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Proposal could change how jail deaths are reported

 October 11, 2021 at 4:14 PM PDT

Speaker 1: (00:00)

The head of the county's law enforcement review board proposes major changes.

Speaker 2: (00:05)

So he just would like there to be more transparency because he feels that it will boost public

Speaker 1: (00:11)

I'm Maureen Cavenaugh with Jade Heinemann. This is KPBS mid-day edition, San Diego prepares to receive hundreds of Afghan refugees.

Speaker 3: (00:28)

Well, often these refugees are people with degrees. Uh, they've they've had nice middle-class lives in Afghanistan. Recreating that life in the U S is, is something of a challenge.

Speaker 1: (00:40)

We talk with a native American tribal leader in San Diego about indigenous people's day and Daniel Craig's final outing as James Bond is the topic of the latest cinema junkie podcast. That's ahead on midday edition,

Speaker 1: (01:01)

A number of reforms being proposed to the county's citizens. Law enforcement review board would constitute the biggest changes to the board since its beginnings. Nearly 30 years ago, the board is charged with investigating deaths that occur in San Diego county Sheriff's custody. The changes include allowing board members to attend death scene investigations and have oversight of jail medical staff. The proposals come from Paul Parker, executive officer of the review board in an effort to expand the board's access and authority. The reforms would have to get approval from multiple entities, including the Sheriff's department. Joining me is Kelly Davis. A San Diego writer has been covering this story. This latest article was a collaboration with the San Diego union Tribune and Kelly. Welcome.

Speaker 2: (01:51)

Thank you, Maureen.

Speaker 1: (01:52)

Now I mentioned a couple of changes included in the reform proposal. Can you give us an idea of the full scope of the changes being proposed?

Speaker 2: (02:00)

Yeah. There are several proposals and I just want to make clear the one you mentioned about the ability to respond to death scenes, Paul Parker, the executive officer, kind of the head of clerk. He will be likely be the one to respond to those scenes. And then a couple other proposals he would like to expand the board's authority to include oversight of, of jail medical staff. Currently their oversight is limited to what's referred to as sworn staff. So those are, uh, Sheriff's deputies and probation officers. Um, he would like to work with the county to pursue policy changes or statewide legislation to increase the transparency of civilian oversight. And, um, he would like the Sheriff's department to stop requesting that the medical examiner seal every death in custody. So right now, if somebody dies in Sheriff's custody, the Sheriff's department will by just routinely send a letter to the medical examiner, asking that a case be sealed. And this means that the public and family members might have to wait months to find out the official cause of death.

Speaker 1: (03:10)

Why for instance would having Paul Parker, the executive officer of the review board have access to a death scene, improve the board's oversight responsibilities.

Speaker 2: (03:21)

So, so let's say, you know, it's, it's someone who dies in a cell in a county jail. There's so much evidence that that can be collected at the scene. Um, just, you could sometimes see immediately how the person died. If it was a suicide. Was there a note left behind, uh, were there, were there other cellmates, uh, you know, who might've witnessed, what would happened, uh, are there other, you know, people in the jail who witnessed what happened? So he would have the ability to interview those people and not have to get a second or third hand account, uh, you know, which he would, he would eventually get from the Sheriff's departments, uh, homicide investigation or from the medical examiners investigation, but it's just, you know, the chance for, for, for him to see firsthand what the scene looks like, possibly collect evidence or observe the collection of evidence and what

Speaker 1: (04:18)

The access to investigative materials does the review board have now,

Speaker 2: (04:22)

Uh, a lot of it, I mean, they're really relying on the Sheriff's department. Uh, th they get, they'll get a full homicide investigation if someone dies in custody, uh, but they sometimes have to wait up to a year for, for that case to be turned over. Um, they get anything that's available to the public, such as the autopsy report, um, and they can interview deputies, but that happens via questionnaire and there could be a back and forth for clarification, but, um, they don't interview deputies face to face. Um, and they'd also like more of a chance to interview witnesses, uh, face to face. You know, if there's a, uh, shooting by a Sheriff's deputy, uh, they they'd like the chance to interview anyone who witnessed that shooting right now. They're only getting, um, uh, evidence interviews that the sheriff collected

Speaker 1: (05:13)

Now for many years, San Diego county jails have had among the highest inmate death rates in California. What's the situation now?

Speaker 2: (05:21)

Well, Jeff McDonald, uh, the UT reporter, who's been my collaborator on a lot of, uh, stories on deaths in custody. We, we, we quenched recurrence the latest numbers up through 2019 and in San Diego continues to have the highest mortality rate among California's, uh, sixth largest county jails,

Speaker 1: (05:44)

The proposed law enforcement review board reforms address just deaths in custody, or is there a wider agenda on oversight over the Sheriff's department? Most

Speaker 2: (05:55)

Of, of what's being discussed on Tuesday or about deaths in custody, but yes, they would like more transparency. Uh, Paul Parker would really like the public to be able to sit in on clerks deliberations over a case because they also investigate cases of, of officer misconduct or deputy misconduct. So, so he just would like there to be more transparency because he feels that, you know, with that transparency will be, it will boost trust, public trust in law enforcement oversight.

Speaker 1: (06:30)

And what kind of reaction have these reforms gotten from county officials?

Speaker 2: (06:34)

So Nathan Fletcher, he's a chair of the board of supervisors. And, uh, last year he boosted club's budget. He gave, uh, the board authority to investigate some additional things, such as cases where a member of the public suffers great bodily injury at the hands of, of law enforcement. So he supports a more robust law enforcement, more transparent law enforcement. And as for the Sheriff's department, they say that they support clerk and they support transparency, but a spokeswoman did not respond to the specific recommendations on the agenda. When we reached out to the Sheriff's for, for comment,

Speaker 1: (07:11)

Agencies have got to approve the changes. What's the process like to get these reforms moving?

Speaker 2: (07:18)

So first, so these changes are coming before the board club's board, which are appointed volunteers. Um, Clara also has a paid professional investigative staff, uh, but the board kind of makes the rules. So the board will have to approve the changes first. Uh, some of the changes, I think we'll need to go to the board of county board of supervisors, if they change clubs, charter kind of clubs, original operating rules. And then if there are any changes that could affect, what's known as the police officer bill of rights, which is a state law, uh, which really dictates what the public can and can't know about police officers, if there's anything that would change, um, that, uh, law that would need to be done by the legislature,

Speaker 1: (08:10)

Supporters believe that these reforms, these changes would impact the way law enforcement is conducted in San Diego county.

Speaker 2: (08:18)

I think so, you know, Paul Parker has worked really hard to, to do community outreach and he's, he's, I think one over folks who are pushing for law enforcement reform. I, I spoke to, you know, there there's a coalition who has, who has formed, um, around pushing for, for law enforcement oversight to be more transparent. And they've been showing up to meetings virtually, you know, Wayne and providing public comment, and they felt that they've been listened to, and they were really pleased to see these items on the agenda.

Speaker 1: (08:49)

I've been speaking with Kelly Davis, a San Diego writer who covered the story for the San Diego union Tribune. Kelly, thank you very much. Thank you. San Diego will become the new home for at least a thousand refugees from Afghanistan. The San Diego county board of supervisors is preparing to help in the resettlement and is asking for federal aid. The refugees headed here will be among more than 58,000 Afghans entering the U S who escaped the Taliban takeover of the country among them are Afghan military members and former interpreters for us forces KPBS, military reporter, Steve Walsh has the story of one refugee family. Getting back to the difficult task of creating a new life in their adopted country.

Speaker 3: (09:43)

Lucky a former interpreter for us forces sits in the passenger seat of a tractor trailer on a drive through North Carolina. We're only using his nickname. The one provided by us troops since he still has family back in Afghanistan. So how do you like truck driving?

Speaker 4: (09:59)

That's good. I liked it. None of that like that, that's the only thing I had no other option.

Speaker 3: (10:06)

Lucky is training to be a long haul truck driver. He settled into San Diego after receiving a visa in 2017. He's now rebooting his life in America after a recent harrowing escape from his former Homeland. Lucky hadn't expected to return to Afghanistan, but his mother fell seriously ill.

Speaker 4: (10:28)

My brother called me that she is Austin for you. She's in hospital a I dunno if she's going to make it. So I just decided to go there in emergency for a week.

Speaker 3: (10:39)

So we took a chance thinking the U S wouldn't pull out until September. He even brought his young children, but things changed almost overnight by mid August. Lucky was trapped when his village fell to the Taliban, true to his nickname. Lucky and his family were helped by American veterans who stepped in to guide their former translators out of the country. He made it out the although many didn't Eric Schwartz is president of refugees international and all,

Speaker 5: (11:06)

Um, the Afghans like other refugee groups will become important contributors to American society, help address labor shortage issues, uh, in places like the middle of the country, where there are real challenges in that regard. So this be a good news story.

Speaker 3: (11:25)

They are also one of the groups calling for a pathway to citizenship, for Afghans being processed through us, military bases who don't qualify for other programs like special immigration visas, also 5 billion to aid in resettlement. They also want the president to raise the total number of refugees allowed in the U S to 200,000 for the next two years, a relatively modest increase given the tens of thousands of Vietnamese who immigrated to the U S after the,

Speaker 4: (11:53)

We have a small refrigerator here. Let me show you, uh, I, I, my wife cooked some food for me.

Speaker 3: (12:00)

Lucky gives me a virtual tour from inside the truck. As the sun was going down in North Carolina, we talked as the truck was being unloaded.

Speaker 4: (12:09)

To be honest, I'm still not a normal, like, I cannot even flip, like for the last four weeks, I didn't live like two hours, three hours after the situation that I went through my,

Speaker 3: (12:19)

In San Diego, he had been a translator for the Afghan community that ended when he was trapped in Afghanistan. His new life is now in Texas, where he lives with his brother-in-law. He says it's been tougher on the kids, especially his young daughter.

Speaker 4: (12:34)

They don't involve, they don't play with kids. They're scared. And I took her to the doctor, um, but she was not eating. She jumped when she was sleeping. She jumped in. She plus she's still in Afghanistan,

Speaker 3: (12:46)

Still in Afghanistan, like his mother who did pull through, although lucky he doesn't think he'll ever see his home country. Again, he's focused on his family's future here.

Speaker 1: (13:00)

I'm speaking with KPBS, military reporter, Steve Walsh, and Steve. Welcome.

Speaker 3: (13:05)

Hi, Maureen. Now

Speaker 1: (13:07)

Did lucky and his family want to come back to San Diego, but relocated to Texas.

Speaker 3: (13:13)

Yeah, I, I think he did want to stay here. In fact, I'm pretty sure he did, but I think it was just a matter of economics. Uh, San Diego is an expensive place to live. He didn't have any work lined up. Texas was cheaper. They could stay with family and stay together. So that was just a way of saving money. Uh, you know, often people, these refugees or people with degrees, uh, they've, they've had nice middle-class lives in Afghanistan and they would've kept going on. If things had stayed the way they were, um, recreating that life in the U S is, is something of a challenge. And it's something that all of these people who are coming from Afghanistan are going to face as they, they arrive here in the U S

Speaker 1: (13:53)

Well, it sounds like people who escaped from the fall of Afghanistan are traumatized. How is Lucky's family coping?

Speaker 3: (14:01)

So, as we heard, his, his daughter has been in therapy, I've heard similar stories from other Afghans PTSD, I think is going to be a real issue. They were traumatized by what had happened in the case of Lucky's family, the kids were Americans. They hadn't experienced anything like the fall of cobble and the turmoil of the airport so much like American veterans. This is going to take time and probably some professional help before they really get over these issues.

Speaker 1: (14:27)

Now, the San Diego county board of supervisors is preparing the county to receive at least 1000 Afghan refugees. What kind of help and support do groups like refugees international say the refugees are going to need,

Speaker 3: (14:41)

Well, you know, California has taken in more Afghans than any other state. And San Diego has been one of those hubs though. Sacramento is actually had the largest influx for Diego. We know what the answer is going to be. It's going to be housing, housing, and housing. It's expensive and hard to come by. So the second thing will also be transportation. Many of them will, uh, locate farther east. They'll need a car to get around. Um, you know, aside from housing assistance and a stipend from the federal government in California, um, they're going to need help with job training. So it's going to be an adjustment. The Afghan community is pretty well-established, but it's relatively small. They, they actually may need help connecting with one another, or even connecting older Afghans who may have immigrated as far back as the Soviet invasion, and may not have really strong ties to the latest wave of immigrants that are coming in. So there may be some help needed with community building resources. Now, you know, lucky had been a translator. He had worked with several groups in San Diego. This actually might be his chance to get back into his old line of work and come back to San Diego. No,

Speaker 1: (15:47)

Since many of the refugees once help the U S military our basis like camp Pendleton, helping with the influx of Afghan refugees.

Speaker 3: (15:55)

I get that question all the time, whether or not Pendleton is going to be a part of this. And, um, you know, I'm told they're still seeking out other military sites to house the Afghans. If they need more space, I've not heard anything about Pendleton being on the list. Of course, Pendleton played a huge role in the re relocation of Vietnamese refugees in the years after the war. I'm not sure that Pendleton has a lot of empty barracks space the way they did years ago. I know they're there looking for ready-made buildings rather than creating, you know, 10 cities. I'm actually from Indiana. They've enlisted, uh, national guard training center in Southern Indiana camp Atterbury, which has a lot of spare housing because they, they have to house national guard troops when they come in. So right now, um, I think this is still a little bit in flux, but, um, I, it looks like they have, with these eight bases, they have enough space right now to, uh, to house the people that have come in so far.

Speaker 1: (16:51)

Now, San Diego has a long history, as you mentioned of accepting refugees from America's wars. And you say the number of Afghan refugees coming here is not anywhere near the number of Vietnamese who resettled here in the 1970s.

Speaker 3: (17:05)

There were hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese refugees, the largest number actually didn't arrive in the U S until the late 1970s. When a deal was worked out with the Vietnamese government. In contrast, at the moment, us Northern command said, they're at these eight bases. There are about 53,000 Afghans. Now president Biden has increased the number of refugees who can be resettled to the United States to 125,000. The new limit is double the 62,000 refugees, which Biden had raised in may from the previous limit under the Trump administration, which was only like 15,000, but that's all refugees, not just Afghans. So refugees international, one at a higher cap of 200,000 for the next two years, which is still less than what we saw after Vietnam. And

Speaker 1: (17:52)

Is there an estimate of how many Afghan refugees need to be resettled after the Taliban takeover?

Speaker 3: (17:59)

So I, you know, I've heard high-end of, you know, several hundred thousand people, but we really don't know at this point. I mean, it's a relatively small number of come so far.

Speaker 1: (18:10)

And what about a pathway to citizenship for the Afghans who helped the U S military? Is that something the U S is considering?

Speaker 3: (18:19)

So right now, let's say former translators, like lucky should qualify under the special immigration visa program. I right now, the people who have come to the U S are brought in so quickly, it actually may take years before they develop some sort of legal status. Technically you're not a refugee until you leave your country of origin. So groups are lobbying to sort of loosen that definition to allow people to apply directly from Afghanistan. There's also this concept called parole where the U S can wave someone through the process, regardless of their status groups are basically trying to implore the U S government to just get creative so they can deal with this potential humanitarian crisis before it gets any worse. Okay.

Speaker 1: (19:01)

And speaking with KPBS, military reporter, Steve Walsh, Steve, thank you very

Speaker 3: (19:06)

Much. Thanks Maureen.

Speaker 6: (19:12)

You're listening to KPBS mid-day edition. I'm Jade Hindman with Maureen Kavanaugh today is indigenous people's day. And last week, president Biden became the first us president to recognize the holiday and issued a proclamation, which said in part today, we recognize indigenous people's resilience and strength, as well as the measurable, positive impact that they have made on every aspect of American society. Joining me to talk this indigenous people's day is BOMA Zeti chairman of the rim Khan band of Louis ano Indians chairman. Massetti welcome. So what are your thoughts on president Biden being the first president to recognize indigenous people's day? Wow,

Speaker 7: (19:57)

I'm grateful or any people in general to finally be recognized a little more art. People will say Daniel people have been an art. They're a Dory for more than 10,000 years recognition of our existence as what has been lacking throughout history. So as things change, we're not saying to do away with history, but let's get history correct, and include the new people in our history. So there's a major step board recognizing the people throughout the nation, uh, in San Diego county, for example, we have, uh, 18 independent, uh, federal recognized tribal governments, more than any other county in the United States. What's your sense, more recognition. And we appreciate appreciate it.

Speaker 6: (20:51)

Despite that recognition by the president Columbus day is still a nationally recognized holiday. Do you think that should be reexamined?

Speaker 7: (20:59)

I think history needs to not necessarily be erased, but be clarified. A lot of things, a lot of people were left out of history. That's what needs to be corrected. Let's tell the accurate history.

Speaker 6: (21:14)

Can you talk about indigenous people's day and, and what it means for you and your

Speaker 7: (21:20)

Well, for us, an art people and San Diego county tribe throughout the state, all over our drives at beans, a time to come together, to look at ourselves, to look what we're doing for ourselves and the surrounding communities. How are we good neighbors? So it opens up a lot of things and it opens up a lot of interaction with our other tribes throughout the state that recognition, you know, says, okay, let's look at it. What are we doing? Let's also be involved with the history. Let's tell it correctly.

Speaker 6: (21:49)

Sweet governor Gavin Newsome signed assembly, bill 1 0 1 into law requiring California high school students to take ethnic studies to graduate. How important is that to educating students on the history, resilience and contributions of indigenous people?

Speaker 7: (22:04)

Well, it's extremely important if you go through the textbook, they, you, people in general are left out, not mentioned. So what we're looking at now is correcting history. Tell the contributions, tell about the, what we say indigenous. Well, we are the indigenous people of the United States. We were here before anyone else, uh, that's skimmed over in history, but you'll have to look at all the contributions of the tribes throughout the nation and provided, for example, a lot of the constitution that we have today, they looked at the Cherokee and other tribes were well advanced in terms of having constitution and structure. Most people don't know that.

Speaker 6: (22:49)

Then, as you mentioned, San Diego county is home to more federally recognized tribes than any other county in the us home to 18 and all, what would you like San Diego fans to know about our local tribes and on this indigenous people's day,

Speaker 7: (23:04)

Hold on local drag. Like I said earlier, uh, been in the area in our excellent areas that we're in now in excess of 10,000 years also would like folks to understand all of the contributions that our local tribe provide back to our surrounding communities. You know, from, from law enforcement, from firefighting, uh, again, to no cost to our neighbors, what the tribes are actually doing, but the surrounding community, it needs to be, uh, put out there more and understood.

Speaker 6: (23:33)

And what are the top issues you would say our local tribes have in common.

Speaker 7: (23:38)

I think all tribes used to have a major issue with survival. Make it simple. You Della, California, people authorized gaming to be operated on Indian, better to recognized Indian land. All the tribes were in poverty. So by having that opportunity to have gaming, it brought us out of poverty. It bought us to where we can afford education for our kids. We can afford good healthcare. And we thank the taxpayers for giving us that opportunity and giving us that helping hand we in turn have extended the handout for surrounding communities.

Speaker 6: (24:17)

And now you grew up on the reservation. I believe your father was in tribal leadership like you are today. How has your reservation changed since your childhood?

Speaker 7: (24:27)

So it's a complete change we can afford to pay our liquidity. So we have water when I was growing up. Sometimes think like Chris to run the Wells for water. Uh, sometimes we couldn't afford to pay the bills. We wouldn't have water. Sometimes we had were without water for two or three weeks at a time as the tribes have evolved, one, we definitely could afford electrical bills down. Number two is we get more attention paid to our needs than we used to. You know, you got to understand tradition has been, you take the tribes and that's, if you'll notice where their reservations are, some of the worst land and the whole surrounding area. And that was the idea. You'd take the image, put them out there as far away from white settlements as possible. That's the way the reservations were put together. You had a dude in a schools have changed. It used to be when I was going to school, you know, the kids are going to quit. Anything else away, put a bunch of time in with them and that's what happened. But that attitude has changed. And we can, like I say, now afford to help her kids go to college and pursue different types of trades that they prefer not to go to college. Well, there's learn a good trade. So

Speaker 6: (25:37)

How will you be observing indigenous people's day?

Speaker 7: (25:41)

Each tribe has a different way. They're going to recognize the state ourselves, or we're going to get together later on and have a little celebration. Talk about some of the culture, try to get some youth involved. So they learn. We need to pass this down. Like it was passed down to us that tradition, the customs is important to share.

Speaker 6: (26:02)

I've been speaking with Bome Ozetty chairman of the Ren con band of Louis [inaudible] Indians chairman Massetti as always, thank you very much for joining us.

Speaker 1: (26:12)

Home key is the centerpiece of California's multi-billion dollar plans to fight homelessness started last year. It focuses on turning old or underused businesses, especially motels into permanent supportive housing for the homeless. That's supposed to get more people housed faster and at a lower cost than building projects from scratch. And in some California cities, there's another upside. They see home key as a way to turn neglected properties in sometimes blighted neighborhoods into something that improves the wider community to find out more. The California reports host Saul Gonzalez went to one street in orange county

Speaker 8: (26:57)

Beach Boulevard is an eight lane wide monster of a thoroughfare packed full of decaying, 1950s and sixties, era motels with names like the J palace, the Riviera and the Americana. Now a half century go. These businesses were sleek. Symbols of America's love affair with the open road where families would pull in for a night or two while visiting nearby Disneyland and Knott's Berry farm. But what are the motels like today? Well, let's have, Marlita tell us

Speaker 9: (27:25)

They are about sex, drugs and violence. That's, that's sums that up in three words, sex, drugs, and violence. There's a lot of prostitution. There's a lot of drugs and there's a lot of violence going on all at the same time behind the walls, behind the walls of these hotels up and down beach Boulevard,

Speaker 8: (27:43)

I met Marlita who doesn't want her last name used because she's embarrassed about her living situation in a parking lot, along each Boulevard, she's homeless herself. And when she has the money will often check into one of the motels, but she says the stays are

Speaker 9: (27:58)

Yes. There's been times where I thought I was really going to die. So scary out here.

Speaker 8: (28:03)

And the motels kind of create this kind of environment there.

Speaker 9: (28:06)

Sometimes worse. They are the, the, um, the, the, I have it. You know what I mean? That's where it begins, but

Speaker 8: (28:13)

That's the phone key. There are changes coming to some of the aging motels along beach Boulevard.

Speaker 10: (28:18)

Clearly there's an epidemic of the, of this in orange county, but it also creates an opportunity for

Speaker 8: (28:24)

Exactly right. That's Michael Massey and executive with jam burry and orange county non-profit housing developer. And the opportunity is to sheer number of blinded motel properties in orange county. A lot of them potential sites for new homeless housing using home key dollars. Massey says the motels are already a kind of housing for the homeless like they are with Marlita except with people living in sometimes squalid in dangerous conditions.

Speaker 10: (28:49)

We know that this is often housing of last resort. So when people can't pull everything together in order to, to enter the housing market, they'll use motels as a place to live to, to seek shelter.

Speaker 8: (29:03)

Massey's company has received $26 million in home key funds to buy and renovate two motels along beach Boulevard, and hoping to get a new round of home. Key funding, Jan breeze eyeing 10 more properties, redevelopment Massey says cities increasingly see home key as a way to both help the homeless and improve blight.

Speaker 10: (29:22)

Getting phone calls and cities are calling us and asking us, how did you do that? How did you make that happen? We have these motels as well. We see this as a win-win situation where you take a problem and turn it into a solution. Cities, get that. Now they're understanding that. And because we've been successful because other developers have been successful, yes, we think this is, uh, an opportunity to really move the needle at a time when, when it's desperately needed

Speaker 8: (29:46)

Anaheim mayor Harry SEDU agrees, his city has a lot of aging motel properties, and it's just done it's first motel to homeless housing conversion. So you, as mayor of Anaheim, you don't mind these properties being turned into long-term housing. You think that's a great opportunity.

Speaker 11: (30:04)

Absolutely not. Absolutely not. I mean, we have lot of homeless people, you know, we have, they are in the shelters right now. We need to transition them into a permanent housing somehow. And this shows that I I'm going to do as many as possible. If the funding is available to get these people off the street, into the, and clean the neighborhoods,

Speaker 8: (30:25)

As he tries to survive on the streets of orange county, Marlita offers this advice to local and state officials managing home key move fast because the need is great and stick to ambitious plan.

Speaker 9: (30:37)

I mean, I know it's probably more complicated than that, but it's hard out here. You know, it's a lot of homeless people. And I think these streets, especially around here, cause it's really nasty and dirty would be a little more calmer, cleaner. And I won't be scared when I'm walking up and down on beach Boulevard. I got like two knives on me. You know what I mean? Like they need to clean it up. And the first thing they need to do is give people somewhere to live.

Speaker 1: (31:03)

That piece was reported by California report, host Saul Gonzalez as part of a partnership between Casey RW and the California report

Speaker 6: (31:13)

During the pandemic, people have taken up lots of new hobbies and activities, and that includes yoga. And some yoga instructors have found ways to create culturally sensitive spaces for students of color in an industry where many feel that white Westerners have. Co-opted the practice, the California reports, Gabriela Fernandez has the story.

Speaker 2: (31:34)

When you picture a yoga studio in California, who are the people in the classes and who is leading these classes, bring your palms together, lift your chest.

Speaker 12: (31:45)

Uh [inaudible]

Speaker 13: (31:52)

Um, secularizing yoga made us abandon this concept of lineage. And at the same time, it legitimized white American and European teacher's presence is yoga masters becoming the yoga masters in the spokespeople.

Speaker 2: (32:08)

That's Dr. Judith Carlisle, an instructor for the center for religion and spirituality at Loyola Marymount university in Los Angeles. She says the white washing of yoga has created an elitist culture within the practice. But when the pandemic hit, yoga became much more accessible because studios could use online platforms. Heather Haxo Phillips is the owner of Berkeley based studio, Adeline, yoga. She noticed an increase in attendance for her online classes, from people all over the country.

Speaker 13: (32:42)

There are so many people living in communities that don't have access to high quality instruction. And we've been able to provide that in a much more comprehensive way before people would drive two or three hours to come and take classes with us. And we're now able to set them up with the practice in their own home.

Speaker 2: (33:01)

And with the accessibility of simply logging in to join a yoga session, new students felt they could take on the practice in their own way. It's essential to be comfortable in a yoga class, especially for black indigenous students of color, who aren't really seen in these spaces. One way Adeline yoga has reinforced engagement with students of color is by offering scholarships to BiPAP students like Renee Buddhism on

Speaker 13: (33:28)

Welcomed, and I've appreciated the intention to clued teachers of color and to create spaces for black folks or people of color. Specifically

Speaker 2: (33:39)

The visual Patel is a south Asian American Michigan-based yoga instructor and founder of angel yoga. Half of her angel yoga instructors are based in California, which has garnered a big following on the west coast.

Speaker 13: (33:53)

We had experiences with the culture of whiteness, essentially in yoga, showing up and dominating the space and also not just dominating the space, but falling into the typical class and race hierarchy, tropes of making power dynamics and racializing our identities in a way that felt really exclusionary and very harmful

Speaker 2: (34:16)

Experience motivated Patel to bring the practice back to its cultural roots by recentering, south Asian instructors. And with the flexibility of teaching online, she's even had the opportunity to invite a teacher from India to lead a south Asian LGBTQ plus practice.

Speaker 13: (34:34)

These are things I never really dreamed of, and that I can say that because of the devastation of the pandemic, this little seed was able to flourish and grow into what it is now.

Speaker 2: (34:46)

And because of the increased accessibility, virtual classes have created Patel now plans to continue teaching exclusively online, backup Loyola, Marymount, Dr. Judith Carlisle is thinking about the way people can use this moment of interest and virtual classes to continue breaking down barriers that have historically colonized yoga.

Speaker 13: (35:08)

We respond more to particular searches, then that just raises them up within the general algorithm itself. You can almost think of this as almost as a type of digital activism, because by pursuing these things, you make them more available to other people, just like any other market economy. We have to remember that yoga is a product that is commoditized and commercialized within a market economy.

Speaker 2: (35:33)

It's clear that as a result of the pandemic, yoga will continue to exist in a hybrid space, both online and offline, but regardless of where a class is being held, it's still possible to cultivate a comfortable atmosphere for all identities for the California report. I'm Gabriella friends.

Speaker 1: (35:57)

This is KPBS midday edition. I'm Maureen Kavanaugh with Jade. Heinemann the latest James Bond film. No time to die. Finally opened in cinemas after a long pandemic delay on the latest edition of cinema junkie host Beth hock Amando speaks with bond officiant auto Gary Dexter about the final Daniel Craig double oh seven film, here's that excerpt.

Speaker 14: (36:22)

So Gary, you went to England to see the new bond film. And before we talk about the film itself, tell me a little bit about the atmosphere in England right now.

Speaker 15: (36:33)

It's crazy. The way the nation has embraced bond. This time is very similar to bond mania in the height of the Connery era. You can throw a stone in essentially and hit some sort of bond tie-in or promotion now watch.

Speaker 16: (36:47)

And how strong is that fairly strong? Haven't had the time to test it, probably just be careful. This is going to

Speaker 9: (36:54)

Go brilliant.

Speaker 15: (36:57)

Uh, mega shops have got the Gunbarrel motif on there. They've got proper displays inside. In fact, some of the props that are seen in the film and the portraits of the different AMS London had a gigantic w seven sculpture in Leicester square ahead of the movies, their view. And then I guess they moved that over to Al the Albert Hall for the actual premiere. It's really exciting. It's definitely has an, a vibe unlike any bond that I've experienced here in the park.

Speaker 14: (37:24)

So you're seeing bond in, what's probably the best conditions with all that excitement and mania going on, and you've already seen it twice. So what's your gut reaction to it?

Speaker 15: (37:36)

Unique. I've never seen a bond lake. It it's its own beast tonally. It seems very different. That being said, uh, it has callbacks to so many aspects of bond in the past, both, uh, cinematic and literary. And

Speaker 17: (37:51)

If y'all, I'll find some tremendous clocks with having those bought savings bonds and a hassle, there's some terrible villain. If he can use a Brunson light, I let say, or drive a bench and motor car or stay in the Ritz hotel. This all brings the reader back to, ah,

Speaker 15: (38:08)

There's a lot of Fleming that's been left behind over the years, but this one, I think more than any other, certainly at a time when they ran out of original titles to use for the movies anyway, really pays homage and draws directly from a lot of literary bond. It was very exciting.

Speaker 14: (38:26)

Well, I have to say that when I came out of it, I know that a lot of people are talking about the fact that it's almost three hours long, two hours and 45 minutes, but I have to say my first reaction to it was it moved fast and it felt like it had all the classic bond action. And yet it had this emotional weight to it as well, which was both surprising and a great way to wrap up the series.

Speaker 15: (38:52)

I agree. I agree. It was, it was very much, um, Daniel's interpretation of bond, um, and keeping really with things that we'd seen from the get-go in casino Royale, you carried emotional half done, like we've never seen before in the bond. And it was all the better for it. I felt it was very much Craig saying goodbye to his tenure and the character. It reminded me a little bit of Harrison Ford and Han sailor Craig's approach to this movie was kind of similar. He wanted, uh, a sort of finality to his, his arc. And I think the achieved that to,

Speaker 14: (39:26)

Well, you mentioned these callbacks. And one thing I felt when I was watching it is there were these nice touches. Some of them were very overt and some of them were more subtle, but you get like the very clear reference to honor majesty secret service,

Speaker 18: (39:44)

Um, new, uh,

Speaker 14: (39:51)

And then you get other things that are a little more subtle where he's in Jamaica, which can reference both the location of a couple of bonds. And also the fact that Ian Fleming himself was in Jamaica. So it was like these Easter egg kind of things going on.

Speaker 15: (40:07)

It certainly was. And it, it began from the moment that credits dropped with the doctor, no style dots appearing on the screen. As soon as I saw that, I thought, oh, I think I know where we're going here. And as you say, it ran throughout yes, very much the loan from Magisters, but also a lot of, um, real castrations of major cities soundtrack in there as well from that point and elsewhere in the movie. And then it was absolutely littered with callbacks.

Speaker 15: (40:48)

We had a copious amount of Aston Martins, including the BB five is almost become traditional in this era. But of course we had the living daylights era Aston appearing as well. What I thought was really surprising was the Cuba setting was almost a callback today another day. And I would've thought if you're avoiding callbacks, that would be the one to avoid, but I guess not. So it was embraced everything. I absolutely loved the production design of Saffron's lab because it was pure. Can Adam, I mean, it was just straight out of it can add in school of design and it was just absolutely fantastic. Beautiful.

Speaker 14: (41:26)

One of the things that I enjoyed about this is I felt it moved bond into a more contemporary era in terms of how the female characters were. But without that kind of in your face way, that they did it in some of the Pierce Brosnan ones where, you know, I think M calls him out for being a dinosaur. Okay.

Speaker 19: (41:45)

Which I think you're a sexist, misogynist, dinosaur, a Relic of the cold war whose boyish chums. They wasted on me, obviously appealed to that young woman. I sent her to evaluate you, not quite yet.

Speaker 14: (41:58)

Money. Penny yells at him for being a chauvinist pig,

Speaker 19: (42:01)

Sort of behavior could qualify as sexual harassment.

Speaker 14: (42:05)

This was much more kind of organic. You just have female characters who seem to be about to behave in the way we typically expect in a bond film, but then they don't, but they don't do it in this way of this kind of very strident, oh, we're going to make a feminist statement. It's just like, Hey, you expected me to be one thing. And I'm another

Speaker 20: (42:27)

Smoothed on commander bond. If you were to below two years, Nomi is highly skilled, slightly cocky. You get in my way, I've offered stability in your name, your lady in Santiago, I want you to meet hello

Speaker 15: (42:46)

Very much. So I think none more so than, uh, Adamus his role, her character is set up to be extremely depth. See just the way she communicates and what she tells bond and her style. And, um, we find out that, yes, that might genuinely be the character's nature, but it's no reflection on a competency. Yeah, I agree. It was very much defining expectation leading you one way and then taking you somewhere else. It was, it was very, very good. And I, I really enjoyed Novimmune as well and the way she interacted with bond and the evolution of the relationship on screen, it was much more credible for a male, female character interaction. She was forthright and confident character in their own, right, without being sort of obnoxious or, or undermining Bond's fundamental nature, which really can't be to modern era. I think it's got to be bond has to be true to his nature and then confronting and interacting with 21st century women characters. Um, and, and that reality defining the direction that the plot goes in. And I think they did a fantastic job with that. I really enjoyed it.

Speaker 14: (44:01)

Yeah. Because a couple of times we have instances where he thinks women are coming on to him, or he thinks that he's going to be in some sort of sexual situation. And it's completely diffused with a bit of humor and kind of the sense of like, yeah, you're getting a little old and, and this whole kind of trope is going away, but we'll play with it still.

Speaker 18: (44:30)


Speaker 1: (44:40)

That was Beth Armando speaking with Gary Dexter to hear the full podcast that explores the bond cinematic and literary universe go to junkie.