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Plane crashes into neighborhood near El Cajon, no survivors

 December 28, 2021 at 3:38 PM PST

Speaker 1: (00:00)

Another deadly plane crash in a neighborhood.

Speaker 2: (00:03)

The wreckage of the plane was, was pretty bad. It, it doesn't look like anyone could have survived. The impact I'm

Speaker 1: (00:10)

Jade Henman with Christina Kim, Maureen is off. This is KPBS midday edition. The new CDC quarantine guidelines explained. They've

Speaker 3: (00:28)

Basically been saying what they've been saying, the whole pandemic that they're following the science. And as they learn more about this virus, how it behaves, how it's spread, uh, they're updating the guidelines for the American people.

Speaker 1: (00:37)

Hey, look at how we should approach mental health during the holidays while in a pandemic and a local puppeteer in a classic production, shorter lift your spirits. That's ahead on midday edition, A aircraft carrying four people crashed in flames near Gillespie field last night. This is the second plane crash in less than three months in the east county area. And much like the previous crash. It happened in a residential area. Now the federal aviation administration and national transportation safety board are investigating. J joining me with details is San Diego union Tribune, reporter Alex Riggins, Alex. Welcome.

Speaker 2: (01:27)

Thank you very much for having me.

Speaker 1: (01:29)

So first let's talk about what happened last night. We know, uh, that there were four people riding on the plane. Did anyone survive?

Speaker 2: (01:37)

Unfortunately, there were, there were no survivors. Um, the, the wreckage of the plane was pretty bad. It, it doesn't look like anyone could have survived the impact and, and even if there was that small possibility, the wreckage caught fire, uh, immediately. Um, and so there was, uh, it, it was a pretty bad scene and, and there were no survivors. Do

Speaker 1: (01:58)

We know if the plane hit anyone on the ground?

Speaker 2: (02:01)

Very fortunately it did not. Um, it, it seemed to land, uh, pretty close to the center of, of pepper drive. Um, there were houses around there, there was one that was damaged, but extremely fortunately, uh, it did not hit any homes or did not hit any, uh, any cars that were on the road.

Speaker 1: (02:19)

So did the plane crash into any homes or buildings?

Speaker 2: (02:22)

No, it, it hit the middle of the street. Um, it, it seems that there was one home that was damaged, but nothing like we saw out in Sant, uh, a couple months back back in October when that plane crashed, um, this time we couldn't get too close to the scene last night. Um, so I couldn't tell exactly, but it, it seems like there was a, maybe a, an outer fence and, and an outer wall, uh, of one home that was damaged

Speaker 1: (02:44)

Before the crash happened. Was there any communication between the pilot and air traffic controllers about a problem while in the air?

Speaker 2: (02:52)

There was some communication. It doesn't seem like there was any sort of problem, you know, in, in the aviation industry, uh, all of this, you know, the, the, where the flight was coming from, I is tracked very closely. Uh, the air, the air traffic control radio, um, communication is, is all recorded. So there was, uh, a recording of that posted several different recordings of that, um, posted online. Um, it's, it's very troubling audio. Uh, it, it seems that there was no, you know, no mechanical failure, no, no issue with the plane itself. Um, uh, we don't know exactly what happened, but the, but the pilot, um, seems to realize, uh, right before the crash, that kind of what is happening. Um, it's, it it's really true, willing to listen to, um, obviously it's a, a human being in their, in their last moments of, of their life, uh, realizing what's about to happen. Um, it's, it's really hard to stomach, uh, but it doesn't seem like there was any sort of, at least from what we can tell on the, on the air traffic, uh, re recording, it doesn't seem like there was any issue with the plane, but the pilot, I did realize moments before the crash, uh, you know, that they were, that they were too low and,

Speaker 1: (04:04)

You know, where was the plane headed from and where was it planning on landing?

Speaker 2: (04:10)

So we know that it, it came from John Wayne up in Santa a, in orange county. Um, it was heading to Gille field. What we don't know exactly was the plane was coming in, uh, it, it could have landed, um, in kind of a more straightforward, um, you know, directly from the kind of north Northwest, um, direction, uh, coming from orange county. We know that it, instead of landing that way, it, it circled around. Um, and so was, was approaching Gillespie field from the east is, which is a common, you know, approach for, for planes to come in. Uh, I spoke to neighbors out there last night, uh, who, you know, they hear planes all the time coming over, uh, kind of directly over pepper drive. Um, it's, it's almost a straight shot to Gill field. So we know that the planes circled and was coming in that way. We don't know exactly why it's circled and, and why it didn't make that initial kind of straightforward landing, but it was coming in on, on an approach that is, that is very common coming over pepper drive towards Gilli field. We just don't know why it got too low and, and crashed where it

Speaker 1: (05:14)

Did. This is the second plane crash in less than three months in an east county neighborhood. Why do you think this is be come a recurring problem recently in the area?

Speaker 2: (05:24)

It's, it's really hard to say, um, this one, you know, this one specifically was heading to Gillespie field. It's, it's just a little, you know, a mile or two, um, east of there. And, and it seems that it got too low on the approach, um, which, you know, you, you might expect, uh, every once a, in a while, um, you know, with, with an airport like that, that's, that's kind of surrounded by residential areas. The October crash in Sandee seemed to be a, a, a different, uh, a different situation altogether. Uh, that plane was actually headed to Montgomery field up in Kearney Mesa. Um, we don't know if, if, you know, maybe the pilot, you know, confused the two airports, um, although he, he was very experienced, so that would've been a surprise. Um, so, so we really don't know exactly what happened, um, either of them yet, as far as, you know, if there's any sort of connection, but, you know, with, with Gillespie field out there, uh, Sur you know, surrounded by Sant El Cajon, Lakeside, it's, it's just, uh, there's, there's kind of bound to be, um, occasional issues. Uh, when you do get a plane going down, you know, either on approach or, or, uh, shortly after takeoff, you know, there's lots of homes, lots of businesses all around. Uh, and so you do just kind of get that, you know, if, if, if there is gonna be a crash, there's a good chance it's gonna be in kind of a residential area, uh, right there in that neighborhood. But, but we don't know if there's any sort of connection between the two incidents from, from October and, and last night, I've been

Speaker 1: (06:56)

Speaking to San Diego, you union Tribune, reporter Alex Riggins, who has been covering this story, Alex, thank you so much for joining us. Thanks

Speaker 2: (07:04)

Again for having me.

Speaker 4: (07:11)

The CDC released new COVID 19 guidelines on Monday that have shortened the time people need to quarantine these new recommendations come after hundreds of flights were canceled yesterday, due to what the airline industry and other businesses have said is the lengthy 10 day quarantine period here to help us understand what these new guidelines are, is KBB S health reporter, Matt Hoffman. Hey Matt. Hey Christina. Okay, Matt. So break this down for us. What exactly is the CDC recommending and how have quarantine guidelines changed?

Speaker 3: (07:40)

Okay, so diving into it, you know, before, if you tested positive for COVID, you know, they're asking you to stay at home for 10 days to make sure that you don't give that virus to anybody else. Now, if you have COVID, if you test positive and you're not showing any symptoms, uh, they're cutting that down from 10 days to five days, that's five days of isolation. Then after those five days, they want, you know, strict mask wearing. Um, there's some other updated guidelines as well, too. So if you're exposed to the virus and you're UN vaccinated, uh, they're asking that you do five days of isolation and then five days of strict mask wearing. Um, and then if you're, this is where gets a little bit tricky if you're exposed and vaccinated, but it's been six months. And since your original vaccination, you don't have your booster. Uh, they want you to isolate for five days. And I guess some, maybe the silver lining here for those who are boosted, um, if you're boosted and vaccinated and you get exposed, uh, no isolation they're saying, but they want you to mask up for 10

Speaker 4: (08:31)

Days. Why did the CDC say they updated these guidelines? Why now

Speaker 3: (08:34)

They've basically been saying what they've been saying, the whole pandemic that they're following the science. And as they learned more about this five, how it behaves, how it's spread, uh, they're updating the guidelines for the American people. Um, and basically they're saying that they're finding out the transmission of COVID really occurs in the early course of illness. They're saying one to two days prior to the onset of symptoms. So, you know, one to two days before, you know, you have COVID, you symptomatic, you can spread it. And then two to three days after you start getting those symptoms. So they're saying, look, we don't need to put people, you know, in isolation for 10 days anymore. They think that five days is enough, especially if people are not symptomatic, uh, to have them not spread that virus to anybody else.

Speaker 4: (09:10)

Some have said that this is also in response to the impacts of that longer quarantine as having on industry. As I mentioned at the top, can you talk to us a little bit about the impacts the quarantine requirements are having on industries here locally?

Speaker 3: (09:23)

Yeah, it's, it's not even just happening locally. You know, we we've seen this happening nationally within sports league, lots of games having to be, you know, rescheduled in the NFL and the national hockey league as well, too. Um, some of that local stuff is hitting us here as well, too know we have a lot of teams, uh, that go through their sports protocols. We've seen San Diego statements, basketball games canceled. Uh, we've seen, uh, some of the San Diego goals, the minor league hockey team here, some of their games that are, that have been put on pause. Uh, we just actually heard today from the university of San Diego, uh, that their game against Gonzaga is gonna be postponed because of, uh, positive COVID 19 cases, university of San Diego. Uh, they're putting their men's and women's basketball programs on hold. Uh, we know that we have the holiday bowl, which is a huge economic driver here in San Diego.

Speaker 3: (10:03)

That's coming up, uh, that's still on schedule, no word of that being canceled. Um, but it's, it's definitely having a huge impact. And when you talk about other local industries too, uh, you know, holiday travel, uh, we're seeing the airport, you know, get a lot busier, quite as busy as it was pre pandemic. Uh, but there were a lot of flights canceled by a couple major carriers, uh, around Christmas time because of, you know, COVID cases. And they have to put a lot of these employees, you know, on a 10 day isolation period, and that can have a huge impact, um, on industries like the local airline industry, you know, resulting in thousands of flights, uh, that have been delayed or canceled. The, uh,

Speaker 4: (10:36)

Updated guidance is particularly important because people have been having a hard time even accessing these rapid COVID tests and they have to wait longer times for the results of the PCR test. What have you been hearing about the demand for testing?

Speaker 3: (10:49)

There's definitely been a, a large demand for testing around the holidays. Like, I, I, I, I know for myself personally, I took a rapid test before I went, um, and had Christmas dinner. Um, and a lot of people were doing that as well too. Now, uh, some of the line long lines we've been seeing at the county sites, you know, people hoping to go there, uh, to get the results that day, those are PCR tests and those, you know, they typically say they can come back within a couple days, maybe three days. It's very key that, um, you know, whoever's doing the testing, whether it be the county, the healthcare providers, uh, that they get those tests back quickly, you know, one, cuz people don't know, they might have the virus, they might be spreading it, you know, they ask you to isolate yourself while you wait for your results, especially if you're asymptomatic.

Speaker 3: (11:25)

Uh, but people may not be doing that. Cause after a few days, you know, uh, if you don't get your test result, it's, you know, not necessarily useless, but it's old news. Um, so they're really trying to make sure that there's access. You know, we heard from president Biden saying, looking at those line that there's a lot more work that needs to be done. Uh, he says that there's some good news coming on the horizon, the president that they're, uh, buying 500 million rapid tests for anyone who wants them. You know, I guess you can just tell the government, Hey, I want some rapid tests and they're gonna give them to you. And he also says starting in two weeks that private insurers will also starting to be reimbursing costs for rapid tests. So that might drive more people to easily access those rapid tests with which they can do in a pharmacy. And you can even order them like online through your phone on DoorDash testing

Speaker 4: (12:05)

Demand is in line with the current COVID 19 case rates here. And as well as hospitalizations, can you give us an update about what we're currently seeing in San Diego county?

Speaker 3: (12:14)

Yes. I will put it in a little bit of perspective for us. You know, so San Diego county, a year ago, this time we were seeing more than 4,000 cases a day on average. Um, and around this time, right now, we're seeing anywhere between, you know, 1600 cases to more than, you know, 2200 cases in the days around Christmas and right after Christmas. So, um, you know, we're about half the cases we were a year ago, hospitalization wise, uh, we're doing a lot better, you know, a year ago around this time we had 1800 people who were hospitalized with COVID, um, in San Diego county. Uh, we, you know, people may have seen headlines that were now around 400, that's a dramatic drop. And basically health officials say that they attribute that a lot to vaccinations, you know, not just your first and your second series, but at the booster doses. Um, and they say, you know, those 400 people that are hospitalized many and many of them are UN vaccinated. And a lot of this is sort of preventable.

Speaker 4: (13:01)

Thank you for that context. Always important when we're hearing all these numbers, but I do wanted to just understand the cases in hospitalizations, they are increasing as compared to numbers prior to Omnicon. Is that right? Is Omnichron kind of driving a little bit of this surge.

Speaker 3: (13:14)

We haven't seen cases increasing, especially since the Thanksgiving holiday. Now it's interesting when you ask about is AMN driving these cases, we know that to find out like if you or eye tested positive for the virus today, we may never find out, you know, if we have the Delta variant, if we have the Amron variant, um, you know, officials only sequence which can take up to four weeks to find out which type of COVID you have. They only sequence a very small all a number of those cases. Um, and as the latest update as of yesterday, um, only 54 cases of Aron have actually been identified in San Diego county. Now there's a little star next to that data that says, Hey, this, you know, not necessarily representative of what's happening because we're only sequencing so many cases. Uh, but it is suspected that Aron is driving the surge cases. Uh, and then the resulting, you know, and hospitalizations too.

Speaker 4: (13:56)

I've been speaking with KBB S health reporter, Matt Hoffman. Thank you so much for joining us. Thanks, Christina.

Speaker 1: (14:12)

You're listening to K PBS midday edition. I'm Jade Henman with Christina Kim. More. Maureen Kavanaugh is off today. As we close out 2021 K PBS takes a look back at some of the stories we covered over the past year. Back in April, military reporter, Steve Walsh had the story of one Naval aviation's few openly gay pilots who was on his way out. The Marine substantiated his claims of after an incident following a west coast Marine Corps ball KPBS, military reporter, Steve Walsh tells us why it wasn't enough to save his career.

Speaker 5: (14:49)

For most of his six years in the Navy Lieutenant, Adam Madosky says he felt supported as an openly gay pilot. He can tell you when that changed

Speaker 6: (14:57)

Was in November of 2019, Adamowski

Speaker 5: (15:00)

Is a helicopter pilot for a Navy search and rescue squadron. Madosky was invited to a west coast Marine Corps, birthday ball at a local casino. He came back to the hotel room where the Marines had been holding an after

Speaker 6: (15:13)

Party. When I walked into the door, I knew something wasn't right, because, um, the TV in that suite had been moved like on the pivot, um, to face the doorway. And I saw my dress whites draped over and around the, um, the, the TV. And there was hardcore gay, born plane.

Speaker 5: (15:34)

It didn't feel like a harmless prank. It felt like something else. Some of the other Marines in the quadrant wanted to find those responsible, but a Adamski says he was getting ready for his first deployment as a pilot. He wanted to shrug it off and let the matter go. But word had spread

Speaker 6: (15:52)

And received numerous calls from people that are in the closet in that squadron. Um, both men and women and, and openly, uh, gay service members, um, tell me that they they're upset and that they don't think the climate is, uh, a good climate in that, in that squadron. And they, they think I should report it.

Speaker 5: (16:13)

The don't ask don't tell policy ended a decade ago, allowing L G B T service members to serve openly, but a study in the journal of sexuality research and social policy found 59% of service members still didn't feel comfortable coming out to their peers. Sasha Booker is a former Marine and an attorney with the civil rights organization. Lambed illegal. She says changing the law. Didn't change the culture. That's

Speaker 7: (16:40)

One thing to have, don't ask, don't tell removed. It's another thing to have a culture where people can feel safe, you know, being who they are and not have to worry about, um, you know, being discriminated against

Speaker 5: (16:50)

Or harassed 18 months after a dumb reported the incident, he still hasn't received final word on his case. His version of events has been substantiated by the squadron commander in charge of the three Marines, found culpable. Initially the squadron commander even offered to pull their pilot's wings for the incident. A doky thought that was too severe.

Speaker 6: (17:11)

Um, I want and, and person apology and, uh, from, from all three of them, uh, I want, I want a meeting to which they're there and I can talk to,

Speaker 5: (17:22)

He also wanted something on their permanent record. The incident continued to eat at a Adamski. He was in a serious relationship with an air force pilot who was talking about coming out of the closet. They broke up after he saw dosey's experience. I lost

Speaker 6: (17:37)

A lot. I I'm not happy. I no longer feel like I am, um, an effective, uh, leader, an officer, a pilot. Um, and, uh, I don't feel a part of the military anymore

Speaker 5: (17:52)

At Osky has been called into the headquarters for Naval air command. More than wants to address his decision to speak publicly about his case major Alex limb spokesman for the third Marine aircraft wing says the Marines initially acted quickly on his complaint. Service member,

Speaker 8: (18:08)

Sailor in our units are, um, treated with in a culture of dignity, respect. We, we wanna prohibit, uh, any type of activity that where these individuals would be

Speaker 5: (18:21)

Harassed. Adamski stopped logging flight hours as his case dragged on last spring, he had a road accident that made it even for, to qualify to fly. He was given an option as a Navy officer to retire a Osky took it in the next couple of months. His six year career as a Navy pilot will come to an end, but not his quest for some kind of recognition that what happened to him. Wasn't right.

Speaker 6: (18:47)

Most people back down because of, of all this hassle and I, and I won't, and I'm not someone that will back down easily.

Speaker 5: (18:55)

At this point, he says he has nothing left to lose Steve Walsh, KPBS news. This story

Speaker 1: (19:01)

Was produced by the American home front project, a public media collaboration that reports on American military life and veterans funding come from the corporation for public broadcasting.

Speaker 4: (19:15)

The San Diego zoo wildlife Alliance helped hatch an Egyptian vulture, an endangered carry on eater that travels between Europe and Africa earlier this year, KBB S environment reporter Eric Anderson brought us this story in September

Speaker 9: (19:30)

Daisy Reva walks between large wired enclosures in a quiet area on the Eastern edge of the San Diego zoo, safari park. Hi guys. Good morning. Hi girl. This off exhibit area is home to a pair of striking white vs. The male with fluffy white plumage sits on a perch survey. RVAs the female on the ground, but at a distance,

Speaker 10: (19:55)

They are such special vs. They're the only tool using vultures. So they're very smart birds. They use rocks to break open Osher jugs. Um, they take a lot of the different parts of the carcass that larger birds can't get to

Speaker 9: (20:07)

Interaction like this is limited because RVAs wants the birds to keep, keep their healthy distrust of people. In fact, much of the monitoring happens inside a shed out of the bird's site. There's a cabinet with video screens.

Speaker 10: (20:21)

So this is a great view of our nesting area for the breeding pair of Egyptian

Speaker 9: (20:25)

Vultures. An elevated square box serves as a nest. The birds typically clear a flat Rocky area, a lay, an egg inside the plywood shelter. There is a barrier that can keep the eggs from falling. The nest is screened from a pair of territorial Palm nut vultures that are in the next enclosure. It's

Speaker 10: (20:44)

Also good for them to not be able to see these guys, um, when they're sitting so that they don't get

Speaker 9: (20:49)

Distracted. The mating pair has done something not accomplished before in north America, they produced and fertilized an egg, which hatched earlier this year, parks lead condo care specialist. Ron Webb showed us the trailer where the endangered chick was up at

Speaker 11: (21:06)

Fed. We have one way windows in here. So, uh, as long as this light's on and this light's off, she

Speaker 9: (21:12)

Can't see us. Jamila as she's been named, was brought to this feeding station in a small white bowl, filled with snuggly animal hair was faint. Squeaks, told keepers that she is hungry and ready to eat. The feedings started with a simple sock puppet and a pair of tweezers old

Speaker 11: (21:35)

World vultures tend to take more food directly from the parent's beaks. Um, they'll eat through regurgitation, but they also take little, little bits. So we do actually pick up pieces of food and, and hand it to the chick. Uh, with

Speaker 9: (21:48)

The puppet as the bird grew, the sock puppet was replaced by a more realistic one that staff used to care for condo chicks.

Speaker 11: (21:55)

When they're young, it's easy. Um, when they get older, they start pulling on 'em and you can like they do with the parent's skin in the, in the nest

Speaker 9: (22:01)

Box that tiny tan chick is now fully fledged and a bit nervous with human visitors. Jamila grabs the fence and pumps her wings as if, to let everyone know this is her territory. The Vulture's arrival is being cheered by international conservation groups.

Speaker 12: (22:21)

Yes, it is very welcome to have a broader network of zoos that have that species and can potentially provides birds for, for release programs.

Speaker 9: (22:32)

Stephan Oppel is a conservation scientist for the Royal society for the protection of birds. He says more than half of the Vulture's population has been lost to hunting, poison and electrocution in the last 40 years, population continues falling in parts of Europe and Africa, but there are conservation successes

Speaker 12: (22:52)

In Southern France and in Northern Spain. And, uh, on the, on the cannery islands, intensive conservation programs have actually managed to reverse the fortune of the Egyptian culture by working very closely with communities, by changing the way we build electric city infrastructure.

Speaker 9: (23:11)

And while it's tough to help correct the challenges the birds are facing in the wild half a world away, that's

Speaker 10: (23:18)

A female you just saw on the back, fly over to the perch, the males

Speaker 9: (23:21)

Up there Reba's hopes. The breeding effort in San Diego will grow here at expand to other north American zoos. She says, that'll strengthen the a species chances for survival. Eric Anderson, KPBS news,

Speaker 1: (23:41)

Whether it's a table in the kitchen or a room of its own. For many people, the home office has seen a lot of activity in the last year. But what if that office space takes on a meaning in shape of its own? Say an oval one. Well, in August K PBS's Maya trai told us about a San Diego man who has dedicated his workspace to passion for American history.

Speaker 13: (24:09)

When Roger danger walks inside his house, he takes a step into another place and time.

Speaker 14: (24:15)

Welcome to the oval office.

Speaker 13: (24:17)

He's been collecting historical artifacts for more than 20 years. The room is now flanked by history, making documents by the most famous men in American history, the men that made a country,

Speaker 14: (24:30)

I guess if you're gonna have a theme room, you might as well have the biggest theme room

Speaker 13: (24:34)

You can have when Roger and his wife rebuilt, what was once his parents' home, they designed this room to bear the famous oval shape. Just like the real thing.

Speaker 14: (24:43)

It's a functional desk. It's a functional office, a use it all the time. And the

Speaker 13: (24:47)

Size of the desk was also taken into consideration a replica of the resolute desk, originally a gift from queen Victoria to then president Ruthford B Hayes and used by many American presidents.

Speaker 14: (24:59)

This the most famous one of course is John F. Kennedy with John John, you know, coming out of the little door in the front. And this one has that same door in the front that you could open up

Speaker 13: (25:09)

As well, but beyond the Wayne scouting, scalloped doorway, molds, and other small thoughtful details. This room holds treasures that transcend time like this Lieutenant Colonel's union uniform worn during the civil war with a small handwritten clue as to the person who wore

Speaker 14: (25:26)

This was found actually in the pocket. And it does say that it did belong to Elijah hunt roads of Rhode Island. And that's kind of cool. This is Alexander Hamilton's signature

Speaker 13: (25:36)

With a little taste of how they settled things back then.

Speaker 14: (25:39)

And he was killed by the vice president of the United States, which was Aaron

Speaker 13: (25:43)

Bur. And there's a paper signed by William Henry Harrison who observed only 30 days as president, before succumbing to pneumonia. And yes, even Donald Trump made the

Speaker 14: (25:53)

Wall. I'm kind of an equal opportunity presidential collector, as I have every preside to date, except for Joe Biden, which is so new right now that I don't have a presidential document from him because he's stole an office while

Speaker 13: (26:05)

These unique items remind us of the important events in history that have shaped the country. Some smaller pieces, give us a glimpse of the personalities behind the decision makers of yesterday year

Speaker 14: (26:17)

Doodles. These are original sketches by Ronald Reagan when he was doodling his governor. And

Speaker 13: (26:23)

While this original doodle sits casually on this desk in LA Jolla, the Reagan lie sells copies from museum visitors that

Speaker 14: (26:30)

That's just so small and so unique because nobody really has those. Do you see which way the head is pointed? The head is always pointed to the olive branches with the exception of one president, the Eagle turned its head to the arrows during world war II from Franklin Del Roosevelt, after they attacked Pearl Harbor. And when Harry Truman became president, the Eagle's head turned back over to the olive branches and it's remained that way. Ever since

Speaker 13: (26:58)

As guardian of this treasure, Roger wants these things to be accessible and more importantly, interactive. This would contain

Speaker 14: (27:06)

Your LANU, which is

Speaker 13: (27:07)

Opium. He says, history should be touched,

Speaker 14: (27:11)

And this is something they won't let you do at the Smithsonian, but we do here. And that is a actual document signed twice by Abraham Lincoln,

Speaker 15: (27:21)

Abraham Lincoln signed it right here. And right here, August 17th, 1863

Speaker 13: (27:30)

And less than two years later,

Speaker 14: (27:31)

These glasses were reportedly found, um, at Ford's theater. Uh, the night that Abraham Lincoln was shot and was dropped by a patron there a captain, if these glasses could only talk, they could tell a

Speaker 13: (27:45)

Story. And it is the story behind the land deed, the pardon, the court Marshall, or even the civil war bullets lodged in a piece of wood that draws Roger to these items. I'm just

Speaker 14: (27:55)

Holding this piece of history in my hand for a short period of time, until it can be passed on to someone else.

Speaker 13: (28:00)

And for lovers of history, these are reminders of how far we have come and how far we have yet to go. If not what your country can do for you, PBS news, and what you can

Speaker 16: (28:12)

Do for your country.

Speaker 17: (28:31)

Just nuts, roasting on an open file, Jack Frost

Speaker 4: (28:39)

Sniping. By now we've heard that song a few times, wafting over the speakers at the store. I know I have, and it's one that always fills me with sadness. It makes me long for Christmases that have long passed and the nostalgia hits deep. Especially this year. As we finish out year two of the pandemic, these so-called holiday blues are part of the season for many of us. And in the week leading up to new year's Eve, these feelings can start to feel well, a little heavy here to help us parse out. Some of those emotions is Seanette Smith, a licensed marriage and family therapist, and a senior specialist at sharp Mesa Vista outpatient and sharp McDonald center. Welcome Ette.

Speaker 18: (29:21)

Hi, thanks so much for having me.

Speaker 4: (29:23)

Why exactly do so many people feel a sense of sadness during this time of year? What is it about the holidays?

Speaker 18: (29:30)

Yeah, that's a great question. The holidays can be really bittersweet from people's overwhelming schedules to work deadlines, to loss. And we have seen a lot of that in the last year, gloomy days. We don't have many of those in San Diego, but definitely as of most recently, we've seen several gloomy days. Uh, people also suffer from a lack of time or in the case of the pandemic sometimes too much time. Um, financial pressures gift giving, losing the spirit of the holiday season, family gatherings. We know family gatherings can be really stressful because of family dynamics. But now you add in COVID and people are stressed about family gatherings because we don't know where people have been. So we're just really overwhelmed with those things recently. What

Speaker 4: (30:20)

Are signs that you might it be experiencing these so-called holiday blues? How does it actually manifest in our bodies and the way we're thinking and the way that we're interacting with our family and friends, it

Speaker 18: (30:29)

Really shows up a little differently for everyone. I wanna give that disclaimer, first and foremost, we all feel things in the way they manifest in our, uh, emotional space and physical can look a little different. So I want people to be aware of that, but generally speaking, uh, these symptoms manifest with fatigue. We are a lot more tired than normal, or we can feel a little snacky or irritable. We can withdraw, you know, the way we withdraw looks different for everyone, uh, frustration and sadness, anxiety, just the general overwhelm. And then sometimes we can really lean too far in because we're trying to combat that overwhelm and that stress,

Speaker 4: (31:14)

Right? I think in past years when there was less restrictions, people kind of did that more often, right? It was easy to keep busy, to just keep going from party to party, you know, shopping trip to shopping trip. That's less possible during the pandemic. You mentioned that we all maybe have a little more time on our hands. So how can people check in with themselves, address their feelings if they do bubble up, what's kind of a process they can do to do these type of personal check-ins know

Speaker 18: (31:39)

That self I'm gonna say that. That is one of the big things that I tell people is really know and understand yourself and what you're feeling, what you're experiencing and lean into that. Don't be afraid to feel the feelings of sadness. Don't be afraid to acknowledge it. And I think that's one of the biggest concerns for many of us is that we know what's happening, but we don't want to feel it. We wanna stuff and push those feelings away. So lean in because the further you try to lean out those feelings will really sort of chase you. If you are withdrawing from family or friends or, you know, whether that's on zoom or an actual, maybe weekly dinner that you have with your circle, your cohort, if you will, under this pandemic, notice that and check in with yourself and try to combat all of the anxieties that you're having, not to necessarily make them go away or quote unquote better, but really just checking in with, is there truth to this? Is there fact in this, or is this my emotion getting the best of

Speaker 4: (32:51)

Me? You know, it can feel so isolating to not feel cheery. We all kind of wanna perform for one another. So, you know, you're bringing something, let's not run away from feelings as they bubble up, but rather kind of embrace and manage them. So how can people communicate what's going on with them to their loved ones, to their friends, to their coworkers and on the flip, how can people show up for their loved ones if they are going through a hard time, what are some tips to help people

Speaker 18: (33:17)

Hacking in with each other? I see think is, is the, the best tip, checking in with yourself, checking in with each other, not being afraid of that. I think if I can say something good that has come from this pandemic is the recognition of mental health and the need for good mental health sound, mental health over the last 12 months, 18 months, really, uh, we have seen an influx in people reaching out for supports for themselves as well as other people. So if you are feeling down, don't be afraid to say that, tell your friends, your family, your loved ones, Hey, I'm just really not in the mood today. I need a mental timeout and it's okay to that to yourself. You don't wanna live in that space for too long for the person wanting to check in on someone, really taking a stance of not being afraid to ask the question, how are you? And when that person says, okay, dig a little deeper and say, well, what does that mean today? What do you need today? How can I support you today?

Speaker 4: (34:20)

Do you have any recommendations, activities or rituals, especially for folks who haven't been able to gather together or are maybe spending a very different type of holiday this year to help us create, you know, a new type of holiday experience and holiday expectation.

Speaker 18: (34:35)

Yeah, I do. we rely really heavily, I think on traditions and we can absolutely make new traditions. And under this pandemic, maybe it's worth creating some new traditions, exploring new opportunities, options for us. I I'm gonna share a little bit of a personal story in that. I had an exposure, um, over this Christmas break and I was not able to engage with my family the way that I wanted to. And so I had a moment of sadness in that I sat and I wallowed a bit and I felt sorry for myself. And then after, you know, probably like two hours of me giving myself the space to just feel the frustration that I was feeling I decided to get up. And I went out for a walk by myself with my mask on, and then I did some self care and I did a facial and a hair mask. And I did my nails and my toes, and I listened to a whole book and I was really able to move myself out of that space. And the reason I share that is because we are going to have many of these moments over the next couple of weeks, especially as we tread into this new year and rates have increased. So creating balanced dynamic for yourself, create new traditions, create various ways that you can engage yourself as well as your family. Different doesn't mean bad.

Speaker 4: (36:08)

I've been speaking with Seanette Smith, a licensed marriage and family therapist. Thank you so much.

Speaker 18: (36:13)

Thank you.

Speaker 1: (36:27)

You're listening to KPBS midday edition. I'm Jade Henman with Christina Kim. Maureen is off today, a television special that first aired on HBO in 1978 called em OTs jug band Christmas as returned as a theatrical production in Manhattan. The new musical is a 75 minute production running through Sunday. Puppets and actors come together to bring this once television special, a fresh take on stage. And one of the puppeteers and actors is from right here in San Diego. Jordan Brown joined me to talk about the new production Jordan. Welcome.

Speaker 19: (37:04)

Thank you for having me.

Speaker 1: (37:06)

You graduated from Patrick Henry high school, right in Del sero. Tell us about your journey to become an actor in puppeteer.

Speaker 19: (37:14)

Well, I've been doing puppetry since I was about seven or eight years old. I was just a, a really big fan of the MOS and Sesame street and they in the big blue house. And, uh, you know, I just thought, you know, a can do it. Maybe I could try it too. And so I started building puppets and I taught myself how to sew and throat school. You know, there would be projects where we'd maybe build a paper bag puppet, and I thought I can, I can do better than that. You know, like, come on, I can try. And I would build like a puppet it out of fleece and foam, just like the MOS and you at first, you know, some people think it's the odd, like when I building puppets where I what's the point of that, but I didn't really care. I just did it because I loved it. And you know, from then on, you know, I did workshops and I got to meet people who work on these shows. I really loved people. I really look up to and, you know, after doing you, those, I eventually got the opportunity to audition for Emett Otter and lo and behold, I got the role and you know, I've been doing the show for a few weeks now.

Speaker 1: (38:10)

Well, congratulations to you on that, you know, for those who don't know, what is this musical

Speaker 19: (38:15)

About? So Emmett Otter's ju band Christmas. It folks is on Emmett and ma Otter who live in, uh, Frogtown hollow and they've fallen on hard times, but they keep their spirits up. They love the sing and they love to be together. And, you know, they realize that they both wanna give each other really nice gifts for Christmas, but they don't really have the money. Luckily there's a talent contest on Christmas Eve. And the prize is $50, which to them is a lot of money and they realize that they could get the other really nice gift, but in order to do that, they have to give up something that the other needs to work. And so it's that idea of we have to sacrifice potentially our incomes so we can get each other. It's nice gift. So know they, you know, work on their respective acts, Emma forms, a jug band with his friends, jug band, Christmas and mahi works on her own song. And then we get to go and see this talent show with everybody in town, putting together fun LA and, uh, I don't wanna give away the ending at all, but you know, it's a really heartfelt story. You

Speaker 1: (39:12)

Know, how is this musical different from other musical?

Speaker 19: (39:16)

I think the main difference is, you know, there, there are puppets throughout, you know, there, there are some shows of puppets, but it's really puppet heavy, uh, likely I get to be a part of that. There's some scenes where it's just these four squirrel puppets who are trying to grow Christmas tree from scratch and trying to decorate it. And that's a lot of fun and they're fun, little nos, the special. So, you know, they're little jokes that people might get. And a lot of the characters and the special come back too, and are just in puppet form. I actually play doc bullfrog, who in the original special he's in it for a few moments when this he's actually the narrator. So he pops up constantly throughout the show, steers the audience along with, you know, what's happening in the story.

Speaker 1: (39:54)

And why do you think producers decided to recreate this production as a musical 43 years

Speaker 19: (40:00)

Later? You know, what we've realized is that ETT daughter, though, it hasn't really aired a ton. You hadn't really aired on TV in a long time. A lot of people remember this very fondly. It has a really strong, uh, fan base, which surprising, but you know, in certain social circles you can bring up Emett oter and then somebody's just gonna freak out and go, my gosh, I love Emett oter we watch it every year. I remember my eighth grade trigonometry teacher loved Emett Otter and watched every year with his kids. I I'm working on a couple other projects with a theater company and they're two bluegrass musicians. And they said that people love some of the songs cuz they're bluegras, you know, so people really love the special. And so the idea of taking that and transla it to stage it, it works, you know, to have some of the characters, just be humans and costume and, and others as puppets. It's something that people are really nostalgic about and then they can share that with their kids or their friends. And, you know, we can keep this tradition growing, even though it's a special that again, hasn't really aired on TV in decades. People really love it.

Speaker 1: (40:58)

There's a connection between Emmett oters jug band, Christmas, a new musical and the popular Muppet show. Tell me about

Speaker 19: (41:06)

That. Well, Jim Henson, he's the guy who he created the Muppets and he was sort of the leader of all these performers and artistic writers and directors and everyone who put together that show and, you know, right around that time, cuz Emma daughter's based on a book, he decided to turn the book into a TV special. And you know, he had a lot of the same people, a lot of the same builders and performers and writers involved in that project. They filmed it off in Canada and another really great connection was Paul Williams, who, you know, is an amazing songwriter and performer in his own, right. He was asked to come and write the music for at daughter's ju band Christmas and the songs are fantastic and they're really sweet and wonderful. And uh, Paul, you know, also was a guest on the Muppet show. He also wrote the music for the Muppet movie and the up at Christmas, Carol, uh, we have to got to meet Paul Williams during rehearsal. He's the sweetest kindest man ever. Yeah. So he had a lot of the same people involved. He has that same spirit. Some, some puppets actually show up in both places too. If you look in the background, sometimes

Speaker 1: (42:04)

, uh, you know, everyone has had to work around this pandemic. How is that affecting the production? And, and did it change how you all had to rehearse at

Speaker 19: (42:13)

All? It did a little bit, uh, one of the most interesting things about the process was that our director, uh, was never actually in the room, he's working on another project in England and uh, they had to do some reshoots for that. And so he wasn't able to join us. So he was directing over zoom a lot of the time. And we had another puppeteer and director, John Tartaglia, uh, who was stepping in sort of as our director at the time sort of framing, you know, how we were gonna do everything. Uh, and then, you know, we were mask all the time in rehearsal, we test constantly and you know, so that changed things a lot. You know, even the, the crew when they're backstage, they're wearing masks and I wear, so, you know, it's a different environment than what a lot of people are used to in theater, but you know, that's how we have to adjust. That's how we can, you know, keep the show going.

Speaker 1: (42:57)

Yeah. And so much went into this production. Do you see it returning every year? Now

Speaker 19: (43:02)

We certainly hope so. You know, it's, it's a really fun show and you know, we've gotten a lot of people really enjoyed the show, kids and adults. We, we had house ones that was, I think, mostly adult. And that was some of the best laughter we got the entire run. Uh, so, you know, I think people really enjoy it. And you know, I, I, I think the idea is that this is a show that we want to happen every year. Uh, so we'll see fingers cross knock on wood, you know, we'll come back next year. And the year after that, you know, people keep coming to see it, which we hope they do.

Speaker 1: (43:33)

And for people who are in New York, is there a way to watch the musical before it leaves the stage on January 2nd,

Speaker 19: (43:40)

Actually. Yes. The new victory theater, which is where the shows play on their website, they have a streaming option, so people can, uh, get a streaming ticket for $25. They'll get a link to the show. That's good. For three days, they can watch the show. I calculated 54. If they want, uh, the comfort of their own home, they can, you know, cast their TV, watch on their laptop. Yeah. So that's a really nice option for people. If they, you know, aren't able to come to New York or don't necessarily wanna come to the theater, they can watch it from their couch and they have until January 2nd to rent the show. All right.

Speaker 1: (44:14)

A classic there. I I've been speaking to Jordan Brown Lee, an actor in puppeteer in the new musical production of Emmett Otter's jug band Christmas Jordan. Thanks so much for joining us.

Speaker 19: (44:25)

Thank you for having me Jade

Speaker 4: (44:32)

Earlier in the show, we said there were no changes to tonight's holiday bowl in San Diego, but since then UCLA has said it will not be participating in tonight's game due to COVID 19 protocols.

A small aircraft carrying four people crashed in flames near Gillespie Field last night. Plus, the CDC released new COVID-19 guidelines on Monday that have shortened the time people need to quarantine. Then, KPBS takes a look back at some of the stories we covered over the past year. Back in April, military reporter Steve Walsh had the story of one of Naval Aviation’s few openly gay pilots, who was on his way out. In September, the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance helped hatch an Egyptian vulture. Also, in August, KPBS’s Maya Trabulsi told us about a San Diego man who has dedicated his workspace to his passion for American history. Later, marriage and family therapist Shanette Smith speaks to KPBS about the holiday blues to help us parse out some of those emotions. Lastly, a television special that first aired on HBO in 1978 called “Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas,” has returned as a theatrical production in Manhattan, and one of the puppeteers is from San Diego.