Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

Fallout continues in leaked recordings of LA council members

 October 18, 2022 at 1:26 PM PDT

S1: The implications of L.A. City Council after racist comments were leaked.

S2: So I think we're seeing a unified response to these divisive comments.

S1: I'm Jade Hindman with Maureen CAVANAUGH. This is KPBS midday edition. The latest on a fast spreading respiratory virus infecting students.

S3: I suspect a lot of these kids were tested well in the past , they may not have been tested. So I think we maybe uncovered this a little bit easier than we would have been in the past.

S1: And we break down the District 49 race and insights on Edgar Allan Poe's work. That's ahead on Midday Edition. The fallout continues in Los Angeles City Council after racist recordings were leaked earlier this month. Yesterday , councilmembers Gil Cirillo and Kevin De Leon were stripped of their committee positions as protests , urging them to step down continue. That follows the resignation of the now former Los Angeles City Council President Nury Martinez and Los Angeles County Federation of Labor President Ron Herrera in the wake of the scandal. The comments captured in a recording were revealed first by the L.A. Times on October 9th. They detailed racist remarks about a white councilmembers , young black son about Mohawk and people , a mainly indigenous region in southern Mexico as well as other minority groups. And the conversation where these comments were made was about redistricting , leading to a new question about the fairness of the process. I'm joined now by Thad Couser , political science professor at UC San Diego. Dad , welcome back to Midday Edition.

S2: Well , thanks for having me , Jane , but I'm sad to be here. This is a painful moment in California political history.

S1: Indeed it is. First , let's talk about this leaked audio recording.

S2: There are a lot of things it can't be repeated on. Frankly , on a family radio show. But basically , we saw a racist attack on the son , two year old son of another council member. We saw the revelation of old racial tropes and we saw attacks that were really colorists on the Oaxacan community as , as you said , a mainly indigenous community. And most of the worst things was said by Nouri Martinez. But Kevin DeLeon , Gil Zedillo , Ron Herrera , the other people taking part in that conversation , all of them said ugly , terrible things , didn't intercede. All have apologized. But that hasn't stemmed the calls for for all of them to exit the political stage.

S1: And once the recording was released , as you mentioned , there was an immediate uproar.

S2: And I think we've seen other political leaders survive some scandals like this before. So. So most famously , Virginia Governor Ralph NORTHAM , who was was seen in a KKK costume at a party right earlier in his life. He survived that scandal and went on to to lead as governor of Virginia , which is something almost unfathomable in many ways. And so I think the initial thought and the remaining thought by Kevin De Leon and Gil City over the two members of the L.A. City Council who were stripped of their positions , according to the to the current acting president , they would have no credibility if they were to remain on the council , but they still have not yet resigned their seats.

S1:

S2: All of these comments were incredibly divisive. But we've seen a unified response. So this has not been something where only black leaders have castigated the people who made these comments. Latino leaders , both elected officials and the main community leaders and Latino community in Los Angeles came together to call for their resignation. Labor leaders called on Ron Herrera to resign , and he did. Democrats , these all of these people were Democrats who made these comments. Democrats themselves , including all the way up to President Biden , have called on these Democrats to resign. So I think we're seeing a unified response to these divisive comments.

S1: And , you know , as you mentioned , earlier , councilmembers Gil Cirillo and Kevin De Leon remain on the council as of now , but calls for them to resign show no sign of slowing down.

S2: Now , basically , you've seen every in-person city council meeting was shut down with protesters. There are protesters outside of Kevin Dellums residence. There are going to be calls it. The council will meet by Zoom this week because one of the members tested positive for COVID 19. But it's hard to picture any of either of them carrying on. Gil's video just has a couple of months left in his term. He's he's due to leave office for Kevin de Leon , who is the most important Democratic legislative leader in the state as Senate president pro tem , who challenged and did well against sitting incumbent Dianne Feinstein , someone who was thought to have a very strong political future. He still has not let go of those ambitions and his possible ideas for for future if he can survive this.

S1: Here's what Acting Council President Mitchell Farrell had to say about them yesterday.

S4: The only recourse is resignation or recall , because I do not see the remaining two members who haven't resigned coming back to council with any level of credibility whatsoever.

S1: So if they continue to resist calls to step down , would you expect a recall ? All effort to remove them.

S2: I think we could see that right. We saw actually a nearly successful but ultimately failed recall effort against Mike Bonin , who is the council member , who is the he and his family were the target of many of these racist remarks. So that is an option that voters have in California. You could see them exercising that option. But I think by the time we get too far into this , both members will resign. That will likely trigger a special election for one of them. And that will lead to changes not only in the composition of the city council , but really the very structure of the city council and how its redistricting is governed. All of those will be rethought , I think , fundamentally after this terrible scandal.

S1:

S2: Right. This is a very important leader , someone who had come from humble beginnings , who had gotten to the to the top of state politics is as as the first Latino leader of the Senate in over 100 years. His those ambitions , I think , are gone. Will he ? I think his hope now is that he could survive in his in this district , which where he represents about a quarter million people , that he may be able to rebuild those connections and rebuild that trust. But that remains to be seen.

S1: You know , the conversation where these comments were made were on the topic of redistricting.

S2: There's a redistricting commission , but it's not an independent one. It's still very much under the control of the members of of the city council. And that leads to this this question of self-interest. I think it's very likely that we'll see reform , charter reform to the Los Angeles charter that creates a truly independent redistricting commission , much like the one that we have for the San Diego City Council , for San Diego County Supervisors now and for the state of California over the past two decades. That model , I think , is one we'll see very soon in Los Angeles.

S1: You know , the L.A. City Council said it may elect a new president in a session today. Do we have any idea who that may be ? You have a leading.

S2: Candidate right now , seems to be current price , who is a black city council member who represents a district with mostly Latino residents. So he's a proven bridge builder between these two communities and he looks like the frontrunner. If the city council wants to reorganize itself now , but remember , it's going to have it's about to elect new members for at least a third of its seats. And so this could all be in flux again come December.

S1:

S2: I think nationally , this has been such a major news story because I think in some people's mind , write for Fox viewers nationwide , this is seen as the revelation of the hypocrisy of California liberals. Right. And I think what we've seen in the last week , the response by people in every community , every racial and ethnic community that makes up the broad coalition of the Democratic Party in California have all been unified in attacking this and calling it out and standing up against their own members for doing it. I think that may lead to to the resurrection of some of these coalitions. And I think that what you see is a Democratic Party sort of searching for its soul right now in California.

S1: I've been speaking with Thad Causer , professor of political science at UC San Diego. Dan , thank you very much for joining us.

S2: Thanks for having me.

S5: 40% of the student body at Patrick Henry High School was out sick at the end of last week and a flu outbreak is suspected. Equally troubling is the number of children hospitalized in San Diego with the respiratory virus , RSV. Doctors say more than 250 kids have come down with this version of the common cold that can lead to shortness of breath and in some cases , viral pneumonia in very young children. Joining me is Dr. Mark Sawyer , infectious disease specialist at Rady Children's Hospital and UC San Diego. And , Dr. Sawyer , welcome to the program.

S3: It's great to be with you , Murray.

S5: Our doctors are sure that these two problems , the outbreak among high school students and RSV in children have nothing to do with COVID 19.

S3: Well , it would be unusual for there to be a direct link , but I suspect there really is a link. That is we're tuned in so much now to respiratory illness that I suspect a lot of these kids were tested. Well , in the past , they may not have been tested. So I think we maybe uncovered this a little bit easier than we would have in the past.

S5:

S3: It's sort of like predictions of the stock market or the economy. And they're wrong half the time. But the primary reason is that the southern hemisphere , which if you keep in mind , their winter , is the opposite of ours. So they've just been through the end of their flu season and they had many countries in the southern hemisphere had a particularly bad season. So that's one reason. And the second is that we've already started to see more cases than we normally do in October this year. So those two things together have people concerned that we're going to see a really big season.

S5:

S3: You've already mentioned influenza and RSV in San Diego in general. And they specifically mentioned that there was this outbreak happening at Patrick Henry , which they at least many of the cases were being attributed to to influenza.

S5: Now , 40% of the student population calling out sick.

S3: And again , some of it may be due to increased sensitivity that COVID has given us , but parents being more concerned about sending kids to school when they're sick , particularly if they didn't know what they had , whether they had COVID or influenza. But that's that's a lot. And so it sort of adds to the general concern that we may be seeing not only more cases , but more severe cases.

S5:

S3: And each time you get infected , it protects you for a little while. But I really think that's unlikely to be the major explanation this year because our influenza vaccination rates continued to be pretty good through COVID. And that's a major way that we limit the impact of influenza every year.

S5:

S3: Those are the people who end up in the hospital. It's a very common infection. And this is no surprise to those of us in infectious disease to see surging RSV in the fall. In the winter , we actually give a special medication to young babies who are at very high risk from this virus every year. So this is sort of normal business , although a little bit early for RSV as well as it is for influenza.

S5:

S3: You can't even tell the difference between COVID nasty and influenza without a test. So that's all the more reason for people to to get tested when they get sick and stay at home for sure if they are sick , particularly if they have COVID , but really these other things as well.

S5:

S3: It's actually a monoclonal antibody similar to the ones that we have for COVID. But you can give ahead of time to prevent young babies from getting really sick with this. So we give it to babies who have underlying heart and lung disease or immune system problems. It's not something that's given routinely to everybody. There is an RSV vaccine on the way. It's being tested right now both and in elderly adults and in young babies. So I'm hopeful that in the next year or so we may actually have a vaccine to prevent that infection specifically.

S5:

S3: I mean , we obviously don't want anybody in the hospital , but we're quite used to surges in hospitalizations every winter. That's part of what makes the hospital and doctor's offices busy Every winter is all of the respiratory viruses that circulate. But RSV is often the leading virus that we deal with every winter.

S5: Now , there have also been predictions of an increase in COVID 19 infections this winter. And yesterday , Governor Newsom says California's COVID 19 state of emergency will end in February.

S3: There are certain public health officials are certainly predicting a surge in the winter , as we've seen the last two winters with COVID as people get together more inside. And weather conditions seem to promote transmission of infection. Whether it will be a big surge or a little surge. We'll have to see. It could , depending on where that happens. Obviously , if we're in the middle of that surge in February , that would be too early to end the restrictions that are related to that state of emergency.

S5:

S3: I think we've become a little complacent about COVID since we've come to know it so well and things have settled down now. But I do want to remind parents that young children get severe COVID just like adults do. Fortunately , not nearly as often. But we still are seeing kids hospitalized with COVID , and that can be largely prevented through the vaccine. We know a lot about this vaccine and its safety now , so there's no longer a reason to be concerned about the safety of the vaccine and uncertainty about that. We have given millions of doses of this vaccine to children , and it's going very well.

S5: And I suppose you'd also like to see more children get their flu shots.

S3: Yes , we're doing pretty good with flu shots , particularly in young kids , certainly over 50%. And that that held up in the last two years despite us being locked down and us not seeing much influenza. But as you as you started with today , influenza is back and getting your flu shot is the best way to prevent getting sick from it. And I got mine yesterday. Okay.

S5: Okay. I've been speaking with Dr. Mark Sawyer , who is an infectious disease specialist at Rady Children's Hospital and UC San Diego. Dr. Sawyer , as always , thank you so much.

S3: Thank you. Morning.

S5: This is KPBS midday edition. I'm Maureen CAVANAUGH with Jane Heineman. The 49th Congressional District encompasses North County communities such as Oceanside , Vista and Carlsbad and reaches into Dana Point and San Juan Capistrano in southern Orange County. The district has been represented by Democrat Mike Levin since 2019. His challenger in the November election is Republican businessman Brian Marriott. Joining me is KPBS , North County reporter Tanya Thorne. And , Tanya , welcome. Thanks , Maureen. Happy to be here. Tell us more about these two candidates. Let's start with the challenger , Brian Marriott. Is he a political newcomer ? Brian Marriott isn't new. This will be his third run at District 49 and his second time against Mike Leavitt. And although he hasn't won , he's definitely moved up in place and has gained a following. He's the former mayor of San Juan Capistrano and has a background in finance as a certified financial planner. He calls himself a conservative businessman who has spent his career helping families save money and invest in their future. It seems that after his financial planning business grew , he moved on to management of employees and client assets , and he told me that he is now dedicating himself to giving back. And in December 2020 , Marriott launched a nonprofit Plan IT kids to provide free financial planning services to families. And before the incumbent , Mike Levin , was elected , he was involved in environmental law , wasn't he ? That's right. Incumbent Mike Levin has focused much of his career on environmental and regulating energy compliance. He's big on developing cleaner energy and sustainable power , and some of that work has been seen in his support towards electric transportation , wastewater treatment facilities and preventing future offshore drilling. What kind of legislation has Levin championed in Congress ? Well , a lot of his work has gone towards climate action and cleaner energy. He's introduced legislation for the transition to zero emission vehicles and the development of renewable energy. He's also been involved in battling veteran homelessness and has gotten bills signed into law , strengthening benefits and services for veterans , which we know make up a large and important population in San Diego and North County. Another big issue here in the 49th District is the disposal of the nuclear waste at the retired Sentinel four power plant. Here's Levin with his latest update on that.

S2: Just recently , the Department of Energy.

S3: Announced that 16 million would be spent over the next 18 months in trying to get somewhere between six and eight communities interested.

S2: In being a host , either for an interim storage site or potentially a.

S3: Permanent repository.

S5: What does Brian Merritt have to say about the nuclear waste stored at San Onofre ? Well , Maria isn't supportive of Levin's move to find a community willing to store the nuclear waste , whether it's a temporary or permanent storage site. Here are his thoughts.

S2: And guess what ? Since 2008 until now , nobody has thrown up their hand and say , yes , we'll accept it.

S5: Maria thinks the best solution for the nuclear waste storage is to find a mountain and buried deep , as he said , which is something that has been studied in the past when officials were considering Yucca mountain as a possible storage site. And what are Brian Marriott's top priorities in this race ? When I spoke to Maria , he said his top three priorities were reducing inflation , personal security for communities and securing the border. A popular question we've seen this election is whether or not candidates believe Joe Biden legitimately won the 2020 election. And to this , Marriott has been very vague on his answer. Has he said anything at all about the legitimacy of Joe Biden's election ? Well , his answers have been very vague on this , where he hasn't confirmed nor denied. And it kind of goes in hand with reproductive rights and access to abortion , which we've seen a lot , a lot of lately. Maria supported the Supreme Court decision and thinks states should decide on abortion access. And , you know , it's another question that he's declined to answer or kind of avoided. Mike Levin is a supporter of reproductive rights. What are his top issues ? Levin's top three issues are protection of the environment , serving veterans and our military and protecting democracy. And again , the protection of democracy ties into supporting reproductive rights for women , including access to abortion. The 49th District used to be reliably Republican when it was represented for years by Darrell Issa. In 2018 , it flipped to the Democratic side by electing Mike Levin. Now there is speculation that it may flip back to the GOP corner. Why is that ? This is a rematch for Maria and Levin , and this time around , it could be very close , especially after the statewide redistricting. This district is made up by parts of Orange County that tend to lean more on the conservative side and part north San Diego County that have usually voted more democratically. But things could take a shift. We'll have to wait and see. Right. Has there been any polling done to indicate who's ahead ? I haven't seen any recent polling , but I know that the last election , Mary , got lost by six points , which is , you know , a very small margin. And I have seen him gain more popularity. And just driving around in my neighborhood here in Oceanside , I'm seeing a lot of Marriott signs. So it could very well be a very close election for them. Working the listeners , find out more about this race. Listeners can find out about this race and many others on our website , on our voter hub. And something really cool this election is that we do have the information available in Spanish. So just stay tuned and we will keep you updated as we get closer to elections and on Election Day. And I've been speaking with KPBS North County reporter Tanya Thorne. Tanya , thanks. Thanks , Maureen.

S1: The future of electric cars has created an enormous demand for lithium , and Imperial County is rich in deposits. Companies are prepared to mine the metal suspended in salty underground water. But who will reap the financial rewards ? KPBS science and technology reporter Thomas Fudge has the second story in a two part series.

S2: Maria Nava Frohlich is a 40 year employee of the Calipari , a school district. She is also the mayor pro tem of Carla Patricia. And she tells me there is a lot that is missing from her town.

S5: Visit our communities and see for yourself how rural and how impoverished we are. We want to thrive. Like other municipalities , like other communities.

S2: The realities of high unemployment , lack of retail businesses and few career opportunities are as stifling here as the triple digit temperatures in the summer. Some , like Luis Olmedo , executive director of the Comité Civic del Valle , says distribution of what money there is has not been equitable.

S6: Any time there's an opportunity , we've been exploited as a community. That was really a rallying point and says , Hey , wait a minute , we're going to pull together because if we don't work together , every other interested party that is seeing a financial opportunity is going to tear us apart and we're going to end up with nothing but extraction and no benefits in our own community.

S2: The extraction he's talking about is the future mining of heavy deposits of lithium , which is suspended in underground brine water. And this time , the wheels of politics have guaranteed that some money will remain in the Imperial Valley and hopefully benefit many of the people who need it. State Assembly member Eduardo Garcia , a Democrat who represents Imperial County , was behind a bill signed by Governor Newsom. It will levy an excise tax on every tonne of lithium that is recovered in the valley , and every penny of tax revenue is staying in the valley. 80% will go to the county.

S6: For purposes of reinvestment.

S2: Into the. Community.

S6: Community.

S3: 30% of that 80 will be directed towards communities. Closest.

S6: Closest.

S2: To the lithium recovery activities. The remaining 20% will go to Salton Sea Restoration. The County Board of Supervisors will have to decide what reinvestment initiatives deserve funding. Garcia says officials have raised the question at community meetings. If you live.

S6: In the north and there are issues related.

S3: To water and sewer infrastructure.

S6: They're looking. For.

S3: For.

S6: Investments that will lead to economic development opportunities. There's a.

S3: Town on the north.

S6: End that doesn't have a grocery. Store.

S2: Store. The excise tax will be levied on the lithium extractions will ultimately reach $800 a tonne. Industry is not happy about it. David Fulmer is the CEO of Energy Source Minerals. They are planning to build $1,000,000,000 expansion to their geothermal plant to begin mining lithium in 2025.

S3: When the governor's office indicated that they were going to support this.

S2: Industry , we're thankful. That's great.

S3: But the first thing that happened was they put up $800 a ton lithium tax on us.

S2: And I was kind of shocked that that.

S3: Was how they were going to help this industry.

S2: Take off. But Folmer says they've come to terms with the tax. And Mayor Nava Froehlich is very upbeat , calling the lithium industry a game changer for the valley. In a related development , San Diego State University received an $80 million check from the state to build a STEM research and education facility at its Imperial Valley campus in Brawley. San Diego State President Adela de La Torres spoke at a recent community forum in Brawley and offered this bright vision for the future.

S5: This is a moment in history in time where we really can transform the valley so that we can really create a vision that allows our students to stay in the valley , have opportunities in the valley , and become the leaders of the valley in so many different ways.

S2: Spokesman with the energy source says he welcomes the training offered by San Diego State and Imperial Valley College. He says it's important to recruit , train people who are from the valley because outsiders who move here typically don't last very long. Thomas Fudge , KPBS News.

S5: More than a year of closed classrooms and remote learning due to COVID 19 have taken a toll on student academic performance at San Diego Unified. The most recent state standardized test scores show sharp drops in math and English standards , erasing gains that were made in the five years leading up to the pandemic. San Diego Unified School officials say drops in student performance were expected and mirror lower achievement numbers nationwide. Now the effort is underway to help kids recapture those gains. Joining me is Jacob Mcwhinney. Education reporter with the Voice of San Diego. And Jacob , welcome to the program.

S3: Hi , Maureen. Thanks for having me.

S5:

S3: So I'd say the most significant results are the large drops in the percentage of students meeting the state's English and math standards. Overall , the number of students reading English standards at San Diego Unified dropped by around four percentage points , and the number of students meeting math standards dropped by about seven percentage points. And as you said , those drops in scores nearly cancel out all of the increases in scores over the last five years in English and the drops in math scores more than cancel out those increases.

S5:

S3: So the last year that data is available is is for the 2018 to 2019 school year. And during that school year , 57% of students met the state's English standards , and around 48 and a half percent of students met the state's math standards. The latest results from the 20 2122 school year show Around 53% of students met the state's English standards and around 41% met the state's math standards. And as you said at the top , these drops do mirror somewhat the drops that have occurred nationwide.

S5:

S3: And although we saw drops in scores across demographics , in some demographics , these drops were even worse. So even before the pandemic , there was a wide achievement gap for black and Brown students. In the 2018 to 2019 numbers , around 32% of Hispanic students and around 28% of black students met the state's math standards , compared to 73% of Asian students. And around six , nine and a half percent of white students. In the latest results , however , around 24% of Hispanic students and nearly 19% of black students meet the math standards. So that's an over 9% drop for black students. So multiple points higher than the 7% drop overall. Meanwhile , the drops seen for white and Asian students are more in line with that 7% number. There's slightly less variation in the drops in English scores , though. Hispanic students are around a one point higher drop than other demographics.

S5:

S3: I'll point out one interesting one was that the only student group that saw slight gains over the pandemic were students in special education. That's that's pretty surprising , all things considered. And we're still trying to get to the bottom of why. Another surprising thing , given existing data trends , was that non economically disadvantaged students actually saw a higher drop in scores than economically disadvantaged students. That's another thing that I'm going to be digging into. And the last data point I'd highlight is a little worrying , and it needs a little bit of an explanation. The assessment essentially breaks down student performance into four categories. There's the exceed standards category , which is the highest meets standards category , the nearly meets standards category and does not meet standards category in the latest scores. We didn't see a sort of uniform shift downward. We actually saw sort of pooling at the bottom category. For example , math scores , the nearly match category increased by a fraction of a percent. That's the kind of third lowest , while the lowest category increased by just about seven points. That's pretty much the entirety of the drop that we saw. The pattern was similar in English scores , though slightly less pronounced. So students seem to be dropping not just to the category below , but potentially to to the lowest category.

S5: Now , the state's largest school district , Los Angeles Unified , released their results last month.

S3: So student performance at San Diego Unified has historically , and also in the latest results , been higher than L.A. Unified. But although Los Angeles Unified also saw drops that. Similar in nature. Troops at San Diego Unified were actually larger than those in L.A. , where San Diego saw seven and 4% drops in the percentage of students who met state math and English standards , respectively. L.A. saw drops of five and 2% in those categories.

S5:

S3: You know , this is one of the first data points that we have to compare to pre-pandemic scores. And it also is important to note that this is just kind of a snapshot in time. And given that the significant disparities still exist in student performance , they feel it highlights the need to focus on equity and whole child education , which basically means supporting students in all facets of their life outside of the classroom , like potentially providing mental health and social emotional supports. They've also said that it's important not to blame students , teachers or staff , but to try to rally around and to support the community.

S5:

S3: I spoke to Dan Goldhaber for my piece , Voice of San Diego. He's the director of the Center for Analysis of Longitudinal Data in Education Research. And so he's steeped in all of these numbers. And he said he thinks that a real key to digging students out of what he called a pretty significant academic hole will be extending learning opportunities , whether that's through longer school days , Saturday school or summer school. He thinks that those extended opportunities are really vital because you're skeptical that interventions that take place just during the class day are enough.

S5: And is San Diego Unified offering longer school days or summer school ? That kind of extended academic opportunity ? Yeah.

S3: The district has outlined a number of strategies it said it will employ to help students recover from COVID 19. Learning loss and expanded learning opportunities is one of those strategies. I'll update you on the specifics of what that looks like as as I start to learn. Other strategies they've listed are prioritizing standards based learning , which has actually been a bit of a of a controversial topic in the district. They're going to implement subject area supports in subjects like math , science and literacy , and they are planning on expanding early education programs.

S5: I've been speaking with Jacob Mcwhinney. Education reporter with the Voice of San Diego. Jacob , thanks a lot.

S3: Thanks for having me.

S1: You're listening to KPBS midday Edition. I'm Jade Hindman with Maureen CAVANAUGH right out loud. Poe Fest provides audiences with a chance to meet Edgar Allan Poe , the master of such morbid 19th century works as The Raven and the Telltale Heart. KPBS arts reporter Beth ACCOMANDO took advantage of this opportunity to speak with Mr. Poe directly to get insights into his work.

S5: We're very fortunate today to actually have Mr. Edgar Allan Poe with us to discuss his work.

S6: In one of my stories , the Premature Burial. I states The lines which divide life from death are best , shadowy and vague. It was to say. But one ends and the other begins. I also contend that the lines which divide the boundaries between sanity and insanity are also shadowy and vague. It has been the case throughout history that humans were fascinated , curious about madness , mental fragility. That said , I offer this bit of caution to young readers. Be cautious when you seek madness. You just may find it.

S5:

S6: Many know that. Not many know the extent to which I struggled through my lifetime. My father disappeared before I was even a year old. My mother tragically died before I was three. I was separated from my siblings , raised by shrewd Virginia tobacco merchants. My foster parent , John Allen , was , well , not the warmest paternal figure. Everyone I loved , Every woman I ever fell in love with died. In my lifetime and I had to watch it happen. And it would seem that during my lifetime , for the most part , the world was just coldly indifferent to my poetry. I was more successful as an author and a poet in my lifetime , and I was more successful as an editor than either of the other two. I really made my living as an editor and critic also , and writing original works frustrated me. It angered me to no extent. Therefore , I fled from my anger into the world of fiction and Gothic horror and gothic poetry and sadly , substances as well. Therefore , I suppose it could be said that the rage I felt in my everyday life was channeled into my writing.

S5: And what do you. See.

S1: See.

S5:

S6: Inspiration. But generations after generations of young writers , as well as perhaps a resurgence into themes of Halloween horror and terror , the macabre that we experience within our own souls is perhaps not something that we should see as a. Talent , not a stumbling block , but also as an element of our psyche that makes us stronger , provided that we channel our rage properly.

S5: Do you have a favourite work or do you have a work that you feel revealed the most about you.

S6: In terms of the work which reflects the most upon my life ? I encourage any novices in my work to explore. William Wilson It is my most autobiographical short story and in terms of my poems I must say Annabel Lee ranks as my favorite of my poems.

S5:

S6: I will close this out with the beautiful final stanza of Annabel Lee. The Moon Never been Without bringing me dreams of the beautiful Annabel Lee and the stars that arise. But I see the bright eyes of the beautiful Annabel Lee. And so all the night tide I lie down by the side of my darling , my darling , my life and my bride in her sepulchre there by the sea. In her tomb by the side of the sea. Okay.

S5: Okay. I know you didn't really think that was Edgar Allan Poe speaking to me from Beyond the grave , but it was the 19th century author channeled through actor Travis Rhett Wilson , who's part of Right Out Loud is Poe Fest. Wilson will be performing The Raven and serving up an encounter with the tormented writer over the next two weekends. I asked Wilson how he first got introduced to Poe.

S6: My dad read The Raven to me when I was nine , and I was just fascinated by the language. I didn't understand any of it , so I wanted to learn more. And I went in , learned what some of the words meant. Familiarized myself with a lot of his other works. I didn't really start digging into his backstory until college , and I found this dusty old biography , All the Haunted Man , and I just read about him and I thought , Wow , this guy was a very angry , hateful man toward the end. How did he get this way ? And I wanted to know more. And knowing that someday I wanted to play this guy. And here we are.

S5: Talk a little bit about the particular location where professor is going to be taking place , because you're in a kind of Victorian mansion which seems to lend itself very much to his work.

S6: We will be performing for the second year at the Casa de Montezuma and it's just a beautiful , gorgeous , gorgeous space historic site , considered one of the most enchanted. It's not haunted. Don't call it Haunted Horse when I'm there as Poe. In a manner of speaking , it'll be haunted. So because Poe's there , those ghost invades. Infiltrates. I just love the space. It's absolutely beautiful. The rooms that I perform in have this lovely ambiance of just a warm morbidity to them.

S5: All right. Well , I want to thank you very much for talking about Poe Fest.

S6: Oh , no problem.

S1: That was actor and Poe enthusiast Travis Rhett Wilson speaking with our reporter Beth ACCOMANDO. Right out loud , Professor continues through the next two weekends at Villa Montezuma Museum and highlights not just Poe , but also Mary Shelley Shakespeare and Robert Louis Stevenson.

The fallout continues after racist recordings of Los Angeles city council members were released earlier this month. Then, we’re seeing troubling signs of a bad flu season. Next, we continue our election coverage with a look at the 49th Congressional District race. And, we continue our series on mining for lithium in Imperial County. Then, we talk about pandemic learning loss and how San Diego Unified is responding. Finally, we get a taste of Write Out Loud's PoeFest which continues this weekend and next.