Moderna seeks to be 1st with COVID shots for littlest kids
S1: Welcoming news for children in the fight against coronavirus.
S2: We've been waiting for this for a long time in the hopes that we can immunize the youngest age group.
S1: I'm Jade Hindman with Maureen CAVANAUGH. This is KPBS Midday Edition. A look at the danger asylum seekers are facing under the Remain in Mexico policy.
S2: None of the fundamental underlying issues created by MPP 1.0 have been solved by the new implementation.
S1: We'll tell you when children under 18 can start writing public transportation for free. And details about the return of the San Diego book Crawl. That's ahead on Midday Edition. Moderna is seeking emergency use authorization from the FDA for its emergency COVID 19 vaccine for children six months to five years old. The news comes as recent CDC data show 75% of children across America have been infected with the coronavirus. Joining us with details is Dr. Mark Sawyer , an infectious disease expert with Rady Children's Hospital. He's also a member of the FDA advisory committee that will be reviewing Moderna's emergency use request. Dr. Sawyer , good to have you back.
S2: It's great to join you.
S1: So there has been a lot of back and forth about the effectiveness of these vaccines for this particular age group of children.
S2: This sounds like Moderna has got solid data that they finally submitted to FDA. We've been waiting for this for a long time in the hopes that we can immunize the youngest age group. In the meantime , Omicron is swept around the country. And as you just mentioned , a lot of kids have already been infected. So we're going to have to look very carefully at the data that has been generated by Moderna to see if it still makes sense to use this vaccine at this time as opposed to maybe a new variant vaccine coming up. Hmm.
S1: Moderna's vaccine has so far only gotten approval for adults.
S2: And it sounds like they're starting off with the youngest age group because no other vaccine is available for them. And that's great. There are certainly some kids in this age group who need the vaccine. And so I this is a positive step in the right direction.
S2: So it typically takes about a month for the FDA to review all the data and call the advisory committee to comment on it before they can issue the EUA. So I'm thinking it's going to be sometime in June.
S2: But for the Pfizer product , that's two dose regimen wasn't enough. So they had to add a third dose and that's what delayed them. So they're close to finishing with a three dose regimen. And so we should have two vaccines available in the relatively near future.
S1: And we are talking about approvals for emergency use here.
S2: The full approval requires even more data and more careful review by FDA. And so the conditions in which we use the vaccine under emergency use are very strict and restricted , and we use it in only certain populations in certain times. Once it's fully approved , then doctors can use it with whoever they want. Hmm.
S2: They don't need the same level of vaccine. But it is a two dose regimen , as I understand it. And the early reports are that it works very well in generating a good immune response , and that's what we need.
S2: Children in general are not as at high risk for getting when they get infected. They generally don't do as poorly as adults , especially senior adults. And so we have to be extra careful about the risks of the vaccine versus the benefit. And so that's taken a lot of time to generate information. And also , as as we've already discussed you. You get the dose , right. So that's part of the delay.
S1: You know , vaccines for kids over six have been available for months now , but uptick isn't nearly as high as in adults.
S2: And there will , of course , be guidance from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the CDC about who would really benefit the most. Again , as I mentioned , you know , I think we're probably looking at a new version vaccine coming up in the next six months to a year. So once this vaccine is approved , it paves the way for new versions to be approved faster. So I think it'll depend on what's happening with COVID at the at the time the vaccine actually becomes available and what the detailed recommendations are. Mm hmm.
S1: You know , there were rare reports of myocarditis in younger children.
S2: But I want to emphasize it's extremely rare and there's actually a lot more cases of myocardial and myocarditis caused by COVID , the infection and the post COVID infection syndrome we call NYC. So the risk and benefit still clearly favors the vaccine , even when you consider the myocarditis problem. And the other thing I'll say is that the myocarditis seems less common in the in the 5 to 11 year old group than it was in the adolescent. So I'm pretty sure it's going to be even lower in the youngest age group.
S2: And for these vaccines having a huge impact on stopping spread , they do reduce some disease , but you can still get infected even though immunized , and therefore it can still potentially spread it. So I think the bigger push is going to be to protect kids who may be at increased risk or kids in general , rather than worrying so much about whether it's going to stop transmission.
S1: And Dr. Sawyer , you have grandchildren that are under the age of six.
S2: I do still think that benefit of the vaccine outweighs any risk. I'm looking forward to the possibility of a new variant vaccine that will be even better against Omicron and its its descendants that we're starting to see circulate now. So I'm in favor of the vaccine for sure.
S1: I have been speaking with Dr. Mark Sawyer , an infectious disease expert with Rady Children's Hospital. Dr. Sawyer , thank you so much for joining us.
S2: Thank you.
S3: It's been four months since a federal lawsuit forced the Biden administration to bring back a controversial Trump era remain in Mexico asylum program , also known as migration protection protocols. It forces asylum seekers to live in Mexico while their cases are adjudicated. KPBS border reporter Gustavo Solis says people return to Mexico under this program face a dangerous and demoralizing existence.
S4: The 50 year old man ended up in the Migrant Protection Protocols Program March 4th. And ever since then , he's been scared and on the run , terrified of attracting the attention of Tijuana's criminal element. I spoke to him last week at a Salvation Army shelter exclusively for people in this program. He agreed to an interview , but only if I identified him as the sad Colombian. I asked him why he picked this unusual name for Colombia walking.
S5: And with all those currents where you see on the radar as well as on the U.S. Senate approved travel for microphone is the most supportive of Michoacan , Mexico.
S4: He sad because he dreams of entering the U.S. but continues to suffer in Mexico. More than 3000 people have been sent back to Mexico via migrant protection protocols or MPP since the Biden administration brought it back in December 2021. More than 900 of them are in Tijuana. Critics say people in the program don't have access to lawyers and face danger while living south of the border. The Sad Columbian says this program is specifically designed to wear people down so they lose hope and abandon their asylum cases.
S5: And Torres , with José the Programa say traditionally canceled program is alive eulogized the program.
S4: After a federal judge in Texas forced the Biden administration to bring back the program. Officials vowed to correct some of the issues with the original version of MPP. But experts who follow the program , they say it hasn't happened. Here's Erin Rocklin Melnick , a senior policy counsel for American immigration counsel.
S2: None of the fundamental underlying issues created by MPP 1.0 have been solved by the new implementation. Northern Mexico is still a dangerous place for many asylum seekers. There are still very few U.S. lawyers who can assist migrants with their cases , and people still have a lot of insecurity while they wait in Mexico for their hearings.
S4: The scarcity of legal representation is a huge problem in Tijuana. None of the people I interviewed at the shelter have been able to find a lawyer. They did get one piece of paper in immigration court with numbers to call for free legal representation , but no one ever picks up. So all they hear is this recorded message.
S3: The person at ext 103 is unavailable.
S4: Julian Wisner is an attorney with Human Rights First. He recently visited the same shelter and was struck by M.P. psychological toll.
S3: And so some people are really just afraid to leave. And being stuck in this little shelter all the time is is is really weighing on folks mental health. The one one person I spoke with said he had insomnia and he showed me he had bags under his eyes. He said , I've never experienced this before. I've never had depression before in my life and now I can't sleep. So the I think the mental the the impact on folks mental health in this program is is a really serious issue to.
S4: Complicating things further is the announcement this month that the Biden administration plans to terminate Title 42 as of May 23rd. Title 42 is another Trump era program designed to limit the number of asylum seekers who can enter the U.S. using the pandemic as a justification. The policy allows border officials to turn away asylum seekers without having them see a judge first. If Title 42 does indeed go away , experts say , will likely mean that more people will end up in MPP. Raichlen Melnik says migrants enrolled in MPP will technically be better off than they were under Title 42 because at least they'll have a chance to start the asylum case. But still they'll face an incredibly uphill battle.
S2: The reality is , is that for two years there has been effectively no way to seek asylum at the ports of entry.
S4: Gustavo Solis , KPBS News.
S3: Joining me is KPBS border reporter Gustavo Solis. Gustavo , welcome.
S4: Thank you , Maureen.
S3: Now the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments this week on the Remain in Mexico program. One point made by supporters of the program was their claim that the only other legal alternative was to put asylum seekers in U.S. detention while they waited for the asylum court to decide their case. But that's not what happened before Donald Trump started the policy.
S4: I mean , some of them would be held in detention. But there's a capacity issue with detention. We can only hold so many people before we run out of space. So we prioritize certain type of people for detention. But the majority of them , specifically those who have family and friends in the U.S. , they would be paroled in there , would be allowed to stay with a sponsor and live in the U.S. while their cases are adjudicated. Now , part of the issue here is that immigration courts have an incredibly huge backlog , well over a million cases. So these cases take years and years to resolve.
S4: Title 42 allows border officials to turn away asylum seekers at the border without giving them a chance to see a judge or even file an asylum claim. Migrants turned away by Title 42. They're either sent back to Mexico or deported. You'll probably remember that the Biden administration got a lot of heat for deporting Haitians early this year via Title 42 , but Mexico only agreed to accept people from certain countries. So not every country and also not every country has a deportation agreement with the U.S.. So some people from from certain countries like Venezuela , Colombia , Nicaragua , they're exempt from Title 42. They do get a chance to enter the U.S. and request asylum. But then that's where we made in Mexico comes in right with remain in Mexico. Migrants at least get a chance to start their asylum process , but then they're forced to wait in Mexico while their cases are adjudicated.
S3: And when the asylum seekers that actually make a claim are sent back to Mexico , how are they notified that they have to appear again in a U.S. court.
S4: With a piece of paper ? And that's one of the challenges of Remain in Mexico , right ? Our entire asylum , really , immigration court system is built on the assumption that people in this court live in the U.S.. Right. They have an address in the U.S. where the court can mail them something or even call them give them a notice to appear. One of the big problems early on and remain in Mexico is that these migrants were living in shelters for like a week or two and then going to a different shelter and then going to a different shelter. So there was no way for the court to really track and communicate with these migrants. So that logistically is just very hard to do from a court scheduling basis , let alone of building a case and gathering evidence and preparing yourself to to fight.
S3: And does Mexico have a say in the number of non-Mexican asylum seekers that the U.S. can send back to wait in Mexico ? Yes.
S4: Yes , they do. Actually , a part of bringing back remain in Mexico included negotiations with Mexico over which migrants Mexico was willing to receive. Mexico. Mexico agreed to accept migrants from every country in the Western Hemisphere except Mexican nationals , obviously. Right. Because Mexican asylum seekers are fleeing Mexico. So it doesn't make sense that there would be return to Mexico while they await the Biden administration. Actually got a bit of heat for this because it expanded the population of national. Now that he's eligible for remain in Mexico. Most notably Haitian nationals. Haitian nationals were not included in Trump's original version of Remain in Mexico , but they are included in Biden inspiration. In terms of a cap , there's not a numbers cap in terms of how many people can be admitted into this program and to remain in Mexico. But with the new version , the US government agreed to ensure that asylum cases for people in this program do not take longer than six months to adjudicate. So the cap is basically put as many people into MPP without bringing the case time higher than six months.
S4: That's right. And in many ways , the Remain in Mexico lawsuit created a framework for how conservatives are keeping Biden from getting rid of some of those Trump border policies like Title 42. Right. Biden ended Remain in Mexico almost as soon as he got in office , but was forced to bring it back after a federal lawsuit. That case is now actually up in front of the Supreme Court. And right now it looks like the same thing will happen with Title 42. A federal judge in Louisiana this week kind of hinted that he will block the administration from terminating the program mostly on procedural grounds until that case is resolved.
S3: And when is the U.S. Supreme Court expected to rule on ending the remain in Mexico policy.
S4: Sometime over the summer ? Is the expectation earlier this week they had some hearings , so we kind of heard early arguments to and from. But I think potentially as early as June is when we might get a decision on this.
S3: I've been speaking with KPBS border reporter Gustavo Solis. Gustavo , thank you.
S4: Oh , thank you for having me , Maureen. Really appreciate it.
S3: This is KPBS Midday Edition. I'm Maureen CAVANAUGH with Jade Hyneman. This might be a good time for young people to start checking out the bus , train and trolley schedules around San Diego. Starting May 1st , people 18 and under all over the county will be able to ride public transportation free. The Youth Opportunity Pass pilot program is an effort to make public transportation more accessible and equitable. And it's been a long time coming for advocates who see free rides for young people as a way to help underserved communities. Joining me is Arianna Federico. She's lead transportation organizer for Mid-City Can a City Heights based advocacy organization. Arianna , welcome to the program. Hi. Thank you. Happy to be here. Also joining us is college student Denise Lopez. And , Denise , welcome. Thanks for having me. Arianna , can you tell us the basics about this Youth Opportunity Pass program ? What kinds of transportation will it allow young people to ride free ? So young people who are 18 and under can use pronto , which comes in as an or also you can pick up a physical card from the transit center or whatever community based organizations we're helping distribute the passes as well. And you can use pronto to ride MTA trolleys , the NCT , which is a North County Transit District coaster and sprinter. So young people will have access to public transportation at no cost starting May 1st , up until June 30th , 2023. So are these free rides unlimited ? I mean , can they use it as much as they want ? Yes , as many times as you want to just tap away. How much could this free pass save a family who , let's say , have a couple of young students who need to ride trolleys or buses every day ? We had families that were buying their used a monthly pass , which was about like $23. And some families were doing the day by day passes. So the $6 passes are actually a lot of families are going to be saving a lot of money. We have families who have youth that are under 18 , like about three of them or four who do use public transportation or are going to work or participating in internships. So it will be saving families a big chunk of money every month. This Youth Opportunity Pass will give an opportunity for young people to have more access to send to the San Diego region. So we're hoping to see that young people take advantage of the free , low cost transportation pass. So how does it work ? You mentioned something about a card or an app that young people have to show. How does that work ? Yeah. So if a young person has a mobile phone , a smartphone , they can go on their app store so they can download pronto onto their phone. It's kind of like a Starbucks account. You just make an account for yourself. You sign up with your name , your email , and then you'll have automatically a virtual digital card that will have a QR code that you're able to use to scan every time you ride the bus or you didn't have to tap before you ran on the trolley. If if a young person does not have a phone with data , they do need a physical pass. Purple , it says pronto on it. And they will have to pick one up either at the transit center or at with one of the community based organizations working with SANDAG. If you already have a Pronto pass that is labeled as a youth pass , you're ready to start writing public transportation for free starting May 1st. Now , this is a pilot program. You mentioned that it's only in place until June of 2023. What factors will determine if this is something that may be continued after that date ? That's something that we're still discussing. So this specific pilot was funded through the air quality pollution mitigation funds. And so though they do have to measure how it's addressing air quality. Another thing that we would like for , for us we would like to see is the increase of ridership. And I think that we will see that given the gas prices , given it that the now it's free and at no cost in that limited. So I think young people and their families will be more it will be more accessible for them to use it. Part of their research. We are hoping that they incorporate a qualitative. So that young people and their families and just overall community can really give their feedback about their benefits and really tell their stories of what it really means to have a youth opportunity past and how this has impacted their life. Denise , you're a college student now. Are you eligible to get these free passes and have free public transportation ? No. Unfortunately , when the legislation passed , I was turning 19. So I don't qualify because it's 18 and under now. When did you start working on the effort to have free public transportation for San Diego's youth ? I started in my freshman year in Hoover High School during 2018. So why is access to free public transportation so important to you , Denise ? The transportation seems very important to me because I've seen peers in my high school when we just started seeing how long they would take and seen how some of them struggle to just get to school. And since middle school , I think that to get more opportunities , you have to travel far away. And knowing that the transportation is kind of expensive for my family and how it's the pressure of getting to my destinations was a big burden to my family. Tell us about your brother and what this free public transportation means to him. I have this able oldest brother and it will be less a burden to his programs that he needs for the special ed departments. Now. Are you hoping that this program maybe expands and includes your age group in a little while ? Yeah , that's the biggest hope , because since I got here to college at UCSD , I have taught to use mostly all of us just public transportation. Because here UCSD , like our programs that we use to explore , are like far away from our campus. So we really want to have this opportunity to. It's a user process because we also see that it's a burden to our pockets here and our choices. I've been speaking with Arianna Frederico , lead transportation organizer for Mid-City Kan. And I've also been speaking with college student Denise Lopez. Thank you both so much for speaking with us. Thank you for having us. Thanks for having us.
S1: A questionable home sale in the midst of San Diego's booming real estate market has underlined the less than charitable actions of a local nonprofit. That's according to a new investigative report by Voice of San Diego reporter Will HUNTSBERRY , whose story on the Affordable Senior Housing Foundation reveals the sometimes blurred distinction between for profit and nonprofit organizations. The report details how the rapid sale of a home for hundreds of thousands of dollars under market value , followed by another sale at peak market value , greatly enriched the personal friends of those involved. Well , HUNTSBERRY joins us now with more on this story Will. Welcome back to the program.
S2: Thanks for having me , Jane. Okay.
S1: Okay. Well , so first things first. Can you set the stage here ? What's the story behind this home ? Its unusual sale and the extent to which the sellers made a profit.
S2: Well , you gave it a good intro. Fortunately , it is complicated and there are a lot of players , but it's centers on a house in Escondido , and I think that's the best place to start. It's 1385 Oak Hill Drive. And , you know , several people , as you said , made a lot of money off of this house. So in 2020 , the House was owned by a nonprofit set up to provide senior care. And at that time , Zillow valued the house at about $505,000. But it was at that time that the executives of the nonprofit , they decided to sell it for $150,000. They did not listed on the open market. And in fact , they sold it to a friend of the charity's chief financial officer. So he got it for 150,000 when it was valued at 505. But the story doesn't stop there. The housing market , like you said , is absolutely going off. And so just a few months later , Zillow values the home at 624,000. And at that time , the friend , he doesn't market it either and he sells it to another friend of the charity executive. He doesn't make any improvements to the home and he sells it for $350,000 a month later. Those people , they do list the home and they sell it for $624,000. So we'll get more into it. I know that that is the story , in short.
S1: Well , okay. So then let's talk about the nonprofit that these two are executives of. Okay.
S2: This charity was set up in 2017 , just a few weeks before it purchased Oak Hill Residential Care. Its CEO is Matthew Parks and its chief financial officer is Tom Sutton. According to the most recent business filings with the California Secretary of State and at times during the past few years , Sutton in Parks , they've also controlled the board. It's a three person board and they've had two of the seats on it. But certain in parks , they're not just involved with this nonprofit , affordable senior housing. They also have other for profit companies that do large business deals with the nonprofit they control. So , for instance , there's this one company called Torrey Pines Development Group , and they told me that they own and operate that company and win affordable senior housing when it bought the big senior center for about $18 million. Torrey Pines helped broker that deal and made $540,000 off of it. So , you know , in essence , Parks and Sutton got paid to broker a deal for the nonprofit , which they also started. They were on both sides of that transaction , basically. And that's not necessarily illegal. It can raise red flags. It's not illegal. What's important is that such deals are done at fair market value. And certain in part they say , hey , this was fair market value. There's nothing untoward here. Okay.
S1: Okay. So then let's go back to the home sale for a minute. Charities are not supposed to sell their assets for below market value.
S2: They're basically supposed to serve the public good , right ? They're not supposed to do any kind of deals which benefit private persons at the expense of the mission , which they're trying to do in this case. Senor Senior Care. The state rules for nonprofits say that they're supposed to sell any asset at fair market value , so the charity gets the benefit of that. In this case , the House does not at all appear to have sold for fair market value. The charity's executives sold the house to one of their friends and. And named Eric Bills for quite a bit less than it was worth. They sold it for $150,000 , and Bill's then sold it to Mack Capital , a flipping company in Poway , owned by a man named Robert Bayard and some of his sons. And he's a friend of Matthew Parks from church , the charity's chief executive. So they got it for 350 very quickly after they sold it for 624. You know , the charity Friends made a lot of money here. We know Bill's made hundreds of thousands of dollars because he said he didn't put any work into the house and the birds. They didn't respond to my request for comment or answer any questions about how much work they did to the House. What I can tell you is that I checked with the city of Escondido and during the time they owned it , no one pulled a permit to work on the house. They sold it for about $300,000 more than they bought it for.
S2: I definitely have at certain parks , they did do an initial interview with me and they told me there was a really , really good reason why they did it. And they told me they were going to give me documents to back up their story. And then they kind of went quiet on me and said , We're not going to comedy. MOORE You're not getting any documents. But here's the story that certain parks tell for why they did what they did. They say they were trying to refinance the senior care center and they were going to get a HUD loan to do it , and it was going to save them a ton of money. And they owned this senior care center right. And they also own this house across the street. And they've been using a storage for the senior care center in Hyde. There had to be a bank appraisal for the HUD loan to go through , and they say that the house was accidentally left out of that appraisal. And then HUD was like , Well , we're not going to give you a loan unless it's backed by all the properties the charity owns. So you've either got to start the hood process over or you got to sell this house. And so they say , you know , we had to sell this really quickly and that was in the best interest of the nonprofit. We were going to save money. We need to do the deal super fast. So , you know , we called somebody we knew. We sold it for what we thought we could sell it for. You know , they say that the house didn't have walls at that time , but it wasn't in a livable condition. So I'm sure anyone who looks into this business deal , you know , that's a story they'll consider.
S1: So ultimately , is all of what we're discussing here illegal ? And if so , is there the possibility of an investigation into the sale of this home ? Right.
S2: Right. I mean , I appreciate the question. And obviously , I can't say if it's illegal , but I can give you the context that I have. You know , it would be up to the state attorney general's office and potentially up to the IRS , you know , whether something illegal or against the rules happened here. The AG's office has a charities division that specifically looks into under market value sales and whether deals are benefiting private persons instead of the charity. You know , I quoted some guidance from the AG's office that says special attention should be paid where there has been no legitimate effort to market the charitable asset widely to ensure maximum return. So I don't know if the AG's office will look into this , but if they do , that seems like a part of the deal they might look at and you know , if they find that something was not aboveboard , then they could issue fines and they could sanction the charity. You know , in extreme cases , the IRS can even take away a nonprofit's charitable status.
S1: I've been speaking with Voice of San Diego reporter Will HUNTSBERRY. Well , thanks so much for joining us.
S2: Thank you , Ed.
S1: You're listening to KPBS Midday Edition. I'm Jade Hindman with Maureen CAVANAUGH. This weekend marks the fifth annual San Diego book Crawl , a multiday event that brings together 11 of the region's independent bookstores. KPBS arts producer and editor Julia Dixon Evans spoke with Jesse Gutierrez , co-owner of the new Leiba Luba books in Barrio Logan , and Scott airing Burgess. Manager of the library shop and public engagement manager for the Library Foundation of San Diego. Here's their conversation.
S3: Hi , Jesse. Thanks for joining us. Thank you. Thank you for having me. And hello , Scott.
S2: Hey , Julia , it's great to see you again , even though it's on the radio.
S3: And Jesse , let's start with you and the origin story of liberal Lula books. Can you tell me what was the driving force behind opening a bookstore for you ? I was an educator in the neighborhood where the bookshop resides in Buddy Logan. For about seven and a half years , I focused on literacy and our integration. And so when we dreamt up the idea of having the bookshop was really just the place for my students to go after school , hang out , have access to stories that aligned with their identity. What is your background with books and reading ? I love books. I feel like probably Scott's the same for me. They definitely hold a special place in my heart because I grew up around a lot of books. My second home was kind of the library , so I'm really grateful for public libraries. I still refer to them as the People's University. And it takes a lot of labor to keep them running and going. And my siblings and I spent a lot of time there. My mom was a single mom , so that was kind of an impromptu babysitter. I love that. And live I live in particular is known for its inclusivity , particularly for the BIPOC and LGBTQ community. And you also identify as what you call felonies to own space. What does it mean for a bookstore to be so radically inclusive , and why is that foundational for you ? Those are all aspects of our identity. My partner and I , those are just parts of who we are. So it seemed very natural and important to be open about that so that folks that align with that identity as well find a home within our space and feel welcome and celebrated and not so alienated. And so we are very open about it because it's just who we are. And does that outlook impact the kind of choices you make about which books you stock on your shelves ? 100%. First and foremost , I think books I like have a lot of books that are my favorite on the shelves. So y'all are subject to all of that. But so far , so good. We do try to center narratives and voices from folks that maybe don't always have a big platform. It's definitely changing in current day , and I love that. I love to see that. I love other bookstores being more inclusive and celebrating voices that we haven't traditionally heard from. And so we are definitely going to be uplifting voices of color , indigenous and black folks that are doing storytelling , and that's just a huge part of their culture to begin with. And my culture as an indigenous person and then also LGBTQ experiences that don't all end in demise or a sad ending. So we really try to include a lot of those different narratives. This weekend is Independent Bookstore Day , and with it the annual San Diego book Crawl. I'm going to ask Scott a little bit more about that next bit. Jesse , since this is your first year participating , can you tell us why you wanted Lila books to be involved with The Crawl ? First of all , because they invited us. That was super cool. It was like we got picked to be on the team , which was awesome because I love all of the booksellers in San Diego. I've gone to all the shops as a consumer and reader on the other end , but then also because I really do believe in both the internal community that's built around books and the external , like just in this process , we've got to really come together and talk as booksellers and kind of share mutual experiences. And it's just really cool to have insight to the fact that we're not all alone just out here on an island and know that there are other folks that have similar missions. And Scott , you have been known to say that book crawl is Super Bowl weekend for book nerds. And this is the fifth annual book Crawl.
S2: It's actually started controversial because it is the first independent bookstore de San Diego book Crawl. But it's technically. The six , if you count the first one we did , which was a neighborhood book crawl. So it was only three stores. It was the library shop and verbatim and blue stocking. And the way it started was a library shop employee named Kimberly , who no longer works here , had an amazing idea. She came to work after going on the San Diego Yarn Crawl , and she said to me , We should put together a book crawl. And I said , That's a terrible idea. Nobody's going to do it. And then we decided to do it anyway. So we called up our friends and verbatim and blue stocking , and they were sort of skeptical as well , but we thought we'd give it a try , so we gave away a tote. If you went to all three stores in one day and we didn't even bother to print totes , we made them ourselves with a screen printer in the back of the store and all the stuff was sold out after an hour of this first mini crawl. So at that point we realized we were onto something and we opened it up to the other indies in all of San Diego. So right now it's three days , it's 11 indie bookstores , and you can check the store websites for the hours. We all keep our own hours because we're independent booksellers , so we do things our own way. You can also follow SD book Crawl on Instagram to sort of learn more about how it works. But the general idea is you go to as many bookstores as you can , spend a minimum of $5. We have some awesome swag that you can win as you go on your journey. If you go to five stores , you get a tote bag , which is designed by Darcy from Mysterious Galaxy. So Bookseller Designs , if you go to eight stores , you get an enamel pin , which was created by Susie Kermani and her company Boy Girl Party. She's the official ambassador of the San Diego book Crawl. She's a great local children's author and illustrator , so she's always supported us. And then the grand prize , if you're crazy enough to go to all 11 indie bookstores in three days or less , you get a 3D printed trophy. It is a book Crawl Champion Trophy and it glows in the dark. It was printed in the San Diego Public Library's Idea Lab. So really cool stuff. But I think the San Diego Book Crawl is a great example of what you can't get when you shop online. When you shop at a chain store , you know , if you go to our 11 stores , no two stores are going to be alike. We all have our own vibe. We all have our own approach. The only thing that's the same as we all love books , we love bookstore culture , and we're pretty confident that you're going to fall in love with a book that a bookseller handed you is going to be a better experience than an algorithm. So you know what the algorithm tells you to read is cool. But when you form a bond with a local bookseller , I think it really takes it to the next level.
S3: Scott , Jesse , thank you both so much for joining us today.
S2: Thanks for having us.
S3: Thank you so much. Fun.
S1: That was KPBS arts producer and editor Julia Dixon Evans. The San Diego book Crawl takes place Saturday through Monday. You can find more details on our website , KPBS dot org.