Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Infectious disease doctor has Halloween advice for parents

 October 19, 2021 at 4:45 PM PDT

Speaker 1: (00:01)

Some hopeful news about COVID safety. This Halloween

Speaker 2: (00:04)

We've learned how to wear masks. We've learned how to space ourselves apart. The vaccines are making a big impact.

Speaker 1: (00:11)

I'm Maureen Kavanaugh with Jade Heinemann. This is KPBS mid-day edition. San Diego joins a Caltrans effort to help homeless people camped along freeways.

Speaker 3: (00:29)

We have a large population that are unsheltered, and they're taking refuge in not only these areas on your highways, but all throughout the city.

Speaker 1: (00:39)

The importance of having uncomfortable conversations about race and Palm Springs reveals its dark side with a film noir festival that's ahead on midday edition. On Monday school districts around San Diego reported slightly higher absentee numbers. As some parents kept their children home to protest vaccine mandates, But while small groups demonstrate against the mandates, other parents are counting the days until a vaccine for kids under 12 is approved. Health officials say that emergency use approval is probably coming in the next few weeks, but not in time for Halloween. So what should parents have at top of mind as we enter another year of holidays in the midst of a pandemic, joining me is Dr. Mark Sawyer, pediatric infectious disease specialist with Rady children's hospital and UC San Diego. Dr. Sorry. Welcome back.

Speaker 2: (01:49)

It's great to join you, Marie.

Speaker 1: (01:50)

Now we see the number of new COVID cases going down as more vaccine mandates go into effect. Do you see a cause and effect there?

Speaker 2: (01:59)

Oh, I do think there is some cause and effect the mandates have been, have really been working and more and more people are getting immunized. We're reaching a level where there aren't that many susceptible people still around. So, you know, we're, I hesitate to use the word herd immunity, but we're really making a lot of progress.

Speaker 1: (02:20)

How are mandates working at

Speaker 2: (02:21)

Radius? Uh, all the health workers at Rady need to be immunized. And if for some reason they won't get immunized, then we they're being placed into non-patient care type of jobs. Uh, during the pandemic

Speaker 1: (02:38)

Now, currently vaccines are available for kids 12 years and older. But what is the latest on vaccine approval for children under 12?

Speaker 2: (02:47)

Yeah, I think that's coming right up. The FDA is meeting on the 26th of October to review the data from Pfizer about that, uh, immunizations in that younger age group. And from what I've heard about that data and having seen the FDA in action during this COVID outbreak, I expect pretty rapid approval of a emergency use authorization or EUA for the five through 11.

Speaker 1: (03:15)

Will this be a different form of the vaccine?

Speaker 2: (03:18)

It's the same format or the same construct, but it's a lower dose. So the dose that was used in the five to 11 was one-third the dose that older adolescents and adults were getting.

Speaker 1: (03:33)

And will kids need two shots?

Speaker 2: (03:35)

Yes, it's a two dose regimen, just like it is in adults.

Speaker 1: (03:40)

That's the plan on how the shots will be given to children? Will we see large vaccination sites open up again?

Speaker 2: (03:46)

I think there may be some, but I wear it since we started the pandemic. We have many more immunizers in San Diego than we had, you know, back in January and February pharmacies are one place where school children may be able to get immunized. And of course at their primary care physician's office, the pediatricians and family physicians of San Diego have been gearing up and getting ready so that they can give back scenes in it, just in their office.

Speaker 1: (04:15)

And what kinds of reactions may kids get from the shot?

Speaker 2: (04:18)

Well, we haven't seen the full data yet for the younger set, but what's been released so far suggests they get the same sort of side effects as older adolescent adults. So sore, arms, redness, where the injection was given. You might not feel good for 24 hours, but then you're back to normal.

Speaker 1: (04:35)

Should perhaps kids plan staying home from school the day after they get a vaccination,

Speaker 2: (04:41)

It's really hard for me to predict kids are pretty resilient and it takes a lot to throw them off. So they may well be able to just continue and go to school like normal.

Speaker 1: (04:50)

So right now, of course, a kid's vaccine is not yet approved or hoping for that in the next few weeks. And of course Halloween is coming up. So would you let your kids or grandkids go trick or treating this year?

Speaker 2: (05:03)

I think that's a pretty safe activity is outdoors, of course, and doesn't require prolonged close contact with other people. Now having said that, uh, I'm referring to a couple of kids, siblings, for example, going around their neighborhood, not batches of 20 kids gathering together in a herd,

Speaker 1: (05:23)

Should kids wear COVID masks, like sort of under their masks are over there Halloween mask.

Speaker 2: (05:30)

Yeah. Hopefully they already have masks on as part of their costume. But I think in an outdoor setting like that, uh, if there are not a lot of other kids in the, in their group that they probably can not wear a mask.

Speaker 1: (05:43)

Dr. Anthony Fowchee recently had some encouraging words for families in regards to celebrating Halloween this year, but did have these words of caution for those who are not vaccinated. If you're not

Speaker 4: (05:55)

Vaccinated again, think it that you'll add an extra degree of protection to yourself and your children and your family and your community.

Speaker 1: (06:04)

So for the younger kids who cannot be vaccinated at this time, what extra degree of protection can they add?

Speaker 2: (06:12)

Well, we do know that masks work. So in indoor settings, particularly around people that you don't know, their immunization status mask can still be, should still be used. Good ventilation helps even in an indoor setting, distancing from other people, all the things that we've been doing for the last year and a half that also worked to reduce the risk,

Speaker 1: (06:34)

You know, even with a vaccine for kids five and over those very young children will still be unvaccinated. How should people with infants and toddlers plan for this holiday season?

Speaker 2: (06:45)

Well, the same precautions apply trying to keep away from large groups of people, uh, unless you're outdoors. Uh, good. Hand-washing, you know, I wouldn't pass the newborn baby around for every family member to hold them. Uh, cause the more spacing you have, the better off you are now, vaccine is being studied all the way down to six months of age. So in the next six months or so we may be starting to immunize even younger kids.

Speaker 1: (07:15)

There's been an enormous amount of misinformation spread about the COVID vaccine. And I can only imagine that that's going to ramp up again when young children can be vaccinated. Is there any way to counteract that?

Speaker 2: (07:29)

Well, you know, health officials and public health officials are trying as much as they can to get out accurate information. I would encourage people who have concerns about the backseat to talk to their physician. That's their best source of unbiased and unfiltered information. Uh, and you know, there are certainly lots of good sites on the internet to gather information, but there's lots of misinformation there too. So I would not rely on the internet to, to educate yourself about the risks and the benefits of vaccine. Talk to your doctor or your children's doctor.

Speaker 1: (08:06)

I've talked to you several times, many times during the pandemic and you sound very hopeful at this point. Is that the way you feel Dr. Sawyer?

Speaker 2: (08:15)

Yes. I think we're getting over the worst of this. You know, we had a peak just in the last month or two, we think largely due to the Delta variant and there may be other variants that come in the, in the next year, but we've learned how to wear masks. We've learned how to space ourselves apart. The vaccines are making a big impact. So I think we'll continue to have little peaks of activity at various times, but I don't expect them a massive outbreak the way we've been having in the last year.

Speaker 1: (08:47)

I've been speaking with Dr. Mark Sawyer with Rady children's hospital and UC San Diego, Dr. Sawyer. Thank you.

Speaker 5: (08:54)

Thank you, Maureen.

Speaker 6: (09:03)

The most concentrated pockets of San Diego's growing homeless population can be found closer to downtown along the cities, crowded neighborhood streets, the full scope of the issue. However extends far beyond the city's urban core, a recent initiative put forth by the governor, the city of San Diego and the state department of transportation aims to help homeless individuals camped along the area's highways. The outreach program is a clear indication of just how widespread the issue of homelessness has become across the state. Joining me to discuss the effort is Hafsa Keiko head of the San Diego's homelessness strategies and solutions department. Also welcome back to

Speaker 3: (09:40)

The program. Thank you. Pleasure is mine. So let's

Speaker 6: (09:43)

Begin with where this program is aimed. Why are unsheltered people taking refuge along state highways and freeways?

Speaker 3: (09:51)

We know that person's experiencing homelessness. We have a large population that are unsheltered and they're taking refuge in not only these areas under our highways, but all throughout the city. We know that this particular initiative really targets the safety issue and the public health issue. And what's really exciting about this particular initiative is that it's the first of its kind with this new department that mayor Gorea has set and has empowered. So with the governor's initiatives and funding coming down the pipeline, we find this to be a great initiative in partnership with Caltrans, where we can really collectively create an impact to address the unsheltered population in these highway areas.

Speaker 6: (10:33)

So what's different about this program that hasn't already been done with regards to the city's previous efforts to alleviate homelessness?

Speaker 3: (10:40)

Well, there's a couple of things. First and foremost, we are leading from my people centered compassionate approach. This is very important and this is a priority that mayor Gloria has made it in this administration. And quite frankly, this is the reason why I am here in honor, to be part of this new team here in the city of San Diego. We're leading from a place of compassion and people centered approach. And that means that we're putting outreach at the forefront and not just any outreach, but people centered outreach from an agency that has been doing the work throughout Southern California. We are also utilizing the capacity needed. We know very well that there is not enough providers within the city. And so by bringing city net to have this initiative with Cal trans in partnership with the city is really setting up a program to expand the service space. And then lastly, we know, as I mentioned earlier, that governor Newsome with a California comeback plan has allocated several funding and resources. And we know that with this partnership, we could elevate the work with the current funding and go ahead and create regional partnerships and strengthen our expansion to address homeless services.

Speaker 6: (11:53)

Exactly what kind of outreach or resources would this program offer.

Speaker 3: (11:57)

So city net will offer resources first and foremost engagement and establishing rapport with persons experiencing homelessness it's that people centered approach. We know that city net does have social workers on site that could really make that connection with the person to help them receive the services. Some of the services could be obviously shelter, making sure that housing first is at the forefront of this initiative, offering supportive services, connections to the mental health system, to the medical health system, even substance abuse programs and services offering specific family reunification, if persons need to be connected back to their family and then of course transportation to and from the shelter and then also additional services that are really necessary to help persons get into the path of self-sufficiency such as offering a case management for employment services and for getting connected to essential documents like your DMV or your ID, really helping to empower people to get on the path of self-sufficiency and be housed.

Speaker 6: (13:03)

What are some of the unique dangers and risks to people living in freeway encampments?

Speaker 3: (13:08)

I think if just by optics, you can see, you know, it's a, it's an area where there's high traffic cars are going and speeding by. We want to make sure that with our partnership, with Caltrans, that person's experiencing homelessness have access to necessary resources, including food health. And as you know, one of the things most recently in the past, there was hepatitis a, there was also a COVID that was a public health crisis. And most recently there's the Shigella outbreak. And so it's really important that person's experiencing homelessness have access to healthcare and essential resources. And some of the persons experiencing homelessness may, may even have declining health, um, which may not be very optical in front of the highways, but when we're actually creating outreach to go down and deep into those areas, we're able to engage with those persons

Speaker 6: (14:01)

Are some of the challenges in providing outreach to those living in freeway and cat mints, as opposed to those in more urban areas,

Speaker 3: (14:08)

There could be encampments that are headed. There can be encampments that are between shrubs. There could be encampments that are under overpasses and you have to be very strategic at what times you're able to go ahead and do the outreach and, and obviously the cleanup, the dangers are there, you know, it's the speeding and the highways. And so it's really important to be able to have a geographic coordinated effort. So sitting at, in Caltrans, we'll be working together on a schedule of services and in tandem. So that there's the outreach at the first and foremost, and then the cleanup

Speaker 6: (14:40)

Other groups previously involved in addressing the city's unsheltered issue take part in this program. Absolutely.

Speaker 3: (14:46)

We are having our system of care. And so seeing that being an outreach provider, we'll be going out and doing the outreach services with all of the supportive services I mentioned earlier, but really be connecting back to our local system of care with the San Diego housing commission, our homelessness response center. And of course, working with partners like father Joe's alpha and path as well in helping persons accept shelter and additional resources towards the path of permanent housing.

Speaker 6: (15:13)

And, you know, some people might not assume that a state's transportation department would take part in efforts to help areas of homelessness. How exactly will Caltrans be involved in this effort

Speaker 3: (15:25)

At the table and working to identify specific areas where we find these encampments that might be a potential unsafe areas. Also making sure that the clean up and this and those in the storage is provided. So it's really important that we work together with Caltrans to help with the cleanup afterwards, as you know, these encampments, obviously these are people's homes and we recognize that their homes, but we want to make sure that we offer them safe homes and homes that can help them get into permanent housing. That is more stable

Speaker 6: (15:57)

Caltrans recently changed its policy of clearing only high priority encampments during the pandemic. Can you explain what makes an encampment high priority? And do we see a lot of these along our

Speaker 3: (16:09)

It's high priority encampments, all those that could be danger to a person who is out there or to just the general community. I I'm not necessarily aware of the detailed nuances, but there could be electrical wires. There could be places that you could fall into and ditch those. There could even be potential fliers if it's, if it's, if it's a warming that could create, um, additional cycles. So it's really important that these areas are looked at that. They're not that we don't remain complacent about it, that we're being proactive and mirror Gloria. Along with this partnership with the California cutback plan with governor Newsome, we're making sure we're strategically allocating our resources to be able to not only address homelessness, but ensure that the highways are safe.

Speaker 6: (16:52)

I have been speaking with HOFSA Keiko, head of San Diego's homelessness strategies and solutions department offset. Thank you so much for joining us today.

Speaker 3: (17:01)

It's my pleasure. Thank you.

Speaker 6: (17:11)

Last year, governor Gavin Newsome sent nearly $850 million to cities and counties to buy empty motels, other properties, to convert them into housing for those who are unsheltered. Well, now he wants to spend over $2.5 billion more on the same effort. It's an initiative called home key. Those converted properties are filling a critical gap for the unhoused. They're providing more stability than a traditional shelter, but most aren't permanent places to stay just yet. California report hosts. Saul Gonzalez teamed up with KCRW reporter Anna Scott to bring you a profile of a resident at the Willow tree in home key site in Compton.

Speaker 7: (17:53)

When you walk into the Willow tree, it's still looks a lot like a motel with a check-in desk and everything

Speaker 8: (18:01)

Here, we meet up with Omar Molina. He's 55 years old and he moved into this room in may.

Speaker 9: (18:07)

It's like an all-in-one it's my, I have my bed here. I have a microwave I have,

Speaker 7: (18:12)

And Omar's proud of his place though. He doesn't like the dark gray color of one wall near his bed.

Speaker 9: (18:17)

I wish I could paint the walls. One of the walls, but it's okay. I'm grateful. Yes.

Speaker 7: (18:21)

I can't paint the walls because he's only staying here temporarily. Like most honky sites in LA, this motel isn't serving as permanent housing, at least not yet. That's because it doesn't meet all the codes and requirements for long-term housing. For example, it needs to be made more accessible to people with disabilities.

Speaker 8: (18:40)

So the county opened the building as temporary housing for now, until those renovations can be done. But still Omar says he feels a lot more stable here than he did in a shelter. He stayed at in the past.

Speaker 9: (18:51)

There was always distractions here. It's more, it's quieter. It's more, I'm more at peace. I can relax. I can take a deep breath and I can exhale. I can say woof, that was trying or something like that. And it still has the like, so we have security here and keeps me safe

Speaker 8: (19:08)

Immediately. Before coming here, Omar stayed in a tent on a parking lot in the San Fernando valley.

Speaker 9: (19:14)

It was scary. I felt lost. I felt confused. I embarrassed. And those embarrassment and, and there were fears. A lot of fears.

Speaker 10: (19:23)

Most of the referrals have actually been people who are, have been on the streets. They're coming right from

Speaker 7: (19:28)

The streets. That's John, Maseri the head of the nonprofit. The people concern, which operates this motel.

Speaker 10: (19:35)

Yeah, people are much more likely to want to come indoors. If they have a space where they can, you know, close the door, they have their own bathroom. They have their own sleeping area. People who lived on the streets on the same thing that all of us want and they want privacy. They want dignity. They want some sense of control over the

Speaker 7: (19:55)

They're alive. In the meantime, though, Omar is searching for a permanent apartment elsewhere. Recently he turned one down in ban eyes. He felt that the location was just too isolated. He says he sees where he is now in home. Key as a huge opportunity that he's grateful for. He doesn't want to blow it by moving on too soon or going someplace. That's not a healthy fit for him.

Speaker 9: (20:17)

Well, for me being here, it means a place of starting over getting another chance, getting to fix myself, if you will, or heal myself. You know, it's given me a place to, to regroup, to rebuild my foundation and to just basically help myself be able to help somebody else. Eventually. That's my goal.

Speaker 7: (20:40)

The state recently started taking applications for a second round of home, key funding and Los Angeles, city and county, along with many other local governments in California are expected to acquire more properties using those funds.

Speaker 6: (20:56)

That was California report hosts, all Gonzalez reporting with kcrws Anna Scott,

Speaker 6: (21:11)

You're listening to KPBS mid-day edition. I'm Jade Hindman with Maureen Kavanaugh. Oftentimes it is perception that stands in the way of allyship and progress when fighting racism. For example, a survey done by lean in and survey monkey reveals that while more than 80% of white employees view themselves as allies in the workplace to women of color, just 45% of black women and 55% of Latinas say they have strong allies in the workplace. Well, now there's a book to help bridge the gap between perception and reality to reach understanding host of the podcast, dear white women and authors of the new book. Dear white women, let's get uncomfortable talking about race, Sarah Blanchard, and we Sasha Suzuki Graham. Join us now. Welcome

Speaker 11: (21:57)

To you both. Thank you so much for having us.

Speaker 12: (21:59)

Thank you for having us on the show. So

Speaker 6: (22:02)

My first question is what inspired you all to write this book? Sarah, I'll start with you

Speaker 11: (22:07)

A lot of this work, you know, when you watch sort of that quote that you said, you know, 80% of why people think that they are allies yet. I think so many people think that they are doing certain things. And then, and yet when you watch your actions, you're not actually seeing that come to life in the real world. And I think part of the work, this feels like a natural progression of the podcast and the conversations that we've had for the last two and a half years on the show. And like I said, it really comes from a personal place. Uh, and this is where I'd love for me, Sasha, to share that. Why, because we've been friends for, for 25 years,

Speaker 12: (22:41)

I think to Sarah's point, we, um, you know, we know what conversations have been happening in the circles that we move in and we know what conversations often don't happen. And when Sarah's talking about my personal, why, um, you know, I have black, Asian and white sons and it is very hard to be raising these boys and, and know that one of my biggest fears for them is that they walk out of our house one day and don't come back simply based on the color of their skin. Um, but at the same time, we know that that's not a fear that every parent has, but what if we could change those conversations and really talk to people on a very personal level, um, and use personal narrative and use education and history and transform what might be good ideas and intentions into practical actions, um, in your everyday spheres of life and influence as to be as how to be more anti-racist

Speaker 6: (23:43)

And Sarah, I'll start with you on this one. Was it so important for the audience of this book to be white women? I see,

Speaker 11: (23:49)

I think first of all, women in general have so much power that often we don't even realize, right. Society is not necessarily geared to remind us of the influence that we have, whether it's in the workplace or in the home or at the PTA or in your book clubs or in your social circles. There's so much that we do out there in the world to create community. And so I think that the biggest thing was reaching out to women. And the reason we reached out to white women in particular was because there is also that privilege that we were talking about that that almost sense of, they're not part of the conversations about race and racism. I think so we really wanted to welcome people in a heart led way to these conversations and really reach out as almost like a love letter. Like these are the people we want to reach out to and engage in these conversations because we want more white women involved because of the spheres of influence that we all have.

Speaker 6: (24:47)

Oh, what do you think are the biggest challenges to having these conversations about race and really reaching a place of understanding?

Speaker 12: (24:56)

That's a great question. I think a lot of times, if you think about what is your earliest memory of talking about race, right? It was that you were shushed or you were told we don't talk about these things. And I think we, as a society and, and in America have largely not talked about race. So there is a natural discomfort in starting to talk about something that you didn't talk about, um, that especially if you're privileged enough to not have to talk about it, um, that you didn't necessarily learn about in school. And then a lot of times defensiveness comes up, right? Because now people, um, and we've heard this a lot from white people feel that since they haven't been part of the conversation, um, in the past now it's, it's being directed at them. And what is so important is that this conversation is necessary for all of us to have so that we can all do better.

Speaker 6: (25:53)

And Sarah, from your,

Speaker 11: (25:55)

Again, part of this is that our education system has not consistently taught the history of our country and people's experiences and really, you know, evenly throughout the country. I think we've, we've read statistics that show in certain Southern states, for example, slavery is mentioned three times in the, in the curriculum and the textbooks. Whereas in Massachusetts, it's mentioned over a hundred times. And when you grow up in a country with that wide difference in terms of education and exposure, sometimes it's not your fault for not knowing this information. And I think the more grace we can give people, the more we are going to be willing to move forward, be willing to make mistakes and continue to learn and grow, and sort of be messy humans together with the best intentions of leaning into our communities. Okay.

Speaker 6: (26:38)

And in, in the book, you all take this conversation to the workplace. So Ms. Sasha, I'll ask you first, what are some of the commonplace acts of racism that crop up in the workplace?

Speaker 12: (26:50)

There are so many, you know, that, that I think about, I think about how people talk over other people, um, how people take different ideas, um, from other people I think about who is included in committees, right? Who is, who are who's on your board, who are the decision makers. And a lot of times that decision-making team on different levels can be very white. Um, and when you're not having different voices in those rooms, you're not going to be making changes. You know, I think that a lot of times what comes out as allyship is actually performative allyship in a lot of ways, one thing is said in different groups where you have a diverse group of people. And another thing is said behind closed doors, where that group is significantly less diverse. And so all of those conversations stop people from being able to bring their whole selves to work really. You, you know, that if you show up in a certain way, you're not going to be treated the same. And so the book really attempts to break down a lot of those. Um, the reasons why, and explain why people might not be showing up like themselves for work, you know, whether they're being differentiated because of hairstyle or the way they speak, or their educational background and helps sort of level set that fee, that playing field so that we can build up a more equitable workplace from that.

Speaker 6: (28:18)

Sarah, what do you hope people walk away with after reading this book?

Speaker 11: (28:23)

I, I really hope people walk away with a little more hope that they can be engaged in this conversation and affect change in their world. I mean, it can be something as small as shifting the dinner table conversation, or, you know, whenever you're driving your children around the types of conversations that you have, based on what you hear them saying in the, in the back seat, um, all the way to really looking outwards at the various groups that were part of, you know, changing the narrative in people's churches or in people's, you know, home of religious homes, wherever that is or their workplace, you know, I think it doesn't have to be so scary and I hope people can come away with this with sort of a, a fundamental understanding of why we are, where we are and that they can do something about it.

Speaker 6: (29:10)

I've been speaking with host of the podcast, dear white women and authors of the new book, dear white women, let's get uncomfortable talking about race, Sarah Blanchard and miss Sasha Suzuki Graham, thank you both so much for joining us. Thank you for having us.

Speaker 5: (29:26)


Speaker 1: (29:32)

The tourism industry thrives on welcoming everyone who visits San Diego. Now the San Diego tourism authority is also trying to welcome more diverse businesses into the fold. A new program will select businesses owned by people of color, LGBTQ women and veterans to receive a package of tourism related mentoring and advertising. That package also includes membership in the bureau tourism bureau officials say this pilot program is aimed at opening up the industry to more diversity and equity. Joining me is San Diego union Tribune reporter Laurie Weisberg, Laurie, welcome.

Speaker 13: (30:10)

Thanks for having me. What

Speaker 1: (30:12)

Prompted this move by the tourism authority?

Speaker 13: (30:16)

Um, you know, I was, I asked the current head of the tourism authority, Julie Coker. She said that, um, she felt like she was looking back at this, you know, this last year racial reckoning that began with the killing of George Floyd. And as we're coming out of a very difficult period for our economy for tourism, she felt that it was, it was time to give more access to minority owned businesses, um, ones that don't normally have access that to, to be able to promote a market themselves, which can be very expensive.

Speaker 1: (30:50)

Is there a lack of diversity in our tourism

Speaker 13: (30:53)

Industry? I don't think that the tourism leaders themselves will come out and say that, but, but I think there, I think there is historically I think, you know, especially, you know, the large hotels and many of them owned by large companies, um, with a history of being more white male dominated. I think, I think that's true. I think you're seeing in the restaurant industry, um, increasing diversification, but, um, I have, uh, I have a tendency to think that that, yes, there, there is then a lack of diversity. And you see that also on, um, maybe not as recently, but on some of the boards of some of these organizations, um, especially like the hotel lodging industry. I think there is to a degree, a recognition that there is some lack of diversity.

Speaker 1: (31:38)

Now the businesses selected for this program must be owned by either women or minority groups, but what kinds of businesses are they?

Speaker 13: (31:46)

Okay, so, um, they can be restaurants, they can be retail, they can be shops that you don't necessarily think of as, you know, tourism or hospitality, um, activities and tractions museums, um, meeting and events services. A lot of those kinds of companies had a really tough time, um, during the pandemic and some, even without a business,

Speaker 1: (32:07)

What will they receive if they're selected?

Speaker 13: (32:11)

So, um, they, they, they say that the value of this for each package is about $10,000. So first off they get free membership in the tourism authority. And I checked for, for businesses of the kind of size we're talking about, um, that will probably qualify for this it, the membership's about $550 a year. Um, they'll get some, uh, they'll get a $500 voucher for a course through UC San Diego extension. We'll get a, a thousand dollars credit to use on the tourism authorities, digital advertising platform, which is widely seen. And they'll get two free quarter page ads in the San Diego business journal and the San Diego magazine, but you can't necessarily calculate the financial value of my thing will be especially helpful is that they're going to get coaching from a mentor who has, who had already is a very successful operator owner of a tourism or hospitality business. And I think that will be invaluable. And, um, bank of America is one of the co-sponsors and they're going to be providing some financial coaching. SDG is also a sponsor. And then Procopio for law firm is going to provide some free legal training. So I think those are the real perks of this, uh, this program.

Speaker 1: (33:27)

How is San Diego's tourism industry? How is it doing now?

Speaker 13: (33:32)

So the tourism industry by comparison to the early days of the pandemic is doing great. But of course, when you compare it to before the pandemic, when tourism was breaking records, it's, it's nowhere near there. So we took a look at the tourism authority, pulled some records for me, and they, they looked at between January and July of this year. Um, overall visitation had really grown rapidly to 13 million visitors, which is a 50% increase over the same period in 2020. But of course that's when the pandemic was however that false still far short of 2019, when during that same period, it was 20.9. So that's about 8 million visitors day and night, eight day and overnight 8 million fewer visitors. So you can see, we still have a long way to go. And we're hearing both nationally and locally that the, the full return probably won't be till 20, 23, maybe 2024, but it's ramping up. It's, it's the business, it's a business and international tourism. That's really suffering, leisure, leisure travel is doing very well. Actually.

Speaker 1: (34:41)

Now this special program by the San Diego tourism authority, it's just starting out as a pilot program. How many businesses will be selected this time around?

Speaker 13: (34:52)

So there'll be 10 businesses. And that probably doesn't sound like a whole lot, but I think they're already getting, um, a lot of interest and they they're already, before they've even launched it, um, have, are already trying to raise some money to finance the next round to, to grow it. Um, and they're, they're not actually having to put out hard dollars, the tourism authority itself, cause they're, they're relying on the sponsorships. And then some of the perks that are being offered, they do it through kind of industry trade so that they, um, they don't have to pay for it. So, um, but they are going to have to, you know, find some more sponsorships and raise more money to, to expand it. But I think they have every intention of not ending this pilot

Speaker 1: (35:37)

And the deadline for applying is coming up. Isn't

Speaker 13: (35:40)

It? That's right. It's very soon. It's November 5th is the deadline to apply. And then those you'll learn pretty quickly how they got selected they'll know by November 15th, which ones will be participating in.

Speaker 1: (35:53)

I've been speaking with San Diego union Tribune, reporter Lori Weisberg, Laurie, thank you so much.

Speaker 13: (35:59)

And thank you.

Speaker 1: (36:14)

This is KPBS midday edition. I'm Maureen Cavenaugh with Jade Heinemann with Palm Springs as close to drive as Los Angeles, KPBS arts reporter Beth AKA Mondo wanted to highlight the Arthur lions filmed war festival happening this week. Beth is a fan of noir and her cinema junkie podcast will focus on filmed war all next month. She previews the festival with its host and producer Alan K roadie,

Speaker 14: (36:43)

Alan, for people who are not familiar with the Arthur lines nor festival explain a little bit about what this is,

Speaker 15: (36:50)

This festival we're now in our 21st year. And this festival was started by Arthur lions. Arthur was a mystery writer. He was a Palm Springs city council man, and was my good friend. And he started this back in 2001, 2000 with a single screening, inviting Tony Curtis. Then it moved over to the Camelot theaters and it started with film war movies from the, mostly from the 1940s and the 1950s and guests and so on and so forth. And I got involved in it as a friend of art, uh, helping the program movies, interview guests, get guests and so forth. And sadly art passed away in 2008. I do the promotion, the program, the guests, the films and everything. We are able to show 35 millimeter films in its original format, uh, with a real, a real change over system, et cetera, as well as digital and, and, uh, just about anything else. And, uh, what other place you can go to see a film war where you can go upstairs to the bar, take a cocktail, go down in an elevator and sit in the theater and watch Bogan Bacall. So it doesn't get any better than that.

Speaker 14: (38:07)

I'm a huge fan of noir. And so are you, you're a champion of it, but for people who may not be familiar with it, why do you feel it's important to showcase these films on a big screen at a festival?

Speaker 15: (38:20)

Well, uh, I think first off when you're showing these films on a big screen at a festival or in a venue, you're not only introducing the, some members of the audience or renewing their acquaintance with these from the 1940s and fifties, you're also renewing the experience. The other part of this is why these movies are still relevant, important, entertaining, et cetera. I think that it does introduce people to the way things were from a historical sense, but the plots of these films, I mean, our lives must have changed a lot with 21st century devices and zoom and cell phones and email and all of this, but the basic human being a of greed, lust, larceny, uh, and particularly with noir, when you have people in situations who are doing something that they know is fundamentally wrong and they do it anyway. So I think people identify with that. They identify with a good story and they appreciate that. And I think film the war is still and will always be relevant because it's, it's stories about people and what they do, uh, or in many cases what they shouldn't do

Speaker 14: (39:44)

Well. And I think Nawar unlike a lot of other genres or film styles remains very contemporary because it's willing to look at kind of the darker side of human nature and to address things that were taboo and difficult back in the forties and also remain ideas and themes that are relevant to people today.

Speaker 15: (40:08)

Yeah. And I think it also identifies characters that may not live within the letter of the law, but they have their own personal code, their own personal standards, which I think we all do. So I think when people see these stories and I think Beth you're exactly right. They often identify with the characters and the decisions that they may or may not make because it's, uh, again, Fillmore is about people. It's about the human condition. A lot of times, the, the dark side of the human condition. And I think that's just something that people naturally identify with. I just don't think there's anything. There's no substitute to a good, compelling story, uh, shown and shown in shown in a darkened theater.

Speaker 14: (40:54)

And one of the things about your programming is that you show some films that basically we don't have access to any other way than seeing it in a theater. So talk about programming choices like that.

Speaker 15: (41:06)

Well, one of the things I always tried to do is to maintain some of the fidelity to what art did, an art. One of the, one of his books was death on the cheap, the loss be world of film, the war and art would show like a movie on VHS that someone hadn't a shoe box in their garage. So I always try to keep that and put at least one in and, uh, Saturday at 10:00 AM, I'm showing a movie called the cruel tower from 1956. So now I'm going to have a DCP of a film. That's not on streaming, not on DVD, not on blue Ray. Uh, another one that we're showing on Sunday morning is, uh, play girl, which has been vaulted for decades. And in 2020, uh, we were able to show it at the Egyptian theater and universal actually made a DCP, uh, uh, for me. And, and this is great. And, and, uh, this is Shelley winters Unbound,

Speaker 16: (42:09)

Don't you make with that cold truth? Spain, not when my temperature is 8,000.

Speaker 15: (42:16)

And then the other thing is, is my, uh, as a charter director and treasurer, the Fillmore foundation, we have restored many films and we have a very close relationship with the UCLA film and television archive. And the film our foundation started when, around Eddie mother's kitchen table and Alameda, because we couldn't get the films that we wanted to show at the north city festival. And so then the foundation kind of emanated from that. So at 4:00 PM on Saturday, I'm showing a 35 millimeter print of a film high wall in 1947 with Robert Taylor. But this is one of the films that we actually funded the print for. And we have those at UCLA. So I have access to those as well.

Speaker 14: (43:05)

And since I'm from San Diego and Victoria mature lives here, her father was Victor mature. I just wanted to ask you about the film you're showing. Actually you're showing two films with him, but she's introducing one of them.

Speaker 15: (43:16)

So Victoria, she's been there. I had her there for kiss of death and she, she sang a little song. And so we're going to come up with something, uh, Victoria is about her dad and we're going to introduce the long haul Sunday at one o'clock together.

Speaker 17: (43:32)

[inaudible] yeah, I love it. A little Valenti office. I'm right here. I'm going to Liverpool name, Kenny. Hey, just a minute. Look, I've been waiting over here, sorry.

Speaker 15: (43:45)

This is a victim mature as an American GI, married to a British war bride and he becomes a lorry driver. And then of course gets caught up when the whole, uh, trucking industry is corrupt. And then Diana doors emerges, uh, with the blown dried hair and so on and so forth. And she does her best to screw up Victor's marriage and so forth. And there's a phenomenal ending that, uh, for those of your viewers who have seen the movie sorcerer will recall. So, uh, Victoria and I are going to do that together, and I think it's going to be a blast.

Speaker 14: (44:22)

Hi, well, I want to thank you very much for talking about the Arthur lines nor festival in Palm Springs.

Speaker 15: (44:28)

Thank you, Beth. I appreciate it. Okay.

Speaker 1: (44:31)

That was Beth Armando speaking with Alan K Roddy. The Arthur lions film noir festival runs this Thursday through Sunday at the Camelot theater in Palm Springs.