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

Jennifer Siebel Newsom to testify about assault in Weinstein trail

 October 11, 2022 at 4:27 PM PDT

S1: Jennifer Seibel Newsom will testify in the Harvey Weinstein trial.

S2: We don't know really what the specifics of her testimony will be other than presumably to describe the assault in question.

S1: I'm Jade Hindman with Maureen CAVANAUGH. This is KPBS midday edition. We break down. What prompts 26 and 27 are.

S2: What we're in now. Is both these propositions seem to be in a death spiral right there , each attacking each other.

S1: And the debate over whether Prop one will expand abortion rights. Plus a preview of this year's Italian film festival. That's ahead on Midday Edition. California's first partner , Jennifer Seibel. Newsom will testify in the sexual assault trial against convicted rapist Harvey Weinstein. Jury selection started Monday in Los Angeles. Opening arguments are expected to begin later this month. In a 2017 essay published in The Huffington Post , Sibel Newsom said she believed other women who had accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct because of her own , quote , personal experience with Harvey Weinstein. Joining me now to talk about this is Los Angeles Times reporter James Queally. And James , welcome.

S2: Thanks for having me.

S1: So news organizations don't typically name survivors of sexual assault , but in this case , the Los Angeles Times and others , including KPBS , are naming Jennifer Sible Newsom because she identified herself in that 2017 essay I just mentioned. Sable Newsom wrote in response to a New York Times story. That was the first time most people learned about allegations against Weinstein.

S2: Jennifer Sabol Newsom was an aspiring actress in the mid 2000s when this alleged assault occurred. She had said , generally speaking , that it was a late night meeting , that she had been called to a hotel. And then I believe it was after a film festival. At least this is what she testifies to in the October 2017 essay. And that is very similar to a lot of the allegations you have heard described against Weinstein in Manhattan criminal court in the current case and in a number of civil suits. This idea that he would , you know , ask a younger screenwriter or a younger woman in the industry for a meeting , there would be other personnel there and then they would leave and you would end up along with him and he would allegedly make a nonconsensual sexual advance.

S1: You've been able to find out more about Sibel Newsom's allegations against Weinstein from your sources and her attorney.

S2: She all of the victims in this case are listed in criminal documents as Jane Doe. We are aware that Sibel Newsome is Jane Doe four in the indictment. That is , that Jane Doe is attached to two criminal counts in the indictment. One alleges forcible rape , the other alleges forcible oral copulation. Both claim that the incident happened sometime between September 24 and 2005. Beyond that , she has not commented other than to acknowledge that , yes , she is a named victim in the case.

S1: And her attorney says she intends to testify at his trial in order to seek some measure of justice for survivors. While Sibel Newsome's allegations against Weinstein have been public since 2017 , the spouse of the governor of California testifying about being sexually assaulted is unprecedented.

S2: I have seen some surprise , but there hasn't really been an overwhelming public outcry yet. I don't know if people really know what to think yet. I mean , you're certainly right in that it is unprecedented. I can't think of a case where the first partner or someone connected to a governor or has testified in a in a case like this , at least none comes to my on the top of my head. The the impact could be really significant on the jury selection process , which is ongoing now. As you know , on top of dealing with a case like this where Harvey Weinstein's name is so well-known and so synonymous with the MeToo movement or people have seen his movie , someone is inevitably going to have preconceived notions about him. They may also have preconceived notions about Jennifer Siebel Newsom or the governor himself , or they may have an issue with the Democratic Party in California. And all those things could create unseen biases in jurors that I imagine both the prosecution and defense are concerned about.

S1: You know , we know that survivors of sexual violence experienced trauma. This trial is likely to be very difficult for the women testifying and for people watching. You wrote a bit about this , didn't you ? Yes.

S2: In New York , for instance , one of the named victims in the case had actually basically left the stand and caused court to stop for a date or in a manhattan trial under cross-examination. You know , defense attorneys do their job , especially in in sex assault cases , largely to discredit the accusers. So , you know , the women that are taking the stand here are inevitably going to have someone scrutinize and try to pick apart and ultimately call them liars about what they allege is one of the worst days in their lives. So , yeah , unfortunately , I do expect , as anybody would covering this case , that the women , when they take the stand and are eventually cross-examined , are going to be a really , really tough position. And it's obviously going to be really hard today for each one of them.

S1: And Weinstein is currently serving a 23 year sentence in New York.

S2: The assault allegedly took place between 2000 , for which we now know that being the earliest assault is the one alleged by Miss Newsom and 2013. The counts are all forms of sexual assault. Largely the counts are rape or sexual battery. And if convicted , he faces 135 years to life here if convicted of all charges.

S1: The charges in Los Angeles were first made public in 2020.

S2: The former district attorney in Los Angeles County , Jackie Lacey , announced charges , I believe only from two victims initially. This case has expanded since 2020 , but only the two women I just described allegations that actually Lauren Young and the Italian model , but the rape and battery charges from those cases were filed in January 2020. I believe this was the day before , actually the day of the beginning of jury selection at his Manhattan trial. The DA's office in L.A. had been investigating him for just about as long as the NYPD had , but did not bring charges until 2020. So obviously , Mr. Weinstein had to stand trial first in New York. He was convicted there in March of 2020. There was an appeal there which he lost. And in the process , the DA's office here had to extradite him. There was some haggling over discovery. And , you know , there's thousands of pages of evidence in this case , as there is with this side , the allegations. So there's been a lot of legal wrangling to get us to this position.

S1: I've been speaking with Los Angeles Times reporter James Queally. James , thank you for joining us.

S2: Thanks for your time.

S3: If you've seen any ads about ballot propositions in November's election , they've probably been about legalizing sports betting. Promoters of Propositions 26 and 27 have spent more than $400 million on advertising , making them the two most expensive ballot initiatives in U.S. history. The competing ballot measures , which both claim the support of California's Indian tribes , can be hard to tell apart. The simplest distinction is that Prop 26 would allow in-person sports gambling at Indian casinos , where Prop 27 would introduce online sports betting to California. Joining me is that Couser , professor of political science at UC San Diego. And Thad , welcome.

S2: Thanks for having me , Maureen.

S3: So for background , California is actually one of the holdouts in the country on single game sports betting. Haven't many other states legalized a form of online or in-person sports betting ? Yes.

S2: Since the Supreme Court allowed states to do this in 2018 , there's been this huge gold rush all across the country with states taking different routes , but really all nearly all moving in the direction of legalizing gaming. California's one of the last holdouts , and that seems surprising. And it looks like as of November , we may still be a holdout because neither of these initiatives is faring very well in initial polling.

S3: Yeah , let's talk about that.

S2: It would allow them to add some new games like roulette , but most importantly , add gambling on sports , college and pro sports as well. The other place you could drive and do that in person would be horse racing tracks like Del Mar , like Santa Anita and Los Angeles. So those tracks are there , but it's mostly the tribes , the gaming tribes that are behind Prop 26.

S3: And you'd have to be there in person to do the betting. Absolutely.

S2: Absolutely. As opposed to Prop 27. That would let you do it wherever you can touch your cell phone. So we would have online gaming that could take place wherever. And that's one is backed by the two giants of online gaming , FanDuel and DraftKings. They're providing that lion's share of the multiyear hundreds of millions of dollars for Proposition 27.

S3: Now , considering how much is being spent on these propositions , sports betting must generate a huge amount of money. Absolutely.

S2: Absolutely. I mean , if you wonder why people are spending millions of dollars on these propositions , that's because the industry would create in California would be worth billions , multiple billions of dollars every year. There's huge demand. And there are two really different groups that want to that want to supply it and want to have that that monopoly ability to do it. So with with all that possibility of profit , they're investing money that we haven't really seen. This is like what a presidential campaign looked like just a couple of decades ago. This $400 million is just a massive amount of money.

S3: Now , supporters of Prop 26 , the in-person sports betting proposition , they claim the Prop 27 ads are misleading.

S2: Now , that's not a lie , but it's not the main thrust of the proposition. The reason fan bills and DraftKings are spending so much money is so that they can so that they can do online gaming , not so that they can fight homelessness. They're selling the best and most publicly popular part of their initiative. They're not lying about it. But but it's not the reason they went to the ballot.

S3: Now , some Prop 27 supporters point to the fact that the Prop 26 crowd is just running negative ads about the dangers of online betting and not promoting its own ballot measure.

S2: What we're in now is , is both these propositions seem to be in a death spiral right there , each attacking each other. And when we see like negative ads with two candidates running against each other , at the end of the day , you got to hold your nose and vote for one of them. But with propositions you don't , you could just vote no on both. And so they're both taking each other down. The polls seem to show that that they'll both lose and that could bring this issue back to the legislature , where the tribes and the gaming tribes in California have established strong relationships with many legislators , and they could see their advantage when they get to the home court of Sacramento.

S3: Well , that as you mentioned , recent polling. Does find that both propositions will probably fail.

S2: You know , Californians have voted for gambling in casino and slot machines as part of a package deal in a way that that would benefit tribes in California , a group that many think has gotten a very raw deal from California and California government over its history. But there hasn't been nearly as much support for just expanding gaming overall and especially having everywhere in our in our houses , wherever our phones are. Maybe that's because Vegas is only a few hours away if you want to go there. And maybe that's why we're not as supportive as all the other states that are rushing into this.

S3:

S2: This is one of the few issues that unites the two parties in California. There's not a big partisan gap , both Democrats and Republicans. According to the L.A. Times , I guess Berkeley poll are opposed to this initiative. And you don't see major splits across any of the other groups. This is one that's putting together a generating a consensus in opposition to these two initiatives.

S3: Just for the heck of it. What would happen if both propositions passed ? Yeah.

S2: If these dueling propositions both get over 50% , the one with the most votes goes into effect. Okay.

S3: Okay. So the latest news on this is that The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the backers of Prop 27 , DraftKings and FanDuel have pulled the plug on spending for ads in California in the run up to the November election. So no more money for ads.

S2: They're there. They've they've folded their hand and the parlance of gambling and are going to concentrate on whatever the next step is. You know , this these initiatives , even if they both go down to defeat in November , that won't end the debate on gambling in California just because it's such a massive market. We're going to see another attempt for someone to capitalize on it.

S3: I've been speaking with Thad Couser , professor of political science at UC San Diego. Thad , thanks a lot.

S2: Thanks for having me , Maureen.

S3: This is KPBS midday edition. I'm Maureen CAVANAUGH with Jade Heineman. When the U.S. Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v Wade was first leaked in April , state lawmakers in California went to work. They drafted an amendment to protect abortion rights under the state constitution. And come November , residents will vote on it. But as KQED health correspondent April DEMBOSKY explains , there is debate as to whether Proposition one may actually expand abortion rights.

S2: Mr. Speaker , you may open.

S4: Before the final legislative vote on the amendment. One Democrat after another stood up and declared their commitment to women's health , autonomy and equality. This needs to be enshrined.

S2: To enshrine in our state constitution. We must.

S1: Enshrine the right to an abortion.

S3: In our.

S1: State constitution.

S4: But then Republican Kevin Kiley asked a pointed question.

S2: California law generally bars the performance of an abortion past the point of fetal viability.

S4: For a full 30 seconds , Mr. Kiley waited. Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon whispered with colleagues. He asked to have the question repeated. Then he declined to respond.

S2: I'll answer that question and others in my closing.

S4: He never did. Under current California law , abortion for any reason is allowed up to 24 weeks of pregnancy. This is the general definition of viability , the point at which a fetus can survive outside the womb. The constitutional amendment doesn't mention the word viability anywhere.

S2: That's why I can't support this constitutional amendment today. Because of what's missing from it.

S4: Republican Assembly member James Gallagher says his twin boys were born ten weeks early.

S2: They were alive and they were people.

S4: Without explicit time limits on abortion. Gallagher says the constitutional amendment gets the balance wrong between the rights of the mother and the baby.

S2: It says nothing about their rights.

S4: Throughout debate of the amendment in Sacramento. There were several awkward moments when proponents seemed confused by the language of their own bill. They appeared to walk it back and scrambled to answer questions about viability. But doctors like Pratima Gupta , who were involved in drafting the law , say there was no mistake here. The word viability was left out on purpose. Every pregnancy is individual and it's a continuum. She says people come into pregnancy with a range of pre-existing health conditions , diabetes , anemia , high blood pressure. They may not have access to good medical care. All of these very nuanced factors determine whether a fetus is viable , not some arbitrary number. For example , if I see a patient who has broken their bag of. Water.

S3: Water.

S4: At 23 weeks of pregnancy , that doesn't mean that it's viable or not viable. In recent years , at least three other states have removed gestational age limits from their abortion laws , including Colorado , New Jersey and Vermont. Abortion opponents say if California follows suit by passing Prop one , women will be lining up for abortions when they're eight months pregnant for no reason at all. The latest research suggests this is a fantasy. There's a very small percentage of abortions that take place at and after 21 weeks , it's about 1%. Elizabeth Nash is a policy analyst at the Guttmacher Institute. She says women seek abortions later because of medical complications and increasingly legal barriers. It may be that they're delayed because there are lots of restrictions they have to comply with , maybe because they need to travel for an abortion. It may be that they can't get time off of work or that it was a wanted pregnancy. And something happened even in California. Polls show voters get more uncomfortable with abortion the later it gets in pregnancy. But when it comes to Proposition one , almost three quarters say they're going to vote for it. The politics of viability have changed. Mary Ziegler is a law professor at UC Davis. With the Supreme Court addressing the federal right to abortion and multiple states banning the procedure , she says the vast majority of Californians are not inclined to nitpick these viability arguments that had obviously been compelling for decades. Don't listen to the same way. Ziegler says Prop one may ultimately allow abortion at any point in pregnancy , but it will likely be left to the courts for the final interpretation. From San Francisco , I'm April DEMBOSKY.

S3: Ballots are going out and the November election is less than a month away. We'll be breaking down some of the local races here on KPBS , starting today with the San Diego County Sheriff's race. And joining me is KPBS investigative reporter Claire TRAGESER. Claire , welcome.

S4: Thank you.

S3: First of all , what are the responsibilities of the San Diego County sheriff ? Right.

S4: So the sheriff is one of the few elected officials like law enforcement officials. Most police chiefs are appointed by the mayor and the sheriff's department provides law enforcement for all unincorporated parts of the county and several of the smaller cities , such as Del Mar , Encinitas , Imperial Beach , Lemon Grove. They also run the seven local jails , which is very important as we'll discuss. And they have almost 5000 employees between jails , courts , a crime lab and all of these patrol stations in the various parts of the county that they police.

S3: Now , right now , the county has an acting sheriff , Anthony Wray , who was appointed by the county Board of Supervisors , but he is not in this race.

S4: But then he ended up retiring early and the county board of Supervisors made it clear that they were not going to appoint anyone to fill in the remainder of his term who is also planning to run. That could have been Kelly Martinez , who was the undersheriff , but they made it clear they didn't want to do that , didn't want someone to get that incumbent advantage. And so Anthony Wray was appointed because he made it clear that he was not going to run for the actual seat.

S3: As you say , a longtime county sheriff , Bill Gore , retired earlier this year.

S4: He was in office for 12 years. So this is the first time in 12 years where there's no incumbent running.

S3: The two candidates for sheriff are Kelly Martinez and John Hamelin. Can you tell us about them starting with Kelly Martinez ? Right.

S4: So she has had a very long career in the sheriff's department. She says she's worked in the sheriff's department since 1985 and she's worked her way up to now being the undersheriff for the San Diego Sheriff's Department. And I asked her actually what that means , because I don't think people really know what that means. She said it's sort of like the CEO , the chief operating officer of a company where she just oversees a lot of the day to day and the coordination among the departments and things like that. One other interesting thing to note is that she , for most of her career , has been registered as a Republican. And then in November 2020 , she changed her registration. And so she's running as a Democrat. And when I spoke to her , I asked her what she wants to do if she's elected. And here's what she says.

S1: I'm the most.

S4: Qualified candidate for this position. I know the department. I know our communities.

S1: It would be.

S2: Really detrimental to the movement , the forward movement of the department if someone else came in and started.

S3: From scratch. And tell us about the second candidate , John Hamelin. Right.

S4: Right. So John Hamelin does not have a career in the sheriff's department , but he does have a career in law enforcement. He started out as a well , he was a marine , and then he was a San Diego police officer , and he's previously been the former head criminal prosecutor for the San Diego City Attorney's office. And another interesting thing about him is that he was a registered Republican for most of his life , but then he switched to no party preference , kind of an independent voter in December 2019 and then back to Republican in December 2021. And then he's running now as a Republican. And I asked him what he would want to do if he was elected. And here's what he says.

S2: That I'm the best choice for sheriff to fight crime and restore trust and confidence for safer communities. There's nobody like me. I like my experience and my background is across multiple organizations. Chief criminal prosecutor of combat Marine and leader of Marines and a former San Diego police officer.

S3: Now , Claire , as you mentioned , the sheriff runs the county jails , which have been the subject of harsh criticism from the state over the number of deaths in our jails. What are the candidates say about that ? Right.

S4: So neither of them have really released like a point by point plan. Here's exactly what I would do. John Hammer , obviously running as the outsider , is more critical of the way things have been going. And he talked more about , you know , providing deputies with resources to provide mental health and medical care and psychiatric care , because he says some of the people who are coming into the jails maybe shouldn't even be there or should be treated beforehand before they even show up in the jails. And then Kelly Martinez talked about things that she's done as undersheriff changes , that she's made more to do with drugs. Reading where she says , you know , one of the biggest issues is things like fentanyl getting into the jails. And so having more technology and more screening to , ah , dogs , things like that , to to check people for drugs before they arrive in jail.

S3:

S4: And Dave Myers , who is a retired sheriff's commander , got about 19% of the vote. And so Dave Myers is a Democrat. And so you might think , okay , well , all of the Democrats who voted for Dave Myers are then going to vote for Kelly Martinez. So she should be all set. But a wrinkle in that is that Dave Myers actually endorsed John Summerlin. So it's a little bit tough to say where things are going to shake out. I think , you know , in this race and a lot of local races where turnout and the impact of national politics are going to be a factor.

S3: And where can listeners get more information about this race ? Yeah.

S4: So on our Web site , KPBS dot org , we have a big button for elections and we go into a lot more of the issues in the sheriff's race , including sexual harassment lawsuits that have been filed against the department recently , staff retention and morale , the criminal justice movement. So all of that , you can you can see if you go to pbs.org.

S3: I've been speaking with KPBS , investigative reporter Claire TRAGESER. Claire , thanks.

S4: Thank you.

S1: It's no secret that San Diego is one of the most expensive housing markets in the nation. But military families are getting some relief because the Department of Defense is increasing the basic allowance for housing. KPBS reporter Kitty Alvarado talked with one military family who will be affected by the increase.

S4: Devin Hicks retired from the Navy after serving for over two decades. He works in San Diego , where his wife still serves our country. They used to live in Marietta with their large family. His commute is over an hour and they looked at moving closer to work.

S2: We looked at.

S5: Maybe possibly moving down here to San Diego. So the commute is a long , but you typically can't get six bedroom , five bedroom house out here under $1,000,000 probably. So you just can't afford it.

S4: So they bought in Menifee even further north. And that's what many military families stationed in San Diego have to do to find affordable housing move farther away. When it comes down to it , Hicks says , it's the military's basic housing allowance that has the ultimate say. And right now that won't even cover the mortgage In Riverside County.

S5: With the stipend that we're getting , it's helpful , but it still doesn't cover what my mortgage is. So that's where you use your paycheck or you get a side job or you drive Uber or Lyft or it is something.

S4: The Department of Defense identified 28 housing areas , including San Diego , where housing costs went up 20%. Now they're giving military members in those areas an increase in the basic housing allowance or by age. The increase starts this month and runs through the end of the year. Then a new rate takes effect on January 1st.

S5: It's always been tough for veterans because in California it's just , of course , everything's more expensive.

S4: That's Michael Drew , a Navy veteran turned real estate agent. He specializes in helping military families find homes in the San Diego region. He explained that the Department of Defense does this analysis every year , but this year it came three months early. And that's a good decision , he says , because this year the cost of food and gas and just about everything went up.

S5: This was desperately needed because just over the last year , we looked at 15% , 20% increases in prices. Gas , groceries have increased. You know , and then you're looking at housing prices.

S4: As housing prices skyrocketed , the Hicks family story became common among military families.

S5: The South Bay has been booming. Otay Mesa all around that area up there , that's where we see a lot of military families opting to live because the prices aren't as bad as North County. If they really want bang for the buck , they go up to Temecula , Riverside , because you can get way bigger home. You're looking at a two and a half or three hour commute , sometimes going and coming back home. That's the downside of it.

S4: But he says the military thought of something to help out with that , too.

S5: They do have a rideshare program. It kind of offsets to where the military members don't have to deal with so much wear and tear on their cars , especially with gas being outrageous right now , almost $7 a gallon.

S4: Devon Hicks says his family is not without struggle , but he feels blessed.

S5: We have a family that's pretty senior. We get a lot more pay. But I have a niece that's in a very junior sailor who has a kid and has a studio apartment because that's all she can forward.

S4: Still , he says he hurts. For those just starting out in the military , knowing from experience what they're about to go through.

S5: For those those junior sailors or marines or service members that are here , it's going to be a battle.

S4: And that's the picture Drew wants to paint for officials who make policy decisions that affect military families every single day.

S5: We want our service members to be able to focus on protecting our country , not worrying about their families and housing , because my family and if we're going home , this or , you know , that distracts from our mission.

S4: Kitty Alvarado , KPBS News.

S1: The San Diego Padres will face the top seeded Los Angeles Dodgers in a best of five Division series starting today. And for the first time in six years , they will return to Petco Park for Game three in the postseason. Joining me with what fans can expect is San Diego sportswriter for Coast News and contributor for USA Today and just an overall swell guy , Jay Pierce. Welcome.

S2: Welcome. AJ good good to talk to you again. And you know , I would say Merry Christmas. This feels like December 25th were Padres fan. This is quite a quite a day that people have been looking forward forward to for a long time.

S1: Indeed it is. Let me start by asking you this. All right. L.A. Times columnist Bill Pulaski wrote , quote , The Padres fans deplore the Dodgers. The Dodgers fan shrug , the Padres fans see the Dodgers and immediately break into passionate boos. The Dodgers fans see the Padres and immediately think , hey , we should plan our next weekend trip to Del Mar. San Diego thinks Los Angeles is evil. Los Angeles thinks San Diego is cute.

S2: I mean , there's a rivalry there. But you got to remember , the Dodgers have had the upper hand for so long against the Padres going back to 1969 when the Padres started. I think the second game , the Dodgers beat them 14 to nothing. And it's kind of been on since. And this year was really no different. They won all six series against the Padres. They outscored them 109 to 47 and they won 15 of the 19 games. So a lot of times that can be bravado of what people are saying. But , you know , it's true and sometimes reality smacks you in the face. And all that being said , all that jade means absolutely squat tonight at 630. It's a new season. Everybody's oh , no , nobody's bringing in any baggage. It's all about the path forward. And the Padres in that regard feel pretty good about how they're playing. You know , they went for 15 against the Dodgers this year , not playing their best ball , talked to the Padres. They think they're peaking right at the right time.

S1: All right.

S2: You know , this isn't Tuesday night against the Minnesota Twins. This is the playoffs. This is when everybody's watching. And the Padres got Manny Manny Machado , you know , Soto , Bell , Cronenworth Darvish. I mean , they line up pretty well and they can make a run at them. But again , the narrative that this is the little gritty Padres team going up against the big Bad Padres and true is true in some regards. But you got to remember , the Padres payroll was $165 million this year. That was fifth. They beat the Mets , who had the number one payroll at 231 million. And oh , by the way , the Dodgers are number two at 228. So this isn't like , you know , they're going into a they're not they're not going into a nuclear war with a bow and arrow. Okay. The Padres are loaded , too , which makes this series so compelling.

S1: Last game , the story was hometown hero Joe Musgraves , incredible pitching performance against the Mets. Tell us about that.

S2: He was sensational when he hit seven scoreless innings. I mean , in a must win game winner take all in New York. You know , Queens isn't the easiest place to pitch that pitch in , especially with those Mets fans all riled up. So Padres baseball be around a long time. That performance from Al Capone's Joe Musgrove will go down in Padres lore. I mean , they'll talk about that that performance for years to come because the stakes were so high. And oh , by the way , he has the most famous era since Van Gogh as well. So it made for a good story.

S1:

S2: But when you're an elimination game , when you either have to win or go home , you're going to try everything. And maybe there wasn't anything there. Maybe they were just trying to get under his skin when there wasn't anything over his skin. Hmm.

S1: You know , as the team heads into this series with the Dodgers , they're thinking of Mr. Padre Tony Gwynn. Tell us about that.

S2: You know , you can't say Padres without saying Tony Gwynn. And what was great or what was interesting. He grew up in Long Beach and he was well familiar with the Dodgers tradition and their winning ways. And there was a little bit of a Dodger fan in him until he came down South , of course. But , you know , Petco Park is really the home that Tony built. And I don't I don't fail to go by and tip my hat to his statue every time I go to a game there. It's a shame he's not here to see this. But it's neat having his son , Tony Gwynn Junior , up in the booth. He certainly brings some great insight. And every once in a while you can kind of hear Tony through it , through his son , and just how much this means to him.

S1: You know , back in August.

S2: The Padres were playing that. They were playing flat. They didn't look like a playoff team. The new manager , Bob Melvin , who came on this year and has playoff experience , he slammed the door and said , Huddle up boys and had a big team meeting. Since that team meeting on September 15th , they've been a different club and they are peaking at the right time. And do they have the long history of the playoff success of the Dodgers ? Absolutely not. But again , it doesn't matter. It's all about where you are today and where the Padres are today is it is in a good spot.

S1: I've been speaking with Jay Pierce , San Diego , sportswriter for Coast News and contributor for USA Today. Jay , as always , thank you so much for joining us.

S2: All right. See you out at the ballpark.

S3: This is KPBS midday edition. I'm Maureen CAVANAUGH with Jade Heineman. The San Diego Italian Film Festival was the passion project of Victor La Russa , who died earlier this year. The festival kicks off its 16th year tomorrow at the Museum of Photographic Arts. KPBS arts reporter Beth ACCOMANDO speaks with the festival's artistic director , Antonio Ian Nutter , about what to expect this year.

S4: Antonio It's exciting that the San Diego Italian Film Festival is just around the corner , but this is going to be the first year without its founder , the late Victor La Russa.

S6: But also , you know , All is Lost has been so personal to me and to so many of us. So we were able to celebrate him with the celebration of life at the night , with the two movie nights at the Museum of Photographic Arts and recently also in La Paloma Theater in Encinitas. And these events are full of grief and sadness that we're all so filled with joy , with the joy of the community that gathered together around a movie to celebrate the importance of being together , physically connected to the issues , the themes that were so important for Victor. For Victor of the festival was a piazza , a place where people could gather to talk to each other , argue about the topics that are important to each other , and find something new in a movie and after the movie , have a dinner together. Yes , it's been a difficult time , but we were very grateful for the legacy that Victor left us.

S4: It's a wonderful legacy and Victor is going to be dearly missed. Now the festival focuses on themes each year.

S6: That was an election year , as we remember , with the activism. We selected and curated some movies with that theme in mind that last year that was still in the middle of the pandemic. We chose the theme of resilience. And one of the last thing that Victor was able to do was speak in the theme of choice for this year is all about what we stand up for. You know , our rights , our everyday choices , too , to underscore what makes us human. All the characters are strong characters in these movies. They fight for what they stand for , what they believe in. And so , you know , choice is would characterize us. So to choose a means to potentially put ourselves in danger about that danger makes us what we are.

S4:

S6:

S2: When I say that I love you know , my father was at the.

S6: To that is about as an extremely important theater actor and director in Naples. Eduardo Scarpetta , father of the great Eduardo DeFilippo , the historic movie. But it's a movie about art and a movie about art and politics. So it's the extraordinary movie Bersih and also very informative about a particular period in Italian and Neapolitan culture. So we open that with that , the movie , and then we have a variety of genre as usual. We have a romantic comedy , so this beautiful romantic comedy called Sit Them September.

S1: Chop it up.

S4: That way.

S6: That we're going to screen a la Paloma. All our movies are that are at the Museum of Photographic Arts , except for this one September Timbre , La Paloma , and another genre movie. Ladera They feel the land of the sounds and the digital gem. This is a post-apocalyptic science fiction movie , something very rare today in Italian cinema , but something very powerful based on a graphic novella , an Italian graphic novel. This is a genre movie that tells the powerful story about a son that loses his father and everything is alone and needs to fight for easy survival. But also , we have a the fourth edition of our short competition , the Registry Story Awards. We selected out of more than 100 submissions from several countries. 15 finalists that everybody can watch starting now , so they can watch them online and vote for them because the audience can grant the audience award and independent. The jury has just decided to the main the main awards , the Golden Registry told us in very street and the student to be straight to the goal the is to this year is given in memory of our founder Victor La ruta.

S4: As you mentioned the short films are currently available for people to watch online right now. And one of the films I had an opportunity to see that really captured the spirit of the festival and more importantly , captured what Victor always wanted it to be is China Mari , which is about the people who would travel with projectors to show movies in Italy and kind of that whole community of film going and film watching. And it's just a wonderful film.

S6: Yeah , it's Tune Inside is a wonderful film , but all of them are agreed to. And we decided , even though it's not possible to show all of them in the theater because are too many , we decided the one night , the Friday , October 14th , to select some of them and screen them at the Museum of Photographic Arts. And we have the the fortunate to have two directors coming in , and then we're going to announce the winners and screen them the last day of our festival on Saturday , October 22nd. During our gala. The gala is a party with incredible food , good wine , music , but most important that after the party we're going to gather in the movie theater and watch our shorts. The winners of this fourth edition of The Restricted War. The research award was a very dear project to Victor , and.

S4: As you mentioned , Victor enjoyed conversation about film , so I am sure there is time allotted at the festival for Post-film discussions.

S6: Yes , we we , we try to give introduction that put a movie in a context and then after that , yes , it's open mic and we provide , you know , the possibility to engage in a conversation with our audience. That's extremely important. And I'm sure that while I'm running some of this Q&A so this year I'm going to see Victor in the audience asking is elaborate the eloquent questions and comments. And we're going to have him with us all the time.

S4: I want to thank you very much for talking about this year's San Diego Italian Film Festival.

S6: Thank you both. Thank you for your support and for the love that you share with us about movies.

S3: That was Beth ACCOMANDO speaking with Antonio Inada. The San Diego Italian Film Festival runs Wednesday through October 22nd at multiple venues. The Restrepo short film can currently be screened online.

California’s first partner, Jennifer Siebel Newsom wrote about her experience with Harvey Weinstein in 2017. She will testify in the sexual assault trial against convicted rapist that began in Los Angeles Monday. Then, If you’ve seen any ads about ballot propositions in November’s election, they’ve probably been about legalizing sports-betting. Supporters of Propositions 26 and 27 have spent more than 400-million dollars on advertising - making them the two most expensive ballot initiatives in U.S. history. Then, in November California residents will vote on an amendment to protect abortion rights under the state constitution. Plus, KPBS breaks down the San Diego County Sheriff’s race. Also, It’s no secret that San Diego is one of the most expensive housing markets in the nation. But military families are getting some relief, because the U.S. Department of Defense is increasing the basic allowance for housing. Later, the San Diego Padres will face the top seeded Los Angeles Dodgers in a best of five division series starting Tuesday. And finally, The San Diego Italian Film Festival was the passion project of Victor Larrucia, who died earlier this year. The festival kicks off its 16th year Wednesday at the Museum of Photographic Arts.