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Cheers and fears as US ends mask mandates for travel

 April 19, 2022 at 4:45 PM PDT

S1: The mask mandate has been lifted on public transportation.
S2: You know , this is a federal mandate that came down. And so there is no requirement for anybody to wear a mask.
S1: I'm Jay Hindman with Maureen CAVANAUGH. This is KPBS Midday Edition. The replacement for Mission Bay Drive Bridge is soon to open.
S2: The previous bridge was more functional. It looked like a concrete structure and this has some elegance , some curves and some arc to it.
S1: Escondido is downtown , is getting a makeover and a preview of the Turner Classic Movies Film Festival. That's ahead on Midday Edition.
S3: The wait is nearly over for commuters on West Mission Bay Drive. 25 years after the present Mission Bay Drive Bridge was described as functionally deficient and obsolete. The replacement bridge is just months away from completion , and the consensus is it's a beauty and elegant new welcome mat for Mission Beach. Joining me is San Diego Union Tribune reporter David Garrick. And David , welcome.
S2: Thanks for having me.
S2: But I think that when people started to use the word elegant , I knew what they were talking about. You know , the previous bridge was more functional. It looked like a concrete structure. And this has some elegance and some curves and some arc to it. It's not quite as marked , obviously , as the Coronado Bridge , but it does have some of that kind of arc in a smaller degree. These people were smart and they built it on the western edge , which you think allows the views that these people have to be pretty spectacular , I think would not be an overstated word to use. It's like a 12 foot wide shared area for bikes and pedestrians , but there's also benches for people to sit and enjoy the view and see this sort of panorama over there , which is really maybe San Diego's most iconic area where , you know , the beaches come together with the ocean and the San Diego River.
S2: And the previous bridge was to each direction. So it's going from 4 to 6.
S3: And this is the area that connects the midway area to the beaches , I-8 , SeaWorld , that whole section , right ? Correct.
S2: And folks who don't know the Midway area is basically the sports arena area , one of the most sort of congested areas in San Diego. So it's sort of a big connection point.
S2: But in the summer and especially on summer , weekends and holidays , it's been particularly bad , like really , really long lines at brake lights and even in the regular parts of the year , the evening commute hours can be really difficult.
S3: You know ? In your report , you mention this project has been in the works for 25 years.
S2: SANDAG , the county's regional planning agency , at one point was considering building a bus rapid transit station there that was then abandoned. And the city officials , when they were sort of defending themselves for taking so long , they said that a project like this really doesn't reach the full blown , aggressive planning stage until there's money in place. And there really wasn't any money in place. So 25 years ago , they knew that it was deficient , but they didn't know where they would get the money to fix it or how to fix it. Once they had the money , they figured out how to fix it. And here we are now.
S2: So unless something unusual happens between now and October , when it's scheduled to be done , it should be in the neighborhood of just under 150 million. And the money is coming from a federal grant for bridges. That's over a hundred million of it. And then the city is going to have to make up the difference , but they're able to use money from Transnet. The counties have sent sales tax surcharge and then some other state money they get from gas taxes. So it's not really coming from money that the city would spend on parks and libraries and firefighters.
S3: So this project has sort of been in the works for 25 years.
S2: So it's only about a year late which as a reporter , I can tell you , every project is at least a year. So this is actually , I would argue , early. So about four years.
S2: They chose to do that near I-5 and then near Dog Beach , and they had to haggle with the state and federal wildlife agencies about how they would handle the mitigation and other details. And that was a a complex process that appears to have ended up with a good result that everyone is pleased with. Okay.
S3: Okay. So traffic is congested on the Old West Mission Bay Drive Bridge.
S2: In order to keep at least one lane of traffic going in each direction during the entire time they had that construction , except for maybe , you know , a few nights or periods like that where they would shut down. But during the commute hours , they were able to keep at least one lane open in each direction. By doing this very incrementally , they built the first three lane bridge. There's two , three lane sections. They built the first three main bridge. Once they completed that , they eliminated one lane of traffic on the old bridge and combine the two. And then when they started to build the. The second one and got that partly open. Then they deleted another lane. So it was a very slow , incremental , methodical process , and it appears to have had pretty strong results.
S3: Now the new bridge is being praised as elegant , a big visual improvement , but there are some doubts that it will actually improve traffic in the area.
S2: Those are going to remain four lane bridges. So even though you're going to have more traffic coming in , a lot of people are worried there may be bottlenecks in the middle of the area. So have you really solved the problem ? But I think even the most pessimistic person will agree that on a summer weekend getting out of Mission Beach into a sports arena area and i.e. will be definitely better. But the idea is those there still could be bottlenecks north of this area.
S2: You know , you always doubt as a reporter that maybe there'll be another delay. But they were saying very , very firmly both the construction team and the city that this will open in October.
S3: Okay , then I've been speaking with San Diego Union-Tribune reporter David Garrick. David , thank you.
S2: Thanks for having me.
S1: Traveling in and around the country looks a lot different today than it did yesterday following a Florida federal judge's ruling striking down the federal transportation mask mandate. Airlines , including Southwest , American , Delta , United and others are making masking optional on domestic flights. The TSA has also announced it will no longer enforce the mandate , at least for the time being. Here's San Diego International Airport spokesperson Sabrina Lo Piccolo.
S2: The mask mandate has been lifted , so there is no mask mandate , which means that we are not enforcing anybody and will not require anybody to wear a mask while inside the airport.
S1: In addition to the airport and airlines , Amtrak , Uber and others have announced they will no longer be enforcing mask mandates either. Here to help us understand the changes from a medical and legal perspective is Rebecca Fielding Miller , an epidemiologist and UC San Diego professor , along with Joanna Sacks , a law professor with California Western School of Law. Welcome to you both.
S2: It's great to be here. Thank you for having us. Hello.
S1: And Joanna , Judge MADDOW says the CDC violated the rules of the Administrative Procedure Act. Explain what's going on here.
S2: There's two main legal issues that are going on in the opinion. One is that the CDC , which we've all become very familiar with over the past couple of years , is what what we call an administrative agency in the federal government. And they have to follow these rules that are set for them by this federal statute called the Administrative Procedures Act. So any time they enact a rule , the Administrative Procedures Act requires that the rule be published and it allows the public to comment on it. Here , the CDC enacted the mask mandate. And so because the CDC did not allow the public to comment during the 30 day comment period and then respond to the comments , instead they just issued the rule. Now , there's an exception to this public participation component , which is a good cause exception. And the court found that the good cause exception didn't apply here. And so they violated the process for enacting a rule. And then the other part of the legal opinion says that the CDC violated something called the Public Health Services Act. So the CDC has some authority outside of rulemaking , outside of the Administrative Procedures Act to protect the public. So just to sum up , there were sort of two legal reasons. One , that the CDC exceeded its power under the Public Health Services Act. And two , that the CDC violated the process that it's supposed to use in order to enact a rule. Hmm.
S1: Hmm.
S2: It's very airborne and it's very infectious. And so one of the easiest things that people can do to protect themselves and to protect others is to wear a mask which reduces the amount of virus that's potentially coming out of you and also could reduce the amount of virus that's coming into you if somebody infected is nearby. And so it's really important that we have these measures that reduce risk in public spaces that people need to be in to go about their day. People need to take the bus to get to work. People need to take the train to commute. People were traveling over the this spring holidays with the assumption that this mask mandate would be in place. And so it would be safe for their child who is under five to be on an airplane , their child who is under two who cannot wear a mask. It would be safe to go and visit a relative who is immunocompromised and experiencing cancer treatment. So this mask mandate , it protects everybody , and especially it protects people who are in communal spaces , who are just trying to get places that they need to be.
S1: And , Rebecca , the the infection rate in San Diego , as you mentioned , remains relatively low. But that's not the case across the country and across the globe. Give us a sense of what's happening in terms of COVID infections around the world. Right.
S2: Right. So right now we are kind of in a post Omicron Trough , but we've seen this pattern play out a few times where there will be a new variant. There will be some amount of evolutionary pressures. So any variant that comes through is probably going to be a little bit better at overcoming your vaccine than the one before , which is why boosters are a good idea. And so we saw this happen in the U.K. when mask mandates were lifted , Omicron came through. There was a big surge. In particular , their airlines found they couldn't staff flights. Because flight attendants didn't have to wear masks anymore. We saw it take off in Denmark. We're starting to see an uptick in the U.K. or on the East Coast. And so things are kind of in a lull right now , but that's no reason to think that COVID is gone. It's not gone. We're enjoying a brief trough before the next thing happens. And the more that we can keep simple , easy protection measures in place , like wearing a mask around people who are immunocompromised , who are under five , or who just want to protect people , the longer we're going to keep that trough going so we can all live our day to day lives.
S1: In a global society.
S2: But , you know , like you said , we are very interconnected. And the thing about air travel is , you know , within an airplane , once the plane is pressurized and in the air , there's actually pretty good air turnover , is my understanding. But when the plane is sitting in the tarmac , when you are in an airport , when you are mingling in an enclosed space with lots of people from all over the world , that's a time when viruses from all over the world can also mingle in the shared air. And I think it is really important to remember that this , of course , affects flights and it affects people who had planned their air travel around a mask mandate existing. But it also infects , like you said , affects Uber drivers and Lyft drivers. It affects bus drivers. It affects people who need to commute on public transportation. And it's one thing to say , okay , I'll choose not to fly. It's a bummer. I'm not going to go on vacation. But it's another thing to say I don't feel safe commuting to work anymore , but I still have to feed my family.
S1: Well , and Joanna , that leads me to my next question , because in her ruling , Judge Meisel wrote , quote , Wearing a mask cleans nothing. At most , it traps virus droplets , but it neither sanitizes the person wearing the mask nor sanitizes the convenience , end quote. That's what she said.
S2: That's the the act where they're allowed to quarantine somebody , you know , if they have Ebola. And there's a list of of things that they're allowed to do to quarantine or to disinfect or to sanitize. And the word sanitize or sanitation is is used in sort of the list of things that the CDC can do under the Public Health Services Act. And so clearly , this isn't wearing a mask , isn't one of the things was passed extermination. Clearly , it's not past extermination. So sanitation was the only word under the Public Health Services Act. The CDC was arguably acting under. And so the judge was saying mask wearing isn't sanitation. Sanitation is cleaning something. If you look in the dictionary what it means to sanitize something , you know , it means that to , you know , wash something off or clean it. And so the CDC exceeded its authority or it didn't have authority under the Public Health Services Act , because that's limited authority to pest extermination or sanitation. And the mask mandate didn't fall under any of that. She does say later in the opinion that she's not challenging or she's willing to accept that masks reduce transmission. It's just that it's irrelevant to her ruling.
S2: That's an analogy that's been floating around for a while. So what a mask does , especially a well-fitting high quality mask like okay. And 95 and 95 mask viruses mostly can't fit through the wave of a high quality mask. And so if you are wearing a mask and you , for example , are infected but don't know it because , you know , you got a vaccine , you don't have a lot of symptoms or it's allergy season. It prevents a lot of the virus from making it out of your breath into the wider space that you're in. Which is why the sanitizing argument is a little bit silly. It literally prevents virus from floating around into the air , but if you are wearing a mask to protect yourself , what it also does is it kind of captures the virus before it can make it into the air that you're breathing through your nose and mouth. And of course , the mask has to be over your nose to also work. So it's not 100% effective in Joanne.
S1: And finally , you know , the Biden administration says it's reviewing Judge Miles ruling.
S2: And then the next step after that is they could if they did not get a favorable ruling in the appeals court , they could go to the Supreme Court so they could litigate it. Or the other thing that they could do is they could take this as a loss and say , okay , the judges said that we didn't follow the Administrative Procedures Act , we will promulgate a rule , we will post it for 30 days and get public comments , and then we will. And then we will have a rule that follows the the Administrative Procedures Act.
S1: All right. I've been speaking with Rebecca FEILDING miller , an epidemiologist and UC San Diego professor , along with Joanna Sacks , a law professor with California Western School of Law. Thank you both for joining us today.
S2: Thank you. Thank you.
S3: This is KPBS Midday Edition. I'm Maureen CAVANAUGH with Jade Hindman. Escondido historic downtown is undergoing a makeover that could make it the next Little Italy like scene. KPBS North County reporter Tanya Thorne gives us a look at the projects that are revitalizing Escondido. Grand Avenue.
S4: Dust drilling and construction workers have filled Grand Avenue in Escondido , where the Grand Tea Room is located. While tea and construction aren't the best combo. Lisa Magoon , the owner of the Tea Room , says she doesn't mind it.
S3: It's been a couple of months.
S4: Yeah , but it's okay. We're excited about the end result. She's talking about the Grand Avenue Vision Project , a plan to improve Escondido historic Grand Avenue to drive more businesses and visitors into the city. Magoon says the improvements came from requests made to the city by business owners on Grand.
S2: We gave them ideas , you.
S4: Know , widening the sidewalks and putting more plants.
S5: In and , you know , just.
S4: The different ideas.
S5: And so we were super.
S4: Excited when we found out that they were actually listening and doing something about it. Jennifer Schneck is the deputy director of economic development with the city of Escondido. She says changes to Grand Avenue will be implemented in phases.
S6: The Grand Avenue Vision Construction Project is really the first phase in revitalizing downtown Escondido. The benefits from this project are going to help draw people to downtown and help businesses expand their operations.
S4: She says outdoor dining helped many businesses survive the pandemic , and the wider sidewalks will make the patios permanent.
S6: So during the pandemic , we were able to issue temporary use permits for all of the restaurants that wanted to have an outdoor dining option. And that's something we definitely want to continue with the improvements that are happening on Grand Avenue.
S4: In addition to wider sidewalks. Traffic on Grand will narrow down to one lane in each direction. Parking spaces will be added and string lighting will go up. Schneck says changes will only be seen on the north side of Grand Avenue before construction comes to a pause right before the annual Cruisin Grand Classic car meet resumes from May to September.
S6: Cruising grand is a really important event in our downtown area , and we want to make sure that the event organizers feel comfortable with the state of Grand Avenue. When that event starts.
S4: Then construction for the next phase is planned to start again in early 2023. Shunick says a completion date for the full Grand Avenue vision plan is yet to be determined because only about half of the $15 million project has been funded. But there's also another project playing a big part in Escondido revitalization. Right where the old Palomar Hospital used to stand.
S2: If you stand at the at the Escondido sign at the end of Grand and you look down historically , you would see the large nine story tower of the hospital. And now that that has been demolished , we wanted to create another landmark.
S4: Near Hammond is with Integral Communities. The developer is replacing Palomar Hospital with Palomar Heights. It's a mixed use development and the plans call for over 500 homes , some luxury and some what the developers call attainable priced.
S2: Our idea was to bring product type to the market that was smaller in size and lower in bedroom count to try to create a product that was attainable. What we describe that as is an entry level buyer.
S4: 90 rental units will also be specifically for seniors , 55 and over plus it includes some retail and restaurants.
S2: We tried to be careful about the amount of retail that we incorporated. We really didn't. We wanted it to be additive and not cannibalize the existing retail.
S4: Hammond says construction of the development will take between 3 to 5 years. And back at the Grand Tea Room , Lisa Magoon is looking forward to what's ahead. But we're hoping that with all the. Improvements.
S5: Improvements.
S4: That are going on and with Palomar Heights.
S2: Building all.
S4: Those apartments and condos , that it draws more and.
S5: More businesses.
S4: To want to move into downtown.
S5: In addition to the customers.
S4: Tanya Thorne , KPBS News. Listen.
S2: Listen.
S3: Joining me is KPBS North County reporter Tanya Thorn. Tanya , welcome.
S4: Thank you , Maureen.
S4: These requests were made back in 2015. So it goes to show how long these type of projects take to get in the conversation , get plans approved and actually start any kind of work. And , you know , if you've ever been on ground , you know , it has a nostalgic main street downtown type of feel. There's still vacuum repair shops , some tailors , a tea shop. Businesses that you don't often see anymore. So the business owners were the ones that made the requests for improvements to drive more businesses and customers into the area. There are quite a few vacant storefronts , but you know , that may not last after all of these projects are done.
S4: But the advantage many of these businesses on Grant had was the accessibility for outdoor patios. These outdoor dining areas were what helped many businesses survive the lockdowns. And it was such a good trial that many restaurants now want to keep out or patios permanently. So the widening of the sidewalks in these improvement projects can now accommodate that.
S3: Now , you say the Grand Avenue Vision Project could make Escondido downtown a little like Little Italy in San Diego.
S4: So the city council sees the potential for Grand Avenue , like in Little Italy. Grand Avenue has tons of restaurant options. Shops , string lighting will go up. And , you know , parking might actually be easier to find on Grand Avenue than in Little Italy. Plus , Grand Avenue is already home to events like the Chocolate Festival and Cruisin Grand.
S3: I want to talk to you about Cruisin Grand because Cruisin Grand Classic Carmine is going to make construction on Grand Avenue stop for this summer.
S4: This will be the 22nd year for the classic car meet and people from all over look forward to this event. The event returned last year , but because of the outdoor patios , things were a little different and cars couldn't cruise like years before. But this year , the cruising is back on on May six. And , you know , businesses on Grand really look forward to this event , too , because it always means more business. I remember last year some of the restaurants were nervous because everyone was short staffed and people were flooding Grand Avenue for the return of Cruise and Grand because it was an outdoor event and COVID restrictions. Well , that's another place where the outdoor patio is really help businesses. It gave them more room to see more visitors.
S3: Tell us more about the mixed use housing development on the old Palomar Hospital site. How is that part of the new look ? Escondido was going for.
S4: Palomar Hospital in Escondido is no more and it will be replaced with Palomar Heights. You know , this development will really add to that Little Italy like scenery because 3 to 5 years from now , when construction of the development is done , Grand Avenue will be that pedestrian friendly neighborhood where nearby residents can walk to nearby establishments , not only on Grand , but within Palomar Heights to developers have planned a rooftop bar , a sky lounge , restaurants and cafes within that development. So the improvements on Grand as well as the new development , will strike people's curiosity and drive them into the area.
S3: So there's no completion date set for the downtown Escondido redevelopment project because they don't have all the money yet.
S4: I mean , about half of the project has been funded through a DI grant , some city funds and funds from the American Rescue Plan Act. The city did tell me that they are already exploring ways of funding the remainder. But for now , phase two is funded and construction for that will start early next year. And , you know , we all know how long construction takes. So they have a couple of months to figure things out.
S3: So before you go , Tanya , I want to ask you about the deal that was reached that will allow the San Diego County Fair to have Midway Games and rides this year. A lawsuit put the fate of the fair in jeopardy this year.
S4: Believe it ? After getting the fair back last year , we almost lost it again this year. I spoke to the. Attorney representing Tally Amusements yesterday , the filers of the lawsuit. And he said that in all of his years in practice , he had never worked a weekend , let alone a holiday weekend because of Easter. But the settlement judge , they helped all of the parties involved reach a deal because we're weeks away from a huge event for San Diego County. And so the agreement is that multiple vendors will work together for this year's fair instead of only one provider. And this is the process that the fair used years prior. So like he said , things are really going back to the future for this year's fair.
S3: So we'll see a full scale county fair this year.
S4: Yes , the fair will go on and it opens on June 8th. And I think something people are really looking forward to are the concerts. That's something that it was missing from last year's fair. And the concerts are huge crowd colors. So the lineup has already been announced and I think with the return of concerts , there was just too much at stake to jeopardize such a huge money generator for the San Diego economy.
S3: As you said , the opening day is June 8th. I've been speaking with KPBS North County reporter Tanya Thorn. Tanya , thank you.
S4: Thank you.
S1: In an effort to combat a rise in deaths among San Diego's homeless population , a Chula Vista outreach group is establishing a street medicine team to serve the health needs of unhoused South Bay residents. The nonprofit community through Hope will soon be providing emergency relief services , wound care , hygiene products , food and other items to residents of encampments in the region. And joining me now with more on this effort is Community through Hope program director Bella martinez. Bella , welcome to the program.
S2: Thank you so much for having me.
S2: It helps our clients have self-sufficiency to be able to take care of themselves and to take care of their neighbors.
S2: So we do DMV vouchers , we do snack bags , hot meals , we do hygiene kits. And those are the things dog and cat food. Those are the things that we take out with us when we go on outreach to see our clients. But what's even more exciting is that now we will be going out with a nurse from a public health nurse from the County of San Diego , and later on going out with more resident doctors from Point Loma Nazarene University with us to be able to kind of add an extra element of care to help alleviate the rates of visits to the hospital through the ambulances. But those are the things that we do. So we come out with hot meals , we come out with snack bars , come out with dog food , blankets , clothes.
S1: This program is going to be a partnership with the county's Department of Health and Human Services.
S2: I mean , about a few months ago , we actually lost one of our clients. He suffered regulatory issues. He was 47. His name was Eric. And he was very loved by his encampment and his community. He had a wonderful dog named Hellboy , and he died on top of his oxygen tank. He if his community had more information about how to take care of him and to take care of themselves so his death could have been prevented. So the need is extraordinary for a program like this.
S2: A lot of them are suffering from open , festering wounds , which is something that we can address. A lot of them suffer from drug and alcohol issues , which is why we provide Narcan. A lot of them are suffering from like diabetes and things that can be addressed through a public health nurse.
S1: As someone who's homeless , you get a cut on your leg.
S2: It leads to other issues like deep infection , which can put you in the hospital. And if people have access to be able to treat that immediately , then we get to lower the rates of trips to the hospital , which is a goal.
S2: We're here at our site at four , six , five C Street , Monday to Friday from 9 to 4. Clients can walk in and get services directly , but we also go out every single week to check on our clients and meet them where they're at.
S1: In your experience , have you found that some people are hesitant to engage with outreach services.
S2: Especially in Chula Vista ? There's been a broken trust between the unsheltered community and outreach workers , specifically through the team here in Chula Vista. There's been a a broken trust between the police and who are out there supposed to be helping our own children clients. So a lot of times people are hesitant. A lot of our programming in the first phase of South Street medicine was to rebuild that trust. Sometimes they see they see outreach workers and they don't want to talk to them because they think that they're going to get in trouble. But when they see us in our blue and green shirts , they know that we're here to help and not to hurt.
S2: This is going to lead to me getting my things to. Taken away. This is going to lead to me having to leave where I'm at. Whereas with outreach , that's that we're doing the opposite. We're there to help them continue to survive.
S1: I've been speaking with Bella Martinez , program manager for Community through Hope in Chula Vista. Bella , thank you so much for joining us.
S2: Thank you. Have a wonderful day.
S3: This is KPBS Midday Edition. I'm Maureen CAVANAUGH with Jade Heineman. Turner Classic Movies host Alicia malone has a new book out called Girls on Film. She will be signing copies of the book this Sunday at the TCM Classic Film Festival in Hollywood. KPBS arts reporter Beth ACCOMANDO spoke to the author about her book and about this weekend's film festival.
S5: So , Alicia , you have a new book , Girls on Film Lessons From a Life of Watching Women and Movies. So this is not your typical like just a list of films or what to watch , but this is a very kind of personal journey through film. So explain how you wanted to structure this.
S7: Yeah , this is my first time being quite personal. My first book was about film history and women throughout Hollywood history. My second book was about film analysis and favorite films directed by women. So I saw this as kind of a very loose trilogy where now I would try to mix personal memoir with film history and film analysis. And I started thinking about the idea for this book at the beginning of the pandemic , when I was locked in my apartment and I noticed the types of films I would turn to for comfort. And a lot of them were movies I used to watch as a child. And I think that's something we all felt at that time the need for nostalgia , for something that felt very certain during an uncertain time. So I started to think more about what films have meant to me over my years and try to structure it in a way that could wave movies and personal memoir together. It's not , you know , an entire memoir about my life , but it's snapshots of my life and the films that I was inspired by and the women I was inspired by at that time.
S7: I always believed that I watched movies for answers. Being such an introverted child , being very shy and not wanting to ask my parents or any adult anything embarrassing and everything about being a girl was embarrassing to me as a teenager. I always thought that I turned to movies to figure out life's big questions. And I'm sure it taught me a lot of things , you know , a lot of things about world history and politics and. And some lessons I've had to undo since finding out the real truth. But what I discovered along the way was I actually don't watch movies for answers like I thought I watched movies for questions , for more questions , because every film I watch , particularly classic film , which is often a time capsule of the time and place in which it was made , you know , that sends me into other questions and wanting to know more about the story behind the film , wanting to know more about what was happening in that country at that time , about society , and leading me into more research and having conversations with people. And that , I think , is what makes watching classic films so much fun to me , is that there's always more to learn. There's always more to explore. So really , I watch movies for questions and to have these conversations where I don't necessarily have all the answers , but I find such value in that.
S7: I think , you know , one that I question is Mad Love from 1995 starring Drew Barrymore. This is a film that not many people saw at the time , but for some reason , the time when I watched it , when I was like 14 years old , that it hit me so hard that I felt like I could relate to Drew Barrymore's character in a really strong way. So I knew all the words to the film. I listened to the soundtrack over and over. I cut my hair like Drew , and it was so aspirational to me as a as a child. And watching that now , I can revert back to how I felt at that time , but I can't quite understand as someone who now has watched a volume of films. You know why that film in particular spoke to me ? Sometimes you have those movies that you see the flaws , but it doesn't matter because you love them , because you needed to see that film at that particular time in your life.
S5: And then revisiting these films did like a particular film or a particular actress or a particular director kind of just strike you as like , Yeah , this is really one that was pivotal for me or really made a mark on me , or you find more significant than maybe you had originally thought.
S7: Yeah , I think Marilyn Monroe is an actress that. I continue to revisit. She's someone that has beguiled me as a child in trying to figure out who she really was. This enigma was what that performance of womanhood actually means. And whether that was something , you know , good for me to watch as a child or not. I revisited Gentlemen Prefer Blondes , and that's a film that when I watched it as a kid , I just fell in love with the bright colors and the fantasy of the film and the beautiful women and those costumes. But now , as I have grown older and I've become , you know , a feminist and I can look at movies through that lens , I see something totally different. And I see someone who was performing a character that she created for herself , not only playing Lorelei Lee , but she was playing Marilyn Monroe. And I think this is true of her throughout the years. I mean , we keep revisiting her life and keep trying to figure her out because she was a mess of contradictions. She didn't really make sense. And she's one that I still find really fascinating and I haven't quite worked out , but I have a different relationship to her throughout my years as I've grown older and.
S5: In addition to being an author , you are also one of the TCM hosts and the TCM Film Festival is coming up. And as a TCM host you are also introducing a few films at the festival.
S7: I find it really fascinating that she has said in the past that watching , Singing in the Rain as a child was an informative experience for her and led her to want to start dancing in the first place. So I'm really interested to learn more from her about a what she feels about the movie , how it changed her life or her experience with the film , and B also just about the dancing from a choreographer. So I'm interested to talk to her about the dancing itself.
S7: And pre-code movies are always really entertaining to watch with a crowd live. They're fast , they're fun , they're risque. And one that I would highlight is Queen Bee , which stars Joan Crawford. And it's Joan Crawford. In her most Joan Crawford esque role , she plays this socialite who is , after all , the man and the men cannot help but fall for her. I think technically it came later than pre-code , but it's one that came to mind when I thought about that question because yeah , Joan Crawford , she's such a force on screen and a really interesting actress to look at from a feminist perspective.
S5: All right. Well , I want to thank you very much for talking about your book and about the TCM Film Festival.
S7: Thank you. I so appreciate you taking the time to talk to me about my book.
S2: Thank you.
S3: That was Beth ACCOMANDO speaking with Alicia malone. Her book , Girls on Film , is currently available. The TCM Classic Film Festival runs this Thursday through Sunday in Hollywood and look for Beth Cinema Junkie podcast later this week with more from Alicia malone and TCM programmer Scott McGee.

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Traveling in and around the country looks a lot different today than it did yesterday. Following a Florida federal judge’s ruling striking down the federal transportation mask mandate, airlines including Southwest, American Delta, United and others are making masking optional on domestic flights. Next, 25 years after the present Mission Bay drive bridge was described as “functionally deficient and obsolete” a replacement bridge is just months away from completion. After, Escondido’s historic downtown is undergoing a makeover that could make it the next Little Italy-like scene. Then, a Chula Vista outreach group is establishing a street medicine team to serve the health needs of unhoused South Bay residents. Then, KPBS arts reporter Beth Accomando previews this weekend's Turner Classic Movies film festival with host Alicia Malone.