christian values. Now , whether he actually espouses Christian values that other Christians would recognize is certainly a topic for debate. But he himself believes himself to be quite Christian and puts that front and center. You know , another piece of literature he distributed was was a list of the preambles to state constitutions , all of which he very , very proudly noted included some reference to God or a higher power.

S4: Six members of this group will be on the ballot this November.

S2: Both said they'd only ever attended a couple of meetings because of that , that loose knit nature. As I as I mentioned before , I think it is possible that the views expressed by the group as a whole and some of the guest speakers at meetings don't necessarily perfectly align with the candidates themselves. The other four candidates through the group said have gone through their trainings are Karen Dominguez , who's also running for Chula Vista Elementary School Board Awaken Church Pastor Andre Johnson , who's running for Senate as Union School Board. Truancy. Who's running for the tri city health care district. And Morgan McGill , a former one American news anchor who's running for the Lakeside Community Planning Group.

S4: And what are the chances of any of these candidates being elected to office.

S2: Because of the lack of campaign visibility ? Many of those individuals don't have websites and the like , and the fact that many of them simply don't have much name recognition , I think many of them probably have little chance of actually getting elected. That being said , Johnson Dominguez and Vigil have have all been endorsed by the county Republican Party. But Davis is likely to be appointed to Alpine's Community Planning Group because she's one of just seven candidates running for seven seats. Additionally , there's there's another awakened church pastor on the ballot in November. He made it through the primary to the general election. His name is Marco Contreras , and he's he's running for Chula Vista City Council.

S4: I've been speaking with Voice of San Diego reporter Jacob McKenzie. Jacob , thank you very much for talking with us today.

S2: Yeah , I appreciate the time.

S4: This week is banned Books Week , and this year's theme is Books Unite US. Censorship Divides US. The week coincides with a major increase in book banning efforts throughout the country , according to a new report from the American Library Association. Joining me to talk more about what libraries are seeing is Patrick Stewart , CEO of the San Diego Public Library Foundation , and Misty Jones , director of the San Diego Public Library. Welcome to you both.

S1: Thank you for having us.

S2: Thank you very much.

S4: Patrick , I'll start with you. In its report , the American Library Association has said there have been more than 1600 attempts to censor books in 2022.

S2: And , you know , Jane , I should say , it doesn't even it doesn't start with just banning books. You know , what we're seeing across the country is they're banning , you know , voices , modern voices , librarians , teachers. They're closing down facilities. You know , it's gone beyond just the banning of a book or a certain piece of literature or text book or what have you. It is really begun to to swell into the silencing of voices like , you know , Misty's like librarians both in the academic , educational and public library settings. And these these decisions are being made , you know , at the city council level , at the county council level. They're being made by library commissioners , board of commissioners. You know , the very people that you would imagine would be upholding , you know , the very tenets in the values of what libraries and good literature is meant to do.

S4: And Patrick , many high profile efforts at book banning have come from Florida and Texas in particular.

S2: You know , and our library , our school system and our library system under Misty's leadership has made access accessibility to all books and all literature , regardless of content and subject , a core tenet of what they do. And so I think , you know , we find ourselves very fortunate here in our region that our political powers and our leadership really does also align with the values of our library and our school system.

S4: You know what concerns you most about this report from the American Library Association ? Misty , I'll start with you.

S1: It's disheartening. It is saying just the increase in the number , not only of challenges , but the extent and the the links to what people are going for. These challenges , going before school boards , the personal attacks on librarians and teachers for doing their job. And it troubles me that we that we aren't learning that that people do not understand that if you silence voices , if you silence thoughts , if you silence ideas , then we never have the opportunity to learn from those. You know , it does a disservice to everyone.


S2: You know , what we're really doing also is a disservice to young people , especially we're cutting off the idea of representation. People are not able to see themselves accurately portrayed in history. They're not able to see themselves accurately portrayed in medical and science textbooks. They're not able to see themselves accurately portrayed in general literature.

S4: What types of books have been the most targeted ? Definitely.

S1: It's this year , particularly it's LBGTQ that has been the most prevalent. If you look at the banned books of 2022 , I think over half of them have an LGBTQIA focus that or books about that or for racist reasons , books about racial diversity from people of the Bipoc community. So it really is targeting minorities.

S4: And is it just books about diversity ? I mean , when you hear the 1619 project , which just is just a history book , is being banned.

S1: And so their response to being offended is to try to take it away from everyone instead of instead of concentrating on , you know , I have the choice to read this or not. They're making that decision for an entire society. And then they're not allowing everyone to be represented and everyone to see themselves in libraries and in books. And in the spoken word. Right.

S4: Right.

S2: They're arming them with , you know , these sort of vitriolic talking points that are designed to create this this uproar over content. And they are they're mobilizing and they're mobilizing in places , like you said , you know , in Florida and and places in the South and in Texas and Oklahoma. You know , I read these articles and I read these stories and I read these reports. And , you know , I. I can just imagine how. How shaken up. Like , for example , a young person , you know , who identifies with the LGBTQ community must feel when they when they read these things where they're being told that they're pornographic. Right. I use these terms that are that are so sharply divisive and offensive and , you know , and and they are they're organizing. They are mobilizing. They are running for school districts. They're running for county council seats. They are running for library commission boards. And and they're getting support. And I just find it very disheartening that this is happening.

S4: In this question is for both of you. Misty , I'll start with you. Can you share with us some of what area libraries have planned for Banned Books Week ? Absolutely.

S1: So we have a lot of things going on. We're going to be doing , I think the biggest thing that we're going to be doing on Monday afternoon , we're doing a banned book radiothon and we've done this every year , of course , not during the pandemic , but this is the 11th year that we've done this. And we have a new book and a new reader every 15 minutes. And so we're going to be reading from a number of banned books. We're also going to be streaming that we're doing Dad Book Bingo , where we have a picture of this , which is our movie series we're going to be showing Cory , which has been challenged numerous times. And then Tuesday , we're showing , you know , we're going to be doing that all week. So of Mice and Men will be showing we're going to ban book storytimes. So there's a lot going on in our libraries to highlight this. And one of the things that we're really focusing on is how can we take this out to a broader audience than just people who are coming to the library ? So we're going to be doing a lot of virtual events as well.

S4: I've been speaking with Patrick Stewart , CEO of the San Diego Public Library Foundation , and Misty Jones , director of the San Diego Public Library. Thank you both for joining us.

S2: Thank you.

S1: Thank you.

S4: You're listening to KPBS Midday Edition. I'm Jade Hindman with Maureen CAVANAUGH. San Diego State University has agreed to move its film and TV program South. Construction on a planned $89 million campus in Chula Vista is set to begin next year. The move marks a significant change not only for the university but also for the city of Chula Vista , which has long sought to bring a four year university to the region. Joining me now with more on this move is SDSU School of Theater , Television and film director Dr. Nick Coker , as well as Jeff Dvorak , a lecturer in the program. Thank you both for joining us.

S2: Thank you. Thanks for having us.


S2: And of course , initially we thought , oh , my God , this is you know , it's a big dream. We might not be able to accomplish this in the next 20 years. But he sat with us. He walked steadfastly. And we need room to grow. We really need to grow. And so that was the beginning. That was where it all commenced from. And he was really the navigator on this. And we followed and we adhered. And we are really very grateful that he had that contribution to bring to us as a as a school and a university. Wow.

S4: And Professor Devra , tell us a little bit about that vision that Dr. Coker spoke about , in your own words.

S2: I feel like there's a huge opportunity in San Diego County to have more independent filmmaking. And I've always felt that. And as an independent filmmaker , I chose San Diego , not Los Angeles , because I feel like it's a better environment for independent filmmaking. So years ago , I approached the county with an idea to create an independent film program which involved lots of different elements from facilities to financial incentives and all kinds of stuff that you need to attract filmmaking. And one of those components was tie in into an educational institution. And I did my homework and realized that San Diego State is the premier film school in San Diego and through various government connections and stuff like that. I ended up in meetings at San Diego State and met me and and deans and all the powers that be and said , you know , I think we could create this great environment for independent filmmakers by tying it into your program , your educational program , building new facilities and and offering different incentives for indie filmmakers. And again , I was working with various levels of government at the time as well. One of them being Chula Vista. And then Chula Vista said , we always wanted to have a university and and San Diego State would be a great partner. So let's see if we can make this happen. And , you know , in projects of this size and magnitude , there's a lot of moving parts. And it took a while. But I think we got to the finish line , which we're really excited about.


S2: And the current students feel like , oh my God , you know , why is this just happening now ? You know , we're on our way out the door , you know , but we've said to them , you know , you can always come back home. We always welcome back to be part of this. So right now , we're just we just step off the moon right now is great.

S4: And Professor Dever and according to SDSU President Adela Latorre , this new facility will have a cinematic arts production studio.

S2: Very , very high level educational institution. Technology , obviously , in the film businesses changes all the time. It's changed dramatically , obviously , over the last few decades. And our school now will evolve into a much , much more high tech state of the art teaching facility , because building the facility itself , the actual building , will be much , much more appropriate to the way filmmaking is done now. You know , it's all digital now as opposed to film equipment. Everything will be a great a huge upgrade and students will be learning at and much more industry standard equipment and facilities , which is more or less what the industry requires. Now , you know , when you graduate and go and work in that industry. So educationally it's going to be fantastic. It's just we're going to be one of the highest level film schools in the country , if not the world at that point. And there's a lot of fancy ones. But in terms of the city of Chula Vista and the county of San Diego and Southern California , the whole state of California , for that matter , I think this is just going to be an additional offering. And we're focused mostly on the independent film world as opposed to the big studio world where , you know , that's primarily based in Los Angeles. And so I think that we're going to be able to open up lots of job opportunities. I know that in San Diego for filmmakers and in related industries and obviously have great facility. At ease , and it will be really a premiere destination for all indie filmmakers , not only in our state , but our country and worldwide to come. And it is San Diego. Remember that sunny San Diego prude who doesn't want to be here sunshine pretty well all year round.

S4: And to that , Dr. Coker , this will be the first four year university south of the 94.

S2: I mean , the film school's already been named in the Hollywood Reporter's top ten film schools around the world. So we've made that list. And now what this means , essentially , is that not only get to stay on top of that list , we actually get to go above the list in the sense that we're on the border. We're going to get the best of filmmakers that are coming across the border from Mexico , the best of filmmakers across the U.S. in terms of expenditure. It's going to be very affordable. There's going to be lots of space to be able to go out on location. If you're not using the studios , it's going to mean a lot. It's going to mean enhancing the film program , enhancing the quality of fame and actually looking at , you know , the future of film production , television production , new media production , AVR , 3D animation , just name it. This is really going to be the pinnacle internationally once it's all said and done.

S4: And this is for both of you.

S2: The number of applications we get , we would usually get close to 300 or 400 applications , of which we could only take every year about 20 to 30 into the undergraduate class. Because teaching film is so specialized , you need equipment and you have to make sure everybody in the program , every , you know , 28 , 28 , 28 in each class gets equipment , the graduate program , the same thing to the MFA program. Now we can expand. Now we could make people's dreams come true. We don't have to limit it to just those 20 to 30 students each semester. Plus faculty and staff and professionals would have access and students would have access to them as well. In the future , we're going to be with a colleague like Jeff by our side issues as a lawyer. And these are very vast in the distribution network because a lot of film makers really care just about making their films filmmakers. We really don't think about the distribution and marketing angle , and Jeff has that solidly , which is something which is a serious ace for our program at this time. And I just want to say so the city of Chula Vista has been unbelievably great partners and they're super motivated and excited to build a world caliber facility , which this is going to be. So it's a win win for everybody. It's a win win , obviously , for the city , for our school , but I think for the whole county of San Diego , for the state of California , just because our focus is going to be complementary to all of the other offerings that , you know , some of the competitive film schools have , like , you know , USC or Chapman or I mean , there's some great , great facilities , obviously , in Southern California and all of California. But we're designing this in a very unique way to make it very complementary and like I say , really focused on independent filmmaking , which will not only provide great educational opportunities , but great employment opportunities afterwards for all of the film students who want them.


S2: This is 2022 going 23. So we're just talking about two years and we can wait 25.

S4: That's right around the corner. Yeah. I've been speaking with SDSU School of Theater , Television and film director Dr. Nikki Coker , as well as Professor Jeff Dever at a lecture within the program. Thanks to you both for speaking with us today.

S2: Or thank you for having us. And thank you for talking about our program on this great accomplishment. Thank you. Thanks. Pleasure.

California is poised to add millions of electric cars to local roads in the next decade, but is there enough electricity to fuel them? Then, the San Diego County District Attorney’s office declined to file charges against county Democratic Party chair Will Rodriguez Kennedy after an investigation into sexual assault allegations made by a former boyfriend. Next, Awaken Church, which has campuses across San Diego has been known for spreading pandemic misinformation. Now it’s grassroots conservative political action group called, “The RMNNT” wants to “raise up a bold and passionate army to effectively influence politics.” Then, Banned Books Week, the annual event celebrating the freedom to read, coincides with a major increase in book banning efforts throughout the country. Finally, What a decision by SDSU to relocate its school of theater, television and film to a new campus in Chula Vista will mean for the South Bay.